Thursday, November 15, 2012

Can Gay Marriage Help Your Brand? (part 2)

In my last post, I shared with you some learning I took from the recent state electoral victories for proponents of gay marriage and recreational marijuana.  To wit, each of these victories represent merely one point in organizations’ overall agendas.  Moreover, these simple yes or no questions around concrete topics allow supporters to grasp something easily defined understood.

For organizations dedicated to social change, these kinds of concrete topics serve as waypoints towards a larger goal.  However, today I plan to discuss how marketers at commercial enterprises can use this kind of thinking to help build their brands and increase sales.

In short, this kind of concrete thinking helps organizations who sell products with a longer buying cycle, especially business-to-business (b2b) products and big-ticket business-to-consumer (b2c) products such as cars.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Can Gay Marriage Help Your Brand? (part 1)

In the wake of President Obama’s victory last week, two other sets of election results received somewhat less discussion.  Namely, Colorado and Washington voters approved a referendum in favor of recreational marijuana use and voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

While the pundits have, well, pundited about the votes, I don’t wish to rehash arguments for or against any of them (Disclosure: I strongly favor same-sex marriage and honestly don’t know what to think about legalizing marijuana).  Instead, I find the marketing implications of the votes more interesting.  

To the point: both sets of votes transpired not as one-off issues, but actually as parts of long-term strategic thinking and attitude changing campaigns from organizations with broader agendas.

In this post, I’d like to show how a single point-in-time vote fits into a broader issue.  In the next, I’d like to discuss how even marketers focused on quarterly or monthly results can benefit from this kind of broad-scale thinking.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Post-Election Data Landscape

Now that janitors are cleaning up the confetti and empty beer bottles across the Great Republic, we have begun to ask how President Obama’s second term will have an impact on us, our families and our businesses.

As we discussed in this space two weeks ago, the drumbeat of concerns about marketers’ use of data has increased.  With the re-election of a Democratic President, we can only assume that the drumbeat will grow louder and more persistent.  However, marketers should not assume that data armageddon lies just ahead.  Instead, smart marketers should understand that from a political perspective, data comes in two categories, just like cholesterol.  Understanding what politicos see as “good” data and “bad” data will help them prepare for any eventuality.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Silicon Valley Hates Children

The other night, my wife got on the iMac in our bedroom and clicked “play” on a video clip.  Shortly thereafter, the windows rattled from the sound.  “I guess our daughter’s been on our computer,” she said as she lowered the volume.

And this example, among others, suggests that Silicon Valley’s renowned work-centric culture results in a profound misunderstanding of a key target market--the parents who buy all this crap.  In short, Silicon Valley hates children and that actually makes for bad products.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cause-Related Marketing Dos and Don'ts

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Stuart Elliott of the Times wrote an article about successful and unsuccessful marketing efforts around the storm.  Short version: making fun of the storm, BAD, offering branded help, GOOD.

Coincidentally, I learned of two examples of cause-related marketing while waiting out the storm that represent a best-case and a worst-case scenario.  Kia Motors asked Facebook friends to give “likes” for food while Google rolled out an enhancement to its location-based services such as maps that asks users to help locate missing children.

Kia received criticism on its Facbook page for its efforts, while Google’s effort garnered praise from the “probably the best news we’ve heard from Google this year.”

Why did Kia get hisses while Google got kisses?  Both cases illustrate the dos and don’ts of cause-related marketing.