Five Things You Might Have Missed

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do, so we’ve come up with five nifty stories from the world of social media, marketing and branding to keep you company.

1.) Picking up Chicks: Orange, the UK’s coolest tech and mobile company, ran an interactive campaign last week called Predict-a-Chick. In the good-natured guessing game, visitors to the site were encouraged to predict which numbered egg would hatch first or guess the heaviest chick. Winners got prizes, lovers of fuzzy cute things got to ooh and ahh and Orange scored some major traffic to its site. Well done!

2.) One Bad Apple: Thanks to i09 for pointing out these ridiculous Snow White apple snacks from Disney. Talk about a treat to avoid. Jeez. What’s next? Bambi burgers? Sleeping Beauty sewing kits? On the other hand, those could be a great snack for kids desperately in need of a nap.

3.) Bigotry, Made in the USA: In another “so glad I don’t have to do PR for that company” story, American Apparel made headlines for the big, fat settlement it awarded to a former employee who claimed his boss at the troubled clothing company called him the N-word. The man walked away with $345K — and American Apparel walked away with its tail between its legs. This is a listmaker to remind us our brand has to have integrity at all times or it will pay the price.

4.) Team Loyalty Goes Extreme: BandSports came up with the ultimate way for soccer lovers to express themselves: a parental control plug-in that blocks every team but your favorite. It’s a buzzworthy product complete with a snappy video explaining how it works.

5.) The Return of Big Red: If you’ve never had a Big Red soda, you’re missing out. The soft drink, which features a taste that falls somewhere between hummingbird feeder liquid and Mountain Dew dyed the color of cherry Kool-Aid, has a major cult following. And it finally joined the digital revolution this month with its first advertisement in 25 years! While the commercial is corny and perhaps wasn’t worth the wait, we applaud the brand for showing up to the viral party.

Is Online Brand Management Viable For Small Businesses?

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

follow_me

Having a strong brand awareness is essential to the success of any business.  As a small business owner you may wonder how viable it is to employ an online brand management specialist. One of the upsides of the online world is that it’s a great equalizer. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation makes no difference to the opportunities available. What may be different is the way each individual business allocates their marketing dollars.

Return on investment (R.O.I.) is the only thing that an finance person is interested in. For the business owner, growth and profitability is the bottom line. For marketers, looking at the short,  medium and long term gain is equally important. This then becomes the clash between the finance department and the marketing department at some businesses. For Marketing managers, the R.O.I. is there and if undertaken successfully, the return can be much higher than other forms of online promotion.

There is a perception that online brand management is expensive. This may or may not be true depending on your strategy. For example, if you as a business owner shoot video footage, a brand management team can promote that video in all the right places. If you are part of a large business, you may use a professional team to create a video as well. However, and this is the great equalizer, the two videos are more often than not promoted in the same multimedia websites.

The opportunities for both are almost equal. What is different is how the video is promoted and whether or not the video has the content that others will recommend. Create a video that is different, a video that is funny  or in some way memorable and you’re well on the way. Video is just one example.

Small business not only can, but are, competing against larger business with a lot of success. Is online brand management a viable way to spend your budget? For most businesses it has to be. If you are considering spending any money on advertising or some form of promotion, speak to an online brand management specialist first. Your advertising budget stretches a lot further than you realize if a little time is spent promoting your brand online.

Content drives content that drives content.

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

newtons_cradle

I came across two articles on IKEA this weekend. The Swedish mega-brand is known for their propensity to attach umlauts to furniture names and also for their acumen in advertising and marketing. So is it just serendipity that I came across two related articles on the Swedish home furnishing manufacturer this weekend while perusing the news? Or is it a well-crafted PR maneuver? Or could it be something else entirely? When researching Blog material, I get to spend countless hours perusing news and entertainment stories from traditional sources like magazines, newspapers, press releases and news wires as well as non-traditional outlets like other blogs, micro-blogs and online videos. I’ve also noticed that news articles on specific topics (like IKEA, for example) spike the interest of journalists at the same time. Journalists often reference recent stories and craft their own spin on the news piece. For example, in today’s Los Angeles times there was an IKEA related article referencing how IKEA is able to garner a billion impressions over the last year by keeping in the news. A few days before, I was reading the paper edition (yes, I still read the pulp) of the New York Times and came across an article discussing IKEA’s recent typeface change to their catalog. Today I did a quick search and found similar stories on TIME, NPR , CBS News and ABC news just to name a few. The reason for the flurry of IKEA activity? Often times these stories are coming from the same source like a news wire. Back in the old days, news would  come in on a ticker tape-style machine that newspapers had hooked up in their offices and they would use those stories to fill the pages of their editions, or they would use them as a jumping off point for a new story. Today, you can get the same kind of news experience on any number of newsfeed services with the click of a keyboard mouse. While you may think this creates the same content over and over, it does more than that. In the case of the Los Angeles Times article mentioned above, it comes at the story from a local angle. While the story opens with a reference to the “typeface change” , the LA times gives it a localized stance and they do their own research and interviews to make the story a rich reading experience. You can say one story begets another with a different perspective. I think this is a good thing. People like me come to the LA Times for the local perspective and want to see the world through the lens of an Angelino. While some may argue that news with a perspective is opinion, I would reply that you cannot extract perspective from anything. Even in the history books, we are reading accounts from an individual or a group of people who had the perspective of the event that would later become history. Or we are getting the readers perspective. Having the ability to have multiple points of perspective allows the reader to sift through the content and come up with their own perspective. And so on.

This viral’s gonna be HUGE I tell ya.

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

snakeoil

Planning a viral hit is like picking the numbers for a winning lottery ticket. And anyone who tells you otherwise is either a liar or trying to sell you a creative ad campaign. Many companies turn to desperate measures by latching on to successful product launches by spoofing them. For example, there have been a rash of spoofs of the famous Shamwow and Snuggie Blanket next commercials that have appeared for a myriad of companies on Youtube. Here”™s one that Colgate recently released. It”™s really not that funny and seems to be gratuitous. You”™d think that a big company like Colgate would have had the funds to hire a funny writer. Firstly, spoofing should be left to people who know funny, like Jimmy Kimmel or the folks at Jack Films just to name two. And even though you may get in front of a lot of people, if your content isn”™t great, your un-greatness will stick to your audience like gum to a shoe. They call it reputation marketing, and like it or not, your reputation is on the line every time you release content with your brand”™s name on it. Are marketers trying too hard? I think so. Successful viral videos aren”™t trying to give you a hard sell. The best ones come from ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Check out this wedding video which recently got over 12 million hits in less than a week. According to an article from The New York Times , this video “set to the Chris Brown song “Forever,” had sent sales of the year-old song skyrocketing to #4 on the iTunes chart and #3 on Amazon”™s MP3 store.” Did Chris Brown”™s people plan this? Highly unlikely.  Did the bride and groom have their sites set on becoming a Youtube phenomenon? I doubt it. But I bet that won”™t stop salivating marketing people from trying to convince you that their whacky videos will help you reach your marketing objectives.

Branding your company with micro blogging

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

burger

According to a recent New York Times article small businesses are utilizing micro blog technology like Twitter in lieu of advertising and marketing campaigns. According to the article, “small businesses typically get more than half of their customers through word of mouth, he said, and Twitter is the digital manifestation of that.” By microblogging, small businesses can broadcast deals and offers to loyal customers and those just interested in their business. Location based services like LA based Kogi and Coolhaus can tell their customers where they will be on any given summer day in the city of angels. I think the increase of small businesses is also due to the fact that business owners often don’t have time to think about marketing strategies; Twitter facilitates getting the word out. Plus, a business owner can tweet by phone app whilst ringing you up for that sushi sampler you just ordered. No need for fancy ad or flyer when you can tweet at your hearts content.

Social Media gets down to business with Twitter 101

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

twitter101

If you’re a business owner there’s no doubt you’ve heard that social media can help you achieve your marketing goals in a way that won’t put a hole in your cash register. What’s more, the service is a deceptively simple and easy to set up. But let’s say, for whatever reason, you just haven’t gotten around to having your business Twitterized. You can rest easy, because Twitter has just released an online Twitter 101 A Special Guide to hand hold you through the scary world of tweets, retweets (RT), hashtags (#), and @username messages. But even more than that, the guide gives you a basic understanding of what Twitter can do for your business, how businesses are using Twitter, How you can get started, Best Practices, and even Case Studies of real companies like Dell, Jet Blue, Teusner Wines, Tastidlite,  Coffee Grounds and on and on. My favorite part of the site is the Learn The Lingo section where you can learn a little history about the user generated created language that is now an integral part of Twitter. If you have a business and you haven’t gotten around to using Twitter to help increase your bottom line, you no longer have an excuse.

Digitals encouraged to join Traditionals in metrics.

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

apples_to_oranges

Young-Bean Song, senior director at Microsoft’s Atlas Institute, has recently posted a directive for online advertisers to take a good hard look at the metrics traditional advertisers use and adopt them in order to sync up with the world of traditional advertising. According to the post, reasons to shun traditional metrics (like Reach, Frequency and Gross Rating Points) fall into three categories: arrogance, fear and ignorance. While current metrics for online advertisers may be powerful and instant, results tend not to be stable and predictable and often don’t make sense in the offline world. Mr. Song goes on to say, “digital folks snicker when they hear advertisers make statements like “TV works” . Turns out, TV does work and there is plenty of quantitative proof that TV advertising drives sales.” It’s easy to want the sexy new shiny thing like digital media to drive marketing budgets, but the truth is, old media is tried and true and still garners most of the media dollars that clients are willing to spend on marketing each year because they know what to expect. Because the digital space is fairly new and often in flux, it’s important to play nice with traditional forms of communication so that marketers can compare apples to apples. Or, you can put all your oranges in one basket and hope the rest of the world follows suit.

I want social network marketing just because.

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

blindman

According to eMarketer, ad spending on social networks will take a 3% hit in 2009. They point to the downfall of Myspace as the culprit for the drop, and are quick to say they believe the slow down to be short lived. But will it? As marketers run with the herd, many are demanding they have a social network option on their marketing plan. Many are doing so without really having a strategy or an end goal in mind. The shiny new object is Facebook and Twitter, and many marketers are flocking there not really knowing what to do when they get there. I often tell my clients that it is important to have a measurable goal in mind when using any medium. And clients will eventually expect a report that details their return on investment. You can’t really do that if you don’t know what or why you are investing in Facebook or Twitter. It sounds really simple, but you’d be surprised how many marketers are using social media because it’s where the pack is running. Do your homework, have a strategy with a goal in mind, and for goodness sake, nobody wants tweets about how well your marcom meeting went unless there’s a really good reason for it. I think more and more marketers are becoming aware that they have to have a plan and the days of experimenting with new mediums are soon coming to an end. Which may be why some expect the numbers to take a hit.