Interactive Marketing Strategist – George Benckenstein Interactive Marketing Strategist & Flat World Evangelist musing about how digital is changing the paradigm of human culture.


Welcome To Our Flat World

We are experiencing what some would call a "Revolution."  Actually, what we are experiencing is an "Evolution" of extraordinary magnitude.  In order to understand were we are going, let's begin by taking a quick look at where we've been.

The first half of the 20th century was an absolute disaster in human affairs.  A cataclysm.  We had the first world war, the great depression, the second world war and the rise of the communist nation.  Each one of these forces tore the world apart at the seams.  We also threw up barriers to human affairs which include:


Return On Influence – The Real ROI

Next time you hear people talking about history repeating itself, I'm hoping you will think about this.  None of us remember the era when all commerce was localized -- meaning, anyone you did business with lived in your immediate community.  There was no such thing as advertising, marketing channels and brands.  You did business with people you knew.  It was not an "information economy" and nothing was mass produced.  It was a Trust Economy.  So what am I talking about when I say that history repeats itself?   ...welcome back to the Trust Economy.


Swine Flu, Susan Boyle And The Network Multiplier Effect

Viral marketing is an epidemiological metaphor for how ideas get spread in a connected world.  As marketers, we strive to create pandemics to "affect" people instead of "infect" people.  The increasing prominence of the social web provides many ways to effectively scale and spread our messages and ideas in much the same way we fear swine flu could have global implications.  You're most likely already aware of the immense potential on the internet for your company and your brand, but it's likely that you aren't sure how to tap into it. You hear buzzwords like viral marketing, social marketing, buzz marketing, viral videos, consumer engagement, and destination websites, but these words do little to provide the perspective you need to formulate an approach.


Social Media vs Institutions

So you think you've heard every perspective there is about social media and why companies should take notice? Think again. What I hope you understand after reading this is the true importance of social media and why most companies don't have a clue as to what it means for their business, customers, employees and their competitors.

Do You Deliver A Superior Customer Experience?

The answer would be NO.  Chances are your company is NOT delivering a superior customer experience.  So is this what's important about social media?  The answer is... Partially. 


Interruption vs Engagement Marketing

It is said that a typical American is exposed to 30,000 advertising messages a day.  I found that hard to believe when I first heard this but then I just looked around and thought about this for a moment.  Why don't you think about this for a moment.  Imagine your drive to work - billboards, commercials on the radio, how about logos on cars and trucks.  Now think about your day at work - banner ads, logos on shirts, your computer, your telephone.  Now that you think about it, you can start to imagine this notion of 30,000 ad messages a day.  Now how many did you notice?  How many can you remember?  How many of these ad messages influenced you in any way?  This is called "ad blindness" and we are getting very good at filtering this stuff out as consumers.


Social Mindshifts For Traditional Marketers

There continues to be mass-adoption of social media as a way to build brands (both personal and corporate), communicate, collaborate and coordinate in a social network architecture.  Today we are going to talk about the big guys:  Midsize to Enterprise.  It is undeniable that this has, and will, continue the way we work and share information.  This paradigm has completely altered the way customers relate to brands and the way that corporate brand managers should operate.


Embrace Chaos To Conquer An Uncertain World

It is important to work to understand as many of the working pieces in your craft but true genesis lies beyond words and true creativity is creating something where there is not.  Nobody can tell you where your own success lies and you won't find success in the place it is not.  There's a Japanese proverb that says "The Reverse Side Also Has A Reverse Side."  These words mixed with Buddha's last - "Conditioned things are perishable; with vigilance strive to succeed" have inspired the notion behind this post as I relate them to myself, creativity and the things I pragmatically work thru on a daily basis.  So let's step back and dispel some conventional thinking first.


Exponential Innovation & Institutional Demise

Innovation refers to incremental, radical, and/or revolutionary change.  Change in thinking, products, processes, and/or institutions & organizations.   It's fueled by creative people on an unending journey to make things faster, smaller, cheaper, cleaner, simpler; people who put their heart and soul into their craft without regard.  Institutions or organizations are deliberately and intentionally created by people.  The development of functional institutions in society in general may be regarded as an instance of emergence; meaning, institutions arise, develop and function in a pattern of social self-organization, which goes beyond the conscious intentions of the individual humans involved.  It is the mechanical and traditional way effort is coordinated.


Don’t Ideate On Our Differences; Let’s Master Our Similarities

Before I get started on this post let me make one thing absolutely clear.  I am a DATA JUNKIE.  My job is to develop digital products, online destinations and engagement campaigns using the latest behavioral scoring technology available; technology that allows one to gather primary data on the audience that is interacting with the products.  Lately, I have really had a hard time embracing granular segmentation strategies especially around B2B and product development.  I mean, who are we talking to anyways?  Glass buildings and steel infrastructures or is there a better way to approach this?  The notion that consumers or, for simplicity sake, HUMANS are not the collective influence of a corporation and its day to day decision makers makes traditional B2B marketing a flawed construct that should be re-examined.  Well this got me thinking even deeper... or shallower for that matter.  Let me start by discussing the problem as I see it.  We'll get to a new approach I am pursuing just a bit later in the post.