Archive for the 'business to consumer' Category



27
Feb
12

Move over Facebook, there is a new social media channel in town

Pinterest has turned the act of “pinning” into a downright obsession among its 10 million users, providing never-ending pages of images that suck you in and leave you scrolling for more.  Needless to say, this site has taken procrastination to the next level.

Maybe it is the ease of pinning a variety of interests to your own boards that other people can “like” as well, or maybe it is just simply enticing because of the wealth of diverse images at your fingertips.  In any case, the female fan base has found reason to take up pinning as their new hobby.

Not only is Pinterest surpassing Facebook, Tumblr and the like in driving traffic to top websites such as marthastewartweddings.com, cookinglight.com, and self.com but according to The Week, it is doing so at an exponential rate unseen in other social media channels.

Once an image is repined, it is exposed to an entire new circle of people.  A cycle of advertising exposure that is essentially never-ending.

It makes sense, then, that businesses should jump on board this speed train.   And that, my friends, is exactly what is happening.  Because when it comes down to it, this is target marketing at its finest.

Businesses considering Pinterest can:

  1. Create their own pin boards that represent their company and their values. Think past and future designs, products, interesting product uses, ect.
  2. Smaller companies can even go as far as pinning interests that its employees have, making their company more personally relatable.
  3.  Add pin buttons (similar to the Facebook “like” button) to their website so people surfing their site can follow their boards on Pinterest.
  4. Feature new and upcoming products on these boards so the company can get a feel for the popularity based on the number of repins.  In short, it is test marketing without the legwork.

Obviously Pinterest is a great social media channel for any company who is advertising products that can be represented visually (food, magazines, fashion, automobiles, home improvement, art, etc.).   But it doesn’t have to stop there.  For instance, travel agencies can use visually enticing beaches or monuments to capture attention and fitness centers can use images of fit models to make people stop, think and click for more.

When it comes down to it, the basic psychology is this: people want to share their interests, but more importantly they want what everyone else has.  The higher the repin number, the more appealing that product becomes and the more attention it gets.

What do you think about Pinterest and how is your company including it in your social media efforts?  Have you pinned today?

30
Nov
11

Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit

There are many diets and many work out programs today. People are always trying to find the best way to be healthy. At times trying to whip yourself into shape can seem impossible. Drew Manning is a personal trainer from Utah and he is going the extra mile to show that you can lose those pesky pounds and eat right. In May he started an unprecedented journey that has gotten worldwide attention. He was tired of hearing that he didn’t know what it was like to be overweight or unhealthy. So, he decided to start the journey of fit to fat to fit. He quit exercising and quit following his strict diet. He started eating without restriction and even let people choose meals they wanted to see him eat. After six months of an unrestricted diet and gaining more than 70 pounds, he has started his journey back to fit. Manning appeared on The Jay Leno Show and Dr. Oz where he shared his experience of exercising and breaking his new addiction to Zingers and Mountain Dew.

Manning has taken the phrase “lead by example” to heart. Rather than sitting on the sidelines coaching people about fitness, he is on the front lines showing them by example that it can be done. He is demonstrating an excellent way to communicate. People can understand more when they are shown rather than told what to do. People of all professions can learn a thing or two about Manning’s message.

I for one am looking forward to seeing him accomplish this goal and see the many people he will inspire. You can follow his journey at http://www.fit2fat2fit.com/.

P.S. Thanks to our long distance intern Jeff Larsen for this post.

16
May
11

The New Marketing Reality: A Real World Matrix A look at Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a revolutionary technology transforming how users and advertisers interact and engage with the surrounding environment. According to John Havens, EVP of social media at Porter Novelli, “AR is the GPS of your life,” that could possibly turn every landscape into a screen of information, promotions, and advertising. Augmented reality has the potential to greatly impact the lives of users and the marketing capabilities of advertisers.

Augmented reality is the combination of real world and computer generated data that functions to enhance current perceptions of reality. Virtual reality uses technology to transform real world surroundings into a simulated environment that is bursting with information. The technology allows the surrounding real world to be digitally manipulated and enhanced.

For example, Valpak  recently announced its new augmented reality coupons. With a phone application called Junaio, users are able to interact and view the world around them in a new way. By simply typing in a key word, entering a distance parameter or holding up an enabled smartphone, users are presented with virtual information and coupons redeemable at surrounding establishments.  The information presented is in real time and allows users to intermingle and examine the world around them. Although the Valpak application only offers information pertaining to businesses with relevant specials or coupons, the future of augmented reality is immense.

The life changing technology offered by augmented reality will continue to evolve the way users and advertisers interact with consumers. With facial and object recognition, AR allows users to screen their surroundings with more than just the naked eye. Imagine a world where users can hold up smartphones and suddenly know the names or marital status of every stranger surrounding them on the street or the detailed information pertaining to logos and storefronts within the vicinity. This application will act as an advanced screening tool that will transform not only how users perceive their surroundings but also how they make decisions based on information provided.

As LG and Wikitude prepare for the release of the new Wikitude 3D Augmented Reality Browser (which will be available later this summer), advertisers should be prepared to interact with potential customers in a whole new light.

With this technology, every terrain presents a new possibility of connecting with users. For example with object recognition, a logo is now much more than just a symbol to promote a brand. Logos will be virtually screened and will allow users to know pertinent information pertaining to specials or close-by locations.  Augmented reality has the possibility to turn every street, building, sign, vehicle and environment into sources for information, promotions and advertisements. The possibilities will be endless.

How do you feel augmented reality will impact the lives of users and/or advertisers? Share with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

05
Jan
11

Branding Content: How creating a persona for your brand creates ROI

Branded content is essentially a fusion of entertainment and advertising that has been around for decades, just think of soap manufactures and the soap opera. With social media and the increasing prevalence of mobile apps in our daily lives, branded content seeks to have an increasingly large role in marketing and advertising of brands in the future.

Branded content can be anything from a short film, music, game, blog, mobile app, newsletter, blogzine, microsite or real-life event. The content merely exists to entertain and educate the consumer, while conveying subtle brand messages in the mean time. But more than this, branded content creates a persona for your brand and helps engage target audiences in a reciprocal relationship.

The idea for a brand is to listen to online conversations and establish what interests your target audiences. Is there a need or desire for certain information? Can you provide that information in an engaging way?

The most successful branded content programs are able to blend messaging in a seamless and transparent fashion, while still getting the information across to the consumer. Branded content creation serves several purposes: customer entertainment, stealth advertising and social engagement.

An industry that has embraced branded content is the fashion industry (see Louis Vuitton’s NOWNESS), but other brands that get it right are:

The iFood application allows users to:

  • Email or print coupons for Kraft products or even add them right to your store savings card.
  • Find recipes and post the ones you love to Facebook
  • Scan and enter a barcode to add to a shopping list or find recipes
  • Print shopping lists, coupons, and recipes
  • Get detailed recipe directions and even video tutorials
  • Set alerts about planned recipes, recopies of the day or special offers
  • Find a retailer to buy your products

Now, tell me that wont build more consumer loyalty?

Branded content is about creating an experiential story; It’s about crafting stories though every communication tool – signage, display advertising, print, radio and television ads, that are then translated to the web, social networks and now mobile apps. In the end it really comes down to knowing your customer extraordinarily well. By consistently engaging your audience via editorial content that is expertly mixed into the e-commerce landscape, you can tie sales. The best social media and branded content executions out there are driven by narrative, not commerce.

Branded content is quickly becoming a cost effective, long-term online marketing strategy that industries will continue to utilize as brands and retailers look for new, innovative ways to connect with customers online.

What impact do you think branded content can have on consumer behavior and where do you think this technique is headed in the future? We’d love to hear, so post a comment on The Side Note Blog, send us a tweet @Weise_Ideas, or find us on Facebook: Weise Communications.

10
Sep
10

You Want to Put Your Mouth On My What? Communication Principles in Practice at Your Hospital.

At the Side Note Blog we can’t really let a nipple sucking doctor get by without comment, now can we?

The story is rather offensive. A 20-year-old woman went to the doctor for a breast exam because of fluid seeping from her breast. The male doctor decided to “diagnose” the fluid seepage by obtaining permission to suck  her breast. Yes, he sucked on her breast. Unfortunately the Finnish court let the doctor off of sexual solicitation charges brought by the patient because the doctor  asked and obtained permission from the patient to suck on her breast.

Are you kidding me?

What was the patient supposed to say?

I am sure her “permission” sounded something like “uh… uh huh?”

I never went to medical school, but even I can come up with numerous ways of extracting a bodily fluid for testing that does not include anything unhygienic or overtly sexual.

I think it’s time to send med students and physicians back to school for additional communication courses. We are taught from a very young age to trust physicians. To do what they tell us to do. When they prescribe a medicine, we take it. When they order a test, we get it. A 20-year-old women worried about her health, seeking the advice of a physician, probably didn’t know HOW to respond to the physician’s offensive request.

I have had the pleasure to work with many wonderful physicians over the years. They all know that they leverage power over their patients. The good ones don’t abuse that power. The good physicians embrace this power and use it to inspire hope, increase confidence and decrease fear.

What are your physicians saying to their patients? How does their power of persuasion impact the healthcare provided by your institution? And what communication training do you use to ensure there is no offensive behavior at your organization? Tell us your stories here.

09
Sep
10

Google Instant: More than Interactive Search

On Sept. 8, Google announced the improved search feature, Google Instant.  Users on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer 8 will begin to see results displayed as soon as they type in queries.

At first glance, this simply seems like a time-saver, Google estimates 2 – 5 seconds saved per search. Really only enough time to sip your coffee. However, there is real value to the consumer, and marketers will need to step up vigilance on search term optimization especially for pay per click (PPC) campaigns.

For the consumer, Google Instant is better than the Google suggestions at the bottom of the first page of results. By seeing results as you type, you are better able to refine your search on the fly.  Google Instant makes interactive suggestions based on where others have been before.

For example, I typed in ‘ex’ and as you can see Google Instant delivers Expedia as my first option.

BEWARE! Marketers need to be concerned with the rest of the Google changes.  In preparation for the launch of Google Instant, Google quietly updated their keyword tool. This generated numerous reports of huge drops in search traffic numbers.

According to Gary Adam Shannon of searchenginewatch.com, the (exact) phrase [golf clubs] used to report an estimate of 165,000 monthly searches two weeks ago:

As of right now, the (exact) phrase [golf clubs] reports 33,100 monthly searches.

If you are currently running a PPC campaign, you must re-evaluate your search terms based on the changes Google has implemented.  This will impact website planning, SEO efforts and embedding keywords in websites.

Additionally, a faster, more streamlined search means less opportunity for long tail searches. This will drive up the PPC cost for popular search terms. Online marketers are going to have to go back to the basics as it relates to managing the search engine.

Let us know what you think of Google Instant and if you have seen a drop in your search traffic.  Follow Weise Communications on Twitter for more updates.

08
Sep
10

We’re Weise…and we approve this message

Election Day is November 2nd and in the next two months, traditional advertising vehicles will be bombarded with political advertising. Expect to see more TV, radio, outdoor and print advertising advocating a specific candidate, issue or initiative.  Even though this is a mid-term election, there are so many congressional (both senate and house) and governor elections, traditional advertising channels will be inundated with political advertising.

There are two major impacts for marketing professionals:

  • Inventory of available advertising space is extremely low
  • People will become numb to advertising due to the political ad messages

Studies have shown that negative advertising moves the polls for and against candidates more than ‘what I stand for’ advertising. The fact that people tend to retain negative information longer than positive information is another reason why negative political advertising is so effective. Since it is effective is shaping opinions, we know we will see negative ads.  We always do.

Prior to Election Day, advertisers should consider alternate advertising vehicles.  For example, focusing on a vertical market segment.  If you are trying to reach men, focus on sports related media like Sports Illustrated or ESPN.com.

However, all is not doom and gloom as advertisers take for granted that the public’s dislike for political ads will spillover to product ads.  It is our opinion that there is a contrast effect for product/service advertisers. Exposure to negative political ads impacts the consumer feelings about politics – product/service ads are unaffected by these feelings. In comparison with political ads, product ads appear even more attractive and credible.

Advertisers create entertaining, emotional and humorous ads positioning products/services in the most attractive light. Positivity is the face of product/service advertising. In contrast, political advertisers typically anger, disgust and repulse their audience.

Advertisers should prepare for November 3rd (the day after Election Day) with renewed effort.  The inventory will be available and the public will be more receptive to your message.

Let us know if you agree with us and follow Weise Communications on Twitter where we approve our tweets.

02
Sep
10

How can social media help your patients, not just your hospital?

A lot of space has been filled on The Side Note with information about how hospitals can use social media to help the help grow business, improve community relations, prepare for a crisis and provide general health information. In fact, many hospitals are embracing the use of social media to fill these particular communication needs. But, what about the patients?

Because we have a general policy of not writing about agency work on this blog, full disclosure is required for this posting. Weise Communications was involved in promoting the story I am referencing.  While we worked with the media to get the story placed, we were not involved in the social media outreach I am referring to.

The 7 News, Denver’s local ABC affiliate recently ran the story, “Doctor, Facebook Give Hope to Sick Ethiopian Teen. It is a heart-warming story about a physician, Dr. Paul Sakiewicz, at The Medical Center of Aurora who stepped up to provide charity care for an Ethiopian teenager sure to die without kidney therapy and ultimately a kidney transplant. It is a beautiful story that crosses countries, languages and boundaries.

But here is the kicker. A potential kidney donor was found through the use of Facebook. According to 7News:

“Sakiewicz said Haile’s kidneys are now functioning at just 6 percent, which means she’ll need a transplant. And like most teenagers, she uses the social media site Facebook, where she made a plea for help. Her post reads: ‘Hey everyone, as many of you already know, I’m in search of someone whose blood type matches mine who’s willing to give me a kidney.’

And surprisingly, a single mother from San Diego responded [a friend of a Facebook friend], indicating that she had the same blood type … and would be willing to donate a kidney if she was a match.”

This comment struck me. Many of us, those of us that maintain a skeptical and cautious view of the world and those around us, would see a posting like this on Facebook and immediately recall the dozens of scam emails we received over the years about someone in desperate need of money or medical assistance. But from a positive perspective, this time a life may TRULY be saved.

Can hospitals harness the power of social media to make a difference in the lives of their patients? Requesting organ donations is probably way out of the scope of anything many hospitals would be willing to consider (although organization such as the Donor Alliance or Bonfils might want to look into this option if they are not already), but there must appropriate tactics that fall within hospitals’ scope of services to help patients.

It is time to consider looking past Twittering the locations of the mobile mammogram vans or the dates of the blood drives and health fairs or your ER wait times.What can your hospital do to truly make a difference in the lives of your patients? Is your hospital, healthcare organization or association doing something that is truly unique? Tell all of us about it here.

13
Aug
10

Social Media Tips and Tricks: Facebook

To continue our series on social media, we’ll talk about some ideas to increase your brand awareness on Facebook.

Fans bring value to your brand. In addition to the digital word-of-mouth marketing, studies show that Facebook fans are more likely to buy a brand’s products than non-fans. So Facebook can be a great way to find your brand’s consumers and market to them directly. Today, more than 45 percent of Facebook’s audience is over the age of 26, so it’s not just for brands trying to market to tweens.

Here are four tips beyond the standard tactics of creating a profile and updating it with content:

  1. Paid advertisements on Facebook can help increase the reach and impact of exclusive offers and campaigns.
  2. See past the number of fans you have and look at your brand’s level of engagement. A fan’s activity on your page will spread throughout their personal network and news feed. And engagement is much more important than simple fan numbers.
  3. Facebook users like short polls and surveys. There are excellent tools that both B-2-B and B-2-C companies can use to encourage participation on the company’s fan page – and you many actually learn something about your fans too.

Let us know if you have any other great ideas to make Facebook work for you and your company, and check out Weise Communications on Facebook.

15
Jun
10

Maybe you need better advertising. Maybe you need a better tampon box.

Yes, this is a blog about tampons. And it is especially relevant for art directors who constantly wear black and get all broody when clients ask to see “something a little bit different, please.”

For years, I have had issues with what I refer to “tampon box creative.” If you are not familiar with my personal reference to tampon box creative, all you need to know is that tampon box creative is not compelling. It is not noteworthy and it is not interesting. And it is most likely not worthy of my blog writing time.

So my day started out on a bang when Jay, our creative director, forwarded me a link to the American Advertising Federation 2010 National ADDY Award Winners, specifically the Best of Show Winner. It’s a mini-movie about Tampax. Even better, the story is about a boy learning to appreciate Tampax.

If you ask me, figuring out how to advertise tampons from a boy’s perspective is pure genius. I applaud the Leo Burnett agency for a superior concept and final execution. It is truly stellar and deserves the accolades it receives.

It is worth mentioning, however, that it is not just the P&G tampon movie that talks about tampons from a new and different perspective. A slew of recent tampon ads for U by Kotex prove a point that tampon commercials have traditionally been inside the world of “tampon box creative” – nothing notable or memorable. Let’s face it, in the list of “Best Ads Ever” you don’t find any tampon commercials. But these are better than their predecessors.

I love the fact that Kotex and Tampax are stepping out and truly letting their creative agencies come up with different, unique and interesting ideas to generate brand awareness and drive sales in a traditionally stale market.

The lesson we can learn from this is that regardless of what the product is and no matter how traditional the advertising HAS been, when you hire people who literally think “outside the tampon box,” you can develop compelling creative that gets noticed.

What do you think about the P&G movie? Do you have examples of tampon box creative you want to share?

Are you looking for compelling, out of the tampon box creative? Call me. I can assure you that nothing we do here looks like a tampon box.




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