Evolve CommunicationsArticles by: Daniel

Posts By: Daniel

The Two Things Clients Never Want, But Need the Most

O.k. Never might be an exaggeration. Nonetheless, it’s true that there are two things clients never want to pay for but they need the most. I’m talking about the foundation for all effective communications, and the feedback you get afterwards.

I’m talking about Research and Measurement.

Without research, there’s no way to know if what you’re communicating will matter. There’s no telling whether or not you have your message right. And there’s no way to see if you’re even talking to the right people! Most importantly, you want to be able to predict the outcome of your communications, the results.

And without measurement, there’s no way of knowing whether or not your efforts made a difference. If you’re only counting outputs (what you put out–i.e. tweets, press releases, Facebook posts, LinkedIn Answers, etc.), then you’re not even coming close to being able to tell if you’ve been effective.

And if you can’t measure effectiveness, you also can’t measure value. In other words, you can’t PROVE your hard work and efforts were worth the money. Sales is a common yard stick, but it’s a blunt instrument.

More important in the age of social media is measuring relationships. Are relationships getting stronger as a result of your activities? How will you know unless you measure them? (Check out this paper for a good primer on measuring relationships.)

Too often, clients don’t want to pay for either research or measurement. Too often, clients focus on the tactical output of a campaign, and not the outcomes.

And to these clients, I say: “STOP WASTING YOUR MONEY.” Seriously. Make room in your budget for research and measurement. You will get far more out of your initiatives if your communications are built around a foundation of research–and if you can tell whether or not they’re effective.

Mad Men PowerPoint Pitch Karaoke!

Thanks to everyone who came out for Evolve Communication’s Mad Men Premier Party, and a big thank you to everyone who participated in Mad Men PowerPoint Pitch Karaoke! We had a great time, and we hope you did too.

Here’s the video of the competition. Congrats to Jim, who pitched College Ruled Paper. Unfortunately, he ran out of time before his pitch was done, but he definitely did a great job of getting the crowd psyched!

Also, a big thanks to The Falls in Mt. Washington for letting us host this party. We’ll definitely be doing this again! Hope you’ll join us!

Old Spice: Don’t forget the bookmarks!

The marketing world is all a-Twitter about the latest social media extension of the now very famous Old Spice ads (original one here, newest one here). These two ads have received more than 20 million views combined on YouTube, and the ad agency’s team extended it beyond a commercial is as masterful as the original commercials’ production.

In case you haven’t heard, the creative team created a series of short videos where the star of the commercial responded directly to comments on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets.

I won’t go into the details of the campaign here, for there are plenty of analyses elsewhere. But one key detail that is not getting enough attention is how the group seeded it, as revealed in this great interview with the creative team. They didn’t start on Facebook or Twitter. They started on Digg and Reddit, two of the most popular social bookmarking sites. Many people forget (or weren’t even thinking about social media), but before Twitter and Facebook, there was Digg and Reddit, and they were both highly influential communities. It might seem easy to forget about them, with the mainstream media attention being lavished on larger sites, but the Old Spice campaign shows that they can still be an amazing source of traffic.

That said, the Old Spice people knew their audience. They knew that Digg users are fanatical, and would be thrilled to see the pop culture icon wishing Digg founder Kevin Rose get better (he’s been sick).

I get asked a lot what is the value of using social bookmarking sites. Like any other social network, you have to invest time and energy to realize any benefit. That means engaging with people in the network, and in the case of social bookmarking sites, that means not just bookmarking your own content, but sharing content that is interesting and contributes to the community. It also means commenting on other content posted on the site and interacting with people. And unless you’re offering up some pop culture gems, don’t expect your blog post on the theory of fundraising for non-profits in rural Canada to make it to the front page.