Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coke Ads a Zero?

I really dislike the current Coke ad campaign from Coke Zero. The ads feature a pair of actors portraying Coke brand managers upset with the Coke Zero brand. The ad campaign has succeeded at delivering the message that Coke Zero tastes like Coke. For that, nicely done. But I wonder about the damage being done to the core Coke brand by portraying the Coke team as a couple of buffoons. I'm certain that Coke management has tested and measured the brand impression impact on both Coke and Coke Zero. But for this consumer, it's left a bad taste.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Consumers, Producers, and Marketing Change

There is a change happening before our eyes that will impact the way marketers view their role. It will change the way marketers define and measure return on marketing investment. This fundamental change in society is the evaporation of the distinction between consumers and producers.

For decades our society has been based on the proposition that a limited set of producers distribute and make available products to a large set of consumers. We might target a segment of the broader consumer market, but typically we operate in an environment where a scarce number of producers create and sell solutions for a larger group of buyers.

So what happens when technology allows inidivduals to become producers? Ten years ago a business needed to go to a web firm to build a web site. Today, any person can create a web site or a blog instantly and at no cost. Ten years ago a limited number of publishing firms decided what authors words were published. Today anyone can self-publish. The barriers to entry are diminishing in many categories.

As a marketer, how will you respond and measure performance when your consumers can also become producers? Do you measure the production of media content that consumers produce about your company or product? Do you evaluate whether that publsihed content is positive or negative? Do you attempt to pariticipate in the conversation?

One last thought. We talk about citizens as consumers. When everyone becomes both a consumer and a producer, will the language change?

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

eMail death?

Has anyone noticed that the "killer app" of the 1990s (eMail) isn't really used at all by anyone under 21? 'nuf said.

Social Media and return on marketing investment

Is social media a useful place for a brand marketer to spend time? Is there ROMI from the effort? Aside from the occasional measurable promotion most social media today has limited short-term return on marketing investment. However, I content that brand marketers should participate in the so-called social media experiment in order to gain the long-term return on marketing investment. Or, any individual might choose to sit on the sidelines and learn from the investment of experience by other marketers (How many advertisers learned the ropes of the :30 TV spot on the backs of the investment by P&G, Kraft, and others?).

The current social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) all represent new technological tools that facilitate alternative forms of communication and interaction. We are in the cultural period of turmoil in which the technology has given us capbilities and we are still learning how to best use these new found skills. Like a child learning to walk, then run, then dance. We have yet to learn how to dance.