Feminism as a Marketing Trend

January 4, 2017

Feminism

This time of year is ripe for trend reports and because it’s important to our work with clients, I’ve been digging through many of them to identify recurring themes. There’s one theme that has really caught my eye and seems to be something that should be on every businessperson’s radar screen. I believe we’re at the beginning of a groundswell (perhaps because of the recent election) that is going to only get louder and more powerful. The trend I’m referring to, believe it or not, is feminism.

I imagine you just glanced at the paper to see if you’d suddenly been transformed back to 1840. Perhaps I should call this a re-trend but that doesn’t negate its importance. In the 1840s it was about the right to vote and in the 1960s it was largely about the right to have more options professionally because at that time only 38% of American women worked outside the home and they had very limited choices in terms of careers.

But today’s feminism seems to have a very different slant. First, it’s global, rather than just US based. Second, it appears to be much broader in scope and influence. There’s not as much focus on one specific problem but instead, it’s about the whole of a person and the core concept of equality. Third, women and men are not combatants in this go around. In fact, men are increasingly being invited to the party, as true members of the cause. Emma Watson’s speech at the U.N. (Google it and watch it – she’s brilliant) put the international spotlight on the solidarity movement for gender equality. It’s worth noting that the program Watson introduced in 2015, HeForShe, is being sponsored by JP Morgan Chase.

The fight feels less antagonistic and more about the simple logic that equality makes sense and seems reasonable to expect in this day and age. Obviously, I’m simplifying the issues greatly and I know that women across the globe still face some horrific situations, but overall, the spirit of the fight feels more collaborative and open to all supporters.

Whether you are aligned with this new edition of feminism or not, it’s quickly weaving itself into our world in some interesting ways that as marketers, we need to watch.

Empowerment: I think empowerment is a word that is overused and probably often misused. But in this case, it’s about celebrating and selling the idea that women can do and be anything they choose. Toy manufacturers like GoldieBox are championing girl engineers and coders with their STEM-based toys and movies like Disney’s Frozen celebrate women helping each other, rather than being rescued by a prince. Both examples were out of the box megahits – meaning that their themes resonated with consumers in a significant way.

Gender neutral: We’re moving into an era where we consciously stop defining something as being made for a boy or a girl. President Obama created quite a discussion in December 2014 when he went out of his way to put toys that would have traditionally been earmarked for boys into the girls’ toy pile during a Toys for Tots appearance. Clothing manufacturers, especially those aiming at young adult consumers, have been purposefully developing clothing styles without defining who should or should not wear them.

Why should this be on your radar screen? I believe every marketer should be checking their own gender bias as they roll out new marketing initiatives. Our audiences, both men and women, will have far less tolerance for stereotypes that minimize either gender. Not only that, but I suspect consumers will reward those companies who go out of their way to recognize and celebrate equality in all it’s shapes and forms to a growing degree.

Marketer beware – the landscape is changing and you don’t want to be out of touch.

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Are you ready to go native?

October 19, 2016

Native AdvertisingOne of the things I both love and hate about the marketing industry is the constant quest for creating the hot new thing. Sometimes, there really is something that is so new and innovative, like the topic for last week’s column – retargeting – that it can legitimately make the claim “hot new thing.”

But there are other times when the hot new thing is really more of an updated or revised thing. That’s my take on this whole “native advertising” hype that is surging through marketing circles right now.

Native advertising is paid advertising that is camouflaged in some way to look like it’s just helpful content or natively belongs in the setting that it’s placed in. It’s usually clearly marked in some way, but the whole goal is for it to be less “ad like” so the audience will not ignore it.

I know the definition itself is as clear as mud, so let me give you a couple examples. The advertorial is a form of native advertising. An advertorial looks like editorial content but is actually an ad that a company bought. Many “special sections” of a newspaper or magazine are in truth, advertorials. But because they are written and designed to look like a story rather than an ad – they are hiding in plain view.

Another example of native advertising is product placement. Watch a couple hours of HGTV on Saturday morning and you will begin to spot all the different products being used. When you see a label or the host mentions a product by name, odds are very good that someone paid good money (or donated product) for that.

I’m not suggesting that native advertising isn’t a good idea. It can be a great way to expose an audience to your offerings. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t believe all the hype about it being something new.

What is “newish” bout native advertising are the digital options. For example, you can now marry online ads to relevant online content. Have you noticed that at the bottom of many online news stories you can find a “what’s trending now” area with links to other, related stories? If you click on one of those stories, what you’ll often discover is that you’ve been taken to a landing page that is selling a product that is tangentially connected to the topic of the first story.

Another way you can digitally go native is to pay someone to publish your content or write content for you and build calls to action within that content. You can drive traffic to your website, a product page, an event or whatever you’d like. Many times this sort of purchased content is appearing in online magazines and authoritative websites on specific topics. These native ad articles are usually marked with the word sponsored to indicate that they were paid for. But they look just like the rest of the “pure” content on the site. Another advantage to you, the advertiser, is the SEO value of the backlinks.

Native ads within videos is a very popular option right now as well. You can run your ads on YouTube videos that contain relevant content. You can also produce a video and like the sponsored story on a website, you can actually embed your ads right into the video itself. You can just create brand awareness or you can actually have calls to action within your message.

Native advertising begins with content. Whether the content is created by the brand, by the publisher for compensation or the ads is just aligning itself with topically relevant content – the goal is look and feel more editorial to avoid the audience’s aversion to traditionally intrusive ads.

There’s nothing new about that idea.

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Are you ready to podcast?

April 7, 2016

podcastingAccording to wikipedia a podcast is a collection of digital media files distributed over the internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers.

Here’s my definition. A podcast is an incredible marketing tool and a great way to generate new leads for your business. It can enhance your marketing in many ways. People consume podcasts in a big way.

Apple reports over a billion subscriptions to podcasts via iTunes and they’re hardly the only access point. It’s estimated that over 31 million Americans are regular podcast listeners.

Branding: An effective podcast series is an excellent way to reach our generation’s tech-savvy consumers. Podcasts can be used to position your company as an industry leader, assuming your content is relevant and timely for your target audience.

Lead Generation & Lead Nurturing: These seem to be buzzwords for the coming year. People are thinking more and more about their sales cycle and how to keep moving prospects closer to the sale. Podcasts are a smart way to keep prospects engaged with your brand while you earn their trust by demonstrating your expertise.

External Communications: No matter who you need to stay in touch with — investors, board members, the media, industry pundits, or your current customers, a podcast is a simple and interesting way to do that.

Website Content Improvements: Want your website to be seen as an important resource? Adding content like podcasts will not only add stickiness to your site, but Google and the other search engines will love that you’ve got a mix of media on your site.

If those benefits have you thinking that it might not be a bad plan to think about adding a podcast series to your marketing efforts, then stay with me. I want to give you some tips on attracting and keeping an audience. But even if you follow all of these suggestions, you’re going to have to be a little patient. This isn’t a marketing tactic that you try once or twice and then figure it didn’t work.

Don’t even start this if you aren’t going to give it a good year to take seed and grow. Here are a few ways to help make that happen.

Keep it Short: Most people will have an attention span of 15-30 minutes at the most for any given topic. Don’t be afraid to be brief. Even a 5-10 minute podcast can be very effective. One way to do that is to remember – one podcast, one key message.

Use MP3 for your file format: Most rich media players can play an MP3 formatted file. You can offer other options as well, as long as MP3 is there.

Let Them Subscribe: Don’t count on your audiences continually coming back to your site. Give them subscription options so every time you produce new content, they receive it automatically.

Teach, Don’t Sell: I know this is tough, but if your podcast is a sales speech, no one will stick with you. If you think about what you could teach your prospects and give them that education freely, they’ll gladly endure a little information about your product or service.

Putting together a podcast series does take some effort. But it can yield incredible results too. You can use the same podcast with many different audiences and you can even slice and dice some of the content into blog posts, sales material and other marketing tools. Why not give it a try?

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Marketing idea: What does your customer experience?

January 26, 2016

marketing idea - what does your customer experienceThe concept of creating a memorable customer experience is nothing new. Companies like Disney, Zappos and Ritz Carlton have become famous for how their customers rave about doing business with them. Who doesn’t know the famous Ritz Carlton line “we are ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen?”

So the concept has been around for a while, but I predict it will take on new importance in 2014 and beyond. The digital fishbowl that every business lives in today makes every nuance of every interaction a potential powder keg. It used to be that focusing on the customer experience was what the big companies did or how the top 10% thought differently than everyone else. But today it’s not a nicety; it’s a necessity.

Here’s why:

Because one slip up can cost you plenty. Your customers possess the ability to skewer you with a single Facebook post or online review. It seems as though people are rather quick on the social media draw when it comes to taking a shot at a business that has done them wrong.

Just this last week, one of my Facebook friends shared a bad restaurant experience. At the beginning, she did not reveal the name of the establishment, but as people told their own stories and started trying to guess where she had been, she finally revealed it. Others started chiming in with their own horror stories about the place.

Guess what – I’m never going to eat there. Small example but it’s happening every day to companies big and small.

You know more, so they expect more. Thanks to all of the digital data we now collect, the databases we can build (whether we do or not), the very public lives people live and how easy it is to be connected to a business through social media, e-newsletters, websites, actual interactions etc.

Whether we’ve been paying attention or not, our customers are telling us more about themselves every day. They like our Facebook page updates or they redeem a certain offer. They choose to attend our business after hours event or they refer a friend. In every one of those actions is data. The question becomes – what are we doing with what we learn?

If we don’t create an amazing experience, someone else will. Let’s say you don’t own a computer and neither do your customers. (I know…fat chance, but go with me here) Unless you have no competition – all of this still pertains to you. You cannot compete if you don’t delight. You may not be at risk for the cyber blasting that review sites and peer networks allow for but you’re still fighting for their business every day.

Someone will figure out a way to make the transaction helpful, easy and/or fun. This affords them two things. First, it gives them the crack in the door to get in with your customer and eventually, steal them away. Second and perhaps even more annoying, it allows them to charge a premium price. So not only will your customers ditch you, but they’ll also pay your competitor more.

I don’t care if your product or service is better. I don’t care if your product or service yields better results. The truth is, people will settle for a good enough product or service if the experience of acquiring it is special enough. You cannot rely on just being better.

Right or wrong — your customer is judging you every step of the way. And deciding if they’re coming back for more based on that interaction.

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The future of personalization

January 20, 2016

The future of personalizationIf you haven’t been thinking about the future of personalization — you should. The CMO Council released a fascinating study today, looking at how marketers are viewing/using personalization and what that means for all of us down the road.

 The study, done in partnership with Pegasystems, is entitled “Predicting Routes to Revenue, and found that nearly half of marketers say their current analytics programs have the ability to give a clear view of past performance but do little to shed light on the road ahead.  The study is based on insights from more than 150 senior marketing executives surveyed primarily across North America and Europe during the fourth quarter of 2015.  You can download the complete study here.

The study also found that marketers looking to deliver exceptional customer experience will increasingly turn to personalization as the key driver to maximize customer value. This will require redefining data¹s value and primary role, moving away from using data as a vehicle to calculate past performance metrics and into a critical tool to uncover new, real-time insights about customer behavior.

The study also found that marketers looking to deliver exceptional customer experience will increasingly turn to personalization as the key driver to maximize customer value. This will require redefining data¹s value and primary role, moving away from using data as a vehicle to calculate past performance metrics and into a critical tool to uncover new, real-time insights about customer behavior.

Gone are the days of simply including a customer’s name in an email and considering that to be personalization. Today, customers expect that brands will understand who they are, what their habits are, what they want to see on their device screens, what they want, how they want it, when they want it…and the list of expectations goes on. These requirements are making it all the more imperative for organizations to be able to craft robust experiences that are targeted to the needs and desires of all of their customers.

A one-size-fits-all approach reveals to the customer that a brand does not understand them and opens the door for customers to defect and leave a brand’s fold in favor of one that does. In a world where customers have a multitude of options for nearly everything they are looking to purchase—and where new contenders are willing to offer almost anything to gain their business and loyalty if given the opportunity—the demand to know and effectively engage customers has never been greater.

Read more about the study’s findings and the recommendations from the CMO Council and Pegasystems and then identify personalization opportunities inside your own organization.

Seems like the time is now if you’d like to be an innovator in this space.

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Leveraging the power of converged media

October 20, 2015

leveraging-the-power-of-converged-mediaI think the idea of leveraging the power of converged media is both an old and a new idea.  Media has changed (to say the least) but the idea of a media mix is hardly a fresh concept.

We’re talking about media differently today and I think that’s smart. The truth is — our definition of media hasn’t changed. That suggests it was something and now it is something new. I think about it in terms of a new and constant evolution. What media is today absolutely will not be what media is tomorrow.

And who controls media today, as we’ve seen with the rise of social media and other consumer driven communication tools, is not who will control the media tomorrow.

I believe the brands that learn how to shift back and forth throughout all media, weaving ourselves into all kinds of conversations, are the brands who will be on top in the future.

Let’s explore the big buckets that media is falling into today and how to consider playing in all the buckets.

Earned media is the result of media relations efforts, ad campaigns, events and any content you create and share through social channels that gets picked up, shared or run. It’s also the label we attach to anything your customers or other people who interact with your brand do or say publicly on a review site or social channel. This is also where word of mouth, referrals etc. would be found.

Paid media is, as you might suspect, media coverage you pay for. It could be traditional ads on TV, radio or print publications. It could also be ads you buy to run on the web – banners or paid search, sponsorships etc. If you can completely control the message, the placement and timing, even though you don’t own the advertising vehicle – it’s paid media.

Owned media are those outlets that a brand can create, own and control like their corporate website, blog, enewsletter, sales materials, etc. It would also include your Facebook page, Instagram videos and Twitter account. If you can build, change or completely destroy the channel – it’s owned media.

Each type of media on its own can be very effective. But, thanks to how media is now created and consumed – we can really leverage our content by converging the media. With some planning and effort you can integrate your marketing process and tactics so that each channel builds off the other.

Let me give you an example. Is Facebook earned, paid or owned media? Actually, it can be any or all of them. You can buy Facebook ads (paid) that drive people to your company’s Facebook page (owned) where they might give you some feedback on their recent experience with your company (earned).

Don’t dismiss this conversation because you don’t want to dabble in social media. If you send out old school media releases, buy ads and have a website – this pertains to you too. Whether you go old school or are on the cutting edge of digital executions, this idea of blending medias should be on your radar screen.

Why does this matter? Here are a few reasons.

Converged media saves you money: By repurposing content and using one platform to connect to another – you can compound your investment. Think of it as earning interest on every dollar you spend. You spend money or time (or both) to create an ad, some content etc. and then you just reshape it for a different type of media. Each time you re-use the content, it costs less to revise it and it stacks up with all the other impressions, making it even more effective.

Converged media creates trust: Every survey tells us that consumers trust corporations/companies less than they used to and they are skeptical of paid media when it’s the only place a message is found. But when you mix media types – especially adding in earned media, every message is perceived with more trust. When you add responsiveness to the media mix, you’re golden. It’s difficult not to trust a company who is actively listening and responds when someone reaches out to them.

Converged media lets you connect with prospects and customers: In today’s economy, consumers expect to have access. At a very minimum, they want a form on your website that will be responded to within 24 hours. But ideally, they want to talk to you in real time, via Twitter, Facebook or a live chat on your site. To keep that manageable – you can use owned and paid media to provide many of the answers that routinely get asked.

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How are your multicultural marketing strategies?

September 23, 2015

multicultural marketing strategiesCMOs acknowledge that they need to have strong multicultural marketing strategies but despite rapid population growth and strong support for initiatives within marketing circles, CEO and board support falls far short, failing to assist marketer’s ability to prioritize and fully fund their efforts.

According to Geoscape, the leader in business intelligence across the multicultural market, groups including Asian-Americans, African-Americans and Hispanics will grow to nearly 130 million by the year 2020. Furthermore, the non-Hispanic white population will become the minority, dropping below 50% of the population by 2042.

A new poll from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Geoscape—entitled “Activating the New American Mainstream”—reveals that half of the 150 North America-based senior marketing executives surveyed feel there is some level of support for multicultural engagement strategies from the senior levels of the organization.

Here’s what I thought was one of the most telling factoids in the report — While 67% admit that the CMO has a high level of buy-in and support for multicultural efforts, 55% admit that the CEO does not share that opinion, failing to fully support initiatives.

This lack of top-level support translates into a de-prioritization of multicultural engagement programs as more than half (51%) of marketers admit that there are simply too many competing priorities. In fact, when asked to rate commitment levels, only 20% of marketers felt that multicultural strategies were mandatory and unanimously embraced across the organization, and just over one in four believed that the multicultural market was mission critical for the organization.

Specific to investments into multicultural programs, marketers indicate that:

  • 20% invest in excess of 15% of overall marketing budgets to engaging with multicultural markets; 28 percent spend less than 5%.
  • 53% of marketers believe their investment into the multicultural market will increase going forward; 15% believe this increase will be significant; only 2% anticipate a decrease in investment.

For those marketers who have deployed multicultural marketing strategies, the operational approach is one that fails to separate initiatives into significant segments. Only 16% of marketers are separating marketing initiatives for specific ethnic groups, a practice which would allow for a deeper level of engagement thanks to relevant communications based on cultural behavioral patterns and insights.

Multicultural marketing strategies must move away from the niche campaign mindset and become an engrained part of any personalized customer experience strategy,” noted Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing with the CMO Council. “This is no longer a scenario of replacing images or localizing content into a different language. This is about truly understanding the nuances of the customer, including any culturally distinct behaviors and buying patterns that can and must alter the way our brands reach and engage.”

Without doubt, the multicultural market in the United States is an increasingly powerful consumer. According to Geoscape research, Hispanics currently represent 18 percent of American households but were responsible for nearly half of the growth in consumer spending from 2013 to 2014. Between Asian-American and Hispanic markets, the groups accounted for two-thirds of the total economic spending growth.

“By understanding cultural nuances and marketing in a proactive and data-driven manner, marketers are positioned to grow ROI…however, none of this happens overnight,” added César M. Melgoza, Founder and CEO of Geoscape. “Targeting consumers without understanding their unique cultural behaviors and preferences risks growth optimization among the consumer groups that quarterly and annual budgets and success can hinge.”

Key findings from the 10-question online poll of 150 senior marketing executives are included in a 12-page complimentary white paper, now available for download from the CMO Council. Some 36% of respondents hail from B2B organizations, 29% are from strictly B2C organization, and 36% are from hybrid organizations. 43% hail from organizations with revenues in excess of $1 billion USD.

 

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How do we connect with our audience?

September 17, 2015

connect-with-our-audienceWe talk about wanting to engage and connect with our audience but what does that actually mean?

Global marketers see the value of making their digital interactions with customers and stakeholders richer, more personal and predictive.

But most are still struggling to make their mobile, social and web channels work together to provide a more enriching and engaging experience.

A new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council—entitled “Brand Attraction from Enriched Interaction”—reveals marketers still lag in creating multi-channel, digital marketing campaigns that reach and resonate with diverse, micro-audiences worldwide. Only 19% said they are extremely good or very good in this area. In contrast, 45% gave themselves a lackluster grade , saying “in terms of connecting with our audience with fully integrated mobile, web and social channels — we aren’t hitting the mark.” This compares to just 21% who said they were very proficient.

The latest study, sponsored by IBM Digital Experience, was designed to assess the degree to which marketers are embracing new digital channels and content management technologies to realize the full value of rich media engagement, crowd-sourced content, and mass-customized commerce through higher levels of personalization and tailored interaction.

“Digital marketers are challenged to create an end-to-end, multi-channel experience that engages and enlivens customer, partner and employee audiences with more compelling and relevant content-driven commerce and conversation,” noted Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council, which has nearly 10,000 members in 110 countries. The council’s research was based on input from 287 marketing leaders across all regions of the world. A free strategic brief summarizing research findings and highlights is available for download from the CMO Council website.

“A critical area of insight from survey respondents centered on what technology transformations are most likely to impact how companies market, operate and connect with our customers.” Topping the list was the advent of the smarter digital enterprise, with its automation of marketing execution and customized interactions at scale. Next was the new API-driven economy, where partners and ecosystems share mobile/web links, information and insights to add value and further monetize transactions and interactions. Not far behind this is the disruptive potential of the “Internet of things” and the ability to gather real-time data and intelligence through pervasive, sensor-based tracking of behavior, intention and satisfaction.

The CMO Council believes content has become pivotal to the way companies and brands attract attention, entice engagement, acquire and grow relationships, encourage purchase and further word-of-mouth. In addition to its thought leadership studies, the council operates the Content ROI Center, which shares best practice innovations in content marketing.

Areas of exploration covered by the study included:

  • How brands rate their ability to captivate and connect with their audiences, partners and employees through evolving mobile, web and social channels of interaction and digital experience
  • How effective brands have become at creating, executing and tailoring new multi-channel digital marketing campaigns to better reach and resonate with diverse micro-audiences worldwide
  • Which mobile apps, analytics, tools, solutions or cloud platforms have been embraced (or are being considered) to create richer, more meaningful, relevant and persuasive interaction with key stakeholders
  • How companies believe they are achieving competitive advantage and business impact with more enriched, personalized content and digital interaction
  • Where and how digital experiences are shaping and influencing the attraction, acquisition, conversion, monetization and retention of customers
  • To what degree brands are becoming more proficient at integrating content and commerce to increase the value of customer touchpoints, experiences and relationships
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Are you leveraging visual content?

September 8, 2015

visual contentIf any of the trend reports from the last five years are accurate — visual content should be a critical element in your marketing and content strategy.

If’ve you’ve master this — you’re in the minority.  While a picture may be worth a thousand words, marketers have not turned a strategic lens on optimizing the return from their visual media content investments.  While 65% of senior marketing executives believe visual assets are core to how their brand story is communicated, only 27% have the ability to aggregate, organize and manage these assets across marketing and non-marketing teams—including those outside of the organization.

A new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council—entitled “From Content to Creativity: The Role of Visual Media in Impactful Brand Storytelling”—reveals that marketers believe visual assets, including photography, illustrations, infographics and videos, are core to customer engagement and will increase in usage in the coming year. Video will most dramatically increase in importance in the near future, according to 79 percent of senior marketers. Infographics (60 percent), photographs (50 percent), and illustrations (41 percent) will also increase in usage. The 17-page strategic white paper is available for download today by clicking here.

Conducted in partnership with Libris, a PhotoShelter business unit, the study reveals that internal silos, disconnected content development strategies and a vast list of other marketing priorities have prevented visual assets from being fully leveraged across the organization.

“Marketers have been remiss in approaching the visual asset dialogue as part of the strategic customer experience and engagement dialogue,” said Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council. “Perhaps because visual assets have long been the domain of creative or agency resources, the conversation around maximizing value across the organization has fallen off of the priority list. But as customers continue to react in meaningful ways to visual media, marketing cannot afford to stand idly by and not include visuals in the content ROI agenda.”

Consumer research shows that 40 percent of customers will respond better to visual information than plain text (Zabisco). Marketers have, in turn, shifted content production to include vast quantities of graphics, videos, photography and illustrations. Infographic production, by one estimate, increases by 1 percent every day (Zabisco). Yet according to the 177 marketing executives surveyed by the CMO Council in the second quarter of 2015, current investments in centralization of these assets do not reflect this level of priority.

The audit, conducted through the CMO Council’s Content ROI Center, tapped into the insights of 177 senior marketers, with 52 percent from B2B organizations, 18 percent from B2C companies and 30 percent from hybrid organizations selling to B2B2C. A quarter of respondents hail from organizations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and 41 percent hold chief marketing officer, head of marketing or senior vice president of marketing titles. Areas explored in the paper include:

  • The role of visual content in marketing and brand storytelling strategies
  • Anticipated shifts in the importance of visual content
  • Budget allocations and anticipated shifts in spend for visual content development
  • Key challenges and obstacles to maximizing ROI
  • Impact and value of visual content aggregation and consolidation

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is the only global network of executives specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council’s 9,000 members control more than $450 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 35,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The council’s strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Mobile Relationship Marketing (MRM) Strategies Forum, LoyaltyLeaders.org, CMOCIOAlign.org, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center and the Brand Inspiration Center. Learn more at www.cmocouncil.org

 

About Libris

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JWt’s trend report for 2015

January 10, 2015

This is always my favorite (and I believe most insightful) trend report that comes out around this time every year.

In JWT’s ninth annual forecast of trends for the near future, they explore how consumers are both welcoming and resisting technology’s growing omnipresence in our lives. For many, technology serves as a gateway to opportunity and an enabler of hyper-efficient lifestyles, but those who are most immersed are starting to question its effect on their lives and their privacy. One result is that more people are trying to find a balance and lead more mindful, in-the-moment lives.

Here’s their 2 minute snapshot of the findings.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEzeSym8v3c’]

 

If we want to drill down a little deeper — According to the JWT site, the 10 trends they identify and explore are:

1. IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES: Entertainment, narratives and brand experiences will become more immersive and altogether more enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention.

2. DO YOU SPEAK VISUAL?: We’re shifting to a visual vocabulary that relies on photos, emojis, video snippets and other imagery, largely supplanting the need for text. “Visual” is a new lingo that needs to be mastered.

3. THE AGE OF IMPATIENCE: With the mainstreaming of the on-demand economy and our always-on culture, consumer expectations for speed and ease are rising exponentially. As businesses respond in kind, making the availability of their products and services more instant, impatience and impulsiveness will only continue to increase.

4. MOBILE AS A GATEWAY TO OPPORTUNITY: In emerging markets, the mobile device is coming to represent a gateway to opportunity—helping people change their lives by giving them access to financial systems, new business tools, better health care, education and more.

5. TELEPATHIC TECHNOLOGY: Thanks to the rise of brain-computer interfaces and emotion recognition technology, brands are getting more adept at understanding consumers’ minds and moods, and reacting accordingly in a very personalized way.

6. THE END OF ANONYMITY: Thanks to an array of new technologies and a growing drive to collect personal data, it’s becoming nearly impossible to remain unobserved and untracked by corporations and governments. As anonymity becomes more elusive, expect pushback from consumers and a growing paranoia around technologies and services that affect privacy.

7. RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE: As we move further into the digital age, we’re starting to both fear and resent technology, fretting about what’s been lost in our embrace of unprecedented change. We’ll put a higher value on all things that feel essentially human and seriously question (while not entirely resisting) technology’s siren call.

8. REMIXING TRADITION: With social norms quickly changing and a new anything-goes attitude, people are mashing up cherished traditions with decidedly new ideas, creating their own recipes for what feels right.

9. PROUDLY IMPERFECT: Imperfection and even outright ugliness—the quirky, the messy and the clearly flawed—are taking on new appeal in a world that’s become all too polished or mass-produced. The imperfect is coming to feel more authentic, and also more comforting and meaningful.

10. MINDFUL LIVING: Consumers are developing a quasi-Zen desire to experience everything in a more present, conscious way. Once the domain of the spiritual set, mindful living is filtering into the mainstream, with more people drawn to the idea of shutting out distractions and focusing on the moment. 

The report is over 100 pages of examples, marketing insights and suggestions on how we will see these trends come to life over the next year.  Whether you’re in marketing or just love to study cultures and people — you’ll find it a fascinating read.

This report is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. The report includes input from nearly 70 JWT planners and researchers across more than two dozen markets, and interviews with experts and influencers across sectors including technology, health and wellness, media and academia.

You can purchase the report here.

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