Tag Archives: integrated Marketing

This Week in Social Media

– Mobile marketing took a big step forward when American Express announced a new partnership with Foursquare. The social networking app allows cardholders to link their Foursquare profiles to their cards, giving them access to specials without the need for coupons. When a cardholder sees a special they want, they check in to the location and “load” the discount onto their card, and their credit card statement confirm it. While only available at three merchants so far, I predict this innovative partnership will spread to other credit card companies and to other social networks, including Facebook.

The takeaway: Mobile is the next great frontier in shopping, socializing, and job searching. Is it part of your social media strategy?



– UP2U, a new stick gum from the makers of Mentos, launched an aggressive social media campaign ahead of its product launch. Though the gum isn’t yet sold anywhere in the US, the UP2U Facebook page neared 100,000 likes this week. Mentos offered free gum to the first 1,000 people who liked the page, but even after that milestone was hit, the promotion continued to go viral. The campaign should hit a whole new level next month when Mentos asks its Facebook fans to provide the name of friends who would like free samples.

The takeaway: Even without a product, UP2U has created fun, opinionated community by asking questions on its Facebook wall, all of which include the phrase “it’s up to you.” Chew on this smart blend of branding and engagement.

– Jason Valdez, an ex-convict in Salt Lake City, found time during a 16-hour police standoff to update his Facebook status. Friends and family members responded to him in real time, offering everything from pleas to “do the right thing” to, in one case, alerting Valdez to a SWAT officer hiding in the bushes. The standoff is over and the hostage is safe, but SLC police are still trying to determine if anyone who commented on Valdez’s Facebook wall should be charged with obstruction of justice or hampering a police investigation. Authorities are also debating whether Valdez’s posts themselves are a crime.

The takeaway: Social media is changing every type of interaction, and no one is totally certain what the new rules are. We’re all pioneers, so don’t be afraid to try.



– Lastly, this week my company BRANDEMiX partnered with the US Open to promote their July 7 job fair, where the National Tennis Center and all its hiring partners will be accepting resumes and conducting interviews to fill thousands of positions at this year’s tennis tournament. For this project, we created a microsite, a Twitter account and a Facebook Page.

The takeaway: Check out our Team US Open sites and tell me what you think!

If The Shoe Fits: Social Media Lessons from Converse

   Mashable just published an interview with Geoff Cottrill, Chief Marketing Officer of Converse. One passage jumped out at me:
   One day he discovered that Converse had 8 million [Facebook] fans and was asked what the brand should do. “Nothing,” he replied.
   How counter-intuitive! While the interview goes on to show that Cottrill’s philosophy isn’t quite that meager, his strategy for Converse is very simple and effective. Here are the lessons you can take from the shoe company and apply to your own brand.
   Listen More Than You Talk
   Cottrill explains that he actually meant “Do nothing special,” meaning Converse should allow online conversations to go on without any assistance. “The bottom line is that in social media you have to let go,” he tells Mashable, pointing out that the era of one-way communication is over. Studies have shown that people “Unlike” brands on Facebook when they post too often and broadcast too much promotional material. Allow your customers to come to you and address their concerns. If you just link to your own press releases, people will stay away.


   Give Things Away
   Knowing that rock musicians have a history of wearing Converse shoes to express their “individuality and independence,” the company is about to open a recording studio in Brooklyn, which it will rent to new bands for free; Cottrill promises that the musicians won’t even be asked to promote Converse in their work. You may not be able to offer a recording studio, but you can still hold giveaways and contests on your Twitter feed, Facebook Page, or blog. Give everyone who votes in your online poll a chance to win a small gift card or one of your less expensive products. You can also give away white papers, e-books, or other premium content.   Focus on Core Marketing Truths

   For Cottrill, that means “Be relevant, make a connection, and be useful.” A quick check of the Converse Twitter feed shows that a significant portion of the tweets are @replies to customers and fans. You can emulate this strategy by keeping straight promotion to a minimum and actively engaging your followers with answers, fun facts, surveys, and links to content that matches their interests and lifestyle.
   Don’t Duplicate Content
   Cottrill says that he modifies his messaging based on the platform. The example he gives involves posting videos of rock bands on YouTube, while asking for band member interview questions from followers on Twitter. Duplicating content may save time, but you’ll pay for it as followers get tired of seeing the same links three or four times in one day. I’m very aware of this phenomenon and I created the Four Essential Profiles to ensure that your four main messaging sources work together instead of against each other.
   Ultimately, Cottrill compares his social media campaign to being a good party guest: bringing your unique voice to the medium, letting go of the urge to manage the conversation, and trusting your customers. The result is that Converse has four times as many Facebook fans as its parent company Nike — and over three times that of Pepsi, which aggressively advertises its brand. “The key is to know yourself as a brand, be confident in your POV, and act that way wherever you are,” he says. Good advice.

Embracing Change the Integrated Way

Inspired by the fiscally responsible new President, the Swedish Ikea, the home products retailer kicked off an on-brand out-of-home ad campaign called “Embrace Change ’09” to honor President Barack Obama.

The integrated campaign includes out-of-home billboards featuring the “Embrace Change ‘09” slogan on local buses and trains. Ikea also held a “mock motorcade,” touring the D.C. area and strapped “furniture fit for a president” on top of vehicles to symbolize the incoming president and his family moving into their new home.

Other components include a site, www.embracechange09.com, where Ikea fans can design their own Oval Office using a drop-and-drag click tool, a $1,500 gift card giveaway to visitors who log onto the site and a mock-up of the office in the main hall of the Union subway station.

“We have never had an opportunity to do anything surrounding the message of change from a national standpoint,” Marston said, adding that Ikea seized a good branding opportunity. “[Obama’s] notion of change and his commitment to fiscal responsibility match the Ikea philosophy of practical and affordable home furnishings for all.”

Go to the site and decide how YOU would decorate the Oval Office- from there, you can actually email your design. Best of all, there’s still a chance to win $1,500.

Yahoo. Loving them again…alone

Regulars to BRANDEblog know that I have had a love hate relationship with Yahoo since the days I registered BRANDEMiX.com (love) to the time when they lost our website and all the files on our ftp site. (big hate.)

But in California at the leadership conference, when I had a great convo with Carole Mahoney, I was feeling the love again. I might be the only one.
Back in September, Yahoo launched Start Wearing Purple” campaign.

The campaign, centered around the web portal Start Wearing Purple, includes features like “Purple Picks” – a daily series of links to things which the Yahoo team has deemed Purple-worthy. There’s also a special Flickr Account celebrating all things purple. And over at Purple Pranks, you can watch a few bizarre setups led by Improv Everywhere’s Charlie Todd. Highlights include an elevator full of people singing a song about their favorite color whenever a stranger walks in.

Integration:

1. They’re encouraging people to Start Wearing Purple.
2.Yahoo! for Good, their community foundation, is disbursing grants to deserving people through a programme they call Purple Acts of Kindness.
3. They’ve set up the Yahoo! Purple Photo Booth on Flickr to celebrate images of all things purple.
4. They’re selling Yahoo! Purple T-shirts on the company web-site.
5. Through the Yahoo! Purple Pedals project, they have a camera on cycles that go around the city, which take a picture every 60 seconds, which in turn are tagged and uploaded to Flickr to document the bike’s journey.

Two months into the launch, the campaign seems to have failed. Comments around the net are cynical, sarcastic and disparaging:

  • A website created for the campaign features a video of various grungy-looking people, including Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, wearing purple and hollering.
  • Yahoo’s marketing department should spend all its time explaining to Internet users why they should use Yahoo instead of its competitors.
  • What’s tragic about that is that the brand Yahoo is trying to create isn’t particularly attractive. Look, it screams, we’re so desperate to be seen as kooky kids, we’re willing to hit our top executives in the face with rubber balls!

Perhaps the real target of the campaign is Yahoo’s own employees. Morale is in the dumpster at its Sunnyvale headquarters. “Bleeding purple,” Yahoo’s longtime catchphrase for displaying loyalty to the company, has come to refer to the endless exodus of employees. Wearing purple may boost the mood of longtime Yahoos. But it will hurt recruiting for those outside the cult. What adult wants to work at the company which still hasn’t figured out what it wants to be when it grows up?