E x c h a n g e o f I d e a s | September/October 2009 | $10.95
M A G A Z I N E
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M A G A Z I N E
Call & september/october 2009
S ome people say that there’s no such thing as new
media or old media, that it’s all just media. We now
know that this just isn’t so.
Old media were just channels through which
messages were communicated in hopes of influencing
attitudes or, even better, changing behavior.
they are starting to look rather primitive compared to
Those media can still pack a punch sometimes. But
new media, which are more than just vehicles for our
Hewlett-Packard CMO Michael Mendenhall
says the future of media calls for blue skies with
advertisements and promotions. lots of clouds. An exclusive Q&A interview by
These new media — which are usually (but not
necessarily) digital media — are different because they’re
all about call and response.
Sometimes it’s the brand calling
May the old
and the shopper responding, while
media rest other times it’s just the opposite.
in peace. These new media are also ROUNDTABLE
different because, while they’re
still about the delivery of messages, they are not the neat Being Social
and tidy messages of marketing’s ever-present past. The dawn of marketing communications as
These new media messages can be upbeat, positive and conversations is here. A discussion featuring
Bonin Bough of PepsiCo, Aaron Magness of
cheerful, but they can also be angry, negative and mean. Zappos, Richard Binhammer of Dell, Bert
In other words, these new-media messages are about DuMars of Newell Rubbermaid and John
real people living their lives in the real world, and that’s Andrews of Collective Bias.
the real beauty of new-media.
Marketing has a problem, and it is precisely this
disconnect between what happens in marketing and
what happens in real life. It is a gap that new media
bridge with astonishing efficiency and effectiveness.
Can we measure that? Maybe, maybe not — certainly SUMMIT REPORT
not in the traditional sense. But we can count on it to
connect with our shoppers in ways we have only begun to Screen Gems
imagine. This issue of the Hub is about those possibilities. The convergence of digital media at retail
is re-defining the shopping experience.
Featuring: Mike Linton, Jim Hood and
Andy Austin. By Vince Weiner.
ALSO Peter F. Eder
4 COOL NEWS
The Storefront Project, Amish Internet and Printcasting.
10 R ESEARCH R EPORT
The Media Feast | What’s up with media? What’s down? What’s holding
steady? An executive summary of a Reveries.com survey.
Alexander Isley Inc.
John S. Dykes
12 CASE STUDY
Burt’s Buzz | At Burt’s Bees, a culture of caring is both the medium and
the message. By Dori Molitor.
EURO RSCG Discovery
W H I T E PA P E R
Henry Rak Consulting Group
Open Up! | Are you up for the challenge of open branding? Hoyt & Company
By Alex Do. Insight Out of Chaos
18 W H I T E PA P E R Marketing Drive
Shopper Marketing Online | Walmart sets the standard for engaging Miller Zell Inc.
consumers online. By Greg Murtagh. TracyLocke
Triad Digital Media
25 W H I T E PA P E R
Activating Creativity | Bringing brands to life across channels and
disciplines moves people to action. By William Rosen.
28 W H I T E PA P E R
Digital Bridges | New research uncovers keys to successful digital-media
integration. By Jim Garrity and Kerry O’Connor.
The Bellwether Group
David X. Manners Co.
107 Post Road East
30 W H I T E PA P E R
Codeword: Partnership | Television is alive and well for advertisers who
innovate and collaborate. By Cindy Jolicoeur.
Westport, CT 06880
203-227-7060 ext. 227
n brought to you by the editors of Reveries.
com and Cool News of the Day, The Hub
W H I T E PA P E R
magazine is dedicated to exploring insights,
Feeling the Media | Making shoppers feel the love means making the media ideas and innovation as the ultimate drivers
feel their pain. By Al Wittemen. of success in marketing.
n published bi-monthly since July
2004, The Hub’s circulation is exclusive
38 COOL BOOKS
Ripped, The Beckham Experiment and Losing the News.
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cooL Ne W s
The Storefront Project Amish Internet
What started as an “artistic social experiment” has turned into a While other newspapers retreat to the internet, The Budget
hip, trendy and successful restaurant. At the Waffle Shop, customers is succeeding by avoiding electronic media. The Budget is no
enjoy fluffy waffles and coffee and are videotaped as they discuss ordinary newspaper, though. It is written by, and for, the Amish
whatever is on their minds — “politics, society, culture.” community. And it does have a bare-bones website, but it carries
“only local news briefs.”
Located in a lively Pittsburgh neighborhood, the Waffle Shop is
“part of an advanced undergraduate course at Carnegie Mellon That’s because of the newspaper’s writers, “known as scribes,
called the Storefront Project.” feared their plainspoken dispatches would become fodder for
entertainment in the ... non-Amish world.”
The idea is to “develop a concept and take it out into the community
to see how people react and interact.” And so students created Staying offline turned out to be a good move, as the newspaper
The Waffle Shop, as part restaurant and part reality show, in what “solidified its steadfast fan base,” continuing a tradition dating back
was supposed to be a two-semester project. to 1890. The Budget began “as a series of letters swapped among
Amish families who had dispersed across the Midwest,” and in
some ways hasn’t changed all that much.
While the paper’s local edition, published in Sugarcreek, Ohio, is
written by a paid staff of twelve writers, its national edition is
filled with contributed letters, faxed or mailed in by unpaid scribes.
These letters sound uncannily like Twitter feeds: “Supper and
singing were held at our house last night, so have been busy this
morning getting dishes away and house in order,” for instance.
And: “We’ve had some nice rain the last few days and the grass is
greening up nicely.”
“People call The Budget the Amish internet,” says Keith Rathbun,
its publisher. “It’s non-electric, it’s on paper, but it’s the same
thing.” Business is good enough that The Budget plans to hire a
couple of more reporters.
[S o u r c e : Meghan Barr, Associated Press, 8/17/09]
“All my assumptions about print were wrong,” says Dan Pacheco.
“Advertisers wanted to be in print, and young people are interested
in magazines.” Dan first realized this after creating a website about
But it has proved so popular that it is now in an extended run, with the local music scene for the Bakersfield Californian newspaper:
extended hours. Originally, the Waffle Shop was purely “a night- “Advertisers kept asking him when the magazine was coming, he
owl hangout drawing a generally young, hip and vocal crowd.” said, because they preferred to appear in print.”
But now it’s open for brunch, too, and is also “attracting many
families, people from the neighborhood and curious passers-by.” So, now, Dan is pioneering a new kind of magazine that “lets
readers pick which articles they want in their magazine and then
In a new twist, the Waffle Shop’s manager, Dawn Weleski, listens print it themselves.”
to internet news feeds via headphones and then repeats the news
so customers can hear, with videos of the novel newscast carried The enterprise is called Printcasting, and since its introduction
live online at waffleshop.org. The site also now allows “users to last March, it has spawned some 250 magazines.
sign into Facebook and Twitter feeds and talk back to the talk shows.” The concept takes “advantage of advertisers’ willingness to pay as
Jon Rubin, the professor who runs the Storefront Project, is now much as 40 times more for print ads than for online ones — while it
looking at various business models to make the Waffle Shop removes the costs of paper, ink, printing presses and a pavement-
permanent, either as a for-profit or not-for-profit venture. pounding sales force.”
[S o u r c e : Adrain McCoy, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6/29/09] Printcasting keeps 10 percent of revenues, gives 30 percent to
writers and 60 percent to publishers. The venture “is backed by
an $837,000 grant from the Knight Foundation’s program to find
Cool News of the Day, a daily e-mail newsletter of marketing insights, digital models for local news.”
ideas and inspiration, is edited by TIM MANNERS. For a free subscription,
visit www.reveries.com [S o u r c e : Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times, 7/20/09]
The dawn of marketing communications
as conversations is here.
What are the greatest Now, it’s like you’re buying from that’s still most untapped — is
a friend, and you know they’re on the customer service side.
opportunities in your friend because they have a Customer service is the Holy Grail
social media? personality and they tell you what of social media because building
they’re doing. customer relationships is all
Bonin Bough: The opportunity about service.
is to move from impressions to They show you what it’s like to
connections, and from campaigns work inside their company and If a consumer is having a problem
to conversations. We have an that’s where the real value comes and you can help them proactively,
in. It’s really about breaking down that’s a huge word-of-mouth
opportunity to be closer to the
that barrier of customer versus builder as well as a big benefit
customer than ever before and to
co-create and react to the customer corporation, and allowing people to both the consumer and the R oundtAble
like never before. to interact with other people. brand. For example, one of our F eAtuRing
The double-edged sword is that Bonin Bough
if we treat digital like any other
communications channel, then we
The opportunity is to move from
miss the value of it as an enabler impressions to connections, and from Aaron Magness
across the business. Then we
want to plan against it and carve
campaigns to conversations.
out specific opportunities to use BON i N BOugh Binhammer
it. You can do that, but that’s not Dell
the largest opportunity. It can
provide real-time customer insights Bert DuMars
Richard Binhammer: The best garage organization products had a
and trends that are valuable for Newell rubbermaid
opportunity is to listen, learn manufacturing flaw and we found
research and development.
and engage directly with your out about it through a negative John Andrews
Aaron Magness: The greatest customers, but also to share product review on our website. collective bias
opportunity is to form more of a information. We have had product
We had a product manager contact
personal relationship with employees, ideas come forward that we’ve
the consumer and quickly had the
partners, customers and everything implemented, such as becoming
product replaced. We took someone
that goes along with that. You’re part of Product (Red). We’ve
who had a bad experience, turned
really able to get out the true voice engaged with customers online,
him around and he was thrilled.
of what your company is and that solving problems, learning about
So, we see social media as a way
allows people to form a stronger their experiences and improving
to solve problems through the
relationship with you. business processes as a result.
customer service organization to a
It’s not like the old days of buying Bert DuMars: The greatest point where it’s just the way we do
from a faceless corporation. opportunity — and it’s the one business here.
september/october 2009 tHe HUb 5
John Andrews: The biggest You can either be part of it or you DuMars: One big issue is changing
opportunity in social media is to can be against it. If you’re against the metrics, which also ties in with
build a collective conversation it, it’s going to have a pretty incentives. You need to discern
between brands, retailers and adverse effect. So, it’s really about how much time should be spent on
consumers. Done correctly, social embracing it and embracing the the channel and how to measure it
media is now activating consumers transparency that goes with it. to show that it’s delivering results.
as part of the brand management Another big key is integration
You shouldn’t have a lot of
process in a real and authentic way. of social media with traditional
reasons not to be as transparent
That’s been done at some point in as possible or embrace these tools
the past where consumers did focus that allow people to communicate. So if you’re doing TV commercials,
groups or surveys, but this is a You should want to communicate radio or print or any other mass
longer-term activity where you’re with your customers and external media, integrate that with your
actually building a community partners. That’s where I hope social media efforts, and vice
that has an affinity for your brand.
You are building a longer-term
relationship with that community
and including that as a standard part
If you look too hard for a return-on-
of your brand management process. investment on social media you’re going
to lose the authenticity of it.
How must organizations A A RON M AgN E S S
change to realize social
more businesses understand the versa. It amplifies the social media
Bough: You need to take an
potential impact of social media. effort and also ties into your mass
integrated approach. First, it means
media effort, so they start working
rethinking internal process, which Binhammer: Dell’s interest in
together to benefit each other.
is everything from policies and being directly connected to our
guidelines to encouraging outward customers has always been part of The one other thing — and this
conversations across your entire our corporate culture. So, social is really difficult — is showing
employee base. media is just a new tool to deploy that your brand cares. A lot of
in doing that, and in a lot of ways traditional marketing is about
The next piece is integration. How
it’s a more effective tool. getting the message out. When
do you integrate divisionally?
you add the social media side to it,
Where do customer relations in For example, a conversation could
it’s about people; it’s about people
this world live? Where does public be going on at Starbucks right now
caring. So, how do you show that?
relations live? Where does marketing in Minneapolis between two Dell
That’s another key success factor.
live? How do they build more of an customers and I haven’t a clue
ecosystem than just a channel? what they’re saying. On the other Andrews: You have to immerse
hand, a conversation can be going yourself in it. The biggest mistake
The third piece is changing the
on between two Dell customers on is just taking the standard
way that we measure the success of
Facebook or Twitter and I know approach you’ve taken with
exactly what they’re saying. traditional media and adding it to
Magness: Organizations need to the space. Social media is not just
But those aren’t necessarily
realize that people are going to a new communications vehicle to
changes in the organization;
be using these tools anyway. Your layer traditional tactics on top of.
they are changes in our ability to
ability to dictate your brand to It’s not just a PR vehicle either.
listen, learn, engage and connect
the consumer is long gone and in What’s different about social media
with our customers. I see it as an
actuality the consumer is telling is the participation.
organization deploying tools to
you what your brand is. Not only
increase those opportunities to be The first thing that I had to do was
are they telling you, they are also
able to connect and take advantage to learn how people communicate
telling all their friends.
of the information that’s out there. and influence one another in
6 tHe HUb september/october 2009
Customer service is the Holy Grail of building that’s really the focus
of most brands at this point. The
social media because building customer next step is to get them excited
relationships is all about service. about our brand and then go to
Walmart or Target or any one of
BE RT Du M A R S our retailers and purchase them.
We have to have metrics all the
communitites. I involved myself trying to have today’s Facebook way through the process of
in communities that had nothing update or today’s “tweet” from interest, excitement and brand
to do with me, or my message, 450 of our employees turn into an love. Once we have them excited,
but just as an active participating immediate sale. we need to be sure we then get
member. That helped me learn not them to a place where they can
What we are really trying to do is buy our products.
only the pathways but also about
form that lasting relationship. If
the relationships that are involved Andrews: We’ll start with very
you look too hard for a return-on-
in that. simple metrics, such as: What kind
investment on social media you’re
going to lose the authenticity of it. of 30-day conversation is there on
How can results of We focus more on forming good Twitter? Then we set up some kind
social media efforts relationships as opposed to trying of messaging baseline: Where does
our core messaging response with
be measured? to get the most out of today’s sale.
consumers exist today?
Binhammer: There’s always this
Bough: We do something called great question about the return-on- We look at a grid of the
“brand health measuring,” where investment. My point is this: What’s competitive set and where we
we have a set of metrics that includes the business objective? Business want to end up, agree on which
everything from impression data to objectives vary across the business, metrics we want to track as
share-of-voice. We also look at the so there is no single ROI. Once you forms of success. We need to
frequency with which customers understand your business objectives, move away from the traditional
want to have relationships with us then you can go and measure. metrics of traffic, because traffic
and how they want to have those isn’t very valuable. I would rather
relationships. You’ve probably seen the stories have a thousand high-quality
online that Dell has done two engagements than a million hits.
Anecdotally, we know there is million dollars on “DellOutlet” on
value that’s moving the needle. Twitter. Is Dell’s objective in social Ultimately, we want to connect
What we all struggle with is how to media being reached? Absolutely. with shoppers and drive that
measure that movement. We start We moved a few million dollars connection to the shelf. We’re
by trying to align with traditional of product and did so faster and working with a couple of retailers
metrics that we do understand — better and more efficiently than we on experiments on a social version
impressions, share-of-voice, and would have otherwise. of the circular that activates
those kinds of basic things. communities around offers.
Since we became involved in social
Then we look at a series of media in early 2006, we’ve also
comparatives versus our seen significant change in sentiment What is the most
competitors as well as “gold towards Dell. When we first started surprising thing
standard” programs from outside out, 50 percent of what we saw you’ve learned about
our competitive set that may help online was negative, whereas today
us improve our effectiveness. social media?
it’s below the 20 percent mark. But
Magness: A million and one that’s a very different business Bough: The most surprising thing
companies and consultants are out objective and a very different is how empowering social media
there who will tell you that if you business result to measure. is as a movement. It has the ability
pay them enough they’ll be able DuMars: Today, it’s all about to be bigger than just, “hey what a
to measure results. What we look tonality; it’s the positive brand great thing it is for marketers and
at is more directional — we’re not awareness and the positive brand customers to be able to talk.”
september/october 2009 tHe HUb 7
t HoUGHt L e ADer s
For example, we are a huge in interacting with you on all
supporter and sponsor of the kinds of levels.
BlogHer conference. I walked into
Out of the blue, I’ve had customers
this conference and there were
tell me that they’ve been
- 2,000 of the world’s most influential
customers for years, that they are
online women sitting in a room.
looking at their next Dell purchase
BONIN BOUGH is the global
director of digital and social You could feel the amazing power and ask for my recommendations.
media at PepsiCo, where he that they have in terms of what That’s reassuring, nice to know
oversees digital strategy and the they are doing to change society. and fun to interact with.
implementation of social media It’s pretty exhilarating when you
tools and techniques. He formerly DuMars: I’ve been surprised
think about how digital media is
was with Weber shandwick and by how integrated social media
ruder Finn Interactive. becomes into what I do. I’ve had
Magness: The most surprising conversations on Facebook, Twitter
AARON MAGNESS heads thing about social media is and LinkedIn that have continued
marketing, public relations, how quickly businesses try for the last year or two. I learn a
social media and business to bastardize it and make it lot from them and I’m assuming
development for Zappos.com.
more about how many fans or they learn a lot from me. It’s not
He is a graduate of the University
of Wisconsin and survived
followers they have as opposed to just a broadcast tool.
the running of the bulls in really forming relationships. I’m
I’ve also been surprised to learn
pomplona, spain. surprised at how quickly people
through social media how artists
lose sight of that.
use our Sharpie pens, doing things
RICHARD BINHAMMER leads I think they are losing sight of you would never have thought.
digital media outreach and blog
where the real value is, which is in Some are actually taking white
response, with special emphasis
on communities and corporate forming these lasting relationships. Ferraris and doing Sharpie artwork
reptutation for Dell. He has also
held corporate communications
positions with Golin Harris and The most surprising thing is how
generous communities can be and how
BERT DUMARS is vice president, welcoming they are to brands.
e-business and interactive
marketing for Newell Rubbermaid. R iC h A R D Bi N h A M M E R
previously, he was director of the
electronic tax Administration
for the Irs, and held marketing
positions with Dell, Intel and Our CEO, Tony Hseih, said, “So all over them. They’re beautiful,
Learning tree. many people are trying to be but I never thought anyone would
interesting as opposed to being modify a $300,000 vehicle with a
JOHN ANDREWS is managing interested.” That is just so spot on. Sharpie pen.
director of collective bias at
Binhammer: The most surprising But those are the things that you
Mars Advertising. He previously
thing is how generous communities find out about when you engage in
was responsible for social media,
community, mobile and in-store can be and how welcoming they social media. You find out about
media for Walmart. He can are to brands. I would have the really cool and the unusual
be reached at johnandrews@ thought people would want to be things that people do with your
collectivebias.com. left alone or not want Dell to be products. We are finding out that
part of their communities. there are whole new markets out
there for us.
But, in fact, as long as you’re
genuinely interested in engaging, Andrews: As soon as you launch
listening, learning and participating, a digital campaign it begins to
people seem to be a) interested in change, so you better have a
having you around and b) interested flexible plan. You build guardrails
8 tHe HUb september/october 2009
and stay within a certain place interact with customers and answer I thought that was great. It showed
but no matter how much you questions are doing the best job. that they really valued their fans,
plan, it will change the moment who had built up this great base of
you launch it. People are going to consumer love for the brand and
communication is really what it is
approach it in their own way. they were willing to take the risk of
all about. Twitter is one way to do
letting their consumers control it.
That’s why building long-term that, but the one thing that gets
communities helps you be a little overlooked the most is the phone. Giving that control up is a big
more predictive about what those step for a brand, especially like
I think Zappos does an incredible
changes might be. When we Coca-Cola.
job in social media over the
launch programs, we’ve already
telephone. You’re talking to real Andrews: I admire Zappos, where
spent three months talking to
people, employees of Zappos.com, everybody in the company is
someone in the community about
and they’re there to help you. encouraged to interact with
what those things are.
We’re just trying to get that same customers in the social space.
This goes back to allowing your
community to share in the branding
process. You get better ideas that As soon as you launch a digital campaign
way. By the time you launch,
you’ve got some people who take it begins to change, so you better
serious ownership because they have a flexible plan.
feel like they helped build it. So,
they want to talk about it. JOh N A N DR E WS
Who is doing the
cultural commitment that we have Zappos really lives this idea that
best job with social
on the phone and apply it to these we’re all the brand. In a short
media and why? various tools. amount of time they’ve built a
company in a pretty competitive
Bough: I love some of the work Binhammer: It’s really our
space. I don’t think we have a
that we’re seeing done by the Ford customers who are doing the best
shortage of shoe retailers, but
folks. I think the Ford Fiesta job with social media. In many
they’re evidently worth close to a
movement is genius. Dell is selling ways it is like having a customer
millions of dollars’ worth of product in the halls of Dell everyday. If I’ve
over Twitter. Wow! I also love been on Twitter for 20 minutes and From a retail standpoint, Walmart
what John Andrews did at Walmart, then go into a meeting, I know is doing a very good job. They
where he created a real value what our customers are saying. had a big presence at the recent
exchange with mom bloggers by BlogHer conference. It’s less about
Other people, smarter than me,
providing them with exposure. marketing right now and more
have certainly equated social media
about learning. It’s impressive that
If digital lives just in marketing to the concept of a village because
an organization as big as Walmart
as a marketing channel, then it it closes that communication gap.
is sending people to events like
fails to capture the power of the
Using technology is now like being BlogHer.
organization, which is everything
back in the village of 1800’s where
from strategic planning to R&D to We have a great opportunity in
everybody knows everything, just
innovation. this space. I’m a big Mad Men
by walking down the street.
fan and feel like it’s 1950 and
All the folks who are thinking
DuMars: Coca-Cola looked at what television has just been invented.
about how we game-change our
a couple of Coke fans had done on Who’s going to be like P&G and
business should be thinking
Facebook — they built this fan page immerse themselves in this
around digital alongside us. That’s
up to three million fans of Coca-Cola. medium, blow up old models
the integration that we’re driving.
Coke had the legal right to take back and capture everything that
Magness: Businesses that are really the page, but instead chose to let digital could be? That’s a pretty
utilizing social media as a way to these two guys to keep running it. cool opportunity. n
september/october 2009 tHe HUb 9
re se ArcH rep ort
What’s up with media? What’s down?
What’s holding steady?
Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, CNN, The
New York Times ... for this Cool News survey,
we asked readers whether the ability of various
media brands to build national brands appears
favorable, unfavorable or neutral these days.
Google scored highest (82% favorable) Favorable 82.4%
and MySpace the lowest (50% unfavorable)
in our survey. That’s not terribly surprising.
Google also scored the lowest unfavorable (5%), Neutral 12.9%
followed by YouTube, one of its acquisitions, at 6%.
“If building traffic to a brand or its marketing Don’t Know 0%
initiatives can help build a brand, there are
No opinion 0%
few more powerful tools than Google,” said one
survey respondent. “More utility than a medium,
but indispensible the way that a water main is to
an urban center,” said another.
Our survey was taken shortly before the Favorable 17.2%
Microsoft-Yahoo deal was announced, but
neither of the new partners finished particularly Unfavorable 8.9%
well. For Microsoft’s Bing engine, the result was
no doubt affected by its newness, with 66% Neutral 32.0%
rating Bing either “neutral” or “don’t know.” Don’t Know 34.3%
The big issue for Bing is weaning people off
of Google: “I have used Bing and like it, however No opinion 7.7%
I still return to Google for most of my search
work,” a reader wrote. Like Bing, Yahoo scored
highest on “neutral,” at 44%, with “favorable” at Yahoo!
33% and “unfavorable” at 18%.
Perhaps more surprising is how well The Favorable 32.5%
New York Times fared (66% favorable). The Times
certainly has its business-model challenges like
every other newspaper, but there seems to be a Neutral 43.8%
certain reservoir of good will toward the
publication. Don’t Know 3.0%
On the other hand, a number of respondents No opinion 3.0%
said the paper is hurt by a “liberal bias.” As one
reader put it: “Agenda-driven news outlets do not
make a good news brand.”
The political flavor of some of the responses
was striking, and it came from both sides of the Favorable 47.9%
aisle. “Steve Forbes is the closest thing America
has to a fascist 19th century robber baron, and Unfavorable 24.9%
it’s reflected in the book’s editorial,” a respondent
wrote, referring of course to Forbes magazine.
Even the mighty Google was not immune Don’t Know 4.7%
from such attacks: “China, censorship, big
brothering ... not cool,” a reader commented. No opinion 1.2%
10 tHe HUb september/october 2009
tHe HUb september/october 2009
The New York Times
CNN also took its political lumps, although
it fared reasonably well, garnering a 51%
“favorable” and 20% “unfavorable” response. A
few took issue with the quality of its reporting.
“Can’t stand the repetition of the same old
stories,” a reader complained.
Our readers continue to take Walmart to
task — in this case, Walmart.com, with “favorable”
Favorable 66.1% at just 35% and “unfavorable” at 24%. This
contrasted dramatically with Target.com, whose
Unfavorable 14.3% “favorable” score, 62%, was one of the survey’s
highest, and its unfavorable, 8%, one of the lowest.
It’s a curious result, given Walmart’s
Don’t Know 1.8% extraordinary marketplace reach versus Target’s
cheap-chic challenges in a depressed economy.
No opinion 0.6% Many questions remain about Facebook
(58% favorable) and Twitter (48% favorable) and
their potential abilities to help build national
Walmart.com brands. LinkedIn did better than either, with
60% “favorable,” perhaps a function of its appeal
to our business-oriented readership.
Unfavorable 24.4% Despite its relatively high “favorable” rating,
Facebook faces questions. Some expressed concerns
Neutral 29.2% about privacy issues while others were conflicted
about its value as a medium for marketing.
Don’t Know 6.0%
However, others credited Facebook for its
No opinion 6.0% ability to build fan clubs.
Twitter’s strong suit seems to be its potential
as a customer service tool. But there are still
Target.com plenty of folks who think both Twitter and
Facebook are a waste of time. Twitter, especially.
Favorable 61.9% Some of the Twitter-length comments were
particularly amusing, such as: “The capability
to assist in the building of a national brand
Neutral 19.0% encumbered by a 140 character limit is an
interesting one. Few have the discip …” And,
Don’t Know 8.3% ironically: “How can anything with only 140
characters communicate in a logical, meaningful
No opinion 3.0%
manner? It cannot.”
Clear Channel Radio
A total of 170 survey respondents included
Favorable 12.9% agencies (24%), brand marketers (24%) and
consulting firms (18%). Twenty-five percent
Unfavorable 26.5% worked in packaged goods firms, 12% in media/
entertainment and nine percent in retail. A majority
Neutral 28.2% were senior-level executives with 78% reporting
Don’t Know 21.2% more than ten years of experience in marketing.
No opinion 11.2% Survey Results:
september/october 2009 tHe HUb 11
september/october 2009 tHe HUb
c A se s t UDY
e marketers spend a lot of time talking It’s a culture that says, “we care.” We care about
about this medium or that medium, our family, friends and business associates. We care
especially these days. In fact, it’s hard about public policy issues. We care about the brands
to go anywhere — either in business or we use. We care enough to show up every day — in
in personal life — without being asked some cases every five minutes — and speak our minds.
if you’re on Twitter and Facebook. The question is, do we, as marketers, care as
This is all great and certainly very exciting. But it much as our consumers? Certainly many of us do,
tends to skip over what matters most, and that is but just as certainly some care more than others.
creating a culture of shared values with our consumers. My point is that those companies that care the
As I look across the many Facebook fan pages and most — that have a culture of caring — are most likely
Twitter posts, I see huge potential to create the kind of to see the most success with social media.
communities promised by these new social media. It’s What is a culture of caring? I immediately think of
Burt’s Bees, the personal products company. At Burt’s,
a culture of caring permeates everything they do — in
At Burt’s Bees, fact, “we care” is their company’s mantra. Its culture
of caring encompasses its products, packaging and
a culture of caring is both facilities. It extends to its suppliers and, most important,
embraces its employees and ultimately its consumers.
the medium and the message. So extreme is the culture of caring at Burt’s Bees
that some might look at it and conclude that it is an
anomaly, a product of some crazy ‘60s hippie sensibility
that doesn’t pertain to many other companies. There’s
amazing to see the passion and excitement from so no denying the obvious countercultural roots at Burt’s
many consumers about the brands they love. Bees, but to dismiss it as radical to the point of
However, I also see a lot of old-school attempts irrelevant would be a mistake.
at fitting into this new kind of communication. I see True, Burt’s Bees may be different than your
Facebook fan pages that are really nothing more than company because it has a single product line, which
advertisements and Twitter posts that amount to might make it easier to build the kind of culture it
nothing more than 140-character promotions. has. But the fact is that every enterprise has a culture
This is obviously a huge missed opportunity of one kind or another — and a choice as to what kind
because as most of us well know, these new media are of culture that is.
about conversations, not commercials. This is nothing Like every other company, Burt’s Bees has values,
new — it’s part of internet culture, which has always a vision and a mission statement. It has goals and
been resistant to commercial interruptions. objectives, both long-term and short-term. It measures
It also suggests that many brands have more work its progress against those goals and objectives and
to do than they think when it comes to getting the offers employees incentives to achieve those goals.
most out of social media. Twitter and Facebook may It communicates with its shareholders, its
fade over time, or even go away, but the culture that employees and its consumers. It has an image and a
makes them so wildly popular is here to stay. marketing strategy to build its brand equity. In short,
12 tHe HUb september/october 2009
Merging Strategy and Culture
the framework of the company Cultural Social media is, in fact, a part of
is no different than that of any other the mix for Burt’s Bees, but they aren’t
company. In most ways, it’s a very
Way just jumping on it because it’s the latest
conventional company. cool thing. In many ways, it’s old hat for them.
The only difference is that it chooses The culture of social media — the
to care about certain things — like using openness, dialogue, creativity, the sense of
natural ingredients, minimizing its carbon caring — is an exact fit with the culture at Burt’s
footprint and not testing on animals, for instance. Bees, and at least generally the way it’s been from
Above all, it chooses to care about the wellbeing of its their beginning. Jim stresses that it’s a journey,
people, both those who work for the company as well though, and that getting things right is still very much
as those who purchase its products. a work in progress.
Burt’s Bees is also very clear and strong about But it’s paying off for Burt’s Bees, at least for now.
its choices, which has big implications for how it is For the most recent year reported, ending June, 2008,
perceived in the marketplace. I recently spoke with the company grew by 18 percent, while reducing its
Jim Geikie, General Manager, International, at Burt’s waste to landfill by 50% and energy consumption by
Bees, who said that it is the company’s clarity of seven percent.
purpose that defines the brand. Burt’s Bees lives and breathes a culture of caring,
“When you’re very clear about what you are and which naturally results in growth, even during this
aren’t, it ends up being a magnet for consumers and recession.
also employees who share those points of view,” he Now that’s something to Tweet about! By the way,
said. While Jim does not lead marketing, he observed you can follow me on Twittter, @WomanWise. n
that this changes the way Burt’s Bees communicates
from a marketing standpoint.
“It comes down to push marketing versus pull DORI MOLITOR is founder and ceo of
marketing,” he said. “We don’t push our marketing on WomanWise LLC (womanwise.com)
a Watersmolitor company, a hybrid
people. It’s all pull — public relations, point-of-sale in
consultancy-agency specializing in
the retail environment, product education and training marketing brands to women. Dori can be
on the web. We’ve started to do some print advertising reached at email@example.com
in the past year, but for the previous 25 years we hadn’t or (952) 797-5000.
done any. And no television.”
september/october 2009 tHe HUb 13
WHI t e pAper
Open Up! By Alex Do
l A n D o r A S S o c i At e S
pen source, open access, open standards, open architecture — all are part of why
so many have fallen in love with Facebook, Firefox, WordPress, and — I’ll say it
because everyone else is saying it — Twitter. They’re all flexible platforms, invite
user opinions, and enable co-development and co-creation to varying degrees.
The “open web” and its underlying set of Can brands be fluid, free-flowing, flexible, and
technologies have indeed made a big impact on how yet still consistently stand for something compelling,
we interact and engage with online properties, sites, differentiated, and relevant — the key tenets of a
social networks, and the like. strong brand as we know it?
Okay, “open” may be one of the most overused — Brands can and, in my opinion, should. And I
if not abused — buzzwords in the digital space right think consumers want to see brands open up and
alongside Web 2.0. But few would disagree that it want to participate more actively in user communities.
is a catalyst for changing the way businesses think Consumers today are more skeptical and less trusting
about soliciting feedback, understanding consumers, of corporate businesses and are hungry for personalized
interacting with users and prospects, collaborating on experiences.
innovation, and more. Inviting them into a community of like-minded
Let’s start with how “open” is defined for the individuals is a great way to regain their trust. In other
computer software field. From Wikipedia in June words, to resonate with today’s consumers, marketers
2009: “The source code and certain other rights can’t rely on the same old tricks.
normally reserved for copyright holders are provided This wouldn’t be an opinion-piece without a
to the public, which is permitted to use, change, public challenge, so I’m challenging the world’s
and improve the software, and to redistribute it leading brands to explore various degrees of
in modified or unmodified forms.” For a business, openness, and how it can offer a more valuable and
perhaps the proper angle from which to appreciate certainly more provocative platform for interactions,
“open” is either from a technology point of view — communications, and true relationship building.
what is feasible? Or from an economic point of Here is a series of what-if statements for you to
view — what is made easier, or more affordable? consider. (Note: “user” is defined in the broadest
But what about brands? How about an open sense — anyone who has any interaction with a brand,
brand? It’s hard to imagine how “open” could be but is not necessarily involved in a transaction.)
applied to the branding world, which is more about WHAT IF brands enabled users to modify a
centralized control, strict guidelines, and carefully brand, product or service, take it apart, put it back
crafted brand communications — far from open. together in unexpected ways, and offer it back up for
The challenge for marketers is negotiating public consumption?
the battle between two important and competing WHAT IF brands provided for those possibilities
advantages: control (traditional methods) and above and balanced them with some guardrails — a
customer participation (open methods). baseline of parameters, controls, limitations to
14 tHe HUb september/october 2009
Are you up for the challenge of open branding?
account for taste levels, cultural nuances, biases? web brands are doing this well: Web 2.0 brands like
WHAT IF brands enabled users to create their Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.com, and open-source
own future, describe what cannot be seen, and brands like Linux and Mozilla. And both seem to
encouraged them to be active innovators? be more successful and faster growing than their
WHAT IF brands truly (and I mean, truly) traditional web competitors.
welcomed what users had to say beyond feedback Going forward, marketers need to focus less on
and suggestions, openly inviting user opinions and who’s in control and more on (1) ways to invite users
committing to implementing viable user ideas? into a meaningful experience and (2) ways to engage
WHAT IF brands respected people and their community interactions. But how to do this is the
identities outside of their domain? Said differently, challenge.
what if you “owned” your profile on Facebook, what While open-source brands and Web 2.0 properties
if you “owned” the rights to your user credentials on are inclined to facilitate user communities by the very
Gmail, and what if you controlled your profile as a nature of their business models, other companies,
Safeway Club cardholder? such as consumer packaged goods, e-commerce,
media/entertainment, and manufacturing, find it
th e ne w Rol e foR MaRketeRs more of a challenge to figure out how to build a
Digital has changed marketing and branding, community of users.
period. The role of the brand manager has changed,
and the role of the brand has changed even more a new BRand Model
dramatically. Gone are the days when marketers tried There is no single model for an open brand. A
to obsess over and micromanage outbound messages company’s approach to open branding should be
in attempts to control perceptions. based on its business model, market strategy, and its
Today, to keep pace with consumers, many customers’ appetite for community engagement. Here
successful brand managers have shifted the way they are a few common approaches that can be found in the
engage with consumers — from acting as manager marketplace today, though certainly many others exist.
to becoming a facilitator. They see that consumers
Open to ideas: Soliciting feedback about existing
welcome a world, more specifically a “community,”
products and services or improvements (future
of participation, co-creation, and constant
scenarios). For example, Starbucks launched its
dialogue — and this is the way of the future.
Mystarbucksidea.com site as a virtual suggestion box
For brands to facilitate a community of users
effectively, it is imperative that companies open
Users can submit ideas to the Starbucks team but
themselves up. By that I mean companies need to
also make their submissions viewable by the community
encourage users to be more actively involved in their
of users. Community members get to rate submissions
business activities — whether helping ideate future
so the best ideas rise to the top; it’s then Starbucks’
offerings, evolve existing ones, or provide feedback
job to ensure top suggestions get implemented.
across the board.
In many ways, this is a democratic way of
The key to success is understanding your core
innovation and business improvement and has a
users and then arming them with the tools they need
direct impact on brand perceptions. Most important,
to be active. One of the biggest benefits of building
it’s a way for companies to listen to the voice of
a community is that you’ll gain a considerable
amount of customer intelligence — from feedback and
➜ Good for companies that are set up to implement
observed patterns in user behavior to a stockpile of
changes and improvements quickly and cost-effectively.
user-generated content and insights.
In fact, some brands have successfully managed Open for me: Providing tools for personalization
to integrate their consumers into their business and customization (remixability, open architecture).
strategies and activities. No surprise, two types of For example, the NikeiD program has given online
september/october 2009 tHe HUb 15
An Open Exchange
recently wrote an entry on Landor’s blog titled gain and increased brand equity. I don’t feel like they
“open branding” (www.landor.com/?do=thinking. reALLY care about their consumers’ opinions, except
blog). In it, I discussed how open a brand could where they can boost the bottom line.
be and how effectively a company could integrate
In the service of full disclosure, I must admit this
customers into its key business activities.
is a skepticism born of being a designer and design
my blog post, similar to this article, encouraged com- strategist and thus part of the industry that creates
panies of all sizes across various industries, to explore these open, faux-public-embracing brands.
what it would be like to be an open brand. truthfully,
business is business, and capitalists want to make
the picture that I painted was utopian and could be
money—but I keep getting this sneaking feeling that
somewhat difficult for most brands and businesses to put
if they “get their hands on” the lovely idealism of
in place. readers of my blog echoed similar sentiments.
open source ideology, they’ll pollute and ruin it.
We’re in an exciting and perhaps time-limited period
n Aaron Templer. this is contextual, no? Great where the people have the power. open source ideas
thoughts for some business models and under some are vibrant and pushing technology and thought in all
strategic contexts, but certainly not all. the first sorts of great directions—and for the most part, it’s
example of this that comes to my mind is a law going so far because it’s a labor of love for the people
firm. opening a brand like that could open doors of involved. I really worry about mixing this with the
misconstrued as solicitation or legal advice proffered ulterior motives inherent in old-school, traditional
from the firm, which could put them out of business. business and branding. Just makes me nervous.
but great thoughts for a thursday morning!
n @ryanmilani. Great overview of the open culture
n Annie Smidt. When it’s a brand, I suspect use of we’re moving into. I’d also throw open Government
“open” paradigms as attempts to sell more rather than into the mix as well. It’s interesting to see how people
playing fair in a give and take exchange. When a sneaker talk about brands and how brands are each uniquely
company lets you “design your own” shoe or a company adjusting to the open culture.
/brand twitters or facebooks to solicit ideas and
We’ve built a twitter app called openbrands.org that
feedback from customers and potential customers, I
funnels conversations around brands into channels. If
don’t get the same warm fuzzy feeling that accompanies
you’re reading this, then you might find it interesting.
interacting with individuals (not brands or companies)
who blog or tweet or release open source software . . . .
because they are passionate and authentic.
my simple response to these comments is that I
I feel like, for the most part, companies that open up, agree. It’s a big challenge for all brands out there.
and even allow some consumer-driven morphing of but, I’d argue that for most companies, the benefits
their brand, are just doing it for, ultimately, financial are too compelling to ignore.
shoppers a way to personalize their athletic sneakers. IBM ThinkPlace is a site where customers
At the end of the day, it’s still a pair of Nikes, but (external to the organization) can generate new ideas,
customers can take pride in some customizations that whereas IBM Innovation Jam is a destination for
they’ve made with their purchases. employees to participate in the innovation process,
➜ Good for companies that are willing to modify irrespective of their roles in the organization.
existing products and services in a modular way. ➜ Good for companies that have a structure in
place for taking new ideas from a wide range of sources
Open to collaboration: Inviting users in to help
and seeding them for further consideration.
reveal new product or service opportunities (co-
creation). For example, IBM has two programs in Building on open: Enabling a platform for users
place that invite users into the innovation and ideation to drive content creation (prosumer/crowdsourcing).
process early on in product development — where ideas For example, Lego Mindstorms is a community built
are still half-baked, even before a plan is put into place. around creation — that is, the creation of robots.
16 tHe HUb september/october 2009
It encourages its users, either individually or in monetization, increased efficiencies, higher
groups, to create the smartest, strongest, and most engagement, etc.?
advanced Lego robot ever. And, it’s less involvement
5. Put into operation your strategy and approach
than you might think; the innovation can occur in
(e.g., get management buy-in, define key program
less than 30 minutes.
and support teams, document processes).
➜ Good for companies with high market-share
and few competitors that compete directly with existing 6. Manage internal adoption, processes, and risks.
product lines or service offerings.
7. Create tools for communities to use as they
Open book: Being transparent, as much as participate in the brand-building process (e.g.,
appropriate, with business plans, processes, and enable feedback to be easily submitted, enable
operations. For example, American Apparel has well customized experiences, provide content and
documented details of its operations and business widgets).
matters on its site — the good, bad, and not-so-American.
8. Use the technology, channels, social media
American Apparel provides a glimpse into its
outlets, and custom-built online environments
manufacturing plants, highlights highly debated
that are right for your approach.
topics such as immigration hiring practices, expresses
its point of view on gay rights, and more. It even 9. Facilitate your community and its ongoing
includes links to bad press and offers its own dialogue, which takes significant investment
perspective. For the most part, it’s an unfiltered and and commitment (e.g., start conversations and
unapologetic look inside the company. facilitate the participation and content, both user-
➜ Good for companies that are highly visible in generated and brand-driven).
the marketplace and constantly under the microscope. 10. Track, manage, refine, and continue to keep it
A good way to beat the press, potential critics, and fresh and lively (listen and learn).
speculators to the punch. Also, a great way to connect
th e Ch a l l e nge
te n st e p s to an open BRand Businesses need to focus on ways to facilitate
the right dialogue and interactions with users to
If you’ve got an experienced team, a solid budget,
drive business value. If brand managers can focus on
and an appetite for innovation, you can create an
developing tools to involve consumers in key business
open branding program that engages your customers
activities instead of focusing on more traditional
in an entirely new way.
marketing methods, they will be rewarded with an
Be aware that implementing an open branding
active community of fans and evangelists.
initiative as a standalone project — without mandate,
Open branding programs can be the platform for
without clear corporate vision, and without a
this community building — and enable brands to truly
well-defined strategy — will often lead to wasted
engage with their best customers.
investments and resources.
Most important, if a brand is able to establish a
Here are ten basic and cost-effective steps to get
community that draws in users time and time again, it
started — building on existing tools and established
has succeeded in creating the ultimate platform for
driving loyalty. And what brand can do without loyalty?
1. Crystallize your brand positioning and promise Of course, I’m “open” to thoughts and comments! n
(at Landor, we call this the Brand Driver).
2. Get to know the community you want to interact
with — who are your supporters and contributors, ALEx DO is digital branding director
in the san Francisco office of Landor
your influencers, employees, engaged consumers?
Associates, responsible for building
3. Agree on an approach to open branding that brand-led digital strategies for companies
makes sense for your business. including Accenture, Yahoo!, microsoft,
and expedia. He can be reached at
4. Align strategies and objectives back to your firstname.lastname@example.org.
business model — is your program about
september/october 2009 tHe HUb 17
WHI t e pAper
ithout a doubt, the two hottest subjects because it placed a quality, online brand message, along
in marketing today are digital media with related content, in front of consumers at exactly
and shopper marketing. The question the right time. In many ways, these were the first
is, how can we best combine the two online shopper-marketing executions — circa 2001.
to drive awareness, trial and shopper engagement in It was powerful stuff, because it gave the
advance of the retail store visit? packaged-goods brands a leg up in the online shopper
It’s really not a new question. In fact, I’ve been marketing space when nobody else was sharing digital
working on answering it for both retailers and packaged- content with channel partners. For example, perhaps
goods brands for more than ten years. My passion for a consumer might not click a link to a box of cereal,
online began in 1998, when consumer packaged-goods but they certainly would click a link for useful recipes
companies were building their first brand websites and content about how to be a great parent and give
and still deciding whether they should put brand your kids a fast, nutritious breakfast — sponsored by
website URLs on their packaging. General Mills’ Box Tops for Education.
When it comes to online media, even the world’s
most powerful brands must wrap themselves around
Walmart sets the relevant insights and contextual content. Maybe
consumers aren’t interested in having a “relationship”
standard for engaging with dry cereal, but when Mills added the Box Tops
for Education wrapper, it shifted that perspective.
consumers online. wa l M a R t : “ i n s t o R e s n o w ”
Since those early days, I’ve worked with retailers
The problem was, even though we built great all across the country to develop this concept to its
websites full of interesting and relevant consumer maximum potential for them and their packaged-
content, the sites received little traffic. Brands simply goods partners. My first big client, starting about five
did not know how to get shoppers to their sites. years ago, was Walmart.
This was about the time that chief marketing Walmart.com’s goal was to reach their customers
officers started questioning the return-on-investment before they got to the store. This made sense for
of their early forays into online marketing, and began two reasons: 1) Shoppers were visiting the Walmart
folding standalone “internet groups” back into core website to do research before their shopping trip —
brand-manager responsibilities. yes, even for CPG brands; and 2) Walmart saw their
For me, the turning point came in 2001. That’s site as a shopper marketing and communication
when I began working with leading-edge retailers vehicle as well as an e-commerce site. They are
like HEB.com and Walmart.com to syndicate branded smart multi-channel marketers and turned
content (recipes, health tips/tools, seasonal articles, consumer insight into action.
and so forth), sponsored by packaged-goods companies, Today, Walmart.com has evolved into a leading
onto their sites. e-commerce site that offers all the necessary features
Retailers liked this because it made their websites for media agencies to consider it as a true media
“stickier” and added functionality. Brands liked it property.
18 tHe HUb september/october 2009
They have set the gold standard by acting like a
publisher, and making it worthwhile for a brand or Retailers as Publishers
media agency to invest real marketing dollars in retail
media (see sidebar). To deliver a quality media experience,
The Walmart site offers brands an opportunity retailers need to act like publishers.
to reach consumers with video, interactivity, n Use IAb standard ad placements.
downloads, links back to their websites, free samples
and sponsored content. This content is featured on n Allow use of national campaign creative.
the homepage, via a link called “In Stores Now,” and
n Use rich media options (Flash and video).
promoted in every email. Brand banners are targeted
by department and by category. n Feature brand ads above the fold.
Pages are also optimized for search-engine visibility:
n execute ads via a mainstream ad-serving tool
Try Googling “free samples” — the Walmart.com
online sampling program comes up number two or
three in the organic listings. n provide as much ability to target as possible.
As a result, click-through rates are five- to
n provide the advertiser data on site consumer
20-times the national display advertising average.
demographics and behavior.
Brand message engagement time as measured by time
spent on the brand experience pages measures more n Deliver a full metrics report after each
than 1.3 minutes. That kind of brand engagement campaign.
would be hard to match in the store. n price options competitively.
With some creative thinking, new possibilities
emerge. Why not feature laundry tips next to major n provide sponsorship opportunities where
appliances, sponsored by a laundry detergent brand? brands can “wrap” themselves around an
activity (e.g., home decorating), a recurring
That’s actually already happening: See the Tide
event (e.g., back to school), a health issue
partnership in the washer and dryer department on (e.g., diabetes) or a seasonal hub (e.g.,
You can also find “how to video” libraries on
CVS.com’s “CVS Today” hub — engaging consumers
on topics from beauty to health to holiday decorating.
It all comes down to a clear definition of your shopper Shopper marketing, brand marketing and media
and what is likely to be most helpful or engaging. teams need to create multi-channel, online media
The future for retail online media certainly is experiences that can extend their national brand
bright. A recent study by comScore, in partnership campaigns onto their channel partners’ sites with
with dunnhumbyUSA, on the effectiveness of online impact, efficiency and metrics reporting.
advertising in building retail sales of consumer Retailers are just beginning to understand
packaged-goods brands, highlights the opportunity. what they need to do to offer a high quality shopper
According to this study, which was conducted marketing experience online. They are making the
over a 12-week period, “online ad campaigns with an commitment and getting great results. Said another
average reach of 40 percent of their target segment way, it’s the promise of shopper marketing — a better
grew retail sales of advertised brands by an average shopping experience — online. n
of nine percent. This compares to an average lift
of eight percent for TV advertising as measured by
Information Resources, Inc.” GREG MURTAGH is ceo of Triad Digital
Media, an Inc. 500 company that
Bill Pearce, senior vice-president and chief
manages and operates online media
marketing officer of Del Monte Foods, is optimistic
programs for retailers including Walmart,
about these findings: “These are precisely the types cVs, sam’s club, Dell and bestbuy. Greg
of persuasive studies we are looking for at Del Monte can be reached at (813) 286-6586 or
as digital plays an increasing role in our marketing email@example.com.
strategy,” he says.
september/october 2009 tHe HUb 19