The big IT companies have a secret. And it’s a secret that can radically transform your business. For the last decade or so, technology has been converging – with different technology stacks coming into alignment, sharing interfaces, connecting data and improving the process of software development and deployment. As a result, we have seen huge improvements in the capability of software to impact business. Just think about:
- The rise and role of data in business decision making
- The importance and focus on dashboards and data visualisation
- The growth of mobile and location based information
- The abundance of “internet of things” devices and sensors
- The near ubiquitous adoption of smartphones.
Behind the scenes, technology companies have been “platforming” – turning their business processes and models into digital systems. They do this across four key business dimensions:
- Social: The Social dimension has the potential to deliver powerful, personal yet scalable CONNECTION. It offers a single conversational channel, builds trust and offers a way to accelerate a resolution or conversion process
- Mobile: The Mobile dimension delivers LOCATION. With a connected device in your pocket (close to your beating heart), a mobile phone is the convergence point where the digital and the “real” worlds collide
- Analytics: The power of big data is not in crunching everything known about a customer. The real value is in delivering AWARENESS to a network. This effectively means creating USER context from the social, mobile and business data signals available
- Cloud: And the cloud provides the mechanism for SERVICE. To remain relevant to customers, brands must re-acquaint themselves with the value of service. And Cloud provides the mechanism to do so.
But the challenge for marketers is that these dimensions are largely unconnected to marketing. They rightly belong to the company’s technology teams. Right?
Combining marketing and IT capabilities
The greatest opportunity for business is to combine the expertise of marketing and IT. Marketers usually view their customers through the lens of media – combining paid, owned and earned media to reach and engage them. We have shifted, however, beyond this broadcast approach – and this is increasingly being enabled by the SMAC platforms.
To more effectively bridge the marketing and IT fields, we need new ways of thinking, collaborating and conceptualising what it is that we do. We need a shared language, shared measurements and cross-line-of-business visibility into key performance indicators, pressures, deadlines and processes. And this means digital transformation.
Is it possible? It has to be. For only through this kind of alignment will we be able to deeply impact our customer’s brand experience.
I spoke in more detail on this subject recently. See my slides and the presentation here.