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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 that 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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Study Re-Affirms Long-Term Sales Impact of TV Ads, But Suggests Small Players May Do Better

Nielsen Catalina Solutions Tweaks Model And Finds Old Assumption Mainly Still Holds

Less than a year after seeming to prove the long-term sales effect of TV ad spending is as strong or stronger than ever, Nielsen Catalina Solutions has found some possible caveats to that — which could have implications for both big and small advertisers.

A new study encompassing a group of 31 packaged-goods brands (far larger than the five in the study released last June) reconfirms the old assumption that long-term sales effects from TV ads are double the immediate short-term sales effects. The long-term multiple in the new study, however, averages 2.04 times the short-term effect, somewhat lower and with a narrower range than in the June study.
Nielsen Catalina mashes up data from Nielsen audience-measurement panels and tools with shopper-card purchases to find the sales impact of advertising for packaged-goods brands.Results of the study were presented to the Advertising Research Foundation Re:Think 2015 conference on Tuesday in New York.

The new study still finds a fairly wide range – from close to one to around three times short-term sales – for the overall effect of TV ads, including one outlier brand getting a 3.5 times multiple. The new study tweaked methodology to exclude long-term sales from people not affected by the ads in the first place, and narrowed the “short-term” time window to the scheduled flight, rather than including the long tail of airings caused by make goods.

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How to rebrand without sinking the ship

This article is part of DBA, a new series on Mashable about running a business that features insights from leaders in entrepreneurship, venture capital and management.

I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1998, when I bootstrapped my first company and ran it out of my own home. Seventeen years later, that company is still alive and thriving, with hundreds of employees on multiple continents.

In fact, we just went through a rebrand. It’s an exciting time over here, and it’s been a wild ride to get to this point. When we released our first custom-built technology solution in 2012, we realized that the services company we had built over the previous decade-plus would need a new identity that better captured our vision for the future of both our company and our industry.

SEE ALSO: The exponential business benefits of putting people first

While going through the process, it occurred to me that plenty of companies have to rebrand at some point or another, for reasons that vary from accidental copyright infringement to major shifts in the market or their business model.

It’s important to understand that a rebrand can have a major positive impact, so it’s worth taking the process seriously and getting as much out of it as you can. Here’s what I’ve learned during this process about how to rebrand your company without sinking the ship.

1. Do it for the right reasons
A rebrand is not something to be taken lightly. A rebrand is not something to be taken lightly.You should only do it if you have a very good reason. So what constitutes a good reason to change your name or your brand’s aesthetic?

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10 Things I Learned Reading 70 Digital Marketing Trends Articles for 2015 (So You Don’t Have To)


In the last month, every digital marketing agency and social media strategy blog published countless articles, with occasionally baseless and sometimes arbitrary predictions, on the next year in digital marketing. As someone in the digital marketing business for a decade, I’ve read social media trend pieces like these since before they called it social media. This year, I read countless (okay, 70 because I counted) and I’m more confused than before.

Some of the predictions this year were ridiculous on their face. No, we won’t all wear Oculus Rifts around the office at any point in 2015. No, Facebook won’t buy Twitter. No, Vine isn’t the secret to saving legacy news organizations.

Some ideas surfaced in multiple articles, however, and this consensus seemed like the real predictions for 2015. Below I’ve extrapolated from endless blog copy the actual 10 things digital marketers should know in 2015. (You’ll get the best experience if you read this on your hoverboard, with an Oculus Rift. Just kidding, that’s 2016.)

Everyone agrees: Content remains king in 2015.

If one of your complaints about life is that brands don’t create enough content, you’re in luck. There is almost total agreement amongst digital brand strategists that consumers can’t wait to devour and share your brand’s content.

Video will somehow manage to be more ubiquitous in 2015 and will live in more places than YouTube. We’re entering a world where brand video content will probably autoplay on every single social media platform. Look at the insanely fast rise of Facebook video, it’s rapidly become a serious challenger to YouTube. Twitter, which already owns Vine, has announced legit video hosting integration.

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Brands’ Future Is Creating Shared Value, Not Just Social Responsibility Campaigns

It’s Not About Brands Reinventing Themselves, But Going Back to Their Beginnings

In a seminal article that appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 2011, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer defined a new paradigm for business with the words “shared value.” The idea is that the future of today’s brands will lie in aligning business success with positive social impact for people and the planet. This is a new way of looking at corporate citizenship, from occasional philanthropic and cause-oriented actions that lie outside of their core business, to the core business itself and its potential to make the world a better place.

Both of these represent a transient, perhaps insincere, and unsustainable role for brands in making the world better, whereas aligning how the actual products and services can make a positive impact makes them enduring and sustainable.

The truth is, today’s greatest and most enduring brands came into the world through a shared-value idea. The world’s most-loved brands started with a single person who saw a societal need and looked to create something that could address that need and make the world a better place.

Thomas Edison saw an opportunity to bring light to the world.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting Campaigns


We’d all like to think that every single person that comes in contact with our business follows a very straight and orderly path to purchase. Someone visits our site for the first time, then fills out a form to download an ebook, then becomes interested in talking with a sales rep, all in one session on your website. Minutes later, the sales rep reaching out to this lead, and before you know it, the lead is becoming a customer, handing over their credit card to purchase something from your company.

But in reality, the buyer’s journey is probably not so linear. People pop over to your website then leave. Two months later, they discover your latest blog article, and then decide to download that ebook. A few days after that, they decide to check out another blog post. Maybe a week later they decide to get in touch with Sales, and it takes several more weeks of meetings and discussions to come to a decision to buy. Same end result, but the process is a little more convoluted.

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