system two

system two
start-up thinking in the enterprise

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

API's - an engagement tool

API’s – or application programming interfaces – are a critical part of the digital world.

Without them, developers would be unable to use other people’s data in their own applications and widgets.

When you use a weather application on your iPhone – its getting its information through an API. When you see your pictures from flickr in a widget on facebook – the widget is pulling those images from your flickr account via its API. When you see a google map with information about the victims of an earthquake plotted on it – you get the idea….

From a planning and marketing perspective this technology is incredibly exciting. A brand with an API is automatically social, accessible, human. The implications of having one ripple through the business and affect all manner of systems and processes for the better. Information is set free. People inside and outside of the organisation suddenly have a reason to talk to each other. Users engage and communicate with the brand in amazing new ways. APIs are the best weapon a planner has in his / her armory to deepen engagement. And best of all, from the brands point of view. They mean everyone else does the heavy lifting of application development.

So it was with some excitement this morning that we got an email from a client to say the work we’ve been doing with them to introduce them to the delights of “pull” marketing has paid off – and they’re now thinking of building one. The client, apart from being one of our most forward thinking, is particularly interesting because the data they hold concerns stuff people really care about. On some level, everyone in the UK is interested in the data that this client holds and because of this – where its seeds will spread – is anyone’s guess.