As humans we are naturally curious, we want to build, understand why things work, and create solutions to everyday problems, so that we can innovate our lives. Why not use this same curiosity towards marketing. “As a marketer you need to be curious” stated by Britney Muller, Senior SEO Scientist at Moz. During her presentation at the Digital-Branding-Analytics-Miami 2019 Conference (#DBAmiami), Britney Muller emphasize the importance of being curious. Has marketers we need to gather as much data as possible to make the best marketing decisions for our companies. Being curious, answers the important questions needed to collect data for your clients. Questions such as: What platform does my target audience use the most? Why does my target audience prefer to click a blue button than a red one? How likely is my target audience to make a purchase after reading testimonials? and etc. Being curious is the only want to truly discover your consumers behavior.
Author: Shantica Dawkins
After attending the Digital-Brand-Analytics-Miami 2019 Conference , I was amped up and ready to start my marketers’ journey. After listening to well know speakers and subject matter experts on marketing, one statement stood out to me. Michael Kappitt, President of Carrabba’s Italian Grill stated, “math plus magic equals marketing”. Now, what exactly does this actually mean? How is math related to marketing? When it comes to the math, many marketers grab this information from analytics from their specific target audience. We conduct analysis to predict behavior or to better understand what tools are better at attracting our consumers. As for the magic, well that derives from the creativity aspect of marketing, how we entertain our audience, tell our story, or drive more attention towards a particular campaign. A great example of this is the infamous Outback Steakhouse 1 Million Steak Giveaway Promotion. Which went up in flames in more ways than one. Outback ran an amazing marketing campaign promoting the use of a wood-fire grill to cook their steaks. Outback engineers created a billboard for this promotion, the theme was fire and lots of it. While conducting a test of the billboard, engineers are fleeing for their lives while the billboard burst in flames. Since the explosion was recorded, it was uploaded on YouTube and went viral. From there media sources wrote articles, and the news spread to even more potential consumers. Now that’s a great use of marketing creativity. #DBAmiami
Taking a trip to your local cosmetics store always ends with empty pockets and uncertainty. When you look at all the different brands and posters plastered all over the store you become confused as to what brand you really want. Usually many makeup consumers would ask the makeup sales representative to choose a brand based on skin type, color, or texture. Even then, after their recommendation, you still aren’t completely satisfied that you purchase the right product. When it comes to cosmetics most consumers purchase make up brands based on the companies they know, the representation they hold or by branding. In the cosmetics industry branding is everything from seasoned companies to new makeup brands. The question that comes to mind is how can I effectively brand my products? Well, you came to the right place.
What Makes You Different
You have to do your research. Finding out what the competition already does gives you an idea on what you can produce next. The Blue Ocean Theory is a great example on how to find your niche and what separates you from your competitors. The Blue Ocean is the untested marketplace in which you can create new demand. In order to do this, you need to come up with factors with in your product and three other competitors’ products that the consumer needs. Let’s take makeup foundation for example, a few factors that I would choose is cruelty-free, shade ranges, SPF, Skin type benefits, and buildability. Now we take these factors and rate them on a scale of 1-10 per company. Which company satisfies all factors? Which factor is the least represented in the marketplace? Now you can determine what factor your company will focus on to separate yourself from the competitors.
Use Your Fans
The development of YouTube has opened a world of creators. Ordinary people can make videos to attract subscribers to watch their content. Makeup artist and enthusiast use this outlet to create make up tutorials, explaining how to apply your favorite make up. Well, use this! Search for a creator that is a fan of your product, with a large number of subscribers and have them sponsor you. Usually these creators will use your product to influence their subscribers to purchase the product. A lot of makeup brands do this. They send exclusive make up kits to YouTubers to test and recommend their product. Some companies even go as far as to offer discounts to the creators’ subscribers.
Most consumers want to be a part of a change. They want to promote inspiration around the world. That’s why make up brands like MAC and NYX hold make up competitions, to which the winner receives recognition, along with a plethora of different gifts to nurture their talents. When you give back to your supporters or even charity your company increases its value to potential consumers. For your make up brand, think about holding competitions using your products to which the winner will receive a gift, or just show the company donating to a non-profit organization on social media. Posting these events will diffidently raise your company’s value. A higher value means a stronger brand, which will ultimately help consumers choose your product over its competitors.
These are just a few ideas to get your makeup brand noticed by consumers. If you are just starting a cosmetics brand, utilizing at least two of these techniques to help build your brand. The next time a consumer goes shopping and sees your brand they automatically remember their favorite You-tuber talking about how great your products are. Or they might remember a factor that separates your product from others. Or they might simply remember scrolling through Instagram and seeing that your company donated to the Boys and Girls club. So, instead of trying to make up their mind on what product to purchase, your brand speaks for its self
In today’s society, there are so many similar products marketed towards consumers. There are plenty of options to choose from. What restaurant would you dine in? What laptop would you purchase? Or What makeup brand would you purchase? Since the market is extremely saturated, how can you stand out? How would you be able to increase revenue? As marketer, we need to know how to set our product apart from competitors. The easiest way to do this is by utilizing the Blue Ocean Strategy.
The Blue Ocean Strategy is a marketing theory that allows marketers to find and create a new demand within that market space. The easiest way to do this would be to list all factors or specifications associated with your product, along with competitors’ products and rate them. Next, take a look at the rating and figure out what factors are lower on the rating scale. The low ratings are what you can use to make your product stand out. For instance, review the chart below.
As you can see each factor listed on the left is rated 1-10 (1 being bad and 10 being great). If you compare “My Product” against its competitors, you see that certain factors are rated lower than my product. That’s how you find your demand look at where you need improvement and create a product that standouts and rates higher within those factors.
The Blue Ocean Strategy is just one way to stand out in a highly saturated market. There are many ways to make sure that your product gets the recognition it deserves. According to Shonteria Gibson, Assistant Program Director at the Lotus House Sundari Foundation,
“The best way to stand out in a highly-saturated market is, as cliché as it sounds, to be yourself. It’s important to believe that you are unique and that whatever you possess is invaluable to any corporation or agency. Being aware of your talents and not comparing yourself to others (which is so hard!) are keys to truly standing out in a highly-involved area. You have to believe in your assets and what you have to offer, and then offer them with full force! Cultivate your ideas and your areas of expertise, too. If there is a topic in marketing that you’re passionate about or have ideas on how to improve upon it, write an article about it and post it to a blog as a part of your portfolio. Come up with sample content or marketing strategies for corporations (even if they’re imaginary ones), write about them, and add them to your blog / portfolio so that companies can see your creative range and abilities. These are the extra steps that most people skirt around that will catapult you into recognition in an overly-saturated market”
This gives a great outlook on what people are looking for with a company. Most consumers love the fact that a company is genuine, they want to share their truthful self. Marc Edmond, Coordinator of Youth Programs at Florida Atlantic University, has the same idea, he states “In a highly saturated market, remain authentic. Your authenticity will always draw the best people, businesses, and organizations to your brand and message”
Some marketers would take a human-like approach to stand out. Giving their product more human appeal or displaying human emotions from the company’s perspective. According to Sean Cox, Marketing Strategist at Walt Disney World explains “Standing out in a highly saturated market is no easy feat. Many brands have employed the “personable” approach; giving the brand a distinct, human-like voice aimed at gaining consumer trust. I believe standing out in today’s market, requires an always-on content approach. Brands need to not only understand their audience’s buying behaviors but their online personalities as well. Questions brands should ask themselves are: What type of content does my audience enjoy? What channels are they most involved in? How can I create content that will resonate with this audience in an authentic way?”
Another way companies can stand out is the use and understanding of their core values. Getting to know their “Why” helps the company focus on their overall product, it gives them guidance to remain on track. According to Justin Seedman CEO of Justin Fit and Vice President at Morro Capital “Renowned motivational speaker and organizational consultant, Simon Sinek famously said, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” As a business owner and vice president, I can attest first-hand the importance of standing out in a highly competitive market. Every business has a story to tell, their why, their core values, that will connect potential customers to their brand. Today consumers are considerably more educated than ever before. Business owners need to deliver extraordinary service by addressing customer pain points, providing value and creating memorable experiences”
The overall marketing strategy can also be a way to stand out, according to Debra Cabrera, Professor of Marketing at Florida International University, “Focus on strategy – There’s a good opportunity to invest in developing a multicultural and multi-generational team. I would recommend creating strategies to incorporate seasoned employees, and not phase them out. The age diversity could bring the best of both worlds: The maturity to speak to a target that has more disposable income, and the enthusiasm needed to communicate to younger audiences.”
This is a great point of view most companies want the new and improved employees but forget about the ones that made the company great and uphold the traditions the company has.
These experts explained how a company can stand out within a market share. What about marketing yourself, building your personal brand. How can you stand out against your competitors? Carolina M Rodriguez, International Marketing Director for Luxury Goods and Jewelry states “At the age of 21 I started my career in an advertising agency, I was promoted within my first 6 months due to outstanding performance. I quickly learned that I was in control of my career and that I will decide how much and how fast I grow. I read one marketing article a day, take courses, listen to webinars, always looking for ways to stay relevant and knowledgeable. I did my masters after 12 years to be able to have the requirements for a C-Level position. My differentiator is my attitude, I’m always learning and growing, I hire people who can help me learn and grow and who are partners and want to grow with me. At the age of 25 I became Director and at the age of 40 I strive to be CMO. My life is my canvas and I’m the artist/the brand, everything from the way I dress, say good morning and how I conduct business is a representation of my masterpiece and my masterpiece is unique to only me and that along with previously mentioned habits helps me standout”
Carolina explained how she has the drive and determination to stay focus and build upon her personal brand to make her stand out. Because of this she will become CMO at the age of 40. Phillip Montaivo, Ecommerce Marketing Manager at Flex Seal also has the same thought, he states “With the MSM degree you’ll likely be receiving this year, you’ll distinguish yourself from traditional MBA students from the unique curriculum the MSM program has to offer and focusing brand analytics, digital marketing, and brand development. These core areas and the classes you will take will you prepare you for the competitive job landscape out in the “real world.” Being able to build upon your personal brand will allow you to set yourself apart from everyone else.
The running theme and keywords that I see from all experts above is the use of core values, goals, strategy, education, self-improvement, and determination will all set you apart from your competitors. This will allow you to stand out in a highly saturated market, whether you’re selling a product, or yourself.
Have you ever wanted to sale a product to a consumer and they simply hand you their business card and say “Eh, email me the details.” This is an old tactic to shoo away annoying salesmen. Within digital marketing we have multiple tools to use to interact with our consumers. Platforms such as social media, digital advertisements, and email marketing are great ways to contact your audience about your product information. Email marketing over other platforms has many advantages. For one, it’s a digital tool in which you can directly send your website information to your target audience. Two, it can be automatically individualized to where you can personalize your email messages prior to sending out. Three, this option allows direct response; your target audience is able to reply to your email with any additional questions. So, the next time you ask for someone’s information and they say email me, take them up on that offer.
As marketers, when we’re conducting research surveys, we want to get the most information out of our data. In doing so, we need to make sure that the results are analyzed properly. Just by simply looking at the numbers won’t give us the in-depth analysis that we need to make the best marketing decision for our clients. So, we dig deeper, we run statistical test such as a T- Test to determine if there is an actual statistical significance. If the results of the T-test indicates that the p-value equals .05 or less, there is a significant difference. If the P value equals .051 or higher, then the results are not significant. For instance, after conducting a survey we received the following results: For question one (How many hours do you work per week) we want to compare the means from two subgroups (males and females). The results show that males work an average of 38 hours per week and females work 41 hours per week. Even though the numbers are different, is there an actually statistical difference? After conducting a T test, the p value = 0.25. Since the p value is higher than 0.5, there is not a significant
Back in ancient times many people would tell stories about great adventures or tragedies that have happened in the past. Whether it’s through a play production, or through a grandparent talking to their grandchild right before bedtime. Storytelling has always been an artform. Today this artform has changed more visually but still hold on to its basic values as its ancient counterparts. Today’s marketers use different platforms to create storytelling advertisements for a particular product. Marketers want to build that close relationship with their target audience. Consumers want to feel that emotional connection with characters with in the ad. Let’s take the McDonalds Donut Commercial (see above) for example. The dad in this commercial seem stressed out, annoyed, and just ready to get the day over with. The older gentlemen in the car ahead sees and feels his pain so he purchases donuts for them. For a consumer they also feel the dad’s pain and wishes him good luck with the day ahead. The consumers can also see this commercial as an act of kindness.
“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” – Steve Jobs
As marketing leaders, we would need to know how to analyze clean data. After conducting a marketing survey, you now have all the information you need to analyze your data to make a better marketing decision. Before you can start analyzing your data you need to make sure you have clean and usable data. There are a few things to look for when cleaning your data. First, make sure the data you have is complete. You shouldn’t have any missing or blank spaces for data inputs these should be eliminated from our data analysis. Another example is looking at how long it takes for each participant to complete the survey. If from start to finish a survey participant takes 1 minute to complete a 10-minute survey, then they did not fully read the questions nor completely answered them honestly. Another extreme is when that participant takes 4 hours to complete a survey. Those examples should be eliminated from your data analysis so that you can make a more accurate decision. Understanding how to clean data is extremely important to effectively conduct data analysis. Dirty data coming in means dirty results coming out.
As part of the millennial generation I remember the huge shift towards the use of technology. I had the Windows 95 desktop computer, using the Yahoo or AOL search engines, and communicating online through MSN Messenger. I also remember when cellphones first hit the scene. I remember the old Clunky Nokia brick phone that seemed to be indestructible. Today our younger generation has way more advanced technology at their fingertips. Children at the age 12 or 13 already have smartphones, usually using them to view videos, or follow their favorite social media influencer. Some children even have access to purchase items through their mobile device. Marketers need to utilize this information as an advantage to target teenagers. For instance, you’re marketing a video game product in which your target audience is teenagers. A great marketing campaign would be using mobile friendly websites, along with partnering with well-known social media influencers to target that audience. Today’s advances in technology along with the high usage of these devices is great way to market towards teens.
When we conduct research, we want to be able to choose the right path to get us the answers we need. There are two type of research tools you can use to gather information, a survey or an experiment. A marketing research survey is usually conducted by participants answering questions about a certain product or service. An experiment on the other hand is usually used to understand a consumer’s behavior. When conducting these experiments usually the administrator would study the everyday behavioral patterns of their potential target audience. If you need to figure out which research method is better for your research objective, the key is to find out whether your trying to find out a behavioral pattern or ask questions about a particular product. When it comes to the cosmetics industry for example, conducting a marketing research survey would help when you want to find out what properties in cosmetics are most important. An experiment would usually be once the target market walks into a store where do they usually walk towards first.