Wow, what a dustup! I love scenarios like this; it shows how much things have changed regarding "rapid-response PR".
I won't go to the point of rehashing the whole boo-boo;
but I imagine some marketing and PR folks are in the hotseat today, and wishing it was over already. The short version is that GoPro sent a nastygram to an online reviewer/seller of cameras -- and the Interwebs just blew up with, ahem, "feedback" about the action.
What struck me at a fast scan of this article (and not taking the time to dig into the apparently vast array of source material that has materialized) is that the corporate communications seemed to be a ham-fisted mashup of warm 'n' fuzzy informal outreach ("Hey Greg, we're posting to Reddit..." the corporate head of communications says to a reporter) alongside a legal bray about copyroght infringement. Just a strange tactic.
Look -- I think GoPro's got a great product; I don't have anything negative to say about them. It just seems that their comm and PR folks got caught making a mistake -- WHICH ANY OF US COULD DO -- and now it's just going to leave a negative impression.
You know what this makes me think of? The "Gotcha" speed-rounds of political maneuvering you see during the heat of a campaign (go back and watch Wag the Dog again).
And for the many "armchair attorneys" who've chimed in -- it's a tidbit of entertainment, and then on to the next.
We live in strange times!
The holiday shopping numbers have been analyzed and crunched, and the verdict is in: consumers went crazy for one big category of tech gadgets: smartphones, tablets, and eReaders. Sure, you could make a case that these are in fact rather different groups – but when you think from a consumer’s point of view, they all do essentially the same thing: hook you up with information that’s not on paper. Smartphones allow you to actually talk to a person should you desire – but ask any teenager, and text messaging and Facebook are the main communication uses for a phone. Actual talking is mostly for staying in touch with grandma and grandpa.
A just-released Pew Internet Research study
stated that the percentage of adults who own a tablet PC or e-reader nearly doubled during the 2011 holiday season
. According to the survey, 19% of adults said they owned a tablet as of January 2012, up from 10% in December.
E-reader (NOOK, Kindle, etc.) ownership figures increased by the same respective amounts. The poll also found 29% of Americans owned at least one of the devices in January, up from 18% last month
In addition to tablets and eReaders, smartphones have smashed through the 50% adoption point for many consumer segments.
According to a Nielsen Research study released in November 2011
, while only 43 percent of all US mobile phone subscribers own a smartphone, vast majority of those under the age of 44 now have smartphones.
In fact, 62 percent of mobile adults aged 25-34 report owning smartphones. And among those 18-24 and 35-44 years old the smartphone penetration rate is hovering near 54 percent
Given that these devices are no longer even remotely unusual or exotic, we’ll start seeing one simple but important issue that business owners must attend to, and this hits on one of my current pet peeves: MAKE SURE YOUR WEB SITE IS MOBILE-DEVICE-FRIENDLY!
Pull out your Android or iPhone, and see what your own Web site looks like – if it’s ugly or unreadable (like the example I show, which is the Web site of one of my favorite authors) – fix it. If you haven’t updated your Web site in several years, or only changed the content on rare occasions, odds are really quite good that it will look terrible. Think about it – when you’re searching for information from your phone, doesn’t it drive you nuts to find the Web site you want, only to find that it’s nearly impossible to read?
Generally, your mobile site does not need to provide 100% of the content available on your main site – you’re free to edit. Who we are, Contact Us, Directions… make your key information easy to find. And don’t use Flash – many devices can’t easily run Flash content. (Another pet peeve of mine – I really, really HATE flashy Flash site openings; it’s usually something that advertising agencies feel they can’t live without, but it drives me nuts.) Think of all those newly-minted tablet and smartphone users – and make sure their mobile device interaction with your brand is one that delights them. That’s the smartest way to go.
"Don’t waste two to four hours a day on Twitter and call it lead generation. It’s the same as watching soap operas."
-- Chris Brogan
Certainly, social media matters -- but it's not the ONLY thing that matters. The biggest problem with social media is that it can be a time-waster, and your Klout score notwithstanding, it's still difficult to track and measure the impact you're having. Not impossible, but not easy, either. Most brands need the whole package: even a pure online play will need to show up at targeted events from time to time! That requires a skill set that is more than online-focused. Most brands cannot Tweet their way to the bottom line.
New Year, new quarter, new objectives – do you need to set a brainstorming meeting? One of the big challenges can be if you’re trying to include groups in multiple locations for a single session. There are many great tech tools that enable you to connect via video, online whiteboard, audio and PowerPoint – but the tools, while important, are not all you need. I’ve had to run sessions like this in different US cities as well as with offices located in different countries, and it takes more thought and preplanning to make brainstorming work effectively if you don’t have everyone in the same place, let alone taking into account any time zone or cultural differences. The book “Gamestorming” by Sunni Brown provides great ideas for the actual meeting content; but here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- Preplanning is essential – you need more structure when groups are not together
- Give each team prework to accomplish. Use the “split groups” necessity as a positive instead of a negative: give each group tasks to complete and then share with the rest of the team
- If all team members don’t know each other well, have them wear name tags. Do everything you can to familiarize the team members prior to the brainstorming
- If possible, have each group GO OFFSITE to a video conferencing room – it helps remove distractions. Video makes it a lot easier to interact.
- Make sure you have the same resources available to both teams (ie, books, notes, reports, etc.)
- Have a team leader at each location; but only one overall Moderator – Moderator should be skilled at managing this kind of meeting
- Think up icebreaking activities that can help build trust (just google “meeting icebreakers”) – but here are a bunch of ideas: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/40_icebreakers_for_small_groups.pdf
- Have a backup planned in case your online tools go down. (It DOES happen!)
- Keep the group size manageable: max of 8 – 10 at each location (4 – 6 seems ideal)
- Make attendance mandatory if at all possible. If time zones are way off (ie, meeting in San Francisco and Dublin), try to schedule two sessions: one that’s easiest for each group (since one group will get to work early, and one will stay late)
- Stick to a firm schedule (especially for breaks and start and stop times)
- Don’t let the “Main Office” group dominate the meeting
- Structure the session so there’s time at the end to summarize and clarify next steps
Good luck! this can be a fun and informative experience if you plan it well.
I have read a number of articles recently on what to do to ramp up your company's mobile marketing, like this one.
Most articles provide similar sorts of advice: don't spam, know your market, provide a coupon, things like that. All good advice. However, as an Android user with a wee bit of an addiction to my device, I've got a more modest proposal:
If you want to goose along your mobile marketing strategy, start with something a little more basic: MAKE SURE YOUR WEB SITE IS PHONE-FRIENDLY.
For example, this Mobile Usability Update
from late September 2011 discussed the following types of tasks
- Highly specific tasks. For example, "You are in an electronics store and consider buying a Canon PowerShot SD1100IS as a present. The camera costs $220.25 in the store. Check adorama.com to see if you can get a better price online."
- Directed, but less specific. For example, "Find a moisturizer with SPF 30 or above that is suitable for your skin." (While using the Walgreens app.)
- Open-ended, but restricted to a predetermined site or app. For example, "See if you can find any interesting pictures related to today's news." (While using the China Daily app.)
- Web-wide tasks that let users go anywhere they wanted. For example, "Find out which is the tallest building in the world." (While giving users no indication of which site might have the answer.)
How does your own company's Web site stack up? Do you have a dedicated mobile site that's easy for someone to use via phone? Do you offer a choice? I know a company that drove a lot of their customers nuts last year because if you accessed their ecommerce site from anything that was not a traditional computer, you got their phone app. Which, if you think about it, would drive a tablet owner NUTS. My site is built using Weebly, and I love how clean the mobile version is from my phone -- AND that they offer a choice of viewing either "Mobile Site or Full Site".
What I'd love to see in 2012 regarding mobile marketing is for more companies to focus FIRST on providing a super clean, easy to use home base, and once that's handled... then start testing other tactics.
The CEO's CELL # is on their web site -- how's that for transparency?
I've found a great brand recently -- and it's kind of a surprising one, because it's truly disruptive. It's a local Denver area-based company called Pawngo
. Why am I excited about this brand? Watch this video about Pawngo
, and you'll see.
Most people wouldn't think of a pawn shop as the sort of company that would bear a truly disruptive brand -- but this group has managed to attract solid venture capital backing, and they are creating true value by extending the consumer lending category. This is going to be a company to watch, and I predict a lot of success for them. They are clearly doing the right things right -- at the right time.
I am just about finished with the book Different, by Harvard Business School professor Youngme Moon. Has to be the best business and branding book all year. She writes about what it takes to break free from the herd and create a category-breaking product. I'n going to have to write a few posts about this, because there is so much great info in this book that I am stunned. She writes about Sony's Aibo, the robot dog -- we bought Aibo for our daughter Brenna in 2000, and it was an amazing piece of hardware and software. Buggy and glitchy as hell -- but the truly brilliant thing Sony did was to sell it as a PET -- and as we all know, pets are quirky, they have their own personalities, and they don't always listen to you. Hence, people were more than tolerant of their quirky little "pet" -- they loved it. We sure did! Other category busters include the Mini Cooper (sell a little-known teeny-tiny European car into the U.S. market that was dominated by huge Escalades, Explorers and other SUV roadhogs), and Pull-Ups (parents want their kids out of diapers by age 2 -- but they'll happily keep them in "big kid" disposable "underwear" until age 4!) and much more. Brilliant analysis of how human brains need to categorize things -- and how deft marketers can flip that on its head. think RedBull -- it tastes utterly disgusting, but it gives you wiiiiings!
: I met this woman at a Christmas crafts fair, and was blown away by both her products and her salesmanship. Yaffa's a Mediterranean Maestro -- her sauces and spices are beyond yummy. But what made her stand out the most was her sunny, upbeat way of interacting with the crowd. She "sold" us -- and we were darn happy about it.
It amazes me how some people think negatively of "sales". There's an old adage that marketing and sales don't get along. I have always felt that marketing is the front end of sales, and at the same time marketing exists to SERVE the sales staff by generating leads and awareness -- and desire and curiosity. Yaffa told me it's easy for her to sell because she believes passionately in her products.That makes sense to me. You always want your frontline folks -- whoever will be in contact with customers -- to believe totally in what you're selling. Sure, many companies hire people who don't feel that way (ever had to call your local cable company about an issue????), but overall if you have something unique to sell, you want the people doing the selling to BELIEVE. (And it never hurts to have the same commitment from backoffice staff.)
I just got home from a lovely visit to Orlando, where I was a featured presenter at the Marketing Innovation Summit presented by Unica. I love public speaking and I'm a total ham, plus I was really jazzed about the topic I presented on: marketing operations. Now, that sounds boring, but in reality, if you run a marketing organization, you simply have to have some sort of project management tool. This is the one I selected for our company before 37signal's Campfire really started to talk hold. Unica's Marketing Operations OnDemand (MOOD) tool works great.
However, the coolest part of this conference was the simple fact that I got to spend time with other marketing execs from a whole slew of brands that I admire: BestBuy, Guitar Center, Boots (UK), Disney... plus a really smart Forrester analyst who talked about the need for a new sort of position: an integrated marketing exec role that has deep understanding of both new and emerging channels. That's where I intend to head for my career. I've loved online marketing since I started at my first Internet company in 1995, and I learn something new every week. The fascinating part is figuring out how to understand which type of tactic or approach is best for a given situation: marketing strategy becomes more and more complicated every year -- while paradoxically, it's also simplified because no matter what, you have to find the channels that resonate best with your target audience and maximize the use of them. There are so many different channels today, that's not always an easy trick to pull!
Why do the same old thing at a groundbreaking? It's a great chance to showcase the uniqueness of your brand.
I attended a groundbreaking ceremony recently. It offered the requisite boring contents -- too many executives droning (Yes! DRONING -- monotone put-you-to-sleep tone). Then out trooped the line of executives (including -- always -- one woman who decides today is a great day to wear stiletto high heels that sink into the mud), bearing shiny new silver shovels and fake plastic hardhats with the company logo, and it's SAY CHEESE time. Why does this happen? I mean, if you can manage to get any press attention focused on your groundbreaking, it's such a great opportunity to do something totally memorable and different -- and tied to your brand. Instead, these frequently become merely vanity opps for the brass.
Two groundbreaking stories I was told by a local CEO that I just LOVED were these: for a big new movie theater chain, they "broke ground" into a mountain of... popcorn. OK, I get it -- very photogenic, too. But my favorite was for a new animal shelter: the groundbreaking was done by the dogs! The staff buried yummy dog treats just a couple inches under the loose soil -- and the dogs very happily did all the work, My CEO friend told me that was the only groundbreaking he'd ever attended where people truly had fun.
If you have a groundbreaking opportunity coming up soon, can you think hard about ways to be fresh, innovative, and creative?
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