Archive for the ‘ General Ideas ’ Category

The Changing World We Live In

We all have different opinions and experiences influencing our perception of when the world started changing, personally for me it all started back in April 2005 when Thomas L. Friedman published one of the most influential books probably released that year –

http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/bookshelf/the-world-is-flat
We were entering Globalization 3, and it happened whilst we were sleeping. The world has changed from:
Countries ——>    Companies ——>    Individuals
The world became a flat global playing platform, the product of:

horizontal convergence of the Personal Computer, Fibre Optical Cables, Workflow Software & Standardized protocols, The Internet and later the WWW which brought about a technological revolution that transformed every aspect of business, life & society, which not even the Global Conglomerates could have prepared for.

My favourite flattener and most indulged concept since, that day in April 2005 when I read the whole book in one day, have always been “The Steroids”
“ Technologies that turbo charges and enables information  – digitization; at high speed; wirelessly (mobile) shared on personal devices –
FASTER< FARTHER<CHEAPER and more easily!

And this is exactly where the Google’s, the tweeters, the ipads, the Facebook’s of the world fit in.Soon after the “The World is Flat” , the discovery of things exploded as more and more journalists, authors and bloggers  illustrated the changing world we live in, and each in their own individual right trying to make sense of this phenomena we find ourselves living through.

Think, Freakanomics, Tipping Point, Google, Life Inc, 7 habits of highly effective people, Good to Great, Who moved my cheese? , The Power of Now, The Innovators Dillema and more recently – SUPERCONNECT

Snippets below from a presentation illustrates where my thoughts are floating:

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Opening Keynote at the Creative Company Conference by arne van oosterom (SOURCE)

Soon organizations started changing, with unconventional ways of thinking, where the old age of bureaucracy and people management are influenced by the changing world we live in –

The MEDIA REVOLUTION – key ingredient in the changing world we live in:

And today we are presented with what is called Web 3.0:

Digital convergence is taking on new meaning as we start seeing the proliferation of  the internet across television, mobile devices and any other electronic devices both online & offline. The word interactivity takes on new meaning.

Technological innovations both online and offline brought about a modern day culture recently defined as the “ Innovation Insanity “ The media realized that the power are shifting into the hands of the consumers and publishing took on a different style of make up. People all over the world are realizing the playground is becoming smaller, and we are moving into an era where soon it will be one Global Technologically Connected world we live in.

The impact on society stretches into every industry where technological innovations and the internet changes the workplace, medicine, dating, drinking, eating, feeling, communicating, publishing, designing, developing, etc

In marketing, or real marketing as I like to call it, I feel the fight for digital can end now. It is no longer about budgets shifting or modern vs traditional or above, below, through or ontop of some silly line that no one even knows what it stands for. Technology is supposed to be integrated; it is about making lives better and bringing more relevant offerings. It is about increasing marketing effectiveness, lowering costs for research, it is about involving the customer. It is about publishers – no longer simply producing content, but rather “ packaged information” tailored according to behavioural and social habit analysis.

It is about connecting the dots, between people, products, places, information and this thing called life.

It is about the changing world we live in.

Integrate it.

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In the Know, Do you know?

I could not help but to get a warm fuzzy feeling in my mind, when I saw 3 of my favourite newsletters in my inbox about an hour ago – CoolHunter, Trendwatching & TED.

From the coolhunter

This is what i want to capture in my snap store today – everywhere all around the world, people are searching for information, some stumble upon it, others follow trends religiously, others are forced to through education, majority probably just satisfying some desire to find something, but one common thread seems to be coming through – we all want to be in the know, are you in the know? Living in a country with so many different cultures, social circles and living situations translating into a variety of lifestyles, beliefs, opinions and well, ” knows” – makes me wonder – what is the know?

FROM THE LATEST TRENDBRIEFING  – Statusphere

That in the end, with all of our “know how” and overflow of information and connectivity, is it possible that we still want what people have been wanting for years?

Everyone wants to be unique, except those who truly are… Do you know?

The magical instrument that will change the way we read, learn and love!

Generally I do not write about current happenings, new products or the headlines of the century, in fact, ideas and I will never be one of those “race for the first” kind of blogs. However, because I am already a bit late, and Steve Jobs is the man who got me and still is keeping me interested in Business, I am making an exception and dedicate this post to the latest bit of Magic – the Apple iPad.

the ingredients of magic

It is everywhere, tv, radio, magazines, twitter, facebook, every newspaper online and offline, every related blog, but the article that stuck in my mind was somewhere between page 23 & 28 of TIME magazine. Stephen Fry, a man I will envy till the day i get to do it myself, for meeting the team behind the love of my life – My Apple MacBook. The only materialistic item I have a real relationship with, and it just got thinner, smaller, keyboardless and something similar to what Bill Gates back in 2000 predicted to be the most popular kind of computer amongst people like us. EXCEPT – and this is once again what Apple got right – at least for me – it looks sleek, it vibrates inviting, it mirrors simplicity and it makes me feel in love.

What I liked most about all the articles I read post the auspicious launch was Stephen Fry noting that Apple stands “at the intersection of liberal arts, technology and commerce.” I recently started reading ICON, I haven’t finished it yet, but I couldn’t help but see an ocean of snippets from the book flashing before my eyes as I continue to get lost in the whirlpool of magic, now filling up the tabs in my web browser. Steve Jobs is a genius with a heart.

Richard Waters took a completely different angle in the Financial Times, focusing on the extension of the apple product range and the parallel software developments providing a commercial arm. More specifically highlighting the iBook Store launch in conjunction with the iPad, similar to that of iTunes & iPod,  APP store & the iPhone –  another predicted change in the world, this time in the way we read, learn and search.

But that is not the point I am trying to make, the real weird and wonderful thing that inspired this rather traditional style of post – is the underlying glue in all the articles – Steve Jobs’s “touchy feeling” vision for technology innovations. Instead of looking at devices as the sum of their features, it is all about closing the gap between technology and human experiences, done with an artistic approach of beautiful design that enables a real relationship with the product (not only the brand). And this is what makes me get up in the morning, switch on my device (at this point my MacBook but soon my brand new iPad) and making work, learn, read, write, shop, search, spy and play a whole lot more fun!

I cant wait to have one 🙂

Marketing ROI, what does it really mean?

In times of economic slowdown, one thing seems to come out on top – Return on Investment. For me marketing is like a new business venture, and all a brand should really be interested in is Risk & Return.

In the marketing boardroom it is often difficult to find the balance between cost effectiveness and creativity. I find that brand managers & agency professionals use the term ROI like it has been calculated. When I first started working, I was expecting to get a financial breakdown – not a budget, not reconciliation, an actual return on investment in the form of a cost benefit analysis, where the benefits are the objectives achieved and cost of each medium/campaign implemented carefully evaluated, including risk factors and external environmental influences. It reminded me of an equation in Finance – developing a diversified asset portfolio.

I read an interesting article this morning – sharper senses 5p’s of digital marketing – I hate the P’s in marketing, cant they use a different letter? – regardless this i found worth posting, as it is a brilliant example of how Google treats marketing as a business reducing risk and increasing ways to calculate return on investment in a more tangible manner.

I am not entirely done with this post, but as the word goes, if I do not post it now it will once again simply get lost in the folder of “to post articles” filling up my hard drive every day….

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Jeremy Gutsche vs Peter Sheahan

flip

vs       ExploitingChaosLogo

In a world where we are becoming closer and closer to the people we look up to, I could not help but to think why is everyone not searching, exploring and infusing their minds with knowledge? Is the internet a daunting place to find real valuable information or has no one taking the time to teach us how?

My internet addiction is nothing more or less than my childhood addiction to books. It only looks way better and more colourful and is a hell of a lot faster. But I merely stumble upon my favourite things, and often discover the greatest knowledge through pure luck. I am still in two minds whether i prefer it that way or whether i am just lucky that I have somehow figured out how to find the most relevant content online.

Back to the real reason I am sneaking in this post – I have recently developed another love affair – this time not so much for social networks (even though that will never die, as everyday now i am working towards bridging the gap between on and offline social networks) – but rather for bright young minds – not just pretty goodlooking.

Jeremy Gutsche vs Peter Sheahan – authors of my two recent explorations – Exploiting Chaos & Flip. I have not come to any conclusions just yet, but it is always fun to throw the question out there into the universe and start analysing –

who is better looking?

Picture 4

Picture 6

Just kidding, most amazing insight from both of these young talented individuals – definitely worth checking out.

http://www.jeremygutsche.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kye9td2yMMo- Jeremy Interview on YouTube

http://www.petersheahan.com.au/

Once i have heard what the experts have to say, combine it with what my ever twisted mind interprets and ask a couple of people who i have identified as opposites but valuable, i will post a verdict. Might only be in another lifetime, might be tomorrow. Lets see what happens.

Just something fun, rather embarrassing really that happened to me earlier this week: I decided to share my passion on twitter and this is what i got 🙂

My post on twitter

His Reply

Social media can most certainly be the best and worst at times…

ideas

someone once told me that it is better to have one simple idea and make it work, than a thousand great ideas that never evolves past step 1. i totally agree. another phrase that stuck in my mind after hearing someone say it the other day was “this is an excellent idea but a terrible plan” what this made me realize, is that an idea is nothing without a plan. and in the real world, the one is only as strong as the other.

A bit of a random introduction, which is probably the perfect fit for the rest of this post. I have recently relocated to Johannesburg, and have learned more in the past 4 weeks than in a very long time. Change is truly one of the greatest accelerators – both professionally and personally. It is a pity that in the eyes of society it is often associated with negative perceptions like a lack of commitment. I think commitment is measured by so many different criteria that constant change may have very limited influence, if any.

So why is it that in the business world, experience is measured by time within one position? I found that in moving around between positions, and companies –  it has given me an opportunity to develop and learn far quicker than if i had subscribed to getting stuck in the day to day running of any one position in one company. This may be a very subjective point of view, as each person learns differently. But that said, what i have come to realize is that a big part of learning in the business world is company specific – systems and processes, getting to know team members and lines of communication, suppliers and client relationships, product or service specifics, information sharing mechanisms and corporate culture, the list is endless. So how much time does that really leave to learn about what you are actually doing?

I believe that my thoughts are industry specific – thus marketing. It is common sense that the picture would look very different for doctors or ski instructers. But what i am trying to say, is that once you have all the internal learning down, another big part of your time is spent doing the work. which usually comes with deadlines and several constraints. So in the real world, how much do you really learn and experience? I believe that experience is largely shaped by knowledge within a practical scenario, furthermore i think that in a working day scenario’s are duplicated all the time. So how much time do you get to spend on research and development about your specific position? And if so, do you ever get an opportunity to implement? So if so much time is spent learning how to do what you are suppose to and then the rest of your time goes into actually doing it, surely experience and learning on the job will be majority company specific? Personally it is the same, if i look back, the times directly after and right before change is associated with the highest rate of learning and experiencing. Which leads back to my initial point – CHANGE = HIGHER RATES OF LEARNING AND EXPERIENCING. Perhaps an idealistic conclusion, perhaps just something to think about…

I have recently had a lot of thoughts running through my head – due to the accelerated rate of learning i am experiencing at the moment – and have decided to just “store some thoughts in my snap store” which i will elaborate on in the near future.
1.    corporate videotorial tv show, new career path – unconventional real life marketing and corporate culture display. imagine brands and companies can really be transparent and allow the world to see what goes on behind the scenes. imagine the quality of workforce that you will attract and how the brand/corporate – employee fit will decrease staff turnover.
2.   customer centric approach to research and development of products and marketing campaigns – a theory i remember from university which really does not seem to be that common in practice. south african companies can really learn from the googles and facebooks of the world. it is all about being transparent and collaboration between all stakeholders.
3.    the value of being able to spot what is cool – really cool. cape town definitely has an upper hand when it comes to really awesome brands, design, fashion, style and true class.
4.    fashion graphics – more than just a pampered image, a form of communication enabling simply pictures to really speak
5.   the value of modern hr strategies – working with the glaceau vitaminwater team really exposed me to experience what a difference internal marketing makes and the need for modern organisational practices in south african companies. the value is unbelievable when a corporate vision and brand message aligns in an authentic way where it is all about being real.
6.    advertising in fitting rooms – in house product & promotional display. imagine woolworths has notifications of specials on healthy foods whilst trying to fit into a new pair of country road jeans? mmmm
7.    lipsy London brand in Foschini – i was surprizingly impressed by this brand,cocktail dresses straight out of the uk a-listers page in the tabloids.
9.    online communication and adoption in south Africa – i am still waiting for mass adoption of online services and networks, but education seems to be taking longer than initially anticipated. where is dave duarte and chris rawlinson’s master plan of edutainment when you need it most?
10.    2010 opportunities, how are we capatalizing? or more important, how are we enabling young and ambitious entrepreneurs to take advantage of what is going to spin us into a frenzy… 🙂

Hopefully soon i will have time to elaborate on my toughts above. for now, simply something to think about.

What happened to my online addiction?

Too be honest, I am not quite sure. All I know is that I use to love it, then really missed it and now ready to build it. The feeling of knowing something that the majority of those around you are completely oblivious to (taking into consideration I live in South Africa and the industry is still very much in its infancy), the benefit derived once you figured out how to drive around this virtual world of information, the feeling of endless exploration into so many different areas – they even made a profession out of it, commonly referring to the foundation of other activities – SEARCH. The beginning and end of pretty much everything in life. Think about it, it is all about the search of the consumer, the ranking of the business in the search listing, the hard work of the emarketer to improve the search listing through various techniques all requiring a majority percentage search in developing and implementing the technique in itself.

The only tool that outweighs search – that renders google insignificant is the power of the URL. The only element of an internet experience that proves to be stronger than any search and everything leading up to it. So why not let the two parts work together and make sure that your url marketing as i like to call it supports the work of so much energy going into SEARCH.

“Google it” “Facebook her” “MySpace Me” “EBay that” etc. So often we forget to look at what it is that the success stories, the time spent online grabbers and other fast moving websites are doing right. They use the power of a URL to instantaneously provide an ever evolving consumer market with exactly what they need – a beneficial association, a simple name, a useful product and a strikingly good looking yet simple navigation topped with relevant content.  Building Brands Online requires just as much human indulgence as any other real world brand. Except, the revenue model associated with moving from online to offline is substantially more attractive than the other way around.

Bottom Line – New Business Development has no better place to start than online.

Career Development is slightly different – so in a way I needed to give up my online addiction to enable myself to better integrate and build the bridge to ultimately sustain the online revolution altering the way we do business in the flat, fast & informal 21st Century.

So what happened to my online addiction? It turned into a career option.