April 15, 2019Comments are off for this post.

What if you had to start again?

What if you didn’t have sunk costs in TV and radio advertising buys?

Or in long term agency commitments?

Or in technology subscriptions and freelance contracts and analytics platforms and social media ads and influencer contracts?

What if your entire marketing budget sat in front of you, untouched and pristine?

What would you do with it?

In very tangible ways, all of marketing is about building a relationship with your consumers and then motivating them to pay for your products and your services.

When we build relationships in the real world we are usually hampered, not helped, by having parties or structures between us and the people we want to connect with. We invest in the other person and they invest in us. Bonds are formed. And then strengthened.

But in marketing, it’s the opposite. There are a thousand different ways and providers we’re offered to take our message to consumers. We can (and do) spend millions just to try and make those connections and deepen them.

Many of these services available to modern brands made sense when constant communication and vast scalability weren’t the norms. But now, in our digital world, you can go directly to consumers, and they can come directly to your brand. And then you can start to build the relationships and communities that will form the foundation of your brand and the engine that will drive your sales.

If your marketing budget was completely untouched…

If you had to start from scratch…

How much of what you’re paying for now would you buy again?

March 25, 2019Comments are off for this post.

A new gig economy?

The first idea. Depending on who you talk to, the gig economy was supposed to be the end of everything – especially reliable income and benefits for workers and families – or the start of something new, a global marketplace where an individual’s options for career development and revenue streams were effectively unlimited. 

The second idea. Coming from the original crowdsourcing movement, as many in our team did, we always saw the opportunity for participant contributions to a brand be compensated fairly. Those contributions could take multiple forms: ideas, product feedback, original content or brand advocacy or whatever else. The two common aspects to the current state of consumer contributions to brands is that 1) they are valued and often form the basis of innovative products and marketing campaigns and R&D efforts and 2) they have gone largely uncompensated. Certain communities have offered some rewards but the number of efforts that have received virtually no tangible compensation over the last 15 years is somewhere around 99%. 

Merging the ideas. The muddled state-of-work is different for everyone right now but perhaps we’re only a few steps into this new economy. If the gig economy is just a transitory step to the next place, maybe we’re just missing the key element that drives so much of our world: money. It wouldn’t be a shock, would it? There are clear intrinsic rewards for someone to contribute to a brand and sometimes those are enough to sustain a relationship, but if a consumer could collaborate with a brand and actually see real financial returns, what could that look like when they have access to thousands more brands like it? What would it look like for the larger workforce at scale? And what could it mean for brands to be able to have this group of truly incentivized consumers in their employ? 

These are all questions we’re considering on as we work on our Participation Commerce™ pilot projects with new and existing clients throughout 2019.


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