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Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category

Transmedia & Convergence Culture

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

from on .

Last week I spent some quality time researching and learning more about the concepts of transmedia storytelling and convergence as it relates to marketing, advertising, and content authenticity. I came across this video of , the director of MIT’s Comparative Media program and author of , and in it he succinctly explains the impact of transmedia on our culture, and ultimately on how we engage/create/distribute information. Essentially, the convergence of technologies and cultures is creating a new media landscape. Jenkins not so subtly relates that we are at a paradigmatic moment, one where an old form of media is dying at the hands of the new. To his point, the old media is one where storytelling has been held and controlled by big corporations who leverage arcane revenue models for distribution, and the challenge from new media is by contrast diffuse, networked, and empowering of the individual and democratizing of the story. This is happening in news, advertising, movies… it is happening everywhere. I love this stuff, this change happening right before our eyes. The video is brief, but dense with ideas and articulation. Jenkins is also great at putting some memorable statements out there. Like this one:

“George Orwell imagined a world where Big Brother is watching us. We, instead, with little cellphone cameras are watching Big Brother every moment of the day.”

Henry Jenkins, Director of Comparative Media Studies at MIT

What is The Future of Business Development?

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

radar as BDRadar

I have spent much time over the last few months digging deep into the business processes that support business development management. I was surprised to learn just how prime this space is for innovation as so many of the “accepted practices” utilized by people focused on business development for their organizations are arcane, inefficient, and lacking the advantage of effective supporting technology. There seems to be limited discussion and effort focused on “next practices” in this area, which is itself a tremendous opportunity. Glaringly, one commonality I have observed is the struggle by the business development community to force CRM tools to work in support of their efforts. Universally, I have heard of much pain around this effort. Another commonality is a belief in the power of social media and open networking, but limited knowledge or experience in how to do this effectively.

This all compels me to  propose the development of “business development radar” (BDRadar) as a tool that truly supports business development management (or BDM), and that integrates a priority set of functionality in support of open networking/marketing/business development goals. A tool that is accessible via the web, and is perfectly designed for easy use on mobile devices, that is cost effective for the soloist, independent, or smaller organization that realize the value of collaborative networking,  and that seeks an alternative to the limitations of a closed enterprise tool. Essentially, a tool that can surface business intelligence, visual network maps, and patterns whenever and wherever we need it, and that is seamlessly integrated into the networking and business development workflow. From one unified interface, a tool that provides:

- Open, collaborative network mapping
- Custom profile building with selective sharing
- Intuitive filtering and sorting
- Concise management of next actions with automated minding
- Unified contact management integrated with tools already in use
- Support of open networking/social CRM/CRM 2.0

No, LinkedIn does not do this.

The key differentiator from closed network CRM tools is that BDRadar would be designed at its core to support the open networker, and enables the creation of massive, mapped, searchable collaborative networks. It would support co-marketing and collaborative networking opportunities in support of business goals outside of the organizational firewall. I strongly believe that this is the future of business development, and to my knowledge the tool to support this does not yet exist. Driving the need for this BDRadar are critical key obsessions, and competitive necessities for business development professionals and marketers:

- Effectively determining context of opportunity
- Freshness of information
- Speed to intelligence

I have explored an endless array of tools to support and automate the addressing of these obsessions. What is required is an open tool that not only manages information, but that can recognize the patterns that identify opportunity, and supports the sometimes collaborative liberation of that opportunity into real business with individuals and teams outside of your organization. I’ve cobbled together a series of mostly freemium tools that I maintain. Tools that automate contact management, opportunity profiling, social media search, and network mapping. These work, but the inefficiency of moving between different interfaces, difficulty in easily sharing information, and the lack of integration compels us to create a better solution, to design something that REALLY works, and that we can easily share with others.

Stay tuned.

More Talk on The Demise of Advertising…

Sunday, May 24th, 2009


It’s fun to talk about the death of advertising (or anything perceived to be old, unchanging and stodgy), and everybody seems to be doing it. It’s true that advertising faces serious challenges. And yet, advertising’s not going away any time soon, if at all, though it is going through pretty interesting changes. Some of these are driven by technology, and others driven by the changed habits of consumers… which may also be driven by technology. But isn’t everything right now? It would seem that creative destruction has been unleashed on a broad range of industries for a dizzying diverse number of reasons. A common and consistent reason for this, though, is forgetting who your customer is and what they want. This would be despite the array of incredible tools now at our disposal to make this an incredibly easy thing to do, to stay connected to our customers. This is doubly true for advertising, and the cartoon above from Hugh McLeod (a favorite of mine), sums this up rather nicely. Add to this the very interesting presentation below from :

View more from .

From the slides above, a prescient quote from Jim Stengal, Global Marketing Officer at P&G, from last year:

“Today’s marketing model is broken. We’re applying antiquated thinking and work systems to a new world of possibilities.”

Actually, , CEO of , just wrote a nice article for AdWeek, , that gets to the heart of this. In it, Tim says:

“There will, of course, continue to be times and places where iconic, one-way messaging make sense — like bringing out the fine china for a special meal. But these instances (e.g., the Super Bowl), are increasingly rare and increasingly expensive. The real challenge facing one-way, brand-centric, non-conversational advertising is its focus on making the perfect presentation. The perfection model benefitted from very limited media outlets. Advertisers essentially spent money to guarantee craft, which theoretically helped a message stand out amidst the clutter. That formula had limits. Until now, marketing tools have existed in just two dimensions — words and images — sometimes in motion, sometimes with audio, always focused in a singular direction at the consumer.

Then someone invented the Internet. And Search. Quite suddenly, brands were no longer solely in power. The audience is in control. Media fragments. Most important, words and images are joined by a third dimension — technology — and now the marketplace flows in two directions instead of one.”

I happen to know of more than a few marketing/advertising firms that understand the terrain on which they navigate. As a result they happen to be doing quite well.

About Community, By The Community

Friday, February 6th, 2009

View more from . (tags: )

This slide show is a presentation that was actually crowdsourced by (you can get the background at his site) about online communities, a truly excellent and inspired idea. Neil gave this presentation at a conference yesterday, and set it up like this:

“Almost everything I’ve learnt about how online communities work have come from being part of one, so I figured it would be best if I let them tell you how it all works…. So I put a post up on my blog asking people to contribute one slide on what they felt was important. Within 2 days, I had almost 30 slides from planners, digital specialists, strategists, researchers – some of the most reknowned thinkers in social media strategy. So these are mainly their words, not mine – I’ve added my own slides for the sake of context and cohesion but these are the words of the community, so as I go through please note the credits at the bottom of the slides.”

And the result… well, it’s pretty damn cool. Check it out.

Culture, Authenticity, and

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Via the excellent project , comes this great interview with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Tony and his company are something of a legend, and for all the right reasons. This has been accentuated by how visible, transparent, genuine, and communicative they are with a growing audience of advocates, adherants, and devoted customers. Call it “marketing 2.0″, or whatever you want, but totally gets it. Additionally, Tony and his team have demonstrated an incredible ability to take the challenges faced by all organizations and address them in ways that may look easy to the rest of us, but they most definitely are not. In particular is Hsieh’s focus on the creation of a dynamic and incredibly successful company culture, and how this has helped focus his organization on truly excellent customer service. A few great quote from Hsieh in the video above:

“If we get the culture right, then the other stuff like building a brand or great customer service will happen naturally on its own.”

“Culture is our number one priority.”

“We hire for attitude and culture fit. We believe the skills are something we can teach.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO at Zappos

For anybody tasked with building and leading a team or running an organization this is incredibly valuable perspective. In many, many cases the art of hiring for attitude and fit can far surpass the value of focusing recruitment around expertise, and result in a company culture that is strong and unified in the face of challenges presented to the company.

David Armano On Thinking Visually

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

View SlideShare or your own. (tags: )

An excellent presentation put together by David Armano , whom I have really enjoyed following both via his blog and on Twitter. Armano has tremendous insight into a whole range of subject matter, but is especially adept at offering valuable thinking at the intersection of design, technology, and marketing.

Armano’s advocacy for thinking visually, and his seemingly tireless work in putting new ideas around this out to his community, is a great thing. As he puts it:

“Effective communication is everyone’s job—whether you are trying to sell in a concept or convince a client. Visual Thinking can help us take in complex information and synthesize it into something meaningful. In an increasingly fragmented and cluttered world, simple imagery, metaphors and mindmaps can get people to understand the abstract and make your ideas tangible. Find out why why thinking visually may be one of the most sought after abilities of the 21st century.”

David Armano

It is also very interesting to have come across this presentation about an hour after reading the wonderful article in fast company about .

Discovery Is a Narcotic. In a Good Way.

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

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Why yes, yes it is. I would be one absolutely addicted to discovery. It’s also something we discuss often at work in an effort to always challenge our concepts of user experience and how design is revealed through that experience. Above is an interesting presentation from the folks at that gets to the heart of this. I came across Mr. Tweet through . You’ve probably heard of Twitter, but by way of overview it is an online service that allows you to connect and follow a diverse audience of people. A Tweet on Twitter is as simple as answering the question “What are you doing right now.” Some people use it to talk about what they’re making for dinner, others use it as a hardcore marketing tool, one that facilitates and enhances connection, conversation, and authenticity. For everybody, though, Twitter is very much about the surprise of discovering new ideas, people, shared interests, and answers to questions that might range from the mundane to the immensely interesting:

“Discovery is less about predicting precisely right about what the user wants. It is more about the userflow of discovery, with all of the hits and misses.”

Mr. Tweet (from 2008 SXSW presentation)

Seth Godin: Leadership is The New Marketing

Friday, December 26th, 2008

A nice interview with Seth Godin on , a project that I have written about before. Seth does not disappoint with his perspective on a number of things, but perhaps most importantly his very simple three-part philosophy:

  1. Treat people with respect.
  2. Customers have more power than ever.
  3. Great ideas spread.

Seth goes on to say that when you put these three things together you realize that leadership is the new marketing and that leading and connecting people has replaced the traditional notion of marketing, that of product placement and messaging. He also points us to the reality that we are in the midst of an industrial revolution, of sorts, with a multitude of components that are focused on very effectively and efficiently connecting people to ideas. This has changed everything around us, and people who are succeeding in this revolution are seeing how this connection can be the foundation of new businesses. Game changing stuff. Again.

10 Things: The Power of The Network

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

I was excited to find David Cushman’s self-published book . It’s available on Lulu as a downloadable PDF for only $.84, which is an excellent bargain given the density of insights and provocative ideas that Cushman packs into its 98 pages. Cushman also authors the blog , from which much of the content for the book emanated, it being a compendium of Cushman’s writings from over the last year or so, writings on the future of advertising, online networks, the death of broadcast media, and the power of . He succinctly ties together a wide range of ideas we’re all writing and thinking about in various ways, and he does so in a way that very directly points us to the future. As he says on his about page: “The further ahead you look, the faster you go.” That’s a lesson he picked up from motorcycling, and one I can appreciate given my own penchant for racing, motorcycles, and change.

Below are 10 Things from The Power of The Network by David Cushman:

  1. The Death of Death: At the heart of the networked world is conversation, and conversation is “at the intersection of ideas, the driver of value of the network… The digital world is not about death. It is about life… The evolution has begun.”
  2. Don’t Just Witness The Network: If we sit still we are in the midst of witnessing some of the biggest changes since the industrial revolution. But it’s different this time because we can participate, we can all “engage with self-forming communities of (global) niche shared interest (purpose).”
  3. How to Go Viral: 1. Speak in an authentic voice. 2. Lose the TV envy. 3. Give people the tools to make their own. 4. Don’t bother with urls, links or ‘brand messages.’
  4. Communities of Purpose: Leveraging , Cushman points us to two important caveats, that real value is only created by communities of purpose, and this value is best enabled by synchronous response. He then points out that the gap between Reed’s Law and reality is navigation and discovery.
  5. What Now for Advertising and Marketing?: We’re really left with limited options like widget marketing (take advantage of existing advertising model and add viral and widget messaging), engagement marking (creating conversations, participating, listening), and no marketing (no advertising, no marketing, but instead the bringing together of co-creating communities).
  6. We’re All Publishers Now: Indeed. We’re experiencing an orgy of self-published content via the internet and through the success of self-forming communities. “The silent majority have had their day. The participating majority are coming.”
  7. It’s Not How Famous You Are – It’s How Relevant: Enough said.
  8. Reed’s Law and How Multiple Identities Make The Tail Longer: Don’t network for networking’s sake as limiting yourself to one-to-one communication presents little potential for collaboration. Networking openly stands to unleash the power of crowds, and “none of us is as clever as all of us.”
  9. We Are The Eighth Mass Media: From this chapter, a favorite quote: “We all have cheap, rapid, easy ways of sharing our metadata. That’s what publishing has become. Publishing for all. Advertising for all. We can all share content. Content is the conversation starter, conversation is where ideas turn
    into action, action is where value is created. Now we can all share in sharing this. We can all share ourselves. That is what changes everything.”
  10. How Are We Made Great?: Start with the Stowe Boyd quote: “I am made greater by the sum of my connections, so are my connections.” We live with the opportunity to consume an enormous volume of ideas/opinion/perspective. There are so many ideas that would go unrealized were it not for the power of the network surrounding the person who originated it. The catch is that predicting how people will respond to an idea is impossible, the network has its own proprietary wisdom, and from this wisdom comes the elevation of great ideas beyond the individual and to the many.

Clay Parker Jones Explains The Interwebs

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

View SlideShare or your own. (tags: )

I came across this presentation by that very directly and simply gets to the heart of things that have the propensity to intimidate and/or confuse people as it relates to “the internet”, and how they might use the opportunities it presents to better connect with people/audience/customers/users/etc…:

  • Social media
  • Designing effective websites
  • Connectivity and engagement

It’s a really succinct presentation, and eschews any jargon or webspeak for just plain speaking. I particularly liked Clay’s perspective on reach vs. engagement in support of community-building from slide 31:

“Stop thinking about this as a reach vehicle. We’re working on the reach thing. For now, people don’t look at banners, and we know they don’t click on them. But we can do engagement really, really well, so let’s stick to that.”

Clay Parker Jones

Tell A Compelling Story

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

from on .

The visualization of ideas is a powerful tool for telling an effective and compelling story. Then there’s this. Architects have long relied on animated renderings and computer models to provide clients with indications of what the built project just might be like. Along the way, great storytellers like those at OMA began building on these animations to communicate more depth and context, to make the paper architecture more real. In my opinion, this video by of Herzog & de Meuron’s residential tower nails it (check out the site for 56 Leonard, it’s also nicely done).


10 Years of The Cluetrain

Thursday, October 30th, 2008
If you have not had the opportunity to read , I suggest you take the time to do so. You can read the entire book online for free. Cluetrain is coming up on ten years old, which is amazing in its own way, but what is important here is how absolutely relevant the manifesto and its strong messages around markets being conversations still are. Messages like:
“People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products.”
The Cluetrain Manifesto, Thesis 11
Seriously, read it. I’ve even embedded the book as slides here for your convenience:
View SlideShare or your own. (tags: )

The Journey East

Friday, July 25th, 2008

This animated short is going to be used by BBC Sport to introduce its coverage of the upcoming Olympics being hosted in China. It’s definitely interesting. The short is based on the classic Chinese story recently adapted by and of the . I especially like the appearance of the Beijing National Stadium, the “Bird’s Nest,” that we’ve discussed here previously.

This is so much more interesting than the typically insipid animated graphics used to intro news programming on mainstream news broadcasts. It’s actually a well told story all its own, and will be used not only for the televised Olympic coverage, but also web, mobile, and radio.

More on the .

Das Auto of The Future

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

One company’s vision of the automobiles of the future. Volkswagen recently launched , a website that explores VW’s perspective on a number of issues and how those issues might manifest themselves through design twenty years from now, a perspective rooted deeply in Volkswagen’s longer term brand strategy (read that as marketing). This is not so much about showing us futuristic concepts as much as demonstrating the response to different needs, constraints, and technologies. Responses that are increasingly important to people. Specifically, Volkswagen provides us with some detail in how, in the near future, they might respond to issues of sustainability, networked mobility, customization and personalization, and accident prevention. All of the concepts offer hypothetical technologies that either replace the traditional human-car interaction, or enhance it by steamlining and focusing the action of driving. It’s a good exercise, and I have no doubt that the issues and ideas addressed by VW here are the beginnings of some pretty sophisticated changes that we will see in automobiles. While I imagine that all automobile manufacturers are digging into these concepts, at least to some degree, it is interesting to see Volkswagen put it out there in such a cohesive and comprehensive way, though this is clearly as much about marketing as it is about showcasing advanced engineering thinking.

The Changed Landscape of Influence

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Matt Dickman recently conducted a really interesting over at his blog Techno//Marketer to get a sense of what people felt the most influential medium might be. The results are presented in the graph above. I believe it is a safe bet that his readers skew massively to the internet, but I believe they are still representative of the paradigmatic changes that have occurred in the greater media landscape. The broader theme here, that the ways in which people interact with information is changing, is something I am actively exploring myself. What is absolutely not surprising from Matt’s survey is the incredibly low performance of newspapers and radio. The of newspapers has been trending down for years, and many historically prominent rags are facing irrelevancy to their audiences. Audience preferences and expectations with regards to how they engage information is changing, this interaction is very fluid, and while some struggle to adapt to this reality others have been slow to respond and are suffering the consequences of a dwindling subscription base and shrinking advertising revenues. That spells doom for those newspapers. The same is happening in radio, and the is tracking similarly to that of newspapers. At the heart of this is the reality that we are increasingly moving away from having things pushed at us, and increasing moving toward technologies and mediums that allow us to engage media and information in ways that are dynamic and customizable to our preferences. Also, there is an informational frequency issue and newspapers, especailly, have struggled to compete with the 24/7 nature of the informational engagement model of the web. Those that have moved to a comprehensive web strategy have struggled to find an appropriate revenue model, especially one that can scale. We are watching media evolution and the survival of the fittest, of the most innovative.

Going back perhaps a decade, many newspaper publishers failed to appropriately survey the landscape for strategic risk to their organizations. As a result, they missed important opportunities to substantively investigate and innovate their business models. The web has moved incredibly quickly and efficiently in becoming pervasive in our society, in our culture, and many publishers now face the incredible challenge of trying to change a business model when it is absolutely too late.


Sunday, May 18th, 2008

is a master of the mashup, smashup, and mixing of ideas. A genius in the finding of inspiration. Murakami’s superflat is the liberation of the intrinsic value from his efforts. It is turning art into commerce in a way that Warhol probably envisioned, but did not have the chance to manifest.

UX Intensive Week in Minneapolis

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Recently I had the opportunity to enjoy another put on by the team at in San Francisco. It rocked and was absolutely full of great information, stories, and people all focused on the developing practice of effectively managing experience design teams. I’d say the rapidly developing practice. We are under a lot of pressure to perform and to deliver value, and often success is largely determined by the effectiveness of how creative teams are led. MX is a window into the practices that have led to success.

At the conference I was asked to extend a pretty generous offer to the readers of schneiderism for the upcoming UX Intensive that Adaptive Path is hosting in Minneapolis, Minnesota from June 16-19. If you work in interaction/experience design in any capacity, really, I highly encourage you to check this workshop out. You can choose specific sessions or pony up for the full week. Adaptive Path knows what they are doing, and they are intensely focused on providing value to the people that attend their events. I speak from experience on that one.

Here’s the offer. If you and use the promotional code UXIM, you will receive a 15% discount on top of the early bird registration 10% discount. That is compelling. Here is a choice quote from the UX registration page:

“Three things I loved about UX Intensive: 1. presenters who totally know their craft and aren’t shy about saying it’s at least as much art as science, but that you can develop the art by first learning the science; 2. a room filled with smart, motivated participants who are expert in many things, some included in the conference topics and some not, working very hard with great joy, to everyone’s benefit; 3. the whole is totally greater than the sum of the parts.”

Laurie Kalmanson, Request Marketing

The Client of The Future

Monday, May 12th, 2008

The tiger goes for the meat…

The phrase “The Agency of the Future” gets thrown around with some abandon (yes, I use it too…). This is partly because it is catchy, but also because it succinctly indicates we are in the midst of change with regards to how people engage media, brands, information and advertising… change mostly driven by the digital channel. This phrase seems to point to a mythical agency that has navigated this change successfully, but that I am not so sure yet exists. Things are very fluid.

I was thinking about this phrase recently and remembered reading the . In that report, on page 26, AARF writes a smart piece on “The Client of The Future,” noting that agencies are not the only ones who need to change. This is a fresh and smart perspective.

Basically, many client organizations have not evolved from an optimization model that found its inception in the 1950’s, and has been refined over time but largely left in place for the last fifty years or so. This is a model that subscribes to a linear “consumer purchase funnel” that begins at the top with brand building via traditional media, and ends with purchase usually driven by direct marketing or some such. Pretty ubiquitous, and increasingly irrelevant.

Kokich points out that this model is becoming more and more unstable, and this is both because of how consumers have changed as well as the level of specialization within client organizations, and the inevitable creation of silos based on that specialization each tasked with successfully managing a specific consumer touch point. Thing is, consumers don’t move neatly from touch point to touch point anymore. They surf, and search, and refer, and work information to streamline their own process of seeking. They seek truth and authenticity, and as marketers that is a really tough thing to put a finger on, to generate or control. We see a development that has rendered much of marketing, in the traditional message-based-push-sense, specious, annoying and/or dishonest in the minds of the consumer. This realization is not new, and thousands talk about this on their blogs every day. There are a number of agencies and marketers that are well aware of this change, and have changed the ways in which they work and how they engage audiences. To Kokich’s point, maybe now is a good time for the marketing orgs inside of companies to embrace this same change, and to begin thinking differently about how they set about communicating the value of what it is their company does or provides, to have new and clear expectations for what that communication entails and what the new relationship with the consumer really means.

We Think Therefore We Are

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

I just came across this excellent video, via that nicely ties together what I and about a million other people have been writing about with regards to social media and the ways in which we engage and share information. Not so much how things have changed, but how they are changing. It is definitely worth watching.

In Marketing, Innovation is Strategic

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Throw the brick!

There is a struggle underway inside the marketing teams of many high profile and recognizable brands. It is essentially a two-sided struggle. On the one hand are the traditionalists, usually those that cut their teeth on marketing methodologies in the 1970’s, 80’s, and in some cases the 1990’s. On the other are the change agents, those that are not married to methodology and understand the power and impermanent nature of the new channels available for interaction. In the center, between these two sides, is the idea of innovation.

I just read an excellent post by that very clearly puts all of this together, and strongly counters the assertions of the traditionalists. At the core of his post, Idris reacts to a line in a recent article in AdAge (sorry, subscriber only…) from the esteemed Al Ries who states:

“Innovation should be seen as a tactic, not a business strategy.”

Al Ries

Al makes some interesting points in his article. He points out that a strategic focus on innovation will potentially undermine the brand position of a company, and confuse customers. Al, representative of the traditionalists in this schism, argues for brand focus in place of innovation, and on the traditional efforts around brand strategy believing that success comes from a narrow focus on an attribute or market segment. The traditionalists will point to endless case studies of this being so. They want to protect what is working. They want to protect their well worn methodologies.

But it is not working. Markets are changing. Customers are changing. The way we make decisions is changing. Consumers move quickly, and the value propositions that drive this movement can change overnight. This is not because we are fickle, it is in fact because we have become smarter. We are armed with information that has raised our expectations and are increasingly dissatisfied with product or service status-quo that does not perform. We also talk to each other, and network around interests and affiliations sharing our perspectives on all manner of things. This is a really big deal. If a product or service does not speak to us, if it is not meaningful, and if it does not do what we expect it to do… we move on. And these days there are a myriad of choices in each category that are differentiated by innovation, by thinking differently about how we use a product or what we need it to do, that brand loyalty is increasingly directly linked to the effectiveness with which something meets or exceeds expectations. Increasingly, though, we also talk about the fact we are moving on, why we are moving on, and what we are moving on to. This is good, but it is putting incredible pressure on companies that have historically dominated their categories or markets. Think about the changes in the automotive business over the last twenty years. Where has the center of innovation been? Not in Detroit. Think about the cleaning products category. Companies like Method have shaken the stalwart brands to their core, and Method came out of nowhere. Think about airlines and the last flight you took. I am guessing you hated the whole experience. How long will we take that until we demand access to the airlines that get us, those that are innovating in that category? We already are.

The net result here is that we have a growing passion for innovation. We, the consumers, seek out innovative products and services that meet our needs and provide us value. This is not about attributes, it is about effectiveness and the value created by this effectiveness. This is as true for B2B companies as it is for B2C, and we should all pause a moment and think hard about the marketing stratagems that we have in place. Are they relevant? Do our customers really care?