Webinar on Demand: Protecting the Reputation of the PMO

Pat Millar, managing director with Clarion Consulting discusses practical ways in which project management practitioners can build and protect the reputation of the project management office.

 

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OnJune 21, 2012, posted in: blog, Project by

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James Doyle to lead Clarion Consulting’s Operational Excellence practice

Dublin, Tuesday, 15 May 2012: Leading business and IT consultancy, Clarion Consulting today announced the appointment of James Doyle to lead the company’s newly-established Operational Excellence practice. His key responsibilities include the development and delivery of services to drive operational excellence by empowering organisations to continually improve the quality of customer service, reduce costs, increase agility and enhance flexibility to achieve competitive superiority.

Commenting on the appointment, Pat Millar, managing director with Clarion Consulting said: “We are very pleased to have someone of James’s calibre, heading up our operational excellence practice. His vast industry experience in delivering operational excellence programs complements our existing service portfolio, ensuring that clients can benefit from more strategic guidance and advice on building competitive agility.

Doyle joins from Claritas Consulting, a company which he established in 2004. During his tenure, he built up a broad customer base and worked with several high profile clients such as AIB, Irish Heart Foundation and the Health & Safety Authority on key process-driven business transformation projects in support of operational excellence.

Prior to this, Doyle held a senior consulting position with Orygen where he worked across industry sectors to drive operational excellence projects for organisations such as Bank of Ireland , IBRC (formerly Anglo Irish Bank), Ulster Bank, UCD, Eircom, Dublin City Council, Skillnets and FÁS.

Doyle has over 25 years of consulting experience and has held other senior consulting roles with major organisations such as Price Waterhouse, James Martin & Associates and Texas Instruments. His particular area of expertise is in ensuring that business strategy is aligned to and supported by business improvement programmes. He places particular emphasis on engaging with client staff in change programmes, recognising that the pursuit of operational excellence is very much dependent on their commitment.

Doyle has an extensive educational background with a BSc (Computers) from Trinity College, a BSc and an MA in Counselling & Psychotherapy from Middlesex University and the Dublin Business School and he is a qualified barrister, graduating from the Kings Inn, Dublin. He is also a certified Life and Business Coach and an accredited member of the Life and Business Coaching Association of Ireland.

Doyle is a native of Dublin.

Ends

About Clarion Consulting

Clarion Consulting is a Business and Information Technology consultancy specialising in Program and Project Management, IT and Business Consulting, Process Excellence and Resourcing.

With offices in Ireland, the U.K. and the Netherlands, Clarion Consulting helps blue chip organisations and public sector bodies to improve organisational agility and build sustainable competitive advantage. Its portfolio of consulting services focuses on creating organisational agility through information technology, human resource development and best practice approaches to program and project management and process excellence.

For more information, visit us at www.clarionconsulting.com

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OnMay 15, 2012, posted in: News by

Business recovery at risk as one third of organisations neglect fundamental project management processes

Dublin, Thursday, 19 April 2012: One third of Irish organisations are jeopardising business recovery efforts by failing to put in place documented project management methodologies, according to the results of a survey released today by leading business and IT consultancy, Clarion Consulting.   The report also reveals a marked decrease in the number of organisations using project management to drive business strategy, down from 29 per cent in 2009 to just 8 per cent in 2011.

The number of dedicated project management offices (PMOs) is also in decline, down by 12 per cent to 51 per cent and the perceived value of project management has suffered with one in ten now citing it as ‘unimportant’.

Poor project management practices lead to a whole host of organisational problems including budget overruns, missed project deadlines, organisational waste and can jeopardise business transformation efforts.

The results come as Irish project management professionals gather for the Project Management Institute’s National Conference, which takes place at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin today.

Commenting on the results, Pat Millar, managing director with Clarion Consulting said:

“There appears to be no real increase in the number of organisations that view project management as strategic, which is disappointing.   We believe that project management serves as a real driver of organisational change and business transformation in lean times.  Companies that choose to invest in the discipline can yield tangible business benefits in terms of cost, resource and time-savings.”

While the survey highlights a lack of discipline in certain project management practices, with less frequent use of project sponsors and a deficit in continuous process review, the employment market is showing some signs of recovery with one third of organisations reporting project management hires in the previous 12 months.  This compares with just 9 per cent in 2009.

The decline in the number of PMOs, down from 63 per cent in 2009 to 51 per cent in 2011, points to what Millar believes is a struggle by practitioners to add real value to the business.  “PMOs that succeed have made the transition from a cost-centre to a service centre that adds real business value,” he says.  “Those that are thriving are helping the business to deliver strategic projects in a controlled and consistent way, while those unable to make that critical transition are being disbanded.”

There has been an overall decline in the standard of project management practices.  For example, results reveal a slippage in the number of organisations that ‘always’ align their projects with business strategy.  In 2009, this figure was recorded as 31 per cent but by 2011, it has fallen to just 16 per cent.  This could be seen as a by-product of shorter planning windows with a strong focus on tactical delivery as businesses struggle to meet current economic challenges.

Similarly, there has been a puzzling collapse in the use of project sponsors – down from a high of 62 per cent in 2007 to just 40 per cent in 2011.  This collapse could be viewed in light of an overall reduction in staffing levels with resource directed at what senior management perceive as tasks of a more critical nature.

In tandem with this, a dramatic decline in the perceived effectiveness of project sponsors has become apparent with less than half or 46 per cent citing their performance as ‘always’ or ‘usually’ effective, compared to 65 per cent in 2009 and a high of 71 per cent in 2011.

On the positive side, however, there appears to be a significant increase in the number of smaller project teams.  In 2009, one fifth or organisations said their project teams consisted of between one and six members.  By the end of 2011, this figure had grown to 44 per cent, an increase of 24 per cent during that time.

The Project Management Professional (PMP) qualification has grown in popularity with 43 per cent confirming this certification, up from just 23 per cent in 2009.  Millar welcomes the increase in certification as an important development.

“It shows that project managers are willing to invest in their skills and expertise and points to a maturing of the profession.  It also demonstrates a growing demand by employers that project management staff are professionally trained and certified and bring with them best practice in project management practices,” he says.

Allied to this, project management confidence has grown with 12 per cent of individuals awarding themselves a rating of ‘excellent’ for their project management skills.  This is up from 6 per cent in 2009.  On the negative side, though one in ten admit their project management skills are ‘poor’.

The survey was carried out online during the months of December 2011 and January 2012.  86 per cent of respondents currently hold a project-management or IT-related role.  Copies of the project management report are available from www.clarionconsulting.com

Ends

Editors Notes

Download/view the full report into Project Management Practices in Irish organisations here.

 

About Clarion Consulting

Clarion Consulting is a Business and Information Technology consultancy specialising in Program and Project Management, IT and Business Consulting, Process Excellence and Resourcing.

With offices in Ireland, the U.K. and the Netherlands, Clarion Consulting helps blue chip organisations and public sector bodies to improve organisational agility and build sustainable competitive advantage.  Its portfolio of consulting services focuses on creating organisational agility through information technology, human resource development and best practice approaches to program and project management and process excellence.

For more information, visit us at www.clarionconsulting.com

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OnApril 19, 2012, posted in: News by

The Importance of Managing Change in Implementation Projects

Author, Ronan Foley, director with Clarion Consulting

Within any implementation project there are multiple life-cycles and frameworks operating in parallel – the ‘Implementation life-cycle’ (providing a framework from the needs assessment, through system selection, implementation and benefits realisation); the ‘Project Management life-cycle’ (providing a structured framework for planning, control, monitoring and executing) and finally the ‘Change Management’ life-cycle (taking the enterprise from current-state, transition into future-state).    Very often the importance of the ‘Change Management’ life-cycle is sacrificed for the other two, where the focus of the organisation is to ‘get the system in as quickly as possible’.

Implementation projects are often considered to be a success when the system is implemented on-time and on-budget and the functionality available in the solution matches the initial requirements.  However, while obviously critical, these traditional metrics ignore the importance of managing change and all too often projects which were considered a success when measured against the common metrics turn out to be anything but in the periods following project closure.    This is often reflected by the fact that the organisation has to go back to market and perform another selection/implementation(s) in order to get the ‘right’ solution – very often just selecting a different application with the same core functionality.

The reason is often related to the fact that while all the hard requirements and deliverables on the project where delivered – the soft (people/cultural) aspects where ignored or at best overlooked.  In any systems implementation project there is naturally a significant amount of change; change in roles, responsibilities, status, ownership, expertise/knowledge and process.  How well the ‘soft’ aspects are managed is a true indicator of how successful the implementation will be.  This success can be measured by the level off adoption the tool achieves and how well it has been embedded within the organisation.

Achieving these goals requires a much greater level of focus on the ‘Change Management’ life-cycle than is traditional exhibited; adopting a focused and planned approach, ideally engaging specific resources and expertise to focus on managing the change.  Change needs to be managed – widely available statistics show that 80% of change projects fail.

The topic of managing change is too broad and wide for this article but one area that we can discuss is the critical task of ‘Stakeholder Engagement’ – note the topic is ‘Stakeholder Engagement’ and not what is often described as ‘Stakeholder Management’.  For the solution to be adopted and embedded in the organisation we need to work with, partner, engage with the stakeholders and not ’just’ manage them for the duration of the implementation.  The change aspects of the implementation will run on long after the implementation project ends.

Identifying who the stakeholders are, is not a simply task.  You may need to look both within and outside the group, department or organisation.  Depending on the organisational culture you may have to include stakeholders who would not traditionally be considered yet who can exhibit influence over the project and other stakeholders.  A stakeholder matrix is a good starting point showing their relative levels of influence (power) and interest.  In addition to showing their power and interest today it is worth considering and mapping how their power and interest will change during and post the project.  This will identify individual stakeholders who will be positively (develop and utilise) and negatively (monitor and motivate) impacted.

After identifying all stakeholders it is critical to determine if they are pro-change, anti- change or disinterested.  It is important to not ignore the disinterested group – while they may not have a strong opinion/interest either way they can quickly become anti-change if they are ignored.   It is important to understand the needs, grievances (real and otherwise) and concerns of the negative group.  In any project the vast majority of the users will fit into the disinterested or negative groups and the project will not achieve the required level of adoption within this majority.  Understanding what motivates Stakeholders is a powerful tool for engaging with them.  The table below contains a generic list of the characteristics typically displayed by pro-change and anti-change groups.

This article only starts to explore the importance of Change Management in the implementation project.   Any organisation considering a large systems implementation project would do well to build in processes and time for managing change and ‘engaging’ with stakeholders, or engaging specialist expertise to design and implement a change management strategy.  For the 20% of change projects that are successful you can bet they had a change strategy in place.

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OnDecember 19, 2011, posted in: blog, Change, Project, Project Management by

Is Localicious how Yellow/White pages should be using LBM?

There’s no reason for defending failing LBM concepts for their experimental value, or for a single bright feature anymore. This is 2011. We’ve had two years now to analyse this market and predict its development. So really, there is no reasonable defense to be making old mistakes again, as in the case of Localicious.

Uhhm, Loca-what?
Yeah sorry, it’s a mobile, location based, service around the business listings from WhitePages, USA. And it’s going to fail for a couple of reasons. But first let me explain what it is. As a free Android app, you can look around your neighbourhood, find (and check-in to) popular and relevant places (restaurants, shops, etc.), tips that people left on other platforms and soon probably deals. If that sounds a lot like your typical check-in app, it’s because it is. Here’s why I think it will fail.

Fail #1: the USPs are not unique
Working with neighborhoods in stead of an exact location is not unique (yelpGoogle places). And although it’s helpful for planning a visit (usually further away than where you are at the moment), it’s not a killer feature people will leave their preferred check-in app for. Also, automatic check-in is done by several platforms (e.g. Latitude) as well as aggregators (e.g. Footfeed), plus it’s an easy feature to copy. 21 Million business listings? Big deal, this app is on my Android, which has a search button for that. Getting real-time tips & trends? If you’re getting it from foursquare, why not use that app itself?

Fail #2: it is monolithic and local, hence expensive to grow
Look, this market is spoken for. It’s going to be (a combination of) Google places database, Facebook sharing, Foursquare check-in game dynamics, Groupon (like) deals and a lot of brands. I would predict that, like Twitter, this stuff will be part of the core services on phone OS’s and you can already pick the winning combinations*.

The millions of consumers are already choosing between these great location based networking platforms and another one will not make a dent in their usage growth. Setting up a new app with its own network effect willnow require millions of marketing dollars, insane brand recognition OR leveraging the user base of other platforms. Or all of the above.

Fail #3: it’s not playing off the companies’ strengths
Ask yourself what WhitePages would consider it’s core business? Some might say helping you find people & businesses. I would argue it is the reverse; in many ways it is like Google: gathering as many signals as possible to helpyou find stuff, in order to help relevant businesses find you. Google does a great job at this already, so how come these business listing guys are still around? Well for one, they have something that Google doesn’t have: loads of people selling ads to local business over the phone all day long. In that sense, they are competing with Groupon and LivingSocial more than with Google and they have years and years of experience in that model. Either way, the company is not a social local mobile search giant. Face it.

So what should they do?
First, similar to local newspapers, localized out-of-home advertisers and other companies that are really good at selling volumes of small advertisements, they should focus on their strengths and offer mobile, location based advertising as an option to their advertisers. The local restaurant will not spend time or money on figuring out all these LBM platforms, even though it’s free and all of them try to make it so easy. And for reach to foot traffic, they would need to advertise on all of those platforms. Such a drag. So If you equip your callcenter with the right tools, or outsource the handling to a third party, this is a compelling offer to bring to the local businessman.

Second, you should have always already used all signals you can get to help your customers. So yes, do integrate with the foursquare API, but also with all the others. Make sure people link their online identities to your platform so you can help them find relevancy and value around the business and people you found for them. And off course, use all those signals to enrich the search results on all of your clients, web or mobile.

Finally, get some good advise from neutral third parties that are not selling one app, one platform or even one technology. If you have such a great brand, you should be ensuring that it remains to be valued for what it always meant to people: reaching my very local customers. And guess what that space is still very very hot!


*OK if you can’t: let’s check this post in 2 years from now and see whether a. Facebook Places has been integrated into Nokia/Microsoft phones, b. Google+ is integrated at an OS level into Android and whether c. Apple has bought foursquare and placed it next to Twitter in iOS version 6.

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5 things Foursquare and Facebook places can learn from Google+

Having looked at Google+ over the weekend, it seems there’s enough in there to make a few social media tech firms scratch their heads. Where most people mention Twitter, Facebook and even Skype, I want to zoom in on the location based networking aspect of Google+ I think this will by far be the most disruptive to the scene.

My prediction is that this will cannibalize the separate Latitude and Places apps for Android (an iOS version is in the works). After all, Google has not been making it a secret that they want to converge their location efforts. I also bet my lunch that

  • soon the early majority of the early adopters of social media gadgetry start downloading the app or using G+ online
  • a sufficiently large portion of the 10 million+ Latitude users start checking in with G+
  • the millions of users for the Android Places app start reviewing and commenting on places in G+

The early uptake will be sufficiently large to disrupt the location based networking space. Here’s my Top-5 of what engineers at Foursquare and Facebook places should be looking at the coming months.

5. Use a curated database of places
Location has to be easy in order to be used. If you don’t find the bar you’re standing in front of in your favourite app within the 3 seconds it takes your phone to locate you, you lose the sense of convenience. Sometimes people forget, there’s actually companies that sell curated business listings and geographic points of interest (POI) that apps need to suggest your location. Google has curated most of their 50 million places, Facebook has started to, (but is apparently still messy) and Foursquare still thinks it can crowdsource it.

4. Get the merchants on board

Sure, you can ‘claim’ your place on Foursquare and Facebook, but you’ve already done that on Google, right? The added benefit on being found on Google Maps makes that your first stop. After all, it’s the mapping and search product almost any mobile phone app uses and has at least 200 million separate app installs. So why should I claim it again and send in another post card somewhere? Right now the reason merchants would want to do it is purely defensive: people might leave negative comments, tweets or tips about their location in any virtual spot they don’t control. How much better is it to have a positive motivation to use place as another slicing mechanism in an online marketing dashboard that’s already linked to the worlds largest online advertising platform? Unless Facebook and Foursquare have some great announcements around small to medium sized businesses, especially in retail and hospitality, they may start losing ground to Google.

3. Create a fun way to manage privacy
According to Google VP Products Bradley Horowitz on This Week in Google, Circles are the foundation of everything G+ is about. And that’s not just to help people organize their social spheres through a fun and addictive interface. Privacy concerns are at the heart of all vendors’ problems to scale their social and location sharing tools and circles are a way to make privacy settings much more granular. Google is not in this game to beat Foursquare on the number of check-ins or even to beat Facebook on the number of users of they are in it for the signals. Those little pointers that tell them who you are, what you like, where you do what and with whom. It’s those signals they sell to advertisers and content empires that want to target you more precisely (even pre-emptively). People are concerned around who can access their location data, stiffling adoption in some countries. There are also legal frameworks around applying the data for other purposes that companies need to adhere to.

2. Integrate location beautifully
It’s a matter of opinion, but personally I’ve not seen location integrated as well as G+ is doing. Whether it is through the selection of which public streams you get to see first, or the core integration of privacy for check-ins, or the photo location tagging: location is an integral part of all the forms of sharing that the app offers. Neither Foursquare (which has location as entry point for all sharing) nor Facebook (which check-in has an awkwardly removed feel from it’s central ‘wall’ experience) has mastered this so far. Moreover, the mere -potential- of integrating location even further into huddles, sparks and (soon, I expect) other commercial- and game-dynamics is tantalizing.

1. Be radically open
The biggest plus of the new Google attempt into social however, is it’s choice to be radically open in design. First, from the point of view of data liberation, which IMNSHO is a huge deal. I want control over the data I am  supplying to the fitness-, location-, sharing- or any other app I’m using in your daily life. Second, the API to G+ will be soon available, allowing users to invite their friends on other platforms and other apps to use the G+ data. If you’re like me, you don’t use Twitter and Facebook, you connect Twitter to Facebook for micro-blogging. You don’t use Foursquare and Facebook places, you publish your check-in to your wall. The list goes on. Simply put: no platform is capable of perfectly catering to all people’s needs, nor will one platform seduce all users to use it exclusively. There will be more than one social graphs we want to be part of (and keep seperate).

Before the current hype around G+ translates into millions of users, I think the major location networking players should take a pause and evaluate their strategy and technology on these points. In the end, people will choose to share their lives and locations more broadly and openly in a neat, beautiful and multiple-connected garden than in a messy, huge but multi-functional prison. And advertisers will go where they can reach people best, which is where they can use most pointers to target individuals.

In the battle for location based advertising dollars, G+ has just made a great first impression. What ‘s your take on this, do @dens and @finkd need to play a bit of catch-up, or are they so far ahead that G+ can’t really hurt ‘em anymore?

 
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Clarion to speak at Social Media Marketing & Monitoring, 2011

Social Media Marketing & Monitoring 2011 will bring together leading marketing experts, brands, agencies and journalists for an intensive one-day conference in London.

Over 200 people attended Social Media Marketing 2010 and we expect another sell-out this time around. Once again we’ll be pushing the boundaries and exploring what’s new and exciting social media marketing and PR today. We guarantee this fast-paced, intensive one-day event will leave you buzzing with new plans, ideas and opportunities.

We will be speaking on the topic of Location Based Marketing, looking forward to meeting you there!

Click on the icon to avail of an exclusive 10% discount on the ticket price, using the Discount Code SPKR10

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Location Based Advertising in The Netherlands

<this article first appeared as an interview for The Where Business, July 14th 2011>

Map minded people
Historically, the Dutch have been a bit map-obsessed you could say, influenced both by a need for world maps, to lead the global navy conquests and trade, as well as local high-precision maps, to end disputes between people in an overcrowded little country. The fact that the three major navigation data suppliers (TeleAtlas, NavTeq, AND) were founded in Holland should therefore not come as a surprise. This aptitude for maps, combined with an already high adoption rate of social media and the mobile web, results in a steep adoption curve of location based services.

For some numbers, we can look at research done in Germany, a very similar market in terms of adoption of innovation. Here we can see that almost half or the population uses LBS frequently and most people that use them consider them very valuable.

What’s hot and what’s not in Holland?
Most people use mobile LBS for things as mapping (70%) and navigation (46%), clearly services that have been making our lives easier th past decade. Upcoming services are those related to local buying decisions, such as reading restaurant reviews (38%) locating nearby convenience services (36%) and shopping with special offers / coupons (33%).

A smaller, but growing fraction of mobile consumers is eager to share personal location in order to get some form of benefit. These location based networking tools are quite popular in The Netherlands. Concerns cited are privacy of and control over personal information, as evidenced by the recently blown up incident concerning Apple phones collecting and storing location data. These concerns differ greatly between the US and Europe, but also between countries in Europe, where Germany is almost paranoid about their privacy and the Dutch are more laid back about their personally identifiable information.

However, looking at the growth rates of Google, facebook and Twitter in Europe, I tend to consider these concerns as temporary speed bumps in the adoption of social location sharing. There is simply too much money at stake from brands trying to reach the mobile consumer at his point of purchase. As the benefit grows for which consumers are seduced to ‘transact’ their privacy, these barriers will fall.

Show me the money! Dutch media spend on LBA
If you follow the various Web 2.0 blogs, like Mashable and TechCrunch, you can’t escape the hype around location based (mobile) advertising. It’s alot harder to find a consistent way of measuring the advertising spend without a clear definition. At the Location Based Marketing Association, we define LBM as “all avenues of advertising and marketing as it relates to location-specific opportunities”. This community is comprised of mobile, out-of-home, digital and print advertisers. From this perspective, the potential opportunity in The Netherlands is almost 30% of the total (~4.3 billion €) advertising market.

For commercial purposes, I like to narrow it down to the local (online) search, mobile, social media and digital screen spaces only. Using some numbers from 2008-2010, we’re talking about a figure of around 112 MM euro, which comes from ~92MM in local search (considering 20% of search is local), ~1.5 MM mobile (2.5% of online advertising), ~12 MM social media and ~6MM DooH (4% of the out-of-home market).

These numbers are extremely conservative. The growth of technologies and applications for ‘social location sharing’ have been much covered by marketing and technology press, some research estimating the total US market potential to range into $10 Billion by 2016. Translated to the Dutch market, this would mean a pure-play location sharing market of around 340 MM euro.

Without basing this on any specific research, my experience tells me all Western European markets (UK, France, Germany, Benelux, Nordics) share a similar delay in the adoption of technology innovation of around 9-12 months with the US. The ad spend spread is almost exactly the same as in the US.

Favourite Apps
So who are the key players, advancing the location based services technology in Holland? Obviously this depends on how narrow you define LBS, but let’s zoom in on location based networking. Recent research we’ve done shows that Google Latitude and Facebook places are the new LBS platforms to watch across Europe. Nearly 2% of foursquare’s 9 million users come from NL, but the more interesting number is the 14 million people using Facebook or Hyves; social networking hubs that have added check-in functionality as of recent months. Gowalla and Feest.je (a local player) both have about 15k users in NL.

I think for both markets only foursquare is a real contender to the massive powers of Google, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft. The latter may look surprising in this list, but shouldn’t be disregarded considering its significant advantage in this space through its recently announced cooperation with Nokia.

If we look at the broader perspective of mobile payment and commerce, both mobile network operators as well as banks will still have a role to play before they have been finally reduced to public utilities :-)

LBS adoption and innovation
Next to our widely diversified postal- and address coding systems in Europe, the different implementation of the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive has been slowing down adoption of location based services. Where the first are causing ‘only’ technological issues (through the expense of geocoding data), the privacy laws are more difficult for vendors to tackle, because it involves a redesign of tools & processes for each country.

My hope is that (by upholding firmly) the new EU standard will help spread the benefits of new technology faster, by better facilitating international vendors to target and penetrate the EU market. My fear is that, again, the discretionary powers of member states will result in another checkerboard of rules throughout Europe, further distancing us from the BRIC countries as attractive markets to invest in.

Many innovations are bubbling in Holland, some of the notable players that have proven their products are

  • Layar, a worldwide leader in Augmented Reality applications for mobile devices, that are heavily dependent on location for its benefit, and
  • TomTom, the obvious name for navigation, but not to be underestimated in its ability to cast a shadow on other LBS markets through its acquisition of TeleAtlas
  • Qubulus with its LocLizard indoor positioning systems, help retail chains and airports to bridge the gap between getting customers in the mall and getting them into the right shop (or to the right product in the shop!)
  • Taggle, with a very popular social publishing platform for real-estate agents, using QR Codes and automatic video creation
  • Feest.je, a local check-in contender, the likes of foursquare with a focus on parties

How to get into the LBS Game?
For brands, retailers and other advertisers, the location based marketing “game” is just starting. So it’s still exciting and sometimes frightening to be doing anything in this space. Experiments are in order, but need to be controllable from both a cost- as well as impact perspective. It’s relatively easy to get your feet wet through a simple foursquare campaign as McDonalds proved. But you have to design the campaign with a ROMI in mind.

Second, that result you’re looking for, may be just the analytics or just the PR. But if you don’t have the tools to measure, you will not have a means to evaluate success or failure. Getting yourself setup with some local/social media listening tools before you run a campaign is very important. It helps you understand which platforms to use to reach your intended audience, as well as listen to and engage with the audience your message or promotion was targeted at.

Finally, my advice would be: come talk to us! We have a clear overview of the players, potential and products in this market and can help to make some ‘beans’ of the ‘spaghetti’. The challenge is that this market combines business models and technologies of the almost-forgotten (navigation and mapping) with the near-futuristic (‘minority report’ personalized digital screens). We can help integrate the complexity into a solution that supports marketing goals.

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OnJune 20, 2011, posted in: blog, Innovation, Strategy by

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The Evolving Role of the IT Function in Ireland

Now in its third iteration since 2007, the “Evolving Role of the IT Function in Ireland” examines every facet of IT within public and private organisations.  Five sections in the report cover topics such as the status of the IT function, IT governance and compliance, IT spending and decision-making and IT talent management.
Pat Millar outlines highlights from our research and discusses some of the many challenges facing the IT community at large in the weeks and months ahead.

Click here for the full news release.

Click here to see a full copy of the report online.

Click here to download a copy of the webinar presentation.

You can also visit us at:  Clarion Consulting Europe | Clarion Resourcing

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Clarion Consulting launches the EMEA Chapter of the Location Based Marketing Association

Asif Khan (founder and president) of the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) joined Clarion Consulting for the launch of the EMEA Chapter of the LBMA at the prestigious Krasnapolsky Hotel in Amsterdam on the 25th May 2011.  Clarion Consulting is the founding member of the EMEA Chapter and the launch event was held following the successful Location Business Summit Event (24th and 25th May) also in Amsterdam.

At the event were organisations from the location based sector including Layar, Widespace, TomTom, aFrogleap and Blast Radius.  Representatives from each formed a panel representing some of the stakeholders with an interest in the sector including agencies, products/tool/platform vendors and geo-mapping.  Mark Hemphill, from Screenscape, gave a keynote on the growing trend and need for brands to develop a location based marketing strategy, one that takes into account both online and off-line components.

Clarion’s location based marketing practice is engaged in actively promoting and delivering LBM solutions in the EMEA region. Clarion Consulting focuses on operating as a strategic partner with customers who are looking to execute a location based marketing campaign.  The industry is moving at such a fast pace with new tools and platforms being released weekly.  Clarion helps organisations to ‘manage and integrate the complexity’ providing both strategic consulting services to help organisations design the most appropriate location based marketing campaign and then executing consulting services in selecting the most appropriate tools to run the campaign and importantly measure the return on marketing investment.

Recent research conducted by Clarion shows that consumers in EMEA are ‘hungry’ for deals, with 24% of respondents indicating that they would participate in a location based campaign to get a deal or discount.  The research also showed that over 50% of the organisations who responded indicated that they are actively planning a location based campaign in the months ahead.

This level of interest is demonstrated in the recent RTE/McDonalds campaign – where-by McDonalds placed location aware advertisements within the RTE iPhone App to target specific consumers at specific locations – with deals and discounts.  For what was a relatively low cost campaign McDonalds saw a significant percentage increase in people to the participating stores.

If you think that location based marketing is not for your organisations – Clarion research would indicate that your customers may disagree – and your competitors may already be engaging with your audience.

Ends

About Clarion: Clarion’s LBM practice is an international Marketing consultancy, specialising in Social and Location Based Marketing as well as Program Management of Technology Channel Marketing. Through our lengthy experience in working for the IT industry, we combine an understanding of the technology of marketing (e.g. search-, social-, mobile- and location based marketing) with expertise in the marketing of technology (e.g. licensing, partner marketing, multi-sourcing and development lifecycle).  We understand ‘Locations’ place in marketing.

About the LBMA:  The Location Based Marketing Association is an international group dedicated to fostering research, education and collaborative innovation at the intersection of people, places and media. Our goal is simple; to educate, share best practices, establish guidelines for growth and to promote the services of member companies to brands and other content-related providers.   Members of the LBMA include retailers, agencies, advertisers, media buyers, software and services providers, and wireless companies. Simply put, we want to help those engaging location-based services be as successful as possible.

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OnJune 3, 2011, posted in: News by

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