31 August 2008

+ Talking About My Generation Y Podcast

Last Friday night I headed down to the Gen Y Marketing Podcast recording studios after being invited on to record an episode.

For anyone who doesn't regularly listen to these guys, it is well worth subscribing. Marketing Magazine has even likened them to the marketing version of Hamish and Andy and are definitely one of my favourite podcasts going around at the moment.

Check out the episode here.

29 August 2008

+ Spanner Ads

Using banner ads is not social media marketing.

They are simply a traditional, interruption media attempting to use a old practise that doesn't work in this new space on the Interwebs.

The only factor that makes them better than spam for enlarging my penis is how they can be somewhat targeted on social networking sites like Facebook. So when I state on my page I am a fan of Arrested Development, I receive ads selling Arrested Development tees. Unfortunately technology is not at a place to realise I would never wear an Arrested Development tee, even if I love the show.

So when Switched on Media describes social media as using banner ads, I'm going to have to call them out. If you truly practised social media, then you'll respond to this post and we can work on your strategy, or at least redefine that page to not include the words "social media".

27 August 2008

+ Top 50 Australian Marketing Blogs

Julian Cole recently ranked the Top 50 Australian Marketing Pioneer Blogs. Published in August's edition of Marketing Magazine, I was lucky enough to gain a ranking of 40th as well as the youngest blogger to appear in the Top 50.

One day, I'd love to crack the Top 25.

25 August 2008

+ UGC. What Is It Good For?

Not quite absolutely nothing.

I recently subscribed to B&T Magazine and found interesting the "advice column". Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to respond to the magazine in time, so I thought I'd do it here instead.

Here was their question...

One of my clients, who is marketing director at a big name brand, wants to hold a competition inviting the public to come up with an advertisement to launch a new product to the market. I think user generated campaigns hardly ever end well, and given that the brand's demographic is 14 year old males, I'm convinced this will go down badly. How do I tell my client I think it's a terrible idea?

And my response...

UGC is not about free content. If you ran a high involvement campaign, you might receive 1 out of 100 entries that you would find useful. In this case it would be a commercial that could pass as a legitimate idea in the boardroom. The other 99 would not. Chances are, majority of those would be legally unusable mash ups or reflect your brand in a negative light.

It takes a lot of pressure and heat to make a diamond. Yet the best diamond is the one you find accidentally and for free, usually nothing to do with a campaign of yours.

Now on a very different, yet similar, tangent, there has been a lot of talk lately around the blogosphere regarding social objects. These sharing devices provide value to consumers through social currency.

A UGC campaign should look to build social objects with consumers. Much like Scott Drummond's afro or David Gillespie's hat this becomes something people will talk about. Even better, this is something the consumer will actively spread onto friends and family, encouraging people to talk about it.

But what differs this from any other social object is the strong brand connection, and like Julian Cole's necklace, the brand is a part of its creation. So while the brand is weaved into the object itself, it is also part of its story, creating a higher level of social currency.

UGC is about building social objects that have a strong connection to the brand and as a result provide value to consumers with social currency. With this social currency, consumers can build their own relationships stemmed from a relationship with the brand. Above all, UGC is not about free content.

20 August 2008

+ Engage and Respond

In case you've been living under a rock, a few months ago Joseph Jaffe had a bit of a kerfuffle with airline Delta. In preparation for his trip down to Australia, Scott Drummond of Marketing Mag put out the opportunity to ask Joseph a question. Here is what I asked...

My question was more so a provocation than anything else. Do I actually believe he blackmailed and airline... perhaps. His argument of just being an average consumer doesn't really stand with me, not with the audience he has and the weight his word carries.

With that said, I'll be the first one to say blogging is an amazing platform to be heard and voice your opinion. I do it all the time. I also agree that we should be encouraging these companies to join the conversation and calling them out when make mistakes. I do that all the time too.

But that's not really the point of this post. His response to the incident and Julian Cole's interesting post on the Rules of Engagement for Companies and Bloggers got me thinking about my blog. I was criticised recently for slamming the Pimp My Kettle campaign and I've only now just realised the importance of the way bloggers engage and respond, not just marketers.

So from here on out, when I see a campaign I don't like I will still join the conversation. But only if it adds value.

And Joseph, if you're reading this, get in touch with me about that position at Crayon. ;]

18 August 2008

+ The Truth About Long Tails

Nearly six months ago Sprite ran the Truth Hunters campaign. I blogged about it in February, when it received a fair bit of flack from the Gen Y Marketing Podcast boys and possibly lead to this article about not trusting your advertising agency with digital media by Julian Cole.

Well six months later The Long Tail kicks in. Boing Boing ran an article on it a couple of days ago with one of the videos spiking in hits. And while buzz around this campaign increased significantly, Sprite didn't respond in any way. Imagine if they released another video. Or updated the website. Or ran another contest.

Social Media doesn't have a short term option.

17 August 2008

+ Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

It's funny how things can change in only a few days.

As of Friday night I was in the middle of constructing a six foot high pencil made of wood with the text "www.iwanttoworkatleoburnett.com" inscribed on the side. I had big plans to get this couriered to the Managing Director at Leo Burnett Melbourne and earn myself an interview. My plan was to go in as the naive student and learn, then ideally leverage social media and build a name for myself.

But things change. I've decided that these guys aren't going to give me the experience I want. So before I make my next move someone suggested I throw this out to my small, but hopefully passion, audience. I honestly don't expect a response but I hope there's no harm in trying.

Can you help me get experience in new or social media?

And if anyone wants six planks of wood shaped like a pencil let me know.

11 August 2008

+ Noodles Aren't Good For Your Body

I've received a fair bit of flack over my post about the Pimp My Kettle campaign. Apparently I wasn't constructive enough, which admittedly is true but by saying campaigns like this are ruining my career was apparently going too far.

Well here is some justification on what a successful social media campaign should look like. Check out Julian's post on The Body Shop.

So not only have they established a blog that actually works quite well, they are slowly looking to build up an authentic community. The best part of this, was that after Julian posted that, the author behind the blog commented. Simply using Google alerts this author has created a relationship that has since grown.

But it goes one step further. If you were to check out Julian's post on the Pimp My Kettle campaign there is again a comment from The Body Shop. It was actually rather insightful, fits well with the brand and most importantly wouldn't have shown up in Google Alerts. This means that the author is regularly checking out Julian's blog, continuing to build this relationship.

And that's how social media campaigns should work. Building relationships by providing value. Not creating false communities around passions that don't exist that will die in three months anyway. So while this is all new and we are still learning our way around, some rules and guidelines have already been set. Ignoring them does hurt my career and gives me every right to bag your shitty campaign if it deserves it.

09 August 2008

+ It Is Not My Birthday

Further to my previous post on our reliance on social media, I conducted a small experiment of my own. Changing my birthday on Facebook to yesterday instead of September 9th, I was surprised at how many people gave me birthday wishes, on both Facebook and in person. Not only were these just my friends, but my Friends too.

Of all my friends and Friends, only a few questioned the date. Would things have been different a few years ago?

02 August 2008

+ Pimp My Blog

If one of today's marketers doesn't pull off a decent social media campaign soon they are going to kill, or at least hurt, this highly potential channel. This leaves tomorrow's marketers in a very bad place.

Case in point is Fantastic Noodles Pimp My Kettle. I made a conscious decision last year to ensure my blog refrained from slamming campaigns as much as possible. But this is worth an exception.

The official page comes up fourth on a Google search. Furthermore, the page is a Ning. Oh dear.

Interestingly, of their 276 "members" the majority of them are from Adelaide. As Julian Cole pointed out to me, Clemenger BBDO, the agency behind this atrocity, is from Adelaide too.

I hope these guys can sleep with themselves at night. Not only are there ethical issues here but you're really fucking up my career.

01 August 2008

+ When Logic Isn't Common Sense

Before I began blogging I was quite a naive young student. I thought, as you logically would, marketers would only run campaigns that had profitable returns. Branding issues aside, common sense would suggest that expenses should at least equal income. So when my local real estate agent does a mail box drop of 10,000 pamphlets they must be covering their costs. When telemarketers call random numbers, they must be selling enough to cover their hourly rate.

But blogging has changed this rather naive view of mine. Brands don't always make logical decisions.
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Also ponies are evil.
Pigs Don't Fly © Copyright Zac Martin