Every day I get a call or an email from a company - often a household brand - that wants to do something fast, cheap, measurable, and blockbusting in social media. I tell them: you need to KISS - keep it strategic silly! They want to employ Twitter, or do blogger outreach, or set up a Facebook page. Those are tactics. What they need is strategy. Otherwise, they'll just waste time and money.
Recent breakthroughs in neuro-science confirm what we marketers know in our guts, but sometimes forget in the day-to-day rush of preparing the next ad campaign launch. Namely, everybody feels (emotions) before they think (rational decision), and without generating the appropriate emotional response, no ad campaign can succeed. Here are some guidelines to help avoid that fate.
I was in a Barnes & Noble store recently and noticed a shelf area called “Trends in Business.” On it was one book after the other touting the virtues of social media for marketing purposes. What concerned me was that most of the titles related directly to tools. At least six of them were about Facebook, another six about Twitter, two were focused on blogging, there was one about YouTube, and so on. This was evidence of a focus that, to me, is unhealthy. Consumers are putting much more emphasis on the “how” and less on the “why” … tactics before strategy. I think that is a mistake. It’s classic putting the cart before the horse. Unless you understand why you’re doing something, it makes little sense to learn how.
Here is something that product managers and strategic marketers know first-hand: new product introductions and market roll-outs often carry large, and daunting, expectations. A poorly-executed product intro can cost jobs, upward professional mobility, and even millions of dollars and damage to an entire product family’s brand image in the market
Social Media marketing is rapidly earning a role in the integrated marketing mix of small and enterprise businesses and as such, it’s transforming every division from the inside out. What starts with one champion in any given division, be it customer service, marketing, public relations, advertising, interactive, et al, eventually inspires an entire organization to socialize. What starts with one, a domino effect usually ensues toppling each department, gaining momentum, and triggering a sense of urgency through its path. And, it also marks the beginning of our journey through the ten stages of social media integration. But where do we start?
In 2010, Social Media will rapidly escalate from novelty or perceived necessity to an integrated and strategic business communications, service, and information community and ecosystem. Our experiences and education will foster growth and propel us through each stage of the Social Media Marketing evolution. As MarketingSherpa observes, “2010 is the year where social media marketers gain the experience required to advance from novice to competent practitioner capable of achieving social marketing objectives and proving ROI.” It’s a powerful prediction and it’s one that I also believe. This is your year to excel, teach, and create your own destiny.
There's still nothing like the real thing. Or so say food marketers looking to stand out in the mass-produced herd. What really is "real" could eventually be for the government to determine. In the meantime, real people drink Caribou, real dogs eat Alpo, real sandwiches have Hellmann's and Canada Dry ginger ale is made with real ginger. Don't bother taking notes, because Wendy's says "You know when it's real" anyway. Advertised "real" foods, products, services and even experiences aren't new, but they're on the rise.
New media creates a blizzard of tactical opportunities for marketers, and many of them cost nothing but time, which means you don't need as much approval and support to launch them. As a result, marketers are like kids at Rita's candy shoppe, gazing at all the pretty opportunities.
As marketing budgets shrink and tip in favor of value messaging and cost incentives rather than brand-building, the absence of the latter in favor of the former is acutely dangerous. This type of price-driven activity has historically been considered a generic, low-level marketing practice, and normal branding rules have not applied. While that may have worked well enough during flush times—when larger branding efforts acted as a halo and compensated for generic activity—today all communications must incorporate brand-building. Otherwise,brands risk coming across as interchangeable, schizophrenic, watered-down and reactionary.