Archive for January, 2013


Over the last 18 months, yet another big change linked to digital marketing has started to evolve.  This is digital marketing itself being the lego of new products.

Forrester research has started to show evidence of this and many organisations are proving the point.  Nike have been doing this for a few years already.  They have taken what were initially marketing initiatives like Nike+ and then turn them into products.  In FMCG, companies like Unilever are using digital products as marketing tools.  You can take a skin analysis app for your iphone and ultimately use it to sell more facial products.

As connected products proliferate you see the digital marketing expertise in user interface and user experience being applied to the growing software in connected products.

Marketers have the opportunity and frankly the responsbility to use these new competencies to redefine products and step-change their product experience.

They need to do it now.  Perhaps your existing competitors will be slow to do this but there is a big new breed of start-up software product companies doing this.  Just look at Withings.  Barely 50 people and now with the leading products in the app-enabled accessories part of the Apple Store.

Its exciting, very real and really happening now.

For those who, like me, have been in marketing for years we have seen the digital revolution and evolution over the last 10 years.

So digital has gone from being a channel for marketing to being the change agent for all marketing and now for all aspects of business.

Over the last 3 years, as we spend more on digital, we need to analyse what that really means.  Whether you’re building a website, mobile site or social platform what you are really spending money on is user interface and user experience,  This is fast becoming one of a new list of  core competencies required in all marketing teams from 2013.

It also means that we are spending more in IT even though many marketing directors could not tell you how much they really spend on hardware and software.

This means a new partnership in marketing where the most fundamental relationship is between marketing and IT.  For me, although the hardware is key, it is the software that will be the deciding factor between marketing success and failure.

Shaping software and understanding exactly what it can do will be one the primary competencies for marketers of the future.  A future that has already started.

I don’t think we need to start buying textbooks on writing Perl or starting courses on code-writing.  Its more about an understanding of what software can enable for the marketer.

Its as important as understanding how media works but just more important as it pervades more than just marketing.  Software will define products and new services.

Software is like a canvas in so many ways.  It will shape the size of the user experience and it will also influence how the communication story is executed.

I would start to hang out with the software geeks now if you are not already doing so.