Two kinds of sticky
April 22, 2011
My wife commented that my last two posts seemed to contradict each other. In Toddler Marketing, I say sticky is bad; in Elementary Marketing, sticky is good.
The point I’m trying to make is that sticky ideas are good (Elementary Marketing), while sticky execution is not (Toddler Marketing).
For an idea to stick, it has to stick with you. Cellular phones are a prime example. 20 years ago they were rare. Now, not having one — and more specifically, not having one with you at all times, often attached (literally) at the hip — is the exception. The idea of always being available, of always being able to contact someone, no matter where you or they are was a sticky idea, and cellular phones a sticky product to match it. Good sticky.
Bad sticky has less to do with the idea and more to do with the presentation. Or, more specifically, the aftermath of the presentation. The residue. A specific example is Verizon’s FiOS Internet marketing campaign. Two-plus years ago when I first heard about it, I called to order — the idea is good sticky. The sales rep took my information, then informed me that FiOS wasn’t available for my home address yet, but I would be informed as soon as it was available. So far, so good. Except for the next two years, every bill I received had an “order FiOS now!” flyer in it; I got an “order FiOS now” postcard in my mailbox at least twice a month, and over 100 pieces of marketing later, it’s still not available, and I resent the constant tease for a product I can’t get. The anger and frustration have turned to apathy toward FiOS, which is why I switched to cable internet. Bad sticky.
I probably erred in using similar words to describe different concepts, and in using a negative (lice) to describe a positive (ideas that stick and spread). My metaphors should have been better. Or at least farther apart.