Friday, November 18, 2011

Digital Paneling

So, I sat on a digital marketing panel for the Utah Chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF Utah) last night. With some illustrious local advertising experts:
Jason Bangerter, Founder StruckAxiom

Dave Nibley, Creative Director Rain

Craig Aramaki, Chief Digital Officer Richter7

Ian Barkley, Business Development Rastar

And Me, Shawn Butler, Digital Strategy Saxton|Horne

Here is a photo of the panel:
Panelists for the Utah Chapter of the American Ad Fed

Here is a photo from the panel:

(Notice the conspicuously empty front row)

One of my favorite moments of the night was a discussion on social media marketing. We identified that sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even MySpace are vehicles for tactical execution of an overall strategy. Craig mentioned that social networking is not new, that it was a part of human nature to give word-of-mouth referrals to our peer groups. And I shared my illustration that we are simply using technology and the facility of social media platforms to augment a behavior that has been occurring since the days of the cave men: A Twitter post that says "I love the burritos at Cafe Rio" is our modern equivalent to "Hey, Og, eat there! That bush has good berries."

I though it was a clever analogy, and it apparently struck a chord with some audience members!

ShawnPButler Quote from Advertising Federation Panel

It was a great conversation in a room full of smart people. And says GREAT things about the future of digital and creative advertising in Salt Lake and the Mountain West area. For more fun quotes, you can search Twitter or go to the Utah Ad Fed's FB Page.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The 6th Legal Addiction

The 6th Legal Addiction
The FDA currently recognizes 5 substances as being both legal and addictive:
Legal Addictive Substances:
  1. Caffeine 
  2. Nicotine 
  3. Alcohol 
  4. Meds: Aspirin & Prescription Drugs 
  5. Sugar 

Reading the definition above, and in my profession as a social media marketer, I am more and more convinced that we have discovered the 6th legal addictive substance. Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter fit the description of an addictive substance perfectly. In fact, psychologists are currently debating an additional substance called IVR that would be attributable to a line of “behavioral addictions” including compulsive shopping, kleptomania, overeating, problem gambling and Twitter usage. Research has shown that engaging in social media activities stimulates the same neurological pleasure sensors of the brain, releasing alpha waves and endorphins into the system, as cocaine, heroine and sexual activity.

Skinner's Box
In the 1960’s, famed behavioral scientist B.F. Skinner, originator of “pavlovian training” and “conditioned response,” ran experiments on animals that determined a type of addictive behavior he called Intermittent Variable Reward (IVR) – A method of behavioral reinforcement conditioned by rewarding action intermittently (as opposed to consistently).

One of his experiments consisted of putting a rat in a cage with a button that it could push to release a food pellet. The rat would at first push the button a few times, and then, gradually get into a pattern of just pushing it when he was hungry. However, Skinner found that if he adjusted the button so that it sometimes gave 1 pellet, sometimes 2, and sometimes no pellets, that the rat would become addicted to the act of pushing the button at the expense of all else; forgetting to eat, to sleep or anything—literally pushing the button until it died.

Classic Behavioral Addictions
This is the same psychological mechanism that makes slot machines so addictive. You see, it’s the “variable” that is exciting to us. It is the “not knowing.” If a slot machine gave you back a $1 every time you inserted $1, it would be like an ATM machine. You'd never get addicted.

There are literally thousands of people right now all over the world who are compulsively clicking the refresh button on their email, Facebook, and Twitter to check if they have been tagged, friended, unfriended or invited to something. The science of intermittent variable reward tells us that we're "addicted" to checking our social media accounts not because we know we'll be rewarded with something interesting, but because we might be.

FUN FACT: There are only 2 industries that refer to their customers as “users:"
1. The internet.      2. Drug dealers.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why I Suck as a Blogger

In the voice of Chris Farley in “Tommy Boy,” this is why I suck as a blogger:
Shawn: Hey, what’s your name?
Helen: Helen.
Shawn: That’s nice, you look like a Helen. Helen, we’re both internet users. Let me tell you why I suck as a blogger. Let’s say I have an idea to blog about, let’s say it's an even remotely interesting idea. I've thought about it, I've even done a little research on it. Well, then I get all excited. I’m like Jojo the idiot circus boy with a pretty new pet. Now the pet is my possible blog. Hello there, pretty little pet. I love you. And then I stroke it, and I pet it, and I massage it. Hehe, I love it! I love my little, naughty pet. You’re naughty. And then I take my naughty pet and I go
[making ripping noises as I tear apart a roll or other visual aid]
That's the point where I am usually either 300 words into an impossible-to-complete post OR I have been completely de-railed and I have moved on to something else that caught my (oh, shiny!) attention. I have these great ideas, and really the best intentions, but I am truly my own worst enemy. I famously bite off more than I can chew or completely suffer from an imbalance of priorities. At the same time.

Tommy: Uuuuuuh. I killed it. I killed my [blog]. And that’s when I blow it. That’s when people like us have gotta forge ahead, Helen. Am I right?
Helen: God, you’re sick.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How New Media is Changing Old Media

Yammer Proclaims The Death Of Old Media Through Old Media
Billboard Proclaims The Death Of Old Media Through Old Media

In 2007, when I first started using social media as a marketing tool, it was just called “new media.” In the years since, digital marketers have made large strides, like dropping the vague term “new” and replacing it with phrases like “social network marketing” and, most significantly, adjusting the way that brands and businesses interact with their customers. We have learned a lot from our early experiences with social media. Here are some of the lessons social media taught us that are being applied across all forms of media, new and old.

Targeting the individual. One-to-one marketing is not just for social media anymore. With the recognition of the long tail has come permission to “waste” impressions. I am seeing more instances of marketers using traditionally mass media vehicles to microtarget niche audience.

Previously, to hit a highly specific audience like “Investment Bankers for Web-based IPOs” meant taking out a full page in a highly specific targeted medium like The Kiplinger Letter. This is changing.

Recently, Tim Ferriss wrote about an unusual billboard purchased by Zynga in Silicon Valley. He says, “There was no tagline, and I joked to my passenger, who was in the financing and IPO business, ‘I’m not sure who that’s intended to sell.’

The Tag-less Zynga Billboard
The Tag-less Zynga Billboard

[His passenger] laughed and responded with ‘Dude, that’s not for end users. That’s to get the attention of the bankers driving from SFO to downtown.’

Leveraging Pass-Along and Word-of-Mouth. In that same article, Ferriss cites an example of not targeting your audience at all, but targeting the people whoinfluence that audience. “At American Apparel, many of its best-known ads ran in obscure publications or in short bursts on niche websites. Millions of people know about them, however, because blogs thought they were so interesting that they wrote articles about them.”

The brilliance there is that the brand actually got moremileage out of their ad purchases by getting the pass-along value of what is essentially “free” advertising by highly influential bloggers. However, this type of editorial coverage and the buzz it creates is the type of advertising that big businesses have learned they cannot buy through a media broker.

Everything is Clickable. If someone is on a company’s Facebook page, the marketer knows that posting a clickable link will send many customers to get more information. With the increase of tablet PCs and mobile devices, marketers can now make this assumption with every medium. The QR code is an early integration of print with web. At the Smithsonian museums, visitors will see codes on the displays that are scannable with their web-enabled devices that will bring up apps, information and interactive learning.

Visual recognition programs for mobile devices, like Google Goggles, are being used by companies to deliver more information to their potential customers who take a picture of their products or even their logos.

As brands continue to understand the value of engaging with fans and seek metrics beyond impressions, we will see more integration of social, interactive, and location-based media with traditional media. Already, we see more restaurants posting the “Check In to Foursquare” window clings and counter cards to remind visitors to pair their physical visit with an internet visit.

A few years from now, when social media is no longer a “hot trend” but an additional, accepted marketing tool, I would like us to all look back and see that 2011 was the year that all media became “social.”

Related Video