twitch point planning

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Yesterday while driving to work I found myself singing the Mavis Discount Tire song with the radio.  Later I heard the familiar voice of the Winthrop University Hospital announcer. My friends Mike Welch and Jack Schultheis handle that advertising, but even so, I immediately knew it was Winthrop from the music and voice.

Radio is still a powerful ad medium.  It’s a unique way, at a reasonable cost, to condition consumers to listen, associate and remember. When working on North Shore-LIJ Health System years ago, I used lots of radio to extent the TV work.  It worked brilliantly.

But while singing the Mavis Discount Tire radio song I wondered if it was a reason to buy?

I reckoned consciously I knew the price is right, thanks to the name, but with the web and search so prevalent is name awareness enough to tip the scales?  Has the ability to simply slip a phone from my pocket and say “best tire prices near me” changed the formula for advertising?   

Search changes everything in marketing. The first page web experience is critical. We “twitch to buy” today. Radio needs to recognize and account for this.

My kids are in their twenties. Both have two phones. When they sing the discount tire song are they Google searching for other tire stores? You bet they are.

Peace.

 

 

 

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Innovation in product and service marketing has redistributed wealth for ages. Yet one area where innovation has completely stagnated is messaging. The ads and sales copy developed in the 1880s by Lord and Thomas are the same as today.  Words like “sale, quality, buy, and new” were commonly used then and now.

Why can’t we innovate the message? Sure, we can sing it, animate it, give it life with video. And tomorrow we’ll add more dimension and experiential verve with virtual reality.  But the real innovation in messaging will not be in copy, art or delivery but in how we craft behavioral cognition.  Rather than tell someone what to do, we need to help them conclude they want to do it. Make if feel more like their choice. Facilitate and stimulate the behavior.

The old AIDA principle of selling: awareness, interest, desire and action is still a valid construct. Yet most messaging today concerns itself only with the last step action.  Innovations like Twitch Point Planning and other customer journey approaches account for all steps to a sale. Let’s court our consumers appropriately.

Peace.

 

 

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I have decided to work on the What’s The Idea? website, expanding it to include a number of offerings, real and in Beta. Here’s a list of the first few offerings to be included — some of which are also memes on the web.

Return on Strategy (ROS). Unlike return on investment where expenditures on tactical marketing dollars or project dollars are measured, return on strategy links revenue and value to strategy.  With ROS, attitudes, perceptions and dispositions are weighed against behaviors and sales to determine drivers of market success.

Brand Strategy Tarot Cards. In the brand strategy tarot card reading, client companies come to the meeting with 5 pieces of content.  Serially and in real time each piece of content is turned over and read.  Learnings and gleanings are shared with the marketing team until all five pieces are revealed. The reading ends with a summary of brand strategy and a view into the brand future.

Brand Strategy Workshop. This three part workshop walks attendees through the key stages of the What’s The Idea? brand strategy development framework. This hands on, participatory workshop allows attendees to more fully understand brand strategy by experiencing the discovery, boil down and synthesis process that results in powerful brand ideas.

Posters Vs. Pasters. Born out of social media research, Posters vs. Pasters is a quick-draw research tool used to arrive at consumer and market insights. It is a wonderful early stage brand planning discovery tool. At last count the market was make up of 92% Pasters, 8% Posters.

Twitch Point Planning.  A Twitch Point is a media moment during which a consumer changes his or her media consumption in search of clarification or greater meaning. Often changing devices or apps. Understanding, mapping and manipulating these twitch points in a way that moves users closer to a sale is the goal of Twitch Point Planning. Think customer journey with real weigh points.

Stay tuned. And all inquiries are welcome.

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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I was reading today how media companies are obsessed with reaching Millennials through TV advertising. Anyone with a Millennial in the family knows they’re multitaskers.  Millennials are the reason Twitch Point Planning was developed.  (Twitches are media moments when one switches media or device in search of more information. Twitch Point Planning is a communication planning technique where you “understand, map and manipulate” consumers closer to a sale.)

This is Upfront Week — where media companies showcase new shows trying to sell ad time before the season begins. It got me thinking about Twitch Point Planning again. For proper utilization of Twitch Point Planning with TV you have to anticipate what audiences will do while watching a particular show. Let’s say you are watching a classic airing of the movie Bullet, what do you think happens on Google when the car chase scene takes place? Como se dice “Mustang?” Or what happens when Claire Underwood is using her rowing machine? “Gym membership? Yoga pants?”

Real-time Twitch intercepts during airings of TV shows are big sales opportunities.  Google understands this, but hasn’t done anything with it. (Yet.) Media companies and ad agencies need to get on board. But to do so they will actually have to watch the shows and plot the potential twitches. It’s a cross medium play, but it’s the way Millennials work.

It’s a big revenue opportunity for everyone.

Peace.

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I was reading today how media companies are obsessed with reaching Millennials through TV advertising. Anyone with a Millennial in the family knows they’re multitaskers.  Millennials are the reason Twitch Point Planning was developed.  (Twitches are media moments when one switches media or device in search of more information. Twitch Point Planning is a communication planning technique where you “understand, map and manipulate” consumers closer to a sale.)

This is Upfront Week — where media companies showcase new shows trying to sell ad time before the season begins. It got me thinking about Twitch Point Planning again. For proper utilization of Twitch Point Planning with TV you have to anticipate what audiences will do while watching a particular show. Let’s say you are watching a classic airing of the movie Bullet, what do you think happens on Google when the car chase scene takes place? Como se dice “Mustang?” Or what happens when Claire Underwood is using her rowing machine? “Gym membership? Yoga pants?”

Real-time Twitch intercepts during airings of TV shows are big sales opportunities.  Google understands this, but hasn’t done anything with it. (Yet.) Media companies and ad agencies need to get on board. But to do so they will actually have to watch the shows and plot the potential twitches. It’s a cross medium play, but it’s the way Millennials work.

It’s a big revenue opportunity for everyone.     

Peace.

 

 

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I feel like a geezer when telling people I still read books on my Kindle.  As if it’s an old technology. Why not read on your tablet or phone people may ask? Well, I like the form factor. When my original Kindle seized up I wondered if I’d like the swipe feature over my click buttons.  The jury is still out but I’m getting used to it. The Kindle Paperwhite is back lit and that’s very cool – so agrees the wifus as I read in bed.  

kindle oasisKindle has just released the Oasis. As a defense against people who like to read on more multipurpose devices, Amazon logics the sell by saying the devise is only for reading – no distractions. No email, no texting. Just unfettered Henning Mankel. I love it. (Please don’t go all Airplane mode on me.)

Two trends I often post about are media “Twitch Points” and “Technology Backlash.” A twitch point is a media moment when one switches devices or media in search of more information or clarification. Twitching is easier on one device, but it’s not really multitasking, it’s serial. As for technology backlash, where people just want to disconnect and go au naturel, that is still a thing…even if we tweet about it. The Kindle Oasis, which is wonderfully named by the way, supports the latter trend and allows for the former, but in a more disconnected way.

Anyway, I love that Amazon gets us and our weird contradictions. Good job women and men of the jungle. Good job.

Peace.     

 

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A couple of years ago I posted a presentation on SlideShare on something I called Twitch Point Planning. My first presentation of Twitch Point Planning was to Karen Kovacs, publisher of People Magazine.  One of my last presentations was to Joshua Spanier, Google’s Marketing Director of Global Media. These meetings sandwiched a number of others with business titans, one of which, George Gallate, suggested “Get the URL.”

Twitch Point Planning is a comms planning rigor that takes advantage of media “twitches,” moments in time when a person moves from one medium to another in search of information or clarification. By “understanding, mapping and manipulating people closer to a sale” via these twitches, we  create new levels of accountability, learning and success…the theory goes. 

Here’s is a quote from today’s New York Times, by Google’s Paul Muret, VP for Display, Video and Analytics:

“Mobile is about moments, shorter and more fragmented. It’s important we string these together. We need to understand the desires of consumers in each point in time to understand their context and intent.”   

Google rang up $19B in the 4th quarter and now is looking to expand that number by launching a new product called Analytics 360 — a tool that looks to take advantage of cross screen media twitching.  I suspect they’ll make more billions and do so by automating the process.  But me thinks the human element is still a necessary component of this process. Let’s see.

All aboard!!!!

Peace.

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Experience is hot marketing word these days. It is rooted me thinks in user experience (UX), which started in the early days of the web when sites were hard to navigate and not intuitive. Ad and digital agencies caught on to experience a few years later as a way to create new buildables (content) and garner planning fees It didn’t hurt that “customer journey” and “communications planning” were smart ideas to begin with.

Product experience, some will have you believe, starts with communications and ends with the after-sale. The experience is everything in between. A lot of product experience buildables – designed to follow the AIDA principle: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action — are online and in-store. But product gesture is different.

Product gesture is not so much about the product journey and surround as it is the “consuming experience.” (See my last blog post.) A product gesture is the olfactory response that occurs when you drive by a Burger King. It’s why “flame broiled” is such a powerful brand asset of BK. For Coke, whose long standing brand idea is refreshment, the moment when your head snaps back after a full swig of a newly opened Coke is induced by the product gesture. Google’s product gesture occurs during search when your problem is solved, you smile and twitch to act.

Every product has a gesture. Man-made gestures like the Stella Artois pour and glass are distant seconds, but they are gestures nonetheless.

Find your product gesture and you will find marketing and branding success.

What is your product gesture?

 

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Fred Wilson VC from Union Square Partners and a blogging hero of mine was quoted today on AVC as saying “…it hasn’t been that easy for a seller to be creative on social networks. Posting a link to their shop on facebook, or tweeting or pinning their latest item is fine. But doing that over and over quickly gets boring for everyone.”

Social networks are template based mediums. You know what else is a template based media? Broadcast advertising: TV and radio. And they tend to suffer a similar fate. So how do advertising agents break the broadcast template? I think we try to make it twitch-able. (A twitch being a media move from one device to another in search of clarification.) Shazam is something that can do this. Twitter too. But no one has done a great, breakthrough job with these technologies in broadcast yet. It’s coming.

So what’s the Idea? Send me your thoughts (steve@whatstheidea.com) so we can break out of this broadcast boredom cycle.

Peace.

 

 

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