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Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

Donald Trump teaching you marketing lessons? Seriously? Yes, seriously.
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made the race for the White House fascinating. And fascinating doesn’t happen by chance.
Exceptional marketing combined with good old fashioned, in-your-face salesmanship are central to the success of his campaign – so far.
So putting aside your opinion on his politics, let’s look at what can be learned from Trump’s ‘Making America Great Again’ campaign.

Know Your Audience
Contrary to the opinion of many, Trump is no fool and knows his audience incredibly well. He has identified the pain and passion points of his supporters and has moulded his campaign accordingly.
As a digital marketer, this should be the first thing you do when devising a strategy. You need to know who you’re targeting, how to address their needs with valuable content and then get them to take action.
Yes, it sounds obvious but it’s astounding how many digital campaigns don’t have any compelling customer reasons for being.

Engage Your Audience at Every Touchpoint
Trump is particularly well-known for his power to motivate, outrage, and entertain his audience on Twitter but it’s not the only platform that his campaign uses.
Today’s campaigners are connected through multiple digital channels and are faced with an array of methods to reach out to their voters. This brings opportunity and challenges in equal measure. Get your content’s message, tone, and platform right, and you’ll win loyal supporters. Get it wrong, and your audience clicks over to the next hot thing.
Engaging with your audience through relevant social media platforms is important. While Facebook will always take a leading role, this year’s election campaign has seen candidates reaching beyond the social giant to more niche platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Zig when Everyone Else Zags
From suggesting he paid Hillary to attend his wedding to the claim that Ted Cruz’s father was involved with JFK’s assassination, Trump marches to his own beat.
He does the opposite of what other politicians have been taught to do, but clearly it’s working.
Hillary Clinton says that all is wonderful with the USA; Trump says the complete opposite. By graphically highlighting the country’s problems real or supposed he offers the ultimate solution: him. America will only be great again if you vote for Trump.
The takeaway here is to take chances. Do something different. When everyone is focusing on eBooks and blogs, create a podcast or set up a Periscope account. When everyone goes horizontal, go vertical.

Want to Stay in the Game? Don’t Be Boring!
How many times have you listened to Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz? Do you remember a single thing they said or tweeted? I can’t either.
So how about The Donald?
Like most of us, I can easily rattle off any number of quotes, tweets and incidents from his campaign. Many of Trump’s tweets have taken on a life of their own, garnering enormous global coverage.
What does this tell you about his marketing?
Right from the outset, Trump has been outrageous, disrespectful, rude, controversial and, without fail, utterly compelling.
While his opponents were trying to cut through by spending many millions of dollars on advertising, Trump’s messages and style have earned him more free publicity and media time than all of his erstwhile Republican opponents: combined.
In the marketing world, Trump’s content stands head and shoulders above his competitors and makes people take notice. As a marketer, if you market the same old boring content everyone else is putting out there, no one’s going to see it or care.
From a content marketing perspective, be like Donald, not Jeb.

Build Rapport with Everyone, Even the Haters
This is a risky way to approach a digital marketing campaign but if your brand is ready to take a little heat, you can even get value from your haters.
Of course, while most of us don’t want to “feed the trolls,” Trump has a knack for beating his detractors
to the punch. When Ted Cruz didn’t endorse Trump on day three of the RNC, Trump was quick to tweet about it and turned a negative into a positive. Brave and smart.

Manage Your Brand or Domain
You may have heard about Trump redirecting Jeb Bush’s website to his own. Due to poor brand management, Bush’s team forgot to renew payment for their domain which meant that the address became available to anyone else. Trump’s team grabbed the opportunity and automatically redirected all visitors to his website.
Lesson: don’t be a digital dill. Make sure your domain payments are up-to-date or outsource management to someone who knows what the hell they’re doing!

Lessons Learnt
Trump understands just how dramatically digital communication has changed the way we engage and has invested in his online presence. He has more than 23 million social media followers / likes, dramatically more than any his competitors for the Republican nomination. And 50% more than Hillary Clinton.
Like any successful digital marketer, Trump maintains an active presence and regularly tweets, posts and interacts with both friends and foes alike. He also stays abreast of the latest digital trends (he announced his intention to run on Periscope).
Offensive, buffoonish or smart? Whatever you feel about the man, there’s no denying his masterful use of digital marketing. There a thing or two we can learn from The Donald; or at least from his campaign.

a) Getty Images, Tom Pennington
b) Twitter
c) CNN Money

Seinfeld goes social

A favourite of Gen Xers around the world, ‘the show about nothing’ has been reinvented for modern content consumers
You’re probably showing your age if you admit to having been a ‘big Seinfeld fan’. The sitcom, starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld as, um, comedian Jerry Seinfeld came to an end in 1998, and although it is still shown in reruns around the world, it’s fair to say it’s probably something for the Gen Xers out there.
A fun new initiative by a couple of Seinfeld fans has brought the show into the social media age. As first revealed in The Hollywood Reporter, Twitter feed Modern Seinfeld imagines what Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer would be doing right now, on the cusp of 2013.
The feed was only set up four days ago and has already amassed over 160,000 eager followers – an undisputedly impressive achievement. Here’s a selection of our favourite tweets…





The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Subtitled satire

Online content comedians have been at it again – and this time Australian retailers are in their sights
Following on from our comment yesterday that at least the recent Click Frenzy debacle has given rise to some entertainingly piss-taking social media content, here’s the best of the lot.
This YouTube vid is a truly inspired work of satire. And, like all good satire, it contains more than a grain of truth – namely that Australian retailers’ use of e-tail lags far behind that of the rest of the world.

The danger now is that, as a result of the Click Frenzy fallout, more Australian retailers will be convinced that there is no place for them in the online arena. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. E-tail represents the future, but it has to be handled properly if it is to be successful.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Cartoon content

The Message presents… a brief history of social media
Did you know Facebook was inspired by a note to a young Mark Zuckerberg stuck to a fridge by his mum? Or that Jesus had a Twitter account in which he broke the news of his walking on water way before those Gospel writers got hold of it?
No? Then you badly need to spend the next three minutes and 56 seconds discovering exactly what’s what and who’s who in the world of social media – as seen through the eyes of some cartoon commentators. Incisive, insightful, funny and true, with a cool song to boot!

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Polling perspective

Think the US election coverage is too serious? Satirical content provides the antidote…
The US presidential election is going down to the wire. At time of writing, Barack Obama has secured 78 Electoral College votes, while his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney has 76. The first to 270 will be the winner.
Of more interest to content producers is how the election is being covered. Social and traditional media alike are streaming live coverage, with everyone unanimous in the prediction that, ultimately, a handful of swing states like Ohio are going to be crucial in determining the outcome.
Happily, that provides plenty of satirical opportunities for anyone who likes to provide a more comic twist on events. These may not have the impact (or the reputed effect) of Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impersonation four years ago, but they do neatly skewer the driving desire to win displayed by all politicians of all political persuasions in all countries.

Still, at a time when the American economy is under the closest scrutiny, it is appropriate that jobs (specifically, one job) should receive the most attention…

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Cash for content?

By selling Star Wars to Disney, George Lucas has officially made himself the most successful content marketer in history
For Gen Xers (or at least, male Gen Xers) the world over, there is but one defining movie: Star Wars. Nothing before or since has come close to the thrill of sitting in the cinema as a seven-year-old and hearing John Williams’ iconic theme for the first time as the words A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away herald a crawl of scene-setting paragraphs up the screen.
Since then, there have been the sequels (almost universally loved), the prequels (almost universally hated), the spin-offs (almost universally shrugged at) and even the famously awful Christmas Special (almost universally laughed at).
And in the 35 years since the original movie, its creator, George Lucas, has gone from visionary hero to corporate sell-out for how he ‘cynically’ altered the original films and has kept reissuing them in various formats ever since.
So the news that Lucas has sold Lucasfilm (and with it the rights to all things Star Wars related) to the Walt Disney Company for some $4 billion will doubtless confirm in the minds of many Xers that, despite the justifications he gives here, he really has gone over to the Dark Side.

And yet it’s easy to forget that, really, Star Wars was always an exercise in marketing – and content marketing at that. Lucas was never the best writer (as Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo in the original trilogy, noted when he famously said of one of his scripted lines, ‘You may be able to type this shit, George, but you sure as hell can’t say it’), nor the best director.
He was, however, a brilliant content marketer – taking a proven (and actually very Disney) storyline of a young man’s quest guided by the wisdom of an older advisor, and using content marketing (films, books, action figures, all manner of other merchandise, websites and more) to sell it.
Effectively, Lucas has done what every brand manager and content marketer is seeking to do. So while he may have earned himself eternal opprobrium in the eyes of the original fans of the Star Wars universe, the content marketing heavens have officially seen their brightest star.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Long live the king

No-one really leaves the building in a world where content and technology reign supreme
Back in April, we concluded our report on the ‘return’ of rapper Tupac Shakur: ‘And what price seeing a holographic Elvis or Beatles reunion in the future?’ Well, wouldn’t you just know it…?
A company founded by James Cameron – a man who knows a thing or two about creating a nigh-on unbeatable content formula – is set to ensure that ‘the King’ can rule again after signing an agreement with Elvis Presley Enterprises to digitally recreate Elvis for a series of live shows and TV appearances, 35 years after he died.
Some fans will doubtless be delighted, others may well be horrified. But how does the news leave you?

All Shook Up?
Way Down?
thinking, It’s Now or Never?
Just Can’t Help Believing?
or with a very Suspicious Mind?

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Build your own music

App content means now you too can be U2…
Have you ever listened to an album and thought, ‘I could do better than that!’? Have you ever wished you could really rock at an instrument, but could never be arsed putting in the hours and hours and hours of practice it takes to reach the required level? Have you every wanted the perfect ambient soundtrack for your latest YouTube masterpiece but don’t fancy paying royalties?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of the above, the new iPad app that is Scape could well be for you.
Co-created by legendary producer Brian Eno (the man responsible for the seminal sounds of, among others, David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2 and Coldplay), Scape lets you literally build pieces of music by dragging pre-programmed, varied (and always varying) ‘elements’ onto the screen until you have achieved your desired sonic mix.
To be honest, we think it looks better than it sounds – a fun way to while away a rainy afternoon rather than a serious compositional tool. But hey, we still prefer the sound created by reel-to-reel recording over digital, so what would we know?
So here, with explanation provided by the celebrated Mr E himself, is how it works…

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Mad Men meets marketing

Target’s effective content marketing strategy could be the future of advertising…
A few months ago, Target was making headlines in Australia for apparently mishandling its response to social media criticism. And now it is in the news again – for completely different reasons.
In a campaign worthy of Mad Men (and, incidentally, directed by an award-winning Mad Men director), the US version of Target has created a content marketing coup with its new video. Not a TVC, mind, but video content created specifically for Target.com.
The 12-minute-long video, called ‘Falling for You’, stars Hollywood actress Kristen Bell and will be released in ‘episodes’. Cleverly, it puts a fresh new twist on the 100-year-old product placement technique by making almost everything on screen available for immediate purchase from Target.
As the characters interact, icons of their clothes (which of course come from exclusive Target brands) appear to the right of the video window. Viewers can click on them to check out after each episode, then buy them immediately or (better yet where content marketing is concerned) or share them through social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook.
Whether this represents the future of advertising remains to be seen, but it is an excellent way of generating interest in a website and brand through inventive content – which is precisely what effective content marketing is meant to deliver.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Pop go the prisoners

This is what happens when two of the online world’s most popular phenomena collide…
Early last month, before most media outlets were aware of it, The Message broke the news of the new social (media) phenomenon that is K-Pop. And now that the rest of the Western world is getting jiggy with it (the single Gangnam Style has just gone to number one in the UK charts), we can offer a slightly different take on the trend.
In online content terms, a jail full of Filipino prisoners are among the biggest things around – thanks largely to a video of them dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Posted by the prison authorities, it has received over 51 million views.
And now – like certain more mainstream content marketing campaigns – a sequel is with us, in the form of a dance routine to Gagnam Style. With almost a million views to date, it seems prison pop is striking a chord with online audiences the world over.

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.