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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

  • Connect

150 Relationships

So how many relationships can you maintain – and for how long can you maintain them without face-to-face contact. 150 and six are the numbers. The Dunbar Numbers:

For Dunbar, there’s a simple explanation for this: In the same way that human beings can’t breathe underwater or run the 100-meter dash in 2.5 seconds or see microwaves with the naked eye, most cannot maintain many more than 150 meaningful relationships. Cognitively, we’re just not built for it. As with any human trait, there are outliers in either direction—shut-ins on the one hand, Bill Clinton on the other. But in general, once a group grows larger than 150, its members begin to lose their sense of connection. We live on an increasingly urban, crowded planet, but we have Stone Age social capabilities. “The figure of 150 seems to represent the maximum number of individuals with whom we can have a genuinely social relationship, the kind of relationship that goes with knowing who they are and how they relate to us,” Dunbar has written. “Putting it another way, it’s the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar.”

  • Learned

The 10 biggest brands on Facebook

Just look at this list. Personal brands – or people as brands – beat businesses as brands in terms of Facebook. The question here is what makes them “biggest”.

I’m not sure followers or likes are the best of metrics. Sure, they are metrics but should we be really looking at engagement at a deeper level – or revenue? Does their success on Facebook afford them more margin or customer loyalty? I like Joe Tripodi’s ideas for measuring Expressions.

So, in addition to “consumer impressions,” we are increasingly tracking “consumer expressions.” To us, an expression is any level of engagement with our brand content by a consumer or constituent. It could be a comment, a “like,” uploading a photo or video or passing content onto their networks.

It is stunning to me that 33,764,986 like Coke on Facebook… (including me). We’re on our way with some 55,370 people liking CBA.

For more, read… The 10 biggest brands on Facebook- what’s hot and what’s not – TNW Facebook.

  • Connect

Aim Higher

Great article from the Financial Times…. They are right… marketing teams must aim higher…

… in a downturn the real difficulty lies simply in selling anything to world-weary customers who may be satisfied with good-enough but unexciting products.…Prof Kotler has chosen this moment of crisis to ask some big questions about what marketing actually does. “Is marketing the enemy of sustainability?” was one of them. For years the task for marketers was to persuade customers that the latest upgrade, the newer model, was a must-buy. But it is time to challenge that orthodoxy, he said.

In a resource-deprived world, businesses cannot hurl more and more product at customers, supported by extravagant marketing budgets. Prof Kotler recalled the message of a book published three years ago, Firms of Endearment, written by Rajendra Sisodia, David Wolfe and Jagdish Sheth.

The authors found that some of the most successful companies in fact spent much less on marketing than their weaker rivals. But they used the word-of-mouth effect of unpaid advocates – loyal customers – to boost their reputation.

… Another challenge for marketing is to assert itself at the heart of the company’s strategic thinking (an idea also suggested by London Business School’s Nirmalya Kumar in his book Marketing as Strategy). “If you have the right people in marketing it could become your engine for growth,” Prof Kotler told me. But while they might be quite creative on tactics, he added, not so many marketing professionals can do the strategic work.

So why not split the department in two? A larger, downstream marketing team working on current products, with a much smaller, strategic team looking at new markets and new ideas for the coming two to three years.

This could work – as long as the interests of customers do not fall between the cracks of organisational silos. As Harvard Business School’s Ranjay Gulati has shown, for all that businesses talk about being “customer-centric” (and marketing is supposed to represent “the voice of the customer”), many simply are not. “They look at customers only through the lens of existing products,” Prof Gulati says.

Right now marketing needs to aim high. That is what Prof Kotler is urging people to do. And he was happy to concede that, as so often, Peter Drucker was ahead of everyone on this topic, too. He even provided a handy mission statement. “The aim of marketing,” Drucker once said, “is to make selling unnecessary.”

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