Your Idea Sucks—But Can It Still Be Successful?

Your Idea Sucks—But Can It Still Be Successful?

Remember* grape nuts? Definitely one of history’s worst cereals (I mean grape nuts?). But also, possibly the most genius.

In 1944 they launched a campaign to promote breakfast as the most important meal of the day. That’s right. They didn’t promote their cereal or their company. They promoted breakfast. Through radio advertisements and pamphlets at grocery stores, they sold America on the idea that eating breakfast increased productivity (profit).

Grape Nuts Have Always Been as Bland and Awful as They Sound

Cereal had been around for decades. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the same Kellogg of Frosted Flakes and father of the namesake to Kellogg School of Management, introduced the first cold cereal in 1878, and Americans had been eating it pretty happily ever since. But Grape Nuts had ambition. They weren’t just going to be another cereal, waiting patiently on the shelves to be consumed. Nope. They were going to be Cereal. They were going to Breakfast for the whole entire nation. And they knew that to be successful at that, they would have raise cereal’s profile first.

Cereal started as a health food. There was a belief that indigestion was caused by eating too much meat and spices, and that heavy, indulgent foods taken at breakfast led to indigestion and sin. Cereal would keep people healthier and more pure. Kellogg did not start the cereal company—in fact it was his brother—but he had a patient by the name of CW Post who who did.

Post was something of a marketing genius. He took the healthy-tasting, unappealing cereal that of Kellogg, coated it with sugar, and marketed it as a solution to health problems.

So Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

The true genius of it all is that for entire swaths of the world’s history, breakfast has not been a thing. Maybe we’ve stumbled on to something new here, and that thousands of years of civilization has been doing it all wrong. Maybe that’s why there is still research promoting it as the most important meal of the day while still others say not really.

See, it’s not really up to you to decide what is a good idea and what isn’t. Like, how did Google Glass flop and Crocs are—cool?? It’s all about story.

The story cereal told resonated with people. First it was adherents of the Clean Living Movement, later it was women busy supporting efforts of the Second World War. And then: kids. Can’t you still name every cereal mascot?

I don’t want to say your idea doesn’t matter, but it almost doesn’t matter how good or bad your idea is. I mean, Shake Weights and Snuggies, right? You can have the best idea in the world but if you can’t communicate to your audience why it matters to them, isn’t it the same as having the worst idea?

*It was only in doing research for this article that I learned Grape Nuts actually still exist.

Thanks to Priceonomics’ How Breakfast Became a Thing and The Atlantic’s The Most Contentious Meal of the Day for informing much of this article.

Does Social Marketing Always Need to be Social?

Does Social Marketing Always Need to be Social?

Marketers know the social sphere matters, but they can’t explain why they need to invest in social marketing. Thankfully, all that is changing using real numbers and relevant metrics.

Now, I know most social marketers consider their actions to be marketing. However, marketing and social actions are two different things. One uses social networks to generate defined, immediate, measurable results and the other uses social networks to build social engagement, brand loyalty, and customer satisfaction. This is exactly why it’s hard to measure the real impact of social actions. The two sets of metrics aren’t interchangeable. Social networks build themselves around brand-building metrics and marketers rely on hard ROI.

Thankfully, when it comes to connecting soft social actions with hard ROI, marketing outcomes are moving in the right direction. The social market is developing and evolving rapidly. Yet marketers fail to realize they need to stop justifying their social actions with notions of long-term community building. Don’t’ get me wrong, long-term community building is important on social networks, but if it isn’t paired with a focus on actions that produce measurable impact, then even the largest and most carefully curated social network is valueless.

Rather than exclusively thinking of social networks as platforms for taking soft social actions devoted to brand building, remember that social actions can drive meaningfully measurable results. There’s certain software, you can easily track the impact for direct social actions and measure click-throughs and conversions. Recent developments on the top platforms make it clear these networks’ efforts to court marketers are increasingly moving away from social actions and toward enabling functional advertisements. The impact of social actions is gradually becoming more clear, but the impact of marketing on social networks is definitely measurable now.

What’s Your Marketing Strategy? Mobile First or Mobile Only?

What’s Your Marketing Strategy? Mobile First or Mobile Only?

Did you know, that mobile device account for approximately 40% of all online sales. Today’s customer is always connected on mobile even when they browse the web on their desktop. The smartphone is on 24/7! So let me ask you what is your marketing strategy? If your strategy is not mobile first, it’s definitely not customer first.

Our websites must be responsive to all possible screens and devices. The mobile first strategy does not ignore the fact that customers also access our E-commerce sites on desktops and laptops devices it recognizes that responsive design gets us there. For example, in a mobile first approach, our methods and goals start with the mobile, smartphone screen in mind.

We’ve found that page load times must be 3 seconds or less to keep the bounce rate at low percentages. Your content strategy needs to be accomplished in a “bite sized” approach. This way you can present value to the customer without requiring excessive scrolling. Ensure you design with the smallest screen in mind that way you can transition to each larger screen in succession.

Consider this detail, your new competition in marketplace is being born mobile. In the not too distant future, mobile only may well be the destiny for all us marketers. So ask yourself, what is your market strategy are you mobile first or mobile only?

Wow Your Audience and Improve SEO

Wow Your Audience and Improve SEO

In today’s society, to truly establish yourself as a leader and wow your audience you need to create longer and more in depth content. This will truly help show your audience what you know that benefits them. There are 6 reasons why you want to write longer content that is deeper, offers more facts, and engages your audience in a better way. You can truly delve into a topic with more words than reading longer content or watching longer videos. The first step, start with longer features and higher quality. Secondly, dig deeper include more visuals. There are different types of content that lend themselves to digging deeper.

Feature Articles — A featured article requires more research and has a different format that’s shorter than blog posts have. Often a long article consists of quoting other authorities, books, individuals to further the points being made in the article. To demonstrate your authority, knowledge, and expertise you need to write long articles that will help be useful to you and your audience.

Case Studies — Typically a case study covers so much and the content is usually longer. You must define the problem, offer the solution and share the results via the case studies that you publish. This will certainly keep people reading. People like reading how a solution worked for other people, so case studies are a great choice for longer content.

White Papers —The intent of a white paper is to give authoritative information to guide the readers to answers about an issue that matters to them. A white paper is traditionally used in government and education circles. It will describe benefits, present a set of questions, tips or points about the topic, as well as recommendations and solutions.

Instructional Videos —Videos are known to grab the attention of the audience, and what better way to demonstrate your knowledge and build authority than a long, in depth video tutorial on an important topic for your niche.

If you choose to include longer more in depth content to wow your audience, it needs to be more appealing visually. Make sure to add in images, plenty of bullet points, subheadings, and headers. Also, it’s okay to send people to new pages for the rest of the content it’s essential good for SEO in today’s search engine climate.

Tips to Avoid Digital Marketing Roadblocks

Tips to Avoid Digital Marketing Roadblocks

Have digital marketers made the transition to the super-connected, mobile, digital marketplace? Not yet. According to the Adobe Digital Roadblock report, two-thirds of marketers expect their role to change over the next year, and over three-quarters expect changes over the next three years.
Marketers have shown at this day and age they must reinvent themselves! So how can you reinvent yourself and mature in digital marketing? Well some of the common themes are people, product and process. I have chosen the top 5 Roadblocks for you to avoid.

Hiring digital talent – Roadblock #1

Our enterprises must focus on digital-savvy talent in order to reinvent ourselves.
From digital social marketers, creative development and data analysts all these roles make a big impact in this industry. However, these roles are not rising to meet the demand and marketers will struggle with finding potential hires who possesses the characteristics to operate in a highly technical environment. Marketers should be looking to hire dual digital talented individuals. For example, look for candidates that are creative and analytical, possess leadership skills and digital acumen skills. You can reinvent your marketing ecosystem you just need to hire the right digital talent.

Data avoidance – Roadblock #2

If we don’t hire the digital talent to execute digital campaigns, our success will remain doubtful. We must have luminaries who understand data not just read data. Marketers tell us they believe the ideal marketer should take more risks, but by embracing the strength of data analysis, risks can be significantly reduced. We must arrange and schedule workflow to accommodate the constant feedback loops that permeate our digital world. For those seeking to reinvent themselves, embrace data!

Social media blackout -Roadblock #3

Our digital roadblock concluded that 61 percent of marketers believe social media will be the most critical marketing vehicle to deploy in the next few years. The fact that most brands are growing their social media marketing budgets, leads us to believe the future predictions that social media spend will double in the next five years is accurate.

We must adopt a social strategy and cultivate a social identity that supports that identity through a disciplined approach to audience engagement. Our enterprise must maximize ROI, be organized to leverage the speed, volume, and intensity of social media. Teams must be able to entertain, inform, educate, and persuade all at the same time, all while directing traffic to engage our offerings.

Lack of testing-Roadblock #4

Can you believe that half of the marketers stated that they used the “trusting my gut instinct” on where to invest marketing budgets. How can you rely on that? No need for gut instinct- testing allows us to approach senior leadership with quantifiable results, which may be leveraged in other business areas. Big Data is available to shape customer profiles, track consumer behavior, and monitor ROI. When we can show lift through testing based on data, we are able to justify marketing spend and improve productivity.

Technology adoption -Roadblock #5

Brands in any vertical have to embrace technology or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, marketers tell us they are more comfortable adopting new technologies once they become mainstream. However, competition is too fierce to hold off consumer engagement.

There is seemingly no end to the integrated tools we have at our disposal such as dashboards that enable analytics, attribution, tag management, content management, and integrate marketing with business IT systems. If we adopt these tools, we can make reinvention possible.

Ultimately, our attempts to reinvent ourselves as digital marketers must point to digital ecosystem management. We must transition our brand and have the ability to dovetail creative development, asset deployment, and customer experiences with financial management. Let’s tear down these roadblocks and explore the frontier together!

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