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

The Gentle Art of Persuasion….

Persuasion is often discussed as though changing people’s minds is about using the right arguments, the right tone of voice or the right negotiation tactic. I want to look at persuasion a different way, free from creating buyers remorse. Effective influence and persuasion is about understanding people’s motivations not manipulation. Learning to shift a customer’s perspective the best kind of persuasion. If you can change a customer’s perspective on a trend, for example, you can drive their sales through the roof.

1. Goal of affiliation

For the most part humans are very social, so they want to be liked. Rejection is no fun and we’ll do almost anything to avoid it.  We try to affiliate with other people by behaving in ways we assume will be attractive, like agreeing with them or complimenting them.  Not only do we want approval from specific people, we also want it from society at large  We want the things we do, think and believe to be broadly in line with what others do, think and believe.  Most people are joiners and followers so influencers like to give us something to join and someone to follow.  The current explosion in social media leverages this fact!

2. Goal of accuracy

To achieve our goals in what is a complicated world, we have to be continually trying to work out the best course of action. Finding what works!  People are always striving for the ‘right’ answer.  Influencers understand our need to be right. The techniques of social proof and scarcity both nag at our desire to be accurate because we assume other people are likely to be right and we don’t want to miss out on a bargain or a trend. Understanding social proof when it helps keep a client current and relevant is huge marketing tool.  Use real statistics to let the customer know their strategy is working and valuable. Compare their results to their competitor. It is essential to manage a customer’s expectations to validate their goal of accuracy.

3. Goal of maintaining positive self-concept

People want to protect their view of themselves. We work hard to keep our world-views intact: we want to maintain our self-esteem, to continue believing in the things we believe in and to honour whatever commitments we have espoused in the past. Persuaders and influencers can leverage this goal by invoking our sense of self-consistency.  Designing products and services which help your customer stay consistent with their self image makes selling easy. People will go to surprising lengths to maintain their positive view of themselves.  Make your product or service the smart, highly valued choice. Your job of selling will turn effortless.

Understanding why people do what they do is essential in drafting and executing your brand strategy.  Follow us on Facebook or find us on Twitter.  Call today 713-628-0701 for more ways to build and execute your brand strategy.

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/

Email or Social Media? Or Both?

A debate continues surrounding the value of email marketing and social networks (social media). Should businesses focus more attention on their social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook or email interactions? Or both?

Why does it matter how, as long as, you are communicating with your existing clients and getting referrals?email_logo

According to MediaPost Publications, the majority of costumers view email as the least intrusive way for companies to engage. Customers trust email more than social networks. Period. They believe they know how to avoid being scammed in email but do not fully understand the risks in social networks. Email is also viewed as being a good source for detailed information or when looking for exclusive deals because it goes beyond a post or 140 characters.

ExactTarget, recently released research called “The Meaning of Like.” The report found that consumers tend to view a “like” as a way of bookmarking content and sharing information with friends – not a form of consent for marketing. Also, Facebook engagement is more for entertainment purposes. Although customers can still get information and access to deals it offers a fun, different experience with the company.   Studies of buying habits around Christmas 2011 suggested a very low influence rate for social media.

Twitter by contrast is simple and to the point. It also fosters a relationship between the brand and the customer, which can generate brand loyalty and trust.

So, which is better? There really is one channel that surpasses the other. Facebook, Twitter and Email all have their audience and strengths in getting your brand message out. However, there are channels that are more appropriately suited for delivering different messages to the consumer.  Facebook is more for entertainment, so let loose a little and have fun. Twitter is SEO machine and is perfect for engaging in a conversation with your customers. Get to know them and let them get to know the company on a more personal level. Email should be used when you need to share some updates or detailed information.  An email is private.  Emails are bulk carries of information and offers including links to your website and social networks.1

At Ata2ud Media our experience shows that email is a very essential part of communicating with your clients and driving traffic to your social sites.   Call us today (713-628-0701) to get your brand message integrated across all your customer networks.

Extracted from the web @ http://kylelacy.com/is-email-more-important-than-social-media/

Does Mobile Spell the End of the PC?

Spending more time on your mobile device then your PC? There’s a trend slowly building and it may not be good for the PC industry. I’m not speaking about tablet and smartphone growth — although that’s part of the trend — but virtualization on mobile devices. This solution allows remote PC access from a tablet, for example, and could hurt already slowing PC sales.

I wouldn’t call this a new phenomenon: There have been remote access solutions on mobile devices for several years. Think of Citrix’s GoToMyPC or LogMeIn’s Ignition. These and similar services allow you to use a mobile devices to interact with the desktop of a Windows PC at home, so you could work on a Word document from an Android tablet, for example.

Virtualization is maturing quickly, as are the mobile chips that power smartphones and tablets. This week at CES, I played a graphic-intensive PC game with stunning visuals and fast action on an Android tablet. But the game itself was actually running on a Windows desktop. Using remote access software from Splashtop on the Asus Transformer Prime tablet, you couldn’t tell. See for yourself in the video demo I captured showing the zero-lag.

Connecting a tablet or phone to remotely use your own computer is just one part of the virtualization story. OnLive has a virtualization service that lets you connect a Windows machine in the cloud. That’s not your PC, but a “PC running on the web,” so to speak. I’ve done this myself with EC2 on Amazon’s Web Services and it only cost me a few dollars a month to run an instance of Windows on a PC I can use, but don’t own: Far cheaper than buying, maintaining and powering a physical computer.

Combine cloud streaming of computer applications and improved remote access apps, there’s less incentive to buy a new computer. Instead, you can either get more mileage out of an old computer or check out one that’s available in the cloud.

This is not to suggest the PC industry is dead, but PC dominance is slipping. Sales have started stagnating, and last year smartphones outsold computers.

At Ata2ud Media, we step outside our echo chamber to listen and learn.  Find us on Facebook.com/ata2udmedia or follow us on twitter.com/ata2udmedia. 

Extracted from the web @ http://gigaom.com/mobile/mobile-virtualization-another-nail-in-the-pc-coffin/?utm_source=social&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=gigaom

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!