Great Products Need Little Marketing

Do truly great products need a lot of advertising help? Will lots of advertising expense overcome a bad product?  I intend to find out, at least in one vertical: video games.

The presentation below is a presentation I gave which outlines my research goal and motivation around how products succeed in the marketplace.  Specifically Product Conception Quality, or how well a product is conceived during the Fuzzy Front End of product development, is a moderator on product success controlling for advertising expenditure.

What do you think will be the answer of my research?   Will products that were better conceived perform better in the marketplace when we control for ad spend?  Or is it purely a factor of how hard companies ‘push’ their bad products?

Do you have a Purple Cow?  Or are you shoving a Normal Cow down peoples throats?

Unlikely Sources of Professional Creative Inspiration

This summer at Oklahoma State University in the PhD in Business for Executives program, me and my fellow teammates did a preliminary study into the sources of Professional Creativity in the workplace.  Our goal was to try to begin to understand how and where professionals become inspired for creativity.  We uncovered some interesting results…

Below, have a look at our final presentation to get a deeper understanding of our study (my co-authors agreed to allow me to publish this on my blog). We interviewed 8 professionals, 4 who work in ‘traditionally creative roles’, and 4 who work in what many might consider ‘not very creative roles’…

Here are some of the big surprises:

  1. All 8 of our informants thought they were highly creative… leading us to think that role doesn’t matter in terms of how people perceive themselves as creative.
  2. Most of our informants found themselves to be “Struck by Deep Creative Inspiration” while OUT OF THE OFFICE!
  3. Common activities that generated creative ideas were: walking, exercising, sleeping and bathroom activities (showering, brushing teeth, etc.).
  4. Common locations for inspiration were: outdoors in nature, bathroom, and relaxing with friends.
  5. One surprisingly insightful moment was when one of our informants mentioned the idea of “vulnerability” as a catalyst to inspiration… this idea seemed new and worthy of further study…. looking at our commonalities between informants we saw many examples of this vulnerability: showering, sleeping, etc., and could not find any prior research that explored the topic of vulnerability helping to inspire creativity.
What about you?  Where are you when you find that ‘inspiration’ strikes most often?  Driving? In Bed?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

My Quest for a PhD. Why & How.

I love to learn.  I love to read new thing, and practice new things, and be ‘in the know’.  But the one thing I like to do more than learn is… teach.  What better way to teach, then to get a PhD from an AACSB accredited program: and become a professor?

In addition, I am a gamer.  What does that mean?  It means I HAVE to have a new challenge, not just daily, but hourly.  And big goals with big rewards, and big dragons = mega-appealing.  Is there a bigger modern day dragon then a PhD Dissertation Committee?  (maybe, if so, I’ll slay that next!).

So, My Quest for a PhD officially begins this week; and I hope to write about the journey regularly here.

So, where to begin?  This week I attend my first PhD classes.  Honestly though, a lot has happened before this week…. 

  1. I scheduled a GMAT test & took it.  (my score for my MBA was more than 5 years old)
  2. I contacted The University of Texas and researched many of their PhD programs in Marketing and Business. (including calls with teachers and current students).
    1. I rule this option out because I can’t “go without salary” or “not consult until I’ve finished”.
  3. I did lots of google searching on PhD Programs and learned that AACSB accreditation is VITAL to actually becoming a professor.
  4. I contacted several friends in PhD programs, including David Altounian, who introduced me to the three (and only three) programs that have an “Executive PhD” that is AACSB accredited.
  5. I called/researched the three programs.
  6. I went to an information seminar at Oklahoma State University.
  7. I was BLOWN away by the people, instructors, students, and program they have going on there.
  8. I applied, got references, wrote my entry essay… and then…
  9. I had to write a 14-page research proposal… just to be considered for admission. (REALLY)
    1. I like this: it separates hard workers & people who really want it from everyone else!
  10. I was accepted!!!!
  11. I decided, and NOW… this week… I begin my first week of classes.
So, for the next 3+ years, I’ll be pursuing my PhD in Business Research (where I hope to specialize in Marketing).
This means 1 virtual class every Saturday + 3 days in Tulsa Oklahoma at Oklahoma State University.  (yes, I’ll be flying to Oklahoma as often as once per month!).
Special thanks to my bosses and managers at Creeris/Night Owl Games for agreeing to let me do this.
Now… off to class!!!!
Wish me luck on my PhD adventure.  I’ll keep you updated in return.

Research: Fans are worth over $130.00 EACH.. and they want to BUY your stuff!

We’ve dug up some research on how much having a Facebook Fan/Twitter Follower is worth: it is well over $3.60/yr, more like $130.00!  In addition, what do fans want?  The #1 thing is “Receive discounts and promotions”!  Now, what better argument to use Karmaback “Social Sweepstakes” to get fans, and then give them special offers with Karmaback “Social Coupons”?  It works folks!

According to

“A new study by ExactTarget and CoTweet finds that … the number one driver for consumers to “like” a brand on Facebook… [are it’s] discounts and promotions. [40%+]”
“In addition, getting free samples or coupons, and updates on upcoming sales, tie into the discount/promotion motivation. “

Motivation to “Like” Company or Brand on Facebook
Facebook Motivations % of Respondents
Receive discounts and promotions
Show support for the company
Get a “freebie”
Stay informed about company
Get updates about products
Get updates on upcoming sales
Fun and entertainment
Access to exclusive content
Learn about company
Source: ExactTarget, August 2010

    “Additionally, …  the average value a Facebook fan provides a brand is $136.38, but it can swing to $270.77 in the best case.”

    Thanks to Precision Marketect (Barry) for sharing the research!