marketing trend

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HP’s earnings were higher than expected this quarter, but revenue was down. Contemporaneously, Silicon Valley is celebrating the smartest kids in business  (I don’t know their names) owners of Snapchat who just turned down $3B from Facebook — and they have no revenue model.

For all the expense cutting Meg Whitman has done at HP — for all the business blocking and tackling — it should be known that revenue in 5 of 6 business segment is down. Not good.

In this age of “content is king,” I’d like to go off piste and say “revenue is king.”  Business process reengineering, the cloud, social business design and the maker economy are the things of Harvard Business Review essays and B+ papers. But revenue is what business is built upon. Let me say it again, revenue is the thing upon which businesses are built. Top line dollars.

Follow the revenue in the 21st century. When someone opens their wallet, marketing has happened. When someone opens their wallet learning can take place. Metrics can take place.

Ms. Whitman needs to be chasing revenue growth. Period. Let her direct reports work the expense side. Peace.

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One current marketing trend in America, partially caused by the recession, is the craft economy.  People learning to cook at home, fix their broken stuff, use better quality, better value products – a la craft beer. But beyond the recession, as America’s leisure time has become a bit more focused on technology (TV, video games, social networking) I see some blow back from those who want more…and they are turning to the craft economy. Both as buyers and sellers. 

This morning I drove past a McDonagh’s Milk delivery truck and realized this small local dairy is schlepping milk around in glass quart bottles.  It made me want to drink fresh milk. There were no ads on the very spare truck, yet I felt something and did something (like write about it.)  If the craft economy can by its very nature drive demand, it needn’t rely on advertising – and that is why I know the craft economy is for real. Our town just started a local farmer’s market, and it’s filled with craft economy buyers and sellers. Communing about craft.

So where do people go on the web to find craft people and products? And who will curate that web content?  Who will determine what is craft and what is mass-produced, junk economy material?  I suspect some entrepreneur will latch on and use Yelp-like rating to do it.  But that’s not particularly crafty.  Let’s see who wins. Because it’s coming. Peace!

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