— Marketing (&) Mischief

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Marketing

Andrew Keen @ CNN wrote a great article on social media bans at work. I wholeheartedly  agree with Vivek Wadhwa (@wadhwa) who was quoted in the article: “banning social media at work is brain dead”.

Here’s my 3 simple reasons for why you (yes you Mr/Mrs Manager/CEO) should stop being a stubborn relics and just embrace the change social media represents for your company culture.

1. You can’t stop it.

By imposing strict rules on “not wasting time on Facebook” you just show how out of touch you are and strengthen the disconnect between management and your workforce.

And no matter what you do – in the end they’ll always find a way. You haven’t hired a bunch of idiots now have you? And even if you have any modern idiot knows how to jump off the corporate WiFi and use 3G on their phones to catch up on all the essential #some gossip.

2. Transparency is the new black

NDA’s and secrecy are as important as ever when it comes to business critical information but at the same time it’s critical for businesses to step down from the ivory tower and start speaking with their audience instead of “communicating” using fabricated semi-truths (ie. traditional marketing).

Believe it or not your staff plays a key role in this.

3. Get them to work for you

Instead of fighting the change and outsourcing your social media activities to agencies you should embrace your work force’s interest and turn it in to one of your biggest assets. Educate them, guide them, empower them and unleash them.

I guarantee that in no time you’ll be encouraging your staff to spend more time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and Google+ – talking about your company / brand / product. Amidst the occasional #cutecatvideo new school watercooler moment of course.

Go ahead. Click it. Take a break. We all need to once in a while :)

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Everybody wants to see their content go “viral”. Too see it spread like wildfire in the Interwebs with virtually no cost. Enabled simply by new human behaviour and the mighty social networks.

To make this happen you obviously need to start with some seriously Epic Content but you also need to make it shareable on a level that your fans/customers/users don’t almost notice they are spreading your message.

Pretty straightforward and simple. As professional marketers we know this and got it nailed, right?

Enter Amazon.

I think it’s safe to say Amazon’s got the Epic Content part of the equation nailed and you could also easily think they would be the masters of optimizing visibility and WOM for that killer content.

Think again.

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The Amazon Store on the Android Kindle app (and the Kindle app as a whole) supports sharing of books only when you have finished reading them. There’s no built in way to tell your friends about the cool new book you’ve found. It’s virtually impossible to share any content from within the app unless you flip to the end of a book and Tweet about it. Android is known for it’s built in share feature but for some reason Amazon has decided not to include it in their app. Or missed it. Or… Beats me. As far as I know the situation is the same on iOS and Kindle.

It serves as a good wake up call to realize that even Amazon has failed to make it’s content shareable in one of the most crucial touch points they have.

So go back and recheck your site/service/product and make sure you have identified and optimized the shareability factor of your content to the max. Take your time, get to know your users and their habits and you might just identify a new sharing point that unleashes your wildfire.

P.S. It also baffles me that Amazon has yet to introduce more advanced features that would turn reading into a more social and gamelike experience: Checking in to a book, sharing insights / comments with your friends and other readers, earning Amazon credits for reading more and recommending a book to friends etc. Features that would not only drive more sales for Amazon but would help fans support their favorite authors – by easily sharing the content they love. 

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Second half of 2011 was damn busy. Busy enough to not have time to blog. Well that’s not really true as I did blog A LOT but not on my own site :) This obviously then begs the question: Why have a blog of your own if you don’t have the time to update it. In truth I have no answer. I guess I just like to have some other home online than Facebook :)

Anyhow – in case you might be interested here’s some of the things I’ve been working on lately.

Sports Tracker

Working on the marketing strategy for Sports Tracker as well as developing the service and the apps, launching apps for iPhone, Android, Nokia N9 and Windows Phoneblogging, setting up online support communities, building partnerships, working with media…keeping very busy with a bunch of fantastic guys and now also one gal!

This has been my main focus lately and will be going forward. Great app – fun times :)

Music videos

This is one of the reasons I left the agency world behind – to have more time to work with things I’m passionate about – like music.

I worked as the producer on these videos for the lovely and talented Kristiina Wheeler. I also edited and did all the post production. Both videos were directed by the amazing Cristal Snow.

Viking Line NB1376

Working with Flatlight Films and Fellowland on the online strategy for promoting the world’s most environmental ferry: The Viking Line NB1376. We got the whole team that’s working on building the ferry to blog about different aspects of the project: Design, environment, technology and the experience. Check out the naming competition and suggest a name for this revolutionary ferry :)

Other stuff…

Then there’s obviously Petri and numerous projects and stuff that is not out yet in the public eye or will never be. All in all it’s been a busy and fun year. Freelancing rocks :)

 

 

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BranchOut is making waves in the professional networking services space by utilizing Facebook to help you network faster and easier. LinkedIn should be worried as the “Facebook Utility” approach seems like the way of the future vs. stand-alone services.

One thing bugs me though.

I like the simplicity of the BranchOut sign-up process and the way you have your profile set up in a matter of minutes. All great – exactly the way I want it. But then I start hitting the well hidden social landmines.

Before I even realize it I’ve spammed most of my friends Facebook walls with invites. Ok…hold on a sec – I want to connect with these guys but not like this.

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for integrating your service with Facebook but this is to me a clear example of an execution that crosses the “from viral to spam” line.

I’m sure BranchOut got a lot of buzz and new users by creating the spam attack most of us were subjected to when they launched but at the same time I’m willing to bet they lost of lot of potential users and harmed their brand by doing it. I for one (and I know I’m not alone) blocked the application from posting to my Wall – and thus am effectively not getting ANY networking requests from my friends that use the service. For me BranchOut is no longer an option.

In my opinion the same effect could have been achieved with direct user-to-user messages on Facebook. It may not have caused such a “bang” for launch but would have created a more sustained viral effect (and would not have shut anyone out in the process) and also kept the brand / service from getting the “annoying spammer” classification.

All in all the lesson here is this: Tread carefully when integrating your service to Facebook. The line between clever viral expansion and spam is crucial to spot and not to cross.

How to do it? It is simple really (if you just take your “marketer” hat off for a sec): Don’t exploit your users, respect their privacy and create a killer service that they want to share out of their free will. Just think how you would react when your service starts to spam your wall / inbox…and don’t piss off yourself.

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Just finished work on the latest music video by Petri Nygård, the controversial Finnish rapper. This time we worked with one of the biggest metal bands in Finland, Mokoma, to create the first true Finnish hiprock / metalhop -song and obviously that then needed a video worthy of the great collaboration.

Hope u like. We had a blast making it :)

The single features a remix of the track by Mokoma and since we are targeting two pretty different audiences (hiphop & metal fans) we uploaded two versions of the video: Original “hiphop” version to Petri’s Channel and the more metallish version to Mokoma’s Channel.

I came up with the original concept, wrote the script with Petri, directed with Heikki Häkkinen and also did all the After Effects post production. The rest of the crew goes as follows:

Editing: Joni Luomanen, Heikki Häkkinen, Jussi Solja
Cinematography: Joni Luomanen / Onkiwood Studios
Still photography: Julius Konttinen
Nygård art: T-Money
Playback / on-location sound: Aki Anttila
Lights: Riku Hasari
Pyrotechnics: Teppo Hakkarainen, Marko Hakkarainen / Pyroman
Bodypaint & additional graphics: Tarmo Kaikkonen / TareBrush
Thanks: Mokoma, Jani Kananen, Henri Wheeler, Olli Ruusumaa / Skanska

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I’ve been helping the guys at Sports Tracker with their social media strategy and the launch of their fabulous mobile application and online service.

It’s incredible fun and motivating to work with a bunch of talented and passionate individuals who are willing to take risks and throw themselves out there. The way you have to if you want to really engage with your audience and earn their trust and get them to “like” you :)

Check out the unconventional launch press release we (props to Jari Salo) put created and the intro video (props to Jari, Aleksi Koskinen and Kristiina Wheeler) to the service.

Find out more about Sports Tracker at www.sports-tracker.com, Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

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Paul Isakson started a very interesting and inspiring discussion about the future of marketing campaigns in his latest blog post.

I commented already and would be cool to hear more takes on the subject…what will the campaign of the future look like, does such a thing even exist and I think most importantly are we ready for that?

So head to Paul’s blog and take part in the discussion!

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Imagine you live in a village sometime in the end of the 19th century.

You buy your bread from the village baker every day. You know it to be good, tasty and healthy and you know he won’t overcharge you for it. Why? Because you are close to him. You know him. His reputation in the community is linked to the quality of his bread. And if he would try to make a better profit by cutting back on the quality of his ingredients and raising his prizes while still claiming that his bread is “the best in the village” the community would call his bluff immediately and he would be out of business (and out of friends).

Enter the age of mass production and mass communications. Suddenly the baker can make more bread and sell it to more people than ever before. He also realizes It’s no longer his reputation that is on the line. It’s the brand, the company that gives the promise of good quality bread to it’s customers. Not him.

The baker also realizes that in is new global village the people can’t share experiences as they did in that small village where everyone knew each other. Instead what he says in his advertisements passes for the truth.

This is when greed (some also call it human nature) takes over and the baker cuts back on the quality of his ingredients in the hope of better profit.

And so it goes that it works (really well actually) and the baker makes it big with the help of his friend mass media and an industry of creatives and artists helping him craft his new truth. This goes on for quite a while and they get really good at it. They get so good at it that everyone actually forgets what it was like to live in that little village.

But then…along comes a thing called the Internet.

At first the baker and his friends try their best to ignore it. Then they try to use it as just another means for distributing their truth. And while the baker and his merry men are busy trying to exploit the Internet the villagers start using it to connect and share the real truth about the bakers bread….just like they did back in the day.

And before the baker can say “oh shit guys, I think we’re f**ked” the village is back. And it’s back with a vengeance.

So what is the lesson of my story, you ask?

For the bakers:
It’s time to focus all your energy to listening to your villagers, being a part of your community and baking the best bread possible. You can’t fake it anymore, sorry.

For the villagers:
Make you voice heard. You have the tools and the right to do it. Don’t settle for ok.

For the bakers merry men:
Figure out how you can help your baker embrace the Village Values. Help him listen, react, learn and develop his bread. And then help him get the real truth out.

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This almost brings a tear to my eye :)

Check out this really nice recap presentation of the thinking that has been happening in and around the Nokia Digital Marketing team during the past few years. I’ve been fortunate enough to work closely with this brilliant group of thinkers and advocates of change and I gotta say I miss those days. Not to say that this is the end of the collaboration – maybe more an end of an era.

Anyhow…check it out and let me know what you think!

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This is long overdue but I finally got the collected learnings from Web 2.0 Expo 2009 on to Slideshare. Lot of great thoughts and buzz. I especially loved the way Twitter was used in the conference by the speakers and the attendees and tried to collect some of the best Tweets that I came across to the preso as well.

Thanks to @DaGood @r2r0 @anssimakela @Jussipekka for inspiration, notes, RT’s and obvously great company!

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