Augment Your Media Schedule With People

Your customers are not dummies.

Augment Your Media Schedule With People Who Are Present

Your customers are not inanimate, they have thoughts and feelings which gives those trying to affect their behaviour an opportunity to not just talk to them, but to touch and move them.

An ad for bread or coffee can convey a lot of information and inspire desire, but the exchange that occurs between a customer and the baker or barista as the sale transaction occurs builds a far deeper connection for the customer. Exploring opportunities that provide for and foster that kind of real life interaction, such as events, pop ups and samplings, can significantly bolster the results of your media strategy.

Media has always been a fantastic way to gain reach and frequency, but it’s yet to top genuine physical human interaction. If the overwhelming trend is for your target customer to be at a screen, give them a reason to look up, go out and interact with your brand or business.

Want to attract and engage teenagers? Give them somewhere to go, something to do or someone to meet. Heck, give them something to eat! Want to sell insurance? Host a virtual cafe for prospects to discuss their queries. Want to sell a car? Introduce qualified prospects by invitation to a virtual experience. The point is the digital medium is a highly efficient promotion and information gathering tool. It’s also the perfect vehicle to deliver invitations, discussion, anticipation and personal interaction with humans who are present with the customer.

AI is increasingly replacing arduous human processing with efficiencies that can determine needs and respond to them proactively. This can deliver significant cost and time savings which might be redirected to other initiatives that foster an enhanced human experience and interaction with your business or brand.

Arcadia Group loves to use technology to improve customer experience with their seven brands — Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis. They engaged Peerius, Europe’s market leader in omni-channel personalisation solutions, to create a more personal online customer experience with AI that delivered intelligent product recommendations. Buying online was such a positive experience, the result was a 67% increase in order value

When they realised the customer sometimes could access more information online than staff, they teamed with Red Ant to enhance the instore customer experience, with a dedicated assisted sales application. Developed to improve in-store sales, efficiencies and customer service, the software connects online with offline to bring all the benefits of the website to the physical world instore with staff and tactile product experience. 

Remember interaction on a personal level can deliver the type of information on the target customer that is difficult to process purely from bulk online feedback, but it can give both consumer and supplier the most authentic experience and feedback.

So you can use the digital medium for ‘click and forget’ campaigns or you can use it to be way more interactive. If you’d like to discover how you can get more involved and enhance the experience with your target customers, contact me today.

From Pigeon Post to Opinion Post – News Makes Markets Move

By Pigeon Or Opinion – News Makes Markets Move

In the mid 19th century Paul Julius Reuter, recognised a swifter means of sending information such as stock and commodity prices between Paris and Berlin was urgently needed. Reuters founded his own news agency in Aachen, transferring messages between Brussels and Aachen using carrier pigeons and thus linking Berlin and Paris.

Faster than the post train, pigeons gave Reuter the advantage of quicker access to financial news from the Paris stock exchange. Today the opinions posted on socials by experts, influencers, activists and the public transit news to the masses faster than light and certainly faster than a pigeon!

For a business or brand, the speed of transition from ‘rooster to feather duster’ can largely be attributed to the consumers ability to immediately share experiences that recommend or denounce it. The power of this force is evidenced by the demise of ‘invincible’ behemoth brands that were built over decades, being displaced by brands that have been built large comparatively overnight.

The bulk of consumers don’t just expect authenticity and satisfaction in their experience with a product or business – they demand it. This means getting everything right in the consumer experience has never been more important.

This is a trait particularly prevalent in the emerging generations who have a more profound reliance on a digital existence. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in China, but it’s a social trend that provides great opportunity and peril.

The opportunity exists in the ability to bolster cash flow by garnering large sales volume in a short time. The peril lies in failing the customer satisfaction test because everything was prepared in advance of market launch ie. adequate stock supply, server capacity, payment facilities, customer support etc.

As the saying goes “the devil is in the detail” and it’s difficult to plan for unanticipated demands. This is a great example of where experience can triumph where the tools of technology alone cannot.

Successful planning of the many logistical needs of bringing a product or service to market will depend on your ability to foresee what is required and be prepared in advance. Such things should not be learned in hindsight.

That’s why we say, “When you only get one shot to make a good impression, your best shot is Wanted.” Contact Wanted to discuss your launch and marketing requirements.

 

What I Can Tell You That Digital Data Doesn’t

What can you observe in the real world that you can’t see in the data?

What can you observe in the real world that you can’t see in the data?

Data can provide great insights to historical behaviour and market trends, but it’s the insight wisdom affords and astute intuition that fosters innovation. A business needs more than a ‘digital strategy’ to adequately prepare for the human factor the enterprise depends upon, it needs an intimate knowledge and more importantly understanding of the target consumer.

We know the tools of technology are invaluable and digital marketing can be extremely efficient, but if you know what to look for and how to accurately interpret what you find, observations made in the real world can be as good or better in determining critical touch points and triggers.

For example when faced with the need to attract sponsors for the inaugural Indy Car Grand Prix, I had to come up with something the Formula 1 couldn’t or wouldn’t. In talking with the Indy drivers I recognised they were keen to have an Australian experience and this paired well with the fact potential sponsors wanted to rub shoulders with the drivers.

The drivers in Formula 1 teams at the time were not predisposed to socialising with the sponsors, so I arranged a small dinner. No media, which allowed the Indy people to truly relax at 12 tables of 10, which paired four drivers and/or team management,  with four potential sponsors and two Indy staff (to learn how sponsor courtship was done).

The result was a resounding success and competitive advantage by producing a genuine introduction to Australia through an event enjoyed by both sides of the commercial divide. The event actually created an enduring bond between the people from the race teams and the decision makers in local potential sponsors that endured across the miles for years.

Effective marketing requires any strategy, digital or otherwise, be informed with commercial acumen, a depth of experience across different geographic and social terrains AND a gift for talented, creative marketing to ultimately enhance the value of what digital data is exposing.

Improve the value of your data with real world observations of your customers, your competitors, topical relevant media discussion or independent expert commentary when forming your analysis and view of the market and its needs.

This type of market evaluation can be EXTREMELY cost effective, however observing such intel, discerning the key points of interest or relevance and pairing it with data to translate the information into a useful strategy, is not everyone’s strong point.

When you need correlate data intelligence with an understanding of the real world environment your publics are operating in so you can infiltrate it to best effect, that’s something Wanted can help you with.

How Market Motivation Directs Product Innovation

Product innovation should be driven by market motivations because success is bound in the response of humans.

How Market Motivation Directs Product Innovation

There are many collaborative parts to a cohesive strategy and a business develops in stages, but it’s imperative the products a business offers and the strategy of how to take them to market, are developed with synergy, not in isolation or as consecutive stages. The onus of success first and foremost is formed at the beginning of the marketing and sales process – when the product is created, because that’s when the key influences on successful sales are decided.

A great example of this in action is with a business I work with in China that has built a connection to customers in over five million affluent households. The business developed a platform that is totally integrated to serve the needs of the many millions of Chinese home owners in China and their Property Management Companies (PMC’s) who were using cumbersome manual systems.

Throughout development of the ERP and supporting platform, market needs and forces were a priority. The end result is a platform devised to simultaneously provide the connected customer with the convenience of a local community platform, targeted marcomms through the data and targeting advertising capability and an ecommerce facility that only serves products and services tailored to their needs. Their customer loyalty and satisfaction is the result of knowing what both the PMC’s and customers would enjoy and then tailoring the benefits of the platform to suit.

For disruptive new businesses or those adapting to change, commercial success will be based on getting the same formula right – providing something people want, at a price they’re willing to pay, putting it where they want it, generating awareness and a desire for it, completing lots of sales transactions AND SATISFYING customers.

The Fifth ‘P’ Is the Most Important

Many of the ‘four P’ decisions outline above impact on the logistics of product development, but it’s the ‘fifth P’, Psychology that is most pervasive in the result of the formula. Human behaviour is the hardest factor to control.

First and foremost I recommend you see your customers as real people, living in their real world because that’s what you’re trying to infiltrate to positive effect. In observing your target consumer in this manner, a myriad of influences affecting the human condition can be identified that are often impossible to see from statistical research and data alone.

As you create your product for a complex and informed customer in a fast moving market environment, it’s knowing the salient nuances of their lives that can allow you to build in competitive advantage, marketing success and customer satisfaction long before launch of your creation.

If you’re not sure how to do this, contact Wanted to assist you in this endeavour before you devise a product and then buy into a media and advertising strategy.

Facebook – Fabulous or Failing?

Facebook – Fabulous or Failing?
Is Facebook really threatened as the younger demographic shift to using other messaging platforms?

An article in Variety Aug 23 (see here) discusses research by emarketer that forecasts teens and tweens will desert Facebook in favour of SnapChat next year. The author notes this is not a new trend and questions whether this is of concern to Facebook. I’d say Facebook is well on top of it.

Having created and released ‘Poke’, an app similar to SnapChat that failed its objectives when Snapchat arrived, Mark Zuckerberg and the management at Facebook recognised SnapChat’s appeal and potential back in 2012. They first approached their competitor to gauge their interest in being acquired and made what was ostensibly a takeover offer of $3 billion in 2013, which was famously rejected.

But Zuckerberg and his team know that competition dies or thrives in the Internet era because IP and technology can be so readily replicated or improved upon. SnapChat took three years to develop its Stories, Instagram took just four months for their version. Steve Jobs taught us it doesn’t have to be a new idea, just a better version, so  ‘Let the games begin’…
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Is ‘Real Intelligence’ Still In Demand?

Is ‘Real Intelligence’ Still In Demand?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is automating so many manual tasks, people are beginning to think technology is the Terminator.

Robots have been replacing humans in manufacturing jobs for years and by the time I get to aged care, I’m actually more likely to be cared for by a robot than a human, in some ways that could be a good thing. Who needs a surly orderly bringing their attitude to the litany of misery that ageing visits upon us?

Drones are replacing delivery drivers, driver-less cars are replacing taxis and Uber drivers and many jobs and tasks that facilitate process are being transferred to countries where costs are significantly lower, or AI. People are becoming redundant to process and menial labour and at this rate we have to ask what will be left for us to do ourselves?
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Is Technology Taking The Fun Out Of TV?

Is Technology Taking The Fun Out Of TV?
Can you imagine the scalability and efficiencies afforded by technology ever replacing the value of human interface in the industry? Some people can.

Recently I discovered some interesting statistics for content buyers and sellers, in research by Rights Trade, a global online marketplace for content. Around 73% of film and television rights remain un-sold in the first five years, while at the same time, the explosion of media channels has sent 5,000+ new TV and VOD buyers into the market in the last five years.

These figures demonstrate that most new formats don’t get sold, while there is a growing demand for content generated by the ever-expanding choice of channels. This seems an anomaly when the public complains of format fatigue.

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What Are You Saying When You Say Nothing At All?

What Are You Saying When You Say Nothing At All?
Silence or stillness can be a tool or a trench when it comes to marketing communications.

Saying nothing can be more valuable or meaningful than blithely filling every available channel with noise. Just because you’re not saying anything, that doesn’t mean you’re not saying anything

Often proverbs and sayings, that capture simple wisdom and truths so efficiently and succinctly, can provide poignant insights into the action of silence or stillness. eg. “Actions speak louder than words” and “No action is an action, in and of itself'”.
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“Do Not Squander Time, It Is The Stuff Life Is Made Of”

Do Not Squader Time, It Is The Stuff Life Is Made Of”
How time spent living vicariously can affect the real world.

FB, twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Pinterest etc. Are they tools or traps? They’re certainly very useful for the sharing of information and experience, but when overindulged, they can preclude the user from actually participating in real time in their own physical world. This can be a hugely disruptive influence – especially in terms of productivity.
 
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The Getting Of Wisdom.


‘There are thoughts’ – we all have them and they are what truly discern ourselves from each other, even more so than our physical being. They are the catalyst of change and at it’s most basic level, the business of marketing seeks to affect – our thoughts, and in so doing change our behaviour to elicit the desired result.

Think about it. Technology has given us tools to connect, but it’s our humanity that has always connected us. But society is changing, fostering a far more complex, informed and demanding consumer. Ironically though, empowered by choice and the economies afforded by technology, in many ways they’re actually disconnecting, from force fed content, from advertisers, politicians and communities.

Increasingly it’s the ability to think in multiple dimensions that is the preeminent quality required of those charged with charting the course.
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