How To Digital Advertise Effectively

With things changing around us so quickly, having a long-term advertising strategy can be a challenge. We need real time audience data as much as possible. How can we build an adaptable audience in this rapidly changing world?  

One of the biggest changes in advertising this year was the extreme shift to digital. In an eMarketer poll, 56% of people said that they increased their online shopping this year. And 14% said that they shopped online for the first time. The way we shop has also changed. Because of the increase in online shopping, we tend to make faster, more impulsive purchase decisions. What does that mean for advertising?  

Before the necessary shift to digital, brands could interact with customers in a wide variety of ways, often spread out over large physical distances. Billboards, signs, posters, newspapers, and magazines all exist with in different physical spaces. With digital advertising however, we are all competing for the same ad space. That ad space is worth more now has less guarantees attached to it.  

Having the right audience is the foundation for your campaign…..

Asking yourself simple questions about your clientele such are gender, age, income, and possible other interests can make it easier to target more efficiently.  

What can you do then make sure your potentials are seeing your brand? Start with the right people. A lot of marketers view the audience as a small detail or a piece of the puzzle. Having the right audience is the foundation for your campaign. Asking yourself simple questions about your clientele such are gender, age, income, and possible other interests can make it easier to target more efficiently.  

Having a general idea of your audience is a good first step. Slowing narrowing down that audience helps reduce costs. A trigger-based campaign is a good way to do that. For example, you can send an email to a large amount of people who fit your initial criteria rather cheaply. Since social ads are more expensive, you then only need to advertise to the people for clicked or opened your email. You can then retarget them with Direct mail. Learn about your audience from each channel individually then apply it back to your campaign as a whole.   

As difficult as it can be to have to shift an entire advertising strategy, it can be also be a great opportunity for growth. Using different channels can help you take a step back and look at your campaigns and your potentials in a new light. What have you learned about adapting strategies this year?  


Why Does WFH Have A Bad History?

Many companies (including our own) have been forced to adapt to WFH this year. Many of us enjoy working from home now and flexibility it offers. Why haven’t companies pushed WFH before?

Well, they have. And it hasn’t always gone well. For example, in 2009 40% of IBM’s 386,000 employees in 173 counties worked from home. In 2017, however, thousands of them were called back to the office. Why? Revenue was slumping, and as Kate Lister of Global Workplace Analytics says, “Working from home is a strategic move, not just a tactical one that saves money. A lot of it comes down to trust. Do you trust your people?”

Taking a global pandemic out of the equation, what are the advantages of WFH? Employees regain valuable time in not having to commute and are able to set their own work schedules. Working in your comfortable home environment can increase productivity. Employers can cut costs with smaller office spaces and amenities. They can also hire people from all over, not worrying about proximity to the office. Deeping the talent pool pushes diversity and in turn, innovation.

In late May 2020, Morning Consult surveyed US workers, 54% said they wanted to work remotely. But of those already working remotely, over 50% said they feel less connected to their company, which highlights a larger problem with WFH: management. Jody Thompson, who worked on Best Buy’s failed WFH program, said that part of the reason the program failed was that when the company was doing poorly, management began to fear that they were giving their employees way too much freedom. “It went back to a philosophy of ‘If I can see people, that means they must be working.” she said. And so, the employees when back the office.

A lot of companies have been surprised by the productivity increases

“People are shocked. No one found a drop-in productivity. Most found an increase.”

A lot of companies have been surprised by the productivity increases coming from WFH. John Sullivan, a professor of management at San Francisco State University said, “People are shocked. No one found a drop-in productivity. Most found an increase.”

Proving that the problem may not be the employees, but how they are managed. Now that everyone has to work remotely, it has helped many managers understand what it’s like to work from home and what their employees need to WFH effectively.  

So, as Jody Thompson said, it all comes down to trusting your employees.

What do you think has caused WFH to fail in the past? DO you think that technology like Zoom will help working remotely succeed this time?

Do You Have A “Zoom Shirt?”

The “zoom shirt” is a trend born out of working from home. It’s too easy at home to not dress up for work at all. Or get out of your pajamas. And so, the “zoom shirt” became a quick way to reclaim some level of professionalism when on zoom business calls, but something you don’t have to wear all day while working from your couch.

Zoom Shirt

Adolf Loos, the Austrian architect said in 1903, that a person is properly dressed not when he stands out but when he is wearing the correct apparel for the moment at hand. Because the “moment at hand” is so unprecedented it can be hard to know exactly what the appropriate business attire actually is. We are all aware that we are sitting in our homes. That through zoom, we are viewing people in their informal setting. It can seem wrong to appear as we did before. Seeing someone in a suit sitting at their dining room table can be jarring. But on the other hand, a level of professionalism is excepted. Late night host Seth Meyer got a bit of backlash for dressing too casual for his show, which is now filming in his house. People said that his overly causal clothes undercut his delivery of important topics. So, there has to be a happy middle ground.

The office wear brand MM.LaFleur coined the phrase “mullet dressing”  business on the top, party on the bottom. Having a simple go-to article of clothing nearby your workstation can make it easy to quickly look professional on camera at a moment’s notice.

Joe Farrell, the executive vice president of Funny or Die, has gotten so good at the zoom shirt he was interviewed about in in the New York Times. Farrell has a short sleeve button down shirt he keeps on the back of his chair. He has worn it for 70 consecutive days. He kept waiting for someone to notice and no one ever did. He says that every time he has told people about it, he expects them to call him out for it, instead all they do is tell him about their own zoom shirts.

Talking to the New York times about why he has continued to try and dress up for zoom meetings, Timo Weiland, the creative director of the fashion company that bears his name, said, “It’s about preserving a sense of professionalism in a formless environment, where the sense of urgency is gone. I have 7 to 10 Zoom meetings a day, and I feel far less prepared if I’m wearing a hoodie-and-pajamas look.”

What makes a good zoom shirt? It can be any article of clothing that you can quickly throw on to feel more professional: a scarf, jacket, a button down, sweater, anything really. The things that make a good zoom shirt are ironically similar to things that make good travel clothes. It needs to be easy to store, doesn’t get wrinkled easily, works for many types of social settings, and ideally doesn’t have to washed that often.

Do you have a “zoom shirt” already? What do you think makes a good zoom shirt?

The End Of The Cookie: Part 2

What is going to fill the void left by third party cookies? We know for sure that our reliance on data isn’t going to change. It’s the foundation of marketing. we are always going to need to know who our audience is.

Three third party cookie alternatives.

  1. Use browsers history only to influence impressions. This is a very simple option that wil be easy to implement because things like google analytics pretty much already do this. But because its browser specific it could make OmniChannel marketing a challenge.
  2. First party identity information. This solution creates a unique ID for your web use. This option is popular with a lot of people in the commercial industry because even though your data pool will go down, using unique ids will give a higher match rate. Meaning if one of these matched personal ids show up in your system, you’ll know for sure that they are a solid prospect.
  3. Aggregated consumer data. This is somewhat of a catch all option, using consumer data from multiple sources to cross refence and match information. One advantages of this option is that marketers we be able to learn more about their consumers. Although you will know more about them as people, it’s unlikely that you will be able to actually know who they are.

So, what now? Now is the time to figure out as much as you can about your audience. It will be more of a challenge to find out who your customer base is without third party cookies. Focus on diversify into omnichannel marketing to get a clearer picture of your audience. It is also a good time to plan out a marketing strategy. Figure out what companies you are going to need relationships with going forward.

What alternatives to you think are going to fill the void left by third party cookies?

Modern Art Projects

Looking for a fun art project to do with your kids (or by yourself honestly) this summer? The Tate Modern art museum in London has a website full of fun (and education) things to do to keep you busy this summer. All the projects have pictures and easy to follow instructions. The projects are based on famous artists and movements.

Here’s three that we are excited to try.

Friendship bracelets. Woven bracelets are super trendy this year. They are easy to make but can keep you busy for a long time. So many of us are missing our friends this summer, homemade bracelets can be a great gift to remind them you are thinking them.

Make art like Andy Warhol. This lesson explains some of the history of the pop art movement and Warhol’s contributions. It features two projects. The second project is a Marilyn inspired selfie diptych. It teaches you how to print out a black and white selfie to color in with different colors.

Make marbled paper with foam. This looks super fun if you are in the mood to get a bit messy. Inspired by German artist Gerhard Richter, this lesson teaches you how to make abstract marbled paper with shaving cream and food dye. The marbled paper can then be turned into many things like origami, bunting, or a card for a friend.

We would love to see all the amazing things you create!

A Nod to Postal Design

In May 2020, The Design Museum in London started a Twitter thread highlighting the postal service. People from all over the world shared pictures of their favorite mailboxes, stamps, and signs.

Click the original Tweet to see the whole thread.

The world we live in can feel very big and overwhelming now. This simple twitter thread is a good reminder to find beauty and joy in little things and the mundane!

Do you have a favorite mail related design?

Can You Avoid Marketing Faux Pas?

In a lot of ways, it’s business as usual. Except for it isn’t. The world has changed drastically in a matter of months and not adjusting your marketing strategy to reflect that can feel insensitive. So, what can you do to avoid any Corona marketing faux pas?

Think long term. Focusing on short term fixes will most likely lead to bad decisions. Where do you want your company to be after this? Thinking about that will help you to keep your customer first. Customer service may include bending the “rules” a bit. For example, some airlines are waving cancellation or change fees and extending loyalty programs.

Invest in data-driven strategies. Focusing on the data will help companies see what actually applicable right is now and will able to sense when things are picking back up again.

Remember, we are all in this together. We all live in same world and are all affected by the pandemic. Pretending that it doesn’t exist in your marketing will make you seem cut off or above the virus. Acknowledge the situation and if you can; jump in and help. Your customers will appreciate it if you think about the big picture, helping them and the world we share.

Carve Out Your Own Office Space

Is your temporary home office starting to feel a little more permeant? What can you do to build a home office that you actually want to work in?

Step one. Figure out what you actually need. Do you actually need a standard desk? How about filing cabinets and office supplies? Understanding what you need will help you figure the space you need and what your priorities should be.

Where should you put it? Is sharing the dining room table not really working anymore? It can be difficult to want to mess up your homes aesthetic with a desk smashed into room. Incorporating your workspace into your living space may help you be more motivated and looking forward to working. Without being a corporate setting, you have more of an opportunity to decorate your space the way you want. This truly your space. You can fill it however you want and put it where you want. You don’t have to star at a wall all day if you don’t want. Put your desk in place where you can command the room, and you’ll feel like you got a promotion.

Even if WFH is temporary for you, it shouldn’t have to feel like it. You deserve to like your space and feel productive in it.

Can You Be An Email Campaign Guru

Before you even get started, make sure your tools/programs are all set up and integrated. Integrating programs is one way to streamline your workflow. Brainstorm other ways to streamline workflow. Working efficiently will make it easier to keep track of all the pieces needed for your campaign. And it will also help you work faster.

Once you are ready to send, use data from previous campaigns to optimize future ones. Are you sending to the right people? How about at the right time? Are there any issues within your system that could be making it hard for your campaign to reach its intended target?  

How about after you’ve sent your campaign? What can you do to maximize its effectiveness? Are you collecting data from your campaign? Are you using it to retarget those in your campaign? Think about how your customers perceive your brand as a single entity can help you develop your relationship with them smoother.

Sharing information from your campaign across every channel helps you to appear more cohesive. Also sharing data gleaned from your campaign within your organization can make you more effective and efficient. Sharing is caring!

Is Insight In Marketing Important?

What is the difference between using data and using data effectively? Having insight or discernment is the key. Think about the old adage: knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing that it doesn’t belong in a fruit salad. Therefore if data = knowledge, then insight helps you to now where to put it effectively.  

For years, marketing strategies and programs were laid out the same way. Now due partly to social media and digital marketing capabilities, people want a personal experience. That experience based marketing is only possible if you can use the right data in the right way.

Many companies start off by trying to get as many customers a possible. Then after a certain point, they level off because they don’t know who their customers are or how to reach them.

Once you have figured out your audience, it can be hard to know whats the next step. 

Data marketing company V12 suggests making a chart with long term vs short term investments on one axis and customer quantity verses quality on the other. Then fill in the chart with all of your possible marketing strategies, programs, and solutions. Thinking about possible strategies this way makes it easier to formulate a plan that yields the biggest bang for your buck. 

In what ways do you that insight helps a marketing strategy?