Tag Archives: romi mahajan

Guest Post: Why the E2 Conference Matters

The following is a guest post by Romi Mahajan. Mahajan’s work on network intelligence and sincere marketing has been mentioned in several other blog posts. Here, Mahajan talks about the importance of certain abiding themes in enterprise level business and which ones will be discussed at E2.

Over the last few years, certain themes have taken over the collective imagination of technology and business professionals including:

• The Rise of Cloud Computing
• The Advent of “Social Business”
• The Flock to Mobile
• The Opportunities provided by Big Data

That these themes have become dominant is not simply happenstance – they are a product of the tectonic shifts in business and technology. Through scientists’ and engineers’ flights of imagination, these enabling ideas were invented and made possible. It is now up to all of us to make them stick, to make sense of them, and most importantly apply them to the way we conduct business.

Which brings me to my excitement about the upcoming E2 Conference in Boston; there, we’ll find the right combination of the high-level views of the changing world of enterprise software and the “practical” view of ways in which each of us is implicated in this sea-change.

I’d suggest you join me there.

Romi Mahajan is president of KKM Group. Prior to joining KKM, Mahajan was chief marketing officer of Ascentium Corp. A well-known speaker on the technology and media circuit, he serves on a variety of advisory boards and speaks at more than a dozen industry events per year.

Introducing To Thine Own Self: Honesty in Marketing

tothineRomi Mahajan (who recently celebrated the debut of his book Cool Is for Fools) has released a new title called To Thine Own Self: Honesty in Marketing (available for download on Kindle). Much like Cool, To Thine Own Self has Mahajan acting as a standard bearer for a new form of marketing – one in which sincerity, transparency, and ethics are a guiding force.

One of my favorite ideas was presented within the first few pages; Mahajan predicts that firms will begin employing what he calls “Marketing Ethicists” within the next few years. That’s right – someone responsible for monitoring all messages to protect consumers from lies, to liaise with departments and organizations that align to their organization’s values, and to advocate the needs of the user.

What’s interesting is that I think this position is already there, but its definition has yet to emerge. In this era of transparent communication, where every idea, criticism, and compliment is available online, it’s important to have someone who is responding to those thoughts, acting on them, helping to steer the company in the direction of real value and honesty. We are beginning to embrace these values out of necessity – but I think it is a sea change that we are acknowledging with relief. After all, IdeaScale has long been an advocate of transparency, honesty, and innovation on behalf of the customer. These roles today are labeled as our social media managers, our customer voice specialists – but they might be even more than that tomorrow. They may be our company’s ethical compass. The book continues in this vein, offering more insight and support for these initial thoughts.

Download To Thine Own Self to see a little farther down the road in the marketing industry – it’s not at all uncomplicated or easy, but what I was pleased to find is that the view was surprisingly optimistic.

What have you learned from To Thine Own Self?

IdeaScale on RomiCast

This week, IdeaScale’s President, Rob Hoehn, was interviewed on RomiCast (a podcast curated by the Market Research resource center: ResearchAccess). The topic was feedback, but the featured discussion ranged all over.

Romi Mahajan acted as interviewer (asking questions like “is the theme of feedback today that of democratization – are we defrocking priesthoods here?”) and Erik Koto from QuestionPro was also a featured guest. They discuss a number of things: the value of quantitative and qualitative feedback, the advantages and inconveniences of soliciting and implementing commentary, and how to organize a wealth of big data.

One of the questions that caught my attention, however, is “why isn’t everyone doing this?” It’s so easy, it’s not going to break the bank and it’s clearly important… what’s the problem? The answer given is that the knowledge about feedback hasn’t fully disseminated, that people aren’t aware of all the resources available to them. But I think another factor is that research departments aren’t set up to not only gather feedback and ideas, but also to implement the information and suggestions that they receive. People need to have teams to review, dive deep, respond, they need experts willing to research possibilities and escalate matters, then they need be liaisons with product teams, marketing teams, leadership teams and more. It requires a paradigm shift in how we think about customer communication, but it’s not impossible and is clearly going to be required of all organizations in the future.

As was said at one point during the podcast “there is no ROI on simply understanding your customer.” In other words, understanding without analysis and response leaves you in the same place. There are next steps and feedback is now quite the interactive field.

You can listen to the podcast in its entirety here and decide for yourself.

Any questions about IdeaScale? We’re glad to answer them.

Introducing Cool is for Fools

There is a new marketing book out entitled Cool is for Fools by marketing guru, Romi Mahajan. In the world of business how-to publications, this one is decidedly different and also a forward-looking work revealing that the world of marketing actually takes in a lot more territory than people usually consider (including how any brand interacts with the crowd).

Mahajan’s book feels not as though you are trudging into the corporate mire of stodgy, self-important business decrees, but instead as though you are entering a conversation. It is a book that proposes philosophy in snippet-sized chapters and positions principles as a dialogue taking place between the author and the reader: many thoughts are punctuated with self-reflexive criticism or offer tangential asides, many chapters end with a question. It’s an invitation to make some of these ideas your own, build on them, adapt them, and explore them, more than it is a prescription for how to do business as everybody else sees it.

It is a slim read, fitting easily and unobtrusively into a purse or laptop case. But if you’re interested in what it means to innovate, to manage ideas and inspiration, I might pick up Cool Is for Fools.

Consider this small portion:

“We all have that friend, peer, boss, employee, associate – you know, the guy who always knows how everyone should do everything, how to run every company and every country, the space program, and so on. He’s worse than an armchair quarterback, and even as a Monday morning quarterback, he often loses the game […] Okay, fine, you get it.  Arrogant pricks, right?

Yeah, well, sure. But here’s the deal: How do we find the one out of 1,000 ideas that is really revolutionary unless we go through the torture of listening to the other 999?”

Mahajan goes on to talk about other visionaries who were bold enough (even arrogant enough) to ride their one out of a thousand ideas to success. Which means that we always have to be listening to our network and ourselves as we generate numerous ideas and also have the courage to innovate the right idea in a sea of ideas.

How else can crowdsourcing serve us? How else does crowdsourcing reject the idea of “cool” in favor of true innovation?

Network Intelligence: The Source of True Innovation

IdeaScale is pleased to announce the release of its latest ebook: Network Intelligence!

The project was co-authored by Romi Mahajan, Rob Hoehn, and myself and contains various examples of looking beyond one’s apparent network in order to prepare for the future. Romi Mahajan has been speaking at various seminars about the opportunities presented when seeking true network intelligence: “stop thinking of your limited network, for example, your company’s direct employees and rather think about the networks to which they belong and how to start bringing that intelligence to bear.” You can read more from Mahajan and others on the subject of Network Intelligence here.

For example, it is estimated that a Top 100 brand network has the potential to reach nearly 232 million people. That means that anyone has the potential to reach out and source inspiration from people well beyond their immediate audience. The question is “how?” and IdeaScale is one of the solutions out there that helps answer that question.

The eBook looks at a few different examples of network intelligence solutions; one from 1714, the infamous NetFlix prize, AT&T’s Toggle, IdeaScale’s stories and many more in order to show what is possible with sophisticated network intelligence outreach (savings, innovation, and customer satisfaction, among other things).

So check it out here. And I’d be glad to hear more from you on the subject – other examples, questions to consider, whatever’s on your mind…