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Social networks, social media, online communities, etc.

Juice Your Marketing with Dopamine

Dopamine-driven marketing sounds scary, but it’s more common than one might expect. Dopamine is a key element in the brain’s reward system, and when marketers trigger that system they can reinforce behavior and create positive associations. Ads that make consumers solve a simple puzzle can have this effect (see Puzzling Billboards, Schick Commercial’s Aha! Moment, and Puzzles Boost Brand Recognition, for example.) The dopamine kicker can also be generated using one of the hotter trends in marketing (and other forms of behavior modification): gamification. […]

By |April 10th, 2012|

Love/Hate: Why Disliked Brands Prosper

Something brand owners strive for is that elusive magic of being loved by consumers. Brands like Apple, Google, Southwest Airlines, and others have earned enduring positive regard among consumers, and those companies outdo their peers in part because of the brand equity they have built. But what about brands people don’t like? Oddly, some of those survive quite nicely and even prosper. […]

By |April 5th, 2012|

What Guy Kawasaki Knows About Google+, and You Don’t

Book Review: What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us by Guy Kawasaki

Google+ seemed to get off to a running start, but more recently has been termed a “ghost town” by some pundits. Experience with the service suggests less than robust usage by consumers, despite the large number of registered users. When my Why Jersey Shore Drops the National IQ post went mildly viral last week, it quickly garnered more than a thousand Facebook likes, but a mere five +1s. Does this mean Google+ is headed the way of Friendster and MySpace? […]

By |March 26th, 2012|

Forget Evil, Don’t Be Creepy!

Three Ways to Avoid Creepiness

Marketers are being offered unprecedented new capabilities to target consumers by interests and behavior. There’s growing evidence, though, that consumers are finding these personalized pitches off-putting. A new survey of UK social media users showed that nearly half “don’t like having ads targeted to them based on information included in their social media profiles, including activities, interests, and other personal data.” While Google’s motto has been, “Don’t Be Evil,” perhaps a more appropriate one would be, “Don’t Be Creepy!” […]

By |February 21st, 2012|

Social Personalization and the Doppelganger Effect

Are you overlooking a way to personalize your ads that goes far beyond the usual “Dear Roger” salutation?

In my recent article, Put Your Customer in the Ad, I mentioned that LinkedIn was using profile pictures for targeted ads. Since then, I’ve been able to capture a couple of examples. The first one surprised me when it appeared, and to generate a second one I had to surf a variety of profiles. Here’s what I like about these ads: […]

By |February 1st, 2012|

Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness

Book Review: Zarrella’s Hiearchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas by Dan Zarrella

I like Dan Zarrella’s approach to social media. Amidst a horde of social media gurus, experts, mavens, and missionaries, Zarrella relies on crunching numbers to create his insights. Instead of thinking up “10 Ways to Get Retweets,” he analyzes millions of actual retweets to find out what works. (Oddly, putting “please RT” in your tweet actually does work.) Hierarchy is a bite-size book from Domino. With the same small form factor as Seth Godin’s Poke the Box, this book can be read in an hour. The length may be an advantage. Zarrella could no doubt have filled hundreds of pages with data and insights from his social media research. Instead, he presents a modest number of concepts that are readily digested and implemented. […]

By |November 7th, 2011|

Contagious Dissatisfaction

Most businesses wouldn’t question that it’s a good idea to resolve problems quickly to prevent erosion of their reputaton, but many don’t do a particularly good job of it. Even when it’s too late to fix the actual problem, an apology can mollify that customer and even result in reversal of the public criticism (see Apologies Really DO Work).

Martin Lindstrom, author of the best-selling Brandwashed, conducted a simple but telling experiment in a cooperative restaurant. […]

By |October 28th, 2011|

Can Twitter Make You Skinny?

Could having many connections on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook cause you to lose more weight than, say, running on a treadmill? The answer is… maybe. Research on mice showed that those individuals who socialized with other mice lost more weight than less social mice even when they ate more food. From the Daily Mail:
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By |September 22nd, 2011|

Enchantment: How Not to Suck at Business and Life

Guy Kawasaki may be the Dale Carnegie of the technology age. While Enchantment is peppered with references to PowerPoint, Facebook, and other 21st century topics, much of the wisdom is as timeless as what you'll still find in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

By |March 21st, 2011|