An excellent Ad Age article by Al Reis on the often misunderstood key difference between marketing and advertising, and why GM doesn’t get it.
I think he’s wrong. Advertising at GM is not broken. Marketing is.
Marketing’s job is to coordinate all the various disciplines inside a corporation in order to develop the right product, the right price, the right position, the right distribution strategy and the right brand name.
Advertising’s job is to position that brand name in the minds of consumers.
Good marketing makes advertising relatively easy. Bad marketing makes advertising difficult, if not impossible.
(Thanks Dave)… more
From the display tables to the “Guru Bar”, it’s hard not to page through the leaked Powerpoint describing design plans for Microsoft’s retail stores as highly imitative of Apple Stores.
Now, check out this excellent Adult Education (“a useless lecture series”) talk by Gaylord Fields called “Yeah Yeah … Uh, No: Exploring the Audiovisual Phenomenon of Beatles-Lookalike Long Playing Albums”.
It’s an odd thing to spit into a vial and send your saliva FedEx across the continent. So it was that curiosity tempted me a few months ago to try out 23andMe‘s personal genetics test.
Basically, you order a kit online for $399. It arrives a couple weeks later. You spit in the special vial, seal it up, and send it off. And another few weeks later an email arrives that tells you that your online profile has been completed. Pretty easy, actually.
The confidential (yet privately shareable) report summarizes your genome scan and provides you with a variety of health, traits, and ancestry – complemented by a rich library of background research.… more
Competitive Advantage Is Fleeting (And It’s Okay to Admit It). An interesting HBS article by Rita McGrath.
One implication of hypercompetition that has not yet gotten the attention it deserves is that the skill of getting out of things and re-focusing your organization is likely to be just as important as spotting opportunities and moving to capture them. I suggest that the vast majority of companies struggle with letting go, while the more adroit strategists make the necessary judgment calls and move on.… more
Recess was the best, wasn’t it? Ah, well, here’s a pretty cool program out of New York that seems to be recapturing that fun and exercise for a wider audience: Punk Rope!
Punk Rope is a playful mash-up of recess and boot camp that’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Each class is a unique blend of creative calisthenics, group conditioning drills, relay races, rope jumping, and core training. Students come in all ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. Everybody is welcome! … more
I’ve posted previously about how great Patrick Watson songs and shows are (I’ve seen at least 14 of ’em!). It’s been fun watching this band improve and earn the acclaim they are now almost universally receiving. Their latest album, Wooden Arms, dropped last month and is start-to-finish wonderful. If you like pop-piano-acoustic-percussive type tunes, take a listen. And watch this beautifully shot takeaway show by Vincent Moon.… more
The word “publicacy” was coined by Scott Cleland, author of the insightful web policy The Precursor Blog, as a needed antonym to “privacy”. In the age of Web 2.0 social networks, mobile phone GPS, cload computing, and a growing variety of “wisdom of crowds” data analysis, the “publicacy ethos” – that “if technology innovation can make information public, it should be public and that there should be no permission or payment required to access, use or remix this new ‘public’ information” – becomes an increasingly important subject for discussion and debate. As this NY Times article explains, you’re leaving a digital trail and tracking that trail is valuable learning – both commercially and societally.… more