Advertising · Branding · Campaigns · Content Marketing · Marketing · Public Relations · Publicity · Social Media · Strategy

Three Myths about What Customers Want

I recently came across an article that outlined the three myths of what customers want. I found it to be very interesting. In my opinion, it was truthful in a sense, but it definitely cannot apply to every brand out there.

A lot of brands, especially lifestyle brands, thrive on establishing and communicating with their community. As such, they do not call them customers. If anything, they are brand ambassadors (I love that term, in case you haven’t noticed yet).

Check out the article below. It is apart of a three part series, so I encourage you to check out the other articles as well!

What do you think? Is there any truth to the three myths the author cited?

Most marketers think that the best way to hold onto customers is through “engagement” — interacting as much as possible with them and building relationships. It turns out that that’s rarely true. In a study involving more than 7000 consumers, we found that companies often have dangerously wrong ideas about how best to engage with customers. Consider these three myths.

Myth #1: Most consumers want to have relationships with your brand.

Actually, they don’t. Only 23% of the consumers in our study said they have a relationship with a brand. In the typical consumer’s view of the world, relationships are reserved for friends, family and colleagues. That’s why, when you ask the 77% of consumers who don’t have relationships with brands to explain why, you get comments like “It’s just a brand, not a member of my family.” (What consumers really want when they interact with brands online is to get discounts).

How should you market differently? Read more here.

Blogging · Branding · Campaigns · Content Marketing · Entrepreneurs · Marketing · Public Relations · Publicity · Social Media · Strategy · Uncategorized

Thrive with Content Marketing

Ever wonder how corporations like Proctor & Gamble and Disney managed to enter into the social scene and thrive? Well, they learned to embrace the art of content marketing.

A big part of my job involves content marketing. Perhaps, I should add that to my resume, I know it will receive major brownie points on my current employment search. I’ve always been a writer, and a creative soul…so in a sense, the task came…dare I say it…naturally.

However, I am aware that everyone is not a writer. Nor is everyone a creative person…and that’s where I come in!

By the end of this post, you will have a better idea of what content marketing is, as well as what it is NOT.

So, what is content marketing?

Wikipedia defines it as the creation and sharing of content – social media, blogs, white papers, case studies etc. –  in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Simply stated, content marketing is mastering the art of connecting and communicating with current and potential consumers without selling to them.  Instead of pitching your products or services, strive instead to deliver information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if businesses deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward them with their business and loyalty.

Of course, content marketing requires a great deal of research, strategy and planning on the companies’ end. One thing that has helped me in the process was the creation of a content calendar. Not only have they helped me to keep our brand voice consistent, but it also helps me to get our messages across in a timely, entertaining yet knowledgable fashion.

The goal should be to get your audience to like you. If they like you, they are more likely to share your content (hello, brand ambassadors!) as well as become buyers of your product or service.

To effectively engage in content marketing, be sure that you are:

1. Creating relevant, quality content

2. Using the right language

3. Connecting with your target audience (as they say, everything is not for everybody)

4. Engaging in the right content platforms (blogs, facebook, twitter etc.)

Consumers are shying away from traditional advertising & marketing. However, you can still engage with your buyers by mastering the art of content marketing.

Below is an infographic that attests to the continued growth of content marketing.

What strategies do you incorporate into your content marketing strategy?

Branding · Marketing · Public Relations · Publicity · Social Media · Strategy · Uncategorized

What makes a good brand?

That is the million dollar question. However, before we can answer that, we have to answer the obvious question: what is branding and how can it effectively help your product and/or service?

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

Therefore it is safe to say that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about positioning your company to prospects as the “go-to” source for providing a solution to their problem.

A strong, trusted and identifiable brand can not only help you sell your product and/or service, but it can also open the doors for future community and business partnerships. People want to work with (and buy from!) established brands that have positioned themselves as leaders in such a saturated world.

With that said, I think it’s impossible to answer the question: what makes a good brand. Rather, a strong brand can help to deliver a message clearly. That message could range from new product developments in the marketplace to the benefits of a purchasing cell phone plan from Verizon over AT&T.

A strong brand can also motivate the buyer. This is where the importance of knowing your target market comes into play. If you know the attributes, behaviors and circumstances that motivate your buyer, then you can apply these into your branding strategy.

Furthermore, a strong brand builds customer loyalty. Effective businesses view their brands as tools that allow their messaging to cut through the noise of an overcrowded marketplace. They also position themselves as trusted brands based on the fact that their product and/or service has delivered on its’ promises in the past.

“The lack of a solid foundation for a brand will ultimately undermine its future success. This foundation goes beyond the logo and brand fascia and provides the underpinnings of legitimacy and ability to deliver real value.”

– Bill Nissim

If you are new to the branding world and working on creating a branding strategy, ask yourself this one question: What is my brand value and how can I use it to keep consumers coming back? That answer can vary depending on the scope of your business.

Campaigns · Marketing · Social Media · Strategy · Uncategorized

I am currently implementing three of these marketing trends daily for both of my positions!

INSIDE A MARKETING MIND: BLOG BY GARETH CASE

Here are my top 5 marketing trends to look out for as we approach 2012.

1. Location Based Marketing (LBM)

This is all about delivering content (usually to mobile devices) to consumers based on their location. Imagine getting a push message from Starbucks as you walk past one of their stores offering you a free muffin with your coffee.  It can be achieved using a number of technologies including Mobile Phone Tracking, WiFi and RFID

2. QR Codes

2011 has seen a massive increase in the use of QR codes on everything from advertising campaigns to product packaging. Their novelty factor has not worn off as quickly as some predicted and we are now seeing them used on ATL and BTL advertising from some of the biggest brands in the wold, right down to family run businesses. Expect to see a lot more QR codes in 2012

3. Video

Video…

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Branding · Campaigns · Marketing · Social Media · Uncategorized

The Power of Facebook Marketing

The Power of Facebook Marketing is amazing. Think about it: it’s a social media tool that a gazillion people use daily. Why wouldn’t your brand or company be on there?

That’s like…total.branding.suicide.

Not sure if you checked out my client work page, but i’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m a social media marketing consultant for this company; which means i’m in charge of their online consumer engagement and increasing their revenue through social media interaction.

As such, I spent a lot of my time today researching and brainstorming ideas on how to share creative content and get those “like” numbers up. Then it dawned on me, well actually, it dawned on my supervisor. Photo Contests!

Everyone is sharing their lives via instagram anyway. Why not make it beneficial for both of us?

She came across this great site for Offerpop; which is a third-party fan marketing platform (if you didn’t know, Facebook basically forces you to remove their name from all contesting and giveaways) that will allow you to effectively run viral marketing campaigns. Awesome right?! I think so.

I’ve been reading notes on a few of their past retail campaigns and I came across a case study for one of my favorite national clothing retailers. Forever 21. I’ve recently become a local boutique-hopping chic…yes, I know you care 😉

The national retailer has already created a lot of viral campaigns through Offerpop but this is one that stuck out to me:

Image

From Offerpop’s website: “Forever 21 ran their “Heart2Art Contest” using Offerpop’s Photo Contest app. Young fans submitted t-shirt designs explaining why their school is cool. The winner received $1000 for their school and had their t-shirt available for sale exclusively on forever21.com.”

We all love validation.

The great thing about a viral campaign is simply that…it’s viral. Meaning the hardwork (ie. the power of the ‘like’ ‘RT’ and ‘share’ button) is in the hand of the consumer but the return on investment (ROI) is given strictly to the company.

Have you shared and/or entered any viral campaigns?

Blogging · Branding · Social Media · Uncategorized

Spell Check Queen!

I never considered myself a geek; but honestly, i’ve always been one. I can proudly say that this was me in elementary school.

Never mind the fact that my mom was Editor-in-Chief of her High School Paper..

Flash forward to college. My friends still tease me to this day about always studying. Or working. Or interning. Granted, I did all of these things…but the weekends we’re reserved for fun!

Now my current position, and all of the previous ones up to this point, involves writing. A sometimes stressful yet enjoyable task. As such, I consider myself a spell check queen! I cringe at published work (even tweets, fb posts etc.) that feature misspelled words! Eek!

Lets all make a personal commitment to spell check everything (with the exception of texts; shorthand is second nature!). We all probably send out on average about 25 emails a day. No excuses though. As celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins often says, GET IT DONE.

Ps. I totally NEED her as my personal trainer. Who wants to lend me $2000 dollars? Don’t you all jump at once now! 😉