1. a new way of thinking about brands
2. What’s happening
Traditional marketing is no longer as effective as it used
to be. Developing and launching an ad campaign, then
waiting for the results to see if the campaign made any
difference at all, as if we were Mad Men…well that whole
approach is nostalgia now. We still watch TV, but less so,
and in a much more fragmented way than we used to.
Today it takes more than 120 primetime ads to reach most
Americans. In 1965 it took only three.
And every other traditional media
(radio, print, newspaper, etc) has
declined even more.
Old media wanes
Today it takes more than
120 primetime ads to
reach most Americans.
4. New media comes into its own
What works are the interactions that support our desire to connect with each
other and the brands we care about — and today, many of those connections
happen in digital spaces. Why? Because digital channels enable us to
effectively find what we’re looking for, interact with content and functionality
we care about, and participate in conversations that matter to us.
For marketers, digital works because it’s where their customers are, it is more
trackable and customizable than traditional media, and it can drive directly to
5. The problem with digital marketing has been the lack of a cohesive
approach. How do you make sense of your investments in the
space? How do you know if, on the whole, your website, banner
ads, emails, search programs and other digital programs are
working together for maximum benefit? How do you connect the
digital dots, then integrate them with all the offline marketing you
are still doing? How do you know if the competition is beating
Most importantly, how do you know who your customer is, where
your customer is, and what your customer wants? What do they
search for when they are shopping? Do they use comparison-
shopping engines? Do they want to be your Facebook fans? Do
they respond to behaviorally-targeted ads or do they feel like it’s
an invasion of privacy? Do they read user reviews? Do they expect
to buy online and return in the store? Do they expect customer
service through Twitter?
These are the questions marketers face
every day. And, they are radically different
than the questions from a few years ago,
let alone decades ago. As a result, we have
no choice: our approach must change.
marketers NEED HELP
We have no choice:
our approach must
6. Few brands fully leverage the digital networks where
customers participate to benefit their business.
Few have captured the amount of visibility they deserve.
Few have figured out how to be as useful as customers
want. Few have made themselves easier to do business
with, or wowed customers to want to return. And very
few have figured out how to participate in honest, two-
way dialogue with customers who want to engage the
brand. The brands that will win in this space are the
brands that choose to lead. Will you lead?
Opportunity exists for
brands to lead
Brands that will win in this
space are the brands that
choose to lead.
7. The connected
8. Connectedness is marketing philosophy. It is a framework for, and a
measure of how intimate a brand is with its audiences. It’s a
characteristic of a brand, a ‘state of being.’ Think of it as a Zen stage
in brand evolution. After all, a brand needs to be a living organism in
today’s marketing world, not an object, not a loudspeaker yelling at
people. Connectedness is a way of thinking about how
successful brands do marketing: focusing on
audiences, not targets; engaging in dialogue,
not shouting; and developing trust that is
meaningful and lasting.
What is connectedness?
a way of thinking
9. We know a brand has reached a state of
connectedness when it demonstrates a better
awareness of its audiences, agility in its customer-
facing infrastructure, and real activity and interaction
with its customers. We see connectedness and
measure it by looking at a brand’s visibility to
its audiences, its usefulness to those audiences,
its usability (the ease of doing business with the
brand), the brand’s ability to create desire, and
finally, its level of engagement with its customers.
How do we know when
a brand has it?
10. A connected brand is simply a brand that exhibits a high
degree of connectedness. It is a brand that knows its audiences
extremely well (aware), is nimble in its ability to market to
them (agile), and creates products and services they actually
want while participating in conversations with those customers
(active). We measure the brand by how visible, useful, usable,
desirable and engaged it is. Brands that score high against
these categories are considered connected brands.
What is a connected brand?
The Connectedness Framework
11. Connected marketing is what we do. It’s the practice of helping
build connected brands. It’s using iCrossing’s Connected Brands
framework to organize, execute, integrate and optimize marketing
programs for brands.
It means helping brands increase their visibility in networks through
search marketing, display advertising, social media and other media
formats. It means helping brands improve the digital experiences
they provide to their customers by creating better content and
functionality, improving way-finding and navigation, and building
emotional connections with those customers. It means striking up
digital conversations with customers, to educate them on products
and services, to listen to what they have to say
about their experiences, to provide them with
useful customer service, and to motivate them
to be a positive multiplier of your marketing
force. It means making these tactics
work hand-in-hand to provide seamless
journeys for our clients’ customers.
What is connected marketing?
what we do.
12. Building a
13. How do we measure a brand’s
level of connectedness?
iCrossing has developed a diagnostic tool called the Connected
Brands Scorecard. The Scorecard measures brands across five
key categories (visible, useful, usable, desirable and engaged)
by capturing data across at least 65 data points. All data points
are calculated into a score for each of the five categories, as
well as into an overall score. These scores are then indexed
against other brands to provide measurement benchmarks. The
higher the score, the more connected a brand is, and ultimately
the higher its level of intimacy with its audiences. The more
intimate the brand is with its audiences, the more opportunity it
has for success.
The methodology used by iCrossing to evaluate brand connectedness
is aligned with the visible, useful, usable, desirable and engaged
framework. The methodology evaluates each brand using core
metrics defined by iCrossing to evaluate competencies related to
connectedness and each brand is given a score for each of the
connectedness framework elements, and given an overall score.
Sources for the evaluation included Compete.com, Yahoo! Site Explorer,
Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, TweetStats, Twitalyzer, Reddit,
Digg and Del.ic.ious.
Scores for visible and engaged are created using a scale ranging from
the minimum and maximum values for each brand and categorizing
scores accordingly. For useful, usable and desirable, scoring metrics are
determined based on the ideal state defined by iCrossing, starting with
our standardized website review methodology as a basis and scores are
assigned to brands according to these standards. Brands are given a
score for each of the connectedness elements and scores are combined
to create an overall Brand Connectedness Score.
15. metrics: Visible
Visible metrics represent two areas, offsite
and onsite. These are used to measure the
connectedness of a brand with offsite communities
as well as how well those tactics work at bringing
users to the site. In addition to client data, we used
publicly-available metrics, which include:
• Official Flickr Account
• Official YouTube Channel
• Official Facebook Group
• Official Twitter Group
• Existence of company blog
• Number of Unique Visitors
• Number of Referring URLs
• Overall Reach
• Number of Inbound Links
16. metrics: useful, usable, and desirable
iCrossing has created a framework to measure each brand’s website for
usefulness, usability and desirability based on standardized website review
methodology. By defining user goals for each brand, iCrossing is able to
evaluate each brand’s landing pages, content, functionality, privacy and
security policies, performance, navigation, search functionality, legibility,
formatting, site layout, brand positioning, and interaction between brands
and consumer across each site.
Questions we ask each site reviewed include:
• Does the landing page(s) provide
evidence that user goals can be com-
• Is essential content available where
• Is essential function available where
• Are essential content and function
given priority in the display?
• Does the site present privacy and
security policies in context?
• Do location cues orient the user?
• Does site functionality provide clear
feedback in response to user actions?
• Is contextual help available at key
• Does the site help users avoid and
recover from errors?
• Does the site perform well?
• Does the site’s content support brand positioning in a manner that is consistent with other channels?
• Does the site’s functionality support brand positioning in a manner that is consistent with other
• Do the site’s language and tone support brand positioning in a manner that is consistent with other
• Does the site’s imagery support brand positioning in a manner that is consistent with other channels?
• Does the site’s typography support brand positioning in a manner that is consistent with other
• Does the site’s layout support brand positioning in a manner that is consistent with other channels?
• Does the site communicate brand attributes that are meaningful to target users in a manner that’s
relevant to target users?
• Does the site have high-quality production values?
• Does the site elicit an emotional response from the user - does it deliver a positive memorable
• Are the uses of technologies both inspiring and pragmatic?
• Is the site interactive and participatory, does it facilitate a dialogue between user and brand and
between user and user?
• Does the site give the user a reason(s) to come back?
• Are menu category and subcategory names clear and
• Do menu categories immediately expose or describe
• Are content and function classified logically?
• Is the task flow efficient?
• Is the wording in hyperlinks and controls clear and
• Are keyword-based searches comprehensive and
• Does site content use language that’s easy to
• Does the site use graphics, icons and symbols that are
easy to understand?
• Is text legible?
• Does text formatting and layout support easy scanning?
• Do layouts use space effectively?
• Are form fields and interactive elements placed logically
in the display?
• Do interactive elements behave as expected?
17. metrics: engaged
Engagement metrics are also split into two categories of publicly-available data
points. These categories are advocacy, used to determine how willing users are to
promote the brand, and actions, a measure of how well the company uses offsite
visibility to communicate with consumers. Metrics include:
• Number of YouTube Friends
• Number of Tweets about the brand
• Number of shared/recommended content links on Reddit.com
• Number of shared/recommended content links on Digg.com
• Number of social bookmarks on Del.ic.ious
• Visits per person
• Average stay
• Page views/visits
• # of Flickr contacts
• # of Flick discussions
• # of Flickr posted items
• # of Flickr photo search results
• # of YouTube subscribers
• # of YouTube channel views
• # of Facebook fans/friends
• # of Facebook discussions
• # of Official Twitter accounts
• # of Tweets per Day (average of all accounts)
• # of Twitter followers
• # of Twitter following
• # of inbound links to blog
18. get connected
If you would like to learn more about iCrossing’s approach to
building Connected Brands, then join the conversation at
www.icrossing.com, or contact us.
Call us toll-free at 866.620.3780
Follow us at www.twitter.com/icrossing
Become a fan at www.facebook.com/icrossing