Summary of Z.E.R.O.

Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model

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Z.E.R.O. book summary
Z.E.R.O. paid advertising stands traditional advertising on its ear. Adapt or die.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


An economy based on people buying stuff from other people rests on the outmoded idea of “paid media,” especially TV advertising. Marketing experts Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda argue that reliance on paid media is already passé – now it’s just a condiment to the main meal of “nonpaid media.” This is not necessarily bad news for advertisers or PR departments, though it won’t cheer newspapers, magazines and TV stations, but marketers must use their “Z.E.R.O.” strategy to build their brand’s “ecosystem.” Jaffe and Albarda offer a well-argued, well-documented exploration of the fragmenting media landscape. They explain the opportunities that digital technologies and social networks offer, and urge you to invest in innovation and to convert your clients to become your advocates and zealots. getAbstract recommends this lively wrestling match between traditional advertising and the mashed-up future of brand promotion.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the use of “paid media” is obsolete,
  • How you can use the “Z.E.R.O.” tactic to reduce paid advertising,
  • Why you should take TV out of your ad mix, and
  • Why retaining customers and making them zealots matters more than getting new buyers.


The New Media Landscape
Cataclysmic change and fragmentation have restructured the media landscape. In the mid-90s, the United States had 28 television channels; by 2014, it had more than 250. The “perfect storm” disrupting the broadcast industry includes big networks’ resistance to change...
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About the Authors

Joseph Jaffe also wrote Flip the Funnel, Life After the 30-Second Spot and Join the Conversation. Former director of global media and innovation for Coca-Cola, Maarten Albarda heads MLA Consulting.

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