The Data Cycle in marketing is closely linked to campaign cycle and social strategy but it is a bit more refined in scope in that it only focuses on the data and information gleaned.
You are starting a new campaign, it either started with the boss saying
we need more sales or
why aren’t we getting more sales or
we hit our sales targets but let’s do double this month or
we’ve had a good year so far why don’t you take a week off
Wait… What?… OK – just checking if you were paying attention that last one normally doesn’t happen but if it is usual for your boss to say that sort of stuff I can send you my CV or you can make an introduction… you know what, let’s just play by ear, we’ll figure it out, but seriously don’t forget.
So at this stage you have to prepare your marketing strategy whether it’s print or online, social or search yada yada yada. Then we have to make sure we know what success looks like how we measure it and most importantly for the data cycle – how we collect that data.
Now it’s time to start, press the button – if you have ever run a marketing campaign through mailchimp you’ll know that this gif sums up the trepidation nicely.
Let’s make some noise.
You may think the hard work is over – and ideation and creation is important don’t get me wrong but for a numbers geek like me the fun starts right about… now! It’s time to crunch the numbers.
Collect all your data
Look for meaning in the data
Turn it into information for others to understand
Some think that the reaction part is at the end of the campaign and inputting your learnings in the next campaign but having fast reactions is good. Seriously, your campaigns are like kids you may have set them up for success but you never know what can happen if you aren’t watching.
So, it’s wise to schedule in review times during the marketing campaign itself – it can be the key to a successful strategy.
Once you have obtained the information from the interpretation phase it’s time to implement it on the fly. Be it, finding out that one particular social stream is taking a liking to the campaign and putting money behind that or by tweaking your messaging to generate more action. It can save a campaign.
There you have it the data cycle in four* simple steps.
*There can be a fifth step and that is storage – store your data in a well collated way can be the key to saving hours looking for a piece of information or being able to aggregate the data so you can see trends emerging. Luckily in this day and age most of us use analytic programs (google, adobe etc.) that keep the history saved and accessible.
At its most basic, marketing automation is software that self-operates your marketing activities for you. When used correctly, these tools perform tasks in an effective and holistic way that helps convert strangers into customers, improve your bottom line and increase your operation’s efficiency based on their interactions with you online (mostly).
Types of Automation
Some people have a very narrow view of what constitutes marketing automation while others have a the more the merrier point of view.
I like to keep it simple with a list of 5 to be honest most of these have some crossover but they also can stand on their own two feet and perform automated tasks:
Example: User action initiated email or series of emails to educate and nurture your potential customer.
Example: Live chat prequalifying/chatbots can save time and harvest data for you.
Example: Posts curators/sharers or chatbots not only can it save time it can give an answer and provide a nice user experience when your team are away from the desk.
Example: Master storer of all lead information that leads to personalisation for each customer interaction.
Example: Automatically display your ads based on data.
Some of the players
As I said above these can be quite intertwined for example your email marketing software being your CRM. There is a plethora of different tools out there to facilitate the various tasks, some of the most popular tools are:
Another incredibly powerful enterprise CRM with the mostest. It can build a complete customer journey for you and more.
Is marketing automation the death of the marketer?
You might be thinking with all this set and forget business that people will be losing their jobs to technology. And marketing is no different. These tools can very well take many of the labourious tasks that, as a marketer, can eat up a lot of your time.
This doesn’t mean you will be out of a job however, in fact in many ways this sort of technology can bring great advertising outcomes to ANYONE perhaps the greater the challenge for marketers is to apply their skills and push even harder for the attention of consumers and inspiring action.
But it also means that as a base line, your marketing can be “produced” more effectively and your time will be used by doing what you do best – that’s thinking of new ways to showcase the great work your company does.
The average automation flow still falls down in other areas like the ability to have a meaningful conversation with another human or keeping content fresh although AI is getting crazy good. CHECK THIS OUT
I was watching the Oscars… well I didn’t watch the actual Oscars, I was streaming the funny bits of the Oscars (eg the hilarious triumvirate of Tina, Amy and Maya); and some of the acceptance speeches: Olivia Colman’s and Spike Lee’s, most notably.
And I was thinking, the TV audience of the awards is currently trending down year on year but does that meant the advertising strength of the awards is also down?
If we look at the numbers, it would appear the Oscars hasn’t lost any of its relevancy – as the cultural zeitgeist is still very much aware, and the streaming and social media mentions number in their millions. Last year after the La La Land/Moonlight there were “635,000 social engagements in the minutes following the fiasco”
Not only is streaming and mentions are still going strong but many do not realise that advertising and marketing is so entrenched in the Oscars telecast.
From the self-promotion of actors/auteurs delivering their own personal brand from clothing like Trey and Matt…
or political/social awareness see Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon or Richard Gere:
There’s fashion designers and jewellers calling in favours from A-Listers to wear their wares. Sarah Paulson fell into the Maria Von Trapp with this dress that was formerly a curtain.
The women aren’t alone either – Pharell I’m not sure the designer listened when he said clean cut like a military man:
The nominated people, producers and movies get free advertising
a) To the public to go see the film
b) To their peers when they are going for their next job.
If it wasn’t the case studios wouldn’t resort to paid advertising “in for your consideration” ads in digital, print and billboards among others – Harvey Weinstein was notorious for just this (among other things).
Poehler, Rudolph and Fey mentioned the advertising in the actual speeches jokingly although it hasn’t got that far just yet, there is still many smart ways to align yourself throughout the broadcast whether it is social media pouncing on #tags or buying media on the telecast, but not only buying but showcasing your product in a very Oscars way.
Google killed it this year
Walmart last year was on point as well
You can also blitz digital media for the week after the Oscars if your spokeperson was lucky enough to win a gold statuette. I saw this ad pop up quite a few times after Rami’s big win:
The above approach really works for any major moment in the social calendar and whilst the Oscars are a HUGE event, every industry, and often even local areas will have some sort of nod to themselves or the businesses in that region. So you can use these tactics to similar effect in 2 main ways:
Preparation – thinking and executing before the event like Google, Walmart and this amazingly pre-planned bit from Seth Myers’ show
(but on a tinier scale)
On The Ball – observing the live event and being quick and prescient to post and give your followers some cheer.
I dunno something like “Rami would have preferred our trips” for a travel company.
The Oscars are a publicity behemoth for any and every one. Self-promotion isn’t a naughty word. There ‘s the old adage about going to everything – even the opening of an envelope. Once upon a time that would have been a very tactile concept, and yet remember, today you can “be there” and connect with these events even without an invitation.
What businesses often fail to understand about social
Finding the true worth of social
Have you ever sat back and said “I don’t get how social works for my business” or are you doing social and thinking “This is pointless” only to read every second day how people are building empires from social media exposure for their business?
Meeting as many business people as I do, especially men and women in their late 40s through to their mid 60s I often see and hear how they just don’t think social is doing anything for their business.
Sometimes, we will be engaged by a client for social whom we know will leave us after 6 months and question our role and the role of social at all in their business.
We have a wide array of processes in place to try and educate customers on the role of social, the realities of undertaking it, the commitment required to do it well and the potential outcomes for their businesses over time, but often despite all this our customers (a certain, small percentage, mind you) will leave and feel they got nothing out of their investment.
You may be thinking it is unusual for one to be so honest about a failed business relationship, but it is this approach that typifies how social works: being genuine and informative and I think there are lessons to be shared and learned by showcasing failure not merely success.
And as Henry Ford says failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Which is why each time we have a disappointing or failed experience with a client we further refine our offering to offer and even better service to our current an future customers.
So our success on any project often comes down to a combination of factors, some as an agency we can influence, others we can’t. But here are some are three key factors to consider when looking to find success sin social:
Content – MAKE IT GREAT – CREATE MOMENTS
One of the greatest mistakes brands/businesses make with social is they merely take their approach to promoting their products/services and plonk them on a social platform.
Social media is NOT an advertising medium in the traditional sense. Yes, people advertise there, but what really gets followers engaged is thoughtful and interesting content.
People in the social environment want to be entertained, intrigued and delighted but above all followers want genuineness… and it is that aspect of social, businesses fail to understand.
Successful brands in the social space don’t just “Brand” content, their content exemplifies their brand, its values, its approach and therefore it speaks clearly not merely about the products or services they sell, but why the brand exists and whom they exist for.
If you take a look at Red Bull for instance their content richly reflects their brand and appeals to those who identify with the more extreme… and if not those who necessarily live that life, at least those who aspire to add a little more excitement to their day. It isn’t about the product itself but the “lifestyle” the drink fits into.
A brand I have worked on – Maccona also has a hugely successful social following, and their content is all driven around the core idea that Maccona (the product) provides its drinkers with a moment of escape, through the taste, through the ritual of having a coffee. So, their content is formulated to provide a similar and simple moment of escape online.
Now these are both beverage brands and when I showcase these examples to customers (not in the Fast-Moving Consumer Good Space – FMCG) they often refute their ability to achieve this when their product or service is so much more utilitarian or generic.
And my argument is simple That is Bullshit.
Sure, your business won’t produce content that emulates Red Bull or Moccona, but there is no good reason why your brand/business can’t make content in the social space that is authentic to your brand and provides genuine engagement for your customers.
So, what is an example. Well if you haven’t followed the NSW police – check it out. Now I reckon the cops have a pretty tough sell on their hand with enforcing the law…. And let’s face it the “constabulary” don’t always have the easiest brand position either. But some of their stuff is pure gold.
Or what about mailchimp. Let’s face it mailchimp sells the ability to send emails to customers and its one of hundreds of similar products. It’s far from sexy, and as a facilitator who exists in a highly price sensitive environment – what could this brand really do to be “social”.
Mailchimp have done three things that I think are very clever for such a pragmatic product.
In the social space they have taken a very pragmatic approach, their content is typically designed to give real working examples of how to maximise the effectiveness of your communications and in turn they seek to showcase the ease of use, not to mention how to maximise the outcomes using their platform.
They have been consistent in their approach with regular posts across platforms both in terms of frequency and content.
They have spent time and continue to invest in a brand identity (visual style) that goes beyond their logo and underpins the way they present their social communications.
This visual style is clever and recognisable and something that not many brands bother investing in. This isn’t just content it is content that is branded both in terms of the strategic approach as well as the ongoing content presentation.
There’s a lot we can learn from these brands, these are not funky products, not emotive brands and yet they have found a way to show their personality despite having boring businesses. They’ve produced genuine content that reflect their brand on social media which keep users alert to their future posts but also keeps their brand front of mind which will allow you to get more followers, build engagement, and grow your business, but let’s be honest to make all of this happen and build a solid following will take…..
TIME – ROME AND A SOCIAL FOLLOWING – BOTH WEREN’T BUILT IN A DAY
Building a social following for a retail fashion brand like Boohoo or The Iconic can be rapid and the numbers of followers, sharers and buyers – massive. Again, not every business will have this same ability. So, understanding your business and your customer is vital in determining how many followers you want and having a plan for how long it might take to reach them is just as important.
What is also important in determining the time investment required for your social presence is the latency of your sales funnel/process. For example, if you sell cheap holidays the time between posting via your social channels and seeing a sales response may be a mere matter of days, but if you are selling large mining equipment it may take an extended and ongoing effort to see conversions from social.
In some respects, however your regular sales process should give you some indication around this, so if you do sell heavy machinery don’t expect to put up a post on Linked In once and sell a 1000. Expect it to take some time to build, we suggest that to properly target and build an engaged social following will take a minimum of nine months and up to 18 months before certain business types will see results begin to flow.
But how do you know?
TRACKING – SOCIAL SHOULD BE TRACKED – IT’S NOT JUST FOR FUN
This is a big one – And socially savvy businesses consider this often long before they even make a post. How you track success and how you track sales through your social media initiatives are vital to the process and how you seek to measure this will vary business to business and product to product.
Ultimately, investing in systems that track sales and the channel from which they were derived is one thing, but if your business doesn’t have robust digital systems in place, then try simple things like unique URLs, pricing or promotional codes that can help your sales teams track sales coming from your social channels specifically.
This really is very important because, as an example, we worked with a client once who saw a 15% uptick in sales in six months after investing in social with us. We asked them if they could see the correlation between our social campaign and their sales increase. And their response was “no one has specifically said they found us through social, so we are no sure this is working”.
As an agency, there was only so much we could track the performance (within the scope of the brief), so whilst we could see and share from the analytic data showing the increased traffic to the website, see the increase in online enquiries and they reported the subsequent increase in sales Without the client actually finding out where customers found them, we couldn’t close the loop in regard to the effectiveness of the work.
Which brings me back to the crux of this article. Why do some of our clients fail to see value in social?
I think it is often a lack of understanding of one or each the above key factors and the effort that each takes in tandem to find success. Whether you are executing your social in-house, by yourself or with an agency partner you really do have to be invested; invested in the idea of creating meaningful content, invested in the idea of being patient and giving your social initiatives time to work and invested in the systems and processes to track its performance.
As an agency who helps business with social, what I can tell you is whilst our talent at producing great content and managing the complex nuances of each platform is what we pride ourselves in, what makes a truly great relationship and delivers the best outcomes in social is when the client is truly invested in the outcome and knows why social is important for their business.
Give us your feedback – Why is social important or not important to your business?
6 things to do to get your business out of a funk.
Bring your business back to life
We are a marketing business, and when you think about that concept, essentially, we have to find the positive aspects of a product or service and we have to use that to showcase the most positive effect your product, business or service can have on the life your desired customer.
We often get called in when there’s a problem (although you should be marketing even when everything is going well) whether it is a dip in sales or completely rethinking tried and tested strategies because the market has changed. And naturally, with all this extra stress at work, they can find themselves in a funk and that’s when we meet them.
Now, I’m not a psychologist (not that you needed to be told that) but being in the “finding the positives” business and the fact that we regularly meet business owners and account managers who are stressed and in a funk at work, we often find ourselves in mock counselling session with a client – before they have even signed on the dotted line.
So, if you need to make some changes in mentality at work (and beyond) here are my tips on telling the FUNK to F-off and in doing so prepare your business to better sell itself.
1. Wake up earlier…
This is not one of those work longer or work harder concepts. No. Wake up earlier and make some more time for yourself.
One of the worst things about being a business professional is that you devote so much of your time to the business and in the end, you grow tired and resentful because it takes up all your time.
But this advice goes beyond just giving yourself back a bit of time for you. This down time where you lift some weights, go for a run, or have a latte at the café, gives your brain some downtime. And believe it or not this is when the best ideas will manifest themselves.
2. Get out there and meet people.
If you find yourself constantly engaging a certain type of client and they are draining (physically and time), not profitable or not really fulfilling to service, the likelihood is (by virtue of your current marketing activities, referrals etc.) you will continue to attract more of these types of clients.
So, take a moment, have a think about who your perfect client might be and then try and figure out where they are, what networking groups they are in, what events they go to, where they have a beer after work and get there. This is not the promotion of stalking. It is the targeting environments where customers you want to work with are.
And if you can hone in on this, the marketing initiatives we help you with will be greatly improved by your understanding of these customers, where they are and their pain points.
3. Shake it up a bit
Most jobs are repetitive, we become good at them the longer we do them because we become more effective and efficient at doing the same task repeatedly.
But over time, for some, this repetition can be quite monotonous. So, shake it up. Change meeting times. Only respond to emails at certain time during the day so you remain more focussed, vary your hours.
Changing little things can alter the way we perceive even what we have grown tired of.
This could be setting aside some time to really work on your thinking around marketing. Be hands on with your agency and inject some new energy into an otherwise repetitive scenario.
Maria Kondo’s is a smash hit on Netflix (great watch if you haven’t seen it) and her show is all about decluttering your home.
Decluttering can go beyond the physical. Declutter your schedule, if you do 4 meetings a day do 3 and take that additional time to focus in on improving one aspect of your work life.
Don’t eat lunch at your desk – go out and have a walk.
Set a time each day to pack up your desk, clean your desk top and be ready for the next day so you can approach it with a clear mind.
Decluttering your time and mind will have a dramatic impact on your performance.
You can also declutter your products, seek out the highest performing products, declutter your messaging – work with an agency like us to make your marketing approach more streamlined and direct.
5. Stop focussing on money.
Money, ah, that old chestnut! – We all work or own a business to make it. It’s a prerequisite of life to some degree. Hell, even not for profit doesn’t mean not for money, look at the balance sheets of some major charities and you will see what I mean.
But if you think about the dollars and cents every minute of every day you may overlook the simple joy of service.
Now this isn’t some spiritual humdrum, nor is it overlooking the need to make money. But I sometimes think it’s like this: If you never take your eyes off the GPS whilst driving, there is no doubt you will have a very clear picture of the destination but I highly doubt you will get there.
Your marketing I think could benefit from similar thinking. People often think of marketing as a chore, an expense.
If you change your focus and become part of the process, own it and find joy in it. Make it part of your service delivery as opposed to an external function, I think you will find your marketing will improve greatly. This doesn’t mean you need to become a marketing expert, or do it all yourself, rather it suggests working with trusted marketing partners and together making great things happen
6. Be positive.
You know on a personal level, my business has taken some big hits over the years, we’ve been screwed a few times, we’ve made mistakes and we haven’t always been where we want to be.
It can be quite painful at times when things don’t go right.
But, I think you must be positive. After all everything that is wonderful in this world can have a dark side. And so too can your career or your business.
Take stock of the things that have gone wrong and assess the lessons that can be learned, there is so much we can take from tough times.
And this is a key lesson for marketing your business too, SH!T happens, but when you present your business, present the best it can be. Take the learnings, take the bits that aren’t perfect and use your marketing to make a public commitment that as a business you will do things better… customers respond to positive words, even more so positive action.
This little list has helped me manage the pitfalls of having my own business, they keep me sane and in the long run help my business run smoothly. They also help me focus on how I externally promote our business. Many of these personal activities can be reflected in the way you market both yourself and your business.
Did you know, that there are approximately 269 billion emails sent out every day? So, there’s a fair bit of competition when you are sending out email campaigns!
What is an EDM?
EDM stands for Electronic Direct Mail. The purpose of an EDM is to either build brand loyalty or convert sales – ideally both! 90% of adults and 74% of teenagers still use email regularly, so it’s pretty important that you incorporate EDM’s into your marketing strategy!
What kinds of emails might you want to send out?
• Special offers
• New arrivals/product launches
• “We miss you!”
• Holiday specials
• Sale reminders
• “You left something in your cart!”
So, how to send out an awesome EDM!
1. Know your audience! This speaks for itself!
2. Include a strong CTA (Call to action), which drives them straight to your landing page.
3. Ensure that your EDM’s are mobile friendly/responsive.
4. Use visuals that enhance the copy.
5. Keep the media to the smallest file sizes possible, as most email platforms cannot adequately handle extremely high resolution images, and people don’t want massive files sitting in their inbox!
6. Don’t include attachments, as they are frequently filtered by spam and, like the point above, you should keep your email size as small as possible.
7. Make sure you have the customer’s permission before sending them anything, for example, they have given you their email via an opt-in form.
8. Keep the text short and simple, so you easily and effectively get your message across. Ask yourself the following: Would I want to read this? Am I speaking as I wish to be spoken to? Can I cut anything out? What is the call to action?
9. Thoroughly review your emails before you send them! Focus your emails with consistent, well-written content (take your time to write and edit it).
10. Analyse the results of each EDM, so you can improve the next one you send and increase your open and click through rates, and as a result, your conversion rate!
Last year we did a two part series (part two is below and you can find part 1 here) on Super Bowl advertising and how digital can be intertwined and why small and medium enterprises should think BIG. We enjoyed it so much we thought we would take a look at the ads for this year and see if they passed muster.
Get ready for Grammy Winners, Oscar Winners, Hall of Famers and a Super Model to boot. We’ll use a fairly simple grading system Great, Good Enough, Meh, Bad.
ADP – Good Enough
A simple enough premise with pumping music and ADT made a good choice of spokespeople/influencers. You might not know their voices but when the “property brothers” come into frame one is like “oh, yeah, I like those guys”. There might be a bit too much negative language “it’s not about…” but it does a good job of appealing to wide audience and makes the stale idea of security warm and family friendly.
Amazon – Bad
I hate this ad – it’s too frenetic; it wants us to be on the joke but we aren’t, it makes no sense and just makes them look like eff-ups. I am not sure if you needed stars for this ad Harrison got an OK role but Forrest, Abbi and Ilana were left high and dry (or quite the opposite) being wasted. This ad just feels like we had a big budget for this ad lets waste it all.
Audi – Good
It’s funny, it’s aspirational, it has a message. It’s brand building for Audi done the right way.
Avo From Mexico – Good
It’s our first installment from a brand that isn’t familiar in Australia. Overall it sticks with their usual style of humor for their ads, they’ve used Kristen Chenoweth not sure if she was needed but why not throw her in there. It gets a good because it has broad market appeal.
Ban & Viv – Meh
Mermaids appearing on Shark Tank – I like the idea but the payoff at the end isn’t good enough for it to be a reveal. Interesting product and an interesting way to tell your products story.
Bubly – Good
At last, an actual smart use of a celebrity, I knew we would get there. It’s cute, Bublé is well liked and does a good job.
Bud Light – Good
Very interesting alignment, GoT is great at killing off our favorite characters but it’s a bold move for the ad’s mascot to be killed.
Bud – Good
Budweiser is notorious for the use of nostalgia in its branding. We are American as apple pie and baseball. This is an interesting ad for them because they play on old-fashioned values but also introduce the environmental element to the company. I’m giving it a good for their market although I find it personally a bit boring.
Bumble – Good
Strange as it may sound, I genuinely was looking forward to this ad I’d heard about it coming in an article about Serena but I was left wanting more. But then again I am not the target market – and the visuals and music are first class.
Burger King – Bad
I just dislike it, it’s boring who cares if it’s a found footage ad from a documentary. I don’t care how Andy eats his burger and are they insinuating that they don’t put enough sauce on their burgers?
Colgate – Great
Luke Wilson is well liked, simple messaging and good backing track – it’s good clean fun just like your teeth should be.
Devour – Meh
Risque can always mean risky and in America it might be too full on for the average audience but it was executed fairly well and an interesting nugget.
Doritos – Meh
Star power with Chance the Rapper and N’Sync; a funky beat but just feels lame – the mashup between the two seems forced. But it does deliver the message that Doritos is cool but now hot. Almost good.
Expensify – Good
Who doesn’t love Adam Scott; Two rap stars in a row. It does automatically give you street cred but does it lose street cred for the rappers? Regardless again the scene is set up nicely, there’s humour and the messaging is on point.
Google – Meh
Did this hit you right in the feels? It didn’t for me – it felt like the kinda schmaltz that you expect from a multi-national but not really Google. Humans are good and so are we…
Hulu – Good
Very different, very interesting, and with an already popular product Hulu did a good job.
Hyundai – Great
Why would we need to tout how good our cars are when we can tout the least important part of a car the buying of it? It main sound like a silly concept but it’s actually quite ingenious – because most people don’t like shopping for cars but also most people won’t go on many test drives so if you can be one of the few by offering a great experience buying. And I have a huge soft spot for Jason Bateman.
Kia – good
Not that we would know it in Australia but Kia have tubthumped their American factory often for the US audience so when the Super Bowl is being played so close to your factory why not try and cash in. It may not work for me but for the intended audience – it works.
M&Ms – meh
M&Ms are well known for their humorous, childish personified red and yellow M&M characters. And this is a great twist on the rambunctious kids in the back seat trope but it is more than a little jarring to see a mum say they will eat their kids… even if it is Christina. Maybe I am holding them to a higher standard but that’s only because they have set that standard themselves.
Mercedes – bad/good
Mercedes are for… ahem… wankers and I guess this may appeal to that market. Bad for me, Good for them.
Michelob Light – bad
One part of a good ad is being memorable, and this off the wall idea might have worked especially with a young fan favorite like Zoe. But in the end it just comes off as pretentious.
My word there are a lot of ads in the Super Bowl… Don’t worry we are passed the halfway mark
Microsoft – Great
Where Google failed Microsoft succeeded you don’t get to say that often anymore – but this human interest story is a winner. I was hooked.
Mint Mobile – Great
A brand I am unfamiliar with but it has all the elements of a solid ad: gross-out factor, animal mascot, smart language, and a good deal to spur action.
NFL – Great
This is clearly a winner for the Super Bowl audience. The targeting is on point! The humour is there – even if you don’t get all the references you can have fun with it. It does a great job of including the female audience. It embraces the leagues history. The only thing I am wondering about is that it is the end of the season why unveil it now?
Norwegian Cruise Line – Good
This achieves its intended purpose makes the ship the star of the travel. Rather than the picturesque destinations it will take you to. It may slightly try to make everyone happy, a couple relaxing on the same boat that kids are zip lining and go karting on? not too sure if they want to be on the same cruise. Overall it’s a bit of fun and might convince some people that hadn’t considered cruising yet.
Olay – Good
A really nice change from the stuffy world of adult moisturiser advertising. Another celeb making an appearance this time it’s Buffy!
Pepsi – Good
More star power for Pepsi with Steve Carell, Cardi B and Lil Wayne. Interesting concept trying to reposition itself rather than the alternative or the ok. Simple, effective.
Persil – Meh
Not much here – a few bells and whistles although the FX could be better.
PLanters, Mr Peanut – Meh
A few more celebrities to go in the countdown, in this installment we have Sheen and ARod, it might appeal to their target market (assuming someone that would watch two and a half men). Do we use footy players in our summer ads, NO and America shouldn’t be putting baseballers in their Super Bowl ads.
Pringles – Meh
I’m not sure if I get this one. Is stacking your Pringles with different flavours a thing or are they trying to make it a thing? Either way more power to them if they can get more people opening different flavours at the same time sounds like more profit. Plus I think it might be a bit too hipster leaning for me.
Simplisafe – Meh
I know our worldview would tell us that Americans especially viewers of a certain channel are peddled with fear on their news all the time but this ad seems to lean in too hard, especially as they are a technological product and making technology out to be a fearful thing. Interesting concept although I think it’s too exaggerated to elevate it passed “meh” for me.
Sketchers – Meh
Tony Romo is likeable, he is a football dude makes perfect sense for the Super Bowl. The messaging is ok but not nearly as inventive as they could have been.
Sprint – Good
Another athlete this time Bo Jackson – this one is simple and effective.
The Washington Post – Good
The best celebrity get so far Tom Hanks, the star of The Post. Although, it may seem to earnest to some – this spot works well in the context.
T-Mobile – Great
I could say this is derivative: a mobile screen typing or the often used what are we for having for dinner dilemma or a little on the nose music choice. But it works together really well and the thought of free tacos is a winner.
Toyota Rav 4 – Meh
Antoiette Harris deserves all the accolades and sponsorships for being an out and out star but over all the challenge expectations mantra that is being extolled here falls short for Toyota.
Toyota Supra – Great
This… now this is fun – it’s a little retro, a little futuristic. A cool little ad – that’s all about the car, then pinball, then finishing off on the car. This works.
Turbo Tax – Great
Robo-child cool. Accountants are real people especially at Turbo Tax CPAs to boot. Great Ad.
Turkish Airlines – meh
Behind the camera celebrity this time with Ridley Scott at the helm for this ad that led into a six-minute short film. The story is ok, shot well, Turkey is beautiful – but did anyone really care about this ad?
we are almost done don’t worry
Verizon – bad
If you haven’t figured it out yet – I am not the biggest fan of cheesy schmaltz and this ad that pulls at the heartstrings with Real American Blue Collar Heroes does not do it for me (though they are heroes – I am not here disputing that).
Weathertech – bad
I don’t own a pet or a heart so it’s hard for me to get on board with this one.
Wix – meh
I have been seeing Wix ads with Kloss ads for a long time in pre-rolls so it doesn’t feel new to me. Even though Wix do offer a fine product – I bet all Wix websites would look amazing if you have a style guide, a super model and professional photography at the ready.
After all, your budget may not go anywhere near that far and in many respects, whilst the Superbowl provides the ultimate exposure, it simply isn’t open to the average size business.
There are a couple of lessons business of any size can take away from the Superbowl regardless of how big or small you are.
You can reach a lot of eyeballs and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
There is no doubt that a one off event like Superbowl will throw a spotlight on your brand if you were willing to stump up the cash to buy such massive exposure but buying high quality targeted exposure can actually be a whole lot simpler. The beauty of digital (which is why we love it) is with budgets nowhere near as large we can create immensely targeted campaigns that can deliver real results for your business.
Don’t think just one channel – We deal with an array of companies large and small, and many have a variety of marketing initiatives across an array of channels. What the Superbowl ads often do is create a great narrative and produce a phenomenal TVC, but this isn’t where these campaigns end. The ads are merely the tip of the iceberg for most of the advertisers. Each ad will be supported with search, social and dedicated landing pages to ensure that after the audience has seen the ad they can find it, share it and learn more about it. There is a natural PR aspect to Superbowl that your average campaign may not have, but if you work to create a great brand story there is no reason why you couldn’t integrate some tailored PR around your marketing approach whatever channel you use.
Ultimately, Superbowl is an ad campaign on steroids. Whilst the spotlight shines upon the ads themselves the fundamentals of having a great creative story, a targeted message and a fully integrated approach really apply from the Superbowl right down to the most basic of campaigns.
On the weekend my friends were discussing house cleaners; of the group, 3 people had cleaners (two fortnightly and one had hers come weekly).
I don’t have a cleaner – that’s not to say I am better than them, far from it: I don’t have kids nor do I have as big a house (apartment, in my case) and I have a terrible confession to make I don’t hate cleaning – shocking I know – but nearly every Sunday morning I put on some music or a podcast and get to it: vacuuming, mopping, clothes, bathroom, bedroom, windows. kitchen gets wiped down every night after dishes are done. And then during the week I will do some spot cleans here and there to keep it all spick and span. It’s just not a big deal.
My friends clearly still have to do a lot of the things on my cleaning list (e.g. wiping down the kitchen bench for example) but the nitty gritty is done by the cleaners – and that’s fine! They choose to use their hours on the weekend (which are precious and all too few) doing other things and pay someone to clean – and that’s fine.
It got me thinking that there seems to be direct correlations with marketing.
Many people view marketing as a chore.
Some people do theirs in-house and some outsource their marketing.
Cleaning and Marketing make you look good.
On the weekend – they were actually having a laugh about the old trope of cleaning the house before the cleaner gets there to make it look respectable enough for them.
It’s often true that when you hire an agency you will still have to do some of the work. Whether it is provide a brief for us to work to or give some insight into an article we are writing or simply give feedback.
Most clients are great but sometimes we get some push back from clients or they drag their heels on answers. They view approvals or reviewing the stats from the last campaign as a chore.
But it shouldn’t be seen as a chore because it can be fun creating plans to get people excited about your company. And just like cleaning it makes you look good!
There are simple ways to change the perception of a chore
Mary Poppins had it right a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down; reward yourself when you do it on time.
Make it fun:
She’s at it again
Allot the time:
We are all busy and you have to prioritise – so choose the time each week/month/campaign when you will sit down and a) do the tasks required b) discuss upcoming opportunities. It will make it easier.
Whilst you have allotted the time review how far you’ve come – it will make it all worthwhile.
And of course, even if you are a little messy doesn’t mean you can’t pretend (we are all messy sometimes)
If you have a mess that even you can’t clean – call in the professionals
The client always comes first…
but isn’t always right.
Our job is often to create something new almost every day. I am not always sure that customers or even those around us appreciate how difficult it can be to create something from nothing nearly every hour of every day of your life.
For us, as artists, that can be both thrilling and terrifying all at the same time, and it can also be draining.
One thing is certain is that designers, writers, videographers and producers all inherently attempt to make something great each time. And that too can be as much trouble as it is worth sometimes.
Especially when those for which you are making things for (we’ll call them clients) are often not necessarily trained nor geared to think or do what we do.
Now this article is not to place us on some pedestal, nor to belittle clients, after all what we do exists 99% of the time solely for you, but it is an article designed to offer some perspective and perhaps seek to help clients better understand the process we go through for you.
So let’s role play here a little:
You’re a client and you need a logo, a brochure, a video or something…
You brief your designer, now there are a few key phrases we hear almost daily:
“I’m not looking for anything fancy”
“Don’t spend too much time on it”
“I need it quickly”
Each of these phrases is the beginning of the exact same process, effort and compromise as someone saying, “really make it awesome, invest as much time as you can in getting the right result, but the deadline is X”… You see the only real difference is the mentality the client brings to brief, because from this point on a client’s expectation is generally the same, but ironically, the one who suggests any of those first phrases I mentioned, are likely to be the most difficult client to deal with.
There are a couple of key reasons, the phrases themselves reflect a lack of appreciation of the time, effort and inherent skill the designer and design process entails. It also generally shows a lack of genuine personal investment in the achievement of the outcome which is distinctly different from their desire for the outcome itself.
When a designer (or, a design firm, or agency) present a client with something or a range of options, one of the most difficult aspects of our job is the flippancy for which customers either dismiss ideas, overlook the thinking that went into the work or again underestimate the skill that went into its creation.
Now, I am not insinuating that we are always right, but at the same time I am insulating that customers aren’t either.
If we have selected a certain image, or left s p a c e in a design it’s generally a considered approach to a design problem, it has been worked on and tested in all matter of ways to get to the end result – a result that attempts to blend the aesthetic requirements of the task with the need to showcase and clearly display or convey information.
Now all the words in the world can succinctly showcase my point so I thought these short videos might help.
Don’t get me wrong, you are the client and your opinion matters, but if the logo is a certain size, or the designer has left space for words to breath, it is not some sort of attempt to frustrate you, but rather it is years of education, thousands of hours working at their craft and an eye for aesthetics that make them specialists in their field being provided to you as part of their service to you.
As a designer, they will always put you first, a business we will always do the same, but the creation of all the work we do, we are always open to suggestions, but before you make them, take some time and consider if your feedback reflects the best interests of the project and if it may go against the approach your design or agency partner has put forwards with the best interests of your project, your message and your audience.