OVERALL ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EAS STRATEGIC PLAN: * Colored text denotes reoccurring ideas found in multiple areas. All green text is similar, all blue text is similar, etc.
Summary of problems: 1. The six brands have too many identities on too many platforms. It should all be in one place. 2. Brands post information that is not specific to the individual. Advertisers call that shouting. It is throwing things into space with the hope that something will stick. a. These posts are not substantive. 3. Social media is just as much about conversation as it is about listening. Giving consumers the chance to talk with other consumers does two things: a. It fosters collaboration, thought, and sharing of information. b. It gives the brand ongoing qualitative data similar to that of a focus group. Analysis of problems: Muscle Milk, PowerBar, Clif Bar, FRS, MET-Rx, and Gatorade all have one thing in common: their social media content is too spread out. It needs to be in one place. Another problem with the way that these brands utilize social media is very similar to any brand’s use: Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are restrictive in design and what they allow you to do. For example, brands must follow the rules of Facebook and create a page based on a predefined architecture. Twitter is always light blue. YouTube is always red. These restrictions not only limit what a brand can create, but they also equalize brands that are trying to be better than the competition. Another issue common in the six brands is a lack of substantive updates. Many companies see social media as a way to publicize as much information about their brand as possible. Some of these Twitter feeds have links, mentions, retweets, pictures, etc. There are Facebook pages for brands, brand events, brand products, etc. Advertisers talk about breaking through the clutter. This is clutter. Seeing the brand you are following mention seven people throughout the day clutters a person’s Twitter feed. While mentioning followers fosters brand and consumer communication, other people do not need to see it. The emphasis should be on the individual, not on publicizing the fact that a brand is speaking with someone. Furthermore, a mention gets pushed down within a few hours or days anyway, so the limelight of a follower getting recognition is short-lived. Brands should let people talk to people. Some comments on brands’ social media pages can be insignificant. Comments with the most value occur when people are talking to people rather than the brand. **This all leads to the core question: WIIFM - What’s in it for me?
CASE STUDY: TAMPAX (Taken from The Groundswell by Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li) The goal: Tampax wanted to communicate with an audience (teenage girls) embarrassed by the products the company makes. The problem: Teenage girls on the verge of puberty are embarrassed to talk about feminine products, hormones, etc. Some cannot even stand to be in the same room as their parents if a tampon commercial is playing. “Shouting doesn’t work so well when people are embarrassed to listen.” The strategy: Focus on the girls’ problems, not Tampax’s problems. The creation: beinggirl.com Beinggirl.com is not a site about tampons. It is a site about being a girl. It was a place for teenage girls to go and learn about that which embarrasses them, and to prepare for the inevitable changes they were about to undergo. Again, it was designed to answer their questions and solve their problems, not to promote a brand. However, the catch was that Tampax’s presence on the site was enough to be obviously associated with the topic. Here is how the site worked: Girls could communicate with other girls and experts. The site encouraged girls to ask questions and for other girls to chime in. Throughout the site, girls were invited to tell their most embarrassing story, answer the question “Have you ever done it?” or ask the expert a question. One girl asked, “How should you react when you get your first period?” The answer from the expert was: Dear Jody, I think you should celebrate…this is a huge “rite of passage” in your life. You should tell your mom first and let her set the tone. It’s a really important event in your life and you’ll always remember just how it happened. You can also click here to find good information on what to expect when you get your period. Good luck, Jody, for beinggirl.com, brought to you by Always pads & pantiliners and Tampax tampons.”
That little branding tag at the end is part of the reason the site was so successful. The site was about the girls, not Tampax, but by clearly associating with the site and answering the girls’ questions with a snippet of branding, Tampax became a steward for the girls.
The success and relevance to EAS: Beinggirl.com was highly successful. It eventually expanded to 29 counties. It was able to do this because “the things that excite a girl in the U.S. are similar to a girl in China or Japan.” EAS is similar in this regard in that the reasons Americans work out are the same as people in other countries. This is similar to the upcoming notion of intangible value proposed by Rory Sutherland (see below). Beinggirl.com also established partnerships with brands such as Venus razors and Herbal Essences. Since Gold’s Gym is one of McKinney’s clients, EAS could presumably do a similar partnership with its site. The site I am referring to is my idea for how EAS should leverage social media. It should have a social community similar to beinggirl.com.
THE EAS SOCIAL COMMUNITY The EAS social community (website) should focus on two themes: • •
MOTIVATION o The site should motivate people already in shape to stay in shape and people who are not in shape to start exercising. CONSISTENCY o The end goal after getting motivated is maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle.
The site should also tackle the aforementioned WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) question. There needs to be clear benefits to a variety of site services and features (mentioned later). The biggest hurdle to overcome is driving people to the site and getting them to stay. Advertising can get them there, but the right messages, benefits, and rewards can keep them there.
Target audience: • Psychographic 1 (P1): Men and women (the targets skews slightly male) who are fit, who participate in a variety of athletic activities, and who are constantly striving to achieve their personal bests. o Psychographic 2 (P2): This site also creates an opportunity to not only reach new customers that currently exercise, but to empower those that do not exercise to do so. These people are then “nurtured” with EAS branding and free samples (explained later) as they begin to exercise. P1’s can also be case studies for P2’s. If P2’s see that the site is getting a lot of activity from the P1’s, the principle of social proof (we follow in the footsteps of others in times we are uncertain or not confidentexplained further later) takes over. This group refers to the intangible value of exercise. Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy & Mather spoke at TED about intangible value- the unseen value in things. • Ex: Coca-Cola has intangible value because the president cannot get a better coca-cola than a bum on the street. It is a highly democratic product. Denim is another example. • The intangible value of “exercise” is that anyone can do it. You do not have to already be in shape,
strong, athletic, or a certain age. It can also make anyone more confident. By attaching EAS to a site that encourages and helps people become confident, EAS is joined with something of significant positive connotation. More information on intangible value: o My blog about Sutherland’s presentation at TED: http://bit.ly/26as0R o Sutherland’s presentation: http://bit.ly/QozoZ
Both P1’s and P2’s are people who would be on this site for a reason. With half of the target audience being people who are motivated and the other half being people who are interested in improving their health, coming to this EAS site is not just another way to waste time. It is a place to visit that puts them in a mindset of believing they are doing good for themselves. The site should deliver positive messages that provoke: •
• • • • •
Empowerment o P1: To get more in shape than they already are and improve on an already healthy lifestyle. Ex: Maybe they exercise a lot but do not eat well. o P2: To change their current lifestyle to something more active and healthy. Confidence o P1: Recognizing the confidence their fit bodies gives them now and can continue to give them. o P2: That improvement is possible. Pride o P1: In the results they have already achieved. o P2: In the results they can achieve and in the decision to start exercising. Optimism o P1: For even better health and results. o P2: That a healthy body can be achieved. New lifestyles o P1: With nutritional products (EAS) they may have never tried or are unsure about. o P2: That are clearly better than their current lifestyle. Collaboration
o P1: Between the individual, his or her friends on the site, and EAS. o P2: Between the individual, his or her friends on the site, and EAS. Goal setting o P1: To surpass current goals or achievements already made. o P2: To be more proactive about their health and… Accountability o P1: To want to stay committed to those goals and a healthy lifestyle. o P2: To want to stay committed to those goals and a healthy lifestyle.
Theories and persuasion principles to harness: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
This site focuses here. Exercise is as mental as it is physical.
Social Networks Theory o The Social Networks Theory describes the relationship between members of social systems. Boundaries of these social systems can be weak or strong, and thus determine how effective information dissemination can be. Strong boundaries limit interaction while weak boundaries encourage it. Boundaries should not be too weak, though, or users will have too much control. Ex: Sites like Facebook and MySpace have weak boundaries, allowing users to share as much information as they are comfortable with. This lets users of these networks achieve a high level of information sharing. o Why this is relevant? This EAS site could potentially have many features and customizations. It is important to remember that too many options overwhelm users, so the “happy medium” must be found. The goal of establishing a community comes first. The bells and whistles of the site comes second. Reptilian Theory o Digs deep into consumers’ subconscious to rediscover memories associated with certain words. The Reptilian Theory explains that “reptilian hotspots” are what trigger behavior. Pushing these hotspots taps into the subconscious, and exposes information that people would otherwise be unable to vocalize. Ex: A “reptilian hotspot” could occur when someone is driving and sees a jogger. That may (subconsciously) inspire the person to go for a run when he or she had not planned to. o Why this is relevant? The data collected in a site like this is highly qualitative. Look for patterns of words that could explain why someone does or does not exercise. Use this information to improve the site and in future campaigns. Powerful Effects Theory o The effects of media are most powerful when they reach people in multiple ways. For instance, one is probably likelier to trust a media story if he or she sees it on multiple platforms. o Why is this relevant? Part of the problem the competitors of EAS have is that they are using multiple social media platforms that are not connected to each other. EAS should give each platform a specific purpose and use them to connect users to the other platforms. This would work best if all of the platforms were housed in one location. o The Power Law Effect The Power Law Effect explains how people follow in others’ footsteps. Google is a perfect example. The top search results on Google often hold that status because people see that they are at the top and assume the top results get the most clicks.
Why is this relevant? If people see that the site is getting a lot of activity from its users, they are more likely to be more active on it. Quick interactive things like the “You just exercised- what’s your mood?” (see below) feature that any viewer can partake in will engage them, especially if they see it being updated in real time. The Fun Theory o Coined by Volkswagen in 2009, The Fun Theory used viral techniques and asked the question: Can we change human behavior by making mundane tasks more fun? The answer was a resounding yes, and is illustrated by social experiments Volkswagen did. In one experiment, Volkswagen made a piano out of a staircase located beside an escalator to see if more people would take the stairs over the escalator. They did: http://bit.ly/4AzH0C. o Why is this relevant? Never underestimate how much fun people can have on the Internet. Furthermore, the question “Can we change human behavior by making things fun?” is in line with the goals of this site. Interactive advertising should draw consumers to spend longer amounts of time with brands. If advertising is fun for people, they are likely to accept and partake in it.
Persuasion principles by Robert Cialdini: •
Social proof o People behave according to how the person before them behaved, much like the Power Law Effect. The social proof principle also bears resemblance to the bandwagon phenomenon, where one person joins the bandwagon because everyone else has. Using social proof and the thought of an egalitarian society, consider the following point: “Intangible value can come from things that are scarce or ubiquitous. Ubiquitous things create social norms or trends, and to align one’s self with such trends creates a perception that one is adapting value because others are as well.” -Rory Sutherland
o Rory Sutherland (mentioned above) says the goal of advertising “is to help people appreciate what is unfamiliar but also to gain a greater appreciation and place a far higher value on those things which are already existing. Social media does this by using third-party enjoyment out of the little things in life and giving them intangible value.” A groundswell “creator” (see appendix) who combines two kinds of empowerment by using the groundswell’s intangible value to promote a product or brand’s intangible value becomes a driving force for influencing others. An enthusiast is made into an evangelist. o We are most susceptible to social proof when we are either uncertain (about how to act) or similar (to others who do know how to act).
o Ex: Ticker clock- how many people have bought something. o Ex: Testimonials- add credibility and proof that others are endorsing something. Reciprocity o People who receive something feel obligated to give something in return. It is often shown in marketing. o Ex: Grocery stores give out free samples for a reason- to get the customer to buy more of it. In this example, the employee is the giver and is anticipating reciprocity. o Ex: Someone may write a blog post or post a YouTube video in hopes that others will comment on it. Furthermore, this comment may feature a link to the commenter’s website, an instance of the commenter using the reciprocity someone else has established. Liking o We identify with and follow people like us because it is comfortable. o Ex: The site’s “Find a workout buddy” (see below) reflects this. Commitment/Consistency o Once someone has acted a certain way multiple times and feels comfortable and successful doing so, it becomes routine. o The commitment principle relates to the Reptilian Theory and the Powerful Effects Theory. The Reptilian Theory can be used to interrupt, redefine, or even define the day-to-day behavioral patterns consumers consistently follow but cannot verbalize. The way to do this is to examine an individual from all angles. Market research too often focuses on groups of people and thus generalizes. Consider a person who consistently buys Tide and one day randomly decides to buy Cheer. There will never be a concrete way to explain human behavior and attitudes, but treating consumers as individuals (see above) during research certainly helps and can later be applied to larger groups.
These words were conceived from the following summary and subsequent analysis of cognitive and behavioral patterns that surround the topic of “exercise:” Note: analysis is based on observational research only.
Summary of cognitive and behavioral patterns that surround the topic of “exercise:”
• • • •
Exercising is about the INDIVIDUAL. We have our own routines, nutritional habits, days of the week we exercise, music playing in our ears, and goals. o It can also be SOCIAL. We work out with FRIENDS. We go to public places where people are doing the same thing we are doing. We serve as encouragers for friends and relatives. Exercise, especially in the gym, is very OBSERVATIONAL. We wonder if what the guy across the gym is doing would be good for us to do. We wonder what is playing in people’s iPods. We are often motivated by OUTSIDE FACTORS- complements we receive, societal pressures to look good, or friends or trainers that encourage us. As mentioned earlier in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (see above), exercise is just as mental as physical. MOTIVATION to get started is the hardest part. Many people are CURIOUS about exercise even if they do it a lot. We want to know what will give us the best results, if what we are doing is worthwhile, and what foods we should eat to stay healthy. Most people do not have a trainer to ask these questions.
Full analysis of cognitive and behavioral patterns that surround the topic of “exercise:” 1. Companionship a. When we exercise, we like to go with a friend- someone to motivate us and hold us accountable. We also like serving as the motivator for the other person. b. One gym partner is better than multiple because small groups often wander and do a little bit of everything. This stresses the importance of that one person to be with. Even going with someone to the gym and not working out with them is enough for some people. It does not always have to be a turn-taking workout routine. Just going into the building with someone is enough. c. Guys usually exercise with guys, and girls usually exercise with girls. Some people exercise with friends, but some people think friends distract. d. Adventure sports are usually done with groups of people (e.g. groups of cyclists). 2. Observation a. The gym is a spot where people can all do the same thing in their own way. It is also an observation tower. People love to people watch. Time between sets is filled by either by zoning out on the floor or scanning the gym. There is a lot of motion at the gym. People walk around constantly to change machines. b. For some people, going to work out is a social experience even if they do not talk to anyone there. 3. Outside Factors a. When people start noticing or giving us compliments about our appearance, it motivates us to continue exercising.
b. People may get into shape based on outside peer influence (i.e. workout friends, trainers, compliments, how society reflects weight (“in shape” is subjective). c. People who do not work out look at people who do with envy. They may think something like, “I would give anything to have abs like that.” Since people know that attaining fitness goals and getting in shape can be a long process, many shy away. This is due to a lack of motivation. People need to realize they are not behind. Motivation a. The hardest part about getting in shape is getting the motivation to start exercising. Once exercising becomes routine, though, it is craved. i. People feel they can “get out of shape” very quickly if they know they are in shape, so they begin to want to exercise more. 1. The key word is consistency. The goal for someone wanting to get in shape is to get to the point where consistency becomes desired. Once someone has that “thirst” to exercise, the results really start to roll in and a lifestyle change has occurred. In the long run, the preservation of a healthy lifestyle is the goal. a. Getting in shape can change a lifestyle completely. People commonly start eating healthier because they do not want to “lose” what they are achieving. It also creates confidence, and it is amazing what confidence can do for a person. b. Some people use photos of themselves as motivation to keep going, and some are motivated by the aforementioned outside factors. Individualism, but a desire to share a. People have their own workout routines or nutritional practices, but they also love to share them with others. Our routines become dear to us and we love to talk about them (e.g. what type of exercise we do, how many sets, how many repetitions, etc.). b. People also like to get insight from others. i. People adopt many workout routines by observing or asking what others are doing. c. Everyone has his or her own music. Some people listen to different music while exercising than they normally do. i. When people go to the gym and see someone working out, they may wonder what that person is listening to on his or her iPod. ii. Working out is a stress release for people. It is a time to “lock into” their own world with their own music. Care for others a. Many young adults stress to their parents the importance of exercise. When parents exercise, it makes children happy. We all want our parents to live a long time, so it is comforting to hear when they are taking care of themselves. Intangible value a. Working out is not just about being physical. It is also mental. You do not have to be athletic to work out. You do not have to have great balance or flexibility. You do not have to already be in shape. It has intangible value in that anyone can do it. The real
challenge with exercising is overcoming mental inhibitors- laziness, lack of motivation, procrastination, depression, or pessimism, for example. b. The intangible value in a brand like EAS complements something already important to a lot of people: health. It is like attaching a baseball tee to family- a father enjoys playing with his son, and the baseball tee provides him a way to do that. c. Advertising is about: i. “Helping people appreciate what is unfamiliar, but also to gain a greater appreciation, and place a far higher value on those things which are already existing. There is some evidence, by the way, that things like social networking help do that. Because they help people share news. They give badge value to everyday little trivial activities. So they actually reduce the need for actually spending great money on display, and increase the kind of third-party enjoyment you can get from the smallest, simplest things in life, which is magic.” - Rory Sutherland
1. What is intangibly valuable about exercising? In short, a greater quality of life achievable by anyone. 8. Curiosity a. A lot of people have questions about the best ways to work out. Many of those answers are dependent on the individual because everyone’s health is different. What works for one person may not for another. i. Many people exercise under generic assumptions like “the more I lift the bigger I will be” or “the more I run the less I will weigh.” While this can be true, the key point is efficiency. A minor flaw in a lifting motion may be preventing the best results. Many people work out with improper form, causing them to think they are achieving results they actually are not. 1. We do not want to waste our time on something that will not give us the results we want. ii. Many people would like the advice of a trainer but do not want to pay for it, and the access to information the Internet gives us creates expectations of not having to pay for things. 9. Confidence a. Despite being exhausted and sweaty after working out, many people consider that time to be the pinnacle of their attractiveness. This feeling drives people back to the gym. b. People who are in shape and happy with their body love to talk about it. It is self-rewarding, and many people see it as a vital way to “fit into” a society that stresses beauty over personality.
Ideas for different pages within the site: 1. Twitter a. Anyone can tweet from the EAS identity OR b. EAS tweets a: i. Workout routine of the day. ii. Tip of the day.
iii. Fact of the day. 2. Facebook a. If possible, embedded onto the site. If not, linked to from the site. b. I Play Clean. c. Body for Life. 3. Blog a. People can write their own blog posts about their personal success or reasons for starting to exercise that get added to the blog. b. EAS writes about how its products work, what is really happening to muscles while exercising, etc. to educate readers. 4. YouTube a. YouTube channel that has embedded videos on the site. b. Could be comprised of (one or a couple of the following- no more or else it gets cluttered): i. Commercials. ii. Testimonials from users of the social community. iii. EAS athlete interviews. iv. Information on what Myoplex® is and what it does for the body. v. EAS “inside the science lab” clips that feature scientists explaining how (specific) EAS products work on the body. vi. An “everyday man” video logs his progression. 5. Product flow chart a. Ask a series of questions the user answers by clicking. This leads him or her to a certain EAS product. i. At the end, a full product comparison chart is presented that outlines what product is good for specific things. 6. Profiling flow chart a. Ask a series of questions the user answers by clicking. They lead him or her to a pool of people who answered the questions similarly. The person can then view those people’s profiles, see what they are doing for themselves and on the site, and connect with them. 7. Find a workout buddy a. Someone regional you can meet up with to go to the gym or for a bike ride. b. Someone virtual you can check in with every few days. i. Did you work out today? Yes, I ran six miles. What did you do? 8. Ask the expert
a. Any exercise or nutrition questions you have that are answered directly to you. They can be publicized for everyone to see if you wish. 9. Before/after pictures a. Upload pictures of yourself that show your progress to inspire others. 10. Share your routine a. Share your workout routine and/or nutritional habits with others and compare ideas through comments. 11. Find a routine a. Routines that people post can be searchable. For example, someone could choose: i. A specific type of routine they are thinking about doing (e.g. mountain biking, marathon training, muscle building). ii. A specific group of muscles they want to target (legs, arms, back). iii. A specific diet (weight loss, carbohydrate substitutes, more fiber). 12. â€œNow playingâ€? a. What did you listen to on your iPod today while exercising? i. Anyone can respond freely, and the most popular songs and artists go to the top of the list. 13. Relatives a. Tips on how to motivate your parents. i. A lot of parent/child communication tips are for parents talking to their kids (i.e. drugs or sex). b. Sign up a relative and you can be in charge of recording their progress since older adults are less likely to use social sites. They can be rewarded for their progress and you get recognition for referring them. 14. Personal log- keep a record that you can look back on to see how far you have come, which builds confidence. a. Track your body weight over time. b. Tracking your lifting weight over time. c. Changes in your psyche. d. Changes in eating habits. e. When you worked out and what you did. 15. Profiles a. Picture. b. Location. c. How often you exercise. d. What you do to exercise.
i. Weights, run, bike, swim. e. Goals. Ideas for other generic site features (not specific to a certain page): 1. Giveaways a. Gym memberships (possible partnership with McKinney client Gold’s Gym). b. Bicycles for bikers, goggles for swimmers, iPods for anyone. 2. Free EAS samples upon sign-up, goal achievements, referrals a. Social media platform Reddit has a cool feature that gives users positive “karma” for doing good things. EAS could do something similar. If you are active on the site, you get free samples. 3. Rewards/shout-outs on the home page for accomplishing goals 4. “You just exercised- what’s your mood?” a. Similar to The New York Times “How do you feel about the economy?” interactive feature seen here: http://nyti.ms/12HCS. b. It updates in real time with a cloud of words users submit. 5. Testimonials a. Lifestyle changes. b. Boosts in confidence. c. Physical appearance changes. 6. Points and rankings a. People love games. Interactive advertising often involves people doing things that are fun (see “The Fun Theory” above). If the site were made into some sort of game with rewards, users would be likelier to stick around. They would then associate EAS with the fun experience they are having on the site. b. Points could be awarded for various things: i. Signing up. ii. Referrals. iii. Blogging or tweeting on the site. iv. Achieving goals. v. High participation levels.
7. Customizable home page a. WIIFM? b. You pick which site features are displayed on your homepage. 8. Games/Quizzes a. Name as many muscles as you can in 90 seconds. b. Trivia questions. 9. Take a look a. Looking for a bike path nearby? “Take a look” tells you the closest paths and how long they are. b. Personal perspectives: show a first-person panoramic shot of a fitness room. Users can drag their mouse and look around. People are working out and passer-bys talk to you: “Are you new here?” or “MAN my arms feel like jello!” i. Gives the user the gym experience. 10. Create your own monster a. Psychologists say that before tackling stressful situations, we should vividly visualize that which holds us back. i. Ex: If you are afraid of public speaking, you should go to the room you will be speaking in the day before, stand in your spot, pretend there is a crowd, practice your speech, and pay close attention to your five senses. The next day when it is time to speak, you will think, “I have been here before and I succeeded.” b. Users create a visualization of something that holds them back. It serves as a “demotivator.” i. Give that “thing” an identity, such as the EAS Sloth, that could represent laziness, for example. ii. Users create their own sloth and respond to its taunting because it is a monster they created. iii. Could be made into a desktop widget that is a constant reminder of how annoying it is to be taunted for being lazy. iv. As you progress toward your goals, the sloth’s messages start to change until finally after a certain time you could “slay the sloth.”