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Brands fail to fall in Love

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Masters of CX 
Why Brands 
are Stuck on 
Like and Failing 
at Love 
By Mitch Joel 
President, Twist Image 
Published by Ec...

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Why Brands are Stuck on Like / Mitch Joel 
We live in strange 
(and interesting) 
times... 
We applaud a cookie company fo...

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You would think that brands would “get it” by 
now. Sadly, most don’t. Social media (and 
online social networks in partic...

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Brands fail to fall in Love

  1. 1. Masters of CX Why Brands are Stuck on Like and Failing at Love By Mitch Joel President, Twist Image Published by Econsultancy in association with Offerpop 
  2. 2. Why Brands are Stuck on Like / Mitch Joel We live in strange (and interesting) times... We applaud a cookie company for posting something relevant and timely on Facebook while the rest of the world was trying to figure out how a blackout happens at a major sporting event. From there, we watch this cookie manufacturer rack up over 35 million likes on Facebook, and we bow in reverence. A new king arises. A new viral sensation. How can we all capture this lightning in a bottle? How can we turn this real-time marketing stunt into millions-upon-millions of followers who are talking up our brands and pushing sales growth to near double-digits?
  3. 3. You would think that brands would “get it” by now. Sadly, most don’t. Social media (and online social networks in particular) are the best channels brands have ever had for truly engaging in a powerful and profound direct relationship with their consumers. But instead of diving in deep, changing the way that their marketing and communications departments are organized, and how they make those connections, brands persist in chasing “vanity” metrics, as my friend and Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, Avinash Kaushik, likes to call them). The old television advertising metric of GRP (for measuring audience) is now being played with “likes,” “followers” and yes... even shares. Don’t believe me? Facebook’s sales reps will talk to you about reach and so will the Twitter ad people. Their sales pitch will compare audience sizes to that of the traditional TV networks. The social giants will talk up how their platform combined with traditional media programming can create a high level of impact and awareness. Perhaps, if you work really hard, you too can take a selfie that millions upon millions of people will share and talk about…until tomorrow…when the next #IceBucketChallenge happens. The question is: Why go for likes when you can go for love? Here’s a thought: just because someone clicked on a link, it doesn’t mean that they read it or engaged with it. And just because someone shared or “liked” a piece of content, it doesn’t mean that they did anything more than click. Is a click the same as consuming? What can brands do to move their mindsets away from likes and clicks? They can think deeply about falling in love. Falling in love with their consumers and how they can now interact with them. Mitch Martin is a lawyer and the world is his oyster. He’s recently married, working his way up the corporate ladder, enjoys time with his friends and family. Like most professionals who travel for work, there is no better feeling than hopping on an earlier flight and making it home to surprise your loved ones… that is unless your spouse is engaged in an illicit threesome once you arrive. That’s just one of the many ridiculous scenarios from the 2003 hit Hollywood comedy Old School, starring Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson. It turns out that Mitch (Luke Wilson) was deeply in love with his wife who - for the most part - was ok “liking” a bunch of random strangers. In the digital age of instant gratification, consumer promiscuity is rampant, and getting consumers to be (somewhat) monogamous and in love with your brand is no easy task. It’s also a cultural thing for brands, at this point. Advertising was created as a mechanism to get attention through repetition of impressions. It’s easy to fall back on this dogma in our day to day advertising lives. To use the traditional metrics and the traditional yardsticks for success. Digital marketing can help you do so much more. It can move you from these one night stands to something deeper and more meaningful with consumers. The question is: Why go for likes when you can go for love?
  4. 4. Brand love is eroding A study of brand strength suggests that consumers’ ties to brands have weakened significantly. In the cosmetics sector, for example, those with positive brand scores dwindled from 7 of the 19 studied brands in 2002 down to one by 2012. // Source: Shultz, Block and Viswanathan, Brand Preference being Challenged, (2012) Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications ecly.co/1E51xpE  2002 2012
  5. 5. Hint #1: Start off slow... and take it slow. We live in a real-time, tweet a minute, analytics-driven world. This means that marketers want everything (more sales, more brand awareness, more loyalty, more likes and more) and we want it fast. Historically, the brands that were first to adopt any form of digital marketing (think back to the nineties) did so with the strategic posture of it being fast and quick to do. With that came the notion that it was also cheaper to do (much cheaper than a traditional TV, print or radio buy). Remember when keywords on Google were a cheap buy and plentiful? You could link to a couple of quickly designed web pages and the phone would ring. A friend of mine owned a B2B software company. He would buy keywords, develop quick landing pages and didn’t need any sales and marketing staff. Long before Google acquired Android, he would call his pay-per-click initiative the “Google Phone,” because that’s what would happen all day: the phone would ring off of the hook with sales leads (all inbound), just because of Google. It was cheap, fast and easy. To this day, many CMOs embrace digital marketing because they think it will be cheap and cheerful. Are you going to tell me that marketers don’t see email marketing as a faster (and cheaper) solution to their direct marketing of years past? The best way to stop getting stuck on likes and to start thinking about love is to understand that the best digital marketing is about being slow. Yes, make fast decisions. Use technology and its speed for glory, but optimal results take time. You can’t quickly start a channel on YouTube and go viral… with every video. It takes time to build your content, to get good at storytelling in that format, to become a part of the channel’s culture, to develop a community and earn trust and respect. You can’t just publish an Instagram feed, and expect your followers to make that cash register ring. You can’t change your Facebook content and media strategy and derive any true value from it, unless you take the time to meet your consumers there, authentically connect with them, share something of value with them (or, as my friend Jay Baer says, create YouTility ), build on that relationship and grow these connections. Digital marketing is not a key party. Moving a brand from likes to love is about building real relationships. It’s a new area on the relationship spectrum for brands to have, as well. It’s not the first impressions on the first date and it’s not about consummating the relationship. It’s about the massive opportunity of that middle phase of relationship building. It’s that middle phase that digital marketing has opened up for brands. Yes, make fast decisions. Use technology and its speed for glory, but optimal results take time.
  6. 6. Before he was a drone specialist, Chris Anderson (author of The Long Tail and Free and former editor of Wired Magazine) would often regale audiences with the reality that over half of all traffic to Wired’s digital properties was to the archive. The older content. The longer it had been there, the more people who have linked to it, shared it, tagged it, etc... the more valuable it became. Contrast that to the current half-life of everything that your brand has tweeted out or posted on Facebook in the past month. Is there any value in that archive? There is some profound learning here. Some marketers would lead you to believe that content marketing is now all about how fast you can post and jump on to the latest meme. It turns out that taking things slowly and allowing them to build over time is an incredibly powerful part of the new machine. Yes, but that’s not the entire story. It turns out that taking things slowly and allowing them to build over time is an incredibly powerful part of the new machine. The more valuable the catalog of content, the more trust gained from consumers linking to it and, ultimately, the more valuable (and upwardly mobile) the brand. Yes, the Wired editorial team still rush to post the latest and greatest, but the true value of that content is derived slowly and over time. It turns out that love isn’t always found in the never-ending fire hydrant of content known as the newsfeed. Hint #2: Slow does not mean resting on your laurels. Long-term results and relationships take time. You know the old adage, “there are no shortcuts to success.” If you’re starting on Facebook by pre-loading sanitized press releases or posting standard stock photos on Pinterest, you’re not adding value and you are not speeding up the process. In fact, you are probably slowing the brand down (in this case, slow is bad). This is where brands struggle. By not becoming part of the culture and choosing to just sell into it, success takes much longer because, inevitably, the course must be corrected and value built around the “right” pieces of engagement.
  7. 7. What is Real-time Marketing? The term “real-time marketing” often 53+How marketers refers to rapid social responses but also extends into the areas of automatic/triggered marketing. 53% The distinction will become 45+are using 23+real-time marketing 45% 29 increasingly important as more functions move from human to programmatic; instant response to consumer behavior via website, email 29% and display channel is becoming part 23% of the marketer’s standard toolkit. // Source: Real-Time Marketing Report, Econsultancy (2014) ecly.co/1uuIyVK Real-time Rapid, personal Real-time, None of these marketing in responses on automated digital channels social networks, responses on e.g. web, email, user comments, social networks display, search etc.
  8. 8. Hint #3: The right story based on right insight. That’s what consumers love…and become loyal to. The growth of content marketing and native advertising validates this. Suddenly, brands are telling stories in a more personal, human and connected way. It is very effective, but it isn’t something that works from campaign to campaign or quarter to quarter. How many brands have asked the right question: “Are we really and truly willing to put the time in?” Paying for light attention is easy. Fan acquisition strategies are everywhere to be bought. But the brands that are able to capitalize on the paid strategies are the same ones who are putting in the time doing something with their content. The blogger James Altucher once told me that for every hour he spends creating content, he spends three hours promoting it and building community and audience around it. This may seem simplistic to more sophisticated marketers, but we still live in a day and age where the vast majority of brands are pumping out a stock photo with a message akin to : “like this if you like poodles” or similar drivel. There’s a reason why Facebook throttles the content that brands are able to display to their followers. To counter that, successful brands on Facebook (and other forms of social media) are really diving in deep to think about what they’re going to create in a world where people on Facebook are more likely to flick over anything not relevant to them. In short, brands are learning how to find love by truly becoming more personable and interesting. Again, love takes time. Brands want to know how much time it takes to move from likes to love. How much time does it take to create something valuable? ♡ In short, brands are learning how to find love by truly becoming more personable and interesting. Again, love takes time.
  9. 9. How much time does it take to do YouTube right? How much time should we spend on Twitter? How much time does it take to create great content for Facebook? The reframe that is needed is not in trying to answer the question by looking at historical data from others, but in asking the question in a more philosophical way. At what price love? Don’t scoff at this. The majority of brands are under-indexing on engagement scores, and it’s not because they aren’t committing budget or creative to make a run at it. They are failing because they’re not putting in the time to create content that relies on the social insight (versus their creative idea) and they’re not putting in the time to truly connect with the audience. The stuff that builds trust… that leads to love. Hint #4: It’s not just about Facebook. Today, all media has some social component to it. Building your business to social scale is something that can be bought (whether some like this or not is irrelevant). Building your business to social scale and turning it into something truly valuable will only be about the brand’s commitment to truly putting in the long, hard work and time required to build substantive relationships. The true winners are the ones who are putting in the serious time to move from like to love. Let love rule. // Mitch Joel An example from Nivea In 2010 Nivea premiered their Black & White deodorant brand. The process was truly co-creative with customers, involving them all the way through launch. “Problem” phase: consumers identified hundreds of stain types, inspiring the scientists. “Idea” phase: Nivea’s team shared their thoughts with partners and consumers, co-creating the approach “Evaluation” phase: as ideas rolled out, they were evaluated and enhanced by consumer participants. Result: Black & White became the leading product in its category in only nine months. The question should best be phrased like this: “if we are going to be effective using social media, are we committed to putting in the time and effort it will require to get the results we expect?”
  10. 10. About the Masters of CX Published by Econsultancy in association with Offerpop The Masters of CX series features true marketing thinkers and industry heavyweights, covering the issues surrounding your customer experience approach and strategy. These unique reports will be published between October and December 2014, along with two dedicated webinar sessions where you can gain first-hand insight from the authors on the key issues raised. We’re delighted to be working with some of the most influential authors within digital marketing. Reports in the series include: Winning Hearts in Real-time by Jay Baer Influence the Influencers - The Magic of Co-Created Content by Lee Odden Beyond the Sale: Building Customer Relationships for Life by Brian Clark Empower your Employees to Power your Customer Experience by Ted Rubin Customer Loyalty Lessons from Medieval Times by Mark Schaefer Why Brands are Stuck on Like and Failing at Love by Mitch Joel Find out more about the authors and reports at hello.econsultancy.com/masters-of-cx and join the discussion using #MastersofCX Econsultancy arms a global community of over half a million marketers and ecommerce professionals with the research, data, analysis, training, events and online resources they need to enable them (and their organizations) to succeed online. Digital doesn’t stand still and nor do we. We’re known for being at the forefront of the industry, with a renowned team of analysts, trainers and advisers who focus their digital knowledge and experience on helping our customers overcome their specific challenges. Find out more and register for a free account at econsultancy.com Offerpop is a digital marketing software-as-a-service platform transforming how global brands connect, engage and convert today’s mobile and social consumers into long-term loyal customers. Leading enterprises and agencies use Offerpop’s integrated platform to power campaigns, content and commerce, and provide marketers with rich consumer data for smarter marketing decisions. Offerpop is an ExactTarget Marketing Cloud partner, Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, a Twitter Certified Product and has been highlighted as a recommended Instagram platform developer. Learn more at offerpop.com

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