My colleague Brian's blog is abuzz with comments about mobile strategy, so key to success he urges readers to "[f]orget about social media," at least for a moment. Brian's comparison of social to mobile is apt, both began as fragmented, bootstrapped efforts, then social got the attention of the CMO. Now, it's mobile's turn; it's unfortunately common to come across companies with solid customer mobile initiatives and little happening to serve internal constituents or vice versa. It's still the exception to see an organization winning in mobile inside and out, and big software vendors see this as their golden opportunity. Enter IBM...
Back in December, after getting an advanced look at IBM's new mobile suite, I wrote a post entitled “Can Watson Save Siri?” that contemplated the idea that IBM and other large, enterprise software vendors could lend some serious muscle to enterprise mobile application efforts. These vendors, with their expansive mix of “big iron” servers, services to reach customers on the web and systems to run the innards of business take a “cradle to grave” approach to mobile. In press coverage of the announcement, executives at Big Blue were quick to point out the need for more integrated mobile solutions to drive true productivity and business benefit. Their tone implies that efforts to-date have either been tactical, one-off solutions to enable a single business goal - like collaboration - or disconnected from enterprise systems that contain business processes and data. This is true in some cases, but I think enterprises are getting a lot more savvy about how to either adapt processes to harness mobile tools or add mobile-first tools like mobile BI vendor Roambi into the mix to unlock enterprise intelligence.
IBM, Oracle, SAP and their competition have been building mobile into their corporate offerings for some time making acquisitions in mobile application development, mobile device management and overall data and business intelligence tools. IBM's MobileFirst announcement, is less a product launch and more re-branding the many existing pieces IBM has had in place for some time. It's also designed to highlight the integration the vendor offers across the whole compliment of mobile services, creating an holistic offering from application design to mobile data analytics integration. Here’s the thing; now that IBM formally launched their mobile competency what sort of companies will bite?
"The question that customers ask themselves is, Can I bet the farm on this platform?"
- Peter Graf, EVP Product Marketing, SAP 2006
There seem to be two types of mobile strategies afoot inside of organizations. These are the common organic approach with multiple vendors creating an enterprise-wide mobile strategy approaches and a monolithic, single-vendor approach. IBM's play is the latter and, while promising, I've not seen anyone embrace this route fully to-date. There's no question that a monolithic mobile approach all coming from one vendor will work extremely well for getting more out of mobile applications and allowing mobile apps to feed the rest of the business with big data. However, for many, choosing this path requires a rip-and-replace of existing mobile tools that work well and - in many cases - are not all "owned" by the same entity within the organization.
Making a bet on a single vendor to create all aspects of a mobile program in these instances can have significant drawbacks and my clients are right to be circumspect about the potential cost and complexity of taking the big leap to a single vendor. The most common concerns I hear are whether middleware to make the motley crew of tools sing a common tune and compatible servers and standalone applications are required to make data stores accessible.
Many of the organizations I hear from regularly have chosen what can best be described as a polyvendor approach when it comes to mobile. A top design firm for customer-facing apps, the best-in-breed mobile device management solution, and still another to handle collaboration and data sharing that's nimble enough to serve all comers, mobile or not. Now, as large software vendors, security vendors and enterprise systems concerns eye the fragmented mobile space with their checkbooks out, mobile leaders have two choices, 1.) start fresh with an end-to-end, single vendor solution that you know will work but comes with a potentially painful and costly changeover or wait out your polyvendor mix to see where leaders emerge - or 2.) decide under which enterprise software hegemon you'll ultimately live. The latter seems a cynical view on the world, but past technology trends, from web servers, to security and client management tools to wireless carriers has borne out the hegemony hypothesis over and over again.
Which path will your business choose, and why?
All the news and updates at this year’s Modern Marketing Experience conference are all about the unified CX narrative.
Altimeter publishes the first complete maturity model for companies undergoing a digital transformation.
Chatbots announced at today’s Facebook developer conference, F8.
Facebook’s CEO outlines the company’s plans for its family of apps, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
Altimeter’s new roadmap for how companies can create and implement a unified content strategy for the entire organization.
New survey results from Altimeter show the powerful effect of employee advocacy, and how companies can use it to drive business results.
The unique challenges faced by the insurance industry when it comes to using customer experience as a differentiator.
Key findings from our upcoming research on Employee Advocacy.
Listen to the recorded webinar from Susan Etlinger.
Taking a page out of Snapchat Stories, Facebook has created a revolutionary ad format for mobile.
The latest research report from Susan Etlinger shows how brands must look at their data not only as a technology issue, but as a strategic asset to be used for competitive advantage.
Ed Terpening takes a look at how employee advocacy could be the next way to promote organic content without paying for reach on Facebook.
A new research brief from Brian Solis talks about how digital strategists can succeed by taking an “OPPOSITE” approach to business as usual.
Lots of changes happening at Twitter, here’s what the latest means for brands that use the platform.
Charlene Li takes a look at what areas of digital transformation companies should invest in as the year begins.
From IBM’s Connect conference in Orlando, Susan Etlinger finds new insights into how employee data can be used to transform organizations.
Lessons from the digital disruption of the music industry.
Analyst Susan Etlinger outlines her research agenda and areas of coverage for 2016.
A new survey from CMO Council and Pega Systems shows that data-driven customer engagement still has a long way to go.
Ed Terpening takes a look at the factors that influence the success employee advocacy programs.
Altimeter’s Susan Etlinger is a guest contributor to a new report from the World Economic Forum, prepared by the Global Agenda Council for Social Media.
An eMarketer report predicts 2016 to be the first year that more money will be spent on display advertising than search.
Prophet’s Brand Relevance Index study identified the Top 50 Relentlessly Relevant Brand. Several digital brands broke into the top 50 — what did they do well to make it into this elite group of brands?
Why companies need to start prepping for the rapidly approaching CX opportunities in virtual/augmented reality technology.
The new areas of focus for Altimeter’s research team in the New Year.
It’s time companies brought HR into the C-Suite.
Watch the recorded webinar and download the slides of Altimeter’s presentation of “The Customer Experience Cloud”
New updates from Oracle Marketing Cloud help brands unite disparate data and business units on a single platform.
Susan Etlinger’s thoughts on the recent TED@IBM event on data.
A new book by Altimeter’s Brian Solis underscores the importance of great design and empathy in creating lasting customer experiences.
A new Altimeter report gives companies a roadmap for unifying their teams and technologies around building a unified customer experience across all brand interactions.
The implications of Facebook’s new range of buttons.
Customer experience is no longer just the responsibility of marketing, martech must be used by the sales and service teams as well.
A new thought leadership study from Altimeter and Cofactor.
Employee advocacy of your brand coupled with divisive political expression can harm both your brand and employee influence in social networks.
What every company needs to consider before organizing for social business.
Companies need to look beyond communication to earn consumer trust.
How Altimeter will continue to do research as a part of Prophet Brand Strategy.
Acquisition underscores the potential of social to deliver results outside the marketing department.
A look at why it is imperative for the IoT industry to invest in, collaborate, and innovate specifically around security and privacy, not just broader IoT verticals.
How much further can we take the “customer profile?”
It’s less about the hardware and more about the interoperability of content, services, use cases, communications across devices.
The implications of connected devices communicating at every moment.
A new report from the CMO Council identifies the biggest barriers to effective lead generation through content.
Key findings from Altimeter’s latest benchmark study on social business
Brian Solis talks about marketing to Generation “C” at the Adobe Summit EMEA in London.
What you need to know about how companies can use your data to discriminate against you.
When it comes to consumer data use, communication isn’t just ethical, it’s an integral part of brand strategy.
A new research report by Altimeter Group’s Brian Solis and Capgemini Consulting
The mixed feelings video creators have about using Facebook instead of YouTube.
What you should keep in mind when evaluating your company’s social business maturity.
How every company should evaluate itself against consumer privacy concerns.
Altimeter’s latest benchmark study on how companies are using social media to further their business results.
A new report from eMarketer predicts that by 2017, Instagram ad sales will cross $2 billion in ad sales.
What both consumers and businesses can learn from the Ashley Madison cheating website data breach.
The start of a new era for Altimeter Group.
A new survey by Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud highlights the challenges marketers face in using Big Data platforms.
Understanding the full implications of being connected everywhere and anytime.
The way Pinterest discloses its data use practices is a great example for brands.
A new survey by Altimeter Group reveals just how concerned consumers are about connected devices accessing and utilizing their personal data.
Brian Solis speaks with Entrepreneur Magazine’s Jason Ankeny on the future of business.
The essential guidelines all businesses need to follow for the ethical collection, use and sale of data.
New updates to Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder platform now allow users to map customer journeys across sales, service, marketing and custom apps.
How to get your business noticed in a sea of content and media.
Was Twitter wrong for taking down “Politwoops?”
Jessica Groopman’s guest post for the TRUSTe blog.
With “Buyable Pins,” brands can now use Pinterest to directly sell their products to consumers
The Apple CEO delivered a scathing critique of companies misusing customer information.
Altimeter’s resident Internet of Things expert Jessica Groopman talks with UnboundID’s Emeka Obianwu.
Altimeter’s latest consumer survey focuses on privacy in the new age of connected devices.
Why leaders are so hesitant to engage digitally, and what they can do to overcome that fear.
Salesforce is fielding inquiries from potential buyers, one of whom may be its biggest competitor, Oracle.
If customer experience is based upon data, the first step is earning their trust.
How to start crafting optimal customer experiences in the Internet of Things.
The three key benefits sensors can offer retailers for using IoT to drive loyalty.
The implications of Twitter turning off the tap for one of its biggest data partners.
At its annual conference, Marketo launches real-time, automated messaging capabilities for mobile apps, along with new advertising and IoT tools.
Why the competition between the big marketing cloud vendors shouldn’t be the focus of their clients.
In this 1-hour webinar, industry analysts Susan Etlinger and Rebecca Lieb share their latest research on Content Marketing Performance.
Does Facebook’s restriction on its huge data sets serve the public interest?
Oracle announces long-awaited web, data, and commerce integrations for its Marketing Cloud, highlighting its big ambitions for a unified offering of all its enterprise platforms.
The impact of IBM’s partnership with the Weather Company and its mammoth investment in IoT.
A look at the growth of Beacon devices and their impact on consumers.
Facebook is emerging as an even bigger threat to YouTube by announcing some attractive new features for its video platform.
Five definitive use cases illustrating how companies can use sensors to enhance customer experience.
A look at the digital ethics and privacy conversations from this year’s SXSW conference.
How leaders can make the most of the biggest digitally-focused event of the year.
Why won’t Apple focus on the actual use cases for Apple Watch instead of how it looks?
I recently partnered with Genesys to explore the state and future of customer experience (CX).
Sprinklr is taking on the marketing cloud bigwigs with the release of its Content Lifecycle Management platform.
The reasons you need to attend Internet of Things World.
We match up Hillary Clinton’s actions against our social business governance framework.
The CEO of Altimeter Group has a new book out which contains essential guidelines for how leaders can engage employees and customers on digital channels.
What leaders need to do to earn the trust of their employees and consumers in the digital age.
A new law banning the collection of personal information in South Africa could influence legislation in other countries as well.
What social media teams need to do to get tweets showing up in Google search results.
How companies can use the Internet of Things to create experiences that benefit both the brand and its customers.
Customer experience is meant to be evocative, not reactive, and the current state of call centers isn’t helping.
A list of essential do’s and don’t for vendors and their PR teams.
The implications of the Internet of Things is so much more than the immediate value of a shiny gadget that connects to the Internet.
A new startup called Locket is revolutionizing the way we use our mobile lock screens by turning it into a content and messaging playground.
DonorsChoose shows how simple targeted emails can produce great engagement across all digital channels.
A new book by Charlene Li tells today’s leaders how to start engaging their employees on the same digital channels as their customers.
NYT- and WSJ-bestselling author Charlene Li guides business leaders deeper than ever before into the uncomfortable and ever-changing terrain of the digital era.
Here’s the first, crucial step every organization needs to take before formulating its content strategy.
This year’s results have troubling implications for the technology industry.
The Internet of Things is the next big channel of engagement for brands, yet most of them still find it difficult to get on board.
The digital trends and practices that require the most attention from business executives this year.
We answer all the questions we couldn’t get to during our webinar on the mobile-only customer experience.
In this one-hour webinar, Susan Etlinger shares a framework on how to 1) extract insight from data and 2) in a way that engenders trust.
A look at the future of advertising in a world where the channels to view them are rapidly changing.
In this 1-hour webinar, join Jaimy Szymanski and Brian Solis for a discussion on how organizations can approach mobile design strategy through the lens of an evolving connected customer.
If you’re making the trek to Austin in March, we hope you’ll catch up with the Altimeter crew.
A look at what we give up and gain when we allow our lives to be turned into sources for data.
How content marketers can take advantage of the new partnership that allows tweets to show up in Google search results.
Successful IoT strategies the consumer product world can learn from B2B enteprises.
Sprinklr will be looking to its new COO to convince enterprise leadership of social media’s importance across the entire organization.
Brands aren’t the only ones who must adapt to a mobile-first audience.