In an article in this week's Advertising Age titled "Do Home Pages Have a Place in Web 2.0's Future?", some data from an Avenue A/Razorfish study really brings home how marketers still keep wasting time around brand home pages. It puzzles me. With everything that social media tells us it would seem obvious that attempting to aggregate consumers in such a way is clearly unnatural. This from the article:
One of the most surprising things the team found was how many people are starting their online shopping with search -- more than 54% of the study's panel, in fact. The idea that more consumers are coming to brand sites through the side door of search means search engines are starting to circumvent brands when it comes to online shopping. While a consumer looking for a pizza stone offline might drive to her nearest Williams-Sonoma, in the online world she's more likely to just type the product name into Google and see what comes up.
"Marketers need to stop thinking so much about their site and more about what's happening outside their site, such as widgets, viral and search," Mr. Schmitt said.
My sense is that there is still an expectation that most marketers have that everything has to happen in one experience. I have the ultimate brand - build the site version of that and make it all happen there. This goes against the grain of how consumers interact with media. The reality is that the most effective brand interactions happen in small doses and incrementally. The key is delivering many more smaller meaningful packets (brand bundles that are designed to function in a specific way/with narrower scope) to keep the brand bubbling up as consumers search for similar things as they move in a process of consideration and purchase. Packets that convert analog experiences into digital interactions [before I plug in a search term] and digital interactions into analog behavior [in the fuzzy space leading up to a potential purchase or full brand connection].
To get to this brand must explore new approaches to developing consumer personas that move beyond the cookie-cutter marketing segments. Personas that combine both the emotional and rational aspects surrounding the brand and work to identify the right "packet" to work with the flow of existing media consumption and cultural associations. Not one voice, but multiple voices of the brand that help build cultural and functional relevance on multiple layers. This type of cultivation of relevance is what keeps the brand getting through the "side doors".
These packets should be flexible to the many unforeseen ways consumers come in. And not just from a marketing cycle standpoint alone - but an emotional one too. Understand how to get the brand more layered into the way consumers are accessing it. recommendations are not purely rational - they are mixed in with emotional peer interaction. Unbundle the brand into mini-narratives, engage with grassroots actions that are likely to seed conversation on message boards, build in calendar events that draw people in and set off the need to organize and collectivize around the brand.
Home pages used to be expensive ways to show TV ads of the brand. YouTube does that better now.
Nike designers and researchers looked at the feet of more than 200 people from more than 70 tribes nationwide and found that in general, American Indians have a much wider and taller foot than the average shoe accommodates. The average shoe width of men and women measured was three width sizes larger than the standard Nike shoe. The N7 has a larger toe box, wider overall, and a thicker sock liner.
According to Nike, this is the first shoe the company has designed for a specific race or ethnicity.
All profits from the sale of the shoe will be reinvested in health programs for tribal lands. The shoe will sale for $42.80. Nike expects to sell 10,000 pairs and raise $200,000.
The N7 name is a reference to the seventh generation theory, used by some tribes to look to the three generations preceding them for wisdom and the three generations ahead for their legacy.
"It reinforces the core of the Nike brand, which is: If you have a body you are an athlete," says Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon.
"I'm just trying to engage in the kind of conversations with them I would have loved [if] someone had with me when I was 22 or 23," McManus says.
The church is officially non-denominational, but the doctrine is Southern Baptist, "[We] just strip it down to the human, and raw, kind of conversations."
In two years, attendance at McManus' church has doubled. He also has a weekly podcast, a series of Web sites, a video production company and a record label.
As part of its monthly "What Renters Want" research series, Apartments.com surveyed renters about hobbies and collecting. More than seventy-six percent of respondents indicate that they pursue one or more hobbies and more than forty-six percent are active collectors.
Collecting is a way of personalizing when you don’t own. You take your collection with you wherever you move. The collection keeps surroundings familiar and lets you maintain a level of stability that you don’t get from a lease.
That said, collecting doesn’t keep apartment dwellers tethered to their nest. The act of collecting itself is a very social experience. Collecting, whether it's toys, LPs or skateboards, actually gets you out and about. It’s one of the original social networks. (Homeowners are more likely to hibernate, and invest in entertaining at home.)
Check out some collections.
(Photo: Alice in Wonderland Collection.)
What does this button do? Apparently nothing. A clinical study conducted by P&G showed that turning off Ultreo ultrasound toothbrushes actually removed more plaque than using the Ultreo toothbrush with its
ultrasound "waveguide" on, per the manufacturer's instructions. Bad news for those who enjoy a good brushing.
"Oral-B has invested in significant R&D to bring breakthrough plaque-removing brushes to consumers. Our clinical studies clearly support the plaque removal benefits of our brushes," said Dr. Paul Warren, Vice President of Global Oral Care Scientific and Professional Relations for P&G and a dentist. "Ultreo has provided no clinical proof that the ultrasound makes any difference in plaque removal in the mouth. We're taking this action to prevent consumers from being misled and to protect our business."
The Blender is back bigger and better than ever in a non-partisan, humorous, and somewhat insightful, interactive presidential poll with a twist...From the creators of the enormously successful "Frog in a Blender" (110 million downloads and still growing!), comes "Blender Poll 2008." The Blender Poll tabulates whom voters are AGAINST. You blend those you disagree with most. It launches the week of October 1st.
This would be really fun with a mobile component...
If I could order everything electronically, I would. I sent back two burritos tonight. Black beans, I said. Not pinto beans. I should've just ordered a pizza. And now even ordering pizza is getting easier.
Domino's mobile ordering site is a streamlined version of its website. Once on the site, customers can enter their Domino's online ordering username and password and all orders saved on the system will carry-over to their mobile device -- including any coupons associated with the order.
Domino's launched a TXT program in the UK this summer.
Here you go...Martha Stewart, the paragon of expertise as content, is adopting the style of social media for her next Web site -- to be called "Marthapedia." (Oh, heck, why not?)
The site initially will be seeded with existing content from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, but will open for information and suggestions from the public...with editors at Martha Stewart Living
Omnimedia checking to see if the public's ideas are better than their
own. (Well, at least, she's being honest, folks.)
It's still an enterprise fueled by instructing customers. (But maybe that's just what Martha's followers want and expect.)
Read the whole AdAge piece.
(Photo: Martha Stewart's Halloween Costume.)