Bits & Pieces?
This morning I was on a healthcare social media panel up in Madison, at Social Media Breakfast. (Wow! Good crowd…Madisonians like to think early.) It was a healthy discussion (pun…sorry) of overcoming the barriers to social media integration in healthcare organizations.
Recently, we’ve done a lot of learning here at Jigsaw about the Affordable Care Act and accountable care organizations. So it occurred to me in the process of putting this presentation together that social media, strategically used, *could* actually help not only improve patient experience but also potentially improve outcomes and facilitate accountable care. I discussed this hypothesis with three leaders on the front lines in the healthcare social media space and was happy to hear that I’m not crazy.
Many thanks to these brilliant three: Dana M. Lewis, Swedish Medical Center and founder of #HCSM; Ed Bennett, University of Maryland Medical System; and Chris Boyer, Long Island Jewish health system. The presentation includes their thoughts on this topic as well as mine, along with current examples of how they are using social media to drive their businesses.
Many thanks to Social Media Breakfast Madison, in partnership with the American College of Healthcare Executives, for having me. Let me know if you have any questions about this information or would like to continue the conversation.
For years, retailers have been putting up in-store holiday displays earlier and earlier. It’s not uncommon to see fully decorated trees weeks before Halloween. This year, the holiday creep has spread to on-air and online advertising. Target is jumping ahead of the rest of the retail industry with its TV and video pre-roll ad that features its Bullseye dog and a promise that “The holidays are coming, and they’re gonna be big.”
This early holiday push is in contrast to the retailer’s strategy in years past. According to an Ad Age article, in 2010 the company postponed running holiday-themed ads until the week after Thanksgiving. The article quotes then Chief Marketing Officer Michael Francis: “Guests really tire of these messages when they’re started too early in the season, and it doesn’t align with where they are in their lives. They look at Thanksgiving as family time … and aren’t yet ready to get into the frenzy that defines the Christmas shopping season.”
What changed in two years? The economy for one. In another Ad Age article, Target’s CEO Gregg Steinhafel said: “Guests are feeling better about finances and are more comfortable considering larger purchases.” Feeling bullish about consumer confidence and ability to spend, Target is further tempting shoppers with REDcard discounts, Free Shipping, Holiday Price Match and Easy Returns –– all in hopes of capturing more of consumers’ holiday spending.
Time will soon tell if Target’s holiday advertising strategy is a success. I wonder if this early push for Christmas sales will be at the expense of Halloween sales. Christmas gets a lot of attention from retailers, but Halloween spending is no joke. This year, it’s estimated that consumers will spend $8 billion getting their spook on.
What do you think? Will early holiday advertising cannibalize or boost Halloween spending at Target?
And do you think these early ads will influence you to shop earlier (Target sure hopes so)? Or does all this premature holiday talk have the reverse effect and make you want to avoid the perceived hassles of holiday shopping for as long as you can?
Last night, Social Media Club Milwaukee welcomed our friends at Visit Milwaukee to share their social media successes and challenges and highlight their new DearMKE campaign. The discussion was held at the beautiful Historic Best Place at the Pabst Brewery, so it was a nice touch that we got to drink Pabst and Schlitz while discussing the fact that, according to Milwaukee’s Mayor Tom Barrett, “Laverne and Shirley don’t live here anymore.”
Jeannine Sherman, Bill Prange and Carrie Woods made it clear that they are a brand on a mission and everything they do ties back to the Milwaukee brand promise: A vibrant community on a great lake. Textured and real. A naturally beautiful and entertaining city with an easy attitude. Major props for being strategically driven.
Social media nerds love data, too, of course, and Visit Milwaukee didn’t disappoint. They share the results of their popular weekly Visit Milwaukee Facebook features, Where Are We Wednesday and Freaky Food Friday, as well as their quarterly social media promotions aimed at building both social communities and email database, increasing site traffic and ultimately, putting heads in beds. Measuring ROI was listed as a challenge, as it is for so many businesses; because a majority of Milwaukee hotel bookings happen off their website, Visit can measure proven increases in site traffic which can not always be tied directly to bookings. And they acknowledged that conversation and engagement matter, too.
The group was eager to hear more about the recently launched DearMKE campaign, which is very unique among destination marketing organizations. Jigsaw is proud to be a part of this campaign, having created the DearMKE website; many local creative organizations came together to make the DearMKE films and campaign happen, with Jack Turner as Executive Producer and About Face Media producing the films. The recently-released introductory DearMKE film makes us all stand a little taller as Milwaukeeans; we have so much to be proud of. Check it out…and turn it up.
The song is “Love You ‘Til I Die,” recorded in the early ‘70s by Milwaukee musician Bennie Cole. (Thank you, Jeff Sherman.)
Huge thanks to Visit Milwaukee for doing such a stellar job sharing their thoughts and experiences with us, to Best Place at the Pabst for hosting, and to Social Media Club of Milwaukee. Great stuff happening here in the MKE!
We’ve all missed goals, whether they’re personal or professional. Individual or team goals. The trick is rebounding from those misses so that one miss doesn’t become two…or twenty. The strength of your brand is given the opportunity to shine in just these types of circumstances.
At the beginning of this year’s MLB season, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (don’t even get me started on that name) had a marketing plan. In the off-season they had acquired the hottest name in baseball – Albert Pujols – from free-agency. And they were determined to use him to market the team in whatever way they thought best.
The Angels’ marketing team developed an entire campaign around Pujols, nicknaming him “El Hombre.” You can’t fault the team for wanting to show off their prize possession, however Pujols was less than thrilled about the campaign that you can read about here, but that’s not the point of this story.
My point comes in Albert’s performance through the opening months of the season. Through 42 games he was batting over 100 points below his career average with only 3 homeruns. Any baseball fan can tell you this is not the reason the Angels made him the highest paid player in history. As if that wasn’t enough, the Angels are currently in last place in their division and drawing around 33,600 fans per game in a stadium that had averaged 41,000 fans since it was built.
It’s safe to say the Angels are not reaching their goals, and part of this is due to building their messaging around a player that is performing poorly. I can’t say that the team’s performance doesn’t play a factor, because it does, but if the Angels had established a stronger brand message, a stronger affinity for the team, before a poor season came around or their star hit a slump, the effects may not have been as bad.
Compare the Angels to the class team of the city – the Lakers. Sure, they’ve won more than any other team, but they’ve had down seasons too. During the last 10 years (probably more) they have consistently sold out their arena. During that same time they’ve both won championships and missed the playoffs. Attendance didn’t suffer. Or you can look at the LA Clippers. Same arena. Same city. Different brand. They had a great year in 2011-12 and sold out the arena too, but the previous 10 years they were averaging 90% capacity with ticket prices averaging $67 less per seat than a Lakers game. Their ticket sales are much more directly tied to their win/loss record than the brand of the team.
People don’t often cheer for brands, but a strong brand will help you withstand a bad quarter, tragedy, product recall, maybe even a recession. If people like your brand and what you stand for they are much less likely to give up your product for a generic alternative when the times get tough. They’ll be more likely to believe you’re doing the right thing in the wake of a plant accident. Many times people can’t put into words why they prefer one brand over another, but choices are made every day based on brand perception. Is your brand strong enough to help your goals seem more achievable? Can it keep you afloat during rough times? If you can’t immediately answer ‘yes’ maybe it’s time to give your brand some love and attention.
What better way for a furniture manufacturer to promote its products than to let people use them? That’s what IKEA has been doing in Europe in the past few months.
In November, IKEA hosted a sleepover in its Essex store in response to a Facebook group called “I wanna have a sleepover in IKEA,” which has almost 100,000 fans. IKEA made their dreams come true and, through a contest, invited 100 of these fans to spend one night in its store and treated them to goodie bags, midnight snacks, hot chocolate, massages and manicures, and even a midnight movie and bedtime story read by Sam Faiers from The Only Way Is Essex. (Sounds like my type of evening.) The experience included a sleep expert and was designed to help educate people on how to get a great nights sleep, well, in addition to the fact that 100 people had an entire IKEA store just for themselves for an entire night. I wonder if they were allowed to make purchases.
The second example is still in the making, but IKEA fully furnished a 54-square-meter home (about 177′) for six people to live in, in the middle of a Parisian metro. From January 9th to the 14th the apartment in the Auber metro station in France’s capital will be home for these six individuals and frequenters will get a glimpse into the daily routines of five of their fellow Parisians. The project is called “The IKEA Apartment – 54 Square-Meter Ideas to Life” and aims to highlight how IKEA furniture is compatible with small spaces.
These are two great examples of listening and responding to customer, connecting the online and offline worlds and, most importantly, turning fans into advocates by allowing them to experience the brand instead of just bombarding them with meaningless messages. Sounds like XXI century marketing.
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