Event Report: Constellation Research Connected Enterprise


At some events, all eyes are turned towards the shining stars on the stage, but at Connected Enterprise, Constellation Research’s annual conference, the lines are blurred. This weekend long conference is an intimate innovation event for senior business leaders who not only have an interest in disruptive technology – they’re putting it to work within their businesses.

Keynotes and sessions centered around the Constellation business themes:

  • Future of work
  • Next generation customer experience
  • Data to decisions (big data and analytics)
  • Matrix commerce
  • The new C-suite and consumerization of IT

The keynotes and panels ran from the high energy of Endeavor Global’s Linda Rottenberg to the explosive quirkiness of IDEO’s Tom Kelley. Private equity investor, Love Goel set forth a digital vision for emerging and established companies.The Gabriel Institute’s Dr Janice Presser challenged business leaders to understand the nature of teaming and its link to high performance, sharing frameworks and practical examples of her Teamability process in action.


Anne Lise Kjaer provided a glimpse into the near future through the Kjaer Global trend atlas – calling out a new vision of the 4 Ps of marketing – people, planet, pleasure and profit. SAP’s Vishal Sikka revealed the human creativity behind the global company’s technology success. And R “Ray” Wang fired some hard questions at Microsoft’s Mike Ehrenberg provoking a great fireside discussion.

Box.com’s Aaron Levie sparked some controversy with his comments about the ugliness of enterprise software and Adam Pisoni from Microsoft’s newly acquired Yammer suggested that the enterprise was ripe for disruption.

Interspersed across the jam packed weekend were one-on-one discussions between attendees and Constellation’s team of analysts. This allowed for focused discussion around particular business challenges – with a great deal of passion and insight often exploding from one table or another and rolling, contagiously across the room.

Live Quarks – short case studies from FanAppz and Metaio’s Trak Lord – kept the audience engaged and interacting not just with ideas but with live demonstrations of technology “in the wild”.


But it wasn’t all work and ideas. There were social events like golf, cooking and a spot of geo-caching designed to take the conference in a different direction – deeper, more personal, interactive.

The panel sessions provided case studies and deep dives into emerging technology and business impact. Talking with GetSatisfaction’s Jeff Nolan, Informatica’s Dennis Moore and Badgeville’s Kevin Akeroyd, we touched on the changing shape of customer experience and the power of big data to transform marketing and our customer relationships.

Fellow Aussie, Ben Haines, CIO with Pabst Brewing joined Leerom Segal from Klick Health, Ben Doyle from Enterasys and Lawrence Housel from Industrial Mold and Machine to discuss the changing nature of the C-suite and the impact of the consumerization of IT. Already many businesses are seeing clear value from this global trend – with panelists able to free up resources to deliver more strategic capability across their companies.

Shellie Molina from First Solar, Richie Etwaru from UBS and Meagen Eisenberg from DocuSign explained how their organizations were transforming business process through technology – linking demand and supply chains with matrix commerce strategies. It’s still early days for many companies, but these disruptive leaders were providing hard facts and figures to back their initiatives and drive further innovation.

A culmination of the event was the announcement of the 2012 SuperNova Award winners. Drawn from literally hundreds of entries entered into the business themed categories, a wide swathe of businesses competed to showcase their use of disruptive technology in a business context. The winners were:

The tight focus on topics and the restricted audience created a pressure cooker of ideas and innovation in a very short time. Those in the audience could easily have been featured on stage – and this made the non-conference program particularly valuable. Constellation’s Connected Enterprise 2013 promises more of the same – and will be a must-attend event for disruptive business leaders everywhere.

The Shift from Mobile First to Mobile Only

Constellation Research - Digital Disruption Trend Report Every year the mobile marketing industry boldly announces that THIS will be the “year of mobile”.

In 2005, Sony Ericsson, O2 and Samsung added new features and capabilities to their mobile handsets, delivering 2Mb cameras and GPS to blur the lines between the personal digital assistant and the cellular phone. It was the year that BlackBerry conquered the world and the Apple iPhone was still two years away from it’s game changing launch.

Mobile Device Saturation Outflanks Marketers

Over the last seven years much has changed. But perhaps the most astounding change is the near saturation levels of mobile phone usage – not just in the US, Australia or Europe, but globally. The World Bank reported in July 2012, that mobile phone access now reaches 75% of the planet’s population. And Google Trends reveals an unprecedented surge in mobile marketing interest.


And yet the question remains – how ready are enterprises for the demands of a mobile-ready world?

Marketers have been slow to adapt – first to the web and then to the mobile. Consumers (ie 75% of the global population), however, have not, embracing every new wave of mobile innovation with open palms. The World Bank report suggests that rather than petering out, the “mobile revolution is right at the start of its growth curve”.

Digital Disruption: Lessons from Asia Pacific’s Digital Trajectory

Asia Pacific is not just an economic juggernaut – it is also a petri dish showcasing the consumer behaviour and business impacts that are being wrought by the shift to digital. And while many enterprises have begun to respond with a “mobile first” strategy – designing customer experiences around the mobile device, our trend report on digital disruption suggests that this may not be enough. For many consumers, the future of digital may not involve a desktop computer at all. Mobile first may not be enough – it’s time to consider what it means to have a web experience that is mobile only.

For marketing leaders, there are five key lessons that can be drawn from Asia Pacific and applied to any market:

  1. The Internet experience is mobile with a social heart.
  2. Consumer adoption is disrupting patterns of media consumption and transforming the buyer’s journey.
  3. Digital adoption will drive marketers’ thirst for mobile solutions.
  4. Marketers will turn to marketing automation to scale execution.
  5. The shift to digital requires a re-casting of the marketing funnel.

Download a copy of the report to learn how mobile and social adoption will change your market strategy.

Who Really Uses Facebook?

When you think of Facebook, the scale can be confronting:

  • 1 billion members
  • 45% of the North American population
  • 42% of Oceania
  • 35% of South America
  • 270 million members in Asia

But who really uses Facebook? What do they look like? How would you characterize them?

The clever folks from Soap Creative have done us all a service by providing this neat snapshot of the 36 Faces of Facebook. See which one you are. And see if you can see your grandmother too.

Re-invent Your Organisation

ci2012v2 Almost every day we are reminded of the constant onslaught of change. Our customers are outflanking our businesses – challenging us to be more connected, transparent in our dealings and impact not only shareholder value but the world at large. These expectations have permeated our employee cultures, partner ecosystems and business networks. Taken together, they represent a complex problem that many organisations are unable to address.

What we need is to re-invent the organisation. And to do this, we need creative innovation.

The Creative Innovation Asia Pacific conference runs from 28 to 30 November in Melbourne, Australia. It brings together over 40 innovators, thinkers and business leaders who will present strategies, stories and insights to help you address “wicked problems”. Take a look at the full program here.

When you register for the event – use the code wicked to receive a 10% discount. It may be the best investment you make in your business’ future.

Driving Retail from Digital to Destination

  • The marketing funnel has imploded under its own inadequacy
  • Marketers must respond to the shift to digital with the 5 Ds of consumer engagement
  • Analytics is essential to understand the path to conversion

For decades, Australian retailers have under-invested in technology and online innovation. After all there was no “burning platform.” People still bought goods – especially appliances and larger items in stores, and “online” was considered risky, unreliable, and difficult to navigate when it came to returns, warranties and customer service.

But then consumers connected. Reviews helped identify quality products. Reputation management allowed online merchants to demonstrate their credibility. And web experiences improved. Prices were better.

People talked.

And kept talking.

Those conversations shifted from sites to platforms. They happened in places far away from the brand police and customer service teams. They proliferated on sites like Twitter, Get Satisfaction and Facebook.

But just as the connected consumer shifts digital channels in the blink of an eye, taking the conversation with them, so too can brands follow this consumer lead. Those with a considered and well executed strategy can connect the dots and drive retail from digital to destination.

Marketers should develop three practices to drive retail from digital to destination:

  1. Understand the 5 Ds of Consumer Engagement: The marketing funnel has imploded under its own inadequacy. It’s time to understand the buyer’s journey from the outside-in. Following the 5 Ds allows marketers to understand, map and engage their connected consumers at key stations on the buyers journey
  2. When it comes to content and channels, don’t think ONLY think AND: It’s time to break down the silos. Based on the 5 Ds, marketers must begin to work with strategic omni-channel (or multi-channel) formats. This means understanding how content, interactions and engagement work at each station – and where digital can extend or augment an experience (digital or non-digital)
  3. Know and measure your path to conversion: Don’t fool yourself that all conversion must happen in-store. Make it easy to purchase anywhere – after all, mobile is the ultimate impulse device. But understand that in-store is now about controlling the brand experience. Ensure that the destination experience is worth the journey in. Use omni-channel analytics to measure and understand the path to conversion.

Now, take a moment to view this (now finished) campaign from Adidas NEO. What’s the customer experience? What’s the journey? And what’s the engagement strategy at play?

Now, how would you play this out with your brand? Be creative.


Mobile Disruption Catches Retailers Off-guard

We are now deep into the last quarter for 2012. Marketers are pre-occupied by two challenges – planning for 2013 and preparing to launch Q4 campaigns designed to close out the year on a sales high.

Innovation in the customer buying journey has, however, changed the game. We are all retailers now and the ground has already shifted from beneath our feet. Google Retail’s recent report on consumer shopping confirms what we have known for some time:

  • The connected consumer sees no distinction between online and offline shopping
  • The connected consumer discovers, debates and decides on purchase ahead of the marketing funnel
  • Trust drives conversions


Marketers have failed to keep pace with consumer led innovation

While there has been some investment in digital technologies, and campaign experimentation over the last nine months, there has been precious little innovation where it counts – in marketing practice.

Six principles to transform your marketing efforts

Our recent big idea report on recasting the marketing funnel for consumer engagement identified six principles that must be addressed:

  1. Fragmentation creates silos not synergies
  2. The marketing funnel assumes a passive customer
  3. The next-gen customer experience is owned from the outside-in
  4. Next-gen customers purchase in their own time frame
  5. Purchase decisions occur before consumers reach your marketing funnel
  6. Trust is the currency of digital marketing

Marketers must prepare for the most social holiday retail season now

The 2012 holiday season is primed to be the most social ever. And in terms of “social”, read “mobile”. The Deloitte Dawn of Mobile Influence report on mobile retail reveals that mobile already influences significant in-store purchases and this is predicted to accelerate through 2016. This shift is a global phenomenon as our upcoming report 5 Lessons from Digital Asia Pacific’s Digital Trajectory shows, with mobile innovation efforts garnering 100 million+ audiences across the region.


To outcompete in your markets, retailers must move quickly to identify and fill gaps in the customer experience journey. To counteract this mobile disruption, retailers should:

  1. Re-cast the marketing funnel in terms of the buyers journey
  2. Look to software-as-a-service providers to fill the technology gap quickly and effectively
  3. Consider whether your digital (mobile and social) marketing really does focus on customer need across the buying cycle (answer the WIIFM question – does it get me made, laid or paid) and recalibrate accordingly

Your POV

Are your retail efforts up-to-speed? Are you ready for the social holiday season? Add your comments or send us an email.

Please let us know if you need help with your digital strategy efforts.  Here’s how we can assist:

  • Assessing social business/digital marketing readiness
  • Considering new digital strategy
  • Developing your social business/digital marketing  strategy
  • Designing a data to decisions strategy
  • Create a new vision of the future of work
  • Deliver a new customer experience and engagement strategy
  • Crafting a new matrix commerce strategy