Business concepts degraded to marketing buzzwords are causing strategic havoc

Digital has never been more experiential and immediate, yet it’s also never been harder to find ways to reach and influence people. Technology vendors warp and mutate business concepts to sell strategies, marketing tools and platforms to businesses, but divining what will be successful to reach a new customer and associated organizational models is a huge challenge

We all know smart phones, always-on connectivity and cloud technologies have fundamentally changed the way we behave in all areas of life. Sometimes it seems the only people who aren’t as aware of this as they could be are the people who run technology infrastructure inside companies.

The pace of change is only increasing, but with that comes some remarkable rhetoric, distortions and fear mongering from vested interests in the tech industry, and opportunistic sniping of existing business opportunities by full stack start ups.

Some of the charismatic characters who have emerged from the advertising and pr world to become self created experts in digital are being relied on to lead businesses through the technology jungle, yet are ‘cargo culters’ who have never worked in large companies or designed real world strategies.

Customer experience (‘CX’) is a massive marketing obsession this fall, particularly as the digital marketing world appears to be falling apart at the seams. The dot come era was always ‘about to come up with something more than banner ads’ on web pages before that financial bubble burst.

A useful blog post on Idlewords’ the advertising bubble’ points out similar fissures in the highly complex thickets of digital advertising firms we have today. Essentially there isn’t enough money to go around to justify the expense of capturing people’s attention to sell them things online and the digital ad industry bubble is bursting.
Paraphrasing the basic premise of the faustian bargain we strike to be told about things we might be interested in: “A customer pays money for a good or service….In essence, we pay a small consumption tax to fund advertising”.


“There’s more money being made from advertising than consumers are putting in.
The balance comes out of the pockets of (advertising technologies) investors, who are all gambling that their pet company or technology will come out a winner. They provide a massive subsidy to the adtech sector.
But investors want to be on the other side of the equation. Instead of pouring money in, they want their money back, plus a handsome profit”.


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The growing digital divide and the strategic inertia that can kill

Summary: The challenge for giant swathes of the tech industry is that bad smell from past plumbing failures — and fear of the unknown.

The iPad is five years old this week and Apple just had the most successful business quarter of any company, ever. Asymco analyst Horace Deidu has deduced that in 2014 iOS app developers earned more than Hollywood did from box office in the US. He also makes a claim that the Apple app economy sustains more jobs than the movie biz (627,000 iOS jobs in the US vs. 374,000 in Hollywood) is easier to enter, has wider reach and is also growing more rapidly.

Meanwhile, in the face of the staggering transformation of society brought about by mobile devices and connectivity (on which you can now consume Hollywood products, instead of buying a ticket at the brick-and-mortar box office), the enterprise grade technologies and organizational models that are the underpinnings of this new world are still mostly firmly rooted in the last century.


The challenge that layers of legacy technologies and their associated human handlers impose on companies can be the boat anchor that is holding companies back from succeeding in this new world, a scenario that has played out many times in the past. The various annual lists of successful companies change out a lot more frequently than most think — look where Apple was in 2005 — and a prime reason for corporate demise is outdated processes and therefore products bound by brittle old infrastructure and associated work paradigms.

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The end of ‘social’: Is the digital enterprise leaving you behind?


Summary: We’re leaving the era of standalone social networks and moving to a far more interconnected world. The digital enterprise approach combines vestigial point solutions and legacy applications into cohesive next generation systems of engagement.

Social technologies are like the wiring in a device – your toaster, car or head phones won’t work without this connective plumbing. But “standalone social” as a point solution is as meaningless as buying wire for your toaster – it’s already designed around it. 

Your world is now dominated by increasingly sophisticated smart devices that are always with you, whether you are working or on your own time.

Intelligent personal assistants are becoming ubiquitous on mobile devices of all stripes – the battle between Google Now and Apple’s Siri and the rest of the pack are at an important maturity point, to some degree already superseding search with in-the-moment contextual information based on your existing preferences.

The management concepts that have evolved as a result of social media transforming global communications are now resulting in meaningful changes in the enterprise.

This algorithm-driven new world is a given for those who have grown up always living with smart devices, most of whom now live in a post Facebook and Twitter world of text messages and shared images, Snap Chat and other “instant” and ephemeral communication.

The increasingly stodgy world of Facebook’s content heavy and calendared recording of life events approach is reminiscent of AOL’s last days as the internet outgrew that old social interactions silo. Twitter has arguably collapsed under its own weight, failing to scale and missing filtering mechanisms to eliminate duplication and to help users surface important information. Most critically for the old social silo generation: They are now awash with click bait, marketing pitches and agendas.


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