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Now is a good time to explore.

Bob Akin
Today's fortune submitted by:
Bob Akin

Fort Worth, TX, USA

Bob Akin, CSO at Vickery Street Properties, has been a Marketing Professor at TCU's Neeley School for 20+ years. With a rich background in family business and academia, he's known for bringing real-world insights into the classroom, significantly impacting students' careers in marketing.

As a professor of marketing, Bob is extremely knowledgeable in our craft, and having his support for my marketing cookie project is an honor that I truly cherish and am deeply grateful for.

The Innovation Lifecycle.

Today's Marketing Cookie is about the role of marketing in the innovation life cycle.

Now more than ever, the world is actively enhancing what was and rapidly advancing what will be. Purely through my own observation, I find it personally interesting to think about the emergence, adoption, and maturity of innovation. Some are new breakthrough ideas, and others are attachments or extensions to build upon an existing idea. I think the best concepts are also the most open. When an idea is given to the world as an open platform for other eager businesses to embrace as a foundation for extending their own brand, something magical happens.

The computer, for example, was initially presented as a platform upon which others could develop and sell all forms of software applications and various peripherals. An entire economy and giant network of companies grew out of this single invention. Since the earliest days of Apple vs. Windows, a mad-dash software race ensued as the computer brand that could boast the most applications gained the highest adoption rates by the consumer.

One can see this model of platform and application competition being battled in dozens of industries all around us. When farmers first started buying tractors, for example, they wanted to make sure they could pull and operate their plow, mower, brush hog, harrow, skid steer, harvester, and tiller. The tractor company that could boast the widest versatility and most reliability would win the day. I think the most enduring tractor companies were also the most open and universal, meaning that a Ford tractor would work just fine with your Farmall or John Deere attachments.

The most obvious platform prize fights being fought today are among the smartphone players. The iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry brawl will ultimately be won by the platform with the most applications. If, however, all the players survive the bell of the first round, it will be because the number of applications on each smartphone platform is measured as virtually equal.

With the sum of applications being considered equal, the choice then of the consumer will be made based on the features and reliability of the platform itself. When the features and reliability are viewed as virtually equal, the next decision point will be based on price and value. When we reach this point, we have entered a moment of maturity in the market. When the prices and value across the field are also perceived as virtually equal, it then all comes down to brand preference and loyalty. This is where die-hard brand loyalists emerge in support of their personal favorites such as John Deere vs. Ford, Apple vs. Windows, or PlayStation vs. Xbox.

Through every step of the innovation lifecycle, marketing plays a critically important role. Whether it be switching from their trusted horse over to a tractor or switching from playing board games on the kitchen table to playing video games on the TV, marketers must first educate the consumer about the need and promise of purchasing a completely new innovation.

If the innovation is open and platform-based, marketers must convince other companies to develop applications for their platform. This is the only way companies make their innovation relevant for more aspects of life. Can you imagine your iPhone with no apps for that? Finally, as the market matures and all things become virtually equal, marketers must work to embrace and activate their brand loyalists.

This is also true for marketing itself. Everywhere we look, we see new avenues for advertising, new vehicles for messaging, and new opportunities for marketing. The greatest of these innovations are also presented as an open platform, such as the Web itself, upon which marketers can build, execute, and measure campaigns. With each new innovation, new white space becomes available, and smart marketers will seek and discover new ways to maximize every opportunity. Like never before, it is a good time for marketers to heed what today's fortune says, "Now is a good time to explore."

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie

Percent Daily Value


Percent Daily Values are based on the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy mindset, fostering success in your marketing, prosperity in your career, and fulfillment in your life.








Submitted by:

Bob Akin

Unpackaged in: 

Fort Worth, TX, USA

Cookie Ingredients:


What marketing is really saying:

"Not all sizes are skinny."

What marketing says:

"Skinny jeans for all sizes."

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