Category Archives: Web marketing trends

About web marketing trends as well as other trends that will affect our marketing future, such as technological developments.

Micro moments that pull marketing

Although Google seems to have coined the phrase, micro-moments are not a Google invention. You and I invented them by how we behave. And now they are changing marketing. Big time. How’s that possible for a word that still doesn’t exist in Wikipedia but gives over 43 million results when I seek it on Google?

akallevig_micro-moment_blogroiSo what are micro-moments really?

In the fragments of the lives we live today, they are best summed up as the stolen media moments in-between. Examples? The quick look at todays news while you’re on the bus on your way to work. The link you came across and clicked while you were really only checking a message on Facebook while waiting for a friend in a restaurant. The search you did in that same restaurant to figure out an item on the menu in French. And the reviews you checked on the way there to just to be sure. And then there’s that YouTube video you searched up at work to find out how the new microwave worked when the manual had already been lost. The list is endless for just one single day. Try it for yourself for a day – you might be surprised.

Some buzzword seekers try to limit it to a mobile phenomena. Which it is. But not just. Through the eyes of Google it may seem like a search thing. Which it is. but not just. It’s about how we behave, largely because of two things:

  • Vast amounts of information available at our fingertips 24/7
  • The fragmentation of our media consumption time into very small, specific pieces, largely as a result of availability

We jump in and out of media on one subject at a time, many times a day. Yes, we may sit down and read page by page or surf around once in a while, but at the end of the day, the majority of our media consumption is spent in many very small increments.

So what does this mean for inbound marketing?

It means that inbound marketing, aka. pull marketing, is the only way to stay relevant to the consumer in these very short media moments. Now more than ever you need to match your marketing to where that consumers head is at that moment, as relevant as possible. Demographics and old fashioned targeting is much less important than what they wan’t at that moment. If my micro moment is playing a game while I wait for the bus, I wan’t to be entertained. It’s hardly the time to sell me insurance. But you can sell me other entertainment alongside that game. And if I’m seeking a restaurant in a given area, you might be able to hijack me to another. Or to a bar near by first. But probably not to an appliance store in another town.

Programatic will be key to micro-moment marketing

Obviously, It’s impossible to follow these micro-moments with marketing manually. This is one of the reasons why it’s such a Google thing – search is and has always been rigged for this. Search engine marketing has always been triggered by what you seek in any given moment. But that doesn’t mean other forms of marketing can’t maximise on the same benefits. Programatic offers vast new possibilities to target your advertising to consumers by what they are doing right now. A set of conditions can easily dictate what creative is served. But it requires a different way of thinking about developing good campaigns.

The need to let go

What will stop many marketers is the thought of making all the different creative formats. Already 13 banner formats for Google Display Ads seem daunting. Multiply that by various messages to be in the right place at the right time with just the right message and it can become overwhelming. There are simple programatic solutions that change content in ads depending on context, but that means less control of the look of the ad. Most likely we’ll have to sacrifice some visual control of the marketing to win contextually. Will it mean less need for creatives? I don’t think so. We’ll just ´need a different kind of creative work. We’ll need those that thrive in imagining every possible customer journey and finding the right answer to the likely customers’ every possible request. Many of the best creators, as well as their clients, will probably have to let go of some visual control of the end result, to get rewarded with more complex, exciting conceptual work instead.

We want this because, when you think about it, the programatic marketing solutions available are only as great as the creative work we put into them. And with so little time, we want every micro-moment to be great, right?

Don’t let them fool you: Lean creative is also brilliant creative

main illustration lean creativity

Trapped creativity, or just a felt moose on a speaker in a bird cage?

Back in the day when I was an Advertising Art Director we believed that the initial creative process was best kept to the Art Director and Copy Writer in a tight-lipped little team. Creativity was our magic, and we pulled it out of magical brainstorming processes alone. Sure there was a brief, but the creative process went greatly unchecked by other than subjective opinions along the way until released. Since marketing effect couldn’t really be measured properly, each campaign was a fresh start to do something new, often with little learning from the previous campaign. Ah, the carefree fun we had!

Data driven creativity is the future, like it or not

Surprisingly many still think this way, even with all the new measuring and testing possibilities we have today. They cling tightly to the idea that true creative marketing is a magical secret process that will only be corrupted by data and testing. Some fear the consumer won’t understand the idea before the campaign is finished, others argue that competitors will steal it if it’s out there. So they spend insane amounts of money producing fancy TV-campaigns with no idea wether they will fly or crash until production is done and media is spent. Meanwhile, lean marketers like Google are laughing all the way to the bank. Creatively, too.

So what is the flaw here?

1. The fancy ideas that win aren’t necessarily the creative ones. Nor are they the ones the customer wants. They tend to be what the team want to produce or what the client wants. In a lean process where you test early, you’ll often see that the best ideas will shine already in their roughest form because the idea stays in focus rather than the execution.

2. The advertiser puts all their eggs in one basket – with no proof of success. In a lean creative process you could test a lot of ideas at an early stage. Even the crazy ones you thought too wild. This can stir up some great creative processes. And sometimes,  your customer will be ready for more than you think, and an idea that would never make it past the client will win the market over. Creatively.

3. They miss a great opportunity to be creative with their customers rather than against them. In todays social climate your ambassadors are the true gold. Involving your customers not only secures that the advertising speaks to them, it builds ownership and loyalty to the finished campaign. I am frequently surprised how eager consumers are to share great campaigns, especially the ones that involve real user input and involvement of all sorts. They don’t have to be as involved as the Old Spice 2010 campaign, but lean or not this shows the power of user involvement from an agency that dared. Would these commercials be as funny or viral if they had been invented by a professional team alone? I have my doubts.

A lean love story

Not surprisingly, Google took to Lean Marketing early. I remember when the Google concept Search On appeared on YouTube. A few full blown executions there later it was clear that one idea separated itself from the rest in terms of viewer engagement. The winner was Parisian Love, and it went on to become Google’s acclaimed first Superbowl ad ever. A low cost production with a huge following before it even aired. Now that’s fool proof creative and ad spending.

Let the data give creative freedom

Wether it’s previously gathered data on user behavior or it’s what you learn when you test your fresh ideas, it’s how you use it that determines weather it makes or breaks creativity. Used wisely it gives great opportunity to experiment and explore to create brilliant creative without wasting money. So

  • Get to know your data (including the quirky details that inspire)
  • test lots of ideas early, even the wild ones
  • test often on real segments users
  • Use what they say and do to refine your work

Only then will you have memorable campaigns and sustainable marketing at a low risk that you know will suit your target group before they’ve even seen it.

Lean Marketing in 8 minutes

In December I introduced Lean Marketing at 8 Minutes of Digital Marketing here in Oslo. As most of my short presentations the PowerPoint contained hardly a word. Now I’ve added a few and translated it all to English to share it with you.

Minimum viable Marketing presentation?

Lean Marketing has not caught on here in Norway yet. Some will blame our lack of real financial crisis in this country. Although that may be true, It’s a dangerous and very short-sighted excuse that can put us at a disadvantage in the future. We all need to strive for sustainable business models for a better tomorrow, regardless of financial situation right now. So how to convince people here it’s time to change when they don’t have the pressing incentive of no choice but go lean to survive? Where to start? In the spirit of lean the answer is obvious: Start simple and build.


Well, I checked out many Lean Marketing presentations and processes around the web and it struck me how complicated most of them are. Convoluted models of fremeworks with so many bricks you need the place before you can start I wouldn’t know where to begin. In short, It doesn’t look or feel lean nor agile, so why would anyone believe it is? No, If I’m going to market lean marketing, then lean is what everything needs to be. It has to be boiled down, simple. How better then, to make it lean than to challenge yourself to squeeze it into the strict 8-minute timed presentation format of 8 Minutes of Digital Marketing? That’s what i did, and what you see above is the result, more or less. It was challenging, enlightning and lots of fun, too. And I clocked in at 8 minutes blank – on the nose 🙂
So if the show is a bit skinny for your taste, the timing is the reason. If it’s cryptic, but makes you curious to know more, then get in touch – I’d love to discuss, explain and learn. This is all a work in progress – a first sprint, if you will.

Go lean through mobile – an agile idea

Measuring ribbonYesterday, while I was gathering inspiration and new digital marketing trend tidbits at the Ad:Tech New York conference, a great idea was presented that triggered another idea in my head, and I want to share it with you while it’s fresh. I think this can not only make us all better mobile marketers, but leaner marketers and communicators as well.

Tomorrow is mobile

One of the most inspiring sessions at todays ad:tech was Tomorrows Digital Landscape, an informal conversational interview between Dave Morgan of Simulmedia and  Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. The latter is not only the source of great digital insight over decades, but has an extraordinary skill for drawing the big picture in such clear lines and plain language that you wonder why you hadn’t thought of it yourself. It was filmed and I highly recommend watching the full version. There were lots of tidbits throughout, but one particularly clear suggestion from Wilson caught my inspiration and triggered my imagination. One of the less surprising major trends throughout the conference is the importance of mobile, but Wilson has an interesting fresh approach to what to do: “Make a mobile app and make it the core of your web presence.” Instead of the usual gruelling stripping of the website to make it mobile friendly, this suggests starting with the simple and building on it for the web site. This boldly suggests that it’s better to scale up than down, and isn’t that so true for most situations in life really?

starting to smell like great lean

What if you combined this with lean principles? What if you started with a minimum viable truly mobile product (MVTMP?) based on a hypothesis of what it should do for your target group. The product doesn’t have to be an app – a responsive design mobile page may actually even better for our more scalable purpose. The important thing is to start as simple as possible. What can we give that our customers on the go needs? Although you start with mobile needs it’s highly unlikely that these needs are completely irrelevant to your web clients – you’ll ad more for them later.

Short and long term benefits

Based on that you test and explore as you build your site in small iterations. While the obvious bonus is the increasingly important mobile presence, there are many other benefits:

  • Clear and concise communication
  • Optimal user experience for every device
  • User-centric from the onset
  • new, controlled environment that’s testable piece by piece
  • a sustainable, flexible solution that can grow and change as your business goals and the market requires
  • and last but not least, a great way to get started with lean marketing

So how about making mobile digital presence you know you need your stepping stone to leaner marketing?