Z.E.R.O.: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model
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Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model
In May 2013, WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell conceded his clients were wasting 15 to 25 percent of their advertising dollars, only he didn't know exactly which 25 percent was being wasted. This statement resurrected a similar comment made by retailing pioneer John Wanamaker almost exactly 100 years earlier. Only Wanamaker estimated that number to be 50 percent.
But what if both were wrong? What if that number were way higher than 50 percent? What if we could measure it? What if we knew what to do with the wasted budget—whether to redistribute or optimize inefficient budgets from acquisition to retention? From incumbent channels to innovation platforms?
What if brands could move from being tenants to landlords? From being media dependent to media discerning?
Authors Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda not only feel this is possible, but highly probable, given two forces that—when combined—will deliver a perfect storm that will rock the media world to its core. The push of media inflation, noise and clutter, consumer resistance and apathy, and fleeting viewers will ultimately intersect with the pull of the increasingly digital, social, and connected world, powered by startups, content creation, and customer-centric ecosystems powered by technology. The results will be catastrophic to those who remain paralyzed on the sidelines, but ecstatic to those who take action.
In Z.E.R.O., Jaffe and Albarda introduce the power of Zealots (advocacy), Entrepreneurship (innovation), Retention (customer-centricity), and Owned Assets (direct-to-consumer channels) under a unified call-to-action that, in a perfect world, would create an optimal media budget of Z.E.R.O.
The authors pull Z.E.R.O. punches in delivering some tough love that ultimately is grounded in a shared passion to save the industry (from itself) and, in doing so, reinvent brands and brand building in a time where commoditization trumps differentiation; where automation overshadows humanity; where noise drowns out signal; where the status quo prevails over risk-taking; and where mediocrity dulls creativity.
Z.E.R.O. is a no-holds-barred call to action for corporations and their marketers to adapt or die amid an increasingly turbulent, changing, and dynamic media landscape.
In three sections, authors Jaffe and Albarda outline the problems and challenges that are leading to the Perfect Storm approaching (Section 1), the introduction and delivery of the Z.E.R.O. Manifesto (Section 2) in which the vision and idea of Z.E.R.O. is presented, and finally a ten-point Action Plan with pragmatic recommendations marketers can start doing to ensure not just survival, but also the ability to thrive in the turbulent (yet exciting) world that lies ahead.
Z.E.R.O. is not a pipe dream. It's a reality for companies like Red Bull, Nike, Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon.com.