Different Dog, Same ol’ Bark

“You can be traditional in a non-traditional medium and as well, you can be non-traditional in a traditional medium.”

I heard this for the first time on the Six Pixels of Separation podcast.   Joseph Jaffe said it to Mitch Joel talking about what is currently taking place across all mediums.  I think that statement is very applicable for areas such as Saskatchewan, that have a much slower adoption rate for online technology and media.  Let me explain.

In Saskatchewan companies need to focus on bridging the gap between traditional and new media.  It would be ignorant not to be exploring what you could be doing online as well, to spend your entire budget on internet marketing.  If you can figure out how to be non-traditional in a traditional medium you already have a head start on the competition.  So how could you go about doing this?  Simple.

Begin by knowing that your customers have the most marketing influence in the World, give them the tools to spread your message.  Put your web-site on all printed material, if you’re on Twitter put your username on your business cards and e-mail signature.  Start producing content that your followers would want to consume be it video, pictures, audio, or a blog.  Put that content in one easy place for them to access.  Now finally they have a reason to go to your website.

Refine it.  Get better at it.  Keep improving.  In no time you’ll have a strong online presence that will pair nicely with your communication offline.

The other route that many companies are taking is the default, a traditional message in a non-traditional medium.  These campaigns standout because they just don’t seem to fit, they’re lame and their creators obviously don’t understand the medium.

Using Twitter as a one-way messaging service like a commercial.

Starting a Facebook group for no apparent reason.

Unsolicited mass e-mail marketing.

Anytime you interrupt me to put your message in front of me I probably won’t like it or remember it.  On the flip side, if you have a interesting and innovative way of telling me what you’re about or you start a conversation, I’ll probably listen, if I like what I hear I’ll support you and most likely try to influence others to do the same.

Just because you’re “online” doesn’t give you the right to dictate your message to me, all we hear is the same ol’ bark coming from a different dog.

What impression do you get when you see a company in a new medium using the same traditional messaging?

Thanks for reading! If you want to learn more about what you could be doing in the online world check out this post: 56 Uses of Social Media in Saskatchewan

20 commercials that went viral

1.  Volkswagen – The Fun Theory – Finally a car commercial that isn’t like every other car commercial

2.  Domino’s – The Pizza Turnaround – a longer video but worth a watch, tells a great story about how Domino’s is changing their pizza

3.  Aides – Graffiti – a different way to go about Aides awareness

4.  Coca-Cola – Happiness Machine – this theme is growing and it’s obvious why, making people happy and filming it works

5.  Bud Light – Clothing Drive – even online the beer companies can usually come up with very entertaining material and this one is no exception

6.  Burton – Shaun White Double McTwist – sports theme and an amazing feat

7.  Pedigree – Dogs – some amazing camera work

8.  Tropicana – Arctic Sun – great story

9.  Heineken – Men With Talent – again, the agency’s on beer commercials do a great job

10.  Nike – The Secret Behind Nike Air – must watch for any Nike lover out there, you’ll actually laugh out loud

11.  TomTom – Behind the Scenes of Darth Vader’s Voice Recording – the best part about this one is that you can actually get a TomTom GPS device with a Star Wars voice

12.  Toyota – Toyota Sienna “Swagger Wagon,” – I’m a big fan of car commercials that standout, this one sure does

13.  Arriva Movia – Mukthar’s Birthday – Better Bus Ride – a tear jerking story about the best birthday present ever

14.  Hi Tec – Walk on Water (Liquid Mountaineering) – a surreal moment when you watch this one, unbelievable

15.  Microsoft – Giant Waterslide – you will probably watch this again and again and still try to figure out how they did it

16.  Red Bull – Times Square Pit Stop – Redbull always seems to find a large audience, this is no exception

17.  National Geographic – Deadly Predator – an amazing story

18.  Doritos Canada – The Taste-Test Whistleblower – one of my personal favorites, be sure to turn the sound down if you’re at work

19.  Inspired Bicycles – Danny MacAskill – some of the most amazing biking I have ever seen

20.  Boone Oakley – BooneOakley.com – this may be the best video showcasing what a company does that I have ever seen

The Bonnie Raitt Philosophy of Marketing

“Let’s give them something to talk about”

If you go about your marketing efforts keeping this philosophy in mind you can’t go wrong.  Let me explain.

If your target audience sees your billboard and it doesn’t strike them with any emotion, you’ve lost.  If someone hears your latest radio campaign and it doesn’t standout in their mind, again, you lose.  If your marketing campaign can’t give someone something to talk about, what are you doing?  Just making noise, that is all, and we are extremely good at ignoring advertising noise.

Get creative, be provocative, evoke emotion, pick a fight, disagree, challenge a norm, standup for something, show your passion, give me something to talk about.

What is strategy?

“Management plan or method for completing objectives; plan of procedures to be implemented, to do something.” –  Answers.com

“Strategy refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal.” – Wikipedia

“A mental tapestry of changing intentions for harmonizing and focusing our efforts as a basis for realizing some aim or purpose in an unfolding and often unforeseen world of many bewildering events and many contending interests.” – John Boyd’s

“Strategy is about knowing where your company is today, where you want to take it, and how you are going to get there.” -Peter Drucker

However you define it, all strategy really means is focusing on a certain objective and determining how to achieve it.  Have you ever brainstormed ways of revamping your company or product to ensure a more competitive stance in your market?  Have you ever wondered what may happen if there is a large shift in your industry?

Too many industries are facing large changes in how business is conducted with the majority of organizations ignoring it.  What used to be safe is now risky.  If you’re not exploring where you industry is headed, where your competitors are expanding to and what your customers are talking to each other about, you may be missing the most valuable information about your industry.

The best part about this ever changing business landscape of the future is that the internet, if used effectively, can become your most powerful tool to explore your options.  It is never to late to start learning, you’re already on the right track by reading my blog ;).

The choice is yours, either start learning and exploring or  take the “safe” alternative and do business as usual believing you’re industry is immune to change.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Health Misses the boat…again?

In March of 2010 this was posted to the Nudge blog, explaining why social norms are a proven method to curb binge drinking among teens.  The post features an advertisement from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health attempting to use guilt and shame to convince teens not to drink.  The other example is from the National Institute of Social Norms campaign at Georgetown University.  From this case study you can read about it’s effectiveness.

The same day of the Nudge blog post, Advertising Age published this article on a study done at Northwestern University.  Using guilt or shame can actually influence the intended audience to take part in more of that behavior, says Kellogg marketing professor Nidhi Agrawal;  “People who are already feeling guilt or shame resort to something called “defensive processing” when confronted with more of either, and tend to disassociate themselves with whatever they are being shown in order to lessen those emotions.”

It didn’t bother me much knowing that the Ministry of Health did that one set of ads, but to my astonishment they are producing more and now short videos too?  The new campaign is titled: “What else got wasted?” Well it appears your marketing budget was.

Just because you “think” it’ll be an effective campaign doesn’t make it true, the proof is in the research and there is plenty out there.

Please, comments are welcome.

56 uses of social media in Saskatchewan

  1. Instead of “news” build your own RSS reader
  2. Begin following local bloggers in your RSS reader and keep searching for new ones
  3. Challenge a local blogger, disagree, leave a comment
  4. Offer to write a guest post for a local blogger
  5. Offer to write a guest post for an industry specific blog
  6. Hold a local specific contest (Treasure hunt via Facebook?)
  7. Start a local restaurant review site, make it fun
  8. Ask for feedback of your product/service via Twitter
  9. Offer to take pictures at an event and start a Flickr account for them
  10. Host a picture contest
  11. Host a picture caption contest for other businesses
  12. Encourage patrons to take a picture of their meal and share it online for 25% off the meal
  13. Tell stories about your product on a blog
  14. Host a community blog with many different contributers
  15. Start selling your product on Facebook
  16. Encourage employees to offer reviews of the company via LinkedIn
  17. Start a local trivia blog (written, video, picture)
  18. Offer free products/services to people with lots of friends on Facebook
  19. Put your website on all printed material
  20. Put your Twitter name in places where no one would expect to see it (get creative with this one)
  21. Put your blog and Twitter name on the inside of a box of donuts and deliver them to potential readers
  22. Put your blog, vlog, landing page or video in your e-mail signature
  23. Start a collection of local website on Delicious, sort them in a meaningful way
  24. Host an online garage sale
  25. Host an actual garage sale via Ustream
  26. Add you company to Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and any other geo-location service
  27. Offer different deals on Foursquare, see what works
  28. Host a city wide treasure hunt via Foursquare
  29. Host a 24 hour Foursquare challenge
  30. Leave an unbelievable “deal” on Yelp and see who takes you up on it
  31. Document the entire Foursquare challenge on YouTube
  32. Do a video production of your safety manual
  33. Record the “Monday morning announcements” on YouTube, make them fun
  34. Set up Google alerts to monitor your company’s name being mentioned
  35. Add you business to Google maps (seems simple but many people overlook this one)
  36. Give me a reason to go to your website daily
  37. Host a local “Tweet-up”
  38. Offer to begin a Twitter account for a large local event
  39. Setup an your automatic e-mail the next time you’re on holidays to say “you’re only responding to requests on Twitter”
  40. Have a video contest, offer a large cash prize
  41. Make a video explaining everything about your organization
  42. Make a video about a different employee every day until you run out of employees
  43. Start a YouTube channel for your company and post a video per week about industry specific topics
  44. UStream your Friday at the office
  45. UStream a different place/person in your office weekly
  46. Have a “submit question” box on your homepage, answer every question that comes in
  47. Submit a fascinating story to Digg and Stumble Upon once a week
  48. Sell T-shirts on your home page for charity, let people vote on the charity
  49. Start a Foodbank challenge with one of your competitors, document everything on a picture blog
  50. Create an interactive fundraising tool on your website
  51. Encourage all of your staff to fill out their entire profile on LinkedIn, make it a company wide activity
  52. Host an appreciation BBQ for the employee of the month, video tape it and post all the pleasant things said on your company blog
  53. Start an e-mail newsletter and fill it with the most helpful information/links in your industry
  54. Recognize employees who go above and beyond on your company blog
  55. Put your Twitter name on a billboard by a busy street
  56. Give free coffee to everyone downtown who becomes a fan of yours on Facebook

This is just the beginning of what you could do, the possibilities are endless.  Have anymore you want to share?  Please do!