Brian Fetherstonhaugh: seize the opportunity

Mon 18 May 2009 16:30, Bas van den Beld

The keynote at SMX was done by Brian Fetherstonhaugh. We already talked to him last week and found that his presentation matched the expectations.

Fetherstonhaugh started of with a statement which most people in the room liked: "Search is the holy grail."

Fetherstonhaugh stated that the search growth numbers are big, but the question is: will that growth continue?

Brian Fetherstonhaugh: seize the opportunity

To get a better view he gave us a seven minute history of marketing. Marketing started by "Mad Men". One of the mad men was O'Gilvy. Bill Bernbach was a pioneer, John Caples was a pioneer of DM. They were very close to the consumer

The 80s & 90s were the first area of targeting. The era of targeting emerged because of the use of creditcards, personal computing and cable tv.

One of the most efficient marketing tactics was a letter by American Express, acquired more than one hundred million members.

Another era was the Globo-digitisation. People wanted to globalize and digitise.

In the 90s digital started to pick up. One of the examples was the Dove campaign. The campaign was innovating in a matter that internet was at the centre. It virally caught fire. He then showed the 'response' to this video which helped getting the original viral.

Fetherstonhaugh then talked about some 'failures'. One failure is that marketers are trying to make it all the same, both digital and offline, but that's not the way to go. He calls it the "matching lugage failure".

Another failure is that consumers are well ahead of marketers. Final failure: the data dashboard. A 12 year old has a better dashboard with world of warcraft than a CEO has.

What's next?
Fetherstonhaugh believes we are changing from the four p's to the four e's: Experience, Everyplace, Exchange and Evangelism. Your brand experience will go every place. People like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs get this.

He then gave the example of the US elections which were an example of brand performance marketing. In December 2007 Clinton was leading Obama. Then the campaign really started. Clinton used the four P's, but Obama used the four E's perfectly.

It had a lot: facebook, mobile, in games, social media(twitter etcetera). They really used call to action and performing exchanges: make a donation and join Obama at election night

Where will search fit in in the world of brand performance marketing?

Fetherstonhaugh makes the bold statement that if it's not on the CMO agenda's its not gonna work (he mentioned this in the searchcowboys podcasts). He believes CMO's are in the hot seat. You have to look in the CMO's mind.

30% of their time is spent on prooving to the CFO. 15% of their time is job security (The average life time is 27 months), 24% is about restructing the company while how the money will be spent is maybe 20%,

Search is not on the agenda of the CMO's. To get it on the agenda you have to get yourself in bigger or faster moving trains.

Fetherstonhaugh gives five ideas on how to do that:
1. Pitch search as research;
2. More lift, less attack (too many channels competing)
Prove the lift Effects of search: TV, DM, Print, Telemarketing, Face-to-face, sponsorship can improve using search
3. Search builds talents
4. Search can unify the globe and matrix
5. Search + Innovation

Fetherstonhaugh closed of by saying to seize the opportunity.


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