February 2011

We’re all guerrillas now

Rory Sutherland, thnx TheGuardian

The Institute of Direct Marketing invited Rory Sutherland to talk to his meme, Behavioural EconomicsĀ  [video here: kudos to the IDM šŸ˜‰ ] It’s worth 90 minutes (yes, *minutes!* of any marketer’s time), so I won’t rehash his subject matter here. The audience was left hanging, wanting more; and asking themselves what they might do differently.
[Rory’s excellent & extensive reading list ]

Here’s a thought: think like a guerilla. [ See Ries-Trout’s Marketing Warfare for more on Guerrilla Strategies ] Not the majestic mountain creature – rather, think like an opportunist. Where niches appear, and can be taken on quickly & profitably, then do. Go get those sales. (& then bug out when the opportunity is gone)

And that thinking applies equally to major corporate brands as it does to sme organisations.

Diamond Shreddies isn’t a long-term product – they’ll be gone from the shelves after the sales bubble deflates – as did green Heinz tomato ketchup, and the myriad of Marmite variants. [hate it]. These are not just products that happened “because we can” – they’re the product of a fertile imagination, that encourages purchase with raw emotions – fun and being different, for example.

Half-hearing a radio debate on the inability of sales promotion to affect long-term brand loyalty, I’m left wondering how often brand managers calculate the impact of a campaign that puts value into their product, by changing the shape, colour or taste of their product – for a limited term – might not be a better use of budget.

In this social media era, maybe it’s better to spend money on adding value & interest to a product, so that it fans promote it through their personal, social media.

Trusting Communities

It’s not where you’d expect to find a perspective on our digital world, but Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4 today gave just that.

Neatly encapsulating how eBay works: “we buy from people we don’t know, paying them up front, and believing in the best of human nature, wait for them to send our goods.”

Given that this is how the vast majority of e`bay transactions proceed, without dispute, it’s more than fair to describe eBay as a trusting community.