On the water’s edge in San Diego Ca, over 2,000 social business thought leaders and practitioners recently gathered for two days, at the Social Media Marketing World conference.

Getting off the plane, I enjoyed my first @Uber – a driving social mobile cloud data business – pure awesomeness of user experience. I knew right then, this event was going to provide valuable insights… and I decided right then, I’ve had last ride in a taxi.

Key trends in social reshaping business

Across industries, from enterprise to emerging startups, from hi-tech to pool installation, social business is reshaping today’s economy and completely changing how businesses and customers engage. Completely changing.

The event left an impression on me. A transformation is underway and gaining momentum. In 2013, the event had 300 attendees, in 2014, the event sold out at 2,000. This was a social event, not just by topic, but in the experience… how the agenda was structured, how people connected before the event, how people collaboratively and openly discussed their business experiences, how people gained from the collective insights. Hands down, most valuable event I have ever experienced.

With >5,000 words of notes, an iPhone full of chart images and an inbox full of LinkedIn connections, I left with some key takeaways to summarize here . Continue Reading…

Today, IBM announced the next phase of a Smarter Planet, Made with IBM.

In 2008, IBM shared a vision called Smarter Planet. I was so captured by this point of view, the possibilities and the positive impact, that I literally stopped what I was doing and changed roles. I wanted to be on the front lines… I wanted to put both feet in the boat.

My Story
I took on a role leading IBM’s Global Partner Ecosystem Industry Marketing strategy team. Today, I am even more committed and excited about this next phase in the progression of a vision around a Smarter Planet. Today, I am focused around one of IBM’s three main pillars to the IBM Strategy, Systems of Engagement, Made with IBM.

Whats the world making today

Made with IBM
I will be sharing several segments here around IBM’s current strategy, led by IBM’s Ginni Rometty and her outstanding leadership team. I’d like to start by first sharing the announcement, from Jon Iwata himself, in his own words. Honestly, I simply can’t re-interpret and articulate this half as well as Jon, so I will share with you a Continue Reading…

I recently had the privilege and genuine pleasure of attending the SMMW 2014 Social Media Marketing World Conference, in San Diego, Ca.

Coming off the plane to a beautiful sunny day, I enjoyed my first @Uber experience (never taking a taxi again) and walked into registration. I really had no idea what to expect or what I was in for..

Coming away from SMMW, here are 10 reasons why this was one of the BEST conference experiences I have ever had over a 20 year career, and why I would recommend this event for others. (These are not in any particular order….)

SMMW sunset


1. Location – San Diego: the weather, hotel and waterfront location was fantastic. Wherever you may be coming from, this was just a pleasant environment in every way. Yes, it was NOT Las Vegas…. so happy.

2. Speakers - The team was very purposeful in pulling together an amazing lineup of industry leading experts. Many of the speakers have been a source of great inspiration and knowledge for me. I walked away from every session with invaluable new insights and actionable takeaways.

3. The Midway - The opening night reception on the Midway aircraft carrier is THE most memorable reception I have ever experienced. Wow. What a great environment and experience. Continue Reading…

Let’s be honest here…. sales of business and enterprise offerings have, for years, been about individual large transactions. It was a seller’’s market. Once committed, buyers were locked in until the next license renewal or upgrade. During that time, sellers would move on, chasing their next deal. You could only get their attention when the contract came up for renewal.

Success measurement used to be about how long it would take to break even on the initial upfront investment. It was an return on investment model. We used to talk about ‘transfer costs’ as barriers to change.

Fast forward to today.
As we shift to an everything-as-a-service economy, transactions have become streams of renewing micro transactions. Today, the world is really a buyer’s market. Why? Because in an everything-as-a-service economy, buyers have options. Today, buyers have choices for solutions. Data is portable. Solutions are in the cloud. Time to launch is nearly instant. Now, there are virtual no transfer costs.

Success measurement is now about value. It’s now about what is the immediate value for the business, not after we pay off that initial up-front cost. Today, one rents a service, adds additional value and resells that service. It’s a service based economy and it’s measured in value for the customer.

Everything as a service

What does social selling have to do with this? Continue Reading…

 The future of retail

Rachel Strugatz (@rachelstrugatz), Digital Market Editor, recently published an excellent piece in WWD detailing 10 radically disruptive technology trends emerging in the Retail Industry.

This was a really fantastic piece I wanted to highlight here with emerging technology trends in retail that also apply to similarly modeled industries such as banking, insurance, telco, healthcare.

In social business, mobile, analytics, omni-channel engagement, user experience, Retail continues to be the pacesetter of industries. This presents a learning opportunity.

Engines defining differentiation…
Across the 10 trends, we can see two key takeaways:
(1) Customer Experience – the customer shopping, trying, buying experience is a major point of differentiation and value. Social, mobile, analytics are the engines of disruption here.
(2) Analytics Powered Service - app powered ‘uber’ customer service is a major point of differentiation and value. Social, mobile, analytics are the engines of disruption here.

Here is an excerpt or abbreviated summary of Rachels 10 trends. You can see her full article here.

Here, 10 trends to watch — for now — in the digital realm… Continue Reading…