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The Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) — the leading association and voice of the internet business & marketing industry. MITX is about all things digital, about what is next for the web and how it impacts the marketing and business worlds. We are passionate about creating opportunities for individuals and businesses to connect, grow and thrive. And we are committed to showcasing the ideas, the innovations, and the contributions that are fueling a thriving and integral industry in New England and throughout the world. Our mission is to capture and convey the essence of what our industry is doing, and to challenge us all to think differently, think big about what is next, because what is next is here.

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Fad Mobile Apps. Accident or Indicator?

  
  
  
Eric Fulwiler

Here is another insightful mobile guest blog written by Eric Fulwiler, VP, Account Director at Mullen. Eric dives into the importance of 'flash-in-the-pan' mobile apps and the insight we can gain from them. Interested in guest blogging? Next month's theme is social media. E-mail taylor@mitx.org if you are interested in contributing!

Eric leads social and emerging platform strategy at Mullen across its portfolio and manages internal social operations. Eric is a sought-after expert on key developments and the future of the social content marketing and advertising industry, and holds multiple advisory positions with Boston, NYC and SF-based social content, ad-tech, and analytics start-ups. He was an early employee and operations lead for VaynerMedia in NYC and SF, and oversaw early social media efforts for Forbes.com.

Some apps are staples in our lives ­ steadily growing with a proven user base over time. Instagram, Evernote, Vine, etc. But many are here one week and gone the next. They appear out of nowhere, and rocket to viral success at the top of the charts only to peak and fall out of favor. Quickly. And it seems to happen frequently. It almost seems like we're in the era of the 'flash in the pan' apps.



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Mobility: Bridging the Gap between Sales and Marketing

  
  
  
Stephen Skidmore

We are getting closer to the holidays but we have a few more mobile posts to share with you before then. Our next mobile guest blog is by Stephen Skidmore, Director of Product Marketing at Apperian. Stephen gives insights into how mobile can help connect sales and marketing.

Stephen is the director of product marketing at Apperian. He supports the sales team with market messaging, competitive intelligence, sales tools, content creation, social media, demand generation, strategic events and analyst relationships. 

In theory, sales and marketing organizations are expected to work hand-in-hand to help companies to grow revenue and expand their customer bases. However, in too many cases, sales and marketing teams operate in silos where leads generated through marketing often aren’t picked up and acted on by sales. This results in lost productivity and unrealized business opportunities.



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How Does Mobile Fit into Your Omni-Channel Strategy?

  
  
  
Scott Rosen

We've got another week of awesome mobile guest blogs for you. Today we have a post from Scott Rosen, Director of Technical Support Services and Digital Strategy at Ve Interactive. Scott discusses how mobile fits into an omni-channel strategy.

Scott Rosen is the Director of Technical Support Services and Digital Strategy at Ve Interactive, a multi-award winning global technology company, driving online performance to maximize conversions. He oversees the technical implementation and analysis of Ve’s products in North America. Prior to Ve Interactive, Scott held various digital marketing and data analysis positions at Bright Horizons, iProspect, and the Manufacturers’ Alliance. Scott has a JD from Villanova University (licensed to practice law in Massachusetts) and a BS in Business Administration and Economics from the Kogod School of Business at American University. Outside of work, he is an active member of his church. Scott lives outside of Boston with his wife. Follow @VeUnitedStates on Twitter.

If you are solely focused on the “Year of Mobile” or the “Era of Mobile”, you’re probably addressing a trend that has run its course. At the very least, you’re only focusing on one element of a larger trend.



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Programmatic is the Future of Mobile Marketing

  
  
  
Samantha Lordi

It's December, believe it or not, which means it's time for a new blog theme! We are switching over to Mobile and have a great post to kick it off by Samantha Lordi, Marketing Content Manager at Fiksu. Samantha gives insight on why when it comes to mobile marketing, programmatic is key.

Samantha Lordi, Marketing Content Manager at Fiksu, has a Broadcast Journalism degree from Syracuse and an MBA from Seton Hall. Despite being relatively new to the mobile industry, she uses her experience with storytelling to write about new technologies and trends affecting the mobile industry. Twitter- @samlordi

Programmatic is likely to be mobile’s buzzword of 2015. The only problem is, most people don’t even know what it really means. According to a report from STRATA from earlier this year, over 60 percent of ad agency executives feel there’s no accurate, unified definition of the term. Here at Fiksu, we’ve defined programmatic buying as “an automated process to make inventory placement decisions, execute on those decisions, and incorporate closed-loop feedback.”



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What's In Store for In-Store Selling?

  
  
  
Joe Shartzer

Before we all head out to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family and friends we have one more eCommerce blog post to share with you this month. Joe Shartzer, Co-Founder of Nyopoly and Engaged Pricing gives some insight into how this is the perfect time for in-store innovation as eCommerce continues to grow.

Joe Shartzer is a cofounder of Nyopoly and Engaged Pricing. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire and spends too much time of Spotify playlists. You can follow him on Twitter (and mostly everywhere) at @joeshartzer.

We know that shoppers are fleeing physical store locations, drastically and consistently. From The Wall Street Journal, foot traffic has continued to fall 5% year-over-year for over 12 months.With holiday 2014 already at our doorstep, the current climate can look dark for many retailers. Ecommerce sales are projected to rise 16.6% this year to over $72 billion in holiday 2014, according to eMarketer. Despite overall sales number projected to rise, a shortened holiday season and other factors can cast a cloud over retailers with large physical locations.



Holiday Retail eCommerce Prediction Round Up

  
  
  
Kate Putnam

We are close to wrapping up our eCommerce theme this month, but first there are a few more posts we have to share with you! In this post Kate Putnam, Development Manager at Blueport Commerce makes a few predictions about eCommerce during this upcoming holiday season.

As a Business Development Manager for Blueport Commerce, Kate manages several areas for corporate growth, including sales, corporate communications and partnerships. In all of her efforts, she endeavors to strengthen the company’s success as the omnichannel solution for the $78 billion furniture industry. These days, you can find Kate busy planning a marketing and sales strategy for 2015 while writing blog posts and spreading the Blueport story to prospective investors, clients and recruits. She often shares chair space with her Vizsla, Ramsay, who is a regular visitor to the dog-friendly Blueport office. Kate is on the board and heads up the marketing of the local Boston non-profit organization, Spero, Inc.

On the heels of the MITX Data & Analytics Summit last week, the world of data is ever-changing and the tools to tackle it are numerous. As Blueport Commerce enters its peak-omnichannel commerce season with its large furniture retail clients and Furniture.com, analyzing data and predictions become important as we help bring in some of the best in online sales all year. Like us, you’ve probably read the countless reports and data out there on holiday retail predictions and how retailers are poised to succeed. I’ve compiled three of these predictions most relevant to our business.



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The “Lego” Model of Ecommerce: How to Save Trillions in Lost Opportunity

  
  
  
Ralph Dangelmaier 2

Another great eCommerce blog by Ralph Dangelmaier, CEO of BlueSnap. Ralph provides insight into how niche eCommerce developers can help save the lost opportunity currently happening in cross-border commerce. Interested in guest blogging? Next month's theme is Mobile! E-mail taylor[at]mitx[dot]org if you are interested.

Ralph Dangelmaier is CEO of BlueSnap, where he is leading the charge to establish BlueSnap as the payments leader in e-commerce. A payment processing veteran, Ralph brings a wealth of experience creating products for retailers, processors and financial institutions and has a proven track record of growing companies both organically and through M&A activity. Under his stewardship, companies have successfully capitalized on the rapid growth in commerce to increase their revenue and stock value. Ralph has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, marketing, sales, and revenue, product, SaaS, development and delivery services for global customer base. Most recently, Ralph served as the President of Global Markets and Services for ACI Worldwide, a global provider of electronic payment software and solutions.

Global ecommerce is quietly paralyzed. Payments, shipping, taxes, regulations and legal issues have made cross-border commerce so intimidating that 73% of U.S. merchants aren’t equipped to sell internationally, according to the MCM Outlook 2014 Survey from Multichannel Merchant.

Meanwhile, the MCM survey shows that Asia-Pacific is on track to surpass North American ecommerce spending this year, and by 2017, the region’s $1 trillion plus in ecommerce will dwarf North America’s $660 billion. Merchants who can’t sell abroad will miss out, but no single vendor can offer a ‘magic bullet’ that will globalize every merchant overnight.

The problem is not the availability of technology or services – the issue is that the ecommerce software industry offers tons of niche solutions that don’t work together. It’s an issue so simple that a five-year old can grasp the problem: if you buy one Lego, one K’nex and one Playmobil set, the pieces won’t fit together. It is, however, an issue so severe that “painful” and “expensive” are becoming synonyms for “integration.” Merchants are discouraged from buying multiple software products because connecting them isn’t worth it.





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Small eCommerce, Big Data

  
  
  
Anna Carver

Continuing on with our eCommerce theme this month we have a post by Anna Carver, Director of Account Management at Ve Interactive. Anna discusses the relevance of data to all different types of eCommerce businesses. 

Anna Carver is the Director of Account Management at Ve Interactive, a multi-award winning global technology company, driving online performance to maximize conversions. Anna is responsible for leading the North American Account Management team in building strong client relations, improving client’s online optimizations with detailed reporting and presenting digital marketing expertise.  Prior to Ve Interactive, Anna held various operations roles for eCommerce retail businesses. Anna is a graduate of Boston University, but Iowa born. She is an active runner and a true foodie.  Follow Ve Interactive @VeUnitedStates; follow Anna on Linkedin; follow Anna on Twitter @tinyendorphins

“Big data” might not be for you. As one of the current buzzwords in tech, you may feel pressured to integrate it into your current eCommerce strategy. Yet remembering the internet itself is one plot of big data, “big data” has potential relevancy for everyone—or the potential to get in over your head. Before joining the big data lemmings, there are a few points to consider before jumping off that cliff.



Storify Recap from #MITXData 2014

  
  
  
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Didn't get to attend this year's data & analytics summit or just looking to review some of the key take-aways? You're in luck! We pulled together some of the best tips and learning from each session for you.

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Your Customers Don’t Know Where They Live

  
  
  
Stephanie Zatyko

We have a great eCommerce guest blog by Stephanie Zatyko, Content Marketing Specialist at Experian Data Quality. Stephanie gives great insights into improving eCommerce check out processes. 

Stephanie Zatyko is a Content Marketing Specialist with Experian Data Quality and a self-proclaimed bar trivia extraordinaire. Find her on Twitter @StephZatyko.

Whether you are running a small e-commerce shop or you’re Amazon, you have likely encountered customers who don’t seem to know where they live. From innocent typos or missing ZIP+4® information, to addresses in the wrong state or even country, retailers are constantly encountering issues due to invalid or inaccurate address data entered by their customers.



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