When “awareness” is citied as the justification for a marketing investment, the room can get chilly. This is especially true in sales-driven, b2b circles. Why the chill? In the classic purchasing cycle (awareness, evaluation, buy, bond) awareness sits on the opposite side of what your CEO wants: revenue from new and existing customers – preferably now, not later.
Moreover, when asked, ?How much revenue will come from your awareness campaign?? you struggle for an answer. That’s because it’s the wrong question. If this is a familar scenario, read on.
A survey conducted by Kellogg School?s Mark Jeffrey, reveals that leading CMOs spend twice as much on marketing (10% revenue) as laggards (who spend 4-5%). Leaders also consistently outspend laggards on awareness marketing.
But what is really interesting are the next two data points from Jeffrey’s study:
1 – Marketers - across the board – spend 50% marketing budgets on demand generation activities (true for both consumer and b2b).
2 – Laggards outspend leaders on demand generation yet underperform when it comes to growth, share and profitability. B2B demand generation campaigns, especially those preceded by no awareness marketing, are also well known for getting pitiful response rates (often in the 2-5% range).
Two things we can conclude:
> Laggards spend more on demand generation, but get less return, in the belief that they can magically omit the awareness phase of the buy cycle. However, it looks like their magic isn?t working.
> People won?t buy your product if they have no awareness of it; (ask your CEO the probability of buying a $100,000 automobile he/she knows nothing about). Products that have high top-of-mind recall outperform those that don?t. Recall of course, can?t happen without awareness marketing.
Two weeks after JC Penney lauched its now-famous awareness ad, “We Heard You, Now We?d Like to See You,” door swings (the predecessor to retail purchases) increased 30%. Conversation on the social web increased 414%. Both are good news: You’ve got to get people talking about you if they?re going to come see you ? and make a purchase. So while the JC Penney ad hasn’t been linked quite yet to revenue, it?s driven people into its stores. Revenue will likely follow.
The big challenge of course: measuring awareness. You can hire Interbrand (or any number of agencies) to conduct an expensive brand awareness survey or you can track some of the typical metrics used to assess awareness.
Another metric of course is the ?test drive? which can be free product usage for a limited time (which is how Salesforce gained so much initial traction), or free downloads. Auto dealers for example know of (and track) the relationship between test drives and future sales. All marketers can follow this practice and use awareness campaigns to drive prospects to test drives or trials (which is the next logical phase of the buy cycle, aka “Evaluation”).
The biggest challenge in measuring retun on campaigns specifically designed for awareness is the time delay between their launch – and their actual impact on revenue. It could be weeks, months or even years (Audi has started taking share from BMW, but it happened years after launching its multiple awareness campaigns).
Hence, financial metrics do not work particularly well when justifying awareness campaigns. So my final word of advice: use metrics cited above to measure indicators of future sales. Applying financial metrics like ROI, o awareness investments, will only get you in trouble.
Reference: Mark Jeffery (Kellogg School of Management) surveyed 254 mraketing executives with average marketing budgets of $222 million. You can see the results of his entire study in Data-Driven Marketing, John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
The series of tubes we affectionately know as the internet has been abuzz over the last week with talk of Apple’s flat design detour with iOS7. As with anything aesthetic, there’s bound to be be the highly positive views and the highly critical. We’ve seen psuedo-conspiracy theories emerge along with some trending memes.
So does all this discussion of colour palettes and iconography point to an appreciation of UX design by IT’s digerati?
Nope! Not as I see it.
In fact, I’d argue the week’s icon madness indicates that too much of the IT world is still entrenched in the view that great UX is synonymous with great graphic design.
The man himself, Steve Jobs, once said, “Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works.” Missing from most of the post-WWDC conversation has been much insight into the way these design changes fundamentally make individual apps, collection of apps, or the devices they operate on work better.
I’ve been spending a bit of time going through the presentations from the WWDC. I must say, there is some impressive stuff that Apple is doing for the design and developer community. The new system font is beautiful and the dynamic type capability in UIKit is some serious goodness. There’s the new App Switcher and it’s relationship with the improved multitasking capabilities. The motion effects, in my opinion, are a marvel of engineering.
What’s much less clear is how Apple’s new objectives of clarity, deference (which Microsoft describes with their Modern UI as “content over chrome”), and depth – design themes that the new UIKit is being engineered to support – enable a new style of app experience. Experience, mind you, in the how it works sense?not the look and feel sense.
When I search for clues in Apple’s own apps, the feeling I get is that the upholstery on the furniture has changed, but the room’s purpose and layout is the same as it always was. Adding depth as a new dimension to app design seems to me to have profound long term potential. But if it’s primarily demonstrated at the top level of the operating system by floating icons above your wallpaper, then we have something which will rapidly descend into ho-hum ornamentation. Maybe Calendar and Notes isn’t the right place to highlight this stuff?but surely there’s something that can.
My intention is not to be critical of Apple. After all, Microsoft is having the same issues with Windows 8.
Their Modern UI pre-dates Apple’s drive towards a typographic experience. It’s one thing to tell designers and developers to clear out the chrome. It’s another thing to articulate how content itself becomes the engaging, interactive raison d’être of an app. Here again, when we look to compelling examples from Microsoft’s own apps, we’re left wanting. Semantic zoom is a great UX innovation. But isolated in a handful of included apps it’s difficult to sense it’s potential.
As a result of all this, the conversation about Microsoft’s new design language has been derailed. Like Apple, it’s largely about icons, which in Microsoft’s case are their Live Tiles?along with how users must lurch back-and-forth between the new Start screen and old desktop.
The point is that UX is too easily seen as the look and feel stuff. And the more time we spend on colour palettes and icons the less nuanced our understanding of what these design languages can and should do to software and services. Ultimately, the onus is on all mobile operating platform providers to offer some steak along with the sizzle. They need to show us how their UX vision translates into a new experience with practical examples. In Microsoft’s case, they need a much bigger commitment by their own product groups outside the Windows team to embrace and deliver solutions that take full advantage of their Modern UI. In Apple’s case, I’d love it if they’d apply clarity, deference and depth as one part of a strategy to re-inflate their cloud service offerings.
Ultimately, I’m hoping that we can all shift gears and ignore the icons for a while and think about what will happen when we tap on them.
To paraphrase William Shakespeare, “what’s in an icon, that an app by any other should work as well.” Indeed!
There have been three core techniques for accelerating content and application delivery over the Internet — caching (“classic” CDN), network optimization (think protocol tricks, like F5 Web Application Accelerator on the hardware side, or Akamai DSA on the service side), and front-end optimization (FEO, think content re-write, like Aptimize/Riverbed or Strangeloop/Radware on the software side, or Blaze.io/Akamai or Acceloweb/Limelight on the service side).
Now, with the launch of Instart Logic, there’s a fourth technique, that I don’t yet have a name for. In spirit, it’s probably most similar to a SoftWOC, but in this case, the client endpoint is the browser, and the symmetric remote endpoint is the CDN server. The techniques are also different from typical SoftWOC techniques, as far as I know.
From the perspective of an Instart Logic customer, they’re getting a dynamic acceleration service that, from a deployment perspective, is much like a CDN. For most customers, it would entirely replace using a traditional CDN (rather than being additive) — i.e., they would buy this instead of buying Akamai DSA or a similar service. Note that this is a performance play, not a price play — Instart Logic expects that they’ll be in the ballpark of typical dynamic acceleration pricing, and that performance carries a market premium.
The techniques used in the service are intended to dramatically improve load times, especially on congested networks; this is particularly useful in mobile, but it is not mobile-specific. As with FEO, the goal is to allow the end-user to quickly see and interact with the content while the remainder of the page is still downloading.
On the client side, there’s what they call a “NanoVisor” — an HTML5-based thin virtualization layer that runs in the browser. If Instart Logic is full-proxying the customer’s site, the NanoVisor code can simply be injected; otherwise the customer can insert the code into their site. It requires no other changes to the customer’s site. The NanoVisor provides intelligence about the end-user and serves as the client endpoint for the optimization.
On the server side, the “AppSequencer” analyzes page content, and it fragments and orders objects that are then streamed to the NanoVisor. It does large-scale analysis of usage patterns, and it predictively sends things based on the responses that it’s seen before. There’s compression and network optimization techniques, as well as implicit caching.
Like other recent innovators in the CDN space, Instart Logic is predominantly a software company. Whlie they do have servers of their own, they are also using a variety of cloud IaaS providers for capacity. They’re also using Dyn for DNS.
Instart Logic has raised a significant amount of money, almost purely from top-tier VCs — $26 million to date. I think their technology is very promising, which probably means they’ll get a bit of time to prove themselves out and then they’ll get bought by one of the CDNs looking to get an edge on the competition, or maybe even an ADC or WOC vendor.
Instart Logic’s demos are impressive, and they’ve got paying customers at this point, although obviously they’re newly-launched. While it always takes time to build trust in this industry, at this point they’re worth checking out, and I’ve been referring Gartner clients to them ever since I was briefed by them while they were still in stealth mode, a few months back. They’re potentially an excellent fit for customers who are looking for something beyond what DSA-style network optimization offerings can do, but either do not want to do FEO, have reached the limits of what FEO can offer them, or simply want to explore alternatives.
Book Review: Converge ? Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology, by Bob Lord and Ray Velez, 2013, Wiley.
This is a slightly longer book review than I normally do since the topic of the book is relevant to parts of my coverage area, and also a hot topic for many parts of Gartner.
If you are an avid reader of books touting how IT enables innovation, transformation, or paradigm shifts, you?ll probably put this on your shelf. The CEO and CTO of Razorfish capture most of the current thinking around how technology is changing the face of marketing. There is much to like in the book. The authors rightly focus on trends related to ?markets of one? (nod to Jeff Woods, formally of Gartner, now SAP) that imply a massive shift in approaches to brand management and marketing strategies. There is also an effective dialog about agile, and how agile marketing is in fact the key point. Long gone are static models and approaches; the call is for a more active, dynamic marketing strategy ? across a collection of agencies and skill providers. There is some good background on what holds many firms back (e.g. silos and the wrong metrics) but there are gaps that are not filled ? a talk about single version of the customer but noting about how this is achieved (Master Data Management). For IT geeks in marketing, the book includes a write up of all the latest concepts, from the South Korean ?shopping wall? (versus shopping mall) to personal devices increasing the amount of data about us that marketers could use.
The sections on cloud overstep the mark. The speed and benefit of attributed to ?cloud? should properly be attributed to (commoditized) ubiquitous CPU and processing capability coupled with innovative, unique service concepts (what Razorfish seeks to add). Cloud ? whatever that is meant to mean, does not provide innovation on tap. The section on agile methodology is excellent; and the section on change management is predictable.
Some other topics are not new at all ? and better handled in other books. Some of my favorites are:
There are also gaps in the book. The topic covered is fast changing ? at Gartner we strive to remain on top of all things IT so publishing a book (itself a legacy concept?) brings relevancy risks. In the section on big data, there is no reference to the growing challenge of governance and the shift ?from truth to trust?. In the sections on ubiquitous computing and the quantified self (talk with my colleague Frank Buytendijk on this), there is too much hype about the fledgling tools and technologies mentioned? many of themhave numerous stability, maintenance and reliability issues in the field. Just go to the vendor sites and read their community blogs.
Overall a good, reasonably up to date view on what the Chief Digital Officer should be thinking about. But readers need to read this quick, keep it as a reference, and get onto the latest Gartner research on the topic. My colleage Yvonne Genovese is leading uor thinking on this new role. Recommended 8 out of 10.
We’ll be talking a lot about Web technologies and multichannel strategies like responsive design at the upcoming Catalyst conference. Here is a preview of that content.
A group of us have enjoyed reading this recent missive from deep inside the bowels of Microsoft:
Reaction to Mr. Balkan?s post usually ends up in one of two camps:
?Disgruntled Employee Land? ? Can you believe this guy? He ain’t working at Microsoft much longer
?What?s News Here?? ? Welcome to my world. Sadly, nothing here is any different than my experience in any large company?
I will not assess the accuracy or validity of his comments ? much less whether it is even true at Microsoft. But I will say that I have heard much of these complaints (or are they observations?) before.
Let me rephrase this in more common every-day F500 speak, focused mainly on IT:
Expect no documentation in corporations. Unfortunately, speed doesn’t kill, it sells. And documentation is the first to go. Sometimes this is euphemistically called ?write code that documents itself?.
It is not what you do, it is what you sell. Any first year hire will often complain that the first person promoted is not on merit (best coder, smartest, able to leap large Turing tests in a single bound), but the guy who shows well and has great convincing skills, no matter how wrong the thing he is selling. Our research found this in context of the negativity by ITers towards the term ?marketing?. .
Sure, some of that is lack of perspective. Some of it is sour grapes; some of it is true, too.
Not everybody is passionate for engineering. In a typical F500 IT shop that has 500 software engineers, I?d say the odds are pretty good that a certain percentage have 1) become jaded 2) have other outside interests in addition to their 9-5, 3) there are other pasisons that engineers can find: management, architecture, etc etc. and 4) understand the oft-repeated business euphemism ?don?t let the excellent be the enemy of the good?. All of that can be interpreted as a ?lack of passion? ? especially by the supposed passionate person on a fast track to disappointment.
2-3 hours of coding a day is great. plus 2-3 hours of meetings, and then 2-3 hours of analysis/think time. Add in email, HR duties, self appraisals, peer appraisals, company videos, benefits sign-ups, etc etc etc ?Yeah, that?s about right, and a fairly universal complaint. Just look at our research ? projects don?t fail because of lack of technical skills ? so 2-3 hours may, in fact, be just right?
Not giving back to the public domain is a norm. Duh. Time to market, IP, competitive pressure. There is a reason copyright has been extended to 120 years from 75 years during our lifetime?
The world outside is not known here a lot. Most corporations are so internally focused they limit ?strategic thinking? to a select few. It?s time that changed (see our research on becoming a contextual strategist).
It is all about getting s%*t done in corporations. I have heard this every day my whole career. And its true.
Copy-pasting code can be okay. We in IT development call it ?reusability?. We even automate this in our code management systems. The day of handmade, single use anything is long gone.
Code reviews can be skipped, for the sake of agility. Sad but true. See #1 . The dark side of the misinterpretation of agility. Even agile development, with scrums and sprints, has a very real potential to degenerate (Jack?s first law of management oversight: Orderly processes inexorably degenerate toward a greater state of disorder if you let them).
Latest software, meh. Dear reader, please check your version of Outlook or browser of choice. In fact, we in Gartner have classified this into type A, B, C companies. (it?s a bell curve). By the way, B?s are not on the latest software, at least not first.
Your specialties usually do not matter. Stock advice for end user IT organizations: The era of the generalist?or what we affectionately call versatilists?.
At the end, you are working for your manager?s and their managers? paychecks. I was not aware of this fact in college. Welcome to capitalism. Otherwise incentive programs would not be structured the way they are. In the last 500 years, the only progress we have made here was the dissolution of the monarchy (sometimes by revolution, and still not everywhere). The supposed alternative (communism) either died or is in hiding?.
Our Professional Effectiveness research takes these observations (and reactions) into context. Like the presentation:
? Why your next IT job may not be in ?IT? ” ? coming to our Catalyst conference in San Diego at the end of July?
Welcome the real world kid. Now get back to work.
The GFC may be behind us, but that doesn?t mean companies have any less focus on cutting costs. With CIO budgets essentially flat, and demands for innovation increasing, IT cost reduction is on the agenda for many enterprises in 2013. Even in growing Asia Pacific economies like China, Korea and Australia, it?s still a top priority. We hear it all the time from clients and it?s one of the areas where Gartner helps its clients most.
We find that some organisations are not actually ready to optimise costs. They might have a lack of visibility into current costs across the enterprise or a lack of executive level support for the cost optimisation initiative. The organisation might have a high proportion of fixed costs in IT, which means that costs often do not go down when business volume is reduced. They might be facing extreme resistance on the part of IT users to change the way they consume IT, such as accepting lower service levels, keeping PCs for longer or getting rid of redundant systems. Change management is a critical part of any ?cost optimisation? program.
Many IT organisations have reached their logical limits as to how much more they can save using traditional cost optimisation tactics. They?ve already been through at least one round of cost cuts. It?s no longer enough to tinker around the edges, but instead time to make hard decisions about business units/agencies, business processes and programs. Round two of IT cost optimization is a story of big changes, strategic shifts, improved IT management practices, rightsizing IT service levels, “doing less with less,” better IT demand management and taking advantage of what new IT services the marketplace has to offer.
Gartner sees four areas of opportunity for cost optimisation, ranked by level of difficulty as well as their potential to deliver value:
IT procurement ? make sure you are getting the best pricing and terms. Use public cloud services, pursue crowdsourcing for selected projects, use open source, negotiate better contracts.
The bottom line is that cost optimisation cannot be just a one-time project. It should be an ongoing process and discipline that cuts across all domains of IT and the business. Leading organisations run continuous cost optimisation initiatives and use IT to drive growth and innovation in the business. Leading CIOs raise enterprise effectiveness by running IT like a business. They raise the bar for IT?s performance in terms of responsiveness and productivity, and demonstrate IT’s value contributions to the enterprise.
If this is a focus for you this year, come along to one of Gartner?s briefings around the Asia Pacific region on cost optimisation strategies to be held in June in Australia (Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) and in July/August in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong.
I am very pleased to announce that my first document Achieving IT GRC Sucess has published this week and is now available to Gartner for Technical Professionals subscribers. The research and writing process led to many interesting conversations about governance, risk management and compliance with clients and colleagues. Let’s examine two ?inconvenient truths? about IT compliance?
IT Compliance Doesn?t Exist!
IT clearly has a significant amount of compliance work that it performs – no doubt about it, especially in highly regulated industries. IT, of course, exists solely to support business objectives. The compliance requirements that IT fulfills are derived from those business objectives. Here are a few quick examples:
Yet, it seems that in many enterprises IT compliance is seen as separate from and in conflict with “meeting business requirements”. This is in spite of the fact that none of the examples above can be achieved without significant efforts from business partners themselves.
So, why is this interesting? In a word: ?Resources? ? time and money. In most organizations, funding and prioritization of compliance activities is very hard to come by. Much of this may be a perspective problem, as IT organizations often do not include compliance efforts in project prioritization processes side-by-side with other initiatives ? that may be a lost opportunity.
Compliance is Risk Management ? Just NOT YOUR Risk Management!
Compliance is not a substitute for risk management. Compliance requirements are the result of an external group?s anxiety regarding risk. Usually the external group is either a government body or large commercial concern. Let?s take a second look at the three examples from above:
In all of these cases, the compliance requirements are designed to address issues to reduce risk to a level that is tolerable by the government or commercial group. The fact that compliance requirements are designed to provide broad and general coverage often results in cases where enterprises could more effectively manage the risk using controls specific to their environment and situation. The fact that this is often not acceptable to examiners is a significant source of frustration.
The last decade has seen compliance mandates become more risk oriented and begin to include risk assessments and control design as a part of the compliance process. Regrettably, all too often new compliance requirements continue to come in the form a checklist.
There are few options available to us to improve the situation. Participation in regulatory rule making is a time consuming process that rarely contributes to success in our “day jobs”. Improving compliance and regulatory rule making is a long game, and the best thing for many enterprises to do is to share their risk management and control design approaches with examiners. Educating the examiners who often have significant influence over the rule making process make be the most productive approach.
Sorry for the delay in my last post, I assure you I will have much to say over the next few weeks, more on that later.
I was fortunate to attend and speak at the Gartner IT Operations Management (IOM) summit in Berlin, Germany. The event was wonderfully coordinated and saw about 30-40% growth in attendance, which is great on it’s third year. Kudos to the conference chairs and the team that put it together. I spoke about software defined networking (SDN) and the evolution within this market in the past 18 months, there were a lot of questions after this presentation. This is a hot topic in Europe as well as North America. I also presented with my colleague Vivek Bhalla on the use of application performance monitoring (APM) and how that intersects with Network Performance Monitoring (NPM), we went into depth explaining the overlap and the differences between both of these monitoring technologies. Look for more research on NPM to be announced shortly. The vendors had a good presence, and there was a lot of attendees investigating the vendors. My 1:1s were excellent, but generally found that APM adoption and sophistication in Europe is below that in North America, something I also find on client inquiry calls.
Next week I will be attending the excellent Velocity conference which O’Reilly puts on, it’s a progressive audience and has lots of great performance and operations content. The week after Velocity I will be at Cisco Live in Orlando.
Look for updates on these conferences and several new research items to hit the web in the coming weeks.
Gartner security analysts are being bombarded with questions about CYBER security. Is this cyber reality, or cyber hype?
A few years ago, we had seriously entertained the idea of creating a sort of ?IT Buzz Term Hype Cycle?, that would map overused prefixes across trigger, hype, disillusionment, and productivity. At the time, ?I-? had reached the peak of hyperfication. Its not hard to envision a future in which the prefix ?cyber? goes the way of the dodo, trapped forever in a linguistic graveyard with the suffix ?dot com?.
In Gartner, we actually do have a concept of cybersecurity, incorporating operational technology into a broader concept of digital domain protection. It is also fair to say that many uses of the term cybersecurity connote, if not denote, the concept of offensive digital warfare. I want to go on the record right now and say that we specifically do NOT recommend that commercial and non-profit users of digital technology develop hackback capabilities.
We live in a constant state of verbal inflation. I started my career in computer security, lived through long painful discussions on whether or not information security was a valid term, and have watched, without actually encouraging, adjectival divergence into information assurance, cybersecurity, and cyberassurance.
All of these terms originally arrived with the best of intentions, bringing new concepts and connotations to a complex and changing cyber world. They inevitably turn into positioning playthings, as commercial entities and government agencies use the latest buzzterms to position themselves as being leaders?in something. Its anybody?s guess whether these various terms will evolve into sharply defined meanings not just for small specialty domains, but for the IT world in general.
For the time being, if you want to ask us about cybersecurity, we are going to ask you to provide more details. Are you military? Are you considered critical infrastructure and are you responsible for OT? What is it that you want to protect from whom?
Fresh terminology doesn?t necessarily mean that the old concepts were stale.
Una posible nueva partícula subatómica podría estar en la mira de investigadores chinos y japoneses.
Conozca cómo mejorar la tecnología de su empresa en este Webcast de Dell.
La biblioteca pública de Seattle rompió el récord mundial de la cadena de libros más larga cayendo en efecto dominó.
Desde que Facebook anunció que los usuarios podían publicar su condición de donantes de órganos en sus Timeline, el número de personas que se inscriben para ofrecer sus órganos aumentó considerablemente.
Una nueva información añade datos a la versión que HTC está preparando una versión pequeña de su telefono estrella.
La popular campaña que muestra las maneras más estúpidas de morir ganó dos prestigiosos Cannes.
Antes de que la infame ley de los tres 'strikes' fuera historia, causó su primera víctima: un usuario de Saint-Denis, en las afueras de París. Les contamos además cuál será el reemplazo de Hadopi.
Para los amantes del estudio, estas páginas son las mejores opciones.
La Samsung Smart Camera WB250F tiene muchas cosas buenas, pero un precio que complica su posición en el mercado. Evaluación de ENTER.CO.
Unos bromistas se hicieron pasar por jedi y usaron 'la fuerza' para abrir las puertas de un ascensor.
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