Summary of Z.E.R.O.

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Z.E.R.O. book summary

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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.

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.


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; more consumers leaving cable to pick and choose what to watch online; and the advent of Internet channels like YouTube, where viewers benefit as users upload 72 hours of new video content per minute. Joe Tripodi, CMO for Coca-Cola, estimates that most YouTube views involve consumer-created content.

Advertising and marketing, based for so long on reliable formulations, now stand on shifting sands. Agencies once found it daring to add Facebook to their television-marketing mix, but “Facebook is the new TV.” Professional promoters must forge a new normal. They must suggest bold, untested strategies to corporate clients who still cling to their old comfort zones. New strategies, like launching products only on digital media, don’t always succeed and few clients want to pay while you learn from your mistakes. Yet, even though corporate clients move slowly, they remain impatient for quick...

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