Monday, May 18, 2009

New Objective: Instigate Interest

Across a number of different things I have observed and thought about lately. Ive started to try and bring a lot of statements that different people or specialists in the industry have made. Simon over at here be monsters recently commented on a post about social currency I wrote. He's comment was that 'content isn't king. Conversation is king and content gives us something to say.'. I do love how everything we do in marketing has to be king or the death of or something more dramatic than that. But it got me thinking. Creative agencies say content is king, media companies say channels are king, social media experts say its all about the conversation. So what is the role of brands and its agencies. I think its as simple as 'instigating interest'

The image above is of a Times ad that I saw at a tube station in London. Its a style that seems to be popping up more and more for media owners. Like the (at the time) quite ground breaking 'Discuss' campaign from AOL and Grey that addressed dramatic topics. The Economist has had some quite ground breaking ads over the years by addressing interesting topics. But what I have truly taken from these is that it is about instigating an interest for an individual to do more. By instigating the interest we can stop telling and drive people to action. This could be driving people to a website, driving people to question the interest further, build on the information we have put forth, drive a conversation with another person or many.

This can be across a whole bunch of spectrums. comparethemeerkats is about an instigating interest into a funny character... it drives people online to watch outakes. To be his friend on fb. To talk about how funny it was with friends (if I say 'ooohh bouncy' to the guys at work again I think they will hit me).

The times have instigated interest across all their recent ads with somewhat contraversial comments around topics. This might drive people online to get a greater understanding or dicuss it with a friend.

So lets stop worrying about who is king and find some interests that we can use with our audience to instigate some action for our brand


Daniel Oyston said...

Half the time I just frown when I read stuff these days. Content is king, channels are king, conversations are blah blah friggin blah.

It seems as obvious as the nose on my face that these people have no idea about marketing, or if they claim to have studied it, then the have forgotten the most basic building blocks of it’s very existence.

People need to stop trying to re-invent the wheel so that they look important. If you need to invent something then you also need to disprove or discredit the existing theory. They should instead sue their brain to build on top of the existing theory and build their new idea or thinking onto it.

Between a brand and the consumer there needs to be a value exchange. It is marketing 101. If this means knocking on their door then do it. If it means content then do it. If it is being in the right place at the right time then make it happen.

People shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that content, conversations and channels are just vehicles for delivering value. I bet you anything you like that people will stop engaging with your brand if you stop providing them value.

mikej said...

great comment

I agree with you on that

I think when the market went (and still is going )specialist crazy. There was a big table with a lot of people on it. The egos got involved and people had to start shouting to be heard. Or saying contraversial things to stand out.

Thats why I think communications planning was created to supposedly be objective to that. But truthfully I feel clients need to be clearer about the roles of people within their process. So everyone knows where they stand.

I love Uniqlos idea of having a 'creative council' that includes a number of creative people from different specialisms. Then they pick and choose the delivery agency as need be. But at the core is thinking and conceptual ideas. A broad group of people who have a role and everyone knows where they stand.

thanks for the great comment mate. I will drop you on my RSS. Check out my twitter


simon of here be monsters said...

I honestly can't remember in what context I said what I said. But I'm almost certain, I would have been misquoted.

I'm not a specialist anything, in fact quite the opposite, we're creative generalist at Here Be Monsters, creating the ideal solution and then working with speicalist to bring it to life, in a not too disimilar way as Uniqlo's creative council.

But, I will stand by my belief that in the context of social networking, if you've nothing to say and people aren't talking about or to you then you simply don't exist.

Hence conversation being the reigning monarch of it's own little kingdom

Oh and the "content is king", that I attack refers to that of Bill Gates statement - made in the mid 90s - about the future of the net.

So as you see, context is everything.

That said, you'll probably find the quote and expose me as a narrow-minded elitest banging the drum for his own specialism, which if I have I deserve all I get, as long as I don't come across as postal as Daneil Oyston.