Is it really possible to play offense and defense simultaneously in the biggest game of the year?
February 08, 2016
Is it really possible to play offense and defense simultaneously in the biggest game of the year?
What is it about creative for B2B marketing campaigns? It always starts out with the best of intentions. “Let’s think outside the box,” declares the creative brief. Everybody’s on board. Then somehow, inevitably, you end up with, well, a yawner. What gives?
Online buying continues to increase year over year, and in 2016, digital buyers will make up 65 percent of the US population. Social commerce is growing by leaps and bounds too as consumers look outside the cart for a more complete shopping experience. Still, many marketers remain puzzled about the channel and go about social commerce all wrong―based largely on the misperception that consumers are reluctant to purchase through social channels. Don’t make that mistake.
There’s little argument about the importance of video in your content mix—nor about the future of video. At the rate it’s growing, online video will represent the dominant content format for e-commerce sites by 2017. Indeed, it’s no accident that video play buttons are showing up with greater frequency in prime positions on website real estate. Will you step up or fade to black?
It’s the straight-up truth. Somewhere, right now, someone is doing what you do cheaper and faster. So how do you differentiate yourself from the competition? By focusing on customer experience. In 2015 (for the second year in a row), business leaders have ranked customer experience as their number one priority. The trouble is, few companies have aligned their brand strategy with a customer experience strategy. The customer is large, in charge, and ready to be wowed. The information age is coming to its end. The age of customer experience is upon us. Are you up for the shift?
I got a glimpse of a growing trend over five years ago. I was in the middle of a GLG collaborative workshop with a group of key client stakeholders, trying to design a user experience flow associated with a complex e-commerce pathway. The more we focused on tactical and granular requirements for supporting a stellar user experience, the more questions were raised about the required back end and business process capabilities.
It’s personal—and it’s not about you.
Today, B2B purchase decision makers have different expectations and behaviors. And as millennials join the ranks of these decision makers, they’re bringing new buying habits you need to understand if you want to connect.
Since cofounding The Garrigan Lyman Group over two decades ago, my partner Tim Garrigan and I have firmly believed that the heart of a great agency is the people within it. It started with the two of us and our shared values of great work, great client service, and, oh yeah, having a great time doing it. As GLG has grown, we’ve focused on scaling by building a team of incredibly smart, creative, collaborative doers. And that worked fantastically. And then GLG kept growing. So too did the task of keeping our increasingly complex projects moving quickly and efficiently, and maintaining excellence.
During the very early concept and design phases of a website build, most developers, designers, and UX architects focus on the things you might expect: site organization, layout, purchase path flow, etc. Brands usually invest a lot of blood, sweat, and meetings into this phase. But when it comes to measuring analytics, metrics, and KPIs, their web teams will often just slap the analytics code on at the end, almost as an afterthought. And when the analytics report comes in, well, as they say: “garbage in, garbage out.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Because if you design your site with analytics in mind from the very start, your analytics can work harder and smarter than you ever thought possible.
Your shopping style at home may hold clues to finding the right strategy for adopting cloud-based services. And while buying cloud services isn’t the same as buying a car, a smartphone, or a couple of steaks, if you know the type of shopper you normally are, then by all means, humor me and read on.
What kind of shopper are you?
Digital is virtually everywhere: in your back pocket, on your wrists, at your desk, and, increasingly, where you shop and play. With that ubiquitous accessibility of digital content comes an increase in consumers’ expectations. Consumers want information and they want it now—not just from their devices, but also from their interactive retail displays, digital retail signage, aisle beacons, and store apps. For retail marketers, the opportunity is huge: digital displays influence over $1.7 trillion in in-store retail sales.*
In 1926, Coco Chanel featured the little black dress in Vogue magazine. Daring and accessible to women of all ages, the long-lasting design still lives in our closets 89 years later. Chanel’s iconic piece shows us that mastering simplicity in something as complex as a woman’s style is no easy feat. Finding classic pieces that you can dress up or dress down is also something to master. And that’s not just true for fashion—it’s the same for email marketing as well.
I’ve always felt that developing a media plan was a lot like driving a car by looking through the rearview mirror and determining the curve of the road ahead by observing what you’ve passed. Still true, but now, technology and new ways to leverage data let you see the road just traveled more instantly, letting you anticipate, with greater confidence and accuracy, the road, path, or plan ahead.
Despite the fact that over half of all internet traffic is coming from mobile devices, mobile advertising and media plans are often still treated as last-minute afterthoughts, like trendy little add-ons to the “real” marketing plan. The time for this kind of thinking is over. Way over.
We are constantly negotiating ongoing relationships with all products and services that inhabit our lives. Whether or not they perform as expected, it’s up to us to choose how much time, money, and energy we’ll put forth to maintain this seemingly symbiotic relationship. As the director of user experience at The Garrigan Lyman Group, I frequently work with clients to help them overcome user experience challenges. But product innovation alone cannot be solely responsible for customer happiness. True loyalty comes from innovating the overall customer experience and harmonizing it with your product innovation. This is the newest competitive space companies are trying to win.
If you have any doubt that wearables have become fully entrenched in the mainstream, just do what I did the other day: head to your local Best Buy and take a look around—you’ll find an entire section devoted to wearables. Sales for fitness and wellness wearable technology from brands like Fitbit and Garmin are booming. And analysts estimate that 28 million Apple Watch devices have been sold since coming on the market two months ago. I’m seeing more around the office and with clients all the time. Wearables are becoming a big business with a unique and evolving place in our digital life. So how will they fit in with your brand?
As consumers become skeptical of larger financial institutions and hungrier for transparency and straight-talk, more people are considering alternative financial services and products. When it comes to account management, bill paying, investment, and monetary transfers, customers are showing little patience for antiquated user experiences and user interfaces. Poor quality micro-interactions erode credibility for financial services companies that have not modernized.
About two weeks ago, someone mentioned to Rebecca (Lyman) and I that we just logged our 8,000th day at GLG. We looked at each other, smiled, and then kept moving. Moving—it’s all we’ve been doing since we opened our doors in May of 1993. And over the last 22 years we evolved, kept pace, and kept innovating to make our clients successful.
I was lucky enough to attend the first-ever Gartner Digital Marketing Conference last week in San Diego with my GLG colleague Eric Parkinson. It was full of good content on the impact of technology on marketing. The influence is so vast that the point was raised that perhaps it should simply be called marketing, rather than digital marketing, since nearly all marketing today involves digital.
According to GLG research, we’re officially entering a brave new world of mobile-tech-abetted purchasing, with regular users of smartphones and tablets leaning on their devices for a variety of shopping-related tasks. Because of their increased mobile connectivity, smartphone users show markedly higher levels of regular product picture-taking (40 percent) and note-taking (35 percent) than their tablet-toting counterparts (11 and 19 percent, respectively).
A new Google algorithm takes effect. Here’s the notice from Google’s website:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
Are you taking good care of yourself? If so, you’re not alone. Recent insights provided from GLG Research* shows a major shift over the past four years: Americans are getting healthier. We’re exercising, putting on sunscreen, and making sleep a priority. And thanks to the web, we’re shopping around for healthcare like never before. We’re demanding excellent service. And we don’t want to wait for it. Americans are using a variety of sources to decide where they will get their healthcare. And, big surprise: digital marketing is making a bigger impact than ever.
In the US, women control 60% of the wealth. Globally, they control over $20 trillion in spending. So, why does so much of marketing directed at women fall short? I believe the problem starts with the leadership at many creative agencies. Because, more than likely, that’s exactly where the women aren’t.
Big data has been one of the most dominant marketing news stories of the decade. It always makes me think about that last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the Ark of the Covenant is sent off to be stored in a giant warehouse full of thousands of crates. I’m sure we all cringe a little when we think of all the untold treasure wasting away in that mountain of boxes.
Brands spend millions to create buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the Super Bowl. But forking over big bucks doesn’t always guarantee effectiveness. Was there a lot of whiz-bang eye candy in Vegas and Glendale this year? You bet. But not every product demo or brand experience scored a touchdown. In the end, success came down to the details. At GLG, we get the opportunity to create everything from social campaigns to digital retail experiences. We’re always looking for new ways to innovate. And there’s no more fabulous place to see the new experience ideas than at the events surrounding CES and the Super Bowl. I was lucky enough to be in Vegas and Glendale when these events were going down. Here’s my take on who did it best.
Rarely is there one ingredient that makes something great. I’m not referring to collaboration between individuals, client-and-agency partnerships, or even guacamole recipes. No, I’m reacting to the various lists of marketing things that either became big news in 2014 or are poised to do so this year.
In the creative business, you learn to believe in the power of magic every day. I’m grateful to say, that after 21 years of building a list of global clients, attracting amazingly talented people, and racking up numerous awards, GLG is announcing a strategic partnership with the best of the best to make our clients stronger and more successful.
Everyone loves a holiday tradition. Some you inherit. Others you create yourself. One of the holiday traditions we at The Garrigan Lyman Group (GLG) look forward to most is our annual holiday gift.
Every holiday season for 20 years, we’ve been giving our clients a special gift dreamed up, designed, produced, and delivered by the GLG family. It’s truly a team effort, and it’s our way of saying thank you for all the collaboration that took place throughout the year, and of celebrating the successes our partnerships have produced.
It’s that time of year again. Time to look back on the 2014-that-was and reflect on what moved us and mattered. Many of the uber trends of mobile, social, and cloud continued to gain traction. Others seemingly out of favor came back in new forms, while a few gave us a glimpse of what should be top-of-mind heading into 2015. As someone who meets regularly with new clients, I get to hear first-hand from CMOs and marketing executives about their issues and pain points. These were the top topics in 2014.
Last week, I was fortunate to work with the People Development team at The Garrigan Lyman Group (GLG) on a recruiting event that was truly inspiring. Recruiting events in and of themselves should be inspiring by their very nature. These events represent a chance to meet the movers and shakers on the horizon, and find out what is important to them as they begin their journey. This event was inspiring for a different reason, however.
When we think of modern site design, we tend to think of terms like responsive or mobile first. While both of these methods are a great place to start when planning a new site, they tend to miss one crucial element: site performance. Site performance is defined as the speed in which a page’s necessary elements are visually rendered for the user. The smaller the page’s file weight, the quicker it will render in the browser.
Last week, our friends and partners at IBM invited the GLG team to participate in the grand opening of IBM Watson’s global headquarters in Manhattan. Right at home in New York’s “Silicon Alley,” the flagship played host to a day of IBM Watson presentations and demonstrations, all focused on unlocking the potential of Watson and the paradigm shift it represents: cognitive computing. But what is cognitive computing? It is probably easiest to start with what it isn’t.
The digital world is evolving so fast that it’s tough to know where to focus marketing resources. Some marketers surf trends, throwing all their weight behind new platforms or popular technologies. Others invest in large, fixed-cost projects so at least their expenses will be predictable. But trends come to an end, and large projects don’t allow for the kind of flexibility needed to address rapidly changing consumer expectations.
The internet influences 43 percent of all retail sales, and savvy retailers are using this to their advantage by incorporating digital experiences into their retail environments. Three trends—location-aware mobile apps, interactive displays, and mobile point of sale—feature just the kind of technology we use to help clients such as T-Mobile stay ahead of the curve, increase customer delight, and drive in-store sales.
Launching a new product, service, or offering often consumes marketers’ time and attention; there are audiences to target, promotions to plan, and digital engagement calendars to coordinate. In the run-up to launch, however, one of the most important marketing tasks is too often overlooked: informing and enabling the sales channel.
I recently hopped on a jet plane to Chicago and attended the Iconosphere 2014 conference. Organized by our partners at CEB Iconoculture, the premier consumer research and insights firm, the conference sessions covered key observations and trends that all marketers must take into account when planning for the future.
In digital marketing’s current phase, it’s all about content that adds value.
There’s been perhaps only one constant in the age of digital marketing: a constant state of evolution. And to understand what’s happening in the current digital phase, it’s important to understand what happened in the last, an era largely thought of as the web phase.
Overcome resistance with relevance.
People tend to avoid advertising. Close to 60 percent of US households have a digital video recorder. The click-through average for paid search is under 2 percent. The average click-through rate for banner ads is less than 0.2 percent.
When successful social media stories start making waves in the industry, CMOs may look to their teams and say, “Why can’t we be more like so-and-so?” But what if that’s the wrong question? Rather than be distracted by what is working for others, focus on what you can actually affect: how well you know your own brand, how well you know your audience, and how ready you are to engage.
Among my mother’s numerous dinnertime rules and regulations was this classic: “Cut that in half or you’ll choke on it.” Consuming digital data—as big as it is these days—can have the same your-eyes-are-bigger-than-your-stomach effect. Tempting as it might be to take it all in at once, you and everybody else gathered around for your presentation will soon get an upset tummy, if they stay awake long enough. Better to cut it up into consumable bites.
There was a day when a loyalty program might have represented the lion’s share of your effort to develop long-term relationships with your customers. These days, loyalty cards are more like expected commodities to which customers react with a collective “meh.” Demonstrating your loyalty is a good start, but successful marketing executives know that long-lasting customer relationships take root in a place deeper inside the corporate domain where valuable data lives and breathes. Lots of it.
Turns out the Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” is probably apocryphal. But whatever the origin, the phrase has found its true target in today’s chief marketing officer. With customers increasingly informed, demanding, and powerful, there’s arguably a greater need for marketing than ever. At the same time, the CMO’s job has become far more complex: the CMO has to use new tools and technologies to sift through huge amounts of data, establish more intimate relationships with more diverse consumers, and prove his or her value inside the organization by demonstrating ROI. All in a shrinking average tenure. Interesting times indeed.
The goal of any social media marketing campaign is supposed to be to interact with your followers and fans, right? Yet when it comes to audience engagement, so many companies still get stage fright.
It doesn’t have to be that way. As an actor and improviser, I’ve performed in (literally) thousands of shows. One of my favorite things is finding new ways to connect with the crowd. If you’re looking to revitalize your social media strategy, maybe it’s time to put your focus on social’s most overlooked component: audience interaction.
Understanding customers—their likes, dislikes, concerns, and sources of joy—is paramount for marketing success but is often elusive. This type of customer centricity requires that marketers pay attention not just to what customers say, but also to their emotions across the customer experience journey. Marketing organizations that rely solely on demographics, life stages, or purchase channels miss an opportunity to build deeper connections with customers.
On May 25, 2010, Ethan Marcotte coined the term responsive web design (aka RWD). Since that day, digital marketing agencies began their journey into this new landscape. The idea was that one website could be viewable and digestible on any screen, independent of the user’s device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.); the website’s layout would flow fluidly from large to small and back to large again. Responsive web design provided the opportunity for brands to reach on-the-go users much more efficiently.
The early 2000s were gut-wrenching years for professional writers. The first Google search algorithms killed any incentive for site builders to present well-written pages. Virtually any copy that was stuffed to the fold with keywords, no matter how much they blew up a sentence, did just fine. If Google found your page and put you on page 1, mission accomplished.
Gone are the days you could judge a doctor only by the diploma hanging on the wall. Growing transparency in the healthcare market is opening new opportunities and challenges for healthcare brands. Today, choice, access, and social context have combined forces to change the power equation and transform patients into more sophisticated healthcare buyers.
What happened a couple of weeks ago in Vegas will definitely not stay in Vegas. The happening, IBM Impact 2014, one of IBM’s largest partner events of the year, focused on the concept of “composable business.” Composable is an IBM-coined term used to describe companies that create (or compose) business models that can move in more rapid timeframes while using more iterative processes, and with the goal of continuing to drive business results.
In a blink, GLG is celebrating its 21st year. It started in 1993 with just me and Rebecca Lyman in a little office above a Seattle newsstand on First and Pike. We spent a month cleaning that space, carrying furniture and computers up a flight of 27 stairs, and sharing the men’s bathroom with the guys who threw the fish in the Pike Place Market.
The future of retail is mobility, or the ability to move freely and easily through our world. Mobility means not having to dig for cash, wait in line, or wait for a check. It means not being tied to a sales counter, not making unnecessary trips, and not getting lost in the aisles of a megastore.
Your customer has five seconds to spare before he clicks away to another page. Your coworkers have five-second attention spans in an hour-long meeting. Your CMO has five seconds to absorb the latest KPIs and ROI before a meeting with the CEO.
How do you communicate with each of them in only five seconds so they feel informed and empowered?
With a dashboard.
Whether by card, cash, or check(?!), we’ve all been paying for things the same way for a long, long time. Until some of us started taking a look at human behavior, customers' needs, and the transaction process itself and matched them to what technology could do—and turned the whole damn thing on its head with mobile payment.
One of the most overused words in the domain of digital marketing and advertising is engagement. When I find myself using it during conversations and presentations, I feel the tug of my conscience asking me to stop using the word as a crutch and to make my meaning clear by unpacking the concept.
With the recent news that mobile screen time is now greater than TV screen viewing in the US and that apps account for a whopping 86 percent of time spent on mobile, one thing is abundantly clear:
This is the most valuable real estate in the world.
January 2014 marked an important milestone in America’s transition to ubiquitous computing. According to comScore, Americans spent more time accessing the internet from mobile apps in the month of January than they did from desktop computers.
A look at who is doing it right Content marketing is a many-flavored thing. It can be funny, informational, educational, or inspirational. It can be a video, a photo, an infographic, a white paper, or a Tweet. But at the end of the day, it must be—above all else—valuable.
Know before you go. At a very basic level, content marketing has two equal partners: data and content. And while it takes these two to tango, it’s data (or insight from data) that takes the first step. Before you can make your content relevant, you need to know a few things about your target customer. At GLG, it starts with a chat with the agency client.
What to expect with content marketing While content marketing represents another pathway through the digital landscape, your marketing budget represents the historic landmark to which you still must yield. But should you set the same kind of expectations for a content marketing campaign as you would for any other type of marketing campaign: to generate positive results?
Content marketing takes center stage. We recently spent time roaming the hallways and spaces at Highline Stages in New York City to experience Social Media Week 2014. Despite the name of the event, the sessions and ensuing conversations covered a broader range of topics that are at the forefront of digital marketers’ minds.
Let customers be your distributors. In a recent study, Nielsen reports that 47 percent of smartphone owners are using social media every day. That’s in addition to the 64 percent of the adults already using social media on their personal computers. Content moves quickly these days, to be sure. But with social media, your customers can do more than just consume it; they can also chat with you about it, share it with others, or even mash it up into something else entirely.