Monthly Archives: February 2009

Find-ability + Relevance > Reach + Frequency

Ah, preparing for and being at conferences, such as the iMedia Brand Summit (#imedia for you “twits” out there as Brad Berens from iMedia so eloquently put it today) always make the mind think freely about this industry we are in and all trying to make better. Thus, I’ve actually posted twice in less than a week…and now thrice. As per usual, the idea here isn’t fully baked, but it is an interesting thought w/ which to toy. That thought is this…

Find-ability + Relevance > Reach + Frequency

Note I am not completely sure what Find-ability + Relevance equals just yet (not “engagement”, please, dear Lord, not “engagement”), just that the combo is more valuable than the staid addition for reach and frequency. Here’s what I mean…

It’s a digital world in which we inhabit. As such, it’s a world of 1’s and 0’s that is becoming more and more search-able. And the goal of any search is finding what one wants. Thus, find-ability – the ease w/ which a person seeking something can connect that something w/ your brand – is much more valuable than reach – the percentage of a pre-conceived demographic audience that you think you need to reach.

In order to ensure your brand being found leads to what you ultimately want – sales, perception changes, and whatnot – your brand must be relevant. That means regardless of where, how, when, how often, in what form, etc. your brand shows up, it is always providing a benefit to those who were either seeking the context w/in which your brand is appearing or the application of your brand at the stage in which those people are seeking it allows them to take the next step in their journey. This can occur “frequently” or it could occur once – but the key is that when it does occur, it is seamless and beneficial. It is not done a certain amount of times just for the sake of doing it a certain amount of times (i.e. frequency).

One of my interpretations of (now former) CMO of Travelocity Jeff Glueck’s keynote today (note: this is my interpretation based on the things that have been rolling around in my head that I referenced earlier, he didn’t say or even insinuate the following) is that digital is a key base medium not for it’s measurablity or DR potential, but as the place where relevant experiences begin and are nurtured based on how easily one is found.

Not figure out how you want things to look in the offline world and let that drive the “brand” and then augment w/ online and figure out emerging channels like mobile and apps and stuff once you nail that offline. But realize that their is legitimate, scaled behavior tied to digital media that can be a basis from which all things start – and all that other media can serve the purpose of driving measurable results through these find-able, relevant media.

Fun to think about how you can turn the status quo on it’s head, isn’t it?

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Filed under digital distribution, future of media, media mix

Letting Megadeath Replace Killer App or There’s No Emergence without Merging

Note: There will be no mention of Dave Mustaine in the following. However, I’m digging the Sufjanness of the title.

Of late, a term from The Bubble has been rolling around in my head. Not because I’ve heard people using it, but because the behavior that it implies I’m seeing – again. That term is ‘killer app.’

Why? Probably because when folks are feeling they are in desperate times, they tend to reach for something, anything, the proverbial ‘silver bullet’, that will make everything better. And though no one is saying ‘killer app’ these days, much chatter abounds about Twitter, iPhone, Facebook, Orkut, Vimeo, et al and the various cottage industries that have sprung up around them in the form of apps for these platforms or the fact that these things can be reduced to apps that live on other platforms that can also be reduced to apps and live on these things platforms, too.

I completely get the need to have first movers and early adopters pushing the bounds of what is possible and creating buzz around “emerging” media and platforms. I am fine w/ account planners, media/marketing pontificators and prognosticators, bloggers and the ilk spending the majority of their time on Twitter talking about Twitter and the social and anthropological relevance of Twitter and the various ways one can get Twitter, use Twitter, and tweet about Twitter. I’m guilty of playing that game at times myself. I actually learn a lot from these folks – and do my best to filter out what the video link above mentions in an all too honest assessment of the environments. Bitterness, arrogance, hipster inside-edness and flaming is pretty rampant, but if you wade through it – and give as well as you take – you can see wonderful examples of many and varied best practices abound.

Anyway, the magic moving forward will be, IMHO (wait, I’ve got more than 140 characters here) – in my humble opinion – is realizing if your role is one of a zealous quest for turning over the next killer app and it’s relevancy in and of itself before it “tips”, or if you’re responsible for harnessing the disparate powers of these platforms to achieve something greater than the sum of the parts.

What I mean by that is this – IP/digital is practically ubiquitous. The infrastructure is built and it is solid. What we are seeing now are not ’emerging’ media, but new business models and communication platforms in their Gutenberg printing press stages. The winners in the new new media age will be those who can develop strategy to synthesize killer apps either as they arise or as they’re relevant. The winners will be able to decipher – i.e. have enough knowledge of IP/digital platforms – what the avant-garde of the media/marketing industry are talking about and doing and applying it to the early and late majority.

In a nutshell, those who can make the whole greater than the sum of it’s parts – and, most importantly, provide benefit to a large swath of the people that matter to them most – their customers.

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Letting Respect Replace Control

What marketer isn’t tired of hearing how they no longer control their brands? They’re either tired of hearing it because they’ve bought into it in some capacity. Or they’re tired of hearing it because they stubbornly hold onto the notion that the brand is theirs and only they can define what it is and isn’t based on what they chose to say primarily through advertising.

Regardless of which end of that potential continuum one resides, I’d propose blowing up the control continuum. Instead, one should plot one’s self across a continuum of respect – as in how much respect you have for your customers.

I was toying w/ a quadrant approach vs. continuum, with control on the x and respect on the y. But thinking that through a bit further, I felt it a cop out.

I would venture to guess that the brands that reside on the most positive end of the respect continuum probably have the most loyal customers. In the final analysis – and especially in the current macro-economic environment – don’t we desire to have loyal customers? And if that is the case, if ceding control brings the ultimate result desired, plotting it is irrelevant.

Besides, we do enough over-complicating in this industry as it is. Didn’t want to muck up The Golden Rule with The Control Freak Corollary.

That said, this isn’t a pure open source advocacy to managing a brand. I do not believe UGC, crowdsourcing and their ilk replace the need for brand standards. However, I do believe the vast rabble of ‘You’, that person of the year just a couple of years ago, is continuously changing how s/he interacts w/ and what s/he expects from brands. In spite of all the philosophizing I’ve read of late about what the original intent of certain platforms were and what they should become by those in the know, and in spite of the fear of ceding control by those not in the know, that is associated w/ the increased ease of two way media (call it social if you please), people are out there using these things. Not being there is not a choice for any brand anymore. Whether we pay for it via advertising or whether we build experiences on the platforms or whether we have staff dedicated to lurk and/or engage, we’re all there. You can’t control what people talk about or where they chose to talk about it – be it in physical or digital places.

And that is OK. I can respect that.

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Filed under communication platforms, customer relationships, push vs. pull