As a marketer you’ll often come across some amazing marketing tactic employed by a local brand that clearly the marketing bigwigs are missing out on.
When I was studying at MICA, one of the projects that came to us was on Sony Pix (or Set Pix?).
We were told that Sony Pix simply could never match an HBO because it did not have blockbuster titles. It did, however, have some award winning movies.
So they said ‘we tell stories’. ‘Wow’, I thought. That’s smart. Interesting.
We tell stories.
There was something so powerful in this line for an otherwise lackluster channel. The movies had no great stars but surely… it had some stories?
I just simply adored the idea of watching a channel that tells stories and doesn’t just show me Brad Pitt’s armpits. (this worked well for the aspirational angle too where you want intelligent and heart-felt cinema?)
The we-don’t-have-the-stars-but-we-have-what-matters approach sounded simply yum!
Missed the bus?
However I can’t help but feel that where a channel could thrive around the ‘we tell stories’ approach, it still hasn’t done enough to capitalize on it.
For example, if you told good stories but nobody had heard of their names, wouldn’t you want to catch people and engage them with previews of the stories instead of sad TV listings, where I’d rather pick an HBO’s MissionImpossible over you?
Also I can’t for the life of me understand how the tacky promos for Chicks on Flicks would gel with your stand on telling stories? How in the world would calling women ‘chicks’ and movies ‘flicks’ work for you? Are you Star Movies? Cmon, you’re more powerful than that. You tell stories, remember?
Why in your, otherwise lovely, ‘The Pix Story’ section, would you have Diamond Comics-like sketches in the corner to illustrate the point?
Thankfully during my recent visit to Crossword with Sonali and Meenal, I saw this Set Pix branding.
PS: Sony Pix or Set Pix? Which is it?
Sit down. Take a deep breath. Know that this is not the end of the world. You will not lose your job over this. Another deep breath please.
It’s official – most of your branded online communities are doomed.
According to a recent Deloitte study that I read about here, ’35% of the online communities studied have less than 100 members; less than 25% have more than 1,000 members despite the fact that close to 6% of these businesses have spent over $1 million on their community projects.’
Now before you scroll right down to comments and begin to stab at your keys, let me assure you that I am not against online communities. Now, who in their right mind would be!
But I do have an issue with brands deciding to just ‘create’ an online community in the hope of building a loyal fan base. It’s like they think online community’s their jackpot. As if those 100 people in their community are like zombies waiting to watch every piece of advertising they send out.
1. Add value
If you’re a client and your brief to your digital agency is ‘i want an online community for young ambitious SEC A males’ then let me assure you that you’re not going to get anywhere with this social-media-thing.
Any community must add value. Must provide info/entertainment that the person actually needs.
No, wallpapers and screensavers of your latest canned juice don’t help. No ambitious-SEC-A-male wants to stare at wallpapers of your often not-so-cool product.
And adding a ‘send to friend’ link cannot help your cause if that’s all you intend to offer.
2. Know ‘why’
It’s really important to figure out why you’re asking for an online community anyway.
Is it because
- You want to do something with this social-media-thing
- You believe that people who join your community will just go nuts about your product
- Gang of Girls did it (personally i could write a book about why GoG isn’t a great case study, but whatever!)
- You just want one and that’s that!
If you want a community because your aim is to just spread the magical powers of your brand around, think again. Communities that are created without any clear value-add don’t really go anywhere. And if your community starts and ends with your brand then your entire process is oriented around how many more people can you attract, instead of what you’re giving to all those people who are already a part of your community.
Communities grow when people who are already in them decide that it’s a damn good place to be in and call-in their friends.
Couple of things you may want to do
1. Be specific. What kind of people do you want in your community. It’s great to want millions in your fanbase, but then often a handful of strong believers are better than hordes of drifters.
2. Or else just use existing communities to peddle your goods. Why create another facebook when it already exists. You don’t always have to start from scratch. Don’t reinvent the wheel as Manish always says.
And no, you cannot blame your digital agency if your community doesn’t pick up.
We’ll just re-direct you to this post!