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Showing posts from 2017

Trust in the Digital Age

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Why trust is so important now.
The digital age has brought a lot of good, but it has also brought cyber crimes, the dark web, identity theft, privacy invasion, reputation damage and other growing harmful activities.
What this means to marketers is that trust should be embraced as a key brand tenet, and guarded and nurtured as a brand equity component.
Before the digital age, trust was a focus of the product promise. Did I receive what I purchased? Did it perform the way I expected? This has been a focus of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), who says they are "instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all." But now trust expectations have expanded and customers are asking: You will honor my privacy?You won't take my digital footprint/click-stream data and use negatively?You will protect my personal data including contact, health and government?You will protect my financial data from cyber criminals?
These are performance expectations for the…

Business Translation: Direct Private Messaging (DPM)

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Direct messaging (DM) has huge business value impacting employees, prospects and customers, and marketing, sales and operations. I have not seen an aggregated summary of DM, including what it is, its limitations and opportunities, so here it is.

I prefer to refer to DM as Direct Private Messaging (DPM), which is the ability to send a private message directly to a customer(s) or any other person(s) associated with your channel or platform. A direct personalized and or segment level message creates engagement, response and ultimately customer satisfaction, lower costs and or higher revenues.

The key channels with DPM include mail, email and cellphone. Digital platforms today include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. These channels and platforms differ on protocol, level of personalization, message and recipient sizes, allowable recipients and other features.

Below is a summary of the nine service "Names." You will also see that there are five different protoc…

Business Translation - AI, Automation, & Robotics

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It is understandable that executives are scratching their heads when it comes to understanding or differentiating between AI, automation & robotics. These logic-based capabilities have a lot to offer businesses, especially in this period of digital transformation. Below is some high-level information on these terms.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automation and Robotics are synonymous in that they require input(s), execute some logic/calculations and provide an output(s). At a high level the differences are the type, timing and number of inputs and outputs, the complexity of the calculations and the required computing power. At the end of the day these digitized logic capabilities speed up processes while increasing quality and reliability of data, provide better information, and reduce costs.
Interest in these capabilities has been growing more significantly since mid-2016. The graph below shows the trend of these terms on Google in the U.S. AI has risen more substantially over t…

Brand Equity in an Omni-channel World

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Multi-channel marketing is a tactical approach which has evolved from offline channels like direct mail and telemarketing to include a vast number of online channels including owned, paid and earned tactics. Marketers have been tying together branding across channels for a long time by integrating brand elements, messaging and call-to-actions.
The prevalence and adoption of mobile, and the "technology always" millennial generation are game changers to branding. Multi-channel marketing efforts have moved from picking a segment, a message and channel(s), to continuous marketing pushed across omni-channel platforms. See my article How to Match Digital Experience Tactics to User Scenarios.
Brand equity provides the foundation for economic transactions….. “who are you doing busy with?” Vision, goals, strategies and tactics for attracting and retaining customers are tied to the brand equity framework.
Traditionally, the ability to attract new customers is largely perceptual. Becau…

Why the Business Side of Digital Should Embrace DevOps

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I have seen business eyes glaze over when the details of development like waterfall and agile are discussed. But with digital transformation, now is the time for businesses to be wide-eyed and conversant in DevOps, an outgrowth of agile. The simple truth is that businesses need DevOps if they want to be at the mature level in their digital transformation.
Digital transformation is centered around applying technologies, enhanced processes and new people skills so businesses can accelerate revenue growth and bring in more profitable revenue. This means being agile not only on the technology side but on the customer side too.
Specifically what I mean is that user experiences are in fact agile. Today, marketing groups its users into segments which are slivers of time. Not very agile. What they should be doing is developing experiences similar to creating scenes of a movie. Check out my article "How to Match Digital Experience Tactics to User Scenarios."Waterfall and Agile developm…

How Change Management can Support Digital Transformation

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When I meet with clients or colleagues I like to ask them for their definition of digital transformation. It varies widely from department to department and leadership to rank and file. The definition I share with them is "comprehensively changing business processes and or experience journeys by integrating digital technologies, processes changes and people skills, with the intent to create competitive advantages and accelerate profitable growth."
Comprehensively is the key work. The online definition of comprehensive, "in a way that includes or deals with all or nearly all elements or aspects of something." So digital transformation is about big change across a process, line of business, division or company.
Digitization is about automating processes. Applying technology to do things faster, smarter and with a higher quality than humans can do. This is more limited execution versus a transformational effort.
Another angle of digital is application modernization, whic…

How to Match Digital Experience Tactics to User Scenarios

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Experience is not a one size fits all solution. Though today most conversations are around a generic bucket of experience tactics being delivered to a universe of prospects, customers, partners and employees. The reality though is that this universe is made up of many different sets of experience expectations. If we want more satisfied customers, increased loyalty, a lower cost to serve, more engaged employees and ultimately an increase in net promoter score, then we need to think differently.

What is needed are different iterations of experience based on user scenarios. I use the term scenario instead of segment because experiences are dynamic, ever changing like scenes of life. Segments are static slivers in time.
Here are some vastly different user scenarios. A 38 year old "technology social" woman who likes to shop high-end brands is traveling alone to work by train, using her tablet to discuss the latest style of dress shoes with her community. A 23 year old "techn…

Digital Marketing Stack: Half or Full?

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The digital marketing technology stack is like a stack of pancakes. Too little and you might not be satisfied. Too much and you have buyer's remorse. How do you get it just right?

What is the digital marketing technology stack? The answer will differ depending on who you ask. Some will define it as marketing automation, a digital marketing hub, sales automation, content management, ecommerce or some combination of each. The digital marketing stack is a subset of the marketing technology stack.
The digital marketing hub (DMH) is defined by Gartner's as, provides marketers and applications with standardized access to audience data, content, workflow triggers and operational analytics to automate execution and optimization of multi-channel campaigns, conversations, experiences and data collection across online and offline channels. DMHs are focused on the top of the funnel.
"Advanced" digital businesses though are looking to manage and optimize the entire customer journ…

Digital Architecture to User Experience

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The high-level goal of the digital architecture is to provide an exceptional experience. This in turn supports conversions, satisfaction, loyalty, repeat purchases and referrals. The winning business is the one who has the most exceptional experience at the right place, the right time with the most relevant message.
Defining and developing a digital architecture creates a lot of questions because most businesses have a different view of what it means to be digital. There is the enterprise definition, the line of business definition, the functional definition and the technology definition. Seems complex but if you ask enough of the right questions from all the stakeholders you can define a digital architecture vision that supports multiple digital strategies and operating models.
So who does this? It takes a technically savvy Digital Officer or a business savvy Digital Architect. In my previous article Digital Delivery: Closing the Business-IT Gap, I talked about understanding all digita…

The Value of "Earned"​ in the Digital Media Engine

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Earned; the 3rd gear in the digital media machine. It is the least understood though offers the greatest value. Earned media has shown to provide the highest impact on conversion rate of any digital media. It is the "seal of approval."

Earned media like the name implies is "free." You can't buy it directly. How do you earn it? Provide a compelling description of the product or service. Meet or exceed buyer expectations. Or provide an exceptional service experience. Each of these strategies will resonate differently with prospects, customers and category watchers.
What kinds of actions can you earn: likes, reposts, retweets, shares, mentions, ratings, comments, replies, link saves, endorsements, subscribers, followers, pick-ups, recommendations, testimonials, reviews, and pick-ups. Effectively this is user generated content (UGC), which carries higher credibility within a network or community than company generated marketing material.
These earned actions can signa…

Digital Delivery: Closing the Business-IT Gap

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There are lots of really good ideas in the digital space from omni-channel experiences to legacy modernization, xTech start-ups and mobile first. No shortage of ideas that are pitched and funded. At the same time there is a wide dispersion of companies on the digital maturity curve. Not for lack of funding, but for lack of execution.

According to PwC's Global Digital IQ Survey, more than 50% of executives say their businesses are not focused on executing their strategies, and few are able to bring their digital ideas to market in line with their vision.

In my experience there are two reasons. The lack of an enterprise view of all digital activities within an organization, and a lack of focus on developing robust use cases.

The majority of technology investments today fall outside of IT. Lines of business and and functional areas are stating their needs and owning their own IT budgets. This creates a gap with what is happening with the IT architecture.

Excelling at digital delivery …