This post originally appeared on the Sklar Wilton blog.
Take a minute to think about every car commercial you’ve ever seen. Close your eyes. Let the imagery percolate. Now watch this commercial.
Is that the PRECISE commercial you just imagined? Probably.
That’s because Lexus used AI to create a commercial based on a training dataset of award winning car commercials. The commercial is effective for several reasons. First, the AI system that produced the script correctly identified the criteria that would win with its target audience. Second, a human director, Kevin Macdonald, applied emotional creativity to weave together the required components. And third, incorporating AI into the creative development process is the perfect way for Lexus to demonstrate how the use of cutting edge technology to build vehicles. This AI commercial is completely on brand.
AI exploded into nearly every industry and under many Christmas trees last year. After witnessing the massive sales of voice assistants last year, and now this holiday season, marketers are starting to realize they must figure out how products and services that are overwhelmingly visual can find a space in an environment that is completely audio. Some marketers are striving to decode the voice assistant algorithms to ensure their brands earn first mention. Other brands are creating fun games or useful tools that consumers will seek out by name.
Survey Says: 11% of Canadians own a smart speaker. 18% plan to purchase a Google Home, and 14% plan to purchase an Amazon Echo. (The Marketers Guide to Successful AI, Sklar Wilton & Associates, to-be-released-soon)
Despite earlier concerns about transparency and privacy, Google has begun to roll out its Duplex feature, an AI voice system can make telephone calls that are indistinguishable from a human being. This system can interact with customers and customer service agents to, at a minimum, make reservations and answer basic questions. It’s an amazing opportunity for brands to more effectively meet the needs of customers who want 24/7, personalized service.
Survey Says: 55% of Canadians would find it annoying if they get a chatbot instead of a person. (The Marketers Guide to Successful AI, Sklar Wilton & Associates, to-be-released-soon)
Along with this growth, stress tests in the real world have exposed many issues of bias, privacy, and compliance with emerging privacy regulations. Amazon’s Alexa experienced this first hand when a woman’s private in-home conversations were sent to a random person on her contact list. This is likely one of the contributing factors that led to Gartner selecting Social, Legal and Ethical IoT as its #2 trend.
Survey Says: 43% of Canadians are worried about AI their phone. (The Marketers Guide to Successful AI, Sklar Wilton & Associates, to-be-released-soon)
Marketers who are reticent to find their path in a voice directed world will quickly see the impact on their brand’s success. We know that people are less likely to seek out additional information after getting recommendations from voice assistants. Marketers need to find ethical ways to ensure their brand remains competitive in a voice world and they need to do it in a way that safeguards personal data.
Survey Says: 59% of Canadians say they would be comfortable with a voice assistant providing recommendations on what to buy. (The Marketers Guide to Successful AI, Sklar Wilton & Associates, to-be-released-soon)
I can hardly believe I’ve been an independent consultant for a year and a half. The new lifestyle comes with pros and cons.
Cons: If I wake up early, it doesn’t mean I finish my day early. If the printer runs out of paper, I can’t ‘accidentally’ leave it for the next person to fill. I will have to find the lost, squished grape on the floor myself.
Fortunately, there are pros.
Pros: This is the best commute I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I work with clients whose standards and ethics match mine. My lunchtime walks are through treed neighbourhoods not industrial parks. My dress code has loosened up drastically to include a wide range of ultra casual, industry billboards.
I wear your shirt.
Over the years, I’ve received many marketing research t-shirts at conferences. When I don’t feel a kinship to those shirts, I always find a happy taker in a client or colleague. The t-shirts you see in this image, however, made the cut and landed in my closet. I love the bright colours, the witty remarks, the nonblack options. A few are women’s sizes and I like those the most.
What else do they have in common? Except for one, you don’t see logos or brand names. All of these shirts actually do have logos either on the back or the sleeve but none of them are simply logos or brand names or [your unoriginal and actually uninspiring] tag lines. In other words, don’t waste your money creating a t-shirt that is a blinkin’ billboard. [Side note… unless your company name is Irrational in which case you’d get bonus marks for having a brand name that is also a witty comment.]
You’ll also notice that none of these shirts incorporate odd brand colours. I’ve gotten many shirts that were exact on-brand cousins of puce and turquoise that looked weird even with blue or black jeans – out the door!
Basically, if you’re pondering new t-shirt designs, choose colours that fall within the range of human perception, and then go witty or go home.
In case you’re not sure, the companies that are finalists in this extremely tight t-shirt branding competition are…
Essential Behavioral Science Lessons for a Complex Marketing World by Dan Young, Chief Behavioural Scientist, Hotspex
- System 1 and System 2 processes are different. System 1 is intuition, feeling, action. System 2 is thinking, deciding and action. Both are always active.
- Model used to be think, do, feel.
- Reality is feel, act, think.
- We can give reasonable and logical answers if you ask, we believe these answers are true.
- Learning to drive is system 2. Over time, parts of learning to drive go into system 1. Most is automatic. You do it even when you’re listening to the radio and talking to your passenger. You still made thousands of decisions over the ride, they’re done on autopilot. However, if you’re in rainstorm, you tell people to shut up and you’re back to system 2 processing.
- Emotions drive perceptions, thinking, and behaviour.
- If it feels right, you do it. If it doesn’t feel right, you don’t do it. It doens’t feel right so you think about it.
- What people tell you they do doesn’t have a lot to do with what they actually do.
- People don’t realize something is difficult because they’ve accommodated for it, and they don’t remember that it was difficult to do.
- Know what to say versus what to convey. Talk about happy healthy babies, not saving time by using disposable diapers. It gets processed at the wrong level – diapers mean lazy mom.
- Michelin tires – pair a babies safety with tires. “Show babies in your tires.” Tires are a safety point. Link it tothe safety of your family. The Michelin man has big eyes like a baby’s, he’s soft and cuddly, he links to love and care which gets associated with your brand.
- Dawn dish detergent is gentle enough to clean a baby duck. Now you halo love and caring, effectiveness onto the brand. An emotional connection of sensitivity.
- Coca-cola uses cute polar bears. You can’t say everything with humans but you can animate those things. Moms can’t hand a coke to their babies but a polar bear can.
- Dove ad campaign with different sized women – real beauty is more than skin deep. It almost doubled their business. Can project yourself in an ad, all women are attractive even though they all have different shapes and sizes. Extend campaign to bottle shapes. Why did this go off the rails? [mrs butterworths is my bottle shape. LOL!] The bottle was system 2 but the estate was system 1.
- Special K is consciously known for skinny and healthy, but system 1 research says it’s actually known for social pressure and insecure, You don’t eat this cereal to feel better about yourself. They need a different strategy. They need to celebrate inner strength. Talk about you being great as you are. Become a better version of you. The new strategy is “dont just eat it, own it.”
- Need to focus on the positive. Tap into underlying feelings in a positive and acceptable way.
- Say and convey requires consistency, context, and change.
- Every brand manager wants to make a mark on their brand. But consumers want consistency. Consumers want to feel familiar, like you’re family.
- Lego is just bricks but now it’s all about kits. Took simple idea and stayed true to it even across games and movies. The Lego movie shows Lego characters moving like Lego people actually move. It is consistent.
- Is there such a thing as a blind test? Everything has context no matter how much you try to remove it.
- Dirty washing clean _______
- Spoon bowl chicken ________
- You will say soap or soup depending on which list of words you saw. Everything has unconscious experiences pushing it.
- The world is always changing and brands need to evolve. But you need to understand what brands stands for at conscious and unconscious level. We need to tap into explicit AND implicit measurements.
- Virgin records went from records to airlines becuase the label is about style and vibe. You have to understand your core equity and maintain it.
- Oprah went from TV shows to magazines because they considered her equity.
This post originally appeared on the Sklar Wilton & Associates blog.
One of most common acronyms you’ll hear among business developers is ABC – Always Be Closing. Always be finalizing a sale. Always be bringing in the bucks. Always be doing whatever needs to be done to close that deal.
Just as this goal is, the best goals are always actionable and measurable. But a goal of reeling in dollar bills on a fishing hook isn’t something that resonates with me. Instead of paying attention to the client and the solutions you can help them with, this goal seems to focus on the dollars.
Successful business deals are grounded in trusted relationships and genuine partnerships. These long-term partnerships allow you to better understand the nuances of a company, understand the long-term goals, and learn from past successes and failures so that you can propose solutions that are uniquely appropriate for them. Those long-term partnerships save time and energy, and allow you to create solutions that could never otherwise be dreamed of. Long-term relationships that never truly close build trust and genuineness, and are better for both partners.
So stop trying to Always Be Closing. Instead, focus on Don’t Always Be Closing.
Perhaps you’d like these posts too…
- It’s Not a Great Place to Work Until You Focus on Mind, Body and Spirit
- Everything is Marketing – Promotional Cocaine
This post was written in my role as a consultant for Sklar Wilton & Associates. SW&A has worked for more than 30 years with some of Canada’s most iconic brands to help them grow their brand, shape corporate culture, build successful innovation, define portfolio strategies, and maximize research ROI. They offer strategic advice, business facilitation, research management, qualitative/quantitative research, and analytics. SW&A was recognized as a Great Workplace for Women in 2018, and the Best Workplace in Canada for Small Companies in 2017 by the Great Place To Work® Institute. Inquire about their services here.
Live notetaking at #IMD16 in chicago. Any errors are my own.
Marketing for MR: What we’ve learned from GRIT, Our clients, and our own marketing by Lauren Tilden and Lukas Pospichal
- GreenBook mission is to connect researchers regardless of the size of the business
- What does GRIT tell us – GreenBook research industry trends, it’s for researchers, tell us where we are and where we are going, not being used to inform marketing for research company
- How do clients choose suppliers? [he shows a hurried tiny bar chart and laughs 🙂 ]
- Stated importance on GRIT says that relationships matter first, price is last
- Radio landscape map analysis chart – clustered different criteria for selecting suppliers, quality, experience, consultative skills
- For small budgets, price is important. But as you move to higher budget its more about quality and consultativeness
- Top 5 sources – seminars or conferences, industry websites, face to face events, webinars
- Clients don’t want to be sold to the second you meet them, get to know them first
- Find out what the company does first before you meet them
- Clients say – I want my research to change the decisions of my marketing executives
- Help your clients promote, distribute and present your research internally
- Develop templates, resources, processes for them, help them jointly deliver the results to other teams
- Good marketers have a plan, good marketers go easy on the sell, the second you start a. sales pitch on your webinar people drop out, good marketers have leaders who provide resources and staff, good marketers go where their clients are, not necessarily market research conferences, good marketers experiment
- Provide value and use it as a lead generation tool,
- Messaging should focus on a specific person, use real words, eliminate needless words, think about what you want people to do
- Tuesdays and Fridays at 9am work the best for them, figure out what times work best for your clients
- Use words like you, you’re, your, create a sense of urgency with words like last chance, or hint to a gift or something free
- Effective webinars are hot buttons or broadly interesting to many people
- Teach people something don’t sell, unless the webinar is advertised as a product demo or similar
- Be unique, or uniquely good
- Market the market research industry , don’t focus on the features of your company but rather on the benefits
- Yes or No how
- They get vendor recommendations from colleagues internally, check greenbook or quirks, or see who did a good piece of research, conference talks are a good place to find new ideas, watching webinars because there is not travel, vendors can recommend someone they trust maybe the person they lean on when they cant take a job
- Partner is someone they go back to again and again, give a five year contract without thinking twice, they will keep a spot open while waiting for a partner; a one time project is a vendor
- How does a vendor get to partner status, requires trust, lots of responsibility, by the tie vetting is completely done its almost like they are partners by then
- Like webinars with case studies, with companies they know and recognize, don’t really look for blogs and not fishing for content
- Emails without a hard sell are more compelling, want to hear about competitors
- Know what youre really good at, be aware of the clients business problems or ask them outright and describe your options for responding to it
- Bring a methodologist with you to a capabilities present, take the phone away because the client is more important than your phone
Live note taking at #IMD16 in chicago. Any errors are my own.
Panel: Strategies of successful research agencies, Gillian Carter, Ross McLeanr, and Arusha Sthanunsathan moderated by Lukas Pospichal
- Clients don’t know what they’re buying until they are fully on board
- Use client’s excitement to book speaking engagements, win win for them to shine among peers and the research company can share their expertise through the lense of a client
- Overcommunication helps to avoid problems, overshare until you’re told not to
- Daniel Kahneman – experience is measured by most intense positive, negatives, and the end, and these are averaged for an event, measure these points well
- Use the advantages available to you, whether you are small or large, stand up for what you believe in, smaller companies can react more quickly
- Best clients will often let you talk about them in sales meetings even if they don’t want you doing so at conferences
- Leverage client pride in your projects, find all the spaces where their work deserves to be showcased and help them become more publicly recognized, and hey mind doing a case study for us?
- Work hard to make your clients look smart to their superiors
- She gets big respect for being able to say the alphabet backwards really fast
- Should my company be a pokestop? Is this for business, what is my strategy? What is the right question to ask?
- You should be asking how do i do this.
- 200 million numbers are on the do not call list and 44% of direct mail is never opened [me and me]
- People aren’t watching commercials either so should we move commercials over to where people are watching now?
- The vehicle/channel is being discarded, consumer behavior is changing
- People watching changing behavior will win, if you uncover meaning in your own behavior you will win, create epic content and you will win
- Companies have changed from big media buys to social media buys but they haven’t changed what they’re offering
- People won’t tolerate impersonal messages anymore
- Consumers will no long tolerate companies that inconvenience you, “batteries not included” is no longer acceptable
- Make sure you can get to your own data, you need meaning of this data
- We don’t help our clients understand the outside world enough, we focus too much on inside data
- Your goal isn’t more facebook engagement, your goal is more clients. Potential clients need to find your facebook page, click on your fb CTA, and proceed down the sales funnel
- ABC – Always be closing, ABH – Always be helpful, is your service helping to make their day better
- You need to put your top people on content marketing, it’s not a job for interns [oh my, the worst blog posts come from people who are trying to fill word counts not create opinions]
- We let social media take us wherever it wants to go but you must have a strategy
Branding you: Sales tips for market researchers by Dan Rangel, Survox
- Join a few meetup groups, and maybe start your own, then you’re in a leadership role
- Consider putting your photo on your business cards
- Althways think about WHY should this person do business with me
- Show them the money, talk about ROI
- It’s not about you, always listen.
- Weekly project plans are important for the larger projects, let client see where the status is, what they will need to do, what you still need to do
- Nurture the human bond. Go to a baseball game, lots of fun, lots of talking time, and builds a good relationship
Live notetakeing at the #IMD16 conference in chicago. Any errors are my own.
No more eblasts: reimagining email for the modern subscriber by Monica Montesa, Aweber
- Email is not dead, it’s evolved into bigger and better
- Email shouldn’t be measured by how many subscribers you have
- Email is not just about making a sale
- IT’s time to embrace the human on the other end of the email
- Personalized email get a higher click though, 40% higher
- Not allowed to use the word eblast, feels one way and self serving, makes content seem like it’s for no one in particular
- Email is for more than just company news
- People prefer email communications over social media, but you must deliver value
- Broadcast email is a one time notice, maybe time sensitive, maybe promotions or discounts, share blog content, maybe include some user generated content like client stories
- Emails don’t have to be a sales pitch every time, newsletter can remind that you are a thought leader
- Consider auto-responders, welcome series that triggers for people who just signed up, include evergreen content with no time deadlines, include introduction to you and company, an ebook, contact information, an educational course
- A course doesn’t need to be a huge thing, maybe five emails positioned together
- Aim for quality not quantity for an email list
- List building tactics – set proper expectations, make sure signup form describes the content they will receive, engaging call to action, avoid boring words, offer an incentive to signup like an ebook or checklist or a free consultation
- Meet your audience where they are, promote your list on your social channels so you can control who sees it, consider ads to drive traffic to the signups
- Ebooks give a lot of value, Balance value with promotion
- Consideration – introduce your product as a solution
- Conversion – convince audience to sign up, don’t be shy about the sale, share testimonials, discounts and consultations work here
Putting your email marketing to work: generating and prequalifying leads at scale, by Ana Jacobsen, Drip from Leadpages
- Are you happy with your op-in rate?
- List growth is critical to business growth
- Is the opt-in on your website hidden? Do people have to hunt for it?
- Do you ONLY collect emails for your newsletter?
- It needs be on the homepage along with something valuable
- Welcome mat is very important, tell people why to opt-in, spotify uses it to generate users growth, uber takes over the first page for it
- SumoMe is free and recommended
- Pop-up or widget is also effective, can be irritating but done well can engage folks. Pinterest does this. L’Oreal does it also but they don’t say sign up for our list, they say sign up for free samples
- Landing page must stand alone and convince them to convert, no nav bars, no footer, no chat box, just design to get conversion – CARFAX, Oprah website – if there is only one button on the page it will get clicked
- Least obtrusive is the top bar on the website – HelloBar is free, works well on WordPress
- But an invite on blog posts, you know they have prequalified themselves as most interested, maybe even match the blog message to the invite message – DrIpForm
- How many white papers are on your hard drive, Ryan Dice is a great marketer, recommend following him, but how any of these white papers have you actually read, are people actually engaging with them?
- The case for campaigns – follow up every white paper download and see if people liked it, wanted to commend on it, or questions, follow up for a 4 week time period
- Subscribers should not get generic followups, interested visitors will fill out lots of data, can push people towards the right email followup
- Emails can link to your calendar where they can choose a time to speak with you, reminders stop for them but not for other people
Contented: Learn to love the art of creating relevant stuff by Susan Griffin, Brainjuicer
- Need to consider what you want to say and what clients want to hear
- Creating and sharing an asset that is helpful and informative, content has to tell your story, what makes your company te best resource
- Snail mail now email, travel books are now travel websites
- Need to apply your principles to your clients and yourselves
- Fluency – distinct assets used to recognize a brand act as a toolkit to build market share
- Fame – how readily a brand coe to mind predicts market share
- Have many touch pains – website, case studies, white papers, get individual items that work together
- Mark Earls, Herdmeister, a thought leader around social, we dont do anything by ourselves, light little fires and one of them start a big fire
- You can say you do conjoint and segmentation but you’re basically telling clients you sell wrenches and screwdrivers, you need to say you understand their needs, those tools aren’t distinctive
- Don’t be narcissistic brand, use product names that people recognize
- Marketoonist is great at this, cartoons are $35 and they are powerful story tellers
- If you’re going to do social media, do it seriously, don’t be the person with 8 followers and 3 tweets
- Figure out how to blog regularly even if it’s just a tiny share
- Relevant content comes in different sizes – a tweet, a white paper
- Recycling is good, you can share old articles again, repurpose the content
- Don’t scare up personalization, get the name right or don’t use the name at all, make sure first and last names aren’t flipped
- Content needs to grab people, don’t be bait and switch, be bait and catch
- A How-To gives readers a quick thing to read of just 5 actionable points that is relevant to a problem
Live notetaking at the IMD16 conference in Chicago. Any errors are my own.
- Don’t go home and begin the content, go home and start planning first
- Some people in this room don’t have a marketing plan for this year
- Developed a marketing and sales period which is a 7 step process
- Start by doing your homework, understand business environment, decide on your strategies which set the tone for the rest, build awareness, generate leader, nurture those lead, create first time clients, create repeat clients
- Homework tips – 3Cs, company, client, competitors – financial analysis and understand where your revenue is coming from, do a SWOT analysis, do post-project surveys for client satisfaction, projects are the reason they keep coming back to you
- Pareto principle 20/80 rule works, who are your 20% of clients and what is the commonality, size geographic industry, where are the consistencies, do a year end survey, why did they hire you, what is unique compared to competitors, do they use other companies and why
- Visit competitors website a few times per year, their services and employees, try some secret shopping
- 2Is – industry.= what trends will impact the business, new technology, new players
- A – audit, find somebody outside firm to do a marketing and sales audience, have them review plans, reports, proposals, website, get feedback from someone who doesn’t stare at it everyday
- Strategy tips – most important part of plan, right strategy will have some success even if tactics aren’t great
- Know who your ideal buyer is, ideal company you want to sell to, define them clearly to create your plan
- Points of differentialion, how do you want to be perceived, everybody can’t be great and have great employees, that’s the cost of business
- Are there opportunities, should you pay attention to big data, at least be aware and consider it, are there problems in the industry or my company that need fixing and will get you far ahead, sometimes education can fix a lot
- Two kinds of clients – new clients and repeat clients, allocate funds to marketing to both types
- Work on SMART goals, you can’t just set a goal and expect it to happen, you need to outline activities that help you achieve those goals
- Growth grid – current vs new products and current clients vs new clients. Core business is current clients and current products.
- Awareness – website is the core of your marketing, well written, attractive; go social via linkedin twitter facebook google plus
- Email marketing – get people to know who you are, stay top of mind, email does this, PPC/SEO/advertising
- Network and exhibiting need to be added too, people to people environment is also necessary
- Don’t have a LinkedIn page, have a linkedin presence
- He’s not a believer in cold calls but do what works for you, if you do a good job, you only have to follow up on leads
- Good content builds awareness and generates sales leads, give some away through blogs, but ebooks and white paper downloads are emailable leads
- Webchat on your website costs 20$ a month, can have somebody ready to to chart at any time, lets you see when someone is visitin gand you can jump in right away, don’t expect huge return on it
- Network and exhibiting are the best, his notebook is the best, he writes down everyname of who he spoke to and what they spoke about, he always writes notes down, even what someone’s hobbies are
- Linkedin is a quality play, he turns down many invitation, only accepts people that there is a chance with, you can export to email list [careful, in canada this could get your in ltrouble]
- We often do a bad job of working a booth
- Get contacts to introduce you to people, their boss and colleagues, and stay in touch with those people, if your one contact leaves then you’re not in trouble
- Nurture people until they are ready to buy
- Email is to connect people with content, not to sell. Give them something of value, a blog post.
- Participate in linkedin groups, that’s where your clients and prospects are
- Lead nurturing – don’t take everything digital or remote, pick up the phone, go to conferences early and meet with clients
- Share content by email – i say this email and though you’d like it. Cheers. A really short email. Set up google alerts to find this content.
- First purchase is the hardest purchase. Please ignore the people you’ve worked with forever and take a chance on me. Need to mitigate this fear.
- Have a point of differentiation. Have a proof sources and case studies, clients and logos, white papers. LEt them see they aren’t your first client. Let them see your are knowledgeble enough to write about it. DO you have a first client deal?
- First time clients – capabilities presentations and proposals are way to long and me focused. They already know what you do and you don’t need to tell them. YOu don’t need to say how awesome you are. You need to tell them what you can do for them. What’s in it for them. Throw a one page summary of your company at the end of the proposal.
- Stay in touch with clients by email, share content, be active, participate in their conversations. Stay top of mind.
- Project followup – be a client advocate who talks to clients separate from the direct client relationship. Be the problem solver
- Send a handwritten thank you note. Don’t save the gift basket for the holiday season.