Data Driven Creativity

Really look forward to joining all at the Digital Ascendant Conference in New York this week (04/26-04/27), talking about “Data Driven Creativity – where the story meets automation” with Victor Chong of Thunder. Will be an interesting “fireside” chat, around where brands can optimize to drive global consumer content that delivers an effective and efficient consumer experience.

Uber from Consumer Disruptor to Consumer Disaster (and it didn’t take long)!

One word I detest in my world of marketing is the word “digital disruption”, exactly what does that mean? What the mobile phone all of a sudden wakes up and changes your world? It’s like saying guns kill, when in fact it’s people that kill!

So in the world of “consumer disruption” (the actual “geek” word every digital expert is meaning to say), there can be no one more disruptive than Uber and Lyft et.al! Within a very short period Uber created a consumer experience, that connected with the consumer, an easy to use mobile driven experience to get us from A to B from almost anywhere, the world’s largest taxi company that owns no taxis . . . I could go on.

So, what went wrong?

In the initial days, it was a great consumer experience. Open an app, enter your location and destination and within a fairly quick moment, there was a car waiting for you.

Now generally, it was a great consumer experience, you knew what you were paying for, the driver was usually an interesting person doing another job, the car was perfection, water-bottles, phone chargers, massive amounts of leg space and well enough groomed to be able to eat your lunch off the seats. All in all – a “great consumer experience”, that you thought was built around you, it just worked!

But, as all strategically and greed led aggressive growth strategies go, they have let go of their differentiator, the “consumer experience.”

You see, there’s nothing new, innovative or differentiating about Uber, lots of other “venture” money realized that it’s not that difficult to build a competitive set (when you don’t own anything but an app and the ability to employ anyone)!

So where does this leave Uber?

In Chicago (where I live), they are a total disaster, the cars are dirty, beaten up, clueless drivers are mesmerized by “Waze” leaving the common-sense of direction well at home. With the inaccuracies of the navigation downtown in Chicago and the hyper inflated “surge-pricing”, the whole concept becomes an inept, expensive waste of time, that just makes you angry!

So, will big-money win over consumer experience, will this “joke” of a concept finally float and repay some $’s to the speculators of nations bank-accounts. I think not!

But as Forbes pointed out recently, many of the top 500 companies of today will not exist by 2025, will Uber, be the Blockbuster of the “car-pool” world, or will it get it’s head out of it’s ass and realize that their consumers (experiences) are beginning not to give a crap about their business?

Lets wait and see, however in the meantime, I do hope that my “Ubereats” doesn’t take a wrong turn!

Great to open at the Offerpop Participation Marketing Conference

Is there a new term emerging in content marketing, the Participation Marketing Conference will be exploring the changes in our brand marketing ecosystem, from brand centric to consumer centric marketing, what will this mean, how will it effect your brand, what’s the future look-like and how do you need to prepare to drive reach, engagement and conversion in a more authentic, sequential and relevant consumer world!

Always great to be on stage with Shafqat and the Newscred Team

Newscred landed in Chicago with a great team and content from Twitter, Kellogg’s and others “moving the needle” on content marketing. Great break-out sessions, lots of learnings and testing going on to drive brands and consumers into a more connected content experience.

Listen to the Content Panel, Shafqat with Kimberly-Clark and Conagra.

 

Newscred #thinkcontent – Chicago

newscred_thinkcontent

Great to appear that the first Newscred #thinkcontent event in Chicago, great overviews from Twitter, Kelloggs, CongraFoods, I am sure everyone learned that they are not as far behind as they think they are, it’s just difficult to keep up!

Newscred #thinkcontent @chicago interview 

Newscred interview David Parker for some insights into how brands are tackling and building new content experiences to drive more relevant conversations and brand interactions.

The logic behind Microsoft buying Sitecore?

As the marketing technology arena hots up with the big players like Oracle, SAP, IBM, Salesforce and Google all snapping up “new marketing tech” companies, you ask yourself, why hasn’t Microsoft made a move for Sitecore to strengthen it’s “marketing cloud” portfolio.

After all with Microsoft CRM and Marketing Pilot in it’s portfolio and an increasing move towards “Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud” (SMAC) technology stacks through it’s Azure program, it’s missing one critical component in the marketing platform framework, an omni-channel content marketing platform.

Sharepoint may be a CMS, but in reality it’s really an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform, more for corporate collaboration/sharing, than for building consumer experiences. However with Sitecore technology being firmly in the .NET/Microsoft camp, it makes you wonder if Microsoft will be sniffing out a modern “content web” partner sooner or later.

Marketing Technology is booming, look at the vendor growth 100+ vendors in 2011, now stretches to 1000+ in 2014, with no signs of slowing with new vendors diving into Analytics and Social experience platforms in particular – it’s easier to “choose who to buy” than start one for yourself.

So with Sitecore being firmly embedded within the top WEM partners by the likes of Forrester and Gartner, how long will it be before Microsoft makes a move and instills Sitecore within an Azure “on demand stack?”

Microsoft needs an agnostic play in the marketing space, it doesn’t have an “experience platform”, but is building an interesting stack of on demand platforms via yammer, Skype, lync, and Office365 to name a few and Microsoft cannot go for the open-source players like Drupal or WordPress, it just doesn’t sit right.

So investing in a mature WEM platform that drives omni-channel communications agnostic of devices, may be a play to increase adoption of the WindowsPhone/mobile platforms or will it?

What is for certain, I don’t think it will be too long before Microsoft has to go sniffing for some other technology to plug the gaps, or it will be letting the likes of Oracle, IBM and Google steal the lead.