All your CEO needs to know about the new Social Media and marketing can be learned by watching how Mattel markets their toy, American Girl. American Girl is a doll. Not any doll, but a doll whose owners, young American Girls (one presumes), spend an estimated average of US$500 on doll, accessories, furniture, movies, books, and magazines. Some parents take their daughters into the store for dinner (http://www.americangirl.com/stores/experience_dining.php ).
These very special dolls can be customized to the skin tone, hair colour, and eyes that match your own child. They have won the Oppenheimer Toy Award eight times.
One open secret is what the creators of the brand and products learn from the legions of Videos that its young clients create and post on YouTube. Videos created at zero cost to Mattel. Topics vary tremendously. Some recent examples?
Things an American Girl should never do!
A week in the life of an American Girl.
Building a bunk bed
Adding makeup, Piecing ears, braiding hair
a road trip to the Mall of America
removing stains, flat-ironing hair, washing, removing stains
Does this sound trivial? Or do the viewers (ranging between a few thousand to several hundreds of thousands per video, have something to offer the company about its products and services? Words, clothing, customer profiles, preferences, location -they are all there. The comments (thousands upon thousands) and content are monitored, analyzed, and fed to product development and advertising.
In 2011, more people will connect with each other via an online site/community than by e-mail. Customers and prospects will be more highly influenced by their peers than by your marketing campaigns. The reasons go on and on.
Besides, your CEO might just enjoy the American Girl experience and set a new direction for your marketing and digital media group.