Fredrik Johnsen and I did a breakfast seminar at Creuna about how businesses can start quick and easy with social media monitoring, a prerequisite for optimally utilising the business potential of social media. Check it out, but be ware, it’s in Norwegian! Also check out this blog post I did preceeding the seminar about the same topic, but more into the nitty gritty (also in Norwegian).
The video couldn’t be embedded (darn wordpress.com), but you’ll find it here and the slideshare below:
At Creuna where I work we talk a lot about why firms should become truly customer-centric and improve customer experiences across touch points continuously and holistically. Because “at the end of the day, customers no longer separate marketing from the product – it is the product. They don’t separate marketing from their in-store or online experience – it is the experience. In the era of engagement, marketing is the company,” as McKinsey perfectly puts it. Learn more about the principles of Customer Experience Management in this brilliant video by my colleague Torbjørn.
Vikram (I’ll use his first name for obvious practical reasons) makes a brilliant case for why society and business need more generalists in addition to the many specialists.
“Corporations around the world have come to value expertise, and in so doing, have created a collection of individuals studying bark. There are many who have deeply studied its nooks, grooves, coloration, and texture. Few have developed the understanding that the bark is merely the outermost layer of a tree. Fewer still understand the tree is embedded in a forest.”
The classic description of broad knowledge vs. deep knowledge is the saying from an ancient Greek poet that “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”. The fox is a generalist and the hedgehog is a specialist.
I’m a strong proponent of radical innovation in the music industry. My impression is that the people with power want to sustain the status quo, while it’s getting harder and harder for the artists, who just want to focus on making great music, to make ends meet. The disruptive emergence of digital means people expect to access all music, anywhere, at anytime, and the artist has been downgraded to supplying a commodity where the relationship between an artist and a fan is almost non-existent.
Digital has led to fierce competition, commoditisation and lowering margins (except for the very, very popular acts). But I’m not sentimental, the answer is not conservatism or fighting for the old ways. The reality is that the music industry is going to shrink quite a significant amount if they do not look more ahead and innovate more radically. If you’d ask them, they’d say they are adapting and innovating, but it’s way too little, too slow. Both the structure of the industry, business models and product strategy need to change, and they should start with fundamentally putting consumers’ needs at the centre of focus, not business’ needs.
It’s a moment that many industry observers have predicted for the best part of a decade: the US music market is now more digital than physical, by volume at least. Yet commoditisation increasingly demands entirely new strategies in order to monetise digital music.
According to figures from Nielsen SoundScan and Billboard magazine, digital music unit sales accounted for 50.3% of all music purchases in 2011, the first time that threshold has been crossed in the world’s largest music market.
The US is more advanced in digital than most of Europe. In the UK digital albums still account for less than a quarter of the market, although downloads of individual tracks far outstrip CD singles.
One in three albums is digital in the US, while Americans bought 100m more digital tracks overall in 2011 than the prior year, up over 8%.
But in spite of the digital growth, there are signs that the decline of CDs is slowing. Total album sales were up for the first time since 2004 and physical album sales fell 5% in 2011, significantly less than the 19.5% decline reported in 2010 over the prior year.
How can you tell which innovation will become a success?
The terrific May Wired story “How to Spot the Future” notes that anyone trying to figure out which kinds of innovations are most worth paying attention to has to come up with ways to “size up ideas and separate the truly world-changing from the merely interesting”. I thought this was worth sharing!
“At Wired, where we constantly endeavor to pinpoint the inventions and trends that will define the future, we have developed our own set of rules,” writes executive editor Thomas Goetz. “We have seen some common themes emerge, patterns that have fostered the most profound innovations of our age.”
Wired lists seven rules for what to look for: