twitch point planning

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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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I love technology. I understand its transformative power but also its ability to alter the future tense. The future we can’t see. I say this so you won’t think me a geeze.  newspaper I was on train last week with some neighbors and we were talking about reading the news on iPads. The neighbors liked reading on their tablets. I am a fan of the paper paper. I’ve had this discussion before but never really thought about my side of the argument. Sure the paper paper uses natural resources. Sure you can bookmark and word-search on a tablet. The paper paper is unwieldy to some. But one thing you can do with the paper paper that you can’t with an electronic story is see a thousand words of the story in one huge folio view. With a broadsheet paper like The New York Times, I can go back to a piece of data or a person’s name without missing a beat. Muscle memory reminds me where on the page the content was, e.g., lower left, mid-right, previous page. That’s hard to do with a tablet. Tablets are so linear. Paper papers or a bit more for how people really read. Reading news and analysis is more chaotic. It’s more twitchy. (Google Fast Twitch Media.)

The reading experience is different using a paper paper. By tearing out passages or pages and leaving them in piles on my desk, in the bottom of my backpack or on my dresser, it reduces my footprint of digital notes, URLs, tags and logs…of which there are many. For me, the usability of the paper paper — crumbs, coffee spills, folding routines and all – provides a richer experience. A different experience. For me, a better experience. I think the paper paper is here to stay. #justme. Peace.

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Slopping claims.

I was listing to Jim Nance read an Insperity radio spot yesterday, something I’ve probably done 30 times this summer, and for the life of me I still don’t know what Insperity does. I really made an effort to listen yesterday and think they may provide business services, whatever that means. HR services. Maybe payroll, financial, but not really sure.

Recently, I sent an RFP out to a company with the word “benefits” in its name. Their positioning and brand problem was that they weren’t just a benefits company, they were also financial planners. Another company having a difficult time explaining what they did for a living. (Explaining their Is-Does.)  

Insperity’s tagline (I just twitched over to their website) is “Inspiring Business Performance.” That didn’t help. But more importantly, in the radio spot Insperity used the 4 worst words in all of advertising.  The most over-used words in copywriting. Four words that almost always identify a bad ad: “…and much, much more.”

The problem with these words is they are typically used after a long recitation of claims. And when you are slopping claims around, your listeners or readers get lost. So find a claim and prove it. And prove it. Don’t encumber it with other claims. It gets messy. It’s bad for branding. It’s bad for advertising. Do it much, much less. Peace.

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So now that the business questions are out of the way and brand plan is set (the sausage making clients aren’t particularly fond of) we can begin to make “stuff.” The best way to make stuff is to present it in the form of a marketing communications plan. The plan recaps and toplines what was learned during the 24 Questions and organizes strategies, targets, messages and tactics based upon the brand plan. In the Behind the Curtain workshop I will share a marketing communications plan — key deliverable #3 for marketing consulting clients.

After the marcom plan review I will probably show a slide with 5 or 6 planning tools and let the room decide which they want to hear about. The Is-Does is a simple tool, kind of like an elevator speech, that helps explain what a brand is and what it does. Posters Vs. Pasters is a reductionist social media segmentation intended to improve virality and engagement. Twitch Point Planning is a digital age communications planning tool, the object of which is to move customers closer to a sale. Brand Spanking is qualitative research construct develop to knock market leaders down a peg. The Fruit Cocktail Effect is what happens when you lose focus. And ROS, or return on strategy, is a quant approach to proving value beyond tactics. I will leave 20 minutes for Q & A and the workshop will be done. Looking forward to it.

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?

Peace!

 

 

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Twitch Point Planning is a communications planning process whereby a company understands, maps and manipulates consumers closer to a sale. How does one do that? On a device, with creative prompts, and smart motivating landing content.

A prospective client has a multi-million dollar business selling maintenance parts and equipment; everything from paper towels and generators to lock washers. Like Thomas’s Register, sales gained traction when they moved to a catalog business; providing easy access to skillions of parts, SKU numbers, pictures, sizes and discounts.

Along came the Web. Now the company has moved the catalog online, automating a good deal of the process. Online there are two default customer care tools: search and pop-up chat apps. A great many of visitors to a site, however, already know what they are after. They have a shopping list. But what of the remaining visitors who have a need but aren’t sure what they want? Customers for whom typing a lengthy description in a chat box is not optimal? They are more apt to go to a box store or a distributor for a talk with a SME (subject matter expert). Visitors who fall into this category are likely to twitch away. Buh-bye.

Here we need an app to keep them on the site. Not an app that asks why they are leaving, what we did wrong or, God forbid, provides a customer sat survey. Something that moves them closer to a sale. In their new book Multiscreen Marketing: 7 Things You Need to Know to Reach Your Consumers, Natasha Hritzuk and Kelly Jones, suggest start with the consumer not the technology. I’m certain with five well bracketed questions and a decision tree, a customer can be brought to the brink of a buying solution, even when they are not sure of a part name. And that is how we rewire the web for commerce. Understand, map and manipulate on your own site. Thoughts?

 

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Twitch Point Planning is a communications planning process whereby a company understands, maps and manipulates consumers closer to a sale. How does one do that?  On a devices, with creative prompts, and smart motivating landing content.

A prospective client has a multi-million dollar business selling maintenance parts and equipment; everything from paper towels and generators to lock washers. Like Thomas’s Register, sales gained traction when they moved to a catalog business; providing easy access to skillions of parts, SKU numbers, pictures, sizes and discounts.

Along came the Web. Now the company has moved the catalog online, automating a good deal of the process. Online there are two default customer care tools: search and pop-up chat apps. A great many of visitors to a site, however, already know what they are after. They have a shopping list. But what of the remaining visitors who have a need but aren’t sure what they want?  Customers for whom typing a lengthy description in a chat box is not optimal?  They are more apt to go to a box store or a distributor for a talk with a SME (subject matter expert). Visitors who fall into this category are likely to twitch away. Buh-bye.

Here we need an app to keep them on the site. Not an app that asks why they are leaving, what we did wrong or, God forbid, provides a customer sat survey. Something that moves them closer to a sale. In their new book Multiscreen Marketing: 7 Things You Need to Know to Reach Your Consumers, Natasha Hritzuk and Kelly Jones, suggest start with the consumer not the technology.  I’m certain with five well bracketed questions and a decision tree, a customer can be brought to the brink of a buying solution, even when they are not sure of a part name. And that is how we rewire the web for commerce. Understand, map and manipulate on your own site. Thoughts?

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There’s lots of talk these days about content strategy and content marketing. It’s a big practice and bigger business. In fact, data analysis tools supporting these efforts is may have surpassed the billion dollar mark. Yet for a business with so much cachet, it is surprising there is so little in the way of real, innovative social sharing on the topic.  I’m not talking about the “7 ways to increase belly fat (I mean) social media engagement” kind if posts – those are a dime a dozen.  I’m talking about innovative, doable, free suggestions.

Here’s one.  Every social media team should be testing one new hashtag a day. Those hashtags should adhere to the brand strategy (one claim, three proofs planks), of course.  This regiment will provide multiple learning moments for the content marketing people daily. Moreover, it will create a new discipline for brand adherence. The team can meet before the day begins to discuss the daily hashtag and also what worked and didn’t the previous day.

Every day you are not learning about your brand, is a day it lies fallow. Eyes off the blinking dashboard lights for a moment sirs and ladies, let’s feed the marketing beast with real time analysis and learning, e.g., “What in the news of the day made people twitch to our hashtag?” 

Stay tuned for more social tips. Or visit “Social Media Guard Rails.” Not a book.  

Peace. 

 

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I wrote earlier in the week about ad tracking application iSpot and how it will help marketers with Twitch Point Planning. Twitch Point Planning being a new transmedia planning tool that takes advantage of the twitchy behaviors consumers exhibit in today’s device-friendly, social media world.

Here’s an example of a twitch the Geico Insurance and The Martin Agency may or may not have designed into the famous Hump Day TV spots.  Lots of people like the Hump Day spots — the boisterous, roaming camel asking “Guess what day it is?”  This spot from the campaign has over 19M views on YouTube.  Do you know what day these spots are shared the most?  Wednesday.

ispot

Do consumers buy more Geico insurance on Wednesday? Maybe a bit more because the brand is top-of-mind, but my guess is this effort was not that strategic. Not strategic like Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day or BOGO (buy one get one) on a restaurant’s slowest day of the week.

The metrics, however, do show twitching behavior can be manipulated. And that’s the key learning. Find an on-brand idea that gets shared on a particular day of the week, and you have a new tool in the social arsenal. There are lots of twitchable opportunities for brands – they just have to have a goal and think like consumers. Peace!

 

 

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