Article | August 13, 2020
Every marketer wants to make an impact. Today, with 80 percent of the sales cycle happening in digital or remote settings, you’ve never had a greater opportunity to directly influence buying decisions. And the number one factor driving those buying decisions? Memory. Your buyers interact with your marketing in one moment, but they make the decision to buy in the future. That means the messages and assets you create must stick in your buyer’s mind long enough to influence their purchase decision. Unfortunately, most marketers don’t believe their content is memorable or actionable.
Article | March 4, 2020
Ads, AI, and social media have become the holy trinity of sales. Perfecting all three will help you become an unbeatable sales master whose path leads only to excellence. The road can be bumpy when you’re just starting out, but even the greatest masters were once apprentices. Patience, resilience, drive, and the following tips will help you reach your goals and supercharge your sales. There are numerous tactics for boosting sales, some more effective than others. Unless you’re just starting out, it’s safe to say you’ve already used some tried-and-true methods to keep your sales high. But times are evolving; new technologies keep emerging; consumer behavior and needs keep changing; all this is pushing you to transform as well.
Article | October 14, 2020
1.What is strategy?
For me it has been three simple words.
Future Competitive Advantage.
What will the future look like? What will people need and expect ? How will demographics, technology and other global shifts create new competitors or recharge current competitors and how will categories blur, blend and maybe even disappear ?
Amidst these new expectations and changing competitive dynamics what advantage will your company offer? A differentiated or better product? A competitive moat of network effects, scale or some other dynamic ? A better experience? Speed and value?
While Strategy firms can be amazingly helpful in guiding companies through these questions, most leaders already have a gut instinct on what needs to be done. The deep dive documents, the chanting strategists and the long march of meetings are to bring others along and to provide an intellectual and analytical framework for a decision that clearly had to be made.
If you work for a firm and you have an idea of where the future is going and how changing peoples expectations and emerging technology are going to create challenges or opportunities I strongly advise that you should go to your management and share your thinking.
All you need to talk about is future competitive advantage.
2. Marketing Re-Invented
Intelligence is the ability to simplify and not dumb down.
To create a way to share and think through complexity by getting down to core issues and ideas in modular ways that people can understand and build from.
Frames are helpful in not only getting the audience to understand but it is a great way to tell your story.
Think of frames as a spine you hang the bones of your ideas on.
Here is my frame for how marketing has changed and is changing that I use as a way to help guide people I advise. I call it the ABCDE model of the future of marketing.
Audience. Brand. Content. Data. Enterprise.
For each of these areas I believe there have been 3 key changes which explains both the birth of new firms, why some companies are crossing the chasm into the future and others are struggling. I call it the 5X3 Frame for the Future of Markeing. Few firms have all 15 areas covered but it is a great way to develop action plans and to make a case for change.
a. Audience: Who we are marketing too, how we find them and their mindset has shifted greatly over the past decade.
From Consumers to People with God Like Power: The biggest mistake companies make is they view things through the lens of their Brands and see us as Consumers. Very few people define themselves by the brand they consume. Even an incredible company like Procter and Gamble with dozens of billion dollar brands cannot understand me if they look at me only through the lens of their Brands ( they are too sophisticated to do that) because at the core all their Brands are about dirt removal. Dirt removal from my teeth, clothes, dishes, butt, kids butt etc. Do you define yourself by dirt removal? Or brands that want to have relationships with me . Very few people want to have a relationship with a brand. I want my headache to go away and not have a relationship with Tylenol. It is key to think about people and not consumers.
But even more key is to stop using words like enabling/empowering and other BS ( Yes Google, Apple and a few other companies empower consumers) but most Brands are grappling with highly empowered people who via use of Search, Social, E-Commerce and Mobile destroy any arbitrage of price, information, or place that a Brand though they had. If you were to describe what we can do with a mobile phone to someone 15 years ago they would say why that is “God-Like” power.
From passive to interactive: A decade and a half ago we thought of people we marketed to as an audience since they were primarily passive receivers. Today they create, share and interact and some of them are so impactful that we call them Influencers and there is an entire ecosystem of Influencer Marketing.
From Segmentation to Re-aggregation: As media becomes digital we need to understand that people come to digital media one at a time. There is no mass media that we segment by finding channels or magazines with high proportion of the people we are marketing too. The power of Google, Facebook and soon Over the top television is the ability of self service tools to buy and scale individual interactions one at a time. We no longer are going from a cow of a mass audience to a steak of a segmented audience. Rather we are are re-aggregating single pieces of mince into a hamburger.
b. Brands: Brands continue to be important but the way they are built is changing greatly. Today Experiences, Purpose and Employee Joy matter the most in building Brands. These changes explain the long term secular decline of advertising and communication but the renaissance and rise of marketing.
From Communication to Experiences: Jeff Bezos of Amazon said some companies spend 30 percent of resources on building a better product or experience and 70 percent telling people about it. Others spend 70 percent of their effort on product and service and 30 percent on telling people about it. Jeff said Amazon was the latter company.
In an era of empowered people connected to each other the focus should be on the experience. The brand is the experience and experience is the brand.
From Great Words to Purposeful Behavior: Purpose matters more than ever especially in todays time of social, financial and health challenges. Purpose is not some words left to wander on a lonely corporate website but the way a company or brand behaves.
Employees as Brand Advocates and Key to Purpose and Experience : If a company does not invest and treat its employees well it will be very challenged on both the experience front ( angry, tired and worried employees do not deliver great products or experiences) but also any purpose statement rings hollow if you cannot look after your own people.
c. Content: Content has always been a key to marketing. The three big differences is that there is much more of it, it is far faster and there are many new ways of making it.
Think Poetry and not just plumbing: Today in a world of granular targeting and algorithmic trading we can get the right interaction to the right person at the right time. But what are we paying as much attention to the interaction as getting it there. We must think of the poetry and not just the plumbing. T
Think response not just creation: Many campaigns are started by people. Meme’s or perspectives of about your brand can ricochet all over the world and you need to ensure that in todays world of weaponized platforms you have a world class risk intelligence partner and a rapid action team
Never Forget People choose with their hearts and use numbers to justify what they do: Content that moves is content that moves product.
d. Data: Data is key to future of marketing. It is like electricity. Without electricity one can not keep the lights on. Without strong data a company cannot compete. It is necessary. But it is not sufficient. Because just like few companies differentiate themselves by how they use electricity, very few companies will find a competitive edge in data. It will be a key ingredient and not the be all or end all of strategy. And very few companies will be able to live on their own data. The three areas to focus on data are
Quality versus Quantity: If 90 percent on data has been created in the last two years most companies “data lakes” are filled with muck/mud/ slime.
Real Time Access and not just Ownership: First party relationships with people who buy from you are key. Using platforms as the roadways to reach them will lead to high tolls or blockades. But first party data alone is not enough and how to access and partner with other firms both to build a better understanding and bridge to people but also to design better and more comprehensive products and solutions.
Meaning versus Math: Data is not information, knowledge or wisdom. Algorithms are bias embedded in code. How do you integrate, interpolate, interrogate data and involved diverse mindsets, interconnect to larger trends and add imagination to make meaning from math.
e. Enterprise: If a company is to deliver experiences in a world of people with god like power while steering itself with a purpose and looking after its stakeholders particularly its employees but also making sure it delivers tangible results today it will new to sculpt itself into a new form by building new muscles.
The Paranoid Die. The Schizophrenic Thrive: Andy Grove the late CEO of Intel said only the paranoid survive. In todays age where we need to connect and work together this leads to polarized and insular thinking which explains why Intel has become a shell of itself and is a shadow in the world of Taiwan Semi-Conductor, Nvidia, AMD and ARM (which Nvidia might buy).
Rather than Paranoia the right mindset is Schizophrenia. Companies should run two models. One focussed on delivering today and the other on building a new tomorrow where some of the best talent are given all the assets of the companies and none of the liabilities and asked to do whatever it takes to move into the future including eating and harming todays cash cows.
Culture is the result of what fear free diverse people do when no one is watching: To navigate change companies need fear free cultures of diverse people and mindsets led by leaders who do the shit they claim others should do. Incentivize and train for change and worship no sacred cows.
Trust is speed: If a company wants to be high velocity it must be one built on trust. A company where information and decision making is transparent. Leaders are accountable and Cover your ass deck writing and meetings to prepare for meetings are minimized.
How does your company or your Client companies do in the ABCDE frame?
Hopefully you will find this frame a useful one to add/subtract from and an instigator to thinking and doing.
3.Light and Time
As many of you know I love photography. I believe the best photography captures light and time. It tattoos and evokes memories. Here are four pictures of the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel and Ohio Street Beach on three different mornings that I took to capture different light.
Article | February 12, 2021
The past year has transformed a number of industries, and although the influencer marketing industry has continued to flourish, it hasn’t been without its changes and adaptations.
And over the last year, one thing that has become even more apparent is the need to create the perfect match between brands and influencers.
Brand love is pivotal to creating a successful influencer marketing campaign, as is building trust and creating an honest and organic relationship between everyone involved.
And to help brands find the perfect match, Amelia Neate, senior manager at Influencer Matchmaker, explains how to do exactly that.
Finding the right influencer to collaborate with can be a pretty daunting task. It isn’t quite as simple as choosing somebody with a large following. Gathering data, conducting research and developing a relationship with an influencer is all part of the task in hand.
Unless, as a brand, you have access to industry insights and invaluable data, it can be difficult to find your dream match. However, by working with an influencer marketing agency, all of the hard work is done for you.
Here at Influencer Matchmaker, we have access to industry data and insights which can help aid your search in finding the right influencer. Rest assured that everything will be taken into consideration – from social media platforms, engagement rates and niche to helping form trusting relationships, an influencer marketing agency can do it all.
Brand love is pivotal
When working with a social media influencer, it is important to decide on your main goals and objectives and what it is you hope to achieve by working with an online creator.
The aim of the game is to build brand love, right? And the best, most organic way to do so, is by teaming up with somebody who already knows and loves your brand.
Influencers spend their time engaging with their audience, garnering all-important trust and respect.
If an influencer has previously spoken about your brand organically, then their audience are much more likely to positively reciprocate paid-for campaigns and collaborations.
Explaining that influencer marketing is more effective than the blanket approach of traditional advertising, Liam Chilvers, founder and managing director of OP Talent also says, “They [influencers] have to be relatable. The people watching them largely share the same interests, and if people are watching a YouTube channel, they are there for the creator.”
And so, by utilising the power of influencers and their loyal following, brands and business are able to build brand love and more importantly, trust.
How to utilise influencers and their content
It is no longer viable to simply send an influencer a product in return for free press and content creation.
Time, effort and expertise goes into delivering such high-quality content and brands must begin to decipher where they’d like this content to sit.
Content can be created and shared across an influencer’s social media platforms in order to raise brand awareness, but it can also be utilised on the brand’s channels, too. In this way, influencers can act as a brand advocate as well as allowing the brand to offer their audiences a friendly and relatable human element, as opposed to using social media as a hard sales tool.
When it comes to working on collaborative content, it is crucial to ensure you are not only working with the right influencer, but with the right platforms, too.
Just because a social media platform is proving to be particularly popular, doesn’t mean that it will generate positive results for your brand.
It is important to ensure that your niche, goals, audience and social media platforms all align in order to achieve the best results. Find out what works for you and if you don’t know, then an influencer marketing agency will be able to do so for you.
And not only that, but influencers have wider ties to all aspects of media, too. They are innovative creators, storytellers, advice givers and as 2020 has shown, an influencer’s genuine personality and interests are what sets them apart from the rest.
Think outside of the box
In the early days of influencer marketing, it was all about promoting a new product and its launch. But today, it is so much more than that.
Influencers can be used to raise brand awareness, generate sales, attend events and create an honest and authentic relationship between brands and potential consumers.
For example, we recently partnered Celebs Go Dating with a number of popular influencers including Mark Ferris and Rachel Leary. The objective of the campaign was to raise awareness of the TV show ahead of the new series.
This is a fine example of combining the efforts of modern and digital media with its more traditional forms, too.
It must also be said, that just because an influencer specialises in a certain industry or has a particular niche, it doesn’t mean that that’s all they are capable of.
Former SAS: Who Dares Wins Star Ollie Ollerton, for example, is renowned for his efforts within the health and fitness industry. However, he also has a passion for motorcycles, which is another area in which he is able to create interesting and compelling content for brands.
Consider influencers who not only share the same interests, but the same values, ethos and end-goals, too.
This will make all the difference.
So, are you ready to find the perfect match?