Marketing News 006 - Crisis Marketing , Environmental Social Cost, The Future of Facebook, Neuroscience - Future Marketing Skill.
Marketing News 006 – Crisis Marketing , Environmental Social Cost, The Future of Facebook, Neuroscience – Future Marketing Skill.
59:24 The future of Facebook.
Martin Henley 0:33
Hello there, my name is Martin Henley this is The Effective Marketing YouTube channel and if you have spent a second here, you will know that this is all about helping you, supporting you, to be more successful in your business. What you will find on this channel is me giving you everything I know about marketing, sales and marketing, because that’s the only way I know for you to be more successful. It will include people, anyone I can find who will share their knowledge and experience on marketing and it will include the marketing news. The marketing news, because Ionut is having a baby, we are joined this week by Melanie who is Concierge of Co-creation at Crazy Might Work and she’s here this week to talk to us about the marketing news. Good afternoon, Melanie. You’re looking very wistfully out of the window at the rain washing away Australia.
Melanie Farmer 1:24
Yes, if anyone’s following our tiny bit of news compared to the world news, yes, we’re all underwater. It looks like a warzone here, but it isn’t. So we are grateful for the little things.
Martin Henley 1:38
Grateful for the little things like not being washed away.
Martin Henley 1:42
Yes, yes and you know, community spirit and all of that. It’s been incredible. But yes, the whole east coast of Australia is a wash and 8,000 houses have been condemned. So you can imagine the knock on effect of that for people and it’s a difficult, sad time.
Martin Henley 2:03
100%. Condemned, permanently condemned, they won’t be livable anymore, that condemned?
Melanie Farmer 2:13
They’ve got to be knocked down. There’s no nothing safe about the foundations even have been washed away in many cases.
Martin Henley 2:18
Oh, my God. Okay. And so many, many, more people have also been evacuated have they?
Melanie Farmer 2:26
Yes. Yes, hundreds of thousands across and up and down the country. I think, really, it’s early days, those 8000 houses, it only took a day for that assessment to come back. They are continuing to assess 1,000s of houses over the coming days, so we expect that number rise. It’s pretty, pretty scary.
Martin Henley 2:49
It’s pretty scary. Yeah. Australia really seems to have been through it recently, in terms of weird weather and natural disaster events. It seems at the beginning of every year you get something shitty happen, is the way it feels from here.
Melanie Farmer 3:06
Yeah, we like to keep current with the latest weather the disaster,
Melanie Farmer 3:11
Melanie Farmer 3:12
On the upside, we have some incredible researchers and academics, you know that I love science, who are doing extraordinary things around earthquake, fire and flood prevention, prediction, all of that. Really, the investment in prevention is the thing that has made the difference. There’s more when underwater, for example, one of the worst affected towns that that flood that would have flooded really at 9 or 10 metres. A 12 metre flood was the record, this flood was 14 metres. So the flood defences and the investment in those, as much as this has been a complete disaster. It’s been saved from multiple floods over the last decades, because the floods would have come up to 12 majors and everybody was fine.
Martin Henley 4:07
Melanie Farmer 4:08
Previously, in the 80s in that area, things were going underwater with boats travelling down the main street of the town, almost every year. The upside of it is how the community responds, how science responds, how government and policymakers respond to that. So it’s an exciting time, in some way, it’s devastating just the lessons from this and really, I hope that that triggers a bit more investment in these defences and the science that has led to the recommendations around those.
Martin Henley 4:46
Yes. What I truly Australian response that was, the whole world is getting washed away, but we’re learning from this. What did I want to say? The community response has been amazing you were saying.
Melanie Farmer 5:01
Yeah, really incredible, like I think not to diminish the role of the Australian Defence Force in the cleanup operation, the people on the ground and really a shout out to many of the sort of Simoan and Polynesian communities up in that area who’ve been singing their hearts out in, in typical kind of Polynesian style, in the community evacuation centres keeping spirits high, getting in their own boats, taking themselves up the river to rescue people. In fact, on the day, the worst day there’s a photograph of hundreds of boats, a flotilla of boats, all community boats, almost all community boats, going to rescue neighbours, so it’s an inspiring response. 1,000s of people flocking to the area with, with water, with clothes, food, to just help and you know, and white goods. Somebody posted, I’m giving a car to a family of three so if you are a family of three, you’ve got three kids, you can have much Durago. So people just donating incredible things to share the loss effectively.
Martin Henley 6:21
Yes, yes. It is incredible what happens. There’s always incredible happen, things happening when incredibly bad things are happening. I think that gives me always much more faith in humankind. Okay, good. We’re not here to talk about that really important news. We’re here to talk about the much less important news. That is the news that is happening in the world of marketing. Something that Ionut likes to do at the beginning is he always likes to have a little boast if he’s achieved something amazing in the two weeks since we’ve spoken, I don’t know, if you want to continue that tradition. I don’t ever achieve anything amazing. So I’m not going to get involved. Have you achieved something amazing in the last two weeks that you want to share with the world?
Melanie Farmer 7:01
Pressure? Well, look, I’m really excited about this Friday, we’re kicking off a cross industry collaboration. In terms of the marketing win we’ve had several referrals from clients, which is always nice. We’ve managed to really use LinkedIn effectively to secure interest to a point where we can successfully run that. It’s really a system wide response to the COP 26 goals, and what that means for Australia, and what it means for businesses in Australia. We’ve assembled government, industry and researchers from universities together in the room so we’ll have several teams, co-creating innovative solutions to climate events. Very timely for us, but sustainability in general in terms of the sustainable development goals from the UN.
Martin Henley 8:02
Fantastic. Well, that sounds like something you should be very proud of. Sounds much more impressive than anything that Ionut achieved so far. I can tell you that because you know, he is having a baby so he’s probably like, ever gonna see this is the truth. Okay, cool. So the format is really simple, you have tried to break the format already by I have stood firm. The format is you bring three news stories, I bring three news stories, we discuss the news stories, then we get on with our lives. So you have tried to give me heads up of what your news stories are. I’ve ignored it. I don’t know what your new stories are. So I have struggled a little bit. I don’t think my new stories are particularly exciting. I imagine your new story is going to be much more exciting. You can tell us what’s kind of caught your eye or you caught your attention in the marketing news recently.
What’s in the marketing news?
Melanie Farmer 8:54
So I guess, as a segue from the floods, the response from brands when there’s a disaster that is very topical, right now with the Ukraine globally, but also with the the flood disasters in Australia. We have seen, there’s a couple of brands who have pledged that they will give $1 for everything, every item that they sell in their store to a charity.
Melanie Farmer 9:24
Melanie Farmer 9:26
The backlash is really interesting to watch on that.
Martin Henley 9:29
Okay, cool. So all right, so just the headlines at this stage, and then we’ll, we’ll come back into it. We’ll prioritise and we’ll come back to it. Yes. So that’s one story is how brands should behave in a crisis.
Melanie Farmer 9:41
Yes, the second is the opportunity for Facebook as opposed to the downfall of Facebook.
Martin Henley 9:48
Melanie Farmer 9:50
Because I think there’s some some interesting pivots that they can do and they might be secretly doing those things.
Martin Henley 9:56
Okay, that’s good. Excellent. So the opportunity You know, I’m dying to see Facebook fail. You’ve seen these news and I’m dying to see it fail. Okay, so the opportunity for Facebook. That’s cool. Story number two and story number three.
Melanie Farmer 10:10
Yeah, I, I’m interested in neuroscience with our future skills.
Martin Henley 10:16
Okay. This has gone to a whole different level with you being here as opposed to Ionut. Okay, which I knew it would. It’s cool. It’s really cool. I’m excited about that. Okay, so that’s three, quite strong news stories, mine are much less strong. There is a thing being reported in Global Citizen. How does your social media use impact the planet use this calculator to find out. So this is something that’s kind of been brewing. Lots of these young environmentalists on their phones complaining about the world ending in 2030 not realising the effect of that. I’ve got a Facebook thing, Facebook, here’s the headline, on Mashable, a massive Facebook redesign just went live for me, and it’s not great is what they’re saying about that. Then I’ve got two stories, which are kind of the same thing, which is there’s been some movement on the search engine algorithms, MUM and the one that’s happened right now is what they’re calling the desktop rollouts. So it’s page experience updates for desktop rollouts. So my three stories, environmental impact social media, new skin for Facebook, and things happening on the search engines. Let’s go with yours first about catastrophe marketing, disaster marketing.
How should you be marketing in a crisis?
Melanie Farmer 11:49
Yeah, so my observation is that, you know, there’s a desire to do good, to be seen to do good, we know that statistically, 70% of people under 30, will not work for an organisation who is not transparently sustainable.
Martin Henley 12:15
What was the percentage sorry?
Martin Henley 12:18
Martin Henley 12:21
7 out of 10 people under 30 will not work for a business that is not visibly sustainable.
Melanie Farmer 12:29
Martin Henley 12:30
Whoa, that’s actual data.
Melanie Farmer 12:33
Yeah, now, and I can send you the link on that. That’s fine as long as you’re not hoping to target that audience, which, of course, most of us are, yeah, so if we are not transparently sustainable, we’re in trouble in the recruitment of talent, war, if you call it that. Now, if you put that alongside the fact that brands are trying to be sustainable, and trying to be seen to be helpful, there’s a minefield to walk through with that, because they will be called to account by your Joe Blow on the street. So I know of this one brand, who’s who’s donating $1 for every item they sell in their retail clothing store, but they’re donating it to a charity. So there’s been questions asked about that charity, and it’s the quality of that charity, and the transparency of the charity and doing good. So is the money actually going to get to the right place because they’ve picked the wrong charity? That’s the message. The second thing is that they’re making profit, being seen to be making profit out of disaster by saying that means we have to buy clothes in your store in order for you to donate. Why don’t you just give them money?
Melanie Farmer 14:04
Melanie Farmer 14:05
So making profit out of disaster doesn’t seem to be hitting the mark. Particularly, I would imagine for the under 30s who are very much driven by transparently sustainable and good corporate behaviour.
Melanie Farmer 14:23
Melanie Farmer 14:24
Don’t make profits is the first rule. Probably I wonder if brands are reading their values first to question you know, what, what has this got to do with us? Because I think if if it’s not exactly our wheelhouse, it can kind of be a bit distracting, like, why why is this brand weighing in on this? But it’s not to diminish their efforts. It’s sad to think that they’d get you know, you know, ripped apart by consumers for giving in a time of disaster but that’s what seems to be happening.
Martin Henley 15:10
Whoa, I mean, this is a landmine, isn’t it? It’s like, it’s like, I mean, we’re, we’re operating in this cancel culture. This is stuff that Inount never wants to talk about but it seems to me that 2022 has to be the year where brands get cancelled, because everyone else has been cancelled already. There’s things going on in the world. I mean, a number of things that occurred to me like last week, I did the marketing News with Ionut. Ionut is from Romania, which borders Ukraine, his wife is from Moldova, which borders Ukraine. Moldova apparently, if this is a huge expansion move by Russia is the next place that will be attacked and then we had to talk about the marketing news. You are in a country that’s busy getting washed away and here we are talking about the marketing news. These things are going on and we have to continue, the world continues to go on. So they have to continue selling their clothes in the shops they have to. So it’s almost how, you can’t you can’t ignore it because that is ignorant. So you have to do something? Then what is the right thing? It’s almost like at the beginning of the pandemic, like, I’m like, I’m gonna swear I don’t like to swear, but I’m like, What the fuck do I say? Like, on behalf of my clients? What the fuck do I say? Like, essentially, populations are being locked in their homes because there is this this pandemic going on now do people really want to buy, I don’t know, metal? Turns out they did one of my clients. Do people really want to buy? Pumps? No, was the answer. Yeah, so the office? Yeah. So it’s like, we have pumps for these were mechanical pumps for industry. So these major events are happening in the world how do you respond as a marketer?
Martin Henley 17:20
Your primary function is to generate awareness, inquiries, sales, profits, so that’s your primary function. Almost everyone has been pulled into a media type role, where they’re also addressing an audience all the time. I think this is a minefield. I think your stat about the 70% of people under 30, what is visibly sustainable, because there’s no truth in anything we’re experiencing anymore. It’s almost immediately you decide, okay, that thing has happened, then already it hasn’t happened. You know, so like, my story about the the environmental impact of social media is huge. So what are digital marketing companies not sustainable, not visibly sustainable? Like, like, Lord, help me, like you solve complicated problems, solve that one, riddle me that?
Melanie Farmer 18:17
Yeah, well, I think it comes down to what’s important to you, I think. I do think this this is sort of nudging towards my other subject about future skills, but understanding about crisis response. So over time government have increased the roles of crisis response and invested significantly more in the last 20 years in Australia anyway. There’s a lot more in crisis response research and prevention, and all of that. So, there are a lot more roles available in that world. So I think in parallel, if disasters like flood, fire, pandemics are upon us, and they’re going to increase, which is not a surprise to anyone, or not to be a surprise, what does that mean for brands? Where is their crisis response operative who’s able to be ready? By the way, we also had major cybersecurity attacks last year in Australia, so there was a lot of companies affected by that. So it can be a multitude of disasters, but what is the brand response to that? Like, how do we maintain our identity and double down on our values as a brand without risking the backlash from the cynical amongst us about our intentions? Yes. It’s trying to be authentic in our messaging. Yes.
Martin Henley 19:54
So because I’m, hands up, I am the cynical amongst us. I don’t know if you’ve scene but there is in response to what’s happening in Ukraine, there are memes going around saying that the quickest way to get money to Ukraine is to book an Airbnb that you’ve got no intention, obviously, no one’s going to go and occupy. And it seems to me firstly, there’s two things about that. First thing is people who have spare properties that they rent out on Airbnb, in my experience aren’t the most needy people in society. So there’s that. Then also, there’s the benefit for Airbnb it’s like, so now whether Airbnb have ceded this idea or not, if they have, grossly cynical they shouldn’t have done that. If they haven’t, now that someone there has got to respond, what is the response? I would say this isn’t just about disaster response, we can keep it just about disaster response, if you like but it’s also response in changes in attitudes. So we spoke a few weeks ago about M&M’s Going woke, you know, because now they have to have an anxious M&M and they have to have a gender curious M&M who wears flat shoes now, as opposed to high heels. So this, I think, is a minefield, I did warn you, it’s a minefield, you know?
Melanie Farmer 21:18
I love minefield because that’s when you get to have those really rich, juicy discussions. It’s not like I necessarily have the answers. I think it’s really interesting in terms of what that means for the future, what prepared looks like, because we can have a marketing plan, and then a pandemic hits. So whatever our plan was, if we’re not actually agile, then we go under, and the best can go under no matter what, how good your plan is you if it’s not agile you’re just going to be disappearing and the person who had, the brand that did have it together and did have people thinking about emergency response, and were ready with, with, you know, what if this that ot the other. The other thing is about consulting during a crisis, what do people think about what if we do this? What if we do that? Because I think sometimes it can happen a bit too quickly. The timing is incredibly delicate. I just think in many ways, it would be better to do nothing and say nothing. If you’ve got the opportunity to give of course I think that’s amazing and then why wouldn’t you want to just do it and say we have to do it we have a responsibility to do this. It’s actually saying, who do we need to ask about our idea of what we’re going to say? Who do we have to have check our copy? Who represents the cynical amongst us, for example, and say, have we got this message, right? Is there another way that we could have pursued this? Would it be better if we just donate a chunk of money? The other thing is should we have given more and it never will be enough?
Martin Henley 23:12
Yes. This is what occurred to me about the Airbnb thing is how actually useful I mean, it might have nothing to do with Airbnb, but how actually useful is that? So when do they actually receive the money? What commission do they take? How do they receive the money? You know, all of these things. Actually, in a war zone Is money, really what you need? You know, are people still going to the shops and buying things? I don’t know. You know, I really don’t know. The other thing that occurs to me in the way that you’re framing this, and the way the world’s gone in the last three years, I mean, take your experience on the you’re on the East Coast of Australia. 2020 was that the fires?
Martin Henley 23:59
19 and 20
Martin Henley 24:04
Melanie Farmer 24:05
Martin Henley 24:06
So 19 to 20. So December, January, huge forest fires, March pandemic, like you say, last year, cyber attacks, this year floods. So it’s almost like it’s becoming, being a marketer is disaster response in Australia. In future inflation.
Melanie Farmer 24:38
That might be why I’m, I’m accidentally framing it that way to say that we put I mean, I think globally, we can expect more disasters. It’s when and how brands might want to respond and wat are the rules of response. It’s interesting, the New South Wales Police have an incredible brand, very trusted There’s been a journey for them to have that transformation as a trusted brand. The New South Wales Police have a Facebook page worth checking out, which is very humorous. Their brand is funny. So for example, in the pandemic, they posted on Facebook, which I think’s amusing. The audience, they’re trying to hit i the young, the youth of today, whatever but they said, going to see your drug dealer is not an excuse to break your curfew in a pandemic. So, obviously, they pull someone over and someone and they’d said, I’ve got to see my drug dealers, it’s an emergency, I’ve got to leave the house. So they’re kind of just teasing and saying that just kind of posting on Facebook, all of the ridiculous excuses that people have have given for leaving their house during a lockdown. Visiting my mistress and all of this sort of thing, right? So they just posting those things, and so that people are getting the message, but also kind of having a laugh, and it’s, it’s making it was affecting people’s behaviour positively.
Melanie Farmer 26:10
Melanie Farmer 26:11
Because we’re thinking we don’t want to be that person. They are kind of making me out that anyone who breaks lockdown is a fool. As opposed to saying, you know, is a rule breaker because we kind of like the idea of breaking rules, particularly here in Australia. So the way they framed it is actually the smart people are not leaving their house through lockdown. It’s only the fools who are doing that.
Martin Henley 26:36
Yes. And that is the key, I think, to effective social media marketing is to be able to read the room, and be funny, and kind of skew the message. Do you know what I mean? So people have to think about it a little bit. So yeah, that makes perfect sense. I want to grab my phone because I got a meme yesterday that’s relevant to what we’re talking about. It’s only here. I’m going to be about eight seconds. Okay. But people are going to see that I’m wearing shorts.
Melanie Farmer 27:08
We’ll talk amongst myself.
Martin Henley 27:10
So this is the meme that I got yesterday, it’s not really a meme so much as it say, I’m going to need to buy a new phone. It’s a disaster. It’s three years old. It’s really not charging. It’s really not loading up very quickly. Okay, so WhatsApp. Yeah, I think this is becoming the gig and I think it kind of is that, isn’t it? It is. Okay, so here’s the meme. Russia has already been cut off from CNN, Pornhub and Facebook. The US is now working on depriving Russians of McDonald’s and Coca Cola. If they keep on going with these sanctions, Russians will soon be among the healthiest, well adjusted, and best informed people on the planet. You know, so? So that is the same thing again, isn’t it? It’s like these brands are? Is it signalling? They call it virtue signalling don’t know, if it’s about kind of policies of gender or those kinds of things? Is it just signalling? Is it really and that’s all marketing does his signal? Do you know, I mean, that’s maybe why this is ….
Melanie Farmer 28:23
Yeah, the bottom line, it’s your identity. if I walk into a bar, if people go are classic, Melanie.
Melanie Farmer 28:32
Melanie Farmer 28:33
Depending on how I behave when I’m in there.
Melanie Farmer 28:35
Melanie Farmer 28:36
Then, you know, whatever the brand is, say it was Nike, classic Nike. You know, that’s what, that’s what successful response means.
Melanie Farmer 28:47
Melanie Farmer 28:47
So, I think it’s just understanding your own values and your own identity and beliefs as a brand and examining those against the crisis in front of you at the time that it happens and then thinking what what would what would classic, my brand, say, do, behave, think, feel, act in this situation? Then it can get caught up in … who you consult then becomes important?
Melanie Farmer 29:22
Melanie Farmer 29:24
You know, Richard Branson, I think a great example of classic Virgin, you know? You see what the brand Virgin, not Richard himself, but the brand, what that brand, how it behaves. It’s not like they’re flawless and never make an error but it’s it’s very clear, got a clear vision about providing a good experience from start to finish for the customer.
Martin Henley 29:50
Yes. Yeah and it was interesting. I can’t remember what the event was, but there was an event where something happened to do with airlines. It must, lord knows it must have been 25 years ago, but he turned up and he recorded the message for the customer service centres you know what I mean? He’s got a very, he’s always been, I don’t know so much now, he must be really old now, but he’s always kind of taken a real personal responsibility and stepped up to the plate. He’s always been pretty good at reading the room. I think you’re right. This is just good marketing again, do you know, I mean, it’s like good marketing is about being close, and having the ear and understanding your market, you know, that’s what it is. Being the person who can stand up at an event and say the thing that people want to hear it, you know, whatever the event is, if it’s a funeral, or a wedding, or whatever it is, it’s that kind of that reading the room, I suppose, is what it is.
Melanie Farmer 31:01
Well, you know, and also being yourself being authentic in that.
Martin Henley 31:06
Yeah, but being authentic is such hard work, isn’t it?
Melanie Farmer 31:10
Oh, yes. Those that do it really successfully, you know, that have got their identity down?
Melanie Farmer 31:20
Yes. That they, they can kind of say like, I mean, look at Ricky Gervais, I don’t think he’s worried about what they think in the Golden Globes. It’s classic Ricky Gervais no matter where he is.
Melanie Farmer 31:34
Yes, yes. Yes.
Melanie Farmer 31:36
He’s not gonna suddenly become politically correct.
Melanie Farmer 31:39
Melanie Farmer 31:40
It would not be authentic. But then his audience is not the winners of Golden Globes, that’s not his target audience.
Melanie Farmer 31:55
To your point, he’s reading the room, his room is not the people standing in front of him at the Golden Globes. His room is the viewers at home. Whoever you are, it’s understanding. It did make me think about this emergency response from the community. If I was Carlsberg, for example, this is where it can go terribly wrong. So Carlsberg have all this campaign about if Carlsberg did, you know, whatever the thing, and it ends up being the best thing in the world that has ever seen whether it’s event or wedding or this or that the other. Then of course, they’re saying our beer, our beer is the best in the world, we just decided to do beer, but whatever we do, is the best. So if they tried to muscle in on disaster response and help out and said, we’re going to do the best disaster response in the world, they’d be just laughed out of town and that would be, I think, a massive disaster in itself for them as a brand. So you have to choose where and when the natural response is going to be?
Martin Henley 33:07
Yeah, but the thing is, if you’re a marketer, you’re signalling all the time. Then the issue becomes if something important is happening, and you’re not acknowledging it or signalling it, and this is kind of what’s happened because of the social media age we’ve all been convinced as marketers, we need to be media people. We’re doing this now, how can we not acknowledge what’s going on in Ukraine? And how can we not acknowledge what’s going on in Australia? So I think that’s the danger. Do you know about Ratner? do you know about Ratner’s the jewellers in the UK? So this is the archetypal failure of a brand story where Ratner had these jewellery shops all the way across the UK, and they did cheap jewellery. He was on the speaking circuit and he used to make jokes about the the jewellery. So one of the things was they make a something like a cocktail thing, I don’t know an artificial jewellery type cocktail thing, where your butler can pour you these these things and it only cost two pound fifty. Or you could buy yourself a pair of earrings that cost less than a Marks and Spencers prawn sandwich but probably won’t last as long. He made this joke on this on the speaking circuit and then one time, there was a journalist heard this and reported it in the Daily Mail of The Sun or something and then Ratner’s was finished as a business. Everyone knew it was cheap jewellery, but when he was exposed for making fun, in front of his very wealthy, it might have been at the House of Lords or something in the speech, in front of these very wealthy friends people would not tolerate that. So there is something about brands or brand marketing, where a lot of the effort and the energy is brand protection, just looking after it, making sure it doesn’t get broken. Because once you are an entity in people’s minds, that’s something that could be broken. I think it’s a nightmare. I think it’s a tightrope that marketers walk now, because you have to be seen as edgy and fun and all of this sort of stuff, and then you’re cancelled, which is exactly, not the point of marketing.
Melanie Farmer 35:23
You know, it’s a relationship. So if you’re in a marriage, you’ve got to make it fresh every day. Like Brett, it just because you said I love you, and I’m gonna exchange reason now I’m married, doesn’t mean that’s it, divorce is possible. So it’s only that you remain married, because you continue to be a surprising delight to your partner and vice versa, that you’re allowing that. So with your customer I think there’s a relationship, and you got to keep working relationships for them to be successful. I don’t think it’s, you know, and so I think that’s normal. I think that’s always been the way it’s just that things have gotten faster, we can more quickly leave our partner and swipe right and choose someone else.
Martin Henley 36:11
Melanie Farmer 36:11
We can switch brands, and so earning the right to have a long term relationship with loyalty and all of that it’s very similar to how a marriage works, or a long term relationship would work.
Martin Henley 36:25
Martin Henley 36:25
It is something you’ve got to work on, and respond and say, sorry, and all of those things, but I think bottom line being what’s my values, who am I, and how apologise if I mess up and all of those things. Like Volkswagen did, I think pretty successfully with their emissions scandal. It’s how, how you respond, when that trust is broken, what you do, how you communicate, you know, it’s really interesting watching Bill and Melinda Gates, as they’ve gone through their divorce and how they speak about each other, and how they speak about the organisations that they share. They’re maintaining the dignity of the mission and the values of the organisations that they’re representing. Despite what seems to me a very, very shaky time. The premise was where, you know, these two people were married, and this is, you know, power couple and, and then, you know, is she going to kiss and tell, throw bill under a bus or vice versa, but no, it’s actually that they are, no matter what they’ve been through that quite united for mutual benefit, I’m sure. To
Martin Henley 37:44
Melanie Farmer 37:47
Martin Henley 37:49
Yeah. And then the, the other where it’s not going quite so well, for a power couple might be the Prince Harry and Megan Markel thing, where they’re not doing so well. That’s a great example where anyone who loves them thinks everything they do is amazing and anyone who isn’t in adoration of them doesn’t think it’s amazing. I did a stand up comedy course, I did a little bit of stand up comedy and I was told you don’t do politics jokes, and you don’t do gender jokes, unless you’re a genius because essentially, what you’re doing is splitting the room right the way down the middle and you don’t want to do that, you want to have more than half the people laughing all the time. So you just don’t go anywhere near that unless you’re 100% sure you’ve got it exactly right and it’s going to appeal to everyone. It seems to me that may be that’s kind of the job. That that’s why it astounds me that that M&M’s would go woke, because half the world are very excited about wokeness and the other half are not very excited about wokeness. So what they have potentially done is split their market because not everyone who’s excited about liberal values, very liberal values, is going to eat chocolate, and not everyone who is not doesn’t eat chocolate, so it’s difficult. What I’m going to commend you for is your, what was the word consistency? Because that was a typical Mel response because one of the first few times I met you in 2006, you stood up and gave a presentation about how marketing is a bit like dating, is a bit like relationships. So yeah, so that is very, that is a very Melanie Farmer response. What was that?
Melanie Farmer 39:37
It was I gave that talk on Valentine’s Day I remember you coming up afterwards.
Martin Henley 39:42
So Mel of course, perfectly relevant, perfectly valid, the exactly the right day, exactly the right response. You should be a marketer.
Melanie Farmer 39:50
I remember saying at the talk, some of you in this room, maybe looking forward to an exciting Valentine’s Day dinner, others might be ready to celebrate your divorce, others are somewhere in between. So, in terms of that room just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that we’re all really feeling romantic and happy about that.
Melanie Farmer 39:50
Melanie Farmer 39:51
I remember sort of just making sure, and then it was all like girls who like boys and boys who like girls and every permutation. Yeah, but it is, sales is like dating.
Martin Henley 40:30
Yeah. So I think what I’m taking away from this story is, it seems like we are constantly now in a disaster response situation and so marketers need to get better. So marketers need to do what they’ve always needed to do which is understand their market better and better and better and be consistently the thing that people need in these completely unpredictable situations. That’s what needs to go on. Good. Great first story great start to Mel on the Effective Marketing News Show.
The Environmental Cost of Social Media
Okay, shall we go to my story? Which story we’re going to? Let’s go to to keep it kind of this is why it fails. Oh, it does fail. I can’t do it. Okay, I’m gonna read you the headline, I can’t show it to you. Okay, so how does your social media use impact the planet? Use this calculator to find out, couldn’t actually find the calculator. What they’re saying is people are using their phones hundreds of times a day, that’s what’s going on. They analysed 10 of the most popular social media platforms and found it using TikTok generates the most emissions per minute of use at 2.63 grammes of carbon dioxide, followed by Reddit 2.45 grammes of carbon dioxide, Pinterest, 1.3 grammes using YouTube, in contrast, is just responsible for naught point four, six grammes of co2 per minute. So what this is about clearly is that none of these social media are existing in a vacuum. As far as we have come along the anti carbon movement, we are still a carbon fuelled society and these platforms are fueled by huge warehouses, filled with huge computers, which generate huge amounts, or consume, huge amounts of carbon energy. There was a thing that was clearly a lie. Okay, this, if you spend, let’s remember that TikTok is Chinese so there might be a little bit of, you know, innate racism going on here as well and this is a Western publication maybe they are pro Western social medias, I don’t know. So if you spend all your time on TikTok the fastest growing social media platform, the carbon footprint would be different. 145 minutes on tick tock causes nearly 140 kilogrammes of carbon emissions, which would be like driving a standard car for more than 350 miles. Now, I’m astounded. How can spending 145 minutes?
Melanie Farmer 43:19
Melanie Farmer 43:20
It can’t be true, can it? It cannot be true. The speed limit in the UK 70 miles an hour, so 145 minutes, that’s two hours of driving. So if you spend an extra hour looking at your phone, essentially, that’s like moving a tonne of metal 300 or 350 miles so 70 divided by 350, it’s 270 is three, it’s four hours of moving a tonne of metal is comparable to you looking at your phone for an hour and 45 minutes looking at TikToks. I don’t know how they calculate this or anything. I don’t even know if it’s a serious thing. That clearly has to be a lie.
Melanie Farmer 44:11
Well, I think it’s really interesting MasterCard are doing a quite quite extraordinary job I think of measuring carbon emissions for every purchase that you make. Then it comes back to transparency of the supply chain. So I wonder with with this, you know, what are they actually measuring that TikTok are doing every time. Is it the fact that if you stick something on TikTok the number of people who might then say, are you posting or just consuming if you post on TikTok then you’re now attracting, let’s say, a million people to come and look at that TikTok that you’ve posted. All of those people are turning ther phone on, especially and you know using, did they later change their phone because they’ve spent all this time looking at the thing that you posted on TikTok. So I would imagine that they’re considering the fact that if you’re on tick tock, and in 45 minutes, some of that time you’re sharing posts you’re posting, you’re encouraging others to engage with it and then so that all of those other people’s engagement would be because of you. And so maybe we don’t know, they,
Martin Henley 45:30
We don’t know.
Martin Henley 45:34
Yeah, it does seem to me, like you know, compared to owning a dog or eating meat, it’s, it’s nothing, it’s going to make no difference. In fact, there’s some really interesting stats about airlines and what they’ve done. They took one olive out of every salad and saved something like $40,000 to start with, but reduced emissions significantly over a year from aeroplanes, because the weight of the olives, every gramme off that plane. In fact, even I think it was in China, I think it was in China, I may have it wrong, there’s an airline that requested that passengers urinate before they get on the plane, because the liquid, the amount of urine contained inside individuals on the plane was an amount of weight that was causing them to have to burn that extra bit of fuel to get sent to the other end. So if everyone urinated before they got on the plane, that then that’s, you know, quite a number of litres of liquid, that they’re not having to use fuel to get there. I’m thinking, you know, comparatively, it’s, it’s just almost to me sounds like a way for social media to be in the conversation but for no reason. It’s so minuscule. Yeah, what, really, you’re going to save the planet by changing social media platforms.
Martin Henley 47:14
Okay, but now we’re going to a deeper question also, which is, are we actually going to change the planet? Is it just virtue signalling again? There is no doubt these huge data centres are burning huge amounts of energy, there is absolutely no doubt and it’s 24/7. It’s the same with Bitcoin and the Bitcoin mining that goes on. Yeah, this goes to a deeper argument, which is, it almost seems like it doesn’t matter what we try nothing is is effectively going to work. The alternative then ends up being, I mean, I don’t know, I don’t want to get into … I want to say about linear Leonardo DiCaprio, because he really annoys me that he’s the international face of environmentalism or anti global warming. Then he spends his holidays chugging around the Caribbean, in a yacht that would carry 500 people between islands if it weren’t a luxury yachts. Do you know I mean, so. I don’t know. There’s something again, like we’re not very far away from this. Also this hypocrisy, and how, how accepted it is. It’s just like, oh, yeah, we’re clearly he’s a hypocrite, so what he’s like Leonardo DiCaprio he’s getting away with it. That’s kind of how I feel about it. I don’t know if that’s relevant to what we’re seeing.
Melanie Farmer 48:44
You know, and I wonder, notwithstanding the, the small amounts of emissions per minute that you’re tweeting or on Reddit or whatever. I wonder if there’s a message about responsibility for the sector. If you know, I’m struggling to really care, I’ll be honest about like the
Martin Henley 49:11
You are the perfect replacement for your Ionut, because this is quite often his response is I don’t care about the news story that you brought.
Melanie Farmer 49:19
Is it is it a message? Is it a wake up call to the sector and to be responsible ourselves? I don’t know. I wonder,
Martin Henley 49:30
Yeah. Do you know Bill Maher, he’s a an American talk show host.And he recently did a …. goes back to your stats. 70% don’t want to work for a company unless they’re visibly sustainable, transparently sustainable, and it goes back to that. He did a thing recently where he was comparing Greta Thonberg to one of these Kardashians, and the Kardashian has, 10s of millions of people following them on Tik Tok, but it’s clearly been burning a lot of carbon, where Greta Thonberg has much less. So how much of this is signalling and how much of it is real? I don’t really know how much of this is just filling pages? How much of this is? Because that’s the other thing also is how much of this are we saying just because people are searching for it so we have to say something about it.
Melanie Farmer 50:26
Fresh, fresh content. So if social media writers, commentators and so on, you know, who have we not compared, we’ve compared car manufacturers, we’ve compared banks, and so it’s bound to happen that someone’s gonna say, Well, we haven’t compared social media platforms.
Martin Henley 50:46
Yeah. But also, then is that what it’s about? Is it about the carbon cost? Is it about the environmental costs? I mean, I don’t know where all of this data has come from.
Melanie Farmer 51:05
Was this in 2020?
Martin Henley 51:07
This is now this was March the eighth 2022.
Melanie Farmer 51:13
This is slacktivism, you know, slacktivism, where you sit on your sofa and change your flag to Ukrainian and do nothing?
Melanie Farmer 51:20
Melanie Farmer 51:23
No disrespect to people who are doing that and feeling overwhelmed and wanting to signal that they care and they are united with the Ukrainians but there’s a difference between that and you know, and actually, I don’t know whether the people are all donating and doing what works. This is a way to feel that I’m doing something because I’ve ditched TikTok and gone only, you know, use YouTube or whatever.
Martin Henley 51:51
Yes, yeah. Yeah, well, they are saying, I mean, I think maybe this is just a piece about, we need to put something on about the climate. Okay, so here we go have climate anxiety, here are seven things you can do, like stop using we’ve or whatever. So, there is something here about inducing anxiety, which this clearly does, which then helps. I don’t know if this is an advertiser, but they’re also saying here that Facebook also uses. Yeah, the whole digital thing is, I think quite damaging to the environment. I’ve got issues with the environment, because and the global warming thing, because I don’t think that’s the most immediate environmental catastrophe. There are millions of people dying every year from water pollution and air pollution and all these things but because global climate change has better PR, those things get less attention than they should. That’s kind of what I think so yeah, it’s kind of dangerous territory to be in.
Melanie Farmer 53:05
Well, we certainly have a few participants who do climate risk and so on, in our programme on Friday.
Melanie Farmer 53:15
Melanie Farmer 53:15
Some of that is, I mean, looking at floods its gone from 40 billion to 80 billion in two years in payouts. So the insurance industry, you can imagine, is not wild about that. So you could just look at flood, and all the things that you mentioned in terms of pollution, all of these things are part of the system that is not helping us.
Martin Henley 53:43
Melanie Farmer 53:43
So, you know, I guess they they are in the mix, you know, that. And even just how we build things is contributing to heat, which is, which is causing additional pollution in terms of, you know, what happens to a building when it’s really hot?
Martin Henley 54:00
Melanie Farmer 54:01
The gases that the what happens to that?
Martin Henley 54:03
Yes. So the thing is, it is all part and parcel of the same thing. But I think the most immediate for me, I would prioritise the lives of children in the developing world who die from water pollution, or air pollution over the losses of Australian insurance companies. Personally, that’s, that’s, that’s where my values are. I don’t necessarily want to get into this because, you know, I don’t necessarily want to get into it, but just seems to me that there’s just so much hypocrisy going on, and so much signalling going on. I just wonder how much of that is that and, and not actually real, you know? Okay, cool. That’s my second story. Yeah. Shall we go to your ….
Melanie Farmer 54:52
We’re out of time.
Martin Henley 54:53
Are we out of time?
Martin Henley 54:56
Well, I do. I do have to get on to something. I’m running a couple of hours tomorrow, but we can do quick and dirty on mine.
Martin Henley 55:04
Okay, cool, let’s go quick and dirty on yours.
Neuroscience the future skill of marketing.
Melanie Farmer 55:07
Yeah, because they were kind of related. So the future skills, I was just talking about neuroscience and how understanding people’s drivers and behaviour change and what I have observed is that there are more and more roles and or projects around neuroscience across the board, and certainly in the marketing world, so I’m seeing more jobs advertised. Looking for people who understand neuroscience and partly, it’s that marketers are getting skilled up in that area. We’ve always had some level of understanding of psychology so it’s really not far from that, and influence and persuasion. I’m seeing a lot more that the word neuroscience, these are the things we’re looking for in the in the applicant. I think what it is, is actually understanding our actual behaviour, rather than what we say we’re going to do on a survey. Of course, there’s been ethnographic research happening over many years, versus just doing a survey, or observing customers in the wild, if you like, seeing what they do and how they behave. I think now it’s not so much just observing them, but actually predicting and understanding how the brain works and what what triggers safety and what triggers unsafety. What triggers a feeling of risk. Intentionally designing our retail experiences, for example, around safety and comfort. I think it’s relevant now in retail, if you’re trying to get people to leave their house and come to your shop, when I can just buy it online. Also how do I create and build trust and safety and understand what’s going on in people’s brains and what’s what’s going to create safety. There’s the chemicals, the basic chemicals of dopamine, and so on, that will help me to, to buy, who started giving me dopamine by gamifying the purchase experience, and it’s pretty hard for me not to start buying things, so that it’s understanding those chemicals. I think it’s just, it’s interesting. I’ve heard people say the best psychologists in the world are working for games development companies, because they know how to create dopamine at the right levels at the right time. Now, I kind of secretly think, well, are they the best or the worst because there’s always addiction that’s happening.
Melanie Farmer 57:59
Melanie Farmer 58:04
You’ve got dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, so that the chemical cocktail and how we use it, slash abuse it, please.
Martin Henley 58:17
Okay, so all I want to say about that is the best or worst, the best, academically, morally worst psychologist in the world might be working for these digital companies because what they’re experts at is building these dependent relationships, I think, and it horrifies me. Yeah, whether that’s dopamine, or whatever it is, whatever the chemical combination might be, they are experts at developing those dependent relationships and making people dependent on them. I think the whole thing towards neuroscience has gone beyond like, in the last 20 years, we’ve spoken quite happilyb warmly about influence and persuasion and all these things but now it’s going to a mass level, because they’ve got these windows right into our actual current activity and response, and oh, my God, it’s just frightening. Now we’ve got these devices. They’re gonna know when our heart rate goes up, when we get moody when we get buyee. You know, when when Yeah, so horrifying, horrifying. Good. What was your last story? Do you want to get your last story done?
The future of Facebook.
Melanie Farmer 59:24
Yeah. Yeah, Facebook, I just sort of wanted to comment on some of the if they’re falling off a cliff what’s interesting to me is that their audience, they have twice as many users in India than they do in the USA. So that their market is actually is it the US? Is it the west. It’s interesting to me because I think and now I’m forgetting the name of the platform in India that was bigger than Facebook for many, many years. It’s men in their 30s in India, that’s that’s where their biggest market is. India’s they’ve got 329 million users versus say Germany 25 million. So I do now I think that’s interesting with with India now starting to get a good middle class going. As India starts to kind of mature that’s the market 329 million users. That’s not bad. January this year then had overall 3.2 billion users. So India is a large chunk of that and that’s already three times what TikTok has, although TikTok have gone up and up and up. TikTok has a billion users, they are number six, but they came out of nowhere just like Facebook.
Martin Henley 1:01:07
Melanie Farmer 1:01:08
That’s one way of putting it, coming out of nowhere. You know that I think the fact that I think you’ve mentioned that they’ve made an appearance in Zuckerberg speeches and they would if they were rising the ranks quickly. So number six. They’re users are really quite young, typically under 20. So are those users wealthy, because only just starting to tip over into the profit. It’s just when those users start to grow up and have money, right, have serious money. Whereas in Facebook land, we’ve kind of now having people who grew up with it in the large Silver Surfer market, like my mum and Facebook Marketplace, which is really taking off for those who don’t have Amazon working quite as nicely as it is in other countries. I think that’s just interesting, statistically, men in India in the 30s is was their biggest method. But yeah, so anyway.
Martin Henley 1:02:16
And what’s interesting about that, is that also these tech giants have also got into the habit of employing Indians, Indian male Indians, as very senior executives in their business. The CEO, I think of Google and Facebook right now are both male Indians. So that’s interesting. The point you make is the point that I would have made also is what’s the value of that market in India? And how does that compare to the value in the US? Okay, good. Cool. Are we done here?
Martin Henley 1:02:49
Martin Henley 1:02:50
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Maybe? So we’re gonna do this fortnightly? Are we so I’ll get a calendar invite to you and we’ll, is Tuesday or Wednesday, the better day for you to do because it goes up on Thursdays?
Melanie Farmer 1:03:02
Oh, yeah. Either days good for me. You know, maybe it’s Tuesday for your benefit, because you’ve got Wednesday to be recovering from whatever.
Martin Henley 1:03:10
Yeah. Wednesday’s actually better for me, because it’s how long it takes me to transcribe these things. So Wednesdays is good. And if we aim for about this time, we’ve got a set up now that works, so we won’t have to do that messing around at the beginning.
Melanie Farmer 1:03:25
Yeah, webcam. Laptop, done.
Martin Henley 1:03:28
Maybe next time headphones would be really good.
Melanie Farmer 1:03:32
I’ll see what I can do. Here’s a good experience. I’ll see what I can do.
Martin Henley 1:03:38
Okay, super cool. You’re an absolute legend. Thank you so much, Melanie.
Melanie Farmer 1:03:43
That was awesome. It was so cool. Leave you with it. And good to talk. Good luck with your fortnight to come.
Martin Henley 1:03:51
Super cool. You too. I will catch you in two weeks.
Melanie Farmer 1:03:56
Hope you feel better soon?
Martin Henley 1:03:58
I’m sure I will. Okay, cool.
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