Monday, October 27, 2014

What business can learn from
2014 music marketing “disruptions”

Since December, 2013 there have been three “disrupts” in traditional music marketing, changing the way marketing for this industry, and business in general if it is paying attention, will be done.

On December 12, 2013 Beyonce dropped the CD “Beyonce” on iTunes. No fanfare, no television promotions, no radio appearances. Not like a pregnancy as most musical releases are done (see Taylor Swift later in this article). Just boom, here it is on iTunes.

On August 18, 2014, Taylor Swift announced via the Internet a new single, released that day, called “Shake It Off.” She also did something unprecedented in music marketing, releasing the video for the single the same day. (On July 12, 2014, my Tween Music blog noted Swift announced her new CD that day, which most in marketing missed. Link here:

To that point in time, music marketers let singles gain airplay, and about a month after release would issue the video to extend the life of the product. Thanks to Swift, videos will now need to be released the same day as dropping a single.

At the August 18 Internet announcement, Swift also announced her new album, “1989,” would be released October 27, 2014, and that preorders were being taken immediately as Swift announced on August 18.

Swift has used the pregnancy method of promoting “1989.” She released two singles before the CD was released, but waited until the last week before “1989”’s release to issue “Out of the Woods” (A song written while she was in a relationship with One Direction’s Harry Styles. The pair had broken up by the time of the song release.).

Swift has use the, pardon the pun, 1989 way of marketing “1989.” Taking to television, radio and press releases. Sadly, instead of zooming to #1 as “Shake It Off” did, “Out of the Woods” debuted at #18, a sad showing for a musician of Swift’s renowned.

What has blocked Swift in the #1 position most of this summer has been a song about being overweight and accepting it. Newcomer Meghan Trainor is a study in business marketing.

On June 2, Trainor released “All About That Bass.” After its June 2 release, it failed to chart until July 26, where it debuted at #84. Not bad for an unknown artist. It wasn’t until September 20, 2014 that Trainor dislodged Swift at the #1 spot, where the song has been for the past six weeks.

This could also be why Swift’s “Out of The Woods,” which Swift said would not be a single, but instead her second single was “Welcome to New York,” released days after “Out of the Woods,” did not immediately zoom to #1.

It appears Trainor has stolen some of Swift’s magic to her image. If an unknown can dislodge the largest music machine since The Rolling Stones, maybe Swift is on the traditional downhill road most artists travel (like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, on and on).

Trainor continued to break music marketing habits. On September 9, 2014, she released a four song EP (extended play from the old days of vinyl). Radio stations jumped on the title track of the EP, “Title” (That was the EP’s title). Radio also jumped on “Dear Future Husband” as another “single.”

October 15, 2014, Trainor released her second singe after “All About The Bass.” A song not on the EP, but another “single,” “Lips Are Movin.” This is unprecedented. She again upended traditional marketing.

While Swift’s “Out of the Woods” charted with it elaborate Internet and traditional marketing ploys, Trainor’s “Lips…”, released about the same time as “Woods” or “New York,” failed to make the charts by the time Swift’s CD was released. Did Trainor not release a video for “Lips” on October 15, a practice Swift standardized about a month earlier?

Online sources report that by October 22, Trainor had sold more than 3-million units of “Bass.” Another source reported her net worth, including those from investments (Trainor released two independent CDs in 2011, “Only 17” and “I’ll Sing With You”), was more than $215-million by the end of September, 2014.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Predicting Ebola trend six months before hipsters
Become a Marketing Sociologist
Be ahead of the curve

May of 2014 a businessperson came to me in the gym (everyone wants free digital marketing advice when I’m in the gym). He asked how he could be current on his “social” media.

Told him to start talking about Ebola. That was going to be the next trend. “That’s a disease in Africa. It has no impact on my customers,” he said.

Fast forward to six months later. There’s still war in the Middle East, including Israel and whoever that nation is fighting today. The stock market has plunged, but the only thing traditional media is dealing with is Ebola.

At the middle of October, Associated Press reported, “SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are giving $25 million to the CDC Foundation to help fight the Ebola epidemic.”

Hockey legend Mark Gretzky has been credited with the quote, “You skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is.”

That’s why Marketing Sociologists tend to be ahead of the curve. Recommending Ebola six months before it is popular; knowing that around 2016 or 2017 brain waves will be what tech “wearables” are in 2015. It will be brain waves, not a mouse or keyboard that will move your devices whether that be computer, mobile, an auto, your home appliances.

The U.S.A. has become a third world nation. Every politician talks about the abysmal quality of education in this nation. Those who can’t cut it in Japan or China colleges come to the U.S.A. to get their degrees.

Don’t get caught up in the common denominator. Take your business, and intelligence, to the next level. Become a Marketing Sociologist. Be ahead of the curve.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

2014 - Time for '00s nostalgia

Jonas Brothers
Hilary Duff
Kelly Osbourne
Paris Hilton
Lindsay Lohan

Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor
bad economy thanks to George Bush II
Dotcom bubble

American Idiot
Prison Break
Everybody Loves Raymond

Harry Potter
Lord of the Rings
Almost Famous
Dark Knight/Batman Begins
Wedding Crashers

Imagine the possibilities for themed parties.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Five things that killed
Apple Match iTunes Internet radio

Apple introduced Match, its Internet radio today.

Five reasons why it will not catch on with consumers, even with the Apple name.

1 - Being touted as free, but with a $24.99 fee, or more than $2 per month. It enters a realm where i-Heart Radio, Radio AOL, Spotify, Pandora, Last.FM, even Radio Disney, offer truly free service.

2 - Late to the game. Nearly a whole decade after Internet radio came of age.

3 - Only works on mobile devices running IOS 7.

4 - Offers nothing unique. Once upon a time, you could share concert files, like Grateful Dead fans have since the '70s, on something called Win-MX. Apple doesn't offer anything unique with Match.

5 - No social capability. No sharing, as with Win-MX above, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Smart Goggles and Ad-Visor (tm)
Not the future, but today's mobile marketing

The February meeting of Phoenix's Social Media Club discussed the future of mobile marketing. Fred van West, a software engineer at Choice Hotels and self-proclaimed life-long revolutionary (@azpunster on Twitter), rightfully stated no one has envisioned where mobile is headed for the remainder of this decade.

I have said mobile in 2013 is where Internet was in 1998 - remember dial-up? Amazon went public in 1997 for perspective.

I have said teen years marketing is mobile, mobile, mobile. Apps will rule. People will disengage from so-called "social media" and become rugged individuals using apps customized to them.

The future for mobile is what I've said for almost a decade, when you pass a billboard, you'll get an audio (now video as well) and when you pass, a coupon. When you walk into a restaurant or retail, it will know your purchase history (delivered via "big data" on your smart device - either glasses, iPad or smart phone). This reality is almost 10 years old for those who are at a sophisticated level of marketing (and NFC - Near Field Communications).

Today's marketers realize the most visited company on mobile is Facebook - a reason I say it is undervalued today. Imagine when it is $800 per share as Google currently is. You'll kick yourself for not buying stock today.

Smart marketers are placing their ads on Facebook to reach the mobile market. As van West tweeted, "If we can stream ads to the glasses we('ll) call it the Ad-visor (tm)." He's already giving you insight to where today's advertising agencies should be, not advising you on SEO and analytics. SEO and analytics do not measure app usage. They are 2005 marketing tools. In 2005, you were hearing Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton songs on the radio and seeing Jessica Simpson in bikinis. See how long ago that was - and SEO and analytics are just as antiquated. Run when a company pitches them to your business.

van West noted the (immediate, probably 2015) future of mobile are Google Glass, or as I'm terming it when Apple, Samsung and everyone and their brother gets into the game, Smart Goggles. As he states, we have inaccurately or underestimated the future of mobile marketing. Agreed.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

In mobile marketing era
Many experts don't have
technology, telecom, marketing background
Do not know what they're talking about

As I saw with "social media" in 2010, many of the "experts" in today's mobile marketing field don't know what they're talking about.

Just got a "book" on it with many authors. Only about 20% knew what they were talking about, much like 2010 (and worse today) "social media experts."

Why does writing a book make you an expert and you can go to seminars and speak, disseminating wrong information?

Most of these mobile marketers don't have the background in telecom, wireless, and technology. Nor certification (I have an MBA plus CIW).

Working on a newspaper or television digital advertising staff for six months does not make you a mobile marketing expert.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

21st Century teen years marketing
Everything old is new again

Still figuring out your 2013 marketing strategy (better late than never)?

Mobile, mobile, mobile
Those with vested interest in landing pages (websites), SEO (search engine optimization), Google analytics and social media will hate this. They're all dead.

As Internet replaced traditional and print media; mobile is killing websites, blogs, Instagram, Twitter, even Facebook. Teen years will usher in an age of narcissism. It started around 2011 on Twitter when traditional advertising and public relations agencies realized print - and their normal 15% commission - were dead.

They don't have the technical know-how to move to apps, so expect these bastions of traditional media to try to preserve social media. 

They did it to themselves with traditional push, instead of pull, marketing. Look at Twitter any Monday morning. It looks like the old days of press releases.

Apps and QR codes
I've been preaching this since 2009. Maybe four years later "hipsters" will wake up.

Employee and customer magazines 

Yes, what is old is going to return. Your employees will appreciate a monthly magazine worth reading. Have articles by leading authors. Make it an employee training tool. Celebrate the life of Zig Ziglar, Steven Covey, both passing in 2012.

The concept is involve the employee's family. You get a more productive worker. Don't distribute at work. Send in snail mail. Make sure those at home appreciate it.

Also, time to send anniversary, birthday and recognition cards with your company imprint on the front of a card. Help the Post Office this year.

Do the same with your customers. Send a customized letter with your employee magazine (Our employees receive this magazine, thought as a valued customer it might benefit you as well). Make sure the magazine has many employee names that customers can reach out to. Twitter handles, too.

More Apps and QR codes 

On your magazines and cards, you're going to have QR codes in a prominent space. The QR codes do not go to a website. They go to your app and automatically downloads it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Digital politics in U.S.A.'s teen years

This will be the last election candidates can be lame in digital media and still win.

Be it Iowa, Arizona, or South Dakota, local candidates need to absorb what national politicians have learned during election cycles in the past 10 years, digital media is replacing lawn signs and television advertising.

Two Arizona county supervisor challengers just established their Facebook pages this spring during the registration period for running for this position. Both are viewed as "digital carpetbaggers" by those knowledgeable in digital political marketing.

Today you do not wait until the election cycle to establish your credentials. If you're planning to run for an office in 2014 or 2016, you must, and I mean emphatically, must establish your digital credentials today. I don't mean October, 2012; I mean right now (shouting)!

The incumbent county supervisor above was advised of this a year ago. He waived off this as silly marketing and is sticking to his traditional way of politicking as he has for the past two decades. His political consultants he's used for those two decades are advising him on this.

He is now in the fight of his political life with a 30-something challenger nearly half his age and computer-generation savvy. While she uses YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, the incumbent does not post to Facebook and recently rebuilt his website using strict HTML code. Strict HTML code is death for those using mobile marketing - which by 2014 will be the majority of how voters get their information about candidates.

His challenger is out knocking door to door, carrying her mobile device, meeting with prestigious law firms and businesses, while the incumbent drapes himself in the fact he has held the office for two decades - something his challenger is successfully using against him.

Digital video

A Republican moving from the state house to senate has her website up. She has her Facebook ikon on it, no Twitter, no Instagram, no YouTube, no Pinterest , no Viddy and no Linkedin profile. Again, her website is not configured for IOS6, Android or other mobile platforms.

Yet a man running for U.S. Senate in this state politician's district has all his television ads up on YouTube - and releases them before they hit television. He tweets about them. No, he's not using Viddy or Instagram yet, but he is exploring Pinterest. The difference between a local contest and national is the higher office seeker needs to be on top of the digital game - something local politicians now need as well and it will be crucial during the 2014 election.

My own Phoenix Councilman Jim Waring (and I will call him out) is doing things right in the digital arena. He was an advocate of putting the Phoenix City Council meetings online. I now save more than $10 in gasoline each time the council meets because I'm watching it online, saving on parking too. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has encouraged me to tweet during the meeting - using a tweet to do it. The tweets have yet to make it into the council minutes.

Waring does what I curse other politicians for not doing. Facebook has an "events" feature (So does Google+, but Google locked me out of Google+, saying Marketing Sociologist is not a real name. As soon as I replied neither is Lady Gaga or Elton John, Google shut down my Google+ account and refuses to discuss opening it). Waring creates an event tab for meetings, fund raising events and posts to Facebook after and recently during these meetings. Bravo for Waring. In February he will celebrate his third year on Twitter.

Digital politics is not advertising or public relations driven

If city politicians are exploiting teen years technology, it is time those running for judge-ships, state offices, etc., to move to 21st Century political marketing.

Last night a woman running for Arizona State Senate told me she has an advertising firm running her campaign. I advised not to have advertising firms involved. "Media companies don’t understand technology because they are not run by technologists," Eric Picard, CEO of Rare Crowds, wrote in Ad-Exchanger in August, 2012. My saying is "Social media = we were an advertising or public relations firm in 2010." Same reason as Picard. Less than 25 percent of Public Relations Society of American members are APR accredited, and those in the field are bringing this lack of dedication to the digital realm. Why I became C.I.W. certified.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Phoenix traditional media
Misses one of its largest business stories
When Fender Musical Instruments
Withdraws IPO

Twelve hours before Fender Musical Instruments was to become a publicly-traded company, it withdrew its IPO offering. At 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight and Mountain Standard time (Arizona time), Reuters ran with the story of the withdrawal.

By 7:30 p.m., not one media outlet in Phoenix, home town of Fender's corporate headquarters (Scottsdale), had the story. It was Reuters, headquartered half a world away in London, that filed this non-bylined report: "(Reuters) - Fender Musical Instruments Corp, whose guitars have been used by music legends including Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, said it withdrew its initial public offering, a day before the guitar-maker was expected to make its market debut."

 This further amplifies what a dismal journalism school Arizona State University's Cronkite is. Arizona media, dominated by Cronkite grads, is full of illiterate sentences, typos and inaccurate or unreported facts. Best example - no reporting on Fender IPO withdrawal.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Community group marketing today
only wants to use
20th Century communications tools

Got kicked off a non-profit community group's marketing committee this month. The reason I was kicked off was that I refused to provide an email address. I told them to tweet me. They don't use tweet. They had to schedule meetings via email.

They didn't get my obstinance about refusing to provide an email address. Here was a non-profit group responsible for marketing in the teen years of the 21st Century to a city of 3-million. The other committee members did not use Twitter, so instead of updating their marketing skills, I was kicked off the committee.

How are they going to market to a 21st Century audience when they're still only communicating through 20th Century emails?