This book is written by Larry Kramer the Founder and Former Chairman and CEO of MarketWatch, Inc.
“I see with a lot of companies that those slow to embrace new things can’t then just hire one smart person and become innovative. You have to take the steps. The companies that have been testing and learning are the ones that will make it succeed.”
I just finished reading C-Scape by Larry Kramer today. Really thought provoking book if you’re into business and the trends in the media marketplace. This book took my about 6 weeks to get through… because I was really digesting it and letting some of Mr. Kramer’s deeper points sink in.
If you’re interested in reading a product description, I recommend Amazon’s writeup on C-Scape. This will give you a bit more context for my thoughts.
Quick disclaimer: I’m not going to give so many details here that this will replace the actual reading of the book because I think that C-Scape is put together very well as it walks the reader through the changing forces surrounding business and media in the marketplace and how to combat these forces.
The C-Scape is new market in business of curation, consumers, convergence, and content. To put what this means in a sentence would be a stretch, but I’ll try. Basically, in layman’s terms: The C-Scape is how consumers can now find the absolute best content they want in whatever form they want simultaneously presented in one form. Example, online newspapers today (combines the internet, newspaper, with photos, video, links to buy, etc…).
Now something I have noticed in my reading over the past 3 months is the prevalence of producing “quality content.” Always. That’s one reason I don’t blog incessantly here… only when I actually have something that I believe is worth your time to read and engage in.
So “Content Is King.”
However, something that Mr. Kramer goes on to layout is the importance of “curation” in your business (or aggregating all of the important information into one central location) and allowing the consumers to lead you in the process of bringing them the content they desire.
For example, back in the early 1990’s, the author recounted a story of an experience in his career of developing up-to-date sports information delivered directly to a small device (like an early 90’s cell phone). Avid sports fans would love this, to be able to be connected to all of their favorite sports information instantly, or so they thought.
However, upon releasing the product and engaging in conversations with some of their clients, they discovered that their main market was actually the sports betting segment. Because it gave betters a greater advantage if they could know up-to-speed sports information and this segment was willing to pay the price for the information because it was actually making them a profit.
I found this extremely profound. How many times have we as businesses just thrown together an ad campaign or marketing piece, or made phone calls, or initiated a service for a client and never actually stopped to listen and find out what the clients really wanted? I see it every single day in most of my clients’ businesses. And if this begins to get out of hand, it can become a cancer to your customer service and ultimately your company.
Mr. Kramer finishes C-Scape with this statement, which is a continuation of the quote beginning this entry, “…tomorrow is always uncertain; your best bet is to partner with those motivated to change as the business world around them changes, navigating according to the four C’s and communicating together as they go—and to become one of those people yourself.”
I cannot stress enough how critical it is for you as a business owner to adapt to the ever changing forces at play in the marketplace as a whole. Whether your in the construction industry or the internet marketing business, you have to adapt to the up to date technologies, communication structures, and methods of engaging with your clients/customers if you plan on surviving and thriving in this every changing business world.
A few more favorite quotes from C-Scape:
“We checked out your complaint, you’re right; sorry, we’ll take care of it’ are powerful and calming words.”
“With marketing messages, businesses need to give up dictating what consumers want to do and accept a role more like that of an interested peer.”
“PR is at best a shared conversation, and while individuals and companies can influence that conversation, they can’t control it.”
“Advertising is a one-way: talk at. PR is a two-way: Talk with.”
“The world of PR is changing. What used to be an entire press release must now fit into a subject line and two sentence email or tweet!”
“When advertising, pay consumers for their attention: whether that’s free content, product samples, coupons, etc.”
“When you have a choice of how to convey a story, explore which method is most compelling and effective for the reader.”