When I have a bit of a longie and I'm still punching the keys at 11.00 this rolls on and it's pretty good:
It's hard to stay up
It's been a long, Long Day
And you got the sandman at the door
But hang on, leave the TV on
And let's do it anyway
You can always sleep through work tomorrow, OK?
Tomorrow's just your future yesterday
So here we are. Eyeballs are moving away from commercial tv (and technology is making ad avoidance easier too). More and more people are cancellng the their newspaper subscriptions and picking stuff up through their favourite blogs.
With this shift of eyeballs away from traditional media, advertisers are looking to follow them to wherever they are. And the providers of user streams (providers such as twitter and FB news feed) are always looking for ways to monetise.
Clever. Given that a newsagent's major cash flow is probably from things other than newspapers and that with home delivery the reach of a newspaper is so high it makes sense that a coupon which gives a good quality educational toy in return for walking into the store. Oh, for a nominal $2.
But once the retailer has the floor traffic the shopper is then available to consider all the other wares on offer.
I know it's been done for a long time but I've always thought it pretty clever.
That's twice this weekend I've seen this. It's freaky. Coles put dry pasta in the chiller next to their meatballs. Now, technically it's fine - the polypropylene/poly laminate they use has a great moisture barrier so being in the chiller won't harm the pasta. but from a marketing perspective Coles win twice. The first is cutthrough - this consumer stops and thinks "what?". Anything that gets a consumer to think is a win - we do so little of it. The second is it presents a meal solution - spaghetti and meatballs. I note both products were Coles select brand. Unlikely that they'd put that much effort in for the manufacturer brands.
And yesterday even more oddly I saw Cryovac lamb legs in the veg chiller. Let's say it was next to the fresh peas (as a lamb + peas pairing) but I can't remember. Even more discordant although technically ok still - those bags run through a 90DegC immersion tunnel and are hermetically sealed. But the discordant merchandising does make a customer stop. That's a few second outside of the autopilot state most of us do the job in.
I'll look for more wacky merchandising, but this was a first for me.
Commonsense really, but last year when getting a little blog site up for my friends at "Win with choice" it hit me like a train.
It's all very nice to create a great landing page with really good people attached to it - WGIA have some of the best - but unless you are powering the community with engaging content that is relevant to your intended community you are like an empty town hall with a sign on the front saying "all welcome".
So, a bud of mine grew a community to 10,000 members from Dec to Feb recently. His content - a dating site. Forums, views, pokes etc. Perhaps that was the implicit genius of Facebook.
But it doesn't have to be (a priori) interaction based. Australia's most widely read columnist (apparently) Andrew Bolt, delivers on his "content promise" with 2-3 posts a day that are relevant to his audience. Greg Jericho does - possibly - an even better job given he's not backed in by Murdoch press with honest, passionate content. By harnessing twitter and living his opinions Jericho (Grog's Gamut) is a modern success story, with a huge community.
But in both cases it has been content before community. When a viewer clicks through to Jericho or Bolt's blog they sense a promise - post frequency, quality and nature being high on the list.
When those expectations are delivered upon, there is satisfaction and perhaps the viewer may continue to return, post comments, see others comments and - yes - begin to feel like part of a community. But it started with content.
Football has some nice codes of honour. Mr 7yo is playing his first game of football today. For such an unstoppable little spirit he was unusually apprehensive today. "Dad I'm a little bit scared about today".
That has given me pause to reflect on the benefits of this type of thing, especially at kids level, and being here at the game for an hour has given me time to write about it. Ms 11yo is currently also out at soccer so the principles tend to apply both across sports and across genders, at least at this age. Maybe the old saw "we are all born pure" is true.
Unfortunately the bad behaviour from 'adult' players in many codes of football compromise me a little here, but perhaps that's another discussion. Amazingly my first comments to my apprehensive son got this ball rolling. Mate, you'll do ok if you:
Work honestly, and hard
Care about your friends
So they got there and started training and as with many things:
Activity conquers apprehension
The boy started in the forward pocket. I was always a bit of a half back flanker myself but most people thought that was just rhyming slang.
We got to see that playing hard at the ball is a good thing, ignoring ones own pain is important, don't steal the ball or the glory from your teammates and be prepared to share.
There's a time to race in and get the ball yourself; there's a time to hang close to the action, waiting for the ball to spit out of the pack; there's a time to act selfish, run the ball forward and boot the goal; and a time to pass off the ball to a person who's in a better position than you. And if you're truly playing with the team's best interests at heart ANY of one these is an honorable action if you think it will work.
In the second quarter mr 7yo got moved to the opposition who was short of players and new thoughts emerged - go just as hard for them as you were for our team, you owe it to yourself.
Remember this is a game, your opponents aren't necessarily bad people, in fact you don't know anything about them. You need to learn things about people before you decide you don't like them.
What I respect is to play like you want to destroy them, but still be chums afterwards. Lofty ideals but one has to aim for something.
And the coach knew everything about every player, mentioned them by name and had a kind word for all. He managed to point out my boy's single taste of the leather as a plus. When I see a good sports coach in action I am humbled. And I think Craig Fosdike is one of those.
What impresses me is the genuine goodwill I see in every adult here today. The opponent team are getting thumped but umpires, dads, mums, coaches and grumpy old men like me are all there with a common purpose. To bring a little bit of something nice in, by getting these 36 kids to behave in a good way.
At least that's how it feels, and being here today helped remind me what "behaving in a good way" really is all about.
I was jus t offered a tasting of this McLaren Vale winery's two nice products. They were great- I bought one of each.
The winery name reminds me of a great old friend of mine, prof Herve Remaud who is now at Bordeaux Business School (BEM) as I would often jokingly call him "Le Renard" in our shared time here in Adelaide, around 2005-2008.
So the roll of the dice turned up Woolworths today, but I only had my Coles bags. Remarkably more customers do it this way than you would think - the shuffling around within a repertoire of preferred options. Even customers who swear they have 100% loyalty. Still, supermarket first store loyalty is really quite high, compared to fast moving consumer goods.
I think it's all about the habit thing. Once you know where the Tabasco, the tuna, the sweets the tinned tomatoes etc are it makes sense that you might feel like you make it the place to go regularly. How many layouts do you really want to learn?
As this sample of one household goes, today I will shop at Coles. I normally prefer Woolworths, but my wife passed me this coupon and said "in case you go to Coles". I still haven't decided but it'll probably be Coles.
That's the point with "as-if random" consumer behaviour. It looks probabilistic from the outside but from the inside it makes perfect sense.
That's why much of the modeling around consumer behaviour tends to arrive at probabilistic predictions, rather than absolute predictions. Discrete choice modeling and it's grand-daddy (conjoint analysis) put attribute part-worths through a logit equation to arrive at some idea of which attributes will affect consumer behaviour.
But the predictions are still probabilistic. In this case a discount voucher has a pretty high part-worth influence on my choice probability. In other words it made me more likely to turn left, than right, when I drive out the gate in the next half hour.
Media Watch ran an interview with Fairfax (The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Financial Review etc) CEO Greg Hywood where he pointed out that the "classified ads cash pot" is a dead duck. That is a page of black and white on a Saturday might be worth $40,000 - 100 pages of that means revenue of $4m per week. Dead. Gone to the internet. Bad if you're "The Trading Post" but you've already moved too. He said the model died years ago and they're through that tunnel.
He pointed out that the classified cash pot model also didn't really need content. Now, through digital (and paper) formats, Fairfax have a renewed interest in the "content for advertising" exchange that - really - has been the underlying principle of media.
And perhaps that's a thought that marketers might consider as well. If you are creating content of your own and drawing pageviews, then you're creating your own reach, following and lasting record of what your brand stands for.