Tag: Marketing

budwesier_fussed

Why Budweiser is Not Hypocritical

Many in the craft beer community have been pointing the finger at Budweiser for being hypocritical for bashing craft brewing while its parent company AB InBev has been snatching up craft breweries to add to its portfolio. However, it is possible for Budweiser to do this without being hypocritical. To understand why Budweiser is not hypocritical one must first understand two variations of brand hierarchy. 

Masterbrand

The first is called master brand, and under this hierarchy one brand is recognized as the controlling property and it also instills a single set of values for all its subordinates. The brands underneath are each their own brand or product but take on the values of the master brand. In most cases all the products have the same target audience.

hypo_apple_masterbrand

An example of this is Apple. We all recognize Apple as a high tech company that puts out quality products. Better yet all the products are sussinct. Your iPhone talks to your iPod and iTunes and all those can integrate with your iMac. They’re all partners in the same mission. Continue reading “Why Budweiser is Not Hypocritical” »

Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad Was Genius Marketing

During the Super Bowl, Budweiser aired an advertisement that enraged many of the craft beer community. It was an ad that many will regretfully have to discuss over and over anyone that knows they enjoy craft beer, and see posted to their feeds again and again.

In this ad Budweiser took jabs at the many stereotypes of craft beer drinkers. It implied craft beer drinkers dissect too much and drink strange styles. But it is what the ad didn’t say that makes it so powerful. This ad did three things that many brands don’t have the guts to do.

1. Took A Stand

The Budweiser brand has been losing market share to the craft beer category for several years (Budweiser is considered a macro beer for the unfamiliar). While it’s still one of the top sellers in the AB InBev portfolio, just under Bud Light, its sales have been steadily decreasing since 2003. All the while Budweiser has been toting its horses and puppies completely missing the connection with the new generation of beer drinkers. It was recently found that 44% of drinkers aged 21-27 hadn’t even tried the brand.

budweiser_market_share

Not only did the brand take a stand for what it is, it took advantage of the perception of the marketplace. Budweiser isn’t trying to be something that it is not, rather it is owning what people believe it to be. It claims “macro” with a vengeance, and one could only assume with the intent to transform the term. It is making the statement that it is proud to be macro. This ad brought the brand, and all that it is at its core to the foreground, out from the shadows of dogs and stallions.

budweiser_macro

Continue reading “Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad Was Genius Marketing” »

being-a-jerk

Being a jerk is good for your brand.

“Study the top stories at Digg or MSN.com and you’ll notice a pattern: the top stories all polarize people. If you make it threaten people’s 3 Bs — behavior, belief or belongings — you get a huge virus-like dispersion.” – Timothy Ferriss

Many companies have recently taken a public stand on their values, and polarized the marketplace using the three Bs. They created divides on controversial issues, which in turn created buzz, generated interest and — most importantly — gave their real advocates reason to believe in the brand. But is this really that bad?

A strong brand knows who its customers are and caters to them and their worldviews. It builds a tribe around those values and enables its customers to spread the word and grow its market share. But what if those values go against the more recent movements for change? Continue reading “Being a jerk is good for your brand.” »

emotion_rational

Is emotional advertising enough these days?

Emotional advertising has been found to be more effective that rational ads. In the book “Brand Immortality” the author, Harnish Pringle, analyzed over 880 cases from the U.K.’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Effectiveness, and discovered that emotional ads are twice as likely to generate large profit gains than rational ones.

emotion

The data used in the study spanned a few decades up to 2009, and lot has changed since then. Social media has taken hold with the general public and more companies have embraced it as a marketing medium. We now live in a world were more people are openly discussing their points of view (and emotions) on brands in public forums. Especially online where anonymity grants people the opportunity to behave differently and rally together in larger groups. Surely these new conditions have changed the landscape since the time of Pringle’s study. Continue reading “Is emotional advertising enough these days?” »

influence_marketing

Rethinking Your Marketing

Influence and Beyond

I recently finished reading Sam Fiorella and Danny Brown‘s “Influence Marketing” book and I must say that it will make you rethink your marketing. While the book was chalk full of technical details, it also had a strong foundation built on the fundamentals of marketing. It is packed with clear case studies and explanations of their concepts and methodologies of influence marketing. This is an unsolicited review. 

Brown_Fiorella_Influence_Marketing_CoverThe first chapter opens with a single case study that keeps you reading through the entire book; uncovering the how-to’s layer by layer. I imagine this is done to keep your head from exploding because Fiorella and Brown’s methods, although effective, are intricate. The breakdown of the current model of influence and the build up the their methods continues through chapter 8. If you know Sam Fiorella, then you know he is against the current model and methods of classifying influence. No matter your stance or feelings on the topic, this book gives you great ideas. From Chapter 8 on the book begins to share the real meat of their methods.

The most beautiful part of the book are the explanations of the internal and external factors that come into play when analyzing your audience. The detail and understanding of the consumer that Fiorella and Brown insist you have to use their methods successfully, coincidentally are ideal for all marketing tactics – at least in my opinion. As marketers continue to invest more into their online presence, and more “big data” becomes available, Fiorella and Brown’s consumer analysis methods will become even more salient.

There are a number of reason you might not like this book, but take my word for it you need to find a way to pull through. If you have ever tired or considered using Klout perks to market your product or any form of blogger outreach then you definitely need to read this book. The anecdotes are great, and data is amazing.

FacebookAnalytics

The Highlights of NEW Facebook Insights

Facebook launched their new insights platforms for brand pages this week. The insights come with the promise of more up-to-date information and a number of new features. There are a few features that really stand out and that help you stay away from excel number crunching analysis.

Post Metrics

Facebook puts a lot more emphasis on Post metrics with the new insights. Under the “Posts” header you can see all your post metrics. Posts metrics are now visualized and make it much easier to see which posts are working and which are not. You can also select different metrics to compare and breakdown reach by organic/paid and fans/non-fans. Continue reading “The Highlights of NEW Facebook Insights” »

Facebook Ads Are Changing, Sponsored Stories, Offers, Questions

Facebook Ruined Blogging… New Ads

Yesterday evening, Facebook announced that it will be changing the they way and types of ads that its offers on the platform. I had a really great four-part blog series on Facebook ads and strategy planned for the next 3 weeks, but since the announcement, it’s all been ruined! That’s just my personal struggle, but here is a recap of how Facebook ads will be changing.

Sponsored Stories 

These little guys are no longer an option. Instead, they will be built into every ad offered through Facebook.  Because Facebook is a social environment, advertisements that include sponsored stories perform the best. Facebook recognizes this by stating “We know social enhances ad resonance; people are influenced by this type of word-of-mouth marketing.” This is actually great news, because it simplifies ad buying.

Sponsored Stories also now have a unified look. Although marketers might not have realized it (I certainly didn’t), sponsored stores were actually presenting in a variety of way – 13 to be exact. These are now all being unified with a bigger image and social context on top.

Facebook Sponsored Stories (Advertising)

No more “Questions”

Questions was a feature that existed for pages. It allowed a page to poll its fans using a unique entry form that tallied up votes. In an effort to “reduce redundancies” Facebook is taking this feature out, point out that brands have used posts to ask questions and post comments to collect answers. However, we no longer get that fancy automatic tally feature, which honest was pretty nifty.

“No more Offers”

Offers was a page tool that allowed marketers to post promotional offers for products directly on the feed. They were presented in a unique way and even had sponsored stories for those that redeemed them. Facebook is removing this option “because marketers have found that using a Page post link ad is a more effective way to drive people to deals on their websites.” Although this may be true, the tracking features and ad report that came with offers did give marketers a nice tool to monitor effectiveness. No word on whether some type of tracking will be built into posts, or if we’ll all need to rely on our own monitoring and short-link tracking tools.

Facbeook Offers Screenshot

Streamlined Offering

Facebook states, “In the coming weeks and months, marketers will start to see these streamlined changes to our ads solutions.” They offer no specifics on how this will change, but I image an ad buying process that has less clicks and thinking involved. Much like the sponsored ads, the coming ads option will likely also be simplified and uniform.

Ads will also be more goal focused. These goals may include in-store sales, online conversions, app installs, “etc.” Currently conversion tracking has been most prominent with Power Editor users. We can only hope that these options are made easier to understand are become part of the front end ad buying experience.

Facebook (Advertising) Streamlined

Some of these changes, such as offers and sponsored stories, are going to begin popping up in July. Over the next few monthly we’ll see the ad option change. Anyone upset or anxious yet?

Delivering Message

3 Rules for Delivering Your Passion

Everyone has a passion and often times we want to share this passion with others. Your message is important to you, but when you are delivering your message to others, you must consider where you deliver it, to whom you deliver it to, and how you deliver it. I was on the subway platform this week and I witnessed a woman going about this all wrong.

This woman was standing at the top of the stairs on the subway platform, and as everyone walked by she spoke, in the sweetest tone you could imagine, “Follow Jesus and you will go to heaven.” A valid message, but poorly executed. Most people ignored her. The few that did look her way often looked away as soon as they made eye contact. The worst execution of this message was that she even said it to a group of Hasidic Jew teens.

I stood and I watched as dozens of people came up the stairs to wait for trains and exited trains to go down the stairway and she continue to repeat the message to everyone. She didn’t seem to be connecting with anyone. So how could she have done it better?

Here are three ways:

1. Start with a Conversation
The end goal of her mission is to get people to believe her message, but she skips over all the reasoning. Brands spend a lot of time crafting the perfect message to push into the marketplace, but it is often not received. Today’s technology can leverage your message to start a conversation, which can be continue somewhere else with the people who want to talk with you. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your reasoning, values, goals and garner buy-in from your audience. With social media, even if you only convert a few people, with this method you will have people who have converted because they believe in your message. These people are more also likely to share it and, over time, this will build.

2. Know your Audience
Make sure you are starting a conversation with the right people. Pushing your message on people who are to devoted something else, only positions you for a debate. Converting people who have already bought into your competitors is the most difficult path. It is much easier to converse with people on the fence, answer their questions and help them make a decision. Almost every social media platform can assist with this task.

3. Know your Environment
This woman stood at a bottle neck of the subway traffic during high density travel times. Much like brand XYZ jumping on a social platform and expecting everyone to listen to what it says. It is disruptive, but irrelevant to the audience. Your message must be delivered in a place where people are willing to listen or prepared to listen. Just because you’ve identified a place with high traffic, doesn’t mean that it is the right place for your message. A better qualifier for the placement of your message should be reception, not traffic.

Of course, these rules only apple when you know your values, have goals, and are ready to converse with your audience. Gone are the days of pushing your message on to people. Your marketing is now a conversation, with informed people looking for more answers.

Product Fails

27 Marketing Reasons Your Product Launch Will Fail

Well, according to the Harvard Business Journal article “Why Most Product Launches Fail“, there are actually 40 reasons your product launch will fail anywhere from the pre-launch through the launch phase. A majority of them relate to marketing. Just another reason why “Marketing is a part of Everything

Pre-Launch Phase

1. No market research on the product or the market has been done.
2. Most of the budget was used to create the product; little is left for launching, marketing, and selling it.
3. The product is interesting but lacks a precise market.
4. The product’s key differentiators and advantages are not easily articulated.
5. The product defines a new category, so consumers or customers will need considerable education before it can be sold.
6. The sales force doesn’t believe in the product and isn’t committed to selling it.
7. Because the target audience is unclear, the marketing campaign is unfocused.

8. Distribution takes longer than expected and lags behind the launch.
9. Sales channels are not educated about the product and thus slow to put it on shelves.
10. The product lacks formal independent testing to support claims.
11. The marketing campaign is developed in-house by the manufacturer and lacks objectivity.
12. The product is untested by consumers; only the company can assert its benefits.
13. The website is the primary place to order, but the product description is unclear and the site isn’t fully functional.

Launch Phase

14. The product is launched too hastily and doesn’t work reliably.
15. The launch is aimed at the wrong target audience.
16. Supplies of the product are insufficient to satisfy orders.
17. The product is launched too late for its key selling season.
18. The product doesn’t fit into any key selling season.

19. The manufacturer’s claims can’t be backed up.
20. A governing body (the FTC, the FDA) pulls the product, citing false claims.
21. The product is given a limited “trial at retail” but without public relations, marketing, or promotion to “turn” it.
22. The product is launched without influencers to promote its efficacy.
23. The launch budget is insufficient to “pull” the product off the shelf.
24. The product has no trained spokesperson to educate the media.
25. Management launches the marketing campaign before distribution is complete.
26. Management has promised the board and stockholders an instant hit without considering how much time is needed to educate consumers about the product.
27. The ad campaign is untested and ineffective.
28. The launch campaign depends solely on PR to sell the product.
29. The company spends the entire marketing/advertising budget at launch, so no funds are left to sustain the campaign.
30. Company executives underestimate the value of Twitter and Facebook.
31. Retailers are given no incentives to feature the product.
32. All marketing dollars go to advertising and public relations, none to social media.
33. Line extensions aren’t test-marketed as thoroughly as the original product, so they fail.
34. The product is launched to capitalize on a fad that soon fizzles. [market trends]
35. The product design is unique but confuses consumers, who don’t understand how the product works.
36. The spokesperson is a bad fit with the product, creating a discordant message.
37. The product is priced too high for mass adoption. [market positioning]
38. Consumers are unclear about what demographic the product is geared toward.
39. The product is manufactured offshore; quality control issues result in negative consumer feedback and product returns.
40. The ad campaign is launched before the sales force is fully briefed, so customers know more than salespeople about the product.

Aside from product development and design budgets, marketing is involved. Just consider all the places and times your product touches the consumer. Each of those moments is an opportunity to market – and it better be doing a good job!

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