The We First Blog.

Anyone who says the mobile marketing revolution is coming is wrong. It’s here.

August 3, 2012 Comments

As the days when social media was pegged as a fad drift from memory, mobile advertising has risen to take its place. Will mobile ads be effective, what ad format works best, who will win the mobile payments battle and why? Yet a quick glance at the infographic by Luma (above) should be enough to assure anyone that mobile advertising (like Social TV)is already a force that will reshape the marketplace and consumer spending. And, if there was any lingering doubt, the numbers below should dispel it.

eMarketer’s new global mobile ad forecast is $6.43 billion in 2012, rising to staggering $23.6 billion in 2016. Which prompts three questions that every business or brand must answer today:

1. Is your brand and its marketing actively pivoting for the mobile-driven marketplace?

2. Is your website mobile-friendly and is the content through which you promote your products and services optimized for smartphones and mobile advertising?

3. Is your  marketing strategy being reconfigured with mobile advertising and social shopping as the key drivers rather than traditional media?

As the half-life of technology stinks, so too does consumer adoption. Mobile advertising is already here. There is no time to waste and much to lose if you your brand doesn’t respond.

Do you believe mobile advertising will reshape your business and, if so, how?


The unexpected rewards of working towards a higher purpose

July 31, 2012 Comments

I had a special moment in London last week that I wanted to share. Five years ago when I started writing We First, I had no idea what I was doing or if it would amount to anything. When it came to writing the Epilogue, I went up to a friend’s house and locked myself away in a room for a day to write. I started by reading the speeches of JFK and MLK Jr., to get my mind in the right place and ended up quoting MLK Jr. in the Epilogue.

Last week I was fortunate to attend the Global Impact Institute in London and MLK Jr’s daughter, Bernice, was there. She read the Epilogue and wrote the message (above) next to it. It’s one of those moments when things come full circle and make all the effort worthwhile.

I share this to encourage anyone else who’s working on something meaningful for a higher purpose to keep going.

If you’re working towards defining and acting on your company’s purpose and core values, keep going.

If you’re working on finding a way to make your products, services and environmental impact more sustainable, keep going.

If you’re working towards scaling the contribution your company makes towards a cause that’s in alignment with it’s core values, keep going.

If you’re assuming greater responsibility in your personal life for the impact on the planet and the lives of those around you, keep going.

A movement is underway in which consumers, citizens, corporations, non-profits and government agencies are slowly forming purposeful partnerships that are our best chance to meet the social challenges we face with the necessary force. This has arisen not because it’s merely possible thanks to digital and social media, but because we have no choice. So let’s draw energy from each other’s company and commit to making a small difference a million times over using whatever platform we can, whether it’s a simple conversation, social media, a book, a website or your company’s behavior. It’s the only way we can realistically improve lives for ourselves and others for the long term. I guarantee that when you do, moments will come along that will make the effort worthwhile.

Have you ever had such a moment when good work you were trying to do suddenly made sense? Would you be willing to share it?


How McDonald’s is using social media to answer its customers tough questions

July 23, 2012 Comments

McDonald’s Canada recently used social media to provide answers to very tough questions from their customers. They did this in two ways, both of which are instructive of how a brand becomes more open, transparent and accountable.

Firstly, they set up a website through which they will answer all customer questions. Not by an auto-response or driving customers to a text heavy page, but through live social media answers.  Obviously this approach invites the toughest questions. For example, “Why does your food look different in your advertising than in the store?”

Their response to this question was the second fresh approach to customer service using social media. They released the video (below) as to how a photo of a burger is made, prepped and finessed for a photo shoot.

Putting aside debates around the merits of fast food and menu changes, this is a big step for brands like McDonald’s. The video has had over 5 million views and answers customer’s questions in a direct fashion.

Every brand is facing increasing accountability for their products, services and the advertising they use. What’s positive about this example is that the brand is listening and through such dialogue brands can develop products and services of greater mutual benefit. It will take time, but with moves like these by brands like McDonald’s you can be assured that movement is already underway.

Do you think such efforts go far enough? What else would you want to see the brand do?





Why ‘being cool’ and ‘doing good’ are now demanding bedfellows

July 18, 2012 0 Comments

A powerful intersection of messaging and meaning is transforming the marketing landscape. As consumers demand greater social responsibility, transparency and accountability from brands, brands are making increasingly earnest efforts to be more meaningful to their customers lives on the basis …

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Where ad spend is growing and what it means for your brand

July 16, 2012 0 Comments

Nielsen ‘s Global Advertising Trends, Q1 2012 report was released revealing three key trends that will a profound impact on your business. 1. On the global level, the web is leading advertising growth. What’s more, the two categories that showed the …

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How you use social media to build a sustainable economy, business and profits

July 10, 2012 0 Comments

Branding for Good were kind enough to ask me a few questions about how you build a sustainable economy and business at the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego. I touch on the larger vision for how we can engage the entire private …

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Changing the corporate giving game: Charity Miles app

July 5, 2012 0 Comments

Every month a raft of new apps appear to make your life easier. Fortunately, apps also appear to make the lives of others easier. And Charity Miles stands out for the way it makes giving seamless in one’s life. Here’s …

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How to use social media in ways no one else imagined

July 2, 2012 3 Comments

That’s the thing about what’s new or the latest. You think that just by embracing it you’re doing enough to keep up with the market. But sadly, as the half life of social technology shrinks, the need to stand out …

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About We First (Sidebar)

About Simon Mainwaring

We First training and consulting helps the world’s most innovative brands tell the story of the good work they do in ways that build their reputation, employee productivity, sales and social impact.

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