poster vs. paster

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I don’t like being a brand commentator, sitting on the sidelines sharing what’s wrong with brands, without offering something positive. And I feel that way with Yahoo! As a brand consultant, people hire me to help create brand strategy. Were Yahoo! to hire me, here’s what I’d do. (Earlier in the month I wrote about What’s The Idea? process which covers Discovery, Fermentation and Boil Down. Here’s how I’d handle Discovery.

I was watching cyber security conference video last week and a senior level Yahoo! Security officer was leading the talk. He was smart, witty, believable, and committed. He is what I call a Poster – someone willing to share and help the public learn. Sadly, this gentleman who has since moved on to a big job at Facebook, was stowed away at corporate not seeing the public light of day. With Yahoo!, often all we get as the viewing, investing and using public, is Marissa Meyer playing offense and defense. Mostly from a stage.

I suspect there are scores of people like this security office at Yahoo! and these are the people I would speak to in Discovery. These are the body organs that drive a brand. That fuel the brain. That feed the mouth.

At Yahoo! we’ve been getting a modicum of brain and a lot of mouth. A good brand discovery would help go all deep dish on the company.




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I saw Jonah Peretti speak at a social media conference a year ago and though I had heard of BuzzFeed was not aware it was his baby. He co-founded the Huff Post, by the way. Mr. Peretti is a didge native and gets the whole Poster Vs. Paster thing.  His content is king school is the approach I believe Yahoo and AOL need to jump their sites forward.  AOL bought some serious properties to make me think they were on the right path, but fumbled them and weren’t able to jump on the ball.   Yahoo didn’t even try, it seemed.

Mr. Peretti has two marvelous quotes in today’s New York Times – quotes that media properties in the digital world should heed:

“There is nothing more viral than news that no one else has.”  

And “News is the killer app and does not depend on search optimization.”

The common denominator here is news.  Not everything is news. That’s why there is SEO. But as we hunt and peck our way to site traffic gains, we need to think about news. And what is new. 

Today in marketing and advertising, 90% of everything is old. Perhaps served up with a new color, a new flavor, a new voice – but  old it is.  As Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg infuse our digital worlds with more and more marketing and crowd noise, as the buzz gets louder as something akin to a scene out of The Hunger Games, it would be smart for marketers to be chase new. Think new. And sell new. Peace.

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