system two

system two
start-up thinking in the enterprise

Monday, 30 June 2008

"no logo"....more like "all logo"

Really interesting piece here .

In short - most consumers make choices burdened by asymmetries of information. i.e. they aren't able to make truly rational purchase decisions because they are not in possession of all the facts.

But of course that is changing.

Within 5 years, a customers ability to instantly access reliable data on how a product or service performs - will mean the age of pulling a fast one on your customers is over. Only total honesty, total openness will suffice - or to put it another way - the consumers' cynicism about what they're being told in ads will be complete.

All this means of course within a very short space of time the concept of marketing itself will be radically different - it will no longer be an activity associated with convincing people to buy stuff.

The role of public relations will be as important as ever - marketing on the other hand will become a business activity - pushing a brands identity into ever more creative and interesting activities - to augment the perception of the core product/s.

This in itself will drive the next phase of globalisation as mega brands coalesce around whole sectors whose product and activities support each other.

But what is really interesting - what is really going to change the face of our society forever - is brands becoming the true guardians of our ecological, social and political aspirations.

It will be brands, not politicians or NGO's who will become the catalysts to a fairer, more sane, calmer world.

Brands will defend our rights. They will champion ever more serious causes. They will migrate closer and closer to the social, economic and political heart of our culture. Within 10 years we may well have politicians having their salaries and expenses paid for, by brands.

No logo....more like all logo.

Friday, 27 June 2008

what is the semantic web?

Recently the concept of the semantic web has been coming up in conversations - and many people I talk to don't seem to have a grip on exactly what it is.

A "semantic"(or meaning) web is one in which machines "understand" data. Data about data if you like.

Ostensibly, from a business perspective, the semantic web is about data - but it will likely be much more than this as the idea matures. In time, by using a common language (RDF), a technical ecology will evolve where systems and devices of all kinds can share data and come to understand each other more completely. Many people are talking about the semantic web as the world growing a central nervous system.

As a drugs company. I might want to find out why a particular group of people in an area are more susceptible to diabetes.

At the moment, due to the limitations on the amount and type of data I could practically look at, I might confine myself to the obvious - I might look at smoking rates, or lifestyle data.

In a semantic web world - I would instantly be able to pull in a much wider variety of data from different sources - allowing me to see non linear correlations between the disease and factors I could never have assessed before. Perhaps a DTI data set could tell me how many lorries with toxic waste travel on the nearby roads? Is diabetes related to the amount of dog poo in the local park? Perhaps data on the weather could tell me whether there was any link to above average rainfall?
At a practical level then, the semantic web is about the format of data. The establishing of a common language and systems to enable people to combine information, cut it how they want, and make it more useful for themselves in the real world.

Getting our heads round the digital channel - corporate incongruence

From experience way less than 50% of businesses are truly engaging in what we might call web 2.0.

Many are struggling with 1.0 and its hardly surprising. What the hell is a folksonomy? And more to the point, how the hell is knowing what one is, going to help me sell more wigits next quarter?

The web landscape is changing so rapidly that even as someone who makes it their business to be informed, I'm faced, pretty much daily, with a new bit of technology or concept I need to get my head round - its bewildering and scary. A lot of senior marketeers appear to be getting left behind.

There are brands, who, like annoying younger siblings, seem to be at ease with the web - Avis, HP, Dell. So what are these companies doing that others aren't?

Well, for one, they've realised the need to re-engineer pretty much their entire corporate structure to take account of what their customers want. They are listening like never before - and that takes courage and time.

A brand I was talking to a couple of weeks ago was convinced that they wanted to talk about being green. I showed them online where people were screeming at them that the environmentally friendly options on their products were buried deep in the menu structure of their machines. They weren't being congruent. Their corporate body was saying one thing but the body language was saying another.

If you're a senior marketeer who wants a daily 5 minute tutorial on the web and how you can use it. I hope you bookmark my blog.