Category Archives: SaaS

Top 50 Big Data Marketing Blogs

Top 50 Big Data Marketing Blogs

Big Data Marketing Blogs

Big Data has been helping marketers target customers with more accuracy and detail than anyone thought possible just a few years ago. No longer do marketers need to rely on direct mail campaigns or newsletter subscribers, because Big Data delivers insight into nearly any aspect of a customer, from time spent on websites, to brand preferences, to purchasing history. Big Data gives the comprehensive picture of customers that marketers had been craving.

But, there are several ways to use Big Data for marketing. And, there is such a vast amount of Big Data available that marketers may still be unsure of exactly how to harness it and optimize their use of it. That’s why we’ve searched for some of the best Big Data marketing blogs available. We look to industry leaders, top marketers, and Big Data experts who share their experience, tips, and strategies for using Big Data for marketing. Their blogs have the insight you need to make Big Data marketing work for you.

Please note, we have listed our top 50 Big Data marketing blogs here, in no particular order

Read Full List: NGDATA

Social SaaS And Growth Hacking Techniques

Social SaaS And Growth Hacking Techniques

Growth Hacking Techniques

With the competitive nature of Cloud computing and SaaS, it becomes more and more evident that you need to find creative ways to stand out. The good news is, some of today’s largest and most profitable tech companies successfully put growth hacking to use, as early and simply as Hotmail’s 1996 sign-up link in the footer of every outgoing email. In just six months, they established a user base one million strong. Gmail, instead, took the route of exclusivity, with access only available through invitation – this earned Gmail a massive 1.17 billion users before going public in 2007. And Reddit played the ‘fake it until you make it’ card, with its founders submitting all the front page content from fake accounts for the first several months after launch; today Reddit gets millions of views a day, and, needless to say, its founders are no longer posting the content. Successful growth hacks range from leveraging other successful organisations to word of mouth to referral schemes, and below are a few you could put to use straight away.

Free Stuff

free-saas

It’s fairly obvious that everyone loves free stuff. Why else do I have 17 branded ballpoint pens and 35 ad magnets? The freemium software model is a classic SaaS growth hack that quickly builds a user base, creates a buzz, and opens your product up to easy adoption. Evernote employed this technique effectively, and though they had some rough times when funding crashed, their freemium model linked to their presence in every app store helped attract its current 75 million users.

Exclusivity

As much as we like the gratis concept, most of us also love to be one of a select few. Making potential users wait for the chance to climb on board tends to amplify the excitement, as seen by Mailbox. When Mailbox was starting up, they created a waiting list users had to sign onto before receiving their invitation to join. LinkedIn took a slightly different approach, catering only to professionals; who wouldn’t want to be part of the professionals’ club? Both hacks drove hordes of users to these platforms.

Free Piggyback Rides With Craigslist

airbnbs-growth-chart

Free marketing platforms are another great way to build your brand. Craigslist, Facebook and Myspace are a few providers that offer excellent marketing opportunities, and Airbnb successfully took advantage of Craigslist to sell their products. Users adding their listing to Airbnb were prompted to also add their listing to Craigslist, and so leveraged their own brand off an already established and lucrative organisation.

(Image via Growthhackers)

Sharing is Caring

Facebook and Twitter made it easy to share our every thought with friends and family, but Dropbox gave us a reason to do it. Their referral campaign awarded free additional storage for every sign up a user initiated. Of course, Dropbox used every trick in the book to become the $4 billion company they are today, but the power of word of mouth marketing is key to many successful businesses.

It’s All About Who You Know

Or, more precisely, it’s all about whose contact details you have. You could buy email addresses from a provider, but this is costly and often not correctly targeted. Noah Kagan established the successful AppSumo using his email list of over 700,000 subscribers. The single focus for his website was getting email signups, and getting them without annoying his subscribers. Using the by-line, sticky widgets, exit popups, contents, and more, Kagan effectively grew his subscriber list, site visits, and revenue.

These and many other hacks can have a significant impact on the popularity and accomplishment of your business though the place to start is an astute SaaS marketing strategy. Use the tools that fit your strategy, ditch the ones that don’t, and employ your imagination to engage your audience.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Cloud Pinup: FiscalNote – LegalTech And Big Data

Cloud Pinup: FiscalNote – LegalTech And Big Data

FiscalNote – LegalTech And Big Data

The United States operates under a Federal government system, which means that states and local governments have a lot of authority when it comes to setting the law of the land. We’re not here to give you a civics lesson, of course, but this point is essential for understanding what makes FiscalNote such an interesting company.

FiscalNote focuses on organizing, digesting, and presenting the vast wealth of regulatory and legal data out there, and given the multiple levels of government in the United States, there’s a ton of data. Federal laws, state laws, local laws, Federal agency regulations, state agency stipulations, on and on the list goes.

data-legal

Quite simply, the amount of data can be overwhelming. With FiscalNote, however, you can use the company’s services to quickly and easily sort this vast wealth of data. The company offers three different services, Prophecy, Sonar, and Atlantis, that help clients sort through legislative data, Federal regulatory data, and state regulatory data respectively. True, most of the information FiscalNote presents can actually be found online for free, but sorting through government laws and regulations can be tedious and confusing work, and even the best experts are prone to mistakes.

FiscalNote can compile and analyze huge amounts of data, and make it very easy for analysts to understand. The services also gather a huge amount of data from the far flung reaches of the American bureaucracy and gather it all in one place. As a result, FiscalNote’s services offer a huge amount of value for organizations and people dealing with government regulations and laws.

Given how much value FiscalNote adds it should come as no surprise that the company has emerged as one of the fastest up-and-coming tech startups. Originally founded in June of 2013 out in Silicon Valley, FiscalNote is now based out of Washington D.C.

FiscalNote has had no trouble drumming up cash, only two months after its founding, the company secured $1.2 million dollars in seed funding. Since then, the company has raised an additional $17 million dollars through its Series A and Series B funding rounds. Notable investors include Mark Cuban, New Enterprise Associates, and Renren.

FiscalNote was founded by Tim Hwang, Gerald Yao, and Jonathan Chen. All three were friends in high school and retain control of the company’s top management positions. The rest of the team is filled out with a wide range of industry experts.

By Brian Brinker

Wearables For Good And New Innovation

Wearables For Good And New Innovation

Wearable For Goods

Launched in May this year by partners UNICEF, ARM and frog, the Wearables for Good Challenge called on global “makers, engineers, do-gooders, executives, computer scientists, inventors, [and] innovators” to design and develop wearables and sensor technology that aren’t merely nice to have, but needed. 46 countries from 6 continents presented 250 ideas, and the ten shortlisted concepts are extraordinary designs capable of aiding the world’s most vulnerable. With current wearables generally targeting conventional lifestyle issues, the Wearables for Good Challenge has expanded this focus to maternal and child health problems.

Problems addressed by the ten finalist ideas include health, sanitation and hygiene, the availability of potable water, and child protection. Selected design teams will now develop their concepts into working prototypes, to be submitted in October. In November, two winners will be announced at the ARM TechCon in Santa Clara, US and in Helsinki, Finland, receiving prizes of $15,000 and incubation and mentoring from UNICEF, ARM, and frog.

design-concepts

Communic-AID

Students at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta submitted their idea for a wearable device to facilitate record keeping while aiding in the tracking of medication distributed in post-disaster contexts. Their wearable wristband with NFC communication technology would give patients a more interactive role in their own treatment while allowing medical professionals access to their information through a connected app.

Droplet

Jesica Marquez and Chen Liang want to make safe drinking water globally available with their wearable water purification device. The bracelet contains a UV purifying light bulb that, when placed in a container of water, emits UV light to kill contaminants and disease-causing bacteria in minutes. Data is also collected to help prevent future water-related issues.

GuardBand

This team from Hochiminh City, Vietnam has proposed a system to help protect children from abuse while tracking their health. The water-resistant band collects data about a child’s health and location, as well as audial data, which is transmitted to a server from which aid organizations can observe the user’s condition.

Khushi Baby

Bridging the world’s immunization gap, Khushi Baby is a system that tracks vaccination and mobilization. A large team consisting of members based both in the US and Northern India has devised a digital necklace that communicates with a mobile app for community health workers. Patient data can be scanned and synced to the cloud remotely. Mixing culture with technology, this tool is designed to mirror the kaala dhaago, or black thread, that traditionally protects children from the evil eye.

Raksh

University students based off Chennai, India, offer a Bluetooth-based device to be worn in the ear that provides a multi-parameter monitoring platform. With costs potentially as low as $25, the non-invasive device tracks a child’s respiration rate, heart rate, body temperature, and relative breath humidity. Streamed through a Bluetooth internet gateway device, the data is then presented to doctors via a web page or app, highlighting abnormal instances.

SoaPen

Indian and Korean designers are proposing a wearable and portable soap to encourage hand washing, thereby reducing the risk of catching and spreading diseases. This crayon-like soap allows users to peel off soap layer by layer, and its ability to draw on the skin makes it fun for children.

teleScrypts

Attempting to solve the challenge of providing healthcare workers with advanced healthcare tech in low resource and poorly funded communities, East African and US entrepreneurs have planned a device to collect patient data, provide risk assessment tools, and allow NGOs and governments to map diseases. Healthcare technologies can be provided for .20 cents per patient per year.

TermoTell

Nigerian and US based designers have teamed up on this real-time temperature monitor and alert system, designed to save the lives of children under five who are at risk of Malaria. The bracelet is colorful and chewable and measures a child’s temperature and sweat patterns, analyzing the results to detect dangerous patterns that indicate risk of Malaria.

Totem Open Health

From entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, Totem Open Health is an open platform and ecosystem for wearable health technology. It includes sensors, storage, data collection, sharing, analysis and algorithmic interpretation. The open system allows for unhindered collaboration, faster innovation, and localized development to address low-volume niche problem areas, and knowledge is shared to the benefit of all.

WAAA!

A team of UK academics have tackled newborn monitoring with APGAR (appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiratory) data collection. Soft patch sensors on a newborn baby are used by a mobile phone, text-based surveillance service that captures data when newborns are at risk. This concept automates clinical assessments to enable safe and efficient clinical work.

Says Erica Kochi, co-lead and co-founder of UNICEF Innovation, “The ideas from the 10 finalists demonstrate how wearable technology can be applied in resource-constrained environments, creating viable business opportunities for the technology sector in developing markets. We’re excited to review the finalists’ refined ideas over the coming months to pick two that have the potential to improve the lives of women and children at a national or global scale.

By Jennifer Klostermann

What Is The Key To Success In Cloud SaaS? Your Partner Ecosystem

What Is The Key To Success In Cloud SaaS? Your Partner Ecosystem

What Is The Key To Success In Cloud SaaS? 

It used to be that a good piece of business software, marketed well and diligently sold, could find mainstream success on its own. Those days are gone. In today’s SaaS market business customers expect your software to perform seamlessly, as part of a robust ecosystem of business software solutions. It is no longer simply a matter of whose software has the most features or who can provide the best user experience, it is about who has the most comprehensive environment and how easily it can be integrated with the rest of the business software your customer needs.

What does that mean for your business?

This new era in business has paved the way for a new path to commercial success – strategic alliances and integrations. Rather than trying to come up with all the answers in-house, which is guaranteed to overwhelm your in-house resources, you will need to leverage the strength of adjacent vendors and create partnerships that can be beneficial for both businesses. Whether you need help with collaboration, workflow, or even security, there will typically be more than one vendor out there who can match your needs and use what your own product has to offer.

To succeed in assembling your partner ecosystem, keep two considerations in mind:

Customer Reach

customer-reach

First and foremost, you must integrate your software with the tools that your customers use most often. To find out which tools those are, you should keep an organized record of features, functions and integrations most often requested by customers and prospects. Alongside that, it is important to keep an eye on the industry’s most popular complementary tools that can help address customer needs, as well.

While this seems easy enough, this is where things often get tricky. Just like you, everyone wants to integrate with the same widely deployed apps, and given the high demand, it is often difficult to get attention from these typically larger technology vendors. Furthermore, even when your integration is complete, you run the risk of becoming yet another offering in a crowded app marketplace hosted by a big player. Without a thorough go-to-market plan you may not get the customer attention and increased reach you are looking for.

That’s where the second consideration comes in.

Partner Engagement

ecosystemPartner engagement is a crucial, yet often overlooked, part of a successful technology partnership strategy. If you are able to integrate your product with complementary solutions from engaged technology partners you will be able to not only enhance your product by making it a part of a larger ecosystem, but also greatly enhance your sales reach, cost-effectively generate new sales leads, and enhance your brand exposure.

Partner engagement starts with targeting the right types of prospective partners. I find that the following simple criteria work in most cases:

1) Vertical Alignment – If you are operating in one or more verticals or industries, try to engage partners that operate in the same areas. This increases the likelihood that customers will view your solutions as complementary and increases the odds for a cultural fit between you and the partner.

2) Similar Customer Profile – Search for partners whose customer base and buyer profile are similar to your own.

3) Structured Programs– Your chances for strategic success increase dramatically if your chosen partner has a structured program to support technology alliances. Things work better when everyone has done it before, and if the program is structured you know exactly what you’re giving and what you’re getting in return.

4) Reciprocity – Everyone needs to get something out of a technology alliance, or else the relationship is unlikely to last. Give a lot of thought to what you can offer your partner, not just to what you expect to get out of the relationship.

5) Personal Relationships – People do business with people. If all you do is integrate your software and expect things to work out on their own, you are likely to be disappointed. Engage with people you trust and with which you can see yourself working.

Technology alliances are an essential part of today’s SaaS business strategy. They can help you to extend your product capabilities, while increasing your market reach and helping grow sales. The trick is balancing between the need to integrate with the most widely deployed business tools and unlocking the tremendous value that you can generate with an engaged technology partner. Finding a healthy balance will provide endless possibilities for the growth and future success of your business.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Ronen Vengosh

Cloud Pinup: BigBoards Showing Big Promise In Big Data Field

Cloud Pinup: BigBoards Showing Big Promise In Big Data Field

BigBoards Showing Big Promise

Big data and the cloud both offer promising potential for companies big and small. In many ways big data and the cloud are all about empowerment, big data allows companies to glean more information, for example, and cloud technologies make online collaboration easy. Many of the best big data solutions, however, are simply too expensive and too complex for smaller businesses and organizations (let alone individuals).

One company that is showing a lot of potential in regards to empowerment is BigBoards. This company offers a tantalizing all-in-one hardware and software solution, the BigBoardsHex. The Hex is essentially a miniaturized data center than you can set up right on your desk, and costs less than 2,500 euro, making it affordable for even small businesses.

This portable cluster allows people to quickly and easily access a variety of custom big data apps, which the company calls “tints.” These Tints are offered through the company’s library of software apps, called the Tint library, which features a range of software solutions.

spider-hex

(Image Source: BigBoards SpiderHex)

In a certain sense, BigBoards reminds me of Apple. Like Apple, BigBoards is focusing on developing hardware-software combinations, which will give the company a high level of control over the quality of their products. Simply put, the company will be able to ensure that its hardware and software is in perfect sync with one another.

Also like Apple, BigBoards is focusing on ease of use. When it comes to Big Data, many non-experts are intimidated, both by the mass of data, and trying to figure out what hardware and software is needed to process it. BigBoads offers an easy-to-use, ready-to-go data processing solution that works right out of the box. Just plug it in, and connect to it through wi-fi, and you’re ready to get started.

daanBigBoards is based out of Belgium, and right now it is focused on the European market. Given how promising their solutions look, however, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they emerged as a global player. The company is headed by (CTO) Daan Gerits, an experienced software architect and key organizer behind BigData.be, one of Belgium’s leading big data communities and Wim Van Leuven who brings 16 years of software development to the company.

BigBoards has already drawn quite a bit of attention. Earlier this year the company won the audience award at the Startup Showcase at Strata + Hadoop World – London 2015. This event is among the premier big data events in the world, and the organizer went as far as to call BigBoards “the most tangible thing in this Big Data world of 0’ and 1’s”.

By Brian Brinker

The eCommerce Platform For High-Volume Retailers

The eCommerce Platform For High-Volume Retailers

Cloud Based eCommerce Platform For Retailers

With projections that e-commerce in Europe will reach €191 billion by 2017, emerging markets such as China and India steadily growing, and the US having the largest e-commerce market in the world, able to reach approximately 90% of their population through English online marketing, with a magnificent $370 billion e-commerce forecast, it’s clear that online sales and marketing should be a top priority of every ambitious business.

Both established and emerging enterprises need a powerful and flexible e-commerce platform at the base of their online strategy, ensuring increased sales and conversions, speedy rollout and upgrading, and hassle-free, cutting-edge technological tools. The Bigcommerce Enterprise solution provides this and more.

Bigcommerce Enterprise

Launched earlier this year, Bigcommerce Enterprise is a solid, hosted, e-commerce platform for high-volume retailers with transactions amounting to millions of dollars. It features advanced security and protection, enterprise-grade integrations, and real-time analytics and insights helping organizations scale and manage their online businesses without the cost and time that proprietary, on-site solutions involve. With some large brands using Bigcommerce Enterprise including Marvel, Samsung, Schwinn, Toyota, and Ubisoft, customer satisfaction is high. Paul Yoo, President and COO of US Patriot, states, “Since moving to Bigcommerce, our site is now faster, the user experience is better, and we have achieved a higher search rank. We have increased our online sales by 47% and are now showing up as the number one result in organic listings on Google.”

Customer-Level Analytics in Real Time

Bigcommerce’s expanded real-time e-commerce analytics dashboard allows clients to:

  • Evaluate customer purchase behaviors for recovery of lost revenue.
  • Optimize inventory and merchandising.
  • Evaluate the performance of marketing campaigns as well as the return on investment per customer in real time.

Bigcommerce Insights Optimization Engine

retail-commerce

Available for the first time on an enterprise-grade e-commerce platform, a suite of actionable data and insights with in-depth reporting capabilities further assists merchants:

  • Win back customers and drive loyalty programs by identifying high-value and at-risk customers.
  • Encourage repeat purchasing with purchase funnel analysis.
  • Identify underperforming products by means of automated conversion rate and traffic analysis.
  • Employ cross-sell recommendations for increased revenue.

Enterprise-Grade Integrations

There are hundreds of enterprise-grade integrations available allowing merchants to extend the capabilities of their stores. With unrestricted access to their full suite of integrations, from inventory management and enterprise resource planning to accounting and email marketing, Bigcommerce provides everything that’s required to run a global, multi-million dollar e-commerce site.

Advanced Security and Protection

Built-in SSL, PCI compliance, and DDOS protection are a few of the powerful security features available to merchants, ensuring sites are always operational, and providing customers with the support they need to transact. Site-wide HTTPS is another feature of Bigcommerce’s Enterprise platform, increasing Google search rankings and boosting customer confidence.

Performance Optimized for Stores

The infrastructure of a combined global network of data centers ensures quick page loading and suitable responsiveness for shoppers worldwide. Bigcommerce Enterprise clients also have the benefit of 24/7 site monitoring and priority support, with a 99.9% guaranteed server uptime SLA available.

Eddie Machaalani, co-founder and CEO of Bigcommerce asserts, “The technical barriers to selling online have been significantly reduced, and brands are questioning the notion that growth means complexity. Our enterprise platform delivers the functionality and scalability merchants need to compete in the big leagues while avoiding the waste associated with managing an overly-complex, on-premise or proprietary solution.

Bigcommerce Enterprise helps customers redefine their businesses through five essential focus points:

  • Growth Redefined: With best-in-class SEO for higher rankings, sophisticated marketing tools for increasing site traffic, conversion tools turning browsers into buyers, and cutting-edge business intelligence.
  • Site Performance Redefined: 99.99% uptime, 145ms response times, 500,000+ hits per minute and unlimited bandwidth, and full PCI compliance as well as site-wide HTTPS and advanced DDOS protection.
  • Operations Redefined: Upgrades and new features implemented without interruption, advanced analytics, and order and inventory management.
  • Flexibility Redefined: Marketing integration with Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and Twitter; Shipping and fulfillment, multi-channel and POS integrations; Integration with leading third-party ERP suites; and service partners available to build custom integration.
  • Service Redefined: 24/7 priority support, dedicated account managers to help grow and streamline your operations, and early access to new features.

Customers are raving about Bigcommerce Enterprise. Says Matthew Tara, CEO of Tucker Blair, “Prior to moving to Bigcommerce Enterprise, we were using an on-premise solution and saw a lot of unneeded complexity just to make basic changes to our store, making it difficult and cumbersome to manage. The time spent updating our site went down by 50% after moving to Bigcommerce, and we saw a 75% improvement in conversion rate.” For more details of features and benefits as well as glowing customer testimonials, explore Bigcommerce Enterprise. 

Sponsored By Bigcommerce

By Jennifer Klostermann

Cloud Pinup: Security Scorecard – Highly Automated, Extremely Effective

Cloud Pinup: Security Scorecard – Highly Automated, Extremely Effective

Security Scorecard

Security Scorecard offers a fresh approach to online security. Instead of just worrying about a single company’s assets, Security Scorecard’s monitoring services can keep watch over entire ecosystems, monitoring partners and even competitors to watch for vulnerabilities. The monitoring service can also help your company compare its performance with industry standards.

Security Scorecard is raising eyebrows in the industry because it offers an effective yet highly automated and unintrusive way for companies to monitor their security. The company works from the outside and uses a number of advanced algorithms and other techniques to probe for weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Once a problem is found, Security Scorecard can offer solutions and suggestions.

product-image

Security Scorecard goes way beyond the usual scanning provided by malware and anti-virus scanners. Interestingly, the service can even help company’s identify disgruntled employees, or people who are vulnerable to social engineering. This is especially noteworthy as hackers often look for human errors in order to find ways to circumvent security systems.

threats

The company has already attracted a lot of interest from investors, having raised $14.7 million dollars in funding so far. Sequoia Capital participated in the last round of funding, and managing partner Michael Goguen has already said, “Security Scorecard is on the way to becoming a great Sequoia company.” Other funders include Atlas Ventures, Boldstart, and Evolution Equity Partners.

Alex YampolskiySecurity Scorecard’s management team is also unique in that several members of its management staff were previously managing security for various online companies. CEO and cofounder Aleksandr Yampolskiy, who has a PhD from Yale in cryptology, has cited his experience managing security for Gilt Groupe, a shopping website, as one of his chief motivations for developing Security Scorecard. COO Sam Kassoumeh also served at Gilt as their head of security and led global security at Federal-Mogul. The rest of the management team is filled out with seasoned and experience professionals.

We see a lot of great companies over here at CloudTweaks, and Security Scorecard appears to be among one of the more promising security based cloud services. This company is backed with serious funding and has an experienced and diverse management team. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on Security Scorecard, its products, and its performance going forward.

(The CloudTweaks Cloud Pinup series covers some of the biggest and brightest new startups on the planet. Contact us for consideration if your company provides an innovative SaaS solution, has exceptional management and has been in business for less than 3 years.)

By Brian Brinker

CloudTweaks Comics
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Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Customers in the Cloud Global enterprises in every industry are increasingly turning to cloud-based innovators like Salesforce, ServiceNow, WorkDay and Aria, to handle critical systems like billing, IT services, HCM and CRM. One need look no further than Salesforce’s and Amazon’s most recent earnings report, to see this indeed is not a passing fad, but…