Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

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3 Questions that are Infinitely More Powerful than “What’s Next?”

Tis’ the season for summation of the past and prediction of the future.

In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, oodles of articles about what 2010 has been, and what 2011 will be, will litter magazines, twitter streams, and television programs across the nation.  In 2010 experts weighed in on a variety of fascinating possibilities which included: Expanding location based services, user-interface advancements, a world of screens, and my personal favorite, Gink. Spend 2 minutes looking, and you’ll find no shortage of people asking and answering the question, “What’s Next?”.

It makes perfect sense that it’s a common topic of conversation.

Emerging technologies and applications have changed world of marketing, PR and communications for organizations dramatically in the past 5 years, and the next 5 will bring more of the same.   So it is natural and responsible for organizational leaders to strive for understanding of the technologies and trends that will be affecting their world, right?  I propose that there is a better way.

To ask “What’s Next” can be a helpful exercise, but only to a point.

The problem with this question is that even with unlimited research and wealth, the answers are varied, vague, skewed by trends, and are fundamentally reactive in nature.”What’s Next” is tied to the future of the broader marketplace, not to the future of your organization.

Even in perfect execution the answer to this question yields you nothing more than a first mover advantage, which is a good start, but needs competent execution to be tied back to revenue.  There are only a handful of organizations positioned to benefit much by taking this high risk, limited reward approach.

Want better return on your time and energy? Try framing the convergence of technology and your business by asking the following 3 questions:

  1. What problem or objective haven’t I been able to solve or achieve?
  2. What technologies/communication media (old or new) could I employ in a fresh way that could help me?
  3. How can I implement this technology/communication strategy in a way that:
  • fits my budget
  • works in concert with current efforts
  • leverages momentum to amplify results
  • can be tested against established objectives

True innovators are those who take a fresh approach and pioneer a unique prescription to fulfill their organizations’ goals.  They set the industry standard instead of following it.  Their initiatives are custom built around their objectives and challenges, and always have clear ties to revenue.

It’s a subtle distinction but can make a big difference.  Will you spend next quarter scouring the business journals and social media looking for articles about the next big thing, or will you enjoy being touted as the subject of that article?

Questions/Comments? Please feel free to email me at brad.bierwagen@mediasauce.com or follow Brad at @bradbierwagen

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Customer Innovation: Crowd Sourcing With Social Media

[April 30, 2009] Consumers love to contribute to the brands they love most. Discover how your organization can get your most loyal and passionate customers to help you succeed!

Companies around the globe are embracing consumer innovation and conversation to generate new business opportunities. Organizations like Threadless.com and Starbucks are all seeing substantial return on investment from their customer-driven Internet strategies.

MediaSauce invites you to attend this high-impact, result-oriented educational seminar in our “Smart Business In the Digital Age” series. more

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Self-Organized Swarms: The Power of User-Generated Content (part II)

Thank you to everyone who attended the August 5 “The Power of User-Generated Content” event we held in Indianapolis.   We had over 90 people come together to learn about and experience how social media is changing the landscape for all types of businesses and organizations.  

Do you want to experience the event for yourself, even if you didn’t attend?  Great, you’re in luck.  

We encouraged everyone who attended to use social media to help us create a digital mosaic of the morning.  By using cameras, cell phones, and laptops with wifi, anyone could upload photos, blog, Twitter (microblog), and add their thoughts directly to the event’s Google site.  See it for yourself:

  • Flickr Stream - photos taken and uploaded by various people who attended the event.  To get photos to flow thru the stream, everyone tagged their photos with “sauceugc”.  
  • Twitter Stream - I enjoyed watching the various comments being made about the event.  It started with those of us attending, but then it quickly attracted people outside of the event.  If you start here, you can work your way in time order to see how the “back channel” conversations transpired.  It’s almost like getting a play-by-play and color commentary at the same time.
  • Presentation Slides - you can view and print off the slides we used via this Google document.  
  • Our Google Site - To bring all of these strands together, we created a very basic Google site.  While it’s not the most appealing design, you can see how simple tools can make a big impact.  
  • External Blogs - Anyone who is passionate about a topic or wants to share their perspective can do so with the world.  We were glad to have Ryan Crozier join us and even more pleased to know he had a good experience.  Check out his blog and see how we made sure to say thanks.  If we had someone blog negatively about us, we would have made sure to reply and share our perspective – whether that was to acknowledge a shortcoming or explain more clearly the point we were trying to make.  

The best thing about all these tools is that they’re easy-to-use and available to anyone.  Just what every revolutionary and evangelist loves to know.  

So how do you make sure these powers are used for good, not evil?  The key is having a solid strategy for how your organization is empowering your customers, clients, employees, friends, allies, etc. to use them to help share your story.  Without a strategy, you’ll be at the mercy of more organized, more passionate, and more driven people.

What advice and experiences do you have to share on how UGC can be harnessed to grow your organizations?

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