marketing pinsanity

February 23, 2012 · 0 comments

in case it wasn't glaringly apparent, Pinterest is the social network du jour. many have held that mantle, this is just the latest. it's a great story for an interesting niche product. rampant growth, fanatical usage, massive time sucking and heavy dashes of inspiration.

as invariably as every other social network, the questions of whether brands should use the service or not have sprung up. the social media navel gazers have been ebullient about it, naturally. content producers (namely media companies) have taken a liking to it. some natural fit industries (ie. fashion, design, food) are downright zealous about it. but the broader brandsphere still has a question mark around it.

i've already heard it tossed out in a few meetings with little regard. "that'd be great to do on Pinterest." i shudder on the inside. remember, it is just a channel that is still very embryonic when it comes to sophistication for brands to be involved. and frankly, there is a certain aesthetic required, an expectation of illiciting emotional responses, and a required caliber of effort just to fit in there.

here's my solutions to how brands should approach Pinterest:
create things that are worthy of pinning
inspire people to include or re-imagine your brand (in a good way)

that's it. that's all any of the current users are doing, brands are no different. leave the conversation about "marketing on Pinterest" at the door. don't force it. if either of those is an action they want to take, great, leave it to them.

you might need some kind of awareness behind whatever it is so people know it's there to pin. it can be discovered through your other communities or PR or elsewhere. nothing splashy. don't make a big deal about the fact your on Pinterest or try to game it somehow. don't beg for pins like you did for Likes.

after you've done that and the space matures a bit, then decide whether you need a profile or you need to invest resources here. see if warranted because it just creates yet another space to maintain that has heavy demands. are the people you want to talk to even there? don't forget to ask that question.

can we can start the conversation about the value of a pin?

a giant leap for brands as content (not advertising)

February 22, 2012 · 0 comments

of course, branded content or brand storytelling is not news. nor is the shift of communications away from 'ads.' i myself have been pursuing this paradigm shift to our industry for many years. until now, there was the theoretical approach as this video does well to elaborate.

but there was always a hesitation or a missing proof to the approach. it's a massive leap without much in the way of the empirical data to say there is another side to land on. let's also be frank, likely a lack of skill to execute on such a demanding way to generate brand communications.

sure, there were dabblers, but recently the game changed and took a massive step to legitimacy and action. it took the likes of Coca-Cola, but i think this is a watershed moment and think it worthy to share.

in this incredibly well thought out, detailed and methodical blueprint, they've taken the theory, layered the brand purpose and built a platform that is beginning to end meaningful for the brand to pursue this course. the execution of the blueprint is high caliber too which already shows a commitment to producing top notch brand pieces.

i find it incredibly interesting that they would publicize it. of course they want to get credibility and recognition within the industry, but its specificity really reveals their hand. i'm conflicted on it. that they've bought into the approach so vigilantly is laudable and to share it opens up doors for the rest of us. but it could have been a competitive advantage, at least for a little bit. that they've declared this as what's right and competition be damned also opens up scrutiny and even distances any consumer who might now be in the know of their changing ways and still objects to this new assault on them.

either way, it's exciting to see the broader effect this will have.

back to it

February 13, 2012 · 0 comments

it's been nearly a year since i last blogged. in that time i've thought many a time that i should really get back into it. the notion obviously never stuck. i asked myself "does anyone still blog?" more than once. here i find myself eager to renew my efforts here.

 so what changed?

 for one, i've had an incredible urge to be creative lately. that i'm through with just being on the sidelines and taking in. time to contribute. blogging was always just about writing for me and a creative outlet. if something was salient, great, but it was more to just put out. the mantra for this year was "do". do whatever, but just don't make excuses or find walls to put up stopping me. so now when i feel the need to blog, i will.

 there's also the matter of being rejuvenated in my work life. forty days ago, i started a job with Mediacom Canada and am fully invigorated into the position. it's a dramatic change from my last job. as i aim to push myself in this new position, putting ideas out there and the simple act of writing will be a boon for my productivity there.

another reason is a little more meta. i've been thinking about the act of sharing and i feel that blogging still has some value to it. sharing, like the size of consumable media and general attention, has become ever-more brief. that sharing is almost an inconsiderate act as people simply push buttons and add little or no additional meaning, insight or connection to objects. in a world where people can contribute in a variety of ways, sharing trumps new idea generation or even building off existing ones.

so, to do my part in adding meaning to what i share and to put new ideas out there, this will be the platform. i don't know the shape of things shared and created, just that i will.



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