Creating Need through Utility: Extraordinary Digital Thinkers, Part 6

March 21, 2014

By Bruce Nickson

Last, but certainly not least, we present Sandy Fleischer of Pound & Grain, in the sixth and final post recapping the February 20th BCAMA Evening Speaker Series event, The League of Extraordinary Digital Thinkers.

A long time ago (1900) in a galaxy far far away (France), there were two brothers: Edouard and Andre.

michelin bros

Edouard and Andre wanted to sell pneaus. The problem was that few people had cars, and those who did rarely drove far.  And even fewer drove for enjoyment (porquoi?). So Edouard and Andre asked themselves, “How the heck do we get people out on the road so we can sell pneaus?”

Luckily, the French, believing that poorly prepared food is akin to a lethal weapon, were willing to travel far for a good meal. Et voila, the Michelin Guide is born. Lots and lots of tires were sold. The rest as they say, is histoire.

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Fast-forward 114 years. Sandy Fleischer of Pound & Grain asks the big question: How does our new digital technology help us actually break through the massive clutter in our daily lives? The answer is what Sandy calls “Creating Meaning in a Kardashian World”.

In the end, it’s about being useful. Instead of shouting, arm waving and shoving messages down people’s throats, maybe we can get away from the Kardashian effect and help people out.

Can marketers find redemption and move away from the dark side? What Sandy has found is that useful marketing increses loyalty and increases brand equity.

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Sandy offers five possible techniques that allow you to actually offer something useful to your customers.

The first example is the app developed by Pound & Grain that gives you access to local, fresh and seasonal food, including where it is and where to go to get it.

Next? Logically expanding and enhancing your product. The Pages from BCAMA_Sandy Fleischer_Presentation-10example is how Kleenex is able to expand true usefulness by providing people with local cold and flu forecasts. Makes sense. More cold and flu likelihood equals increased sales for Kleenex.

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If you’re an Apple person, you might have the Apple store app. The app creates a natural bridge between you and the object of your desire. You’re at an Apple store, you fire up the app, and then point and purchase. “It’s like shoplifting.” (But it’s not illegal.)

The technique I like, being an Android + Audi guy, is the start/stop technology app from Pages from BCAMA_Sandy Fleischer_Presentation-12Audi. It senses when you’re wasting gas and offers to turn off your engine. Sounds kind of dumb, but it’s about the reminder – the app doing a small slice of thinking/reminding for you. Efficiency matters.

And last we have the buzz word du jour, Content Marketing. Pages from BCAMA_Sandy Fleischer_Presentation-13“We need to stop thinking like we’re selling a product or service, and think of yourself as a publisher.” Think Red Bull, a digital publishing company that just happens to sell a beverage. As is fairly well-known, Red Bull’s content is a profit centre.

Register now for the next BCAMA Breakfast Speaker Series event, Next Generation Digital Storytelling, which will be held this Thursday, March 27th.