King Canute, ITV, BA, Easyjet, Google and Zopa

I have lost count of the number of times I have sat in meetings where King Canute reigned and new ideas were put in the trash can because of the risk that they would substitute the existing sales in the business

Meanwhile, some-one else bowls a long, creates the idea and the sales substitution is done by new competition.  The traditional business is left struggling to catch up.

Remember when ITV dominated ad spending and took more ad money than anybody else?  But see what happened last year

An analysis for The Times shows that Google generated £327 million in
advertising between July and September, compared with an estimated £317
million for all of ITV1 across the UK during the same three-month period.

10 years ago just think how inconceivable it would be to
suggest that on airline selling low cost seats on the internet would be the dominant short haul airline out of
Gatwick.  Now Easyjet dominate short haul rather than BA.

Who could have predicted that strangers would trade and trust each other through their computers.  Many retail markets declare their growth or declines and this often excludes substantial trading volumes on Ebay and Amazon and elsewhere that are not tracked by conventional stats.

Growth orientated marketers need to be looking for new ideas to stay ahead and not be afraid to compete with themselves and create new approaches to conduct their business. 

So what are the next markets that will be transformed or at least attacked ny New Internet models.  I cannot be sure these will succeed but they are all doing something very new that could transform the way markets work.


Savings and investments


Book buying and borrowing

Travel guides and hotel bookings

Book and media publishing

These are all ideas that have long legs and real depth.  They are not a retail concept slapped onto the internet.  They do things that only the internet can do by using information and communications.   The have identified a real customer problem and they are solving it.

Lulu – self publishing is so expensive

World66 – how to find out what normal people think (not massaged by journalists or promoters)

Bookmooch – what to do with my old books?

Zoba – banks tend to rip me off and cannot be trusted

Whether they succeed will depend on many things, not least how well they are executed and whether people are ready for these radical new ways of doing things yet.  But the traditional industries they are attacking have to decide if they want to end up struggling like BA and ITV and EMI or if they are going to embrace a whole new world.

For us we need to keep an eye out for new models that attack our business.  or even better stay one step ahead and spot the opportunity.  In the language of the Growth game, if you know the Power attributes of your customers, then you will know what they want that traditional businesses do not supply.  So go find out about your customers’ Power Attributes