Grant McCracken‘s book, Chief Culture Officer, makes a bold declaration: corporations must institutionalize the study of culture in order to make things that resonate better with consumers. He proposes doing this by creating a new C-level executive: the CCO. The CCO is responsible for keeping the corporation in touch with culture, and to find ways to align the corporation with the culture of the moment. In that way, the corporation can affectively integrate with larger cultural moments, connect in an authentic way, and increase its own profits.
This framework sounds wondrous: the public gets a corporation more attuned to what they want. The corporation gets a larger customer base. And the CCO gets to sit on top of the pile.
But, you know what they say about things that seem too good to be true, right? The sad reality is that the type of role that McCracken defines would surely be doomed to failure. Continue Reading »
Games have been around for thousands of years. But while Go and Chess are complicated (and have even been proven to correlate with intelligence), for most of history, games have not been taken seriously. Until video games came along. In the span of 30 years, a great gaming industry was built. Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Sony, Atari, and Microsoft owe billions of dollars in revenue each year to games. The video game industry is now worth more than $18BN (incidentally, that’s more than the movie industry). And Zynga, the social gaming company that created Farmville and Mafia Wars on Facebook, went from a valuation of $1BN last year to $3BN in February, to $5BN in April. Continue Reading »
Recently, Augie Ray and Josh Bernoff at Forrester Research released a new study on “peer influence analysis” – a systematic, data-driven way to determine who the influencers are for a particular brand, and understand the social channels in which they are active.
They used technographic profiles to slice users by social activity, in order to determine “Mass Connectors” and “Mass Mavens” (with appropriate hat tip to Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point). What they found was that just 16% of internet users account for 80% of social influence – which might include content creation, impressions, virality, and other factors.
Growing up, I must have watched “Bill Cosby, Himself” at least 40 times. I can recite most of it to you from memory even today. I’ll spare you that trauma, but Cosby has his finger on the pulse of cocaine (this whole clip is hilarious, but his discussion of cocaine starts at 3:30):
With recent developer conferences from Facebook and Twitter, and the forthcoming Google I/O conference, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the breathless excitement of possibility. It gives tech blogs many millions of pageviews to chronicle each minor announcement as if it were a game-changer.
But, in the weeks and months that follow, the sheen inevitably wears off, and developers start determining which innovations are truly exciting, and which are just so much hype.
It’s the community that makes are breaks these companies – a point that is very apparent when we look back just two short years, at the hottest technology of 2008: Web3D.
Previously, I talked about how marketers need lots of content – way more content than they can produce themselves. That’s where the emerging category of curation tools becomes an important part of the online marketer’s arsenal.
Curation tools help push a lot of content through your site. That’s a good thing – you stay relevant in search engine results, and keep popping up in social spaces every time a new piece of content goes up on your site. Continue Reading »
In a complex sale, the path from awareness to purchase is long and fraught with distraction. Many different stakeholders are consulted at different times, and with different information needs. The business analyst who is looking to streamline a process might initially find your service. The system engineer then needs to vet whether it will fit into the existing structures. The C-suite needs to understand how this piece fits in with the larger business roadmap. And the end user needs to understand how the new solution will be better than the current one.