Archive for May 2009
People expect companies to do more than just sell stuff. They want to know what you stand for, what choices you make as a result and what difference that could make in the world. So when it comes to people making their brand choices, Cause Marketing can be a tiebreaker. Almost 80% of Americans are more likely to switch to the brand supporting a good cause over a competitor with the same price and quality. But Cause Marketing is not just about photo opportunities, oversized checks and warm fuzzies. It can be an opportunity to turn commercial interest into real change.
Recent news coverage of the cosmetic name change from AIG to AIU at the failed company's New York headquarters reminds us that a brand is a precious asset. The value of any brand asset depends upon whether it has delivered on its past promises and is believed likely to do so in the future. It takes years of effort to build brand trust but only a few months—or minutes—to squander it. A brand that has lost consumer trust is no longer a brand; it is merely a name.
In this new "enlightened" era of joining the conversation, it appears that the ship has set sail once and for all on the debate as to whether or not brands should participate in online conversations. But today I'm going to talk about avoiding the conversation and I'll offer five diverse perspectives on when it's (arguably) better to remain on the sidelines and observe in silence.
David’s victory over Goliath, in the Biblical account, is held to be an anomaly. It was not. Davids win all the time.
Is understanding the selfless behavior of ants, bees, and wasps the key to a new evolutionary synthesis?
New reports have several companies on the verge of releasing large screen electronic readers designed specifically for reading newspaper content. The first such product may be unveiled as soon as this week — a large screen version of Amazon’s Kindle, which we first reported on last year. This is setting up a lot like the newspaper industry’s Hail Mary. And it’s a pass they won’t catch.
If you're like most CMOs I know, you've probably got this love/hate thing going with digital media and reporting tools. On one hand, digital is a clarity engine, in that it demands by its very binary function the expression of "yes" or "no." Numbers are incontrovertibly numeric, so questions of who, what, where, when and why are limited to answers with the precision of how much. The "hate" side of our relationship with all things digital isn't that numbers are incomplete, it's that numbers have no inherent meaning -- which means that they're usually misunderstood or misused.
In a loud and proud public announcement, Facebook said it didn’t care whether its members visited Facebook.com at all. The company said it would provide a set of technology tools that will let other companies create programs that tap into the heart of the social network — the endless stream of photographs, status updates and comments that people post to the service. Saying it is unable to provide a range of access to the service from every possible gadget, Facebook expects developers to create Facebook programs that sit on computer desktops, run inside Web browsers and are tailored to a wide range of mobile devices like the iPhone.
In a couple of weeks we’ll be partnering with Microsoft to give a joint presentation to some IT and Marketing directors about the idea that their two disciplines are starting to (or needing to) work much more closely these days. Regular readers will recognise this as a favourite theme of ours - we like to think that the best marketing ideas are actually company operations that happen to be really appealing or compelling to customers too. One of the many advantages of this line of thought is that marketing is completely integrated into the business and you don’t have to spend money to build marketing programs that then build your business, you simply spend money on building your business.
Warren Buffett would not buy newspapers “at any price.” This from the owner of the Buffalo News and a board member of the Washington Post Company. And they call me a doomsayer.