When I began researching the marketing automation market late last year, it seemed like a crowded market. It seemed clear at the time that the competitive fog produced by the various marketing platforms was obscuring the very real benefits that technology delivers to marketers, and that the end result would be consolidation.
Yesterday, Adobe helped clear some of this fog by completing its acquisition of privately held marketing automation vendor, Neolane. What impact will this have? My news analysis can be found here – and the official release here.
From a platform point of view, Adobe is filling the gaps in marketing technology arsenal, with:
Analytics – the data and data crunching at your fingertips
Target – personalisation and targeting
Social – executing and measuring social marketing programs
Experience Manager – cross platform content digital asset management and optimisation
Media Optimizer – managing and optimising cross channel campaigns
And with Neolane joining the Marketing Cloud offering, Adobe is aiming to be the marketing technology partner of choice. Expect to see more activity in this crowded market.
Image: Kevin Dooley via Compfight
On the last Friday of every month, Vibewire in partnership with the Powerhouse Museum, hosts fastBREAK. Now in its third year, fastBREAK has become an essential part of the Australian creative industries scene – providing a vital showcase for young innovators, artists, creatives and entrepreneurs. The event attracts an eclectic audience, with artists mixing with business people, ballerinas rubbing shoulders with bankers and social entrepreneurs sharing breakfast with venture capitalists and investors. And most importantly of all, it is an event that encourages cross-generational conversations – where people of all ages are inspired to network and engage, fuelled by powerful ideas, great coffee and a creative breakfast from the Black Star Pastry.
Join us for fastBREAK: Technicolour
The next event is scheduled for 26 July and will have the theme “technicolour”. It promises to be provocative and stimulating:
Since the invention of Technicolor in 1916, the world of cinema and television have been brought to life with vivid contrasts and saturated colours, infusing both life and character into the film reel and captivating the imaginations of both adults and children around the world.
By injecting their own character and perspective into real life scenarios, some have been able to bring more colour into the lives of others. Now, that same passion and imagination is being brought back to life through the efforts of this month’s fastBREAK speakers.
Over the last few years, Adobe has been quietly acquiring companies, building and extending their enterprise focused suite of products and – to some surprise – integrating and consolidating their marketing software into a powerful “marketing cloud”.
At today’s digital marketing symposium, Adobe showcased much of this hard work – with products that are focused around their four pillars:
They have done the hard work of consolidating the various platforms into a cohesive and comprehensive offering built around marketing roles and functions. But of course, recent acquisitions like marketing automation platform Neolane takes all this to a new level. I fully expect to see a new pillar – “automate” – being added to the pillars in the next 12-18 months.
I will look to take a deeper dive into each of the aspects of the marketing cloud, but this Storify captures the events of the conference – from presentations to case studies and demos. I even tried out Vine as a way of capturing some of the demos.
But one thing is clear in amongst all the hype of the day and the power of the presentations – Adobe’s marketing cloud takes enterprise software to a new UI level. And the promise of the integrated offerings will have traditional marketers wanting to go digital and digital marketers needing to know more about traditional approaches.
There has been a great deal of change in marketing practice over the last decade. There are new channels like social and mobile, new technologies like apps and new ways to measure effectiveness.
To take account of the changes, ADMA is kicking off a consultation process to engage marketers with the aim of updating the ADMA Code of Practice by the end of the year. You can participate in a two minute survey on the code here.
Key points to remember:
ADMA’s existing Code was developed in the late 1990s to address issues around telemarketing and fair trading. The Code needs updating for the self-regulatory challenges facing marketers using new data-driven channels, techniques and technologies.
Data volumes are growing exponentially and this is giving rise to renewed privacy and data security challenges that can be addressed via the Code.
With new privacy laws about to come into effect (March 2014), a revised Code will enable ADMA to establish best practice under the new privacy regime and help members ensure they are meeting their legal requirements.
The revised Code will become an enabling tool for marketers and advertisers committed to excellence in customer data management in the era of “Big Data”.
In reality, we are not really dealing with a gap. It could be better described as a “mismatch” – after all, a “gap” would indicate some alignment. But the problem for brands is that the distance between the two sets of expectations [customers and businesses] is growing.
The pressure in this relationship rests firmly with the marketing team. Digital and social media has not only transformed the way that most marketers work, it has significantly added to the process of marketing. There’s so much more technology involved, more analytics, reporting and monitoring. There are more agencies to deal with and more relationships to manage. And targets. And budgets. And so on.
So the title of Mitch Joel’s new book struck a chord with me. Ctrl Alt Delete – we certainly need a reboot in the world of marketing. Let’s take a look at just a couple of the mind blowing stats he starts with:
14% of businesses are not prepared to deal with the speed of today’s competitive landscape. Think about it. What happens to them? Do they just disappear Kodak-style? What happens to their customers and their employees?
74% ofbusinesses don’t have a plan to stay competitive in the mobile world. How many nimble competitors are already eyeing the potential markets that will become available?
The cost of entry to existing markets is so much lower than the cost of TRANSFORMATION. This is why new business models and disruptive competitors are able to quickly gain traction in YOUR markets. Here are a few ideas that you can use to help you cope:
Start a customer conversation: Who are your customers? I don’t mean “segments” or “personas” … I mean “real names”. Run a quick check over your records and identify 10 of your best customers and 10 of your worst. Reach out to them and ask them what they like and don’t like about you. See what you can fix and what you can do more of.
Run a poll on your website: Get feedback on one or two of your products by running a poll on your website. SurveyMonkey is great – or you could just use Twtpoll. You might be surprised about what you learn.
Dig into your website analytics: Don’t tell me you haven’t even installed Google Analytics on your website! If you haven’t, do so. It’s easy. And if you don’t know how, ask Twitter. Once you have stats coming through, look up “Traffic Sources” and learn about how your customers find you. Look at the search terms they use and the links they click to come to your site. Are you solving the right problems?
Make your website mobile friendly: “Responsive design” is a hot topic at the moment. But most of the robust content management systems have responsive design templates or plugins that can be easily added to your site. At the minimum, add responsive design templates/capabilities to your blog – after all, Google Analytics will show you that about 25% of traffic comes from mobiles.
Start or update your blog: What? Still no blog? That’s so 2003. If you haven’t started a blog, it’s never too late to do so. Start today (just check out IBM’s cool Tumblr as an easy-to-run example). Download WordPress and get going. And if you have a blog that hasn’t been updated for months, write a post and link to this article. Explain you are getting back on the bandwagon because you WANT to hear from your customers.
Go social: Whether you like it or not, social is here to stay. But you need to get your hands dirty. Setup an account on Twitter or on Facebook. Do a little stalking to find out what your customers are talking about. Connect and slowly build out a strategy. Be sure to own that strategy – and don’t delegate it to the intern. Make it part of your business and use it to learn more about your customers, partners, suppliers and even employees. CEOs all over the world are doing it, why can’t you?
As we begin to ramp up our efforts for the second half of 2013, it’s always worth taking a moment to reflect on what has emerged, what is emerging and the gaps that are becoming obvious in our marketing strategy and tactics.
For me, one of the things that has solidified is the notion that consumers are not only king, but the entire universe. As such they have become the centre of gravity around which brands now orbit.
Understanding and navigating this new “consumerverse” is a core requirement for any marketer.
And if you would like to learn more about how this connects to real businesses, some of the interesting proof points that are emerging and how businesses can embrace disruption as a business imperative, take a look at my interview with Which-50’s Andrew Birmingham.
Travelling for business can be pretty boring. Once you fight off the jetlag and close out the meetings, many business travellers find themselves hanging out in their hotel. In the bar. In the lounge. Or in the room.
It’s almost the opposite of being social.
But what if there were ways to tap into the local community? What if you could find and meetup with others who share your interests? That’s where various forms of social media can really transform your travel experience.
This episode of the new AndableTV channel looks at things you can do to travel like a local. There are some great ideas to try out on your next trip. And there’s more to come on the AndableTV sustainable living channel. Be sure to subscribe.