Marketers Need To Shift from Collecting Eyeballs to Building Interfaces

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 Philip Kotler and his ideas about uncovering the “needs, wants and interests of target markets.” Ever since, generations of marketers have learned to focus on the consumer and communicating features and benefits to them effectively.

 Ronald Coase’s famous 1937 paper about The Nature of the Firm, which argued that the purpose of a firm is to minimize transaction costs, especially search and information costs. Surely, that is also an important function of brands.

 design rich and seamless interfaces.

How New Markets Are Created

 argues that the early adopters of any new product are the ones with the greatest “pain” to be relieved. So when computers were first developed, they were used exclusively by scientists at research centers who were in dire need of something to help them with large and complex calculations.

 Bob Taylor had a very different vision. He saw that as processing power became exponentially cheaper, the computer would evolve into a communications device. So he and his colleagues built a machine at Xerox PARC that did something unthinkable at the time, it devoted two thirds of its computing power to the display.

 Alto, a computer like no other that came before it. The Alto was designed to be used by a single individual—almost all computers at the time were time-shared among a number of users—and had a simple, intuitive interface. You didn’t need to be a specialist to use this machine, almost anyone could be up and running with it in under an hour.

 Steve Jobs visited PARC, saw the Alto and was blown away. He adopted many of its features, such as the mouse and the graphical user interface, but also added a few of his own, like a suite of elaborate fonts. In 1984, Apple launched the Macintosh and the market for computers was never quite the same again.

The Brand As An Open APIApplication Programming Interface (API), he opened up the Facebook platform to any outside developer who wanted to create a feature for it.

became a platform.  By May 2009 Facebook passed MySpace on its way to becoming the most popular Web destination in the world. Today. it has 1.5 billion users and is worth $270 billion. MySpace was sold for a reported $35 million in 2011.

Using Platforms To Access Ecosystems

 but at the center of networks.

 ability of a platform to access ecosystems. The legions of independent developers that were working on Facebook’s behalf far outperformed MySpace’s internal capabilities—or anyone else’s for that matter.

 App Store. At first, Jobs locked the developers out, but he soon saw the error of his ways and the App Store is now a $10 billion dollar business. More recently, IBM has followed a similar strategy with its Watson Ecosystem.

From Crafting Messages To Creating Experiences

 trying to engineer consumer decision journeys, which all too often simply leads to annoying customers at more times and in more places. We need to shift our focus from identifying touch points to enhancing experiences all the way through.

 shift from crafting messages to creating experiences. And it all starts with designing better interfaces.