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At the beginning of the year, Cap Gemini and MIT released the results of a longterm study of c.400 companies into digital maturityThey mapped digital maturity on two scales - digital intensity is investment in technology-enabled initiatives to change how the company operatesTransformation management intensity was about the leadership capabilities necessary to drive digital transformationThey found that not only were the so-called Digirati 26% more profitable than average, fashionistas, who pursued technology without the foundation of good strategy, processes and structures actually damaged their business and were 11% less profitable
So I’m going to talk about the importance of culture, philosophy and strategy as well as technologyLet’s start with GAFA – four companies that could not be more important to digital marketers right now - Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon
Technologists talk about technology stacks. My friends at Addictive Mobile talk about the Vertical Stack. Here’s my version of what that looks like – 7 layers at which GAFA are building out a presence and increasingly clashing
Each developing an ecosystem that have users at the centre, that deliver value through access, that enhance through the application of context
These are ecosystems powered by data and context. Google search plus your world takes what Google knows about the connections between people on the web to enhance the search experience. Google+ is thus not a social network but a unified Google identity, and social layer over other Google services
These co’s are also great at what I call distributed and destination thinkingTraditional Destination thinking – you have to be on our property for us to monetiseNewer Distributed thinking – we can monetise anywhere because we weave ourselves into the fabric of the webOne is not better than the other, but GAFA are great at doing both
Whatdoes distributed and destination look like for brands? Perhaps something like this…ASOS marketplace. Rather than be worried about cannibalisation, it’s a great piece of destination thinking…and distributed thinking
So a key challenge for brands is joining stuff up and providing seamless customer experiences. A key tool in being able to take value from one place and use to enhance the experience in another is the API. Small wonder then that we’re witnessing explosive growth in APIs that might be used inside businesses as well as externally
But APIs are a key tool for marketing agility. This is Harper Reed, ex-CTO of Threadless and the CTO of the Obama campaign. I saw a great talk from him at Next Berlin a couple of months ago. The Obama campaign invested heavily in tech talent – in 2008 they had 4 engineers, in 2012 they had 40. He talked about how an API had enabled them to act quickly and at scale, rapidly executing and shipping over 200 products in a short space of time, and how they were not afraid to use technology built by other people
He also talked about how metrics drove execution: "Groundhog Day is a movie about multivariate testing”And the idea of using the power of conversation within small groups. 600,000 people using one of their apps on Facebook to encourage their friends to get out and vote.When asked about whether the technologies they built should be open-sourced and made available to others (including the Republicans) to use, he made the point that the platform can only offer a competitive advantage for a relatively short period of time without the right people to develop it, which says a lot for the idea of advantage coming from agility, talent and approaches rather than secrecy and perfection.
Meanwhile back in the UK, the Govt Digital Service are bringing a new found level of agility to what has to be the least agile, most rigid and complex environment.Founded around some core design principles that could be the basis for a sound digital philosophy for any business.Start with user needs not govt needsGovernment should only do what only government can do. If someone else is doing it — link to it. If we can provide resources (like APIs) that will help other people build things — do that. We should concentrate on the irreducible corelearn from real world behaviour - build and development process — prototyping and testing with real users on the live webMaking something simple to use is much harder — especially when the underlying systems are complex — but that’s what we should be doing.We’re not designing for a screen, we’re designing for peopleOur service doesn’t begin and end at our website. It might start with a search engine and end at the post office. We need to design for thatConsistency of language, design patterns, underlying approachWe should share what we’re doing whenever we can.
Mike talks about how the old process that put policy as the starting point leads to overly detailed input, 'digital versions' of existing practices, lengthy and complex procurement proceedures and inflexible solutions based on analgue thinking:The new process shows the transformative effect of an approach driven from the very beginning by user need. For GOV.UK they created an alpha of the service in 12 weeks based on evident user needs, and designed or re-designed services through rapidly reacting to user feedback from multiple sources (user surveys, A/B testing, summative tests, social media), precluding lengthy procurement proceedures and shrinking the time between feedback and resultant changes to live services.
So what GDS is doing really well is applying not just the process of agile development but the philosophy that surrounds it
So the most interesting places in our industry right now are at the extremes of creativity and science
Two pizza teams…
What might a two pizza team look like in comms?
Te other role that is really interesting is the Growth hacker – spanning traditional marketing and product development. Using metrics from bothAre digital marketers the new growth hackers?
So the principles of agile and test and learn are applicable not just to startups but to every company
We need to embed innovation into digital marketing70,20,10 model is a really interesting one - applicable to resourcing (Google), L & D, Content Strategy (Coca Cola), and should be for budgeting
And innovation - The three horizons model enables a portfolio approach to innovation, mixing incremental with radical. Horizon 1…Incremental, extending and defending core businessesbuilding new businessesseeding options for the future
70, 20, 10 is a model with broad application since new things rarely kill old things, we need to embed dgitally native practices like optimisation and amplification into our businesses, but also leave room for continuous innovationLook at Intuit – 30 year old startup, a company of entrepreneursTie objectives, KPIs, resourcing back to 70,20,10 – so my question to you is: Are you diving for pearls?