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Author: David S. Tradewell

David S. Tradewell

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on the power of the cloud

I had the pleasure of meeting Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce last week at Exact Target's Connections conference in Indianapolis.

Together with other analysts from Gartner and Forrester, we were given some untethered access to him as well as to Scott McCorkle, CEO of Exact Target Marketing Cloud and Alex Dayon, President, Products at Salesforce. 

In private, Benioff the man is very different from the on stage persona many of us are familiar with - the exuberant showman, evangelizing the company he founded with the all the energy and enthusiasm of a gospel preacher.

Any of you who have ever attended his company's annual Dreamforce event will know what I'm talking about.

Like the oft-repeated meme in HBO's Silicon Valley, the audience is presented with the idea of a business that's 'making the world a better place'. Superlatives abound as the crowd applaud.

Brothers and sisters, I believe in the power of the cloud! One thing's for sure, Benioff and his team know how to put on a show.


How can Pharma organize for agility in the digital age?

As pharma and healthcare companies embrace the need for digital transformation, how can they ensure that they are set up for success?

I was recently invited to speak at a Brand Innovation Summit in Princeton NJ. Senior representatives from a number of large Pharma and healthcare companies attended the session co-hosted by Hale Advisors and eXL Pharma.  

Attendees were looking for answers to key questions such as: “what makes a company nimble and able to embrace digital transformation?” and “What types of organizational structures are best for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies looking to build digital marketing capabilities?” 


Four key takeouts from our Digital Transformation Roundtable in New York

20 senior execs from a wide range of industries as diverse as broadcast television, pharmaceutical, publishing and financial services gathered in New York last November as Econsultancy hosted another Digital Transformation roundtable.

Ever since IBM's seminal 2011 study 'From Stretched to Strengthened – Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study', CMOs have been reporting a concern that they are underprepared for digital - shorthand for changes in consumer behavior, an explosion in the volume of data, the proliferation of channels and device choices and the effects of social media. 

According to a recent Econsultancy study, only 23% of the Fortune 500 could consider themselves to be in any way whatsoever shielded from the effects of digital.

It was suggested that those who might fall into that category are generally companies that dig things out of the ground and process them, but perhaps even they will see soon their industry disrupted by digital technologies. 

Everyone who attended on the day agreed that true Digital Transformation is a heavy lift and there is often a greatly delayed gratification from the process.

Nearly all of the organizations represented at the roundtable had experienced significant disruption to their business models from digital.

The attendees told us afterwards that the most valuable part of the day was hearing from their peers in other businesses, learning what had worked for them, what hadn't and how they had overcome the challenges they faced.

Four keys rose to the top of the discussion...

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Drinks giant Diageo reels from social media backlash

Global drinks giant Diageo, custodian of iconic brands such as Johnny Walker, Smirnoff, Jose Cuervo, Guinness and Moet & Chandon found itself at the centre of a public relations storm this week after it was alleged that they unfairly intervened at an annual drink industry awards event to prevent a rival from picking up an award.

Independent Scottish brewer, BrewDog claimed that the drinks giant Diageo had brought undue pressure to bear on the organizers of the event to override the decision of the judges to give them an award, allegedly stating that ‘under no circumstances could BrewDog be allowed to win’.


How brands lost the Super Bowl race for the second screen

Here in New York last week, digital media and advertising commentators were all talking about the role that digital and in particular, social media, was going to play during the Super Bowl TV ad breaks. With advertisers paying about $3.5 million for a slot, this has been another record year for TV ad revenue and the show was the most watched TV event in American History.

Sunday night was going to be #Hashtag-Heaven, we were told – or at least a #FacebookFrenzy, with brands falling over themselves to drive people off their 47 inch flatscreens and onto their other devices – the so-called ‘second screen’. So you’d think that the ad execs would have thought the web in all its forms - mobile, tablet and laptop - would be the place to go make sure they extended the reach and level of audience engagement worthy of such an expensive commodity. 

You’d be wrong. 

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