Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: October 2014

Managing and Monetizing Paid, Owned, and Earned Content

How does your organization manage and value paid, owned, and earned content? Is there a strategy for each of the three types? A budget?

If you are struggling with measuring the value of marketing related content you are certainly not alone – there is just no easy way to do it. In this session, Gerry Moran from SAP talks about the need for brands to manage and scale the three types of content together to engage customers throughout the sales cycle. Randy Woods from nonlinear creations describes a technique in use for modeling content and mapping it to online behaviors to get a better handle on content marketing costs and return.

Join us Wednesday, December, 3: 11:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. at the Gilbane Conference to learn more.

C9. Managing and Monetizing Paid, Owned, and Earned Content

Dom Nicastro, Staff Reporter,

Gerry Moran, Head of Social Media, North America, SAP
Scaling and Monetizing Paid, Owned, and Earned Media in Your Organization
Randy Woods, President, nonlinear creations
Of Metrics and Models: Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing

See the complete conference schedule.

Speaker Spotlight: Jeff Cutler – Don’t try content marketing without content strategy

As we did last year we’ve posed some of our attendees’ most frequently asked questions to speakers who will be at this year’s Gilbane Conference and will be sharing their complete answers with you here. This week we’re spotlighting Jeff Cutler, Content Specialist, You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event.

Jeff Cutler - Gilbane ConferenceSpeaker Spotlight: Jeff Cutler

Content Specialist

Follow Jeff: @jeffcutler



Although sometimes used interchangeably ‘content strategy’ and ‘content marketing’ refer to very different though often connected disciplines. How and where should these activities be organized?

Simply put, if you don’t have a content strategy you should not undertake any content marketing. It’s the strategy component that directs smart decisions about to whom; where; and via what technologies your messaging and content will be shared. If you’re trying to connect with people and don’t have a strategy, it’s like trying to sell your services to an empty room. Figure out your audience. Figure out what tools they use to research the products/services they purchase. Determine if you have the capability and capacity to use these tools effectively. If everything clicks, move forward and start having a conversation and sharing content. Content strategy should be organized in brand and mission meetings – or at least discussed. From there it can be fine-tuned and then revisited before embarking on the content marketing campaign. Once approved, use the content strategy to develop a plan – including content calendar, resources, communication vehicles, sites, technology and more – that will help achieve the goals of that strategy.

Catch up with Jeff at the Gilbane Conference:

Track C: Content, Marketing, and the Customer Experience

C12: Content Marketing Panel
Wednesday, December 3: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Register now to hear more from Jeff and all of our speakers.

See our complete conference program for more details.

Avoiding the Dangers of the Unmanaged Customer Experience

Put your consumer hat on for a moment. Think about the last time you booked travel, bought a holiday gift, ordered flowers, or applied for a new credit card. Online or offline – doesn’t matter. What’s notable about that experience? What do you remember about it? Something? Nothing?

In the midst of the market cacophony about customer experience, three facts define the fundamentals, once stripped of  hype:

  1. Every brand delivers an experience to customers and prospects, consciously or unconsciously. At Digital Clarity Group (DCG), we define experience as “the totality of interactions through all channels and touch points over the entire life of the relationship.” Experience happens by default. As consumers, we always remember the bad. We might remember the good. We mostly forget the vast majority of experience that’s just mediocre. Which is not great if you’re a brand spending lots of money to leave a good impression.
  2. Consciously managing the experience is the only way that a brand can bias the experience for the right business outcome. Consistently good experiences are not accidental. Only when experience is deliberately managed does it become repeatable, predictable, measurable, and capable of being improved and optimized.
  3. The business practice of holistically managing the customer experience across channels is new, and therefore hard and mysterious. One of the many reasons it’s hard is that you cannot just throw technology at it and get results. Today there is no such thing as an out-of-the-box solution for experience management. It’s mysterious because successful paths (by way of repeatable best practices) are still being cut by the pioneers.

If customer experience management (CEM) is hard, it is also not an option. As my DCG colleague Tim Walters notes, “…the mobile and social empowerment of consumers makes CEM an inescapable, compulsory, and essential initiative for virtually every company’s survival.”

Who’s caught between the proverbial rock and hard place? Chief marketing officers, digital marketers, customer experience champions, LOB owners, newly-minted data scientists, marketing technologies, IT – yep, everyone who feels the pressure that customers are putting on them for higher-quality, more meaningful engagement. They want to move forward, know they need to move forward. But they are frequently overwhelmed by identifying the right starting point for CEM.

In DCG’s work with our enterprise clients, we see another obstacle that presents an even bigger risk. It’s not just that getting started can be overwhelming – it’s also that too many companies are responding to contemporary CEM challenges with legacy practices, processes, and technologies that are misaligned with the new world order imposed by empowered consumers. Doing more of the same, just bigger, faster, better, is a sure path to obsolescence. It’s time for fundamental change.

When we engage in a selection or roadmap development project with an enterprise client, we are typically supporting the manager or team who needs to enable that change in collective thinking about experience management. We often start by helping them write the script for the conversations with stakeholders. A number of the issues addressed in those scripts are distilled in our paper entitled The CEM Imperative: Customer Experience in the Age of the Empowered Consumer. What’s at risk if you don’t take action now? What’s the business case for investing in capabilities and competencies for experience management? If no single CEM solution exists today, how will you build and deploy a platform and toolset for experience management? The CEM Imperative provides insights that can help you start to formulate answers to these and related questions. You can also use it as a call-to-action for senior managers and executives who are hesitating. As DCG author Tim Walters writes:

“CEM is not vendor hype, because it is a response to the desires and expectations of today’s extremely demanding and fickle consumers. CEM is not a back-burner consideration because, as … innumerable studies prove, engaging consumers with superior experiences is a matter of life or death for any firm that cares about having customers.”

Presumably your organization cares about having customers. If that’s the case, then addressing the risk of unmanaged – or mismanaged – experience must be a top strategic goal moving forward.

Download your copy
The CEM Imperative: Customer Experience in the Age of the Empowered Consumer


Speaker Spotlight: Rahel Anne Bailie – Content marketing and content strategy not the same

As we did last year we’ve posed some of our attendees’ most frequently asked questions to speakers who will be at this year’s Gilbane Conference and will be sharing their complete answers with you here. This week we’re spotlighting Rahel Anne Bailie, Founder and Senior Content Strategy Consultant of Intentional Design Inc. You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event.

Rahel Bailie image - Gilbane 2014Speaker Spotlight: Rahel Anne Bailie

Founder and Senior Content Strategy Consultant

Intentional Design Inc.

Follow Rahel: @rahelab


Given that there are more smartphones than PCs on the planet and both will be important for the foreseeable future, how should organization’s content delivery priorities and technologies change? How is yours changing?

The emphasis on having a proper strategy for content delivery is going to increase as we have more complex delivery needs – and I believe that smartphones are just the tip of the iceberg. Wearables will be the next challenge, and who knows what will come after that. So some of what we need to do is think “content first” and combine that with responsive design and adaptive content. That means changes to technology and infrastructure, changes to processes, and improvements to skill sets of both technologists and writers.

Does the ‘internet of things’ have an immediate or near-term impact on your organization’s information or collaboration infrastructure? How so?

The idea that the internet of things is going to be a walk-in-the-park is a little optimistic. There are lots of business drivers and user behaviors that need to be figured out before there will be adoption at any scale. If any information or collaboration infrastructure is affected, it needs to be between market analysts and technologists, who are usually at opposite ends of a project.

Marketing is the most talked about discipline that needs to take on more responsibility for technology to be effective. What can other departments learn from the discussion around marketing technology and marketing technologists?

Any department along the content delivery supply chain needs to develop basic literacy when it comes to marketing technologies. Each organization has its idiosyncrasies, but that doesn’t mean a particular department gets to take a pass. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and we’ve seen time and time again how weak links can sink an entire initiative, by being blockers.

Although sometimes used interchangeably ‘content strategy’ and ‘content marketing’ refer to very different though often connected disciplines. How and where should these activities be organized?

This is a particular irritation of mine. Content marketing and content strategy are two distinct disciplines. There are overlaps, sure, but the very names indicate the distinction. Content marketing is about just that, marketing, with a focus on acquiring and engaging target audiences, which in turns drives an increase in the bottom line. Content strategy keeps marketing in mind – after all, you don’t want to do anything to harm profitability – but the focus is on planning for the management of content throughout the entire content lifecycle, no matter what the input or output. Content strategy is the umbrella to any content marketing strategy because it does not confine itself to a single content silo or type; content strategy instead provides the glue that connects all sub-strategies together, including content marketing.

Catch up with Rahel at the Gilbane Conference:

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

T5: Multichannel Content Management – How do you do it?
Wednesday, December 3: 9:40 a.m. – 10:40 p.m.

Register now to hear more from Rahel and all of our speakers.

See our complete conference program for more details.

The future of watches

first Apple Watch“The future of watches” title is a bit grand for this brief post, but this is somewhat of a companion piece to The future of tablets and the context of both is the evolution of computing devices. In the case of tablets we are still figuring out their role in the ecosystem after many years and over four since the initial iPad, the first breakthrough tablet. It will also take some time, and development, to see where smartwatches fit in, but it is now a much more interesting question.

The Apple watch announcement stumped many commentators who needed extra time to digest it. A reasonable reaction given neither product nor platform are done yet. This makes it a bit difficult for technology, market, or financial analysts to answer questions like what the Apple watch is really for, whether it is a new product category, will it be another breakthrough product for Apple, how it will change the mix of Apple revenue, do I actually need or want one.

Communication has been the killer app for computing at least since the Web and is why smartphones are the current king of the hill. Smartwatches are the most likely next-in-line competition to smartphones, certainly more so than tablets or glasses, before we enter the world of implants, stick-ons, or other fashion accessory choices. Smartwatches with phone functionality could surpass smartphones as the planet’s most popular personal computer: easier to carry around, potentially cheaper.

Apple would not be investing so heavily if they didn’t expect smartwatches to overtake or at least approximate the success of smartphones. They are betting large on the watch becoming a general purpose computer in the same way the iPhone has.

Or, they are reaching even further…

It doesn’t make sense for Apple to invest much in accessories, or niche markets. Even fitness is not interesting enough in itself. However, fitness is a great way to enter into the much larger healthcare opportunity, which in turn provides an environment to learn about new user experience technology and the complex device integration and data sharing necessary for it, and other complicated applications of general purpose computing. The iPhone would also benefit. This path also has the advantage of providing cover.

Also see:

Rich ruminating… Ben Evans: Ways to think about watches.

Working through what the Apple watch is about… Ben Thompson: What I Got Wrong About Apple Watch and Why Now for Apple Watch

Compared to other smartwatches… Rachel Metz:  Is This the Smart Watch You’ve Been Looking For?

Review from a watch industry analyst… Ariel Adams: Apple Watch Hands-On: The Wristwatch Just Caught Up To The 21st Century

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