Social Media: Adversaries, Ambassadors

Us vs them is one of the oldest, and most powerful marketing ideas. Apple is a quintessential example: from their beginnings they’ve portrayed themselves as the small guy against the big powerful bully. In 1983 it was IBM and more recently its been Microsoft. The company turns customers into evangelists who are more than happy to spread the word about the good fight, but how exactly does it work?


Starbucks Gets Its Business Brewing Again With Social Media ambassadors
Starbucks posted its first U.S. same-store sales gain in two years for the last quarter during a time when the company relied on digital and social-media promotions instead of what had become an annual TV blitz. The chain partnered with Pandora to sponsor holiday playlists, staged a Facebook sing-a-long and leveraged its partnership with Project RED to drive traffic to a dedicated microsite — and its stores, offering a free CD with a $15 purchase.

Photo Credit: Ivan Marquez

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Twitter for Agency RFP

After splitting with JWT last year, JetBlue is searching for a new agency of record (AOR). Said VP-Marketing Marty St. George, “We’re pitching our advertising AOR. Curious on digital savvy …first test is how many of the agencies will find me on Twitter.” He also hashtagged it #sneaky. St George – who can be followed at @martysg – is an MIT grad that has been at JetBlue since 2006.
JetBlue’s marketing strategy has relied heavily on the web and social media in the past few years; using Twitter as a customer service tool (with over 1.6 million followers), Flickr to humanize the brand, and YouTube to inform and engage with customers. The airline made Ad Age’s America’s Hottest Brands list in 2009, and is recognized as a progressive marketer.
Maybe Marty is doing this to make a defining gesture about JetBlue and the pitch (good on ‘im) but I personally really don’t see how finding someone on Twitter indicates digital-savvy … I think my longwinded friend Jaffe concurs …

CMO 2.0 Interview with Marty St. George, CMO at JetBlue (socialmediatoday.com)
CMO 2.0 Conversation- How Jet Blue Won The JD Power Award (thecustomercollective.com)

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CPG: Campbell’s Neuromarketing, General Mills Kneejerk

General Mills spelled out its recipe for profitable growth: Hispanics, baby boomers and millennials. In a cliched and reactionary-sounding move, the Minneapolis package-food company revealed products and marketing plans designed specifically for those segments at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York conference this morning.
“We think our categories and our brands are well-positioned for strong future growth because they are on trend with the evolving consumer needs,” said Ian Friendly, chief operating officer and exec VP-U.S. retail. “We’re anticipating a rise in multicultural consumers, particularly Hispanics, plus a growing number of aging baby boomers and the emergence of millennials as the next generation with significant influence in the marketplace.” General Mills also has its eye on U.S. Census data — and is therefore aware that the Hispanic market will be driving 53% of the population growth between now and 2015.
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Brands Giving Back: Pepsi, McDonalds

Instead of spending millions on commercials for this year’s game, Pepsi is putting its cash in the Refresh Project, an online cause marketing campaign that asks readers how the company should give away its grant money.


McDonald’s: Monopoly Free Parking
To celebrate the return of Monopoly at McDonald’s, Cossette, Vancouver brought the game’s Free Parking to the real world, providing free spots for 1,500 cars daily in various lots throughout Western Canada.

Related:

Pepsi Decides to Use the NFL a Different Way (marketingpilgrim.com)
Social Marketing Gone Awry: Pepsi Refresh Needs To Refresh Its Security Settings (techcrunch.com)

Pepsi kicks Super Bowl and goes social (tomaltman.com)
Pepsi’s Social Marketing Campaign Stumbles Out of the Gate (seekingalpha.com)

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OK, so maybe digital agencies *are* able to lead …

I have penned (rather, copied and pasted) a few lines on this topic before … now I notice yet another article about whether Digital shops are ready to take lead agency /AoR positions for clients. This time AdWeek‘s Brian Morrissey chips in, saying that “Web Shops Go From Underdogs to Top Dogs”.

“While digital shops have fared better than their traditional counterparts in recent years, a hot-button question points to their still-debated status: Can these agencies move beyond their primary role of tech jockeys to become leaders of brand strategy? R/GA has attacked this question head on by winning lead agency assignments from Ameriprise Financial as its lead shop. Such assignments are still the exception to the rule. Yet the general expectation is that the number of these jobs will increase, particularly as digital initiatives become core not only as marketing channels, but as internal drivers of innovation.”

Well, a couple of things…

1. Does it make sense these days to differentiate digital and traditional shops (except by heritage)?

2. The brain drain from formerly-traditional agencies to formerly-internet-advertising agencies means that most of the smart money/ people are moving to the “digital” side. I think this thought-leadership migration will only continue.

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Crowdsourcing: Coke, Financial Review

Expedition 206 is a global program that has a presence on many social media marketing platforms. Coke used crowdsourcing to enable all of their consumers to vote on which team will travel the world for a year in search of what makes people happy. It’s a program that will be completely socially enabled. The team will blog, shoot video, conduct interviews and participate in events. Voting concluded and the three-person team of “Happiness Ambassadors” was announced online on November 16. The trip begins in January 2010.
To build buzz for next year’s ad campaign, The Australian Financial Review recently used a competition to crowdsource ad copy from readers. Dubbed Write Our Next Ad, the brief was for a short, sharp, clever ad that would resonate with the audience and promote the benefits of regular readership, while reflecting the brand’s focus on leadership, strength and inspiration.
Nicola Davies shares her thoughts on the matter …
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New Rules: Apple, Luxury

If thinking about altering a wildly successful business sounds a bit contrary to you, in “We Should All Get It Wrong Like Apple,” Jonathan Weber points out that Apple does none of the things that pundits always say you should do to succeed in the Internet economy. No blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, free samples, asking for feedback or engaging with the customer base for the sages from Cupertino. Why, they even do a heck of a lot of advertising in the dead-tree mediums, as well as broadcast TV and billboards. What lessons are to be learned? 1. It’s all about good product. 2. Brand marketing still matters. 3. Real-time engagement with customers is not a required course of action.
Instead of the marketing status quo, Bastien we has proposed the “anti-laws of marketing”: 18 axioms that include: raise your prices to increase demand; advertising does not aim at selling; and – most importantly – do not pander to consumers’ wishes.
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