Understanding the Power of Habit

The Power of Habit
I started reading a book the other day called “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg.  The book is an examination of how routines and habits are created, where they reside and how having this understanding can help us change bad habits or to create new ones.

I’ve only just started but it’s been a very interesting read so far!  If you think about your day, so much of what you do is by habit and not as a result of active decision making.  What do you do first when you wake up in the morning?  Which shoe do you tie first? Which route do you take the work? According to a paper published in 2006 by a Duke University researcher, as much as 40% of actions people take throughout day were as a result of habits, not actual decisions!

A quote that spoke to me from the first few pages is from William James back in 1892: “All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.”

If so many of our actions are a result of habits and these habits are ingrained over time, how possible is it for us to bring about change?  We often hear the saying “people don’t change” as if people are tied to their habits and prone to repeating themselves.  Even though I’ve only gotten through the first few pages, one fact is clear.  Habits can be changed… and it often starts with a single small change which eventually leads to many and much bigger changes.

This is interesting, especially from a marketing standpoint.  We, as marketers, are always wanting to alter habits.  We want attract new leads and new customers which requires a change in their purchase behaviour (which is often made by habit).  How can we position our products and services in a way that will bring about a change in habit?

I am looking forward to reading more on this topic and understanding more about the mysteries that the human mind holds.  Only an understanding of habits (no matter how basic)  - how they are formed, where they reside, why they resonate – can help us know better how to change our bad habits or create new ones altogether!

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KLM’s FIFA Real Time Social Media Fail

Did you know that this year’s FIFA World Cup has received over 300 million social media mentions to date, just on Twitter alone? (By comparison, the 2012 London Olympics received 150 million tweets over the same period of time).  The most tweeted-about goal so far was Marcelo’s goal in the opening game between Brazil and Croatia.  The goal generated a staggering 378, 085 tweets per minute.  With the use of social media, more people are allowed real time access to these world events.  This means that events like the World Cup can present great opportunities for branding and outreach for brands both big and small.

At the same time, this also means that any social media blunders can multiply ten folds in its negative impact.  Case in point – KLM had its very own social media fail this week with a tweet sent out from their Twitter account after Netherlands’ 2-1 defeat over Mexico.  For the Dutch carrier, the victory was a great opportunity for the brand to celebrate its heritage and national pride.  If done right, the tweet would have created great positive PR and feedback from its followers.  Instead, the tweet was made at the expense of Mexican fans.  (see more on the story here)  The airline had tweeted an image of an airport departure sign (complete with a moustache, sombrero and serape graphic) accompanied by the message ‘Adios Amigos!’

Considering KLM is a carrier with worldwide routes and client base, the joke was made in poor taste and the carrier received many angry messages from proud Mexicans and others from around the world who were not amused with the tweet and the message it sent.  The tweet even reached actor Gael Garcia Bernal who slammed the airline for its ‘Adios Amigos’ tweet.  The KLM tweet and the actor’s response was retweeted to the actor’s 2 million followers around the world.

The social media blunder is even making headlines around the world!  Mistakes like this would’ve been much easier to contain and control in the past.  However, with social media and Internet making international news so easily accessible, these mistakes are magnified with potential for virality around the world.

Keeping Up with What is Trending

Mexican national carrier Aeroméxico was able to jump in with a classy response.

 

A search on Twitter this morning for Aeroméxico’s Twitter account showed this:

AeroMexcio KLM

KLM showing up in the search results for Aeroméxico shows just how trending this topic is across Twitter.  It also shows how many social conversations are still taking place on this topic.  Normally, increased mentions is the goal for social media efforts and brand success.  But for KLM this week, brand mentions will mean negative impact. The next steps for KLM will be crucial in rebuilding brand love and currency.

The fall out will continue over time I’m sure, when people are deciding what carriers to fly for their future travels.  Will KLM see significant decrease for their direct flights from Amsterdam and Mexico City?  Time will tell…

 

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Spotted! Clever Bus Bench Advertising Gets Noticed

Outdoor advertising can get pretty boring and repetitive after a while – especially if you’re like me and have a long drive to and from work every day.  That is why I appreciate when advertisers choose to do something fun and unique with their ads!

Case in point – I love these bus bench advertisements from Tradesman, a local heating and cooling company.  On its own, the Trademan brand lacked the recognition or stickiness that would differentiate them from their competition.  To make their bus benches stand out, they included a picture of their cat in their bus bench design!

Trademen Outdoor Bus Bench

The first time I saw the bench, I had to do a double take! The cat looked so real, just sitting.  It took a second glance before I realized he was a part of the bench.   That week, I mentioned the ‘bus bench with the cat’ to several of my coworkers and they all knew immediately what I was talking about!  The cat had left an impression.

Winnipeg Tradesmen

A local radio host fell for Charlie the cat too!

It was a few weeks after I first saw the bus bench when, by chance, a man from Tradesman walked into my office (I recognized the logo from the bus bench).  I asked him about the cat and it turns out, the cat’s name was Charlie and he was the designated Tradesman shop cat!

Why It Works

The uniqueness of Charlie on that bus bench makes it stand out against other outdoor advertising.  Tradesman executed a very aggressive outdoor strategy which many bus benches all around the city.  Once you notice the bus bench, each sighting reinforces the message and the logo and messaging become very familiar over time.  There were also different versions of the bench to add variety and to hold your interest!

When you have limited time to catch your viewer’s attention and to stand out from the crowd - a little humour can go a long way!  You can start by thinking about what makes your business unique from your competition.  Do you have an interesting story to share?  One that will resonate with your people?  Charlie the cat got me talking to my coworkers.  People were sharing on social media.  Getting the conversation started is building brand awareness.  The more people talking about you, the more successful your campaign!  (Just make sure it’s the type of conversation you want!)

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The Roundup – Best 2014 FIFA World Cup Commercials

FIFA World Cup 2014 Commercials

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off today in beautiful Rio de Janeiro and I cannot wait to catch up on some awesome football action!  I was in Brazil two summers ago and got to witness first hand the passion Brazilians have for their national sport.  Watching football in a pub in Brazil, surrounded by screaming and jumping football fanatics was truly an unforgettable experience.  Their passion and energy was so infectious that I’ve become a lifelong fan (that’s saying a lot!)

The passion that people have for football is part of the reason why FIFA commercials are always so exciting to watch.  The ability to capture that deep-rooted passion and excitement in advertising is the true test of success.  Here are a few of my favourite 2014 FIFA World Cup commercials:

This is one of the several (unrelated) spots from McDonald’s and by far, the best. The spot has no cameos from celebrated football stars but instead, does such a superb job of showcasing the sport and the people who love it.

 

This one is from Beats by Dre. Titled “The Game Before the Game”, it is dramatic and features an epic soundtrack from X Ambassadors & Jamie N Commons called “Jungle”. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it also features Neymar, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Bastian Schweinsteiger along with Nicki Minaj, Lebron James and Serena Williams (thought I spied Lil Jon as well).  I loved that the story was the focus and the stars were just added touch.

 

Here is a fun one from TAM, a Brazilian airline that pokes fun at football rivalries between countries. Titled “We Bring Them Home”, we see Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Marcelo da Silva Junior encounter many obstacles as they try to get home to play for Brazil. Fun and harmless!

 

Coca Cola has been so consistent in their messaging – here is another beautifully executed spot about bringing people together. To celebrate the wide appeal of the game, Coca Cola invited young men and women from cities and communities from around the world to Rio de Janeiro to attend the World Cup. Beautiful – and I hope the stories are true!

 

Another fun rivalry one – this time from Visa! It features Nobel Prize winners that are united by their passion for the sport and their love for their prospective teams and countries!

Visa also has another set of 32 videos – one for each of the participating teams that depict football means in each of those countries and how the fans celebrate. An interesting way to appeal to fans around the world in targeted videos. See all the videos on the Visa channel here listed under the The Samba of the World playlist.

So, what’s not on my list? Nike’s animated commercials (strange), Kia’s Adriana Lima commercial (perhaps I’m not the right target audience??) and Pepsi’s Now is What You Make It (blatant product placement).

 

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What To Do with Your Thank You Pages

Thank You Pages

I will be the first to admit that I don’t spend a lot of time working on the “Thank You” pages on my websites.  “Thank You” pages are the ones that prospects see after they’ve filled out a form on your site – and if they’ve already turned from prospect to lead, wouldn’t my efforts be better spent on the prospects that are still out there?

Turns out, Thank You pages can be a great way to nurture stronger customer relationships, improve user experience, encourage  pageviews and even to showcase your brand personality. If you’re not using your thank you pages to do all these things – you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to build a more enriching and delightful experience for your visitors.

Nurture Customer Relationships

Instead of using generic “Thank you for your interest” or “We’ve received your submission”, let your new leads know just how grateful you are that they took the time to reach out.  The sales cycle begins right on the thank you pages so show your new leads the type of customer service they can expect from you and your business.

Encourage your new leads to stay in touch by inviting them to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, subscribe to your blog or to participate in LinkedIn group discussions.

Improve User Experience

Take the time to remind your new leads of the value of the offer.  Thank you pages are perfect opportunities to reiterate the benefits of your offer, products or services and to remind them of the value they are about to receive.  You may also consider adding a testimonial that is complementary to your message. Take them further down the sales cycle.

You can also use thank you pages to “reconvert” your new leads.  Are there other relevant services, webinars or events that might of interest to your new leads? Include another form on the thank you page to encourage deeper commitment to your business.

Encourage Pageviews

Many visitors exit the website after they’ve filled out the form.  Use thank you pages to decrease your site’s bounce rates by inviting your new leads to explore other content on the site.  Add links to relevant blog topics for added value.  Are there pages that your past leads have visited after landing on the thank you pages? Look for hints in your data to help prolong your new lead’s stay.

Showcase Brand Personality

I always love when companies turn boring, mundane pages like thank you pages or 404 errors into something fun, interesting or different!  Consider hiding ‘Easter Egg’s on your thank you pages or including funny messages or imagery to make sure you leads are leaving your site with a smile.

 

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