Brand Marketing

Get Advertisement Buy-In through Influencer Marketing in Easy Ways

Posted September 7, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 12:38 am

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Currently, Ad Buy-in is largely in operation due to the fastest growing online customer acquisition method, Influencer Marketing. But businesses have still set to set their belief on this making them under 65% of those not using the service. They fail to justify the allocation of a substantial budget to the influencers. The current trends, however, suggest a steep rise in the budget allocation for influencer marketing in the coming times. This is a challenge that some social media managers and executives might face while collaborating with micro-bloggers and others to sustain the Advertisement buy-in.

Steps to get Executive Advertisement buy-in and Influencer Marketing Budget

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Some of the easier options that the social media managers opt to get advertisement buy-in are as follows:

  1. Defining a concrete and successful marketing objective for your business while also selling the value of influencer marketing. This should always resonate with your organizational values.
  2. There must be concise and to the point strategy for the same.
  3. Estimating the Expected cost of Influencer marketing and Advertisement Buy-in. you must also estimate the result that you expect to achieve from these campaigns.
  4. The major investment plans and considerable expenses must also be outlined for last minute check-ins.

The executives must assess the risk and accordingly make the investment.  Here are some of the important aspects of Influencer Marketing –

Value of Influencer Marketing in getting Advertisement buy-in

The best ways to get better influencers is to curate excellent content on your website or for your brand. Advertisement buy-in can become easier with the following tricks and tips for Influencer Marketing –

Sales

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A positive assent from an influencer or a mention can directly lead consumers to make a deal and purchase. Similarly, a recent report shows that promotional content from the influencers see 5 times increase in purchase intent. This is a commendable data to support the cause of Influencer Marketing.

Excellent Content Creation

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Content curated or prepared by the Influencers on the social media earn more than 8 times the engagement rate of branded content. They have the firepower of getting more advertisement buy-in than the regular content. The young visitors and netizens often ignore the traditional forms of marketing and advertisements. Hence the archaic content has no way to sell in these circumstances. Hence, the influencers create receptive and authentic content to reach to more similar audiences. This is the reason why the marketers are turning towards influencer marketing experts to source authentic content.

Search Engine Optimization

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As the generations have changed, so has the ways to influence them. 85% of the consumers make a purchase after reading the review of description on a blog. The blogs arising from influencers and an excellent Search Engine Optimization gives the blog wings. It helps in the blogs getting more advertisement buy-in options. They generate and drive sales because they are searchable on the net as well to gain SEO traction for the brand.

Web Traffic

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Influence content is much more precise which works excellently for both banner ads and traditional forms of advertisement. They lead to customers making a purchase instantly. Even if they don’t make a purchase, they are still benefitting the site by increasing their web traffic. This is excellent as it marks the site on the top and fetches buyers from search engines, an important aspect of advertisement buy-in.

Filed under: Advertising,Brand Marketing

‘Under Armour’s Adrienne Lofton Headed to competitor Nike’, Sources Say

Posted August 6, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 7:42 am

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Under Armour, the sports garment and apparel giant recently saw a shuffle in the top management when the news of Adrienne Lofton, the Company’s Marketing Executive walking away broke out. A similar news from that of its competitors, Nike, shedding its two marketing executives was doing the rounds more often. Sources highly placed in the company, as well as Trade analyst, suspect that Lofton might be going to Nike as there is an executive level vacancy there. Adrienne Lofton, on the other hand, has had not confirmed anything movement of that kind lately.

If we believe the two sources familiar with the matter, Adrienne Lofton, who had spent the last eight months with Under Armour overseeing the Global Marketing efforts have already accepted the position with Nike. The Global Head of Brand Management, Lofton, resigned from the company after around nine years and two stints with the sports apparel giant as per AdWeek.

Executive Level shuffle from Under Armour to Nike?

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Reports have been doing the rounds that Adrienne Lofton was offered an executive level position from Nike after it shifted two senior executives. The competition between the two athletic wear giants has grown obvious since Under Armour’s rise after 2005. But the report has yet not been supported by spokespersons for Nike and Under Armour who have not responded to request for comment on this story. Lofton too did not respond to the allegations of shift and the media queries about her new position at Nike.

However, it is highly motivating a fact that Adrienne might be going to Nike as the news of her resignation comes amidst a wrecking report of how Nike parted ways with its two top marketing executives. The fire of executives came after a controversy regarding the repeated complaints about inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Nike took actions by firing them.

Why did Nike fire its Two Top Executives?

In March, CEO Mark Parker issued an internal memo expressing his concern over “reports of behavior occurring within our organization that does not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect, and empowerment.” Citing “strong and courageous employees” who had come forward, he wrote that the company would launch “a comprehensive review of our HR systems and practices along with elevating our complaint process for a matter of respect issues.” The two executives he was talking about were VP Jayme Martin and Brand President Trevor Edwards who was a potential successor to Mark Parker.

Such allegations were repeatedly included in subsequent reports by The Wall Street Journal who cited a ‘boys club’ at Nike where the aforementioned parties involved into a ‘demeaning and condescending’ behavior towards women. The report also cited that several women employees had circulated an informal survey about Pay inequality, gender imbalances, and misbehavior by the top authorities and executives Monique Matheson acknowledged in a memo acquired by the journal hat Nike had failed to properly promote women rights and minorities values within its peripheries.

What would Adrienne Lofton do at Nike?

Sources in Nike suggest that the company might offer Adrienne Lofton the vacant Position of Brand President as she has the correct expertise in the same field at Under Armour. But Lofton, given a condition where she accepts the position from Nike, will not be able to officially begin working at Nike for one year due to the Non-compete clause in the contract she had signed with Under Armour.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

PBS Documentary Confirms Facebook Revenue Downslide

Posted August 3, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 8:15 am

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No year has been so harder than the year 2018 for Facebook. It has been receiving jolts and jolts one after another. As if the Facebook meddling in US election was not enough, Facebook losing 150 billion dollars in just one day even brokered its relations with investors too. As per Roger McNamee, one of the earlier investors in the company said the company was ‘willfully blind’ in the year 2016. This led to the decline in its revenue drastically and slipped Facebook out of the top five. After having been blamed for meddling in the general elections in the US, the company has again been blamed for interfering in the mid-term elections too. Now, a PBS documentary on Facebook shows how about the Facebook Revenue Downslide.

What is the PBS Documentary about Facebook Revenue Downslide?

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PBS’ Frontline documentary series has been giving final touches to its investigation into the scandals of Facebook. The Program has been named ‘The Facebook Dilemma’ and will air this fall. The producers of the Frontline and those involved in the program talked about the documentary at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in L.A. they also shared their insights into the deals of the social network.  The producers and the makes believe that the Facebook has lost its way into what it was first made for. Roger McNamee who invested and mentored Mark Zuckerberg from 2006-2009 has also been interviewed in the documentary. He said that he did approach Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg in October 2016 about how the way into the Platform being used. He believes that Facebook is being manipulated by bad actors and its ways and means seem to harm people who believed in its ways long ago.

But he was startled that the executives treated it like a public relations problem and not a business problem. “They treat the First Amendment like it’s supposed to protect them, not their users.”

‘A Paranoia department’ to sort Problems?

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The Producer of PBS’ Frontline documentary found out that Facebook requires setting a ‘Paranoia department’ which included independent researchers and critics. The job they would be doing to independently think through all potential problems. But they won’t do that and why would that be required? Because they are a company which required human solutions to problems and without much criticism at the helm, it would perfectly be a disastrous situation. They would require hiring “human beings … to think through some of the downstream consequences.”

Is Facebook Revenue Downslide a consequence of Silicon Valley Changes?

McNamee confirms that Silicon Valley’s irrelevant changes in the modern sector have definitely had a drastic impact on the functioning of the Facebook. He points out that there was never enough processing power or bandwidth for people to accomplish from 1950-2000 after which it underwent a series of changes. Earlier the companies used to “put a huge premium on experience, because you needed old folks to figure out how to get the most out of the little bit of stuff you had,” but that suddenly changed after 2000’s where you can blindly form a company without having enough experience – a move from the earlier prerogatives. These prejudices would let younger people with no organizational experience come into companies and inadequately handle the situations.

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Advertising,Brand Marketing

Here’s How Big Data Can Help Hotel Brands Attract More Travelers

Posted July 25, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 3:40 am

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Getting customers in the door for that first visit is seemingly the most difficult (and definitely the most expensive) endeavor for marketers. Therefore, it is important to segment consumers by hotel category and evaluate their research patterns to understand what makes them tick and better advise how hotel brands can utilize resources, such as big data, in order to personalize the digital content based on interests and personal preferences.

Budget

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Data suggests local research revolving around quick-serve restaurants appeal to budget hotel seekers, so a simple offer for free breakfast or snacks could tip the scales when they are weighing hotel options. We also see our budget hotel seekers researching nearby big box and office supplies stores.

Therefore, messaging around onsite amenities such as business centers, mini-stores or complimentary conveniences that solve last minute needs for business or leisure can really add a thoughtful touch for the budget traveler. In addition to business and leisure, people moving or relocating to different areas also fall within the budget seekers segment. Knowing this ahead of time certainly helps the budget hotelier make their guests feel right at home for an extended stay.

Luxury

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The luxury hotel traveler seeks exotic locations to celebrate milestones and occasions, such as honeymoons. These upscale events offer significant insight to hoteliers on what type of atmosphere these types of travelers are looking for. Luxury-seeking travelers have the highest interest of any group in healthy eating and living, with added emphasis on special diets or exercise. Hoteliers would benefit from a marketing focus on quality ingredient sourcing and menu customization within their restaurants and onsite fitness options.

Luxury groups display interest in local art and culture and a general desire for a boutique experience that is representative of the region they are staying in. Including local art, beer and wine or music into the experience resonates well with these types of travelers, who are heavily influenced by the aesthetics and overall experience provided by the hotel as primary reasons for booking in the first place.

Midscale

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The midscale hotel seeker class contains a definitive mix of business and leisure travelers, with a heavy interest in conferences and events for the business crowd and with family vacation packages and vacation home rentals skewing high for leisure travelers.

Business travel shows no signs of slowing down and is projected to grow by more than 6 percent in 2018, according to Deloitte. With our business travel research indicating interest in rental cars, dry cleaning and local spots for drinks and cocktails, personalizing the experience for business travelers can include bundling rental cars or other transport to their conferences, promoting tailoring or cleaning services onsite or offering them an opportunity to mingle with other business travelers over a free drink at the hotel bar or restaurant.

Midscale leisure traveler themes can include trips to family-oriented destinations such Universal Studios, Disney World and Disneyland in addition to vacation themes based around activities like beach trips, desert or mountains. Family travelers are drawn to bundled packages around activities for each family member so that harmony and buy-in can be achieved (any parent will tell you that the kids have as much said as they do).

Activities such as dining and nightlife, golf and spa, gaming and outdoor adventure activities such as hiking, biking or boating are all of interest to the midscale hotel traveler and offer broad appeal across generations. In order to connect with this group of consumers, hoteliers are encouraged to partner with local groups and organizations that offer these activities.

Wrapping Up

Hotels offer many things to many people, but big data can be a great lens into what moves each type of traveler from inspiration to action. After all, every lifelong hotel visitor starts with a first stay.

 

(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Design Your Website for More Engaging User Experience

Posted July 24, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 3:36 am

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When designing a website, put yourself in the user’s shoes. What you find ineffective in a website is something users will likely find ineffective themselves. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, in 2015, the attention span of humans averaged 8.25 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. For website designers, this study is significant, in the sense that eight seconds is all you initially have to make site visitors understand your value proposition and convince them to stay on your site. More than that, and the chances of them being distracted skyrockets. So how do you make your website compelling enough to make them not want to leave? Here are some important points to remember when designing the website.

Create a Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

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In the content-saturated world of the Internet, every opportunity spawns the need to differentiate oneself. Creating a great first impression is key, but making the customer realize that what you offer merits their full attention is equally important.

A value proposition is a primary thing that determines whether users leave or stay on your site. It’s a statement that clearly explains how your product or service solves their pain points, its specific benefits, and why they should buy from you instead of your competitors. Some things to bear in mind when communicating your UVP:

Location

Eye tracking research shows that above-the-fold elements attract the most attention. Eyetrack III studies also found that the upper left of the page is where the eyes often fixate first before going left to right, then further down the page.

While these studies justify why website designers insist on positioning the site’s most important elements above the fold, there is absolutely no reason to cram everything you deem necessary on just this part of the page. You don’t want the top half of your website looking chaotic, or the overall usability of the page undermined.

Users’ attention is more difficult to capture now than it used to, mainly because of the sheer amount of content available on the Internet for them to peruse. That said, the items you include above the fold must communicate a clear and well-defined value proposition, as opposed to cramming what you think is important down users’ throats by littering the area with too many elements. Give them one tidbit of information to digest one at a time, and if they think this information is worth researching more about, they will stay on your page to find out more.

Visual Illustration

Harnessing the power of visual information is a primary ingredient in connecting with your audience. This is anchored to the fact that our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text.

Add short attention spans into the mix, and the “show, don’t tell” argument becomes all the more compelling. Provide users with visuals like images, graphs, infographics, screenshots and video clips instead of big blocks of text. These allow them to process your message more quickly and retain more valuable information.

Another thing – although effective, adding visuals to your website comes with a caveat: they must support your value proposition and the audience’s perceived expectations. Otherwise, it may call into question your site’s integrity.

Unique Content

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As more and more content becomes available online, marketers find it increasingly difficult for their brands to connect. In fact, according to eMarketer, 41% of marketers struggle to come up with conversion-worthy content.

There’s the so-called 10X content, content that, as its name suggests, is 10 times better than what the search engines provide for a certain keyword. If you create content that answers everything a user can possibly ask about a topic, you’re shortening their research time, ultimately creating a positive experience for them. Among the characteristics of 10X content is the melding of aesthetics and utility, as well as providing great visuals while solving your customers’ problems.

White Space

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A cluttered website is hard on the eyes and confuses the brain. However, adding white space between paragraphs and in the margins has proven to increase comprehension by 20%.

While the layout of a webpage, including white space, may not measurably influence performance, it does influence user satisfaction and experience. Different web design elements affect the moods of users. Positive or negative is entirely up to you.

According to top website designers, having a white space is essential for lead generation because it minimizes confusion and reduces the effort required on the reader’s end, helping them navigate the website easily.

Call To Action (CTA)

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Call-to-action buttons should go beyond being attractive and fitting the overall design of the website. After all, their main purpose is to get your visitors to do something, such as download an ebook, sign up for a free trial, subscribe to a newsletter, and so on.

You don’t have to put CTAs above the fold. Rather you can place them in the middle or bottom of the page to avoid being aggressive with visitors. Other suggestions include using action-packed words, such as “try” or “download,” and the first-person speech to increase conversions.

Clarity of CTAs is also extremely important. Their message should explicitly convey what the visitor could expect to accomplish. If users fail to get what you mean, they’ll leave.

 

(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Influencer Marketing Is Becoming a Potent Weapon for Brands

Posted July 18, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 3:14 am

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Brands are investing more of their time and money into influencers. According to a research conducted by Bloglovin, it is seen that 63 percent of marketers have increased their budgets for influencer marketing in 2017. This increase in budgets suggests that brands understand the value of influencer marketing and how they can leverage it to boost their performance.

But how exactly does influencer marketing help brands? With the massive followings of influencers, the obvious benefit is that they help brands reach a bigger audience. Besides this, there are several more reasons why influencers have become such a powerful weapon for brands.

They Leverage Authentic Storytelling to Engage Your Target Audience

Influencers are able to engage their fans by being their true selves. They express themselves through authentic and engaging content, which their followers look to for inspiration. And according to TapInfluence, 71.2 percent of influencers feel that their honesty and sense of humor is what keeps their audience engaged.

This is perhaps why influencers are so good at creating authentic content about the brand they promote. The TapInfluence study also found that the biggest benefit of influencer marketing is that it helps tell an authentic story around their brand. 89 percent of marketers in a Linqia study also feel the same way about influencer marketing.

This authenticity keeps an audience engaged even when it comes to promotional content created by influencers. And an engaged audience is much easier for brands to win over and convert to paying customers.

They Improve Brand Sentiment

Brands always strive to win the hearts of consumers and create a positive brand image. So it’s no wonder they work with influencers to promote their brands because influencers can increase positive brand sentiment. According to a RhythmOne study, influencer marketing programs that lasted for two or more weeks resulted in an 8.73 percent lift in positive brand sentiment.

You will be able to experience this benefit more effectively if you invest in influencers who genuinely believe in the product. This genuine positive sentiment the influencers have towards your brand can help portray your brand personality in a positive light.

They Drive A Higher Return On Investment

Another major benefit of influencer marketing is the return on investment it is able to yield. 54 percent of marketers in the Bloglovin’ study use influencer marketing to grow their social media following and engagement. 53 percent use it to drive more sales, while 47 percent use it to drive traffic to their websites.

Other than that, 71 percent of marketers in the study felt that influencer marketing helps them raise brand awareness on social media. 67 percent have stated that it helps them reach a more targeted audience. But these are not the only reasons why brands are leveraging influencers for their marketing campaigns.

The RhythmOne study found that influencer marketing delivers high returns in terms of earned media value. This is the value attributed to factors such as social sharing and publicity as well as other forms of organic digital media exposure. Influencer marketing helped advertisers generate $11.69 in EMV for every dollar they spend.

Wrapping Up

It’s clear to see that there are several reasons why brands are choosing to use influencer marketing as a weapon to overcome marketing challenges and get ahead of their competitors. Through authenticity, influencers help brands engage their target audience and then deliver higher returns in earned media value.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Surviving the Digital Transformation Through Creatives – Here’s How

Posted July 17, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 3:52 am

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Digital transformation, while two steps forward for marketing and mankind, has been arguably a giant step back for brands. The seismic cultural shift initiated by digital media and personal devices opened the door for an explosion of new entertainment channels, technologies and consumption behaviors. But it also meant increased media fragmentation and the loss of a controlled, linear consumer journey. So while opportunities to create compelling and innovative content have grown exponentially – so has competition for consumer attention. If you’re intrigued by the possibilities of digital transformation, here how you can survive it through engaging creatives.

Open Your Mind To Newer Ideas

Today’s workforce is packed with creative technologists, consultants, business strategists and inventors whose days are spent thinking up new ways to innovate alongside clients in the fast-moving age of digital transformation. And let’s agree: They’re extremely good at it. The world around us is an innovation lab and, as a creative, you’ll have to get used to the fact that everyone around you is pitching an idea that could become the next big thing.

Learning On The Go

Commit to increasing your depth as a specialist, while gaining perspective and context about the world around you. This education-based tactic is a big part of how we can apply design thinking to the digital world. There are teams that are competing for the client’s trust and attention and are jam-packed with individuals who possess highly specialized knowledge (e.g., mobile cloud strategy), understand how their expertise plays into overarching customer experience and adeptly apply those skills inside industries we serve (e.g., global automotive). Companies like Airbnb, Netflix, Uber and their contemporaries have made a huge impact on our perception of possibility inside this brave new world.

 

Their innovation opened our minds, brought the convenience of choice to our lives and brilliantly illustrated the basics of digital transformation—its processes and potential. The businesses at the forefront of that tectonic shift are now the fabric of our everyday expectations. We’re more demanding and empowered and less patient than ever before. And those demands accelerate every time we experience the magical comingling of creativity and technology. There are no rules for how to transform successfully, but creatives have a unique perspective on how to move and inspire people—a key role, as our relationship with technology dramatically influences the next chapter of human history.

Business Has Always Been About Inspiring People

While creativity finds new mediums and avenues for expression, the most beautiful trend in digital transformation is our renewed focus on humanity. The convergence of technology, data, and creativity provide boundless opportunity to improve people’s lives. Through continued focus on brand purpose, empathy and two-way conversation inside innovation, we elevate everyday experiences and benefit from deeper, more personal engagement. Even more, than we want a great product or service, we long to be drawn into the magic of a powerful story, the shared ethos of a community and the beauty of artistic expression. In a thrilling shift for creatives, human beings and our values are beginning to overtake technology as the focus of digital transformation.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Keep Up With the Ever-Changing Digital Age? Here’s How

Posted July 16, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 3:33 am

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Today’s global CMOs, regardless of sector, are facing the same challenge: digital transformation. New technologies are entering the market at lightning speed, and disruptors are springing up and challenging entire categories. As a result, traditional marketing organizations need to always be thinking two steps ahead, which can be difficult to do while trying to run a global marketing team and keep up with the evolving ecosystem.

The rapid integration of digital into nearly every aspect of marketing has completely changed the way marketers interact with their consumers and their agencies as well as other functions within their own organizations. Here are some things CMOs can do to keep pace with the changes while keeping their sanity intact.

Embrace Marketing Automation

Proving the value of marketing has never been an easy task. But in recent years, with the addition of ridiculous amounts of data and constantly-emerging marketing channels, proving value has become a bit of a nightmare. Add to this the fact that most CMOs are not techies – they’re simply people who have been forced into situations where they have to figure everything out or else. This is why it’s important for CMOs to embrace marketing automation tools that make it easy to read and share data. Better customer insights lead to better marketing outcomes.

Hire Those With Skills You Don’t Have

A lot of CMOs cut their marketing teeth during a time when digital was something “out there” that was taking place. But now digital is happening front and center and in their very own department. This means few CMOs have the skills necessary to constantly adapt, which means they need to hire marketers who can fill in that skills gap. They need to hire people who are proficient in using today’s technologies, can analyze mounds of data while constantly thinking strategy.

Finding marketers who wear multiple hats may become a trial, especially for those brands not located in major metropolitan areas. The next best bet is to create specialty teams who collaborate with each other. For instance, you may develop a “content center” whose team members are ninjas when it comes to creating and distributing content. You may also have a “marketing technology” team that specializes in testing and selecting the right tools and channels for distribution.

Think Like a Publisher

Back in the day, when you heard the word content, you tended to think of PDFs and brochures. But today’s consumers expect more. Today’s CMOs have to be in the publishing business and distribute content that is relevant and consistent across all channels. (Oh, and it has to educate as well. When you educate an audience, they tend to trust you more.) All of this is to say that CMOs need to stop thinking of themselves as CMOs and instead think of themselves as publishers whose goal is to use data to create integrated, meaningful experiences for their audience.

CMOs Must Coordinate Teams Efficiently

It is not uncommon, even for smaller, local businesses, to have parts of their marketing team located in another city, state, or even country. One of the biggest challenges for CMOs in this situation is to make sure all of these dispersed team members are working as a cohesive unit. This requires ensuring everyone is regularly communicating and sharing data, insights, and content. CMOs also must be able to be the voice of the translator that serves as a go-between of what a company does and what a customer needs.

This requires understanding the product roadmap while keeping your finger on the pulse of your customers’ needs and demands – always listening to those digital conversation taking place ‘out there.’ With all of these demands, it’s easy to see why some CMOs have trouble sleeping at night. But by following these guidelines, they can rest easy while proving their value.

 

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Leading Sports Brands Are Now Paying Attention to Female Fans. Here’s Why

Posted July 9, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 3:49 am

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For years, athletic products for women were simply designs for men in smaller sizes and more feminine colors. For many companies, women haven’t been the main focus — or even taken into account at all — when products, retail experience, and marketing messages were being created.

In 2016, US apparel sales grew by 3 percent, reaching $218.7 billion, according to data compiled by the NPD Group. Athleisure continued to be a top growing segment that year, with an 11 percent increase that made it a $45.9 billion market. Including women in the sportswear, the conversation comes at a time when they account for a significant share of all buying decisions. A 2013 Nielsen report reveals that American women alone wield $5 trillion to $15 trillion in purchasing power annually.

Of the more than 11,000 athletes who took part in the 2016 Rio Olympics, 45 percent were women. It’s a far cry from the first modern Olympics 120 years ago in Athens, where all 241 athletes were men. There are also more women identifying as sports fans. On average, across 24 major countries representing the Americas, Europe, and Asia, nearly half of all women now declare themselves either interested or very interested in sport compared to 69 percent of men.

Many businesses have taken heed. Mainstream sportswear players like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour now feature women in their marketing campaigns and are developing lines that women want to wear. But is it too late? As more women buy into the sportswear sector, more brands are competing for a place in the market and there is greater access to affordable, trend-led athletic gear at the likes of Asos and Amazon. There is also competition from women-focused activewear brands like Lululemon and Sweaty Betty, as well as newer rivals like Ultracor and Outdoor Voices.

Speaking To The Female Athlete

For International Women’s Day in March, Nike — which is currently the market leader in both men’s and women’s activewear according to NPD — launched three films, in the Middle East, Russia and Turkey, aimed at challenging gender stereotypes in each region.

In 2015, Nike announced ambitious plans to hit $50 billion in sales by 2020 — and the women’s business is a massive opportunity. The Oregon-based company pushed its marketing spend to $804 million in 2016, an increase of 10 percent year on year, with a focus on its women’s offering, which it plans to grow into an $11 billion business by 2020.

For Autumn/Winter 2017, Under Armour debuted “Unlike Any”, an entirely digital execution featuring six female athletes across a variety of sports, including ballerina Misty Copeland, stuntwoman Jessie Graff, and champion sprinter Natasha Hastings.

According to the NPD Group, Under Armour commands 7.1 percent of the men’s activewear space in the US and 3.8 percent of women’s this year through May. The women’s business currently accounts for around $1 billion of Under Armour’s $4.8 billion revenue.

Adidas, too, has released female-centric campaigns over the past year. In February, the athletic brand launched a global campaign called “Unleash Your Creativity”, which tells the stories of 15 women athletes, including supermodel Karlie Kloss, fitness influencer Hannah Bronfman, and fitness instructor Robin Arzon. This is a stark change in strategy for the German brand, which, through its 97-year history, has partnered with the biggest sports stars who were almost always male, like Jesse Owens, Derrick Rose, and David Beckham.

The increased female focus is part of Adidas’ strategy to double its share of the female sporting goods market by 2020. In an investor address in March 2017, board member Eric Liedtke said that the company is “not happy where we are today” when it comes to its position in the women’s market, which represented 23 percent of Adidas’ revenue in 2016. He vowed to lift that proportion to 28 percent within four years.

Combining Style With Versatility

Mainstream sportswear players also need to focus on creating products and services specifically designed for women. More women are buying into the sportswear sector as they prioritize self-transformation and wellness. In 2016 alone, the global market for health and wellness reached £539 billion (about $732 billion) and is expected to grow by a further 17 percent by 2021 to £640 billion ($869 billion), according to Euromonitor International. What’s prompted the shift in attitudes? A blend of social media and a growing consciousness about the importance of physical health.

Marketing to women doesn’t mean excluding men, but it does mean excluding stereotypes. Following an immensely popular sports bra campaign last July, featuring plus-size model Paloma Elsesser, Nike has expanded its plus-size offering with the “Black and White” collection, a range of fashion-forward shorts, tops, bras and leggings, which are designed to fit and flatter larger women.

Meanwhile, Adidas has been designing more sneakers, jackets and other garments specifically for women’s sport. The brand recently unveiled the Pure Boost X sneaker, with motion-tracking technology that studies the movement of the female foot.

Upgrading The Store Experience

Sportswear brands are also taking the retail experience into account. According to data from Euclid, which works with retail businesses to make data-driven decisions, 65 percent of women prefer shopping in-store to e-commerce, as it is easier to try clothes and receive personalized recommendations. Only 55 percent of men feel the same way.

Nike currently operates several women’s only-stores worldwide: in Shanghai, Newport Beach and London. In February 2017, Adidas launched a women-only fitness studio in London, where certified personal trainers, fitness influencers, and Adidas ambassadors host free workout sessions.

Brands are in danger of being viewed as superficial at best and condescending at worst. It’s one thing to create high-performing products for the female customer, but it’s an entirely different challenge to get her attention and create a brand that speaks her language. Nowadays, newer brands being born every day in the athleisure space. Even celebrities have gotten in on the action with their own brands. But the opportunity is still great. Women of different types of fitness levels are looking for a different kind of apparel for their fitness needs.

 

(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Getting Started With Audio Marketing? Here’s How

Posted July 6, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 4:54 am

Image result for Audio Marketing

The written word always has its place in content marketing. However, adding audio and visual content can elevate your ad to even better heights. Nowadays, live video marketing is one of the forerunners in the content marketing scene while audio content is being increasingly consumed across demographics in new and innovative ways. According to Statista forecasts that audio and spend could grow from 28.4 billion to 31.7 billion U.S. dollars between 2010 and 2020. As we enter 2018, here are some tips to add audio marketing content to your content strategy.

Podcasting

Podcasts aren’t new, but their popularity is growing steadily thanks primarily to their convenience factor. Plus, there are still so many niches and industries without relevant podcasts. According to Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP of Marketing and Host of The Growth Show, HubSpot, “Marketing is about being where your prospective customers are, good marketing is about being there and adding something of value.” Furthermore, Anderson commented that her organization understood that more and more of their users were consuming audio content.

Webinars

Webinars are powerful customer and prospect engagement mediums that deserve to be experimented with. You can think of a webinar as an online presentation or show which can be used to demonstrate products or services, host a Q&A or even have a roundtable discussion. With webinars, the user is able to learn how to get more out of the tool, and, in return, businesses get more active users. There is no point in selling anything during the session, as there is no conversion in a traditional sense. Rather, the idea is to bring value to the spectator and to solve his or her problem. Therefore, you can bring reputable experts to your webinars, to take one step towards brand loyalty. Likewise, while webinars are primarily visual mediums, audio-only webinars do exist, and audio content can easily be extracted and reused elsewhere.

Anchor App

The anchor is a growing iOS and Android app that is steadily attracting podcasters and radio station hosts. With it, you can record and manage a station with ethereal audio content that expires after twenty-four hours. You can also archive content before it expires, which turns it into a podcast with episodes that are always available to your audience. Anchor content — or “Waves” — can also be accessed via smart home assistants, or via in-vehicle interfaces. Anchor also provides a service that enables you to set up a podcast on popular podcasting platforms like iTunes and Google Play using your archived Anchor content. Lifehacker has taken advantage of this service, launching their Anchor-native podcast.

Alexa Skills

As the popularity of Amazon’s line of Echo products increases, the nifty Alexa Skill needs less and less of an introduction. In essence, they’re apps that function through audio commands made to your Amazon Echo device. Therefore, you can leverage Alexa skills to create a list of signals that can help users to reach out to your business, when in need. All they have to do is say their name and your company name to their Alexa-powered device and you can get notified via Slack. It’s also worth noting that while Alexa Skills are currently the most popular smart home assistant apps, Google Home and Apple Homepod equivalents will also be big players in 2018 and beyond.

Audiograms

Audiograms make audio content easier to share across social media and give some vibrancy to your content that would otherwise give listeners nothing to look at as they listen. WNYC, the radio and podcast station enjoys the use of audiograms, releasing their own audiogram generator which is free and accessible via Github. The station published a Medium post shortly after making their tool public, stating that their Twitter research shows that the average engagement level for an audiogram is “8x higher than a non-audiogram tweet.” On Facebook, they are seeing some audiograms outperform photos and links by 58 percent and 83 percent respectively.

Voice Search

According to Comscore, 50 percent of all web searches will be voice searches by 2020, and that’s again thanks in part to smart home assistants as well as smart virtual assistants like Siri and Cortana. Voice search optimization has thus emerged as a way for brands to ensure that, when consumers ask Siri about a question, it’s their web page that pops up with the best answer. The renowned SEO company Yoast has laid out some foundations for a voice search optimization, explaining that content writers should take into account the “Five W’s” when writing content intended for voice searches: The five Ws encompass the five primary ways humans ask questions when it comes to searching with their voice; who, what, when, where, why and how.

 

(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)

Filed under: Brand Marketing
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