Archive for the ‘Death’ tag
It’s a great blog headline that will get a lot of attention, right?
The Harvard Business Review had a blog post today titled, Marketing Is Dead, written by Bill Lee. Beyond the irony that Lee used a traditional marketing tactic (solid copywriting) to illicit a stream of actions that have made this link incredibly popular (thus debunking his own thesis), once again we’re in a world where definitions and explanations get confused. If I can understand what Lee is saying (and it’s not very clear), it sounds like he is saying that traditional advertising is dead (as we have known it to date). This is what the article says: "Traditional marketing – including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications – is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear." To add some clarity, marketing isn’t dead – according to Lee – but advertising is dead. For the record, that’s not a semantic error. Marketing (which encompasses everything from product, price, place and promotion) is not only alive and well… it’s core to a business’ success. In short marketing isn’t dead. Marketing is everything.
On death and dying…
It’s less of a red herring and much more of a chicken little to make the claim that marketing is dead. In fact, I would tell Mr. Lee, the Harvard Business Review, and anyone else who asks that advertising (as we have known it to date) is not dying. In fact, it’s not on life-support, it’s not sick, and it probably doesn’t even have the sniffles. Does that mean that social media and digital media has not disrupted the model or added new layers and opportunities? Of course it has. Does it mean that newer components like community management, engaging influencers, building social capital with customers, and engaging with consumers in more collaborative ways (the four core pillars that Lee argues have put the death knell on traditional marketing) hasn’t changed the game? Of course it has.
Not all brands are social. Not all companies need it.
I’m not raging against the machine because I think that traditional advertising offers more opportunity than any of the solutions that Lee prescribes. I am saying that advertising – as a way of informing the masses about a product or service – is not only relevant, it will continue to be an integral component of all strategic marketing campaigns. In short: everything is "with" not "instead of."
Who cares about breakfast cereal?
You are a consumer packaged goods giant. You sell 48 different kinds of cereal. One of your bran-based cereals is coming out with a new flavor (maybe it has less sugar in it, maybe you’re adding dried blueberries to the mix). How are you going to inform the mass populous about it? Community managers going everywhere and anywhere on Facebook that health nuts hang out? You’re going to get customers super-interested in liking and friending your brand because they spend five bucks a month on a box of cereal? You’re going to engage customers and have them crowdsource the next update to your 300-year-old product?
Who are we kidding?
Does anyone care that much about their breakfast cereal? Advertising is a catalyst to inform. There are other angles (direct response, engagement, brand narrative, etc…), but it still acts as an amazing (and cost-effective) way to tell the masses that you have something new to say. We may not like the ads that the brand puts out there. We may not like the repetition or placement of where some of these messages appear, but don’t kid yourself into thinking that advertising is no longer a powerful way for a brand to buy their way into the zeitgeist.
More choices and a lack of scarcity doesn’t change that.
Beyond the four areas that the Harvard Business Review blog post outlines as the "next generation" of marketing services, we can’t forget that the more media choices we create (and we’ve been creating it by the tonnage) reduces the scarcity (or value) of an ad. That part is, without question, a reality. Advertising was a scarcity model and we live in a world where ads can (and do) go everywhere. That being said, there is still scarcity (there are only so many slots available if you want to buy an ad on the Super Bowl or the homepage of The Huffington Post). Is the value still there? Has the value model changed? Without a doubt. Still, if you want to inform a large audience about your brand, advertising is still very much alive (as is marketing, thank you very much). Saying that marketing is dead is like saying that product development is dead and that branding is dead. It may get a lot of clicks, but there’s no substance or truth behind it.
What do you think? Is marketing dead?
Forbes has a story, which Google confirmed on Google+ of a new benefit that makes me go absolutely wow.
If a Google employee passes away while employed at Google, Google will continue to pay the family 50% of the Googlers salary for ten years…
If a Google employee passes away while employed at Google, Google will continue to pay the family 50% of the Googlers salary for ten years!
Forbes wrote, “Should a U.S. Googler pass away while under the employ of the 14-year old search giant, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for the next decade.”
Are there eligibility requirements? It seems like if you start the job at Google tomorrow and die the next day, your family is still eligible.
More so, Google told Forbes surviving spouses will see all stocks vested immediately and any children will receive a $1,000 monthly payment from the company until they reach the age of 19 (or 23 if the child is a full-time student).
Google confirmed it saying:
Forbes talks to Laszlo Bock, our VP of People Operations, about the philosophy behind the perks we provide for our employees and one of the newest benefits, which support employees’ families in the event of their death.
Forum discussion at Google+.
In a recent Forbes article, the the popular, SEO is Dead / Death of SEO topic took center stage. The article highlighted how questionable SEO tactics (particularly for link building) will no longer be valid. Marketers need to focus on creating truly great content, which in turn earns the right to…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris and Wieden + Kennedy New York celebrate sport fans and life & death above and beyond them. For some people sport is such a big part of their lives, that they want their favorite teams to be part of their send off too.
This 8 minutes short documentary, a bit in a Six Feet Under style, beautifully shot and edited tells the stories of some hard core sports fan in the US. It’s not necessarily fun to watch, but it definitely provides a great insight on passion that might last forever.
“People say when you’re a fan, you’re a fan for life. But that may be a little shortsighted.”
Millions of seals all over the world are literally being clubbed, trapped, shot and whatever the heck else’d to death for their fat and flesh. It’s sad and it has to stop, so to help, Jung Von Matt in Germany created an innovative, interactive billboard to raise awareness.
Essentially passerbys were encouraged to throw coins at a magnetized billboard to cover up the image of the seal killer. Coins were collected and the process starts again.
Just another example of outdoor stepping up a notch!
I’ve decided to write a book about the financial services industry. Surely, Brett King must be tired of traveling around the world every week, speaking at conferences about Bank 2.0. The poor man has small children, for g*d’s sake. I just nominated myself to take his place.
Here’s a sneak preview of the book:
Ctrl-Alt-FinServ: Rebooting the Financial Services Industry for the 21st Century
by Ron Shevlin
That’s all I’ve got so far. I’ve got no book, and it’s breaking my heart. But I’ve got a title, and that’s a start.
The book will be about three things: Economics, Technology, and Demographics — and most importantly, the intersection of those three forces.
Here’s why the intersection is so important: Technologies that could drive significant (I hate to use the word “fundamental”) change in financial services have been around, and in development for the past 15 years. Yet, the industry really hasn’t gone through any “fundamental” transformation (despite the years of blathering from technology vendors and consultants).
Why not? Because the other two forces weren’t in alignment. About nine years ago, I wrote a report asserting that FIs that were perceived as doing what’s right for their customers and not just their own bottom line–I called it customer advocacy, you can call it trust–would have the most loyal customers, and be the most successful in the market.
I got a fair degree of pushback from a lot of bankers at large banks, who asked–quite understandably–why they should change what they’re doing when they were making money hand over fist.
Advocating a shift away from branch and call center investments to online (and, heaven forbid, mobile) technologies just didn’t jive with the fact that in 2003, the oldest Gen Yers were barely in their 20s, and hardly a force driving demand for financial products and services.
In other words, although the technologies were in place (or could be in place with some investment), the economics of the industry, and the demographics of the consumer base forced the status quo.
I’ve been a consultant for the better part of the past 25 years, and I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of really good senior executives from a range of companies and industries. One of the things I’ve observed is that good ones are able to take a broader view (i.e. longer term, both in terms of looking back as well as looking ahead) of what’s happening in their market.
While the young hotshots all proclaim the death of this and the death of that, the seasoned execs know that business cycles go up and down. They also know that although technology is constantly changing, and that they have to keep up with those changes, that technology change in and of itself does not mean fundamental structural change to their industry.
Sometimes it does. I wouldn’t have wanted to be an exec at Polaroid in the mid-80s.
But for the past 20 years, despite all the calls for the transformation of financial services, it hasn’t happened. And it hasn’t happened because the three forces weren’t aligned.
Increasingly, a lot of the smart financial services people I talk to feel like maybe–just maybe–those three forces are becoming aligned.
The advent of mobile technologies, the assault on the economics of the industry on the part of government, and the emergence of a new, sufficiently-large generation (sorry, Gen Xers, you just weren’t that large of a generation) may be the impetus required to turn today’s banks into Polaroid.
Here’s what I anticipate the premise of the book to be about: 1) Economics. It isn’t enough for FIs to be “more transparent” or “improve usability”, etc. It’s going to require new business models. The existing business model: Discrete deposit and credit products that generate revenue for FIs through “penalties” isn’t sustainable. The fees that consumers pay must be in line with the value they receive. 2) Technology. Maybe I’ll devote a page to social media. But the real story is mobile. Today, many people talk about mobile as a new channel. But it isn’t really a new, discrete channel. It combines voice, online, video, and wholly new capabilities. That’s the real story. 3) Demographics. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like Gen Yers are into the 20th minute of their 15 minutes of fame. Time to look past the Gen Yers to see what’s next.
OK, I got a book to write. Nobody steal my title. And move over, Brett.
Here's a fun competitive niche: An upstate New York roaster has created what it calls "the world's strongest coffee," an eco-friendly gourmet brew with 200% more caffeine than the average dark roast. Death Wish Coffee bills itself as "the responsible coffee company with an irresponsible product." This Jolt cola of java, available for $19.99 per pound online, is the result of a personal quest by the brand founders "to find a coffee that is not only dark, rich, bold and flavorful but also has high caffeine content." As most coffee nerds know, dark-roasted premium coffees from Starbucks and other gourmet coffeehouses typically have less caffeine than lighter and cheaper swill served up at late-night diners. That's because the best-tasting Arabica beans are lower in caffeine than the cheaper and comparatively foul option, Robusta beans. Then Arabica beans are roasted until dark, cooking out quite a bit of caffeine in the process. But Death Wish Coffee claims to have solved the problem with an Arabica roast that's organic, fairly traded and shade grown. How did they do it? They're not saying. But reviews from buzz-hunting coffee connoisseurs seem highly positive, and there's a "110% money back guarantee," so if you can't afford daily adrenaline shots through your sternum, you might as well try brewing up a batch of this stuff.
Here's a fun competitive niche: An upstate New York roaster has created what it calls "the world's strongest coffee," an eco-friendly gourmet brew with 200% more caffeine than the average dark roast. Death Wish Coffee bills itself as "the responsible coffee company with an irresponsible product." This Jolt Cola of java, available for $19.99 per pound online, is the result of a personal quest by the brand founders "to find a coffee that is not only dark, rich, bold and flavorful but also has high caffeine content." As most coffee nerds know, dark-roasted premium coffees from Starbucks and other gourmet coffeehouses typically have less caffeine than lighter and cheaper swill served up at late-night diners. That's because the best-tasting Arabica beans are lower in caffeine than the cheaper and comparatively foul option, Robusta beans. Then Arabica beans are roasted until dark, cooking out quite a bit of caffeine in the process. But Death Wish Coffee claims to have solved the problem with a dark Arabica roast that's organic, fairly traded and shade grown. How did they do it? They're not saying. But reviews from buzz-hunting coffee connoisseurs seem highly positive, and there's a "110% money back guarantee," so if you can't afford daily adrenaline shots through your sternum, you might as well try brewing up a batch of this stuff.
Cancellation is almost always a death sentence for a television show. Some are revived decades later, like the 80’s soap opera Dallas, which was reborn with a handful of original cast members this past June, but most live in our hearts, minds, and in DVD box sets.
Arrested Development, which was cancelled in 2006, has cheated death. In a brilliant and telling move, Netflix, an on-demand and streaming media provider, has breathed new life in the show by signing it on for a new season to air exclusively on the company’s service. With a subscription, Arrested Development fans will be able to watch the entire new fourth season (ten episodes), which will be released all at once in 2013. Netflix also offers the first three seasons for those who can’t get enough of the Bluth family—a smart move to hook old fans again, by revisiting their favorite episodes.
This unprecedented move gives us a glimpse into what the future of television programming might hold. Are we at a place where consumers can escape the iron fist of cable and satellite TV providers and watch what they want, when they want, for a fraction of the cost? We’ve already peeked into the future of automobile advertising. What’s in store for our entertainment needs? Will on-demand and streaming services beat out the old guard of cable and satellite?
“You Still Pay for Cable?”
In a world where on-demand media is quickly sneaking up on the cable and satellite TV industry, Netflix has taken a giant leap toward the video entertainment paradigm of the future: television served up exclusively on demand.
Just as MP3s have changed how we buy and consume music, it’s becoming easier and easier for audiences to watch their favorite shows at a fraction of the cost of cable or satellite television. In the same way that CD stores have all but disappeared to make way for iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and the like, isn’t it inevitable that cable and satellite TV will disappear as well? Should cable and satellite providers start to worry?
Peering into the Now
I’m not looking into a crystal ball. The technology to ditch cable and still be able to watch endless amounts of programming is already here. Early adopters have embraced streaming and downloadable media all the way to the bank.
Services like iTunes, Netflix, HuluPlus and Amazon Instant Video have provided consumers with movies and TV series at their fingertips. Netflix and HuluPlus are subscription-based, both priced at $7.99 per month for unlimited access to movies, current and past TV shows and original programming. iTunes and Amazon offer instant downloads of individual movies and TV show episodes, as well as subscriptions to full show seasons.
All of these services are available on the web, but most are also available on tablets and smartphones, plus a variety of other Internet connected TVs, Blu-ray DVD players and gaming systems, which allow consumers to watch the programming right on their TVs.
Stand-alone devices like AppleTV and Roku connect to your television and provide access to services like iTunes, Netflix, and HuluPlus, as well as your subscriptions to dozens of other popular media channels. Making things even easier, AppleTV customers can subscribe to services like Netflix and MLB.tv directly on their AppleTV devices using their iTunes accounts—no need for separate bills.
They Won’t Go Down Without a Fight, But They’ll Go Down
Cable and satellite television providers certainly won’t go down without a fight. Dish Network offers the Blockbuster streaming service (Dish bought Blockbuster in 2011) and the Hopper, their ad-skipping DVR. It’s also quite possible that cable providers could add the streaming services to their set top boxes in the same way that gaming devices do. Cable provider Comcast’s OnDemand service recently introduced StreamPix, a Netflix-esque service, for customers. But judging by history, the next big thing in innovation is rarely an enhancement of an existing technology. Henry Ford didn’t waste his time trying to make horses go faster. He built the Model T instead. It’s unlikely that cable and satellite providers will be able to offer on-demand and streaming capabilities alongside their current channel lineups at a price point that even comes close to the streaming/on-demand model. I just don’t see audiences in five years still adhering to their cable company’s programming schedules, pricing and poor customer service.
In the post-advertising age, the audience expects control. They don’t like to be interrupted, held hostage, or told what to consume. The provider limitations are becoming increasingly less acceptable as consumers begin to explore other entertainment platforms.
Even 5-10 years ago, cable and satellite TV were the only options. It was an either/or proposition. On-demand and streaming services have disrupted this model, giving audiences the ability to watch the content they want, when then want, at a price point that makes sense. Most consumers still have cable, but they are peering over the fence, to a field of green grass and considering a switch.
Have you dropped cable or satellite for on-demand or streaming services? What has been your experience? Would you consider going back?