Customer Experience Is King in 2018, and at #AADM18

It’s one of the major themes we’ve seen this year among the most successful marketers: The customer’s experience is your brand — far more so than anything you say in media, paid or earned. If you don’t deliver a great omnichannel experience for your customer, your brand is going to suffer. So what goes into creating those experiences from the point of view of a CMO or brand leader? I have a great chance for you to find out.

Brand leaders in 2018 are obsessed with the customer experience.

It’s one of the major themes we’ve seen this year among the most successful marketers: The customer’s experience is your brand — far more so than anything you say in media, paid or earned. If you don’t deliver a great omnichannel experience for your customers, your brand is going to suffer.

So what goes into creating those experiences from the point of view of a CMO or brand leader?

On June 28 at the All About Direct Marketing virtual conference, we’re going to delve deep into that across many sessions, including keynotes with brand leaders from two top American brands.

Patrick McLean Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, TD Bank – America's Most Convenient Bank
Patrick McLean EVP and CMO, TD Bank

TD Bank CMO Talks Marketing Leadership

You may have heard TD Bank CMO Patrick McLean on the Marketing Garage podcast. In the afternoon keynote, we’ll go deeper into how McLean and TD Bank build those experiences, and what it takes to be a marketing leader today and in the future.

Xfinity Brand Leader Creates Customer Experiences at Enormous Scale

Todd Arata Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing, Comcast
Todd Arata SVP, Brand Marketing, Comcast

But before that, to kick off the show, we’ll be talking to Comcast Xfinity SVP of Brand Marketing Todd Arata about how Xfinity connects with customers one-to-one at enormous scale as their cable offering has expanded to one of the largest in America. It’s a challenge Comcast is meeting with technology, strategy and out-of-the-box thinking, and we’ll discuss how they make that happen.

And More Marketing Strategy and Insights!

Beyond those star keynotes, the schedule is packed with great sessions:

It’s a stacked agenda, we’ve been working hard on it, and I hope you’ll stop by to hear them all for yourself at the 2018 All About Direct Marketing virtual conference.

 

The Great Twitter Roundup: All About Direct Marketing 2017

All About Direct Marketing Virtual Conference and Expo was last week — let’s see what attendees had to say in the #AADM hashtag.

Hey there, I hope everyone’s enjoying their May so far. Here in Philadelphia, it’s definitely not always sunny at the moment, especially for this far into springtime. Luckily, nice weather was not a requirement for the All About Direct Marketing Virtual Conference and Expo last week, live on May the 4th of all days. (And yes, the Force was strong.) AADM is the baby of my BFFs here at Target Marketing.

The virtual conference featured sessions and speakers highlighting the hottest hot-button issues in direct marketing for 2017. While it was live last week, if you didn’t make it you can still catch the full show or check out just a few sessions on-demand until August 8. It’s all free — just submit your registration and you’re good to go.

But if you’re busy at the moment and just want a snapshot to tide you over, I did a quick scan of the #AADM17 hashtag to see what reactions and takeaways attendees had that day. Let’s take a look!

c_adzlnuiaajnk8

You might be able to tell just from a cursory glance, like I did, that one of the real talking points of the day was the closing keynote session: Here Are the Women: A way forward for the world’s largest emerging market, with speaker Julie Rezek, President, North America, of HackerAgency. There were definitely enlightening, important points made in this one, and timely to say the least.

But the full agenda was filled with interesting and diverse topics like tapping into emotion to fuel sales, color psychology in marketing, the recipe for viral videos, and emerging tech for interactive direct mail. The full agenda is here for your perusal.

Want to explore these sessions and more? Sign up here and you’ll have immediate access to the show, to enjoy at your leisure. If you do visit, don’t forget to spread the love on social like these fine folks did — #AADM17!

Catch you next time!

Why the Heineken Video Went Viral

Why is online content shared? To build one’s social standing? Or develop the sharer’s self-image? Those and related questions were answered last week in “10 Ingredients for Your Video to Go Viral” for the All About Direct Marketing Virtual Conference and Expo. I mentioned the recent Heineken viral video “Worlds Apart.” So today, here are a few reasons why.

How Heineken Went ViralWhy is online content shared? To build one’s social standing? Or develop the sharer’s self-image? Those and related questions were answered last week in “10 Ingredients for Your Video to Go Viral” for the All About Direct Marketing Virtual Conference and Expo. I mentioned the recent Heineken viral video “Worlds Apart.” So today, here are a few reasons why.

If you missed 10 Ingredients for Your Video to Go Viral last week, you can still watch and listen to it here.

Participants during my session posed some questions about making successful videos. Here is the Q&A, including my thoughts about the Heineken video.

How Do You Find Out What Your Customers Want to See if You Offer a Service?

Whether you offer a service or product, the obvious answer might be to ask your customers. But I’d actually suggest that your customers may prefer to be surprised. That is, avoid the obvious and consider the obscure presentation that no one thought to ask about.

Think about how you can use the news or headlines to create a story. Or perhaps there is an attitude or temperament you want to tap into. The Heineken Worlds Apart video, released on April 20, has had over 11 million views so far. They don’t sell beer. Rather, it’s a commentary about our culture, and that while some people may be worlds apart, they can agree to disagree, and perhaps even soften barriers over a beer. It’s a brilliant video, and at over 4 minutes in length, delivers a strong message that surely strengthens their brand. By the way, this illustrates that under-two-minute videos aren’t the only way to command views.

https://youtu.be/8wYXw4K0A3g

Behind-the-scenes can always be a pleasant surprise. Show how your product is made — or how it is used, out in the wild. Gather testimonials and let the word-of-mouth tell your story in an unexpected way.

If you’re a non-profit, show the outcomes — with real stories — of what you provide, and make sure it’s an emotional tug.

Is an Informal Video Stronger Than a Professional Scripted Video?

Sometimes. It really depends. The Heineken video doesn’t appear to have been scripted, but rather, a lot of footage was shot and it was edited down to create a compelling story that a lot of people have viewed, and perhaps embraced. More important that the video quality is the audio quality. Social media users forgive shaky smartphone videos, but if they can’t discern the audio or if there is distracting, loud background noise, they may not stay with it.

So Green Screen Videos Are Out?

A lot of interesting graphics and text can be used if you have a talking head on video and recorded in front of a green screen. People want to connect emotionally with interesting people, so I would suggest you need the right person to be on camera if you’re shooting in front of a green screen. Also, a green screen allows for simple, controlled, limited lighting in a confined area. In editing, you have options around the environment the speaker is in—and it can change during the video.

You Are What You Share: Why Videos Go Viral

What makes a video go viral? Is it because it includes kids, kittens or puppies? Or is it because there’s something much deeper? If you want your articles or videos to be shared, you must understand why and how your content will reflect on the individual sharing it.

What Makes Your Video Go Viral?For more on how to go viral, don’t miss Gary’s session on the All About Direct Marketing Virtual Conference, on May 4! Click here to register.

What makes a video go viral? Is it because it includes kids, kittens or puppies? Or is it because there’s something much deeper? If you want your articles or videos to be shared, you must understand why and how your content will reflect on the individual sharing it.

Why Shares Go Viral

Neuroscience and other research studies suggest that for a video to go viral, there are several deep-seated ingredients that must come together.

A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania neuroscience research lab team recorded brain activity from participants about how they reacted to New York Times health articles. Brain activity suggests that people have a two-part process to decide what to share on social media, and it all points to how shared articles or videos shape their identity:

  • Social relationships: How sharing an article or video will reflect on you
  • Developing self-image: Will friends be interested in the article or video?

In other words, people share things that they believe will improve their relationships, make them appear smart or, in one way or another, look favorable.

You Are What You Share

The deep dive, on a simple sharing impulse, is that your brain looks for information to share with others. It’s how we’re wired. Additional reasons for shares:

  1. To express who we really are
  2. To convey a sense of our ideal self and aspirations
  3. To nurture relationships

In a New York Times study titled “The Psychology of Sharing: Why Do People Share Online?” six sharing personality types where described:

  1. Altruists: Motivated to bring valuable content to those they care about
  2. Careerists: Focused on developing a strong network of personal and professional contacts.
  3. Hipsters: They like to start a conversation, debate or controversy. They are always looking to connect with like-minded people.
  4. Boomerangs: Motivated primarily by reactions; they like to start a debate and generate comments.
  5. Connectors: For them, they share mutual experiences and including others.
  6. Selectives: Shares information they feel will be of value to a specific person.

This same study found that 68 percent share to define themselves. Eighty-four percent share to support causes or brands that they care about.

In other words, you are what you share. You share to express who you are, deep inside.

The Elements of Great Direct Marketing

The elements of great direct marketing have mostly remained unchanged. Target an audience, make an emotional connection, offer them what they want, make it easy for them to order, measure response and learn from the experience so you can do it better next time. The “All About Direct Marketing Virtual Conference” is built to show the elements of great direct marketing in today’s marketing environment.

There was a time when the term “direct marketing” pretty much only meant direct mail, because that was the only addressable channel out there. Then, of course, came direct space ads, radio and TV, telemarketing, and finally, the Internet.

Throughout them all, the elements of great direct marketing have mostly remained unchanged. Target an audience, make an emotional connection, offer them what they want, make it easy for them to order, measure response and learn from the experience so you can do it better next time.

Always be improving, optimizing, expanding the audience while better targeting what you send them.

These ideas are no less essential today than they were 50 years ago.

What is a little different is how to employ them.

Audiences online are easier and cheaper to reach thanks to all the digital channels. But they’re less defined by their demographics than their interests and self-perception. Getting them to engage and trust you is a totally different challenge; one that often has to be met by proving the authenticity of your brand more than offering a simple satisfaction guarantee.

All About Direct Marketing

The “All About Direct Marketing Virtual Conference” is built to show how the elements of great direct marketing are still essential to succeeding in today’s marketing environment.

Targeting an audience: The show kicks off with our reigning Marketer of the Year Windsor Hanger Western, who’s built her empire on connecting with college-age women — she’ll talk about how to connect with the upcoming generation Y and Z audience. And the show closes with Julie Rezek, President North America for the Hacker Agency, sharing her world-renowned insights about how marketers should be connecting with women today.


Making an emotional connection: “5 Emotions That Fuel Sales and How to Tap Into Them” (with Mandy Marksteiner) and “Color Psychology and How It Can Make or Break Your ROI” (with Jeanette McMurtry) will show you how to connect with your audience.

Offer them what they want and make it easy to order: That may be very specific to your audience, but Gary Hennerberg’s “10 Ingredients for Your Video to go Viral” and Summer Gould’s “Bring Direct Mail to Life With Interactive Elements” will show you how to make direct marketing that breaks through the clutter and demands a response.

But perhaps the best part about attending All About Direct Marketing is that it’s entirely free and online. You can watch it right from your desk, couch, coffee shop or wherever you want, as demonstrated by Melissa Ward:

I guarantee John Wannamaker was never able to do that!

The elements of great direct marketing may be timeless, but the environment you market in is constantly changing. Join us on May 4 to learn how to bring those elements together and market better today.