Smartphones and Cake

BB vs. iPhone

It was one of those days, where I spoke to a potential partner about competitive advantage.  It was hard to get a read on the person, like so many others.  Jobs said people don’t know what they want, you have to show them.  But some people do not know what they want even after you show them.   Jobs, people know they want a thing; a tangible thing, when they see it, but they struggle with abstract things.

Deep  Research

Okay, that headline was false.  I did not really deeply research this phenomenon that I come to call the Rowe Effect.  But, I’ve kept an eye on it for a few decades.  Uber is an abstract concept that was sufficiently executed and then grew into the thing that we know it as today.  Few people know that Uber was not a “taxi service” as such, but an app for people to carpool.  Through need and supply, pivots and incrementalism, the Uber Original became  Uber Today.  Companies like Lyft, on the other hand, saw during  the early stages of Uber that there is an need for a crowd sourced taxi service, if one can label it as such.  Lyft never had to go through the metamorphosis. 

Relevance

I have to remind myself that this is a media/video blog and not rant about my frustrations swimming up-stream.  Video on the Internet (VOI) are solidly part of our daily info or entertainment diet.  But unlike the old day, when you got your info and entertainment over a square box, there are in modernity none of the  gate keepers in the form of broadcast bosses.  Or is there? 

Catch 22

How no one can see this is beyond me.  The modern gatekeeper is not the whimfull TV boss; it is a highly logical algorithm that gets its marching orders from a democratic consensus.  This is a mouthful, but let me say it in another way:  what you see in your feed is what everyone wants to see in their feed.  To get out of that track is very hard.  Also for said track to change is a slow and difficult process.  If no one is discovering you it will be hard to be discovered.  If you already highly ranked, you will rank more highly.   This is obvious but what is less apparent is that a lot of great content will never hit your eyeballs because there is a curation problem which the old days of TV did not have.  Sure the old days had other issues, but this issue is an elephant in the room, at least for me. 

Let Me Spell It Out

Content producers, technicians, service providers et-all should self-unionize and self-curate.    They should form teams, groups, circles; networks where their efforts can be co-ordained.  Things like knowledge, skills, and even cost of marketing can be co-opted. Burden and profits are shared.   It comes down to game-theory of which I wrote earlier. 

Cake

But in most cases, what I observe is that most prefer the cupcake over the 4 tier wedding cake.  Most understand cupcake and are intimidated by the complexity of 4 tier wedding cake.  Or, and this is the most likely, they will rather have all of a cupcake than; God Forbid, share any part of a wedding cake. 

Compare Apples with Apples

Think Different

No one understand advertising better than the people at Apple, or Mac, or Apple Mac, which ever you prefer.   This was  Apple’s “Think Different” advertising campaign 1997-2002. 

As one would expect, the fanboys and Cult of Mac went mad over it, but the concentric circles reached much wider out to media and advertising.  For years that was the look everyone went for.   The video was fine and all, but compare it to this one:  Here’s to those who have always seen things differently,  Published on Sep 9, 2014.

 

Two things can be gleaned from this.

  1. Apple has matured as a brand.  Which one of the two screams out:
    I AM MAC!
  2. Which one is more genetic?  Which is to say, which one will/can be eazily imitated for half a decade by every second rate rinky-dink “ad agency” in housewife suburbia? 

This is a no brainier.     Jobs would say:  “Don’t be generic.”  I’m sure he would’ve.

Don’t be generic.
Don’t be generic.  SP Jobs.

 

Here is some real Steve quotes for those who are into that sorda thing.

 

PAY THE PIPER

pay the piper

But Not Too Much

There is this creepy story, a fable, about a Pied Piper.     To what the morel of the story is; well sources are conflicted.  Thus, I will derive my own meaning from it. 

A Grudge Purchase

Such is it with a grudge purchase that you want to get it over and out of the way.   Insurance companies sell you “peace of mind”.  They know that the odds of anything happening to you are slim.  But they also know that you know that when tragedy strikes it can derail your live and that of your family’s for decades.

Pay the Piper

The reality is that you have to pay the piper.   But the good news is:  You don’t have to pay too much these days.  This is the age of AI and Big Data.  When budgeting for your marketing, you can already during the R & D phase start experimenting with keywords and leverage tools like Google Trends.    While keeping an eye on trends, you can tailor your message while in production to hit those keywords.  

A Surgical Instrument

Advertising is no longer a blunt tool.  It is a surgical instrument.   If your media people are still swinging a hammer around in the dark, you can be sure that someone will get hurt.  Chances are that it is your bank balance that will get a blow with  two by four.    Just saying. 

Practical Tip

  • In many cases the SEO or SM person is also the person responsible for making all the graphics.  There is nothing wrong with that.   In many ways it is ideal.  Make sure there is a synergy between all such departments.
  • As early as making a decision about a campaign, budged at least as much money for advertising during rollout as you will for making all the media.  Said in another way:  don’t blow all your cash on pretty things that no one will see.
  • Have a monthly budget  for keeping the advertisements up and keep tweaking it until you hit a sweet spot.  The tools for this are better than ever.  USE IT!