The Four C’s of Better MarketingIt is likely that you feel control of your brand Are You HeAring Voices?slipping through your fingers. Every shelf-set,event, media story, CGC contest – every Like, In the digital age, marketing is a multi-playerblog post, Tweet, review, thumbs up (or down) conversation between Brand, Consumers,shapes it. Gap’s logo. Pampers’ “chemical Retailers, Critics and Friends. Digital mediaburn” crisis. Kevin Smith’s Twitter tirade against has rewired consumer habits – in shopping,Southwest Airlines. Dave Carroll’s YouTube guitar socializing, and media consumption – threesong against United Airlines. The Motrin Moms. arenas essential to better marketing. It shifts the balance of voice in marketing conversations.Your brand is dynamic, open-sourced. (Sois your company, like it or not.) Yours is one Control of the conversation started with Brandsvoice among many. Your grip has slipped. Not in the days of mass media; shifted to Retailersto worry; it’s normal to feel anxious in times of with shopper marketing . . . and now rests inchange. Maybe it’ll pass, like indigestion. the hands of Consumers, who control when, how and where they engage with marketingBut you are worried. You’re still accountable, messages.even though so much is out of your hands. Howcan you give up control of your brand without Take a look at all of the shifts that have takenabandoning your business? How can you lead place and are taking place in marketing today »your brand and business, guide it in the rightdirection, but not have absolute authority?How can you do better marketing? Marketing: Then, Now...and NextPAsT What’s changed: PresenT What’s changing FuTure next:Reach Media clutter + product Chase On-demand media Be accessible proliferationPromotion Focus on short-term Discounts Consumers seek Recommendations sales credibilityCampaigns Retailers push frequency Drive periods Individualized media: a Always on screen in every productSingle message Consumer generated Orchestrated message Personalization of media Customized message content = more authors mixFeatures & Benefits Creativity ascends Unique selling Consumers seek Offer help proposition solutionsNational Brand Mass-merchandise National retail Regional/Neighborhood Local retail and brands thrives specialties have cachet over homogenized retailBrand leads marketing Retail grows, brands Channel’s lead Wireless access = Consumer leads compete for space marketing channel agnostic marketing shoppersMass Media Media multiplies, then Fragmented Media On-demand devices: Omnipresent media divides audiences Consumers choose what, when, whereBuild the Marketing Plan Marketing menus cater Buy the marketing Consumers inundated Curate the marketing to retailers components with information message
The Four C’s of Better Marketing Now, marketers can maintain a voice 1. communiTY-build only if they embrace the new dynamic 2. curATe of consumer-led conversation. The best 3. cAPTiVATe approach? A four-step process: 4. cAregiVe This isn’t about directing the conversation, harnessing word of mouth, courting consumers 1. COMMUNITy BUILD of influence. (Well, maybe a little.) It’s about assessing the Brand’s role and establishing the Take segmentation to the next level – Brand’s voice, in support of its core community. construct user groups The good news is, there are strong Consumer Find and align with the right user groups: assets to help you calibrate your Brand’s balance Consumers who want and/or need your product; of voice to do better marketing: match your geography; share your brand and corporate values. The exercise of pinpointing • Tech-adept and take-charge consumers that the common ground between your target serve as critics, amplifiers, scouts consumers and your brand also helps clarify the • Many media to engage them, all highly brand essence. targeted, and most of it ‘free’ How best to define your target? Demographics, • Consumer appetite for information, geography, values, life stage, needs state? That conversation, connection depends on how you define your brand: Your • A growing openness to participate in core meaning drives your connection point marketing overtures that genuinely benefit and delineates your target. Segmentation is community still important, but it’s only the first step in community-building. The hard news is, the paradigm shift to do better marketing requires a new philosophy and Marketing once ran top-down: TV reached mass framework. audiences, pushed a message, dictated desire. Today, marketing flows bottom-up: individuals The framework starts – and ends – with C. drive brand reputation when they discover, And C. And C. And C. interact with, recommend the Brand. Many individuals aggregate around shared values – that, in turn, builds audience for the compatible Brand. Today – and tomorrow – the best way to engage, build and converse with the Brand community is local, local, local. Marketers that are tuned into individuals and their sense of community with each other can find profitable common ground with the community; have a real impact
The Four C’s of Better Marketing on shared values; and develop an authentic AcTions To consider: voice within the community. With geographic communities, be local to the neighborhood. • Segment: define the various constituents With virtual communities, be local to the most who you care about (brand lovers, brand important shared interest. evangelists, brand haters, underdeveloped etc), and determine where they ‘live’ It’s the way to maintain a share of voice with • Eavesdrop: Talk with these communities face consumers who tap the Decision Ecosystem – to face, through qualitative and quantitative defined by McKinsey as “a cloud of information research, to home in on their values from all sources, available anytime” – to choose brands and make purchases. • Refine: Examine which community values intersect with your Brand’s, and build marketing strategy on that foundation • Recruit: Engage the most active and THe decision ecosYsTem passionate members of the community to • Many points of influence -- referrals, past shape and share the Brand’s voice/message experience, new news, specific solutions, • Nurture: feed your communities; ask them for impulse input an ideas; give them insider information; • Consumers constantly share information … treat them as your constituents. Advocates and influence others are made, not born. • Brands can create a ripple effect in many circles of influence: reach many shoppers in many directions, all at once 2. CURATe Think of it this way – segmentation is a noun; Go beyond positioning and utilize all of your community-building is a verb. These days, brand’s assets it’s better to think more about the verbs than the nouns. Manage all the brand’s assets – generated by you and by others: social media but also brand image, events, consumer reviews, PR, partnerships, display and design, plus consumer- generated mash ups, tributes and parodies. Your brand may have rich history, bring some of it back. Packaging. Patents. Famous users. An impressive production facility. An articulate CEO. Be thorough in tracking down all of the assets. Curators (from the Latin curare, “to care”) find the best, most useful and compelling elements and then makes connections between them – organizing and presenting a collection in a way that brings new understanding, new value to their audience.
The Four C’s of Better Marketing It’s a museum-worthy, strategic approach that And remember, your brand isn’t a product; it’s a goes beyond “content curation” (an exercise in mission statement. There’s a lot to curate if you collecting, editing and repeating positive social think in the broadest scope. media). This is the renaissance of “marcom”, marketing communications. Marcom used to • P&G: “Touching lives, improving life.” be viewed as a staff or support role. But as • WalMart: “Save people money so they can the brand curators, the marcom team has an live better.” important job in organizing the brand’s assets in order to bring new value to their audience. • Nike: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Build the brand’s assets for the benefit of the • Facebook: “Give people the power to community. Track, evaluate, and share useful share and make the world more open and parts of the brand conversation with the wider connected.” community. Help your audience save time; • Starbucks: “Inspire and nurture the human provide context for your community; add value. spirit - one person, one cup, and one Reinforce shared values with current consumers; neighborhood at a time.” reach new users; build credibility of your brand’s voice; fortify brand equity. • McDonald’s: “Be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat.” AcTions To consider: museum-QuAliTY brAnd curATion • Summarize: Capture your Brand’s mission in a single, action-oriented statement. Let it • NikeBetterWorld.com be the description of your brand’s ‘museum • Amazon.com exhibit’, and refer to it often to guide strategy • American Express OPEN and execution. • Best Buy displays, ads, partnerships • Enlist advocates: Within your organization, • Penzey’s Spices catalog with and your community. Sadly, over two-thirds customer recipes of employees either do not understand or are not committed to their brand (CMAT • Domino’s Makeover Study). In consumer-led marketing, it’s crucial that everyone affiliated with the Sometimes Curators do best by admitting Brand can respond quickly, intelligently and they’re wrong. Remember Domino’s Makeover? wholeheartedly to consumers. Take the time Domino’s admitted its pizza tasted bad, changed to teach the Brand mission internally the recipe … and asked consumers to weigh in. • Centralize assets: Maintain an up-to-date Same-store sales rose 14% in the first quarter. database of all Brand assets generated by Forgiveness is a great way to build community you and others. Think of it as a stylebook on because it’s a sign of an authentic relationship. steroids Domino’s advanced the conversation through its community: It recruited “Taste Bud Bounty Hunters,” who wrote up a list of friends that hadn’t yet tried the new pizza; the one to convert the most “taste buds” earned a year’s worth of pizza. Domino’s ran radio ads and airplane banners personalized by name: “John Anderson, try Domino’s new pizza.”
The Four C’s of Better Marketing 3. CAPTIVATe Move beyond ‘activation’ and really offer What you want is content that pulls people in, irresistibility that appeals to your communities in the most relevant way, delivered with resonance. Pull your Grab your community. Be insightful and communities in rather than pushing your brand authentic in communicating with members. out. Provide relevance and value: information, experiences, entertainment, connections with One way to pull people in and be captivating like-minded others, opportunities to engage is through a compelling brand storyline. A deeper in the community. be A cATAlYsT. brand story creates the scope of what your Brand stands for, and dictates why the brand is Consider Stouffer’s “Let’s Fix Dinner” campaign. captivating: The Nestle brand promotes family dinner as a way to help kids navigate the hazards of growing up – bullying, drugs, eating disorders. The besT brAnd sTories strategy is based on research that shows that kids in families that routinely eat dinner together • Wonder: National Geographic, Kodak are less likely to drink, smoke or use drugs. • Exploration: Avatar, IBM, Lego • Love: see Kevin Robert’s book, Lovemarks The marketplace is right: In a poor economy, consumers eat at home more, and busy families • Redemption: Chrysler (“Imported from are likely to buy more frozen food. But the Detroit”) community mood is right, too: Parents want to • The Struggle for Freedom: MTV, Nike raise healthy, confident kids, and bonding over dinner is an easy step. • Control: American Express, Verizon, eBay • Heroism: US Army, Playstation The campaign launched with a challenge to • Rebellion Against Authority: Harley- families: Let’s serve 1 million meals at the family Davidson, Mountain Dew table. Stouffer’s partnered with the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse • Joy/Happiness: Coca Cola (CASA) at Columbia University; created a • Justice: The Innocence Project Website with activities, conversation-starters, • Caring/Giving: State Farm, Johnson family activities; recruited 15 leading mommy & Johnson bloggers for a roundtable panel to tackle the barriers on families eating together. Stouffer’s • Awakening: GE Ecomagination Dinner Club, a points program, lets members • Trust: Michelin redeem points for family-friendly goodies (DVDs, • Fulfillment: Gillette’s ‘The Best a Man Can song downloads, movie tickets, photos, lunch Get’, Mercedes bags) or donate points to Habitat for Humanity. “We are passionate about promoting the • The Real Truth: Dove power of the dinner table to create short- and • Friendship: Budweiser, M&M’s, Starbucks long-term benefits for families,” said Stouffer’s • Discovery: Trader Joe’s marketing director Brett White.
The Four C’s of Better Marketing AcTions To consider: 4. CAReGIVe • Craft your story: write a screenplay for your brand, beyond the positioning. Develop the To paraphrase, ‘Ask not what your target storyline, the plot, the players. audience can do for you, but what you can do • Translate intention into action: Execute the for your communities” Brand storyline in the marketplace – at retail, at home, in public gathering places (online Pay attention to your communities. Be helpful, and off). Give your audience a platform to act be active and involved, know what’s going on; on their intentions for the community, too know what matters. Know what resonates with members of your community. Be responsive. • Provide experiences: Local events bring like- Be in on the values; be in on the jokes. Offer a minded individuals together, with the Brand hand, a suggestion, a friendly tip. as host • Translate activation into captivation: look Look at Jamba Juice, the leader in the at your marketing plan and eliminate all multimillion-dollar fruit smoothie business. elements and activities that are not truly Jamba suddenly found itself pitted against captivating to your communities. Or, take all McDonald’s with its big-ticket launch of McCafe of the activation elements and upgrade them smoothies. What does David do when Goliath to be captivating. sets up a smoothie blender? • Act, evaluate, repeat: Get candid feedback, take it to heart, and get back out there with a Jamba couldn’t match McDonald’s ad budget. Its responsive, authentic voice message had to build its own momentum. So Jamba produced an ad parody so hilariously sarcastic that folks just had to pass it on. Cheeseburger Chill seemed as real as any SNL commercial. Were cheeseburger smoothies for real? Viewers went to cheeseburgerchill.com to find out and got coupons for real Jamba smoothies. Viral seeding, Facebook, search marketing, Twitter, blogger outreach and e-mail blasts spread the word. People loved being in on the joke. Jamba’s viral video popped up everywhere, picking up $11 million in free media, nearly half a million viewers, and 807,000 Facebook fans. Franchisees loved it. Jamba reinforced its own healthy lifestyle positioning (and its sense of humor), and kept sales steady as Goliath came in.
The Four C’s of Better Marketing Look at Zappos – a company that really cares. AcTions To consider: And Amazon – they go out of their way to be helpful. Yes, this is customer service. And it’s • Ask: What does your community want to also the best kind of marketing. Because it’s accomplish, and how can your Brand help? helpful. As mentioned earlier, don’t push your • Stick around: Authentic commitment wins brand, pull your community. respect. Aim for mutual loyalty This isn’t altruism, because being altruistic raises • Surprise people: When you know your suspicions and raises questions about motive audience well, you can give them what they and sincerity. But it isn’t brand selfishness either, want before they know they want it trying to push messages and transactions. It’s really enlightened self-interest: When the brand does the right thing, people take note and are more likely to be loyal. And, it’s just good business. Everything is rated these days, and everyone is a rater. The world is Zagat-ized. Where do you want your brand to be ranked?Pepsi Refresh is working hard on this. So is Liberty Mutual and its “Responsibility Project,” and U.S. Cellular and its “Belief Project.” These aren’t just cause- marketing efforts; they go deeper into the brand ethos, and show that the company really is trying to be helpful and supportive of its community.
CONCLUSIONIt’s the role of marketing now to take cues from consumers. Do it well, and don’tapologize for it. Being “responsive” doesn’t mean playing defense – it means being ready, anytime, with the information, offers, and action that consumers seek. Buildcommunities. Curate your brand’s assets. Captivate them with relevance. Careabout them and help them.You cAn do beTTer THAn segmenTATion...go For communiTY buildingdo beTTer THAn PosiTioning...curATedo beTTer THAn AcTiVATion...cAPTiVATedo beTTer THAn being A cAreTAker...be A cAregiVerI welcome your thoughts and ideas and questions, anytime, in any of the multiplicityof communication vehicles!Jim Holbrookjim@firstname.lastname@example.org: @jimholbrooklinkedin: Jim Holbrookslideshare: jimholbrookfacebook: Jim Holbrook