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Hey you! Do you know who you’re talking to? Three big signs that you don’t.

I’ve spent my entire 20+year career helping B2B technology brands “market” themselves better. And one thing I’ve discovered is this: most companies don’t have any idea who they’re talking to.

B2B 1

Don’t worry; it’s not just your brand; it’s a universal challenge. Size of the company doesn’t seem to matter, nor does the volume of PR and marketing investment, or the passion of its employees. Most B2B technology brands simply don’t have a solid understanding of their target audience and what motivates buyers to write a check.
When asked, these same companies will insist they know their audience. At least, they have a gut feeling from all the years of experience so that should be good enough, right? Wrong.

Not understanding the behaviors, motivators and influencers of buyers is one of the top reasons why companies waste marketing budget, spin wheels and feel like the “market just doesn’t get us.” It can also frustrate the sales team, confuse the market and empower the competition.

So, do you know who you’re talking to? Here are three of the most obvious signs that you don’t (and how you can take a step…

The Booze Bin

Not Your Father’s Root Beer – Growth Strategies for Small Brands

an adult root beer float

One of the most popular products to hit the beverage industry in recent history came in the form of Not Your Father’s Root Beer (NYFRB). This beer-slash-soda brand has taken the market by storm, as it represents one of the newest trends in alcohol, “malternatives” aka alternative malt beverages (usually artificially flavored). Social media has been in a tizzy as consumers frantically search for it on the shelves of their local retailers. The consumer is truly engaged with the product and shares updates about where to find it and what it taste likes.   Instagram feeds flooded with photos of the bottles with captions such as “YES! Finally, was able to get my hands on some. Now to see if the hype is true” and “I tried it and like it! #NotYourFathersRootbeer.” One NJ liquor store posted: “Not Your Father’s Root Beer is back in stock. Limit one six-pack per person. Don’t wait it will be gone in a day or two.”

But why has this brand been so successful and what can we learn from their product launch? Not Your Father’s Root Beer…

Branding

What do a CEO and a Harley enthusiast have in common? PadillaCRT’s New Brand Ad Campaign: Where Passion Meets Purpose

Ever notice the similarity among ads for communications firms? Differentiating an agency with a headline and body copy is a real challenge, especially an agency with as much to offer as PadillaCRT. I’m pleased to say that our Creative group overcame that obstacle with the Where Passion Meets Purpose campaign we’re rolling out this month. Our agency is all about enabling our clients to articulate their purpose, then connecting that purpose with the people who are important to their success. Since ours is a people business, why not let readers connect with some of the great people who live their purpose inside the workplace and out? And since our agency has transformed into one with complete “paid-earned-shared-owned” capabilities, a paid campaign – developed in-house – was the perfect vehicle to showcase the breadth of our talent. You’ll see our ads in the PR trades and regional business magazines. This campaign combines individual expertise with our collective vision as an employee-owned agency. In our first ad (seen here) of a series, I’m paired with a user-experience expert, and his beloved Harley®, at a vintage gas station. Tell us what you think when an easy rider meets the leader of the…

Digital Marketing

Social Responsibility for Future Generations

We are paying a very high price for our kids losing touch with the real world. Listen, I’m on my iPhone too much, but that doesn’t mean it’s a behavior that should be passed down to the next generation.  As a brand, you want to drive consumers offline – in store, of course. What if you could do more? What if you could encourage them to rethink their behaviors for them and their family?

Nature Valley Granola Bars are trying to do just that with their new “Rediscover Nature” campaign which seeks to put childhood back outdoors. So they produced a spot where they asked three generations the same question – What did you like to do for fun as a kid?

Depressing, right? Well it is a bit dramatic, but it drives home the issue. There was also a social extension that asked fans to submit their best #RediscoverNature photos to spread the message.

These days, maybe consumers are owed more from brands. Some could argue it is a brand’s responsibility to not just sell a product, but better society — like re-selling playtime in the front yard. Kudos to Nature Valley for strategically tapping into a trend…

Digital Marketing

Do You Want Fries With That? 6 Steps For Going “Viral” (aka Someone take away my social media license, I just used the term “viral”)

mcwhopper

The Big Mac. The Whopper. Two titans of the burger industry. Never has there been a bigger rivalry – two warring peoples living in one great nation. Will the war ever end?

That’s the question Burger King posed this week to competitor and reigning burger giant, McDonalds.

It was about the burgers…but not really. Really, it was about getting Burger King on the tongues of America (pun intended). So how did they “go viral?”

Believe it or not, I can tell you exactly how they did it: they created content and a storyline people wanted to share. Then people did share it. Then people shared their thoughts on it. Then people shared those thoughts. Etc.

So how can your brand do that?

1. Be Bold (aka share-worthy)

Let me be the one to break it to you – your new product launch is not going to break the Internet. Sorry, Apple. I’m looking at you.

Sharable content is so much more about what your consumer wants to share than it is what you want to share with them. Finding that intersection is where the magic happens.

Burger King chose to “call out” their number…