Social Data Earns an A+ for Back-to-School Marketing

(Originally posted in LonelyBrand) In 2013, analysts projected consumers would spend $72.5 billion on back-to-school gear. But before the number of chino sales gets you too excited, there’s another important trend you need to take into account: Consumers are spending less and shopping smarter. In that same year, consumers planned to spend 8 percent less on school supplies, and 32 percent of parents said they would comparison shop online before making purchase decisions. So companies looking to get a piece of this year’s back-to-school pie have to deploy every resource they have. Fortunately, marketing teams have access to unprecedented amounts of data that...

Are Social Data Nerds Threatening Old Media?

(Originally posted in iMedia Connection) Today’s fragmented media landscape means it’s becoming harder and harder for brands to reach a critical mass. Consumers are now divided across millions of different channels and hundreds of devices, which means the brands that are still trying to reach everyone with blanket media placements are in serious trouble. But for marketers who are willing to dig in and get to know individual segments of their audience, the digital media landscape presents wonderful opportunities to make meaningful connections in less crowded environments. You probably already use Twitter as a vehicle for your brand messages,...

3 Ways Teen Fashion Retailers Can Dress Up Back-To-School Campaigns

(Originally posted in Convince&Convert) Let’s be honest. For being the second-largest retail opportunity of the year, back-to-school shopping is about as exciting as a trip to the DMV. Its bland predictability is a shame because there are nearly $300 per household at stake. Think of the millions of backpacks, sneakers, and No. 2 pencils smart retailers will sell before the first day of school. Teen fashion brands are major stakeholders in the back-to-school frenzy. Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, and Aéropostale were all written off as dying brands, but they have one significant resource that gives them an edge: a much higher...

Every Brand has a Powerful Story Behind It – 4 Ways to Find Your Own

(Originally posted in DailySEOBlog) If there’s one secret to effective marketing, it’s that customers are drawn to powerful stories. It makes sense. Compared to traditional sales tactics, storytelling is downright seductive. Where “selling” pushes the product on the consumer, storytelling pulls the consumer in with culture and a sense of belonging. Instead of spouting facts and features, storytelling provokes a positive emotional connection. And finally, where traditional selling pressures the customer to act, storytelling builds a need within the customer that the brand can fulfill. As marketers find new ways to make these connections with buyers, creativity and storytelling become...

How World Cup Sponsors Fared Against their Non-Sponsor Rivals

(Originally posted in Digiday, by Curtis Silver) One might be forgiven for assuming that the biggest game for advertisers to spend money on is the Super Bowl. But the FIFA World Cup puts that single-game contest to shame. Estimates put the ad spending this year at over $1.5 billion globally, with a good chunk of this coming via sponsorships. FIFA’s major sponsors pay upwards of $50 million a year to have their logos splashed in front of viewers. And non-sponsors are strongly discouraged from attempting to hijack World Cup buzz for their own marketing ambush. But that doesn’t stop them from trying. Still, according to Mattr, a brand...