Comms planning

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A number of years ago, I came up with a comms planning notion called Twitchpoint Planning, the basis of which was that people use multiple devices when researching and gathering information; information that will ultimately result in a sale. Some called this customer journey exercise. I honed it toward more of a digital exercise. A twitch, I reasoned, was a move from one device to another. (The Internet of Things is going to have an impact here, fo’ shizzle.)

The other day I was looking at What’s The Idea? blog metrics on Google Analytics and lo and behold did I see a Beta test for what Google calls “Cross Device” measures.  Sub-topics include: Device Overlap, Device Paths, Channels and Acquisition Device. Talk about proof of concept!  When I began thinking about Twitchpoint Planning I shared the preso with Joshua Spanier, senior marketing director Google Media. He registered a few degrees above lukewarm.

Cause and effect? Who knew. Psychic unity? Probably. Either way, bravo Google. You will make millions. And the planners will make thousand. For the marketers…the sky’s the limit.



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I was on the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach this past weekend and came across this little dispensing display. It was sampled SPF 30 sun screen by Brightguard.

“In Situ” marketing is an exciting new addition to the new advertising arsenal.  Placing ads or doing sampling in a places of product or service impact is the best form of marketing.

On the boardwalk at Rockaway beach, there are a number of food pavilions. A good number offer healthier alternative foods.  (I had the most amazing best veggie burger there.)  Lots of smoothies, watermelon drinks, avocado toast with virgin olive oil on grain bread — suffice it to say, people who like healthy go to these eateries on the beach. This would be a good place for an ad placement for say a cold pressed juice company.

The In Situ ad placement approach is not about reach and frequency, it’s about mindset intent.  In Situ is a multiplier for effectiveness. A fish where the fish are approach.

If you want to dial up your comms planning and media results smart to think In Situ,






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I was riding my bike yesterday and noticed the name on the handlebars grips, the same name as a sign I pass daily on the fence of a marine store: Yeti.  The signage got me thinking about media placement and how it might be supercharged by placing logos on things we love to do and places we love to go. This intuitively happen anyway to a degree. Smith sunglasses at the ski resorts. Bunger Surfboards near the beach.  We might call this point-of-use branding, as opposed to point-of sale, where one buys the goods.

But what about just putting your logo near favorite places?  Parlay the positive feelings one has for a place or situation and attach them to your brand. Placing Coke ads where a consumer might need refreshment is certainly smart and an example of point-of-use. But how about placing a Coke logo near Dominic’s restaurant on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx or atop the Jupiter Bowl in Park City, Utah?

Brand where your customers and prospects are positively Zenned out.  Peace.



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Just as Wyoming is transitioning from a coal mining state to a wind farming state, so will change the advertising business. I was one of the first people who poo-pooed the death of the TV Advertising commercial. When HubSpot came out proselytizing inbound marketing would replace advertising, I giggled. It wasn’t too much longer that they were investing in TV ads themselves to build business.  But conversely, back in the 90s, I asked Bob Cohen “Where are the online spending predictions?” His answer? “Too small to track at this time.” Bob was a McCann employee and the world’s leading ad spending economist.

The not so simple fact is advertising has been change irrevocably by online. And by the algorithm. Putting active queries into the marketing mix has up-ended everything. I’m not exactly sure what the 21st century ad unit of choice is but it will be somewhere between a video ad and a data-driven delivery system. And Google will not hold on to all the business the way it has today.  As Pearl Jam says “It’s evolution, baby.”

So we must begin to plan and ready ourselves for the future.  I’ve been writing and getting some traction around the comms planning tool Twitch Point Planning. I’d love to work with a smart brand to develop a Twitch Point program. It would be merely a step but as a mentor of mine once said “The idea to have an idea is sometimes more important than the idea itself.”

Let’s go! Peace.           


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Avoidance Planning.

Readers know I’m an advocate of Twitch Point Planning; a twitch being is a media move from one online device to another. Typically in search of clarification. Under closer inspection, I’m willing to expand the definition of a twitch to include a move from the real world to a device, e.g. “Who was the lead actress in Vampire Diaries, with the funny name?” Twitches can also happen on the same device, a la “How do you spell “hor d’oeuvres?”, a twitch while writing on a laptop to a Google search.  Twitch Point Planning is a comms planning rigor that ask your to understand, map and manipulate a consumer closer to a sale by interrupting twitches with value brand related content.

This post is not about Twitch Point Planning. It’s about Avoidance Planning. A way to reach consumers when they’re avoiding typical media plays. For instance, I couldn’t read the sports section yesterday or today after the Mets loss. I watched the game and there wasn’t anything anyone could say about it to console me. I also stayed away from sports talk radio. And may for another day. My Mets mind has shut down.

A friend, Cory Treffiletti, started an avoidance planning group a number of years ago on Facebook called, “After Pearl Jam Tour Depression.” Cory gets it.

To properly take marketing advantage of avoidance behavior, you need to figure out a secondary or replacement behavior. Most likely this is an experiential marketing undertaking. What’s the opposite of a World Series celebration parade? How to you deal with a lost election? A poor health diagnosis? How does a marketer comfort consumers and show empathy? The answer: avoidance planning.

Tink about it, as my Norwegian aunt would have said. Peace.

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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?




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