Crunchy and Cheesy

cheetosTPCRUNCHY NUGGET: I love a fun online, user-experience.  And I just found one reading an article first on ClickZ, and then trying it for myself: it’s from Cheetos and their Project T.P. Put down that bag of salty, snacky cheesy-ness, lick your fingers and give this read:

Glow, baby, glow: How do you make Cheetos relevant to Halloween?  First, change your packaging to feature glow in the dark graphics, and offer them in treat-sized packages.  Doing just this is fun, right?  Oh but there’s more…

Virtual TP opp: Cheetos has a Project TP – as in toilet paper, the verb – site where you can enter in any street address, and if it registers on google (maps, street view), lets you TP the area, thanks to Cheetos mascot Chester (the image in this post is by my community swimming pool).  Of course, you can share the image with friends. Again, fun, easy, really great user experience. But hold on, there’s even more…

Your mission, get social and you can win: Cheetos is also extending the play by giving consumers online missions via social posts. So not just TP’ing your neighborhood, but a fountain or a castle.  Different missions share a variety of places to TP.  Consumers who share their images via Facebook or Twitter fulfilling these missions get entered to win a Cheetos prize pack in a sweeps.  Nice!

Coming ’round full circle, what made me share this example was the fun user experience – it was easy, it was engaging, and it made me smile.  Note that it did NOT ask for my information, it did NOT offer me a coupon.  Missed opportunities?  Perhaps.  But mission accomplished for fun with a little, old school Halloween mischief.  By the way, here is the ClickZ article: http://bit.ly/HeNVSV

Using Your Head

ellenCRUNCHY NUGGET: Well hello there, it’s a been a while, right?!  I’ve recently had a lil’ time off and one of my favorite shows to catch during the day is “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” This past Thursday, she introduced an app available for sale (99 cents) on iTunes called “Heads Up!” It replicates a game similar to “Celebrity” that she plays with guests.  One person holds a card above his or her forehead, and the other person gives clues to help the card-holder guess what-who is written on the card.  The app version let’s players choose from themes such as movies, animals, music, accents, etc. Players are up against a timer.  And the motion of moving the apple device up or down lets players pass and move on (tilt up), or acknowledge that the answer is correct (tilt down).  Fun, right?  What makes this app/idea so crunchy are a few things:  Yes…it went directly to #1 on iTunes, so mass awareness from Ellen was a big plus.  Absolutely…at 99 cents a sale, Warner Brothers and Ellen and the dev folks will make a nice lil’ profit.  Terrific…it’s fun and engaging and brings the spirit of Ellen and her show into real people’s homes.  And what I think is the most crunchy bit:  CONTENT!  Get this…the app uses the camera on the iPhone (or iPad) to record the game play.  App users can opt to save the video and share this content on Facebook or with the Ellen Show.  What an excellent means of spreading the word and getting real-life user examples for on-air content.  And again…very much in the fun, lighthearted spirit of the show.  Ah, content, love that!  (So much so I had to put it in bold!)

Admittedly, I have downloaded the app and am looking forward to giving it a try.  Gotta love a crunchy nugget found during a day off on an enjoyable TV program!  #goodidea #socialmediamarketing #appideas #contentmarketing

C’mon Work Happy 2

TEDCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Seriously, I didn’t mean to prolong this topic, but I couldn’t help it.  I am a big fan of TED talks. If you haven’t yet explored the world of TED talks you should, they cover a ton of interesting topics delivered by world experts, all in nice, bite-sized videos that are well under 15-minutes each (if not much less).  Anyway…so the newest talk to bubble-up when I went to their site was given by Dan Ariely: “What makes us feel good about work?”  Honestly, I didn’t mean to continue the conversation about happiness…but like I said, I love these talks and so I decided to watch it to get another POV on human behavior and what motivates us.  According to Mr. Arierly and his research, it’s a few common elements:

Purpose & acknowledgement & meaning: He shared tales of experiments that required participants to build things, make things for pay and for some sort of feedback.  And then had the outcomes (the rewards, if you will) of the building/making different.  Specifically: participants built Legos and had these pieces either set aside and told that they’d be re-used – or – taken apart in front of them.  There were also participants who completed word puzzles and had these puzzles either acknowledged very simply (just a “hmm…” FYI) and put aside – or – simply put aside (nothing said) – or – shredded in front of them.  And in every case, the participants who were torn-down or shredded before their eyes were less happy, less productive despite the income earned.  What I thought was most interesting was the same feelings were shared by were the participants who were not acknowledged – they felt just as badly for not having their work noticed.  There was also a difference in people who liked doing the work – they liked Legos already, e.g.  They, too, did and felt better.  As well as a difference in people who felt value out of what they were doing: these people were proud of what they did and saw value and meaning in it.

OK…so what now?  What do I do with this, nugget girl?  you’re asking, I’m sure.  Thanks for asking, I do appreciate the participation!  My take is less of a marketing nugget and more of a life-behavior-motivation nugget.  It’s that acknowledgement is an important means of driving productivity.  And not big grandiose stuff, just make your team feel like they’re part of a journey and an effort –versus working to no-end. If you want your teams to do more-do better, you need to let them know how they’re doing, and make them feel that there is meaning and value in what they’re delivering. 

I’m pretty certain I’m done with this topic now. Again I swear I didn’t purposely seek it out.  I was just a girl in search of a good TED talk.  Find them here starting with the one I watched for this post: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_what_makes_us_feel_good_about_our_work.html

What do you think?  What motivates YOU?  Perhaps the thought of a good weekend?  Enjoy it!  #humanbehavior #deliveringhappiness #insights #motivation

C’mon Work Happy!

smileycookieCRUNCHY NUGGETS: Are you a happy person?  Are you happy at work?  And do you think your happiness impacts your productivity at work?  Oh, I’m sorry…I typically don’t come at you with lots of questions.  But I’ve recently read two articles about how people behave and what motivates them — specifically, at work.  Two different, interesting points of view.  No need to get stuck on the questions I’ve asked, keep moving with me, come along…

Give to Get: The New York Times Sunday Magazine recently featured an article about author and professor Adam Grant.  He has studied workplace dynamics for years and has found that the secret to productivity at work is giving.  Grant has found that traditionally the thinking at work has been that employers should deliver incentives based on self-interest: financial incentives, ensuring that the work that is interesting, or offering the possibility for career advancement.  But what his studies have uncovered is that the most compelling source of motivation is in a sense of service for others.  In other words, the more you feel like you’re helping others, the more you’ll want to work.  This certainly makes sense as its been noted that feeling a sense of purpose is a big factor in longevity.  But what if you’re in a thankless position?  What if you don’t get any sort of positive feedback?  Well thank you for asking because that leads me to my second article…

Gratitude, Nurturing, Making it Unique: Fast Company also shared an article about how happiness can be learned, and the difference it makes toward creating a productive work environment.  Feeling grateful yourself and gratitude for your own life is a good place to start.  It helps you better deal with stress, overall.  And then sharing the love by nurturing others and figuring out what makes them happy at a very personal level is important (i.e., one size doesn’t fit all in morale as one person’s day off is another person’s access to a company iPhone, and not just hosting a happy hour-have a drink you’re happy this hour, right?!).  Making an effort to ensure your employees’ happiness leads to: 37% more sales, 31% increase in productivity, and accuracy on tasks rises by 19%!  That’s pretty powerful stuff, particularly as there are courses that can help and give employees a sense of empowerment, self-growth, and motivation.  In other words, you don’t have to do it all and teach happiness to others — there are resources who can help.

So why share these insights?  Because they show human behavior — what motivates people — and how a smile means so much in getting what you want from others.  Here are the articles if you wish to check them out: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/magazine/is-giving-the-secret-to-getting-ahead.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.fastcocreate.com/1682068/how-one-company-taught-its-employees-how-to-be-happier-and-what-happened-next

And be happy!  #consumerinsights #consumerbehavior #deliveringhappingess #behappy

Getting Emotional

unconsiousbrandingCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  I just read a series of articles in Fast Company magazine that I wanted to share.  They touch upon a book: “Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing” written by “neuromarketing pioneer” (fancy, right?!) and EVP Deutsch LA, Douglas Van Praet.  From the snacky bits shared in Fast Company, he has done studies that basically point to human emotion as the reason why consumers buy.  OK so that doesn’t seems terribly earth shattering.  But it supports how consumers say what they say in research, but then do what they do at shelf, at point of purchase, online at checkout, etc.  Which aren’t necessarily one and the same.  He talks about how the most impactful marketing follows seven- steps to inspire.  Fast Company, thus far, has covered 4 out of the 7.  I am going to snap shot the four (and I mean very nuggety snap shot like), and then follow-up with the rest in a later post.  Sound good?  Great, I’m glad you agree!  Here goes:

Step #1 is to Interrupt the Pattern — Simply put, give consumers an unexpected, fresh new way to look at what you’re trying to share with them.

Step #2 is to Create Comfort — Basically, establish a level of trust.

Step #3 is to Lead the Imagination — Allow the consumer to aspire to something, to dream, to believe in possibilities.

And then Step #4 is Shift the Feeling — Get the consumer to feel an emotion with your message.

Like I said, there are three left, which I’ll share.  In the meantime, here is a place to start in reading more: http://www.fastcocreate.com/1682625/the-myth-of-marketing-how-research-reaches-for-the-heart-but-only-connects-with-the-head

The challenge, honestly, is how to best do this in :15 seconds — 5 frames — on packaging — in a single print ad.  Often, in the face of no available insights about the target, no research but just lots of gut feelings.  Yikes!  But again, I think if you circle to the original intention of his steps, and recognize that research doesn’t necessarily reveal all, and that developing messaging that touches upon emotions to trigger action, I think then you have a good takeaway.  More to come!  #consumerinsights #marketresearchinsights #advertising #marketing

Mama to Mama

Screen shot 2013-03-12 at 2.55.42 PMFRESH FACTS:  “Moms trust other Moms” — is not a headline, nor new news.  But as someone who frequently deals with mom-targeted brands, I certainly can appreciate these crunchy new stats shared by eMarketer about Moms and what drives their purchase decisions.  Specifically, as they shop online and through mobile devices (smartphones, tablets).  Topping the list of “most important factors in making a purchase decision”: 47.4% of online/mobile shopping Moms are most influenced by Reviews and Ratings from other Moms.  So it’s not price, it’s not promotion, it’s not even direct person-to-person recos from other Moms (word of mouth) — it’s what Moms are saying about the product on that site.  So yes, even if the other mom is a complete stranger, what she has to say about her experience with the item carries a lot of credibility to an online shopping mom.  Shopping convenience comes in second at 24%.  This speaks to a retailer’s/brand’s need for excellent customer service and user experience, for sure.  And then comes promotions and discounts — Moms want a good deal at 16.7%. And the coming in at the end are: Recommendations from other Moms (WOM) at 9.8%, which is honestly quite surprising that it’s so low; followed by product awards (sounds very baby/juvenile product specific).  Again, surprising yet not surprising — a salty-sweet crunchy nugget, if you will (of course, I take it to a snack level, you know me!).  And it goes to show that Moms want to share their experiences, and other Moms want to learn from these experiences — so brands that help this process put themselves into a more advantageous position with their target.  What do you think:  do you trust reviews as much as Moms?  #mobile #marketinginsights #mommarketing #onlineshopperinsights

Hel-pin

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 2.24.08 PMFRESH IDEAS:  “Oh, why didn’t I think of THAT!  Now that’s nice!” is what my brain registered when I read today about Y&R Midwest’s Sandy Pinterest initiative: Helpin.it.  As an agency they’ve decided to help real-life families who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Given that this arm of Y&R is in Chicago makes it all the more “awww…” as you’d expect a NJ/NY metro shop to take measures to help local folks.  Here’s how it works:

Real families, real needs: Y&R’s team has chosen families as the subjects of Pinterest boards.  If you go to Helpin.it, you can link to the Pinterest page with all four families.  The boards for each family feature goods that are needed to rebuild their households.  It’s everything from plastic bags to pillows to gift cards.  All at an achievable $25 give or take price point.  And of course, there is a board with the family’s story.  

Click through to repin or to actually buy: Like a typical Pinterest board, you can click through a board to either repin the item to your own board and spread the word about the family in need and their specific items.  Or, you click through to amazon.com where that family’s wish list resides.  You can actually buy the items for the family, and since they’re “registered” on amazon’s wish list, they’ll receive it directly from amazon thanks to the donors.

Now, why did this awaken my “fresh ideas” senses today (other than it’s snowy and cloudy and gray out and it’s super heart warming)?  The power of Pinterest for good: all of the terrific things a brand would love about Pinterest make for a really nice cause-related experience, e.g., visuals, telling a story, repin and share opportunities, and purchase what you see opportunities.  Agency do-good effort: every agency I’ve worked for or know always does something to support a cause, it’s just good business.  But this showcases good thinking and innovation in a social space.  Nicely done, Y&R Midwest!  You’ve certainly brought a little sunshine to my cloudy day for a girl who thinks she’s “seen it all”…and then something like this comes along, love it!  #goodideas #socialmedia #pinterest #causemarketing