By Altimeter Group’s Research Team
- Analysts: Susan Etlinger, Charlene Li, Rebecca Lieb, Jeremiah Owyang, Chris Silva, Brian Solis
- Consulting: Ed Terpening, Alan Webber
- Researchers: Jon Cifuentes, Jessica Groopman, Andrew Jones, Jaimy Szymanski, Christine Tran
Over 30 Technologies Have Emerged, at a Faster Pace than Companies Can Digest.
If you think social was disruptive, it was really just the beginning. Altimeter’s research team recently convened for our annual research offsite and found over 30 disruptions and 15 trends that have emerged (see below for the full list in our Disruption Database). These disruptions and trends will affect consumers, business, government, the global economy; with accelerating speed, frequency and impact.
Four Major Business Disruptions Emerge – Business Leaders Must Prepare.
Out of these disruptions and trends, Altimeter identified four major themes that will be disruptive to business. Below is a preview of Altimeter’s four business disruption themes, with a definition and short description of each. In the coming weeks, we’ll publish a short report explaining these themes in more detail.
Everything Digital: An increasingly digital landscape – including data, devices, platforms and experiences – that will envelop consumers and businesses.
Everything Digital is the increasingly digital environment that depends on an evolving ecosystem of interoperable data, devices, platforms – experienced by people and business. It’s larger than the scope of Internet of Things, as it’s pervasive or ambient – not defined only by networked sensors and objects, but including capabilities such as airborne power grids or wireless power everywhere. Everything Digital serves as the backdrop for our next three themes.
Me-cosystem: The ecosystem that revolves around “me,” our data, and technologies that will deliver more relevant, useful, and engaging experiences using our data.
Wearable devices, near-field communications, or gesture-based recognition are just a few of the technologies that will make up an organic user interface for our lives, not just a single digital touchpoint. Digital experiences will be multiplied by new screen types, and virtual or augmented reality. Individuals who participate will benefit from contextualized digital experiences, in exchange for giving up personal data.
Digital Economies: New economic models caused by the digital democratization of production, distribution, and consumption.
Supply chains become consumption chains in this new economy as consumers become direct participants in production and distribution. Open source, social, and mobile platforms allow consumers to connect with each other, usurping traditional roles and relationships between buyers, sellers, and marketplaces. Do-it-yourself technologies such as 3D printing and replicators will accelerate this shift, while even currency becomes distributed and peer-to-peer-based. In this new economy, value shifts towards digital reputation and influence, digital goods and services; even data itself. The downside? An increasing divide between digital “haves” and the digital “have-nots.”
Dynamic Organization: In today’s digital landscape, dynamic organizations must develop new business models and ways of working to remain relevant, and viable.
Business leaders grapple with an onslaught of new technologies that result in shifting customer and employee expectations. It’s not enough to keep pace with change. To succeed, dynamic organizations must cultivate a culture, mindset, and infrastructure that enables flexibility and adaptability; the most pioneering will act as adaptive, mutable “ad-hocracies.”
Altimeter’s Disruption Database
Below are the 30 digital disruptions and 15 digital trends, which were used as the starting ground of our analysis.
|3-D Printing and Replicators
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Augmented Reality (Google Glass)
Automated Life (Cars, Homes, Driving, etc.)
Biometric Authentication (Voice/audio, fingerprint, body/eyescan, gesture, olfactory user interface Content Marketing
Digital/Social TV vs. “Second Screen”
Emerging Hand Held Devices / Platforms (Android, Tablet, Phablet)
Gesture/Voice-Based Interface/Navigation / “Human as Interface”
Hacking/Social Engineering and Information Security
Haptic Surfaces (Slippery, wet, textured through electrical currents)
Healthcare – Data and Predictive Analytics
Hyper-Local Technology / Mobile Location / Indoor Mapping
Internet of Nanoparticles (Embedded in bloodstream)
Natural Language Processing
Near Field Communications
Open Source / Open Data / Open Innovation
Peer-Based Currency / Soical Currency (BitCoin)
Proximity Based Communications
Social Engagement Automation (Robots Respond on Twitter)
Social Network Analysis, Graphing, and Data Science
Touch Permeates Digital/Surfaces: TVs, Touch Advertising
Virtual Reality / Immersive 3D Experiences
Wearable / Embedded Technology
Wireless Power / Electricity
Customer Experience Design/Architecture and Integration
Data Convergence/Customer Intelligence
Data vs Creative in the Org: New Decision Process
Digital Ethnography or Customer Journey Mapping
Digital Influence and Advocacy
Evolution of the Center of Excellence
Internet of Things or Internet of Everything
Intrapreneurship, Innovation Culture, and Innovation Hubs
Privacy: Standardization and Regulation (“Beware of Little Brother”)
Quantified Self or Human API
The Digital Journey and Understanding Digital Signals
The Maker Movement
The Neuroscience of Digital Interactions
Open Research: Please Share Your Comments and Insights with Us.
There’s more to come – we’ll be sharing additional insights such as 1) top questions for businesses to ask, 2) who’s disrupted and who benefits, and 3) enabling technologies.
In the meantime, we’re soliciting your comments as part of our Open Research model. Please share our themes with others, and help us answer these questions:
- What other business disruptions or trends are you seeing? Please add to this Google form and we’ll provide proper attribution.
- Which of these four business disruption themes impact your business now?
- How is your business responding to these themes, or the related disruptions and trends?
Photos from Altimeter’s Research Offsite
Below are a couple illustrations that resulted from the discussions that took place at our research offsite:
Above Image: Altimeter synthesized these disruptions and trends, which become broader themes.
Above Image: A graphic illustration of our synthesis. Thank you to Paula Hansen who was instrumental in visually capturing our discussions in real-time.
Reposted from the Altimeter Group blog
That Time of Year is rapidly approaching:
“Will you be there?” “Are you speaking?” “When are you in town?”
Where will you find us? In company briefings (if you’re interested in requesting one, please do so here). Also, at events and parties. Our calendars are filling up fast!
Analysts speaking engagements:
Saturday, March 9th
- Professions Go Social with Rebecca Lieb, Courtyard Marriott, Rio Grande Ballroom, 11:00 – 12:00
Sunday, March 10th
- Data & Gamification: Value to the Enterprise with Jeremiah Owyang, Four Seasons Hotel Ballroom, 5:00 – 6:00
Monday, March 11th
- Brian Solis interviews none other than Shaquille O’Neal, Long Center for the Performing Arts, 12:30PM
- Advanced Social Media Monitoring with Susan Etlinger (RSVP required) 3:30 – 6:00 PM
Measuring digital advertising is relatively easy and
Owned and earned media? That’s a whole other story. The metrics and the methods for measuring digital marketing are less exact, the platforms are newer, while the old rules and models don’t apply.
It’s been easier to groan about “lack of analytics expertise and/or resources,” “poor tools,” “unreliable data,” or “inconsistent analytical approaches” than to roll up collective organizational sleeves and really tackle the social media measurement problem. Yet with creativity, as well as hard metrics and defined business goals and strategies, organizations are not only measuring social media for ‘soft’ metrics such as brand sentiment, but also ‘hard’ data, such as revenue attribution.
My Altimeter Group colleague Susan Etlinger has been researching the topic and just published the result, “The Social Media ROI Cookbook: Six Ingredients Top Brands Use to Measure the Revenue Impact of Social Media” (available as a free download under the Open Research model).
While there’s admittedly no perfect measurement method, the study identifies no less than six models for measuring social media revenue impact, three “top-down,” and three “bottom-up.” The organizations that measure most effectively use a combination of these methods in concert, and the report provides a four-factor matrix to help determine which of the six methods apply, based on type of business, the product or service, media mix, and customer profile.
The media mix is of particular interest here, as my focus has been on the convergence of paid, owned, and earned media recently (the topic of my newest research report). Converged media models also require converging metrics, presenting the not inconsiderable challenge of applying findings and learnings from paid and owned, for example, into earned media. Or vice-versa, often in real or near-real time.
Like measuring social media ROI, these models are only just emerging. Measuring new media models is complex enough. The new necessity of measuring, learning, optimizing and applying data from one channel to another makes the challenge geometrically more formidable.
In the late 20th century, when the commercial internet was in its infancy, there was no end to the griping about “silos.” Back then silos referred to That Which Is Digital and That Which Is Not Digital. The gripe (from the digital side of the equation) was that the not-digital team got all the budget, and didn’t even accord the digitals a place at the table.
So ingrained was the silo grudge that no one, but no one, grew to understand silos better than the digitals. In a scant decade, more digital silos emerged than you can shake a stick at: Search. Email. Display. Social. Analytics. Online video. CGM. CRM. Targeting. Retargeting.
The list goes on. Digital is, after all, highly technological and all these areas legitimately require high degrees of specialization. They still do, but now there’s a very compelling reason for digital to stop the Balkanization it so actively criticized just a few short years ago.
The reason? Media are converging. The new research report I publish today, together with co-author Jeremiah Owyang (we were ably assisted by Jessica Groopman and Chris Silva) reveals that consumers, who flit like so many butterflys between devices, screens, windows and channels, are making little distinction between media types.
Paid, owned, and earned media? It’s rapidly becoming all just…media. Ads, blog post, social interactions – either they’re interesting (or entertaining, or engaging, or helpful, etc.), or they’re not. Brands must integrate paid, owned and earned channels now. It will not only make marketing more effective and efficient, but it will prepare them for the future. As traditional media becomes increasingly digital, this trends is beginning to occur offline, too.
Converged media is tough to wrap your arms around. Paid must inform owned which must inform earned, and vice versa, and sideways, too. It’s complicated, but it can pay off in much-improved optimization, reach, insights and above all, effectiveness. We like to think of it as a stool. Three legs (paid, owned and earned) provide a better foundation than one or two would.
To effectively commingle paid, owned and earned media, brands must get everyone around the table and make them play nice together – easier said than done. Ecosystem players such as software vendors and agencies have areas of specialization – not to mention revenue models – that rarely scope beyond one of these three channels.
Yet effectively converging media brings with it an advantage beyond more effective advertising and marketing. Integrating teams, both internally and externally, will help smash the multitude of silos that litter the digital landscape.
Converged media is both a reality and an opportunity for better integration and collaboration across a myriad of digital specializations. Imagine the possibilities when we all start really collaborating with each other!
As with our other reports, The Converged Media Imperative is published under the Open Research model. Use it. Share it. And we’ll publish more.
If you missed Jeremiah and I presenting our webinar Content: Thee New Marketing Equation, based on our recently published research report, you can watch it here or on SlideShare. Please share the video, as it’s freely available as open research.
For those of you who were waiting for this post (several of you were kind enough to ask when it would appear), thanks for your patience. Our own technology was particularly disruptive the day of the actual webinar – the laptop recording the presentation went poof, then faded to black. The video above is, therefore, Altimeter Group’s first video “reenactment,” which is why the Q&A is missing at the end.
Cross-posted from the Altimeter Group blog
There’s been a rash of news stories recently with headlines so misleading it’s hard to believe they passed editorial muster. Yet a quick search of Google News reveals no less than five articles with ledes very much like this one: “P&G to cut 1600 staff after CEO discovers digital media is free“.
Any serious marketer knows “free” is nonsense. As with SEO, content marketing shakes marketers loose from the expense of the media buy. But budgets, staffing, skill sets, education, agency relationships, investments in technology and shifting strategy to align content with other marketing initiatives (yes, even advertising) all require substantial investment, and require marketers to rebalance both strategies and tactics.
That’s what Content: The New Marketing Equation examines. Following on the heels of my book on content marketing, which looks at why content marketing matters, this research report examines how organizations are adapting to the challenges it presents: the need to think like a publisher rather than an advertiser; moving from episodic campaigns to sustained content initiatives; and creating a genuine culture of content throughout the organization because stories don’t reside in the marketing department.
The report identifies the five stages of maturity an organization can achieve as it becomes more proficient at content marketing, including a self-assessment tool to score your own level of content proficiency. We also look at the content channels marketers are using now, and those they say they will in the future. As they move away from text-based channels, e.g. articles and blogging, into more technologically sophisticated areas such as video, mobile and image-based information, it’s clear “free” does not enter into the equation.
For the report, we conducted 56 interviews with subject matter experts and companies as diverse as Coca-Cola, American Express, GE, IBM, Adobe, Ford Motor Company, Wells Fargo, and Intel. Below, the questions we asked each interview subject.
- How are companies responding internally to the demands of content marketing?
- How much of your/your clients’ content creation is outsourced vs created in house? (rough % question)
- Have you run into any problems with outsourcing content creation to agencies? Have they been able to effectively align the content they create with your brand ?
- Can – and should – content marketing initiatives be reconciled and integrated with advertising?
- What are the most effective types of content you’ve used to promote your brand?
- How should organizations rebalance? How should internal and external resources be aligned? How do they integrate silos for more effective messaging and spend?
- Have you needed to hire new employees or create new teams? How many did you have to bring on? Which teams did you have to create? What drove you to the conclusion that this rebalancing was necessary?
- Where are these new resources coming from? Should they be assigned to the same agency that handles advertising? Outsourced to PR firms, digital consultancies – or staffed in-house? Can they – and should they – be integrated with or otherwise reconciled with “classic” advertising?
- How are internal staffing needs changing? How much content creation can realistically be outsourced – does this lead to a “clueless handler” situation?
- How are determinations being made regarding when it’s better to buy vs. create or earn media? Who ultimately makes that decision?
- How do you determine the optimal mix between bought vs earned media?
- What types of agencies (advertising, PR or new breed) can walk the walk and support content marketing initiatives? (Lord knows, everyone and their brother is talking the talk.)
- What qualities do you look for when evaluating these agencies?
- What are the most common ‘red flags’ you look for when deciding to work with an agency?
- How do you get management buy-in and measure content marketing initiatives?
- What new types of content do you anticipate adding to your arsenal in the next year? Three years out?
- Which types of content do you plan to phase out or found ineffective?
- How is your organization adapting its structure to accommodate content marketing?
- Are there any questions that you wish we had asked you/we should have asked? And who else do you think we should speak to for this research report?
Many thanks to the numerous people who tirelessly contributed their time, knowledge and expertise to making this research happen. We’d be delighted to hear your reactions and to provide direction or guidance on your own content marketing or strategy needs.
Cross-posted from the Altimeter Group blog
Thanks to the media and bloggers discussing this research:
- The Content Marketing Institute article and podcast and another article
- Make Mobile Work
- Brian Solis
- The Digital Analyst
- Buddy Media blog
- Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang
- The Content Lab
- Helicopter to Work (Joe Chernov)
- IBM Smarter Commerce
- CC Chapman
- MarketingLand and here
- UBM Tech Web
- The Content Marketeer (Kapost)
- PR Communications
- Namics Weblog
- Advertising Age and my column byline
- iMedia Connection