Category Archives: Inside Retail

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CONTENT… MY USE OR MY SYSTEM?

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What is my apperception of this?

How is brand content, which now dominates marketing communications, managing to match its most engaging media?  And how does a key audience specifically use the content that the brand is communicating?  There is a prevailing truth now that making a brand relevant is as uncertain as our ever-changing technology.

An answer to these questions is not yet very clear.  Instead, brands are challenged to respond to the reality that it is hard to determine whether a consumer is engaged in utilizing technology or in self-systematizing content.

What then can brand management do to create more relevant engagements?   Are there effective ways to go beyond the quick-click, speed-reading, distracted- listening or watching of new content?  Who is in control of the content?  Do the social networks and media technology receive content, edit it, and make it personal, aka editorial, communicating it in their own likeness to others?  Or are they using content as a direct feed, pickup, and duplication of provided content, aka advertorial, from a myriad of sources?  Can the consumer tell the difference and does it matter?

We might also ask: Can a system be created that will identify the consumer who wants to and then does pass content on to others?  This is a big data-mining question for the brand.

The brand marketer now has to create content that will build engagement with consumers who can and will become the brand’s customers and content sharers.

An interesting term now being used in marketing is “apperception.”  This is a process whereby perceived values of a brand are related to the consumer’s past and present experience with or knowledge of that brand.  The new perception is added to the old perception, which forms a whole new apperception.  This new apperception can be the catalyst for new sharing of content between and among social networking and brand aficionados.

The goal is to develop a brand content driven system that aligns with the consumer’s system to receive and process new content.  This is our ongoing need to connect and establish relationships with our audience.  It is certainly giving us a lot to think about and process, as we ask:

Will engagement be enough?

Drawing by Art Winters
Drawing by Art Winters

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

GOOD THINGS TO DO FOR BETTER CONTENT

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Sometimes we need a checklist to remind us of what is important. In the new world of all things “Content,” let’s review:

➢ Emphasize what your products and services do to satisfy your customers’ wants and needs

➢ Don’t market based on YOUR own preferences and behaviors. Think / Be Consumer Centric! Develop and use the number one communications skill of –“I’m Listening,” which indicates that you care if you act on what you are hearing.

➢ Explore customer behaviors and lifestyles and shopper personas. How do customers self-define their personas?

➢ Have customer data that is not influenced by your mindset. This is the customer era – bottom up not top down.

➢ Rely on onsite research to deliver insights into content useful to customers. What will initiate their discovery that you/your brand can help them solve their wants and needs problems?

➢ Good marketing content begins in imitation and develops innovation. The innovation doesn’t have to benefit those who are not your target market. Create specific strategies to focus mainly on loyal customers.

➢ Create your ideas for interactions by engaged-with potential customers

➢ Plan to answer customer questions in Real-Time (or Close-time). Remember – “I’m Listening – hearing – and acting upon your requests.”

➢ Develop intriguing, fascinating, compelling content that draws consumers into your brand’s world. The sense of discovery will bring attention, interest, desire and action (AIDA still applies).

➢ Trust and transparency in content and actions are critical to maintaining a sustainable relationship with today’s customers

brand content Drawing by Art Winters
Drawing by Art Winters

What do we understand and what can we put to use from this review of some of the key elements of Content Marketing Communications?

Let us know what you think…

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

SHOPPERSONA … CUSTOMER BEHAVIORAL CONDITIONING through DIGITAL MARKETING CONTENT

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Knowing your key customers’ lifestyles and work behaviors can help create content to align your brand shoppersona with your target customer’s shoppersona. In this digital era, to communicate real value, it is necessary to provide meaningful experiences through content that is based on your carefully researched key customer persona. With exploding competition for the customer’s time and attention, brands must become the “go to,” “top-of-mind” brand name for acquiring that special “persona” humans seek. To ring that bell, as Ivan Pavlov’s studies in behavioral conditioning explored, brands must create web content experiences based on knowledge of what will activate the customer‘s want/need to shop and buy. Brands have always sought to learn how they shop and why they buy; now they must go deeper.

Ivan Pavlov by Art Winters
Ivan Pavlov by Art Winters

So what do digital marketers need in order to create their behavioral conditioning strategies? Starting with lifestyle and life work, learning your customers’ online habits: Do they spend a lot of time online? When: While at work? Only when at home? Any time on the go? For What: Are there categories of products they are more or less likely to shop for online? Where do they get relevant brand information; which blogs do they value; how much do they rely on friends and associates for referrals; what media and devices are they using …?

To gain and keep customers, a brand must align its “positioning conditioning,” to establish why the customer should consider changing their brand preference behaviors. Again we ask: How is your brand different and better in terms of what it offers the customer in their managements of life? How do you lead the customer to your touch points and get them to engage with your brand?

If you haven’t been thinking about how digital marketing is changing the behavioral conditioning in customer behavior, it may be time to update your knowledge. Specifically why and how potential customers are now shopping and buying. These insights can be used to create content for the new Native Advertising (see our July 2013 blog) that takes a new approach to how media and brands are communicating what products and services a brand can promise and deliver. Digital marketing strategies should concentrate on interactions rather than transactions. The primary goal is to develop new ways to approach your key customers with content that contains sincere concerns for helping them and developing experiences to build a relationship that is based on knowledge of their new behavioral shoppersona.

For more on Online Shopping Habits of Technology Consumers, go to these very interesting and current survey results: http://www.logicbuy.com/features/survey-online-shopping-habits-of-technology-consumers-infographic

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.