Think of the interaction at the deli counter or the pump or the bursar’s office or the alumni office or on the website from the point of view of the customer and the chain. Where are the moments where you might lose her forever? What are the key places where you need to intervene and invest in the relationship instead of milk it, or drag it through the mud? Assuming that your competitors are just as selfish and metric-driven as you are isn’t a great strategy, because you’re still losing when you break the chain.
Support is not a cost center, it’s a profit center. Treating customers with urgency and clarity and respect (maintaining the chain) is more urgent than ever. But companies are busy measuring time on the phone or cost per hour of support people instead of even trying to measure customer churn.
Last year on March 27th, more people searched for real estate online than on any other day of the year. Century 21 is looking to take advantage of that this year by adding puppies to the home buy-and-sell extravaganza.
Taking a big data insight and layering on puppies is almost guaranteed to drive lots of squee!-driven shares — and in fact, that’s a bet the brand is making with its entire brand campaign, ”in which clients compare working with a Century 21 agent to being surrounded by puppies.”
In some ways, data + puppies is the epitome of modern digital marketing — driven by virality and fueled by data and memes. And whether you think Century 21’s end result is dumb (puppies?) or brilliant (puppies!), it’s the approach that matters. Starting with data and an understanding of what users want, finding where it intersects with who you want to be, then developing creative that pays off that vision is the smartest way to approach marketing for today’s web.
According to a new study, these are the primary emotions humans feel — the ones that drive them to take action.
Other data shows that the top five emotions that drive people to share on social are amusement, interest, surprise, happiness and delight. And the New York Times found anger to be their biggest sharing motivator.
For marketers, this data says one thing, and it couldn’t be clearer: Happy, amused, or angry, to drive shares and action, our content needs to make people feelsomething. We need to touch those primary human emotions through powerful stories if we want to achieve the impact we (and our clients) dream about.
It’s about being human first, and a marketer second. (Not a bad idea most of the time.)
I was going to say that cause marketing is having a moment, but it’s really better to say that cause business is having a moment (with brand benefits to boot). Amazon recently launched Smile, enabling customers to build in charitable donations to their Amazon purchases, while Tom’s just launched a marketplace for socially responsible companies to sell online. And this visualization of the impact skill-based volunteering companies are increasingly sponsoring shows the difference we all can make — individually and as part of our employers’ organizations. Lots to like about the innovation here to make CSR a seamless part of the brand/company experience.
This is all great news for a lot of folks on both the giving and receiving end. Even better? Studies show consumers care more and more every year about the social impact of their favorite brands, so it’s great news for business as well.
The short version? Doing good is a good idea — and good ideas can make the process of giving even better.
Marketing good isn’t actually marketing good, not any more….Second and third order recommendations and word of mouth and the way we talk about the things that are ‘good good’ is the new marketing.
Your initial response rate, newsstand sales or first episode ratings are a measure of old-fashioned marketing prowess. Now, we care an awful lot more about just plain good. Or perhaps, if you really want to make an impact, great.
I know Seth’s blog can be a little insufferable sometimes, but this quote really resonated for me. Marketing is still vitally important. It can help you find and make a new connection with a customer, or strengthen an existing one, or help everyone see your company in a completely different light, or any number of things that help fuel a business. But with the radical connectivity enabled by technology, there’s no hiding behind it anymore.
So yes, do that great TV spot, and an innovative social activation, and keep your AdWords account running. To make all that really pay off, though, first you’ve got to make something great, do some good, stay engaged — and always treat your customers well.
“I do think this is one of the blessings and curses of social media. To fit in, you have to sound like a person, not an institution. And people can be so much more annoying than institutions. And also so much more interesting. I think that’s the trade-off.”—
Very true. And for brands, it’s tough to strike the balance between sounding human, and sounding too familiar. Following a brand isn’t the same as being a Friend — and the best brands always keep that in mind.
I’ll give you the most logical conclusion kids are ditching Facebook—one that none of the articles I read on the Great Teenage Facebook Exodus mentioned. And the evidence that supports the theory is right there in the Piper Jaffray survey. But first let’s define Facebook.
What is Facebook to most people over the age of 25? It’s a never-ending class reunion mixed with an eternal late-night dorm room gossip session mixed with a nightly check-in on what coworkers are doing after leaving the office. In other words, it’s a place where you go to keep tabs on your friends and acquaintances.
“It seems to me that this is native advertising as it should be. … The content is genuinely fun, just as it is fleeting and unobtrusive. … These are the sorts of native ad projects that help change some of the traditional polarity of the advertising and publishing relationship. This is where we really see marketers challenged by publishers on behalf of users to make their advertising more fun and engaging on the consumer’s terms.”—MediaPost: Tumblr Brings Its Native Ad Format To Mobile (via david)
“I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting.”—
Fast Company has a really interesting article on the role of reason vs. emotion in marketing. The argument? Market researchers have been getting it all wrong for years, by placing reason as the primary mode of thinking, rather than emotion:
The most startling truth is we don’t even think our way to logical solutions. We feel our way to reason. Emotions are the substrate, the base layer of neural circuitry underpinning even rational deliberation. Emotions don’t hinder decisions. They constitute the foundation on which they’re made!
I like how this article, and the neuroscience it cites, focuses our attention on a paramount issue that sometimes gets lost in the noise of marketing: building a brand connection. Particularly in the cluttered digital environment, that primary relationship — an emotional one — is as critical to a brand’s success as the attributes of its latest product.
Social adds a unique element to building a brand connection, because, for the first time, it’s a two-way street. Brands can tell their stories, and engage with fans who want to tell theirs. This is connection — and at scale, it’s community. With emotion at the center of consumer behavior, these are powerful things indeed.
The article doesn’t ever refer specifically to social marketing, but if you want to build a strong brand connection in today’s world, it’s clear that social belongs at the heart. I’ll close with another quote from the article that makes the point better than I can (emphasis mine):
The left brain creates an intellectual understanding of “self” and a sense of separation from others. Our right brain creates a feeling of “we,” that wonderful sense of connection with one another and the ineffable awe of living in the moment—the essences of better lives and great brands.
I read an interesting article on VentureBeat the other week designed to provide startups with advice about brand-building, but it’s well worth reminding even the biggest brands of this simple truth:
At the core of every great brand is a company’s ability to deliver on the prospect’s expectations — or better yet, exceed those expectations.
The heart of every brand is its ability to make and keep promises, and marketing is the part of the brand that makes the promises. The article goes on to note that “startups often bake a ‘desired position’ into the brand that strays too far from reality,” but even big brands do this. When there’s too big a gap between the brand position and reality, you get a broken promise.
One of the most interesting things about marketing today is that with the rise of social media and, more broadly speaking, communication networks (e.g. email), broken promises are no longer isolated to one disappointed customer and his/her immediate group. Instead, they are shared, by lots of voices. If promises are broken too badly, and too often, conversation about your brand can get loud and negative. And that can directly influence how other customers feel about you (just ask Papa John’s).
“Taking your work live is energizing, invigorating and insanely risky. You give up the legacy of the backlist, the scalability of inventory and the assurance of editing. It’s an entirely different way of being in the world.”—
I wrote last week that real time social marketing was having a moment. It’s having another moment right now in the Oscars aftermath. Unlike the Super Bowl, there was no “:Oreo moment.” Many brand tweets fell flat, as Ad Age pointed out — and they also ran a piece on why not every cultural moment deserves a brand response. I don’t disagree with either article, but I thought Seth’s post was a timely reminder of what the stakes are. Thinking and being able to react in real time is risky — but it’s also energizing and invigorating. Not every moment is right for every brand, but when it is, the opportunity is huge. (And it almost goes without saying that day-to-day engagement adds up to huge opportunity over time, too.) On the flip side, sometimes there is a desperate need for restraint: you don’t want your pre-scheduled content or ads blasting out into the world, oblivious, while an unthinkable tragedy unfolds and the social web becomes a forum for shock and grief.
The point is, in today’s world, you have to be there — already living an “entirely different way of being in the world.” That is the essential piece. Make the moves you need to now so you’re ready later (which, of course, will soon be the now).
It’s something I’ve been interested in for years, and it’s really having its moment in the sun — real time reaching its real potential in social media. From Oreo, Tide, and others killing it during the Superbowl, to Twitter’s acquisition of social TV company Bluefin Labs to — a favorite example — The Onion hitting new heights thanks to its new focus on real-time/daily publishing, real time is truly having its moment.
For brands, this means being present and participating in real-time digital culture is becoming less of a luxury, and more of a must-have — a standard, like having a Facebook page and Twitter account. But here’s the thing: It’s not just about being there and saying something — anything. You have to see the opportunities that are right for your brand, and respond in a way that makes sense for you, your users, and what you want to achieve.
That’s strategy. And a smart social strategy needs to be absolutely ingrained in your team’s thinking if you want to play the real-time game (and spoiler alert: you should). It’s hard work to craft a social strategy that pays off where it needs to, harder still to ensure real-time responses adhere to it. But it’s work that’s worth doing for brands that want to keep up.
Today Susan and I are excited to announce that DailyLit has become a part of Plympton. We are big fans of Jenny, Yael and Jacky, the co-founders of Plympton, and love their commitment to serial fiction. DailyLit provides a great delivery mechanism for serial fiction and thus fits very well with Plympton. You can read more about the combination on the DailyLit and Plympton blogs.
Thrilled about this. DailyLit was my first real job and was (and is!) amazing. Jenny couldn’t be more awesome — can’t wait to see what’s next!
“Strategy is five choices,” Lafley said. “What is winning; where am I going to play to win; how am I going to win where I play; where are my core competencies that are going to enable me to win where I play; and what management systems and measures are going to help me execute my strategies?”—
Every year there are lots of of stats that come out of the Superbowl — both about the athletes and the marketers, especially those of us working in social. Digital Trends has a good run-down, and here are some highlights:
24.1 million total tweets during the game
5.5 million tweets during Beyonce’s halftime show — more than during the entire game in 2012
235,000 tweets per minute during the power outage
3 million Instagram posts mentioning Super Bowl-related words
These are mind-blowing numbers, but they prove out something most of us already know: the second screen is hugely important, and nowhere more so than during sporting events, where watching live truly matters.
The more interesting stats to me are these: Twitter was mentioned in 50% of commercials, Facebook in 8%. Last year Twitter received far fewer mentions, while Facebook was mentioned in twice as many ads. The total number of social media mentions increased from 2012 to 2013. I think these data reflect a growing sophistication among digital marketers about social — not only that they’re doing more with it, but they’re being smarter about it. Twitter has always been the more powerful platform for engaging with users in real-time, but because Facebook has dominated marketers’ thinking (and spend) for years, Twitter hasn’t always been embraced as fully as you might expect. Marketers today — the good ones, anyway — are getting more sophisticated about the multi-platform approach that effective social marketing demands, enabling them to be participatory and “native” in a way that isn’t possible when you’re super focused on one platform. It’s exciting.
And, just for good measure, I think Ram’s “God Made a Farmer” ad was my favorite of the night. There were other commercials that grabbed my attention (hello, Calvin Klein) or made me laugh (M&Ms) or disgusted me (not even going to link to it because we ALL know which one I’m talking about, and I don’t want to encourage them by contributing to their video views), but none were as arresting as Ram’s. It wasn’t perfect — notably, there is not much of a Hispanic presence in the ad, which is a huge oversight — but it was such a powerful concept and great execution that it still gets my vote.
Tumblr, from the point of view of Forbes et al, is an “untapped market place.”This was bound to happen, but can we stop from being exploited? While change is hard for us tumblrers (we grumble at minor UI tweaks), infiltration by the mainstream will be even harder to manage and navigate. But ads are coming.
I see two solutions. 1) Accept that we will be inundated with advertisements. Or 2) collectively resist.
I choose resistance. I love my tumblr community. I trust them - a rare thing these days. I admire them - a human trait we need more of in this digital world. I am inspired by them - Every. Single. Day.
I bust my ass in my work life - I’ve written over $10 million in grants, peer-review for a climate journal, publish climate science, travel to Europe for business, mentor students at Vermont Law among others, am in unbelievable amount of meetings and webinars, and do countless other things that fry my brain to a crisp. Tumblr helps me keep sane.
Marketers ravaged Facebook. And look at it now, it’s become an overflowing trash-bin of hopelessness. (Thank the electronic gods for AdBlockPlus).
Now I read we’re next?! No. You shall not pass!
This is how the article concludes:
it’s already achieved a massive scale of highly engaged consumers eager for interesting content and marketers are starting to succeed on the platform. Now is the time to take advantage.
We are not a market demographic. We are friends having fun. We are contributing, trying to better ourselves self-sufficiently.
So fuck you Forbes.
Yeah, I whole heartedly agree with this.
I wish tumblr wanted $10 a month from each of us. But they don’t. We are for sale. If you’re not being charged for something, you’re the one being sold. That’s the way it is online.
If it weren’t for the community here and the bookmarklet, I’d be on Google+ right now. I’m not joking.
I’ve been a Tumblr user for years and am a huge fan of this platform. I love the content and the beautifully simple user experience. And while I don’t participate all that deeply in the community myself, the smart, funny contributions from all kinds of folks really make this place what it is. I don’t want Tumblr to become awash in ads, either.
But I’m also a marketer.
I agree that there are huge problems with the ways in which many brands approach social media marketing. I don’t know that Facebook is exactly an overflowing trash bin of hopelessness, but bad marketing makes for bad user experiences — and that’s not good for anyone (yes, advertising checks get cashed, but eventually, if the experience is bad enough, users will move on — and with a bad taste in their mouth about the platform and the brand).
There are ways to go about digital marketing that don’t suck. Take Red Bull, for instance, or Digitas client American Express’s UNSTAGED series. These programs create great content and experiences that people can share across their social networks — generating the kind of organic buzz marketers dream about. Do they take a lot more time, thought, effort, and money than throwing up a few Facebok posts and promoting the hell out of them? Of course. But they’re worth it because they provide value — which is absolutely essential.
When I talk to a brand about joining Tumblr, I talk about content, not advertising. What can they bring to the table? If it’s something good, I think everyone wins — users, the brand, and our beloved Tumblr. That’s the kind of marketing I can (and do) get behind every day.
“Perhaps the core take-away, an important mantra for all entrepreneurs to hear in the era of noise, hype and ‘want-repreneurs’ is that startups shouldn’t believe ‘the hype and the BS’ that is swirling around the the Bay Area today. He talks about shying away from the idea of ‘virality’ and about delivering product value as often as possible without scamming your users and without relying on that ‘gut’ feeling.”—
Although he’s addressing entrepreneurs here, Chamath’s words are equally true for digital marketers. We need to dial back our obsession with creating “virality” and focus on delivering value. That’s how you build connections with consumers in a crowded digital space — how you become memorable, trusted, and preferred. Value for users can take lots of forms, but it should always be the starting point for marketers.
The President will likely visit a funeral or a memorial service and, at greater length, comfort the families of the victims, the community, and the nation. He will be eloquent. He will give voice to the common grief, the common confusion, the common outrage. But then what? A ‘conversation?’ Let there be a conversation. But also let there be decisive action from a President who is determined not only to feel our pain but, calling on the powers of his office, feel the urge to prevent more suffering.
Sign this petition to demand that the Obama administration finally pay attention to America’s gun problem.