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Disruptive Technologies and the Practice of Marketing

In May, the McKinsey Global Institute published a fascinating report titled Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy. The objective of this research was to identify technologies that have the potential to make a major impact on how people live and work, and on industries and economies over the next two decades or so.

The McKinsey report discusses 12 disruptive, game-changing technologies. The researchers estimate that, collectively, these technologies will produce a global economic impact of between $14 trillion and $33 trillion per year in 2025.

Two of the technologies described in the McKinsey report – the mobile Internet and the “Internet of Things” – are particularly relevant for enterprise marketers.

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The Emergence of On-Demand Marketing

McKinsey Quarterly recently published an article by Peter Dahlström and David Edelman titled The coming era of ‘on-demand’ marketing. The basic thrust of the article is that marketing is headed toward being on-demand, which the authors define as “not just always ‘on,’ but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery.”

Dahlström and Edelman contend that on-demand marketing is being fueled by “the continued, symbiotic evolution of technology and consumer expectations.” On the technology front, the authors cite four critical developments:

  • The growth of mobile connectivity
  • The powerful capabilities of HTML5, which enables the creation of more compelling online experiences
  • The appearance of the “Internet of Things” through the use of near-field communications and similar technologies
  • Advances in the handling of “big data”

The authors argue that customer demands are also rising in four areas, which they label Now, Can I, For me, and Simply.

  • Now—Consumers increasingly expect to be able to interact with brands (and with each other) anywhere at any time.
  • Can I—They want to do more new and useful things as more kinds of information are deployed more effectively in ways that create more value.
  • For me—They increasingly expect that all data stored about them will be used to meet their precise needs and/or to personalize what they experience.
  • Simply—Consumers expect all interactions to be simple.

The McKinsey article paints an intriguing picture of the future of marketing, and I recommend that you take the time to read the entire article. For me, one striking aspect of what Dahlström and Edelman call on-demand marketing is the emphasis on responding effectively to the actions and behaviors of potential buyers. To get a good picture of what responding really means, take a look at the infographic in the McKinsey article about “Diane” and the purchase of an audio headset.

To achieve this level of responsiveness, enterprises will need three distinct technological capabilities. First, they must be able to leverage data to understand what potential customers expect and what kinds of interactions they will value. Second, enterprises must be able to reach potential customers with the right kinds of interactions using whatever interaction channel the potential customers prefer. And third, companies need the ability to refine their customer insights in an iterative fashion as more data becomes available and adapt the interactions they provide on a near real-time basis.

None of this will be easy, but many of the necessary technologies already exist, and the capabilities provided by these technologies are evolving rapidly. The greater challenge may be the need to adopt a new marketing mindset.

This article was published before on blog.adamsoftware.net

Is Your Marketing Ready for the Mobile Mind Shift?

According to Strategy Analytics , a global research and consulting firm, the number of smartphones in use worldwide reached 1.038 billion units during the third quarter of 2012. In a December 2012 presentation , Kleiner Perkins analyst Mary Meeker estimated that by the second quarter of 2013, the global installed base of smartphones and tablets will exceed the global installed base of desktop and laptop PC’s.

The explosive proliferation of mobile computing devices is fueling what Josh Bernoff, Forrester Researchsenior vice president of idea development, calls the mobile mind shift. Bernoff defines the mobile mind shift as: “A set of behaviors and mindsets in which people go forward with confidence that any desired information or service is available, on any appropriate device, in context, at their moment of need. 

According to Forrester Research, 22% of US consumers have made the mobile mind shift in varying degrees. The consumers who have made the shift are primarily young (in their 30’s) and have relatively high annual incomes. Bernoff contends that consumers who make the mobile mind shift demand mobile utility from the companies they work with and will punish companies that don’t provide it.

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A New Approach to the Marketing Budgeting Process

Ahhh Fall…For many of us it signals welcome relief from the summer heat.  Also, for many of us it signals budgeting season and that too many marketers will be submitting their budgets before even creating their marketing plan.  Yes, that does seem a bit backwards!  How can you know what to budget if you don’t yet know what you plan to do?  So what do we do? One common approach is to build the budget based on how the current budget is allocated across headcount, travel and various marketing activities, such as PR, Digital, Events, Training, and so on, make a few adjustments and hit the submit button.

While this may seem like a feasible method, it’s a dangerous one. The budget may be allocated against activities we intend to produce, but it’s unclear what impact or value these activities, and the associated funds, are going to have on the business in terms of new customers, retained customers, additional vertical or customer expansion, or contribution to the business from new products.  It’s no wonder our budget is suspect and immediately comes under fire, especially from the folks in Finance.  And this approach sets the stage for questions like these:

  • Why ads in these pubs?
  • Why so many webinars or trade shows?
  • Why so much money for the email automation platform?
  • Why so much money for new content?

Right away we’re playing defense – with others e.g. finance, suggesting ways we can reduce our spending.  And before we’ve even gotten out of the gate our budget is eroding.  If this isn’t your world, congratulations! If it is, here’s the shocker.  It’s your fault.

If those of us who end up in these conversations had taken a different approach, the conversation would have gone differently.  As marketers we need to think beyond the subaccounts in the cost accounting system.  We need to understand how the dollars we’re requesting are actually going to move business needles.  Businesses are based on revenue and profits generated by customers buying our products/ services, hopefully profitably.  This is the very essence of Marketing.  As a result, we need to think about our budgets in terms of the customers and what they buy.  So rather than submitting a budget for activities, what if you submitted a budget that allocated funds into buckets such as these:

  1. Marketing generated business from net new customers buying existing products
  2. Marketing generated business from existing customers buying existing products
  3. Marketing generated business from net new customers buying new products
  4. Marketing generated business from existing customers buying new products

Of course this would mean we would need to know how many existing customers the company currently serves, where, what products they buy, and how many potential customers there are for these products and where are these potential customers.  And we’d need to know what new products are going to market, the competitive situation, and what customers are most likely to buy these products.  And we’d have to have some targets for each of these categories.  Imagine though that we knew this information about our customers, products, and market.

If we were to budget in this fashion, it doesn’t mean our friends in finance wouldn’t be making a visit, but the conversation will certainly be different.  They will still want to know why we need so much money but instead of defending an activity that we don’t even know we will want to deploy since we haven’t created the plan, we’ll be having a discussion about the business – how many customers, which ones, how easy or hard it will be acquire, retain or grow these customers, our competitive situation, and our product innovation situation.  I’d rather have these conversations with the CFO or other members of the leadership team any day than a conversation about which tradeshows to attend.  And once we have clarity around marketing’s contribution via customer acquisition, retention and growth,  we will also have achieved better alignment with the business and gained insight into how to measure and account for our value.  Plus we will have created maneuvering room and the ability to select the activities best suited to achieve the result.

 

 

ADAM’s Technical Propositions Explain Critical Marketing Software Attributes

The acquisition and implementation of enterprise-level marketing software entails a substantial commitment of time, energy, and financial resources for any large organization. Marketing and IT leaders who are responsible for selecting such software must consider many factors as they move through the evaluation process. Ultimately, however, the decision comes down to answering two fundamental questions:
  • Does the proposed solution provide the functionality that will meet my company’s current needs and identifiable future needs?
  • Does the proposed solution provide sufficient flexibility to address unpredictable future needs?

It’s relatively easy to determine whether a marketing software solution will meet your company’s current and identifiable future needs. You can collect information about existing marketing requirements and processes, develop a functional specification for the solution, and carefully evaluate the capabilities of alternative offerings.

It’s more difficult to determine whether a software solution has sufficient flexibility to handle unpredictable future needs. This is a critical decision factor because it largely dictates how durable a software solution will be. In this context, durability refers to how long a software solution will meet an organization’s business requirements.

Assessing the ability of a software solution to meet unpredictable future needs is difficult because this capability results primarily from technical features of the software that are not always apparent. In short, the ability of a software solution to address future needs depends largely on how the software is designed and built, on the underlying architecture it uses.

Because of the importance of this issue, we’ve developed a library of resources that describe the technical capabilities that enhance software durability. We call these resources Technical Propositions, and they’re designed to both explain important technical considerations and discuss the business significance of these technical capabilities.

If your organization is currently evaluating marketing software, or if you plan to begin an evaluation process in the near future, our Technical Propositions will provide important insights for your selection process.

So far, we’ve published four Technical Propositions, and we invite you to access these resources via the links provided below:

Power Tools – Pitfall or Potential for Precision

Two of the most valuable purposes of a marketing dashboard are to help the leadership team understand how Marketing is moving the needle in terms of top line revenue, market share, customer value, category ownership, etc., and to provide strategic guidance. However, one of more perplexing findings from the recently completed marketing performance research conducted jointly by Forrester, ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing is that while marketers have access to more data, leverage more analytics, and invest in more tools and systems than ever before, marketers continue to struggle to prove marketing’s contribution to the business.  While the majority of the marketers in the study indicated they regularly produce and share a dashboard. The same survey, with results from the 400+ marketing and business leaders shows that just 9% of CEOs and 6% of CFOs use marketing data to help make strategic decisions.

So where’s the disconnect? It appears that most marketers participating in the study use their marketing automation (MAP) or sales automation (CRM) systems to create their dashboards.  While helpful, dashboards typically generated by these systems report on marketing activity and associated costs  – email activity, website activity, social media activity, lead activity- rather than reporting on metrics executives can use to set direction.  It’s not that these reports and dashboards are bad; they are valuable when used to support tactical decisions, but if you want your CEO, CFO and other members of the C-Suite to use your dashboard, it must clearly connect marketing investments and initiatives to business outcomes and results.

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Great Marketing is Global and Local

In a recent post at the Harvard Business Review blog , Jerry Wind, Stan Sthanunathan, and Rob Malcolm argued that great advertising is both local and global. The authors contend that global enterprises have traditionally faced an unattractive trade-off when it comes to advertising. As they put it, “Global brand advertising can rarely reflect the idiosyncratic characteristics of every market, but the alternative – locally designed advertising – often sacrifices a consistent global message and misses out on economies of scale.”

To avoid this trade-off, the blog authors say that enterprises should pursue a glocal advertising strategy, which they define as, “locally adapting a universally embraced core idea that will resonate in any market anywhere in the world.” As an example of effective glocal advertising, the authors described a 13-year advertising campaign used by Johnnie Walker to reinvigorate its Scotch whiskey brand.

The Johnnie Walker campaign was based on the recognition that men around the world, regardless of culture or nationality, want to advance their lives. The creative expression of this theme was “Keep Walking.” This universal theme was localized through the use of inspirational quotes from multiple cultures. For example, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” by Lao Tsu was used in Asia. Over the life of the campaign, more than 100 “local” quotes were used.

The blog authors contend that an effective glocal advertising strategy has three core components:

  • A global concept that embraces a universal human emotion
  • A global brand vision combined with localized creative delivery
  • An organizational architecture (including corporate culture, technology platform, and necessary resources) that facilitates effective collaboration between global and local marketers

In my view, the points made by Wind, Sthanunathan, and Malcolm about advertising apply equally to virtually all aspects of global marketing. Today, multinational enterprises must pursue both global brand consistency and effective localization simultaneously across all marketing tactics and channels.

Coordinating global and local marketing activities is especially important because the Internet largely erases geographical boundaries, making many consumers both global and local. For example, consumers in Japan or India increasingly expect marketing messages and materials that are culturally relevant and appropriate, but those same consumers can also easily access marketing content that is primarily intended for consumers in the US.

I also agree with the blog authors that both organizational culture and technology play critical roles in effective glocal marketing. Enterprises must nurture a close collaboration between marketers in the central marketing department and those in regional or national marketing offices around the world. Enterprises must also deploy the technology systems and tools that will enable geographically dispersed marketers to collaborate easily and efficiently. Without the right technology tools, timely and effective collaboration is all but impossible to achieve.

All about modern marketing

Marketing is more difficult than it has ever been, according to Jay Baer, social media and content strategist and author of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype. And it is going to get even harder.

“Everything is media and the competition for attention is unbelievable,” he tells Profit. “Executives aren’t just competing for attention against other companies that sell the same stuff. They are competing for attention against everything. Every cute cat video is competition.”

In this special report, hear from experts like Baer, and business and technology expert Daniel Pink, about how to get customers to focus on your brand by mastering the new realities of modern marketing.

Our Brand Could Be Your Life
“You need to give your company permission to make the story bigger. The best most successful Youtilities are from companies that have relationships with customers and perspective customers that transcend transactions. They have relationships that are still related and relevant but aren’t necessarily reliant on the product itself,” says Jay Baer, social media and content strategist and author of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype.

Everything You Know About Sales is Wrong
“Today, what really matters is your expertise, and you can’t develop expertise if you don’t care actually at some level about what you’re selling, whether that’s wholesale seafood or enterprise software,” says Daniel Pink, author of To Sell Is Human.

Seven Steps to Successful Social Customer Interactions
“Business executives and IT executives need to spend more time thinking about how to make online interactions consistent with real-life interactions they have with their customers,” says Christopher Sowa, vice president of Oracle Insight and co-head of Oracle’s Global Business Intelligence and Exalytics Strategy Pillar.

Leveraging Digital Body Language to Customize Consumer Interactions
“Marketers can harness digital information to enable more effective engagements, and to provide the right message to the right person at the right time,” says Susan Poser, senior director of Oracle Insight & Customer Strategy and a global lead in the Customer Experience Practice at Oracle.

The Keys to Successful Modern Marketing
“Buyers have vastly more information at their fingertips, and are in control of the pace and content of the buying cycle. Marketers must evolve with buyers to be effective,” says Steven Woods, vice president of software development at Oracle Eloqua.

Market Analysis
Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud Service drives results and innovation with modern analytics.

Is Your CMO Creating Hero Content
Advice from social marketing expert Michael Brito: “Social gives business leaders at large brands a chance to be human and build trust. At which point, these leaders need to decide: Now that we have the trust of the community, how do we insert our marketing messages in a way that’s not intrusive?”

Is Modern Marketing an Art or Science?
The ability to measure is met with the ability to analyze what the metrics mean. And the data is not only driving better decisions, but also freeing marketers to be more daring, to experiment, to explore the edges of well-known channels and venture into utterly new ones.

Involver to Oracle: Gold Rush to Modern Marketing
“Simply providing a tool to publish the occasional YouTube clip or launching a contest just isn’t enough,” says Rahim Fazal, founder of Involver and Oracle senior director.

Analyst Study Sheds Light on the Rapidly Evolving Role of Today’s Marketer
In a new report, independent analyst BtoB examines the ways marketers are adapting to a rapidly changing competitive landscape as intuition-based outbound campaigns give way to inbound initiatives encompassing both multiple digital channels and sophisticated data analysis.

 

This article was published before in July 2013 as a Special Report by Profit

The ‘Other’ Data Challenge

In a recent post, I discussed the importance of big data in enterprise-level marketing. As both consumers and businesspeople increasingly use digital devices and online channels to access information, make purchases, and interact via social networks, the volume of data regarding these activities grows exponentially. Hence the term big data.

Many marketing and technology thought leaders believe that big data constitutes a treasure trove of information about customer actions and preferences that can boost the effectiveness of marketing and thus drive improved business performance. They argue that capturing, analyzing, and extracting insights from big data are now critical components of competitive advantage.

While I contend that big data has been over-hyped to some extent, I also believe that maximizing the potential of big data should be a high-priority strategic objective for most large enterprises.

Enterprise marketers must also recognize, however, that big data is not the only data-related issue that must be addressed to create a world-class marketing operation.

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A New Resource Regarding SaaS vs. On-Premises DAM

Marketing software applications have become mission-critical technologies for most global enterprises. The proliferation of marketing communication channels, the growing need to customize marketing messages and materials, and the emerging need to provide prospective customers detailed, interactive product/service information on a real-time basis have made it all but impossible for large organizations to manage marketing effectively without technology.

Choosing the right marketing software tools is, therefore, a major strategic decision, and one important aspect of the decision is whether to opt for software that is installed on in-house servers or software that is hosted by the software provider and accessed via the Internet. While the use of “cloud-based” applications is clearly growing, both delivery models have advantages and disadvantages. The choice ultimately depends on which model is the best fit for your business.

A new white paper by Ralph Windsor and Nick Brookes is a valuable resource for making this important decision. Ralph Windsor is a senior partner at Daydream, a UK-based digital asset management consulting firm, and Nick Brookes is an independent DAM technology and media delivery infrastructure consultant based in London. Both Windsor and Brookes are also members of the editorial staff at Digital Asset Management News.

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