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Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Four Key Elements of Innovative Marketing

November 27th, 2010

A tradition at my U.C. Berkeley class “Creativity & Innovation & The Entrepreneur” (ICE) is to set aside one class each semester to discuss “innovations in Marketing”.  I ask the students to each contribute 1-2 examples of highly creative, imaginative and innovative marketing and post them to a WIKI.  This year, we had over 70 postings and great discussion in class about the nature of the “creative” advertising agency, and what makes a marketing campaign highly innovative.

As a former marketing exec (IBM, Apple, Yahoo, Netchannel, Overture and others), I’ve worked with hundreds of highly creative people  – in fact, at a place like Apple, marketing seemed to be a never-ending game between creatives as to who could create the most innovative plan.

I learned that sometimes, just simple ingenuity and the element of surprise and delight works wonders…for example the simplicity of the Apple logo, the release of the Mac in 1984, the irreverence of the iPod and simplicity of iPhone advertisements, all underscore the innovative culture of Apple. Our class found several great examples of creative, yet highly simple, marketing campaigns in every-day advertising:

The game in marketing is to figure out who can create the most innovative ad campaigns, the most effective lead drivers, and the best branding and positioning. Naturally, with so many creative people in this industry, lots of creative ideas occur.  How many are truly innovative?

Top Four Elements of Innovative Marketing
This year in class, we tore apart several of the marketing campaigns to figure out what makes for truly innovative marketing.  Here are the five elements of innovative marketing that came from our Wiki this year:

1. Highly innovative marketing campaigns employ the age-old craft of story-telling, sometimes allowing the user to fill in the missing pieces of the story. Everyone loves a good story.  And, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other sites are perfect viral channels for the spread of a good story.  Here are several examples of highly viral campaigns that tell a great (and personal) story:

Google posted a particularly clever campaign during a period when it was under fire from the press for some of its practices.  5 million viewers have watched the viral video.  The video shows the “human” (softer) side of Google (often said to be a bit “tc in its culture) and the viewer is pulled into the story with a certain “that could be me” feel.

Not to be out-marketed, Facebook posted a similar video recently, although its viral effects have been minimal so far. But still, it’s fun to watch.

Another very effective campaign that tells a poignant story to get its point across is the Dove Evolution campaign that hit the ‘Net in October, 2006.  This innovative marketing example used stop photography to get its point across, leaving the reader to think about Dove in an entirely new light.

2. Highly innovative campaigns draw the user in …often engaging the user in the story or campaign. Given the nature of the social web today, the best way to engage many users is to draw them in on a personal level.  One of my all-time favorite viral videos “Where the Hell Is Matt?” (33 million views) does an amazing job at this.

One great example of this is the Pepsi Refresh project, which has (as of this writing) attracted 640,000 viewers. The project engages entrepreneurs around the country in submitting socially beneficial business plans.  The music and visuals suck you in and tell a motivating story.

This Nissan Sentra advertisement highlights the takes personalization to an new level, but actually showing the main character living out of his Nissan.  Young audiences could relate well to this.

3. Innovative campaigns draw their creativity from the intersection of 2 or more marketing devices. When one discovers the power of a new medium but leverages the legacy of an older medium, great things happen.  For example, Paranormal Activity was a run-away low-budget box-office smash, based on the incredible viral marketing the film used prior to theatrical introduction.  One key element of this was the combination of Twitter and viral video.  People “tweeted their screams”.

Here are several other, more recent, examples:

  • Groupon is combining crowd-sourcing with location-based marketing to craft campaigns that draw big crowds into locations for on-the-spot promotions
  • Volvo – teamed up with Double-Click to create innovative banner ads that incorporate live Twitter feeds
  • Ikea came up with a completely novel use for Facebook “tagging” by allowing users to claim prizes

The campaigns that are most innovative will come up with novel ways of combining 2 or more forms of existing marketing to arrive at new combinations.

4. Highly innovative marketing utilizes an element of surprise and delight , which crosses the expected with the unexpected.  The result is a campaign that people want to share among themselves and watch over and over.

  • Coke used this highly effective campaign to brand itself to happiness and fun – and who doesn’t want happiness and fun?
  • Burger King allowed people to “have it their way” by personalizing the experience, delighting and surprising their customers in the process
  • A favorite among the 20-something crowd is the Old Spice viral videos from 2009 which used surprise and humor to re-build the brand’s image.

These are four approaches to creating innovation in Marketing.  What other examples match up to these four findings?  What other sources of innovation defines the Marketing field?

Marketing Innovation – Part I

December 5th, 2009

Disruptive technologies, and a shift in the ways consumers and business purchase are the culprits behind a massive shift in the world of marketing in the past decade. This shift continues today, as innovations in advertising, direct marketing, public relations, promotions, channel marketing, product marketing, branding, market research, and other areas. I will cover each of these areas in a series of blogs: Part I, II, III, etc….until we get it all covered!

The entire Internet Advertising Space may be $1B in size…Let’s Go Celebrate!

As Yahoo’s original VP Marketing & Sales, I played a role in the beginning of this shift. In 1995, as Yahoo was being founded, we had to consider the Internet as a new medium for advertisers, forge a sales pitch that would convince yahoo_logolarge advertisers to “test out” banner advertising and key-word searches as legitimate ways to market their message. Fortunately, a few pioneers like Citbank, Worlds Inc. and Softbank believed us – and within a year hundreds of advertisers joined the fray. .. But the market researchers at the time thought that ad revenues might shift to Internet to $1B within 5 years – eureka! (?yahoo!?) – we were off to the gold mines, but only a fraction of the world’s marketing was anticipated to shift to online.

OK..well, maybe the entire Online Marketing  Space will be $3-5B in size…

Again, in 1996, working with Bill Gross at IdeaLab,  I brought together a business development and marketing team to assist in the founding of Goto.com (later to become Overture).  Yahoo and Excite were already public by this point, yet the face of marketing was only beginning to change.  The shift to online spending by large advertisers had only just goto_logobegun…but the idea of a SEARCH as a driving force had caught our attention, and the idea of “pay for position”/auction advertising seemed increase our potential revenues, so we tested our ideas…within 15 months Overture went public. ….But the market researchers at the time thought that ad revenues might shift to Internet to $3B within 5 years – wow!  (it was only anticipated to be a partial shift).

Online Marketing is now $45B+ globally and growing fast…

But take a look at recent articles on the online advertising/marketing space and we see that 15 years later it has bloomed into a $45M (2008) market.

Technologies that we now know to be the culprit in this dramatic shift (and some funky examples that you might enjoy checking out over the ‘Net):

  • Social media – The hottest new area of innovation in marketing today is SMM  – social media marketing.  Way way back in 2000, we used to call this “viral marketing”, until actual platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter allowed us to direct eyeballs (well, call them “Followers”) to almost any type of event, brand, or product you can think of.
  • Broadband into the home & workplace – why are my children no longer crowding me out of my rightful spot in front of the family-room television? Because they don’t need to compete with me anymore – thanks to broadband into the home (which I use to watch digital TV advertisements over ), my kids are upstairs in their bedrooms snapping up Coke commercials as they watch their favorite tv shows and movies on Hulu.
  • Digital Video - my favoriteexample,  Where The Hell Is Matt (sponsored by Stride Gum), with 25 million views on Google’s YouTube exemplifies how companies can virally spread their brand or product/services thanks to advances in digital video

Marketing – one tough career ?

The huge variety of technologies that have enabled Innovative Marketing are causing a lot of trouble on Madison Avenue and in boardrooms all over the world…and the job of Marketing has become, actually quite complex, today, because there is no way to compare the impact of one’s branding, direct marketing, advertising, or social media marketing efforts.

In future blogs, my plan is to lay out some of the best resources on the Web for Innovative Marketing, and share examples and trends in each of the major marketing areas.

But, first, I leave you with one a favorite Marketing Innovation, discovered by one of my students at Berkeley (thank you, Joan).  I love this one because it takes advantage of digital video, social media, and plain old smart branding.