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What we can learn from the recent KFC debacle in Britain

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It’s a classic job interview interrogation technique: “Describe your biggest achievement!” Swiftly followed by “Tell us about your biggest mistake…” What do you say? How honest and transparent should you be?

Experts say that sharing vulnerability will enhance our credibility as leaders.

But putting it into practice can be more challenging. For example, I’m quite happy to list out the calamities I’ve been involved with. However, it’s much harder to admit that my character flaws or shortcomings caused the debacle.

Many years ago, the marketing team I was responsible for had a sideline promoting concerts and events. Once we booked a few shows with dance act “Technotronic,” hot on the heels of their big hit “Pump Up the Jam,” which hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Unbeknownst to us, there was more than one group of people touring as “Technotronic.” Alas, the people we booked weren’t the singers responsible for “Pump Up the Jam.” The few people who bothered to buy tickets weren’t pleased, leaving us to placate disgruntled dance fans. It’s easy to look back and laugh at this, but it’s much harder to confess that my personal lack of attention to detail and care around the contract contributed to the problem.

Talk about failing fast. Moving on quickly? It’s taken me 20 years to admit this.

Humility is for brands as well as people

If great marketing leaders need to show vulnerability, how should the brands we are responsible for behave? What should brands do when mistakes are made?

KFC has just offered us a salutary lesson. The global fried chicken chain recently altered UK distribution arrangements, and these changes in the supply chain resulted in fresh chicken failing to reach many stores. This led to the temporary closure of over half of their outlets. What follows is a communications master class. A perfect blend of context and content.

FCK

Perfectly pitched apology ad from @KFC_UK pic.twitter.com/c0hHjoaqgq

— James Herring (@itsjamesherring) February 23, 2018

With humility, empathy and humor, along with a landing page experience where customers can check the status of their own local restaurant, the messaging is completely consistent with the brand. KFC manages to achieve the impossible, enabling the everyday consumer to side with the big corporation in their hour of need.

Logan Harrington, PR and social media manager of Quadrant2Design, analyzed KFC’s communication skills in a blog post from which I have extracted these crisis communications tips:

  1. Act fast. ‘Fess up quickly.
  2. Get all your internal team on message, factually and tonally.
  3. Communicate constantly and honestly.
  4. Don’t blame anyone. Least of all your own people. They’re your best bet to get out of the mess you created.

KFC’s contextual intelligence: a great brand understanding the absurdity of the situation it created. A fried chicken store without chicken. They used a human touch to deftly navigate the storm.

It’s this contextual intelligence that our brands and ourselves alike should emulate. This means ensuring you have and show a simple, realistic understanding of your place in the world and the place you occupy in people’s lives. KFC’s customers may miss their favorite fast food restaurant, but they’re not going to starve.

Unfortunately, a KFC without chicken is the least of most people’s worries. Most of us marketing folk are not saving lives. We’re just adding a little extra choice, convenience or fun to this thing we call life. Being human means that we all occasionally mess up. And while we try to fail faster, it will be our humanity that enables us to pick up quickly and leave the world a better place.

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Ask the SMXpert — Page speed, site migrations and crawling

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The Ask an SMXpert series continues the Q&A segment held during sessions at SMX Advanced 2018 in Seattle.

Today’s Q&A is from the Advanced Technical SEO: Page Speed, Site Migrations and Crawling session featuring Melody Petulla and Brian Ussery.

Session overview

Technical SEO has always been a critical component of search marketing; it is one of the foundations of ranking success.

In this session, our experts dove into tactics for optimizing crawl budget, fine-tuning page speed and how to execute on large-scale error-free site migrations. They covered:

  • An in-depth understanding of the factors that impact what, when and how much of your site content search engines will crawl.
  • Tips and tricks on how best to maximize your site’s “crawl budget” to ensure your most important content remains forever accessible.

Melody Petulla, Merkle

Question: Do you recommend 301 redirecting image URLs when changing domains?

Want to learn more? Our ever-growing library of SMXpert articles offers an in-depth look at tips, tactics and strategies from our SMXperts. Check it out!

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

The post Ask the SMXpert — Page speed, site migrations and crawling appeared first on Marketing Land.

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How to choose the best content format for link building

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One of my previous posts talked about how different elements can affect the success of your link-building campaign; I only touched on the subject of content formatting. So today, I want to go into more detail on the common types of content formats used in link building and look at the pros and cons of each one.

There are more formats than I’ll cover here, but these are the formats we use, that cover the most executions and that we have comparison data on.

The above shows that on average, an interactive format (orange) gets more coverage and links than the other forms. This is interesting and of course will be different for all agencies and teams, but this is what our own data shows us.

In this article, I’m going to talk about the top four formats:

  • Interactive.
  • Statics.
  • GIF.
  • Long-form content.

Let’s dive into each one.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

The post How to choose the best content format for link building appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Marketing Day: Pinterest opens API, Shopify unveils new tools, SMXperts & more

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Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

From Marketing Land:

Recent Headlines From MarTech Today, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Marketing Technology:

Online Marketing News From Around The Web:

The post Marketing Day: Pinterest opens API, Shopify unveils new tools, SMXperts & more appeared first on Marketing Land.

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