I have stopped blogging on this site for now. I've moved to a new platform that will make it easier to post more frequently and consistently (fingers crossed). Content will be very similar. Please visit: http://e-dorphins.tumblr.com/
Earlier this week, AdAge published some findings from the ARF that discussed the importance of advertising in sparking Word of Mouth. The discuss the empirical findings that the most effective TV advertising (which is still a very effective medium in their view) are the ads that generate the most talk. They go on to quote Ed Keller, author of the book The Influentials, saying that 22% of all WOM conversations about brands are sparked directly by advertising.
In a world where sharing is the new media, friendship is the new currency and advocacy is the new goal; the role of advertising will increasingly be to get people talking about your brand. Preferably in a good way if they're your target, and a bad way if they're not (that's a whole other blog post.)
Another good article from Business Week that talks about mobile phone manufacturers making it possible to share apps, tools and games with whomever you want. Sharing is the new media for brands. Sharing can spread content, tools and even your products. We should be thinking of it as a "motivation medium." A powerful media that when sparked can be your biggest source of growth.
Great Business Week article analyzing the growing economy of friendships and connections online. Now, social networks and friendships are a source of learning and a medium for marketing brands. When attention is hard to get, friends can be the way to get it.
Now, putting your consumer hat on, ever wonder how many friends is too many? How many you can actually maintain a two-way dialogue with? Here's a cool breakdown that rings really true.
This is a great chart by Tim Brown at IDEO from his new book, Change by Design. As marketing expands its bounds into anything that add value to a customers life, this reminded me that innovation should be a constant process. This chart is a great way to frame up ideas that can create advocates for brands, and new revenue opportunities. Also spurs a good audit. Where have your ideas been focused? Should they be expanded? Where are the opportunities?
For several years, we've been working on a methodology, philosophy, mantra and mode of operand i for 22squared. This is a deck I wrote as an orientation to the Friendship Model. I'm sharing it because it's an intuitive way for brands to harness the power of advocacy to grow their business. Obviously, comments welcome.
A fresh and refreshing way to submit an RFP. And most of all appropriate, given the client's desire for an agency that lives and breathes social media. Our (22squared's) submission is explained in the slideshare below. The greatest thing, it was fast, fun and painless...unlike most new biz processes. We made the "short list", so...onward.
In an industry where customers feel marginalized and expectations are best explained by the positive phrase "It was uneventful..." Jet Blue has redefined the airline experience. 22squared did research on the Airline Category in 2008, exploring the relationships between customers and their airlines. It revealed that Jet Blue has more brand advocates than any other airline tested. Even more impressive is the company they hold on a broader level. They have brand advocacy levels similar to Target, Verizon and ING Direct. With a "soul mate-type" connection to their customers, Jet Blue has created a flying experience worth talking about. Even after a well-publicized debacle of a customer experience in 2007, they showed how a quick response and honest conflict resolution can have a positive affect on brand advocacy.
See the full report along with three imperatives for Airlines to increase advocacy.
If someone asked you which wireless brand has the most brand advocates, how would you answer? Would it be clear? It's a tough question because many of us have a very adversarial relationship with our wireless provider (no matter how cool our phones are). With questionable customer service, unforgiving contracts and dropped calls 30% of wireless customers feel they are moving away from their current wireless provider, while only 23% are moving toward (the other 53% claim they are neither moving toward or away).
Despite those realities, one wireless provider stands out, having as many advocates as the likes of Jet Blue, Target and Sony.
Faris Yakob has made some awesome posts and presentations on enabling people to spread your message. Along with Griffin's blog dedicated to Propagation Planning, Faris has really nailed how to create assets that people will play with, remix, and make their own. Because when people make things they feel they own, they share. And when people share, brands win. As agencies and communicators work to promote brands, we have to approach challenges differently and think about how to equip people to spread our message for us. That means starting with content that can be messed with, without seeking to control how its messed with. That's a totally different way to approach advertising than making a :30 spot. It requires story telling, cultural context, symbols, language, video, pictures...all assets people can use to create around your theme or central idea.
It's exciting to think about and even more exciting to do. Read these very smart blogs about it.
Saw this recent post from David Meerman Scott on the Air Force's strategy for reaching 18 year olds via social media. Furthermore, they have detailed rules of engagement for talking with influential people who are talking about them on the social web (see chart below). In today's environment, it's not so easy to convince an 18 year old that the armed services is the best direction for their life. So the Air Force has adapted out of necessity, and I know dozens of companies that need to as well. With retailers and manufacturers seeking every sale they can get, it pays to have a formal, aggressive and strategic social media strategy.
UPDATE: Aurthur Mitchell just made me aware of a great social networking sites created for the Mom's who have questions and concerns about what Navy like will be like for their kids. Great site with more than 10K members.
A few days back I posted a Social Media Map by Ari Herzog at Overdrive. It's an awesome menu for anyone trying to spread an idea or a brand via social media. I "discovered" this slide share from a David Armano Tweet. Why did I do that? Well, this presentation explains it. It's a great psychoanalysis of what makes people participate in the social web. Ever get those questions from people who don't participate? They look at you kinda sideways and say things like, "why would anybody waste their time doing that?" Well, here's the answer. A combination of motivations, like people's desire not to miss out on opportunities, a desire to be recognized as important, and a desire to make meaningful connections with others. It gives a nice road map (slide 50) for understanding how to design a utility/application for engagement and social spread. The more brands understand this and act on it, the more talk and advocacy they will earn.
Brandon Murphy is Director of Brand Planning at 22squared. This is his personal blog where he shares thoughts and opinions that are solely his own. Reasons to Talk exists to share strategies and methods for creating customer advocates that will propagate brands and their ideals. He's a proud husband, father and avid runner.