Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quantum innovation in Marketing

On my way to an innovation conference last week (that's how I use many of my few days of vacation a year - I am crazy!), I had voiced my concern about the huge marketing inefficiencies stemming from the traditional, broad forms of mass marketing that most companies generally embrace.


I wish only 10% of the estimated wasted annual dollars would go to creating new learning and personal development opportunities for children around the world.  This would already make a big difference and certainly open the doors for a better future to many.

Anyway, it's like in politics, those who criticize generally do not have the guts to drive change themselves.  I am not one of those, and even if these are just words in essence, I hope that these few marketing thoughts will evolve towards actions that can help make marketing investments much more focused on contribution margin efficiency and scalability.

As a matter of fact, I don't believe that marketing is a continuous channel.

What I mean by that is that on the other side of any marketing channel there are people.  Psychology plays a key role in marketing as the core driver of any marketing result is the ability to shape the target audience's perceived value of your product or service to trigger the intended strategic action.  The objective of a marketing campaign along the funnel of purchase decision making can generally take six forms: awareness, consideration, liking, preference, persuasion, or purchase.  The value pricing model is a great one to consider to understand how direct marketers are sculptors of perceived value and how cost of good sold, total economic value, perceived value, and price interact and come together to influence sales behaviors.

Nonetheless, all models appear way too smooth and continuous when scalability in the marketing world is much more discrete.  I am speaking to this from experience, not theory.

The most successful campaigns that I have seen around me, or led in some of my marketing positions, were intimately related to their ability to tap into the irrational zone of the target audience's minds.

It's all about quantum in the end as there is no linear path to this mysterious interactive universe.

Energy is a lot about quantum too when we think about it.  I remember from a long time ago the discrete levels of energy in the materials that surround us are not continuous, they also are discrete.  The Schrodinger's Equation is a classical way to represent level of energies, it's about spots, not flowing streams.

It's actually fun to play with that equation.  When you solve it under a few basic conditions, it's quite artistic to see how the density of the orbitals come along.

It looks a bit like tribal signs from another world, a world where modern art and quantum science come together in perfect unison.

So how does quantum of energy relate to innovation in marketing?

There most likely is no equation to tap into human "irrationales"; however, I believe that design thinking in marketing is the key to unleashing the viral power of irrational emotions. 

As creativity is able to spawn irrational emotion, through what I call design content, the target audience's reaction is of quantum importance, and so are the bottom line results.

There is a slew of fresh minded entrepreneurs who have started to understand that marketing scalability and sustainable growth is coming from that angle.

I met a few of them last week in San Francisco, it was like a breeze of fresh air arousing my constant entrepreneurial dreams.

One of them was a young guy from a College near Boston that is very active in the area of entrepreneurship.  He created VS (ViralSkool) 

Another one was more experienced and it was a pleasure to discuss his vision with him.  This guy understood that one of the key dimensions that any marketer should excel at is loyalty.  Loyalty is complex.  Way too often, the true potential of creating engaging loyalty program with target consumers to build sustainable lifetime value is overseen, most marketers barely scratch the surface by distorting the true long term value of consumer advocacy on the sake of short term financial incentives.

Badegeville got it:

They empower marketers to leverage a much broader spectrum of motivators, beyond the rationale, to spur a new level of viral loyalty fan interaction.

Real-time video is also an area where we are just scratching the surface of something big.

It's getting late, I have to go to bed but, I'd just like to share "Brandlive" with you, they rock:

All of this is pretty cool and exciting but there are many more pending question marks.

How do we take these great ideas and ensure that they are scalable over time?  
Are they just a few minuscle steps towards new quanta of disruptive innovation?

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