Interesting read across several compelling resources
Interesting read across several compelling resources
Do you ever get the continual question of “What
does marketing do?” I honestly believe its right up there with What
is a lead?” It seems no matter where I have worked, or how large or mighty the organization is, marketing is one of those areas that seem to be an enigma to most people.
I would image that that is even more so today, as marketing
is quickly evolving from the brand guys or as some may say the “cakes
and cookies” function, into a real business driving, value adding, entity
that needs to generate results.
We now live in an era where +80% of your new business finds
you on the web, and when a prospect does decide to engage they are 60% of the
way through the buying process. So when my CEO asked me to put on a companywide
presentation on what marketing does, I wanted to try and show something more
than org charts, power points, brand logos, and leads. I wanted to try, and
show the end to end value chain that our marketing function can provide.
Nice goal, now the question was how do we that and avoid “power point poison”. We’re a small company, and production budget is limited. However; a burgeoning photography hobby has left me with contacts for cheap studio rentals, and expensive photography equipment. I’m lucky to have a team that while small, is well versed in the use of all digital tools at hand, so we produced our content in house.
I don’t know that we were any more successful than the next
guy in trying to convey the value proposition of marketing, but we gave it a
college try. Let me know how you thought we did. Nuff said.
I recently tried Intel’s interactive brand campaign, in support of launching their Icore5 processors, and was blown away by the creativity, and the personal level of engagement their brand had with me for 2 minuets.
This is what socially connected marketing is all about, in that you want your brand to have a personal, sustained, and meaningful engagement with the consumer. What’s amazing is that Intel did this in support of a computer chip.
The concept of the Museum of Me is brilliant in my view, in that the application harvests your Facebook information (only after you give it permission, and noting that the data is not shared with anyone else) to create the context of a museum exhibit that showcases the visual aspect of your social life. How much more personal and engaging can a brand be.
The visual context is spot on, as the chipset is optimized for visual media, and the brand is positioned as an innovator in the space. Intel was successful in establishing an emotional connection with the viewer due to the personal level of engagement-your visual social life.
Now what’s interesting is the media and pundits have given rise to some more controversial takes on the campaign, and along the lines of data privacy and of course a little narcissism. On some level if you haven’t already realized what information is accessible on Facebook and that you allow to be shared, The Museum of Me certainly does a good job of slapping you back to reality.
Data privacy is going to be a huge issue in the coming 10 years as Christina Gagnier of the Huffington Post writes “As the newest evolution in privacy warnings has moved towards icons, such as TRUSTe's "Truth in Privacy" framework, consideration should be given to visualizations that personalize the experience that someone may have on the website they are visiting or the mobile application they are using. If there was a means of prospective visualization, this may be the future of educating users on privacy in a meaningful way.”
Of course I could also look at the side bar on data privacy from the purely capitalistic side. Could Intel be looking to create a parallel discussion on data privacy as a result of this campaign? Why? You ask. Well at some level personal data privacy would need to be protected at the Chip level in our ever growing, always on, and mobile society. Intel has certainly demonstrated its intent to integrate data security at the chip level with its purchase of McAfee, so why not data privacy?
While any discussion on data privacy is good, and needed I look at this effort purely from a marketing point of view. In that vein, I think Intel, and their creative partners have done a masterful job at creating a highly personal and engaging experience between me, and their brand for two minutes. The campaign even reached in at a philosophical level by ending with your visual social graph, and then scaling out to show how your graph is connected to millions of others.
Isn’t this what socially connected marketing is about? Nuff said.
A fantastic TED talk by Morgan Spurlock of "SuperSize Me" about the world of big corporate advertising and its incestuous relationship with the media channels. Morgan's new movie "POM Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" The thought of true transparency is still somewhat of a figment of the imagination in these circles. The point this is trying to bring home, in my view, is that we are now being inundated with corporate shill 24x7. The thing that is changing the fastest, in my view, is the way in which the pitch is getting delivered, as the sponsored message is becoming ever more blended in with the content and delivery channels we consume.
Today it could be a tweet or comment on a late night show from a well known celebrity mentioning how great a coke would be, or even a local mom recommending a product to her network on Facebook. Schools are selling advertsing like it nobody’s business as school buses and hallways now market to our youth. As I work in the "biz" so to speak I have a pretty good sense of what is a pitch as I know that there is no relaity in reality TV. Every thing is planned and well coordinated from late night to the fabricated drama on on Dancing With the Stars.
How long until we see corporate messgaing and sponsorships pervade our professional spots more than what they have already. It's only a matter of time before we see corprate brands on our pro teams uniforms in the US just as they do in Europe. The WNBA has already started selling sponsorships for player’s uniforms, so how much longer before we see the Citibank Mets?
We all talk how great social media is and how wonderful it is to be connected to one another. While there is a lot of good from that always remember that the social media platform companies need to eat, and feed their kids and that the most valuable commodity they have is your data.
Today we see the emergence of location based services that will serve as the foundation, along with trillions of lines of data about all of us, to facilitate the delivery of targeted and custom sponsored messages 24x7. It’s interesting that one of the big future mega trends will be the sheer growth of ‘screens”. Screens and displays will be all around us, pervading every facet of our lives with the purpose of delivering us commercially sponsored messaging (i.e a pitch).
As a smaller marketer I’m not any less guilty. I do conduct custom research with the aim of supporting a position or point of view in the market. I do develop white papers and videos with a pitch that is designed to push a viewpoint that’s favorable to my company and my product. I’m certainly not producing high quality content for humanitarian reasons alone. I do try to keep the pitch to minimum and always try to make the content of high quality, but the end goal is the same in that I’m trying to position a point of view that benefits my interests commercially.
The difference is that it’s pretty apparent when you take content from a corporate website or off a corporate advertisement your going to get some pointed messaging. What's changing is that these commercial messages will be delivered across all channels and packaged within seemingly non commercial messages and this is where we all need to be more aware and do as our parents said:
“Always question who is delivering you the news, and always ask who “they” are”
I worked with Morgan many years back, and during that time we all knew he would be very successful. Congratulations on your new movie and as a marketer I can’t wait to see it. Nuff said.
A few months ago I contributed to this crowd sourced effort by Mac McIntosh and Dianna Huff. The ebook is now complete and available for free download. In this ebook ten broad categories of mistakes were identified that B2B marketers commonly make. What do you think? Were the mistakes nailed?
I came across a recent article in USA Today this week on how most of the major marketers who are advertising during Super Bowl XLV will unveil social media contests, as part of their campaign effort. The article noted that Mercedes and Audi will both unveil this week large scale social media contests, backed by hefty prizes for those that “tweet” or “like” the most.
The basic crux of all these social media efforts is to get people to post en-mass “likes” or “tweets” which to me sounds eerily similar to “awareness drives sales” used by many a Madmen in their day. So is ‘tweeting” and ‘Liking:” the new “awareness heroine" of the day?
Looks like it is to me. I had to laugh at the quote from Stephen Cannon, Mercedes Marketing Vice President “We're using the 2011 Super Bowl as our head-long plunge into committing to social media," at Mercedes-Benz. It's our strategic leap of faith.” W.T.F.?
Let me translate what “strategic leap of faith” really means. It means were doing this because everybody else is doing it, but we don’t have clue as to why we’re doing it, or what were going to get out of it, and oh by the way, we have more marketing budget than brains. Well that’s okay, as that same argument could probably be used against massive TV advertising budgets, applied to a 30 second spot, with no follow on support for the rest of year. Sound familiar?
Is it any wonder why then the Edelman Trust Barometer shows a remarkable 25% decline in peer/friend trust in the 2010 survey? Not really, especially when everyone is “friending” everyone else, and Big ‘M” marketers blindly throw cash to generating “likes” and “tweets”, while social media snake oil consultants continually tout social media as the next god send for lead generation. What the Edelman Trust Barometer really indicates is that people are basically saying that the value of a “like” or ‘tweet” or number of “followers” you have is becoming worth less and less everyday as marketers spend gobs of money in blindly building a mass of “likes” and “fans” artificially.
I also had to laugh when I heard that after the much ballyhooed announcement of Pepsi leaving traditional media by spurning the Super Bowl 09 in lieu of social media, recently announced their return to the Super Bowl with the purchase of 4 slots for their Pepsi Max brand. So I guess all them “Likes” and “Tweets” didn’t pay off for you huh? Here’s another classic “Big M” marketer quote “PepsiCo is "doubling down," says Rudy Wilson, marketing chief at Frito-Lay”. You bet you’re doubling down Rudy, because social media, as a one off tactic, or communication channel is not driving the revenue needle for you buddy. Welcome to real the world.
Here’s a basic tenant everybody needs to remember. Social media is worthless until someone is engaging with you by leaving a comment, question, or point of view that opens an opportunity for you to converse with them. Social media is not about the leads, sales, or monologue. It’s about dialogue. Social media shouldn’t be called out as some special type of marketing campaign; it should be part of everyday business, just as using the telephone is part of everyday business.
Social media is about you engaging with your ecosystem and building an opportunity for honest, and real conversation, debate, gripes, insight or innovation to be had. Don’t waste your money on building artificial “fans” and “likes”.
Pam Moore added a good point in the article where she adds that “ Tweets” and Facebook "likes" that Super Bowl marketers all are glomming onto today will seem archaic in just a few years” Amen to that. Nuff said.
According to recent research by eMarketer more companies will start blogging to support their marketing efforts with 43% of all US companies expected to have some form of blog in use for marketing by 2012.
What’s still amazing to me is the number of B2B companies that do not blog and those who start their foray into social media with Facebook or Twitter as their primary focus/goal.
I have always held that the "blog" is the best form of social media in which to start conversing with your audience, and sharing your ideas. A good company blog gives you immediate SEO and thought leadership awareness and if coordinated within your PR & Communications processes and agency partners you will see your business and vertical media coverage rise significantly.
The reason for this is that the model of journalism is basically that of independent blogs by former journalists and analysts. These folks are always looking or for ready-to-wear content, and if you provide them that content at the right time your message will usually be posted verbatim within the context of their article.
Want to enter social media? Start with a great blog. Nuff Said.
· Create media for the Bored At Work Network: There are hundreds of millions of people around the world bored at work sitting in front of their computers connected to high speed networks. This network is bigger than any traditional media network like CNN or ABC. Create something they will want to pass around.
· Practice The Mullet Strategy: Business up front, party on the back. If you have a Website, keep the front page serious so as not to scare off the casuals. Give all the crazy commenter’s and contributors space in the back, and only show them to the rest of the world when they create something that catches on.
· Try Big Seed Marketing: If you are brand trying to create a viral campaign, it might be hard. True viral memes are hard to reproduce. It is much easier to make something that still gets passed around, but you might have to spend some money to seed it around the Internet. The more seed you spread, the more chance it will grow. “Buy the seed, get the viral for free,” he says (this is basically BuzzFeed’s business model).
· Target The Maniacs: The Web is ruled by maniacs, people who get worked up about things and push their ideas out. ”Content is more viral if it helps people express their personality disorders,” notes Peretti.
· Be A Mormon, Not A Jew. This one is tongue in cheek. But Mormonism is a growing religion, whereas Judaism is stagnating in terms of population. Why? Mormons are better evangelists. ”The problem with Jews is that they suck at marketing,” says Peretti. ”It’s almost like they don’t want anyone else to be a Jew.” His point is that it is not just the quality of an idea that counts, it is how much effort you put into spreading it. via techcrunch.com.
Perriti posts some humorous stats on the difference between Mormons and Jews in the growth of their respective religions, and points out that Judaism may be relevantly stagnant when compared to the growth of the Mormon religion. His main message in this comparison is that while Judaism may be a high quality religion, in the viral and socially connected environment that we operate in that quality of message is not a growth strategy. Whereas, with the Mormon religion, they want you to be a Mormon, and make "Evangelism" central to their strategy, and mission. The key take away is that you need to focus not just on the idea or message, but more on the mechanics of how a message is spread in todays socially connected world.
When it comes to viral I have always hated the term “viral” as it conjures up terms in “managements” mind of “high-volume” for “no money” or worse “free advertsiing”. As Perriti points out the reality is that most successful viral business attempts have come on the heels of a large, well funded and integrated mixed media campaigns.
I also believe that good social-viral attempts are those that ultimately give your target audience a chance to emotionally connect with your brand experience; a lesson that I think the recent Irish Spring campaign brought to light.
There are some interesting correlations in thought between Perrtti’s notion that you need to connect with the “maniacs” to the thoughts of Malcom Gladwell in that Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen are key recruits in making an idea tip into the mainstream. This is interesting to note as part of the social aspect of the Irish Spring Campaign was to produce a series of near real time tweets, but the selection of, who to tweet to, in response to the campaign was made based on the tweeters “influence”. This is an interesting notion as we see the rise of “influence” as part of an integrated campaign with a social extension, and also interesting to note that a little “science” was used in making that determination.
In today’s socially networked world strategy and planning, leverage of key influencers, a somewhat bored audience, some good old school marketing, backed up by some decent budget seem to be what is required to make the best use of viral messaging and ideas for marketing. Most attempts will be dismal but a few will be brilliant in that they will enable the audience to emotionally engage with the brand in an entertaining and fulfilling way. Now isn’t that worth a college try?
Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 9, 2010
Social media are not intended for you to syndicate your corporate message. Social media are here to facilitate open and honest dialogue with other individuals. If you are not open and honest, no one will want to engage with you, just as in nondigital life. When using social media to promote your business, avoid making the following mistakes:
1. Believing that if you build it, they will come. Just because you brand a Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, or blog does not mean that you are using social media.
2. Not being authentic. You will soon be sniffed out if all you’re doing is using social media tools to promote your one-sided message and make sales.
3. Thinking you are in control. If you think you can control negative comments on your blog or other avenues, you will soon learn that you can’t.
4. Not listening. Social media is about open, two-way dialogue that entails both giving and sharing.
5. Thinking social media is not work. Social media is the most unscalable tactic there is in digital media. It takes a human being on the other end of the channel to engage and converse.
6. Not knowing your audience. Lacking an understanding of what your audience is passionate about or wants to engage in will result in a poor experience both for you and your audience.
Social media is about two-way communication and engagement, so enjoy the tools that are out there that help you further engage with your key audience
Earlier this year Edelman released their annual Edelman Barometer 2010. The Edelman Trust research has been most interesting in the last few years due to the global economic climate, and the lost of trust in institutions from governments, to financial institutions and Businesses.
This years trust report showed some interesting changes, namely in the loss of trust one finds from peers. This is important in B2B Marketing as most research indicates that potential prospects in a buying cycle trust peers the most when making decisions. This fact, and the rise of social media as a channel for peers to access each other has placed social media, and B2B marketing strategy in very close company.
In looking at the Edelman report this year we see that Peers are the only group to have fallen in the context of groups or roles that are most likely to be trusted when hearing information about a company.
If you look at the Edelman Trust Barometer over the last two years you will see a large decline in trust from peer groups, from 58% in 2008 to 44% in 2010. While this blog post is related to B2B marketing the Edelman Trust Barometer Survey was one of the early resources to clue marketers into the fact that traditional mass media channels were becoming less and less effective, as they were increasingly seen as being less trusted.
So how does this relate to B2B and the loss of trust in Social Media? In a recent Sirius Decisions’ Conference the latest research on he B2B buying process was presented, and in it “Peers” remained the most trusted source of information within a B2B buying process. This trust factor actually increased some 7% from 2006. What would be interesting is to look the data from 2008 to 2010, to see if Peers have fallen, as the Edelman data would suggest.
The other really interesting part of this research is the rise in the influence of Vendors and Partners as trusted sources of information within a B2B buying process, and the associated decline of search as a medium of trusted information. Now the same research also identified the least trusted sources of information.
Surprising here is that Vendors have significantly improved in the context of a being a trusted source since 2006, and that social media is far and away the least trusted source of information for B2B buyers. Especially shocking as the current mantra in B2B marketing follows the logic that your prospects’ peers are the most trusted, they use social media to communicate, therefore you must use social media if you are to influence or be seen as a trusted source. Not an unreasonable assumption or logic; however what has really happened?
I have long held that social media is a conversational medium and if corrupted for the purpose of lead generation it would not be effective. That being said if you read 99% of the jargon related to B2B marketing and social media it is in the context of generating sales or leads, quickly followed by how hard it is to show the ROI of social media, which is usually followed by “insight” that says measuring social media is not that hard. Of course what is actually being measured is the “media” and not the “social”.
I don’t know of any easy way to truly relate social media into cost reduction or revenue generation to prove ROI as I have always defined it. Since social media is conversational should you even try to prove ROI? You have to converse in order to even have a chance of conducting business, so from the perspective social media is just good for business.
This brings us to the next reason why we see a lack of trust in social media, and that is the lack of thought leadership or relevant content from the vendor community to their audience through social media channels. I stress social media channels because you will note that vendors are seen as more trusted than in past years. What could be causing this?
If the content quality has improved then I could see how vendors could be viewed as a more trusted source of information; however if we as a B2B marketing community, are simply using social media today as a way to “sell more” then we are missing an opportunity to position our point of view on leading issues and engage with our community, regardless if we sell something or not.
There is also a larger trend afoot where any mention of a vendor or product in social media circles is becoming increasingly suspect. Just look at the paid mommy bloggers, paid celebrity endorsements for mentions on twitter, and product placement in every mainstream channel from talk shows to movies. It is hard for anyone to really discern today what is real or paid for. As social media is becoming a larger communication medium and peer groups are viewed as significant influencers, then means to reach both these audiences will naturally become commercialized and, in doing so, will also become less trusted. You can’t even trust a doctor anymore to prescribe what’s right.
In closing, I’ll leave you with these thoughts:
One thing about old school marketing that hasn’t changed is that people still buy from people, and not from companies. If you’re like me, you prefer to buy from people that you find highly knowledgeable on their topic, whether it’s your mechanic or your software vendor. With increased knowledge comes an excellent opportunity to establish dialogue, and dialogue leads to an opportunity to establish a trusted relationship. After all in business it’s the long-term relationships that generate the greatest value to the business. Nuff said.