Mobile is shaking things up, it’s no longer about going online, it is about being online, and organizations need to understand how this is impacting their business. Forward-looking organizations that have embraced mobile are reaping the benefits of increased revenue, customer satisfaction and invaluable benefits to the brand.
The increased demand for websites optimized for multi-screens is being driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets. Canadians in particular are global leaders, and at the end of 2012 Canada had over 62% smartphone penetration. In 2013 implementing a multi-screen strategy for your business may or may not be your top priority, but it should be.
Many companies recognize mobile is growing but they may still be grappling with how to best manage a multitude of digital channels—and mobile appears to be one more. What many companies fail to recognize is investing in a multi-screen strategy is a win-win situation that provides an opportunity for targeted marketing, innovation, engagement experiences, and it can bolster a brand.
Consider what makes some of the leading brands great–consistency across all interactions, relevancy, differentiation, and an unparalleled commitment to customer needs. Apple relentlessly focuses on the customer experience, innovation and an unmatched aesthetic beauty. Disneyworld keeps their bathrooms sparkling clean; although, they know it isn’t what people come for, it certainly contributes to the experience. Not every touch-point is a profit centre, but it is the complete experience that surprises and delights customers and gives them a reason to keep coming back.
Being mobile or multi-screen ready affects your brand because it comes down to the impression you are making with your customer. Consumers aren’t sitting around thinking about whether your site is mobile friendly, but they certainly are aware when it is not. A Google survey showed that “48% of mobile users felt if a site didn’t perform well on their smartphones it made them feel as though the company didn’t care about their business.” Moreover, “50% of those users stated that even if they liked a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly.”
A website with limited or poor functionality delivered on a tablet or smartphone, is more than likely than not frustrating your customer and slowly but surely chipping away at your brand. In addition to hampering your brand, a website not optimized for mobile screens may not make the cut when searched for by consumers. Search engines are delivering results to consumers based on the device they are using. If you haven’t optimized your organizations website for multi-screen devices you won’t even get a chance to to make an impression.
Consumers want value and relevancy and they appreciate ways in which companies are making things easier for them. If a company hits it out of the park, they’ll tell their friends….and so on and so on. So, if “68% of all searches start on a smartphone” do you want to risk making a less than stellar impression with a potential customer, or worse have them go to a competitor?
Since 67 percent of users claim they are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly website, companies that rely on SEO are wise to move to mobile-friendly websites, and responsive web design specifically.
But if you get it right, it can pay off in spades—some financial institutions have won over their customers simply by giving customers what they want. Mobile banking provided an on-the-go option for customers and in doing so, the banks had to streamline the design. The changes made have proven so popular that Forrester Reports predict mobile banking will displace online banking because technologies like smartphone apps let customers perform simple tasks more quickly and easily than on a desktop.
Being great on the desktop just isn’t good enough anymore. Customers want to be able to do it ‘all’ from their mobile device, and no longer are consumers enamored with the pinch and zoom feature that provided a short-term fix to ‘mobile access.’ Getting it right and implementing a multi-screen strategy is smart business—it opens avenues for ecommerce, it improves the customer experience, it can improve engagement, and in an environment where everything can be shared your brand loyalists can market for you.
Remember, a brand can compensate for a less than optimal experience for a short while, but it is not impervious for the long haul. In today’s market, the value of a brand is increasingly owned by a company’s customer. Organizations should make sure they don’t give their customers a reason to go elsewhere.
For those organizations considering a mobile strategy, or deepening their current offering, the time is now. Organizations can’t control what device people are going to use so companies need to be proactive and develop for any scenario. Smartphones and tablet adoption isn’t slowing, and Google predicts in 2013 more than half of website visits will come from mobile devices rather than desktops or laptops. Chances are your site is being viewed on a mobile device right now—the question is, what impression is your organization making?
I was quite flattered to be profiled in Business in Vancouver Magazine last week. It was a real hit with the friends and family on my social networks when I posted it. Kidding aside, the timing could not have been better to be honest. We have been working non stop now for quite some time and it feels good to see that we are getting a little visability for it. There is also something very tactile with being in a print magazine. In our digital work space we forget that there is a tangible world of print. I scanned it to make sure that the wrinkles and 150 dpi where not lost on the viewers here on the blog. You can see the entire ‘newsprinty’ profile by clicking the details link.
I would also like to thank my lovely wife for snapping the awesome shot.
With a new Yaletown agency address came the requirement for new business cards. So when I was cleaning out my office drawer I found an old box of Moo Mini Cards that I used personally. I thought that these could be the solution I was looking for. The response when I handed the little cards out personally was always the same. That of wonderment and affection. Those are emotions that I would love to have associated with the brand. They are also very Web 2.0 like us and as new employees come into the fold we could order them up easy peasy. That said they are so cost effective that even contractors could get a set. Couple that with the cool key chain case and it was a no brainer.
So with that I present to you the new POWERSHiFTER mini cards. [Cool black case sold separately].
That is not the case for such things as packaged goods and or large service oriented companies. Those that are born brand first as is the case for the vast majority of brands and companies in the social media space must keep the brand first in the minds of it’s customers. As much as a personal touch or the collective voice maybe important elements behind the brand touching the consumer in thoughtful and memorable ways, it is important to place the brand 1st and foremost.
Look at the top brands in social media today. Jet Blue, Dell, Starbucks, Whole Foods and WestJet just to name a few. They are all very personable and have clearly communicated as a group of people behind the brand that actually do care, but they do not place themselves before the brand. When I think of Zappos I have no idea what the names of the great people that helped me with customer care issues, and if I was not an in the advertising industry I would not be able to name Tony Hsieh as the CEO. Most of the Zappos customers only know the brand by name.
So back to @bradinator vs @Blackcloudwine for a few minutes here. What are the risks of abandoning the personal brand? As @paulrickett points out that 60% of those who follow @bradinator do not follow @Blackcloudwine so at first glance one might say that is a bad choice to abandon the personal account considering how often @bradinator tweets about his Blackcloud Wine. But that would be a very simplified view of the situation. @bradinator’s personal account is very irreverent and has collected a huge following for that very reason. What if those 2030 followers could care less about wine and follow him just for his personal commentary? Then even if he could transfer his social capital over to the @Blackcloudwine account then it would be worthless. If 909 followers of @Blackcloudwine have a higher propensity to love wine and buy more wine and were attracted to that account due to the winecentric tweets in the first place then the smaller more qualified numbers are much more valuable. I will admit that I did not take the time to attempt to measure the quality of the @Blackcloudwine wine followers but I will bet that most are more interested in wine that on his other account.
Social media is just like traditional advertising when it comes to influence. It’s not the number of eyeballs that count but rather the quality and relevance of those that follow you and your posts, tweets and feeds. Just because you have a follow count of thousands upon thousands on Twitter, your blog or Facebook page does not mean that you can market just anything to your potentially unqualified followers. Hell if it was a shear numbers game then why not just head over to fiverr.com and pay the five bucks to the literally hundreds of people offering to place your message or ad in their Twitter streams of 10′s of thousands of followers. I’ll tell you why. Proof that the clickthrough rate on those unqualified posts are incredibly low. All you need to do is pay one of the social media influencers a “fiverr” and then hand them over a message with a bit.ly or ow.ly link and watch your clickthrough rate. I will bet you that you will get fewer then 10 clicks on your highly un-targeted campaign. I am not saying that big numbers of followers don’t work but they need to be qualified. Sure we may lead tribes but if I started to push Tampex branded tampons to my Twitter followers I am sure my tribe would not buy what I was selling.
Here is another reason that the personal brand in social media may not be the right way to grow your brand…scaling with grace and authenticity. We have seen what happens when a personal brand does not scale well due to the fact that there is a finite amount of you [personal brand] to go around. Usually when a personal brand takes off there is the need to automate the posts and tweets etc. That is usually done by way of hiring assistants to do the work for the personal brand…that’s not very transparent now is it and can blow up quickly. When you choose to support a branded account the ability to authentically scale the brand is much easier to do. Sure it’s through the same process of distributing the communication through others like assistants or social brand managers. The difference is that each manager can be identified as an individual behind a brand.
On an account that our agency set up for a customer we have three different people that tweet on behalf of the brand and are demarked by the “^” charachter and their initials. This clearly identifies that there is more than one person managing the account and if need be others can be added with out the feeling that there is any misrepresentation of the branded tweets.
So I ask the question again. Is it social capital suicide or just the death of another Twitter ID? Or is it just the birth of another one that may suit the brand better and in the end move more product and connect with it’s customers in a much more authentic way?
Over the last few days I have noticed a sudden and strange behavior on Toyota’s Twitter account. There was a huge influx of uber positive re-tweets from other Toyota fans on Twitter. There is nothing wrong with re-tweets (RT’s) per say but like most tools in your toolbox understanding how and when to use them is key and from what I could see Toyota did not understand the tool at all.
The subject matter was regarding the quality of Toyota vehicles from point of view of Toyota owners. That in its self is not an issue but the shear volume of RT’s on the subject was quite large and it made more of an impression of a “See we are ok and so and so even says we are…” kind of approach. Tweets like this from @Benne420 “@Toyota as a teen driver, I still get amazing gas mileage out of my 02 Camry LE. I love my car!”, from @OmarHenry “@Toyota is still the best cars around! a guy at my gym still drives a 1980′s toyota with the original engine! dont believe the hype….” and from @FireCat_7“@Toyota my first car is a 1998 Toyota Camry LE. I LOVE IT and I love Toyota. Much love guys. Keep the good work up ”were the norm in yesterday’s tweets. That is really a very guttural and unsophisticated old fashioned PR approach. Like talking really loud with your hands over your ears “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU”.
Anyone that knows me knows that I simply can’t stand over use of passive self flatulence on social media sites and this was clearly one of those instances. The tactic of re-tweeting praise from other users is really no different than making the statement yourself. Who are we trying to kid here? I don’t care what any social media guru tells you or your company. Be careful on that tactic because as the public become acclimatized to the vernacular of social media marketing so will they see through the thin veneer of that type prolific of re-tweeting. It’s lazy social media to flood your stream with.
The tweets felt somewhat desperate and like the usual person responsible for the Twitter account had suddenly been yanked from their duties and a desperate Sr. manager with orders in hand to “DO SOMETHING’ was now at the helm. The strategy veered off coarse and felt like there was a sticky accelerator on the RT button.
What should Toyota be doing? They should stay the course of the original strategy by helping the thousands of Toyota drivers out of this mess, through helpful links on how to get there cars fixed quickly, and demonstrating what the company is doing to rectify the matter and to restore confidence in the brand.
When someone is stuck at the bottom of a well that you pushed them down, get a rope and help them out. Don’t stand there and tell them that everyone else you pushed was able to avoide the well all together. The whole feed in recent days is nothing but bogus PR fluff. Between the massive recalls and the congressional hearings that begin today it would be better use of social media to take this head on as apposed to head in the sand as they are continuing to do today.
Want to get your story or product description out there in the lifestream of others in more controlled and branded way? I have discussed, in the past, the fact that referral traffic of social networking/media sites is rivaling that of Google and Yahoo search. It’s because of this your headline needs to be able to play nice in these applications if you don’t want the referrer to change your carefully crafted message. Just as you take the time to create key words for maximum search ability so should you take the time to ensure that your headline will fit in these often character limited sources of referral traffic.
The strategy may seem simple but with the lifestream and newsfeeds of real people being where your brand is being advertised so heavily, every step must be taken to reduce the accidental mucking of your hard earned and consistent brand message.
I was not sure what to expect for this around-the-world birthday celebration, which was part PR for Wolf Blass Winery, and part lead-up to the launch of Blass’ new book. We tasted wine and ate appetizers for nearly an hour before he and his travelling partner George Samios, from Fosters Wine Estates, hit the stage. In a thick Aussie accent, George introduced him as “Wolfy,” and I quickly understood that this was a man who liked to have fun, make great wine, and knew how to sell it in every way. Born and trained in winemaking and viticulture in what was then East Germany in 1934, Blass immigrated to Australia’s Barossa Valley in 1960 with only 100 pounds in his pocket. There, he worked as a sparkling wines manager for Kaiser Stuhl Co-operative. Initially, he had wanted to go to Venezuela because of what he referred to with a wink as more “Cha, cha, cha,” but there was a civil war on, so he shifted plans and wound up in Australia. I suspect that things may have been very different in the wine industry had Blass made it to his original destination. After 10 or so years as a technical advisor to many different wineries, he decided to make his own wine, and in 1973 created Wolf Blass Wines International. Wolf said the atmosphere for drinking and understanding wine in Australia was rather rudimentary-after all, this was beer country; thus, wine would have to be positioned and marketed very differently. First, Blass identified a target group whom he could most easily persuade to drink wine. Wolf recognized that Australian women were typically not included in social drinking, and decided that “bubbly” would convince them otherwise. He then looked around at what was popular at the time, and as he put it, “Australians are mad gamblers and they love their racing and football.” He noticed these popular sports featured a bold colour aesthetic on jerseys worn by the athletes. One very popular football team had a bright yellow jersey he particularly favoured, and believed yellow was a colour that the target audience would relate to. So, his now world-famous first line of wines was named Yellow Label and as he stated, “It just took off, and from then on it was going to be colours and not varietals.” Inspired by Johnny Walker whiskey and its coloured label approach, Blass’ colour choice for the second label in his line was adapted to green for the product’s launch in Ireland. Blass’ colour-coded system was easy for people to remember, as they could ask for it by Yellow Label first, and varietal second. The system has been so successful, in fact, it is now being used by the French for Cognacs and Bordeaux wines. Hell, the Scottish are even using it for the selling of fine whiskey!
When Blass started, there was very little money for advertising and he needed to think about how to maximize his limited funds. Back then, the football fields were not ringed with end-to-end billboards as they are today. When football matches were being televised, there was only one camera filming the games. Wolf would hand-paint advertisements on bed sheets, and hang them over the fence at the far end of the field. He worked out a side deal with the camera man to exchange a bottle of wine for each frame-up on the branded sheet. Quite often as the action was happening at the other end of the field, the camera would be fixed on Blass’ banner, to the puzzlement of viewers. Those were the early days of guerilla marketing; Guy Kawasaki would be proud.
From clear and easy to remember packaging systems, to low-fi guerilla tactics involving homemade bed sheets and cases of wine for cameramen, Wolf Blass has made a huge impact on how the world thinks about wine. Not only did he become a master vintner, but unlike so many artists, he knew how to sell it to people that didn’t even know they wanted it.
- 1984 – 85 3.5 million bottles of Wolf Blass product sold.
- 1985 National marketing award for excellence.
- 1990 Exported wine to 30 different countries.
- 2005 Wolf Blass branded products reached 50 million bottles = 70% exported.
- 2007 16,000 containers of Wolf Blass product shipped from Port Adelaide.
There is an arms race, of sorts, going on. Yes, another one and it’s really no surprise. The reality is that Twitter has dropped and ad agencies are guiding their clients down the same path as they did with Myspace, Facebook and pretty much any other popular social networking site that has emerged over the last five years.
This is what I am hearing and seeing in agency recommendations. Get as many followers as you can quickly then blather out a bunch crap and useless messaging at your followers! Yes another old school one way communication platform has hijacked Twitter. When will they learn? We are back to the eyeballs measurement again because that seems to be the only measurable metric that makes it into the quarterly campaign review decks. It’s not just traffic and eyeballs anymore. Comscore needs a new set of measurement tools. The measurement is brand interaction in the Twitterspace. The numbers matter if you are interacting well with many, then it counts.
Celebrity has really pushed Twitter to the tipping point in recent weeks and sure some of them are doing it well and others are really doing it bad! Agencies should not build out their Twitter plan and campaigns following the lead of people like P-Diddy and Ellen. Maybe Snoop Dogg because he gets it big time, but for the love of God not P-Diddy. *Disclosure* I am a west coast guy and prefer the LA rap anyway.
Twitter is 140 characters of content. That content has to be engaging, insightful, helpful and maybe even carry a narrative. The problem is that agencies are already having trouble boiling down narrative from a 30 second TV spot to a 9 second web banner. Now they have to get down to 140 characters and it freaks them out further to even contemplate that. Hell it freaks me out but that is the new canvas. Figure it out soon before the next and even more confusing communication channel emerges.
If you gather up a ton of Twitter followers and have nothing relevant to say. Your brand will become dull and tiresome quickly and the giant swath numbers your brand has worked hard to get will have zero value.