The Monday Stack: Heard of CCM?

So, last week I’m sitting in a conference room, chatting with Kevin Dean, Experian’s President and General Manager for Targeting, and he’s speaking fluently about “CCM.” 

Yes, CCM.

Okay, I’m supposed to be up on all the acronyms and buzzwords — I even try (and fail) to keep track of marketing tech company names — but he had me stumped.  I listened for context, but I eventually had to ask: “Excuse me, CCM?”

I didn’t feel so bad after I resorted to Google later: Customer Communication Management (from a Gartner glossary)? Customer Centered Marketing? Okay, here’s Experian: Cross Channel Marketing was what Dean meant, and I guess I’m just used to hearing it called “cross channel.” And while it’s nothing new, it’s one of those significant sleeper concepts which is quietly shifting the ground of digital marketing, behind all the sound and fury (signifying something, admittedly) about AI.

You just have to start ticking off those marketing tech vendors which started out essentially as single-channel automation solutions — usually, although not always, email — which evolved over the last year into cross channel MA platforms, primarily by building their data stack out to encompass sources beyond volunteered, determinstic info like name and email address.

More about Experian and targeting to follow.

Of course, cross channel marketing, device tracking, identity graphing, and the whole paraphernalia of modern personalization techniques will be irrelevant once we all have a micro-chip implanted. That’s one of many wild ideas coming out of the innovation labs at Stockholm’s Epicenter. It seems to be a quite practical idea too — setting aside legal, regulatory, and ethical question, anyway. Imagine the use for marketing: Not just a 360 degree view of the customer, but 24/7 too.  And with a simple click from a syringe, we merge into the Internet of Things.

Speaking of The Singularity, I’m sure everyone caught the feature in the current Vanity Fair focused on Elon Musk’s “billion dollar crusade” to prevent the robots taking over. Much interesting comment from both sides of the AI debate, but this was the sentence which stuck with me: “Musk told me that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, was a turning point for him.”

Hmm. I wasn’t at school with Douglas Adams (too young!), but I did go to the same school. And much as I’m gratified by the global success of the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, smart people need to realize that it’s less a work of considered futurism than a satire on life in Essex in the 1970s.

By the way, if you need to hear me gallop through basic AI and marketing concepts at speed (and scale), you can find my recent webcast for Idio right here.

Logo by Hilary Allison

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