Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Paul Simmons, Liz McMillan, Ed Featherston

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
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.
@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.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, 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.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
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.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
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...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
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.
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.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...