Saturday, January 24, 2015

On the road to Orlando

The wonders of modern travel - tight seats, recycled air, screaming children...and Wi Fi in airplanes!!! OMG!

I'm 33,000 feet over Texas as I head over to the annual collaboration confab for IBM. This year, the event has been reimagined and rebooted as ConnectED 2015, with a much deeper focus on our collaboration and digital experience customers and business partners. The travel is worth it to see my colleagues in person (as we're scattered across the world), and see what's coming for the next year. 

And, of course, the infamous Lotusphere Cookie, a monstrosity born of leftover sugars and starches, yet oddly compelling.

Right now I'm writing a short speech to introduce the Notes and Domino 25th anniversary party, happening at the Tuesday lunch. I'll see if I can get someone to videotape it and then post it here.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Networking is your career's way of saying "eat your vegetables"

A common theme recently in both print and at some events I've attended: stop saying, or humblebragging, how busy you are. We're all busy. And that's a problem in so many ways. From our emotional and physical health, to even our career health.

Yes, our career health. Having your nose to the grindstone, as I've discovered over the past 27+ years of my 2 careers, isn't a recipe for success. You need to get out there, both at the office (e.g. the watercooler, stretch projects with a completely different group) and locally outside the office. Otherwise you're just setting yourself up for resentment: "why won't they just RECOGNIZE all the AMAZING work I'm doing???". The unfortunate answer is...well, they won't. Would you? Do you automatically sing the praises of that overworked, boring, stressed out co-worker who never lifts her head from her laptop or desk? I rest my case.

Remembering "to eat my vegetables" is as much a dietary as career requirement for good health, I had the pleasure of attending several networking events the past week, the San Diego AMA's Art of Marketing Conference this past Friday, and the CONNECT SME Mixer. It was a great pair of local events where I was able to connect with other marketers and professionals here in the San Diego area. When my daily work life is pretty much spent on conference calls and online meetings with colleagues on the other side of the continent, it's nice to get together in person. And learn new things. Pretty awesome stuff like a B2B Content Marketing session that confirmed that, wow, I'm actually not as far behind the 8-ball as I suspected. Or getting to know about a cool startup called Green Rope which is trying to bring approachable marketing automation to small and medium companies.

And I'm not done for the week. I have the upcoming Business Marketing Association SoCal Integrated Leadership Summit. And the week after that, it's IBM's annual conference for all things collaboration, IBM ConnectED 2015.

Lots of vegetables. As a kid, I always liked my vegetables. And now as an adult, looks like I still do :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My relationship with email is...complicated

I know I haven't been blogging as much as I'de like lately. Most of my posts of late have been guest posts on other blogs. For example...

Taking a cue from Facebook relationship status, here's a post on the Social Business Insights Blog about my complicated relationship with email.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The contination of the death of the death of email

Continuing the "death of the death of email" conversation I last posted about here.

Since that blog post, there have been quite a few vendor announcements showing that the space is heating up. A lot of these companies are looking into the next steps for email and business comunications in very different ways. Stalwarts like IBM (my employer), Microsoft, Google and Cisco continue to innovate or acquire or both. Many startups like Inky and Stack are taking advantage of cloud and mobile ubiquity to rethink things as well. It's a very exciting space to be a marketer!

IBM in particular continues to be a leading voice in this  ongoing conversation. If you haven't seen the Livestream of the November 18 event, "A New Way to Work", or the November 19 vodcast, I recommend a gander. I also recommend taking a look at some of the dozens of IT industry press and analyst reactions, such as this article from InformationWeek, and also notably Alan Lepofsky from Constellation Research:

What IBM Verse accomplishes is placing IBM back into the conversation with companies that are evaluating Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps, especially in the SMB market where they previously would not have considered IBM.

What do you think? Where do YOU see email headed?What do you use today and what are you investigating for tomorrow?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Have a Cool Yule with Pacific Sound Wed Dec 10

Whether you're a marketer, engineer, executive or stay-at-home parent, I think it's very important to have a creative outlet. Something to take you away from the day-to-day. Mine is Pacific Sound San Diego. I'm the co-founder of this (mainly) a capella group, and we're having our very first inaugural concert. Join me December 10, 7pm at Swedenbordian Hall in University Heights, San Diego for some seasonal sounds and a little fun!

And you can learn a little more about Pacific Sound on our Facebook page.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Design Thinking and the blurring of Product Management and Marketing

An outstanding colleague of mine, +Scott Souder send me a link to a very fascinating article on design thinking:

As makers of technology we might also understand deeply that design is not just about how a product looks but how it works: components that enable people to use your product, and how it all fits together. All that cascades from your company’s strategy, values, and principles, and the scope of the problem you choose to tackle. All of that manifests itself in the design of the experiences you offer.

It's one of they design principles that is being used for a new IBM collaboration offering under development, one of the first from our new Design Thinking.

I've been thinking a lot more about design since IBM announced a major new initiative to re-infuse design thinking across the company. A company that had been known for outstanding design in the 60s (including in our real estate, just look at some of the gorgeous pictures of not just products but buildings on IBM's Instagram account) had sorta kinda de-emphasized some of those principles. It looks like we've happily rediscovered that.

I've been a fan of good design every since I saw an unbelievable retrospective of Japanese post-war consumer design in London way back in 1992. There are so many implications of design thinking it spins the mind. But one in particular that has surfaced for me personally is a very practical consideration.

With the rise of cloud, mobile and social computing, user expectations have been radically shifted by designs that favor lightweight, often single-purpose, apps that "play nicely with others" and "just work". That implies that the app is the experience, and the experience is the app. That further implies that the lines between product management (feature, function, traditional offering design) and marketing (communications to drive awareness, interest and consideration of the offering) are blurring -- very rapidly.

Product management has to take into account the entire purchase lifecycle because it's easier than ever to not just pick up a new app, but to drop it as well. On the marketing side, 70% of the purchase decision now happens outside of the brand's direct properties (its website, it's direct sellers). So the days of a clean, sharp handoff between the product experience (trial, purchase, use) and the marketing experience (learn, solve, compare) are, for all intents and purposes, gone.

The very relationship between product management and marketing is changing rapidly. I certainly don't have any answers yet as this is just starting to hit me, hard. But I'm very excited to see how the possibilities play out here.

How about you? If you're a marketer or product manager, is your experience similar? How are you dealing (or not dealing) with the shift?