It’s a dreary morning in New York, but it’s nothing an extra pot of coffee can’t manage. Thursday: Onward!
(Heather Clancy is on vacation this week. How’m I doin’? Please don’t hesitate to tell me @editorialiste.)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
Tech companies are funneling money through Luxembourg for tax breaks. Among them: Amazon, Apple, United Technologies, Verizon. Fortune, ICIJ
In the department of things-to-keep-you-up-at-night: malware called Wirelurker that impacts Apple devices. Gigaom
Intel has three priorities: eliminate external wires, make passwords obsolete, develop new approaches to the user interface. WSJ
SoftBank is forecasting its first profit drop in nine years. Why? In a word: Sprint. Bloomberg
Amazon is testing packaged delivery by licensed cab in San Francisco and Los Angeles because it’s never seen a profit margin it didn’t like. WSJ
The assets of Portugal’s Oi, the largest landline carrier in Brazil, may be in play for some $8.8 billion. Bloomberg
Tableau Software, which makes business intelligence software, posts $100 million in quarterly revenue for the first time. eWeek
Workday, the business software company, wants to Moneyball its staff using big data. Who’s about to leave the company? Who’s likely to overshoot their budget? Now you’ll know. NYT
Legal headaches for Qualcomm in China: Did it violate anti-monopoly laws? CNET
Tesla Motors turns a profit, but delays the Model X. Time
Happy tears for Dell as it launches its Cloud Marketplace in beta. eWeek
Microsoft launched new Office apps for iOS and Android. MSFT
PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT
Banner ads have ruined the web. (And it’s a damn shame.) NYT
Internet bugs like Heartbleed, Shellshock, and Poodle? They really will break the Internet. Threatpost
Twitter, one year after the IPO. Bloomberg
CEOs hate the nebulous term “big data,” but business schools are embracing it. WSJ
Uber vs. Lyft turns nastier after the latter accuses its former COO of breaching confidentiality before moving to—you guessed it, Uber. TechCrunch
NUMBERS TO KNOW
Eighty-four percent: the amount by which Xiaomi’s profits increased year over year as it grows to become one of the world’s largest smartphone makers. WSJ
6.7 percentage points: the amount by which Microsoft Windows XP’s market share fell in a single month. The figure is highly disputed. ZDNet
$1.4 billion: the “not that exciting” amount of money Lenovo made selling mobile devices last quarter, down 6%. Reuters
LOST IN TRANSLATION
There’s something rather thrilling about the combination of marketing and technology—this tantalizing notion that taking the brilliance of a Don Draper-like character and wiring his genius up to a database to address your particular needs before you, the consumer, ever express them.
But the gap between that fantasy and reality is wide. We’ve all had awkward experiences where marketers have overreached, irritated us, done more to get in our way than help us along. The digitization of our world has provided marketers with more power than they’ve ever had before, but they’re still learning how to use it. (Oddly enough, so are we.)
Phil Fernandez, the chief executive of Marketo, a San Mateo, Calif. company that makes marketing automation software, recently stopped by Fortune‘s New York offices to talk to me about this generational transition. We had a wide-ranging conversation that’s far too long to include here, but at one point, Phil went on a tear that seemed to crystallize the shift.
Here are his words, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
To marketers, you’re a series of random digital interactions. But the marketer wants to take you somewhere. The mission of marketing is to take people on a journey to some outcome: buy more, tell your friends, whatever it might be. In this world where we’re swimming in all these technologies, that mission becomes: how do you get your voice heard and take somebody to some destination you care about? It’s fine to get someone to click on a banner ad. It might even be fine for that to turn into a shoe purchase at Zappos. But how do they get you to buy again? To tell your friends what a great experience it was? To become loyal there and not someplace else?
A huge amount of data are being spun off, which provides the ability for businesses to think about this stuff in ways that have never been possible before. “I know that half of my advertising money is wasted, I just don’t know which half”—that’s century-old nonsense now. That data give you the ability. But data are not enough. How do I as a marketer actually make sense of all that? How do I take you on a journey? I can’t go into a marketing meeting anymore where people aren’t talking about “journey maps” and “engaging experiences.” Marketers are starting to think about—rather than “How do I do a campaign?”—”How do I craft an arc and take each individual on some kind of a journey to buy more, advocate more, do whatever it is I care about in my business?” That’s the mission.
It’s a two-way dialogue. The data are typically coming from the customer doing something. Marketing used to be thought of as a campaign, a TV ad, an outdoor placement: “I’m going to talk to you.” But when you touch that device, you’re talking back—somehow, some way, consciously or unconsciously. What’s necessary in this world is to move from talking at people and trying to break through attention barriers to start to create dialogues and use data in ways that isn’t jarring.
The new craft becomes: How do I use these new technologies and weave them in to take someone somewhere? It’s fine to gather a whole bunch of data and know more and more and put people in little boxes. But then: What do I do with it?
Marketers can’t forget their old craft. They still have to choose the right color and create the right message. Marketing has this arc of creating desire, creating need, needing the new car every year. But then the marketer’s job becomes action—not just yelling at you over and over again until you say ‘uncle.’ How do I actually get into a dialogue with you and understand your needs? If it’s a car, how do I take you down a track that talks about fuel economy or space for a family or cost of ownership? Everybody has a different set of preferences. Now you have these data you can use to create journeys that actually speak to each person’s preferences. Done well, it’s way more cost effective than mass advertising.
ONE MORE THING
Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013, from Japan’s Suntory distillery, has been named the best whiskey in the world by a reputable industry publication. That the winner isn’t Scottish is notable, but I was too busy recalling this memorable scene from one of my favorite films to notice.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Techonomy14: Tech-driven transformation. (Nov. 9–11, Half Moon Bay, Calif.)
Samsung Developer’s Conference: Connected living. (Nov. 11—13; San Francisco)
AWS re:Invent: The latest about Amazon Web Services. (Nov. 11–14, Las Vegas)
Gartner Data Center Conference: Ideas for operations and management. (Dec. 2–5, Las Vegas)
Consumer Electronics Show: The annual industry powwow. (Jan. 6—9, 2015; Las Vegas)
IBM Interconnect 2015: Cloud and mobile strategy. (Feb. 22–26, 2015; Las Vegas)
Mobile World Congress: Can you hear me now? (Mar. 2—5, 2015; Barcelona)
Microsoft Convergence 2015: Dynamics solutions. (March 16–19, 2015; Atlanta)
Knowledge15: Automate enterprise IT services. (April 19—24, 2015; Las Vegas)
MicrosoftIgnite: Enterprise tech extravaganza. (May 4–8, 2015; Chicago)
SAP Sapphire Now: The German software company’s universe. (May 5–7, 2015; Orlando, Fla.)
VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30–Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)