Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So, I Won a Watch

So last Friday, this happened:

Cool.  Serious watch geek cred.

Now, what will ProfessionalWatches and Casio, the sponsors, do with me now that they’ve gotten me to click the “like” button?  Here’s what I’d suggest for Casio.


First of all, I assure you that this sweepstakes is bona fide.  ProfessionalWatches really does publish a blog, one I read daily.  Casio does produce wristwatches, among other things.  I have no doubt that I will receive my watch, which has some really cool functions.

Back to the point.  Attracting likes, especially via a sweeptakes, always reminds me of a poster you probably remember from high school:

I wonder if a sexual health organization ever made a poster that said “chess club” at the top and then “now that all the perverts have stopped reading...”

Really, garnering a “like” only ensures a brief span of attention from the consumer.  Sure, updates from the brand will appear in the consumer’s newsfeed, but he or she has no added incentive to read the updates and can always “unlike” later.

Casio has a few options on its hands (pun intended):

  • Sell watches, stupid.  Casio sells watches for anywhere from under $10 to several hundred dollars.  Offering several models at impulse-buy prices gives Casio the opportunity to make a quick sale on Facebook with periodic offers, perhaps in concert with a respected retailer such as Amazon or Target.

  • Keep consumers informed.  Casio develops new products all the time.  Facebook offers a great opportunity to get the word out.  Most likely, keeping fans informed really means getting them ready to buy, but let’s keep the two options separate for now.

  • Encourage brand advocacy.  By speaking with fans, Casio can potentially get them to brag about the brand.  For instance, it seems that almost all people who own watches own at least one Casio model.  I have one and owned at least half a dozen others over the years.  However, not all owners wear theirs every day.  So why not use Facebook to encourage owners to give their Casios what the watch nuts call “wrist time?”

So, what should Casio do, especially given the short time that it may have to make use of entrants’ attention and that any message they send to new fans will go to older fans as well?

My contrarian answer is: D, none of the above.

OK, any of the above would work to some extent for Casio, or many other brands for that matter.  It looks like they currently do all of them.  Certainly, a newsfeed consisting exclusively of offers would probably annoy consumers and drive disengagement, but a few choice purchase opportunities couldn’t hurt.  Likewise, product updates and brand engagement have their benefits, too.

However, Casio really has on its hands a number of suspects--people who may or may not have any real interest in spending good coin on their brand.  We’ve discussed this situation before, and I’ve suggested vetting participants quickly and broadly.

In the world of email, this approach works pretty simply--send out a message with options for response and send additional emails accordingly.  However, social media don’t work like email.  People don’t subscribe so much as they listen in now and again.

Really, it’s like starting to watch a TV show that’s already made it to season three.  Hopefully, the brand has begun a meaningful conversation with its fans.  However, new fans might not be able to follow this conversation.

I mean, imagine getting into LOST after the polar bear, wait...I mean before the Black Rock, wait...  OK, I mean, try starting to watch LOST at any point after the pilot and you’ll get the idea.

As a result, Casio ought to spend its first few messages after the content to familiarize the newbies with some broad brand content.  I suspect that they have four or five messages (assuming no more than one per day) to bring the new fans up to speed on brand heritage or design philosophy or whatever else sets Casio apart.  After that, interested parties will continue to read and get into the swing of things while the folks who just wanted a free watch will fade away.  

And, no.  I’m not selling my new watch.  Buzz off.

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