The Great Fracture

Image by NASA Every mature market experiences rising competition that carves off specialized pieces of the leaders’ established footprint. It’s how Southwest, JetBlue and others brought the major traditional airlines to their knees (and bankruptcy). For social networking leaders, the great fracture is upon them. Those of us on the front line are left to pick networks and tools. Facebook has run away with the race. Twitter, LinkedIn, and a host of smaller social networks have taken their seats behind the leader. Yet as time continues, more and more niche networks like Tumblr, Instagram, shiny object du jour Pinterest, Reddit and others carve off their piece of the pie. The phenomena of so many social media choices has moved from […]

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No One “Consumes” Social Media

Image by ugod Ever notice the phrase “consumes social media” or a variant of that in market research and social media wonk discourse? Of course, media consumption as an idea matches our consumer economy, but the idea is a bit off. Think about it, no one “consumes” social media. No one goes home and says, “I think I’ll consume Facebook for three hours.” “How about some Disqus or Quora at dinner, this is boring.” Or, “Can I have some Flickr for that blog?” Perhaps this is a rant about semantics, but the phrase also denotes a siloed attitude towards the way we as people use media for communication, information and entertainment. Many Americans use three or more actively used viewing […]

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Strategy: The Wind Book

A Book of Five Rings, written by Miyamoto Musashi in 1645, is one of the world’s classic sources of strategy. Its influence extends beyond military schools to the entire Japanese business culture, and has made its way into Western culture, too. Musashi’s work is one of the texts that comprises the foundation of Zoetica’s strategy services. This blog series looks at each of the Five Rings (chapters), and discusses how some of the phrases apply to the modern communications market. The Wind Book is the fourth primary chapter of the Five Rings, following the Ground Book, the Water Book, and the Fire Book. It is the last real lengthy chapter of the Five Rings, with the final “ring” serving as […]

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Strategy Lessons: The Water Book

A Book of Five Rings, written by Miyamoto Musashi in 1645, is one of the world’s classic sources of strategy. Its influence extends beyond military schools to the entire Japanese business culture, and has made its way into Western culture, too. Musashi’s work is one of the texts that comprises the foundation of Zoetica’s strategy services. This blog series looks at each of the Five Rings (chapters), and discusses how some of the phrases apply to the modern communications market. The Water Book is the second primary chapter of the Five Rings, following the Ground Book. This book primarily focuses on the The Five Attitudes and Approaches to strategy; Upper, Middle, Lower, Right Side and Left Side. Here are interpretations […]

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What ARE Influencers Good For?

The influencer hype bubble overvalues the role of popular digital voices in an online marketing program. Influencer attention can’t sustain a community over the long term, and using them often fails to produce strength of online community and actual business measurements. Rather than producing another post deconstructing the influence model, let’s try to take an objective look at what influencers can and cannot lend to an organization’s communications program. It’s important to understand what influencers achieve in the larger social context. For the most part that consists of bursts of attention, and a perception of validity. In essence, this is the online version of media relations: Earned social mentions creating an aura of credibility. Just like the traditional PR world, […]

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Marketing Causes Harder Than Products

Homeless Image by Raileen Viorel Marketers love telling nonprofits how to market their social solutions. They get miffed when they see a perceived slow road to change, an underfunded website written by someone in their 20s, and a general failure to resolve society’s ills. Of course, the answer must be the crappy marketing. Having worked with both types of organizations closely, it’s easy to definitively say social change marketing is much harder than marketing a product or service. Look, whatever your experience is — Procter & Gamble, Old Spice, Cisco, start-up sold — great! Yes, selling domain names and marketing organic strawberries is hard. But the difference between marketing and activism will always revolve around this truth — People want […]

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