Lessons for hiring, growing and sustaining in the digital age – Netflix CEO on freedom and responsibility in the workplace

So many lessons in here for any business particularly one looking to grow or transform in a digital age.

Preventing chaos, bureaucracy and allowing employees to take responsibility and act in the company’s best interests.


Marketing manifesto for the 21st Century – Coca Cola Content 2020 (Part 1 & 2)

‘Holidays’s are coming, holidays are coming…’

…well ok, they’ve just been, but it seems an appropriate time of year to highlight the marketing feats that have come out of The Coca-Cola Company over the last few decades. The arrival of the Coke truck, the cuddly polar bears, the big red and white Santa have all been synonymous with Christmas or ‘Holiday’, evoking warm memories in consumers hearts ever since I have been born and long before.

The Company has managed to use it’s communications with consumers to claim ‘ownership’ of Christmas, to mark the start of it even (as several of my friends tweets/fb posts will testify), to sell their chilled sweetened beverages.

The Christmas Coke strategy hasn’t been the only great feat to come out of The Company’s marketing efforts, and across the range they are responsible for a great catalogue of interesting and successful work. However, as a brand with such a heritage they have, like other big brands, had to work out how to continue such success in an increasingly complex, changing, fragmented and uncertain marketing world. To do this they have set out their stall and formulated a recipe for marketing success in the 21st century in the below 2 films.

They attempt to answer the questions on every 21st Century marketer’s lips:

– How to get to grips with new technologies
– How to cope with moving away from reliance on the TVC and the core idea often encapsulated within it, adding layers to it with other channels
– How to leverage content and tie it back to unifying brand proposition
– How to be answer the demand of ‘always on’ comms
– How to use agency and content providers
– How to divide their budgets to ensure results and testing
– How to research their work and derive quality learnings and useable insights

In the spirit of transparency, they have shared their work with these ‘RSA Animate‘ style animated films, uploaded to YouTube and boldly open for all including competitors to see.

Here they are, hopefully much more coherent than my waffle. Erm… ‘Enjoy’

Part 1

Part 2

Video synopsis:
“The media landscape is a very different beast today than it was even 5 years ago. Then agency-led television commercials dominated how we channel our marketing. The very fact you are reading this here proves that things have changed. Coca Cola have always been at the forefront of innovation. In this video Jonathan Mildenhall, Vice-President, Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence at The Coca-Cola Company is the person responsible for leading global creative vision and strategy for the Company’s portfolio of global brands. In this video he explains how Coke will leverage the opportunities in the new media landscape and transform one-way storytelling into dynamic storytelling hoping to add value and significance to peoples lives. Jonathan describes the challenge of content creation in an enlightening way, reminding us that “every contact point with a customer should tell an emotional story”.”


Getting guys to use condoms! The Durex Baby app

This is a great use of a mobile app to drive home the realities of what you are exposing yourself to when you have unprotected sex.

It hinges on the insight that what really worries guys, and would get them to use condoms more, is the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. Letting guys see what the consequences might be like to live with rather than hammering the ‘silent’ threat of STDs down their throats.

Here’s the case study:

It’s certainly not first time the tactic of exposing young men to the annoying/labour intensive realities children has been used to market condoms to guys but takes it to a whole new level of engagement compared to humorous attempts in the past, driven mainly in 30″ commercials (warning excessive sound levels)

Thanks to MEC’s James Caig for the erm, tip at the Google@MEC conference!


Social media and events – making the most of real time mentions

One of the benefits of social media and social networks, is that they provide us with an arena in which we can witness real time ‘word of mouth’ and ‘sentiment’ about surrounding events. On a meaningful level that could mean events as they unfold in an emerging revolution or struggle for democracy as we have witnessed recently in North Africa where networks are a direct way of spreading unfiltered messages to others in the midst of things and the outside world.

Personally I have an issue with overstating the role of social media in recent events such as the Libyan protests, as the media seem intent on purveying social networks as the spark to revolution, where I believe they simply facilitate a free-er and speedier transferrance (sic.) of existing ideas. While they facilitate conversation spread they are not the ‘reasons’ for revolution but at best catalysts.

Quibbling aside about the role of these networks in deeper issues than advertising, much the same rules apply to this space. Social media provides the platform for feedback from those on the ground and allows us the opportunity to amplify niche events, promoting them to the wider world. As brands are in the business of stoking and owning the word of mouth around (often costly) brand funded events, it only makes sense to call on any tools we can to increase the coverage and referral around these. Despite this simple truth however, fairly few experiential/event companies seem to be ‘getting’ social and I think an opportunity is being missed.

One agency that definitely gets it is C&M and they have compiled a framework and series of checklists for making sure your event creates a #buzz around it.


Want to know the Future? I have it…HERE, NOW!

Want to know what the future looks like? Well you could watch a YouTube video about ‘yoof’ or check out this nice looking presentation on slideshare.

Ignore the wanky beginning…war Dubai etc…the meaty stuff kicks in later on.


Social Media and Outdoor Advertising – Posterscope/LocaMedia Hyperspace

Some interesting points here from the guys at Posterscope and the LocaMedia, under the Hyperspace banner, all about combining Social Media and outdoor. This is less truly new thinking but overall, a really good checklist of best practice and taking advantage of new possibilities. It’s most positive to see traditional media (albeit one heavily investing in digital and going through an exciting period of change) keeping pace with change with a new media framework as well as media planners’ and advertisers’ needs.


7 top tips for creating a good Facebook app

When thinking about building a brand Facebook page it can be all too easy to jump straight in and create a flashy app that promises to bring in fans by the bucketload. This sort of approach rarely bears fruit, and can end up leading to expensive apps lying unloved and un-engaged with on the brands page.

The below example, (excuse the brandname which gets lost in translation) is a really nice example of well developed idea, appealing to users habits/desires and coming out of listening to existing conversations and behaviours and tapping into them.

Here is a brief checklist to go through before creating your app:

1) Make it relevant to your audience – think about what are they doing on Facebook and listen to their conversations to pick up on their interactions.
2) Don’t force behaviour – linked to the above but keep the barrier to entry as low as possible.
3) Make it your default tab for newbies – but don’t forget to promote clearly on the wall or with a message to your existing fans!
4) Make it shareable! Adding the share button will allow users to pass on to their friends – but remember the actual number will be variable.
5) Promote on/in your other properties, e.g. Twitter/marketing emails/even email signatures and don’t be afraid to re-promo!
6) Advertise it! Sadly in Social Media the best things aren’t free so don’t expect your content to fly without promoting it. ‘Advertise’ both for free on the wall, but also with app ads, and give it some social context, showing users which of their friends is already using the app.
7) Add a contest element or a reason to follow up. Some of the best FB apps lead to an end date e.g. Your face on a billboard in time square. This helps us in the eventual goal which is usually to turn occasional visitors into engaged fans and hopefully brand advocates.

Follow these and you can’t go wrong.

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