Defining the Brand: Loyalty or Acquisition?

Like most mornings before I get my day rolling, I check the internets and see what’s going on.  Lo and behold, my buddy Bryan Willmert shared this article about gamification from Mashable.  In this article, we are presented with the game mechanics needed for customer loyalty:

  1. Define the “grind” – a clear and easy-to-understand action as the core of your product and loyalty effort
  2. Lay down an XP (“experience points”) system
  3. Create five social actions
  4. Develop a Social Loop With Appointment Mechanics
  5. Have a Reward System Based on SAPS (non-cash rewards by the way)

As I read it, I was reminded of something I posted a couple of years ago where I recommended my former employer change their focus from customer acquisition to customer loyalty.  Now, I’m not naive as I completely understand in the automotive industry, sales are king, BUT I will say that times have changed and that focus might need to make a shift towards loyalty, customer relationship marketing, customer experience or whatever you want to call it.

My “out of the box” idea to my friends at The General would be to take the $10 million you pulled from Facebook advertising and the money you would have spent on the Super Bowl and invest some (or all?) of it into a platform that develops the Apple following I’ve heard many of my former colleagues talk about when I was there.  If you want to develop a car culture where you have people talking about you on their own, provide recommendations and not have to rely mainly on incentives, why not give it a shot?

Check out the following chart that just happened to pop into my inbox as I was writing this:

Most companies would love to see this chart about them, wouldn’t they?  Things are different now, especially online.  Investment must be made and the platform and consumers need to be cultivated.  The biggest question is, are you patient enough to wait?

Don’t Be A Dinosaur

If you saw Moneyball, you’ll know the scene.  It’s the scene that summarizes why I am the way that I am.  It’s the scene that explains why I want to challenge the “way things have always been done” because when it gets to that point, it’s time to do something new.  It’s the scene that explains why I challenge those that ask what the ROI of social is when the only measurement I can get from a large TV media buy is impressions (bold statement to make but certainly appropriate).

Marketing is different.  I subscribe to the notion that “social media” has transformed marketing from  megaphone to dialogue.  Consumers now expect to have conversations with brands.  The DVR era has made commercials an easy thing to skip, but guess what…brands are putting them on YouTube so they can get more eyeballs and socializing them on Facebook and Twitter.  That’s a little funny to me.

I think many people and brands understand this and are trying to figure it out.  We all know what Old Spice did in taking their traditional TV commercial and transforming it into a platform that in a humorous way talked to its consumers and fans.  They understood this “trend” and took a chance on something that was different.

The critics of social media and those that say it doesn’t work only have themselves to blame.  I recently read an article from Ian Schafer on Ad Age (definitely take the time to read it) where he talks about this very thing.  Two things resonated with me.

  1. FACEBOOK IS NOT A PUBLISHER. FACEBOOK IS A PLATFORM. And it’s the way people spend the most time with digital media.
  2. Solely blaming Facebook for their inability to deliver advertising ROI, or enough metrics, is like blaming the school you went to for your salary not being high enough. Advertisers are in full control of the experiences they create on and off the platform.

At the end of the day, we control the advertising switch.  It’s up to us to flip the switch and do things that engage consumers and make them want to engage with you.  That includes using the platforms for conversation and not publishing as well as embracing technology and allowing the consumers to have the power to make their brand experiences personal.

Don’t be a dinosaur.

Taking Innovation For Granted

Have you ever thought about the advancements in technology and how easily we take things for granted?  The following clip is from Louis C.K. when he was on Conan O’Brien a few years ago.  This is an amazing 4 minutes that everyone who knows anything about technology should pay close attention to.  It made me realize how quickly we can take things for granted.

Things move quickly.  Look at what the social web has done.  Millions of apps.  Marketing and advertising has been impacted.  I new category in mobile computing was created (thank you Steve Jobs).

So the next time you start to complain about not having wireless or you have to wait a few extra seconds for your phone to find something on the web, think back 10 years ago.  Did you think any of this was possible then?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time For A Change

Back in November, I posed the question, Which Way Do I Go?

Well, I have an answer for you.

Look for my thoughts on marketing, advertising, social media, and technology at Edooce, where I’ll be partnering with Bryan Willmert.  This just seemed like a natural partnership given how much Bryan and I have in common and the different perspectives that we can bring.  We still have a lot to plan and sort through, however, we know that we want to do this with specific objectives in mind.

Salt and Light will remain my primary platform to talk about my faith, my family and other fun musings.  I’ve been blogging for more than a year now and it just felt it was time to shake things up a bit.  As I continued to write about the many different things going on in my life, the “”business” side of my posts began to feel out of place here.  One thing that I’ve learned while doing this is to continuously evaluate and change for the better.  I’m hopeful this is a step in that direction.

I’ve been warned by people I trust that maintaining 2 blogs (3 if you count Rey(es) of Light) is going to be difficult.  I’m aware and ready for that challenge.  I might as well take that on for one of my 2011 goals!

I’m humbled and grateful for those of you that have come here over the last 16 months.  Please don’t stop!  I really feel I still have a lot to share!  Thank you again and I look forward to seeing you HERE and THERE.

Have we forgotten how to innovate?

Earlier this week I received an e-mail with the following in the subject line: “Take time to read – Especially the 19 facts at the end.  Enlightening or Scary?”.  Normally I quickly realize these are the typical chain e-mails but for some reason, I decided to read it.  The e-mail basically talked about 9 industries that are being changed by technology and 19 facts about the deindustrialization of America that will blow your mind.  After doing a little digging, I found that these articles, either together or separately, have been floating around the internet for a few months now.

At any rate, I realized how happy I was to be in the job that I am in now.  As part of MRM Worldwide‘s Focus Innovation Team, it’s our job to learn about new technologies and how they can improve some of the daily tasks we take for granted.  Rather than complain about how China or other countries are “out-innovating” us or worry about manufacturing jobs being outsourced to other countries, why not embrace what technology can do and the possibilities it can provide?  My point is that America was founded on innovation.  As the landscape has gone global, other countries are discovering how technology can be a part of our lives.  Maybe we just forgot and needed a not so subtle reminder to always look ahead and invent new ways to do things.

Let me leave you with 2 videos I came across last week.  The first is a video I saw from Church Crunch.  It takes a look at newspapers and if they were invented today.

The second video I found on Michael Hyatt’s blog and looks at books and the possibilities that could exist with technology that makes this possible NOW!

In both these examples, the traditional model has been reinvented.  I for one find this completely exciting!  What about you?  Do you fear this new paradigm or are you eager to see it evolve and innovate?  Think about it and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Have a great weekend!