Be Brave: Differentiate with Digital

Digital presents a powerful opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves against competitors. We’ve all heard the stories of great digital projects and wonder how we could create the same traction for our own brands. In our quest to thrust our brands into the digital era, we have found it to be more difficult than we initially anticipated. The trouble is, brands who are unsure of the value of digital choose a copycat approach to digital marketing. They hear of something that worked for someone else and copy it. Choosing to copy others rather than create new opportunities results in a saturated market of ‘the same old’ digital tactics. We see it all over the place, in social media, as brands and agencies adopt the same ideas over and over again. Even in the mobile apps market, brands are too quick to jump in fast and end up with smaller and smaller returns from their online efforts. We need to make the copycat approach public enemy number one! The copycat approach comes when: Brands aren’t sure of who they are Brands are chasing speed to market over innovation Brands are afraid of failure It’s become my experience that brands who succeed in digital know who they are, they make sure their digital ideas match their overall strategy and they are brave. They’re even a little crazy, in a good way! So, it seems fairly practical that we could apply a simple process to getting out of a copycat approach and I’d...

Authentic loyalty through brand utility

Gone are the days of promoting your brand, of talking it up as the coolest brand around so that the customer loves you. We are now in the age of the empowered consumer, and these customers are skeptical of traditional marketing tactics, all they see is a gimmick. Traditional loyalty schemes don’t work anymore, as the brand is no longer in the position of power. Consumers have become savvy to the various marketing techniques, and have been let down by empty promises so many times that they are done with the brands that spend their ad budget on puffing themselves up, without having any real substance to back it all up. Behavioural loyalty vs Authentic loyalty Brands who market to their target audience with gimmicks will only receive a very fickle loyalty back in return. These brands are eliciting a ‘behavioural loyalty’, which is superficial and will last as long as the campaign that’s being run. Consumers will quickly see through any brands who are more concerned about what the consumer can do for their bottom line, than what they as a company can offer the public. The idea of ‘authentic loyalty’, on the other hand, is where a brand receives real and pure loyalty from consumers, as a result of enriching the consumer’s life. This type of loyalty is garnered through the brand providing the customer with a service or product that will actually prove useful in their life, not just prove to be a fad or a gimmick....

Three Strategies for Digital Marketing

Over the past few years, I’ve been working at refining a number of digital marketing strategies. We’ve found three fundamental strategies that can be used in isolation or integrated. I speak about these strategies in some detail in the video below and will also share an excerpt below the video of the original article on my digital marketing blog. Inbound Marketing This is a tried and tested strategy that has been adopted across many industries and businesses. Hubspot marketing have probably done the best work at making this a popular marketing strategy. In essence, inbound marketing techniques aim to drive interested people to your website through interesting and informative content. Read more… Social by Design A big part of digital campaigns is designing social concepts that build communities of interest around the work you’re doing. Understanding Social by Design is key to designing social media strategies. A strategy becomes social when it leverages the social aspect of life rather than merely using a social network. There are three primary social elements that we should be thinking about when we develop a social media management strategy. Read more… Mobile First  We’ve noticed that digital strategy needs to be re-thought in many ways. The challenge is not to include mobile in your existing strategy but rather to “mobilise” your strategy. To lead with mobile, to make sure your platforms, ideas, creative, and social are all mobile. Read more…

Social Media principles from The Green Apron Book

I recently came across the Starbucks Green Apron book and read through their 5 principles for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. I found it very interesting that the 5 principles can be applied directly to a social media campaign or strategy. The Green Apron Book is a booklet that Starbucks gives its baristas.  It outlines Starbucks mission: “To provide an uplifting experience that enriches people’s daily lives,” along with 5 Principles for doing exactly that: Be Welcoming: Offer everyone a sense of belonging. Be Genuine: Connect, discover, respond. Be Knowledgeable: Love what you do. Share it with others. Be Considerate: Take care of yourself, each other, and the environment. Be Involved: In the store, in the company, and in the community. The principles promote that good business and great customer experiences come out of a personal connection between people. Social media management relies on this principle as fundamental to your social media strategy. Without being personal and considerate you will struggle to build community. Community is the centerpiece of your social media strategy, everything said and done by people inside your community will shape and define how your community evolves. By applying principles like the one’s outline here you can be sure that your community online and offline will grow and evolve into a very valuable business proposition. Yes, this does mean that you need to allocate resources (mainly people) to manage the social media engagement for you business. Automation will just create a flat community with no energy...

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