October 25, 2010
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At the individual level, do we really want to be advertising?
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By David Alston
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in Uncategorized
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John Anderson in Minority Report - advertising at the mall scene
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So I just read this article in my local newspaper this evening titled, “These ads will be directed specifically at you.”

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Specifically it talks about a future world, a la the film Minority Report
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, where advertising is targeted down to the individual level.  But I have to ask, is this really advertising?  As Wikipedia points out “advertising”
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is about the art of persuading.  But when you reach the individual is the act of persuading really the best use of that moment you have with them?  Wouldn’t the following actions be a better use of resources and time once you are face to virtual face with a potential consumer:

Assisting – If you’ve been able to narrow things down to the individual then hopefully you should better understand the context of the situation.  Why not ask if you can help?

Suggesting – Instead of tooting your own horn and bragging at the individual level what about offer a few helpful suggestions for them to consider.

Recommending – Have you earned a positive reputation for being helpful in the community that this person relates to?  If so perhaps you could be a bit more bold and recommend.

Connecting – Do you happen to know a bit about this person’s social graph?  Perhaps you could connect them to others that either know of you or are advocates.

Educating – Is it too soon to help them with what you offer?  Perhaps you can provide some content to help educate, providing value at the moment and helping build a relationship.

Delivering – Already have a previous relationship and know you could help at the moment? Maybe you could deliver part of a solution on a “freeware” or freemium basis to get them started.

What other actions are more appropriate at a one-t0-one vs. persuasion?

March 23, 2010
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Will you have a community to help with heavy lifting?
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By David Alston
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in Uncategorized
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Can you remember back in the days, those younger years, before kids, before a house, early in your career?  I still can (I’m getting old but my memory is still mostly intact).  Those were the days when you moved a couple times a year – too a new university apartment, then home, then to a [...]

March 8, 2010
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Serving the Social Customer
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By David Alston
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in social media
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Customers have always talked amongst each other since the dawn of time.  But since the advent of social media the ease at which they can share has dramatically changed.  Customers are now publishers.  Customers not only consume traditional media but content from social media as well.  What customers want and expect from companies has changed.  [...]

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January 26, 2010
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Resistance is futile – Your brand will be assimilated (you hope)
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By David Alston
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in analogy
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, social media
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In the past your audience was a collection of single entities – segmented into target markets of your desire, seemingly group under your definition and under your infinite control. Every now and then you would turn on your ‘brand’ ship’s loudspeaker and yell out your commands.  You would expect people to then execute your ‘purchase’ [...]

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December 31, 2009
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New Decade, New Blog
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By David Alston
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in Uncategorized
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Hey, what could be better way to kick off the new decade but with a new blog.  Well, perhaps you can think of a few other things to kick it off but I thought it was probably as good a time as any other.
Having time off is always good for clearing one’s mind and getting [...]

December 18, 2009
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Community is a Mindset
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By David Alston
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in social media
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Rachel Happe just wrote a great post Community is a Management Approach, not Just a Role.  It was partially based on some of the passionate discussion we had on the topic earlier in December when a bunch of us gottogether in Boston.  It’s something I’m very passionate about so I thought I would expand on [...]

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November 16, 2009
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Start-up culture and all that Jazz
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By David Alston
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in social media
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I had an opportunity to explain start-up culture to a friend tonight.  And being one to never shy away from an analogy…
Joining a start-up is like joining a jazz trio for daily jam sessions.

(Image Credit – Fixed Image via Flickr)
So what’s a jazz jam session like?  I think of a bunch of deeply talented [...]

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November 14, 2009
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You can’t reach a kid on a CB Radio
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By David Alston
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in social media
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Yeah, sounds silly that I would even say this doesn’t it?  But a million times a day older generations continue to try to communicate with younger generations on channels they feel comfortable with and wonder why they don’t get a response in a timely manner, if ever.  Let’s take a look at some recent channel [...]

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September 19, 2009
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Becoming Brand Aware
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By David Alston
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in social media
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Remember when you were a kid?  Remember how sounds seemed crisper, colors more vibrant, everything seemed new?  We were like a sponge, absorbing everything around us.  We had no missions and visions, goals and objectives, strategies and tactics.  We just were.  We were without “ego”.  So this got me thinking….
At the risk of getting all [...]

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July 17, 2009
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Do you feel like J.L. Gotrocks?
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By David Alston
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in social media
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Ok, one of my favorite episodes of The Flintstones is where Fred fills in for look-alike and wealthy business tycoon, J.L. Gotrocks.  The episode has a famous scene where Fred is answering multiple phones frantically saying three lines – “Whose baby is that?”, “What’s your angle?” and “I’ll buy that.”  It was a classic scene [...]

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