People are smarter than ever before. As customers, they don’t fall into a nice, easy segmentation anymore, and the purchase path is no longer linear. And with an endless amount of resources, information and influences, they’re being stimulated in more ways. Nowadays, people can interact with a brand at any point within the purchase lifecycle. Not to mention, there has been a major convergence of paid, owned and earned media to add to the decision process. In fact, mass media is no longer the driving factor in awareness and brand perception. And even “new” media is no longer considered “new” – it’s all just media these days. For advertisers, this means that those influences we tried to control for so many years need to be rethought as marketers.
Introducing our latest creation: The Mobius Cycle. This is a customer-centric situational marketing model that helps assess, diagnose and explain how he or she experiences brand interactions in a non-sequential fashion. Instead of looking at the lifecycle with a single point of entry, we looked at the entire process holistically. This gave us the ability to see how one segment affected and overlapped with the others, and determine the strengths and weaknesses within that cycle. We created six main areas of focus and looked at each element individually, analyzing the cycle as a whole to inform a complete marketing plan for any business model. (more…)
Doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, engineers, electricians, and real estate agents are only a few of the professionals on a long list of careers that require continuing education. Not on that list: marketers. Now I’m not suggesting that people in business and marketing don’t do our share of on the job learning, we do, but in a world where technology, policy, and practices are changing at a staggering pace, it becomes quickly apparent that if you don’t spend time to keep on top of changing industries you can quickly become outdated and obsolete. On top of that, the lack of standards leaves us with 181,000 self-proclaimed social media experts, gurus, ninjas, mavens, and warriors on Twitter. I can’t just walk into a hospital, decide that I’m a doctor because I saw an episode of House and bandaged up a scraped knee once, yet someone spends a month posting on Twitter and all of a sudden they’re a master?! But I’m not writing to talk about standards. I’m writing to talk about education. (more…)
Over the course of my professional career, I have read what ultimately amounts to a tiny fraction of the ever growing number of business books out there. That being said, I’ve read more than a few. Many of these books seem to repeat the same things over and over. Many spend a lot of ink (or electrons) articulating the importance of a topic without really offering any practical advice on how to do it. And then there are those books that you read and realize that it will change the way you operate.
I can’t put these in any particular order because different days call for different skills, but I want to share what my three favorite business books are; none are about business. (more…)
We were asked to create a product launch video for the Philips ClearVue 650, a versatile new ultrasound with advanced image quality and innovative features. The chosen concept plays off the device’s new 3D/4D capabilities, and lets the stunning images and functionality take center stage. The final touch? An emotional music score to highlight one of the product’s most important benefits…advanced technology for women’s healthcare.
If you’ve read any technology articles lately, they may be leading you down a path that might suggest that Apple is a thing of the past. Now I’m not going to point out that Apple’s iPhone market share continues to grow while Android’s…well, declines. Or that Apple’s “old” iPhone 4S outsells Samsung’s top of the line Galaxy III (for the record, I’m a huge Samsung fan). Or the fact that Firefox’s new OS, Blackberry, Microsoft, etc., all of these phones are taking market share from the Android market but barely denting the iPhone market. Or even that Samsung makes fun of people for waiting in line for Apple’s product launches despite the fact that it would give anything for people to line up for its products, but repeatedly, no one does. (more…)
As data becomes more and more prevalent, tracking has quickly become a necessary component of any business plan. While focus groups and independent research are the most effective ways to collect data, they can also be costly and time consuming. Fortunately, you can still add value and effectiveness without adding high costs – by using free or inexpensive tools first. You’ll get the information you need and save time and money in the process. Here are a few inexpensive tools you can use to get immediate results:
Qualitative consumer data:
Hit the streets: While there is a time and a place for focus groups, they can often either tell you what you already knew or worse, steer you in the wrong direction. When learning about an audience, start by immersing yourself into that group. Order magazines that the audience reads, watch shows they like, even spend a day at a construction work site or research lab getting to know people. This type of candid, real world feedback is frequently much more useful than anything you’ll hear in a highly controlled environment deciding whether participants like logo A or B better. It’s our job, as marketers, to make these decisions. But by entering the world of your consumers, you can better understand how they think, giving you insights and information to make smarter decisions with.Hit the web: Doing a web search for something your audience might be researching is a great start (i.e., if you’re developing a new baby learning app, a search for “ipad apps for babies”). Not only does it give you a moment to see the world through the eyes of your audience, but it’s also a great way to get useful ideas and learn about competitors. Can come up with any search ideas? Wordtrackerprovides a tool that shows you search questions based on keyword inputs. And if you don’t have time to sift through multiple sites, try the Ultimate Research Assistant, which performs a search for you and summarizes the findings into an executive summary.
It’s important that I preface this by saying that I, in no way, shape, or form, condone what the leaders of North Korea have done in the last half century and are doing today. Nor am I condoning anything Dennis Rodman has done or is doing with regards to his North Korea trip. I also want to say that while North Korea is a personal fascination of mine, despite the amount of reading and research I’ve done on the country, the reality remains that I know very little. Consider this post more ideas for discussion rather than hard opinion or fact. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk.
Last week, Dennis Rodman went to North Korea and became the first known American to publically meet Kim Jong-un. It is said that Kim Jung-un is a huge fan of the Chicago Bulls franchise of the mid 90’s (can’t blame him for that), a team with which Hall of Fame basketball player Rodman won 3 championships. Kim was attending a private English-language International School in Switzerland at the time.
Rodman’s trip to the reclusive state was met with much criticism, anger, and confusion in the US. Upon his return home, the US State Department quickly said they wouldn’t debrief Rodman on North Korea. It was all written off as some sort of joke and spectacle. Now I don’t know if Rodman was really considering all the facts when he called Kim, “a great guy.” Kim leads a government that is cited with some of the worst human rights violations of all time. Perhaps he should choose his words more wisely. But then again, maybe not. What do I know? (more…)
The Buzz: The executive summary of the top things to be aware of this week.
The Super Bowl of Advertising
1) It’s impossible to avoid all of the talk about the Super Bowl and Super Bowl commercials today. So here’s my quick two-cents:
•Budweiser Horse Story
•Dodge Ram God Made A Farmer
•Tide Montana Stain
•E*Trade (I just love the E8Trade baby)
•Best Buy Amy Poehler
•Blackberry Z10 (yes, I actually liked this one)
•I’m hesitant to even spend a moment to acknowledge the GoDaddy ad, but I wonder how much that nerdy kid got paid to do that spot. At least it was on brand…
•Coke – big disappointment
•Bud Light – I loved the superstition ads, but the Stevie Wonder (huge fan) ads didn’t do it for me
•Gangnam style – I wonder how many brands got pitched this idea and turned it down
•Oreo – meh…
•VW Get Happy – I didn’t like the overall concept, but didn’t have an ethical issue like some people did