3 Tactics, 2 Strategies and 1 Crotchety Contrarian from Integrated Marketing Summit
One Crotchety Contrarian
It is a bold move to open a conference on integrated marketing with a keynote by a crotchety academic with highly contrarian views. Even bolder if the title of his keynote is:
Is social media killing brands softly?
(and yes he went on to prove with data that the statement was true!)
If you get a speaker as knowledgable and intelligent as Professor Don Shultz
(President Agora & Emeritus-in-Service at Northwestern University) If might be able to pull it off as well as the Integrated Marketing Summit
team did in San Diego.
Professor Shultz had some compelling points that drove his theory home. He presented a maelstrom of research and survey data spanning 15 years showing a steady decrease in brand preference and an even stronger growth of "NO Brand Preference" amongst consumers (all research shown was consumer packaged goods brands in the study).
Some of his pearls of wisdom/insight:
Mainstream branding theories were first created in the '70s - in the age of 'mass media'
Big Brands are an "artifact of mass media investments" - primarily television
- Most brands are using social media like they used TV; instead of thinking of social media like word of mouth.
Social Media challenges the entire Brand concept that most brands operate on
Their research data shows that as: social media use goes up, brand preference goes down.
Don Shultz states that their research shows that social media is literally killing brands. He assigns the correlational rise of social media with the rise of "no brand preference". I agree somewhat but more importantly it is partially a causal result of the revolution of the switching of the power to the consumers hands enabled by the internet, social media and their ilk.
If you have "no brand preference" that also means you don't NEED to choose the brand ahead of time. You can decide on data at the exact time of purchase since we all have a super computer in our pocket.
Brands are declining in value to customers. Solutions trump brands. (Although brands still have impact and power) one of his final takeaways was this gem:
Only accountants care about ROI. Businesses cares about return on objective.
(Shoutout to my friend Joe Pulizzi
as well on this)
Two Resounding Strategies
Strategy One: Companies must optimize the ENTIRE experience for tablets and phones.
, Strategic Marketing Manager at Adobe, gave a solid presentation on the impact of mobile across the spectrum. If you have not already optimized your customer experience across all mobile platforms and behaviors you are already losing. The Battle is over, mobile won.
The three key takeaways:
- Consumers expect mobile experience to be simple and fast
- Mobile apps drive more engagement
- Mobile drives new skill sets in digital marketing
He showed research that showed that as brands improved the customer experience on tablets that the conversion rate matched that of desktops. (take that all you 'But mobile doesn't convert' whiners). It is not enough to simply make a mobile webpage that doesn't suck on mobile. You must make it fast, responsive, mobile optimized, easy to use and easy to buy and fast, fast, fast. Take this terrifying stat to your boss and see what happens with your new mobile marketing budget:
On mobile, even a one second delay in page load can result in 7 percent conversion loss.
Strategy Two: Everything you are doing must be focused on mobile first.
, President of V3 Integrated Marketing, gave a four hour content marketing workshop designed to show how content marketing and social marketing are the core of all integrated marketing strategies. And at the core of that is mobile first, desktop also. Mirroring Ray's talk and data on mobile page views being over 50 percent already of all web page views and much more she made a compelling case for creating your content for mobile.
Shelly also dished out some face-slapping around the subject of SEO. There is no such thing as THE search result. #SEOisdead
Every result is contextual and relative to your network. The filter bubble reigns so embrace it. Today two things matter: Search + Friends.
Personalization matters. Kramer said, "The secret to great SEO is be useful to people."
Sensing a theme...?
Three Solid Tactics:
Mike Mcintosh, President of AcquireB2B, asked if anyone wanted to know how to get a bigger budget, more staff and a raise? (DUHH!)
Tactic One: show me the numbers. Analytics and data tied to objectives wins over the C-Suite.
Here are his four big questions to answer for every marketing program you run:
- Whats our average marketing cost per activity or result?
- Where did our best leads come from?
What percentage of closed sales were first touched by marketing?
How much of forecasted revenue was influenced by marketing?
In the battle over sales and marketing new research shows that research shows that on average businesses spend 4.8% on marketing and 11% on sales, yet 60-70 percent of revenue now comes from marketing in B2B markets (higher in B2C).
Tactic Two: focus on show not tell - video, webinars, graphics, interactive, sharing; keep things relevant, focused and easy to share.
Program Director Social Business for IBM presented a case study on their recent #Rethink campaign. It was a large multi-faceted campaign with a very wide audience. (11 landing pages with 10 pieces of content on each page, every social media platform, video, infographics, whitepapers and more.)
Her parting advice was to always ask "Is this what my customer cares about?"
Tactic Three: Unless your graphics directly support your call to action or brand image they should be removed from your web pages.
, CEO of SiteTuners.com
, gave a blistering critique of anyone in the audience who wanted to have their home page or landing page evaluated. Sitetuners focuses on conversion rate optimization and are recognized experts in this discipline. Tim was absolutely brutal in his critique of the audiences websites. And absolutely spot on. He never took more than 10 seconds to evaluate the entire page and start offering feedback. All too often he would state something and you would go OF COURSE! It was after the fact obvious but incredibly useful. I heard at least four people say they were literally going to change the problems on their page the next day.
He called out dozens of terrible web site practices and techniques for improvement. But the one about deleting graphics that did not specifically support your CTA was immediately useful across all sites.
and team put on a well run, highly focused summit on integrated marketing in several cities around the country. Get to one if you can. Come prepared to learn.