Factom, however, proposes a new architecture that exists outside of the bitcoin network, but relies on the digital currency’s globally distributed computing power to keep cryptographically secured information both transparent and globally accessible.
The 2015 edition of my marketing technology landscape supergraphic has been released, now with 1,876 vendors represented across 43 categories. To actually read it, you need a hi-res version (be prepared to zoom and scroll, and then zoom and scroll some more):
In this vision, web publishers could publish, distribute, and update an entire website through the BitTorrent protocol, and others visiting the page would automatically help share the site’s content, just as anyone downloading a file over BitTorrent would also start sharing the file with other peers.
The core underlying idea revolves around a “two-way-pegging” mechanism, where a “parent chain” (usually Bitcoin) and a “sidechain” share a common currency by making a unit of one convertible into a unit of the other.
To fully understand the blockchain concept and the benefits of cryptography in computer science, we need to first understand the concept of “decentralized consensus,” a key tenet of the crypto-based computing revolution.
It’s pretty clear by now that smart CMO’s are seeking ways to accelerate growth by looking at digital products and platforms to energize their product mix and boost their marketing. As they ask their team to explore faster, both CMO’s and CTO’s need to be ready for the bumps ahead as the innovations go from “experiments” to “core business”.
Often, the leaders who are being asked to lead innovation are explicitly tasked with finding new ways to work in addition to defining new product/service offerings. They might be leading Innovation, New Products, New Ventures or Business Development. So, they are expected to explore new tools, new technology, new partners or new methods for working with a goal of injecting innovation into the organization while defining new revenue streams.
But, while there is a growing set of best practices on how to invent and launch new products inside the enterprise, there aren’t as many best practices for the transition period when those products go from “innovation” into “run the core business”. Worse, few innovation leaders have a clear plan for enlisting the support of the functional leaders (IT, Product management, sales, etc.) who have to maintain and manage an innovative product once it’s launched and proven.
As a result, one of the biggest threats to capturing the benefit from innovation activities is the slow death that comes when the original strategic intent is second guessed, re-thought, and challenged by the core business.
For example, imagine a scenario where the VP of Innovation for Enormicon Inc saw a legitimate market opportunity for a new product with a different business model. Over the course of a year, his “Enormicom Labs” team moved quickly, working like an agile startup to create the first iteration of the product including customer growth, market traction, press awareness and lots of insights into how the product could succeed. But, to scale the product, Enormicon would have to move the product from the “Labs” team into the core business.
As the product moves from the “Labs” team to the mainline business, the strategic intent of the innovation project will probably clash with the functional strategies that support the business. The tech choices that were made to enable speed and quality in the “innovation” phase will probably run counter to tech strategies that guide the main business (i.e. repeatability, cost reduction, leverage core technologies, scale efficiencies). The marketing approach used to quickly gain new customers for the innovative product will probably not be supportable by the “core” marketing team’s strategies.
To successfully grow businesses via innovation, Enormicon will need support in launching innovative products, but also in re-integrating those products into the business once the new product is proven.
Innovation leaders will need strong support as they think through the start up process AND the phase of introducing their new products and services into the main business. Change leaders will need to develop stronger support for:
- Tech Strategy – Choosing tech (the software, the programming language, the development methodology, the support model) that will work for both the start up phase (agile, fast, easy and cheap to build and support) and the re-entry phase (software that’s scaleable, supportable by the corporation, bullet-proof and fits into the rest of the company’s architecture)
- Maintaining Strategic Support – Building the strategic rationale and the business case for doing things differently, so functional leaders will invest the extra effort and time and money to support the experimental efforts (tech, marketing, etc.
CMO magazine predicts 2015 will be the year of “digital” transformation for most orgs. They asked a bunch of CMO/Marketing leaders to offer some predictions for the year.
These days digital transformation is top-of-mind for CMOs, and it reaches all corners of marketing. That includes devising new strategies to meet the expectations of omnichannel customers, capitalizing on what new technologies now enable (geotargeting, personalization, and automation, to name just a few), and changing the makeup of the modern-day marketing team to ensure the right skill set.
If you’re a CMO and you’re just getting to this, it might already be too late.
The real challenge to a “digital transformation” is that the CMO will only be a cheerleader (worst case) or one key leader in the executive suite (best case). The real transformation has to happen in organizations the CMO doesn’t always control.
Business Units – Short and long term incentives, promotional criteria and budget allocation all need to change. For example, digital transformation requires a ton of experimentation. Experimentation equals risk. Most good marketers have incentives that do not align with risk and change. Transformation requires, by definition, change.
IT – Systems, tools, incentives and budgeting will have to be changed. For instance, most capital budgeting requires some sort of ROI estimate. Most of the “digital transformation” investments will have, at best, a hazy ROI horizin. Yet, the investments need to be made to enable the transformation.
HR – The way organizations hire, develop, train and evaluate teams will have to change and the CMO rarely has direct influence over the group. For example, organizations will need to promote teams that have a high confidence in ambiguity, can lead through change, are resilient. Most importantly, business functions will need to reward true creativity.
I love the discussion of driving transformation. There’s a ton that’s needed. But, it’s not just the CMO’s job. It’s everybody’s job.