Thursday, February 2, 2012

Keep it simple stupid

There has been a steady stream of tweets and blog posts from the intelligentsia attending this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  One of the better ones comes from Chris Zook (head of strategy at the Bain & Company consultancy) about the importance of simplicity in business.

For those working in a professional services industry this advice is timeless.  Don't assume your clients know what you're talking about when you come in to present a strategy deck, a research readout, an analytics report or what have you.  Give them context, extract key insights, make it simple and actionable, clarify and elucidate and put the data and detail in the appendix.  Ask yourself, if I had to explain this to a 10 year old how would I do it?  Whether your clients agree with your conclusions and recommendations is another matter, but at least they will understand what you are saying.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

YouTube's niche content play

I like the direction that YouTube is taking as it becomes a platform for delivering niche content to users.  This approach aligns with user needs and expectations when they come to the digital medium to fill their informational or entertainment needs.  And, it promises to deliver a better and more value-add experience than broadcast TV's hackneyed one-to-many/uni-directional content delivery model.

While this is just another thread in the paradigm shift away from traditional to non-traditional media platforms, this development will really begin to gain traction as more sponsors realize that :30 TV spots should be treated as just the starting point of the experience that consumers have with their brands.  That requires a change in thinking from brand communications and experiences as reductive/disruptive devices to persuade or sell, to brand comms being narrative-based and on-demand based the needs and wants of the user/viewer.  That change will take some time.  Ultimately, part of the responsibility to drive that change lies with ad agencies - the problem is that too many of the big ad shops make too much money under the traditional TV/advertising model but that will change, slowly, but surely.