Non-planning books for planners 2 – The Time Paradox

timeparadox coverContinuing my reviews or recommendations of non-planning books for planners I lay before you the latest one I have just finished for your consideration The Time Paradox. It’s a great popular pyschology book about the way that different people experience or relate to time in different wys, how that influences their behaviours and ultimately impacts on their lives.

When we develop ideas around a core proposition we consider many avenues – how the product is made, heritage, price etc. Of course we look at user characteristics too, but never explicitly at how their relationship to time influences their actions. And yet, we each of us view time through about 6 sets of very particular glasses – present hedonistic, future pessimistic, future optimistic, transcendent. All of these will influence our purchasing behaviour and our relationship to a brand.

So for examples, brands like WKD appeal strongly to the present hedonistic in all of us. Whereas brands like Burberry appeal to an intriguing mix of past positive, present positive and future optimistic. If you know you are targeting a group with a strongly past pessimistic focus how does that change your communications? How does it make your audience view your communications?

This book gives no answers to any of that, it simply explains the different perspectives. The paradox? We all experience time at the same rate but view it completely differently. There’s also a great explanation of why intelligent and souful young men become suicide bombers that you shouldn’t miss.

If you are looking for a new perspective  this book will give it to you in spades.

How was it for you?

Well London Digital Week is drawing towards its fabulous close. I think it’s been a great week with lots of variety and a really great initiative for bringing agencies together and getting discussion about digital issues into new spaces.

howwasit1I  must say we were very disappointed about the cancellation of the Interagency Table Tennis Table Tournament. We had 2 crack teams ready to go! But such is life – maybe next year.

We were very happy with our event How Was It For You? There was a good debate and the speakers were really articulate.

In digital we are constantly being held to the measurement of television  – and failing.  BARB measures in the millions, extrapolated from 1000s. Digital technologies, because they can be more precise, and hence more accurate, often stand up poorly in comparison, offering only the 100s to 1000s. And hence disappointing the marketing execs who need to justify their spend to their finance divisions. It’s understandable that they are frustrated, their models are all wrong.

howwasit2But so are ours. It’s time to stop moaning about the measurement situation and find a solution that will just work for now. And that has enough flexibility in it to ebb and flow with our changing environment. The best proposed during the talk was a flexible one. Start with hard measures – page impressions, visits, time spent, number of sign ups. But encourage your clients to leave room for softer, more difficult or unexpected measures during the development of the project that can bring more value eg brand estimation.

And it’s also time to stand up collectively to our clients and tell them why the measures employed to assess success of television, print and linear advertising just don’t work for the digital environments. If we try to shoehorn ourselves into their needs we will end up achieving neither a sucess for them nor for us.

The best quote of the night though was this. “Sometimes it just feels right” and that’s how you define it before you start and that’s the basis on which a project proceed – adn surely this has birthed some of hte most innovative and interesting projects produced in digital spaces in the last 15 years?

Evaluating blogging

BLoggers at the motorshowSo having returned from Frankfurt Motor Show I am now in the process of evaluating the activity of the bloggers over the 3 days that we were there.

They have all taken very different approaches to the show which is refreshing and makes for interesting reading. I particularly like Luca’s photos as well as his phillosophical and user experience focused stuff. There was a lot of interest in the Ford Focus BEV unsurprisingly and then for hte mommy bloggers it was all about the sliding doors and space in the C-Max Grande (oh yes and there is already a new facebook fan group for it!).

The question as always is which hard measures and which soft measures to look at.And in this case the soft measures are particularly important.

The number of bloggers wasn’t vast and therefore the potential for reach and the buzz generation is limited, though we can get a good idea of reach from their readers and Twitter updates etc. In many ways this is a pilot activity for Ford PR in Europe to answer questions like “how do we integrate bloggers from different European nations to deliver one experience?” “What will generate value for the online community?” “In what ways will the activity spill out into other areas?” “Where should we focus our attention in terms of demographics and markets?”.

Appropriately I am hosting a panel on Monday 21s September at Imagination about how you define and measure success. So I might get some further ideas from there!

More from the cat herder

The Focus Prototype Electric Vehicle
The Focus Prototype Electric Vehicle

The bloggers have been hard at work all day and the latest posts are about the BEV or Ford Focus again.

Richard Lawton at thegreencarwebsite blog certainly liked it – but that’s no great surprise!

I have really enjoyed working with other bloggers, we even introduced two who had only met online via their blogs which I always like.

Anyway – here’s the post from Richard –

Herding Cats

I am finally at the Frankfurt Motorshow with 5 bloggers from across Europe that we have invited to attend, courtesy of Ford. And now the press conference is finally over so they can now blog about the product and launch stories – which they have all been itching to do since yesterday.

Trying to arrange the various interviews, flights, and even recruiting has been a bit like herding cats! Because of course, unlike mainstream press they all have day jobs and they all have their own lives to lead outside their blogs. Equally all have different approaches and different stories and it’s been interesting seeing how they approach the event .

You probably all know Scott Monty’s work in engaging Ford further in the social media space which has really made Ford stand out but I think this European blogging outreach also says a lot about how Ford approach social media. They think globally, they aren’t afraid to experiment and they understand how social media works.

Anyway – here are some of their posts – but you might have to use Google Translate  for a couple of them:- – Green lifestyle blogger from Germany who has focused (unsurprisingly) on the new Focus BEV and Tourneos. – Who asked all the readers what questions they wanted answered by Ford

and – A design and usability focus for the Italian market/reader.

I have managed to get some great video of the beginning of the press conference involving a flautist/beatboxers – I kid you not. You might have seen him at Glastonbury.

But first – coffee.

links for 2009-09-10

Blogging at Frankfurt with Ford

I am rather frantic at work this week – which is nice in some ways! – because I am out of the office for 3 days next week  hosting bloggers at the Frankfurt Autoshow.  Ford have invited some bloggers from across Europe to visit the show and use the stand as a base for their blogging and I am going to be there with them. I have only been to autoshows in England so far, despite the fact that Imagination works on shows worldwide, so I am really looking forward to the experience. And also to the idea of blogging all day!

Well… not all day but you know what I mean.

I think it’s just another example of  Ford’s integrated approach to their communications and the fact that as a business they really do understand the social media landscape and see how it allows a more open interaction between themselves and their customers.