These 5 Brands Are Making A Splash Without TV Ads

In our continuing effort to provide you with innovative ideas that can help you amplify your brand experience, we thought we’d share this article from Business Insider that highlights five brands making a marketing impact without spending big bucks on traditional TV ads. Enjoy!”

What Facebook’s Changes Mean for Marketers

Two People Talking Exchange Marketing Ideas

Facebook changed the way their social network works…again. As this article from Mashable points out, there’s changes in store for how marketers use the social network as a result.

Facebook is constantly mixing things up in an attempt to stay relevant and ahead of consumer preferences. Unfortunately, this means more for marketers to keep up with. We’ve been talking about the value of content in your social media presence for some time now and this recent slew of Facebook changes makes it even more critical for marketers to deliver relevant, helpful, entertaining and informative content that serves the information and entertainment needs of their audience rather than pitching the marketers  products or services.

How to do this? We’d like to suggest a couple of simple steps:

First, use your listening platform to mine for insights about topics related to the end benefit your product or service delivers to consumers, rather than the features so many marketers drive their digital marketing around. An example of this is for a camera company to create really helpful e-books, mobile apps, videos or other digital resources to help people take better photos…the reason people buy a new camera in the first place.

Second, get your digital distribution ecosystem in place so that you can get the content out to all the social channels your consumers are using…blogs, social networks, forums and message boards, Q&A sites…you name it. Don’t keep the content behind your walled garden on your web site. Free Your Content!

Third, make sure your content is sharable. You want your audience to help with distribution, don’t you? Sure you do, because the crowd can get it out to the masses like nobody else.  Again, Free Your Content!

Finally, make sure the content has a call to action that links your audience back to your home site for a deeper layer of engagement…a special offer for more content, an incentive for purchase or some other relevant call to action. Think of your content as bread crumbs scattered across the internet, leading the little birds back to your site.

Brands that create compelling content and follow these steps reap substantial rewards, converting consumers who didn’t even know they were in the market for a product or service. When we ask marketers seek first to provide answers to needs rather than shill our stuff, everyone wins!

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth

Cover of Google's Zero Moment of Truth report by Jim Lecinski

Jim Lecinski, managing director of U.S. Sales and Service for Google and all around good guy, has kindly given us permission to distribute his phenomenal report entitled Winning at the Zero Moment of Truth. The 73-page e-book documents the startling changes in consumer buying behavior brought about by the internet and activities/tools such as search/search engines, social channels and networks, user reviews, other consumer generated content and “always on” smart phones.

In reality, the “internet of things” arrived a bit earlier than anticipated. It came in the form of the Internet of US and emerged due to our iPhones, iPads, Androids and other smart, mobile devices, perpetually connected to the internet, broadcasting our likes and dislikes…our sharing, creating, commenting, reviewing and recommending. The hard cold truth for most brands is not that the technology is ahead of their marketing efforts…their customers are ahead of their marketing efforts!

Marketing model for the first moment of truth

Legacy Marketing Model: First Moment of Truth

In order to understand the Zero Moment, you have to understand the First Moment of Truth. This concept was made popular by Procter & Gamble and referred to the first place a brand had to win…when the consumer, stimulated by some kind of marketing communication or advertising like a TV spot, a coupon or a magazine ad stood in front of the product at the retail shelf and weighed the decision to put the brand in their shopping cart. The marketing model was simple: run creative advertising to get the consumer to be aware, to have interest, to go to a retail location and buy your product. A tremendous amount of time, money and effort has gone into perfecting this system.

graphic depiction of the zero moment of truth concept

What’s changed is there is now a huge critical moment between stimulus and shelf in every product or service category. Consumers still watch your TV spots or see you magazine ad. But then they grab their laptop or smart phone and search for reviews to see what others are saying about your product. They go to Twitter or Facebook and ask their friends if anyone has used the product and what they think. They may go to YouTube and look for a vedeo of someone using the product. And, before they’ve even been able to go to the store, they’ve made up their mind.

The Zero Moment of Truth describes the dominant role these connections, community and content are now playing in how we research, learn, search and ultimately find and buy products and services. It’s not just about business-to-consumer brands or considered goods. The behavior is remarkably consistent for business-to-business marketers and it’s just a relevant for makers of $40,000 automobiles as it is for manufacturers of $3.50 bottles of toothpaste.

Jim sites several examples of zeros moments of truth in his report:

  • A busy mom in a minivan is looking up decongestants on her mobile phone as she waits to pick up her son from school.
  • An office manager at her desk, comparing laser printer prices and toner cartridge costs to determine which office supply store has the best price
  • A student in a cafe, scanning user ratings and reviews while looking up a cheap hotel in Barcelona.
  • A winter sports fan in a ski store, pulling out a mobile phone to watch video reviews of the latest snowboards
  • A young woman in a condo, searching the web for juicy details about a guy with whom she’s been set up on a blind date

We’ve been tracking these behavioral changes for a while ourselves. That’s why we started to incorporate digital content and social connectivity components in our promotions, events, experiences, sponsorship activations and shopper programs. The idea is to take what happens in the real world, reaching thousands of people, and amplify it with the conversations, content, connections and community so that the offline activities ripple online to impact and reach millions.

Kim Kadlec, worldwide vice president of Global Marketing at Johnson & Johnson puts it this way in the report:

We’re entering an era of reciprocity. We now have to engage people in a way that’s useful or helpful to their lives. The consumers is looking to satisfy their needs, and we have to be there to help them with that. To put it another say: How can we exchange value instead of just sending a message?

That’s the question every marketer should be exploring and using to examine every piece of traditional advertising and marketing. Is it delivering value? Is it helping to answer the consumers need for information? Is is designed to engage and amplify across our now reality, filled with zero moments of truth? Something to think about.

Businesses Add iPad to Briefcases

If you don’t think mobile devices are going to change your business…well, you’re just wrong.

How The World Spends Its Time Online

Cool infographic showing how the world spends it’s time on the internet. For the original, go here:

How The World Spends Its Time Online Infographic

Economy + Technology = ‘XTreme Shoppers’

Another interesting research report in today’s MediaPost from Gfk Research showing that over a third of consumers can now be classified as XTreme Shoppers…characterized by the amount of time they devote to finding the best deals on everything.

Their behaviors are similar to other shoppers in that they:

  • Rely on internet research, especially on mobile devices
  • Use multiple retail channels
  • Check product reviews

Where they differ is that they do so much more of this than other shoppers.They use many more touch points and more resources. They visit more web sites and participate in more online communities. And, income level or age doesn’t seem to matter.

The study reports that these new shoppers have created a different culture of consumerism through their comparison shopping and demands for the best price on everything. They also are redefining what value means and are highly motivated by company assurances of ongoing product support.

Part of this new, aggressive consumerism is being fueled by the economy but technology is also key. The study identified more than 30 shopper-initiated touch point categories across major venues such as online, in-store, word-of-mouth, mobile, direct mail and TV.

These findings are right in line with the McKinsey Consumer Path to Purchase study we’ve posted about in the past. There no longer is a purchase funnel. It’s a purchase maze and the consumer looks, not to traditional advertising to help form their consideration set and make buying decisions. They rely primarily on a host of consumer-generated information and reviews to help them decide what and where to buy.

Our job as marketers continues to get harder. Fragmenting media. Exponentially increasing touch points. Consumers opting out of traditional advertising and PR communications and communicating directly with one another about what to buy. More creative advertising won’t solve these issues. Bigger media buys won’t help either. The only way forward is to listen to what the consumer is saying and meet them on their terms. Time to invest in building relationships. Time to start creating better consumer experiences.

Unilever to Double-Down on Digital Spend

According to this AdAge interview with Unilever CMO Keith Weed, Unilever is shifting dollars…a big portion of it’s spend…to digital. And by “digital” he means three things: paid, owned and earned.

It’s an interesting look at the thinking going on at one of the biggest mass marketers on the planet. They realize that they are a mass marketer that’s got to get where the mass of the people are, and increasingly that’s online and on their mobile devices.

Ad Industry Optimism Reaches Highest Point Yet: Improves For All Media, Especially Digital and Mobile

Advertiser Perceptions Inc tracks what marketers and media buyers say they’re going to spend on advertising and there’s some good news in their recent report, especially for digital and mobile.

Of the over 1,400 decision-makers surveyed, nearly one third (32%) now expect to increase their spending over the next 12-months, making this the largest increase since API began asking this question in the spring of 2007. While print still shows negative growth and TV is flat, digital and mobile are bright spots, with 60% of executives saying they’ll increase digital and 62% boosting mobile spending.

What are you seeing at your company?

Old Media Companies form New Media Agency

If I were a client, I’d be highly skeptical that a dinosaur of the old media, like print, could attract the talent to help me develop best-in-class new media campaigns and activations. After all, the premise of all these business development operations within media companies is to keep the dollars on the publishers books. How does this really fit with a “free the content” strategy? I’ve been here and done that and I can tell  you, the client gets a “you can have any media you want as long as we own it” distribution strategy.

I guess they’ll find some takers and Meredith has certainly been aggressive about acquiring new media agencies of late. But, the same issue always does these guys in…it’s hard to innovate without cannibalizing the golden goose of your existing business.

Tribune Co. gets into consulting business with digital unit | Crain’s Chicago Business.

Local Search, Social Networking and Mobile Gaming Coming of Age on Mobile Devices

Compete just released it’s Smartphone Intelligence survey (redundancy there) and there’s some interesting insight into consumer behavior trends mobile is enabling. Think Local Search, Social Connectivity and Gaming.


According to the survey, 1 in 3 smartphone owners has called or stopped in a local business after finding it using a local search app. In just first quarter, over a third of Android and iPhone owners discovered at least two new businesses that they were not previously aware of thanks to using these local search apps.


Thirty-three percent of smartphone Twitter users post tweets primarily via their smartphones. Of those accessing Facebook via their smartphones, they’re reading news feeds, posting status updates, replying to messages and posting photos.


iPhone owners download and play games more than any other handset owner. ..37% play games of some kind at least daily.


Anyone with physical locations would be wise to find ways to make their presence known to smartphone users. If you’re really smart, you might want to think about a way to combine local search, social and gaming all in one…like a Foursquare or Gowalla.

via Compete blog.