Archives for posts with tag: campaign

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When companies design a new product, the first thing they do is evaluate what the competition has done.

When agencies try coming up with a new campaign, idea or initiative, the first thing they do is a thorough, competitive review.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Consuming? Checking on others: their emails, tweets and Facebook updates?

When you start out the day checking what others have done, you surrendered an important opportunity to start something completely new, something nobody ever thought about.

As a marketer, you need to come up with fresh ideas to new and old problems. Obsessively observing what others have done in the past won’t get you there.

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No, don’t expect big announcements that the big campaign is dead. Big campaigns will remain important for the foreseeable future but their effectiveness will decrease over time. Money won’t allow brands anymore to buy attention effectively, they need to adapt to the small, frequent, fine-grained patterns that characterize mobile and successful social implementations. For successful brands, these lightweight interactions will become natural as part of their social business, breaking down organizational and transactional boundaries, transforming into a more social and informal enterprise.

It will force brands to delegate more power to the edges, providing people the tools and insights they need, and implementing a sensible use of automation. When platforms are always on and customers expect a 24/7 response rate, brands need to find a balance between human interaction and automated responses.

Campaigns (bursts of activity with a beginning and an end) will remain an integral part of the marketing mix. The real challenge for the marketing community is to find a balance between lightweight interactions (small, frequent, ongoing, informal) and bold, planned bursts of activity. Creating a brand interaction that feels slow, fast, spiky and always-on at the same time.

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Everybody loves the Old Spice campaign. Including me. But I wish it was less of a campaign and more of an ongoing initiative.

Old Spice made a huge splash last year with their traditional and online video campaign. They deployed a perfect mix of paid, earned and owned media, investing millions of dollars in traditional advertising to activate the program. The level of engagement was extremely high, everybody talked about Old Spice and wanted to hear from them. And then they disappeared.

The brand has a decent presence on Facebook, still engages the audience weekly. Twitter is filled with almost funny one-liners, nothing really interesting or worthwhile sharing. Clearly, Old Spice believes it can just use the platforms as a traditional medium – blast out the message, make it a bit social and that’s it. Instead on building on the success of their integrated campaign and developing a year-round initiative, they let it fizzle out. It’s such a waste not to engage with your 120,000 followers on Twitter constantly. Many companies would drool over 120,000 followers.

More importantly, the current use of Twitter will be problematic in the years to come. Currently, it’s written from the perspective of Isaiah Mustafa. What happens if you the campaign changes and there are new Old Spice heroes. Can you just change the tonality from one day to the other? Shouldn’t the Old Spice Twitter feed be used for valuable information that’s timeless and not closely linked to a campaign?

Many people still claim the Old Spice campaign was a Social Media success. I would argue, it’s a sad waste of attention, social capital and goodwill.

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Not a day goes by without a digital marketer complaining about their flying experience: delays, cancellations, lost luggage. Sure, flying is no fun. Being treated like a herd of sheep , forced to sit in cramped quarters – well, I don’t have to tell you the sordid details.

Running an airline is a complex venture.

It’s about maths and probabilities. An aircraft seat is the most perishable product of any commodity going: Once the aircraft takes off, the seat is empty, you’ll never recover it again. It’s gone forever. You have to deal with the economic climate, gazillion of vendors, thousand of employees, circumstances you can’t control (Weather, political environment – you name it).

Considering this complexity, it’s a miracle that United Airlines had an on-time performance of 91.4% in November 2010. (Yes, I know, they are padding the schedule. Still.) It’s amazing that only 1 in 8,000,000 aircrafts crash.

Running a campaign and Social Media initiative is complex, too.

But, it can’t be compared to the complexity of running an airline. And, how many things are going wrong each and every day? Wrong creative, creative that misses the target, trafficking nightmares, planning horror scenarios, failed banner campaigns, wrong success metrics for SEM campaigns, sub-par SEO, failed Social Marketing initiatives, mini sites more focused on showcasing the agency, not conversion, and, and, and…

How come we have these high expectations for complex enterprises (airlines, automotive companies, hotels) but we don’t expect the same from our work? Why do we live with all the things that are going wrong in our own area of expertise but tend to complain about minor problems of other businesses, using our Social Media bullhorn?

I’m all for constructive criticism. I’m for helping companies improve the customer experience. (And I’m not defending airlines at all. There’s a lot of work to be done on their end.) But we have stop feeling entitled to complain about every little detail. Or even use our “status” in the Social Media world to force companies to deal with us.

Too often, it reminds me of the boy who cried “wolf”. When the real wolf finally showed up, nobody listened.