And thanks to Luis Suarez’s enormous appetite, even The Wiggles have got involved – click here.
And Cristiano Reinaldo cops a few unrelated to the World Cup:
Too much football is never enough – avagoodweegend…
And thanks to Luis Suarez’s enormous appetite, even The Wiggles have got involved – click here.
And Cristiano Reinaldo cops a few unrelated to the World Cup:
Too much football is never enough – avagoodweegend…
Each month I check the movement of the top social media sites to see if there’s anything enlightening.
Only this year have brands finally started to appear in the Top 100. Until a few months ago Coca Cola was the only “brand” to make the FB list. The list was dominated by musicians, actors and vacuous celebrities.
The World Cup has created an increase in football players and clubs making the Top 100 FB and Twitter accounts.
Given the amount of industry focus on social media, it is fascinating how few brands make the Top 100 lists. There are 11 in the FB list and none in Twitter. And those brands that do make the list have spent tens of millions of dollars to do so – Coca Cola, Red Bull, Converse (2 sites), Nike, Starbucks, Pepsi, Oreo, KFC, McDonald’s and Walmart.
Whereas the celebrities, musicians and actors have invested very little by comparison. If the biggest brands on the planet with their massive budgets, struggle to make social media work, what chance do most other brands and businesses have in social world?
It’s no wonder so many business executives are cynical about social media. As Associate Professor Mark Ritson says; “social media is about people it’s not about brands“.
As I’ve said before; “there’s a reason it’s called social media, not business media“. Most marketers need to invest a large part of their budget to get social media to work profitably, if at all. That’s not to say you cannot get a positive ROI on social media, but it’s not easy to do so.
And it’s not surprising that people are more interested in Cristiano Rinaldo, Shakira or even dead musicians, than they are in Walmart or McDonald’s. It’s human nature. After all, the world’s biggest sport is people watching. And this may come as a shock to some, but people don’t want brand relationships. Scary hey?
Account Type Facebook Twitter
Musician/Actor 47 63
TV Show/Movie 19 9
Football club/player 7 10
Social media site 8 8
Games 5 0
Vacuous celebrities 0 5
Dead musicians 2 0
Leaders/Politicians 1 5
Brands 11 0
Total 100 100
Hmm, I wonder what the Kardashians are up to today…
The Reader’s Digest has just released its annual list of the 50 Most Trusted Professions.
This of course ranges down to the least trusted professions very quickly.
It’s interesting how little the professions ratings change over time. Although more fascinating is that advertising people don’t even make the list.
Maybe if the list ran to the top 100 most trusted they might make an appearance?
The annual Roy Morgan Ethics and Honesty rating includes advertising people in its list of 30 categories. Advertising people come in at second last, just behind real estate agents and ahead of car salesman. Obviously all the hype around MADMEN hasn’t changed people’s beliefs.
Roy Morgan has been tracking people’s attitudes since 1986 – you can download a copy of the ratings chart here.
Advertising people have consistently held a poor rating in the level of trust by consumers. Why is an industry that earns its living building brands and creating images in consumers minds, so lousy at managing its own image?
Does anyone in the industry even care?
Hmmm I just noticed that university lecturers (of which I am one) rate as the 10th most trusted on Roy Morgan’s list.
I’m off to change my signature file – trust me I am…
I often ask my audiences “why are you in business?” and inevitably, the answer is “to make money”.
Unfortunately that’s not the right answer. You are not in business to make money.
You are in business to create and keep customers profitably.
You cannot have a business, or a profit, without first having customers. Charge what you like, but if nobody buys, you don’t make money. This is not new thinking. Theodore Levitt and Peter Drucker started preaching this around 50 years ago.
Here’s another fact that may surprise you dear reader, but it’s true and often overlooked.
No matter what the product or service, the leading brand in any category is always the one with the most customers. It’s not the one with the most advertising, or even the highest brand awareness.
All things equal, the more customers you have, the more sales and referrals you get, the more revenue you create and ultimately the more profit hits your bottom line.
While it is important that people are aware of your brand, if that awareness doesn’t translate into sales, it doesn’t matter how many people know about you – your business won’t grow. You can have thousands of Likes, entrants into a competition, or high unaided awareness, but unless these convert to sales, it’s all for naught.
All businesses, regardless of the economic conditions or product category, should focus on four things to survive and grow:
This is why databases are so important. They give you the means to store relevant information about your individual customers. With customer data you can find common ground about which to carry conversations. So the more you know about your customers the easier it is to talk with them, rather than try to sell to them.
And forget BIG DATA. Focus on the small data – who has bought recently, who buys frequently, who spends the most per sale?
Remember the marketers’ adage:
“one thing you know about your customer is worth more than anything you know about your product or service”
And the more you know about your customers the less you have to rely on creativity for creativity’s sake to attract their attention. The reason why traditional brand advertising has always needed a big idea to stand out from the clutter and attract attention is because it is targeted at masses, not individuals. And it is executed in highly cluttered media channels.
But when you can converse with individuals based on relevant knowledge, your advertising messages can be designed around the relationship with the customer, not the product or service, or an advertising idea. It’s a much easier way to sell and grow your business and usually far cheaper.
Your database also allows you to profile your customers to give you information with which you can increase your sales, or find new customers with similar traits.
It helps minimise your marketing wastage, so you spend time creating content (there’s that buzzword again) that’s relevant and works most profitably for you.
After all, if your customers don’t make you rich…
Have you seen the latest television advertisements from all those advertising agencies? You know the ones, where they creatively promote themselves to build their agency brand?
Or those beautifully crafted full-page colour press advertisements designed to sell an agency’s services? Or the YouTube video that’s gone viral as it convinces marketing managers to hire the agency that produced it?
Of course you haven’t. They don’t exist. Most advertising agencies don’t believe advertising can build their brands. They use other techniques to acquire new customers.
Agencies prefer to build their brands through word of mouth, publicity, events and direct marketing – mostly mail, telephone, referrals and trade articles. If you’re a marketing manager, you’ll have been on the receiving end of numerous cold-calls, “credentials” mailings or unsolicited show-reels and portfolios.
Ironically I’ve recently received a number of mailings promoting digital agencies and marketing automation software companies. Analogue technology to acquire customers for alleged digital marketing specialists – who’d have thought hey?
I’ve worked with multi-national agencies that have part-time telemarketers doing cold calling to arrange credentials presentations. Curiously most agencies don’t have sales managers or marketing managers – the advertising industry is one of the few B2B categories that doesn’t have these as full-time job functions.
Why do you think agencies don’t run ads to build their brands? The answer is simple – most agencies know that mass-media advertising isn’t always the best way to generate leads, let alone build a brand. So they don’t waste their money on brand advertising, despite what they encourage marketers to do.
So the logical question to ask is “if agencies don’t value traditional advertising to promote their own brand, how can we be sure they know what they’re doing with our money?”
It’s a strange world we live in, this marketing world of ours…
On behalf of a client, I recently spoke with a sales executive at LinkedIn. We were trying to establish a performance-based test programme for advertising on LinkedIn, but there is no such service available. We were advised we’d need a minimum spend of $40,000. The client chose to spend her money elsewhere.
During the conversation, the executive asked why I was calling and I explained I was contracting for the client. She then exclaimed, “but it’s not on your LinkedIn profile“. To which I stated “I’m surprised you believe everything you read on people’s profiles on LinkedIn. Why would I document every skerrick of my working life on LinkedIn?”
Obviously as she works for LinkedIn, she lives LinkedIn. But the rest of the world doesn’t. And assuming that just because something is online therefore it must be true, is naive to say the least. Why assume a bio on LinkedIn is true?
I’m not accusing LinkedIn users of fraud – my profile contains nothing fraudulent BTW:) It’s just that like all social networks, there are levels of information people will reveal and it varies by individual. How can you learn everything you need to know about someone from a simple “profile” form? For example, I would never risk employing someone just from their LinkedIn profile alone – very risky indeed. Though it’s a reasonable first step to learn something about them.
I find LI (let’s call it LI to save typing) quite useful. I use it to connect to people I already know, or with whom I may do business at some point. Though I have known many of my connections for years. At the moment, I’m using some of my connections for research for my next book. I guess the main reason we all connect is for our individual benefit, not the benefit of others?
My blog gets automatically posted on LI (among other sites), so you could well be reading this post via LI.
And though I don’t read much of what’s posted on LI (mainly due to my A.S.S. Time) I have recently noticed a change in the type of “content” posted in the news feed.
As you are probably aware, the majority of the content is simply re-postings of other people’s content. Very few people create original content. And that’s one of the purposes of online networks – to share other people’s content.
But lately the content seems to have moved from links to useful business articles, interviews, research or publications, to postings that have nothing to do with business or even careers. They seem to fall into these categories:
Here are a couple in my feed last week:
I’m sure those who posted them had good intent and I don’t mean to offend them, but am curious why they would appear on LI, when they look more suited to FB?
The concern is that if these sort of posts start to grow, then the value of spending time on LI will decline. And just as people are leaving FB due to the ads and chewing-gum-for-the-brain posts that are now dominating it, the consequence for LI is that people will stop using it for similar reasons.
Or maybe LI will morph into a sort of Facebook with a necktie – combining business and personal “content” to help people while away the hours at the office.
After all there are only two reasons people use the internet:
So as FB and Instagram are the time wasters in our personal life, maybe LinkedIn is now the timewaster in our worklife?
Am I off the mark here? Most of my colleagues agree and some even suggested we need a punishment for those who post FB content on LI.
Let’s know your thoughts please. Or maybe you could send me a joke…
Connect with me if you’re serious: https://www.linkedin.com/in/malcolmauld/
Continuing with the series about 3-D mailings and building evacuations. Today we’ll discuss the risks associated with the seemingly innocuous mail tube.
For my sins way back when, I worked on the American Express account in NY and Oz. So am quite familiar with the brand and its direct marketing.
This campaign was created by my colleagues. It won an industry award for response rates. Yet at the same time it cost Amex some of their best customers.
That’s something you don’t see on award entry forms do you – a question asking “how many of your customers did you lose as a result of your marketing activity?”
The mailing was simply an A2 poster delivered in a mail tube. And it was mailed to the top 5% of customers in terms of average card spend.
The diagram is not a crime scene as some have asked me over the years. It’s an illustration of a heterosexual couple lying on sun beds.
The offer is simple – book one person for a holiday on Hayman Island and your partner can join you at half price (using your Amex to pay of course). The response was outstanding for the most part and all the available rooms were booked within a few days of the mailing.
But take a minute to think about this dear reader. If your postal address is a post box, not a street address, how do you know if a mail tube has been sent to you?
You guessed it – you receive a note from Australia Post advising you to visit the post office in their business hours.
When do you think these VIP customers go to work and return home? Probably like you, they are early starters and late finishers. So those who received their mail via a post box, were forced to make a special trip, or sent their secretaries to collect the parcel that awaited them.
When they discovered the mail tube only contained advertising material, some of these customers were so angry they cut up their cards and sent them back. These top value customers relinquished their membership. (The lesson of course is to only mail 3-D packs to street addresses, simple really)
The mailing both made and lost money for Amex, and who knows what the lifetime value of those who cancelled their cards was really worth? But hey, it did win an award…
Once again a testimony to the power direct marketing can have on your brand.
Here’s another tip: always remember to make it clear to the prospect what they are supposed to do (or not do) with the mailpack. They don’t attend the original briefing, so in certain circumstances, they need instructions on how to open the 3-D mailing. Here’s why:
One Sydney DM agency created a mailpack that nearly blinded a couple of prospects when they tried to open the mail tube. The pack contained a genuine hunting arrow with a razor-sharp metal tip designed to kill when fired from a crossbow.
The agency had an arrow in its logo so it seemed like a good idea to use one in the pack as an involvement device to highlight the agency’s targeting powers, or some such message – you can imagine the copy.
When one prospect received the mailing, he discovered that the contents were jammed in the mail tube. So he held the tube up to his eye to see what was causing the blockage. My bet dear reader, is you just flinched.
As you imagined, the arrow flew out, narrowly missed his eye and embedded itself in his chair next to his head. It nearly blinded him. Great for gaining attention, but not so good for getting the sale!
Apart from the obvious fact that you should never include anything in a mailpack which could cause harm to anyone handling it, it’s also a good idea to give your prospect some idea of how the mailpack works and how you want them to interact with it, if it in fact contains life-threatening goods.
I could go on… and I will, with just one more example.
A print company thought they had a great idea. They sent a live ferret in a cage to prospects, who were very senior decision-makers, with a note that said something like “we’ll ferret out the best print deal for you”. True story.
One manager told me they called the RSPCA to take the ferret away, as it had become a feral ferret and was hissing and spinning around the cage in a distressed state. The sales representative from the print company tried in vain for 3 days to make contact with the decision-maker. When he finally did get in touch, he was rather distressed himself about the welfare of his ferret.
He was also told in no uncertain terms what to do with his print services – something similar to the laser gun advice I received.
An epic fail to use the modern vernacular, but a hell of a lot more fun than the digital world, where you just send an email and ask the recipient to click here.
Which reminds me, I haven’t checked the mail yet today…
Further to last Friday’s blog, here’s another story of good intentions gone bad – and building evacuations. The case of a marketer, a mailing, a laser gun, a public servant and my posterior.
3-D mailpacks are an excellent creative solution when you have a high quality list with a relevant offer and are prepared to invest in generating a lead or a sale. They work because they are tactile and have perceived tangible value. And they really break through the clutter in the digital world.
More importantly they help get past a senior executive’s gatekeeper because they create a dilemma: the gatekeeper isn’t sure if the boss is expecting the package and so can’t make a decision to throw it out. And because 3-D mailpacks are out of the ordinary, they often evoke reactions and emotions not normally displayed in the working environment. So they can create a bit of fun.
However, creating a 3-D mailpack just for the sake of it, doesn’t guarantee success. Like any communication, it must be relevant to the prospect and communicate a benefit or a reason for a response. And you should research your mailpack with your prospects prior to creating the final product.
Which leads me to the time I was running Ogilvy & Mather Direct in the late 1980s. Our client was a leading office equipment brand. We were asked to create a lead generation campaign amongst senior information technology decision-makers. Our objective was to get people to respond for a demonstration of a top-of-the-range laser printer worth over $500,000 per unit. The offer was a $50,000 saving – a simple 10% discount.
So we created a 3-D mailpack, which included a toy laser gun nested in a box. The headline on the front of the box said “We’d like to shoot down some misconceptions you may have about the price of laser printers”
When you opened the lid of the box, you couldn’t resist grabbing the gun and firing it – complete with loud noise and accompanying flashing lights. The headline inside highlighted the saving of $50,000.
The intention was to involve prospects with the mailpack via the laser gun – a tenuous link to the laser printer we were flogging. To make sure there would be no problems mailing the packs, we had Australia Post test one through their postal system; it arrived in good condition with the laser gun still in place, so they gave it the thumbs up.
Given the test results, we rolled out the campaign and waited for the responses – and they were immediate. Unfortunately they weren’t the sort we desired. The prospects who received these mailpacks were very senior decision-makers and a number of them worked in some very sensitive industries, such as defense and export to the Middle East. In some of the mailpacks, the laser guns had come loose in the box and were already making noises when the box was delivered. This caused panic and building evacuations in a few companies and government departments.
In a mining town in Western Australia an X-ray machine detected the gun and the mailpack was isolated in the middle of a street. The Bomb Squad flew from Perth by helicopter (closely followed by a network news helicopter) to blow it up. The locals weren’t amused as part of the town had to be evacuated for the exercise. But we did get to watch our mailing explode on national news.
The head of a government-run department that deals with Iraq, Iran and other Middle East countries, rang the client and then rang me, after his office was evacuated. He told me in no uncertain terms where he wanted to stick the laser gun. Please use your imagination dear reader. Suffice to say I would have had difficulty walking and performing other normal daily functions.
In some cases where the mailpack had caused mass panic, companies threatened not to do business with our client again. While we did generate some positive leads, it’s safe to say that the campaign didn’t achieve its objective. Although a number of recipients wanted to know where we’d sourced the laser guns, so they could get some for their kids.
If we’d thought about it more carefully, we could have targeted this small and tightly defined market by simply writing a personalised letter with an offer — ‘Save $50,000 if you buy now!’. But hey, we were a creative agency, so we designed a creative mailpack.
The only good news was the client forgave us and we kept the business – after all, they had enthusiastically approved the mailing.
In Part 3 – my next post – we’ll discover the dangers posed by mailing tubes. If used incorrectly they can cause serious injury, as well as damage your brand…