Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mo Bites

Please, a quick show of hands.  How many of you sleep with or next to your mobile phones?  I rest my case.  We now live in a mobile first world!  Marketers it is time to message in mo bites – mobile bites.  

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According to Informa Telecoms & Media we experienced 3.89 trillion megabytes of mobile data traffic in 2011.  Does that sound like a huge number?  Well they predict that as smartphone penetration continues to grow, mobile data traffic will explode tenfold to 39.75 trillion megabytes by 2016.  

What will be the driving factors of mobile data consumption?  Mobile users will be watching more videos, listening to more music, playing more games, sending more SMS messages, browsing more web pages, accessing their social networks, etc.  Oh yes, the number one data guzzler will be applications. Carriers are focusing on optimizing their networks to insure they can handle the data overflow and develop their future revenue models  It is now time for marketers to understand mobile users will be on sensory overload thanks to the bombardment of communications (a.k.a. clutter) they receive daily.  Future mobile users will continually struggle to retain information.  Consequently marketers will have to sharpen their nanomarketing skills.  They will need to step up and tweak their messaging from sound bites to mo bites.  Mo bites will need to be concise, mobile optimized (screen friendly), delivered on a timely basis (as in situational) and incorporate the wow factor!

R u ready?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Curiosity Factor

I have written numerous posts on the subject of status quo and how it is restraining innovation in corporations.  I have referenced Derrida’s theory of Deconstruction; Dr. Seuss’s The Waiting Place; and Darwin’ssurvival theory.  Today I am going to share additional wisdom from British inventor James Dyson – curiosity.    

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James Dyson’s claim to fame is the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner.  Before moving into industrial engineering, James studied interior design.  Merging the two fields of study, in the late 1970’s, he conceived the concept of using cyclonic separation to create a superior vacuum cleaner.  It is documented that James developed 5,127 prototypes.  Because he was unsuccessful in his attempts to sell his idea to major manufacturers, he established his own company in 1992.  In addition to being a market leader in vacuum cleaners in over fifty countries, Dyson Ltd. also manufacturers hand dryers, fans and heaters.

Recently I read an interview with James Dyson.  When asked about what type of people he likes to surround himself with on his team he indicated the following: “I like people that are going to take risks and who are not afraid of failure.  Our education system teaches us that we’ve got to come up with the right answers.  Experience tells us what the right answers are.  However the world is constantly changing.  Consequently, we have to develop new solutions, our own way of dealing with each new situation we encounter.”  James went on to detail that curiosity is an important characteristic trait which he values in people.  “When I interview people, I always inquire about the interviewee’s private life.  Recently one individual indicated that he writes books about philosophy while he is commuting.  To me he demonstrated he was curious about the culture/society in which he lives.” 

I reflected about Mr. Dyson’s interview.  How true!  When you are at a conference or a networking event, do people really ask you that second or third question, or are they too busy delivering their elevator speech?  When you are in a team meeting, when was the last time you witnessed someone pop the question, “Why do we keep doing it this way?”  Regarding the subject of social media, how many of your peers truly recognize that it is here to stay as a new tool for business collaboration, thus demonstrate the curiosity to learn more and fully engage?

Is it time for your organization to embrace the curiosity factor?  Suggestion: Start by hanging signs in your conference rooms that read: “There are no bad ideas!”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Migrant Cars

Even though I am a “green” urbanite without a car, I still enjoy following the automotive industry.  I think the automotive industry, especially when it is moving along, is a barometer of our global economy.  What I am now witnessing is the new age of migrant cars.

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Have you seen the new Fiat ads from Chrysler?  They worked with one of their regular Detroit agencies on a clever spot titled the “Immigrants” to spotlight three models of Fiats from the Italian automotive company that now owns a controlling interest in Chrysler.  Their overall goal is to influence Americans to drive smaller cars and to make them more competitive with the Mini Cooper, Chevrolet’s Sonic and Volkswagen’s Beetle.  On a car brand and consumer loyalty index compiled by the consulting firm Brand Keys, Fiat began last year at No. 20 and with its growing sales is now at No. 17 before the launch of their new campaign.

Another company that is implementing a migrant growth strategy is Volkswagen with its luxury brand Audi.  They recently announced that they are going to build new Audi manufacturing facilities in Mexico and China in their quest to take a leadership position in the luxury car market.  Both BMW and Mercedes already have a strong foot hold in the United States, the number two auto market after China.  Audi will leverage Volkswagen’s supplier network in Mexico, protect themselves against the cost of unfavorable exchange rates and ship cars to the U.S. tariff free thanks to NAFTA (North American Free Trade agreement).

Are migrant cars the new “black” in the automotive industry?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Smart Marketing 2.0

True story!  I was in a Philadelphia gastropub (2/14/06) when a sampling crew handing out at random, Valentine’s Candy Hearts made with Splenda, dumped off four cases in order to go home early.  Back then it confirmed for me how wasteful mass sampling is as a marketing tactic.

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Recently I have read numerous articles about marketers using the collaborative tools of Web 2.0 to conduct consumer research, thus get closer to the needs of their customers.  Frito-Lay is using Facebook feedback to develop new potato chip flavors.  Estée Lauder engages with its online community to determine what shades of cosmetics to market.  Walmart just acquired its own social media company to analyze market trends.

Smart Marketing 2.0; definitely a cost effective way of conducting consumer market research or better yet sampling a new product versus just standing on a street corner and handing out freebies.  Learn from General Mills who created Qué Rica Vida, the Hispanic lifestyle website targeting Hispanic mothers.  The site was created five years ago to become the go-to destination for Hispanic consumers and aggregate information about living a healthier lifestyle.  Currently the website has 300 thousand plus registered members.  General Mills is now testing an online sampling program via Qué Rica Vida.  Registered members receive a special offer via email – for $18, delivered to your door, you will receive a sampling kit of new General Mills products (e.g., cereals, dinner kits, etc.) before they are available on shelf.  The kits have a $30 value plus include $8 worth of coupons for the new products.  Smart Marketing 2.0!

Are you utilizing Smart Marketing 2.0?