As part of the Vivid Ideas Festival, innovator, Michelle Williams (founder of Ideaction) curated a knock out event designed to transform the thinking of business, creative and innovation professionals. The resulting one day conference brought together an eclectic mix of speakers, audience members and yes, active participants. If you were like me and could not make it in person, this Storify stream is the next best thing. And Michelle promises a video stream some time in the future.
Have you ever wondered why marketing and advertising is such hard work?
We are constantly trying to change the way that people behave and think – positioning brands and businesses in the centre of a relationship that is only ever on the peripheral of our customers’ worlds. And while for us – for the business owner, brand manager or agency – there is a real centrality to our relationship with the brand, it is simply not the case for the vast majority of the people that we want to talk to.
As Hugh MacLeod explained back in 2006, “if you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face”.
And while social media awareness has become widespread, many businesses still struggle with it. Where’s the ROI they ask. Where’s the relevance? How will it drive sales? And while these are important questions, they are important questions for a mature channel. Very few businesses have the knowledge, expertise and capability to determine the answers – let alone the capacity to integrate these answers into a comprehensive brand and engagement framework. The channel has matured but our organisational understanding of it continues to lag.
But there is another way.
Rather than making people want things – spending our precious resources creating awareness, inspiring interest and stimulating desire in our customer base, what if we just made things that people want?
What of we went further – and understood our customer’s journey from the outside-in? So, rather than pushing messages out designed to interrupt and stimulate – what if we could participate and engage? What if we provided so much incentive, surprise and delight that this engagement prompted purchase, created a business relationship or turned a “detractor” into an advocate?
What if what we did made someone’s life better?
John Willshare argues exactly this – that brands are fracking the social web – and missing the real opportunity presented by digital and social media.
But what can you do? Practically? Why don’t you start:
- Small: Rather than thinking of the vision that will change the world, what is your vision that will change one person’s experience of what you do. Have the big vision in your back pocket, but start as small as you can bear.
- Quick: Stop thinking about doing and start acting. Raid the petty cash tin and think about what you can do with a budget you can hold in one hand.
- Inclusive: Don’t sit in a room planning – go talk to your customers. Engage with them on social media. Bring them into your process
And I bet that within a week you’ll have a deeper understanding of the problems your customers want you to solve than you have resources to deliver. And that’s the whole point, surely.
There’s plenty of hype around startups – and around the founders of those startups. We buy books (books, really? Yes!) written by startup entrepreneurs, attend talks, download podcasts and go to conferences. Sometimes it can feel like meeting a rockstar rather than a business person.
But for every startup, there are countless others, often behind the scenes, who have helped drive those startup successes and the failures that they are built on.
This great presentation by Yevgeniy Brikman is the view from the front row. It talks about the nitty gritty of startups. It’s not the big ideas or the grand plans. It’s the stuff that makes the business tick. And it makes you think … what’s in your startup DNA – and how deep does that go.
Admit it. You’re more than a little geeky. There is a drawer somewhere in your house with old mobile phones, cameras, and pieces of technology. For all I know, you probably have a Newton gathering dust under your desk.
If this sounds like you, then you may just want to add Light to your Holiday wishlist this year. The Kickstarter project turns a stylish 52 LED light into a Linux powered, web-connected device that can be controlled by your iPhone or iPad or from the other side of the world via the web interface.
It’s “illumination as a service” – or the “internet of things” come to life. There’s only 15 days in the Kickstarter campaign to go – and it needs your support. Choose a pledge package and get behind this innovative startup. It’s even been named CNET’s Kickstarter project of the week. Sign up for a package – you’ll be glad you did.
And while I like this video, I reckon they should have gone with a different soundtrack. More like this one!
- “Mobile first” won’t cut it – businesses need to think “mobile only”
- It’s time for CMOs to climb aboard the technology bus
- CIOs need to buy-into the marketing conversation
Could it be that 2013 will indeed be the “year of mobile”? Mobile internet traffic is now accounting for 20-30% of total web traffic working from a 5-7% base only 12 months ago. These usage patterns, when combined with strong demand for mobile devices (smartphones, tablets etc), indicate that businesses are going to have move quickly to address this changing engagement landscape. eMarketer suggests that “mobile first” will be a priority for 2013, but recent research by Constellation Research Group indicates that this will not be enough – that brands must consider a “mobile only” landscape.
Digital disruption is impacting every industry – from retail to financial services, mining to tourism and everything in-between. Driven by the five forces of the consumerization of IT – social, cloud, mobile, big data and unified communications – CMOs are challenged to respond to the rapidly changing business landscape. And for those who are not already engaged with technology transformation, it may be too late. As a matter of priority, marketers must not just consider and evaluate technology – they must grapple with it, engage and implement. In short – it’s time to get on the technology bus or look for a new role.
This, however, is more easily said than done. Mobile isn’t just a marketing conversation. IBM’s new Worklight solution highlights the fact that mobile is also – rightly – part of technology strategy. And that means talking with the CIO.
Innovate 2012 – Start Now for 2013 Success
Many businesses are now planning for 2013 projects. But if the consumerization of IT has taught us anything, it is that your customers move at the speed of social, not the speed of enterprise. And that means, executing now and executing again later. If you want to be successful in 2013, you cannot afford to wait until Q1.
IBM’s Innovate2012 event showcases the transformational aspect of mobile devices and platforms:
- There will be 10 billion devices in market by 2020
- 61% of CIOs view mobile as a priority
- Businesses are seeing 45% increased productivity with mobile apps
CMO to CIO – It’s Time We Talked
But CIOs cannot hive off mobility as a technology-only direction. Just as CMOs must start to engage with the nuts and bolts of technology, it’s also time that CIOs bought into the marketing conversation. CIOs have the experience of delivering large scale, high value technology projects with enterprise level governance and business change management. CMOs can benefit from this experience and expertise. Conversely, CMOs are experiencing unprecedented pressure to deliver customer value. This means speed to market. Collaborating around these challenges will see massive benefit for marketers and technology teams.