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Battle of the Brands: How Online Marketing Competes and Complements Its Offline Counterpart
Andrew Davison – President of texturemedia, a Boulder-based digital interactive agency; has worked with clients such as Izze, Midas, and Pentax. Presents the “online” perspective of marketing. Before joining the firm, he was a senior executive at Pearl Izumi where he managed all the sales efforts of the company.
Keith Greenawalt, Senior Strategy Associate at Greenhouse Partners, a Boulder-based advertising agency that works on clients such as Molson, Coors, Copper Mtn. Resort. Presents the “offline” perspective of marketing.
Some introductory statistics:
TNS Media Research.
Internet marketing accounted for 6.5% of all media spent in 2006. Disney, Verizon, spent over $2M on Web advertising.
Money spent on online advertising is still far behind other types of advertising.
Greenhouse – a “holistic” branding and learning company. The company works across a lot of different spaces and media. Greenawalt describes the approach as “The Whole Brand” – the complete integration of the internal and external brands.
Your brand is all about making and keeping promises. It’s the immediate reaction that people have as a result of images, words, actions, ideas, etc. that someone relates to your organization.
What makes a great brand great:
A focused brand promise:
- is differentiated
- is relevant
- is consistent
Greenhouse Brand Philosophy: brands are fluid and constantly changing.
Communications Philosophy: Getting an emotional connection/attachment to your client’s brands.
Greenhouse has 3 practice areas:
Brand Consulting – Development of brand strategies
Brand Communication – Works across tv, print, point of sale, guerrilla marketing
Brand Learning – Creating internal alignment with the brand
Question: How do you determine measurable output
Answer: Print ads are not particularly measurable. Direct marketing is much more measurable. It depends on they type of media. ROI is not the be all and end all. You can’t easily measure the value of every single tactic you implement.
Andrew Davison: Interactive agency formed in 2001.
- Business to consumer
- Business to business
- Consumer products include property development, outdoor, resort & hospitality, technology, healthcare, financial services.
Their approach is bringing together business requirements and user needs. Company asks:
- How does someone work through a process?
- How are we driving an action to a process?
- How do you take creative ideas and draw in users?
- How do you use technology and interaction to convey your message?
Clients include Google, Intuit, Pentax, Midas, Thule
Understand the user’s needs. We seek to change consumer behavior. Behavior changes based on the influence of technology in our lives.
Facilitating unique user experiences
- Create Unique User Personas
- Distinct Web properties
- To create customized content and functionality
We create perpetual data; never arrive at a goal because information is constantly changing.
For the Gen Y demographic, technology is part of the fabric of their lives
Proprietary Strategy Tool: Create a baseline of information. Where are we today and where do we want to go? Filling in the gap between the two.
Some Creative Tools texturemedia Uses:
Design Workshop: Collaborative Styleboard Exercise
eMarketing Planning: Strategy, Execution, Analysis, Optimization – Achieving goals while maximizing ROI
Their Process: Traditional waterfall process: Discovery, Define, Design, Develop, Optimize. How can we work together with other agencies to create?
An Example of Online and Offline Marketing Working Together
Intrawest: Copper Mountain – The Cache (Keith Greenawalt discussed)
An interesting challenge: the resort is trying to sell units that are not yet built. Want consumers to buy years in advance of the product being finished (won’t be complete for 3 years).
The Situation: Resort builds in a secluded area of the resort. They attract huge number of skiers but has not been able to translate this popularity into high-end real estate sales.
What is Copper Mountain all about?
Develop a brand personality statement: Inviting, Informative, Inspiring, Provoking, Sophisticated. What are the words that get consumers excited about this product?
The Cache Mood board: what photos evoke the feelings for this product? Colors, visuals, photos, fabrics. What you show consumers is what will actually be provided. Uses the same colors, fabrics in the units. What’s the “energy” associated with this product?
Examples of Integrated Campaigns
How do you deliver this campaign to the Web?
Cross Channel Marketing: multi-communication channels
Get consumer to:
Greenhouse developed the brand and creative strategy: “Copper’s Greatest Secrets”
texturemedia applied interactive strategy and process to match the brand strategy with the web creative and interaction.
Joint creative review with the client to arrive at a final product
From a Web perspective, it was very successful: 7500 unique visitors in 4 months with 376 registrations (5% conversion rate)
texturemedia won 2007 Web Marketing Association Web Award for this campaign
Sold out units within a very short time
The Cache – Whisper
This was a Web page to gather information from prospective customers. Roll over images at the bottom to reveal different images about the secret. Images are inviting the user to explore more.
The Cache – unveiling of what The Cache at Union Creek will be. Lots of mood components. What makes Copper so special?
Companies worked together to create a direct mail, printed component – focused on being an “insider” at Copper. The result was a booklet of photos and images with specific colors describing specific locations within Copper in which to do things like get lost in the woods, have a drink, etc. Goal was to drive the consumer to the web to see more about the units and get a feel for the product.
The focus is exclusivity – congratulations, you made it. Or, you didn’t make it, but give us your info so we can include you in the next experience. Intrawest has lots of other properties so they want to continue to build their database.
Once you give a deposit on a unit, you’re sent a printed booklet with little paper flaps (like an Advent calendar) that open up to reveal more “secrets.” Glossy coating, color on color, interesting photos of skiers, maps, the actual units, floor plans, colors, amenities, what you can expect if you become an owner at the Cache.
Tight integration between brand promise and support by web site.
Extending the Relationship
How interactive medium supports print, branding effort.
Examples of ad campaigns
Pentax Photogallery: users can upload their imagery. Can see work done with actual product, actual camera by Pentax. All Flash site. Only allows users with Pentax cameras to upload their photos.
Not just web site, but a web application.
Pentaxian: Loyalty community. Goals are co-creation, community, conversation.
Kelly Slater Invitational: Tied Pentax waterproof camera to specific celebrity. Extended brand footprint by being associated with Kelly Slater. KS is a highly refined search term and when KS comes up, it brings up Pentax with it.
Pearl Izumi – Coined the logo “We are not joggers.” Created a lot of heat. Pushed PI up in their visibility and credibility. Created a mini site that allowed users to customize the text and send an online post card to someone. Blog that allowed users to respond to the marketing campaign. Ties to campaign: Win free shoes for life.
Mossy Oak Apparel: Hunting apparel company. Photos of people’s trophy shots in a bulletin board format. Users can upload their own trophy shots on an online bulletin board. Community votes on the photos. Winner wins a thousand “bucks.”
Aspen – Snowmass DVD-ROM. Took a distributable medium and put it on DVD ROM and sending it out to users. Flipping it over and go into their web site and get specific promo offers from the site; lets you into the online halfpipe. Primarily for Gen Y.
Wells Fargo Link: 1% increase needed for a debit card; Wells Fargo got 3.5% increase from this online campaign. Focused on consumer loyalty for Wells Fargo Link Card. Content management system that changes weekly for different promotions and offers. If you use your card at certain sites, you get a discount. Lots of “carrots” or motivators to get a user to continue using the site. Your savings are targeted to your interests, your region. A “loyalty engine” tailored to your user experience. You get rewarded for using their products.
Summary: Interactive marketing will triple over the next 5 years to $61 billion by 2012 (Forrester Research).
Some other key points:
Online and offline marketing are much more effective when part of a holistic strategy and integrated creatively and tactically
Including URL address in print ads triples the percent visitation.
Media synergy is important: 3 media are better than 2, 2 is better than one
eMarketed suggests that rather than a shift in viewership from tv to the new-media channels
New marketing is the focus, not just new media
Blogs are good for some brands, but not all. Need to look at user needs.
Q. How do you deal with strategies for localizing B to B web sites?
For example, Midas – the pattern of how their customers are searching their product is very localized, depends on where you’re located. If you live in Boulder, you’ll type in “Boulder oil change.” You’ll get paid listing, like Midas, Meineke, etc. When you click on their ad, you end up on home page which is very complicated to find info for local oil change. texturemedia created a tool that took you from page search listed by getting you to a search path, Google page mapping tool, where you’ll provide city or zip code so you can get a regional listing you’re familiar with in a map interface. Also, direct coupons that support local area dealerships. Blip windows show Midas logo with quick description of specific shop to go to actual shops web page or regional web page, along with more coupon offers. Created a brand network for Midas. User gets more relevant, regional information. Can also be made multilingual at flip of a switch. Better support of brand footprint, customers look for coupons.
Q. Of total # of Copper Mountain units, how many sold thru traditional real estate community channels?
More than half sold through those who had already purchased from Intrawest previously.
What % of budget devoted to the web site vs. offline, print?
A minimal amount spent on the Cache. They needed a case built to spend more on internet ad. We need you to show results and win awards and prove that others validate your work. Overall spent was between $30-40,000 spent on Web effort. $150-250,000 spent on print, offline advertising.
Q. With new portal sites, like Facebook and Myspace, it seems like you’re not getting the same clickthrough as with a search engine like Google.
Facebook is different because it’s a social community. Whole new ad system being developed within FB. Hasn’t dampened the effect of Google bec. people will still use that when searching for local oil changes. FB impact on online marketing still remains to be seen. We focus on targeted social communities, with specific needs, rather than a community that’s just trying to pull everyone in. Remains to be seen how well we can leverage online marketing within those communities.
We feel we’re 5-7 years maximum within a 30-year marketing cycle. Facebook is still very new. Everything can be an interface – your car, your office. There will be a loss of distinction between looking at your computer and interacting with the internet.
Q. You mentioned Flash pages that are searchable, indexing. So when I upload my photos to Pentax photo gallery, that’s being sucked into a Flash page? Is that metadata?
You’re logging into a large Web application database that supports all of user’s workflow for uploading, editing photos, etc. A Flash interface sits on top of that and presents your information in the gallery. This can be seen and bookmarked by the user.
Q. There’s still an incredible imbalance between print, TV, offline ads. Are people seeing that they should spend more on online ads?
The relative dollar amount spent is so small, there’s still a lot of upward movement. Behaviors take a long time to change. We like to look at print media for some things. It will be holistic for a long time. I don’t see people reorganizing their marketing budget. We have a client with a large budget and they’re starting to allocate more money to interactive and pulling it out of TV. But it’s still a very small percentage compared to what’s being spent on offline types of media.
Online is easier to measure and track, so that may drive more clients to that type of medium.
Comment from audience member: I think the big numbers that Forrester shows are not coming from Web site design. People that control the media purposes are not generally very sophisticated about interactive media. Lots of big agencies are reluctant, not tech-savvy.
There’s a real hesitancy to invest a lot of money in interactive media.
There’s a distinction between interactive design and development are not the same as interactive advertising. That’s a small portion of the budget.
Media strategy and media buying are very competitive.
Q. How do you determine the carrots to encourage user to continue using the site?
Align behavior with brand needs. Web is driven in large part by avarice and they want to know what they’re going to get. Blogs let people show off. Voyeurism – people want to lurk and check stuff out. If you give people the chance to do one or more, you’ll entice them to use a site.
One thing we’ve seen is that while budgets are 6-10%, lots of advertisers are in the 15-20% range. There’s a lack of understanding that good interactive requires technology, which is complex, and you have to keep investing in the media so there needs to be a commitment to make it work. The entire Cache marketing budget was still underfunded. They didn’t have a lot of marketing dollars because their properties are not built yet.
A lot of highly successful brand presence doesn’t have a carrot at the end. Like Grey Goose vodka, they tout an image of special, exclusive and they’ll never give the user a coupon. Have to be careful about what you offer as carrots. What do we stand for versus how do we motivate people? Be careful about how aggressively you discount things because it lessens the value of your product.
Some merchants like Pentax just want to focus on their exclusive nature, so no coupon involved.
Q. I’ve been an Aspen passholder for years. One of the most effective elements are the timely emails, esp. where you’re showing empty rooms and specials are very enticing.
Email is a very effective tool for targeted communications to those who express an interest in being contacted.