Getting Past Social Media “Listening” to “Understanding”: Crimson Hexagon

28 04 2009

There’s a lot of talk in social media about “listening”.

But, what’s a marketer supposed to make of 1,001 random comments?

What I like about what Crimson Hexagon is doing is that they’re getting past listening to understanding. Once you know what the conversation adds up to, you can start to figure out what to do (or stop doing). This demo is pretty impressive. This has the potential to be big for a lot of brands, and especially for politics and crisis management. crimsonhexagon

I can’t embed the Vimeo video here for reasons that are technical and boring, but click here for their blog post and the video.

Marketing Analytics, AKA “Why Is Scarlett Johanssen Hot?”

22 04 2009

Today, everyone wants to know to the penny what’s driving results. Exactly how much incremental sales are we getting from this effort vs. that one?

But, you can’t prove any of this stuff. Neither can I.  What we can do, if we want to waste a whole lot of time and money, is highlight the data that “proves” whatever each of us has already decided beforehand is the right answer.

It’s like doing an analysis to understand why Scarlett Johanssen is hot.


As you can see from the photo above, she is indeed hot.  But, is her left eye contributing more to the overall impression than her right eye? Is it her feet, or her hands? Which toe or finger is driving the most movie sales? Let’s also look at what it does to concession sales, I want a breakdown by popcorn and by Twizzlers. Let’s break it down by neckline and jewelry – do her films gross more when she’s wearing a scoop neck and a pendant, or a v-neck with a diamond?

I’m not saying don’t measure anything. You need that data for direction. But I am saying that we can dig into this until there’s nothing left to dig, and at the end of all knowing… there will still be more questions.

Out in the real world beyond spreadsheets, everything influences everything. Scarlett is hot because she is.

Your TV influences your direct marketing results. You’ll never know exactly how much. The banners you ran will make some sales happen earlier than they would otherwise. You’ll never know exactly how much. The paid search you did last year will drive some percentage of your sales a year from now.

You’ll never know exactly how much. Or why. And it doesn’t matter. It’s a sucker bet.

The competitors who are beating the daylights out of you in the marketplace aren’t winning because their analytics are better than yours.

It’s because while you’re focusing on your spreadsheet, they’re focusing on your customers.

The Blueberry Waffle Mix Lesson

15 04 2009

Here are some links to things that are worth reading.

Subjects? Facebook, ROI, CPG, social media, drugs, and the death of print.

But for me the real gem is the story of a guy who almost drowned in a vat of blueberry waffle mix.


Thankfully, he’s OK. But I see this story as a sort of absurd cosmic lesson: a reminder to always maintain our humility and sense of humor. No matter how smart we think we are, we’re always just one slippery step away from some darkly hilarious disaster.

Happy reading. And watch your step while you’re walking over the waffle mix 🙂

Photo credit: MHaitaca

The iGRP: Are We Apples To Apples Yet?

8 04 2009

Like pretty much everybody, I believe it’s only a matter of time before “TV” means pretty much any screen you can think of, anywhere.

Why wouldn’t it?

appleorangeFor now, there are some key obstacles, and they’re all interlinked. Some of the big ones are infrastructure and cost (particuarly in mobile), and — not insignificantly — the lack of an easy apples-to-apples comparison for media buyers.

Mediaweek reports that MindShare and online video ad network YuMe have taken a shot at creating a metric they call the “iGRP”. The idea is to have a comparable internet metric to the TV GRP.

You can get the YuMe iGRP whitepaper here. (PDF)

If this works even a little bit, I’d expect to see the same downward pressure on TV prices that’s happening to online publishers. Reckitt-Benckiser recently fired a $20M shot over the bow of the TV business, which is likely the opening salvo in a longer war.

This transition is not going to be quick and easy, and it’s certainly not likely to be painless. As Tom Friedman recently noted in his book about the changes in the energy business, “It’s not a revolution if nobody gets hurt”.

Still, I can’t imagine a more exciting time to be in the advertising and marketing business. So much of the talk is about the death of the old way of doing things, and I can understand that.

But the opportunities are all about what lies ahead. In fits and starts, we are witnessing the birth of something new.

Who could ask for more?

Photo Credit: Kharied

CPG Jobs

3 04 2009

Looking for your next job in CPG in marketing, market research, or some other discipline? This looks like an interesting resource


There’s a site called CPG Joblist that represents consumer packaged goods giants like Hershey, ACNielsen, Sara Lee, Kellogg’s, Tyson, Conagra, Miller Brewing, Mattel, Crayola, Disney, Dannon, Revlon, and Kimberly-Clark.

I wonder how these sites are doing these days?  Social media cuts both ways for them: it can raise awareness (these guys have a group on LinkedIn), but it could also disintermediate them.

Disclaimer: I don’t know anything about CPG Joblist except that it exists and seems to be credible.  If you were a candidate or hiring manager who used the site, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the site.

Did You Know 3.0 (aka “Shift Happens”)

3 04 2009

UPDATED AUGUST 28: Now you can also download “Shift Happens” as a movie.


This is a very revealing video and worth your time. It speaks volumes about globalization, and the changes that are happening faster than we know.

It’s thought-provoking. Revealing. Surprising.

What’s perhaps most surprising is where it came from. It started as a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting in August 2006 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. In the words of the original author Karl Fisch:

“it “went viral” on the Web in February 2007 and, as of June 2007, had been seen by at least 5 million online viewers. Today the old and new versions of the online presentation have been seen by at least 20 million people, not including the countless others who have seen it at conferences, workshops, training institutes, and other venues.

It’s further evidence that ideas are not only found in big cities or famous universities.

And they’re not only generated for famous conferences.

Big ideas can come from everywhere, and from out of nowhere.

Where will the next idea like this come from? Gudda, India? Ororuwo, Nigeria?

Maybe “Did You Know 4.0” will come from you. After all, shift happens 🙂