In Agency Biz, Just Thinkin', The Marketing Microscope on May 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm
Attention all you metric mavens out there. In this economy and business climate, I understand a little tendency toward desperation. When you’ve got bills to pay, it’s logical to want an almost instant return on any time, money or other resources you invest in your business. But “logical” isn’t always the same as “smart.”
I just read a wonderful post on the subject by Amber Naslund over at her Brass Tack Thinking blog. She talks about the need to build all your networks before you “need” them. Create and grow your relationships when the only payback is the relationship itself, not a virtual filing cabinet with the many ways the other party can help you get money, business, a job or whatever- preferably soon. ROI doesn’t stand for Return on Insensitivity.
Clearly, this discussion is relevant given the attention and special status so many of us marketers are conferring on social media as a marketing channel. We smugly congratulate one another on recognizing the need for two-way dialogue and claim to be comfortable with the fact that we don’t lead many of the discussions any longer. Then someone gets impatient with all that warm, fuzzy stuff and talks about “monetizing” the process. Sigh.
I don’t really think this is about social media at all. Remember the marketing people whose obvious self-absorption and thirst for profit drove you crazy pre-Twitter and even pre-Internet? Those are the same people who are now either driving potential customers away with transparent efforts in “new media” or staying out of the social media discussion entirely since they don’t have the mindset to accept a payback that isn’t guaranteed to happen at all, let alone quickly. (That doesn’t make it a bad investment – just one they can’t understand.)
Yes, I’m very aware that businesses must manage their resources efficiently and don’t like the idea of paying people to “schmooze” or cyber-surf with no apparent end game. But unless you’re the low-price leader and can get all the business you need by sending out price lists, you’d better learn to deal with it. Whether it’s a potential client, employer, strategic business partner or a potential customer, they’re only human – and if they weren’t important back when you didn’t need them, they won’t have much use for you when you do. Marketing is suddenly very human. And I find that a very good thing.
In Agency Biz, Uncategorized on December 26, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Perhaps you’ve seen the new commercials for Ally Bank. The campaign features a sleazeball presenter using various verbal ruses and omissions to trick children as they try to play with various toys; the point is that even kids know what is and isn’t fair – why don’t banks?
It’s a good idea; but the performers are what really make the spots work – especially the kids, whose sense of innocent indignation is perfect. (Maybe it’s not acting, but that’s beside the point.)
Another campaign that does a good job of casting is the AT&T wireless spots. The “mom” in the spots is wonderfully believable in her facial expressions and mom-like insistence that her family use, rather than waste, their rollover minutes – a unique AT&T benefit. Her most frequent target – her teenage son – is equally well played with eye rolls and other typical teen reactions.
You can probably think of some spots that you didn’t like because of poor casting or performances. But more importantly, there are many thousands more that you simply don’t remember because the casting choices were nothing special, or didn’t quite click. (Perhaps if Wendy’s hadn’t recognized the memorability of Clara Peller, it would be a lot further down the fast food pecking order right now.)
I should know the importance of casting from my own experiences. My sample reel contains an inexpensive spot, filmed in Columbus, Ohio, for a small tax preparation service. The spot is far better than it deserved to be, thanks to a wonderful performance by the lead actor.
At the other end of the spectrum, however (and certainly not on my sample reel) was an ill-fated attempt on behalf of Jack-in-the-Box Restaurants (one of my first big-name clients) many years ago. I was certain that Read the rest of this entry »
In Agency Biz on June 8, 2009 at 11:46 am
I came across an interesting item in Chris Bell’s blog Customer Think that made me think. He points out that most “customer feedback” mechanisms are tiresome formalities. Customers usually have no real incentive to tell the truth, and the business frequently cares very little about the answer anyway.
That “how is everything?” from the restaurant server is a classic example. Most people, even if they had just found a golf ball in their guacamole, would simply smile back and say “fine.” Most of us don’t like conflict, and after all, we rationalize, it’s probably not his or her fault!
And the server, who has been told to make this inquiry, isn’t expecting a real answer, either. Unless you send something back or demand to see a manager, it’s doubtful your comments make it to the kitchen door. Everyone just moves on, and no actual information has been exchanged. The restaurant gets a false sense of security. Read the rest of this entry »
In Agency Biz on May 31, 2009 at 10:22 pm
So close. Both of them with great voices, but in decidedly different packages. Susan Boyle and Adam Lambert each came within a quarter note of winning a major competition, which would have virtually ensured them of fame and financial success.
Now, however, each must figure out how to capitalize on what they have achieved thus far, before falling back in to relative obscurity and having to “start from scratch.” And suddenly, the clock is ticking.
Chances are Susan and Adam have made enough noise that many influential folks will be eager to help them cash in. But if you run an ad or PR agency, you’re on your own. And failure to seize momentum at the right time can be costly, or even fatal. Read the rest of this entry »