Digital Marketing, new Challenges and Directions

Digital Marketing, new Challenges and Directions

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 2 Minutes

Antonio Ramírez, CEO at Pixel506 and Scott Gillum, CEO & Founder of Carbon Design discuss what you need to know about Digital Marketing newest trends.  Topics discussed will be managing work and family life balance and how to keep employees engaged, productive and appreciated.

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The Authenticity Bomb

The Authenticity Bomb

By Jackson and Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 5 minutes

Editor’s Note: A father and son project often results in something being built. A treehouse, a restored car or a piece of furniture. With very little mechanical skills but a knack for storytelling and a son who is an English major, our project resulted in a white paper on Personality Based Marketing to be published in the fall. The blog post below is an excerpt from that piece, Jackson researched and wrote it, I just helped to frame it, without any tools…of course.

John B Watson is a crucial character in the use of personality in advertising, used extensively today, yet for many his name is unknown. He lived during a time (1878-1958) that saw the rise and boom of both psychology and personality studies.

As a professor at Johns Hopkins he did extensive research in psychology until a scandalous affair with a student would cost him his job. After being forced to leave the university, he entered the world of marketing work as a door-to-door salesman for advertising agency J. Walter.

It didn’t take Watson long to start making observations about his customers. He concluded that rather than consumers being rational, they acted emotionally. Watson claimed: “tell him something that will tie him up with fear, something that will stir up a mild rage, that will call out an affectionate or love response, or strike at a deep psychological or habit need.”

Using this, Watson would lead several advertising campaigns, utilizing strategies that are still in use today. During his advertising for Ponds Cold Cream and Pebeco toothpaste, he revolutionized the way that testimonials were used.

These testimonials were based on evoking the emotional response of desire for the customers. The ads featured seductive women, and were not directed to men but instead to women with the promise that they would become more desirable. The same approach used today in the advertising of skin and beauty products.

Attractive men and women drinking beers together sent a message greater than “this is a good beer” but instead “drink this beer and you can be like them.” Watson’s style of ads pitched a new reality attainable through the acquisition of their product.

There is now a new phenomenon in advertising. A new alliance few expected between social movements and corporations. Historically, adhering to social movements could be bad for business, and we have seen many examples of this.

Two recent examples are Budweiser’s “Born the Hard Way” Ad and Pepsi’s famous “Live for Now” ad. Both of these ads came out in 2017 and they were massive failures, each in their own way.

The story behind the Pepsi ad is more complex than that of the Budweiser ad, and the fact that Pepsi advertisers never foresaw any negative response is astonishing, yet you can tell their heads were naively in the right place.

They picked up on the popular movements at the time, specifically the #resistance movement aimed at the Trump administration and the foundations of the BLM movement. This can be seen everywhere in the ad, where the focal point is an enormous protest with young people marching, directly aimed at their millennial audience.

Then, the ad makes a massive turn for the worst, the idea that a Pepsi can bring everyone together. The moment that Kendall Jenner hands a police officer a pepsi is the moment that Pepsi created what could be considered one of the worst ads in history.

The message is patronizing, calling on both the absurdity of the message along with popular anti- Kardashian-Jenner sentiments that they are relatable people. This “bomb” exploded because Pepsi appeared to be disingenuously producing an ad that attempted to take advantage of social movements, but perhaps they were at the right place at the wrong time.

And that brings us to today, following the death of George Floyd and the monumental growth of BLM protests that have grown across the entire nation in 2020, companies are scrambling to produce as many ads as possible to address this audience.

The interesting phenomenon is, just like where Pepsi produced an ad using social movements as a marketing ploy without any relevance to their company, so are an extensive amount of corporations with seemingly no backlash…so far.

On July 13, 2020 Old Navy, released its “#WeAreWe” ad. It is colorful, upbeat, and poetic, praising the social movements of 2020. It is also accompanied by a new store manifesto committed to activism within their own company, and it has been successful.

Below the surface lurks the fact that their clothing is produced in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Philippines, Sri Lanka, etc., countries renowned for their cheap labor and lack of environmental protection laws.

While Gap, Old Navy’s parent company, has addressed its garment production in the past giving it some praise, it still has glaring issues when it comes to worker pay and empowerment. Good on You, a website dedicated to rating the ethical behavior of companies, scored Old Navy a “2 out of 5” when it came to labor, and a “3 out of 5” when it came to environmental friendliness.

What Old Navy, and companies like them are pursuing is potentially dangerous to the brand. In addressing one issue they are exposing themselves to others. And potentially, setting themselves up to be unable to fulfill their promise to consumers, making them seem hypocritical.

What companies must realize is that while they may have the best intention, in order to be authentic they must be able to live it.  Especially when the “trolls” come knocking. In the emotional and polarized environment we live in today, “covering the bases” is a tightrope that keeps shrinking.

Watson’s ads were successful because companies pitched you a new better version of yourself, one you can attain only through them. Now, companies pitch you a new version of them, one that they hope you accept at surface value but don’t look at too closely.

Build Your Personal Brand & Become a Trusted Advisor.  *Webcast Now Available On-Demand*

Build Your Personal Brand & Become a Trusted Advisor. *Webcast Now Available On-Demand*

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 3 Minutes

Now that we’re online almost exclusively, every interaction with buyers is being scrutinized.  You ARE the company’s brand, now more than ever.  Learn how to navigate this high risk environment with our CEO Scott Gillum and xiQ, Inc. CEO Usman Sheikh.  Webcast now available on demand here.

Before people decide what they think of your message, they decide what they think of you.  The more personalized our communication, the more we show that we care. Whether it’s an email or a one-on-one presentation, marketers and sellers need to do their homework on understanding their prospects and their business needs to appeal to their emotions and build trust.

Personality-Driven Engagement (PDE) by xiQ equips B2B professionals with the insights to build highly personalized messages that build emotional connections with their clients. xiQ uses AI to understand what motivates people, what drives them, and how to influence their decisions.

B2B professionals will learn how to:

  • Build their own personal brand
  • Understand the personality type of their buyers
  • Individualize communication
  • Analyze content that resonates

Who should view this webcast?
CMOs, CROs, B2B Account Managers, ABM & Sales Leaders, Marketing and Sales Professionals MUST attend this webinar. This session is OPEN for All.

View the webcast here.

Supporting Sales with Inbound Marketing

Supporting Sales with Inbound Marketing

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 3 Minutes

Episode 5: Getting Sales to Buy Into Inbound Marketing with Special Guest, Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens, former head Digital Marketing at Gartner and CEB, faced a significant set of challenges in building out an inbound marketing engine that would deliver sales. Scott and Matt discuss how he was able to get the sales organization to accept Inbound Marketing as a solution to increase their productivity and make quota.

 


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LHH Rebrand

LHH Rebrand

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 1 Minute

Is it enough just to give a company a new look? For Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) the answer was no.  After Landor (London) created the new brand identity, LHH engaged Carbon Design to give it life and help reposition the organization with buyers to sell a broader set of solutions.

For the past five months two Carbon teams have worked on new messaging, positioning and creative assets to give meaning to the identity.

LHH launched the new branding at an event in Dallas on January 22, 2020.


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AQ Blog and Grill Feature: Reinventing the Market Agency Model

AQ Blog and Grill Feature: Reinventing the Market Agency Model

by Katie Weisz Estimated read time: 1 Minute CEO, Scott Gillum, had the chance to be a guest on “AQ Blog and Grill” with host, Alan Quarry. As Alan states on his website, the show “dishes up food for thought on entrepreneurship, branding, startups and more in this video-based weblog.” In this episode, Scott shared more on the building of Carbon Design Co., how he has built consulting success around the idea of “working differently”, and how Carbon delivers value-based services thanks to the team and a “smarter not harder” approach. Follow the conversation here:


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