Are Machines the Future of Marketing?

Watson on JeopardyThe idea that someday the CEO or Head of Sales will click a few buttons to set objectives, budget and timing and a machine will create and execute a marketing plan seems pretty far-fetched.

When IBM’s Watson can tackle healthcare issues, marketing advice from machines doesn’t seem so unlikely anymore.

As marketers, we will soon be the managers of the machines that are managing our marketing. Are you ready? [Read more...]

Using New Data for Marketing that is “Just Right”

You go to Macys.com and you see baby clothes prominently featured on the homepage. You sign up for the newsletter that promises daily special deals on baby clothes and toys. It is a no-brainer, your first child is on the way.

Macy’s newsletter arrives in your inbox promptly at 5:55 AM every morning, just as you sit down with coffee and fire up your email. On Fridays, it arrives at 6:30 AM. You always sleep in a little on Friday.

On Saturday, you walk into your local furniture for the nursery. On Monday, you notice a crib in the sidebar of your Macy’s email.

Across town, your friend receives an email from Macy’s at 8:25 AM. Well timed, it arrives as she sits down in the office to check personal email before the real work day begins. [Read more...]

What Will Marketing Look Like in 2030?

We just welcomed our third son, Caleb, into our family. Over the last few months, I have been thinking about the world he is coming in to, how it is changing and what marketing, one of my focuses, will look like as grows up.

Innovation is happening so quickly that predictions like this are a fool’s errand, but for the sake of Caleb and discussion, here are trends I see that I believe will continue to carry through the next 18 years. [Read more...]

12 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2012

B2B Marketing Prediction PostI was recently informed that every marketing blogger must publish their predictions for the year ahead. So to claim my status as a blogger and not put my right to use WordPress at risk, here are my 12 serious predictions for B2B marketing in 2012.

Content Marketing

1. Name recognition will rule. Flooded with content, audiences will turn to recognized sources. High quality editorial, analysts and recognized thought leaders will rise above the clutter based on their names and reputations. [Read more...]

Recommending Content and Automated Sharing of Content

You find a great blog, read regularly, and tweet or share everything posted. So why not automate sharing what you already share, and get a few minutes back each day?

On the surface, it seems logical. However, if you are using automation, it likely is having side effects.

  1. Automation has made your algorithm, primarily your selection of sources, more important than the content itself.
  2. You share more than you used to. I follow people that, with the addition of automation tools, now share more content than I have time to read, even if they were my only content source.
  3. It has disconnected you from your best content sources. Your time savings are from spending less time reading, considering or commenting on content from the best sources, those you are willing to automate. The simple act of sharing is a minimal time savings.
  4. Your sharing does not include a comment or note that adds context for your audience. The comment or note improves the recommendation, helping your audience see what content is right for them.

[Read more...]

Are Smartphones Making Us Stupid?

Text On The BeachSmartphones always have a corner of our attention. When they beep, buzz or blink, we take notice. Walking down the sidewalk, on public transit, or while watching television, our smartphones are our sidekicks. Even during meetings, or maybe especially during meetings.

But our attention is rarely complete. Few people schedule smartphone time the way they schedule work time. For intensive tasks, most people still return to their desktop or laptop (ever try building a financial model on a smartphone? I wouldn’t recommend it).

Likewise, the attention mobile devices claim limits the attention we give other activity. [Read more...]

Can We Save Twitter From Ourselves?

Canyon ItaimbézinhoTwitter is not a communication channel, it is a platform that allows each of us to create and evolve our own custom communication channel.

If Twitter is not working for communication, it is not a problem with Twitter. As a platform, Twitter is developing and our behavior reflects its infancy, with the full spectrum of human behavior on display.

The societal norms for Twitter have yet to be established. The fact there are so many posts on Twitter etiquette is proof. A Google blog search for “Twitter Etiquette” returns 32,000 results, to just 11,000 for “Dinner Etiquette”.

If Twitter is no longer an effective channel, like Kary Delaria postulated in Three Reasons Twitter is Beginning to Suck, the problem stems from how people are building and evolving their own communication channels on Twitter. [Read more...]

It’s Not Rational, B2B Marketing Needs to Get Emotional!!

This post was sparked by a spirited, and at times emotional, debate during the #bizforum chat on Twitter yesterday evening. Thanks to @samfiorella for instigating and @chieflemonhead, @MaureenB2B, @PrashSabharwal and @josepf, among others, for a spirited discussion.

B2B buying is complex because the products are complex. Evaluating B2B solutions is hard, and the final decision is not made with absolute knowledge it is the right decision.

I submit as Exhibit A: the numerous regrettable ERP and CRM investments that have been made by large corporations.

In B2B, buyers are incredibly knowledgeable, but they simply cannot be certain. To confidently proceed, they must believe they are making the best decision. At its heart, it is an emotional decision. [Read more...]

Three Principles for the Future of Marketing

The TunnelIn the future, marketing must be valuable. But that isn’t enough.

Earlier this week, Michael Brenner outlined the future of marketing, drawing from last fall’s future of advertising article in Fast Company. It is a great perspective. The question is, how do you accomplish it? How do you, as Michael said, “create communities of customer advocates and evangelists”?

There are three principles to excel in the future of marketing that Michael presented and create the advocates and evangelists [Read more...]

Content Curation: The Oldest Media Activity

Media companies have always curated content. With limited time and space, newscasts, prime time schedules and papers have been carefully assembled from the best available content.

Kitty on a pile of newspapers - from Brit Randolph on FlickrAs marketers become publishers in their own right, it is natural they become expert content curators also. In Content Curation – It’s What’s for Breakfast These Days on Social Media Explorer, Stephanie Schwab says brands the curate interesting content from outside sources ultimately expand their brands. That is one of your objectives, right?

[Read more...]