The Consumer Experience: Brands Overpromise and Under-Deliver

A brand strategy agency is imperative to building a brand that has its own identity and doesn’t fall into the stream of overpromising and under-delivering.

You don’t have to run a brand strategy agency to understand the importance of the customer experience. Creating a personal connection with audiences through meaningful experiences is the gold standard of modern marketing and its value is repeated ad nauseam.
Yet simply because we all pay lip service to this notion doesn’t mean we’re actually getting it accomplished. Many brands are still falling woefully short in terms of delivering a compelling cross-channel consumer experience.

So what’s the key to unlocking these sought after, but rarely realized, customer experiences?

Building a more human brand.

Taking your brand’s pulse

According to the most recent Forrester U.S. Customer Experience Index, there has been a minimal improvement in the overall quality of consumer experiences. Think about this: Though brands and their CMOs line up to testify to the necessity of great customer experiences, the actual customers are deeply unimpressed.

Clearly, something is fundamentally amiss. Put simply, brands are focusing far too much on product experience and much too little on the human experience. If you want to connect at a deeper level, you need to move beyond the way people interact with products in a narrow use case sense, and instead consider the full range of feelings, desires, hopes, aspirations, etc. that are connected with any product or service.

We certainly have the right tools at our disposal. Today’s digital technologies facilitate the kind of close engagement with audiences that would have been unthinkable just a decade or two ago.

A date with implementation

So how can these tools be deployed in service of more human-centric experiences? Consider the following:

We like to think we are rational creatures.

The truth, however, is that emotion guides us more often than not. A few years ago, leading neuroscientist Antonio Damaso made a pioneering discovery. Damaso studied subjects who had experienced serious damage to the part of the brain where emotions are generated. Everyone he studied had an unusual commonality — they struggled mightily with even the simplest decision-making. Brands need to understand the profound role emotion plays in how consumers respond to marketing messages and optimize accordingly.

The best ideas and intentions are often utterly lost in execution.

It’s one thing to conceptualize human experiences; it’s another thing entirely to deliver them effectively. Forward-thinking brand strategy agencies grasp the importance of digital tools in this process. According to Gartner, 63% of CMOs are expecting an increase in their innovation budget. If you want to deliver personalized experiences, you need to build the architecture to do so.

The consumer/brand relationship is being utterly transformed.

But not every brand is at the same place on the acceleration curve. The days of deploying one size fit all marketing, selling a product and periodically keeping in touch with consumers are long gone. Today, the most successful brands build communities; they encourage constant digital interaction and engagement; they facilitate a continuous relationship that integrates directly into a consumer’s lifestyle. These brands aren’t merely companies — they are, in many ways, an extension of the consumer themselves.

The takeaway

Digital technologies have created tectonic shifts in the ways brands sell and market their products and services. The best brand strategy agencies understand these changes and help position brands for maximum competitive advantage.

If your existing marketing approach needs to be upgraded with a more human-focused, digitally powered approach, please contact our brand specialists today.

How to Build Trust Through Community Bank Marketing

Leverage the unique opportunities of a small bank to drive effective community bank marketing strategies that will turn your small branch into big business.

Many agencies and marketers like to think that finance is a big mystery—an animal all its own with completely different rules. In some ways it is, but in most ways, it isn’t. Effective branding gains attention and keeps it; just like it does in every other industry. Community bank marketing is very similar to small business marketing, it just calls for a more sophisticated twist.
Here are 3 key concepts for building trust in small banks:

1. Get personal, to an extent

Small banks have the unique opportunity to build strong interpersonal relationships. To not just become a brand or company name, but to become Sammy, the helpful man at the front desk, who can help you get what you need. He knows your name and asks about your son’s baseball games.

Let empathy drive your services so that your consumers feel valued. Show them directly how your customer relations can brighten their day while your services exceed every expectation. Leveraging expertise and friendly service, you can turn your brand into a mentor for each and every customer.

Find an agency that understands the delicate differentiators’ in voice and branding to craft the perfect balance for your community. Drive real results with community bank marketing that cares just the right amount.

2. Leverage digital effectively

Digital is invaluable to community bank marketing because it’s a great way to establish one-on-one interaction and build strong relationships. Digital marketing for banks works a lot like digital marketing for anyone else but should be held to a higher standard. For example, a clothing company or salon should have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts; while banks should be on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, but never Instagram. It’s just too casual.

The right digital strategy in banking is all about finding your line of sophistication and building that ever-important trust. Use digital in conjunction with strong branding to build effective consumer relationships. Post community views and common local phrases to evoke nostalgia and build understanding. Using effective bank marketing strategies, your brand can become a community pillar.

Represent your brand as a member of the community and follow through. Post photos and short videos of the front office team to build a connection before a customer even sets foot through your doors. Show the management team doing community service and attending local events, embody your brand through human interaction. Demonstrate a neighborly connection to develop a real personality.

3. Embrace ever-evolving technology

Maneuverability is a great advantage that small banks have over large institutions. Every day enhanced technology is being developed in all aspects of every industry—including banking. Due to the security necessary throughout the banking process, it can take years to implement any one new process across an entire large bank. For a community bank, that same process can take just a few months.

Incorporate cutting edge technologies into your services to provide convenience as well as modernity for your customers. Leverage your agility and technological know-how in your brand’s bank marketing ideas. This will draw in young consumers looking for a better way to the bank as well as the older markets that simply enjoy the advantages offered by new technologies.

More than a novelty, technology can cut your company’s operational costs while allowing for more personal service. Incorporating a one-on-one, on-demand experience for consumers to interact with your brand without having to walk in. Utilize effective customer service in combination with technology to add value to your services. Remember, it’s nice to like your bankers but your bottom-line is built on trust, experience, and results.

The takeaway

Small banks have a lot more going for them than meets the eye. Make sure your brand’s target audience understands all that your company brings to the table through genuine connection built the right way, digital that effectively reaches consumers and furthers that connection, and unique offerings that only smaller institutions can accomplish.

It can be a lot to manage yourself. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an advertising agency that understands the demands, opportunities, and limitations that your company faces. When you’re ready to market your bank on the next level, get in touch with our community bank marketing professionals.

Top Five Things to Consider When Advertising on Hulu

Choosing how to advertise on Hulu can be complex, which is why working with an OTT advertising agency to help with streaming service offers is key.

An over-the-top advertising or OTT advertising tool allows brands to advertise on apps and streaming services. When looking at Hulu’s advertising technology, many opportunities become clear. From T-commerce which allows viewers to purchase directly from the ad to interactive interstitial that shows your commercial then enables viewers to explore more content within the ad itself. As an experienced OTT advertising agency, we decided to dive in and get to know Hulu ourselves.
Some tips to keep in mind when deciding how to advertise on Hulu:

1. Not everything needs to be interactive

Hulu has a lot of interactive options that are meant to get viewers clicking for more. Take a look at the full list. While these are valid and exciting offers, it’s important to consider how your chosen media can enhance your product rather than how trendy that media’s capabilities are. If you have a product that requires high-involvement purchasing like a car or a home, being able to dig into the details to see more and learn more makes a lot of sense. If your product calls for a shorter consumer journey, a classic ad, Hulu’s slate advertising, or custom integrated commercials could be a better approach.

It’s important to note that we’re not saying that those interactive options aren’t valid. They can be entertaining and engaging. Allowing your consumers to choose which version of your ad they’ll watch can make them feel like they have some control. But if the audience doesn’t particularly care, then those extra seconds of ad selection can come off as more bothersome than empowering. It all comes down to knowing your brand and your message while deeply understanding what motivates your target market.

2. Leverage context targeting, get specific

When it comes to streaming media, you can get incredibly detailed with your targeting. Determining the type of shows your consumers watch can seem pretty simple. But with so many options on how to advertise on Hulu, you need an in-depth understanding of what motivates your target market to predict what they’ll respond to. Will they care enough to find the controller and click for more? Are they watching on TV through a device? On the computer? On the phone? Some of Hulu’s advertising types work only through a browser. Some are only seen by those who are browsing around. So if your target market is full of planners who only open Hulu when they’ve got their show in mind, they won’t see it. You need to get specific about your targeting; it has to go deeper than a tendency to stream media. How does your audience stream? When? Where? On what? These details matter. How each of Hulu’s options applies to different contexts that can be found.

If you pinpoint what motivates your consumers to listen, you can leverage the unique capabilities of Hulu advertising to drive real results. For example, if news about a specific show on Hulu coming back will attain consumer attention more effectively than your current campaign, then your OTT advertising agency should consider the custom integrated commercials option on Hulu. These take main actors or environments from popular shows and put your product into the mix to explore interesting applications of your features while driving consumer interest. Learn more about in-depth, strategic targeting.

3. High-tech ads have their place and time, so choose traditional options

As an OTT advertising agency, anything and everything ‘cutting-edge’ can feel exciting and enticing, but it’s not about the amount of fun you have creating or placing the ads—it’s about their effectiveness. Hulu advertising doesn’t center around the video or even experiential advertising. It has to center on your consumers and what appeals to them while they’re streaming. Effectively promoting your products can be as simple and classic as product placement. With Hulu’s masthead product placement your market will come across your brand right next to Hulu’s recommended popular show while they browse for the next series to watch. A page brand placement is also a possible solution, but it will only be seen by those scrolling through streaming options from a browser.

4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Your campaign should vary, once you’ve correctly targeted your consumers you don’t want your message to get too repetitive or boring. Your OTT advertising agency should vary your ad buys between the multitude of options Hulu provides to keep your consumers engaged rather than tuning out. A good example would be a mix of ad selectors allowing your consumers to choose between 2 or 3 different video ads then supporting it with masthead product placement to retarget your market on another day. Raising interest in a way that isn’t monotonous or annoying. Another good mix could be a custom integrated commercial to get your consumers listening and seeing your features in an engaging way, then following it up with a T-commerce placement where they can see one of your campaign commercials then make a direct purchase. Learn about our strategic marketing.

Whatever mix you end up going with, promoting your products in various innovative ways will keep your target market engaged with your brand, keep your product top-of-mind, and reliably drive brand recognition. No campaign should feature just one ad. Once your branding is targeted as specifically as Hulu allows, a single-note campaign will become repetitive and monotonous. Varying the media type, especially on the same platform, will keep your message fresh and engaging.

5. Approach with a strategy in mind

There is a lot an experienced OTT advertising agency can do with advertising on Hulu. However, with the multitude of options and varied audiences, you need to approach Hulu advertising with clear goals and tactics in mind. Otherwise, your message can get buried in the noise of the platform itself. Get an expert team that will do the research, build the strategy, and crafts the creative needed to design an impactful campaign that will get your consumers talking. The goal is to end up with one contiguous campaign that seamlessly delivers your brand’s message in an engaging way to drive conversions. Equipped with a deep understanding of your audience, effective communications, and Hulu’s capabilities your campaign has the potential to drive incredible results.

The takeaway

Hulu can be a greatly effective platform for reaching and engaging your audience. But it is important for your OTT advertising agency to remember some key elements. Not everything needs to be interactive, cutting-edge technology can be really engaging but it needs to match your branding and products. Hulu shows attract specific audiences, know who will be seeing your message and position your communications accordingly. High-tech ads have their place and time, so do more traditional options, consider how each message will be communicated across executions. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, let your campaign vary to keep your consumers listening. Finally, approach with a strategy in mind, don’t get bogged down in the details. Have clear objectives and set tactics to reliably achieve your goals. Contact our team of media buyers and planners to assist you.

3 Things to Unlearn About Video Game Marketing for Your Brand

Gaming is a 2.3 billion global person market, not tapping into this video game marketing arena is a huge loss of opportunity.

There are a lot of things that people think they know about marketing to gamers. Forget all of it. The gaming world is a lot more like the mainstream world than most would think. There is a large amount of both men and women, as well as many different interests and categories. This can make for an incredibly diverse, yet niche audience. The complexity that comes with a melting pot like gaming is hard to fully grasp. So here are some common misconceptions you should unlearn.

1.Stereotypes

There are many ideas out there about the gamer demographic that are flat out wrong. Let’s go through a few and get to the truth of it.

There is one singular gamer demographic: As previously mentioned, there are currently 2.3 billion people that make up the video gaming marketing audience. There is no one profile that can encompass many people. It’s important to understand that there are even more game genres as there are book genres. Books have sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, murder mystery and more. Games have role-playing, first-person shooters, platformers, scrollers, racing, puzzles, etc; then added on top of that are stories of all shapes and sizes that justify each action and these two levels are combined in every possible way in gaming.

  • Gamers are children: According to Statista  most gamers are 18-35 years old. In fact, 23% of gamers are 50 years of age and older. This isn’t to say that children do not play video games. They do. Here is the 2018 Statista gamer distribution:
  • Gamers are men: Almost half of the gamers in the US are women and the statistic seems to only be growing. Here is a gender distribution from Statista showing 2006-2018.
  • Gamers are secluded introverts: According to Yahoo! Small Business, gamers are intricately interwoven and over 60% play together both in-person and digitally. With live chats, streamers, game commentators, the ever-growing world of esports, and plain old multiplayer games the idea of the loner gamer has passed its expiration date.
  • Games are played on consoles: Consoles are gaming devices that either plug-into TVs or are their own handheld device. However, there is also PC gaming which is done online through PC computers, as well as mobile gaming which are just as popular—in fact, they’re more popular. Check out this gaming platform distribution for 2019 from Statista.

Plus, most gamers play on any and every platform they can get their hands on.

2. Chameleon-ing

When getting into video game marketing, you have to be genuine. While brands need to be genuine to achieve their goals in all areas, in gaming it works a little differently. Andy Fairclough and Rhian Mason of The Drum said it best, “Gamers can smell bullshit a mile off” don’t just try to tack on a gaming audience. Gamers are used to interactive, engaging media on a level that can’t even be matched by social users. You have to earn their attention genuinely—and here’s the catch—that’s genuine to who you are rather than who you think consumers will listen to.

If there’s one thing Gamers value it’s being absolutely yourself, whoever that is, whether or not you think that’s who they want you to be. If you have an established brand you should stay true to it when marketing to gamers. They do their research; they’ll see right through pandering and they like to talk. The moment your voice is “debunked” by a gamer it will be all over every forum, your campaign will be dead in the water. Do not change who you are to appeal to gamers, use the same message—your message—in a different way on the right channel. How and where is integral as well. Unless your product is a game do not base your campaign on game marketing. Gamers don’t like being tricked or yanked on. They’ll hate this tactic just as much as personality falsities.

3. One-sided advertising

Be in the conversation, not just near it. Gamers are all about interactive media, speaking at them rather than with them is a huge oversight. When entering the conversation, remember the advice above, be genuine. If you’re not sure your branding is the right fit, then influencers can make all the difference. Gamers love live streamers on YouTube and Twitch or the expert teams leading the esports charts. Find the type of gamers you are looking to reach out to then reach out to their influencers. If you want your video game marketing communications to be more direct there’s Reddit where you can find existing game threads and join them as well as gaming platforms with plenty of opportunities to interact with gamers such as mobile game apps and Steam for PC players.

The takeaway

If you’re looking to market your products or services to gamers, find advertising experts that understand video game marketing, that know the stereotypes are outdated, falsities will get you nowhere, and that all brand communications should be customized, grassroots, interacted, or a combination thereof. The gaming world is multi-faceted and takes a lot of research and expertise to excel in.

Get a video game marketing agency that understands each market segment within the gaming industry to effectively promote your product or services. Our team knows the minutiae of the gaming world like the back of their hands. Reach out when you’re ready to plug-in.

3 Reasons You Should Be Using Direct to Consumer Advertising

Today’s marketplace focuses on strong consumer relationships and with to DTC advertising you can craft genuine conversations that build loyalty.

There’s a lot more to direct to consumer advertising than most realize, agencies and clients alike don’t always understand its scope. DTC, or D2C, stands for direct to consumer and refers to any communication that goes from a brand to the user or buyer specifically. A one-to-one communication with no middleman. Which sounds pretty simple but covers quite a bit, including direct mailers, social media, brand and voice apps, native advertising, and plenty more.
Here are 3 of the top reasons you should be utilizing DTC:

1. Control the perceptions of your brand

Brands are only as strong as their storytelling. When consumers don’t know, believe, or understand your narrative they make up their own. Leveraging the power of direct to consumer marketing, your brand can take full control of your narrative telling your consumers your story directly to get them engaged, listening, and interacting. The more you can inspire your target market to get involved with your brand, the more invested they’ll be in your services. It’s not really your company’s products or services that keep consumers coming back, it’s strong branding and spellbinding storytelling that turns customers into true brand advocates.

While direct to consumer strategy is all about direct communication, it’s important to know what you want to say and how best to say it. There are tons of channels for DTC and choosing the ones that will draw in the correct audience is just as integral as the communication itself. Get in touch with strategy and content experts before deciding on any specific execution. As these words will come directly from your brand they will be seen as an honest representation of your company, so they need to reliably strike the right cord.

2. Cut costs while growing your consumer base

The efficiency that comes with DTC strategies stems from the funds you keep by cutting down on middlemen. While cutting costs is a great goal, DTC would still be a waste of resources if it’s not effective. The impact of your D2C marketing, another term for direct to consumer advertising concepts, will be determined by the quality of the content and channel. For instance, if your brand is communicating through an app then the user experience needs to be just as strong as the content. The program is representing you and the consumer learn more from experience than from content.

Build out your D2C marketing strategy with an advertising agency that understands the intricacies of app development and marketing to reach your goals without wasting time or resources. Streamlining your communications is only useful when those communications are what your consumers want to hear served in a way that will make them listen.

3. Instantly update your narrative as trends shift

Having direct control over your band’s communications gives you unique speed when it’s time to make a change. Consumers and cultures are ever-changing so your content needs to be as well. When looking at native advertising DTC channels such as social media, you can shift the perceptions of your entire audience over just a few weeks utilizing crafted strategic posts. When your communications are controlled by you, shifts and swerves are well within reach; so is direct interaction.

Through strategic interactions with your consumers, you can learn about them as much as they’ll learn about your brand. As your communicators begin to genuinely understand the target market, they’ll be able to tweak your approach better and connect more effectively. For all this to work you’ll need skilled communicators in charge of your DTC communications, to monitor and adjust messaging in real-time.

The takeaway

Direct to consumer advertising has a great deal to offer brands that effectively use it. Leveraging effective strategy, well-executed content, and a deep understanding of their audience, direct to consumer brands can drive incredible profits and build loyalty.

Correctly managing all the variables at hand takes a lot of strategic skill and industry understanding. Being a full-service agency with a strategic center that deeply understands audiences and how to best position brands to appeal to them. When you’re ready to build effective consumer relationships through DTC marketing, Let’s connect.

Want Your Next Marketing Campaign to Be Great? Demand Originality

Take a stance alongside a creative brand consulting firm to strategically place you at the intersection of originality and personality.

The phrase “there’s nothing new under the sun” is pretty old itself — it’s the source is the Book of Ecclesiastes. Yet that ancient proverb is still relevant today, as it’s also the lament of just about every creative director and content editor. This sea of monotony does have one upside: Businesses that pursue creative brand consulting to help generate original ideas will earn a significant competitive edge.

The value of originality

Our world is a derivative one. If you need proof, just look at Hollywood’s endless procession of remakes and superhero franchises, the music industry’s love of cover songs, and the advertising industry’s tendency to copycat and mimic. Hey, it’s easier to copy something that works rather than developing original material, right?

Sure, it’s easier — but it’s also much less effective. The law of diminishing returns kicks in, as the third and fourth versions of a great new idea always have much less impact. Given that we’re all surrounded by advertising, we’ve become inured to it in many ways. If brands want to truly engage an audience and snap them to attention, they need to be boldly original. They need creative brand consulting.

One great example of this is a recent ad campaign from Farmer’s Insurance. The insurance industry isn’t particularly exciting, but companies within the sector have found some success by creating standout characters (the AFLAC duck, Flo from Progressive, etc.).

Farmer’s has employed the Oscar-winning character actor J.K. Simmons to much the same effect recently. In a recent campaign, Farmer’s created a 60-second ad based on “Oh, the Places You Will Go” by Dr. Seuss, with Simmons providing the narration.

The commercial had a special hook, however: Farmer’s took actual claims from customers and reimagined them as Dr. Seuss stories, complete with whimsical rhyming narration. Farmer’s and its ad agency partner RPA took added pains to ensure the end product adhered closely to Seussian style, both in terms of style and quality.

The result was deeply clever incorporation of the core business (insurance claims coverage) into a larger creative message that emphasized experience and exploration. To top things off, the ad was released on the 115th birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Why originality is the ultimate differentiator

The next time you’re consuming content, take some time to really watch the ads and marketing message you’re being served. You’ll find that a handful of them are fantastic — and the majority are utterly forgettable.

Forgettable is one of the worst things you can say about an advertisement. So why do so many brands settle for mediocrity? Part of it can be ascribed to the agencies with which they’re partnering. It’s not easy generating original ideas, and generating these ideas to work within the specific context on an ad campaign is even more difficult. This means agencies have an incentive to settle for “OK” when they should be aiming much higher.

It’s the responsibility of businesses to demand original and highly engaging ideas. While this work isn’t easy, the right creative brand consulting firm can deliver the kind of deeply original advertising and marketing content that audiences find impossible to ignore.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we understand the value of originality — and we have the resources and talent to take advantage of it. We specialize in creating advertising and marketing campaigns that engage audiences and deliver maximum ROI for brands.

If you’d like to hear more about the power of truly original work, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.