“This is about Apple controlling the experience, and especially now that it’s in the advertising business, Apple needs that location data just like any other advertiser does,” said Noah Elkin, senior analyst at eMarketer, New York. “Given that iAd is about to roll out next week, Apple is collecting location data for its own purposes rather than for the benefit of others.
￼“Location is an important element that illustrates the promise of mobile and social,” he said. “Look at the way that the mobile environment is developing—proximity marketing is really the direction that we’re headed.
“Being able to marry data about a user’s location and data about a user’s likes and dislikes—being able to present a relevant offer—raises the bar in terms of the relevancy of the advertising messages.”
In the year 2012, ordinary people will get the opportunity to try out the life of an astronaut when the first commercial space flight in Sweden takes off. Together with Spaceport Sweden and Virgin Galactic, ICEHOTEL offers you the possibility to journey 130-140 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.
After a couple days of preparations, you and the rest of the crew will be ready for take-off. Although the anticipation is almost palpable, the rise towards the sky is a quiet and peaceful journey. When the countdown for igniting the rocket engine starts, you find yourself tightening you grip of the armrest, when suddenly you are pinned back into your seat as the space craft accelerates to a speed of 2500 mph, almost 3 times the speed of sound.
As you race across the atmosphere, you notice that the sky turns from blue to black outside the window. When the screaming from the rocket engine fades and the speed slows down, you start to relax. Now that the rocket engine is turned off, everything is quiet. Not just quiet, but really really quiet. The silence in space is awe inspiring, although your senses are loudly screaming in an effort to grip the fact that the gravity that usually keeps your feet safely on ground, is now gone.
There is no up or down, you feel how you are gently floating upwards from you seat and soon you will be levitating in mid-air. After a handsome somersault, you find your way towards one of the windows in order to discover a mind-boggling view. Yes, you have seen it in many photos, but nothing can prepare your eyes for the sight of the Earth’s surface hundreds of kilometres below you and if you are lucky – the Northern Lights dancing across the sky.
When you once again lean back in your seat, trying to process what you experienced during these last minutes that seemed to last a lifetime, you hear the pilot announce that its time to return back to Earth. Again the view changes as the atmosphere starts to get thicker and soon you feel that familiar thud as you touch down on Mother Earth.
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In a new book, “Flip The Funnel” Joseph Jaffe, president of Crayon, has taken a look at that most basic of marketing concepts…the process by which we funnel everyone in the universe down to the handful who will purchase our product/service…and asks, “What the hell are we doing?” Why do we spend all of our time with people who a) don’t know about us or b) don’t care about us, trying to, you know, make them know about us and care about us.
Jaffe thinks that’s nuts because it’s not only outmoded, it’s actually doing us harm. His solution? Instead of spending millions trying to funnel the universe down to a handful, we should focus on that handful and use our creativity to figure out how to make the most of them. Why? Because it’s more efficient, it’s more effective and it’s more profitable. And in this economy, those are three reasons that are mighty hard to argue with.
One might call this simple customer service, and although Jaffe uses the term, it’s not really what he’s talking about. For customer service today is often little more than a place where customers complain and where companies tell them they have no reason to complain.
If you think that’s the way to make the most of your customers, please Google “United Breaks Guitars” immediately…remember that United miscue?
No, Jaffe actually means something that is, in a sense, revealed by that viral phenomenon. If the customer has that much public power — in addition to the enormous private power they have to actually buy or not buy your product or service — why wouldn’t you want to start by focusing on them, instead of ending with them as some sort of byproduct?
Buttressing this simple insight with data from Coke, Zappo’s and other businesses that demonstrate how lucrative that customer is, Jaffe then goes on to discuss how that simple shift changes everything.
It changes how marketers spend money, it changes where marketers spend money, and it changes even the structures of corporations and the job responsibilities of employees within those structures.
If “Flip the Funnel” did nothing other than identify this shift and sketch out its ramifications, it would be worth reading. But it also outlines ways to use the exploding media forms that have many CMOs and their traditional agencies scratching their heads in order to better connect with the customer.
At root what Jaffe is saying is that a successful business today isn’t built on the idea of one transaction per customer. It’s built on the idea that the relationship doesn’t end when the cash register closes. It’s built on the idea of multiple transactions from multiple customers. Which, I know, sounds insanely obvious. But how many companies operate that way? I mean, you’re a customer, right? When was the last time you felt a company treated you like they really wanted you to come back again? When they did, did you come back? When they didn’t, did you not?
Nowhere is this dedication to engagement more apparent than in the book itself. “Flip the Funnel” is full of ways to connect with Jaffe (e-mail, Twitter, podcasts, etc.). It directs you to additional content online. It invites you to sign up as a reviewer and register for contact and content — and the list goes on. In other words, the relationship with the reader does not end with the purchase of the book…great idea.
Not to be outdone, Pepsi announced that the company’s soft drink bottles will be sold for a week in Argentina with no label if that country wins the soccer tournament. To illustrate what that would look like, Pepsi is running print ads this week from BBDO Argentina showing a Pepsi-shaped plastic bottle of dark liquid dressed in nothing but a blue label fastened to the neck of the bottle reading, “If the coach goes naked, we will, too. Pepsi promises.”
Mr. Maradona, a frequently controversial former soccer star who is coaching his first World Cup team, apparently responded to a radio interviewer who asked how he would celebrate an Argentine victory by saying that he would strip and run naked around the Obelisk, a famous Buenos Aires landmark.
That was enough to prompt BBDO Argentina to make a cheeky bid to grab attention for Pepsi during the World Cup. In the agency’s last campaign, Pepsi changed its name to Pecsi to reflect the way the brand’s name sounds when pronounced in Argentine-accented Spanish.
Argentina isn’t tipped to win the World Cup, but the country isn’t a long shot, either. Brazil and Spain are considered the tournament’s favorites, but Argentina boasts star player Lionel Messi and the odds on Argentina emerging next month as the champion are about 6-1. Argentina has played only one game so far, an easy victory over Nigeria, and on Thursday morning faces a mediocre South Korean team, whose only standout player is Park Ji-Sung. (Mr. Park plays during the regular season for Manchester United, whose fans like to greet the South Korean player with the chant “He shoots, he scores, he eats Labradors.”)
The world’s greatest sporting spectacle, the World Cup, began this weekend. Do you know who the “official” sponsors are?
You might think from the prevalence of its “Write the Future” campaign on the web and in pop culture, that Nike is an official World Cup sponsor. It’s not. Nor is Pepsi, whose “Oh Africa” has been racking up millions of views on the web since May. Rather, the official sponsors are Adidas and Coke — and both have also produced compelling online videos in association with their campaigns.
As we all know, brands often pay significant sums of money to be the exclusive sponsor for high-profile sporting events including the World Cup, Olympics and Super Bowl. These sponsorships typically include a number of elements and are supported by TV, on premise and promotional support. To their credit, the event organizers themselves go to great lengths in order to protect the value of the sponsors, and the relationship they have with the event.
I remember that before the Beijing Olympics, the government assumed control of the outdoor ad space so that the sponsors would be given access to it. I thought it was a great idea.
For as long as brands have sponsored these events, other brands have tried to ride along on the brand equity of the events as well. This concept, known as “ambush marketing,” involves running similarly themed campaigns around the time of the event without actually mentioning the event itself. A famous example of this was American Express’ campaign around the Barcelona Olympics, “You don’t need a visa to go to Barcelona” (Visa was the Olympic sponsor). Aware of this practice, sponsoring brands usually think ahead of how to counteract them on site or on TV.
Enter the web…
As Nike and Pepsi have recently demonstrated, the open distribution and viral nature of the web create a whole new path for ambush marketing. In the “Write the Future” campaign, Nike produced a video starring their top-tier talent.
They then used the web as an initial distribution ground. Two weeks and 15 million-plus views later, Nike has created a brand association with soccer, and likely the World Cup itself. Adidas also produced a very compelling video using talent as well — only it debuted a bit later and was far less seen or distributed. While Adidas may have a significant TV or local presence planned over the next two weeks, it got hijacked online.
So what can a brand do to protect itself, or alternately, what can you do to best position yourself to steal someone else’s thunder?
While you might not be able to own the conversation, you can at least start it. Plan far in advance — it is better to be a bit early to the party than to miss it completely. Starting the conversation immediately allows you to insert yourself into it.
Don’t just plan your viral campaign to start early — adjust some of the spending cycle as well. Social media, rapid news cycles and thousands of bloggers are all affecting marketing plans in ways no one would have predicted 10 years ago.
With these new tools, people have more outlets to talk about big events way in advance and websites actually have incentives to do so to increase search and other referral traffic. As a result, there is no shortage of relevant content to associate with from a very early stage, and users are in the right mindset well in advance of where they were years ago.
As a frame of reference, type World Cup 2010 into Google — you get 196,000,000 results. Think about that –- there are close to 200,000,000 million pages that have already been indexed about the topic and the event hasn’t even started yet.
Be Clear as well. While I assume that event sponsors have many restrictions on how they can market their association, it is increasingly clear that subtlety does not work online. As creative as the Adidas video is, it does not directly refer to their sponsorship.
It seems that the High Jackers always have more bling than the High Jackee. The videos produced by Nike and Pepsi both have what I call “the wow factor.” You watch the video and want to share it as a result of the story and creativity. Adidas and Coke also produced high quality content that was interesting and compelling –- but needed more “wow” to succeed online.
Target an audience
Targeting a specific audience may seem like impractical advice when talking about events like the Super Bowl or Olympics, which are inherently broad and have mass appeal. In reality though, you need a core group of evangelists to help spread the word for you, or you will never reach the broad audiences. Reach out to these evangelists early, let them know what is coming and get them excited.
In today’s world, the web and social media are rewriting the rules of marketing. This presents both new opportunities and challenges for brands, but in any event, it is a factor that must be considered when hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsorships are on the line.