AdAge IQ Martech Conference

Below are the hot points from yesterday’s AdAge IQ Conference for Marketing & Technology.  
This powerfully simple slide from Chiefmartec infographic-whisperer Scott Brinker says it all … technology is dictating our growth and pace. 

These are the 3 main topics from the stage and conversations with attendees:

1) Learn to adapt with tech by hiring a nerd. Partner with nerds. Revenge of the Nerds

2) There are 6.8 billion mobile phones. So there are 6.8 billion personalized versions of the Web. How are you making it easier for customers to include you?

3) The Marcom Tech “stack” is crazy-complicated. Agencies and partners must patiently help their marketing clients understand and communicate internally to get buy-in across their company.

Josh reminding us to adopt the new Marcom Tech language to inspire new creative thinking and data-driven actions.

Any conference that is starting to use the term “stack” is where I want to be…because this usually means there is conversation about integrating with the other levels of technologies (and my new favorite Agency partners!) between the business and customers. 

Julia Brady of The VIA Agency and I talked about our high expectations for events such AdAge IQ. Yes, we travel downtown and down from New England to network with connections, but, the same tech we are all talking about should be demonstrated and leveraged for OUR superior experiences before, during, and after the event. There are eager vendors that will deploy (literally) hands-on smartphone demos of live data providing insights and personalization for proximity-based meetings that match our personal profiles. Hey Nielsen...Data Demos!

These events can be a fun and functional “tech sandbox” allowing attendees to increase their value as curators of the most relevant content using presentations with multimedia links, research, and tools to share with internal teams and clients. 

Perhaps we should only go to industry events at tech-pimped venues like Cornell’s Tech Campus opening up this fall on Roosevelt Island. Check out some videos at the Consumer Electronic Show’s “C Space” for marketers.

Here are a few key slides from AdAge IQ:
(click to enlarge)
Nat sets the AdAge stage and our tech challenge

Spotify's Mayur says take your precision pit crew through these trecherous curves

Baker @TBWA doing the data dance...
BEFORE, during, and after campaigns

"The worst thing you can do is have the consumer feel your org chart" 
Jeriad Zoghby @AccentureSocial

The power-panel asks for patient support to question everything and get team buy-in.
Jenn tells vendors to prove it and get #s on the board
Anna says know (really know) your customers
Duane focuses on actions and conversions
Seona plans start to finish with her partners
Garrett  deftly navigated people and the QandA tech

Don't panic. Just check out the categories on Scott's supergraphic

Deep Antifragile Thinking

Industry engagement idea for Nielsen

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Are Your Customers James Bond?

Adobe has a new series of awesome video commercials that make you want to watch - and learn - about the features of their Marketing Cloud. This is the state of "advertising" at it's best ... a parody of a parody... ironic irony.

As you watch my favorite spot below, think about how your customers are as cool as James "Hunter" Bond ... they've done everything right... but once again, omnichannel marketing has let them down. Just look at the expression on the face of this frustrated customer #007.

This nails the problems and positions adobe as a solution.

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IoT Platform Roundup - Do The Wave

After a grain of salt or two (thousand) so the pay-to-play tastes better, check out Forrester's  new report on IoT Platforms

IBM, PTC, GE, and Microsoft lead the pack. AWS, SAP, and Cisco Jasper offer competitive options. LogMeIn, Ayla Networks, Exosite, and Zebra Technologies lag behind.

Do the Wave...

For more on the future of, well... Things. check out an overview of MIT Enterprise Forum's Connected Things event from earlier this year and mark your calendar for the next event in March 2017.

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Ax (Ask) The Middleman

Why is the nicest Boston smartypants you'll ever meet David Chang slumming it with the Feelter platform (for Social wisdom on products)... ?

Because the right tech means they are taking out the middleman.

Feelter uses new tech to bring only relevant social conversation to you... so they are not just axing the middleman... they are actually asking.

David recently described a few really interesting reasons why he is taking this gig out of so many opportunities. Mostly because "the truth sells."

Key tech excerpt:

2. Unique technology. The platform has some special sauce in the way it combines natural language processing techniques with a comprehensive content analysis for each social mention. The outcome, a deep-learning algorithm, is the first engine to determine the relevancy of social content to a consumer’s decision making process. It understands not only the sentiment of the social conversation regarding products, but which parts of it actually drive people to take action

Feelter delivers buyers directly to relevant trusted reviews... and sellers get to be at the right place at the right time

Pilot Show - So You Want to Work in Tech

Ted Reed is at it again! My Emmy Award winning friend has a new broadcast TV and Internet program that will be both important and fun.

"So You Want to Work in Tech" will cover all the innovative tech activities in Boston and beyond... so you know where you can get involved ... and know where the future is already here disrupting your industry!

I am on his Digital Strategy team. And that's Erika Ebbel Angle from Scientists for Science and iRobot fame.

We will look behind the scenes of tech companies across the region and hear from people in specific job titles about how to get hired and succeed.

Our mission is to help build America (!) by supporting economic development in the Global Internet Economy. Plenty of tech jobs are available so let's get the right people in the right seats. And these are the best seats - growing fast, clean and sustainable, plus they can easily expand internationally.

The US, and especially Boston, needs trained employees in and around tech for ALL types of positions.... "So You Want To Work In Tech" will help everyone understand this ecosystem. 

Tech is in every company and position ... Keep up by staying ahead.

Check out the promo reel for the pilot ... 


FYI, Altimeter has a must-read article on how to make HR a strategic asset in the Digital Era. They also introduce a really cool and relevant new concept for communication across the "Experience Cloud."

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Watch The Gap

When you are focusing on your Strategic Sweet Spot - that's the best stuff you provide your clients that competitors do not... think about the gaps in your resources to fulfill on your promises today AND as user experiences and expectations evolve. Because, as you know, "evolve" is an understatement!

Keeping up is impossible. The answer?... Get help from trusted specialists in the below priorities.

As you can see in this eMarketer/SODA survey, you are not alone needing User Experience guidance for your Digital, Mobile, Connected Devices, etc. So, consider filling the gap in your executive management (see McKinsey image and article below) with specialists that honor where your business is ... and needs to go.

Mckinsey has excellent advice for how to keep your leadership in touch with the new Digital influences, opportunities, and obligations ...

Remember, be careful and "Watch The Gap"...

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End of the Mobile App Era

While Mobile apps have undoubtedly reinvented the tech sector, it’s time for app developers to apply their skills to robust, connected digital products instead. Our partner at VB has the right POV...

Want Real Relationships? There is an App for that.

Here are notes from my recent presentation at the Mobile Marketing Association about brands being obsessed with advertising on Mobile and not building customer relationships on it. 

It's really easy to buy ads on Google and Facebook. You can even do it automatically with Programmatic services.

Then... Advertising and media promotions let you reach as many people as your budgets allow... 

But ... you are just renting relationships thru publishers and Social Networks.

HERE IS THE QUESTION - Do you want to have ongoing relationships with your customers that includes frequent interactions while learning personal preferences that allow you to provide exponential value during AND in-between their purchases? 

So... Deep-tech development at the code level is the best way to build better customized customer service methods (not dependent on the Social Network platforms) ... for real relationships thru frequent exponentially valuable interactions... optimizing at every touchpoint.

This includes custom mobile apps and all the other “connected devices” accessed during the user's day across multiple mesh networks...  From the Alexa Echo in the kitchen during breakfast - with the car or throughout the commute - entering locations - logging in at work - team collaborations - customer presentations - restaurants - shopping - back home - "hello Alexa, read me my final list that I accumulated today... What do I have to do tomorrow? And who is on Colbert tonight?"

Remember, you cannot provide this (expected!) level of customer service through a Responsive Website limited to their smartphone's browser. 

The result is a solution for real 2-way one-to-one loyal relationships integrated with any current corporate systems - marcom, commerce, supply chain, employee engagement, innovation labs!  

Now you can fulfill on the marketer's promise to listen and learn personal preferences ... and deliver ONLY relevant value with the right content at the right time and the right place.

Point... Use a mobile device responsive web site to reach the masses. Build a custom app experience to service your customers.

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How Much of the Mobile "Brain" are you Using?

We DO use more than 10% of our brain... 

But you are probably only using about 10% of the capabilities of the smartphone with your mobile marketing.

Because... when a customer goes to your site thru a browser on their phone, they are NOT able to easily benefit from the amazing smartphone functions and sensors.

A "Responsive Site" is great for building a bigger audience because of easy access from any phone's browser. But the depth of interaction and range of value can only come thru a "Native App" custom designed for the smartphone...

Here is a real question: Do you want to have ongoing relationships with your customers that includes frequent interactions that learns personal preferences to provide exponential value during AND in-between their purchases? If yes, then . . .
. . . You need a Native Mobile App to get these: 
  1. Superior design experience to prompt more conversions
  2. Quick access with your own branded icons on their home screen
  3. Faster info display (even when there is bad wireless access)
  4. Push notification alerts that arrive exactly how they are wanted
  5. Instant one-click access to proximity-aware customer service 
  6. Secure Integration with mobile payments via Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  7. Elegant integration with photos and videos
  8. Proximity-awareness to control audio and speakers
  9. Accelerometer and motion for exact user position
  10. Gyroscope and movement awareness for games, etc.
  11. Ambient light reader as a photography tool or situational awareness
  12. Magnetometer for alternative positioning with the compass
  13. Barometer changes to update weather-related info
  14. Enhanced security tools only available thru an app
  15. Biometrics – Such as a fingerprint reader
  16. “Connected Device” integration with Bluetooth, NFC, etc.
  17. Active triggers like GPS Geo-Fencing and Beacon sensors that initiate the “choice to ignore or learn more” about what’s available right then and there!
Companies that take advantage of these with a native app (or integrated connected devices) can provide a better user experience than with a website.
Solve many of your business problems with that brain everyone carries around everywhere…
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Ripping thru Truths on AmazAppGooBook

Try to keep up with this data-filled tirade on what is working (and Not) around the Four Horseman

 "...Stores are the new black in the world of eCommerce..."

From mobile to mobility to connectivity

Excerpts from excellent CMO interview:

According to Julie Ask, ‎vice president at Forrester Research, mobility represents the third stage of mobile marketing. The first stage, she said, is when marketers realize they need a mobile presence. This often results in the launch of a mobile website. Stage two is the move to a “mobile-first” mindset, in which marketing initiatives are designed assuming consumers are viewing them primarily on a mobile device, as opposed to the desktop. Mobile apps are typically developed at this point, too.

The third, and most mature, stage is when marketers make the shift from mobile to “mobility.”
This move from mobile to mobility is really about thinking less about mobile as a standalone and more about how mobile fits into the overall customer journey.”

Brian Wong, founder of Kiip, said the concept of mobile moments is a long-term strategy, agnostic of device and platform, that lets marketers focus on the core moments their product services… Marketing, in general, is moving to service and addressing needs, he added. “Real estate and impressions are becoming inadequate,” Wong said. “It comes down to the moments of need that we can find and address.” 

Brands should strive for three types of mobile moments—owned, manufactured, and borrowed

“I see it going from mobile to mobility to connectivity, and connectivity happens when mobility starts occurring across multiple devices, multiple networks, and multiple sensors. You essentially start creating what many refer to as the mesh network,” Becker told
That will lead marketers to the “age of the connected individual.” has become more and more targeted to getting that message out to specific audiences, down to specific segments, down to, now, specific individuals.

Becker said he expects marketers will start to close the gap between the upper funnel and lower-level paid and owned media advertising. In between, they will drop the idea of intelligent, individualized communication. And as they build up their own databases and capabilities to serve and engage individuals on their own terms, intelligent, individualized communication will come to fruition.  
By 2020, the average individual will have 10 connected devices and probably 140 different sensors, all of which will be collecting data about the individual.
“That data will either be under the control of the marketer, or the market, or the individual themselves… that’s the next battleground for the marketer…
…the next stage of evolution is from mobile, to mobility, to connectivity, and the emergence of the connected marketer.

Why Starbucks is spending even more to improve its mobile app

The opposite of this (kind of hilarious picture) is true...

Business Insider reports on Mobile and Mobile App marketing.

Starbucks has put significant effort into its mobile app, and that strategy has paid off in spades...

The company plans to increase spending on mobile in 2016 after great success with its app in 2015, according to Bloomberg. By the end of last year, 21% of all transactions at Starbucks in the U.S. occurred through the mobile app. This has positioned the app as one of Starbucks' core business strategy.

The coffee giant debuted its app in 2011 and at the time, the company used the QR-code based app mostly as a loyalty card that gave rewards (such as a free drink) to customers who used it. But in the last few years, the app has grown to become a full experience through which users can order and pay. Starbucks also sends messages that have promotional offers within the app.

The success of this app shows how effective in-app messaging can increase a company's overall revenue. Recent data from Salesforce indicates that in-app marketing is starting to become a core strategy for many businesses.

In 2016, 54% of marketers said they used mobile apps for marketing, up from approximately 27% in 2014 for a year-over-year growth of 98%. An additional 20% said they intend to use apps for marketing within the next 12 months. Finally, 77% said they noted tangible ROI from mobile marketing, up almost 150% since 2015.

Starbucks also plans to begin implementing new mobile strategies targeting more purchases within the app. These strategies include recommendations of more purchases to customers in a way similar to how Netflix recommends TV shows and movies to users based on their histories and tastes.

This approach could increase Starbucks customers' individual purchases by up to 50%, according to Crone data cited by Bloomberg.

Connecting Your Business to Connected Things

Here is the video summary of the MIT Enterprise Forum's 8th Annual Connected Things conference.

As part of the organizing team, I get to work with great people that are at the financially lucrative center AND at the bleeding-edge innovations of the Internet of Things. See Forrester's Wave Report on the best ItT platforms HERE.

Produced by Ted Reed TV  .... Thanks Ted!

See more on the Loopd Bluetooth "attendee communicator" demo and the panel I helped organize on Media and Mobile at: 

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The What, Why, and How of Going Mobile

By David Cutler – at Boston World Partnerships

Summary: A Mobile Sales and Marketing plan is inevitable because your prospects are as addicted to their phones as you are.

See my related article about how to promote your Mobile App.

Here is some inspiration and direction to take advantage of the unique opportunities of making Mobile an extension of your existing programs and a new way to attract more customers and provide ongoing, automated value. Also find a free and easy mobile project you can do today.

The "What"

Smartphone marketing is so different than previous communication methods that marketers need to relearn how they talk with customers and offer content, utility, and value.

Consider these several ways that you can deliver your customers the right experience, on the right device, at the right time:

1) Instant gratification to buy or engage with you anytime. Especially if you earn a spot for your logo bookmark on your customer's phone.

2) Promo and coupon incentives at their "point of highest desire"

3) Talking to customer service with a single click-to-call.

4) Their location and yours with GPS maps for destination/storefinder/In-store items.

5) Phone sensors of environment and digital triggers can add to relevancy of alerts.

6) Provide easy access to more info and promos by scanning a code seen on any media - TV, magazine, poster, tattoo, napkin … get creative.

7) Match your info to the user’s personal preferences and proximity for accurate incentives, coupons, game-play points … get more creative!

Mobile also has the unique capability to engage customers throughout their AIDAR lifecycle: Awareness - Interest - Decision - Action - Retention.

The "Why"

Your customer is changing. Mobile is the best way to evolve with them.So...

Yes, about 80% of all consumer purchasing is offline, not through Web e-Commerce or Mobile m-Commerce. But that 20% of online buying is filled with new opportunity.

Here are three reasons to focus on them:

1) This 20% is growing faster than any market - ever! Learn how your company needs to evolve in order to communicate this way. It will take time. Get started.

2) Mobile is not expensive. Developers are eager and are market-priced fairly at $75-$150 per hour. Also get some guidance on the hard part - your content strategy and new business models.

3)  Mobile customers are your best customers. They spend more! This is not just because they have the money for nifty smartphones, but they want to use it for both coolness and efficiency.

Don't you want to sell to, and learn from, early adopting, more active, young-minded "Tryers"?

Remember, there is nothing like experiencing a personally-tweaked smartphone to demonstrate the value of investing in the “Post-PC” era of smartphones and tablets.

Pay attention to which Apps you download, actually use, wish for and would value enough to pay for.  The good ones earn their icon shortcut a place on your customers Smartphone “desktop” for easy access and, of course, ongoing branding.

The "How"

If you don’t have a tech department in-house, learn the basics and partner with someone to help you Go Mobile.
To make the "How" of mobile technology development really easy... hire HTML5 specialists (like the folks pictured on the MITX FutureM conference panel above) to design your content so it works on any platform your audience is using - PC browser, mobile browser, mobile app (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.), in-store signage, kiosks, billboards, Smart TV, etc.

There. That was easy.

The truth is that you need to understand enough to partner with the right vendors and help them help you. A great way to learn is at online/offline discussions like the MITX panel, "Building and Marketing for an Increasingly Mobile Future" moderated by Jeff Moriarty of the Boston Globe - check out their state-of-the-art “newspaper” experience built with…new term warning!... Responsive Web Design and Progressive Enhancements.

Another local association that loves to share (on Mondays) is MobileMondayBoston. Also check out event listings of a various levels of Geekness at GreenhornConnect

What’s a good project to start with? First and foremost, make sure your Website is mobile-friendly. Next, focus on how the most important elements of your business can be just slightly enhanced by 24/7 mobile access. Then you can evolve features after learning what works. Simpler is better - users have no patience for waste during any Mobile experience. Deeper integration into your business processes can be expensive but worth the investment by increasing lead-generation and sales.

Short Message Service (SMS) Texting is huge with kids, American Idol, and around the world because any phone can do it (no need for a smartphone). You can rent a number and keyword for about $125 per month. Owning your own text code is a difficult process and starts at $10,000.

Here is a free and easy project:

Put a Quick Response (QR) Code on your marketing material for people to scan and be directed to your home page or, better yet, a page dedicated to welcoming them on their mobile phone. One of many places to get your own codes for any URL is Kayawa (you can also download a QR Code reader for your smartphone). Fees start after you want more services like tracking users. Below is an example I use to send people to my EatMedia Blog.

Give it a try from your smartphone…

Below are some key points on HOW to go Mobile:

It’s safe to say that Android and iPhone are the only smartphone systems to be concerned with (sorry Microsoft, Nokia, Blackberry RIM, etc.). But you will want to choose between Native or Web Apps.

"Native Apps" are all the rage with their quick lush content only a few swipes and pokes away. But for new users, they require a few extra steps thru an App Store (not a direct link from your promo messages).

"Web Apps" are mobile-friendly sites that are easily found through any phone's browser. Plus the new HTML5 now allows for richer experiences. When wireless carrier connectivity is not a problem, this is your more effective choice - particularly when you finally integrate m-Commerce into your existing e-Commerce system. Your buyers really will be everywhere!

After you decide on the content and utility you want to provide customers, these are the main tech items to discuss with your development partner:

1) Simple user experience is always first and should be. Mobile has no patience.
2) All site promotions, like Search campaigns, must lead to Mobile-friendly pages.

3) Easy findability of Web sites versus a few extra steps to set-up thru App stores 

4) Bandwidth availability wherever your customers/employees usually are

5) Content rendering speed must be quick with camera, GPS, mic,+
6) Updateability of new content
7) A/B testing of content (hard w/ Native Apps)
8) Security and privacy… always last but shouldn't be!

Now Go Mobile!

If you are looking for more custom ideas or vendor suggestions, reach out to me or any of the Connectors at - we are a community of professionals that love to “Inform and Connect.”

Please share your experiences … what is holding you up? Vendor selection? Budget commitment? Understanding the creative opportunities for your company?

David Cutler helps a wide range of clients refresh their Sales and Marketing to take advantage of the ever-evolving Web of Digital and Traditional Media. Continue the conversation about your specific questions and needs on his Blog at

BONUS Mobile Infographic...

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