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Gilbane’s Digital Experience Conference program live

Gilbane’s Digital Experience Conference program and registration are now available at digitalexperienceconference.com.

Conference tracks

Digital experience technologies for customers and the workplace

Focused on what you need to know about evolving, and potentially disrupting, content and digital experience technologies for marketing and the workplace. We’ll be looking at what web and data analysis technologies are effective today. We’ll also examine what is practical and should be considered today or in the near future regarding deep learning, AR, and blockchain applications.

Designed for technology strategists and executives focused on near-term and future software for creating, analyzing, managing, and delivering compelling digital experiences across platforms, channels, and form factors. 

Digital experience practices for customers and the workplace

Focused on how to overcome challenges and implement successful digital experience strategies and practices to reach, engage, and retain customers, employees, and partners. We’ll be looking at strategies for inter- and intra- departmental collaboration that support customer-facing and internal operations that are a necessary part of the foundation for a consistently high quality digital experience.

Designed for digital transformation leaders, marketing, business, and workplace executives, information managers, content strategists, and UX professionals.

Co-located conferences

The DX Conference is co-located with three additional conferences: Smart Customer Service, CRM Evolution, and SpeechTEK. Each of these events provides an additional opportunity for “All Access” pass holders to learn more about the technologies and tools available to create great customer experiences.

Please join us in Washington, DC April 29-30 for the DX Conference, and May 1 for in-depth workshops .

Learn more ▪︎ Program ▪︎ Register

First three Gilbane Conference workshops posted

Gilbane conference lightbulb logo
We’ll be posting the complete program for this years’ Gilbane Conference over the next 4-5 weeks on the main conference website. The first three of the six planned workshops are below.

Workshop A. Insiders Guide to Building Digital Marketing Technology Toolkit

Speaker: Theresa Regli, Principal Analyst and Managing Partner, Real Story Group

Thursday, December, 4: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Marketing practitioners multitask just about every minute of every day. There are ongoing email, web, mobile, and marketing strategies to organize, plan and execute. Each of these areas used to include a range of technologies that was purchased and implemented separately such as web content management, campaign management, analytics, digital asset management, and others. Now, there are new suites of tools that can manage all of these processes. But how do you select the right one that will help you to accomplish your marketing objectives?

Specifically, the session will provide a methodology for mapping business needs to technology alternatives, as well as a road map for evaluating digital marketing technology vendors.  We will provide critical and hard-hitting reviews of the available digital marketing technologies. Don’t be surprised after-the-fact. Find out the real strengths and weaknesses of these tools before you purchase them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Digital marketing trends and emerging architectures
  • Hints and tips on selecting a digital marketing product for your organization
  • Overcoming the daunting prospect of selection – how to narrow down your list of vendors to evaluate.
  • A critical, high-level overview of digital marketing solution providers

Workshop B. Foundations for Best-Fit WCM Service Provider Selections

Speaker: Cathy McKnight, Partner and Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group

Thursday, December, 4: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Evaluating and selecting technology and service partners is intimidating. And without proper guidance, it’s easy to take the wrong path. This workshop focuses on selection readiness. It is designed to point your organization in the right direction before you even start the journey to new solutions for web content and experience management. You will learn how to create a plan of action for getting your organization ready for a successful selection program – one that results in real business benefits as the direct result of implementing the right solutions with the right technology and service partners. We explore the fundamentals of selection preparation, covering four key areas of readiness:

  • Articulating the business case,
  • Identifying the stakeholder landscape,
  • Managing requirements gatherings, and
  • Developing realistic budgets.

We provide a step-by-step overview of an efficient, results-driven selection program, and we show you how to build a messaging and communications plan that will help you shape internal conversations about it. With this approach, you can set expectations, educate reluctant stakeholders, and get your company thinking about change management, which is often an afterthought but shouldn’t be. The selection process is all about aligning business goals with the “best-fit” solution for your organization’s needs. And finding that fit is about way more than just matching features to requirements. Armed with the outcomes of this workshop, you will be ready to move forward with confidence.

Workshop C. Successful Social Intranets

Speaker: Rebecca Rodgers, Senior Consultant, Step Two Designs

Thursday, December, 4: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Modern intranets are steadily becoming more “social” and “collaborative”, but this can mean many things. Some recent intranets put social at the heart of everything (including the homepage), while others supplement existing sites with simpler features, such as commenting. While this is still a rapidly evolving space, intranet teams in the real world need to make concrete decisions with confidence.

This interactive workshop will cover four key steps for social intranets:

  • Explore the opportunities. Looking at social intranet examples around the globe, we will explore the reasons, benefits and business cases for social.
  • Understand your organisational landscape. Every organisation is different, and this has a big impact on the what, where, when and how of social intranets.
  • Choose what to launch. Where to start, what to launch and for who: there are multiple options to choose from, depending on your strategy and organisational context.
  • Make social a success. There are a growing list of best practices to draw on, relating to design, launch, adoption and governance.

This inspirational and practical workshop will mix plenty of screenshots and examples with discussions and workshop activities. While not every question will be answered, participants will walk away with a greater sense of confidence and knowledge about social intranets.

Gilbane Conference speaker proposals – update

Thank you all for the Gilbane Conference speaker proposals. We received a record number again this year. 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 you can expect to hear from us over the next 6-7 weeks. With over 300 submissions we’ll have to make some difficult choices and we will be contacting many of you for further discussion.

Miss the deadline?

For all of you who missed the deadline to submit 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.

A New Brand of Marketing – a must read for executives

A New Brand of Marketing
Those of you who appreciated Scott Brinker’s Gilbane Conference keynote What is a Marketing Technologist?, and even more importantly those who missed it, should check out Scott’s short new book, A New Brand of Marketing – The 7 Meta-Trends of Modern Marketing as a Technology-Powered DisciplineThe book is free to download and share and doesn’t require registration.

A New Brand of Marketing “… frames the epic collaboration underway between marketers and technologists…” – note the use of ‘collaboration’ rather than ‘battle’. Scott is not only a supreme example of a marketing technologist who knows the details, but may be the most facile communicator (and diplomat, in the most positive sense) of the marketing technology big picture.

A New Brand of Marketing is a must read for CMOs and CIOs, but all senior executives should read it to understand the dramatic changes underway in marketing or to get some pointers on how to communicate the changes to colleagues.

Just a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

Fact: everything digital is powered by software.

Companies don’t just compete for who can provide the most helpful content. They compete for who can provide the most helpful services.

When you’re skydiving, you should know how to pull your parachute.

Marketing strategy versus technology – should be a virtuous circle

Scott Brinker has another must-read post. I excerpt parts of his post below so I can expand on it a bit but you should read his full post along with the comments.

In his post Scott explains he is responding to statements made in a podcast by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose. After linking to the podcast and agreeing with much of what they say Scott makes three points:

  1. “Marketing technology is not just about efficiency — it’s about experiences.
  2. The relationship between strategy and technology is circular, not linear.
  3. Marketers cannot abdicate their responsibility to understand technology.”

and mentions the one quote he really disagrees with (emphasis is Scott’s):

“Figure out your process first. And then get aligned with your internal IT guys to figure out what it is you exactly need to facilitate. Because that’s the only thing that technology will ever, ever do. The only thing technology will ever do is facilitate a process that you have more efficiently. That’s all it’s ever going to do.”

That is a pretty strong recommendation for option A in Scott’s illustration below.

strategy technology circular

Scott Brinker – strategy and technology are circular

I want to make three points:

The fact that the relationship between technology and strategy is circular – that they have to inform, influence, and advance with each other – is true of all enterprise applications and for all functions and has always been true.

  • If you replace “technology” with “data” or “big data” or “analytics” the points that Scott makes are equally valid. (For a different take on this see Big data and decision making: data vs intuition.)
  • Technology is not just a set of product features. The features are possible because of creative combinations of underlying software concepts, programming languages, data structures, and architectures. Without some understanding of the underlying fundamentals it is natural to think product features define software capabilities and thus to limit insight into strategy possibilities. Marketers (or other professionals) with little to no technical background can compare feature sets and build strategies that match, or build strategies and look for the set of already existing product features to match.
  • Each of these illustrate what we might call the bad kind of circularity (as we mean when we call an argument circular) and they handicap innovation. The good kind of circularity is a strategy/technology dialog of what ifs, informed by what might be possible, not by what is already known.

It is both natural and common for consultants to overemphasize option A, because way too often option B is overemphasized at the expense of option A by both their customers and technology vendors. Good consultants spend a lot of time and effort helping customers overcome an under-appreciation or political deprecation of the importance of strategy. But all of us need to be careful not to suggest either linear false choice.

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