6 New Rules of Marketing: Get Enlightened, Stupid.

Apparently I have to relearn marketing again, which is fine... it wasn't hard the first time.

The coolest thing about marketers are the titles they give their books. Common, right? They’re marketers. What do you expect?

Yep, while marketing and advertising may be dead, the business of proclaiming it even more dead... is booming. Here are the six rules, and as you can see they defy the 6 marketing rules I learned in my MBA (which I’ve added in italics).

Oh- I think it goes without saying that I haven’t read the book, but I am considering adding it to the prized bookshelf of “The Enlightened Stupid Marketer.” At least he embraces book covers over books, right? Is there any irony to the fact that years after shooting that video I’d write a book and, to date, not read it?

  • The Core is Everything (screw the customer, kill or be killed, don’t sleep)

Key chapters: Brand essence is important, customer knows best, your reputation is vital, play nicely, sleep soundly and work fearfully.

  • You Have Nothing Without The Foundation (integrity is for the unemployment line… Ps in 2006 were product, price, piss the customer, and pimp it)

Key chapters: Integrity, single word or symbol, whole is larger than parts, mind your P’s….

  • There Are Many Choices But Only One Customer (there’s a sucker born every minute; it’s easier to find a new customer than try to keep one).

Key chapters: Strategy is the heart and measurement is the blood, frameworks, perception really is your customer’s reality, communication, more than channel surfing.

  • Do the Right Things for the Right Reasons (we watched Wall Street in Ethics class, talked about Walmart, and then all proclaimed: greed is goooood).

Key chapters: Relationships matter, partner, it’s about them not you…

  • Infrastructure is More Than Pipes (in fact, a virtual tributary allows for add-drop multiplexing of subrate traffic… come to think of that, I might have learned that when my boutique web agency was acquired by Qwest Telcom).

Key chapters: Technology is just an enabler, right information, right people, right time… and don’t have wrong thought.

  • Lead And Others Will Follow (be a fast follower… let your competitor take the arrows, then pull them from their body and use them against anyone that tries suing you for stealing their idea; be sure to pluck out their gold fillings… they won’t need them anymore because they’re dead).

Key chapters: Leadership is a verb not noun.

So, yeah. I have to relearn marketing again, but this time there’s not a test (which sucks because I would have cheated off of my friend Mike Skoler). I wonder if my damned MBA comes with a money-back guarantee (It probably does, but the small print says “not valid on days ending with the letter Y”).

For the record, this marketing-satire video (“Enlightened Stupid Marketer”) was indeed shot in a conference room of an employer who shall remain nameless. You’d never know that unless you worked there, so while I maintained the spirit of the no-camera law (confidentiality), I broke the “letter” of the law. More importantly, it was a satire not of my co-workers at the time but of a Coke executive I’d seen a month prior at a conference. Nobody believed me, and a number of people took offense to this (like the guy who sucked my will to live).

The nice thing about this video is that if you’re offended by it, I’ve struck a vulnerability nerve haven’t I? Are ya offended or are you secure in your marketing competencies? Do you see yourself lampooned, or do you giggle at the absurdity occasionally? If your teeth clench while watching, you MAY just have gelatophobia. There’s only one cure. Avoid people unless wearing ear muffs and blinders. Or just keep reading the latest marketing book that proclaims the last guy slightly dumber.

Why Choices Are Bad

Choices are bad. We don’t like them. The fewer the better. This video builds off of communism and ideology and stuff, but gets to the pretty practical too… like the anxiety provoked by selecting a wine or the choice of sex. Courtesy of Laughing Squid. It’s kinda depressing actually, so maybe you’d prefer some LOLCats.

Magical Fix to the Scorned Pre-Roll Ad!

I’ve got it! I’ve got it. YouTube and other online-video sites take notice. Free advice, peeps… to solve the ultimate online-video ad dilemma: pleasing advertisers without pissing off viewers.

Problem: We hate pre-rolls. Google says they work, but 75% of viewers drop like bodies on Fringe. We think we’re watching the wrong video, and most online-video content isn’t worth some 30-second ad. It may work for advertisers, but it’s far from user centric… It’s not a fair ratio. It’d be like being forced to watch 8 minutes of ads before your 22 minute television show (which you may or may not even like). Stats show that

Partial Solution: A smart first-step by YouTube. A split second of the video’s thumbnail shows up BEFORE the preroll. I noticed this for the first time while trying to figure out if CharlesTrippy is engaged or not. And whether ShayCarl is really moving. Anyone know? For those of you who don’t know them, you should know this. By doing daily vlogs they’ve captured a wild audience, and are constantly on top of the most-popular, best-rated YouTube videos. Trippy asked me if I’d consider the daily vlog, but honestly it’s so hard if you work full-time and my life isn’t as interesting as his. But I digress. I sense the 11 advertisers dropping off.

BETTER Solution: New format! a) Give us creators 10 seconds before the pre-roll hits (shall we call it a “Nalts mid-roll,” like my gut?). b) Then hit the 15-second ad. c) THEN on with the show. Viewers won’t adore it, but it will work better. Let me beta it on new videos, and I’ll cut my first 10 seconds with the knowledge that an ad may hit before second 11.

Why It Will Work: We creators now have 10 seconds to convince our audience that it’s worth waiting another 15 seconds for the rest of the “show.” The dropoff rate will be reduced dramatically. The advertiser is “in” the show, not blocking viewers.

Naturally this is not completely user centric. To be kind to viewers you turn off ads. But let’s keep it real here. As long as it’s free, it’s going to have ads. We viewers and we video creators generally don’t like ads. But if they’re effective, we marketers will subsidize the viewer’s experience (so we viewers don’t have to pay for content: so 1990). And we creators like making money. And we viewers don’t want to pay to see stuff. See?

The Online Ad Catch 22

Of course it’s like radar detectors and radars. As soon as the radar detectors get smart, the cops make better radars. Likewise, we get numb to ads, and many shut the InVideos reflexively (I watch my kids do this without realizing it). We stopped noticing the video ad on the top right of YouTube years ago, so now we have dancing ads all over 75 percent of the “above the fold.” It’s a bit much, and not very Googlesque. But the site’s trying to make a profit. Maybe now with Tim Armstrong gone it will change. 😉

So, YouTube… Think about what fails:

Remember when iFilm used to be hot? Like Metacafe, they had pre-rolls but not for the first video you watched. Maybe one in 3 or 4. Once they’re on every damned video, we stop visiting the site completely. I won’t watch a trailer on Yahoo Video EVER because I was once interrupted by an ad to watch the movie advertisement. On the flip side, people liked Revver. But the post-roll ads were not often viewed.

And remember what is kind to the viewer and advertiser:

Hulu sometimes offers a choice of three ads. You can also choose to watch a movie trailer and watch an entire show without interruption. Or watch 30-seconds spread throughout. That’s good. Obviously we have to consider the ratio of ads to content, and hopefully the first video we watch is sans ad. Maybe prerolls (or mid-rolls) can show up later in one’s session, before longer and more valuable content.

Zombies are Coming. Stay Inside or Go for the Car?

interactive zombie movieIf you’ve watched a few horror movies, and screamed “don’t go outside to check things out, you idiot!” then you might find this short interactive zombie film worth some time. It’s got some gore, though. So I warned you.

It’s called Survive the Outbreak, and you’ll make choices almost every minute — each leaving you dead or alive. So it’s hard to watch passively, and you find yourself feeling far more stressed than watching Dawn of the Dead after 8 Miller Lights.

I find several things interesting about it:

  • It’s well produced. If you live long enough, you’ll see some cinematic beauties– like overturned cars lit with eerie lighting effects.
  • It truly branches constantly. Typically these things branch briefly, and then the paths return so the creators don’t have hundreds of options to shoot. This is why I tried to stay in the house, assuming that budget would require us indoors (not to mention that I liked my odds inside).
  • While some of the acting was B grade at best, the effects, music and cinematography was unexpectedly professional.
  • I’d like to see more of these, and especially appreciate that the plot was brief (at least the way I survived, which took only about 5 deaths and do-overs.