Archive for digital marketing

Marketing strategy versus technology – should be a virtuous circle

Scott Brinker has another must-read post. I excerpt parts of his post below so I can expand on it a bit but you should read his full post along with the comments.

In his post Scott explains he is responding to statements made in a podcast by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose. After linking to the podcast and agreeing with much of what they say Scott makes three points:

  1. “Marketing technology is not just about efficiency — it’s about experiences.
  2. The relationship between strategy and technology is circular, not linear.
  3. Marketers cannot abdicate their responsibility to understand technology.”

and mentions the one quote he really disagrees with (emphasis is Scott’s):

“Figure out your process first. And then get aligned with your internal IT guys to figure out what it is you exactly need to facilitate. Because that’s the only thing that technology will ever, ever do. The only thing technology will ever do is facilitate a process that you have more efficiently. That’s all it’s ever going to do.”

That is a pretty strong recommendation for option A in Scott’s illustration below.

strategy technology circular

Scott Brinker – strategy and technology are circular

I want to make three points:

  • The fact that the relationship between technology and strategy is circular – that they have to inform, influence, and advance with each other – is true of all enterprise applications and for all functions and has always been true.
  • If you replace “technology” with “data” or “big data” or “analytics” the points that Scott makes are equally valid. (For a different take on this see Big data and decision making: data vs intuition.)
  • Technology is not just a set of product features. The features are possible because of creative combinations of underlying software concepts, programming languages, data structures, and architectures. Without some understanding of the underlying fundamentals it is natural to think product features define software capabilities and thus to limit insight into strategy possibilities. Marketers (or other professionals) with little to no technical background can compare feature sets and build strategies that match, or build strategies and look for the set of already existing product features to match. Each of these illustrate what we might call the bad kind of circularity (as we mean when we call an argument circular) and they handicap innovation. The good kind of circularity is a strategy/technology dialog of what ifs, informed by what might be possible, not by what is already known.

It is both natural and common for consultants to overemphasize option A, because way too often option B is overemphasized at the expense of option A by both their customers and technology vendors. Good consultants spend a lot of time and effort helping customers overcome an under-appreciation or political deprecation of the importance of strategy. But all of us need to be careful not to suggest either linear false choice.

Beyond Customer Experience Management: What Your CMS Really Needs to Deliver

Selecting a new or replacement CMS is one of the most strategic technology decisions you can make. Why? Because customers and prospects expect personalized, engaging, dynamic, and high quality experiences and will leave if they don’t find them.

Selecting the right CMS is important because it is a primary tool in providing those experiences and the hub that connects and drives many of the components that make up customer experience management. This post is based on a white paper entitled “Beyond Customer Experience: What Your CMS Really Needs to Deliver, “ which was also the subject of a recent presentation I did at the Gilbane Conference. You can download the white paper (registration required): at http://bluebillinc.com/white-paper-beyond-customer-experience-management/ .

Providing a personalized and seamless experience to customers across myriad devices, touch points, and stages in the relationship is a big challenge; one with which many organizations struggle. A recent Bain & Company survey found that while 80% of surveyed executives believe their companies are delivering a great customer experience, only 8% of their customers agree.

One reason they struggle is that customer experience is only part of the equation, specifically, the goal. The other parts of the equation that achieve that goal are content creator experience, developer experience, and integrator experience-in total, the  “global user experience.” While those are “behind the scenes players, they create and shape the customer experience.

Great customer experiences are predicated on the effectiveness with which a CMS provides those other experiences—in effect, a well-designed CMS inspires better performance on the part of content creators and developers, yielding customer experiences that deliver more business impact. It also allows integration of familiar and new tools to enhance the productivity and effectiveness of content creators and developers. Shown as an equation, the global user experience would look like the diagram below:

equation

Key to achieving a superior customer experience is the ability for content creators, marketers, and developers to focus on the experience itself, not the mechanics of producing it. That requires a mature CMS solution that provides a balanced set of tools and capabilities for content creators, developers, and integrators. That, in turn, requires a coordinated CMS selection process amongst all of those stakeholders that emphasizes not only the individual experiences, but the collective experience as well.

As we noted at the top of this post, selecting a CMS is a strategic decision-the CMS solution that provides the right global user experience is a growth engine that helps power the success of any business or firm-the right strategic decision.

Building Next Generation Web Content Management & Delivery Digital Experiences – Gilbane Conference Spotlight

The blog on our sister site, gilbane.com, is the place to tune to for our series of speaker spotlights and general updates about our upcoming conference in Boston. Here, I’ll be highlighting a few conference sessions and why we have decided to include them.

While not everybody agrees that web content management should be the hub of digital experience management implementations, there should be no doubt it is an essential core component. Certainly the WebCM / CustomerXM / DigitalXM, etc. vendors that started in web content management have an opinion, though there are many nuances in their positioning which are important to understand. Even more interesting is what they have all learned in the past few years while incorporating or integrating other technologies to help their customers build modern digital experiences for customers and employees. Vendor visions and expertise are at least as important as those of analysts, consultants, integrators, agencies, and even your peers.

C7. Building Next Generation Web Content Management & Delivery Digital Experiences – A Panel Discussion

Wednesday, December, 4: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

You probably need to attend every session in the conference to even learn all the questions to ask before embarking on a next generation digital experience strategy and design. In this session a panel of competing vendors will discuss what they see as the critical components and challenges based on their customer’s experiences and feedback, and on their own vision of what is possible. Vendors have lots of valuable experience and information and this is your chance to hear from knowledgeable representatives minus the PowerPoint pitch.

Moderator:
Melissa Webster, Program VP, Content & Digital Media Technologies, IDC
Panelists:
Arjé Cahn, CTO, Hippo
Robert Bredlau, COO, e-Spirit
Ron Person, Sr. Consultant, Business Optimization Services, Sitecore
Russ Danner, Vice President, Products, Crafter Software
Loni Stark, Director of Product, Solution & Industry Marketing, Adobe

 

Gilbane Conference workshops

In case you missed it last week while on vacation the Gilbane Conference workshop schedule and descriptions were posted. The half-day workshops tale place at the Intercontinental Boston Waterfront Hotel on Tuesday, November 27, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm:

Save the date and check http://gilbaneboston.com for further information about the main conference schedule & conference program as they become available.

Gilbane Conference 2012

Details on Gilbane Boston 2012 will be posted shortly!

Thanks to all for contributing to a great event!

Thanks to all who joined us at Gilbane Boston!  See you in Boston next year – stay tuned for details.

If you weren’t able to join us you can see what you can see what what happened last week at:

Conference at-a-glance

Conference Session details

Pre-conference workshops

Speakers

Sponsors & exhibitors