Shiny things I find from across the web

The s**** word

Relationship manager
Client account manager
Business development manager
New business executive
Business coordinator
Marketing manager

In digital marketing, why are we so afraid of the s**** word? Perhaps it’s the idea that if something has to be actively “sold”, then it is less valuable, less in demand? We think that clients always want to buy from the provider with the most clients. There is a subconscious perception that great products and services will sell themselves. Even the most luxury cars don’t find themselves owners and drive themselves out of showrooms, and so it seems bizarre that in digital marketing, salespeople are often concealed behind deliberately obfuscating job titles.

This means that clients – or potential clients – can sometimes be unsure whether they are being sold to, or actually already receiving the service.

It’s time we realised that selling doesn’t mean a product is s***


Are your Twitter followers trying to kill you? is a new Twitter game which takes the well-proven Zynga formula of Mafia-based games, mixes it up with a bit of Burger King’s Sacrifice your friends for a Whopper, then throws in a measure of internet memes by way of Rick Rolling. Therefore in theory, it is the perfect game. Try it out!

Verified But Vacant

On my travels across the internet today, I noticed something bizarre. I stumbled across this (verified) Twitter account:

It seems that @FordEurope doesn't have anything to say for itself

Ford is one of the brands really making a name for itself in social media, with great campaigns like the Fiesta Movement, and pioneering clever, innovative partnerships which have produced technology / social media combinations including AJ the Fiesta. And of course, they have Scott Monty at the helm of their social media campaigns – a man who has almost as many Twitter followers as Ford itself!

Of course, @FordUK exists, but beyond this weak attempt at a Twitter account (it doesn’t even have a custom background to call its own), the company doesn’t really seem to engage in social media with the same enthusiasm here as with our transatlantic friends. This isn’t a cheap jab at Ford, but a story which seems true of so many international brands – most major social media campaigns seem to have the US market as their target. Is it that us Brits are slower to adopt new technologies, or are we just being left out out of the loop?

Kookai Fears Facebook

When it comes to social media, it seems like some brands take to it like ducks to water (Starbucks, Dell, Ford), and others, despite their best efforts, just can’t relinquish enough control to make it work for them. French fashion label Kookai unfortunately falls into the latter group. Last week, the following post appeared on the brand’s French-language Facebook page:

It's clear that Kookai just can't get their head around social media

For those of you who are not dedicated francophiles, roughly translated, it reads:

“Dear Customers,
This Facebook page is designed to inform fans of the brand of special offers, new collections, games, contests, sharing our favourite pieces …. We’d like to thank everyone in advance for respecting this page and its primary purpose. For all other enquiries or comments, please send a letter to the KOOKAÏ head office.”

Not only does this expose Kookai as social media Luddites, but it says a lot about how the company feel towards their customers. When you create a Facebook page – or arguably any kind of branded social media presence, you invite discussion and contributions from your fans. The brand should only ever be the facilitator, not a tyrannous ruler of its digital kingdom. One way or another, Kookai has to learn that social media is a two-way conversation, and by trying to redirect customer questions and queries to the brand’s head office they are effectively trying to shut off customer conversation, which could (in extreme circumstances) result in a backlash not dissimilar to Nestle’s thorny Facebook experience last year. It does make the user wonder, what is Kookai so scared about?

Pimp My Ride – Volkswagen Date Drive

In the social media sphere, the question of ROI has become something of a hot topic. Monitoring, measuring and ultimately monetizing online activity is widely regarded as the holy grail of corporate digital activity. Demographic targeting is also one of the big issues that brands must face to create successful strategies – we are finally beginning to see a shift away from automatically aiming to have “the most Facebook fans” towards a more reflective approach – asking “What is the value of a Facebook fan?”

Volkswagen claim that driving a Polo GTI boosts your chances of date success

Volkswagen South Africa have recently launched a new campaign which quite succinctly addresses both of these issues. The “Date Drive” microsite invites users to apply for test drive of the Polo GTI to use on a date, on the basis of their claim that driving the new GTI makes you 23.5% more attractive to the opposite sex. The site uses a quiz mechanic to ask about the user’s success rates on dates, before inviting them to submit their details for a test drive. Their responses are then compared with national statistics alongside the statistics of other “Date Drive” applicants. The campaign speaks directly to the target audience, enabling Volkswagen to legitimately speak to young, image-conscious drivers whilst also directly generating location-specific sales leads with a generous helping of data capture. If the campaign is successful, it could easily be reskinned for other cities or territories.

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