5 Marketing and Social Networking Lessons from the Dead…


In honor of my “Deadhead” hubby and the millions of others out there, and the pending Grateful Dead Archive soon to open at the University of California at Santa Cruz, it’s a great time to recognize the Grateful Dead for their marketing and social networking prowess.

But even if you’re not a Deadhead, the Atlantic’s Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead  is a must read article.

The Grateful Dead Archive, scheduled to open soon at the University of California at Santa Cruz, will be a mecca for academics of all stripes: from ethnomusicologists to philosophers, sociologists to historians.  But the biggest beneficiaries may prove to be business scholars and management theorists, who are discovering that the Dead were visionary geniuses in the way they created “customer” value”, promoted social networking, and did strategic business planning. -by Joshua Green

Why Should corporate America or Pharma and Healthcare Marketers care?  The Dead pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by business and ‘Internet business models’.

Here are 5 Marketing and Social Networking Lessons that I took away from the Grateful Dead’s incredible marketing success. Continue reading

Marketers: What Would Google Do? 10 Imperatives for 2010 (part 2 of 4)

What Would Google Do? What would the fastest-growing company in history and a model for thinking in new ways do? Even this week, Google makes waves with their launch of their new android-based Nexus One (MIT Says Yes).

Welcome to the second of a four part serious for Consumer and Pharma/Healthcare Marketers looking to tame the rigors of 2010… If you missed post 1, read: What Would Steve Jobs Do?  And by all means, I hope you’ll stay tuned for What Would Jake and Rocket Do? And What Would Savvy Marketers Do?

“Once upon a time, all roads led to Rome. Today, all roads lead from Google.” – Jeff Jarvis

What Would Google Do?

1.    Focus on the user and all else will follow. Design with simplicity. Google strives to provide the best user experience possible—from the user/customer’s point of view.  Google often forgoes paying for marketing and instead focuses on creating something so great that customers distribute it—it goes viral. Continue reading

Marketers: What Would Steve Jobs Do? 6 Marketing Imperatives for 2010 (part 1 of 4)

What Would Steve Jobs Do? This is the first of a four part series for Consumer and Pharma/Healthcare Marketers looking to tame the rigors of 2010…by taking a closer look and asking ourselves what three incredibly successful people and companies in business today would do…

The genesis for this series first came while reading Fortune’s CEO of the Decade and The Decade of Steve, and thinking about the question that Apple executives asked themselves over and over during Steve Job’s six month leave of absence in early 2009: What would Steve Jobs do? Recently, I picked up What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis (great book)… I hope you’ll stay tuned for What Would Google Do? And What Would Jake and Rocket Do? And What Might Marketers Do in 2010?

As you’re developing new products, services and/or marketing plans this year, here’s a question to ask yourself at each major milestone and decision point…

What Would Steve Jobs Do? The threshold for moving forward: Would it pass Steve’s test? In the past 10 years alone Steve Jobs has radically and lucratively reordered three markets –music, movies, and mobile telephones–and his impact on his original industry, computing has only grown. Continue reading

Pharma Marketers: No Product Is An Island

Recently, I spent a productive day working with a smart group of consumer agency partners to integrate and finalize 2010 Marketing Plans for a Pharma brand we all support.

Our conversation centered around the brand promise and the patient experience throughout the decision and treatment journey: from awareness and consideration, through conversion, adherence and advocacy or brand champion. We discussed the impact of different triggers and barriers, or where we might lose consumers (leaky buckets), which targets should be high priorities and why, and how the patient journey is no longer linear. (You may also want to read The New Marketing Funnel by Adam Cohen at A Thousand Cuts.)

All the stuff you might expect a consumer team to collaborate and consider…Sounds good… EXCEPT… the work represented only the consumer team– or one of the brand’s customers.  Continue reading

Two Takes On Brand Promise

On vacation, I was struck by these two very different brand promises for two successful restaurants.  Like any brand, the promise goes deeper than any visual signage, but also takes in the product, touches and surround…the first impression of the exterior, the number of participants, the location etc. For example, one restaurant was in the heart of ‘fried clam country’ (Ipswich and Essex MA) and the other was in a fishing port (Salem MA),  further contributing to the believability of their brand promises.

We ate at the Clam Box, and I can understand how it’s been in business since 1935…awesome ‘chowda’ and fried claims-not to mention efficient and friendly service- And with an exterior that looks like a ‘clam box’,  I dare say that it differentiates itself among the many fried clam restaurants in the area…

We didn’t get to eat at the Lobster Shanty, but we wanted to with a promise of ‘cold’ beer, ‘great’ food and ‘friendly’ people…and of course it was jammed…

How strong is your brand promise? Is it differentiated? Does it come to life with each touch?

Marketing Lessons From Our Family Camping Weekend!

Each summer we go camping with a few families to a different state park within a 4-6 hour drive.  It has become one the summer highlights for all of the kids.  As parents, each year we’re surprised just how much fun everyone has, but it’s almost always not due to what we originally thought would be fun going into the weekend, but due to something simple and uniquely inherent to the particular camp site.  As a result, the parents have moved to continually simplify our camping weekends over time so we adults can also enjoy! (All of you seasoned campers can appreciate how much planning and organization is required to have a smooth camping experience)

This year we went to the Beaverkill region in New York, also known as the ‘home of fly fishing’, and a very beautiful area.  On the drive home, we stopped to catch a late lunch; walking by a store, I saw this “pillow” in the window:  “Save if for your blog”… So here goes, a few of the lessons that emerged from this year’s camping weekend:  Continue reading

Avoiding the Tropicana squeeze…What do your best customers deeply appreciate about you?

…back in the saddle after a few tough weeks of keeping up with a few sizable family health issues and keeping up with the work…

So much of a marketers time is spent thinking about how to build brand awareness and attract new consumers…

BUT it seems that even the best marketers overlook –or don’t test with enough rigor –what changes and improvements to attract new users will mean to current customers and loyalists (if we can even continue to use this term in the 21st century…).

New Coke is perhaps the most famous example….but there have been many others…back in November, a new Motrin IB ad campaign incited both non-customers and customers alike to twitter and complain so much about the new ad that within 48 hours J&J appologized and announced its withdrawl from the marketplace.

Most recently…Pepsi’s Tropicana Orange juice (NYT) brought on its own PR nightmare with the launch of its new packaging and “Squeeze” advertising campaign. Most of the negative buzz surrounded the new carton packaging which loyal consumers found both difficult to distinguish at the grocery shelf [“Do any of these package-design people actually shop for orange juice?” the writer of one e-mail message asked rhetorically. “Because I do, and the new cartons stink.”] and devoid of the imagery that they have come to associate with their Tropicana brand…and yes, many, including me, at first glance thought the new carton was a new generic OJ brand…  Continue reading

Marketing to Moms? Read the “Digital Mom” report!

Thanks to Guy Kawasaki’s blog earlier this month (best selling author of Reality Check), I had a chance to read his topline and the new report by Razorfish and CafeMom entitled: “Digital Mom” (You need to click on the download PDF icon to read the report which is the second to the last icon in the nav bar.)

This is a great read for anyone who is trying to engage and market products or services for Moms.

A few highlights for those of who want to reach Moms:

  1. Digital Moms are more tech-savvy than many think and they are not a niche; they have, in fact, become the mainstream, representing an estimated 84% of moms online in the US today. (Findings project to 84% of online women with children under 18 in the HH, as per Nielsen NetRatings @Plan Winter 2008/2009)
  2. “Social media and text messaging, instant messaging, and gaming, now used by the majority of digital moms, are no longer niche activities. Therefore, marketers have an opportunity to use communications channels like social networking, text messaging and gaming to facilitate conversation among moms and influence decision making.” (And I’d add to educate too.)  Continue reading

Video Games and Healthcare? The Next Frontier in DTC Marketing…

One of my  pharmaceutical clients is thinking about targeting the 18-24 market which got me thinking about video games as a potential way to engage and educate this active segment. And as the Mom of three boys, video games are certainly part of our household, so I find myself learning more and more -despite myself- just to keep up with my children…

A few months ago, I read an interesting blog by Douglas Goldstein (The Health Care Blog) entitled Video games to revolutionaize health and healthcare. The blog coincided with two other events that month:

1. The release of a new book, Changing the GAME: How Video Games are Transforming the Future of Business, underscoring the notion that video games are becoming a valuable tool for mainstream business–used for everything from marketing to training to increasing productivity.

2. The release of a new report by iConecto, a leading digital media solutions firm focused on healthcare, delivering the first comprehensive review of the Health eGames industry.  The report documents a consumer and professional market and outlines 5 major categories for consumer Health eGames including: Exergaming, Brain Fitness, Health Eating, Condition Management and Stress Reduction.  Continue reading