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Archive for the ‘Marketing Professionals’ Category

“ASAP” Means Absolutely Nothing

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

ASAP Image

“Can you send me that thing ASAP?”

I’ve been asked that before. I’ve also asked it myself. It sounds silly in writing, but it’s a common request in the workplace. While “ASAP” may seem important, it’s a key component to an empty request. “As Soon As Possible” may mean you want it delivered within the hour but to your coworker it may mean you want it within the week. You have no concrete proof that this person will actually deliver on what you are asking within a certain timeframe. Nor that it will be done correctly.

Still skeptical?

I sat in a team workshop (what I often refer to as “a warm and fuzzy”) called “Conversation for Action” and was skeptical too. Were we really about to spend an hour learning how to ask a request? But I will be the first to admit that the impact was very real.

Since the workshop I’ve reshaped my every request and have since then seen three tangible deadlines met—photos taken for an eblast, an edited brand platform, and a designed brand architecture—in only three days of putting this new practice to the test. Previously these requests had a 50 percent chance of being fulfilled, and felt like pulling teeth.

So how do you make a request that actually sticks? And on the flip side, how do you build trust with your coworkers to ensure that requests are met? Start here.

1. Request with purpose.
Ask like this: “I request that you ________ BY ___________.” This makes it very clear that you need something by a specific time. Create a shared concern, give context around your request, share details that may seem obvious to you but may not be obvious to your coworker. Ask in person versus email if possible. Then ensure a confirmation.

2. Honor your word.
If you say yes to the request, then meet the request or the moment something interferes, communicate it.

3. Treat your requester like a client.
You always want a satisfied client. When you complete the request, follow up to ensure satisfaction.

Give it a shot and while you experience the results, I request that you “Like” this blog by end of the week.

Conversation for Action Workshop

Pathos in advertising

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Proctor & Gamble’s 2014 Sochi Olympics ‘Thank You, Mom’ Commercial nails it on the head with an appeal to the audience emotions. I would say it’s the first tear jerker in 2014 for sure. Frankly, I didn’t think it would get any better than the the Apple “Misunderstood” holiday ad that came at us full force starting in early December 2013 (also below). Both Weiden + Kennedy (P&G) and TBWA Worldwide (Apple) deserve a hat’s off and a hardy handshake for making us remember the importance of family, as well as doing a fantastic job of enhancing brand equity for both products lines in such a subtle, yet elegant and emotional way.

Proctor and Gamble Ad

Apple Ad

Marketing in Ten Seconds or Less? …Oh Snap.

Friday, January 3rd, 2014


The millennial generation has become accustomed to a touch-screen-world at their fingertips and they needed something more. But what can you offer consumers that have everything? It’s simple. Give them what they want, but change the terms of how it’s given.

Enter Snapchat. Snapchat frames its peer-to-peer photo messaging with a sense of urgency- meaning photos users share and exchange won’t last forever. We can imagine that an app of this nature is not always used for the most innocent purposes.  For example, a photo message with a finite lifespan provides a level of excitement only comparable to a secret agent’s next mission plan; set to self-destruct within five seconds of being read.

The new messaging app enables users to “snap” pictures or videos, add captions and finger doodles, set a time limit for how long the message can be viewed, and then send it away. Once the recipient opens the message, the countdown begins, eventually vanishing, never to be viewed again.

We know what you’re asking, “Photo sharing without the consequences of image immortality?” Yes. The lack of consequences seems to be the main point of attraction for users so accustomed to having their content and privacy violated.

Although this app is ideal for sharing ridiculous selfies or other NSFW content, advertisers have been hard at work trying to leverage a marketing advantage. In terms of its potential, 8 million active users indicate a clear opportunity to reach a market segment otherwise moving too quickly to catch up with.

A recent Adweek article (Adweek) discusses interesting ideas for marketing campaigns using Snapchat, many of which embrace the humorous or adult nature of the app.

Possibilities included Victoria’s Secret; sending risqué snaps featuring images of their models with easy to remember coupon codes that disappear after a matter of seconds. These coupons would be sent to men in order to encourage gift purchases for their ladies during the holidays.

Another potential campaign idea was for the Las Vegas tourism board, embracing the slogan “What Happens in Vegas,” to offer prizes to the Snapchat user who sent the best video of their personal Vegas experience. Yowza.

There are many hypothetical Snapchat campaigns that have potential, but there are also several examples of companies that have already used the app with great success.

One such example is 16 Handles, a chain of frozen yogurt establishments in New York. The chain’s Snapchat campaign prompted existing Facebook fans to send pictures of their frozen yogurt in return for coupons giving them 16%, 50% or 100% off.

The campaign carried an element of surprise as the fleeting nature of the coupons ensured that participants weren’t able to see what they had received until they were at the cash register. This campaign made excellent use of all aspects of the platform and resulted in more than 1,400 customer interactions.

Millions use Snapchat around the world and if marketing agencies can create unique and engaging ways to utilize the channel’s exciting sense of urgency, leveraging a hard-to-reach millennial demographic may be worth it. We find it interesting to observe the evolution of user behavior across all social media marketing channels and how big competitors rise to the competition.

2014 Brand Resolutions for Every Company

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

- Seven tips companies should keep in mind as they prepare for a new year –

As we near the end of another year, it’s not only time for companies to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work in 2013, but it’s an ideal time for organizations to start preparing for the upcoming year. Getting a jump start on planning and determining where you want to focus your efforts in 2014 will prove to be extremely valuable to those who develop a strategy ahead of time instead of waiting until January rolls around. Here are seven branding tips for companies to keep in mind as they prepare for a new year.

1. Develop a content strategy.

It’s important for companies to create cohesive and engaging material that resonates with intended audiences well in multiple forms; be that text, images, video, packaging and other marketing channels. In addition, it’s crucial to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time. You can’t just develop a cool website (it’s not 1998)… the messaging and voice need to be cohesive with your brand. It’s also important to have rules in place for how social platforms are used and how your company will respond to comments. Even if your organization has rules in place, it’s always a good idea to revisit them often and make sure all employees are on the same page.

2. Create a brand architecture.

No matter how small your organization, it’s amazing how many products and services a company can have. Creating a brand architecture will allow companies to better manage their brand and any supporting sub-brands and services; identifying the ones with greater market opportunity versus supporting roles. The development of a comprehensive brand architecture is not only a marketing exercise, but also an operations exercise. Remember the brand architecture document is strictly for internal use to help company staff understand all products and services offered within an organization and how they may be sold.

3. Look at push marketing and lead generation opportunities.

This is a good time to look at what you’re doing to get more qualified leads and create more interaction for the brand. How are you converting prospects at events? What are you doing to penetrate your intended market with mobile strategies? Keep an eye out for new tools that help companies not only make lead generation fun and interactive, but also have detailed analytics to ensure the best bang for your buck

4. Review your website.

Many brands install analytic and measurement tools on their site but you would be surprised at how many don’t actually read them. It’s important to know every aspect of how customers interact with your site and interactive campaigns, as well as how to make changes to make pages convert better….fast. This can make a huge difference in your bottom line. Ensure you’re working with someone who’s able to explain how your website is performing. It’s important to not only review your conversions and analytics, but to understand what they mean. What are you doing to create repeat business or to add value to the process? Take a hard look at conversion and site analytics to determine if all best practices are in place in your organization.

5. Go to events to be an expert.

The worst networking happens at networking events. Nobody there is looking to buy something, but everyone is looking to sell something. When planning for 2014, look to better leverage conferences by identifying where you can speak on a panel or learn something new. Don’t be there to sell… be there to create relationships that will hopefully last long-term.

6. Live your brand.

One thing we’ve learned is that a company can’t just say they are something. They need to act and live that way. In addition, every touch point of the client experience needs to reflect this. Imagine if you saw Prince (the rock star) walking down the street in Jeans and a preppy t-shirt. You probably wouldn’t recognize him because it’s NOT the brand he has portrayed to the public for years. Your business is very much the same if you are saying one thing and doing another.

7. Don’t confuse your identity with your brand.

A new logo or shiny brochure is just one small aspect of your brand. They are important, but your brand also has a voice, a message, a persona and much more. Remember that your brand is your “everything.”

While there are many areas companies can spend their time evaluating, sometimes brand takes a back seat to sales efforts. Focusing on your brand and how to improve it will play a significant role in your organizations success in 2014.