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Bob Gilbreath, chief strategy officer at Possible Worldwide, wrote a book a year ago called Marketing With Meaning. It’s a counterpoint to Woody Allen’s quote about “90% of life is just showing up.” Bob suggests embedding your message (and offer) with something of value. Not mere boast and claim — something meaningful and fulfilling. The book is a must read.
I created a brand plan for a health system a number of years ago designed to move the dial on about 9 attributes that make for a successful hospital experience; things like: “best doctors,” “leading edge treatments,” “improved patient outcomes.” If you can answer yes to these hospital qualities, it is likely you will want your procedure done there.
When I see work in this category today, sometimes I wonder if marketers are trying to be meaningful at all. One NYC hospital spending a lot of money is doing it the Woody Allen way, just showing up. Doing “we’re here” ads. One word headlines and pretty pictures. And the system that once had the nine meaningful measures? It must have listened to its ad agency and now only measures “first mentions.” That’s a research term for a telephone poll indicating what consumers answer when asked, “Name a hospital or hospital system in your region.” That’s measuring the media plan and the budget, not the communication of the work.
The best politicians are those who have a vision, are true to it, and allow the populace to experience that vision. Process that vision. The worst are those who read opinion polls and change direction at will. Similarly, the best brands have a plan that creates meaningful differentiation and organized claim and proof to consumers. And they stick to it. Peace!
Tags: 90 percent of life is just showing up, Bob Gilbreath, brand plan, Brand Planning, healthcare advertising, healthcare branding, Healthcare Marketing, Marketing With Meaning, whats the idea, whatstheidea, woody allen
Chrysler paid back over $7B in loans to the U.S. government yesterday. Did they just have than money laying around? That s lot of Benjamins. Did they just borrow if from a sheik? No they earned it. Blocking and tackling my friends. Rekindling old loyalties me droogies. Fixing the product, getting the right new people in place and fixing the message. When Daimler moved into the Chrysler brand, they tried to do all these things but couldn’t. Fiat and the U.S. marketing stewards did. And now they have da monies.
Good blocking and tackling. Just like Ford did. I knew the Fiat move would be a good one…meep meep. The company is known for stylish small cars, just what the economy ordered. But Chrysler is also making a move with Dodge, which is a bit more of a surprise. Hemis and un-mommy mini vans and a return of the muscle car for real motor heads (Can you say Challenger?). This is Dodge’s sweet spot.
Marketers are not talking about Chrysler in terms of cools social programs a la Ford, they are watching the rebirth of a company through focus on the 4Ps. Roots baby. Eminem baby. Where’s Kid Rock? GM is blocking, but I’m not so sure they’re tackling. The foreign value brands are pretty much growing a bit over the pace of the market. Ford may want to look over its shoulder — is it losing its hunger? Is it placating the dealers once again? Come on Chrysler. It’s pay back time! Peddle down. Peace.
Tags: 4ps, Chrysler, daimler, Dodge, dodge challenger, Eminem, fiat, ford, gm, hemi, kid rock, marketing, pay back, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I had a great day yesterday thanks to the Internet. TechCrunch Disrupt was held in NYC again and streamed live. For freezle. Fred Wilson (AVC.com) of Union Square Ventures started things off interviewed by TechCrunch veteran Erick Schonfeld and Fred offered some gems on venture investing. Union Square has invested in Twitter, Etsy, Disqus, Foursquare, Tumblr and Zynga, lately making Kleiner Perkins appear standing still.
Some Fred thoughts:
- It’s better to be an anthropologist than technologist in venture capital.
- Social, global, mobile and cloud are the key trends.
- We invest in the cultural revolution.
- We like people who have a deep obsession over a long period of time.
Dennis Crowley of Foursquare was there and smart. Chris Dixon an investor and edge burnisher was a panelist. Michael Arrington, three quarters funny, interviewed his boss Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL. Between speakers and panelists, there were green room interviews – a very nice touch. Back in the day (a year or two ago) if you tried to stream something like this, it would have been a herky jerky mess. Not now. Not with Ustream. The afternoon was a start-up jump ball in front of other entrepreneurs and VCs, some of which I watched but found to be a bit below the morning program.
The event rocked. And speaking of rock, in the 70s and 80s in NYC, it was the rock star start-ups who were rock stars. Now they are tech dudes. The art is different, the drug is Red Bull and the output is hard to dance and hum to — but tech is really bringing NYC back. Plus there was a big East Coast/West Coast thing going at the event, too.
If you can attend next year…or if you can’t but can clear the decks to watch the stream, do it. There’s money to be learned. Peace.
Tags: AVC.com, Chris Dixon, dennis Crowley, Disqus, Erick schonfeld, etsy, foursquare, fred Wilson, Kleiner Perkins, michael arrington, Red Bull, TechCrunch Disrupt, Tim Armstrong, Tumblr, twitter, union square ventures, ustream, Zynga
The two most exciting yet frustrating years of my work life were at a web start-up. I was director of marketing at a social media site called Zude.com. The CTO was 7/8ths genius. A wonderful coder, an infectious and eloquent geekus, he built the world’s first drag and drop web publishing tool. His object wrappers allowed me to tell consumers “If you can drag and drop, you can build a website.” In a world where we knew people would get tired of templated, database-driven web and social sites like Facebook and MySpace, this free-hand design tool was going to be the haps.
I remember standing on the back steps of my home telling the CTO that the decisions we made regarding usability and positioning were billion dollar decisions. Well, we burned through $10M and I’m still on those steps. I do love those steps, by the way.
What came out of this 2 year education was the realization that I’m an engineer whisperer. The CTO heard me, understood me, but he opted to go another route. He continued to build and add features and creep the product. He loved the rush of presenting to Robert Scoble and Erick Schnofeld and hearing “coooool.” Though I failed him, our CEO and investors, I learned that not all engineers can be whispered. And probably shouldn’t be. VCs know what I’m talking about. Peace!
Tags: creeping the product, cto, drag and drop web publishing, engineer whisperer, Erick schonfeld, geekus, robert scoble, vcs, venture capitalists, whats the idea, whatstheidea, zude, zude.com
I was talking with some entrepreneurs yesterday who have a great product. It shows well when demoed, people who buy it love it and the product has great sales opportunity through both push (channel) and pull (consumer demand) marketing.
We’re discussing targeting and I am using the bull’s eye metaphor with the whole radiating concentric circle schpeel. The inner ring is the most important target, the second target more populous and very influential, the third circle important, but more expensive to reach, etc. Nod, nod. I’m riffing on each target and getting pumped knowing there are lots of ways to covey and convince, landing big arrows in each target ring. The guys are feeling me.
I know I can fix the product Is-Does because the name is so descriptive. It’s a touch misleading but still kills the competition. The product fills a need in every home though only purchased every few years. No brand has top-of-mind awareness. And with the economy what it is, the do-it-yourselfer (DIY) crowd is looking for the solution in what Google Insights for Search calls breakout fashion. “We know, we know.”
With a good “Is-Does” and descriptive name all that is needed is a strong brand idea that speaks to each ring of the target. To get to that idea I need to spend enough time with each ring understanding their care-abouts, concerns, how they derive pride and a few other things. All that goes into the “What’s the Idea” stock pot ready for the boil down. This is brand planning product development. Will it happen with my entrepreneurs? Will they invest in an idea? Stay tuned.
Tags: brand idea, Brand Planning, brand planning process, DIY, Entrepreneurs, google insights, Is-Does, marketing, Target, whats the idea, whatstheidea