Masters of CX
are Stuck on
Like and Failing
By Mitch Joel
President, Twist Image
Published by Econsultancy in association with Offerpop
Why Brands are Stuck on Like / Mitch Joel
We live in strange
We applaud a cookie company for posting something
relevant and timely on Facebook while the rest of the world
was trying to figure out how a blackout happens at a major
From there, we watch this cookie manufacturer rack up over
35 million likes on Facebook, and we bow in reverence. A
new king arises. A new viral sensation.
How can we all capture this lightning in a bottle? How can
we turn this real-time marketing stunt into millions-upon-millions
of followers who are talking up our brands and
pushing sales growth to near double-digits?
You would think that brands would “get it” by
now. Sadly, most don’t. Social media (and
online social networks in particular) are the
best channels brands have ever had for truly
engaging in a powerful and profound direct
relationship with their consumers.
But instead of diving in deep, changing the
way that their marketing and communications
departments are organized, and how they
make those connections, brands persist in
chasing “vanity” metrics, as my friend and
Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google,
Avinash Kaushik, likes to call them).
The old television advertising metric of GRP
(for measuring audience) is now being
played with “likes,” “followers” and yes...
even shares. Don’t believe me? Facebook’s
sales reps will talk to you about reach and so
will the Twitter ad people. Their sales pitch
will compare audience sizes to that of the
traditional TV networks.
The social giants will talk up how their
platform combined with traditional media
programming can create a high level of
impact and awareness. Perhaps, if you work
really hard, you too can take a selfie that
millions upon millions of people will share and
talk about…until tomorrow…when the next
The question is: Why go for likes when you
can go for love?
Here’s a thought: just because someone
clicked on a link, it doesn’t mean that they
read it or engaged with it. And just because
someone shared or “liked” a piece of content,
it doesn’t mean that they did anything more
than click. Is a click the same as consuming?
What can brands do to move their mindsets
away from likes and clicks? They can think
deeply about falling in love. Falling in love
with their consumers and how they can now
interact with them.
Mitch Martin is a lawyer and the world is his
oyster. He’s recently married, working his way
up the corporate ladder, enjoys time with his
friends and family. Like most professionals
who travel for work, there is no better feeling
than hopping on an earlier flight and making
it home to surprise your loved ones… that
is unless your spouse is engaged in an illicit
threesome once you arrive. That’s just one of
the many ridiculous scenarios from the 2003
hit Hollywood comedy Old School, starring
Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson.
It turns out that Mitch (Luke Wilson) was
deeply in love with his wife who - for the
most part - was ok “liking” a bunch of
random strangers. In the digital age of
instant gratification, consumer promiscuity
is rampant, and getting consumers to be
(somewhat) monogamous and in love with
your brand is no easy task.
It’s also a cultural thing for brands, at
this point. Advertising was created as a
mechanism to get attention through repetition
of impressions. It’s easy to fall back on this
dogma in our day to day advertising lives. To
use the traditional metrics and the traditional
yardsticks for success. Digital marketing
can help you do so much more. It can
move you from these one night stands to
something deeper and more meaningful with
The question is:
Why go for likes
when you can
go for love?
A study of brand strength suggests
that consumers’ ties to brands
have weakened significantly. In the
cosmetics sector, for example, those
with positive brand scores dwindled
from 7 of the 19 studied brands in
2002 down to one by 2012.
// Source: Shultz, Block and
Viswanathan, Brand Preference being
Challenged, (2012) Medill School
of Journalism, Media, Integrated
Start off slow... and take it slow.
We live in a real-time, tweet a minute,
analytics-driven world. This means that
marketers want everything (more sales, more
brand awareness, more loyalty, more likes
and more) and we want it fast.
Historically, the brands that were first to adopt
any form of digital marketing (think back to
the nineties) did so with the strategic posture
of it being fast and quick to do. With that
came the notion that it was also cheaper to
do (much cheaper than a traditional TV, print
or radio buy). Remember when keywords on
Google were a cheap buy and plentiful? You
could link to a couple of quickly designed web
pages and the phone would ring.
A friend of mine owned a B2B software
company. He would buy keywords, develop
quick landing pages and didn’t need any
sales and marketing staff. Long before
Google acquired Android, he would call his
pay-per-click initiative the “Google Phone,”
because that’s what would happen all day:
the phone would ring off of the hook with
sales leads (all inbound), just because of
Google. It was cheap, fast and easy.
To this day, many CMOs embrace digital
marketing because they think it will be cheap
and cheerful. Are you going to tell me that
marketers don’t see email marketing as a
faster (and cheaper) solution to their direct
marketing of years past?
The best way to stop getting stuck on
likes and to start thinking about love is to
understand that the best digital marketing is
about being slow.
Yes, make fast decisions. Use technology
and its speed for glory, but optimal results
You can’t quickly start a channel on YouTube
and go viral… with every video. It takes
time to build your content, to get good at
storytelling in that format, to become a
part of the channel’s culture, to develop a
community and earn trust and respect.
You can’t just publish an Instagram feed,
and expect your followers to make that cash
You can’t change your Facebook content
and media strategy and derive any true value
from it, unless you take the time to meet your
consumers there, authentically connect with
them, share something of value with them (or,
as my friend Jay Baer says, create YouTility
), build on that relationship and grow these
Digital marketing is not a key party. Moving
a brand from likes to love is about building
real relationships. It’s a new area on the
relationship spectrum for brands to have,
as well. It’s not the first impressions on the
first date and it’s not about consummating
the relationship. It’s about the massive
opportunity of that middle phase of
relationship building. It’s that middle phase
that digital marketing has opened up for
Yes, make fast decisions.
Use technology and its
speed for glory, but optimal
results take time.
Before he was a drone specialist, Chris
Anderson (author of The Long Tail and
Free and former editor of Wired Magazine)
would often regale audiences with the reality
that over half of all traffic to Wired’s digital
properties was to the archive. The older
content. The longer it had been there, the
more people who have linked to it, shared it,
tagged it, etc... the more valuable it became.
Contrast that to the current half-life of
everything that your brand has tweeted out
or posted on Facebook in the past month. Is
there any value in that archive?
There is some profound learning here. Some
marketers would lead you to believe that
content marketing is now all about how fast
you can post and jump on to the latest meme.
It turns out that taking
things slowly and allowing
them to build over time is
an incredibly powerful part
of the new machine.
Yes, but that’s not the entire story. It turns out
that taking things slowly and allowing them
to build over time is an incredibly powerful
part of the new machine. The more valuable
the catalog of content, the more trust gained
from consumers linking to it and, ultimately,
the more valuable (and upwardly mobile) the
Yes, the Wired editorial team still rush to post
the latest and greatest, but the true value of
that content is derived slowly and over time.
It turns out that love isn’t always found in the
never-ending fire hydrant of content known
as the newsfeed.
Slow does not mean resting on
Long-term results and relationships take
time. You know the old adage, “there are no
shortcuts to success.” If you’re starting on
Facebook by pre-loading sanitized press
releases or posting standard stock photos on
Pinterest, you’re not adding value and you
are not speeding up the process. In fact, you
are probably slowing the brand down (in this
case, slow is bad).
This is where brands struggle. By not
becoming part of the culture and choosing
to just sell into it, success takes much longer
because, inevitably, the course must be
corrected and value built around the “right”
pieces of engagement.
Marketing? The term “real-time marketing” often
53+How marketers refers to rapid social responses
but also extends into the areas of
The distinction will become
45+are using 23+real-time marketing
29 increasingly important as more
functions move from human to
programmatic; instant response to
consumer behavior via website, email
and display channel is becoming part
of the marketer’s standard toolkit.
// Source: Real-Time Marketing
Report, Econsultancy (2014)
None of these
e.g. web, email,
The right story based on right
insight. That’s what consumers
love…and become loyal to.
The growth of content marketing and native
advertising validates this. Suddenly, brands
are telling stories in a more personal, human
and connected way. It is very effective, but it
isn’t something that works from campaign to
campaign or quarter to quarter. How many
brands have asked the right question: “Are
we really and truly willing to put the time
in?” Paying for light attention is easy. Fan
acquisition strategies are everywhere to be
But the brands that are able to capitalize on
the paid strategies are the same ones who
are putting in the time doing something with
The blogger James Altucher once told me
that for every hour he spends creating
content, he spends three hours promoting
it and building community and audience
around it. This may seem simplistic to more
sophisticated marketers, but we still live in
a day and age where the vast majority of
brands are pumping out a stock photo with a
message akin to : “like this if you like poodles”
or similar drivel.
There’s a reason why Facebook throttles the
content that brands are able to display to their
followers. To counter that, successful brands
on Facebook (and other forms of social
media) are really diving in deep to think about
what they’re going to create in a world where
people on Facebook are more likely to flick
over anything not relevant to them. In short,
brands are learning how to find love by truly
becoming more personable and interesting.
Again, love takes time.
Brands want to know how much time it takes
to move from likes to love. How much time
does it take to create something valuable?
In short, brands are
learning how to find love
by truly becoming
Again, love takes time.
How much time does it take to do YouTube right? How much time
should we spend on Twitter? How much time does it take to create
great content for Facebook?
The reframe that is needed is not in trying to answer the question by
looking at historical data from others, but in asking the question in a
more philosophical way.
At what price love? Don’t scoff at this. The majority of brands are
under-indexing on engagement scores, and it’s not because they
aren’t committing budget or creative to make a run at it. They are
failing because they’re not putting in the time to create content that
relies on the social insight (versus their creative idea) and they’re not
putting in the time to truly connect with the audience. The stuff that
builds trust… that leads to love.
It’s not just about Facebook.
Today, all media has some social component to it. Building your
business to social scale is something that can be bought (whether
some like this or not is irrelevant). Building your business to social
scale and turning it into something truly valuable will only be about the
brand’s commitment to truly putting in the long, hard work and time
required to build substantive relationships. The true winners are the
ones who are putting in the serious time to move from like to love.
Let love rule.
// Mitch Joel
In 2010 Nivea premiered their Black &
White deodorant brand. The process
was truly co-creative with customers,
involving them all the way through
“Problem” phase: consumers
identified hundreds of stain types,
inspiring the scientists.
“Idea” phase: Nivea’s team shared
their thoughts with partners and
consumers, co-creating the approach
“Evaluation” phase: as ideas
rolled out, they were evaluated and
enhanced by consumer participants.
Result: Black & White became the
leading product in its category in only
The question should best be phrased like this:
“if we are going to be effective using social media,
are we committed to putting in the time and effort it
will require to get the results we expect?”
About the Masters of CX Published by Econsultancy in association with Offerpop
The Masters of CX series features true marketing thinkers
and industry heavyweights, covering the issues surrounding
your customer experience approach and strategy.
These unique reports will be published between October
and December 2014, along with two dedicated webinar
sessions where you can gain first-hand insight from the
authors on the key issues raised.
We’re delighted to be working with some of the most
influential authors within digital marketing.
Reports in the series include:
Winning Hearts in
by Jay Baer
Influence the Influencers
- The Magic of Co-Created
by Lee Odden
Beyond the Sale: Building
by Brian Clark
Empower your Employees
to Power your Customer
by Ted Rubin
Lessons from Medieval
by Mark Schaefer
Why Brands are Stuck on
Like and Failing at Love
by Mitch Joel
Find out more about the authors and reports at
join the discussion using #MastersofCX
Econsultancy arms a global community of over half a million
marketers and ecommerce professionals with the research,
data, analysis, training, events and online resources they need to
enable them (and their organizations) to succeed online.
Digital doesn’t stand still and nor do we. We’re known for being
at the forefront of the industry, with a renowned team of analysts,
trainers and advisers who focus their digital knowledge and
experience on helping our customers overcome their specific
Find out more and register for a free account at
Offerpop is a digital marketing software-as-a-service platform
transforming how global brands connect, engage and convert
today’s mobile and social consumers into long-term loyal
customers. Leading enterprises and agencies use Offerpop’s
integrated platform to power campaigns, content and commerce,
and provide marketers with rich consumer data for smarter
Offerpop is an ExactTarget Marketing Cloud partner, Facebook
Preferred Marketing Developer, a Twitter Certified Product and
has been highlighted as a recommended Instagram platform
Learn more at offerpop.com
Wir haben unsere Datenschutzbestimmungen aktualisiert.
Wir haben unsere Datenschutzbestimmungen aktualisiert, um den neuen globalen Regeln zum Thema Datenschutzbestimmungen gerecht zu werden und dir einen Einblick in die begrenzten Möglichkeiten zu geben, wie wir deine Daten nutzen.
Die Einzelheiten findest du unten. Indem du sie akzeptierst, erklärst du dich mit den aktualisierten Datenschutzbestimmungen einverstanden.