Institutions struggle

Hudson River State Hospital Exterior-3Understanding the aspirations and expectations of the emerging “millennial consumer” can no longer be considered a peripheral concern. The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States was accelerated by the tremendous energy and commitment of a new generation of voters. Exit polls indicate that Obama received 66% of the youth vote and 68% of the new voter vote.

And while the Obama campaign has successfully employed a wide range of communication devices and technologies, the political party machines are streets ahead of the majority of social institutions. Government departments across the world still largely struggle with technology and integration, businesses outlaw the use of social networks in the workplace and education institutions offer courses that are outdated by the knowledge and skills that students can obtain online.

This fascinating post by Alana Taylor, an NYU journalism student and blogger clearly demonstrates the gap and the sense of frustration:

What is so fascinating about the move from print to digital is the freedom to be your own publisher, editor, marketer, and brand. But, surprisingly, NYU does not offer the kinds of classes I want.

Where once innovation occurred mostly from within the walls of the enterprise, consumers are now iteratively experimenting with technologies and applying them to their real world problems. This means that businesses and brands are struggling to keep pace with the changes that are occurring within their marketplaces. It also means that there has been a role reversal in the dynamic in what marketers traditionally call “B2C”. The same applies to other “institutions” such as universities, colleges and government departments.

Despite the economic slowdown, it is clear that behavioural patterns have shifted. Institutions will continue to struggle in the face of this widespread change and the gaps will widen between brands, consumers and the “promise” that should bridge the two. There are very interesting times ahead of us all.

Greg Verdino’s Bakery Surprise

In our rush to write up the latest piece of news, link to the newest application or discuss the most recent strategy flashing before our eyes, it is easy to overlook some of the quality thinking that is already-available on the web. Often, when I find a new blog I will spend some time digging through the archives to try to get a sense of the quality and direction that the writer takes. It is like getting to know someone … quickly.

But not everyone is like me … I like the randomness that can come with blog exploration.  Some people like to get to the heart of things quicksmart. For those people, eBooks or directories of a blog’s most popular content can come in handy.

If you do not already read Greg Verdino’s blog, then you now have a supreme opportunity to do so. Not only is it jam packed with strategic goodness, he has thoughtfully prepared new readers a tasty snack. This eBook is now available for download. Called 4 & 20 Blog Posts, it captures 24 conversational marketing and social media posts from the last 24 months. Bon appetit!

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Come to Sydney Coffee Mornings on Fridays

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you will know that a bunch of local bloggers and marketing types get together each Friday for coffee. From 8am we rock up to Single Origin in Reservoir Street, Surry Hills for some of the best coffee and conversation in the city. In case you were wondering what these coffee mornings are like, here is a video that Tim Longhurst took recently.

Can you identify those in attendance? Ten points for each person you can recognise.


Age of Conversation Is On the Money

When I read a book or even a blog post, I am always waiting for the punch line. I am waiting to be smacked by the truth.

The same can be said of advertising. The best advertising, the best copywriting and the best storytelling should smack us. It should wake us from our reading slumber, or as Franz Kafka said:   

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.

The Age of Conversation is loaded with these types of insight. Every page has something that jolts the reader. And in an effort to encourage you to purchase the book (in either eBook, soft or hardcover), John Moore from Brand Autopsy has collected a series of “money quotes”. Remember, all profits from the sale of the book go to Variety, the children’s charity. Read and be inspired!   

Age Of Conversation (second edition)      

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: conversation age)



Sponsor Me This Movember

movember08-1 For the last two years, each November, I take part in an unusual ritual. It begins at the beginning of the month and it lasts right through to the last itchy moments before the year-end whirlwind of December hits. The participants in this ritual signal each other with a knowing smirk, a casual glance and scratch of the chin. That’s right, it is Movember — a time to build awareness of prostate cancer and raise money to fund research projects. After all, this is a disease that affects 1 in 6 men.

Last year, the Movember campaign – a month long commitment from men around the world to grow a moustache (while also seeking sponsorship) – raised around $21 million. Over 131,000 men around the world took to the “tash” … and this year we hope for even more. (I believe that the majority of this money was raised by the families of these men who promised to pay as soon as their faces were shaved clean.)

This year, I have joined a team of wannabe-beardies. In other words, we may take this “Mo” too far – to the fear and disgust of our families and friends. We ably led in this endeavour by Jye Smith. My other team mates include Matt Fitzsimmons, Scott Drummond, Tom Voirol and Tim Longhurst. And while it is early days and our confidence is high, Scott admitted a secret fear at coffee on Friday. He is concerned that his facial growth will be less than stellar. But there is a solution … the Build a Beard Workshop. You simply select the beard of your choice, Photoshop it onto a picture of your face, and voila! Not only do you get the beard of your choice, you also raise money for a Kiva project.

Remember this Movember, even the smallest amount of sponsorship will make a difference – and donations over $2 are tax deductible. By using this link, you will immediately be issued with a tax deductible receipt.

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