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: Advertising, Communication, concert, concerts, Disney, Hannah Montana, HP, integration, Marketing, Miley Cyrus, music, OfficeMax, Online marketing, Usability
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I have a confession: I attended the Miley Cyrus – Hannah Montana show on Saturday evening. I am not a fan – suffice it to say I attended for the benefit of others. My future cousins in-law had a blast and I got to see a friend doing what he does best (thanks Jason!). Though difficult to concentrate in the midst of 10,000 pre-teen girls shrieking at top volume, I did see some rather striking examples of marketing done right. All of it was so smooth and so integrated into the show, I think it was an example of what entertainment will be like in the years to come.
- Props to sponsor HP for recording video segments run during breaks in the show that integrated their sponsorship with their (and Miley’s) charity work. It was the normal thing (“X percent of your new printer will be donated to Y”), but the production value was great and both kids and parents got the message.
- Award for the most ingeniously simple marketing scheme: OfficeMax. You might be asking yourself why HP and OfficeMax would be sponsoring a kid’s show, but the sheer volume of well-off parents was proof enough. I saw more limousines (Hummer limos included) than I have for any rock show. Regardless, OfficeMax was giving away signs at a table outside the main doors with a word balloon printed on the front. The idea was that the kid wrote something (“We LUV you Hannah!”) and held it up during the show. However, OfficeMax also included their logo prominently on the back of the sign. That way, each little kid was jumping up and down promoting OfficeMax to every person behind them.
- I noticed several un-uniformed young adults handing out what appeared to be surveys so, of course, I grabbed a couple. They start out pretty innocuous – age, gender (boy or girl, rather), frequency of interaction with Hannah Montana/Disney.com, excitement to see the show, etc. Then it asks you to name the sponsors of the show. A little weird, but ok. It only started to perk up my interest when out of the blue it asks about my printing frequency. Then the subsequent four questions are about my printing habits, with HP prominently in the first position of the multiple choice. The survey is a great touch-point, makes the child (or more likely the parent) notice HP’s sponsorship, and it provides valuable information to the sponsor.
In all, well done by the sponsors of the show. None of the marketing was too invasive, but it certainly did not get lost either. There were lots of chances to wrote down the URLs displayed on the video screens during breaks, most of which included a situation where the sponsor was providing content or an opportunity, rather than encouraging parents to visit the website and see our exciting new line of, uh, printers (snore…).
Of course, no Hannah Montana marketing article could fail to mention the PR stumble regarding MileyWorld.com getting sued for false promises, but let the parents fight that out. And I learned that the t-shirt sales (occurring inside the venue) were not sanctioned by the Miley or Disney – so the bootleggers were making tons of money off her image. The girl might only be 15, but her handlers should be all over this if it is true. They are needlessly tarnishing her reputation and losing tons and tons of money.
But regardless, I commend the marketing at the show. (And if you haven’t seen MileyWorld.com, check out the great benefits of membership – click on the “Tickets” tab, for instance.) Plus, I never would have listened to those songs otherwise, but many actually had a good message for kids, especially little girls. There was a song entitled “Nobody’s Perfect” and others that talked about the power of friendship and self-confidence. Sure, it’s a little schmaltzy, but the kids ate it up. And that’s what matters.
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.