A loyalty program does not create brand loyalty

by mkedave on May 6, 2014

A loyalty program says nothing about true brand loyalty.

It’s only indicative of a repetitive behavior based upon minimum levels of satisfaction combined with cut-rate offers.

Let’s use grocery shopping for example. Did you know that neither Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have loyalty programs? Now, let’s assume that they’re succeeding at attracting customers through superior product quality and/or unique products that people want to buy.

It’s also fair to assume that loyalty programs, in general, only work well with industries where Company A can’t differentiate itself from its competitors and its customers are either 1) lazy or 2) lack the price awareness to shop elsewhere.

Company B doesn’t need a loyalty program because it’s adequately marketing itself to the conscious and price-aware consumer who feels just fine making a purchase from Company B because they’ve easily found their item and they were treated well throughout the purchase process.

We probably shouldn’t let loyalty programs pre-decide our shopping behaviors. Instead, brands should be earning our loyalty by doing a great job of getting us what we need, when we need it, at a price we can’t pass up. Oh, and rewarding us when we really deserve it.

Stability versus agility

by mkedave on May 6, 2014

Which company would you rather work with?

A) a company that designs and markets a new product every every 12 months, or
B) a company whose products are always scrutinized and continuously improved by an engaged community of fans

Which company do you think will have a higher rate of success with new product development?

Was it something I said?

by mkedave on February 9, 2014

I was probably something I said.

Facebook user dislikes report: Don't overshare.

Facebook user dislikes report: Don’t overshare.

Dislikes start with annoyance. According to this study by Pew Research, we’re annoyed by the act of oversharing. We’re also annoyed when people don’t ask permission. The second most-popular reason to dislike on Facebook is when your friend posts personal information (like that photo from the bar the other night) without running it by you first.

The introduction of Paper is a good move for Facebook

by mkedave on February 2, 2014

Given the state of media today, it’s ironic that Facebook chose to call it’s combined newsfeed and clipboard-like news aggregator “Paper.”

Clearly, Facebook is determined to be your favorite content discovery destination. That’s because reports have shown that Facebook is already your favorite news content discovery tool. So, there’s not a massive departure from normal user behavior. But, when you think about Facebook in terms of mobile, not as a core desktop product, you know that it’s easier to press the home button and launch another app than to navigate Facebook’s own mobile menu system.

Single-purpose apps work better than single-purpose websites because as the saying goes: “There’s an app for that.”

Paper will debut tomorrow (February 3) for download on iOS, and will be the first app developed by Facebook Creative Labs.

This is interesting because it’s demonstrating that Facebook has embraced the idea of “unbundling” its offerings. It also demonstrates how serious Facebook is about its response to mobile disruption. Will Facebook ever command the same goliath social success on mobile that it’s long had on the desktop? That probably won’t matter so long as Facebook users still share the content they find interesting.

See what Paper is all about:

Timing is everything

by mkedave on January 20, 2014

The media just wants the simplified sound bite.

So, Richard Sherman wears Beats.

Think: Customer First

by mkedave on January 13, 2014

“Be interested in what people are interested in. Compete for their attention on their terms, not on yours.”- Gareth Kay via Google/Think

Interruption and integration

by mkedave on January 11, 2014

It’s obvious that there are two very distinct forms of paid media emerging today: interruptive media and integrated media.

Interruptive media is intrusive or disruptive to the content consumer – it’s the media that puts itself in the way of the flow of content. Online, interruptive media attempts to be contextually relevant to the content consumer, but it’s not part of the continuity within the user experience. Success with interruptive media is dependent on that piece of paid media (like a banner ad unit) being better than or more incentivized to earn the disruption. I’ve always said that the brain is a lazy chunk of meat. That’s not actually true; the brain works hard to keep us from overloading and becoming confused – it’s hard-wired to ignore what it knows is not relevant. So, it’s easy to understand why display ads are suffering from poor engagement: the clear lack of content continuity.

Integrated media is more continuous within the flow of content. Integrated media has the ability to capture the content consumer’s attention because it sits in the flow of organic consumption – presenting itself with an integrated look and feel.

If you look across the digital marketing landscape, you’ll see an increase in influenced media. It’s more disparate and harder to quantify, but it’s certainly becoming a larger part of the paid media tactical mix. Blogger and word-of-mouth programs, incentivized social media campaigns, or any number of paid tactics that achieve entry into the continuous flow of content are being implemented at a rapid pace.

So, where does this leave earned media? Do practitioners who specialize in earned media need to consider the helpful paid support? Who leads and who follows? And, is the amplification of earned media with PPC support becoming a commonplace in the digital marketing mix?

Think about needs

by mkedave on January 3, 2014

People have needs.

You have answers to those needs.

If you focus on the user need, then your task is easy. Think about the specific thing that people are trying to do. What are they really trying to accomplish? Getting food faster? Replacing an old version?

Your solution should be to give them the easiest and quickest way to accomplish that.

I know. Easier said than done, right? Get design and engineering involved – they’ll know how to help.

Do something smaller

by mkedave on January 2, 2014

You probably didn’t sit down to write a long list of big things you wanted to achieve in 2014.

That’s pretty awesome if you did (I’d love to see what that list looks like). But, it’s also admirable if you’re happy to focus on one thing at a time. That’s easier. That’s manageable. And, if you’re goal-oriented, that’s achievable.

As I was just getting back into the swing of things in this new year (because I resolved to write more every day) I found this bit of wisdom from Austin Kleon. A simple and refreshing message: something small, every day

You get it already. Small is easy. Small is doable. Small is that first step towards something that will, inevitably, become even bigger.

So, when you’re thinking about what you want to achieve this year: think smaller.

Forget about the year as a whole. Forget about months and forget about weeks.

Focus on days.
- Austin Kleon

A “day” is a solid unit of measure. Within any given day, you’ll give eight or nine hours of that day to working the “job.” You’ll need to save a little something for yourself. Whatever it is that you might want to achieve, you’ll need to apply the effort. Give yourself the time. (May I suggest just one measly hour?) Give yourself the tools. (May i suggest Evernote to help keep a record of your thinkings?). Give yourself the permission.

I’ve written all this entirely for myself. But, I hope you might also find it inspiring.

We have 364 more chances to do just one small thing, every day.

Lowe’s get’s it right on Vine

by mkedave on May 6, 2013

The Lowe’s #lowesfixinsix thread on Vine.co is a helpful tip source for homeowners and DIYers alike, bringing something inspired, interesting and useful to consumers.

A good reminder that you can still have fun with utility.