In CBD Marketing’s work with its clients, we’ve always asked the hard question: What is most meaningful about your brand to your customers? Getting to the heart of that, and being able to craft value propositions around it, is where a brand gains the most differentiation, traction and connection with customers.
Our emphasis on meaning starts with defining the rational and emotional benefits of a product or service to its target audiences. But it goes much deeper than that. It also consists of defining the brand’s responsibility to something greater than itself. A study by psychological scientists looking to help articulate how American’s define a meaningful life found that people who have high meaning in their life are more likely to help others in need. It went on to report that having more meaning in one’s life was associated with doing activities like buying presents for others, taking care of children and making small sacrifices on behalf of others.
Most of us recognize that we’ve all been living with this need to find meaning in life for some time now. It transcends several generations and stems from experiencing and overcoming negative events. And while marketers have often focused on meaningful responses, there has been a recent shift that suggests these gestures should be treated less like a trend and more as a permanent strand of a brand’s DNA.
So there is a new question CBD Marketing is asking as we strive to help our clients Market What’s Meaningful. How does your brand express its fundamental humanity? How can you make your messaging more inspirational, more humanly relevant?
Most importantly, it’s about offering something new about your brand that has potential to make a deep and long-lasting connection.
In a world where smart-phones rule and social-media savvy individuals are keen to quality, price and efficiency, it makes sense that shopper marketing has latched onto the digital way of life. From in-store QR codes to push notifications, brands understand that a sure way to reach their customers is through their beloved smart-phones.
Our recent Shopper Behavior Survey captured insights about consumers and their shopping habits that relate directly to social media. With 61.17 percent of shoppers describing their shopping as Efficient (list makers who like to stock up) and 61 percent of shoppers saying they are Budget shoppers (coupon hunters who compare prices), it makes sense that social media plays such a major role in the shopping experience.
Marketers can utilize social media by pinpointing consumers’ needs. The key to accomplishing this is with a full circle strategy: pre-purchase, in-store and after-purchase. When it comes to efficiency and competitive price, smart-phones make it as easy as a tap of a button to create lists and compare prices. The accessibility draws consumers in because with social media, it’s effortless to get all of the information you need at the tip of your fingers. You can instantly compare prices in the aisles, check off items on your grocery list, read reviews for food products, find the ingredients for your next dinner or even redeem a digital coupon at checkout. Not to mention, online communities have created a culture that encourages recommendations, making it easy for users to read reviews, make suggestions to their friends and like brand pages.
Social media isn’t just for young people—82 percent of Millennials and 76 percent of Gen X’ers we surveyed frequently or sometimes use social media to learn about food or beverages. While the gender gap remains, with women being three-times more likely to engage with brands on social media, there is an opportunity to target the male audience and leverage insights about men’s shopping habits to increase engagement.
As brands find new ways to immerse themselves into the social and digital atmosphere, more innovative ways of communicating with shoppers are being introduced. The success of a shopper marketing campaign is not simply to incorporate social media, but to seamlessly integrate it with every point of purchase on the customer’s path, from brand strategy to public relations and out-of-store marketing.
Advertainment. Tri-ti-tasking. Phablets. According to Business News Daily, these are just a few words that will be buzzing in the upcoming year. In addition to expanding your vocabulary, these terms can also be used to predict industry-wide trends for 2013.
One such trend is a higher level of involvement between businesses and consumers. The word “advertainment,” for example, describes the shift in advertising from interrupting what people are interested in to actually being what they’re interested in. And the phrase “return on involvement” refers to the importance of brand involvement within communities in achieving a sound return on investment. Although people interact differently today, the value in making meaningful connections has not diminished.
Multi-tasking (or “tri-ti-tasking,” if you happen to be doing three things at once) is another commonality. Why just be an inventor, when you could be an “inventreprenuer?” And why choose between a smart phone or a tablet? There’s a “phablet” for that. Today’s consumer wants to have it all – in five syllables or less.
My personal favorite? “Alphanista,” the title for a successful, powerful woman who’s got it all together. It’s a word that encourages women to be ambitious – and presents a viable contender in the “when I grow up” category.
See the complete list of buzzwords here.
It seems that businesses are getting holiday presents early this year as social media platforms roll out new features. While you might have already heard about Pinterest Pages, you shouldn’t forget to check out LinkedIn’s new goodies.
LinkedIn has upped its game for 2013 by providing a way for businesses to highlight groups on their Company Pages. And if your first thought is “Why is this a big deal?” then you obviously don’t do much social media management.
For years, social media managers have been trying to connect Pages with groups because, as every good manager knows, you need to go where your audience is. And LinkedIn’s strongest and most active audience has always been in groups and LinkedIn Answers.
Now managers have a way to spotlight select groups, and that means more chances to transfer traffic. If that isn’t enticing enough, think of it this way—more traffic can mean more leads. And I don’t have to iterate the positive meaning of leads.
As 2012 draws to a close, it is suggested that companies re-evaluate their LinkedIn strategy. With new tools comes opportunity, but it takes strategy and an understanding of these newer features. If you need help in the 2013, don’t hesitate to schedule a session with an expert. It’s better to know how to utilize these sources sooner than later.
It’s official. Pinterest has finally created business Pages.
Simply log into your account, and click on http://business.pinterest.com/. After filling out the appropriate information, you will be given the option to verify your site and set up a Pinterest button on your homepage. Once you complete everything, you’re set.
This introduction of Pinterest Pages is significant. Although currently there isn’t much of a difference between Profiles and Pages, the transition suggests that Pinterest is going to make the most of businesses on its platform.
Don’t be surprised to see more features available to companies in 2013. As Pinterest is already known for driving traffic, just imagine what new pinning goodies might bring. Anyone else think it would be awesome to be able to contort pictures a la Instagram style on Pinterest?
Until these new features come out, our advice would be to utilize free tools already available. Yeah, you read that right. FREE.
- Pinpuff or Pinreach: How popular are you? Pinpuff and Pinreach tells all.
- Pin A Quote or Pinstamatic: And people thought Pinterest was only for pictures!
- Pin Search: Want to find the source of something that was improperly linked? Problem solved.
- Reachli: Create campaigns to control the Pinterest universe. It’s one pin at a time…
And remember, Pinterest Pages work just like Pinterest Profiles. Good content is king.
Everyone thinks they can manage a social media account because they have personal account. But in reality, social media for business is an entirely different playing field. If you’re a company looking to start and manage its own social media platforms, here are a few “quirks” that most social media managers deal with without hassling the business they serve.
1) LinkedIn Pages require a domain. In other words, you cannot establish a company Page without having a website. On top of this, if your business is global, you may already have a LinkedIn Page that a current or previous employee set up. Be sure to claim it.
2) Facebook contests cannot use “liking” as a voting mechanism. This is probably the most disregarded rule on Facebook. However, in Facebook’s contest rules and guidelines, it specifically states that it is illegal. Don’t follow the trend. If you’re company is big enough, it can get in major trouble by breaking Facebook’s rules.
3) Pinterest images can be linked anywhere. One of the most unknown facts on Pinterest is that you don’t have to keep an image linked to the website it came from. Carefully source your photo in its caption then lead the viewer back to your website. This generated website traffic. Just be careful to make sure your company’s website page is relevant to the image or your audience’s bounce rate will skyrocket.
4) Twitter’s interest groups can generate leads. People who use Twitter know that interest groups are the best way to get speaking gigs, guest blog spots and more. They are chock full of journalists and public relations managers—the career people who claimed the Twittersphere first.
5) Sure. Every interesting social post can go viral, but you have to link them to a viral site first! I cannot count the times I’ve seen a company post an interesting infographic or white paper, but didn’t it to Stumbleupon, Digg etc. If you have new information, be sure to share on social bookmarketing sites. The social world is much more than just Facebook and Twitter.
Remember, these are only a few social media quirks—there are many, many more. If your company is new to the social media space, consider partnering with an agency for community management and marketing. The right agency (Like us!) will work with your team to establish success.
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