Archives for posts with tag: marketing strategies

Forbes contributor Patrick Spenner believes that digital immigrants, or marketing shops that didn’t grow up digital, will flourish this year.  Do you agree?  Read his 10 predicted marketing trends for 2014 below.

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It’s that time of year. I’m hopped up on eggnog and ready to go! Last year’s “10 Marketing Trends for 2013 You Haven’t Heard” was a popular one. Let’s do it again. Hoping three or four of these are ones you won’t have thought about or fully appreciated.

1. Business Model Disruption Will Get Spikier: All the changing technology and democratization of advantages typically held only by large companies generates some real doozy business model disruptions in 2014. You might be thinking about that viral video on Amazon drone delivery, right? Nah. Too much regulatory non-sense for delivery drones to take off in 2014 (Hi-yooooh! Pun intended!).

Here’s my bet: doggie biometrics.

Imagine: dog collar with accelerometer and GPS. Chip implant with biometric sensor and gyroscope. BAM! You’ve got yourself a dog spinning out a terabyte of data about barking, peeing, eating, peeing, moving, peeing and sniffing habits. And that enables pet owners to get: custom diet recommendations; pre-warning of pet illness; remote home intruder alert; and so much more! You heard it here first.

2. Squeeze the Marketing Cost Balloon: Spiking costs from all that content, personalization, marketing technology spend and global campaigning is really cramping your style with the CFO. Quick: CMO vs. CFO, who wins?

Sooooo…many CMOs will be taking drastic measures to manage marketing costs in 2014. Insource more agency activity—yes, even the strategic kinds (many will even start there as they insource). Consolidate global agency relationships. Check. Create smaller teams (euphemism alert = layoffs and restructuring). Absolutely. Makes you wonder if it really is all about the customer, doesn’t it? CFOs are such downers.

3. Head or Tail of Content Distribution—Pick One!!! A funny thing happens when content is digitized and anyone can create it and distribute it. Players in the middle get crushed. (Well, that’s not actually funny. It’s kinda sad. Circle of life.) We know this from the past 20 years watching what happened to books, music and movies. 2014 will be a year in which many marketers re-learn this lesson—only for their own brands! Too many marketing shops will have pursued content marketing, trying to be in the head of the distribution—and they’ll spend a lot of money on it. But, because brands are competing with, well, everything else for attention, only a few will actually make it into the head of the distribution. If you want a good marker for what it takes to be there, see Red Bull. 100+ full-time, dedicated content people. A wealthy Austrian billionaire with a long time horizon. Lack of quarterly earnings pressure. If that doesn’t sound like you, you’ll want to re-think your content efforts. (shameless plug: yes, we have case studies and a POV on how to thrive in the content tail)

4. Digital Immigrants Eye the Grand Canyon, Planning for the Leap: Digital immigrants are marketing shops that didn’t grow up digital. If you’re in this group, chances are you’ve done a pretty good job making digital (or its components) individual disciplines sitting beside traditional marketing disciplines. Now, you’re looking ahead to a world where digital is flowing through everything. Sooooo, what’s it gonna take to dismantle those digital silos and re-cast your marketing chassis for that new world? If you’re smart, you’ll start to get your ducks in a row on this in 2014. That’s why we’re taking a deep dive to study it on your behalf. Please let us interview you. (shameless plug to help us help you. Email Corey Mull to participate)

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5. Somebody Will Create a Hype Game about Gamification: Oh, the irony. You know how every quarter it feels like you read about some revolutionary way to use gamification to change behavior? Well, if you believe over a hundred marketing technology practitioners who are actually putting dollars behind marketing technology, gamification is all hype. Vanishingly few marketing technologists see gamification in digital marketing as creating any kind of business value compared to alternate investments. To see which marketing technologies aren’t hype, participate in CEB’s Digital Marketing Capability benchmarking (and that completes the shameless plug trifecta).

6. Smart Brands Will Formalize Change Pre-Viz Teams: “Huh?” you say. Pre-viz is short for “pre-visualization”. Think of this as creating immersive prototypes of what the new world will look like once a change happens (or a new product or service hits). We came across one company that has a dedicated team for this. The team includes a set of folks from around the company with eclectic skill sets, a hacker mentality, and an ability to literally create visualizations (think heavy on video and experiential) of what life looks like post-change. Those visualizations help sell ideas, rally support around change (employees, customers and partners), and help provide vision for where to go. Given all the change and all the moving pieces in Marketing (and commerce!) these days, you have to ask yourself why you don’t at least have a pre-viz tiger team. Seriously. Have one.

Read Wikipedia for more on pre-visualization’s origins (comes out of movie making). Good thought starters for who should be on that tiger team.

('We’ve started to see numbers of humans pretending to be bots, a strange development that signals a shift in the power and identity politics of the internet.' Photograph: Blutgruppe/zefa/Corbis) Image Source:

(‘We’ve started to see numbers of humans pretending to be bots, a strange development that signals a shift in the power and identity politics of the internet.’ Photograph: Blutgruppe/zefa/Corbis) Image Source:

7. Bot Traffic Becomes 135% of all Internet Traffic: I jest (it’s actually 62% now). But 2014 will continue to unveil just how much digital traffic isn’t really people traffic, per se. Picking up off my 2013 trend #2 (“Digital Dog Will Discover That It In Fact Caught a Buffalo, Not a Car”), this is all in keeping with more of the shine coming off digital. And just to be clear, I’m not anti-digital. I’m not in the paid employ of the “Keep TV Analog Foundation” or anything like that. I just want us all to evaluate digital/social/mobile with clear eyes. Doing my part to be a cosmic hype counterbalance.

8. Some Brands Will Call a Tech Timeout: Others will wish they had. We’re catching wind of some large enterprise marketing teams calling a timeout on new marketing technology and platforms in 2014. These brands realize their people, process and structure are getting outstripped by the technology change. In short, they aren’t getting all the way up to the productive part of the learning curves before they get sucked into new ones. During their 2014 timeout, they plan to get their you-know-what together on all the technology changes from the last five years, before they introduce any new ones.

9. Some CIO-CMO Tandems Will Get Down to Brass Tacks: Ok, we’ve all read the glossies on CIO-CMO tandems who get along great. And they do. I believe them. It’s down below, amongst the minions, where the friction happens. So, CIO-CMO tandems who want to get stuff done will do the following to help their minions in the day-to-day:

a. Put capabilities ahead of technologies—together, they’ll think not about IT or Martech roadmaps, but about business capability roadmaps and what that means for technology.

b. Create different technology “treatment” lanes—these will formalize where IT gets involved and where it doesn’t, so as to speed marketing tech experimentation in areas where there’s low risk.

c. Identify “shallow IT” transition points—they’ll find the triggers for when IT becomes more involved to scale successful experiments.

We’ll blow these out in early 2014 by sharing highlights and case examples from a study by our pals in CEB’s Technology practice.

10. Google Reveals that Larry Page is Actually a Self-Aware, Driverless Car: I’m going out on a limb on this one…or am I?

If you have a different idea of what Larry Page really is, please share via comment below.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at CEB. We’re wishing you the best in 2014.

Mitch Berman is the CEO of ZEN Digital Fund, a digital marketing and tech firm dedicated to the creation of the innovative “digital” consumer.  Check out this Google page for the latest marketing updates.


In today’s world, the marketing industry seems to change almost daily and marketing organizations should stay in the game.  Forbes draws the speed of changes in the industry and how players should keep up.

2020 isn’t the future; the future is now. Every day, the look and feel and function of marketing is transforming radically—and so the means to keep up must be transforming too. Marketing organizations that aren’t restructuring to meet the demands of 2020—of today, for that matter—will be left by the wayside.

But what must that restructured organization look like? To answer that question, the Association of National Advertisers, together with the World Federation of Advertisers and EffectiveBrands, a global marketing strategy consulting firm, has been conducting an ongoing global study—including a quantitative and qualitative survey—of senior marketing leaders over the past several months that’s unprecedented in size and scope. Marc deSwaan Arons, executive chairman of EffectiveBrands, will, with a panel of CMOs, present some of the initial findings from the research project to attendees at the annual ANA Masters of Marketing conference this weekend in Phoenix. Forbes is a partner in the project, in addition to the ANA and the WFA, along with Spencer Stuart, Adobe and MetrixLab.

And according to the project, called Marketing2020, the winning companies will have highly integrated organizations—that is, hub-and-spoke structures whereby the CMO is in the middle, with roles akin to product manager, marketing strategies manager, advertising director, PR manager, market-research director and promotion director creating the spokes and rim of the wheel. Silos are finally nonexistent; the integration and interconnectedness of this new model enables full coordination of all constituents.

So where the organizational structure had looked like this:

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It will now look like this:

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Non-negotiable characteristics of the 2020 marketing organization: a goal of business growth; a clear purpose; complete internal alignment of functional areas; clearly defined roles and responsibilities of each individual; research centers and data-informed efforts; an amalgam of agency partners as well as an in-house agency-like team; cross-platform social-media engagement; a strong CMO-CEO connection.

The research also concludes that a chief experience officer will be necessary at all successful organizations. This can be the CMO, or the CEO, or another individual charged with overseeing marketing staff grouped as “Think” (analytics marketers), “Feel” (engagement marketers) and “Do” (production/content marketers).

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The most successful CMOs, meanwhile, will take on additional responsibilities, like IT—as evidenced by Motorola Solutions’ MSI +0.96%Eduardo Conrado—or HR—as evidenced by Visa V +0.97%’s Antonio Lucio.

As the research is ongoing, additional findings will gel. Stay tuned for more updates on the ANA/EffectiveBrands Marketing2020 project as it continues.

Mitch Berman, a principal at Blend Digital, has over 30 years of domestic and international experience in consumer and enterprise marketing, operations, and sales.  He currently provides strategic advice for global privately held and public companies in the entertainment industry.  Follow this Twitter page for more information on Mitch Berman.

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This month of love, doughnut chain Krispy Kreme goes digital.

Each box of Krispy Kreme’s heart-shaped doughnuts contains six Valentine cards with heartwarming messages and a Quick Response code (QR code) that lets customers send Krispy Kreme Valentine e-cards to their significant other. Krispy Kreme also encourages its fans to visit its Facebook page to customize its “Share Your Heart” cover photo. Company spokeswoman Kelley O’Brien tells, “The QR code is an extension of the cards that are provided in our Valentine’s Boxes and a way to extend those cards to a larger audience. This enables our fans to share the joy digitally. This is a good test for incorporating mobile into more of our efforts.”

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This is not the first time that Krispy Kreme employed QR codes to promote its business. In the past, the company used the same technique to launch its Hot Light app and promote its Dozen Days of Doughnuts and Krispy Skremes campaigns.

Krispy Kreme is just among the many big-name companies using mobile and social marketing to drive in-store traffic. Office Depot included QR codes in its products to direct customers to microsites that offer expert tips on how to organize homes and offices. Budweiser also geared up for this year’s Super Bowl by using QR codes to promote its sweepstakes.


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Ms. O’Brien adds, “If the QR codes are incorporated into a campaign over at least two weeks, you will have measurable results.”

Increase company sales and improve brand awareness by learning more about digital marketing. This Facebook page for ZillionTV Corporation founder Mitch Berman shares the latest on digital products and services.