Part of my work at Skidmore College as the F. William Harder Professor of Business Administration includes the recruitment and production of an annual lecture. Each year, a speaker is recruited and asked to present to the students a topic within their areas of interest and expertise. This year, it was me.
The link to the lecture: https://vimeo.com/557756796
If you’re working in the industry, it’s important to keep in mind that the audience for this presentation are students. The age range is 18-22. Their context as young adults is a world in which they have never known anything other than digital media and social media. To draw out the importance of this context, I will point out that as part of the boomer generation, I grew up with TV. I never knew a world without TV. My parents, part of the silent generation, grew up with radio; TV for them was a transformative technology. For my generation, digital has been a transformative technology. For these students, generation Z, digital is nothing new at all. However, their challenge is gaining some perspective, not simply on the past but also where we are today and, if I did a decent job, suggestions to motivate their own work and understanding going forward.
This is academic work and is shared here in that context for that purpose. The work used to illustrate the presentation were derived from various sources, most of it my own, some of it sourced from various on-line resources available to the public.
I hope you find it insightful.
The show is about 45 minutes in length, during which we touch on a range of topics from idea development to execution and agency culture too. I hope you enjoy it. Click here for the show.
Smart clients get smart work. We like smart clients and Habitat Clothes is a great client. Hard working, hands-on, head in the clouds with feet on the ground. Visionary and driven with a keen curiosity and willingness to learn and adapt to the changing demands of her business, Suzanne Williams is a restless warrior in the battle of building her brand. From our initial conversations about the needs of her business and the impact on the brand, down to the last detail of execution in planning her product line shoot, she never loses sight of the larger strategic goals she has set out for the Habitat brand.
Are you creating killer content? Is your content engine in overdrive? A boiling, overheated, over expressed machine; choking the very channels from which you hope to win new customers and build deeper relationships.
Not all content is created equal. And not every potential consumer touch-point warrants the presence of your brand.
The buyer’s journey is almost always a process of discovery, investigation, ingestion, peer-to-peer consultation, more investigation, purchase consideration, then final decision and purchase of the winning brand.
Consumers need downtime. They need free space to think, confer with friends and thoughtful consideration of their options. They need ad free, clutter-free space. They need respect.
Robotic ad buying and over-zealous social media content stuffing can destroy brand perception.
Too much, is well… too much. And enough is enough. Brands that lack insight and deep strategy default to polluting their own channels; paid, owned and earned.
Clients are spending untold amounts of money on bad content decisions. Content strategy should be a very direct and meaningful extension of your brand idea. Your brand idea needs to express the desires of your customers. The story of your brand is the story of your customers.
Telling this story in the most meaningful and relevant and respectful way is the ultimate expression of your brand.
Killer content; thoughtful, respectful, entertaining, informative and insightful. Creative content is the stuff that turns prospects into customers.
Yes, we’re talking production. Clients want you to produce work. This is, after all, what they hire us for; Is it not?
Yes, you say, with great affirmation.
What clients hire us for, what they really hire us to produce, are results. The work is a means to an end and that ultimate end result is sales. Not awareness in and of itself, not leads, although these are steps along the path, not likes or clicks, but actual hard-boiled sales, measured in ounces of gold.
Advertising to sales ratios are one measure clients use to determine how much of their advertising budget goes into each sale. Some clients, depending on the nature of their product or service, might look at lifetime value of a customer, assuming the product or service involves repeat purchase. For instance, your wireless phone service vs a dog leash.
The wireless service may spend hundreds of dollars closing you as a customer knowing with a degree of certainty that once they have you, they will have you for a good many years. The initial cost of sale is amortized over the life of your engagement. You become an annuity; a recurring monthly source of income as you continue to repurchase their services on a daily basis.
The dog leash people, on the other hand, cannot afford to spend very much at all to achieve your purchase of their product. In most cases, it’s a one time purchase of a durable product that really does not go out of style.
If you don’t understand your client’s business, you cannot produce effective results. It’s pretty simple. If you don’t understand the perceived value in the mind of the target customer, you will not achieve effective results.
Brand value is derived from consumer need based on real insight into their emotional relationship with the brand. This emotional relationship is expressed in the brand idea.
Getting it right triggers deep connections that make the cash register ring; and that my friends is what they pay us for.