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The Digital Ecosystem – Awareness, acquisition and retention activities

Digital Marketing  is all about the consumer experience  with , accompanied by, and  within a brand virtually.  From the physical dimension of a brand to its mental associations, its brand equity, or  brand essence , down to very granular services or information surrounding its place in a consumer’s life,  all can and should be experienced digitally. 

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One way of  considering the full digital marketing mix is to look at as a  digital ecosystem. As in any successful ecosystem, all the elements and their inter- relationships support and keep the ecosystem alive, adapting and thriving. And across the digital marketing mix there is a problem if these all remain in silos.  The traditional marketing pillars  of awareness, acquisition and consumer retention  should be applied across all types of  digital interactive services or content in that ecosystem as active environmental roles that support the ecosystem. More importantly,  they must all be considered as  digital consumer touch points, each with an active role  to play. In a cohesive or holistic sense these traditional marketing pillars should applied against very activity in standalone website or across a full digital  ecosystem ( sites,  services, distributed content,  social networks, digital media/advertising, email marketing and CRM ) and should always be considered. Conversely , these digital touch points should be supported by other non digital channels ( POS, above and below the line media , on pack) ; a virtual environment needs to exist with a physical counterpart. 

While some of the activities, content, or interactive services you have on a site may seem obvious its always good to justify there existence against what your aims or goal are in the marketing mix. No one element is exclusive , all are interdependent just as they would be in the normal sales funnel,  and what’s interesting about this is that you can seek to balance activities against the goals and make decisions of what interactive pieces you might consider for the traditional marketing pillars  of awareness, acquisition and consumer retention. 

What’s interesting today in the more social interactive world is that  in the consumers journey along the traditional sale funnel seems to be either accelerated or  they can identified anywhere in the funnel a lot quicker. The activities surrounding your he traditional marketing pillars  of awareness, acquisition and consumer retention seem blurred. Lets take,  for example, Bacardi . In its recent digital campaign  to further its  association with a night clubbing and dance club lifestyle worldwide, it chooses to be a trusted facilitator in an aspect of that  lifestyle, by providing the service of a digital  music sharing platfrom . It uses social media by offering aspiration based rewards of free  limited edition, 1st to hear, music tracks to those consumers (its digital advocates)  that act as a word of mouth spokes-peoples for the brand’s service by being the source of introduction of the Barcardi music sharing platform to their friends and rewards them accordingly.  One could  say that its the digital equivalent  to brands  giving  away a utility  that is associated with or inherent in products consumption. Like a coffee  brand giving a branded cup or spoon or something inherently needed with the process drinking coffee. But in the case of Bacardi its wrapped up in a social relationship reward program that only digital can provide at relatively low cost and be  highly. What is does is either accelerate the potential for identifying advocates  or it even makes a brand advocate out of a consumer who may not necessarily consume the brand or be an MVC. This is not bad thing, who wants to stop a consumer talking about your brand in a positive way whether or not they consumer your brand?

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IFood assistant : Kraft’s killer IPhone application

Posted by John Horniblow on Mar 5, 2009 in General, Mobile and wireless, User experience

Who would have thought that a food company could sell an iPhone Application  not just for ordering its product?
kraft ifood assistant
The iFood assistant developed by Kraft,  the world’s second largest food company, has turned the tables in mobile marketing for FMCG. Kraft is currently enjoying a rather prominent promotion on Apple’s website and in the App Store, which features video interviews with executives involved in the app’s development.

What’ s great or interesting about this is that Kraft has looked at where it adds value to the its on shelf products and developed a consumer proposition that is purely experiential and consumer focussed. Kraft tapped into its pre existing content base of recipes , cooking videos , add the notion of a meal planner and then added a store locator . The lessons for marketers based on Kraft’s success with this iPhone application are many and that the consumers brand experience goes well beyond the product on shelf , or at home in the kitchen or the real moment of truth when its consumed . The experience can manifest as useful helper in everyday activities. Its about the brand but all   all the services and value added content surrounding the brands , packaged as a “paid for” but highly useful portable electronic assistant that is “always on” in your pocket or bag. One touch away. Its also that fact that it is a conduit or exclusive channel for brand communications that can be entertaining and engaging and that it can extend offers , and potentially coupons as well.

kraft recipes

Kraft is cleverly  delivering its brand through the application, and using it as a advertising platform but it’s also driving new revenue streams from its cut of sales on the App Store — its a shining star in the field of branded iPhone applications. Why? because user experience is centred around  and wanted  valuable services and their  info-tainment value , not just being branded advertising app.  

View Apple’s co branded article about Kraft  

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Widgets and the future of CRM

Posted by John Horniblow on Feb 11, 2009 in Branded content, General, Mobile and wireless, User experience, Viral Marketing

snapshot-2009-02-11-11-07-56Recently OgilvyOne  Paris released a widget for Croquons la Vie , Nestle France’s  revamped online Consumer Relationship Marketing Program . Aided by what appears to be a concerted digital PR campaign targeting blogs and digital influencers and using  its inherent  widget -portability or share-ability  , it appears to be making some traction. Readily downloadable from the  main site  Croquons la vie  its easily  transferable to Netvibes  or iGoogle where you can make a number of choices on where and how you want to display the widget.

When it comes to looking at CRM practices this widget doesn’t disappoint from the marketer’s,  and more importantly, the consumer’s standpoint. Loaded with a rich content offering of  monthly recipe videos, recipe links , and  coupons , this widget provides the “value add”  that consumers expect from relationship marketing programs.   As well, it also adds the  possible concept of social marketing and content distribution into the CRM mix  as it extends the digital marketing ecosystem beyond  websites into the desktop world and potentially into mobile phones overtime. 

What is clear about using widgets  is that  you can extend the CRM based  services and value added content , personalize it , and use them as your own private  brand driven media channel  , pushing content or marketing communications to the widgets, where ever they may be. By simply adding the widget the consumer has actively subscribed to the brand communications , placing  themselves very clearly in control of the content they will  view as it changes over time. The relationship is nurtured through a constant evolution of  digital content offerings and the promise of discounts via coupons that can be claimed directly through the site.  What  will become apparent over time   is that  as  the install base for the widget  expands dramatically,  so does its propensity to become a media conduit for other brand communications . Content could even extend to  retail partnerships  as a  way of  subtly  extending the shopper  communications that may link consumers back to instore promotions or e commerce applications.    

What is also clear  is that in the coming year through consumer uptake of  iPhone an or smartphones and the development of  Google’s Android ( Open Handset Alliance Project)  in 2009/2010, is that the mobile phones will become “widget compatible” . The consumers use of smartphone or  Androïd platform, will not be bound to simple static applications but open to a diverse range of content services  that can be streamed onto the phone , although for the time being the support of Adobe’s Flash file format  seems hard to accomplish on phones.  

As Bruno Walther  , CEO of OgilvyOne Paris  says “The more time passes, the more I am certain that the widget is the future of the client relationship (CRM). ” , and  on this note I can only agree  with him wholeheartedly. Pick the widget up from Netvibes 

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Online Rich media advertising and Mobile advertising will be the winners in the media meltdown of 2009

Posted by John Horniblow on Jan 8, 2009 in Mobile and wireless, Online Media

The advertising outlook  for 2009 looks resoundingly is bleak. Following a downturn in revenues for 2008 and the fact that most forecasters see this continuing  through  2009 and 2010: the worst years of decline since the Great Depression. But !  and there is a big but here,  Online and digital advertising channels are the the only ones predicted to outshine the doom and gloom and  grow even in a downturn . This forecast view seems to be apparent across a number of forecast agencies , from the digital to traditional , there a a glimmer of optimism  in the air.

In Jack Myers’ recently -updated Media Business Report, he forecasts traditional media outlets will  take major hits in 2008 and 2009;
“The brunt of the 6.9 percent fall-off in 2009 ad spend will be felt by newspapers (-15.0%), Yellow Pages (-14.0%), consumer magazines (-13.0%), radio (-12.0%), local television (-10.5%), business-to-business and custom publishing (-9.0%), and broadcast network television (-4.0%). Even online media will feel the pain, with projected overall growth of a meager 2.7 percent. Online display ads are forecast to grow only one percent, with search engine marketing increasing 8.0% and online video, search engine, widget advertising increasing at a 25.0% rate to $1.5 billion. Online growth will pick up again in 2010 with overall 8.5% increases.”

What’s forecast to grow, if anything?  Search marketing, online video, (rich media) widgets and Mobile advertising. The real star being mobile that  jump 30 percent this year and another 15 percent next year. By the time the economy begins to regain steam, mobile advertising will jump another 30 percent in 2010, he forecasts.

So why is there a shine or  bright spot?
In rich or video media its a “no brainer”  for entertainment and brand advertisers.

Rich media and it recent upgrade to Digital Interactive media has  greater increases in brand metrics than standard web ads. Experientially they impacts attitudinal metrics, such as message association, brand favorability and awareness, more than non-rich media and allow the  incorporate video streaming of original content and help drive users to generate it and share it. With the coupling of transactional systems scuh as CRM and e commerce , the media buy can become a pure sale or pure consumer acquisition.

Mobile is definatly the flavour of next coming years . With SMS or text messaging is running hot as “Texting” has reach and ubiquity . Its simple  medium with reach of  160 characters and   the possibly of a  hyper link . MMS banner ads on WAP sites are a little richer in content and interactivity but are not ubiquitous because few people have data plans that can access WAP pages the estimates being between  10%  and 15% of all cell phone users.

Where the predictions for mobile seem to be going  it just might Voice!  Voice or sound is an interesting medium as it has no barriers to the existing  5 billion phones in the world. Just how intimate or intrusive it will be is another question. If my cell phone became a message bank a for un-announced  advertisers I would not be happy but if I am opted in to a premium audio experience  it’s richness because of its intimacy would make it  influential and experientially based . It may well be the way  to  reach a massive audience with a unique , engaging and compelling experience.. And everybody can get it regardless of plans and standards.

 

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