The Soft Benefits of Social Media Not to be Undervalued « Annie Said..

They work. They build business, they are the backbone of any successful company. The catch is that relationships are unquantifiable. We’re talking soft power, and this post at Annie Said discusses five soft benefits that garnish your table as you build online relationships.

The Soft Benefits of Social Media Not to be Undervalued « Annie Said...

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Social Plays vital role in Corporate Responsibility, Green Initiatives. «

This article from HispanicPRPro.com is an index of top brands by use of powerful and successful “green” and “socially responsible sustainability” PR programs, followed by a discussion of the methods employed by each of the top contenders. I think it is a worthwhile read because it also demonstrates how the top companies adopt these new strategies with their overall marketing framework for streamlined success of the campaigns.

Social Plays vital role in Corporate Responsibility, Green Initiatives. «.

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Advertising – Mobile Ad Campaigns Still Beating Online : MarketingProfs Article

This is an impressive report from Marketingprofs, I am excited about the charts that support their findings.

 

Advertising – Mobile Ad Campaigns Still Beating Online : MarketingProfs Article.

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Tool Tuesday: Timing In Market Opportunity Analysis

My Baby Hummingbirdimage and video source: http://www.wimp.com/babyhummingbird/#

The email was forwarded to my personal account by an acquaintance, the format and appearance were very simple, consisting of only a subject and link. The subject, “A baby hummingbird- so cute” and the link, which was the only text in the body of the email.

I clicked the link and watched the video. Hummingbirds are actually extremely cute and fun to watch, and the dynamic between the young man and this tiny bird is heartwarming. Needless to say, the video is quite popular.

The next day I was gathering the assorted direct mail pieces and bills from the mailbox and a beautiful hummingbird was there to great me:

Nature Conservancy Membership Drive

Nature Conservancy Direct Mail Piece

While I doubt that there is a direct connection between the baby hummingbird video and the direct mail piece, the timing is what makes this piece memorable.

The Nature Conservancy is one of the leaders in developing persuasive literature. The company’s “Save the Sandhill Crane” is cited in many marketing books including Write On Target, as an example of a successful direct mail campaign. The organization could have used any number of species that benefit from their work as the cover model for this specific campaign. Why a hummingbird, and why now?

google trends hummingbird search

google trends hummingbird search

There is a cyclical nature to the popularity of hummingbird searches on the internet. I assume it has something to do with the animal’s migration patterns. There is also a large and influential company named “Hummingbird” that tends to be in the news for various reasons. I argue that the strongest association of the word for the public is with the tiny creature. Even when the company makes news, the name evokes emotions in the target market for this campaign associated with the bird.

This piece arrived during annual giving season in late December; off-peak for the animal’s search popularity. However, news stories about hummingbirds or “Hummingbird” are noticeably on the rise immediately before this campaign (see lower chart, Google Trends Hummingbird Search). The tiny bird is at the top of mind for many informed audiences, and this direct mail piece aimed to coincide with public interest. By choosing a cover model that is at the top of mind (appeals to a pre-existing interest), more recipients are likely to open the envelope and read the contents. I believe that the timing of this piece contributed tremendously to the success of the campaign.

Was this article helpful? Have you used timing in your market opportunity analysis? Please share your comments about timing with the community at Marketfix.

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Why Location Is About More than the Check-In – eMarketer

Fantastic article from emarketer.com about marketing applications of location based social media. I think the chart tracking mobile social network users from 2009- 2010 is particularly insightful.

Why Location Is About More than the Check-In – eMarketer.

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Marketing Tools: Brand Personality

The other day I found this very cool little piece of marketing history. A vintage jewelry box that plays “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”. This little box really hit home for me the depth that marketing reaches into our lives. It also demonstrates the power of brand personality:
I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” is a pop song which originated as a jingle in the groundbreaking 1971 “Hilltop” television commercial for Coca-Cola. The song, produced by Billy Davis and performed by The New Seekers, portrayed a positive message of hope and love sung by a multicultural collection of teenagers on the top of a hill. It originally included the line “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” and repeated “It’s the real thing” as Coca-Cola’s marketing theme at the time (Source: Wikipedia article).
The song is one of the most upbeat and catchy jingles ever written. Across the country there were school performances, reenactments of the commercial, and a quick and seamless acceptance of the tune into popular culture (not the first time Coke pulled something of this magnitude off: there are reasons why Santa’s suit matches the Coca-Cola label so perfectly…)
The song contributed magnitudes to Coke’s brand personality. Not that Coke is the real thing as the slogan stated at the time, but that coke is uplifting and optimistic, like the song. While the song was a hit, fans could also buy fashion accessories such as coke bell bottoms and fashion squares that also added to the perception of the brand. This turns the product into something more than a thing: it takes on humanistic traits, making it easier for consumers to like it. People often use their favorite brands as part of self definition, and with an upbeat and optimistic personality, Coke’s brand became a central part of that self definition for a large community. The brand community adopts the personification of the product as part of the brand identity, and ultimately the personality becomes the underlying pillar of brand equity.
As a pioneering move in the development of brand personalities, there are many industry articles about the partnering of the band with the brand, including a very cool collection of videos and advertisements at:  Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements: Highlights from the Motion Picture Archives at the Library of Congress
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Alexis Ohanian: How to make a splash in social media | Video on TED.com

A 3 minute video that gets to the heart of web discovery and how to work the playing field. Who knew that Mr. Splashy Pants would lead to such insights!

Alexis Ohanian: How to make a splash in social media | Video on TED.com.

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5 Oddly Wonderful Things to Say to Customers « Mark McCarthy’s Blog

I think this speaks for itself.

5 Oddly Wonderful Things to Say to Customers « Mark McCarthy’s Blog.

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Essential Tips For Postcard Printing and Marketing « Make Money Online

I’d like to share this post from make4cash that outlines some very good advice about creating direct mail post cards. I agree with the author that postcards are great tools, and usually my first question when I design a direct mail piece is, “is there any way we can make this a postcard?”. I believe that in most cases, postcards are much more effective than their enveloped counterparts.

Essential Tips For Postcard Printing and Marketing « Make Money Online.

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Creating Brand Associations Thorough Classical Conditioning/ Human Associative Learning…Continued

Actually, this post is more like a prequel to the first one about creating brand associations through classical conditioning/ human associative learning where I talked about some examples of companies using these tools in their communications with audiences, but I didn’t get into the way these tools actually work.

Classical Conditioning

Ivan Pavlov had some dogs. Every day, before he fed the dogs he would ring a bell. He noticed that after a little repetition of ringing the bell then presenting food, the dogs started salivating at the sound of a bell: with or without the food. before the experiment, the bell was a neutral stimulus. After repetitious pairing of the bell with food, the dogs became conditioned to accept the ringing of the bell alone as a trigger for a food response. You can read more about the experiments here. Visually, it looks like this:

In advertising, the neutral stimulus is the product or brand. The response evoking stimulus is usually an appeal to a pre-existing condition, such as humor or hunger. In an advertisement and any collateral, the brand is paired with an appeal to the pre-existing condition in hopes that after you see the pair enough times, the mere mention of the brand will evoke the response that you get from the pre-existing condition. Classical conditioning is formally referred to as the Human Associative Learning Process, and it is one of the building blocks of developmental learning (one of the reasons why I think that advertising aimed at children should be carefully regulated).

There are some industry comparisons between organizations that take different approaches.

In non-profits, I think a decent comparison exists between marketing efforts of the Humane Society and Goodwill. Both are tremendously successful charities with excellent marketing campaigns. Campaigns from the humane society always include images of animals, with something about how the audience can improve the animal’s life. Repetition of appealing to these values in their audience strengthens the connection and is a good example of classical conditioning.

Goodwill alternates approaches between promoting benefits to donors and shoppers of their outlet stores, and how their services benefit people in need.

When brands alternate messages, it is often accomplished without moving from the original pairing of response evoking stimulus and the brand, as illustrated in this collection of visa ads that all perpetuate the cosmopolitan feel of the brand- some dating back to the ’80’s:

Often, when brands or products engage in guerrilla marketing, the repetition element is lost from classical conditioning, and those campaigns are often successful because of the break from classical conditioning.

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