Alain Thys

Innovation in Publishing: A Short Interview with Jan Van Mol

A number of people these days are exploring new ways of publishing. Seth Godin has launched his Domino Project, Ted is doing Ted Books, and some time ago Alexander Osterwalder had some great ideas on Business Model Generation.

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So You Want To Be Customer-centric?

On the face of it, customer-centricity is easy.  All you need to do is figure out what your customers need, and give it to them.  But anyone who's attempted to make his business act on the voice of the customer knows better.  Silos, policies and KPI's get in the way.

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About Vampires, Warlocks and Audience Engagement

It was Kevin Kelly who once said that to make a living an artist would only need 1000 fans. After all, if every fan generates $50 of income a year and convinces two or three of his friends to also purchase the occasional book, song or T-shirt the math works.

The corollary of this is that creative artists should stop thinking in terms of big audiences and mass media success.  Instead, they should focus on getting to know and engaging their fans on a virtually individual basis.

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Futurelab Brussels Is Open for Business

Today is a happy day. With the setup of Futurelab Brussels, we will finally become active in the Belgian market. Even though we’ve been based here for years, we’ve only had a handful of Belgian customers and never really engaged in any prospecting.

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Can Marketing Save the World?

Last weekend I had an interesting experience.  On Friday and in part Saturday I participated in the International Marketing Congress in Ghent.  On Monday, I was at TEDxBrussels, which by now has become the biggest TEDx in the world.  The two events couldn’t have been more different.

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How Relevant Are You? Really?

It’s official, marketing is irrelevant.  At least, it looks that way when you look at the topic of this year’s International Marketing Congress.  After all, if all was in good order, would a thousand marketers gather to discuss the ways they can increase the relevance of their profession?

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Five Ways to Sense-check Your 2011 Marketing Budget

From our experience in optimizing about €5 billion in media funds around the world, we know that between 2 and 40% of any marketing budget delivers absolutely no value to the business.  If you’d take a (kind) mean of 10%, this would mean that – globally – annually about $50 billion goes down the drain.  Not counting the parts which deliver “little value” and the opportunity cost of lost commercial impact.

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Introducing the #ChangeMarketing Lab

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you are probably receptive to the idea that marketing needs to “reboot” itself. Whether driven by the initiative of a visionary and focused CMO, or the – not so gentle - intervention of the executive board, the profession needs to challenge some of its most deeply rooted orthodoxies. The alternative is simply too costly.

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10 Thoughts for Your 2011 Marketing Budget

The coming marketing decade will be about common sense.  Most of the tools we need to develop relevant, engaging and reputable brands exist.  It’s just a matter of using them.  So rather than tell you about the next new thing to use, I encourage you to double-check whether your 2011 marketing plan takes into account the following items.

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Six Areas Where B2B Marketers Should Up Their Game

In many B2B companies, marketing is still regarded as a secondary, non-essential part of the business.  Whether this opinion is justified, depends on the situation.  But these days, it is an expensive opinion to hold.

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