Andy on Twitter

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A Quote for the Age of Anxiety

A great observation and highly relevant as many contemplate the ridiculous notion of New Years resolutions:

I can only think seriously of trying to live up to an ideal, to improve myself, if I am split in two pieces. There must be a good “I” who is going to improve the bad “me.” “I,” who has the best intentions, will go to work on wayward “me,” and the tussle between the two will very much stress the difference between them. Consequently “I” will feel more separate than ever, and so merely increase the lonely and cut-off feelings which make “me” behave so badly.  Alan Watts

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Start With Replatforming

My contribution to what will be I am sure a tsunami of predictions…

Marketers need to go beyond digital as a discrete discipline and view it as the foundation of modern marketing. This first and foremost necessitates a replatforming of marketing from spreadsheets, random tools, and vendor-specific technologies to a coherent platform from which marketing can be orchestrated. Marketing workflow, assets, performance analysis, and orchestration will all need to take place in the cloud if marketers are to compete. As marketers look to returns on these crucial investments, a new generation in marketing decision support systems will provide the insight into aggregate marketing performance, breaking them free of narrow and myopic ROI analysis.

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Top 10 Retail Banking Trends

Many of these apply across the financial services spectrum. Worth a read.

The Top 10 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions for 2015 are – with my comments:

  1. Using Customer Analytics to Drive Contextual Experiences (most are doing this now but will accelerate with the deployment of marketing automation suites)
  2. Expedited Deployment of Digital Delivery (already done down-under)
  3. Mobile-First Design (for sure, and most banks will abandon their failed efforts in content rich portals and pseudo news efforts)
  4. Increasing Digital and Social Selling (will accelerate with an emphasis on Digital. Social might continue but Facebook and Twitter have to do better at meeting the needs of financial services customers – early efforts were good but they are largely poor at this now).
  5. Mass Market Acceptance of Mobile Payments (we are way past the tipping point down under – the fact the US is so far behind is crazy)
  6. Focus on Security and Authentication (and not a moment too soon)
  7. Industry Consolidation (and more acquisitions of innovators as the big banks continue to go to slow to keep pace with customer expectations)
  8. Enhanced Customer Incentivization (and a doubling down on customer loyalty programs that better use digital to drive interaction patterns)
  9. Investment in Innovation, Incubation and Uncommon Alliances (I’d suggest  tweak here… most retail banks continue to deliver innovation that is a waste of time and money – largely because they are focused on digitising what they do, not what customers want. Few have any focus on the customer’s moments of doubt, desire and disatisfaction – (MODs) – as a result they are continuing to build complex products. Rather than putting customers in control, they are largely confusing them).
  10. Increased Impact of Digital Disruptors (because of the failure in 9., they will have no choice but to accelerate efforts in this area)
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Jeff Bezos on Amazon

A terrific interview with Bezos.

His comments on innovation and strategy are hugely important. Persistence and addressing moments of customer doubt, desire and dissatisfaction (MODs) are central to the strategy. I’ve maintained for sometime now that the greatest digital businesses today – Amazon, Uber, Apple – and Xero – are all built on addressing fundamental MODs. And those that do all three, are unstoppable.

Loved his comments on managing shareholders. The learning that there isn’t a shareholder anymore than there is a customer. What businesses have to focus on is the institutions and shareholders that they seek to attract and are built to serve. It’s interesting that Amazon only meets with a few of the institutions that hold there stock, and only those that reflect the investing strategy Amazon seeks.

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Change Vs. The Act of Change

We all want to change something. Normally our consciousness of what we want to change is high.

We want to loose weight. Stop smoking. Get fit. Help those without homes. The list is long.

The challenge isn’t the change we seek, its the act of change. As humans we are particularly ill disciplined, generally directionless and of low awareness. The more we close the gap between the what and the how, the more effective we become at driving change. This requires we look at new systems for organising and orchestrating change.

Kathleen Sutcliffe – a Bloomberg distinguished professor at John Hopkins – summed it up nicely:

“Becoming more alert and aware, discerning when we need to make modifications, is what organizing is all about”

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