What's new at the Business Agility Lounge at Impact. Centerline weighs in.
Shaku Selvakumar 060001XT47 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  ibmimpact social_media bizagility digital centerline
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Contributed by Shaku Selvakumar
Interview with John Lane, VP of Strategy & Creative & Erin Craft, Account Executive
Tell us about Centerline Digital and how long you've been working with IBM? In what capacity?
Erin Craft: Centerline is a digital marketing agency. And we've been working with IBM for more than a decade, crafting content strategy and creating the videos, animations, interactive tools and games to activate that strategy.
We take the approach that business-to-business marketing has always been, at it's core, about conversations. So where advertising is intended to be a conversation starter, marketing collateral has the more difficult task of keeping the conversation fresh over the course of long B2B sales cycles. The deep experience we have working with many different groups within IBM — from System z and System x, to WebSphere, Lotus and Tivoli, to Global Business Services — has given us the technical education we need to help tell a unified story that crosses mediums...from a customer reference video program to the CityOne serious game.
You sponsored the Business Agility Zone last year—what's new for this year?
Erin Craft: What isn't new?! Last year's Zone was a great success, but that mean's the next version has to be even better…more innovative with more content. So this year there are more interactive demos to illustrate the power of business agility. That includes "guided tours" of CityOne. And that only seems fitting as IMPACT 2010 was where CityOne was first announced to much fanfare.
We're pretty excited that the Business Agility Zone is also going to play host to exciting sessions within the mini theater – right on the solution center floor. The sessions will cover everything from Transitional Healthcare to Clouds. And with the new track at IMPACT this year, Bringing Science to the Art of Marketing, it only makes sense that we will be leading a few sessions as well. That's going to be a lot of fun.
So John tell us more about the sessions you'll be leading.
John Lane: There are three — each will explore different technologies and tactics affecting B2B marketing today, and demonstrate some best practices within them. More specifically…
The first is B2B Digital Marketing Trends – For Marketers and Consumers. We'll discuss what social media, thought leadership, content curating, transmedia storytelling and other trends really are. Because there are more than just new ways for marketers to reach their target audience. Those trends mark a fundamental shift in the control consumers have over what information they receive. Consumers are no longer simply "being sold to;" they have a stake in shaping the marketplace. We'll give insights on how both marketers and consumers can take advantage of this new paradigm.
The second — Social Media and Influence in B2B Marketing — will dive deeper on social media…the trend that seems to have captivated people the most. To frame that session, think about this: A recent study revealed that 98% of America was aware of Facebook and Twitter. That's near ubiquity. And approximately 42% of Americans are active on Facebook as are 8% on Twitter. So what does that mean in terms of how people use the platforms on a daily basis, and how they interact with brands? This session will look at some examples of how both marketers and consumers are empowered—and influenced—within the burgeoning media. And we'll be co-presenting this with Ryan Boyles, who is a Social Media Strategist with IBM Application Infrastructure and Middleware.
Video Best Practices in the B2B Purchasing Process is the third session. This is an interesting topic because video is the fastest growing medium of content consumed by purchasers. Video case studies and customer references are considered the most influential of all content found during the purchasing process. So what makes a great video case study or customer reference? How are they found and used at different points in the purchasing process? And how can you optimize those videos to be found by the right people at the right time. We're expecting a lot of great questions in this one.
And you're working with us to make geolocation based services a part of the IMPACT experience. How can attendees get involved?
John Lane: Geolocation based services (GBS) are
one of those emerging digital trends…people "checking in" with their
smart phones and other mobile devices to both signal to their networks where
they are, and to get rewarded by the brands and companies that are related to
those physical locations. Foursquare, for instance, now has over 8 million
people regularly using their platform to interact in this way. It only makes
sense, then, that GBS should be a part of a business-and-technology conference
experience. We have a great promotion for IMPACT. Watch this blog for more details.
Anything else Erin?
Erin Craft: Just a "thank you!" It's wonderful to be a part of IMPACT again — we've been providing content for the event since it started in 2006. And we're looking forward to meeting lots of wonderful people — and filling our brains with tons of great information — this year. See you in two weeks!
John and Erin, thanks. We are glad that Centerline Digital is sponsoring the Business Agility Lounge again this year!