I like to market mission-driven organizations committed to both profitability and social impact.
My top 3 were TurboTax, Radio Shack & Hyundai. I thought Squarespace won the award for biggest missed opportunity.
1 month ago on Gin and Topics: Special Super Bowl Edition
@ginidietrich I wish. Two week spring break. The benefit of having a teacher as your partner.
P.P.S. I think Super Bowl Monday should be a mandatory corporate holiday. It's not like any work gets accomplished; people spend the whole day on Facebook re-watching & trying to think of funny things to say about the commercials.
1 month, 1 week ago on The Power of Time Off
@ginidietrich, this article wins the Internet for January. Well said! Now back to deciding where to take our March break (Austin is currently the frontrunner).
P.S. Do you think it makes me OCD that I get flustered that it won't let me capitalize @GiniDietrich?
While I don't doubt that sponsored content is a disruptive trend marketers need to pay attention to, the ethics and economics of brand journalism make me very uncomfortable. My primary objection is that it's inherently deceptive--even on websites where it's clear what is sponsored and what is not, the fundamental goal is to manipulate and to deceive readers in order to sell something. Most brands would be better off taking the money they are spending hiring journalists and buying sponsored content and investing it in their products. The whole category is a house of cards that feels like it's getting ready to collapse.
1 month, 1 week ago on Brand Journalism: How to Use Sponsored Content
@jenzings I bet they don't have any idea if it's increasing purchase intent. If they did, wouldn't we be reading about that in AdAge?
@jenzingsI wonder if their executive team misses the days when Chipotle was a burrito company and not a media company? Considering the fact that their stock has underperformed the S&P 500 index for the past two years, perhaps they should.
Some of us pedantics are simply fascinated by the sociological and psychological aspects of professional sports. For example, if you grew up watching Mean Joe Greene or John Madden play, why did they never act like this?
1 month, 2 weeks ago on The final take on the Richard Sherman interview
Great post, and a good opportunity to remind people that if you don’t take vacations, your staff won’t either. I spent two years living and working in London, and one of the more interesting transitions was working in an environment with 5+ weeks of mandatory vacation. Needless to say, those were the two happiest, healthiest and most productive years of my life. So take all your allotted vacation this year, and be careful of companies where the executive team wears their lack of vacation like a badge of honor.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Time Management: A Challenge to Make You More Productive
I think your Mom should request a recount.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on The 82 Things I Love
@AdrienneSender Is there any chance it was a spontaneous tweet? Again, I have no experience with the editorial arrangements between big brands and big agencies, but do they ever allow for a spontaneous tweet that doesn't have to get approved by 3 people at corporate? Maybe the offender snapped the picture, wrote the tweet, sent it, and didn't realize what s/he had done until they took a second look an hour later. If someone tells me that it's impossible for agencies to do spontaneous tweeting for a big brand, I may be ill.
It's funny, just in the course of writing this response Twitter's official advertising account tweeted the following: "The opportunity to humanize a brand on Twitter is a huge value proposition for a lot of our clients" @melissabarnes #FurtherFaster
Regardless, I'm going to stick with my guns and suggest marketers stop suggesting that social media is some form of "humanistic branding" tool. For starters, when you attempt to use social media to give a brand human character, you activity is based on an artificial premise since brands aren't human. Consumers automatically tend to humanize brands and ascribe personality traits to them. But they do so knowing that corporate brands are engines of commerce they enlist to solve a specific problem. I'm not saying you shouldn't use social media to give them a personality by telling authentic stories about your brand, or make authentic apologies when you screw up. But consumers want you to stop pretending to humanize the brand and start helping them simplify their noisy lives.
Look at all the brands that try to humanize themselves on social media a few days ago in honor of Veteran's Day, most of them with the best of intentions. They were just trying to be human, but most of the research I've seen says consumers will never let that happen.
There are a couple of research studies worth reading on this topic:
PS: I agree with @CommProSuzi. This has been an absolutely engaging debate and discussion. There's a Certificate in Marketing waiting for any junior marketer who reads these comments from start to finish. Thank you @ginidietrich for being the best Julie McCoy in cyberspace!
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Home Depot Crisis: Social Media Requires Being Human
@Karen_C_Wilson, I'd argue that the people who are watching at that level of detail
are in the business of watching. They are not Home Depot's target
consumer who a) will probably never hear about this and b) if they do,
be satisfied with their single apology. One authentic apology can and
should be the end of this. The idea that social media demands a unique
apology for everyone who was offended by a mistake is what we should be
apologizing for. Plus, if they had issued multiple, personalized apologies, people would be parsing the tone and content of each one looking for a flaw.
I'd argue that social media is inherently robotic. The fact that you
can schedule a Tweet underscores this fact. No other form of authentic
communication can be scheduled, edited and deleted in such a robotic
@Karen_C_Wilson Do they? As @dbvickery observed above, the only people who actually see the repetition are those inspecting Home Depot's Twitter stream with a fine tooth comb. What if they had copied & pasted 3 or 10 different apologies; would that suffice? Maybe it looked robotic because Twitter is robotic. I actually think Home Depot did everything right (full disclosure: I haven't been in a Home Depot store in five years, and am not their target customer).
@ginidietrich I don't know the first thing about the ground rules or SOPs for big brand social media management, but are you suggesting that if Home Depot was your client they would have approved each of the 16,000 tweets in their account before they went out? In this case, wouldn't the agency simply say we are going to be live tweeting College Game Day, and Home Depot would in turn expect them to follow their brand messaging guidelines?
I wonder if this incident says more about the medium of Twitter as a brand marketing tool than it does about Home Depot's handling of the incident. For one, it's impossible for a brand to be human, especially in 140 character increments. Although Home Depot did an admirable job of being humane in their apology--even if they recycled it 1000 times--social media cannot humanize a brand. Social media marketers have a tendency to forget that human nature is something that happens naturally and independently, and requires a mind and a body. Sure brands are made up of people, but brands are not people (no offense, Mitt).
That being said, meaningful brands can have a personhood and a personality that should represent authenticity and trust, which is a VERY convoluted way of saying I agree with you. :-)
And if I were Home Depot's CMO, I would have also fired the agency. I think a $70 billion dollar company deserves better than someone who tweeted that.
Where are you getting your Social Media Marketing designation from? I've been searching for an advanced social media analytics class--specifically covering customer segmentation, attribution modeling, path analysis, real-time analytics, multivariate testing, and traffic reporting--but haven't had any luck.
5 months ago on About me
I'm currently on a fiction-only book diet so I haven't read Lean In, but I've enjoyed reading reviews like yours and following the public debate. Your fellow Chicagoan @Kathy__Gee wrote this in her Washington Monthly review, and I'm curious if any of it resonates with you:
"I think this book is great at giving empowering, female-specific career advice, and igniting a broad conversation about our stalled feminist revolution. But it’s awful when it comes to realistically anchoring that advice in the context of our radically altered, high-unemployment economy. More problematic is the fact that Sandberg’s advice is also pitched so relentlessly at straight, presumably white, mostly college-educated women who are or want to be partnered and have children. While clearly that amounts to a huge swathe of American women, would it have killed her to include some sections on how her advice might differentially apply to nonwhite women, single moms, older women, or the non-straight? The book is written for middle class professionals, so it’s not surprising that it offers little for working class women. But Sandberg’s failure to recognize and address the diverse needs and interests her female professional readership is a serious limitation of her book."
6 months, 1 week ago on Lean In: Inspiring, Empowering, and Why You Should Read It
My favorite marketing book title/subtitle is "Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes. It suppose it gets an F for SEO, but it describes exactly what the book is about, who it's for, and what the value is to the reader. It has all of the good qualities of an impactful message: it's emotional, relevant, new, believable, and differentiating. It's also done pretty well on Amazon in spite of the subtitle.
How about something simple: "Spin Sucks: The Marketer's Guide to Irresistible Communications"
In other words, I agree with @belllindsay :-)
8 months, 4 weeks ago on Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle
@Bridget Spence (aka @MyBigGirlPants) lost her 9 year battle with breast cancer on Thursday evening. Please join me in honoring her memory by donating to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: http://www.dana-farber.org/gift
11 months, 1 week ago on #FollowFriday: Bridget Spence
@ginidietrich Sorry, I couldn't help myself: http://betashop.com/post/42837345441/breaking-news-fab-named-5th-most-innovative-company-in :-)
1 year ago on Seven Tools for Your 2012 Marketing and Communication Plans
I've been testing sponsored stories for a few weeks, and it seems we are paying for mostly junk/spam likes, comments, and new fans--mostly from outside of the U.S. It's absurd that sponsored stories can't be geographically targeted. Any advice?
1 year, 5 months ago on How to Get Results with Facebook Ads