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Gilbane Advisor 2-29-16 — Google, Facebook, and the open web

The platform competition for last mile content delivery continues to ramp up. Google’s AMP has launched and is available to everyone; Facebook’s Instant Articles becomes available to all on April 12th; and both have gained some open web credibility in the last week. Platform publishing is no longer only for major publishers. Anybody with a blog or website needs to pay serious attention to how platform publishing will affect their reach. Content strategists and marketers need to dial in.

The good news is that in many cases it is possible to feed the beasts automatically with no more effort than publishing a post on a blog, and keep control of your content and web presence. CMS vendors should be ahead of this curve. Our own blog, thanks to WordPress and a few plugins, is already setup to publish to Medium (it works), Google AMP (it works but the rendering is a little funky), and Instant Articles (as soon as Facebook turns the switch in April). We’ll also be testing Apple News.

Google Is Going to Speed Up the Web. Is This Good?

Good for us as web consumers that is. Dan Gillmor provides a non-technical and cautiously optimistic review of Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).

I still have a million questions about this, and some are the ones I began with: What if Google changes its strategy, by making it more proprietary and centralized? What if news sites had just done the right thing in the first place? Or, since they didn’t, what if they just resolved to build faster pages — using standard HTML markup and loading components in a non-annoying way — now? Wouldn’t that have gone a long way toward solving the problem? Do they, and we, really need all this? … For now, at any rate, the answer seems to be yes. Read More

How Instant Articles helps the open web

This is a remarkable post. RSS dad Dave Winer says that Instant Articles is built on RSS, that he has been in the loop for two years, and can now vouch that it works. This is a very welcome development.

Facebook is using open web technology to power Instant Articles. I’m not sharing anything that isn’t already publicly documented on the Facebook developer site. People have trouble understanding this, I assume, because it seems so out of character for a big web destination like Facebook to care about the open web. It’s kind of a miracle. But there it is. The open web is about to get a real shot in the arm from a most unexpected place. Read More

Aligning Business Goals with User Goals in Content

Is content marketing ‘heading toward a “trough of disillusionment” following a period of “inflated expectations.”’? It already has for some. This thoughtful post by Michael Andrews digs into how unrealistic expectations happen and how to avoid them.

… One erroneous assumption is to believe that  a group who shares a common personal goal are equally likely to buy something.  Conversely, just because a group of people all want to buy a certain type of product or service, that doesn’t mean they share the same purchase motivations or care about the exact same features or benefits. Read More

Branding in the Age of Social Media

Douglas Holt argues for an alternative to branded content.

It turns out that consumers have little interest in the content that brands churn out. … Most view it as clutter—as brand spam. When Facebook realized this, it began charging companies to get “sponsored” content into the feeds of people who were supposed to be their fans. …celebrities are all garnering the superengaged community that pundits have long promised social media would deliver. … That shouldn’t be surprising… What works for Shakira backfires for Crest and Clorox. The idea that consumers could possibly want to talk about Corona or Coors in the same way that they debate the talents of Ronaldo and Messi is silly. Read More

What’s Next in Computing?

Chris Dixon does a really nice job with this. Accessible, to the point, and I agree the next era will be multimodal. A good historical perspective post to share with c-suite colleagues.

I tend to think we are on the cusp of not one but multiple new eras. The “peace dividend of the smartphone war” created a Cambrian explosion of new devices, and developments in software, especially AI, will make those devices smart and useful. Many of the futuristic technologies discussed above exist today, and will be broadly accessible in the near future. Read More

A good companion piece…

On Bots, Conversational Apps and Fin

Sam Lessin with a developer and investor perspective on what’s next…

2016 is being declared the year of bots. And it feels like there is a broad shift in the developer ecosystem away from traditional point-and-click apps, towards chat-based user interfaces. … It’s happening because there is broad consumer and developer fatigue with apps. Consumers don’t want to install or use new traditional apps. … The bet I am making, both as an investor and operator, is that the 2016 bot paradigm shift is going to be far more disruptive and interesting than the last decade’s move from Web to mobile apps… If the app shift moved developers away from server side development and towards clients, the most important part of the current shift is a move back towards the server and away from client software in the form of bots. Read More

The End of Streams

Jessica Lessin has some interesting thoughts on what I think is more like the comeback of channels.

There has been a quiet shift in product design away from streams and towards channels, and the shift is likely to accelerate with messaging platforms. Read More

Is Holistic Customer Experience Management even Possible?

Scott Liewehr is talking about SAP in this post, but raises the general question, and pointing out that products aren’t enough if your partners are not in sync – and why should they be?

I’ve thought for years that when SAP decided to jump into the Customer Experience race, it would be game-over for many other vendors. Now that they have, I’m not so sure. I see that their customer experience strategy has a greater dependence on service provider partners than they’ve ever had, and it’s not obvious to me as to which partners are going to be interested in helping them succeed in this realm. Read More

Mark your Calendar!

Gilbane Digital Content Conference 2016
Content Management, Marketing, and the Digital Experience

Main conference: November 29 – 30 ● Workshops: December 1
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, MA

Short takes

Too much “thought leadership” and personalization… Avoid These Common B2B Content Marketing Mistakes via hbr.org 

Is digital advertising is becoming a rather simple proposition: Facebook, Google, or don’t bother?… The Reality of Missing Out via stratechery

Bill Thompson channels Karl Popper, but don’t be scared… The Open Web and Its Enemies via Medium

Internet of Things security is so bad, there’s a search engine for sleeping kids and it (Shodan) has been around for years. via ars technica

News Publishers Need To Jump Into Bots Will this provide the added value they need? via Monday Note

For some of you, but streaming is mainstreaming… Open Source Streaming Analytics at the Edge for Internet of Things Devices via prnewswire

CMS, etc., corner

DAM Market growth, Adam… Digital Asset Management Round-Up, February 2016 via Digital Clarity Group

More on DAM… Updated DAM research: ADAM, Nuxeo, Bynder, Canto, WebDAM, NetX, WAVE, and MerlinOne via Real Story Group

Amazon and Colis Privé, Gilt Group, Hudson’s Bay, Groupon… E-Commerce Round-Up: January 2016 via Digital Clarity Group

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year. You can also subscribe via our feed.

The Gilbane Conference on Content, Technology, and Customer Experience helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and computing technologies to produce superior digital experiences for all stakeholders.

New Frontiers in Digital Content Distribution

As we said in our most recent Gilbane Advisor, “There are tectonic shifts underway among competing web, mobile, and social platforms, that will have profound effects on digital strategies.” While these shifts will impact everyone who distributes content, the major publishers have the most at stake, are paying the most attention, and are already experimenting. By now these experiments have provided some initial data, in particular with Facebook Instant Articles, though likely not enough to base major decisions on. Since we wrote the session description below a few months ago, Google announced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project and Facebook announced Notify. Events are moving quickly.

Whether you are a publisher, brand marketer, or  independent blogger, this panel discussion is bound to be enlightening.

P1. New Frontiers in Digital Content Distribution

Publishers have been using social media as a means to extend their brands, drive traffic to web properties, and cultivate direct relationships with consumers. But the arrival of “off-site” digital media outlets—Facebook’s Instant Articles, Apple News, Snapchat, Twitter Lightning, and whatever Google might dream up next—has publishers asking: will social media platforms usurp publisher’s own brand sites or be a lucrative extension? What are the results from those who are early participants? What are the business and technology issues to consider when deciding whether to take part? How can you prepare your organization, infrastructure and content to be ready if your CEO/CMO decides to take the plunge?

A panel of media technologists will report on their experiences and share their insights as we explore the latest trend in the evolution of digital media.

Wednesday, December, 2: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Moderator: Mark Walter, Director, Strategic Solutions, Managing Editor Inc. (MEI)
Panelists:
Brad Kagawa, VP Technology, Content Management Systems, The New York Times
Jay Brodsky, Principal, Align Digital
Eric Hellweg, Managing Director, Digital Strategy, Harvard Business Review

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.

How to Manage Multichannel Content Marketing

Content is certainly the unifying element of a brands’ marketing across physical as well as digital channels. Once you have created your killer content how do you maximize its reach? How do you push out your content beyond your own channels in ways that are manageable? This session includes presentations by two organizations that have built marketing strategies based on the centrality of content and the power of effective distribution.

C4. How to Manage Multichannel Content Marketing

Join us Wednesday, December, 3: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. at the Gilbane Conference to learn more.

Moderator:
Tim Bourgeois, Founder & Executive Editor, ChiefDigitalOfficer.net and East Coast Catalyst

Speakers:
Patrick Cassidy, Head of Global Digital Brand Marketing, New Balance, and Pete Strutt, Creative Director, Almighty
The Content-Powered Organization
Keith Guyett, VP of Marketing & Communication, Builder Homesite
Pitch Perfect: How a Content Hub Can Harmonize Your Marketing

Speaker Spotlight: Mobile forces simplicity and succinctness

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. Today we’re spotlighting Pawan Deshpande, Founder & CEO, Curata. You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event.

Pawan Deshpande | Gilbane conferencePawan Deshpande

Founder & CEO, Curata

Follow Pawan @TweetsFromPawan

 

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?

Mobile forces simplicity and succinctness, for two reasons, limited screen real estate and limited attention spans, because content is often consumed in a casual setting with other interruptions. It’s forcing us to boil our content, and messages down to the minimum and shed all the excess.

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.

There is so much discussion about technology for marketing these days because marketing in many ways is the last one to resist technology. Other disciplines have already learned and rely heavily on technology. For example, sales has salesforce, customer support has well-adopted ticketing systems, engineering has source control and bug tracking systems. All of these provide in-depth accountability, management transparency and organization. Marketing is still, however, struggling to adopt CMSs and marketing automation largely because of diverse needs, and the resulting vendor fragmentation. If anything, marketing can learn about technology adoption from other disciplines.

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?

Content marketing and content strategy are different but often overlap. My diagram below is my perspective on where the responsibilities differ and are shared.

Content strategy and content marketing

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

Working in B2B setting, it does not have an immediate impact on us. Just like we are setting website personalization have the first impact on B2C, I expect it to trickle down to B2B companies from a content standpoint years from now.

Catch up with Pawan 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 Pawan and all of our speakers.

See our complete conference program for more details.

Speaker Spotlight: Align delivery to appropriate channels

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. Today we’re spotlighting Tom Alexander, Founder and CEO, PK4 Media, Inc. You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event.

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?

Organizations should definitely align their content delivery priorities to reach their target audiences not only on desktop, but also on mobile and tablet devices. Marketers need to be cognizant of which platforms their audience uses to interact with their content. Aligning the content strategy to ensure they are connecting with their target audience in an appropriate manner is very important. Many technologies silo content delivery to specific platforms, however, audiences typically jump between multiple devices and screens. Using a true cross-platform technology that can optimize delivery to the best performing placements will be a more efficient and cost-effective way to reach the target audience no matter what device they are using.

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.

Technology allows processes to be automated and it also provides marketers with an extensive pool of information data. This data allows other departments in an organization to learn more about their target audiences. As the information gathered about their behavior online, across tablets and mobile devices and offline behavior becomes more apparent, other departments can create new and different ways to interact with customers.

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?

Content strategy and content marketing should always be aligned. In order to make the greatest impact with your content, there needs to be a specific strategy in regards to where the content will appear. At the same time, specific pieces of content need to be created to meet the needs of the audience viewing them. Strategy and marketing must work hand-in-hand to be most effective.

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

PK4 Media, being a technology company, is in tune to the latest and greatest connectivity options, so the Internet of Things could definitely come into play for our infrastructure in the future.

Catch up with Tom at the Gilbane Conference:

Track P: Digital Strategies for Publishing and Media

P5: The Future of Advertising Panel
Wednesday, December 3: 9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

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

See our complete conference program for more details.

Speaker Spotlight – Content your customer needs, not what you want

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. Today we’re spotlighting Rachel Metscher, Director of Content Marketing, ICF International. You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event.

Speaker Spotlight: Rachel D Metscher Director, Content Marketing

ICF Interactive; American Marketing Association

Follow Rachel: @rachelmetscher

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?

I think it is important to note how your content will look and feel on mobile. I know for my team, we are trying to find ways to repurpose content in visual forms; however,  it is influenced by the fact that our audience are accessing different types of information both at the office and at home.

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.

While technology is important, it is also important to remember that technology is powered by people. People will make or break the success if implementing technology. Getting everyone on board is key to adoption. If you don’t plan for adoption and use your technology project is dead in the water. Planning is the key to success.

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?

Every great campaign starts with a plan. Content marketing is no different. I try to advice our team to begin with who are we reaching and why should the care. With those two questions in mind we weave our content marketing initiatives into our editorial calendar to match up the content with the audience we want to reach.  Marketers face a real challenge of quantity versus quality in an age where everyone is a publisher. Again, in my mind, the purpose of content is to communicate with your prospects in a meaningful way. It’s about creating content that your customer needs, not what you want to produce. There is a huge difference. Organizations need to rethink their content creation in terms of value and relevancy. Without value and relevancy the content cannot deliver business results.

Catch up with Rachel 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 Fred and all of our speakers.

See our complete conference program for more details.

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

Moderator:
Dom Nicastro, Staff Reporter, CMSWire.com

Speakers:
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.

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