Free: The Future of a Radical Price is a new book from Chris Anderson that has caused various folks to turn red, argue, get defensive and worry. Most of the worry was already there. But Free provides structure. That is a benefit. I chose to read Free while drinking herbal mint tea at Barnes & Noble. The venti tea cost $2.06 (I forgot to use my membership card). I was able to milk my tea for the several hours it took to read Free. I did not pay for Free. Which means I read Free for Free. By following the principles of Free, Barnes & Noble earned $2.06, instead of $25 something. While I do not believe this pleases Barnes & Noble, they earned more than Amazon this time around. That is also a benefit and maybe a quandary. How to get herbal mint tea out of a Kindle. hmmm.
The lesson? Change happens. And it is always hard. Big change tends to blow away the established players. As Seth Godin writes — the establishment always says to new things, ‘But that’s a special case.’ Continue reading
One of my morning peruses is Seth Godin. I like his attitude. And I like the fact that he understands that it is about the “what.” or the “stuff.” “Hey. It’s not so hard. If you make great stuff, people will find you.” (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/) I asked a client not long ago when he wanted to find new channels because the old ones were not delivering the results…”Is your stuff up to snuff?” Is yours?
“It’s what you say, most of the time, not how you say it.” (Seth Godin – Seth’s Blog – 3/14/07) In a recent post Seth Godin nailed what I think is the “missing link” for many marketers. The “what” should always carry the day. I think that is something a lot of deep pocket marketers have gotten away from because they feel they can. So, as I pointed out in an earlier post (Frog Blog – 3/10/07) “Too many times ads seem to be created for their shock values and for the entertainment of the account executives or the creative directors.” But smaller, less well-funded marketers don’t always get it right either. They just tend to err on the other end of the spectrum. “Tell them everything in every piece.” Just as the “what” can get lost in the glitz and glammer it can also get lost in too many words.
Seth Godin writing about what kills marketing creativity, identifies two primary culprits: Fear and Lack of Imagination. As part of his piece, Mr. Godin says: “Basically, most people don’t believe something better can occur. They believe that the status quo is also the best they can do. So they don’t look. They don’t push. They don’t ask, “what else?” and “what now?” They settle.” It is so easy for a marketing organization to fall into this trap…innovation often creates discomfort throughout a company. And when marketing looses it edge the rest of an organization will follow. Recently I spoke about a study that divided Midwest manufacturers into Advanced, Progressive, Struggling and Disengaged categories based on their desire to incorporate new technology and systems into their workflow. The largest group – The Disengaged – have lost their vision for change and innovation. Even under extreme economic pressure they fall into the … Continue reading