Music with a wink

A great jazz lover or expert I am not. Yes, the occasional Miles Davis, Mingus, Brubeck and Grover Washington goes on the stereo but that's about it and I know very little about it. And my knowledge of Danish jazz is even more miniscule. But then I got these two compilations all with Danish jazz artists, out on Discowax/Warner and put together by DJ Collective Vibezone.

This is an abundance of poetic, up-beat, groovy, and extremely positive music, from jazz, latin and jazz funk to nu jazz and more. The compilations hold an impressive range of Danish jazz artists from heavy-weights Chris Minh Doky, Bentzon Brotherhood and Caroline Henderson to lesser known acts such as Carsten Dahl, Benni Chawes, and Malene Mortensen.

Nat & Dag 1 features a breath-taking rendition of John Lennon's Imagine by Palle Mikkelborg. On Nat & Dag 2 Danes will recognize 70s rock act Gasolin's Rabalderstræde, here titled Calle Raballero and performed by Mo' Green aka Morten Gronvad - just brilliant. My own favorite: Many, but Hometown Melodies by Jakob Bro is definitely one of them.

Good taste and good atmosphere through and through.

From cardboard and crayons to content and convenience

"I know of a pharmaceutical company that only calls in a marketer when it wants to decide on the color for a new pill." (Philip Kotler in Business Week recently).

We have all been there, us marketing folks. Experienced the perception of 'Marketing, isn't that the department for cardboard and crayons?'. Marketing as campaign and event department, a tactical service function for sales or product management. This is an archaic view of marketing and an un-productive, even dangerous one, because with this view many gaps are not discovered, opportunities not explored, and value not captured.

Of course Kotler is right, marketing must act as strategic growth driver. And of course marketing must be able to set up meaningful metrics and demonstrate ROI against these metrics - it goes without saying.

What I think is not discussed enough here but is of increasing importance is the new meaning and hence emerging role of marketing. Kotler does advocate that marketing should probably prioritise developing useful and distinctive products over developing ad campaigns for (often) useless and non-distinct products. Kotler also argues that the role of marketing is to bring the voice of the consumer into the company's thinking and move from marketing to 'consumering'. This is all good!

But the thing is that marketing is something that companies do for themselves, not for consumers and it is therefore for the most part completely irrelevant for consumers. Consumers do not care about a company's marketing and why should they. Whether marketing depts need more or fewer right, left brained or two-brained people is perhaps not the question, when the key is whether they understand people deep down and empathetically, and therefore are able to grasp what really matters to their target audience. Influence is a matter of walking in their shoes. 15-20 years ago, psychology and anthropology played a role in marketing - where has it gone?

So in order for marketing to move from being a tactical service function to a strategic growth lever, it needs to come to terms with the fact that marketing needs to be relevant and add value to the target audience(s), not simply by making the ads funnier or the stores nicer-looking. But by giving far more than is expected, providing genuinely valuable content ie insight, knowledge, services that are free and convenient and extends the value - and use - of the product and brand far beyond what you paid.
It's time businesses realise that you really do just get what you give. Only, today you have to give so much more!

Still one of the best marketing books around is John Grant's 'After Image'. And Marshall Goldsmith's interview with Kotler in Business Week is here.

People have the power

The music industry needs to listen to this, no in fact, they don't have to listen because it doesn't matter what they think or do much anymore: 

"You can't read the label when you're inside the jar"

What a brilliant way to express the conundrum of innovation from the inside. Courtesy of G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton - more here.

Twats on Twitter

Like a lot of other people I twitter. I post little 140-sign statements on this, that and the other on Usually meaningless nonsense for most people but nevertheless I find I get new followers from almost every new post. However, many of these followers are not genuine people or interesting people or people who want to share. They are small businesses, organisations or in some cases individuals who pick up on single words in your posts, words that match with whatever they are selling, and then start to follow you, seemingly in the hope that you might get interested and check them out, become their follower or perhaps even sign up to their offers.

For example, I am reading 'The Game' by Neil Strauss which is about the time he was a pick-up artist and about the whole pick-up artist scene/environment. I post something about this book on Twitter, and lo and behold, I get a new follower which is the 'PUA app for iPhone' (PUA = pick-up artist).
Another example: I post something about fitness ball exercises and two seconds later I have several followers who are US fitness trainers.

This really bugs me. Yes, I know I can block them but that's not the point. The point is that Twitter is a space for sharing your thoughts, it is not a commercial market place where others can stalk people around and hawk their wares. Go away!