How to make better advertising and advertising better

There’s a small creative agency in London called Sell! Sell! The agency is run by Vic Polkinghorne and Andy Palmer and they’ve co-written a potentially interesting new book called ‘How to make better advertising and advertising better‘. This new book shouldn’t be confused with the equally new book ‘Stop Advertising, Start Branding‘ which was written by me.

But I think there will be some similarities between both books because neither of us are happy with the state of advertising today. Here’s a quote from the Sell! Sell! website. “And the poor old punter is left faced with advertising that is at best forgettable, and at worst insulting to the intelligence. Surely there’s a better way?”

Now what we think that better way is may be different. So I’ve ordered a copy and will let you know whether it is and what I think of the book. In the meantime, I have read some interesting reviews online and you can read one of them at the creative review website that is already generating some fascinating comments.

 

Make it better or bin it
Make it better or bin it

The book has also garnered some interesting testimonials including “This book is full of common sense. Which is rare, so it’s actually full of uncommon sense.” Dave Trott.

And this one from Bob Hoffman “The ad industry is in an unprecedented state of confusion. While the assertions and pomposity grow majestically, the advertising itself diminishes rapidly. Sadly there is no button we can push that will erase all the arrogance and self-delusion. Fortunately we have this book. It might be just the reset button we all need.”

I’m looking forward to getting my copy.

 

 

 

Social Media in action – a case study

For whatever reason, a guy in the UK called Richard Neill posted a comment on the Facebook page of Bodyform, the manufacturer of female hygiene product Maxipad.

Richard complained that Bodyform had lied to him through their advertising. Apparently Richard watched Bodyform commercials on a regular basis as a child and young man and couldn’t wait to get his first girlfriend to experience all the wonderful experiences shown in the commercials.

Alas it wasn’t as portrayed and he took it out on the company on their Facebook page. You can read his short rant here. The comment has so far got over 100,000 likes and nearly 5,000 people took time to post a comment.

Bodyform could have left the story to fizzle out but they decided to respond with a clever video that featured an actress in the role of CEO Caroline Williams who apologized to Richard and went on to say that they needed to protect men.

The video has received nearly 5 million views and over 8,000 likes.

There is a lot of chat online about how good was the response from Bodyform. What do you think? Did the company do the right thing? Was the content right? Were they right to use an actress or should the real CEO have engaged Richard? Was it just a bit of fun between a company and a consumer?

Personally I think it was a clever use of social media by the company and reflects how to engage consumers on a more personal level. The company has engaged with the writer, and the millions of people who have dropped by to see what all the fuss is about in a like minded way. No airs and graces, confident and light hearted. My only minor criticsm is that the real CEO should have presented the video.

Of course the major question now is “How can the company leverage its new position in the minds of consumers?”

Stop advertising and start branding part II

A fascinating insight into the social media and mobile shopping habits of consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore has just been released by SDL in the UK.

The survey size is a little small – 4,000 people in four countries – but the results unearth new data on how social media and mobile are influencing how consumers interact and build relations with brands.

Singapore participant breakdown
Singapore participant breakdown

Findings include:

33% of respondents from all four countries have acted on promotions seen on social media.

58% of respondents have shared positive experiences online and have sought advice from friends and family when talking about brands on social media.

U.K. respondents are more likely than respondents from the other four countries to complain about service on social.

When respondents express feedback, Facebook is the most popular platform to do this.

Showrooming (visiting a physical location to evaluate products and services even when you know you will buy online at another time) is increasingly prevalent as 77% of participants showroom.

Experiential branding key to branding success
Experiential branding key to branding success

62% of the participants use a mobile device when in stores to compare product prices.

69% of respondents from all four countries expect a brand’s online store, mobile app, and physical store to offer the same pricing, discounts and sales.

Pricing consistency is expected in all countries
Pricing consistency is expected in all countries

What can brands learn from this thought provoking survey?

They need to understand their relationship with consumers and what resonates with those consumers.

Brands that ensure parity in pricing and products across multiple channels will have to place greater emphasis on the customer experience and experiential branding if they want to win and retain business. Those that compete on price alone will soon be out of business.

Department stores and other retail outlets that represent multiple brands will have to work harder to engage consumers and ensure a positive brand experience otherwise they face the prospect of losing customers, possibly forever.

Mobiles are changing the way consumers research and learn about brands.

Brands that take the time to build relationships with core fans or brand evangelists will see their brands promoted to thousands of fans for minimal financial investment.

Those brands with digital brand strategies that go beyond tactical campaigns online are increasing sales through loyalty and advocacy.

Brands that try to control content and manage corporate driven messages and ignore consumers are unlikely to last very long in the consumer economy of today.

Telling the brand story online should be done across Facebook and other popular platforms with the ongoing development of corporate and consumer content.

What’s happening in social marketing in 2013

As the advertising agency driven ‘big idea’ developed to push out a corporate controlled message continues to lose steam, social media and multiple new platforms, devices and applications mean that marketers have less control over the brand. Indeed, as consumers not companies now define brands, those marketers need to learn how to engage consumers on an ongoing basis.

This will be driven by content development and engagement across social media and digital mobile marketing.

This infographic from dotcominfoway suggests the most likely tools and technologies that will most influence the digital marketing landscape in 2013.

4 Digital trends moving forward
4 Digital trends moving forward

What do you think?

What is Social Business

We’re involved in the development of the Asean Social Business Summit to be held in Kuala Lumpur in May 2013. You can read more about the event here and visit the official site here

But there is a lot of confusion over what is and what isn’t social business. Social Business refers to enterprise collaboration & innovation that uses social technologies to boost corporate, customer and social value. Social Business does NOT refer to social marketing (PR) or social entrepreneurship (helping rural businesses).

This video argues businesses are still stuck in the Industrial Revolution and need to change and change fast. Importantly, it goes some way to explaining what is social business

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