Good job Debenhams (an English department store) for using plain, accessible english in its coffee menu.
For what its worth, I like my language like I like my hot chocolate. Supreme, with whipped cream and a chocolate flake.
I’ve said before that the marketing department will eventually create or consume a publishing department – for just this purpose. At this year’s mesh conference, we noticed an interesting tension – media companies are really trying hard to keep their content behind paywalls and protect it from pirating while brands and their advertising agencies are looking to have their work pirated! Obviously its not enough to just create content, there are some key attributes to the sort of content you want to create.
Which is why I like the direction from the CFL (Canadian Football League) in creating this mini documentary on one young prospect’s “Road to the Show”. I just spent about 20minutes with a brand that I don’t usually spend too much time with. Because of that, I’m going to be watching out for John Surla this season – and may watch one or two more games as a result.
You can see how John Surla’s journey ends here.
I recently posted on The Game Layer, and included a presentation from a DDB colleague on the trend. I’ve been playing with Foursquare, Farmville and Empire Avenue as well as watching with interest as many brands start to build Game Mechanics into their programs. However, even at this nascent stage, we should ask ourselves whether this is a real trend with staying power or something which will burn out and fade away? Or something in-between.
Altimeter’s Jeremiah Owyang wrote a recap of an inpromptu round-table discussion the research company had to discuss the phenomenon of gamification. I really liked these three main points to come out of it:
Opportunities Abound –But Benefits Not Clear Agreed. From Owyang: Intel shared its needs from a brand perspective: to engage with customers, focusing on reach and advocacy. Other potential use cases may include branded goods and couponing. What’s in it for the users of these tools? Anything from entertainment, connecting with others, or even increasing visiblity and reputation.
Skepticism: Questioning on Burnout and User Desire Reputation, points or badges are great, but driving a more real value like coupons, premium content, or other real world tangible ability is paramount. Many people are not driven by reputation and badges –they just want to connect with others and communicate. Others may just not want to be, or grow tired of, being manipulated within a game construct with no end and, as above, with no value.
Concerns on Platform Interoperability . This feels like a bit of a red herring as the space is so new but if it continuesto grow apace it will become an issue for the hardcore, just like OpenID. By its very nature, gamification is built on a case by case basis so unless an aggregator appears its not likely to be an issue – all these platforms have APIs so its the most likely scenario
But even as we start to discuss this, it seems as if one of gamification’s pioneers (Foursquare) is seeing a dearth of check-ins which are pivotal to and supposedly driven by, the game layer:
Click to enlarge.
There’s plenty of great blogs out there but the one’s I pay special attention to are from the people I admire or want to emulate. John Ellett from nFusion Group has a list of his five favourite CMO blogs.
There’s also a list of the top CMOs using Twitter, produced by Social Media Marketing Magaizne.
* Disclosure, SAS UK and EMEA was one of my first ever clients in the PR industry.
Rather than post about that campaign again, here are my thoughts on what we should look at when evaluating all campaigns – not just this one.
1. Did it get people talking?
2. Did it drive a long term benefit or association to the brand?
3. Were sales affected by the campaign – did they increase or was a long term decline arrested?
4. Is the sales affect sustainable without prolonged media support/heavy-up?
5. Was the campaign profitable? Did sales exceed 15x the total cost of the campaign*?
6. If sales were not a priority, did the campaign acheive its strategic imperative?
* not sure where I saw this but I do remember seeing something which said that your marketing budget should, generally, be one fifteenth of your total sales. A link to back this up would be nice.
A clear road map to viral success: Identify an appealing and distinctive idea. Seed the campaign idea broadly to establish interest. Then engage people directly. Nigel Hollis.
Dave Jones: from Spindoctor Dave to Copywriter Dave
Forrester’s best practivces - Paid and Earned Integration, Adaptive Marketing and Control.
I had a great day at the The Art of Marketing conference earlier in March and this, and this series, of blog posts will be my attempt to crystallise some of the myriad thoughts inspired and provoked by the speakers.
This was the first time I’ve seen Mitch speak and I was not let down. There’s a certain gravitas from being tall bald and dressed in black!
His theme was “ctrl + alt + delete” and burn the ships, a la Cortes and the new world. Reboot and start again because this new world is entirely different.
- a US study showed that 40% of people sleep while watching TV. Marketers, divide your GRPs accordingly
- 81% of holiday shoppers read online reviews (Nielson, 2008): be online
- Bazaar Voice has hosted and vetted more than 10bn reviews. The average score is…4.3/5. You have very little to fear from opening up your owned media presence to comments and interaction
In fact, a bad review lead to higher conversion rates both on and off line! After all, a review is in the eye of the beholder and something that the reviewer thinks is bad or wrong with the product could be exactly what someone else is looking for. However I wonder what a slew of bad reviews would do? If your product sucks, no marketer can help you. Not even Mitch.
- This blew my mind. 20% of searches performed on Google each day have never been done before. The long tail in action or simply users looking for ever more precise information?
- Mitch suggested marketers shift 100% of their budgets to search until that channel was optimised. I respectfully suggest that that approach will struggle to see the light of day for CPG marketers until we can prove the link from online marketing and offline sales. Also, I believe in integration (and social media)
- Mitch told the story of the “Kevin Bacon will cure cancer” experiment and expounded the virtues of small world theory (how everyone is connected in increasingly smaller networks) and I wonder how two competing theories survive? In this case, small world theory vs. Dunbar’s number (which states the maximum number of people someone can have in their network is 150)…thoughts below please
A really good session which got my synapses firing in a big way. Some final questions I was thinking about:
- why should people connect with you and/or your brand online?
- marketers need the space and freedom the try things
- the key question is “how can we get our stories to spread online and off?”
Thanks to the Art of Marketing team for a pair of free tickets and a discount for Ed Lee’s Blogging Me Blogging You readers. Thanks also to Rob Gee, winner of the inaugral BMBY conference contest, for being a great conference buddy.
(Posted on my BlackBerry using the WordPress application – will add in links and formatting later)
A lot of people talk about “influence” or “influencers” or “influencing the influencers” but no one really talks about the ying to the yang of influence. This line, from “Connected” by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, itself citing Duncan Watts et al really puts this small, but vitally important point, into perspective.
It turns out that influential people are not enough: the population must also contain influenceable people, and it may be that the speed and diffusion of an innovation is more dependent on the proportion and number of the latter group than the former.
I defer to John Dodds on the analysis but for me, it is important to realise that I am more influencable from certain people than others. My level of influencableness varies from person to person, brand to brand and organization to organization, depending on myriad of various things. Things which include the depth of my relationship with the person, brand or organisation. The number of times we’ve engaged. The quality of their contribution to the quality of my life. My pre-existing bias or preconceptions on the person, brand or organisation – which may be based from my on- or offline experiences.
Clearly these things differ not just for the person who is influencable but for the brands who are trying to influence them. You could drive yourself crazy trying to segment down to each and every person but as we know, we can’t be all things to all people.
It’s tough to try and influence people. It’s tough to try and influence the people who influence them. It’s tough to put people into the frame of mind where they are receptive to being influenced.
This post doesn’t have the answers, just a small piece of insight to help guide your own thinking. If you do have the answers, please share in the comments below!
…and brands which embody them.
Regular trends include worrying about the H1N1 flu and/or vaccine, Twitter being considered mainstream and going “green”.
Five megatrends to watch are:
Mass collaboration is powering the new economy
- The brand that gets it: Apple (app store and developer community)
Constant connectivity in an on-demand world
- The brand that gets it: Sprint (the “now network”)
Globalization: Making the world a smaller place
- The brand that gets it: Aliababa.com
Pervasive distrust in big corporations
- The brand that gets it: Ally Bank (“straightforward” is its tagline and some ad copy is: “That means talking straight, doing right and being obviously better for our customers”)
A global sense of urgency to fix the problems of a modern world
- The brand that gets it: IBM (“A smarter planet”)
For discussion: is mass collaboration the answer for pervasive distrust in big corporations? It is interesting that big corporations are deliberately using social media to both seem smaller and encourage that collaboration.
We use the following formula when explaining this stuff to clients:
Engagement = Transparency + Co-Creation
What do you think?