Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Impossible Marketing

What does a walk-in computer have to do with marketing?

Recently a colleague circulated Joel Runyon's chance encounter with Russell Kirsch the inventor of the first internally programmable computer who pretty much summed up his view as: "nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do." 

Or, just do the impossible.

And to put a finer point on the idea of conceiving something never done before he also created the first digital image.  And 50 years later we're still living with the square pixel - it was 'logical' to use.

While the storyline centers on computers, particularly those we can use to create stuff versus merely being consumers, the idea clearly extends beyond code and technology.

In fact, this mantra describes the entrepreneurial spirit pretty and should be applied to marketing as well.  The digital era creates the perception and need to both re-imagine how things work and then solve the consumer's need for solutions.

So, what should marketers conceive in the new ROPO world of researching online, purchasing offline that many might deem impossible?  A couple of recurring themes.
  • Altering the product assortment that a consumer recently browsed.
  • Surrounding the consumer with real content that actually helps her choose.
  • Leveraging purchase and event histories to create a media plan for one.
While there are technical challenges; these are not technology problems.   They simply require a will and persistence to overcome.

What would you think would be impossible?

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