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May 22, 2015

Trends 2015

Jeffrey Heilbrunn

Part of what we do as business people and marketers is to try to see the trends in business and markets and take advantage of those trends before others do.
One of the great trend guru’s is a chap named Rohit Bhargava. His latest book for 2015 is called “Non Obvious”. It would be the best $20 you will spend so I highly recommend you buy the book.
To give you a taste of what awaits you, here are some of the authors thoughts and some of my thoughts and interpretations of his great work.
His list of trends for business, society and marketing include the following:
1. Everyday Stardom … we live in a world of millenial’s who are used to being rewarded and honored for everything; you can create your own stardom and persona and marketers can make us all stars. Think about the Museum du Jeff … hmmmm
2. Selfie Confidence … we all can create our own world using the selfie and share it with others and through this process gain personal confidence. How does marketing participate to help us build our own confidence in what we do to build our online persona. Help your customers build their self-confidence using the tech tool of today. Shared experiences are a way to help build an online persona …. What experiences are you as a marketer offering that can become part of the persona of your customer, and how do you make it shareable.
3. Mainstream Mindfulness … yoga, mediatation religion are back. Were they gone? Watching Mad Men the other night, I think the movement has returned with a both a new generation as well as some of us old folks rediscovering the sixties. Can they be used to improve your customers health, performance, learning, motivation and mindfulness? Think about this in terms of how customers today want everything, in short bursts … not an hour long class but more like a daily affirmation.
4. Branded Benevolence …. Brands need to be a part of the lives of their target audience. And with the millenials rising, there is a need for authenticity and relevance. Beyond donating money or a PR event, brands need to be intimately tied to a cause. Think about Tom’s Shoes where they give a pair for every pair WE buy …. We are tied to the effort! Social impact of the firm is rising. Give time AND money. Acts of kindness and genuine sacrifice are important.
5. Reverse Retail …. Brands are building in-store experiences (golf club fitting) as a way to gain commitment, whether the sale occurs in the store or online. Multi-channel marketing is now more omni-channel … online and in-store are becoming more of a seamless total experience. Social retailing is helping to close the sale as friends are brought into the retail process during a store visit. The merging of the physical and the digital is what is going on here. Think about the digital world of APPLE using the store based Genius Bar to gain a long term relationship with its fans.
6. The Reluctant Marketer … I would call this the NEW AGE Marketer. Todays marketer is less about pushing product and more about pulling on the customer to demand products and services and to help market the product, brand and services for us. Creating great customer experiences that will be shared; provide valuable content that is again shared with customer networks; this is the era of pull rather then push. Brand need to create a great story to be shared throughout the customer network; this is the coming together of content and experiences, a great sharable story! And who traditionally has written such stories …. Journalists!. Consider how the journalist should be a part of your marketing team. And within the changing world of public relations, we now have earned media (getting the traditional newspaper to write about you); owned media (owning channels from newsletters to YouTube channels); and paid media (see www.outbrain.com for more).
7. Glanceable Content …. There is an explosion of information coming at us and we have more and more a limited amount of time to give over to content. As marketers we need to optimize everything for a world of rapid consumption. No wonder newspapers are dying, no one has the time or inclination to spend an hour with the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times (except for me perhaps). Make your content snakeable … like this summary of trends! You could read the book or just read this two page review and summary!!! Think about the video I showed on Competitive Strategy in Three Minutes … pretty good stuff. So focus on the headline to gain attention and then write like you are writing for USA Today!
8. Match the Mood …. We all have moods. We are high at some points and low at others. Can marketers match the mood to the consumer? Does everything digital have to be devoid of emotions?
9. Less then perfect GET REAL…. As humans we seek out experiences and we see and review the experiences of others. Come on …. Think about the time you spend on FACEBOOK and the experiences and lives of people you enter. And there is some desire to see and feel for people, to note the imperfections in life. Not everyone is a perfect runway model … imperfections are in and real is in! Ugly is in from Ugly Christmas Sweaters to UGGS!!
10. Engineered Addiction … for marketers we need only look at Zara’s, engineered marketing for the shopping addiction. Low prices, products that wear out fast, great design and a fast inventory turn … new stuff coming into the store twice a week. This is engineering for the shopping addiction! Create addictive experiences that capture the consumers time, money and loyalty. Think about the psychology of habits and how you can engineer in such habits. Or borrow addictions to help your marketing, such as the addiction of FACEBOOK. Reward engagement and loyalty…
There is more to the book. But in a world of glanceable content, I will keep this to 2 pages!!!!!!
Buy this book!!! http://www.amazon.com/Non-Obvious-Different-Curate-Predict-Future-ebook/dp/B00TB1TE0Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432331586&sr=1-1&keywords=non+obvious

Jeff Heilbrunn, May 22, 2015

May 10, 2014

Shut Up and Listen … Some Lessons Learned

Jeffrey Heilbrunn

Shut Up and Listen!
As a teacher I spend a lot of time talking, discussing and lecturing. So it was good for me to spend some hours late this week listening to some interesting people talk about their lives and their activities in marketing. I thought I would share a few take-aways with my students and friends.
Adam Braun from Pencils of Promise
Adam started a not for profit that builds schools in far away places where schools are badly needed. He offered up several life lessons that might be interesting for students to consider. One was that during a career we will balance the need for three things; mastery, money and meaning. He noted that early in life we may be torn between going for the money (quickly) vs gaining the tools we will need for a life time (mastery) and he suggested that you go for the mastery ahead of the money. Money will take on a new and important role as responsibilities in life increase, a family, a home, children and all of that. Later we may feel compelled to give back to society, to find more meaning in our work and lives. That is not to say that we live our lives and seek our work based only on one of these considerations; all are at play all the time. But we go through our lives and the values and needs we have change a bit and the percentages of importance we may place on any of these three can change. What is important as well is to realize that there are these three components and that we actively think and address these issues as we live our lives. That is the challenge of living a well designed life. Just something to consider.

Peter Dublin, ADOBE
One of my key take aways from Peter’s talk at the CADM/Education Foundation forum was the use of a common marketing platform (at Adobe it is their Adobe Marketing Cloud) in order to provide consistency of branding and message. Many firms have multiple brands; multiple locations (global) and multiple distribution outlets/partners. The approach of using the tools in the cloud can provide consistency, enormous cost savings and an ease of adaptability. Many years ago, I think it was AT&T that said “The System is the Solution”. Here is the idea of a marketing system to be the solution. Something to consider … of course, they are not the only one’s to have thought of this, but it does bare looking at …. http://www.adobe.com/solutions/digital-marketing.html

Kristie Heins Fox, Edelman
Kristie works as a SVP at Edelman, one of the worlds largest public relations firms. She spoke about a few campaigns. Some of the words and concepts she discussed follow. She talked about not just earned media (in pr, this would be were you get an editor at a newspaper to write about you) but also paid media and owned media. With regard to paid media, Kristie mentioned a campaign amplification tool called Outbrain that places your product or brand story next to legitimate news stories say in the Wall Street Journal. That’s putting paid content onto a trusted earned media site.

All three channels are important to today’s PR professional and PR campaign strategist. The number one source for news today according to Kristie is SEARCH … Google Search in particular. So it is important to consider the paid side of search when trying to gain news coverage. We live in a world of immediacy especially related to social media so Edelman creates real-time social media newsrooms that are monitoring and responding to what is being said about any givien brand or company. Brand advocates and bloggers are the editors of today. Bringing in Elite Users as advocates is an important aspect of PR for some brands. Co-creation and involvement has replaced one way communications from companies and their PR firms.
Alex Menocal, Creata +
Alex is from a creative marketing company doing work for many large brands. Alex noted some ideas including my first exposure to the PLURALS Generation (the kids of the Millenials). Accoding to Alex, these kids expect responsiveness, they are close to their parents and their siblings, value high quality communications, they are open, productive and resilient. Brands need to be reflective of these values as these kids grow into adulthood….we still have some time in that regard.
Social capital … there is a form of capital that we may not have considered and that is the access to some ones network. The example was something called “Pay with a tweet”. Here the person who tweets out a certain message receives an item (such as a digital book) and the payment was their tweet to their network.

Jennifer Wesley, Google
Jennifer focused on three ideas that are important as services and products for google and as values.
ASSIST EVERYWHERE …. Are you aware of a service at google called Google NOW that basically anticipates your needs. They are also working on an expert network called HelpOuts and other tools that allow for collaboration between companies and customers. So as a concept, we can learn that the new level of expectation for service is at the level of providing instant access to experts and to anticipate needs in terms of assistance.
HEAD and HEART … Jennifer talked about the YouTube product to deliver advertising called Tru-View http://www.google.com/ads/innovations/trueview.html
DEMOCRATIZING CREATIVE … my mind started to wander a bit here as I was thinking about a friend and a new business opportunity and how all of these items can work for him.

Jerry DiTripani, AMWAY
Jerry discussed the role of IMC at Amway which is new within the last year. The unique situation is that corporate has a certain role to play and then the distribution network of affiliates has another role to play. Corporate has the role of create direction; creating campaigns and templates; overall brand direction; creating and management of the communications assets including print, video, digital, PR, training materials; demo’s etc. The affiliates finalize field execution so they can adapt or adopt or not, that which corporate creates. Execution of the creative, execution of branding and campaigns, media plans, etc all lie with the affiliates in this company. The coordinations, cooperations, and consistent executions are the worry of the head of IMC. Which sort of brings me back to the ADOBE idea of the Marketing Cloud.

So as you can see, it was a good day+ well spent.
Jeff Heilbrunn
May 10, 2014