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Demand Generation Summit II (return of the DGS) 25 March, 2009

Posted by Steve in B2B, demand generation, marketing, Technology, telecoms.
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Ever since we held the last (and first) European Demand Generation Summit at Altitude last November, we’ve had a thirst to do it all over again.

As part of the feedback process on the last event, we asked what people thought of the day, the content and speakers. We also asked what changes they’d like to see in the format of the event in the future and what topics they’d like to see covered.

Perhaps predictably, it was the day’s agenda and calibre of the speaker line-up that attracted most people to the first event. Not to mention it was free to our invitees. Of course our speakers scored very highly, but coming away from the day almost all commented on how much they’d valued the opportunity to network. I’m sure they found it cathartic to share some pain and understand that others out there were trying to overcome the same hurdles.

Three key pieces of feedback came through, which we’ve tried to listen to in putting together the agenda for the forthcoming summit:

1. People want more practical content and less of the theoretical. There’s an appetite for stories of bloodied knuckles, as well as a hunger for real learnings from people who’ve been there and done it. We were very conscious not to make last year’s event a beauty parade of vendors and ensure it was client-side marketers telling their stories. This time round we’re trying to encourage our speakers to tell their success stories, and what mistakes they’d avoid the second time round. As an example, Shawn Burns from SAP is coming along to tell the story of how he and other marketers transformed sap.com from a largely brochureware site to a ‘demand generation machine’. Good stuff.

2. Attendees wanted more opportunity to network and learn from their peers. We had some great table conversations at lunchtime last time round, and we tried to allow generous breaks. For the most part people resisted the lure of their BlackBerries, made conversation and benefited immensely. This time round we’ve gone a bit further and we’ve made the afternoon sessions entirely interactive. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend three out of four workshops on social media, accelerating sales, using webcasting and online video, and measuring and optimising campaigns. We’re going to have people capturing learnings from one group to another so that through the course of the afternoon we generate a body of knowledge which can then be shared with all attendees afterwards.

3. In terms of the content, there was a lot of call for tips on making the most of a credit-crunched budget, using social media and proving a return on marketing activity. Our first speaker of the day, Jim Cassidy, is an ex IBM marketer now at European company StepStone. In his previous life with a budget of millions, his greatest challenge used to be how to spend marketing budget fast enough. He’s now in a position where every penny (cent) has to be accounted for. Jim will talk about what he’s prioritising, how he’s making a case for spend with the board, and how he’s making his marketing assets sweat. We’ve also got a great panel line up, led by Cisco’s Amanda Jobbins. They’re going to give their take on some of these topics.

So hopefully that gives you something of a taster for what’s to come on the 30th April. If you need any more encouragement, the venue we’ve chosen this time is simply stunning – a private member’s club at the top of Centrepoint.

About time you registered I think: www.demandgenerationsummit.com

Remember, we’re only accepting registrations from client-side marketers from the B2B services, technology and telecoms sectors. No offence intended to others, but demand for places is extremely high.

Hopefully see you there.

P.S. If you’re of the twittering kind, you can get regular updates by following us at www.twitter.com/demandgentweet or subscribing to the RSS feed

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O Lord, won’t you buy me, an Apple iPhone 19 January, 2007

Posted by paulgordon in I want one, mobile, telecoms.
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I confess. Mine is one of the animated voices debating the future of Apple in the mobile phone industry. But I’m the heretic denying that we’re witnessing the birth of the Mobile Messiah. I have much love for Apple (even if sit typing this on a Sony Vaio). They have a knack of disrupting markets through intelligent and beautiful design. And the desirability of their brand is second to none. So they should be well placed to thrive in the mobile phone business. Right?

At the risk of being burned at the stake, I believe not. There is nothing in the iPhone launch announcement to suggest it will create market disruption. Sure, the iPhone looks beautiful. The user experience looks promising (unless you like texting one handed). And yes, it can do clever things. But nothing disruptive. Nothing to unsettle the status quo in the way iTunes unsettled the music industry. Nothing so different that you can’t wait for the end of your contract before binning your existing handset. And nothing to warrant the enormous pricing burden the iPhone will have to carry.

Apple are facing stiff competition this time. Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson may not all have the cache of Apple, but they are much beefier brands than the rag bag of competitors Apple whitewashed in the MP3 market. However, my heretic view is not founded on the relevant strengths of phone brands (even though we do work for Nokia). It is based on the dynamics of the industry. Among Nokia’s many reasons for success are their relationships with network operators around the world, their supreme global logistics operation, and their sheer economy of scale. Apple have none of these. Someone put me right here, but Apple are not exactly renowned for their partnership skills either? I can only imagine the scene when they realise the network operators have a compulsion for instructing manufacturers which features must go into their next product.

Of course, many of the faithful will queue overnight to satisfy their addiction to own all things shiny and Apple. At the launch, Mr Jobs proudly reminded devotees that there are 100 million iPods in the world. He omitted to mention the two billion Nokia mobile devices in the world, with the Finns adding to them at a rate of 350 million in 2006 alone.

So if you guys in Cupertino aren’t realistically expecting to take on Helsinki, what are you expecting to do? Is this a defensive manoeuvre against MP3 players in phones? If it is, you are one tardy bunch of Californians. Or is it the realisation that much of your future business will be wrapped up in mobile computing…of which voice communication is a critical component? Or are you hiding an industry disruption up your sleeve which will yet turn the entire market upside down?

I guess whatever your answer, it will be a reflection of your faith.
 

Today, Warwick. Tomorrow, Leamington Spa. 18 January, 2007

Posted by Jay Ball in internet, telecoms.
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Pipex has announced its second commercial trial of WiMAX in the UK. This is great news. Well it is if you live in Warwick. Oh and work for Warwick Council. You’ll be able to get an 8meg connection wherever you roam (within Warwick that is). They also plan to roll out the trial to those outside the council as well as to that digital hotbed, Leamington Spa.

WiMAX is often talked about as the holy grail of last mile / ubiquitous connectivity. The ability to have a robust broadband connection wherever, whenever. We’ve already covered Singapore‘s plans to offer full WiMAX coverage to every single person and business by 2015. It’s an ambitious plan and has some way to go (especially if like me, users can’t get speeds over 20 kB/sec when downloading from their site).

What I like about the Singapore approach is that there is a clear vision behind it. A sense of the greater good such a programme can achieve. Pipex’s, by comparison, seems to be all about technical feasibility and commercial viability. These are both good things, of course, and to be expected from a commercial organisation. They’re just not that exciting (and the prospect of the service being promoted eventually by David Hasslehoff frankly makes me a little nauseous).

But, you have to hope the programme is a success and spurs other providers to launch similar plans. And the prospect of high-quality ubiquitous connectivity is exciting. Of course, if you’ve paid out millions on a 3G license, it might be a little less so.

Sources:  Telecoms.com (registration required) and The Register

The 700 square kilometer hotspot 29 August, 2006

Posted by Jay Ball in internet, mobile, telecoms.
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Singapore will have wall-to-wall WiFi by the end of the year. No more looking for a friendly Starbucks or trying to leech off an unprotected wireless router, simply boot and go (well that’s the plan). This initiative is part of a wider effort (the Intelligent Nation programme) which extends into many government services and which is looking to line Singapore up with the world’s tech elite nations.

Now, all they need is a subscription music service and some WiFi-enabled players.

Source: news.com