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What technologies is marketing spending on?

Spencer Ante reports in today’s Wall Street Journal that As Economy Cools, IBM Furthers Focus on Marketers. The title and the short article are focused on IBM’s well-known emphasis on marketers, but the article is of more general interest in driving home the extent of one trend in corporate technology spending – the growth of marketing spending on technology – and provoking a number of questions about what it means. At only 600 or so words the article may be useful for some of you to forward to others in your organization that would benefit by thinking more about the effects of this trend.

The article quotes some recent Gartner research that marketing budgets are roughly 3 times IT budgets as a percentage of revenue, and grew between 2011 and 2012 while IT budgets shrank. Current marketing and IT budgets are both expected to increase, but with marketing budgets increasing at twice the rate of IT budgets – 9.0% vs 4.7%. Gartner has also predicted CMOs will have more control over technology spending than CIOs by 2017. Also, “In total, Gartner says companies spent up to $25 billion worldwide on marketing software last year, up from about $20 billion the previous year. Overall corporate software expenditures totaled $115 billion…”. These are impressive numbers, and our own experience based on discussions with our conference attendees, consulting clients, and other analysts and investors, suggests a broad consensus with the trend. Certainly IBM is big believer.

But the next level of detail is even more important for technology vendors and all CMOs who want to benchmark their competitors spending and strategies – for example, what are CMOs spending money on? what should they be spending on” and how do they organize their infrastructure to learn about, purchase, and manage new marketing technologies, and work with IT?

A vocal segment of the technology press suggest that the future of marketing is all about “social”. A favorite prediction of analysts is that the “Web is dead” and the future is all about mobile. Savvy marketers are beyond such oversimplifications. As important as social and mobile are, I think it is safe to say they are still a small percentage of the $25 billion Gartner number. I would love to be enlightened by anyone who has more details on what the percentage is, and what technology categories others think will benefit most from the increase in marketing spending.

Why is this?

Part of the reason are expensive legacy systems and infrastructures. But a bigger reason is that everyone (not just marketing) is learning. Most of the new technologies have some learning curve, but are not rocket science. The really steep curve is learning how to integrate and utilize new technologies, and especially data they provide, effectively – and that is something we all: technologists, marketers, analysts, will be learning about for awhile.

Learn more at Gilbane Boston.

Understanding the Smart Content Technology Landscape

If you have been following recent XML Technologies blog entries, you will notice we have been talking a lot lately about XML Smart Content, what it is and the benefits it can bring to an organization. These include flexible, dynamic assembly for delivery to different audiences, search optimization to improve customer experience, and improvements for distributed collaboration. Great targets to aim for, but you may ask are we ready to pursue these opportunities? It might help to better understand the technology landscape involved in creating and delivering smart content.

The figure below illustrates the content technology landscape for smart content. At the center are fundamental XML technologies for creating modular content, managing it as discrete chunks (with or without a formal content management system), and publishing it in an organized fashion. These are the basic technologies for “one source, one output” applications, sometimes referred to as Single Source Publishing (SSP) systems.

smart technology landscape

The innermost ring contains capabilities that are needed even when using a dedicated word processor or layout tool, including editing, rendering, and some limited content storage capabilities. In the middle ring are the technologies that enable single-sourcing content components for reuse in multiple outputs. They include a more robust content management environment, often with workflow management tools, as well as multi-channel formatting and delivery capabilities and structured editing tools. The outermost ring includes the technologies for smart content applications, which are described below in more detail.

It is good to note that smart content solutions rely on structured editing, component management, and multi-channel delivery as foundational capabilities, augmented with content enrichment, topic component assembly, and social publishing capabilities across a distributed network. Descriptions of the additional capabilities needed for smart content applications follow.

Content Enrichment / Metadata Management: Once a descriptive metadata taxonomy is created or adopted, its use for content enrichment will depend on tools for analyzing and/or applying the metadata. These can be manual dialogs, automated scripts and crawlers, or a combination of approaches. Automated scripts can be created to interrogate the content to determine what it is about and to extract key information for use as metadata. Automated tools are efficient and scalable, but generally do not apply metadata with the same accuracy as manual processes. Manual processes, while ensuring better enrichment, are labor intensive and not scalable for large volumes of content. A combination of manual and automated processes and tools is the most likely approach in a smart content environment. Taxonomies may be extensible over time and can require administrative tools for editorial control and term management.

Component Discovery / Assembly: Once data has been enriched, tools for searching and selecting content based on the enrichment criteria will enable more precise discovery and access. Search mechanisms can use metadata to improve search results compared to full text searching. Information architects and organizers of content can use smart searching to discover what content exists, and what still needs to be developed to proactively manage and curate the content. These same discovery and searching capabilities can be used to automatically create delivery maps and dynamically assemble content organized using them.

Distributed Collaboration / Social Publishing: Componentized information lends itself to a more granular update and maintenance process, enabling several users to simultaneously access topics that may appear in a single deliverable form to reduce schedules. Subject matter experts, both remote and local, may be included in review and content creation processes at key steps. Users of the information may want to “self-organize” the content of greatest interest to them, and even augment or comment upon specific topics. A distributed social publishing capability will enable a broader range of contributors to participate in the creation, review and updating of content in new ways.

Federated Content Management / Access: Smart content solutions can integrate content without duplicating it in multiple places, rather accessing it across the network in the original storage repository. This federated content approach requires the repositories to have integration capabilities to access content stored in other systems, platforms, and environments. A federated system architecture will rely on interoperability standards (such as CMIS), system agnostic expressions of data models (such as XML Schemas), and a robust network infrastructure (such as the Internet).

These capabilities address a broader range of business activity and, therefore, fulfill more business requirements than single-source content solutions. Assessing your ability to implement these capabilities is essential in evaluating your organizations readiness for a smart content solution.

Marketing, Web Content Management, and Social Software

At the industry analyst session at Gilbane Boston last December, one of the points of discussion was how well spending on web content management systems had held up during the depths of the recession compared to other parts of IT budgets. Everyone on the panel agreed, and Forrester and IDC both mentioned research showing a healthy market for WCM and expected growth (if someone remembers the numbers please comment). This was a surprise to much of the audience, but obviously not to the vendors (well, at least to those reaping the benefit).

Why has/is web content management growing? The one word answer is ‘marketing’ – not vendor marketing, although they are mostly in tune with, and encouraging, the more aggressive pro-activeness of enterprise marketers. And why are marketing executives now better at demanding, and getting,  budgets for WCM? There are a number of reasons, including the paradoxical “to save money” (system costs have come down, large system service contracts costs have not, and SaaS solutions and open source solutions are growing). Most importantly however, is that most organizations have finally figured out that ‘marketing’ means ‘multi-channel, digital, and interactive/social marketing‘. This is fundamental. The companies who took advantage of the recession to invest in learning what this means, experimenting with tools, customer interactions, and system integrations, have gotten a bit of a head start, but nobody can ignore this – this is not a ‘nice to have’.

Why is the focus on ‘web content management’ and not something else? All product categories are fluid, and eventually there will be a category, buzzword/phrase TBD, for multi-channel content management that includes tools for social, mobile, tablet, channels etc. But for the foreseeable future, the corporate website(s) will be the hub, however it is accessed.

Well, all I really meant to do in this post was point to the special guide to marketing-focused sessions at Gilbane San Francisco in May, but now you know why. These sessions will also be useful for those in IT (along with our technology track) who support marketing initiatives.

NewsGator Acquires Tomoye

NewsGator announced that it reached a final agreement for the acquisition of Tomoye, which focuses on enterprise social computing built on Microsoft technologies. Via Tomoye, NewsGator adds a large market share of “Government 2.0” installations. Tomoye has experience in enterprise social computing, communities of practice, and cross-enterprise learning and collaboration dating to its inception in 2000. Similar to NewsGator Social Sites, Tomoye’s Ecco social computing software enhances Microsoft SharePoint by adding capabilities, including social media, social networking and communities. The acquisition adds to NewsGator’s support of SharePoint to encompass the Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Windows SharePoint Server (WSS), Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. This combination of product offerings could cover many scenarios from a quickly deployed standalone platform, to an integrated SharePoint WSS solution, to a customized MOSS 2007 deployment; and from intranet collaboration and expertise discovery to extranet customer and partner interactions to Internet communities for customers. NewsGator and Tomoye are both Certified Gold partners of Microsoft. http://www.newsgator.com/ http://www.tomoye.com/

Alfresco Brings ECM to Lotus Users

Alfresco Software, Inc. announced the availability of Alfresco Content Services for Lotus social collaboration products, an integration between the Alfresco open source enterprise content management (ECM) system and IBM Lotus Quickr, Lotus Notes, Lotus Connections and WebSphere Portal. This integration brings together a combination of the Lotus social collaboration capabilities and Alfresco’s enterprise content management. Alfresco Content Services for Lotus allows access for programmers to extend the integration from Lotus Notes, Domino, XPage and Portal applications using a wide choice of languages, APIs, protocols and services, including Java, JavaScript, JSP, PHP, CMIS, JSR 168k CIFS, IMAP, JCR, WebDAV, FTP, NFS, SMTP, XForms, SOAP, and .net. Alfresco Content Services for Lotus includes an implementation of the SharePoint protocol. This provides users with access from Microsoft Office, while giving companies the freedom of choice in their IT architecture. Alfresco Content Services for Lotus will be available in the spring of 2010, and will be available to download from January 17. http://www.alfresco.com/ibm

Jive Software Acquires Filtrbox

Jive announced the acquisition of privately-held Filtrbox, a social media monitoring (SMM) company. Jive will integrate the Filtrbox real-time social media monitoring and engagement capabilities into the Jive SBS platform to help enterprises harness the the social web and change the way they make decisions, develop products, go to market, and engage with customers, prospects and brand influencers. Initially, Jive will integrate Filtrbox technology into the Jive Market Engagement solution, the first solution to combine SMM with the power of collaborative SBS to implement a unified social media engagement strategy. Jive first signaled its belief in the power of harnessing real-time conversations in September 2009 when it announced the Market Engagement Solution. At that time, Jive announced an alliance with SMM provider Radian6. Jive will continue to support customers who use an integrated Jive-Radian6 solution and will continue its alliance with Radian6. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. www.jivesoftware.com/, http://www.filtrbox.com

Sitecore’s Web CMS Integrates with Telligent Community

Sitecore announced that its Web CMS solution can now be integrated with Telligent Community, social software designed for organizations to create interactive communities to listen to and engage internal and external audiences. Combining these solutions should give organizations the ability to harness all of their content within the rest of their Web properties. The goal of the Sitecore integration package is to provide centralized security handling and the ability to interchange the content between Sitecore and Telligent Community solutions. With the security integration providing single sign-on functionality, the user signs into the Sitecore CMS and gets simultaneously signed into Telligent Community. The security integration also simplifies the user creation, so users only need to be created in Sitecore CMS and are automatically transferred to Telligent Community upon first login. The content sharing features provide the ability to mix social media applications and Web content within a website, giving users a combined experience of both types of content. The integration module supports content repurposing for Telligent Community forums, blogs and media galleries as well membership information. Social content can either be reused directly or it can be filtered based on the current user’s rights and group memberships. http://www.sitecore.net/ http://telligent.com/

Bluenog Releases ICE 4.5

Bluenog announced the availability of Bluenog ICE 4.5, an Enterprise 2.0 application development platform built on pre-integrated open source collaboration, content management, presentation and reporting projects. ICE 4.5’s Integrated Collaborative Environment of content management, portal, and business intelligence software now includes an Enterprise Wiki, secure group calendaring features and enhanced centralized administration. ICE 4.5 aggregates functionality from over a dozen open source projects into a single commercial product, with additional integration and features, all supported by Bluenog. This pre-integration helps eliminate the need for developers to manually code features such as security permissions and access to legacy systems across all their applications. Based on the JSPWiki open source project, ICE 4.5 allows users to create and share content through a portal interface. Stored in a secure, enterprise-wide repository, all Wiki pages can be searched, with access permissions defined at the Wiki and page level. ICE 4.5 also introduces an enterprise group calendaring application based on the open source project, Bedework. Bluenog has extended Bedework with secure, restricted access to calendars based on user, group and role. Another feature introduced in ICE 4.5 is ICE Central. This Central Administrative Console includes an improved interface for handling user groups and permissions across ICE’s CMS and Portal components. Additionally, its propagation tool enables bulk import/export of ICE CMS Content Types and Content Data assets. The new release extends ICE’s CMS functionality with an enhanced rich text editor and configurable HTML cleaner. These new features allow for a more customizable, browser friendly Ajax-compatible style. Bluenog ICE 4.5 will be generally available June 30, 2009. Bluenog ICE 4.5 is available via annual subscription and includes 9×5 support. Priced per-server rather than per-CPU or per-user. http://www.bluenog.com/

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