Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Ultrafast Release Cycles and the New Plane

In Kathy Sierra’s post, she discusses a comment her daughter made, and how it applies to release cycles and customer demands. He daughter’s comment was, “Myspace keeps doing what everyone wants, and it happens instantly. As soon as you think of something, it’s in there. It’s always evolving. It changes constantly. There’s always something new. Myspace is like a whole new plane of existence.” Kathy discusses how the inherent idea expressed in Myspace’s success is that they are so on top of new technology that they have created a cult following by innovating, and responding immediately to changing demands. Kathy looks at the problem from her perspective as a much older consumer, and asks her daughter if people get discouraged by the fact that nothing remains stable. He daughter just rolls her eyes, because in the daughter’s mind, the more change the faster, the more attractive the program. Her daughter goes on to say that even people who are dissatisfied by a particular change are not especially put off because they know that it will change soon enough again anyway. This idea relates to marketing because it explains that people want new options faster, but so what? This is a fairly obvious concept; however, the more vital aspect is what this means for the company. In my last post about Kathy’s discussion of what makes an expert I discussed her idea that companies just need to change and innovate as much as possible in order to be experts because if they just stick with what is working for them at the time they will never reach their full potential. However, this is a fairly risky strategy. But, what Kathy’s daughter brings to light is that it may not be as big of a risk as we had once thought because consumers may not punish a company for trying to stay cutting-edge and perpetually innovating. In fact, customers will probably reward it. Instead of customers focusing on what is currently wrong with whatever high tech product or service they may be using, they now appear to be focusing more on what the company has brought them in the past, and the limitless possibilities that await them in the future.
An important comment that Kathy makes about her daughters comments are that her daughter said that “Myspace keeps doing what everyone wants” and “As soon as you think of something, it’s in there.” Kathy makes the point that Myspace is in the consumer’s mind. It is no longer important to just listen to what consumers want, you have to know it intuitively. This crystal ball theory seems to imply that the employees must be consumers of the product/service themselves because otherwise they will not know what people really want and what they will and will not use.
This informs my idea of marketing because it shows that a company is allowed to make mistakes. For instance, our blog didn’t work last week. There was some sort of rogue code or a faulty template that had been implemented (certainly not by us), and yet we didn’t go elsewhere as a class. Why? Well, aside from the inconvenience, we like that fact that our blog looks cool on Blogspot, that it has a variety of fonts and colors offered. We like the ease of editing and previewing, etc. And even though our blog was down the one day we really needed it (the day a journalist came to document our class blogging project for publication) we stayed because who knows what Blogspot will come out with next? Maybe in the future we’ll be able to play videos in the background. Maybe we’ll be able to see a 3D visualization of Kelly’s discovery of radically new “urinal marketing.” Who knows?
My only critique is that Kathy seems to be discussing the demographics in terms of age the whole way through the post, and when she gets to the end, she comments “So there is a huge challenge for developers/authors/teachers like myself who are creating for people who are younger than we are.” As much as this makes sense on the surface, it doesn’t make much sense when talking about tech products/services because though teens may frequent sites like Xanga or My Space, and older people may use Blogspot, it is still the same technology and often it is the same features because the technology itself is so flexible and can be used for playing music in the background of an online diary or playing a video for a class full of students. In this sense it seems she should be focusing more on other segmentation that would require differentiation of employees in the tech industry and individual businesses.

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