April 6, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I was cleaning up my office today (yes, that is my real office), and I came across a Forbes article and video that really impressed upon me the importance of cleaning up our brand pitch to market to women, or any customers. Our messaging becomes a little bit like my office. Crammed with things that were important at the time but have hung around too long. Impossible to relate to anyone in less than minute.
I love the simplicity of being able to explain your business in one succinct phrase that differentiates you from your competition. Clean, Compelling, Concise.
So in the spirit of cleaning up our brands, here are some steps to create your elevator speech:
Step One. Create a Twitter-friendly headline that answers the question, “What is the single most important thing that I want my listener to know about my brand, product, service or idea?” Now this is excellent advice because if you can’t explain it in 140 characters, I probably can’t absorb it in 15 seconds. This exercise forces you to practice the art of sacrifice for the purpose of communication. A great headline will also give voice to differentiation and end benefits. Here are some great examples in addition to the video.
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families.
Wal-Mart saves people money to they can live better.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Coca-Cola wants to refresh the world, inspire moments of optimism and happiness, and create value.
AT&T wants to to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else.
Starbucks is out to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.
Tom’s says we’re transforming everyday purchases into a force for good around the world. One for One.®
Step Two. Support the headline with three key benefits. Three is the perfect number. For some reason, our minds can remember three ideas, but struggles with more. The Power of Three. As a child, everything we learned seemed to be centered around three — A,B,C; 1,2,3; Three blind mice, Three musketeers, Trinity, and the three wise men. Aristotle even knew the power of three and wrote about it in his book Rhetoric. So what are the three most compelling support ideas for your brand.
Step Three. Reinforce the three benefits with stories, statistics or examples. These are the bullet points that more fully explain your benefits. And yes, all of it should fit on a single page.
I use this type of process in getting to the core identity of brands for clients. When you look back at the examples I used in step one, you see that the USO doesn’t say it runs centers for troops, Wal-Mart doesn’t talk about physical stores, and Google doesn’t talk about search engines. Your business must be explained in such a consumer beneficial manner that it allows you the bandwidth to provide that benefit in a variety of ways. That’s why Starbucks doesn’t say it is a coffee shop; they have always explained themselves as the third place in your life – after home and work.
Try this exercise for your business. Let me know how it goes. And send my a picture of your messy office. Maybe it will make me feel a little bit better.
January 21, 2013 § 1 Comment
Do you get that panicky feeling if you forget your phone? Do you suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? Well, you are not alone.
More than half (55%) of respondents to a Siteopia study of internet usage feel they are addicted to the internet, while almost 62% of us admit we “need’ the internet to function in everyday life.
One in ten of those participating said they can’t go longer than ten minutes during the day without catching up on social media or email.
The Siteopia study of 2,000 internet users reported that, on average, most respondents only go a maximum of 90 minutes during the day without checking Facebook, Twitter or email.
Many of us are using mobile as the device of choice for checking in and updating our status - 10% of people now access the internet primarily on their mobile, with 5% accessing primarily via tablet. 75% have already been online before 9am every day, with almost one in five checking their e-mail or catching up on social media during their commute to work.
A whopping 62% now do all their banking online. A third do all of their clothes shopping online, with free returns and delivery becoming an ever more common feature.
How Many Devices Do You Use?
I am on my laptop as I write now, but earlier today I used my iPad and iPhone to check in. Seems I am fairly normal - the average internet user can now get online via three different devices. But some 10% of us have as many as five devices, illuminating the growth of smart devices like televisions and gaming consoles.
Usage by Gender
Surprisingly, even though women spend more time with online shopping and social media, it’s men who spend more than 19 hours a week online – more than 42 solid days each year, and over a third longer than women, who only spend 14 hours per week surfing the web. Men spend more time on news, Twitter, gaming and Not Safe for Work sites.
December 17, 2012 § 1 Comment
I really love Instagram. Apparently, others do as well. There have been 5 billion photos shared through the network. But there are new Instagram policies brewing giving marketers and personal users some things to think about.
Remember that Facebook bought Instagram for a measly $1 BILLION recently and then we all started having problems with our Instagram photos on Twitter because Instagram had disabled Twitter integration. These new policies seem to hint at adding advertising to Instagram.
So now, what’s up with the policies that go in place on January 16, 2013? Apparently they will not apply to photos shared before this date. Instagram says that the new policies would primarily help the company combat spam, which has grown along with the popularity of Instagram. The new policies will not alter how it handles photo ownership or who is able to see the pictures.
Here’s five important considerations that the New York Times reported today:
1. Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as outside affiliates and advertisers. They say it’s to make functionality and sharing easier between the two groups. But certainly this information will inform targeted advertising for Instagram when and if that happens. And allow Facebook advertisers access to Instagram information. So, this is probably good for marketers.
2. You could be featured in advertising without your knowledge, just like Facebook does now. Instagram will also be able to use your photographs and identity in ads. The “Rights” say “You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.” So let’s say you upload a picture to Instagram of yourself and others who are not users of Instagram or Facebook. Bam! They may be in an ad along with you. Maybe not so good for users or marketers if the images are not appropriate.
3. The unsolicited use of photos applies to underage children as well. Instagram requires that users must be at least 13 years of age, but the new policy states that they are agreeing that a parent or guardian is aware that their image, username and photos can also be used in ads. This use of underage children is troubling. Not so good for marketers.
4. Ads may not be labeled as ads. There may be no disclaimer that says you are viewing an ad. “You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such,” says the new Instagram policy. Maybe okay, but does not smack of transparency.
December 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I love Twitter. I have always loved the way it seems like running headlines from the lives of people around the world. Very business-like one minute and intimate or goofy the next. Usually not the preferred social media for older folks. But hold on - His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI just announced he was joining the throngs of Tweeters like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. I can’t wait to see what the Pope has to say.
And before the octogenarian has posted his first tweet, he already has 500,000 followers. His handle is @pontifex. His first tweet will be December 12 if you want to mark your calendar.
According to the New York Times, “Benedict’s posts will go out in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The messages will mostly feature the contents of the pope’s speeches at his weekly general audience and Sunday blessings, as well as homilies on major holidays and reaction to major world events, like natural disasters.”
Seems even the Vatican has embraced social media to get their message out to their flock. The Pope will be successful because he already has a built-in audience, even if the younger ones are not as regular at mass anymore. This new medium will allow him to reach that audience on their terms. Oh, and in six years Twitter has amassed 500 million users, has an incredible immediacy of communication and is used in countries where free expression is not the norm.
The Pope is on to something. The church is losing young people as they launch in life. And Twitter is ripe with a 400% growth in Twitter usage by 18-24 year olds. And since 53% of the users are women and they influence the religious habits of the family, it is a good gender choice..
The demographics tend to skew young as shown in this chart which also shows the amazing growth in the younger demo.
October 3, 2012 § Leave a Comment
New information released from My Life shows that while women are more likely to be a member of Facebook and login more frequently, they also exhibit a “fear of missing out (FOMO)”. The study also reinforces the fact that women are more likely to check their e-mail accounts more often. We are all living in “real time”. Social media and email brings the world to us on a constant basis. The world is increasing our interactivity constantly. As I write this the first Presidential Debate is airing. It was the most tweeted and Facebooked political event in history. Social media has become the proverbial “water cooler” and “backyard fence”.
Lots of studies have shown that women are more active in social media so what’s the news here? Well, not only are women more likely to be a member of Facebook but they also check-in with more frequency.
- 95% of women surveyed belong to Facebook vs. 86% of men
- 67% of women login to Facebook once a day or more as compared with 54% of male Facebook members
- 21% of women login 2-3 times a day vs. 15% of men
- Only 13% of women say they login to Facebook less than once a week. One in five (20%) of men said the same
Women are also checking into their email more regularly than men.
- 83% of women check their primary email once a day or more vs. 75% of men
- This goes up to 90% of females age 35-44 as compared with 85% of men the same age
Why the FOMO Funk?
Why do women have this fear of missing out on things? For email, could it be that women are constantly in charge as the Chief Operating Officers of their families? They are dealing with children, family, spouses. Women are juggling work expectations and dealing with family schedules.
In connecting to their social networks, women are looking to their friends for the news they can use.
- 65% of women (vs. 59% of men) say they keep an eye on their social networking profiles because they don’t want to miss news or an important event or status update
- One quarter of female respondents (25%) said they typically visit or log-on to their social networking profiles when they wake up, before they check their email accounts. Only 18% of men report checking social networking profiles before e-mail
- 47% of women wish there was a solution to help them manage all their social networking profiles (vs. 40% of men)
- Marketing to Women: OMG! Do you have FOMO? Social Media Addiction? (jamiedunham.wordpress.com)
- Jeffrey Tinsley: FOMO Trumps FOPL With American Adults (huffingtonpost.com)