Marketing & Branding: Dirty Little Secrets

Market/Article 

Marketing & Branding: Dirty Little Secrets

September 25, 2009

[column]

Chris Brogan

Co-author of The New York Times’ bestseller Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. @chrisbrogan on Twitter.

What’s the best marketing campaign out there right now?

[The best marketing] is coming from people who understand how to obtain awareness, transform it into attention, from that earn some reputation, and hopefully convert that to trust. I love how small businesses are marketing. Check out the Roger Smith Hotel in New York. They’re marketing the old-fashioned way: connecting to people where they are. They use @rshotel to start relationships every day and they convert several of those relationships into new LOYAL customers. Not just paying customers, but loyal brand evangelists. If that’s not a model to want to follow, I don’t know what is.

What’s one thing every marketer should know?

Be helpful. Table stakes to the new game is providing something that your prospects want, even if it doesn’t immediately convert to a sale. Be helpful. Create information. Create tools. Create whatever you can deliver that builds a relationship before the sale. That’s the game now.

What’s one campaign, successful or not, that’s worth studying?

[/column] [column]
Study how Dell is using Twitter @DellOutlet. It’s not a campaign, though. It’s a long-term relationship. They’ve owned the space, and if you’re a retail computer manufacturer, you MUST follow what they’ve done. Is it translatable to other businesses? Absolutely. And if you don’t want computers, study the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. How do rolling food vehicles gain a new life in the world of online communications? Doug Quint (co-owner) knows.

For you, which brand or product has no substitute?

I wish my answer wasn’t Apple. They’re so NOT customer friendly. They don’t do anything to please me with their service, and yet, I’m writing this response on my Macbook Pro. It’s the fourth Mac laptop I’ve bought in the last five years. I’ve bought three home computers from them, too. I have a bunch of iPods, an iPhone, and a bunch more gear. Apple delivers a top-level design, simple usability, and a lot of other features that let me say nice things about the products, even though I wish they’d get their human on.

Is digital marketing the wave of the future or just today’s in thing?

Everything went digital. We went digital. Humans are online in huge numbers. Facebook alone reports over 750,000 new users a day, most of them in the 30- to 60-year-old age frame.[/column]

[column] It’s a way to connect when there’s time or distance between us. I believe it’s here for the next few decades, in an ever-evolving form.

What’s the fastest way to kill a brand?

Killing a brand is easy. Go silent is one way. Just because we used to know you doesn’t mean you’ve got mindshare with us perpetually. In the new world of simulated ADD, we need you to be there. Don’t treat us like humans. Apple notwithstanding, we want to be a person and not a number. Lie to us. We don’t do a lot of reconciling once we catch you in a lie.

Anna Malmhake

Vice President Global Marketing, The Absolut Company
absolut.com

For you, which brand or product has no substitute?

A BMW. You can’t drive one without realizing that it has been made by people who take passionate and almost childlike delight in engineering. It’s steel and glass—but it is more gorgeous than any designer cashmere sweater.

What’s the fastest way to kill a brand?

Try to make it appeal to everyone, everywhere.
[/column]

[column]

What’s one thing every marketer should know?

That you can’t market a product well if you don’t love or at least like the people you are marketing to.

What’s your favorite website, blog or magazine and why?

stuffwhitepeoplelike.com
It is laugh-your-head-off funny—and then you realize you are laughing at yourself, so it is also a vaccination against pretentiousness.

Jeremy Gutsche

Founder of Trendhunter and author of Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change
trendhunter.com
@jeremygutsche

What’s the best marketing campaign out there right now?

My current favorite marketing strategy is that of Walmart. Recognizing that the economic downturn is bringing in new customers, Walmart changed its strategy to build new stores and is instead focused on upgrading and remodeling existing stores. The [/column]

[column]theory is that an improved store experience will create a positive first experience for their new customers, enabling the chain to retain these customers even when the economy turns around. Clever.

What’s the fastest way to kill a brand?

Boring products and a lack of reinvention. The current economic downturn has created the opportunity for brands to try new things and take risks that weren’t previously possible. The result is that we are seeing incumbents trying new things. At the same time, evolving consumer needs and budget constraints are causing consumers to try to substitute products and different brands. We are living in a time of change. Accordingly, it has never been more important to evolve.

What’s one thing every marketer should know?

The most important thing is to make a cultural connection with your target customer. With a cultural connection, you aren’t speaking “to” your customer; you are speaking “with” them. A cultural connection is the reason that people tattoo Harley Davidson on their arm, even though it is a corporate logo. But too often, we become obsessed with trying to be all things to all people or having a clever message that seems entertaining. Instead, we need to seek authenticity in making deep connections that make us simply irresistible to a small group of people.
[/column] [column]

For you, which brand or product has no substitute?

Harley Davidson. They’ve done such a good job of cultural marketing that despite their technological inferiority, any other bike just doesn’t seem quite right. It all stems from their focus on the lifestyle brand they’ve created. As one Harley exec put it, “What we sell is the ability for a 43-year-old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him.”

Is digital marketing the wave of the future or just today’s in thing?

The world of digital marketing will continue to be a major source of growth for a simple reason: It is still remarkably less expensive to advertise online. The CPM rates in magazines are astronomically more expensive than online. For example, a full-page ad in a major magazine might cost $20,000. Even if that ad was seen by 1,000,000 readers, you would need a given percentage to be looking for your type of product. Your number falls to 50,000. Then you need them to feel that the ad was interesting. Your number falls to 10,000. You need those people to take the next step of checking out your product online or in a store. How many would follow through? 1,000? 100? By comparison, that same $20,000 could be spent online to attract 200,000 people who were actually searching for the keywords related to your product. 200,000 > 100.
[/column]

[column]

Martin Lindstrom

One of Time magazine’s 2009 most influential people in the world and author of Buyology: The Truth & Lies About Why We Buy
martinlindstrom.com

What’s the fastest way to kill a brand?

To forget listening to the consumers’ reactions online. To let legal run the show, to create decisions by committee, to think that large budgets means great campaigns, to let research and tests run the show and to forget that marketers’ only reason for being is to follow their instinct.

For you, which brand or product has no substitute?

None. You could claim that Apple, Google, Hello Kitty or Harley Davidson have [no substitutes], but they do. The fact is that there’s always a competitor around the corner—and brand owners should be aware of this more than ever.

What’s one campaign—successful or not—that’s worth studying?

Obama’s.
[/column] [column]

What’s one thing every marketer should know?

That they no longer own the brand—the consumer does. So those days with brand manuals and two-year marketing plans are long gone.

What’s the best marketing campaign out there right now?

Let’s be honest. There’s no conventional “best marketing campaigns” out there. They’ve all been diluted, averaged out (by legal departments) and packed with special offers and 25 percent discount disclaimers. Those days where a campaign hit the conventional media and became talk of the town are dead. Instead “best marketing campaign” takes place online. Now, I’m not a big fan of this brand, in fact I’ve just moved on as their customer service is anything but what they claim, but their latest online campaigns are fantastic. I’m talking about T-mobile and their Sing-along Trafalgar Square—or their T-mobile dance “reality” ads—where they set up the public in various situations with dance and or song events. They’re great as they engage the public, they’re real and they’re truly viral. The only problem is that a brand in the future can’t survive talking the talk—they need to walk the walk—too.
[/column]

[column]

Is digital marketing the wave of the future or just today’s in thing?

I think the key issue is not digital marketing vs. conventional marketing but rather interactive communication vs. passive communication. The trend of tomorrow will be that the consumer will be in the driver seat of communication. I call this the MSP generation—Me Selling Proposition. The brands no longer have the power, the consumer does. The consumer today (more and more) has trust (more than the companies), i.e. consumers trust consumers more than brands. The consumer also has the message in their power, meaning more than 500,000 new blogs appear every day and every consumer has a TV station in their backyard, meaning they have access to the world via the internet.

Those three factors mean that the consumer has substantially more power than the brands, which is the reason why the share price of Domino’s Pizza dropped 9.7 percent in just one day due to a video upload from a consumer on YouTube. This very interactive MSP phenomena means that brands need to engage with consumers in a totally new way: a trend which is about to become a standard for all communication in the future—and not just an in thing.[/column]

Comments are closed.

Browse by Topic & Medium

view all in think
view all in market
view all in measure
view all articles
view all videos
view all podcasts