Amid our hazy summer of discontent, accusations of bias are everywhere. From charges of prejudicial news reporting, to the suppression of free speech on campuses, to one-sided social media screeds, the human tendency to lean into the views we agree with has become increasingly commonplace. In a world that is awash with a glut of information, the instinct to sort through and locate data that aligns with our preconceived notions acts as a kind of shortcut that allows one to separate the proverbial wheat from the chafe.
It happens all the time, even for those of us who have been knocking around the direct marketing industry for decades: we meet someone that, in all the years we’ve been at this, have never met. After quickly finding the common intersections, whether they be past jobs or client work or people we mutually know, we find delight in discovering one another, at long last.
Growing up, my family didn’t do much traveling. We visited Walt Disney World as often as we could, but were mostly content to take family vacations by car. The trips weren’t always glamorous (Amish Country stands out for me as a can-miss), but they were filled with laughs and family bonding.
I recently learned that the direct-response television (DRTV) industry spent $6.4 billion on advertising in 2016, according to DRMetrix. Of that, $316 million was short-form advertising for consumer products. Put another way: The “As Seen on TV” brand received more than $300 million in advertising support last year. So it’s worth asking: What are consumer impressions of this brand we all share?
Photo Credit: IHA
As we roamed the cavernous halls of this year’s International Home + Housewares Show which wrapped up this week at Chicago’s McCormick Place, and stood among the colorful and distinct booth and displays, we wondered: what makes a great tagline? A tagline, after all, can help advance positioning and create competitive differentiation. At its best use, it is highly memorable and helps reaffirm positive feelings for a brand, product, or service. In fact, this year’s theme for the show – which acted as a kind of tagline was – “It’s smart.” This was in keeping with the emphasis on innovations for the smart home, which uses technology such as smartphone apps and voice commands to run everything from lights and locks to indoor and outdoor appliances for the sake of convenience and efficiency.
According to Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of the seminal marketing treatise, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, there is one weapon of influence that works in every culture and in every corner of the globe. What is it you may wonder? Reciprocity.
There’s no doubt that most businesses prioritize customer satisfaction, but that doesn’t always mean that they deliver. Most companies assume that they’re providing a quality service to their consumers, but that doesn’t always go both ways -- in fact, studies show that 80 percent of businesses believe they deliver a superior customer experience while just 8 percent of consumers share that same belief.
So what’s responsible for this gap?
Well, more often than not, it’s because companies fail to understand the needs of their customers. To provide great service, brands can’t act on instinct alone; rather, they’ll have to get an understanding for what their customers really want. Fortunately we at Points believe that, when looked at through a loyalty lense, most consumers fall into one of three different categories: the brand loyal buyer, the customer with a passion for points, and the price sensitive shopper. These three types of consumers are common in nearly every industry and knowing how to appeal to them is essential for success.
At the recent D2C convention, I presented a session entitled Trend Spotting: Benchmarking the Present and Predicting the Future of Marketing. My intention was a simple one: to synthesize the latest statistics, forecasts, and best practices in marketing from over 100 different sources to save my audience time and to provide insight that will help you today and in the future. In the fifth of this six-part series we take a look at mass retail and its impact on direct marketing. For the purposes of this blog post, the term “retail” will mean traditional bricks and mortar retail. Given the presentation was confined to an hour, I have had to limit my focus, but hopefully the learnings gleaned will prove helpful to the reader.
At the 2016 ERA D2C convention in Las Vegas last September, I presented a session entitled Trend Spotting: Benchmarking the Present and Predicting the Future of Marketing. My intention was a simple one: to synthesize the latest statistics, forecasts, and best practices in marketing from over 100 different sources to save my audience time and to provide insight that will help you today and in the future. In the fourth of this six-part series we take a look at social media. Given the presentation was confined to an hour, I have had to limit my focus, but hopefully the learnings gleaned will prove helpful to the reader.
Once upon a time, direct response marketers could take a specific, innovative item—a pair of polarizing sunglasses, an extra-thirsty shop towel, or what have you—and sell it on its merits. It was one product, one medium, one story—and with all eyes focused on television, one hell of a way to make money.
Fifty years later, that kind of sex appeal has shifted to digital. Technology has replaced television for millennials, and social media is now the language of love.
The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.
I’m both an NFL fan and an advertising fan, so the Super Bowl poses a real dilemma for me: When is the best time to use the bathroom? If I go during the game, I risk missing a big play. If I go during a break, I risk missing a commercial everyone will be talking about the next day. It certainly doesn’t help that the beverage of choice for football games is beer.
We’ve all seen the TV ads that scream miraculous product benefits for the low price of only $19.99 (“and if you call now…”). Since the ads never seem to reach a wear-out stage soon enough, we can only conclude that the “yell & sell” technique is successful despite the negative brand impression they may often leave on viewers. In marketing communications, we often call this unintentional—or unconscious—branding where the advertiser is successful in building a business, but not in building a brand. Think the telecom carrier MCI in the ‘90s, or “brands” such as ShamWow and Snuggies, more recently.
Editorial Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.
“There is no such thing as bad publicity,” a quote often attributed to the supreme American huckster P.T. Barnum, appears to be the third rail that Nationwide Insurance held onto firmly while rationalizing their now infamous and ill-advised Super Bowl XLIX commercial entitled “Make Safe Happen.”
Ivory Soap has been a mainstay for Procter and Gamble’s consumer products.
But now as the 135-year-old company has begun to cull its wide brand line the fate of Ivory soap is unclear. In the coming years, P&G will clear out its weakest performing brands to focus on the 70 to 80 that will produce the best results. Although the company hasn’t yet announced which products it will cull, Ivory’s numbers may have it on the chopping block.