Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz took out a full page ad in the New York Times last Sunday. Except, it didn’t look like an ad.
How can you introduce your audience to the people that make your products possible? How can you create a personal relationship between your brand, your employees and the customers you serve? You need to ask yourself if there’s a disconnect between what you say you do and what you ACTUALLY do. You need to introduce your audience to the people that power your brand.
For those of you that don’t know, the ‘QR’ in ‘QR Code’ stands for ‘quick response.’ But the reality is, scanning a QR code is anything but simple, quick, easy, or ever rewarding.
Does your social media presence define your external brand identity, or can you use it to also define your internal experience?
If you want to stand out and attract attention in the marketplace, target an audience where no one like you is participating.
I’ve been following the Twitter hashtag this week for Content Marketing World (#CMWorld). At this year’s conference Rick Springfield is headlining the show. Yes, that Rick Springfield. The guy who hit number one with “Jessie’s Girl” in the 1980s and … Continued
Most companies are so used to segmenting their departments that they miss a lot of opportunities to reach consumers. Your strengths as a company don’t begin or end with your marketing department. Leading with your strengths often means tapping into hidden or overlooked resources.
The PMA Conference I had the pleasure of spending two days in San Antonio with the Parenting Media Association (PMA). If you’re unfamiliar with the PMA all you have to do is wander around town looking for a local parenting … Continued
Publishers constantly ask me how they can convince a traditional advertiser to underwrite the generation of high-quality, relevant, frequently delivered content. It was no different this week at the Niche Magazine Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. In a digital world where focusing … Continued
Underwriting great content is not only a successful business model, it continues to have a lasting impact on our culture.
Presented as an attempt to recreate the magic felt when falling in love, The Van Cleef & Arpels Love Stories campaign doesn’t evoke a modern day love affair feel. I am lost within it’s beautiful scapes and models but wonder what would make a young urban female (audience as defined for this campaign effort) to share the video with friends. By rethinking luxury marketing and opening up the campaign to a wider content creation and brand distribution approach, both Van Cleef & Arpels and Elle Magazine may have garnered a larger return.
The traditional one advertiser, one media publisher relationship can hinder a campaign both from a content and distribution standpoint. Brands and publishers must think bigger about the content they create in a way that garners engagement, audience, and ultimately, results. Think about how creating ancillary campaign content created by the sponsoring brands as well as partnering with more than one advertiser, can bring drive interest and untapped eyeballs.
As a former marketing director at a New England based jewelry retail chain and as an avid watcher of Project Runway, I was smitten with JCK’s Rock Star series from the start. I think JCK is pioneering what journalism is becoming – which is certainly part entertainment, part talent scout, part branded content. As JCK starts to think about a second season of this show, I wanted to suggest some ways in which the distribution approach and the brand inclusion could evolve.
In order to get ready for that next generation of capabilities, start experimenting with some of the programs that are already breaking down the barriers between online and offline.
With increased online capabilities, every brand is now a publisher. So how can you rethink your business relationships as publishing opportunities that will reduce costs or drive revenue?
One of best way to get that core message across to your audience is by aligning your brand with a cause that people already do or should support. By building messaging and online properties and aligning with the right cause you can actually help raise awareness, drive action, and inspire people while strengthening your brand’s online presence.
In today’s marketing environment so much energy and enthusiasm is put behind Facebook, Twitter and of course YouTube. But we’ve happened on one video example that showcases the power of good-ole-fashioned e-mail forwarding that’s driving huge success.
The Power of Transmedia Storytelling In a highly fragmented media market, more and more brands are turning to the art of transmedia storytelling to turn online interaction into offline action. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the term, transmedia … Continued
Andrew Davis, Chief Strategy Officer for Tippingpoint Labs, answers the question: “Does online content marketing work for B2B companies as well as B2C companies?”
Last week, I spent two days teaching Prezi at the Langley Center for New Media. As the event came to a close, a few attendees asked if I could sum up more than 16 hours of teaching in a top 10 list. Well, here’s my first stab at 10 things that should help you become a better Prezi presenter and publisher.
Each year American Business Media brings together some of the most powerful b-to-b media industry leaders for their annual conference. Next week, in Charleston, South Carolina, luminaries from organizations like McGraw Hill, the U.S. House of Representatives, Omnicom and Ziff Davis (among others) will spend three days sharing, discussing and debating how business media is evolving.
From her home in Cambridge, Julia Child recorded the first episode of her television show The French Chef. Julia was not the first television chef, but she’s arguably one of the most widely seen. What many don’t know is that Julia’s local roots and sustained success created a community of television production staff right here in Boston that is still thriving today.
Ad agencies, PR firms and interactive shops are all scrambling to extend their offerings to include more social media services. They’re hiring social media experts and community managers while they try to create compelling content to broaden their traditional campaigns.
Meanwhile, some unlikely players in the digital cinema space are quietly encroaching on the services traditionally reserved for some of the biggest players in the game. Custom publisher, McMurry, based in Phoenix, recently announced the acquisition of Spark Productions and, in a similar brand extension, Tippingpoint Labs today
The opening of the Tippingpoint Labs studio marks an immediate enhancement to the services TPL can offer its clients in the multimedia realm.
The studio is well suited to execute on an array of production techniques, ranging from long form digital cinema to traditional multi-camera switched events. Clients like Breville, Putnam Investments, and Long’s Jewelers have already taken advantage of TPL’s studio production and post capabilities.
The Studio is designed to give companies all the tools they need to create branded content that’s on par with what’s being created by Madison Avenue. Recent productions have included super high definition shoots involving the Red One camera and high-speed photography using a Phantom Cam.
I went to SxSW this year and attended half a dozen panel discussions. I also just returned from the Custom Content Conference in Nashville, where I attended one panel. Quite frankly they all sucked. Don’t get me wrong, they all had extremely high caliber talent sitting on the stage. Every panel had huge potential for real discussion with powerful market leaders. And every panel fell short! Way short.
I’m here to tell you that Magento ROCKS! I’ve been in the ecommerce trenches for many years and have had the opportunity to explore many open and closed source ecommerce platforms. Here at Tippingpoint Labs we highly recommend Magento for all your ecommerce needs and here’s why:
I’ve been an advocate of Agile Development and SCRUM for a long time. SCRUM is all about iterative development and maintaining forward momentum. I’ve also found that it keeps everyone involved, and on the same-page in the least intrusive way possible.
Here at Tippingpoint Labs, we’ve embraced SCRUM for both engineering and non-engineering projects alike. We are working on a hybrid model that best matches our abilities and resource while doing our best not to get bogged down with process issues.
After speaking at the New England Mail Order Association Spring Conference and having conversations over lunch and dinner with talented marketers from brands like Sony, Hyatt, Gardeners Supply, Home Shopping Network Interactive, Stony Creek and L.L. Bean, I pondered the future of the printed catalog. Print catalogs will not die, but they must evolve.
We’ve been working on a concept called ‘media modality.’ Our hypothesis is basically this: people consume content in a variety of modes often defined by the medium used to deliver the media. So, if you use the right medium with the right kind of content you’ll capture the consumer (audience.)
In the age of transparency, marketing is not about crafting artificial or half-true brand stories for consumer audiences. Marketing is about uncovering, fostering, sharing, and engaging with employees and consumers around the true stories that make your brand unique. Let’s take a look at how a few of the departments in your organization are the real marketing departments.
The word ‘syndication’ in the media world is a loaded term. If you’re in traditional broadcasting you understand syndication to be the licensing of programming for broadcast in your market. If you’re in the newspaper business you might refer to syndication in a similar way – as in a syndicated columnist (where the full body of content is reprinted as part of a licensing deal exclusively to newspapers around the world.)
On the web, you’ve got to embrace the fact that syndicating content (using these traditional models) isn’t a great idea. That’s why even Wikipedia distinguishes between broadcast, print and web syndication. They are entirely different.
The first step in product-tizing your website is a site audit. Ask yourself what you want your users to do. Do you want them to come away with a feel for your corporate culture? Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to create content? Boil it down to one sentence, then ask yourself if your site accommodates that now. If not, it’s time for a re-do.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 18 years since Bruce Springsteen lamented that there were “57 channels and nothing on.” Back in 1992 when the song was released, such a huge cable lineup was unfathomable, and the frustration he experienced trying to navigate the sudden increase of content caused the Boss to write that he bought a .44 magnum to blow away his television– Elvis style.
Today, when you consider the explosion of content online, 57 channels seem as limiting as choosing between french fries or mashed potatoes. Consider the statistics offered by social media think tank, Socialnomics.
* You Tube hosts more than 100 million videos.
* Users post 153 articles to Wikipedia per hour.
* There are over 200 million blogs and more than 54% of bloggers post new content or tweet daily.
* Hulu went from 63 million streams to 373 million total streams in one year.
* Facebook users share more than 1.5 million pieces of content every day.
That’s a lot of content, too much to navigate on your own. So how will one navigate content online? The same way we do offline world– we’ll get referrals.
Nothing like a good dose of history repeating itself, because it’s nothing new. Before there was the AJAX libraries of Web 2.0, there was Flash sliding interfaces, pop-up dialogues and multiple clicks. Seems like we’ve landed right back on the same old Flash paradigms of the turn-of-the-century. No need to have history repeat itself, let’s make 2010 the year of common sense user experience.
A more strategic approach to digital marketing is required this year – but often a firm’s ability to acknowledge this necessary change occurs only after months of failure, pain, and anguish. To the exhausted and bloodied, there is indeed a better way. And to the ones just getting into the ring, learn from those who have fought before you …
2010 will see the idea of tactical engagement and “I need to get on [INSERT SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE DU JOUR HERE] now!” change into higher-level and thoughtful questions like, “What can I provide to new media channels?” This kind of thought makes your web marketing more future proof. When Twitter falls from favor, but all of your social media “experts” turn out to be “Twitter experts,” those with strategies defined by clear goals will be ready and able to distribute and promote the right kind of content on any platform to any audience.
If clients are more inclined to “date their agencies” throughout the life of the relationship, at what point should the agency start hinting at a ring? Do project based arrangements have any benefit to clients or agencies.
Madison Avenue is infamous for generating expensive, overwrought creative presentations that hijack agency resources and time for days (if not weeks). Under this model, when responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP) generated by the potential client, agencies compete and the winner is rewarded with a long-term retainer that justifies the energy expended on the pitch.
The best way to start any platform discussion is with the baseline features. What does this platform need to accomplish? At its core, Food Thinkers had to have the ability to create stories that were categorized by the features that our content calendar laid out and it had to engage the reader by allowing them to comment on the stories.
In Part 1, I talked about the type of content appropriate to the Food Thinkers platform in its current state and the types of contributors we look for. Today, I discuss how we find contributors and create the content. As … Continued
The Food Thinkers platform is not merely a blog in the singular sense. It is meant to be a site with a growing number of contributors and content targets. “FoodThinkers is an online stream of simple moments of brilliance from … Continued
I don’t know how many people have received Google Wave invites. In September, we were told 100,000 users would be invited to participate. I opened my Gmail account last weekend to find my invitation awaiting my attention and with great excitement I clicked through to start my Google Wave experience. I am ready to change the way I communicate online. There’s only one problem: with so few early adopters invited to participate I don’t have anyone to communicate with.
That being said, I’ve had my first valuable interaction on Google Wave and feel confident in telling you what I think about my initial experience.
Last week, I spent some time analyzing a new channel I happened on called TheHotList.com. In my analysis, I attempted to coin a new phrase to describe the channel – micro-apps. As I’ve watched new channels emerge, even just over the course of the last week, I’ve found more and more applications that fit the definition of a micro-app so I thought it might help to better define my new term:
A micro-app is an application the sources very specific content from at least one external source and manipulates the information to display it in a new or inventive way.
Here’s a great new example of a micro-app called Social Great.
A good contest is going to be transparent and, hopefully, beneficial to the community as a whole. But beware the quid pro quo and focus on the channel benefit, not on simply boosting follower/fan counts.
Today on the Tipping Point we’re getting out our trans-temporal spyglass-microscope hybrid and take a look at the future as it stands right now. Inbound marketing will never be the same.
One of our driving philosophies here at the Tippingpoint Labs is that, for brands, your website is not the center of your web universe anymore. Conventional (read: outdated) thinking holds that your homepage should be the starting and ending point … Continued
I’ve been using FourSquare for months now. I can’t recall where I heard about it, but I immediately signed up and started using it on my iPhone. If I was pitching FourSquare as a television show I’d pitch it like this:
FourSquare is Facebook meets Twitter meets Google Maps meets Yelp meets the Boy Scouts.
Spoofs have never been more popular. What makes parodies work and not work online? We take a closer look.
This morning I happened on TubeRadio.fm. To be blunt, TubeRadio is awesome! Basically,TubeRadio uses YouTube to deliver music videos in an iTunes-like interface on your web browser. TubeRadio is an evolution in the delivery of music to your desktop, built by the team at Last.fm. TubeRadio calls itself “YouTube for music.” But is it?
Qwest has a dedicated team at socialmedia.qwest.com — not at TalktoQwest.com where it should at least also be — whose mission, according to the CEO is “Listening to and understanding our customers so completely that we deliver a total customer experience that exceeds expectations.”
What does this crack team of social media experts do? They listen and understand.
Okay, so I just made up a new term “micro-app.” That’s the only way I can describe TheHotlist.com — it’s a micro-app. Basically, TheHotlist uses Facebook Connect to deliver a rich interface for your Facebook events. The interface is intriguing, delivering you a map and a calendar and showing you who’s attending what, where. It’s interesting and it may highlight something we’re going to see more of: deeper web applications built as massive mash-ups using networks like LinkedIn or Facebook as their core.
This week on The Tipping Point: Online Apologies JetBlue, Amazon, and thousands of other companies have been forced to issue apologies for product or service issues. Some of them have used online distribution channels effectively to say “I’m sorry.” We … Continued
As you launch your new online product or service I’m sure you’re excited to get some real-world feedback. Perhaps you’re launching a private beta, or maybe you’re going full bore and opening up the floodgates to the whole world. No matter what you do, don’t give those initial users too much credit.
Hyundai Think Tank is a gated customer outreach community that attempts to bring customers and potential customers together and give them an opportunity to participate with the brand on a deeper level. It seems to accomplish, in theory, the goal of being more participatory as a brand. If you look at the Google trends for the automotive vertical, you can clearly see that brand interaction is a plateau. Hyundai is right to try and engage customers more deeply.
Successful web content doesn’t promote your brand or product. It promotes the themes and subjects that surround them. It prompts discussion or adds to it.
The Tipping Point Podcast Subscribe in iTunes or you can enjoy the podcasts at Blubrry.com Each podcast journeys into the world wide web, exploring various aspects of what makes people successful on the internet. We’ll cover almost anything. We’ve learned … Continued
Conferences, seminars, mixers, even fund-raising event management On September 10, 2009, all around the world, thousands of people gathered at restaurants and bars to support a local charity. All of these events were coordinated locally and attended internationally. Of course, … Continued
I am a frequent early adopter, and any invitation like this is really intriguing. Pinyadda looks promising (take a look when you have a second), but something I noticed early in my interaction on the new platform highlights one of the major concerns I have with early-phase new media channels: the integration of features that increase reach too fast, too early.
TGI Friday’s fell victim to a social media one-night stand with their Fan Woody campaign. Promising free hamburgers is no way to build a lasting, valuable relationship with consumers.
Doesn’t it feel good to live in the age of the empowered consumer? No, we can’t force our planes to take off on time. But sometimes, if you use the right channels, you can get some money taken off your … Continued
Building a relationship with a consumer or a partner can be difficult. Today, there are business models based on exactly this premise – deliver a quality product each and every month and meet or exceed your customer’s expectation. Content creation is no different.
Professional document-sharing site Docstoc has a very robust functionality that has driven it past Experimentation and into the Adoption Phase of its New Media Life Cycle. However, ridding the channel of spam and illegal content, in addition to attracting more valuable content, will be hurdles it needs to overcome to get to Gestation and beyond.
Act One: Search Overload and the user experience. The search engine wars have begun.
We explore what leading experts say about the problems with search today — including Bernie Borges, author and SEO expert, Gabriel Weinberg, founder of Duck Duck Go, and Anand Rajaramand, founder of Kosmix.
We tackle the problem of Google, frustrations that users face, and some of the new approaches making search more friendly.
Get Satisfaction has entered the Adoption Phase of its New Media Life Cycle and shows strong potential for growth by providing a forum for easy, transparent support communication between consumers and producers.
It seems like every time I meet with an agency, they bring along their social media experts. I’m not exactly sure what makes someone a social media expert. Perhaps it is someone who knows how to amass a lot of … Continued
There is so much well-produced video online today that people’s expectations are high. You don’t want to be the Cable Access Channel to your competitors’ MTV.
Blog site Posterous is drawing attention and traffic by offering a dead simple email and publish interface. No signup, no login. Any email will do. But can they build a quality channel?
A blog has the potential to be so much more than just a diary of the day’s events or another channel for repurposing your company’s press releases in a slightly more digestible format. A blog is where you need to open up, be human, and earn trust.
Telling a great story does you little good if people don’t read it, watch it, or listen to it. Make your content more reader-friendly and get more action on your content.
Satisfying your audience’s appetite for your content can be as simple as following these three basic guidelines:
The Galilean Model is a conceptual framework for understanding your brand’s place in the internet as a whole. Search is at the center of the web and you have to participate outside of your dotcom to engage consumers.
While its days as the #1 destination of young people may never return, MySpace can still prove to be an outstanding and valuable web channel. This may entail a refocus of efforts away from the personal branding elements that they pioneered and on to the higher-quality content areas of their site.
Ning is a social networking site that is definitely learning a lot in the Gestation phase of its New Media Life Cycle, and perhaps its more moderate and measured growth demonstrates that it’s taking a long-term growth strategy that will ultimately prove to be more successful than LinkedIn.
Which audience is more valuable to you? A) The larger one that ignores or casually notices your content? B) The smaller one that is happily engaging with and consuming your content? If you selected A, you should report to a … Continued
Foreverism gives the impression of being present equally in all times at once and lasting without decay in perpetuity. The former is impossible and the latter is contrary to reasonable expectations. It’s another way of saying, if you’re a marketer, never sleep.
By creating something that will resonate with your consumer-base, you hook them in. By enabling and making it easy for them to share it, you build links and drive traffic. This is the process that SEO attempts to mimic.
Successful content can propel brands to the forefont of an industy. To engage audiences meaningfully with content requires knowing them and giving them what they need and want. Case in Point: Chris Brogan and Mike Lewis achieved this kind of … Continued
While Twitter and Time Magazine hail Twitter as the next big thing in social media, I think that not only is this premature, it might be just plain wrong. There are already signs that attrition is on the rise at Twitter as users struggle to find value in the content.
If you haven’t built an RSS strategy into your overall content marketing efforts, start. Now. Otherwise, you’re missing out on one of the most effective mediums of direct communication the web has to offer.
It was a pleasure to speak at Custom Media Day in Manhattan last week. And in an effort to add valuable content, I thought I should deliver on some of the requests I received after speaking.
Be ready to react quickly to breaking news. Make sure your content creation process is nimble enough roll with a timely idea — without a lot of barriers.
In the past couple of weeks I’ve started to see evidence that Twitter might be entering its Trough of Disillusionment. The evidence you ask? A quick search on Google Trends for the phrase “Twitter Sucks” shows a HUGE spike starting … Continued
I was intrigued by an article I found on HackerNews this morning. The article, entitled The Size of Social Networks; Primates on Facebook, was published in The Economist online and it accentuates something I’ve been discussing in the office for a couple of weeks: focusing on the quantity of ‘followers’ (on Twitter) or ‘friends’ (on Facebook) is misguided and inherently denegrates the relevance of the distribution of your content. Let me explain.
Our New Media Life Cycle Analysis has led us to some very interesting hypotheses about what factors influence the end of one phase of the life cycle and the beginning of the next phase. Our current analysis of 12seconds.tv illustrates … Continued
Yesterday, I wrote about what we believe to be the future of online content distribution. I’ve also written about Tippingpoint Labs’ New Media Life Cycle Analysis in which I demonstrated the idea that comprehensive trend analysis can help determine where … Continued
As a strategist at an online content marketing agency I’m constantly asked to recommend the most effective online distribution channels. Unfortunately, there’s been no easy way to answer this question. However, over the next couple of posts, I hope to … Continued
This weekend I happened on a great little article on the Mixpanel blog. The article takes a formulaic approach to determining how ‘viral’ an application or channel might be. Their formula is very intriguing.
While 12seconds.tv is really intriguing and exciting for potential content marketers, it’s going to take some time to figure out exactly how to use it.
As part of Tippingpoint’s Online Content Marketing strategy, we’ve keyed in on defining valuable content. For each distribution channel (YouTube.com or Flickr.com) or web platform (blog, photostream, e-zine, email newsletter), we define valuable content as the creation and distribution of … Continued
I’ve been working on a brand new comprehensive methodology in which to chart the evolution of a web distribution channel or platform’s life cycle, called The Tippingpoint Labs’ Life Cycle Analysis. It’s still in its early stages of development, but … Continued
I read a wonderful article this morning in Mass High Tech magazine. The author, Denise de Murcie a former journalist and now brand manager, wrote a piece in the February 6th issue of the magazine entitled The Lines are Blurring Between Branding and Journalism.
Everyday, clients and friends are asking me how they can leverage social media platforms to engage customers or prospects in valuable dialogues that lead to a sale.