June 09, 2014
/ by Brian Conlin
This post wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of Erin Feldman, Geoff Livingston and Allen Mireles.
After an action-packed two days of marketing and PR goodness, Demand Success 2014 came to a close on Friday.
It’s a shame the fun and learning couldn’t go on longer, but now we get the exciting opportunity to implement what we learned in our professional lives.
Refresh your memory of all the highlights, tips and best practices with this recap of each of day two’s sessions:
Want to see a recap of day one? Click here now!
Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist, enthralled attendees with his informative and entertaining presentation about “precision decisions.” While he says analytics are important, the customer experience must be first and foremost. Only by putting the customer and their journey first can data be obtained and results attained.
Avinash breaks the customer journey into four stages: see, think, do, and care. Each stage requires different marketing and measurement strategies. He reflects that using a single strategy across all the stages is detrimental; getting people to do something is the objective, but ignoring the people in the seeing, thinking, or caring stages only hurts the brands’ bottom lines. For long-term success to occur, brands have to play for the long game and have short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals.
Avinash concludes his speech by advising brands to “think different.” They have to put their customers first and align their marketing execution with the channels where their customers are rather than spew forth a “me, me, me” message. If they make the choice to think and act differently, they will be “rich and famous and [their] moms will be proud of them.”
How do you effectively bridge the space between your organization and its audiences? In this session, Shonali Burke discusses what it means to incorporate social media into your PR programs. Shonali, well known as a social PR strategist, speaker, and blogger, spoke about the importance of bridging the gap between organziations and their publics using the latest technologies
She used three examples of organization that have skillfully and effectively integrated social into their PR campaigns with tremendous success: WTF Lung Cancer and the SMAC Monkeys Against Cancer, The Blue Key Campaign in support of 42.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, and Oracle’s Topliner community.
Burke concludes her session by listing three things she believes are critical for PR and business communicators today:
We need to understand what it means to be part of a community—not only by being part of a community but by managing and supporting and energizing a community.
If you’re not you’re not already doing so, begin to produce your own content. fIgure out how to do that quickly and understand mechanics of producing, sharing.
As Shonali tells us, we live in a truly vast world that it is getting smaller every day, thanks to the tech that connects us. As business communicators and PR professionals, we need to decide. Will we hop on this with tech bridging the gap? Or sit on the sidelines. The decision is ours.
Content marketing is hard to do consistently, says Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs. There is a lot of competition simply because of bulk. According to a MarketingProfs study, 93 percent of marketers are creating and sharing content.
To stand out from the competition and clutter, Ann offers 11 tips:
1. Have a mission. Ask who, what and why.
2. Have a pathological empathy for your audience.
3. Tell stories about people.
4. Invest in a subscriber model. Make yourself necessary to your audience.
5. Think content ecosystem, not content campaign. You are creating a world for your audience, not a one-night stand.
6. Tell true stories well.
7. Think experience, not just narrative. Find the best way(s) to tell your story.
8. Hack empathy by writing for your “you,” your audience.
9. Innovation is relative. Use what works, no matter where you find that “what.”
10. Always experiment. Place a lot of small wagers. Never bet on a single initiative.
11. Go real-time. Look for relevant topics no one else is talking about and go big with them in your niches.
Even though marketing automation is shown to deliver results (75 percent of companies using marketing automation see ROI within 12 months), myths about modern day marketing automation persist, says Vocus CMO You Mon Tsang.
These myths are partially to blame for the fact that only 9 percent of businesses with revenues between $20 million and $500 million have an automation solution.
You Mon separated myth from reality:
Myth: Marketing automation requires hiring dedicated technical resources
Reality: A good marketing automation tool simplifies complex tasks, allowing you time to focus more on strategy and other important parts of business.
Myth: I need creative types to build landing pages and email templates
Reality: A good marketing automation tool provides templates for emails and landing pages, meaning you don’t have to worry about hiring expensive designers.
Myth: I need a statistician
Reality: You just need a smart person or two. The reporting has become so sophisticated that you can just print a report.
Myth: Automation makes me less creative and more robotic
Reality: Marketing automation will lead to a creative explosion.
“The hard thing about marketing in the past is you often had one shot,” You Mon says. “With marketing automation, you can do something subtle and see if it works.”
You Mon recommends setting aside 5 percent of your audience to try “whacky whacky stuff” you couldn’t possibly try in a normal environment. You might be surprised which of those whack ideas turns into a home run.
Marketers rely on data to stay up-to-date on the latest industry happenings and inform strategy, but how much of that data is reliable?
Tom Webster of Edison Research delivered some eye-opening social media stats, emerging trends and advice about data. (Hint: if you don’t see a methodology, it’s junk.)
Let’s take a deeper look:
What’s gaining popularity on social?
Data shows that Facebook’s growth has slowed as 58 percent of Americans used the social network in both 2013 and 2014.
Despite no increase, that penetration is “an amazing number for any brand,” Tom says. Tom noted that Twitter grew slowly year over year, too.
So what’s growing?
From 2013 to 2014, Instagram has jumped from 12 to 19 percent, Vine has gone from nothing to 9 percent, Snapchat rose 3 to 13 percent, and Pinterest gained 3 percentage points to 13 percent.
“The brands that are growing are the ones that are visual platforms,” Tom says. “Visual is where it’s going right now. Visual is where it is right now with some groups.”
What else do they have in common?
Visual is only part of the story. The most popular networks are also inextricably tied to mobile.
People are sharing things and are in the moment. They don’t think about the technology.
“Figure out ways to make the technology evaporate and figure out what people are doing with their mobile phones,” Tom advises marketers.
How to use data
Proprietary data may differ from overall data, like that is collected by Edison Research. The important thing is to know why and what that means.
What you need to do is to take the overall data compare it to your own data and use your brain to get insights. The key (and a big barrier), however, is to make sure you use the same methodology as the overall study. Using different methodologies or samples will skew the results.
The type of work Edison Research does is expensive, but you can test your data against a control cheaply. Simply use the same method that you acquire data for your customers and apply to a sample of people outside of your organization.
“Even if it’s not best practices from a research perspective, it’s internally consistent,” Tom says.
NASA 360 is an award-winning broadcast 30-minute television show, vodcast, and related online resources that take you on a journey to see how technologies developed by NASA impact your life and pave the way to the future.
Scott Bednar, Becky Jaramillo make up the content and social media team for NASA 360. In this session they describe their processes for turning brand content into captivating video and social experiences for the targeted 18-35 demographic, which numbered 2.4 billion in 2010.
Among the challenges they face? Everything posted must be cleared by NASA before being shared in any of their social properties.
Produced in collaboration with NASA Langley Research Center, NASA 360 gives you a “first look” at everything from rockets to robots, from the next generation of aircraft to the latest innovations in energy, from atmospheric research to exploring the farthest reaches of our universe.
The team has enjoyed spectacular success with their content and social media and just recently celebrated hitting 2 million fans on their Facebook page. They are very attuned to the wants of their target audience, which include:
Small bites of information
How do you talk to such a targeted audience with broad appeal? The NASA 360 team has learned some valuable tips:
Use social media to create relationships and have two-way conversations
Capture attention quickly; use visuals first
Ask open-ended questions
be relevant wherever possible
Don’t assume; do your research
The hustle may be associated with a dance from the seventies, but Yolanda Cade of AAA says that “hustle” is a word near and dear to PR professionals’ hearts. To hustle is to be fast-paced, agile, energetic, and, at times, aggressive.
Yolanda says the definition is appropriate considering the new world of PR. The role of PR practitioners is changing; they now are storytellers, brand protectors, influencers, spokespeople, agitators, and targets.
The media landscape is changing, too. Traditional and social have converged and are continuing to do so. The convergence is ushering in a digital era, one that Yolanda says PR professionals should embrace because it allows for measurement and a validation of efforts not found with clippings and advertising value equivalencies (AVE).
Yolanda provides a few tips to PR practitioners desiring to do the PR hustle:
1. Track your competitors. That is, “know who’s in your rearview mirror.” Side note: Don’t forget the blind spots.
2. Correlate what you do with business objectives. Impressions have to mean something more than a smattering of online applause.
3. Set SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Every organization needs to think about how to handle crises proactively because sooner or later, one will appear. Judy Smith, world-renowned crisis communicator and inspiration for the hit TV show, “Scandal”, closed Demand Success 2014 with expert advice on PR and crisis communications.
During her session, Judy discussed best practices based on her experience, which includes the prosecution of former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, the President Clinton scandal involving Monica Lewinsky, and the Enron congressional inquiry.
Judy talked about the importance of pre-crisis work and doing an analysis ahead of time to try and prevent crises from taking place, citing organizations with pre-crisis plans have a 90 percent success rate over organizations who have no plan in place.
Judy described social media as a game changer, and a “thorn in her side” but also as a tool that can be used to rally people around a cause or an issue. She offered three tips for managing crisis situations:
1. Pre-crisis planning: Identify your organization’s threshold. What will make you respond in a crisis? Numbers? Content? Every situation is different.
2. In terms of responding to crisis: How do you want to respond?
3. In all of this, what is your objective? To squash the story? To minimize it?
She also pointed out that crisis management includes not only the development of strategies to address specific issues and challenges, but also training to make sure people can handle crisis and lead through the crisis itself.
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