Technology is changing work. It’s changing labor. Some imagine radical transformations, both positive and negatives. Words like robots and drones conjure up all sorts of science fiction imagination. But many of the transformations that are underway are far more mundane and, yet, phenomenally disruptive, especially for those who are struggling to figure out their place in this new ecosystem.
In Silicon Valley, the PayPal Mafia reigns supreme. So much so that it is hard to think of any successful technology startup in the last ten years—from Facebookand LinkedIn to YouTube and Yelp—that hasn’t been touched by it in some way.
Descriptions of how marketing is changing usually refer to new digital capabilities and media channels. But a more foundational transformation is also taking place - one that is elevating marketing into a critical, core company capability and shifting the scope of what marketing entails.
Word of mouth marketing (WOM) may be the most effective marketing out there today, given the wide availability and accessibility of people’s opinions coupled with the continuing public distrust of company sales pitches. But WOM doesn’t just happen – nor does conventional marketing wisdom apply. WOM marketing is unlike any other kind of marketing out there and poses unique requirements as well as capabilities.
Imagine that you are the CEO of InterLodge. You face a big problem: your share price has been falling for some time. You need to do something to deal with the issues of high costs and low profitability. You find that the occupancy rate and the average price point per room are too low. And the surveys suggest that Interlodge’s customer satisfaction levels are well below where they should be.
1989 was a revolutionary year. From Berlin, Warsaw and Prague to Tiananmen Square and South Africa, the world order was completely overturned. Yet probably the most consequential event happened in a quiet lab in Lausanne, Switzerland.