What is real time inbound marketing?

I guess first we have to understand what “inbound marketing” is before we get into the real time aspects of it. According to Wikipedia the definition for inbound marketing is:

Inbound marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects,[1] making yourself easy to be found[2] and drawing customers to your website[3] by producing content customers value.[4] Blogs, podcasts, video,eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing are considered inbound marketing. – link

This essentially means whenever someone writes about your product, service or web site it is inbound marketing. It is even better when a link to your product or page is referenced within the text – either directly or indirectly. Direct or indirect is very important, for instance, I may mention a Nike product in a Tweet and never mention a tag (#) or a site, but tools can pick up on that and use that information. If a link is provided then SEO now comes in to play. Anytime a search is done the search engines will pick up these links and offer the article or post in their search results. Nothing like getting free advertising!

So now for the real time part. Say one of your products goes viral on Twitter, you could position your web site to offer advertisements immediately based on public sentiment. Imagine blogs, news sites, Twitter, or Pinterest mentioning your product and literally within hours or minutes possibly you could have on your home page that exact product in a large advertisement.

Unica Interact, a solution in Enterprise Marketing Management can give your sites a real time view into this collected data. By calling into the service real time, your segmentation is essentially “live”. Relevant advertisements, promotions, and specials can almost happen…. well… real time! This is social media marketing and interactive marketing at its finest.

IBM’s Processor Value Unit [PVU] licensing for Distributed Software

Image Courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation. Unauthorized use not permitted.WebSphere Commerce fits into the “Distributed Software” pricing model at IBM. This means you pay by processor type and how many cores that are active for the software. Essentially any “active” core the software is running on you have to pay the Processor Value Unit (PVU) for each of those cores. From the writing of this article the suggested retail price per 100 PVU’s is $119,000*. You can read more about that on the Passport Advantage site here. I specifically say active because there are some implementations that have active-passive fail over. You don’t pay for the “passive” part of that implementation until it becomes active. In an active-active implementation you would pay for both active instances. So if each active instance is 200 PVU’s, you would be required to license 400 PVU’s.

The primary reason I wanted to write about this is to save these links to some vital sites when wanting to know how much WebSphere Commerce cost or how many PVU’s are calculated for a specific processor or service (like Amazon Cloud).

The first link is the one I mentioned above. It is the product page for WebSphere Commerce. Here you can even launch into a PVU calculator where you can find out how many PVU’s for a specific hardware implementation may cost.

The next link is the Processor Value Unit [PVU] licensing for Distributed Software page where it looks like it gets updated pretty frequently. This is the place to go to get a quick summary of how many cores and PVU’s are for specific processors and hardware.

The last link is for anyone considering the Amazon Cloud. First I will say you may want to check out the Commerce On The Cloud offering by IBM prior to going to Amazon. However, if you want pricing for the Amazon Cloud you will enjoy this page: Licensing for Amazon Cloud.

 *Pricing:  Catalog prices are exclusive of tax and subject to change without notice. Passport Advantage customers will see their Relationship Suggested Volume Pricing during checkout. – link

Enabling a second extended site to use Distributed Order Management

While WebSphere Commerce (WC) can do basic order management very well, you may have some requirements that will push you to a third party order management system. One example would be a cross-channel call center, like the one in Sterling Order Management, another solution in the Smarter Commerce portfolio. If you have the developer edition of WC 7, feature pack 4 you can configure the base Madisons store for the external order management function by following these instructions: link here.

Now, if you create other sites from the same asset store (a peer to the Madisons store) the only thing you really have to do is Step 12 from the same link above:

UPDATE STORE SET INVENTORYSYSTEM=-5 WHERE STORE_ID IN (SELECT STOREENT_ID FROM STOREENT WHERE IDENTIFIER='Store_Identifier' );

This sets the inventory system to a third party one, that is what the -5 value represents. Once that is complete you need to make sure the INVCNFREL table either has entries for your store id or make sure the STORE_ID is NULL for the items you want handled by the external system. Being NULL means any stores set to “-5” will use the external management system. Here are a couple of records from that table:

select * from INVCNFREL;

INVCNFREL_ID INVCNF_ID CATENTRY_ID STORE_ID STLOC_ID OPTCOUNTER
1 1 10002 NULL NULL 1
2 1 10004 NULL NULL 1

HTML5 Automation best in Internet Explorer – See for yourself

The video in the previous post did not do the test justice as many could not tell it truly is a smoother animation so here you go, you can view this web page yourself on the different browsers.

What I see on my machine is a much smoother animation of both the outer box and the growing text. Notice it is not choppy at all in IE, very smooth. And just an FYI, I am a solid Chrome user for a few years now, before that FireFox, and before that IE. With all of these IE commercials on television I had to see if this really was “faster”, at least in this space. I would be interested to hear what others see.

Link also here.

Internet Explorer KILLS the competition with HTML 5 Animation

I downloaded the Adobe’s new Edge Animate and played around with the tutorials for a bit and even did a basic animation. After I saved the HTML I then launched it into my default browser (Chrome) and was not very impressed. The animation was very choppy and even left blit marks throughout the animation, some really bad double buffering going on…

I then went back into Edge Animate and added even more animation, the text growing over the time line. This made it even worse in Chrome! I then opened the file in all of the major browsers (IE, FireFox, and Safari) and was amazed how great Internet Explorer did! It was by far the smoothest animation, with FireFox coming in a close second. You can’t completely tell by the video but you can definitely see how horrible Chrome is. And yes, these are all the latest browsers, except FireFox (I can’t keep up with their weekly updates).

I know this is a basic test but its pretty clear who the winner is here, without any “special” HTML5 code. It could also be that Adobe is in Microsofts pockets and intentionally made it perform better in IE but someone would have to prove that to me.

In the video I show Chrome, Safari, FireFox, then Internet Explorer.

Update to the Unica Campaign to WebSphere Commerce video on YouTube

I had to remove the first video because I left an image in the video that should not have been in there. I changed the image to one of our stock images for our demo environment versus the custom image I used for a customer. So you may here an audio change in the video where I spliced it out. I already updated the previous post with the new video URL.