Scheduling Marketing: Long-Ranging verus Spontaneous
To be successful in the field of marketing, companies should strive to blend both traditional and social media. In an Adweek article, Tom Doctoroff, CEO of JWT Asia Pacific, explains that, “our goal must be to align yin and yang – or “top down” (broadcast) and “bottom-up” (interactive) platforms. When digital and traditional creative are conceived separately, brands lose focus, which confuses people.”
Doctoroff continued that, “marketers spend more than $250 billion a year on broadcast advertising.” Although most of us are consumed in our social media realms, we are continuously surrounded by traditional media. This ranges from product placement in television shows or movies, billboards, print media, and high profile television advertisement. The influence is often so subtle, we are unaware of its impact.
Traditional media can be a costly, time-consuming, and a tenuous task. Companies risk wasting years and spending millions on a campaign that doesn’t resonate. However, if one finds success, traditional marketing can make a lasting impact. Budweiser’s Super Bowl campaign is one of the most effective forms of a classic marketing strategy. According to USA TODAY, in 2015 this became “three in a row for Anheuser-Busch and the 13th time in the past 15 years that Anheuser-Bush has won USA TODAY’s Ad Meter ranking of all the ads by a consumer panel.” This is through a combined “61 commercials that cost advertisers up to a record $4.5 million per 30 seconds of airtime.”
Budwieser maintains a strong traditional media strategy by continuing a successful storyline. During a Social Code interview, Senior Digital Marketing Manager for Budwieser, Chris Jones, said they found success in following “the emotional message of true friendship, and it created a lot of positive customer sentiment.” Budweiser’s kept their signature Clydesdales, while introducing a new puppy character to their brand. Through building on positive emotion, customers were able to recognize Budweiser in the same light. I know i’m not the only individual who teared up during their Super Bowl commercial!
The “Lost Puppy” commercial garnered enough success for a successful campaign, however, Budweiser was effective in continuing the conversation through social media. As shown below, the Twitter post generated over one million views. Jones continued that, “we knew there was an opportunity to scale activation and evolve this into a 360 campaign, which we did with the addition of robust influence strategy, retail components, and other elements.” If traditional and social media are simultaneously intertwined, there is an opportunity to engage conversation far longer than a 30-second commercial. Dialogue increases the brand’s value and reputation.
Spontaneity, on the other hand, if used in the proper context and diction can be refreshing. In the moment messaging is commonly distributed through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Compared to traditional marketing, spontaneous marketing does not allow for planning. A company can run the risk of an ill-timed message, improper language, or a rushed product, which can damage a brand’s reputation. However, if done properly spontaneous messaging is real, authentic, and often times the most connected with the consumer.
In 2014, Beyonce released her new album via Instagram without any prior notice or strategic marketing. According to Forbes, the album “sold 828,773 copies worldwide in just three days. That marks both the largest single week ever in the U.S. iTunes store, and iTunes’ fastest-selling album ever.” Her strategy was different than most album releases. Companies typically spend months and millions of dollars on promotion. Her strategy required no funding. The shock factor also compelled those who were inquisitive to buy the album, share their purchase, and talk about it through social media platforms.
Direction of Communication: Unidirectional versus Bidirectional/Dialogue
For any relationship to be successful, a two-way communication strategy needs to be followed. Classic marketing relies on top-down messaging, which is no longer effective. Customers do not want to be force-fed information or rely solely on the voice of a brand. Consumers want to be engaged through social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Pinterest, etc. Their opinions should be included in product design, improvement, customer service, and all decisions involving marketing. The company’s voice should parallel that of the customer.
The Twitter account for Jeep represents a classic form of communication. Jeep has already established a brand that is built on handling rugged terrain and adventures. Their Twitter account reinforces this reputation, but their account does not resemble a personalized experience. Jeep is missing an opportunity to engage an audience of Jeep lovers who thrive on sharing their experiences.
For the upcoming Labor Day weekend, Jeep chose to post an image related to canoeing. Jeep should have used this opportunity to ask fellow Jeep owners to share their Labor Day adventures, since the holiday is built around beach trips, camping, and mountain travels. A huge part of owning a Jeep is sharing adventures and building a story within a community. There is an opportunity to build a narrative.
Reebok and Burt’s Bees are two companies that directly engage in social media with their customer base. They are direct in answering questions, assisting in finding products, and addressing concerns. Most questions that are posed to the brand are answered within a reasonable amount of time, therefore, the consumer does not feel ignored. Furthermore, as demonstrated in the Reebok example below, the brand is also asking follow up questions, which compels the consumer to share more thoughts. This not only personalizes the brand, but solicits direct feedback from the consumer.
In theory, engagement humanizes a brand. Consumers develop a relationship which leads to brand loyalty. Two-way engagement encourages conversation and dialogue. In turn, this promotes an increase in customer service value. After a relationship is established, companies can promote products without appearing forceful. Product placement becomes a friendly recommendation rather than a corporate payout. Consumers suddenly are grateful to have the suggestions of Burt’s Bees on their next travel adventure. They are no longer a company, but in their network of trusted sources.