Check out the Max Cube

I love seeing campaigns that really engage their target customers. That’s exactly what I was thinking while watching this video of Pepsi’s recent campaign in Southbank and other locations around the UK earlier this year. The campaign consisted of black cube with a countdown designed to capture people’s interest. Once the countdown finished, the cube opened up to let visitors explore a series of zones where their perception of space, orientation and time was challenged. This concluded with an incredible levitating can of Pepsi Max (pretty cool). And finally they were presented with a personalised Pepsi Max drinks bottle as a souvenir of the whole experience.

Here’s a video for you to enjoy:

I wish I had a chance to experience the Max Cube, but I missed it I’m afraid. I think the main highlight is the delight of the people at the end when receiving their personalised souvenirs. How’s that for making the whole experience memorable!

Email Marketing & Gmail’s Inbox Tabs

Your B2B marketing solutions like email marketing have many subscribers on Gmail. But with Gmail’s new update, many marketers are missing the mark. The Gmail inbox has five unique tabs now – primary, social, promotions, updates, and forums. So as a marketer, how does one tailor their B2B marketing solutions to create the most impact on Gmail? 

What the New Update Means

Google wanted its users to have total control over their inbox by allowing them to customize which mail goes where. This has made Gmail users very happy, but email marketing strategists that offer B2B marketing solutions have to adapt to the new segregation. This means that subscribers to newsletters and promotional emails now have to click on the ‘promotions’ tab that also has ads that masquerade as emails.

Now businesses will have to contend with the fact their B2B marketing solutions such as promotional emailers and newsletters will not reach the primary inbox of their subscribers and may be ignored completely.

Statistics Don’t Lie

Research done on the Gmail update revealed that it is slowing down open rates. But it is not happening as significantly as email marketers who provide B2B marketing solutions would have imagined. But the truth is that it is still way too early for marketing strategists to be taking it easy. This new update has been functional only for a few months and like other things related to the Internet, the tide could change drastically.

The Solution

So does this mean that the fate of B2B marketing solutions that falls underneath the category of email marketing is forever tainted with uncertainty? Thankfully, no. Here are some ways to ensure that your B2B marketing solutions and strategies reach their target audience even if the new Gmail update proves in the future to have a negative impact on email marketing:

  1. It has become important, now more than ever, to offer your subscribers something of value. If there’s nothing in it for them, or if they don’t like what you share, there is a magnificent chance that they will unsubscribe from your mailing list.

 

  1. Now it is more important for marketers offering B2B marketing solutions to build stronger relationships rather than focus on selling. Keep your emailers valuable and engaging so that your subscribers will be left craving more every time.
     
  2. Use the promotions tab your advantage. What really works well is a hard-hitting subject line. If your subscriber opens the promotions tab of his inbox and nothing really catches his eye, there is a marvelous chance that he might mass delete all his ‘spam’. If your email doesn’t stand out, it will be ignored completely. This is where an eye-catching subject line comes in to save the day.
     
  3. Google is known as a pioneer. This means that other email providers will be quick to join the tab bandwagon. Creating an infographic, an engaging video or even an instructive email is a salient way to ensure that your subscribers move your emails into their primary inbox.

For B2B marketing solutions that will give your business a competitive edge, visit Salesfusion. 


Thanks to Carol Harper for this guest post

Heineken: Are Legends Born, or Made?

I’ve just come across a great campaign by Heineken called “Voyage” with the tagline “Are legends born, or made?” It is testing what men are truly made of when taken out of their daily lives and dropped into the great unknown. Imagine the following situation. You are a highly social character, out-going and confident. You get chosen to go on a legendary adventure – something you have never done before – a new experience that will test your resourcefulness. But then you find yourself in the freezing wilderness of Alaska – alone on a glacier, with nothing but a giant life-ring, a tuxedo and a plane ticket to get you home – and the airport is hundreds of miles away.

Check out the video:

Essentially, they take different men from across the world and drops them in remote global locations with nothing but the most basic of supplies and directions. The result is ‘Dropped’ – a series of episodic adventures following our intrepid explorers on their legendary travel experience.

‘Voyage’ is the fifth installment of the Heineken ‘Legends’ platform, The integrated campaign, which will live on a variety of platforms across broadcast, digital and mobile, will allow consumers to have a truly immersive experience via the Heineken® Dropped YouTube channel. Here, viewers will be able to follow each ‘Dropped’ voyage, access documentary-style content and also contribute their own video entries to the ‘casting couch’ –  with the ultimate chance of partaking in their own legendary travel adventure.

It’s a fascinating experiment, where Heineken is creating stories which each of their characters – forcing them to discover their own limits and conquer their fears. Across four continents they’ll face a multitude of challenges – tough terrain, curious locals and unusual modes of transport. As the Dropped episodes unfold, so the social experiment will come to life, with viewers of each voyage able to follow how each traveller fares through a series of diary entries and journey updates. And their final destination?  Home. Will they make it?

As with all such experiments, embarking on an unscripted journey can be interesting for the brand; however it adds a layer of the magic that makes reality TV so watchable. I’ll be looking out for this one!

Awesome Billboard Campaign – McDonalds Sweden

Here’s a great marketing campaign by McDonalds in Sweden. It’s an interactive game that can be played on a giant billboard with a user’s mobile phone. There are no apps to install, it works on pretty much any smartphone and promises a level of engagement that few billboard campaigns have managed to achieve.

Users pick a goodie that they would like to bin and have to manage to stay in the game for 30seconds to win. If they win, they’re presented with a digital token and directed to the neared McDonalds store to claim their reward.

Truly innovative. Hope we’ll see more of these in the future, and not just in Sweden 😉

Twitter to start monitising?

I spotted something interesting on my Twitter page just then:

Twitter Advert
Twitter Advert

It looks like Twitter has identified an area on their page which can be used for advertisements and it currently being used to advertised their Search service. Is this the start of mini ads being shown on Twitter? Will Twitter try and flog this space to third -parties? Will the ads be context sensitive?

Lots of questions, does anyone have any answers? The truth is, at some point or other Twitter needs to start monitising it’s service and this would be a great spot to start. What do you think?

Update: Techcrunch have spotted them too

So long .. and thanks for all the Sprouts

I received an email today from Sprout, a website which lets you create interactive Flash widgets which you can share with others on the web, place on your website and distribute on any other medium that supports Flash. Here’s something I had created a while back:

The email advised me that Sprout had closed off the ability to produce free Sprouts and launched tiered pricing ranging from $140 a year to $3000 a year, depending on the number of projects, storage and support options people require. The Basic service lets you produce up to 3 Sprouts but is only available to current users.

Now, I’ll be the first to insist that a company has a pricing strategy which can guarantee growth and sustainability, especially in today’s harsh climate. However, it’s always worth bearing in mind that free advertising can be valuable, as it taps into hobbyists and people experimenting with the medium. I have a friend who’s heavily into sports attire and I’m sure he’s geeky enough to try and put together a Sprout about NFL jerseys if he had the time and knew about the service.

I believe Sprout are making a mistake but not allowing a free aspect to their service. Even if it’s time-bound, it allows people to play with their technology, evangelise about their services and draw in more paying customers.

What do you think?

My Twitter Mug is here – Merry Christmas to me!

twittermugI received my Christmas present the other day. Yes, every Christmas I make it a point to buy myself a Christmas present. After all, who better knows what I want? It’s usually something small and gadgety, but this year I opted for a mug. Not a normal mug though, but a mug with a difference: this mug had photos of my Twitter friends all over it. It was such a brilliant idea, that when I came across it, I bought myself one and bought two as Xmas presents for 2 friends who are also extremely passionate about social media (Sherrilynne and Ted)

The mug produced by the massively awsome guys down at CrowdedInk who have put together a simple process where all you need to do is supply your Twitter username. It makes use of the Twitter API to generate the image of the people your folow and the Zazzle API to generate the mug. What a brilliant idea!

If you click on the mug you can see a larger rendition of the mug and match the photos against my Twitter profile. If you’re one of my Twitter friends, check out if you can see yourself on it 😉