Archive for the 'Marketing' Category

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Does Social Media Help TV Viewership?

Regardless of whether your a Digital or Traditional marketer, this post isn’t about singling out a “preferred” medium, its simply about the convergence of behaviors.

While the DVR, Apple TV, Hulu, Boxee etc etc give us control over when and how we watch our favorite TV programs, I believe Social Media has altered consumer behaviors, and has actually allowed TV networks to once again feel good about “appointment television”. While I don’t have stats to back up this statement, my own behavioral experience absolutely supports this point of view (the power of one…prove me wrong).

While I watch very little network programming, there are a few “prime-time” shows I enjoy, and whenever I do tune in (at the time of airing), I feel like I’m in my virtual living room watching with my friends and family. With iPad in hand, I sit there watching TV, and then it starts – facebook friends light up the news feed, and the discussion begins… not only limited to the program, but the advertising as well.

We all know this behavior is abundantly apparent when watching live events such as Sports, Awards shows etc. but, is it enough for TV networks to once again make a case for appointment viewing? After all, appointment TV is still one of the most successful way to reach a mass audience at a specific point in time.

Welcome your thoughts.

“How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free”

I think Mr. Tom Petty was onto something when he wrote “The Last DJ”. We are at a point where time is such a precious commodity that we are willing, eager, and able to pay a premium for its convenience.

Stop and think about the course of media, Broadcast TV delivered on the promise of providing free content supported by advertising. However, consumers were bound to ridged airtime schedules.

Then Cable TV, introduced the “pay for content – no commercials” model. Shortly thereafter, commercials make their way to cable tv. Why? Because ad revenue far outweighed the revenue generated from subscriptions alone. (Besides, who doesn’t want to get paid from both sides (consumers and networks) Satellite Radio – same thing, originally offered with no ads, today – ads appear on most popular channels.

Today, in a world where time truly is money, and instant gratification is the expected norm, more and more people, (particularly the younger generation) are willing to pay for content that is otherwise free, so long as they can consume it when, where, and on whatever device they choose.

So if you buy into the belief that future consumption will be a-la-carte, why not start cutting the cable cord now?

Well, for some, they have already taken the plunge. However, for most, it will take more convincing that they will be able to get the same (if not more) content than currently available by cable providers.

Today’s reality is that the average consumer can get at least 60-70% of their content either free or at a-la-carte pricing (on any device), however the services by which to get this content are too fragmentized, thus making it financially unattractive. Once the cream rises to the top and companies begin to acquire/merge, much more streamlined services will attract consumers to make the shift.

So, are you ready to take the plunge???

Social is not a Campaign!

A recent study of US marketers by the Direct Marketing Association and COLLOQUY found that brand awareness was the most popular objective of social media “campaign”. How can this be I ask? For starters, “Social” is not a campaign, it is an ongoing dialogue between a brand and a consumer. Secondly, how can companies expect to build brand affinity without first establishing customer loyalty?

My opinionated attempt to explain:

Think back to the days when marketers referred to word of mouth as the best form of “advertising” a company could ever hope for, yet there were very few ways to prove that positive or negative word of mouth affected brand or impacted the bottom line. Even more puzzling was the fact that marketers had very few ways of touching consumers on a personal level if they needed to remedy a problem, or thank someone for being a loyal supporter.

Today, those same “word of mouth” conversations still take place, except now marketers have an opportunity to see them, understand them, influence them, and most importantly, connect them to individual customers. Never before, have Marketers and Brands had an opportunity to get as close to their customers as they can today, yet so many of them limit their “social efforts” to simply “advertising” to consumers within social forums.

Those who understand the value of today’s social ethos, know that social media is not about a “campaign”. Its not how much money you sink into advertising on social networks, and it’s not about how many leads can be delivered. It’s about making sure your company in sync with its customers – It’s about providing value. When you provide value to consumers you establish trust and loyalty, which lead to brand affinity & awareness. It is only then, when companies can expect to see the fruits of their labor through increased sales, and overall growth etc.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I will say that I do believe its beneficial for Marketers and Brands to “advertise” in social environments, but these efforts should not be looked at a social media, they simply should be looked at as advertising campaigns (which is what they are). And should not be measured any differently than other “campaigns” with specific and measureable KPI’s.

I welcome your thoughts.