Archive for February, 2011

Think Disruptively to Transform Your Business

February 23, 2011

Disrupt by Luke Williams“The old mantra, ‘differentiate or die,’ is no longer relevant,” Luke Williams (a BRITE ’11 speaker) claims in his recently published Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business. “The real mantra should be ‘differentiate all you want, but figure out a way to be the only one who does what you do, or die.'” Disrupt reflects Luke’s immense experience creating breakthrough solutions while working at frog design, one of the world’s leading innovation firms.  Luke has more than a decade of international strategy and design experience working with industry leaders like American Express, GE, Sony, Crocs, Virgin and Disney to develop new products, services and brands.

Disruptive thinking is “a way of thinking that turns consumer expectations upside down and takes an industry into its next generation.”  In his work with clients and as an Adjunct Professor of Innovation at NYU Stern School of Business, Luke provides a disruptive thinking framework that helps solve problems and create opportunities.

Reminiscent of our own Faculty Director Bernd Schmitt’s process of “killing sacred cows,” Luke details in an article for Mashable how to create disruptive hypothesis that smash your industry’s clichés to uncover innovative products and marketing strategies. In one example, he highlights Red Bull’s inversion of two standards in the soda category: that “soda is inexpensive” and that “soda tastes good.” Instead, “[Red Bull] placed absolutely no importance on taste, the product is double the price of Coca-Cola, and it dispensed with marketing aspirational images. The message was that Red Bull may not necessarily make you feel happy, but it’ll definitely give you a shot of energy when you need it.”

Hear Luke Williams speak at our BRITE ’11 conference (March 2-3, 2011). Register now!


The Value of Great Social Customer Service

February 17, 2011

Frank EliasonCalled “the most famous customer service manager in the U.S., possibly in the world” by, Frank Eliason (a BRITE ’11 speaker) is a social media pioneer. Frank, formerly the well-known voice behind @ComcastCares, is now SVP of Social Media at Citi where he and his team are using social media to humanize the brand and build a dialogue and rapport with customers.  While at Comcast, Frank built an incredible amount of customer loyalty and industry admiration through customer service work using social media.

The changes Frank has found through social customer service go beyond just answering a few complaints via Twitter.  “Many people don’t realize that ‘social’ will really change the dynamics of your whole company,” Frank told cms wire.  He noted, for example, an occasion a few years back where the NHL playoffs blacked-out and customer calls and complaints started coming in.  Through searching Twitter posts, Comcast realized within just a few minutes that the problem was caused by a lightning strike affecting the sports network. Frank estimates that because this allowed Comcast to make a quick adjustment to its automated call center message, the company saved around $1.2 million by avoiding what would have been extended customer service calls.

And just this month at our Sobel-BRITE “The Network Is Your Customer” panel discussion (video below), Frank spoke about the importance of the people behind corporate social media initiatives. “I don’t connect with a logo.  I connect with people.  If you look at the most successful [companies] in social media, you know the people behind it.”

Hear Frank Eliason speak at our BRITE ’11 conference (March 2-3, 2011). Register now!


Research: Balancing the Returns of Offering Free Information

February 15, 2011

Offering free samples is a time-tested marketing technique. In the online information goods category, however, practices concerning completely free offerings vs. free samples along with paid access are still being developed and debated.

Columbia marketing professors Oded Koenigsberg and Don Lehmann, along with University of Zurich professors Florian Stahl and Daniel Halbheer, examined how to optimize free sampling and paid access for “single-use, single-edition content” (e.g. a novel or an article). They created a model that allows a firm to calculate the optimal sampling level based on:

  • The price of the full content;
  • Advertising revenues from the free samples and paid versions; and,
  • The affect on consumer valuation, and therefore demand, caused by the size, quantity, and quality of free samples

The model considered, in particular, how a consumer’s expected quality of a product is updated by the delivered experience of a sample of the product.

The researchers then compared their model against empirical datasets from German media web sites. They found that, in cases where the quality of the sample exceeds the consumer’s expected quality, some firms were not offering large enough samples to entice readers to commit to purchase the full paid content, and thus they did not realize all the revenue they could generate.

If you are managing such an enterprise, you may want to download the paper (.pdf) to see what implications this model has for your own company.


CMO Lucio Is Making Things Go at Visa

February 10, 2011

Antonio LucioAntonio Lucio’s (BRITE ’11 speaker) decisiveness and creativity during an economic crisis earned him a mention as one of Fortune magazine’s eight most innovative people in 2009.

When Antonio Lucio became Visa’s first global chief marketing officer, he undertook the daunting task of finding “the tone of the times,” implementing it globally and ensuring it was cost efficient and effective.

In 2009, Lucio launched Visa’s first global themed campaign, “More People Go With Visa,” in 48 countries within a three-week window. “Go With Visa” is meant to motivate consumers and businesses to migrate their cash and checks usage to Visa’s electronic payment system. Lucio told BtoB magazine to expect a deeper focus next year on leveraging Visa’s product platforms, including mobile, debit cards, affluent credit cards, e-commerce and money transfer.

The “Go” campaign struck a “glocal” (global-local) balance that made it a success around the world.  In 2010, Visa launched another global campaign tied to the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Besides being global, the campaign involved more promotional and more digital elements than ever before, including Visa’s first-ever 3-D ads, a dedicated Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as promotions that included a chance to win tickets for life to the Olympics.

“We are a technology company, and we’ve built a business based on innovation,” Mr. Lucio told AdvertisingAge. “Whether it is the success of the debit card or anything we’re doing on mobile and money transfer, we want to leverage the same innovative skills that we use on our products in our marketing.”

Hear Antonio Lucio speak at our BRITE ’11 conference (Mar 2-3, 2011). Register now!


Building the Emerging Ad Platforms of Google

February 8, 2011

Mike SteibIn his role as director of emerging platforms, Mike Steib (BRITE 11 speaker) is working on a range of products and services offered by Google, from TV to mobile to e-commerce platforms.

Talking at a mobile technology panel session at paidContent Mobile, he reflected on how consumers will use mobile devices. "Apps are a bridge technology. The idea that in the early days of the internet that I would have downloaded and then would have to upgrade each time, seems like an unnecessary step for a consumer. In the end, it all goes back to the singular web." On the mobile front he also told Mobilemarketer that, "The Holy Grail for local advertising is location-targeted coupons, and we’re building Google Offers to enable that, as well as click-to-call functionality for nearby businesses."  

Steib is also championing Google TV Ads. By establishing a large cable and satellite partner-base, Google can now let users upload their own ad spots and bid on TV placements in the same way marketers have grown accustomed to creating search ads through AdWords. As Steib reported to Fast Company, "In the traditional model of TV ad sales, you make buying commitments months in advance. With our system, you can bid on spots up to the day before. We’ve also just introduced a feature that uses search. We’re only going to give you content contextually relevant to your brand. And all that takes minutes. The next day, you get a report back that tells you what spots ran, what audience was delivered, and how much of your budget was spent. You’re getting almost real-time data."

Hear Mike Steib speak at our BRITE ’11 Conference (March 2-3, 2011). Register now!


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