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Tag: strategy

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.

Recent reports by Frank on mobile development and big data

While I was still at Outsell Inc, I started writing some reports on information technologies for our publishing and information provider CEO clients. I will most likely be writing a few more similar reports for Outsell this year. While special attention is paid to the interests of publishing and information industry CEOs, the topics are all (so far) about technologies that are important to all industries. These reports are available from Outsell:

Five Technologies to Watch 2012-2013, January 25, 2012

Mobile Development Strategies: What Information Industry Executives Need to Know, November 29, 2011

Big-Data: Big Deal or Just Big Buzz?, August 2, 2011.

Did you know there is a mobile track at Gilbane Boston?

We’ve been adding content about mobile app development and publishing for a couple of years. We will be adding a full track threaded through the entire conference to our next event, but this year’s Gilbane Boston has quite a few sessions covering aspects of mobile development and content management relevant to Web, marketing/business, IT strategists, and developers.

In fact, we have a sort of a stealth mobile track – stealth, because the sessions are spread out across other tracks. To make it easier to plan schedules for those of you specifically interested in doing more with smartphones and tablets, below are five sessions that are the most directly relevant to mobile. There are other sessions that also cover mobile topics, so be sure to check the overall conference at-a-glance schedule and session descriptions.

Stealth Mobile Track:

T1: Mobile Development: App, Mobile Web, or Hybrid?

Wednesday, November 30, 1:30 – 2:30

You know mobile is becoming the dominant channel, but of course it is actually multiple channels – multiple devices with multiple APIs, form factors, interfaces and capabilities. Do you optimize for each device? Do you try and build a mobile web application? Do you mix it up with a little bit of both? This session will help you understand the pros and cons of different approaches.

Moderator: Jon Marks, Co-founder, Kaldor Product Development Group

Jon Marks, Co-founder, Kaldor Product Development Group

Introduction

Ashley Streb, 
Vice President, Technology, Brightcove

Hybrid Position


Stefan Andreasen, 
CTO Kapow

Browser Position


Philip Ramsey
, Manager, Technical Design, BNA

App Position

P2. iPad Publishing and UI Design


Wednesday, November 30, 2:40 – 4:00

With smartphones and tablets exploding in usage, publishers are racing to deliver content to new types of users who are expecting rich, interactive experiences. Yet publishers are often dependent on third parties who can create these apps for them. This session delves into how some of the standard publishing apps work, and how developers create some of the more advanced features that users are demanding.

Moderator: Ned May, Vice President & Lead Analyst, Outsell

Jim Nasr
, CEO, Armedia


Best Practices for Developing Content Rich Applications for the iPad

Michael Mahoney, 
Senior User Experience Specialist, Microlink


Information as Design 

T3. Is HTML5 the Future – If so, When?

Wednesday, November 30, 4:00 – 5:00

HTML5 enjoys widespread partial support. That is, the major browsers support some HTML5 functionality, and Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, and Apple support it politically. HTML5 promises lots of important new capabilities, but it is an ongoing development is scheduled to become a W3C recommendation in 2014. Many organizations are already using HTML5 for app development, but should they? Is it too soon?

Moderator: Richard Rubin, Principal Consultant, Professional Services, Innodata Isogen

Lubor Ptacek
, VP, Strategic Marketing & GM, Microsoft Solutions Group, Open Text

Phillip Hyun, 
CTO, EndPlay

E5. Thinking Beyond the Website – Mobile and Other Channels Deserve Your Attention Too


Thursday, December 1, 9:40 – 10:40

As phones and other mobile devices get “smarter”, so must marketers get smarter about their multi-channel strategies. It used to be acceptable for brands to focus on their desktop browser experience, and then, at some point, dumb them down by removing flash, videos, and all the other extras so that prospective customers could view the website on their phones. But this strategy is no longer viable. The Splinternet Age brings not only smart phones, but also tablets, mobile applications, social sites, and wifi-ready televisions just to name a few. As more and more consumers seek to experience your brand through these mediums, having a strong multi-channel strategy is essential.

Moderator: Scott Liewehr, Senior Consultant, Web Content Management, Outsell’s Gilbane Services



Arje Cahn
, CTO, Hippo

Tom Wentworth, 
CMO, Ektron


New Reality – Mobile First


Michael Assad
, Co-founder & CEO, Agility


Content Management for Digital Marketing: Thinking Beyond the Website

The day before the main conference we also have a pre-conference workshop covering important issues for mobile customer engagement:

Workshop B: Integrating Website and Mobile Strategy for Consistent Customer Engagement

Wednesday, November 29, 9:00 – 12:00

You’ve heard all the talk about web engagement management. You’ve read about web and content optimization for contextual consumption. You may even have preached to others about the rise of mobile-, social-, and personal-ization. We suppose you could even be doing some of these successfully, but we doubt it. These are just a few a few of the sexiest, most contemporary practices that everyone likes to talk about but no one is really doing… but they should. 

In this workshop, renowned author and digital marketing expert Robert Rose teams up with industry analyst and web content management expert Scott Liewehr to teach you how to realize true web engagement across web and mobile channels for your organization. Robert and Scott will teach attendees how to integrate content optimization into the marketing process by pragmatically focusing on three of the primary aspects of web engagement: testing, targeting and contextual design. The workshop walk attendees through a step-by-step approach to each practice, focusing on both the marketing process implications as well as the implementation and operationalization aspects. Web engagement management is more process than technology, so while you may not be able to buy it in a box, you can learn an awful lot about how to implement it in three entertaining, fun-filled and educational hours.

 Attendees will also receive Robert’s brand new book, co-authored with Joe Pulizzi: Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand.

Instructors: Scott Liewehr, Lead Analyst WCM, Outsell Gilbane, and Rob Rose, Chief Troublemaker, Big Blue Moose

Register for the conference, workshop, or both (speaking of mobile … note a Conference Plus registration includes the Workshop and also a new Kindle Fire tablet.

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