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Marketing Maestros

Cisco “Flips” in the Midst of Recession

Posted: Oct 15, 2010 12:00am ET

By Guest Blogger, Karen Hornberger, Allstate Insurance Company

This morning Marilyn Mersereau, Senior VP, Corporate Marketing, Cisco Systems, Inc. showed us a "live" demo of remote conferencing technology "TelePresence." Brendan Shanahan joined us remotely and it felt like he was in the room! Brendan shared plans to put the technology into every NHL hockey rink to allow fans real time interviews with players-pretty cool. Of course, there are lots of everyday business implications too, like saving on travel costs by meeting remotely vs. in person. This is one example of the Cisco brand purpose that Marilyn shared: "changing the way we live, work, play and learn."

Marilyn showed samples of how Cisco has stretched a limited budget to get the most "bang for the buck." She showed examples of branded entertainment in TV shows like 24 and NCIS. The product placement was seamless and at our table, we made a game out of trying to "find" the advertising. As Marilyn explained, and we all agreed, these types of executions have to be a good fit so that it doesn't feel "weird." In what we saw, it wasn't weird at all, but the opposite, it felt like a natural fit in the shows.

The other product demo was the Cisco umi (pronounced "you me"), which is an affordable "at home" conference technology and allows families to be together when they aren't in the same place or for colleagues to connect to collaborate remotely. As a mom of a 2-year-old on a 3 day business trip, I can relate to how nice it would be to say "goodnight" on a video feed vs. a cell phone tonight!  Marilyn encouraged us to purchase umi "only if you love your mother."

The presentation revealed the emotional and human connection that can be made with the use of video. I plan to take Marilyn's advice for what to do first thing on Monday back at the office which is to think of an emotional connection for my brand with my customer.  And then to create a plan to make that connection. 

 

P&G’s Marc Pritchard

Posted: Oct 15, 2010 12:00am ET

By Guest Blogger, Telisa Yancy, American Family Insurance

Although the title of the presentation delivered by Marc Pritchard, Global Marketing Officer of the The Procter & Gamble Company, was titled, "Empowering Brands Through Design and Innovation," I believe it could have easily been titled, "Purpose Inspired Brand (and revenue) Building" or "A Guide to the Galaxy for the 21st Century Marketer" because that is exactly what it was. As the world becomes more transparent than ever before and digi-social innovations like Twitter, Facebook, and apps like RedLaser continue to make it possible for any AND everyone to know and influence what the world thinks of your brand in real-time, some brands have simply surrendered to the realities of this new world by leveraging the lowest common-denominator of the consumer conversation—price. 

Not so for the marketers of P&G. Instead, Mr. Pritchard and his team of world-class marketers have leveraged their insights of this new world order to change the conversation to one that centers around the "purpose" of their venerable brands in the lives of the people they serve. Rather than start with the benefits of a product like "Old Spice" (makes men smell like men--in a good way), they started the work on re-energizing the 70 year old, "irrelevant" brand with its inspired purpose—"to help guys navigate the seas of manhood." From this, seemingly simple change in how the brand thought about its role in the lives of the people they serve, came everyone's favorite marketing story and consumer engagement assault of the year—"the old spice guy." This story would be applause-worthy if P&G's marketing led, revenue-enhancing story of the year ended with Old Spice brand, but it did not. Mr. Pritchard went on to tell similar, albeit less chronicled success stories, about both their corporate Olympic campaign and the Always brand. In each example, the inspired purpose of the brand served as a beacon to guide the team to develop big ideas that generated unprecedented consumer engagement and undeniable impact on the bottom line:

Be Authentic in the Social Space

By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Sep 30, 2010 12:00am ET

I sat in on the social media for adults seminar during Advertising Week and listened to Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook talk about how social marketing isn't like any other marketing before—it's living. What does that mean exactly?

It means as a company, you need to be authentic. Your messages need to be consistent across every social media platform, whether you are on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogging—whatever you are saying to your consumers/customers, it needs to be uniform. The second you contradict your message, one of your followers can call attention to it and thousands of your people will know about it.

How do you ensure authenticity in social media marketing? Here are a few steps that I hope will help you find your voice in the social space:

  1. Speak to your followers online as if you were talking to them in-person, yet make sure you are always grammatically correct.
  2. Be relevant and responsive, talk about material that you know well and respond in a timely manner to all questions, comments, and concerns.
  3. Have fun and be creative. Let's face it, social media is fun—if it wasn't, you wouldn't see so many people getting involved in their spare time. Your fans and followers will engage with you even more if you find away to make it entertaining.   

Have any other tips you would like to share with your colleagues? Feel free to post them, after all-social media is all about connecting and sharing!

 

 

 

Text Messages – Do They Have a Place in the Marketing Horizon?

By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Sep 21, 2010 12:00am ET

Recently, I've received a few text messages for offers from various companies (I'm glad I have the unlimited text messaging plan). Although the text messages were unsolicited, it got the wheels in my brain turning. How big a role will text messaging play in the marketing/advertising industry in the next 1 to 2 years?  

Our Marketing Knowledge Center has some great information on mobile marketing. After a quick search I found out the following: The mobile platform is the most personal digital medium to date. It tends to either be a "snack medium"-short-form content-or an "action medium"-i.e. a tool to check the weather or look up an address. (For more information on mobile marketing read the snapshot on our website).

My first thoughts, unless wireless phone providers decide to refrain from charging customers for text messaging, I can't imagine an unsolicited text message would be received lightly.  Most cell phone plans have a limit on text messaging, both what you can receive and what you can send. Should you go over that limit (and I know from personal experience) the fees can be excessive!

Some quick research on Google produced an article that addresses text messaging for marketers. The article on marketingprofs.com explains a way around the fees associated with texting, "A good solution to that common mobile-marketing dilemma is FTEU (free to the end-user) messaging, which allows the carrier or a brand to pick up the tab on messaging so the marketing texts don't count against the customer's monthly bucket of messages." Sounds like a great solution huh? Well the article continues to talk about the difficulties that are still associated with FTEU such as negotiating carrier clearance.

Would you use text message marketing? How do you see mobile marketing evolving in the future?

 

 

How Marketers Can Use Influence to Gain Respect

By Michael Palmer
Posted: Sep 14, 2010 12:00am ET

 

Influence is one of a marketer's best tools. In today's environment marketers no longer slog along by themselves, they have to reach out to others, bring them into the fold. Respect for marketing grows dramatically when we help sales do their job better, faster, more profitably. We get few accolades for building a more creative sales brochure or a new advertising campaign.

The question then is, how do you get others into a collaborative mood? A March 2009 study published in the Journal of Marketing affirms that marketing departments are in a weakened position. The article suggests two possible approaches for marketing departments to regain their influence within firms: (1) They should become more accountable for the link between marketing actions and financial results, and (2) they should become more innovative by contributing to the firm's organic growth.

Sounds pretty simple. Prove that the stuff we do moves the needle and creates new growth opportunities. Influence - the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others. It's what we as marketers can do to create a customer centric organization with a singular satisfaction focus. And by influencing others to put the customer first, we are gaining respect and delivering real value.
 
Customer insights are the foremost way to influence others - showing them what's best for the customer will help break down silos and get everyone focusing on a common goal - what's best for our customer. Need some help with insight or consumer centric education? Turn to ANA School of Marketing to find the right foundational course.

 

 

 

The 3D Invasion

By Susan Burke
Posted: Sep 13, 2010 12:00am ET

Once thought of as a laughable craze of the past, 3D technology (which first became prominent in the 1950s) is re-entering our cultural consciousness with a vengeance. Hit movies such as Monsters vs. Aliens, Alice in Wonderland, and The Clash of the Titans are utilizing it, as well as advertisers such as Gillette and Pepsi (in partnership with Dreamworks and Intel). ESPN is even getting into the act with their 3D sports channel and manufacturers, including Samsung and Panasonic, are selling 3D TVs for home use.

Timberland has become the latest advertiser to go 3D with their new "Nature Needs Heroes" campaign, which utilizes 3D technology online and in-store. In a Brandweek article, Jim Davey, VP of global marketing at Timberland says, "this is the first time we've reflected new media realities with additional elements like 3D microsites and interactive windows in our retail stores."

Despite all the hype over 3D, questions still remain. How deep is the 3D penetration when it comes to home use? How much does 3D really add to the viewing experience? And, will the interest in 3D last this time around? Only time will tell, but, so far, it looks like 3D is not going away any time soon.

To read more about Dreamworks Animation and their use of 3D, please click here.

 

 

 

Where to Start When Crafting Your Resume

By Michael Palmer
Posted: Sep 9, 2010 12:00am ET

A job search is much like building a marketing campaign; you need to decide what you are going to say and to whom. Segmentation is critical; no matter how good you are—you and your qualifications are not right for every employer. Who is your most likely target? Decide that, and you can start to write your marketing brochure—your resume.

As you build your print ad/marketing brochure how will you position yourself to your target audience? What is the one thing that they need to know that will make you a more desirable brand/product than the other options? What can you do for your potential employer that will make you valuable to them?

Begin writing your resume by first evaluating the needs of the employer and then determining how you can fill those needs. Be sure to design a targeted resume for each and every job for which you apply. If you mass-produce your resume, you will have to compromise to find a qualification that will impress everyone.  We all know it is better to be right for a few customers, than try to be right for everyone and in the end being "vanilla."

If you want to strengthen your resume, think about taking a few key marketing training courses - this shows potential employers that your never satisfied, that you are always looking for ways to improve yourself, a great trait for any potential employee. Need a few marketing course options? Visit the ANA School of Marketing's website for a variety of alternative educational options.

 

 

 

www. Where Did the Website Go!?

By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Sep 8, 2010 12:00am ET

Last week, I was on a particular website looking at flights. In an attempt to be a savvy consumer I decided to check a competitor's website for pricing information. To my dismay, the website wasn't working. I checked the url, thinking perhaps I had typed it wrong. No—website was definitely down. This got me thinking, what do companies do when websites crash?

My first instinct in the digital marketing realm would be to reach out to all of my fans/consumers/customers via social media. I would write a quick 140 character tweet letting people know we were aware of the situation, we apologize for the inconvenience and will hopefully be back up and running sometime soon (which is precisely what this company did.)

Just last week I noticed a company in the fashion industry have issues with the update of its website. Unfortunately the update caused the website to be temporarily unavailable for a few hours in the middle of the day. The company posted an apology on its facebook fan page and received nearly 100 comments in a few hours.

Does your organization have a strategic plan in place on how to respond if your company's website should be temporarily unavailable? What department would handle the outreach, or is it multiple departments working together? Tips, suggestions, best practices—feel free to share!  

 

 

Take Control of Your Professional Future

By Michael Palmer
Posted: Sep 7, 2010 12:00am ET

Many organizations today say that one of their core values is their commitment to the pursuit of lifelong learning and personal development. To that end, these companies say that they emphasize helping individual growth to reach full potential.

Nowadays, I would suggest that your career growth is up to you. You need to take control of your professional future and make sure that you are progressing down the right career path. Here are several proven strategies to help you get started:

· Talk to your boss. Understand what your boss thinks it will take for you to move to the next level-what skills you need to meet the company's goals. Share your own career goals to ensure that your dreams match what your boss thinks you can achieve. What often derails careers is that you and management have a very different take on your ability to move to the next level.

· Keep learning. Continually acquire new knowledge. Stay on top of trends or developments in your field by seeking out educational opportunities. If there is a cost associated with your learning goals, share your desires with your boss who will most likely help you find a way to achieve your goals. Make sure that your current résumé reflects those needed skills.

· Build your reputation. In marketing especially, your reputation is the most valuable thing you own. Those who have the ability/knowledge to help others accomplish their sales goals and objectives will be continually sought out. Find out what makes your customers buy from your organization, and then help others use that insight to build more effective programs.

Need help? As an ANA member you can turn to the ANA School of Marketing. We offer both free and paid training opportunities-take advantage of the benefits of your association membership. Find out more today!

 

 

Does Your Company Use Twitter for Customer Service?

By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 12:00am ET

At a recent conference, I was busy writing my "elite tweets" aka valuable snippets of information from the top marketing gurus in the industry, as I noticed one of our conference attendees reaching out to the ANA corporate twitter account. They needed a contact number for our live-streaming option and I was able to immediately give it to them. They thanked me, and continued to enjoy the conference. I gave myself a pat on the back for quality customer service.

Now, why did I bring this up? I recently read an article from Businessweek.com detailing how Delta is using Twitter to respond and rectify customer complaints. The article talks about how Delta is setting itself apart by resolving customer issues on Twitter rather than simply monitoring what consumers are saying. Consumers are using social media sites to reach companies because the wait time is less. Instead of waiting on a long line at the airport, or calling the company from your hotel room and being forced to wait on hold for 15-20 minutes, writing a quick 140-character comment might get you a response in minutes.

Other airlines like JetBlue and Southwest listen to customers on Twitter but refer them to call centers or websites to settle issues. Customer service is part of JetBlue and Southwest's Twitter account but not the soul purpose.

What does your company use its Twitter account for? Is it primarily a customer service outlet, or is that just one piece of the puzzle?

 


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About This Blog

To complement our two leadership blogs and build dialogue on the seismic changes happening in marketing, we launched Marketing Maestros. Our in-house citizen journalists will talk about everything from marketing technology to accountability and everything in between. This blog is written for marketers by ANA's marketers whose insights are drawn from the voices of the client side marketing community.