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May 07, 2008 | Greg Ness: Results vs. Costs

Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.
– Peter Drucker

The quote above is from Peter Drucker’s book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The book was first published in the 1980s, and it was re-released a couple of years ago. It is still sound advice. If you want to improve business, marketing and innovation had better lead the way. Considered by many as the preeminent business consultant and author for decades, Drucker is the person who coined the term knowledge worker.

Considerable effort should be spent on measuring the success (or failure) of marketing and innovation. Why? Another famous Drucker quote answers that question: “What’s measured improves.”

May 06, 2008 | Greg Ness: The Agency Of The Future Is Arriving Too Late

I keep reading all these stories about the agency of the future. Like this one, and this one, and this one.

Who has time to wait for the future? Most businesses want new ideas and thinking that can help them now. They don’t have time to wait while some marketing firms attempt to evolve.

May 05, 2008 | Greg Ness: Yahoo and Microsoft: Another Viewpoint

Read what David Kottke has to say about the Microsoft/Yahoo deal. His viewpoint seems insightful, and it is 180 degrees from what most of the financial press is reporting in light of today’s Yahoo stock losses. Bottom line – at least at the close of the market Monday – Yahoo’s stock worth is still up $7 billion over its value just prior to the Microsoft offer. In contrast, Microsoft’s stock is worth $33 billion less today than the day before they offered a Yahoo buyout.

May 05, 2008 | Greg Ness: CMOs And The Bottom Line

A new Stuart Spencer study of senior-level marketing executives has confirmed what many in business already know: the CMOs number one priority is influencing the bottom line (Ad Age story here). The complete results of the survey will be released today at the CMO Summit in Florida.

According to the study, other critical innate or learned qualities necessary for today’s CMOs include:

• Being a risk taker
• Willingness to make tough decisions
• Good problem-solving ability
• A strategic, customer-centric orientation to marketing
• Digital focus
• Multichannel and cross-industry experience

May 01, 2008 | Eric Ista: Technology and the Speed of Mouth II: The Race is On!

I had been anxiously awaiting the release of Mario Kart for the Nintendo Wii since I heard about it last fall. There is just something about racing classic Nintendo characters that I just can’t seem to get enough of. And thanks to Twitter and some chatty friends, I can now race to my heart’s content.

May 01, 2008 | Greg Ness: Quote of the day: The ad industry has made a big mistake…

The ad industry has made a big mistake in the past by thinking technology was for geeks. Technology, in fact, is a love affair.

The above quote is in a blog post last week from David Armano at Logic + Emotion. David’s right.

Eric Ista’s earlier post today (Technology and the Speed of Mouth) cites a perfect example of how the social network framework — and the technology that powers it — has intertwined itself in the lives of many consumers. As Eric pointed out, with this framework consumers can profoundly affect brand preferences, brand engagement and immediate sales. And with social networking, it can be done at a speed that makes traditional marketing look like molasses outdoors in a northern Minnesota winter.

April 30, 2008 | Eric Ista: Technology and the Speed of Mouth

So, I’m working on my laptop with the TV on in the background. Suddenly, I’m pulled from my work by a song on a new Dockers commercial. Before the commercial is even finished, I head over to iTunes and search for what I think the song might be named: “California Soul.” BINGO! I click Buy Song. Within 30 seconds of hearing a sample of the song, I own the song. I then post a tweet in twitter about my new found musical joy. Later that evening, I talk to a friend of mine that had seen my tweet and checked out the song as well.

Hmmmmm…makes me think that marketers could use all this technology in some way…

April 30, 2008 | Jon Gilbertson: Consumers Leveraging Social Media to Guide Buying Decisions

A study released last week from the Society for New Communications Research shows consumers use social media to share customer care experiences and research companies’ service reputation when making purchase decisions. The study shows the increasing power social media has on driving purchasing behaviors and ultimately maintaining one’s brand. It’s becoming virtually impossible to hide behind poor products or services as the average consume now has several outlets through which they can share their experiences.

April 30, 2008 | Dean Froslie: Teens: Electronic Messages Aren’t Considered Writing

When using a mobile device, e-mail, instant messaging and other electronic means, we all tend to write with abbreviations and grammar that would make our high school English teachers cringe.

But are those activities truly considered writing? Our teenagers don’t think so, according to the latest study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

April 29, 2008 | Ron Lee: Social lender Zopa voted “most threatening non-bank competitor”

While social or peer-to-peer lending isn’t new (in Internet time), what is new is the recognition Zopa received this month as the world’s “most threatening non-bank competitor.” image

Amidst the steady stream of stories about the worsening credit crunch and tightening lending standards, Zopa’s style of social or peer-to-peer (P2P) lending stands as a virtual beacon for beleaguered borrowers and serves as a potential investment alternative for would-be P2P consumers-turned- lenders. Traditional banks beware!

April 29, 2008 | Greg Ness: News About The Shift In News

There are continuing troubles ahead for traditional TV news programs as the most productive large, demographic segment for many marketers (adults, ages 18 - 49) shifts elsewhere. The first paragraph of this Ad Age article sums up the situation:

“The big three TV network newscasts lost about 1.2 million viewers last year, and advertising on their three big morning news shows fell to an estimated $1.03 billion. The average viewer is 60 years old, and the demographic marketers most want to reach is more likely to be facing a computer screen than a TV screen when the evening news comes on.”

April 28, 2008 | Greg Ness: Amy Tan’s TED Talk On Creativity

Author Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife) gives a wonderful talk about creativity and how it intertwines with her/our lives. You’ll have to wait until the end to see what’s in the bag at her feet.