- Marketers need to expand their focus beyond short-term brand building to include sustainable, long-term brand growth. This is better achieved through embracing a combination of customer experience marketing, technology, consumer centricity, and other innovative strategies.
- Even with social media influencers’ increasing impact on consumer behavior, the data show that celebrity endorsements still have the power to influencing purchasing decisions.
- In the UK, change may be on the horizon due to proposed regulations limiting the marketing of what the government considers junk food.
Achieving growth through customer experience marketing and technology
Over the course of only a few years, the marketing landscape has changed, the rapid adoption of customer experience marketing and technology being the main drivers. Nearly 50% of marketers use big data to improve responsiveness and guide their marketing tactics, a resource that wasn’t available even ten years ago. Access to analytics has even helped marketing professionals measure the effectiveness of other new tech, such as augmented reality.
Recently, 25 CMOs from some of the world’s largest global brands convened at the inaugural CMO Growth Council at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Their goal was to “brainstorm ways for brands to drive real, sustainable, long-term growth.” The event brought together great minds and a wealth of insight. LVMH’s Mathilde Delhoume notes that a focus on the human element through technology and beyond is critical in today’s marketplace. “Reinvent retail and make the product an experience. Experience is not just about solving pain points but about re-igniting desire for our brands. Create delight. Create desire.”
Health-conscious advertising rules will have consequences for marketers
Even the smallest among us have tremendous purchasing power. Kids are responsible for driving an estimated $1.2 trillion in spend every year in the retail industry. This number includes money that young consumers spend themselves, as well as purchases made by their parents or other adults on behalf of young shoppers. And this spend isn’t solely on Power Rangers and dollhouses. Not surprisingly, this number also includes one of the biggest temptations to young (as well as older) people: junk food.
In this article from Marketing Week, the battle over ending childhood obesity is raging as the UK contemplates instituting bans on the marketing of junk food and sugary treats. If these new regulations are enacted, they will lead to strict guidelines related to advertising within the food and beverage industry. Advertising Association chief executive Stephen Woodford told Marketing Week that, “The watershed will have an impact on commercial broadcasters such as ITV and Channel 5, that have a public service remit. We want a healthy media where advertising has an important role. If revenue goes down it will have an impact on programming, the quality of the schedules they can produce and ultimately this will impact audiences.”
Why brands should look to soccer to master brand storytelling
Consumer engagement is a commonly-used word in all aspects of marketing, with brands hyper-focused on maintaining great engagement throughout the buyer’s journey. Some may lean on technology; others put their focus on a robust social media and digital experience. Yet, not all brands are equal as it relates to quality of engagement. When looking at those companies that excel in maintaining a loyal audience, we find storytelling at the heart of nearly every example. And there is science to back that up. Brand messaging and sales monologues only stimulate one area of the brain, but stories evoke both the left and right hemispheres, resulting in an exponential level of engagement. And those stories, that level of immersion, drives sales.
This article in Entrepreneur points out that some of the best storytelling in the world takes place under the umbrella of the World Cup experience. He says that brands should take lessons from the teams in designing their own direct-to-consumer strategies. He asserts that “commerce is less about transactions and more about relationships. Just as the magic of the World Cup is less about futbol/soccer and more about passion and the fan experience.” Relationships reign supreme and telling your brand’s story is the best way to build a foundation for that consumer relationship.
Even in the age of social media influencers, traditional celebrity still counts
Influencer marketing is a big thing, so much so that we have begun to identify categories of influencers based on their size and quality of reach. In fact, many of those with smaller but “richer” social media followings have been dubbed “micro-influencers” and deemed a powerful marketing force in their own right. With so many brands extolling the virtues of these social media personalities, it might feel like celebrity endorsements are a thing of the past. But research shows that celebrity still sells. One of the most trusted and traditional forms of advertising, celebrities bring in $10 million for a company’s revenue the first year they’re signed. Another study shows that high-profile individuals can increase sales by 4%. But, if there is one element that gives celeb power a run for its money, its humor. Nielsen also found that humor resonates 47% of consumers, which ranked higher than the influence of celebrities themselves.
Nordstrom tapped into both of these key sales drivers when it signed four popular comedians for its recent anniversary sale campaign. The women are known in popular media such as “Saturday Night Live,” “2 Dope Queens,” and more. The campaign features short videos, sweepstakes and challenges to boost consumer engagement, and will include digital, showrooms, posters, shopping bags, and displays.
How brands and marketers stay relevant in a hyper-changing world
The rise in modern technology has resulted in our obsession with smartphones, tablets and various devices. This has led to the public having unprecedented access to information, services, and products. This has also resulted in shifting consumer expectations, which has increased demands on brands and marketers. Staying relevant in a global economy, managing privacy concerns, and more are all common concerns in today’s world, with consumers believing that modern technologies can fix anything. In this 21st century world of self-driving cars, AI and machine learning, there’s little margin for company or technology error in the eyes of the customer.
A recent Marketing Dive article explores this further, detailing the frustration consumers experience with retailers lacking or having poorly functioning technology in their stores. In fact, 46% of consumers who had positive experiences with in-store technology have better brand confidence than those with negative experiences. Businesses looking to dive into the ease of digital customer experience marketing, including mobile ordering, in-store pickup, kiosks, self-checkout, and more, must ensure they are “functioning and seamless to deliver.” As the article states, “a technology experience that is poor can…drive down customer loyalty.”
Dove continues commitment to positive body image
Dove has long been known for its inclusive marketing platform, advocating for beauty and body positivity in women and girls. Since 2004, the brand’s print ads and commercials feature women of all ages, sizes, shapes and colors indulging in their beauty products. Online and on television, the brand has expanded that message through short films, such as the Real Beauty Sketches from 2013. The campaign advocates for diversity and women’s empowerment worldwide.
In response to the overuse of photo enhancing in media, Dove announced its “No Digital Distortion” mark, which will be applied to all company ads by January 2019. “When content in the media is not reflective of reality, it has a profound negative effect on the viewer,” said Jess Weiner, cultural expert and adjunct professor at the University of Southern California. The commitment, like that of Aerie, who uses real models without the use of Photoshop, furthers the brand’s dedication to positive body image.
P&G wins at Cannes Lions for their socially-conscious campaign video
Purpose-driven marketing is an effective tool that resonates with consumers’ values and interests. David Fischer of Facebook recently noted “that doing good in the world is good for companies. The question is no longer whether the private sector should be participating in social initiatives, but rather how best they should do so.” Invoking a philanthropic component into a marketing campaign that aligns with the core values of your company can work wonders, and is “a quick shortcut to visibility.”
Procter & Gamble recently won a Grand Prix in Film at the 2018 Cannes Lions for “The Talk,” a video that details an empathetic view on race in America as part of the company’s “My Black is Beautiful” ad campaign. Several advertising and media groups were involved in the project, which is a great example how today’s advertisers are fusing brand awareness with social awareness.
Coca-Cola embraces random acts of kindness for #choosepeace campaign
It’s no secret to any marketer that millennials now make up the largest consumer group. Also well-known is the fact that their shopping habits vary dramatically from the generations before them. One of the mainstays for many millennial shoppers is holding their favorite brands to a high level of social responsibility. For this generation, whose spending amounts or $30 trillion a year, companies will have to work hard to earn every penny. A whopping 73% of millennials are willing to spend more on a product that’s produced by a sustainable company. Their top priorities for brands are activity in the community, prioritizing social impact, transparent social initiatives, and an opportunity for their customers to also give back.
In response to this consumer sentiment, Coca-Cola recently launched the customer experience marketing #ChoosePeace team in conjunction with its Peace Tea brand. Coke’s Peace Brand Influencers commit random acts of kindness throughout their day and share them on social media, where every like on selected platforms results in $1 donated to RandomActs.org. The campaign is specifically designed to resonate with millennials, following a study the company noted that three-quarters of this age group have performed random acts of kindness in the past few month after being encouraged to do so by a friend.