Insights from Brand ManageCamp 2016

October 07, 2016

It’s always refreshing to take a step outside of your own bubble - and nowhere is this more important than marketing. Marketers have a tendency to obtain good results and get complacent that we have done our job and effectively reached the masses. But in the 21st century, achieving successful results one time is starting to mean less and less. These days we all live on the surface of an ever-evolving landscape where change is fueled by the internet and technology at an exhausting rate. It may seem chaotic, but it’s our job as marketers to peer through the digital pollution and find ways to advertise that connect our brands with real people who have real wants. 

It’s when we lose sight of our audiences’ human wants in this digital age, that we also lose as a brand. This and other takeaways are a few of my A-HA! moments from the impressive lineup of speakers at this year’s Brand ManageCamp.

Scott Monty at Brand ManageCamp 2016

1. No More Banner Ads

Scott Monty - Former Global Head of Social Media for Ford Motor Company

The very first online banner ad received a click-through rate of 44%. Not impressed? The average banner ad today receives a rate of 0.06% AND 10% of those clicks are from robots. In a word banner ads are done, a thing of the past. Should you stop using them? Not exactly, they continue to drive an incomparable amount of traffic to your website. But it’s time to explore other options and make banner ads the smallest portion of your advertising budget.

The rest of your budget should be focused on testing new forms of content and acquiring customers by thinking and speaking the way they do. Cicero said it best, "If you wish to persuade me you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words.” 

2. Inspire People to Take Action

Andrew Davis - Best-selling Author of “Brandscaping” and “Town Inc.”

As all of the speakers at Brand ManageCamp mentioned in one way or another, advertising in the digital age is all about the consumer. Don’t create a CTA that you think is catchy (Buy Now, Shop Now, etc.), create a CTA that inspires people to go on a journey that THEY want to go on. Ask yourself, what does your customer want most. And if you don’t know the answer to that, go out and ask them! By asking their target demographic (start-up CEOs) what they wanted (the ability to read more books) and creating The Book Video Club, Board Studios (a video tutorial company) acquired more than 100,000 subscribers to their video club in 6 weeks, leading to $193,000 in new business.

3. Cover up your logo, do you recognize yourself? 

Ann Handley - Best-selling Author of “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content"

As Ann Handley said, even more budget is going into content in 2016, but it’s up to us to focus on the content getting better. Better content means finding your voice and engaging in bolder marketing, even at the risk of repelling some consumers for the sake of finding and engaging with the consumers you want. The copy on your brand’s website, and anywhere else, should answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? And what are you like to deal with? 21st century consumers are no longer persuaded by words like “friendly”, “reliable”, “honest” and “cutting edge”, they want to see themselves in your company values. And if you successfully answer these three questions in your copy and take away your company logo, you should still be able to recognize your brand.

4. Create Habit Forming Products

Nir Eyal - Best-selling Author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products"

Nir Eyal took the quest to satisfy the consumer even further, analyzing the psychology of triggers, actions, rewards and investment. Did you know that scrolling down a news feed qualifies as a reward as people actively search (as action) for something they want to read and are rewarded when they find it? Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest certainly know this. Or what about that pesky red circle on your email app notifying you of un-read messages? Reading your messages and getting rid of that circle is also a trigger, action and reward, one that popular messaging app WhatsApp has taken full advantage of. So the question we need to be asking ourselves is, how can we create a desire for our customers to act, or an itch for them to scratch? And how do we keep them coming back for more and developing a relationship (or an investment) with our brand?  

Nir Eyal at Brand ManageCamp 2016

People have always been the most important part of the equation in advertising, since the very dawn of time. But in the age of technology, it’s up to marketers to not lose touch with the humanistic side of marketing. Our customers are people and just because they’re now seeing ads on their smart phones more than ever before, doesn’t mean that they no longer want to relate to our brands on a personal level and in a more meaningful way. So go out, conquer the internet and be fearless! But don’t lose sight of the individual on the other side of the screen.

Betty White | I'm on Facebook

Author:  Banks Farley, Account Manager, Blue Sky Marketing


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