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By Clay Parker Jones profile image Clay Parker Jones
5 min read

Five Strategy Things N° 4

Super Bowl spending; Robots; Defining Strategy; Loyalty Cards r Bad; Disruption & Airbnb; How to win championships.

A Better Spend of Super Bowl Cash

What a $4 Mil. Super Bowl Ad Could Buy in Digital
For the cost of running a Super Bowl spot, a brand could do a ton of digital media.

The fact that we’re comparing Super Bowl Ad prices to ads for other advertising formats is evidence that we haven’t come very far in the last several years.

Why not take that $4 million (which isn’t the total cost…what are you going to put in those 30 seconds? Who’s going to approve it? Who’s going to test it?), and turn it into 15 humans whose sole purpose is to make content for the internet? For that money, you could give them all a sweet salary, outfit them with the latest tools (cameras, computers, software, services, etc.), and still have money left over to fly them places…and give them all a phatty bonus when they crush your awareness goals for the year. (I’m not counting office space in my calculations, because if you’re advertising in the Super Bowl, I assume you’ve got a place to put your new team.)

With that said, I agree that TV is a great place to invest if you’ve got the money, the product, and the infrastructure in place to deal with it.

But if you’re going to pour your TV money into digital, don’t use it to buy inventory. Do something interesting with it.

[EDIT: you could also buy 200 elephants with $4MM.]

Robots Are Broken

Great quote today from SXSW. With regard to the future of drones:

“Well, first of all, we won’t call them ‘drones’ or ‘robots’. You only call something a ‘robot’ when it doesn’t work. When it starts working, you call it a ‘toaster’ or a ‘washing machine’.”

– Chris Anderson, SXSW 2013

Components of Strategy

(1) Vision
Our lofty, distant but specific intent for the impact of technology on our business, our customers, and our associates

(2a) Structure
Resources, allocation, talent and training focused on output, not management

(2b) & Method
Repeatable, evolving and codified process

(3) Next Moves
Immediate, near-term actions (horizon: no more than 6 weeks)

(Specifically I’m thinking about strategies for “digital” but this probably applies to most things. And yes, these are just labels for common elements, but labels are a powerful thinking tool, and I find this framework helpful)

Loyalty cards are fluff

Slate’s Use of Your Data
Slate’s Use of Your Data

Loyalty cards, discounts and advertising are signs that your product isn’t good enough.

“Loyalty programs only make sense in industries in which a company can do nothing to differentiate itself from its competitors, and customers lack either the motivation or the price sensitivity to shop around.”

Kill your “loyalty program” and do something that actually inspires loyalty.

The pattern of disruption: Airbnb

December 01, 2013

The pattern of disruption
I came again across Clayton Christiansen’s pattern of industry disruption this afteroon while reading some article. Christiansen summarizes this pattern via three simple steps (I advise writing them down or else remembering them). 1. New competitors with new business models...
Major industry players like dismissed AirBnB and sometimes even say things like this: “Quite honestly, I had to google what [Airbnb] actually means, which shows you how much we pay attention to it,” “It’s a gnat on the dog’s tuchus. “It might itch, but it’s not a game changer” and “I think it’s serving people who didn’t travel because they were scared, or couldn’t afford it, or use it because it’s an antidote to loneliness.”

I like this a lot. Not just the quote here, but the entire sentiment. Also, everyone seems to be re-reading Christiansen right now. What’s up with that?

How to win championships in any sport

C.R.E.A.M. (Or, “How to Win a Championship in Any Sport”)
Does cash rule everything in professional sports? Obviously it keeps the lights on, and it keeps the best athletes in fine bling, but what effect does the root of all evil have on the competitive …

Just started reading this amazing blog – Skeptical Sports Analysis – which I found via Kottke’s post about Dennis Rodman. It’s tremendous, and I’m sad to say that it’s dead; the author was brought over to FiveThirtyEight, leaving behind an amazing archive. If you like graphs, obsession, and sports, this is the place.

Anyway: I grabbed the pics from a post about strategies for winning championships, as dictated by the salary regulations of the league.

  1. In tightly regulated leagues, like the NBA, teams must aggressively recruit multiple high-value players – some of whom may be underpaid relative to their ability to generate wins. Basically: create surplus value by underpaying super-elites; trade purpose for salary.
  2. In unregulated leagues, like MLB, spend like a drunken sailor. Players will be rightly compensated for their value to the team, and teams can spend as they like, so those that spend, win. Enter the arms race.
  3. The NFL’s salary regulations present some interesting sub-strategies (or priorities, perhaps) for teams: amazing QBs generate lots of value, so bet hard to get a good one; get veteran role-players that aren’t highly demanded; release beloved, overpaid veterans; bet on mid-round draft picks, which are likely to be underpaid.

I love stuff like this.

By Clay Parker Jones profile image Clay Parker Jones
Updated on
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