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Top Tweets Of June 2014 Innovation Marketing Tech Fun #MG119


Continue reading Top Tweets Of June 2014 Innovation Marketing Tech Fun #MG119


Disruptive Innovation Is Challenging The Old European Banking Model

Disruptive Innovation Is Challenging The Old European Banking Model

These days, ensuring your old fashioned bank is well capitalized enough to deal with more realistic, but still moderate stress tests is a major priority. But just when you think you have put out the fire, the entire structure of the banking model becomes disrupted and structurally unsound.

Lower barriers to entry in terms of financing, securing  banking licenses,  cheaper to source banking software and cheap human resources means it’s never been easier to cherry pick the most lucrative products banks are offering to customers today. The net result? It leaves the unprofitable products to the old dogs to chew on.

And therein lies the problem. How the existing banking industry responds to these disruptive threats will decide their fate. Perhaps they will seek to aggressively promote the concept of a cashless society (yet again), so that the public will once more feel tied into using their services. Deloitte UK produced a nice SlideShare (see below) to illustrate the pressures the traditional banking model now is under.



What next for the establishment banks of Europe?

Former Midland Bank, 100 King Street
Former Midland Bank Banking Hall, King Street (David Dixon) / CC BY-SA 2.0

How Tim Ferriss Used Innovation To Growth Hack 4 Hour Chef

Tim Ferris is known for challenging long held assumptions about skills, business and everything else in between. In his latest book he uses the popular vehicle of cooking to impart what he’s learned about meta learning and how you can employ it in your life. But promoting and selling a book amid the din of the publishing circuit is tough at the best of times.

The 4 hour work week         Source: Flickr / Tim Ferriss

Bricks and mortar retail bookstores for the most part refused to stock his book over their objections to it being one of the very first Amazon Publishing releases, which threatened the traditional publishing business model. Tim Ferriss needed to find ways he could reach out to his readership that he had built up through the hugely successful book releases of the The 4 Hour Work Week and The 4 Hour Body as well as find new readers.

The 4 Hour Body                                      Source: Flickr / Tim Ferriss

So when faced with being locked out of the traditional retail bookstore distribution channel and with few other outlets to promote his book, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Ferriss took an unconventional route to promoting and publishing, turning the industry on its head in the process.

This situation led to lots of research using innovative tools and techniques not usually applied to a business sector like publishing to look at alternative routes to market.

Finally he hit on something thanks to some advice from a friend. He needed to growth hack, but lacked a vehicle. Ferriss made a call to BitTorrent and talked over his solution with them. If he gave an electronic version of the book away for free using the power of P2P torrents sharing online, more people would engage with the book, and through this re-engineered sales funnel, would pay for the hard copy paper version to accompany the electronic versions as many people still prefer the physical user experience of paper and ink.

BitTorrent                                                                                                                                 Source: Flickr BitTorrent

Soon after that call, he signed an agreement with BitTorrent that suited both parties. Here was a rare enough win-win. BitTorrent were seeking to expand their offering as a legal content distribution network for marketing books. And Tim Ferriss found a new route to promoting his content. Nobody was sure what would happen next.

Something magical happened. Amazingly, after launching the free e-book version (with exclusive online only content), sharing of the torrent grew massively in a short period of time with over 2 million downloads. The click through rate was over 210,000 downloads in the first week alone. The conversion rate was a previously unheard of conversion rate of 45%.

The most exciting thing of all was that leaving a clear landing page on the BitTorrent site with a link to the Amazon site where people could purchase the physical book or content bundle strongly resonated with readers worldwide, resulting in a staggering click through rate and purchase of over half a million hard copy versions in a short space of time. This stunned both Tim Ferris and Amazon as normal click through rates would be a fraction of what the 4 hour Chef book achieved. BitTorrent also got what they wanted out of the deal.

Essentially Ferriss has taken a medium of P2P torrent sharing which is attacked and feared by traditional media in equal measure, and harnessed its tremendous growth hacking power to reach millions of potential customers extremely quickly, efficiently and effectively better than anyone before. The book also reached the top of all major hard copy book selling charts around the world.  This innovative approach was lauded in business circles for its impressive ROI (return on investment), and has created a blueprint in the publishing industry of how to leverage digital distribution methods in an innovative way.


Customers today are consuming media on multiple platforms, and appreciate getting perceived added value that enhances their user experience. Those who recognize and offer an easy way to consume their media on multiple platforms using innovative methods will win.

What are your thoughts on the post? Did we miss an angle or hit the spot? If so, we’d love your feedback !  Oh and sharing is caring 🙂             ______________________________________________________________________________Sources

Sectoral Analysis of Avoca Handweavers -Part 3 – [3 Part Series]

Blogpost Part 3 covers the main findings derived from the analysis, how they may impact Avoca’s business and what steps they need to consider in order to meet these challenges into the future.   

Blogpost Part 1 gives a high level overview of the sectoral analysis conducted to date on the business environment of Avoca Handweavers

Blogpost Part 2 highlights the main points of the PESTLE analysis undertaken, and then guides you through a more detailed PESTLE analysis of the external business environment of Avoca _________________________________________________________________________

We’ve seen the high level view of the sector in which Avoca operates in blogpost 1 of this series. We also looked at the highlights of of a detailed PESTLE analysis in blogpost 2. In this third and final blogpost of the series, we look at where Avoca may need to focus on now in terms of meeting the current and future challenges of the business in the business environment in which it operates.

Source: Flickr

From the application and analysis of the SWOT, PESTLE, Porters 5 Forces and various other models used, it is evident that Avoca will need to address a number of aspects around the the external environment of their business.

They  need to budget for any increase in VAT on the services sector as although lobbying through industry groups can help there is no certainty the tax rate of 9% will be maintained into the future.


The same applies for business and service rates which will rise in the near future as the effect of the recent Local Government Reform Act 2014 will mean the local government bodies and not the Irish Government, will need to raise more revenue to fund day to day operations.

Avoca, like other businesses in retail today, will need to recognize the key drivers for change, especially in the technological areas. Greater investment in I.T. will need to be made in order to meet the future needs, requirements and expectations of their customers and suppliers.

Payments collage

Innovations in mobile point of sale and other 1 touch payment solutions means Avoca and the rest of the retail sector need to start now to scale up their Ecommerce capabilities in order to substantially future proof their business.

Another key area that Avoca needs to be more focused upon is the existing legal structure of the company. If Avoca plan to scale the business and grow, then greater clarity around its legal construct is needed if they are to try and raise finances from private equity funds or venture capitalists.

A major driver for change is the resurgence of the commercial property market in Dublin. Avoca have some upwards only leases and the profits they have been using to expand the business organically may be soaked up once more in higher rents and rates. They will need to prepare for this key driver by perhaps decoupling or divesting part of the overall business in order to minimize exposure to risk.


Sources: [ONLINE] Available at:               http://www.environ.ie/en/LocalGovernment/LocalGovernmentAdministration/RHLegislation/FileDownLoad,35715,en.pdf.           [Accessed 12 April 2014].

3 Ways To Innovate In A Stagnant Environment

3 Ways To Innovate In A Stagnant Environment

Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter discusses

  • Innovation
  • Advanced leadership
  • How to make changes in an inflexible organization

Continue reading 3 Ways To Innovate In A Stagnant Environment



This question as to which is more important, innovation or marketing in a business led me to think about the different businesses throughout history who did well by just focusing on one of the two elements.

Most companies seem to require both to survive these days. But I was curious to know what others think before I write a short history of innovation here on Marketing REDS. So I created a poll for folks to have there say.

Find out what other thoughts as results show up after you vote!

Feel free to share your thoughts below. Get in touch! 🙂

Avoca weaving a tale of innovation

Avoca Handweavers Ltd will be our business case over the duration of the Business Innovation Programme in the Ryan Academy. A successful retail brand like Avoca, with all the incremental changes that have occurred in the business model to date should provide us with a rich source of material. This will be the educational vehicle we use over 3 different assignments.

The first assignment allows us to hone our skills around extracting key data from secondary research sources, baking a further layer of innovation into the business, and presenting our key findings in a meaningful way.

Our team, made up of Evelyn Meenaghan, Shay Clarke, Denise Boden and myself Ronan Quinn initially spent time clarifying the scope of the business during the Q&A sessions with Naoimh O’Reilly, our Marketing in a Digital Era Lecturer and Geraldine Lavin who delivers Managing the Innovation Organisation module.

Template Tools                                                                                                Source 3rd i IT and Business Services Ltd                                                                                                                                                           

The relentless commitment to practical application meant tools and techniques were explained and shortly afterwards we were tasked with completing templates to kick start the process within the team.

  • Understanding your Organisation
  • Understanding the Business Sector
  • Developing your Market Scanning Skills

These templates gave a helpful framework around the tasks of understanding the business sector they were in; how the Avoca organisation functions, and helped develop our marketing scanning skills. By the end of the session, we had a better understanding of the business and what steps we need to take in order to complete our research effectively and efficiently.

Avoca Cafe
Avoca Cafe                                                                                                                                                    Source © Avoca Ireland

If you haven’t heard of Avoca Handweavers Ltd, the best way to describe the company is as a retail business. Avoca designs and manufactures its own clothing, food and home furnishings from its Co. Wicklow base in Ireland and it has 11 retail stores and cafes.

Avoca Store
Avoca Stores                                                                                                                                               Source  © Avoca Ireland

They are building a lifestyle brand within the retail sector. Pretax profits jumped by 76% in the year to date with the shops division proving to be the stellar performer.

We’ll be posting more information in future blog posts about the Avoca business so you can get a better understanding of their business.

For more information and links to Avoca why not checkout our Useful Resources page.

If you liked this post why not sign up to get posts directly into your inbox, follow us by pressing the blue button or share the article using the social media buttons below.

Its been a busy week at the Ryan Academy so all those imparted gems from the weeks sessions will get posted up here asap. If you have any questions about this post or our blog, comment below.

I will sign off with a quote revived by @NaoimhDCU but originally crafted by the wordsmith Mark Twain

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

_______________________________________________________________________________Sources:                                                                                                                                          http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/retail-and-services/pre-tax-profits-jump-73-at-avoca-1.1646335

Who,Why,What,How – Marketing & Innovation

So here’s a quick first post to tell you all a little about the Marketing REDS authors; who we are, why we started this blog, what topics we’ll be focusing on, and how you can all get involved in and be part of the conversation. We hope you like what we’ve done with the place!

Who We Are

The 4 authors of Marketing REDS are participants from Group D on the Ryan Academy Business Innovation ProgrammeThe Ryan Academy is affiliated with DCU, Dublin City University, Ireland.

Blog authors include Denise Boden, Shay Clarke, Evelyn Mennaghan and Ronan Quinn. Our career backgrounds vary from IT Engineering, Medical Services, Sales and Marketing, and Company Secretary roles. Our  Ryan Academy innovation story has just begun, so join in the conversation, share content or even just watch the story unfold and track our progress in mastering how to bake innovation into a business.

Why We’re Blogging

We want to share our thoughts and experiences about Marketing and Innovation, our educational journey through the Business Innovation Programme at the Ryan Academy, and document our business case study of Avoca Handweavers.

What We’ll Blog On

Subscribers and followers will be getting access to our key insights and ‘take aways’ from talks, lectures, workshops and marquee events presented by some of the best academics, speakers and thought leaders in the areas of business, marketing and innovation.

The tools and tips imparted by speakers will be here on tap for you.

Our bite-sized nuggets of useful key info will be delivered to you in the form of posts, tweets and any other way that keeps our blog fun, interesting, clear and simple to follow.

How You Can Join In

Finally, we’re super excited to get started, and what better way than hearing from our brand new followers on what you want to see more of on MarketingREDS. Fill out the contact form, and send us your twitter handle, we’d love to connect!

Oh and don’t forget to share the love by pressing the share buttons!