27.7.09

Why You Need Marketing More Than Ever


by Alyssa Dver

A good marketer is hard to find - and worth paying for

"I consume; therefore I can market." Many people underestimate what marketing is and can do for a business. It would seem strange for someone to say, "I use a computer; therefore I can program." Nevertheless, many technology experts seem to regard marketing with apathy, if not out-and-out suspicion.

Techies often identify marketers as accomplices to the function that shall not be named: sales. Both sales and marketing are often viewed by engineering types as unnecessary, intellectually restricted, and just plain evil. Maybe that is because marketing is seemingly void of scientific explanation and often unclear in its cause and effect. However, consider that without sales and marketing, software is quite literally invisible bits.

So, let's briefly discuss what marketing really is and why it is important to software businesses.

First, here's a practical definition of marketing:

Marketing identifies, attracts, fosters, and retains qualified sales leads.

The continuity implied here is that marketing is responsible for finding precisely who will buy the software, enticing them to consider buying it, and then helping them consummate the purchase. As such, the objective of marketing is:

To profitably find prospects and then help them make efficient buying decisions.

The words "profitable" and "efficient" are key, because they imply that marketing doesn't count if it uses too much time or too many resources. So how does marketing avoid wasting time and resources?

To begin with, it must obtain a body of knowledge that will help to make defensible marketing plans. More specifically, that body of knowledge starts with marketers understanding the demographics and psychographics of buyers, users, and influencers. This helps narrow down the target segment and make it easier to position the product to reach the target audience with relevancy.

Next, marketers must thoroughly understand the buying process: who is involved, what steps occur, and how long the process takes. Marketers use this knowledge to effectively support the prospects' buying cycle and, ideally, shorten and optimize it.

Third, it is imperative that marketers know where prospects feed - that is, where they get information. This means they must know the media, events, and other places in which information about your type of product might be shared (formally or informally). Examples might be associations, conferences, meet-up groups, blogs, and LinkedIn groups, as well as which thought leaders influence target buyers. This information obviously affects the places and methods used to educate and market to the target audience to let them know about your software and its applicability to their lives.

Clearly it's important for marketers to be knowledgeable about competing vendors, but many of them don't make the most of that intelligence. Marketers should know not just the obvious offerings, the ones that are similar to yours, but also the products that yours might replace in function and/or budget.

And certainly, in terms of competition, pricing is not just a tool for profit management; it also works for positioning a product and sometimes even to help qualify appropriate buyers. (Sure, we all want to drive a Mercedes, but we aren't all qualified.)

The most amorphous area of expertise is predicting market trends and future marketing opportunities. Marketers should be able to assess major technological, social, and economic trends in their target markets and consider how much these may affect the business, whether positively or negatively.

One of the more challenging aspects of marketing is figuring out the balance between push marketing - generating awareness of the company and product with the target market - and pull marketing - retaining qualified leads and bringing them closer to the buying decision. Sorting and assessing which programs will generate desired results is not an easy task for any marketer, especially when budgets are limited and time is of the essence.

Why Do They Call It a Campaign?

Once all of these areas are known (which may be easier said than done), marketing's strategic plan and the tactical execution of that plan become based less on guesswork and more on math. For example, knowing what the close rate is per number of generated, qualified leads will allow marketers to better plan programs with which they can fulfill the needs of the sales pipeline and then measure the effectiveness of the programs as they are in process. Depending on the campaign (and the marketer), measurement may not be all that easy (or even possible).

To help manage the innate invisibility of marketing, lead tracking systems can help. Even simplistic ones done with Excel or ACT! can be better than using nothing. Knowing what leads are coming from where, and what happens to them when they go off to sales or a partner, can make or break a marketer's career. He or she may be generating terrific buzz and activity, but that may be moot if there is no way to demonstrate it in terms of marketing's cost-effectiveness, let alone its ability to deliver enough qualified leads.

Perhaps the toughest aspect of marketing today is filtering out the noise and figuring out what works for a specific business. Twitter is great, but not in all cases. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might not even apply to a business, and if it does, what's the right amount of sizzling Flash and boring old (but searchable) HTML on your website?

And speaking of websites, I contend that writing something pithy and captivating is much harder than writing something that is lengthy and educational. Whitepaper or brochure? Demo or narrated PowerPoint? You get the picture. Making defensible, measurable, and yet creative decisions is what makes marketing something not everyone can do - or at least do well.

Marketing is a professional discipline, and, like any other, it requires schooling, degrees, professional training, and ongoing personal education as new technologies and techniques emerge. Moreover, marketing isn't about any one tactic, such as social media, SEO, or direct mail. This is why experience helps, and makes all the difference when resources are scant and the marketing department may be, at best, one full-time person.

Knowing how to write a well-crafted press release for SEO, as well as attracting target readers, is no small thing. Writing the proper survey questions so that the answers are clean and not accidentally skewed is not an intuitive talent. Just try pitching media or crafting a positioning message if you have never done it - it's kind of like writing unintentional, self-referencing code.

So before we throw marketing under the SaaS, Agile, or Web2.0 buses, let's just keep in mind that marketing never was, isn't, and never will be easy& even for really smart marketers. Given the challenges of doing more with less, the answer isn't to cut marketing or use an inexperienced intern. You always get what you pay for, and if you cut corners on marketing, your customers probably won't pay at all. Marketing isn't a necessary evil; it's a scientific art form that can help make scary code attractive to the right buyers.

Formerly a CMO for a public company, Alyssa Dver is chief executive of Mint Green Marketing, which consults for companies ranging from large multinationals to small startups. She is the author of No Time Marketing and Software Product Management Essentials.

Telefonica:::Blind inspiration

Mobile network Movistar has a company policy to make mobile technology accessible for those with disabilities and provides services specifically designed for the blind, deaf and those with mental disabilities. There is a dearth of quality reading material for the blind in Chile - with no newspaper or magazine dedicated solely to the blind community, estimated to consist of around 635,000 people.

To fill this void Movistar has teamed up with Metro International's free newspaper Publimetro to create Chile's first ever monthly publication written and printed fully in Braille. The project launch (30 June) coincided with the 200-year anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, the creator of the raised dot system bearing his name. Both Publimetro and Movistar share the belief that more effort should be made to help integrate blind citizens, an often over looked section of the community, into every day life. The Braille edition of Publimetro aims to address this problem.

The content of the newspaper includes news round-up, plus any tips and information relevant to the blind community. The 8-page publication will be circulated to 2,500 people belonging to major associations dealing with the blind on a monthly basis until the end of the year. The Braille edition is promoted in the regular newspaper, under the tagline: "Because we believe in a Chile that is 100% integrated". Non-blind readers are given a crash course in Braille symbols. Through Publimetro, Movistar is also sponsoring a library for the blind and is actively helping them to promote their cause.

The paper, a first-of-its-kind, has generated a great deal of interest on television and press in Latin America.





BRAND:Movistar

BRAND OWNER:Telefonica

CATEGORY:Telecoms/ Mobile

REGION:Latin America

DATE:Jul 2009 - Dec 2009

MEDIA :Metro International

MEDIA CHANNEL

PressRadio

The ultimate ad twins, both copy centers using twins!


Left and top the UNI-Copycenter twins , top and bottom Staples twins.


=======

Credits!
ad agency: BBDO
Client: Jakob Lange - Vester Kopi

And the Look printing found in Lürzers Archive issue 3 in 2004.


Gustavo Borges Academia Balls

Gustavo Borges Academy in Brazil provides swimming training in Brazil, bearing the name of Brazilian swimming champion Gustavo Borges. “Bolinhas”, a print advertising campaign designed by JWT, features swimming training in a new light, with a swimming pool and a lake turned into play areas.

Gustavo Borges Academy Balls print advertisement

Gustavo Borges Academy Balls print advertisement

Credits

The Balls campaign was developed at JWT Brazil with photography by Artluz Studio .

The campaign was commissioned by Gustavo Borges directors Renato Ramalho and Daphne Lambros.

The Bolinhas campaign won a Gold award at the Premio Colunistas Parana in 2008.

Axe Instinct – The Power of Leather Curves

Axe Instinct, a scent introduced in 2009, is being promoted with a 3D animated television commercial featuring a woman in leather. The new Instinct has combined the fragances of cardamom, amber, and atlas cedar to produce a spicy scent of leather.

Axe Instinct Power of Leather commercial

The Swedish team, Againstallodds, worked with Blacklist to produce the new commercial, beginning with the inspiration of a piece of leather and a set of print advertisements. What they came up with was the concept of a woman whose sensual movements are revealed in the rippling curves of dark leather.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

Credits

The Power of Leather ad was developed at The Brooklyn Brothers, New York, and Againt All Odds, Stockholm, .

Filming was produced at Blacklist by executive producer Adina Sales,

Special effects and visual effects were produced at Milford Film, Stockholm, and Animation AB. Audio finishing was done at Audio Engine.

Music, “Moodswing”, was composed by Pedro Margues and Jean-Paul Wall and sung by Saphir Cristal Stoffels Fernandes Tavares. Sound was mixed by Carl Mandelbaum.

Axe Instinct Power of Leather commercial

Behind the Scenes with Againstallodds

Q: This spot is a bit of a creative departure for you. Can you tell me about attracted you to the job?

againstallodds: To create this spot we were given a piece of leather and a print campaign and were told bring it to life. This spot is like nothing else on our reel and we were excited to create something we had not tried before. We really wanted to build on the dimensionality of the forms in the leather so that everything really moved naturally but had a enough definition and abstraction to draw people in. We were really attracted to the mixture of darkness and nakedness. It really seemed like something we wanted to see move.

Q: The texture of the leather is very detailed. Tell me a bit about how you created this look, what tools you used and if there were any challenges.

againstallodds: We began this project with a photo shoot with real actors and the leather laid out on a flat bed. We took moving references with naked models to show how the body moves and the leather reacts to different light setups. Then we edited everything together to make a rough timing. Animation and simulation followed and was a mixture of Maya nCloth and Houdini to make everything come together. The simulation was a great start and gave dimension to the leather but we really wanted to have control over some of the smaller details such as muscle and bone and they were getting lost in the simulation, so Milford lighting developed a special shader that took information from a more detailed mesh of the body and applied it to the leather simulated cloth.

Q: It’s a very sexy spot too. Can you tell me a bit about that?

againstallodds: That was something we really worked hard to keep. Doing sexy in 3d can be a tricky thing. Since everybody knows how humans move and are very sensitive to what’s not right even the most subtle movement can prove to be hard to recreate. We were very lucky to have a great photo model strip off and go through the timings and poses to block everything out so that we had great reference in the animation phase. On top of that we worked a lot with the shadows and lighting to reveal and cover sections of the body so that the silhouette and feminine curves really stood out and that the rest of the body became abstract.

Orbit Mist in Wearable Art

Wrigley’s New Orbit Mist is being promoted with a print advertising campaign demonstrating the “hydrating sensation” experienced when chewing the gum. Three models pose for fashion photographer Nadav Kander with a packet of Peppermint Spray Orbit Mist, dressed in wearable art: adaptations of a shower curtain, umbrella and mop. The two flavours not represented are Mango Surf and Watermelon Spring.

Orbit Mist Mop

Orbit Mist Umbrella

Orbit Mist Shower Curtain

Credits

The Orbit Mist campaign was developed at Energy BBDO, Chicago, and photographer Nadav Kander.

NATO 60 Years of Peace and Security

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a set of three videos designed to remind people of six decades of solidarity, collective defense and the shared goals of peace, security and stability. The three commercials show what at first appear to be situations of danger, each one resolving into peaceful activity. The treaty was signed on 4 April, 1949, by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

Nato Stairs TV commercial

Run

Children run and fall over. Dogs bark… People often take freedom and security for granted. We don’t.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

Basement

Is this a prison? Is that the cold sweat of fear or the hot sweat of exhaustion? Freedom to do what you want. We help that happen.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

Staircase

A woman closes her windows and checks security while outside the sky lights up with explosions. You want a life of freedom and stability. So do we.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

Credits

The 60 Years campaign was developed at Scholz & Friends Antwerp

Filming was shot by director Nico Beyer (Represented by Crossroads) via United Visions, Berlin.

Editor was Tom Seil. Post production was done at NHB, Berlin, by creative producer Yesim Altilar. Sound was designed by Lars Lohn.

Tinactin :::Beware the Smelly Foot

Tinactin, an over the counter anti fungal treatment produced by Schering Plough Corporation, is being promoted in the Philippines with a print advertising campaign featuring boots. Two print advertisements, “Barbed Wire” and “Chains”, each show a boot with the warning, “Beware the Smelly Foot”, and the name of the active ingredient Tolnaftate.

Tinactin Barbed Wire print advertisement

Tinactin Barbed Wire print advertisement

Credits

The Tinactin campaign was developed at DM9JaymeSyfu, Manila, The Philippines, photographer Paolo Gripo.

Hyundai targets young music fans in new project

hyundai_30beats.jpg

www.30beats.co.uk


Hyundai targets young music fans in new project

Hyundai has launched an innovative website dedicated to music made using the sounds of the car manufacturer’s i30 model.

30beats.co.uk, is part of a ‘brand campaign’ attempting to revitalise perceptions of the i30 hatchback, appealing to younger audiences and drive sales.

Created by Brazen Productions, it also offers a competition enabling bedroom DJs and wannabe music producers to download samples recorded from the car to mix their own track and submit it via YouTube with the chance of winning their own Hyundai i30.

Wannabe producers can try out the sounds first on the toolbar and then download them for use with software of their choice – there are links and info available on the 30Beats site.

30Beats will moderate uploaded videos with successful entries added to the 30beats gallery for voting by the great British, music loving population.

Brazen Productions worked with Manchester based DJ Krysko to record his own track and music video to capture the essence of 30beats and launch the project.

The track, which features a variety of different sounds recorded at
Salford’s Pie Factory including the sounds from the classic revving and horn to hydraulic ‘whooshes’ and clicks, derives its main beat from sound of the boot of the i30 closing.

“We were looking for something totally different to drive sales of the i30 in this challenging year for car sales,” said PR Manager for Hyundai, Tom Barnard,

“We are looking forward to seeing the creativity of our car loving nation as the entries start to come in.”



Toshiba – No Matter What - (2009) :30 (Germany)

toshibanomatter.jpg


Don’t get angry, get Toshiba Oh and let this be a lesson to you kids, backpacks take up room behind your back. Please try and remember this folks, I'm tired of having your backpack smothering my face on the train.

Toshiba’s “No Matter What Guarantee” is worth getting excited about. Very excited. Because if you buy a Toshiba laptop you’re covered for just about anything. Accidents. Theft. Unemployment. No matter what. And your satisfaction is guaranteed. In addition, all Toshiba laptops come with the reliability and high quality you’ve come to expect. Find out more at nomatterwhatguarantee.com

Credits:

Agency: McCann Erickson Düsseldorf

Director: King Kahlil [Jens Junker & Simone Schirmer]
Production Company: Bakery Films Hamburg

Client: Toshiba Europe GmbH
Regional Marketing Manager: Goran Kurt
Marketing Coordinator: Deborah Scharnhoo


Flynn's Arcade Exists? New Viral Game for Tron? Updated!


Flynn's Arcade Tokens

Wow something strange is going on out there. I woke up this morning to find a FedEx package from some address listed in San Diego called PMB. Inside the envelope were two arcade tokens (see above) for the once thought to be mythical Flynn's Arcade. Yep, the very same Flynn's that is the "Home of Tron" from the movie, uh, Tron. If I can put two-and-two together, a San Diego location this week might mean that Disney is doing a little Tron 2 viral marketing at Comic-Con. Sounds good to me! In addition to the tokens, there was also a thumb drive with an image labeled "4.gif" that is a coded animated gif. Check that out below.

So after doing some snooping around on the web, I also found out that JoBlo has an image like this as well, but with some different code (not the same stuff above). Some of the code in my image is gibberish - stuff I can't even understand. But on the JoBlo one they actually have some standard HTML code and numbers and so on. As I said, something very strange is going on. This viral is really starting to kick off and I hope we can figure this out before Comic-Con starts up. We'll keep you updated on the progress. It looks like we might have to put a bunch of pieces together and decipher the code? If anyone can help, let us know! Stay tuned!

Update: So far I've found the following other viral pieces across the web. From the comments below, we have gif #1, JoBlo has #3, UGO and SlashFilm have #2, I have #4, so we're still missing #5 maybe? Here are those four put together below (pattern goes 1,2,3,4). See anything? I can't make any sense of this code yet?

Tron ViralTron Viral
Tron ViralTron Viral

Update #2: Over on MacHeist they deciphered the HTML code from the four gifs above as well as a fifth one from IGN. When the HTML is put together it creates a web page with a table in the middle containing letters and numbers to decipher the message below. When deciphered, it spells out "Flynn Lives." Awesome - but that can't just be it, can it? There might be more - something related to a countdown or location details at Comic-Con? Keep searching - and there might be some websites related to this as well. Have we tried flynnlives.com? Keep up to date in the comments. We'll let you know when hear more!

Tron Viral Countdown

Update #3: Flynn Lives! The website is up and running at flynnlives.com. If you click the little bouncing spider thing at the bottom of the page, a countdown timer pops up (as seen above). We're guessing this counts down to the big event happening on Thursday night in San Diego. The timer counts down to 9:30PM on Thursday, July 23rd. There is a detailing about a "Flynn Lives" movement on the website as well with article clippings about Flynn. This is really starting to get good - an awesomeARG. Definitely check out the site - there seems to be a lot of good info on there! Let us know if you find anything else?

Update #4: The last site in this update (as far as we know) until Thursday night is homeoftron.com. This URL comes from the engraving on the arcade tokens that we first received. A quick glance around the site and it provides info on Flynn's old arcade from the original Tron movie but not much more. That's all for now folks - but of course let us know what you find! There may have more secrets - be on the lookout!



Flynn's Arcade is in San Diego - Amazing Tron Legacy Viral!

July 24, 2009

Flynn's Arcade is in San Diego

While I got to see footage from James Cameron's Avatar, Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass, and Tim Burton'sAlice in Wonderland today, my favorite part of the day had to be the awesome viral ARG (alternate reality game) for Tron Legacy, as it's now known (instead of just Tron 2), that I participated in tonight. We've been covering the early details but it all came together tonight in the ultimate reveal - Flynn's Arcade exists and you can even play Space Paranoids the game. And if that wasn't enough, hidden in a secret room in the back was an actual new lightcycle from the movie. But you have to hear about how we got there, first!

So it all began back during Disney's panel earlier in the day for Tron 2. Unfortunately they didn't have much new footage to reveal. They showed the test teaser trailer from last year (in 3D) and some new concept art and the designs of the new lightcycles and so on. But then they showed one odd scene from the movie "early on in it" that showed Sean Flynn, played by Garrett Hedlund, going back to Flynn's Arcade where it was shut down and dust covers were covering all the old arcade machines. But he finds the old Tron machine in the back, spins it out from the wall, and heads into a secret room behind it. Foreshadowing? It definitely was!

Flynn Lives Poster

So jump ahead to 9:30PM and a huge crowd of roughly 500 people had gathered at the cul de sac located on J Street near 1st Street as was mentioned on the website FlynnLives.com. After signing a release waiver, we were given a small package that contained instructions, a handheld blacklight, a blue marker, and an extra Flynn's Arcade coin. The instructions explained that within a small area a few blocks in each direction from where we were, we had to find various "Flynn Lives" posters (as seen above) hidden on the walls and use our blacklight to find numbers. We needed to find 3 different posters and search for coordinates.

Eventually they let the masses go and off we went on a hunt for the posters. We quickly discovered (with the help of some others around us as well) that we would need to find six coordinates from three different posters (and they were very well hidden). Luckily we found all of those three posters within a block of each other and proceeded to draw out a map on a grid. That map would then pinpoint the final location (another few blocks away) which we would have to head towards to reach our final destination. We arrived not the at the front of the pack, but in the first group, and were treated to the grand opening of Flynn's Aracde.

Flynn's AracdeFlynn's Aracde

But didn't end there! After venturing inside (and being locked inside by some very buff security guys), we proceeded to take some photos of the arcade, play some games, and walk around. A few staff kept telling us to play some Space Paranoids - the game that Flynn plays (where he fights the Recognizers from his tank) in the original Tron at the beginning. We noticed that every time you beat a level (which was remarkably hard), it would give you a unique code. We wrote this down but didn't think much of it and ultimately it wasn't used tonight - but it may have more importance sometime in the future. Again, this wasn't the end!

About 10 minutes in, the lights started to flicker and go out. All of a sudden the Tron arcade machine in the back swung open (like in the scene we were shown earlier during the panel) and revealed a secret backroom. I whipped out my iPhone and shot a short video of us entering the room behind the Tronarcade machine and walking past some badass concept art of the new lightcycles up on the wall. Watch that video below.

But the best reveal was just beyond that. Hidden in the back was a real-life fully realized blacklightcycle on a turntable - complete with trippy lighting and a sample of Daft Punk's score for the upcoming movie (which you can hear in the video). This was one hell of an awesome payoff. Not only was it great walking through the streets searching for clues on posters using blacklights, not only was it awesome stepping foot into a real life Flynn's Aracde, but then we got to see an actual lightcycle. I would love to say this thing was a working lightcycle, but of course, that isn't the case. But this thing is truly awork of art - see the video!

Tron Legacy Lightcycle

I've got to say - this could easily have been one of the greatest viral marketing stunts I've ever seen. You probably all heard about the joker scavenger hunt at Comic-Con a few years back - this definitely topped that one. We honestly didn't know what was happening every step of the way and it was so exciting to be a part of this. I really did get chills when I noticed that the sign above the inconspicuous building we were standing outside was a giant "Flynn's" sign. It's this kind of stuff that makes this so incredibly awesome - they know what will make fans just go crazy and they really blew our minds this time. Bravo, Disney!

We hope that there is still much more to come sometime in the near future. And we're going to see if we can find out what those codes from Space Paranoids really mean. We did end up getting a "Flynn Lives" t-shirt and poster on the way out as a bit of memorabilia. And I've heard that this might be repeated a few more times during Comic-Con if you're interested. But you'll need to check FlynnLives.com for details on that!

Tron Legacy Lightcycle


7 New Skills for a Post-Pandemic Marketer

The impact of Covid-19 has had a significant impact across the board with the marketing and advertising industry in 2020, but there is hope...