- Noah Echols
You’ve heard of mobile-first organizations, those that launch first on mobile devices prior to web. That can be a good idea for some, but being a consumer-first organization is a universal necessity.
Gone are the days of relying on clever messaging aimed at grabbing the attention of distracted consumers. Awareness is easy, right? You can even buy awareness in digital and convince your boss that it’s edgy just because it’s digital. But being a sales-first organization that prioritizes short-term bumps in numbers should not be your goal. Building an army of dedicated, loyal followers should. Today, consumer-first brands are winning consumer loyalty and, as a result, their money.
The music industry is a great example. For decades, the music industry succeeded by making consumers pay for records, tapes, or CDs of pre-packaged music. But as soon as the tools were invented that allowed them to collect just the songs they wanted, the music industry suffered. The blame was placed on cheap consumers who just wanted everything for free. But we’ve learned that that isn’t true. Consumers, and music fans especially, WANT to pay for the things they love. In fact, artists have given away their music, allowing fans to make donations and received millions of dollars.
Amanda Palmer was a street performer turned professional musician who grew a large following and eventually received a record deal. After selling 25,000 copies of her debut album, her label considered it a failure and they parted ways. Determined to prove them wrong, she started giving away her music to her fans with the simple request that they help her out financially. She received almost $1.2 million from an ironic 25,000 donations.
I think there is a story here bigger than the music industry, which, as we all know, has seen the light (if you will) and is again experiencing growth. We’re seeing a dramatic shift in consumers’ expectations that is literally decimating entire industries. In marketing we like to talk about how social media is changing everything. It isn’t. It is simply enabling consumers to be as social as they’ve always been but now with the tools to ask for more personalized service. And that should frighten any company that is ignoring not just social, but more broadly, campaigns that genuinely connect with consumers.
Let me be clear, if your model is dependent on pulling in consumers rather than providing easy ways for them to get your product naturally, you will ultimately fail. Companies that do it right, the ones that connect with consumers and build the tools that make it easy for them to pay for the things they want, will survive. That is the difference between making consumers pay for your product and letting them.
Don’t be that brand. Don’t use social as a channel for more awareness and push messaging. Build loyalty. And then build or leverage tools to help those consumers pay you.
- Tony Quin
- Tony Quin
Don’t Waste Your Website
Back in 2010 I wrote an article called “Back to the Future. The dotcom in 2010” for the SoDA report (the Society of Digital Agencies). Since then the digital marketing world has kept marching on and our heads have been turned by many new things, most of them in social media. But even after all this time the old brand website still wears its crown as the center of digital brand ecosystem.
As Pete Blackshaw, Exec VP of Incite, a joint venture between Nielsen & McKinsey, writes in a superb article on the role of websites “Importantly, if we’re truly entering a POEM (paid, owned, earned) media mix model, brand websites are key. They anchor the owned, reinforce the paid and incubate the earned.
Think about it. Where can a brand make as powerful and complete a pitch as it can on its website? Where else does a brand have as much control over the experience? Other brand touchpoints have bits of the puzzle and can certainly have influence, but only the brand site can be designed to take a prospect from curiosity all the way to SOLD and beyond. Of course brand sites may not be as sexy as a Pinterest page or a mobile app on the fad scale, but think about what they can accomplish.
Whenever we create interest with an ad or a piece of content we need to do something with that awareness. We always need a next step that can move the prospect closer to the sale, and nothing can do that better than the brand site. So don’t waste your brand site. Make it the next step for all your marketing and equip it to be a conversion machine.
A brand site should therefore be designed with three primary missions in mind:
- John Woodbridge
To coincide with Valentine’s Day, IQ’s social media team scanned 2.1 million online conversations to produce the “State of Love Report”; the first ever ranking of romance for each state in the nation.
“This is an example of how we can monitor millions of conversations online to give us unique insights into how Americans feel about issues, brands and ideas,” says Tony Quin, CEO of IQ Agency. “We wanted to have some fun with the data and give America its first look at which states are the best to find love this Valentine’s Day.”
Highlights from the “State of Love” Report include:
- Top 5 Romantic States: 1) California 2) Wyoming 3) Texas 4) Utah 5) Hawaii
- Best State to Find Love: New York
- National sentiment toward Valentine’s Day: 37% Positive, 23% Indifferent, 40% Negative.
Produced in association with Crimson Hexagon, a leading provider of Big Data analysis software and social media analytics, the report presents the results of continuous social listening analysis of conversations across Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs and other Internet properties for a 14 day period prior to Valentine’s Day 2013.
Download the full report to see where your state ranks in romance: www.iqagency.com/StateofLove
Making complex things like financial services easy to understand and engaging is no easy matter. That’s why VALIC, a major financial services company, turned to IQ. With deep experience in the category, IQ created this new website with an entirely new approach, design and new content, including this series of videos, also produced and created by IQ. VALIC’s retirement offerings can often be confusing and difficult to grasp for consumers, which is why IQ and VALIC set out to change that by designing an engaging web experience complemented by two series of videos, one about consumers’ goals and the other about understanding financial concepts. Continue Reading
- Shannon Delaney
I was very excited about watching the game Sunday night. It was the first time I have been able to watch the game since having kids, and my oldest is six. I had a very scientific approach, carrying around a notebook and logging every TV spot’s call to action.
Unscientifically, my gut feeling is 70% of the ads had a social component (mostly hash tags) when you filtered out all of the NFL and ABC branding. The big takeaways for me are: Continue Reading
- Tony Quin
Attention all you content marketers out there: judgment day is at hand. That’s the day that many brands will wake up soon to discover their content doesn’t attract an audience like they were told it would.
Don’t Be Drowned Out
It seems that everybody and their brother is talking about content these days, and how the only way to connect with the consumer is by giving them lots of it. They are right, of course, because about the only way brands can still influence advertising averse, digitally savvy, consumers is with content. The problem is that we have already come to the point where there is a veritable tsunami of content drowning consumers. It’s a problem when both Nike and the local auto shop are doing content marketing.
I’ve seen this happen before. I remember the first time I was handed a loyalty card and told that I’d earn a free smoothie after 10 shakes. Delighted I dutifully put it in my wallet. The second time I got a card I also put it in my wallet. But soon I had no more room for loyalty cards and I bagged the whole idea. It looks like content is also becoming an out of control bandwagon. Continue Reading
- Shannon Delaney
Ten things stand out as priorities for agencies in today’s changing marketing game. Of course the mainstays of creative etc., are always important, but here are ten that are critical now.
1. Really understand the client’s business
I know that sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many agencies don’t study company organization, goals, structure and constraints, as well as the industry and competitive landscape. Brands are looking for agency partners to be an extension of their own team and get frustrated when they constantly have to school their agencies on what’s meaningful in their world. Agencies that don’t do their homework on a brand, or don’t stay up on the category are not doing their job.
2. Collaborate across the client organization, and with other agency partners
Sharing a vision and getting buy-in across departments can be tricky. Agencies can help by acting as the independent “voice of the consumer” and marketing across the organization. They should also be able to work well with other agencies because it’s becoming less common for brands to have one agency for everything. Continue Reading
- IQ Wins 3 Gold Horizon Interactive Awards
- Powerful Social Insights on Tax Day
- #TalkIQ – Social Marketing
- You’ve Got a Video Problem
- The Rise and Ruckus of Branded Journalism
- Ditch The Likes for Loyalty
- Make Brand Websites Conversion Machines
- State of Love Report – Valentine’s Day 2013
- NEW WORK: VALIC
- Super Bowl XLVII: The Bird is the Word