Branding, Storytelling and Findability | ZAPSOCK

I came across this article and I wanted to share because it is an excellent example of using story telling. The author, Aarron Walter, does an excellent job of informing us about findability, which many people could turn into a very boring subject. I was reading the article and I was half-way through it before my social media induced ADHD kicked in.

This is a must read for anyone who maintains their own website or who works on websites.

A List Apart: Articles: Findability, Orphan of the Web Design Industry.

Good Marketing/Bad Marketing | ZAPSOCK

When I was a kid there was a show called Animaniacs. I think that this is a show that only those who are a couple years older or a couple years younger would remember it. It wasn’t on very long, but it was the show that first featured “Pinky and the Brain.” You got it now? Ok, there was also a segment that they would do called “Good Idea/Bad Idea.” It was some quirky little thing about how walking your dog was a good idea but having your dog walk you was a bad idea. So pretty ridiculous right? Anyway, I was watching this movie again and saw a great opportunity. So watch the clip as Uncle Rico demonstrates excellent marketing and his nephew Kip demonstrates poor marketing. And yes, this is marketing, not salesmanship. Sorry about it being just a link instead of embedding it. YouTube won’t allow embedding since the content is protected.

Good Marketing/Bad Marketing

I will let you decide what points are good marketing and which are bad marketing. I can give you pearls, but I can’t give you all of them!

Don’t Market Like a Marketer…. | ZAPSOCK

Well how do you do that? What do many marketers, designers, developers and even business owners do? They do what they want. They don’t do what the end user or consumer wants. When you are designing a product, service or a website, ask yourself, “Is this what I want or is this what my client wants?” If you are doing it for yourself, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Don’t add a feature just because it is flashy or cool. Whatever you are doing, do it well, but make sure that you know what your clients want. Sound like too much work? You’re in the wrong business.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Don’t Market Like a Marketer…. | ZAPSOCK

Well how do you do that? What do many marketers, designers, developers and even business owners do? They do what they want. They don’t do what the end user or consumer wants. When you are designing a product, service or a website, ask yourself, “Is this what I want or is this what my client wants?” If you are doing it for yourself, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Don’t add a feature just because it is flashy or cool. Whatever you are doing, do it well, but make sure that you know what your clients want. Sound like too much work? You’re in the wrong business.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Social Media at its Best | ZAPSOCK

I just started using two new applications: TweetDeck and Flock. I love them both. Some of the functionality overlaps, but there are aspects about both that I really like.

Flock:
Blog Composition – You can compose your blog posts within the browser. When you are done, you choose which blog you want to post to. It supports multiple blog clients. I use WordPress and Blogger for my blogs. When you publish you can choose the tags and categories as well as publish it to your Facebook status.

Media Bar – I don’t really use this that much, but it seems pretty cool. It detects any media feeds from any page that you are on.

Favorites – Sync up with Delicious.

Link Sharing – You can share any page that you are in from the Facebook sidebar.

Searching – The search bar shows you real time results from multiple search engines. You can add any search engine from any site such as Facebook.

Mail – See if you have new mail right in the sidebar

RSS – You have a reader right in the sidebar. The browser also detects feeds that are available on pages. (Most browsers do this). You can organize your feeds into categories and folders however you please right there in the sidebar.

There is also a drag ‘n drop web clipboard and a utility to upload photos directly to Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket or other media sharing sites.

TweetDeck
I just barely downloaded TweetDeck and I am impressed. Multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn and MySpace. Notifications pop up as they arrive on the side of your screen. You can post to multiple accounts at the same time, shorten urls automatically, upload photos and more. Check it out.

These are great tools.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Why I Hate Marketing…. | ZAPSOCK

Okay, so I don’t really hate marketing. But, there is one aspect of marketing that is so essential, but it is also one of the most tedious. I have grouped this area under Research & Testing. I know that these are two separate things, but they are the two areas that I dread the most. Let’s first take a look at research.

Research

Having never done it, would you ever try to bake a cake without looking for a recipe or seeking instruction? Would you go white water rafting or climb Mt. Everest without, at the very least, consulting a guidebook? You would most likely even hire a guide. Do you ever make a purchase without trying to find out something about the product and then search for a similar product or a better price for the same product? Probably, but then you have most likely experienced the remorse that accompanies the revelation of, “Oh, I got the same thing at XYZ Store for $100 less!”

This is why research is so essential to any business or marketing venture. You need to know who wants to buy your product or service. Where are they? How do you reach them? How much are they willing to pay? Where can you find similar products? You must know your competition. Entire volumes have been written about marketing research alone. Learn to do it and you will love it. If you say, “Forget it” you may regret it.

Testing

What is testing? Once again many, many books have been written about testing. Testing is what you do once you have launched your campaign. Why testing? Because you must know if your campaign is working! Where are you getting the most hits? Where do your customers come from? Testing is research after you have launched your campaign. If you don’t do testing, you are wasting your marketing dollars.

I recommend that anyone who is looking to start their own business learn about these two aspects of marketing. These are the things that separate the winners from the bankrupt.

Why I Hate Marketing…. | ZAPSOCK

Okay, so I don’t really hate marketing. But, there is one aspect of marketing that is so essential, but it is also one of the most tedious. I have grouped this area under Research & Testing. I know that these are two separate things, but they are the two areas that I dread the most. Let’s first take a look at research.

Research

Having never done it, would you ever try to bake a cake without looking for a recipe or seeking instruction? Would you go white water rafting or climb Mt. Everest without, at the very least, consulting a guidebook? You would most likely even hire a guide. Do you ever make a purchase without trying to find out something about the product and then search for a similar product or a better price for the same product? Probably, but then you have most likely experienced the remorse that accompanies the revelation of, “Oh, I got the same thing at XYZ Store for $100 less!”

This is why research is so essential to any business or marketing venture. You need to know who wants to buy your product or service. Where are they? How do you reach them? How much are they willing to pay? Where can you find similar products? You must know your competition. Entire volumes have been written about marketing research alone. Learn to do it and you will love it. If you say, “Forget it” you may regret it.

Testing

What is testing? Once again many, many books have been written about testing. Testing is what you do once you have launched your campaign. Why testing? Because you must know if your campaign is working! Where are you getting the most hits? Where do your customers come from? Testing is research after you have launched your campaign. If you don’t do testing, you are wasting your marketing dollars.

I recommend that anyone who is looking to start their own business learn about these two aspects of marketing. These are the things that separate the winners from the bankrupt.

The Often Overlooked Art of Branding (pt. 2) | ZAPSOCK

I wanted to continue with my series on Branding, because branding is really one of my favorite parts about marketing. I enjoy being creative and coming up with ways to be different. I have been thinking a lot about storytelling recently. It is such an important part of branding. Many times we don’t really think of storytelling when we think of marketing or branding. But let take a look at a few marketing campaigns that have effectively used storytelling:

The Most Interesting Man in the World: (www.dosequis.com)

I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t endorse drinking alcohol. But Dos Equis has one of the greatest campaigns overall as well as superior use of the art of storytelling. They have created a man known only as “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” And he is indeed. Watch this commercial.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Bc0WjTT0Ps]

Scarlet (formerly www.scarletseries.tv)

This is another one that was a great use of storytelling, however, it didn’t last. It was only used up until the product launch. LG was launching their new TVs and they promoted “Scarlet” like a new TV series. Here is the link to another blog post about it for more information. I just want to give ya’ll a brief idea of some great campaigns. So why is storytelling so important? It helps customers relate on an emotional level. Whether that humor is emotion, excitement or whatever it may be. Help them feel emotional. The human animal is an emotional beast. And remember, it doesn’t HAVE to be a fictitious story. Maybe a true story is what your customers will relate with best.

Here are some links to some other great uses of storytelling:

Heroes (Television Series) Check out Exclusives>Official Sites and explore those different sites.

Mac

Hulu