Integrated Marketing Summit 2014

Integrated-Marketing-SummitEnjoyable and thought provoking marketing conference.  Interestingly, our industry progressed to the point that popular topics are discussed seriously, tactics are evaluated from the business perspective, and, curiously, “what not to do” insight received sufficient time to counteract industry urge to fall in love with the next shiny object.

professonGone are times of recommendations: “Thinking about social media?  Talk with a young person!”  The first keynote presentation on social media was delivered by Don E. Schultz, Professor of Northwestern University, who is not on Twitter or Facebook, but has a Wikipedia page devoted to his marketing expertese.  The Presentation was spectacular!  Wise Professor evaluated the shiny object of the last years for what it was in the thought process that made academic sense.  “Confucius was right…”  he said highlighting an argument.  What a pleasure!!  (Northwestern University Coursera offering suddenly became even more enticing 😉 )

Can Social Media be Killing Brands?

  • Brand loyalty is shifting from manufacturer brands to retails store brands.  “Where am I going to shop?” will define what the person will buy.
  • In general, brand preference is declining and “no preference” is growing.  This observed commodization could be a result of price promotion.  Recession is not a contributing factor, as this trends has been observed independently from the recession.
  • The major contributing factor is change in media usage.  As mass media go down and social media usage goes up – brand preference going down.  Social media is “killing brands softly.”

If you think you can build a brand online, you might be fooling yourself

Forbs published a short overview of the research.

social-mediaThe study also found that only 11% of the respondents “regularly asked for or sought advice” from others, indicating that social media is used primarily for “social conversations” among users, not to provide product recommendations to others. At the other end of the spectrum, nearly 19% of social media users said they “never seek or give advice” about products or services through social media or other forms of word-of-mouth.

Findings from this study seem to confirm that social media usage is primarily for “social purposes” and the potential for marketers invading social media vehicles or encouraging social media users to become product advocates is not only limited, but, may actually be counterproductive in terms of building brand value and brand relationships.

Brands have been invented as a salable device during the era of mass media.  Social media usage results in fragmentation, separation, and creates communities, not markets.

meaningful-logoCorporate brands in cereal do not mean much – there is less and less of differentiation.  Brand preference is different by category; more important (and more differentiated) are beer, soft drink, pet food.  However, one method of differentiating is important for consumers: Meaningful Brands.

Meaningful Brands not only identified positively by consumers, but they are also outperform stock market, what is sufficient proof of the benefit to the bottom line.




The challenge of “big data” – it is often considered as a two-dimensional source; however, we have a multidimensional marketplace.  Companies need not only “big data” but also “long data.”

Social-IMCSocial media can be used, but not we won’t know the right answer…  Will we find it?  Probably not.  However, what we are doing now is not working and we might see an improvement in the future.

Social media contributes to the exposure to information.  Traditional marketing is a marketing to “dumb consumers.”  4P model has been introduced in 1956…   Sales Funnel appeared first in 1961…

Social media is about conversations, not persuasion; “working with customers rather than persuading them.”

Don E. Schultz recommended social media marketing book Social IMC, which should help answering some of the questions.


“Start with facts and use SWAGs as necessary”

SWAG – Scientific Wild Ass Guess 🙂

On average, 60% of leads are now brought by marketing.

Interesting point on dealing with sales – sales would be uncomfortable if marketing claims credit for pineapple contribution – it is better to say that marketing “helped” sales, rather than taking credit for the result.

Note: learn more about CRM.

Where to Begin in Mobile Marketing

curtCurt’s presentations always contain many interesting facts.  The idea that he is trying to convey is using the mobile channel correctly rather than just “doing mobile” for the sake of mobile.  Even if the numbers suggest that mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous, marketers need to think about the customer and their needs first. Curt recommended a book Mobile Magic – it is available on Audible (excellent!)

Yes, the number of the phones is increasing exponentially; but it does not mean marketers need to jump into the “shiny object” game and create something mobile for the sake of something mobile.



  1. Good app costs $150-250K to build
  2. Promotion and update of of an app would cost 1.5x of its original cost
  3. Average user downloads 45 apps, 42 of which are free
  4. Average user uses only 5 apps 
  5. Pay $1.80-$2.50 per download of a paid app
  6. A user is considered“loyal” in the industry benchmarks if he/she uses the app at least 3 times
  7. “Loyal” users represent less then 8% of total app downloads

How to begin with mobile marketing:

  1. magicUnderstand your customers and prospects (create personas, observe them, talk to them)
  2. Find their pain points (look at analytics, talk to your team, talk to your customers)
  3. Mobilize your existing marketing  (mobile web site?  mobile email? mobile PPC? explore other mobile tools; graduate to mobile apps only if it solves your customers’ need – start small and scale with success)

What is a place of mobile app?  It can be useful to reward loyal customers.

I love how Curt takes advantage of the new Twitter layout 🙂


 Creating Advocacy by Engaging Customers

HallmarkHallmark – customer engagement is a very interesting concept – completely new to me.  Hallmark developed a b-to-b business, Hallmark Business Connections, which helps companies to connect to customers, recognize employees, or promote internal wellness initiatives.

Customer engagement is particularly interesting for marketers.  The main idea of the initiative is to empower front-line employees to make human connections with customers, and provide them with easy to use tools to do it easily.  The objective is to move the customers from the engagement with the company to the advocacy.  The measure of success is ubiquitous NPS (Net Promoter Score).

Case study: Using customer engagement techniques to improve NPS and ENPS (Employee Net Promoter Score).  In the first year of program, retention improved by 10% and revenue increased by 32%.

Which type of cards companies use more often:

  • Congratulation – 11%
  • Sympathy – 13%
  • Apology – 16%
  • Thank you – 47%  (Thank you can be used in unique ways – example of a bank employee thanking the wife of an active duty soldier for her family’s contribution to the safety of the country after a conversation with the woman about family’s finances)


One of the approaches is to require front-line employees (call center, etc.) to make a certain number of human connections per day.  More successful employees can share their success with approaches with the rest of the team.

What is the difference between mail and email?  Mailing address is more likely to be available, for some reasons email is not appropriate (Sympathy), and a hand-written card is usually perceived more “personal” than an email.

What is the difference between b-to-b and b-to-c organizations using the program?  B-to-b organizations immediately see the program as lead nurturing, and it can be adjusted to function for this purpose.

Are cards branded by the business that uses them?  Some are branded and some are not – not branded cards are perceived as more personal. Thank you cards are typically branded, but Sympathy cards are never branded.

IBM Case Study

IBM presented a case study for the project “Rethink Customer” – the project was tailored to different audiences, also included email communication and has been translated into several languages.

Interesting: Coremetric tagging has been done on the English version and then the translations happened, what assured that the tagging was in place in all languages.

Update is made based on the prioritization of the audience – the most important/profitable/numerous/strategically important audience receives more updates.  Site uses parallax, but is not optimized for mobile.


I was curious about Parallax design and SEO – MOZ has an excellent explanation on implication for analytics and SEO – Parallax Scrolling Websites and SEO – A Collection of Solutions and Examples



Good article with a PPT and a recording of explanation of agile marketing by the presenter Agile marketing for a world of constant change.  I would love to see a typical marketing project explained in a Waterfall and Agile implementation, as it is still difficult for me to understand how this methodology can be applied to marketing.  Three examples from the article:

  • Content marketing is great for agile marketing. Each piece of content is naturally a discrete unit. You can experiment with many different content themes for different audiences at different stages, iterate and adapt them, scale the ones that work. It’s great to be able to quickly re-prioritize content marketing plans to take advantage of new trends and topics that arise in the market.
  • Marketing automation is great for agile marketing. You’re able to constant expand and refine nurture programs and automated or semi-automated flows along the buyer’s journey. You can break out new audience segments to target on an experimental basis.
  • Landing page optimization is great for agile marketing. This flows seamlessly from agile efforts in social, PPC, and nurturing campaigns. You can generate new post-click experiences quickly, A/B test alternatives to run meaningful experiments on new hypotheses, target different experiences to different audience segments.

Agile marketing assumes iterations rather than following the plan.  “Annual Plan” is not working anymore… 

Modern marketing plan is less gospel and more jazz; it assumes improvisation

Companies with exploratory strategies perform better than companies with “focused exploitation” strategies. However, “continuous exploration is not as good as “moderate exploitative” approach.

Myths of agile marketing:

  • It just mean we have to work faster…  (push to work faster leads to employees changing company or industry).  No, instead of a long cycle, there are many short cycles.
  • “Small” does not mean “quick and dirty” – each component can be done very well.
  • Is agile short-sighted?  No, it is a better process to execute a long-term plan.

Interesting: ion Iterative re-branded as marketing app company and now sporting quite interesting  parallax website 😉




Scott Brinker also writes Chief Marketing Technologist Blog (I subscribed 😉 )



Marketing is changing very fast and all of us in the industry have to love change (or we would not be there 😉 ).  Everybody is generally overwhelmed and often confused.  The only comforting thought is that we are all experiencing the same phenomenon.