Book – Winners Dream

Winners-Dream.pngLooking for some paper at work, I saw a line of books on the cabinet with a note “take one.”  Ah, a business book by the CEO of SAP, signed by the author?  I took two!  One for myself and one for a coworker 🙂

Yes, I can be easily tempted by a free business book (much more than a free t-shirt), but this book was a pleasure!  A very inspirational story with lively characters and colorful stories takes the reader through the life and career of Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP.

SAP.pngBill’s remarkable understanding of people, extended to understanding of customers, most likely, was one of key components of his success.  This perspective matched with constantly changing world: customers’ needs changed – so should the company’s offering. The book ended with the author’s desire to share the insight and help new generations of leaders to take their businesses further.

The most thought-provoking point of the book, I thought, was ASP’s ability to develop a deep understanding of business benefits of the product, selling it successfully based on these business benefits, and not using it internally.

The irony was that, despite knowing the value of our own CRM software, we weren’t even using it.  Seriously.  People were tracking their sales status on paper…  It would have been funny – if it weren’t so unproductive.

Hm…  What is it I am “selling” and not using?

A few more interesting points from the book:

  • “A good strategy had to be easy to understand.  Some people, I believed, confused complexity with a great strategy and equated volume with intelligence.”
  • “…I had always embraced simplicity as a leader.  Not because I feared or could not grasp complexity, but because it was so easy for other people to walk away from complexity.”
  • Bill saw the opportunities to emphasize value of his product or service instead of discounts, based on customer knowledge.  As a young person running a store, he added delivery or credit, if it helped the categories of customers he observed (even trust – by treating teenagers coming to the store with respect).  He shifted conversations “from a piece of technology to productivity” at Xerox and later recognized the need of interface design to make SAP products easier to use.
  • How a technology can improve business outcome?  Xerox first color copier could not compete on quality of the color image.  It was positioned as a copier for business needs and offered to business customers “You are an investment baker preparing a big presentation…Make your argument more enticing in color… and for a lot less than competitors’ extravagant copiers.”
  • Turning around under-performing district started from realizing that people were not lacking work ethic and energy, they lacked hope.  Giving the hope (and support) moved the lowest-performing district to the top rank. “The more powerful, lasting motivator was the idea that we were all working together toward a crazy miracle.”
  • Change management:
    • “The people in our district did not fear change.  What they feared was what most people feared, which was change without well-defined expectations, change without a plan, and change without a goal.  Ambiguous change, what’s what turned people off.”
    • “People are most likely to change their minds when the world they once knew no longer exists.  A leader’s challenge, then, is to explain why the old world went away, show people what the new world looks like, and get them excited to be a part of it.”
    • SAP challenges: “…SAP salespeople were telling a technology story when we needed to be telling a business story.”  A new team was created to evaluate the company and give recommendations on its business improvement, not the technology objectives.
    • “The world is littered with a lot of companies that, when they were strong, decided not to change.  We’re not going to be one of those companies.”
  • Communication: “Anything worth communicating is almost always under-communicated.” “As much as I loved technology, especially the mobile movement, an inescapable truth was that too many people were out of practice communicating with one anther in person.  There’s no replacement for human interaction.”

Excellent book – highly recommend!

BMA – Marketing Disruptions with Internet of Things

Sudha Jamthe gave a very engaging and entertaining presentation, always returning the audience thinking from the entertaining effect of the IoT in the personal sphere to the business application of the industry.


Sudha’s definition is interesting in its concentration on implications of the phenomenon, rather than an attempt to describe its technical functionality.  Functionality will change; impact will change business and society.

Though IoT startups are appearing every day, the real money is in b-to-b.  However, the industry will need to adopt a common standards and overcome the security concerns.


Interesting: proliferation of wearables can be credited to “Quantified Self” phenomenon, but true scale of adoption of the device can be credited to its social application, which may not even been considered by the inventors.

IoT.pngConnected cars – cars require wireless service, what car owners would not want to buy.  As a result, cars are sold with the service included into the price of the vehicle.

The issues of sharing data creates privacy concern: some people would be happy to disclose their driving data for an insurance discount, and some would not.

Connected cities – limited by the question: “who is going to pay?”

The most informational development will probably be the industrial internet.  Most likely, we will realize that it happened a few years after the fact.  Meanwhile, we will see many amusing approaches, which would be done just because the technology is available 🙂


Modern Marketing Experience 2016


The conference was as exciting and insightful as usually, with quite interesting shift in emphasis, even if slight, from technology to people.

Starting from 2010, and through 2011, 2012, 2013 “Marketing and Sales” was an important topic, and a few years later, London 2014, the emphasis shifted to “Marketing and IT,” even if challenge of working with sales continued to persist.  Juniper presented it progress as Technology > Process> People…  and, after a thoughtful pause, the presenter mentioned, “we should have started from people.”  This year, “Organizational Alignment” in general was emphasized, and, based on the level of audience participation, was passionately acknowledged as a concern.

This trend is probably not surprising, and can be found in marketing magazines and books; Marketing Above the Noise is one of examples. It looks like the industry managed to connect the technology, but struggling with its “human” component 🙂

The shift was seen in presentations and hallway conversations.


Ah, yes!  We are definitely starting to think through people and process now… Even during the discussion of Marketing Stack, a different presenter suggested to rename it into “marketing ecosystem,” as process and people have to be somewhere in the “stack” to make it functional.

Considering the magnitude of the problem (and marketers’ passion in the area), the very first educational session “Modern marketing Makeover: Driving Organizational Alignment for Success,” suggested to apply change management methodology to achieve organizational alignment.

Marketers need to pay attention: 78% of customers receive fragmented experience as they move from channel to channel. 

Alignment considerations:

  • Culture
  • Common goals (identify stakeholders and align goals – within marketing and across global organization – sales, IT, legal, customer service, etc.)
  • Transparency
  • SLA
  • Common metrics (which should match to common goals 😉 )

Recommendation to consider move to organizational alignment a “change management” initiative and use suitable change management methodology:

  • Executives need to back the initiative
  • Cross functional influences/champions of change
  • Internal communication
    • 40% indicated weekly communications provided desired frequency (share goals and objectives, publish project plans, share progress and celebrate wins)
    • Use marketing skills (personas, messaging, channels)

One of the reasons the need for “alignment” is expanding is the expansion of marketing specialization and general increase of complexity of available technology and communication channels.

Existing jobs transform into different roles and completely new job function created frequently.


New roles seen in marketing organizations:

  • customer insights (what is the journey?)
  • integrated engagement planning
  • innovation planning (testing)
  • marketing technology planning and implementation
  • customer data management
  • evaluative analytics
  • predictive analytics
  • “Quants” becomes marketing specialty 🙂

Organizational alignment is important for successful technology implementation also (from the perspective of technology integrates).

Getting away from silos important from data perspective – data solutions should have API connection to avoid “data silos.”

Successful Cross-Channel Marketing session: it is difficult to achieve cross-channel marketing if each channel has different goals.  The goals need to be unified (what might require an organizational change).  “Acquisition” and “Retention” need to work together.  Both organizations in the panel meet weekly with sales.

Transformation of channel “definition:” “What channel is it?”

  • Display used to be part of acquisition
  • Now display can be used for reactivation, what is a different approach

“We all need to work together to understand how to leverage each channel.”  Alignment is needed 🙂


“Netflix problem” – nobody is researching a topic one piece of content in a week, but this is how the content is delivered.  “Binge consumers” consume content faster – at high rate.  How to take advantage of moments of activity?

“What is a good engagement with a piece of content?  I don’t know… you wrote it… ”

Would you get the content marketing right the first time?  Not a chance… Would you get it right 7th time – much more likely.”


Content used to be delivered one piece at a time, what does not solve “Netflix problem” LookBook is trying to address.


Intel application of LookBook was beneficial for the brand.  LookBook expects 34% of people landing on LookBook to consume more than one piece of content.  Intel saw 52% of people consuming more than one piece of content. The company saw 150% content consumption lift.


“Instead of clicks and opens give us market intelligence…”

“Demand Orchestration” – what is LTV for each prospect?

Marketing has “data,” but not general accounting principles of marketing.  Attribution and other aspects are still difficult.

Excellent Analytics presentation – Deltec implemented data warehouse, where all data components are collected.  The recommendation is to “play with the data” – the interface of data warehouse encourages to do that.  Campaign managers analyze their own data, though an overall analysis is also performed.


Slide above show number of opportunities from each activity – on time scale.  This type of chart allows to determine when the campaign analysis for a specific product (or a type of the campaign) can be done – how long marketers should wait for data?  If only 30% of opportunities attributed to the activity can be registered within two months – marketers might need to wait longer before doing the analysis.


Chart above show general responses and opportunities generated from these activities at the same period of time (the opportunities are registered later and attributed to the same responses).


Chart above shows which part of the organization receives the leads and what happens with the leads.  (Bottom right – increase of the leads not followed up for the specific product could have resulted from an employee departure.)


Chart above shows responses and corresponding opportunities and status of the opportunities (bottom right).  Status of the opportunities is shown based on the stages of the sales cycle – number of opportunities in more advanced stages of sales cycle for the product described increased over time.

The company is looking into purpose of the promotions.  Google ads do not create opportunities.  However, is it the purpose for the Google ads?  Ability to look at which channel is first to introduce the company is important. Webinars are good at introducing the company.

Cross-Channel Marketing session:

  • need to have a centralized data set to accomplish cross-channel marketing
  • measurement is de-centralized for marketing campaigns (each channel/business has its own analytics effort), but centralized on the BI level

Scoring and Nurturing

Dell adjusted its approach to scoring, and used scoring categories to direct prospects into a specific nurturing stream.




Interesting approach to scoring – the methodology is based on company-specific parameters.


Metlife used Responsys to create its lead nurture (selling insurance products to individuals, whose companies provide part of Metlife offering as a benefit for the employees).

Interesting approach to competitive research – the company compared activities of competing organizations to find the best opportunities for its own programs.


Metlife applies “always on” testing of nurturing programs; it tests “streams” rather than individual emails.  Example (below) is a test of 3 touches vs. 6 touches.  6 emails stream generated higher conversion (95% confidence).


Another presenter (Maximizer) expressed an interesting point of view on optimization: “Your job is not to design the right solution; your job is to design a series of options and let your customers decide which is the best.”

DocuSign approach to nurturing: prioritize quality over quantity.  You have a problems if campaigns are difficult to update and you have 100 of them.

DocuSign operations:

  • Third party publishers do form post to Eloqua rather than list upload.  Pick lists are adjusted by publishers in the process.  This approach saved over 1000 hours per year for the operations team.
  • Though operations are specialized, the recommendation is not to rush to specialization and cross-train.  Narrow specialization result in expertise loss resulting from personnel turnover. Cross training also increase employee happiness, as they are able to own a complete process (rather than specializing in “list upload.”
  • The company tries to use templates and dynamic content more, as this approach makes programs easier to maintain.




Integrate – – outbound marketing platform, integrates with Eloqua and SFDC

True Influence – – account-based campaign targeting.

Print for Less – – printing service; integrates with Eloqua and can be used as part of a program, similar to email send.  Can print catalogs, etc. and send to contact’s address – good to use for customer on-boarding, etc.

6sense – – predictive analytics.  Uses time-based activity data to determine when a specific organization is in its buying cycle.

Presado – – cognitive content optimization.  Content is optimized based on emotional cues more likely to generate action.  Most impact is probably in b-to-c.

Allocadia – – marketing tool allowing to connect marketing budget with marketing performance.  Can be used to replace budget management portion of established tools, such as Aprimo.  Known for ease of use.