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  1. #1
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    Most people don't understand something can go viral and end up costing you more money in bandwidth costs than sales can make up for.

    Good viral doesn't mean good marketing. And most viral has zero marketing relevance.

    Blendtec's Will it Blend takes the infomercial product demo online and makes it work.

    First the hook is relevant. Most viral has absolutely not one thing to do with the product or service. Will It Blead is relevant. Not in the sense of putting a brick into a blender ...but in the sense of building value through demonstrating how well built the product is.

    There is an unmistakable connection between the product and the viral that most viral gurus seem to miss. And Blendtec has the sales to back up its claim to viral marketing success so few do.

    Viral has devolved to mean anything that ends up getting a lot of hits. The gurus obviously haven't learned the hit counter is dead for a very good reason.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Very nice! I was just using them as an example for a client in trying to pitch a viral campaign. This will give me good follow-up statistics!

  4. #3
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    There are lots of very good ideas and techniques that go unused because nobody cares about the ultimate result: A Profitable Increase in Sales.

    Too many consider sales and selling a personal affront to their sensibilities. How these jokers go from disdain for the very concept of commerce to "gee, I'll become a marketer and never have to sell" is beyond my reckoning.

  5. #4
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    To be fair, the world of marketing is bigger than sales.

    The very word "marketing" infers its meaning - communicating with your market (the people who buy your products).

    While the ultimate goal of marketing efforts is always indirectly related to increasing sales, that's not always the direct goal.

    Focus Groups and Surveys are branches of marketing that don't have anything to do with selling, but they are important in collecting critical feedback and information about how your consumers perceive your products and advertising efforts, their experiences in using them, and their desires. These can help you either modify your products/services or alter your marketing strategy appropriately to address these concerns.

    Public Relations, which is another branch of marketing, is intended to sway the public's opinion about your company, products, or services.

    Branding & Advertising, too, can have intentions that are not directly related to sales. Each campaign defines its goals as a part of the strategy.

    For example, if I manufacture Personal Computers (PCs) that don't operate on Windows OS, I may use market research to determine that the general public doesn't like Windows very much, and that they have real concerns about many serious drawbacks. I may then want to sway the opinion of the general public into believing that MY Personal Computers are not, in fact, PCs, but something better. So I may use PR agents to define a new terminology for my computer ("Mac", for example), and spin it as a non-PC type of Computer. Then I may use Advertising to brand my "Mac" as a cool, hip, uber-computer by comparing it to an Operating System rather than actual other computers (e.g. "I am a Mac." commercials).

    While the above doesn't directly point out any advantages of one piece of Hardware over its competitors (because really they're parity machines these days), I have successfully designed a strategy that will create a public belief that my Personal Computers are something better than those of other manufacturers, and I have successfully created a Point of Difference that I can use in other Marketing and Sales efforts to directly sell products.

  6. #5
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    I somewhat agree, but therein also lies the difference.

    I have a different take on direct marketing. What you're talking about is image marketing or branding. Whenever you call it "communications," which implies neither measurement or effectiveness, you've got a recipe for mischief.

    Let's say your focus group is about your company selling fashion handbags. Your normal focus group would have a discussion of the various styles for the coming season. Despite the protestations of the "communications" guy, this has poor correlation to resulting sales.

    Now for a direct marketing twist. Same focus group, and survey. At the end, my change was to thank everyone for their valuable work, and to have each participant select one handbag as payment.

    The handbags people chose had poor correlation to the survey, but correlated well with future sales.


    People lie on surveys and focus groups, often unwittingly
    . It is notoriously difficult to design a survey or focus group that has any use for sales prediction, design, style, or anything meaningful except in the mind of the people who use web surveys.

    That is not to sale you couldn't get good, actionable information through the web, just that it's not a concern. Web surveys are exclusively about ease of programming, and verification of preconceptions and test biases -- validation, not information.


    The difference between listening and pretending to listen, I discovered, is enormous. One is fluid, the other is rigid. One is alive, the other is stuffed. Eventually, I found a radical way of thinking about listening. Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. When Iím willing to let them change me, something happens between us thatís more interesting than a pair of dueling monologues.

    ó Alan Alda (Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned)
    People use web surveys much as a drunk uses a lamp post; for support rather than illumination. They are "communcations oriented" or pretending to pretend to listen, even one more step removed from the radical listening Alda speaks of. These are the people the CMS survey module was done for.

    Public relations is about generating a constituency for the stuff your lobbying firms are shoving through congress. With a side order of greenwashing.

    Small to medium businesses -- infected with the "communications" bug -- take this to mean the press releases they send out can be ineffectual navel gazing. The only marketing coup was convincing management that talking to yourself, about yourself -- like a street person -- was in some warped way "communicating."

    I care not one whit for the rainbows and unicorns propaganda of what people say they do. My business is getting to the crux of what people really do.

    The people doing branding took what largely was a fairy tale and wove it into a tapestry of drivel based solely on what the company puts out, widely referred to as "creative." The direct marketing translation: Playing artist (or art director) on the company's dime.

    One reason winning a Clio means losing the client within months: It's not about sales. Winning a Clio is like the Sports Illustrated cover curse on steroids.

    The mischief then becomes so not about sales, any meaningful metric is shunned. Branding is very much about those who want to take credit for everything good, yet responsibility for nothing.

    Consequently you'll hear image marketers talk in terms of brand awareness. In other words, do you know the product exists.

    Direct marketers know, like the formula AIDA, nothing meaningful happens until brand awareness becomes brand preference. But for that to happen, you have to take responsibility to capitalize on awareness and convert it into preference.

    There are techniques the marketing communications people are ignorant of because they make a direct ROI connection these people simply do not want made.

    Marketing -- the "communications" marketing you speak of -- has become a welfare program for art institute grads and communications majors who couldn't sell a happy meal to a car loaded with kids at a drive through. Its most notable pragmatic success was the utter disconnect from practical results.


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