Tuesday September 19

Jaffe Juice: the challenge of the I

Jaffe Juice did it again. He gave the same presentation for (direct) marketeers at the Challenge of the I congres in Brussels as he did earlier last week at eDay (previous post by Coolzûr). The mantra is known by now and certainly has an outstanding relevance but it lacks some of the rigor I expect from thought-provokers. 'You can't take incremental steps and expect exceptional results' is a nice soundbite an illustrates Jaffe's focus on the importance of disruptive, exponential change. Change in technology, change in marketing concepts, change in business models. He certainly has a point. But disruptive change is only half the story. The second half is less sexy and appealing but just as important. Incremental change is about the minor modifications, adjustments and improvements on all levels: product, marketing, business model, ... It's only one of the typical schemes Jaffe is using: opposing views, the old and the new. No sign so far of a happy marriage, an integration of old and new. At the end the weddings bells toll and Jaffe gives in with a compromise and talks about AND economy. Unfortunately he already lost me. Jaffe adds a WHY on the WHAT-HOW-WHEN/WHERE continuum marketeers should believe in. A customer wants to now 'why' a company is selling stuff. An assumption like any another I would like to believe in and trend-watchers are titled to make, but a bit to far for me. Why on earth is Domex selling paper to me? Paper we all know what to use it for ... By the way, talking about context, Joseph certainly lost his touch with mainland Europe when he tried to touch down with a rugby-metaphor :-)


Couldn't agree more. I had feeling on the eDay that he's on a tour for cashing in. And that's his good right of course. He got the "guru"-status he deserved for a while, because he coined a trend that everyone was experiencing (the death of the 30 second commercial - although, for the sake of compromise he insists nowadays on stressing the life "after" the 30-second).

But it's an iron law: every guru has to fall down from his statue unless he re-invents himself first. Jaffe is not doing this. He made his point somewhere along the path, but other people picked these concepts up and elaborated those more in depth, like for instance Pete Blackshaw. Jaffe keeps evangelising a story that doesn't need introduction anymore. What we need is firm arguments, proven strategies, clear trends and compelling case studies.

I've had my portion of seminars for a while again.

Posted by Tom De Bruyne 19 Sep 2006 13:39:20

I saw both the eDay presentation and the one this morning on Challenge of the I. A few comments on Jo Martens' post:

1) The presentation wasn't the same at all. The underlying message was (evidently) the same, but the slides and structure was completely modified to meet this audience's (Direct Marketeers) expectations.

2) The WHY was about the consumer increasingly asking 'why should I buy your product or service, how is this going to improve, broaden, ... my life?' and the ability of the supplier to answer that question. It wasn't about the consumer asking why a company sells stuff.

3) I agree with the statement that Jaffe's cashing in, but he still made a lot of people in the audience think. That's something I noticed in some of the conversations I had during the break afterwards. For a lot of people, his words actually gave new insights, so that's something. I think we're just getting a bit saturated because we're right in the middle of it.

If you want to have today's presentations delivered right to your inbox, the guys from Skynet have arranged for everyone to be able to have the slides e-mailed to them by texting IMPACT to 3699 (for free).

Posted by Robin Wauters 19 Sep 2006 14:04:56

I admit, I wasn't at eDay at all, I only meta-interpreted Coolzûr's post. And of course after all this years, his message is out there . And I'm glad it's there.
Let's parafrase the why-question. Why should I buy toiletpaper? How is it improving my life? Sure, Domex has a lot of strategic thinking to do to solve this dark question.
Jaffe's cashing in is fine, after years of scrummage battlefields, he deserves a homerun.

Posted by Jo Martens 19 Sep 2006 14:32:30

Robin, a small correction:
It's IMPACT to 3699.

I guess you're right. When he's evangelising the evangelisers (like in eDay), you get a "been there, seen it, done it, bought the frikkin' t-shirt" feeling. But maybe it's not a good idea to use ourselves as a reference. I once said to Jan Van den Bergh (our CEO), two months after our web2.0 seminar, that I was already fed up with the story. He said he's been telling the same stuff for 10 years and people still don't get it. So a little humbleness from our part definitely won't hurt ;-)

Posted by Tom De Bruyne 19 Sep 2006 14:37:43

Hey Robin, Tom,

To avoid further confusion on the sms2mail action for CotI just text IMPACT to 3699 (free sms), not followed by anything else:
- either you're in our database and you will receive the presentations immediately by e-mail, or
- you're not in our db and you will be asked in a second sms to text us your e-mail adress.

Posted by Bert Marievoet 20 Sep 2006 10:39:07

Make no mistake: Jaffe knows his job. You can tell. He controls the material, and sure knows how to talk to an audience. He has his tricks, his mantras. Impressive/eye opening the first time you hear them, but they become very quick deja vue. But that's ok, after all it's his discourse.
I wasn't at Challenge of the I. I wasn't there for the very same reason Jaffe is been given a hard time here: I know his stuff. I saw him perform live 2 times (very close to each other in fact), I listen to his podcast, I read his blog. I know the guy, I know his work. He won't open my eyes. And he won't open yours. So these seminars are nice to network, not to learn. At least not for us. We're part of the sector. Help to set the phase (at least we hope). Keep up to date on a day-to-day basis. All because we have this really strong believe in, and passion for, interactive communication. We talk the talk and walk the walk.
So basically it's not fair judging Jaffe like this. We're not his target group, although we can learn from the man. But once we do, we can't expect a different insight in every new lecture.
Think of the more tradition marketers who get passionate by hearing him. Think of the believers who get to their tipping point by seeing his figures and examples.
In fact, I saw a client the other day. He was passionate. He believed in interactive communication. But it was only by hearing Jaffe that he realized he just should go for it! This is great :)
So to wrap it up, Jaffe can evangelize on a larger scale we possibly can. So in stead of judging his insights to what we already know and do, we should empower his vision with our own additions. His presence is like a jet stream, we can use it to move things faster.

These Days &

Posted by Steven Verbruggen 20 Sep 2006 23:08:36


I think some of you are being a little overly harsh (to put it mildly)

Thank you Steven and Robin for setting the record straight with respect to a) the content and b) the bigger picture

This is not aimed at the choir per se, but your clients that you in turn try to educate, inspire and win over on a daily basis.

"His presence is like a jet stream, we can use it to move things faster."

I respect many of you as peers and colleagues and learn from you every day. This is - after all - a team effort.

...and by the way, the cashing-in thing is just plain wrong.

Posted by Joseph Jaffe 27 Sep 2006 03:04:16

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