Tuesday, March 31, 2009

out to lunch : mastercard

When neither your brand manager, ad agency or media agency recognise that - in your dumb press ad in today's Metro - 'Britain' does not mean 'England'...WORTHLESS.

Ok, lip-service paid to the Welsh, but that's all it is...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

we're in a viral!

Not much to say other than this is total subversive genius.

the average person...

Leonardo Da Vinci describes the average person as one who “looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking'

Pretty much the definition of mediocrity.

As opposed to the outstanding boogie-tastic person who sees the possibility in everything, feels deep in their soul, walks Spanish down the hall, eats, breathes and drinks-in everything life and asks themselves 'is the world a better place because I opened my mouth and spoke.'

Ask yourself every day which one you are going to be.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

garden of tweetdom - the origins of twitter

Genius from Marcus, as premiered at the Garden of Tweetdom last month.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

permission marketing revisited

I enjoyed this thought provoking aricle; Why Advertising Is Failing On The Internet - by Eric Clemons, on techcrunch this week.
'Pushing a message at a potential customer when it has not been requested and when the consumer is in the midst of something else on the net, will fail as a major revenue source for most internet sites. This is particularly true when the consumer knows that the sponsor of the ad has paid to have this information, which was verified by no one, thrust at him.'

Clemons argues that advertising fails for 3 main reasons:

1. Consumers do not trust advertising
He quotes from Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational - a firm fave at Boat HQ...
'messages attributed to a commercial source have much lower credibility and much lower impact on the perception of product quality than the same message attributed to [non-ad sources].

Neilson's assertion that 78% of us trust peer recommendations above all other media backs this up. I use that chart in just about every presentation.

2. Consumers do not want to view advertising
I'll come back to this point in a minute.

3. And mostly consumers do not need advertising
No arguments there.

As it goes, Ive been re-reading Seth Godin's Permission Marketing in the last week or so while developing some ideas for a client eCRM programme and these two strands seem to intertwine.

To recap on Seth's premise, and I paraphrase...

The effectiveness of marketing directly corresponds to the level of permission the customer has given to receive the communication.
The level of permission we have - Combined with knowledge of customer and relevance of messaging - allows us to deliver 'anticipated, personal and relevant' messages to people who 'actually want to receive them.'

We don't start by asking for sales at first connection. We earn the right, over time, by developing our knowledge of the customer and increasing the relevance of our communication.

3 Steps to leverage permission
1. Offer the customer an incentive/reward to opt-in
2. Using the attention offered by the customer, inform about your products/service and build a relationship.
3. Over time, leverage the permission to influence customer behavior.

One of the key benefits of a permission approach is the low cost of getting information to the people who want to receive it. Email, RSS and social platforms mean we can treat customers as individuals, and it means we can let them choose what they receive and in which format.

It is more effective because the person is more receptive to marketing that they have chosen to participate with and more cost-efficient because the prospect has already identified themselves, and the data we have tells us know which level of permission we have to talk to them.

note: see Clemens' point above about 'push'.

Seth's Five Levels of Permission Marketing

1- Intravenous.
This is the ultimate level of permission. The brand who has this level of permission can make buying decisions on behalf of the customer.

2. - Personal relationships
When we have a personal relationship, we have an ongoing dialogue. We have permission to ask more personal questions, recommend other products, even offer products or services on ‘approval’

3. - Loyalty/Points.
Air-miles and Nectar points are examples of this level of permission People opt-in to these programs because of the benefits to them. They offer their personal data to allow us track their purchase history and to send them related offers and information.

4. - Brand trust.
This is the level of trust that traditional marketing aspires to. Brand trust is fickle however, and is hard to measure. You can use brand trust to create brand extensions, or cross sell other products.

5 . - Situation.
This is the most basic form of permission. A customer has initiated an interaction by purchasing a product or making an enquiry. Employees who deal with customers and prospects are the tool to use for situational permission eg ‘Do you want fries with that?’.

I've switched points 2 and 3. Since 1999 when Permission Marketing was first published I think the developments of the social web etc validates moving Personal relationships up the ladder.

So, in a Permission based programme every contact with the prospective customer, should seek to move them one step further up the ‘permission’ ladder.

In many of the subsequent writings following the publication of PM it has been alluded to that their still requires that first 'interruption' to kick start the journey up the permission ladder. Generally that would be the role of some form of advertising.
It does not have to be in the form of an interruption though.

Going back to Clemons' statement that 'Consumers do not want to view advertising' I would argue that this is potentially a bit bold.
Advertising that someone has chosen to view (or participate with) is then permission based. It's how that advertising is distributed that is key.

And as Uncle Bert says: doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result - is insanity.

Friday, March 20, 2009

reasons to join

Oasis singer Liam Gallagher has launched his own line of clothing via his new company Pretty Green. Nothing particularly remarkable about that, although this kind of brand extention is more common in the hip-hop world rather than UK lad (or is it dad?) rock.

What caught my eye on the home page of the site was underneath the sign-up option was another link 'reasons to join'.

Reasons to join.

Members get to comment on Liam's blog, have their questions answered via video and of course get first dibs on the product before anyone else.

Connect with fans + Reason to Buy = Business model.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but I wasn't on that particular job.

It is probably the best book about football i've read, here's hoping the movie lives up to it.

If the trailer is anything to go by the answer looks like a yes.

The Damned United tells the story of legend Brian Clough's short but eventful spell at the helm of Leeds Utd (at the time, the most hated team in England - ouside of Leeds) in the 1970's. Starring Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, and Jim Broadbent, the film is on release from March 27th.

There's a Facebook page with some choice Cloughie-isms and a few pictures too.

Friday, March 13, 2009

SMEBS alert: Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market

The latest in snake oil douche-lit for prospective twitter-spammers.
Just by the title you kinda know where this is going.

'Joel Comm is the leading social media expert to explain the fundamentals of Twitter in an easy-to-follow format.'

Never heard of him.

The foreword is written by veteran of 115 tweets, Tony Robbins

Thursday, March 12, 2009

unavoidable media!

Jeez. These media agencies and media owners (aka the axis of evil) never tire in their endless quest to INTERRUPT and ANNOY ME when I'm trying to get on with my life and FLEECE MY CLIENTS with bullshit measurement like 'millions of..' 'eyeballs' and 'impressions' etc in order that they buy into this bollocks.

'You can't go over it, you can't go under it, you can't go around it, you have to go throught it' FFS!

I honestly thought this was a joke until I witnessed it for real at Waterloo Station this morning.

Go on, chuck your money down the drain.

Mick Jones: the Rock & Roll Public Library

Just been pinged this. Mick Jones, of the Clash, BAD and latterly producer of the Libertines, is exhibiting all the 'paraphernalia of performance and marketing materials of the bands he has worked with. This archive sits alongside a parallel general collection of books, magazines, videos, ephemera, toys and games which mark out his life, times, and influences.'

The 79-82 period of the Clash featured some of the finest hats in rock'n'roll history.
This will be of particular interest...

The exhibition is titled 'Mick Jones: The Rock & Roll Public Library' and runs for a month from 18th March at Chelsea Space, part of the Chelsea College of Art and Design over in SW1.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

anarchy in the uk

I think it was Billy Bragg, the bard of Barking, who famously noted that: if everyone who claims to have seen the Sex Pistols perform in 1976 actually had seen them, they would have needed to have sold out Wembley Stadium for 7 nights on the trot rather than a dozen or so nights in Soho strip clubs, various art colleges, the screen on islington green and a couple of pubs in Dunstable and St Albans.

So follows the story of the 60 or so souls - who braved the wilds of a drab Southwark evening on Monday to huddle in the upstairs lounge of a Borough market bar - as they witnessed the first official live tweet reading 'the garden of tweetdom' by Marcus Brown.

As the story weaves itself into the fabric of social media [mess is] lore, our grandchildren will ask us to replay the mystical night in history as we happily relive; the first airing of the full unedited SMEBS documentary, the reading of the tweets of audience members including @will_humphrey and @johndodds. The megaphone (for twitter broadcasting irony effect), ipod singing and 'ein prosit' interludes.

Where were you on that day in history?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

not dark yet...

Had to have a wry chuckle at an article on Brand Rebublic that was pinged round the office this week.

Titled 'Personalised DM significantly more likely to succeed' the article claims
'The majority of consumers are between five and ten times more likely to respond to properly personalised marketing offers compared to [superficially personalised] communications..'

According to direct marketing agency GI Direct, 'more than 70% of UK adults take more notice of mail that is aimed specifically and accurately at them'

Apparently their research gave "hard evidence of the critical importance of targeted direct marketing...[Marketers need to] examine the level of personalisation applied in their direct marketing campaigns, in order to ensure, at the least, they are matching competitor standards, and at best exceeding the market norm in order to improve campaign responsiveness and subsequent sales."

Nice try but spectacularly missing the point - and to set mediocrity (match competitor standards) as a benchmark is mildly depressing.

Personalisation is good but without PERMISSION it means nothing. The article fails to recognise this, and this is the big problem that direct marketing - whether on or offline - is still struggling to address after all this time.

If the communication is unsolicited it is SPAM. And what's more - if it's too personalised (but still unsolicited) its CREEPY SPAM.

Why am I getting my knickers in a twist? Here's a laugh for you.

In the last month or so Ive recieved 3 mailshots, from different companies to my home address, personalised to a degree (ie my name, and they know my age) for fucking MOBILITY SCOOTERS. Yes, the things old people drive round the supermarket.

I'm (just) over 40 so according to 'demographics' and 'specific and accurate targeting' I'm on my last legs and will shorly be road-raging round Sainsbury's, presumably looking for food that can be taken with a straw.

Total fail, based on broad assumptions, flaky research and ignorant speculation all dressed up as personalisation. Zero relevance unfortunately and another waste of paper.

Looking forward to the next mailshot for false teeth, hearing aids and zimmer frames.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Marks and Spencer launch twitter utility innovation

UK high street giant Marks and Spencer are beta testing a 3D real-world ‘desktop’ twitter robot utility – known as ‘the tweeting chick’.

The desk robot’s revolutionary voice recognition audio nanotechnology - housed in a deceptive fluffy yellow ‘chick’ casing - allows the device, once pre-loaded with the users twitter account and pre programmed tweet-active keywords, to record and auto-post 'tweetable' nuggets from ‘real world conversations’ thus ensuring off the cuff tweet-worthy remarks are not lost into the ether.

The device is now available in public beta mode as an ‘add-on’ from the checkouts at participating M&S outlets.

In an unlikely twist, Guy Kawasaki was not available for comment at the time of going to press.

Madras Rubber Factory

This fictional album cover randomiser project is a bit of a lark. I was tagged on facebook for this project but thought it might be fun to spin over onto this blog and the related 'sphere.

To create your fictional album:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “Random Article... Read More”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 - Post it on your blog with this text in the tags 'albumcover' and also tag the friends you want to join in (also link to this post if you like, that way I can track 'em and compile - also will give me some much needed technorati juice)

I'm tagging Neil, Sam, Will, Joe, Stan, Jon and Jonathan.