Cleve Gibbon

content management, content modelling, digital ecosystems, technology evangelist.

Are digital transformation partners transforming?

We are living in a digital world.  Every organisation is going through a digital transformation today to stay relevant and be competitive.  The smartest organisations are not going it alone. They enlist help to fill  expertise gaps and bring in experience to accelerate them on their digital transformation journey.  This help comes in the form of agencies and consultancies that have ‘done it before‘.  However, are digital transformation partners themselves transforming?

It is not the strongest of the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change – Charles Darwin

Late last year I aAll changettended a digital marketing event where a major global brand in the financial sector asked the agencies in the audience, are YOU transforming too?  The presenter went on and listed a few things they look for from an agency to help them.  We’ll get back to those.  But first, his organisation clearly manages a large ecosystem  of agencies and consultancies.  With everyone one of them offering up experience and expertise to do better in a digital world.  How can he differentiate between them?

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The Rise of Enterprise Experience

In today’s experience economy, becoming customer centric is a necessary and well acknowledged transformative organisational challenge. Let’s break that down. We see the customer as the consumer and the organisation as the enterprise.  Over the last few years the focus has largely been on delivering superior consumer experiences.  However, we should also recognise that great enterprise experiences result in better consumer experiences.  With the current  thinking splitting corporate investments 80/20 in favour of consumer experience over enterprise experience, are we missing a trick here?

Enterprise Experience

Consumer experience is the sum of all interactions we have with a brand throughout the consumer lifecycle.  If done right, we advocate for the brand and want to further engage with them.  The enterprise experience is exactly the same but targets audiences inside the organisation rather than outside. These internal audiences – agencies, partners, IT, executives, vendors, business units – follow processes and use technology to create those superior consumer experiences.  The organisational challenge is about empowering these internal audiences with modern tools and techniques that have come to rely on as consumers.

Enterprise Experience

If this is what enterprise experience is about, why are organisations falling short of the mark?

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Summit at Sea

img_5139Last week was the first time I was stateside to witness firsthand a US Presidential Election.  Thankfully, this is not a political post.  Instead, I was there to join a gathering of technologists, musicians, entrepreneurs, writers, athletes, DJs, and so on heading out for the final Summit at Sea in Miami.

Nearly 3000 of us left Miami and headed out to the Bahamas for 3 days on the cruise ship Norwegian Escape. The Summit at Sea sessions ranged from politics to economics, technology to music, film to health,  and so on.  The talks were given by industry leaders in their fields of expertise (e.g. Will.ia.m, Quentin Tarantino, Erin Brochwich, Eric Schmidt, Carl Bernstein) and by seriously progressive thinkers.  The biggest takeaway from Summit, and it was rammed home by everyone, was that you got the power.  Ideas abound.   But to execute, well, that’s on you.

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To Video and Beyond

A couple months ago I met Lujza.  She’s into video. Big time.

We all know video is important.  Some already citing video as the most important type of content for truly engaging with consumers.  But what steps can we take to really understand how effective video is at doing that.  Well, that’s where Lujza’s story is really interesting. Over to you.

Lujza Bubanova, Co-founder of YouFirst & Divano

Lujza Bubanova

Lujza Bubanova of Divano and YouFirst – Video

Hi! Before co-founding Divano I was a professional golfer. I got into media tech while studying for a Masters of Digital Marketing at Hult International Business School in San Francisco. As a student, I started a conference called Startupism.  That led to me securing a spot at the Stanford Persuasive Technology Labs as an intern studying behavioural patterns and then media consumption of contemporary viewers. So what did I find?

We can gauge the ability of viewers to consume two sources of entertainment at a time and at the same quality level as if consumed from just one source.  Think TV and mobile.  Not only can be do both but the sum of the two parts is drives superior engagement.  This finding now serves as the fundamental hypothesis for Divano’s value creation model during ad breaks (more on Divano later).

I’m also tapping into the new area of emotion metrics focusing on youtubers and Mulit-Channel Networks (MCNs) allowing them to pre-test content before release.  With YouFirst, you can do what the big movie/tv productions having been doing for years but a fraction of the cost using technology.

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Get your Digital Power Steps On

Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute always make me think.  This week their thought-provoking notes overlapped with something that has been niggling at me for some time now: future planning.

I’m a firm believer that the most successful leaders continually plan for tomorrow.  However, they must equally deliver value and realise benefits as they go. To keep the dream alive, and keep people going.  This is really hard.  How do you create a plan that has a beginning, middle and an end?  Cue some solutions from NASA.

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From Design Skimping to Design Thinking

Mini CooperThis post has been on my mind, on and off, for about ten years now.  I know, I know; I’m slow.  It’s about the wide and numerous assumptions people make about design when creating digital products and services. I’ve been doing this for over twenty years now, and to sum it up, we just don’t spend enough time doing design.  We pay good lip service to design, but by and large, design is under valued, under sold and always under scrutiny.  This is blood boilingly crazy when clearly the likes of Apple, GE, Google, Tesla and Netflix are founded upon the results of great design. So why do the rest of us skimp on design?

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Grow Slow or Die Fast – Confab 2014

Remember Blockbusters?  What about Kodak?  Popular dinner time talking points for digital blunders.  Then the ranting starts.  I ain’t going down like that.  Not me. No way.  No how. Not on my watch.  This kind of corporate fear fuels popular grow fast or die slow digital agendas so convincingly that common sense doesn’t get a look in.

I'm speaking at Confab Europe 29 September - 1 October in Barcelona

I’m going to Confab Europe Barcelona in September.  Ahh, beautiful Barcelona, to join content strategists, managers, executives, designers, and others who believe that we have to think hard about content in order for it meet rising digital expectations.  For content to flow seamlessly across multiple channels, formats, and devices, to truly get everywhere it needs to be to engage with YOU, we must think big, but start small. Or, put another way, to grow slow or die fast.

Some things just can’t be rushed.  Baking. The waltz.  A good port.  I’ve seen many try and the majority fail with catastrophic consequences.  We all have our own war stories but our ability as an industry to learn from past mistakes is painful and predictably repeatable.  It would seem that taking a sensible approach to sustainable content is immediately at odds with business expectations to achieve that. What to do?

First of all, book your Confab Europe 2014 tickets and get yourself over to beautiful Barcelona.  All done, good, let’s move on.

It’s the way that you do it.

Remember Fun Boy Three and Banarama? Of course you do. Eighties pop groups that came together to give us this:

It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do pretty much sums up the problem nicely. I’m a massive fan of starting small and continuously delivering value back into the business. It keeps you honest. For me, growing slowly at the start makes solid business sense.  The strategic tactician in us all should paint the big picture but move quickly to discover, design and deliver the immediate first step from all the competing adjacent possibles.  To focus.  With that step built and firmly down in the ground, it’s time to step up and take in the new landscape.  Check out the new horizon, it will look different.  Your new will give you new capabilities that means you can potentially do things differently.  Then see how this fits into the big picture.  What’s changed?  Shall we pivot or preserve on our current trajectory?  Big picture okay?  No, then fix it.  Done? Good, then make the decision and get one with making the next step.

Of course, it’s not as simple as that but even the mention of this common sense approach doesn’t sit well within some organisations.  It’s just not how they operate.  Some pay lip service to think big, start small, whilst others openly kick it into touch.  And when I say organisations, it’s people in organisations.  People struggle with agility.  Some have been badly burnt. People don’t have the confidence or courage to embrace change.  Or more likely, people don’t have the safety or support to learn from failure or admit they ever failed.  And so we protect ourselves and push to see the return before investing any time, effort or resources.  The fear factor is palpable.   I ain’t going down like that.  Not me. No way. No how.

Come to Confab 2014

In Barcelona we talk through the pros and cons growing slow using examples wherever we can.  Please bring your own. Why? Because building sustainable content and the digital infrastructure around it to get content everywhere is hard.  So let’s put our heads together and figure this stuff out.

See you there.

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About Cleve Gibbon



I'm Cleve Gibbon, CTO at Cognifide where we are passionate about digital content.

My sort of up-to-date cv tells you my past, linked in shows you my professional network and on twitter you can find out what I'm currently doing.

This year I plan attend a number of events. Hopefully I'll see you there. I'm easy to find as I'm always laughing. Find out more about me and get in touch!
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