This month, we thought a lot about what we as a team are thankful for when it comes to our careers in digital marketing and PR. We are, of course, always thankful for our clients, industry colleagues and teammates. But we thought we’d also share what we’re grateful to have learned during our years in the industry – thus, what we know and what we know to say no to as marketers. Click on the infographic to read the details.
“How do fevers in the human brain produce the dreams and visions that become transformed into blazes of insight?” The Creative Brain
When I was in college, I was proud to be studying at a University that had its PR program in the School of Business, resulting in a Bachelor of Science in Business degree. This was – and stills seems to be – a rarity in the field. Most PR and Marketing degrees are housed in the School of Communications and/or result in a Bachelor of Arts. In the past, this seemed to make sense for PR – it reflected the creative arts side of the field – writing, event planning, branding, messaging, etc. But today, with the explosion of analytics and data in the field, PR and Marketing executives have to think differently. They need to use both sides of their brain – the right, creative side and the left, analytical side. (Luckily, my degree prepared me for both before the market turned that direction.)
The creative side of the brain is still crucial to coming up with marketing strategies, branding and messages that appeal to people. We have to understand how to entice strong emotions that lead to action. Once that action is taken, we now have to use the right side of our brain to determine if that action resulted in value to our organization (or our clients’ organizations). Our creativity is crucial when it comes to content – we are in fact content creators and publishers in the day and age of social media. It takes fun, whimsy and innovative risk taking to create content that’s really going to stand out. But in order to truly create the best content, we need to use the right side of our brain to analyze how that content – if that content is working.
It’s not enough anymore to say “That was a really catchy headline” or “The logo is awesome” – or even to just write a creative pitch that gets a reporter’s attention. We now need to drill down and, after the reporter writes his or her article, analyze if the messages within drove the right interest. Was the article placed in the right outlet? Did the messages appeal to the right audience? What did they do as a result? Did they click through to our site? Did they buy? Why or why not?
This movement is also reflected in the banter about CIOs and CMOs battling for budget and suddenly sharing some tech responsibilities. CMOs are responsible for more data-driven decisions than in the past, and that includes managing the website’s content (which CIOs also need to make sure doesn’t then result in slower performance or other issues), and purchasing analytical software. As Dell chief information officer Andi Karaboutis recently told ZDNet, “Things for which I work together with Karen [the CMO]? Analytics, big data.”
And thus, today’s best PR and Marketing executives are what I’ve dubbed “Creatalitics” thinkers. They combine really creative and innovative ideas – those “dreams and visions” with data and analysis – the “blazes of insight” that tells them if their creations go beyond initial appeal and into the world of actionable value to the company’s bottom line. How are you using “creatalitics” in your PR or marketing position? If we can help you better undersatnd and merge this new way of thinking into your organization, let me know.
To say that the lines between PR, media and marketing are blurred is putting it mildly. What was once about facilitating and gatekeeping has now become a creative free-for-all as more brands step into the role of content makers to try to strike a chord with their respective audiences.
As an agency, we’re constantly thinking about best practices among the complimentary disciplines, along with how we can leverage a combination of them most effectively for our clients.
One of the more recent discussions was around engagement on social media. While we’re all familiar with it from a personal perspective, it’s still an area that can be a challenge from a business standpoint.
Even though there’s a general understanding among brands that social media is a marketing tool that can help them reach out to their customers, it can be difficult to convince them to loosen the reins and fully harness their network’s power to unlock the true potential.
But rather than brainstorming something like a list of the “10 tips for better social media engagement,” we simply wanted to show an example of the magic in action in this video from UK maxipad maker Bodyform, made late last year. The company created it in response to a man’s tongue-in-cheek “rant” on their Facebook wall, claiming that he’s been lied to about the “happy periods” depicted in their ads over the years.
What might make some brand managers bury their heads in the sand to avoid addressing, Bodyform embraced as an opportunity to get a conversation, ahem, flowing in its community.
“We found Richard’s post very amusing and wanted to continue the positive dialogue around periods that this generated,” said Yulia Kretova, brand controller for Bodyform, in a statement. “…Breaking down the taboo around Bodyform and periods has always been a challenge, and I hope that we have started to address this.”
The result? Well, not only did it delight fans and followers, but the video went viral, and we’re still talking about it months later as a hilarious – and effective – example of engagement at its best.
While the saying “no publicity is bad publicity” will always be up for debate, there’s no denying that any kind of feedback – even negative – can be a major opportunity in social media to convert its loudest naysayers into its most fervent fans. And that’s something none of us should overlook – period.
If you’re attending IMS in San Francisco today, please be sure to find our own Jennifer Hellickson, who will be giving away these cool shark bottle openers to the first 100 folks to connect with her. We’re having some fun at the show by combining our love of summer, Shark Week and our intent on delivering killer marketing. Find Jennifer at the show (hint: follow her or us on Twitter to help you do so) and you will also get directions on how to enter a chance to win our $100 gift card drawing, which will be announced on Friday, August 2 at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST on Google+, so join us there, too.
If you’re not at IMS this week, take heart! We also thought it would be fun to share some shark trivia, so follow along today and tomorrow on Twitter or Facebook and test your shark knowledge. We’ll be randomly choosing five online folks to receive a complimentary bottle opener as well. (Hint, you could increase your chances by tweeting with @PerkettPR and #killermarketing in your tweets!)
Enjoy learning at IMS, San Francisco, and contact us if you need help taking a bigger bite out of the industry with #killermarketing strategies.
In all the talk today about the importance of content, it’s occurred to me that one area digital marketers are overlooking is music. Specifically, the valuable role a great (or hated) jingle can play. Some may make you want to tear your hair out, but you have to admit, sometimes the worst ones are the most memorable.
With the rising popularity of brief videos like 6 seconds on Vine, or 15 seconds on Instagram, we continue to focus on visual aspects – but music has always played an important role in helping folks recall your brand. Like other traditional advertising, digital marketers don’t have to spend big to incorporate music into our their content efforts. Even in the earlier days of social media, companies like Animoto understood this and made music a crucial element in its tool, allowing users to combine original or royalty-free music with slideshows to create cool videos. Yet even they don’t mention “make a jingle” as one of their suggested Top 5 Ways to Use Video for Business. Of course, nobody likes elevator music, so grab an intern with a guitar or an executive who sings on the side (you never know – one of our old clients is now a blues singing sensation!), write some funny lyrics and try adding them to your next video. I mean if the Hoff can sell “Thirsty for your Love” you can sell “I got the customer service blues,” right?!
And for inspiration, here are – for better or worse – some of the most memorable ad jingles our staff shared with me. What would you add to the list?