(mobileYouth) Influence - A Marketer's guide (Free Ebook Download)


Published on

Influence - the new science of marketing. In this guide mobileYouth's Graham Brown and Ghani Kunto share with you how to create influence and what the new rules are for recommendation in the post-advertising economy. Download it free.

1 Comment
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

(mobileYouth) Influence - A Marketer's guide (Free Ebook Download)

  1. 1. http://mobileyouth.org Page 0
  2. 2. Copyright© 2011 by mobileYouthAll rights reserved. No part of this document may bereproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, orotherwise, without prior written permission of mobileYouthAuthors  grant  fair  use  of  book’s  materials according toconventions  of  “fair  use”  covering  printed  materialshttp://mobileyouth.org Page 1
  3. 3. A special thanks to the mobileYouth team Bernard Hor of Youth Works Asia Marlon Parker of RLabs Roman Ravve of Anketki Researchhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 2
  4. 4. INTRODUCTIONRemember  the  ‘60’s?No, neither do I.Yet it’s  amazing  how  brands  insist  on  marketing  like  it’s  still  the  1960’s.   “Create  a  great  brand  story  and  push  it  out  there.”   Sure it worked for Pepsi back when the coolkids wore bellbottoms but things have changed sincethen. We’ve   landed   on   the   moon.   We’ve   torn   down  The   Wall   and   then   there   was   this   thing   called   “The  Internet”.   But,   marketers   still   ask   questions   like   “How  do we identify influencers on Twitter that would tweetabout   us?”,   “How   can   we   get   youth   talking   about   our  brand”  or  “How  do  we  get  more  people  to  ‘Like’  us  on  Facebook?”These are all the wrong questions to ask.Nobody cares about your brand story. At least, not whenyou’re  the  one  telling  it.If your idea of marketing is still about finding thebusiest place where you can stand alone yelling out yourstory with a megaphone, stop and take a lookaround. The only ones still doing that are the onesholding  a  “The  end  is  near”  sign.Actually, even those guys have gone online.Deep down even the most adamant billboard-spacesalesmen know that the world of influence has changed.http://mobileyouth.org Page 3
  5. 5. The   drivers   of   influence   haven’t   changed   but   being  influential has. The branding game used to be abouthaving the loudest and most interesting voice. It wasabout Paid Media or buying youth trust and attention.Those with the biggest budgets won the game.Old Influence = Hot Creative Agency + Media BuyThis used to be enough to influence customers tocome. Now, telling your brand story can actually scareinfluencers   away.   It’s   not   that   they   don’t   like   your  branding tone, or your story, or your choice of mediumbut   that   you’re   not   creating   any   space   for   them   to   tell  their own story. And this is why so many brands fail atthe new influence game; the space you need to free upfor these influential storytellers is currently occupied bycelebrities and creative agencies. They are products ofthe  1960s  and  don’t  belong.You see, the new rule of influence is as follows:It’s   not   who’s   telling   your   story   but   whose   story  you’re  telling  that  counts.New Influence = Create Tools for Customers to tell theirStoryIt’s  happening  because  there  are  multiple  narratives  out  there. Who to trust? The answer is simple, people justlike  them.  That’s  why  Earned  Media  is  the  most  critical  factor   in   brand   influence   today.   You   can’t   buy youthtrust and attention anymore - that strategy was born ofhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 4
  6. 6. an era when they were abundant. Today, you have toearn it.This book is about how brands can create influence andsuccessfully navigate this new landscape of the post-advertising world. It’s  about  change  and  anticipating  the  future. It’s   about   the   role   that   you   can   take   in   it.   Andthat’s  the  key.Even though our partners have conducted a superbresearch covering four continents (Americas, Europe,Africa,   Asia)   and   we’ve   combined   the   results with the10 years of insights and experience collected bymobileYouth,   you   shouldn’t   expect   this   book   to   spell  out for you what you need to do.Yes,   you’ll   find   plenty   of   examples   and   best-practiceshere  but  they’re  not  meant  to  be  copied.   They are meantto inspire. I  didn’t  write  this  as  a  book  of  answers  after  all. I wrote it as a book of questions.We   might   be   experts   but   you’re   the   one   who   has   to  make  the  decisions.  Marketing  is  broken  and  today,  it’s  your job to fix it.Ghani Kuntoghani.kunto@mobileyouth.orghttp://mobileyouth.org Page 5
  7. 7. http://mobileyouth.org Page 6
  8. 8. CHAPTER  1http://mobileyouth.org Page 7
  9. 9. Influence: The New Normal* Awareness means nothing* Peer Recommendation is now the key market driver* You cannot buy influence anymore, you have to earn itEarly August 2008 was a special day for Gadis. It wasone day before her first day at university and she wasabout to celebrate it by buying herself a newphone. Gadis checked out the campus and was on herway to ITC Ambassador, one of the leading places inJakarta, Indonesia for mobile phones.The 15-minute drive stretched 45-minutes  but  she  didn’t  mind because she was comfortable in her air conditionedcar, accompanied by music from the radio. Her favoritesong came on, interrupted only by the DJ ad-libbing apromo for a music event sponsored by Nokia.Peering outside, Gadis briefly noticed a Nokiabillboard a stretch of downtown street. She recognizedthe celebrity featured in the ad and Gadis smiled. Sheliked   the   celebrity,   she   didn’t   mind   the   ad and hadalways liked brand because she had been using Nokiasince she was grade eight. Her previous four phoneswere all Nokias. While   she   usually   didn’t   notice   ads,  this time was different. Gadis was about to buy a phone.She noticed all of them.Vast Nokia billboards hung right above the mallentrance and flanked by further signage along theescalators. Even as she arrived at the crowded 3rd floorof ITC, where a thousand mom-and-pop mini outletshttp://mobileyouth.org Page 8
  10. 10. crammed together cheek-by-jowl selling mobile phones,there was no way to ignore the Nokia presence.Nokia was everywhere.Making a beeline towards the outlet recommended byher older sister Gadis blazed through the cluttered spaceto commandeer a stool right in front of the displaycabinet.“Excuse  me”  she says to the store attendant. She taps onthe glass pane to draw his attention to the model shewanted. This was the moment she had been lookingforward to all week. She made up her mind long beforeshe   reached   the   stall   and   that’s   why   she   had   been  brimming with both anticipation and excitement fromthe  moment  she  turned  the  key  over  in  her  car’s  ignition.  “I’d  like  a  BlackBerry  please.”***At the time of writing, Nokia still has the largest marketshare in Indonesia. However, like in many othercountries where Nokia still leads, competition is rapidlyeroding the customer base - one Gadis at a time.Looking   around   the   mall   at   ITC   it’s   easy   to beconvinced otherwise by the millions of dollars spend onbright, confident ad hoardings. Every young Indonesianknows  Nokia  but   here’s   the  rub   - less and less of themcare enough about the brand to buy its products.In the midst of all these glossy in-you-face Nokiaadvertising Blackberry is nowhere to be seen. Why thenhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 9
  11. 11. are   youth   like   Gadis   demanding   the   brand   that   doesn’t  advertising? Consider too that Blackberry was designedfor   corporate   executives   but   the   phone’s   reality   in  Indonesia is anything but; from housemaids to stay-at-home moms to 10-years old kids everyone seems tohave one. The brand is one of the most coveted in thecountry’s   growing   market   of   180   million   mobile  owners. Research in Motion (RIM) gained all this lovefor the BlackBerry brand not by winning the massadvertising game but by tapping inadvertently into thekey driver in modern marketing today -recommendation.Recommendation is simple but most marketers over-complicate their lives. Recommendation is a square pegin a marketing mindset of round holes. These are kind ofquestions marketers typically ask: How do you measure Recommendation? How does Recommendation compare on a cost-per basis? How do you justify the cost of gaining Recommendation with long term results that would supposedly follow? How do you gain Recommendation in the first place?Maybe   you’ve   tried   this   whole   “recommendation  marketing  stuff”  using  various  campaigns:  member-get-member programs, ambassador programs or paidtweets?   Perhaps   you’ve   done   this   “social   media”   thing  http://mobileyouth.org Page 10
  12. 12. before? Recommendation may be simple but thesimplicity   betrays   its   elusiveness.   We   marketers   can’t  win the Recommendation game through changingstrategies and media tactics - we first need to change ourmindset.I was curious. How does Recommendation determinethe fate of brands? How could we extrapolate theseresults on a global basis to transcend localidiosyncracies?   To   do   this,   we’d   need   an   industry   that  was both truly global in availability of products and onethat touched customers in similar way across everymarket.   That’s   why   mobile   telecoms   is   our   passion  because it checks all these boxes - every teen in everymarket of the world knows of and has probably ownedat some point in their life a Nokia. We looked at theUSA, South Africa, Russia and Malaysia because wewanted to cover diverse markets that had very differenteconomic, social and cultural conditions to test thevalidity of both our theories and data. Our challenge wasto develop a simple tool that could identify how andwhy Gadis bought Blackberry and not Nokia. Weneeded a tool that measured Recommendation only suchthat brands could easily take it and use it without havingto go hire expensive creative agencies. We also needed atool that was forward looking - i.e. predictive - ratherthan one based on history. And so, the Simple MobileAdvocacy and Recommendation Tracker (SMART)index was born.In  this   book   I’ll  refer  back  to   the  SMART  index  as  the  scientific crux of how Recommendation can bemeasured and how it can also provide insight into wherehttp://mobileyouth.org Page 11
  13. 13. brands need to start. You can learn about this more in-depth in Chapter 3. We developed this core competencyfor mobile brands and youth but it could be equallyapplied to any age group and any vertical sector.Our research into youth attitudes towards mobile brandsacross 65 markets now spans a decade of insights,travels and stories. We found SMART to be a reliableindicator of future brand growth and profitability. Youcan use SMART in a number of ways: Measure your Recommendation scores Measure the impact of marketing on Recommendation Identify who your fans are Develop a profile of your most vocal fansIf you asked me to summarize this work in one sentenceit would be this simple truth - you   can’t   buy  Recommendation, you have to earn it.This   is   Earned   Media.   Earned   Media   isn’t   a   curious  anomaly that bolts onto the mainstream marketing, it ismarketing today. To understand Earned Media we needto  first  appreciate  where  we’re  coming  from  - the era ofPaid Media - and the broken mindset that accompaniesthis approach.http://mobileyouth.org Page 12
  14. 14. When advertisers still roamed theearth* Advertising used to be the most effective tool to createinfluence* Habit, fear of change and lack of direction continue tokeep advertising in business* The price of attention is higher than ever: Supply ofadvertising has increased exponentially but Demand(customer attention) remains fixedBefore the 2008 economic crisis advertising was a $480billion industry globally. Then the crisis hit. Everyonehttp://mobileyouth.org Page 13
  15. 15. from consumers to companies suddenly had less tospend and anything considered as dead weight wasjettisoned. In 2009 global advertising spending droppedby 10% to $50 billion. It  doesn’t  seem   like  companies  had fallen out of love with advertising though becauseanalysts predict that by 2012, spending will have passedthe $500 billion mark. That’s   twice   the   GDP   of   the  Republic of Singapore. Although Paid Media isbecoming less effective in comparison to Earned Mediaoptions, fear of change and ingrained habit keeps brandsand brand managers clinging to the familiar rather thanthe effective.The love story of modern advertising began in the1960’s.   It was a time of social change. Prior to WorldWar 2, there was no such thing as teenagers; there werekids and there were adults. Then a whole new generationof consumers inbetween adult and childhood appearedon marketing radars looking for a way to identifythemselves. They knew they were different from theirparents. They   didn’t   empathize   with   the   fear   of   being  invaded by hordes of Nazis or being drafted to attacksmall islands in the Pacific.   They   knew   they   weren’t  their   parents   but   they   didn’t   have   the   media   outlets   or  voice to express this point of difference. That was beforethe  “Big  Idea”.In 1963, advertising executive Alan Pottasch decidedthat this was a question brands could help answer.Before Pottasch broke with tradition, advertisingfocused  on  product   features;;   “The   gentlest   dishwashing  soap  for  your  hands”.  Occasionally,  advertising  focused  on   tangible   benefits   “The   dishwashing   soap   that’s   so  http://mobileyouth.org Page 14
  16. 16. gentle,   you  wouldn’t  need  gloves.”  But to Pottasch, thegrowing importance of media in teen lives presented anopportunity for advertising to play a bigger role inhelping   this   lost   generation   find   their   voice.   Pottasch’s  idea  was  “The  Big  Idea”  - the benefit of the benefit. ThePepsi Generation was born.Pepsi’s   invitation   -“Come   Alive!   You’re   the   Pepsi  Generation!”  - helped the Boomers in defining the senseof displacement they were feeling. Pepsi took theleadership position simply by giving a name thatBoomers could use to gain a sense of belonging yet stillmaintain the sense of significance that differentiatedthem from their parents.Pottasch’s   advertising  model  worked  so  well  that  many  companies started copying with devastating succes allthe   way   into   the   late   1980’s.   Michael Jackson sangabout Pepsi to the tune of Billy Jean and while the oldergeneration debated whether or not Madonna was indeedlike a virgin, the young people knew that Madonnaindeed liked Pepsi.Advertising told stories that people liked; if you made agood advert, people actually looked forward to seeingit. Advertising made the news. There was evenadvertising about upcoming advertising.Before   the   1990’s   the   most   important   questions   that   a  brand   faced   was,   “What’s   our   brand   story?”   It seemedthat if they could only figure that out, then people couldbuy   into   the   story,   and   then   it’s   just   a   matter   of  distribution  and  operations.  And,  if  they  couldn’t  figure  http://mobileyouth.org Page 15
  17. 17. it out there was always a creative agency waiting towrite the blank slate as long as you wrote the checks.Brands always vied against others for attention leavingthe one with the deeper pockets the winner. They couldafford the bigger idea, the more famous celebrity and thelouder campaign. But by the 1990s, the media landscapestarted to shift fundamentally. The growth of multiplemedia   channels   meant   brand   managers   couldn’t   simply  buy media space as a guaranteed method of winningeyeballs. Where were those kids now? Brands now faceda whole set of new challenges. By mid-2000 the averageperson was seeing 500 advertising messages a day -more than 10x the number in 1970s. As that numbercontinues to rise a new generation of consumers aregrowing up trained to ignore them. There is simply toomuch noise to appraise every ad message on its merit.Now   we’re   only listening to those messages our peersare recommending. You can spend millions buyingmedia   space   that   Gadis   will   see   but   you   can’t   buy   that  all important place in her heart.In this post-advertising world, marketing is just that - alove  story.  It’s   about  heart.  It’s  not   about  being  “liked”  but   being   “loved”.   Cynics   point   to   youth’s   fickle  relationship with marketing as indicative of a generationthat lacks the ability to focus or develop deeprelationships on a meaningful level but that misses thepoint. This generation has adapted to a media landscapethat has changed fundamentally to the Pepsi Generationwe grew up with. The internet changed everything.http://mobileyouth.org Page 16
  18. 18. Blame It on Internet* Advertising treats internet as new real estate to tell thebrand story rather than a new form of storytelling* In the pre-internet era marketing and consumptionwere compromize. Today, however, we exist in afragmented Interest Economy* Relevance in the Interest Economy cannot be definedat the level of advertising - it must be self-createdIt was just another day in Twitterverse.As usual, a collection of largely unconnected and oftenunknown topics dominated the global trending topicstop 10. On that day, June 27th 2010 the top trendingtopic was #wasitgoblog.People jumped in. Some rode the coattail of the trendadvertising their own content with links to articles like“7  Tips  to  Drive  Traffic  to  Your  Blog”.  Most,  however,  were curious. What happened? Did it happen on GoBlog? What is Go Blog anyway?Gadis would know. The penny dropped. Most of thetweets were not in English. The tweets were inIndonesian and these Asian Twitteratis were actuallyreferring to the controversial call made by the referee inan England vs. Germany Soccer World Cup match. Itwas around 02:00AM in Indonesia and most of thosewatching the game watched it in the comfort of theirown homes. For a short moment in time, these totalstrangers voiced out their frustration. From a corner ofthe world that often receives little attention on the globalhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 17
  19. 19. media’s   stage   and   that   voice   drowned   out   everything  else on Twitter. Translated, #wasitgoblog means“stupid  referee.”It was past midnight in the country of more than300,000 islands. How else could an Indonesian fan ofEngland’s  football  team  find  so  many others like her thatthey could overwhelm other things in Twitter at thetime? The internet is made of an infinite number ofthese small moments. Total strangers finding otherswho are passionate about some seemingly obscurething. Fans of Call of Duty in Calgary, Canada playingwith a modded version of the game that was developedby another fan in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Fans ofJapanese anime who liked to dress up as their favoritecharacters finding each other to organize regular cosplayfestivals. Fans of Korean pop music in Mexico gettingtogether for karaoke parties.This is the Interest Economy and the internet made ithappen.The internet became a place for the world for all thethings   that   didn’t   have   space   in   the   sound-bite-onlytraditional mass media. Things that seemedinsignificant—even inane—to most, but very importantto some now found a home. For many young peoplediscovering   and   exploring   their   identity   the   intenet’s  Interest Economy offers an attractive alternative to theworld of compromize and its Pepsi Generation approachoffered by brand managers. Just like previousgenerations youth wanted to be different but now theydidn’t  have  to  be  different  alone.  http://mobileyouth.org Page 18
  20. 20. For advertisers, the early internet held so much promise.Here was a new media that people were avidly payingattnetion to. Maybe this was the next television?Eyeballs translated to speculative growth and growthdrove stock prices through the roof. Everybody wantedto the next big thing and the next big thing would befound in the media presence that had won the mosteyeballs. The business model, it appeared, could beworked out later.Banner ads, pop-up ads, pop-under ads, the list goeson. Advertisers kept finding new ways to make sureplenty of eyeballs saw their advert.Fast forward to post-dotcom-bust era, brands started torealize how much the internet is not like television. Yes,people consume this new media but the beauty of thismedia is that people can produce content too. And mostof those who do are doing it to connect with others likethem.If John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison andRingo Starr had only met today and made songs aslegendary as The Beatles we know had, they still wouldnot have been as successful as The Beatles were. Theywould still have the groupies. They would still rock theirlive shows but they could never reach 30 million albumsales like The Beatles did with The White Albumbecause  you  don’t  have  to  listen  to  the  Beatles  today  to  belong to your peer group - you have unlimited choice.You   don’t   just   have   1000s   of   music   genres   to   browse  you could also be a Lego fan or be into World ofWarcraft, My Little Pony, hang out on 4Chan,http://mobileyouth.org Page 19
  21. 21. Hypebeast, Threadless or the millions of othercommunity websites out there that house people justlike you. In the 1960s you either liked the Fab 4 or youdidn’t.  In 2011, global recorded music sales lost a furtherUSD$1.5bn.   People   just   aren’t   buying   albums  anymore. No one can come near the record-breakingalbum sales numbers that artists used to get prior to theinternet. Michael   Jackson’s   Thriller was released in1982 and sold 110 million copies. Even if you added upall the new album sales of 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, ColdPlay and Beyonce in the last half of the decade, youwon’t  come  near  those  numbers.From the troubadours of ancient Greek to singers whomade it big via music videos and MTV to our currentcrop of household names, performance artists havealways been the best storytellers. Their gift was theability to enrapture their audience with charm andpersonality, along with on-stage performance. Intoday’s   world,   while   their   names   might be familiaracross the globe, less and less people care enough to buytheir albums because there are a million stories vying forthe same amount of eyeballs as there ever was. Whatchances do brands and advertisers have?Today’s  storytellers  (artists/brands/advertisers) might bebetter at telling their tales than their predecessors, buttoday’s   young   people   don’t   care.   Young people todaydon’t  need  a  company  telling  them  that  they  can  become  cooler   if   they’re   part   of   the   some   soda   generation.  http://mobileyouth.org Page 20
  22. 22. Young people already have other young people who aretelling  them  that  they  don’t  have  to  be  cool.The   internet   changed   how   we   marketed   “cool”   forever.  No   longer   was   “cool”   even   relevant   because   it  represented a mainstream interpretation of how weshould be. Today, the Interest Economy permits us toindulge our passions in communities that have foundfertile  soil  on  the  internet.   What  matters  today  isn’t   the  voice of aged DJs, magazine editorials and the images ofthe silver screen but your new friends - the relationshipsnurtured on the internet.New Sincerity* Mainstream definitions of cool have changed; cool isnot about getting elected but being relevant to specificinterest nichesToday,   it’s   hard   to   sell   cool,   because   nobody   knows  what that is anymore. Driven by fan discussions online,a   show   that   one   television   network   deemed   “made   TV  too  gay”  actually  became  a  top  hit.   The Gleeks—as theGlee fans call themselves—proudly show their love forthe show. Make a nerdy TV show like Glee, UglyBetty, or Big Bang   Theory   and   you’ll   find   a  fanbase. Make a geeky movie about comic booksuperheroes   like   Iron   Man   you’ll   find   fans   of   all  ages. Nobody needs to hide their inner nerdanymore. This is the New Sincerity, where guiltypleasures are just pleasures.Being a nerd is cool now. But being cool is also stillcool.  Perhaps  the  term  “nerd”  is  simply  a  term  coined  by  http://mobileyouth.org Page 21
  23. 23. mainstream media to control, corral and terrorize avastly diversified and unique group of individuals intobelieving in a myth of the mainstream.When we were kids we were told to be ourselves but notit was difficult advice to action. It was too hard to justbe ourselves. “Being   myself”   often   meant   “being   by  myself”   and   nobody   wanted   that   especially   young  people. Being part of the group was more importantthan being ourselves. Most youth would rather go on anunhealthy diet to look like the models they saw in thatcool advert where it seemed like everybody hadfriends. Some young people took the other route, andthought they could get friends if they emulated theromanticized image of bad boys who sat in the back ofthe class.Today, while many young people are still trying to fitthemselves into the traditional ideals about cool manymore are discovering and defining what cool is forthemselves. Cool is just a Google search away.Today, youth can be themselves without being bythemselves. The Interest Economy is a growingdiaspora of fans united not by geographical proximity -as was the haphazard zip code lottery of friendships inthe pre internet era - but by passions. If youth can nowdefined their own cool, advertising no longer plays acentral role in their story. The Pepsi Generation is over.Storytelling - the art of the advertiser - has now becomethe prerogative of the customer. In particular, the youngcustomer.   It’s   here   in   these   self-defined stories abouthttp://mobileyouth.org Page 22
  24. 24. what brands are and are not that youth shape thefortunes of billion dollar companies. Young black SouthAfrican females redefine the story of an executivemessaging tool to create one of   the   country’s   most  identifiable brands. Millions spent on ad agencies tryingto make Nokia cool fail to impress a whole newgeneration of customers for who the brand means verylittle.In  the  era  of  Earned  Media  the  story  isn’t  written  by  the  brand manager  or  ad  agency  but  by  the  customer  and  it’s  this change in mindset that forms the fundamentalprerequisite  of  getting  strategy  right.  You  can’t  generate  Earned  Media  if  you’re  out  there  still  make  the  narrative  about your brand, you have to let them tell the story.The Alternative*  The  alternative  to  advertising  isn’t  advertising* Brand ambassadors, paid tweets or user-generatedlogos  may  use  new  media  but  it’s  business  as  usual*  It’s  not  who’s  telling  your  story  that  counts,  it’s  whose  story  you’re  tellingIrrelevancy impacts your marketing like smokingimpacts your health. It’s   a   slow,   insidious   creep   rather  than  a  game  change  paradigm  shift  in  behavior.  It’s  just  enough in the long run to propel the brand to a fataloutcome but never enough in the short term to jumpstartmarketers into making change. Brands like Nokia arefeeling the first impact of irrelevancy on their brandhealth;;   ratings   agency   Moody’s   just   cut   the   company’s  debt rating to just two grades above junk. But as withhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 23
  25. 25. any chronic sickness that impacts health, the symptomsaren’t  an  overnight  phenomena  - they are the product ofyears of neglect.Nokia lost relevancy with youth long before theMoody’s  downgrade  in  2011.  In  early  2010  we  shared  a  presentation   online   appropriately   titled   “Hey,   Nokia -remember   me?”   featuring   the   voices   of   youth   who   we  were interviewing at the time. We were findingincreasing evidence that this once untouchable youthbrand was now falling out of touch with its coreBeachhead in key markets. Needless to say, the usualsuspects - fear of change and a lifetime of habitprevented the companies own change agents from beingheard.  But  it’s  not  all  doom  and  gloom  for  the  company.  If  you’re  a  brand  who  has  lost  credibility  with  your  core  market   you   can   win   it   back.   We’ll   show examples ofhow to start in Chapter 3.Irrelevancy faces all brands today. Every day theiremployees need to wake up in fear that they are lessrelevant than yesterday. Yesterday they had relevancy.Yesterday their brand stories meant something to thecustomers. Now most of these stories are lost in thewall of noise the advertising world itself has created.And even when brands reach the customer and show upon   the   creative   agency’s   “awareness”   based   metrics,  they are still meaningless. After all, you all knowCadillac but when was the last time you bought one?The two most ineffective methods of marketing todayare based on Paid Media models:http://mobileyouth.org Page 24
  26. 26.  Feature based marketing Brand managementThe first finds its roots in pre-World War 2advertising. “Now  featuring  QWERTY  keyboard,”  and  “winner   of   a   design   award.”   Dishwashing soap,anyone? This is feature based marketing and is theproduct   of   companies   that   don’t   get   out   into   the   real  world enough. Nobody wakes up thinking about yourproducts or brands anymore. Get over it.The second ineffective method of marketing is brandmanagement. Brand management means controlling thestorytelling and works something like this: If youngpeople prefer listening to each other, then lets pay themto talk about us! Brand management comes in manyguises: brand ambassador programs cool ad campaigns using a drumming monkey on a tricycle on Youtube Facebook fan pages that talk about your brand, paying those with high influence scores on Twitter to tweet about the brand anything with Lady Gaga in it most of what comes out of creative agencies today and  the  rather  desperate  “Submit  your  most  creative   pose in front of our logo, and you can win free stuff.”http://mobileyouth.org Page 25
  27. 27. Feature based marketing and Brand management are thekey composites of Paid Media. Today, neither iseffective at building long term Recommendation.Paid Media has always been a short term game eversince the days of Pottasch and the Pepsi Generation.Brand managers were tasked to spend not investmarketing budgets. Back then it worked because youwere guaranteed that as soon as your campaign ran itscourse the customers were waiting there like somefaithful puppy dog anticipating your next offering.Today, however, Recommendation rules. 65% of youthwill buy their next mobile phone based on what theirfriends say not what the creative agencies and brandmanagers   say.   That’s   a   game   changer   for   Nokia;;   you  can’t   simply   go   to   the   creative   agency   and   say   “I   want  you to make us an ad campaign but this time make itsomething that people are going to recommend tofriend.”   It   doesn’t   work   like   that.   In   fact,   in   this  redefined marketing landscape the creative agency oftenbecomes a significant part of the problem.Of course, there are outstanding creative agencies outthere but they are the exception rather than the rule.Most creative agencies are the products of an era builton the assumption that youth trust and attention wereabundant  and  that  simply  isn’t  true  anymore.  For  brands  to win the Earned Media game they have to seriouslychallenge their own internal assumptions about how themarketing game works. Sure, you can easily win aCannes Lions for an ad campaign that looks great andsatiates your corporate ego. Ask Gadis what she thinkshttp://mobileyouth.org Page 26
  28. 28. about  it  and  she’ll  say  it’s  great  but  when  it  comes downto it, she goes off and buys your rival. This is the ironyof Paid Media today - billions of dollars wasted becauseof fear of change and habit. In years to come we willquestion how we ever put up with it during thesetransition years but that wisdom is afforded to us withhindsight.   For   now,   I’d   like   to   impart   some   foresight  based on 10 years working with your next generation ofcustomers.http://mobileyouth.org Page 27
  29. 29. CHAPTER  2http://mobileyouth.org Page 28
  30. 30. Building a Movement* Global brands like Ford are adopting Earned Media asa core composite of their entire marketing approach* Earned Media means working with fans who wantedto be involved rather than paid celebrities andambassadors* Fans need brands as much as brands need them -brands simply have to remove the walls that prevent fansengaging with themStanding   in   the   shade   out   of   the   sun’s   scorching   heat,  Maria de los Angeles cups her hands in front of hergingerly holding two little critters.“Can   we   get   them   to   make   that   cute   little   noise?”   she  asks, half squinting as the Summer sun beats down onher brow. Her friend Brad Schenck gives the hatchlingsa little rub under the chin. They start chirping.“When  you’re  in  the  everglades  and  you’re  canoeing  in  the   wilderness,   if   you   hear   that,”   Maria   paused,   “it  means  that  there’s  some  baby  gators  around.”The two baby alligators in her hands started squirmingas if they knew she was talking about them. Maria is atthe Gatorland theme park and wildlife preserve inOrlando Florida. This was a little off her usual path inMiami but not so far that she was out of herelement. She always liked writing about her adventuresin Florida and together with her filmmaker friend Brad,they made a pretty good team sharing what the Sunshinehttp://mobileyouth.org Page 29
  31. 31. State had to offer. In the last few months alone, she hadadventures with alligators in Orlando, uncovered abehind-the-scene look of the graffiti scene in SouthMiami and helped build a home for a family withHabitat for Humanity. She was doing the kinds ofthings she had always been doing - things that she loveddoing - but with a slight difference. This  time  it  wasn’t  just Maria.After the 2007-2008 economic recession, the Big Threeof American automobile manufacturers reachedthe bottom of an economic pit that many analysts haddeclared would be the end of the line. Thousands ofworkers were laid off. A number of well known sub-brands discontinued. Trust at domestic automobilebrands were at an all-time low. In a situation wheremany were losing their homes few were in the mood totake out a loan to purchase a new car. Set against thisbackdrop companies were advised that they needed tokeep advertising to retain consumer trust. When brandsfailed to maintain their brand with high visibilitycampaigns, we were led to believe, customers wouldthink  they’d gone out of business.The   received   wisdom   of   the   advertising   industry   didn’t  find favor at Ford, however. Here was a brand that wasdetermined to re-engineer its marketing by jettisoningthe mindset that got it into its financial mess in the firstplace. Out of the Big Three, Ford was the first to emergefrom the slump. Half of its turnaround story was due tothe shedding of old lines that were no longer relevant inthe American market and shoring up its manufacturingprocess. The other half came from introducinghttp://mobileyouth.org Page 30
  32. 32. innovating products launched on the back of equallyinnovative marketing. When it came to building lines ofinfluence at Ford, advertising and the creative agenciestook a back seat. Earned Media was in the driving seat.The Fiesta was as an unlikely success story for Ford inthe US market as could have been conceived during thebubble years. Even before the recession, banking on anentry-level model to drive sales was not a safebet. While there were numerous offerings for the youthmarket, sales in previous years for that segment of themarket in the US had been dwindling. Urban migrationmade public transportation more appealing for day-to-day commuting and gas prices meant car maintenanceexpenses became too costly for those trying to find theirfeet on the economic ladder. For youth, automobilesmeant freedom but in the current economic climate theyincreasingly became a byword for burden.Ford took a chance. The company took an entry-levelsmall-engine model already avaialble in Europe andplanned a launch in the US. Traditionally, auto launchesat Ford adopted the Paid Media approach to newproducts: generate buzz at trade show via unveiling of new model court trade press and media edgy TV ad campaigns expensive media buyshttp://mobileyouth.org Page 31
  33. 33. Post-recession Ford, however agreed to adopt a newapproach that captured the zeitgeist of the era - less risk,less waste, less glamor and back to basics. To crack theyouth  segment  Ford  understood  that  “good  enough”  was  no  longer  “enough”  but  short  of  investing  millions in anexpensive  media  buy,  they’d  have  to  re-build a customerbase one Maria at a time. Necessity is the mother ofinvention   and  Ford’s  drive  to   focus  on  optimizing  their  capital outlays from manufacturing to marketing createdthe perfect environment for the birth of some veryinnovative Earned Media marketing. The Ford FiestaMovement was born.“We   haven’t   completely   decided   what’s   going   to  happen,”   said   Scott   Monty,   Head   of   Social   Media   for  Ford Motor Company. “We’ll   be   continuing   the  relationship with the agents and ensure that we make themost  of  it.”The agents Monty was referring to were the participantsof the Fiesta Movement, all 100 of them. They wereperfect strangers who led active lives, both on andoffline. While they did have some social mediapresence most were by no means online celebrities.Maria De Los Angeles was agent #27.These  hopefuls  needed  Ford’s  platform  to  tell  their  story  and Ford needed them to generate the Earned Media itrequired to shape their target market. It was an approachthat required a degree of confidence in the new EarnedMedia   model   and   a   departure   from   the   ubiquitous   “go  social”  attitude  offered  by  creative  agencies.  http://mobileyouth.org Page 32
  34. 34. “We  didnt  want  A-list celebrities. We know that peopletrust people like themselves most, and our agents are agood representation of many of the people wereinterested in reaching. Plus, they all wanted to be part ofthis - we   didnt   have   to   go   out   and   hire   them,”   said  Monty.These   weren’t   brand   ambassadors   in   the   traditional  sense - they were Fans. Nobody was getting paid. WhenFord asked Maria and the agents to blog, share andrecord  their  daily  experiences  on  video  they  didn’t  need  to hire an agency to tap their ambassador network, theseFans were already lining up. This is what Maria does forbreakfast - video,   broadcast,   editing.   It’s   all   part   of  telling her story and Ford just happened to give her theSocial Tools to make that go even further.Even though they knew they would not receive anymonetary compensation other than some gas money anda 1 in 100 chance to win a new Fiesta, over 4,000 peopleapplied to spend 6 months of their lives to be part of theprogram. Your fans are out there, you just have tobreak down the walls and mindsets in your organizationsthat prevent them from engaging you.These were individuals who liked to talk, write andcreate movies. They liked to perform. All Ford did wasgive them a stage - a car for half a year and told them todo  what  they’ve  always  loved  doing.And the agents did just that.FFM agents created video shorts, documented theirtravels, discovered little-known places, interviewedhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 33
  35. 35. interesting people - one of them even used the car toelope. Very few of the pictures taken and videos createdwere about the Fiesta itself. Those that did just showedthe car briefly - around 3 seconds in a 5-minutesvideo. In   fact   if   you   look   at   the   agents’   page   on   the  FFM website you struggle to see any evidence of theFord  logo  or  brand.  It  wasn’t  about  the  car,  after  all.   Itwas about the people.Earned Media works.   It   doesn’t   just   drive   mobile  handset sales it also drives the auto industry. The FordFiesta launched in 2011 and is now top seller in thesmall compact category for the youth segment. Whilethis new approach to marketing was new to thecompany, Ford did not take a blind chance. Fordalready knew the ground rules of Earned Media.What  Doesn’t  Work* Earned Media does not equal Social Media* Social Media is a tool in the strategy not the strategy* Earned Media strategy means making customers thestorytellers“Let’s   get   someone   on   this   right   away.   Twitter,Facebook, YouTube, whatever. Go make somethingviral.”This was how companies like Toyota ended up withcampaigns like Shareathon, where those who purchase anew Toyota can get a $500 debit card for tweetingabout it. Toyota gave away the debit cards to 2,000people. The million dollar campaign lasted for fourhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 34
  36. 36. days. The company added another $500,000 as a bonusat the end of the four days.Four days, one and half million dollars later (more ifyou include the fee for the agency that hatched the plan)and people have pretty much forgotten about the Toyotamarques being pushed in the campaign, just like Gadisat the mobile mall.As   JP   Getty   once   said   “any   idiot   can   sell   a   dollar   for  eighty   cents”.   This   is   not   what   Earned   Media   is   all  about. As the name implies, you have to earn it.http://mobileyouth.org Page 35
  37. 37. The 5 Laws of InfluenceRule #1: The best things in life arefree* Paying for media can prevent fans from gettinginvolved* Earned Media needs to allow fans to decide whatstories needed to be told rather than determine thecontent* Brands can provide guidelines and leadership butultimately  the  story  needs  to  be  the  customer’s  “I  got  involved in this not only because I wanted the funand the opportunity to create great content for my blog,but also because I wanted to experience it from aprofessional  angle,”  said  Maria.I’ve   seen   countless   brand   ambassador   programmes  where companies have hired agencies to recruit and payfor presences on campuses, in malls and at events. Mostof them simply rock up to score credits on their resume.Others need the money. When the proposition is rightmoney  and  resume  credits  don’t  even  enter  the  equation  - they do it because they love doing this anyway and htebrand simply gives them better tools to achieve theirsocial objectives. Like many kinds of humanrelationships, once money enters a relationship it opensup issues of power, control, and trust. Not exactly thekind of things you want on the table early on in arelationship. So, how did Ford control what was beingsaid?  The  short  answer:  it  didn’t.http://mobileyouth.org Page 36
  38. 38. “Were   the   curators.   Its   up   to   the   agents   to   create   their  content - and post it on their own sites, not   on   ours,”  said Monty.Indeed,  Ford’s  Fiesta  Movement’s  official  website  only  gathered content that the agents created and scattered allover the internet. Of course, there is an element of risk;what if the cars turned out to be lemons and agents bad-mouth the brand? Fortunately for Ford the autos arereasonably sound so recurring glitches were not an issuebut   this   still   doesn’t   pre-empty any PR timebombs thatcould  occur  from  letting  youth  loose  on  your  brand.  It’s  when Ford turns from content creation to contentcuration that risk self-mitigates.You see, the program was never meant to highlight thecar. It was meant to highlight the social context of thecar. While a small part of the market might be interestedin the technical specs of the vehicles, most people weremore interested in how the car would blend into theirlives. This realization was what lead Ford to its hands-off approach. When the story is about them not the brandwhy would agents like Maria risk everything by makingthemselves look  stupid?  There  is  no  “evil  brand”  to  flip  the royal finger at here - this is about them.“The   whole   process   has   been   very   organic,   warm   and  fuzzy,  and  not  at  all  pushy  or  forced,”  said  Maria.   “I’m  not  a  ‘money’  person  and  I  have  no  idea  if  this  will  helpFord’s   bottom   line   in   the   end   when   it   comes   to   selling  cars but I can tell you that from professional perspectivethat this has got to be one of the most brilliantcampaigns ever. It fully engages us as ambassadorshttp://mobileyouth.org Page 37
  39. 39. without us being hardcore sales people. We are notrequired to yap about the Fiesta constantly and we canpretty much say whatever we want. The only thingwe’re  not  allowed  to  do  in  our  videos  is  shoot  something  stupid — ie, driving without a seat belt, that sort ofthing. Ford took a great risk in putting these cars in ourhands.”What if Ford played it safe by doing what everybodyelse  had  always  done?  “Safe”  does  not  mean  guaranteed  returns like it used to. In youth marketing today,playing it safe is the riskiest thing you can do.Rule #2: Be something to somebody* Earned Media is not about getting elected but focusingon a core of fans who care* Focus on which of the 3 groups of change agents aremost relevant to your brand message* Create Influence by creating a relevant Social Spacefor your targeted peer groupIt’s   one   thing   managing   the   risk   of   agents   producing  negative content but what about the possibility of themproducing no content at all? How many times have weseen corporate ghostships ply the oceans of Second Lifeor brand-centric social networks within months of themulti-million dollar launch?Marketing fails when the tail wags the dog. Whenmarketing is created to fulfil the needs of theorganization it becomes focused on big hits, Big Ideas,silver bullets and locking down uncertainty to managehttp://mobileyouth.org Page 38
  40. 40. returns. Uncertainty is almost always a byword for anykind of customer interaction.In the restaurant business, the organizational needs ofoutlets often determine the structure of its marketing.The   McDonald’s   success   formula   is QSC&V (Quality,Service, Cleanliness and Value) - not taste. Take a drivealong a US highway and the golden arches areinescapable  and  often  visible  for  miles.  The  McDonald’s  franchise relies heavily on securing prime real estate.When overheads are this high   the   franchise   can’t   take  risks - it needs to guarantee the slimmest of margins tostay profitable and everything needs to be segmentedand systemized to ensure risk is squeezed out of thedelivery.When the marketed becomes dominated by volumeplayers who excel at mitigating risk it may appear staid -a few large players who seem to be more comfortablewith their limited competition than to be drawn intoentering an all-out price-war. Real choice may belimited. Customer influence is drowned out by massmarket advertising.In these markets innovative marketing can answer publicneed but not through established outlets. It takesinnovators like Kogi - the Vietnamese/Korean/Mexicanfusion  food  truck  operating  in  South  LA.  Kogi’s  success  in drawing in a young hip crowd has spawned countlessimitators because the low overheads and easy point ofmarket entry allowed entpreneurs to hit the marketwhere  McDonald’s  was  weak.  McDonald’s  marketing  is  based around fixed real estate. By using Twitter tohttp://mobileyouth.org Page 39
  41. 41. promote its movements, Kogi could free itself from theyoke of staid innovation and fill the gaps left by theincumbents.   Search   the   words   “Kogi   Food   Truck”   on  YouTube,   and   you’ll   see   videos   of   people   standing   in  long line ups even before the food truck arrived.The key   to   Kogi’s   success   in   drumming   up   custom   in  the   saturated   markets   of   South   LA   hasn’t   been   in   the  technology it used (sure that was a key component inmaking it happen) but it was using that technology tocreate  influence.  Kogi’s  success  lay  in  its  fans.  Los Angeles is a heterogeneous city with a large migrantcommunity open to new and different experiences likefusion food. LA is also a city of concrete built for carswith highway upon highways, sometimes stacked on topof each other. What the city needed was more SocialSpaces, more pop up communities and less of themonolithic offering they could get elsewhere.Kogi fans documented their experiences and foodreviews, regularly posting them on YouTube. They alsotweeted   and   retweeted   the   truck’s   movements turningcorporate PR into a social event. For the fans, buyingfusion tacos became less about the taco and more aboutwhat the taco did for them - provide an opportunity tomeet up with friends. In a world where time wasincreasingly becoming a scarce commodity and whereMcDonald’s   could   deliver   your   a   filter   coffee   in   2  minutes  or  a   Big  Mac  in  3,  being   “stuck”  in  the   lineup  with  your  friends  became  an  anomaly.  This  wasn’t  about  concrete highways and risk-free efficiency but the Socialhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 40
  42. 42. Space Kogi fans were searching for. The longer thequeue, the more valuable the social space became.Of course, most people were time-pressed and had toscurry back to their offices before the end of lunch hourbut   then   Kogi   wasn’t   targeting   “most   people”.   Like  Ford, Kogi took a brave decision to not be everything toeverybody but something to somebody.Taking the first step means realizing that being #2 nolonger counts and that in this world of no-compromizefans   don’t   want   to   settle   for   second   best.   By   trying   to  win market share rather than share of customer you endup  becoming  a  mediocre  offer  that  people  like  but  don’t  love enough to talk about. When Earned Mediadetermines the success and failure of brands you can nolonger rely on this strategy.Understanding what people love is a game changer. Theword   “love”   itself   is   the   uncomfortable   elephant   in   the  room  when  it  comes  to  marketing  because  we  don’t  like  talking about deep rooted emotional feelings - especiallywith strangers. But, the reality today is that winninginfluence means getting over these hangups andinvesting time in really understanding your customers.What drives them? How do they interact? What are theiremotional attachments to your brand? What do theylove? What are their social needs?I’ve   put   together   an   outline   of   the   3   key   fan   groups   in  the youth segment to help you make that transition fromeverybody to somebody:http://mobileyouth.org Page 41
  43. 43. 1) Teenage Pirates* Belonging and the fear of being left out are key driversfor teens* Teenage Pirates are outliers who emphasize skill andknowledge to hack brands and products* Teenage Pirates influence peers by finding better waysto use existing productsTo understand teenagers look at their relationship withthe mobile phone. US youth own their first phonearound   age   13.   In   Europe   they’re   getting   them   much  earlier (as early as 8 yrs in North Europe).Technically, teens remain adept in mobile use at thebasic   operational   level.   They’ll   skip   the   incumbent  protocol of usage and use it they way they want to (notthe way it says in the manual). As social circles expand,the mobile phone becomes an intrinsic tool within theirgrowing network - address book contacts and Facebookfriends lists grow as a moniker of social worth. Thosewithout friends are seen as outsiders or simply put not“in”.   Social   exclusion   for   many   teens   is   a   fate   worse  than   death.   It’s   a   simile   not   used   lightly;;   teens   will  experiment with lethal substances (such as tobacco) justto  be  “in”.The premium placed on Social Tools compels a subsetof teens to experiment with these tools to make themdeliver  more  Social  Currency.  From  “discovering”  SMS  and txtspk to corrupting BBM, mobile phone fascias orexploring  filesharing  it’s  the  Teenage  Pirates   who  have  been at the forefront of evolution in mobile technology.http://mobileyouth.org Page 42
  44. 44. From high school to homes, the typical teenager lives ina highly structured environment. This type ofenvironment molds even the most diverse groups ofpeople into a homogenous one, much to the displeasureof those in it. After all, late teenage years are that periodof  life  when  one  looks  to  define  one’s  self.This search for social significance drives some to joinafter school sports activity, the traditionally mosteffective way to gain social currency. Others followtheir own strengths and skills. If   you’re   interested   in  baseball history you could gain social currency by beingresident baseball expert, the guy to go to when you wantto know anything about baseball. If   you’re  into   music,  you can gain social currency by becoming an expert inthat. Or  if  you’re  into  graffiti,  or  the  occult,  or  anything  at all. Expertise creates social currency and, with that,influence.Teenage Pirates possess a different kind of expertise -innovation.   They   hack   stuff.   We’re   not   talking abouthacking into government mainframes here but oftensimple, innocuous incidences of innovation from“rooting”  and  android  phone  to  remixing  a  ringtone  that  allow the Social Tools to evolve beyond their originalfunction.Teenage Pirates exert influence in many ways: TPs often are the first to innovate new usages and functions for existing products TP influence spreads rapidly within the teen segment. Successful innovations filter through thehttp://mobileyouth.org Page 43
  45. 45. mass market without the need for centralized media authority to accept or recognize the trend TPs influence family by introducing technologies into the household and later educating the family on how to use them - how often do you hear a marketing exec recall the tell of her female daughter using BBM at the dinner table?2) Cashless Innovators* Cashless Innovators are students, often male and havea growing need to establish significance* Cashless Innovators focus on creating alternativesocial economies* Influence is based on innovating unused or abandoneditems and assigning new social meanings - e.g. retro,hipster, Instagram and fixie bike etcAs teenagers mature and enter college their socialnetworks change. Gone are the large inclusive groupsthat divide on male/female lines and in their place aremore fragmented lifestyle based groups built aroundshared interests, beliefs and identifiers such as music.Where teenagers sought belonging over everything else,students  also  seek  status.  They  don’t  just  want  to  belong  to the group, they want to be something within thatgroup.   That’s   why   peer   groups   fracture   from   being   the  monolithic mass into smaller ones where individuals canplay a significant role.The key distinction of student lifestyle is an excess oftime  and  restriction  of  money.  Student’s  seek  status buthttp://mobileyouth.org Page 44
  46. 46. they   don’t   have   the   economic   means   to   demonstrate  arrival in the same way their older peers would.Consequently,   it’s   left   to   the   Cashless   Innovators   - thechange agent subset of the student category - to eek outinnovative corruptions of existing Social Tools to inferstatus on the owner.Cashless Innovators are the backpackers of the youthmarket - they were the ones who sought out Maya Bayin Kho Phi Phi Lee, Thailand in movies like The Beach.Unlike  Teenage  Pirates  they’re  not  looking  to  break thesystem,   they’re   seeking   an   alternative.   That’s   why   the  Social Tools adopted by CIs are often old, discardedtools that have little mass market worth enabling them tobe reborn, reinvented through a few hacks and patchesthat are beyond the knowledge repertoire of oldergenerations.CIs created fixie bikes (or scrapers as they are known inthe US) - old rusty fixed gear bikes that often have nobrakes.  They’d  take  them  from  the  junk  yard,  color  them  in bright, garish colors and ride them aroundtown. Rather than look forward they distinguishthemselves from teenagers by sourcing their materialfrom history - such as trucker hats and vintage t-shirtsback   in   the   early   2000’s   before Ashton Kutcher madethem a fashion item.Cashless Innovators derive Social Currency fromabandoned Social Toosl by recreating their meaning.Old rusty bikes become the symbol of cool. Vintagefilters on their mobile phone photographs become abetter way of sharing than the latest high-def DSLRs. Ifhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 45
  47. 47. you   don’t   “get   it”,   you’re “out”.   That’s   why   outsiders  see CI innovation as awkward, sometimes more focusedon winning attention than anything readily practical.They   speak   of   ‘Hipsters’   in   the   pejorative   grouping   a  whole bunch of lifestyle tweaks into one package. But,for those living  on  the  inside,  it’s  different  - these are allmicrosymbols that strive to keep the outsiders on theoutside. If it was easily discerned, less obscure andsimpler to understand - it  wouldn’t  work.As the Cashless Innovator tries he find out who he is bytrying on different things and different ways to look atlife his peers look to him for answers. In the ongoingquest for self-discovery, CIs lead opinion, shape trendsand  form  a  key  line  of  influence  in  today’s  marketing.Many brands, however, only see the tail end. They jumpon the bandwagon once these things have become atrend or hire trendhunters to go source the latest, coolesthappening from the street only to find that, by the timethey reach the boardroom, CIs have moved on. Whatthey don’t  see  is  the  force  that  propels  CIs  to  innovate  in  the first place - defining an alternative social reality.Once brands hijack the scene, the alternative becomesmainstream.There are brands, however, that understand that theEarned Media game is a long-term play. These are thebrands   that   don’t   have   to   chase   trends   because   they’ve  been unofficially adopted as partners by the CashlessInnovators. We will address these examples later on.http://mobileyouth.org Page 46
  48. 48. 3) Disruptive Divas* Disruptive Divas are often female and college age orolder* Disruptive Divas favor social tools that representsymbols of the establishment (e.g. Louis Vuitton orDad’s  Blackberry  phone)* In societies where the role of females have changedradically in the last generation (e.g. India, South Africa,Indonesia), this group of change agents are most visibleand place a high premium on symbols of belongingAs students mature, society takes hold. The first job, thefirst home and late nights at the office. Social circlesshrink   rapidly.   It’s   at   this   point, the key differencesbetween male/female and developed/developing marketsbegins   to   manifest   because   it’s   here   that   the   freedoms  afforded to teens and students yield to the widereconomic realities facing young adults.Even  though  this  is  the  21st  century,  it’s  still  harder  for  women to establish themselves in the workplace than itis   for   men.   That’s   why   young   women   pay   greater  attention to the Social Tools that facilitate status withinthe workplace as opposed to those that work outside.Women strive harder to achieve titles and recognition socompensate by purchasing readily visible status symbolssuch as handbags and shoes.Few countries can claim unilateral economic equality forwomen,   that’s   why   you’ll   find   the   Disruptive Divas inevery market. This group of change agents are typicallyin their 20s and almost always females (although wehttp://mobileyouth.org Page 47
  49. 49. have seen male examples but the drivers manifest verydifferently).The worst thing you can do for this group is market tothem as females - the  “Pink  Phone  Syndrome”  as  we  call  it. Sure, you need to account for the fact they are womenbut   you   can’t   patronize   them   by   inferring   that   the   key  requirements for women are that the model should be inpink. DDs are attracted to the symbols of theestablishment - particularly in developing markets.While many may argue that females in developingmarkets now have equality of opportunity, pointing tothe first Indian female PM in 1966 and the first femalehead of state in Indonesia 35 years later in Indonesia,let’s   not   forget   that   these   “role   models”   wouldn’t   have  achieved anything without their powerfulfathers/husbands who were also once heads of state.Real   emancipation   is   still   very   far   away,   that’s   why  they’ll   seek   out   “dad’s   phone”   (the   Blackberry) thanwhat marketers would have them believe as coolbecause  they’re  more  driven  by  recognition  as  economic  players than the need to pigeon-hole them as cool youth.They’ll   also   attribute   more   value   to   Social   Tools   that  reflect the establishment and heritage - e.g. LouisVuitton rather than those that infer cool such as Nike.DDs are disruptive by the very nature of their disruptionof   social   convention.   DDs   don’t   conform   to   the  centuries-old tradition of how a young girl shouldbehave.   She’s   25   years old, unmarried and seeking acareer. Unlike the Teenage Pirates and their systemangst or Cashless Innovators and their quest for anhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 48
  50. 50. alternative system Disruptive Divas want to become partof the system. They aspire to belong in the mainstream.Disruptive Divas generate significant Earned Mediabecause   they’re   masters   of   networking   and   they  naturally like to share information about their lives. Therest of the women in the same age group look toDisruptive Divas as compasses as to how to make theirpurchases.An   important   note   to   marketers:   if   you’re   selling   a  product by directly aiming at the female segment andthink that you can get Disruptive Divas onboard as ameans to generate Earned Media, thinkagain. Disruptive Divas are attracted to symbols ofpower and arrival that are traditionally not reserved forthem. They gravitate toward luxury brands and brandsthat are aimed at male executives.Don’t  expect  Disruptive  Divas  to  generate  Earned  Media  for your laundry detergent Facebook campaign.…Teenage Pirates, Cashless Innovators, and DisruptiveDivas are all very different. Each subset has itscharacteristics, motivations and interaction. Their sharedqualities   aren’t   their   need   for   “cool”,   “fun”   or  “personalization”   as   tech   marketers   so   often   put it buttheir fundamental need for Social Space and the SocialTools that help them get there.The   “cool”,   “fun”   and   “personalization”   approach   to  youth is the product of marketing that tries to behttp://mobileyouth.org Page 49
  51. 51. everything   to   everybody.   Sure,   you’ll   get   awareness.  Sure, they’ll   like   you   but   if   your   young   customers   like  you be afraid - be very afraid. Being something tosomebody is about love. What do these change agentslove and how can you add value to their social needs?We have to get passionate about their needs and startunderstanding the social Context in which thesedynamics  take  place.  This  isn’t  a  quick  fix  which  is  why  so many brands try to fudge or fake it. This brings us tothe 3rd rule of influence...Rules  #3:  You  can’t  hurry  love* Creating sustainable Influence is a long term endeavor* Highly influential brands like Apple have built theirfan base over 20 years* Brands need a long term vision to build Social Spacefor future fans rather than pandering to short term andurgent organizational needsFans   of   a   brand   don’t   just   like   a   brand.   They loveit. They talk about it. They   defend   the   brand   if   it’s  attacked in public. They think about the brand evenwhen   they’re   not   in   contact   with   it.   They like thingsabout the brand that they know nothing about. This waswhy products like iPhone5 could get more than 71,000likes on its Facebook fanpage, even though it was stillmore than a month prior to the rumored product launchdate and no one had actually seen the actual product yet.Much like human relationship, when a person loves abrand the brand becomes an integral part of theirhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 50
  52. 52. lives. And much like human relationship, real love takestime.One of the biggest hurdles companies in creatinginfluence is internal; most corporate cultures feed offinstant results and as the rule says - you  can’t  hurry  love.  We’ve   seen   brands   invest   heavily   in   building   intricate  profiles of their young customer base only to, at the lastminute, be seduced by a creative agency pitch and goand blow all their good work on an expensive socialmedia ad campaign. Why? Because influence takes timeand time tests the resolve of even the strongest marketer.It’s   easy   to   capitulate   against   the   pressure   of   next  quarter’s   earnings   bearing   down   upon   you   and  capitulating means handing over your marketing budgetto   the   agency   with   a   resigned   “here,   take   this   problem  away  from  me.”Marketers need to have faith. Ford Fiesta movementdidn’t  start  in  the  year  of  launch  2011  but  back  in  2008.  Ford simply created an environment for the long term totake seed. Some crtics questioned the decision,wondering if it was too early and whether or not Fordcan keep the momentum going until launch.Similarly, internal critics within brands like BlackBerryfrom Research in Motion (RIM) prevent the companyfrom building out on the Beachhead of Influence inmarkets like Indonesia, India, and South Africa becauseall the corporate results needed to be yesterday. If RIMcan create an environment - a separate project teamperhaps - that can build out these lines of influence longhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 51
  53. 53. term then RIM has a role to play in the future of themobile handset market. Right now, the corporate edictsfrom Waterloo Canada reflect a growing sense ofimmediacy that the answer lies not in long termsustainable change but in silver bullets. RIM has justannounced 7 new handsets to compliment its existingrange within a year of its ill-fated Playbook launch.It’s   funny   that   the   only   incidence   of   a   Playbook   being  used in public by youth seen by any of our team waswhen our founder Graham Brown saw a student usingone at Amsterdam airport. The student in question wasquite obviously Indonesian (Indonesia has stronghistorical ties with the Netherlands and many studentsstudy there). Perhaps RIM missed a trick here because ithad an existing line of influence with IndonesianDisruptive   Divas   that   it   ignored.   It’s   easy   to   forsake  what you have right in front of you when you areseduced by the alchemy of analysts and creativeagencies who seek to undermine your own corporateconfidence by telling you that you are not enough.Blackberry could be a great brand if it built on thisinfluence and took time in doing so. If Blackberrylistens to creative agency pulp that suggest social mediacampaigns or design agencies yammer on about SteveJobs then it will end up sacrificing its strength formediocrity.Brands often lose their way - it’s   part   of   the   growth  cycle  that  blights  so  many  successful  companies.  It’s  at  these times of lost direction that brands need fans toreinstigate momentum and to keep the brand alive.During its 80-year history, Converse sold 170 millionhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 52
  54. 54. pairs of the black canvas sneaker with white rubber sole- the Chuck Taylor All-Stars - in 144 countries. Yet, by2001 the company had filed for bankruptcy only to berescued by the unlikeliest of suitors - Nike - in 2003.Converse had a long tradition of market influence - herewas a brand once worn by Larry Bird, Dr. J, ElvisPresley, Magic Johnson and Kurt Cobain because itstood for something and had built that brand story overthe long term.The undeground punk rock scene bought into Conversebecause it also stood for the anti-establishment. Herewas a basic shoe canvas that could be co-opted andrecreated with a simple Sharpie permanent marker. Thewhite canvas became storyboard for expression forwannabe Kurt Cobains.Interestingly,   Converse’s   fanbase   was   a   sleeper   hit   for  Nike. When Nike bought the brand out of bankruptcy itdid so on the basis of its basketball heritage as opposedto its punk fan base. But, as often the story goes, it wasthe latterly discovered line of influence that turned itinto a success story.Rather than push the basketball heritage, Nike began togear its marketing focus towards the undergroundpunk/skateboard scene and supporting fledgling musicacts.  Converse’s  new  spirit  of  intentional  rebuttal  against  overindulgence resonated with a new generation ofstudents who became sensitive to a new economicreality  of  compromize.  New  terms  like  “staycation”  and  “frugalistas”   were   coined.   Converse reacted to thechange in the market in the best way possible. While ithttp://mobileyouth.org Page 53
  55. 55. spread its distribution to make it accessible to morepeople, it continued to focus its marketing on itsfans. In 2011, Converse opened a free recording studiocalled Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn to help new emergingartists gain access to resources they may not have beenable to afford.In the traditional Paid Media vernacular, recordingstudios do not create awareness. But then Conversedoesn’t   want   awareness   it’s   seeking   to   engage   its   fans.By focusing on this core group of fans, Converse gains anumber of different advantages. It had a solid group of people to continue to promote the brand, even when the brand was not putting money into new campaigns. By looking at how its fans modified the shoes, Converse also knew the types of design that customers were looking for in their next shoe models. Converse also had a sounding board to test out new ideas to see what would work as it reentered new markets. This worked out well for the company, as it started staging a comeback in Asia. The company found an even more militant base of fans there. It’s   not strange to find Converse fans in Asia who were so into the brand that they would collect every color combination of the Chuck Taylor All Stars.http://mobileyouth.org Page 54
  56. 56. Hunting vs. Farming fansWhen in 1998 Apple release the iMac, it gained asignificant press buzz over its approach to design, withApple  declaring,  “the back of our computer looks betterthan   the   front   of   anyone   else’s.”   Apple continued tomake headlines over its design and user-focusedinterface as it began its long march to occupy themarket’s   mindshare.   It released products thatcontinually redefined the market: iPod, iPad, and ofcourse the iPhone. By 2011, the company was namedthe most valuable company in the world, usurpingGoogle.While   many   companies   tried   to   follow   in   Apple’s  footsteps  what  they  missed  was  that  Apple’s  success  did  not only come from its product designs. It also largelycame   from   the   company’s   approach   to   finding   the   love  of its fans.Apple did this through a multitude of approaches, theunderlying theme being the same: give your fans thesocial   space   they   need   and   they’ll   use   it to show theirlove for you.Turn Retail Stores into Social Spaces Apple created temporary social spaces for its fans through programs like turning its Apple Stores into an Instagram Gallery or by fueling fans dialogue through the Mac vs. PC debate that enraptured the citizens of geekdom.http://mobileyouth.org Page 55
  57. 57. Train Future Fans Apple Camp teaches kids how to make movies and music, training a generation to believe that Apple is the number one tool for the creatives. Apple also trained teachers to use their softwareShare of Market vs Share of Customer While the main competitor focused on getting a computer into every home, Apple focused on making the best computer for every home it was already in. Apple’s  rising  dominance  in   the  mobile   market   in   the  last  stretch  of  the  2000’s  was  a  result   of not just avoiding being everything to everybody, but also from consistently being something significant to somebody.All of these approaches take time and vision. Time is thecost of making them happen. Vision gives people thefaith  to  believe  it’s  the  right  thing  to do. Vision preventsfallout and marketers scurrying back to their creativeagency with their marketing budget on the plate.Like   any   relationship,   with   Earned   Media,   you   can’t  hurry love. You can only prepare for it. CEOs need tocreate the right environment for love to take hold.Rule #4: Learning to let go*  Brand  influence  isn’t  a  product  of  marketing  strategy  or creative agency genius but brand culture* Influence today stems from a company culture thatembraces the brand innovators (often hackers andhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 56
  58. 58. teenagers) rather than viewing them as a threat* You no longer own your brand - it’s  owned  by  the  fans. Influence comes from becoming its custodianrather than managerSince its humble dorm-room beginnings in 2004,Facebook has become what some dub The SecondInternet. The founder became one of the youngestbillionaires in the world. The company has captured theimagination of so many people that they made a movieabout it. The movie was nominated for eight Oscars andwon three.While many factors undoubtedly came into play increating   Facebook’s   success,   perhaps   none   was   more  important   than   the   fact   that   the   company’s   culture  allowed it to hire people like Chris Putnam.In 2005, Chris and his two friends worked on a series ofhacks and pranks on Facebook. They did a number ofdifferent things from creating a worm that postedrandom   messages   on   friend’s   walls,   like   “Hey,   nice  shoes,”   to   changing   the   Facebook   layout   so   that   it  looked   like   Facebook’s   more   popular   competitor  MySpace.Soon enough, fixes for the worm started rolling in fromFacebook and Chris was contacted by an inquisitveDustin Moskovitz - one   of   Facebook’s   co-founders. Instead of a cease-and-desist message, Chrisreceived a friendly one instead, and it led to a back-and-forth between the two which led to Chris receiving a joboffer from the company.http://mobileyouth.org Page 57
  59. 59. To  put  into  the  job  offer  into  context,  Putnam’s  incident  happened not long after a similar incident happened withMySpace. Like Putnam an amateur hacker hadpenetrated  the  site’s  code  thus alerting the managementteam.   The   hacker   receives   a   “friendly”   email   from   the  MySpace team invited him in to discuss his findingsfurther. At LAX airport, believing himself to be on hisway for a job interview at MySpace, the unwittinghacker was surrounded by cops and arrested.Putnam was well aware of this precedent and theinvitation   from   Facebook’s   Moskowitz   was   naturally  greeted with a high degree of suspicion. Was thisanother trap? After all, what was the difference betweenMySpace and Facebook?It turns out that the although MySpace and Facebook areboth social networks and were both bootstrapped fromthe early days, their similarities end there. WhereMySpace was intent on controlling the brand experienceFacebook adopted an altogether different attitude. WhenPutnam   finally   agreed   to   his   “job   interview”   he   was  relieved to find this was no ambush. Within 3 days, hewas working with the team.On face value, they are the same but when it comes toculture, the two brands are worlds apart. For Facebook,hackers   aren’t   a   threat   to   the   business   but   part   of  it. Facebook thrives on maverick thinkers; theyregularly run like the Hackathon—where students andyoung engineers were given a chance to win a game bycompleting a series of increasingly challenging hacks.From letting go of the brand and embracing the hackers,http://mobileyouth.org Page 58
  60. 60. Facebook not only opens itself to the innovators oftomorrow, they also source valuable insights.Hackathons produced the all-important  “Like”  button  as  well as many other widely used features.Culture   isn’t   just   the   soft   underbelly   of   the   brand,   it   is  the brand. To create influence you need to create aculture that allows influence to grow from the grassroots.   This   stuff   can’t   be   manufactured.   In   terms   of  product MySpace and Facebook were the same thing.What distinguished them was culture and the results areevident for all to see.Letting go may be easier if you are a start up or arelatively small brand so can global brands really let goof their brand pretensions? How about a brand valued at$500 billion like Google? Surely, this has to be one ofthe most recognizable brands in the world today. Can“letting  go”  co-exist comfortably with superstar status?It appears it can. Those in the mobile and internetindustry are undoubtedly familiar with Google Camp forTechies aimed at college-bound students that have aknack for computers and are planning for a career incomputer science. More recently Google had turned andfocused such camps on the Droidettes.Since   the   first   of   Google’s   Android phones wereapproved by the FCC in 2008, the Android OS hadbecome one of the most adopted operating systems formobile phones in the world. Android had become sucha big success in such a short period that in August 2011,the Federal Trade Commission began looking intohttp://mobileyouth.org Page 59
  61. 61. whether or not the Google had breached any antitrustissues.Android’s   quick   rise   into   prominence   would   have   been  difficult   if   Google   hadn’t   done   all   it   can   to   understand  the mobile market. It was a foray into a relatively newmarket for Google. The company understood that if ithad relied only on the experts that it had—of which thecompany had many—it could not truly understand themarket quick enough nor reliable enough. Thus, enteredthe Droidettes.Droidettes - teenage girls who develop apps. Googleinvites them in to the Google campus to experiment,play and develop. Not only is Google training ageneration   of   future   developers   it’s   also   building   its  fanbase one teenage girl at a time.Fear of Losing ControlApple, Google and Facebook are all brand successstories   because   the   size   of   their   brand   hasn’t   been   a  function of their advertising budget. In many cases,they’ve   built   influence   organically,   over   the   long   term  and   one   customer   at   a   time.   In   all   cases   it’s   been  marketing pull over   marketing   push.   They   “pull”   the  market into their organization - whether it be the officeor the stores - rather  than  “push”  their  ideas  out  on  to  the  market.Push is a control based marketing strategy. Push meansdefending and protecting the brand to ensure that themarket interferes with this story as little as possible.Push means defining and following a clear marketinghttp://mobileyouth.org Page 60
  62. 62. trajectory   that’s   been   tried   and   tested for generations.The problem with push is, however, that fans willalways want to interfere because they want to tell theirown story. Look at the amount of fan fiction thatsurrounds television series like Star Trek. Trekkies havedeveloped such a complex mythology around the StarTrek push reality that practically every character hasnumerous versions of rich back stories. They takeartifacts  of  the  television  serial’s  story  - like the Klingonlanguage - and invest years into to creating new SocialTools with it, like using the Klingon language totranslate   the   Bible   and   all   of   Shakespeare’s   work.   Go  Google it yourself - they exist.The question is - like Facebook do you try to fight these“hackers”   because   they’re   interfering   with   your   brand  story or do you try to play with them? When GeorgeLucas produced the last three prologues of the Star Warsfranchise fans took vocal issue with the movies. Google“Jar   Jar   Binks   must   die”   and   you’ll   find   over   45,000  pages   referencing   fan   dissent   with   Lucas’   newestcharacter Jar Jar Binks imported into the prologues as anaddition to the original story. Sometimes you just haveto sit back and let the real brand custodians look afterthe brand. You are simply the curator now. Messingwith the brand is a potential powder keg of negativepublicity.  When  Star  Wars  fans  released  “The  People  vs  George   Lucas”   featuring   countless   scenes   from   the  original recut and recast by fans in everything fromclaymation to costumed re-enactments they were doingso because Lucas was managing the brand against theirbeliefs  about  what  the  brand  should  be.  Fans  didn’t  care  http://mobileyouth.org Page 61
  63. 63. that Lucas directed the original Star Wars trilogy - it wastheir story now.With a continuous decline in the number of femaleundergrad pursuing computer science degrees from 40%in  the  80’s  to  just  below  12%  today  Google  knows  that  in every aspect of society that a brand touches there areuntold stories - people who see things differently andpeople who feel aggrieved that their story is not beingtold. Google did it by empowering minorities within theindustry. Lucas should have done it by first appreciatingthat there was a group of fans who had a very strongemotional attachment with his work.Managing the brand means restricting what fans donaturally - influence. Push means silencing thesedialogues through loudspeaker style marketing. Pullmeans stepping back and letting these conversationshappen with your support - giving them Social Tools toconnect with each other and ideas to share.…But   what   if   you’re   not Google or Facebook? What ifyou’re   a   century   old   company   with   54,000   employees  and with a mountain of debt? It’s   a   question   that   a  company like Ford might have asked itself. Paying$1.5Billion just in debt interest alone in 2009, this was acompany that many other priorities before it can startthinking about Earned Media.One of the key challenges a company will face instarting into the world of Earned Media is from withinhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 62
  64. 64. the company itself. Ford addressed this by bringing inthe right people for the job.Jim   Farley   headed   Toyota’s   Scion   line   -another youthcar success story -before he was brought in to leadFord’s   marketing   and   communication.   Fiesta was oneof his first challenges. Having brought back the results,his concerns are now in replicating this success withother  lines  of  Ford’s  products.At the end of the day, its the people in the company thatwill make-or-brake the jump into Earned Media. It’s  the  people   after   all   that   creates   the   company’s   culture  because the culture is the people. If   you’re   an  organization run by old creative agency execs or folkfrom  the  advertising  world  you’re  going  to  be  stuck  with  a culture of control. Letting go in this sense means morethan just letting go of the brand conversation.Rule #5: Ego kills relationships* Ego is the enemy of relationships, branding andinfluence* Letting go is key to creating space for relationships togrowHow can a company like Nokia win awards for itsdevices on the one hand and still bleed market shareglobally on the other?By the end of July 2011 investors had lost so much faithin  the  once  mighty  giant  the  US  rating  agency  Moody’s  cut  Nokia’s  credit  rating  to  just  two  notches  above  junk.http://mobileyouth.org Page 63
  65. 65. To   those   who’ve   followed   the   company   closely,   this  would not come as a surprise. A mobileYouth SMARTIndex Survey showed that Nokia had lost relevancyamong teens in a number of key markets like theUS. For youth in the older age group the only relevancyNokia had for them was nostalgia. The company clearlymeant something for young people once upon a time butthat meaning has slowly eroded.“We  had  Nokia  fans  for  some  of  our  models,”  a  Nokia  marketing   exec   once   admitted,   “but   they’ve   become  ‘haters’  now.”“It  was  because  we  basically  ignored  them.”The  exec  quickly  added,  “Well,  the  guys before us did.We’re  on  the  ball  now.”It seems that in some markets, Nokia had realized that itneeded to take a different approach. It needed to startfocusing on people - its fans specifically - rather thantechnology. In key Asian countries, Nokia wascommitted enough to a different approach to marketingthat in the last year changing more than 80% of itsmarketing department personnel.Gaining - or in the case of Nokia regaining - EarnedMedia   will   take   time.   Nokia   didn’t   lose   the  recommendation of youth overnight and it  won’t  regain  it by next quarter. Jobs retuned to Apple in 1996. It was2001 before he launched the groundbreaking iPod thuspaving the way for the iPhone and later the iPad.http://mobileyouth.org Page 64
  66. 66. Similarly,   Nokia’s   ills   won’t   be   solved   by   a   creative  agency silver bullet. Nor will they be able to addresstheir   product   portfolio   with   the   wave   of   IDEO’s   magic  wand.   It’s   going   to   take   hard   graft   and   years   to  turnaround. That requires faith and vision.Brand turnarounds also require CEOs to lose thecorporate ego. Nobody likes to be world ruler oneminute and has-been the next following in the footstepsof a much cooler upstart who caught you by surprise.Ego means hanging on to the brand story or refusing tohear the harsh reality that kids think your products suck.It’s   not   easy   when   you’ve   spent   your   whole   career  investing time and effort into those products only forsome unqualified and ungrateful teen punk to puncturethe brand bubble with an unhealthy dose of reality.The most important rule to keep in mind in the EarnedMedia   game   is   that   it’s   always   about   other   people   not  you. This is the underlying rule on which all the otherrules are founded. A focus on people instead oftechnology or protecting the organization itself is whatmakes brands like Apple attractive to people like TrevorMoran aka. iTr3vor.At  12  years  old,  Trevor  Moran’s  YouTube  channel  had  more than 43,000 subscribers. His video posts fetchmore than 1.5 million views. His more popular postsfeature him dancing and lip syncing to pop songs in themiddle of an Apple Store. If you happened to be in thestore during one of his performances, it would be nearimpossible to miss it. Some of those in the store chooseto ignore him, some shoot him dirty looks, others joinhttp://mobileyouth.org Page 65
  67. 67. in. What would you do?  Is  he  part  of   your  “vision”  for  the brand? Does he fit into the story or simply confuseit? In most cases, Apple staff let Trevor do this ownthing   because   it’s   the   fan   story   as   much   as   their   own.  George Lucas discovered this at cost to his professionalcredibility. Apple staff also know that they need peoplelike Trevor to pay their wages because he is theirinformal marketing department.Trevor is an Apple fan. While the fact that Appleemployees let him perform in Apple stores helpedTrevor spread his love for the brand to his followers inits focus on people, Apple did more than just that.Apple avoided the Big Idea brand story. Apple alsomanaged to avoid the trap that many other companieshad fallen into: identifying customer stories and thenincorporating them into an advertising campaign—usually involving a celebrity or a mock impromptu man-on-the-street comment about the brand. Apple had madethe brand into a necessary tool for its fans to tell theirstories.This is why Apple has so many fans  and  this  is  why  it’s  hard  for  other  brands  to  follow  Apple’s  footsteps.  Stand in line in any of long queue of people waiting forthe  next  iPhone  launch,  and  you’ll  find  that  these  people  talk about design, art, life in general, and only very littleabout Apple or Steve Jobs. While Trevor uses the prefix“i”   in   front   of   his   online persona, the content ofiTr3vor’s   video   posts   are   mostly   a   sublimation   of   his  ambition to become a performance artist. Even thosehttp://mobileyouth.org Page 66
  68. 68. people  who’ve  gone  so  far  as  to  tattoo  themselves  with  the Apple logo are fans not because of the brand stories,but because   of   the   brand’s   ability   in   helping   them   tell  their stories. A  brand’s  ability  to  integrate  itself  into  its  fans’   telling   of   their   own   tales   is   what   creates   Earned  Media.For Earned Media to work a brand has to look at itsrelationship with its customers like a man would look athis relationship with his wife in a marriage. While opencommunication and commitment is important, one of thekey things in a successful marriage is about throwingyour ego out the window.Branding efforts are often ego stroking exercises for thebrand, its executives and its agencies.“This  is  our  story,  aren’t  we  great?”You   don’t   tell   your   husband   or   wife   you’re   great   do  you? (You wait for them to tell you!) Ego has a way ofclogging your ears from listening to your fans and fillingyour  mouth  with  bravado  such  that  even  when  you’re  in  dialogue   with   your   fans   all   you’re   really   saying   is,  “That’s   wonderful,   but   you   know   what’s   really   great?  ME!”A friend once confided in me his secret to a successfulmarriage. The spirit of his adage would work well ingenerating Earned Media.“My   formula   is   simple,”   he   said.   “Happy   wife,   happy  life.”http://mobileyouth.org Page 67