‘Keen to get into that’. Ahem.
Social media impresario Vaughn Davis was extremely kind to invite me on his radio show for a ramble through the BLACKCAPS, Telecom, sportreview.net.nz‘s ten year anniversary and the mobile apps I use on the bog (Instapaper was my #1).
Radio Live Sunday Social – listen to the whole nine yards here. Thanks Vaughn!
|Thanks to Oliver from CricHQ for the snap.|
Some quick thoughts on the Telecom -> Spark thing.
Telecom’s biggest challenge has always been doing less. Like any incumbent telco, it has no end of systems, processes, technology and products that keep getting in the way of having a product line up that’s simple and complete while still innovating at the pace demanded by the telco industry. And despite all that, they’re doing a pretty reasonable job, potentially enabled by the energy injected by new leadership. Anyone paying attention can see that Telecom is moving in the right direction and out-thinking the brash up and coming ISPs and telcos that were doing so much chest beating in the last few years. You don’t hear much from them these days.
On the back of today’s news, marketing chap Jason Paris says in the NBR story comment thread: “…there are still key, fast growing customer segments that tell us they will always just out right reject the Telecom brand.” I have to say I dealt with enough people with long memories in my time there to say with confidence that people have long memories and no-one is going to forget that Spark = Telecom, especially after the front-page stories, tweets and Facebook comments exploding today. And isn’t it Skinny or another of the sub-brands’ jobs to reel these folk in?
Why not just show people that Telecom is able to listen to customers and give them what they want at a reasonable price with great associated story than bet the farm on a new name? This process is well underway already. Why not wait a while and see if it’s still necessary? I mean, today Telecom has announced a pretty interesting foray into TV, precisely the kind of thing you want an innovative, data-driven telco to get into, but the fluff and froth of the rebrand is getting the headlines.
Anyway, it’s happening and I sincerely hope it goes well – the people responsible for pulling this off have a lot of work in front of them. I understand the organisational transformation that started before I left has continued and is making good progress, I hope the re-brand helps rather than hinders the pain and effort everyone’s gone through to get this far.
Would also hope the folk in the shops and call centres are front and centre in everyone’s thinking and there’s more in it for them than a launch party and (another) new set of posters. As we all know, the folk you speak to when your phone or broadband needs sorting out and what they’re enabled to do by the company’s products and processes are far more responsible for a company’s brand than an advertising agency run by one of your board members.
Like I say, good luck to everyone concerned. The last thing any company needs is a clever dick ex-employee banging on about stuff like this, especially without the benefit of actually working at the company and knowing what’s actually going on, which is always vastly different to what you see from the outside / gets reported. I hope that in five years time we’re remembering the awesome products and service coming out of the organisation rather than the name shuffling.
|Not a Photoshop BTW.|
– Not having the @sparknz Twitter handle among other things is a bit of an issue, but I imagine a large corporate wanting to obtain a punter’s dis-used Twitter handle is not that big a deal to quietly sort
– I await the new branding with interest. My personal opinion is that the agency’s track record is not great when it comes to Telecom and hope they can do better and more sustainable than previous efforts. Let’s face it, the Telecom marketing campaign everyone remembers is SPOT, can’t you guys just, erm, come up with something like that? I joke
– Troy has been kicking arse on the Twitter
– Lance Wiggs’ article is worth a read
There’s a school of thought that says whenever two chaps in a garage get a 0.3 beta of a social network out the door, digital folk everywhere should drop everything and get on it.
This is bollocks. Your valuable and limited time, energy and resource is best spent on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or the platform(s) that work best for your customers / fans / etc. When an organisation proudly lists all the platforms they’re on (and the list could be pretty long by now), the question is ‘are you any good on them?’ and probably ‘do your fans care?’.
How many times have you heard ‘this could be the new Facebook’, only to struggle to even remember its name weeks after the initial squeee-ing dies down? I really question the need to spend time building up a platform whose goal might ultimately be to be brought by Facebook or Google when they get popular enough.
You won’t miss much in the early days of a new platform – often you don’t get a fair reflection of what the platform is going to be like because there’s simply no-one on it yet. You’ve got plenty of time to make ground up if you don’t get in on the early days. Take Instagram – for a long time, people on Android, the world’s largest mobile OS couldn’t even use it – folk seemed to catch up just fine.
As always, you need to figure out what platforms are the right fit for your organisation’s fans or customers and what’s right for you.
Some social platforms are more useful as handy places to store your content – think Flickr for photos and YouTube for video – and sharing your content somewhere more suitable, like Twitter or your website. Honestly, no-one really enjoys YouTube for its social functions.
Remember, tthere’s questionable value in getting involved in non-social platforms like Snapchat (where content can’t be shared or even allow a link back to your website). Sure you might get some street cred points for being there, but it feels a bit dad-rock to me if it’s not the right fit for your organisation.
In short, what I’d do when a hot new platform comes along is:
a) register your company name, because 1. it might come in handy one day, and 2. it stops the hilarious pranksters from nabbing it, and
b) keep an eye on it. You’ll know when it becomes right for you
Remember, channels are channels – don’t throw your strategy out the window because someone invites you to a pets-only mobile app.
I was on the Radio New Zealand Mediawatch show talking about the Alternative Commentary Collective, a caravan of chaps commentating the cricket this summer.
Hear the interview at Radio New Zealand (my bit’s on about 20 minutes in) and here’s a more thorough run down at sportreview.net.nz.
You can click all the pictures to make them bigger.
I changed jobs in February…
…and turned 40 in February also. Quite a month. I had a lovely party with friends and family all in attendance. This axe was my mid-life crisis acquisition – it’s been loads of fun.
The new job’s offices had a pretty different vibe to the last one, in fairness.
I spent a lot of time this year watching cricket and tweeting about it, happy days.
This is a traffic light that looks like a TIE fighter.
Straight to the pool room.
Wee fella and wee girl. Family is going great.
I tried to lay off the bad food photography this year, but… you know.
We got serious about lego this year.
I got right on board the selfie boom.
So I went to Bangladesh with the BLACKCAPS. This was Chittagong.
I never get tired of posting this – signing a bat at Hotel Agrabad over breakfast.
I saw a number of cool modes of transport in Bangladesh.
This was my last meal in Bangladesh. Bloody good it was too.
Someone did some pretty sweet burnouts on our street.
Colleague sorts out hipster DJ at Christmas party.
Watching the Ashes while BBQing was a bit of a highlight. Merry 2014 all!