Archive for October, 2006

Marketing Automation: The science of automating the business of Marketing

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

When I started blogging around 3 years ago, I made a promise (to myself) to never blog about my day job — with the sole reason of never crossing the boundaries (well, sorta). However, it was a bad call, not talking about what you do makes the job even harder. So, here I am, breaking the promise (I’m also running out of fresh ideas).
Marketing Automation is the science of bringing “order” to the creative chaos, which is Marketing organization, with the help of business processes, technologies, tools, systems. The high order bit of Marketing Automation is making Marketing organization accountable for dollars spent across various campaigns and it’s effectiveness across channels, segments and Business Units. The low order bit is the automation to allow the revenue generated by Sales to be tracked at the campaign source.
Why do we need Marketing Automation? The rhetoric is simple — Marketing organizations have traditionally been a “cost center”. The organization gets a percentage of revenue to spend (mostly at will!). Whatever money is allocated and spend on various campaigns and programs are never efficiently reported back.
Even if there are reports, they mostly live in spreadsheets or in vendor systems and yeah, every owner of a major marketing campaign or a program has it’s own report on it’s outcome. The outcome — Every quarter the divisional and regional bosses running like kids around the house to organize the data for their moment of truth. This gets repeated every quarter. The goal of the automation is to track the progress and the ROI of every dollar being spent on awareness, brand building, demand generation and market development.


Yet another Social Networking startup launches today

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Vox launched yesterday after a long and thought through beta period. Vox is interesting as it combines several elements of design, UI, themese, widgets commonly found in the various social networking sites. Here’s my first impression:
1. Account signup. They present a large text box to enter the e-mail address. Reminds me of WordPress signup page.
2. The Registration form is neat with each field showing a nice little note on the side. However, there is no way to tell which fields are required.
3. Signup “Add Team Vox as a Neighbor”: It asks whether you are interested in the VOX Team as a neighbour. This is a feature they probably picked up from Myspace signup process where Tom Anderson automatically gets picked up as a friend
4. The ads start popping up during the sign-up process itself on the 3rd screen — Neat!
5. Item Composition — It has a neat little feature where you can search and add “assets” from YouTube, Amazon, Flickr, Photobucket, etc. Users would love this feature.
Don’t know how they are going to make money as I haven’t seen any ads on any of the Vox blogs, except for the ads while signing up and while doing admin tasks (like posting a new entry, creating tags, etc.)..Hmm.

Rethink your business — Innovate, Get uncomfy and change

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Traditional way of doing business is changing. Average life-span of an employee on a job is decreasing from 20 years, five decades ago to 2-3 years today. Markets have become perfect (or are becoming close to perfect). Information about anything and everything is freely available. Companies, Managers, bosses, traders, and insiders thrived because of information zealously guarded. The digital age has set it free. Google is disrupting the ad sales model, YouTube is kicking out the Television advertising exec. sitting at the top. What we are leaning towards is a business which is changing at the speed of light. The digital age kicked the travel agents out, online trading kicked the $40 per transaction stock broker out and craigslist is making the newspaper classified business crying afoul. Fortune has an interesting article on how guarded walls of management is seeing change in business.
Here’s how to rethink your business:
Tough talk
Force a conversation on how the company will have to operate differently to be successful two years from now. Otherwise everyone dwells on today’s successful products.
Yellow flags
Pay close attention to what your sharpest, most mobile customers are doing. They’re your early warning of
business-model problems.
Remodel early
Start changing your business model when you’re most successful. When you’re in trouble, it’s too late.
Abandon yesterday
Maintaining what no longer works draws your most valuable resources away from your No. 1 job, creating tomorrow.
A new, improved story line
Explain the company’s changes within a larger context. Employees, investors, customers, and suppliers are more comfortable with change when it’s presented as part of a story line.
Corporations resist change and management often get in the “cruise control” of status quo. Globalization of economies (“flat world”) and access to remote markets, suppliers, and customers have changed the way companies project and view their future earnings potential. It’s no longer the big eat the small; it’s the fast, nimble and agile let the big delapidate under it’s own weight.