If you’re a marketer and are wondering how worth your time it is (and your budget) to go after the infinite social media channels out there, consider what that presidential candidates are doing this year (as reported by the New York Times in Campaigns Use Social Media to Lure Younger Voters):
Jan Rezab, the chief executive of Socialbakers, has an interesting reply: “What’s the return on putting your pants on in the morning? We don’t know… but we just know it’s bad if you don’t do it.”
This is a pretty cool riff on the ubiquitous and probably apocryphal “don’t know which half” quote from department store magnate John Wannamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I don’t know which half.”
But it seems like maybe the half here that’s in question — the social media one — could actually be paying off.
Coye Cheshire, an associate professor at the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley, suggested that updates might very well be a simple way to see how a candidate measures up to themselves.
“It is important for people to know whether or not a huge political figure shares the same taste as me,” said Dr. Cheshire, who studies behavior and trust online. “And creating a playlist on Spotify is part of what makes them seem more human.”
Don’t leave home without your pants. It’s one of those things you just have to do — same goes for social media.
Ok, to blog about Sociobiology is a little highfalutin (even though I find Edward O. Wilson an amazing intellectual)–but there’s something going on here.
Let’s examine these four popular logos:
Why do they all use the same paradigm: contiguous primary colors including blue, red, green and yellow?
All three businesses try to communicate things like “holistic”, “comprehensive”, “–what gives?
Perhaps this approach in some way settles our ‘old’ brain.
Or, perhaps, four primary colors just looks good!
Good, little vid over on TechCrunch about Nicholas Sparks, the bestselling novelist and screenwriter (The Notebook and A Walk To Remember), on how, and more importantly why, he uses social media.
He says something almost in passing that is so critical about social media that often gets missed. Here he is (around 10:24):
“I have close to 1.2M fans on Facebook, for instance. That is my platform so to speak. It’s interesting. It’s a wonderful thing in that I’ve had 5000 articles written about me over the years. I’ve sat through 5000 interviews, right? Virtually every one has errors in them. Just little things. So this is your own platform. You can be who you need to be here.”
This is something that just did not exist before social media–that didn’t exist in earnest even 5 years ago.
Essentially, Sparks creates and directs his own interviews for his fans. This level of control and direct participation is really amazing.
And here’s the video:
I’m new to Douglas Rushkoff, but I’m digging what he’s saying over on FastCompany about the state of ‘brands’ and the future (now!) of marketing.
In short, ditch the inflated and created ‘branding’ that takes place at your org–just be transparent and really good at what you do. BTW: One good example of this is MailChimp.
Rushkoff On “Brands”
[But] it’s not about creating a mythology around the way a product was created, so it’s no longer “these were cookies made by elves in a hollow tree.” That’s not the value of the brand. The value of the brand is where did this actually come from? What’s in this cookie? Who made it? Are Malaysian children losing their fingers in the cookie press or is this being made by happy cookie culture people? At that point, all these companies come to people like me saying, “We want to become transparent. We want a transparent communication strategy.” And I’m like “Well, are you proud of what’s going on inside your company? Are you proud enough to pull up the shades and let people see inside?” It’s that easy.
Every company has a social media strategy whether they know it or not. You can have your dedicated social media person chasing down consumer complaints, but your real social media strategy is how are the people who work at your company and the people who buy from your company and people who supply to your company, how are they talking about you in social media? The way to make them talk about you [favorably] is by walking the walk of the thing that you do. And that’s so hard for so many of these companies because they’ve become so abstracted. They’ve become so distanced from the core competence of their industry. The job of a communicator–or someone like me–is to go in and say, well, just do something. Don’t outsource one thing and then make your company about that.”
Rushkoff On Marketing
In response to: “What will marketing organizations look like in the future?”
It will be companies that figure out how to communicate the non-fiction story of a company, so it’s going to look a lot more like a communications company than a creative branding agency. It’s going to look a little bit more like PR, in some sense. It’s going to be people who go and figure out what does your company do and how do we let the world know about that? There’s going to be a lot of psychology involved, except instead of it being psychologists turned against the consumer, it’s going to be psychologists going in and trying to convince companies that what they’re doing is worthy. It’s breaking down this false need in companies to hide from the public what they’re doing–except for the ones that do (need to hide).
We’re getting back to the basics–and I like it.
Here are a few excerpts from a recent Wall Street Journal article on Lululemon and its seemingly anachronistic methods of product design, customer insight and brand management.
- Unlike most retailers, Lululemon doesn’t use software to gather customer data, doesn’t build lots of new stores, doesn’t offer generous discounts and purposely stocks less inventory than it can keep on its shelves.
- When it comes to making decisions, Lulu has gone back to basics. It doesn’t use focus groups, website visits or the industry staple—customer-relationship management software, which tracks purchases.
- Instead, Ms. Day spends hours each week in Lulu stores observing how customers shop, listening to their complaints, and then using the feedback to tweak product and stores. “Big data gives you a false sense of security,” says Ms. Day, who spent 20 years at Starbucks Corp., overseeing retail operations in North America and around the world.
- Lulu also trains its workers to eavesdrop, placing the clothes-folding tables on the sales floor near the fitting rooms rather than in a back room so that workers can overhear complaints. Nearby, a large chalkboard lets customers write suggestions or complaints that are sent back to headquarters.
- While a large part of Lulu’s strategy is getting the product right, an equally important part is keeping it scarce. The goal is to sell gear at full price and to condition customers to buy when they see an item rather than wait. “Our guest knows that there’s a limited supply, and it creates these fanatical shoppers,” says Ms. Day.
- Lulu also sells 95% of its gear at full price, says Chief Financial Officer John Currie.
- The company never puts its core items on sale, and it has a very strict return policy: no products accepted after 14 days, and all must be unwashed and unworn, with original tags.
I saw these Nike “swooshes” at the bottom of my gym locker the other day. Kind of disembodied don’t you think?
Where’s the shoe? The shirt? The shorts? The water bottle? The heroic athlete leaping tall buildings?
I’m not a Nike fan, but as a marketer I felt for these discarded brand embodiments–forgotten and left for dead.
I think I winced–and chuckled at the same time!