Brands And Digital Culture: It Doesn't Have To Suck
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Brands And Digital Culture: It Doesn't Have To Suck

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Presentation I gave at the end of February 2011 at The Olin School of Business @ Washington University in St Louis. Part of a new marketing seminar series they've started with the goal of bringing ...

Presentation I gave at the end of February 2011 at The Olin School of Business @ Washington University in St Louis. Part of a new marketing seminar series they've started with the goal of bringing different types of industry folks into their classrooms to give lessons of both success and failure to future brand managers and CMOs. My session specifically was around what role digital platforms can play for brands, and to discuss some broad ideas about how it works and doesn't work.

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Brands And Digital Culture: It Doesn't Have To Suck Brands And Digital Culture: It Doesn't Have To Suck Presentation Transcript

  • Brands And Digital Culture:It Doesn’t Have To SuckWashington University Olin School Of Business‘Brands And Social Networks’ Marketing SeminarFebruary 24th, 2011 1
  • Hello, I’m Avin. I’m an Account Planner.2
  • Simply said,I try to serveas a guide for brandand agency teams,navigating an alwayschanging landscape. 3
  • I help makeconnections thatenable people andbrands to createstories together. 4
  • Spanning causes,retail, automotive,CPG, and financial. 5
  • A few things I’ve learned:It’s not easy. Or free. Or turnkey.Or an intern’s job. Or a reason to freak out.Or a task to push to a silo-d ‘digital’ team. 6
  • Source: David Armano, Logic And Emotion Dec 2010 7
  • My hope for todays discussion:Provide some actionable lessons + ideasthat you can implement for your brands. 8
  • 5 things to consider for your approach.Being a social brand is about more than media.Complexity is a marketers best friend.Stop worrying about ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’.Rethinking the role of film.Mobile lifestyles, not just mobile devices. 9
  • 5 things to consider for your approach.3Being a social brand is about more than media.Complexity is a marketers best friend.Stop worrying about ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’.Rethinking the role of film.Mobile lifestyles, not just mobile devices. 10
  • 5 things to consider for your approach.3Being a social brand is about more than media.Complexity is a marketers best friend.Stop worrying about ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’.Rethinking the role of film.Mobile lifestyles, not just mobile devices. 11
  • We’ve been obsessing over platforms, ratherthan focusing on the underlying behaviors. Pre 2005 2006 - 2007 2008 - Present 2011 - ? 12
  • It’s a natural reactionto technological disruption. 13
  • Technology changes, but it’s still about peopleconnecting and sharing with other people. 14
  • “Communicationstools don’t becomesocially interestinguntil they becometechnologicallyboring.” - Clay Shirky, Author And Futurist 15
  • A key difference: being a social brand,vs using social media. VS 16
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  • Reinventing a dustybrand in a low-interestcategory. 18
  • What most people don’t realize is they spent years testing out different ideas, and refining. 2007 2008 2008 2009 Strange yet intriguing main characters, perfect comedic timing, odd situational humorSource: Bud Caddell “The Art Of Repetition And Recombinance” Aug 6th 2010 19
  • Then they found the perfect person.The man your man...well, you know the rest. 20
  • An inherently social idea easilylent itself to transmedia storytelling. 21
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  • After that much media attention, and months passed, the idea still draws people in. Over 3.5 million views in the first week, and that doesn’t even include millions more on broadcast tvSource: AdAge February 2011 24
  • “It’s one of the reasonsanyone buys anything;not just to own aproduct, but to becomea part of the story.” - Jay-Z, Decoded 25
  • Implications.Technology comes and goes- don’t get caught in the technolust trap.Just because a platform exists, doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand/product/goals.Never underestimate how much you can learn by listening to what people expect from you. 26
  • 5 things to consider for your approach.3Being a social brand is about more than media.Complexity is a marketers best friend.Stop worrying about ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’.Rethinking the role of film.Mobile lifestyles, not just mobile devices. 27
  • Marketing, as marketers envision it. Advertising Retail Direct Social Web Marketing The Brand Promotions/ Events POS Digital Experience 28
  • Marketing, as people experience it. My Needs My Desires Role For Brands That Bridge Intersecting Realities 29
  • Things Real PeopleDon’t SayAbout Advertising 30
  • Truth is, people don’t really carewhether your ideas are digital or traditional. 31
  • Just make it useful, stupid! By the Summer of 2010, over 35% of all USAA customer checks were processed via the banks mobile app.Source: Netbanker and Banking.com July 2010 32
  • Digital culture is no longer just geek culture.Source: FastCompany Jan 2011 Feature 33
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  • Strategy: force reappraisal of savings cultureamong young Americans.Challenges: • Facing the worst economic recession in a generation. • A culture already inclined to spend over save. • Intense distrust and even hatred for the financial world (justifiably so). • Despite knowing a change was needed in their finances, most were paralyzed with fear. 36
  • Put savings into a familiar context. 37
  • Rather than run ads talking about savings,it showed people the tangible rewards. 38
  • “From saying things atpeople, to doing thingswith and for people.” - Gareth Kay, Director Of Brand Strategy Goodby, Silverstein and Partners 39
  • Implications.Great ideas don’t have clear distinctions between ‘online’ and ‘offline’ elements.Aside from the geek contingent, simpler is almost always better.Focus on platforms that allow for fast iteration, refinement, and relaunch. 40
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  • 5 things to consider for your approach.3Being a social brand is about more than media.Complexity is a marketers best friend.Stop worrying about ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’.Rethinking the role of film.Mobile lifestyles, not just mobile devices. 42
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  • 6 out of 10 people now own a DVR (or other time-shifting device). - Comcast Corporation Research August 2010Source: MSNBC Today Show 8/17/2010 44
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  • And yet... 46
  • Source: MediaPost Dec 2010 47
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  • Film itself isn’t in question, but when, where, and how it can be experienced has changed.Source: Morgan Stanley State Of The Internet Nov 2010 51
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  • Strategy: get teens to take action by highlighting the disrespectful behavior of Big Tobacco. Challenges: • Limited paid media budget + timeframe. • Highly sensitive legal issues. • Toxic cultural and political environment dominated mass media. • Perception among teens that tobacco is a ‘lesser evil’.Source: Arnold + American Legacy Foundation Strategy Development Summer 2010 54
  • Film was a crucial way to start a dialogue. Product InnovationShards Of Glass Announcement Company Recall 55
  • Deeper meaning came through robust activityacross all Truth social platforms. Let people discuss the Provoke and incite action Content + entertainment resource issue together 56
  • Implications.Technology has liberated film- identify the ideal role for your initiatives.Contrary to conventional wisdom, shorter is not always better.People don’t care about production value and perfect editing- just get it made, and get it out. 57
  • Let’s take a breather. In summary:Being a social brand is about more than media.Complexity is a marketers best friend.Stop worrying about ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’.Rethinking the role of film.Mobile is more than just ‘mobile’. 58
  • Overtime session.Being a social brand is about more than media.Complexity is a marketers best friend.Stop worrying about ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’.Rethinking the role of film.Mobile lifestyles, not just mobile devices. 59
  • Problem: brands haven’t let go of an outdated model for how people make decisions.Source: Forrester Technographics 2008 60
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  • Constant technological shifts have enableda more complex and non-linear process. 62
  • Our digital world is full of depth and nuance. From everyday distractions... ...to enabling true cultural movements 63
  • Shared Language Advertise Habits Specials Range And Formation Akeelah And Options The Bee Ordering Barista Better Coffee System Culture Mission Post-digital era brands Used Starbucks Brand can be complex too. Grounds Experience Sofas And For Gardners Ambience Social Responsibility Fair Trade Africa Hearmusic PRODUCT Coffee Connection Jazz Label (RED) Partnership Cause Music Hearmusic Publicity Cultural Cafes In-Store Connection In-Store Burn Your Performance Own And Art Compilation AlbumSource: John Grant, Brand Manifesto 2008 64
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  • Strategy: turn a concert seriesinto a cultural pulse for (RED).Challenges: • No paid media. • Under $250K production (start to finish). • Small venues, limited total audience reach. • A tanking economy squeezing even affluents disposable $. 66
  • We created an in-depth, highly involveddigital roadtrip for (RED) fans. 67
  • Content creation came exclusively from fanson the ground- (RED) served as a curator. We asked fans for their help: If you’re tweeting, use hashtag #rednights Tag your photos #rednights on Flickr Use #rednights and #red on Youtube DL the fan toolkit and spread the word 68
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  • Implications.Brands are far more interesting when they are multi-dimensional. Embrace your personality.People are not stupid. Give them credit.No one outside of the marketing department worries about ‘multiple messages’ or ‘brandschizophrenia’. 70
  • Overtime session.Being a social brand is about more than media.Complexity is a marketers best friend.Stop worrying about ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’.Rethinking the role of film.Mobile lifestyles, not just mobile devices. 71
  • ‘Social’ and ‘mobile’ are increasingly inseparable.Source: JeSS3 Strategic Consultancy August 2010 72
  • Culture is rapidly adopting the mobile web.Source: Morgan Stanley State Of The Internet Nov 2010 73
  • But marketers have responded by spending more on intrusive ads people don’t want.Source: Nielsen “State Of Mobile Apps” Sept 2010 74
  • 1.At the core, there seem to be two key problems. Starting with the brand, instead of mobile behavior 2. Lumping mobile into one amorphous blob 75
  • 1.How can you best facilitate mobile decisions? Incentive Information Providing monetary value Educating, providing (coupons or promotions), brand, product or service or an exchange of brand news,or answering currency (contests, questions and prizes) commentary. Curating or developing Giving people a content, ideas and platforms mechanism to make a for entertainment & involvement beyond brand decision, find products, or messaging. accomplish a task. Entertainment Utility 76
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  • Integration WITHIN mobile, not just OF mobile. Games Utility 2. Text Social Promos Mobile Integration Experience Location Mobile Site Aware Incentives Mobile Payment 78
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  • Implications.Mobile behavior requires looking to new sources for inspiration. Get out of the marketing bubble.Get granular with ideas- plan for the tactical as well as the strategic.Fast, simple, and clean UX are paramount. Don’t underestimate their value. 80
  • OK. Done for real this time. In summary:Being a social brand is about more than media.Complexity is a marketers best friend.Stop worrying about ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’.Rethinking the role of film.Mobile is more than just ‘mobile’. 81
  • Depending on how you look at it, these areincredibly fun or incredibly scary times. 82
  • What kind of organizational culturalwill you shape and develop? • Will you encourage experimentation? (you should) • Will you embrace failure? (within acceptable limits) • Will you refuse to use the phrase ‘that’s how it’s always been done’? (yes, please) • Will you push folks like me and demand constant innovation? (I can take it) 83
  • If you’re interested in staying connected...? avin.narasimhan facebook.com/ linkedin.com/ @avin_narasimhan @gmail.com avin.narasimhan avinnarasimhan avin.posterous.com avin_narasimhan nahmisaran avin_narasimhan 84
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