a model for modern communication
This is a model I’ve been playing with for quite a long time. This isn’t meant to be revolutionary and is a build on everything I’ve read in recent years; from Seth Godin flipping the funnel to Duncan Watts reaction to the Tipping point and a lot of others things I probably forget. It tries to combine the utility trend everyone’s talking about with the old entertainment model that advertising, as we know it, is built on.
I haven’t got a name for it. I’m hesitating between the diablo or the eggtimer.
This is not a model for everyone, it is a model for brands that have a point of view or something interesting to say. It is not completely finished, so I’d love any (constructive) input you may have. It may also be totally useless! Sorry for the ugliness, it is in these situation I wish I’d know how to use PhotoShop.
It is shaped by reach and engagement. The first phase is communication from the brand to the consumer, obviously reaching a lot of people. The second phase from consumers to consumers, but leveraged by you, reaching less people but continuously increasing their engagement with the campaign.
I like this model because:
a/ It forces you to have a strong idea at the heart, something interesting, something with legs. If you don’t have a strong idea, you just can’t fill the model in its entirity. Simple.
b/ Has the PR element built inside of it (the whole write me the press release thing)
c/ Doesn’t rely on channels but use them to the best of their abilities
d/ Doesn’t rely on one execution but leverage each channel’s force
e/ Does not start by targetting a selected few influencers but is a model that finds the right influencers for your brand.
The examples mentioned below are just examples for the said step, not for the whole campaign. Only Nike Joga Bonito and Dove Campaign for real beauty came close to perfectly fitting it.
Step 1: Provoke.
Here the goal is to create an emotional connection by introducing your philosophy / point of view / what you stand for, to as much people as possible as quickly as possible. I’m starting to agree with good old Duncan. The hipsters and pseudo-influentials are totally ignored from that plan. The point is to create pull and to find the people who might be interested in your message rather than paying to get some to do the job for you. It’s also kickstarting the whole project so it’s the most important phase. If it’s not done well, the whole thing collapses. The most easy way to achieve this is still through the use of a spot, which just doesn’t have to be put only on TV. (The second model below).
Examples doing it well:
– Nike Joga Bonito, Eric Cantona’s introduction.
Step 2: Inspire
This step is about getting people to believe your point of view / philosphy / issue is a valid one. It is mainly done through the use of a manifesto, basically describing what you mean by step 1 in more details. There is a risk of creating content for the sake of it here. Every piece of comm developed should always serve a purpose, in this case, reinforce the provocation / intrigue of step 1 and get people thinking about your issue or point more seriously. Joga TV is a good example of that.
It’s also good to support this point with tactical PR. Again if you have a research that says that 78% of women feel pressurised by the media, then you’ve got a story supporting your ad in step 1 (Dove).
Insurance companies are also quite strong at that step, releasing statements that we have a lot more valuables than we think in our house… so we should get insured with them…
Step 3: Demonstrate.
I’m a fervent supporter of demonstration. As cynicism is on the increase (no pun intended), there is a big need to demonstrate whatever it is we are claiming in the real world. Even if most people won’t see it, it’s a way to get PR and word of mouth and essentially credibility, which is what really matters these days. These could be events, stunts, exhibitions…
Examples: Tournaments where you have to play beautiful for Nike Joga Bonito, RedBull flying races, Nike Runners lounge in Vancouver.
Here you can also use your products as a demonstration of what your philosophy is about. Example, the Nike shoes help you play beautiful, here’s why… Or Nike+ helps you running. Method products really clean…
Step 4: Participate
This is where it gets interesting and where most brands fail. You’ve switched from push to pull to participate. This is not a monologue from you to them anymore, this is a dialogue.
After all the efforts above, you’ve actually converted some people. And they want in. So you need to give them a place for them to congregate, a hub to what you stand for where they can go to fulfill their desire to participate. And where you will give them the solutions and tools (utilities) to support your communication. You are building yourself a little army of fans and they don’t want to be disappointed.
It will ony be a small number who will participate and take action, but they will be the one starting the new phase. You’ve given them the tools to get out there and start spreading the word.
Step 5: Recruit
They see you as the champion of your cause and they want to help you spread the word. You need to give them the tools to do so. Get them involved in your product creation, find ways for them to participate in your comms or be a proud part of your activities. By participating to these activities, they will become evangelists. You can also have a bit of co-creation if your brand / product allows it. Rewards are good but beware of trying to get some unstructured UGC.
You are trying to recruit more passive people, not the creators, but the critics here.
Step 6: Advocacy
You might want to go back to broadcast media to show the results of your actions and how participation from the community has created something extraordinary. This is how you complete the model.
You could create a viral or even go back on TV if budget allows it. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about how you’ve empowered people to do something great or how the situation has changed thanks to your support.