How Business Technology is paving the way for Creativity/from

We are creative beings by nature. We’re always looking for new ways of self-expression to define ourselves and find meaning and purpose through our work. Content marketing has gained momentum, and the marketplace now offers business technology solutions that give organizations and the creative community a new space for collaboration.

Concept of a multitasking businessman at workIt has been a fascinating experience to witness the evolution of the Skyword Platform in the past 18 months, as well as the development of the brands and writers we work with. Content marketing is both art and science, and the same applies to innovation. When we discovered this passion for storytelling, we realized that technology would be the cornerstone to offering our users the best content creation experience. Technology and creativity complement each other at a powerful level; more specifically, the convergence of technology and marketing gives way to new opportunities to stay ahead of the competition.

There are many advantages of collaborative marketing technology, but here are the three I believe are most significant:

1. Improved Business Processes

Any organization trying to achieve sustainability will also be looking to improve the efficiency of its business processes by cutting down on time and money spent. Business technology and automation systems have streamlined many of those processes, making communication and collaboration channels more effective. The real challenge for companies is to embrace change and take risks. The results may not be immediately apparent, but as self-development author Brian Tracy says, “to achieve something you’ve never achieved before, you must do something you have never done before.”

2. Creation of Virtual Cross-Functional Teams

We are no longer separated by time and space. Personal interaction has expanded to include virtual one-on-one communication and is no longer limited to in-person interactions. Whether over the phone, via email, or through social media, it’s easier for people to interact and collaborate than ever before. In content marketing, technology supports effective collaboration models in which writers, editors, strategists, and marketers can work together toward a unified goal—no matter where they are. All barriers have been lifted.

3. Development of Talent and Creativity

Once all systems, processes, and teams are in place, it’s just a matter of applying your talents and letting your creativity run wild to create something unique. Marketers can then focus on planning, analyzing data, and coming up with an original strategy to entice potential customers; this gives writers more time to combat creative blocks, identify moments of inspiration, and even learn to activate the side of the brain better suited for writing or editing. Collaboration enables us to reach new levels of creativity and productivity.

The sole purpose of technology is to improve our lives. Many of the routine tasks that have historically taken up a lot of our time have become automated, leaving us with more time to engage in meaningful activities and experiences that lead to greater creativity. At Skyword, we’ve designed and created our business technology to assist our brands and writers in reaching their creative potential. Innovation is an ongoing process, and we’ll continue developing the right systems and tools to improve our users’ experience. As Skyword CEO Tom Gerace would say, “We’re just getting started.”





IN THE EARLY 1990s, Xerox Parc researchers showed off a futuristic concept they called the Digital Desk. It looked like any other metal workstation, aside from the unusual setup that hovered overhead. Two video cameras hung from a rig above the desk, capturing the every movement of the person sitting at it. Next to the cameras, a projector cast the glowing screen of a computer onto the furniture’s surface.

Using Xerox’s desk, people could do crazy things like highlight paragraphs of text on a book and drag the words onto an electronic word document. Filing expenses was as easy as touching a stylus to a receipt and dragging the numbers into a digital spreadsheet. Suddenly, the lines between the physical world and digital one were blurred. People no longer needed a keyboard, mouse, and screen to harness a computer’s power; all they had to do was sit down and the computer would appear in front of them.

Despite its novelty—or maybe because of it—the Digital Desk never took off. Technology moved in the opposite direction; towards the glassy, self-contained boxes of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. But researchers never gave up on the vision, and now more than 35 years later, these half-digital, half-physical workspaces might actually make sense.

“I really want to break interaction out of the small screens we use today and bring it out onto the world around us,” says Robert Xiao, a Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist whose most recent project, Desktopography, brings the Digital Desk concept into the modern day.



Like Digital Desk, Desktopography projects digital applications—like your calendar, map, or Google Docs—onto a desk where people can pinch, swipe, and tap. But Desktopography works better than Xerox could’ve ever dreamed of thanks to decades worth of technological advancements. Using a depth camera and pocket projector, Xiao built a small unit that people can screw directly into a standard lightbulb socket.

The depth camera creates a constantly updated 3-D map of the desktop, noting when objects move and when hands enter the scene. This information is then passed along to the rig’s brains, which Xiao’s team programmed to distinguish between fingers and, say, a dry erase marker. This distinction is important since Desktopography works like an oversized touchscreen. “You want interface to escape from physical objects not escape from your hands,” says Chris Harrison, director of CMU’s Human Computer Interaction Institute.

That gets to the biggest problem with projecting digital applications onto a physical desk: Workspace tend to be messy. Xiao’s tool uses algorithms to identify things like books, papers, and coffee mugs, and then plans the best possible location to project your calendar or Excel sheet. Desktopography gives preference to flat, clear backgrounds, but in the case of a cluttered desk, it’ll project onto the next best available spot. If you move a newspaper or tape recorder, the algorithm can automatically reorganize and resize the applications on your desk to accommodate for more or less free space. “It’ll find the best available fit,” says Harrison. “It might be on top of a book, but it’s better than putting it between two objects or underneath a mug.”

Desktopography works a lot like the touchscreen on your phone or tablet. Xiao designed a few new interactions, like tapping with five fingers to surface an application launcher, or lifting a hand to exit an app. But for the most part, Desktopography applications still rely on tapping, pinching, and swiping. Smartly, the researchers designed a feature that makes digital apps to snap to hard edges on laptops or phones, which could allow projected interfaces to act like an augmentation of physical objects like keyboards. “We want to put the digital and physical in the same environment so we can eventually look at merging these things together in a very intelligent way,” Xiao says.

The CMU lab has plans to integrate the camera and projection technology into a regular LED light bulb, which will make ubiquitous computing more accessible for the average consumer. Today it costs around $1,000 to build a one-off research unit, but eventually Harrison believes that mass manufacturing could get a unit down to around $50. “That’s an expensive light bulb,” he says. “But it’s a cheap tablet.”

Randal Dobbs

The Cell // 28 Helwick St

Wanaka. 9305. NZ

Mob: +64 21 973 043
Email: frameworkmarketingArticles Blog:

BNI profile:


Arrogant TVNZ doing itself no favours

Excellent article about a “supplier” (TVNZ) being totally unable to cope with customer-focused competitor (Netflix)

Cheers…Randal Dobbs
(021) 973 043
Sent from Gmail iPad
Articles Blog:


As Ad Blocker Use Grows, Publishers Face New Challenges Evolving strategies for dealing with this innovation/eMarketer

Advertisers and publishers are under constant pressure to better target, deliver and track their messages to consumers. But many consumers feel bombarded by the ad experience.

More than a quarter of US internet users will block ads this year, eMarketer estimates, up from just under 16% in 2014. That’s a sizeable chunk of internet users, though growth is slowing down. eMarketer defines an ad blocking user as an internet user who goes online at least once a month on a device with an ad blocker installed.

US Ad Blocking User Penetration, 2014-2018 (% of internet users)

“For now, the vast majority of those devices are still desktop and laptop computers, at least in the US—though that’s beginning to shift,” said eMarketer analyst Nicole Perrin, author of a new report, “Facing Up to Ad Blocking: How Publishers, Advertisers and Their Digital Media Partners Are Responding.”

(Subscribers to eMarketer PRO can access the report here. Nonsubscribers can purchase the report here.)

Just under nine in 10 ad blocking users block ads via desktop or laptop, which translates to 24.0% of US internet users. By the end of this year, more than a third of US ad blockers will block on their smartphone, translating to 9.5% of internet users.

Publishers are using a variety of strategies to fight ad blocking, from trying to convince users to stop doing it to focusing on improving the poor user experiences that led to it in the first place.

Appeals to readers’ conscience, goodwill and sense of economics could be considered the lowest level of direct confrontation of ad blocking.

Publishers set up technology that allows them to detect whether a visitor has an ad blocker enabled—the tech is not perfect, but it’s good. The publishers then serve a message to those users in hopes of guilting them to either turn off their ad blocker entirely or at least whitelist that publisher. These messages appeal to consumers’ sense of fairness and their understanding that ads are how publishers pay the bills.

There’s little data on the effectiveness of such appeals, but research suggests users are willing to turn off ad blockers or whitelist sites under some circumstances. For example, 18% of the ad blocking users in the US, UK, Germany and France surveyed by HubSpot and Adblock Plus in June 2016 said they whitelisted sites that served what they considered a “reasonable and appropriate” ad experience.

A stronger step some publishers are taking is to set up ad block walls, which start out like appeals. But instead of pleading with users to stop blocking ads, walls notify users that unless they do whitelist the site, they won’t be able to access any of its content.

Ad blocking users have noticed more of these walls popping up around the web, which may indicate that they are working for publishers. But research suggests most people simply go elsewhere when faced with the barriers. PageFair, which is a provider of anti-ad-blocking solutions that include ad block walls and appeals, found that 74% of US ad blocking users polled in November 2016 leave websites when faced with an ad block wall. Perhaps surprisingly, younger respondents were much less likely than older ones to be turned away by walls.


Has digital media made media planning a lost art?/Ryf Quail

Back in the dark ages, when we confirmed our media buys by fax (a really long time ago) we still used media programmes to plan. We had tools like Media Gardens, TV MAP, RadioScope – all good platforms to build a robust schedule. We got our reach and frequency right and built a balanced schedule to support the media strategy and gave our traders the confidence to go out and weave their magic.

Cutting our teeth on these tools allowed us to understand the craft of media planning with empirical data. It allowed us the ability to isolate audiences that matter for our clients but most importantly, we had confidence that we were spending our clients money wisely, topped off nicely with a few lunches along the way.

Fast forward to 2017 and things have really changed a lot. Back then there was no search, social or programmatic media but it seems they have become an excuse for no planning, rather than just optimisation. This has been further augmented by the fact that many of the kids starting their careers in media don’t learn their craft on planning tools, rather on digital operational tools such as ad serving and programmatic bid tools.

Even further to this we have a media market in structural decline with Facebook and Google growing quickly and all other media going backwards, even our local digital media. This is not unique to New Zealand and a conversation for another time!

Exciting talent

On a brighter side we have the talent. I have a role working with students at Auckland University of Technology and let me tell you, these kids make me excited about our future. Their thinking and ideas are sharp and clear. More importantly, their societal values make me feel very positive about future New Zealand and our planet.

But enough about that, back to media planning. In media agency world, I had a conversation with a senior digital operator recently who said “why do we need to plan? We will be 40% Google, 40% Facebook and 20% programmatic.” Excuse me. WTF?

Why do we plan media? To not waste our clients’ money! Herein lies the problem. Just because our audiences are on these platforms, doesn’t mean we should just turn on the fire hose of cash and optimise down to the target. To do that is to say, I am happy to waste the money for the first couple of weeks until I work out where the most responsive audience lies and hone in on them. That is not planning, that is optimisation. Optimisation without initial planning is called wasting money. Don’t get me wrong, a good media agency builds intellectual property over time so that they can optimise schedules very quickly and know where the ‘go to’ media properties are that work for theirclients, but surely we should plan to have confidence that the right audience is there in the first place.

How is it done in NZ?

So it begs the question, how is it being done in New Zealand? What tools, independent of publisher data, are helping media agencies target people by behaviour or by demographics or by likelihood of category engagement?

How are these audiences being found in planning rather than being optimised to? This planning is not limited to local publishers but programmatic entities like KPEX, global media like Facebook, Google and YouTube, other overseas networks and mobile apps.

And once this audience is found, what are the trading parameters that dictate success: on target delivery; viewability; absence of fraud; cost efficiency; engagement; or brand uplift and overall commercial results?

One thing is for certain, no one can afford to waste money by turning on the fire hose when the audience can be found right at the outset, through good digital media planning.


7 Key Components of a digital marketing strategy


Don’t Look for a Great Idea. Look for a Good Problem/article from Greg Satell

To create anything that is truly pathbreaking, you need to look for it in new places

CREDIT: Getty Images

At the center of every significant innovation is always an idea. Clarence Birdseye’s idea about freezing fish revolutionized the food industry and American diets. Charles Schwab’s idea about flat commissions changed investing forever. Steve Jobs’s idea about creating a device that could hold 1,000 songs in your pocket turned around Apple’s fortunes.

Yet we shouldn’t confuse a great idea with where it came from. Truly useful ideas don’t arise from out of the ether or through fancy techniques like brainstorming or divergent thinking. The best ideas come in response to an important problem and thrive under constraints.

In researching my book, Mapping Innovation, I found that the most innovative firms aren’t necessarily any more creative or even better at solving problems than most. Rather, what set them apart was how they aggressively sought out new problems to solve. The truth is that if you want to create a truly innovative culture, it isn’t ideas you should glorify, but problems.

A young boy’s dream

As a boy, Albert Einstein liked to imagine what it would be like to ride on a bolt of lightning. In many ways, it was a typical childhood fantasy. If he had been born in another time, you could imagine him learning to speak Klingon or becoming immersed in the lore of the Jedi. Yet Einstein took the idea so seriously that it became the first of his famous thought experiments.

As he grew older and began to study physics, he learned that according to Maxwell’s equations, the speed of light was supposed to be constant, but according to Newton’s laws, if a boy riding at the speed of light shined a light forward, then the beam would travel at twice the speed of light.

Clearly, both couldn’t be true. Either the speed of light was relative to absolute time and space or the inverse was true. As we now know, Einstein proved that the speed of light was absolute and that time and space were relative quantities. In other words, an inch is an inch and a minute is a minute only in relation to a specific context.

This seems incredible because it’s so alien to our everyday experience, but today it’s easily proved. Simply get in your car, turn on the navigation system and follow its directions. GPS satellites are calibrated according to Einstein’s equations, so if you get to where you want to go, you have, in a certain sense, proved the theory of relativity.

What’s interesting about Einstein’s theory is that he didn’t discover it in the same sense that Columbus “discovered” America. He didn’t uncover a single fact that wasn’t known to every working physicist at the time. His genius was to see a problem where nobody else realized that one existed.

A new era, new challenges

Every age comes with its own unique problems. For the past 20 or 30 years, we’ve mostly been occupied with finding new applications for technologies built in the 1950s and ’60s, like microchips, relational databases, and the internet. That effort spawned entirely new industries, such as personal computers, enterprise software, and e-commerce.

Yet today, many of those old paradigms are running out of steam. Moore’s Law is slowing down and will soon grind to a halt, open software has created the need for updated database structures, and the internet has been shown to be dangerously insecure. Solving each of these problems will create fantastic new opportunities.

Consider the case of quantum computing, which has the potential to be millions of times more powerful than current technology. A full-scale commercial version is probably still five to 10 years away but is already being tested in areas as diverse as medicine, financial services, and artificial intelligence.

It will also create enormous problems to be solved. For example, it will render current encryption technologies obsolete, so business will have to invest in quantum safe encryption. Because quantum computers work fundamentally differently than classical ones, new computer languages and software protocols will need to be devised.

And that’s just one example. Take a look at the Gartner Hype Cycle and you will find dozens of emerging technologies that will have an impact over the next decade. Each one comes with its own problems to solve and each of those problems represents new business opportunities. In some cases, entirely new industries will be created.

Identifying new problems

Anyone who takes even a casual look at the future can’t help but be bewildered. These days, even teenagers can build websites and smartphone apps, but highly trained specialists struggle to understand the implications of emerging technologies like genomics, nanotechnology, and robotics. That presents a dilemma for business leaders: How can you plan for a future you can’t predict?

The simple answer is you can’t and you shouldn’t even try. Technology today moves so fast — and in so many directions — that those who think they can truly see the future are just fooling themselves. But what you can do is uncover problems related to your business, your customers, and new emerging markets.

That’s one thing that truly great innovators do differently. They constantly seek out new problems. IBM routinely sets up grand challenges, like beating humans at Jeopardy. Experian set up its DataLabs unit to identify problems its customers are having that they can turn into new businesses. Google’s “20 percent time” policy acts as a human-powered search engine for valuable problems.

The truth is that it’s more important to explore than to predict. To create anything that is truly pathbreaking, you need to look for it in new places.

Moving from strategic planning to innovation planning

Management in the 20th century was, in large part, the art of strategic planning. You gathered information about markets, competitors, and other trends and then planned accordingly. Strategy was like a game of chess. You planned each move in response to a changing board and in anticipation of a competitor’s moves.

Yet today, technology cycles move faster than planning cycles ever could, so we need to take a more Bayesian approach to strategy. Instead of trying to get every move right — which is impossible in today’s environment — we need to try to become less wrong over time. Essentially, we need to treat strategy like a role playing game, taking quests that earn us experience and artifacts along the way.

That means that we will need to plan differently. In addition to strategic planning, or planning based on things we know or think we know, we need to start innovation planning, or planning based on things we need to learn to solve new and important problems. That’s how you quest. You don’t plan the journey as much as you prepare for it.

And that’s what makes ideas like those of Birdseye, Schwab, and Jobs so great. They solved important problems that people cared about. So if you want to innovate, don’t look for a great idea. Look for a good problem.

Randal Dobbs

The Cell // 28 Helwick St

Wanaka. 9305. NZ

Mob: +64 21 973 043
Email: frameworkmarketingArticles Blog:

BNI profile:


We're already living in the future. It's just not evenly distrbuted yet.

The JAY Group

Insight, observations, and opinions on everything about loyalty marketing.

Lexicon Blog

Thoughts and insights on name branding.

Calling All Storytellers...

The new social network, Medium, is the perfect place for you.

#SocialMedia #Marketing #Technology


Silicon Valley news about tech money and innovation

imagine change

Just another site


Your source for news, information & resources


Business Process Modeling Software

Jeffbullas's Blog

Just another site

Gods of Advertising

We make you want what you don't need.


Business Development & Offshore outsourcing

White Elephant in the Room

random insight from an unwanted houseguest


Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets.

Blog thoughts from Randal Dobbs of Framework Marketing

Thoughts on "marketing to people" and polls to share opinions

%d bloggers like this: