December 22, 2009

It Was Theirs to Win

I've been in the interactive game since the beginning, which is actually not so long ago. I can vividly remember when was the benchmark for success in e-commerce. Every one of our clients looked up to Amazon as the model for customer experience and a beacon of innovation. What happened to them?

Today is December 22 and I'm nervous (actually panicked) because half of my stuff is not here. In fact I'm so disturbed by this I may actually get in my car and drive to the mall, which is something I literally have avoided the last five years running. Yes, I'm that guy who does 100% of their holiday shopping online, or I should now rephrase I WAS.

It's beginning to feel that heading o the store may be better at this point than lurking around the neighborhood trying to get a glimpse of that shiny UPS truck.

Wish me luck.

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December 11, 2009

The organization gets in the way?

We recently held a small client summit where we brought a handful of our clients together to network and share their experiences with multi-channel marketing and commerce. I took on the job of facilitating the conversation, and I came up with 20 provocative questions that I felt would drive some interesting dialogue. The first question we pulled out of the hat (it was actually a bowl) was.

"What is the biggest obstacle your company is facing in adapting to a multichannel world, and what are you doing to overcome it?" - The first person quickly said "my organization gets in the way" two and a half hours later and we never made it to question number two. In fact everyone had something to add - turf wars, incentives etc. Not a single one had anything to share regarding a solution and these were all "C" level folks from some very big brands you all would recognize.

So now I'm putting my team to work on a whitepaper on the subject of "organizational design in a multi-channel world"

I'm very interested to hear from you. Do you have any first hand experience on how someone has broken down those barriers? Any suggestions on what industries, companies or individuals "get it"?

I'll share some preliminary thoughts in the next few post

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December 5, 2009

An Idea is only a possibility

I've been second guessing myself lately on this. A huge focus of mine over the past couple of years has been to inject brand led thinking, storytelling, and people with creative sensibilities born of traditional advertising into a new digitally centered organization in order to create a better mouse trap. In my language I constantly pay homage to creativity and the big idea. I urge my teams to not settle for anything less, to constantly search for and gain a clients alignment to a big idea than caries the possibility to improve their business results.

But I've recently been reminded that a great big idea is nothing but a big pile of potential nothing else. Potential is another way to say for "you have not done anything about it". The fact that someone is incredibly insightful, or creative does not guarantee they are successful. It's the ones that also have the skills, the tools and most importantly the motivation to realize or materialize that idea that succeed.

I've been too focused on the idea generation, and maybe not enough on the idea realization business.

Lesson learned..

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November 28, 2009

I'm Back

Well there are some who blog a big game about how the industry needs to change, and there are some of us who do something about it. My last post was about six months ago when I announced the plan to acquire Nitro. This was to be the first time a major Digital shop would pick up a significant above the line player. So I’ve been busy to say the least.

I’m humbled so many of you have encouraged me, and a few of you (you know who you are) have flat out harassed me to keep writing the blog.  I give in.

So keep those RSS readers pointed this way, I intend to get back to my weekly routine.


June 17, 2009

It’s bigger than advertising

Today Sapient is announcing plans to acquire Nitro Group, a leading global advertising network with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and a highly coveted client list that includes Mars, ConAgra, Volvo, Nike and Foot Locker.

This is an historic acquisition in the advertising space in that it represents the first time a digital agency has moved to expand beyond interactive in a meaningful way to include brand-led broadcast advertising, often referred to as “above the line” advertising. 

Actions brand louder than words

Agencies large and small, from the traditional to the digital, all claim to having discovered their own, unique brand of secret marketing sauce that will integrate every experience into one compelling consumer connection and solve all marketing woes.

Some take the design du jour approach, clumsily pushing traditional ad approaches into emerging, channel  environments like mobile or social media.   Others avoid the question altogether and simply abandon traditional channel options to blindly follow the migration toward digital opportunities with more buzz.

It’s not that they don’t get it.  It’s that they just don’t get it all. 

We always believed the Internet would change everything

The $500 billion/year communications industry is in the midst of a dramatic upheaval as brands and their marketing partners struggle to keep up with today’s ever-elusive, technology-empowered consumers.  In fact, this is the main reason traditional advertising agencies are so focused on digital -- because media consumption is moving away from television and into digital media in record numbers.  However, while the role of television is changing, it is not going away; it’s evolving to become more digital as advances in TV sets and set boxes enable a more interactive experience.  Couple this shift with the rise of online media and advancement of mobile and in-store displays, and you quickly see that a) advertising is increasingly more digitally enabled and b) creating connected experiences across all of a consumer’s touch points is increasingly important.

The acquisition of Nitro Group, coupled with the tremendous success and evolution Sapient is experiencing within our marketing services and e-commerce business, yields a “one-of-a-kind” brand engagement offering.  We have the opportunity to help our clients shape their customers’ experiences -- from the moment a brand’s attributes are expressed in advertising, through to deployment via digital media and then in sales and service with cross-channel commerce. 

Sapient stands alone as a company capable of connecting these component parts in one holistic, integrated and powerful way.

No other company can lead with strategy and deliver multi-channel marketing combined with multi channel commerce on a global scale.

The acquisition is referenced in our press release) and discussed in today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal. You can also follow us in LinkedIn (Sapient Interactive Group) and on Twitter (SapeInteractive.)