Tag Archives: marketing

What makes Vine so good, and will it last?

Twitter’s recently launched new app, Vine is the latest in ‘brevity sharing’. While Twitter’s micro-blogging service is restricted to 140 characters, Vine’s video platform is limited to six seconds of looping video. The video can be recorded in one hit or in several bursts to create stop-motion and animation short stories.

I prefer text. I’ve already made this confession on a previous post, ‘Why written content is not dead (but video is awesome)’. In it I stated that video is indeed awesome – there are fantastic films, ads and other breeds of moving pictures that educate, entertain, enlighten, inform and move us in ways that a page of words cannot, but I love a good page of cleverly compiled words. Sometimes, it’s patience that gets the best of me. Even a short (say, 3 minute) introductory video about a product or idea takes time to watch, whereas I can choose how long I scan a page of text for. There’s also the aspect of convenience and usability with video taking longer to load than a static page of copy.

So why do I really like Vine? Five main reasons:
1) It’s simple to use
2) It creates video, but at 6 seconds, an easily digestible amount of video
3) It’s shareable
4) It demands creativity
5) It has a huge amount of marketing potential

For those who haven’t seen what Vine does yet, here’s my first Vine creation:

Why Vine is so good

  • There is no editing or filter option – it’s raw and demands the talents of a storyteller, not just someone who can make things look pretty.
  • The interface is intuitive and simple to use.
  • The ‘Explore’ function is solid. Users can quickly search for other Vines under ‘Editor’s Picks’, ‘Popular Now’ and a selection of twelve hashtag categories including #cute, #pets, #travel, #remake, #food, #howto and #sports
  • Vine videos are immediately shareable on Vine, Twitter and Facebook as well as being easy to embed into blog posts. They can also be shared solely on Vine, Twitter or Facebook, or all at once.
  • Six seconds is ideal for short attention spans.
  • The potential for marketing and advertising is huge. Industries like travel, food & beverage, bars & restaurants, real estate, dating, beauty, film and theatre are naturally suited. Freelancers such as artists, photographers, musicians, music teachers, make-up artists, hairdressers and chefs will be able to get amazing messages across, too. With the constantly and increasingly rapidly changing landscape of advertising media, here is a tool that brands can use to share short, snappy messages with their consumers, for free. (For now).

But, will it last? What are the challenges?

Yes, Vine will last, but I don’t believe that it’ll be mainstream. It’ll be used effectively by certain industries and by creative minds, but there will be challenges.

  • It’s still very buggy. This needs to be sorted quickly to better secure an engaged set of users.
  • Lack of quality and creativity are threats to its usage – Vine will need to weed out all the crap and highlight the awesome videos.
  • The censoring of inappropriate content is a challenge. Porn has already posed as a problem to Vine, as it has with sexually explicit images on Instagram and text on Twitter.
  • Are hashtags enough? The ‘Explore’ categories are useful, but are they tailored enough to create a unique, relevant experience for the user? Not in my opinion.

Despite its challenges, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s produced with Vine…..the highlights of a destination, the before and after shots of a make-up artist in action, the freshly baked bread from a bakery, the ambience of a Surry Hills bar at 10pm on a Friday night….I want to see it all.

What are your thoughts on Vine’s potential? 

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Lessons from a wedding: What are your customers’ values?

Your potential customer is someone you are hoping to win over. You want their buy-in, their loyalty and their passion. Ideally, you want them to be a lifelong customer. You want them to prefer you over your competitors, but you need to give them reasons to stick by your side. Is it your superior product, excellent service or a fantastic online community?

Over the weekend I went to a wedding where the bride and groom displayed a beautiful plaque with their five core family values etched into it: Trust, Passion, Commitment, Support and Understanding.

These five values are what they hold most dear in their relationship. They’re the make or break. They’re non-negotiable. If any of these five values disappear, the relationship will be brought into question.

A business needs to understand and consider their customers’ values in everything they do in order to attract and retain them. Those values need to form part of every campaign, communication, touchpoint and sale. If ever the business disappoints, they must be able to recover by demonstrating that they respect those values and know how important they are to their customer. The challenges are figuring out what those values are, satisfying those values, and adapting when those values change over time. How? By listening, communicating and not ever making assumptions.

What are your customers’ values? What’s non-negotiable for them?

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Three excellent marketing campaigns from this week

Every day we see so many ads. Brands and ads are literally everywhere with us from when we wake up until when we fall asleep, and for many of us, brands, products and experiences even accompany us in our sleep.

As a marketer, I assess ads and promos for a number of qualities, such as:

  • Is this beautiful?
  • Is this powerful?
  • Is this effective?
  • Would this drive anyone to buy/investigate further/visit a website?

This past week I came across three very good campaigns that ticked the boxes.

1) The Smith Family’s interactive board in Pitt St Mall for the Winter Appeal 2012
It set out to attract foot traffic, and it did. A very clever way to engage and appeal to our emotional side. Kids are playing together, and then run toward you. The top of the billboard says, “Step towards the screen to join in.” When you do, the kids look up and run away together, leaving you by yourself. The explanation then comes: “It’s hard being left out. This is how over 600,000 disadvantaged Aussie kids feel every day. Donate to make a difference.”

2) Emirates’ guitar players at Pitt St Mall
The sound of seven or so synchronised Spanish guitars during your lunch break is appealing to say the least. These players drew a crowd and in the middle of a chilly day, really made you think how nice it would be in a balmy Spanish summer from next month, flying Emirates’ new services from Sydney to Barcelona or Lisbon, of course.

3) Australian War Memorial Canberra’s Martin Place tents
The sign reads, “Australians in the first World War. 330,000 men went to war. Just 3,000 nurses to offer aid”
It couldn’t have been a better day for it. With the air crisp and the skies drawn, the tents looked solemn and morose. What a way to make you stop and think. This experiential marketing campaign was there to promote the Australian War Memorial’s latest exhibition, called Nurses: from Zululand to Afghanistan

Have you seen any ads or campaigns that caught your eye recently?

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10 key thoughts about the social enterprise from #Cloudforce Sydney

Yesterday I attended Salesforce’s Cloudforce Sydney 2012. It was a day of inspiration and knowledge from a selection of excellent companies who shared their insights about the social enterprise. But, “What’s a social enterprise?” I hear you ask.

A social enterprise is a business that is at the forefront of how it connects, shares and collaborates with its customers, staff and anyone else that matters to the company.

Pretty straight-forward, right? In principle, yes. What’s simple is the fact that people are now social and mobile. They’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, smartphones, tablets……check out this graphic to get an idea of the channels. What’s complex is that there are many channels, and what’s even more complex is how companies can interact with, monitor and utilise these channels for internal and external purposes such as:

  • Conversations with staff
  • Conversations with clients
  • Making sales
  • Providing customer service
  • Creating fans
  • Empowering staff

Salesforce is a company that does just that – it provides a platform by way of unpackaged, Internet-based ‘non-software’, for businesses to manage these interactions and relationships and in turn, be more successful at connecting with employees, clients, prospects and other stakeholders.

There were numerous Salesforce client speakers yesterday, including representatives from Salesforce, Radian6, Commbank, Spotify, Vodafone, Forrester Research, ReachOut.com, Ogilvy, Activision, HP and Kimberly Clark, and video presentations from brands such as Burberry, Toyota and Rossignol.

Here are 10 key thoughts about the social enterprise that I took from yesterday’s event:

1) There is a social divide. Your employees are social, and your customers are social, but is your company?

2) Work out how much to delight your customers. The customer is king but you need to manage their expectations.

3) Customers want access to real-time experts, not just customer care representatives.

4) Figure out how to use different channels in different ways, according to the state the customer is in for that touch point.

5) Real collaboration means being able to collaborate in real time, anywhere, from any device.

6) You have knowledge experts in your business. Find an efficient way to connect them with your staff and customers.

7) The social media people in your business should be the ones who are the most knowledgeable people about your business.

8) How can we not only maximise the use of current channels and communities, but also find ways to create our own?

9) What does your business model look like in 5 years if you aren’t social?

10) Failing is an important part of innovation and learning. Those who don’t try, don’t learn.

Useful Resources 
Via this link you can download Salesforce’s Little Blue Book of Social Enterprise Transformation,
and here are some Ebooks on Salesforce’s social media monitoring tool, Radian6’s site

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