Apartment complex owners who want to cut their marketing budget while strategically targeting their advertising are turning to programmatic media buying.
Programmatic Media Buying Explained
Do you remember how difficult comparative shopping and informational research used to be before the Internet? If so, you certainly know the incredible value of software algorithms and data analysis.
In short, when you search for something online, you are letting state-of-the-art technology do most of the work for you, thereby making your search far easier, faster, and more efficient. Online searches can also help you focus your efforts in the most fruitful areas and save you a tremendous amount of money.
Programmatic media buying works much the same way in the world of Internet advertising. While traditional manual methods of purchasing online ads is both time-consuming and labor intensive, programmatic media buying employs automated processes to executive targeted purchases across a wide spectrum of digital channels that include desktop/laptop, tablet, mobile, connected TV, and outdoor digital media formats.
Programmatic media buying involves the use of a particular type of software called a demand-side platform (DSP), which allows agencies and advertisers to buy media inventory across a multiple channels. Because the automated DSP purchasing process is so fast, it can sort through incredibly large amounts of digital advertising options to target the exact right consumer at precisely the right time.
Through a DSP, marketers can also buy media inventory at an exceptionally good price. This is because programmatic media buying works through automated platforms that employ cost effective processes such as real-time bidding (RTB). Also called “open auction,” RTB sells media inventory to the highest bidder, allowing marketers to target the most viable consumers at rates that are often far below average market value.
The Popularity of Programmatic Media Buying
Considering the tremendous amount of work and lack of efficiency that go hand in hand with the traditional media buying process, more and more agencies and advertisers are benefiting from the speed, ease, and cost-effective benefits of programmatic media buying. In fact, trusted industry news outlets that range from Ad Age to eMarketer have identified programmatic media buying as an essential component in the future of marketing.
In fact, eMarketing projects a considerable increase in programmatic media buying over the next year alone. According to this research, roughly 58 percent of live video and video-on-demand ad spending occurred as a result of programmatic media buying processes in 2019. By 2020, however, this figure will jump to approximately 80 percent.
Programmatic Media Buying for Apartment Marketing
As the number of advertisers using programmatic media buying continues to rise, companies across a wide range of business sectors and markets must leverage the benefits of this technology if they wish to remain competitive.
The unique characteristics of apartment marketing make programmatic media buying particularly valuable within this industry. In particular, apartment marketers stand to benefit from the highly targeted nature of programmatic media buying.
Since only a small percentage of the general public will be interested in renting any specific apartment unit at any specific time, multifamily residential marketers absolutely love programmatic media buying’s ability to reach out to an exact audience base that is severely restricted according to geography (where a prospective renter lives) and demographics (age, gender, income, etc.). Programmatic media buying can even target digital media users according to their unique personal interests and daily behaviors.
Using a Qualified Marketing Agency for Your Programmatic Media Buying
A July 16 article by the independent news outlet Target Marketing has determined that nearly 47 percent of advertisers are now performing programmatic media buying in-house. However, article author Lina Lugova recommends that advertisers coordinate their programmatic media buying through a qualified and specialized marketing agency for a number of important reasons.
In particular, forward-thinking marketing agencies that were able to predict the tremendous value of programmatic media buying have employed the best and brightest of industry professionals with a depth programmatic skill, knowledge, and experience. These agencies are also well connected with multiple leading online traffic platforms and resources, enabling them to negotiate the absolute best prices for media inventory.
Contact Bigeye Today
Want to learn more about programmatic media buying and the apartment marketing solutions that it provides? An agency that has earned a widespread reputation for innovative thinking, Bigeye specializes in leveraging state-of-the-art technology to boost your bottom line. A skilled and knowledgeable Bigeye representative is standing by to explain how programmatic media buying can set you apart from your closest competitors.
A report by Bigeye, an Audience-Focused, Creative-Driven, Full-Service Advertising Agency.
Highlights for Busy Readers
Millennial women are the most avid CBD fans — and they desire products formulated and sold in a certain way
Why you need to follow the lead of caffeine and market a feeling, not an ingredient (think energy drinks)
Half of Americans think CBD and cannabis are the same thing, so transparency, education and trust in CBD advertising is essential
Regulations are moving quickly. While enforcement is occurring on a patchwork basis today, pressure is building for national CBD advertising standards
Most CBD marketing is yawn-inducing. If you want to engage audiences, you need to be bold. Tap into the Zeitgeist; take what people fear and dislike about the modern world, and position your product as an antidote
How digital CBD advertising restrictions are slowly slackening
How smart marketers can sidestep these restrictions by advertising on podcasts and other CBD-friendly channels
BIGEYE understands the CBD marketing space in a way that your current agency can’t equal. Don’t believe it? Read on…
Every year has a breakout product, and it’s safe to say that cannabidiol (CBD) has earned that title for 2019.
Not only are CBD products flying off retail shelves everywhere, the product has ignited a firestorm of cultural conversation and consumer interest.
If you’re in the CBD advertising business, that’s great news — you’ve got a product that sells itself in many ways. Yet here’s the rub: With rapid growth comes stiff competition. Everyone sees the generational opportunity that hemp-derived products like CBD represent, and they are rushing in to carve out market share.
In order to help you flourish in a crowded space, you need to understand the challenges inherent to CBD marketing, while keeping abreast of all changes in this fast-evolving market.
Let’s take a closer look at some key aspects of CBD advertising and CBD product marketing that you may not have fully considered.
CBD Marketing and Advertising Tips for 2020 and Beyond
There are nearly 4,000 brands within the CBD space in the United States. Given that kind of competition, it’s essential to develop a sophisticated marketing strategy and execute flawlessly. Let’s take a closer look at some tips CBD marketers can follow when creating their next campaign:
Differentiate your products through branding. Let’s be honest: There is often very little to differentiate CBD products. Oils, gummies and tinctures are…oils, gummies and tinctures. Differentiation, therefore, needs to occur through branding. Many CBD enterprises have chosen to target the health and wellness market, pitching CBD products as lifestyle enhancers that can help consumers deal with pain, anxiety, insomnia etc. in a natural way. This is a powerful argument, as there is a considerable backlash within society at the moment with regard to overprescription of pharmaceuticals. By pitching your product as an all natural, healthy way to treat common ailments, marketers can target those who use pharmaceuticals while activating a vast market of people who are healthy, but are seeking to use CBD as a life optimization product.
Know your true audience. If we asked you which kind of person has the most interest in CBD, would you say a millennial woman? If not, then your marketing may be off-target. According to a new research report, CBD products hold more attraction for women than men — and women generally prefer “softer” CBD products (such as gummies, infused beverages, beauty products etc.) while men prefer “harder” CBD products such as concentrates, vapes and tinctures. Across all genders, millennials exhibit more interest than any other demographic group, and they are particularly focused on CBD in the wellness context.
Market a feeling, not a product. Given the relatively faceless nature of CBD brands and uniformity of the products they sell, smart marketers should remember that they are marketing a feeling as much as anything else. What does this mean in practical terms? Think about caffeine — nobody markets caffeine directly, although it is consumed in enormous quantities. Instead, companies market the feeling it produces: energy. Brands built an entire product category out of feeling-oriented marketing (energy drinks). Alcohol companies, meanwhile, have build campaign after campaign centered around the social aspects of beer and wine.
Focus on trust and transparency in CBD marketing. One of the most significant reasons why people fail to try CBD is because of fear or skepticism about the effects of CBD on the body and the product quality and/or supply chain. This is largely borne from ignorance. Despite its surging popularity, research shows that 60% of people don’t know what CBD is and don’t understand its effects. When a product is this widely unknown — and is also linked closely with psychoactive compounds — it’s hardly surprising that some people are hesitant to put this substance into their bodies. In order to overcome this reticence, CBD product marketing should emphasize trust and transparency with regard to CBD sourcing.
Tap the emerging markets. CBD is making waves in a variety of industries, but it is gaining particular traction within the pet industry. Why? The first reason is simple: Dogs suffer from many of the same maladies as their owners, and CBD’s clinical effects can help them manage these symptoms. Second, today’s pet owners are willing to pay almost any premium to provide their animals with the best possible lives — just look at the growth in grain-free dog food. Even though science shows that grain-free dog food might be worse for animals than conventional dog food, people buy it anyway because of the general bias against gluten and the fact that it sounds healthier. CBD-infused pet products, however, have been met with positive anecdotal reports and are selling at a brisk clip. In fact, CBD pet products are the fastest growing category within that industry. The beauty industry is also witnessing exceptional sales growth within the CBD category, as consumers seek natural skin treatments.
Stay on the right side of regulators. The FDA is busy sending out warning letters to CBD companies that skirt the rules of legal marketing. According to a recent release, the FDA is cracking down on companies that illegally sell “unapproved products containing cannabidiol online with unsubstantiated claims that the products treat teething pain and ear aches in infants, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, among other conditions or diseases.” Given CBD’s clinically established success in treating a variety of significant illnesses, it seems foolhardy to stretch the truth by making unsupported assertions. Not only can you quickly run afoul of FDA regulators, such unethical practices make all firms within the CBD market tainted by association.
Additionally, the FDA isn’t the only controlling body that needs to be accounted for. The Federal Trade Commission has its own standard, which makes it “unlawful to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless the advertiser possesses competent and reliable scientific evidence, including, when appropriate, well-controlled human clinical studies, substantiating that the claims are true at the time they are made.” That’s a reasonably high bar — and one that all CBD marketers should be familiar with.
Counter widespread misunderstandings. Marketers aren’t immune to the “Curse of Knowledge.” We often get so close to the industry in which we operate that we have a hard time understanding that most people lack even glancing familiarity with the products and services we know so well. In the case of CBD, you may be shocked to learn just how much bad information is circulating. According to new research from the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, 40% of Americans believe CBD is another name for cannabis. Roughly 51% of Americans believe taking CBD will get them high. Approximately 76% of Americans believe CBD is fully regulated at the federal level. Wrong, wrong and wrong. While the FDA is enforcing CBD ad violations, it is working under outdated statutes governing supplements. There is no CBD-specific set of federal guidelines governing the sale and marketing of CBD. Marketers need to understand just how limited the understanding of CBD is among the general public and take steps to help people learn.
Go against the grain. This is advice we’d give to brands in almost any industry, but we think it applies with special emphasis within the CBD product category. The CBD category is driven largely by millennial and Gen Z consumers, all of whom have grown up in an environment where advertising, whether in hard or soft form, is pervasive. As such, routine campaigns often don’t resonate. Cliched 4/20 style product packaging or sedate-and-yawn-inducing wellness branding probably won’t move the needle very far. There are two ways you can avoid falling into this trap: Come up with strikingly original copy and visuals, or tie your marketing into the larger concerns and obsessions of millennials and Gen Z consumers. By this, we don’t simply mean pumping out low quality memes on social media.
One of our favorite examples of this type of marketing in the CBD space comes from Recess, a CBD beverage brand. The company brands its products as “an antidote to modern times,” tapping into millennial and Gen Z angst about the state of the world they are inheriting. The brand’s narrative is “the world has gone crazy and we all need a recess.” This works because it taps into a widely shared feeling; it’s pulled directly from the millennial Zeitgeist. As such, it’s very powerful. Recess makes this CBD marketing strategy even more potent by using surrealistic designs on its beverage cans. Their cans are personified, dressed in office suits and shown staring wistfully outside windows. It’s a brilliant strategy — but it’s also a strategy that can only be developed by a brand or CBD marketing agency with real creative skill and industry insight.
Creating Effective Digital Marketing in an Often CBD-Unfriendly World
Due to its connection to cannabis and hemp, CBD products have faced significant restrictions in terms of digital marketing. Facebook and Google, who dominate the digital ad space, both made advertising CBD products on their properties verboten. If you run a CBD marketing agency or a brand, this obviously ties your hands.
Fortunately, times are changing. Facebook has recently loosened its CBD advertising rules, and will now allow a narrow category of digital CBD ads. As CBD grows more mainstream (and becomes fully legal in all state jurisdictions) it’s very likely that restrictions on Facebook and Instagram will be lifted entirely. After all, that’s a very large pot of ad revenue Facebook is forgoing. Snapchat, meanwhile, takes a somewhat more liberal approach to CBD ads, and as a result is one of the most effective social platforms for CBD ads.
Alternative Digital Marketing Options
CBD ads have also faced some resistance from major digital publishers, who have banned CBD product marketing from some of their most popular websites. Third party marketing platforms specially designed for the cannabis and CBD markets have been created to help brands create an effective CBD marketing strategy for the digital channel. These platforms use technology that automatically verifies the ages of browsers and the states in which they are located in order to ensure they remain compliant with all relevant regulations. This is one clever approach that can help CBD brands negotiate the tricky task of staying compliant, while gaining critical access to high authority publishers such as Buzzfeed and USA Today.
Thought Leadership and Education
If direct digital marketing is still largely unavailable, there are some alternate paths for a CBD brand or CBD marketing company to take. One example: Thought leadership and education pieces. These do not fall under the direct advertising designation and there is considerable public appetite for educational content. The CBD space, while growing quickly, is still something of a blank slate to most consumers. Providing them with high-quality educational content is an excellent way to turn “CBD curious consumers” into loyal customers.
It’s also important to remember that many publishers and ad platforms do not have these restrictions and are, in fact, happily courting the CBD market. FieldTest is one such platform. The company has negotiated agreements with high level publishers across the Internet to host CBD display ads. Sponsored content/native advertising placed on third-party websites is another path that can be taken, although many of these programs have the same type of limitations in place.
It’s also important to avoid looking the past the value of influencer marketing. In just four years, influencer marketing has grown from a $1.7 billion enterprise to a nearly $7 billion market. Google searches for “influencer marketing” grew by an astonishing 1,500% over the same period. Instagram alone is well on its way to two billion daily users.
Influencers on that platform and others are not subject to the same restrictions found within conventional CBD digital marketing, which makes them a valuable commodity for brands seeking digital traction. Partnering with the right influencers, however, is key. Raw numbers don’t tell the whole story in terms of reach or influence. It’s better to find an influencer with 10k highly engaged followers than partner with someone who has collected (or even purchased) 100k largely random followers.
CBD brands can also take a more unorthodox approach and pursue something like podcast advertising. Growth in the podcast market has been exceptional in recent years, and CBD brands are a natural fit for the podcast demographic. While many people are under the mistaken impression that most podcasts are little more than a couple of people in a basement studio, the top podcasts generate millions of listens and downloads. By choosing podcasts with a strong following (and an audience that overlaps in some sense with CBD buyers), a brand or CBD marketing company can generate a surprisingly high ROI.
Finally, affiliate marketing services such as ClickBank offer another avenue into digital marketing for CBD brands.
Creating High-Level CBD Marketing and Advertising with Bigeye
If your CBD marketing campaigns aren’t resonating, it’s time for a switch. At Bigeye we believe that real results come only when you find a creatively dynamic partner with true domain expertise.
That’s what we offer our clients. We’ve been working in the CBD space almost since its inception; we’re no late entrant into the field, seeking to capitalize on the latest trend. We keep our pulse on what’s happening in the CBD industry, and we’re always one step ahead of evolving regulations and industry standards. We combine our CBD industry expertise with dynamic creative work and a sophisticated understanding of modern AdTech. We create highly compelling CBD campaigns, then we pair them with the ideal distribution strategy, ensuring that you messages are served to the most relevant audiences possible.
If you’re looking for a creatively inspired CBD marketing campaign that engages audiences on a deeper level and gets them to convert, we urge you to reach out to Bigeye today. We’d love to show you the power of a creatively inspired, tech supported CBD ad strategy.
The nutraceutical market is booming. Here’s what you need to know in order to make your product stand out in the crowd.
With the US population aging and rates of many chronic diseases continuing to soar, consumers are in need of new products that promote health and wellness. Nutraceuticals, with their emphasis on natural health benefits, are one popular option.
Nutraceuticals, which have been positioned as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical treatments of physiological problems, have seen substantial growth in recent years. The global market is worth roughly $241 billion and is projected to reach $373 billion by 2025.
Nutraceutical marketing, however, can present something of a challenge for people without true domain expertise. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few key tips for optimizing your nutraceutical marketing.
Understanding What Motivates Buyers in the Nutraceutical Market
Nutraceutical development is often targeted at physiological conditions that have a nutritional component. Certain diseases have dietary risks that are related to disease progression; other diseases simply do not have a long list of viable medical treatments. Patients that fall within these groups, naturally, are highly motivated to seek impactful medicines or supplements.
Smart nutraceutical marketing is aware of these distinctions, and should make an effort to target and activate consumers and patients who are being poorly served by traditional healthcare approaches. Brands should also be cognizant of buyer preferences within this niche; for example, nutraceutical buyers want green and sustainable product packaging.
Finding Where Nutraceutical Prospects Live Online
Buyers of nutraceuticals blur the line between patients and conventional consumers and this is reflected in their online behavior. When developing a nutraceutical marketing strategy, brands should focus on health and wellness websites, patient support groups and any channel where large numbers of people with medical issues congregate. That said, brands should also focus their marketing efforts on the segment of the nutraceutical audience that is motivated more by wellness, fitness and preventive medicine.
Differentiate Your Offering
The nutraceutical market is highly fragmented, with a few large multinationals at the top and thousands of small players operating in the industry. In order to stand out in this landscape, companies need to differentiate.
The problem is, most companies are selling variations on the same products. This means that branding is a critically important differentiator. The brands that do the best job of developing a valuable brand and building awareness will be in the strongest competitive position.
Leverage the Latest Technological Tools
If your nutraceutical brand isn’t devoting significant resources to cutting-edge digital marketing, you’re putting your organization at a significant disadvantage. Digital outreach, whether it’s via programmatic ads or social media campaigning, is critical. Without it, you can’t properly segment and target your audience and gather important insight into the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
Savvy brands go one step beyond traditional approaches and employ more sophisticated digital tools, including geo-targeting and search-based targeting, then support these efforts with advanced analytics that offer deeper insight into campaign performance.
Partner with a Third Party When Necessary
Let’s face it: Many nutraceutical brands don’t have the in-house expertise to develop the kind of tech-centric campaigns that move the needle. In cases such as these, it makes sense to work with an outside marketing agency.
Choosing the right agency is imperative, however, as few have true nutraceutical domain expertise. Without that key element, you simply can’t create informed and authoritative advertising and marketing content. If you choose to opt for an external agency, make sure that your partner has experience with the nutraceutical niche.
Why Bigeye is the Ideal Partner for Nutraceutical Marketing
At Bigeye, we are domain experts in the realm of nutraceutical advertising and marketing. This allows us to create campaigns that are highly targeted, strategically sound and easily scalable without breaking the bank.
Contact us today for more information about what Bigeye can do for you.
In light of the supreme importance of your apartment complex brand, you’ll want to enlist the help of top professionals to help develop and maintain it. But how can you find the best apartment marketing company for you?
Why Branding is Essential for Your Apartment Complex
If you are in the process of launching your first multifamily residential business or considering a rebrand for either a longstanding property or recently acquired apartment property, you are likely asking, “What is the best apartment marketing company to brand my development?”
Furthermore, if you aren’t questioning your current branding efforts, you probably should be. Most residential development marketers realize how important it is to promote the outstanding features and conveniences of their apartment complexes and specific apartment units. However, even seasoned professionals in the multifamily residential field often underestimate the incredible value of brand optimization.
An overwhelming amount of statistical research confirms the superlative importance of company branding across a wide range of industries and markets. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute 77 percent of marketing leaders identify branding as critical to growth. On the consumer side, Small Biz Genius reports that 89 percent of shoppers remain loyal to brands that share their values. Furthermore, 64 percent of people surveyed by the Harvard Business Review cite shared values as their main reason for establishing a consumer relationship with one or more specific brands.
In the highly competitive multifamily residential real estate market, branding is particularly important for businesses that want to differentiate themselves from their closest competitors. After determining the outstanding features and amenities that make your property unique and the exact audience demographic that you wish to target, a good apartment marketing agency can develop and/or build upon a brand image that rises to the occasion to meets your particular wants and needs.
Tips for Choosing the Ideal Apartment Branding Agency
But how can you find a marketing company that has what it takes to spearhead branding operations for your multifamily residential business? The masterminds at Ad Age Magazine have come up with a couple of general guidelines to start you off in the right direction:
Establish clear goals and expectations – Before you can find an agency to deliver a specific result, you must first clearly define exactly what that result should be. After you have established your specific objectives, you can source and examine the options that are most likely to meet them. You might search out that edgy marketing startup to make your provocative marketplace splash or gravitate toward that industry stalwart to foster an image that is both stable and trustworthy.
Narrow your search – Anyone attempting to sort through thousands of potential advertising agencies will quickly become overwhelmed and lose all sense of perspective. In fact, even choosing between a dozen or so agency options can become quickly problematic. To combat this problem, Ad Age says that even “your initial ‘long” list should be relatively short and focused.” Real estate professionals can turn to their affiliated industry associations or a qualified search consultant to source only the most effective potential candidates.
Forbes Magazine reached out to a variety of marketing leaders to get further tips for choosing the right marketing agency for specific branding purposes. Some of the results were quite inspired.
The HOTH’s Marc Hardgrove, for example, recommends a close examination of each candidate’s in-house branding and advertising efforts. After all, any agency that cannot brand itself is likely to have difficulty branding your apartment complex.
In its 2018 article, Forbes also quoted Danielle Wiley of the Sway Group, who cited a compatible business philosophy as the top reason to choose a specific marketing agency. If your multifamily residential company, like most successful enterprises, fosters business approaches that are collaborative, practical, and forward-thinking, you would be wise to embrace an advertising agency that has similar values.
Reach Out to Bigeye Today
If you’re looking for an exceptional branding company for developments in the multifamily residential sector, Bigeye offers a range of personalized services to help you build a unique brand from scratch, execute an efficient rebranding, or refine your existing brand to connect with a whole new audience. Contact us today – a skilled and knowledgeable marketing professional is standing by to answer any questions that you might have.
In the highly competitive residential real estate sector set your high rise apartment marketing apart by stressing the unique value, benefits, and features of your available units.
High Rise vs. Low Rise Apartments
Before discussing elements of effective marketing strategy for high rise apartments, it is essential to determine what, exactly, a high rise apartment is. As explained by
RENTCafé senior creative writer Nadia Balint, the definition of a high rise varies significantly from country to country and from business sector to business sector.
In the United States, the National Fire Protection Association officially classifies any building over 6 stories as a high rise. For real estate marketing purposes, however, a high rise building should generally include a few more floors. The leading commercial real estate market research and data provider Yardi Matrix, for example, limits apartment community high rises to those that have at least 10 residential floors.
Marketing Tips Specific to the High Rise Apartment Sector
Low rise apartments and high rise apartments each have their own pros and cons. While many of these pro and cons are obvious to any prospective renter, others may not be so immediately evident,
As a marketer of high rise apartments, you are doing yourself a great disservice if you aren’t stressing the specific advantages that your units have to offer.
In many cases, you can even succeed in changing a negative into a positive through the power of an effective marketing campaign. For example, to combat the perceived hassle of living so far above ground level, you can stress the convenience, speed, reliably, and/or overall number of elevators on the premises.
Here are a few other features and elements that you may want to emphasize when marketing high rise apartments:
Because land development professionals aren’t exactly clambering to construct skyscrapers buildings in rural or small town locations, high rise apartment buildings typically appeal to prospective renters who value a bustling, metropolitan lifestyle.
It’s the oldest cliché in the real estate business, but, like many clichés, it holds true: location is everything. If a prospective renter values working, shopping, and enjoying the nightlife of the big city, the prospect of living in the heart of these various activities will be welcomed as not only extremely convenient but pleasantly exhilarating.
Of course, no one is going to fail to stress an amazing panoramic cityscape in their apartment marketing materials. A great view might be the single greatest feature of a high rise apartment unit.
However, every unit in your high rise complex needn’t offer a full perspective of the New York City skyline in order to draw in prospective renters. Consider the value of promoting an apartment free of overwhelming visual obstructions and full of beautiful natural light.
A preponderance of high rise apartment complexes employ doormen and/or a security staff to ensure that tenants and their belongings are protected and safe. Many high rise apartment complexes also offer a concierge and/or other service professionals to make daily life a little bit safer and easier.
In addition to increasing security and convenience, on-site apartment building workers can brighten your day with a friendly “hello” and generally contribute to a warm community environment.
Flexible Leasing Options / Vacancies
Renters in search of a month-to-month lease or other flexible rental agreements are significantly more likely to find one in a high rise. Plus, due to the sheer number of units that a large high rise building contains, apartment hunters are more likely to find a desirable vacancy in the high rise sector.
Overall apartment options are also quite wide in the high rise sector. Prospective renters who require a furnished apartment, for example, can commonly find one in a high rise apartment complex.
Easy Utilities / Maintenance
If you’ve ever had to wait for a cable provider to start or disconnect service, you know just how time consuming and frustrating this can be. Because the vast majority of residential high rise complexes are already wired for services such as cable, phone, and Internet, renters typically don’t have to wait for the entertainment and connectivity that they rely upon.
High rise apartment buildings also widely support on-site property management offices that provide prompt access to maintenance services. This means that high rise tenants typically won’t have to live with malfunctioning or damaged apartment infrastructure for long.
To Learn More
Bigeye is an innovative high rise apartment marketing firm that leverages every possible advantage in the campaigns under our management. To get in-depth marketing advice for your high rise apartment business, contact a skilled and knowledgeable Bigeye representative today.
Bigeye’s senior strategist Dana Cassell joins host Adrian Tennant on IN CLEAR FOCUS to discuss the role that strategy plays within a marketing and communications agency.
In Clear Focus this week: Bigeye’s senior strategist Dana Cassell joins host Adrian Tennant to discuss the role that strategy plays within a marketing and communications agency. Dana offers case studies highlighting how consumer insights and audience research can be applied to differentiate brands from their competition, plus practical tips and career advice for anyone seeking to enter the advertising industry.
Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising produced by Bigeye. I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of insights at Bigeye. For those of you who don’t know us, Bigeye is an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency. We’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States and beyond. Providing audience research, branding, creative, media, and analytics services. Thank you for choosing to spend time with us today. For this episode, it’s my pleasure to be joined by Dana Cassell, Bigeye’s senior strategist. Dana has been with Bigeye almost a decade and focuses on consumer behavior, interpreting the results of findings from primary and secondary research. Dana synthesizes data into actionable insights that help Bigeye’s clients build strategically differentiated brands. Welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS, Dana.
Dana Cassell: Thank you. Glad to be here.
Adrian Tennant: What does your role as senior strategist at Bigeye look like? Describe a day in the life, if you will.
Dana Cassell: I love that question, “What does a day in the life look like?” I spend a lot of time on-site with clients in a discovery meeting. So, generally at the beginning of an engagement with a client, we have an on-site day where we have the leadership team in the room and our team in the room. And the first half of that discovery is a strategic discovery and we’re working on things like a SWOT analysis, key messages, understanding of the target current state of affairs. So I’m generally leading that conversation. I like to think of myself as a client advocate, so I’m basically trying to get myself up to speed and understand where they are in the business, what they’re trying to do. So I do a lot of that and I like a lot of that. I’m also on calls with clients a lot catching up on those types of items. And then the kind of other half of what I do is staring at the computer screen, blinking cursor by myself because I do a lot of documentation. So if we have a strategic engagement, I’m going to be documenting that entire discovery process and setting forth the strategic plan to move forward. So I’m either kind of with everybody or by myself. I like both of those pieces.
Adrian Tennant: So what are some of the most common challenges you see clients facing today?
Dana Cassell: I think differentiation is a challenge. In the, in the global economy, you know, there’s just not really a new idea anymore. So a lot of our clients have a solid product, they have a great internal organization and they’ve just either lost market share or other newer competitors have come on the scene and they’re having trouble differentiating. We also see a lot of lack of understanding of the audience. So maybe an organization, a client might have known their audience 10 years ago. They did a lot of research, they had a better understanding and they’ve just grown and changed since then. So they just haven’t, not a modern understanding of their audience. So I think that’s a challenge a lot of people see. Another one I see is our clients having trouble getting to a place where they can be more strategic rather than reactive. And that’s generally in my assessment, kind of – it’s like a legacy problem. So the organization just runs a certain way and the marketing team can’t catch up and get far enough ahead that they have time to breathe and be strategic. So it’s like the weight of the organization is forcing them to be reactive. It’s not that they’re not strategic thinkers, they are, they just don’t have permission internally to push pause on being reactive and move into a more strategic place. And I think often we help in those engagements because we can come into the room with the C-suite and make the case for why reactivity is not the best marketing strategy.
Adrian Tennant: So that being said, if you’re a new challenger brand, I’m looking to gain market share in a category with an established brand leader, how can strategy help?
Dana Cassell: I think the audience understanding and insight is, is a key piece of that game. There are industries where the leading brand is taking their position for granted and they don’t really have deepened relationships with their consumers. And that’s always an area of opportunity. I think we’ll probably also talk, I’m hoping we’ll talk about direct-to-consumer today. That’s another great example of ways that challenger brands are gaining market share sort of by a really deep specific understanding of their audience and an extremely clear focus. So I think new challengers that really get the audience have a singular focus and do that thing well, have a great opportunity to gain some market share.
Adrian Tennant: Great answer. Strategy can seem a bit abstract. What do tangible deliverables from strategy planning typically look like?
Dana Cassell: That’s a great question. So target market analysis is often one that we’ll deliver and this is related to audience and audience insights. So we’ll work with a client to understand primary, secondary, tertiary audiences. We’ll develop brand personas, key messages for those targets, where we find them in media, what their consumer behaviors like. So we kind of blowout a big profile of those target markets. So that kind of analysis is a real actionable deliverable. Often key messages is a piece of that. So I really like the kind of four-by-four model where we have four things that we like to say about the brand over and over maybe four words long that everybody in the organization can get behind. These are like little memorable key nuggets about a brand that we can work into. Public relations interviews we can use in social content we might use in our email signature. I love helping a brand kind of come up with these key messages that are like part of their identity, something everybody can understand and start to be a driver for a brand. So I often like to work in key messages. We’ll also make key messages as part of that target market strategy. So what are the key messages that resonate most with each message, each segment of that target market? Sometimes a platform analysis is a good one too. So we’ll have clients that are involved in a variety of social media and this is something I love to do as a strategist. So we’ll get a client that is doing a lot of social media and none of it beautifully. And I get the opportunity to kind of go in and consume all of that data, all that content they’ve been putting out over the years and understand what’s been working and resonating. I love looking at the data behind social platforms and coming back and being able to say, “the good news is you’ve been doing too much and we have an opportunity to narrow your focus and then really do what you’re doing well.” So platform analysis as a tangible deliverable. And then content planning is another one that happens often we’ll see organizations that are they know strategically what they need to be doing, but then the tactics of how to execute that strategy. So often one of my strategic deliverables will be a plan for creating and deploying content. So strategic recommendations on what types of categories are going to work best on their different platforms. So what should their blog focus over the next year be? What should their outbound marketing focuses be? So that content planning roadmap, that happens a lot too.
Adrian Tennant: I’m really interested to know how you get up to speed on a new client industry. Have you got a particular process that you’d like to share with us?
Dana Cassell: Sure. I’m just an avid consumer of that brand. I just try to think of myself as obsessed, kind of brand obsessed, and I’ll just literally sit at my computer and absorb everything I can find about them online. And then I do that for any brand that thinks they’re a competitor or any brand that they think is a competitor. And then also aspirational brands. So this is a question I love to ask clients. What are brands that you think are similar to yours that are killing it? And it might not be in their same market and might not be in their same service, but a brand that it’s like, I really like the way they do business, so then I’ll go absorb everything I can about those brands. And if they don’t have an idea of who those are, I probably have an idea of who this might be for them. So I like doing that. And then I’m also a data nerd at heart, which I would encourage anybody who wants to be a strategist to become a data nerd at heart. I love to go look at whatever data they want to give us. So one of my favorite places to start is with good old Google Analytics to understand what’s happening on their digital platforms. Sales data. I don’t know, I just, I like to… Annual reports, gosh, I love annual reports. Am I the only one maybe?
Adrian Tennant: I think you might be, Dana.
Dana Cassell: I love a good annual report. So I just consume all of the data, you know, and then I do a lot of listening so I love to read and then I love to hear from them. That’s kinda how I get up to speed. I also like to read things like job descriptions to learn how the brand thinks about the people they want working with them. So that’s a little hacks to learn how the brand thinks about themselves.
Adrian Tennant: Some really good strategic tips there, I liked them. Thank you. Dana, what brands do you most admire – and why?
Dana Cassell: This is a great question. I love this. I feel like I can answer in lots of different ways. So I like to think of Southwest Airlines and Publix as the same brand in my head and they’re kind of big ones and obvious ones that a lot of people love. So it’s maybe a bit of a cliche answer, but the things that I love about them are, I believe them and I believe in authenticity and transparency. I just don’t think there’s a way in 2019, 2020 to live in a non-transparent way for long. So these are brands that I think have been being super transparent for a long time. They have people who are happy to work there, which I think is a real key to long-term success is internal culture. So I think they’re doing that really well. And I also think they are trying to be exactly who they are. So they’re in a growth mindset as a brand. Neither of them are giving up market share anywhere, but they’re also not trying to be something that they’re not. So I love that about them. They’re authentic, they have happy customers, they know who they are and they’re living into that identity. So I really liked that about those brands.
Adrian Tennant: I should just explain for any listeners that are not based in the Southeast of the United States, Publix Supermarkets, the leading supermarket for sure in our region, privately held, and a Fortune 100 company.
Dana Cassell: Right. And originally a Floridian brand, now found widely across the Southeast and likely in a Northern market near you soon because like I said, they have a growth mindset.
Adrian Tennant: That’s meant to be a secret, I think. Not really, worst-kept secret now.
Dana Cassell: I love the Grocery Wars. Honestly, what’s happening in the grocery stores is great. We were talking about this for banking yesterday, following the way that grocery stores are moving Northern brands to the South, Southern brands to the North, and then expansion into the Midwest is a great case study for any industry that is looking to gain market share in a volatile environment. Because grocery is about loyalty. It’s grossly about consumer behavior. And it’s just a really fascinating idea to watch how grocery stores move into markets where they’re, they’re not, they’re markets of origin. I love groceries.
Adrian Tennant: Excellent. So what do you think about the success of direct-to-consumer brands, such as Dollar Shave Club, StitchFix, Casper, Warby Parker, Barkbox… there are many, many, many to choose from. What do you think about them?
Dana Cassell: I love it. This why, I love it. So it’s not, it’s not dissimilar from the Southwest and Publix idea. These brands are singularly focused on doing one thing really well. Warby Parker is going to deliver glasses that you’ll love, that you have control over the experience. I love that Casper mattresses, it’s a focused effort. They know who they are, they know what they’re going to do well and they’re not going to do anything beyond that until they can do it well. So that’s not to say that DTC can’t expand and grow their service line. They can, but they’re doing it in a way that feels authentic to the brand. And also all of these brands that you’re mentioning are obsessed with consumer experience and I think that’s been the key to their success. So the whole idea that there’s this user-generated content library of people unboxing mattresses, this is like watching paint dry! I mean unboxing a mattress theoretically couldn’t be a more boring thing! This has taken over the Internet. I think it’s amazing, but they’ve created a user experience that is engaging people in a category I don’t think anybody would have predicted. So I love that they also have streamlined billing. I think this is really important, now in our mobile environment, in our Apple pay environment, that the billing process is smooth and simple and transparent and these brands are doing that really well. They’re also giving people choice and control. So any sort of subscription direct-to-consumer brand that cannot be customized or that you feel like you’re going to lose control of your credit card or you’re going to be billed in a month. “I didn’t know I was going to be built. Oh, you know, I’m frustrated.” It doesn’t last. You know, that will work for a few months until somebody realizes that charges recurring and then they’re not only quitting, they’re also not a brand advocate. So what I love about these brands that you mentioned, Dollar Shave Club, you’re getting an email every month that says, “Hey, your box is about to ship. Do you wanna make any changes? Do you need this box?” And if you don’t skip a month or skip three months, they’re giving control to the consumer. And I think that’s just building trust and loyalty.
Adrian Tennant: So these are all great lessons that we can learn from DTC brands.
Dana Cassell: Yeah. And simplify, you know, they’re all, that’s what I was starting with the idea of being focused, knowing who you are, knowing what you’re doing. If the business is complicated and you’re on the inside, imagine how that feels from the outside.
Adrian Tennant: That’s a great point. Well, let’s change gears. Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get to where you are today?
Dana Cassell: Hmm. Okay. So, um, I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and I don’t know when this started, but I think I always wanted to be an advertising because I really can’t remember a time that I didn’t. I have this four-H project from third grade, I’m left-handed. And it was called living in a right-handed world and it was an advocacy base about the challenges of being left-handed. Scissors can openers, it’s a right handed world. So I had this presentation that I loved and it was just this like little piece, understanding the way that it feels to be in the world and being a consumer of right-handed things as a left-handed person. And I look back and think that might’ve been my first piece of consumer research. So I think I was kind of always into it. And then I was looking for universities that had advertising as a field of study and I was not impressed with an advertising school that would send their materials in a white envelope that laid on my dining room table with all the other college envelopes. And then SMU – that’s Southern Methodist in Dallas – sent me their piece and it was what I wanted it to be. It was shiny and brilliant and well done. And it looked totally different when we threw it on the table. And my parents had drawn this radius on the map of two-hour flights and Dallas was right on the edge of the two-hour flight line. So I thought we should do it. So I went to school in Dallas at the Timberland Institute and had a wonderful time there. They have a relationship with The Richards Group, which was amazing as a student. And then graduate school in Austin studying consumer behavior where I had the opportunity to work on a team that was rebranding the university. They ask a few grad students in the ad program to help rebrand the university. And we came up with that tagline, “What starts here changes the world,” which was first recorded by Walter Cronkite, which was just an amazing experience and still can be found on football sometimes today. My dad calls when he hears it. So that was neat and I was able to document that process as my thesis. So that was a really fun experience and just kind of confirmed my love of advertising and branding. And then I always worked then, so that was 2004 when I graduated. It was kind of the boom of monetizing the dotcom. So I worked for a local newspaper as they were trying to figure out how to make money on their dotcom and got some really cool opportunities to collaborate with sales and technology and really start to understand the data that drives websites and how you can translate that data into sales and also leverage audience understanding and the use of a website to target advertising. So that was a very cool time to be in that world and it wasn’t as big then as it is now. So I was in analytics and I got a crash course in analytics, loved that and then moved into strategy after that. I think strategy and digital analytics are very closely linked. It’s a just a great place to start when you don’t know where else to start. So that’s been kind of my journey. I’ve been in analytics and consumer behavior and strategy since then.
Adrian Tennant: So as you know, we have a very active intern program at Bigeye. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career in brand planning or strategy?
Dana Cassell: I think to have a growth mindset is really important because it’s always changing. The entire field is always changing. And to be somebody who is interested in learning every day and as much as there are common elements among our clients for strategic difficulty, everything is unique. Every client need and strategy is new. So to be able to grow and change except what you don’t know and go figure out what you need to know, I think that’s really important. So growth mindset, obsession with data. I’ve said it a few times. It’s my experience that some people, and there are even some holdovers in academics, that advertising is a creative endeavor and that means it’s an artistic endeavor and that that’s sort of like not congruent with data analysis, math. And I think that’s totally inaccurate. And I think data is creative and I think it’s really, really important to understand. And I think our creative team here would tell you that a data-driven creative approach is central to our philosophy. So obsession with data, growth mindset. Also, I think a solid business background. A lot of what I end up doing could be business consulting work. And I love that. You know, I love the Bigeye wants to get their hands in that. It’s not like, Oh, that’s not proper advertising. We’re not interested. Marketing and operations are closely linked, although I will say every day of my life, great marketing can’t fix operational challenges. We have to get the operations intact. By being able to understand that as a strategist is really important. So I think a little bit of business background is helpful and to enjoy problem solving. I’m a gameplayer. I love solving problems, doing puzzles, riddles. If somebody tell me a “knock, knock” joke and doesn’t give me time to try to figure it out, it makes me crazy. It’s like holding in a sneeze. So, you know, I think being a problem solver as another piece of that.
Adrian Tennant: So again, thinking about our interns at Bigeye, what kinds of resources would you point them towards to help them?
Dana Cassell: People. I was thinking about this. I had an amazing copywriter professor in undergrad who wrote the GI Joe “Real American Hero” jingle and also, “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” So he was a really neat professor who inspired me and gave me a different way to think about advertising. And I can think about my first boss that gave me permission to understand the Internet and the way that it worked and how that impacted advertising. That was a lot, that was a lot. There was a time where being on social media at work was not a thing, you know, and so to have offices that understood that while it didn’t seem like the right thing to do at might be. And then I can also think about people in the industry who inspired me to think differently about strategy. So I really think the best resources that I’ve had have been people and that is also like a life strategy of my own to find someone who’s a step ahead of me that I really admire. Look, aspirational brand – I do it in my personal life and understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it and just seek their wisdom. So yeah – people.
Adrian Tennant: Excellent. You’re so on-brand – your own brand!
Dana Cassell: Thank you!
Adrian Tennant: So what is one common myth about working in advertising that really needs to be debunked?
Dana Cassell: Yeah, so I think this one is that it’s super cut-throat, and every man for themselves, and unbelievably competitive, and it can’t be trusted. I think there’s this idea that it’s kind of all one big kind of battlefield in a way. I have not experienced that in 18 years of working in the industry. Obviously, there are some places that feel that way, but for me the best work I’ve ever done has been highly collaborative, very team-oriented. I have a personal philosophy that it’s very hard for me to work with people if I don’t have a connection. You know, I like to have a personal connection with the people I’m making these big decisions for brands with. So I have never been in an environment in advertising and done great work and that be the case. So I find advertising very collaborative, friendly, helpful – you know, the best work happens when there’s somebody from research, planning, creative, digital, everybody at the table working together.
Adrian Tennant: That’s great. So what have you read or listened to recently that really inspired you?
Dana Cassell: I’m an avid podcast consumer, so I listen all the time and I have this wide variety of podcasts I listen to. But I think something recently that inspired me was Tal Ben-Shahar on “Armchair Expert,” which is Dax Shepherd’s podcast. So Dax is married to Kristen Bell and he, I mean in his own right, was Crosby on “Parenthood.” He’s done lots of wonderful things, but he has this really interesting background in anthropology and psychology. And so he has this podcast about a year-and-a-half old and Tal Ben-Shahar was on recently. So he is a PhD-educated, Harvard-educated lecturer and just intellectual thought-leader. And he famously held the record for having the two largest classes in the history of Harvard at one point. And they’re all on positive psychology and happiness and leadership. And I love this because it’s data-driven approach because it’s a PhD style of learning and it’s about the impact of positivity on life and on the bottom line. So I really love this about him and I just found his time with Dax really inspiring because he just talks a lot about organizational leadership. And it’s like a data-driven approach to happiness, which I think there’s so much in the zeitgeist about positive affirmation. I love all of that, but I also love that there’s like data behind this idea of the power of happiness for economic success, like corporate kind of branding success. I don’t know. I really liked him.
Dana Cassell: Okay. I can’t be held responsible for everything Dax says, okay?
Adrian Tennant: Understood.
Dana Cassell: Okay.
Adrian Tennant: So finally, Dana, what does having a CLEAR FOCUS mean to you?
Dana Cassell: Having a CLEAR FOCUS to me means knowing who you are because I don’t think it’s a given that we all know where we’re going next. I think it’s really important that if we know who we are, we can figure out where we’re headed.
Adrian Tennant: Deep…
Dana Cassell: Maybe?
Adrian Tennant: Dana, it’s been a real pleasure. Thank you to our guest, Dana Cassell, senior strategist at Bigeye. You’ve been listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising. Produced by Bigeye. If you have questions about the content of today’s show, please contact us at email@example.com. You’ll also find a transcript of today’s show on our website at bigeyeagency.com. I’m Adrian Tennant. Thank you for listening. Until next time, goodbye.