At the end of 2011 I went to the UK to connect with gurus and execs in the digital business space, with a focus on agencies and tech companies who apply digital sales and marketing practices.
All in all, I saw a close parallel to the US with a couple of exceptions.
The biggest is perhaps the state of the economies, and the effect on corporate investment. The UK has incorporated pretty brutal austerity measures which will curtail private sector growth and overall confidence, whilst the US is emerging from the recession with a continued disregard to the national debt. The mentality in the US is one of growth, and the need to invest in new technologies/solutions that enable top line growth, competitive advantage, as well as efficiencies and modernization. The UK has traditionally been more conservative regards risk and ‘trial & erroring’ with new concepts/solutions. I think that is even more magnified with the conservation of cash and approach to only consider proven solutions with clearly demonstrable short(ish) term ROI.
I didn’t see many differences between digital agencies, consultancies and service providers regards digital strategies and tactics, although the solution I have been evangelizing (marketing automation / digital demand generation DDG) is 18-24+ months ahead in the US. Interestingly the term DDG didn’t resonate, so in the UK I see the term DLG (digital lead generation) as more suitable. Leadgen is essentially a subset of demandgen (that also includes branding/awareness traffic), and provides more focus on capturing the leads that generate measurable ROI. Eloqua is starting to use the term RPM (Revenue Performance Management) in the US where the market is more mature, but that term was also not resonating with the folks I met.
(Plenty) more to follow …. !