Re Namar Namarketing

Redesign  ... Reimagine     ... Reinvent

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the same mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." As a marketing leader, you have to be able to see the a company image as it really is, and also to imagine what it could become. Then you can bridge the gap.

Your brand image is who you are as a business. But even though the business may not change (though certainly many do) it is vital that your brand REmain fresh, new and inviting.

Companies are increasingly recognizing that today's turbulent times require nothing short of continual reinvention. Weathering today's storm isn't enough. You have got to REact.

REcreate your customer pledge, or your look. Add a word or a color, or change one. REplace old content. Use different copy, case studies, images; ones that REflect your company values.  REimagine your service; what if you performed-delivered-created things differently? Could it be better? Ask your staff; employees know how the company works and they are the closest to seeing its flaws or ways to improve. Use that knowledge to REinvent a new approach.

Pointing a critical or at least inquisitive eye at a company's image is bound to help it REvitalize, REjuvinate and REanimate.

REally.

Before the Renaissance, the letter J had been merely a glyph variant of I. After the Renaissance, it became conventional to treat I as a vowel, and J and as a consonant. Thus, the Latin "gesta" for "deeds," turned to "geste" in Old French, "to carry, behave, act, perform, and became the root for words such as con-gest-ion, in-di-gest-ion, sug-gest, re-gist-er, belli-ger-ent, con-ger-ies, and ex-ag-ger-ate.

The letter J was officially set apart from I in the 16th century; probably first been used by Petrus Ramus, a French humanist philosopher, logician, and educational reformer, known for being an outspoken critic of the Aristotelian philosophy which dominated European universities at that time. He advocated a more natural approach to logic which would conform to the way in which the human mind actually approaches the world around it, and made a distinction between logic and rhetoric.

Ramus objected to the way in which young students were made to memorize meaningless facts and rules of logic, and set out to reform the curriculum of the faculty of the arts into one that would teach students to use reason to advance their knowledge. He advocated the “freedom to philosophize,” maintaining that the use of reason would eventually lead a person to discover the truth.By emphasising the central importance of mathematics and by insisting on the application of scientific theory to practical problem solving, Ramus helped to formulate the quest for operational knowledge of nature that marks the Scientific Revolution.

Science and math have not only advanced the world politically and socially, but economically as well.  This is no more evident that with the recent introduction of Microsoft's gesture controlled advertising

Lynx, Toyota and Samsung are the first brands to take advantage of Microsoft’s “game-changing” NUads platform for Xbox that uses Kinect gesture control to make ads interactive.  The ads will appear on Xbox Live this autumn.

Lynx

Xbox says the NUads platform “transforms standard TV ads into engaging experiences” by allowing users to use the voice and gesture controls on Xbox 360 to control the ads.

Unilever will adapt its Lynx brand’s cops and robbers themed ad for Lynx Attract - its first fragrance for women - to ask users whether the Lynx Effect should be given to girls. Viewers can then answer yes or no using Kinect’s gesture controls.

Toyota will use its “Reinvented” ad that ran during the 2012 Superbowl to ask viewers what they would like to reinvent. The car marque then plans to use the feedback from users to inform the direction of future campaigns.

Gesture controlled ads deliver the one thing traditional TV advertising is missing - engagement. Brands can get real-time feedback from audiences, making TV advertising actionable for the first time, helping establish a dialogue with consumers.

Gesture and voice-based Kinect technology have great potential for creativity. No jest.

AN advisory board helps you focus your editorial marketing content

Content Advice

One of the most underrated, but most valuable parts of any content generating groups is the editorial advisory board (EAB). Even if your business isn't content, if you publish anything tot the outside world (and if you don't you likely should) then you should have an EAB to help you with your content and your content calendar.

These boards are generally made up of the publication editors or your chief content office and a handful of internal (and occasionally external) experts on your business. Keeping the group small will make it exclusive, more desirable and sought-after. Their expertise could be about your product, your service or even you sales force.

Your content will improve immeasurable with input, advice and suggestion from these boards. Now, they do not direct your content, so you are not surrendering power or decision making; rather they provide subject matter ideas, comment on content that was produced, and provide opinion on topics or projects underway.  Often, the cross-talk generated between board members in your regularly scheduled meetings (important) will be valuable in itself.

Who to choose?  In  compiling a board, choose members from different disciplines, regions or business groups; you want a variety of opinion. Don't pick friends; you will learn more from agnostics or even those who not so friendly -- they will be more honest (and you may improve a relationship). Most importantly, they must commit to you schedule of meetings. It is pointless to have an adviser who never makes it to the meeting. Compensation is generally the honor of being asked, but can also include where appropriate a listing  within the publication or on a company website.

Start simple, but start now. The creation of a content marketing advisory board will completely revolutionize your content marketing and your marketing overall. You will see and hear about  things that you had never considered. Content ideas will flow like a river and direction and priority over content will reveal itself in a golden shaft of light.

Start emailing invitations.

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February is Library Lovers Month

Perpetual calendar pictured available here.

What exactly do you do with content? I am not asking those of you who write, design, produce, create, edit, shape, film, review, strategize, draw or otherwise "make" the content. This is a question for those who have recoiled at the term 'consume' and are tired of being referred to as consumers. Marketers are quick to label people and their actions, but to me at least, this term rings true. While the first definition of consume is usually "to expend" (consuming gas, air, energy) the more appropriate use in this case has been "to use". When it comes to content, reading is using. Watching, listening, looking is using. Using is using.

How else can we refer to what we do with content if we don't "consume" it? Here is a word cloud of some other options.

Sure, you can appreciate content. You can absorb it. Assimilate or enjoy it. But I'd say these are redundant to the idea of consuming. We do consume. We are consumers.

Bottom Line: When it comes to content, after all is considered, the Consumer is King.

Consumers are the Kings of Content, and vice versa.

Posted
Authorbob namar

The Wellington boot. Topboots, billy-boots, barnboots. Muckboots, sheepboots or gumboots.

The tall hunting boot, originally designed in leather for the Duke of Wellington, was recreated in rubber and became required footwear for use in Europe's flooded trenches of WWI. It then found further use again in WWII.

After the wars, gumboots became popular among men, women and children as general wet weather wear. Even Christopher Robin donned them to visit the 100 Aker Wood. Soon enough, laborers found them useful for daily work as they became the preferred protective shoe in all forms of industry, eventually including a steel toe. The gumboot was a versatile boot; a people's boot.

The gumboot was a successful manifestation of fulfilling a need, finding broad appropriate application for the product, and then, through design and marketing, elevating the product to global levels of success.

Social media and a consumer conversation

I thought about the international success of this remarkable, organically grown (in a marketing sense) product while I listened recently to Paul Simon's Gumboot. The song title refers to an African dance performed wearing the boot, but I was struck by the lyrics and how, like all good poetry, they seemed to be talking about something very current, unanticipated the time of its writing: social media.  Here's a conversation between a brand and a consumer, just the kind of conversation a company could--and should--be having with their customers.

I was walking down the street When I thought I heard this voice say Say, ain't we walking down the same street together On the very same day I said hey Senorita that's astute I said why don't we get together And call ourselves an institute

You don't feel you could love me But I feel you could You don't feel you could love me But I feel you could

Isn't that the acquisition mantra internally brewing in the mind of every marketing or sales professional?

"You don't feel you could love me, but I feel you could..."

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbQEbCu-lRA&w=210&h=170]

Posted
Authorbob namar

"How many years experience do you have managing left-handed proofreaders, and proactively fixing split infinitives in a high-pressure B2B financial services company within a highly-matrixed but siloed environment with a lot of corporate ambiguity?" While this is not exactly what I've seen or heard, too many times I am puzzled by the specificity of the qualifications that employers are seeking to fill positions. Master carpenters work with wood and can handle anything you throw at them, whether or not s/he has ever built a kitchen armoir under a pot rack in a Byzantine-styled kitchen in Connecticut...with child-locks.

Robert Heinlein broached our growing tendency toward specialization more than 50 years ago in Exeunt the Humanities:

"The danger is that we shall become a nation of pedants.  I use the word literally and democratically to refer to the millions of people who are moved by a certain kind of passion in their pastimes as well as in their vocations.  In both parts of their lives this passion comes out in shoptalk ... It is not the extent of their information that appalls; it is the absence of any reflection upon it, any sense of relation between it and them and the world.  Nothing is brought in from outside for contrast or comparison; no perspective is gained from the top of their monstrous factual pile; no generalities emerge to lighten the sameness of their endeavor."

To illustrate, stop by a newsstand and try to find a good general interest magazine.  They no longer exist; there are of course many more types of magazines than ever before, but they are so specialized, tabloidized or politicized that you're unlikely to find more than one or two stories in each one that are actually worth reading for anyone other than a fanatic.

In college, I read quote by Heinlein that always stuck with me; one that told me to broaden my interests, expand my experiences and embrace the larger context of life. It was in college that my eyes opened to how everything fits together; that skills in one area translate to others easily, and that being a mile deep in one subject may not serve you best as a human being:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

-Robert A. Heinlein

Posted
Authorbob namar