Dan Cobley: What Physics teaches about marketing

Ian Lurie

I don’t think I’ve embedded a video by someone else on this blog in 5 years.
However, this piece about marketing and physics is beyond brilliant: It defines marketing in a way that totally, completely makes sense. It’s only 7 minutes long. Watch it.

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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  1. Physics studies matter and energy, spanning many orders of magnitude of space and time, using fundamental mathematical models, so it’s not surprising that some of its approaches and findings would be applicable in other fields.
    Applying thermodynamics to marketing can also be found in the ‘HendroDynamics’ model of brand switching (PDF) which has been around since the 1970s.
    A decade ago, Barabasi and Bianconi essentially copied the statistical mechanics of Bose gases to study the growth of the Web, using the same equations and even preserving the notation. (My own PhD research was in gas adsorption, so it was a pleasant surprise to see familiar equations reused for a new purpose.)
    Even Brin and Page’s original PageRank calculation itself approximates the solution of a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation.
    It was an interesting video, but a bit surprising that he didn’t mention any of these.

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