not in kansas

Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Wise words Dorothy.

Advertising and Marketing have changed and I was again reminded of that fact only a few days ago. So I was walking by the Colorado Convention Center on Stout in Denver after finishing filming a member spotlight video for BMA Colorado.  To my right is an Embassy suites and to my left is a parking garage with a rather large billboard (it covered almost 5 floors vertically and roughly 70-80 feet horizontally). Now the billboard wasn’t what surprised me, but rather what it was promoting. A video game, but not the latest flavor of Call of Duty or the new release of Fallout 4, no an iPhone game. However this particular game is FREE to download and play, but has in app purchases. The game is Boom Beach.

File_000

Now on the surface this might not seem too unusual, but let me draw a 3 things to your attention.

First- Boom Beach is FREE. Granted the in app purchases and in game advertising are big money makers ($165,380 per day), but the actual game is free to play if you are patient enough to earn the needed resources to buy the upgraded weapons of war.

Second- This billboard is advertising a completely electronic product. So a completely electronic product is expanding its advertising arsenal to include a completely print based advertising route for gaining and retaining players. Granted this is nothing new, Microsoft has used billboards before and their main product, the Windows operating system, is entirely electronic and is now being delivered via automatic downloads to their customers. But Microsoft is an international brand that reported 93.6 billion in revenue in 2015 and 90.85% of computers use their product to work.

Third- The ad space surrounding the Boom Beach billboard advertised national brands like Chick-Fil-A. Also, the previous occupants of that exact billboard space were the American Thoracic Society (a non profit founded in 1905 that spent $720,000 on lobbying in 2015) and REI (a national sporting goods retailer founded 1938 with revenue of 2.2 Billion in 2014). So you have these two rather large ad spaces, previously held by a national retail chain earning billions of dollars per year and a non-profit that lobbies for and against bills on a national level, that is now occupied by a FREE iPhone game that you play while on break. Don’t wait for a punchline, because I don’t have one. Just wow.

 

Advertising and marketing are changing and have changed, not just in the number and type of channels but who is utilizing those channels. Do you have other examples? Post a comment below with your example or thoughts, I would love to hear from you!

DCIM125GOPRO

Lost at Sea, the value of planning

Always have a backup plan and consider the possible outcomes.

So why am I talking about this? Well, because I didn’t during a recent shoot and almost lost video footage and a camera. Let me bring you up to speed.

I was filming a documentary project in Scotland. The project required 2 weeks of filming in the magical land of kilted men, painted blue warriors and William Wallace (Braveheart is the movie if you want to learn more about him). We filmed 1 week in the Lowlands, primarily in Edinburgh and surrounding cities, and 1 week in the Highlands, the landscapes you see in Braveheart. Anyways, it was the second to last day of filming. We were on the island of Iona in Mull on a beach on the north end of the island (here is a link to view the beach https://goo.gl/maps/5kNhw1z8aYn). To make the best use of the time I set up a GoPro, that we had been using throughout the day to film B and C camera angles, to capture a timelapse of the tide coming in and eventually washing over the camera. Don’t worry, the camera was in a very waterproof case.

After setting up the GoPro I continued filming b-roll with the director, Colin Gunn. After about 5-10 minutes I turned back around to see that the gopro was gone. I looked frantically where I had put it and couldn’t find it. Thinking perhaps it had washed into the ever rising tide Colin and I waded out into the water and began searching through the waist and chest deep water to find it. After 45 minutes of wading, getting very wet, cold, offering silent prayers and Colin getting knocked over by a particularly vicious wave we gave up. Walking back to the primary camera which had been placed a very safe distance from the waves I looked down and saw the handle to the GoPro sticking out of the sand. Pulling it out of the sand I let loose a few yells and screams worthy of a war movie.

Lost GoPro

So why tell you this? In business and marketing you always need to have a backup plan for the important things from a physical backup of business files to an alternative ad idea in case the one you spent hours on isn’t well received by the target market. Also, consider what might happen if not everything goes according to plan. Basically do what I didn’t do, consider as many of the possible outcomes as you can, have a backup plan and don’t think that everything will go according to plan. Like I learned, almost the hard way, the sea does what it will no matter our plans.

Cheers, Corey
Provident Media Group
Creative video production is the new show and tell.
providentmediagroup.com

Marketing trends and strategies to be aware of

Trends and strategies

Those are wonderful and terrifying words for marketing. With marketing things change and sometimes they happen quickly and other times slowly. When looking at marketing trends and strategies you have to be careful and thoughtful about what you use and where you take it. Certain businesses can benefit more from one marketing strategy than another business and in some cases they can be harmed by a strategy that helps another.

Take for example refrigerator magnets. Which do you think will have more success (based on ROI) with using refrigerator magnets in their marketing campaign, your local HVAC/plumbing company or a facial tissue manufacturer? Probably the plumbing company, since they are in their customers homes and businesses and can leave the magnet right where the customer will see it, when a problem or need arises in the future. That is a very focused and time appropriate strategy, since they will be in front of a customer when their service is needed. Tissue company, not so much. When you buy tissues, you probably buy the brand with the best price, the brand you always buy or the brand with packaging you like the most.

So with this talk about trends and strategies what should you consider for the coming year? Here are my picks for the most important, in no particular order, that I compiled from multiple sources (Forbes, INC.com, HuffPost and Vidooly).

Transparency and relatable brands

Brands, in order to touch the cords, are drumming the emotional connect with elan. Realising the importance of emotional connect they revive the sentimentalist aspect of a brand by humanising it. Remember the overwhelming ads by coca-cola and back home we had a successful campaign in ‘Ghar-wali Diwali’ last year by pepsiIndia.

-Vidooly.com

I have been told more times than I can count that people buy from those that they know, like, and trust, KLT for short. Basically the steps for KLT are become an acquaintance, then a friend and finally a confidant or trusted advisor. When you become trusted you have reached the last step where a customer turns to you for advice and eventually for a solution, whether a product or service.

Mobile

When you visit a webpage that isn’t mobile optimized you know that it can be a hassle. While it isn’t a huge inconvenience for most people it is enough to make you think about clicking away and that happens before you ever consume the content that YOU clicked on. Now if most of the content your clients and followers receive from your business isn’t mobile optimized then you can imagine their frustration when they click to consume it.

A majority of your followers and subscribers are likely to be accessing your content via mobile, and yet many businesses still aren’t creating and distributing their content with these users in mind. Considering how and where your mobile users will be reading your emails and social media posts is key…

-Kim Garst, Huffington Post

Keep it brief and simple

“It’s not OK to simply push out anything that contains a relevant keyword,” she says. “As the content landscape continues to experience exponential growth, the future will be about piecing together solutions for time-starved individuals and helping them consume and apply the insights.”

-Nadine Dietz, creator of The CMO Solutions Clubhouse

While keeping campaigns and copy short and to the point isn’t anything new, attention spans are shorter now more than ever and campaigns that are aware of that and cater to it will win. Vine and twitter are great examples of short attention spans becoming mainstream.

A widespread trend observed worldwide was to make content shorter and durable. This seems to be the need of the hour for crafting videos. For people consuming data/video on the go, mostly on mobile devices, need content which is quick and catchy in as we always playfully complain.

-Vidooly

Storymonials/testimonials

“With the continued evolution of technology, like wearables, companies including Chambers of Commerce need to adapt our content marketing so we can better tell our story, engage customers, and create a unique experience for them.”

-Oscar Garcia, CEO of Chamber of Commerce Mountain View

I have written on the impact and power of video testimonials before so please visit there to find out more.

Content creators are needed and user created content is more powerful than ever

“[Next year] will bring decentralized content creation programs with participants across the company (not just marketing), as well as content initiatives that rely on user-generated content in expanded and highly strategic ways,” he says. “The best source of content in most companies may be right under your nose: your employees and customers.”

-Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert

This is where small companies can make big gains just like the large companies. Earlier this year I wrote about Shoedazzle which leveraged user generated content with great results. As a result they saw dramatic increases in website traffic and more sales.

With the young and happening lot, high on creativity brands are looking to capitalise on this chunk and encourage them by providing them forums to shoot videos and enter many such video contests to promote their brand by enticing the amateur film-makers. The recent campaign by Pepsi India on the theme of Crash the Pepsi IPL, are gaining a lot of momentum these days.

-Vidooly

Search algorithms will change and never stop changing

Google is their own company that serves their customers (users of their search engine) and in an effort to serve up more accurate results to their users they update their search engine algorithm multiple times per year. In fact in 2014 Google made 15 major updates to their search algorithm and at the time of writing this article they have already rolled out 3 updates. As a result businesses need to update their website and SEO strategy on a consistent basis which, needless to say, can be frustrating. Moz.com has a great timeline showing the history of Google’s algorithm updates.

Smarter email marketing

Businesses who have been investing heavily in digital marketing over the past 5 years are already figuring this one out. In the past, offering a company newsletter via email was often enough to build and grow your list. But with website visitors becoming increasingly wary of handing over their email addresses, businesses need to become extremely smart about what types of email content they provide and how they promote it.

Using free eBooks or white papers that offer true value are great lead magnets that work well to entice people to join your list. As you continue to send highly relevant content to your subscribers, they recognize that you truly ‘know your stuff’, and are more likely to purchase your products or services.

-Kim Garst, Huffington Post

In some ways smarter email marketing ties back into the trends of mobile, transparency and keeping it brief and simple.

At the end of the day most of these are timeless principles that if followed, will result in increased customer engagement and eventually sales whether it is 2015 or 1950.

Thanks for reading and subscribe for more posts in the future!