Tags: agency, career, careers, Communication, Marketing, Online marketing, Web 2.0
I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a living until I was almost thirty. I knew what I didn’t want to do: the same repetitive tasks day after day, anything that involved lots of numbers, and in a place where I didn’t learn new things.
For me, the answer was marketing. But I can’t help thinking about the college student unsure of how to get paid for their odd smattering of talents.
I imagine that starting a marketing career these days is daunting. I would venture that more has changed about the business in the last 10 years than did in the 50 years proceeding it. How can a college student compete with elders with decades of experience behind them?
Tags: Acura, advergames, Advertising, BMW, branding, car, cars, Communication, Marketing, Nissan, online branding, Online marketing, Scion
Written by today’s guest blogger: This is my first post here on the OnlineMarketerBlog. I was asked by our kind host to share some thoughts I have about online branding. By way of credentials, I work in the marketing department of a large national company. I’m a copywriter by training with internet, print, and broadcast experience. And now for the disclaimer: These ideas which I’m about to share are of course mine, and don’t reflect the ideas of this blog’s host or my employer.
I was at work the other day when I came across this Acura landing page. It’s a robust landing page that touts the features of the car. And these types of pages are everywhere. Nissan, Toyota, Honda, GM…they all have them. And they’re all really boring. They do serve a purpose. These sites let prospective buyers learn about and price out a car. But they don’t tell a prospective owner anything about the brand.
And then I started thinking…why don’t car companies spend some of their immense marketing budgets on online branding efforts? The car market as a whole is perfect for online branding. Since cars are aspirational, a branded message speaks directly to how people should feel when they buy a specific car. In a lot of ways the brand message is just as important as a car’s features to a consumer. I tried to think back on examples of online branding in the car market and I came up with two, a Scion advergame and two Nissan Rogue videos.
So where are the online branding campaigns? Is it purely that these companies are focused on the active consumer? Someone who is currently researching new cars? Is it because they are scared that they can’t track the value of a branding campaign?
Tags: Communication, communications, Generations, growing older, keeping up, Marketing, Online marketing
Because everything in marketing is changing at an amazing rate, will the older folks among us become unable to keep up? Is there an anxiety present now that never used to exist before? Or is it imagined pressure that drives us?
Susan Weinschenk at World Usability Day Discussing Persuasion, Emotional Engagement, and Generational DifferencesNovember 10, 2007 at 9:44 am | Posted in Boomers, Communication, Email, Generation X, Generations, Marketing, Net gens, Online marketing, Tweens | Leave a comment
Tags: , baby boomers, emotional engagement, Generation X, generational effectiveness, Marketing, Net gens, Online marketing, Susan Weinschenk, Tweens, World Usability Day
I was at World Usability Day on Thursday and saw Dr. Susan Weinschenk of Human Factors International speak about emotional engagement and generational effectiveness. First, I’ll run down her “principles of persuasion,” then I’ll give you a brief run-down of her speech and the break-out session she ran.
Weinschenk gave 4 principles of persuasion. I’m sure there are more, but her’s are pretty darn good:
- Reciprocity – In short, ya give what ya get
- Social validation – People want to do what other people are doing
- Authority – People want to do what they’re told
- Attractiveness, similarity, liking, association – kind of speaks for itself
We didn’t spend too much time on emotional engagement, but it was a great exercise to take a step back and look at a website only from the user experience. You take all the marketing bullshit and throw it out the window; just focus on whether Grandma could get what she wants out of the website.
World Usability Day this year was focused on healthcare and for emotional engagement we looked at Johnson and Johnson‘s Access2Wellness.com site. We followed several steps in applying for this program, looking for triggers that move you forward – like current content, advice from knowledgeable sources, and impartial/independent information – or roadblocks that stop you from moving forward – such as unexpected actions, needing to leave the site for content, and jarring interactions. With Weinschenk’s help, we also looked for persuasion triggers and roadblocks like an obvious call to action (trigger) and an interrupted flow of action (roadblock).
In terms of generational effectiveness, we searched for type-2 diabetes information on MSN’s health site from the perspective of a baby boomer as opposed to a “net gen,” which covers tweens and about anyone younger than 25. This was a little more complex because, while we were still searching for triggers and roadblocks, some of the things that boomers like, net gens don’t, and vice versa.
Of course, these are generalities, but as marketers, we swim in generalities everyday. Some examples given:
- Automatic video – boomers hate, net gens like
- Randomness and unpredictability – boomers hate, net gens like
- (Multiple) navigation bars – boomers like, net gens hate
- Website consistency – boomers like, net gens hate
We joked around about the generalities, but in the end, there’s a reason they are generalities. No value judgment included, but it should surprise no one that boomers move more deliberately through websites while net gens bounce around. So as online marketers, it’s our responsibility to know our audience and try to build the most accessible and enjoyable website geared for the target audience while not completely turning off others.
I have been thinking lately about how I never got much out of career day in elementary school. It’s no surprise considering that almost no aspect of my current job existed at that time. The most high-tech thing I did before college was to program a massive computer to synchronize red-white-and-blue flashes while “Yankee Doodle Dandy” played. (Heck, it was the Midwest.)
So what can marketers do to prepare young children for jobs that don’t exist yet? Do we sit them down in a dark room with a computer and expect the Sergeys and Zuckerbergs to emerge some years later? If anyone has ideas, I would sincerely like to hear them. Perhaps a non-profit for the future online marketers of America?
As a marketer in my late twenties then, I am stuck in a strange generational divide. On one side is a huge group of Baby-Boomers and on the other is a huge group of Tweens or Generation Y’ers or whatever we’re calling them these days – and the largest population group since the Boomers. And Generation X folks are crunched beneath the two behemoths. We are going to be the ones to take of the jobs of the former and be tasked with managing the latter. It’s not like the interwebs are going away – so how do we all get along and make a tidy profit?
Just read the metrics like a barometer: 51% of marketers find that “lack of organizational support is a barrier to their use of new media” and 43.5% cite “culture of the organization” as the impediment to investing in more conversational marketing. (I’m looking at you, Boomers…)
While I’m surprised the numbers are this low, there’s still far to go to create a business culture that rewards younger staffers. And there is no doubt that Tweens are going to have to learn that Boomers have valuable business lessons to teach, that not everything can be solved online, and that there is something to be said about learning from your elders.
It is at least our responsibility to clear a path – to have something to say to those grade-school kids on career day. But we also need to admit that we’ll never know exactly the next thing coming around the corner and be flexible enough to build that into our marketing strategy. So, in my mind it begins with trust. Tweens need to respect that Boomers know a little something about business and participate in mentorship programs to learn and grow. Boomers should hire Tweens and not hold them back, while insisting that they back up their ideas with metrics and research.
Generation X’ers are in the middle, but doesn’t this offer worlds of opportunity? We have the most time to learn from the Boomers while experiencing technological updates over time. (While I am a little jealous of digital natives, can you imagine being hit with this all at once? I think MS-DOS, Commodore 64, and Atari benefited us more than we knew.) And we are more adept at talking to and interacting with Tweens. We can conduct business through memos or IMs, we can write a check or use PayPal, we can seal a deal with an email or a handshake. These are among the qualities that make Generation X invaluable in the workforce.
P.S.: Taking a little more confrontational stance, Ruth Sherman has some good things to say from an old FC blog post.