“marketing message”

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When I got the opportunity to be Omni’s first ever guest blogger, I thought to myself, “You’ve got to talk about something unique that you can do that usually can’t be done”. So I got to thinking and it clicked in my head, why not talk about a marketing topic as it relates to my generation – you know, those pesky millennials? We, the millennials, the people you’ve probably so often walked by and said, “those kids are always on their phone”, or, “back in my day we had imagination to keep us entertained, not TV and the Internet”.

We’re those kids who probably ticked you off by not believing something you told us and we followed it up by saying, “I’m going to google it”. Yes, yes, millennials are those kids and so much more, but despite our sometimes bad reputation, we make up 25% of the United States population and have over a trillion dollars in direct buying power. So if a business wants to tap into that buying power, it needs to start finding ways to attract those pesky millennials.

Full length of young men and women holding cellphone
A huge thing for millennials is for brands to seem more human. If you haven’t heard that expression before, it basically means people are going to buy from whom they know and trust. Especially for millennials – with so much access to information and alternatives – loyalty and trust is your best shot at keeping a millennial as repeat or lifetime customer. Here are some of the best ways that companies can seem more human to millennials:

1. Have multiple social media accounts.
Most of a millennial’s peers are going to have more than one social media account, and so should your company! This creates more opportunities for you to reach us and it helps us trust that you know what you’re doing. If you’re a company targeting millenials and your business is only on Facebook with one profile picture, we will associate you with our grandmother who creeps on our every move on Facebook and embarrasses us on every birthday! Get on Twitter, get on a blogging site, get on Google+ and LinkedIn; do as much as your business can handle to start reaching those millennials on multiple sites.

2. Talk about trending topics on your social media accounts.
This should be a no-brainer for companies trying to seem more human to millennials. We don’t want to be spammed on our newsfeed about your 20%-off coupon every 3 hours, or reminded about your store hours. That’s not what a company trying to seem more human should do. We want to see posts that interest us too, posts that aren’t just an ad or scheme to get us to buy something. An easy way to do this is to post about trending topics. For example, the World Cup was a huge topic not only for just millennials, but also for pretty much the entire world. If you post about trending topics millennials care about, they will see that and depending on the post content, may engage with your account or share your thoughts on the trending topic. This brings me to my next point…

3. Comedy is king.
Comedy is one of the easiest ways to generate buzz around your social media posts, and millennials crave comedy! I would say over half of all posts on any of my own social media newsfeeds are comedy-based, partly because I have them set up that way, but you get the point. Millennials love comedy on social media. Think about the “memes” nowadays and how those take off; they’ve even been given their own special term when they are used to advertise called “memevertising”.  If you have humor in your posts, they are more likely to be interacted with and shared. This means more people are going to be exposed to your account, not because of an advertisement, but because you posted something people enjoyed. It should be no surprise that people who enjoy your posts will keep sharing them and promoting your company’s page.

4. Ask for input/Have user-generated content.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise to many of you that millennials love to tell you what they think. We also are known for always thinking we know how to do something better. A great new tool companies have started employing is user-generated content – letting their consumers create content for them. A great example is when T-Mobile created a Facebook app that let users create their own breakup letters to their current cell-phone providers. “Let us do the work for you!” Asking a millennial for their input on something is another great way to seem more human. When a company posts something about a current event, or about a product that went wrong and is actively seeking engagement from their consumers, it lets us millennials know that our voice is being considered. As I said before, we love to tell you what we think and that will never change!

5. Show us you care.
More and more people my age are becoming increasingly concerned with so many issues, ranging from the environment, child labor, cancer research, homelessness, etc.  Millennials love when brands take a stand and support something that goes along with their values. They will do the research to see what you stand for and who you support. If you’re competing against another company and your values don’t match up with ours, more than likely we are going to choose your competitor.

I want to end on this last point because, honestly, what makes you seem more human than caring about other humans?

Answer WIIFM and everyone wins.

Answer WIIFM and everyone wins.

The Oscar’s of the advertising world just wrapped up in Cannes, France, at the annual Lions Festival. And yes, this is pretty much reserved for agencies who do mind-shattering and budget-busting work on a global scale, although sometimes a renegade start-up can make a big play, too. Regardless of the fact that I will never, ever actually be invited to it, there is still a lot to learn from the leaders of the marketing industry who do get to attend.

This year, Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building Officer at Procter & Gamble, spoke about how the ‘new’ golden age of advertising needs to answer the all-powerful What’s In It For Me’ question for consumers.

Go WIIFM, or go home.

As the lead marketer for the largest consumer goods behomoth on the planet, I feel that Mr. Pritchard knows of what he speaks.

In his keynote address, he offered three rules which will keep marketing on the right path: One, start with something true. Two, consider why anyone would care. I think the technical term for that is the ‘give-a-crap factor.’ How can you tap into something that people really care about? Three, make your brand matter, because there’s no point in starting a conversation that your brand can’t be an authentic part of.”

The Takeaway: Whether we are marketers working for one corporate brand, or managing many brands as an advertising agency, we have a responsibility to respect the end-consumer’s time and attention and not just throw something out there hoping it sticks.

Thoughtless marketing that relies on worn-out clichés or feeds a senior exec’s ego for big budget productions may get attention, but so will wearing clown shoes to the office. If the message doesn’t move the consumer to make a buying decision, both become just an anecdote within industry news or a funny topic to share during coffee breaks. Good for a few chuckles, quickly forgotten, and yet, no one moved the marketing needle.

For the full article, click here.


A recent study shared on Mashable by Statista explains what many marketers intuitively know: that our social media selections depend on who we are talking to, and what role we are in at the time.

Some marketers may be Instagramming with abandon for their personal pics or to share about a retailer’s new products, but would not consider it a useful channel when it comes to their B2B clients. Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.03.17 AM

No surprise that LinkedIn is a top choice for B2B, with Facebook and Twitter the faves for B2C communication. An interesting take-away is that Pinterest and Facebook are closing the gap between Consumer and Business marketing.

I like Twitter and Pinterest for my non-work life, and LinkedIn for business. What’s YOUR social media preference for B2C vs B2B marketing? And what do you like using personally?


Dove Beauty Experiment - Ogilvy + Mather Brazil

Dove Beauty Experiment – Ogilvy + Mather Brazil

Most people are familiar with the many Dove beauty campaigns showing real women as, well, real women and beautiful just as they are. This latest campaign from Dove really hits at the heart of our culture’s obsession with beauty – and shows that what makes us all beautiful is what we have inside, not a ‘magic patch’ or how other people perceive us. And let’s face it, it also shows the power of marketing and branding!

Great campaign by Ogilvy + Mather Brazil.

After Sketches, Dove’s Newest Experiment.


NFL-Super-Bowl-2014FBAd Age magazine shared its annual review of the Superbowl ads last week. The critic’s comments are relegated to the level of craft of the marketing messages and execution, not really about what will be the most profitable or beneficial to the client. They rated Radio Shack as #1 – will be interesting to see how that translates to increases in their sales over the next year.

But who was really the best marketer on Sunday? I would have to say, it was the Super Bowl itself. You can’t argue with their brilliant strategy to reach a vast and incredibly diverse audience. If marketing is about selecting your target audiences and giving them what they want, then the Super Bowl has positioned itself as the ultimate “Sports-vertising” event, bringing in viewers not traditionally interested in football who watch, share, retweet, like, and discuss the commercials for weeks after the broadcast of a single 30-second, million dollar TV ad paid for by someone else, and to constantly refer to it in all media as “the SUPER BOWL ad”. Not a bad return on investment.


With what some days seems like hundreds of e-mags and marketing news emails going into my inbox in the morning, I admit this headline really caught my eye. Probably the mention of coffee while sorting through emails at 8:10 am, but that’s not really the point.

These are some seriously SIMPLE BUT CREATIVE ideas! Ideas that cross over all media from social, to outdoor, to guerrilla marketing. What makes them so compelling is the true simplicity of the concepts and delivery of the ideas. Check these out, and see if they inspire you to “K.I.S.S.” as much as they have me! And enjoy that first cup of coffee…



Two major global advertising players are using the “Proud to be an American” message to promote their products, and not solely to capture Independence Day interest.

When Apple® rolled out its “Designed by Apple in California” ads shortly after the Mac Pro introduction, the content promoted how much creativity and engineering the Apple team puts into their products – presumably the American Apple team. Perhaps this was in response to the backlash that many corporations have been getting regarding their products being manufactured in low-wage countries.

Fast forward to the new motorola® ad (lowercase ‘m’ intended – new branding, new owner and all) running in major publications in the U.S. to promote the Moto X smartphone. The copy, message and imagery is similar to Apple’s ad, touting domestic design and engineering talent from the USA, but the big ‘sell’ includes the phrase “Assembled in the USA”.

For those who can translate marketing-ese, this is a term to promote that a product is made domestically, even if only a portion of the production process is completed here.

The big question is, how does the American consumer view these messages? Does it make a difference knowing that at least part, if not all, the products you purchase are made in America even in today’s global economy? Do ads like these create consumer preference for the brand because some part is American-made?  And, finally, do consumers understand the subtle difference between “Designed / Assembled in the USA”, and “Made in the USA”, or do they feel that advertisers are taking advantage of that subtlety to promote an image that may not be all that it seems?

What do you think?


As I have been helping my soon-to-be college freshman explore the incredible breadth of college majors focusing on marketing and public relations available to her, I have seen firsthand how diversified this industry is in the digital age we now operate in. Just 10 years ago, Public Relations was more of an add-on to the main strategy but now has top billing in any solid tactical plan with the inclusion of all forms of social media and search engine opportunities.

Managing communications between a business and its audience is the traditional definition of Public Relations. And that perfectly describes how social media and SEO function in this brave new world of marketing.

The  drawback however, is content-overload; sometimes companies are more focused on having constant ‘marketing touches’ to their audience and they ignore whether that message is relevant.  And that is where the ‘old school’ teaching of Public Relations comes back into play – evaluate the message, rank its relevance to the audience, decide which media channel is appropriate, and examine if it even has any positive impact on the organization’s marketing presence.

Content is king” has always been and will continue to be true, but managing all that content in a memorable, actionable and meaningful way is an art form in itself, and puts Public Relations smack in the driver’s seat.


As a follow up to last week’s post about David Ogilvy’s “How to create advertising that sells,” I wanted to share another gem from the long list of 38 tips.

“#3. Brand Image: Every advertisement should contribute to the complex symbol which is the brand image. 95% of all advertising is created ad hoc. Most products lack any consistent image from one year to another. The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand gets the largest share of the market.”

The Takeaway: Regardless what kind of business you are in, you have a brand image. Even if you don’t really promote it. Your brand is how the world around you defines you. That is why it so critical to be a good steward of your brand, and protect the message you want to send.


For most of recent memory, panic about advertisers leaving the stalwart network and cable advertising in droves to move their budgets into social media have been the ad industry’s words of warning.  However, a recent article in the New York Times tells a different story of how traditional media can successfully partner with, rather than compete with, social media.

Which is how it should be, right?

Marketers ‘get’ that one tool does not make a marketing strategy, but rather, works with all the tools to get the most bang for the client’s buck. It’s good to see that even on the mega-million ad budget front, everyone is learning to play nice together!

Check out the article “TV Networks Expect A Jump In Spending On Commercials“.


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