This Q&A is part of an interview series for the upcoming MarTech Conference, May 9-11 in San Francisco, covering the agenda topics to be discussed at the event. Read on for an exclusive sneak-peek from the presenters
1. How have you seen marketers evolve in their understanding of martech in these last five years? What are the gaps (maybe in exploiting technology, attitudes, approaches, strategies etc) that events like these address for newbies as well as veteran marketers?
There are at least two major gaps for customers to fill: Capacity and Hyperbole.
Events like this give marketers and technologists the ability to have candid conversations with peers and experts about how marketing technology really works - as opposed to how we might wish it to work – and help close those gaps.
It’s a fact of business life that technology vendors sometimes go out of business or sunset their products. This happens less than most customers fear, but when it does, the results can range from damaging to catastrophic. Therefore, a prudent enterprise will monitor key technologies and suppliers for potential problems.
At Real Story Group, a lot of our research goes into reviewing “vendor intangibles” to help guide customer decision making early on. Over the years, we've found a failing vendor or open-source project will exhibit telltale signs. By identifying these signs, you the customer can conduct your own risk mitigation accordingly.
10 warning signs a vendor is failing:
1. Significant fall-off in new customers
2. Declining—or no—community events
3. Disrupted product support
4. Serial acquisitions
5. Rapid vendor staff turnover
6. Escape to open source
7. Slower product updates
8. Evasive salespeople and account reps
9. Meandering roadmaps
10. Distracted founders
Marketers should focus less on creating pages and more on delivering shareable micro experiences — rendered components that can be distributed across a wide range of environments, including email, transactional applications, mobile web apps and kiosks.
That’s one of the findings released this week in Real Story Group’s 2017 Web Content & Experience Management Marketplace Analysis, a yearly report for RSG subscribers that analyzes 36 WCM vendors. The report emphasized intelligent web content management (WCM) architectures that include components built in WCM environments but delivered through separate applications.
Unlike the financial analyst community, technology analyst firms make scant distinction between buy- and sell-side analysis, a conflict of interest that leaves customers worse off.
Recently passing my 15th anniversary as a technology industry analyst caused me to reflect on the evolution of our business, and I'm disappointed to share that amid some positive developments, one significant ethical shortcoming still persists.
If you had asked me 15 years ago—when the world was reeling from an equities collapse aggravated in part by conflict-of-interest shenanigans on Wall Street—I would have predicted that the tech analyst community would split neatly between sell-side research and buy-side research.
But that has not happened, and you the customer are the worse off for it. ... Read More.
A book about DAM (Digital and Marketing Asset Management: The Real Story About DAM Technology and Practice) would not be complete without putting DAM in the bigger picture, and by that I mean the bigger picture of Marketing Technology. A DAM by itself has limited usefulness: those assets have to be pushed out and used by different technologies in a wealth of ways for all this effort to benefit your organization.
Though DAM historically was implemented in a silo, used and maintained by only a few marketers or archivists, that’s changed. DAM is now fully embraced by the C-suite as a key enterprise application. Just as much effort is being put into DAM systems connecting to other systems as deploying simply the DAM, itself.
So how does DAM fit into the bigger picture of consumer-centric digital marketing? It’s not always obvious. Choosing the right tools for holistic and effective digital marketing is not unlike crafting a complex cocktail: you have to find the right mix of ingredients, and the right balance, that works for you.
For the 20 years I've been following web content management (WCM) and experience management technology, the only constant has been change.
This certainly holds true for 2017, when you can expect some new approaches and in some cases some industry re-alignment. Let's look at seven key trends.
"Box was relatively more enterprise-focused as opposed to Dropbox, which was more consumer-focused, and this focus is what differentiates the two," said Apoorv Durga, research director at Real Story Group. "Box has more advanced enterprise-ey features — such as better admin and security controls — whereas Dropbox appeals more to consumers because it’s easier and simpler to use." Read the complete article here.
Facing highly fragmented technology marketplaces with many competing vendors, enterprise customers naturally seek out "horse race-type" analysis — who's winning and who's losing — to help narrow their choices.
Major analyst firms have traditionally responded with 2x2 quadrants to show which vendors are ahead and behind in any given marketplace.
Quadrants remain quite popular visualizations because they serve several useful purposes. They are easy to understand, offer a simple window into deeper research, and can provide a quick summary of a marketplace.
No wonder they are ubiquitous. In fact, an emerging software category getting designated its own quadrant obtains a powerful signal that it has "arrived." Read More.
Digital experience management (DXM) refers to providing highly satisfying digital services to customers through an effective blend of strategy, process, and technology. DXM fundamentals remain more or less the same across industries, but the modus operandi may vary based on your objectives. Education is a rather vast field, and this article focuses on DXM for higher education (higher ed) organizations such as colleges and universities.
Waves of digital transformation are sweeping across industries, and higher ed is not immune to these changes. In fact, higher ed may even be at the cusp of a transformation enabled by the creative ferments of digital technologies. Things such as classroom learning, teaching curricula and methods, and student assessments and evaluations-?essentially, almost all the traditional approaches and conventional practices-are being re-examined to see if they can be improved on or delivered better using digital technologies. Read More.
The Documentum acquisition is just the latest step in the narrowing of scope of traditional, heavy-duty ECM. There always was and still is a place for massive systems like Documentum and IBM FileNet for complex document processing, especially in heavily regulated environments. Ten years ago, ECM tools were pitched as much more widely relevant, but they turned out to be too expensive and complicated for workaday use cases.
Or to put it another (more positive) light, the last decade has seen the democratization of document management, first with SharePoint — which made Office files more sharable within departments — then with cloud-based file-sharing services like Box, which made files more accessible across devices and within the cloud. We’ve also seen the rise of more specialized players for things like contracts management and forms processing: they solve specific problems without the IT overhead of a complex system.
There will continue to be a role for heavy-duty document processing, especially in larger enterprises. BPM will remain relevant in some of those cases. So ECM isn’t going away. Read the full article here.
"OpenText specializes in purchasing software that is past its prime but still has a lucrative maintenance stream," said Tony Byrne, founder of Real Story Group, an Olney, Md.-based research and advisory firm. "OpenText purchases software and adds it to its business model where they basically swap out all back-office and front-office vendors, use its own people and gain cost savings."
The OpenText acquisition may concern Documentum customers, because it's unlikely that OpenText will build out the product much further, especially since it has similar in-house offerings. Read More Here.
Tony Byrne, founder of Olney, Md.-based Real Story Group, told CMSWire the acquisition "confirms like never before OpenText’s strategy of becoming a convalescence center for aging technologies.”
Minus Documentum. (Logan Airport) pic.twitter.com/m2bsGE13Kg— Tony Byrne (@TonyByrne) September 14, 2016
“Customers will want to understand that — although OpenText will try to align product naming and branding — the firm now sells ECM tooling from three broad product families (its own, Hummingbird, and now Documentum), each in turn assembled via multiple acquisitions. Enterprises should be extra careful to know the provenance of any OpenText solution — now more than ever," Byrne said.
Digital experience management (DXM) refers to the marshaling of strategy, process, and technology to provide highly satisfying digital interactions to customers. DXM is relevant across industries, but it has a special place in the healthcare industry--so much so that I'd like to think of it as the digital equivalent of the mandate to "wash your hands." In other industries serving to enhance customer interactions, DXM is the icing on the cake. But in the healthcare realm, DXM can play an even more crucial role in helping achieve better health outcomes for customers. This article focuses on DXM for organizations in the healthcare industry-hospital systems and other healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device makers.
The healthcare industry is heavily regulated globally and is not an early adopter of digital technologies and techniques, including DXM. But consumers, exposed to superior digital experiences in other industries (such as retail and financial services), have increasingly high expectations of healthcare companies. Read More.
Content marketing isn’t just about creating the right content: the right martech is needed for a content marketing strategy to be effective. You can’t attract, acquire, and engage an audience without a proper collection of systems to manage customer data, compelling content, and product information.
The term martech has entered into common usage, although people often disagree on exactly what it means. Construed very broadly, digital marketing technology is the collection/cocktail of digital systems that marketers use to gather, cultivate, and nurture leads and customers. Traditionally, these systems reflected how a marketer wanted to represent a brand or product line.
However, as marketing becomes (or aspires to become) more customer-centric, marketers increasingly sense that new approaches must focus much more intensely on customer preferences — including their browsing and buying history — and meet them in the channel of their choosing (mobile, in-store, catalogue, or otherwise). Digital assets are instrumental to realising this plan.
The marketing world has perhaps never seen so much change. The core tenet of marketing – that of a marketing funnel – is disappearing and is being replaced by the amorphous concept of a customer journey. Consequently, marketing is much more dependent on complex technology.
But the marketing technology landscape is so crowded and confusing that it can overwhelm any enterprise buyer. As marketing is transforming into a more data- driven and scientific discipline, picking the right set of tools remains a challenge.
When you are looking to select marketing technology (MarTech) for your enterprise, you will encounter several half-truths and also some outright falsehoods. Here are ten such commonly encountered myths and the real story, based on our experience of advising large global organisations with their MarTech initiatives. Read the full article here.
It's difficult for even large enterprise customers to comb through their data to gain a comprehensive view of their prospects and customers. "If I want a 360-degree view--or at least a coherent view of the customer or the target or prospect that you're trying to reach--that's a hugely difficult task," says Kompella.
Getting the most value from a marketing cloud platform is hard work, and customers are coming around to that viewpoint, Kompella says. He suggests investing in people "who can make sense of all the data that is coming at you," as it may be even more important than the tools.
A lack of content is another reason that a marketing cloud platform may be viewed as a bad investment for a company, especially for small to mid-sized companies. "A lot of the power or value of this all comes from being able to divide your audiences into different segments," Kompella says. "So having appropriate content for each of these segments becomes very complex."
Digital experience management (DXM) connotes the coming together of strategy, technology, and process to provide the True North of highly satisfying digital interactions to customers. This fundamental notion of DXM remains relevant across industries, including nonprofit organizations (nonprofits)-although your DXM priorities, approach, and techniques may vary based on your core mission and goals.
Unfortunately, nonprofits usually find themselves operating under severe resource constraints-budget limitations and staff shortages are almost a given. Staffers (sometimes part-time) play several roles, and in such a scenario, dedicated staffing for digital projects seems to be a luxury. However, we all have experienced high-quality digital interactions in other spheres (such as commerce and marketing); right or wrong, we have come to expect the same from nonprofits. This sets the bar for nonprofits high, and DXM is fast becoming a strategic imperative. With this in mind, here are eight DXM projects that nonprofits should consider, beginning with the relatively simple and ending with those requiring increasing levels of expertise/investment. Read Full Article Here.
"...there is a paucity of internal expertise – what is a bit surprising is that even large enterprises seem to face this challenge. If CMOs are going to be spending heavily on technology, then it is imperative that they pay attention to their current capabilities, benchmark themselves against best-in-class industry peers and invest in building capabilities where they may be lacking." Read the Complete Article Here."
But despite the advantage of cross-promotions with Airtel, competition will make breaking into the black difficult, analysts say.
"There is [WhatsApp], a deep-pocketed, well-entrenched market leader and another deep-pocketed rival entering," said Kashyap Kompella, analyst at tech consultancy Real Story Group, referring to Reliance Jio, owned by Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani. Reliance Jio last month launched mobile services on a trial basis and is developing its own mobile-app ecosystem. Read the Complete Article Here.