Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Cliff Beek, Carmen Gonzalez, Kong Yang, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Mobile IoT, Open Source Cloud, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

@ThingsExpo: Article

Digital Marketing | @CloudExpo #IoT #DigitalMarketing #DigitalTransformation

What’s important to remember is that the sophisticated tech consumer isn’t just connecting with your business

The Context of Digital Marketing and the Consumer Conversation

One look at the comments section of an April column on digital marketing in TechCrunch, and it becomes obvious that contributor Samuel Scott, the marketing and communications director for data analytics software firm Logz.io, pushed a few hot buttons with his take on marketing tech.

Scott argues for a back-to-basics approach to marketing that roots digital strategies firmly in old-school tradition and PR principles. He calls out the communications industry for its reliance on "an echo chamber of meaningless buzzwords" in a piece now shared nearly 16,000 times, with more than 140 comments from passionate supporters, equally spirited detractors and yawns in between.

Yes, I know there are lots of people who studiously avoid the toxicity of the comments section on many posts, for good reason. I tend to think of them as user-generated content in their own right, which serves much the same purpose for ideas as customer reviews do for products and services. One of the delicious ironies about Scott's seeming exasperation with catchphrases like "content is king" - second only, perhaps, to discovering a 20-year-old post on content by Bill Gates recycled in the comments section too - is how we create content and engage with content about his content.

Sifting through the semantics, though, is to miss the point about digital marketing and its power. The evolution of digital marketing, especially for tech companies, has long since shifted away from that unidirectional approach that delivered information "packets" to the marketplace through corporate gatekeepers. Sales and other customer-facing staff, along with vendors, who once worked within the model navigated that environment on the basis of carefully crafted and controlled marketing and PR.

It's not that well-crafted messages have become irrelevant, but today's messaging is designed to connect with existing and potential customers on the basis of direct engagement and real-time communication, as evidenced by Scott's own experience with readers and their comments. Among them was Chad Pollitt, vice president of audience for Relevance in Indianapolis and digital marketing adjunct professor at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. Pollitt was quick to articulate how the shift to real consumer control has evolved, so that brands no longer hold informational power.

"Brands are forced to either try and steer their story or let others tell it online," Pollitt concluded, adding that the change "has substantially impacted marketing fundamentals forever." So on the one hand, there is this compelling argument for time-honored strategies that resonate because human behavior in markets is foundationally the same. On the other hand, all these trends and buzzwords aside, it is now the customer at the center of innovation that has forced the evolution in marketing.

That's especially true in tech, because these consumers are likely to require more information, and have higher expectations about the quality and utility of that information, than other consumers. For one thing, the investment they're making in software and cloud-based products and services is likely to be significant. Tech companies that recognize what that value looks like to these customers - and develop their digital strategies to affirm that search for value while cultivating customer trust - are best positioned for success because they've begun by basing their messages in a relational context.

What's important to remember about that context is that the sophisticated tech consumer isn't just connecting with your business. The IT research that they're doing to compare product and service advantages, to evaluate integration and related cost savings, to make decisions that deliver success while demonstrating a rationale for the spend - that all relies on the experience and referral of their peers. These customers want to connect with a community that offers them meaningful insights, and that means they're exploring corporate sites, user reviews and recommendations of colleagues.

In the new era of digital marketing, it's critical that this user-generated content is credible and the information is valid. Consumers are driving the process, but community managers need to facilitate that process on social media and guide the user-review content - and that's not a passive role. Rather, cultivating a community means making it easy to participate, and engaging with experienced users or potential clients by active listening means real people, backing a brand-centered presence.

Tech customers may be methodical and thorough about their research, but they also want to talk to those real people - and not just at your call center. Most clients want a "reality check" that goes beyond even the best information they find online, and their unassailable confidence in review-data transparency that ensures they're getting that best information in the first place. Whenever it's possible, consider an offer to facilitate some face time for potential clients who want to connect with companies already using the products they're considering, and walk through their operations.

Beyond the digital marketing, and within all that digital marketing too, it's that personal connection that is a final step before finalizing a decision. Connecting customers, both in physical meeting or a mediated space, can deliver the win. But closer to home, it's important to remember that the core of your digital marketing strategy needs to answer the question of how customers connect with you.

One of Scott's strongest points in his controversial TechCrunch piece is that when digital marketers enter the field from the technical world, the language of algorithms and automated best practices can become the "coin of the realm" in which connecting with customers is understood. That's never really the case for the client though. Your customers expect responsiveness, and they want a sense of personal experience when they do. Their expectations for immediacy and positive resolution are higher, and these considerations are priorities when developing a smart digital marketing strategy.

On the other hand, the best tried-and-true practices of traditional marketing principles haven't disappeared - but they have dramatically changed the marketing department and, increasingly, the business processes and practices of the entire enterprise that's making that journey with them. What both do well is keep the customer in focus, and tomorrow's digital marketing success means continued investment in messages to connect with customers and keep them in user communities.

More Stories By Jeev Trika

Jeev Trika is CEO and founder of CrowdReviews.com, a crowd-driven platform for reviewing and ranking companies providing goods and services across multiple categories, for both businesses and consumers. The consumer-friendly site is the first unbiased and fully transparent reviews site to be driven completely by the crowd.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.