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 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
My last 3 Online Spin columns:
I’m not sure when Nike ceased to be a shoe company for serious athletes and instead become a technology company for average Joes (like me) looking to enjoy a health and active lifestyle.
Perhaps it was Nike ID that first hinted at things to come. Or Nike +, Nike Running, or Nike Fuelband that finally drove home the transformation from Just Do it to Just Digit (sorry).
Thanks to technology, Nike has elevated its relevance and resonance from just a brand to something much more: a community-driven experience. Dare I say, a customer-centric ecosystem powered by technology.
Case in point: #runstronger -- a call to action on the first anniversary of the Boston bombing, offering to donate $1 for every mile completed by volunteer runners.
I’ve become somewhat of a Fuelband fanboy. I wrote about it extensively in my latest book, “Z.E.R.O,” and have dedicated several columns in Mediapost to the same subject.
Last week I was in Australia, where, during a presentation, several members of the audience pointed out that Nike will be discontinuing its Fuelband.
What an embarrassment for Nike. They failed. They lost the battle to Fitbit. They couldn’t cut it with a piece of hardware that just did not iterate or evolve quickly enough.
And if you think the above paragraph is accurate, you couldn’t be further from the truth.
The actual announcement was that Nike is discontinuing its Fuelband production in order to shift its focus from hardware to software. The company is going to focus on the data, analytics, dashboard, gamification and overall experience, versus just producing rubber bands.
Let me repeat the key phrase again in case you missed it: Nike is shifting its focus from hardware to software. This is -- or was -- a shoe company, remember?
Nike is doing a classic pivot, just as an enviable class of past successful startups -- including, but not limited to, GroupOn, Twitter, YouTube and Fab -- did before it.
Playing to its strengths (or weaknesses), and ultimately reconciling this with its business, Nike is choosing to focus and prioritize versus spreading itself too thin.
Company strategists are also choosing to align themselves with an incredibly like-minded brand: namely, Apple, which will most likely be producing the one band to rule them all soon enough. This has not actually been announced yet, but Nike has subtly (about as subtly as a bull in a china shop) hinted at the continuation of this relationship in the wearables market.
As a betting man, I’m going to fairly confidently place my chips in the Nike + Apple camp. It’s a fairly inevitable no-brainer that Apple and Nike will join forces -- and when they do, it’s game over.
Enjoy it while you can, Fitbit.
In making this announcement, Nike has shown -- proven, in fact -- that it is a technology company -- a lean brand of sorts.
It’s demonstrated how an 800-pound gorilla can think and act like an agile gazelle.
At a time when most companies are still debating if they should sell directly to their customers via their website, what their Facebook strategy should be, which mobile platform they should develop in (because for some reason the budget allows only one) or how to approach a one-off pilot program with a startup, Nike has entered the next phase of its evolution.
By my count, v2.0 beats v0.1 any day of the week.
Not bad for a loser.
Posted at 02:41 PM in Books, Creativity, Evol8tion, Experiential Marketing, Inside the fish bowl, Interactive, Join the Conversation, Madison & Mountain View, Mediapost Column, Television, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
My latest MediaPost Online Spin column:
In a previous Online Spin, "The Opportunity Cost of Inertia,” I wrote about a keynote I delivered to a room filled with senior brand marketers at the ANA’s (Association of National Advertisers) digital and social media conference last July.
At the end of my presentation, I challenged the audience to do one thing in the remaining six months of the year: test or pilot an innovation program that took them out of their comfort zones and allowed them to experience an emerging technology or perhaps just one platform they were deficient in.
I invited the brands to call me on New Year’s Eve, saying I would be close to my phone and looked forward to hearing a first-person account of their program, what they’d learned in the process, what they would do differently -- and most importantly, what they would do next.
Dec. 31 came. Dec. 31 went. The phone didn’t ring.
Even sadder was that I always knew it wouldn’t.
Scenario A: The overflowing glass
In this exceptional scenario, the brands were already piloting, accelerating, even investing in technology, platforms, startups and/or projects designed to obliterate their competition. They didn’t call because they didn’t need to call. They had successfully moved beyond dipping their toes in the water and didn’t need me to give them a gentle nudge (shove) into the blue ocean.
To them, I say: You’re awesome, but you still should have called. At the very minimum, I’ll profile you and your company in my next book. While I recognize your need not to share your successes with the outside world, you are in fact so far ahead that the others may never catch up. Plus, this is the sharing economy -- and if you want to learn from others, you should contribute to the growing pool of best practices and case studies.
Scenario B: The glass half-full
Let’s say every marketer left the event energized and emboldened to innovate. They ignored the hundreds of political and yet banal emails. They even delegated the “fires” back at the office to underlings. Instead, they piloted to their heart’s content. So why didn’t they call? Perhaps they thought I was joking. Perhaps they figured their job was done when they checked 1 x pilot program from their 2013 to-do list.
To them, I say: The only way to keep on innovating… is to keep on innovating. Now that you’ve completed one successful program, what will you do next? Innovation is a journey, not a destination and you will NEVER reach the finish line. Whether covering the digital, social, mobile or emerging categories, there will ALWAYS be an area where you’re lagging.
Scenario C: The glass half-empty
Same as earlier, except the programs didn’t work as well as perhaps was anticipated. Why didn’t they call? These brands didn’t want to admit failure, and so they refrained from calling out of empathy and consideration: they just didn’t want to let me down.
To them I say: Keep your head up. You are all winners. There is no such thing as failure in the Age of Improv. It’s all about the pivot. Don’t give up. You’ll be so much better next time.
Scenario D: The empty glass
Flatline. You did nothing. You forgot. You didn’t care. You were distracted. You didn’t have enough bandwidth. Your agency talked you out of it. Your boss talked you out of it. You couldn’t sell it. You gave up. You didn’t believe. You didn’t care. You weren’t motivated enough. Something came up.
Pick your poison. This is not mutually exclusive multiple choice. Check all that apply.
To them I say: you just lost ANOTHER six months. You bet the farm on the status quo, with hope springing eternal that the IPSOS data would be your salvation. You put your stock in the new tagline or campaign or promotion and the result was crickets. And in July of 2014, when the next speaker challenges you, you will have lost yet another six months.
Stop the rot. Make that change. Commit to action. Time flies when you’re stuck in purgatory, waiting in vain and resigned to die.
Those are my four scenarios. If you were in the audience, which one did you fit into? And if you weren’t there, which one do you think was the more likely scenario?
I think you know which one I believe is the more realistic outcome.
Why is this the case?
What needs to change to avoid this mindless reenactment of Groundhog Day?
The clock is ticking. Or maybe it’s just stuck.
Posted at 04:52 PM in Creativity, Evol8tion, Madison & Mountain View, Make advertising relevant again, Mediapost Column, New Branding, New Marketing, Startups for Brands, Ugly Stuff | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
I haven't posted my Online Spin articles for a while, but I'd like to do so now with 3 related ones that all triangulate on a brand marketer's need to change, move quicker, embrace the "fear" of failure (the only thing to fear is fear itself) and ultimately, adopt a much more progressive lean-forward approach to new media, emerging technology and partnership with startups/entrepreneurs.
Here's the final article in its entirety:
Companies are their own worst enemies. The amount of wheel-spinning that takes place to get an initiative in place or even started, only for the rug to be ripped out underneath due to “a new CMO coming in” (or an existing one going out), “a budget cut” or “a reorg,” translates into significant hours expended, and therefore has a very real price tag.
I think it’s important we recognize the tangible cost of dragging our feet, being stuck in holding patterns and/or ultimately having cold feet as a substantial cost of doing business.
The waste of time -- and therefore money -- is mission critical, especially when dealing in a complex, dynamic and turbulent marketplace, with -- let’s face it -- extremely scarce resource (and by scarce resources, I’m talking about talent and time). While we all complain about budget cuts, in reality we are swimming in obscene excessive amounts of money that go into the temporal renting of multitasking eyeballs (yes, I’m talking about YOU, 30-second spot).
As a writer and speaker, I get to clench my fist and shake it disapprovingly at you a lot. You agree with me and yet you do nothing about it.
As a consultant and “agency” guy, I get to feel the short stick by being on the receiving end of your constant “reorgs” and additional approvals and reviews.
But honestly, don’t worry about me -- this is about you. I’m really worried about you.
Did you ever stop and think that all this time lost is actually hurting the current and future state of your business? In other words, hastening the next reorg and restructure? Your inability to get anything done that is different, original, unique and/or innovative is without question putting your own continuity and value INTO question.
Seriously, consider the ROI of not doing anything. It’s a Return on Inertia that is ironically very measurable both as an opportunity cost (past/hours) and opportunity lost (future/execution).
Instead, consider the analogy of waiting in a very long line. You’ve stood for an hour and you’re strongly considering calling it quits and walking away. Only, you’ve already spent an hour and who knows, the wait might only be another 30 minutes or so. And then before you know it, it’s 90 minutes or 2 hours. Now you DEFINITELY can’t walk away, because you’ve invested 2 hours, which is much more than the hour. And then it’s three hours -- and so on.
Why not apply the same logic to your projects? Stay the course!. Consider all the hours and legwork that got you this far and use that as the incentive to keep going.
And if all else fails, consider this: “If you’re not adding to your legacy, you’re adding to your eulogy.”
You can quote me on that if you like.
Posted at 09:31 AM in Creativity, Evol8tion, Fixing the Ad Agency Mess , Flip the Funnel, Inside the fish bowl, Interactive, Make advertising relevant again, Mediapost Column, New Branding, New Marketing, Startups for Brands, The Engagement Wars | Permalink | Comments (0) | 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 | Comments (0) | 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"
Domino's recently announced they were giving $500 "Pizzavestments" to 30 startups. I'd like to match the offer with $15,000 of my own money. There's just no way an individual should be able to match a giant corporation when it comes to making a commitment to startups, but there you go...
To Domino's CEO, Patrick Doyle: "Patrick, I think you're awesome. You've done a phenomenal job all round and led the brand through the YouTube fiasco to the well documented, Pizza Turnaround. I totally get the connection between pizza and burning the midnight oil, but I think you can do better. This isn't a fad, gimmick or ad campaign. Innovation is the lifeblood of corporate evolution and survival. Contact me and let's figure out a better way to spend our $30,000 and then some with bright and talented startups."
This offer is conditional on Patrick making contact with me and the two of us sitting down to brainstorm as per the challenge above. I will not be providing Pizza, but I'm happy to invest in these companies commensurately.
Microsoft just announced they are to write off close to $900m of excess inventory on their Surface tablets. OMG! How is this kind of colossal failure possible? Add the ridiculous amount of money spent wasted on marketing and advertising and you have a billion dollar white elephant and migraine.
I'm sure the surface is not a lemon, but I wouldn't know because all I see on TV is a bunch of out of work actors who can't a job on Apple commercials (because Apple just uses blue shirt geeks now in their commercials) dancing around like cool kids, snapping their surfaces.
Hint: It's a tablet, not a musical instrument.
This is a classic example of old school marketing that simply does not integrate digital and social best practices from 5-10 years ago.
To the execs at Microsoft, I'd like to volunteer my services free of charge to help you turn your frown upside down and Flip your Funnel.
Posted at 11:30 AM in Books, Consumer Central , Creativity, Current Affairs, Evol8tion, Fixing the Ad Agency Mess , Flip the Funnel, From the "I told you so" files, Madison & Mountain View, Make advertising relevant again, New Branding, New Marketing, Social Media Matters, Social Networking, Startups for Brands, Television, The Engagement Wars, Ugly Stuff, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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 | Comments (1) | 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
Mitch and I sit down for our monthly debate and this one is a great discussion on the evolution of online video - Vine, Instagram Video and more. Some really great concepts introduced like "Authentic Place" vs "Authentic Voice" and more. Keeper quote: "The 30-second spot was the original SnapChat!" @jaffejuice and @mitchjoel
Listen live or download here.
Subscribe to the show via iTunes here
Posted at 11:16 AM in Creativity, Current Affairs, Inside the fish bowl, Interactive, Jaffe Juice - The New Marketing Podcast, Make advertising relevant again, Medium - neither rare nor well done, New Marketing, On-demand Viewing, Sightings of the 30-second spot, Television, The Engagement Wars | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: "30-second spot", "Joseph Jaffe", "Marketing Podcast", "Mitch Joel", "Online Video", "Social Media", "Television Advertising", "Thought Leadership", "Twist Image", Evol8tion, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Vine
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 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: "Archway Publishing", "Customer Centricity", "Customer Experience", "Customer Service", "Earned Media", "Festival of Media", "Flip the Funnel", "Join the Conversation", "Joseph Jaffe", "Life after the 30-second spot", "Maarten Albarda", "Non Media", "Owned Assets", "Owned Media", "Paid Media", "Self Publishing", "Z.E.R.O.", "ZERO Paid Media", Advocacy, Book, Crowdfunding, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Kickstarter, Retention, Wiley
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