Posted at 02:52 PM in Books, Consumer Central , Content is King, Creativity, Evol8tion, From the "I told you so" files, Inside the fish bowl, Medium - neither rare nor well done, New Branding, New Marketing, Proof of Life after the 30-second spot, Television, The Engagement Wars, Ugly Stuff | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
Actually what I really hope is that less brands will be doing the WRONG things with startups and more brands will be doing the RIGHT kind of partnership and collaboration.
Read on and weigh in...
My friend David Berkowitz, CMO of MRY, just wrote an opinion piece titled “Why Brands will Focus Less on Startups in 2014.” In the piece, he cites (1) clutter, (2) too much P.R, and (3) lack of results as the three reasons why “brand and agency love for startups is going to fizzle.”
What David is referring to is a sickness that seems to strike many marketers and is passed on to their agencies (or perhaps it is the other way round): namely TNBTS, or The Next Big Thing Syndrome. The good news is that there is a cure. It’s called strategy. When there is none present, I strongly recommend abstinence (hence, the title of David’s article, and why I chose to take the same title although I have a divergent opinion.).
“Clutter” represents all the noise out there; the tonnage; the quantity of startup candidates. In fact, when TechCrunch pretty much opened its entire startup database to the public, I rejoiced. 30,000+ one-liner descriptions in an Excel spreadsheet! That’s like referring to the phone book as your list of potential dates. Good luck with that! The antidote to noise is the filter, curation or vetting that helps weed “too many” and weave “too few” into “just right.”
The problem with P.R. is P.R. itself. Ever since I stumbled into the world of P.R. during my social media days, I keep coming back to “those who can, do; those who can’t, P.R.” as I wrote in an Online Spin six+ months ago. I do recognize, however, that there is value to both internal and external merchandising. I think where David and I diverge is that he is referring to P.R. as being first to market with Vine, Snapchat or Google Glass – ALL OF WHICH are hyped up by the very P.R. and trade engine that accepts or rejects what is newsworthy on their terms. In addition, none of these platforms are early stage; none of the collaborations are strategic; all of them benefit the trade publications and the platforms themselves (can you say acquisition or IPO?) as opposed to the brands that helped them get there in the first place!
Then there’s “results.” Certainly if a startup collaboration is being attached to quarterly earnings, then we would do well to cut off funding to them altogether and instead invest this money to determine the same “results” from “working” media – specifically, how many millions of dollars are being completely wasted and negligently justified through outdated marketing mix modeling.
I hope 2014 is not the year of the startup. It’s very simple: 2013 was the year of the startup. 2012 was the year of the startup. Every single year in which the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking is the year of the startup. Startups are nothing new. They were, are and always will exist.
To cover startups so prolifically (Berkowitz notes that the word startup was mentioned in Ad Age more times in 2012 than 2005-2009 combined) and then summarily declare, “it’s over” is proof positive of TNBTS.
I hope 2014 puts an end to endless “speed dating” without any intention of a second date; hack-a-thons with an emphasis on the word “hack”; brand accelerators that are led by agencies who implode when their one-man-band startup-guy leaves to join another agency or, more likely, a startup; and, last but least, the $5,000 pilot program, which is nothing more than a checkmark on the Next Big Thing checklist.
When the dust settles, fewer brands will be standing, and these brands will continue to enjoy unprecedented competitive advantages from profoundly partnering with startups. Brands like Under Armor, which just acquired MapMyFitness. Brands like Intuit, which acquired Mint. Brands like Avis, which acquired ZipCar. Or Brands like Mondelēz International (an Evol8tion client) that just won Mobile Marketer of the Year based in part on their Mobile Futures Program.
They all thank you for reading David’s article and taking it at face value.
As do I.
Posted at 01:40 PM in Consumer Central , Content is King, Evol8tion, From the "I told you so" files, Inside the fish bowl, Interactive, Madison & Mountain View, Make advertising relevant again, Mediapost Column, New Marketing, Startups for Brands, The Engagement Wars, Web/Tech | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
Those of you who don't subscribe to Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson's For Immediate Release are probably still blissfully living underneat the rock of ages where 4-color bleeds, mechanicals and 30-second spots reign supreme.
For the rest of you, you would know FIR is one of the longest standing P.R. and Communications podcasts out there. Period. And the best.
I also had the pleasure of working with both Shel and Neville during the crayon days.
You can listen to the post directly here (or if you're subscribed to Across the Sound or Jaffe Juice podcasts, it will download automatically via iTunes). The very thoughtful post on the podcast can be found here.
If you're still interested in reviewing the book, I'll send you a copy. Let me know.
If you'd like to purchase the book, you can do so here. It comes with a full 100% money back guarantee...however you do need to pay us a 10% fee on any incremental revenue or cost savings generated beyond $1,000,000 that comes from the book. Hint: The latter scenario is much more likely (you have been warned)
Posted at 09:13 AM in Books, Content is King, Creativity, Current Affairs, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Fixing the Ad Agency Mess , Flip the Funnel, Inside the fish bowl, Interactive, Jaffe Juice - The New Marketing Podcast, Join the Conversation, Make advertising relevant again, Medium - neither rare nor well done, New Branding, New Marketing, Proof of Life after the 30-second spot, Television, The Engagement Wars, Ugly Stuff, Web/Tech | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: "30-second spot", "For Immediate Release", "Joseph Jaffe", "Maarten Albarda", "Marketing Podcast", "Neville Hobson", "Shel Holtz", "Thought Leadership", "Z.E.R.O.", "Zero Paid Media", "ZERO"
A month after the book launches, I'm finally getting to the blog post about my 4th book, which I've co-authored with my former client and current friend, Maarten Albarda.
Why has it taken me so long to write about it? I suppose a number of reasons:
So with that said, I am pleased and proud to present Z.E.R.O.: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model
In Z.E.R.O., our position is that a perfect storm is coming…in fact it may already be here. To make this case, we introduce several key arguments: business, economic, consumer, media and creative cases – any of which could – by itself - be enough to be the straw that breaks the camel's back, but when combined presents a perfect storm scenario.
Our central premise is that if media inflation continues to outpace and run away from economic inflation, the bottom may fall out the media model. Put simply, it will become practically impossible to maintain minimum acceptable levels of reach, frequency, share of voice and presence in the marketplace.
Our solution for this eventuality is the Z.E.R.O. Manifesto, which holds that in a perfect world, the optimal paid media budget would be zero. In other words, brands would not need to spend a dime on paid media, because they would have enough customers; enough word-of-mouth; enough rabid fans and advocates; enough referrals; enough partnerships with entrepreneurs, startups and technology investments; and last but not least, enough assets to activate, amplify and monetize. What is an asset? Your people. Your products. Your packaging. Your clothing. Your billboards. Your trucks. Your stores. Your website. Your content.
Talk is cheap. So many books outline a problem, without putting forward a solution. Section 3 introduces a 10-point action plan, which presents 5 ways companies can implement Z.E.R.O. Internally (Cultural, Organizational), as well as 5 ways they can truly bring Z.E.R.O. to life externally (Strategic, Tactical). From compensation to budget setting; from flipping the funnel to innovation. It's all inside.
Whilst the Z.E.R.O. Vision is for brands to shift from being tenants (renting media) to landlords (owning assets), the "hidden message" here is the paid media will continue to exist (after all the world is not perfect), BUT it shifts from being the "go to" first port of call or star of the show to the final piece of the puzzle; a topper up or co-star / supporting member of the cast/ensemble. That's a significant shift as is the call-to-action for brands to audit their connections and ultimately strive for a 50:50 mix between direct:indirect (assets:media) by 2020.
Z.E.R.O. is not for everyone and I think it's important to manage expectations. This book is specifically written for C-suite executives that work for leading brands. Which doesn't mean to say that if you are a small business owner, this book isn't for you. In fact, you should look at the struggles and challenges presenting themselves to larger companies as your "foot in the door" or gain. In the 10-point action plan for example, the first 5 items that Maarten writes about from first-hand invaluable experience should all be second nature to you and non-issues. So skip past these if you like...or plan for the time when you get so big that you too will suck (as Jay Chiat once said)
And now comes the part where I ask for your help.
Maarten and I know that this book will leave a lot of people very uncomfortable, but it's tough love at worst and a game changer at best. Maarten and I put it this way: if we're wrong about this, you're a winner because you diversified your portfolio, you retook control as a marketer and you invested in your customer...but if we're right about this, well then you just obliterated your competition, potentially changed the game and who knows...perhaps transformed marketing from a cost center to a revenue generator. Maybe you even discovered the next Snapchat, GroupOn or Instagram in the process.
Be a hero. Commit to Z.E.R.O.
Posted at 10:19 AM in Books, Content is King, Current Affairs, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Evol8tion, Experiential Marketing, Flip the Funnel, From the "I told you so" files, From the desk of The Ambassador, Inside the fish bowl, Interactive, Long Form Content, Madison & Mountain View, Make advertising relevant again, Making a difference, Mediapost Column, Medium - neither rare nor well done, Music, Mobile and things that make you go mmm..., New Branding, New Marketing, Proof of Life after the 30-second spot, Sightings of the 30-second spot, Social Commerce, Social Media Matters, Startups for Brands, Television, The Engagement Wars, Ugly Stuff, Web/Tech | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: "Flip the Funnel", "Joseph Jaffe", "Maarten Albarda", "Marketing Book", "Paid Media", "Startups for Brands", "Thought Leadership", "Z.E.R.O.", "Zero Paid Media", "ZeroPaidMedia", Advertising, Evol8tion, Marketing, Media, ZERO
The BeanCast is "The Best Marketing Podcast Anywhere" (I know this because it says so on the website) and Bob is "The Best Host Anywhere" (I know this because I've been on the show since pretty much the beginning)
I've been a regular since the early days of the show. The earliest I could find was this episode from 2009. For those of you who don't know The BeanCast, it's a weekly panel discussion on marketing, with a particular emphasis on the digital, social, mobile and emerging categories. At Evol8tion, we call that the "Innovation Continuum" (can you see a connection here?)
As one of the earliest podcasters, I remain extremely bullish on the potential and future for "the spoken work" in an increasingly digital, social and connected world. I suppose it's proof positive of the power of podcasting (alliteration) that both Bob and the Beancast have found a home under the bridge between Madison Avenue and Mountain View.
Bob joins Evol8tion as SVP, Chief Analyst of our BrandWatch product. BrandWatch is a subscription-based insight product designed to help brands understand, prioritize and evaluate their innovation needs. Bob will also use his editorial juices to invest in our Madison & Mountain View (MplusMV) publishing asset.
From an structural standpoint, nothing will change with the show itself. Bob will continue to host and maintain full editorial control. He will also continue to manage the business side of the show. What will change is that the content will become much richer and deeper as a result of Evol8tion’s BrandWatch product.
If you want to listen to a brief fireside chat between Bob and myself, here it is. OK, so we didn't sit around a fire, but it was hot enough outside today so justify the heat reference!
The full press release is below, which also documents a series of new hires, new clients and new solutions at our innovation agency:
For Immediate Release:
Evol8tion Continues Expansion With BeanCast Acquisition
BeanCast Founder Bob Knorpp Joins Evol8tion Team To Lead BrandWatch™ Offering
July 22nd, 2013
Evol8tion (pronounced Evolution), the innovation agency co-founded by Joseph Jaffe and Gina Waldhorn, today announced they have acquired Bob Knorpp’s BeanCast Marketing Podcast for an undisclosed amount. The audio podcast features a weekly discussion with a rotating panel of global advertising and marketing experts, serving up to 75,000 shows a month.
“We’re excited to include The BeanCast as part of the Evol8tion content offering,” said Mr. Jaffe. “Our goal is to help our brand clients connect to the latest trends and innovations, and match them to startups that fit their needs. The BeanCast is clearly the best show covering the advertising technology space, and having its research and insight resources onboard will add even more value to our clients.”
As part of the deal, show host Bob Knorpp will join the Evol8tion team as SVP, Chief Analyst for BrandWatch, a subscription-based insight product designed to help brands understand, prioritize and evaluate their innovation needs.
“My vision for The BeanCast was always to provide the best possible insights and education to the marketing community,” said Knorpp. “Heading up Evol8tion’s BrandWatch product allows me to greatly enhance the quality of The BeanCast content, while more fully exploring my passion for informing and training the brand world.”
Knorpp is one of several new hires at the rapidly expanding company, joining Lauren Brown and Jessica Peltz; senior talent recruits from Carat and Zenith Media respectively.
These hires are hot on the heels of multiple key milestones for a company growing exponentially in its second year of operation. Evol8tion recently added Mondelez International to a roster of clients that already includes ABInBev and Unilever. Evol8tion is also currently running the popular Mobile Futures program with Mondelez International, currently wrapping up its North America phase and rolling out in Brazil.
Said Gina Waldhorn, Evol8tion's co-founder and COO, "We are seeing more and more blue chip brands committing themselves to consumer-facing technology innovation in digital, social, mobile and emerging platforms. Evol8tion is playing a key role in facilitating these important connections, having just finished our 15th in-market pilot program in just over a year."
Started in January 2012, Evol8tion (www.startupsforbrands.com) provides brands with a strategic and systematic process to connect with “matched” early-stage startups. Evol8tion’s core offering includes BrandWatch™, an education and evaluation framework, and BrandMatch™, an execution framework, which combine to both qualify and quantify technology solutions to solve business problems.
The BeanCast (www.thebeancast.com), now in it’s sixth year of production, will continue to produce weekly shows with Knorpp as host and producer.
Posted at 09:00 AM in Between the lines..., Content is King, Creativity, Current Affairs, Evol8tion, Fixing the Ad Agency Mess , Gaming, Inside the fish bowl, Madison & Mountain View, New Branding, New Marketing, Social Media Matters, Startups for Brands, Web/Tech | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: "Bob Knorpp", "Innovation Agency", "Joseph Jaffe", "Madison and Mountain View", "Madison Avenue", "Marketing Podcast", "Mountain View", "Startups for Brands", "The Beancast", "Thought Leadership", Beancast, Evol8tion, Innovation, Startups
I recently sat down with old friend and social media veteran, Dave Delaney, and now author of New Business Networking: How to Effectively Grow Your Business Network Using Online and Offline Methods.
Here is our conversation on how to ahead in today's increasingly cluttered digital, social and connected world. Download or listen live by clicking this link.
And as a reminder, you can purchase his book here.
Posted at 09:06 AM in Books, Content is King, Inside the fish bowl, Jaffe Juice - The New Marketing Podcast, Join the Conversation, Social Media Matters, Social Networking | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
Week 3 kicks off today, with 5 to go. Currently, we are at 62 backers and a total amount pledged of $11,857, with the latest being a $1,250 pledge from the folks at Sprinklr.
In keeping with Flip the Funnel, A.D.I.A. and the R of Z.E.R.O. (retention), THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
I'd love to get to 100 backers as our next milestone and with your help, we can make this possible.
Please consider participating, especially if you are interested in marketing, media and the future of brands. In addition to the content and experiential rewards on Kickstarter, you also get to be a part of the book (Mr Burns rewards and up...) as well as part of the Z.E.R.O. Kickstarter case study (very meta).
Of course you can participate by pledging and/or spreading the word to others.
Here's the link to the Kickstarter campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1166290269/zero-zero-paid-media-as-the-new-marketing-model
My good friend and ex-client, Maarten Albarda and I are co-authoring a book together. It's my 4th book (after Life after the 30-second spot, Join the Conversation and Flip the Funnel) and Maarten's first. Besides sharing the same vision and passion for the subject, we're bringing a 1-2 punch to the table in the form of advertising-agency perspective on the giant elephant in the room: media or rather paid media.
The book is called z.e.r.o. and the sub-title, "zero paid media as the new marketing model" kind of says it all (and in less than 140 characters).
The book posits that in a perfect world, your paid media budget would be z.e.r.o. - literally, but also figuratively in the form of an acronym which stands for Zealots (advocacy), Entrepreneurship (innovation), Retention (customer centricity) and Owned Assets (moving from tenant to landlord)
On one hand, it's me returning to my "Life after" roots, but on the other other (and more poignantly), it's our set up of our premonition of a perfect storm approaching in marketing; one in which the bottom could conceivably fall out of the media model. Fortunately, the world is not perfect and change takes longer than we expect, but then again...just look at how your world has changed in the past few years to validate the fact that sitting and doing nothing is not a viable solution.
For me, it's a bold move for two reasons:
We just pre-launched the book and Kickstarter campaign at the Festival of Media in Montreux, but here's the crazy part...in just over 24 hours after I hit the publish button (in stealth mode), we've almost hit our initial funding goal of $10,000. With your help, we'll push this over the edge and see how far we can take it.
The wild thing is that the book will become it's own case study insofar that it will demonstrate how we were able to self-publish our book for "z.e.r.o." by tapping into our advocates and leveraging our owned assets. It's U.N.M.2.P.N.M. circa 2005 retooled for 2013.
So...if you're part of my community and/or appreciate my content, show your support on Kickstarter with the pledge amount (or more if your heart desires). I will post regular updates over the 6 week period to acknowledge my backers (which would be you)
And all things being equal, Z.E.R.O. will launch in September of 2013 and will contain the 10-point action plan towards implementing this bold vision towards helping marketing evolve, normalize and allocate scarce resources to a re-prioritized hierarchy of connection points.
Posted at 10:47 AM in Between the lines..., Books, Communal Marketing, Consumer Generated Content, Content is King, Creativity, Current Affairs, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Evol8tion, Experiential Marketing, Fixing the Ad Agency Mess , Flip the Funnel, From the "I told you so" files, From the desk of The Ambassador, Inside the fish bowl, Interactive, Join the Conversation, Long Form Content, Madison & Mountain View, Make advertising relevant again, Making a difference, Mediapost Column, Medium - neither rare nor well done, Music, Mobile and things that make you go mmm..., New Branding, New Marketing, Pithy Conversation Catalysts, Proof of Life after the 30-second spot, Sightings of the 30-second spot, Social Media Matters, Startups for Brands, Television, The Engagement Wars, Ugly Stuff, Web/Tech | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
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Still playing catch up and so here's my Mediapost article from 11/6, which covers Red Bull's incredible Stratos content integration or is it NASA sponsorship? Either way, it was unprecedented, ballsy, mega risky shows why Red Bull marketing deserves to be up on the honors podium, along with all-stars, Nike and Apple.
When I mention the name Baumgartner, you might immediately think of a certain baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. That’s Madison Bumgarner, and I’m referring to Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver, daredevil and BASE jumper, who – in October of 2012 – set almost broke a world record for free fall/skydiving, but pretty much broke every other brand record in the process:
That previous statement is a gross understatement. This is what he did: He jumped at a distance of 24 miles or 39 kilometers above the Earth. (A plane flyingat 35,000 feet is only 6.6 miles above the Earth. Baumgartner was in a space capsule; in a space suit and could see the curvature of the Earth!)
He become the first person in history to break the sound barrier — putting him in the same category as the Concorde. He reached an estimated speed of 834 miles per hour or 1,342 kilometers per hour, faster than a Boeing 777.
During the fall, Baumgartner went into a spin, where he was seen hurtling through space like a tumbleweed on steroids. Remarkably, he stabilized — and said this was anticipated and under control — and landed on his feet.
The “mission” itself was five years in the making and has delivered several key insights that will help scientists and aviation experts on the development of equipment, clothing, safety, tourism (!) and evacuation procedures.
Most remarkably, however, this was essentially a giant ad for Red Bull. Ordinarily, I would be on my “Life after the 30-second spot” or “Join the Conversation” soapboxes lambasting brands for elongated, protracted and procrastinated planning cycles in favor of a “real time” and dynamic shortened time to market. But not this time.
Red Bull — yet again — hasn’t just raised the bar; it pretty much obliterated the bar by demonstrating the relevance, role, purpose and utility associated with a brand that has truly invested and vested itself in “extreme” sports and lifestyle. Calling Red Bull a “content marketer” is an insult to Red Bull. Red Bull is so much more.
Not only did it almost literally bring its core positioning to life, “Red Bull gives you wings,” but ishowed an acute understanding and mastery of pure and unadulterated innovation in the form of a unique and original idea that had zero precedent and quite frankly (and again quite literally) no safety net.
I cannot even begin to fathom the thousand ways this could have gone wrong and the huge risk at stake. The “experiment” itself was already aborted once because of weather conditions, but the blunt risk here was the very real possibility and scenario of witnessing a “live death.” (All brought to you by Red Bull.)
Ironically (and it is a monstrous – pun intended – irony), a competitor in the form of Monster Energy drink is currently being sued and subsequently investigated by the FDA for a number of alleged consumption-related deaths.
Conversely, Red Bull brought a symphony to life, with more than 8 million people worldwide watching YouTube’s live stream of the free fall. Within four days, and across 1,700 related clips, it was the second-fastest video: to 50 million views in history. (The first was Kony 2012.)
I look at the average Nascar driver, tattooed or should I say littered with a cacophony of conflicting brand logos and juxtapose this with the clean and clinical branding 24 miles up in the air. I raise a can of congratulations to this marketer.
I speak to marketers worldwide, representing every major corporation. They all envy and want to be like two brands: Nike and Apple. Well, make that three brands: Red Bull joins the hall of fame trinity.
The combined jealousy and respect are palpable, and so is my advice to every Red Bull wannabee: “Just do It” or to quote Baumgartner’s mentor, retired USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger: “Start the cameras, and our guardian angel will take care of you.”
Posted at 10:04 AM in Branded Entertainment, Content is King, Creativity, Current Affairs, Experiential Marketing, Living in High Definition, Long Form Content, Mediapost Column, New Branding, Science, The Engagement Wars, Virtual Reality, Web/Tech | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: "Brand Integration", "Content Strategy", "Felix Baumgartner", "Joseph Jaffe", "Joseph Kittinger", "Monster Energy drink", "Red Bull", "Thought Leadership", Apple, Innovation, Mediapost, Nike
This was a pitch night with a twist in the form of two key differences, namely:
At the end of the day, it is our belief that every viable startup has a brand soulmate. We equally believe that in startups, brands can find their salvation and solutions to their day-to-day problems (breaking through the clutter, engaging consumers, building brand trust, love and health, creating relevance and resonance, delivering real service and experience, providing utility)
Kraft your Pitch is one of several ways we connect early stage startups to matched brands.
Here is a 2 minute video which summarizes the night:
The finalists (congratulations to you all) were:
...across the following categories:
If you want to find out who won, watch the video :)
If you'd like to find out more about branded pitch nights, contact us via our website or info [at] startupsforbrands [dot] com
Posted at 10:04 AM in Consumer Central , Content is King, Evol8tion, Flip the Funnel, Interactive, Madison & Mountain View, Make advertising relevant again, Music, Mobile and things that make you go mmm..., New Branding, New Marketing, Social Commerce, Social Media Matters, Social Networking, Startups for Brands, Television, The Engagement Wars, Web/Tech | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
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