Thursday, June 29, 2006

Social Marketing University

I got an email from Nedra asking me to post info about an upcoming conference... this looks really great! I wish I could be there. One thing I loved about her email was the Squidoo to help promote the conference - good stuff!

Social Marketing University

September 18 - 19, 2006
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
UCLA Conference Center
University of California, Los Angeles
Westwood, California

How do you help people adopt behaviors that will make them healthier and better off? How can you create positive social change?

At Social Marketing University, you will move beyond the usual educational approach to changing health and social behaviors. Using social marketing, you will learn how to persuade individuals to take action for change by addressing the values, needs and desires that motivate them. It's about understanding and connecting with your audience by applying the same effective marketing tools that companies like Nike and Apple use.

Join Nedra Kline Weinreich for this two-day training on the beautiful UCLA campus in Los Angeles. By the time you leave, you will have an effective social marketing strategy for your own program and the skills to implement it immediately.

Early registration by July 31 includes a $100 discount, and each additional person from the same organization will receive another $50 off of the registration fee. Students also get a huge discount.

For all the details about the training agenda, fees and housing accommodations, check out the Social Marketing University information page.

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Games for Change - Day 2 and Wrap Up

I really enjoyed Day 2 - I'm starting to see a picture of how and when we can best use games to communicate a particular message or engage our audiences - not that I can completely articulate it...

I came up with several high level takeaways and observations from the conference that I'd like to share.

  • There is a lack of definition and semantics that needs to be addressed by the "community"
  • There wasn't a lot of "bi-partisanship" from the folks in the room - not that that is bad! But - I wouldn't have liked to have been a guy representing the NRA.
  • Raph Koster is smart, very smart. And knows how to inflame an audience! Same goes for Ian Bogost. I believe both of these folks were making a point by being inflammatory - a tactic that not only takes cajones, but is absolutely entertaining as well.
  • Jerry Paffendorf is tall. Is his avatar in SL that tall?
  • Lots of discussion about modeling the real world in the virtual world. It's amazing what's happening with Google Earth and the 3D web - and there are clearly privacy and safety issues at hand... but I hope that someone will figure out how to model and FIX traffic problems around the country starting with the Merritt Parkway.
  • The organizers did a great job - many good (some not so good) discussions and thought provoking ideas.

  • Look for collaborative opportunities to push the mission forward and utilize "games" as a way to enable the collaboration. For example - could we build a way for students, patients and researchers to take cell level building blocks to build new potential ways to reorganize treatments? (Hey, I'm not a medical person, I'm just thinking here!).
  • Consider FUN first. If a game isn't fun - why bother. My new definition of fun is.. fun = engagement.
  • Games are an emerging and legitimate for of literacy, art, storytelling and commerce. Cave Paintings ---> Video Games/Interactive Media. At some point (soon I assume) we'll start seeing critical reviews in the WSJ or NYTimes about video games and interactive content.
Links to peep:
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Games for Change - Day 1

Just got back from the Yankees game (they lost) after a very long and very interesting day at the Games for Change 2006 Conference. Overall, today left me with more questions than ever regarding social (or serious) games.

First up is to address why I'm attending in the first place... The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has an interest in games from at least two perspectives. The first is marketing and brand awareness. How we can utilize games and interactive media to bring awareness to our events. By creating viral games around marathoning, cycling and endurance events, it's possible that we could spark additional interest in Team In Training - netting us new participants.

More importantly, I'm looking for ways and ideas to help patients and caregivers access content that is either too hard in reading level or complexity given their mental state, or access to information and treatments. I know, this isn't a complete thought quite yet... but it's only Day 1 - give me a break! Whether that means creating our own games and game content or acting like a distribution network for cancer related games is yet to be determined.

Confusion - Games, Simulations, e-learning and more
In my world (marketing, revenue and patient services), we organize ourselves around outcomes. Despite some arguing about what's ultimately measurable - ideas simply do not get executed well within an organization without stated outcomes. These outcomes can be high level (more brand awareness) or can be very tactical (we must increase donations by x% or drive 2,000 advocacy actions on issue X). What I heard today was a lot of "game" talk - and not a lot of outcome talk. I fear that once again, we are making the mistake of not clearly defining our outcomes, figuring out a strategy and THEN deciding our our tactics (print, radio, web, board game, sandwich boards, urinal ads, video games).

For example: If I want people to send letters/emails to congress, I may certainly choose a game format to educate and inform - but the game is a means to an end - and frankly - I shouldn't be starting my project by stating that I want t create a game. Deciding to build a game comes after the strategy, not before. In any case, in this example I'd judge my success based on the outcome desired (in this case, letters/emails to congress).

Meanwhile, if I want my chapter staff to get better at talking with CEO's, I might create a simulation so they can practice talking to tough or disinterested execs. Outcome is better sales skills - building a game/sim would be the tactic to accomplish that outcome.

It's late and I'm hoping this is semi-coherent. I reserve the right to delete this post and try again when I'm thinking more clearly.

Lastly, I finally met in real life (as opposed to Second Life), Beth Kanter. Beth is "live-blogging" the event and is apparently, very good at taking notes :)

Worthy links to peep:
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tagging - Oh Yea, Now I Remember!

It took me a while (I'm slow) and a some downtime in the office to have a minute to clean up my desk but I finally remembered one of the original reasons I started messing around with tagging: Seth Godin's Flipping the Funnel e-book for non-profits.

The final piece of the tagging puzzle for me is TRAFFIC. I think that tags are an important tool to use because if all your content is tagged by multiple people on all the different tag services, Google will index you higher and higher!

I knew there was a missing piece to the puzzle - and with this reminder from the e-book, it finally feels right.

Try to get your constituents to tag all your content - the resulting mesh of links to your content from multiple sources will improve your search rankings. Improved search rankings (more traffic) is a good enough reason for me to continue to use tags, and to encourage our donors, participants, patients and caregivers to tag as well. Now if I can just figure out a way to explain tagging to non-techies I'll be all set.

Past tag posts:

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Email Case Study

Earlier, I wrote a post about opt-in nuttiness where I described the things we were doing to clean up our lists and get better open and click rates... Exact Target, our e-mail vendor wrote up a case study on what we did along with some interesting results.

(click to enlarge)

The table is self-explanatory - but I will point out that even though our clicks are only slightly up overall, spam is down 100% and open rates are sky high.

Update 6/13/2006: It Apparently Can Pay to Get Permission Again

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Book Review - Robin Hood Marketing

Katya Andresen's new book "Robin Hood Marketing - Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes" is a great book about the basics of marketing. It's chock full of case studies and is organized with a simple and effective metaphor (Shooting an arrow).

I read the majority of this book while traveling to San Diego to help staff Team In Training over this past weekend. From my earlier posts, you can tell that I've been thinking hard about the brand experience that Team In Training provides - and this book reminded me on several levels of how the marketing actions we take affect the overall experience that our donors, participants, staff and others have with us.

It's great when you read a book and it confirms and supports the things that you know to be true - but haven't been doing enough of (Seth Godin's writing for example can come off as extremely simple thinking - but that's the point isn't it?).

Personally, I thought that the best thing about this book is how Katya's explains and shows why no one cares about "THE CAUSE." She accurately points out how NPO's often forget that there is more to marketing our charity than just selling the cause. We need to learn to "swallow the cause" & be able to see and feel what our constituents want. The book provides terrific examples and interviews to help explain this better than I just did.

Additionally, her "CRAM" acronym should help anyone break down their marketing messages with terrific results.

C - establish a connection
R - promise a reward
A - inspire action
M - stick in memory

For Team In Training... here's how that translates:

C - establish a connection - The Experience of a Lifetime slogan establishes a connection to the right type of person (a person crazy enough to run a marathon for example!)

R - promise a reward - we'll give you professional level training to complete the event of your choice

A - inspire action - our coaches will inspire you, coach you and cajole you into becoming a marathoner while our mentors will help you raise money to support the mission. Our honored patients will give you motivation to keep going when the going gets tough... like the t-shirt says - "If you think running a marathon is hard, try chemotherapy"

M - stick in memory - the moment that you cross the finish line, your life will be transformed forever.

Katya breaks down some very complex things in easily accessible ways including how to do research, multi-channel marketing and campaign execution. Definitely worth the read!

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Team In Training Experience Pt II

Combine two great brands, Team In Training and JetBlue and what do you get?

Just before we took off for San Diego, the attendant came on the loudsepeaker and announced that the Fairfield Chapter and 15 volunteers were on board - and had raised over $60,000 to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team In Training program.

Just about everyone on board cheered and yelled for the volunteers... how's that for a great experience - I bet each of those volunteers felt pretty special at that moment!

More to come...

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It's the Experience, Stupid!

I'm on my way to San Diego to check out the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon with Team In Training. I spend a lot of my time trying to improve our users web experience, and always love to see it all come together. Team In Trainnig is sending almost 4,000 participants to walk and run in the San Diego Marathon so this should be a pretty amazing time. I've been with LLS for more than a year, and this was my first real opportunity to get to an event.

I'm 6 months into redefining the entire web experience and this should really pull all the pieces together as we continue to evolve our thinking about how to best optimize ALL the pieces of a fundraising and training experience.

Building web sites is no longer about the virtual experience, you have to consider the entire experience from every point of view carefully in order to really affect things. Amazon can't stop at 1-click, they have to think about the cardboard box getting to your doorstep. Charities can't just build donation pages and forget to send handwritten notes thanking people for donations.

PS - I'm blogging right now using JetBlue's free wi-fi at JFK for the first time... blogging while waiting to board... what a great way to enhance my customer experience.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

WOMBAT 2 Conference in San Francisco

I can't make it out to the upcoming Word of Mouth Marketing conference is San Fran, but you should consider it!

You can even get a mega discount by using this code: welovells

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