The Right Side of Amazon

This is an awesome logo parody ... if you are not on the wrong side and competing with Amazon.

Consumers root for Amazon because Jeff delivers - half of ALL online sales!

Yes he wants global domination, but we can all learn from how he stays ahead.

It's no secret. Amazon innovates new services and more efficient operations through persistent iterations to actually be customer service focused. 

Step #1 - want this. Step #2 - build and re-build it. Step #3 - Repeat.

One of my favorite Bezos quotes is, "I regularly get asked about what is going to change in the future... nobody ever asks me what is NOT going to change... I would say human nature is not going to change."  - being understood, appreciated, treated fairly... yeah, customer service.

R/GA, the impressively-ever-evolving Agency has a helpful take on how to compete with Amazon...  Simply, (which it isn't) establish more direct relationships with your consumers. Know them better... know them different.

"What differentiates success from obsolescence these days is a company’s ability to relate to its customers and deliver one-of-kind, memorable experiences ... Customer relationship management is going to be really important now because it’s going to be about understanding who your real core customers are, making sure you have a real relationship with them and building on that core ... Having a strong point of view and understanding of the consumer."

See a short post on how our partners at McKinsey solve customer issues by adapting supply chains and leveraging ecosystems... “Digitization of supply chains accounts for more than 75% of the impact on incumbents’ profit growth” ... 75%...!

Bezos has his team. You have us.

We at Creative Chaos are here for you when you want to design, build, and update your digital presence for more efficient and effective customer service. Websites, Mobile Apps,  enterprise fixes, custom software between platforms, supply chain visibility and management, etc.

But, remember, you don't have to hire us... Click to enlarge this below CBInsights teardown infographic about who Amazon is hiring so they can stay ahead... grow AWS, not bother with Advertising (smallest sliver), and provide the provocatively-named, AI-as-a-Service...

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Open Innovation = Ideas + Consensus + Process

Here are a few excerpts from another helpful HBR article:

... the reasons more ideas from open innovation aren’t being adopted are political and cultural, not technical. Multiple gatekeepers, skepticism regarding anything “not invented here,” and turf wars all hold back adoption.

in addition to having good ideas, those design agencies whose concepts were successfully implemented had a more flexible approach to all stages of the development process.

Successful designers took five strategic actions to cultivate flexibility and trust. … not to drive efficiency but to create consensus:
  1. Create a multi-layered network
  2. Foster equal ownership
  3. Establish interim milestones
  4. Build an open business case
  5. Prototype early

David Cutler is Managing Director at Creative Chaos. They provide tech team augmentation and custom software development for funded Startups, Agencies, strategy consultants, and corporate Innovation Labs, such  as: McKinsey  BionicSolutions and AB InBev's Zx-Ventures.

Digital Transformation Is Operation Optimization

Listen here as eMarketer interviews top marketers about the challenges of Digital Transformation.

This is my summary with my POV... well, at least what I am observing that works

Key Take Aways:  #1 - The most important opportunities are beyond marketing. #2 - Have trusted nerds on speed-dial.

Digital Transformation is your Digital Strategy for your Business Operations. 
Most business leaders are in"shock and awe."

"Digital" is over... everything is Digital
Hard to keep up - new channels - IoT, Connected Home, Car, voice!
Evolving market ... so no pressure to know everything

Embrace the iteration process 
Get ANYTHING into the market to react to - test test test

    - Use tech to deliver visibility and truth.
     -  Silos must flow around a consistent customer journey
     - Do not rely on Facebook for an assessment of YOUR customers
     - Get tech architects to connect the dots between platforms
     - Opportunities are around their use of you

Have CTRL = Content, Timing, Relevance, Location 
Get out there and feel real retail experiences and learning 
Emotional connections are NEEDED in this digital world
     - acknowledge our very human analog existence

Accept that there is ROI from learning 
Make it fun to find mistakes since they are the process
Embrace sharing and learning together between client, vendor, customer

Marketers must be:
- Data Scientists (know enough to see the truth)
- Social Butterflies (friend and critic of media platforms)
- Economists (choosing priorities ...that produce)

Set innovation funds to experiment (removed from brand P and L)
Support successes (Remember cross-corp knowledge sharing)

Again, Summary: Have trusted nerds on speed-dial

Fighting Thru Advertising Week 2017

Check out this list of some of the most interesting and controversial sessions at Advertising Week New York - Sep 25-28.

Now, so much more than "Advertising."

There is fighting for minds and budgets... cockfight or dogfight?


Our Only Hope ... Is TechDev!

Should Agencies be terrified that the market is shifting away from them to Management Consultants? ... Well, yes if they are not providing what the client needs (which is way more than creative marketing campaigns).

The "inside" Digitization needs of our corporate clients are not changing... they have been trying to evolve their Digital operations for decades.

The problem is that this transition to digital efficiency is difficult emotionally (who prioritizes what?) and technologically (who is coding what?).

The big Management Consultants have seized this opportunity by helping CEOs directly with this heavy lifting. Marketing Agencies are not... but they should and they can... by adding technology solutions beyond the Media Platforms.

Accenture, Deloitte, Mckinsey, PwC, etc. always follow the opportunity (so can you).

Here are some excerpts from the latest Advertising Age Cover Story - "Out of the Shadows, Consultants Creep in on Agency Turf." 

... bring together the agency's data, analytics, research, CRM and search technology capabilities with the goal of creating more personalized content for clients.

The big consultancies are underestimating the value of creativity [and] the agencies are under- exploiting the value of business analytics," said Ivan Pollard, senior VP-strategic marketing at Coca-Cola Co. "Someone's going to crack that soon because data plus creativity is the future."

... startups like Uber and Airbnb have built brands by disrupting traditional business models with easy-to-use consumer interfaces—not with big ad budgets.

"Historically, brands have been built by pushed messages" with ads that gave "suggestions about how you should feel, or emote or think about a product or service," he added. But "we don't believe that is true at all anymore." Instead, Accenture's philosophy is that brands are built through "hundreds of customer interactions," ranging from e-commerce experiences to how people are treated in physical stores

The new branding is this idea of building experiences for customers that allow them to experience you in ways that are much more honest and truthful and engaging than just standing on Mount Olympus shouting what it is that you want somebody to believe about your brand,

One of the things that the consultancies have going for them is that they are not going through the traditional marketing channels. They are either going top-down through CEOs, or they are even going through the board

Once inside, consultancies position themselves as cost savers via big reorganization projects, while ad agencies are perceived as cost drivers

Deloitte Digital's agency Heat says, " We won this account specifically because we understood their business. We could bring all of the competitive intelligence and business strategy to bear in the creative pitch process and ultimately brought a data-driven approach to world-class creative," Hatch said. "You've got to check all those boxes."

SO... the article headline is wrong. What the Managing Consultants provide has never been the "Turf" of the Agencies.

However, technology solutions integrated across a clients business goals is an opportunity AND an obligation for all vendor/partners.

FYI - Adweek also explodes this in the "Big Bang - New World Order - Global consultancies are rocking the agency world, creating a new universe of offerings that meld marketing and technology."

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Your Play is INSIDE

By neglecting digital supply chains and ecosystems, 
companies risk irrelevance

Most companies have been focusing their digital efforts on their OUTSIDE  marketing ... but, "The aspect that makes the biggest difference in successful digital reinvention is morphing from products to platforms, which means adapting supply chains and leveraging ecosystems."

Mckinsey's Director of their Global Institute has done the research ...  
"Digitization of supply chains accounts for more than 75% of the impact on incumbents’ profit growth"
Here are 3 hurdles to get over:

1. Launching a digital platform requires a willingness to disrupt your industry, and your own business. To date, only 10% of companies have dared to take that route; the majority fear self-cannibalization and the loss of their current dominant position — even though this position may prove short-lived as digitization advances.

2. Moving into the platform game is hard for companies with legacy IT investments. Building a digital platform requires an agile and scalable IT architecture — something for which most few incumbents prepared in their past technology investments.

3. The platform game requires an allo-centric rather than ego-centric approach. When investing in a new industry ecosystem, the primary focus should be on growing that ecosystem’s total value. That’s not a natural mindset for traditional companies. Most incumbents worry mainly about their own share of the pie, not about growing the pie for everyone. This is a strategic mistake, as I argued in a 2015 article in the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing. The best way to ensure a high share of the digital ecosystem is to both shape it and distribute value fairly in the network, which helps ensure that others adopt the platform and make it sustainable.

"The incumbents that succeed in the digital future are those that cultivate organizational agility, an ecosystem mindset and willingness to self-disrupt."

(you want more)

Read how Management Consultants are providing what Marketing Agencies are not. 
Hint #1: It is way more than marketing and media

- See this overview of the varying degrees of Digitization in several industries...

Hint #2: The opportunities are in Hospitality, Healthcare, Entertainment and Recreation, and Real Estate.

- In Mckinsey's Report, this infograhic shows that there is HUGE need...

Hint #3: The Nikes, Amazons, Walmarts, etc. on the right-side are spending billions on digitizing their operations (not just marketing). The opportunity is to help ALL THOSE companies in the middle stay competit

(click to enlarge)

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AdAge IQ Martech Conference

Below are the hot points from yesterday’s AdAge IQ Conference for Marketing & Technology.  
This powerfully simple slide from Chiefmartec infographic-whisperer Scott Brinker says it all … technology is dictating our growth and pace. 

These are the 3 main topics from the stage and conversations with attendees:

1) Learn to adapt with tech by hiring a nerd. Partner with nerds. Revenge of the Nerds

2) There are 6.8 billion mobile phones. So there are 6.8 billion personalized versions of the Web. How are you making it easier for customers to include you?

3) The Marcom Tech “stack” is crazy-complicated (see Scott's "Supergraphic below). Agencies and partners must patiently help their marketing clients understand and communicate internally to get buy-in across their company.

Josh reminding us to adopt the new Marcom Tech language to inspire new creative thinking and data-driven actions.

Any conference that is starting to use the term “stack” is where I want to be…because this usually means there is conversation about integrating with the other levels of technologies (and my new favorite Agency partners!) between the business and customers. 

Julia Brady of The VIA Agency and I talked about our high expectations for events such AdAge IQ. Yes, we travel downtown and down from New England to network with connections, but, the same tech we are all talking about should be demonstrated and leveraged for OUR superior experiences before, during, and after the event. There are eager vendors that will deploy (literally) hands-on smartphone demos of live data providing insights and personalization for proximity-based meetings that match our personal profiles. Hey Nielsen...Data Demos!

These events can be a fun and functional “tech sandbox” allowing attendees to increase their value as curators of the most relevant content using presentations with multimedia links, research, and tools to share with internal teams and clients. 

Perhaps we should only go to industry events at tech-pimped venues like Cornell’s Tech Campus opening up this fall on Roosevelt Island. Check out some videos at the Consumer Electronic Show’s “C Space” for marketers.

Here are a few key slides from AdAge IQ:
(click to enlarge)
Nat sets the AdAge stage and our tech challenge

Spotify's Mayur says take your precision pit crew through these trecherous curves

Baker @TBWA doing the data dance...
BEFORE, during, and after campaigns

"The worst thing you can do is have the consumer feel your org chart" 
Jeriad Zoghby @AccentureSocial

The power-panel asks for patient support to question everything and get team buy-in.
Jenn tells vendors to prove it and get #s on the board
Anna says know (really know) your customers
Duane focuses on actions and conversions
Seona plans start to finish with her partners
Garrett  deftly navigated people and the QandA tech

Don't panic. Just start with focusing on the categories on Scott's supergraphic

Deep Antifragile Thinking

Industry engagement idea for Nielsen

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Are Your Customers James Bond?

Adobe has a new series of awesome video commercials that make you want to watch - and learn - about the features of their Marketing Cloud. This is the state of "advertising" at it's best ... a parody of a parody... ironic irony.

As you watch my favorite spot below, think about how your customers are as cool as James "Hunter" Bond ... they've done everything right... but once again, omnichannel marketing has let them down. Just look at the expression on the face of this frustrated customer #007.

This nails the problems and positions adobe as a solution.

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IoT Platform Roundup - Do The Wave

After a grain of salt or two (thousand) so the pay-to-play tastes better, check out Forrester's  new report on IoT Platforms

IBM, PTC, GE, and Microsoft lead the pack. AWS, SAP, and Cisco Jasper offer competitive options. LogMeIn, Ayla Networks, Exosite, and Zebra Technologies lag behind.

Do the Wave...

For more on the future of, well... Things. check out an overview of MIT Enterprise Forum's Connected Things event from earlier this year and mark your calendar for the next event in March 2017.

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Pilot Show - So You Want to Work in Tech

Ted Reed is at it again! My Emmy Award winning friend has a new broadcast TV and Internet program that will be both important and fun.

"So You Want to Work in Tech" will cover all the innovative tech activities in Boston and beyond... so you know where you can get involved ... and know where the future is already here disrupting your industry!

I am on his Digital Strategy team. And that's Erika Ebbel Angle from Scientists for Science and iRobot fame.

We will look behind the scenes of tech companies across the region and hear from people in specific job titles about how to get hired and succeed.

Our mission is to help build America (!) by supporting economic development in the Global Internet Economy. Plenty of tech jobs are available so let's get the right people in the right seats. And these are the best seats - growing fast, clean and sustainable, plus they can easily expand internationally.

The US, and especially Boston, needs trained employees in and around tech for ALL types of positions.... "So You Want To Work In Tech" will help everyone understand this ecosystem. 

Tech is in every company and position ... Keep up by staying ahead.

Check out the promo reel for the pilot ... 

Managed the platform for INTERACTIVE multimedia content and services at many resorts including across the Vail mountains (and many other locations like Times Square for Kodak)

Integrated mobile app into cross media promotions

Bringing  the mountains to Madison Avenue

Audi VIPs.jpg

On-line and on-slope events

ride and drive.jpg

Testing the most relevant ad and content partners

Partnering with the best for tech integration and content

Events for entrepreneurial inspiration

Innovation on every platform - Desktop apps before mobile apps

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Opportunity In Varying Degrees of Digitization

As I am always looking for industries that have a need AND a want for Digital strategy and software solutions (such as mobile presence with apps and connected devices), the current opportunities are in Hospitality, Healthcare, Entertainment & Recreation, and Real Estate.

Click to enlarge this Mckinsey chart for an industry breakdown. Look for low Digital use and high productivity growth.

There is huge growth potential:

This is from Mckinsey's "Haves and Have Mores"  Download Full report PDF
Last year Mckinsey has some advice
HBR has a POV

Mckinsey shares insight into how America can return to dynamic and inclusive growth... Here are 2 excerpts:

One of the 5 pillars of progress
  • Digitization. The US economy is rapidly digitizing, but its progress is highly uneven. Focusing on the gap between lagging sectors and those on the digital frontier is a key part of the productivity puzzle. Government can play a role by promoting digital investment, digitizing public services and procurement, clarifying regulatory standards to encourage digital innovation, and taking a nimble and experimental regulatory approach to keep pace with technological change.
Bringing these initiatives to fruition requires investing in the future. But that is not to say that the only answer is trillions of new taxpayer dollars. Some of these policy actions are simply about creating opportunities, modernizing rules, convening, and matchmaking. In addition, there is a great deal of private capital on the sidelines, and investors are hungry for opportunities. Some businesses are already working with federal and local administrators in areas ranging from workforce training to urban redevelopment. With so many technology breakthroughs and new markets on the horizon, the United States does not have to settle for stagnation. ..

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