Archive for the ‘Age’ tag
Let’s face it, apps are the new sexy. They’re an easy path to success, right?
With companies like Instagram being purchased for $1 billion, everyone hopes their application is going to become the next big hit. But with the hundreds of thousands of apps on the market, only a few are going to be huge successes.
This is where platform choice becomes critical. Having reliable vendors, massive distribution channels, and the ability to rapidly bring products to market sounds like a gift from the startup gods. At the same time, relying too much on a single vendor, a single distribution channel or a single product can make it difficult to both scale and stay successful. The platform you choose may determine the fate of your business. Instead of relying upon OPP (other people’s platforms), why not build, control, and own your own?
Entrapment by the “Gang of Four”
In the book, The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business, author Phil Simon explains how the “Gang of Four” are leveraging their platforms to succeed, making thousands of other businesses and millions of consumers reliant on them in the process. Few talk about the Internet without talking about these platforms.
- Amazon: Amazon’s platform powers some of the largest websites. When you hear of a problem with AWS (Amazon Web Services), you hear about major websites going down, from established giants like Netflix to growing startups like Quora. There are certainly advantages to allowing Amazon to do the heavy lifting for your business, but becoming too heavily invested in a single provider creates other issues, such as vulnerability to their terms, pricing, technological changes, and downtime. That’s why companies like Twitter and Zynga are increasing investment in their own data centers to support their mission-critical operations and limit exposure to OPP.
- Apple: Many online businesses also use their vendor as their primary distribution channel, creating increased platform risk. If Apple decides to change its rules for apps, your business may suddenly be at risk if the company rejects your feature. Or, it may decide to incorporate your feature into its platform — suddenly, your business is obsolete.
- Facebook: With Facebook updating its policies and updating its layout regularly, it’s becoming harder to adapt to the evolving platform changes. Again, Zynga is expanding outside Facebook to further reduce its reliance on OPP. Like Apple, Facebook takes a 70/30 split on sales through its platform, but 30 percent is significantly more than the 2-4 percent in processing fees you’d pay if selling through your own website.
- Google: Everyone wants to be at the top of Google’s search results because it’s free advertising. To a small business, that free advertising can be a significant driver of revenue. However, being too heavily reliant on Google can be devastating when it makes an algorithm change — just ask the small businesses who were affected by the recent Penguin algorithm update.
Why Digg failed
When I asked Phil Simon about Digg, he said, “I wouldn’t say that Digg failed ‘as a platform’ because I’m not entirely convinced that it ever was one. They made two fundamental mistakes: their improvements weren’t innovative enough, and companies like Twitter and Facebook more or less co-opted Digg. In 2004, the idea of doing one thing on one site made sense; but in the Age of the Platform, people no longer want to use single-purpose sites as much as all-encompassing platforms.”
Digg never became a critical tool in the arsenal of its customers in the same way the Gang of Four have. It wasn’t a platform customers relied upon for critical needs, and so its disappearance caused no pain to anyone but its VCs.
Why Instagram was different
While Instagram leveraged the Gang of Four, it became its own social platform in the process, with people relying on it to power their photo sharing experiences. Certainly Instagram’s growth wouldn’t have been as explosive if it wasn’t for OPP, but it still controlled its own destiny and caused a rushed acquisition to thwart the hugh threat to Facebook.
You don’t need to build a massive global platform to succeed, but you will need to do two things: limit your exposure to OPP, and become your own platform.
Your website, your platform
Unfortunately, small businesses still have the mentality that a website is just for marketing, when in fact, your website can become a vital tool in your arsenal and serve as the launching platform to scale your business while limiting exposure to OPP. But if your website is not a critical part of your operation, then it’s not a platform and can’t be sufficiently leveraged to scale your business — yet.
Regardless of how popular OPP become, your website can be the platform upon which you can control your own destiny. With the least exposure to external forces, ultimately, your website can be the foundation upon which you build all other services — including mobile applications. Plus, wouldn’t it be cool to have people build on top of your platform, and make it so they can’t survive without it?
Take the first step: define the critical operations of your business, then start planning a website platform around them.
Mark Cenicola is the President and CEO BannerView.com and the author of “The Banner Brand: Small Business Success Comes from a BannerBrand, Build it on a Budget.”
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization composed of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.
Image via kirainet/Flickr
Filed under: Entrepreneur
Earlier this summer, a technology company executive suggested I look into “lean and agile development.” Seeing a parallel between our work environments, he thought it might help me improve the way I make work. I’ve been intrigued by the idea ever since, but I probably need to read a book about it to get a fuller understanding. Feel free to suggest one, or to leave a detailed comment here.
According to Wikipedia, lean development can be summarized by seven principles, very close in concept to lean manufacturing principles:
- Eliminate waste
- Amplify learning
- Decide as late as possible
- Deliver as fast as possible
- Empower the team
- Build integrity in
- See the whole
Sounds like a productive framework. If advertising agencies merely “eliminated waste,” a marked improvement would be realized. In an interesting twist, The Google is now pushing its own “Agile Creativity” playbook on friendly agency personnel.
According to Rupal Parekh at Ad Age, the playbook recommends to agencies a revamp of the way account and creative teams are structured and operate, a focus on rethinking how agency creative briefs are written, and embracing tight deadlines (with a suggestion that companies should always operate in “hackathon mode”).
AKQA, 72andSunny, BBH and Big Spaceship, as well as Deutsch, Arnold, TBWA/Chiat/Day and DeepLocal are some of the agencies Google is pitching “agile” to. The man on the mound is former CEO of Enfatico, Torrence Boone.
Mr. Boone told Ad Age, “We’ve been ramping up our efforts to engage with creative agencies upstream — in some cases before the brief is written — so we maximize the possibilities unlocked by the intersection of creativity and technology.” In other words, The Google and all its data is complicated shit. Thus, the need for a series of discussions/tutorials.
George Parker of Adscam reminds us that Boone formally led “the biggest fucking disaster in WPP history.” That may be, but can’t a guy recover from a wipeout?
Now, getting ad agency leaders to embrace concepts like “build integrity in” and “see the whole,” that could be an arduous and lengthy climb.
It’s fun to talk about compensation. It’s taboo, for one. Secondly, it’s a game of measuring up — a game we’ve been taught to play since adolescence. So, let’s jump on the new hourly billing rates for ad execs, made available by Rupal Parekh at Ad Age.
One item that caught my eye is agencies in the 4A’s survey bill out their content directors at $355/hour. I was a content director for an agency not belonging to the esteemed 4A’s, and I believe they billed me out at a slightly lower rate than that. Now that I’m freelance, I work for a fraction of the 4A’s norm. This fact is not represented in the 4A’s survey, nor anyone else’s survey.
Parekh notes that the numbers provided represent “suggested retail price” established by the agencies, and that the hourly billing rates are “fully-loaded,” including overhead and other costs.
Yes, but that does nothing for the steepness. For example, New York-based chief creative officers bill out at $637 an hour. Which means the hour cab ride from Manhattan to JFK costs the client the same as the hour of actual concentration given to the marketing problem at hand. For this and other reasons, hourly billing simply isn’t the right model for the ad business. Hourly billing also will never accurately reflect the value of the hour billed. The cab ride to JFK may be the breakthrough moment that leads to massive sales and future earnings for the client, but that hour is indistinguishable from any other. The breakthrough hour might be worth a million dollars, or more. Whereas all the meetings, lunches, and other time sucks that a CCO logs is actually worth much less than $637/hour.
Speaking from experience, I also find it difficult to measure precisely just how many hours I work on a project. You have to be diligent and keep track everyday, but even then there’s so much gray area to cover. I like to make note of my most productive hours and put those down, but what about the non-productive hours that I spend on the client’s business? Those non-productive hours are important too, because they often lead to discoveries made later in the day.
Clearly, my preference is for project-based pricing, which comes with a built-in incentive to work efficiently — something totaling lacking from the hourly model.
Jonah Sachs, story expert, filmmakter and co-founder of Free Range Studios, whose stories have taken top honors three times at the South by Southwest Film Festival joins Anna Farmery for this weeks Engaging Brand podcast
Jonah’s work and opinions have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Sundance Film Festival, NPR and in FastCompany Magazine who named him one of the 50 most influential social innovators and he joins Anna Farmery to discuss Winning The Story Wars
- How to get heard and how to contribute to a better society
- How the 1960′s brought the need for stories in marketing…but what is different now in the digital era?
- The role of the hero’s story in marketing
- Do stories inspire us to think differently or do stories show us the way to how we feel?
- How to tell a story to engage people
- Is a You Tube video a progression of the voice (oral) era or the broadcast era? Has digital got that personal aspect which broadcast didn’t?
- The role of conflict in stories and the role of conflict in winning the branding wars
- How you need a powerful vision to win the story war….stories need a vision, brands need a vision
- How brands are a reflection of the company, and a reflection of the consumer
- Do brands need to be hero, villain or conflict?
- How you balance telling the truth and inspiring people in marketing.
How you can listen to The Engaging Brand
1) You can listen on your PC now without downloading any software just click hear to listen to the latest marketing podcast
2) You can subscribe to the show via iTunes or
3) If you use a different podcatcher then you can subscribe using the following RSS Feed
Afgelopen weekend tweette Rebekah Cox, een product designer bij Quora, het volgende bericht: “The first company to fully execute on embedding your identity into your phone (making a truly first class experience) wins the next decade.” Haar tweet werd al snel opgepikt en er ontstond een discussie omtrent de inhoud. Had Rebekah gelijk of niet? Lees meer
Most everything we look at in the marketing realm is linear.
We’ll look at things like mobile adoption and it’s always with a linear perspective. It wasn’t too long ago that several brain trusts were telling me that smartphone adoption was at 28% one year and expected to grow to around 32% the following year. Sigh. Linear growth. We’re quickly entering the world of exponential growth and it’s something that few of us are prepared for. One of the clearest explanations of exponential versus linear growth came to me courtesy of a presentation that I saw from Ray Kurzweil (futurist and author of books like The Age of Intelligent Machines and The Singularity Is Near, to name a few). He was talking about the intersection of biology and technology and how once we discovered how to map only one percent of the human genome that we were, basically, at close to one hundred percent. That first one perfect is always the hardest part, but then exponential growth starts kicking in (for myriad of reasons) and stuff starts to boogie.
Most everything we look at in the marketing realm will need to be exponential.
MediaPost had a news item yesterday titled, iPad Sales Are Driving Massive Tablet Growth. From the article: "According to IDC‘s Quarterly Media Tablet Tracker, 25 million units shipped in Q2 – a 33.6% increase from the previous quarter’s 18.7 million and 66.2% over the same period in 2011." Those are exponential numbers, people. Let’s not forget that Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPad in March 2010 (that wasn’t all that long ago). It’s not just tablets, either. Look closely at the rate of adoption for things like smartphones and e-readers and you start seeing this type of exponential behavior everywhere.
Marketing needs to become an exponential business.
Shifting back to tablet talk, this is just the beginning. Google is getting aggressive with their Android-based tablets. As is Microsoft, Amazon and a bunch of other hardware manufacturers (Acer, Samsung, etc…). The rumor mills are spinning with word that Apple is going to launch a 7-inch version of the iPad shortly as well (to compete with the others in terms of form factor and price). On top of that, there is a very healthy app ecosystem at play here that is only beginning to unlock the power of everything you can do with touch on a larger screen that couldn’t be done on a PC or a smartphone. Exponential growth. Exponential opportunity. Exponential new ways to think about marketing.
It’s exciting, isn’t it?
It probably is exciting for you and me. But, let’s face it: most brands are woefully unprepared. They’re thinking that the market is still too small, not significant or worth the cost of jumping in with both feet. This is classic. They’re thinking about ways to make their websites and mobile sites tabloid-friendly. In that, they are completely missing the mark. This is exponential growth and it’s happening right under our noses. Being prepared isn’t going to be about a two-year outlook (don’t believe me? Please go back to the top of this blog post and re-read those iPad stats courtesy of MediaPost). Instead of waiting for things to happen, the biggest opportunity facing marketers today is shifting from a linear analytics mindset into an exponential one. Yes, it’s an overwhelming and daunting challenge, but let me ask you this:
What choice do we have?
(US) Baldwin& is dit jaar Advertising Age’s Small Agency of the Year.
Last year when YouTube announced that they’d be investing in original content and rolling out a slew of original channels nobody knew what to expect. Six months later, 100 new channels have been launched and while articles have been written about how YouTube original programming experiment has been going, there has been no really good way to track these channels’ successes and failures…until now.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Our sister site, Digital Marketing Depot, is hosting a webcast on Thursday, August 2 that will help marketers better understand how to develop a strategic link-building plan — particularly in light of recent changes in Google’s algorithms. “Strategic Link Building Strategy in the…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Today Facebook begins the roll out of “Page Post Targeting Enhanced” allowing Pages to target their posts to segments of fans with certain genders, ages, and other characteristics so they can tailor market messages to specific audiences. For example, a business could tell teens they’ve got “swag” while telling adults they’re “reputable”.
Until now, Facebook Pages could only target posts to fans of certain location and languages, but the social network just told some admins that the new targeting options are opening to a select number of Pages today and will roll out to all Pages over the next few weeks. The tool could make Pages even more useful to marketers and convince them to pay for ads to buy additional fans.
The news comes from a member of a closed Facebook group for social marketers, who wrote that he received the following info from Facebook:
“Page Post Targeting Enhanced
Today, we will start rolling out an enhanced version of Page Post Targeting to a small percentage of Page Admins. Over the next few weeks, this will become available to all pages. With this new feature, Pages can now target their posts to certain fans in the news feed who meet specific criteria such as age, gender, location, language, etc.
All content will still remain on the Page since this is the only way to allow friends of engaged fans who don’t meet the targeting criteria to see viral stories (i.e. David likes a post.. )”
We’re waiting for more details from Facebook about exactly which other characteristics will be targetable, such as work history, home town, or most importantly, interests / Likes.
Page Post Targeting Enhanced will let Pages publish different content to different fans, or word their marketing messages differently to maximize relevance. That could translate into more traffic and awareness driven, and lead marketers to become even more dependent on Facebook.