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May 2008

experience planning and the perception differential

Variable perspective You can sequence your ads. 

You can sequence your website experience.

But you can't sequence a consumer experience. 

There is more to a consumer experience than our brands... there are real people experiencing real lives.

A consumer experience is defined by the consumer perspective, by the varying degrees of attention they pay to your messages, by their mindset at the time of the interaction, by the medium, by their social dynamic, personality type, etc.  Whether it be traditional media, digital media, social media, lead gen marketing, DR/DM, experience design, or promotions, there is a key ingredient that is rarely considered - the total user perspective.

I would like to coin a phrase - differential perception

Differential perception is the degree to which your communications and brand experiences are impacted by the subjective nature of a given user's experience or perspective. 
Differential perception is more than a standard deviation or a static number.  It defines the total effectiveness of your marketing.

Why It Matters:

Establishing a variable differential perception quotient is key to activating across multiple media touch points in an increasingly fragmented world.  Whether it be the translation or transition of GRPs to CPMs, or CPMs to variable experiential interaction scores, there has to be a degree of individuality and customization taken into account. 

Not all exposures and experiences were created equal.  Failure to recognize and account for the variable impact of media and brand messaging in the broader mindset of the consumer point of view represents a fundamental flaw in our current media landscape. 

Next Steps
There are many bright minds at work in the media world. 

I would love to hear your perspectives and proposals.  How would you account the gross impact of the perception differential?  Can one account for a perception differential?  Does it even matter?

photo credit here

agency flexibility - building for disassembly

If you could build your ideal, dream digital agency, what would it look like?

How would it operate?

How would you establish scalable flexibility and adaptability?

I'm thinking that it should operate like a set of legos.  Each capability is represented by a different type of lego piece.  Legos can be easily disassembled and reassembled, because every piece is made for flexibility.  However, in order to build truly unique solutions, you need a visionary with a fresh perspective towards building.  You need a strategic leader to guide the effort.

However, the challenge I struggle with is - how do you disassemble in a fiscally responsible manner?  How do you account for the specialty pieces that make each set of lego distinct from every other?

As for assembly directions, that would be in the hands of senior leadership and relationship leads.  There are certain elements that cannot be changed, but it would be up to everyone participating in this dynamic business to rewrite the assembly directions as markets change.

This may be a pipe dream, this may one day become a reality.  But I believe it's a useful thought exercise nonetheless, and would love to get your feedback.

If you could build your own scalable digital agency, what would it look like?  How would you build fiscally responsible flexible form and function?

the evolution of mobile phones (w/ video)

The mobile communications platform has come a long way.  And we still have a long way to go.

Imagine an internet where users had to pay separate fees for:
  • sending IMs
  • receiving IMs
  • checking email
  • accessing video
  • streaming music
  • downloading a wallpaper
  • downloading a desktop theme
  • playing a casual online game
In this model, the internet would have been crippled before it even began.

The only reason that mobile web usage is growing is because we need it (despite the back end business model that fuels it).  Whether it be aggregators, standardization issues, or even carrier restrictions, the system is broken.  Nevertheless, the industry is set to grow.  Because we, the users need it to.

And with that, I leave you with a video-pictorial history of the evolution of the mobile phone.  Video below/after the jump.

Have a great weekend.

if Twitter were an employee...

Speed bump So Twitter, I think it's time we had a talk.

I understand that you're new to this business.  And being a new employee, it isn't always easy to acclimate to a busy environment.

It's understandable that you may occasionally under-perform. 

Everyone has their good days and their bad.

But after a while, your frequent absences become inexcusable.

We regularly pay you (with out attention and participation), committing serious resources to your continued success. 

But it seems like you aren't taking this responsibility seriously. 

Your continued tenure in your current position is growing increasingly tenuous with each performance "hiccup".

We have committed serious attention and resources to your success .  But there comes a time when a speed bump seems more like a wall. 

We are committed to progress.  Hope you are as well.

letting your down time work for you

Closed Your brand has many storefronts.  Every marketer knows the importance of window dressing in retail.
After all, every impression may be a first impression, and in the words of one of my colleagues, "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."

Whether it be In digital media, in social media, in traditional retail or CRM management, you are always creating first impressions. 

But what happens when your store is closed?  What kind of first impressions are your generating to your user when you are unavailable?

It is understandable that your services may become temporarily unavailable; you may have to close your storefront at night, your website may go down, your tools may occasionally crash.  But what kind of first experiences are you creating when you aren't available?  How are you marketing to them in this void?

Retailers know the importance of window displays during off hours.  But do service oriented companies appreciate that the same principles apply to their business as well?

This weekend, I spent nearly an hour on hold, waiting for AT&T customer service.  The hold music was an up-sell for addditional services.  This would have been frustrating on it's own, but was only exacerbated by  the fact that I was calling to get cell phones service back up and running.  There was no apology message for the hold time, there were only sales messages.  After nearly an hour, the rep finally came on the line and not only resolved the issue, but offered a complimentary compensation for my experience.

This was not my first interaction with AT&T.  But it was my 18 year old nephew's first exposure - as he was in the room throughout this experience.  There is only so much AT&T can communicate through paid messaging - and you can rest assured that the damage caused by their poor service fulfillment will far outweigh their media in influencing my nephew's mobile carrier decision.  All because of a laughably pathetic customer service call.

What do your out-of-service communications say about your business?

photo credit here.


Photo Credit It's Tuesday.  Work goes on as usual.

But life shouldn't be "as usual".

Life is a blessing.

So please, take a minute and take stock. 
    Appreciate everything you have. 
        Appreciate everything you are.

Feel the love that is in your life. 
    Share that love. 
        Pick up a phone, send an IM, or Tweet it to the world. 

But whatever you do, never stop sharing that blessing.

There is enough pain and sadness in this world to melt a thousand hearts.

But it only takes one smile, one hug, one word of kindness, to change someone's entire life.

- - - - - - - - -

As a Torah-Observant Jew, I try to pray with a quorum three times a day.  In Brooklyn, NY there is a synagogue popularly known as "Landau's".  This synagogue offers round the clock prayer services, starting every 15-30 minutes nearly 24 hours a day. 

The rotating doors of Landau's create an inviting environment for the less fortunate among us.  The needy regularly congregate by the front doors, collecting charity from the passerby and prayer-goers. 

Yesterday I picked up an amazing piece of literature.  Among the many worthwhile charities, was a local charity that went the extra mile.  This charity stocks a full supermarket for the needy.  Shoppers are given standard shopping carts, and shop in an anonymous and welcome supermarket shopping environment.  And here's the kicker: there is no checkout.  Everything is donated or community sponsored. 

This charity goes beyond giving to the needy.
They support the needy as people, not as mouths to be filled.

Whether it be charitable work, or for-profit marketing, there is a lesson to be learned here. 

We are all people.  It's time we treat each other as such.
photo credit here.

personal value propositions

Handshake People often ask me what I do.  Tough question. 

I am a father.  I am husband.  I am religiously committed.  I am an Emerging Channels/Emerging Media Specialist with a leading Digital Marketing Shop.  I am a digital social media participant.  I am an early technology adopter.  I am a trend tracker and part time futurist/realist.  I am a marketer.  I am a strategist.  I am a connector.  I am a musician.  I am a dreamer.  I am me.

Chances are, when someone is asking me this question, they aren't looking for all of the above.  They are really asking - "How do you define yourself?" or more likely, "How are you relevant to me?"  One answer will not fit all people.  To my close friends I am Jon, to my co-workers I hope to be a resource, and to my family I try my best to be the best Me I can be.

Think about your own personal statements.  Think about your own personal and professional value propositions.  How do these statements mirror your capabilities?  How do these propositions socially and professionally position YOU in a competitive market?  What are your core capabilities?  How does your value statement reflect the equity you bring to the table towards the prospective relationship you are discussing?

Below please find my 3 Rules for Personal Branding

1) I am in sales.

  • If you aren't selling yourself, if you aren't your own best salesperson, you aren't going to get to where you want to be.

2) I am in marketing.

  • Like any brand, you need to have personal deliverables.  You need to have personal goals, and optimize your efforts accordingly.  The brand known as YOU lives in a competitive marketplace.  How are you positioning yourself?

3) I am in the business of empowerment.

  • Relationships that aren't built on love are largely centered around the value you bring to the table.  Determine where your value lies.  Determine how you can best empower your customers, your network, your company, your employer, delivering the strongest value.  How do you empower your contacts?  How do you bring equity to the table?

Photo Credit here.

rinse and repeat - sustainabile WOM

True_love Most loving relationships kick off with a WOW phase.

20 years of marriage later, the WOW is now deeper, more real, more permanent.  But it isn't the viral "tell all my friends about him/her" WOW of infatuation, it is the deeply embedded wow of a meaningful relationship. 

Newlyweds talk about their spouses in glowing terms to anyone who will listen.  Most people who have been married for a lifetime don't shout their love from the rooftops, yet it exists deeply in their hearts.  What does this tell us about relationships, and how does this impact marketing?

Think about your marketing efforts.  Where is your loyalty play?  How do you encourage WOM among a loyal and familiar audience?  Is it possible to have your cake (loyalty) and eat it to (gain WOM from this group in an ongoing manner)?

Can brands deliver sustainable WOW?  Can a relationship become one of enamor, respect or awe in a sustainable fashion?  Can a brand constantly over-deliver, constantly WOW the customer, without the WOW become a yawn?  Sure, you can refresh your creative, but can a relationship built on WOW alone be sustainable?

Or is a sustainable relationship about initial WOW and consistent follow through on every occasional WOW moment - that special night out, that amazing vacation, that special gift just because?

Kudos to Brandon Schauer for bringing up the subject in the beautiful presentation embedded below (after the jump). For a quick summary, check out Whitney's bullet list.