BtoB: What do marketers need to know to produce successful digital environments?
Michael Doyle: You need to have a solid strategic understanding of what you can do and how you can do it. Identify big objectives and goals. Then, across every aspect of these digital engagements, have a strategic business plan in place. The other thing you need to be successful is the tactical aspect. People have to know a certain amount about how an event is going to happen. Should you use Flash or HTML? How many users can the platform support? This is the tactical but not the operational side. They need enough education to be successful at building the plan and also be able to manage the execution of that plan and achieve what they've envisioned.
The strategy does depend on the business objective. Are you trying to deliver training, a marketing program or a product launch? At the very high level, what are you trying to achieve? Then build the program down from that. Have a strategy for the user interface. Do I have a single sign-on? How do we handle registration? Is it integrated with our overall CRM? How are people likely to be consuming it? What type of devices will they be using? A lot of (those decisions) flow from the very top-level business objective.
BtoB: Has use of the medium moved beyond the event marketing team?
Doyle: We are seeing a broadening use of digital media and event technology. It started very “eventcentric.” Now it is training, employee onboarding, incentive programs. Human resources departments at small or very large organizations in particular are using this.
BtoB: We see a lot of interest in year-round environments. What do pervasive environments offer?
Doyle: When we talk about 365 (days-a-year events), we're not necessarily talking about building community. It's more about having a persistent environment where you can have ongoing customer contact. The attendee is familiar with the site and registers once. Event production is streamlined. M