How industries are blurring together

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I’ve been doing lots of travelling recently – visiting our delivery centre in Romania four weeks ago with a potential client, then in New York for a keynote speech at Brand Innovators, then back to Romania last week with a new commercial partner.

During the first visit to Romania we showed the potential client some of the e-commerce work we are doing with multivariate testing using Sitecore. It’s really impressive stuff, and I was preaching A/B testing and multivariate testing a couple of years ago, saying it will be the next big thing. I was a year early, because now many of our clients are adopting it, testing colours, images, text and forms as easily as changing content.

We are also pushing multivariate testing on mobile devices. I don’t see why people treat mobile, web or even TV any differently as digital output devices, however many of our clients have mobile teams, so we need to still need to treat each output differently to match these customers’ organisations. Again, in my opinion multivariate testing, user testing, rendering speed, and so on, are just as important across devices.

New York was an interesting visit too. My main focus was a client workshop with a key topic around “With sites like Facebook, why do we still create .com websites? Discuss.” If you want to know the outcome, give me a call. Another key focus of the visit was giving the keynote speech at Brand Innovators Social Media, (disclaimer: Endava are sponsoring the next few Brand Innovator events).

I finally got to meet Mark Bonchek. Mark spoke at a previous Brand Innovators’ event where one of our key clients heard him, and I’ve read a number of his articles on the Harvard Business Review. It was a real pleasure to have dinner with Mark on the evening before the event. We have shared views around organisational structure (that organisational hierarchy doesn’t quite work the same as it did 150 years ago) and there were some lively debates around the table.

And then last week I was back to Romania again. The focus last week was more around the media clients, and we showed some of the new projects we’ve been working on in the sector. It’s very impressive stuff – especially around TV and mobile apps.

It brought home how complex the technology landscape has become. For a media company to create a digital proposition, there are so many output channels to consider. Ten years ago they would have had a linear transmission and maybe sell DVDs or video tapes. Now it’s the linear channel with iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, web, mobile web, digital TV applications, and the list keeps growing.

Spending long hours (aided by the odd beer or two) with various clients also showed how whole industries are becoming blurred – retailers want to become media broadcasters and media broadcasters want to become top e-commerce sites. Broadcasters are buying telcos. Telcos are buying TV broadcasters. Like so many industries, media is going through a fast, transformational change – and digital is both the enabler and delivery channel.

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