The Lean Startup Movement and SMstudy

Startup “is shorthand for an ethos that the organization holds dear: speed, flexibility, a willingness to be daring and experiment,” writes Beth Comstock in the introduction to “Video: Eric Ries Talks to Beth Comstock about Entrepreneurship in the Age of Uncertainty” in GE Reports.[1]

Comstock, Vice Chair of GE (General Electric), puts this ethos at the heart of the Lean Startup managerial movement that she credits to Eric Ries and his Times bestseller, The Lean Startup.

When Ries describes what he means by “lean startup,” he says, “We take ideas from lean manufacturing and apply them to the process of innovation itself… we build a minimum viable product … rapidly iterate, discover what is it that the customers want,” and then learn how to build a sustainable business around that. This approach is one of the most effective ways people successfully navigate innovation and change: taking ideas that work in one field and applying them where they can do a lot of good in another field.

The field of sales and marketing has seen its paradigms shift on an almost daily basis—the sellers’ market morphs into conventional mass marketing, which transforms into mass media marketing, then into internet sales and fragmented new-age marketing, and so on.  Technological innovation continually creates both new markets and new ways to reach established markets.

How do professionals successfully navigate this ocean of innovation? SMstudy—the global training and accreditation organization whose experts share their content through the SMstudy platform—takes ideas from the fields of project management and process engineering “to provide a practical and process-oriented approach to Sales and Marketing that emphasizes how its various elements can be integrated to develop a comprehensive and effective organizational Sales and Marketing Plan,” according to their website. [2]

Ries sees that “entrepreneurship is the missing function in corporations… imagine your business but with one of its major silos gone: there’s no marketing, there’s no operations, there’s no finance, you’d say, ‘Wait a minute, we’re in trouble.’”

Startups and established companies often find themselves in this position, but the missing component is an integrated marketing strategy and the capacity to deliver such a strategy. SMstudy’s Guide to the SMstudy Sales and Marketing Body of Knowledge (SMBOK® Guide), also referred to as the SMstudy® Guide, “is a series of books that provide guidelines for the Sales and Marketing of products and services. It offers a comprehensive framework that can be used to effectively manage Sales and Marketing efforts in any organization,” according to their website. The process-oriented approach enables companies to design and build marketing activities and departments that match their needs, size and resident expertise.

Describing entrepreneurship as “about operating under conditions of extreme uncertainty,” Ries gives three questions that can help professionals be entrepreneurial within their daily business activities: “You can always be asking yourself ‘who’s the customer for this?’ ‘What is the benefit to the customer, what is it that they hope to get from your work?’ and ‘how do you know that you have positively impacted them?’”  These are topics covered in the SMstudy® Guide.

Being entrepreneurial, using lean startup processes and applying insight across business domains is helping companies like GE and SMstudy move successfully into a future of continuing uncertainty.

For more insights and articles on sales and marketing, visit SMstudy.com.

(Jim Pruitt, VMEdu staff writer contributed to this article.)

[1] Retrieved on 5/23/16 from http://www.gereports.com/a-lean-mean-startup-machine-business-strategist-wants-companies-to-embrace-uncertainty.

[2] http://www.smstudy.com/Individuals/Buy-SMstudy-Guide

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Various types of Primary Data in the context of Marketing Research

When a researcher collects new data for a specific research project, the data is considered primary data. On the other hand if the data is already available in house i.e. historical data or data received from some other external sources (e.g. industry reports, internet searches, government published reports etc.), the data is considered as secondary data.

The research requirements will vary from project to project, with many research projects requiring both primary and secondary data to solve the research problem. Some research projects can be solved with the sole use of existing secondary data, while in other cases no secondary data exists and the research project can only be solved with the use of primary data.

As a rule, a researcher should always try to collect and analyze secondary data before moving to the collection and analysis of comparatively costly and time-consuming primary data. In some cases secondary data may be inadequate or unusable. When the needed data do not exist or are outdated, inaccurate, incomplete, or unreliable, the researcher needs to collect primary data.

Let’s take an example to illustrate the need of collecting primary data. It is a common HR practice to keep the employees satisfied for most of the medium to big sized companies as studies show that engaged employees are more productive and are better contributors to their employer’s goals and objectives. Employee satisfaction surveys (popularly known as “ESAT survey”) are done to evaluate the satisfaction of employees on key parameters such as satisfaction with senior management, immediate managers, company policies, work environment, hygiene factors and other facilities, training and development, opportunities for personal growth etc. In this case collecting primary data is a must as it is meaningless to use past ESAT survey data for the current workforce.

There are various forms of primary data. Some common types are illustrated as follows:

Demographic Data—Demographic data are related to characteristics such as the gender, age, income, education, occupation, marital status, ethnicity, and social status of the target group. Demographic primary data categorize the target market into different customer segments each having some common attributes which help marketers to focus on a specific segment or create segment specific marketing strategies. For example a fast food (e.g. pizza, burgers etc.) brand may find that preferences of people in the 20–30 age group are different from the preferences of people in the 30–40 age group.

Psychographics and Lifestyle Data—This kind of data is related to personality traits, interests, lifestyle, values, and opinions of the target respondents. Marketers often combine psychographics and lifestyle information with demographic information to obtain an important perspective of the target market.

Intentions—Intentions refer to the anticipated future behaviors of an individual. This is a subject of interest to marketers who want to solve a research problem related to future consumption rate or demand.

Attitudes—Attitudes refer to a person’s feelings, convictions, or beliefs toward an object, idea, or an individual. Since attitude impacts behavior, it is of great importance to marketers.

Awareness/KnowledgeThis data refers to what subjects do or do not know about an object of investigation. Information influences behavior and marketers often want to know how the behavior of customers changes with their level of awareness regarding a particular product, brand, object, or industry.

MotivationsA person’s actions are the reflection of his or her inner state. Marketers often want to know the motives that direct specific consumer behavior. Motivations can include users’ category, brand-purchasing motives, value systems, and perceptions among others.

BehaviorsBehaviors are the actions taken by respondents. Questions regarding respondents’ behaviors toward a particular situation can be asked to them directly and can be included in a survey. However, the responses may not represent the actual behavior of the respondents. Observation techniques are more often used to understand the actual behavior of respondents. Purchase behavior is also an important factor; when considering purchase behavior, marketers might categorize consumers as non-users, potential users, first-time users, regular users, or former users.

To know more about primary data, visit SMstudy.com

Plan B: Assessing Social Marketing Future Scenarios

No one likes to contemplate a worst-case scenario, but it is wise to have a plan B. Any digital marketing strategy should think optimistically, but preparation for future scenarios that may look very different from today’s digital marketing landscape is vital to a brand’s survival.

“Anticipated future scenarios” is an output of the Evaluate Digital Marketing Channels process and is described by SMstudy®Guide, Digital Marketing as the analysis of the most likely future changes to take place in each digital marketing channel; analysis of the potential impact of defined changes; and proposed actions.

Assessing possible changes in future digital channels that could affect revenue, production, access to resources and so on is primary. But a thorough analysis should also take into consideration the way technologies come together to create a brand new scenario, even though most changes occur incrementally, according to Andrew Frank, analysts with Gartner for Marketing Leaders.

“When this happens, brands that anticipate these transformational scenarios will thrive; incrementalists will lose out,” Frank said.

As Frank points out, it may be tempting to want to keep a set digital marketing channel strategy, but agility and open-mindedness will benefit today’s marketing strategists. Staying on top of trends and recognizing where they converge with a company’s product or brand is also a component of future scenario assessments.

With that in mind, here are the top 2016 digital marketing trends noted by Adam Fridman, founder of MeetAdvisors, published on Inc. Dec. 1, 2015:

Data, data, data. Learn to love it.

“In short, data is behavior. Learning from this behavior drives creative messaging and strategic campaigns. Tracking behavior and tapping into the emotional connection through messaging, ads, social, and design makes all the difference in the digital space.”

Forget the funnel. The funnel is flawed.

“There’s little opportunity to share the research and buying experience which is crucial for interacting with fans and getting more people into your funnel, or ecosystem. too much work on consumers and consumers hate doing too much work.”

Test with laser-like focus. Technology now allows for deep research on target audiences. Even detailed aspects of an ad can now be picked apart and analyzed for demographic appeal.

“Targeting is a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy and by marketing directly to your ideal audience, you’re effectively and efficiently spending only what’s ”

Social engagement. This isn’t new, but it’s definitely continuing.

Two things to know: 1. Encourage audience participation through creative engaging campaigns and 2. Spare them the mediocre content.

“Each social channel, blog post, e-mail, web link must have a purpose and drive towards something. Never post simply to post. Without engagement or traffic, those posts are a waste of time and money.”

Expand the team. Start to think about a marketing team as more than just the marketers for a company or brand. Every “share” received through social media channels is an endorsement, each person “reposting” is an ambassador.

“Single marketing voices only reach the people already in their networks. To break through, companies and causes will increasingly need to partner with suppliers, brand and others to reach more people, more often.”

 

For more interesting articles on sales and marketing, visit smstudy.com.

Photo provided courtesy of  Anoop Kumar, Flickr. Image has been cropped. https://www.flickr.com/photos/anoopkumar/

Sources:

SMstudy® Guide, Digital Marketing, pg. 63-64.

“Agenda Overview for Emerging Marketing Technology and Trends, 2015,” Andrew Frank, Dec. 18, 2014. https://www.gartner.com/imagesrv/digital marketing/pdfs/Emerging_Marketing_Technology_and_Trends.pdf

“The Future of Digital Marketing- How It’s Changing in 2016,“ Andrew Fridman, Dec. 1, 2015. http://www.inc.com/adam-fridman/the-future-of-digital-marketing-how-it-s-changing-in-2016.html

What Did You Do When You Were Supposed to be Sleeping?

Sleep Cycle is an app that tracks your sleep cycle. Seems pretty simple, but looks can be deceiving. In November of 2015, just a few short months ago, the app was released to the public and the vote is in. Everyone loves it.

So, here’s what you do. First, download the app. Before you go to sleep set the alarm programmed in the app and the sleep cycle device will activate. Place your phone screen side down on your nightstand, plug in your charger, and, hopefully, have a great night of sleep.

When you wake up in the morning, the app provides you with a line graph that depicts how many hours you were in bed and how your sleep varied throughout the night from awake, sleep, and deep sleep.

I tried out the app for the first time last night and it appears as if I am a champion sleeper, but I moved 1,267 times. I am a champion sleeper that thrashes.

But that’s not all! The trends tab on the app is available to premium members, and it provides you with several different charts that display sleep quality, what time you went to bed, the amount of time in bed, and what time you woke up at for the week. It also gives you a percentage in regards to sleep quality. Did you sleep poorly because you ate dinner too late? Or did you wake up refreshed because you hit the gym the day before? The app will tell you. It also lets you know if your sleep quality was affected by air pressure, weather, or if you are a thrasher like me.

You get all of this information for a large fee of 83 cents a month (This is not a typo).

Sales and marketing professionals can learn a thing or two from Sleep Cycle. We, as people, are fascinated about sleep. We can’t study our own sleep patterns, considering we are sleeping, so it was all too fascinating to find out that I sleep the majority of my night in a deep sleep. I would have never known that. That’s how they get us in. It’s all a marketing ploy. And then for just 83 cents a month I can not only learn how I sleep, but I will learn how I can sleep better. Who doesn’t want to know that?

83 cents a month is nothing for us fortunate enough to be living in a first world country. We see the advantages for the app, sign up, and never unsubscribe because it is only 83 cents, even though we never use the app anymore and it has been long forgotten. And the money is just rolling in for Sleep Cycle.

(Applause for Sleep Cycle)

So what did they do right? First of all, it is a very big gamble to charge such a low monthly fee. But according to Marketing Strategy, book one in the SMstudy® Guide, it was a very calculated move with the help of secondary marketing research. “Secondary marketing research involves the use of content and information that is currently available within the company or in the market through primary research that has already been conducted and is readily obtainable through company reports, trade journals, industry publications, and/or the Internet.”

The very popular Fitbit will track your sleep, but it can cost upwards of 200 dollars. Fitbit sold nearly 11 million devices last year, so the market was there. From looking at information that was right at their fingertips, Sleep Cycle was able to build a sales and marketing plan that was destined to succeed.

I was pulled in by a marketing ploy and I didn’t even see it. That’s how you know a company is doing its job well. I look forward to going to sleep tonight, I have a competitive streak, so I want to beat last night’s amazing performance.

Give it a try, you know you want to.

For more information and resources about sales and marketing visit SMstudy.com

Innovation, Marketing and Avoiding Failure

When famous, powerful people say, “I failed,” it gets people’s attention.

When famous, powerful people say, “I failed,” there’s usually a “but it wasn’t really my fault” lurking about.

When David Fradin, former division head at Apple, wrote a guest blog for Aha! titled “Why I Failed with the Apple III and Steve Jobs Succeeded with the Macintosh,”[i] it got the attention of SMstudy. And even though he never said it directly, there was an “it really wasn’t my fault” argument sidling through the piece. That argument really got their attention.

Fradin says that when he took over the Apple III product line he discovered ambiguity and confusion over the line’s targeted market segment. The product’s architect had a definite idea of who the Apple III was designed for and the marketing people did not agree, “To make matters worse, Marketing did not agree that there was any demand for the Apple III in the SOHO (Small Office, Home Office) or SMB (Small to Medium Business) market.”

How could the marketing department not see the logic of the architect? “That’s because Market Analysts had not identified such market segments yet. So, Apple’s own Marketing team could not identify those as market segments by themselves,” says Fradin. Claims like this—all too common with innovative and disruptive products—make the professionals at SMstudy sit up and take notice. They even smiled. That’s because they have addressed this situation in Marketing Strategy and Marketing Research, books one and three in their A Guide to the SMstudy® Sales and Marketing Body of Knowledge (SMBOK® Guide) series.[ii]

“Once the market has been defined, the company can then divide the market into various segments based on carefully chosen segmentation criteria. Customer segmentation should be used to help a company tailor specific offerings to segments that provide a distinct competitive advantage,” says the SMBOK® Guide, also known as the SMstudy® Guide. Though this seems fairly obvious on the surface, for innovative companies, this can be a problem. What segmentation criteria is the company going to carefully choose? The product may be so new that no one is sure how customers and user will actually use it. It is not surprising that the majority of the first Apple IIIs went to developers who were eager for more computing power, more drives, and did not care about the user friendliness that was so important to Apple’s other users.

Even within the company, the Apple III had a distinct competitive advantage over the Apple II. The “product line was contributing over $100M per year in gross profits … because the Apple III focused on the Enterprise market and had a much higher Average Selling Price (ASP) than the Apple II.” But the company did not know it.

They did not know it because the company’s “metric — or key performance indicator (KPI) — was ‘units sold,’” according to Fradin, who says, “Instead, we should have focused on profitability.” The “units sold” metric came from the manufacturing division instead of marketing which added to a lack of focus. The process of determining metrics should “include the positioning statement, which describes the value a product or brand offers to its target customers; the Pricing Strategy; the Distribution Strategy; Industry Benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); and the goals that are defined at the corporate and/or business unit or geographic levels,” according to the SMstudy® Guide. Things might have gone better for Fradin and the Apple III if someone had remembered this.

The Marketing Strategy book has a chapter that “deals with the selection of the metrics to be used for sales and marketing efforts, such as customer reach, brand perception, product availability, and sales and profitability.”

But what about the market being so new that Apple’s marketing people did not know what segmentation criteria to use?Marketing Strategy suggests beginning with existing reports, “There are two types of marketing research reports that can serve as inputs for market segmentation—industry reports and company commissioned reports.” From Fradin’s comments, it is clear that industry reports were not available, so the emphasis moves to ones “that have been created or commissioned in the past by the company to understand specific information about the markets under consideration that the company is not able to understand adequately through other sources.”

By the time Fradin took over the Apple III division it had already been through three project managers, including the man who later developed PowerPoint. Previous Apple computers had been revolutionizing the market, the Apple II had been around a while, and they were selling 40,000 of them per month. Apple was in a position to have some proprietary research that could give hints about where to go with the Apple III.

SMstudy’s Marketing Research book makes the point that “marketing research is linked to all other Aspects of Marketing as it provides critical insights that inform key decisions in all other marketing planning and strategies.” Some type of research was needed to help Apple focus on the Apple III. In researching market segments there are two broad categories of the data one can collect: primary and secondary. Secondary data is the type you can get from reports that have already been written such as industry reports. Primary data comes from activities that a company or its research organization carries out directly with the customers and market members. “As a rule, a researcher should always try to collect and analyze secondary data before moving to the collection and analysis of comparatively costly and time-consuming primary data,” suggests Marketing Research. And this makes sense.

What also makes sense is that to avoid making decisions like those that led to the failure of the Apple III, one should use some insightful marketing strategies and do a good bit of quality research. SMstudy and the SMstudy® Guide can help!

 

[i] Fradin, David. (3/21/16) “Why I Failed with the Apple III and Steve Jobs Succeeded with the Macintosh.” Aha! [Guest blog] Retrieved on 3/22/16 from http://blog.aha.io/index.php/why-i-failed-with-the-apple-iii-and-steve-jobs-succeeded-with-the-macintosh/

[ii] The SMstudy® Guide can be found at http://smstudy.com/SMBOKGuide.

 

All about GE-McKinsey Matrix

The GE-McKinsey Matrix was developed in response to the shortcomings of the BCG Matrix, which does not account for a number of factors. It was originally used for a visual representation of GE’s 150 business units to determine which business units were doing well, which needed support, and which should be discontinued. However, the matrix can also be applied to a product portfolio. It evaluates each product on two parameters, market attractiveness and product position, which are the labels of the axes on the matrix.

Market attractiveness and product position are determined by a weighted score for all the relevant factors that contribute to each. There are three levels for each parameter—high, medium, and low—giving the matrix nine boxes in total. The placement of each product on the matrix determines the strategy to be used for the product. A-6 shows the GE-McKinsey Matrix.

Products that fall above the diagonal line are high performers, or are those with potential for either growth or cash flow. These are the products on which a company should focus. Products that fall below the diagonal line are those that typically drain a company’s resources, with small returns and little potential for growth. These products should be analyzed thoroughly to determine which can benefit from selective investment in order to move them above the diagonal, and which need to be discontinued.

The factors used to determine market attractiveness are market growth, market size, opportunity to differentiate product and/or services from others in the market, profitability, intensity of competition, risk to returns, pricing trends, entry barriers, demand variability, distribution structure, and technological developments. The factors involved in determining product position are strength of assets and competencies, customer loyalty, cost position relative to competitors, distribution strength, record of technological or other innovation, relative brand strength, market share, and access to financial and other investment resources.

Advantages and disadvantages of GE-McKinsey Matrix:

Advantages:

  • This matrix takes into account a number of factors that the BCG Matrix does not.
  • It is visually easy to understand and provides more options to place a product as compared to the BCG Matrix, due to the inclusion of the “low” level on both axes.
  • It is conceptually similar to the BCG Matrix, so anyone who is familiar with the BCG Matrix can easily use the GE-McKinsey Matrix.

Disadvantages:

  • This matrix does not take into account the synergies between various products. Discontinuing one might adversely impact another.
  • The scoring of the various factors using the weights is subjective and leaves the tool open to bias.
  • It does not help in allocating the relative investments for each product.

Reach New Heights with Your SEO: 2016 Trends and SMstudy Guidance

 

There are, on average, 12 billion web searches conducted in the United States EACH month. This ginormous figure highlights (and underscores) the importance of where your online content appears in search engine results and what can be done to improve a site’s ranking on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, etc.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of modifying online content to improve its “searchability”. The SMstudy Guide®, Digital Marketing book describes SEO as an optimization of a website through editing, tagging or coding pages in order to improve online traffic.

The book states, “The objective is to ensure that the site appears in search engine results for the keywords that are most relevant to the business. SEO also involves removing any barriers that would prevent search engines from indexing the site, as well as promoting the site to increase the number of backlinks or inbound links.”

Since its rise to prominence in 2010, Search Engine Optimization has been evolving at a brisk clip and 2016 will be no exception. As we close out the first month of the new  year, two important SEO trends are beginning to come into focus.

Trend #1

In 2016, the lines will blur (even more) between social media content and traditional web content. As social media content is now being indexed by the search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing, the chances of social media content coming up in search engine results has greatly increased. This is good news for marketers, but it will require greater focus on incorporating SEO best practices into social media marketing.

Brian Honigman, CEO of Honigman Media explains “Today, links are mainly achieved through developing original content that is in turn, shared across social media. Links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks help the search engines understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases.”
Trend #2

Consider these two statistics regarding mobile use:

1. Four out of five consumers use smartphones to shop.

2. 70% of mobile searches result in an online action (such as a purchase).

With the continued increase of smartphone use, it’s no surprise that the latest Google algorithm update nudges mobile-friendly sites to the top of its search results. This is a clear indication that focusing on optimizing mobile content is now just as important as optimizing web content.

In more general terms, SMstudy’s Digital Marketing suggests optimizing website responsiveness to ensure easy viewing on mobile devices. The book goes on to suggest, “Maintain a separate mobile site since mobile users prefer websites in which content can be consumed on a smaller screen and on the go; provide only relevant content: and maintain a light mobile site to ensure faster loading the mobile site.”

For more articles on sales and marketing, visit smstudy.com/articles

 

Sources

SMstudy Guide, Digital Marketing, pgs. 77-78.

“Eight Ways Social Media Affects SEO”, Brian Honigman, Sept. 11, 2013. http://blog.sumall.com/journal/8-ways-social-media-affects-seo.html#ixzz3yTSPgOWt.

“From Brick-and-Mortar to Mobile Click-and-Order: Which Retailers are Carving Out Space in the M-Commerce Market?”, Sarah Radwanick
Lead Corporate Marketing Manager, Sept. 19, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2012/9/Retailers-Carving-Out-Space-in-the-M-Commerce-Market.

“70% of mobile searches result in an online action…within one hour”, Ahmed Ahmed, Dec. 20, 2012. http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/70-mobile-searches-lead-action-within-1-hour-infographic.

“Search Engine Optimization Stats,” Hubspot.com, http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics.

5C Analysis

5C Analysis is a technique used to conduct situation analysis. Conducting a situation analysis is one of the important steps in identifying the research problem. A situation analysis involves examining the external environmental factors and internal organizational capabilities that impact how a company operates.

5C Analysis is one of the most popular and useful frameworks in understanding internal and external environments. It is an extension of the 3C Analysis that originally included Company, Customers, and Competitors. Collaborators and Climate were later added to the analysis to make it comprehensive. This integrated analysis covers the most important areas of marketing, and the insights generated can help identify the key problems and challenges facing the organization. However, it should be noted that not all five elements need to be considered when identifying the problem in a particular area of marketing. Depending on the area of marketing under scrutiny, some areas need to be given more importance than others.

  • Company—The company analysis studies an organization’s vision, strategies, capabilities, product line, technology, culture, and objectives. It is useful in understanding the existing and potential problems with the company’s business.
  • Customers—Understanding customers is a key part of situation analysis. It involves knowing the target audience, their behavior, market size, market growth, buying patterns, average purchase size, frequency of purchase, and preferred retail channels.
  • Competitors—Competitor analysis is critical in understanding the external environment in which the firm operates. This analysis involves knowing the competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, positioning, market share, and upcoming initiatives.
  • Collaborators—Collaborators are the external stakeholders who team up with the organization in a mutually beneficial partnership. Agencies, suppliers, distributors, and business partners are typical collaborators. It is important to understand their capabilities, performances, and issues to better identify business problems.
  • Climate—Climate analysis is the evaluation of the macro-environmental factors affecting the business. PESTEL analysis can be used to analyze climate—political, economic, social/cultural, technological, environmental, and legal scenarios are included in PESTEL.

To learn more about 5C analysis and other situation analysis techniques, visit SMstudy.com/articles

The Office Turntable Puts a New Spin on Music Promotion

It’s the age old question for rock bands everywhere: how do you get jaded, hardened music critics and advertisers to listen to your jams when many (in fact, most) CDs and MP3s submitted will immediately be allocated to the circular file (a.k.a the trash can)?

In a brilliant play to persuade the taste makers to take a listen, the German electronic music label Kontor Records utilized mobile technology and a whole lot of groove to promote one of their artist’s latest singles.

In 2015 Electronic music artist Boris Dlougosch’s single arrived in offices as a vinyl album, which in itself gets high marks on the cool scale. But it gets better. The album arrived with its own 2-D cardboard player and instructions for downloading an app that allows the listener to play the album with their smartphone. Yes, you read that correctly…the vinyl album is played with a smartphone! A virtual needle allows listeners to skip through the track just like on a real turntable.

Check out the video…

As the Office Turntable shows, mobile apps can be used in highly creative ways. But mobile apps of varying creativity levels and other personal devices are a large part of a company’s digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing, book 2 in the SMstudy Guide® states that since an increasing percentage of consumers use the Internet on-the-go, having a mobile version of a website helps a business reach out to consumers across all devices connected to the Internet.

Novelty in marketing is a tried and true way to grab attention and create interest in a company’s product or service. TheSMstudy Guide®, Digital Marketing book supports this idea when discussing innovative internet-enabled business models.  It says, “The growing popularity of the Internet, smartphones and digital media provides opportunities for a company to not only use fragmented new-age marketing effectively to promote existing products, but also to come up with innovative business models where product demo, customer acquisition, and order fulfilment can also take place online.”

In the case of Back to Vinyl: The Office Turntable marketing campaign, old school vinyl and new school technology come together to give a truly novel music experience that also allows for careful tracking on engagement. According to Kontor, of the 900 mailers sent out, they’ve had a 71 percent activation rate, which they claim is a 64 percent increase above their average. Sounds like they’re on a roll.