Skip to main content


Z.E.R.O.: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model

Joseph Jaffe, Maarten Albarda

ISBN: 978-1-118-80839-9 October 2013 288 Pages


The world has changed. Everyone keeps reminding marketers and advertisers about the never ending and accelerating forces of technology disruption, consumer changes, and innovation evolution in the marketing world today. Sounds exciting except for the fact that we’re doing absolutely nothing about it. Zero. 

Simply put, under current operating conditions, the advertising industry will not be able to sustain itself and without taking action, is likely to result in severe to catastrophic outcomes- from financial underperformance to job loss to even a collapse of the current media ecosystem.

The solution? The Marketing Model can be fixed by slashing your ad budget, and  investing in the Z.E.R.O. framework:

  • Zealots
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Retention
  • Owned Assets

Foreword Chris Burggraeve vii

Preface The Obesity Epidemic xi

A Note from the Authors xv

SECTION I The Problem 1

CHAPTER 1 Madison Avenue: We Have a Problem 3

CHAPTER 2 A Perfect Storm Is Coming 9

CHAPTER 3 The Economic Case 21

CHAPTER 4 The Business Case 31

CHAPTER 5 The Media Case 37

CHAPTER 6 The Consumer Case 47

CHAPTER 7 The Creative Case 57

SECTION II The Z.E.R.O. Vision 67

CHAPTER 8 Is It Time to Blow Up the Entire Model? 69

CHAPTER 9 Introducing Z.E.R.O. 81

SECTION III The Z.E.R.O. Action Plan 127

CHAPTER 10 Culture and Talent 131

CHAPTER 11 Tenure 139

CHAPTER 12 Compensation 145

CHAPTER 13 Budget Setting 155

CHAPTER 14 Measurement and Insights 169

CHAPTER 15 Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones 181

CHAPTER 16 Customer Experience Becomes the Key Strategic Differentiator 191

CHAPTER 17 The Innovation Imperative 203

CHAPTER 18 Become a Data Junkie 219

CHAPTER 19 From Campaigns to Commitments to Ecosystems 231

CHAPTER 20 That’s Great . . . Now What the Hell Do I Do Next? 241

Epilogue 255

Notes 261

Index 267