Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
October 22, 2017 7:42 AM

The Truth About Innovation With Stephen Shapiro - This Week's Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Episode #589 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Here's another individual that I have known for many years and - for some silly reason - has never been on this show. When I think about innovation and how to drive change for brands, I think about the work that Stephen Shapiro is doing. Stephen has spent decades showing business leaders and their teams how to approach, tackle and solve their business challenges. His core focus has always been showing brands opportunities to improve innovation models and the cultures that support them. The first innovation opportunity Stephen spotted was the opportunity to innovate within his own life. Halfway through his 15 year tenure at Accenture, while leading the company's business process reengineering practice, he realized he no longer wanted to be responsible for people losing their jobs. So he did exactly the opposite by building Accenture's thriving 20,000-person process and innovation practice, focused on growth and job creation. He then decided to become a noted bestselling author, thinker and consultant. He has published many great books including, 24/7 Innovation, Goal-Free Living, The Little Book of Big Innovation Ideas, Personality Poker and Best Practices Are Stupid. If that were not enough, He is also actively involved with Girl Starter. He is a judge and mentor on the television show (TLC), with the goal of encouraging and enabling your women to launch their own businesses. Enjoy the conversation...

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation - The Mirum Podcast #589.

By Mitch Joel

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October 21, 2017 5:02 AM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #382

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for InterestingTilt the WindmillHBS, chair of StrataStartupfestPandemonio, and ResolveTO, Author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist's Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we're recommending to one another: 

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

By Mitch Joel

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October 20, 2017 8:06 AM

If Consultancies Are The Future Of Marketing, Why Are They Just Buying Agencies?

The death rattle for marketing agencies has been heard for the past few years.

Word has it that the once cool, hip and innovative hubs of creativity for brands are being pushed aside, because the large auditing and accounting firms have entered into the marketing services space. Apparently, these consultancies have a very compelling and future-focused offer. Don't believe me? Google it! You can't throw a creative director down a flight of stairs these days, without a business card from one of the major consulting firms' HR departments falling out of their skinny jeans.

Accounting firms are now making billions of dollars by providing marketing agency services. 

From the accounting firms' perspective, this all makes perfect sense. They went from helping large businesses manage their P&Ls to consulting within the CEOs office on everything from strategy to innovation. From there, it makes sense to not just tell these brands what to do, but to actually do it for them. Meaning, you can show them where they could be making more significant strides in profit, but then you can also staff that part of their accounting business (or bring the services over) to make the strategy happen. As technology, marketing and the customer experience blend into a fifth level of hell for the Chief Marketing Officer (who up until this point was primarily managing the advertising budget and agency relationship), it all seems like the perfect storm for these consultants to walk right in and take over.

Consultants? We don't need no stinking consultants!

The news cycle is serious about the pending marketing agency apocalypse. The recent headlines say it all...

Something's happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear.

Here's the thing: it doesn't appear that these consultants are offering anything more to a brand, other than further consolidation with the promise of efficiencies. Or, in other words, the consultancies are saying to brands, "hey... work with us for all of your marketing services," and all they're really doing is buying agencies or hiring talent from the agencies when they convince the brands to pass that work over to them. If agencies are failing, why are they being bought at such a high velocity? If agencies don't work anymore, why is their talent being poached on a daily basis?

The marketing agency model is not broken. How agencies are marketing themselves is broken.

That is the lesson that Google and Facebook learned, as they quietly went direct to brands and built their media empires by keeping the agencies at arm's length (these platforms hired their own media buyers and even offered up free creative services in exchange for media spent). It's the same lesson that companies like Adobe and Marketo are deploying these days, when it comes to marketing automation... and these bigger accounting consultancies are spinning the same narrative. When, in reality, these companies are simply building out their marketing services - that they claim are dying in the agency model - by simply buying those agencies (or the people who work at them) and bringing them inside the tent.

So, here's the real question: what makes a consultancy any better at delivering marketing services than an agency?

What makes a consultant charge any differently than the agencies do? What makes the quality of their work (in specific, their creativity) any different? What makes a consultancy any different than the agency that they just bought?

It seems to me like they're the exact same thing... or am I missing something?

By Mitch Joel

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October 16, 2017 8:25 AM

Porsche Tries To Beat Uber, Amazon Can Recognize Your Voice And More On This Week's CTRL ALT Delete Segment On CHOM 97.7 FM

Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio out of Montreal (home base). It's not a long segment - about 5 to 10 minutes every week - about everything that is happening in the world of technology and digital media. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly on iHeart Radio, if you're interested in hearing more of me blathering away about what's going on in the digital world. I'm really excited about this opportunity, because this is the radio station that I grew up on listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry DiMonte morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed: 

  • We had an amazing walk this weekend to help out the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. It's called Light The Night, and if you would still like to donate, please feel free to click here and save some lives.  
  • Uber got their stay of execution in Montreal. It's not just taxis. It's car sales too. This is one of the macro trends of our digital economy: no need to own stuff, when you can get it on demand. Well, Porsche is jumping into the on-demand subscription model business as well. For $2,000 a month subscribers to Porsche Passport can summon a 718 Boxster, Cayman S, Macan S or Cayenne on demand. For $3,000 a month, drivers get access to 22 different Porsche models. Registration, insurance and maintenance costs are covered, though subscribers still have to pay for fuel. They can swap for as many different models as desired during the month. Right now, the test program is open to 50 people in Atlanta... is this the future? No car ownership?
  • From the "Creepy Files": Amazon just released an update to their ever-growing Alexa/voice business (still not available in Canada!). Now, Alexa can recognize different voices and give personalized responses. So, at the office... or at home... Amazon now knows your voice.    
  • App of the week: Anchor.

By Mitch Joel

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October 15, 2017 8:12 AM

Entrepreneurial You With Dorie Clark - This Week's Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Episode #588 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

If you don't think business and opportunity has changed much since technology and connectivity mind-melded, you have not been paying attention. Being "in business" does not mean what it used to mean. Individuals (people like you and I) can (and are) building multiple streams of income doing the work that matters to them on their own time. The results - for many - have been staggering. No one knows this better than Dorie Clark, and this is the area of focus for her latest book, Entrepreneurial You - Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams And Thrive. Dorie Clark is an adjunct professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and also the author of Reinventing You and Stand Out. A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, the New York Times described her as an "expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives." A frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, she consults and speaks for clients including Google, Microsoft, and the World Bank. She has been a dear friend for several years, and she's even won multiple Grammy awards (not a typo). Enjoy the conversation...

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation - The Mirum Podcast #588.

By Mitch Joel

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October 14, 2017 5:21 AM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #381

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see? My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for Interesting, Tilt the Windmill, HBS, chair of Strata, Startupfest, Pandemonio, and ResolveTO, Author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks,... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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October 12, 201710:35 AM

Business Leaders Really Can Make A Difference

I need your help... and my timeline is tight.  In just 3 days (this coming Saturday) I will participate in Light The Night Walk to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. This has been a tradition since October... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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October 10, 201711:51 AM

The Mind-Blowing Julie Slick On This Month's Groove - The No Treble Podcast

Julie Slick is this month's conversation on Groove - The No Treble Podcast. You can listen the new episode right here: Groove - The No Treble Podcast - Episode #34 - Julie Slick. Who is Julie Slick? Many people know... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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October 8, 2017 8:26 AM

Scott Galloway Rants On The Digital Age - This Week's Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Episode #587 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to. He's one of the most respected thinkers in digital media. It's mostly due to his YouTube rants... and he... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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October 7, 2017 5:19 AM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #380

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see? My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for Interesting, Tilt the Windmill, HBS, chair of Strata, Startupfest, Pandemonio, and ResolveTO, Author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks,... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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