Tue 7/22/2008 10:34 AM
By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is something different -- Poison's "Something to Believe In." Went to an 80's theme going-away party here in Istanbul last week for a friend moving back to Finland. First Coffee dressed in argyle and khaki with an alligator shirt and Topsiders -- luckily I haven't changed my wardrobe appreciably since 1985, I was all set -- and hair bands a la Poison were well-represented.
CRM vendor Salesforce.com has announced that Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a Fortune 500 financial services membership organization, is standardizing on Salesforce for Wealth Management.
The company is deploying Salesforce for Wealth Management and will use the Force.com Platform and the Force.com AppExchange to build custom applications designed to "improve client engagement as well as the productivity of financial representatives," according to Thrivent officials.
Thrivent Financial is one of the 43,600 companies comprising the Salesforce.com customer base as of April 30.
Betsy Ordal, vice president of Field Development at Thrivent, said Salesforce was chosen for its "rich functionality, delivery model and for the positive reviews we heard from other firms."
The organization is using the Force.com Platform to customize the product and integrate it with existing applications, including its corporate e-mail system. Thrivent Financial is also using Force.com AppExchange applications.
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Bango has unveiled technology designed to help Web site owners "measure the value of mobile sites," by counting unique visitors browsing their site, company officials say.
This new site analysis capability in the latest release of Bango Analytics, v3.0 "complements existing campaign analysis functionality and features enhanced image tag technology to identify unique users," the Bangovians explain.
Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango, said with this new version, "mobile Web site owners can now get a real picture of the value of their mobile Web site."
With site analysis added to its mobile analytics service, Bango now provides two metrics sought after by site owners -- unique visitors and conversion rates from mobile marketing campaigns.
Results of a recent survey of more than 550 mobile Web site owners, commissioned by Bango, found that 80 percent of respondents said "the daily, weekly or monthly number of unique visitors" was the "most important" data point for them.
Other important data were "conversion rates and effectiveness of mobile marketing," which polled 71 percent, "new or repeat visitors" 58 percent and "information about the handsets your visitors use" was cited by 54 percent.
Bango provides two techniques for capturing mobile metrics: link tracking for campaign analysis and page tracking for site analysis.
Bango officials describe the new site analysis feature as "easy to implement -- one line of html code is placed in each page to be tracked without the need to install anything on the server. A site summary report provides a high level view on the key metrics for a mobile Web site, including unique visitor numbers."
Capturing an accurate picture of the number of unique visitors is more complex on mobile than on the PC Web, since "cookies aren't reliable on mobile phones and IP addresses belong to the network operator rather than the end user," Bango officials say. They explain that for each individual that clicks on an ad or browses a site, a privacy protected Bango User ID is created, compiled through WAP gateway profiling, data from browser analysis, session information and network interactions.
This unique user ID lets Bango distinguish between new and repeat users.
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Opera Software's State of the Mobile Web report, just released, finds that six out of the most popular phones models for Web browsing with Opera Mini are from Nokia, two are from Sony Ericsson, one is from BlackBerry, and one is from Samsung.
"People want the Web on their phone regardless of the type of phone they have," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera. "Our list of top phones shows both smartphones and feature phones. It proves that given the right experience, many more people will use the Web on their phone. Accessing the Web on your phone is not a luxury limited to who has the most expensive phone model."
The State of the Mobile Web, June 2008 report also finds that usage continues to grow as more consumers find value in accessing full Web content on their mobile phones. People using Opera Mini viewed more than 3.2 billion pages in June, up 9.4 percent over May.
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EasyLobby, a vendor of Secure Visitor Management and photo ID badge printing products, has announced the appointment of Chris Selland as Vice President, Marketing and Business Development.
Selland, the man with the greatest radio voice alive, will lead EasyLobby's corporate identity and product positioning, demand generation, corporate communications, and strategic alliance initiatives.
"Chris will be a major catalyst to help expand EasyLobby's brand awareness worldwide, and grow our global network of customers and partners," said Howard Marson, CEO of EasyLobby. "He brings a deep understanding of branding and marketing, is a well-known evangelist for customer success."
Chris joins EasyLobby with experience in Marketing, Business Development, and Corporate Development strategies for a number of technology and research companies, including SoundBite Communications, Yankee Group, Aberdeen Group (now Harte-Hanks) and others.
EasyLobby was founded in 1997 to sell software products for electronic, secure visitor management.
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"For many prospective car buyers, walking into a showroom is considered about as pleasant as having a tooth extracted," auto industry veterans Clint Burns and Kirk Sladen correctly observe, adding that "they anticipate being ambushed at the front door by an overeager sales staff."
Burns and Sladen say they have developed a software product designed to make the sales staff more efficient, "eliminating the need for salespeople to hover at the front door."
Burns' development of a customer-satisfaction index for veterinarians led to the development of a CRM tool for the auto industry, and then to The Next Up. This Web-based product manages the showroom floor by delivering real-time traffic information and productivity reports. The product also provides a customer count.
"Dealerships are seeing increases in sales, even with a down market," said Sladen.
With The Next Up's Web-based and text messaging features, the sales staff is aware of the dealership surroundings at all times. This allows the front of the dealership to have only the necessary sales staff needed and the others to be doing something elsewhere.
Sales staff "will now have the time to contact previous customers to follow up, set appointments, act on referrals, and never miss the opportunity to meet new customers," Burns says.
"The Next Up is designed for any size dealership," said Burns, "from dealers who sell 40 cars a month to those that sell 1,000."
No contract is required for a dealership to use The Next Up; agreements are on a month-to-month basis. The Next Up provides all equipment at no cost.