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How Not to Build a Digital Business

2014-02-September-Beatles-Bus.jpgHow do you become a digital business? You may discover many different paths to success on your digital journey, and even more opportunities to take a wrong turn along the way. Here are three traps to avoid, inspired by some classic Beatles songs plus a turn of phrase from Taylor Swift. Be sure you never ever get caught in these mistakes as you build your digital business.

See the Whole Customer to Guide the Decision Journey

2014-02-September-Watermelons.jpgThe basis of the customer decision journey is that the customer follows a decision path that leads to a purchase. Vendors provide small pokes, prods and nudges along the way, often in the form of engaging content that keeps the customer moving toward buying something. The content needs to be highly personalized and based on demographics, individual buying patterns and other aspects of the buying experience.

While “the journey” is a better metaphor than many previous ones used by marketers, especially the militaristic “campaign” or industrial “funnel,” it tends to belie the complexity of the process of turning interest into purchase.

Amazon Widens Its Moat

2014-02-September-Forbidden-City.jpgLast Christmas Eve, Amazon received an early gift in the shape of a patent for "anticipatory package shipping." The patent describes a method for shipping a package of one or more items to an end destination’s geographical area without specifying the delivery address at time of shipment — the final destination is defined en route. While last Christmas may have been good to Amazon on several fronts, this patent and some other actions it's pursuing indicate how determined Amazon is to expand the already sizable moat between it and other retailers.

Gleanster Names Leaders in 4 Key Software Categories

customer experience, Gleanster Research's Leaders in Four Key Software Categories

It's not the Gartner Magic Quadrant. It's not the Forrester Wave.

And that's exactly what Ian Michiels likes about it. Michiels' firm, Gleanster Research, has produced four software industry ranking reports. 

Gleanster calls each of them a FLASH, and the latest come in the areas of marketing automation, business intelligence, social engagement and web content management.

"What I like about our FLASH approach is it offers a different perspective than Forrester or Gartner," said Michiels, CEO and principal of the Pleasanton, Calif.-based research firm. "It's not about market presence or vision, which have value. And it's not biased by analyst opinion or relationships with Gleanster."

Counterproductive Search Engine Optimization

If search engine optimization brings the wrong customers to the wrong pages then everybody loses.

Can Your Social Platform Be Your Intranet?

I made the point back in July that good old fashioned intranet content publishing was not dead, and that enterprise social collaboration platforms really weren't very good for one to many publishing. A separate web publishing platform would probably still be needed — use the right tool for the right job. As a result of that article, Jive Software asked to have a chat about my theory, to refresh my knowledge of its platform and demo some of the latest features. I always jump at the chance to be proven wrong, and so have had some interesting conversations with Adam Mertz, senior director of product marketing at Jive.

Watch Your Favorite Tech Exec Get Wet: Ice Bucket Challenge

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The summer of 2014 will be known for many things. Among them, the cloud storage wars, Microsoft’s new Mobile First, Cloud First mantra, and the battle for the enterprise among Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) vendors.

It will also go down as the summer of the ice bucket challenge when everyone from Cristiano Ronaldo toKaty Perry to Jack Black to Novak Djokovic to Taylor Swift and Oprah dumped buckets of ice over their heads to raise money to fund research and bring awareness to ALS, a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.

Building a Hybrid Bridge to the Microsoft Cloud

2014-29-August-Rope-Bridge.jpgWhen Satya Nadella announced Microsoft’s new Mobile-First, Cloud-First strategy, he drew a line in the sand with Microsoft employees and set the company on a new course. When Microsoft COO, Kevin Turner reiterated the message at the World Wide Partner Conference in July, he sent partners scrambling to get cloud certified, saying “Selling on-premises software was good for you and us for a long time but the future lies in the cloud and mobility, and Microsoft plans to go in that direction with our partner community intact.”

Customers have felt the shift as well as they ponder what solutions can be cloud based and how to integrate them without significant effort and cost. Some organizations look at Office 365 and feel insecure about moving to a multi-tenant environment. Many organizations have significant investments in on-premises applications and infrastructure so moving to the cloud will not be an easy process.

These critical business systems have kept the wheels of commerce running for some time and have been built up with many layers of complexity and integration. Strict compliance regulations prevent many companies from exposing data in a cloud environment. With these constraints and issues in mind Microsoft has created a number of hybrid options that allow companies to selectively migrate enterprise solutions or build new applications that use cloud services while maintaining an on-prem infrastructure.

Let’s look at the options.

Why Your DAM Will Be Obsolete

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Social. Mobile. Analytics. Cloud. Big Data. These are the buzzwords that have been used to describe the transformation of all technologies over the past decade. With the evolution of these technologies, we have fundamentally moved from a basic client-server model of computing to a highly distributed, scalable, contextualized and scrutinized computing environment. But how does this concretely affect the future of Digital Asset Management?

Don't Leave Money on the Table With Sales Slipups

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Are sales inefficiencies costing your company millions? A recent survey by Apttus and Adobe found many organizations polled admit to profit-eroding problems ranging from flawed sales processes, inaccurate quotes and inexact sales forecasts.

Most surprising? “Twenty-five percent of sales professionals could not say with confidence whether or not their company is successful – a shocking depiction of the siloed, disconnected nature of many companies,” says Elliott Yama, AVP of Best Practice and Knowledge Management for Apttus.

Can't You Just Get Along? CIO, CMO = No Strong Bond

In a digital world, marketing and IT functions have become inextricably linked. But are the players in each space getting along?

Not necessarily, according to a 2014 Accenture Interactive report  that shows that chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) don’t always share a strong bond.

To create its 2014 report, “Cutting across the CMO-CIO divide: Digital drives a new wave of collaboration,” Accenture Interactive polled an international group of more than 1,100 senior marketing and IT executives. The results found that while the relationship between these the holders of these two job titles has improved considerably over the past few years, there remains room for improvement.

“While 43 percent of marketers and 50 percent of IT leaders think their relationship with the other has improved over the past year, less than one-quarter (23 percent) of marketers think the level of collaboration between CMOs and CIOs and their organizations is at or approaching the ‘right level’ now,” according to the report.

Get Ready for the Datapocalypse

2014-28-August-Maskatron.jpgToday’s data is bigger, stronger and faster. The increasing complexity of data is pushing organizations toward a tipping point — those that harness its value will excel, those that don’t will fall behind.

But becoming a data-driven organization is no longer just a smart way to build a competitive advantage — it's a necessity to survive the pending Datapocalypse. As everything from fridges and thermostats to cars and factories produce more and more data, organizations need to be able to quickly analyze and act on it or risk catastrophic damage.

The Anatomy of a Failed DAM Project

2014-28-August-Operation.jpgAs a consultant, I have seen many DAM projects unfold that ranged from nearly perfect to raging fiascos. In the spirit of learning from mistakes made by others, what follows are some of the most common DAM project failures and tips on handling them.

Digital Marketing's Easy, Until You Try It

2014-28-August-Rubiks-Cube.jpgDoes this sound familiar?

"Marketing is no longer an art; it has become a big data analytics engineering discipline where every marketing dollar can be optimized for maximum impact. All you need to do is give away a free version of your product and crank up the ______ <select one: ‘digital,’ ‘content,’ ‘social,’ or ‘automated’> marketing engine and you are good to go. Display ads to free users or offer a premium paid version of your product and you too will soon be able to sell your company to ______ <select one: ‘Google,’ ‘IBM,’ ‘Microsoft,’ or other company> and retire. Hire Millenials to feed this amazing new automated marketing. These folks totally ‘get’ the social stuff because they already spend all their waking moments on _______ <select one: ‘Facebook,’ ‘WhatsApp,’ ‘Instagram,’ ‘SnapChat’>.”

Unless you're completely off the grid you have surely seen some variation of this theme. Sounds great … if only it were this easy.

Quick Start Guide to Archiving Documents in the Cloud

2014-27-August-Squirrel.jpgIf you're considering whether your organization should go with cloud-based archiving for some of your documents, take a two step approach in your decision making. First, understand what your archiving requirements are — whether on premises or in the cloud. Then clarify what the pros and cons are of on premises versus cloud based archiving and decide which approach makes sense for your organization right now.

'Work Like a Network' Isn't Rocket Science, It's People

2014-27-August-Rocket-Science.jpgYour personal network, your social network(s), your corporate network, your neural network … you can’t swing a cat these days without hitting a network (Note: no cats were harmed in the writing of this column). And then Microsoft uses the phrase “work like a network.” What’s the big deal?

To me, “Work Like a Network” is the basis of fundamental communication and sociology of the workplace — not rocket science. It’s marketing spin, just like “BYOD” and “consumerization of IT” and “Mentos: The Freshmaker.” But there’s a slight twist that Microsoft brings, and it’s an important one.

Should You Use LinkedIn to Build a Network or an Audience?

2014-27-August-LinkedIn-Head.jpgI’m not sure how to use LinkedIn anymore. I’m on LinkedIn all the time as a social marketer, and over the last year or so I’ve noticed some big changes to two basic aspects of how I think about LinkedIn … and they've left me scratching my head about my own approach.

ESPN Slam Dunks Its Public API

2014-26-August-In-The-Air.jpgSay it ain't so, Joe! API fans everywhere suffered a heartbreaking defeat when one of the most prominent public content APIs packed it in and said there might not be a next season.

Will iOS 8 Reinvent Document Storage, Access for Mobile?

document management, Will iOS 8 Reinvent Document Storage, Access for Mobile?

Apple's iOS 8 operating system is set to hit the streets next month.

We talked earlier this summer about its impact on mobile marketers. How they must be able to adapt to the changes, such as actionable push notifications, a notification center and lock screen widgets, developer access for in-app fingerprint passcodes and updates to limit location tracking.

But the new iOS is also going to have a deep impact on the way documents are accessed and stored on iOS devices, according to Mika Javanainen, product development executive for M-Files, a Dallas, Texas-based content/document management software provider. His thinking?

Apps will be able to extend beyond their sandbox, into other apps, thereby avoiding duplicate document copies during editing. For Apple, this is a huge departure from the separate silos system and makes the iOS platform more appealing to the enterprise market. Content management software/app providers will finally be able to access other apps to manage and edit documents

Change is Scary, But Needed for EIM Success

2014-26-August-Changing-Letters.jpgThere’s no shortage of voices talking about the need for a new approach to enterprise information management (EIM). We can spend a lot of time unpacking all of the societal, individual, technological and digital forces that have brought us to what Andy Grove of Intel calls the inflection point: a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change.

But how can we make this change happen in EIM?

Without principles at its core, EIM Strategy will degenerate into an insignificant organizing and reorganizing of already existing situations — a “rearranging of deck chairs on the Titanic.”

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