Thursday, April 28, 2011

Media Converges on The Royal Wedding

This is a snapshot of our Media Live room at work, where we track both online and offline media. We were doing a drill down on online influencers who were writing about the Royal Wedding. Guess what - it's not just about the dress or the kiss. Everyone approaches this media event from their own angle:

- Mommy bloggers are talking about Disney's approach to the wedding and some criticize the emphasis on the 'princess' role for young girls.

- Tech outlets touch upon the technology challenges (bandwidth) around the Royal Wedding. Apps about the big day are also topic of discussion.

- Travel sites are taking bets on where the honeymoon will be.

- Finance sites are weighing the plusses and minuses for the economy: Will it be a boost? Or will it simply be a huge cost center?

- talks about companies that are making charitable donations in the name of the occasion. 

- Health outlets note Kate's noticable weight loss and discuss Briderexia. 

Whether you choose to watch it or not, this wedding will be on your screen.  




Posted via email from dotwom's posterous

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The New York Cosmos Want You!


Do you remember the New York Cosmos? Probably not - but not to worry, they're coming back. The famous soccer club of the 70's is being rebuilt from the ground up. Legend Pele is the Honorary President. King Cantona and Cobi Jones are Directors of Soccer. They don't have a team or a league yet but they are busy marketing and communicating. Their jerseys are for sale. They are on Times Square billboards. They have grassroots young players games and training camps. They are smart--they know that a soccer team is actually more than 11 people. They need the fans. Scratch that - they need zealots. NY Cosmos needs tens of thousands of people obsessing about the game - waking up with it, talking about it, posting about it, screaming about it.

So, they are turning to New Yorkers and proposing them a new reason to live. As their CMO and Director of Communications recently shared at the PSFK conference, the new team behind NY Cosmos is trying to create a brand that will start a movement and give way to the club, rather than the other way around. They have a six-act play in turning New Yorkers into an extension of their team:

1- There is no longer old and new, there's just good and bad or real and fake. NY Cosmos is good and it's real. It has a modern day significance with a strong heritage. 

2- Provenance trumps personality: The Cosmos are from NY - a mega metropolitan with immigrant populations from every imaginable corner of the world. To appeal to a broader base, the Cosmos are marketing NY to a global landscape through soccer. 

3- New York City is their #1 player: the NY Cosmos brand is closely aligned with New York City. There may not be a team in place yet, but aspirational ads are up on Times Square, the heart of the city. This one was up on Pele's birthday, to promote a series of promotional activities the club was organizing. [[posterous-content:mAtkfvcwCfzvDnnduxBe]]4- Dream big and make it happen: Through sports gear (vintage and new), the club is putting the Cosmos shirts on New Yorkers backs. This is not just to spread brand fame through fashion, but also to create a broader team and to generate street buzz. Check out the club's Web site with photos of fans from the streets of NY. 

5. Honoring the fans: The Cosmos is not an elusive brand. They want to honor their hardcore fans and recruit at a grassroots level. The club is embracing those amateurs who had been gathering with their friends to play. The games already have the flavor of NY's global span. Where else are you going to get Albanians, Greeks, Mexicans and the Polish play on the same team?

6. Always do more than you say: The Cosmos Academy offers young, aspiring players a chance to train for free. The club is not just for those who can afford the tickets. It's truly for the love of soccer.

Many brands want to tap into the power of advocates and mobilize them, but few have the luxury to start with a base of hardcore believers who share the same passion and code. Having an active fan base  makes the franchise all the more valuable to potential buyers. Once they meet M.L.S. requirements, NY Cosmos can really take off with New Yorkers' support and enthusiasm. 

Posted via email from Speaking of Social Media

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No Matter How You Market It, Travel is About Experience

Who doesn’t remember the 1994 episode of Saturday Night Live where David Spade and Helen Hunt act as the most insensitive airline crew? We laugh at this exaggeration because we can remember at least one less than pleasant travel incident. 


Travel is indeed about experience. Whether shopping for airline tickets, renting cars, going on cruises or choosing hotels, travel purchasers are most likely to refer to their past dealings with brands and establishments.




Findings from S. Radoff Associates’ Large Purchase Study shows that discounts may sway travel service purchasers’ decisions. About one-fifth of travel purchasers say their buying decisions are influenced by such offers.

Like discounts, the impact of word of mouth on travel purchases is also dwarfed by the significant role of past experience. Fewer than a quarter of travel purchasers say they were driven by offline or online buzz when making their final choices.

Word of mouth is more likely to influence cruise and hotel choices and less likely to impact airline and car rental service choices. Cruise fans are the only group of travel purchasers who indicate that face-to-face conversations (32 percent) and online word of mouth (23 percent) influence their buying decisions.

Marketing, media and peer-to-peer channels may drive trial and awareness of travel services. Yet brand trust and customer loyalty are closely linked with experience. Customer satisfaction is travel industry’s key variable for growth.

To download the full report on how consumers make their travel purchases and how sources of consumer decisions vary by age, parenthood and ethnicity, please click here


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Saturday, April 2, 2011

'To Catch A Dollar' Is About Group Success

To make a dollar you need to catch a dollar. You need a little bit of investment to buy product, supplies or a chair, a desk to be in business. If you are not credit-worthy, you can't get a loan, you can't start a business, you can't get a job--you stay at square one, you remain poor. That is the truth the movie To Catch A Dollar underscores. 

The documentary follows the story of micro-lending bank Grameen's entrance to the US market showing Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus and his team's tireless efforts to spread this message and empower the poor, help them get back on their feet through micro-loans. 

They give loans strictly to women under the poverty line, defined by the US Census. Why women? Their past experience in other parts of the world have shown that women manage their loans better and when women can start businesses an earn their own living, the rest of the family wins - children go to school, health problems can be addressed and women gain power in extended family relations.

Grameen America started it's first branch in Queens, New York. They ask applicants to form groups of five. Loans are given individually but the group has to approve each business plan. The group also becomes a support system and sounding board as women face life challenges. They meet every week, with a Grameen field worker in lead and they pay back their loans bit by bit. Today, the payback rate is over 98 percent.

The personal stories of women's rise out of poverty revealed in the film are truly touching and inspiring. Besides sheer will power and relentless support of Grameen team, there are several reasons why these women are able to succeed:

1- They feel responsible towards their group: For the program to work successfully, everyone must show up. If one doesn't show up, she fails four others. 

2- They feel responsible for the group's success: Each person contributes to the group's success. You are evaluated as a group.

3- They get continuous input from Grameen and from their group members: The group is a sounding board of ideas, therapy session and friendly bonding time. 

4- They take small steps and have small payments: Paying $20 back a week is not only manageable but it also instills discipline. 

5- The call to action is clear and achievable.

The big take away here is that groups work better than solo acts when striving for that big goal. Groups are dynamic and social by nature - they can help sustain activities. They reduce risk of falling out by setting tone and behavior. 

We talk a lot about the value of networks in word of mouth marketing. We look for the group leaders and hope they'll just carry the word for us if we impress them enough. Grameen's success shows that there needs to be a bit more careful thought put into the way we identify and work with groups. 

When thinking about motivating and mobilizing crowds, think how you can organize these people into groups with common goals and how you can enable each member to contribute. 

Posted via email from dotwom's posterous