April 25th, 2013 | Posted by Jenna Green
I read this interesting article over on PSFK today, regarding brands in social media. The author posits that “brands are not our friends” and the consumer (and marketer) needs to remember this when on social media.
He’s right: a brand is not our friend. But with all the talk about “engagement” and “relationships” in marketing, is it any wonder that brands are trying to be our friends? The bottom line is, brands are concerned with purchasing behavior and how they can influence that behavior. Brands are concerned with how we talk about them to our friends, family, coworkers – especially in the social media realm.
It is important to remember that brands DO bring a value to our lives, whether it’s via products, services or something even less tangible. Brands have to connect emotionally with consumers to start the purchase cycle and continually provide a positive experience and connection to drive the consumer to the purchase behavior the brand desires. And while the real “relationship” doesn’t exist with a brand as it does with a friend, I know that there are brands that I trust (and those that I don’t) just like I trust my friends (or just like I don’t trust people).
The author concludes that social media efforts should be realistic – and the most successful ones will be, as consumers continue to become more savvy about brands that are perceived as “faking it” and more vocal about their experiences - with everything. Being authentic is the best way to connect with your consumers – no matter the medium.
Categories → Best Practices, Branding, Trends & Research, Uncategorized, Web
April 10th, 2013 | Posted by Susan Weissman
Great marketing means taking calculated risks. You need to offer your message in an unexpected fashion or say something bold to get noticed. You need to consider a context for your communication that’s edgy. Especially today. Yet at the same time, we are all feeling cautious – business has been tough for many years now, ROI is everyone’s middle name. We have to be smart, it has to work – these are not the ingredients for great thinking. So I invite you to consider failure as part of the process of being great. I just read this article in The Wall Street Journal which really got me thinking. There’s also a 12-minute Ted Talk on a similar topic worth watching while drinking your morning coffee.
Categories → Best Practices, Trends & Research
March 4th, 2013 | Posted by Susan Weissman
At the beginning of each year, I wonder what will be different? What’s changed? What did we learn? I found a Forbes article with a few ideas that I think are solid and worthy of more thought:
1) Simplicity will reign supreme. Yes! Everyone overcomplicates things. Simplicity will be rewarded. We’re all exhausted from trying to get your point.
2) Smarter social media. We’re getting over the idea that we have to be using every social media tool. Who cares if you have 3,000 Facebook fans – is it actually going to impact your business? It has to be strategically evaluated and implemented to show real value.
3) Marketing will be more tied to revenue. The economic uncertainty we’re all learning to live with means when we spend money, we want to be pretty sure we’re going to see something in return. Marketing has to be more and more tied to performance indicators. I see this every day in my work and think this is a great trend, for clients and for agencies.
4) Mobile will get its due. Man, there’s been a lot of talk for many years without a lot to show for it. But, no doubt, we will capture the power of mobile, eventually.
So the only trend I don’t buy in the article is: Campaigned-based marketing will take a break. Their point is that campaigns are based on company-based needs, not consumer needs. If that’s the case, they should have gone away a long time ago. But I think that is defining a campaign improperly. Good campaigns, based on resonating with something meaningful to the consumer, will continue to have impact.
Hey, agreeing with 4 out of 5 trends isn’t bad!
Categories → Marketing Principles, Trends & Research
February 19th, 2013 | Posted by Scott Leisler
One thing I love about working in the digital space is the constant evolution of best practices. What’s effective today to reach target audiences and digital communities might not work as well tomorrow.
Creating just small digital success stories requires constant study, observation, implementation and reinforcement. Simply put – you have to pay attention to what’s happening now or you will waste a considerable amount of time and money that may lead to only mediocre results. And after all, who wants to spend money for yesterday’s stale donuts?
Check out these 9 marketing strategies you may want to reconsider in your 2013 marketing plan.
Categories → Best Practices, Marketing Principles, Trends & Research, Web
December 21st, 2012 | Posted by Hunter Lansche
The idea of a cybernetic organism was fun to think about when “The Terminator” came out. I know I thought about how cool it would be to interact with something so incredible like the Terminator. Of course, on the other side, the horrible feeling of impending doom for the human race wasn’t quite as cool. Either way, it was still good fun to think about.
Well, I think some of the geeks back then mulled over that question more than the few minutes most of us other geeks gave it. Thanks to them, we now have the likes of Siri and the brain-demolishing supercomputer Watson. And who can possibly be scared of Skynet when we have the most horrifying technology of all time — the humanoid robot, CHARLI, who dances to “Gangnam Style” by Korean rap sensation Psy. Oh, the HUMAN-oid-ITY! (No, don’t get up, I’ll punch myself for that one.)
All joking aside, the simple truth is that technology is constantly evolving and becoming “smarter.”
Enter the “semantic search.” What is it, you say? It’s a type of search that tries to improve accuracy by understanding the searcher’s intent and the contextual meaning of the search terms. Here’s a nice description of Bing’s semantic search by Bing Search Director Stefan Weitz:
“What you’re seeing is the transformation of search,” says Weitz, “away from simply a place where you go and enter a keyword and get links back to being very contextual. It means Bing really has to be smart enough to both understand a bunch of different types of inputs and generate results in a way that makes sense given who the user is, what device they’re on, and what they’re trying to get done. Search is going to become this ubiquitous always-there thing that will help you get stuff done.”
How … sensible. That’s the sort of technological innovation you’d imagine the future having.
I suppose whether or not John Connor will be the human race’s savior remains to be seen, but couple things are for sure — (1) semantic searches are going to vastly change how we search the internet, and (2) SEO experts will have job security for some time to come.
Head over to Mashable to read more about Bing’s semantic search efforts.
Categories → Marketing Principles, Trends & Research, Web