Praveen Ramanathan from Ayantek Discusses How Businesses Can Leverage the “SMAC Stack” – Social/Mobile/Analytics/Cloud – at Blue Wave’s Marketing Integration Forum
At Blue Wave’s “Marketing Integration Forum” event held this past December at the Boston Marriott Newton, we invited four expert guest speakers to discuss different subjects on the topic of integrated marketing. Praveen Ramanathan, President and CEO of Ayantek, spoke about Ayantek’s SMAC Stack (social/mobile/analytics/cloud), and how businesses can use it to become more innovative and efficient. Ayantek, Blue Wave’s strategic partner for digital media based in Bedford, Massachusetts, conceives, designs, builds and manages interactive programs that drive measurable improvements and deliver significant, long-term competitive advantages to businesses.
In the presentation, Praveen discusses how marketing has progressed beyond traditional methods and now consists of an overwhelming number of channels. Because of this, it can be difficult to develop the best and most effective marketing strategy on a limited budget. Ayantek’s solution to this challenge is the SMAC Stack, a new wave of technology that incorporates four tools – social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies-to streamline a business’s digital strategy and deliver higher customer engagement, greater innovation, and exponential growth opportunities.
The first example Praveen uses to demonstrate the benefits of the SMAC Stack is Netflix. When Netflix first began, it delivered DVDs to the doors of customers and found moderate success in this practice. After the introduction of its streaming service, however, Netflix quickly put competitor Blockbuster out of business and experienced massive growth. This is because Netflix’s streaming service embodies the SMAC approach:
- Social: Netflix users can express their preferences and review movies and TV shows on the Netflix website. These reviews make choosing content simpler for other users.
- Mobile: Netflix is available to users on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
- Analytics: Netflix uses an advanced algorithm to provide suggestions to users, effectively customizing the experience for each individual customer. Additionally, Netflix collects useful data from users each time they use the site.
- Cloud technology: Netflix can deliver its content in a convenient and fast manner by way of streaming, which is possible due to the Cloud. Additionally, the cloud makes the threat of a system of crash is next to nonexistent.
The second example Praveen uses to demonstrate the benefits of the SMAC Stack is Analog Devices, which specializes in signal processing, or chips. When Analog Devices wanted to grow their business, they turned to a SMAC Stack approach by giving their customers – engineers, typically – a way to design products on the Analog Devices website. Engineers were then able to send and share these designs with co-workers around the world. This program embodies the SMAC Stack:
- Social: Engineers can engage with other engineers through the Analog Devices website. Additionally, Analog Devices is able to provide engineers with design advice and suggestions.
- Mobile: Analog Devices this service to engineers on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
- Analytics: Using analytics, Analog Devices is able to understand the context of a customer’s problem and suggest appropriate design solutions.
- Cloud technology: Analog Devices is able to deliver this service seamlessly to a large audience around the globe.
Due to this SMAC Stack program, Analog Devices was able to grow its business by innovating and reaching out to customers in a nontraditional way.
To conclude his presentation, Praveen speaks about three tools to help companies determine how the SMAC Stack applies to their business. First, he states that businesses must ask themselves five questions:
- Question 1: Does my business involve people and data?
- Question 2: Do my users care about my products/service/solution?
- Question 3: Am I interested in collaborating with and learning from my users?
- Question 4: Are my users adapting or will they adapt to multiple device paradigms?
- Question 5: Would technology innovation help grow my business?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, the SMAC Stack can work for your business. In fact, Praveen states that the SMAC Stack is applicable to any business that involves both people and data, whether it is big, small, B2B, or B2C.
Second, Praveen suggests examining the persona of your target customer when deciding how to use the SMAC Stack. This examination involves asking questions likes, “Where do my customers engage socially? What kind of metrics or information am I seeking to obtain from them? Where are they located?” When building a SMAC Stack program, it is essential that you understand the makeup of your target audience.
Finally, Praveen shows a graph representation of SMAC ROI, with SMAC Adoption on the x-axis and Value on the y-axis. The four quadrants of the graph are as follows:
- Low SMAC Adoption and low Value: Backburner
- Low SMAC Adoption and high Value: Opportunity
- High SMAC Adoption and high Value: Maximized
- High SMAC Adoption and low Value: Inflection
To explain the quadrants, Praveen returns to the example of Netflix. When Netflix first began delivering DVDs to customers, they were adopting a low amount of SMAC but had the opportunity for Value. Thus, they were in the Backburner quadrant at that time. However, after the implementation of Netflix’s streaming service, Netflix moved to the Maximized quadrant with high SMAC Adoption and extremely high Value. Praveen states that due to technological advancements and competitors, a business continuously moves through the four quadrants in a cyclical fashion. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for businesses to adapt their SMAC Stack strategies so that they are able to pass through the Backburner quadrant to the Maximized quadrant quickly.
Do you think the SMAC Stack is going to drive the future of marketing? Does your business already utilize aspects of the SMAC Stack? If not, do you think the SMAC Stack strategy would work for your business?
To learn more about digital marketing and discover new strategies that will drive marketing results and ROI for your brand, give Blue Wave Marketing a call.