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Gilbane Advisor 5.12.15 – The Omni Channel Paradox

The Omni Channel Paradox

We all say it in slightly different ways: A superior customer experience requires consistent, seamless, experience across all channels. Depending on our job, we tend to focus on different integration challenges. Easy to say, but Mayur Gupta points out just how multi-faceted and formidable this fragmentation is.

Brands have as much of a chance of driving frictionless omnichannel consumer experiences as a Formula One race car driver trying to win a race on flat tires. Impossible!!!

The very model and capabilities used to make the experience omnichannel and seamless is its biggest roadblock. We are trying to create connected experiences using a massively fragmented ecosystem spanning data and technology, agencies and media management, and organizational and operating models. With all the disruption within the digital landscape putting the consumer at the center and in full control, the consumer has effortlessly become omnichannel while brands still struggle with being multichannel, at best.

What is preventing this from happening? Fragmentation. It exists in these core areas: … Read more

Speaking of challenging fragments…

5 Drivers that will shape the future of your MarTech strategy

As Scott Brinker and others have shown, the marketing technology landscape is nightmarishly large and complex. And of course marketing needs vary widely by organization. Gerry Murry has a framework to help marketing execs get started organizing and building their strategy.

To optimize their digital marketing activities, marketers will have to focus on their particular business models, audiences, and overall objectives in order to make the best choices. Strategic frameworks for investment based on key business drivers are needed to govern the process of consolidating current systems and guiding future purchases. Read more

Did Video Kill Text Content Marketing?

No, and it won’t.

Reading articles and watching videos also require two different brain processes. When we read, the process requires us to be actively involved. The brain gets a much better workout when reading vs. watching, and the process requires a longer attention span and deeper cognitive efforts.

Visitors have their own preferences, many will always click on the video option because it is the easiest and therefore the most natural choice. But many others will choose to read text by default because they want to control their experience, dig into details, and organize thoughts in different orders. Text provides more reader control. It is also usually faster and more  efficient.

As a marketer you need to consider different visitor preferences, but you also need to match the form to the job. If you want to attract a browser’s attention a video is usually a better way to go – it provides less of an effort-barrier. But if you want a visitor to engage in the extra work to learn about product features, options, and pricing so they can make a decision to buy, text is likely to be the least frustrating and most effective way to get the job done.

Liraz Margalit has much more to say about the research behind this.  Read more

Some are more careful about video use than others…

Time to kill the 800-word article

Quartz is doing a great job pushing towards a modern social, mobile, web news format. Video use, even by respected media channels, is often still largely off-putting, so it is worth keeping an eye on QZs video experiments.

“We’re not going to run pre-roll on videos. We’re pushing the video team to figure out what the future of online news video is. Our conviction is liberating them from traffic requirements, from pre-roll inventory requirements, is the best way to experiment with formats and the social distribution of video and see what works.” Read more

The bot bubble

How Click Farms Have Inflated Social Media Currency

We all know there are lots of bogus social network accounts and that they are bought by many businesses and individuals. This is a fascinating exposé of a “not illegal in the Philippines” business supplying fake accounts for click farms. Want to know what shocking percentage of fake profiles could be included in your advertising campaigns? …  Read more

What does Google need on mobile?

Short answer is reach and data, but…

The interesting part, though, is that there are now lots of different kinds of reach.

First, as everyone has talked about for years, the way that mobile moves us away from the plain old web as the dominant interaction model of the internet challenges Google’s central ability to understand the structure of online information and to link to it (and sell links to it). Apps cut off Google’s reach, both to get data into its systems, since apps are opaque, and to surface data out to internet users, since any search in Yelp’s specialist app is a search that wasn’t on Google, and such apps are stronger on mobile than on the desktop. Apps reduce Google’s reach in both senses. This of course is why (like Facebook) it has been pursuing deep links… Read more

The Watch

or not. Horace Dediu weighs in on the point of the Apple watch, that is, is it a watch or something else. I have always thought of it as a computer, though one currently limited. I bought one because it is a computer, and wouldn’t have bought it and won’t be wearing it as a watch. I also like John Gruber’s characterization it as a “gadget-y computer”:

Loosely, the path of all consumer electronic categories is to evolve as ever more computer-y gadgets, until a tipping point occurs and they turn into ever more gadget-y genuine computers. … Apple seemingly tries to enter markets at, or just after, that tipping point … to produce a gadget-y computer that the computer-y gadgets from the established market leaders cannot compete with… That was the iPhone.

Dediu’s nuanced view…

Before its launch, I said that the Apple Watch would be as much a watch as the iPhone is a phone.

I had the chance to use the Watch for a few days and can say that timekeeping is probably as insignificant to its essence as it’s possible to be. It feels like a watch in the physical sense, looking good in the process (as the iPhone physically felt like a phone, also without being hard on the eyes)

However it does not feel like a watch conceptually. I find myself drawn into a conversation by its vocabulary of vibrations. I find myself talking to it. I find myself listening to it. I find myself glancing at information about faraway places. I find myself paying for things with it. I find myself checking into flights with it. I order transportation, listen to news, check live data streams and get myself nagged to exercise. It tells me where I am. It tells me where to go. It tells me when to leave.

Nothing ever worn on a wrist, or anywhere else for that matter, has done any of these things before. Not only are these things mesmerizing but they are done in a productive way on a wristwatch. In other words they are done in a mindful way. Read more

Remember the Filter Bubble?

Lot’s of commentary on the Facebook research published in Science last week. The first Read more link goes to the reaction of Eli Pariser the author of the book, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You, but I’ve added a few others that are meaty. Read more here, and here, and here.

 

Short takes

Compare your mobile traffic before and after the April 21st Mobile update and dig deeper into your search data with the new More precise data in the new Search Analytics report. Also see FAQs about the April 21st mobile-friendly update via Google

Seems like a promising idea. Imagining it feels natural… MIT develops wireless trackpad for your thumbnail via itworld.com

Will REST convince skeptics that WordPress is a real CMS? This look at the future of WordPress is also a useful resource non-developers on REST – a little techy but not written by a developer. via wpmudev.org

Translation is not about words, it’s about meaning, but you need to write for machines… Google Translate is only as dumb as you allow it via Content Strategy Forum

Latest on trends in the State of the News Media 2015 via Pew Research Center

Nice follow-up on some content marketing advice by applying it to a questioner’s company as an example… Applying Evergreen Content Formulas to Close.io … and of course great content marketing for the author! via inbound.org

Uh Oh, … The Age of the Full-Stack Marketer via Gartner

Wonder how the Apple watch will effect your email campaigns?… 6 predictions as to how the Apple Watch will impact email marketers via Campaign Monitor

Links are broken. These three alternatives have improved our readers’ reading experience. Well, the experience is broken, via Medium

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Advisor 4.16.15 – The Apple Watch’s Raison D’être

Gilbane Conference 2015 call for papers deadline is May 1
Learn more

The Apple Watch’s Raison D’être

John Kirk is mostly right, but there is more to say. Though it’s fun to speculate on Apple’s initial intent, it is more useful to consider how the Apple watch actually fits into the the evolution of computing, and what it suggests about what comes next.

The effective purpose of the watch is not just to make computing more socially acceptable, or even more convenient, but to do so because computing is becoming part of the fabric of daily modern life and computing devices are inexorably shrinking. This is true across the spectrum from general purpose computers to single-purpose sensors.

The most important general purpose computer now is the smartphone. But smartphones got so small they had to get bigger because computing power is well ahead of the sophistication of our technology for communicating with them. The size of smartphones, and watches, limits their range of interactions, but is necessary for their individual utility, a prerequisite for convenience.

Convenience is a matter of degree, and no other computing devices had much of it to start and are still largely lacking. But the dramatic ramp-up in reach already happening with smartphones, and coming quickly with more ubiquitous computing clearly demands more convenience be designed in to the entire experience. This is Apple’s wheelhouse.

still think that “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.”, and I agree with Kirk’s bullishness about the Apple watch. Read more

Has Visual Design Fallen Flat?

… a lot of today’s visual language is about clean simplicity, executed well. There are a few fashion trends in there, sure, but in general this is a list of objectively desirable qualities. It reflects a maturity to the aesthetics of digital design that has been developing for decades,

When you squint your eyes and tilt your head, don’t a lot of these products look awfully, well, similar? Don’t they look pretty but, at times, a little dull?

When it becomes necessary for virtually every business to signal they value design by adopting an up-to-date style, it becomes a commodity, a box to be ticked. That fresh look quickly becomes a cliché. This descent towards aesthetic monoculture was helped… Read more

What the New York Times CIO is doing to make the newspaper a mobile-first company

CIO Marc Frons’ description of what they are doing is a good example of the kind of thinking other executives should be involved in. Read more

The promise of the web

Short (2 min read), sweet, and true…

if the web didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent itRead more

Proprietary services vs open protocols

If you only have 1 minute…

1/ the history of the internet is a series of battles between proprietary services and open protocols… Read more

A longer, related read…

Will Deep Links Ever Truly Be Deep?

This is a more in-depth post with some historical context exploring the importance of links and what much of the debate over mobile apps and deep linking misses or glosses over. Read more

Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job

For years, Google’s mission included the preservation of the past… Two months ago, Larry Page said the company’s outgrown its 14-year-old mission statement. Its ambitions have grown, and its priorities have shifted… Google in 2015 is focused on the present and future. Its social and mobile efforts, experiments with robotics and artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and fiberoptics.

Ok. But fortunately…

The Internet Archive is mostly known for archiving the web, a task the San Francisco-based nonprofit has tirelessly done since 1996, two years before Google was founded. The Wayback Machine now indexes over 435 billion webpages going back nearly 20 years, the largest archive of the web. For most people, it ends there. But that’s barely scratching the surface. Read more

The data science ecosystem

If marketing technologists aren’t scared by scads of software tools, data scientists shouldn’t be either. Here is a knowledgable start at a landscape.

Because data science is growing so rapidly, we now have a massive ecosystem of useful tools… Since data science is so inherently cross-functional, many of these companies and tools are hard to categorize. But at the very highest level, they break down into the three main parts of a data scientist’s work flow. Namely: getting data, wrangling data and analyzing data. I’ll be covering them in that real-world order, starting first with getting data, or data sources. Read more

Links

Developers already know this, but business managers should also understand the process… Apple’s App Store review process is hurting users, but we’re not allowed to talk about it via Medium

I know, this may not sound serious at first, but it is worth a read… How The Screenshort Could Save Us From Horrible Headlines via BuzzFeed

Need to get processable data out of reports in PDF? If you’re a little technical here is some help… Purifying the Sea of PDF Data, Automatically via NYT Open

Less than half of the enterprise collaboration tools installed have many employees using them regularly… Why No One Uses the Corporate Social Network via hbr.org

Gilbane Conference call for papers deadline is May 1

The Gilbane Conference on Content, Technology and Customer Experience takes place at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, December 1 – 3, 2015.

The Gilbane Conference helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and computing technologies to produce superior customer experiences for all stakeholders.

A modern customer experience must be holistic and seamless. Holistic in that customer communications be consistent within the company and across all touch points and channels, and seamless so that transitions between customer interactions are smooth and frictionless. This is a continuous process that requires an unprecedented amount of collaboration and integration between internal and external facing organizations and systems.

This year we focus on how to integrate content, data, and software to support a superior multichannel digital customer experience. Whether you are just getting started with managing multichannel content, need to improve the consistency of the web and mobile discovery experience, or are ready to integrate with an ecommerce, content marketing, business intelligence or other marketing or data management platform, join us to learn what your peers are doing and what experts are recommending.

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Advisor 3.31.15 – Is a Mobile Deep Linking Standard Necessary?

Gilbane Conference 2015 call for papers

Share and network with your peers as a speaker at our next conference. Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston. December 1-3.  Learn more

How to Launch Your Digital Platform

…I draw from this research to offer a framework to help aspiring entrepreneurs make the right strategic decisions as they build their own platforms…

This is also for intrapreneurs. Read more

A Few Questions for Publishers Contemplating Facebook as a Platform

John Battelle…

Well, it’s happening. According to no less authoritative source than The New York TimesThe New York Times is preparing to plant a taproot right inside the highly walled garden that is Facebook. … But as testing beings, here are a few questions any publisher should ask before dipping a taproot into Facebook’s carefully cultivated soils… Read more

Does it matter?…

Facebook hosting doesn’t change things, the world already changed

A bit of a contrary view. Long but lots to chew on.

All this sound and fury, signifying nothing. … Let’s just list all the conditions that exist and won’t change one bit whether or not you let Facebook host your content… Read more

The Facebook Reckoning

And then there’s Ben Thompson’s analysis on why at least some publishers may not have a choice.

The problem is that online ads are inherently deflationary: just as content has zero marginal cost, so does ad inventory, which means it’s trivial to make more. A limited amount of total advertising dollars spread over more inventory, though, means any individual ad is worth less and less.

This resulted in a bit of a prisoner’s dilemma: the optimal action for any individual publication, particularly in the absence of differentiated ad placements or targeting capability, is to maximize ad placement opportunity (more content) and page views (more eyeballs), even though this action taken collectively only hastens the decline in the value of those ads. Perversely, the resultant cheaper ads only intensify the push to create more content and capture more eyeballs; quality is very quickly a casualty.

What is interesting is the particular impact that mobile has had on this dynamic… Read more

But who actually trusts Facebook, or any single walled garden for all their news? Many of course, but they are not necessarily the demographic you want. And then there’s the fact that…

Many Facebook users still don’t know that their news feeds are filtered by an algorithm

In the extreme case, it may be that whenever a software developer in Menlo Park adjusts a parameter, someone somewhere wrongly starts to believe themselves to be unloved

Accidental or intentional. This could be you, or it could be the New York Times. Read more

Ok, enough about Facebook…

How storytelling can enhance the effectiveness of your visualizations

What a great framework for marketer and data expert collaboration.

As the volume and complexity of data collection and storage scale exponentially, creating clear, communicative, and approachable visual representations of that data is an increasing challenge… Leveraging a story structure can help introduce complex visualizations to various audiences. Read more

News Media Should Drop Native Apps

One of the most shared statistics on mobile use is this one: Applications account for 86% of the time spend by users. This leaves a mere 14% for browser-based activities, i.e. sites designed for mobile, either especially coded for nomad consumption, built using responsive design techniques that adapt look and feel to screen size, or special WebApp designs such as FT.com.

This 86/14 split is completely misleading for two reasons: the weight of mobile gaming, and the importance of Facebook. Take a look at this chart … Read more

More on the 86/14…

Apple Watch Doesn’t Have Safari and You Didn’t Even Notice

Web lives, browser dies? The fact that there is no browser on the Apple watch does not mean the end of the web. It does raise the question of exactly what this means to hybrid or web content heavy iOS apps and watch integration though. Read more

I want to invest in your Apple watch app. Here’s why.

I agree, and also still agree with myself. However my initial investment will be in the watch rather than an app. Read more

Android taxonomies and users

Thinking about mobile platforms and demographics?

For reference, and, perhaps, discussion: ‘Android’ means lots of different things, and there’s a lot of confusion about forks, Xiaomi, China and AOSP, as well as ‘the next billion’. So this is how I try to think about this. First, there are actually (at least) six types of ‘Android’ in the market today… In parallel, it’s worth breaking down Android users in a similar way… Read more

Is a Mobile Deep Linking Standard Necessary?

This is not a useful question. It is reasonable to ask whether a successful standard will ever be developed. Standards don’t get created just because they are a good idea, but because they are forced by the market. And that takes time and painful politicking and negotiation between the big players, some influential small players, and more interested parties you would think possible.

We can also ask whether it will continue to be a reasonable expectation for developers to accommodate all the individual “guidelines” from Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Bitly, GE, and whoever else emerges with a reach large or unique enough to make their traffic worth adding to the list of APIs a developer needs to support. Read more

Links

Online vs IRL Retail: Content, Content, Content and… Retail Is NOT All About Selling Product via Medium

A Data-Driven Look at the Open Source E-Commerce Market via CMSWire

22 tips for better data science including helpful suggestion from the pointy haired boss and Dilbert via Data Science Central

And here is some useful advice for dealing with more political challenges… Overcome Your Company’s Resistance to Data via hbr.org

Web geeks: Uncle Sam made a tool that downloads Google Analytics reports & transforms data into JSON… U.S. government launches online traffic analytics dashboard for federal websites via E Pluribus Unum

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

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