Elevate Your Marketing Results with These 29 Marketing Tips

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Elevate Your Marketing Results with These 29 Marketing Tips

Want to up your marketing game but don’t know where to start? Struggling to process all the information that’s available?

Then you’ve come to the right place!

To help you implement a stellar marketing strategy that works, we’ve condensed vast amounts of information to bring you these top 29 marketing tips that highlight all the important aspects of a great marketing strategy.

What Do Our 29 Marketing Tips Include?

Within this downloadable sheet, you’ll find easy-to-digest tips that are categorized into 6 actionable sections. These will cover key points, such as:

  • How to implement your marketing strategy and stick to it

  • How to gain traction on social media by making the most of all the tools available to you and ensuring you’re reaching out to your target audience at the right times

  • How to get a head start in digital advertising by applying the right models and strategies and making sure you’re utilizing the most dominant keywords

  • How to use influencers to your advantage while creating long-term, authentic relationships

  • How to revamp shopper marketing to gain shoppers’ trust and loyalty, which includes creating the right “experience”

  • How to make analytics tools work for you by creating a consistent approach to your analytics but without getting too obsessed with the figures so you lose sight of your overall goals

Download Our 29 Marketing Tips Today!

What are you waiting for? Head to our Experiences resource page to download these 29 indispensable marketing tips – and watch as your company skyrockets toward success.

Is Market Research Protected from the “Robots”?

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The rise of machine learning is hard to ignore. It’s happening fast. For the vast majority of digital marketers and forward-thinking companies, it’s an exciting time.

However, there are some concerns over the big picture.

As more companies adopt automated market research and AI, what does the future really look like for business? Moreover, how will it affect the people doing those jobs today?

The reality is, we can all gain a lot from embracing automation.

4 Benefits of Automated Market Research

Automation has been disrupting marketing for quite some time, and the benefits are already clear:

1.    Saves Time

We at E29 have been working with a number of automated market research technology providers for some time now. ZappiStore is one such provider that we’ve had tremendous success with.

Together, we’ve sought to improve the results of concept testing for a number of our less established clients who have significant innovations looming, but whose timelines to market are tight. With automated market research in play, we’ve been able to aid them in making key decisions, often in less than a week.

2.    Improves Accuracy

One of the most widespread uses of automation in market research is in data analytics.

Companies can track users onsite behaviors to gain deep insights into the needs and interests of their audience.

This enables ecommerce companies to tailor brand messaging and offer targeted product recommendations that get more engagement, and ultimately, more conversions.

3.    Audience Growth

With online surveys, your business can curate a global audience of tens of thousands, either in targeted locations or spread across the world.

4.    Marketing ROI

Automation is typically cheaper than traditional marketing methods. With fewer overheads, automated market research reaps a higher ROI on spend.

The Role of Humans With Automated Market Research

Research indicates that 93% of people view AI as a huge opportunity, while 7% consider it to be a threat, as many believe AI will be doing their job better than them within the next 10 years.

The buzz around machine learning and digital transformative technologies is understandable, however, it’s important to keep it in perspective.  

On its own, automation technology still lacks a degree of sophistication. It is only when humans perform deeper analysis on data that the value of the research can be measured.

Take, for example, the instance of an automated survey or interview. Sure, you can garner a wealth of information from numerous participants in a short space of time. However, automation alone is not yet at a point where it can probe or clarify points beyond the basic insights. Without a human present, creative thought is absent.

There’s no doubt that automated tools do enhance our ability to conduct qualitative analysis, which in turn gives marketers the power to improve their campaigns.

That being said, machines aren’t able to connect the dots without us – yet.  

We Must Adapt and Embrace Automation Technology to Our Advantage

The people with the biggest concerns about the dawn of a new era in digital marketing are those who are currently working in market research.

Given that machine learning is already faster, more accurate, and more organized with data than any human could ever dream of, it’s easy to understand why some people are fearing for their jobs.

But they shouldn’t consider this with a doom-and-gloom outlook.

Instead, we should look to adapt and find new opportunities alongside automation.

Many people are already doing that, with 50% of people considering upskilling. Others are finding new roles where they can use automation in their job, rather than be supplanted by it.

For now, automation in market research is an innovative strategy that all businesses can leverage and profit from. But it cannot fulfill its potential without humans.

Learning how to work with these new technologies will set people and businesses up for a prosperous future.

How to Reap the Benefits of Email Marketing

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Email has been around for a long time, so it’s easy to dismiss it as irrelevant in the current digital landscape. However, that would be a critical mistake.

The truth is, email marketing is as powerful as ever, and it’s not going anywhere.

The Real Potential of Email Marketing

Unfortunately, organic reach is almost non-existent on social media now. This forces companies into paid advertising. But there is another way to cut through all the noise.

By focusing on growing an email list of loyal subscribers, you’ll soon find the benefits of email marketing are far greater than many people realize.

1. You Can Generate More Leads

Studies show that 59% of marketers claim email is the most effective marketing channel for their company’s revenue.

You can also encourage your subscribers to forward email content to their families, friends and colleagues.

Between forwarding and social sharing, subscribers can amplify your content to boost future sign-ups.

2. It Boosts Conversion Rates

Once you have more leads, you can build a relationship and ultimately nurture prospects through your sales funnel.

In time, that makes it easier to convert email subscribers into customers.

3. It Reduces Marketing Costs

One of the great benefits of email marketing is that it delivers a great return on investment (ROI).

In fact, research indicates the ROI of email marketing is higher than social media and paid advertising, yielding almost $40 for every $1 of marketing spend.

Better yet, many top email marketing tools have free versions, allowing you to get up and running at minimal cost.

Leverage the Benefits of Email Marketing

With the technology available today, email marketing can do a lot more than simply acquire new leads.

Segmentation and Personalization

When email marketers go niche within their own audiences, it enables them to forge deeper connections on a more personal level.

Segmenting your audiences and delivering targeted content that is personalized to their needs is a sure-fire way of improving the results of your email marketing. It may just cause your revenue to increase 7-fold!

Building Trust

By using more personalization, you can soon earn the trust of your subscribers. People want brands to know more about them, and with your tailored content, you’ll soon prove that your business cares about them.

Automation

With marketing automation, you can add personalized product recommendations to your emails. This can boost sales volumes, especially when trust has been built.

Another method is to use automation for drip campaigns, keeping leads warm until they are prepared to buy something. This strategy has been proven to earn a 300% higher click-through rate than single emails.

The Future for Email

The rise of machine learning is one of the biggest benefits of email marketing. Being able to segment audiences and learn more about your customers from data insights can massively improve the ROI of email marketing.

It has truly changed the game.

Also, as more than 70% of millennials prefer email for business communications, the future truly looks bright for email marketers.

Social media is a tough nut to crack and is only becoming more crowded.

Email is going nowhere. The gold is in your list.

Why Social Media Reach is Really Dying

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Having trouble reaching your audience on social media?

You’re not alone.

Over the past decade, social media marketing has become one of the most powerful tools in the modern marketer’s toolkit, allowing businesses to build an audience with relative ease.

However, times are changing, and it’s no longer easy.

Social media reach is being hampered by several factors, from saturated markets to an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Now, your company must adapt to survive.

How the Facebook Algorithm Has Changed the Game for Marketers

At the start of 2018, Facebook announced some big changes were afoot.

The platform was to shift focus back to connecting people, rather than giving preference to media consumption.

The new algorithm effectively put marketing content in the backseat, which was bad news for marketers hoping to grow their brand on social media.

Since then, some companies have reacted well, while others have made some mistakes. Specifically, they’ve bought into the widespread belief that organic social media reach is dead. 

One of the Most Harmful Social Media Marketing Trends

Research from BuzzSumo found that content engagement on social media has dropped by 50% since 2015. With less interaction on their posts, many companies have turned their attentions to other marketing streams, such as email.

While that in itself holds vast potential for building a loyal audience, you shouldn’t close the book on social media marketing just yet.

A common trend now is for companies to manage their social media marketing in-house, as opposed to hiring an agency. While this certainly cuts on costs, there are drawbacks to employing an avid social media user fresh-out-of-college.

Sure, they’ll know a few things that the rest of the office might not, but when it comes to strategy and marketing skills, you could find yourself falling behind the competition.

Unfortunately, many small businesses persist with this venture, which more often than not, leads to a flood of low-quality content that delivers little return on investment (ROI).

5 Strategies to Boost Social Media Reach in 2018

So, just how can your business deal with the issue of declining social media reach?

Here’s what you should be doing:

1.    Video

When Facebook say video content boosts engagement, it’s worth taking note.

Facebook Live is another option. Although it doesn’t have the same social media reach as native videos do, studies indicate it still trounces text posts.

Native or live, video content is the indisputable king of content now, and it’s here to stay.

2.    Visuals

From GIFs to infographics, catchy images to thought-provoking photos, visuals make a big difference to your content, as proven by the 87% increase in engagement.

3.    Ask for Engagement

Sometimes, to get more likes and shares, all you need to do is ask. But beware of bait-like posts. Instead, aim to incite genuine discussion and conversation.

4.    Paid Ads

With social media reach on the wane, many marketers are exploring paid advertising.

Facebook ads don’t cost much, and with some clever strategy, you can target specific segments of your audience. Ultimately, this ensures your content reaches the people you really want it to.    

5.    Use Brand Advocates

Social media marketing still has the power to build networks. By reaching out to friends, family, and trusted associates, you can get help to amplify your content.

Teams who post their content on personal pages can harness this potential, as people are 16 times as likely to engage in content from a friend rather than a brand.

Quality Over Quantity Is What Matters In Social Media Marketing

Social media reach is not what it was, but it isn’t quite dead yet.

The game has changed, and companies must evolve with it.

Focus more on quality rather than quantity.

By embracing new social media marketing strategies, your company can still build a strong brand on social platforms. Over time, these methods will deliver a solid ROI, and help you achieve real growth.

Marketing Authenticity: Can it Motivate Your Audience?

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In the recent years, social media has been polluted with trolling, fake news and a lot of negativity. These issues make it harder to build trust with people, which is a problem for business.

Now, marketing authenticity and brand activism in social good campaigns are key considerations for brands.

It’s time to get real.

What is a Social Good Campaign?

Studies on global consumers show that just 52% of people actually trust businesses.

Instead of trying to persuade people for a quick buck, brands must seek to win the trust of their customers by proving they are out for social good.

Whether they are responding to political decisions, supporting a cause, or promoting a much bigger idea than their company’s financial interests, brands can show they are for social good.

While using a cause to promote your own message runs the risk of a negative backlash, if it’s done right, your company can showcase marketing authenticity and align your business with a cause.

The Impact of Marketing Authenticity on your Brand Growth

There are a number of key benefits to using marketing authenticity and brand activism in your growth strategy.

It Nurtures Trust

With successful campaigns that demonstrate what your company cares about more than profits, you will find it easier to build trust with consumers. This adds to your brand credibility and makes it easier to build a larger audience over time.

In 2017, The New York Times responded to the influx of fake news by launching a campaign called, “The Truth is Hard to Find”, which promoted quality journalism and facts.

Not only did they demonstrate integrity in their reporting, but they boosted awareness, which led to a rise in subscription numbers.

It Boosts Brand Awareness

Social good campaigns can deliver quite an impact, which spreads quickly as more people start talking about it. If it connects with people on an emotional level, then the impact can be huge.

A 2018 study found that 77% of people feel they have a stronger emotional connection with purpose-driven companies, as opposed to traditional companies. That makes many people more loyal to that company and more likely to defend it.

It Makes Your Brand More Relevant

Following trending topics is an integral part of modern marketing, especially on social media. By aligning your business with a trending social movement, your brand activism can make you seem more relevant in the eyes of a wider audience.

Marketing Authenticity must be Customer-Centric

Marketing authenticity is a key link between what your brand does and what your customers want. Through brand activism in social good campaigns, your business can transcend the quest for profits, and show you care more about your customers and about the things they care about.

The danger is that if it’s done wrong, people may view your efforts as a gimmick or shameless plug. With some smart strategy, your brand can prove their integrity to forge strong connections with your existing audience and grow a larger one.

In the long run, that will benefit both the people and your business fortunes.

Evolution of the Digital Marketing Landscape

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Digital disruption is a hot topic among marketers.

While the biggest websites in the world have held a tight grip on their places for years, seismic shifts in the marketing landscape have begun to unsettle some digital giants.

It seems the future isn’t as certain as it was before.

The Fall of Facebook

Over the past two years, Facebook has been hit with one storm after another, from fake news and Holocaust deniers, to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The backlash has been epic, with traffic being decimated, falling dramatically from 8.5 billion monthly visits to around 4.7 billion in just two years.

CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, hasn’t been immune to the damage either, as his personal net worth fell by a jaw-dropping $15 billion in July. It was the biggest single-day wipeout in the history of U.S. stock market losses.

However, don’t get the tombstone out just yet.

Facebook is much more than their own namesake property, as the parent company still owns WhatsApp and Instagram.

One is rapidly becoming the world’s favorite instant messaging platform, while the latter is arguably the hottest platform in social media right now, thanks to the world’s new-found obsession with visual content.

Facebook might be down, but it’s not gone which is good news, as they have some serious competition on their hands.

The Rising Digital Giants That Are Changing the Digital Marketing Landscape

Have you heard?

Content is no longer king.

Video content is king.

By 2019, video content will account for some 80% of all internet traffic. So, it’s no surprise that YouTube is bigger than ever, and Facebook is pushing video hard. It’s new Watch platform is Facebook’s very own TV channel.

Research shows that the YouTube video platform now has more than 1.8 billion active monthly users, putting it in 3rd place behind Facebook and Google.

Interestingly though, it is growing at twice the rate of Facebook, with user numbers up 20% from 1.5 billion over the past year.

And then there’s Amazon.

Currently fourth among the digital giants, Amazon is dominating retail, with expectations that they will account for at least 80% of total growth of the entire ecommerce market this year.

The rise from online bookstore to far-reaching technological behemoth has been astonishing. In just three years, revenue has surged from $149B in 2015 to $258B this year, increasing 29% since 2017.

With these big changes among the major forces, companies must consider how to adapt in the new digital marketing landscape.

How Marketers Are Adapting Their Digital Strategies

Facebook made big changes to its algorithm this year, with a desire to reconnect people with their friends and family, and thus retain their user base.

What that really meant for companies was it became even more of a ‘pay to play’ platform than it already was.

Social media is abundant with opportunities to build targeted audiences for your brand.

However, the changes mean that to really reach a large audience, you need to use paid advertising.

The cost of Facebook advertising is on the rise, having grown 70% since 2017. Marketers continue to pay it though, as denoted by the 40% bump in overall spending.

It seems that rising prices are little deterrent for ambitious marketers, as many companies realize the overall ROI of targeted ads is worth investing in.

Amazon too have hiked their prices, with Prime membership growing to $119/year, with almost no negative impact on traffic and sign-ups.

CEO, Jeff Bezos, revealed this year that subscriber numbers have topped 100 million, making it a worthy rival to Netflix.

What Does the Future Hold for Digital Marketers?

The digital marketing landscape is always shifting.

Facebook looks set to slip behind YouTube and the unstoppable force of Amazon.

Video marketing is undoubtedly the way to go now, regardless of your industry.

The younger demographics have helped Instagram grow by 80% since last year.

To remain relevant to your audience, decide on the best platform for your brand and build a video content strategy that appeals to your audience’s needs.

5 Unique Benefits of Small Agencies for Big Brands

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E29 Larkspur Office

In recent years, there has been a major shift in the way companies outsource their marketing needs. More and more big brands are deciding to work with small agencies, which begs the question:

Why?

Just what can these smaller agencies offer that larger agencies with greater resources cannot?

Let’s find out.

5 Factors That Influence How Big Brands Choose Agencies

As agencies grow over time, there is a tendency for the quality of their work to suffer, and big brands suddenly find themselves pushed to the back of an ever-growing queue.

Here are some key benefits of small agencies that big brands should consider.

1. Small Agencies Are More Committed

Small agencies have fewer resources to attract big contracts.

When they get one worth having, they go above and beyond to deliver the goods. They are more passionate and more eager to please.

The CEO of Ten35, Ahmad Islam explains that you just don’t get that same level of focus from larger agencies.

2. Smaller Agencies Deliver Faster Results

In bigger operations, there is much more red tape to wade through. From various personnel and processes, to elongated chains of communication and approval.

For big brands who want a quick turnaround, dealing with large agencies can be frustrating. Turning your focus to work with smaller, more nimble agency teams is just the tonic.

In the digital age, staying agile is vital.

It’s important to adopt this concept in your marketing campaigns, and you will be more flexible to react to changes in the market with a smaller agency.

3. They Are More Transparent

Paid advertising is increasingly important nowadays. But just because businesses know they must invest in advertising doesn’t mean they are willing to hand over complete control of their finances, with no questions asked.

Forbes believes that transparency can help build better companies, and even big brands with deep pockets want to know their money is going to good use.

Smaller agencies are usually more transparent, making it easier to see the true return on investment (ROI) you are getting.

4. Cost Is More Reasonable

Big agencies tend to charge higher prices, without offering any added value. Once you’re on board, there’s no knowing who is actually working on your project, and if they are really “experts.”

Smaller agencies aren’t just transparent with their pricing, but also with the talent they have available. You may well meet the team before striking a deal, and can be more confident of the value for money you are getting.

5. They Are More Consistent

Typically, working with big agencies involves several points of contact. You might discuss options with one person, sign a contract with another, and then never hear from them again as you’re passed along the assembly line.

While large agencies have a higher turnover, small agencies tend to keep the same core team together for longer.

You have more chance of getting a dedicated team and constant point of contact this way, and over time, you’ll develop a relationship with the team.

It’s Better to Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond

One of the overarching benefits of small agencies, is that big brands will become their top priority. By choosing to work with a small team, you can receive all the time and attention your business needs.

You will form stronger ties with a small team, facilitating a better working relationship that delivers faster results, and a greater overall ROI for your investment.

Also, a smaller agency will grow to know your brand intimately. Their collaborative nature breeds greater productivity, which makes small agencies a greater asset for growing your business in the long-term.

The Truth You Must Know About Slack for Marketing

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The digital age has lots of apps to offer, but hardly any can compete with Slack. The current king of business communications has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the past few years.

And now, it can do much more than send a funny meme to work colleagues.

Today, using Slack for marketing campaigns is a strategy that many are testing out.

How Can Brands Use Slack in Their Marketing Efforts?

There are several ways to use Slack in marketing, as the app is easy to integrate with many other apps and programs. Here are some of the best ways to use it.

Connecting It with Hootsuite

The pro version of Hootsuite allows you to do a lot more than schedule your social media marketing.

By connecting with Slack, you can send social posts from your Hootsuite dashboard to any of your Slack channels.

Twitter Integration and Monitoring

Connecting Slack and Twitter makes it easy for your team to stay on top of live updates and brand mentions.

You can create a specific channel on Slack for marketing on Twitter, then assign team members to monitor activity there.

Engaging Your Community

Outside of work conversations, Slack is great for building a community. You can integrate it with a WordPress blog through various plug-ins.

It’s even possible to hook it up with WooCommerce and build more engagement around your products, chatting with customers through an exclusive channel.

Curate Hot Content

Nuzzel is a content aggregator with a focus on social engagement of interesting posts related to your brand.

Hook it up with Slack to create a Nuzzel channel, which will deliver these updates for your whole team to browse and enjoy.

This is a great way to use Slack for marketing strategy, both with content creation and promotion.

What are the Challenges When Using Slack for Marketing?

Despite its quick rise, Slack is still relatively new, and there are many companies who are yet to adopt it on a consistent basis.

Trying to roll it out to customers and clients may take some time.

It works well for smaller teams, but encouraging large teams with various demographics is a bigger process.

A full-scale digital transformation will take time.

Turning Slack into the central hub of your marketing operations may take some patience and coercion in some cases.

But eventually, your company will need to move with the times to keep up with your rivals.

Could Slack Become the Next Social Channel For Brands?

Studies show that once a team exchanges over 2000 messages with Slack, 93% of them tend to stick with it.

The app has had incredible growth in the past five years, reaching a value of more than $7 billion. It certainly seems like the sky is the limit, and the brand has no intentions of slacking off.

The ability to integrate other apps makes it an easy choice to integrate Slack for marketing. From bots to project management tools, Slack is evolving with the times, and looks to be around for the long haul.

This app might be the future of business communications. If they don’t sell out, they might just unsettle the big guns at Microsoft and Google.

The Agency Retainer or Project Debate: How to Make the Best Choice

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When you’re thinking of scaling up your marketing efforts, chances are you might begin working with an agency.

If you have a particular need for a lot of content or creative input, a big decision awaits you:

Should you work with an agency retainer?

While there are benefits to sticking with project fees for each and every assignment you need from your agency, the option of an agency retainer is one that many businesses are opting for.

In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of an agency retainer, and give you the insights you need to make the best choice for your brand.

What is an Agency Retainer?

This is one of the most common agency payment models used today.

Whereas project-based is pretty self-explanatory, an agency retainer needs a little elaboration to understand fully.

Put simply, a retainer is when an agency and client make an agreement that they will work together for a long period of time, collaborating on several projects.

The actual retainer allows the client to reserve a set amount of the agency’s time every week or month, for an agreed rate.

This involves some thorough forward-planning so that you can make accurate projections on the scope of your project(s), its goals, and the time required on a weekly and/or monthly basis.

If you have a clear vision for your goals and the needs of your projects, an agency retainer is an effective way of ensuring you get preferential treatment from your agency.

Some retainers run on a month-by-month basis, though others usually cover a longer time period.

The Key Differences Between Agency Retainer and Project-Based Fees

The key differences are as follows:

  • Agency retainers have a flat monthly fee. Project-based services are paid per project.

  • Agency retainers cover a wide scope of services and deliverables. Project-based services are much more defined.

  • Agency retainers offer dedicated personnel for the account. Project-based services often tend to rotate personnel, depending on available talent.

  • Agency retainers are used for long-term goals that consider ongoing marketing needs. Project-based services focus on short-term goals and one-off assignments.

E29 Marketing offers both avenues and can work with clients on defining their projects, providing the flexibility of hybrid options too so you can have the best of both worlds.

The Pros and Cons of Using an Agency Retainer

To give you a clearer picture of the benefits of using an agency retainer, and the potential drawbacks, here is everything you need to know to weigh up the decision. 

Pro: It is Less Expensive

  • Nothing matters more in business than your bottom line. With a retainer, your rates will always be less expensive, which makes this the best benefit.

Con: You Might Not Have Enough Work to Use the Retainer Time

  • Sometimes, there may be a quiet spell where you don’t have enough work for your agency. This can lead to some retainer time not being used, which could be a waste of money.

  • To avoid this, keep in contact with your Account Director to ensure there is plenty of work planned in advance. By staying proactive, you can ensure your agency is always kept busy.

Pro: You Can Delegate Tasks You Don’t Have Time For

  • There’s a lot to do in marketing, and unless you have specialists on your team, it can be very time-consuming to try and manage everything from planning, execution and analytics yourself.

  • With an agency retainer, you have the time on your account to put to good use. You can be confident all work will be done, which makes it easy to put it on their plate, freeing your time for other tasks.

Con: It’s Hard to Track Where Time and Money is Spent

  • This is a big concern about outsourcing marketing, as you can lose a little control on time management for the people you are paying.

  • However, good agencies tend to be pretty transparent about how they use their time, which means you can request a detailed breakdown of what they have done each month.

Pro: You have a Dedicated Agency that Knows your Business

  • With project-based fees, typically you get a freelancer or agency who will approach the work as a one-off arrangement. They aren’t always concerned with getting to know your business on a deep level.

  • By contrast, having an agency retainer invites an agency to the table, which makes them more likely to take more interest in truly getting to know your brand, your goals, and your audience.

  • The best agencies will be more invested in your business and will want to continue building your brand the longer they are working with you.

Pro: The Costs are Fixed

  • This makes spending more predictable, which is good news for your budget and financial projections. It also gives you more flexibility in project management, as you don’t need to negotiate with different agency personnel for every project or get clearance from senior management.

Con: You Have Several Agencies

  • Digital marketing is a wide umbrella, and below it you may have a separate agency for specific aspects, from web design, SEO or copywriting, to advertising and social media.

  • As these begin to stack up, you might find yourself stressing over managing all these agency relationships.

When an Agency Retainer is the Right Choice For Your Business

For businesses who really have a clear vision for the future, and believe they have the resources, products, and potential to operate for many years - then there is a lot to gain from an agency retainer.

If you are a big brand, or have the plans to become one quickly, then you’ll most likely have a lot of work to do. Being able to delegate this to an agency takes the weight off your own in-house team, allowing the company to be more productive as a whole.

Not only will you save time and money in the long run, you will gain a dedicated agency that understands your business and their goals.

Ultimately, this will result in better content, and a better ROI on your marketing.

You can forge a strong working relationship with an agency that you trust and will never have to worry about their availability whenever you need them.

This long-term partnership is also likely to pave the way for more experimentation and optimization over time.

While the upfront costs may not be possible for smaller start-up businesses, by booking in advance you can actually save money. And, it definitely works out to be less expensive than budgeting your projects individually.

This makes it straightforward to include the agency expenses into your long-term financial forecast and the overall marketing strategy of your company.

When an Agency Retainer is the Wrong Choice for Your Business

If you don’t already have experience working with an agency, then jumping into a long-term arrangement might not be a wise choice.

It’s important to get some experience working with several agencies first to figure out if you work well together.

Moreover, it’s essential that your company has already got a well-defined plan for the future. This must be mapped out, so you can clearly articulate what needs to be done to accomplish your goals. Without this, an agency retainer could be a bad move that leads to more stress than its worth.

By underestimating just how much help you need, you run the risk of upsetting your agency with unexpected changes to the workload. This could lead to tensions in the relationship.

Conversely, overestimating your needs could lead to a colossal waste of money as you have paid for the agency’s time but have nothing to give them.

The Decision Must be the Best for Your Company

An agency retainer isn’t for everyone.

While the benefits are certainly attractive, it’s important to weigh whether or not that is enough for you to go down that road.

An agency retainer is most beneficial to companies who understand the value of a steady relationship. They have a long-term plan, many well-defined milestones they would like to reach, and they are looking forward to focusing on that journey.

Project-based fees are good for smaller businesses with short-term goals and small budgets, but as you grow, the benefits of an agency retainer are well worth considering.

With help from a flexible agency like E29 Marketing, you can figure out a long-term plan best suited to your needs.

As your business grows, you might find the workload is getting too much for you or just one agency. They might specialize in written content, whereas you need experts in graphics or marketing.

By choosing experienced professionals, you can form a network of agencies that are comfortable working alongside each other.

So long as everyone is transparent about their duties and capabilities, you can build strong working relationships that allow your brand to flourish from the help of these specialized organizations. 

10 Captivating Ads and their Captivation Triggers

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As much of the work we do at E29 Marketing involves advertising, I asked the team to share their favorite ads and explain their reasons for being impressed. As you know, consumers are inundated with ads, so it is imperative that ads are excellent in order to capture attention and encourage ad and brand recall.

What makes an ad captivating?

Ben Parr's book, Captivology is a wonderful resource describing the seven captivation triggers to capture immediate, short and long attention. The seven triggers are automaticity, framing, reputation, disruption, reward, reputation, mystery and acknowledgement.

1. Starbucks: Afternoon Made at Starbucks

Megan says "My favorite ad right now is a Starbucks ad titled "Afternoons Made at Starbucks." It's REALLY visually captivating. I saw it on Hulu and I think it's a great placement. Hulu is the only place where I see ads besides the occasional one on social (YouTube, Instagram or Facebook). Starbucks has been doing a push to get more people to there stores in the afternoons. I've gotten notifications through their app regarding their "Happy Hours" and it ties in really well with the ad I saw. On a side note, I believe they are testing serving alcohol so this could be a pre-test to see if they can get more people to visit in the afternoons/after work."

Consider the audience who watches Hulu, which is predominantly females 18 – 34 and how much this audience appreciates cool, hip and well…sugar! This ad effectively makes use of the automaticity trigger with sensory cues of color and sound. Zooming in on the drinks and showing the swirling of ingredients together could be argued to be the framing trigger, because it is forcing the viewer to imagine seeing each drink very close their eyes so that they imagine how it would feel to be drinking one.

2. okcupid: DTF

This campaign while somewhat controversial, does a good job of making people think. Once you understand what DTF means and how it plays on the millennial favorites of "WTF?," and "Down to F___" then you understand what it's all about. I like ads that make me feel smart, so when I feel like I understand the ad after spending a little time to figure it out, I feel part of an elite who get it. This is good for brand building and makes use of the acknowledgment trigger by encouraging a deeper connection with the brand because I feel validated and part of a community who use "WFT" and also understand the innuendo of "DTF" and how OkCupid is changing the meaning in an empowering way. Take a look at AdWeek's article about the campaign where the CMO says the DTF campaign boosted buzz by 50%. The campaign is also using the disruption trigger as it includes all types of relationships and for a dating app, it is very well targeted to daters of all sexual orientations.

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And the results of the campaign are telling too: "In the crowded category of dating apps, OkCupid has rarely been one of the most high-profile options, but its recent "DTF" campaign seems to be working at changing that." 

3. Geico: Longest Goal Celebration Ever & 4. Old Spice: Talk to the Land

"My [Terra] household watched every single World Cup game. If we weren't home to watch live, we recorded it and watched as soon as we got home. This was extremely different for our family as I can't remember the last time I watched anything LIVE, let alone RECORD something to watch. We are die-hard HBO and Netflix fans.

This meant that I watched a boat-load of Fox TV (ugh) and real, live, TV ADS (gasp!)

There are two ads that stand out for me. No, they don't have talking animals or babies (which I typically LOVE), but both are similar in the following ways:

  1. They make me laugh out loud even as I watched them for the 3rd and 4th time
  2. They have nothing to do with the product being sold - or even really mention/show product benefits other than their taglines (gasp again…), no RTB, no POD, and, I'm not even sure there is a consumer insight?
  3. They are both PURE entertainment, and almost make their products feel irreverent. I didn't feel like I was being "sold", there wasn't any fluffy marketing speak, just pure entertainment.

The first ad is Geico's Longest Goal Celebration Ever, the robot at the end leaves me on the floor.

The second ad is: Old Spice's "Talk to the Land". Why would he need deodorant spray when he's going to crash? The whole thing is so absurd, it's awesome.

My 10-year-old son asked me why we don't have Geico and is Geico better than what we have? I told him that all insurance is the same. He said, "Well, why wouldn't you want to save 15% or more on car insurance?" It's a good question. My 12-year-old son asked my husband why he doesn't buy Old Spice. Another good question. Net, net, even though I loved these ads, I will not change my insurance, or buy Old Spice for my husband.

This begs the question of the role of cable and network TV ads. I would argue that yes, broad-scale awareness can be achieved. but ONLY if it's entertaining. My next question won't be confirmed for another 10+ years but... will my boys purchase Geico and Old Spice? Or, will they stick to boring old State Farm and Aussie Products?"

Thanks to Terra for her very entertaining perspective and accurate observations. The Geico ad also makes use of the acknowledgment trigger in that it was placed during live soccer games and who is more likely to appreciate goals and soccer idiosyncracies than soccer fans?

The Old Spice ad makes use of the disruption and mystery triggers. Disruption because the ad is so strange and unexpected and mystery, because it is a story and we watch in order to know the outcome. Mystery, uncertainty and suspense are very good at keeping an audience intrigued until the end.

5. Smove

You may have seen this one on Facebook or Instagram for the ultimate in selfie-sticks. The ad runs equally well whether sounds is on or off for the viewer as it has captions. What Smove is doing well is capturing attention with frequency and appealing to the audience who wants to look good on social networks. The special offer code makes use of the reward trigger and for the gadget loving yuppie with disposable income, this lifestyle enhancing device looks like it could be a winner. The number of reactions and views of the video don't hurt either.

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6. Pepsi: Radio Ad

As Carol is often exposed to ads is when driving long distance and listening to the radio, she says "I really like the Pepsi Stuff radio ads that are currently airing. One, in particular, has the male speaker say stuff so many times, and in such a hilarious voice, it not only drives home the promotion (buy Pepsi, earn points, redeem for stuff), but also makes the listener want to go check out what all the stuff is (and on a 90 degrees day as you're driving around in a hot car, hearing the cans opening in the background actually almost make you crave a Pepsi because they sound so refreshing)… There is no image obviously with radio, it all has to be imparted verbally, and in my opinion, this ad does it well, not only through the repetition, but also with humor."

The ad uses the automaticity trigger with the sound of opening a Pepsi and probably also the disruption trigger in that the voiceover is saying unexpected things to be funny.

7. FullStory

On Instagram, I was stopped in my scrolling for an ad for FullStory. The ad is very well targeted to me and tells me everything I need to know about eCommerce checkout funnels in less than 30 seconds. The role of an ad is to spark curiosity to get the potential customer to want to learn more and therefore visit the website. This one worked on me. Also notice the colors that match Instagram. That was no mistake as people have very strong feelings about Instagram which will be sparked again with this ad.

The trigger/s used? Acknowledgement as well as reward.

8. Monday.com

Another one that does an excellent job of explaining a product 30 seconds is one for Monday.com. The ad is fast, succinct, fun and makes me want to check out the product since after watching it I believe it will save me and my team time. The captivation trigger here is framing, which as Ben Parr describes it is: "Adapting to or changing somebody's view of the world so they pay more attention to you," and also the acknowledgement trigger, because the Monday seems to understand me in my work life and need to manage projects differently.

The ad isn't shy about being an ad and the confidence is very compelling to the viewer. They don't say "confidence is sexy" for nothing.

9. Suburu: A Life Story on the Line

Another commercial Megan loves. "It captures your attention from the beginning by telling a story, while you are unsure what the ad is about. At first, it seems like a love story, taking you through a couples big life moments, which is appealing to women. Then it pans over to an accident, which then made me think it was an anti-drunk driving ad and that the children (in the car) had died. But then it informs the viewer that the family is still happy and alive because of their Subaru Forester. Ending on "That's why we will always drive a Subaru. Make sure your life story is a long one." They use a bit of a scare tactic, but I don't think it is overdone as now many people in their lives have some connection to drunk driving, texting and driving, etc. Typical car commercials are showing how fast and cool their cars are, but this Subaru commercial speaks to its safety awards. The story is very compelling and does a great job connecting to parent drivers who want their kids to be safe."

The trigger being used for this one is the mystery trigger as we want to know how the story ends, so we watch it all the way to the end.

Sidenote from Megan: "Acura tried to create a commercial like that, where they talk about seeing their test dummies as real people to convey how important they think safety is. But they do not do as good of a job conveying the importance of safety as the Subaru commercial does."

I totally agree. As humans we are hardwired to enjoy and be captivated by stories. Where the Subura one takes us on a journey we can imagine ourselves on, the Acura one is just Acura telling everyone how wonderful they are. As consumers we connect better with stories than with brand touting their own prowess.

10. Barbie: Imagine the Possibilities

Our fearless leader's favorite ad is one that is super entertaining and while watching it I challenge you to try not to smile. Amie says "At the core it taps into the insight of how little girls play with Barbie and encourages Girl/Women empowerment." It completely reshaped Barbie for the current times and the creative execution is fantastic.

This one makes use of the mystery and disruption triggers because it keeps our attention by being unique, unexpected and intriguing.

On the Horizon:

Not yet fully mainstream, but something that looks interesting and coming soon are scroller ads for mobile. “Scroller” mobile ads are ads where if you’re reading an article and you scroll, the image scrolls with you. Megan says "With all the competition, it does a great job of capturing attention as it is not what you are expecting." Making use of the disruption trigger due to its uniqueness, scroller ads are sure to soon be commonplace on mobile devices.

Your turn:

What is your favorite ad and why do you think it is effective? Also, there's extra credit for identifying which captivation trigger the ad is using.