Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

When is an ad not an ad?

November 3, 2008

Social media advertising: an oxymoron? When many marketers learn about social media, they ask themselves either: “How can I get involved with this?” or “How can I advertise here?” Many people think that you should never “advertise” on social media or social networking channels. But others have proven that smart advertising or marketing does work on social avenues.

Enter Ben & Jerry’s and Starbucks. Both companies have a new campaign, conducted online, and propogated through social networks such as Facebook, that give away a free sample tomorrow, November 4, U.S. election day, if you provide evidence that you have voted.

In Ben & Jerry’s case, the offer is a free scoop of ice cream between 5 pm and 8 pm. While there is no B&J very near to me, I will make the drive with my son, after voting, to get a scoop. In Starbucks case, there is a free tall brewed coffee, good any time on November 4.

Both Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s are marketing via two important avenues on Facebook simultaneously. The have both used the Sponsored Ad space on Facebook’s new home page, AND, they have both created Facebook events for their one-day specials. With a head start,Ben & Jerry’s currently claims 197,985 people attending (14,601 people have posted a comment on the event wall), while Starbucks has 65,498 people attending (and more than 5,000 posts on the event wall). I’m not sure how much the Facebook ad cost, but the cost for an organization to create a Facebook event is zero.

Facebook itself is doing it’s part to encourage voter turnout by enabling people to “donate” their status to become a message to vote at midnight on Election Day. (So far, 500,653 have done so.)

Facebook initially missed an opportunity, by only allowing three choices in the “get the vote” message. The choices were a.) Obama, b.) McCain, or c.) a write in candidate of your choice. I immediately looked for an option to “vote for the candidate of your choice”, but had to kludge my answer that people should vote “their conscience” which becomes ungrammatical in the different settings in which the answer appears. Facebook has since added a “just get out the vote” option.

Do the Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s campaigns count as “advertising” because they are both campaigns that promote doing your civic duty to vote? Can your shop come up with as creative a marketing campaign that is also doing its part to promote the social good?

Facebook revolutionizes marketing as we know it

November 9, 2007

Mark November 7, 2007 on your calendars. That is the date on which Facebook revolutionized marketing as we know it. Facebook was already an incredible platform for brands before that date, since anyone could create a group. But with Facebook’s latest announcement, marketing is taken to entirely new realm.

For the unintiated, Facebook might seem like just a smaller cousin version of MySpace. But nothing could be further than the truth. Facebook is much more than just another social networking site, it’s a whole new ballgame. Yesterday was the first day that Facebook put business pages on its site, where businesses can describe themselves and what is going on. But more importantly, people can now state their love of the business (by becoming a fan). What’s the big deal with that you say? The big deal is that if you are a fan of a company on Facebook, all of your friends see that you are a fan of that company. For instance, I love Apple, and already I am joined by 500 other people who love Apple. I’m sure that number will swell into the hundreds of thousands in short order. Now all my friends see that I am a fan of Apple. I also love the elegant simplicity of Skagen watches. While there does not yet exist a Skagen page, I will become a fan as soon as it is created. Imagine that you don’t have a favorite kind of watch. But you see that many of your friends like Skagen. Are you going to be influenced to at least consider Skagen the next time you are in a watch store? You better believe it…. and that’s not even taking into consideration any ads that might be served up… You would simply see a feed on your feed page that states that Morriss, Tim, Beth, and Michelle are all fans of Skagen watches. And that’s more powerful than the slickest, most creative, award winning ad that Madison Avenue could ever come up with.

Here’s a story from Indiana’s, and reaction from Forrester’s Jeremiah Owyang.

So let me say this clearly: This is a revolution in marketing. Google created one revolution by showing you ads based on the words you use to search. But now in Facebook, ads will be shown to you if your friends like the company.

What does this mean? At last, once and for all, the END of DEMOGRAPHICS. No longer do ads target by gender, age, income, or zip code. People are influenced by their friends, and adopt their friends’ behaviors and characteristics. Facebook now has a mechanism to show you the companies, products, and brands that your friends like and trust. That cuts across age, gender, income, and zip code.

Advice: Create your brand’s Facebook page RIGHT NOW. It’s quick, easy, and free. Then start inviting your employees and best customers to become fans of the company.

Advice number two: Bring your customer service to new heights of excellence. People remember when they are treated exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly. Review sites have been around for a while. But Facebook takes it to a whole new level, enabling companies to flourish or flop in new record time, because word will spread even faster now than ever before.

This is Marketing 2.0. Are you on board?