Breakthrough – Fall 2017
Marketing Your Face Off
Password? Passe. PIN code? Penny ante. Fingerprint? Schmingerprint! We’re going to unlock our new iPhone Xs with our faces. Sounds cool and futuristic, right? It is. But it also begs some questions. How long before the 20,000+ data points on my face are associated with my actual online behaviors, my Facebook profile, my political views, etc.? Sure, savvy media companies have been gathering and buying huge amounts of data for years in service of more focused ad targeting. With all of this information coming together, it’s only a matter of time before personal grooming, eyewear, dermatologist and other face-oriented products and services are leveraging this information and technology.
As marketers, it will be important to keep tabs on this growing trend, keep our customer data safe, and wield this newfound information wisely.
Public Involvement for Infrastructure Projects
A comment by an acquaintance during a recent conversation caused me to do a double-take. “I didn’t know roads needed PR,” he said. “What do you have to do?”
The answer is: a lot! Rawle Murdy works with clients to facilitate continuous public involvement, share complete project information, build trust with multiple audiences and drive support. Strategy development, research, stakeholder outreach, media relations, social media management, creative design, websites, video, etc. are all part of the game plan.
Why? So a project can be seen to completion while avoiding modern-day minefields filled with social media agitators, fast-moving misinformation and a news media that knows controversy sells.
An educated and engaged public that has seen its feedback considered and acted upon is much more likely to be supportive of a new infrastructure effort. That is why roads need not just PR, but fully integrated communications programs.
Tribute to Chef Shane
Tragedy struck Charleston, SC restaurant, Virginia’s on King Thursday, August 24th resulting in the passing of Chef Shane Whiddon. Having the honor of working with Shane, we are devastated by this loss and will never forget his sincere character and passion for bringing people together through food. The outpouring of support from the community has been remarkable and a true testament to the man Shane was. Our hearts, prayers and support go out to Chef Shane Whiddon’s family, the entire staff at Virginia’s on King and Holy City Hospitality during this time of healing.
Hey, what happened to Brand Loyalty?
A funny thing happened on the way to the grocery (and the appliance, tech, home improvement, clothing, etc.) store. Brand loyalty has not only eroded – it’s been lost forever.
But wait a second, don’t people aspire to have Big Brands in their lives? Don’t we want Tide detergent instead of some generic stuff? Nope, especially among millennials. They just don’t want your brand.
What happened? Why, for example, are 90% of the leading household goods’ brands losing market share to smaller brands and generics? Why are grocery stores like Aldi and Lidl growing quickly, even though 90% of their sales are private-label items?
Well, much of this can be attributed to millennials. Pundits agree on the trend, but disagree on why it’s happening. Some say a plethora of media choices water down the Big Brand messages of a generation ago. Others point to higher-quality generic brands that match and sometimes surpass the quality of Big Brands. Consumer service expectations have also changed dramatically, and if your service hasn’t improved, millennials are out. ‘Millennial distrust’ has driven the loyalty downturn, as more than 80% of millennials distrust government, financial institutions and corporations. But, most of all, the web and social media has brought a level of transparency and democratization that breeds change. For many younger adults, ‘new’ is better than ‘known’, and they are just not wired to stick with the old reliable. Change, change, change is what it’s all about.
So, what are we as marketers to do with this sea change? Bury our heads in the sand, run print and TV ads, and hope that it will all work out? That’s just not a sustainable solution.
The good news in all of this is that letting go of brand control, and controlling the messaging in new ways, is the answer. Take crowdsourcing for example. This is where you allow the consumer to help determine product choices – features, colors, shapes, sizes, inclusions, price – as much as you can. Activate – get your brand out in front of people in new ways. For example, pop-up shops and brand showrooms – new ideas in which people can see, touch and interact with your product in places and ways you never imagined. And of course, you’ve got to change your approach to traditional media. We can’t rely on traditional media channels to get the message out. Start with immediate feedback and interaction with your customers across social channels and product review sites. Think about endorsements from key influencers, co-branding and brand affiliations. ‘Wow’ your customers in ways you never have before – personalized gifts, customized offers and data-driven messaging specific to them.
The tools to help us shape, mold and influence the future are here, and growing every day. Our job as marketers is to let go of our pre-conceived notions of what has worked, because they’re working less and less…and start embracing what WILL work.