Timing the marketing

Follow the Story of a retail chameleon #li

At the GEL Conference one year, I took a NYC retail tour with Rachel Shechtman. Retail innovation is alive and well, even with high-priced real estate. Of course, New Yorkers love to shop. It's more integrated into life there. 

Now Rachel and her friends have a fascinating new retail adventure named Story. They intend to completely remake the shop every couple of months. I'm so jealous I could scream. 

Story: A Startup Store

Born from late nights, big dreams, and lots of coffee.  A mix of young New York-based companies present their stories, forged from innovation and crafted in fun.

Planning to share ideas in a sustainable way #li

Do you ever wonder if an idea is worth tweeting about? Wonder if you should spend more time saying something more original? Well, the answer is Yes and No. 

Here's an excellent way to plan your marketing communications, regardless of which media channels you use. I discovered this idea with Noah Brier, but the Robin Sloan article he mentions is also excellent. 

Ad Age Digital Next: How Mastering 'Stock and Flow' will Boost your Content Strategy, 2011-Nov-14, by Noah Brier

...The current state of content on the web: [moving] to "stock and flow," a metaphor coined by Robin Sloan, formerly of Twitter (and the blog Snarkmarket). Stock, Sloan explained, "… is the durable stuff. It's the content you produce that's as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It's what people discover via search. It's what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time." Flow, on the other hand, " … is the feed. It's the posts and the tweets. It's the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist."

Scoops and great storytelling are stock: They bring in new audience.

But days need to be filled and audiences need new content or they'll find somewhere else to do their refreshing. That's where flow comes in. Flow is pieces of content, produced rapidly and at a low cost.

Curated content is flow: It keeps people coming back and keeps a publisher, or brand, front-of-mind.

Real change in tempo of marketing communications #li

When I started off in the advertising world, we spent months developing campaigns. Now marketing communications is more about responding to signals. 

Only Dead Fish: Slow Fast and Spiky Communication, 2011-Nov, by Neil Perkin

A key element of this for me is linked to timing. Shiv mentions that media planning will change as social signals will heavily influence planning decisions, but I think this stretches into creative production as well, as decisions about when to create different elements of a narrative, and when to take them to a wider audience are impacted by the way in which people are involved with different parts of the story. It's kind of like the 'user-led advertainment' idea (in which ads become stories that unfold at the users pace)....

Building traffic by being in charge of a subject

In my opinion, SEO will become increasingly based on a site's ability to provide fresh content. Being authoritative will be less important than being up-to-date. You can afford to make a few mistakes if you busy observing and revising your opinion. People rely on you to know what's going on.  

A List Apart: Articles: The Content Strategist as Digital Curator.2009-Dec-8, by Erin Scime

When a site launches, your audience arrives to learn more about what you know most about. It’s critical to create a content experience with purpose, that is consistent and contextual. This helps to assert your brand’s authority, establishes relationships with your audience, and secures a return visit based on your content’s value. The content strategist-as-curator is the one who makes this happen. How? Exhibit your collection’s greatest assets Just as curators produce thoughtful exhibitions that juxtapose pieces of work against one another to create meaning and spur excitement, content strategists must approach a business’s content as a medium that needs to be strategically selected and placed to engage the audience, convey a message, and inspire action.

Tracking the Audience's Evolution

Sales lead management systems have traditionally put the leads into a process, but those leads represent real people who are living an experience where their situation continuously changing. Companies that have frequent conversations with their customers and prospects have a natural advantage.

MediaPost Email Insider Funnel Experiences, 2009-Sep-21, by David Baker

Funnel marketing is marketing in the past to predict the future. Lifestage marketing is building hypotheses and predictions about the future shifts in market, consumer demand and life circumstances that can influence brand involvement.

Ads on the School Bus: Missing Opportunity

051227c Some people are upset about school districts selling advertising on school buses, but I think districts and advertisers should recognize they have a special opportunity. If an advertiser wants to show their support of the community and education, they can develop special ads. Unfortunately, what's more likely to happen is ordinary transit advertising, as pictured here.

USATODAY.com: Advertisers Catch the School Bus by Emily Bazar

“This will spread across the nation, because there's so much money that will come into schools as a result of doing this,” says Daniel Shearer, director of transportation at the Scottsdale Unified School District. The Arizona city just outside Phoenix began displaying ads on the sides of its buses last December. Advertisers include real estate agencies, a local toy store and an ambulance company. The district anticipates the ads will bring in $300,000 this year and up to $900,000 in a few years. But some consumer groups and parents are alarmed. They say America's children — already bombarded by ads — shouldn't become captive audiences on their way to and from school.