Archive for the ‘series’ tag
If you’re launching a new product, designing a sale or getting your business ready now for your version of Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, there are series of steps that you need to include in the planning process in order to create the most effective campaign.
As you design a new campaign, brainstorm these questions with your staff and use the answers you come up with to create a series of launch action items.
1) What do we want our customer to do 30 days after the purchase?
This is such a great place to start because it lets you begin with the end in mind. So often all we think about is how to get the sale. This question forces you to think about how you get the result, the next sale or the referral and puts the emphasis squarely on creating a total customer experience.
2) What message will create the most interest?
For the most part no one really wants to buy what you sell, but they do want to achieve a result, save money, vanquish a demon, make money and feel more in control. How will you tell the story that helps them understand that’s what you’re selling? Get your messaging right, focus it on a narrowly defined ideal customer and start the process of education.
3) How many formats and delivery vehicles can we create for the message?
Would your message benefit from a series of supporting video messages, an eBook, blog posts, an online seminar? These days prospects have grown to expect a full suite of educational information to accompany a sales message. How will you let your prospect sample the results or the process they are considering?
4) What are the ways our can message intersect with our prospects?
Now it’s time to put your message in front of the prospect. How will you employ advertising, public relations, referral generation, email, partners and social networks to create the greatest amount of awareness, repetition and consistency of message aimed at your ideal target customer?
5) What is the ultimate pathway we want our prospect to travel?
Go through the precise “ideal” way you want a prospect to become aware of your campaign and then design how you intend them to move from know, like and trust to try and buy. What small steps do you intend them to take to move closer to the decision to buy.
6) What is our call to action mechanism at each point along the way?
How are you going to motivate your prospects to take each progressive step? What words, buttons, links and value exchanges will you employ to keep your prospect engaged?
7) What is the next thing we intend to sell?
Some might find this last step a bit crass at this point, but you don’t have to think about it that way. If your products and services deliver a positive result, you should always be thinking about new ways to do that. Your campaigns should always have an integrated product or service suite element that automatically upsells, introduces additional options and even downsells when a prospect decides they aren’t ready to make a decision on your current campaign.
For example, as you offer a new consulting service, you could either offer some additional “done for you” add ons for those that decide to buy or a $79 DIY program for those that pass on your initial offer.
I think the point here is that you adopt a routine and process that makes you stop and consider this holistic approach to campaign design. Often, by simply stopping for moment to consider these powerful questions you’ll find ways to make any offer much stronger and much more customer focused.
After a series of nose-dives and precipitous declines, Zynga’s stock is hovering near $3 after opening at $10 in December of 2011. It’s a surprisingly weak position (even more surprising for shareholders) and despite rallies throughout the beginning of the year that saw Zynga top $14 for a while, the company is now facing the spectre of lower user counts and a difficult upwards climb and the stock seems deflated.
In response, an anonymous Zynga user took to Quora to explain how “devastated” he/she felt about the stock crash after working 10 hour days with “terrible management” in the hopes of a payout. The post had 600 upvotes, but since the post has gone viral, it’s been seriously downvoted and attacked by other Zynga employees have come out of the woodworks (all anonymously) to counter the original poster’s complaints.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
We are witnessing an energy revolution, Walter Russell Mead, professor at Bard College and editor-at-large of The American Interest, recently proclaimed in a series of blog posts (parts one, two, three, and four); a revolution “much bigger, and more consequential than the Arab Spring;” a revolution, moreover, that will result in “a powerful boost to American power.” Mead sees a “new age of abundance for fossil fuels” in the making which proves peak-oil theories wrong and renders chatter about American decline irrelevant. Due to now extractable resources in tar sands oil in Canada and shale oil & gas in the U.S. the “center of gravity of the global energy picture is shifting from the Middle East to … North America.” This energy revolution will consequentially bring about a new American century.
That, in a nutshell, is Mead’s bold thesis at which I will have a closer look in this first installment of my e-Ideas series. And just to state the obvious: the series is going to evolve around discourses, books, and studies, i.e. the impact of energy trends and innovations on society and politics adn vice versa, rather than technological innovations of which I would only have very limited understanding.
Mead’s energy revolution is driven by unconventional oil and gas resources that recently have become technically and economically extractable and/or have been discovered. These resources make Canada and the U.S. “each richer in oil than Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia combined.” Israel and China also have such resources and will profit accordingly.
According to Mead this new fossil fuel reality has four major consequences:
1. New Geopolitical Fundamentals
The energy revolution will substantially shift the fundamentals of geopolitics by creating “winners and losers”; namely the U.S., Canada, Israel, and China as winners, and Russia, the Middle East, and petro states such as Venezuela as losers. The economically most advanced countries of the West will become less dependent on energy imports from autocratic regimes and unstable regions such as the Middle East, Mead argues, and can shift political attention and military resources to other areas. Shale oil will also make China more independent from imports and therefore less aggressive in its drive to secure energy resources overseas. Russia, on the other hand, will lose leverage because Europe will have alternative sources of supply. The Middle East will lose its prominence on the world stage, because its resources are not as relevant any more.
2. A New American Century
This geopolitical shift will stabilize the liberal global order, stimulate global economic growth, and allow the potential rivalry between the U.S. and China to become ever more cooperative. Because energy was critical to the first American century, Mead continues, and since the energy abundance that propelled the U.S. to global leadership is back, a new American century is in the making. A less Middle East-centric foreign policy will allow the U.S. to become more of the benevolent hegemon it has been after World War II, securing the liberal capitalist global order, rather than fighting wars in the sands Iraq.
3. The Reincarnation of the American Dream
The new fossil fuel resources in the U.S. will dramatically alter the domestic situation as well, Mead claims. For the first time in decades, new well-paying blue-collar jobs are created, a second coming of the American Dream. Demand for skilled labor will change the immigration debate. Manufacturing may return to the U.S. because cheap energy will be a major competitive advantage. A new geography of power will alter politics: A shift to the Mississippi-Ohio-Missouri river system and the Midwest, where most of the new resources are located, will strengthen a pragmatic moderately conservative ideology and weaken liberals and ultraconservatives. And more of American prosperity will actually remain in the U.S., because less energy imports will significantly cut the trade deficit.
4. A Cleaner Planet
Somewhat counter-intuitive, Mead claims that the new abundance of fossil fuels will also help protect the climate and strengthen environmentalism. In his final, and most polemic, blog post he argues that cheap shale gas will accelerate the switch from coal to gas, resulting in less carbon emissions. The newly accumulated wealth will help fund more environmental initiatives. And until these resources are dried up later in the twenty-first century, the wind and solar industries can mature, become more competitive and more reliable. This will all help the transition to a cleaner, low-carbon economy.
Mead’s argument is conclusive and well thought through, even if his polemic against green energy seems widely overstated. He somewhat underestimates, however, the political risks that come with the production of unconventional oil & gas. Hydraulic fracturing increasingly becomes a major concern not only for environmentalists in the U.S., while in Europe this extraction technology is stigmatizing as dirty and risky. The same is true for Canadian oil sands. Consequentially, American pundits such as Thomas Friedman, the NY Times columnist, are much more skeptical of a golden age of gas in the U.S. While its economic and geopolitical benefits are obvious in the short term, Friedman states in an opinion piece, the shale gas boom may delay renewable energy production. “That would be reckless,” he writes because in light of recent droughts in the U.S., climate change becomes ever more apparent, and dangerous. A warning, Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, already voiced earlier this year, reacting to the EU’s labeling of natural gas as “green energy”.
But Friedman pushes further and specifically targets unconventional gas. “Extracting it can be very dirty,” he writes, essentially demanding a life cycle analysis of all energy sources. While he concludes with proposing a carbon tax, which in his eyes will level the playing field for renewables and also allow raising more taxes to tackle the U.S. federal budget deficit, his article that has been duly refuted from conservative side, shows that unconventional gas is highly politicized.
Politics may thus derail Mead’s energy revolution, if not managed professionally. A good start would be sound energy policies. As The Economist recently noted, neither presidential candidate appears to have, however, “the vision now required in energy policy.”
Our Email Marketing channel sponsor, AWeber, is a leader in the email marketing space and has been for many years. Their clients include some of the larger names in the online space. You may recognize the likes of Copyblogger, Problogger, Social Media Examiner, Elance and many more.
So how did they get there? Why being experts at what they do, of course. They are share that knowledge in a webinar series that can take you from 0 to 60 in e-mail marketing faster than ever before. A good place to start is at the beginning so check out this video on Getting Started with AWeber.
This is just one of many webinars AWeber offers. Be sure to check them out!
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Backed by Y Combinator, 500 Startups and SV Angel, Scoutzie launches today to give people looking for great mobile designers an online place to find the best of the best.
Because good design comes through a series of quality checks, the Scoutzie community vets all potential designers, either through a formal portfolio review or through a members-only invite process. This review process has resulted in 500 top notch members of the Scoutzie community and around 1,500 applicants who didn’t make the cut.
Some of the more prominent members of Scoutzie include the designer behind the Instagram icon, the Pair app and the Airbnb logo. Like everybody else in the world right now, the site is focused on mobile design, but founders Kirill Zubovsky and Jennifer Toda tell me that most designers’ efforts can be rerouted to web if need be.
To use Scoutzie as a consumer, visit the site and submit a design proposal, providing a product description, budget and deadline. Designers view the bid on the Scoutzie backend and contact you if it seems like a fit.
Zubovsky and Toda insist that Scoutzie is more like a traditional design agency like FJORD or Happy Cog than its most obvious competitor 99Designs, and hold that the curation of the community and emphasis on quality versus getting the cheapest possible option is what sets them apart from the aforementioned.
“In the past, when companies needed design, they would hire a big firm that would come in on site and charge you a lot of money. Thanks to the Internet, clients and individual designers can now connect directly,” says Zubosky. “It’s our goal to build a set of tools that make it really efficient for designers to connect with clients directly, in such way that designers and the end-customers could retain the money otherwise spent on the overhead.”
The startup, which monetizes by taking a 10% cut of all projects arranged via the site (versus an agency’s traditional 50% cut), is currently focused on building community feedback tools to encourage its members to feel at home and valued — which even further sets it apart from 99Designs.
TechCrunch readers interested in trying out Scoutzie can get 10% off their next project by typing in “ScoutzieTC” as a referral code here.
Attention (TechCrunch Product Manager) Christine Ying and Ned Desmond: Maybe we should use this to redesign? Right? Please?
The following is the “Radar DDB 10am One Thing” email that I wrote this week. Enjoy!
Today’s “One Thing” looks at five ways a love of space travel and exploration is breaking through into the mainstream culture through social media. You may have seen the latest iteration of Rovio’s massively popular Angry Birds series, Angry Birds Space, being launched (pun intended) from the ISS through a video bridging physics with the popular bird-hates-pig game. This week, many of our own space geeks were enthralled as NASA’s Curiousity Rover touched down on mars, live tweeting to its 800,000 followers and making instant celebrities of its crew, including flight director Bobak Ferdowsi whose own Twitter account spiked from 200 followers to 41,000 – in part due to his funky hair cut, especially chosen for this mission.
Want to learn more? Google has teamed up with NASA to bring Google Street View into the Kennedy Space Centre – now we can all explore this legendary location including the launch pad for the original Apollo programme and the Endeavour space shuttle in the same way you’d look for directions to a fashionable new restaurant. From what we hear from our friends at Google, expect to see a lot more of the insides of famous buildings and locations as they take street view off the streets.
Space is cool once more – expect to see this trend reverberate through popular culture for years to come.
Take a look at the Kennedy Space Center on Google Street View: http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/gallery.html#!/nasa
The One Thing is a result of the daily 10am meetings held in the DDB Canada offices, where our digital teams meet to discuss new online trends, tools and technologies.
For an archive of the 10am links, visit our Delicious account at http://www.delicious.com/Radar10AM
Follow Radar on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RadarDDB
Over the last few years, Marvel has churned out a series of blockbusters that merge the comic book maker’s universe of characters into one intertwining plot, like when Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk fought side by side in The Avengers. See what fans have to say about their favorite Marvel heroes in this infographic from Networked Insights.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
The second in the series of spin-off Firestarters events for the Search Marketing community, conducted at and with Google UK, is happening next week. This one is on the subject of mobile – such a rich subject right now so plenty to talk about, but we’ll be theming it less around best practice and more about what the future could look like, and how that impacts on what marketers need to think about today.
To help us we have one of the smartest mobile practitioners I know, Simon Andrews of Addictive Mobile, alongside Gareth Jones (Head of Online Marketing at Carphone Warehouse), Gareth Davies (Online Marketing Manager at Vodafone), and Husayin Savas who is a mobile ads product manager at Google.
As with the first event, we’ll be running a series of short provocations followed by debate and Q & A, and I’ll be doing the hosting alongside Google. The event will be held at Google UK offices on the 15th August (starting 6.00pm). It’s invite only, but as always I have some invites to give away to readers of this blog - if you’d like one then please contact me and I will notify the successful applicants.
The original quarterly Firestarters events for planners continue of-course – the next one will be taking place on 26th September so note the date and watch this space for more on that soon.
A basket of Apple suppliers responsible for delivering parts for the iPhone maker’s future products witnessed their best monthly sales jump last month, a trend financial experts are attributing to the ramp up for a series of new iOS gadgets that will combine for the ‘biggest second-half product launches’ in the company’s history.