Z.E.R.O. is a no-holds-barred call to action for corporations and their
marketers to adapt or die amid an increasingly turbulent, changing,
and dynamic media landscape.


ZERO is a book published by (now) four time published author Joseph Jaffe and first time author Maarten Albarda. It is a business book aimed at marketing, media and advertising professionals, written by two industry leaders.

In May 2013, WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell conceded his clients were wasting 15 to 25 percent of their advertising dollars, only he didn't know exactly which 25 percent was being wasted. This statement resurrected a similar comment made by retailing pioneer John Wanamaker almost exactly 100 years earlier. Only Wanamaker estimated that number to be 50 percent.

But what if both were wrong? What if that number were way higher than 50 percent? What if we could measure it? What if we knew what to do with the wasted budget—whether to redistribute or optimize inefficient budgets from acquisition to retention? From incumbent channels to innovation platforms?

What if brands could move from being tenants to landlords?
From being media dependent to media discerning?

Authors Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda not only feel this is possible, but highly probable, given two forces that—when combined—will deliver a perfect storm that will rock the media world to its core. The push of media inflation, noise and clutter, consumer resistance and apathy, and fleeting viewers will ultimately intersect with the pull of the increasingly digital, social, and connected world, powered by startups, content creation, and customer-centric ecosystems powered by technology

The results will be catastrophic to those who remain paralyzed on the sidelines, but ecstatic to those who take action.

In Z.E.R.O., Jaffe and Albarda introduce the power of Zealots (advocacy), Entrepreneurship (innovation), Retention (customer-centricity), and Owned Assets (direct-to-consumer channels) under a unified call-to-action that, in a perfect world, would create an optimal media budget of Z.E.R.O.

The authors pull Z.E.R.O. punches in delivering some tough love that ultimately is grounded in a shared passion to save the industry (from itself) and, in doing so, reinvent brands and brand building in a time where commoditization trumps differentiation; where automation overshadows humanity; where noise drowns out signal; where the status quo prevails over risk-taking; and where mediocrity dulls creativity.

The Authors of ZERO
Z.E.R.O. Books
  • + The Problem

    Our position is that a perfect storm is coming…in fact it may already be here. To make this case, we introduce several key arguments: business, economic, consumer, media and creative cases – any of which could – by itself - be enough to be the straw that breaks the camel's back, but when combined presents a perfect storm scenario.

  • + The Z.E.R.O. Vision

    The Z.E.R.O. Manifesto holds that in a perfect world, the optimal paid media budget would be zero. Why? Because businesses – small and large and brands would have enough customers; enough word-of-mouth; enough rabid fans and advocates; enough referrals; enough partnerships with entrepreneurs, startups and technology investments; and last but not least, enough assets to activate, amplify and monetize. What is an asset? Your people. Your products. Your packaging. Your clothing. Your billboards. Your trucks. Your stores. Your website. Your content.

  • + The Z.E.R.O. Action Plan

    Talk is cheap. So many books outline a problem, without putting forward a solution. Section through introduces a 10-point action plan, which presents 5 ways companies can implement Z.E.R.O. Internally (Cultural, Organizational), as well as 5 ways they can truly bring Z.E.R.O. to life externally (Strategic, Tactical). From compensation to budget setting; from flipping the funnel to innovation. It's all inside.

Z.E.R.O. is a no-holds-barred call to action for corporations and their
marketers to adapt or die amid an increasingly turbulent, changing,
and dynamic media landscape.

In three sections, authors Jaffe and Albarda outline the problems and challenges that are leading to the Perfect Storm approaching (Section 1), the introduction and delivery of the Z.E.R.O. Manifesto (Section 2) in which the vision and idea of Z.E.R.O. is presented, and finally a ten-point Action Plan with pragmatic recommendations marketers can start doing to ensure not just survival, but also the ability to thrive in the turbulent (yet exciting) world that lies ahead.

The Foreword is written by Chris Burggraeve, the former CMO of Coca-Cola Europe and Global CMO of Anheuser-Busch InBev as well as the former World Federation of Advertisers president.

Z.E.R.O. is not a pipe dream. It's a reality for companies like Red Bull, Nike, Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon.com. And it could be for you too.