Life in the Faster Lane: 5G-Fueled Marketing & Autonomous Vehicles

It’s hard to believe that less than ten years ago, “4G” and “LTE” were buzzwords at consumer electronic tradeshows. In that short span of time, advertisers were given an arsenal of new mediums capable of reaching an increasingly powerful cohort of eager consumers. The yields of a 4G-connected world included easier mobile video streaming, the exponential growth of app stores, programmatic advertising platforms, and the genesis of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality. Now, these new capabilities have hit a ceiling — they can only perform as quickly as our rapidly aging communication infrastructure will allow.


In a 5G world, the consumer experience becomes seamless, frictionless and, most importantly, effortless.

The processing and exchange of data will be reduced from 100s of milliseconds to just a few, and with that, the introduction of ultimate, ubiquitous connectivity. By 2020, the number of connected devices is estimated to reach 50 billion, which means an even greater amount of data being exchanged each day. In that same time span, Cisco predicts global data usage to reach 30.6 exabytes per month — that’s 30.6 billion gigabytes for those keeping count.

One area of promising advancement, for customers and advertisers alike, comes with the introduction of autonomous vehicles. You have probably heard of a “journey map” or “customer experience map.” To sum it up quickly, a journey map is a holistic visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. We can use this process to understand our customer and be aware of communication touchpoints with our brand. If you’re a business that has brick-and-mortar locations, then there is probably an area in your journey map where a customer transports themselves to a store location. Until now, companies have only been able to reach that stage of the journey via radio and out-of-home advertising. But even then, messaging was mostly restricted to the awareness subsection of the marketing funnel. Autonomous vehicles enhance that touchpoint by utilizing the advancements of 5G connectivity. Brands will be capable of reaching customers at different stages of the marketing funnel by providing them with highly interactive and actionable content right from their dashboard.

Posted Nov 15, 2018

VI Employee Spotlight: David Hinds

David Hinds is Oklahoma City.

You’d think a metropolitan area home to 1.3 million people couldn’t be personified into a single soul, but there stands David. At a staunch 6’6, he’s big. And with an easy-going attitude and warm personality, he’s friendly.

Posted Nov 13, 2018

Fine-Tuning Your Marketing Funnel Part 3: Be Flexible

At VI, we track our client’s customers by using a marketing funnel. In descending order, our funnel stages look like this: Attract, Educate, Engage and Convert. But… what happens after conversion? Sometimes we need to consider brand loyalty programs if one of our objectives is to cultivate loyalty.

Loyalty matters.

In 2009, during the heat of a recession, Hyundai started a promotion in conjunction with Walkaway USA that allowed anyone who purchased a Hyundai in the past year and suffered a job loss or bankruptcy to return the vehicle and walk away from the loan obligation. This, along with Hyundai’s unmatched 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty, helped the automaker go from the lowest-end option on the market in the 1990s to a trusted, dependable choice for middle-class Americans. The brand was reborn. This type of thinking comes from marketing that goes beyond the thought that the customer journey is a one-way street. Brands like Hyundai understand that winning trust, along with building and maintaining relationships, is the lifeblood of a brand.

Posted Nov 12, 2018

3 Tips for Planning Large Video Projects

When facing a large, complicated project, every bit of organization helps. Cross-functional teams need a multitude of tools at their disposal in order to stay in sync and produce work that the team is proud of and, most importantly, that meets its measurable objectives.

In the world of video production, we get our ducks in a row during the initial phase of a project. We call this time period “preproduction.”

In the preproduction phase, we lay down the rails that the entire film project will run on. So, here are three tips from video land that will help you plan your next big project.

1. Previsualize
Previsualization is extremely important, and one of the most useful previz tools is the storyboard. At VI, we do our best to create a storyboard for all of our major video productions. Storyboards ensure that everyone is making the same movie. A storyboard’s singular goal is to translate a script into images. Here’s an example of a storyboard for a recent TV campaign at VI. We lean on our seasoned illustrator and animator Mike Anderson at VI for storyboard sessions. Whatever your project may be, the most important thing you can do at the very beginning is visualize the finished product.
Posted Nov 11, 2018

Modern B2B Marketing Strategy: Integrating Human Face and Digital Brain.

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing hasn't evolved as quickly as business-to-consumer (B2C). But it’s catching up. Today, we are finally using many of the same modern tools to generate B2B prospects that we use in the B2C market. It hasn’t been easy getting here, though. B2B marketers have long insisted that their best marketing includes strong relationships and networking over a rubber chicken lunch.

Posted Oct 31, 2018

VI Marketing and Branding’s Carne Diem Has Big Crowd and Big Impact for United Way

Chili Cook-off Raises $8,000, hosts over 700 and Crowns Six New Chili Champs

Posted Oct 30, 2018

#InstaWhat?: Instagram for Social Media Marketers

Social media is part of our everyday lives, whether we want to admit it or not. Chances are, you probably have a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram — or all of the above! Pew Research Center started tracking social media usage in 2005 when just 5% of American adults used at least one platform. By 2011, half of the U.S. was using social media. And today, 69% uses at least one social media platform on a regular basis. While Facebook still leads the pack with 2.23 billion active monthly users worldwide, Instagram is closing in with a whopping 1 billion active monthly users.

One of the only mobile-focused social platforms, Instagram holds a large share of the social media landscape and is projected to keep growing.

Before we discuss how marketers can use Instagram as a social media marketing tool and the future state of the platform, let’s take it back to the beginning.

Instagram, a free, mobile photo-sharing app, launched in October 2010. And Android, iPhone and Windows phone users were immediately hooked. Selfies with in-app filters became increasingly popular, as did photos of our meals, our fur-children, that random tree in your neighbor’s yard that never looked so photo-worthy until now, and everything in between. This new app allowed you to follow your favorite celebrity on a more personal level (authenticated by the little blue checkmark) instead of just liking their fan page on Facebook or retweeting random thoughts on Twitter.

Facebook noticed Instagram’s potential and bought them out in April of 2012. By February of 2013, Instagram had 100 million users worldwide and “selfie” was Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year. In June of 2013, Instagram launched the video function and gained an additional 50 million users by September, totaling 150 million.

Posted Oct 29, 2018

Fine-Tuning Your Marketing Funnel Part 2: Understand Customer Journeys

At VI, we use a marketing funnel to help implement strategy and deploy tactics in a timely manner. Using the funnel as a marketing tool has served us well, but like every effective instrument, it’s healthy to fine-tune from time to time. We strive to stretch our thinking by trying to innovate regardless of our customer journey model. There are many other customer journey tools, approaches and theories around, and many of them offer valuable insight on the decision process.

Posted Oct 15, 2018

Google Update: Why Your Page Speed on Mobile Matters

Google has rolled out a ton of changes recently, including changing their search ad platform name from Google AdWords to Google Ads. Within these changes, mobile has been a major focus.

In July, page speed became a major ranking factor for mobile searches in regards to organic search presence and Quality Score for paid search ads. Page speed has always been a factor for Quality Score. In the past, it only focused on desktop searches.

Today, page speed is a Quality Score ranking for mobile searches.

So, I know what you are thinking… Do I really have to test EVERY landing page in my paid search campaign in Google’s Test My Site tool?

Posted Oct 1, 2018

Defining Your Marketing Goals, Objectives, and KPIs

The goal of this blog is to educate you on the difference between marketing goals, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs).

The objective of this blog is to give you at least one real takeaway that helps you develop a marketing plan. That plan must be easily communicated and executed by any professional marketer who reads it.

Our key performance indicators for this blog are: the number of persons who click on it to read the entire blog on our website VI Marketing and Branding; the number of persons who share this blog; and the number of comments the blog receives, all in the first 30 days of its publication.

Posted Oct 1, 2018

VIth Sense: Excedrin Packages a Cure for Your Bad Day at Work

One of the most memorable marketing strategies I have witnessed is Doan’s Pills. Many years ago they attempted to separate the brand from others in the category by claiming suggesting that their product worked especially well for back pain. Apparently, that Magnesium Salicylate Tetrahydrate knew just where to travel in your body. But, consumers bought the idea and bought the product too. Lots of it.

Posted Sep 28, 2018

Data and Creativity: A Symbiotic Relationship

In an age where algorithms have replaced editors and digital dweebs overrule creative crackpots, there’s a misconception that data is dulling ideas and pigeonholing creative possibilities.

However, that’s far from the truth, especially in the marketing world.

Data isn’t killing creativity. It’s strengthening it… and vice versa.

3 Ways Data Strengthens Creativity:

1. Data proves us wrong.
When brainstorming ideas for creative campaigns, we often default to our own intuitions to empathize with audiences. We get blinded by our own experiences and tend to exaggerate their relevance. This is problematic, because we’re often wrong about how the world works. Data tells us things we don’t know.

Posted Sep 28, 2018