Friday, July 25, 2008

Marketing Musings: Treat Receipts

Starbucks are running a sales promotion which is not something I've seen them do before. It’s pretty smart; I guess they know people only come in once a day for a $5 Frappacino. It looks like they also know these people don’t have $10, but maybe they have $7? Will be interesting to see the results.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Random Quotes - Head for the Hills

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."

T.S. Eliot

Marketing Musings: Practice What You Preach

If you are running a seminar or other event the very least you can do is remove people from your marketing list that have already registered. Getting emails saying “Hurry act now before all the seats are gone” when you have already booked and paid can be fairly weird the first time (did my booking go through?) but by the fifth email, you realize this company you are going to lean from just has no logic at all in their marketing system – you might even think about asking for your money back.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Marketing Musings: How to Annoy Your Customers

Anyone remember DVD region coding? It’s the annoying, consumer unfriendly technology that entertainment companies put in place as DVD’s proliferated. Its only purpose: stop people sharing digital media throughout the world.

This week a friend in Australia sent me a DVD with documentary he thought I’d find interesting. He paid for it, and put it in the mail. Sadly it wouldn’t play in the US thanks to the region coding which really highlighted for me how flawed these attempts at control really are. First of all they annoy consumers and secondly, they create a black market for the products. Why wouldn’t I now jump not some file sharing service to see the documentary? Because I might get sued. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

DRM sucks, is consumer unfriendly and fast looking like stupidity for any company that still considers it a viable way to control their business.

Marketing Musings: Victory in Greek

I heard Dan Weiden of Weiden + Kennedy talking about Nike and their advertising in 2008 (and beyond.) He made the comment that things have not changed that much for Nike and that Nike were still “…instilling aspirations rather than catering to consumer desires.”

Seems backward in this day of “consumer in control” but the company has never been more successful. Much of their digital work has gone to AKQA and R/GA over the years and they’ve generated some fantastic multi-channel campaigns and services. Many of these have kept Nike at the front of the pack but all this had me wondering if it is even possible to build a global brand around products today?

Is it too expensive? Do you have to run 250 digital services in parallel, each reaching different niches? How many staff does that require versus the staff required to build amazing 30 second TV spots in the ‘90’s? Nike has authenticity which is the critical building block for any sustainable business. I’d love a crystal ball to see what their marketing will look like in 2015.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Marketing Musings: Publishers Must Rebuild or Perish

I saw a good post from Barry Chu recently that outlines the modern advertising value chain and zeroes in on why Google and Facebook will continue to dominate. The post covers a topic near and dear to my heart – making sense of the marketing ecosystem. I agreed with most of what Barry said but one area could do with expansion – that is, the whole concept of what it means to be a publisher in 2008. Guns and Ammo magazine is used as an example but let’s face it, any attempt to aggregate an audience around a topic that is collated and edited and pushed to an audience is more or less finished, especially in terms of advertising dollars.

Everything “publishers” build going forward needs to be consumer driven, or initiated, or pulled. Barry hinted at this when he spoke of enhancing the knowledge around “intent” of a consumer. I believe in this to an extent but ultimately I think services need to be architected this way from the start. Publishers who lack this knowledge of intent need to rebuild a service the new way then kill off their old offering, not tweak the old version.

So my test for a modern “publisher” is:
  1. Does the service put the user in charge of the interaction, on their terms?
  2. Is a value exchange with the user inherent in the service?
  3. When customers are using the service, does the publisher absolutely understand the intention of their attention?
  4. As a result of the service, does the publisher learn more about the customer (i.e if they sell them a ring tone or article covering global warming, they really don’t. The point is, such a transaction is not a value exchange and the publisher can’t claim this consumer is a targetable entity going forward.)