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Why Marketeres Are Investing in Digital Hieroglyphics – Emojis

Ford, Domino’s, Dell, Others Work to Translate the Language of Emojis

Dell employed them for back-to-school marketing, Ford used them to promote its latest Focus model, and Domino’s has invested in them to revolutionize its pizza-ordering process. Emojis are transforming digital communication, but beyond occasionally measuring engagement with their own branded digital hieroglyphics, marketers still haven’t determined how best to gauge emojis as part of the larger social media conversation.

When Ford Motor Co. ran a branded emoji campaign in conjunction with mobile platform Swyft Media, the automaker generated 25,000 downloads of its Ford Focus digital stickers each day for 10 days in September. Those downloads led to 40,000 shares of those branded images via messaging platforms each day, totaling more than 1 million impressions, according to Swyft. The stickers, which can be shared in apps including Facebook Messenger and Twitter, feature images of Ford Focus automobiles coupled with phrases such as “Let’s Go!” and “Drive Safe!”

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Book Excerpt: ‘Entangling Brand and Consumer’ by Stan Rapp and Sebastian Jespersen

Entangling Brand and Consumer

Go Beyond Mere Engagement to Forge Enduring Ties With Customers

Entangling brand and consumer is the new business model for building an enduring, mutually rewarding customer relationship.

At a time when change is the only constant, holding on to what is gospel no longer works. “One-to-one” is yesterday’s news. This book is about taking the “to” out of “one-to-one.” Tomorrow’s pacesetters will be those who create an entangled “one-plus-one” twosome that goes where nobody has ventured before.

Welcome to a new reality where producer and consumer make history together rather than being at opposite ends of a shaky relationship. “Doing with” leaves “doing to” in the dust now that it’s so easy for your customers to tell the world how you treat them and what you do for them.

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How Much Is A Social Media Influencer’s Audience Really Worth?

Laundry Service CEO Jason Stein Breaks Down Social Media Economics

Just how much is a social media influencer’s audience worth?

According to Jason Stein, founder of Laundry Serviceand the second expert in our Digital Crash Course, it’s a lot more than you think.

“Advertisers pay for people, they pay for audiences, they pay for eyeballs, they pay for attention, they pay for trust, they pay for influence,” Mr. Stein said. “And the only way to continue to engage that audience and retain that audience is to create great content.”

But more importantly, he said, social media influencers distribute their own content to their followers. And in a world of disposable content, audience loyalty reigns supreme.

“Many influencers are reaching as many, if not more, people than traditional publishers every single day,” Mr. Stein said. “They got that reach because they were really good at producing original content that people wanted with the specific point of view they brought to the table.”

Mr. Stein said the average social media influencer makes in the low six-figure figures whereas the outliers can make millions.

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Why Growth Hacking Is the Next Big Thing for Marketing

What Brands Can Learn from Airbnb, Twitter, Dropbox and Other Growth-Hackers

Sir David Brailsford had a difficult challenge ahead of him. The year was 2012 and the Olympic Games were on. The team he was coaching, British Team Sky, had not won a single major cycling tournament since 1966.

Far from being discouraged, Brailsford approached the task by breaking down every single thing he could think of that went into riding a bike and then improved it by 1%. The nutrition of riders, the pillows that cyclists slept on, the gel they used for their massages, the ergonomics of a bike seat, the weight of tires — Brailsford improved it all, just by a tiny bit.

By putting all those 1% margins together, or by “aggregating marginal gains,” Brailsford ended up with a remarkable improvement. In 2012, Team Sky won Tour de France and went ahead to win two more. At the Games, it triumphed with 70% of the gold medals in cycling.

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Alphabet’s 7 Brands You Should Know

You May Know Google, but What About Calico or Sidewalk?

On Monday Google cleaved itself into a new company called Alphabet. Made up of several companies that had previously constituted Google, Alphabet is already being likened to Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s holding company that most people may not be familiar with despite knowing its subsidiary companies which include Geico, Dairy Queen and Fruit of the Loom.

There’s Google, of course, but Alphabet houses other companies people may not be familiar with, such as Sidewalk, which seeks to improve cities, or Calico, which wants to find the fountain of youth. That appears to be a major reason for the decision to create Alphabet. These companies may have stemmed from Google, but they’re sprouting into their own organizations and need room to grow outside of Google’s shadow. And it doesn’t hurt that separating their costs from Google’s may help Wall Street investors appraise Google’s business without its profit-shrinking former side businesses.

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Best Practices: How to Improve Brand Metrics with YouTube

Four Lessons From Citrix on Using YouTube Video Ads for B-to-B

Software company Citrix, which makes GoToMeeting and other web-conferencing software, has been upping its video-ad strategy in an effort to expand its reach with its business audience and engage with users in a more entertaining way. And it’s using YouTube video ads to get results.

“As [ad] rates for TV have increased, it’s been more challenging to reach the business audience,” said Melissa Leachman, senior manager-media and campaigns for Citrix. “Even though we’re a b-to-b marketer, a lot of our audience acts like b-to-c, so we wanted to look to other spaces to broaden our reach.”

Citrix has also been trying to reach younger business decision-makers, and it thought video would be a more effective way to reach them.

“In essence, we are looking at millennial decision-makers,” Ms. Leachman said. “If we’re using video, and video reaches a younger audience, then we needed something that reaches them where they are consuming media.”

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Don’t Turn Content Into This Generation’s Banner Ads

Four Key Strategies for Brands When Creating Content

Our industry has finally woken up to the power of content marketing. According to eMarketer, 59% of marketers plan to increase their investment in content marketing. Not surprisingly, there’s a cottage industry growing to help brands cheaply and easily create content. From distribution to measurement, there seems to be a new tool popping up every day.

Personally, I’m getting nasty flashbacks to the early days of banner ads. When banner ads first came out, the marketing industry treated them like rebranded laundry detergent — “new and improved!” So, we shifted a bunch of dollars online and used half-baked data to prove it worked. Until, of course, we realized it didn’t.

The reason banners didn’t fulfill their promise isn’t that they were completely flawed. It’s because we didn’t look at them from a strategic standpoint. We didn’t understand their role, how to measure them or how to optimize them.

The same will be true of content if we don’t apply the lessons we learned. If we simply develop content because we think it’s new, improved, quicker and easier than previous tactics, we’re doomed to get the same disappointing results that we got from banner ads. We can’t simply create content to offset the fact that interruptive advertising is being avoided at an unprecedented rate. Content is not a panacea. It needs a strategic foundation. Here are four key action items to keep in mind when creating content:

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Your Focus on Benefits Won’t Benefit Your Brand

Shy Away From Abstraction and Stick to Concrete Features

Marketing is frustrating because virtually all common-sense ideas are wrong. Take Theodore Levitt’s famous maxim, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

True perhaps. But that seduces marketing people into promoting better holes when they should be promoting better drills.

Should you promote the benefit of your brand (the hole) or the feature (the drill)? Logic suggests you should promote the benefit, the hole. Because, as Ted Levitt said, “People don’t want a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”

Taste versus broiling
“Taste is king” is Burger King’s latest slogan. But how many consumers are going to think, “Let’s go to Burger King because the burgers taste better?”

Very few.

On the other hand, Burger King was extremely successful with previous advertising campaigns using the theme, “broiling, not frying.” Consumers thought, “Burger King hamburgers must taste better because they are broiled and McDonald’s hamburgers are fried.”

Why promote features when consumers want benefits? Because “benefits” alone have little or no credibility.

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How to Create Brand Activation that Fosters Engagement

Five Steps to Design Brand Activation Programs That Inspire Consumers to Act

The debut of interactive soda machines┬áthat enable you to create virtually any flavor of drink you desire by pushing different buttons represents innovation — and a physical manifestation of brand activation.

You might not invent the next interactive soda machine but you, too, can execute effective brand activation. How so? By creating an ardent connection between your brand and customers that motivates them to take desired actions.

Brand activation comes in many forms and is delivered through multiple channels. Brand activation that resonates with customers and achieves results calls for strategic planning that starts with “why.” Why will your target audiences care? Why would they engage? Then focus on the “how.”

Whether the objective is to move products off the shelf, sign up new customers, increase subscriptions to an email newsletter or raise support for a cause through donations or fundraising, brand activation is not just about gaining affinity — it’s about inspiring consumers to act. Do you want your consumers to watch a video and then click on an offer, share a selfie with your mascot and hashtag on Instagram, or motivate them to enter a contest that asks them to provide their email address and opt in to brand updates?


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What We Can Learn From ‘Like a Girl’

Always Campaign Wins GoodWorks Effie

When I first became publisher of Ad Age, I worked with Marylee Keane and her team at the Effie Awards to create the GoodWorks Effie, to recognize marketers effectively using their platform for good. With great power comes great responsibility, and we, as marketers with powerful platforms, have the ability to use that power to further good in the world and help solve the multitude of challenges that face our nation and the world at large. The award was intended to highlight excellent examples of purpose-driven campaigns, so we collectively could have a greater impact.

This year, P&G’s “Like a Girl,” campaign for Always, was the sole winner in the GoodWorks Brand category, where it took home the silver Effie. (The campaign also won gold in other categories.) “Like a Girl” has received close to 58 million views on YouTube since it debuted last summer and has been lauded by many for its insight and impact.

The fact that this campaign is the only winner in the GoodWorks Brand category is noteworthy given how many brands are pursuing purpose-based initiatives. Perhaps it means these efforts will face greater scrutiny as more programs enter the market. This is a good thing, however, and even under this filter “Like a Girl” clearly stood out.

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