Tag Archives: Marketing and Advertising

IABC Morning Managers Meeting

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Seattle IABCI found myself staring at the Cafe Ladro, the coffee bar at the bottom of the Bellevue Expedia building at 7:00am this past Tuesday morning and asking myself a number of questions. I asked, “Why did I leave my warm bed at 6:00am to come listen to someone speak about corporate identity?  Do I really care about corporate identity as a small business?” And most importantly, “Why would I bother to read the menu, when I know the answer this early is ALWAYS a 2 shot espresso!” The answer to all of these questions was that I had been invited to attend an IABC Morning Managers Meeting on Company Culture: How to define it, defend it and liberate it. I was excited, I had the chance to listen to Kristin Graham, vice president of engagement and communications at Expedia Inc.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to listen to Kristin Graham speak then I strongly suggest that you find her at the next KOL panel and take a seat. She is dynamic and excited about corporate culture, which is more than most professionals can say. She is also a natural public speaker who is very intelligent and sometimes gets a little over-excited: she may curse in the middle of a presentation. The latter is my personal favorite. But all of this is a reflection of how passionate she is about her work.

During her presentation she made two points that stood out to me. The first was that “the culture of an organization is embodied by the people working there.” When you are looking for a way to define the culture, you need only to look to your colleagues. This a point that many of us boutique agencies fail to grasp, and why so many of the creative agencies tend to go under or completely change after the founding partners retire or quit.   A statistic states that almost “90% (of businesses) are out of business at the end of five years.”  While this statistic applies to all business in general, it isn’t hard to imagine this happening for much the same reason across many industries- no one has defined the businesses culture. It is safe to say that any boutique agency that is interested in outliving  the senior management needs to be memorable to clients as an agency that has more than just the best people. It needs to develop a corporate identity that will not only interest future clients, but also entice and inspire new employees.

The second thing that Kristin discussed in her presentation that made me sit up and take notice was that culture is the set of behavioral patterns that is encouraged or accepted by leadership. In essence, it is what a company will hire or fire over, which means when you are defining what your corporate culture is, do not misrepresent yourself or your company.  When you begin to develop and define your company’s culture, start by asking yourself that key question.  And realize that corporate culture is something that evolves with time and it isn’t something that you always find on a poster.

In our next post we will provide some simple definitions about what corporate culture is and provide some examples of well-known cultures.

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Because even we don’t know everything

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Sometimes even creative professionals need a little more education.

We were sitting around yesterday discussing different ways to increase the long-term value for our clients brands. And during the meeting someone said, “so the question is: are there other ways, in addition to what we are doing, to measure brand equity?” To which one of team said, “Brand equity, is that like home equity?” Brand Equity Basics – it sounded like a great blog topic to me, at the time.

What is Brand Equity?

In a nut shell it is the difference between of benefits between having a brand name as opposed to not having one. When your brand is well-known enough then you can charge people more money, or premium prices, for your product. A few examples of brands that are able to sell at premium prices include; Nike, Adidas, Apple, Chiquita bananas, VW and TOMS. And a couple of non-name brands include companies like; Jewel Companies Generic Cola and Kroger’sNaturally Preferred. But even house brands are beginning to gain brand equity, like Boots skin care products being sold at Target in the US. However, in the ever-changing world of marketing even generic brands such as No Name Brand is growing brand equity and using it to increase prices for products.

What isn’t a Brand?

Because everyone seems to believe that they understand what a brand is – I thought it might be a good moment to write about what a brand isn’t. A brand isn’t a logo – according to Marty Neumeier – and that is a key thing to remember. That means that things like the Nike Swoosh, the 3-strips from Adidas, the golden arches of McDonald’s or the white apple from Apple is not a brand, but a logo. This is a key thing to remember and not get confused about.

How we attempt to measure Brand Equity?

A brand’s equity is ultimately derived from the actions and words of consumers. As marketing professionals we are constantly testing ways to effectively measure the value of a brand for stakeholders. There are three key levels for measuring a brand are at the corporate, product and consumer level.

Corporate level – This is where a firm makes a calculation regarding how much the brand is worth as an intangible asset.

Product level – This is a measurement where one compares the price of a no-name or private label product to an “equivalent” branded product. This is very difficult when you are attempting to predict the worth and achieve FMA.

Consumer level – Attempts to map the mind of the consumer to find out what associations with the brand the consumer has. In this case high brand equity is associated with strong and favorable high levels awareness.

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What was I talking about? Oh right, global marketing.

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Newman Partnership, Limited has been hitting the lecture circuit with the new some experiences and concepts. We have been talking to CEO’s and directors of marketing all the way to new students.

Currently, we are on our way to Seattle to get away from all the work that we have been doing. But last week one of our team gave a speech, at the Capital City Club about what he has learned about global marketing, and how European marketplaces differ from US markets. Sloan Newman has worked in several areas of the marketing mix including; advertising, digital marketing, events and public relations, and he has a brain that never stops looking at marketing and how different cultures and products advertise to different audiences. He is going to share some of his thoughts and insights from his recent speech to a board of different senior marketers.

I am now on my way as a professional speaker, in all honesty, I laughed at my friends when they joined the Toast associations when we were in school. But I have been told that I have a decent voice, and I do like to engage with audiences. When I was asked to discuss what was going on in the digital market place in Europe, I thought that it would be a simple discussion about how Europe has different attitudes towards website design. However, when I walked into the designated hall I saw that my sign for my discussion said, “Global Marketing.” With four years abroad working in marketing, I am aware of different attitudes towards marketing and advertising, but I am not qualified speaker on Global Marketing. But if I have learned anything from the mentors in my life it is that if you aren’t fully aware of what is going on then you ask the audience and ask them to fill in the blanks.

In this case, I did try to reinforce some important differences that exist between England, France and Germany and how those differ between the US and each of these countries. However, I have included some of these differences below as well as the audio from the meeting. I would appreciate any insight that you guys could offer.

In the United Kingdom, the messaging is direct and is usually used with aspects of emotional appeals.  The United Kingdom is very stringent about how and what can be said in their advertising and at what times of the day certain messages can be carried on their televisions.  And with Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, they can pull and fine companies who provide improper advertising.  English humor is very specific and can easily backfire if not done properly.  As of this week it is a growing place of opportunity for agencies that specialize in product placements in television. The integration of mobile phone marketing is also much more effective than in the US.

In France, visualization is a key aspect to French marketing. Much like Japan, advertising in France is more about the visual imagery more than the messaging.  This is truly a market where sex sells.  And creativity is growing in the digital community due to large investments in infrastructure.  While France was slow to embrace the possibilities of Internet, it is now ranked 24th in the world to be ready for the Networked World (Hutchinson, Harvard).

Germany is the market place that I have found that most reflects the United States.  They are English friendly and much of the print and above the line advertising marketing techniques do follow and mirror American techniques. That means that informational selling points and rational decision-making are a common technique for marketing in Germany.

I have also included the audio from the discussion, which you can download here. speech_08_03_11

The beginning of a long travel begins with a small decision – a call to arms for Transmedia Research

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The beginning of a long travel begins with a small decision – a call to arms for Transmedia Research

For the past six-months I have asked myself, ‘Is Transmedia storytelling a popular phenomenon or does it have a lasting effect for people using social media?’ We, at Newman Partnership, Ltd. realize that the best way to confirm if this true is to do some research.
One of my favorite ways to pass an already busy afternoon.

The New GenerationOur research will attempt to discover if: 1) Are people actually retelling stories that they see in new ways or expanding on previous stories – either from entertainment or popular advertising – or engaging when commercials ask you to send in your stories or ask for your insights? And 2) are these heavy and/or light users of social media. We are attempting to discover if people are becoming more involved in the transmedia process? And if light users of social media are growing in their usage of storytelling.

What is Transmedia?

“Transmedia storytelling is a technique of telling stories across multiple platforms and formats.” – Wikipedia Definition

Transmedia marketing is an emerging marketing technique developed to interact with audiences across multiple forms of marketing to develop brand and product awareness.

Transmedia campaigns encourage audiences to engage in the marketing process by mixing social media with classical marketing techniques.  It is a conversation between the marketing department and the target audience.  This conversation is created when the company provides opportunities for the audience to develop or recreate the original story under new narratives. And it is not simply a top-down corporate advertising or marketing campaign but a combination of top-down and grass-roots bottom-up.

Who are we looking for?

The Important InformationI am looking to interview men between 16-35 years of age. Who are using social media in some form on a bi-weekly rate.

If you are interested, or think that you have information that would be interesting to this research then please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at sloan@newmanpartnership.com.

What will it cost you?

If you just drop me an email to asking to participate in this research, then I will add you to our contact book and contact you in the next few weeks about completing questionnaire online. The questionnaire will only take about 10 to 15 minutes, and your answers will prove invaluable in the future.

In the coming weeks, I will also be approaching several Transmedia agencies to see if they might be interested in becoming involved in this research. If you are an agency, then please contact me to find out more.

Where will the interviews be?

Interviews will be conducted using an online research technique, and face-to-face interviews will also be conducted when possible.

What will your time mean?

By contributing to this research you will be helping to discover and better understand how people are using the social media to influence stories and advertising. It is my hope that this initial research will help to draw enough conclusive lines to encourage a quantitative research in the future.

Conversations with a MA Marketing Class – My take-away (part 2 of 2)

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Social Media Life - Workstation

In the spirit of what to take-away from a class, I thought that I would add what I took away from my opportunity. First, the students are smart, eager and interested in learning but students don’t just want to be spoken at, they want to be engaged. Both of my lectures began with questions, “What umbrella brands do you know?” “What individual brands do you know?” “How many of you engage in more than one type of social marketing a day?” It took a few more questions, but the students finally did begin to participate. Nothing was worse in school than sitting through an entire 60 -90 minutes of a professor going on and on about text that no one was going to remember. But once I got the class talking, we had a very interactive a lively discussion about branding and the same with working in digital marketing.

Secondly, I learned that students at University are not a connected as you would believe. At the beginning of my second  lecture I asked the students, “How many of you are using more than one social media network a daily basis?” No one raised their hand. This was a little upsetting because this is where real world experience comes into play. We can all work in a day job that we simply go to and then go home from. But if you really want to rise to the top of your peers, then you must be willing to go the extra distance. We all know this, but I think that at times it is easier for us to get stuck in a rut and forget that. We could think of a new opportunity to promote our clients better, but instead of having brainstorming seasons at the end of the day most of us would rather head-out to the pub at 5:15 pm. That isn’t how you win awards, unless you client is in InBev and you are doing some secondary/participatory market research. I know that I have been guilty of this in the past, and, in England, what I learned is that Stella Artois really is known as the ‘wife beater’ of beers.

But the most important thing that I have come to realize from my recent trip is that there are opportunities everywhere. That you never know whose help you might need in the future, and it is better to keep as many contacts as you possibly can. My second lecture was for a professor who was my advisor during my dissertation, and we never really got along. But I have since learned that if I want to find a way to conduct Market Research on Transmedia Advertising, then he will be a key player to making that happen. So much of the world is about making and keeping relationships that you obtain along the way.

I have been asked back to lecture again, so if anyone has any ideas of what to speak about then I am more than eager to hear from you.

We have a singing Tweet, thanks to Orange.co.uk

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Last week the Newman Partnership, Ltd. turned a tweet into a song using Orange’s singing tweetagrams project. This is fun little service that Orange has provided to the entire twitter community.

Social media + Brand Demonization

Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

While this latest endeavor from Orange may not generate much in the way of brand loyalty of even brand awareness, it is a fun little tool. It is an indirect way to enrich the customer experience while expecting nothing in return, a gift (as Seth Godin describes it).

However, companies like Orange and other international brands must start looking at how to use Social Media more effectively.

With the ever evolving ability of globalization destroying barriers to market entry. Globalization does cause a larger amount of cannibalization in the already scarce mobile phone environment. Social media can be a way to win back and convert new mobile users to your side.

For instance, this morning we read an article stating that Orange has no Twitter presence, which is obviously not entirely accurate. But in the world of blogs and social media, it no longer matters if it’s true or not.

If enough people read a blog and believe that the author knows what he or she is talking about then they will happily jump on the band wagon and find problems with a company.

As companies to try to compete in an ever growing social network, it will become more difficult to get their messages across to their audiences. It could be in the near future that each country has it’s own successful social networks and companies will be able to target audiences using these methods.