What We Know Now Is the Absolute Truth.

thought-of-the-day-image_at_theoutsideviewblog-com_marcweiz-stock-by-madetobeunique-and-gojol23-at-deviantart

This is how it is! There’s no going around it. It has been proven so many times over, by so many factions that I cannot even begin to name them. It is the truth. There’s no arguing about it.

  • A fact: “the world is flat. It has been studied extensively and all prominent scientists have proven the theory to be correct”. – Before 330BC to 17th century depending on the location and educational position
  • A fact: “The people during Columbus time though that the world was flat. Proven true by the most prominent scholars of the time”. – Fact known by all from 1870 to circa 1940.
  • Still on 1945 the members of the Historical Association stated that: “The idea that educated men at the time of Columbus believed that the earth was flat, and that this belief was one of the obstacles to be overcome by Columbus before he could get his project sanctioned, remains one of the hardiest errors in teaching.”

What is said is the truth depends not only of perceptions, but also of the information available. Accept that you don’t necessarily know the solution to a problem even though you have encountered and solved it before – the conditions might have changed. Accept it and you will be a wiser person in the end. Don’t accept  it and you can still be an average manager and do quite well in your life, if you want to.

  • A fact: The laws of physics have been proven wrong many times over. The current laws will most probably be proven wrong at some point in time.
  • A fact: The leading management practices are proven wrong so often, you cannot even remember all the best practice management practices there have been in your life time.
  • A fact: The marketing campaign that worked last year, might not work this year.
  • A fact: Never make assumptions.
  • A fact: The one who says: “It doesn’t work, we’ve tried it before” is almost always wrong. As equally wrong, as the one who says “I know it will work, because it has worked before”.
  • A fact: There are hardly ever any absolutes. Probably never.

Never make assumptions. A fact.

Catvertising vs. Dogvertising. The Epic Battle.

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I’m foreseeing a battle of epic proportions: The battle of dogs and cats over the dominion of the advertising world.

The battle maybe new, but the war is as old as the world we live in. The echoes of this battle between the age old enemies have been heard on the ether for a while now. For those who know how to interpret the signs, this inevitable clash of two powerhouses comes as no surprise.

For a while now both sides have been making strategic moves across one of the key battle fields – Youtube – placing their troops on carefully selected positions: Cats and their brethren have amassed a considerable sized army behind them, with our search experts tell amount to over 2.025.000* videos in Youtube alone. But the dogs seem to have a slight lead in troops and in the so important battle over the hearts of people with over 2.304.00* videos in total.

Maybe this intelligence let the catside to start their attack sooner than the analysts expected. To resolve the war to their advantage with a one swift, well placed blow to the dogside. This first sneak attack on November 10th 2011 was the start of what we now know as the Catvertising movement:

Catvertising gaining huge popularity in the advertising world, the dogs could do nothing but defend to bid some time for a full blown counterattack. We could hear them bark: ‘you will not win the dominion of the advertising world that easily’. They placed their first line of defense on sure ground:

But those of us who have observed the war across time and space knew that they were just playing time, and that a real counterattack was already in the plans.

On January 18th it started. The first counterattack of the dogs. The first flex of muscles of the powerhouse of Dogvertising. A wave of attacks the size we can yet but imagine:
Given the power of just this first wave with the new and surprising alliances the Dogvertising world has made, we can see the cats shaking.

They could not have expected a blow of this magnitude this fast, or could they?

We know that cats are sneaky by nature and ferocious once cornered, but we also can feel the ground tremble over the power of the dogs counterattack.

Is the last battle over the dominion of the advertising world at out hands? Is it all solved at superbowl game day? Who are you rallying for Catvertising or Dogvertising? Kittens or Puppies? Which side will win the war?

The Question: When Should You Advertise? Answered.

There’s one easy rule when to advertise and when to not. One description of advertising that just nails it.

“Advertising is what you do when you cannot be there in person”.

– A Wise Man

Simple. To the point. And True. A perfect way to outline the role of advertising in the marketing mix. Even the General knew it.

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*Who’s the wise man behind the smart words; is it us or is it you? If it is not us or I, and the source is someone else, please let us know. Maybe it is us, it very well could me, yeah I think it’s I.

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Protest Against SOPA/PIPA: Black Out 8am to 8pm EST.

In support, to protest against SOPA / PIPA, we together with web giants the like of Wikipedia and WordPress will black out today from 8am to 8pm EST.

Join the protest and stop the censorship act in U.S., that would have world wide ramifications. If you don’t know how, come to check out the instructions at our home page during the black out.

Thought of the Day 4: $18 million for a #Website is Crazy.

thought-of-the-day-image_at_theoutsideviewblog-com_marcweiz-stock-by-madetobeunique-and-gojol23-at-deviantart“Last week the Gifted ranked luxury hotel chain, Four Seasons, took an $18 million website overhaul live with a focus on user experience design, mobile, and personalization“. (Source: L2 Think Tank)

“That is just crazy. Next time, give me a call.  I’ll do it with a half of that”. 

But truthfully speaking. Is there really ever any real reason to invest that much to a website overhaul? No matter how much potential there would be. No matter how great the user experience was.

I’m not saying the area wouldn’t be business critical for Four Seasons, and they might even manage to get a great ROI for the project. But in any given day, it cannot take that much resources, that even a global, complete under the hood and over the top, backend and frontend mixed together, overhaul would cost you $18 million.

I want the one who sold that project to my sales team. I’ll take that call as well.

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This article is a part of the ‘Thought of the Day’ series. Do you have a thought? Let us know.

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3 Reasons Why Viral Marketing is Popular

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The holy grail of marketing is the viral effect. A piece of content that is so brilliant that it engages the audience to such a degree, that that it spreads like a virus through the ranks of people all over the world. Or when speaking about marketing, the target market, which in most cases actually isn’t the whole world.

Why is the viral effect of such an interest to many marketeers? If thought about rationally and in a business context, the most common reasons mentioned are of course the key business driverseffectiveness and cost. But in reality, there are also other forces in play.

1)   The Effectiveness of the Marketing Message.

A well-known fact, that I’m not to going to try to argue against, is that when one chooses to engage with content (i.e. viral content) the message of the content is delivered more effectively than when content is broadcasted to you (e.g. television or newspaper adverts).

On marketing terms, we could also talk about the engaged audience moving faster or more easily from Attention to Interest to Desire to Action, i.e. climbing the ladders of the AIDA model. Of course, particularly with viral content, one is in many cases already partially predisposed towards accepting the message due to seeing ones peers like the content. Such is the effect of peer-to-peer recommendations or Word-of-Mouth (WOM) advertising as it is more traditionally referred to.

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Viral marketing message spreads via relationships and contacts through recommendations and mentions either online or face-to-face.

2)   Marketing Cost and Investment Effectiveness.

Costs and the effectiveness of the investment, on the other hand, is a much more trickier issue.

Simply put, on marketing the costs boil down to fixed operating costs and variable costs coming from production and media. In a purely viral marketing campaign the media costs should be close zero. Maybe some costs from seeding the content are added on top, but still, these costs are much lower than traditional media costs. Given the price of media or standard needed media investments, which are or should be multi-fold to the production costs (there are, of course, exceptions to this rule), the easy conclusion is that a viral marketing campaign can be a much more cost effective investment than a marketing campaign utilizing purely ‘traditional’ channels is. But there’s a catch to it, as there always is, and the ‘can be’ is the tell tale sign of it.

The contact price valuation method giving value both for the actual contact and level of exposure (time and duration) is the only way to plan a marketing campaign to be effective from the perspective of investment effectiveness*. A media agency could try to calculate a contact price and a relative engagement price, which would give you some insights on where to put a line with the production costs and possible media costs, if compared with the costs for ‘traditional’ media. But putting a right cost for the viral campaign will always be hard due to you not knowing before hand

a) the absolute size of engaged or even exposed consumers, and

b) the number of engaged consumers in your target audience.

Those figures are much easier to measure or estimate in a traditional media context, both before and after the fact.

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The right investment level for a viral marketing campaign is often hard to define.

The above is also one of the major reasons why selling a viral marketing campaign plan to the board of directors is often like banging ones head to a brick wall. Very painful. It all boils down to trust. And to a good plan. Even when no campaign truly ever is constrained to the traditional media channels.

In addition to the standard business motivations, I’d argue there is also a third reason behind the keen interest and desire to create viral marketing campaigns. And that is the Holy Grail Factor.

3)   The Holy Grail Factor

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There is no bigger glory than being the one who designed the marketing campaign that got people all over the world discussing it (and on a side note also maybe got the sales up).

Isn’t doing traditional marketing campaigns with just TV, magazines, newspapers, internet and mobile advertising, PR, sponsorship, promotions, events and in-store shopper marketing just so passé?

Everybody is doing it, and we’ve all done that so many times. Wouldn’t it be fun to do a viral campaign? I know we can make it successful… I know we can achieve it.

The Holy Grail Factor – or the hint of vanity that is inside all of us is, and will always be, one of the key drivers in many business decisions whether we want it or not. Unfortunately, or maybe, thank god. Even that battle hardened CEO is doing decisions based on things that he would like to achieve, instead of just the things that are the most well analyzed, strategically sound and reasonable to be done. Not all decision and probably not even most of the decisions, but surely some. We are all just people in the end.

I am not saying, that basing a part of ones decisions on ‘this is what I would like to achieve list’ is wrong, I’d even go as far as saying that it is preferable. As long as it is in manageable proportion compared to strategically sound decisions. Sometimes the two are, in any case, the same.  Furthermore, the ‘like to list’ is very often the product of intuition, which plays a key role in every important, and so difficult, decision. Throughout the history, many of the most successful business ventures, strategies and marketing campaign have been born out of passion to do things differently, of the passion to achieve something greater, of the small hinge of vanity inside of us, of the desire to get our hands on the holy grail.

Conclusion: Viral Marketing Is a Risky Business.

Doing viral marketing campaigns – how to do them and whether to do them at all – is and will always be risky. Especially if discussed as a separate entity – as a separate action – away from traditional media campaign. They are after all the holy grails of the marketing world, both extremely effective at engaging the target audience and low in cost. And maybe, just maybe, the sure ways to get some of that much deserved praise and glory between the everyday creative, well planned and executed, integrated, 360 degree campaigns. Where there’s a risk, there’s a reward. And here they go hand in hand.

Surely viral marketing campaigns can be more effective than traditional marketing campaigns, but measuring the correct investment level and guaranteeing the right exposure levels can be very difficult, if not near impossible. Or is it?

There are many successful viral marketing campaigns from both SME’s with small budgets to Multinational entities like Sony, Nokia or H&M, proving, that viral marketing campaigns – not just viral videos – can be done. But most importantly there are many companies, who are able to plan and implement them one after the other. Think about Axe (Lynx), Nike, Apple, DC or Old Spice they manage to create the viral effect in each and every marketing campaign. And it isn’t just these huge enterprises that are able to do it. There are also many examples of SME’s producing viral campaigns with close to perfect track records.

Is it just pure luck? Are the companies the epitomes of luck or posses the much coveted 100% real rabbits foot? Or is it, that even the viral effect can be planned beforehand, much like any other marketing activity? More on that on the next installment of the Viral Marketing Encyclopedia.

*I’m going to neglect discussions on sales targets on this notion totally, as they should be self evident in valuations  – especially on the long term. Not necessarily so on the short term. It always depends on your objectives.

Thought of the Day 3: #Kisses and #Tweets

thought-of-the-day-image_at_theoutsideviewblog-com_marcweiz-stock-by-madetobeunique-and-gojol23-at-deviantart“Kiss more, tweet less.”

– Maija Aalto

 

 

 

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Crowdturfing? This Time I Hope Marketers Didn’t Do It.

thought-of-the-day-image_at_theoutsideviewblog-com_marcweiz-stock-by-madetobeunique-and-gojol23-at-deviantart“Crowdturfing, Astroturfing and Crowd Sourcing. Who the h&%l makes up these names?

For the sake of the world, I hope it isn’t marketers.”

 

 

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Thought of the Day 1: #Business and #Education

thought-of-the-day-image_at_theoutsideviewblog-com_marcweiz-stock-by-madetobeunique-and-gojol23-at-deviantart“For a business, there’s nothing more dangerous than the two degree man.”

 

 

 

 

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This article is a part of the ‘Thought of the Day’ series. Do you have a thought? Let us know.

Did you enjoy this article? If yes, subscribe via E-mail or Facebook with just a simple click at the top-right of the page.

You can also visit us on Twitter, where in addition to the blog feed, we highlight articles and ideas that capture our attention.

You Don’t Need Marketing.

no-marketing-investments-man-with-no-pants-on-theoutsideviewblog-com-stock-used-moonlightdangetsdressed_bysenshistock-3-at-deviantart-com

You don’t need marketing. No you really don’t.

You also don’t need pants when going outside during the winter.

No you don’t, but having a nice pair of warm pants on might be nice, even if just to stop you from dying.

You will surely fare without any pants for a while, you might even enjoy the cold breeze whistling soothingly around your private parts. At least for a while. But given enough time, probably less time than you thought, you will start to feel the cold and then the pain will arrive. Soon, very soon from that, if you can’t find the right pair of pants, you will die.

Have you ever tried how hard it is to get pants that fit you when you yourself have none on?

Do you really want to get to that situation in the first place?

Do you really want to get caught with no pants on?

No you really don’t need marketing, but do you really want to be without any.