Archive for the 'MK Woltz' Category

Ever-evolving Digital and the Consumer

Ahhhh..a room full of agency people for this panel, it was great—I felt right at home. They were speaking my language discussing the challenges and obstacles a traditional agency might have in this continually evolving digital world. This is a topic I have thought a lot about in the last two years. As a “traditionally” trained media planner how will I ever be able to be a digital expert? There is new information bombarding me everyday, new websites, new ad networks, new behavioral targeting, new social media tools with a cool new application, new mobile advertising functions. How do I keep on top of it and bring it to my clients who need and want to be in this space to drive their business?So I finally felt at peace with myself when I connected with a statement from the panel, “the transition comes from how you think and align around the idea as an agency team.” It’s true, it all starts with the idea and believing in the best way to communicate with your audience. We will thrive in this digital world from staying media agnostic. Forget about the medium and develop ideas for ways to have great communication with your audience.

If we continue to focus on consumer insights, reaching them in this new age will come naturally. We all have to be in tune with what consumers want in a brand experience. Today its about interaction, communication is a two-way street, its less about what you say and more about what you do to create a conversation with your audience. A few brands come to mind that are doing this, Dove Body Wash, which is asking consumers to share their shower experiences and how Dove Cream Oil Body Wash makes them feel by creating :30s spots. This encourages consumers to think about their shower experience with the brand and what this moment means to them and share it with the world.

Another brand is Nike, launching Nike+. It not only got consumers back into running, connecting with each other through the Nike brand, it’s actually making an experience that some perceive as awful–exercise–fun! Of course both of these brands had digital aspects in their plan such as online banners/video, blogs, etc. While digital will be a part of our communications plans, we still must build a meaningful relationship with the customer.

Social Media Tools & Manners

Throughout SXSW Interactive fest, every panel is hosted on Meebo or accepting questions with Twitter.  At an interactive festival where 50% of the discussion is social media, the presence of these social tools is a given. It’s been interesting to read the Meebo chat rooms from panel to panel and also great looking back at discussions on panels I couldn’t catch. The increased use of these tools during real life events does have it highs and lows.On the plus side it makes it a lot easier to communicate with anyone and everyone in an instant. Whether it’s sharing ideas, giving feedback, asking questions, or making snide comments about a panel (saw that a lot)…its all instant gratification for what one is looking for at that moment. People are able to establish connections with peers that share their same interests and professions, which also allows networking through your fingertips during industry events.  The downside I see is using these tools during public forums can be distracting and rude to the speakers—we aren’t giving the respect to these speakers that they deserve for sharing their time and knowledge. With all the social tools abounding, of course they will be used more and more in this way. However, I believe people will still crave human, in-person connections and discussions, in which the transparency that was established in the digital world will and can still be there.

Sponsored Panel – A Sneaky Brand Push

When you see “sponsored panels” listed you get the notion that the session is going to feature branding messages, company representatives and schwag. Not really what I was interested in. But in this case the topic was something I very much was interested in: “How to Scoop the Story on Your Blog.”The panel was sponsored by Utterz and when I entered the room I was strongly encouraged to sign up for their mobile blogging service because that was going to be the topic of the panel. Mobile blogging? Is that in the title of the panel I chose? Confusion set in.They were clever marketers- Utterz published a great topic to get bloggers there and then attempted to hook attendees into signing up for their service in order to get the most benefit out of the panel, whether or not they wanted the service or not. It annoyed a lot of conference goers there because if anyone wanted the service, all that needed to be done was to go upstairs to the Utterz tradeshow booth and get the full tutorial there. Needless to say I got up and left with my promotional cow keychain (“Utterz” – get it?) And to top it off Utterz promoted their panel at the trade show booth, too.

Teens and Online Marketing

The SXSW panels focusing on teens have been enlightening, but I found just being aware can lead to some valuable consumer insights. Little did I know that the teen girls I was sharing a bathroom with before the panels today would end up educating me on the Internet and marketing. This group of girls was so excited and actively having a discussion on why they liked Disney.com.

Teens, typically fickle and tapped in to so many different mediums and niches, can still love big, traditional brands. But perhaps their receptiveness to marketers and advertising is not so surprising. It’s easy to think that they would bash our endless campaigns to attract them to the hottest new game or tennis shoes but no — they appreciate marketing when done in the right way. Today’s teens believe in capitalism and the marketing that supports it. They want to know about the new brand name shoe or the hottest new lip gloss—they are an advertiser’s dream. But getting them involved is what marketers needs to start and continue to do.

We know that advertising is not a one-way street anymore. Teens want to interact with brands that meet their needs and establish a connection. Teens will enter contests in which the winner’s 30-second video is the brand’s commercial. The perception is these brands care about their wants, needs, and opinions which in turn, inspires and instills trust with the younger generation.Yes, they are still early adopters and want to be in the know on the hottest websites and what is going on at school. By far, social networks are what they use the most and get the most enjoyment out of. While there is some social networking fatigue since the time that MySpace and Facebook first came out, they are still using them to stay connected with friends and family (not parents) and share who they are.

Teens today are looking for ways to express themselves, share their knowledge and entertain themselves through gaming and music, to name a few. And also books. My new favorite website is goodreads.com – basically an online social network for book clubs. Teens still read books! by MK Woltz

Managing Social Media

How much catch-up do marketers have to make before becoming extremely savvy on ways of conducting social media campaigns? Back in December I attended a conference on media convergence that was mainly about the emerging trend of social media and how top name brands like Westin Hotels and Toyota are using it to their benefit. They consider social media to be a very successful PR tool, recruit some brand ambassadors and have them start a dialogue for their brand. I walked away from that conference empowered to take my learnings back home and recommend blogging to our clients as a new way to interact with consumers and create credibility for their brands.

Today’s SXSW interactive panels shed more light on the phenomenom. Of course, to have a successful social media campaign, a brand must have a clearly defined strategy in order to see results. There is so much hype around ROI on social media campaigns and how ad agencies are going to prove to marketers that this is what they should be doing in today’s digital world. Understandably, marketers and execs have big fears of social media because no one can control it. If someone posts negative comments on a brand, there could be a downside. However, the great thing about it is you can use the same medium to do damage control. The medium is malleable. It can be a brand’s worst enemy or its dream come true. Marketers must adapt to this openness of consumers as it is the future and will be the norm from now on.

There is no formula that exists for determining ROI on social media. It’s not impressions or click-throughs, we have to dig deeper on the metrics – looking at time spent on the site—-engagement with the brand is ultimately what we want to drive. These networks are trust groups and in turn generate referrals for brands. Social media can have a high brand impact that can last for a long time unlike an ad campaign burst that has a stop and start. Advertising agencies may not be able to exactly prove to clients why social media is important or how it worked for their brand, but here are some experts who have developed nice case studies on the medium and some tutorials:

Theagencyblog.com – social media strategies by Giovanni Gallucci

Seth Godin’s blog, an expert in challenging the way we think about marketing online


SXSW is an Austin event. And Door Number 3 is an Austin advertising agency. We're interested in how new ideas in advertising, media and branding will be presented during these 9 quick days. From inside the lecture halls where top specialists present their thoughts, to out on the streets where advertising is put to the test on tens of thousands of festival-goers. We'll be there with the complete coverage, reports, photos, editorials, and perhaps some tricks on how to sneak into a few sweet afterparties.

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