Archive | November 2013

Super Bowl Ad Lineup for 2014

Want to know who’s going to spend mega-millions on 30-seconds of your Super Bowl viewing pleasure this season? Well I did, and an early peek at Super Bowl XLVIII’s confirmed buyers are somewhat expected…

Anheuser-Busch InBev (while its the exclusive beer advertiser through 2015, I still love these ads)

Butterfinger (Nestle) – Creative plans to promote the new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups. I’m drooling already 😉

Chevrolet (GM) – GM sat out in 2013 Super Bowl but has bought time this year… maybe a reflection on a loss of sales from not advertising?

Doritos (PepsiCo Frito-Lay) – “Crash the Super Bowl” contest returns for its eight year in a row but with a new twist – entries are open to people in all 46 countries where chips are sold. Creators of the winning ads will get the chance to work on the set of “Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron” – Two 30-second spots, one in each half featuring spokesperson Danica Patrick

Hyandai Motor America – Two commercials lead by Innocean

Intuit – The winner of a contest for small businesses will have this 30-second ad spot

Jaguar – FIRST Super Bowl for this brand. Can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Mars – Currently holding a shootout to determine if Snickers or M&Ms will have the best creative spot – and therefore have the air time in the Super Bowl

Oikos (Dannon)

PepsiCo Beverages – Two 30-second ads and the Halftime Sponsor

Wonderful Pistachios – 30-second ad which may be split into 15-second spots

Stay tuned to see who teases their creative in the coming months… possible YouTube leak?


Nonprofits Get Edgy With Marketing Campaigns

587214_handsA number of nonprofits and top agencies are collaborating to produce provocative ads and marketing to shock audiences and raise attention for their causes.

According to a New York Times article, Water for Life (with help from agency DDB New York) dared New Yorkers to drink up water from subway stations and other polluted sources in Brooklyn to raise awareness for its cause to provide fresh water to villages in developing countries.

Unfortunately, some donors are beginning to tune out or get angry because of the constant bombardment of charities asking for our dollars – in the mail, at the grocery store/department store, on TV and online. In fact, the number of registered nonprofit organizations rose by more than 21 percent to 1.58 million from 2001 to 20011 (National Center for Charitable Statistics).

Focus groups conducted by Public Agenda found that too-frequent mailings and aggressive telemarketing led to “a high level of annoyance” among donors. And that report was published in 2005, a year before Twitter enabled charities to send 140-character fund-raising appeals. A recent study examining 55 nonprofit organizations found the volume of email appeals received by typical subscribers jumped about 16 percent from 2011 to 2012. Sarah DiJulio, principal of M & R Strategic Services, which conducted the study, said that one way nonprofit organizations broke through the clutter was “just to send more messages all the time.”

So does that mean nonprofits need to get crazy and wacky? Or have big agency resources to make a creative message? Probably not. For some campaigns the unconventional marketing has succeeded in getting attention and donations, but many more have been successful using consistent messaging and traditional tactics.

Historically, the 1891 deployment of the Salvation Army’s bell ringers during the Christmas season was one of the first guerrilla marketing campaigns by a charity. As was the introduction of Christmas Seals in 1907 by the American Lung Association.

Then, some brands are trying to connect with donors by using trends like “WTF?” which can be attention getting but not necessarily effective for your message… In this case, WTF refers to What the Fact?/historic sites in Canada or Where’s the Funding?/ Humane Society of the US.

In a great bit of advice, one marketer commented:
“Anything you do has to be true to the tone of the cause that you are advertising for. When you say ‘WTF?’ and it’s art, I get a real good connection. Art always challenges people. If you said WTF? for giving shots to children in Africa, I think your shock value is going to override your message.”

While it can be exciting to have a big agency on board to help with marketing, its not necessary to engage audiences to care about your cause and communicate effectively.

What has been your favorite nonprofit campaign? Which nonprofit campaign was the most shocking to you?

Scientifically Proven Email Marketing Strategies

One of my many marketing trends focused newsletters had this article about 8 effective email strategies backed by research… which is always an area we strive to improve communications with clients… but what really caught my attention was their first rule – Not to personalize an email with the recipients name. The reasoning was solid enough:

In fact, research by Temple’s Fox School of Business suggests that this particular kind of personalization could be harmful.
Given the high level of cyber security concerns about phishing, identity theft, and credit card fraud, many consumers would be wary of emails, particularly those with personal greetings.

hand-over-keyboard-1377963-mHowever, I still feel strongly that personalization in an email message can enhance your customer relations. Consider segmenting your list further by how long they’ve been opt-in, long standing customers would expect you know their name and product preferences.

Second email rule to consider is subject length. Lengthy headlines (over 70 characters) are great for pulling your audience to click-through while short headlines (under 49 characters) tested best for open rate.

In fact, Adestra found that subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%.

Either way you go, just be sure to avoid the “Marketers dead zone of subject length. Yeah, for some reason 60-70 characters gets no increase in either clicks or open rate, so either go long or cut it short.

When do you send your brand messages and enewsletters to customers? Most would think that the standard 9-5 would be best but top email strategies send at night.

Inbox crowding and the deployment times of other marketers go hand-in-hand; if your email goes out when few others do, it stands a greater chance of getting noticed (so quick, start sending between 8:00 and midnight before everyone else catches on).

In reality, test, test, test your messages and see when works best for your audiences’ preferences.

The Fourth Tip is to give something away… consumers love a free lunch or sample! A study from Bluewire Media showed that that the highest rates for opens and clicks from its 6,300 customers was for content such as tools and templates.

With today’s smartphone society, we should also consider mobile email. How does your email look on an iphone or Droid? Mobile opens accounted for 47% of all email opens in June from email marketing firm Litmus.

Here are some quick mobile design tips:

  • Convert your email to a one column template for an easy mobile fix.
  • Bump up the font size for improved readability on smart phones.
  • Follow the iOS guideline of buttons at least 44 pixels wide by 44 pixels tall.
  • Make the call-to-action obvious and easy to tap. Above the fold is preferable.
  • Consider ergonomics. Many users tap and scroll with their thumb, so keep important tappable elements in the middle of the screen.

And while social media is great for engaging your customers and building awareness, research proves that email has a better conversion rate for new customers.

Of the 300,000 referrals who became new customers, 50.8 percent were reached by email, compared to 26.8 percent for Twitter and 22 percent for Facebook.

Another tip from the article is to send your email on weekend.
While not as overwhelming a winner as the 8:00 p.m. to midnight time of day, Saturday and Sunday did outperform their weekday counterparts in Experian’s study of day-of-week performance.

Finally, re-engage your inactive subscribers. These customers signed up for valuable content – give it to them. Try a different approach to getting their attention and consider them a test group for new message format or content.

Research has found that the average inactivity for a list is 63 percent, meaning that once someone joins they are less likely to ever follow-up with your follow-up emails.

Overall, this article gave me some new things to think about for my next eblast and to keep testing new content.

Building Your Social Media Identity

social_networkingWell, if your business is not in someway on social media – crawl out from under your rock and get with it… Social Media offers a number of benefits to businesses wanting to engage their customers, build loyalty and grow their bottom line.

And while everyone gives you the advice to get there, they don’t always give you the strategy to make it work. First, there is no golden ticket to 1 million likes. You need to give your audience what they want – valuable content.

If you’re starting from the beginning or don’t know what you should do next, here are 20 great tips from Courtney Seiter at MarketingLand.

1. Fill in the blanks. Make sure anyone that wants to find you can which means filling our your profile as completely as possible. Pay attention to your contact details and the words/phrases your audience is likely to use when searching for your brand.

2. Think Visual. Your cover photo, profile picture, avatar, etc is likely the first thing potential customers are going to see. Make sure all your images are high resolution, properly sized and reflect your brand.

3. Put your site to work. Capitalize on the traffic you already have by adding follow/fan buttons for your social networks to your site’s main page, blog and anywhere else that makes sense.

4. Tell your customers. If you have a physical location your customers visit, make signage that shows off your social media presence. If you have an eNewsletter, add your social contact information to it and promote that you’ve just joined Twitter, Instagram, etc.

5. Add a perk. Its great to be a follower on Facebook but its even better to give these followers incentive – special discounts and coupons offered only on social media will keep people coming back to see your best deals.

6. Enlist help. Encourage employees to follow you online, not only will it help you add followers but they can help spread the word to friends, clients and customers – and give great ideas for new content.

7. Assess the field. Keep an eye on competitors, connect with major news sources for your industry or just follow complementary brands – they might return the favor.

8. Visualize your audience. Think about what your customers look like, read, watch on TV or at the movies. The more defined your intended audience, the easier it will be create the type of content that will help them discover you.

9. Stockpile sharable content. Each share extends your network and introduces you to a larger audience. You will want to create your own content but there’s nothing wrong with sharing whats already out there.

10. Join relevant conversations. No matter what network you’re targeting, chances are there are already conversations going on that your brand can contribute to as a smart, informed source. The more valuable your input is to these conversations the more likely people will find and follow you through other channels.

11. Cross promote. When starting  a new profile, let existing fans know so they can follow you there too. Just be sure that your content is different enough to make it worthwhile for them.

These are just a few to get you started, you can read more great tips in the cited article above.