Thursday, November 24

European Consumer Marketing Forum

A truly brain crunching week of marketing thinking and innovation started with:

This years Forrester Consumer Marketing Forum proved to be a really worthwhile few days of discussing the latest trends in technology and their implications for marketers.

Nikesh Arora gave us his vision of the (near) future. The overriding strategy appears to be freely available information for all. Sounds simplistic but is far from it. When you look at Google's implementation of this concept it is clear that free means free. And that "free" means finding better, cheaper, faster ways to bring you the world's content - audio, video, books, magazines, notes, cars for sale...

Watch out blue-chip businesses, this is the age of disruption and Google, along with others, are coming your way. By the way, I don't buy the 'evil Google' sentiment that's circulating. Google have been pushing the boundaries for us all at a time when Microsoft was running out of steam.

Following this theme Saul Klien described the world of Skype. A world where phone calls are free - almost - and voice becomes an integrated part of the web, not an awkward bolt on. Perhaps, in a few years, the VoiP push will lead to the break-through in real and effective use of audio on websites. Currently everyone is using audio/video online to do what old media does - the web has many more possibilities...

Forrester's Head of Consultanting, Jorgos Achtsivassilis, wrapped up the conference with recommendations on business structures to cope with consumer innovation. Putting consumers at the heart of the business. The overriding principle is that the value chain is shifting, that consumers are 'touching' sales, marketing, distn, accounting functions in a non-linear way. So simply producing a product and pushing it like a sausage factory through the company and out to the consumer is not working.

We can see these value-chain shifts all around us, from EasyJet and RyanAir to Airlines and Technology businesses. Dell was one of the first scale innovators in its space to realign its company around the consumer. Gore is another incredible company:
Since 1958, Gore has avoided traditional hierarchy, opting instead for a team-based environment that fosters personal initiative, encourages innovation, and promotes person-to-person communication among all of our associates.

If Ventures in PIXELS emulates just 10% of these outstanding companies we will all be very happy:-)

This blog is being written to the tunes of "Look UP" by Zero 7


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