Archive for the ‘marketing automation’ Category
I just returned from a nice long weekend with my buddies out in West Texas, where we held our annual “South Austin Gun Camp.”
Don’t worry, nobody was hurt…well, save for that Easter Bunny pinata which made too compelling a target for our collective target practice to resist.
Speaking of targets, they were mostly old beer cans and paper zombies, but a good time was had by all and the weather mostly cooperated for our three day camp out.
I include in this post a pic of one of the shooting activities I semi excel at, which is skeet shooting (called “Olympic Skeet” in the Olympic games, the U.S. team for which I will not be selected for anytime soon).
Today, however, it’s been email catchup and back to work.
Out in West Texas, I had limited access to any technology. My LG Cosmos II scantly picked up a Verizon signal, so every once in a while I would get a data dump so I could scan my personal email.
The lack of data connectivity made it a little difficult to keep up with the Sweet 16 results and the PGA event in Houston, but I was able to play catch up on those once back at Turboville late Sunday afternoon.
In the “While You Were Out” category, I noticed this story about Nuance Communications’ efforts to release “Voice Ads,” a “new mobile advertising format that lets people have a two-way conversation with brands.”
For the record, I’m a big Nuance (and voice dictation/speech recognition, more generally) fan, but the idea of my talking to a brand made me laugh out loud.
What happens when the brand can talk back to me?
“Hello, Budweiser. I’ll have one of you.”
“Could I see your ID, please?”
“You asked for one of me. I’m Budweiser, an adult alcoholic beverage, and you must be 21 or older to speak with me, much less consume me. Could I see your ID, please?”
“Sorry, I left it at home.”
“I’m sorry, too. You must be 21 or older to talk to this Budweiser.”
Upstart Business Journal has all the details, ‘splainin’ that Nuance has already signed up marketing partners like Digitas, OMD, and Leo Burnett to reach the approximate 100,000 app publishers out there in the world today.
And no question, mobile marketing is a huge market — I’m just not sure how many people are ready to talk to their brands.
If they are, it’s surely to help them get something useful done. I can easily envision this mobile app from JetBlue sometime soon:
“Why am I so late, JetBlue Voice?”
“Your plane was delayed.”
“Why was my plane delayed, JetBlue Voice? I need to get to New York. I have a meeting!”
“Could you please enter your confirmation number?”
“It’s in another part of my smartphone, and I can’t find it because I’m talking to you. Don’t you have voice recognition or something?”
“Perhaps you could call back another time when you have your confirmation number. Thank you for calling JetBlue’s advertising.”
No no, NOTHING could go wrong with mobile voice advertising!
The Wall Street Journal just posted this article in advance of IBM’s 2Q earnings announcement tomorrow, leading with this sentence: “Technology companies have found a new customer—the marketing department.”
The story goes on to highlight the fact that marketing organizations are increasingly taking the lead in technology acquisition, and that “Companies are deemphasizing traditional productivity tools like PCs and standard business software in favor of advanced programs that help them boost revenue, for example by tracking customers across channels and better targeting offers and advertising.”
The article reminded me of a post I wrote back in May leading up to IBM’s Smarter Commerce Summit in Madrid, Spain – entitled “No More Business As Usual” — which I’ll quote freely from again below:
Today, circa 2012, we find ourselves at another inflection point in the history of commerce, one which begins and ends with the customer. Today’s commerce environment features a customer who is dictating a new set of terms in the dynamic between buyers and sellers, and these are very smart consumers, ones empowered by technology, transparency, and an abundance of information.
Just simply walk through your closest local retailer or your nearest airport, and you’ll see signs of this new and smarter consumer. Via smartphones and other mobile devices, they are connected real-time to an absurd amount of information that empowers them as buyers, and, in turn, requires an accelerated sophistication on the part of sellers, no matter the product or service.
These consumers expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital, and mobile means, and they want a consistent experience across all channels.
Because they are empowered and connected, they can compare notes, quickly, and they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse or the stroke of their tablet computer.
In the Journal article, author Spencer Ante points out that Gartner recently predicted by 2017, the chief marketing officer will control more technology spending than the company CIO. Gartner estimates that around a third of marketing department expense budgets is devoted to purchases such as systems to manage customer relationships, predict customer behavior, and run online storefronts, and that the global spend on marketing software already rose from $20 billion to $25 billion over the past year.
Yuchun Lee, an IBM vice president who is one of the “Smarter Commerce” strategy’s architects and who was quoted in the article, says that “IBM is making investments in technology that could help clients manage online customer interactions, analyze social media data and craft targeted pitches.”
Specifically, IBM has spent some $3 billion making acquisitions in this growing market over the past several years, including the acquisitions of Coremetrics, DemandTec, TeaLeaf, and Unica.
Following is an interview my compadre, Scott Laningham, conducted with Yuchun in Madrid on the topic of smarter commerce.
After this morning’s keynote session, I went promptly over to the Forbes Business Leadership Forum to listen for a bit to Mike Perlis, Forbes president and CEO, and Mike Rhodin, IBM’s senior vice president for our Software Solutions group.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a Forbes magazine subscriber — and apparently I’m hardly alone, even in this alleged age of digital media and publishing. In fact, Perlis took great pains to walk the gathered IBM Impact audience through the evolution of Forbes magazine and its transition into the digital era, as a kind of case study into how one unique traditional media publishing property didn’t succumb to the whims of history.
Perlis outlined some key objectives for Forbes, including keeping its print business on track as it built its digital business, and also by developing its brand extensions and becoming a great technology company.
These days, Forbes has some 100 freelancers, 100 staff editors and reporters, and over 300 posts per day on Forbes.com, the centerpiece of Forbes digital strategy.
But Forbes has also embraced the social media in a huge way, with an aggressive presence on all the major social media properties, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
As Perlis summarized, “it’s about the right mix of quality and quantity of information, driven by great technology.”
Perlis then handed the reins over to IBM senior vice president, Mike Rhodin, who leads our Software Solutions business.
Rhodin picked up the ball and reaffirmed that Forbes business journey was an evolution, and that we live in an “information age like none before, where the complexities are forcing us to take a new approach to technology.”
Rhodin noted that companies like Forbes that successfully navigate these uncharted waters must “deploy solutions that are intelligent, integrated by design, and built atop a tech infrastructure that is inherently more cognitive.”
Rhodin went on to cite some examples of the staggering amounts of data that must be dealt with: That there are 340 million Tweets now per day, that 80% of the new data growth are in images, videos and documents, that there are 5 million trading events occurring every second!
Such astronomical figures are creating some tough new challenges, not only for IT but for the mainstream of a business. Forty-five percent of CFOs see a need to improve data integration and risk management, Rhodin explained, and 73 percent of CMOs see a need to invest in technology to manage new big data.
Business leaders aren’t just concerned with what product to buy, Rhodin explained, but are focused on garnering better business outcomes, how to improve the efficiency of their online marketing campaigns, how to improve cash flows…business problems needing business solutions enabled by technology.
Rhodin also explained that business leaders need to learn to think differently (a theme brought up time and again in Walter Isaacson’s keynote this morning) about analytics, explaining that a new pattern of automation is emerging that is being driven by the instrumentation of the world around us.
“We’re infusing intelligence into the fabric of the organization,” Rhodin continued, and that organizational leaders of the future will be distinguished by their “ability to make big and small, strategic and tactical, 360 degree-informed decisions.”
“This has become a 24/7 feedback loop where sellers and marketers constantly change roles,” Rhodin concluded, and those who put the consumer at the center of every action would be the new information age’s ultimate victors.
I’m heading back to one of my favorite cities in the world in May, to Madrid.
I first visited Madrid traveling on business in June 2008, an auspicious time to be there, as the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament was quickly winding down to a conclusion.
One night, June 10th to be precise, my IBM cabal and I were looking for a small bar or restaurant to take in the Spain v. Russia match, when we heard a loud cheer go up in unison across the city.
“Spain one, Russia nil,” I announced.
That echo sent chills down my spine, as did the wild celebration later that evening after Spain trounced Russia 4-1. Spain later went on to win the whole shebang in a 1-0 final over Germany.
Anyhoo, enough reminiscing.
If you’ve never visited Madrid, I’m going to provide you with an excellent raison: The IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2012.
From May 22-24, the IBM Smarter Commerce will be the most significant European gathering of marketing professionals in a single place, one filled with four days of learning, networking, and exploring best practices in the commerce realm.
If you need some convincing with your boss, download the “Top 5 Reasons to Attend.”
They go like this:
1. You get to network with Turbo.
2. You get to hang at the hotel bar with Turbo.
Oh, wait. That was a different list.
Anyway, once you preview the sessions with your boss you won’t have to do much convincing.
Here’s a couple of session titles that jumped right out at me: “Beyond Dashboards: Driving Marketing Returns With Digital Analytics.”
Or how about this one: “Tag Management Zen: Using Tags To Drive Innovation.”
Or even this: “Social Media & Mobile Marketing: Moving From Siloed to Intertwined.”
They’re going to have to drag me away kicking and screaming.
Here’s the bottom line page: Register here.
Before April 1, you only have to pay 895 Euros, at which point it goes up to 1195 Euros.
In the meantime, keep an eye out here on the Turbo blog, as I expect I’ll be passing along some travel tips (including restaurant and sightseeing recommendations) for Madrid.