Invertising: Advertising’s Future?

[via The Pondering Primate] MediaPost writes:

THE LATIN ROOT OF “ADVERTISE”–ADVERTERE–LITERALLY means “to turn towards.” It is the same root for the word “adversary.” This sense of confrontation at the essence of advertising may be what undergoes the most radical change in the next decade of marketing sponsorship. Contrary to popular wisdom, consumers do not hate advertising per se. People continue to buy through catalogs that arrive in their mailboxes; search advertising is booming because people click ads targeted to their queries; and we can all hum a dozen favorite TV jingles.

Yet, in this world of hyper-fragmented media and too many marketing messages, consumers are acting to avoid the overload, paying for the unadulterated media they want, and investing in technology to strip out unwanted ads. With the skyrocketing popularity of blogging and TiVo, iPods, NetFlix, and peer-to-peer networks, consumers are starting to expect more control over their entire media experience, a phenomenon at odds with interruptive advertising.

Procter & Gamble Chief Marketing Officer Jim Stengel told the audience at the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ media conference last year: “All marketing should be permission marketing. All marketing should be so appealing that consumers want us in their lives.”

“Permission marketing” may not be the best phrase to describe the new era of marketing that is already beginning to take shape. “Service marketing” may be closer to the idea.

Timing-based Competition

HBS Working Knowledge has an article by Donald Sull with Yong Wang:

Entrepreneurs and managers must consider not just one, but multiple, windows of opportunityincluding customers, competitors, capital markets, technical evolution, and government policy among others. To further complicate matters, these windows vary in importance over time and are constantly shiftingopening a crack or threatening to close altogether. As a result, entrepreneurs must get the timing right to get through the windows that matter.

To simplify the task of evaluating the timing, it is helpful to focus on three windows of opportunity, specifically customers, competitors, and context (including external factors other than buyers and rivals), which consistently matter in evaluating whether the timing is right to pursue an opportunity. Many people have discussed time-based competition, in which the faster rival beats the slower. The three windows of opportunity model, in contrast, focuses on timing-based competition. There is no assumption that faster always trumps slower. Wahaha, for example, pioneered the children’s nutritional drink segment. In other cases, however, Wahaha followed early entrants who educated consumers on the benefits of enriched milk, bottled waters, and cola. Success depends on concentrating resources on the right opportunity at the right time. Getting the timing right, to a large extent, requires managers to make their move when all three factors are aligned. Timing will, of course, also be influenced by internal factors. Much of timing, however, depends on forces largely outside the control of an entrepreneur or manager.

Dashboard Widgets

Jeremy Wagstaff writes about an alternative to RSS:

They’re called widgets, or dashboards, or both, and they do more or less everything RSS feeds do, but they also do a lot of things RSS feeds don’t do, or at least don’t do as simply. Which might make them perfect for you.

One of the downsides, to me, of newsreaders is that they pretty much take up the same amount of desktop space as your browser or your email program: namely, most of it. And you need to switch from what you’re doing in Microsoft Word or Outlook, or wherever you spend most of your day, to see what’s going on in the RSS world. This is OK for folk like me who read RSS feeds like they were my daily newspaper. But what if you just want to check the sports results, any updates to your company Web site, or the weather?

This is where the widget works well. Widgets are basically little jigsaw bits of software that sit anywhere on your desktop, taking up very little space. Once you’ve installed the basic software, you select the widgets you want from the program’s homepage and you’re ready to go. Each widget is a self-contained feed, delivering its own bits of information to that corner of your screen. But what kind of information? Well, depending on what kind of widget you’ve installed, it could be anything from newly arriving emails for you to a video stream from a traffic camera on your route home. It could be any outstanding auctions you’re interested in at eBay or a shipment from FedEx you’re tracking. All of these little slices of data could appear on your screen in separate little unobtrusive windows, placed wherever you want them, updating automatically.

I think of widgets as single-item RSS feeds — where the permalink stays the same and the item gets updated in-place.

Gadgets and Applications

Dana Blankenhorn writes:

The 1990s were all about the Internet. (The picture is from a great site called i-Learnt, for teachers interested in technology.)

This decade is all about gadgets.

Digital cameras, musical phones, PSPs, iPods — these are the things that define our time. While they can be connected to networks their functions are mainly those of clients.

In some ways it’s a “back to the future” time for technology. We haven’t had such a client-driven decade since the 1970s, when it was all about the PC.

In some ways this was inevitable. The major network trend is wireless, so we need a new class of unwired clients.

And that’s really the missing word in this decade — applications. Most of what we’ve been doing has been replicating what was done before, only with smaller devices. Software development, especially network software development, has not moved forward. We have consolidation in the software space because we don’t have enough innovation there.

A New Newsroom

Jeff Jarvis writes:

There are three imperatives for change in newsrooms:

1. The input: New news gathering: Newsrooms need to redefine news and news gathering. They need to be open to new sources of news, including the reporting of the people they used to view as the audience: yes, even bloggers. To use our parlance today, newsrooms need to think of themselves — again — as aggregators, gathering — and sometimes packaging, sometimes not — the news their communities create.

2. The output: New dissemination on new schedules: We’ve said it a million times: We no longer wait for the news — for the paper to land on the doorstep or for the show to start. Now the news waits for us — when we want it (when it happens or when we are curious), where we want it (online, on mobile, or on yet-uninvented toys), and how we want (just our topics, just what we don’t know).

3. The back-and-forth: Join the conversation: And we’ve said this a million times, too: News is a conversation and that conversation is going on with or without us. We used to think the news was done, baked, finished when and only when we published it. But that’s when the news starts, when the public — who, as Dan Gilmor has repeatedly said, knows more than we do — adds its questions and facts and perspectives. The news doesn’t belong to us; we just gather and disseminate it in a world that abhors middlemen. We need to enable the conversation or get out of the way.

TECH TALK: Letter to a 2005 Baby: Advice for Life (Part 5)

Dear Abhishek,

Remember these Forget-Me-Nots

Even as weve talked about a lot of the new technologies and the world of tomorrow, there are some old world values which you must never forget. Under no situation must you every compromise on Honesty and Integrity. It is so much easier to live life in a transparent manner and not have to remember the stories one has told others. Lies and half-truths have a way of coming back and hurting oneself to the worst of times. So, keep it simple. Whatever happens, tell the truth upfront.

Respect for parents and elders is something else you must always remember. Your generation will have unprecedented freedom. But that doesnt change the traditions and culture that we have. The oldies may belong to a different era but they do have some more wisdom and experience. You may not always agree with their decisions and actions. But you must understand and listen to their thinking.

Build some good friendships and nurture them. I have been lucky to have made a few wonderful friends. There is a lot you can learn and share with good friends. It takes time and a great deal of commitment to sustain friendships that last a lifetime. Trust me, there is no better investment that you can make. Your family and your close friends will always be there for you no questions asked. And you will need them through lifes ups and downs. Choose your friends carefully and then stay with them for life.

Keep a diary. Make it your own secret world. I started writing a diary when I was 15 years. I wrote for a few years, stopped, and then re-started. A diary is good because it helps you talk to yourself. It gives you a little time to reflect about the things you are doing and the events that are happening. Writing helps you think and act better. (Some parts of your diary can be shared with others through your blog.)

Finally, take life in its stride. Life is no bed of roses and neither is it full of thorns. It is a good mix of both. Ups and downs are going to be part of your life. Stay cheerful. The good times dont always last, and the bad times also will pass. It is this rich combination that makes life so much more exciting. The taste of success is sweeter if it comes after failure. And failure helps one learn and work that much harder. The optimism about life must always be there. There is always some good in everything that happens though it may not be very apparent initially.

As you do make and work towards making living your life and making your dreams come true, also remember these words by William Penn: “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

[PS: The full series is available here.]

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