Digital Marketing Trends and Prediction Articles for 2014

The Digital Marketing trend is reshaping relationships with customers, employees, and business partners. Many enterprises are already well on their way to digitally transforming their marketing capabilities. They are are leveraging digital technology to learn how to better engage with their current and future customers. Digital Marketing best practices can result in improved engagement, reduced cycle times, and lower costs.

I recently published my trend report Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2014.   The report provides an overview of Digital Marketing and what sub-trends to watch in 2014.

Here’s a few articles you might like to have a look at.

Source Title
Inc.com 3 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2014
Marketing Profs Five Big Social Media Trends for 2014
Social Media today Digital Marketing Techniques That Will Be in Vogue in 2014
Mosaic Marketing Services The Top 6 Internet Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014
Econsultancy 2014: The year content marketing finally grows up?
Azeem Azhar (PeerIndex) Big Idea 2014: Marketers, Get Up Close to Your Customers
B2C Business 2 Community 10 Digital Marketing Predictions For 2014
DigitalRelevance 10 Digital Marketing Predictions For 2014
Yahoo Small Business Advisor 10 Digital Marketing Predictions For 2014
Reve News Social Marketing Trends to Watch in 2014

 

The World’s Most Influential CMO’s: How Social Are They?

I’ve been doing a bunch of research into online Influencer identification, marketing, and engagement the past 6 months.  It’s a topic that is getting more traction and I expect in 2014 we will see a lot more interest in Influencer research, marketing and engagement strategies. 

For my part,  I’m planning on providing lists of online influencers for each of the 2014 Trend Reports that I am planning on publishing in mid January.   One of those reports will be on trends in Marketing, so a recent Forbes article about Influential CMOs caught my eye.

On October 3, 2013 Forbes and Appinions published a list of “The Most Influential CMOs” along with study results. You can access the article and a pdf file of the study report via the URL http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferrooney/2013/10/03/the-worlds-most-influential-cmos

It’s a  very interesting read.  CMOs from the Forbes 500 were identified and ranked based on the number of mentions of their name in the media over a 60 day period from July 27 – Sept. 24, 2013.  Research was conducted to determine the CMOs who were mentioned the most online.  66 CMOs were rank listed as being the “World’s Most Influential CMOs”.  It was found that the most mentioned CMOs were typically most associated with topics that were important to their business or industry.   The pdf file also offers some other interesting research on influencers within companies.

After reading the article and downloading the report, I became curious as to whether the 66 CMO’s that were identified were actually participating on social media platforms.  Longtime readers of this blog might remember I did a similar analysis on CIOs a few years ago (see “2009 CIO Award Winners Are Not Embracing Social Media”).

Worlds Most Influential CMOsSo I launched into an inventory and analysis of the 66 CMOs in the Forbes / Appinions research report.  I wanted to find out if these 66 CMOs had LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and whether or not they were active on those platforms and had established a large social network.   I was also interested to see if any of the 66 CMOs were sharing their own thought leadership on a blogging platform.   My research was conducted December 7-10, 2013. 

In summary, I found that only a fraction of the 66 CMOs on the Forbes “World’s Most Influential CMOs” have presence on social platforms.

  • While almost half of the 66 are actively building their network on LinkedIn, 24 (34%) have less than 3 connections on LinkedIn.
  • Only 14 (21%) are both active on Twitter and have over 1,000 followers
  • Only 12 (18%) have a blog and only 4 (6%) have posted in the past two months

Clearly, the leading CMOs around the world may be getting quoted in media, but they are generally not actively participating on social platforms.  I’d like to see them all contribute more of their thought leadership via blogs on their company websites or via personal blogs.  They can also share their thoughts via Twitter and on LinkedIn.   We can all learn so much from them. 

For more, check out my slide deck out on Slideshare (embedded below)

 

 

Let me know your thoughts on this post via Twitter at https://twitter.com/horizonwatching

SteadyServ’s iKeg™ Solution: Leveraging The Third Computing Platform

SteadyServ iKegThe collection of IoT (Internet of Things), Mobile, Cloud, Social, and Data Analytics trends are enabling a whole new era of intelligent solutions for businesses of all sizes.   IDC calls this the Third Platform and Gartner calls it the Nexus of Forces.  Whatever you want to call it, we are experiencing a historical transformation in the computing platform for businesses.  Solution providers must accelerate their ability to develop solutions that leverage these collection of trends.

For an example of a Solution Provider leveraging this new computing platform, have a look at SteadyServ Technologies.  SteadyServ has just launched the iKeg™, a mobile SaaS-based (software as a service) inventory management solution, for the beer industry.   According to  SteadyServ CEO and co-founder Steve Hershberger, “beer sold in retail establishments accounts for a $21bn industry, yet the industry still relies on the inaccurate process of ‘shaking the keg’ – the same method used since the inception of the product.”  SteadyServ has set out to automate beer inventory management.

At the heart of their new solution is a sensor that easily attaches to the bottom of a beer keg.  That sensor can tell a beer distributor or a tavern owner, in real time, exactly how many kegs are in the cooler and how much beer is left in each keg. 

The iKeg™ system actually consists of three parts – the hardware, software and a mobile app.  The hardware combines the aforementioned removable sensor ring and a RFID tag.  Once the RFID tag is scanned, the cloud-based software receives the data from the sensor, tracking how much beer remains, type of beer, age and when it was delivered.  Analytics in the iKeg™ solution measures and reports the real-time inventory of draft kegs, which is all accessible via a mobile app. 

The iKeg™ mobile app allows you to send customizable automatic social alerts to Facebook and Twitter every time a new beer goes on tap. It also provides a number of fully-integrated tools to help promote your establishment, special event or a unique beer that you might want to highlight. Have a look at the mobile app in the video below.

SteadyServ’s new iKeg Mobile App

Pretty neat, isn’t it?

The iKeg™ solution also automates the order and fulfillment process for the entire inventory of draft, bottled and canned beers.   All this information is then tallied with the stock, the next delivery date, previous order information, event information, and past and future beer consumption trends.  In addition, the iKeg™ solution uses advanced machine-to-machine communication technologies to ensure that the system is secure, reliable and highly scalable.  

It seems to me SteadyServ has a bright future ahead.  It’s a perfect example of an innovative solution provider leveraging the IoT (Internet of Things), Mobile, Cloud, Social, and Data Analytics trends.   I see the a whole new era of similar cloud-based solutions that will be developed and implemented as part of this new computing platform.

For more on iKeg™ or SteadyServ, check out their website at http://www.steadyserv.com.  You can also follow SteadyServ on Twitter at @steadyserv or via the hashtag #ikeg.

WOMMA’s 2013 Influencer Guidebook

WOMMA (The Word of Mouth Marketing Association) has recently announced the publication of it’s 2013 Influencer Guidebook.  This Guidebook is an educational resource for marketers to better understand the mechanics and metrics of influencer marketing.

I’m excited about this new Guidebook because, I was part of a WOMMA committee that researched, developed, and wrote it over the past year.  My fellow Research & Measurement Council members on this project were Neil Beam (Neil was our committee leader.  He’s from MotiveQuest), Ashley Libby (The Anca Group), Susan Emerick (IBM), Jane Collins (BlogHer), Michael Fein (Fanscape), Amy Laine (IBM) and Dhara Naik (Social@Ogilvy).

With the rise in social media over the past five years, Influencer Marketing programs have become an important part of any social media marketing strategy.   All types of organizations are looking for influencers who have the potential to change the purchasing behavior of the people who follow them.

The WOMMA 2013 Influencer Guidebook helps those that are developing Influencer programs in a number of ways:

    1. Definitions. Four critical elements have been defined and discussed: Influence, Key Influencers, Influencees, and Influencer Marketing and their relationship to each other
    2. Types of Influencers: The identification and description of five distinct categories of influences: Advocate, Ambassador, Citizen, Celebrity, and Professional/Occupational
    3. Program Considerations: A discussion of three levels of program considerations a marketer should consider when constructing their influencer marketing program
    4. Influencer Attributes:  Picking the right influencers is important.  A discussion and list of attributes that an influencer can possess is discussed.
    5. Metrics:  The Guidebook clarifies the difference between “potential to influence” metrics from that of “actual/observed influence” metrics – there is a difference and different methodologies are required

These five areas are all covered in a single, easy-to-read’ PDF file that make the new guidebook an important read for anyone considering or implementing an influencer marketing program.    To get the Guidebook, you need to be a registered WOMMA member (see below for a description of WOMMA).   If you are not a member, but want some more detail on the guidebook, here’s a few links for you to get more information.

About The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA)
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association is a trade association in the word of mouth and social media marketing industries. The organization is committed to developing and maintaining appropriate ethical standards for marketers and advertisers engaging in such marketing practices, identifying meaningful measurement standards for such marketing practices, and defining “best practices” for the industry. 

Digital Marketing: A 2013 HorizonWatching Trend Report

My Digital Marketing:  A 2013 HorizonWatching Trend Report is now available out on Slideshare and I’ve embedded the slides this post below (see bottom of post).  This report contains summary information as well as insights into what trends we might see around the Digital Marketing topic during 2013.

The marketing profession is undergoing a transformation thanks to the ever changing landscape of digital technology.  Marketing professionals have to stay current on how developments in the area of cloud, mobile, social, video, big data and analytics will impact the marketing profession.  2013 promises to be another interesting year as the technology trends just mentioned are all very hot.  It’s not a stretch to say that CMOs and Marketing Departments are a little over their head.

Digital Marketing Trends for 2013

  1. Advanced Analytics: Social, Customer, Mobile, Web
  2. Influencer Marketing:  Cultivating influencers into advocates
  3. Content Marketing:  Content designed to educate vs. sell
  4. Blogging:  Expect a resurgence in blogging with a focus on delivering thought leadership and education.
  5. Mobile Marketing:  Pilots should be over by now.  Time to deploy apps that deliver business value across critical business processes.
  6. Social Media Marketing:  Pull in the reins, cleaning house, and re-focus on relationships
  7. Video Marketing:  Integrating Video into all Content Marketing efforts
  8. Personalization: Driven by big data and advanced analytics
  9. Digital Experience:  Optimizing the cross-channel customer digital experiences
  10. Digital Skill Shortages:  Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
  11. CMO / CIO Partnership:  Redefining relationships and  setting goals together

Digital Marketing: A 2013 HorizonWatching Trend Report

103 Digital Marketing Trends and Prediction Lists for 2013

marketing - Enterprise MM If you have been following my blog posts here the past month, you know I have been sharing my 2013 trends research notes and observations along the way.  One part of my process is to read what others are saying about trends.   The past two weeks (check out the last 10 blog posts here) I’ve been sharing with you lists of blog posts and online articles that provide discussions relating to the trends I am researching.

Today I am featuring blog posts and articles that discuss important trends in digital marketing and the role of the CMO.  The marketing profession is undergoing a transformation thanks to the ever changing landscape of digital technology.  Marketing professionals have to stay current on how developments in the area of cloud, mobile, social, video, big data and analytics will impact the marketing profession.  2013 promises to be another interesting year as the technology trends just mentioned are all very hot.  It’s not a stretch to say that CMOs and Marketing Departments are a little over their head.

One indication of the activity in this area is all the articles and blog posts that have been written and published in the past 30-60 days.  The list below is evidence of that activity.  

Here then, is a list of articles and blog posts I have uncovered in the past few weeks that focus on the challenges and trends ahead in marketing for 2013.  I invite you to come back tomorrow and I will have another list like this one on another important trend to share with you.

Source Title of Article / Blog Post
24/7 Media Digital Marketing Trends of 2013
AdAge Five Bets On How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2013
AdAge How The Role Of CMO Will Change In The Year Ahead
AdExchanger Online Marketing: Top Trends for 2013
Adotas 2013: The Year Of Mobile Social Marketing
Adweek CMO Council Report: Marketing Budgets on the Upswing
Bdaily Top eCommerce Marketing Opportunities for 2013
BizCommunity.Com Five digital trends to watch for in 2013
BizReport Data, content solutions to help brands in 2013
Branding Strategy Insider Brand Marketing Trends For 2013
Business2Community 2013 Digital and Social Marketing Emerging Trends
Business2Community 2013 Medical Marketing Predictions
Business2Community 2013: The Year of Integrated Digital Marketing
Business2Community 5 Online Marketing Resolutions to Make in 2013
Business2Community Digital Marketing in 2013: What’s In and What’s Out
CEB Blogs 4 Things on B2C CMO’s Minds for 2013
CMO.com 13 Major Marketing Trends For 2013
CMO.com Digital Marketing In 2013: Predictions From 86 Industry Luminaries
CMO.Com For 2013, Digital Strategy Is Critical
CMSWire Content Strategy: Five Predictions for 2013
CMSWire Web CMS Trends in 2013: Multi-Touch, Cloud, Social CRM
Constant Contact Constant Contact outlines SME marketing predictions for 2013
Content Marketing Institute 100+ Social Media and Content Marketing Predictions for 2013
Convince&Convert 25 Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013
Customer Think Marketing Game Changers For 2013
Customer Think Top 5 CMO Resolutions for 2013
Daily News Top 10 Smart Marketing Trends for 2013
DBW Ten Bold Predictions for eBooks and Digital Publishing in 2013
Destination CRM.com The Top Six Digital Trends for 2013
Digitalbookworld Ten Bold Predictions for Ebooks and Digital Publishing in 2013
Digitalbookworld Top 12 #DigitalPublishing Twitter Accounts to Follow in 2013
Digitas Distillery Five Days of Digitas Predictions (for 2013): B2B and CRM
Digitas Distillery Five Days of Digitas Predictions (for 2013): Brand Content
Direct Marketing News CMOs declare 2013 the Year of Digital
DM Confidetial The Top 10 Trends Lead-Generation Marketers Should Know About in 2013
eConsultancy 17 digital marketing and ecommerce trends for 2013 by Econsultancy CEO Ashley Friedlein
eConultancy The 2013 CMO Challenge: Content, Digital And Organizational Attribution
Eloqua CMOs You Should Watch in 2013
Email Institute The 2013 CMO Challenge: Content, Digital and Organisational Attribution
Exact Target Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013
Executive Board 10 Marketing Trends for 2013 You Haven’t Heard
Fast Company 13 Bold Marketing Moves To Try In 2013
Fast Company 5 trends that will shape digital services in 2013
Fast Company The Top 10 Trends for Marketers According to JWT
Forbes CMO Predictions For 2013 — Part 1: MasterCard, Philips, Western Union, MillerCoors
Forbes CMO Predictions For 2013 — Part 2: Ford, Heineken, CVS
Forbes CMO Predictions For 2013 — Part 3: AT&T
Forbes CMO Predictions For 2013 From Ford, Heineken, CVS
Forbes Content Marketing And E-Commerce Tops Digital Marketers Priority List For 2013
Forbes Follow The Money: Digital Marketing Trends For 2013
Forbes Google News Crumbles, And More 2013 Media Predictions
Forbes Is 2013 The Year We Welcome ‘Post-Digital’ Marketing? I Vote Yes
Forbes Six Things Every CMO Needs To Know In 2013
Forrester 2013: The Year of Digital Business
FPS 2013 Will Be ‘The Year Of The Marketer’: The CMO Council
Gartner Gartner Highlights Top Consumer Mobile Applications and Services for Digital Marketing Leaders
Harris CMO Partners Top marketing blogs of 2012
HBR Six Social-Digital Trends for 2013
Hubsot 8 Insightful Marketing Predictions for 2013 and Beyond
HubSpot 20 Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2013 & Beyond
Huffington Post 21 Book Publishing Predictions for 2013
IDC 2013: A Need for Speed in the Transforming Channel Landscape, Says IDC
IDC IDC Releases Chief Marketing Officer Top 10 Predictions for 2013
iMedia Connection 2013 Mobile Marketing/Technology Trends
iMedia Connection 3 digital marketing predictions for 2013
iMedia Connection 6 trends that will shape digital in 2013
iMedia Connection 7 digital marketing trends to watch in 2013
iMedia Connection Digital and Social Marketing Trends for 2013
iMedia Connection The top 6 digital marketing trends for 2013
Interactive Intelligence / IDC IDC Releases Chief Marketing Officer Top 10 Predictions for 2013
JWT 10 trends that will shape consumer mindset and behavior in 2013
JWT Blog What’s Big? 100 Things to Watch in 2013
Landor Landor’s 2013 trends forecast: Eight hot topics
Landor Trend two: Brand Purpose
Leadership Top 5 CMO Resolutions For 2013
MarketingWeek Key digital marketing trends for 2013
Mashable 4 Best Practices for Digital Marketers in 2013
Mashable 5 Marketing Predictions For 2013
MediaWeek Display Predictions for 2013
Memeburn 5 aspects of digital marketing you should be thinking about in 2013
MIA Kelsey CMO.com’s Expert Panel: 2013 All About ‘Better Data’ and ‘Better Content’
Miami Herald 13 Small Business Marketing Trends To Watch In 2013
Millward Brown Digital & Media Predictions 2013
Net Imperative 10 Digital Trends In 2013: ‘Data porn’, ‘Digital Health’ And The UX Of Social
Optify Optify Identifies Key Trends for Digital Marketing Industry in 2013
Phizzle Phizzle Identifies Top 2013 Digital Marketing Trends
Prosar.com Top Marketing Trends for 2013
Ragan.com 7 content marketing trends to watch for 2013
RightIntel 8 Insightful Marketing Predictions for 2013 and Beyond
RobotForce.com Top Marketing Trends Every Small Business Needs to Know for 2013
Search Engine Watch 5 Trends Shaping SEO & Content Marketing in 2013
Search Marketing B2B Marketing Predictions for 2013
SearchEngineWatch Social PR Tips to Get Fit for 2013 Digital Marketing
Silverpop Silverpop Highlights Key Digital Marketing Trends for 2013 in New eBook
Smart Insights 5 key social media priorities for marketers in 2013
SocialMedia Today 2013 Digital Marketing Predictions
SocialMedia Today 2013: The Year of Integrated Digital Marketing
SocialMedia Today Marketing Trends for 2013 and beyond
Techpaparazzi Top Marketing Trends That will give you Edge
The Marketing Automation Alert 5 key social media priorities for marketers in 2013
The Search Agents The Search Agency 2013 Predictions
TheIDM.org 10 Digital and IT Trends for 2013
TheMediaOnline Trends 2013: Big data, content marketing and mobile first

Jack Uldrich: Predictions for 2012

Jack Uldrich is a well known author, blogger, columnist, keynote speaker, and global futurist.  Two books of his I recommend are 1) Jump the Curve: 50 Essential Strategies to Help Your Company Stay Ahead of Emerging Technologies and The Next Big Thing is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business.

Uldrich has released his list of predictions for 2012.  I like reading his list every year because his predictions are integrated into stories and potential scenarios that could very well happen.  The stories and scenarios bring the predictions to life and helps you imagine other uses for the predicted technology trend.

Here’s a summary of his list

  1. Blackout Friday. Retailers will admit to using advanced facial recognition software.
  2. Collegiate Guarantees.   University helps unemployed alumni with special offer.
  3. Augmented Political Reality.  A mobile app to help voters match candidates to special interest groups
  4. Potty “Gaming”.  A new game to help parents potty-train their toddlers.
  5. Urban Crops.  A city will initiate a major focus on urban farming to feed it’s citizens.
  6. Paparazzi Drones.    Advanced miniature robotic drones to be applied to the celebrity industry.
  7. Virtual Grocery Stores.  Subway walls to become a smartphone enabled virtual grocery store..
  8. Nano-Drugs.   Trial program launched to apply groundbreaking nanoscience technology to cancer treatment
  9. Networked Traffic.    Social networking apps to reduce traffic congestion.
  10. Phone Food Sensors.  New device attached to smartphones chemically analyzes food while shopping at grocery stores.

You can read the detail behind Uldrich’s list at his blog  http://jumpthecurve.net/health-care/futurist-jack-uldrichs-predictions-for-2012/

Top 25 Most Popular Consumer (B2C) Branded Facebook Pages

I’ve been busy doing lots of research into how social media is being used by corporations.  I thought I’d share with you one piece of analysis I’ve done on B2C Branded Facebook pages.

As I’ve discussed here before, social business is an important emerging trend for corporations.   Many companies are past the experimentation stage on Facebook and are utilizing that platform as a way to build communities of customers into fans and advocates.

This table below documents the most popular B2C Branded fan pages on Facebook.  The table provides the number of fans and the URL for the top 25 pages.   The information was collected in mid October 2011.

Top 25 Most Popular Consumer (B2C) Branded Facebook Pages

#. Product/Brand Fans URL
1 Cocacola 34,643,972 https://www.facebook.com/cocacola
2 Oreo 23,142,657 https://www.facebook.com/oreo
3 Redbull 22,472,071 https://www.facebook.com/redbull
4 Skittles 19,382,918 https://www.facebook.com/skittles
5 Pringles 15,720,653 https://www.facebook.com/Pringles
6 Monster Energy 12,429,566 https://www.facebook.com/MonsterEnergy
7 Ferrero Rocher 12,252,965 https://www.facebook.com/FerreroRocher
8 Nutella 11,397,566 https://www.facebook.com/Nutella
9 Dr Pepper 10,631,556 https://www.facebook.com/DrPepper
10 Starburst 10,020,345 https://www.facebook.com/Starburst
11 Nike Football 8,969,053 http://www.facebook.com/nikefootball
12 Starbucks Frappuccino 7,744,417 https://www.facebook.com/Starburst
13 Mountain Dew 6,116,553 https://www.facebook.com/mountaindew
14 Pepsi 5,966,034 https://www.facebook.com/pepsi
15 5 Gum 5,412,955 https://www.facebook.com/5Gum
16 Sprite 4,584,408 https://www.facebook.com/Sprite
17 Kit Kat 4,508,596 https://www.facebook.com/kitkat
18 Gatorade 4,218,322 https://www.facebook.com/Gatorade
19 Slurpee 4,175,892 https://www.facebook.com/Slurpee
20 Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts 3,432,172 https://www.facebook.com/kelloggspoptarts
21 Kinder Surprise 3,299,680 https://www.facebook.com/kindersurprise
22 Nike Basketball 3,180,994 https://www.facebook.com/nikebasketball
23 Lay's 3,072,879 https://www.facebook.com/lays
24 Vitaminwater 2,913,825 https://www.facebook.com/vitaminwater
25 Wonka 2,870,596 https://www.facebook.com/wonka

 

Observations

  • These brands invest time in developing an inviting Facebook experience.
  • Many of them have built extra features into their Facebook pages, including contests, games, recipes, discussion forums, videos, pictures, etc.
  • Most of these companies interact well with the fans, asking questions of them or providing posts that encourage the conversation.   This interaction keeps the fans coming back to the site and participating.

HorizonWatching Newspaper: Daily Recap of Emerging Trends, Technologies, and Business Issues

A few weeks ago I started publishing The HorizonWatching Daily via paper.li.  I thought I’d give it a try and so far I like it.

It takes the links those I am following on Twitter and pulls those stories into a newspaper-like format.   Most of those I am following are professional futurists or have something to do with emerging trends, technologies and business issues. Thanks to all those I am following for their link-sharing and content.

Here’s the URL to the online paper http://paper.li/horizonwatching.   I’ve also embedded the latest issue here.  Take a look.


A Primer on the Website Personalization Trend

The Personalized Web will be driven by analytic engines that will integrate data from many sources in order to present an online experienced tailored to each user.

Thanks to the explosion of social media, how users are influenced, consume information, and make purchasing decisions has been altered forever.  Users are increasingly expecting company websites, products, and services to be tailored to their individual preferences, past experiences, and what they happen to be doing at this very moment.  This puts the demand on business and IT leaders to create a personalized and engaging experience for end-users across all channels, both online and offline. 

image

                Unica: The State of Marketing 2010 (link)

Users want to their experience to be customized:

  • Returning visitors to a web site want to see a page based on all the information collected from previous visits.  Businesses should present personalized sites to these customers by organizing information and prioritizing it based on the individual's liking.  Products and services offered on those pages will be pre-configured.
  • “Anonymous” visitors to websites should get customized messages based on the referring URL, search terms, geo-location and any other insights. 

In 2011, I expect business leaders to focus on advanced solutions that can delivering a more personalized experience to end users.  These solutions will be designed to mine the user profile, buying behavior, browsing behavior and other insights obtained through marketing analytics in order to deliver a more customized and personalized online experience.  Look for further improvements in technologies such as marketing analytics and predictive algorithms that can automatically deliver highly relevant, contextually aware, personalized content and recommendations to customers via both online and offline channels. I also expect the personalization trend to be extended beyond the website to other digital channels, including social media marketing, mobile marketing, and email marketing.

One other point, the personalization trend is not only about presenting personalized pages to users of sales and marketing processes. All business application users can benefit from web sites and applications that present information that is personalized to the user. 

The rest of this post provides you with some background information on the trend, some quotes from the marketplace, and a bunch of links to additional reading information.

Trend Drivers

  • Individuals want content that is personalized and is relevant to why they are on a particular website at a given time /
  • New analytic capability

Trend Inhibitors/Challenges

  • Integrating offline as well as online behaviour
  • Need to build and retain complete profile data
  • Privacy issues

Trend Implications

  • New business processes and skills required
  • Need to track individual’s interactions and transactions across all channels, in order to provide the best offer or communication.
  • Messaging plans can be tailored to interests and preferences of each individual.

Quotes from the Marketplace: 

“Emerging context-enriched services will use location, presence, social attributes and other environmental information to anticipate an end user's immediate needs, offering more-sophisticated, situation-aware and usable functions” – Gartner (link)

“Marketers are focused on making their communications more timely and relevant to recipients. To do that, they need to build communications around the interests and preferences of each individual customer or prospect. “ – Unica, Sept. 2010 (link)

“Personalized product recommendations are proven to consistently increase sales, conversion rates, average order value and customer retention“ – Coremetrics, Oct 2010 (link)

Featured Video

Personalising the Web Experience – Unica Video

For More Information

Here are some sites where you will find links to other learning resources like white papers, demos, customer briefs, and videos

More Information From ibm.com

You Are Invited To The Social Business Jam

Last week, I posted about the emergence of the Social Business term to represent the next stage in how companies are using social and collaboration technologies in order to conduct business.  My post “The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station Are You On It?” provides an overview of the trend and makes the case for why it is important.

As a follow-up, I wanted you to be aware of the Social Business Jam.  On February 8-11, 2011 IBM will host the Social Business Jam (www.ibm.com/social/businessjam).  Should you register, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with leading experts on topics such as:

  • Building the Social Business of the Future
  • Building Participatory Organizations Through Social Adoption
  • Using Social to Understand and Engage with Customers
  • What does Social mean for IT?
  • Identifying Risks and Establishing Governance

I will be jamming…along with some leading Social Business experts, including:

  • Charlene Li, Founder of Altimeter Group, Author of “Groundswell”
  • Mei Li Tan, CMO, Treasury & Trade Solutions, Citigroup
  • Steve Wylie, GM of Enterprise 2.0 Conference
  • Vittorio Cretella, CIO, Mars Inc.

Join me in the Jam.  Should be an interesting discussion.  It all starts February 8th, so register NOW!!!  www.ibm.com/social/businessjam

For those of you on Twitter, we’ll be using the hashtag #sbjam 

A Social Business Strategy Can Make A Company More Responsive and Agile

One of the big buzzwords of 2011 will be ‘Social Business’.  It’s an outgrowth of terms we’ve seen the last 3 years like social media, social media marketing, social computing, social networking, social CRM, and digital strategy.   I think this term will take hold because it will resonate better with business leaders, who want to make sure social activities leads to business success.  And yes, I do believe a well-implemented social business strategy can help a business become more successful.

Social Business Strategy Can Make A Company More Responsive and Agile Successful businesses put the customer at the center of everything they do. Successful businesses should, in fact, have as a major objective to help their customers be as successful as possible. To do that they need to understand their customer’s business problems and their strategy for solving those business problems. Successful businesses can sometimes be better at anticipating a customer's business needs than the customer itself.

To be successful, companies need to look for ways to increase the volume and quality of conversations they have with the customer. Increasing the volume and quality of conversations help them get closer to their customers. It helps them understand their customers better and hopefully, anticipate their needs.

The social computing trend allows companies to develop a social business strategy that can allow them to get closer to customers. A well designed and implemented social business strategy can enable an increase in the volume and quality of conversations companies can have with their customers. The great thing about having those conversations digitally is that they can happen 24X7.  So wherever you are and whenever you have the urge, you can have a conversation with your customer. 

These conversations can be initiated by the customer or by a company employee.  Through the use of mobile devices, employees can participate in these conversations wherever they happen to be in the world.  And those conversations can be happening at any hour of the day.  Being active socially means that employees can potentially reach customer contacts no matter what level they reside within the customer's organization.  Relationships can be built on social networks with even the most senior contacts within a customer organization.   Employees can share digital content about products and services with customer contacts, getting information in the hands of customers much faster than waiting for a face to face visit.  And the neat thing is that all these digital conversations can occur in real-time too. 

So look for the Social Business buzz to pick up steam in 2011.   To summarize, by implementing a social business strategy, companies can 1) get closer to their customers, 2) understand their needs better, and 3) be much more responsive to their needs.   And a big benefit is that by being more responsive, companies can be more agile, responding to those needs faster than competition. 

Implementing a social business strategy is not easy.  You can’t do it just by setting up a social platform.  It requires hard work to change culture, implement new roles, business processes, etc.  I’ll save that discussion for another future post.

For More Information

For those of you wanting to do some extra reading, here are some links for you to explore. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it’s enough for now.