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May 29, 2014No Comments

360 < 365

Business ideas from the least expected players will disrupt your brand faster than advertising can save it.

The proof is clear no matter what industry you are in:

  1. AirBnB books more rooms that the W Hotels
  2. ZipCar has more daily engagement than Hertz

For each of these brands they have challenged common conventions and made the marketing shift from, 360 degrees of channel interruption and "integration" to creating ideas that deliver 365 days of customer connection.

Ever since I began writing this blog in June 2006 we have conversed about convergence of the digital and physical and Transmedia Brand Experiences. Now that almost every marketer on the planet has a laser focus on the customer experiences I think that it is safe to say that product, campaign and business ideas should be looked at and measured with the same lense. There is no discernible difference between the brand idea and the action a brand takes to endear customers its business.

Moreover when we look at our own customer/client landscape, we know that marketers are now responsible for leading the C-suite to solve real business problems, not just communications problems.

I think that it's safe to say the world has converged and the new equation for marketing and creative success is no longer 360 degrees of one channel idea - but an enduring idea that inspires 365 days of customer connection.

360 < 365 via @jpenabickley

March 28, 2012No Comments

Writing Your Next Symphony

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Harold R. McAlindon

Over the last few days, I have sat in a number of business meetings with fortune 500 marketers who all seem to have the same problem. There is a huge data conundrum.  Everyone of them spoke of the large agency partners having either too little of an understanding of their data across all channels or that their digital &  direct agencies who were in analysis paralysis and could not produce assets that met the data and technology demands of the new mediums. (Often referred to as perishable assets.)  Now that we are in post-digital era where people and our customers leave digital finger prints behind on everything they touch, why have the people who are supposed to be experts at the customers not figured out how to deliver new value to the Post-Digital client?

One of my early mentors, Marc Beeching once said, "The best stories are like a great piece of music. They have a beginning, middle and an end.  Sometimes you have to decide which pieces go where"  I think that analogy holds true for the data conundrum brands are in.  

Much of the Industrial Age and the Information Ages required focus and specialization.  But as white collar work has gotten routed to Asia and reduced to software, there is a new premium on the opposite aptitude: putting the pieces together, or what I call a Symphony.  What is in greatest demand today isn't more analysis, but synthesis-- seeing the big picture, crossing boundaries and being able to combine disparate pieces in to an arresting new whole.

For marketing & brand leaders and digital & traditional agencies alike who do not wish to follow their competitors down a path to a commoditized value exchange -- which is the typical path that many continue to travel -- They have a choice. Live in the past or get down to imagining and forging a new trail to the profitable future.

I have quickly found that you must marry your creative skill sets to a vastly uncomfortable place to survive. Dare I say "Data Synthesis".  As a creative leader you must act like a composer or a great conductor (my favorite is Gustavo Dudamel) .  Ask yourselves which symphony will you write for your brand or clients?  Will it tell a story? Will it have empathy? What meaning will it carry?  How will it be designed?

Next time your clients or potential clients ask you to show them your value -- create a symphony.  

Your audience will listen and remember you. 

Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Writing Your Next Symphony via @jpenabickley

February 26, 2012No Comments

Eurostar Live

The marketers and agency at Eurostar just got it right with a simple idea. The launch of Eurostar’s new platform, Eurostar Live brings social media commentary by the public about Eurostar’s destinations to 363 public display screens across London.

Eurostar1_0

 

Eurostar1_0

The campaign highlights hidden gems in Eurostar’s destinations, starting with Amsterdam.  I love that they tie in to existing social behaviors we all do when traveling.  Engage at: http://europe.eurostar.com/eurostarlive/

Eurostar Live via @jpenabickley

February 20, 20122 Comments

Is Pinterest Right for Your Brand?

The last 6 months have been huge for Pinterest. Every client I talk to has asked to get in on the Beta.  

Screen Shot 2012-02-20 at 2.58.15 PM

Their growth has inspired over 100 brands to begin pinning. So is it right for your brand? 

Retailers & Brands looking for Woman: Yes

Brands that are really blowing up on Pinterest are retailers. Right now, Etsy dominates - a natural choice considering how visually focused they have always been. Sucessful eCommerce has always been a visual experience. Now retailers have an opportunity to have their wares pinned all over the internet in non-ad form.

Select Retailers on Pintrest:


All other marketers: Maybe

In social media, there are a lot of bandwagons to jump on right now. Smart brands don't want to invest time and resources into social media that is just a flash in the pan or too niche for their customer base.  It must be able to show an ROI. Yes, Pinterest is driving lots of traffic and very popular with woman. But unless Pinterest provides a real solution to a problem that already exists, hold back.

A Key Takeaway: Pinterest, like other social media, is a utiltiy with lots of eyeballs that might help your brand. However, it might not. Keep your goals and KPIs close.

Other opinions & sources

Is Pinterest Right for Your Brand? via @jpenabickley

February 19, 2012No Comments

MomentFeed assesses consumers for real-time targeting

 

Screen Shot 2012-02-20 at 1.18.26 PM

 

The new geo-social targeting applications for marketers such as MomentFeed analyze Twitter feeds and Foursquare check-ins to determine the consumer's purchasing profile on the fly. Using those metrics, brands could send coupons or other incentives to consumers based on their likelihood of buying, analysts say.

Visit their site at http://momentfeed.com/

MomentFeed assesses consumers for real-time targeting via @jpenabickley

November 15, 20102 Comments

on: influential product reviews

Customer product reviews were described as ‘undeniably influential’ in a recent report released by eMarketer.  Jeffrey Grau, the report’s author notes that “for many purchases, shoppers find the best advice comes not from family and close friends but from strangers who have similar interests or who embody a lifestyle the shopper aspires to achieve.” Overall, it finds that customer reviews are a bigger part of the pre-purchase decision making process, with customers reading more reviews, and spending more time doing so.

on: influential product reviews via @jpenabickley

November 15, 20101 Comment

on: influential product reviews

Customer product reviews were described as ‘undeniably influential’ in a recent report released by eMarketer.  Jeffrey Grau, the report’s author notes that “for many purchases, shoppers find the best advice comes not from family and close friends but from strangers who have similar interests or who embody a lifestyle the shopper aspires to achieve.” Overall, it finds that customer reviews are a bigger part of the pre-purchase decision making process, with customers reading more reviews, and spending more time doing so.

on: influential product reviews via @jpenabickley

August 28, 20102 Comments

on : southwest airline’s chief apology officer

"Without service there are only buyers, not customers" - Lester Wunderman 2009

Southwest Airlines has assembled a team of digitally savvy apologists to reach out to customers they disappointed. Their main task is following up after all sorts of crummy customer experiences like misplaced baggage, flight delays, and even stuff out of their control like bad weather.  [via WOMMA]

Like TwelpForce and Comcast, Southwest Airlines knows that great customer service leads to loyalty. This is the type of proactive customer care that builds brands. People are accepting of mistakes when a brand representative acknowledges the mistake and proactively tries to fix it.

read more about Southwest Airlines approach to customer loyalty in the Chicago Tribune.

on : southwest airline’s chief apology officer via @jpenabickley

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