Posts tagged ‘pervasive creativity’

April 28th, 2011

Why Social Media ideas are still complicated to widespread in Europe

by Laurent François

We had a great conversation 2 days ago @ ESCP Europe with some students, who wanted to know if it was more relevant to implement their start-ups in France, or more generally in Europe, or to directly move to the US.

Some constraints are obvious in Europe, and the main difficulty is…leveraging critical mass:

  • you have more than 20 languages in the European Union stricto sensu
    – it means that if there’s one EU citizenship, you have hundreds of local cultures you need to handle as an entrepreneur
    – you not only need to translate your solution but also understand the local expectations
    – people can’t easily share ideas and games through conversations, as they don’t speak all English, for instance
  • there’s already a wide diversity of start-ups: how to be original?
  • there are legal constraints, thus

But hey, socializers, come on! 3 arguments to answer:

  • if it was all about getting enough people to be reached, just go in advertising, not marketing: many products are good for very few people: the critical mass to achieve can be a very low number, depending on your business
  • think “business”, not “social”: what do you want to sell, and to whom?
  • the local differences are also business opportunities: not many people know how to manage different groups of people, even in plain English: it’s time to grow it

Remember: Social Media is a practice; what are your core competences? who are the public you want to reach? What’s the value proposition?

 

Once you’ve solved that, you don’t care where you are: there are still people talking to other people. Be pervasive; and creative

 

April 4th, 2011

Storytelling: consumers’ intimacy as the new scope of work?

by Laurent François

Citizens!

For the last months, many brands have dived into storytelling-way-of-life instead of focusing on products’ benefits.

A pressure to build “stories” as digital re-shaped our economy of attention; once you’re done with a coupon, you need to maintain a link with diverse publics. You need to be able to activate them. The “story” would be an asset to keep an interest going, moreoever in a digital journey: you share your daily bread with your relatives, with your buddies, and in the meantime you pick and chose your next holidays. It amplifies our beings, and brands want to interfere within this tree of choices. As a comparison, you never really leave a book after you’ve read the 3 first chapters.

But if the marketing statement is simple at first sight, it’s utterly complicated -and to date disappointing- to implement and orchestrate

A reader as a shareholder of the story’s success

A story is paradoxically based on unsaid. It’s a principle developped by Umberto Eco in 1979 in Lector in Fabula.

In order to make a story work, the reader must be brought to a whole universe (as in an encyclopedia) and to feel like if he had a responsibility in the curse of the story.

générer un texte signifie mettre en oeuvre une stratégie dont font partie les prévisions des mouvements de l’autre – comme dans toute stratégie“.

Interpretative & autonomous mechanism are intrinsic to the story. Non-existing characters become so “existing” in our minds that we can anticipate their next steps or don’t be surprised by an attitude in the following episodes. More interesting: these characters keep living in our brains out of the written text! Digital world increases this statement: the reader is a shareholder or the story’s reputation. If he feels engaged, he’ll talk about it and will recruit, will debate, will bring the story’s universe to new borders.

It’s pretty rare to consider new ads to be great stories. Nike came and said “I have a story” but don’t give any real clue that it’s true (and the amount of RT to an ad on YouTube is just crap to explain it). We’re on a static ad, that’s all.

The reader as an intimate actor of a public creation

When we read a story, we’re alone, even if you live it with other people. That’s the reason why it’s so important to ask to your friends if they’ve liked a movie or a book. We perceive on our own a story.

Brands dare to directly outreach our intimacy, in order to force us to give our feelings. It’s the case with Nivea, in the US, with their “Cupid’s Challenge“; a category at the same level than coupons in the diverse social spaces of  the brand.

Kiss” platform, with the help of 2 US TV middle stars, Nick Lachey & Vanessa Minnillo wants to coach our love life (so telling what is good or bad on this purpose); wants to viralize people’s love (vs money or gifts); wants to promote Nivea massage’s products, which are supposed to endeavour libido.

A tricky mechanism which has some limits: once you’re done with your 3 RT of celebrity, you remember that Nivea is first & foremost a soap. And that Cupid’s Challenge’s chapter 2 is an empty bottle. Because as in real TV, the script is so not real.

Consumer: a hierarchy of values?

So here’s the deal: isn’t there a way between brands which only talk about themselves and brands which only try to reach our intimacies?

Maybe to go back to basics, as New Scientist reminds us:it’s not about manipulation but aspirations and fullfillments. For instance, 20 years ago, Snickers, a brand owned by Mars in France, decided to build some sports playgrounds in under-privileged cities. A means to bring a concrete chapter to the brand’s story. To help buddies who want to practice some sports in the evenings; and for some of them, to be spotted by major basketball temps. It was 20 years ago. It was alreay pervasive creativity.

March 3rd, 2011

Mad Men are back in Social Media: “sell or else”

by Laurent François

During the last 5 years, everybody claimed the end of “traditional advertising”: print, TV, billboards. Because of new practices: social marketing, digital influence, experience marketing.

Let’s face it: if these new practices exploded, they haven’t killed advertising at all; they’ve helped it become stronger and reinvent its impact

Stats of the art: advertising growth everywhere

Carat has recently released an update of its 2011 forecasts: there’s a big US come-back while Asia keeps rocking. European markets are stabilizing and still generate revenue. A phenomenon not that surprizing as there’s an upcoming industrial revolution, supported by US government: Green R&D, new sustainable technologies. So as it’s necessary to explain to the general public why new offers, products & services matter.

Online advertizing keeps increasing too: efficiency debates arise here and there, so as campaigns must be more qualitative, relevant; “contacts strategy” are at stake, leaving GRP issues to the old world. That’s the reasong why media agencies are trying to leverage social offers, as they consider them as amplifications of their media plans!

Knowledge: inheritance of advertising and implementation of new digital methodologies

in an economy of attention, it’s not only about sending a message to make it generate consent towards relevant targets and publics. We’ve criticized a lot (me first…) advertising, and we forgot 2 important practices: planning & knowledge

Strategic planning has been developing for a century some methodologies, some patterns, some “science”, using skills where they are: labs, universities, trendsetters. While finding path to make all these insights work together. Social Media Marketing has probably led to new tools (online monitoring etc.). But when it comes to opinion, you need stats, habits, measurement process which help you refine the restults.  Planners, as in the 80s, are back to top management in agencies: because they’re the only one to get this step forward to create proper pervasive creativity process and value chain.

Brands’ organizations are changing to absorb the “social” rise

Jon Iwata, IBM’s CMO said that he was experiencing a major change:

“What is very clear is that for marketing to continue to be a meaningful contributor to business performance it not only has to enable delivery of short-term growth objectives but also needs to tackle the strategic issues of leveraging and aligning the culture in a way that maximizes the success of the organization”

To sum up: corporate culture and creative process on the same level. A re-engineering between insights (planning, marketing studies, monitoring etc.) as input to the communicative process (brand content, experience marketing…) to deliverable for the final clients: (client survey, CRM…)

It’s kinda good news for entreprises: it’s not about organizing a fight “communication department (or soft practices like PR)” vs “marketing departments” (hard practices like push marketing or CRM or couponing) but to come back to a principle: SELL OR ELSE (David Ogilvy).

From 4P to 4E :mad men & advertising people more prepared for the next challenges

In this environement, linked to a new industrialization era, making an idea go public for a product has never been as important. 4 P are not dead they’ve just changed to 4 E:

It leads me to the conclusion that advertising agencies may be more prepared to the new brands’ global challenges. Social media has been made on business territories and not on “citizens happy face world”; pure players are challenging these logics but only traditional content providers can generate…this content. For instance: to curate, you need producers. Real one. And it costs something.

It doesn’t mean that young & small structures will collapse. But that there are new cycles: a new leverage will always be interesting to integrate in a global communication purpose, in the long-term.

November 14th, 2010

Brand inexperience: a true Social Media Marketing goal?

by Laurent François

Citizens!

We’ve been talking a lot about brand experience these days. In an economy of attention more & more complicated, brands aim to focus again on consumers’ journey, starting from research, buying behavior & finally ending on the diverse usages / consumption of the product or service over time.

A necessary long-time approach as in our liquid & “liquifying” economy, new usages or needs postpone the death of a product life cycle. Movie industry is good example: you go to the theater, you watch a DVD or VOD, you sell & buy goodies. Or you can even implement products’ placement (thanks Thien for sharing the link). A Disney experience has proved for a long time the multiplying possibilities of a single idea. Mobile phones are now social browers, and that’s also interesting: any OS update is a new opportunity to get new services or start again certain usages; things you could not imagine while you were in the conception phase.

In a SWOT approach (strengths, weaknesses, oppportunities, threats), we most of time go too fast on opportunities, letting them dependent on brand assets, instead of focusing on the real context. Good consultants generally do a deep work in order to understand what the core competences are. But they obviously leave interns & juniors working on PESTEL (or environment) analysis. They normally keep too little time to go back to these insights. The problem is that if you remain too focused on brand experience, so to say on the product at the early stage, you destroy huge potentialities, prospectives, which can occur or just appear thanks to a new context.

In our pervasive environment, we should therefore invest time in a new practice: brand inexperience.

The devil is in the details; we could challenge ourselves:

  • in which ecosystem the brand should be present but seems invisible?
  • in which tribes can we find the brand that is used in very original ways, that were not anticipated by the “brand experience administrator”, so to say the brand value chain?
  • to which level do the user understand and use the brand? Is there a pool of users who drive the brand down or at perfectly immature stage? (think about Palm 10 years ago and compare it to iPhone today: we’re still smartphones’ teenagers. All.)



September 30th, 2010

The value of an idea in the era of Social Media (ESCP Europe / mmk2)

by Laurent François

Citizens!

I had the chance last night to meet the brilliant people from Master in Marketing & Creativity (ESCP Europe) in order to talk about the value of an idea in the era of Social Media. Wide & wild question, when we face the millions of initiatives that are launched every week all over the world. At the end, what makes an idea succeed whereas others collapse?

We dived into new paradigms, like liquid modernity or attention economy. We discussed about methodology to transform ideas into IdeAlS (Ogilvy’s Big Ideal). We raised some issues about change management or measuring success…The students are now working on 2 case studies: Architurn & Arteest, 2 fantastic projects that have been recently launched. Here’s the deck: