by Adam Sarner | October 8, 2013 | 3 Comments
Digital marketing leaders need to innovate faster and are under enormous pressure to source growth — choosing the right technology and implementing the right technique is critical. Smart marketers know they must diversify and see emerging digital marketing technology and approaches as their route to new products, markets and revenue sources.
Effective, lifecycle customer engagement and the trend toward connecting real-time, decision-support based digital marketing to both online and off customer channels, are rapidly evolving. Yet, current mainstream digital marketing technology and their processes are still not agile enough to meet customer demand. Enter Emerging Digital Marketing technology on the Digital Transit Map.
Emerging digital marketing technologies cross many neighborhoods of Gartner’s Digital Marketing Transit Map. Here, the emerging tech line forms the map’s outer boundaries; its stations representing technology and disciplines that are truly “on the edge.” The track focuses on innovative technologies and techniques in early stages of maturity. Characteristics include first-generation technologies, pilots, startup providers or initial stages of commercialization. Market penetration for these areas is typically as low as 1% to 5%. For some, adoption will go viral. Some will also be considered disposable: Approach adoption with a goal to extract value before planned obsolesce or aggregation. While some may reach mass adoption (over 15 million in the U.S.) in the next 8 to 12 months, some will take as long as 10 years, while others will remain niche, disappear, or evolve into something very different.
There is no sure thing here. Don’t look for a comfort zone either. Prepare for risks. However, there are several areas of emerging technology along the Digital Marketing Transit Map neighborhoods we think will be transformational and will open up new opportunities to connect the physical with the digital world. Among them:
- New connections among channels (e.g. automatic content recognition and natural language questioning)
- Amplified scale at reduced costs ( e.g. automatic content generation)
- Digital extensions of physical investments (e.g. geofencing and microsensors and the “Internet of things”
Connecting the Physical and Digital Worlds
Digital is not only changing the way we communicate, interact and experience the world: it’s changing the nature of products and environments. It’s doing this by erasing limits. The customer experience is no longer bound by channels, print, or primetime spots on television; similarly, the physical world is no longer bound by retail shelf-space or manufacturing processes. As everything becomes connected, the physical world begins to inherit the qualities of the internet: infinite extensibility, universal addressability, and low-cost disruption. Every industry has been impacted, not just sectors like retail, publishing, music, home entertainment or banking. Now, insurance, healthcare, real estate, and the public sector will be subject to this disruption.
To achieve true differentiation in the digital world, brands must increasingly incorporate digital features and data collection mechanisms into physical products. For example, through technology and techniques in Nike+, the brand builds, monitors, shares, extends and orchestrates the actual experiences of athleticism beyond the product purchase. Retailers such as Tesco are extending shopping experiences into unfamiliar domains such as subway stations with virtual stores. Disney’s Magic Bands will for the first time, track guest behavior in minute detail and help shape their guest experiences before, during and after their visit. Marketers have access to shape not only brand impressions but connect to lifestyle experiences beyond products or stores.
In my published note, Travel the Emerging Technology Track in Gartner’s Digital Marketing Transit Map, I focus on 10 transformational technologies along the track that have the greatest potential to help marketers and customers connect the physical and digital world.
Category: digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by Adam Sarner | September 13, 2013 | Comments Off
Think of any immersive, engaging and addictive game you’ve ever played: D&D, DonkeyKong, Minesweeper, Tetris, Myst, WOW or Bioshock Infinite. Your favorite sets a clear end goal. Next it proposes rules of engagement, complete with challenges, consequences and a series of outcomes that sustain your curiosity. Small rewards along the way build upon greater rewards reinforcing a series of accomplishments the game designers have creatively engineered into the game’s DNA.
“Endogenous morphine” is released by your body at each milestone – peaking at a final reward to promote addictive feelings of well-being.
It’s why your son, your daughter, or both, is playing Minecraft right now.
Game design techniques can be used in many ways, motivating people to write a review, save money, find a college, comparison shop, calculate ROI, tweet about a favorite brand, or plan a vacation. The only limit to engaging buyers in everything from awareness marketing to crowdsourced product development is your imagination – whether you sell mortgages, automobiles, fast food, apparel, sports equipment or IT services.
However, Gamification has passed the peak of inflated expectations on our Hype Cycle For Digital Marketing in 2013. It seems that merely slapping badges, leaderboards and big thumbs up on things DO work, but only for so long. Granted we all want our gold star, but actual designed engagement scenarios, storyboarding, understanding “player” behavior, dynamics of cooperative “play”, and actual real gaming type creation that motivates desired behavior takes both skill and work. I think it’s true potential has yet to be realized.
This week, Gartner For Marketing Leaders is publishes a series (clients only) on how Gamification techniques are being applied to the full range of marketing disciplines.
Category: digital marketing Marketing Strategy Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by Adam Sarner | September 5, 2013 | 1 Comment
We’ve reviewed five emerging applications — Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, GroupMe and Pheed. The applications were chosen because they are all growing users at a rapid pace, represent real-time engagement capability through highly responsive social-mobile channels, and, with the right use case, represent a big opportunity for digital marketers to reach customers with new types of interactions through new channels yet to be fully explored by the competition.
The note dives into what they are, who their users tend to be, how marketers can use them, what challenges to be aware of and how to get started. Multiple analysts contributed to the research, and for me it was one of the more fun pieces for the year. Emerging technology and techniques still in the learning and discovery stage of adoption offer a glimpse into potential megatrends pushing the market forward. Gartner For Marketing Leaders clients can read the full research here.
Most important of the findings is to have a direction for a business outcome in mind, matched by an appetite for agility in a fluid environment. Even the applications themselves are trying to figuring that one out. New technologies are coming at digital marketers all the time and consumers’ preferences for them change. Establishing a direction for a future business outcome, even if not available in the short term, will have a much better chance of choosing the right emerging application(s) and keep the project funded.
For these five, just an initial heading towards a purpose like brand awareness can help marketers start to handicap which ones to potentially use. For example, will you be blanketing a wide audience for maximum reach or creating a more intimate, exclusive type campaign? This will mean different apps. Which apps, through social, photos, video or all three, will lead customers to a purchasing decision that you can measure?
Digital marketers should approach these applications as emerging and potentially disposable. None of these these apps are natively mandatory to your organization. Some of these apps may either go stellar over the next few years, while others in the space will essentially disappear in less than eight months. This means that marketers must adopt an innovation/experimentation with purpose approach to them all, including the risk that a measurable business outcome, even with a calculated heading towards one, may never transpire.
Welcome to the digital world.
Category: digital marketing Marketing Strategy Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by Adam Sarner | July 18, 2013 | 1 Comment
“Social” has been on the “peak of inflated expectations” for well over a year now. Social Marketing, we believe is almost at peak as we are seeing a second (perhaps 3rd) wave of interest focused on metrics and business outcome. Largely, we see that although there are social marketing activities yet to be fully explored, progressive digital marketers have already rolled up their sleeves and are focusing on consistently creating valuable and engaging content, generating qualified leads, and coordinating both in-house skills and external resources that give social marketing proven business results.
While exploring the Social Ops Neighborhood and riding the track on the Digital Marketing Transit Map, consider three stops of high interest for the rest of 2013 and into 2014:
1. Content Marketing: Social marketing depends on having something to say — and saying it in a way that is thoughtful, timely, compelling and authentic. In an effort to become more creative and more responsive as content marketers, many social teams are studying the newsroom habits of publishing organizations and developing best practices based on the principles of media workflow. It requires a focused and funded effort that staffs and organizes resources appropriately. These capabilities and resources are something which many digital marketers still do possess.
2. Social Analytics: Social monitoring, particularly for digital marketing teams, has been in a terrific sweet spot over the past three years. Most organizations unfamiliar or uncomfortable with social media needed to “get their feet wet” and audit the social space just to get an understanding of what was being said about their brand on social networks. Social monitoring filled this initial step very well. Today, there are currently hundreds of social media monitoring offerings available, but needs have changed. Clients are starting to move beyond keyword search and basic sentiment and they are increasing demand for Social Analytics, which builds on social monitoring and includes unstructured text (beyond keywords) analytics, predictive modeling and prescriptive recommendations about what to do with the social data they are gathering.
3. Connection to Marketing Ops: Social marketing needs integration with, well, marketing. The space has just about had it with doing social because it’s social and measuring social KPIs for more social. Marketing Ops is about the management and operation of marketing platforms and applications, including campaign, lead, loyalty, event, performance and marketing resource management systems and processes. Marketing operations span the gap between digital and traditional marketing channels. Social Marketing must be considered in these plans. Social Marketing at a basic level offers what multichannel marketing seeks to do: giving marketers engaged and targeted interaction particularly when the customer is reaching out themselves.
Category: digital marketing Marketing Strategy Tags: digital marketing
by Adam Sarner | July 18, 2013 | 1 Comment
For the last three years, there has been consolidation in all types of marketing application markets such as IBM acquiring Unica, Teradata acquiring Aprimo, SAS acquiring Assetlink, Microsoft acquiring MarketingPilot, Infor acquiring Orbis, Salesforce acquiring Radian6, Buddymedia, and ExactTarget (which included Pardot), Oracle purchasing Eloqua and Adobe buying Neolane (not finalized), just to name a few. We believe that further M&A activity, particularly focused in digital marketing functionality, such as content management and agencies, social marketing , mobile marketing, e-mail marketing, digital analytics and ad technology and will continue to accelerate over the next three years.
Who are the buyers? There are at least six competing sources of consolidation:
- The software megavendors: IBM, Oracle, Adobe, Salesforce, Teradata, SAP, and so forth. For them, the digital marketing opportunity is the next frontier in software and big data, and they’re the most visible and voracious of the bunch.
- The internet media giants: Google, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook (which bought Microsoft’s ad server technology), Baidu…for them, providing marketing tools assures their media will always have a marketplace.
- The agency holding companies: WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Interpublic, Dentsu, along with incumbent marketing firms like Acxiom and Merkle to name but a few…for them, marketing technology is both an opportunity and a threat…
- The mainstream media conglomerates: Hearst, Gannett, Tribune, etc….like the agencies, for them marketing technology is both an opportunity and a threat…some of them (like Hearst) are even buying agencies to go along with their marketing tech acquisitions
- A few diversified global companies, such as Singtel, SDL, Rakuten, Sony, Nokia and others who see digital marketing as a global investment, and
- A small collection of newcomers who are developing the scale and going public to become buyers themselves: Velti, OpenX, RocketFuel, Turn, AppNexus, Rubicon, YuMe, [X+1], etc…these newbies are looking for diversification and a chance to become megavendors themselves.
Adding to this growing interest and future investment in marketing technology comes not only the complex story of cost, viability concerns, potential redundancy, future maintenance, customer support and vendor roadmap vs. your future plans, is the overall picture of how (and even which) marketing applications should come together.
Assuming the plan is for marketing to create scalable, integrated and orchestrated interactions, relevant offers and customer experiences across all channels and media (armed with multiple levels of analytics and attribution metrics supporting all this), what we end up with is a multitude of approaches: A combination of platforms, suites and hubs with a continuing flow of new and evolving point solutions.
The implications of these accelerating changes in the market will be both wide reaching and ongoing, affecting the future of marketing organizations overall. For the the week of July 22, our Gartner For Marketing Leaders research (clients only) focuses on examples, causes and consequences of marketing’s M&A activity and what it means to your Digital Marketing plans.
Category: digital marketing Marketing Strategy Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by Adam Sarner | June 28, 2013 | 3 Comments
In just three short weeks of Salesforce announcing a deal with ExactTarget, Adobe ups the ante by entering into a definitive agreement to buy Neolane, a multichannel campaign management vendor, for approximately $600 million in cash.
The digital marketing space, a once perceived blue ocean, is now tinged with red as it continues to heat up and expand. New approaches and new channels for campaigns, such as real time social and mobile capability, as well as the white hot demand for creative content marketing to support these initiatives have greatly accelerated and will continue to drive this market forward. However, to be successful in digital marketing overall, a multichannel marketing approach, one that orchestrates both online and offline channels (the way customers traverse their path to purchase), will be key to digital marketer’s success.
Neolane, still a relatively small company (Gartner estimates around $60 million in revenue) will have the opportunity to bring multi-step, multiwave, campaign management execution capability to Adobe Marketing Cloud along with further access to industries such as retail, financial services and insurance industries, who are using multiple channels like contact centers, direct mail/catalogs and point of sale. Gartner often sees Neolane in competitive deals against IBM’s Cross-Channel Marketing Optimization solution, formerly known as Unica. For Adobe, this is a more strategic move than shopping for an e-mail marketing provider.
Adobe will have the opportunity to fuse its growing digital capability such as web analytics, social, ad management and creative content marketing capability, into multichannel marketing, expanding their offerings traditionally sold to advertisers, agencies and publishers.
The proposed deal, along with other digital marketing acquisitions including salesforce.com, Oracle, Microsoft,Teradata and IBM deals before it, not to mention other market’s (web content management, e-mail marketing, web analytic, BI and the mobile and social space) developing functionality to get into the digital marketing, will mean a hot, crowded and complex area for a long time.
Category: digital marketing Marketing Strategy Multichannel Campaign Management MQ 2013 Tags: digital marketing
by Adam Sarner | June 19, 2013 | 4 Comments
Achieving true “loyalty” from customers means that you have created a feeling of affinity or true affection towards your brand and its products and services. It means that sometimes, even when data suggests they should do otherwise, customers choose your company over others. Not easy to do, nor is it something you can obtain solely by awarding points from an accrual and redemption engine. To obtain the holy grail of loyalty, that is, profitable long term customers and advocates (customers who buy from you and actually like you) there needs to be a loyalty hierarchy of needs, steps along the way (loyalty programs included) that build on each other towards true loyalty.
First steps: Promise me something that I need and deliver on it. Very basic, but mandatory. For example, an airline promising to take customers from point A to point B, safely (and perhaps on-time). Does this make customers loyal? Nope. It hasn’t for the airlines. However, if there is no value proposition and no customer satisfaction along with it, there is no loyalty. They paid, you delivered, they’re satisfied. There are others with a similar value proposition, and may even be able to do it more cheaply.
Next steps: Entice me, get to know me, and be make it easier to accomplish my needs. Here is where loyalty programs get useful. Think of these systems at best as a type of payoff (usually around a 2% discount) incenting a customer to keep on buying from you vs. others. Are they loyal now? Nope. You’re competing on price or another largely undifferentiated scheme your competition has enrolled their “members” in. The trick is to use the incentive to ask and gather information about their needs. Do they prefer self checkout? Which channels of communication do they prefer? Do they go on holiday the same time each year? Now’s the time to ask that information. Pre-populate the customers recurring point of origin on a travel site. Enable a mobile app to take a picture of a customer’s check saving a trip to the bank. Even newer digital marketing loyalty type techniques such as gamification and social can be used as incentives to start figuring out how to make it easier to accomplish their needs. You will be amazed how many expensive loyalty programs are disconnected to any sort of understanding and preference building and just sit there redeeming toasters.
Last Step: Be in-tune with my evolving needs. Armed with the preceding steps where you have customer satisfaction, incenting, learning and building trust (your doing something about preferences they share with you, right?) You are now in a position to start anticipating future needs. Here is where the love starts. Your continually understanding their preferences, your aligning their goals with your products and services, customers are exchanging more information because you’ve delivered on the preferences they’ve shared already, and they got value from them. Because of this, you recognize patterns and even start to anticipate needs. “Dear customer, it’s your wife’s birthday, you haven’t bought flowers, we took the liberty of arranging a last minute delivery in your area. Press here”. True loyalty even saves lives, ensuring long term relationships.
Category: digital marketing Marketing Strategy Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, multichannel
by Adam Sarner | June 5, 2013 | 2 Comments
Gartner has just published our multichannel campaign management MQ for 2013 and is available for clients here.
Digital marketing continues to fuel the multichannel campaign management market. New approaches to campaigns such as real-time social and mobile offers as well as the rising need of content marketing to support interactions, will be aggressively driving this market forward.
Budgets for digital marketing are growing about twice as fast as the overall marketing budget and now represent about a quarter of total marketing spending. Gartner expects spending on CRM software to exceed $14 billion in 2013, with a growth rate of 7.5% — marketing automation will achieve 11% annual growth.
Digital marketing has sparked this growth because it enables new techniques that can grow revenue faster — for example, inbound marketing, real-time marketing and data-driven marketing. In addition, new technologies such as social and mobile open, not just new channels, but new ways of engaging customers. Marketers now have to coordinate more channels and more kinds of campaigns.
The pace of change challenges established MCCM vendors to keep up by adding new functions.
Vendors with new technologies will continue to enter the market, and these innovations, which are sorely needed, can often differentiate companies from their competition.
The multichannel campaign management market consists largely of established vendors that started by selling full-function, on-premise software (for connections to direct mail, call centers, and email), and of new vendors that offer cloud solutions with fewer functions (usually to the marketing organization), focused on digital marketing (such as email, social and mobile). Established players are re-architecting their solutions to accommodate digital marketing. The newer vendors are busy adding functions, including offline capabilities, via development and acquisitions. Both are adding advanced analytics to improve decision making around campaigns. This work lays the groundwork for more accelerated changes in the MCCM market in the future.
Thus, the MCCM market exhibits an fusing of offline and online channels driving change. MCCM vendors are beginning to responded not simply by enhancing the functions of their products but also by changing their approach to delivering value to customers:
Category: digital marketing Marketing Strategy Multichannel Campaign Management MQ 2013 Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by Adam Sarner | May 8, 2013 | Comments Off
Marketers have been shifting investments from mass-marketed, one-channel, one-way, company-driven campaigns to multichannel, two-way, interaction-driven campaigns that are more dialogue driven, more measurable, and that are able to achieve higher response and conversion rates.
To do this, marketers are increasingly extending multichannel marketing from purely outbound campaigns to include inbound marketing in the form of offer management, real-time decision making and event-triggered marketing, giving marketers targeted interaction when the customer is reaching out.
However, many vendors are offering inbound capabilities that are not integrated; therefore, creating another interaction silo. Expect half the multichannel campaign management market to provide true inbound/outbound fusion by YE2013.
There are five major benefits for multichannel inbound/outbound fusion:
1. Ability to Measure: Multichannel inbound/outbound fusion promises marketing access to a single view of campaign effectiveness. Top questions for marketing accountability include: What is going on in the campaign management pipeline? What is the return on investment (ROI) for campaigns? How should budget be allocated in the future for which campaign, offers or channels? An integrated inbound/outbound environment will provide more data to start answering these questions.
2. Lower TCO: Financial benefits will come from several sources. Besides the negotiating leverage of single sourcing (which would accrue whether the solutions were truly integrated or not), the organization can benefit in two primary ways:
Integration (such as single sign-on, a unified graphical user interface [GUI], and a common data source) will lower deployment, training and additional support costs.
A unified predictive analysis and a single-offer library and shared segmentation will make more-effective use of marketing time, with higher productivity without adding staff.
3. Increased Revenue: Inbound/outbound fusion provides access to customer data from more channels for segmenting and targeting the customer base. Taking advantage of functionality such as unified propensity modeling and universal preference management techniques means better targeting and higher conversion rates as well as information to align with the rest of the organization (for example, a connection to sales to help convert revenue).
4. Increased Responsiveness: A goal for marketing is to execute better campaigns more frequently. Multichannel inbound/outbound fusion capabilities, including one GUI, one inbound/outbound-capable dialogue, a common set of analytical tools and a signal-administration for sign-on, can significantly provide effectiveness and efficiency. Reduction in time for campaign creation, execution and reporting along with combining inbound and outbound customer data can allow marketers to make necessary changes to ongoing campaigns based on the real-time response and feedback of customers en route.
5. Consistent Customer Experience: Knowing which marketing campaigns are going to whom, what is being offered as an outbound campaign, what is being communicated as an inbound offer and how to reconcile the two for consistency will be a key benefit for inbound/outbound fusion. Capabilities (such as a common data source, access to an online/offline shared offer and segment library) and connected inbound/outbound-capable dialogue will have a substantial impact on a consistent experience. The ability to extend a relevant, planned offer during a spontaneous customer interaction has shown response rates approaching 15 times that of non-targeted outbound campaigns.
See our upcoming note on Inbound/Outbound Fusion Checklist for Multichannel Marketing where we we separate hype from the reality, and we outline and define the eight technology conditions for true two-way, inbound/outbound fusion.
Category: digital marketing Marketing Strategy Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by Adam Sarner | April 24, 2013 | Comments Off
Marketing departments are the largest adopters of social among any department, including IT. In fact our recent social marketing survey shows only 12% of social marketers give their IT organization a major role in social marketing, including sourcing technology. As marketers are quickly moving from experimentation towards identified business benefits, Gartner has identified five most common use cases (with just a few examples) for marketing:
1. Idea Management: Involves engaging a community to share, capture and vote on ideas to create or improve products, service pricing, packaging, distribution channels and other issues. Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) used Facebook to gather ideas for a limited-time summer route from Oslo. SAS Summer Flight, 2012 received more than 4,000 votes in one week, and the top vote opened a route from Oslo to Alanya in Turkey.
2. Market Research, New Products and Test Launch: Collecting feedback before and after a launch, from communities. The Four Seasons makes use of social media by creating communities for help in the planning of each new local property. By understanding the needs of the local base, Four Seasons can develop locales that meet the needs of those communities, even before the destination is built.
3. Social Media Engagement: Social media monitoring and response tools to promote, develop, strengthen or defend a product or company brand on social sites. GE highlights its products on Pinterest : “#Pinning things that inspire us to build, power, move and cure the world,” GE covers everything from photos of aircraft engines to science facts that will “blow your mind.” Contests and invitations to share themed pin boards invite consumer engagement in unconventional categories.
4. Advanced Social Analytics: Using social analytics to identify influencers, prospects and trends; profile customers; evaluate campaigns; and classify social content by subject/topic, sentiment and intent. Guess Engagement and M-Commerce App uses social analytics which integrates Guess’ loyalty/CRM data with Facebook data to create personalized content, offers and perks to targeted customer segments.
5. Social Campaigns: Social campaigns offer capabilities for tracking, monitoring and utilizing community and the strength of relationships to target different segments of a community (such as influencers) in a campaign. Social campaigns can enable marketers to make real-time adjustments to campaigns, rather than making changes after the fact. Vail Resorts provides destination based stay and travel and provides visitors multiple social destinations to upload pictures and video of their ski trips. Vail uses Facebook and Twitter for real-time messages about what’s going on at the resorts such as latest offers and packages to snow reports and events.
Gartner clients have full access to our Social Marketing research here
Category: digital marketing Marketing Strategy Uncategorized Tags: digitalmarketing