Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Recently we worked with a client who presented us with their historical advertising and marketing efforts, including a 30-page SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). SWOT is a strong tool that has worked
for many companies over the years, but we were instantly skeptical of this particular document. Conspicuously absent was the most important element
of marketing: the target. The very people who need to act in order for you
And therein lies the real danger of reliance on a SWOT analysis. It can be a little too easy to forget the customers who make any marketing and advertising effort work. Here is how people generally complete one of these documents:
Strengths: A list of how our product or service is superior.
Weaknesses: A list of our product or service downfalls.
Opportunities: A list of how we’ll turn our weaknesses into strengths.
Threats: Generally a list of competitors.
It’s not that we dislike this model. But with a little tweaking, the people who will choose your product or service can be added back in. Just add these questions to your list:
Strengths: How is our product relevant to people? Is this something they would talk about? Why?
Weaknesses: Do people care about us? Are we fitting into their lives? Could we make ourselves more relevant to them?
Opportunities: Is there something about our product that would be more meaningful to people? How can we make it more meaningful?
Threats: Are there reasons more people aren’t using us/buying us? Can we change our product or service fast enough to meet people’s needs and
It all comes back to the very simple idea that as a customer-based business,
you can’t lose sight of the customer. (And this happens every day in every business.) You will live or die by them and their use and perceived value of your product.
Posted by 3 at 11:13 AM | Post a comment
Friday, August 25, 2006
Just in case the division still exists, we'd like to put an end to the false separation of design and advertising. In our minds, the two are inseparable. Advertising is design. And all design is, in a way, advertising.
These days, designers are just as involved in concept as any other department of an agency, including media. The best designers are no longer perceived as cake decorators who come in at the end of a campaign execution to make something look pretty. And on the advertising side of the equation, art directors and writers should be expected to have a certain aesthetic knowledge of what a brand should look and feel like, beyond the conventional advertising deliverables of print, TV, collateral and interactive.
Advertising vs. design is dead. Long live designvertising. Or, if you prefer, adversigning.
Posted by 3 at 04:42 PM | Post a comment
Friday, August 18, 2006
We're always trying to one-up our clients’ competitors with guerrilla tactics
that surprise and reward, with the goal of introducing our clients to those we
are targeting. But we are often struck by the lack of separation in people's minds between fresh new tactics and gack - the annoying advertising for advertising sake - or what some have called “ad creep.”
So, these are a few guidelines we use to determine if an idea is worthy
If it annoys people, it's gack. If it entertains, it's fresh.
If it's pasting a logo on something (escalators, elevator buttons, cups, etc.), it's probably gack. If people stop and look at it, it's fresh.
If it adds to people's loathing of advertising in general, it's gack. If they don't even think of it as advertising, it's fresh.
If the audience is captive and can’t escape the message, it might be gack. If the audience feels like they are stumbling upon it, it’s fresh.
If the guerrilla message isn’t customized for the location, it could be gack. If the message couldn’t work without the location, it’s fresh.
Posted by 3 at 05:10 PM | Post a comment