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!

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.

How Global Brands Master Omnichannel Marketing

How Global Brands Master Omnichannel Marketing

David Parker, Chief Marketing Technologist at IO Integration delivers insights into delivering a “Content Strategy” into Execution to increase brand value, reach and ultimately a consumer driven context related experience with your brand. It’s not just a Digital experience that connect brands to consumer, yes, it’s agile, fast, far-reaching and dynamic, but it’s the total mix of your marketing communications strategy and how you execute that makes the best brands build the best experiences. See how GoPro, Under Armour and Red Bull are ahead of the game . . .

Multi-Channel Customer Experiences drives the next evolution for connected DAM

Webinar: Delivering Multi-Channel Customer Experiences:

Wed., Feb 19, 2014
8am PST/11am EST/4pm GMT

Expert panelists David Parker (Chief Marketing Technologist), Rich Carroll (Technical Sales), and Jill Talvensaari (VP Marketing) have over 60 years combined experience at some of the top customer-centric and marketing services firms including McCann Worldgroup, Adobe, Microsoft, Leo Burnett, Kodak. Will discuss why multi-channel content marketing is driving a new evolution in the DAM and CMS technology space. Organizations should leverage maximum value for brand experiences from a developing a total marketing technology strategy for the adaptive world, avoiding fragmented marketing strategies and executions.

Marketing will never be the same again. Technology, integrated channels, real-time analytics, and brand experiences now shape the conversations that companies have with their customers. The changes in the way we market have been so prolific in the last 3 years that marketing has changed more since 2010 than it did in the previous 6 decades. We’ll look at where marketing is headed and how technologies like DAM and CMS truly enable better brand communications, online and offline.

Key topics include omni-channel content marketing, adaptive strategies, and the role of inbound user generated content to drive contextual relationships and reinforce brand value. See how top brands in Retail, Sports Marketing, Media and Entertainment, and Finance are adapting and using multichannel marketing technologies to reach new prospects and win markets.

Moderated by IOI Sales Director Mike Watson.

RG/A – Agencies investing as brand innovators, incubators and mentors

RG/A – Agencies investing as brand innovators and mentors

Very cool to see creative agencies extending past their normal revenue zones. Supporting and funding start-ups, but more importantly mentoring them to success and building brand recognition, market value and presence in the early phases. So, so important to get the early brand and marketing experiences right.

Agencies have a key role to play in bringing new ventures to market and innovation in this sector is growing, good to see the bigger companies compete with Silicon Valley with skills, insights and some innovation.

Others include

MDC-Partners: http://www.kbspventures.com/

RGA/IPG: http://rga.com/news/releases/rga-techstars-announce-10-startups-selected-rga-connected-devices-accelerator-program/

Huge/IPG: http://www.hugeinc.com/about/labs

I think you will see more coming in the near future I am sure.

How “Omni-channel content-marketing” will drive new growth opportunities for the music sector.

Everyone says the music industry is fickle, well I think everyone can sympathize with an industry that has had it’s “more-than” fair share of competitive business challenges to overcome over the past decade.

I don’t think that anyone can be blamed in the music industry for feeling that technology has not exactly helped it’s market strategy over the past years. Although the emergence of digital has driven the ability to dramatically reduce time to market for artist music releases, while accessing global markets like never before, but it has also spawned legal, ownership and content issues that have driven reverse competitive tendencies in equal amounts. Similarly “guerrilla” tactics like Beyonce’s recent album release by-passing the normal industry processes, sets yet another break-away from normal industry activities, although to be honest, if Beyonce cannot do this (and afford to take the risk), then who can.

So where now for the music industry?

Well omni-channel content marketing technologies may pave the way for the industry to once again leverage the “speed value relationship” of the digital channels. Artist management is now all about promoting, managing and optimizing the commercial near-line activities with more involved and connected consumer (fan) experiences. Modern day bands are “brands” first, artists second and any savvy manager and band will be well advised to look at the best provisioned label that understands and can maximize this value proposition. But it’s not that simple to say that “ONLY DIGITAL” enables these relationships as multiple touch-points occur through “offline” conversations and traditional news paths as well, a consumer journey of engagement is happening here (including my sons posters on his bedroom wall), not just a one off relationship.

However, leveraging an artist is all about being responsive to change, being able to exhort maximum value at every opportunity, and with much revenue coming from “outdoor” activities, it is key to maximize global artist potential on every occasion.

So if the music industry thought and acted like US political parties and “orchestrated” artist content, using context related content driven by understanding the audience, then maybe, they can maximize 3rd party revenues, like touring, events, promotions etc with more clarity, precision and knowledge.

Omni-channel content marketing platforms enable this “adaptive” artist and label management to happen. Using and leveraging centralized omni-content, smart players can “orchestrate” context related content to any channel, both online and offline with the same consistency. Optimizing owned, paid and more importantly gained media, through engaging content is hitting major FMCG brands daily and they are reacting by using marketing technologies to drive consumer actions.

So using CRM details, geospatial demographics, fan attributed content and internal marketing content to provision your artist value chain, will be key for 2014 to be successful in the music industry. This enormous amount of content is complex to manage and then to leverage, with rights management, ownership, authorization, planning and execution all adding a massive overhead to the ultimate creative production and execution.

Hence, I see omni-channel content tools helping drive efficiencies through the music business with increasing benefits, couple with reduced time to market, increased visibility, accountability and agility in the process while leveraging all channels simultaneously, it will be interesting to see who from the big label adopts a “CONTENT” based strategy first.

With players like NextBigSound, providing increasing social insights into artist performance, and likewise through analytics measurement of fans interactions with the artist from the likes of Spotify, Shazam, Rhapsody and YouTube alike it will be an interesting play to see if the music industry can truely adopt to a 360 degree approach to artist and label management.

My bet makes 2014 an interesting time. Warner Music Group’s CEO Stephen Copper’s recent 2013/Q4 results posted a disappointing position for the industry, is it that their A&R is poor or is it that the music industries difficulty in adopting to the new omni-channel consumer markets and the ability to leverage cash from them is hampering the future growth.

Lets wait and see.