Explaining Marketing to Grank, an Alien
This has been possibly the hardest thing I've done in a long time. It took 8 months and I tried to write an interesting B2B ebook as most are dull and boring. I've used real examples of how marketing has impacted society and why it exists. This all takes place in NYC.
My first podcast discussing marketing yourself on social media with Rachel, Founder of Conception Arts.
Celfie was born out of my need to try and correct the negative effects of social/digital, such as revenge porn and cyberbullying, just saying to someone don't go online isn't an answer. It's shocking to me that pixels posted inappropriately online can cause psychological damage or death as a result. Or that someone can screen grab your posts and profit from it by calling it art.
We are human and have needs, which are love and recognition. Love and recognition shouldn't be used against us, especially when we are most vulnerable in a relationship or at school. Placing your trust in another person should not be a punishment and we shouldn't become conditioned to not trust someone because we risk our privacy being exposed. Technology needs to adapt to its users and help us communicate and become better.
That is the thoughts behind Celfie, celfie.io, and its birth. I will present my ideas on 8/24 at Personal Data Week in NYC if anyone is interested.
So for awhile now I've been told to create videos and I've resisted. Mainly because I'm an introvert and am a lot more comfortable being behind a computer that in front of a video camera. Also, I am a bit awkward and tend to do crazy things with my eyes and face. Nonetheless after 6 weeks of prep, presentations, and editing here are my classes.
Sex Sells class on YouTube
Full video Classes
Most business strategy ignores marketing but, marketing is essential to any business strategy for success. You can't just yell "yo dudes and dudettes, buy my stuff it's awesome," and be successful. Does marketing strategy get overcomplicated, yes but you need a plan.
Basics need to be considered, who's your audience, it's not an exact science but through research and your own sales stats you can get a solid understanding from which you can then test marketing against. What problem do you solve for your customer's, how do you communicate that?
How do you communicate with them? What channels? What resources do you have to execute on your strategy?
Then you can have fun and get creative with your content and measure the response at different times. Measurement, timing, and flexibility are key to a successful marketing strategy.
An important feature of many social networks is customer service, it's also the most overlooked. As one of the first social networks, we were the first to understand this and created moderators.
Moderators helped control bullying and abuse in the user base. They curated the discussions to make sure they were relevant and up to date. Moderators fostered a safe, collaborative environment for people to share. They received perks such as being able to use new features first, redeemable points on partner products and the prestige of being a moderator was enough for some.
On many prominent social networks, you have to go through many screens asking you if the answer to your question was relevant. No, it's rarely relevant, if it was you wouldn't be looking for an email contact or gasp a phone number. Telling a company to bring up an email from 3 years ago to reset the password for that social account just isn't acceptable in 2016!
Advice before you join that start-up, no matter what they promise you money, fame and/or a buyout.
Having been part of many start-ups over the years here's what I learned. People are key to success. That's it it's that simple, most start-ups fail not because the idea wasn't valid but because the people implementing it got caught up in their egos, control, and denial. Many start-ups rely on "free" or low-cost employees but how you're treated makes all the difference, free snacks and games aren't impressive.
If you're asked to join a start-up, I recommend, first and foremost ask for financial records before you commit. Google the founder/s and read what they've written or what's been said about them. Take any contract to be reviewed by a lawyer you trust. If you can, work with them part time and see how that goes, before committing. If you don't feel comfortable for any reason during your time working with a start-up, stop.
A lot of people get caught up in the "I'm an entrepreneur and working for a start-up" cool factor and ignore all the warning signs. Working with shady people also damages your reputation. Worse, though, is being taken advantage of and having to waste a lot of your time and effort on broken promises and people.
Dear Facebook, I'm not sure if expanding into Russian-speaking markets you meant to attract my 77-year-old ex-Soviet father. He only signed up as it's in Russian. He's avoided it for years, as he knew it existed, but felt it was too time-consuming. I encouraged that thinking as you have to understand, ex-Soviet Russian parents aren't like other parents. There's the normal, let your kid figure it out parent, there's the helicopter parent, who hovers until the kid is a teen, then there's the ex-Soviet Russian parent. These are like helicopter parents times 100.
As a grown ass woman he still tells me he doesn't accept my religion, Pagan, that there is only one G-d, he objects to being classified as Soviet and considers himself both Russian and Ukrainian, but Jewish above all. Nothing I say matters as it's wrong. He still asks 6 years after my divorce for me to go back to my ex, a man he doesn't particularly liked because he believes I can't survive on my own. This level of irrationality I can block on Facebook usually, but I can't block my dad.
There really needs to be a feature or a plugin for grown up children to be able to block family. Had I known he would ever join Facebook, I'd have created a fake account, but at last, it's 2 late as I got my invite from him in Russian :/
Context in the digital space is very important but is one of the hardest things to grasp for businesses and brands when building campaigns and/or ads. I will use last week's digital events to illustrate. A video released by the Clinton campaign about information on aliens being made public, NC transgender laws and the many companies that are banning travel there, and a number of cat/animal videos.
So what do you as a brand pay attention to and try to create campaigns and content around? My advice is to ignore all Politics. A: they're boring and B: you may end up alienating an audience (pun intended) On a personal note, no one should take seriously the orange candidate. Only put forward campaigns of support that align with previous company policies on controversial issues, such as transgender laws. Do not create negative content ever, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it! Politician's take note:)
Create ads and campaigns that are positive. Make people feel good about your brand and what the company stands for. A good gauge is to ignore 1/2 of what's out there and align your campaigns with happy or neutral content. Animals, nature, food and cute kids always work if you can't create something original due to resources or lack of time. Once you lose an audience it's lost and very hard to win back as is trust in any relationship. Now please enjoy this baby pic of my son:)
Instagramming became a thing and almost all pics of celebrities became popular as it was an intimate platform where fans could go and get their obsession fix. Forward 6 years later and the most popular pictures now have to tell a story and be visually stimulating as more and more competition exists, not to mention more fake and inactive users.
Kim Kardashian in the beginning, along with her family exploited this platform to her advantage, before other celebrities and singers signed on. Once Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and Rihanna began posting and releasing teasers of new music and art they became the real influencers as they delivered not only nakedness but emotional hooks through lyrics and tapped into the shared human experience. If you look at the social listening numbers, many free analytics programs out there, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and Rihanna outrank Kim Kardashian almost 2:1 consistently in influence across many social platforms. Her numbers were higher last week in the pics, due to the nude selfie. In order to even try and gain influence, Kim has to post a nude selfie as that is what gets her attention. The problem is, as I stated the digital space and most women have moved on from being empowered solely by T&A. I left T&A and "fake friends" behind in High School.
Women want to see more of their lives and struggles reflected in social media channels and movements like free the nipple, period acceptance, raising kids and exercise have gained tremendous engagement. As a strategist, I'd tell Kim K to hold up a tampon in her nude selfie, not her middle finger, if she wants to re-establish influence. The only influence she seems to have is over Piers Morgan, who can't stop commenting on her pics.
My career is anything but typical. I love technology and the digital world. After Silicon Alley imploded and sixdegrees.com, one of the first social media cos did so with it. I still wanted to stay in digital and explore how it could connect people and businesses to further communication. I convinced some technology cos, they were the only ones listening at the time, to continue and advertise online to brand themselves and sell their services and products.