Buzz + Ideas

Commentary + Concepts

John Wanamaker, Warby Parker, Bike to Work, Streaming, Business School

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John Wanamaker, Warby Parker, Bike to Work, Streaming, Business School

The Weekly | Brigadoon
April 29, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

The Weekly  = Enterprise + Culture + Sport + Policy

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ROSS RANT


Brand marketing in a direct marketing world

Pop quiz: What was the top Super Bowl 2018 ad according to USA Today’s Ad Meter?

Heck, if you can name one of the top ten, I will give you bonus points.

The reason you can’t remember the best ad or any ads from the big game, it’s not the best tool.

It’s not the best tool because it doesn’t connect, make an impact, or leave a mark. 

You see brand marketing doesn't work in the direct marketing world.

Brand marketing is from a different age. A different business environment. A different communication era.

Brand marketing was created when John Wanamaker’s statement “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half” worked because it could work. 

It could work because advertisers created a mass broadcast communications environment to serve its needs.

Radio was created to sell ads.

Television was created to sell ads.

Brian Millar, co-founder of the Emotional Intelligence Agency, writes "traditional advertising went after ‘share of mind’–the idea was to get you to associate a brand with a single idea, a single emotion. Volvo: safety. Jaguar: speed. Coke: happiness. The Economist: success. Bang, bang, bang, went the ads, hammering the same idea into your mind every time you saw one.

"Advertising briefs evolved to focus the creatives on a single unique selling position and a single message. Tell them we’re the Ultimate Driving Machine. Tell them in a thrilling way. It worked when you saw ads infrequently on television, in a Sunday magazine, or on a billboard on your morning commute."

This type of advertising worked because it was a communications environment of one to many with only a handful of vehicles to reach an audience.

But that is not today.

Today we are living in a direct marketing world powered by the WWW.

Now we have micro-media and personalized broadcast communications environment which serves the needs of the end user.

The internet was not created for ads.

The internet is not mass media.

To better understand this new communications environment the Emotional Intelligence Agency conducted a study to understand what kind of content works. The firm found communications which used funny, useful, beautiful, and inspiring content delivers the best results. Not surprising the most successful brands do all four.

Also not surprising these are the adjectives used by any top storyteller. She knows they are best words when executing micro and personalized communications.

Yet most of us communicate using only one type of emotionally compelling content - if at all - employing brand marketing techniques that are closer to the days of Mad Men them to the present day of Laundry Service.

We still communicate like once a day, or worse just a few times a month. Instead of using tools that follow and engage our most active supporters in their media diet.

When it comes to the WWW and the direct marketing communications environment, being multidimensional beats being single-minded. 

Surprise beats consistency. 

Emotion beats fact.

Funny beats dour.

Useful beats sales. 

Beautiful beats boring. 

Inspirational beats directional.

The best communicators have always understood this instinctively.

By the way, USA Today’s Ad Meter ranked Amazon's "Alexa Loses Her Voice" as the best 2018 ad.

I don't remember the ad either. But I do remember my friends telling me a story or two about Alexa that used funny, useful, beautiful, and inspiring words to describe their experiences.

FIVE ARTICLES TO READ

Over 400 startups are trying to become the next Warby Parker. Inside the wild race to overthrow every consumer category: Wharton professors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs are fueling an entire generation of Warby Parkers. Now there are more than 400 startups tackling products from toothbrushes to bras. What could go wrong? http://bit.ly/2I5oKT9

Hit-and-run fatalities soar as more people walk or bike to work: Hit-and-run crash deaths are rising nationwide, and pedestrians and bicyclists account for close to 70% of the victims, according to a new report, as more people cycle to work and motor-vehicle fatalities are at a near-decade-high level. https://on.wsj.com/2r0pu4E

How streaming will continue to change everything in the music business: The next revolution in the music business will not be a new consumer-facing format or a visionary product. The next revolution is financial and multifaceted with wide implications, and it’s already started. http://bit.ly/2FcB7tH

Why we should bulldoze the business school: There are 13,000 business schools on Earth. That’s 13,000 too many. And I should know – I’ve taught in them for 20 years. Guardian - Martin Parker

Who creates a nation’s economic value? A challenging analysis that forces us to reconsider how our economies work — and who it works for. https://on.ft.com/2vW9zJG

"Among other things, we need to re-think the relationship between markets and governments; make a clear distinction between creators of wealth and those who merely extract it; embrace bolder collective ambitions, notably a shift to a greener economy; and spend on the future, instead of embracing a sterile and counterproductive austerity." 

GUEST POST

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PRODUCTIVITY

Is technology hurting productivity? It is possible that new technologies are not just doing less to boost productivity than past innovations. They may actually have negative side effects that undermine productivity growth, and that reduce our wellbeing in other ways as well. 
Project Syndicate - Jeffrey Frankel

BOOKS

My favorite books on politics and campaigns:

Selling of the President 1968

What It Takes: The Way to the White House

Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns

Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms: My Life in American Politics

Bad Boy: The Life And Politics Of Lee Atwater

All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class

SONG

Nothing But Thieves - Amsterdam http://bit.ly/2Hs4olS