strategy

What 80s Skateboarding can Teach People about Marketing Channels

When Street Skating took off in the late 70’s early 80’s,  many skaters had to end up making a choice whether to do contests or do videos.  Contests where very structured and was the traditional paid route (mainstream).  Video cameras at this time were also coming to light, and kids could finally afford to create and distribute their own content.   Many had to choose between what they viewed as making a living and selling out, and trying something truly new and innovative.  Which where highly copied, shared, and coveted across a very selected engaged community.

One media channel was very well established, strict regulations, low risk, low rewards, and high barriers to entry.

Another new media channel was taking off, had no rules or regulations, and were sought out by tons of fans.

Similar forks in the road are forming every day.  Which one would you choose, and what levels of diversification can you employ to balance the well known and established and take a risk and get noticed?  A better question is how does your media strategy align with an ever changing bell curve with uneven distribution and ROI. 

 

-pd

 

 

PS4: The Benefits of Sharing Social Gaming

Documenting your “raids” in WOW or other games has been a standard practice in the gamer community for a while. For the record, I am not a gamer.  Playstation’s most recent ads have been highlighting their new “share” functionality for gameplay which is a big feature for the platform.

This is clear example of where Marketers need to go in the future.  Watch and listen to what your users and brand ambassadors are doing, and then make it easier for them to do what they enjoy doing.  Sony delivered and then some.

Social gaming has always been big in the game experience, but making it easier to document and share gameplay will change how gamers can easily share and connect about moments that matter to them.  Thus making them happier engaged members of the community, and maybe even changing the way people play games.  This could have a big impact on learning how to beat levels, develop your skills, or challenge people from across the globe. Documentation has always been a form of measurement, which can only lead to other insights.

What other industries could benefit from allowing their customers to document and give real time feedback about their experiences with their product.  Everyone is already doing this to an extent with social media monitoring, and whatnot, but can brands make it easier to work with their community? Yes.

If you give your fans what they want, they will not only be happier, but they may help you evolve as a brand. 

 

 

 

What happened to Global Warming ?

Its easy for large nations to push global warming aside.  But when a few inches can determine your existence it becomes something more real.  I am specifically talking about the island nations of the world.

This was an eye opener.  Global warming is only one part of this discussion.

It made me remember the TED talk of William McDunough, for creating a better tomorrow through considering product cycles and “crade to crade” production.

Our Society will have many large problems to start to tackle in the next few decades. Follow and believe in the people who are trying to solve them.

 

 

Obama Outperforms Agencies with Online Content

Most people think Obama’s appearance on Between two Ferns was out of place.  However, it shows a pattern of him going to where the conversation is, rather then asking people to come to him.

Plus from a media syndication perspective, it shows that the white house really understands influencer identification, star-power, and the effectiveness of their campaign strategy.  They also understand that influence happens at both the individual level and that certain outlets / programming channels are very effective to hit target demographics. Both of these campaigns were very successful and entertaining PSAs.

Whether going after geeks, doing an AMA, or his late night appearances, it has shown his ability to adapt, appeal to be likable, and get noticed.  And if that brings attention to the media agenda they are pushing, thats quite smart.  A second wave of an amplification effect kicks in about media talking about other media as well, allowing his message to have an even broader reach.

Whether you like him or not, I think it says something when the white house starts out performing other major ad agencies on healthcare reform.  

Think smarter about content planning and media distribution through earned media channels.  And lets learn from those who are doing it right.

18 minutes.

Pd

Why Data can Often be Answering the Wrong Questions

 

Data is always historical.  However our goals are always future focused.

There is a science and art to data and strategy.   One part is very rational, and another is emotional.  Knowing how to merge the two, and depart from the obvious is where true innovation starts to occur.  

People turn to analytics to measure performance, determine data driven insights, and establish strategy based off the summation of all of this.  This type of thinking is great for identifying outliers, becoming aware of existing behavior, and a several other types of insights.  For the most part I personally think this can be incremental.  This has a place. I am not saying its good or bad. It just shows you exactly what you went looking for. 

Now lets consider another part of this equation.  Where do you want to be in x months? Could it be that we need to incorporate an entirely new way of thinking that is not currently being measured. Something that no one is looking for.  If we need to make leaps, instead of incremental milestones in progress, sometimes we need to step aside from the data and set our own goals using new tools and create new data sets.

The issue with ONLY relying on historical data is that innovation does not always show up in a data set.  Even if you crowdsource popular opinions of what people want, they can only think so far ahead.  And sometimes the true disruptions and innovative outliers are overlooked to make a prettier graph.  This is an common issue in social media.

These outliers could be the next ipad, tesla, or facebook.  Reference here to the famous Henry Ford quote ” If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”  Sometimes the data was right, but to grow and move ahead, one needs to assume the data could be wrong if you could see what the future data would look like.  Things change.

There is a science and art to data and strategy.   One part is very rational, and another is emotional. Knowing how to merge the two, and depart from the obvious is where true innovation starts to occur.  

Data can always show you where you have been. But it cannot always show you the best path forward.

pd –   18 minutes.

Using Buffer to Preschedule Tweets

I am staring to use buffer app to preschedule some tweets.  I have sync’d MOZ with buffer so that it will post my tweets at the exact times throughout the day that my followers are most active.  Sounds pretty great, huh?

There are two questions that this leads me to contemplate.

1. How do we trust in machines to perform better then we can?  We are all already part cyborgs (iphones) and comfortable with machines (vending or mHealth ) however, social media seems too intimate to trust to a computer, right?  However, if an app can make my personalized messages resonate to their max, it seems foolish to not utilize technology to assist in my posting.

2. Now we enter the more interesting question of the “tragedy of the commons”.  If everyone uses the buffer app, it stops becoming useful.  This scenario is very unlikely, but if social media becomes networks of bots talking to other bots, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of using it to begin with?  A more realistic scenario would be that after a certain number of followers use buffer and optimize post times, then you will be technically posting at non optimal times due to systematic error.

The solution I settled on was to use buffer to post key pieces of curated and original content at agreed upon peak times ( morning, lunch, getting off work ), and then still actually manning my twitter handle for engaged conversations.  I am not sure how long I will use this app, but I have become to understand and appreciate the added value of using a 3rd party service to help me post my social media updates.  I can focus more on content rather then execution.

14 minutes.

pd

 

The Persistence of Memory – Time and Creativity in Planning

Acknowledging the Gaps in How We Use Time in The Planning Process 

Musicians are trained to consider the use of time in creating work.  Many in the video production/ art field as well, but for many of us we have been trained to think transactionally for six sigma results and maximum efficiency.

A financial planner recently asked me to think in decades instead of years. 

It really made me stop and think about how I look at time in terms of my work.  I find that we are asked to think “fast” and “slow” at times depending on the campaign or project.   Most of us will gladly embrace years of historical data to come up with valid insights.  However, the trend we are often seeing is about “real time marketing” and daily feedback loops.  In PR we talk about “extending the news cycle” to compensate for people’s ( or institutions ) short attention spans. Changing time or the perception of time can create some amazing emotional experiences for a user or consumer or planner.

My thought to end on for the night is…

Think big and small at the same time.  Think in weeks, and quarters.  Hourly, and daily.  But try and think in both states.

Having a plan means you can always change it, but being able to set your milestones and think bigger about the entire project may yield new innovative ideas.  It may need real time support or help along the way ( guest blogs, media training interviews, pitching, omni channel outreach ), but the milestones will be in place.

There will always be enough moments to cherish the real time and the journey, but we need to think bigger, and time is a great place to start in thinking big.  hashtag 4 dimensional thought.

If time is our biggest asset, why do we rarely use it. 

-pd

ps. Aside : http://www.10000yearclock.net/learnmore.html

Is Pepsi becoming the new Redbull?

 

As a Brand matures, they begin to diversify. The brand architecture becomes less about corporate colors and identity, and more about a brand experience and lifestyle.  Pepsi has been embracing this strategy with its “Max” line, proudly encouraging fans to carpe diem.

Damien Walters has been a youtube sensation for a few years now. Below is his 2011 showreel.  He has bee a figurehead in the freerunning and pakour community for quite some time.

In addition to seeing Pepsi continue to evolve as a brand, the other thing worth mentioning here is how they are using celebrity talent for brand transference.  Youtube is rapidly becoming a place for talent discovery and recruitment.  As the web has given a voice to everyman, talent and quality content is accessible to all. Some brands like Pepsi have moved into content creation using youtube sensations to draw a larger buzz on social media.

I think this campaign is a win-win.  Damien Walters gets to showcase his amazing talent to a larger audience, and Pepsi continues to expand its social capital to a younger generation with an exciting new ad campaign.  This campaign speaks to the future of brands becoming their own syndication channels of user curated talent.

-pd

Analog Digital – Social wants to be Physical

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This new Facebook Like counter from http://www.smiirl.com  , has long been in the making. Several DIY versions of this have surfaced, and we even proposed a version of this while I was working at R/GA.

As technology moves things into the digital realm, there is a natural counter culture that wants to express these digital forces as physical analog experiences.  What other instances can you think of where experiences born in digital become novel by moving to analog?

-pd 

 

Legacy Experiences – How Today Shapes Tomorrow

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The “rewind” buttons remains, but the stop button is no longer with us – it has been replaced by play/pause.  Although there is nothing to rewind anymore ( media wise ) some legacy terms will be here to stay.  Other functions like the stop button are gone because the playhead that used to be lifted off of cassette tapes are no longer there.  No stop is needed. There is no longer a difference between pause and stop anymore in a media context.

So whether thinking about the floppy disc icon on your computer, or something as ridiculous as America not using the metric system, things that we design sometimes stick around.  

I will end this post with a message from Green Architect William McDunnough. Somethings we create will temporally be here for less then a moment. But the question of human intention and quality design can differentiate if something becomes a legacy going forward or a legacy in the history books. One is timeless, and the other is dated. 

Well I think
as designers
we realize that design is a signal of intention
but it also has to occur
within a world 
and we have to understand that world
in order to imbue our designs 
with inherent intelligence
so when we look back
at the basic state of affairs
in which we design
we, in a way, need to go
to the primordial condition
to understand the operating system 
and the frame conditions
of the planet
and the exiting part of that 
is the good news that’s there
because the news is the news of 
abundance
and not the news of limits
and I think as our culture 
tortures itself now
with tyrranies
and concerns over limits
and fear 
we can add this other dimension of abundance
that is coherent 
driven by the sun 
and start to imagine what that would be like 
to share

William McDonough”