Segmenting Moms

7 04 2009

1-800-Flowers has launched a new campaign, Spot-a-Mom. Working across a broad range of traditional and social media outlets, the company is encouraging everyone from their CEO to the (wo)man on the street to recognize the moms in their lives. What’s unique about this is that they are using Twitter and Facebook to segment the moms by interests and hobbies. Participants can then nominate the moms in their lives to be the 1-800-Flowers Mom of the Week.

Of course, this campaign is a lead-up to next month’s Mother’s Day. And the more that 1-800-Flowers can do to associate its brand with that holiday, the better for them. But at least they’re recognizing Moms in the process.

(tip to 1-800-Flowers: Don’t be so cheap. The $100 gift certificate for being the Mom of the week makes you look cheap).


Fast Feedback

20 11 2008

David Armano has posted another great article, Creating a Rapid Response Culture.  The case he makes is inevitable but tough for companies to face:  as the distance between consumer and company shrinks, the expectation for feedback and results grows.  

I’m currently working with clients who are a bit leery of what will be required of them when they open up a direct channel to the customers.  The truth is, it will probably be a bit of a burden handling all of the requests and complaints, pings and Tweets.  But that’s okay.  Because it’s far better to hear what the customers are saying than to bury one’s head in the sand.  And, even if we can’t address every single customer in quick turn-around, we can pick and choose important conversations to engage in immediately.

I see a big opening in the job market for a new breed of customer service rep that answers this growing stream of feedback.  The ability to talk 1-to-1 with consumers and address their needs, ideas, complaints and praises is going to be a competitive differentiator.


22 10 2008

MediaPost ran a good article by Karl Greenberg the other day on Mike Mendenhall, CMO of HP, and his social media philosophy.  There were some great statistics I’d like to share (lift) here:

Mendenhall used the current presidential campaign as a case in point, noting that the video “I’ve got a crush on Obama,” which was not made by the Obama campaign, has garnered some 9.5 million views. “Thirty-five percent of all Americans have watched political ads and videos online,” he says. “That’s three times more than in 2004.”

He says that according to Forrester Research, GenY is spending 30% more time online than watching TV. “This digital conversation never stops, and we need to update organizations and operations accordingly. The questions are: When do you think you are going to see new syndication models? And when do you think we will see the network environment change? As marketers, we have the opportunity to drive change within our companies because all public touchpoints impact our brands, reputation and revenue. Brands aren’t defined by campaigns, but by consumer ecosystems.”

Mendenhall made social network Twitter the poster child for how individuals can shape perception on a massive scale, and how that is shaping marketing.

“In less than two years using just 148 characters, Twitter has moved from a novel idea to a global presence: CNN uses Twitter for hurricane updates, political campaigns use it to activate grassroots support. Think of that: we are living in a world where a 22-employee company is at the center of global media.”

He noted that Facebook and MySpace reach more than 200 million active users per month. YouTube in 2007 consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000, he said.

“The digital conversation is a global phenomenon,” he says. “Last quarter, 70% of our revenue came from outside the U.S. with 10% from Brazil, India and China. The global population is now 6.6 billion, and only 1.3 billion have Internet access. That will grow fast, and as new users come online, they are leap-frogging into Web 2.0.

“Seventy-six percent of Brazilian Internet users are on social media, and 50% of them have their own blogs. China is the largest blogging community in the world with 42 million bloggers. The amount of digital info online is doubling every 18 months,” he says, adding that the information is overwhelming for customers. “It’s useless if you can’t get the right info to the right person at the right time.”

This should provide good perspective to any marketers wondering how we’re consuming and creating content these days.  

What’s in a Name?

21 08 2008

Recently, I was helping a friend try to figure out a name for a mobile software start-up.  The field’s so crowded with ventures now that it’s not easy to pick a name that hasn’t already been taken.  And it’s even harder to avoid names that are too techy, too cutesy, too clunky or just too, well, plain.  The only thing we were certain of was not taking a regular word and starting it with the letter “i.”

After umpteen passes with random imagination we decided to take a different approach.  Rather than just brainstorm names, we would first identify the qualities we thought would constitute a good name so we had something against which to judge our ideas.  Here’s what we came up with:

FLEXIBLE –  A word with multiple meanings and interpretations.  Better yet – a word that can be used as a verb or a noun.  Not only does this open up more possibilities for your marketing communications, it gives your design team a lot more options.  At one point we had gone down the road of fly-fishing imagery (tangential, yes, but we still think it’s cool) and words like “fly,” “lure,” and “catch” all fit this bill.  

EVOCATIVE – You want a name that conjures up interesting imagery.  Imagery that will be powerful in telling your story and conveying your brand image.  Words attached to common metaphors (like “window,” “door,” “sky”) are also more apt to translate internationally.  But beware:  you also want to conjure up the right imagery.  One name that we came up with was quickly squashed by the graphic designer because the first thing it made her think of was the creature in Alien.  Not so friendly.   Google got this one right with the name of their new mobile platform, Android, even if it is a bit scary.  Flickr got it right too.  And Richard Branson really got it right with Virgin. 

WE LIKE TO SAY IT – Maybe it’s hard to quantify this, but we all know it when we hear it.  There are onomatopoeic words like “sizzle.” Words with hard sounds like “hatch” and “jot.”  And just plain goofy words that are fun to say like “Google,” “Zoho” and “Twitter.”

AVAILABLE DOMAIN & DEFENSIBLE – a minor detail (heh)

We never did come up with a name.  I think the lawyers are duking it out over a bunch of second string ideas.  Turned out the one we liked most were too polarizing.  But, we still think these are useful guidelines for those of you undertaking the Sisyphean task of naming your start-up.  Good luck.