Fighting Thru Advertising Week 2017

See my list of some of the most interesting and controversial sessions at Advertising Week New York - Sep 25-28.

There will be fighting for minds and budgets...

Our Only Hope ... Is TechDev!

Should Agencies be terrified that the market is shifting away from them to Management Consultants? ... Well, yes if they are not providing what the client needs (which is way more than creative marketing campaigns).

The "inside" Digitization needs of our corporate clients are not changing... they have been trying to evolve their Digital operations for decades.

The problem is that this transition to digital efficiency is difficult emotionally (who prioritizes what?) and technologically (who is coding what?).

The big Management Consultants have seized this opportunity by helping CEOs directly with this heavy lifting. Marketing Agencies are not... but they should and they can... by adding technology solutions beyond the Media Platforms.

Accenture, Deloitte, Mckinsey, PwC, etc. always follow the opportunity (so can you).

Here are some excerpts from the latest Advertising Age Cover Story - "Out of the Shadows, Consultants Creep in on Agency Turf." 

... bring together the agency's data, analytics, research, CRM and search technology capabilities with the goal of creating more personalized content for clients.

The big consultancies are underestimating the value of creativity [and] the agencies are under- exploiting the value of business analytics," said Ivan Pollard, senior VP-strategic marketing at Coca-Cola Co. "Someone's going to crack that soon because data plus creativity is the future."

... startups like Uber and Airbnb have built brands by disrupting traditional business models with easy-to-use consumer interfaces—not with big ad budgets.

"Historically, brands have been built by pushed messages" with ads that gave "suggestions about how you should feel, or emote or think about a product or service," he added. But "we don't believe that is true at all anymore." Instead, Accenture's philosophy is that brands are built through "hundreds of customer interactions," ranging from e-commerce experiences to how people are treated in physical stores

The new branding is this idea of building experiences for customers that allow them to experience you in ways that are much more honest and truthful and engaging than just standing on Mount Olympus shouting what it is that you want somebody to believe about your brand,

One of the things that the consultancies have going for them is that they are not going through the traditional marketing channels. They are either going top-down through CEOs, or they are even going through the board

Once inside, consultancies position themselves as cost savers via big reorganization projects, while ad agencies are perceived as cost drivers

Deloitte Digital's agency Heat says, " We won this account specifically because we understood their business. We could bring all of the competitive intelligence and business strategy to bear in the creative pitch process and ultimately brought a data-driven approach to world-class creative," Hatch said. "You've got to check all those boxes."

SO... the article headline is wrong. What the Managing Consultants provide has never been the "Turf" of the Agencies.

However, technology solutions integrated across a clients business goals is an opportunity AND an obligation for all vendor/partners.

FYI - Adweek also explodes this in the "Big Bang - New World Order - Global consultancies are rocking the agency world, creating a new universe of offerings that meld marketing and technology."

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Your Play is INSIDE

By neglecting digital supply chains and ecosystems, 
companies risk irrelevance

Most companies have been focusing their digital efforts on their OUTSIDE  marketing ... but, "The aspect that makes the biggest difference in successful digital reinvention is morphing from products to platforms, which means adapting supply chains and leveraging ecosystems."

Mckinsey's Director of their Global Institute has done the research ...  
"Digitization of supply chains accounts for more than 75% of the impact on incumbents’ profit growth"
Here are 3 hurdles to get over:

1. Launching a digital platform requires a willingness to disrupt your industry, and your own business. To date, only 10% of companies have dared to take that route; the majority fear self-cannibalization and the loss of their current dominant position — even though this position may prove short-lived as digitization advances.

2. Moving into the platform game is hard for companies with legacy IT investments. Building a digital platform requires an agile and scalable IT architecture — something for which most few incumbents prepared in their past technology investments.

3. The platform game requires an allo-centric rather than ego-centric approach. When investing in a new industry ecosystem, the primary focus should be on growing that ecosystem’s total value. That’s not a natural mindset for traditional companies. Most incumbents worry mainly about their own share of the pie, not about growing the pie for everyone. This is a strategic mistake, as I argued in a 2015 article in the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing. The best way to ensure a high share of the digital ecosystem is to both shape it and distribute value fairly in the network, which helps ensure that others adopt the platform and make it sustainable.

"The incumbents that succeed in the digital future are those that cultivate organizational agility, an ecosystem mindset and willingness to self-disrupt."

(you want more)

Read how Management Consultants are providing what Marketing Agencies are not. 
Hint #1: It is way more than marketing and media

- See this overview of the varying degrees of Digitization in several industries...

Hint #2: The opportunities are in Hospitality, Healthcare, Entertainment and Recreation, and Real Estate.

- In Mckinsey's Report, this infograhic shows that there is HUGE need...

Hint #3: The Nikes, Amazons, Walmarts, etc. on the right-side are spending billions on digitizing their operations (not just marketing). The opportunity is to help ALL THOSE companies in the middle stay competit

(click to enlarge)

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AdAge IQ Martech Conference

Below are the hot points from yesterday’s AdAge IQ Conference for Marketing & Technology.  
This powerfully simple slide from Chiefmartec infographic-whisperer Scott Brinker says it all … technology is dictating our growth and pace. 

These are the 3 main topics from the stage and conversations with attendees:

1) Learn to adapt with tech by hiring a nerd. Partner with nerds. Revenge of the Nerds

2) There are 6.8 billion mobile phones. So there are 6.8 billion personalized versions of the Web. How are you making it easier for customers to include you?

3) The Marcom Tech “stack” is crazy-complicated (see Scott's "Supergraphic below). Agencies and partners must patiently help their marketing clients understand and communicate internally to get buy-in across their company.

Josh reminding us to adopt the new Marcom Tech language to inspire new creative thinking and data-driven actions.

Any conference that is starting to use the term “stack” is where I want to be…because this usually means there is conversation about integrating with the other levels of technologies (and my new favorite Agency partners!) between the business and customers. 

Julia Brady of The VIA Agency and I talked about our high expectations for events such AdAge IQ. Yes, we travel downtown and down from New England to network with connections, but, the same tech we are all talking about should be demonstrated and leveraged for OUR superior experiences before, during, and after the event. There are eager vendors that will deploy (literally) hands-on smartphone demos of live data providing insights and personalization for proximity-based meetings that match our personal profiles. Hey Nielsen...Data Demos!

These events can be a fun and functional “tech sandbox” allowing attendees to increase their value as curators of the most relevant content using presentations with multimedia links, research, and tools to share with internal teams and clients. 

Perhaps we should only go to industry events at tech-pimped venues like Cornell’s Tech Campus opening up this fall on Roosevelt Island. Check out some videos at the Consumer Electronic Show’s “C Space” for marketers.

Here are a few key slides from AdAge IQ:
(click to enlarge)
Nat sets the AdAge stage and our tech challenge

Spotify's Mayur says take your precision pit crew through these trecherous curves

Baker @TBWA doing the data dance...
BEFORE, during, and after campaigns

"The worst thing you can do is have the consumer feel your org chart" 
Jeriad Zoghby @AccentureSocial

The power-panel asks for patient support to question everything and get team buy-in.
Jenn tells vendors to prove it and get #s on the board
Anna says know (really know) your customers
Duane focuses on actions and conversions
Seona plans start to finish with her partners
Garrett  deftly navigated people and the QandA tech

Don't panic. Just start with focusing on the categories on Scott's supergraphic

Deep Antifragile Thinking

Industry engagement idea for Nielsen

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Are Your Customers James Bond?

Adobe has a new series of awesome video commercials that make you want to watch - and learn - about the features of their Marketing Cloud. This is the state of "advertising" at it's best ... a parody of a parody... ironic irony.

As you watch my favorite spot below, think about how your customers are as cool as James "Hunter" Bond ... they've done everything right... but once again, omnichannel marketing has let them down. Just look at the expression on the face of this frustrated customer #007.

This nails the problems and positions adobe as a solution.

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IoT Platform Roundup - Do The Wave

After a grain of salt or two (thousand) so the pay-to-play tastes better, check out Forrester's  new report on IoT Platforms

IBM, PTC, GE, and Microsoft lead the pack. AWS, SAP, and Cisco Jasper offer competitive options. LogMeIn, Ayla Networks, Exosite, and Zebra Technologies lag behind.

Do the Wave...

For more on the future of, well... Things. check out an overview of MIT Enterprise Forum's Connected Things event from earlier this year and mark your calendar for the next event in March 2017.

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Pilot Show - So You Want to Work in Tech

Ted Reed is at it again! My Emmy Award winning friend has a new broadcast TV and Internet program that will be both important and fun.

"So You Want to Work in Tech" will cover all the innovative tech activities in Boston and beyond... so you know where you can get involved ... and know where the future is already here disrupting your industry!

I am on his Digital Strategy team. And that's Erika Ebbel Angle from Scientists for Science and iRobot fame.

We will look behind the scenes of tech companies across the region and hear from people in specific job titles about how to get hired and succeed.

Our mission is to help build America (!) by supporting economic development in the Global Internet Economy. Plenty of tech jobs are available so let's get the right people in the right seats. And these are the best seats - growing fast, clean and sustainable, plus they can easily expand internationally.

The US, and especially Boston, needs trained employees in and around tech for ALL types of positions.... "So You Want To Work In Tech" will help everyone understand this ecosystem. 

Tech is in every company and position ... Keep up by staying ahead.

Check out the promo reel for the pilot ... 


FYI, Altimeter has a must-read article on how to make HR a strategic asset in the Digital Era. They also introduce a really cool and relevant new concept for communication across the "Experience Cloud."

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Watch The Gap

When you are focusing on your Strategic Sweet Spot - that's the best stuff you provide your clients that competitors do not... think about the gaps in your resources to fulfill on your promises today AND as user experiences and expectations evolve. Because, as you know, "evolve" is an understatement!

Keeping up is impossible. The answer?... Get help from trusted specialists in the below priorities.

As you can see in this eMarketer/SODA survey, you are not alone needing User Experience guidance for your Digital, Mobile, Connected Devices, etc. So, consider filling the gap in your executive management (see McKinsey image and article below) with specialists that honor where your business is ... and needs to go.

Mckinsey has excellent advice for how to keep your leadership in touch with the new Digital influences, opportunities, and obligations ...

Remember, be careful and "Watch The Gap"...

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End of the Mobile App Era

While Mobile apps have undoubtedly reinvented the tech sector, it’s time for app developers to apply their skills to robust, connected digital products instead. Our partner at VB has the right POV...

Want Real Relationships? There is an App for that.

Here are notes from my recent presentation at the Mobile Marketing Association about brands being obsessed with advertising on Mobile and not building customer relationships on it. 

SUMMARY: Think beyond the media platforms. Use a mobile-device-responsive web site to reach the masses. Build a custom app experience to service your customers.

It's really easy to buy ads on Google, Facebook,Snap, Linkedin, Twitter, etc . You can even do it automatically with Programmatic services. You will effectively reach millions and target niche personas. This is good. But this is not true "engagement."

Understand the difference between USING digital media, Social, and marketing platforms... and BUILDING real tech solutions within your company operations, across departments (and their customer touchpoints), and integrations throughout industry ecosystems. These define your "Digital Transformation" journey for for more efficient/effective operations, new product development, and revenue growth.

So... Advertising and media promotions let you reach as many people as your budgets allow... 

But ... you are just renting relationships thru publishers and Social Networks.

HERE IS THE QUESTION - Do you want to have ongoing relationships with your customers that includes frequent interactions WHILE learning personal preferences that allow you to provide exponential value during AND in-between their purchases? 

Then... Deep-tech development at the code level is the best way to build better customized customer service methods (not dependent on the Social Network platforms) ... for real relationships thru frequent exponentially valuable interactions... optimizing at every touchpoint.

This includes custom mobile apps and all the other “connected devices” accessed during the user's day across multiple mesh networks...  From the Alexa Echo in the kitchen during breakfast - with the car or throughout the commute - entering locations - logging in at work - team collaborations - customer presentations - restaurants - shopping - back home - "hello Alexa, read me my final list that I accumulated today... What do I have to do tomorrow? And who is on Colbert tonight?"

Remember, you cannot provide this (now expected) level of customer service through a Responsive Website limited to their smartphone's browser. 

The result is a solution for real 2-way one-to-one loyal relationships integrated with any current corporate systems - marcom, commerce, supply chain, employee engagement, innovation labs!  

Now you can fulfill on the marketer's promise to listen and learn personal preferences ... and deliver ONLY relevant value with the right content at the right time and the right place.

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How Much of the Mobile "Brain" are you Using?

We DO use more than 10% of our brain... 

But you are probably only using about 10% of the capabilities of the smartphone with your mobile marketing.

Because... when a customer goes to your site thru a browser on their phone, they are NOT able to easily benefit from the amazing smartphone functions and sensors.

A "Responsive Site" is great for building a bigger audience because of easy access from any phone's browser. But the depth of interaction and range of value can only come thru a "Native App" custom designed for the smartphone...

Here is a real question: Do you want to have ongoing relationships with your customers that includes frequent interactions that learns personal preferences to provide exponential value during AND in-between their purchases? If yes, then . . .
. . . You need a Native Mobile App to get these: 
  1. Superior design experience to prompt more conversions
  2. Quick access with your own branded icons on their home screen
  3. Faster info display (even when there is bad wireless access)
  4. Push notification alerts that arrive exactly how they are wanted
  5. Instant one-click access to proximity-aware customer service 
  6. Secure Integration with mobile payments via Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  7. Elegant integration with photos and videos
  8. Proximity-awareness to control audio and speakers
  9. Accelerometer and motion for exact user position
  10. Gyroscope and movement awareness for games, etc.
  11. Ambient light reader as a photography tool or situational awareness
  12. Magnetometer for alternative positioning with the compass
  13. Barometer changes to update weather-related info
  14. Enhanced security tools only available thru an app
  15. Biometrics – Such as a fingerprint reader
  16. “Connected Device” integration with Bluetooth, NFC, etc.
  17. Active triggers like GPS Geo-Fencing and Beacon sensors that initiate the “choice to ignore or learn more” about what’s available right then and there!
Companies that take advantage of these with a native app (or integrated connected devices) can provide a better user experience than with a website.
Solve many of your business problems with that brain everyone carries around everywhere…
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