Winning the ZMOT

In 2005 Procter & Gamble introduced the marketing world to the ‘First Moment of Truth’, the critical instant when the shopper stands in front of the shelf and makes a purchasing decision. Recognizing that everything hangs on that moment, P&G reverse engineers its campaigns from the shelf back, focusing on winning when it matters most. The Second Moment of Truth follows post purchase, when a consumer, who may not be the shopper, gets home and tries the product for the first time (as in “when she buys and when he tries”). Following in P&G’s formidable footsteps, Google added the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’. ZMOT captures the idea that the shopper now goes some way towards making up her mind about what she’s going to buy well before she reaches the shelf (if she reaches it at all). She forages through blogs and reviews, sounds out her social networks, and finally … Continue reading

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Google+ Challenges Both Facebook and Twitter

Quick, what existing social network is Google+ most likely to displace in terms of people’s time? Another Try by Google to Take On Facebook — Claire Cain Miller, New York Times This isn’t a Facebook-killer, it’s a Twitter-killer. — Yishan Wong, Google+ post A hearty congrats to Google for creating an offering that manages to be compared to both Facebook and Twitter. The initial press focused on Google+ as a Facebook competitor. But as people have gotten to play with it, more and more they are realizing that it’s just as much a Twitter competitor. I wanted to understand how that’s possible. How is it Google+ competes with both of those services? To do so, I plotted Google+’s features against comparable features in both Facebook and Twitter. The objective was to understand: Why are people thinking of Google+ as competitor to both existing social networks? How did the Google team … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Management, Social Media, Strategy, collaboration, marketing | 21 Comments
Innovation Lessons from Orson Welles

I’m still in Italy, where one of the topics of conversation is the recent special issue of The Economist, which discussed some of the problems that the economy here has experienced during the Berlusconi years (the special articles are summarized and linked here). Paul Kedrosky points to a response to this issue, where a reader quotes this great scene with Orson Welles from The Third Man: Watching Welles deliver the quote is worthwhile, but in case you can’t access it, here is what he says: “In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” There are a few innovation lessons in this, including: Geography still matters: Welles talks about different innovation regimes … Continue reading

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Distributing Innovation Work Effectively

We read, quite consistently, that innovation should be “everyone’s” job. That’s a simple encomium that is at least partially true. However, we also know that innovation is difficult, exacting work that requires new insights and new skills. How can “everyone” do innovation when barely anyone gets any training? So, what is the appropriate distribution of the work involved in innovating? Should “everyone” participate, and by that do we mean literally everyone – customers, partners and employees, or are we only talking about internal employees when we say “everyone”? Or, if innovation is as important as we suggest that it is, shouldn’t we have experts doing innovation work? Shouldn’t our best people focus on innovation? I think in many firms innovation is the triumph of hope over experience. Innovation is fraught with risk, so few people are willing to dig deeply into what makes innovation work. …

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5 Strategy Implications of the Network as Your Customer

David Rogers, author of The Network Is Your Customer and executive director of the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School, stopped by the Kansas City Public Library last week for a speech on his book and its five strategy implications for brands. Strategy Implications from New Customer Roles The Network Is Your Customer examines how networks connect and change us since individuals can now be viewed as networks themselves. Rogers’ social networking model recognizes the advent of mobile technology in opening a whole new array of brand roles for individuals. These brand roles include (among others) serving as: Broadcasters (Iranian Revolution) Antagonists (United breaks guitars) Brand managers (creation of the Coca-Cola Facebook presence) Product innovators (Cisco I-Prize competition) One implication of the self-organizing nature of networks is brands should see themselves as situated within a network, but not at its center. With this fundamental shift, simply adding … Continue reading

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Disruption in the Legal Profession

The Economist recently related the story of Howrey, which two years ago was one of the world’s largest law firms, employing nearly 700 attorneys who together pulled in more than $1 million in profit per partner. Earlier this year, frayed and fatigued by flimsy profits, frustrated partners and failed merger talks, Howrey closed its doors. Several forces are conspiring against firms like Howrey and its ilk. The global economy has been kind to no industry, but few have felt pricing pressure as much as the historically profitable (some would say profligate) legal profession. Add to that the complexities and competitive pressures brought about by rapid globalization, plus new technologies (electronic discovery, digitally-enabled research) that can perform formerly human tasks, and it’s easy to understand why new marketplace realities are causing our friends in law places to scratch their heads. It’s about time. Oh, I don’t mean that in a mean-spirited … Continue reading

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Did Cookie Monster Mislead Us?

What? Cookie Monster mislead us? That’s like questioning mom, apple pie and the 4th of July! But he did. If you don’t believe me, just watch this very short (one-minute) video clip: Where’s the fib? In his implication that there’s only one right answer to the question. From a very early age we‘re taught by authority figures to think in rigid ways. In particular, we’re taught that there is one, and ONLY one, right answer to every problem or question. As evidenced by the video clip, even Cookie Monster gets in on the act. And he’s just the tip of the iceberg. Did you take the SAT or ACT exams in high school? Or maybe the LSATs on the way to law school? Remember how many of the multiple-choice questions had several likely answers? I can remember constantly fighting the urge to fill in more than one bubble. If I … Continue reading

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