Know your audience


The other day I was asked to assess two online campaigns and one e-newsletter marketing campaign and provide optimization recommendations.

The two online campaigns, while set up right, were poorly targeted. Further, the messaging, while SEO, was awful. There was no human engagement factor. Both of these clients were using online Text and Display media because they saw it as a fast and cheap way to build their business. It hasn’t been working very well because they don’t know their audience well. They think they do but I know they don’t.

The e-newsletter marketing campaign on the other hand had wonderful performance metrics. The newsletter is beautifully designed (by me), thoughtfully written (by them), and sent to a short list of known and well defined clients and prospects.

The difference in the performance metrics can be worked back to the client and agency knowing, or not knowing, their audience well. This is just ONE example of a scenario that repeats itself millions of times each day when you don't.

I bought a MAC product at my local Mac retailer who in turn asked for my e-address (for warranty purposes).

I was added to their “data base” which probably looks like an old bucket.

Because they did not collect my demo or psyco profile, they throw everything at everyone – hoping a small fraction of the messages will stick. Imaging what their metrics look like!

The model in their Mother’s Day Gifting Newsletter is about 35-40. My mother just turned 95. She is not interested in celebrating her character with a new ipad, fit-bit, or other device. Nor is she interested in a knap-sack to wheel them around in - she already has one (she rarely uses) clipped to her wheel-chair. 

At this point in her life, my mother, and many of her vintage, celebrate when they wake up in the morning and make it to the toilet before their bowel movement begins.

Save time, money, effort, your ass and the agency's account.

Know your audience.



A brief creative brief


A lot of agencies fall over each other trying to outdo themselves with their insightful creative briefs (that no one ever reads).

If you want to cut to the chase and do some relevant work for your client, your agency and your portfolio, then start and end the conversation with these two questions:

1.  What can your brand claim, and defend (operationally) that will get it to where you want it to be?

2.  How much time and money do you have to make this happen?





What do you mean; “wear a plain, white suit or dress”?

The last episode of American Idol featured a scene where contestants from the previous 14 seasons took the stage together to pay tribute the show in song.

I can just imagine the show’s creative director asking all contestants to “wear a plain white suit or dress”.

What they got is a wonderful visual example of how different people interpret and respond to the same information in different ways.

For those who like to keep all the puppies in the box, this scene must have been a bit of a disaster because no two people on that stage were dressed alike.

For those who celebrate diversity this must have been inspirational.

I love it because it helps me illustrate why it’s so important to know more than your product and your audience. You need to really get into the wide variety of ways your product can be used and hacked and adapted for purposes you never dreamed of.

P.S. If a uniform understanding of a physical or mental state is important to success in your organization, do what really smart organizations do – invent your own new terminology and carefully define the new word’s associated meaning.



Priceless - The President's endorsement


President Barack Obama congratulates American Idol on 15 successful seasons and uses the opportunity to stress the importance of voting. I’ve posted this link for a few reasons:

1.  The President’s message is such an important one that it should resound with anyone who lives in a democracy and wants to defend it.

2.  This is the first serious program endorsement I’ve seen from a sitting President of the United States of America.

From a creative, public relations or media (buy) standpoint this moment really is priceless. One that no amount of money (or your Mastercard™) can buy.



Uber gets disrupted. Too bad. So sad.


We all know how proud and self-righteous Uber has been about being a disruptive technology.

Here’s a bit of B.S. from their website:

“Drive when you want. Earn what you need.”

“The more you drive, the more you’ll earn.”

“Don’t wait to start making great money with your car.”

Here’s a little reality check. Drivers say they earn much less than $10/hr after deducting HST, personal income tax, car expenses, phone expenses and the 20% Uber takes off the top. Drivers make even less on the days that Uber offers riders special discounts (at the driver’s expense). Reports also suggest that Uber will take heavy-handed measures against drivers who "push back": suspending drivers who attempt to organize or speak out against the company.

Now Uber is up in arms because of the threat of collective bargaining in Seattle and the reality that Seattle’s law will inspire copycat legislation in other states and countries.

Too bad. So sad.

What goes around comes around.

I don’t think anyone who isn’t part of the top-end of this kind of pyramid scheme is going to miss any organization like Uber that exploits employees by classifying them as contractors in order to deny them benefits + steal their wages.

Smells like common sense and common decency are finally being recalled to life in America.