Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

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

@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
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
Announcing Poland #DigitalTransformation Pavilion
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, added the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor analytic...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.