Interview with CMO Christopher Justice

Christopher Justice (pictured on the left) is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Magnolia International, an open-source content management system (CMS) developer that works with clients such as Sony, Virgin America and Thomas Cook.

In this interview with CX Network, he talks about challenges the marketing industry faces today and how you, as the CMO, can overcome these. “Listening becomes your default behavior,” he says.

Read more at CXNetwork

How a CMO Can Use Marketing Automation to Guarantee the Success of a Website Relaunch

As CMOs, our hearts are driven toward creativity but our jobs are measured by the metrics we collect. We use data like page views, unique site visits, recorded contacts and average time on site to determine if what we do actually has an effect on the bottom line of the business.

One of a CMO’s most challenging tasks is rebranding and launching a new website. How can a CMO guarantee that the substantial investment in a brand and website relaunch will have a positive effect on the company?

I believe that the answer lies in setting your website infrastructure up for digital business success, while using marketing automation to verify and optimise it all. I’m not alone on this path. According to SiriusDecisions, there are nearly 11 times more B2B organisations using marketing automation now than in 2011.

Read more at Digital Marketing Magazine

How CMOs Create Golden Ticket Marketing Teams

There are as many opinions on what marketing does, what it should say and how it should be measured as there are people in a company. That makes the role of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) the most subjective position within any company. But even brilliant CMOs don’t last forever. This means we have to work quickly, build great teams and establish clear metrics for success.

Read more at CMSWire

Content Driven Commerce – The Red Carpet Checkout Experience

Picture the scene: you walk into a stunning boutique or the perfect shop for your favourite pastime. You find yourself surrounded by all the treats you have been promising yourself for ages. These are combined with an array of new products that you have never seen before, but that you want even more.

The shop is filled with people you like: some you know, some you admire. A few are chatting, openly swapping tips and opinions and inviting you to join in the discussion. A welcoming salesperson walks over to you, recognises you, sits you down on the VIP seating and offers you a drink. They talk with you, no hardsell, they listen to you and then offer profound, useful advice around what you might want. 

OK, so now you are feeling really comfortable and thinking you probably know what you want to buy. Suddenly the salesperson’s demeanour flips:

“GIVE ME YOUR CREDIT CARD”, they scream at you!

At this point, you become a little more uneasy, perhaps cornered, and less sure of your potential purchases. You attempt to rewind to some of the earlier, relaxed conversation, but they are having none of it:

“I SAID GIVE ME YOUR MONEY….” the salesperson shouts. “….. And what is your date of birth? Where do you live?….And is your card still valid, what’s the expiry date? ….And what about those three numbers on the back?”

“Look, I haven’t got all day,” they say impatiently. “My session will expire in three minutes!”

Welcome to the average online experience.

Read more at Digital Marketing Magazine UK

Attention, Interest, Decision, Action – Make it effortless

In today’s marketplace, people are exposed to services, ideas, products but they actually close the wall on that purchase attributed to factors like money, the economy, etc. The reality is that today’s potential consumer wants to compare, investigate and do the research to get the best deal. Today’s buyer thinks that way due to technology as it has literally exposed and made accessible the world’s products so that every person can be their own bargain detective. Within seconds, the internet allows anyone to compare thousands of products to find the best not by just feature, function and price but also through human experience and story. How you represent yourself in business will be echoed throughout many different lenses which is poignantly different than it was not so long ago.

The personal recounting about a particular product has more validity and perceived integrity than a brochure. This phenomenon is the result of social media because people seek human connection and communication. It used to be that people shared across the fence with their neighbor and got referrals from their friends to a good dentist (or whatever) and a relationship grew from the original fence talk… people want to feed their innate need to communicate and social media makes it really easy. It used to be basic human communication but the pace of life has changed and so have the mediums of our communications. However, the basic premise is still the same… most successful companies early on are successful because of personal referrals. The challenge – and the win – is to be repeatable in delivering a quality experience and/or solution.

As you define your business model and products / services valuation, then becoming repeatable to network of people who can refer you into new opportunities becomes your primary focus. If your offerings are strong, you shouldn’t have to sell yourself or your products / services. People like Zig Ziglar or Glen Garry Glen Ross that advocate the ‘ABC’ method of business (Always Be Closing) are operating from the traditional model of a salesperson. However, in today’s world of contemporary business, you should never have to force a close nor a person to pay your invoice or to sign a contract. In fact, your business solution should be so compelling that the transaction is fluid if not completely transparent. If that isn’t what you experience, then either something is not clearly explained about you or the collateral isn’t good enough to make transaction simple (and there are many examples of products that generate income because of their simplicity – think Blueblockers sunglasses, Oreck vacuums, Costco volume buying, etc.).

At the height of the technology boom in the 1980’s and 1990’s, there was so much happening and becoming available that it was all complex and you needed someone to explain it to you. That was the role of the salesperson then… today, a one year-old child can operate an iPod so you know there is a new emergence of human cognitive ability beginning to surface. It’s no longer enough to be that informative, knowledgeable salesperson… instead, your product or service must be so crystallized and potentially mass customizable that the role of the salesperson becomes null.

Today’s salesperson really needs to NOT explain their offerings in great detail; instead, their role is to give exposure to what they have or do and then let the potential customer ‘mature’ the sales process by asking questions and becoming their own detective. No longer can a salesperson just walk in and close a deal. Business today is not like selling a car. People will poke you and ask questions – that is the new process. They will kick more of your tires than they will buy.

And, when they have the right message, momentum and price point, the transactions will be simple.

17 Stunning Internet of Things Statistics You Don’t Know

Excellent article on IoT.


The Internet of Things (IoT) is already connecting millions of formerly unconnected “things” to the Internet — allowing us to track and analyze data like never before. But according to Acquity Group, 87% of people reading this article don’t know what the term “Internet of Things” represents. If that’s you, start here.

To help add context to what the IoT can offer, let’s look at some stats to get a fuller picture.

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How to Pick the Best Browser for Your Enterprise

Knowing which browser to deploy in a large company is no easy task. The default option is Internet Explorer, but many users balk at this older, more cumbersome browser that seems to attract the most malware. Google Chrome gets most of the attention these days (as proven by a growing market share) and Mozilla Firefox offers good compatibility and speed. To determine which browser is the best for business, it’s important to keep tabs of the latest improvements. Here’s a look at the Big 3 with an eye on the enterprise.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is the oldest and most business-centric browser, mostly because businesses tend to deploy it as part of the standard desktop for large companies and fits in with other Microsoft products. A recent update to IE 11 includes Enterprise Mode, which ensures better compatibility with ActiveX controls and legacy Web apps. There are new tools like the Site Discovery Toolkit to help admins understand which apps are most commonly used.

Christopher Justice, a spokesman for the open-source content management system Magnolia International, says the advantage for enterprise developers is that IE is the most widely used browser, It’s installed on every Windows computer, so even if the end-user opts-out and picks a different browser there’s still an option for compatibility.

Because IE is so widely used, it is also a popular attack vector. Net Applications estimates a market share of over 34 percent for all versions of IE compared to just 13 percent for Chrome and just under 8 percent for Firefox. This makes IE a leader but also the browser business users tend to ignore or replace. The interface is cluttered and prone to attracting malware.


5 Tipps für eine bessere Online Customer Experience

Die Erfahrungen, die Kunden mit Ihrer Marke machen – ihre Customer Experience also – beeinflussen die Interaktionen mit und die Bindung zu Ihrem Produkt oder Ihrer Dienstleistung. Um diese Erfahrungen zu optimieren, muss auf jedes Detail geachtet werden – Kleinigkeiten können nämlich ein “Game Changer”, also ein entscheidender Faktor, sein. Dies ist ohnehin schon eine Herausforderung – weitaus schwieriger wird es, wenn die Anzahl digitaler Kanäle, die dem Konsumenten zur Verfügung stehen, ansteigt – Web, Mobile, Soziale Netzwerke und bald auch Connected Appliances.

Erinnern Sie sich an das letzte Mal, als Sie in einem 5-Sterne Restaurant gegessen haben? Wurde das Essen ansprechend präsentiert, war der Wein passend und der Nachtisch verlockend? Wurden Sie professionell bedient, wurde Ihnen große Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt? Und – am wichtigsten – würden Sie in das Restaurant zurückkehren?

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Entrepreneurs: What Are You Most Thankful For?

“I am extremely thankful for the freedom entrepreneurship has given me to influence ideas that impact people’s lives and inspire people to create solutions to the challenges of the modern world. I am most grateful for the mentorship from those who saw what I could and should become. Their words guide me every day.”

Read more at Forbes

Is Your CMS Ready for Real-time Marketing?

Modern marketers don’t dream of electric sheep. Instead, they dream of a world where incoming customers are instantly analyzed, scored, and shown content and offers tailored to their needs… automatically and in real-time, across web, mobile and social channels.

This kind of “real-time marketing” (RTM) or “real-time web personalization” is no longer the preserve of big brands with deep pockets. According to an Evergage survey, 75% of marketers are already using RTM, and of those who are actively using and tracking it, a quarter see returns of more than 50%.

Those are impressive numbers…but before you jump on the RTM bandwagon, remember that much of your success will depend on the capabilities of the engine powering your website – your CMS. At Magnolia, we’ve seen customers of all sizes struggle with implementing RTM, and we know what it takes to craft an RTM-capable CMS. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to make sure your CMS has what it takes.

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ETECTURE@Ogilvy Selects Magnolia CMS for Advanced Digital Campaigns

To answer this need, ETECTURE@Ogilvy has worked with Magnolia on building a new implementation of the CMS that responds to traffic demands with near-instant scaling on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure. ETECTURE@Ogilvy has used its experience as an AWS Managed Services Partner to develop a set of process automation scripts that replicate live Magnolia instances on demand, without impacting users or ongoing processes within the system.

“Consistent and scalable customer experiences across any device are exactly what Magnolia is about”, says Christopher Justice, Chief Marketing Officer of Magnolia. “From microsites to international product launches, ETECTURE@Ogilvy enables global brands to effectively engage large audiences and easily adapt to changing online user demands with a proven web experience management platform.”

Read more at Business Wire

The Future of Content – A CMS Checklist for Developers

When you buy a new car, you do a lot to make sure it’s the one you want. You take it for a test drive. You contemplate two wheel drive versus four wheel. You mull over the various options, weighing cost against the essential ability to load the kids and a dog in the back, or a kayak on the roof. You carefully pick the vehicle that suits your needs – after all, it’s a big purchase that you’re going to stick with for some time – and hopefully leave without a hint of buyer’s remorse, because you made a well-informed decision.

Choosing a new CMS should involve the same rigor.

You need to consider a variety of factors to make sure the CMS is the right fit. The last thing you want to do is purchase a new CMS, design your new site and load all your content to find that it can’t handle your ever-changing needs. At Magnolia, we’ve spent years understanding what customers want from their CMS, and we’ve identified some key things any new CMS should do really well.

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Three Rules for Taking Your Business Global

Going global is practically a requirement for thriving in business today. As the tech companies enmeshed in the current H1-B lobbying efforts are aware, talent has no borders. The company that can establish the most effective, talented and agile global team typically emerges as the global market leader. Period.

Still, establishing a worldwide presence is much easier said than done. Many companies focus too much on technological innovation and capabilities, such as file-sharing and virtual meeting spaces, at the expense of corporate culture, team management and cohesion.

With a five-country presence ourselves, we at Magnolia have, with time, trial and error, learned to thrive on a unique combination of online collaboration tools and proactive community-building efforts. Here’s how our team has managed to expand worldwide and still feel like we’re just down the hall from one another.

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Finding Gold In European Tech

When it comes to tech, Europe often gets overlooked.  But this is a big mistake.  The fact is that Europe is a source of much innovation.

Just look at Magnolia, which operates an open Java CMS that delivers smartphone simplicity on an enterprise-scale. Essentially, the platform handles the incredibly difficult issues of integrating with legacy systems.  As should be no surprise, the company has gotten lots of traction with big-time customers.

So to get some background on Magnolia — as well as the environment in Europe – I recently talked to Christopher Justice, who is the Chief Marketing Officer. Here’s what he had to say:

Tom Taulli: A backgrounder on Magnolia?

Read more at Forbes

Why Every Entrepreneur Should Work in Europe

Working in another country can make you a better thinker and business person. For those who make the jump across the pond, working abroad offers many advantages, yet can challenge even the most seasoned professionals.

I’m a serial entrepreneur from the startup mecca of Austin, Texas, and I recently relocated my family to Basel, Switzerland to join Magnolia as the Chief Marketing Officer. 

The transition has been the most rewarding and influential step of my career. While my technical skills have been tested, learning to adapt to the culture and language has been the most rewarding.

The experience has fundamentally changed my approach to business in ways offered only by living and working in a foreign country. Here are five key reasons why I believe every entrepreneur should work in Europe during their career – all based on experiences I’ve learned from along the way (and trust me, every day is a learning experience):

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Time Until Austin, Texas