If you have kids eight or older, you might find yourself learning about Paper Jamz in short order. They are (despite the name) plastic guitars that let you very convincingly pretend to play one of three rock songs out of little on-board speakers. The two Flying V style guitars in our house as of yesterday play “I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night” and “School’s Out for Summer,” for starters. My daughter woke us this morning to a rousing concert of “School’s Out for Summer,” wearing the jangly Princess Jasmine top from Halloween and a peace-sign laden skirt from a blanket. Oh, and she had a headband in her hair.
Prior to a few weeks ago, she hadn’t ever shown an interest in music. Her dad (that’d be me) plays several instruments, and I break out the guitar here and there, but even then, she wasn’t all that into it. Only now, she’s eating her cereal with her Paper Jamz guitar plopped on the table beside her (evidently, in case she needs to break into “You Really Got Me”).
We don’t have TV, so marketing has a tough time of reaching my kids. She hears about things at school, of course, but that’s only one source of influence (and I say “only one” knowing that it’s stronger sometimes than home). She saw the guitars in a Wal*Mart circular sent to the house, and that was enough. She knew she needed it. She had to have a Paper Jamz guitar.
Two Sides of Marketing
Some marketing is designed to convince you that your life would be better if you had this (we’ll call that the A side). Other marketing is designed to find the people who are actually seeking that and give them more education to help them make a decision (this, we’ll call B). When I look at how we use social media more often than not, it’s for B and not A. We usually use social media to listen for the people who are expressing an interest in a product or service that we offer, and then we give them content like blog posts and videos to help them better understand how much better the world would be once you really get the product or service that you want.
When I look at how my daughter reacts to the Paper Jamz, this product that we didn’t know existed, I think a little more about how we can work with clients on the “A” side of that marketing. For instance, our client Rainforest Cola has a new, all-natural 100% natural (good for you, etc, etc) cola beverage. First time anyone’s made a cola that’s full of antioxidants and stuff. You don’t know that you need this product. You don’t know that it tastes way better than the other energy drinks on the market (oh, and between us, it tastes delicious with bourbon in it). We’re doing the B type of marketing, the education and the helping people understand that it’s really good for you *and* delicious and stuff.
The A-side of marketing, the “ADVERTISING” side of marketing, still has to sneak in between what we know and what we NEED (being bombastic and smirky here) to know, so that we can then help educate people (the “BRIDGING” side of marketing) that it’s what they want.
Which are you spending more of your time on? When you think of a marketing mix, are you employing social media on the A side or the B side? What else?
| Chris Brogan is an eleven year veteran of social media using both web and mobile technologies to build digital relationships for businesses, organizations, and individuals.