It should go without saying, but please for the love of all that is good, do not use the Coronavirus to make your marketing cute or topical. You may think it’s a good idea, but it’s not even close. Making a witty or quirky Coronavirus post, ad, video, or email has very little upside, and very high downside. Every single year, you see roundups of tasteless tweets from brands around 9/11 or Pearl Harbor – and you don’t want to be on top of the inevitable listicle of crass content.
Every now and then, you come across an insight that is just so disruptively, spot-on accurate that it lodges itself in your skull, grabs a hold of your brain, and attaches itself so deeply that your entire worldview changes. It’s the sentence that makes the entire book, or interview, or movie, or blog, or whatever worth it. Hell, it’s the type of thought that makes the entire concept of reading worth it.
As I’ve been working on new projects and teaching a new semester the past few weeks, there are three of these golden nuggets recently banging around in my head. And the more I dwell on them, the more I start to believe that almost everything else is noise, and that understanding and internalizing these three ideas would put you ahead of 90% of other marketers and change makers in the world.
Trying out a new social network isn’t just a matter of claiming a username and repurposing past content. It involves research, design, and experimentation. Participating in TikTok is one thing, winning at it is another. And when we chase the shiny red ball (the newest social network) instead of focusing on the cash cow (wherever you’re currently converting your audience), you risk blowing up your entire social strategy and effectiveness.
Real talk: how many promotional emails do you receive on a given day? Now tell us, how many of those do you open, let alone click-through to learn more? We’d have to guess the answer to that is, well, not too many. But there are things you can do to increase your clickthrough rate, and it all starts with understanding your audience.
This week, we're excited to be joined by the visionary John Paul Farmer for our second Queens Tech Night meetup. John has had a diverse range of experience in civic technology, a path that has included stints in the Obama administration and at Microsoft, and now he serves as the Chief Technology Officer for New York City. In advance of his keynote, we had a chance to discuss a few of the topics he'll be covering, as well as his thoughts on some tech topics more broadly.
We live and breath digital at Digital Natives, but we’re no fools: an appearance on TODAY or The Rachel Ray Show or even a segment on your local news will still be one of the best bang-for-the-buck moments for your business or brand. But those moments don’t come in isolation. It’s often because of a digital interaction, be it a singular viral Tweet or a large and faithful following, that your brand or word has credibility. This might be why that you were able to earn that media hit in the first place.
Airplanes have one definitive feature: they fly. When fliers board that multi-ton tin can, they are trusting that it will somewhat-miraculously take off in one place and safely land in another. When that promise is broken, it’s not a minor inconvenience, but a frightful and public tragedy. With two notable crashes of its 737 Max jetliner in the past year-and-a-half, Boeing broke that promise to 346 unfortunate passengers and crew in Indonesia and Ethiopia. This tragic loss of life echoed to millions of travelers beyond those onboard, shaking the foundational trust that air travel is built on. Airlines grounded the plane, stock prices dipped, and the CEO was fired. Today, a new leader takes the helm – here's where he should start.
Every now and then I get asked by my students, people I meet at our events, or just anybody else, "Where should I begin to learn about digital marketing?" It’s a tough question: We’re not doctors or lawyers, and there is no set career path or accredited certification required to practice our craft. I know people that have taken undergraduate and graduate degrees in our field, and I know people that have stumbled into it after working in unrelated careers for years. And neither path necessarily produces a better marketer. In my book, the best bang for the buck for somebody truly starting at square one are not necessarily traditional classrooms, but through a suite of tools that you can start right now in just a couple clicks.
When we work with authors and other thought leaders, one of the first questions we ask is “why should anybody care what you have to say?” This may seem a little blunt, but it’s the internal monologue that is running through a reader when they see your book on the shelf or hear your voice in an interview. Why are you the authority on the topic which you are speaking or writing about?
People lead busy lives and can’t deeply research each and every source of information or opinions that are bombarding them throughout the day. We all rely on shortcuts to help us sift through the noise and figure out who’s worth our limited attention. We look at brief biographical blurbs, first-line Wikipedia entries, and Twitter bios to figure out who you are and why we should care.
Though New Year’s resolutions catch a lot of flack from those that say it’s just another day, I’ve always believed that it is helpful to use this milestone as a focusing event to reflect, and ultimately improve. Any time that people can use an excuse to better themselves is good in my book.
That being said, we’re closed for a few days to observe the holidays and it’s a nice time to look on the year ahead with a clear head and nice cup of tea. As we are gearing up for 2020, here are three resolutions, or intentions if you will, that we have in our sights for the new year.