Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

Humorous Twitter Character Fights Severe Drought in California

Changing behavior is one of the hardest things to do in marketing.

In drought-stricken California, the nonprofit Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) has rolled-out a creative marketing campaign to persuade consumers to conserve water.

Photo: Southern California Water Committee.

Photo: Southern California Water Committee.

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Pro Teams Score with Direct-to-SportsFan Marketing

Increasingly, professional sports teams are taking their important communication messages directly to fans.

Powered by the ubiquity of the Internet and fan tethering to social media platforms, direct-to-sportsfan (D2SF) marketing offers pro teams an unprecedented, and unfiltered, communication vehicle to their fans and season ticket-holders.

Brooklyn Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins. Photo: Brooklyn Nets website.

Brooklyn Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins. Photo: Brooklyn Nets website.

What is direct-to-sportsfan marketing?

D2SF is a hybrid marketing strategy designed to enhance the relationship, connection and relevance between teams and their fans, especially season ticket-holders, via the creation and direct sharing of special access, customized content.  It’s a combination package of marketing communications, content marketing, public relations, customer engagement and social media marketing.

Tactics include:

  • In-house Broadcasting.  Teams create their own reporting and broadcast content, typically with their own, paid journalists.
  • Coach-To-Fan Communication.  This takes the form of letters, short videos and recorded telephone messages.
  • Owner-To-Fan Communication.  Public letters, season ticket-holder messages and tweets are commonly used.

Communications expert Ivy Cohen, president and CEO of Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications, provides some perspective to help understand this developing marketing philosophy:

“The fan-team relationship is a symbiotic one.  Teams need fans to establish the value of their brands and keep the franchise flourishing.  Fans want to connect with their favorite teams for the psychic rewards of competition, winning, belonging, and a variety of benefits that come with entertainment, love of sport and following a season.”

Cohen adds:

“When player contracts were long-term, fans felt strong ties to individual players, the team brands were represented by a steady player roster and fans had strong team brand loyalty and player attachments.  Since that system eroded, fans need more and meaningful ways to feel an ongoing connection to a team.  Fans want to feel connected to their team and are seeking a persona to contribute that.  Owners and coaches can be strong representatives for their teams.”

Overall, as a targeted sports fan recipient myself, I like to see what the coaches or owners have to say unfiltered.  It’s a nice supplement to all the sports journalism.  And, as a marketing observer, it’s interesting to note what and how teams decide to communicate.


Let’s look at two examples from the past few weeks.

Jason Kidd Letter to Bucks Fans.  Posted 7/7/2014 to Milwaukee Bucks website.

Jason Kidd Letter to Bucks Fans. Posted 7/7/2014 to Milwaukee Bucks website.

Jason Kidd is the new coach of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, having controversially orchestrated his departure from the Brooklyn Nets sideline. You can read his letter of introduction to Wisconsin fans:

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How NOT to Engage Customers: NY Mets Strike Out with Fan Letter.

Talk about a wild pitch!  Last week’s fan letter and call-to-action produced by the New York Mets baseball team is bad marketing.

However well-intentioned it may have been, the letter is a misfired effort at fan engagement and boosting game attendance.  Note that I’m a big Mets fan, so I take no joy in writing this post.

Source: NY Mets website.

Source: NY Mets website.

________________________

There are so many missteps that I hope the marketing department was forced to implement this idea.  Let’s break it down.

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At One Stadium, Rookie Zevia Pushes Pepsi From Starting Lineup

It’s fun to watch the marketing underdog in action.

Starting this season, the Oakland Athletics will sell the first-ever naturally sweetened, zero calorie soda in Major League Baseball.  That’s because California-based Zevia Zero Calorie Soda is now the team’s official soda sponsor.

Photo: Zevia.

Photo: Zevia.

It’s quite the accomplishment for underdog Zevia, which produced $60 million in 2013 sales.  Pepsi held the soda sponsorship in previous years, and will still be available at the stadium, though.

The Zero Calorie Soda of the Oakland Athletics partnership includes: Continue reading

T-Mobile Creates Ticked-Off Parents to Sell Global Travelers

It’s bill-shocked Mom and Dad versus globetrotting son Jeremy in T-Mobile USA’s smart, new, integrated marketing campaign.

The message comes across loud and clear, but there’s some doubt whether T-Mobile can deliver a positive customer experience.

Photo: T-Mobile website.

Photo: T-Mobile website.

The wireless provider is touting its plan that saves users on international data service charges:

“With the Simple Choice Plan, each line comes with unlimited talk, text, and data while on our home network—and starting October 20, unlimited data and text in over 100 countries at no extra charge.”

The marketing campaign includes television advertising, a dedicated website, social media interaction, a contest to win a trip around the world, and airport communications.   There is also a companion effort in Spanish.

Photo: T-Mobile YouTube.

Photo: T-Mobile YouTube.

What stands out, though, are the TV ads.  

Give T-Mobile and its creative partners credit for coming up with an advertising idea that both gets attention and communicates the service benefit.  There’s no “did you see that great ad, but I don’t know the company” here. Continue reading

Engage Customers with “Content Marketing”

Imagine this:  Your marketing mission, if you choose to accept it, is to convince Global 2000 CIOs (Chief Information Officers) to use Serena Software’s orchestrated IT solutions.  The company’s “core purpose is to advance the business value of IT.”

Photo: Serena Software Website

Photo: Serena Software Website

Tough one!  I’m not a CIO and I don’t speak the language of “orchestrated IT solutions,” but I can share a clever way to solve the problem.  Let’s talk about the smart marketing Serena Software developed and implemented to bring a rather dry product/service to life with its prospects and customers.

Perhaps you know something about “content marketing” and “inbound marketing” and maybe you’re applying these marketing techniques today.  Basically, content marketing is leveraging “owned assets” (and “earned assets” too) such as websites, social media pages, and a variety of custom produced material to further your sales and marketing objectives.  Inbound marketing, according to Hubspot, “is a set of marketing strategies and techniques focused on pulling relevant prospects and customers towards a business and its products.”

If you’re not leveraging some form of content and inbound marketing today, you’re missing the boat.  In particular, video offers excellent opportunities to engage, inform and persuade customers.  Serena Software created an excellent five-part video episode series called “Doug Serena, CIO” to  bring the benefits of its orchestrated IT solutions to life with its CIO targets.   Continue reading

Marketing Lessons from the Axe Brand Team

Image: Axe Facebook

Give the marketers at Axe another round of applause.

Simply put, they just get what their brand means and know how to bring this understanding to life with compelling messages to their customer base.

It’s a great lesson for all marketers.  Success starts with solid customer understanding and clear brand definition: positioning, personality, etc.  Marketplace success requires the ability to brief and collaborate with talented partners who create the marketing communications that keep the brand on-strategy, top-of-mind and relevant with customers.  And success is durable because the brand management team has a fact-based commitment to stay-the-course (or switch gears if required).

The latest Axe brand communication is Showerpooling, a social media-driven marketing campaign that integrates the Axe brand essence with a tongue-in-cheek nod to environmentalism:  “When you Showerpool, you can save water while enjoying the company of a like-minded acquaintance, or even an attractive stranger.”

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