I feel like somebody turned on the firehose this past week and a deluge of news, peripheral yet important, flooded out about location intelligence, digital marketing and indoor technology.
Let's start with Gartner's Digital Marketing Transit Map. This an impressive layout of the "neighborhoods" that form the community of digital marketing applications, technology and connections. It literally "connects the dots" and shows according to Gartner:
"the relationships among business functions, application services and solution providers. Use it to create a digital marketing solutions strategy, improve operations and plan initiatives."
In short, it's a tool for marketing managers to give them a framework but also to segment job functions for employees and point them to technology trends. We'll have more from this later as I've been in touch with Adam Sarner, author of the transit map, to get his explanation of the diagram.
Next, I received my yearly data download from Dave Sonnen at IDC about which IT trends will be key this year. Some highlights:
- Almost all innovation will revolve around the adoption of "the third platform" ... i.e. social, mobile, analytics and cloud ... or what Joe McKendrick from ZDNet calls SMAC! - See McKendrick's review of IDC's predictions.
- Geospatial is just part of the infrastructure and most all IT infrastructure is spatially enabled. In other words, it's just there; flip the switch, you've got it. Nearly all databases are spatially enabled. Mobile apps are spatially enabled. End of story.
- Location is a value-add for most applications that vendors can use as a differentiator, but we are way past the hype cycle.
- Analytics has to be available to everyone regardless of whether you are in BI or LI. Said another way, the GIS department is history. You had better make spatial information and analytics available to everyone.
Indoor location and positioning is just going nuts. From Qualcomm Atheros to Broadcom to IBM to Apple. Everyone is sprinting to get a solution in place. Check out IBM's new "presence zones" that they rolled out at CES last week. Presence zones, according to Craig Hyman of IBM, "transform the in-store experience by using intelligent location-based sensors that help retailers engage shoppers with real-time promotions as they move through the store. And check out this video from Broadcom and Verizon demonstrating a near-field communications technology showing precise proximity detection. No check in required; as you phone becomes within a geofence it will display relevant contextual information such as your flight information as you enter an airport.
Finally let's talk more about the the marketing technology ecosystem. VentureBeat reported on how Ion Interactive CTO and marketing technologist Scott Brinker identified 947 companies in 43 categories and displays them in a diagram that is barely readable. Can you find which category has the most companies affiliated with the location intelligence ecosystem? I would submit that you'll find most of them in the Business Intelligence (BI) category. Not a surprise really. I'll agree that Brinker believes this is not comprehensive enough; the Marketing Analytics category should at least contain Esri and Pitney Bowes. Companies such as Alteryx, Tableau, and Yellowfin, part of Directions Magazine's Location Intelligence ecosystem, were mentioned in the BI category but perhaps should have been in Markerting Analytics.