January 07, 2016
The stakes are huge because of “super platforms” giving access to 100M+ consumers. These skills are invaluable and can change the trajectory of a new product. For the first time ever, it’s possible for new products to go from zero to tens of millions users in just a few years. Great examples include Pinterest, Zynga, Groupon, Instagram, Dropbox.
New products with incredible traction emerge every week. These products, with millions of users, are built on top of new, open platforms that in turn have hundreds of millions of users – Facebook and Apple in particular.
Whereas the web in years back consisted of a mere 16 million users on dialup, today over 2 billion people access the internet. On top of these unprecedented numbers, consumers use super-viral communication platforms that rapidly speed up the proliferation of new products – not only is the market bigger, but it moves faster too.
Before this era, the discipline of marketing relied on the only communication channels that could reach 10s of millions of people – newspaper, TV, conferences, and channels like retail stores. To talk to these communication channels, you used people – advertising agencies, PR, keynote speeches, and business development.
Today, the traditional communication channels are fragmented and passé. The fastest way to spread your product is by distributing it on a platform using APIs, not MBAs. Business development is now API-centric, not people-centric.
Whereas PR and press used to be the drivers of customer acquisition, instead it’s now a lagging indicator that your Facebook integration is working. The role of the VP of Marketing, long thought to be a non-technical role, is rapidly fading and in its place, a new breed of marketer/coder hybrids has emerged.