You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Marketing’ tag.

seven habits_infographic_2.ashxMcKinsey & Company recently pointed out that companies need to approach digital marketing differently, on a fundamental level. Among their points in “The 7 Habits of Highly-Effective Digital Enterprises” McKinsey notes the ineffectiveness of companies that assign digital marketing to a staffer or set up an internal team. They suggest it is a skill set to be acquired through external resource.

Let’s look at this another way. Social media is the latest marketing touchpoint. Advertising, public relations, direct marketing, web development, and sales promotion are among social media’s predecessors. How many companies attempt to assign those duties to a staffer? Very few. It is arguable that very few companies execute these marketing touch points well internally.

The missing ingredient? The creative talent.

Why creative talent largely resides outside companies is a discussion for another day, but the work of very few in-house departments approaches that of outside agencies. The same applies to social media. Like the others, social media is a distinct and separate marketing skill. Creative acumen is a critical issue in social campaigns as well. Companies that simply push social media off to someone internally run counter to historical precedent and risk falling behind competitively.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 2.23.31 PMGuest Relations Marketing will be extending our ‘Zealotry Marketing’ practice by taking on a new assignment – handling online customer service issues for client Milani Cosmetics. This assignment is an unusual twist for a traditional marketing or ad agency. Typically, agencies handle the external media brand communications, but not the follow-up.

In this particular case, Milani views the online service as a logical extension to the social media work already being handled by GRM. Our ability to respond quickly and in brand voice was critical to their decision to place this additional program with GRM.
For us, it is a validation of not only our relationship and work to-date with Milani, but the increasing value of building marketing from the basis of referral. As we like to say, turning customers into Zealots.

According to the hair care company, Pantene, 70% of men think that women need to downplay their personality to be accepted in the workplace.

Other alarming statistics have been published recently by PEW Research Center that involve working mothers, stating that women are much more likely than men to experience family-related career interruptions and that these interruptions hurt their career progression.

Additionally, the Stanford Graduate School of Business has published a gender related study that addresses the perception bias of men and women in the workplace. In the research, a case study of Heidi Roizen, a successful venture capitalist was shared with a group of students. Afterward, the students were surveyed, and though Heidi and Howard were found equally competent, the students found Howard much more likeable.

This commercial, created by Pantene, addresses the issue that women face when they refuse to give in to the labels that hold them back. “Because when you stand strong, you shine.”

What do you think about these double standards that Pantene has addressed?

Retailers are constantly working to stay ahead of the social marketing curve. Whether they’re using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram (to name a few), they are thinking of new ways for their products to get in front of a large audience. Better yet? To get in front of a large audience at minimal cost.

Over the years, Facebook has proven to be a productive way of referring customers to your website.

The formula: Interesting Images + Engaging content + Links = Increased Web Traffic

However, there is a limitation to what Facebook provides. Once the platform introduced the People Talking About This metric (PTAT), it shortly became no secret that when a brand page posts something, only a small percentage of its fans will see the post. You are required to solicit engagement from your fans, or actually pay money, to reach a more reasonable percentage of your followers.

Oh, bah humbug!

But, wait! That’s the beauty behind Pinterest. It’s a visually stimulating and free website that allows you to promote your products to thousands of people. Not to mention, that people who are using it are searching for ways to be inspired.

love-pinterest

Don’t believe me? A recent research study conducted by BloomReach showed that Pinterest traffic spent 60% more than traffic coming from Facebook and converted to a sale 22% more than Facebook.

We recently put the numbers to the test for one of our retail clients by working with a popular fashion blogger. She simply took a picture of a cute monogrammed tumbler, posted it to her social channels, and allowed us to also use the image for promotional purposes.

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 11.40.11 AM

The key to success was not that we simply used Pinterest – but that we partnered with an influential women in the blogging/Pinterest space. Through this partnership, we were able to reach people who were our client’s target customers, but may have never heard of our client’s brand.

Here are some top line results from the Pinterest/Blogger partnership:

  • The image was repinned 1,100 times in a two week period
  • Referral traffic accounted for 50% of total website traffic
  • In a 30 day period, 49,940 website visits came from Pinterest
  • The product pictured above received 65,633 page views in that same 30 day period
  • The client received the highest monthly website traffic in the store’s history

Wow! Those results obviously made for a very happy client.

Curious at how Facebook compared to the Pinterest giant? Through posting the same exact image on our client’s Facebook account, we were able to garner just over 1,000 website visits. Hm, seems pretty obvious to me that Pinterest won this battle.

Game. Set. Match.

rebranding-seoOutgrown the old marketing materials? Business changing course? We hear you. And your stalled brand is GRM’s sweet spot. We have a history (and a good one, if we do say so ourselves) of restaging brands to be able to better compete, not just today, but in the future.

We’re excited to take on a new client – the American Salvage Pool Association.

Sound familiar? Probably not. Unless you’re not in the insurance or auto after-market business, that is. Stay tuned. Our aim is to present the passion and integrity of this group in a contemporary and competitive way. The ASPA has a good story. We relish the opportunity to help them share it in new and relevant ways.

When you think of social media, who comes to mind? For me, I think of a young audience. Teens and Twenty somethings galore. And while that is correct (83% of people age 18-29 use social media) teens and twenty-somethings aren’t the only ones Facebooking. I found this interesting info-graphic on Mashable. Take a look:

Which-demographics-use-what-social-media

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 2.41.28 PMA recent survey by the Hub Magazine notes that Starbucks’ “social responsibility” more favorably impacts their customer loyalty than other category leader brands: Amazon, Apple, Target, Proctor & Gamble and L.L. Bean. Only Patagonia, Whole Foods and Trader Joes matched Starbucks in having more favorable than combined “unfavorable and not a factor” votes.

How has Starbucks has turned social responsibility to a positive brand advantage when many other category leaders have not? A few intriguing conclusions:

One – their stance on social responsibility impacts the less frequent customers. Many responded they are occasional customers and are not necessarily a fan of Starbucks coffee.

Two – they have made their story very visible throughout their store.

Three – many customers admit that they feel better about paying a “premium” for a product that employs fair trade practices.

We know from countless research that consumers want to identify with a brand beyond the rational product benefits. A big part of brand value is what they do to be a good community “steward.” Starbucks clearly has the game plan down in this area.

Social_Marketing_See_Behind_Curtain_TransparencyConsider five key factors in understanding how to develop marketing that indeed “engages” with your core constituents.

1. Your product, service, or brand should have a standout quality in its class. The days of faking performance or relying on promotional copy to cover an inferior product are long gone. It is fundamental to deliver, even exceed what you offer.

2. Creative should be an innovative element. If the product is not innovative (then see point above). Most products or brands have some element that excites your Zealots. So why would you employ boring creative execution to tell that story? Creative should match the passion of your product.

3. Your Zealots are key. Key to gaining core insights to the passion of your products. Key to how to influence and persuade others. And key to spreading the word (referral).

4. Offer your core target – best customers and your Zealots – a peek behind the curtain. Share your category insights, invite their opinion on product development offerings, give them promotional opportunities in advance, arm them with specific offers to share with their friends. Understand this group is predisposed to loving your brand. They are feverishly looking for confirmation and experiences that allow them to reinforce their selection. And, share with others.

5. Integrate. Yes, a well-overused marketing term. But, it’s true. Establish what your brand is about – what it stands for. Then, line up every detail, every tactic. Does each detail and each touchpoint reinforce the brand or not? The world-class brands think through every detail from personal greeting to in-store signage to packaging to follow-up response. As an example, consider the St. Regis Lifestyle Butler Service.   Among the touches – escorting guests to private artist or museum showings.

We’ve lobbied that organizations should have a Chief Brand Officer, but perhaps the better title would be Chief Integration Officer.

If your business is not doing the above you are missing fundamental steps in maximizing the value of your brand. If you are unsure about some of the points made, well that is good reason to call us.

Regardless of your political preference, the movie 2016 about Barack Obama’s rise to the Presidency provides a great example of discovering and building brand positioning. Like him or not, Obama is a clear example of understanding and mobilizing “Zealotry support.”  The producers offer a great, real life lesson on how to discover and build a brand with Zealotry following, including: linking the “why” of past behaviors
  • who are the parents (or founders of a company)
  • what was the environment and influences
  • what has been said and written from the leader (or CEO)
  • where is the priorities in money and hiring being placed

Discover the basis behind those questions and you are well on your way to a smartly constructed brand platform.

Reveries tells the story of Ellen Heberer, an American Airlines gate agent. The airline industry is notorious for treating customers as a number, removing people with technology and otherwise commoditizing services. Then there is Ellen.  “You’ll always have status with me,” Ellen recently told a flier who had lost frequent-flier standing, but whom Ellen remembered and rewarded with a better seat in the front of the plane.
Among other customer-centric acts: Ellen knows repeat customers by name; juggles seat assignments to keep families together; provides passes to get customers into the airport club; doesn’t lie about delays; and is straightforward about what can (or cannot) be done.
 

American Airline’s response to the reporter: “It shouldn’t have to be that it only happens with a great agent,” says Maya Leibman, American’s chief information officer.

American Airline’s response to the reporter: “It shouldn’t have to be that it only happens with a great agent,” says Maya Leibman, American’s chief information officer.

Well, no it shouldn’t. But for too many companies, the bean-counters have measured the short-term cost of staffing people and training versus automation, Internet tools, self-service scanners and the like. Marketing has been silent on the long-term impact of such moves. Who is voice of the customer in your company?

Ellen is building Zealots for American Airlines. Technology can also help, but it is almost never a substitute for great personal service.

American Airlines can learn a thing or two from Waffle House. All employees are required to spend at least one day a month in restaurants. The CEO doesn’t want his management to get too far from the roots of serving customers. The financial (and CIOs) of American Airlines should spend a few days in Ellen’s role. They might learn the value and costs of service.

 

Follow us on Twitter

Archives