Week 2: Further engagement with direct marketing

The issue with direct marketing, via email is that it's actually not very personal at all. Jonah Berger introduces six excellent points in which current direct marketing should integrate in their strategies. 

One of the points he brought up, was the fact that there needs to be relevance. There needs to be a reason for me to sign upper the newsletter or the weekly, sometimes daily emails that companies send out. I definitely wouldn't mind learning something valuable when opening up an email, alongside an exclusive offer or incentive. It could be something as small as, "Did you know Starbucks started as a small corner coffee shop in Seattle?" Even tying it into his last point, about story telling, if it is a compelling message, or even an anecdote that is relevant and still interesting enough then I will be more likely to share it with peers.

One tactic that I have learned in my current job is adding a share to calendar feature, which once on your phone, can be shared amongst friends whether the user is using an IOS device or Android. The simplicity of this is that it's a feature already pre-installed on their phone, instead of having to download an additional app. It's very easy to implement within emails, and easy to share with friends as well. We are a generation that will delete many emails without even reading them though, however when it comes to notifications on our devices it's a short and sweet reminder of something that can effect your day. Below is an example sent to me from Starbucks...

I did actually share this with a friend as well. I thought it was very well done, good use of bold text, and short and sweet to have in an email. The calendar invite as well is recognizable, but not urging you to download the calendar event it's simply enticing. In terms of the example fitting with the STEPPS model, it speaks mainly to the practical value component. It's practical, to have reminders and calendar events set up on your phone, and practical of course to save money. For an incentive that is time sensitive, the platform of adding to calendar works extremely well. The consistency between operating systems, desktop and mobile, are both applied in this scenario. And there is actually multiple ways to share the content, the email could be forewarned, or the calendar event could be shared amongst contacts. 

Even in the copy "Half off any flavour you like." is a lot more personal and enticing than simply saying "any flavour," or "every flavour." It gets the audience thinking about what is in fact their favourite flavour...

I believe effective copywriting will be crucial when dealing with direct marketing. Often at times i receive emails and in the subject line is a clear indicator that there is a tactic of inserting your name, with a comma and followed by the subject line. Sometimes it doesn't come off as being authentic, or maybe it was at first and then every company started doing it. Recently, thos are the ones I have started ignoring, as well as ones that use emojis. I wrote this tweet a while ago and it seemed to resonate with people as well...

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Just for the record, don't have a huge following on Twitter so at least one person liked it...

I just personally think emojis are lazy when trying to think about what an ad should dictate or in this situation, the subject of an email. When attempting to be as clear and concise as possible, please stray away from emojis. 

There is a lot to learn sometimes from the large companies, such as Starbucks, who manages their social media and direct marketing very well. As millennials, the less paper being used the better. If I have to print out a coupon instead of it being accessible on my phone then the likelihood of me using it is slim to none. I even prefer to put tickets, boarding passes, and coupons through the mobile "Wallet" application on my phone so that it is readily accessible. Some businesses are implementing this, and I understand from my technical background that it is harder than just saying it will be done, the permissions are difficult to achieve - but again, using any resource which the target will likely already have, instead of downloading a new app for example, will increase shareability and likelihood to actually use in our daily life.



Week 1: Creative for online engagement and interactivity.

Creative has always been driven towards great design, incorporating the latest trends and ensuring accurate brand voice. Designers have a lot to consider when attempting to balance the creativity they wish to bring to the table, but mixing in the mandatories that brands will often require in their ads. Now, with online engagement being the number one goal for most brands, there is another aspect that needs to be considered when designing the ad. 

Online and Social Media marketing can be a make it or break it chance for a brand to stand out. The average consumer is no longer struck by beautiful design, ads often need engagement from the audience in order to be remembered, or simply stand out. Even though someone like myself, is a lover of great design, I really do need to place myself in the shoes of the audience and think, even if I saw a beautifully designed ad - doesn't necessarily guarantee I will click on it. 

Engagement is a pretty large word in my opinion which can mean many different things, however the different interpretations are not all that different in the end. Thinking of 'engagement' when speaking about a couple, the stages before marriage, is similar to an ad and their audience. Engagement with an ad doesn't necessarily guarantee the commitment, but the audience has expressed interest and is often thinking about the idea of your brand, and how your brand will fit into their lifestyle. Engagement though, should not be driven by the consumer in order to create conclusions. Strong engagement will include an interactive level of user experience in order for the audience to have a hands-on, highly memorable and unique experience with the brand. So when brands mention they're striving for effective engagement I would say they're looking to create long lasting relationships, with their audience.

Creative executions have the power to take advantage of the engagement process by designing clean and clear interfaces and/or experiences. The easier it is for the audience to interact the more likely they actually will. Take for example the Disney MagicBands, (https://www.fastcodesign.com/1671616/a-1-billion-project-to-remake-the-disney-world-experience-using-rfid) a great example of being ahead of the times as well. This RFID technology helps the user experience be more fluid, and potentially more likely to buy merchandise. People are more likely to spend, when they're content, when they're on vacation, and when it's not a hassle to do so. I have to agree with the first part of the article as well, that when it is already a large upfront cost for the vacation, I'm going to be more conscious of my spending throughout the time being there. I also dislike carrying my wallet with me at theme parks for the scare of losing something so the MagicBracelets have solved many problems, and also created a data base for the consumer research in more detail for Disney. They'll be able to pull statistics and buying behaviours of consumers through the purchases made on the MagicBracelets and potentially use it as feedback for future enhancements, or promotions. 

In the long run, engagement should both benefit the consumer and the brand creating the experience. There needs to be a reason as to why the consumer would want to take part, and the result for the brand should not just be to benefit the consumer but to also use it to their advantage. A successful interaction goes both ways, giving and taking, sharing and communicating. 


“Understanding is a two-way street.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt