The Long Tales – The Best In Business Innovation Content – Issue #3

Mitch JoelPosted by

Welcome to the 3nd edition of The Long Tales – the best in business innovation content.

If you believe that spending time reading and listening to great longform business content is one of the most powerful ways for you to think about how your brand can better connect with consumers, this may be for you. As a known Infovore, I am astounded by the vast amount of content out there on the topic of business innovation. With that, I’m even more astounded at just how average the vast majority of this content is. On a regular basis, The Long Tales will curate and comment on what has been happening in the world of business innovation… and why you need to care.

At what price marketing?

Everything Facebook this week, right? Were they wrong? Were they victims? Are we the victims? Just how much personal information is out there? The debate has been raged on and pushed from every corner. Below you will find my editorial for Macleans on the topic. With that, it was also another week that was about the numbers. How much money brands have made on the public markets? What are the major marketing and communication holding companies doing? How are some of the top brands connecting? Some of the numbers are up, most are modest, many are going sideways. The bigger narrative seems to be focused on the value of marketing. That’s silly. Advertising is not dying. The big holding companies are not relics treading water driven on traditional models. There is a change in the air, but it’s not that older business models are failing. Being a (small) part of the largest marketing and communications holding company, I can tell you this: WPP is not just one big marketing company. It’s many, many companies and many of those individual companies within the network are doing exactly what the media pundits are saying the big holding companies need to do (as an example, Mirum has been named as a “visionary” in Gartner‘s magic quadrant for global digital marketing agencies). Brands face the same challenges. More often than not a brand gets attacked for their performance, but few look beneath the surface to see just how many lines of interesting business the brand is in, the areas of business that they touch and the innovative models they are trying to bring to market. It’s naive to call Amazon an online retailer. It’s naive to call P&G a simple CPG company. It’s would be equally naive to call WPP a traditional advertising company. Yes, each of these companies have anchors. Yes, those anchors may be (somewhat) stuck at the bottom of the ocean, at this moment in time, but they are not just one trick ponies and they are both fighting hard and investing heavily in today and tomorrow. Don’t count them out. 

Here are some of this week’s best in business innovation:

  • Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have just confirmed it: online privacy is dead – MacleansIf you are reading this, odds are that you are are involved in tech, marketing, innovation, media, etc. I’m curious, why the sudden Facebook outrage? The news of Cambridge Analytica came out back in 2015. Go to YouTube and do a search. Plenty of news items back then about this issue. The whistleblower and Facebook finding out that this data might not have been deleted by the third parties is the only new development. Between 2015 and now, we’ve all leveraged this data as it is. Facebook shut down the “friend of a friend” access back in 2015, when the vulnerability was found. So, again, why the rage now? Should we be surprised? Read on… 
  • Amazon: The Making of a Giant – The Wall Street Journal. Yes, I know. It’s another article about Amazon… and just how big this company has become. In the last few conversations that I have recorded for upcoming episodes of Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast, I always ask my guests to define Amazon. I don’t do this to put them on the spot. I do this because I’m struggling to define them. Amazon is not just an online retailer. We know that (hopefully, you know that too). Here is a really fascinating piece of journalism (and some great interactive graphics) that show you how, exactly, Amazon has become this $178 billion-a-year business. It should also (really) scare you. Read on… 
  • Is This the Start of Better Airport Shopping in the U.S.? – The Wall Street Journal. Hey! How about we go the airport and get some shopping done? Remember, not too long ago, when you had to buy something at the airport? The premium prices? The non-mainstream brands? How shoddy the quality of the brands that were sold behind security check-in were? No more. Retail’s next great venture is happening in these spaces. Airports are leveraging great brands and great shopping experiences, not just because they have a captive audience. Or so it seems. Read on… 
  • Akimbo – A Podcast From Seth Godin. Every morning, I hop over to Seth Godin‘s blog and get my morning business brain jolt from him (along with the ones I get from sipping my latte). I love Seth’s blog posts. Granted, I don’t love them as much as I love the feeling of cracking open one his business books, but I’ll take what I can get. So, can you imagine the joy on this fanboy’s face when Seth Godin launched his very own podcast called, Akimbo? It’s not what you think (when you think about podcasts). Seth tells stories. Seth philosophizes. Seth speaks. It’s closer to NPR than it is to the standard podcast fare… and that’s a good thing. Listen On… 
  • Reddit And The Struggle To Detoxify The Internet – The New Yorker. This is a long read. You will need to pack a lunch for this article (unless you just click the “play” button at the top of the article, and have The New Yorker read it to you). We live in interesting times. What we say (online, on campus and beyond) is being judged. Constantly. People are offended. People need safe spaces. And lots more. Stand up comedians (especially ones that are active on Twitter) are feeling the brunt of this new post-social media time (we’re not all that “social” are we?). So how did Reddit become one of the largest websites on the Internet? Why is it so important? What is it’s role in free speech? In fact, scratching much further beneath the surface, what, exactly, is Reddit anyways, and why should we care? Read on…
  • Denise Lee Yohn Fuses Branding And Culture – This Week’s Six Pixels of Separation Podcast. She has become the go-to person when it comes to creating brands that truly work. Denise Lee Yohn is not slowing down. Her latest business book, Fusion – How integrating brand and culture powers the world’s greatest companies, was just published, and it follows her work on what it takes to not only stand out, but constantly deliver a great brand experience for customers. When it comes to brands doing things right – constantly and consistently – I always think of the work that Denise Lee Yohn is doing. From her first book, What Great Brands Do – The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate The Best From The Rest to the article she authored for the Harvard Business Review titled, Start-Ups Need a Minimum Viable Brand, then came Extraordinary Experiences, that profiled seven popular, powerful retail and restaurant brands, she is a brand juggernaut. The former Sony Electronics executive and advertising agency professional (who worked on Burger KingLand Rover and Unilever) is back to show you why brand and culture should never be separate in your organization. Read her book. Trust me. Listen on…   

Now, go get busy making innovation happen today.