Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Setting sights for higher success in 2008...

Big thanks to New York-based experiential marketing agency Renegade's CEO/president Drew Neisser for contributing the thoughtful "Top Ten: Marketing Ideas To Consider in 2008" piece to ChiefMarketer.com. Drew provides some great tips in his piece -- here are my notes on his topical ideas for entrepreneurs planning new ways to maximize what may be the most viable new developments, inroads and innovations in the field of marketing.

. Customer Service: Drew concludes his list with a great point about 'marketing as service.' What could be a better focus for marketing initiatives than solving problems for your customers, or making it easier for them to do business with you?

. Experience Marketing: In my humble opinion, the Toyota family is leading the way in creating brand experiences which translate into customer engagement and loyalty -- and marketplace success. One example from an amazing 2007 playbook includes the recent ExpreScion Alcatraz event cooked-up by my clients at ATTIK. What brand experience could drive all other facets of your 2008 marketing and communications?

. Virtual clubbing: Maximizing social networks from the large and ubiquitous to the small and tightly targeted currently rank among chief marketers' highest priorities. How can you improve your business with the help of your v-friends?

. Gaming: There's a fascinating story in Adweek today about how the U.S. Army has made its virtual reality warfare game into an interactive exhibit that's helping to boost recruits -- even now. Do consumers' interests in gaming offer unique opportunities to engage, entertain and/or educate your target audiences?

. Going green: From the business perspective, corporate social responsibility seems largely to have migrated toward environmentalism. Forbes "Going Green" coverage and MSNBC's "Going Green Special Report" reveal more specifics. How can a green strategy drive your success in the year to come?

. Mobile: With cell phone capabilities expanding and use steadily increasing, specific opportunities to successfully market over mobile phones are ripening. Should people be hearing or seeing your company on their cell phones in some strategic way(s) now?

. Outdoor Marketing 2.0: We're familiar with billboards, but add-in RFID, motion sensors, GPS and other high-tech innovations, and we are well on our way to the worlds of "Blade Runner" and "Minority Report." My clients at visual effects design company a52 contributed to a forward-looking outdoor Lexus campaign from Team One that Brandweek covered -- and other out-of-home media like in-theater, in-gym, etc. video networks are also getting smarter. Any lucrative ideas for personalizing your large-scale messages, or using technology to make them more interactive?

. Search Engine Marketing: The trend Drew points up is the rise of behavioral targeting over contextual targeting for marketing via search engines. Might such a tweak offer you an advantage?

. Online video: Evidently a result of most computer users having broadband connections, our YouTube nation is fully wired for video, and offerings like Hulu.com, iTunes, Joost and LiveStation are making the online experience more TV-like every day. Not long ago, the prospect of a 500-channel cable universe made us light-headed, while today, many netizens have a good sense of where and how to tune into their favorite short- and long-form video content from literally thousands of "channel" choices. Online video is being seen -- so maybe you can make your own and get it out there... or leap into your chosen role behind the scenes?

. Widgets: With the proliferation of websites, online communities and social networks, and with each trying to out-do the other to make it more sticky, engaging or useful, some software developers are creating stand-alone programs that push or pull specific data in delightful ways (if you're not among the hundreds of millions using them already, check out Yahoo Widgets). What could you do with a widget that bundles some or all of these trends above and forms a new two-way information channel between yourself and your customers?