You are media.
Everyone is media, because everyone is a storyteller.
The photo you shared, the joke you told, the meme you sent on its merry way – all stories from the network of you.
We are all telling stories, every day, and if you come at your brand understanding that, it can help you tell its story.
This seems so obvious but it’s one of those things, like healthy habits, that we forget to do in the rush of daily responsibility.
We spend a lot of time getting systems and tools together that work seamlessly for us. Now, get uncomfortable. Get splinters.
Spend a day, preferably more, dependent on a platform/product that’s not your daily go-to.
Hide your laptop and only use your phone. For everything. Like most of your audience.
If that phone’s an iPhone, get an Android device. Like most of the world.
Go on a trip with only one device.
Use only Internet Explorer for a few days (I know, I know, ow, I said uncomfortable).
“I can’t use IE, I only have a Mac and the simulators don’t work.” USE A PC FOR A WHILE. USE WINDOWS. Apple is fifth or sixth globally in desktop market share this month, depending on whom you listen to. (I am 1000% guilty as charged on this one.)
Do all your designs/approvals on a triple Thunderbolt display? (I’m guilty of this, too.) Don’t look at them in a big, glossy, pricey format for a few days.
What’s important is to do this not only in product testing (“does it work on IE?”) but in daily life, to understand the real experiences of your real consumers.
One of my favorite content pieces from the team this year.
Awesome instore activation from The North Face Korea. What will a customer do when the floor literally disappears? Luckily there’s a climbing wall…it’s North Face, after all.
You have to make a reaction. You have to surprise. You have to astonish yourself. Be always on a wire, a thread. – Jean-Louis Dumas of Hermès
When you create art, it rings with truth and authenticity. When you create “marketing”, it often rings hollow.
If we lose sight of art in the rush of business, we suffer for it as marketers, even if our business seems an “ordinary” one.
“Equity analyst Dan Salmon may have never gotten as much feedback on a research note as the one he wrote six weeks ago about native ads — the trendy, bespoke executions mimicking the form of the content around them. “It was agency people saying ‘This doesn’t work, it doesn’t scale,'” Mr. Salmon recalled at a panel on native advertising convened by Ad Age and IPG at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. They require too much work to be efficient, the agencies complained.” – Ad Age, 1/11/2013.
There’s beyond a cogent argument against using “scale” as the measurement of success in advertising models. Buzzfeed’s Jonathan Perelman says it really well in the video below, as does the head of sales for Tumblr, but I’ll summarize and simplify here.
Scale doesn’t mean anything if you’re not effective. Engagement and life of relevance are direct drivers of effectiveness. “Native” ads, content marketing, and other continuing change-ups on the same old-same old “online” ad are what will create engagement in the future, and what will live on past the fractional moment in which the eye tracks a banner.
My apologies for Ad Age’s Flash videos!
I’ve been asked to explain programmatic buying.
So….remember when you, or someone on your team, would review (hopefully on a daily basis at least) your digital ad performance, and re-allocate the buys immediately to optimize your spend? Requiring six calls to one or more agencies and probably a few arguments along the way.
Most tasks like this are better when machines do ’em.
Programmatic buying is part of marketing automation. Set your parameters and you can optimize in real time.
You’ll still be reviewing constantly, but you’ll be far more efficient, and you’ll learn a lot from the patterns that emerge.
Yesterday I was puzzling out a tough problem and I called two close friends to help me work it through – which they did.
It was a really nice feeling to know I could call on these resources and that I could trust in what I would receive, and feeling that emotion yet again when the problem was lessened reinforced my trust.
Later that night, one of my friends called me for help on a knotty professional problem of her own. Being able to help, and being trusted in my ability to contribute, meant so much more to me than any help I had gotten earlier.
This applies to brands, products, and services as well as to people and resources. We place a lot of value in having systems around us that we can trust. But we must place an even great value on being trustworthy, and valuable, in the minds and hearts of others.