The one single question for your advertising agencyPosted: October 27, 2014 Filed under: English | Tags: Advertising, Brands, Business, CMO, Common Sense, Communication, Consumer, Empathy, Marketing Leave a comment
This weekend I saw a video shared in Facebook, about young people having a great summer experience and, by the way, eating ice creams. It was very well produced (although it reminded me to other similar ads from the beer category), actors were nice and fresh, it looked fine, the claim copy was creatively very powerful. I would congratulate the agency’s creative director, I’m sure he or she was aiming to win some prize at any creative festival. The problem, I didn’t see how that video would help them selling more ice creams. Yes there was a promo behind so you could go on a trip trip with your friends, but definitely they didn’t need the video for that.
Advertising should aim to change consumers behaviors: consider if they don’t know, try if they haven’t done before, buy more if they are occasionals, advocate if they’re regulars. It’s a quite simple funnel (how to influence consumers is, on the other hand, quite more complex since the path to purchase is anything but linear)
Agencies need to reshape to a new integrated model, but CMOs and their teams do also have to provide the right briefings. The better the briefing is, the better chances are that the creative concept will hit bull’s eye (this isn’t new). Most briefs include information about the product and its value proposition, about the target, about the brand. But many times briefs lack business objectives. What do you want to achieve with the campaign? Is it awareness? is it sales? How much? This is important as creatives tend to justify their work with emotional attributes linked to the brand. But even if the business objective is pure awareness, creating a brand personality or narrowing the gap with the consumer, there is a final business objective that needs to be fulfilled. Let’s assume you created the perfect brief, with your business objectives well defined, and your agency brings back a concept. What would be that one single question to ask?
The one single question is WHY?
Why a consumer, after being impacted by the advertisement should change his behavior in order to meet your business objectives. If the business objective is clearly defined in the brief, the creative agency should be able to answer this very simple question. And that question should be in the heart of every creative as a sanity check, proving himself his/her Consumer Empathy.
This is not against creativity, it’s neither against emotionality. The answer doesn’t have to be rational if the business objective is not rational, but they have to be aligned. We’re not asking to explain a concept (which by the way, should be self explanatory) we’re asking how the creative thinks his/her concept is going to modify the consumer behavior in every single step of his/her decision journey, because that should be the real aim of a campaign. Don’t you think?
7 Reasons Why Shopper Marketing is Not Enough.Posted: October 23, 2014 Filed under: English | Tags: Advertising, Brands, CMO, Communication, Consumer, Digital, Marketing, Mobile, Organizations, Shopper, Shopper Marketing, Smartphone Leave a comment
“Shopper Marketing is the elephant in the room that nobody sees the same way.”
And what an Elephant! Every single client I’ve been lately working with is renaming their trade marketing departments to Shopper Marketing, which is something much more appealing and finally puts their activities at least at the same level that the “traditional” marketing departments. We can find as many definitions of shopper marketing as gurus trying to sell their Shopper Marketing Books, but one I particularly like is the usage of insights in order to target shoppers for creating experiences focusing on business results.
In the past years I have been analyzing the path to purchase and decision journeys of many clients in a decent number of categories, from cars to beauty or energy drinks, and, although there are differences, we can find common patterns in consumers/shoppers behaviors, because at the end, the same shopper buys beers and deodorant in the same purchase. Before listing them, it’s important to understand that in many categories consumers are the same people than shoppers (some call them Shopsumers), and, when it’s not the case (e.g. pet food) the “traditional” marketing is also impacting them (but probably with different values, e.g. kids stuff).
What behaviors are the most common across categories?
Consumers are distrustful towards the brands. Even if the awareness and consideration levels are high, the impact of massive channels is limited for making them try. They use other inputs for getting informed and check the brand proposition veracity.
The impact of other’s opinions is huge. They know a brand, they consider it, but they will always go online to look for the product and get the right answers to conform their opinion. Most people don’t browse the brand website (except they’re on site with their smartphone), nor their social networks, and if they do, they do not give them much relevance. They mostly go for opinions in trusted sites (from retailers such as Amazon or Tripadvisor), blogs and forums, or YouTube when they want to see the product experience.
Employees matter. In those categories where there is a person in the process, it plays a very influential recommendation role, if he or she is well trained. When comparing different retailers, we do see important differences, that can only be explained by the different levels of training and consumer orientation.
Offers and promotions will affect decision, within a choice set. If the brand is not in the choice set, offers will hardly make it get in the circle. If you’re entering the category, leverage on other values.
Working on occasions is a good way to foster trial. Working from the consumer to the product will show how to tackle this occasions, quantifying and twisting your communication towards them, choosing your channels accordingly.
But focus on very specific consumption occasions in the long run will limit growth. Most consumers see a barrier of purchase the fact that the product is not for the occasion, and sometimes it could be with the appropriate change of perspective.
Mobile is everywhere. When asking friends and relatives for opinions, or checking for prices. In fact, a recent study we ran for Geometry Global says 60% of consumers use their mobile device when visiting a physical store looking for prices or additional information.
Ok, good enough. Let’s go back to Shopper Marketing. Just review the seven behaviors and find where typical Trade Marketing, sorry, Shopper Marketing department will make an impact………. yes you’re right, in the point of sales. And the rest? Most of the influences are occurring outside the store. It’s amazing to see how Shopper Marketing is gathering very powerful consumer/shopper insights (business oriented) covering a myriad of touch points which responsibles are dispersed in different departments. Maybe it’s time of a little bit of consumer centricity, don’t you think?
Shopper marketing is not enough, or then everything should be shopper marketing, an elephant in the room is just an elephant, it’s your consumer, and everybody in the company should see it the same way. Who will bell the cat (or the elephant)?
This post was originally posted here.
Is your career happiness driven? Please, don’t become a happiness junkie.Posted: October 16, 2014 Filed under: English | Tags: Change Management, Emotional Intelligence, Generations, Happiness, Millennials, Organizations, Philosophy Leave a comment
While it seems we’re leaving this crisis behind, everybody agrees things are far to be as they were, and it’s going to take years, even decades, to reacquire pre-crisis growth levels. Some are even wondering if growth would ever be the economic paradigm again. In the middle of this crisis new generations have to surface, Millenials in the first line.
Much has been written about generation Y, or Millenials, since they started to get into work. The oldest ones will be 30 years old next year, enough to start looking back over their careers, if they were lucky enough to have one. They suffered very competitive environments, as they parents invested in them and expected a return, but also family structures where freedom was part of their lives, because parents couldn’t micro manage them enough, probably trying to work hard, as they have been taught to. Millenials are very well adapted to constant change, they are hyper connected, but also more immediate happiness oriented. They want to do things they satisfy them, and they want them now, and if they don’t, they switch as it’s much effortless for them. Obviously, when getting to “traditional” professional environments, they usually crash against corporate cultures that are rigid, hierarchical, and not very fulfilling, not making them happy.
A generation’s behavior can’t be such consistent because the generation itself, but most likely because their parents, and the context around. Don’t blame Millenials for what they are, because in part, they’re a product of their parents, us. My kid will be ten in a month, and I’m frankly scared of the kind of challenges he will face in a context where technology will literally be reshaping our brains.When the future is unpredictable, it’s obvious we have to go back to the basics, values that, whatever happens are there for supporting us as individuals, and help you in the good and bad moments of your life.
I’ve lately been discussing with some parents about the importance of teaching our kids to chose their path looking for their own happiness. And I partially agreed. I agree we need to teach our kids about understanding their emotions, and work with them in order to have a richer personal life. But your life, and particularly your professional life, can’t be a continuous race looking for the next happiness dose, or you’ll become a happiness junkie, which will undeniably push you to make decisions not building into some values that have to be somehow consistent. In this constant changing world, we need some fix points in the firmament, like the North Star. Be careful, kid, you should look for happiness inside you, not in your work, or it’ll be too late and you won’t get neither (happiness nor a career). For your career, son, let me give you some advice:
1. Happiness is a temporary state of mind. Happiness is like vacations, they never last forever, or they wouldn’t be such. Don’t rely on your job as unique source of happiness. Take some time to evaluate situations before making decisions, analyze consequences in every aspect of your life. Every job is leaving you something, at least recognizing what you don’t want to do. Most of the times you acknowledge how good or bad a professional situation has been after some time and perspective. Don’t loose perspective.
2. Don’t stop learning. Respect your boss, he’s your boss for a reason, learn from him, learn from your colleagues, learn from your subordinates. Listen twice before you speak. If you feel you shouldn’t have a boss, that you should be your own boss, go for it, but know the consequences. Its harder, but also better to fail when you are your own boss. Don’t fear to fail. Learn from failure.
3. Embrace change. Change is what will define your future, get used to that. Its distressing not knowing what will be your future in two years time, but that is also a chance to forge your own destiny. Always think how to use changes for your own advantage, if you can. Be sure you’re getting yourself out of the bad moments knowing that change is coming somewhere, somehow. Analyze the situations and make your move, but before doing so, read again #1 and #2.
4. Your playground is the world. Somewhere, there is a place where you can be the best of yourself. Happiness has no boundaries (because it’s in you). It makes me sad to think you will be several thousand miles away from me, but there is where you’ll probably be for a while. Thanks God there is Skype.
5. Freedom implies responsibility. Happiness is often associated with freedom. People tend to think that freedom will give them happiness, and it’s not true (although it helps, like love, health and money). Freedom is good, look for freedom, but understand it has responsibilities associated, for you and for your loved ones. Take care of them and they will take care of you. Build your happiness together.
Hope it helps.
P.S. It seems my son will be part of Generation Z. You can read a bunch of interesting things here.
The 3 biggest spoilers of your marketing success are in your own company.Posted: October 7, 2014 Filed under: English | Tags: Advertising, Brands, Business, Campaign, CEO, CMO, Communication, Consumer, CRM, Digital, Experience, Legal, Marketing, Organizations, Technology Leave a comment
About a year ago, I reflected on thequalities of the new CMO, and why CEOs should be worried not finding them. Let’s imagine you are one of those superhero multidisciplinary CMOs, recently hired by a great consumer product company (you can extend the example to almost any category). You have great ideas, you have the knowledge, you have the team, then it’s time to execute.
I’m pretty sure you will be undermined by at least two of these three:
The Legal department. You start some project, it involves digital, mobile, point of sales… it’s perfect, it must increase the numbers, definitely. And then, in the last minute, when you’re ready to launch it, someone asks the ugliest question can be asked in such moment: “Has Legal seen this?”. Oops. You go back to the legal department, tell them what’s the project about (unable to hide your excitement about it). You lost two precious weeks in the process and they come back with quite a lot of things. Most of them, dismantling the so long optimized consumer experience. Now consumers need to accept an endless terms and conditions before even continue, where they accept basically everything to be accepted “just in case”. Don’t get me wrong, legals are necessary, not only to comply with the law, also to be protected from your own consumers, not all of them are friendly and love your brand. Legal is one of the most powerful department in the companies, since they can completely stop and throw your work, your budget and your passion in the trash. How to deal with them? well, first of all the obvious one, involving them in the project from the very beginning. But also requiring them to work as what they are, a support area: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do, tell me how can I do what I want and let’s discuss the trade offs”. Legal needs to work in a consultant mode, and that requires time and a bit of knowledge. But I’m sure your project is worth it.
The IT department. Nowadays, your marketing projects are likely using technology at some point, could be a web, could be a database for CRM, could be a mobile app or an NFC loyalty card or any combination of them. In fact, soon . Some companies don’t have any CIO, since they consider IT as a support area, keeping the laptops and the office networks in shape. That is a big mistake, since companies servicing the marketing area (typically agencies) are neither technology savvy. But since you are a superhero CMO you know what to do. The problem is you need servers, you need security policies, and a lot of things that, well, are not your business. Again, the IT department should help you reach your objectives, not putting obstacles up. When it comes to IT everything can be done, it’s just a question of time and money. If somebody says your project can’t be done, fire him. He or she should tell you what is the cost and times, and then you will decide if you want to spend that money. Well, you and your boss…
The CEO. Oh yes, you have a boss. And probably without the knowledge, nor the time, to understand the fancy things you are doing in Marketing. But you need the budget to do these fancy things, so you need to knock on his/her door at some point in the year. Not only you need to have your elevator pitch ready, but having your boss asking for numbers is actually good for you. Whatever new project you are starting, be sure it has a solid business case behind. Understand all the costs (that you will know because you’re asking for money), the consequences for every stakeholder (consumers, customers, employees), and the return. You need to know how you are going to measure success and what will be the return of that success. Return will not always be money (could be awareness if you are launching a product), but should lately transform into it (if you don’t sell more after an awareness campaign, something is definitely wrong). This measure oriented philosophy, should reach your team, but also your providers. Making your agency win a Cannes Lion doesn’t make you sell more. The scary question you have to always ask is “how much this good idea will contribute to my business?”. If you support your projects with a business case, built with the help of your team and your agencies (Media, Creative, PR), your boss will likely say yes, and you finally will help your company to grow. Wasn’t it your dream after all?
Do you think other internal areas can undermine you marketing activities? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.