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August 2012
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9 posts from September 2012

Sharing pictures crosses cultural boundaries

On Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, I follow mostly people from my neighborhood, but the cool thing about photo sharing is the ability to peek into different cultures where language differences might have been an issue before. Reading this article has encouraged me to start following people around the globe.  Tq-120928-ds

Social Media Influence: Will the future of social networks be shaped by passive users?, 2012-Sep-10

Countries like Brazil, India and Indonesia are almost entirely responsible for Facebook growth, with a decline in use in mature markets such as the US, Sweden and Hong Kong. According to GlobalWebIndex, Facebook is on track to hit two billion users by the end of 2014.

Pinterest demonstrates the globalization of the internet

With 53 million active users, Pinterest has made a tremendous impact on the social landscape, but only 16 million of these users come from the US. China (11 million), India (eight million) and Brazil (1.8 million) are once again leading the growth charge.

Photo sharing reigns supreme

Sharing photos on Facebook outranks messaging friends, posting status updates or sharing links as far as content activity is concerned, with 82 percent of desktop users sharing pictures via PC, 60 percent of mobile users via mobile and 57 percent of tablet users via a tablet. Photo sharing is the second most important activity on Twitter.

What "customer-centric" means to customers

I recently came to realize that loyalty includes an element of submission. If I'm loyal to Sony, I'm going to have to quit thinking about the MacBook Air. Tq-120924-aaMy last three laptops have been Sony Vaio computers, and they have served me well. The company has behaved in a supportive, predictable way. They're not perfect, but they have certainly earned my trust. 

Of course, Sony is not my friend. They're a supplier. Will they really notice when I'm gone? Probably not. I'm not significant to them, but I certainly will never be signficant to Apple, either. 

On the other side of the table, Sony earns my loyalty by thinking about my needs. I really need a laptop that weighs little but has a pretty big screen. A big part of my job is moving data from one application to another. If Sony stops making those type of computers, then I will leave without any twinge of guilt. 

FutureLab: Why your organisation is not customer-centric, 2012-Sep-8, by Maz Iqbal

...when the customer talks about a company being customer-centric he is talking about and pointing at a company that shows up for her as being in business ‘for the sake of contributing to/enriching the lives of customers’...

The context of marketing today

The world wide web changed marketing forever. It didn't change human nature, but it certainly enabled behaviors seldom important before. Tq-120921-dcHaving a static web site isn't healthy for a business anymore. We have to think about the digital implications in everything we plan and do. 

I highly recommend this article by Bud Caddell, who recommends we remember: Digital is a layer... a bridge... a feedback loop... iterative... participatory... mainstream... self-selected... supportive of small groups... unpredictable... shaping expectations... a way to generate more value from the relationships you've built. 

What Consumes Me: More than a few words on digital marketing, 2012-Aug-9 by Bud Caddell

With everything we do, we should be engineering the best path to the next experience.

“an idea which is re-contextualized as it is shared, appropriated, and sustained by people.

Why great marketing is like breathing

I used to have a sidebar on my blog that was entitled "Marketing as the Lungs of your Business." Tq-120919-wsIt never resonated with people, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. In the marketing area of your business, you have to breathe in the culture, the current economic client, and the interests of your audience. And you breathe back out a response that says: "Here's how my company is relevant." You can't afford to be oblivious to your environment. 

Harvard Business Review Blogs: The Logic Breathing Life into Oreo's new Branding, 2012-Aug-30, by Grant McCracken

Brand orthodoxy says that the brand should "keep it simple" and repeat itself constantly, like an old vaudevillian who doesn't mind doing his jokes over and over again because, hey, that's what got him here.

But there are new winds blowing in brand land. One of these came in the form of a book called The Cluetrain Manifesto, which proposed that branding should feel more like a conversation, a give and take between the consumer and the marketer.

This is an important idea because the consumer now appears to believe that the brand should earn its public attention the way all of us must. Say boring, repetitive stuff and you suffer the punishment that every bad conversationalist faces. First, we ignore you. Then, we exclude you.

There's a second metaphor we could use. I like to think of branding as breathing. It is taking in cultural meanings and giving them off. Inhale, exhale — but in this case the stuff of respiration is not air but culture. Culture in, culture out. (There's no point of joining a conversation unless you've got something to say.)

Oreo turns out to be really respiratory. When it celebrates Elvis, the Mars landings, or Bastille Day, it comes alive to the world around it. Playful, even. After all, who celebrates French holidays? ... So the brand escapes the solipsism, the self-absorption, the prison house most brands have imposed upon themselves.

Collecting versus Hoarding

It has certainly become too easy to collect things with a computer. At work, I clipped news stories for a year and then realized I had NEVER referred back to one of them. We see something we think might be useful, and we just CLICK.  Tq-120917-sb

Think before you click! The problem with hoarding is that all the stuff you saved gets in the way of finding the stuff you love. 

Opinionated Geekery: Digital Scarcity, 2012-Aug-11, by Tuhin Kumar

We have become digital hoarders. Saving things mindlessly with hopes that we might need it someday. Sharing things without even wondering if they are worth sharing. Recommending things to others without, in many cases, even spending enough time with what we are recommending. Building things that almost embrace people being mindless, casual, and not having to think about it. Why?

At the risk of sounding elitist, I urge fellow craftsmen to build systems that make people think, ponder, wonder and admire. As a litmus test, anything that makes a person think needs to be held as necessarily better than one that does not.

How to take your work personally and keep your sanity

Yesterday I had lunch with Christine Stevens. Neither Christine nor I fit the general preconception of 'creative professional,' although Christine loves to paint. (I just collect things.) But both of us arrive it our job with boundless creativity every day. We figure out better ways to operate a business. Our specialty is marketing but our perspective is growth and sustainability. We think great businesses will be stronger when good marketing principles are executed. And we use every ounce of our ingenuity to make it happen. 

Tq-120912-hdI used to work for a highly creative company, Ogilvy & Mather. But I was an account executive, not a "creative." I was told that when I 'grew up' and stopped taking my work so personally, I would become a good professional. Then I found myself crying every morning on the way into work. 

If it were not for the birth of Fast Company magazine, mentorship from David Willis, meeting Durwin Sharp and Rolf Smith, and finally learning how to connect with people like George Worthington and Christine, I would be in the insane asylum. 

I wish that business owners and top executives wouldn't cringe when they read the list below, but I know that creative professionals make their life harder. Right before we save it. 

Edge Perspectives: The Labor Day Manifesto of the Passionate Creative Worker, 2012-Sep-3, by John Hagel

Live life for the adventure. Life is as amazing as we make it. When considering different opportunities, we ask, “When I look back in five years, which of these options will make the better story,” because no one ever regrets taking the path that leads to the better story.

The Labor Day Manifesto Points:
  1. Live our lives, not someone else's
  2. Blaze new trails
  3. Prioritize learning over efficiency
  4. Share knowledge freely
  5. Recognize that institutions exist to serve people
  6. Quit jobs that we hate
  7. Escape the trap of wasting time by being busy
  8. Live life for adventure
  9. Stay on the edge
  10. Continually reinvent ourselves
  11. Never settle

Locate your audience before you ask for their attention

As a target audience, we should generally welcome the ability of marketers to limit their messages to us, based on our location. Until they abuse the privilege...  Tq-120910-dm

FutureLab: The Attention Economy is Now the Location Economy, 2012-Aug-30, by Dominic Basulto

Now that smart phones are ubiquitous these days, with people carrying them around 24/7, it changes the economics of the Internet. What does every app ask for these days once you open it up? That's right - they request permission to use your current location. They don't even care if the app is running ambiently in the background, as long as they get your latitude and longitude. That alone should convince you that Location is more important than Attention.

As a result, we’ll start to see radically new types of companies that are built on the basis of Location rather than Attention. Take, for example, Badoo, the fastest-growing social networking service in the world. ... Badoo asks for your location and finds people around you - right now - that you might want to meet. Or, think of how brick-and-mortar retailers are experimenting with apps like ShopKick that only activate when your location has been detected inside a store. ... Or, take for example, the controversial new political app from the Obama campaign. ...the Obama team can use a mobile app to identify the location of potential supporters