Rachel Spence and I were lucky enough to attend Direct Marketing Association’s &Then Conference and EventTech this year and brought back 7 days’ and 250 sessions’ worth of content. We shared our 5 key takeaways as a BrainSnack presentation before our annual Roberts Holiday Party (you can watch our livestream here). In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap:
1. The greatest work is generated when you bring creativity and data together.
It’s what drives the success. It’s where you begin and it is not new, necessarily, but it is critical. I’ll share some examples of how you can ensure you start on the right foot.
It starts with the creative brief. What we look for is that one thing about your product or service that makes you say … Wait. What? WOW. This can be derived from many things, consumer insights, competitive advantages, or something brand new, the differentiator. It needs to be decisive, short and informative.
So you have the “wow” that great creative comes from, but now let’s talk data. This is an extremely important part of the success of a campaign. Due to the massive change in how people engage with brands, customers’ demands are greater than ever. They expect you to know them: what they like, where they live, how they behave and then deliver information that is relevant to them. That takes data. It builds your brand’s credibility, develops an emotional connection with the customer, and it drives loyalty. When you combine data and creative from the start, it can drive endless possibilities and success.
2. Make business personal.
We have a diverse group of clients who have very specific goals and very different audiences that they’re trying to reach. But regardless of your industry, at the end of the day we’re all aiming to make another person feel connected to our brand in some way. That is why the relationship with your brand is crucial. Typically, we all focus on three value propositions: price, performance and service. When in reality, there’s a fourth one. Consumers are three times more likely to purchase from a brand they feel connected to even over great service and price combined. And the experience is where you develop or evolve that relationship. Here’s an example we discussed about how an entire country was able to create a personal relationship.
3. The power of emotions.
Our job should be about creating memories. People will forget what you say but they won’t forget how you made them feel. Our brains are hardwired to forget ordinary experiences. At EventTech, there was a session all about neuroscience which sounded a bit out of place next to the Virtual Reality session but when you think about the foundation of our goals—creating a relationship and creating memories—it makes sense. Here’s an example of a brand that was able to evoke a powerful emotion: happiness.
4. Enemy Marketing
The fourth takeaway is all around developing a campaign and using emotion in a different way: Take a stand with enemy marketing. This is all about getting results by picking fights, going against the norm and being bold.
Most brands strive to tell what they stand for but only 46% of managers actually know what their company stands for. But when you tell people what your brand stands against they naturally fill in the blanks for what you really stand for.
There are many ways that brands use enemy marketing in their campaigns. One way is to make an enemy of stereotypes: Change people’s perceptions.
We’ve all heard comments like, “You throw like a girl.” Today, 7 out of 10 girls feel they don’t belong in sports so it’s really no wonder that more than half quit sports around puberty, at a moment where their confidence plummets and they are trying to conform to social expectations. This campaign by Always redefined the stereotype of “throwing like a girl” and empowered girls to gain confidence in participating in sports.
Another way to use enemy marketing? Break the traditional rules: Create the world’s longest email while still being completely relevant to your audience.
5. Technology? Find what works.
We don’t always need the latest and greatest technology trends to make an impression. Sometimes, technology can over-complicate your message and does more harm than good.
The golden rule is, if you can’t explain the idea of your experience to your parents in one sentence then it’s probably too complex. The goal is never to look “on trend” but simply and quickly minimize a point of tension for your audience in a fun way. And the bonus is when we can do it within budget.
Now, Google is a brand that most assume would pull off an extravagant experience. This experience was about making a genuine connection with their brand instead of the latest flashy technology.
If you want to learn more, you can watch our full presentation here!