Archive for November 2008

Crowdsourcing–Another Way Consumers Drive Marketing

November 9, 2008

We covered the concept of “crowdsourcing” this week, and it’s definitely one of the more fascinating and powerful uses of new media today. One main theme with new media that I’ve been writing about in this blog has been the shift from consumer involvement in marketing. Consumers, presented with ever broadening choices and content are becoming more discerning as to what messages they respond to. Therefore, what better way to move them to action than by getting them involved in creating the marketing themselves–a la crowdsouring.

According to an article, (  many companies have yet to fully understand the power of crowdsourcing, and how to make it work for their brands. The Doritos example that we read about in our class notes is an exception, and than campaign was wildly successful. The author of the TechCrunch article surmises that it might be the lack of incentives offered by these companies that would motivate greater participation and bring the best ideas to the forefront. In addition, it could be that companies also have yet to see crowdsouring as a big enough payoff to get involved. Tha author says:

“For now,  most companies see this (crowdsouring) primarily as a marketing exercise to engage their most avid customers and maybe generate some viral buzz. It will take a hit product to come out of this process for them to look at it as an actual source of innovation.”

Still, in my view companies are well served to look to their most avid customers for inspiration and to generate buzz. After all, a company’s customers are their most powerful brand advocate, and the more a company can wrap them into the company, the better the advocate they will be. In addition, there’s the psychological impact that crowdsourcing can have on the customers. By including them in shaping the company’s strategic messaging, the consumers become emotionally invested in the brand. The connection between the company and the customer reaches a new level.


President-Elect Obama Masters New Media

November 9, 2008

Well, we all witnessed history this past tuesday, as Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. It’s historic for obvious reasons, and whether you agree with Obama’s views or not, you cannot deny the inspiration his election has been to millions in the U.S. and it’s effect on the world. That said, we also witnessed a history as it relates to the integrated marketing communciations discipline. Obama used new media masterfully, and was miles ahead of the McCain campaign.

We learned in week three about the importance and methods of creating buzz–such as the ABC’s of Buzz from New Zealand Marketing Magazine. Obama’s campaign used a grass roots marketing effort to reach people online and build buzz about his brand. His campaign staff provided the right messaging through their “Alphas”–the spin machine that any campaign has to promote their candidate’s views and messaging; the “Bee’s” the army of thousands of volunteers across the country who acted as his messenges; and the “Consumers”–we, the American people, who bought what he was selling.

And that’s an important point to make–not to take anything away from the inspiration or history moment. The American people were sold something–we were sold Obama, and a message shaped through the effective use of new media to reach out to voters and connect with them. We witnessed history on multiple levels. Take a look at this article:, where the CEO of Ogilvy described Obama’s use of new media as a key component of his successful campaign:

“Embracing innovative new communication tools on the Internet and mobile phones to engage citizens has been central to the success of Barack Obama’s US presidential campaign, ” says Brian Fetherstonhaugh, chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide.

Intrusive Marketing Is Dying

November 8, 2008

One thing we’re learning each week in class is how the consumer is driving the marketing interaction more today than in the past. Specifically, consumers are getting picky about the content they accept and how they react. Banner ads, for example, rose quickly as the net gained in popularity and reach, but in a relatively brief period of time the click-thru rates started dropping dramatically. Why?

Simple–they’re annoying, intrusive and not an “invited” communication. Yes, they build recognition and are good for brand building, but as our class notes indicated they:

  1. Lost their novelty
  2. Were intrusive
  3. Nonsensical

What does this tell us about the root of effective marketing? The content needs to be relevant, engaging and welcome. There’s a pretty good blog that describes the key ingredients of a successful banner ad:

The words used to describe good banner ads are: succinct, branded, stand-out, contains a hook, eye-catching. Notice the similarity here? They all take root in being relevant and engaging. They encourage the viewer to invite communication by clicking.

Purpose Based Marketing

November 2, 2008

Another successful week in the Emerging Media class, and this week’s discussion focused on the future impact of new media on traditional media venues. It seemed like radio and newspapers got the most endorsements for the medias most likely to see a decline in effectiveness and ad revenue. The discussions were quite engaging and I think we identified a key trend shaping the industry–content is king!

This week there was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal relating to a form of marketing called “purpose marketing. The gist of it is this–as brand clutter continues and consumers gain more choice and control over which messages they can receive or block, one way to integrate a company’s brand into people’s lives is through the pursuit of a higher purpose, beyond just product sales. One example was Proctor & Gamble’s Pampers brand, which took the position of improving the lives of mom’s by helping them develop healthy, happy babies.

How did they do it? Instead of marketing just their products, P&G offered parenting advice and conducted research on the sleep patterns of babies–in an effort to develop products that aided babies in their sleep. The result was a new design of clothing and diapers that keep babies warmer and helps them sleep better.

P&G’s attempt at purpose based marketing worked–the company grew market share. The innovative marketing strategy helped inspire employees and built trust and an emotional connection with their consumers, helping to differentiate the brand. I think we’re moving towards purpose-based marketing across the spectrum. We’re doing so because the marketing discipline itself is changing. It’s not just about products, or brands, or sales promotions, or advertising, or clever slogans. It’s about building trust–building a connection, a relationship. It’s about people and lives, and good marketers today understand that.