Gary Vaynerchuk discusses branding and marketing in today’s new age. Pay attention – he hates the word ‘social media’ because media implies broadcasting — but today’s age is conversation!read more...
More Power! No, that’s not the lesson from the 1990s television show Home Improvement. Home Improvement was a television show that focused on the Taylor family. The father, Tim Taylor, understood content marketing before the age of social media.
In the show, Tim Taylor, along with his burly assistant, Al Borland, hosted the home improvement show Tool Time. Tool Time was more than just a cable television show about how to fix a toilet or repair a fence, though. It was a marketing tool by its sponsor: Binford Tools. Viewers of the show may have noticed the prominent mentions of Binford tools and the Binford sponsorship. The point of Tool Time wasn’t just to plug a leak, but to use a Binford wrench while doing it.
Binford wasn’t going to sponsor Cooking with Irma, a cooking show on the same network, as the target audience for that show wasn’t the target customer for Binford tools. But neither were they going to try to just advertise and not provide authentic content. Well, they did try.
Towards the end of the show, Binford had a new VP who required that Tool Time push the Binford name in the audience’s face. Instead of authenticity, they were asked to fake it — blow up things intentionally instead of due to Tim’s natural clumsiness. Instead of providing value, they chose to be the world’s first spammers and turn off their audience and host.
The result: Tim Taylor and the Tool Time team rebelled and Tool Time (and Home Improvement) ended its decade-plus run … and Binford’s content was now not in front of their target audience. By trying to push the hard sell, they ended up with no sell.
I’ve seen that all too often with so-called “social media gurus.” Most brands are broadcasting instead of engaging. Advertising instead of helping. Too many brands are just tweeting “Buy me” or promoting their latest events, rather then providing content that is interesting and useful to their prospective customers. That’s not the formula for success.
Instead, provide useful information to help your customers. If you are a tool company, provide videos on home improvement tips. An office building, how about small business networking. Gerber baby food talks about parenting tips on their blog. An Internet security company can talk about how to keep your server safe. A unit testing software company can blog about code errors and writing code for testing. An educational portal can teach their users. A strategic communications and marketing firm can share marketing tips (like this very site!). The medium isn’t important, except that it should be clear and legible. Certainly, if your customers can’t find your site or your video, it’s not very help and they won’t benefit you. That’s where SEO and proper coding, tagging, and formatting matter. But providing useful, helpful, and informative content is just as – if not more important. That’s what Binford did on Tool Time and what you need to do to your customers.
It’s not about social media or “traditional media” (was the television tradition media before the 1950s and 1960s?). It’s about creating compelling content that is useful to your potential customers. The medium is NOT the message. Tim Taylor knew that on Tool Time. Are you as smart as the tool man?read more...
Yesterday’s Cyber Monday was bigger in China than in the United States. According to a press release from eCoupons.com, 47% of American 18-49 year olds plan on making a purchase online, compared to 60% of Chinese 18-49 year olds.
If you are a retailer, why only sell in the United States when the emerging markets want to buy? As the American economy remains stuck in a tailspin, other countries, like India and China, are eager to buy.
For the past 6.5 years, I have lived in Israel. The domestic market is small – the population is less than New Jersey – so businesses must look abroad to succeed. The flight to China takes the same time as the flight to New York, so businesses can take whatever market they want. While in the past it was prohibitively expensive, with the low cost of shipping and logistics, e-commerce, and the fact that much commerce takes place digitally and not through the postal service, considering global markets should be an important question in your business strategy.
What markets do you work in?read more...
Happy Cyber Monday! Cyber Monday, coined in 2005, is the Monday that immediately follows Black Friday. Just as Black Friday represents the biggest physical store shopping day, Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day, as people continue their Christmas shopping when they return to work.
Cyber Monday is big business. In 2009, comScore reported that consumers spent $887M online on Cyber Monday (excluding travel), the second highest spending day of 2009.
Cyber Monday also emphasizes that it’s about a holistic marketing approach and multiple channels: not just social media sites like Twitter or Facebook. Rather the whole e-commerce toolkit. Other channels that are essential are mobile shopping sites and mobile-friendly websites, mobile marketing, social coupon sites like Groupon. Most importantly, though is a good website that is user-friendly, makes the purchasing process simple: clear calls to action, compliant and accessible coding. Ideally, marketers should engage in usability testing to test different site versions and see which one is likely to lead to more sales.read more...
While Facebook has long been home for Generation Y, now approaching 30 and online since they were still in university or graduate school, with the younger generation, and Generation X also long on the network, the fastest growing group on Facebook is Baby Boomers, now approaching retirement, and grandparents. Social media is not merely a marketing touchpoint to reach those under 45, but it’s also an important channel to reach Boomers. NBC News’s Tom Brokaw explores how Boomers embrace the medium.
Marketing is changing rapidly. It’s not sufficient to have a website, nor even a social media account. A facebook page is no more a marketing strategy than a telephone is communications strategy.
Here are some of the concerns that your organization needs to prioritize this upcoming year.
INFLUENCERS is a short documentary that explores what it means to be an influencer and how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion and entertainment.
The film attempts to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach.
Written and Directed by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson, the film is a Polaroid snapshot of New York influential creatives (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment) who are shaping today’s pop culture.