How Banks Can Win Through Creative Marketing

Banks face a significant marketing challenge. Long valued as steady, reliable institutions, they need to show consumers today that they can be innovative organizations as well. 

Ask most people what they think about banking, and they’ll say that it’s a necessary service, but one that hasn’t really changed much through the years.

That perception is slowly changing, however, thanks in part to clever marketing and advertising on behalf of financial institutions.

Let’s review two creative marketing campaigns that paint the banking industry in a different light, and see what actionable lessons can be drawn.

It’s payback time!

Ally Bank is a pioneer in the online banking sector — and it used this status to full effect in a recent ad campaign. The campaign played on classic tropes involving banking and subverted audience expectations to spark interest and engagement.

Called “It’s Payback Time,” the initiative kicked off with a TV ad that used classic bank robbery imagery and ominous music. There’s a twist, however: In this ad, the bank robbers are the banks, and the victims are their customers.

Ally’s ad points out that banks historically have earned billions in interest payments by holding consumer cash. Ally calls this robbery and provides compensation in the form of a 1% interest payment offered on all online accounts.

It’s a clever reversal of a classic bank robbery theme. Yet more than that, it draws consumer attention to the fact that banks are profiting immensely by holding their money — and charging them for the privilege.

Ally supplemented the first ad with a second, long-form video. This advertisement took a comical “man on the street” approach, with an extremely energetic interviewer handing out money and explaining the campaign to people passing by. 

He points out repeatedly that in-person service at a bank is overrated — and pales in comparison to the prospect of earning cash for your deposits, rather than paying banks to sit on your funds.

Ally knows that getting a return on their money is a major motivator for consumers — and these ads are engaging (and pointed) enough to move people into the prospect funnel.

Skip the ads and show them programs

Advertisers must always contend with an eternal truth: Most consumers don’t want to engage with their creative work. There are two ways to solve this. You can create ads that are compelling and relevant enough to grab their attention anyway, or you can disguise your ad in a more palatable form.

Renasant Bank opted for the latter approach. Instead of focusing solely on conventional ads and marketing, they choose to transform into a media production studio. The bank, which has roughly 200 locations, creates original programming distributed across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other platforms.

This programming includes three distinct shows: “Building Us with Tera and Wes,” an HGTV-style remodeling show “Crafted,” which spotlights local small businesses, and “Bootstrappers,” which focuses on startups and entrepreneurs with products and services that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts.

By offering relevant local programming (and leveraging advanced tools such as geo-fencing and real-time monitoring and tracking), Renasant is connecting with audiences on a deeper and more meaningful level.

All shows created by Renasant are short enough to sustain attention and have enough production quality to appear professional. More importantly, the concept behind each show is very on-trend (something that helps attract audiences) and ultimately can be tied back to the services offered by the bank.

Obviously, creating a mini-production studio requires committing significant resources. Yet Renasant’s efforts are paying off. The bank’s shows received nearly 10 million views in a single year and created numerous cross-promotional marketing opportunities.

The takeaway

At Bigeye, we believe that banks can update their image to show that they’re both dependable and dynamic. With the help of the right agency and the buzz produced by creative campaigns like those executed for Ally and Renasant, financial institutions can reach a larger audience and grow their customer base.

Contact us today to learn more about how we handle campaign creation and development and to get details on our full stack of marketing services.

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The CBD Conundrum: How to Market Your Products Effectively

With the CBD industry rising in profits and concerns, it’s time to partner with a CBD marketing agency to enhance your brand and product positioning.

Whether you’re selling CBD products or you’re a CBD marketing agency, it’s a great time to be green.

U.S. farmers are switching — in large numbers — from pumpkins and squash to hemp. Sales of products containing CBD oil have exploded, as the extract is being used in everything from beverages to bath products.

For companies operating in this emerging market, such developments are thrilling. Yet there’s one thorny issue that remains to be resolved: CBD advertising regulations.

While the public is eager to hear more about CBD, the largest digital ad platforms are quieting that conversation. Because there is no legal uniformity concerning how cannabis-derived products are classified, some of the largest advertising networks have simply opted for a wholesale ad ban.

This has left CBD businesses scrambling to find alternative methods for marketing CBD products and reaching mainstream audiences. Here’s the good news: Those methods exist, and the right CBD marketing plan can help businesses reach their stated goals.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the challenges inherent to CBD marketing — and how smart companies can solve them.

What to know about marketing CBD products

Google and Facebook are the two titans of digital advertising. Unfortunately, both have policies restricting the marketing of CBD products. Google AdWords censors CBD ads by filtering forbidden keywords.

While it’s possible for companies to be oblique or vague enough in their wording to escape automated censoring, that’s not a truly sound strategy — oblique, vague ad copy is just going to confuse consumers even if it manages to escape filtering. 

Facebook and Instagram also do not allow CBD advertisements. When you consider that Facebook and Google (and their digital properties) own roughly 60% of the online ad market, that presents a significant challenge.

So how do you market effectively?

While it’s true that Google and Facebook have made it more difficult to market CBD products, a good CBD marketing agency can help overcome these limitations. There are several strategies that can be pursued to break through to consumers.

Those strategies include the following:

Partnering With Influencers

Influencer marketing has never been more popular. The right influencer with a large, engaged following can give a brand instant traction within its marketplace. More importantly, influencers can pitch CBD products in an organic fashion that doesn’t break the rules of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

One example: Beauty is one of the most popular influencer categories on Instagram, and also a profitable market for CBD oil. Many high-end cosmetics are incorporating CBD into their products to help provide users with a natural, healthy glow.

This lends itself perfectly to Instagram, the most visual of all social networks. By partnering with an influencer, CBD products appear organically within the audience’s feed, reaching the most highly engaged segment of consumers.

People also trust reviews and recommendations from influencers more than they trust conventional online advertising. According to Adweek, 90% of consumers trust recommendations from other people — even people they don’t know personally — more than conventional ads.

Another benefit: CBD brands can use influencer-generated content on company blogs, social media accounts, and websites. CBD brands can also drive more followers of influencer accounts to their networks through crossover marketing.

And, most importantly, all of this can be done while still staying on the right side of CBD advertising laws.

Industry Ad Networks

While Google AdWords may not be an option, other entities are more than willing to host CBD ads: Cannabis-specific ad networks. These networks serve digital ads on websites that take a pro-cannabis posture.

While this approach can reach the hardcore, highly motivated audience segment, it has quite limited utility in terms of connecting with the larger market of buyers. Most people simply don’t browse CBD or hemp-oriented websites, so acquiring customers within the mainstream will be challenging.

That said, these networks do provide a smart option for raising product awareness within industry-related publications.

Leveraging PR

While Google and Facebook keep CBD ads at arm’s length, the news media has been more than accommodating in terms of earned coverage. Organic media coverage in a high-authority publication is a dream outcome for many small to mid-sized businesses, and CBD is no exception. Getting that coverage, however, is often a steep challenge.

CBD companies do have one innate advantage in this regard, however: the CBD category is relatively new, fast-growing, and of considerable public interest. That means that it’s newsworthy — provided you can come up with a clever news hook and know how to pitch an editor.

That’s going to be a near impossible task for many business owners. However, the right CBD marketing agency can help businesses develop a hook, craft a pitch, and reel in the kind of earned media coverage that moves the needle.  

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we’re more than up to the challenge of navigating the CBD marketing minefield. If you’d like to hear more about how we help CBD companies reach new audiences and grow by using our sophisticated CBD marketing tools, please visit our website today.

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How to Best Market Your PetTech Product

Tech is changing virtually every consumer industry, and pet products are no exception. Here’s what you need to know about tech pet product marketing.

Thanks to the power connected devices, AI, and wearable tech, we can customize and optimize our diet, our workout regimen, and even our sleep. The human quest for better living through optimization doesn’t stop at our own bodies, however: PetTech products are helping to do the same for our beloved animals. Powered by the right pet product marketing campaign that’s supported by sophisticated  audience analysis, these devices are fast becoming essential equipment for pet lovers.

Welcome to the PetTech era

All of us want to live longer and stay healthier — and wearables are playing a key part in making that happen. Wearable medical devices allow us to collect critical health data that can be used diagnostically to help guide treatment decisions and foster better lifestyle choices.

Pets, too, are benefitting from this shift. Today, a wide range of PetTech devices are available to consumers, including:

  • Smart collars and other GPS tracking devices to ensure pets aren’t lost
  • Smart pet doors with remote activation
  • Smart crates that have soothing music playlists and sensor-activated fans for climate control
  • Wearables that can sense food temperature, send out alerts for upcoming vet appointments, and even adjust indoor lighting for pet comfort
  • Wearables that help reduce anxiety or control problematic-stress induced behavior (such as chronic barking)
  • Smart balls that can be operated via remote control
  • Medical diagnosis and treatment devices that use RFID hardware chips to track medical history, past vaccinations and treatments etc.

The development of today’s PetTech devices couldn’t come at a better time. Pets in the U.S. are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. It’s estimated that 59% of cats and 54% of dogs are overweight or obese — a stunning figure that has risen sharply in recent years. Though we’ve elevated the status of pets inside our homes and have begun treating them like family, we’ve also overfed them to such a degree that 100 million U.S. pets are now overweight.

PetTech devices can play an integral role in helping manage and prevent pet obesity and other serious health issues. In order to get these devices into consumer hands, however, it’s imperative for brands to have access to compelling pet product marketing.

How to market PetTech products

The numbers don’t lie: PetTech is booming. In 2008, there was a single venture capital deal for PetTech products. In 2018, VCs invested $579 million in 33 separate PetTech deals. Consumers, meanwhile, are spending nearly $500 million annually within this product category.

So how should a brand ensure its pet product marketing is on point? By considering the following:

  • Cover the marketing basics: Complete an audience analysis; exhibit at industry specific shows; focus on industry specific media; build a social strategy and brand identity, etc. 
  • Understand that today’s “pet parents” are seeking PetTech devices largely for one reason: They are deeply motivated to improve every aspect of their animal’s life. They view their pet as a family member and exhibit the same sense of responsibility toward their pet. Marketing messages should focus on how the product harnesses technology to make specific, measurable improvements in an animal’s life.
  • Today, pet parents have a deeper emotional bond with their animals and respond to emotionally rich marketing. While technology itself may not be perceived as “soft and cuddly” or emotionally resonant, there’s no reason why marketing messages have to leave audiences cold. 
  • The humanization of pets has been great for animals — yet it has also placed expanded responsibilities on pet parents. Keeping a pet today requires much more work and attention. How does your PetTech product help ease this burden? Pet product marketing should consider both the emotional and practical elements of keeping a pet.

Connecting with the right pet product marketing agency

If you’re seeking great package design or branding to elevate your PetTech offering, BIGEYE is the right partner for you. Reach out to us today to learn more about what a creatively inspired marketing campaign can do for you.

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Dog Treats, DVDs, and CBD: 2019’s Hottest Product Category

It’s time to navigate the tricky terrain of CBD digital marketing with a specialized CBD marketing agency by your side through it all.

The health and wellness industry has given us some powerful cultural trends recently: Quinoa, kale, gluten-free…the list goes on. Yet cannabidiol (CBD) has the potential to dwarf all of them. The CBD product category is exploding and brands are scrambling to take advantage – while simultaneously trying to gain more clarity into regulatory compliance issues and the tricky terrain of CBD digital marketing.

To help you stay up to speed, let’s take a closer look at some of the latest developments in the CBD space.

A DVD of “The Avengers,” a bucket of popcorn, and a side of CBD oil

The retail adoption of CBD products continues to surge. You may have heard about CBD products popping up at CVS and Walgreens – but did you know you can also buy CBD gummies, sprays, oils, and lip balms at your neighborhood video store?

Family Video, the largest movie rental chain in the United States, is rolling out CBD items in 250 stores nationwide. Thanks to streaming services and Redbox, the movie rental business isn’t quite what it used to be, and Family Video expects CBD sales to help drive in-store revenue.

So far, so good – at least according to media reports. The video chain claims it is moving CBD merchandise quickly and may extend its CBD offerings to all locations nationwide.

Staying ahead of the curve on compliance

The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill opened the CBD floodgates, as it pushed CBD out of its gray area legal status. Yet while CBD is now legal to manufacture and sell (at least federally), there is still significant uncertainty around regulatory standards. Right now, there is little guidance with concerning standards for CBD extraction or production.

That uncertainty also extends to CBD digital marketing. Right now, the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission have offered little in the way of advertising and marketing guidelines, though they have sanctioned several companies for making false or misleading health claims.

Many CBD brands are choosing to prepare for compliance by following established industry practices within the food and health supplement categories. That means complying with the terms of the FDA’s Food Safety and Modernization Act as well as following industry standards and best practices for all growing, production, and manufacturing. 

A dog treat worth begging for

Pet owners spent $72 billion on their animals in 2018, a nearly 10% year-over-year increase. This reflects a trend that’s even more popular than CBD – spoiling our pets and treating them like proxy children.

Direct to consumer (DTC) brands are driving growth in this market. Today, you can have DTC brands ship curated boxes of food, treats and toys for your pets to your home on a weekly or monthly basis.

CBD, of course, is the next evolution. Pet owners have been treating canine anxiety and other issues with their own CBD stocks. Now, brands are jumping into the fray, offering their own spins on CBD pet products (Bacon Flavor CBD Dog Treats, anyone?).

While this might sound a bit whimsical, smart CBD brands understand that it’s big business. Pets are projected to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the CBD market over the next five years, reaching $125 million in sales annually at a yearly growth rate of 57%. 

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we’re fascinated by the evolution of the CBD market – but we’re also deeply cognizant of the challenges that come with CBD digital marketing. Brands not only need a compelling campaign, but they also need to focus on compliance.

The challenge doesn’t end there. Because the world’s largest digital ad platforms remain closed to CBD products, brands can’t simply rely on Google and Facebook to find their audience.

Don’t be intimidated – we can help you navigate this terrain successfully. Contact us today to learn more about what the right CBD marketing agency can do for your brand.

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Top Strategies for Credit Union Marketers in 2020

While credit unions are almost universally admired, many consumers are still unclear on their benefits. Here’s what credit union marketers need to know.

Credit union marketing comes with a significant built-in advantage: Most consumers are predisposed to like and trust credit unions. This, in turn, means they are primed for smart marketing and advertising messages. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most effective strategies credit union marketers can use to connect with audiences.

Hammer Home the Core Credit Union Value Proposition

Credit unions are (correctly) perceived as less commercial than banks. This makes them inherently more trustworthy in the eyes of consumers. Credit unions, by virtue of their design, also offer consumers a range of benefits that most banks can’t match (cost, accessibility, etc.). This is an incredibly strong value proposition for most people. 

Credit union marketing campaigns should therefore place a strong emphasis on the distinction between banks and credit unions and the many advantages consumers receive by opting for the latter.

Help Consumers Break Free from Inertia

Marketers should also consider the reasons why people don’t automatically opt for a credit union, even given the benefits involved. In many cases, the answer is simple inertia. 

Let’s be frank: Inertia and procrastination are powerful forces. Most of us have to power through our natural inclination to put things off, or maintain the status quo. Bank consumers are no different — and that’s why smart credit union marketers design campaigns with this in mind.

Think about how you can incentivize bank consumers to make the switch, whether it’s by using special limited time offers or creating an easier way to sign up.

Don’t Let Banks Win on Technology

Credit unions own roughly 14% of the Baby Boomer demographic and are doing almost as well with Generation X.  However, credit unions are lagging with millennials and members of Gen Z.

Why? Part of it is attributable to technology. Banks are farther ahead on the digitalization curve, and younger consumers demand digital-first solutions. In order to stay competitive, credit unions need to target younger consumers. 

This means staying competitive in terms of technology, and using credit union marketing and advertising campaigns to raise awareness of these efforts.

Credit unions are largely viewed as trustworthy and a good deal for consumers, yet they are also sometimes perceived as less than cutting edge. Marketers need to do their part to counteract this perception of stodginess and slow innovation.

Segment Your Audience and Reach Them with Targeted Messages

We just covered younger consumers and technology — now it’s time to talk about older consumers and their desires. By using market research, demographic profiling, and programmatic advertising tools, credit union marketers can segment their audiences and reach them with highly targeted and relevant messages.

In the case of the credit union’s most loyal consumer category (Baby Boomers), these messages should be calibrated to focus on the aspects of the credit union model that most appeal to them: Namely, cost and accessibility.

Studies have shown that older credit union members visit their branches much more frequently than bank consumers do. In an era where banks are relentlessly automating and scaling back the human touch, credit union marketers can draw a powerful distinction between that approach and their own more accessible, community-minded model.

The Takeaway

Credit unions have a powerful value proposition that banks can’t match. Yet they also have their own challenges, particularly with younger consumers. By following the strategies outlined above, credit union marketers can create well-executed strategies that help convince consumers to make a change, or become even more loyal.

At BIGEYE, we specialize in forward-thinking, tech-enabled credit union marketing campaigns. Contact us today to learn more about what our marketing strategies can do for your credit union.

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Want Effective Property Management Marketing? Mind your P’s & C’s

Didn’t grandma ever tell you to mind your own business? Now it’s time to shift focus to the P’s & C’s of property management social media marketing.

Social media moves fast — so it’s critical to stay up to date with the most innovative new ideas. The recent Multifamily Social Media Summit gave property management professionals the perfect opportunity to exchange such ideas and ruminate on the state of property management social media marketing.
If you weren’t able to travel to Napa Valley to attend the conference, don’t worry — we’ll take a seep dive to highlight all the most intriguing ideas.

Avoiding the “deadly four Ps”

Have you ever noticed that brands within some industries handle their social media with much more skill than brands in others? Part of this has to do with the nature of the business — it’s hard to make industrial supplies compelling, for example.

Property management falls somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. Yet this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For property management firms that get social media right, it’s a chance to become highly differentiated within their market.

One of the easiest ways to get it right is to prioritize storytelling. Let’s face it: Most people don’t care about the “deadly four P’s,” as marketer Steve Crescenzo refers to them: Policies, programs, products and procedures. What do they care about? According to Crescenzo, the “four Cs” — compelling, creative, concise and conversational content.

Partner with a property management social media marketing firm to present your content in the form of a narrative, rather than a dry report where you’re simply pushing out information, and you’ll keep your audience from tuning out.

Higher impact on a lower budget

Every marketer has heard it repeated ad nauseam: Video is critical to your success. More video content is now being uploaded every 30 days than all the content the broadcast TV networks have ever created. Additionally, audiences report deeper engagement with video content.

Unfortunately, video does present challenges. Many brands don’t have the time or the budget to create high-level video content on a consistent basis. However, there is a simple solution — the use of short animated videos. These videos are high impact and relatively inexpensive to produce.

By partnering with the right property management social media-marketing agency, multifamily businesses can reap the benefits of video marketing within their social efforts without deploying excessive resources.

An influential marketing approach

Influencer marketing isn’t new or novel, but it’s just now gaining traction within the multifamily space. By joining forces with an influencer, brands gain access to highly engaged users and receive an endorsement that carries more weight than traditional online marketing messages. The best influencers combine the weight and value of a word of mouth recommendation with the reach of digital.

Some multifamily properties are taking this strategy to the next level by offering free or discounted living space to partnered influencers. These influencers agree to share their living experiences within the community on social media in exchange for this consideration.

While partnering with influencers does require some due diligence and careful guidelines in terms of how content is presented, it’s a strategy that makes sense for multifamilies seeking to improve engagement and grow their social media audience.

The takeaway

If you’re seeking help with property management social media marketing, don’t wait to call our property team today. We’ve got the multifamily expertise, creative talent, and digital skills to help you creative a marketing campaign that creates interest, generates revenue, and increases occupancy.