Apr 20, 2015

IMC Campaign of the Month: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

One of the greatest examples of integrated marketing communications is a plan so seamless and flawlessly executed that it deserves a place in the hall of fame for a completely immersive experience that didn’t even feel like marketing. Who will ever forget the Smell like a Man, Man campaign , AKA “Old Spice Man?”

This particular IMC campaign heavily integrated advertising with content and social media marketing. Combining television ads with wildly viral video and above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty social media engagement, Old Spice plucked the memorable, tongue-in-cheek character of Old Spice Man, initially portrayed by Isaiah Mustafa, straight from television screens across the country and deposited him on YouTube. This was the start of pure magic.

It all started with a 30 second ad spot that was widely run and exceptionally well received. Realizing the potential reach and cost effectiveness of YouTube, particularly when marketing to a younger generation (the target demographic for their line of body washes – who were already being assailed regularly with memorable ads from brands like Axe), the Old Spice team uploaded additional videos in the campaign series online. Fans of the character could see him in action far beyond the reaches of their TV screens. As interest in the character and the ads became clear, Old Spice released additional television commercials. These were supported with continued YouTube content, one of the first and certainly most spectacular examples of how video on TV and video online can work perfectly together. But Old Spice had the smarts to not just upload ads, but to pay attention to what people were saying to the character in tweets and video responses. They added the perfect twist that accelerated results astronomically.  (more…)

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Apr 16, 2015

Hillary’s campaign logo – the right choice?

hillaryIt wasn’t easy to miss one of the most buzzed about announcements via social media this week – Hillary Clinton officially announcing her Presidential Campaign. Although it may have been one of the worst-kept secrets in recent news, it was still noteworthy. But it wasn’t all good press. The general public could see it with their “naked eyes” and the professional eyes of designers and media couldn’t avoid it…the campaign logo. While undoubtedly something that was created after many hours of discussion, design and critique – the logo is being called a big “miss” by all.

In response to the uproar, many designers from across the world have taken to offering it a makeover – a redesign which they see fit for such a mission as Hillary’s. Within 24 hours of Hillary’s video, over 150 submissions of logo ideas were uploaded to an online design marketplace – DesignCrowd.com.

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So, what do you think? Is the logo suitable for her campaign or do you think it missed the mark?
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Apr 13, 2015

Online course – Creating Effective IMC Campaigns

PRSA_RGB_234781Advising and empowering fellow professionals in the PR and marketing industry is an honor and passion of mine. It was fun develop an online course for  PRSA  to help position professional communicators to oversee integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaigns. This course gives professionals the tools to put together successful, integrated campaigns.
The following is a summary of the five in-depth lesson modules included in this e-learning course.
  • MODULE 1: Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC): Master the Key Components of Every Campaign
    Learn the definition of IMC, the building blocks of a successful IMC campaign and the starting motivations for developing one.
  • MODULE 2: Defining Key Audiences: Identify Audiences Within the Buying Cycle
    Review the historical evolution of audiences and the implications, how to define an audience, the buying cycle process and the motivation behind personas.
  • MODULE 3: Leveraging SWOT Analysis: Ensure Strategic Consistency
    Understand the purpose of a SWOT analysis and how to implement the findings, as well as the integrated strategy purpose.
  • MODULE 4: Syncing Tactics: Align Messaging Channels and Linked Tactics
    Go over messaging channels and media components and the purpose and execution of tactics used.
  • MODULE 5: Measuring Performance: Analyze Qualitative and Quantitative Data
    A cohesive look at measuring objectives, responses and performances of campaigns.

(more…)

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Apr 10, 2015

Connecting with millennials

millennialsGeneralizations are never a good thing, but marketers are noticing some trends in how millennials find and consume products and services. Things are definitely changing, my friends.

The term “millennials” is used to describe the 18 to 36-year-old demographic who have grown up in the digital age. Also referred to as Generation Y, they are known as the socially savvy generation that’s always connected to the Internet via multiple communication devices. Because of their short attention spans and demand for personalized services and goods, connecting with millennials can be a difficult task for many businesses. Each year, Generation Y grows in purchasing power, and they are on track to spend more than Baby Boomers by 2017, according to a study conducted by by Berglass + Associates and Women’s Wear Daily — so if you’re not developing a strategy to reach out, you could be left behind. By assembling a well-integrated and thought-out strategy, your company can tap into this demographic.

Focus on Customer Service

Millennials have a much different idea about how customer service should work, along with expectations on how to be helped as a consumer. According to Nielsen, 42 percent of millennials expect to receive customer service on social media within 12 hours of raising their issue. Instead of having a phone number to call, most young people expect to be able to find answers to their questions online or through an app, and may become frustrated if a solution to their problem requires a phone call.

One way to boost your online customer service presence is to work with acloud-based contact management company, which can provide and maintain the online infrastructure for a streamlined customer service experience.

Let Others Market for You

According to socialchorus.com, 95 percent of millennials say their friends are the most credible source of product information. Over the last few decades, marketing has shifted from an overarching “push” strategy to a now more popular “pull” approach.

In his book The Thank You Economy, Gary Varynerchuk lays out his philosophies on how to effectively market in contemporary culture and he emphasizes the importance of brands communicating directly with customers via social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Vine. He explains, “At its core, social media requires that business leaders start thinking like small shop owners.” Because the social channels are open, Vaynerchuk urges companies to use these mediums not as faceless entities or corporate representatives of a brand, but as real people. He describes the impact this can make: “When faced with two equal choices, people often buy for no other reason than they associate one choice with someone they know.” (more…)

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Apr 6, 2015

Choosing marketing channels – it’s all about the mix

martha_stewart_interview_11Integrated marketing communications is far more than just using multiple marketing channels. The real key is figuring out the correct mix of marketing channels to meet your audience where they gain information, and then synchronizing your messaging so that you achieve the greatest amount of synergy. If IMC is a recipe, synergy is surely the secret sauce. Know your audience. Know where they get their information. Go back and review the personas you’ve created and try to imagine the marketing channels they frequent most often. As I’ve written before, it’s knowledge of the behavior that’s most important. Whether they have grey hair or a mohawk, it doesn’t matter. We want to know where they get their information. 

The challenge with IMC is that every brand is different. Finding the right mix for your customer is crucial and it takes time. You can only analyze and plan so far. At some point you’ve got to go out and start linking strategies and see what works. What boosts results? What’s the right sequence of message release? This is why pilot projects and starting out with a small scope is helpful. Iterative testing is needed to figure out what works best for your brand.

Remember you don’t have to utilize every channel. Think of Apple. They rely on their influencers to deliver messages via social media. They don’t really run their own accounts. Did it not deliver ROI? Too much of a pain? Did they have enough of a huge fan base so they didn’t need it? Some people like Matt Foulger think they’re missing a huge marketing opportunity. I would argue they don’t need it. They seem to have found the right mix.

What’s your mix? I’m curious to know the linked tactics that work for you.

 

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Mar 31, 2015

Email marketing and the Late Show

email marketingAfter 21 years taking the stage on The Late Show, David Letterman has sadly announced his retirement. Not only leaving behind years of laughter and a comedic legacy, Letterman has also produced valuable lessons for email marketers searching for success. Just as Letterman’s producers would work endlessly behind-the-scenes to ensure his opening act would be a hit with the audience, marketers should take a similar course of action to create a star subject line. For email marketers, every one of their campaigns acts similarly to an episode of The Late Show, with the subject line serving as the opening act and setting the stage for the rest of the show. To ensure the audience is hooked and engaged throughout the entire process, marketers must to invest the appropriate time and resources into creating a killer opening act with a star subject line. If not, they’ll be sure to have a flop right into the spam folder.

Campaigner, an email marketing firm, has identified these top-three tips for email marketers to channel their inner Letterman and set the stage with an attention-grabbing subject,  to increase overall engagement and ROI. (more…)

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Mar 23, 2015

Loving your customer

I was planning on writing a blog post arguing that if you don’t love your customer, all the data in the world won’t make it right. Then I realized that Tyler Douglas, CMO of Vision Critical,  had already explained the concept far better than I ever could. So here’s an excerpt to Tyler’s excellent article for The Economist Group, with a link for your convenience. Enjoy! 

3 ways to love your customer – they know more about the business than you do

by Tyler Douglas

Here are some ways to love your customer that will benefit your business:

Stop seeing customers as (big) data points: Brands are living, ever-evolving entities. To succeed and stay competitive they have to stay nimble, grow and change with the times.Over the last few years, the empowered customer has disrupted the innovation curve and many marketers have mistakenly gotten hung up on optimizing metrics without much context. Yet understanding customers’ true motivation—said differently, the “why” behind their actions—is the first step in knowing their preferences, and in keeping them coming back.

Don’t turn to social media analytics for insight: Companies swim in a plethora of data about their customers, and social media analytics were touted as a way to know customers as individuals versus data points. Over time, however, social media analytics failed to live up to its promise as a panacea for customer-centricity.

Treat customers like they’re part of your business: According to a recent IBM study, second to the CEO, the C-suite cares most about what customers think. Why? Because today, they have the power to influence innovation and drive companywide success. So who better to tell you what customers want than your customers?

I highly recommend you read the entire article. To do so,  visit economistgroup.com here. 

 

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Mar 18, 2015

IMC Campaign of the Month: Meineke of Burnsville

Meineke of Burnsville IMC CampaignContinuing my series of monthly highlighted IMC campaigns, this month I’d like to turn our attention to Meineke, or more specifically one Midwest Meineke (Meineke of Burnsville) that put IMC to work with the help of Bluewater.

What makes this particular situation so interesting is that at the same time the Burnsville Meineke was opening, three other locations were opening in the same general area. What this allows us to analyze is how well this particular Meineke performed compared to the other locations, which did not employ IMC to the same degree.

Bluewater are franchise marketing experts, so they have tremendous experience using IMC to help franchise owners succeed. To promote the grand opening of Meineke of Burnsville, they used a combination of direct mail, social media, advertising through banners and Facebook ads and PR (media outreach) to form the foundation of a robust IMC plan. They also had people on the ground managing events and generating word of mouth for this particular Meineke location. (more…)

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Mar 16, 2015

Why buying behavior is more important

My newest pair of Warby Parkers

My newest pair of Warby Parkers

There are some dramatic differences between an approach to integrated marketing communications (IMC) and traditional marketing. The one that seems to be the hardest for traditional marketers (and media buyers in particular) to get their smart heads around is this: Buying behavior, not demographics or psychographics, should drive strategy. When you’re working on a synchronized campaign between multiple channels, it’s more important to know how people behave than who they are. 

When marketers really, really get this, remarkable things happen. You may think something has gone viral, when really it’s a well-played IMC strategy at work. Let’s take Warby Parker as an example. Although Eric Markowitz at Inc. wrote that “not spending on unnecessary marketing” was one reason for the company’s 500% growth in no time, that’s not quite right. What they didn’t do was try to launch a brand aimed at a certain consumer. Or maybe they did, and failed. Not being Warby Parker’s CMO, I can’t say.

What I do know is that the first round of editorials Mr. Markowitz mentions in his 2012 article were beautifully timed with social media. An on-the-ground tour of Warby Parker ambassadors the following year was preceded by excellent earned media. Digital marketing buys were clever, and closely tied (especially on Facebook) to consumer behavior.

Here’s the kicker. (more…)

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Mar 13, 2015

Connecting Strategies that Lead to Success

Here is an excerpt from my article on the PRSA ComPRehension blog. A link to the full article is below. Enjoy! 

Although most marketers accept that integrating marketing communications is a powerful approach, campaigns today seldom realize the full power of the methodology commonly known as IMC.

Most of us  synchronize our earned and owned media in some way.  Many of us have learned empirically the right combinations of tactics that lead to the most engagement, or the highest landing page traffic. What’s often missing in campaigns is the ability to plan, manage and measure the synergy that occurs as a result of powerful IMC strategies and strong linked tactics.  It’s the acceleration caused by this synergy – the combination of marketing efforts that add up to more than the sum of their parts – that provides the best results.

Synergy looks and feels different in every IMC campaign. The good news is there are common elements to successful IMC campaigns that result in increased synergy.  The first is message alignment. IMC requires a persistent, consistent messaging strategy across channels. A core, or integrated, strategy statement should drive every campaign message. This statement is rarely shared with an audience. It is simple, to the point, and states what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.  For a healthcare practice, it might be something like “We’re here to provide the best care in a safe environment.” An organic food company might use “Delivering the healthiest products to families.” Every single message should be aligned with this basic message.

Read the rest of this article at comprehension.prsa.org here

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