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Archive for March, 2011

Decisions

March 29, 2011 2 comments

“Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know!”

– The Clash

Although The Clash was signing about something a little different, do you think  the inner monologue of Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs may be a bit similar at the moment?  There is a lot of buzz about Gibbs being pursued by Facebook to be their next head of communications.  Clearly Gibbs is well suited for the role but methinks if Facebook really is after him, it is about much more than communications and more likely his deft skills at navigating the sea of  lobbyist and policy makers in Washington D.C.

One simple reason why I could see Facebook wanting Gibbs is their road ahead may be fraught with lots of government regulation issues around online privacy, data collection, etc. An in-house expert, like Gibbs, would be a significant advantage in dealing with potential government issues that may be ahead in the US as well as the EU.  And then there is the equity upside for Gibbs at the hottest pre-IPO company in the valley.

Then again Gibbs could also go and work for Obama on the “Election Campaign – Part Deux”  But shhh…it’s all still a secret with Gibbs for now

And since you all know I really like to grok about Online Privacy, here is a great primer from the friendly folks at the IAB

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Hotel California

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment

“Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
’relax,’ said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.
You can checkout any time you like,
But you can never leave!”

Hotel California, The Eagles

I came down to Big Sur this week for a bit of a getaway.  I love it down here and I have really tried to disconnect a bit and have barely checked email.  Admittedly, I have done a bit of FourSquare check-ins 🙂

A stretch of  Rt. 1 North of Big Sur slide into the ocean last week, so getting here took extra time since the only way into Big Sur was from the South.  This morning there was a slide to the South – so now I’m stuck in Big Sur until CalTrans clears the road.  Gulp.  I guess there are worse places to be stuck.

Bixby Bridge

 

 

Idyllic Rt. 1

The Rt.1 everyone is dealing with this week.  It’s a looong way down!

Privacy – What Advertisers Can Learn from the TSA

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve mentioned before that I really like many of the cartoons that @TomFishburne sends out in his Brand Camp posts.  Today’s Brand Camp cartoon really hit home because it’s something I’ve tweeted about long ago.

I remember seeing this TSA sticker (below) posted on the x-ray machine at an airport I can’t recall in the blur of  airport visits throughout the year.  Although the sticker doesn’t ask me to “Like” the TSA, it does ask me to follow.  Close enough. I have little interest in reading whatever it is the TSA blogs about, especially since I doubt they have a decent mechanism on their blog to actually engage (and make changes) with the flying public.

Three things I think brands can learn from this simple cartoon and sticker.

  • Without an interesting message and a reason to truly engage, nobody wants to be your friend
  • Transparency and trust is important – the TSA does x-ray your bag and put you through a sensor
  • Be upfront and state the benefit – The TSA clearly states their expectations to travelers. The benefit for travelers is, barring any weapons or excluded items, travelers are permitted to the gates

In many ways the TSA reminds me of some of the privacy issues that are facing the digital media and advertising industry, when it comes to privacy.  For example, if consumers had a better understanding (transparency) of how advertisers were using cookies or tracking pixels to provide a better service (targeted ads), I believe it could improve the relationship for advertisers, consumers and tracking technology providers.  More importantly this transparency can lead to better self-regulation and ease potential over-regulation of Internet advertising by the FCC.  And perhaps this could even work in the EU – I’m an optimist at heart!

Since I’m in a position to make decisions about these sorts of things, as the head of digital marketing for a large CPG company (see my disclosure), I have embraced what the folks over at Evidon are doing.  Scott Meyer is leading an incredibly smart and passionate team at Evidon.  In fact, I have even downloaded their Ghostery product.  (The Ghostery icon reminds me of Blinky, that annoying ghost in Pac-Man that used to kill my Pac-Man!)  The difference is that this ghost tells me who and what is tracking me on each site I visit – it’s pretty cool.  And in the not to distant future the brands I work on will have this Advertising Option Icon on them.

The industry support for this program is great and growing.  Just look at who is on board already.  If you are an advertiser or a consumer, you should really check out this program of self-regulation.

It’s akin to what I hope will become a universal symbol for quality advertising online as well as complete transparency about data usage.  This online privacy and data usage space has a long way to go and with a great partnership from within the industry (see above), I truly believe consumers will embrace ad data sharing, cookies and the wonderful world of targeted advertising.  Who wants to see crap ads and ads from companies whose product or services for which they have no interest.

I will write a few more posts in the coming weeks about privacy, especially how to safeguard your individual privacy in the social graph – this will be especially good for a lot of college students that will soon be entering the working (professional) world, where showing pictures of keg stands won’t go over well with prospective employers.

As always, I would enjoy hearing your feedback.  Ping me at @dougchavez or feel free to post on this page.

The iPad2 Cover – Smart. Innovative. Revenue and Margin King!

March 17, 2011 1 comment

Ever since my parents bought my first computer – an Apple IIe, I’ve been an Apple Fan.  Sure they have made their mistakes along the way and I’ve owned (and still own) Windows based computers.  I love great design and one thing Apple has always done is great design, even the boxes their computers are packed in are smart, well thought out and have excellent UX.

When Apple lunched the iPad2, I was immediately taken by the cover – more so then with the iPad2. The iPad2 had the features I expected but the cover surprised everyone and I have yet to met a person that doesn’t love the design and ingenuity.  Aside from the great design, my quick follow on thoughts are this:

  1. I want one
  2. They just captured the lost revenue on iPad2 accessories
  3. Everyone will buy one vs. the other third party covers – since only Apple’s will have magnet
  4. BIG REVENUE and BIGGER MARGINS
  5. Second quarter will blow past Wall St. expectations

If you have ever walked into an Apple store, I’m sure you have spent time at the accessories wall.  Apple has certainly created a great business for a lot of accessory companies over the past years and they have always had some great accessories. I had an Apple joystick at one point (I was great at Karateka).   Apple’s Magsafe power cords are a great example of smart design and great margin accessory products, for which Apple holds the patent and does not license the technology.  Not many people buy multiple power adapters.  I bet people will buy multiple covers.  But even if consumers only buy one iPad2 cover, Apple still wins since it’s one more cover sale they were not getting with the last device release.

I’m not the only one that is thinking this way about the sheer brilliance of the iPad2 cover [revenue] strategy.  I follow Asymco “curated marketing intelligence”.  This past week Horace Dediu’s (@asymco) acticle, The Billion Dollar Smart Cover nailed it.  Although I think his estimate of only 60% of iPad2 buyers getting the cover is conservative.  I bet that Apple reports 85%.

Whatever the percentage, I really like the continued smart design that Apple keeps cranking out.  Call me a fanboy if you want but all I can say is show me another device or media company that innovates and has the margins of the kids down in Cupertino.

Cross Platform Connections – Getting it Done

March 15, 2011 2 comments

One of the hot topics in the world of Integrated Marketing, especially when it comes to CPG advertising is crafting a strategy that connects the dots across multiple platforms, such as TV, print, digital, in-store marketing and FSIs.  Over the last 24 months the pace of truly integrated marketing campaigns has really picked up, as brand advertisers follow the consumer – and she is connected in ways like never before. A great example of these media consumption habits and trends can be seen in the GMA Shopper Marketing report, Shopper Marketing 4.0: Building Scalable Playbooks That Drive Results.  (A special callout to my friend Matt Egol at Booz & Co, for his leadership in creating this report)

Last week, I had the opportunity to get on stage and present “Maintaining Connections Across Platforms” at iMedia Brand Summit in Austin, TX.  My presentation showcases two iconic brands, Kibbles ‘n Bits and Milk-Bone.  I had a short 15 minutes to present the two cases and  take some Q&A from the audience of brands marketers, media folks, publishers and brand experts.

If you have a few minutes, watch the presentation and think about how brands are connecting the dots for you as a consumer or how you’re doing similar work as marketer.  I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and feedback.

Special thanks to @KozComm for blogging from the event and posting his thoughts on the presentation in his SXSW Report

 

 

And how did I celebrate after the presentation?  By having a fantastic tex-mex lunch at an Austin institution – Chuy’s! (there may have been some queso and creamy jalapeno ordered)

Social Media Monday Blues

March 14, 2011 2 comments

I had a sneaking suspicion that today would be an interesting day.  And it certainly has been a “Monday” for several folks in the social media world.  One of the email lists i subscribe to is Tom Fishburn’s Maketoonist (@TomFishburne)”Brand Camp” cartoons.  The cartoon today was especially interesting to me, since the cartoon nails what I believe a lot of brands get wrong – outsourcing social media management.

I’m certain there are many highly qualified and competent agencies that do a solid job for their clients.  In fact, we use a hybrid model at my company.  That said, I’m a firm believer that brands and their marketing (digital marketing) organizations should manage social media in house.  Here’s why.  First, Nobody knows the brand better than the brand team and the marketing organization supporting the brand(s).  Second, paying a third party, exposes the brand to the risk of the constant churn in agency account teams.  When that twentysomething leaves for the next step in their agency career all the knowledge leaves with the person.  On the other hand, having a brand person (ideally multiple brand team members) actively engaged in the conversation keeps the knowledge of community management in house – and when that brand person switches brands that skillset stays withing the organization.  It’s all upside.  Granted people will leave the organization, however, I would rather manage that transition vs. a new junior person at the agency (which I will certainly have little or no control over)

I’m sure there will be plenty of agency types reading this and several will disagree with me.  There will also be brand marketers reading this and say “I have no time for community management”.  Both are fair points and I will certainly be happy to address them.  In fact, I  plan on writing a few posts with my thoughts on both of those viewpoints.  Stay tuned.

Midway through today I heard the news that Gilbert Gottfried, the voice of the beloved Aflac duck was canned for tweeting some incredibly insensitive and moronic things about Japan.  Not a good thing to do, especially given that 75% of Aflac’s business comes from Japan.  Talk about a #FAIL of galactic proportions.

I’m a bit bummed since I do like Gilbert’s voice for the Aflac duck, especially since I don’t have to see Gilbert’s annoying squinting eyes.  Perhaps Gilbert and  the guy that thought he was tweeting from his personal account but tweeted from the @ChryslerAutos account and dropped the F Bomb, was subsequently fired by his agency, New Media Strategies, right before they were fired by Chrysler, can join forces and form one of those agencies that mange social media strategies.  [See above paragraph].

I am biased towards in-house social media management but I truly think there is good reason.  I’m always happy to hear your thoughts, so feel free to ping me at @Dougchavez or post a comment below.

A Chicago classic on many levels

March 13, 2011 5 comments
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