Twitch Point Planning

    Twitchable Moments.


    I wrote earlier in the week about ad tracking application iSpot and how it will help marketers with Twitch Point Planning. Twitch Point Planning being a new transmedia planning tool that takes advantage of the twitchy behaviors consumers exhibit in today’s device-friendly, social media world.

    Here’s an example of a twitch the Geico Insurance and The Martin Agency may or may not have designed into the famous Hump Day TV spots.  Lots of people like the Hump Day spots — the boisterous, roaming camel asking “Guess what day it is?”  This spot from the campaign has over 19M views on YouTube.  Do you know what day these spots are shared the most?  Wednesday.


    Do consumers buy more Geico insurance on Wednesday? Maybe a bit more because the brand is top-of-mind, but my guess is this effort was not that strategic. Not strategic like Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day or BOGO (buy one get one) on a restaurant’s slowest day of the week.

    The metrics, however, do show twitching behavior can be manipulated. And that’s the key learning. Find an on-brand idea that gets shared on a particular day of the week, and you have a new tool in the social arsenal. There are lots of twitchable opportunities for brands – they just have to have a goal and think like consumers. Peace!



    It’s Evolution Baby. (Da, da, da, da dahn.)


    Raise your hand if you think this mobile computing, mobile communications thing is a fad. Exactly…tricorders are here to stay.  Facebook just announced that 49% of its ad revenue is from mobile devices.  It also reported that “users were clicking on them (ads) in their news feeds more frequently.”  What does that tell you?  Well, Tarik Sedky wrote in Digiday that the banner ad is just about dead, which tells me we are getting better at crafting ads offing value for people’s mobile feeds.  Do I smell some Twitch Point Planning?

    It stands to reason that anyone looking at their phone, say, while talking to a hottie, during a meeting, or at dinner, is someone looking for a diversion. Smarter ads, ads that understand context, ads that provide real value are getting clicked on. The ad business is evolving and mobile behavior is helping us. As we move from diversion clicks to clicks that move consumers closer to a sale, we’ll evolve even more.  

    Content marketing my ass. Social media marketing my ass. Untill Facebook , Google and Yahoo start charging subscription fees or transaction fees, this advertising thing is going to keep floating the boat. Evolve me droogies. Peace.


    Retargeting Isn’t Selling.


    There is a digital marketing practice called retargeting through which advertisers, thanks to a cookie or pixel tracker, serves you an ad message based upon your previous web shopping.  If you shop online for a Marmot tent at REI and don’t buy, you may see Marmot tent ads for a few weeks or months on various other sites. The “re” in retargeting, in this case, refers to repetitive targeting. Insofar as moving a prospect closer to a sale, this approach is not that great. It’s a frequency play – not that there’s anything wrong with frequency. (Okay, there is a little bit wrong with frequency.  It’s noise.) 

    Twitch Point Planning is a healthy evolution of the frequency model. It is intended solely to move consumers closer to a sale. The sales continuum is a fine thread that extends from not being aware to aware, then interested, desirous and finally purchaser. Retargeting efforts often attempt to hit consumers with a promotion but don’t spend a lot of time understanding the continuum.

    Twitch Point Planning focuses on “understanding, mapping, and manipulating” customers closer to a sale. Understanding is the behavioral part. Mapping the media part. Manipulating the creative and creation part. Digital agencies are best equipped to do this, but often fall short in one or two of the three pursuits. The Droga5s, Barbarians and Anomalies of the world get it but haven’t yet codified the model (and compensation).

    This is science people. Part chess, part art. It is the future of a fairly stagnant, though creative business.  Peace. 


    Two Joshes.


    Over the last few days I’ve met with two really smart Joshes. Okay, one Josh and one Joshua. Both gentlemen live and work in digital and media realms and both were nice enough to hear about “Twitch Point Planning.”  A twitch is a media moment during which a user leaves one media or device for another in search of more information or richer clarification. Twitch Point Planning attempts to intercept them at these moments and put in their way some branded value, moving them user closer to a sale. Of course, it must be done elegantly and with a contributory vibe.

    The two Joshes told me it’s time to get out of theory land and into practice land.  Advice I’ve been giving to marketers for years. There is talk and there are deeds and only the latter create true muscle memory for consumers.

    Since these two gentlemen are digital natives and work in marketing worlds catalyzed by big data, they’re also looking for evidentiary data. “65% of TV watchers who twitch to a retail site on Foursquare buy from its brick and mortar store within 4 days” kind of stuff.

    Okay, I preach it but have failed to practice it. Shame on me. Off to practice.  Off to data point. Thank your Josh. Thank you Joshua.


    Second Screen Twitch.


    The second screen is a fundie of Twitch Point Planning and driver of moving a consumer closer to a sale. The ability to stall or hold the first screen, while pursuing the second, is part of Twitch Point Planning’s “understand” modus. So if one is reading a Kindle and twitches to a Mac or PC for a deeper dive into a topic, that person will likely return to the Kindle after sating their curiosity. Expected behavior. But marketers want a twitch or twitches to end in a purchase or transaction (read: sale, appointment, sign-up), not a quick return to the first screen. 

    Sometimes a twitch might not be to another device, it might result in a car or bike ride to the store.  “Damn, I’m going to buy Europe ’72, by the Dead or a Cuban sandwich at Lenny’s.” But for the most part, the richest non-retail selling that will occur will happen on a company website. The last mile, as it were. The product or service website should provide a contextual, informational, aspirational multimedia expression of a product’s use and value. This is less likely to happen on a smartie than a tablet or computer.

    As a rule (and rules have many exceptions) a good twitch point plan seeks to close that first screen and commit to the second. Or third. Bookmarking or Digging a site, while watching TV is not as good as clicking on the shopping cart.

    It’s all about the pathways and how one uses them. Peace.   

    A Twitch Point Planning Example.


    Readers have heard me speak of a marketing convention called Twitch Point Planning, a rigor which helps planners “undertand, map and manipulate consumers closer to a sale.” Twitch Point Planning is an outgrowth of today’s, multi-channel, always on media devices.  Today I was reading the NYT and came across an article about George Orwell and the town Katha in Myanmar where he wrote his first novel “Burmese Days.”   Before I had finished the article, I’d powered up the Kindle, logged on the new office WIFI password, and downloaded the book for $2.99.  That’s a Twitch and the newspaper story was a Twitch Point.

    Now, had I only been half interested in George Orwell, or Burma, or Myanmar I may not have transacted business.  So what might sellers of this book put in my way, elsewhere, to move me closer to a sale?  That’s the $64,000 question.  Thinking about that, is thinking as a Twitch Point planner.

    moors google maps

    What will emerge from this model? Well, if the NYT shared it topics and content with the public in real time, or perhaps the day before publishing, Twitch Point Planners would know what searchable terms, pictures, Google maps, images might be worthy of content or advertising attachment.  When Fred Wilson (of was reading the bio autobiography of Keith Richards on a device and fired up Google Earth to see what moors really looked like, that was a twitch (and possible place for a tourist ad). As more Twitch Point Planning exampled come up, I will share. Unless you beat me to it. Peace

    A Content Marketing Tip and Story.


    Content marketing starts with being seen. Following is a story and insight. And a Twitch Point crumb trail.

    This morning I was reading a New York Times article (a daily anchor read) describing a new ConAgra Slim Jim campaign. I twitched over to Twitter and followed an author by the name of David Vinjamuri, quoted in the article, writer of a book called Accidental Branding. I have heard of the book but now, thanks to the media surround, will consider buying it.) On Mr. Vinjamuri’s Twitter feed, I read and how his Amazon reviews rock, according to Mars Dorian. I might consider following Mr. Dorain but didn’t have time. His name will go into the gray mush database and should it come up again, he’s in.

    The notion of being an Amazon review rockstar is very interesting to me, and plays into my Poster vs. Pasters theory of online magnetism. Mr. Vinjamuri, blogs, writes book, Tweets and no doubt does lots of other posting. His Amazon reviews, however, are placed on a canvas that seen by many and more importantly, seen in context. He has found a place where concerned readers congregate and he is posting there — with things they like. (In doing so, he is creating twitches back to himself.) Had Mr. Vinjamuri doen the review on his own blog he’d have to wait for his Google ranking on the topic to float up. So he used Amazon to fish for acolytes. Genius.

    Just as inbound links are the key to Google rankings, commenting and leaving a trail of crumbs on other people’s sites is a key to content marketing. It’s the last mile. The one most people forget about. It’s the map or directions to you and your site. There is way too much Fotchbook focus for marketers today. They create content for Fotchbook (faccia, is Italian for face) and becasue the platform contains so many crumbs, people tend to stay there…giving Mr. Zuckerberg all the traffic. So Posters, you need to troll. You need to troll in rich waters. And you need to create content back at the ranch that will build greater affinity. Sorry for going long today. Peace!

    Twitch Point Planning Examples.


    I write about and consult on a new media marketing rigor called Twitch Point Planning — the ability to “understand, map and manipulate” media twitch points in ways that move consumers closer to a sale. A twitch point is a media experience where one twitches away from what they are currently consuming. Yesterday, I was looking in my blogger bookmarks and came across a link to Anil Dash, a tech entrepreneur. I visited his blog but did not read deeply, but did check out the About Me section.   Somehow I twitched over to a video presentation of his recorded at Mark Hurst’s 2011 Gel Conference, watched a couple of minutes then left.

    This morning, I was reading a New York Times paper paper article on how Apple’s iPhone 5 maps have replaced Google maps on the new iPhones (brand mistake) and guess who is quoted?  Anil Dash.  Typically, were I reading the Times and saw the name of an expert with whom I wasn’t familiar, I might Google him mid-sentence. (Twitch.) Or, write a blog post about him and the subject. (Another twitch.) Either way, I might not return to my original media moment – The New York Times article. 

    An example of Twitch Point Planning, in real time, would be for Mr. Dash to log on to Google AdWords and buy his name, the words Apple Maps, and make a penny a click ad. Or, he could change his website, based on his appearance in the article, and put an offer on the homepage, to build appropriate business.

    Twitch Point Planning is a new tactic that adds exponential measures of value to social media. It’s active, not reactive. Twitch Point Planning is strategic. Go forth and twitch. Peace. 

    Fishing With Hooks and No Line.


    After reading a Sony Vaio laptop ad this morning I clicked on the QR code.  These little goodies are the rage, and rightly so, but many marketers haven’t quite figured them out yet.  The worst attempts send people to the company homepage or a Facebook page.  The best provide a trail of proof for the ad claim that moves the consumer closer to purchase – taking the ad logic and selling premise and extending it.  Somewhere in the middle are marketers who provide lists of additional information, either in text or clickables.  Sony’s effort fell in the middle. Their QR code mobile landing site offers a video that is still loading, some nice product specs, price variations, special offers, way under the fold a smart showcase of the illuminated key board feature, a claim about flying from NY to Rome on one charge, powered by Microsoft Windows 7, and something about a kitchen sink.

    Ad agencies all complain that their business models and profitability have changed.  The fact is, the things they sell have changed and they’ve been slow to adapt.  This QR code exercise points out how many new things agencies get to make – beyond ads – to enhance the client selling experience and make more money. Happy, happy.

    Using a fishing metaphor, ad agencies are focused on the hook — lo, they celebrate the hook — but they forget the line, pole, boat, and fish keeper. (The Vaio video is still loading.)

    In my posts about Twitch Point Planning I write of the need to use transmedia or cross media twitches to move customers closer to purchase. That is the absolute best purpose of a QR code. Yet many are lazily using the code simply to move consumers closer to information. Disorganized information at that.  Still loading.  Peace!

    Twitch Point vs. Engagement Planning


    There is an 8-slide presentation on Twitch Point Planning I’ve shared with a few people in the know and on one occasion, with Michael Stich, COO of Rockfish Interactive, I was challenged to blow it out a bit.

    Twitch Point Planning is the process whereby one understands, maps and manipulates consumers closer to transacting a sale.  It uses any and all of today’s media choices, but focuses on those that consumers are most comfortable using to learn more. A twitch point during a car shopping excursion might be a trip to JD Power site on one’s hand held.

    Mr. Stich asked me to dwell on the suggestion in the presentation that companies need to “add brand value” at key consumer twitch points.  He, like many who talk about engagement and liking and registration and click-through, know that nothing happens in marketing until someone buys something. And though soft metrics are the haps these days, sales and net revenue are what investors and corporations care about. Mr. Stich’s questions about “adding brand value” is one reason WPP purchased Rockfish and why he is a person of interest in the new evolving marketing landscape.

    If strategic planners take the “understand” part of understand, map and manipulate to heart, they’ll get closer to finding ways to positively influence brand value. Twitch Point Planning, though akin to engagement planning, puts more emphasis on delivering brand value, not just customer touches along the journey. And twitch point planning cares about “closing.”  Closing sales. Engagement planning metrics often get stuck in dashboards. A twitch is more of a collision.  Hee hee.  Peace!

    PS. Go see Cameron Crowe’s movie Pearl Jam Twenty. Como se wow!