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The Swirl: February 22, 2016

If you're still dreaming of the weekend, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Because it's Monday and we all know that Monday = Swirl day, only the best time of the week. Watch this if you still need a boost, then get ready for edition number four. What to expect: the mobile craze, breaking real-time, and the social balancing act. Let's go.

WORD OF THE WEEK

Insight (n) - this word marketers carelessly throw around like free candy; but really, it's what meaningfully connects your WHO (consumer) to your WHAT (product/service) and then asking WHY they care (over and over again); should be rooted in fact and identify an unmet want or need.

CALL ME ON MY CELL PHONE

How much time do you think you spend on your cell phone each day? 2 hours? 3 hours? Try almost 5. Yes - Americans spend 4.7 hours a day on their phones. You're probably even reading this on your phone. Whether you're gaming, getting that perfect selfie, or checking your news feed, I think it's safe to say that mobile marketing is here to stay. In fact, as this article explains, it might just be the most popular platform this year. Mobile advertising is nothing new, but with upward trends continuing to rise, it's spend continues to creep up on desktop advertising.

WHY IT MATTERS

Mobile is bigger than you think. All signs point to mobile surpassing all forms of advertising. One of the reasons it's so powerful is because it's not limited to browsers. It has something to do with those things called apps. And no, we don't mean food. Between Android and Apple, there are over 3 million apps, each of which target different interests. Which means marketers have a wide range to choose from. Start texting your friends.

APPLIES TO

Media spend. Mobile is rapidly becoming a prioritized channel since consumers and smartphones are attached at the hip. But it's not as easy as it seems. Placing it in the wrong space or at the wrong time can often lead to ignorance or frustration, which no marketer wants. Start here if you're wondering how to do it right. Or see how neuroscience can help if you're feeling like a pro.

THAT'S SO FETCH

Real-time, that is. We've seen the real-time chat and customer service model before, but over the past few weeks, we've seen an explosion of brands testing out the live show in a more profound way. Perhaps the most notable was the 4-minute real-time Grammy commercial Target produced. The ad serves as the first music video to be filmed in live television. Even more, they organized unique second views through Periscope, Facebook Live, and Snapchat. We're seeing this with the unexpected, too. Fashion brands like Marc Jacobs have capitalized on this opportunity to show behind-the-scenes of their shows. Just when you thought live moments like thiscouldn't get better.

WHY IT MATTERS

One of the great things about technology today is that it allows brands to be more accessible. Are you holding an event in Texas, but don't want to exclude your valuable consumers in New York? Snapchat that. Want to take viewers behind the scenes? Livestream. Capturing real-time couldn't be easier than it is today. And it makes consumers feel special - like you understand their time and want them to be a part of your show miles away. Doing this is fairly inexpensive too. What more could you ask for?

APPLIES TO

Modern technology. It's really a great thing. Live streaming is something everyone can do, but it's brands that find unique ways to use it that really stand out. There are so many free and inexpensive resources out there, and it's important to keep an open mind when exploring different options.

THE SOCIAL BALANCING ACT

Social media is always a hot topic, but recently, it has become more of a debate. Marketers are starting to weigh the pros and cons of allocating great deals of budget to this space. Why? Because it's often a platform for negativity. Consumers are using social media to express opinions, call out brand fails, and catch even the most minor mistakes. Remember Mcdonald's mozzarella sticks? Or when Subway hiked up prices? It seems that brands just can't win, but what really defines a fail? As this article explains, social brand outrage is here to stay, so it's time to start focusing on the pros.

WHY IT MATTERS

As easy as it is to get caught up in the negatives, brands need to accept that part of being on social media means you can't get around crises, no matter how big or small. People are going to complain, so now let's define the positives. For one, it has given challenger brands like Tito's the ability to make a dent and maintain a robust presence through killer content. It's been a way for causes like ALS to make a change. Or what about that time Ok Go harnessed 5 million views in 5 hours just through Facebook? It's a platform that, if done right, allows brands to build relationships and ignite change.

APPLIES TO

Social content. Because consumers are quick to call out mistakes, it's important to use caution when implementing ideas. It's impossible to avoid all complaints, but it's a matter of weighing the pros and cons. Assess the risk and how it could go wrong. More than anything, just remember to be authentic, responsive, and compelling. Freshen up on your social strategy skills with this fun game here.

FOR YOUR 'FREE' TIME

Did you know that emotional intelligence is one of the key indicators for success in life? Take some time and use these hacks to help build yours.

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

If Netflix were a TV network, it would be ranked #1. Read about it here, then go binge.