How to predict the lifespan of a company in one simple measure

In his book “Creative Destruction”, Richard N. Foster revealed that the rate that companies fall off of the S&P 500 – the 500 most valuable companies traded on the U.S. stock market – is accelerating. In 1958, the lifespan for a company on the list was roughly 61 years. Today, the average is just 18 years. At this rate, 75 per cent of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027. The reasons behind this shift are many, but in recent years, the advent of the Internet and cloud has reshaped how, when and where we do business. In the current economy, businesses and investors alike are all asking themselves what determines the healthy lifespan of a company? In an age of unicorns, where are the cockroaches that will outlast them all?

There’s one key measure that may help predict whether or not a company will have staying power and it has nothing to do with revenue, acquisitions or celebrity endorsements. In fact, you need only look back to the story of Thomas Edison, who – in addition to inventing one of the most remarkable innovations in human history – famously failed “10,000 times”. In the face of failure, Edison never stopped innovating, again and again. This is the special sauce to success: speed and frequency of innovation delivery to market.

Research from Forrester has found that more than one third of banks and insurance companies surveyed delivered new software releases quarterly or less. For an 18 -year old company – assuming that software is part of their innovation – that would equal about 72 releases over the organisations lifetime, as most companies release on a quarterly basis. That sounds like a lot, but for a startup today, that means they have between 10 and 72 times to get it right.

Driven to innovate

Lean startups have removed perfection from their criteria for release. These small organisations are driven to innovate in order to stay alive, but often fall into technological debt as a result. Older, more established businesses less reliant on innovation aren’t in a position to take the chance of imperfection, so they stagger releases, leaving time for trial-and-error before going to market, which typically means three-to-four months between deliveries. This old-guard delivery may have worked in the past, but in today’s world of continuously cloud delivery, that just won’t cut it.

This is where an agile approach to technology innovation can help to speed organisations from idea to delivery. Scrum is an agile approach to software development and delivery that is particularly effective at creating a culture of constant delivery by completing work in regular sprints that focus on clear business outcomes. Each sprint provides a way for the business to inspect and adapt to outcomes, throwing out the bad and concentrating on the good. Some of the most successful companies push innovation delivery regularly – just look at the frequency of app updates to Uber, Facebook and Instagram.

Not all businesses that employ this approach deal exclusively with software. Capital One is a great example of a business that applied an agile framework to its business operations. In 2011, the company began rolling out agile development, accounting for about one per cent of software.

Today, agile delivers approximately 85 per cent of software at a rate of roughly 400 product releases per month, with 95 per cent of products meeting expectations on the first release. By opening lines of communication between business partners and development teams, the company makes delivery a business goal, rather than keeping it in an IT silo. Another financial organisation who has made agile their main approach to innovation is BBVA Compass, which is committed to the agile approach and has gone so far as to move many of its developers into a startup incubator and plans to open its programs up to startups to further foster innovation.

Secret ingredient to disruption

It’s not just the financial industry that benefits from an agile approach – Spotify is a poster child for agile, having originally employed Scrum and then, as the company grew, actually developed their own methodology for agile, which they continue to use today. Agile in the big leagues include the likes of Uber and Airbnb, multi-billion dollar companies that retained the speed, responsiveness and flexibility associated with lean startups. Beyond the on-demand economy, less assuming companies that utilise an agile approach include John Deere, which simultaneously moved 800 software developers into an agile development process in 2011 and saw measurable results including a 42 per cent reduction in time to field issue resolution and faster time to market.

Agile is also a main ingredient in the secret sauce of disruptors. SpaceX is completely reshaping the space travel industry, with its high rate of software deployment via Continuous Integration and agile approach, where historically innovation has moved at a snail’s pace. From a strictly software perspective, Atlassian has embraced agile to the point of creating an agile resource for customers on the basis of the framework, so that they too can embrace an agile approach that fosters innovation and speeds delivery.

If you’re curious what happens to companies who fail to adopt this framework, consider the cautionary tale of Circuit City. Once beloved for all things personally electronic, the company was blown out of the water by agile-loving Best Buy. With dedicated “geeks” around the store to help with product-specific inquires and a robust, easy-to-navigate ecommerce site, customers were able to choose whether or not to interact with a salesperson, unlike the Circuit City counter-purchase approach. What Best Buy did was apply agile to the retail store ecosystem which not only improved the speed and quality of customer service, but has allowed the company to remain flexible in the rapidly changing demands of customers. Today, a similar saga is playing out at the Sports Authority, which is struggling to remain relevant in a retail market now dominated by online sales.

If any of these examples should stand for anything, it should be that speed does not mean the abandonment of quality but that speed via an agile approach has proven to drive innovation for companies new and established alike, who will enjoy a long and fruitful lifespan as long as they continue to innovate at the pace of market demand. For those who resist the agile approach, take comfort in the words of Edison: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”

Dave West, product owner, CEO,
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How the tube map would look if it went global/from

Clever. As they said – time well wasted can be fun sometimes!

from “Zone 1-2 travel card please.”

It’s a “world metro map” said its creator, Mark Ovenden, or a “global hyper loop map” according to Tom Ravenscroft on Twitter.

Either way, we think it’s rather lovely. But imagine the chaos if there was a Tube strike. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

It got us thinking about out other favourite “Tube maps”. Click on the links below for more.

1. Honest Tube map

2. Daily Mail Tube map

3. Google auto-complete Tube map


Different views on – “Will brands regret rushing into digital?” – Campaign magazine

Have brands that rushed headlong into digital allowed its dazzle to blind them to its shortcomings?

Marc Pritchard: chief brand officer, P&GMarc Pritchard: chief brand officer, P&G

It was what you might call a marketer’s equivalent of facing the Ice Bucket Challenge. The fact that it was someone as influential as Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard (pictured) doing the dunking made the cold dose of reality an even greater shock to the system.

The chief brand officer at the world’s biggest advertiser thinks companies have been blissfully dozing in digital’s warm bath for much too long and it’s time they woke up to the truth – that consumers are being bombarded with so much technology-created “crap” that it’s little wonder ad-blocking is growing so strongly.

And at a time when the £72bn spent globally on digital advertising exceeds the amount going into TV, Pritchard believes advertisers have no realistic idea of what bang they are getting for their digital buck because measurement methods are unreliable, giving fraudsters a field day. “The days of giving digital a pass are over – it’s time to grow up,” he warns.

Pritchard isn’t the only one fearful that brands that rushed headlong into digital have allowed its dazzle to blind them to its shortcomings. Another is David Wheldon, chief marketing officer at RBS Group and president of the World Federation of Advertisers.

Writing in Campaign last month, Wheldon warned of a significant downside to the profound impact digital is having on marketing: “The basics are often ignored and shiny new solutions are reached for without pause for reflection.”

The inference from all of this is that too many companies – Pritchard counts P&G among them – have attempted to be digital pacesetters without considering the dangers. But is he right in claiming that companies such as his own were willing to accept shortcomings in measurements and verification in their enthusiasm for “getting ahead of the digital curve”?

Some brands suggest that if they entered the digital world in a hurry, it is because the speed of its impact on their markets has left them with little choice.

Matt McDowell, Toshiba’s European marketing director, says, “The fact is that, unless you’re a company like Saga that targets the pre-digital generation, you have to move fast to keep up with your customers. Many of them know no other world but digital and few watch live TV.”

Others argue that advertisers have suffered not because they have sought to gain competitive advantage by becoming digital early adopters. It is because digital is the fastest-growing medium ever seen. So much so that measurement systems are struggling to keep up.

This point is not lost on Facebook, which has just announced an expanded partnership with Nielsen’s digital ad ratings – which now cover 25 markets – in an attempt to halt further measurement errors.

“Measurement will get better and better, but every year will pose a new challenge because technology is constantly changing the way people consume digital,” the boss of a major digital agency points out.

He adds: “Of course digital must be held to a high standard. But you can also argue that TV, out-ofhome and print have still not completely matched the demands for accurate measurement. How can we ever know how much time somebody has spent reading a newspaper ad?”


Bill Brock, chief executive, AnalogFolkAgency head

Bill Brock, chief executive, AnalogFolk

“There will always be new challenges for companies whenever they move into digital marketing. While it’s true that effectiveness measures have to improve, the expectations of digital are high, particularly as it gets more sophisticated and with the advance of programmatic advertising.

“Given how fast digital is growing, you could argue that what’s happening is no more than ‘growing pains’ and measurement systems will improve. However, I’m not sure whether the industry could come together to create one.

“In the end, clients will need to hold their agencies accountable. It’s going to put a huge onus on media agencies.”


Amelia Torode, chief strategy officer, TBWA\LondonPlanner

Amelia Torode, chief strategy officer, TBWA\London

“There’s been a lemming-like tendency among some companies to leap over the digital cliff and hope for the best. Others just behave like ostriches and bury their heads in the sand. Strategists have to weave their way between these extremes.

“The truth is that brands won’t get anywhere by sitting on the sidelines and trying to see what works and what doesn’t. You have to do it yourself. You can’t live in a post-digital world unless you conduct your own experiments.

“The lack of credible measurement systems is one we as an industry have to fix. There have to be more open and honest conversations about it.”


Giles Gordon, global brand director, John Frieda haircareMarketer

Giles Gordon, global brand director, John Frieda haircare

“We’ve reached a phase when marketing is no longer about ‘test and learn’. There’s a need now for instant campaigns and digital is a function that enables us to provide great opportunities for our brands. If there are going to be problems, we’ll just have to put up with them.

“I also think digital platforms can work together to overcome ad-blocking. It’s really no different from the time when people put the kettle on during Coronation Street’s commercial breaks. And while there will never be a universally agreed measurement system, we will be relying more heavily on our trusted sources.”


Stephen Maher, chief executive, MBAAgency head

Stephen Maher, chief executive, MBA

“It’s not that brands are getting into digital too quickly. Many have been too slow. Today, people live their lives through social media.

“That said, there is an issue over rigour, which lags behind that applied to traditional media. Of course, a lot of digital areas are nascent, but the sector as a whole is capable of growing up – and it needs to.

“There’s no doubt that a universal digital metric would help the cause for more rigour and transparency enormously and, hopefully, endorse the need for more, not less, digital presence for brands. But this may take a while.”



Innovation Overload: Why Saying ‘Creativity’ Is Not Enough/Forbes

The Berlin School Of Creative Leadership ,

We write about leadership and the creative fields.
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

By David Slocum

“What’s the opposite of innovation?,” the joke begins. A tart punchline quickly follows: “Innovation consultants.”

Since I teach, coach and sometimes consult on innovation and creative leadership, that cynical joke gives me pause. Consultants of all kinds are easy marks, of course, whether they are from well-known global firms or one-person shops. But it is innovation, as an idea and, increasingly, the basis of a cottage industry for consulting, advising, coaching and even counseling, that is the real target here.

Isn’t innovation good, though?, we ask. Doesn’t thinking, designing, building and leading for innovation enable firms of all kinds to create and capture value? Doesn’t imaginative collaboration, teaming, and organizing lead to breakthroughs that can transform businesses, industries and even markets? Doesn’t innovation ultimately benefit individuals by encouraging and nurturing self-awareness, empathy, courage, and growth – human values that help contribute to personal fulfillment?

All true. Yet that very sweep and sprawl of meanings is part of the problem. Innovation is everywhere, from mission and vision statements to strategic positioning and brand marketing to team charters and individual performance goals. Likewise, creativity, often in adjectival form, has become a necessary qualifier for nearly all aspects of management and operations: leadership, strategy, talent management, organizational design, customer or client relationships, collaboration, and teamwork. Even creative accounting has become a worthy aspiration (just not “too” creative…).

The expanded usage, to be sure, reflects some far-reaching and very real economic and historical shifts that have recently foregrounded aspects of creativity and innovation for individuals, firms and larger economies. I often assert that “creativity is the new normal” to underscore the unprecedented opportunities, even necessities facing businesses in a world where technology is transforming old and new industries alike. My question here is whether the words themselves, asked to say so much in their varied and continual usage, increasingly end up saying little or nothing at all.

There is no shortage of models, frameworks and typologies attempting to break out and define more precise and different meanings. Classic distinctions of “innovation,” many well-drawn by some of our most astute observers and analysts of business and management, tend to delve deeply into specific areas. We might think here of Clay Christensen on disruptive innovation, Gary Hamel on management innovation, and Vijay Govindarajan on reverse innovation. And so many other qualifiers of the word have become commonplace: incremental, radical, architectural, modular, technological, knowledge, product, process and so on. Much more typically, though, both “innovation” and “creativity” are used generically by firms themselves, consultancies, the popular and business press, the blogosphere, and even some academic research to burnish a diverse but finally vague range of insights, tools and management practices.

Interview of Eric Schmidt by Gary Hamel at the...

Interview of Eric Schmidt by Gary Hamel at the MLab dinner . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having an excess of overlapping and alternative tools and models is fine, of course, for leaders on the ground who use them to gain greater insights around or address specific situations. That assumes, however, a thorough familiarity with these different innovative approaches and how (or, more fundamentally, if) to apply them usefully to those specific situations. Here we might return to the question of innovation consultants. What is the precise form of expertise they offer? Launching start-ups based on original ideas, developing new products or services for established firms, redesigning work processes, nurturing creative people or cultures, re-drawing business models? Maybe all of those. Or maybe none. The challenge is finding the right fit of specific capabilities and experience from the growing constellation of offerings made using the same terms.

How did our usage of “innovation” and “creativity” spiral out of control? From recent history, we might start looking in the 1980s-1990s. The redefinition of creative work, industries and economies, began then in the UK and was furthered elsewhere by analysts like Richard Florida, who repositioned creativity as a driving force in the (re-)development of cities, societies and economies. More generally at the same time, though hearkening back to the early 20th century writings of Joseph Schumpeter, a doctrine of “innovation economics” emerged in the work of a diverse group of theorists and analysts to argue that knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship are not outliers but essential to economic growth and productivity.

English: Richard Florida, an American urban st...

Richard Florida, an American urban studies theorist, speaking at the third plenary at the 2006 Out & Equal Workplace Summit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yet probably nothing has had as great an impact as the profound developments that have occurred in Silicon Valley (and the larger technology economy to which it has been central). Combining mythology of individual ingenuity, a culture of business entrepreneurship, and a demonstrated potential for world-changing invention, Silicon Valley has become a vital source for popular and corporate imagination about creativity and innovation. Even as the technologies produced there have transformed lives, societies and economies around the world, the thinking and language of openness, risk-taking, start-ups and innovation has spread as well.

Amid the concern that tech firms are in the middle of another financial bubble, with unjustifiably high market valuations potentially ready to burst, I see another Silicon Valley bubble in play. It involves the inflation of certain ways of thinking and talking about innovation from tech firms. This language bubble, or what we might otherwise see as an internally-referencing echo chamber, grows through a continuing series of blogposts, websites, magazine articles, and books that largely re-package the same practices, policies and behaviors as being conducive to innovation and creativity.

What would Google do?, we ask. A loose grouping of ideas and beliefs and leading practices have come increasingly to represent current thinking about how all organizations, regardless of industry or market, can best cultivate innovative and creative work. Much of this is enormously positive, both fulfilling for people and productive for organizations. In the process, the larger popular and practical discourse around Silicon Valley-style innovation has grown and grown. One consequence is what Bill O’Connor, of Autodesk, calls “innovation pornography,” in which too many people become voyeurs, rapturously watching others innovate without doing so themselves. Another is the myth that creativity and original thinking can solve any problem or develop an idea the world will eventually embrace.

Deutsch: Dies ist eine Übersicht der wichtigst...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I do believe fully in that problem-solving and even world-changing potential, my point is that the generic superpower of creativity or innovation will not be the force to do so. Rather, it is by understanding how creativity and innovation, even with all their inherent messiness, disorder, and indirectness, need specific situations and contexts in order to flourish and effect meaningful change. Innovation and creativity, writ large, are not strategic silver bullets.

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3 Ways Micromanagers Can Destroy A Company

Ira Kalb , Marshall School of Business

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Steve Jobs is a great example of a reformed micromanager who found amazing success. unknown

Micromanagers are the ones that believe that they can do just about any job better than their subordinates.

As a result, they get involved in too many of the details of the business. This hurts the business in the long run, if not the short run, too. It is nearly impossible to do the jobs of subordinates properly in addition to your own.

Why? Managers don’t have the time to do multiple jobs. More importantly, micromanaging violates at least three important principles of business…

1. Comparative advantage. Even if micromanagers are better at the jobs of their subordinates, doing those jobs will take time away from the more important and valuable work for which they are responsible.

2. Opportunity costs. By taking time away from higher-level jobs to do lower level jobs, the micromanager is foregoing opportunities that could help the business more.

3. Authority and responsibility are tied together. Micromanagers violate the rule that authority and responsibility must go together. That is, if managers hold subordinates responsible for doing a job, they must also give subordinates the authority to do the job the way they see fit. If managers retain the authority, they must also retain the responsibility.

To understand how micromanagers destroy their organizations, it is useful to examine these three violations in more detail.


Noted British economist, David Ricardo, is credited with introducing the concept of comparative advantage in his 1817 book entitled “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.”

Originally, comparative advantage referred to the . Today, the same concept is applied to positions within an organization. For example, the CEO might be better at being the CEO and doing bookkeeping than the bookkeeper. However, if CEOs did bookkeeping, they would not have the time to be as effective at leading their companies. Therefore, bookkeepers (and everyone else in the company) are better off if CEOs devote full time to running the business and let the bookkeepers take the bookkeeping chores off of their shoulders. That way, CEOs can make more “deals” for the benefit of all in their organizations.

Micromanagers violate comparative advantage. They use their valuable management time to meddle in the jobs of their subordinates rather than invest that time in helping their companies grow and prosper.


Opportunity costs (the costs of foregoing more lucrative opportunities by chasing less promising ones) is part of the fabric of comparative advantage. Perhaps the biggest mistake micromanagers make is they divert their resources away from more promising opportunities to do the jobs better left to subordinates such as answer the phone, open the mail, and do the typing and bookkeeping.


Micromanagers tend to take credit for successes of subordinates while blaming them for failures. They violate the management rule that authority and responsibility must remain tied together. That is, if micromanagers keep the authority to tell subordinates how to do their jobs, they must also “own” the responsibility if their directions don’t work. If they keep both, however, they will be in violation of comparative advantage and opportunity cost rules. The best managers delegate responsibility along with the authority so that subordinates can decide the best way to do their jobs. If their methods work, the subordinates are praised and rewarded. If they don’t, they deserve blame.


In addition to violating these three important principles, micromanagers tend to have the following deleterious effects on a business.

1. Hinder employee growth. For a healthy business to grow, competent employees need to learn their jobs, move up the ladder, and make room for new employees. Micromanagers interfere with this process.

2. Obliterate synergy. Since micromanagers tell everyone what to do and how to do it (or do it for them), the synergy that can be derived from teams of employees working together and sharing ideas is lost.

3. Destroy morale. Since employees are constantly belittled and treated as if they are cogs in a wheel, they lose confidence, stop taking initiative, and fail to share their ideas for improving the business. This, in turn, produces turnover – one of the highest costs to a business.


There is an example of a micromanager extraordinaire that was reformed into a successful executive — Steve Jobs. His first incarnation at Apple did not end very well with his leaving the Company to start NeXT Computer. At NeXT, Steve micro-managed just about everything.

As Randall Stross says in his New York Times article, “In this period, Mr. Jobs did not do much delegating … while a delegation of visiting Businessland executives waited on the sidewalk, Mr. Jobs spent 20 minutes directing the landscaping crew on the exact placement of the sprinkler heads.”

As a result, NeXT was a commercial failure that was part of a 12-year down period for Jobs. At the same time, another company he founded — Pixar turned out to be resounding success. Why? He did not micromanage it. He gave Ed Catmull and John Lasseter free reign to be their creative selves. As quoted in the Washington Post, Catmull said, “Jobs was very hands-off at Pixar, contrary to his reputation as a micromanager.”

From his contrasting experiences with the failure of NeXT and the success of Pixar, Steve returned to Apple a much more capable executive who was willing to delegate many of the important duties to others, such as Jonny Ive, Tim Cook, and the other lieutenants in his inner circle.

This is not to say that he never micromanaged again. He did, but he also delegated the most important duties to those that could do them better. The result — within 10 years of his return, Apple went from being “on the ropes” to the most valuable company in the world.


Many successful people share the notion that they can do most jobs better than others. Whether or not this is true, it is dangerous in light of the concepts of comparative advantage, opportunity costs, and the delegation of authority and responsibility discussed above.

Good managers need to focus on their job responsibilities and fight the urge to meddle in the jobs of subordinates. While many believe they are helping their organizations by micromanaging, in too many cases, they are doing the opposite.

Managing people is never easy. Micromanaging them is destined for failure.

Ira Kalb is president of Kalb & Associates, an international consulting and training firm, and professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California. He has won numerous awards for marketing and teaching, written ten books, including the DNA of Marketing, and he created marketing inventions that have made clients and students more successful. He is frequently interviewed by various media for his expertise in branding, crisis management and strategic marketing.


4 Annoying Online Marketing Tactics to Stop Right Now/Entrepreneur/Jonathan Long

You have no hope of selling a potential customer anything if your marketing gets on their nerves.

4 Annoying Online Marketing Tactics to Stop Right NowImage credit: Marc Romanelli | Getty Images

Consumers despise annoying online marketing tactics. It takes an incredible amount of effort, creativity and money to attract visitors to your website. The last thing you want to do is annoy them to the point they leave, never to return.

Going overboard with automation, suffocating them with calls-to-action and delivering an unpleasant experience are just a few surefire ways to ensure you push away more potential customers than you reel in. Here are four annoying online marketing tactics that you need to stop immediately.

1. Anything that interrupts the user experience.

If you visit a website and are immediately inundated with pop-up and slide-out offers demanding your email address you’re going to get annoyed, right? There’s a right time and a wrong time for this tactic, as well as right and wrong types of pop-up and side-out offers.

If you are driving large volumes of paid traffic to a single landing page and there are one of two outcomes that will occur — a conversion or a bounce off the page — then intrusive pop-ups can help to maximize your ad spend. But, if you are dealing with visitors on your main website, then you don’t want to interrupt the experience with your website content.

Not all pop-ups are bad, especially those that utilize exit-intent technology. “We allow our visitors to browse our entire inventory and navigate the website without interruption, but we do utilize a pop-up that offers someone leaving our site the chance to join our newsletter. We understand not everyone is ready to purchase during their first visit, so this allows us to build our email list and offer discounts and specials to pull those potential customers back to our website,” explains Clint Stelfox, CEO of The Tree Center.

Related: 21 Hidden Facebook Features Only Power Users Know

2. Purchasing email lists but ignoring the CAN-SPAM Act.

I get hammered with email spam 24/7.

Maybe I’m just lucky, but every day I seem to have millions of dollars waiting for me that someone so generously left me in a foreign country. Mixed in with that garbage are dozens of marketing emails — none of which I gave permission to email me, nor have an ‘unsubscribe’ option to remove myself from their list.

These companies are either scraping email addresses and blasting them with untargeted offers or they are purchasing email lists in specific industries. If the recipient’s email address is from a random domain, it was a scrape and spray approach. If the email is coming from a domain related to the offer it’s coming from a company that is clueless, desperate or a combination of both.

Not only is this type of email marketing annoying, but it’s also not CAN-SPAM compliant. Blindly emailing data that you scrape or purchase is useless — they have no idea who you are or what you offer. Instead, focus on building a double opt-in list and allowing your subscribers to leave anytime they wish. Trust me, if they have no interest in what you are offering let them go — they are just taking up space. A smaller, more responsive email list is always better than a large list with low open and click-through rates.

Related: 10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

3. Gating content.

Publishing high quality value-packed content on your website is a great way to attract prospects and build a level of trust that’s required to get your visitors to open their wallets and pull out their credit cards.

You want to let your visitors engage with your content freely. I see so many websites make the mistake of gating their content, requiring an email opt-in or a social media share to grant access. The business assumes their visitors will be so interested in reading the content that they will willingly hand over their email or engage via social media. This is far from the truth.

In December of 2016, there were 73.9 million posts published across WordPress websites alone, proving there are plenty of other options out there. Don’t give your prospects a reason to seek their content elsewhere. “Our blog is responsible for attracting prospects and educating them on a variety of accounting and tax topics. The information contained in our blog is responsible for converting our readers into course enrollments. Gating our content would be foolish and drastically reduce our conversion rates,” stated Evan Kramer, CEO of Surgent CPA Review.

Related: How 3 Social Superstars Built Huge Followings Fast

4. Advertising ‘live’ webinars that are clearly pre-recorded.

Webinars are everywhere. They have caught on like wildfire and you can’t scroll down your Facebook feed without seeing a webinar willing to teach you how to do everything under the sun aside from curing cancer. These aren’t new to consumers any longer.

The, “Quick, register now because the webinar is starting in two minutes” line reeks of BS. If you are using a pre-recorded webinar, that’s fine. Nobody has time to host webinars 24/7, but don’t assume your prospects are stupid.

I cringe when I join a webinar and I hear this classic line: “Ok, if you can hear me just leave a comment in the chat box. Ok, cool. Looks like Joe can hear me, and Sally in Detroit. Great, let’s get started because we aren’t going to wait for anyone else to join.”

Are webinars an effective marketing tool? Heck yeah they are, but you must understand that thousands of companies are using the same automated webinar software, exposing consumers to this tool. Be transparent. If you advertise a live webinar that’s clearly pre-recorded, you instantly lose trust and a potential customer.


SMI figures: total agency spend in NZ just shy of $1 billion in 2016/StopPress

  • Advertising
  • February 7, 2017
  • Damien Venuto

SMI data shows total New Zealand ad spend for New Zealand accounted for $991 million between January and December in 2016.

This figure is up $48 million from 2015 and around $80 million from 2014, continuing a few years of growth for the industry.

Jane Schulze, SMI’s managing director of Australia and New Zealand, says this growth is a reflection of the strength of the New Zealand economy.

She says there’s always a correlation between GDP and ad spend and the healthy New Zealand economy has led to marketers spending more to reach consumers.

The data shows that television remained the biggest contributor to overall ad spend last year, ahead of the digital category.

However, it’s worth noting that SMI data only accounts for spend made through media agencies and does not include direct sales between clients and media owners, which in turn leads to categories reliant on direct sales being under-represented to some degree.

That said, the SMI data provides a helpful gauge on how the industry is performing across categories.

While the overall numbers enjoyed a five percent lift on the previous year, this was not reflected in uniform increases across all medium channels.

Television, newspapers, magazines and other (addressed and unaddressed mail) all suffered dips in annual spend.

With a year-on-year decline of $20.3 million, television suffered the biggest monetary drop, accounting for a five percent decline.

Coming off a much smaller base, the newspaper industry saw its ad spend slip by 13.8 percent as it shed $9.7 million.

The magazine industry took a big knock, with its ad spend dropping 10.3 percent ($3.3 million) from the previous year.

While the overall annual figures for print media weren’t great, Schulze points out that both the magazine and newspaper channels saw year-on-year lifts in ad spend over December.

Newspaper spend went up by 0.6 percent and magazine spend increased significantly by 14.5 percent (television also went up 3.8 percent in December).

“We haven’t seen this happen in any other market, and it will be interesting to see if this leads in a resurgence in print media,” says Schulze.

Schulze says that there was also a lift in spend in October 2016, but she initially wrote this off as an anomaly. However, when it happened again in December, it piqued her curiosity, particularly because the lift in magazine spend was so high.

On the topic of good news for traditional channels, outdoor, cinema and radio all increased their shares of the ad spend pie.

Outdoor came out as the biggest winner, enjoying a lift of 22.2 percent ($20.6 million).

“The growth in outdoor is an international phenomenon we’ve seen in a number of markets,” says Schulze.

This growth can firstly be attributed to the fact that outdoor has not been hit quite as hard by digital disruption. The channel remains effective in its ability to reach consumers as soon as they leave their homes.

And while the channel might not have the best targeting options, it remains a useful tool for marketers looking to reach mass audiences.

Another reason for the growth in the outdoor sector lies in the digitisation of sites, which has allowed for more ads to run in a single slot. If anything, digital has given the outdoor industry a means by which to increase the revenue potential of its assets.

Of course, this now means that brands have to share the space with other logos but this doesn’t seem to be stifling demand for outdoor advertising.

To meet this demand, outdoor players are spreading their glow around the major metropolitan areas by investing in new digital sites.

Just this week, QMS announced a new initiative that will see the introduction of 39 animated digital sites across the Auckland transport network.

Cinema is also putting up a decent fight against digital disruption, growing its ad spend by 16.8 percent ($1 million).

Similarly to outdoor, it still offers a very effective means by which to reach consumers. In fact, cinema is one of the few instances where consumers willfully rush to watch pre-roll ads.

Once you’re in a cinema, there are no adblockers and the massive output of the surround sound system makes sure you hear what’s happening even when you’re staring at your mobile.

While its growth wasn’t quite as pronounced as that of cinema and outdoor, radio also had a successful 2016, growing its ad spend by 5.5 percent ($4.2 million)—which could be attributable to the fact that radio continues to have a strong hold on in-car listening.

Overall, 2016 was a good year for the ad industry in terms of spend. But, as Schulze points out, advertising goes hand in hand with the economy, which, as 2008 can attest, has a tendency to dip from time to time.


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