Posts tagged: marketing

Warby Parker talk

By , September 23, 2013 7:58 am

Warby Parker

The Press Release — what works, what doesn’t

By , September 7, 2013 10:15 am

Before a fashion designer (and most start-ups these days) will turn to advertising or other traditional forms of marketing these days, they are most likely to use PR first. Why? Because of the broad reach and cost efficiencies PR is capable of delivering.So for those of you first embarking on a PR campaign, or maybe just starting to send press releases, here’s some do’s and don’t’s.

Don’t – Waste the time of the recipient of the Press Release

Spew of a lot of press releases just to make “noise” – they are not appreciated by editors and will not be read and when you have something that’s really important, guess what?  Straight into the trash.
- Noisy press releases include, so-and-so has just joined the firm as CFO.  If so-and-so isn’t well known, it’s not newsworthy
Meander around and tell a long story with the point, or news nugget, at the very end.
- If I gave an example here, you’d be asleep or gone by the time you hit the third line
Assume the recipient understands your industry’s jargon
- Jargon-type press releases include, The CFO of LIMA is a featured speaker on the USPTO IP panel at FSLV.

Do – Get to the bottom line(s) quickly

Create a catchy, SHORT, newsworthy headline which gives the bottom line in it – like a news story headline.
- LVMH Gives Middle Finger To Hermes, Acquires More Shares Despite Enormous Fine
If you have an existing relationship with an editor, separate their press release from the rest and customize it
- Susan, I think this information will be useful to the article you’re preparing
Make sure to put in quotes from key players in the action – it increases likelihood of the quote and point being picked up
- LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault had this to say about the situation….

For other tips, all necessary to create a powerful press release, and to increase your branding, check out the two links below.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15014.aspx?goback=.gde_64854_member_266792579#

http://www.nwcphp.org/communications/news/the-nine-components-of-a-press-release

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

NATIVE ADVERTISING… a new definition, or will it lead to consumer deafinition?

By , July 25, 2013 11:14 am

Brandpsych logo

It may be the time to ask whether this new definition is helpful — NATIVE ADVERTISING is a method of communication that is “native” to the experience offered within a website’s content, valuable content integrated within the editorial feed — not an ad-in-a-box alongside the search page.

Actually, we have already used descriptions of Native Advertising such as advertorial, brand reference, and sponsored content, among others.  Thus, Native could be defined as any ad that is blended within content.  Also from a consumer’s view, it may be an opt-in interactive choice in which she or he is aware of the advertiser’s message intent, and still opts-in.  Different age groups react to marketing online in more or less accepting/receptive ways.  Therefore, a Native Advertiser needs to communicate how its offer has personal appeal and feels native to the site, overcoming the consumer’s wish not to hear or see advertising messages.

Up to this era of constant change and 24/7 communications, the advertiser and the media had agreed that the blending of advertising and editorial was not allowed. There was a wall between the two because it was considered confusing to the consumer.  It might be suggested that the media’s main interest was in making money through advertising, even more than in providing useful information and entertaining experiences.  However, many of the media are in a new world of needing to find new revenue streams.

At this time, an argument is occurring about what the term Native Advertising really describes.  And if it also means advertising that will not be received as advertising.  On the other hand, it may prove to be perceived as better than the newer omni-channel forms of advertising that surely are on the way.

Some practitioners will contend that in this new “social media world,” many consumers don’t perceive any difference between editorial and advertising.  They regard it all as content in their communication.com lives.  Behind the strategist’s attempt to create appeals by linking content to a consumer’s wants and/or needs is still the positive positioning of a brand.  Whatever method used, increased brand relationship + loyalty = improved brand equity, which is the goal.

It is important to note that consumers are now more informed, aware, and selective.  So we ask: Is it wise to use “Native” in our advertising and communications?  Will it be a strategy to increase trust or mistrust?  Will it be constructive or obstructive?  Will marketers get better results, publishers get a premium revenue stream, and audiences get a better experience?

Will Native Advertising be the new strategic direction or just one more arrow in our ad quiver?

Native Advertising Mad Avenue

“I feel that Native Advertising may turn out to be the Mad Avenue to be on…” Drapered by Art Winters

 

For more on Native Advertising:

Adyoulike.com; Nativo.net; AdsNative.com

sharethrough.com

 

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

Don’t Create Your Own Missed Opportunities

By , June 8, 2013 9:58 am

I just saw Janet Falk’s blog on how she managed a placement for one of her clients and it made me mad and sad.  Not about Janet.  She does a great job.  But about a company that I ran into a few years back that has an amazing story  and results from a new kind of toothpaste. I’ve used the product (the company was smart enough to hand out, nicely packaged I might add, samples at a bootcamp/pitch fest).  The “toothpaste” stops bleeding gums, actually heals gums, and stops all other kinds of gum and related ills.  So why has no one ever heard of it?  Because senior management of the company doesn’t believe in marketing or PR. Marketing directors come and go but can’t get senior management to invest in their own success.  So many startups don’t understand the $$$ ROI power of marketing and PR.  And if they manage to stay on the market at all, it’s because of a tiny amount of traction they’ve built. Most companies fold.  Companies with good ideas and great products, like this toothpaste. Make sure you’re not one of them.

http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c87b80819a244b029786430f7&id=42f8a35dee&e=eddcb40635

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Let go of your resistance to change

By , June 1, 2013 9:49 am

So you all know the phrase lead, follow or get out of the way?  Well, when it’s your company, you have to lead or your business will get pushed out of the way.  Change and resistance to it comes up a lot when you own your own business. You’re constantly challenged.

A while back, I called in one of my teams (information architect/writer, programmer and designer) and told them we had a new project. They were eager to sink their teeth into it.  I said, before I tell you about the assignment, I have to warn you that the client will be very difficult to deal with and a real micromanager. They didn’t care and kept pushing to learn who the client was. I said “me”.  I knew myself well enough to know that I needed my website changed but that if I took the helm, we’d never get the job done – plus, I’d drive everyone crazy (including myself) trying to micromanage the project. (This same situation arose when I started writing my book, alone. I wrote and re-wrote the first chapter for at least three or four months and was just stuck at that point until my co-author came aboard and said, hey we’ll go back and fix it later, let’s just get the whole thing down on paper first – which is what we did).

My team took the assignment, gave me specific tasks to do and otherwise went away and came back with a really nice product. I knew they would do that – so I just stood back and let them make the changes what needed to be done.

Maria Moraca touches on three key areas to work on in her blog: http://ht.ly/kULcZ

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Neuro-Marketing through FMRI and NAcc

By , May 30, 2013 10:47 am

Brandpsych logo

It’s a brave new world we are seeing and must work within. As an evolving story, we have to consider how online advertising will be affecting the consumer’s brain? Neuro-marketing research is already investigating the effect online neuro-marketing will have on our brains in the current and evolving Internet/PDA world.

As we have recently discussed in a previous blog, researchers have learned that when the consumer first receives a message, it hits a section of the brain called the Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc). This is the reward/punishment, pleasure/pain “headquarters” of the brain. By evaluating the amount of activity in such demarcated brain areas, the prefrontal cortex and the insula, neuro-marketing’s use of FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is working on a process to foresee how a consumer makes shopping decisions. For example, if the NAcc indicates a positive desire response from a brand message over a more negative doubt response –“Should I be spending money?” then the pre-frontal cortex could believe that it is getting a great deal and making a wise choice (such as better prices, bonuses, and other personal satisfactions).

NeuroMarketing

Drawing by Art Winters

Neuro-marketers are seeing the possibilities of using FMRI to examine and better understand the workings of consumers’ brains.
With this new knowledge they hope to develop new ways to initiate and stimulate consumer wants and needs. Don’t forget that it has always been marketing’s purpose to stimulate the consumer’s cravings and increase AIDA: attention, interest, desire and action.

If this concept makes you feel queasy, what kind of debate might occur if companies/brands have more invasive ways to communicate to and influence consumers in how to respond to a brand’s image, its brand story, and its brand positioning for superiority???

What kind of society will develop if this becomes the normal practice rather than a seemingly science fiction prediction?

OMG – What’s Next??? We may not be LOL’ing for long…….

 

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

TIME TO THINK visCOMual

By , March 28, 2013 11:05 am

Brandpsych logo

Fashion advertising has always been more visual than verbal, which may play into its favor in the current, highly visCOMual marketing environment. We are seeing a trend in this mega-media environment for marketers to be involved in a heightened sense and use of visual literacy, visual thinking, visual perception and visual communications.

It has been our practice in our teaching and in our marketing and brand consulting to stimulate thinking by refashioning some of the terminology. It is our way of encouraging our own team and other participants to stop, think and apply the concept being presented through a new and different term such as visCOMual.

As in this case with visCOMual, we have noticed the need for more arresting visual communications in our digital, instant messaging world. To emphasize the importance of applying this to our clients’ branding messages, we created our own word for these innovative communications. Stop, think and recognize what is going on around you – what are you noticing about the visual communications you are encountering in your life? Even though the visualization of fashion has long left still-form, “proper” posing, as in the Levi’s ads of the 1950’s (seen here), to keep up with our own human evolution, there is certainly a need for the creation of effective matrices for this newly defined visCOMual process.

2 Levi's 1950's ads

1950’s Levi’s version of visual communications is “proper posing”

The visual literacy process can present fashion modeling with language as unique as the product design. There are advertising/brand managers and catwalk directors who are working on nonverbal languages of their own. Their intent is to grab attention with this new imaging language and visual meaning newly applied to their brands. They may now create a mind’s eye matrix for visCOMual that correlates visually with elements that are: emotional, rational, imaging, associative, symbolic and/or cultural, as in the Levi’s ad of today. The goals are to engage the customer’s seeing eye, the cultural eye that perceives the inner-mind or “my-style” eye, and/or creates a video-eye that records in the must-have, shopping mind.

2 current Levi ads

2013 Levi’s visCOMual – new-world posing and connecting with the Levi’s customer of today…

The positioning of visual communications for designers, brands and retailers is to encourage additional purposes for our ever growing and changing technologies. We are all working to create new areas of communication that can provide: product information—knowledge, self-design aspiration, increased meanings, and unique expression in our new visCOMual languages…

Think VISCOMUAL by Art Winters

Drawing by Art Winters

What strikes your mind’s eye?

 

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

10 Trends for Better Marketing and Results in 2013

By , March 23, 2013 10:08 am

Everyone loves top 10 lists.

So now that we’re ending the first quarter of the year…here’s some helpful directions to focus on in your marketing and business (they are in no particular order of importance)

1.       Integrate your marketing
As much as everyone would really love “the answer” and that it be just one thing…social media is the “one” at the moment…that’s just not how marketing works. Marketing is an eco-system that includes social, PR, collateral, branding etc.

2.       Put in a call to action in every piece of marketing you do
This may sound self-serving but it actually helps direct the customer to the key next steps in order to buy your product or otherwise engage with you.

3.       Create content that is valuable to your customers
This includes helpful tips and case histories that will help move the prospective forward to become a customer.

4.       Communicate
Tweet, blog, get your voice out there and heard.  I posted a jobs graph from another source a while back and suddenly it’s been “Pinned” by dozens of people on Pinterest. Who knew?

5.       Do primary research with your customers
Ask them open-ended questions about what’s important to them about your product or service and what will drive them to buy it.

6.       Listen to your customers’ answers
The information may be different from what you expected. Welcome the face that you do not know it all and keep your ego out of it.

7.       Follow-up after the sale
Thank your customers. If they have feedback (which you should solicit) listen to it and if something is wrong, make changes or otherwise implement their feedback.
Follow-up again.

8.       Identify your influencers
Build a relationship with them either on-line or in person.

9.       Brand yourself, your product, your company
Remember, you are your brand.  Use experiences and stories to help with brand identification. Your customers will also help you create your brand.

10.     Write better subject lines
It’s a crowded, competitive world out there…make sure your communications are opened.

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

GOOGLE MAKES MAD MEN, SAD MEN

By , February 28, 2013 9:54 am

Brandpsych logo

Print Media Commissions are not in Mad Men Visions

GOOGLE MAKES MAD MEN, SAD MEN

drawing by Art Winters

In 2012, Google billed over 20 billion in advertising dollars.  This was more than the total of all U.S. print media.  What a contrast to what magazines and newspapers sold just five years ago!  In 2006, print media sold 60 billion dollars more in advertising than did Google!  How will this change brand marketing?  This isn’t your Mad Men’s day of advertising. (“Mad Men” is AMC’s TV show based on Madison Avenue’s advertising business and people in the early 60’s.)

So what does this mean for brand management performed by many of today’s advertising agencies?  Well, they had better get their act together.  They need to deliver branding power that can compete or at least do co-branding with the Googles, E-Bays, Amazon.coms, and many others, which will keep coming down the Internet superhighway.

The big question is how much of a threat is online advertising?  Is it delivering the ROI experienced through print media advertising?  It’s vital to realize that Google, just 14 years old, is now taking in more ad revenue than print media, which has been here for over 100 years!

However, it must be accounted that Google has a global operation, so this can’t be simply analyzed.  It must also be analytically figured that Google has seen a 15% decrease in ad Cost-Per-Click, CPC (the average fee that advertisers are charged for each clicked on ad) in 2012.  But now, Google’s CPC drop has slowed and perhaps turned the corner in January, as their CPC share increased due to click share on tablet devices. As more people are watching content across a variety of their mobile devices, Google has decided to pull out of its 5-year effort to build its TV Ads product.  Since 2009, they have shut down similar services for print and radio advertising.

Google is concentrating on beating Facebook in the sale of online display ads.  (Online display ads feature the advertiser’s content message on a destination website, usually in a box on the top or side of the page.)  The company is planning to lead web-search ads and online display ads that feature graphics, interactive communications and videos.

Google’s significant increase in display ads that concentrate on brand content is evidence that they have ambitious brand marketing goals.  Now Google is building and developing plans for their advertisers to more efficiently buy across a multitude of sites.

This is not only an important story for the online aspects of our businesses; it is also a good brand invention and reinvention story to watch in real time. 

Where has Google been and where is it going – stay tuned… the next generation of Mad Men is in the digital works….

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

Social Media week – observations and a guest blogger on those observations

By , February 23, 2013 8:37 am

Social Media week was full of fantastic events with different experts in various sectors.  The networking was great because each venue had different people to meet and multiple points-of-view.

There were two global takeaways I had from the events I attended.

·   The first is that there’s still no magic bullet to get customers, even in social media.  SEO, blogs, websites, linked in, pinterest, etc. must all work in as part of a strategically organized system in order to be successful. And that requires a fair degree of participation on your, the entrepreneur’s, part

·   The second takeaway I observed and heard from techies who were self-proclaimed “not” marketing people (that’s how obvious the problem is) is that the paradigm of giving the customer what the company and ad agency wants hasn’t changed at all.  The only change is how it’s delivered –- using new, sexy technology.  This is troubling. For example, at the “Marketing without words” event, there was a discussion of social engagement through images. Tools to follow each visitor from first look to sale, re-tweet or re-pin, etc. is now available. It’s called Curalate.  Great. But what does it measure AFTER a customer’s visual trail?  How does that affect a company’s bottom line? Imagine how much more impactful a  brand would be if they asked their customers what THEY wanted to see before they posted anything.  I predict that audience participation would skyrocket.  And Curalate would confirm that.  There is some progress in that, but where’s the ROI?

Here are some thoughts by Joe Bergmann, who has many years of online marketing experience. His approach is simpler and more effective than anything I’ve heard in a long time.

“Just By Asking”

Why do ad/brand companies try so hard to quantify people? Why do they try to dictate what they want people to think? Why do they think they have the power to brand themselves in people’s minds?

Most ad/technology companies of late adopters (advertisers), try to be hip, thinking they are on top of the latest technology and social networks so that they can exploit early adopters (customers, who don’t want their social media invaded by yellow creamy cheese and canned soup). Advertisers talk about controlling “authentic” relationships directly with customers, as if that was possible. Actually, it’s self-delusional. And then they take that delusion in-house (what next — outsourcing that authenticity to India?). Unbelievable.

This is top-down, invasive thinking. Most companies believe that what is important to them is important to their audience. It’s eyeball gathering that gets dirty looks from the consumer, because it is perceived as interrupting customer conversations and trampling on their privacy. What it is, is bad manners. Many companies seem to have forgotten that serving the customer also serves their stockholders. Until companies stop imposing meaningless marketing messaging on people, they will be stuck in a morass of the latest technological gimmick and the old-fashioned broadcast mentality. The Internet is a graveyard of technologies and metrics that have been the next, best thing.

So what’s a company to do? Remember, your brand is what the customer experiences of you — not what you want them to think (no matter how much and where you advertise). To make that work for your company, you should consider asking your customers what’s important to them. All you have to do is ask. So few companies do that, because they fear the of loss of control. But loss of control is not a bad thing. Being too much in control will make you less effective in the sales process. It turns your marketing message into a monologue. And most monologues don’t produce sales. After all, that’s what marketing boils down to — sales. Giving in to your customers and listening to what matters to them is liberating. It helps you think clearly about how you should approach your audience — without trying to interpret what they mean. In our experience, your customers are more than willing to help. They are the most important asset your company has.

So why do so many marketing companies and ad agencies still operate in broadcast mode? Again, loss of control. So they offer focus groups to pick the “best” of their controlled ideas. So what if the best idea isn’t in the 3-5 boards presented. Just keep developing more controlled ideas. Wouldn’t it be simpler to ask the customer what’s important to them and then build your marketing around their needs? But that takes a willingness to lose control and let people speak freely.

But that takes an approach to market research that requires a sense of humility, listening skills and a commitment to giving people what they want from your company (and a good product  or service that meets a need doesn’t hurt). The problem with most companies is that they rationalize or assume they know what the customer wants without having ever asked. They think their product or service should be interesting without being interested in their customers. Or worse, to be able to manipulate their perception. It doesn’t work.

That’s why I developed the OpenMind session and methodology. There is no better way to discover what your audience wants — and helps you give it to them. It’s the simplest, most time and cost effective way to make your marketing work. One OpenMind session will open your eyes to a whole new way to brand your company and then turn that brand into an experience to your audience. In OpenMind sessions customers are the ones who inform you how they want to be “told and sold.” Then and only then can technology become a tool that enables you speak to their needs.

Just by asking.

To learn more about OpenMind visit: http://www.holtzmancom.com/teamwork_openmind.php

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

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