BRANDE : Integrated Marketing

June 22, 2015

Report: Social and Mobile Marketing Are on the Rise

Salesforce just released its 2015 State of Marketing report, and the results are very intriguing for online marketers, recruiters, and branding professionals. As Salesforce put it: “Marketers are shifting attention from traditional metrics like conversion rates to metrics that better reflect customer satisfaction.” More fascinating findings are below.

Salesforce surveyed thousands of marketers around the world and found that the top metric for digital marketing success was “return on investment” at 32% — but followed close behind by “customer satisfaction” at 30%. “Customer retention” was just as important as “customer acquisition,” with both rated at 23%.

Salesforce - Metrics for success

Marketers aren’t just engaging online; they’re listening, too

Some of the ways that companies are seeking customer-oriented success stand out to me. 44% are using social media engagement, which Salesforce separates from social media listening at 37%. Just a few spaces down, 38% of marketers use blogging as a strategy, 37% use videos, 31% use content marketing, and 15% use podcasts, of all things. This proves that there are a number of compelling, innovative, and just plain fun ways of reaching your audience online. I also find it interesting that social media listening rated a “very effective or effective” rate of 68%, the highest on the list, tied with email marketing. Are you using social media listening software in your marketing or recruiting efforts?

The importance of social marketing

Globally, the value of social media marketing is becoming more clear. 66% of marketers now believe social marketing is core to their business, and the same portion now have a dedicated team managing their social media efforts. Perhaps most significantly, the number of marketers who categorize social as a primary revenue source has doubled since last year.

What channels are brand using? The top five are Facebook (80%), Twitter (70%), LinkedIn (62%), Google Plus and YouTube (both at 56%). But the Salesforce report discovered a range of new or niche channels, including Line (11%), MySpace (17%), Flickr (20%), and Snapchat (13%). As for the most effective social marketing, only one site beat out simply “videos” at 81% — a site called Tagged, “the social network for meeting new people” (86%).

Salesforce - Currently using social sites

This proves not only that your organization needs to be on the “big five,” but that you should look for other sites that better reflects your brand or speaks to your audience. Along with text posts and blog articles, consider photos, videos, infographics, podcasts, and specific content for sites like Vine, Line, and SlideShare.

Mobile finally makes a big splash

Salesforce’s headline is “The Year of Mobile Has Arrived — For Real This Time,” and the numbers back that up. In 2014, only 23% of marketers were using some form of mobile marketing (like apps, SMS, or location-based functions). In 2015, that number has doubled to 46%. 58% of organizations (and 73% of US organizations) have a dedicated team for mobile marketing — which means that more than half of all brands have specific stakeholders for both social and mobile, a crazy concept five years ago. If your marketing department is too small, it may be time to bring in an agency partner to manage at least one of these important initiatives.

I also find it interesting that 35% of marketers consider just “brand awareness” a metric for success. That means that even non-profits or B2B brands without a retail location can still leverage mobile to expand your customer base and increase revenue.

Salesforce - Marketing ROI

Looking ahead to 2016

The cost of inaction in social and mobile marketing looks to climb higher. Three of the top five areas of increased spending for American companies are in social media; another is in location-based mobile tracking. When asked which technologies are “most critical to creating a cohesive customer journey,” 52% of marketers named mobile applications. And since responsive design can lead to a 130% increase in clicks for emails read on a mobile device, 68% of marketers say responsive design is “absolutely critical” or “very important” to their email marketing campaigns. Another 46% always or often integrate responsive design into their website landing pages. Thus, even “old” marketing methods like email and websites are being affected by social media and mobile devices.

According to the report, the third-biggest challenge for all marketers around the world is “remaining up to date with current marketing technology and trends.” Brandemix has had great success with online marketing, branding, and recruiting efforts with organizations of all sizes. Check out our portfolio or contact us for more information. And be sure to download the full Salesforce State of Marekting report here.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.

January 19, 2015

The Coolest Innovations from CES (and How They Can Help Your Business)

I love gadgets so I’m always eager to see what new tech is on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I’ve scoured all the exhibitions and wanted to share the best with you — along with ways you can use them to help your business.

Smartwatches and other wearables

CNET called the wearables on display at CES “connected, invisible, and everywhere.” There was the Fenix 3 from Garmin, the OneTouch from Alcatel (a great deal at about $150), and the SmartWatch from Sony. All feature small but legible interfaces on wrist-sized screens. But they also need to be Bluetooth-connected to an actual phone in your purse or wallet. That’s why I like the GoldKey Secure Communicator, which runs Android all on its own. Your move, Apple.

GoldKey watch, courtesy of CNET

But there was other wearable tech at CES. Sony debuted the Smart Eyeglass, a competitor to Google Glass, and Misfit exhibited the Swarovski Shine, a fitness wearable in the form of a blue crystal pendant.

How this will affect your business: Mobile marketing and recruiting is only going to increase, since everyone will soon be wearing at least one mobile device. That means responsive web design that can shrink to the size of a screen 1.6 inches square. It also means large buttons and minimal text. The fight for people’s attention will get more intense, but companies that send too many push notifications will likely get deleted. So the search for a good balance will continue.

Software and hardware

There was all sorts of tech at CES that promises to make running your business easier. As someone who’s always losing power cords, I was excited by Zolt’s “ultra-small” Laptop Charger Plus, which has ports for charging three devices at once — and comes in eye-catching red or blue to you’ll never forget to grab it after a meeting. I also liked WakaWaka’s solar-powered charger and Lynktec’s Reeljuice, “the world’s first back-up battery for mobile devices to full integrate a fully retractable cord reel design.” Green tech and less cords on the conference table combine for the win.

Zolt chargers

CES doesn’t really focus on software, but I was impressed by Opera Max, which can shrink photos, videos, and text on any Android phone by up to 50%, giving users more data across apps and browsers, which means saving money on data plans. I’m also keeping my eye on Lima, which won two CES Innovation awards. It unifies all your devices so that you see the same screen on each platform, just in a different size. When you rename a file on your phone, it’s renamed on your tablet and laptop as well. And it all does all this without access to the cloud, which means increased security and privacy for your content.

How this will affect your business: All these innovations are ways for your organization to work smarter, not harder, and to save time and money. These may not be as sexy as futuristic watches or virtual reality, but you’ll notice an increase in efficiency and improved time management, as will your employees — and job candidates when they come to your office. After all, no one wants to work for an company that seems stuck in the past.

Virtual reality and drones

VR and drones are on the verge of changing photography and videography. Oculus Rift’s new Crescent Bay headset was a huge hit at CES, showcasing better optics, a friendlier fit, and 360-degree audio which made you feel even more immersed in the scenery. I love it, but the company still has no release date for a consumer version.

Drones were also immensely popular at the show. To me, the best (and cutest) was the Zano.Fresh, which is about the size of your hand, can be controlled by your smartphone, and shoots HD video.

Zano Fresh drone

How this will affect your business: I always recommend that employers show off their location and workplace to job-seekers, and these new technologies take that to the next level. Soon candidates will be able to virtually walk around your entire building, “sit” in the conference home, “eat” in the breakroom, and “see” the view from the CEO’s office. Drones will let you take unobtrusive video of your work, such as constructing a building, or your volunteer events, like running a 5K. Giving top talent a memorable experience will become an important differentiator for recruiters in the very near future.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.


August 19, 2014

Is Radio Dead? Marketers Changing Media Mix

Nothing can bring about more bad karma than squashing the hopes of the hopeful. That’s why I kept my mouth closed when a friend ebulliently shared his excitement about his new opportunity with a popular major market radio station. Just kidding. I actually said “Radio? Do people still listen to radio?”

With Playlists, Grooveshark, Pandora, Sirius, SoundCloud, Spotify and Audible (just to name a few), I question the continued relevance of radio in our lives.


Further research unveiled the  latest data from the CMO Council which confirmed my suspicions. Radio spend is indeed dropping, albeit not as fast as its ailing cousins (print and TV). Not surprisingly, the biggest changes upward are in interactive spending including social advertising, social media, video, retargeting, and search.

I also read that an unnamed source at GM predicted that car makers will remove radios from the dashboard of new cars within the next five years.

But before you turn the dial off, there are a few inconsistencies.

– In a recent MarketingCharts Debrief on ad channel effectiveness, traditional media such as TV and print outweighed digital channels in stated purchase influence among consumers.

– Highlights from the March 2014 RADAR® 120 National Radio Listening Report claims that the total U.S. radio audience has increased by more than 1.2 million weekly listeners since March 2013, and now reaches 244.4 million Americans on an average weekly basis. Daily time spent listening among radio listeners ages 12 and up now averages approximately two hours and 41 minutes a day, holding steady from the previous year. I also believe in radio’s ability to connect with a both a local community as well as a passive audience of people who are hearing your message as they drive to work, or sit at work or listen to the weather, news, and traffic delays.

So, whether you’re on the air or on the internet, or just in charge of radio ad sales, there’s still some hope for your career. Like everything else, radio is evolving to a digital platform but will still be an important consideration for marketers looking to extend their brand reach through an integrated marketing approach.

The most important thing is to reach for your dreams, whether they’re on the air or in the clouds.

June 26, 2011

This Week in Social Media

– Mobile marketing took a big step forward when American Express announced a new partnership with Foursquare. The social networking app allows cardholders to link their Foursquare profiles to their cards, giving them access to specials without the need for coupons. When a cardholder sees a special they want, they check in to the location and “load” the discount onto their card, and their credit card statement confirm it. While only available at three merchants so far, I predict this innovative partnership will spread to other credit card companies and to other social networks, including Facebook.

The takeaway: Mobile is the next great frontier in shopping, socializing, and job searching. Is it part of your social media strategy?

– UP2U, a new stick gum from the makers of Mentos, launched an aggressive social media campaign ahead of its product launch. Though the gum isn’t yet sold anywhere in the US, the UP2U Facebook page neared 100,000 likes this week. Mentos offered free gum to the first 1,000 people who liked the page, but even after that milestone was hit, the promotion continued to go viral. The campaign should hit a whole new level next month when Mentos asks its Facebook fans to provide the name of friends who would like free samples.

The takeaway: Even without a product, UP2U has created fun, opinionated community by asking questions on its Facebook wall, all of which include the phrase “it’s up to you.” Chew on this smart blend of branding and engagement.

– Jason Valdez, an ex-convict in Salt Lake City, found time during a 16-hour police standoff to update his Facebook status. Friends and family members responded to him in real time, offering everything from pleas to “do the right thing” to, in one case, alerting Valdez to a SWAT officer hiding in the bushes. The standoff is over and the hostage is safe, but SLC police are still trying to determine if anyone who commented on Valdez’s Facebook wall should be charged with obstruction of justice or hampering a police investigation. Authorities are also debating whether Valdez’s posts themselves are a crime.

The takeaway: Social media is changing every type of interaction, and no one is totally certain what the new rules are. We’re all pioneers, so don’t be afraid to try.

– Lastly, this week my company BRANDEMiX partnered with the US Open to promote their July 7 job fair, where the National Tennis Center and all its hiring partners will be accepting resumes and conducting interviews to fill thousands of positions at this year’s tennis tournament. For this project, we created a microsite, a Twitter account and a Facebook Page.

The takeaway: Check out our Team US Open sites and tell me what you think!
May 7, 2011

If The Shoe Fits: Social Media Lessons from Converse

   Mashable just published an interview with Geoff Cottrill, Chief Marketing Officer of Converse. One passage jumped out at me:
   One day he discovered that Converse had 8 million [Facebook] fans and was asked what the brand should do. “Nothing,” he replied.
   How counter-intuitive! While the interview goes on to show that Cottrill’s philosophy isn’t quite that meager, his strategy for Converse is very simple and effective. Here are the lessons you can take from the shoe company and apply to your own brand.
   Listen More Than You Talk
   Cottrill explains that he actually meant “Do nothing special,” meaning Converse should allow online conversations to go on without any assistance. “The bottom line is that in social media you have to let go,” he tells Mashable, pointing out that the era of one-way communication is over. Studies have shown that people “Unlike” brands on Facebook when they post too often and broadcast too much promotional material. Allow your customers to come to you and address their concerns. If you just link to your own press releases, people will stay away.

   Give Things Away
   Knowing that rock musicians have a history of wearing Converse shoes to express their “individuality and independence,” the company is about to open a recording studio in Brooklyn, which it will rent to new bands for free; Cottrill promises that the musicians won’t even be asked to promote Converse in their work. You may not be able to offer a recording studio, but you can still hold giveaways and contests on your Twitter feed, Facebook Page, or blog. Give everyone who votes in your online poll a chance to win a small gift card or one of your less expensive products. You can also give away white papers, e-books, or other premium content.

   Focus on Core Marketing Truths

   For Cottrill, that means “Be relevant, make a connection, and be useful.” A quick check of the Converse Twitter feed shows that a significant portion of the tweets are @replies to customers and fans. You can emulate this strategy by keeping straight promotion to a minimum and actively engaging your followers with answers, fun facts, surveys, and links to content that matches their interests and lifestyle.
   Don’t Duplicate Content
   Cottrill says that he modifies his messaging based on the platform. The example he gives involves posting videos of rock bands on YouTube, while asking for band member interview questions from followers on Twitter. Duplicating content may save time, but you’ll pay for it as followers get tired of seeing the same links three or four times in one day. I’m very aware of this phenomenon and I created the Four Essential Profiles to ensure that your four main messaging sources work together instead of against each other.
   Ultimately, Cottrill compares his social media campaign to being a good party guest: bringing your unique voice to the medium, letting go of the urge to manage the conversation, and trusting your customers. The result is that Converse has four times as many Facebook fans as its parent company Nike — and over three times that of Pepsi, which aggressively advertises its brand. “The key is to know yourself as a brand, be confident in your POV, and act that way wherever you are,” he says. Good advice.
   Read the entire interview here.