Welcome to Transmedia Samurai

Welcome to my curation station. Here be; rants, rambles and occasionally some original insight! Topics of discussion may include; Transmedia approaches to Integrated Brand Marketing, Digital Marketing, Online Video, Social Media, CRM, Program Management, Project Management, Management in general and often, a journey into mis-management, without naming any names!

Over 15 Years of Integrated Brand Marketing and Management Experience

* Brand marketing executive focused on growth, profitability and brand integrity
* Versed in all aspects of transmedia storytelling including, all forms of digital communications, content marketing and strategic campaign development. Also deep experience with web API, video/multimedia and social channels
* Metrics driven, focused on top line growth
* Skilled at developing and implementing teams and systems to leverage and facilitate growth


Integrated Brand Marketing
Digital Marketing
Transmedia Storytelling
Content Marketing
Video and Multimedia Production & Distribution
Analytics and Reporting
Client and Vendor Management
Leadership and Team Building

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The content is good, but I still don’t know how this one is going to turn out. These two properties will share a common fate. They’re both going to succeed, or they’re both going to fail.

#transmedia in action…how many screens is this experience? http://lnkd.in/A2WncK

Companies consistently pass up or cast out those who create friction, cause insecurity among leaders, or make other employees uncomfortable. It’s their loss—since those mavericks are often their best shot at true innovation.

Innovation is vital for the growth, success, and wealth of firms. Yet the source of innovation is not so much investment in R&D, filing of patents, or clever market research but the recruitment, empowering, and retention of talented people, who may appear at times as mavericks. Innovators are not necessarily geeks with super high IQ or long-haired, unshaven individuals, as some stereotypes suggest. Rather, innovators may be mavericks, who come in a variety of personalities.

Innovators may include those who criticize deficiencies in current processes and products. Innovators may include whistle-blowers who call out unethical or self-defeating practices of the firm. Innovators may include dissidents who disagree with the philosophy and procedures of the firm. Innovators may include challengers who question the firm’s past dogma, present practice, and future plans. Innovators may include tinkerers who ceaselessly dabble with new models, often with little success. Innovators may include variety seekers who want novelty in living, work, travel, networks, friends, information, and stimuli. Innovators may include non-conformists who shun the normal and the routine. I use the term maverick broadly to describe a personality type that includes critics, whistle-blowers, dissidents, challengers, experimenters, variety seekers, and non-conformists. Such personalities think differently. And, innovations can emerge from such differences in thought.

The efficient, smooth-running organization dislikes mavericks because they create friction in the organization, insecurity among leaders, and discomfort among employees. The tendency is to quiet, push aside, or eject the maverick. Perverse individuals, who are self-serving or delight in causing grief to others, may well need to be ejected. But it’s a tragedy to lose a maverick, who may have the trappings of a great innovator. The history of innovation reveals such losses.

For example, Roger Newton, the co-inventor of one of the most profitable drugs, Lipitor, left Parke-Davis, where he did not quite fit in. He then started Esperion, which Pfizer bought for $1.3 billion. Tony Fadell was a VP at Philips when he left to develop a digital music player. Steve Jobs recruited him to Apple, where he co-developed the iPod. Jobs himself was once ejected from Apple, the company he founded, and which he later led to great innovations and enormous wealth. Steve Wozniak left HP to cofound Apple. He even offered HP the first personal computer he designed, which HP declined. John Warnock left Xerox PARC to cofound Adobe, because Xerox would not commercialize the InterPress graphics language he co-developed. Gordon Moore, Robert Noyce, and others left Fairchild semiconductor to cofound Intel, because Fairchild was not willing to implement their ideas.

Google, which often tops the list of America’s best places to work, loses a non-trivial percent of its employees, because such talent prefers the autonomy to develop innovations of their own outside the firm.

What can organizations do to grow their employees into innovators? My research into the history of radical innovations, the origin and demise of market pioneers, and the failure of leading incumbents, suggests three practices that help for this purpose:

  1. Empower employees with time, responsibility, and resources to experiment and come up with innovations. For example, 3M offers employees 15% of time to work on innovations of their own choosing. Google has an Associate Product Manager program where even young employees are entrusted with resources and talent to design an innovation for a specific market. In addition, asymmetric incentives and internal competition as described below are important aspects of empowerment. 
  2. Provide asymmetric incentives, which consist of strong rewards for success with weak penalties for failure. By doing so, the organization encourages innovators to keep experimenting. If they succeed, they will be rewarded. If they fail, they need to learn and move one, as IDEO encourages its employees. 
  3. Bring inside the organization a little of the competition that flourishes outside in the marketplace. The market outside the firm consists of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators all over the world hungry to develop the successor to the firm’s current product. The firm needs to bring a little of this spirit within. It can do so by encouraging idea fairs, prototype races, funding contests, markets tests, and commercializations by competing teams or divisions to build the next big innovation.

Organizations may be tempted to marginalize mavericks because of the discomfort they arouse. However, the creation of innovations can benefit from mavericks. For this purpose, firms can grow mavericks into innovators by motivating them with asymmetric incentives, empowering them with responsibility and resources, and challenging them with internal competition.

Gerard J. Tellis is Professor, Neely Chair of American Enterprise, and Director of the Center for Global Innovation at the USC Marshall School of Business. He is the author of Unrelenting Innovation: How to Build a Culture of Market Dominance, part of the Warren-Bennis Leadership Series.

Again and again, companies tell their employees what to do… but they do don’t do it. Why? Your company makes it impossible.

The underpinnings of a brand are the culture, conditions, and compensation a company provides for its employees. Unless these three synch with your brand, no amount of advertising can create a brand that resonates with customers. These factors also have traditionally been far outside the purview of the marketers and agencies that manage brands… which is why they often contradict a firm’s public image.

It’s time to ask a simple but potentially painful question: what’s the reality under your brand?

Do you advertise your commitment to customers, but pay your sales force to sell, sell, sell?

Do you crow about “satisfaction guaranteed”, but burden your customer service teams with outdated systems and little if any flexibility to resolve customer complaints?

Do you tell your business and functional units to work as a team, but pay them to compete with each other?

Your enemy isn’t your competitors, it’s the contradictions inside your company, and the unfair burdens you place on your employees.

It gets worse. There may be another problem lurking right under your brand.

Above all else, the core qualities of a modern brand must be flexibility, responsiveness and intelligence. Our economy is migrating from a “make and sell” model to a “sense and respond” approach. Customers routinely expect customization. Product life cycles are shortening. Data is everywhere. Your company has to behave in a manner that customers perceive as intelligent.

Brands have always been about the whole customer experience, but lately customer experience is dramatically more dependent on those factors that dwell under your brand promise. One reason why is that customers used to be happy receiving the same product and service that millions of other customers receive.

No more. It’s time to take on your true enemy, and defeat it.


Bruce Kasanoff is Managing Director of the consulting firm, Sense of the Future. He is co-author with Michael Hinshaw of Smart Customers, Stupid Companies

Call to action from Richard Davis @bellyfeel