Today’s post is a bit different from the usual. We won’t be diving into a key topic at the intersection of brands, marketing, innovation and technology, nor will we be presenting a Q&A with a forward thinker in the space; instead, I am asking for your help with a project.
I am in the process of writing a book – tentatively titled Connected Marketing – that is for marketers, that covers the topic of marketing technology and that is meant to help marketers deploy and use technology in a substantially-different way than they do today.
This book has evolved from a convergence of 1.) my interests and blogging about this space, 2.) my past experiences as a marketing leader and consultant in the technology industry, 3.) my ongoing discussions and interactions with leaders in the marketing technology space and 4.) research I’m conducting as part of my current graduate program, which I will conclude in May 2009.
So what are the details, and how can you be a part of helping marketers to better leverage technology and, thus, to take the ‘connectedness’ of their marketing organizations to the next level?
Below is a brief outline of my current approach to this project.
What are your thoughts on the direction I’m taking? What else should I be considering, researching or thinking about to maximize the value of this book to marketers?
I’m ‘crowd-sourcing‘ here. So help a guy out.
What am I researching and writing about?
My core focus is analyzing and synthesizing ways that marketers could better leverage technology for more connected and more strategic marketing, as well as identifying the cultural, organizational and technological barriers marketers face in trying to adopt strategic marketing technology (versus the myriad of tactical technologies they rely upon today). By presenting insights both into the ‘state of the art’ and into what is keeping marketers from getting there, I believe it will aid marketers in changing how they attack the problem.
What topics does this include?
The book centers around:
- Assessing the state of the marketing technology landscape (understanding the segments, the vendors and the platforms they offer)
- Understanding the current state of adoption by different types of marketing organizations (including an original, primary-source survey I’m in the process of developing)
- Identifying opportunities and barriers to adoption by marketing leaders and brand managers
- Hypothesizing future evolutionary direction of marketing technologies and the resultant opportunities and challenges for marketers
The core of this project is its focus on understanding the dynamics that exist at the intersection of supply and demand for marketing technologies. Specifically, what is the current ‘state of the art’ from software vendors, and how does this compare with what marketers know, want, expect and have a comfort level with?
Marketing organizations have some of the lowest levels of integrated technology infrastructure in the enterprise. Why is that?
It is my working hypothesis that there is a pervasive mis-match – where marketers remain relatively unsophisticated about their marketing technology needs at anything above a tactical level, meanwhile vendors either sell at a purely tactical level or rely on (and speak to) IT for high-level, strategic solutions – that leads to little being achieved and the deployment of solutions at a ‘more-strategic’ layer that too often do not meet core needs and/or do not mirror dynamic marketing processes.
Given this, a major focus of my research and in the book will be on understanding the levels above basic CRM and tactical marketing communications (e.g., ads, e-mail, phone, search, SMS, social media, Web) – focusing on what I’ve recently referred to as the ‘integrated marketing management’ layer and above.
That includes, but is not limited to, the following topics:
- Advanced CRM/SFA
- Brand monitoring
- Business analytics/predictive analytics
- Business intelligence
- Competitive monitoring and synthesis
- Cross-channel customer personalization
- Customer sentiment/feedback monitoring and synthesis
- Dashboards and visualization
- Demand generation
- Enterprise marketing management
- ERP integration
- Integrated marketing communication/campaign execution management
- Lead management, scoring and nurturing
- Marketing asset/resource management
- Marketing automation
- Marketing co-creation
- Marketing operations management
- Real-time marketing measurement and ROI analysis
- Semantic analysis
- Web services/SOA/cloud-services integration
How am I researching this book?
There are several key pieces to my approach:
> Original survey of marketers: This is the cornerstone of my research. Over the coming weeks, I will survey a large group of marketers to get their insights and feedback into what works and what doesn’t, what they need and what they don’t and — most importantly — what is standing in the way of their better leveraging strategic marketing technology.
> Briefings with marketing technology vendor companies: This is off to a start, and I thank the many vendors that have already done briefings with me. The goal is to make sure I’m as up-to-date both on the technologies and platforms in the marketplace today, as well as vendors’ experiences with their marketer customers.
> Review of existing articles, books, ideas, papers, posts and reports by leading-edge thinkers on the state of marketing technology and marketers’ opportunities and challenges in deploying marketing technology: My goal is to build on the great work and insights that have already been developed and are available in the marketplace today, rather than merely duplicating their content. This book will help take these insights to the next level.
What is my angle?
I approach my research and writing through the lens of a marketer, not that of a technologist.
Yet I have spent nearly 10 years of my career working in the information technology business – including 4 1/2 years leading marketing for IT-analyst group The 451 Group and past work on marketing programs for clients such as Motorola and Platinum Technology (now CA), as well as for numerous start-ups and growth-stage companies.
My experiences tell me that marketing technology has significantly advanced, even if as marketers sometimes our awareness, skills and processes have not. I want to get to the bottom of this ‘digital divide.’
Who is my audience?
Marketers, primarily; however, I’m hoping that the insights of my research and book also will have significant impact on vendors and their approaches to developing and selling solutions to marketers.
What is my final deliverable?
My core focus is on writing the book; however, there are two additional ‘ongoing’ deliverables that are in close support of this deliverable. The first is a graduate thesis research project I’m working on this semester, which will be a precursor to the book and is where I will derive much of my primary-source research. The second is my ongoing blogging here on Propelling Brands and my dialogue with both marketers and technologists in the industry – which I use as a ‘sandbox’ to develop and cement ideas.
So the book will wrap a neat bow around things, but I see the ideas and insights as having a continuous life here on the blog and in the offline conversations it spurs.
What is my time frame?
My goal is to complete the bulk of (if not all of) researching and writing the book by mid-year 2009. So stay tuned as I get further down the road! I will keep you updated here on Propelling Brands.
How can you get involved?
I’m glad you asked. This is the most important part.
You can get involved in a couple of ways:
> Marketers — participate in the survey: Click here to let me know you’d like to participate in the survey. Write ‘Marketer survey’ in the subject line on the contact form, and then tell me a little bit about your role and organization. I’ll follow up as soon as the survey is ready to go.
> Marketing technology vendors — set up a briefing: Click here to let me know you’d like to schedule a briefing. Write ‘Vendor briefing’ in the subject line on the contact form, and then tell me a little bit about your company and its technology platform. I’ll be in touch very shortly.
Beyond this, if you have ideas for the book or want to share interesting insights that would be useful, either leave a comment below OR contact me via Twitter and I’ll get right back to you.
I look forward to your thoughts. Already deep in my initial research and getting good early feedback, I’m excited about the prospects for this book. With your help, we can make it a truly-valuable resource for marketers.