Brands are constantly looking for ways to build a connection with their consumers, but often struggle to figure out the right way to do so. Frequently brands will go for the one way approach ' here's my message and now I'll pray and hope you like it ' probably not the best way to build a lasting relationship. Sometimes there's a promise of more, but in the end, we quickly revert back to shouting brand messages to the masses with no opportunity for a connection. As marketers, we don't have to be perfect, but we do have to spend more time getting to know our consumers. We have to ask more questions rather than just talk about ourselves. We need to listen more to our consumers ' What makes them tick? What would they like from the brand? The expectation is that you manage the relationship between your brand and the consumer as any other relationship in your life ' don't make it complicated just extend your hand and genuinely share and listen. Building Connections Thru Content Marketing Content marketing won't be the silver bullet but incorporating strategies into your marketing plan will help to build the bridge between brand and consumers over time. The 'content'? developed should be focused on the interests and hobbies you and your consumers share in common ' you appreciate and value their input and they look to you for information and expertise only your brand could provide. The scenario I just described is mutually beneficial, two-way communication. The premise of two way communication is shared interests and mutually valued and appreciated perspectives - not complicated but does take commitment Case Study: At AMP Agency, we followed the 'mutually beneficial'? approach with a taboo category, sexual wellness. LifeStyles condoms needed to understand and get to know their consumers more, so we began using online surveys as a tool to uncover their interests, attitudes and beliefs. The surveys produced learnings that highlighted the areas mutually beneficial to the consumer and the brand. These insights were curated into various forms of content from articles and blogs, to facebook posts, infographics and inspired the messaging in our online advertising campaign. The 'mutually beneficial strategy'? speaks for itself: Consumers wanted to learn more (paid Media click-thru rates increased) They sought out more information (organic search traffic posted double digit gains) They were inspired to share (Facebook and Twitter engagement skyrocketed) The Best Relationships We all know relationships can be tough, but the good ones last and they get better over time. Start now. Be open to content marketing and the unique strategies you can use to build a relationship with your consumers. As seen in the LifeStyles case study, consumer surveys are a great way to uncover insights about your audience that can be transformed into relevant content pieces. In the end, you'll be amazed how much they share when you are willing to listen, buy at the register and help you market the brand ' now that's a good relationship.
I can't speak to the validity of the recent results shared on the declining creativity in our country but I can share a perspective on whether or not as a society we're as willing today as in years past to the success and failures of creativity. To be free to be creative means being free and open and willing to fail along the way. However, the risk of failure along the path to creative greatness is what I suspect is affecting our overall creativity success. Have we stopped taking risk? Are we more aware of the public scrutiny when we do so and fail? The answer is absolutely ' the expectations from ourselves and others is to push the levels of creativity in ideas, solutions and overall out of the box thinking but the freedom to do so with the possibility of not knowing, with 100% accuracy, what the final result will be is what is changing. There is an increased desire to be different while still being liked and respected within your defined group ' whether you're a company, brand, agency or an 8 year old child. I imagine that once the hypocrisy stops then creativity will begin to increase again. Let's truly reward creativity. Let's embrace the notion that two people can look at the same problem and solve it differently. Let's be open and willing to support those that try and fail along the way because we believe and know they'll learn, refine and find the creative magic in the end.
Throughout this turbulent year, I've spent more and more time thinking and strategizing about how our agency team can be more valuable for our clients: how do we help them out, how do we cut out the B.S., and how do we hang around longer in the midst of agency consolidation and economic uncertainty. They're certainly not simple questions and at times no matter how well positioned you are things can go very wrong. That said, we can always do the good things more and do the bad things less so I put together a simple Do's and Don'ts list as a guide. The DO's 1. Deliver on our promise. Words and pretty pictures are great but we'll show you how we turn ideas into real action. 2. Be flexible. We're realists. We know life isn't perfect, so we check our ego at the door and work the way you need us to. 3. Give away ideas. We like free stuff, you like free stuff -everyone likes freebies and you will get them from us. 4. Ask about your business. We realize it's more than just cool ideas and creative awards ' how's the business responding? 5. Measure the impact. Our 360 measurement process begins with insights and strategy and ends with gauging our program's performance, which helps us identify better insights and refined strategies. The DON'TS 1. Go heavy on agency preaching. You have enough on your plate without having to listen to the all-knowing agency in your ear every day. We'll only preach when we absolutely have to. 2. Be difficult to work with. We don't want our relationships to feel like work because we know they won't last if that's the case. 3. Bring problems without solutions. Of course problems and issues will always happen but when they do we'll be right there to help solve them. 4. Waste your time. Your time is precious so we'll make sure not to waste it'?¦ever. 5. No car salesmen please. I think you know where I'm going here'?¦ As a growing and dynamic marketing agency we are motivated by action and success. We believe in partnerships. We believe in getting into the real detail of your business to truly be that trusted advisor walking with you every day. This doesn't mean we won't fall down every now and again but I can guarantee you we'll get right back up, dust ourselves off and get right back to the job of driving your business. Every day is a new challenge and every day we're up for it. Can I get an Amen?