Google encourages its employees to spend 20% of their time on creative endeavors – a concept it calls “Innovation Time.” Many of Google’s most popular products including Gmail and Adsense originated from these independent projects. Google executives have stated that 50% of Google’s new product launches have originated from the 20% of free time employees have to pursue these discretionary activities. I think that marketing executives should embrace a similar principle for the key thought leaders.
If you have not picked up a copy of World Wide Rave I would encourage you to do so. It is a quick read that is full of interesting case studies and guiding principles. For example, there are helpful checklists such as 10 recommendations for creating YouTube videos and 16 rules for designing great e-books. There are too many good ideas to try to comment on, but I did want to call attention to four key principles that I found particularly compelling while reading the book.
This past weekend I configured my FiOS TV service to access my Twitter account. There are lots of cool aspects of the FiOS Twitter widget. Not only can you monitor the Tweets of people you are following, but you can also monitor all of the Tweets about the program you are watching. Imagine watching the season finale of LOST, while also monitoring a stream of insights and predictions from other devoted fans. With these types of widgets the nature of news reporting and analysis could change. Instead of waiting until after President Obama’s newscast to get expert opinions from CNN reporters, you can see viewer’s reactions to proposed health care reforms in real time.
In my last post I described the experience of creating two Squidoo lenses. While there were a number aspects to Squidoo that I enjoyed, there were a few annoying limitations that I struggled with during lens development. I have outlined the five changes I would most like to make to Squidoo’s advertising, content and formatting features.
Over the past six months I have been developing two lenses on Squidoo. Both of these lenses were corporate in nature, evangelizing the mission of my current employer. I found the experience of creating a lens to be very cool. There are an infinite number of ways that you can group content together in various ways to educate readers on a particular subject area. Squidoo makes it easy to link in content from YouTube, SlideShare, Delicious, Yelp, Twitter, Flickr and Amazon.com. However, I significantly underestimated the amount of time and effort required to develop a lens.
I received a copy of Groundswell in March of 2008, while attending Forrester’s marketing conference in Los Angeles. I finally got a chance to read it last week. Chapter 1 was my favorite of the whole book. E It provides nearly irrefutable arguments about why any company cannot afford to ignore the transformational, groundswell effect that social computing is having on the world. The authors offer great examples of how attempts to remove HD-DVD encryption codes and pictures of Barbara Streisand’s house from the Internet resulted in considerable backlash. “You can’t take something off the Internet. That’s like trying to take pee out of a swimming pool.”
One of the things I like best about Microsoft’s web site is the image gallery within the Press Pass. Within the gallery, Microsoft posts downloadable versions of various images including their product logos for Office and Windows; application screen shots for Excel and PowerPoint and product box images for SQL Server and BizTalk. Of course, Microsoft’s corporate logo is posted as well. Additionally, there are hardware images of Microsoft’s keyboards, mice and joystick products. Microsoft even posts 5-6 different images of the Redmond campus.
The media has been relentlessly bashing GM with negative front page headlines for almost two decades now. Newspaper writers across the country have criticized GM for failing to react to changing market conditions with innovative new products; failing to create enough value to attract financing from private capital sources; and failing to overcome its challenges with labor unions and infrastructure overcapacity. My response to this is “Hello? Newspaper editors– look in the mirror!” If there is any industry that is run more poorly that the US automotive sector has been in recent years it is the newspaper business!
In my last post, I made the case that the media industry, not the unions or debt holders, are the biggest obstacle to GM’s success in the US market. However, despite decades of front-page articles and headlines criticizing GM’s management team, the company has remained loyal to traditional advertising approaches to drive demand for its products. I find it particularly ironic that GM continues to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the very companies that are profiting from its demise. Consider that in 2009, GM has spent $112M on newspaper advertising this year alone, which amounts to 27% of its overall advertising budget.
In my posts earlier this month, I began a discussion about how the new applications on LinkedIn could be used by corporate marketing departments to better communicate with customers. Another interesting business application, which shows high potential long term as low-cost mechanism for performing primary market research is end-user polls.