Almost every organization wants their customers to openly advocate their brand. They want them to be gleefully sharing their products and services on social media – telling their friends that they “must buy brand XX because…”. They want them to be writing insightful blog posts and in-depth articles about why brand XX is better than all their competitors. Some even want them scribbling down stories in their journals about how brand XX helped shape their childhood.
We believe marketing no longer needs to be noisy or interruptive. The most effective marketing gives back and inspires.”
Media and brands play a large part in raising ourselves and our children, and their social impact continues to grow each day. Review sites, blogs and social media have helped level the odds a bit by providing platforms for two-way conversations, however, those same mediums have also allowed brands to become even more integrated into our every day lifestyles. And as brands become more immersed into our everyday lives, we all begin to demand and expect more value from these brands.
Before we jump in, a quick marketing 101 lesson; the idea of having a “bullseye target” in marketing is to single in on one type of person with specific demographic and psychographic details so that you can focus all your marketing resources and attention on him or her. If this is the first time you’ve heard of this concept, it might sound a little ridiculous, and wasteful. I get it. The concept of funnelling all your marketing budget and resources into one single specific type of person seems ludicrous when you can just as easily spread out those resources and appeal to everyone.
The problem is, when you do the latter, you dilute your budget, resources, and worst of all, your message.
There is a cacophony of brands and advertisements bombarding our eyes and minds every day, and as consumers it’s not unusual to see thousands upon thousands each day. So, how does pin-pointing one type of person for your marketing efforts help your brand to stand out and attract more customers and clients?
The first time you write your marketing plan, it’s an inspiring process. You’ve laid out this well-thought-out strategic roadmap that will lead you to business success, and you can’t wait to implement it. In some senses, you expect it to be a cakewalk. However, after a year, or maybe even just six months, you find yourself so focused on just “doing” things, that you forget all about the clear, strategic plan that you had initially laid out. You’re focusing more on keeping your head above water with things like “managing” social media accounts and you forget all about how to utilize them to your benefit – just like you had laid out in the marketing plan.
This happens to marketers everywhere, and if this sounds like you, it’s time to evaluate (and/or re-evaluate) your marketing plan. Here are 5 tips on how to get started:
Of the many marketing plans I’ve seen, there’s one major thing that a majority of them desperately need but are curiously missing: a clear vision. This should be the same (or at least similar) vision from your business plan that guides all aspects of your organization. And truthfully, anyone can write down a vision – and many do – but a clear vision will easily apply to your marketing plan, and it will do exactly what you expect: it will clarify.
A lot of times, I see vision statements that are multiple lines long and – quite frankly – confusing and frustrating to follow. One time, I actually witnessed a marketing director having to pull out a document in order to read the vision statement verbatim from a sheet a paper. If you catch yourself doing this, I can promise you that your vision statement is wrong. Your vision is supposed to guide your team’s entire direction. How can you expect your team to follow a vision, if you can’t even remember it?
If you know a little bit about our agency, you’ll know that several of our past campaigns have been with post-secondary institutions – and many of these campaigns have been aimed at recruiting high school students. In the past, high school students were Gen Y’s/Millenials, but now, the under 18′s are tentatively labelled Generation Z, and post-secondary institutions need to take note.
Gen Z is different than Gen Y, and this blog post is going to tell you all about them, and what you should be doing to attract them.
Branding can be an arduous, soul-searching, and highly philosophical process. And although it’s a process filled with seemingly subjective decisions, we’ve noticed that companies that have a strong idea of their vision, mission, and values, tend to be able to build stronger brands.
Earlier this year, our friend Linda enlisted us with the task to develop her new consultancy’s brand from the ground-up. It was a heady task, but because she had such strongly defined vision, mission, and values (VMVs), we were able to tackle it with a very clear approach.
I don’t know why I’m always hesitant when going to big conferences like the BCAMA Vision 2014 one a couple weeks ago. I guess it’s the fact that they’re usually full-day conferences that can be draining on the body and mind, but I usually end up leaving inspired by some great advice and new ideas.
This conference was definitely no different. Here are some things I learned about at the conference that is hopefully of help to you as well.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw Seth Godin speak at the well-known Art of Marketing event in Vancouver. During his talk, he reinforced what was said in his book: Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us. The talk got me thinking about some work we did for a client last year, Vancouver Island University (to save me some time typing, I’ll refer to them as VIU from now on).
The campaign targeted the local community, and the overarching goal was to increase the overall brand equity for the University. After some deliberation, we pursued the idea of building a following (we didn’t call it a tribe yet) from their target demographic – students from Generation Z. However, we didn’t just focus on the general student population within that age group, we defined the values and benefits that the University provided, and gave students who were like VIU the opportunity to join the brand, not just choose it.
Below are some key facets in building a tribe for your own organization:
Recently, we worked with the College of Opticians of Alberta and the College of Opticians of British Columbia to improve their communication activities with their members. It’s an important, but tricky game; you have to be empathetic to your audience in order to ensure they are actually processing the content you’re delivering. Otherwise, you’re merely forgotten among a hundred other messages they’re receiving on a daily basis.