Turn your happy customers into your sales team. If you’ve got happy customers then there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to get some great testimonials. By cultivating satisfied, evangelistic customers you will, in essence, be building (or adding to) your sales force. Especially for any type of service catagory, the only thing better than great ad copy may be great testimonials from happy customers.
It’s an advertisers dream to have their product ride a major pop-culture wave for a low investment. The latest example of this is a viral video from a 31-year old, ex-video game designer, Matt Harding.
The “Dancing Matt” video that Harding created (initially in ’04) is a quirky but very charming example of video self-expression that had nothing to do with any product until Stride Gum contacted Harding prompted by the growing viral buzz. Just to have its brand associated with the video, Stride offered to pay Harding’s expenses for an upgraded version and several months of world travel — not exactly an easy thing to turn down if you’re an unemployed 31-year old, ex-video game designer with a travel fetish.
Two years and over 10 million views later, Stride Gum is reaping the benefit of major viral buzz and national PR from their association. A great case study, right? I’m not so sure.
“Exactly what connection the company sees between gum and a guy dancing, but not chewing, remains a bit of a mystery,” says the New York Times. The answer is that it has no connection. But what does it matter if sales go up? Stride reports an 8% increase in sales since their video sponsorship. What they may not make so obvious is that Stride Gum, which is owned by the London-based global confectionery Cadbury, is also running an independent, multi-million dollar, TV ad campaign. So how much of that 8%, which isn’t huge, can honestly be attributed to the video connection?
The video is truely unique, uplifting and memorable. And, kudos to Matt Harding for following his muse and getting a free ride on Cadbury. But, if you want to see a true example of smart, successful viral marketing, check out Blendtec’s “Will it Blend?” or Jib Jab’s “Bush/Kerry”.
Keep up with technology. I suspect that the folks who’d benefit most from this tip are probably not the ones reading this blog. Or, any blog. The Bible says “the meek shall inherit the Earth” but that’s a typo.” It was meant to be “geek.” So, if you’re still trying to figure out how to make an online payment or play a podcast, I suggest you take a deep breath and get in touch with your inner geek. Or, make friends with your 14-year old neighbor.
Passion Power. I’ll never forget a comment from ad legend, Tom McElligott, who was asked the secret to his phenomenal success in selling edgy creative work to clients. “It has nothing to do with selling,” explained McElligott, “it’s about passion. Clients can sense if you truly believe in what you’re presenting. That’s often the difference in getting a something approved, or not.” I’ve found the same to be true in my experience. So, hopefully you’re genuinely excited about your product or service. And, if you’re not, you’d better figure out why.
According to a Reuters story there are maybe six analysts covering newspaper companies. Two years ago, there were 12 — not a huge number in itself. But the potential loss of knowledge about an entire industry is occurring at a frightening pace.