Author: Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein

I started out working in digital TV and multimedia production. I then worked at the Financial Times on arguably the first commercial application of Video on Demand (1996) before getting involved with FT.com as a Producer / Project Manager.

In 1997 I moved to digital communications agency Wheel as the third person in the then 'internet team'. I went through the dotcom boom, seeing Wheel grow from 30 people to 450 in just 3 years, and was involved in launching sites for M&S, Abbey National, IPC Magazines, Autoglass, Channel 5, AMP etc.

Following the dotcom crash (which saw Wheel shrink back to a more modest 90 or so staff) I left and spent a very pleasant sabbatical year writing my second book in the South of France. I then returned to the UK and from June 2002 I have been running Econsultancy full time.

The creativity at the end of the rainbow

When the dust settles on all the current activity around technology and data, what will be left?

Creativity is the answer. But let us wind back a little.

Creativity is one of the core elements of our Modern Marketing Manifesto. It says “we believe we need creativity just as much as we need technology”.

However, most of the energy and activity currently is directed towards data and technology. 

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Agile marketing

Agile marketing: the 70:20:10 rule

One of the characteristics of the modern marketer outlined in our recent Modern Marketing Manifesto is agility. The ability to be responsive and adaptive. To be flexible and embrace change.

The concept of agile marketing has grown from the need to try and deal with a more fluid marketing environment, driven largely by digital, and has borrowed from the principles of agile software development.

The latter values “individuals and interactions over processes and tools; working software over comprehensive documentation; customer collaboration over contract negotiation; responding to change over following a plan”.

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Our Modern Marketing Manifesto: will you sign?

We recently published the draft of our Modern Marketing Manifesto to get the feedback of the industry and explain why we felt it was needed.

As you can see we got a lot of very positive response. We have now redrafted the manifesto based on all the comments we received.

Here follows our final version. 

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modern marketing manifesto

Introducing the Modern Marketing Manifesto

There are two big questions about marketing as a discipline at the moment. Firstly, is it becoming more, or less, important within organisations?

Secondly, has digital completely changed what marketing is or has it fundamentally remained the same?

As you might expect we at Centaur, under the Marketing Week and Econsultancy brands, champion the cause of marketing, and marketers, globally. We believe the value of marketing is, rightly, in the ascendancy. 

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Why a Chief Digital Officer is a bad idea

The rise of the Chief Digital Officer has so far been most noticeable in the USA with a number of large companies appointing them.

The perceived need for a CDO is typically to try and accelerate digital transformation and to bridge the divide that can exist between the CMO and CIO.

Gartner recently predicted that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. Much of that technology is for digital and ecommerce initiatives.

If the CMO is not comfortable with these new responsibilities, a CDO is seen as a solution.

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How far should programmatic marketing go?

There is a rise in 'machine marketing' underway. This is most evident in digital marketing, where algorithms and automation can help create efficiencies across campaigns.

But how far should marketers rely on programmatic marketing as part of the mix?

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17 digital marketing and ecommerce trends for 2013 by Econsultancy CEO Ashley Friedlein

Following are my personal thoughts on what will be interesting and important in the world of digital marketing and ecommerce for 2013. As is traditional for my trends, there are around seventeen of them.

I haven’t spent too much time on giving extensive justification for any of these; they are based largely on the many conversations I have with industry influencers and practitioners.

Many are really just notes, or bullet points, but I’ve tried to give links to further information if you want to delve deeper. They are in no particular order though I’ve started with the more ‘strategic’ stuff.

As ever, I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts, or feel free to post a link to your own trends or predictions. 

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The four Ps of Personalisation

One to one marketing is back. And this time it’s personal.

There is nothing new about the concept of personalisation. Peppers and Rogers popularised “one to one marketing” in the dotcom heyday and personalisation platforms were very much in vogue.

As companies wrestled with the subsequent crash, and the dawning reality that actually they had a long way to go in sorting out basic usability before they started on more advanced targeting and customisation, personalisation went quiet. 

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How do you create a marketing function fit for the future?

This was the question a newly-appointed CMO asked me recently. It’s a tough question. Almost as tough as the “What does good look like?” question we get asked all the time in the realm of digital marketing and ecommerce where reliable benchmarks or accepted best practice are hard to come by. 

The challenges and opportunities around the future of the marketing function are well known. Dealing with ‘big’ data and analytics, figuring out how social media fits in, integrated online and offline marketing, delivering a seamless customer experience across channels, working more closely with “IT”, moving from broadcast to dialogue, globalisation, innovation, personalisation, more agility, attracting and keeping the right talent. 

But how do you create a marketing function best placed to embrace these challenges and opportunities?  As ever, the answer is “it depends”. But rather than end with that consulting cop out, I wanted to draw out some of the insights we believe we at Econsultancy have observed. 

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Should CMOs aspire to be CXOs?

That's CXO as in "Chief Experience Officer" though perhaps more often called Chief Customer Officer.

A quick check on LinkedIn shows very few CXOs outside of agencies though many more Chief Customer Officers.

But job title semantics aside, the key theme is 'customer experience'. Is it overhyped? Or is it the future of marketing?

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China: a special report on digital marketing and e-commerce

What is the state of digital marketing and e-commerce in China? 

I'm just back from a week long trip to Shanghai where I talked to a lot of people in the digital industry there. Following are some of my observations about how the digital marketing landscape in China compares to the West. 

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Which of your digital marketing channels assist most in conversions?

Attribution modelling, multi-channel funnels, customer journey mapping... it's all very hot at the moment.

As part of my preparation for a talk I'm giving this Wednesday I had a look at Econsultancy.com's own data for how different digital marketing channels contributed to conversions.

I was interested by what I found so wanted to share it here to see what others are learning. 

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