What can the father of Mad Men advertising teach us about Social Media success?

I came across a blog on the Masterful Marketing success of David Ogilvy this morning and while reading began to ponder on how much of his “great marketing” lessons are still relevant to social media marketing today…

madmen_twitter

Here are the 5 big take away lessons from David Ogilvy as listed in the blog.  Below I attempt to put them within the framework of Social Media Marketing and to update them accordingly…

1. “Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea.”

Social media is not a campaign — although you can create a campaign when executing your social media and while good ideas about content and the “market conversation” are still vital — more important is the conversation that allows for the “audience” to participate and the opportunity to promote them.  No longer is it just about your “big idea”, smart marketers today focus on building relationships first.

2. “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” 

Business in 2013 is the “end of  business as usual” — Brian Solis has shown us that. Businesses in Canada are in the bubble of a very old mindset, one that is risk adverse and complacent after having 100 years of resource based commodities fueling it. The only ones that are selling anything new are those consultants and marketers who have embraced social media and see a future where unless Canadian businesses become more human they are destined to become obsolete in the next decade. Canadian businesses are going to miss the opportunity to connect with their audience who being online have options to connect with global competitors, like our American cousins, who are focused on building social media relationships at all costs.

3. “I abhor advertising that is blatant, dull, or dishonest. Agencies which transgress this principle are not widely respected.”

In today’s market place the agencies still have control over much of the advertising space as together they and the larger businesses continue to support old school marketing and advertising campaigns. Small and medium enterprises, for the most part, have their heads in the sands and are trying to ignore social media in hopes that it will to away…

4. “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”

I wish all the advertising agencies in Canada would print this out and pin it on their walls. Most are still painfully ignorant about social media preferring to service the status quo with the tried and true ways of doing marketing — totally missing the reality that the “progressive” consumer has moved on and they are now just shouting at Dumb and Dumber with their one way mass media tactics.

5. “If we hire people who are smaller than we are, we will become a company of dwarfs. If we hire people who are larger than we are, we’ll become a company of giants.”
Amen. Don’t even get me started on the companies of dwarfs that populate the Canadian business landscape. Oh for the days of Giants. Even finding a business leader who has vision is rare. I am so grateful to my clients who have dared to have me activate their  social media and enrich their business!

Yes, the world has changed thanks to Web 2.0 and Social Media. Thank God, for Facebook and Twitter, as the world of business will never be the same.

Social Media is Innovative Marketing that Adds Great Value to your Business

Part of my role as as Social Media specialist is to curate content for my clients and myself. I look at a lot of content every day — some of it on social media and some of it on business. I am always searching for the common ground between the two.

Because I come from over a decade of  Sales experience in Toronto I love to read about sales and see how it relates to Social Media. In fact, I used to make the claim that having a person who knows about sales manage your social media was an real advantage and still believe that social media that incorporates both sales and marketing insights will be all the stronger for it.

A blog caught my attention this weekend with a quote from Peter Drucker and his approach to business. It quoted him saying

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

I had never read this quote of his before and was blown away how he says that marketing and innovation create RESULTS, all the rest is costs and  by the last line in which he states that Marketing “is the distinguishing unique function of business”

Recently I burned through yet another client who decided that “social media” was just not that important and so they decided to terminate my contract. Why? Because I have the that attitude, when I take on a new client that they had better make a commitment to their social media for at least one year or I don’t even want to get started with them. This particular client began to question the value I was working to create and my attitude, after one month of managing their social media. It was barely time to let the ink dry on the contract, get their accounts set up, determine the tone of their market conversation and find the content that was engaging!

Ironically the client was a technology start up out of Calgary that began with no perceived need for marketing whatsoever!  They quickly found out that they would have to have a marketing person on board and a plan in place or “investors” would not even talk to them. So they hired an “old Media” marketing person who knew nothing about the new “social media” stuff. A smart move for a business model that relies on online subscriptions for sales revenue…

Don’t even get me started on how it all played out after they hired me on a short term contract. All I can say is that their marketing manager was hoping that social media might be a silver bullet to drive traffic to their site –overnight —-as they were unable to get even 10 hits to their site in a month after trying some old media marketing tactics. Of course I told them from the start that it would take time to build the value that would generate sales online. I am not going to go into the details but I was all over a month after I started — because their fearless leader thought it would be smarter to invest their assets elsewhere and cut the social media “expense” entirely…

Change

Which brings me back to the quote by Drucker. He says that it is either one or the other to create results and SALES. You either Innovate or you Market. Preferably you do both. If you are not innovating — then you better be creating value for your product or service through marketing! Since very few Canadian businesses that I have dealt with actually innovate —  most copy the US market or their Canadian competition and on top of that, as a rule, they don’t market much either, I often wonder how they hope to compete for the consumer’s dollar and attention in the days to come. Even if they do marketing– it tends to be all old media stuff — that one way push marketing aimed at an audience that has for the most part, tuned out and moved on to social networks, preferring a new type conversation, a type of marketing that allows them to “interact” and communicate with a brand or company that they are interested it. On top of it all since so many Canadian small and medium sized businesses are short sighted and risk adverse, they are, as a rule, not about to innovate with respect to their marketing strategy.  Embracing and then focusing on mastery of social media is for the most part non existent.

By its nature social media is innovative. It is a new medium that allows those who are creative communicators to easily innovate and hence, to add value to a business in a way that they have never been able to do before.  That in itself, one would think, would be reason enough to give it a concerted effort to push forward.

Clearly most Canadian business owners are not reading Peter Drucker. I am not sure they are reading thought leaders on business intelligence and instead have become terribly complacent — asleep at the wheel of a big oil rig — thinking that the Canadian resource based economy will carry us into a sustainable future on a planet that is, in fact, currently dominated by technology innovations in internet communications. We have seem more social, political and economic change over the past decade as a result of the internet and Web 2.0 then in we saw in the last 100 years and yet Canadian business thinks that everything will remain the same when it comes to the ways in which they can create value for a potential client and then, for their bottom line.

The status quo that make up the majority of Canadian Business owners, especially in Alberta – don’t like to think about the idea of using disruptive marketing like social media to add more compelling value. Take out the word “compelling” and replace it with the social media buzz word, that means about the same thing , the word “engaging”. If you know anything about social media you know where I am heading with this one. A word of caution to all business owners who decide to stop their social media before it even  a chance to enrich your business. What is the real COST of stalling your chances of sustainable growth through new sales revenue via online marketing in 2013?

Re-Imagine. The Power of the Personal Brand.

Let me begin by saying that I love the new WordPress blog interface that I accessed via the new home page. Sweet. Looks and feels alot like Tumblr and yet I am glad I do not have to post only in that totally crazy mad world of the Creatives – I can still remain respectable and hire-able by posting to Word Press. 🙂 Thanks WordPress for being cool and creative and for still seeing the creative writing on the wall!

It has been a busy summer. mostly doing websites and managing some social media properties. As of late I have been away on yet another one of those client journey’s. It was the classic scenario. To begin they love that I am so creative and want to know what I think—even went so far to claim that they are “obsessed” by me. Not a good sign as obsession leads no good… but hey for the first few weeks I felt like I had just won a shot at the Olympic good metal round in Fencing, my favorite sport, and that someone was actually listening to what I had to say!  Then suddenly the honey moon was over and I am assigned to what feels like the position of “employee” as all my creative ideas are swiftly, with no explanation, swept under the carpet and we return to BUSINESS AS USUAL — even though we have not signed anything to that effect and I have from the start been no other then what my Twitter Profile states.

In an effort to cheer myself up I set about to read some good inspirational stuff on my iPad about what I do best  –which is communications. Early this am I came across a post that lead to an app for a guy who claims to be a MEDIA Futurist. Excited not so much by what he had to say, I am sure I have heard it all before after all I have been in this game for a hell of a long time now, both on the technology, creative and sales side and adore McLuhan but rather by the his method of engaging me I proceed to the Apple Store for a download. For me McLuhan, is still my main media man for 100 years after his birth he is one of the few intellectuals who gave credit to artists saying “I learnt everything I know from the Poets and the Painters”.   AMEN.

Anyhow, I downloaded Gerd’s app onto my ipad so I could experience my first personal brand app, that was the coolest part and I made mental note to blog about it later as it had the same mind blowing effect as a good cranial adjustment — waking up some nerve endings which have fallen asleep in the race to please offer appeasement.

So the guy is named Gerd Leonard — not an American as one would expect but a European – as all white people are anyhow…..a German actually – who lives in Europe, who of course, lived for some time in the United States and advocates – god forbid, some green solutions– probably a fan of that guy who wrote the book called The Solar Economy back in the day.  Thankfully, in the video I watch on my ipad app Gerd talks only about Media Ecology so I don’t have to worry about the thought police knocking at my door…

Alas I am trapped in Canada, a nation of bean counters, who simple don’t get what it is to be Creative when it comes to business —-even though they do try on occasion, which typically means paying lip service to some tired old ad agency in Toronto who still advocates a mix of media even as Gerd speaks to me via his personal app loaded onto my ipad in a You Tube Video posted at his channel about “The Future of Technology”.  He is cool school and apparently advises large fortune 500’s in Europe about change and employs 25 “Change Agents”. While I do feel a connection with him thanks to social media my ipad craps out half way through his talk due to a bad Bell connection.  While feeling uplifted I am quickly forced to go back to the reality of the day, one spent in a country where the dominant network does not know the works of Marshall McLuhan little lone some dude named Gerd who has his own ipad app and recommend that we all  “RE-IMAGINE”. One can only re-imagine what that means for the Future of Canada,eh?

UPDATE: Just went to like Gerd on FB and see that three of my Facebook Friends also like him. Surprise, one is Canadian – Don Tapscott, whose own writings are greatly influenced by McLuhan.

How Web 2.0’s Ceaseless Image Stream Is Changing the Way We See, Create, and Communicate – ARTINFO.com

Via Scoop.itMILE HIGH Social Media

“Life in the stream of images has its advantages”…writes the author of this linked blog…   “The current pace of visual transmission online is such that trading pictures has become a form of real-time conversation, a dialogue in which the aggregate exchange is more important than any single component or any individual image”   The linked blog is a great in depth article on the effect of the new way of consuming images. This change in how we percieve images is occuring at the same time as legal battles on copyright and appropriation of images by artists, photographers, curators and galleries continue in the courts. It raises the question of how relevant those are if we no longer spend any length of time contemplating a single image but are, rather are immersed in a stream of images…What do you think? When as the last you fell in love with a single image and wanted to purchase it to hang on your wall? The best most artists can hope for is that their image will be shared and at the end of the day is that not the role that “galleries” used to play…a space in which you could walk around and look at alot of art? Is that not the social aspect of the new media called “Social media”?
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Social Media Multi-tasking is the order of the day!

Recently I read an article on how multitasking “can make you less productive”.  While I agree on one level – depending on your ability to focus in a perfect world, I wonder how one can work in social media and not multi-task? The diverse number of tools alone presents a challange. Some are better at one thing than others – as anyone who works with software knows. In the past one might have settled for a single programme and simply make due but today, in social media, with the increasing number of free tools or low monthly access fees – one can use a number of different tools for their particular strengths and may even use two that overlap while  being on the lookout for an even better solution.

As a content curator I review daily lots of blogs and articles on diverse topics while posting some and scheduling others, juggling different tools, different processes and different accounts. Even the task of logging in and out of multiple accounts can become a distraction to the single purpose of putting the good info that I find in one place for scheduling. This pressure is increased when technical gliches arise and a plan B is needed to actually deliver the goods on a deadline. This happened this morning, in fact, when Tweetdeck, a good social media tool for certain things, decided to stop working for some mysterious reason on my laptop. It is at that moment that I was glad that I had options and could open yet another another window on my browser, launch another tool and try another way to get my work done. While doing that I was trying to find the tek support email for tweetdeck and create a trouble ticket. Surprise — there is no direct support as this is now owned by Twitter and god knows they are buzy enough with that service, so I was forced to read through forums instead. It was then that I noticed that they finally got the ipad version done – since Twitter is in control and funds are flowing for more development so I downloaded that on my ipad. Of course the interface is different which means I had to spend time figuring that out the set up as well. This is what can happen on a bad day…even more multi tasking!

On a really good day when all the technical stuff is working the task of looking at lots of diverse content for various clients can lead to great mental connections with a new spin or insight on something that is already known, creating a piece that is really engaging – which of course is my main task. Making a new connection between two different pieces of information is a nice payback on what I think of as high speed multitasking – when the task at hand is to simply find a good piece content not just for one client but rather to find two good pieces that have a common ground for that particular client and for my other clients as well!  Rinse and repeat daily.

In my 20’s I spent years working in restaurants – learning the about food and hospitality. It was in this environment that I first learnt to multitask. I would venture to say that a good Chef working in a busy kitchen is a master multi-tasker as is a top waitress juggling lots of tables and their orders.

I think it was McLuhan who first alerted us to the fact that in the electronic age information continues to move faster and faster. There is no stopping it except by pulling the plug and Who is about to do that unless we are forced to do so? Recently I went through a move and experienced several bouts of downtime. It was an incredibly slow and painful experience. Sure, I recognize life/work balance and took time over the summer to disconnect and be offline. Even then it was my choice to learn to draw on the ipad, starting with my finger as I had no stylus while learning the interface as I tried clumsily to capture my subject before it disappeared or moved away. Multi tasking? Hell yes!

As Bill Gates said some years ago doing “Business at the Speed of Thought” is where we have arrived as a culture, whether we like it or not. To me this is exactly what social media allows us to do. After all we are trying to connect to the potential customer in real time, engage them in conversation and offer them great customer service should they want it. This is a juggling act for sure!

A good chef constantly multi tasks to bring together more than one dish for more than one person!

Social Media at its best is a communications model of Mutual Understanding

Visualizing New Media (ART & Telecos) Meta Data from 2 decades ago —- still relevant today!

Last night I was offline going thru old papers in storage when I came across a saved article from 1991. Back then Artists interested in technology were reading about New Media from the likes of MIT’s magazine called Leonardo. We were contemplating what the future would hold with the inevitable convergence of Computers, Telecommunications and Video and we were not sure what the new model of communications would look and feel like once they came together…

In my sorting I found an xeroxed copy of a 5 page article entitled: Art and Telecommunications – 10 Years On. I immediately stopped, got my ipad and googled the title and author with this question in my mind – Would the article I held in my hand have been relevant enough to be mentioned 20 years later?

Not only was it mentioned it is archived and for sale online for $16.00 USD!

I began to re -read the article for relevancy sake, curious to see how the caliber of thought around the issues of Art and Telecommunications two decades ago would hold up in the light of Social Media. This is a knee jerk reaction due to the fact that I am constantly told that I bring nothing to the table as an Artist – except some crazy notions about design…and while I try to argue differently I see eyes glaze over when I mention media theory. What people fail to realize is that it is the artists who inform the great thinkers on communications and thereby contribute greatly to the thought leadership that trickles down to the scientific community, hackers, IT and Marketing consultants and eventually into popular culture. McLuhan said that everything he knew about Media was informed by the poets and the painters.

I learnt alot about Social media 2 decades ago from the Artists who were exploring technology and communications and writing on it. My mind is well prepared for the quantum shift we see today in business, technology and culture.

The biggest take aways? The adoption of the convergence Model of communications AKA – Social Media and the Call to Artists of the urgent necessity to “enter into a dialogue with, as well as a critique of, our technological culture”:

“to avoid embracing contemporary technology is to opt for voluntary cultural fossilization: an an art practice that becomes quaint and irrelvent to all but a “cultured” few. To embrace technology is to live and work in the real world, to grapple with the forces that are shaping our world, perhaps to some productive end”

How Social Media is begining to change “the face” of Hard Core Gaming

When I was a kid I hated to “play games” – mostly because my brother always had to win or else he would cry. Winning is Happiness after all. Most male games have been based on win or lose, do or die. War. Strategy. Tactics. In essence – The 33 Strategies of War.

I would argue that women play a different type of games– as we rule the emotions and therefore the heart. What is the line from the popular Eagles song say? “The Queen of Hearts is always your Best Bet”… Women tend to operate more in the sphere of influence. “Behind every great man is an even greater woman”.

Today Zynga launches a new game. While the exterior trappings might reflect the same old same old there is a new psychology behind it. INFLUENCE. i.e. How to win friends and influence people. Now there is a twist that belongs to the old boy Dale Carnegie. Mind your P’s and Q’s and be nice. The aim of the game is changing. Be social for people, Get Social for Business. Long overdue for all of us who seek new way to win at the game of life.

Utilizing more traditional combat gameplay, the title places you in the role of an island leader looking to expand their influence through military might. While that sounds a far cry different from a game like “FarmVille,” for instance, “Empires” still tasks you with familiar Zynga features such as resource collection and visiting “neighbors.”

Desperado - The Queen of Hearts is always your best BET!