It used to be simple, Terry Jones said in his DMA2013 keynote this morning.  The founder of Travelocity and said that marketing used to be  a one way street. Marketing was mass and cool.

Then we wired the world, he said.  Marketing became a two way street.  Customers started talking back.  We move from knowing the customer as a demographic to someone  we know as an individual.  At the same time, he said, while measurement has become very precise, only one percent of customer information is becoming company knowledge, he said.  “We have lots of big data but we don’t have big wisdom.”

The shift of control is shifting to the buyer , and consumers know  it, he said.  They are wired and dangerous comfortable and confident.  They are multi-channel and they expect us to communicate their way.  “Customers don’t care about channels they care about solutions.  They want it everywhere and all the time,” he said.

What can you do about it today?  “New opportunities lie where old models are crumbling,” he said.   “Innovation is the fuel to get you where you need to be.  Creativity is having ideas, but innovation is putting them into action.”

The pillars of innovation are culture and team, Terry said.  Get this right and you will move forward.  “You can have the perfect strategy but without culture it will never move forward.  Ideas are sparks.”

Test always and often, he advises.   “What hold most companies  back is fear – they are simply afraid to try something new, he said.  “When you fail, and I hope you will, remember to kill projects and not people.  Work to make the team stronger and the ideas better. ”

It is not more expensive to be smarter and to innovate, he said.  You can create the new virtual company inside a big company – and virtual is how new ideas get put in market faster than ever these days.  “You can’t just think you must do.  Finish it, get it done and ship it and you will have innovation.”

Terry closed with the idea that change is inevitable but growth is optional.  His book Innovation On explores more of these ideas, and he generously is sharing his ideas with all of us on his website.

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