You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2014.
There isn’t any. There is very little art in keyword infested content. Writers who pepper their digital work with keywords so the algo can find it, aren’t writing they are data processing. Recruiters will tell you to make sure you have a list of keyword skills in your resume so the algo, at first pass (Who can read 200 resumes?) finds you. Similarly, web developers and SEO jockeys want lots of keywords on the homepage and primary layers to make sure your site rises to the top on Google. And content marketing writers, as grammatically correct as they are, know they’re being paid by the search not the word. So, where’s the art? Where’s the poetry? Where is that heart-felt, emotive story? In many cases it’s not even copy anymore, it’s search palaver.
Great writing, persuasive writing is an art. Look at all the best columnists, bloggers and vloggers — they didn’t rise to the top because of keywords. Their content was the marketing. What’s next, musical notes the tones of which are searchable? I loves me some G minor.
Tags: algo, content marketing, copywriting, digital copywriting, keyword marketing, keywords, search palaver, searchable music tones, seo, seo jockeys, the art of keywords, whats the idea, whatstheidea
The 4 Ps of marketing have always been sacrosanct. If you don’t take care of the Product, Price, Place and Promotion, you aren’t paying attention to the total marketing mix. You can certainly be successful without attending to all 4, but it won’t sustain. For the last 10 years I’ve had this gnawing feeling that the web has altered the 4Ps, but haven’t been able to put my finger on in. I’ve written how the web has collapsed the steps to a sale (awareness, interest, desire and action) into a single one-experience process — certainly a big change — but has it really changed the 4 Ps?
I was reading a Slideshare by Translation’s John Greene today on disruption in the music business and landed on a point about “transaction”…which gave me pause. Readers who know my “Twitch Point Planning” thesis, know twitches used properly, can lead to or be transactions. Communications planners know the value of the transaction. Is it possible that transaction can replace the Place P? Place being the channel, e.g., the retail store, mail order, ecomm website, mobile device? Or should transaction be added to the 4Ps?
As technology plays with place and pricing and makes purchases as convenient as a swipe, scan or click, the transaction may trump all other Ps. Are we as brand planners and comms planners thinking enough about the transaction? Thoughts me droogies?
Tags: 4ps, Brand Planning, Comms planning, communications planning, John Greens, slideshare, transactions in marketing, Translation LLC, twitch point planning, whats the idea, whatstheidea
A brand plan is an organizing principle for selling. The plan has a claim and three proof-of-claim planks. The claim, the heart of the plan, is something a product or company does well – a synopsis. It is also something the consumer wants or needs. Hopefully, the claim is pregnant with meaning and contextual. (At the Griffin Farley Beautiful Minds event last year, a claim developed by a team of tyro brand planners for CitiBikes was “bicycles with benefits,” a lovely pregnant claim.) Planks, on the other hand, are the proof areas that give consumers reasons to believe the claim. Also, they give employees and marketers content for their little elevator speeches. (Have you ever wondered why we need elevator speeches?)
B2B companies use salesforces to move their products and over the past decade there has been a proliferation of something called “solution selling.” Salesforces are trained to sell only after they’ve engaged prospects about their pain. Once the pain points are found, the seller can put his/her sales spiel together. (I like nothing more than to share my pain with complete strangers.) 80% plus of U.S. sales teams are solution selling these days. They believe it differentiates them. Hee hee.
With a brand plan “what the customer needs” has already been articulated. With a brand plan “what the product is good at” is already understood and provable. With a brand plan and the proper marketing and promotion, “consumers already are predisposed toward the claim and proof” because it has been advertised and promoted. Sales training that is based upon a strategy endemic to the product or service and based upon a consumer need is much stronger than solution selling out of a book. A sales trainer from one company that moves to another company can change the logo at the top of the presentation and make a nice living. That should tell you something.
Powerful, organized selling is based upon a brand plan — not someone’s pain. Peace.
PS. To see examples of brand plans mail email@example.com
Tags: bicycles with benefits, bicycles with benefots, bikes with benefits, brand plan vs solution selling, brand planners, Brand Strategy, Citibikes, Griffin Farley beautiful minds, sales trainers, sales training, solution selling
I joke around that I make paper for a living. Paper strategies. To the creative people fall the exciting deliverables: the TV spots, magazine ads, websites and iPhone apps. Me? I just make the idea starters and the idea guard rails.
Good strategists, with their briefs, provide thought-provoking stim, context, and imagery to help the makers and doers create motivating selling schema. The paper containing said stim is two dimensional. Brand planners are great at bringing those two dimensions to life, yet there are still only two. I came across a new file format today called .STL. It stands for stereolithography or Standard Tessellation Language. It’s a format for 3D printing and one which, no doubt, we will be seeing a lot more of in the future.
This new format is one brand planners should use as inspiration. A format with an additional axis. I dimensionalize my paper strategies with a little playacting, voices, miming — anything to help the creative process along — but at the end of the day the paper is the paper and it sits on a desk or inside a Mac. We need a new format. Any idea?
Tags: .STL, 3d printing, 3D printing formats, brand brief formats, branding, Stl lanquage, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Thanks to its car ignition problems, General Motors is recalling 29 million automobiles worldwide. If you’ve ever scanned the price of an auto repair you know the labor is what gets you, not the parts – so you can imagine how that number is going to hit the GM bottom line. Like a 29 million pound tank. GM’s most profitable cars are its huge SUVs. It is reported that a $60,000 Suburban provides $10k in profit while an energy efficient Chevy Cruz yields $1,500 in profit. We all know which car is better for mother earth, but GM, which has the power to move the market away from gas guzzling, likely won’t. Too much to lose. GM’s share of the SUV market is now up to 70%. (Seen a picture of the smog in China lately?)
Ford’s new aluminum body F-150 pick-up truck is a step in the right direction. SUV loving Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat is bracketing its large car and truck sales with some much better looking Fiat 500s…very cool and efficient cars of the future. My Prius has over 165,000 miles on it, saving me about $9,000 in gas and cutting pounds of carbon into the atmosphere.
Here’s the point. GM, which is about as American and Apple you know what, continues to lose its way. The corporation needs a strategy and a leader. A leader with beyond the dashboard vision. The old gray mare is not too big to fail. Not anymore. American’s love our metal, but we love our amber waves of grain better. Peace.
Tags: beyond the dashboard, chevy cruz, F-150, ford, general motors, prius, SUV market 2014, whats the idea, whatstheidea
David Carr wrote a piece in the NYT today talking about a juggernaut taking over print. The proposed takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox of Time Warner Inc. has no print component. Multimedia is the juggernaut and print the dog yapping at the tires.
I was in a meeting last week with some creative people and we were talking about websites. Last year Brian Solis of the Altimeter Group when talking about websites said “It’s 2013, how come they are so bad?” I propose they’re bad because we are still using a print paradigm to create them. Writers, art directors, and template jockeys are laying out the web experience. What content do we stuff above the fold? What images best reflect our mission? Which type of slide show? Where is the call to action? How many navigational elements on each page? Seems like a clickable print medium to me.
Where’s the surprise? Does the experience have a scripted beginning, middle and end? How do we surface conflict? These are the things of multimedia – of transmedia. I love print and the written word – done well there is story, richness and spark. But many websites today are 80% format, art and copy. Information. Advice. And self-aggrandizement.
Branded utility was a big thing a couple of years ago. Story and narrative are the things today. By combining these two approaches we should get beyond the print-centric view of website design. Peace.
Tags: Brand Strategy, branded utility, brian solis, David Carr, NY Times, Rupert Murdoch 21st century fox, the altimeter group, time warner, transmedia, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Heineken Light is launching a new ad campaign. All the stories will be about new spokesman Neil Patrick Harris, Wieden+Kennedy and the advertising poking fun at the fact that one can’t drink beer on a TV commercial. Mr. Harris drinks and slurps off camera.
According to Heineken USA CMO Nuno Teles “Everything in marketing should start with a consumer insight.” The one he identified to Stuart Elliott of the NY Times was that “40% of 21-27 year old consumers desire a light beer with a full taste.” Some quick research suggests there are 25 million 18-24 year olds in the US, so let’s say there are about the same number of 21-27 year olds. Forty percent of that number is 10M. In a country of 300M, that leaves a lot of beer on the table. But I agree that taste for a premium light makes sense. The fact that Barney from “How I met your mother” craves Heineken Light on a TV commercial, though, doesn’t quite set the “taste” hook for me. I’m not sure if he says anything about the new Cascade Hops, but I surely hope so.
Behavioral brand planners will ask how do we get consumers to change beer brands? The answer is, get them to try it and like it. Also, give them a reason to expect to like it. Not sure drinking what Barney drinks is that reason. Peace!
P.S. Wieden knows what they are doing and they know advertising, so let’s wait until the barrel counts start coming in. This is just my expectation of success.
Tags: barney, behavior planners, behavioral brand planners, cascade hops, heineken light, how I met your mother, Nuno teles, NY Times, stuart Elliott, whats the idea, whatstheidea, wieden and kennedy, wieden+kennedy