Posts tagged #brands

First-Strike Propaganda — Why Anti-brand Terrorism is a Real Thing

There's a war going on every day — it's not only for your attention and allegiance but for your mindshare.

Brand bombing, Anti-brand, Ambush Marketing, Brand HiJacking, Credential Exposures and Collaborative Brand Attacks (CBAs) are terms that should keep you up at night. People have directives and are not above taking grassroots and professional tactics, pointing them at your brand

Blackfish —

People aren't going to like this next part — "Brand Bombing" plots like Blackfish, and collaborative brand attacks that have been done by influencers, change.org and falsification insurgents are part of a much larger problem — as we can see with the 2016 election. However, much like a terrorist — brand bombing is edited for content and uniquely driven to spearhead the conversation BEFORE any real conversation can be had, THEREBY owning the mindshare in a lazy digital consumer that will no longer look past the threshold of what they were plausibly fed. "You keep a whale in a cage — you're all bad people."

It would seem to be logical that it's not just that easy — it's not. But if Donald Trump has taught us anything, it's that all you need to do is feed people what you [think] they want to hear.

Terrorists are some of the most puritanical marketers in the world and here's why. They're not selling a widget; they're not attempting to become a competitor to your marketplace, they only seek to disrupt by ALL means. Choas and confusion (that manifests itself by created fear, hatred and blind positioning) are paramount in the success of their terrible efforts.

"Justice, how can you compare something as evil as terrorism to marketing even in a fraudulent capacity?"

Russian Collusion of the 2016 Presidential Election —

Sadly, they're part of the same family tree, and they're not even distant cousins. Take for instance the Russian collusion of the 2016 Presidential election. A group of like-minded people seeking to purchase marketing to sway public opinion and create divisiveness; the likes of which I've not seen in my lifetime. Were their deaths? Most assuredly, but that's for another article.

We'll never know the extent to which SO many people were brainwashed by a nonstop bombardment of messaging. That said, the effect of the campaign will forever (in my mind) be the largest turning-point in the digital era for illegal and illicit use of advertising.

Will this change the future or marketing? Most assuredly, as long as it works. For now, the ability to share media, fake or not, is too vast to control. Attempts to control it create new firestorms, regarding privacy and governmental infringement – and the circle continues.

The Publix “die-ins” 

I agree with peaceful protest.

I feel like they're (the protestors) muddying their directive but by brand-blasting. Stick with reform, and move the needle. Additionally, I feel that using private property for their "die-ins" is thinning the impact and motivation of rally's, and speeches. 

People don't want to be "forced" to confront constructed messaging. Example: the KKK, Westboro Baptist Church, and others have made minimal headway on the POTENTIAL 'blue wave' that is building. With that said, the progressive movement is building traction using diplomacy, intellect and a vision of respectful opposition that 'Trump's' the bombastic nature of the current appointment. 

Publix heard them the people in their actions and swiftly stopped the campaign contributions. That said, they were strong-armed in so doing. One side will insist that this is a win! However, if gun owners insisted they could not protect their families and did the same tactic at Dick’s Sporting goods for removing the AR15 as a purchasable weapon, everyone would be screaming blood, Jesus. There’s no perfect solution, need I remind anyone.

Later, I'll try to explore steps your business can take to protect/insulate yourself from some of these tactics.

Scoring Strong with Email Marketing

Email marketing is still viable. Social media consultants, gurus, and (even me included) have spent the past decade telling you it’s all about the social networks. And there continues to be a LOT of value in those channels. However, the truth is that through it all, I have never abandoned the email channel.

In an effort to explain this email I'm an avid fan of the Orlando City Soccer Club (MLS) and the Orlando Pride (NWSL); I'm also and insatiable fan of great marketing. Weird, I know. Therefore, when I saw opportunities for future marketing success I thought to share it with everyone, not simply the team's outline. That said, read the following email looking through the lens of how best to market to some of the greatest fans in the MLS and NWSL.

Here are some suggestions and best practices for successful email campaigns:

All content must be responsive:

  • Desktop
  • Tablet
  • Mobile
  • Wearable (tiny screen)

Create an email marketing SOP that aligns with your brand standard manuals for all scenarios. This manual will be a biblical introduction to the next point:

Modular template environments

Modular Template Environments – Type 1: Like any publication, you need to create an environment where different departments and calls to action (CTAs) can be represented, categorized, and moved based on need and action.

Modular Template Environments – Type 2: Ads are getting overlooked or confused with real content because sizes for each are the same. Therefore a user will skim an email and not know what’s an ad or an article. So you must change sizes and locations. Example: header, 50/50, 1/3, 1/4, panels, etc., assigning a character count or word count for each.

Modular Template Environments – Type 3: Sizing and layout options. This way, assets will be consistent when you’re collecting and assembling them from various vendors or departments.

Rewarding VIP Status

When creating a revised email programming campaign for SeaWorld, the first item on the list was a newsletter/email for “Pass Holders” and “Non-Pass Holders.” It’s essential for retention efforts that the park offers exclusivity to those with annual passes.

Here is how we could apply that philosophy Orlando City Soccer Club season ticket holder and fan emails. This action should be replicated for Orlando Pride as well.

Contextual emails: Invite users to update their email account to give them a more personalized experience. Right now you only talk about yourself and it plays thin and will eventually work to your detriment. 

Suggestions might be:

  • "Club & Country” – emails about OCSC/OP and all MLS
  • OCSC/OP – calendar alerts
  • “This day in Soccer” – random history and trivia
  • Player Spotlights
  • Soccer EDU – history, trivia etc.
  • Gear Head – product reviews that piggyback merchandise and e–commerce efforts
  • Social Roundup – fans not only love social media, they love to read what they might have missed from other fans. Create a BuzzFeed-like weekly email that highlights 12 great posts from around Central Florida. This is a great “social proof” area as well “70% of people that read the article on our last game agreed that the red card was understandable”

These emails should be designed (in color, voice, and contextual directive) and sub-branded uniquely to avoid confusion with other segmented emails.

Hearing your email subscribers is key confirmation and welcome messages are a must.

Length: With more email options you’ll be able to cut down on your copy. Your current footprint is trying to be all things to all people and it comes off as noise.

Deployment consistency: You need to drop an email on every “X” day. It’s fine if you want to run alternate days for special categories or quick alerts. Just don’t overdo it.

Custom iconography: Create a series of icons that can be subtended throughout all your emails to indicate sales, events, recent news, coming soon and alerts!

Add motion: GIFs and click–throughs to video are eye-catching and a way to repurpose your efforts with channels like Giphy.com.

There are NO ASCII links in your email: This is a HUGE red flag. More people will click on a hyperlinked word than they will an image.

Heat mapping: Run heat mapping on your best and worst emails and find out where/what people did or did not engage with.

Spam scoring: Run all email wording through a spam scoring algorithm. I prefer Apache Spam Assassin – this procedure will lessen the blow on some email servers that might blacklist your content due to trigger words or perceived illegal formatting.

Subject lines: Run “split testing” on outgoing emails to see what a small percentage of our lists will open the most. Once activated, deploy the highest-testing subject line to your audience for maximum results.

Test email launch variables:

  • Subject line
  • Copy amount
  • Image amount
  • Offer/CTA
  • Time of day of send
  • Placement of the CTA
  • Personalization variations
  • More ads, less ads etc.

Create age–specific content: If you intend on cleaning the list (going back and asking your audience to confirm receipt of emails and allow for further customization of content), this is a perfect time to profile your user in basic terms: age, race, family, and other bits of basic demographic granularity will allow you to serve up better content for their needs.

Add native advertising in your written content: Allow brands to pitch association to teams within content outside of events, and make the association within the content as well. “After the game, the club was treated to a BBQ dinner from [sponsor] followed by a night on the town at [sponsor].” etc.

More contests for fans: T-shirt designs, shout-outs, video programs, etc.

Add buttons: Your emails are currently only using the images as linking mechanisms. Keep it simple in for folks to connecting to additional content and offers.

Squeeze emails and quit to reengage: With inactive email accounts, send out a series of emails stating that you’ll be unsubscribing them giving that they’ve not opened their emails in “X” # of days/weeks/months. This allows you to clean your list, as well as “poke” inactive recipients into reconnecting or disconnecting.

Cheat sheets: Send more PDFs and infographics to facilitate deeper learning and understanding of the game and allow them further interest in team members. For instance, offer things such as a “game day” lineup and so on.

Feedback emails: Send a minimum of two emails per season asking fans what they want from their email. This email is an excellent way for them to simply reply or for you to link them to a survey.

Humanize your brands: In player spotlights for example, create content that connects fans in a personal way with causes or groups that players are passionate about. This galvanizes fans to subject matter that they will then positively associate with the teams.

Encourage activity: Create email content where you TELL fans what do. Step-by-step; FYI; DIY and tour-based content works well in this format.

Use social and cultural trends: Connect to current trends by using tools like https://www.google.com/trends/ leverage topical positions that incentivize participation in programs.

Thank you emails: Announce and reply to fans regarding successes and participation in events and programs.

Use the "Inverted Pyramid Method: It drives users to a CTA or actionable button.

 

10 Brands Logos + One Year

So the past year, or so has seen the creation (or in some cases evolution) of well over 10 brands for me. Some just are just visual identities, while others, fully vetted brand systems and implementation strategies. I thought perhaps you'd enjoy walking through them. The following identities have been comped' on both white and back to see their relative impact/readability.

Content Commoditization is Coming — Prepare Your Brands!

So 15 years ago we decided the Internet was no longer a fad, and we definitely needed a website for our business. Then 10 years ago we decided social media was something we need to pay attention to, and now we realize it is essential in our media mix as well. For the past five years, we have been paying attention to content and active engagement. ... (READ THE REST HERE)

Posted on February 5, 2016 and filed under Advertising, Brand, Business, Tools.