Louis CK appearing on Conan O’Brien. Best quote: “Nobody takes in life unless it comes through — this” (holds his hands up as if peering into a smartphone)
I spent this past week in Deer Valley at the Digiday Brand Summit. There were a number presentations by brands describing efforts to create content that is informative and engaging to their audiences. Marketing 3.0 is all about getting beyond the traditional model of “buy this now”, and building a community by creating content. Cisco for example is producing video content weekly via its its year-old media site, The Network. It is a technology newsroom of sorts. More and more brands are trying to follow that lead and catch up to ground-breakers like Red Bull, which has effectively become a media property and brand all wrapped into one. Just look at the NY Red Bulls soccer team, Flutog or the Red Bull Air Race. Another good example woud be Tablespoon, a social and content hub that General Mills has created around food and recipes for millennials. If you go there, you hardly suspect it is the property of a major CPG marketer.
Nonetheless it would seem that only some of the brands that say they follow this strategy are doing it in earnest and doing it well. I am guessing 80% of the real application is coming from 20% of the participants. And the question is: why?
Part of the answer is that senior level decision makers at brands don’t necessarily support the strategy. That makes it hard for content creators at brands to be effective. In addition colleagues throughout these organizations don’t readily participate in process. The folks at Digiday polled some brand managers at the conference and got a variety of insights into the challenge in their piece entitled Why Brands Struggle With Content Creation.
As we close out 2012, my hope is that a brand — hopefully more than one — will not only embrace the content strategy but excel at it. That means creating good, useful content (video, editorial, photos) and pushing it out through and to the leading platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube (archived video), Livestream (live video of events). And then integrating the experience on a brand site and its social platforms. Sounds simple, but it’s not. Creating quality is one challenge and presenting/distributing it well is another.
If my hope becomes a reality, then future conversations like the ones in Deer Valley this week will scarcely mention the obstacles and challenges of content creation for brands and focus mostly on successes and connections with people. And distribution. Progress has been made — but there’s a way to go.
48, stomach 000 people watching storm coverage on Livestream right now…
Livestream teamed up with Vogue to broadcast the Costume Institute Gala LIVE from the Met on Monday night (5/7/12). The stream was presented and made possible by Amazon.com. It was an incredible event, amazing turnout of stars — and it raised $11 million for the museum. Kudos to Anna Wintour and team for another extraordinary evening. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LIVESTREAM
I have been spending a lot of time working with online video advertising of late and wanted to share some facts. It is an important space, and as most media and marketing people know, a fast growing one. The world of television (content producers and viewers) continues to move rapidly online. And many people are also creating and distributing original video content online (i.e. not from traditional content producers). Annoying Orange anyone? Gary Vaynerchuk and Wine Library TV? The streaming ads are following at a brisk clip.
Here are some interesting facts that came out in an Ad Age report earlier this week:
In the video space there are a lot of key players. The significant ones are:
Here’s where it gets interesting: 2010 was the first year — ever — that cable subscriptions in the U.S. declined. That’s right – they went down. Competition is coming to a TV, computer, tablet or smart phone near you. Cable and the MSO’s are on the run for the first time. Stay tuned…or should I say “stay logged in”?
I have been to three industry conferences in the last 2 weeks:
All three provided a lot of information and — at various moments — insights. In these challenging economic times, there is one silver lining: people are talking more, exchanging ideas actively and trying to figure how to manage “The New Normal”.
FutureVision was by invite-only and produced by Lyris, the technology company I use for email marketing and analytics. The one day session was jam packed with information and insights. Some of the best moments included:
The NY Times Small Business Summit featured some outstanding speakers, the best of which was Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. He regaled the crowd of 800 with the story of how he and Ben Cohen started the company after taking a $5.oo mail-in correspondence course on ice cream making and then somehow got bank financing and rented a former gas station as their first store. The only question afterward was whether such serendipity and luck can occur in today’s business climate. Hmmm. Another high point was a panel that included Paul Downs, founder & CEO of Paul Downs Cabinetmakers. Paul writes a blog for The NY Times about the struggles of a small business trying to survive in a tough economy. It is called Staying Alive. See his posts. He is engaging as a speaker, and his message of survival is topical.
Advertising Week — tag line “Get Out of Your Head” — was a smorgasbord of sessions, speakers, panels and locations. 60,000 advertising professionals from all over the world. Agencies, brands, technology providers — everyone connected with the industry. I didn’t run into a single executive from a traditional media property though. (I find that surprising and little troubling.) The locus of the event was The Times Center, which is where all the sessions I attended took place.
Here are the highlights.
In my next post I will report on SMX – Search Marketing East conference.
“The Flight To Quality” is an investment term for when investors move their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. In The New Normal I write about, I believe we are seeing a flight to quality across a broad spectrum of business: media & marketing, retail, entertainment, sports and more. And I believe it takes the form of a a “Flight To Quality…and VALUE“.
Sometimes it is truly about quality and less about price…Take for example the recent case where a package of bed linens bargain-priced for $35.00 at Kmart sold significantly LESS than a quite similar package at Pottery Barn that was priced at $129.00. Was this because upper middle class shoppers at Pottery Barn are spending more freely in the recession than lower middle class shoppers at Kmart? Maybe — but actually I believe it was because the Pottery Barn product was higher quality, longer lasting and therefore ultimate a better value.
Similarly, look at what has happened to the live entertainment industry in 2010. (See WSJ article.) A shockingly large number of high profile, major tour dates were canceled by some of the world’s best selling music artists: The Eagles, Christina Aguilera, The Dixie Chicks and others. The reason? Low ticket sales. The reasons cited were (i) the artists were touring too much (over-saturating their market) and (ii) they weren’t releasing any new music (no new albums). So the public said: “These tickets are expensive, really. I saw this artist last year, and he/she doesn’t have a new record. It’s not worth it.”
“It’s not worth it.” The attitude and outlook of the New Normal is defined by the question: “Is it worth it?”
The margin for error has gotten smaller. And whether you’re buying sheets, tickets or advertising, these days you are going to buy:
Sometimes it is about lower price, sometimes it’s not. But making sure you get what you want and need has never been more relevant.
In today’s world — the Post Digital Era — traditional mass media are in decline. Just look at the numbers for newspaper, television and radio advertising. New media (web, email, social and mobile) are of course on the rise. Look no further than what major brand marketers and consumers are doing:
Bottom line: consumers are consuming media in many more ways than they were 10-15 years ago — thanks to the Internet. And within digital media there are dozens of choices for advertisers to make when they decide on how to push out their message. Below are just a few…12 to be exact:
This list is not all encompassing either. There are more areas within digital. The point ultimately is not to get overwhelmed by the plethora of choices but to embrace them…and to find the sweet spot that is Marketing 3.0. The diagram up top is a rough illustration of this. Somewhere between Traditional Media, Internet and Mobile/Guerilla, is the right mix for any marketing campaign. It is a more complicated world now; so the degree to which marketers become skilled “media mixologists” is more important than ever.
Embrace the choices, embrace the mosaic of ways to get the message out. You will be surprised and delighted when your mix hits just the right note.