We received lots of comments about our recent article, “Fresh Eye for the Marketing Guy.” Many of you asked for examples of who is doing it “right.” We acknowledge that our first article only touched the surface, so based on your comments we decided to explore fresh-baked marketing with you in the real world.
If you are reading this to get a quick “fix” for your marketing challenges, then stop right now. However, if you are open to thinking, being inspired and learning something about the New Marketing Order, then please read on. So, you can take the blue pill and remain in your artificial marketing dream world, or you can take the red pill and open your mind to countless new possibilities.
Get ready to experience The Meatrix. You will need to take a side trip and go see The Meatrix for the rest of this article to make sense. Go now to themeatrix.com, watch the Flash movie, look around and then come back….
So, what did you think? You probably fall into one of three categories:
- It's clever, but what's so great about it?
- It's an interesting application of activism marketing but isn't relevant to what I'm doing.
- I get it, I'm breathless with excitement, and I'm rewriting my marketing plan.
If you find yourself somewhere in or between the first two categories (or are just plain confused) hang with us and read on. Category Three people are free to go—have fun and bring your new marketing plan around for the rest of us to see!
The Meatrix captures the New Marketing Order. It is multidimensional, defying categorization by yesterday's marketing standards. It isn't just any one thing that makes The Meatrix work; it is the sum total.
Why do we say it is the New Marketing Order? There are many reasons, but here are a few:
- The message is as fluid as the medium. There is a lot going on in The Meatrix, above and below the surface. The message captures one aspect of the frame of mind concept. It reaches those that are open to it and passes by those who are not. Depending who you are, your frame of mind and who made you aware of it, the message could range from a humorous and creative satire or a cute takeoff on a pop culture icon to an intelligent challenge to think about where the food we eat comes from or a serious and urgent call to action.
- It understands the nuances of the individual's interaction with modern media. The Meatrix is more than a cute movie or a niche Web site. The sum total of The Meatrix medium itself is fluid—it is advertising, story, editorial, Web site, movie, report, instruction, directory, announcement, reference and involvement. It invites quick review or active browsing. It encourages engagement but doesn't demand it.
- Focuses on an idea worth spreading instead of pay-for-play. It serves up what our audiences are hungry for—real knowledge, real connection and real voice. Whether you agree with the premise or not, you have to admire how well the entire strategy and tactics have been implemented. Yes, this is an activist marketing campaign, but part of its general appeal is that it speaks clearly about an idea and it teaches something about that idea. It doesn't shout, it isn't in your face and it offers multiple levels of engagement.
- Acknowledges that today's consumers hold the market power—not the mass media, marketers or legislators. Consumers belong to multiple networks, have multiple identities and participate in multiple communities; in that context, demographics are nearly meaningless. Consumers find the truth or do business in the time it takes to type a keyword into a search engine or open an email from a friend. They are connected to everyone and they decide to pass your message along or to kill it. Today's consumers have a penchant for searching out information and have infinite ways to find it and to share it.
- It is buzz-worthy. The Meatrix is beautifully and cleverly executed to cause buzz (we bet you're going to share it with someone else before the day is out). It's a connection point. People take action because they believe in something enough to share it (even momentarily), they want to be a connector in their networks or because they hope to make difference. The Meatrix offers it all.
- It is practical, useful and immediate. You want the rest of The Meatrix story, so you take the suggested non-threatening next step—you click. And there, in front of you, is something local, immediate, useful and practical. Additional resources invite browsing, engagement and curiosity. The SustainableTable site is a “micro-site” created specifically for the audience who will move to the next step in the “relationship.” And the script of the Meatrix is available for download—a perfect condiment for those of us who want to digest the messages in a different format or study the project further.
The Meatrix was the result of a grant in which the creator, Free Range Graphics, invited hundreds of nonprofits to apply for a free Flash animation. Free Range could pick only one for the grant, but think about what it learned about its potential client base and what its potential customers learned about Free Range Graphics. And for those who worked hard to apply for the grant, Free Range put down its best thinking and created an Internet activism guide for all its applicants. That's better than a coupon… and very fresh-baked.
Study this example, and let its multi-layers stimulate thinking about your own marketing strategies. Pick a project. Measure it against the criteria here. Don't be afraid to enter the marketing Meatrix.
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