Data Pioneers of Change

Brian Wong – Co-Founder & CEO, Kiip

Doug Ziewacz – Head, NA Digital Media & Advertising, Under Armour Connected Fitness

Moderator: Gayle Fuguitt – CEO & President, The ARF

Gayle Fuguitt introduced these Data Pioneers of Change: Brian Wong and Doug Ziewacz for a panel discussion. What was important at SXSW: Brian spoke about the presence of brands and the theme of interconnectedness of devices, and brands rewarding consumer behavior. It is happening worldwide.

Doug confirmed the importance of interconnectedness. Both confirmed that this is happening rapidly.

Gayle asked panelists how to unlock funds for experimentation:

Doug stated that Under Armour looks for constant innovation and stresses the importance of data, analytics and insights. All companies need to have a long-term vision.

Brian stated that his lack of experience in the media business actually served as a positive for him. He encouraged brands to interact with consumers, advertising alone is not enough. Consumer data from the inter-connected devices will create opportunities for brands. But brands have to be responsible with this personal data.

Cool moments can come from these connected devices.

“It’s no longer good enough to give a consumer 10,000 steps.” You have to look at it from every angle –nutrition, sleep, system.

“Everyone’s connected,” said Brian. “The thing we’ve seen now is this hyper-adoption. How quickly people are going to take this stuff up.”

“In those moments a brand should be able to reward you, not just advertise to you.”

“We used to use content as the proxy. You might have been using Men’s Health before, but why not reach them as they just finish a run?”

By networking, all these new data points come together.

The trio talked about the notion of Try fast, fail fast, succeed fast.

Gayle Fuguitt: “How do you unlock funds for experimentation and growth? We know the money is there.”

Doug Ziewacz: “20 years ago innovation was a cotton T-shirt, and today’s it’s data. If we have this mission of making athletes better, we really need a way to demonstrate that.”

Brian Wong: Kickstart encouraging brands to interact with consumers in a different way.

These moments that indicated ME! “Google became the most important company in the world because they could find out what you wanted and that was so available just using search.”

“Going to the fridge. These signals are all need-states. That’s the next frontier. We think there will be billions of data points every minute, every second.”

Brian spoke about his upcoming book, THE CHEAT CODE. “These are codes in games and in life, that will help you tweak your process.”

Gayle asked about their perspective on failure. As entrepreneurs, both have had this experience.

Brian talked about being laid off at the ripe old age of 19 when he worked for a competitor to Reddit called Digg.

Doug said, “We failed at everything we could. And we tested. So we could succeed now.”

But he noted that success doesn’t have to come from quick failure. There are many different ways to arrive at success, at the same place.

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Disrupting beliefs: A new approach to business-model innovation

Every industry is built around long-standing, often implicit, beliefs about how to make money. In retail, for example, it’s believed that purchasing power and format determine the bottom line. Success in pharmaceuticals is believed to depend on the time needed to obtain approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. And so on.

These governing beliefs reflect widely shared notions about customer preferences, the role of technology, regulation, cost drivers, and the basis of competition and differentiation. They are often considered inviolable—until someone comes along to violate them. Almost always, it’s an attacker from outside the industry. But while new entrants capture the headlines, industry insiders, who often have a clear sense of what drives profitability, are well positioned to play this game, too.

How can incumbents do so? McKinsey introduces a framework to think differently about established business models.  The process begins with identifying an industry’s foremost belief about value creation and then articulating the notions that support this belief. By turning one of these underlying notions on its head—reframing it—incumbents can look for new forms and mechanisms to create value. When this approach works, it’s like toppling a stool by pulling one of the legs.


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How Companies Can Build a Culture of Innovation

In this MarketingProfs article, Jeff Sierra  discusses the vital role innovation plays in the success of companies.  He presents the key organizational traits required to build a culture of innovation.

-Unrelenting customer focus-understanding customer needs and pain points.

-A passion to serve-companies and employees must be solution-driven and willing to break down organizational silos.

-Competitive spirit-generating and implementing new ideas in a desire to beat the competition.

-Teamwork and collaboration-most innovation comes from multiple employees and multiple ideas rather than from a single person in the organization with a single idea.

-Courage-the corporation’s environment must facilitate creative thinking and include a tolerance for challenging the norms.

-Listening-new ideas can be difficult to understand, and patience is necessary to allow the ideas to fully develop.

Fostering a culture of innovation is critical for the long-term success of any organization.


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