I’m 28-years-old, born and raised just outside Amsterdam, a loyal Nike customer and very passionate about soccer. Some of my greatest memories in life revolve around a season, game or goal, so when I first saw this new Nike ad for the World Cup Soccer 2010 - described by the brand itself as one of their best ads ever - I got excited. This was about a global sporting event that makes my blood run faster.
The one constant in the marketing industry is that it is ever-changing. Over time marketing has faced countless challenges, be it from disruptive new technologies, consumer empowerment or ongoing advertiser trust issues. As a result, the marketing community continuously adapts to achieve its goal to successfully connect with consumers. The following 10 examples show the marketing industry's strength in turning challenges into opportunities for growth.
With all the news about Facebook’s never-ending privacy problems and the exodus of angry users, has the real story been overlooked? Specifically, is Facebook limiting people’s ability to actually, well, connect?
Long gone are the days when 'online' was synonymous with social isolation and loneliness. In fact, we're now witnessing the exact opposite: technology is driving people to connect and meet up en masse with others, in the 'real world'. It makes for an interesting, easily-digested trend, begging to be turned into new services for your customers.
I'd like to advance a hypothesis: Despite all the excitement surrounding social media, the Internet isn't connecting us as much as we think it is. It's largely home to weak, artificial connections, what I call thin relationships. During the subprime bubble, banks and brokers sold one another bad debt — debt that couldn't be made good on. Today, "social" media is trading in low-quality connections — linkages that are unlikely to yield meaningful, lasting relationships.
A personal bond with customers lets your company escape the commodity pricing wars and provides you with a powerful new marketing arm: loyal customers who will promote and defend your company online and off--for free. Here are seven tips for getting the process started of building customer loyalty in a big way.
We've seen and heard this commercial a thousand times, the one with the flawless model posing in an ad for facial-blemish cream... an extremely powerful cleaner that removes every trace of dirt in one effortless wipe... the picture-perfect baby modeling the 100% waterproof diaper. In these scenarios, there's not even a hint of a single red spot, a stubborn stain, or a bedraggled mother. This is the story of the past 50 years of commercials, and they all have one thing in common: perfect brands in perfect environments. But there is a strong case to be made for imperfection. Nothing is ever perfect, and even when it appears to be so, we are subconsciously looking for the flaw. Because our point of connection lies in imperfection--it's what makes something unique and, ultimately, authentic.
Have an argument. Once you start an argument, not a discussion, you've already lost. Think about it: have you ever changed your mind because someone online started yelling at you? They might get you to shut up, but it's unlikely they've actually changed your opinion.
Until August, Honda had been reticent about using social media platforms in a big way. The company had a MySpace page for the Element, and started dabbling in Facebook with the Fit compact car and, more recently, the Insight hybrid. Then, this year, Honda told its agency, Santa Monica, Calif.-based RPA, that it needed a plan to talk about Honda's core values but on a tight budget. Thus began the Facebook-centric "Everybody Knows Somebody Who Loves a Honda" effort launched in August without ad support. Last month, the Torrance, Calif., automaker added traditional media directing consumers to Facebook. Ads show real Honda owners talking about themselves and their cars in sliding pane-like frames that go from one owner to the next. Each owner is somehow connected to the previous one.
Not content with bringing socialism to its boardroom, Flip cams to the family room, and comedic product placements to the nation's TV screens, Cisco has just unveiled a set of Web-based communication products that could put the San Jose company into direct competition with both Google and Microsoft. Its entry into two new markets--hosted email and enterprise social software--is, says Cisco, part of a push to make business more people-centric than document-centric. This move signals a major shift for a company that is best known as the Internet's plumber (the Internet's backbone if you prefer). Along with a cloud-based mail system, WebEx Mail, the company is introducing a social video system, called Cisco Show and Share. According to the PR blurb, it "helps organizations create and manage highly secure video communities to share ideas and expertise, optimize global video collaboration, and personalize the connection between customers, employees and students with user-generated content." Also on its way is the Cisco Enterprise Collaboration Platform, a cross between a corporate directory with social networking capabilities.
For years, the premise has been widely accepted as some great truth handed down from the mountain of academia, etched on a silicon tablet: Our modern tools of technology are isolating us from one another. Think: the guy in his basement in boxer shorts hanging out online with other strangers passing in the cybernight. Now, a new study released Wednesday suggests that rather than push us apart, these tech tools may actually help pull us together. The millions of Americans who have embraced social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter might not be surprised by the new findings from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, showing that Web and cell-phone users tend to have larger and more diverse networks of close confidantes than those who do not use the Web or cell phones.
Samsung Electronics Co.'s profits are on the rise again as its chip and display businesses recover from operating losses earlier this year. The turnaround recently helped push its market capitalization past Intel Corp.'s for the first time. But amid that success Samsung also is trying to address another concern: matching Apple Inc.'s ability to sell content and software that run on cellphones and other devices. Apple's iPhone has led the way in demonstrating that consumers are becoming more interested in devices that can tap the Internet or run clever applications. The same phenomenon is spreading to TVs and DVD players, which increasingly will be connectable to the Internet in coming years.
Facebook fan pages are the future for three reasons: They're free, easy to create and build a nearly instantaneous pathway to evangelists, prospects or the curious. When fans interact with a fan page on Facebook, that interaction is sent through the fan's news feed, which goes to all their friends, practically daring a chunk of them to see what the page is about. Compared to Twitter, Facebook fan pages rule. You're not limited by Twitter's 140-character posts, plus it's far easier for fan page members to preview a photo, video or weblink than what Twitter offers. What more could a brand manager want?
Independent media agency TargetCast:tcm has released a consumer trend report that reveals differences in how men and women engage with traditional media. The study also points to generational differences in the ways digital media is perceived and consumed. The study, based on a survey last month of 895 adults age 18-64, found that men are generally more willing than women to adapt their habits to incorporate digital and online platforms as replacements for traditional media.
A compass is a device for discovering orientation and serves as a true indicator of physical direction. Inspired by a moral compass, The Social Compass serves as our value system when defining our program activities. It points a brand in a physical and experiential direction to genuinely and effectively connect with customers, peers, and influencers, where they interact and seek guidance online.
Google has quietly been launching a social network right under our own chins. No, it’s not about Google extending Orkut, a social networking platform they developed a few years ago, or growing Google groups, or even launching their own version of a twitter. Instead they’ve been releasing small bits of social networking features, little by little. Previously, we’ve made the case that email is already the largest social network, however Google’s plans go beyond Gmail. First, let’s define what to look for, in order to identify what Google is concocting.
In my opinion, online social networks have three distinguishing features: 1) They have profiles that enable people to express their identity 2) Ability for people to connect to these profiles 3) To be successful, there’s a greater value created by a group of people sharing than as individuals who do not. This week, Facebook announced it has ballooned to 300 million users, far more than MySpace and certainly Twitter. Yet, I want to assert that Facebook isn’t the largest social network, email is.
The Telegraph recently featured a list of fifty things that are being destroyed by the Internet. The article is hardly surprising given the massive shifts the Internet brings to society, but it does raise a debate about what will be missed from a bygone era and what will be rightly forgotten. The list covers the lost art of polite disagreement, various cumbersome fact checking situations and the blackout of news during holidays
This concept of going from macro to micro must be the most significant development brought by the social Web. While in the past, the official position of a company was the *only* public position a company would have, today, a company's public face is a composition. In fact, if it's done its job well, an organization could have a myriad voices, all different, yet all on the same cultural page.
Facebook Connect is connecting people across the social graph to fresh content and furthermore it’s channeling outside Web events into individual lifestreams. Essentially, Facebook is solidifying its position as not only your primary social network, it’s also a emerging as a central hub for your attention, updates, news, promotion, and enlightenment. Now, Facebook is extending its network to the World Wide Web, allowing brands and personalities who have or will host Fan Pages to embed a widget version of the page directly into Web sites, other social networks, social networks, and blogs. This builds a bridge between the 200 million strong Facebook network and outside visitors to strategically concentrate on promotion and community building.
Welcome to Twittermania. First it was Oprah — now Ev and Biz are on the cover of Time. Is the hype justified? Yup: Twitter isn't just changing how we communicate — it is changing how we innovate.
From Gatorade's "Replay" of two high school football rival teams to Pepsi's "Dear Mr. President" viral video campaign, PepsiCo is making a big splash in social and digital media. Pepsi's point man on these efforts has been Bonin Bough, who oversees all things tweet, blog and YouTube-related at the company. Since joining Pepsi last fall, Bough has pushed for brand initiatives that drive and create meaningful conversations with consumers.
Anomaly has introduced its latest foray into product development with the introduction of a cosmetics line backed by an unlikely YouTube star.
I've been excited lately to see that the idea of crowdsourcing has caused such a stir. You know a paradigm is about to shift when lines start getting drawn in the sand. When I was writing about co-creation in Beyond the Brand back in 2003 I couldn’t even imagine how the open source movement would radically change so many businesses.
In today’s turbulent world, people are hungry for a sense of connection; and in lean economic times, every company needs new ways to do more with what it already has. Unfortunately, although many firms aspire to the customer loyalty, marketing efficiency, and brand authenticity that strong communities deliver, few understand what it takes to achieve such benefits. Worse, most subscribe to serious misconceptions about what brand communities are and how they work.
Tropicana's rebranding debacle did more than create a customer-relations fiasco. It hit the brand in the wallet.
In the two decades since a small group of researchers adopted a hyperlink system to share data between institutions, scientific research — and the world — have changed profoundly.
There’s been a series of announcements this last two weeks, many which are happening here at SXSW, yet it’s important to look at what these changes mean as a collective, here’s my take: While working on my report the future of the social web, I was white boarding out ideas with Josh Bernoff on some of the changes that will be happening as social technologies become more important.
Today as I watched a video of Peter Arnell describe the rationale behind Tropicana's rejected package design, I had a bit of an epiphany. Many companies, brands and organizations are inadvertently building walls between themselves and their customers. It's unintentional, happened over time—but ultimately in this age of empowerment, customers feel more connected to each other than they do to your business or brand.
At first glance, Twitter has all the hallmarks of an internet fad. Britney does it and so does Lance. Barack has been at it for ages. It comes with its own quirky language. Messages are known as tweets and people who read your messages are called “followers”. Then there are the particular Twitter culture and modes of behaviour: sociability is enhanced by “retweeting” messages you find particularly illuminating – rebroadcasting them to your own followers. Among hardcore users, gratuitous self-promotion is frowned on. Yet there is more to this new internet fashion than meets the eye.
Coca-Cola has joined the stampede of brands onto the iPhone with a new app for users to play a 21st century game of spin the bottle.
We've witnessed zombies, vampires, sheep, parking spaces, kidnapping, pushpins and hundreds and hundreds of other silly Facebook apps take our time and waste it like nothing in recent history. But ever since Facebook's redesign, those apps have been relegated to other sections, and their popularity has waned. There is a new breed of app that may very well be more powerful than several poking and parking apps combined -- and draw even more attention to Facebook's split personality as both a media property and a platform.
So what do you remember about recess when were you in school? For me it was a time to reconnect with friends and share really important stuff, like who likes who. My gut is telling me the brands who take advantage of this “recess” to reconnect emotionally with their customers will be the ones who are the long term winners.