3 posts categorized "Hybrid Marketing"

06/10/2010 The Hybrid Age

Last year I started writing about the need for Hybrids in marketing. It was born from my experience with digital marketing; the speed in which things changed along with frustration at a slow, traditional advertising process. Hybrids capture a need for not only digital creatives, but also for anyone who enters into something now labeled "social."

I've met with a number of people over the years that have attempted to shift their organizations by hiring more hybrids. While the good news is that there are more hybrid individuals out there today than there were before, the bad news is that it's still a huge challenge to integrate them into an existing organization and create a culture where they can thrive.

One of the most interesting people taking on this challenge is Ben Malbon of BBH. First tasked with running BBH Labs, Ben is now right in the middle of BBH New York trying to transfer his experiences with his small group to a much larger group. How do you shift a culture to retain what is good but to change what needs changing?

Here's Ben's preliminary answer. While it talks about hybrids (or the term he prefers, T-Shaped people) it also talks about how to create a space in which hybrids can thrive. That last point may be the most important. Hybrids have existed for a while, but they only succeed when they have people around them who can recognize their hybrid talents.

Take a look at this presentation and then read Ben's blog.

Are You Ready to Form Voltron? (June 2010)

View more presentations from Ben Malbon.

I'm looking forward to hearing a lot more on how this effort plays out. Hopefully others can be this as a model for their own organizations.

Just remember, Ben's not alone. There are lots of people out there trying to help create a culture of change and hybrids (Edward Boches, Faris Yakob, and Adam Cohen, to name a few). We need more of them.

What we're seeing is the start of the Hybrid Age.  May it last long and be prosperous.

10/15/2009 Great Hybrid Marketing Example

Earlier this week I talked about hybrid marketing and the next day I found a great example. I also found a not-so-great example within the same category. Looking at these two marketing pushes, I think it's pretty clear who the winner will be.

Nordstrom, working with Zeus Jones (one of the most innovative digital shops), basically reengineered its BP fitting rooms into a Social Media Photobooth. Zeus Jones uncovered some key insights into customer behavior, including the fact that most women took their phones with them to snap pictures of themselves trying on new clothes. They then shared these photos, and others, on Facebook for some "crowdsourcing" fashion advice.

Rather than trying to force Nordstrom into this equation, Zeus Jones and Co. basically speeded up the process by providing tools to let people do this more easily. They introduced technology into the fitting room process. They've ultimately blurred the lines between the in-store and the Facebook experiences. Check out the video below.

bp. Photobooth Walkthrough from Zeus Jones on Vimeo.

I think this is great hybrid thinking and the initiative has must-win written all over it.

Compare that to a campaign Estee Lauder launches this week. Estee Lauder will start offering free makeovers and photo shoots at major stores across the country. The idea is that women will take these pictures with them and use them as Facebook profile pages. Estee Lauder hopes that its background branding doesn't disappear when people start editing the pictures. All I can say is "Good luck with that!"

While both approaches deal with pictures and fashion, Nordstrom's approach clearly relinquishes control to its customers, realizing that they can be part of the conversation but they can't control it. Estee Lauder tries to control everything from the taking of the pictures to the branding.

Most telling though, is that Nordstrom has made social media a part of the experience, not an extension. It's hybrid approach. Estee Lauder hopes to extend a promotion. It's an integrated approach.

Keep your eyes on Zeus Jones and their partner VaryWell. Hopefully we'll see a lot more of this.
10/12/2009 Make Your Media Hybrid

PappaFranks1I wrote a post earlier this year about how we (marketers) need to become hybrids. I've been thinking about hybrids a lot lately, and not only because I'm in the market for a Prius. I think it's time to declare Integrated Marketing dead. We're entering into the age of hybrid media. I'll have more on that later this week, but here's an example of what I'm talking about.

 This weekend I took my family out to a local, old-style family restaurant in Winooski. Right away, this card (leaning against the Parmesan cheese) grabbed my attention. At one point in my career, I would have loved to see this. The restaurant, Papa Frank's, has not only embraced online, it's using its table space to promote it. I like how this shows Papa Frank's thinking around building its database.

Only, it's not enough any more. The problem isn't the idea; the problem is that the card is not a hybrid. It's not interactive or actionable, except to ask someone for yet another piece of paper. At its most basic, Papa Frank's could've put the e-mail address right on the card. But in this day and age of smart phones and iPhones, they missed an opportunity to make this into a hybrid. Such as:
  • Facebook - Rather than an entry ticket, Papa Frank's could've asked people to Fan it on Facebook, along with comments about their experiences. Its Facebook page would become, de facto, the rewards mechanism for its fans. Not only is that easy, but if they have a computer on the premise, they could make a big deal right in the restaurant. That would connect the experience to online back to the restaurant in real time.
  • Yelp - Names are great. Online reviews are better. Papa Frank's might have made the entry a review on Yelp. The database would come from reviewers and they could reward people who wrote. More importantly, the call to action on the card not only helps the writer, it impacts the business through important word-of-mouth. Right now they have 9 reviews. They should shoot for 99 or 199. The contest becomes the action driven right from the table.
  • Twitter - Again, an easy way to let people sign up is to allow them to follow Papa Frank's on Twitter. As an added hybridization, ask people to take a picture of themselves and their meal and post it as a Tweet for entry. Papa Frank's could make the photos into a Flickr gallery, which would increase search results.
Each of those ideas takes a broadcast media and connects it with a dialogue media. The bigger point is that the actions themselves go beyond signing up: they extend the campaign and, potentially, impact others.

It's not integrated; it's hybrid. Just like the gas engine powers the electric engine in the Prius, the hybrid marketing part power completely separate parts and makes them better. Integration depends on silos. Hybridization depends on breaking down the silos.

Hybrid marketing touches everything. More on that later. 

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