Audacious and authentic — a case study of Kesha’s strategic launch communications

When strategic marketing communications get great results, whether the results are in changes in perceptions, increases in sales, or both, my heart sings.

And we witnessed a great example of that this summer as Kesha launched her new album.

Read my case study of her team’s work here.

And here is a huge thank you to Gini Dietrich and Laura Petrolino at Spin Sucks for accepting my guest post.


Three reasons marketing and PR students need to read Spin Sucks (if they want jobs)

Three reasons marketing and PR students need to read Spin Sucks (if they want a job)

Sunday morning Spin Sucks

 

Finding a job can still be tough out there for marketing and PR professionals, especially for students who are just finishing their degrees. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where unemployment is relatively low and there are lots of jobs available in both disciplines, there is still fierce competition for each available role.

But here’s the good news — there’s a new book out that will give marketing and PR students a leg up when they start looking for internships and jobs. Enter Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age by Gini Dietrich.

Here are three reasons why reading Spin Sucks is one of the best things you can do for Read the rest of this entry »


Social Listening Psychosis: “Don’t answer me — JUST LISTEN!”*

San Francisco Zoo -- an organization that knows how to listen.

San Francisco Zoo — an organization that knows how to listen.

One of the things I love most about social media is the access that it gives consumers to brands. I especially love how that access makes closer relationships possible between them.

Smart brands listen to what consumers are saying about them online; hence, we have the term “social listening” (a term that you need to know if you are in business today, frankly.)

And the best brands respond.

One of my favorite brands that does a great job of listening is the San Francisco Zoo. They routinely do things on Twitter like this:

The San Francisco Zoo listens and responds to online mentions.

The San Francisco Zoo generates engagement by listening online and responding to mentions.

The social media person at the zoo clearly takes time to monitor what’s being said about the organization online — and responds.

The Zoo's responses to online mentions often aim to add value to customers' experience.

The Zoo’s typical response to an online mention often aims to add value to the customer’s experience.

And it’s proactive relationship building — no crises here, just friendly “hey, how was your visit, we’re really glad you came out to see us, here’s a tip to make your trip even better.” Genius!

Thought leaders like Bryan Kramer of PureMatter believe that social listening is incredibly important — and in some cases it’s even an ingredient in the alchemy that creates brand loyalists.

But it looks like we may be beginning to see some backlash. Brian Solis of Altimeter recently posted analysis of an infographic that seems to say consumers don’t necessarily want brands to listen so closely and respond all the time. It sounds like people want access to brands, but they don’t necessarily want brands to hover like helicopter parents.

If you look at the Netbase infographic that Solis posted, they urge brands to be smart about listening and responding. And that advice absolutely makes sense. Social media is about personalizing and interacting, not “spraying and praying.” It might take a couple of extra seconds, but really analyzing the context of what you’re hearing before you respond — if you respond — may help your brand avoid alienating potential brand advocates.

Yes, we’re reminded yet again that there is an art that dances cheek-to-cheek with the science behind marketing communications.

I’m incredibly curious — what do you think? Do you sometimes feel that brands listen a little too closely? Do you sometimes want to be able to mention brands online without a response?

*Quotation in the title is based on a line from one of my favorite movies, Sordid Lives, written and directed by the inimitable Del Shores.


Maker’s — Off the Rocks and Back on the Mark?

a nicely used bottle of Maker's Mark. Photo by user swanksalot on flickr via Creative Commons.

a nicely used bottle of Maker’s Mark. Photo by user swanksalot on flickr via Creative Commons.

Now I don’t know about you, but I like my bourbon neat. Maybe this has to do with my being from the South. But that is neither here nor there.

Perhaps you heard the recent story about how Maker’s Mark is experiencing a pinch in supply of its bourbon due to unanticipated Read the rest of this entry »


Wait, what? Someone used a QR code correctly? (or, How to Rock a QR Code)

sfsu food trucks - postcard size

postcard-size advertisement for SFSU food trucks

Behold! The ever-elusive specimen of smart QR code use in its native environment!

So there’s lots of talk about QR codes from me lately, eh? Some people have already written them off as useless, some people love them, and some people apparently love to hate them.

Like a lot of people, it took me a while to understand what they are and how to use them, but now I’m impressed with QR codes’ potential for quickly linking the tangible with the digital. But as we are all painfully aware Read the rest of this entry »


And the winner of the Hottest Super Bowl Ad* Award is ….

You can still dunk in the dark. At the Super Bowl.

You can still dunk in the dark. At the Super Bowl.

OREO!

*On Facebook and Twitter

Now I have to admit I am not much of a football or Super Bowl person. But as a marketing nerd, obviously I’m watching what’s going on from the sidelines — especially on social media!

And when the lights went out in New Orleans (did Beyoncé blow a fuse?) giving America a longer potty break than usual, smart brands knew that mobile devices and laptops would be humming with activity. 

Oreo’s team swooped in and dropped the above photo on the unsuspecting Facebook- and Twitterspheres.

Just absolutely brilliant. Timely, humorous, great design … and almost 15,000 likes and nearly 5,000 shares. And climbing. Not to mention that a *lot* of people were left craving an Oreo cookie!

Oreos — the (un)official cookie of Super Bowl XLVII!

What outstanding examples of social media use did you see during the Super Bowl? What would you have done?

*Honorable mention goes to Duracell, which went to Facebook with a photo of the darkened half of the Superdome plus the text, “If only Duracell was powering the lights …” and then cheekily added “Looks like they used some Duracell batteries! You’re welcome. Enjoy the game. #TrustYourPower” once the lights came back on.

UPDATE:

Excellent coverage of how Oreo did it from Rachel Sanders at BuzzFeed.

HubSpot offers a solid replay of brands that jumped on the blackout.


QR codes – on the way up or DOA?

Cc-bc-sa-icons-qr-codeThis morning, I took an informal poll of one person about a topic I’m curious about lately — QR codes!

The methodology:

I asked a friend, “You know what QR codes are, right?”

The results: Read the rest of this entry »