Thursday, 19 September 2013

"The digital beauty of GDS"

"When was the last time you got all choked up about a website or app? Can you recall a transformative digital experience? Have you felt the beauty of digital?"
Ashley Friedlein's consultancy offers Digital Marketing Excellence™ and in that capacity he has "spoken at numerous international conferences, from the USA to Croatia, as well as trade events in the UK, on a range of digital marketing and e-commerce topics".

Today he shares his views with us on The digital beauty of GDS (Government Digital Service). On marketing, he says that "businesses can charge for the value of the "transformation", of the “feeling”, that an experience offers". And as to beauty, he associates it with the experience of being hit in the solar plexus.

"We believe that the experiences themselves are marketing." The customer experience is the marketing?

Today the death of Ken Norton was announced. Not only did Norton hit Muhammad Ali in the solar plexus, he went on to break his jaw. That cracking sound we all heard, that was the sound of marketing.

Judging by the picture, the experience wasn't beautiful at all and you may agree that, perhaps, Mr Friedlein needs to refine the new philosophical concept of beauty he's working on before he brings it to market.

Ken Norton,
the heavyweight who broke Muhammad Ali’s jaw,
dies at 70
The question arises in the course of his meditation whether a digital customer experience could ever give you that Ken Norton experience.

Good question.

And good answer – yes, he says, "I think GDS (Government Digital Service) is a shining example".

Why? How does he come to that conclusion?

Answer, not only "does GDS have a digital strategy, it has digital and design principles, all of which make a lot of sense", but also "US digital sage Tim O’Reilly described the GDS digital strategy ... as the ‘new Bible for anyone working in Government ...'".

"I asked my wife last night whether she’d had any digital experiences which hit her in the solar plexus, which she physically felt as beauty. She thought for a second and replied, in all seriousness, 'renewing my car tax online'."
GDS's digital strategy has been examined by four professors. None of them identified the beauty which Mr Friedlein sees in it. More fool them, eh?

And as to Tim O'Reilly, we have come across him before. Him and his religiose cult of the web. Him and his sermon about GDS's digital strategy being the new Bible. Unlikely, we thought. But then, we missed the beauty. More fool us.

In the interests of market research, why don't we all ask our partner tonight whether they've had a digital experience which hit them in the solar plexus and let Mr Friedlein know the result on his blog? Especially if it's "renewing my car tax online".

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