Archive for December, 2013
Here’s something that just makes sense: If you sell a particular product, why not foster a community of individuals who will want to use that product? People love to belong; you need to associate your brand with a sense of belonging.
Let’s talk about creating a digital community. It doesn’t mean that you have to build an apartment complex around your store, however. Take Apple, for example: When you use Apple products, you are automatically associated with a certain lifestyle; you expect to see people using an iPad at Starbucks and wearing clothes they picked up at Express. Apple enthusiasts generally seek high quality even if it means paying a little more. If you don’t find a way to associate your brand with a whole lifestyle, then you are selling it short.
So how is it done? Let’s start with the basic principles surrounding your brand. What values do you want to have associated with your products? Look at Google—they started as a search engine, but now they have produced an operating system, web browser and all sorts of digital devices. They simply created an ecosystem for using their original product. Why stop at having a search engine when you can sell someone a tablet with your own OS, as well as a browser for them to use your search engine on? And once they find products they like (books, apps, music), shouldn’t they buy that from you as well?
So how do you go about creating a little world for your brand? Start by thinking about the market you are already in and then consider the markets associated with it that you could branch into. Be sure to focus on creating an engaging experience for the user, making certain to connect your consumers with each other to build a sense of community among them. Make your products easy to use but still highly functional. While you may have to get out of your comfort zone, there are many new customers out there on the other side of those walls your company has built in order to feel safe.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on December 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm, and is filed under Branding. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
While technology has opened up marketing to a newer—and much smaller—world, it has also introduced a number of issues that need immediate resolution. Let’s consider some of the biggest issues facing the marketing world right now.
Let’s start with screen size. From computer monitors to laptops and smartphones to tablets, there are no universal sizes to be found. It makes marketing tough; if your little ad accidentally blocks the whole screen on a person’s phone, someone is going to be surfing away from that site quicker than you can imagine and you’re going to be looking for a new place to advertise. Convincing developers to standardize would be a huge step for marketers.
Convincing upper management of the need for content, and the resources to create that content, is another big issue. Top level management is all about seeing a return on their investment. It’s tough (basically impossible) to measure the revenue that your content brings in. Traditional companies need to be convinced to invest in better content.
How many times has your ad popped up on someone’s display? That’s easy to track. How many times did someone even give it a passing glance before moving on? Well, that’s a little more complicated. You just have to trust that people are seeing your content. But what if there was a way to track if a person’s eyes moved to your ad? Now, there’s a technology that the marketing industry needs.
People love to play games, and turning marketing ideas into games is a great way to engage them (just ask McDonald’s how sales are during their annual Monopoly game). Unfortunately, most marketing game ideas fall flat. This is great place to put some more creative minds that are presently being used elsewhere.
Finally, it’s time to cut out the middle man. Today, brands are living entities with their own social media, their own ability to interact with consumers and their own image, reputation and set of values. Of course, there are actually people behind all of the content and the responses, but people feel closer to their favorite brands. That is, until retailers get in between—brands, therefore, need to be willing to interact more with consumers.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on December 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm, and is filed under Digital Advertising, Marketing Strategies, Online Advertising. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Let’s face it: You’re going to have to market products to people that you can’t sympathize with. It’s okay—you have a ridiculous amount of marketing data in front of you that says what every individual group wants, so you can make your product or brand appealing to them. One of things we like to do most is to group customers by age, and then market to them differently based on generational data.
Here’s why that isn’t always a good approach in our modern times. Let’s start by discussing how you decide what year a certain generation ended and another one began: Of course, there are certain major events in history such as wars, assassinations, terrorist attacks and the like that we use to group people and say, “They all experienced this so they all have the same values,” but that isn’t really how the world works anymore.
The Internet and mobile devices have changed the way information spreads, how media is used and what experiences people hold in common. Perhaps that is why if you look at a chart of the years that different generations change (Baby Boomers, Millennials, Generation Y) you’ll notice that different charts use different years. If we can’t even agree on who falls into which generation, how can we viably use that as marketing criteria?
Even if you could get the years that generations change down to an exact science, it still doesn’t change the fact that people are different within a generation as well. Has music changed over the years? Sure. But even within a generation, there are people who prefer different types of music—there were folks in the disco age that liked country music or were still into classical composers. While most people today prefer a beat to their music, some like hip-hop and others prefer more electronic styles like dubstep. You simply can’t define an entire generation’s tastes by the year they wear born; you may as well base your marketing strategy on the Chinese zodiac (note: please don’t).
Finally, don’t forget that even within a generation, there are people in different stages of life. Not every Baby Boomer is retired, and not every Gen Xer has a family. Behavior, rather than age, is a far better focus for marketers in our modern world.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on December 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm, and is filed under Marketing Strategies. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
The lights went out at the Superdome. What did everyone watching the Super Bowl do? Check Twitter, of course… and then buy some Oreos. It was unbelievably quick thinking to take advantage of something on the minds of millions, then to create a quick and simple ad and spread it to everyone in a matter of minutes.
Now we all appreciate the value of marketing in real time, but let’s not rehash something from more than half a year ago. Let’s talk about what your company can do right now.
Let’s start with paying attention to comments. Some companies are notorious for poor customer service. Have you ever tried to talk to your cable company when your Internet is down? Have you ever had a good experience calling an airline when you have what they would consider a “minor issue?” On Twitter, however, all you have to do is tag the company and you may be surprised at the response. Some of these companies have gained major support due to these real-time responses; being sure to have someone monitor your social media accounts is vital to real-time marketing, too.
Plan ahead for special events as well; you obviously can’t plan something like a power outage at the Superbowl, but you can have someone manning the presses just in case. Plus, sometimes you can create something special in real time: Pick an event associated with your business, and let all your followers know you’ll be watching and commenting so they can join in the dialogue.
Jumping on a hot news item, while extremely risky, can also result in a lot of publicity; you just have to play the right story and the right angle to make sure it’s all positive. Sometimes a developing story will end up somewhere you don’t want it to go.
In reality, all social media marketing takes place in real time, but using it the right way will determine its impact.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on December 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm, and is filed under Marketing Strategies, Social Media. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
So where does the future lie? It’s not surprising to keep the world’s biggest technology company working on the problem. Google is trying to find a happy medium between privacy and tracking; this new technology will focus on measuring behavior without attaching it in any way to a particular user. They are also working to make the technology easier to opt out of than cookies have proved to be.
While many benefit from having targeted ads appear while surfing the web, 2 out of 3 users would still prefer having their privacy over being tracked in order to provide more pertinent marketing content.
In the end, it’s all about trust; people don’t care about the benefits that come from their data being collected and only see the potential for misuse of their personal information. That’s why Google’s new plan is the best of both worlds: Marketers get their data, and users maintain their supposed anonymity to a greater degree (however, don’t they know their ISP is recording their every move anyway?). Everybody wins.
While we loved cookies (and still do—they aren’t completely gone yet), the time to embrace the future is getting closer. Ultimately, measuring direct conversions may be more effective than targeting specific consumers anyway. In the meantime, marketers will have to stay abreast of new technology from Google and other companies in order to remain relevant.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on December 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm, and is filed under Online Privacy. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|