Disclaimer #1: There are no implied political messages or opinions in this article. I am using current events to give you some advice on branding. Remember, your mind is like a parachute. It only works when it’s open.
Whoooooaaaaaa… Slow down for a minute, Mr./Ms. Marketer. Take a breath. Open your eyes and ears and see what’s going on. It’s bad. Really, really bad. And marketing can’t fix it.
In 1999 money was pouring into e-commerce sites that didn’t yet exist. The ‘burn rate’ of the investment in programming and marketing was how the market was judging these almost-startups.
Four years ago, my company hired our first social media practitioner. We had used social media for a few recent campaigns and had an inkling that it would become an important tactic that we could use for more clients going forward. Boy were we wrong!
Today, social media isn’t just an important tactic, it’s a necessary one. A must do if you want to communicate with clients and prospects! Yes, social media should be a part of every marketing and communications plan. Every one of them.
But, if you still view social media as posting interesting stuff and commenting on your friend’s activities, it’s time to catch up. Social media has targeting capabilities that no other medium has. So, yes you need to spend money to take advantage of it. You’ve got a paid media budget anyway, so you just need to shift some dollars to social. And, you’ve got a creative production budget too- you just need to repurpose some of those ads through social channels. And, stop producing so many ads and start producing content that your target is looking for.
This version of the VIth Sense can’t be long enough to fully explain the benefits of a good social media effort, so I’ll just point out a few and you’ll have to believe me (or hire me), for the dozens more on the list. Know this: social media as a practice is a legitimate communications channel that has become a marketer’s dream.
If you’re a modern marketer, you likely understand the benefits of digital tools. You can target prospects far better today than ever before. You can adjust marketing activities based on the online behavior of your prospects. You can see, in real-time, what tactics are driving conversions and put more resources towards them. And much of this can be done automatically. Marketing automation we call it.
The Burger King is so cool, he’s probably getting a big head. In the past few months, he’s been part of Floyd Mayweather’s entourage, and also landed a seat in Bob Baffert’s (American Pharoah’s trainer) box at the Belmont. That’s some serious publicity for the pop culture icon that’s more than just a mascot for the fast-food chain.
There's a show on MTV that I like to watch - it's called Ridiculousness. It's a modern day video bloopers show. Along with the host, Rob Dyrdek, I often find myself asking 'What did you think was going to happen?' I wonder if they really thought it through before ice skating behind an ATV, or leaping from the balcony into the hot tub. Did they expect to end up on TV looking like a poor planner?
Target demographics are fundamental to the marketing world. Know the age, gender and locale of the intended recipient of the message and you're in the ballpark, right? Actually, you're in the universe, but probably not even in the same city as the ballpark.
In order for you to believe that I’m a comedian, I need to tell you a joke. I can tell you all day long how hilarious I am. But until I actually make you laugh, you won’t (and shouldn’t) believe me. It’s a claim, not a brand position. That’s the point of content marketing. Produce ‘content’ that proves your brand position.
Some companies take a lot of pride in stating that their product has been the same as it was when you were a kid. They wouldn’t dare change their style or ingredients, because that’s what got them to where they are today. Bush’s baked beans come immediately to mind. They are in just about every grocery store in America because of that secret family recipe. Good plan. But only if you’re Bush’s baked beans.