Cue The Future

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"I'm living in the future, so the present is my past" -Kayne West

How two companies overcome the biggest challenge in marketing (repeatable success stories)

“To me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world, and we’re not gonna get a chance to get people to remember much about us… no company is.

So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.”  - Steve Jobs describing the biggest problem that marketing squares off against, even today in 1997.

It hasn’t gotten better for marketing departments in the last 13 years — this problem has gotten much worse. The world we live in is far noisier and far more complex with every passing year, and this trend is continuing.

As our society progresses technologically, the amount of things vying for our attention grows exponentially. It gets progressively harder for marketers to get our attention; to tell us the stories about their brand that they want us to remember. Today, consumer attention is currently split across so many places that it’s even harder to do this on any one channel.

This trend works to decrease the value of marketing contact databases across time. People are paying less attention to their inboxes over time, less attention to their feed readers, less attention to ad spaces — so the relationships you build with consumers on any channel decays naturally. Consumers are moving to Facebook, Twitter and Mobile right now, but in time they’ll move on from there too.

Consumer attention is no longer captive — it floats free, between a flotilla of competing locations. Welcome to the Splinternet.

Marketing in the Splinternet era requires making sure your paid and earned media is unified to tell effective stories to your target audience across multiple channels.

Investments will be required in building audience relationships with consumers on multiple channels. Because we’re in the splinternet, each new channel you invest in acts as a hedge against the eventual dwindling attention in pre-existing channels.

I believe in the future of marketing, and embrace opportunities like this every day at Involver for marketing ourselves, developing our products, and educating our customers. In that vein, here are two examples you can emulate from companies who have developed fantastic marketing campaigns that embrace splinternet marketing: Dropbox and the Golden State Warriors.


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Facebook Places for marketers

I penned a blog post that’s over 900 words about the Facebook Places launch as seen by Marketers. In it I discuss 13 facts about how Places will affect businesses. Go check it out on the Involver Blog! Here’s a small excerpt from the article:

How should I manage my Facebook Page and Facebook Place(s)?

  • Before managing your Facebook Place, you must claim it. The easiest way to do this is to accept a phone call at the number saved for that place. If this is not viable, then you can submit a document verification request instead, but this will take longer.
  • A Facebook Place can be merged with a Facebook Page.  If you merge your Place and Page, it will add maps, Check-ins, and Friend Activity Feeds to your current Facebook Page.
  • You can only attach one Facebook Place to a Facebook Page right now, it’s not advised to attach your Facebook Place to a page if you eventually want to attach multiple Places, as Facebook is working on a solution for this.
  • Involver Customers, if you attach your Facebook Place to your Page, you’ll be able to mange both with the Involver Audience Management Platform.

Go read the rest…

Here’s a photo of my first Facebook Places checkin, at Blu in New York City, what was yours?

#### Treats

* I was in New York City this week for Estee Lauder Digital Day, and while in New York I learned a few things — Blu is a horrible restaurant, I really want to try Angel’s Share in the winter, Virgin America is the only way to fly to JFK, and Matthew Dear is an amazing musician.

* There seems to be an increasing trend to heap responsibility onto my generation for fixing the world’s problems earlier then our predecessors were given a shot (it seems like 20 and 30 something leaders are beginning to become normal enough that people are wondering if they are better at effectively using power to improve the world we live in. I wonder if this is unique, or if this same cycle happened for other generations?  X? Boomers? Was there a similar push for you to start taking control/responsibility at 25-30?

* Swearing at the beginning or ending of a speech makes you more credible, dammit.  “Jazz” is apparently the best word to play in Hangman if you want to win. For more awesome tidbits like this, you should click here and follow me on Twitter, I’m @tylerwillis.

Estee Lauder's impressive commitment

I’m in New York today for the Estee Lauder Digital Media day. As I write this from the show floor in Chelsea, I look out upon 13 market leading digital companies invited to share knowledge with the Estee Lauder team. Companies like Facebook, Google, Bazaarvoice, Yahoo, Microsoft Advertising, and Involver are here working closely with about 400 people from every Estee Lauder brand.

This event is, in their own words, an investment in their team’s digital IQ — and it’s probably a pretty sizable investment based on the venue, speakers, and quantity of gourmet noshes I’m eating while I type. I don’t know of many companies willing to place this large a bet on educating their team, and it is an impressive display of commitment to marketing excellence from Estee Lauder as far as I’m concerned.

Jascha and I are both sincerely impressed, and this event has renewed my commitment to education. No matter how big your organization is, you need to earmark resources to continue learning new lessons. What have you done this month that has helped your team learn something that made their jobs easier?

At Involver, we have a culture of knowledge sharing. Whether it’s our brand team writing emails and blog posts about new opportunities in social, our sales team teaching each other productivity tricks in group demonstrations, or our technical team sharing the latest and greatest in new technology in weekly company demonstrations, we are always teaching ourselves new things so that we can better educate and serve our customers.

What do you do to insure your team stays on top of current knowledge?
How can we help your team learn more about the new digital landscape?

New Twitter technology helps brands integrate social and web strategy

Twitter has announced 3 things in 2010 that are horribly under-discussed, under-valued, and under-experimented on from a brand marketing perspective. As a brand strategist, I’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time thinking about the effect of social technology on traditional web marketing strategies. Specifically, the opportunities opened by Twitter’s @anywhere platform and Facebook’s Open Graph are extremely interesting.

In the past few weeks, I’ve spent some time thinking about website and content strategy for one of our clients, and have been doing some research on this blog and other sites. As a component of this, I’ve added Facebook Like Buttons and @anywhere hovercards to this blog. Now it’s easier for you to see the social context and metadata of what I’m writing about.  :)

I’ll write more about this (both publicly and privately) in the future, but here’s some tips on things to check out from Twitter, these implications of these 3 new products on the Brand Marketing ecosystem are large — folks in Retail and CPG should pay extra attention.

  • @anywhere – pull in twitter account context on a traditional website
  • Promoted Tweets – advertised next to contextually related search queries on Twitter Search
  • @earlybird – scarcity deals for consumers (in the same vein as Groupon)

I wrote about @earlybird’s launch on our Company blog, so go learn more about it here: http://blog.involver.com/2010/07/the-earlybird-gets-the-worm/

Social Marketing = Short and Shareable (and frequent!)

Good social media marketing is reliant on frequent, short, and shareable/shareworthy content posting. This is because content is how you get people to move through the brand engagement funnel.

When I was speaking at the AMA a few weeks ago, my co-presentor and I prepared the following social marketing funnel:

Here’s the phase definitions:

  1. Unknown — the person is unfamiliar with your brand on social networks
  2. Attention — you do something that catches the attention of the person
  3. Line of Engagement — if your attention gathering event (or events) got a good reception, your audience will subscribe for more.
  4. Relationship — this is where users are encouraged to begin to moving through the “brand engagement funnel” by taking increasingly more brand friendly actions.
  5. Line of Trust — Once a user has learned through experience to trust you, then they will be more likely to convert into paying customers and/or serve as a brand ambassador.
  6. Advocacy — User will create value for you through buying something ($$$) or telling their friends (NPS).

Getting someone’s attention might require something more stunty then content, but once someone has passed the line of engagement, and is starting to move through the engagement funnel, the best way to convert that person is simple: keep good quality messaging coming. Those messages should be short (<255 characters), contain engaging content, and be something that your users either a) viscerally enjoy (game) or b) will get credit from their friends for finding (utility).

Email me for more info or with your thoughts on the issue.  willis.tyler@gmail.com

###  Unrelated:
* I’m struggling with a “Personal CRM” problem — remembering to stay in touch with people in my network during a fast-growth phase of a company is very difficult. Do you have any recommendations for a system or piece of software to solve this issue?

* The act of codifying information as I discover it helps me think more concretely about it’s value to myself and to others. I’d love a contact system and a bookmarking system that used game mechanics and public comparison to force me to codify links and people for proper future finding. Right now I codify many interesting web pages at http://www.delicious.com/tylerwillis

By the way:
I’ve refreshed the design here. It’s subtle, but I cleaned up the sidebars, removed some legacy javascript code that was slowing down the site, and added some recent speaking engagements to the site. Hope you enjoy it!

About the Author

Tyler Willis is the Vice President of Business Development at Unified, which builds enterprise marketing technology for brands and agencies.

This blog is about how the future will affect technology, marketing, and the things we care about most. Learn more about Tyler.

Speaking

Tyler is a featured speaker and instructor for The American Marketing Association, and is a popular speaker on topics related to social marketing and how technology is changing our lives.

Recent engagements:
- South by Southwest
- American Marketing Association
- TMP Directional Marketing Client Summit

Email for Speaking Requests.

From Twitter

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Lightweight Update

I write infrequent (quarterly at most), semi-formal updates of what I'm doing and thinking.


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