Blog posts

  • Making “Happiness” Part of Your Brand

    It appears Pharell Wiliams isn’t the only one who is making “Happiness” part of a brand.    I just returned from one of my client’s Board Meetings that was held at Coca Cola’s "World of Coke” facility in Atlanta. If you haven’t been to their new facility, it is definitely worth a trip. Ranging from the impressive 4-D movie to their sampling room where visitors can taste dozens of Coke products from around the world, the facility is all about “Happiness”.   More importantly, Coke has been focusing its marketing efforts on how the company has been promoting and facilitating happiness around the world in a variety of innovative and feel-good ways. <em>Branding Magazine </em>just published a very interesting article on this topic with links to several touching and emotional videos that demonstrate how Coca Cola is accomplishing this goal.  You can check it out <a href="http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2014/05/16/coca-cola-personifies-happiness-in-numerous-forms/">here</a>.    Regardless of whether you are a Coke fan or not, there are some important lessons here that can benefit all brands.
  • Is Email Marketing Becoming Passé?

    I recently had a client ask me if I thought email marketing was truly effective and if I thought it was becoming Passé.   I shared with her some great success we have had with animated emails and then I pointed her towards the “Inkredible Five exceptional examples of agile email marketing” from Movable Ink. If you aren’t familiar with the Inkredible Five, you should check it out.     The Spring 2014 Edition features some very creative and clever email campaigns by the<em> Wall Street Journal</em>, 7 For All Mankind, Lilly Pulitzer, DICE and Boden. These companies used a number of interesting techniques, including:   <ul><li> A video that played directly in the inbox and a live feed to the latest Instagram photos. </li> <li> A live web crop of the latest news stories so subscribers would always see the latest news regardless of when they opened the email. </li> <li> A new call-to-action following the end of a limited time promotion. When penned on a smartphone, a “click-to-call” button appeared. </li> <li> Real-time geo-targeting so jobseekers could see the jobs closest to them. </li> <li> An animated countdown clock to show how much time was left of a limited-time-only sales and a personalized greeting by name.  </li> </ul>   You can check out all the campaigns <a href="http://info.movableink.com/inkrediblefive-2014-spring?utm_source=InkBlog&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=inkredible5spring2014">here</a>.
  • Are You Addicted to the Internet? “Look Up”

    Is it time for an intervention?  Are your family and friends telling you it’s time to step away from the computer?According to a 2012 survey, 61 percent of Americans say they are addicted to the Internet, and the medical community now recognizes Internet addiction as a real and growing problem.  I just read an interesting article written by Jessica Taylor in the BAA newsletter that talks about and links to a powerful short film that deals with this addiction.  It’s called “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4KUEybo4-k">Look Up</a>” and it is creating quite a buzz on, you guessed it, the Internet.  It’s worth a look and I recommend staying with it all the way to the end.
  • Omni-Channel Shoppers Closing the Bricks Versus Clicks Gap

    Regardless of whether you call it omni-channel, cross-channel or multi-channel shopping, there is no doubt that consumers’ path-to-purchase has changed dramatically over the last few years.It’s no surprise that more and more people are now shopping online instead of going to a brick and mortar store. However, a recent study from CFI Group and eBay Enterprise says that 95% of consumers “frequently or occasionally shop” a retailer’s web site AND physical store.  The report also found that 82% of all consumers surveyed said they consider it “important” to be able to place an order from a retailer’s e-commerce site while inside that merchant’s store.Some other interesting study findings were: <ul><li>93% of respondents want the option to return items bought online to local stores</li> <li>78% want in-store pickup of online orders</li> <li>56% will keep shopping with a particular retailer as long as they offer the best price - whether in-store or online</li> </ul> If accurate, these findings have major implications for both CPGs and marketers. For retailers, it means changing their business model to make it easy to order items from their website while shopping in their stores.  For MarCom Pros, it means marketing to consumers in more targeted and innovative ways.Some retailers are already moving in that direction. The Gap recently said it will give consumers the ability to order items online while in their stores, and the company told Wall Street Analyst that it is taking further steps to bind its store-, web- and mobile-based retail initiatives. Gap’s online sales increased 21.5% year-over-year in fiscal 2013.According to Internet Retailer magazine, about 30% of the retail chains in the Top 500 allow customers to buy online and pickup in-store. Another important aspect of more online sales is that some retailers can reduce the size of their physical stores. The Gap, for example, managed nearly 8% fewer square feet of retail space in the US in 2013.  These findings also mean that marketers need to change their strategies and business models of influencing the omni-channel marketer. It’s not enough anymore to have innovative mobile marketing, social media, advertising and PR programs. These programs now need to work seamlessly across all channels.There is an interesting conference onMarketing to the Omni-Channel Shopper taking place in New York the first week in June. It will feature CMOs from the top brands sharing their success stories on how they are bridging the bricks and clicks gap.  I know I’ll be there.
  • To Join Or Not To Join - That Is The Question?

    If you are like me, you joined a number of groups on LinkedIn that had the term “Marketing” or “PR” in the title when the online network first became popular several years ago.  However, I quickly discovered that several groups have just a handful of members, while other groups are very commercial in pitching their services. Needless to say, I never became active in the groups and/or dropped them from my circle. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I don’t engage with any of the three dozen LinkedIn Groups to which I belong.Until now. I recently joined a group called “CMO Network” that seems to be quite interesting. It clams to be “#1 Group for CMOs” and boasts over 85,000 members. What makes this group different than the other marketing groups out there is the diversity of marketing members and that they regularly engage in conversations on interesting topics.A recent conversation on the topic of “What is the one piece of advice you would share with any marketer to help them be more effective in 2014?” generated 31 comments.  And, the comments came from a variety of marketers including corporate, agency, university and free-lance people.If you haven’t checked it out yet, you may want to give it a spin.  If you know of other valuable groups, please share who they are.
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