Bits & Pieces?
Earlier this year, the Wheaton Franciscan Heart Care Team extended its experience and expertise to the Elmbrook Memorial Campus with the introduction of a new heart-focused surgical suite and cardiac catheterization lab. As noted in a recent Business Journal article, the hospital is exceeding its projections.
Together, with Elmbrook’s crack marketing and communications teams, we launched a tightly integrated marketing campaign consisting of paid, owned and earned media–and experiential tactics. It’s that final piece–Elmbrook’s presence within the community, bringing tools and messages about a heart-healthy lifestyle to real, live people–that tells the real story of what Elmbrook’s doing right.
A central component of this campaign was Elmbrook Memorial’s partnership with the Brookfield Farmer’s Market. Participating once a month in June through October, physicians and staff from Elmbrook and the Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group provided blood pressure screenings, a healthy cooking demonstration and recipes, heart-healthy living tips, and goodies to farmer’s market attendees, interacting one-on-one and encouraging community members to take control of their heart health.
Alongside the farmer’s market Dr. Mushir Hassan launched the “Walk with a Wheaton Doc” program, in which he took a group of community members on two-mile walk from the market and back, offering a water stop and tour of the nearby WFMG physician office where he practices, and giving people a chance to engage with him in casual conversation on preventive health care and overall heart health.
The video below provides a fun glimpse into the Walk with a Wheaton Doc program:
All throughout the campaign, community members responded positively to Elmbrook’s partnership with the Brookfield Farmer’s Market—requesting future walks with Dr. Hassan (the Walk with a Wheaton Doc will continue into 2013) and even expressing gratitude for bringing the heart care program to the Brookfield area. This integrated marketing initiative serves as a great example of a brand humanizing itself and interacting in a personal, meaningful way with its audience.
People frequently ask: “How we can quickly and easily build our social media fan base, especially on Facebook?”
A quick Google search will give you all kinds of advice on tactics for doing so, like this one, 21 creative ways to increase your Facebook fan base, some of which is legit (like embedding a Facebook widget on your website) and some of which is garbage (like linking your Facebook account to your Twitter).
Yes, we too can give you tons of tips for how to promote your presence. But for that promotion to get any real traction, you have to have a meaningful, purposeful presence in the first place.
According to one recent study reported in this recent E-marketer article, only 9% of Facebook users even like brand pages, so the bar is high. Other studies have reported higher numbers; however, social media users are not really seeking friendship from brands. And with all of the millions of brands they can potentially choose to give their time to, why should they choose yours? If you don’t have an answer to that question, you’re jumping to tactics without having a strategy. Take a step back, and roll up your sleeves to develop one.
So what’s a brand to do? Well, you can do a promotion to grow your fan base – become our friend for a chance to win X – as so many brands do. Chances are you’ll get a bump in your fan base…among people who don’t really care. So, what’s the point? You want to connect with people who DO care, right?
According to that same E-marketer article, “marketers would do better to focus on being there (on Facebook) to answer questions, provide customer service support and broadcast promotions.” That’s one valid answer. (Research also shows that ongoing deals and discounts are one of the primary reasons that people friend brands.)
Another answer, and the one I generally prefer? Build your community one relationship at a time, by getting truly involved. Get up to your elbows in your community. Last week, Addy wrote about the experience economy and the growing opportunities for brands who want to become part of people’s lives instead of just push messages. I think that is a fantastic way of thinking about it. Steven Wold has referred to this as “roll-up-your-sleeves marketing,” which I also think is brilliant.
Let’s use our recent FoodFightMKE campaign as a quick example of how solidly built relationships can help a chain reaction of participation occur. I know Tim, who I met on Twitter, and helped create a fundraiser for. Tim knows Lori, who writes a food blog and cares about food-related issues like hunger. Lori knows me a little bit because I’ve been involved in community events. Lori writes about the campaign for OnMilwaukee, because she cares, and passes it on to other bloggers with whom she has relationships who may want to get involved. Lori also passes it on to Kris, who is starting a hunger fundraiser event, who asks if FoodFightMKE wants to get involved. This, in a microcosm, is how social works best. It is about people and relationships and caring and participation…and not just promotion. It also illustrates why having an experienced community manager is so important. Sometimes, even brands that ARE highly engaged in their communities seem to have trouble translating that to online interactions, so you may need to take a look at that.
There’s no easy button for building social media community. There just isn’t. Yes, by all means, have your promotional tactics in place, but, in the context of a larger strategy for how you will be valuable enough that people want to connect with you in the first place. In other words, get less hung up on the number of fans that you have; focus on providing value and the rest will come in time.
Often, building community starts with this simple question that I will ask you: How can we help?
Since its launch (covered on Thanksgiving in this great OnMilwaukee article), the FoodFightMKE crew has been busy planning to rock three great December events to raise hunger awareness and money to help Hunger Task Force beat hunger in Milwaukee this holiday season.
The next event is FoodFightMKE night at AJ Bombers, next Friday, December 9th 5PM-7PM. AJ Bombers is always fun, and jumped in early on to ask how they could help get FoodFightMKE off the ground. We’ll be serving up a special cocktail, the Hunger Hammer. Just for showing up, you get a ticket to win some ridiculously great door prizes, from generous, community-minded folks including Radio Milwaukee, Sprecher Brewery, Stone Creek Coffee, Mason Street Grill, and Botanas. Who knows what else the FoodFightMKE crew will dream up for this event.
The very next day (go easy on those Hunger Hammers, kids!), December 10th, from Noon to 4PM at Best Place at Historic Pabst Brewery, we’ll be at the MKEfoodies holiday charity bake sale, benefitting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. A bake sale, with a great group (MKEfoodies), for a great cause, followed by an after-party at Hotel Metro? We’re in. We’ll be there selling our cookies and showing our support. (Technically, it’s not a hunger fundraiser, to be clear. But if you want, you can still donate cash or by texting FOOD to 52000.)
Finally, there’s a really exciting food event called Soup & Bread: FoodFightMKE Edition on the front burner (ouch…pun…sorry) for December 15, 6PM-8:30PM at Riverwest Public House. Area foodies and chefs, including Dan Van Rite of Hinterland , Justin Aprahamian from Sanford, Mitchell Ciohon of Sabor and Ryan Oschman from The Eatery, will donate soup and bread. Those attending can donate “at will” whatever they can to FoodFightMKE. It’s an event that will fill your stomach and warm your soul.
HUGE thanks to all of our amazing and generous community partners, including AJ Bombers, Radio Milwaukee, Sprecher Brewery, Stone Creek Coffee, Marcus Restaurants/Mason Street Grill, Botanas, MKEfoodies and Soup & Bread. It’s heart-warming to see the Milwaukee community rallying around these events to give hunger the finger.
Now all we need is…you. Please join us in this fight against hunger by joining us at these events, or simply texting FOOD to 52000 to make a $10 donation to Hunger Task Force.
We wish you the happiest of holidays : ]
Written by Amanda Janssen-Egan and Julie Pendergast
We know our planet is changing. Stories about global warming, population growth, natural disasters and its future impact on our planet, flood (no pun intended,) our TV programs, newspapers and magazines. We are exposed to these issues on a daily basis. Some of us take it seriously. Some of us don’t give it a second thought. PBS’s Planet Forward, a project of the Center for Innovative Media at The George Washington University, wants you to get involved, and they are offering fame in return.
Users can submit their ideas for community innovation for adapting to a future planet at http://planetforward.org/season/adaptation/, for a chance to be featured in one of Planet Forward’s many webisodes, on PBS’s Nightly Business Report, or in their Fall 2011 PBS Special on Smart Communities. Nominated ideas will be posted on the site, where users can vote on the winners. Do you have an idea to submit? Check out other’s recent ideas here.
What a great example of using crowdsourcing to develop content, while at the same time spreading the word about a cause that affects us all. Not to mention inspiring community involvement. Have you given a second thought to how the changing planet is going to affect future generations? Is there anything in particular you do? Can you tell the difference in the environment between now and when you were a kid?
Everyone on earth has been told they needed to, “think outside the box.” It’s a tired old term. But ironically, I’m here to suggest that what it replaced—”thinking inside the box”— is now actually more true in today’s uber-connected world.
See, thinking outside the box worked when our job was to “interupt” people. To come up with a crazy idea that would get people to take notice—a “hey look at me” tactic. Go back to Apple’s “1984″ commercial. Or anyone remember, like them or hate them, the Quizno’s spongmonkey commercials? I realize some reading may not have been born in 1984, but Apple’s Macintosh launch was a piece of advertising history worth knowing about and it was certainly noticed back then.
Now fast forward to the millions of “viral” videos. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Do something outside the box—like make one of those viral videos.” First mistake in that statement is it wasn’t going to be viral until at least one viewer said it was good enough to share. And second, what the heck is the purpose? Seemed no one ever had too much of that.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot about popular content. But, I have to admit, I am a strategic creative. While I like creative for creative’s sake from time to time, I’m an inside out kind of a guy—I’d prefer to cuddle up to some research and some key consumer insights before I try to solve a problem. And I’d suggest that some of the more brilliant marketing tactics of late, start from painting oneself into a corner before knocking it out of the ballpark. Or to use the metaphor it the title, thinking inside the box can help you achieve succeess well outside the box.
As creatives, strategy is our friend. It tells us what to say to whom. It doesn’t restrict our thinking, it just channels our thoughts. If strategy comes with insights gathered from data or qualitative research that you trust, even better. Because of that, I’ve never really thought about thinking “outside the box,” the process to me is always inside, the fruits of our labor are what fall outside the box.
Strategy and insights form the foundation of what we do, always been true, never truer. What we used to do, whether we thought about it as out of the box thinking or not, was toss rocks over the sides of the box. Like a viral video here, or a guerilla tactic there. All concieved to make a ripple in a crowd of people. But to what end? Did it matter that most of the people who witnessed the message could care less about a brand? Well, for the most part it didn’t matter. Until the consumer got a way to be heard.
The way I see it now (refer to the sketch), we stand on strategy as firm as ever. We need consumer insights now more than ever. Why, well look in that box—as creative people (that means every person in this place), we now have two challenges that the new world is making us responsible for: setting goals, and measuring our success. They are finding their way into the foundation of what we do every day. Want proof? Just count how many times you’ve heard “social marketing” and “ROI” mentioned in the same sentence the past 12 months.
Our jobs are no longer about tossing ideas over the walls of the box from the solid ground of strategy and insight—to interrupt—without concern for what happened to our precious concept until far later. It’s now about breaking down the walls to get engagement and involvement—immediately. While our ideas can be outrageous and incredible, they are deliberate—because we know what we are asking for in return. And it’s more than a “please don’t surf to another channel while my commercial is on.”
How do we break down the barriers? Well, pick a wall, the directions are there. Choose “relevancy” or “utility” or maybe it’s to break down a wall with a “shared purpose” or belief. You can use an “incentive” or a “cultural movement,” you can use any motivation a group or individual responds to. The key is that they respond.
I contend that while social media and the likes include a lot of experimentation and adjustment, success is a calculated guess, not a shot in the dark. Consumers tell us what they think. They tell us what they want. We use our gut instincts to judge a creative idea based on what we know. Same as always. What’s different is that the medium could be anything. And the success isn’t only based on sales or next year’s benchmark research on awareness and perception.
The point is, even if you were on board with out of the box thinking, it doesn’t cut it anymore. Get back in the box and think your way out.
I’d be happy to hear others’ theories on where thinking has evolved. What’s changed for you?
- | Tags:
- advertising, cocreation, community, creative thinking, critical thinking, cultural movements, entertainment, goals, incentives, inside the box, insights, marketing, measurement, outside the box, planning, propagation planning, ROI, shared experience, shared purpose, social marketing, social media, strategy, utility
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