Category Archives: push vs. pull

Letting Respect Replace Control

What marketer isn’t tired of hearing how they no longer control their brands? They’re either tired of hearing it because they’ve bought into it in some capacity. Or they’re tired of hearing it because they stubbornly hold onto the notion that the brand is theirs and only they can define what it is and isn’t based on what they chose to say primarily through advertising.

Regardless of which end of that potential continuum one resides, I’d propose blowing up the control continuum. Instead, one should plot one’s self across a continuum of respect – as in how much respect you have for your customers.

I was toying w/ a quadrant approach vs. continuum, with control on the x and respect on the y. But thinking that through a bit further, I felt it a cop out.

I would venture to guess that the brands that reside on the most positive end of the respect continuum probably have the most loyal customers. In the final analysis – and especially in the current macro-economic environment – don’t we desire to have loyal customers? And if that is the case, if ceding control brings the ultimate result desired, plotting it is irrelevant.

Besides, we do enough over-complicating in this industry as it is. Didn’t want to muck up The Golden Rule with The Control Freak Corollary.

That said, this isn’t a pure open source advocacy to managing a brand. I do not believe UGC, crowdsourcing and their ilk replace the need for brand standards. However, I do believe the vast rabble of ‘You’, that person of the year just a couple of years ago, is continuously changing how s/he interacts w/ and what s/he expects from brands. In spite of all the philosophizing I’ve read of late about what the original intent of certain platforms were and what they should become by those in the know, and in spite of the fear of ceding control by those not in the know, that is associated w/ the increased ease of two way media (call it social if you please), people are out there using these things. Not being there is not a choice for any brand anymore. Whether we pay for it via advertising or whether we build experiences on the platforms or whether we have staff dedicated to lurk and/or engage, we’re all there. You can’t control what people talk about or where they chose to talk about it – be it in physical or digital places.

And that is OK. I can respect that.

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Filed under communication platforms, customer relationships, push vs. pull

(Lack of) Political Media Strategery

As mentioned, I’ve had more than five calls in five days from the Republican Party of Minnesota imploring me to vote for McCain/Palin and Norm Coleman (non-Minnesotans: the dude that was mayor of St. Paul, brought professional hockey back to MN, has been a senator for 6 years, and is running against Al Franken).

This fine Sunday morning, I had a wonderful flier in the handle of my storm door, not the first of those either in the past 5 days.

If I’m undecided and you call me five times in five days when my number is on the Do Not Call list (yeah, I know politicians get special status, but I’m in this industry…if I’m Joe Insert Name Here, I may not be as in the know w/ such things), then paper my front porch w/ your fliers when the “No Soliciting” sign is roughly a foot from my door handle, you’re not really getting credit for listening to my needs. And most likely not getting my vote as two things I remember vividly less than a week before voting are things that PISS ME OFF!

I guess the irony is that at this point in the game it’s usually the Dems reaching for high frequency desperation tactics. Regardless, do these people not have media/advertising strategists working for them? Or have they not learned from Dem failures of the past 8 years and the media strategies they used to get there. Oh, wait, they probably do and that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

And let’s not forget 30 minute infomercials. Personally, I was asking myself where the foamboard charts were. “We’re in deep doo doo, folks.” Now that’s how you connect w/ Joe Insert Name Here.

My only comment is HRP used his own money to buy two 30 minute blocks of time, which came off as a bit pretentious and showy but he was a 3rd wheel looking to shake things up.

BHO, a major party candidate, used the funds he raised by not adhering to policies of fund raising that he said he would adhere to before he became the nominee. I get that he more than any other modern candidate accumulated a ridiculous amount of minimal contributions from a ridiculous number of people by activating the true base, in the trenches, part of the electorate to get the money. And I greatly applaud that because that is a sound use and activation of strategy that understands that all politics is indeed local.

However, he is now the candidate talking about spreading the wealth around who is buying 30 minutes on three major broadcast networks on the mass-est of mass media.

A thought: How about you finish strategically where you started? Produce the video for straight to digital distribution to re-ignite the base and get them passing said video around to their undecided friends vs. wasting dollars on the committed base and the competition’s committed base. Polls right now show a huge advantage in electoral votes, but most agree that the 10 million or so undecided voters are the key. If you buy into the promise of social media, as you seem to based on how you’ve used it throughout, then the best way to persuade the undecided is via their friends and family who aren’t undecided.

Just a thought. After all, you were the man who advocated using a scalpel vs. a hatchet in the 2nd debate. You can apply that analogy a bit more easily to media strategy than trillions of dollars of debt. At least I think so…

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Filed under advertising effectiveness, bad media, communication platforms, competition, election 08, media usage, push vs. pull, video

Prove It

“Prove it. Just the facts. The confidential.
This case, this case, this case that I’ve been workin‘ on so long…
It’s too “too too” to put a finger on
This case is closed”

Television, Prove It

The following is separate but related

Think about this – as more people are using more media in a social/pull context vs. passive/push context, subjective opinion as a means to and important input into decision making among that vast rabble we fondly refer to as our audience, our customers, our guests is becoming much more prevalent. People are becoming more damned unpredictable as they become more empowered to talk to one other more freely.

At this same moment in time we are more and more challenged to produce and prove objective, sustainable, predictable results. And, by God, we’ve got the tools to measure exposure to advertising to a consumers next visit to the john and extrapolate w/ statistical confidence when it will happen again. And we’ve got more and more number crunchers with more and more computing power crunching away.

Juxtapose that linear number crunching x leads to y which produces z thinking w/ the prevalent thought that our precious “funnel” looks more like an infinity sign. Awareness to purchase, regardless of category of purchase, can take 10 seconds, 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days, 10 weeks or 10 years due to either the speed at which a person can now find exactly what they want or the motivation of the person to dig for as much information as possible – from the portion of a paper product that is made from recyclable material to the intricacies of battery power vs. combustible engine power on a car – because it’s now available and find-able.

Hmmm, this line of thinking could take me in a few different directions. I’ll leave it open for now and perhaps will pick it up later. Feel free to pick up the thread as you see fit.

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Filed under advertising effectiveness, measurement, push vs. pull

Efficient Time Spent w/ Media replacing Media Multi-Tasking?

Do we have the death of another industry buzzword? Headlines from the new release of VSS Communications Industry Forecast (the 22nd annual) don’t mention multi-tasking or the fact that time spent w/ media is flat but fragmented.

It does, however, mention that though overall time spent w/ media is down ever so slightly (at this point), time spent w/ digital/new media is up. And, what’s more, they expect a continued downward trend in overall time spent w/ media because increased use of digital media is making people more efficient in getting at what they want and need.

So if the expectations of new/digital media is increased efficiency (i.e. people spend more time w/ digital/new media so, overall, they can spend less time w/ media in general), what does this mean for pretty, flashy, brand-y creative things vs. functional, time-saving, aligned-w/-content-behavior-and-context creative things?

Medium, message, etc, etc…


Filed under future of media, media mix, media usage, push vs. pull

Old Dogs Continuing to Learn New Tricks?

NBCU is offering what amounts to a quasi ecommerce/social shopping mash up.

Let’s immediately move past the fact that it looks like the Internet circa 1995 as our friends at MediaPost so astutely note. That’s not the point (it could be the downfall of the whole thing, but it’s not the point. Let’s look at this strategically, not tactically).

There has been much discussion about “the store becoming media” with space on digital displays in major retailers being sold, not to mention ad space on retailer websites.

But not since the premature launch of iTV and the thought that you could (gasp!) buy that sweater Rachel was wearing when she broke up with Ross for the 273rd time has there really been a legitimate “the media becoming store” thing.

(As it turned out, though a nifty idea, the infrastructure of commerce from TV wasn’t quite ready…come the digital TV flip of ’09, that’ll not really be the case. More to come on that at some point later, I’m sure.)

What’s more, a media vendor who has built their everything on supporting brand advertisers is talking about the potential for making money off of lead generation (again, whether they can truly carve a place for themselves there remains to be seen, but strategically an interesting move).

As I said previously, it’s not commoditization vs. value proposition of a medium. It’s understanding the role you want the medium to play, the medium being able to deliver on the role, and executing accordingly.

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Filed under digital distribution, future of media, monetizing media, push vs. pull