Ernan’s Insights on Marketing Best Practices

Monday, March 31, 2014

Oreo; Twitter Based Custom Cookies and CX Innovation

Challenge: Consumers have more avenues and channels to connect with brands than ever before. Therefore marketers need to embrace new ways to influence customer opinion and improve engagement across channels.
Custom OreosInfluence marketing in social media has taken on a vital role in customer engagement strategies. In order to be one step ahead in terms of presenting a positive opinion and generating buzz marketers need to be in a position to influence conversations and experiences at every turn.
Influence marketing is important because it can:
* Mobilize opinion and create reactions.
* Increase exposure to a very large audience.
* Generate broad based conversations on a given subject.
A company that can teach us a lot about customer engagement, social media marketing and consumer opinion marketing is Oreo. They understand how to connect with customers through innovative engagement strategies.
As an international brand, Oreo enabled fans to send greetings to friends and family during the holidays via a single click and application. The program strengthened the emotional bond between customers and the Oreo brand. There have been more than 1 million impressions for the viral video and 31 million Facebook impressions. A total of 40,000 people used the application and of those, more than 40% shared their Oreo moment.
They have engaged with fans through emotional ads that let existing customers remember why they love the brand and influence new customers through viral ads that are viewed and shared tens of thousands of times through social media. As a result, Oreo has an enormous following on Social Media;
Facebook – 35 Million+ fans
Twitter – 301K+ followers
YouTube – 20 Million+ views
Instagram – 95K+ followers
Pinterest – 3K+ followers.
Additionally, in a recent social media promotion at the SXSW Interactive Festival, Oreo custom-made vending machines enabled attendees to create and eat 3D-printed custom Oreo cookies based on trending Twitter conversations.
Users accessed the machines, located in an Oreo Trending Vending Lounge, to browse a selection of trending flavors displayed on a large touchscreen panel on the front of the machine. They choose from flavors and colors of creme that were trending. They then watched as their cookies were custom built, in under two minutes. Consumers everywhere were able to follow the conversation using the Twitter hashtag #eatthetweet
5 Key Takeaways to Improve Engagement
1. Develop innovative means of keeping both new and existing customers engaged with your brand. Give customers a reason to be involved and a reason to purchase your product. Per Oreo, think way out of the box!
2. Stay engaged at all times and on all channels with customers in order to influence opinions associated with your brand. Monitor conversations and interact in order to keep customers actively involved.
3. Develop promotions and new avenues that expand the audience exposed to your brand message across multiple channels.
4. Engage in active listening in order to understand what customers want and how they want to be engaged. In this way you can develop influence and engagement strategies that are relevant and impactful.
5. Don’t be afraid of customer input and customer opinion. Create response tactics that enable customers to feel a part of the brand and a member of a customer community.

Friday, March 14, 2014

How Social Listening Helps the Red Cross and Dell

Challenge: Today’s consumers are more connected via new media than ever before. To fully engage the multichannel consumer, companies need to leverage the power of social listening.
Red Cross CenterAccording to Nielsen’s, 2014 U.S. Digital Consumer Report, it’s critical to know how consumers are behaving in today’s fast evolving digital environment;
» Americans now own four digital devices on average.
» The average U.S. consumer spends 60 hours a week consuming content across devices.
» Today’s constantly connected consumer is active using social media anywhere they go. Nearly 64% of overall social media users say they use social media sites at least once a day via their computer, and almost half (47%) of smartphone owners visit social networks every day.
Dell understands the importance of connecting with customers across digital channels. They’ve implemented innovative social listening strategies. Eric Nystrom, Director Social Media Services Group, summarizes Dell’s priorities:
“Listening has a major impact on nearly every aspect of Dell’s operations beyond marketing and sales to product development, customer care, talent acquisition and shared innovation.”
The outcomes of effective listening include: improved brand health, CSAT and loyalty; positive impact on revenue and lead generation; product ideation; and predictive analytics and actionable insights that create value and accelerate overall business outcomes.
In a unique social listening initiative, Dell helped the Red Cross build a Digital Operations Center. According to Wendy Harman, director of social strategy for the American Red Cross: “We began to concern ourselves with scaling our social media operations and expanding the limited scope of what we listened to on the social Web.”
Dell Public Sector Marketing Director Colleen Ryan saw the opportunity to answer the American Red Cross’s need. “It seemed like a very intuitive thing to explore bringing to the Red Cross what we already do at Dell for our customers,” says Ryan.
The discussions between Dell and The American Red Cross resulted in the first large-scale social media command center, with six large screens showing a variety of data, and relevant public conversations across the social media.
Staff member and trained volunteers monitored these conversations to improve response ability and anticipate the public’s needs.
The social media program allowed the Red Cross to expedite their connection with people and get resources distributed during times of disaster.
5 Strategies Marketers can Learn from Dell’s Social Listening
Eric Nystrom provides the following 5 smart recommendations;
1. Listening is really at the heart of any social strategy and marketing; Listening to who’s talking tells you who your advocates are, your influencers, your ranters and your ravers. This forms the basis of all relationship marketing.
2. Social listening can impact every part of your business; Integrate social into all aspects of your marketing so that business value may be realized.
3. Remember that the voice of the customer is strong; Listening should lead to meaningful connections and two-way dialogue that is authentic, honest and direct.
4. Listening should bring you the information you need to develop your strategy; Avoid ready, fire, aim. Let the results inform a platform-agnostic, overarching social strategy.
5. Listening objectives should be defined; For example: (1) Radar – early warning detection (2) Learn – learn keywords used to fine tune SEO/SEM (3) Track – track conversations through lifecycle of campaign (4) Identify - identify sites, key opinion formers and peer influencers for engagement (5) Support - provide information or answer questions where consumers are online (6) Humanize - humanize the brand by participating in conversations and (7) Connect - connect with industry influencers and build relationships.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Experiential Marketing; Creative Ideas from Vanity Fair and Frito Lay

Challenge: Customers want to be actively involved in their own brand experiences. To meet this demand companies are developing innovative experiential marketing campaigns utilizing the virtually limitless opportunities of multichannel engagement. These new strategies are giving both existing and new customers a reason to take action.

Vanity Fair Social ClubThough most viewers may have been focused on the dresses and the winners pulled from those closely guarded envelopes, Vanity Fair magazine saw the Oscar Awards as an opportunity to engage its readers through an experiential event known as “the Vanity Fair Social Club”. The virtual event was created to allow more than 120 bloggers and online reporters to connect with customers using the specific event hash tag. The magazine plans to use this type of experiential marketing strategy for other major events.

Vanity Fair is on the right track because today’s customers want more than traditional push marketing interactions, this according to a new report on Experiential Marketing from CrossMark and MarketingWerks.

88 percent of shoppers say that if they enjoy an experiential interaction with a product they'll add it to their shopping list.

Eighty percent said they prefer brands that “interact" with them over those that just “advertise" to them.

Seven out of 10 shoppers say they'll share a positive brand experience.

ERDM Voice of Customer (VoC) research has confirmed this finding. Across the last 12 months, there has been a consistent trend that has emerged from thousands of hours of research conducted for major Fortune brands;

Today, the starting point for marketing campaigns should be to understand how your customers define high value Customer Experiences with your specific brand.

Last year when Frito Lays asked customers to "Do us a flavor" over 3.8 million people said yes in just 12 weeks with entry submissions. The goal of the campaign was to turn around a 6 year decline and connect with younger consumers. The campaign was based on insight that consumers wanted to create, share, and get recognized. So a contest was created to demonstrate to customers that their voice indeed mattered. An engagement tool from start to finish, the contest allowed customers to submit new flavors, share them on Facebook, vote on the finalists and then pick the ultimate winner by purchasing samples of the 3 finalist flavors in stores.

Through the Do Us a Flavor campaign the company achieved;

A 1%+ increase in household penetration

And, a 2%+ increase among millennials.

5 Takeaways:

Here are 5 strategies that Frito Lay used to keep customers engaged:

1. Understand how your customers want to structure their buying experience and the level of involvement they demand within that experience.

2. Be committed to doing the research necessary to identify engagement “unknowns” that may have been previously overlooked such as media avenues, social interaction, and in-store experiential marketing.

3. Realize that today’s multichannel consumer is in more places (often simultaneously) than ever before. Be accessible in cross media avenues.

4. Always look at what you are doing through the eyes of your customer. Let both existing customers and prospects identify with your brand. Make them feel understood.

5. Look at both your current and future audiences in order to connect with the audiences that will continue to support the brand down the road.