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May 9, 2009No Comments

ON: The 5% That Actually Use Twitter

Twitterdocumentwide

Last week the the boys from Twitter, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, visited the talking heads in the mainstream media after Time Magazine acknowledged them in their list of 100 Most Influential People in 2009. In the same week, the Harris Interactive Poll released a report via Media Post that has a few interesting stats as well as a few negative statements that has lead me to believe that many marketers, agencies and some social media "experts" have Twitter all wrong.  As a matter of fact, I ponder if brands that are there and not tweeting relevant insider or expert information to their followers understand that they are at risk of damaging their brands.

Thanks to @ev, @biz and @jack's many interviews we have found a few facts that we can build on.

  • Twitter is not a social network. (you are)
  • Twitter is a a succession of chirps as uttered by birds.
  • Twitter allows you to tweet to people who are willing to follow you.
  • You are an influencer to those who follow you.
  • Twitter is a wonderful forum for real people, companies and brand people with influence to broadcast messages.
  • Twitter allows for asynchronous "relationships"

The Skinny From Harris:

  • 74% of those aged 18-34 years old
    have a Facebook or MySpace account but this quickly drops off the older
    one gets. Only 24% of those 55 and older have an account
  • 8% of 18-34 year olds use Twitter, 7% of those 35-44 use it, 4% of those aged 45-54 and just 1% of those 55 and older
  • Men
    and women use Twitter at the same levels (5% each), but women are more
    likely to have a Facebook or MySpace account (52% versus 45%)
  • Two
    in five people with a high school degree or less have a Facebook or
    MySpace account compared to 55% of those with some college and 52% of
    those with at least a college degree.

So while the mainstream media may have found Twitter, only 5% of American consumers are currently using it. That 5% are more highly
educated and potentially more influential in a general sense if for no
other reason than traditional media's embrace of Twitter.

Data from Harris:

Online Social Network Usage - By Age & Gender (All Online Adults; % of Age Group)

Age Group

Gender

Network Usage

Total

18-34

35-44

45-54

55+

Male

Female

Have a Facebook or MySpace account

48%

74

47

41

24

45

52

Update Facebook or MySpace account at least once a day

16

29

17

10

3

14

18

Use Twitter (Net)

5

8

7

4

1

5

5

  Follow people on Twitter

5

8

6

4

1

5

5

  Use Twitter to send messages

3

4

5

1

*

3

2

None of these

51

25

50

59

76

54

47'

Source: Harris Interactive, April 2009  Multiple responses allowed; * indicates less than 0.5%

Online Social Network Usage - By Education (All Online Adults; % of Group)

Education

Network Usage

Total

HS or less

Some College

College Grad+

Have a Facebook or MySpace account

48%

40

55

52

Update Facebook or MySpace account at least once a day

16

14

18

16

Use Twitter (Net)

5

3

7

6

  Follow people on Twitter

5

3

6

6

  Use Twitter to send messages

3

1

4

4

None of these

51

59

43

47

Source: Harris Interactive, April 2009  Multiple responses allowed; * indicates less than 0.5%

In my experience in creating new ideas for brands Twitter has proven to
help me reach influencers following me who are interested in specific topics such as
racing, music, the elections and movies. (there are many many more topics)

If brands are dedicated to "engagement" then they must also be dedicated to building a library of content in strategically relevant areas.  This content can offer influencer's a chance to passionately evangelize the brands value over time. Twitter is the perfect platform to begin using your brand as a filter.  Can you name a few brands that are using Twitter to generate new interest, traffic and response to their offerings?

If you have not done so, you should join Twitter and see for yourselves.

ON: The 5% That Actually Use Twitter via @jpenabickley

January 17, 2009No Comments

ON: The New Instant News

Twitter posts were burning the moment that an eyewitness reported the dramatic details of the downed US Airways jetliner in the Hudson.  Instant transparent News. At about 2 minutes in to this video the plane comes into view.

The Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board posted this eye-opening video to its YouTube channel showing the emergency landing of a US Airways flight in the Hudson on Thursday.  Word-of-mouth has never been so powerful. Our technology has put the power live mass distribution in your hands.

How will you use it?

ON: The New Instant News via @jpenabickley

January 17, 2009No Comments

ON: The New Instant News

Twitter posts were burning the moment that an eyewitness reported the dramatic details of the downed US Airways jetliner in the Hudson.  Instant transparent News. At about 2 minutes in to this video the plane comes into view.

The Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board posted this eye-opening video to its YouTube channel showing the emergency landing of a US Airways flight in the Hudson on Thursday.  Word-of-mouth has never been so powerful. Our technology has put the power live mass distribution in your hands.

How will you use it?

ON: The New Instant News via @jpenabickley

May 11, 20083 Comments

ON: Speaking To The Consumer

Direct, Advertising, Digital, Search, Retail, Promotions, Word Of Mouth (on and on and on) –  are all used to create awareness, attempt to convert consumers and inspire their loyalty once we have their attention.   We are all marketers.  If your fees come out of a marketing budget – you are a marketer.

Just as I have stated that we are all creative, and all responsible for the consumer experience - no matter the medium - we are also all speaking directly to consumers and all our work should be asking people to act, buy and take action now.

Clients are not buying tactics like a TV commercials, direct mail, viral videos, widgets or banner ads. Clients worth working with are buying ideas.  If they are not buying ideas from you, it is likely you do not have a consultative relationship with that marketing organization.  No one tactic can drive the volume of sales needed to have an effective sales driving campaign.  A piece of direct mail without the amplification of a phone call, television ad, or search result has yet to drive sales with any substantial volume.  And when they are not in concert with each other  (like a great band)  they are merely noise - not music.  The only way to capture the attention of consumers who are bombarded with millions of messages is to be consistent in our message and and make sure that each of the mediums are working in harmony with each other.

If you sell tactics, what happens when that tactic becomes too expensive, proves in effective on its own or is outsold by a competitive channel agency with a new bright shiny object? In my experience, you and your agency are OUT. Out of money, out of interest and out of options.

Stop selling agencies as tactical “machines”!  In the service economy there is no respect or substantial money in the “machine” or production aspect of what we do.  There is how ever substantial money in the creation and articulation of an idea.

Ideas Sell

What is an idea?  In marketing, an idea generates desire for the product or service you are selling.  A great idea creates desire with entertainment and a compelling and valuable call to action.

Like every creative in the business I have a copy of Ogilvy On AdvertisingDavid Ogilvy was famous for creating his agency's slogan: "we sell or else."   That still holds true today.  What David knew was that the he could not sell without an idea. The once constant in every effective case study I have read, written and studied is that the idea in conjunction with the right media sold the product.

If you never create an idea that creates desire – people will not look at the product you are selling as something they need.

The only way to do that is to deliver an idea that is worthy of a consumer conversation that is long lasting.  You have to answer the consumer question – what’s in it for me.  Don’t sell products…sell passions.  No one does this better than American Express, Doritos, Mercedes, Adidas, Coke, Nike and The Gap.

Delivering Consumer Relationships To Brands

All the years I have spent working on brands and consumer retention programs I have found that it is NOT the tactic that makes a consumer love us. 

It is what we say, how we act and their perception of our product’s effect on their lives.

Customer Relationships 2.0 starts with more than a welcome letter or gift.  Now more than ever it involves acknowledgment and the amplification of consumers voices who profess their love or hate for you through earned media such as comments, videos, blogs and photos.

The voice of the consumer is paramount to delivering product re-sell and service retention.

ON: Speaking To The Consumer via @jpenabickley

March 20, 2008No Comments

ON: The Ethics of Word Of Mouth

This article from The Christian Science Monitor makes a good case -- and serves as a timely reminder -- for why each and every company's WOM efforts should be ethical. Unethical word of mouth marketing taints the industry for everyone involved. The article focuses on astroturfing and highlights a couple of WOM ethics missteps.  The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political
or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some
political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or
event.

An Astroturfers attempts to orchestrate the actions of apparently
diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt
("outreach," "awareness," etc.) and covert (disinformation)
means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by anything from an individual
pushing their own personal agenda through to highly organized
professional groups with financial backing from large corporations,
non-profits, or activist organizations.

"Whether it's Microsoft paying a journalist to edit the company's
entry on Wikipedia or the CEO of Whole Foods giving an anonymous online
thrashing to competitor Wild Oats or Sony Corporation funding an
"independent" fan blog, deceptive marketing practices on the Internet
are a growing problem, new-media analysts say.
      This type of consumer manipulation is known as "astroturfing," and efforts to stomp it out are growing."  - Source: Christian Science Monitor  Read Entire Article >

For a WOM ethics refresher, visit WOMMA's ethics toolkit page at http://www.womma.org/ethics.

ON: The Ethics of Word Of Mouth via @jpenabickley

April 13, 20076 Comments

ON:Volvo – The Hunt

Picture_3

After the success of last year’s treasure hunt, Volvo is at it again with a new online hunt coinciding with the third Pirates of the Caribbean film ‘At World’s End
which is due to hit US cinemas on May 25th. Details have yet to be
revealed, but the automaker has set up a blog, calling for all to keep
their eyes peeled for the upcoming campaign and to create a bit of
pre-release buzz. The blog so far contains a short teaser video and a
brief introduction written in full-on pirate talk to get visitors fired
up for the next hunt.

Last summer’s effort promoting the Dead Man’s Chest
was a huge success, pulling in over 52,000 active participants in the
US alone. Players were led on an extravagant online treasure hunt,
ending with seven lucky finalists unearthing their very own Volvo XC90 in sunny Barbados.

Online
games and hunts seem to be the ‘in thing’ at the moment. The
interactive and engaging qualities rarely fail to pull in the punters,
especially when prize incentives are involved and offer the opportunity
for brands to interact with consumers in a far more sustained and
meaningful way than via an intrusive TV commercial. Recent examples of
games-as- marketing include Microsoft Vista’s collaboration with 42 Entertainment Resources where an online scavenger hunt was set up with the winner booking a ticket into outer space!

It’s campaigns like these that signify the changing face of
advertising, where niche, micro-targeted ideas use word of mouth and
inquisitive bloggers to piggyback the message into the mainstream.

Picture_6_2

Volvo’s first clue has already been posted up on Disney’s ‘At World’s End’ homepage with more soon to follow. So quick! Don your pirate hat and eye patch. Get hunting!

Savvy?

Check out these links:

ON:Volvo – The Hunt via @jpenabickley

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