Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I couldn't have said it better myself, so...

The following is an extract from an article I've just read.

It details an opinion on how social media fits in to today's marketing mix - and is something I wish I'd written myself. Even if I had, it wouldn't be anywhere near as well written as this.

And that's why it's quoted.

"It has been my opinion that, professionally speaking, they're full of crap. I happen to believe that you have to be seriously demented to risk the future of your business on your customers' inclination to talk you up. Does social media lightning strike every now and then? Sure. But are you going to take gobs of money (like Pepsi did) and bet the house on it? Good luck.

Unless you've already built a strong social media foundation over a period of years, social media is mainly a good way to maintain healthy customer relations and provide your business with some nice sales promotion opportunities.

But it's important to keep reminding yourself that social media is not magic and most of what is written and said about it is nonsense. There is very little evidence that it has much value as a brand builder or customer acquisition driver.

Of course, we are in a post-evidence world, and if enough pompous twits say something often enough and loud enough, it becomes truth.

According to the aforementioned twits, advertising has a new tripartite purpose -- to create engagement, to foster conversations, and to build communities. In other words, to support the allegedly new "social" nature of marketing.

Let's slow down and think about it for a moment.
  • When is the last time you were engaged with a product you hadn’t yet used?
  • When have you ever spawned a conversation about a brand you had no experience with?
  • When have you joined a community devoted to goods you’ve never tried?The answer is, probably never.
That's because the twits have it all backward. Engagement, conversation and community don't lead to buying, they follow it. You don't recommend things you've never tried. Duh.

And that's why the purpose of advertising remains, as it has always been, to sell someone something.

First comes the sale, then comes the social."

Like I said, couldn't have said it better myself.

Words of wisdom come courtesy of Bob Hoffman, aka The Ad Contrarian.

Friday, 2 December 2011

the accountancy firm with a sense of humour

As we mention fairly often on this blog, we are always encouraging people to do things differently.

It doesn't matter whether you are a train company, bus company, tram company... or accountancy firm, doing things differently will get you noticed and talked out. No matter what the perception of your industry.

This set of posters, for accountancy firm Crunch, is currently running in tube station across the London Underground.

The idea and execution goes about as left field as you can get for this particular industry. And that's exactly why it works so well.

are you playing it safe?

It doesn't take a genius to work out the country is in a bit of turmoil at the moment.

An unsurprising knock on effect has seen most transport companies cutting marketing budgets. This reduction in spending power and more pressure from senior management to increase ROI, means marketers are working with a constant look over their shoulder.

And when people are in fear of losing their livelihood, they concentrate on not getting things wrong, rather than getting things right. 

At a time when consumers need ever more persuasion to part with their money - whether it's to do something for the first time, more often, switch from another operator, try another mode etc - we need to be more creative in the way the transport industry is sold.

Perhaps understandably however, the fear factor means many companies are going the opposite way and playing safe, showing little appetite for innovation. 

Maybe I'd think differently if I was a client?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

a question of how, what and why please

I wonder how many people like this advert.

Yes, it is beautifully shot. Yes, it has a nice feel to it. Yes, you may like the music. But is it any good as a piece of communication that, as it turns out, is trying to sell you something?

Like too much advertising of the current times it assumes that the viewer already knows what the product is, what it’s for, how it works, why it’s better and why we need it.

The counter argument is that a TV ad exists to gain mainstream interest in the product and drive people elsewhere (website?) to find out more.

Again, find out more about what? Why should I? What's in it for me?

Apparently we're exposed to anything between one and three thousand brand messages a day. That's a lot of brands wasting a lot of money.

Be honest - no matter how much you might like the music in the - would this ad be wasted on you?