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Always-on Digital Marketing: 7 Things We've Learned by Zeus Jones

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Presentation about Always-on Digital Marketing given by Zeus Jones Partner/Creative Christian Erickson at an AIGA Minnesota event.

Published in: Design, Business

Always-on Digital Marketing: 7 Things We've Learned by Zeus Jones

  1. 1. 2640 Lyndale Ave S. Minneapolis Minnesota 55408 Always-on Digital Marketing: 7 Things We’ve Learned Christian Erickson Partner/Creative Zeus Jones
  2. 2. We left the traditional advertising business because we had a belief about brands: they’re built on what they do, not what they say.
  3. 3. We built Zeus Jones around this belief. We combined strategy, design, creativity and digital expertise and set out to modernize marketing.
  4. 4. Consumer Insights Strategy Creative Management Production Media Analytics When we started, most of marketing was driven by campaigns. And almost all roles, processes and timelines - at both agencies and clients - we’re designed around annual advertising pushes.
  5. 5. By this time digital had already turned mass communications models upside down. 1. Mass media became fragmented/niche media 2. Communication became two-way 3. Search enabled people to learn anything they wanted to know about a brand
  6. 6. The campaign model wasn’t designed for the always-on digital world. The frameworks we used didn’t help us find new and interesting ways to engage with people, and we often ran out of things to say.
  7. 7. Digital isn’t a channel, it’s a way of thinking. We stopped dividing our marketing by traditional/digital and instead started talking about it in terms of campaigns and always-on. Campaigns Always On “Push” marketing is focused on delivering our messages as broadly as possible to as many people as possible. The centerpiece of campaigns is usually advertising. “Pull” marketing is focused on pulling together all the people who want to know more about our brand or participate with us in some way. The centerpiece of Always On is usually content.
  8. 8. Zeus Jones Proprietary and Confidential.  All rights reserved 2012. Campaigns Built around messages. Divide people into buckets to efficiently target them. Operate on our schedule. Control what is being said. About being interruptive. Exist in as many places as possible. Always-On Built around purpose. Unite people around love/interest in the brand. Operate “on demand”. Curating/Responding to what people are saying. About being useful and engaging, creating value. Create a hub for everything we do.
  9. 9. We’ve worked very closely with some very forward-thinking brands. This is as much their journey as it is ours.
  10. 10. 7 Things We’ve Learned. Along with some examples of how we’ve used these principles.
  11. 11. 1. Start with purpose, not messaging. Having a purpose beyond just delivering a functional benefit is critical for modern brands. Campaigns are built around saying one thing and saying it as cleverly and loudly as possible – which doesn’t work when consumers are interacting with you every day.
  12. 12. The higher the purpose, the more ways to interact with culture. A good purpose should inspire lots and lots of ideas for how the brand goes to market. “Support dogs and their owners on their personal journey toward Greatness.” Purina ProPlan “Bring awesome things together to make them awesomer.” Reese’s Puffs “Fuel the champion inside.” Wheaties
  13. 13. We focus our content and creative into “pursuits.” Categories of actions taken by the brand. Fueling Champions with Nutrition Inspiring ChampionsChallenging Champions
  14. 14. 2. Unite people, don’t divide them. Traditional targeting/media planning is about finding the largest audiences - often based on broad demographics. Always-on requires finding an audience with true passion for what the brand is about and bringing them together in one place.
  15. 15. Cat People! Despite their many differences, one thing cat owners were all very interested in is understanding their pet’s behavior.
  16. 16. The brand started by doing some new research and sharing it. In the form of a documentary series that follows an urban kitten and an African Wildcat to explain cat behaviors. This helped us build a community of curious cat owners.
  17. 17. And the community has helped us sustain it for over a year. They provide content, questions, discussion topics and of course adorable cat photos. All of which give the brand fresh ways to use its expertise.
  18. 18. 3. Operate “on-demand” What were yearly planning cycles are now two-week planning cycles. But sometimes the best opportunities present themselves in between planning meetings. We’ve learned that having a small, empowered team that can create and respond quickly can have huge benefits.
  19. 19. For Wheaties, we had a three- person creative team. And we were planning and creating small pieces of content almost every day.
  20. 20. During one of our planning meetings, we came across this. Sam Gordon’s highlight reel was going viral that day, and within hours hatched a plot to create a custom Wheaties box for Sam Gordon and send it to her.
  21. 21. Because of Sam’s instant celebrity, there was huge media interest. And within days we’d produced the box and it was given to her on Good Morning America.
  22. 22. 4. Know where you want to go, but let the people lead you there. In the beginning we used to use social media to “test” ideas - meaning try out lots of little things and see what grabs people. But we later discovered that you need a strong sense of your overall goal, then you need to let your community lead you there.
  23. 23. Reese’s Puffs: “Bring awesome things together to make them awesomer” We knew we wanted to the brand to play in internet culture, where new mash-ups and memes are happening every day. We had what we thought was an AWESOME idea: let’s be an expert on internet memes. Turns out, our biggest fans just wanted us to be ourselves. And when we followed their lead, they took us into places most brands can’t go - like Tumblr and Reddit.
  24. 24. 5. Make stuff that’s useful and engaging. A brand succeeds when people agree with it’s worldview. But some views are harder to change than others. That’s when it becomes necessary to prove your belief rather than just evangelize it.
  25. 25. 2012 Westminster Champion 7th Consecutive Year 93/100 Top Show Dogs are Pro Plan-Fed Banana Joe Pro Plan-Fed Champion Pro Plan’s heritage is in show dogs.
  26. 26. But, it turns out lots of other amazing dogs eat it too.
  27. 27. Meet Moon Rescue Pet It’s hard to simply convince people their dog is capable of such feats. But Purina trainers were proving it with their own dogs.
  28. 28. We made their methods accessible to people. And created an app “P5” that helps them find out what their dog can really do.
  29. 29. 6. Forge great partnerships for creative and content. As you’ve seen, always-on means creating lots of things all the time - not just one or two big things a year. A traditional agency creative team on it’s own could never keep up. More and more we’re seeing the creative role evolve to be more about curation, inspiration and partnership with other creative people.
  30. 30. Designers We engaged some top poster artists to create this series that celebrates Purina ONE’s sponsorship of Pitchfork.
  31. 31. Artists We work with tons of illustrators on content for brands like Cheerios.
  32. 32. Bloggers / Writers We challenged two hipster bloggers to run the Tough Mudder and write about it. 90,000 Tumblr Followers 20,000 Twitter Followers
  33. 33. Photographers We worked with Theron Humphrey on 2 projects for Purina
  34. 34. Filmmakers We worked Michael Tyburski and Ben Nabors to create a series of documentaries about modern familes for Bettty Crocker.
  35. 35. We give these partners a ton of creative freedom. Unlike a traditional agency / production partner relationship, we typically give partners a very broad brief and let them run with it.
  36. 36. 7. Create a digital ecosystem that supports this way of working. We found we needed to create a single “hub” for publishing and social activity, then have a process for both content creation and content distribution. This ecosystem model helps us activate against all the other points I’ve discussed.
  37. 37. Content Creation Content Distribution SOCIAL VIDEO OWNED MEDIA MAKERS BANNERS .COM PAID SEARCH FB BLOGGERS OTHER BRAND CONTENT FB ADS PUBLISH Inspiration Keeping an eye on blogs, artists, other sources. Ideation around themes, ideas. Co-creation Partner with creators to develop original content. Create our own. FOUND CONTENT FAN CONTENT BUILD SHARE Content Hub Publish and aggregate content to .com Everything is shareable. Owned and Earned We start here first. Create a media and measurement plan. Scaling / Paid Invest behind the best-performing content. TEST SCALE ORGANIC SEARCH
  38. 38. Cheerios + Little Free Libraries Following a small spark through the entire process. Inspiration Found Element Brand Element Create Publish Scale
  39. 39. 7 Things We’ve Learned. 1. Start with purpose 2. Unite people 3. Operate on-demand 4. Let the people lead you 5. Make useful things 6. Forge great partnerships 7. Create an ecosystem
  40. 40. 2640 Lyndale Ave S. Minneapolis Minnesota 55408 Thank You. Questions?

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