Human Insights: Uncovering the Simply Complex

The word strategy can mean a plethora of different things when used in the context of marketing. In turn, the job description of a Strategist can also be wide reaching. No matter the specific definition someone opts for, it's essentially an ability to uncover, present and successfully leverage a human insight.

Posted May 17, 2019

5 Tips for First Dates (and Building a Brand Voice)

Your hands are sweaty. Your heart, racing. No matter how many first dates you go on, it always feels like the first one.

Posted May 9, 2019

VI Employee Spotlight: Aaron Miller

Let’s make this quick: Aaron Miller is ahead of the curve.

Posted May 6, 2019

Translating Your Multi-cultural Marketing Campaign to Another Language

Writing a multi-cultural campaign is a lot like getting a tattoo. What you thought would be a cool cultural nod, was actually not cool and dreadfully damaging to your public image. Pop stars might be able to survive an innocent spelling error. But marketers? A botched marketing campaign translation will have your audience saying thank u, next — without the thank you.

Posted May 1, 2019

VIth Sense: The Evolution of a Brand

You've seen it before. A brand tries an off-the-wall campaign and then they roll out another brand-new campaign the next season. Sure, campaigns change, you can test out new messages and mix things up. But it's important to know the difference between a campaign and your entire brand. 

Posted Apr 29, 2019

Branding Your Community Event

Event marketing can be an extremely effective way to reach your audience. Typically, you can get a pretty good idea about the basic demographic information of event attendees before they even arrive, so it's a great way to reach drilled-down or niche audiences. Maybe you are trying to reach a specific age group or income level. There are a lot of ways your brand can capitalize on these attendees when they are highly engaged.

Posted Apr 26, 2019

Copywriting to Influence Behaviors

Ever wish you could bend the human will? For me, the thought arises when I see a wailing toddler in Walmart or when I hit the snooze button instead of hitting the gym—again. Don’t fret! It’s totally natural.

Posted Apr 25, 2019

What to Look for in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tool

A CRM (“Customer Relationship Management”) is essentially a database of transactions with your contacts and the companies that they work for. CRMs can track calls, meetings, and even potential deals.

Posted Apr 24, 2019

Understanding the Basic Principles of Behavior Change Marketing

Every day, you make thousands of choices. What to wear, what to eat, how fast to drive, where to spend your free time. Imagine a friend evaluating your choices and constantly reminding you of the better choice – the healthier choice, the safer choice. Working on behavior change marketing campaigns is like that – a conscience for the audience nudging them in the right direction.

Posted Apr 23, 2019

VI Employee Spotlight: Julie Rowell | VI Marketing Blogs

Hailing from a “good-sized town” of Tulsa, Oklahoma came the meek and marvelous Julie Rowell.

Posted Apr 4, 2019

5 Ways to Improve Your Healthcare Marketing

Trust – It’s a critical factor when it comes to healthcare. You want to know you’re getting the very best information and that it’s coming from an expert. In the past, you would find your healthcare provider through word-of-mouth or you would hear about healthcare issues on the evening news. In the age of the internet, a person has access to research, customer reviews, facility tours and even interaction with the healthcare community from the comfort of their couch. So how can you ensure that you’re positioning your brand as an expert and building trust with your current and new clientele? Here are 5 ways to improve the way you market your healthcare brand.


1. Discoverability

Gone are the days of flipping through the yellow pages. Now, we are able to have a variety of crowdsourced information right at our fingertips. You need to have an online presence. Search engine optimization for your website, social media and blogging are all vital parts of today’s marketing landscape, but that’s not all. You need consistency. Make sure your name, address and phone number are identically listed across the web. The more consistent your information appears, the better chance your listing will show up in a local search.

Posted Mar 29, 2019

Why Your Brand Needs Emotional Intelligence | VI Marketing Blogs

I think it's apparent that in marketing today we can no longer tout the "big sale" or the "new feature" and truly believe that our message is going to resonate with our audience. Heck, our audience no longer wants to be seen as an "audience" or a "consumer" or a "prospect." They want to be seen as a human.

Audiences of today, especially younger demographics, want brands to be more socially aware, authentic and transparent. They care more about who you are than what you are selling. As the digital world moves us into automation and algorithms, the human aspect is now a competitive advantage and a selling point for marketers. We need to understand that purchasing decisions aren't always rational. There are almost always underlying motivations, emotions or sentiments involved in the buying cycles. In an analysis of the IPA dataBANK, which contains 1,400 case studies of successful advertising campaigns, campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content. Additionally, the purely emotional campaigns performed slightly better than those that mixed emotional and rational content. Emotionally connected customers spent, on average, twice as much annually as highly satisfied customers.  It's safe to say empathy is key to marketing campaigns in 2019 and beyond. 

Emotion in marketing isn't a new concept. Brands are building content around brand experiences, storytelling and social purpose—but we have all seen this go wrong. There is a real difference in talking about emotion and having true emotional intelligence. Brands often pay the price when they don’t walk the walk. I think one fault we have in behavior change marketing is that we often want to help solve a problem or challenge that our audience faces but really we need to respond to the challenge, itself. Brene Brown says, “The truth is, rarely can a response make something better—what makes something better is connection.”  She follows that by stating that real connection requires vulnerability.  “Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable choice because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling.” We need to aim to connect with both the rational and emotional parts of our audiences to truly move the needle towards objectives. 

So what does emotional intelligence or "EQ" look like for a brand? Brands that are harnessing EQ are honest about their motives, deeply empathic with their audience and find the overlap between organizational objectives and the motivations of an audience. This is the balance between the emotional and rational parts of your brain. Emotionally intelligent brands, like emotionally intelligent humans, succeed in finding empathetic connections between the who and the why. Emotionally intelligent brands are going to pave the way of this new era. They can identify the underlying needs and motivations of individuals who are not just driven to make a purchase but who can be motivated and empowered enough to make a life change. If marketers can use empathy to understand a persona's life experiences then we can connect our brand with those needs in a truly relevant way.


Posted Mar 27, 2019