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Super Bowl weekend: That time of year when a marketer’s fancy turns to thoughts of…advertising?

By Francis Moran

It’s Super Bowl weekend, that time of year when a very large swath of North America — and even some of the rest of the world — tunes in to see a once-a-year clash of multimillion-dollar Goliaths fighting it out in a no-holds-barred battle. There will be drama. There will be pathos. There will be unexpectedly brilliant plays. There will be dismal and desperate failures. There will almost certainly be scantily clad young women cavorting about.

There will also be a football game, but that doesn’t really interest me. The spectacle that I and many marketers will tune in to see is the annual showdown of Super Bowl ads.

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How to create brighter lives with content marketing

By Alexandra Reid

Two content marketing all-stars, Katherine Fletcher and Darin Diehl, presented at Social Media Breakfast Ottawa on Wednesday on how businesses can use rich, interactive content to increase brand awareness, build communities and generate leads.

Katherine is the senior vice-president, senior partner and managing director of digital at High Road Communications, an interactive communications agency. She was also appointed in 2007 as a global chair for Fleishman-Hillard’s international digital practice group where she works with a small, global team of digital leaders to drive innovative digital communications with specialists worldwide.

Darin is the assistant vice-president of digital communications at Sun Life Financial Canada, and the leader of the team that developed BrighterLife.ca, a social media-powered, consumer-focused portal where Canadians can engage with the brand and each other about financial challenges and opportunities they face in their everyday lives.

Katherine and Darin developed and executed the content marketing program that would support the launch and ongoing success of BrighterLife.ca. On Wednesday, they explained the efforts that went on behind the scenes that helped it become an award-winning site. I also had the opportunity to chat with Katherine before the show to glean some more details about their content marketing program.

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Great articles roundup: Data hype, content marketing, startup lessons, buyer behaviour, social media, guest blogging, and target audiences

By Alexandra Reid

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Social Media Explorer, TopRank, Financial Post, Forrester, Forbes, Copyblogger, and Startup North.

How data hype is destroying your social media ROI

We are all looking for the latest nugget of data that will help us optimize our social media strategies for success. Every time we see a post with an infographic about the best time to tweet or what social networks our audience is using we get excited thinking it’s just the right information to help us take our social media strategy to the next level. That’s why you see so many status updates hyping the data because it’s finally the answer we’ve been looking for … or is it?

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The price of everything, the value of nothing and customer service

By Leo Valiquette

Customer service, and the lack thereof, is a recurring topic on this blog, and for good reason. As public relations and marketing consultants, we appreciate the profound impact that a poor experience with your brand can have on a customer’s willingness to come again or refer your products and services to others. We may not be customer service experts, but we are active consumers who regularly engage with the front-line staff of numerous brands. And it’s what happens on the front lines that matters most.

Francis said it best in a past post, Kudos for empowered customer service:

“My consistent points are that the cost of acquiring customers is almost always far higher than the cost of keeping them, that effective customer service is the only sustainable competitive differentiator, and that most customer-service operations fail by forcing their agents to be powerless automatons more interested in getting the customer off the line than actually servicing them.”

If your customers do not feel well-served on the front line, your marketing messaging, no matter how well-crafted, will not save you. Your brand reputation is built, not by words, but by the actions of your team at every point of contact, from the reception desk to order fulfilment and after-sales support. The purpose of the words crafted by the marketing team is to evangelize the great service you provide. As marketing consultants we can’t create something from nothing and in the age of social media, what smacks of hypocrisy can come under harsh, and very public, criticism quite fast.

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Social Media Breakfast Ottawa: Digital measurement and consumer understanding

By Alexandra Reid

The digital marketing space is becoming increasingly complex as consumers find more ways to uncover information about brands. They are looking at websites and social media through their desktops, laptops, and mobile devices but haven’t left behind more traditional channels such as TV, magazines, and radio. Media isn’t dying; media is proliferating and marketers are struggling to keep up with consumers as they demand a more holistic approach to how they receive information and communicate with brands.

That was the message Chris Greenfield, President of Ipsos ASI, shared with the Social Media Breakfast Ottawa audience this week. He stressed that businesses should not put all their money into digital marketing, and whatever they do invest should go towards providing a consistent and engaging experience for their audiences. It’s no longer about just paid media and advertising, but earned media. In this environment, brands should focus on providing consumers with a great experience across multiple touch points, and consider using reach and response as their goals on these channels, said Greenfield.

“Touch points do not act in isolation,” said Greenfield. “Brands must think and act holistically. It’s a 360-approach. Expect consumers to experience their brand at more than one touch point.”

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Recent Comments

  • Bob Bailly : Your new mode of working means no face to face interaction yet you call yourself empathetic. How can removing yourself from daily human social interactions and possibly understand what makes other people tick. Research from UCLA suggests messages conveyed face to face are understood primarily by reading body language (57%) and tone of voice (35%), and that words convey only 7%. By interacting only through computer based non-video technology is like weightlifting only using your right forearm.

  • Anna : As a freelancer who spends much of her time on the computer writing, I find that I have a brain which connects empathically to people despite how much time I spend on technology. In fact, I am not happy being immersed daily in what I called 'imposed' social interaction (social interaction brought on by having to interact with co-workers). Such social interaction used to make be egregious, used to make me dislike co-workers, and have a generally negative view on work life. Furthermore, people like me who are generally empathic can 'hide' in our homes and be safe from others while we work; safe from their criticisms and aversions, safe from bullying and harassment. Furthermore, our talents as writers, photographers, or whatever, flourish absolutely under one important condition - freedom. I support moving work to an online domain because I see also how harmful the 9 - 5 is for people; how it drains them, how its endless cacophony of alarm clocks and ringing bells--lunch hours and lunch rooms, forced staff retreats and uncomfortable interactions with bosses--is killing them. I support allowing technology make us more efficient, happier. I support voluntary--not forced--interaction. I support eliminating the workplace altogether and creating NEW modes of working, either from home or through community-based platforms such as outdoor spaces.

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

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