Tag Archives: marketing

Glosse: Thalia und Weltbild, oder wie man aus einer Abstimmung Marketingkapital schlägt.

Ich hatte mich gewundert, weshalb sowohl Thalia als auch Weltbild – zwei der vier größten Filialketten („Discounter“) im Schweizer Buchhandel – die Buchpreisbindung unterstützen. Jetzt zeigt sich allerdings ein so einfacher wie zynischer Erklärungsansatz.

Wie könnte der Gedankengang bei den beiden Buchhandelsketten ausgesehen haben? Es folgt eine sicher total an den Haaren herbeigezogene Spekulation, aufbereitet in handlicher Listenform:

  1. Dass eine Buchpreisbindung auf den Verdrängungswettbewerb der Standorte kaum Einfluss hat weiß zumindest Thalia seit geraumer Zeit.
  2. Der Konkurrent ExLibris hat sich mit der Unterstützung des Referendums – als vokaler Gegner einer Buchpreisbindung – positioniert.
  3. … dann könnte man sich marketingtechnisch ja ganz gut vom Schweizer Konkurrenten unterscheiden, wenn man sich zu den Befürwortern schlägt, nicht?
  4. Netterweise liefert das JA-Komitee auch noch massig Werbematerialien wie Poster, Aufkleber, Flyer und Buttons an die Befürworter. Mit Heidi drauf, das zieht in der Schweiz immer.
  5. Als einzigen Böölimaa im deutschschweizer Filialgestrüpp konzentrieren sich die Befürworter einer Buchpreisbindung auf ExLibris. Schön, dass man sich so einfach und preiswert aus der Schusslinie nehmen kann!
  6. Die große Konkurrenz der Discounter liegt im Online-Handel und bei den eBooks. Der Strukturwandel hat selbst für Thalia zu Filialschließungen in Deutschland geführt. Was liegt näher, als selbst eine eBook-Plattform mit eigenem Reader zu lancieren? Weltbild verteilt ihren Reader ja auch zum Ramschpreis.
  7. Und die verbliebenen Standorte werten wir dann mit Kaffeebars, Rolltreppen und Geschenkartikeln zu Konsumtempeln auf. Mit Heidi am Schaufenster. Genau.

Thalia und Weltbild können sich am 11. März gepflegt zurücklehnen. Sie haben bereits Vorkehrungen getroffen, um im Strukturwandel nicht komplett unterzugehen, und werden mit oder ohne Buchpreisbindung wie bisher ihre Marktmacht ausspielen. Mit der Heidi-Kampagne können sie sich in der Deutschschweiz vom ärgsten Konkurrenten auf einer moralischer Ebene distanzieren. Es geht ja immerhin um ein Kulturgut! Welcher Unmensch kann schon NEIN zum Buch sagen?

Es fällt sicher niemandem auf, dass neben dem Heidi im Schaufenster auch noch ein „Bestseller – jetzt 30 % günstiger“-Sticker klebt. Oder dass man den eigenen eReader zum Kampfpreis unters Volk bringt. Die Buchpreisbindung als Marketinginstrument. Kein dummer Ansatz, falls man davon ausgeht, dass der Ausgang der Abstimmung für den Geschäftsgang wenig relevant sein wird. Nicht dumm, aber auch nicht unbedingt großherzig.

Ich schließe mich in dieser Hinsicht dem Verleger Hans-Rudolf Wiedmer an: „Wenn das Gesetz angenommen wird, nehme ich das zur Kenntnis. Wenn es abgelehnt wird, ist das für mich kein Grund zum Jubeln.“

Schade, dass bei der ganzen Diskussion andere mögliche Gründe fürs Lädelisterben kaum Beachtung finden.

When the media cater for search patterns.

No, I won’t frame it, so I’ll leave out the author’s name and obvious keywords including “r+ssist” and “k+pftuchm+dchen”. (Google tells me those are the most prominent search terms I could use, so I won’t.) If you read this blog, you already know what I’m talking about or wonder, again, about my booze consumption. Anyway.

It puzzles me how so many people go rampant on FREE SPEECH even though there is no censorship. I mean, the book in question is being re-printed, as we speak, for the 250000th time. Does this sound like censorship to you?

Also, the whole “nobody dared openly telling the truth before” thing. Duh? If no-one did before, why the hells do you think this is such a topic in political circles? Where do you guess does the Nazikeule come from? A beard in the sky?

This whole discussion is stupid beyond belief, hence no trigger words for you today, GoogleBot! (Awww.) Deal with it, nothing to feed the Fear Machine here. (Okay, there’s tons of self-righteous blog postings out there, so fare thee well!) Sorry, but I don’t enjoy being another brick in the wall. (That was uncalled for, I just log what people write.) Yes you do, but fuck, you are getting fucked by SEO. (Don’t rub it in, please.) Okay. No harm meant. (Thanks.) Don’t mention it.

Reality check: You’re not the Media’s customers.

No, you’re a necessary evil. The real customers are advertising companies and all them salespeople that want to peddle their goods. Most TV formats are interruptions to the ongoing flow of publicity and marketing, their content shrewdly determined by what-people-want-to-see. So the audience sits through this ad fest and believes itself understood and informed.

Sometimes, the Media work hand-in-hand to ensure what-people-want-to-see is what-the-real-customers-want-to-have-associated-with-their-product. Woah, loads of hyphens right there. Apologies.

This also goes for magazines and many newspapers, the latter being a tad more aggressive than their TV counterparts: Let’s make sure there’s a world-wide ban of distributing content which hasn’t been properly licensed from big news agencies. After all, we all print the same stuff to save on wages for reporters. Gods forbid if people could actually read those news without advertisements; our customers wouldn’t be happy about that, would they?

So – support public-law offerings (you pay for them after all, hence you are the customer), and: the Indies. Buy shows on DVD or online if they are worth it. Take yourself out of the equation, atta boy.

Why you suck as online publicist, and what to change.

You can’t force people to appreciate your product or services. You also can’t force them to like your marketing spiel. And if you try to play “the community” you’ll #fail, especially in so-called Social Media circles.

Some might remember my getting a tiny little bit ranty the other day, some probably wondered what the hells that was all about. Well. In this article, I’ll leave the swearing out as much as possible and try to make a point. Point being: Marketing sucks. At least when it’s done ham-fisted and accompanied by unbelievable arrogance.

Good products don’t need pestering.

Let me broaden the statement a bit: Good products virtually sell on their own, and great content will draw people towards your offerings better than any amount of banner ads, employing a “social media officer”, or sheer all-out lying.

Interesting stuff spreads like wildfire on the wobble. Funny crap, incredible concepts, ideas turning into memes, &c don’t have the least problem finding their respective audiences. And yes, you can use this for marketing purposes. Check out how e.g. Google pushes Chrome with crazy video clips that make you go WTF??? Such clips aren’t just funny, they transport a message. A message even rabid anti-marketers might spread without feeling used. Hey, after all I got a chuckle out of it, so I don’t mind sending it to my friends. Even if, in the end, it’s advertising. The laugh is worth it.

But for some weird reason, too many established companies don’t get it. Or rather, won’t get how different a beast the Internet has become compared to older media outlets. They still think in “views” and “ad impressions” and “followers” and “fans” et al. With devastating results.

How the Wobble is different.

You know, there’s an “inter” in “Internet”. And there’s a “web” in “WWW”. Like, people interconnecting, building a web both of communication and trust. Oh yes, trust. I’ll get to that later.

For some ages-old businesses, the Web still looks like another goggle-box con direct pestering addressing potential customers. What these companies fail to see are three things:

  • Humans are flooded with information.
  • People trust other people’s estimates more than advertising agencies.
  • The Net is fast. Like, really fast.

Well, that wasn’t quite fair: Said corporations are well aware of those points but somehow don’t manage to see the relevance. So let me phrase it in non-corporate language:

Don’t spam.

It’s sad I have to point this out. Humans have to digest dozens if not hundreds of information chunks a day. Filling my mailbox with “wanna follow XY?” or my profiles with WIN WIN WIN! won’t make me happy. No, I’ll hit the spam button or just plain block you.

Don’t piss off people, there’s a good marketing chap.

Trust is important.

You can’t expect people to “follow” a fake account and accept information posted through such profiles. You also can’t force people to send prepared information to their well-honed contacts lists. Why should I risk annoying my friends with content and advertisements they already know of? Or, even worse, will consider lovely spam?

Interesting individuals – multipliers you call them, no? – are very much, well, interested in maintaining both their status and credibility. For some, it’s their very livelihood to be taken seriously. Most, if not all, web citizens though simply hate to be used. Most humans hate it, too, so there you are:

Don’t piss off people, there’s a nice marketing boy.

No old news.

If it is on the wobble, it is on the wobble. World-wide, immediately. You want to connect to consumers that are already interested in a topic? Then don’t bore them with old news – that is, news that’s older than, say, 12 hours. If they’re relevant “multipliers”, they already know. And see your great, grand content offering either as lame or, again, spam.

I am well aware that your own mummified business has had national and regional subsidiaries for ages. Accompanied by the most complicated legal codes the human mind – apart from German tax attorneys’ – can devise. But don’t believe your target audience are fools. At best, they’ll bitch about your spamming them with information they’ve already dismissed ages ago. At worst, they’ll be very, very offended. Do they think I haven’t heard about this already? Are they trying to push me into compliance? Do they think I’m that easily conned into re-publishing crap?

Well, you know – don’t piss off people, will you? Thanks, guv.

The arrogance that is antique business models.

It’s not rocket science, dudes and dudettes. Common courtesy paired with common sense. But that’s too … common for you, isn’t it?

Because, after all, you’ve been around for a couple of decades/centuries and know how stuff works™. People should be damn grateful to be allowed to buy your product. No, even watch your ads on TV and – naturally – on the Internets! Damn grateful, so why the hell don’t they spread the word about Product X the way my old-world marketing project plan predicts? It worked in the past! It has worked for dozens of years! It – just – works – that – way!

Well, you guessed it: It doesn’t. So either get wise or get off the Web. Wise sounds fine? Here’s how.

What to do as a good Internet publicist.

Make it easy for people to spread stuff or join causes. You want users on Facebook to participate in a contest? Well, then don’t ask for stuff the media shoot well-worded NOES against. Like filming yourself naked and putting it online or something. After inviting 16+ of your own friends or jump through burning wheels of fire. Or something.

If you build great content, they will come. Not large enough an audience to release interesting stuff on the wobble? Well, hen/egg, anybody? Why should I follow you on Twitter if you just rehash old crap nobody cares about? So I get spammed with messages telling me things I’ve known of for half a year already? Get real.

Don’t piss off people. Seriously. Just don’t.

Further reading.

Naturally, I’m far from the first to point this out. May I direct your attention to Lindsay Robertson’s Do’s and Don’ts of Online Publicity? Or, related, Merlin’s ramblings about sensible use of his content? Yes? Well, enjoy the read. It’s well worth it and might save your marketeer’s ass in times to come.

Damn, I still ended up cussing. Apologies.