Tag Archives: marketing

Insights Association Paradigm Shift: Ashik Bhat, Labatt Breweries of Canada; Andrew Go, Home Depot

https://www.insightsassociation.org/conference/insights-paradigm-shift

My notes. Any errors are my own.

Sales Force of the Future

By Ashik Bhat, Labatt Breweries of Canada

  • The goal is for 80% of the plan to be perfect and then move at 100% speed
  • In the beer industry, any brand can replace another brand. You need your brand to be irreplaceable.
  • You need to understand the role your brand plays in consumers’ lives.
  • How do you become indispensable? Understand retailer challenges and partner with them to meet those needs. Understand consumer challenges with the beer category. Understand the sales team’s challenges.
  • Retailers: Retailers want to drive traffic or put more people in the seats.Alternatively, have people buy a more expensive product.
  • Consumers: Beer category is cluttered and disorganized. We must help consumers navigate this category. We need to make the choice easy. We need to educate people about beer, pairings, history without adding time to their day.
  • Sales team: They need to be more efficient. They need insights created in a customized way for their hyper-location, their market.
    • Using AI to drive account level assortment insights. Used stats can data, transactional data, sales output data, correlated with hyper-local geography. This data is updated weekly with new sales data. This helped retailers optimize their SKU and brand assortment which drives volume and incrementality. They can trade brands in or out appropriate. It also drives traffic. Ensures the right brands are listed in the right places – premium beers in the right places, light beers in the right places. And, this saved time. Data is fast, efficient, and relevant.
    • Sales grew 0.5% in a flat business and net promoter score is 9.3.
  • Consumer challenges
    • In other example, the retailers struggled to convert traffic into basket building. Conducted shop-alongs and learned navigation was a problem. Pricing wasn’t clear. Products were ordered by SKU or type, not brand. As a result, they implemented brand blocking. Also, people wanted cold beer but they didn’t want to enter a cold room. This problem was fixed with refrigeration. Finally, they ensured prices were clear fro every product. They added a blackboard that was colour coded with information about the beer so people were more knowledgeable.
    • Drove punches 8% and premium segment grew 1.7%. Shopping experience improved 50%.
  • Conclusions
    • Be business leaders, not just consumer experts.
    • Think about the customer AND the consumer: the retailer/store and the consumer. Both have challenges to face and solve.
    • Democratize data and insights so they are easily digestible. 15 graphs are not digestible. Be a story teller, not a data described.
    • Push past delivering research and focus on driving action through insights and data.

    One Home Depot: One Team, One Dream by Andrew Go, Home Depot

    • Aspiration is to be number one and most trusted home renovation store in the world.
    • People regularly shop on the website first before going to the store. The website is not for e-commerce, but rather the first part of the customer journey, to inform customers about what they might need to buy.
    • Analytics begin with raw unprocessed data, then structuring data into reporting, then contextualizing information to support insights, then tools to apply those insights.
    • Used three years of data to conducting basket analysis. Created a self-serve dashboard and insights were applied to assortment planning, planogramming, and marketing. Then recommendation algorithms. This allows you to stitch together all different aspects of the shopping journey into the holistic unified journey. Being PIPEDA compliant all the way.
    • This allows product classifications, supports anomaly detection, and supports competitive pricing. Need to make real time decisions to detect pricing errors, underpriced items, and overpriced items.
    • The data helps with onsite search. The website needs to learn the names used by consumers not names used by industry experts. It also helps with product rankings – filters need to be appropriate for category, for customer preferences. Need to take price and speed off the consideration set in the fulfillment process.
    • Marketing messaging also benefits. If they know you’ve bought a BBQ, they can offer BBQ covers or tools rather than promoting another BBQ.
    • Set up cues based on geography and weather – e.g., snow blowers need to be advertised in fall not in the middle of winter.
    • There are new data sources everyday that need to be unlocked.
    • Start with the “Why.” Focus on insights, solving problems for customers. Be sure to collaborate and avoid silos.

    Four companies that leveraged their employees’ unique skills to build successful, purpose-led brands

    Read the original post on the Sklar Wilton & Associates website

    Depending on your perspective, someone who is blind, autistic, or has Down Syndrome has disadvantages and challenges in life. Participating in normal life experiences designed for non-disabled and neurotypical people can be annoying or difficult. In a previous post, we talked about how some retailers are designing their services to better suit customers who are disabled. In this post, we flip the tables and instead share examples of purpose-led companies that designed their services and processes to better suit employees who are disabled.

    O.Noir is a Toronto restaurant that offers fine dining. But, most customers don’t visit it solely for the food. They go for the experience of wdining in the dark (guests are asked to turn off phones and watches that might emit light), and the accompanying heightened sense of taste it offers. More importantly, the restaurant employs people who are uniquely skilled to manoeuvre around guests balancing trays of food and drinks in pitch-black rooms. The servers at O.Noir are blind or visually impaired. In employing these uniquely skilled people, the restaurant helps them develop customer service and business skills that ultimately help prepare them for the mainstream job market. And, the company donates a percentage of profits to organizations that serve the visually impaired. O.Noir has a clear purpose and they act on it in multiple dimensions. 

    The Rising Tide Car Wash company aims to “provide the highest quality car wash experience in America by employing the best people.” How do they do that? They “put potential to work” by employing professionals who have autism, people who have unique skills that enhance the business and make it successful. In contrast with neurotypical people, autistic people are more likely to enjoy following very specific and repetitive processes over a long time, something that is necessary for cleaning and detailing vehicles day after day, month after month. As a result of their hiring plan, the company can offer a higher quality of service and they in turn benefit from lower turnover. So far, Rising Tide has hired 92 associates with autism. They’ve even devoted significant energy into encouraging other businesses to do the same via their road maps for entrepreneurs who want to empower and employ people who have autism.

    John’s Crazy Socks is an online business with a purpose led mission to spread happiness by offering socks people love, making the experience personal, providing inspiration and hope, and giving back. Led by John Cronin, who has Down syndrome, the company is staffed by people who have different abilities. In addition to their main business of selling socks, the company works to spread the word about what people can do through videos, school tours, and work groups, and by speaking at conferences, graduations, business meetings, and other events. In addition to John, the company leaders also advocate for changes in law and policy to support the rights of people with differing abilities to work and earn a living. John’s business has been so successful that, in June 2019, he won the prestigious Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 New York award, the first person with Down Syndrome to ever win. Having and acting on a clear purpose has directly led to their success. 

    Larger companies like Procter and Gamble have also embraced a mission of inclusion. P&G created a People with Disabilities (PwD) group to support employees who have disabilities. They also work with university recruiting teams to hire people who have disabilities. In fact, one of their manufacturing plants has a department where more than 40% of the employees have a disability, and they intend to expand the model to other sites. In 2014, P&G was recognized by DiversityInc as the #2 company for People with Disabilities.

    These are just four examples of companies that have put purpose and people on par with, or ahead of, profit. The winning outcome comes from recognizing and acting on the needs of customers, employees, and employers.

    For customers, the company offers a unique experience that shrinks the world just a little bit. At the same time as offering a needed product or service, the process of obtaining that service helps customers gain insight into the world of someone who has a very different life experience. Customers know they’re supporting a purpose-led company that is improving people’s lives.

    For employees, the company offers inclusion. Workers gain valuable business management and customer service skills. They build their resumes. And, they too can feel good about providing needed services and being part of a purpose-led company.

    For employers, they benefit from the unique, relevant skills their employees offer which make the business successful. They can also feel good that being purpose-led provides employment to people who might not otherwise have the opportunity.

    Purpose and culture create successful businesses. It’s a win, win, win situation.

    How being quiet can be your company’s loudest marketing strategy

    Read the original post on the Sklar Wilton & Associates website

    If you went into a Sobeys store at the right time on the right day, you’d notice something very odd.

    You’d notice how quiet it is.

    No public announcements. No scanner sounds. No carts being noisily collected. The lights are dim. It’s eerily peaceful and relaxing.

    For some people, the quiet is a nice change from the regular loud and bright experience of shopping. But for other people, this is the only time they ever get to experience shopping. For some people on the autism spectrum, the regular noise and lights are far too overwhelming for them to ever step foot in a store. You can get a tiny feel for what that experience is like in the video, Carly’s Café – Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes. The quiet environment that Sobeys is offering is their one opportunity to take part in a basic activity that most people do without thinking.

    In partnership with autism Nova Scotia, Sobeys originally launched their Sensory Friendly Shopping program in several east coast Canada locations. After a lot of very positive feedback from their targeted audience, as well as many other people, they announced that the program will soon expand across Canada.

    Safeway has also begun to implement sensory friendly shopping times, as has No Frills which has gone so far as to ask their employees not to wear scents during that time. Both Safeway and No Frills have also received very positive feedback from their customers and intend to expand their programs.

    But the quiet doesn’t stop there. Where else is it quiet?

    In movie theatres. Yes, the same places known for decibel readings regularly over 90 and sometimes over 100 (below 85 is deemed reasonably safe).

    Theatres like AMC and Cineplex are also screening movies with lower volumes and dimmed lighting which may be more amenable to people on the Autism spectrum.

    However, the movie theatres have expanded their target audience further. In some cases, they are also offering change tables, bottle warmers, and stroller parking making it easier for caregivers of babies and toddlers to enjoy movies in the theatre. Now moms, grandpas, aunts, and nephews can bring baby to the theatre without worrying about harming their hearing or annoying the rest of the theatre crowd with the unpredictability of a young one. At these theatres, everyone has informally agreed to the social contract that someone, maybe even their own child, might start screaming or running around at any moment – and that’s okay.

    Creating a quiet sensory experience for people on the spectrum or people with babies is an acknowledgment that everyone is different, and that it is possible and appropriate to create retail and service environments where everyone can enjoy an experience. It’s also a reminder of the philosophy that what benefits group of people might actually benefit other larger groups of people.

    Sensory friendly supermarkets and movie theatres benefit groups of people who need calm surroundings. For example, around 2% of Canadians fall on the Autism Spectrum, around 2% of Canadians have Alzheimer’s or dementia, about 5% of Canadians deal with anxiety, and around 7% of Canadians experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Having a quiet place for them to shop is an overt display of and respect for inclusion.

    Knowing who your consumer is means knowing all of your consumers, not just the majority of people who are able to enjoy your products and services in the same way that you do. And, accommodating for those unique needs means you’ve created opportunities to surprise and delight new, unknown target audiences.

     

    Ready to learn more? Learn how we helped Saint Elizabeth gain a stronger understanding of their target audience and launch a meaningful new brand for healthcare caregivers. Or, download our Triple C™ framework for a template that will help you develop strategies and tactics that are beneficial for the consumer, the customer, and the company.

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    Marketing Mary Jane: Innovating in a White Space Consumer Category

    Read the original post on the Sklar Wilton & Association website

    In 2001, medical marijuana became legal in Canada. People dealing with cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, hepatitis, arthritis, anxiety, stress, depression, pain, and many more serious, long-term ailments had the choice of one more treatment option.

    Now more than 18 years later, medical, social, and government personnel have gained a wealth of experience creating regulations and generating in-market data about the health benefits and drawbacks of cannabis.

    With that information in his back pocket, Justin Trudeau ran his 2015 campaign for Prime Minister of Canada on a platform that included legal personal use of cannabis. The Trudeau government prepared the Cannabis Act in early 2017 which was well received by 63% of Canadians. And, on October 17, 2018, cannabis was legalized for personal use in Canada to huge acclaim as you can see in the Google Trends chart. Cannabis instantly became the definition of marketing white space in Canada.

    A blank canvas rarely happens in marketing. Typically, marketing white space refers to gaps in the marketplace where:

    • the needs of one segment of consumers are not being met. Though many products may exist, compete for share of wallet, and serve the needs of various target groups, they might not serve the needs of THAT target group. Perhaps there isn’t a sandwich for vegans or the new homes aren’t accessible for people who have mobility issues.
    • there are gaps in a product line. For example, even if there are many flavours of tea, an orange flavored option might be missing.
    • there is little to no competition. Perhaps one brand of grass seed perfected the production and logistical requirements, weeding out all the competitive brands.

    However, in the case of cannabis, the white space was the result of legislation that required that corner of the marketplace to be left completely bare. Suddenly, the white space was available for the taking to whomever could innovate and market most effectively.

    In most cases of white space innovation, there is some precedent for the marketing team to work with. In the first three scenarios, marketers could learn which marketing tactics and strategies had failed or succeeded from other brands, SKUs, companies, and similar categories and selectively choose the ones that would be more likely to succeed for them.

    However, cannabis had no competitive brands, SKUs, other companies, or even similar categories to learn from in Canada. When it comes to white space, we must be blunt. Cannabis took the cake. Or the brownie.

    So how can brands effectively market white space products when there are few to no precedents for comparison? Let’s hash it out.

    1. Ignore your existing business model. Most companies have templated processes for every aspect of their business including product development, marketing, manufacturing, logistics, customer relations, and more. When working towards white space innovation, cast aside your preconceived notions of things ought to work and how they’ve always worked. These pre-existing templates often hinder innovative ideas and prevent the creation of positive solutions.
    2. Know what you’re selling: Marketing cannabis isn’t as simple as proclaiming to people in Canada that you finally have a long-awaited product for sale. Just as Four Seasons and Lexus sell status and luxury, cannabis companies must identify whether they are selling marijuana, socializing with friends, life enhancers, relaxation, experimentation, or something else. Once their brand mission has been identified, they will be able to unlock the difference the brand will make in consumers’ lives, align their culture among cross-functional teams, and have clarity and alignment to a view of the future.
    3. Know your audience: The fact that recreational cannabis is now legal for every adult in Canada does not mean that the target audience is every adult in Canada. Some adults are against the product for personal moral reasons. Others don’t want to risk potential side effects. Some are curious to try it just for fun, and still others are desperate to use it in their attempts to ease the pain of debilitating ailments. Good marketers will recognize there could be many, very different segments within the population, and that they need to identify and understand the unique attributes of the segments they intend to target.
    4. Know what you do well: As with any product or service, being successful comes back to knowing what you do well and focusing your energy there. Four Seasons focuses on and excels with luxury hospitality, not budget overnight stays. Golf Town focuses on and excels with products for golfers, not athletes. And Adidas focuses on and excels with athletic shoes, clothing and accessories, not hockey skates. Identify what you do well and focus there.

    Converting white space to successful innovation is a dope process. When you’re ready to find our white space, we’d love to help.

     

    Ready to learn more? Download the Sklar Wilton Plan on a Page for a template that will help you bring together all elements of the marketing plan on one page – from who to win with all the way through to measuring success. Or, learn how we helped Molson Coors better understand consumer segments and develop a winning portfolio strategy with sustainable growth.

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    AI News Marketers Can Use: I hope your key marketing strategy for 2019 includes voice!

    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 Wear Your Shirt: Life as a market research consultant #MRX #NewMR

    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.

    Yup.

    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…

    Jibunu, Qualtrics, Confirmit, iModerate, Bayasoft, Sentient Decision Science, AYTM, Conversition [my previous company, acquired and disbanded], SeekResearch, Sentient Prime, Zappi.

    Congratulations 🙂

    6 reasons to connect online with people you’ve never met

    Everyone has their own strategy with LinkedIn. Some people choose to only connect with people they’ve physically met. Others choose to connect with people they’ve at least spoken to, whether physically or on the phone. I, however, have a different strategy.
    I like to connect with anyone who touches my industry regardless of whether we’ve ever spoken or crossed paths. I might be in market research, but if you’re in marketing, AR/VR/MR/XR, big data, analytics, data journalism, neuroscience, biometrics, polling, surveys, focus groups, mall intercepts, sampling, research panes, etc, I’ll probably be open to connecting with you.

    Why?

    Well, I’m not a sales or business development person so you’ll never see a pitch from me, disguised or otherwise. I don’t do sales, I won’t do sales, I’ll never do sales. But I have numerous reasons for connecting with so many people:

    1. Conference speakers: On occasion, I am asked to recruit and chair tracks of speakers at conferences. Having built a broad set of connections over the years, I can quickly find and invite people meeting the expertise requirements without resorting to a tried and true list of the same people I talk to everyday. And, I can even invite people based on geography as I’m careful to grow connections around the world.
    2. Webinar guests: You never know when someone is going to ask you to recommend an expert on a topic, or when you yourself would like an expert to join you during a webinar. Make those connections early, and you won’t waste time waiting for people to notice and approve a LinkedIn invitation.
    3. Article authors: Want an expert to contribute their opinions to a blog or article? You guessed it. Building up connections over the years means that I can quickly reach out to experts in many areas to see if they’d like to contribute their knowledge in a magazine or journal article.
    4. Job seekers: I love being connected to so many people because it allows me to be aware of job notices. I see many and share many, and hopefully this helps unemployed people find a new job just a bit more quickly. Plus, when someone comes to me personally, sometimes I can direct them to a job posting I saw just that day. (On a related note, pay your interns!)
    5. To put a face to a name: I like to get know people I plan to meet before I actually meet them. And, I often open a person’s LinkedIn profile when I talk to them on the phone. I like to see the face of the person and, sometimes, it helps to have a quick outline of who they are and what they do to help focus conversations. This has helped me many times over the years when I’ve participated in global standards committees where participants live on different continents.
    6. To be in the know: I wish I knew everything about my industry and the future of my industry but I don’t. I’ve not yet grown my psychic abilities sufficiently. Following people who live in hundreds of cities around the world means that I get to understand opinions that I would never, ever otherwise have the chance to consider. I see stories about augmented reality being used for medical training, I learn new theories about marketing, and I am amazed on a daily basis at the work happening all around me. LinkedIn connections are fabulous teachers.

    The next time you see a link request from someone you don’t know. Consider whether any of these reasons would make it a worthwhile connection. It might not work for you but it certainly works for me.

    Essential Behavioral Science Lessons for a Complex Marketing World by Dan Young, Chief Behavioural Scientist, Hotspex

    Live note taking at the #MRIA2017 conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

    • 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. 

    #MRIA2017 Opening Keynote: The Age of Disruption by Scott Stratten, Expert in Un-Marketing and NOOOOOO [Excellent!]

    Live note-taking at the #MRIA2017 conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

    Scott Stratten on twitter

    • [100% hipster takes the stage including jeans, sloppy shirt, tattoos, beard, and man bun]
    • He is known as the creator of the NOOOOOO button which gets millions of users and views with an average 27 second view. The site does pretty much nothing but say NOOOOOOO. It is the number one site on google for any version of the word ‘no’ that contains more than one o,
    • Many people feel guilted, stupid, slow about being brought into the social media, digital world. Huge pressure to stay up to date with every channel but it’s impossible.
    • You do NOT have to use every platform. If you don’t like it, don’t use it even if you want to feel cool and hip.
    • When we say the word millenial, we mean people younger than us and we don’t like you. [yeah, i have to agree. We’ve built a wall there.]. This happens with every generation. Every newest generation is the worst generation.
    • We’ve created a bias of ageism that is allowed. But it’s not a good thing. We use it in hiring. We assume young people don’t know. We assume older people aren’t tech savvy.  Our industry depends on this. We see younger people as a threat.
    • We hear things like millenials hate meetings and love to travel. Well, who doesn’t? This is just a bias of interpretation. We need to give comparative numbers. Millenials are more civial minded, cause minded, want to work for non-profits.
    • The shift is not an age shift. EVERYONE is making communication changes so we need to figure out what customers want to do. Don’t say old people don’t text because they do, they just do it differently. Your customer should decide what channel they want to use. If someone emails you, then email them back instead of demanding a phone call.
    • People like the written record of text, DM/PMs, emails. 
    • Know the speed of response expected by each method and respect those.
    • Brands hop onto trends, often the surface of the trend. Put quotes on pictures, use influencers, newsjacking. But you must do it right. You CAN’T capitalize on death, terror, even if it’s ‘just a joke.’ Offer condolences, help not jokes. Consumers have the power to react, to choose where they open their wallet.
    • Viral isn’t about a million views. It’s about 100 views with the exact right audience. Newsjack with originality.
    • Ethics are not a renewable resource.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when people think about your brand? Your horrid, distasteful ad?
    • The problem with live video – most people are not filmable, don’t want to be on video, they’re modest or humble. Most people aren’t that interesting, particularly when it comes to streaming live. 
    • Contextual content – does the content match the sharing method – concerts, sports, backstage at awards ceremonies. Most other things do not. Interviews with your VP – NO!  We want to do it to look hip because we can. But should we? Does it help your brand? 
    • Branding is no long real time. It’s NOW time. A response in 3 minutes vs 3 hours can make all the difference. What if an airline responded to your complaint 3 days later – you’d be even angrier. Authentic and transparent are important but speed is paramount.  Great responses are disarming because most other responses are terrible.
    • When people complain, they want validation and to be heard. They want the attention that they weren’t getting otherwise.  At least recognize the issue immediately.
    • Vanity metrics make you feel great and amount to nothing,  Metrics must move the needle for your client.
    • Don’t write books to sell them, write books to share knowledge.
    • [Scott is a very entertaining speaker. Lots of fun stories. Look for his Unpodcast with Alison Kramer]

    Like that? Read these!

    When is “Always be Closing” the Wrong Strategy?

    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…

    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.

     

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