Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brilliant Example of Video Guerilla Campaign. An Oldie But A Goodie!

Guerrilla marketing “works because it’s simple to understand, easy to implement and outrageously inexpensive,” says Jay Conrad Levinson, the man who coined the phrase.

This very simple idea places Absolut vodka in the traveling consumers way on a luggage conveyor belt at an airport in Amsterdam back in 2005. But will anyone nab a bottle after forgetting to pick up a bottle for a friend in the duty free!!?? Watch it to find out.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fans (or LIKE's) and Followers, The New Focus Group?

Marketers understand the importance of testing, and will often look to research, focus groups and raw data before spending a penny from their budget. However, a smart marketer knows the value of leveraging their social channels as a way to “pre-test” an idea or concept before ever setting foot inside a focus group.

When a consumer likes a brand or company, unless it’s just to get a coupon or enter a sweepstakes, there’s a good chance that they have a vested interest in that brand and are eager to interact and have their opinions heard. Engaging these fans and followers can prove invaluable for brands, often yielding insights not possible to uncover through traditional focus groups.  I read an article yesterday on AdAge stating that loyal customers favor Facebook (41% of respondents) most to stay in contact and up to date about a brand.

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
  1. Don’t overuse these questions and bore your fans with endless surveys. You want to leverage this engaged audience without abusing your relationship.
  2. Really listen, and follow up: look for the bonus insights that hide behind the questions you asked and the answers you get. Also, probe into responses; you’ll get more out of answers, and your followers will feel validated knowing that their tastes and opinions are important.
  3. Get creative. You don’t need to ask a question to get good feedback. Be bold, and field test new positioning, propositions, and campaign directions.
  4. Think outside your product. Post news items and interesting features to gain a more detailed perspective on the passion points that naturally engage your followers.
  5. Don’t fire your research vendor. Social focus groups are valuable, but they can’t extract the same depth as a seasoned researcher. When you’re fishing for ideas, social media makes a great net. But, it’s not the harpoon that can spear the critical discovery.
  6. Stay in control. Sometimes people don’t know what they want. It’s easy to go overboard and crowd-source your Big Idea, resulting in a diffuse, impotent message. Know what you want to accomplish before you engage.
  7. Save some tests for the real focus group. Whether it’s a trade secret or campaign you’re not ready to share, there are some things that are best kept out of the social space. Expect that anything you say or share will become public knowledge, and know when to say no.
So before heading to a focus group, or spending hours pouring over data to figure out if your consumers prefer lemon or lime, engage in a dialogue with your fans and followers. They’re ready to share their opinions! Always be sure to take a look at what other brands are doing out there, and apply those learnings to your outreach to your social communities.

Good to be back!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Power of the Facebook Status Update. Is There Any? YES!

We’ve all seen the mundane status updates from our friends and brands we follow on Facebook:
  • “Cat just coughed up hairball. Great.”
  • “PBJ or ham & cheese…hmmm…”
  • “People are here. We’re starting our meeting.”
Facebook status update
To no surprise, these types of status updates rarely receive a “like” or comment. Following the f8 developer’s conference in April, TechCrunch wrote a post detailing Facebook’s insight into the algorithm that makes the all-so-important Facebook news feed tick.

To most, the news feed has become second nature. Log on to Facebook at some point in the day, scan your news feed and receive quick updates about what your friends or brands you follow have been up to lately. Simply put, a user is far less likely to specifically click over to a particular group, page or person’s profile on Facebook on a regular basis. For online marketers, this emphasizes the critical need to publish content that will continually pique the fans’ interests and prompt them to engage with brands.
So, what is this “secret sauce” that determines what shows up in your news stream? The technical formula can be found on the aforementioned TechCrunch post. Teach to Digital Fish has done a superb post addressing just that topic.

How is all this being used by brands??
Smart brands are providing extremely engaging content via photos/video, gathering feedback from fans, prompting action and promoting deals.

Case Study
I would encourage you to hop over to Thomas Umstattd Jr.‘s blog where he has embedded a video from a recent SMB Austin event. In the video (at about the 6:30 mark), Thomas talks about the work he recently did on a political campaign and the strategy and tactics he utilized to engage fans in support of his candidate. It’s an excellent case study and example of the crucial role page content plays in bolstering engagement.

Big Takeaway
No one brand has the golden ticket answer as to how to build a foundation of hundreds of thousands of engaged fans overnight. Certain brands are certainly doing things better than others but all brands should at least be cognizant of thinking through the implications of each and every status update. Most importantly, continue learning, tweaking and improving by analyzing Facebook Insights all the time.

For more news on social media follow me on Twitter @keane007

Monday, August 30, 2010

Social Media Machine: "The Gaga"

First things first The Gaga does follow our agency on Twitter @gigantic

Some other amazing feats since she was "Born This Way"

5.6 million followers on Twitter! Believe it!

18.1 million**: Number of digital singles Lady Gaga has sold.

3.64 million: The number of copies Lady Gaga's "The Fame" has sold in the U.S. since its release in August 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

1.3 million: The number of copies "The Fame" has sold in 2010 alone, making the 2-year-old album this year's fourth-bestselling album thus far.

$24 million: Billboard's estimate of the gross for Lady Gaga's 47 European and Pacific Rim tour dates.

$440: The most expensive ticket package when Lady Gaga returns to Staples Center on March 28, 2011.

$40: Cost of a Lady Gaga 2010 tour shirt.

Mission: "I want to make pop music that my heavy metal friends will listen to," Lady Gaga told The Times in 2009.

10: Height, in inches, of the heels on the Alexander McQueen Armadillos that Gaga made famous in her "Bad Romance" video.

179: Total number of shows Gaga will have played when the tour wraps next year (it began in 2009).

19: Number of songs Gaga treats her "monsters" to during the spectacle.

13: Number of Moonmen she could potentially walk away with at this year's Video Music Awards; she received the most nominations ever in a single year.

15: Number of costume changes during the concert.

And what was all of this as a result of? Her sheer understanding of how social media works...and of course being outrageous always helps too!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Snuggie Rips Off the Macarena

We've all seen it and some of you probably even got one in your stocking filler at Christmas last year, but now its back in 2010 acting CHEESE as ever with their new campaign ripping off Los del Río's "Macarena". Cheese and more cheese please.

This blanket with sleeves was snagged up by 20 million people during 2009, and while exact sales numbers are hard to come by, this novelty has turned out to be a recession hit. Why? The one thing we all did a lot in 2009 to save money was stay home, curled up on the couch - just like the Snuggie commercial. The Snuggie is proof that novelty, the right price point and timing can translate into big bucks and it did. Snuggie now comes in a range of new out of this world colors and designs! Not really. But you can be sure they will be laughing all the way to the bank with their new line and campaign! I guarantee it! It gets cold in Ireland and New York in winter. HEY. Stay warm with a Snuggie!


"The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" Wins An Emmy!

Ad agency Wieden + Kennedy’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” TV spot for Old Spice has won the Emmy for Outstanding Commercial. Well deserved!

The spot starred former NFL wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa as the Old Spice Guy, a character now well-known in pop culture thanks to the TV ads and a highly successful social media campaign.

The Old Spice Guy solicited questions from fans on Twitter, Yahoo Answers and other websites, then answered them in short, humorous YouTube videos. Total upload views for the Old Spice YouTube videos (including both the TV and the social media campaigns) currently stand at almost 135 million. “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” has more than 18 million.
Mustafa joked in one of the final videos that he was a struggling actor, but the ads seem to have stripped away the “struggling” bit. He’s been signed to two movie roles, and will also appear in the NBC TV series Chuck.

What I did find also interesting was not only was the campaign a huge success in terms of creating awareness of Old Spice, but it ultimately did translate to sales. The months June and July of 2010 saw a sales increase of 107% in Old Spice Body Wash! Kick it.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Facebook "Places". What's It All About?

If you're like me you probably watched and are digesting the Facebook Places announcement. I've had some time to check it out and to read the documentation (a techy perspective) and what follows is a brief perspective from my point of view. Ok. So here is a rundown of what I know so far.

Why is it important?
Because Foursquare and Gowalla combined have just a few million users. Facebook has north of half a billion. When Facebook gets into a market, they bring everyone. Literally, everyone.
So that said, let's talk about what it offers for marketers and developers.

Currently the API is limited to read access only. This means we can read information about places and we can ask users via an extended permission if we can read information about the places they are checking in to. We can't currently create places or check people in to things via the API. This is what's called a "write" API and Mark Zuckerberg said this is still a few weeks away. But rest assured my Irish and American friends...he's on it!

Facebook Pages
Pages are what excite me the most. Every place that gets created will also get a standard Facebook-type of page that we're all used to. Many brands, especially in retail and tourism/hospitality, are creating Facebook Pages for each of their locations, branches, etc. Now, those pages could be the actual "places" pages that are generated from this new product. I believe that this is what will happen and companies that jump on board early will see huge benefits of moving fast. We saw this with the "Page" product launch in March 2009 and the "Like" launch in April 2010.

Facebook provided some information for "claiming" a Place Page as your own and creating a real page out of it. Currently this seems like something that is still in the works. When a "place" is created it is not technically a page yet. The owner of that Place has to come and "claim" the Page. Officially, Facebook says, "Places can only be claimed by official representatives. Verifying a Place claim requires uploading some kind of official document, such as a local business license or Better Business Bureau accreditation."

There's absolutely an opportunity here for new Facebook apps, or "tabs," on your Facebook page. $$$. Initially developers could probably easily build an app that reads in a specific "location" and displays all of the people who have checked in. There's likely much more developers can do here, especially once the write API is opened up. Currently its only available for the iPhone! I'm excited  for when they  release the "Places" app for my Blackberry!!

So will the current 1 million Foursquare users retire their apps?