Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fan Clubs Not Fanfares.

Fanfares feed the egos of creators and advertisers.
Fan Clubs feed the needs of prospective and existing customers.

Fanfares are big, extrovert and short-lived.
Fab Clubs are small, introvert and long-lasting.

Fanfares aim to create water cooler moments.
Fan Clubs are the water cooler.

As connectivity gets bigger, marketing gets smaller.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Social Media Guru.

Word Of Mouth.

Lately, I've noticed a worrying increase in conversations and conferences around the issue of word of mouth and influencers. The industry's reaction to the realisation that people are ignoring their messaging is seemingly to search for an alternate way to control the message.

But if you're asking how do we generate word of mouth around our product/service, you're asking the wrong question. It leads to short-lived stunts, misplaced sponsorships and seemingly the resurrection of the debunked concept of the influencer. The latter can be the only explanation for a new frozen fish campaign in the UK being fronted by a retired rugby player.

The question is not how do we generate word of mouth? The question is how do we make our product/service so remarkable that it generates word of mouth?

The answer is to create and continually improve a product/service that makes the users feel better about their lives - whether that be in terms of perceived desirability, genuinely increased enjoyment or improved capabilities and confidence. And that's why generating authentic and persisting word of mouth is so difficult.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Light And Shade And Marketing Myopia.

If you go down to the Tate Modern today, this installation will greet you. All the pre-publicity described it as terrifying, but it is essentially a very large, unlit metal container into which you ascend. It's not very terrifying and it's not actually very dark. Your eyes soon adjust and easily discern the other people therein.

A couple of years ago, I walked into Anthony Gormley's steam cloud cube at the Hayward Gallery and was completely disoriented. I couldn't see beyond a couple of inches in front of me and people were consistently bumping into each other. It was an eye-opening experience.

Photograph taken by Stephen White

It turns out that black isn't necessarily dark and that white can be. Marketers should be very pleased about that. Too often, they're not.

Addendum: And sometimes, like art critics, they even get indignant if their users don't react as expected or, worse still, told.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The 8 Ps Of Performance Marketing.

Expanding upon the thinking behind my post about the lessons of live performance for marketers, I've come up with eight attributes of great performance. They all begin with P. That's the law.

Presence: Great performers command their stage.
You should command your category.

Purpose: Great performers exude so that their presence is unquestioned.
You have to similarly exude a sense of purpose, the reason you’re there.

Personality: Great performers radiate humanity and enjoyment.
You should too.

Prescience: Great performers never seem dated.
You'll be supplanted by the new if you don't do the same.

Poise: Great performers adapt to their audience, but crush hecklers.
You should listen to your users, but ignore or destroy trolls.

Playfulness: Great performers understand the power of humour and play.
You will slowly alienate your audience if you insist on being too serious.

Pacing: Great performers never coast.
You risk losing your audience if you do.

Persistence: Great performers don’t assume an encore, they earn it.
You should too.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Misanthropic Marketing.

I received an unsolicited email the other day.

Apologies for the out of the blue email. However, we thought that you may be interested in a free guest post for your blog which is based on SEO, Internet and viral marketing. The article will be completely free, unique and written specifically for your blog. The article will contain a link back to our website as per my email signature.

The article will be written by ********* who is a well-known SEO expert and internet marketer. He was rated #2 most influential marketer in the UK and 37th in the world in 2008. He also helps many large well-known household brands improve their visibility on the internet.

We would love to add to your already well-written and informative blog. As previously mentioned it will be completely free and we will produce the article within a few days if you agree to accept our offer.

Of course, I have never heard of this great influencer. And I somehow doubt his credentials given his desire to introduce a totally different tone of voice onto this blog. Hasn't he read about "authenticity" or does he just spin that to his doubtless myriad clients?

For better or worse, everything here comes from me (and that incidentally is why I have been posting less frequently lately - I'm keen to avoid repeating myself for the sake of writing a post). There are no third parties and if I have nothing new to say, then I won't be writing anything. I practice what I preach. My "well known" correspondent doesn't. He's not interested in my readers, he's interested in what they can do for him. Don't let your company fall into the same trap.