Why the next billboard you see may be watching you

They don’t represent the most dynamic form of advertising, of course, but they’ve always had two things in their favor: Major visibility and a broad, captive audience receptive to any new stimuli.
Soon, however, modern billboards may be unrecognizable to our great-grandparents’ generation. Technology has given them an interactive upgrade, allowing them to deliver a more customized, personal experience.

The new age of billboard advertising

Static billboards have a problem — they simply aren’t relevant to a large number of people who view them. Advertisers have historically tackled this problem in a variety of ways; they placed billboards in strategic locations where they believed consumer interest was higher, and they also created billboards capable of rotating through multiple ads.

Truly interactive billboards were the next step in this evolution. McDonald’s, for example, created a massive interactive billboard that allowed by passers to use their smartphones to play ping-pong on the face of the billboard. Another well-known example of the form was the Times Square “Dunk Tank” interactive billboard, which allowed people to dunk live models by batting a ball projected on the screen. Or, consider the case of the interactive Coca-Cola billboard that used facial recognition technology to watch and mimic the expressions and emotions of pedestrians.

Why this approach is good for marketers and consumers

It’s no secret that personalized approaches are more effective in marketing contexts. In terms of attribution, interactive billboards play a key role in moving consumers toward a desired outcome. Interactive billboards interrupt the normal flow of daily life in outdoor environments; people are jolted out of their typical routine by the appearance of the unexpected.

Ultimately, this deepens engagement with the marketing message to an extraordinary degree. Most billboards are simply part of the landscape; we don’t even make a conscious decision to ignore them. Interactive billboards break this pattern. If they are cleverly designed, they prompt an unexpected burst of delight.

This, in turn, creates a memorable experience — and in the realm of marketing, few things are more valuable.

The takeaway

Thanks to interactive technology, billboards are no longer dull, static and easily ignored parts of the landscape. Companies that use interactive billboard technology effectively can reap significant benefits in the form of deeper engagement with audiences.

To begin increasing audience engagement with your advertisements, contact our team of professionals today!

How to develop a global marketing strategy and brand campaign

To help you lay the groundwork for marketing success, let’s discuss the basics of running a global brand campaign, and the pitfalls you’ll need to sidestep.
Global marketing strategies 101

If you’re a smaller business, the idea of a global marketing campaign may seem a bit ambitious. Yet the truth is that traditional barriers to entry have reduced dramatically — or in some cases, have outright collapsed. Thanks to the rise of the digital economy, social media, Big Data, cloud computing, and modern technological tools, an effective global campaign is within the reach of most enterprises.

When designing a new campaign, the first thing to understand is that “global” doesn’t mean “one size fits all.” Marketing done well is targeted and tailored; in order for it to resonate with audiences it must be relevant. What a buyer in urban Japan finds relevant may be much different than what appeals to a buyer in rural Canada. Your buyer personas should incorporate local preferences and be updated periodically.

It’s also important to have feedback from people who are well-versed in any new markets you’re about to enter. We’ve all heard the horror stories about mistranslations. Pepsi’s “come alive with Pepsi” campaign was literally translated as “Pepsi brings you’re ancestors back from the dead” in Mandarin, while Coors brewery’s “Turn it loose” campaign in Spain was colloquially translated as “this product will cause diarrhea.”

Navigating local cultures, idioms and laws

Translations aren’t the only potential trouble spot; when you aim for a global market, it’s imperative to consider questions of cultural sensitivity. Additionally, not everything translates across cultures and languages. A brilliant tagline might fall utterly flat in another culture or language. Local expertise is the best way to ensure mistakes aren’t made, whether that means consulting with someone informally or finding a local business partner.

When in doubt, it’s a good idea to aim for the universal — something that is recognizable and all-inclusive. You can still add local twists and flair to universal content.

Even if your creative work is calibrated for global appeal, you should also be cognizant of jurisdictional differences. The rules and regulations governing marketing and sales vary from place to place — some areas are highly regulated when it comes to spam, user privacy, email marketing, etc. are a virtual free for all. Awareness of these differences are a key part of successful global marketing strategies.

Developing creative work that’s global in nature and negotiating the intricacies of jurisdictional compliance can be a tall order for some small-to-mid-sized firms. That’s one reason why it’s often a smart idea to partner with an agency that specializes in global marketing campaigns. Luckily, agencies like BIGEYE have the knowledge to avoid pitfalls and enough experience to understand where costs can be reduced (one example: by building an internal database of words or phrases you’ve previously translated, you can dramatically lower external translation fees).

The takeaway

Thanks to modern technology the barriers to entry for global marketing campaign are lower than ever. Before you get started, however, we encourage you to weigh all of the above considerations carefully.

To learn more on how to develop an effective global marketing strategy, contact our strategy team today!

How mobile marketing “micro-moments” can increase sales and ROI

One of Google’s most valuable assets is its data, of course, which is why we carefully adhere to their best practices about “micro-moments” anytime we help our clients build a new mobile marketing strategy. As Google describes, “micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device — more often than not a smartphone — to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something.” Unlike desktop behavior, which is more intentional simply due to the physical process of sitting down in front of a computer, mobile behavior occurs almost subconsciously as the user searches for information and attempts to solve a problem.

Google breaks down these micro-moments into four main categories, described as follows:

  • I-want-to-know moments: e.g., “When is the next episode of Scandal airing?”
  • I-want-to-go moments: e.g., “What’s the closest gas station to my office?”
  • I-want-to-do moments: e.g., “How do I make a dirty martini?”
  • I-want-to-buy moments: e.g., “What are Nike’s newest sneakers for fall?”

Successful brands distinctly market to these four scenarios and clearly differentiate between their mobile strategy and desktop strategy. An I-want-to-go query on a smartphone should almost always yield directions, a map application, and geo-based information before brand and destination-based content. On the other hand, a desktop query might be better satisfied with information about the specific destination or location in question.

For example, a mobile search for Disney Land might represent a desire to go to the park immediately as the searcher queues up directions; whereas a desktop search might represent a desire to plan a trip in the future. Both instances provide marketers with an opportunity to better serve their customers. Mobile users might enjoy an on-site discount for a beverage package, whereas desktop shoppers might prefer hotel promotions. Understanding the most common use cases for each micro-moment on both mobile and desktop platforms allows you to create and serve more relevant and desirable content to your customers.

And as the prevalence of smartphone usage increases, leveraging a clear mobile strategy can have a profound impact on sales and ROI. A recent Dscout study on Business Insider suggests that the average person touches his or her smartphone more than 2,000 times per day and logs over 145 minutes on their mobile device. That’s a lot of time to grab your customers’ attention and far more than the average person spends in front of a computer. When you factor in high open rates for SMS marketing at 98%, and mobile emails at 22% according to Marketo, it’s easy to understand why mobile is fastest growing digital marketing space.

To ensure your mobile strategy is working on your behalf, we recommend focusing on two guiding principles:

1. Translate urgency into actionability:

Mobile search queries usually represent an immediate desire to accomplish something. Capitalize on potential customers’ desire to complete a task by ensuring your SEO results, mobile presence, and ads are all actionable. Make sure your call-to-action buttons are clear and easily accessible, consider discounts specific to mobile shoppers, and bid on ad terms that correlate to actionable micro-moments related to your brand.

2. Champion clarity and condensed information:

Because mobile phones are simply smaller than desktops, your images, content, and text all need to work for smaller screens. Simply throwing your website onto a bootstrap template and hoping the responsive information hierarchy will work is no longer adequate in today’s mobile-first world. Consider a custom site or native app that appropriately translates your best content into small gems of information that can be consumed on the fly.

Armed with these two principles, we can refresh or kickoff your mobile strategy together. Click here to learn more about how we can help you define which micro-moments are best suited to your brand and how to translate them into cross-channel, mobile-ready campaigns that grab your customers’ attention.

The real reason we start celebrating Christmas in July

Craft Creative Cross Channel Campaigns:
Every year, Bergdorf Goodman creates elaborate holiday window scenes in their flagship New York City store. These themed displays are a highly anticipated holiday tradition that shoppers consistently look forward to every season. To build excitement, Bergdorf begins previewing their displays months in advance with Instagram and YouTubeteasers.” This is a perfect example of a cross-channel campaign that drives interest both on- and offline. When crafting a cross-channel campaign, use hashtags, promotions, or sales previews – like Bergdorf – to roll out information slowly and to encourage potential customers to engage socially before ultimately ending up in-store or on your website, where a sale is most likely to occur.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Public Relations:

If there is one time of year when you should consider engaging with local journalists and publicists, it’s the holidays. Gift guides and feel-good holiday features are an opportunity for your company to showcase your products or values within the community. If your company is committed to giving back or championing sustainability standards, the holidays are a good time to expose those ideals. Local and regional journalists are often open to these types of stories, so don’t be afraid to reach out and pitch an idea. Your marketing agency partner can also leverage any media contacts they might have to facilitate placement and fit. Similarly, gift guides such as the outlandish (but highly celebrated) Neiman Marcus “Gift Book” (and its parodies) offer easy, lighthearted ways to gain exposure.

Give it Away:

This is the season to give and receive, so give something away! Contests are a great way to encourage potential customers to share your content. In fact, Facebook data indicates that more than 63% of their user base will share a link or tag a friend in hopes of winning a promotional giveaway. Because people are often looking for gift ideas during this time, they are especially likely to engage with this type of content. Giveaways don’t need to be huge expenditures for your business. The key is ensuring that whatever you’re offering – whether it costs $5 or $500 – is of value to your customer base. This is especially easy if you work in a service industry and can offer a trial, sneak preview, or private variation of your product.

Nail the Big Sale Dates:

If you’re in retail, you should know when all the major sale dates occur. Here’s this year’s lineup: Black Friday on November 24, Small Business Saturday on November 25, Cyber Monday on November 27, Green Monday on December 11, and Free Shipping Day on December 15. You should expect to offer both online and in-store promotions for each and every one of these days (even for those specifically geared toward one channel or the other) because your customers are expecting to shop. Participation in these sale dates is the rule, not the exception, whether you’re a big business or a small mom-and-pop shop … so be prepared. Your e-commerce platform should be ready for traffic, your ads and retargeting campaigns should be scheduled, your social outreach should be polished, and your team should be ready to put all hands on deck. Use an agency partner to make sure all your bases are covered and you are appropriately staffed for extra action.

It’s Not Over Until It’s Over:

One of the most popular times to shop is directly after the holidays. People are returning gifts, cashing in gift certificates, and purchasing the items that didn’t get checked off their wish lists. This is an especially great time to launch an email marketing promotion or retargeting campaign highlighting popular items that may have gone out of stock, or items that were abandoned in your customers’ shopping carts. Use your digital data to determine exactly what you should promote or discount to enjoy maximum benefit. And remember, just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean your customers are done shopping

Click here to learn more about how BIGEYE can grant your holiday wishes with successful seasonal outreach. Although we can’t promise you a white Christmas here in Orlando, we certainly can promise you a joyful and profitable one.  

Understanding the top trends within influencer marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new – in fact, almost 70% of brands already use this tool according to the annual Influencer Marketing Report hosted by Forbes. What’s changed is how people use it. Using the internet to enhance our lives has become almost second nature. Five or ten years ago, tagging a mobile GPS to remember your parking spot, outsourcing your love life to a deluge of dating apps, or crowdsourcing where you want to eat dinner on Friday night simply wasn’t the norm — but today it is. 

Video rules the influencer sphere: 

Although Instagram is often cited as the most popular social media platform for influencers and celebrities, video is the most popular medium to get the word out. In a world where SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook (and many others) offer disappearing videos and live-streaming options, static imagery can feel too permanent or too official. Or worse — be confused with a paid ad. Disposable and live videos offer snack-sized vignettes rather than full-scale productions, yielding an opportunity to showcase glimmers of authenticity in an otherwise highly curated and Photoshopped social landscape. There are only but so many filters you can apply to an on-the-go Instagram story. 

For example, former contestants of the multi-million dollar Bachelor and Bachelorette reality television franchise have long been criticized for selling themselves out as brand influencers, posting photo after photo of tagged, brand content across their social media accounts. While these would-be celebs are, indeed, influential, the negative attention around their brand partnerships undermines their credibility and effectiveness. Where a posed photo and brand copy rings false and may invite a deluge of derogatory comments, a quick, candid video of these influencers can feel less contrived and subconsciously encourage more adoption and less scrutiny. It doesn’t hurt that Instagram and SnapChat stories don’t always allow comments that would otherwise lead more receptive viewers. 

Bottom line: more video, less photo. 

Don’t forget your micro-influencers: 

It’s great if you have A-list celebrity connections (or a budget that will make it look like you do), but micro-influencers can be just as effective and, in some cases, more effective than big-name campaigns. Consider the near cult following of popular, local athletic trainers or the sway of regional political and sports figures. For location-based or niche marketing efforts, these endorsements are sometimes more effective than national and global figures because the influencers appear to be more authentic, relatable, and genuine. Even after your brand reaches a national scope, there is no reason not to include micro-influencers to target special interest groups and regions.

Here’s an example. In 2013, just outside Raleigh, North Carolina, a suburban housewife and her husband created a holiday video of their family singing in their pajamas. The video parodied the song “Welcome to Miami” by Will Smith as the couple danced around with their kids in matching holiday attire singing about their “Xmas Jammies.” What started as a fun family prank turned into a regional phenomenon with more than 17 million views on this one video alone. The Holderness family now has their own website, YouTube channel and millions of followers who eagerly await their parenting tips, product recommendations, and – of course – musical parodies. While they may not be red carpet royalty, this family wields tremendous influence over the young-parenting crew in North Carolina. Local clothing brands and child-friendly products clamor for their attention and a quick product nod because what the Holderness family says, goes. 

Bottom line: Sometimes you really do need to think local, not global.

Avoid freebie freeloaders:

The word is out. Influencer marketing is working. But as the popularity of this medium has grown, so has the new wave of aspiring tastemakers entering the blogosphere in hopes of receiving free swag, comped trips, and insider perks. This is great news if you are just starting your influencer marketing program and need to people willing to endorse your brand. Budding bloggers don’t follow the pay-to-play model celebrities live by. While Kylie Jenner can charge upwards of $100,000 per Instagram post, emerging internet personalities will often try or promote brands for free in exchange for access to your products and a turn riding your company’s coattails. This can often be a mutually beneficial relationship, but it’s important to choose where you invest your time, money, products, and energy with care so you don’t get taken advantage of.

You want those individuals chatting about your products to mirror your brand values and have a big enough following to matter (otherwise you’re just sending people free products). To avoid giving too much away, create a budget that will help you evaluate just how much you’re willing to invest in influencers and what you hope to get in return. Map measurable KPIs against these figures (such as how many people are viewing your influencers’ blog post, how many likes did you get, is there a way to collect leads, etc.) and doggedly enforce your return on investment.

Influencer marketing should be fun and exciting, which is why we’re here to help. Click here to learn more about other influencer programs we’ve supported and how you can get involved. We guarantee your next influencer campaign will feel more authentic and engaging than your traditional marketing mix. Be sure to check out our website to learn more about our services and contact information.

TV ads aren’t just a thing of the past? Personal care ads are back

While TV ads aren’t suitable for every product, you need to look no further than brands such as Proactive, the Magic Bullet, or George Foreman to understand how longer advertising segments – also known as direct response television (DRTV) – can educate and engage audiences.

Reframing personal case advertising as education:

Trademark DRTV tools such as customer testimonials, before and after footage, and tutorials all educate your customers rather than strictly selling to them. We know that customers crave this type of content based on the deluge of YouTube tutorials and channels dedicated to trying, showcasing, and testing personal care products. And long format TV ads were the original platform for beauty “vloggers,” so why stop now?

Longer TV ads are valuable when building awareness about your products and helping potential customers understand something new. For personal care advertising, this is especially important because you are asking customers to switch brands or interrupt their current personal care routine. According to a recent Nielsen report, price and quality are two of the biggest factors that influence a consumer to switch brands. In both cases, DRTV can more thoroughly educate your audience and demonstrate value or pricing than shorter media options.

Getting the best band for your beauty buck:

Infomercials are also a great place to test market segments and messaging. Because long format ads run after major programming dies down, the cost of this media is, well, cheap. But that doesn’t make it invaluable. A traditional 30-second television slot during primetime can cost an average of five million dollars, depending on the channel; so if you’re going to advertise during peak hours, your messaging better be on point. Infomercials allow you to test audience response and gauge the effectiveness of your content without blowing your budget. Once something works, you can take it to primetime.

But don’t assume that the “graveyard shift” can’t give you a real return on investment from any testing you do run. The US market for infomercials is slated to exceed $250 billion, making it more valuable than network cable, coming in at only $97 billion. Direct response television has a surprisingly large audience, covering a wide genre of viewers, age brackets, and demographics. It’s okay: we’ll admit we secretly watch late night TV ads if you (and the rest of the country) do.

If your goal is to build a brand, understand your audience, and refine your marketing mix, DRTV might be a good option to supplement your other advertising outlets. In many cases, you can use DRTV ads to send potential customers to your website and social media accounts, expanding your sphere of influence and customer engagement. For ideas on how TV ads can help your business regardless of your budget, contact us or click here to learn more about our services. We believe that the best marketing strategies blend old and new media together to find unique ways to communicate with your audience.