Category Archives: Digital Marketing

4 ways Electronic Arts navigated major Tectonic Shifts impacting their Customers


Many industries today are experiencing market and technology shifts in their marketplaces that are somewhat like the clashing of tectonic plates that cause earthquakes and tsunamis. Industries including publishing and printing, education, telecommunications, media, advertising, health and retail are all facing massive change. How does an organization navigate a techtonic shift?

Electronic Arts Labels (EA), the world’s leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment  faced a techtonic shift in 2007 with the rapid change occurring from retail packaged goods products to new digital delivery platforms. The new CEO at that time, John Riccitello, presented his vision as a burning platform – you are in the middle of the ocean on an oil platform that is on fire. You either hold on and ride it down or you jump off and face the unknowns of a swirling ocean.

In his article titled “Getting into your customers’ heads”, Krish Krishnakanthan finds out what EA had to do to navigate this techtonic shift. To transform from a retail products business to a digital supplier using new platforms such as social networks, mobile phones and tablets.

The key success factors:

1)   Measuring and tracking customer usage of games, external gaming-publication reviews (critical review success is linked with sales performance). For that part of the business with direct sales to consumers, they use technology to measure customer interactions and the lifetime value of each customer.

2)   Changes in the competitive landscape with low entry barriers and the emergence of small game developers has required  EA to restructure its business to give decentralized profit and loss control to product line/brand managers to enable them to compete with specific identified competitors.

3)   Enhanced communication and collaboration between development teams and marketing teams to co-ordinate go-to-market strategies.

4)   Scanning the external environment through consumer blogs and social media to identify new shifts in consumer opinion, competitive plays, new technology impacts on customers and economic forces affecting the market. This has required a culture change by EA. One which centers their whole business around the customer. An adaptive, future focused customer culture has enabled EA to cross the chasm created by the techtonic shift they faced.

Staying on the “oil platform’ would have meant riding the business to the bottom – out of business. Is your industry facing a techtonic shift? If so, check where you stand on “customer culture”. Is it strong enough to be adaptive and resilient to the storm ahead?

Using Video to drive better communication with your customers

Video has a lot of my mind-share right now, it is increasingly becoming a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes to provide insight and value to their customers. In fact depending on your objectives, video can be an enabling tool for just about any business goal.

A few powerful uses:

1. Interviewing customers – if you have great customers, why not interview them and ask them what they think about what you have done for them. Most customers are more than happy to share their positive experiences with others.

See some of our examples here

2. Interviewing thought leaders – are there people in your industry that are seen as thought leaders, innovators that everyone is interested in hearing their opinion? Would your customers be interested in hearing what they have to say?

Here is a great example of such an interview from David Garland’s site “Rise to the Top” for entrepreneurs. Here he interviews a well know thought leader in marketing, Seth Godin

3. Telling stories/documenting case studies

Why video? It is a medium we are all very familiar with, it allows us to really get a sense of the full spectrum of human communication in a setting we are used to.

We can see and hear a person communicate almost as thought they are sitting right in-front of us.

David Boyll, the Director of Digital Media Technology for Oracle Corporation, recently shared some other facts about the value of this medium:

“Conversion: Internet Retailer reports that found that viewers who chose to view video converted at a 400% increase over those who did not.

“According to Forrester, video stands about a 50 times better chance of appearing on the first page of results than any given text page.”

Thanks to Brightcove Blogs for surfacing this data.

If you are interested to hear what some of silicon valley’s best practitioners, agencies and consultants have to say on the topic, we have a great SVAMA program coming up in Sunnyvale on February 10th.

See here two personal invite’s from speakers at the event:
Our Key Note Jeff Severtson kindly put together this short video:

Is traditional media dead? Maybe Inbound Marketing is the Answer?

The overwhelming trend in the advertising business over the past few years has been fragmentation and a shift to online digital media. The traditional 30 second TV spots and print ads reach smaller audiences and have less impact than they once did.

It is time for marketers to look at new ways to deliver the results businesses need to grow.
Brian Halligan, the CEO of Hubspot is promoting the idea of inbound marketing and in fact is running an inbound marketing university this month to help people develop new marketing skills in this emerging arena.

Marketing is changing but here is a great video lamenting the old days in the advertising business…..

Why the future of marketing is digital

I found an interesting video today made by the Best Buy CMO, Barry Judge:

The primary advantage of the digital space is it allows businesses to really understand what customers think. It is a platform that gives a voice to customers of large and small brands and has the potential to shape the customer experience, service levels and even the strategies of the world’s largest companies.

This is great for marketers. Those that invest the time listening, engaging and learning will gain the deeper insights necessary to provide better value.

We measure the level of customer insight an organization has in a survey we recently validated and it is clear that companies that effectively execute in this area have greater customer satisfaction, more success in new product development and high levels of innovation. Isn’t that something all businesses are interested in?