Speaker Spotlight: Brian Makas – Marketing Technologist

We recently posed some of our attendees’ most frequently asked questions to speakers who will be at this year’s Gilbane Conference in December. Between now and the start of the event, we’ll be sharing their answers with you. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

Brian Makas - Gilbane Conference Boston 2013Speaker Spotlight: Brian Makas

Director of Marketing Technology & Business Intelligence

Thomas Publishing

Follow Brian on Twitter @BrianMakas

Is there a “Marketing Technologist” role in your organization or in organizations you know of? Should there be? What should their responsibilities be?

I’m the Director of Marketing Technology & Business Intelligence for ThomasNet, does that count? While I’m very fortunate to work for a company that realizes the importance of a formal marketing technology team, I can’t say that I know of many other people with marketing technology in their job title.

The most important responsibility of any marketing technologist is to act as a trusted advisor and navigator. A marketing technologist needs to be aware of marketing’s goals at all times, be on constant lookout for hazards that may arise on the way to those goals and always be looking for alternate means of achieving those goals.

For example in my own role, when I’m looking to help our clients to prove (and improve) the ROI of their investment in ThomasNet, I’m always listening to their concerns and looking for a connection to technology:

  • What applications already exist that we can leverage?
  • What can be tracked and quantified?
  • When technology alone simply can’t connect the dots, how can we prove the influence their investment had or modify their program to maximize their likelihood of getting a strong ROI

Over the years I’ve found that unless you’re aware of what’s available and what’s going on behind the scenes it’s often impossible to even realize opportunities you’re overlooking or to notice seemingly minor details that can haunt you for years to come. Likewise, if you wait until a project is fully scoped out before involving IT, they may be able to develop what you ask for but rarely are able to develop what you really wanted. On the flip side by working as a part of the marketing team, and keeping my ears open at all times, I’m able to jump in months before IT would typically become involved to explain said opportunities and risks.

While it will certainly take time for the title to be broadly adopted, I feel the role itself is very common. I found my own start in marketing technology by inviting myself to meetings no one thought I needed to attend and offering suggestions that no one asked for. I have no doubt that as marketing’s success continues to rely on its use and understanding of digital technologies, more people will continue to champion the cause and the formal role will quickly become a critical part of every successful team.

Where You Can Find Brian at the Gilbane Conference:

Track C: Content, Marketing, and the Customer Experience
Session C1. Q&A with Real Live Marketing Technologists
Tuesday, December, 3: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

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Gilbane Conference Program Posted

The Gilbane Conference program has been posted.

The Gilbane Conference on Content and the Digital Experience will be held at the Westin Boston Waterfront, December 3-5, 2013. Join the content managers, marketers, marketing technologists, technology and executive strategists, and other industry thought leaders who are defining and building next generation digital experiences.

The conference includes 80+ speakers, 6 keynote presentations, 30 breakout sessions, and 6 half-day in-depth workshops. Also, in addition to the technology showcase there are 11 Product Lab or Case Study sessions open to all visitors.

You can also download a PDF of the advance program, just remember the website is more up-to-date with all the latest additions to the event.

Important links to the Gilbane Conference details:

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Gilbane Conference Speaker Acceptance Notices

We have just sent out a batch of acceptance notices to those who submitted a proposal to speak at our conference in Boston this year. As we mentioned in a recent post, we had a record number of proposals this year and are only going to be able to include about 20% of them.

It will be another week or two before all acceptance notices are sent.

We will be emailing everyone who wanted to speak whether we can fit you in or not, but will be holding off until we are pretty sure about everyone’s status.

Thanks for your patience!

Thanks all for the Gilbane Conference speaker proposals

Thank you all for the Gilbane Conference speaker proposals. We received a record number this year even with a condensed timeframe for submissions. We also have a larger percentage of high quality proposals, fewer blatant sales pitches, and a greater percentage of proposals from women (Hmmm… correlation or causation?). We are now busy evaluating, organizing, and mapping proposals to the topic areas our audience needs to hear the most about.

If you have submitted a proposal it will be a couple of more weeks before most of you are notified.

Miss the deadline?

For all of you who missed the deadline for speaking proposals for this year’s conference, our policy is that we always accept proposals – in fact we accept them all year long if you use our  submission form – however, proposals received after the deadline for each conference miss the first review by the program committee and some of the early decisions. If we have two good proposals on the same topic the on-time proposal gets preference. Also, decisions are largely made on a rolling basis once the deadline passes, so if you have missed the deadline it is still a good idea to submit as soon as possible.

If there is a particular topic we need more proposals for we will post about it on this blog, so stay tuned.

Don’t miss the Gilbane Conference call for papers deadline

Every year we get a last minute rush of speaking proposals for the Gilbane Conference, and then… we get tons of emails asking when the deadline is, and then we get requests for an extra day or two, and then we get requests to consider proposals weeks after the deadline has passed. We have been extra diligent in getting the word out this year because there are always some late proposals that we wish we had seen sooner.

The deadline this year is June 30th July 7th, so don’t delay.

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Here are the relevant links:

 

Gilbane Conference tracks:

Content, Marketing, and the Customer Experience
Designed for marketers, marketing technologists, growth hackers, web and mobile content managers, strategists and technologists focused on customers and digital marketing.

Content, Collaboration, and Employee Engagement
Designed for content, information, technical, and business managers focused on enterprise social, collaboration, intranet, portal, knowledge, and backend content applications.

Re-imagining the Future: Technology and the Postdigital Experience
Designed for technology strategists, IT, and executives focused on the future of content and internal or external digital experiences.

Digital Strategies for Publishing and Media
Designed for publishing and information product managers, marketers, technologists, and business or channel managers focused on the transition to digital products.

Press Release: Gilbane Conference Announces Dates for the 2013 Event in Boston and Partnership with Information Today, Inc.

Gilbane Conference 2013, Banner, Content and the Digital ExperienceThis premier industry event was created to help enterprises build agile, sustainable digital experiences through the use of compelling content

Boston, Mass. (June 18, 2013 – BUSINESS WIRE – The Gilbane Conference 2013 (http://gilbaneconference.com) is set to take place December 3–5 at the Westin Boston Waterfront.

Now in its 12th year, the Gilbane Conference recently announced a partnership with leading publisher and technology conference organizer, Information Today, Inc. “We were thrilled to be approached by Frank Gilbane about partnering on this event,” said Information Today, Inc. president, Tom Hogan, Sr. “As publishers of a number of magazines covering web content management, content marketing, and customer experience management, we’ve admired the Gilbane Conference for years. We’re very excited to be a part of it this December.”

“We believe the synergies between the Gilbane Conference and Information Today, Inc. will assist us in quickly growing the brand by reaching out to an even larger audience of potential attendees,” added Gilbane Conference founder and chair, Frank Gilbane.

This year’s event will focus on educating enterprises on how to maintain competitiveness, grow market share, and support new models and products through the use of compelling content that enhances customer, employee, and partner digital experiences. “Now more than ever, enterprises need to make the connection between the information they’re providing and the needs of the customer in order to create an ideal customer experience,” Gilbane noted.

To speak at this event, submit your abstract by June 30 at http://gilbaneconference.com.

Gilbane Conference’s Technology Showcase will once again provide attendees with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with industry-leading companies on the show floor. Sponsorship opportunities are now available on the site.

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About Bluebill Advisors and Gilbane.com
Gilbane.com was launched in 1996 by Frank Gilbane and is a Bluebill Advisors Inc. site and the home for Gilbane conferences, seminars, and related activities. Bluebill Advisors, Inc. is a technology analyst firm focused on disruptive information technologies and their potential for strategic application. The firm has advised hundreds of organizations representing a wide range of industries, including government and other nonprofits, technology, manufacturing, publishing, financial services, investment, software, and pharmaceutical, and has helped executives responsible for a variety of functions including corporate strategy, marketing, investment, product development and support, engineering, and publishing. Bluebill complements services from firms that provide technology acquisition or market research services. Bluebill has created the program and chaired the Gilbane Conferences since their inception in 2002. Bluebill also operated as The Gilbane Group until 2010. http://gilbane.com, http://bluebillinc.com.

About Information Today, Inc.
Information Today, Inc., (www.infotoday.com) is a leading publisher and conference organizer in the field of technology and technology applications in today’s enterprise. In addition to producing the KMWorld, CRM Evolution, and Customer Service Experience conferences, Information Today, Inc. publishes KMWorld magazine, EContent magazine, CRM magazine, and their corresponding websites (www.destinationCRM.com, www.econtentmag.com, and www.kmworld.com). The company also publishes Streaming Media magazine and Speech Technology magazine and organizes several other technology conferences.

Contact:

Information Today
Misty Simms, 859-278-2223
msimms@infotoday.com

 

Gilbane Conference call for speakers and great presentation advice

Gilbane Conference 2013, Banner, Content and the Digital Experience

 

 

 

 

We have our own set of speaker guidelines that are specific to our event that we ask all speakers to read. But last week there were two Harvard Business Review posts that provide some of the best advice you can find anywhere on giving a great presentation or moderating an engaging panel. These are must reads for anyone who cares about presentation or moderating skills, and strongly recommended for Gilbane Conference speakers. Even if you are already a speaking pro, each post is likely to give you at least one new idea. See:

Call for papers

Please review the conference and track topics below and submit your speaking proposal.

Conference description

Businesses and organizations of all kinds are struggling to keep up with the dramatic changes and challenges caused by current and near-term future potential of digital technologies. These challenges are enterprise-wide because everybody from customers to employees to partners expects an integrated and compelling digital experience that just works.

Accomplishing an engaging digital experience requires creating and managing compelling content, but also includes measuring how effective the content is, building interfaces that are consistent yet appropriate for multiple mobile channels, and integrating with e-commerce and enterprise systems. None of this should be news, but putting all the technologies and practices together is still largely uncharted or experimental territory for enterprises. Well-informed decisions on digital experience strategies require proactive dialog with experienced peers and industry experts.

At Gilbane conferences we bring together industry experts, content managers, marketers, marketing technologists, technology and executive strategists to share experiences and debate what the most effective approaches and technologies are, and how to implement them. Our theme this year is Manage – Measure – Mobilize, and we have tracks focused on the customer digital experience, employee digital experience, future technologies for digital experiences, and a track on digital strategies for publishers and information providers where we expand our theme to include Monetize.

 

Main conference tracks

Track C: Content, Marketing, and the Customer Experience

Designed for marketers, marketing technologists, growth hackers, content managers, strategists and technologists focused on customers and digital marketing.

Topics include:

  • Web content management
  • Customer experience management & engagement
  • Digital and postdigital marketing
  • Inbound & content marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Measuring and analytics: Web, mobile, social, big data
  • Growth hacking strategies
  • Mobile challenges & channel priorities
  • Marketing technologist best practices
  • Responsive design
  • Localization & multilingual content management
  • Content strategies
  • Cross-channel marketing
  • E-commerce integration
  • Search engine strategies

Track E: Content, Collaboration, and Employee Engagement

Designed for content, information, technical, and business managers focused on enterprise social, collaboration, intranet, portal, knowledge, and backend content applications.

Topics include:

  • Collaboration and the social enterprise
  • Collaboration tools & social platforms
  • Enterprise social metrics
  • Community building & knowledge sharing
  • Content management & intranet strategies
  • Enterprise mobile strategies
  • Content and information integration
  • Enterprise search and information access
  • Semantic technologies
  • Taxonomies, metadata, tagging

Track T: Re-imagining the Future: Technology and the Postdigital Experience

Designed for technology strategists, IT, and executives focused on the future of content and either internal or external digital experiences.

Topics include:

  • Hybrid cloud content management
  • Natural language technologies
  • Haptic and gesture interfaces
  • Big data platforms and tools
  • Big data analytics
  • Visualization
  • The future of the open web and walled gardens
  • New mobile operating systems
  • Beyond desktops
  • Distributed data, distributed apps – mixing up code and data
  • Internet of things and digital experiences
  • Wearable content

Track P: Digital Strategies for Publishing and Media

Designed for publishing and information product managers, marketers, technologists, and business or channel managers focused on the transition to digital products.

Topics include:

  • Designing for digital products
  • Business models and monetization
  • Mixing owned, earned, and bought content
  • Ad technologies and strategies
  • App development strategies
  • HTML5 or no?
  • Multi-channel publishing
  • Ebook readers vs tablets
  • Tablets vs smartphones
  • Mobile publishing workflows
  • Matching content to platforms and devices

Submit your speaking proposal. [red]The deadline is June 30th 2013![/red]

Federal government to spend $1.4 billion on web content management and infrastructure

Before we get to the spending mentioned in the title, there is some important background to cover. In an email to the Presidential Innovation Fellows program mailing list yesterday and a blog post with Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills last week, White House CTO Todd Park reported on the progress of a pilot program, RFP-EZ, to make federal government RFPs accessible to small businesses.

In addition to making it easier for small businesses to win federal contracts, a key goal is to save the government money since small business bids are typically lower than larger organizations’. Another significant benefit is that it makes it easier for agencies to purchase from innovative small businesses (since more are bidding). In the technology space especially, small businesses provide the lion’s share of innovation.

So how is this program doing so far? From Park and Mills post:

Applying agile development principles, the Fellows team designed RFP-EZ over a six-month period, publishing the platform’s code openly on GitHub. The team then launched the pilot by posting five relatively simple website development and database contract offerings, four of which were also announced via the standard government portal, FedBizOps. On a per-project basis, bids received through RFP-EZ were consistently lower than those received through FedBizOps—19% to 41% lower, and over 30% lower on average. Bids made through RFP-EZ also showed less overall variation. In addition, during the pilot period, RFP-EZ attracted more than 270 businesses that until now had never approached the world of Federal contracting.

Graph of RFP-EZ pilot progress

Ok, now for the spending. First of all, note that the OMB says the total 2014 Federal IT budget is $77 billion. If you haven’t seen it yet the OMB IT Dashboard yet it is worth a look, and you can download a spreadsheet that has details on spending by agency and project. Park and Mills also said in their post that:

According to Office of Management and Budget’s IT Dashboard, the Federal Government will spend more than $1.4 billion on Web Infrastructure and Web Content Management Systems in FY 2014. Based on 2011 and 2012 results, we can expect about half of these projects to be under the $150,000 “Simplified Acquisition Threshold” that would make them eligible for contracting through RFP-EZ.

This may not seem like a lot at first glance, but at $150,000 each it would mean 4,666 web content management systems or web infrastructure projects it would be fairly easy for small vendors and consultants to bid on in 2014.

Presumably the numbers came from the OMB IT spending spreadsheet, but since software category definitions are fluid, to say the least, doing your own analysis would be a good idea. While our community knows that, for example, “web content management” can include or be a component of a collection of digital marketing tools for engagement or experience management, marketing automation, etc. we can’t assume all federal budgeteers do – or did when the budgets were developed.

All of this is excellent news for a substantial number of the vendors, integrators, and consultants who participate in the Gilbane Conference. It is also great news for federal government conference attendees who can more realistically do business with smaller companies who have the latest technology.

To participate in the RFP-EZ program sign-up using the very simple web form.