I was lucky to meet and work with some great people in 2013. From 4CM to Versatile Connections and from Henley Business School and Powwownow to Krems University in Vienna and Tech Music School in Fulham. 2013 was a year of Cafe Workshops and Collaborative Consulting. And a year of some brilliant marketing writing from people I was lucky enough to meet too. Here are my picks for the best writing I saw from 2013.
And here’s to more in 2014.
Best Marketing, Innovation And Collaboration Pieces From 2013
Highlights for me and Benchstone in 2013 included working from Vienna to London – and Milton Keynes. I helped an agency team adjust to a digital and leaner environment and consulted in the fascinating area of Unified Communications and Collaborative Technologies. And, I’ve been tutoring on start-up and Ecommerce at the fantastically inspiring Tech Music School in Fulham. Delivering a weekly tutorial whilst to the distant sounds of thumping bass, clashing drums and searing guitar resonating from rehearsal studios. Throughout, I was stimulated by facts, knowledge and ideas of some smart people.
Unlike some, I am not an evangelist for all things lean and nor do I think that Ries has revolutionised business planning and marketing. However, his influential book ‘The Lean Start-Up’ – is phenomena and there is no doubt that offers brilliant pointers to fledgling and established business alike. In this video piece, he explains they key principles you need to know. Recommended…
With so much noise and clutter around innovation, this piece by Shapiro delivers some wonderfully succinct advice. Most importantly; “Generating a lot of ideas creates noise and wasted energy.” How true. And yet still, so many hammer on about ideas and creativity, rather than focusing on entrepreneurial leadership, working with partners and making life better for your customers. Innovation is about more than showing off how clever you and your R&D department and idea generation can be…
Organising Change Through Social Collaboration – By McKinsey. I love social technologies. Believe in collaboration. And I support smart communications. What I don’t like is the hyperbole surrounding a lot of the software being created that supposedly solves the essential human, communications and management dynamics that really build a collaborative environment. This is an excellent piece from McKinsey that everyone involved in UC should take heed of. It is the organisational not technological barriers that prevent collaboration … And – it is the take up and training of any technology that is key, not just adding another channel or colourful icon to an already crowded desktop. From Morten Hansen to Nilofer Merchant – to Beth Comstock, Gary Hamel and Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a constant stream of commentators and researchers point out that leadership and personal interaction is key to collaborative and innovative cultures. Much of the social media for business tools to me, seem substitutes for email and SMS. I know companies that user all the latest technologies and yet still have hours of pointless meetings, misunderstandings and people chained to the screen. Just because the screen looks different – does not mean it is better collaboration.
The music industry has been the canary in the mine since the 1990’s. Whilst digital media has disrupted its traditional revenue streams the music business is not going to die and great music will always be the driving force and critical component of other media and entertainment, from TV to film and from computer game to the pub karaoke. Different formats do not mean the death of a medium or channel. Cinema did not kill theatre. TV did not kill radio. And video and DVD’s did not kill off live concerts. But Spotify continues to divide opinion from artists and commentators alike. It pays over $500 Million in royalties – equating to 70% of its revenue, and it is still nowhere near taken up by the mainstream. Yet – on a ‘per stream’ basis, the payments seem trivial or miniscule. But. It is not going away. And BBC report that music streaming, meanwhile, saw a 33.7% rise and now accounts for nearly 10% of consumer revenues from recorded music – and that the overall UK music, video and games market was worth £5.4 billion in 2013, up 4% on 2012’s total of £5.1 billion.
Top Trinity P3 Best Pieces of 2013 – Highly Recommended
Darren Woolley leads the consistently relevant and sharp TrinityP3 – a consulting business that does not shy away from some of the tougher questions that modern marketers face. From a great piece by Shawn Callahan on Why People Don’t Use Collaboration Services some great work by Darren on Agency Services & Remuneration, Strategic Marketing Management and Marketing Consulting. See also The SEO Blunders you need to know by Mike Morgan. TrinityP3 provides consistently excellent marketing insight. Highly recommended.
And Andrew Armour’s Best Blogs Of The Year?
I was lucky in 2013 to have some great conversations with the likes of Gordon Torr, Darren Woolley, David Gurteen and Helen Gammons. Here are some of my highlight posts from 2013 – and here’s to some more.
Does Remote Working Need Flexible Thinking? – Is my comment piece on the RSA Report on changes in work habits and flexible working. See also my piece on Wired Magazine’s Ben Hammersley too which also looks at the pros and cons of collaborative technologies and the tricky nature of modern offices.
On Mixing Creativity With Innovation – An Interview With Gordon Torr. My conversation with the brilliant Gordon Torr included disagreements, questions, queries and puzzles. But he is utterly insightful and very compelling – and a genuine creative thinker and doer. This interview highlights some of the key points that Torr makes regarding the difference between creativity and innovation. Which most people, still confuse.
To Sell Is Human – Does Collaboration Make Us Superhuman? The excellent Dan Pink published a book on the modern psychology and tactics of selling and why whether we know it or not, we all are in the selling business. This blog post summarises his key points including why sales people need to inform, help and explain – not just close…
Have a great 2014 all. And remember, if you’d like to meet up for a decent coffee (or mint tea…) at the rather lovely Adam Street Club and discuss your latest marketing ideas, puzzles, challenges and opportunities – give me a call.
- Top ten stories for 2013 from McKinsey & Company worldwidmanagement consultants (examiner.com)
- Are you ready for ‘on-demand’ marketing? (eliasgagas.com)
- The Future of Digital Marketing: 8 Trends (crmdiscussion.wordpress.com)
- On Collaboration (boykinart.wordpress.com)