Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Neil Gaiman's Law Of Hotel Rooms.

A weird law of hotel rooms, that the nicer a room you have been given, the less time you'll spend there, and you'll always be there alone.

It's just a tweet, but it holds some interesting ideas about the relative importance of shared experience and material quality to a human customer. Customer satisfaction is not as straightforward as some would have you believe.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Earned Media Has To Be Worth It.

The ability of your bought marketing efforts to gain free editorial coverage and/or extended online life is lauded as a way of increasing one's marketing ROI. Consequently, in tough economic times, it has become a goal and justification in and of itself with agencies reporting that clients ask them to "make us a viral" while clients are regaled with case studies like Cadbury's gorilla.

Earned media is more valuable than bought media only if it is earned for the right reasons. If it's just picked up by media outlets desperate to fill their 24 hour schedule or is passed around for its creativity or shock value rather than the underlying purpose, then is that coverage really worth earning?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Influence Ain't What It Used To Be. Or Is It?

In the past, it was assumed that mass influencers were influencing - maybe they weren't. But, did anyone actually prove it? If they had, would we all know this aphorism?

"I know half my advertising dollars are wasted - I just don't know which half!"

Haven't we always been influenced by those closest to us? It's just become more apparent because we can now know much more easily what like-minded people are thinking and liking.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Free Shouldn't Cheapen.

Last night, I went along to a free (but ticketed) event run by Jameson Whiskey. A showing of Moon to be topped and tailed by whiskey-related cocktails. An appealing mix that I ultimately didn't sample.

When participation has no direct cost, it can be difficult to judge prospective attendance. That's one of the risks of free. In this case, attendees were reasonably enough urged not to arrive too late as the number of issued tickets exceeded capacity, but when I arrived fifteen minutes before the doors opened I knew there was a problem. The line ran down the block and round the corner and then down that block.

Inevitably, there were many disappointed people (perhaps as many as hundred at a venue that held 440) and while staff were polite and apologetic, it shouldn't have happened. It's far better to have a few empty seats than a lot of disgruntled turn-aways. As I always say, the cardinal sin is that of annoying people.

I'm sure those people who got in had a good time and, consequently, they may or may not feel better disposed towards Jameson. But how do those who were turned away feel about Jameson? Were Jameson able to identify and seek to recompense them in some way? Did they even contemplate it? Indeed did their marketing executives (as opposed to the event organisers) even know what had happened?

Free does not mean value-less. Free is an act of generosity, not one of penny-pinching. Free may devalue the commitment of the recipients. It must never diminish the commitment of the host.

Addendum: The post is more about free than moaning about Jameson, but it's simple enough to think of what they could have done about a contingency plan.

They had a list of attendees' emails - they should have ticked those off on a laptop (rather than the printouts so many people use) and thereby identified who had not been admitted. Once it became clear there was an attendance problem, they should have immediately sent an email to those people apologising for the problem and offering some sort of pre-agreed "compensation" that crucially was equivalent to the night out they were now not going to have.

That would have ameliorated those outside, warned any people en route to turn back and reduced any ill-feeling towards the company.

Sidebar: It always amazes me that companies send out blanket emails to attendee lists thanking them for their attendance without thinking of the impact that action will have on those who didn't attend and who now realise their non-attendance went unnoticed,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Everything You Need To Know About Social Media.

New media isn't a thing. It's just a nice place to keep having the conversation. Businesses don't need a new media strategy. They don't need a person thinking about how all of those places and spaces merge and warp and weft together. Businesses just need a conversation strategy. They need excellent people who like having conversations to do the talking and the writing. They need to resource their words department, and listen real hard. Then they should just go and spend some time where people are having those conversations, and join in politely, always making sure that they're being useful and interesting.

As explained by the always smart Dan Germain here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Technology Diverges.

Multi-purpose devices and technologies are seen as inferior. Technology doesn't converge. It diverges. Devices become specialised high-spec and single-purposed.

Except in the pocket.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Crowd Control.

The real cost of social media is crowd control. You can only have a presence if its backed up with constant monitoring and rapid reaction. This we all know. We also know that the key to successful marketing is to be findable.

Too many companies square this circle by trying to be everywhere. Just like the old days of mass marketing, when they had to be on every time slot and every billboard, they now feel they have to be present on every social network and all over every fad.

The real solution is to identify where your audience will be and join them there in the best way you can. If you can't be the best you can in a particular location, then decide not to be there. That way you avoid outbursts of negative publicity while optimising your effectiveness elsewhere.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Stop/Start 10 Commandments.

I've seen this video referred to as a rant. It's not, it's six minutes of distilled, passionate wisdom. A man I'd never heard of, but would love to meet, spelling out some home-truths for his industry. Home-truths that are applicable to any business.

1) Start Telling The Truth
2) Stop The Politics
3) Start Having Fun Again
4) Stop Overthinking Things
5) Start Doing Something
6) Stop The Incessant Research
7) Start Doing Good
8) Stop Banging On About Digital
9) Start Ups Again Please
10)Stop Using Animals In Commercials

All very telling, but not as telling as the fact that audience didn't applaud each and every point as he made them.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Kahneman On Remembering The Experience.

People make decisions based on an assessment of the anticipated future memories they will generate.

The memory of the experience is very different from the experience itself. All the more reason for your business to be truly different and to provide good changes, significant moments and positive endings.