Courtney Eckerle

2015 Year in Review: The most popular posts in content, mobile and visual marketing

January 5th, 2016

No proper New Year’s can be complete without first reflecting on the past year.

Where have we been? What have we accomplished?

By asking these questions, we can move forward with a clearer vision of the year to come, and what we hope to accomplish.

MarketingSherpa is here to help with that reflection with our best content (as determined by you) from this year. As we enter into a new year of marketing efforts, challenges and trends, let’s first take a moment to review the most popular posts of 2015.

 

1. Content Marketing 101: Tips on content strategy

As one of the most valuable marketing channels, content creation is a constant journey for marketers. This post, the most popular of the year, covers the important basics of content marketing for those who are new to the endeavor, and a review for veterans.

This post covers thought leadership and brand awareness in your content, as well as multiple resources at your disposal.

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Courtney Eckerle

Fuji Xerox Launches New B2B Product With a Fashion Show

December 29th, 2015

“I think the industry … Fuji Xerox is [in is] a very competitive one,” Steven Caunce, Corporate Affairs Manager, Fuji Xerox, said.

Aside from the competitive B2B space, “selling print devices to large organizations, it’s not a particularly sexy business to be in, so we’re always looking for different ways to try to engage and motivate our customers.”

A prime opportunity to engage customers in this manner is when launching a new product, he said. It’s especially important since the industry is so competitive.

To generate excitement for the Versant 2100 printer, the team at Fuji Xerox created a fashion show featuring a fictional designer, complete with direct mail “lookbooks.”

The creative event campaign Steven and his team came up with generated new sales, inspired the brand’s sales team and accounted for 34% of the Asia-Pacific sales total.

 

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Courtney Eckerle

Last Minute Tips to Engage Customers Through the Holidays

December 22nd, 2015

Every year, the holidays have a way of sneaking up on us.

Just like there will be a mad rush at the mall on December 24, there are probably some marketers out there who are trying to think of some last minute ways to connect with customers during such a congested season.

Social media and other content is the best way to get some last minute and creative engagement with your customers. In the spirit of giving, here are three tips that could spread some goodwill between customer and brand.

 

Tip #1. Every interaction is an opportunity …

… even if it’s a complaint. At this time of year, people are stressed, busy and more likely to complain about your service than compliment it.

Even if it is something silly, like the complaint Reese’s faced at the beginning of December with customers voicing concern that their Reese’s peanut butter cups didn’t look much like Christmas trees. The backlash was titled “tree shaming” and gained the hashtag #Reesesfail.

#ReesesFail

 

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Courtney Eckerle

3 Content Tips from StumbleUpon for Reaching Millennials

December 18th, 2015

When marketers talk about Millennials, the reigning opinion is that it’s a demographic of 24-year-olds, according to Anne Gherini, Head of Marketing, StumbleUpon.

Anne explains this fallacy in her interview with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, at the MarketingSherpa Media Center at DMA’s &THEN 2015. She also goes in-depth about how marketers can effectively reach and resonate with these 18-34 year olds.

“40% of Millennials are parents. So when we talk about Millennials in general, we have to think about how vast this demographic really is. So testing becomes key,” she said.

 

With so much content out there to choose from, authenticity and trust is key, Anne said.

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Shelby Dorsey

Tis the Season for Re-Gifting: Lessons from holiday commercials on the value of repurposing content

December 15th, 2015

Every year it feels like Christmas decorations go up earlier. Black Friday email sends are starting to arrive before Halloween, peppy toy commercials appear on every channel and our favorite brands’ social media accounts become a testament to the holidays long before it feels like we are ready.

Even in the age of the Internet, when most people’s access to content is at an all-time high, the same commercials continue to pop up year-after-year.

If all of this is the case, there must be something to it. In today’s post, we’re going to examine three lessons to be learned from the holiday commercials that we have all grown to expect during the holiday season.

 

Lesson #1: Repurpose content that resonates with consumers

Folgers has one of the most memorable holiday commercials, featuring the prodigal son returning home for the holidays and waking his sleepy parents up with the scent of fresh brewed Folgers coffee.

This commercial is so popular that not only has the same story been told year-after-year, but Folgers even gave the commercial a face-lift over twenty years after the original premiered.

Folgers Holiday Commercial

 

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Daniel Burstein

Using the Science of Habit Formation in Customer-First Marketing (interview with Charles Duhigg)

December 11th, 2015

As much as 45 percent of what customers do every day is habitual. That is just one interesting piece of research we shared in Tuesday’s MarketingSherpa blog post, which was part one of my interview with Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times and author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

In today’s blog post, we share part two from the interview. You’ll learn about the reward schedule for customers, conducting research that informs effective writing and optimizing the habits in your day-to-day life, along with a question that was really nagging me — can you leverage the science of habit and still be an ethical, customer-first marketer?

If you’re interested in learning more about Charles’s research, we’re giving away a copy of his book in this week’s MarketingSherpa Book Giveaway (enter by December 13 for a chance to win) and Charles will also be a featured speaker at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 in Las Vegas.

 

Understanding the reward schedule for customers

MarketingSherpa: So, in the book, and what you’re talking about, you talk about the ways that brands or marketers influence customers to create habits essentially like, hey, marketing to have milk with cookies, or what have you, or Febreze. Have you seen any examples of customer habits actually influencing the brand? So working vice-a-versa or a smart brand out there that’s doing some research and really sees what natural customer habits are and taps into them as opposed to creating them?

Charles: Oh yeah! Absolutely, all the time. I mean, one of my favorite examples of this is video games. Right? When a video game designer designs a new game, the first thing that they decide upon is what the reward schedule is. What that reward schedule is, is really looking at when people play games, when do they expect to get some type of thing that makes the playing continue to feel kind of fun, when you get a reward that you can anticipate, when you get a reward that you don’t anticipate.

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Daniel Burstein

Marketing Research: 45% of consumer behavior is habitual (interview with Charles Duhigg)

December 8th, 2015

Let’s pretend for a second you are an alien from outer space studying economics. You’re presented with these two options:

  • Option A: People can make a cup of coffee for 16 to 18 cents in the comfort of their home.
  • Option B: They can haul themselves out of bed earlier, stop at Starbucks and pay two … three … four … five dollars for a cup of coffee.

As a rational alien studying economics, you would know that people will certainly choose Option A.

Except, as we all know, people don’t. They choose Option B. Not everybody, of course. But enough people to generate $16.447 billion in revenue for Starbucks. So many people, in fact, that you must look at this purchase decision — which we’ve become so accustomed to being a part of daily life — as an alien economist to even notice that it’s not a rational economic decision every time people make that purchase.

 

Why people make repeated, economically irrational decisions

So why do people act this way? Because they are no longer making rational economic decisions; rather, they are on autopilot following automated habits. Starbucks’ marketing department has helped turn a simple cup of coffee into a cheap luxury habit.

It’s not just Starbucks, of course. It’s the daily newspaper on your driveway. Movie night. And even, according to Charles Duhigg, the mundane act of brushing your teeth.

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Daniel Burstein

Social Media Marketing: How an online diamond retailer got 6 million Vine loops in one year

December 4th, 2015

When you think of social media marketing, you may think of the behemoth — Facebook. Sure, it has almost 1.5 billion monthly active users, but where there is a lot of sound, there is a lot of noise. It is difficult to get your message heard.

I interviewed Danny Gavin, Vice President and Director of Marketing, Brian Gavin Diamonds, about using emerging social media platforms to create brand awareness.

 

Here are a few lessons I learned from our conversation.

 

Focus on branding, not selling

Since many emerging platforms are, well, emerging, there hasn’t been a lot of commerce on them yet. Most social platforms focus first on building an audience, and only later on actually monetizing that audience.

New social platforms tend to have a loyal, niche audience that is looking for authentic, organic conversations and wary of the nefarious effects of commercialization. So whatever content you create, make sure it rings true with what the social platform is known for.

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Austin McCraw

How a Roll of Sushi Changed My View on Marketing

December 1st, 2015

As a marketer, sushi really fascinates me.

I do enjoy a good sushi roll, but I am by no means a “sushi connoisseur.” However, the fact that I have met so many of them really intrigues me. How can so many people be so passionate about the rolling up of raw fish and rice?

I was recently visiting a friend, and he began to pontificate about the best local sushi restaurant, apparently rated one of the best in the world. He also claimed that I technically have never had sushi until I’d had it from this restaurant. He said I would “simply die” after just one bite (see irony). And I know my friend was not alone, for it took several weeks to get reservations for this restaurant.

Again, the sushi phenomenon fascinates me. Why would anyone wait weeks for sushi when they can just go to the local grocery store? Sushi and sushi, right?

How a Roll of Sushi Changed My View on Marketing

 

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Courtney Eckerle

How Dunkin’ Donuts Increased Mobile Engagement Through Customer Relationships

November 24th, 2015
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“I think that mobile is one of the most profound changes we’ve seen in marketing in years,” John Costello, Global Marketing & Innovation, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc, said when I sat down with him in the MarketingSherpa Media Center at DMA’s event &THEN.

‘America Runs on Dunkin’ is more than just a slogan, he said. It really infiltrates every aspect of the brand to customer relationship.

“Because of that, mobile is absolutely perfect for us,” he said, adding that, “mobile has really evolved from a small phone to a smart phone to a hand-help computer, to really, the remote control for your life.”

With mobile’s transition to becoming an essential part of consumers’ lives, Dunkin’ decided to put mobile front and center in its marketing strategies.

That decision goes back to being customer-focused, John said.

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