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Showing posts from 2014

To love is to let go

If you are controlling your brand, you are already behind.
In today’s shared economy, people create and share content faster and more authentically than companies.So, why don’t most of us allow our customers to own and tell our stories? Why don’t we let go of our brands?
Is it the risk? As marketers, we are control freaks:We want to protect our brand. In the name of consistency, we try to control every touch point from defining the message to dictating timing and channels. It’s like being in a one-way relationship with a control freak. “Human”? Maybe. Desirable? No.
While this approach may have had its merits, it is not in tune with today’s reality.People care about people, not products or features.They don’t want to be told a story; they want a story to tell, and they want to tell it on their own terms.
If you look at the brands (e.g., Coke, Heineken, Patagonia, McDonalds, Lego, Red Bull, BuzzFeed…) that are thriving in this new reality, they share a common trait: they are live br…

The Power of Storydoing

In today’s connected world, actions speak louder than words. Consumers not only tend to have shorter attention spans, but they are also more skeptical of messages coming from brands.  They don’t want to be interrupted unless there is a clear value exchange.
This means that it is getting harder for brands to get their message across through paid media. TV, which is still the medium with the most scale, has become fragmented and less impactful as people spend more time online. Display advertising has become almost invisible. Direct mail’s response rate has consistently decreased in the last decade. And let’s not even talk about print.
These trends have pushed brands to shift from storytelling to storydoing to stay relevant. By storydoing, I mean looking at their audience’s experience from the lense of the brand promise, figuring out where is the value gap and trying to close it. Then, facilitating people to do the storytelling on the brand’s behalf to create a more authentic, human an…

The good, the bad and the ugly of learning how to code

If you are thinking about learning how to code, this is for you. There is no question that having coding skills is a plus. However, you probably have many questions regarding if it is worth your time. So here is my experience having spent the last 12 weeks at General Assembly in a front-end web development course that combines HTML, CSS, Javascript and Jquery.I did it while working full time. I am also the father of a 2 year-old boy with a lot of energy. Yes, I am exhausted.
My reason for taking the class was to realize a couple of pet projects that I have been working on for a while. I also wanted a better understanding of how the web works at the technical level. I felt that as a marketer, I not only needed to understand the communication side, but I also need to know how to make stuff.
The good Learning to code not only gives you new technical skills but also teaches you a new mindset. Yes, you are going to learn a new language, but you are also going to learn a different way of t…

The new digital “Green Rush”

On January 1st 2014, Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Washington state is set to follow later this year.  This means that anyone  21 or older can buy up to a quarter of an ounce of marijuana in regulated Colorado shops.
This is a sensitive issue, as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. And our society is still deeply divided on this issue.
This all got me thinking about the digital implications of the law. I wonder about how consumers and businesses in Colorado and Washington are going to behave online, and about the social media implications across the nation.
Just to put context on how big of a business this is, nationwide, government-regulated marijuana is projected to more than double this year, to $2.3 a billion industry from about $1 billion last year. That 2013 figure only includes regulated medical marijuana sales in the 20 states and DC where it is legal. With the introduction of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado…

A 2014 prediction: Still social, more personal

During the holidays, I sat down with a teenager to find out why his peers are running way from Facebook and embracing sites such as Snapchat. His response was simple: teens don’t want to broadcast their conversations and photos to everyone––especially not to their parents.  They want to talk and share only with the people they want, without leaving a digital “paper” trail.
The reality is that most social media sites have become “public squares”, places where everyone is “friends” of everyone in one way or another, a place where everything we say goes on record. This means that every time we post, we are broadcasting to the “masses” and going on record. 
This is not necessarily a bad thing.We are social creatures by nature; we like to share with others and look to our community for support.We want status, which is a basic human need. We have to claim our place in our tribe.
But there is also a need for intimacy, a feeling of sharing exclusively with the people who are more likely to …