Safe Is the New Risky in Marketing

Read the original post published on iCrossing’s Great Finds blog on May 3, 2013.

“Safe is the new risky in marketing,” asserted iCrossing Chief Creative Officer Pat Stern during his May 2 presentation at the iCrossing CMO Summit. To build connected brands in a world of always-on consumers, CMOs should take calculated risks, learn, and innovate, according to Stern.

He began his presentation by sharing a formula for managing marketing opportunities and processes. According to the “70-20-10” rule, 70 percent of your marketing resources should go toward activities that you know will work; 20 percent should go toward innovating from that 70 percent; and 10 should go toward risk taking, or “swinging for the fences.” Gone are the days of taking major risks and hoping for the best. Digital marketers should take calculated risks to learn how to create experiences that connect with customers in different ways.

Stern gave detailed tips to guide marketing experimentation and innovation, including:

  • Listen closely to your customers. Consumers have certain expectations, and sometimes technology can’t meet those expectations. To meet their own needs, Innovative consumers will create their own experiences and their own interactions with your products and your brand. Stern shared an example from the era of audiocassette tapes: innovative consumers used to create mix tapes consisting of their own musical experience by editing together their own versions of songs and albums. Had record labels been paying attention to this activity, they would have understood the need for technology to help create unique musical experiences. Consequently, the way in which we listen to music now could have been drastically different, or much more advanced. The answers to consumer problems are there – you, as a marketer, just need to be willing to dig for it.
  • Swing for the fences. According to the “70-20-10” rule, 10 percent of your marketing efforts should be used for experimenting with something completely new. That 10 percent is a calculated risk based on your ability to listen and learn from consumers, and discover what else may make them connect more strongly with your brand. By taking risk, no matter the outcome, you’ll learn something important. And that knowledge will help you hone your skill and master your technique. Continue reading

How Hampton Hotels Creates Connected Moments with Hamptonality

Read the original post published on iCrossing’s Great Finds blog on May 2, 2013.

Sharing your story connects your brand’s ideals with your customers. That’s exactly what Hampton Hotels, part of Hilton Worldwide, did by working with iCrossing to conceive of and roll out the “Hamptonality Moments” campaign. On May 2 at the iCrossing CMO Summit, Judy Christa-Cathey of Hilton Worldwide shared the story behind a video campaign that has generated more than 5 million views and a 90 percent share rate as well as national attention from Mashableand CNN.

The campaign brings to life Hamptonality, a term that refers to going the extra mile for customers at Hampton Hotels. Christa-Cathey explained that Hamptonality was established as part of the employee culture before permeating throughout the experiences each customer has when staying in the hotels.

“I call Hamptonality marketing from the inside out,” she said.

Continue reading

Big Data Lessons for Brands from Obama’s Chief Scientist Rayid Ghani

Read the original post published on iCrossing’s Great Finds blog on May 2, 2013.

Big data means nothing without action. That’s a key takeaway from a May 2 presentation delivered by Rayid Ghani, chief scientist for the Obama for America campaign, at the iCrossing CMO Summit. Ghani’s discussion focused on lessons that brands can learn from the success of the 2012 campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama. According to Ghani, brands can build strong connections and trust when it matters most by applying data in real time – and acting and reacting in real-time, too.

As Ghani asserted, big data can – and will – touch everyone in all industries and fields. Brands need to dive into data to understand audiences, become comfortable with it, and derive insights to build closer relationships with their audiences. But brands also need to use data to get people to complete an action.

During the Obama for America campaign, Ghani used data to inspire action. The Obama campaign collected data from one-to-one interactions with individuals. Based on this data, the campaign utilized multi-channel marketing, connecting offline and online marketing tactics, to build stronger connections with those individuals in order to improve persuasive interactions — and to encourage people to get out of the house and go vote.

“Embedding analytics into Obama’s campaign was as much a cultural shift for people as it was literal,” he said.

Continue reading