AniBlurbs (Column)

Anibal's thoughts on Online Marketing Strategy, Service Design, Tech, Innovation, Business and more…

Archive for July, 2008

Sony’s Presentation Was Perfect, My Post Wasn’t (Mea Culpa)

Received some much appreciated feedback on my post about the Sony E3 presentation video on Gametrailers.com and felt that I had to clarify a few things.

Indeed it’s not THE best presentation ever, the presenter certainly wasn’t being authentic, but insiders have gotten used to that from Sony :)

The point I was trying to make is that within the context that it was presented in – i.e. the E3 Game event, the Game Industry and its followers- it was a perfect presentation. But you’d have to know the shared history to appreciate its meaning and impact. For everyone else it was superfluous, but I challenge any gaming outsider to keep track of the specialist press, blogs and the community for their reaction on this event, odds are Sony created the perfect buzz…

So no, I’m not urging anyone to use LitteBigPlanet on PlayStation 3 to present the annual revenue results to the board of directors and stakeholders, or to convince your client that this new radically improved product really has to be advertised using Guerilla Marketing around a Nine Inch Nails concert in Hong Kong.

Dare to be creative and purpose driven; if Powerpoint fits in with your target and the message, than that’s fine, but thinking outside the box and implementing it in a thoughtful way can work very enlightening for you and your audience.

For more on how to keep a focused and clean presentation, check out two recent riffs by Seth Godin here and here.

[As for me: This column is meant to be a learning ground for me too, so next time I’ll refrain from only posting a link, slide or video and instead add a little clarification on the why and the what. Speaking of which, I seem to be having some technical issues with this site and the RSS, if anything went bogey let me know. Thanks a bundle.]

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Most Brilliant Presentation EVER!

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Alle Managers Belastingdienst Krijgen ICT-Cursus

The only way is up! Bijna 1500 managers en teamleiders bij de Belastingdienst moeten op ICT-bijscholingscursus! Met de onlangs door staatssecretaris De Jager aangestelde Wim Sijstermans als CIO erbij kan het vanaf nu alleen maar beter gaan met de dienstverlening en innovatie bij de grootste Leuker-kunnen-we-het-niet-maken Club van Nederland.

Tip: koppel het slagen voor de cursus aan baanbehoud; extra fear-of-loss voor het (midden)kader om er ook echt daadwerkelijk voor te gaan!

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Web Analytics 2.0: Avinash Kaushik

Web Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik giving insights in how to analyze your site (as an Author) @Google, inspiring stuff and great take aways:

Authors@Google: Avinash Kaushik

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Consumer Creates Advertising for Dell

Two things I’d like to discuss after seeing this and reading the article by Jeremiah from Forrester as I believe that in his enthusiasm about this initiative he’s forgotten to take a few important factors into account.

Number One:

This is an outstanding example of using Social Media to co-create a buzz and empower the community that you’d like to connect with to spread a message. The mind boggles:

Can you imagine using this example of Social Media and applying it to, say Employer Branding, to engage the ever elusive, out-of-reach prospects and candidates?  You could challenge them to go out and create an advertisement, mini-site, whatever, that shows their values and thus their desired dream job. This would give you very useful insights into what candidates really are looking for when moving on to a new job and gives your organization not only a shot at starting a meaningful conversation with them, but at free publicity as well.

Number Two:

Though this may seem at first as a big step forward in the way advertisers see, treat and engage with their target audience, there’s one Big Question people tend to overlook: It’s an intermediately great PR stunt, especially for Dell, but will it draw in more customers or change the attitudes of the target audience towards Dell in particular?

Personally I don’t believe so and here’s why: If I’m going to buy a € 1.200 + desktop or spend around the same amount of dosh on say a notebook, what are the key selling points for me? What are the conscience and subconscious decision making processes that I walk through before pulling my wallet? These are in random order and depending on whether like me you’re a power user or not;

  • 1. Functionality -does it meet your user requirements (family PC? Design workstation Powerhouse? Gaming Dark Horse?);
  • 2. Absolute Quality -what do the tests in the specialist press say, does it run Vista as it should? Etc..
  • 3. Perceived Quality -how does the specialist press, the fora and/or the influencers in your direct vicinity talk about and review the product;
  • 4. Brand Thrust/Reputation- some people are real fanboys when it comes to their gadgets, clothes or means of transportation;

The Total Cost of Ownership and the budget are of course other factors that weigh in when making such a decision.

Now when we take a look at the list above we must conclude that there’s no way that getting a few fanboys/artists/creative professionals or students to participate in such an endeavor  is going to noticeably up your sales now or in the near future. At any rate it’s not measurable.

So then we must make an educated guess that for Dell “hard sales” probably isn’t the main KPI for this campaign. So, the main goal of their campaign must be… branding. If that is the case than whatever way you’d look at it they’ve achieved at least the following:

  • Free PR;
  • Innovative and creative profile in the creative community, the media industry and in their own Tech sector, early adopters and influencers;
  • Creative, friendly, innovative and non-corporate image towards the participants and their direct social hemisphere.

Now these are all great things to achieve, especially for Dell, I for one have personally never really been a fan of them as a customer so I must admit that I was positively surprised by this move and that it could reflect a change in the way they operate. But does  it change their helpdesk or their customer service, does it make the quality of their products and services any better?

No it does not and that’s wherein the threat lies: This -for Dell- high profile action could backfire on them in a big and ugly way, unless they manage to keep their story authentic and consequent along the whole chain, from product quality up to customer service. In other words: Live up to your promise Dell.

If they don’t succeed in doing so than all of this was nothing more than a nice exercise of what could be and a reminder of why online / social media strategy shouldn’t be an afterthought but part of your total business plan to begin with.

On the other hand it’s heartening to see that molochs such as Dell are willing to take these kind of innovative steps and are showing that they’ve at least got the intention to be willing to reach out and really get in touch with the consumer. These are exciting times indeed.

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