Interview: “Social influencers move prospects through the consideration cycle”

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Kevin BobowskiIn order to demystify the myth around social influencers, brand fans and brand advocates, we will discuss the topic in the future with different leading marketing specialist of emerging platforms and different cloud marketing providers.

In this first interview The Strategy Web spoke with Kevin Bobowski, Vice-President Marketing at Offerpop, about social influencers, their relevance for brand perception, and how he sees the future of brand advocates.

TSW: Will social influencers and brand fans ever play a role in the sales process of companies?

Kevin Bobowski: Brand advocates and social influencers already play a key role at every stage of the customer journey – often simultaneously. Through sharing branded content and recommending products, they build brand awareness, move prospects through the consideration cycle, and help convert those prospects into customers. Companies must do more to nurture the relationships with influencers and advocates, formalizing their involvement in the buy cycle.

TSW: Why is it so challenging for marketers to find and leverage real brand fans?

Kevin Bobowski: I think that most social marketers have a sense of who their real brand fans are. The challenge is in translating that knowledge into real business value. To do this, social marketers must break out of the “social silo” and play a bigger role in impacting marketing strategy. For example, they might work with email marketers to create campaigns that target brand advocates they’ve identified with exclusive rewards. Their ability to communicate their insights across marketing organizations will have a long-term impact on conversions.

TSW: What is a successful tactic to build a strong database of brand fans?

Kevin Bobowski: Marketers should run consistent, engaging social marketing campaigns. These campaigns build strong, active fan bases, and hit other key goals like email capture and sales. One standout tactic: hashtag campaigns. They incentivize fans to share user-generated content, which deepens their relationships with brands. Many brands promote them through traditional channels like TV, and encourage participation through multiple social networks. This grows their viral reach, leading to fan growth and engagement.

TSW: When is a brand fan converting into a superfans?

Kevin Bobowski: Our definition of a superfan is a customer who consistently shares your content, advocates your brand, and influences others to form relationships with your brand. Marketers should track the interactions, loyalty and influence of their fans, and use those insights to create more targeted, ROI-driven marketing efforts across every channel.

TSW: How does Offerpop help to boost the value of brand advocates?

Kevin Bobowski: Offerpop social campaigns help brands boost the value of brand advocates in a number of ways. Number one, we encourage fans to amplify brand messages (through retweeting, sharing, etc.) Number two, we help brands run campaigns that inspire engagement and brand affinity. Brands use our platform to capture rich data about their fan base, which enables them to cultivate relationships with them through multiple channels, like email, direct mail, etc. And they also help brands capture user-generated content, which brands can choose to showcase in a number of ways. All of these actions help brands deepen relationships with their advocates and increase the virality of their messaging.

TSW: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Kevin Bobowski leads all marketing efforts at the social marketing platform provider Offerpop including branding, product marketing, demand generation and digital marketing. Prior to Offerpop, Kevin was the Vice-President of Product & Solution Marketing at ExactTarget where he was responsible for the strategy and execution of ExactTarget’s go-to-market strategy, demand generation programs and product launches.

MINI: Engaging fans with digital billboard campaign

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No, I am NOT normal! I am not a normal MINI fan. I am a brand advocate of MINI. And maybe that is the reason why I like and share this campaign from my favorite brand.

With their campaigns MINI in the UK celebrates the NOT NORMAL relationship of their friends, fans and followers. A relationship which reflects a deep connection to their cars. Not MINI conquered many, many digital billboards with professional spotters. Target: Engaging MINI fans while they are driving. Special cameras were set up and placed to reward MINI drivers. Isn’t this a cool idea from MINI?!

dmexco 2013 – Flashback in Tweets & Quotes

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dmexco 2013 Women Leadership Paneldmexco 2013 is over.

The growth trend of the digital marketing show is impressive and continues to write a promising history.
Visitors: 26.300 – increase by 16% compared to 2012
Exhibitors: 742 – means over 164 exhibitors more than 2012
International attendance: approx. 25% of visitors and of exhibitors
Satisfied visitors: More than 80% were happy with the event and exhibitor presentations

Future of Digital Marketing
1. “The era of digital marketing is over. It’s almost dead. It’s now just brand building.” Marc Pritchard, P&G http://bit.ly/15eHlWR (Tweet by Armando Alves) – Watch Closing Keynote Day 1

Future of the Moment
2. “Twitter is a reflection of our individual and shared moments, which is why it gives all of us, including brands, the opportunity to engage and to act. In short, it allows us to be in the moment.” (Quote by Katie Stanton) – Watch Closing Keynote Day 2

Future of Programmatic
3. “The client defines the value, not the agency. #Programmatic helps us capture the value,” says Arun Kumar” (Tweet by IPG Mediabrands) – Watch Programmatic vs. Problematic

Future of Content Marketing
4. “Great discussion on the role and meaning of content marketing in the Debate Hall of @dmexco” (Tweet by Roza Tsvetkova) – Watch Content Marketing Debate

5. Future of Creativity & Innovation
“Adding value is to make the complex simple” says Laura Desmond. I agree! #dmexco” – (Tweet by Simon Harris) – Watch Laura Desmond!

In another year as a co-moderator of the dmexco conference program, it was a great honor to moderate
the “Women Leadership Table” for the second time – this year Denise Colella (Maxifier), Noelia Fernández Arroyo (Yahoo!), Anne Frisbie (InMobi) and Ashley Swartz (Furious Minds) attended. Thank you ladies, you were smart and know why analytics, mobile, social, and content seed the future of brand success.

The moderation of the panel “Realtime Branding” (Social Media) was a great pleasure for me. Here we had Sarah Wood (Unruly), Surjit Chana (IBM), Brian Goffman (LinkedIn), Holger Luedorff (Foursquare) and Markus Spiering (Flickr/Yahoo!) at the dmexco bar table. Learnings? If there was a network with a limitation of 50 words, they would be able to manage it perfectly. Just watch the debate until the end to get their expert view on what you as a marketer should invest in to leverage social media.

Spot On!
The challenges for brand marketers haven’t changed massively since 2012. Big Data is still rocking and not yet fully understood in companies in terms of how to make use of it in the future. In case they are seeing the benefit, they still need to hope for a value chain between publishers, agencies and the LUMAscape players to cope with the evolution of adtechnology – and some will still try to find an agency to manage the data for them. Marketing and cloud services might become a new opportunity to analyse and measure the data for a clever strategy between going to market with long-term “content strategy” (community, monitoring, pull) and the short-term “campaign” (banner, SEO, push) approach – whether in social commerce, mobile or social. The digital future will remain exciting – stay tuned.

Looking forward to the next dmexco in Cologne, September, 10. and 11., 2014 – CU there!

7 Tips: How to generate more sales leads via your website

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There are some secrets in online marketing, and there are those that have become common knowledge which people might spread in infographics. However, it is still a challenge for most marketers to detect those inbound marketing insights that simply come from the structure and content of a website. If you as a marketer are looking to increase the data you generate through your landing pages, this infographic might offer some more food for thought.

Whether you know what it means to create a user-friendly website structure, a clever banner campaign to get more potential customer data, or not. Reach Local states in their advice that almost half of the users come to research your service or products via the mobile website. So, did you ever invest in a mobile-friendly website? Or have you ever thought about a video and the time people invest to watch it? Often you loose a sales pitch in 10 seconds but according to the infographic your clients might spend 60 seconds at least to watch a video about your product or service.

Check out which of the seven hints might help you drive more leads through to your sales team.

And, whether you believe it or not, there are three more hints in this text that might foster lead generation for The Strategy Web. If you have found them, share them with a comment below. If not, get in touch and we will help you.

Reach-Local-Seven-Website-Essentials-land-For-More-Sales

Study: Digital advertising found “annoying and invasive”

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Sometimes studies bring some flashback to your mind. This time it was some study results that reminded me of two of my four moderations of the dmexco Night Talks.

In a recent country comparison study by Adobe half of the respondents made clear that digital advertising is distracting, invasive and annoying – in the UK less than in Germany and France though. The study which asked 1,750 marketers and 8,750 consumers across the UK, France and Germany, shows that two out of three users find TV campaigns still more important than online ads (US 66%, UK 70% and Germany 67%). Consumers even responded online ads were “annoying” (US 68%, UK and Germany 62%), “invasive” (US 38%, UK 45% and Germany 17%) and “distracting” (US 51%, UK 44% and Germany 31%).

Mark PhibbsThere is still some negative perception of digital advertising that the repondents described in their feedback. However, web ads came in the top three preferred advertising tactics in the UK. In France print magazines (31%), billboards (24%) and TV ads (23%) were the leading three categories. For Germany, print magazines were also the leader with (28%), billboards (23%) and window displays (21%) came in second and third. In the UK 39% favoured print magazines, 23% TV ads, and 12% websites.

Some weeks ago, I have been interviewing Mark Phibbs, VP Marketing EMEA at Adobe on the dmexco hot chair in Cologne. Nice seeing some statements on the study from him:

“Some digital advertising is failing to hit the mark. While digital provides great promise, often it is not being delivered in an emotionally compelling or targeted way.”

Adobe Banner Ads not wanted

The storytelling boom was again also highlighted in this study. Even in the ad world content plays an important role. 68% of UK users responded that ads should tell a unique story which mentioned John Lewis and Guiness as good examples. One of the main ingredients should be the humour factor of the story. Funny is the driver for happiness, and outplaces “sexy” ads (92% thought so).

“We think online advertising can learn from traditional advertising in three ways. Is it beautiful and eye-catching? Is it integrated? Do consumers have control over it? Creative agencies have had decades to get traditional advertising right. It’s not wholly surprising that online and digital isn’t resonating to the same degree – not only is it still relatively in its infancy as an advertising channel, but the digital landscape and the corresponding opportunities for brands are constantly changing,” said Phibbs.

Spot On!
The study also made clear that targeted banner ads based on programmatic buying in Social Media like i.e. in Facebook could be “creepy” (76%). Even more, 49% would like a dislike button in Social Media for it. Again this reminded me on my last dmexco Night Talk moderation in Munich when I could ask Scott Woods, Commercial Director Facebook DACH, how it can come that I get banners for social networks 60+ years old people. Facial recognition (do I look so old)? Bad programming? Bad automation or bidding process? Maybe the people behind? The answer was “Well, technology can only do what it is capable of!” Fair enough… It seems we will have to live with that weakness for some time.

dmexco Night Talk Munich 2013

Target-group men: 10 Stats for better marketing

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Obviously, there is a difference when targeting men and women. Their purchase behaviour differs in many ways. Who is searching more for coupons, bargains or the latest gadets? According to a report by Microsoft, marketers should have an eye on the right mix between banner advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) tactics in order to address and find men at the right time with the right content in the right context.

Many men, especially young dads (between 25 to 40 years), are influenced by the impact of social networks, according to the report by Performics which we reported quite a while ago. Interestingly enough, 58% of them use four or more sources for their purchase decision. Utilizing social media with story-telling about products and services will make the appropriate impact on men, will give them insights on how companies and brands against their competitors.

Check the infographic published by Brian Honigman and have the 10 stats in mind for the next marketing campaign or tactics when addressing the male audience when your business wants to influence the purchase behavior of men.

PS: If you are interested to see the difference to women, you might have a look at the latest Blogher study here

Target-Men-Marketing-2013

Study: Social networks eat up most time of web usage

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It is a question many marketers ask themselves on a daily basis: “Where do users browse when they are on the Internet?” A recent study by Experian is spot on here. It reveals that people spend most time browsing social media platforms. Entertainment websites (9%) and shopping (5%) as well as business and checking emails are following with each one achieving 3% are coming in the following places.

The research was checking peoples’ browsing habits in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. By distilling the overall Internet browsing time from 2012 into one single hour, the study found out that respondents spend 27% of every hour on social networkings. The U.S. was the leading country with 16 minutes per hour, followed by Australia 14 minutes and United Kingdom with 13 minutes. However, the time spend with social sites is overall a bit decreasing compared to 2012.

However, the figures vary depending on what device respondents were using. When respondents were on mobiles, they tend to spend the most time working on email. Again, the U.S. spent about 23% of every hour being busy on email on mobile devices in the first quarter or 2013, then closely followed by browsing social-networking, entertainment, shopping, and travel sites. Still, when using a personal desktop, people will most likely spend over a quarter of their time browsing social sites,

Experian Email Study 2013

“With smartphones and tablets becoming more powerful, our data clearly indicates the difference between mobile and traditional desktop usage further enabling the ‘always on’ consumer mentality. Marketers need to understand these differences, as well as regionally, to ensure campaigns can be tailored for better and more effective engagement.” Bill Tancer, General Manager Global Research, Experian

Spot On!
The desktop finds it’s end as we all know, and social media is the driver. Mobile emails get read more than emails seen from desktop, states some new benchmark report data from Informz. For this study in 2012, the company analyzed 1 billion emails from 800 associations. In fact, the study made clear that more links, shorter headlines, focussed lists and flexible send-outs are key to drive awareness to the email newsletters. If we bring these two studies together, we will understand the close connection between mobile and social.

Study: Content Marketing – a challenge? B2B hiding behind false excuses…?

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We had written about a Curata content marketing survey some months ago. Now, I came across another research which is making it’s way through the web, and I am glad as I have been asked at a University St. Gallen event for some new insights on the topic today.

The Content Marketing Institute’s 2013 benchmarks shows what the challenges for marketers are: producing enough content (64%), producing the kind of content that engages an audience (52%), or producing a variety of content (45%).

Sounds like we have heard that before, right…?

If you think lack of budget is still the issue, you might find yourself being in the wrong corner. Just 39% of the respondents said that they lack budget. Furthermore, traditional restrictions and limits like buy-in/vision (22%) or finding trained content marketers (14%) is falling out; not even senior level buy-in is their biggest challenge (7%).

All lies? Well, seems like that… And when just 14% say, they are having problems hiring in this field, i would suggest some clever journalists or PR managers have found a way to market themselves.

Challenges For Content Marketing 2013So, a questions arises that also came up today in my moderation: What is the real issue, why marketers don’t challenge the content marketing business?

We have probably all heard what Outbrain told us today in their speech that push is the new pull, advertising becomes marketing, creation the modern editorial, campaigns are the always-on of tomorrow which makes sprints the new marathons. Still, the question is whether marketers understand why this should become the new budget engine for a change in an emerging shift towards content marketing and away from advertising?! Maybe marketers need to understand what makes them a media-house? Content curation, distribution and measurement might be more of a big bang theory to address…

Measurement for B2B Content Marketing Success 2013Spot On!
The challenge might actually arise in the definition where content marketing gets propelled. Many marketers see still search engine advertising (SEA) their wholly grail. If companies get turned around into SEO engines, the whole result-driven aspect of the fluid content marketing world would not be questioned any longer. It just depends on getting the right people engaged inside the office and to find the commitment that lets the formerly outsourced world stand in the shade. And have companies ever understood the value of content? Content is not a test budget! It is an attitude towards business, towards communication, towards social business. Or have you ever put into question why you send out newsletters, flyers, whitepapers, or even company brochures? Blogs, status updates, tweets… written in an intelligent way, is increasing the way your conversations will arise…

Are you really hiding in the content marketing fields, marketers – or is it a real challenge…?

Cool Ambient Campaign – New York: Recalling 1993

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This is a fantastic ambient campaign from the New Museum in NYC. It simply hijacked 5.000 pay phones all over New York City. Each of the phones is recalling a piece of history from 1993 when NYC was changing massively from a cultural and urban stand point. If you are in NYC, simply call 1-855-FOR-1993 from any NYC pay phone and just listen to what happened in 1993.

PS: Some more background of the campaign by Droga5 can be found here.

How brands made use of the new James Bond “Skyfall” hype

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For years, I have been waiting for a James Bond title like “The sky is the limit”. It would just be the appropriate subline for all 007 films. Just what these films are standing for: futuristic, innovative, fascinating, and always on the of unlimited creative and technological limits. In the meantime, we now got “Skyfall” as the pre-stage. The hype around the James Bond movie is omnipresent and brands (especially product placement partners) are playing with the opportunity to jump on the hype wagon.

Different campaigns were, or will be, launched during the promotion of “Skyfall”. Probably many of those were primarily produced for the good old black (TV), but also get a mobile derivate version to be spread from consumers and geeks via the new black (smartphones and tablets). The hype around the blond superhero from Scottland, which we know from the preview reports, has caught the advertising world. And here is an overview of the most popular commercials that get shared these days…

SONY is chasing Daniel Craig technically with their latest gadgets like their X-Peria tablets, Xperia T smartphones, Vaio notebooks, and Bravia TVs in the “Intelligence Gathered” spot. And Daniel Craig finishes this ride in a cool James Bond manner asking… “Looking for someone?”

COKE Zero challenges passengers at a trains station with a vending mashine to unlock the 007 in them for their chance to win some exclusive free tickets for the new James Bond movie. They created a real “chase”-style setting where the passengers who bought a drink just had 70 seconds in order to fulfill the “mission impossible” to get to a certain location within the train station. And we can watch how they performed…

Heineken might shaken the real James Bond fans, and the commercial might not have stirred them when watching it. Although Bond has been the Vodka Martini sipping secret agent for years, this commercial simply replaces his favourite drink for a bottle of beer. But fans do not need to worry: He doesn’t drink it, but hands it off to a young protégé.

Even the news platform Huffington Post did their own comedy spot in order to make use of the James Bond hype – however, they were staring Wayne Rooney in “Awfall” as the new James Bond. In the spot Daniel Craig got replaced by Wayne Rooney with scenes taken from older Rooney commercials in a patchwork-like version. In their parody, Rooney has got the mission to infiltrate a hair transplantation lab and getting rid of some bad criminals.



Watching the commercials it seems that James Bond hasn’t reached the limit yet, right…? Now, let’s hear which brand made most out of their commercial spot. WHich did you like most? Which creation is the funniest and why? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts…

PS: And if you are in the right James Bond mood now and stay in Paris, make sure you are booking a night in the 007 suite of the Hotel Seven Paris.

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