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Flat-earth Rules For Marketing


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#1 AbleReach

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:35 PM

Lever's CMO Throws Down the Social-Media Gauntlet

Mr. Clift was speaking to a packed house at Ad Age's Digital Conference last week, in an address that did much to define an internet-driven sea change that's put consumers in control and at times threatened to overwhelm marketers and their agencies, who -- despite frequent protestations to the contrary -- are still rather partial to the idea that they define their brands.



5 rules are suggested at the end of the article.

#2 storyspinner

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:41 PM

I'm posting those 5 rules, because I think they are so "on target" :)

Five new rules for marketing
The flat-earth, digitized world described by Unilever CMO Simon Clift is one in which the marketing norms have changed. Here are Ad Age's "New Rules." Feel free to argue or send us additional rules you think you should be added to the list.

1. Listening to consumers is more important than talking at them. As Mr. Clift said, "We may be ahead of our competitors, but we're most definitely behind consumers." The consumer is not a moron, she's the person defining your brand.

2. You can't hide the corporation behind the brand anymore -- or even fully separate the two. Even this editor's creaking computer only took 0.13 seconds to show that Philip Morris is owned by Altria Group. Welcome to radical transparency, where bad corporate behavior will damage your brands, and vice versa.

3. PR is a primary concern for every CMO and brand manager. If "marketing" and "PR" are not the same department, tear down the wall. Spend time deciding whether PR is underleveraged in your organization.

4. Cause marketing isn't about philanthropy, it's about "enlightened self-interest," as Mr. Clift puts it. That doesn't mean it doesn't count. Don't be ashamed of your profit motive, because great branding and doing good are increasingly one and the same.

5. Social media is not a strategy. You need to understand it, and you'll need to deploy it as a tactic. But remember that the social graph just makes it even more important that you have a good product. Put another way: The volume and quality of your earned media will be directly proportional to the impact and quality of your product and ideas.

#3 bwelford

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:54 PM

... or as someone once said, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Everyone one of us lives in a glass house, whether we like it or not. Since it is two-way glass, I'm just fine with that. :)

#4 Ruud

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:31 PM

Sounds familiar :)

1. Listening to consumers is more important than talking at them.


"1. Markets are conversations."


You can't hide the corporation behind the brand anymore


"12. There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone."


PR is a primary concern for every CMO and brand manager. If "marketing" and "PR" are not the same department, tear down the wall.


"26. Public Relations does not relate to the public. Companies are deeply afraid of their markets."


4. Cause marketing isn't about philanthropy, it's about "enlightened self-interest,"



"23. Companies attempting to "position" themselves need to take a position. Optimally, it should relate to something their market actually cares about."


5. Social media is not a strategy.


"33. Learning to speak with a human voice is not a parlor trick. It can't be "picked up" at some tony conference.

34. To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities.

35. But first, they must belong to a community.

36. Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures end.

37. If their cultures end before the community begins, they will have no market.
"


-- italic parts freely quoted from The Cluetrain Manifesto, 1999

#5 cre8pc

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:41 AM

I've been researching and studying the inner sanctity of online marketing and how it's a kissing cousin with user experience design - to the point where it's sometime hard to tell what is marketing and what is user centered design.

All along, some of us have been saying:

1. Don't lie to your site visitors - they know it when you do. Now, marketing studies show this is a leading cause for site abandonment. If you can't prove your expertise and credibility fast, there are other sites that do, and searchers will leave your site to find them.

2. Listen to your visitors and customers. Get their feedback. NEVER EVER Filter out their participation in your discussions because they won't come back and WOM (Word of Mouth) is a powerful thing to behold.

People are coming for an experience. Marketers don't always get this. They tell. They talk. But they don't think to engage anyone. And online, engagement is what we do :thumbs:

#6 DCrx

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 08:41 AM

Branding long ago devolved into another economic bubble ready to pop.

Cluetrain is simply more transparently faddish happytalk for the buzzword compliance meeting. You can test this against your own experience with a simple question: What Changed After Reading.

This social media claptrap is easy to understand as corporate fuddy-duddies being tragically hip. The only social group is other fuddy-duddies.

UX design on the other hand, is about doing stuff, measuring stuff, and interacting with customers and users. Immensely unpopular when you realize the reason for branding is for branders to take credit while removing any connection to results.

Hence the brand bubble.

So, only certain kinds of marketing people are natural targets for UX testing and methodology. Direct response people keen on A/B split run testing, metrics and methodology are good candidates. Art Directors turned marketing manager are poor candidates.

UX has some heavy lifting to do before it is seen as merely usability's attempt to make itself trendy and buzzword compliant.



Related:

Interview: Chris Angus on Kansei Engineering

Y&R BrandAsset Valuator

Edited by DCrx, 17 April 2009 - 08:47 AM.


#7 glyn

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 09:22 AM

My goodness someone's does a brain wash on this poor chap from Unilever, sounds like he doesn't have a clue, and is very scared.

#8 bwelford

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 09:51 AM

... it's called moving out of your comfort zone. Or alternatively beginning to see online life as it really is.

#9 glyn

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 10:43 AM

Agreed, and would add it really depends on the material that is shaping your reality view of online:).

Facebook recently got rid of their CFO, and have you seen the conversion rates on their advertising programs?
A little pinch of salt to be taken with your marketing agencies.

While SMN might provide a two-way channel for brand dialogue, it's not right for everyone...and I think enormous brand will have a hard time reacting as quickly as SMN requires, so it will just be left aside. Of course promoting products via SMN is another thing all together, but then that's just push advertising like all the other channels.

Have a good weekend.

#10 iamlost

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 11:29 AM

I will refrain from my stock rant about the 'wisdom' of financial markets.
...and about corporate 'C' level ignorance, and...
Yes, I thought you would be relieved. :)

Books such as Cluetrain (which I must admit I enjoyed) and authors such as Seth Godin are valuable much the same as the plethora of other 'self-help' books and authors such as Suze Orman: they introduce a wider audience to a few facts, new (to them) ideas, and a great many platitudes.

A very few will be intregued and interested enough to go further.

I will add a bit about the brand bubble - from my conversations and reading between the corporate lines I see the bubble as an attempt to force an intangible into a tangible hole, i.e. equating brand with marketshare.

It is similar with the twisted logic surrounding Social Media analysis, far too frequently looking at apples and seeing oranges. So many SM commentators and 'experts' have come from or are influenced by SEO where so much is a blackhole (SE algos) or variable (no too analytics applications agree) or contaminated (log files full of bots) that what 'firm' numbers that are available are used even when near useless (TBPR). Where hypotheses are formed on available data and go in and out of style/usefulness by the week.

There are very very few in our industry who know how and what and why to measure, how to analyse, how to test, how to interpret, or to use the results. As with most things it takes work so the snake oil salesmen have a ready market in the lazy and ignorant. Further, few competitive advantages, are shared until near expiry date...

Probably the greatest barrier to considerations of accessibility, usability, UX, marketing, et al is Google. When the default webdev mindset is that success equates with Google SERP prominence there is simply no time or money left for such 'other' things.

#11 storyspinner

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 11:48 AM

social media marketing isn't about ads on facebook - that's going back into PPC

really don't see him as brainwashed either, rather just the opposite, as he's one of the rare senior level management people "who get it" when it comes to online marketing and that the customer is now a lot more in control than they were in the past.

#12 iamlost

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:35 PM

really don't see him as brainwashed either, rather just the opposite, as he's one of the rare senior level management people "who get it" when it comes to online marketing and that the customer is now a lot more in control than they were in the past.

I won't disagree as he knows the words to the song...
However, the proof is whether his corporation can walk his talk. And that is very much less certain.

Too many folks (especially 'C' level executives) suite their words to their audience but then mangle the production, i.e. environmental support speeches transform into greenwashing.

This is often most evident (speaking generally) in the disconnect between 'listening' and learning/changing/reacting/adapting/etc. based on what they hear. Too often the corporate flunky listening is a minimum wage drone, each level of managers massages the 'messages', with a final result of all well on the speeding Titanic despite fog and ice...

#13 storyspinner

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:53 PM

I would have to say, Unilever, is probably one of the leading companies "walking" the walk when it comes to social media. I've seen them present and have spoken to the people actually working on their social media efforts at a WOMMA event last year. For them it is about the conversations going on. :)

#14 Ruud

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 11:42 PM

oo many folks (especially 'C' level executives) suite their words to their audience but then mangle the production, i.e. environmental support speeches transform into greenwashing.


Yes, corporate culture can negatively influence inspirational ideas.

But -- in the end that doesn't matter. Reality filters best. Example: one doesn't have to believe in alternative payment options -- I simply go to where my PayPal is accepted. Lose a sale or win one.

When it comes to social media marketing & participatinon I believe the filter will be harsher even, Nothing is as boring on Twitter or Facebook as push-only content. It simply doesn't work and you kill that stream. Backfires tremendously on the stupid product.

An even better example was Domino's social video disaster. Not engaged with social, they had no way to get something in front of the people.

Then they finally did open a Twitter account and called it -- what? @Domino? @DominoPizza? @DominosPizza?

Nope.

@dpzinfo

Why?

Because their YouTube account is DominoVids ... uh... or something.

Try CheckUserNames -- these folks own nothing. They're not there.

Cluetrain is simply more transparently faddish happytalk for the buzzword compliance meeting. You can test this against your own experience with a simple question: What Changed After Reading.


They accurately described in 1999 the very way now, 10 years later, things increasingly are.

The does anyone use Godaddy post/question on the forum illustrates it: things have changed, the medium does work both ways.

The clue is that you have to go beyond brand, beyond mindshare.

Great link re. the Brand Bubble btw.

#15 DCrx

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 07:35 AM

My dissatisfaction stems from having seen the future, and realizing it's not evenly distributed.

What's social? What is possible?

I write about a social concept called energy and using social currencies in software design.

I've already posted in Cre8 about Plogs. (there is no misspelling Plog = Project Management Blog).

Let's say you're "being social," and you're a roofing or other contractor. Put up a video feed of the job the client can log into. That's social.

Don't twitter because that's what you heard is cool. People want to see you actually performing the job they paid you for -- because they're nervous about the contractor doing a good job. Guess what ...you can type anything.

Step one, become socially literate. Then fuss over the technology.

The Dominos flap merely underscores corporate hasn't gotten on the clue train. Social media facility after the fact of the video is more cluelessness. Where's the social media technique they're using to prevent this from ever happening by fostering better employee/management relationships?!?!

Marketing means understanding your million dollar campaign was getting sabotaged by minimum wage idiots manning the cash register ...thirty years ago. Technology doesn't change cluelessness -- it merely broadcasts it to a larger audience.

Todd Rudgren was using CompuServe, not to sell music, but to develop music -- with fans during online jam sessions. This was happening two decades ago. That's "social." That's marketing.

You want social media techology. Try this.

When my camera-equipped GPS cell phone scans the bar code on products and Geo-tags do the same thing ...then let's talk how clued in everybody is. When that cell phone understands you're in a theater and switches to vibrate automatically ...then let's talk social tech.

Have the Unilever CMO using those cell phones to provide real time audience response ...then let's talk marketing.

Playing with the scale model Cluetrain on a tabletop toy setup isn't the same as putting your *** in the seat of a real train.

Edited by DCrx, 18 April 2009 - 08:09 AM.


#16 bwelford

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 09:21 AM

“Some of us (perfectionists, especially) fuss so much over making the 'right' choice, but in life, all that's really needed is to make any' good' choice, believe in it, go through with it, and accept the consequences.”
... and indeed any of the other quotations on perfection is pretty relevant here, I think.



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