Men Lie, Women Lie, Numbers Don’t

I was sitting in a meeting recently with the owner of a small marketing agency, discussing with him my service offerings and fee structure. I’m not sure of the accuracy of his calculations, but at one point, he seemed to be hesitant about what I was asking for, claiming that I was requesting nearly 1/3 of the entire marketing budget. Even to me, that seemed like a lot!

But I thought about it, and on second thought, started thinking, “Am I really asking too much?” So I did some research, and replied with the following E-mail:

I was thinking about your concern that my social media proposal asked for 30% of a marketing budget. It made me do some research to justify why a significant portion of a marketing budget should be dedicated to social media. What I found was:

  1. 36% of the average person’s major media consumption was devoted to internet and mobile devices (26% and 10% respectively) – eMarketer
  2. Social networks and blogs account for 23% of online use (37% of social media users access social media on mobile devices, and they are the 2nd most valued apps behind GPS) –  Nielsen
  3. 60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend those brands since becoming a fan/follower, and 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they are a fan/follower of – MediaPost
I certainly understand the question of how much of a client’s marketing resources should be devoted to social media, but statistics like these show it’s where people spend a significant amount of time, and it has value in terms of creating and communicating with loyal customers. Especially in Modesto where most clients can’t even afford to consider TV (which is the number 1 media consumption channel), it really isn’t a stretch to argue that a significant portion of a client’s marketing budget be directed to social media.
Food for thought. Have a good weekend-

Again, this isn’t to say that 30% is the number, or should be the number. The point is simply, you should direct your marketing/communications budget appropriately based on where you are most likely to reach your consumer, and while the thought of making social media a priority in your marcom budget may reflexively sound ridiculous, the numbers don’t lie.

@Skittles: Taste The Lame-bow

I turned on Monday Night Football this past week a little late, but when I did, I was taken aback by what I saw. It looked like a Skittles commercial! Seattle Seahawks fans dressed up as Skittles bags, hundreds of signs reading, “Feed the beast,” and the like, with Skittles written all over it. Literally!

Then, the climax, after Marshawn Lynch scored a touchdown late in the game, the skies open up and the fans shower him with Skittles. What a great bit of exposure for Skittles. So much so that #Skittles was the #1 trending topic on Twitter at one point Monday Night! How did they capitalize on this incredible marketing opportunity?

Are you kidding me?!? You’re handed this golden opportunity to do incredible things and all we get is a #noaffiliation? FUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!!!

What are you thinking?!? Granted, Marshawn Lynch has had legal troubles in the past and doesn’t exactly fit your brand identity. Maybe you’re concerned that by attaching yourself with the festivities, it will lose it’s organic appeal. Fair enough. And I did find out later that you sent him a 2-year supply of Skittles. But really, that’s the best you could do?

Skittles has been known to come up with some pretty off-the-wall stuff in their ads. Very creative. Incredibly silly, but usually puts a smile on my face. In fact, while there are dozens of things they could’ve done beyond sending Marshawn Lynch a 2-year supply of Skittles, one thing that comes to mind would’ve taken no effort at all. Instead of their lame tweet that ended in #noaffiliation, dampening all enthusiasm for what happened the night before, how about a tweet that went like this:

“Wow, great job last night @MoneyLynch. You could’ve done more with your TD celebration though. Try this on for size.”

Have fun with it. Embrace it. You don’t have to pay him to be your pitch man to maximize an opportunity like this. You were given a unique opportunity to weave yourself into the fabric of the football community. Get in the game!

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

I was recently approached by a Bridal Show marketer who relayed to me their particular concern of how to penetrate new markets from a social media angle. To this point, she has relied heavily on the SEO component, attempting to position her digital properties so that when brides-to-be type in wedding related search terms, her page(s) appear.

While there is certainly value in addressing the SEO component of digital marketing when it comes to penetrating a new market, the following are steps I would recommend that take a much more active approach, and allow for your introduction to the market to resonate more powerfully through the use of social media:

  1. Identify and engage the category influencers in the market: Find businesses and individuals who have significant followings, and can activate those followings on your behalf. The key here is how creative can you be in engaging the influencers and providing them the tools to activate their followings?
  2. Communicate the value of your brand: What is it you offer that will make me want to associate, and be associated, with your brand? Then, you must determine how you are going to communicate the value of your brand: What is the best way to tell your brand’s story through social media channels?
  3. Be part of the community: Both online and off, contribute to the community in ways that are meaningful to the new market you wish to serve. From simply replying to Facebook comments and Twitter mentions, to product giveaways or sponsorship of local events, “contributing” can take many forms.
  4. Run Facebook ads: While each market and target demographic will have it’s unique attributes, as little as $100 should be plenty to allow you to test the waters for a few days to get a good sample size and see if further investment in Facebook advertising is warranted.

The value in this approach is that all of your efforts are “endorsed” by others in the market. All touch points are supported not just by your message, but by the relationships you establish and activity you create from others who are familiar to the market you are entering. If you can effectively address these four points, you will find yourself entrenched in your new market, and in an excellent position to capitalize on your new fan base.

If you need help in finding effective methods to attack the four points, contact me.

Sponsors Dropping The Ball on NFL Network

Rich Eisen tweeted this picture of colleague, Marshall Faulk, talking with a former NFL player on the NFL Network set.

Watching the Ravens v. 49ers game last night during Thanksgiving, I noticed what a presence the advertising partners had on the NFL Network. Lexus, Kia, Sears, and Kay Jewelers all had their logos brightly lit, and positioned so they could not be missed on the set of the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows. Great.

However, I wasn’t satisfied with that well executed “old” way of marketing, with the signs on the set, and commercials during the breaks. That shouldn’t be where the effort stops. In fact, that should just be the beginning. Let’s take this involvement to another level.

Rich Eisen, the anchor of the football roundtable has 277K+ followers on Twitter. Beyond sponsoring the game on the NFL Network (which “only” has 187K+ followers Twitter), the brands should be reaching out to Rich Eisen, and having him integrate their products into his life and Twitter feed, to give the brands even stronger and more seamless penetration into a segment of consumers.

It could be something as simple as Sears (which has just 15K+ Twitter followers) providing two suits for Rich Eisen to wear that night, having Rich Eisen take pictures in both, and then asking his followers which suit he should wear that night. It let’s you know that he is actually wearing suits from Sears, it gets you engaged with the brand as opposed to just aware of it, and it makes the Sears brand a part of life, as opposed to just a prop on a set. That’s Branded Life: The difference between advertising, and brand integration.

There’s No Such Thing As A Stupid Promoted Trend

Max Hinrichs, aka Your Baby Daddy (@MaxUrBabyDaddy on Twitter) wasn’t fond of Motorola paying its way to the top of Twitter’s trending topics recently. He declared as much with his tweet, to his 142 followers:

@MaxUrBabyDaddy: Some of these Promoted trends are retarded. Like When would I ever tweet about the #DroidRAZR honestly”

Well, to answer your question Max, YOU would tweet about the #DroidRAZR, to your 142 followers, when you’re ridiculing it as a promoted trend.

Not only that, but seeing the irony in his critique, I quoted him in a retweet, to my 80 followers, noting how silly it was for him to tweet about the #DroidRAZR asking when he would ever tweet about the #DroidRAZR. So unintentionally, Max, Your Baby Daddy, undermined his own point to the tune of as many as 222 unique impressions, proving, there’s no such thing as a stupid (or “retarded”) promoted trend.