Newsbytes | Week 3

Pinja Virtanen

by Pinja Virtanen

Happy Friday, folks! This week we’ve gotten seriously excited about a (slyly) forward-looking business model, digital disruption, Millennial consumers and the power of prototyping. Here’s the crème de la crème of marketing tech from week 3.


A car-sharing scheme with a mission

Maven, General Motors’ brand new car-sharing program had us fooled for a second. At first, it seemed to offer nothing but generic, short-term rentals à la ZipCar, which made us question whether GM execs had suddenly lost their collective plot. However, upon closer evaluation, there may be hope for the seemingly unoriginal plan yet. It turns out that the carefully targeted service is angling itself for the not-so-distant future, where cars will literally drive themselves. And when that happens, Maven will hopefully have a group of users ready and willing to hail driverless cabs.


Disrupt or be disrupted

Elsewhere, TechCrunch’s Jeanne Ross makes a strong case for digital disruption. She argues that companies across verticals can harness five universal tactics for staying afloat amidst their uniquely evolving business landscapes. While it is true that companies need more than just a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to outlive their competitors, the odds are in the favor of businesses whose strategies go beyond survival. As Forbes’ Brian Solomon suggests, digitally native companies much like Netflix and Uber are more prone to success simply because their business models are inherently more scalable than their conventional competitors’. To stay competitive, smaller rivals are building global partnership networks, yet even then, they may not stand a chance.


Marketing to Millennials

Social Media Week reported of a recent British study that reveals the inner workings of the Millennial consumer. The research found that while Millennials are keen to abandon brands that they perceive as inauthentic, they are more than willing to actively seek and consume relevant content from the brands they value. Furthermore, the study finds that Millennials are not likely to abandon their offline activities anytime soon, although older generations have been quick to argue otherwise. The trick is, social channels function as motivators to pursue and share Millennial interest, thus contributing to the fundamental chicken-or-egg debacle.


Fail fast, scale fast

Consider this a love song for our UX superheroes in Sweden. Just as UX Magazine’s contributor Heather Daggett writes, prototyping is at its prime during the design – and NOT the development – phase. In fact, waiting to perform usability testing until a product is finished is often straight-out futile, especially considering the stringent timelines and tight budgets to which most projects must adhere. Instead, the prototyping mindset encourages a fail fast, scale fast approach, in which any fatal flaws are recognized and optimized early, thus saving time and money during production.