The Tebow Effect…

Tim Tebow became the center of media attention for a brief moment this last fall.  A combination of football heroics, faith and social media made Tebow a household name and a lightening rod for conversation.  Adam Amel Rogers is a Project Specialist at the Norman Lear Center at USC.   Here is his take on the Tebow effect. 

To this die-hard Denver Broncos fan, the past football season has been an unforgettable wild ride. My beloved team used a series of unbelievable last-minute comebacks to rise above their talent level and win their division and a game in the playoffs. In the process, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow rose to a level of fame that reaches far beyond the football field.

Few public figures exemplify the work we do at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center more than Tim Tebow. The Lear Center studies and shapes how entertainment and media impact society; and over the past year, the Tebow phenomenon has traversed numerous societal categories that help explain his meteoric rise in both popularity and disdain.

Religion – The intersection of sports and religion is nothing new, but Tim Tebow has dramatically moved the needle on the public discussion of religion’s role in sports. Tebow’s overt and unapologetic religious references have made him a hero in evangelical communities and a villain among those who believe in the separation of church and sports. Religion became a regular topic on sports talk radio, and a recent poll revealed that 43% of people believe that “divine intervention” is at least in part responsible for Tebow’s success. Following the Broncos legendary overtime playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, a common media meme was focused on how Tebow threw for 316 yards (like the commonly cited Bible verse “John 3:16”), on 10 (as in commandments) passes, for an average of 31.6 yards per pass (there it is again). Some took it even further, noting that he threw the pass to Demaryius Thomas, who shares a birthday with Jesus (December 25). Hyperbolic religious claims and criticisms became a regular part of discussions involving Tebow.

Politics – Tim Tebow has been perhaps the most sought-after celebrity endorsement of the 2012 presidential race. Although he has very smartly

declined to endorse anyone, that hasn’t stopped candidates from trying to capitalize on his popularity – both Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann have desperately compared themselves to him. Tebow is no stranger to political controversy; his decision to align himself with the anti-gay, anti-choice organization Focus on the Family for an abortion-themed Super Bowl ad in 2010 still serves as a sore spot for progressives. It appears that his handlers now have a short leash on him regarding public display of his views on social issues, but that hasn’t stopped Focus on the Family from continuing to align themselves with Tebow. During the Broncos season-ending game against the New England Patriots, Focus aired a John 3:16″ themed commercial that was inspired by Tebow’s 316 yards passing the week before. Tebow’s life is expected to intersect with politics many times in the future: social conservatives have talked about drafting Tebow for public office ever since he was at the University of Florida.

Media – Prior to this season, the Broncos have been virtually invisible in mainstream sports media, but media coverage of Tim Tebow became an absolute obsession this season. ESPN seemed to lead the fixation with constant coverage of the Tebow phenomenon that included two separate one-hour Tebow specials (compared with a combined zero one-hour specials for all other NFL players). In the second Tebow special, they said the word “Tebow” 160 times in one hour. Deadspin put together a 91 second video which shows all 160 mentions. The Tebow story also spawned countless articles in traditional news media, and at times it dominated social media – his overtime playoff touchdown against the Steelers propelled a record-setting 9,420 tweets per second, which is the most ever for a U.S. event.

Internet Memes – Tebow’s success has made him susceptible to the full range of tribute and parody that the Internet has to offer. His signature prayer move made “Tebowing” the next “Planking” as people across the globe posted pictures of themselves on one knee in prayer. Then several Tebow-themed videos spread like wildfire, including traditional media comedies like a Saturday Night Live skit that featured Jesus asking Tebow to “tone it down,” and a Jimmy Fallon mashup between David Bowie and Tim Tebow, or as he dubbed it, “Tebowie.” Then there’s the popular auto-tuned YouTube hit All He Does Is Win” (with over 2.5 million views), the fake Tim Tebow movie trailer, and of course you’re not a real star on the Internet until Hitler weighs in on your success. Tebow has also been photobombed all over the Web, with the popular Mad Magazine rendition of Tebow as Jesus in the Last Supper, Tebow touching the hand of God in Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam,” and Tebow as a Centaur riding with Broncos legend John Elway under a rainbow.

Business – Shortly after Tim was drafted into the league, his jersey sales were ranked number 1 in the league, and he was pictured in his underwear in department stores across the nation for his Jockey endorsement – all before he had ever taken a snap in the NFL. After this crazy season, he has proven to be ratings gold for networks. The playoff win over the Steelers was watched by 42.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched TV program since last February’s Super Bowl. Tebow has also become an inspirational figure for business leadership, with the Washington Post naming him as one of the best leaders of 2011 (along with Hillary Clinton and Steve Jobs), and Forbes Magazine finding in him a slew of leadership lessons.

Innovation – The Lear Center has a project called Creativity & Collaboration in the Academy, which seeks to identify ways that research communities innovate and collaborate. Perhaps there are some lessons to be learned from this year’s Broncos season. A substantial part of the fascination with Tebow and the Broncos was how they won games. The NFL is a pass-heavy league that values strong arms and precision passing. When Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees throws a pass, the ball looks like a magnificent work of art as it travels to its precise target. When Tim Tebow throws a pass, it looks like a rejected kindergarten art project that will be lucky to land anywhere near its target. The Broncos’ success is largely due to the coaching staff’s throwing out conventional wisdom and building an offense that is based on the skills that Tim Tebow brings to the field. This upset much of the traditional football brass, who couldn’t understand how a team could keep winning games with a quarterback who can’t throw the ball, but the Broncos’ success has shown how important it is to cater to organizational strengths. As Terry Frei from the Denver Post said of the Broncos’ offense, “Innovation leads to redefining conformity in a copycat business.”1

Whatever the reason for Tebow’s success last fall, he effect on people seems to be lasting.  Follow us on Facebook or find us on twitter. 

1) http://blog.learcenter.org/2012/01/tim_tebow_the_most_lear_center.html

Advertisements

Emotional Branding…..the Compelling Why?

Creating an emotional connection between customers and a brand is probably the highest achievement in marketing.  Most often, brands strive for this mark by being the best at something and then reinforcing that position at every opportunity. The bond or connection is forged when you can answer the compelling why? Why should a customer buy your brand?  What compels customers to choose you?  If you have answered the why, you have started the emotional branding process.

Think about Apple and Starbucks as examples of emotional brands.  Have they created a connection with their customers?

The best way is to create a brand connection is for them to experience a difference.  Why are you different? Is your product one of a kind?  If not, then is your service exceptional?  When building emotion into your brand customers go through stages….

Emotional Stage 1 – How you get someone interested? Why should they choose you?

Emotional Stage 2 – How do you get someone to consider a purchase? Do you offer value or experience?

Emotional Stage 3 – How do you continually reinforce that their purchase decision was absolutely the right decision?  Did you create value or experience?

Emotional Stage 4 – How do you create a loyal customer such that they want to continue to buy your product or service? Can you cross or up sell?

Emotional Stage 5 – How do you create a brand connection so that your brand becomes part of your customer’s life?  Do you have a way to communicate to your customers: email, Facebook, twitter or text? Remember, out of sight out of mind.

Emotional Stage 6 – How do you get your audience to be your ambassador?

Getting customers emotionally invested in your brand success is the pinnacle of marketing success.  Find us on Facebook & Twitter @ata2udmedia

Extracted from the web @ http://www.businessesgrow.com/2012/02/01/the-six-stages-of-emotional-branding/

The Why of Social Media…..

Business owners are always asking, “why should I use social media for my business?” Recently, I found a blog written by Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com/blog/active-social-media.htm) that gives a great explanation.
Social media has become a daily part of nearly everyone’s life. According to studies by The Pew Foundation, Nielson Research and others, millions of people are active on at least one social networking site each day.  Numbers alone do not answer the “why” of social media. Here’s why an active social media presence is so important:
Search Engine Optimization
The search engines pay attention to social media data and use it to determine search engine ranking. The search engines view content links that are shared frequently in social media as trusted. Since the search engines want to provide valuable search results, they will consider this as a ranking factor which means that the more frequently content gets shared in social media, the better chances it has of ranking well. Obviously, a search engine presence (or lack thereof) plays a huge role in the success of a website.

Traffic Generation
While it’s great to get social media followers, the ultimate goal of a social media marketing campaign should be to drive traffic to your business website. That’s why it’s so important to have the right social media followers, ones that are actually interested in the products or services that you offer. Thousands upon thousands of followers don’t mean much if they never take action and visit your website or blog to learn more.

Public Relations
Social media provides information in real time and has become a primary source of news. While it shouldn’t necessarily replace traditional PR or submitting online press releases, it’s another avenue to share information about your business and interact with members of the press.

Brand Building
Every industry is competitive online today. The businesses that will find the most success are the ones that are transparent and willing to share information with target audience members in order to become a trusted source. Social media is one avenue to share such information and connect with potential clients or customers in order to give them a positive view of your business and brand.

Referrals
Everything in the social media world revolves around connection.  Connection is your ability to interact with satisfied customers and seek referrals.  If you believe 70-80% of your new business comes from repeat customers and referrals, then using social media to network is a very nature extension of your current business development model.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to learn more about using social media to build your brand.

Atttitude is Everything!

“The world has become more competitive; the economy has undeniable vulnerabilities and is in need of reinvention.  As in all situations, the determining factor will be our attitude, how we choose to look at this reality.”  –50 Cent  

I believe the quality of our lives is largely determined by the quality of the questions we are continually asking ourselves.  In our ever changing and demanding world how do we first cope with and then embrace change?  Let me suggest an answer: attitude.    Professor Erwin H. Schell, one of the most respected minds on leadership says, ”obviously, there is something more than facilities and competence that make for accomplishment. I have come to believe that the linkage factor, this catalyst, if you will, can be defined in a single word attitude.  When our attitude is right, our abilities reach a maximum of effectiveness and good results inevitably follow.“  I believe attitudes do make a profound difference.

Think about it for a minute.   If you are greeted when you enter a store with an authentic and warm smile how do you feel?   Compare that to being ignored or glared at when you walk in.  How does your greeting effect your emotions?  How about your desire to shop?  Will you spend more or less time in the store?  The salesperson’s greeting reflects their attitude toward their work and your presence.  Their attitude affects yours.

As human beings we are keenly attuned to reading attitudes through expressions and voice tones and inflections.  We communicate our attitudes, our feelings toward people and things through body and facial expressions.   It is said that attitudes are the mirrors of the mind.  They reflect thinking.  Ask yourself this question; what attitude do people see in you?  If you cannot define what your attitude, then how can you change? Awareness will change your perspective. Once you are aware and you are ready to see it, you life and perspective is forever changed.

Have you heard the saying, “Attitude Is Everything”? I believe attitude might really be everything, as it is the lens we look at life through.  Success and failure are judged by your attitude.  Think about this simple saying, “everyday I am on this earth is a good day!”  Imagine if you really believed “everyday I am on this earth is a good day”?  By merely waking up you have declared the day, a good day!  On the flip side, if you woke up each day with a work to-do list a mile long and lamenting each challenge, how do you see your day? When does you day become a good day?  When it is over?  Now try a subtle attitude shift.  Thank you for having work and clients that create challenges and a mile long list of to-dos.  I am not unemployed.  Thank you I have a job!

Your attitude shapes your perspective, the way your interpret event, the choices your make, the actions you take and the outcomes you get.  You want your life to change?  Change your attitude first. Do you want real happiness?  Not the kind of happiness that changes moment to moment.  Then change your attitude. Here is my secret to true happiness,  “even if you have a great attitude already, it could always be better.”  Ready to change your attitude?

Make a Choice: Decide what attitude you want to have and choose to adopt that attitude.  The real control you have in this life is to “choose your attitude”.    Obstacles in life create opportunities, as long as, you shift your attitude to embrace the challenge.

Break Old Patterns: If you catch yourself with a bad attitude, do something radical to change your physiology.  Pump yourself up.  Clap your hands and shake off the old attitude.    Look in the mirror to see what you are reflecting. 

Spend Time with Positive People: Attitudes are contagious. What attitude do you want to catch?  If you spend time with people who are on fire for life, then you are likely to be on fire for life.

Ask Better Questions: The ongoing chatter or noise in our heads is a series of questions.  The majority of the time it does not even register that this process is going on.  Most of the time this is not a very conscious process.  Learn to ask a better question.  Try this;  do you believe life happens to you, or for you? If life happens to you, then your circumstances of the moment determine your happiness.  If life happens for you, then even in the most tragic situations there is something to learn or a way to grow.  If you are continually learning and growing you are generally pretty happy.

Quit Using Excuses: We tend to stubbornly hold on to our attitudes even when they do not get us the life we want.  They are habits and learn to justify them. We have excuses for our excuses.  Do you want to hold onto your excuses, or do your want results?

Reminders: Write the attitude you want on a post-it note and put it somewhere so that you’ll see it regularly like on the bathroom mirror or car visor.   Set an alarm that goes off at certain times of the day to remind you to grab hold of your new attitude.

Believe: You have to believe! You have to believe that a new attitude is possible and the choice is solely yours!

Time to make a choice! You decide. If attitude is everything, what is your attitude?  Remember, the way to true happiness is this,  “even if you have a great attitude already, it could always be better.”   Ready to change your attitude and have a happier new year? It your choice!

Social Games are Growing…..

The number of people who play online social games is on the rise. Most of us probably already assumed as much. A new survey, commissioned by PopCap Games, confirms the trend. More than four out of 10 U.S. Internet users (41%) play social games at least 15 minutes weekly, compared to 24% of Net users in Jan. 2010, according the research conducted by Information Solutions Group. That means about 98 million in the U.S. play online social games. The results are based on 1,201 online surveys done by Toluna‘s Internet ePanel in the United States and the U.K. Sept. 15-22.

The number of devoted social gamers rose, too, with 16% saying that they play at least six hours weekly, compared to only 8% in 2010. Those who played social games in the last three months rose to 42%, compared to 28% in 2010.

Younger gamers coming to social games has brought the average age of a social game player in the U.S. down to 41.2 from 45 in 2010. Remaining the same: women social gamers still outnumber men by 55% to 45%.

Other findings from combined U.S. and U.K. data:

— In addition to playing social games on a desktop or laptop computer, more than one-third (38%) also play on a mobile phone, 20% use a game console and 10% play on a tablet.

— More than four in 10 (42%) said they have played more games over the past three months, compared to 35% last year.

— More than half (56%) of avid players — those playing more than six hours weekly) have played more in the past three months.

— Most popular sites to play social games were led by Facebook, where 91% said they played, followed by Google+ (17%), MySpace (15%) and Bebo (7%).

— Those who used real-world cash to buy virtual currency to use in social games rose 26%, compared to 14% last year.

— Most social gamers (83%) — and 86% of avid gamers — said they had played video games on other platforms such as a PC or game console prior to playing games on social networking sites.

— One-third (33%) of those who played on other gaming platforms said social games had caused them to play less on other platforms. More than half (55%) said it has remained about the same.

— Reasons for playing social games: fun and excitement (57%), competitive spirit (43%) and stress relief (42%), same top three as last year.1

How is Bing doing?

I was talking to a friend yesterday about how behind the curve Microsoft has been over the last 10 years.  CNN Money released data indicating that Bing and Microsoft Online Services are losing a staggering $1 billion per quarter. This number, which equates to over $11 million per day and $462,962 per hour, is especially concerning since it has occurred in spite of Bing’s steady growth.

Since 2007, when Microsoft began tracking the profitability of its search engines, Microsoft search engines have lost a total of $9 billion.  Pretty soon even for Microsoft the billions add up.

Since Bing launched in late 2009, its market share has nearly doubled. When the “decision engine” debuted its market share was 8.4% and that percentage has steadily grown to 14.7% of the current search market.  However, it is important to note that Bing’s steady growth has not been at the expense of Google, Bing’s primary competitor. Instead, the growth has been at the expense of Yahoo, AOL, and Ask.com. Since Bing’s launch in 2009, Google has only relinquished two-tenths of one percent of its market share and is still the dominant search leader with 64.8% of market share.

In order to be profitable moving forward, Bing must be able to capture market share from Google. Industry experts estimate that Bing must reach approximately 25% to 30% of market share to generate a profit. Qi Lu, Microsoft’s President of Online Services, said Bing has no desire to “out-Google Google.” Instead, he indicated that strategic search partnerships will help Bing to achieve a greater “semantic understanding” of the Web. Once this semantic understanding is achieved, it will enable Bing to understand queries that are not noun-based and set itself apart from the competition. In addition, Bing recently launched adaptive search and several other new features that appear promising.

If Bing is going to capture market share from Google and become profitable, it has a long journey ahead. For now, Google is a verb and Bing is just another search engine rapidly losing money.1

To stay ahead of the curve find us on Facebook or call today for a free web presence evaluation at 713-628-0701.

Getting your Audience’s Attention

The value of attention has never been higher. If your content fails to stand out from the herd, you’re squandering time and money. If your content substance earns attention, your audience will return for more.

 

Before publishing your next blog consider a few questions:

Does the content bring something fresh and original?

Does it solve a problem, answer a question, or provide something new to an ongoing discussion?

Does the content have substance?”

Does it target your intended audience?

Can your audience relate to it?

If we keep your attention than find us on Facebook.