marketing


Cross posted on my work blog.

While taking a break from a flurry of  inquiry calls about ERP upgrades vs SaaS replacements,  I ambled over to facebook with Nespresso in hand.  A few years ago I met Dave Duarte, who  introduced me to  the Ogilvy Digital Academy   in South Africa. There is a lot of innovative stuff going on in the land of my youth, so I follow the SA scene  on  Facebook and on Twitter.  South Africa has had a lot of innovative advertising over the years, and I’m pleased to see this has well and truly moved over into the social side of things.  Today’s offering really hit home powerfully.

Have a look at this video.

A couple of things stood out for me.

1. Innovative idea and great execution. Genius. Braille on the burger bun.

2. Wimpy get the fact that People with Disabilities spend money just like other demographics.   Designing solutions and marketing for that segment makes business sense.  Part of this is about equal rights and access, but it isn’t charity.  Humour works.

3. The power of the referral. See the stats at the end of the presentation.

As part of my academic research, I’m looking at how enterprise software companies approach accessibility. Wimpy puts them all to shame.  Well done Wimpy.

I like cars.  I watch Top Gear, even though I find Clarkson xenophobic and misogynistic.  I read  Unabashed Gearhead Gnarlyness.  I window shop for cars all the time.

Yesterday I had a blast. My mate Rainer organized for a group of us to do the BMW intensive driving course on the Hockenheim ring.  In a BMW M3 e92.

The M3 has roughly 420 horsepower, which is about 3x more than my people carrier.   It is automatic, but not as you know an automatic.  It has a doppelkupplungsgetriebe, which I think means a double clutch. It changes really quickly, but you don’t have a traditional clutch pedal.  It also has a lot of three letter acronym buttons which turn the car from family car into track beast if you know which ones to press. (0-100 km in 4,6  seconds ).

The handling of the car is impeccable; it is forgiving, but in the hands of an expert it is wickedly quick, i.e not me.

The instructor, Karl-Heinz Müller, was brilliant.  He explained the theory, and then we got out on the track for training in emergency braking, obstacle avoidance and drifting.   There were two of us in each car, so we had plenty of practice.  The braking power of the car was what impressed me the most. Going fast is cool, but stopping fast is cooler.  We spent the morning on these handling exercises.  The cars were connected via radio, so we got adult supervision.  Karl-Heinz was patient, but with just the right amount of discipline.  His other job is driving very fast for the Politzei, and it shows.

In the afternoon, we got to drive around the Hockenheimring.  Karl-Heinz drove the pace car, and we attempted to follow him. He talked us through every corner, telling us what gear to be in and what line to take.  We drove one half of the track 5 times, the other half five times and then we had 5 full laps. I felt myself getting better each lap, as I got more confident.  Sandro, my copilot for the day,  has nerves of steel, great company too. I’ll watch next year’s grand prix with a lot more respect.

A fabulous day for anyone interested in becoming a better driver and experiencing what it is like to drive around a formula one track.  Having never really been a BMW fan, I’m now a convert.  Thanks again to Rainer for organizing it, and to Karl-Heinz and the BMW team.  Oh, and thanks to those Bavarians for inventing the M3,  a job well done.  As a marketing tool for BMW, I can’t think of a better way of them bringing the Freude am Fahren tagline to life.  Einfach geil, saugeil.

update here is the link to the track day website.

(cross posted from my Gartner blog)

April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

While I’m somewhat uneasy about the impact of  the iPad and Kindle on books and literature generally  because of the intellectual property control that it gives the device maker, I’m rather impressed with the implications that it has for poetry (thanks Lia for the link).

Watch this video from the Guardian about Elliot’s Wasteland. It is simply delightful.  Congratulations to Faber for doing this.  It is doing things with poems that weren’t possible before.

For the enterprise software vendors reading this, doing the stuff you do on the desktop or the laptop on the iPad doesn’t really impress anyone, it merely illuminates the gap between yesterday and tomorrow. Do something that you couldn’t do before.  Surprise and delight. Innovate rather than replicate.

update: credit due to touchpress.com as well as Faber.

(image of Scott Berkun presenting via Chasingfun cc attribution. Thanks!)

In this interview on the O’Reilly blog Scott Berkun nails it.

How do you define "innovation"?

Scott Berkun: I strongly recommend people use this word as little as possible. It’s mostly a distraction. Many great ideas and breakthroughs were achieved without people worrying if they were innovative enough or not. They simply chose to try and solve a problem they or their customers cared about. And then later on, after the hard work was done, they were called "innovators." It’s a good word to let other people say about you, rather than use it in reference to yourself.

His book, The Myths of Innovation is a sharp, if short read. This quote encourages me to re-read it. Scott also has a blog.

Several vendors have sent me links to World Cup related versions of their analytics tools. Some of them are really clever. I can drill down into skills, real time results and so on.  Neat stuff, mashing up data sources from all over the place, with compelling charts and stats, and good social sharing features. Easy to use, no training required.

Yet it is a sad indictment of analytics space in that vendors can quickly cook up engaging, immersing and rich dashboards for the World Cup, whereas most HR dashboards are poorly designed, unimaginative, dull and have very limited adoption. 

  • My advice to analytics vendors. Take the learning from how you have visualized football players and apply it to your workforce analytics offerings.
  • My advice to HR departments. Look at the World Cup dashboards and do it with your workforce data. You have the data, you have the tools. By the time Germany are crowned champions in a few weeks time you could have it built and deployed.

 

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The best job in the world campaign from the Queensland government has gone brilliantly. It created masses of publicity for the barrier reef, on prime time TV, in the press, and across the full spectrum of social media.  It won best advertising campaign of the year.

According to my favourite newspaper, the Guardian.

A PR coup for Australian tourism, the whole campaign has generated around A$148m (£73m) worth of publicity for northern Queensland. In a clever piece of marketing and timing, they sent out news of the concept on a dreary Sunday afternoon in Britain, and subsequently the idea of a job reclining on a beach in Australia promptly received a prominent news slot in Monday morning’s papers

British Charity worker, Ben Southall landed the job, beating out 35.000 applicants.

There are a number of technical innovations that are worth noting for those of us involved in recruitment and recruitment software. Strong use of video based CV/Resume, Viral campaign, Voting, Community, multiple social media channels, psychometric testing…

I could pick up on those here, but I think there is a more important point here for recruiters and HR folks. Do you align your recruiting strategy with your overall branding strategy? Can you turn your recruiting strategy into a brand advantage? What does your  recruitment process say about your brand?  Do you work closely with marketing to position the employee brand in the broader branding strategy?  Do you measure the impact of your recruiting strategy on your brand?  Can you clearly articulate why someone should want to work for your organization?

If your organisation is skeptical about the power of social software and the web,  then you could do worse than remind them of this campaign.

If anyone has any details on the technology platforms used to manage the application process and the selection, I’d love to hear from you. What innovative recruitment strategies have you seen? Do let me know. please.

I’ve never actually met Hugh face to face, but we have chatted a couple of times, we have several mutual friends, and his ebullient on-line presence means that I feel like I know him rather better than I probably do.

He is a cartoonist. I’ve followed his cartoons on the back of business cards since I started blogging, and they regularly bring a smile to my face.  I watched blue monster experiment with Steve  Clayton.

I’m finding his recent series on the Social Media Specialists really really funny.

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Excellent stuff Hugh. Keep them coming. Making people laugh is goodness.

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