UnSummit5 – Agile Marketing, Marketing Technology, and Online Style Guide

UnSummit5 was good; even if Social Media topics dominated the agenda, the content of the topics in many cases was very general bottom-lie-driven marketing relying on all possible channels. Interesting.

The most interesting sessions (from my perspective ūüėČ ¬†) were sessions¬†applicable¬†to¬†¬†companies’ marketing organization and function – topics that will probably not be understood by the industry in coming years… ¬†We understand that we are facing (and required to handle) constant change, but what is the perfect approach?

Agile Marketing

Rohn Jay Miller built a great case for application of Agile principles for marketing (it is cheaper… ¬†besides all other advantages), and provided agile and lean marketing resources.

The principle of Agile Marketing is borrowed from Agile Development – replacement of planned approach with heavy documentation with an iterative process where a minimally acceptable working prototype is build with little documentation.

Agile is applied to software development to take advantage of learning during the project.  Agile might have to be applied to marketing because business environment changes so fast, that long-term planning process does not make sense.

Some of interesting points from the presentation and discussion:

  • Think in terms of platforms rather than campaigns
  • Use “Pirate metrics” – revenue/profit, rather than traffic/clicks
  • Nail it and then scale it…
  • Agile fails in technology when people are¬†unwilling¬†to collaborate/communicate and face problems
  • Agile can be used for flexible channels (email, direct mail, digital in general….)
  • Cross-department and cross-skills succeed
  • How to start – start in a very small teams with strong collaboration – grow later
  • BestBuy is using agile marketing

Interesting example of using agile marketing – Flip camera promotions. The camera was originally¬†targeted¬†to mothers – as a cheap and easy way to share moments of their children’s lives. The point of “sharing” was a marketing approach built into the product itself. The problem was that people did not want to post the videos on open internet (at the time the only easy option) – the company created secure upload option – still not forgetting easy sharing features. Then,¬†choice of¬†of the camera’s look…

One of the recommended resources РAgile Marketing Blog; which has an interesting  Marketing Agility podcast.  One of the topics was a conversation with Kristin Hersant, VP Corporate Marketing at StrongMail, who uses agile principles.

My guess, we will be talking about Agile Marketing more rather than less in the future; this is also the approach that might be equally effective in b-to-b than b-to-c.

Marketing Technology

My own discussion happened to be very interesting, but did not lead to any better understanding of the situation or any novel solutions. ¬†Marketers have to deal with technology… it is new, it is inevitable, and different pieces of technology do not nececerely work together… as well as different departments that have to cooperate: Marketing, Sales, IT.

Everybody is having the¬†same¬†experience related to marketing technology and making it work “it is a mess…” pointed out one truly knowledgeable person from the audience.

We discussed some possible solutions:

  • Cross-functional teams to take advantage of specific¬†expertise ( great for individual projects, but would not work for¬†infrastructure¬†projects)
  • Outside expert coming to the company to evaluate¬†infrastructure¬†(similar to what often happening with content strategy)
  • Are there “clusters” of compatible technologies that can work together?
  • Most reasonable: to create an executive level group to¬†collaborate¬†on¬†infrastructure (group¬†includes¬†marketing and sales)

The general conclusion was that at this point of history marketing technology is difficult: IT may be reluctant to change existing approaches, Sales may be reluctant to use new tools, and Marketing may not have enough resources… ¬†However, technology will be a competitive advantage for those companies that will be able to use it…

Yahoo Style Guide

Meg lead an interesting session on finding the voice for our blogs, where she mentioned and recommended Yahoo Style Guide. ¬†It was very interesting to see how experienced bloggers discussed voices of their blogs and the fact that these voices can fluctuate in time…

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MIMA – Location-based Media for Marketing

This MIMA event introduced me to a new topic – location-based media. ¬†Many people think about any marketing related to location as a species of mobile phone. ¬†In the reality, location-based media combines¬†anything¬†related to a particular location: billboards, experiential marketing, augmented reality, etc. and everything that will come next (as long as it is related to the person’s current location).

The industry is currently is in the early adopter phase and has room to grow.  Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) is a wonderful resource related to the industry, including podcast and case studies.

Industry acronyms:

  • LBS – location-based service
  • LBM – location-based marketing

One of good examples of location-based marketing is Airwalk shoe augmented reality promotion.

To reserve one of the 300 pairs, users can download an app to their iPhone, go to a specified location and then snap a photo of the shoes that will appear on their screen. Collecting the virtual item with their phone qualifies a user to queue-up and pre-order the shoes.

Large retailers are experimenting with location-based and social, but they don’t¬†necessarily¬†like the results they see… ¬†Location is not a “platform” or “channel,” it is a force similar to gravity that has to be considered in marketing efforts, but wont’ help by itself.

Gamafication is another element of the location marketing.¬†Interesting example – case study:¬†McDonald’s¬†created a game in Stockholm for the people in the square; winners could claim their treats in the nearest McDonald’s restaurant.

DemandBase and lovely forms

Eloqua Users group hosted by Relationship One is growing and becoming more valuable. Last time DemandBase was a guest speaker, what was interesting and even intriguing. Showing DemandBase site to coworkers and watching them recognize company’s name and home page is rather fun ūüôā

Two “killer apps” of the Demand Base I think are:

  • Shortening of lead gen forms without sacrificing contact information in the database¬†(and appending information to the house list with missing data)
  • Showing certain information on a corporate web site based on the visitor’s industry
Looking at the white paper from the site (yes, I found one absolutely¬†irresistible¬†ūüėČ ¬†), it looks like these services will be even more vital in the future…

According to research from leading sales and
marketing consultancy SiriusDecisions, 50% of all
leads now come via the Web, and virtually all others
touch the site at some point. SiriusDecisions predicts
the role of the Web will only become more pronounced
as that number will climb to 75% by 2015.

Something to ponder… ūüôā

Tribes, The Filter Bubble, and future of technology

I was fortunate to read “Tribes” and “The Filter Bubble” one after the other. While “Tribes” pointed out the possibility and opportunity, “The Filter Bubble” cautioned against aspects of personalization technologies that are not come to mind immediately.

, modern technology allow us to find unique “Tribes” to fit our exact preference, but taken to the next step, it shields us from information that might be valuable, though not overtly requested at this moment.¬†Without¬†actively seeking new connections, we might reduce our online world to the tribe of one, or immediate interests and concerns of our physical world. This situation can limit our ability to innovate in the business world (the possibility for serendipity¬†disappears as we limit ourselves to a narrow defined area of interests).

“The Filter Bubble” also highlights possible societal implications of individualized information, and suggests what can we do to compensate. ¬†The most interesting, I think, is that the book is an encouragement to avoid bubbles¬†consciously¬†(online and off-line) and actively seek information about different subjects and opinions. ¬†We are often limiting¬†ourselves¬†to a tight circle of ideas within our industry, but the answers to our industries’ questions could be common knowledge in different industries. We never know… ¬†until we allow the possibility for these ideas to enter our world.

These are interesting¬†implications¬†of technology… ¬†Even if the degree of their effect is a wonderful field for speculation, the technology¬†itself is here to stay. ¬†Below is a wonderful Ted Talk about the nature of¬†technology¬†– the talk¬†¬†is based on a serendipity of two distinct fields of study – technology and biology, and the resulting ideas are rather amazing… ūüôā