This is Part II of a series of posts on online communities (that is also available in PDF form: Rubicon-web-community) originally done at Rubicon (the company I led/founded). To return to the Introduction, Part I of this series, click here. Overview Working with online communities has long been touted as a great way for a [...]
In strategy work with tech companies, my team and I are frequently asked about web communities — how they operate, what they can and can’t do, and how a company should look to work with them. To help answer those questions, we surveyed more than 3,000 US web users on their overall Internet usage, and [...]
A popular sport in Silicon Valley is arguing about what exactly Web 2.0 is or is not. Is it about collaboration? Social networking? Custom services?
We think the argument misses the point. Web 2.0 is just an effect of a broader trend: the fundamental remaking of the software industry as a result of the Internet.
I’ve watched strategy being developed within companies like Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and Nokia. I’ve seen strategy created by individuals. I’ve seen the big suits of Bain and McKinsey at work. I’ve seen it done well, and occasionally I’ve seen it done poorly. Having read more than 100 books that define the best thinking on strategy, I’ve noticed that following the existing methods often doesn’t yield success.
It’s not just the methodology. Here are five reasons strategy fails in businesses:
While failure for the high-tech entrepreneur is less likely to result in death, the parallels between the Gold Rush and the current Web-based economy are many. In both cases, participants must to adapt to a new way of life, with new rules. Or rather, no pre-existing, fixed rules.
Silicon Valley’s famous tolerance of entrepreneurial failure has its roots more than 150 years ago in the Gold Rush when more than 90,000 people made their way to California in the two years following John Marshall’s discovery of gold near Sacramento in January, 1848. By 1854, more than 300,000–representing more than one percent of the total population of the United States at the time–had come west in search of fortune.
The Apple iPhone is easily the most publicized new mobile device in recent memory. But despite all the discussion about the product, there’s relatively little hard information available to the public on its impact. How is it being used? What effect is it having on customers and on the technology industry?
To help answer those questions, Rubicon Consulting conducted a detailed survey of 460 randomly-selected iPhone users in the US. This report summarizes the findings from the survey, and what they mean for users and other companies.
Can prices be set too low for consumers? A recent study by Dr. Antonio Rangel of CalTech says yes. Dr. Rangel observed the brain activity of subjects and found they exhibited more pleasure drinking wines when they thought they cost more. For those of us that study the finer points of pricing, this is a very interesting result. We all know that there is a sense to “you get what you pay for” that acts as a negative factor when evaluating the lowest priced alternatives. What Dr. Rangel has established is that there is more than the fear of getting stuck with an inferior product at work; people actually get more enjoyment from certain products if they think they cost more. The data communicated by the price is working not just at a rational level, but at an emotional level as well. That is, from the brain’s standpoint, these products are objectively better in a post-purchase environment.
We all want to be new school and know that the latest top hit song (via iTunes) is a song called SOS by Jonas Brothers. I had to look that up. Because what I pay attention to the most are things I already love. While I’d like to be super hip, the songs that run through my head are more like “The Way We Were” if I’m feeling melancholy, “Sweet Home Alabama” if I feel good, or Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” if I feel, ya know, sassy.
What does this have to do with marketing, you ask?
For each era, there are new rules. In the web world today, marketing online has new rules. Marketing is no longer about awareness online, but about creating an experience for the consumer or customer.
I propose the new marketing goal with online marketing is about engagement. Personal engagement. Connection from user to company. Customers like what you help them do. Your offerings are appealing and designed around and with them. Customers are delighted because they can exchange usages with one another and therefore find more ways to use your gadget. Joy of engagement brings them back again and again.
Segmentation has always been a key part of marketing. Sorting customers into appropriate segments allows business and marketing types to filter ideas, glean intelligence, set prices, and decide what to offer and what to toss.
Segmentation also allows successful companies to produce just the right thing to address the needs of different slices of the market.