Archive for category Marketing

Who Controls Our Motivation?

Posted by on Monday, 1 December, 2014

Motivation“Along the way, we’ve come to believe that external motivation is the key to our success. That we need to be part of a degree program or a sales contest or have a boss looking over our shoulder to do our best work, to push us.

Of course, we were taught this by the marketers, industrialists and institutions that make a living by providing us external motivation…” – Seth Godin

Maybe because it’s 6am on a Monday morning, and I have been awake since 4, but these sentences from today’s Seth Godin post really irked me.

Or maybe it’s getting to the end of the Thanksgiving shopping frenzy and I’m a marketer disgusted by the “buy more” mentality who’s sensitive to marketers being blamed for society’s woes (let’s make products to enhance lives, not create clutter).

Seth Godin is a marketer, and a proud one, so I assume he’s taking some responsibility for his accusation. However, I feel the claim is a rather simplistic generalization. Seth does state that we, as a society, accept this and with the decentralization of marketing we have to start motivating ourselves – “reliance on the external fails us.”

The reliance of the external has always fallen on us. Generally speaking, we’ve chosen to let peer pressure, advertising, and other external forces motivate us. Marketers in the past (and lazy ones now) have just exploited that. I say, “generally speaking” because there is a locus of control.

What is the Locus of Control?

The locus of control is a personality psychology concept that measures the extent someone believes they can control external events. The concept was developed by Julian B Rotter in 1954 and is one of the four dimensions of core self-evaluations – one’s fundamental appraisal of oneself – along with neuroticism, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. Someone who believes they can control future events (i.e., career success, test results) scores high on the test. People who attribute others as the reason for success or failure would score low on the test. It was the teacher; I got lucky, etc. They don’t feel they can control events because the outcome is dependent on another person or thing. This often leads to a “why bother” attitude and lower levels of motivation – “why should I bother working hard, my teacher/manager/insert authority figure hates me” . It is a continuum, and my 6am research didn’t discover numbers of people at each point on the scale. Again, it’s a continuum, so how you score as a child needn’t control the rest of your life.

Why is the Locus of Control Important for Marketers?

It’s very important as a motivation consideration. Seth said, “we’ve come to believe that external motivation is the key to our success”. This is not true and for some has never been true. Locus of control studies in academia have shown that people who score higher do achieve higher academic scores, When all the people in the studies had already decided (or had been told) they needed a degree for success, being part of a degree program was not a motivator, despite Seth’s claim that society has been conditioned for this.

Marketers need to understand motivation and the locus of control in their audience personae. We aren’t the sole motivator. We don’t own the locus of control score in our customers. So a general sales contest or any external force we use is likely to fail. Seth warns what the external, i.e. the motivation, is falling on us. People have already taken and own that motivation and to believe otherwise is naive. As marketers, we need to stop being lazy in thinking we can control customers to fit our needs (buy more to boost our results) and fit our products, services, and advertising to them. Let’s stop making large cars and advertising telling people their lives will be better with them. Let’s make the products or services that will improve their lives. It’s not easy, and may result in lower sales in the short term, but is more accurate, ethical and representative of society.

Do you know your locus of control score? Accurate? Times for some changes? What do you think?

8 Seattle Companies Make the Love List

Posted by on Sunday, 23 November, 2014

The-Love-ListEarlier this year Hootsuite bought analytics company, UberVu, and now they’ve started sharing their beautiful research. This week they released the inaugural, monthly Love List Report. And it’s not even Valentine’s Day.

The Love List measures how much social media love received by 450 of the world’s leading brands. Congratulations to the eight Seattle-area companies who made the list.

How is the Love List Calculated?

UberVU via Hootsuite calculates the Love List using an algorithm more secret than the Coca-Cola recipe (who are 72 on the list). All we know is that it looks at the number of mentions each brand gets on social media, its sentiment level, and the conversations about the brand. Yep, it’s murky and secret, but if you look at the list, I’m not really surprised by any results, so I trust the math. Plus, I’ve seen UberVu’s sentiment reports before and love them. oops, there’s that word again.

Seattle-area Companies on the Love List

Place Company
 10 Nordstrom
14 Starbucks
 35 Costco
131 Alaska Air
 173 Amazon
 189 Microsoft
 256 T-Mobile
 388 Expedia

If your brand isn’t on the list you can still see how much love you get, by requesting a custom report.

What do you think of the Love List? Accurate? was anyone missed? Let me know in the comments.

Share, Learn and Meet on facebook with TapDancingSpiders

Posted by on Tuesday, 7 October, 2014

Learning-on-facebookDid you see it? In the top right menu? that new little facebook button. TapDancingSpiders is now on facebook. Woohoo!

The facebook page has been a long time coming because I wanted to have a strong strategy behind it. There are so many marketing agencies and consultants just pushing self-promotion or sharing random content, and I didn’t want to add to the clutter. Plus, it would be hypocritical to go against my own advice, not to mention I’m too lazy to manage a profile for the sake of having an extra one.

So what is the strategy behind me being on facebook?

I want to make this all about you. I want to facilitate a place where we can learn and share ideas together. Digital marketing isn’t an exact science and we all have different backgrounds, experiences and education. I’m hoping that by sharing case studies and dilemmas to discuss we can bring together all the ideas and learn from each other.

What do you think? Are you in?

Pop on over to facebook, like the page and join the conversation. We’re currently looking at strategies to deal with unhappy customers who turn internet troll.

Let me know what you think, either in the comments or via email.

I hope you enjoy it.

Marketing Campaign Round-Up

Posted by on Sunday, 5 October, 2014

When was the last time you saw a brilliant marketing campaign? How about a not-so-brilliant one? I’ve seen a few around Seattle that fit each category.

First Aid Shot Therapy

No one likes a migraine, or even a hangover. First Aid Shot Therapy have a new treatment and a very innovative way to get the word out – while concurrently creating brand evangelists. If you live in Seattle or Boston and tweet about your migraine, hangover or just a headache you’re likely to get a response offering a sample pack of their new medication delivered to you, that day, for free.

The package is rather impressive too. It has samples of their headache remedy, and their stomach relief treatment. You can see the gorgeous box, filled with the medical background on their new treatments. Apologies for the missing one. I had a migraine.

First Aid Marketing Campaigns

I love their use of real-time marketing and it’s really not that hard to do. Many social media management platforms allow you to set up keyword searches within a specific geographic area. That’ll pull in your data set, then you have their profiles (and maybe Klout score) to qualify who should be approached. First Aid Shot Therapy asked for addresses via direct message, offering privacy but also increasing follower counts. Both parties need to be following each other to direct message on Twitter. The end result was influencers saying this new product is great. Much more valuable than a newspaper ad.


Seattle has always been a little different for marketing campaigns. I don’t think I’ve ever seen agencies advertising jobs on billboards or buses in any other city. Therefore ReadyPulse’s low cost and low-key outdoor marketing campaign shouldn’t have been a surprise. ReadyPulse has a marketing suite (their jargon) that helps you recruit and manage ambassadors and sponsored athletes online. A valuable and important tool, that’s not being offered by many.

I’m assuming it’s part of the Silicon Valley company’s push into Seattle (my jargon), and very creative. They’re taped flyers to power poles in downtown Seattle streets. I’m not sure how far they’ve spread, but I’ve mainly seen them between a major transit spot and South Lake Union, i.e. Amazon and a sea of start-ups. The flyers are too swish to be mistaken for the usual house to rent ads.


Forever 21

Here’s my not-so-brilliant marketing campaign. Apologies for the not-so-brilliant photo. The window was clean and iPhones have great cameras. In hindsight, I’m not sure if this is a bad campaign or just a representation of current society. And not in a positive way. Forever 21, the teen to young adult clothing company has a new Barbie range. My first disgust was that they chose to have a Barbie range when Barbies are being ridiculed as poor role models for young girls. Then I thought of some young 20-something women I know. There is a trend of regressing back to childhood, so maybe this was a genius move and I’m just too old.

Barbie Marketing Campaigns


What brag-worthy campaigns have you seen recently? Please share in the comments.

Is Good Customer Service Good Enough?

Posted by on Sunday, 7 September, 2014

Good Customer ServiceIn the last week I’ve experienced two poor customer service experiences. Both were takeaway food purchases gone wrong, and both companies ticked all the boxes to turn it around. I’ll only go back to one.

The first was with a local Mexican restaurant near my new house. The yelp reviews were average to damning, but I really wanted it to be nice.

The food was horrid. Sloppy enchiladas, dry rice and stale corn chips. A few days later a Mileage Plus Dining Rewards email gave me the chance to give feedback, so I did. I was honest and fair. I chose not to share it on social, but did elect to keep it public on the rewards site.

A few days later the restaurant responded asking what they could do to make it better.

The restaurant did everything by the book. The responded nicely; they asked how to improve the situation. It was perfect, right?

Let’s look at another situation from the same week.

I often order my lunch online from a busy West Coast sandwich chain. They have a store across from a client’s office, so I can quickly duck downstairs, grab the lunch bag and be back working in 10 minutes. On this day they left an ingredient out of my sandwich. Of course I didn’t realize until I was back at my desk and I didn’t have time to go back to have it remade. So I logged on their site and sent a message letting them know. I also said that I would have gone back to get it fixed, but no time. I didn’t ask for anything and made it clear it was an FYI.

A couple of hours later I missed a call. The voicemail was from Specialty’s and they were sorry about the slip. They were speaking to the store, but also giving my a $10 credit. They’d follow up with via email.

Both places did the right thing. They acknowledged the issue, and offered restitution. However, I will never return to the Mexican restaurant, but I’ve ordered from Specialty’s many times since.

What is the difference? I don’t doubt either place was genuine with their offer, but Specialty’s made it tangible. I didn’t need to think about what would make it better, it just happened.

The customer service bar has been raised, and it will continue to do so. What you previously thought was good enough is no longer so. And what’s good enough now, won’t be in 12 months.

How can you keep up with good customer service?

The restitution has nothing to do with monetary value. Make the response personal. Do you have order history for that customer? What’s their favorite item? Did you mess up big time? Check their social media or website to see what they like. Gary Vaynerchuk is great with this and uses it to thank customers for large purchases. Think of the goodwill (and social mentions) you’ll get for nailing it. Even if it’s a little off, you’ll still get kudos for trying. If your customer is a business, this still works. Send snacks for the team, or a voucher for a team dinner.

No longer can you get away with checking the boxes for good customer service. It’s time to make it personal.