Archive for May 2009
In perhaps the most famous "Star Trek" episode of them all, Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Cmdr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) stand in their stretchy mock-turtle uniform shirts, lady-pleasin' tight pants and pointy-toed Beatle boots on one of those studio-lot sets designed to evoke a prewar American city. People shuffle past in shabby clothes, and a black automobile with large, curved fenders crawls down the street. "I've seen photographs of this period," says Kirk. "An economic upheaval had occurred."
Last fall, Google released a new Web browser called Chrome that is speedy, elegant, and reliable. Just ask the 1.42 percent of people who use it.
Not familiar with BRM? Perhaps you are more familiar with its cousin CRM, or Customer Relationship Management. As technology has improved CRM tools and functionality, it has changed the way marketers connect to people by helping to organize and filter information about buying habits to better serve customers going forward. But with people connecting more and more to brands on social networks, the next wave of marketing may be providing people the information they need/want through social media, making it a "Brand Relationship Management" (BRM) tool.
The Scientist magazine reported last week that pharma giant Merck had invented its own peer review medical journal in order to better hype its products; of 29 articles, almost two-thirds referred to Fosamax or Vioxx. And we're surprised?
Let me start off by saying that Guy Kawasaki is smarter and more successful than I'll ever be, he leverages Twitter like a master, and over the years I've learned a lot from him and his columns. However... I was recently reading a post from Guy entitled How to Use Twitter as a Twool. There's a bunch of great advice in the post, but I found one piece of advice that I just couldn't swallow:
Everything is information and information is everything. It’s the mantra of marketing in an age where people are constantly creating collectible data—all the things we do, say, use, buy, click and share are data points in the graphs of our lives. But in an increasingly visual society, pie charts and bar charts can’t begin to do justice to this wealth of information there is to digest now. Data visualization tools are helping to change the ways we look at information and audiences.
The world of communication and product delivery is changing as the Web evolves and new services are introduced, enabling us to gain faster access to information, download richer media more quickly, and rapidly voice our opinions and feedback near and far in a wide variety of methods, including text, voice, video and imagery. As customers become more savvy and in tune with these new tools, we are also expecting those offering products and services to adapt, and as such, I thought it made sense to put forth what I believe are key tenets of a new consumer manifesto for today's real-time world.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about monetizing social networks. MySpace has swapped out much of its senior leadership with talent more experienced in marketing. Facebook is floating plans to launch an ad network someday. Both services already put ads on their sites, sell sponsorships, etc. Most, if not all, of these kinds of efforts focus on using social networks as glorified channels for branding. Companies hope to sell things by paying to put their brands in front of consumers as they’re on their way to, doing things at, and planning to leave their networked communities. How is this any different than putting up billboards on the way to the fair? Is it possible that the true value of social networks could be derived from seeing them as places?
It takes a while for changes to sink in—for the full ramifications of market shifts to impact how we actually do business, what we plan to achieve and how we communicate our intentions. Up to now, what I’ve heard from clients has had mostly to do with money…budgets have tightened and spending decisions have slowed. But now clients are realizing that today’s market is reshaping not just what they spend but what they say. They are starting to look at their brand messages and ask themselves, what do we talk about now?
Can a company blunt its innovation edge if it listens to its customers too closely? Can its products become dull if they are tailored to match exactly what users say they want? These questions surfaced recently when Douglas Bowman, a top visual designer, left Google.