Thursday, July 26th, 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments
I’ve owned my own company for 26 years. Across the first 22 years of our history, we never absorbed a loss due to nonpayment of services rendered — for any reason — more than $18,000. In fact, the cumulative total across two-decades-plus of doing business isn’t much more than that.
But the last four years? My, that’s a different matter. Since 2008, NOISE has survived bad debts totaling more than a quarter million dollars of profit — and just recently, we’ve been handed another bag of potentially uncollectible invoices in the mid-five-digit neighborhood.
Bad economy? Bad president? Bad luck?
Maybe. No. And luck has nothing to do with this. Interestingly and most disturbingly, I believe the common exception that appears to have become the norm in recent history is bad people, doing bad things and, too often, doing them deliberately — then justifying them under the self-delusion of “oh well, it’s business.”
Our most recent example of this behavior involves more than simply a client of the agency. It involves a local acquaintance and, theoretically, personal friend of mine. In fact, this personal relationship and the inherent trust we placed in it was the primary reason NOISE accepted the assignment. So when CFO Milissa Sprecher and I decided to explain the situation and this individual’s rationalization to our children, we used the following analogy:
“This man asked us to buy him groceries. He asked us to buy groceries for six months. He asked us to buy everything he finds tasty, which by the way is a bunch of food that we couldn’t ever use ourselves. He promised he would pay us. We double checked. We triple checked. We told him exactly what it would cost, and he said okay, and everybody else in his house said okay too. So we went to the store. We put it all on our credit card. We delivered it all to his home. He loved it all. He thanked us. And then, when we asked him to pay us for all that we had done, he said: oops. Guess I made a mistake. I don’t have the money to pay you for all this. I added wrong. I didn’t plan right. But I’m going to keep it all anyway for myself. And you can pay for it. Thank you. Now go away.”
Our nine-year-old daughter’s first comment? “He knew he didn’t have the money.”
Lesson to us all: In business, as in life, do the right thing people. Ethics do in fact matter. It’s pretty easy to get. The nine-year-old sees it. Why can’t the adults?
Friday, June 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Innovation is a term that’s almost a throwaway today. Every company and every leader stress the importance, value and impact of being innovative — the mantra being, either invent the next great product, or service, or experience. Or die.
At NOISE, we’re no different (although we admit the term is becoming a little threadbare). We, too, trumpet innovative thought and place it on a pedestal, challenging and demanding our very talented staff to not only think outside the box, but turn it upside down and even break it apart if needed. But sometimes, as Ogilvy Asia proves with this anti-smoking campaign in Thailand, being incredibly innovative is pretty simple stuff.
The setup? Children on hidden camera, brandishing cigarets, walk up to adults and ask them for a light. The adult responses are remarkable — for their candor with the kids, and their reactions following the payoff from the children.
It’s creative that’s innovative, powerful and effective — simply. That’s a lesson all who strive to achieve these results can learn from.
SOURCE: NOISE, FoundFolios.com
Friday, June 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments
My how times, security and acceptance have changed. According to a newly-released study by Accenture Connected Health Pulse, 90% of United States patients embrace eHealth self-serve options including access to personal health information; scheduling appointments; communicating with their physician; and scheduling and refilling prescriptions. Additionally, the vast majority of patients also want health communications — including preventative and follow-up care — delivered via digital media including online and mobile devices.
But here’s the big opportunity for healthcare marketers: nearly half of all these digital-eager patients aren’t even aware that their provider offers these services — meaning if you start talking about it when the guys down the street aren’t, you’re at a competitive advantage.
So healthcare providers, remember the new adage: not an apple a day, but an email a day.
SOURCE: NOISE, Center for Media Research
Monday, January 30th, 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Working in Digital Media requires constant creativity. However, sometimes you may find yourself staring at a blank notebook page or an empty screen, wondering what to do. How do you keep the fresh ideas flowing from day to day? The folks over at Mashable have provided some suggestions:
• Take a Break From the Web – Occasionally, you need to erase your mental chalkboard. Clear your head for a few minutes by walking away from your desk, turning off your phone or doing something completely unrelated to your work. Taking the time to clear your mind will give you some room for new material.
• Expose Yourself to New Ideas and People – Striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know will force you out of whatever mindset you’re in. Surrounding yourself with people who have expertise in different areas will open your mind to different ideas.
• Find an Easy Way In – You may think that tackling the most difficult part of a situation first is best, but sometimes the opposite is true. Focusing on a task that interests you can help you approach the situation from a different, and possibly easier, angle.
• Avoid Brainstorming in Large Groups – Talking in groups of four or more can actually limit productivity and creativity, because everyone wants to get a word in. The discussion may start to head in a direction different from where you’re trying to go. Working with one other person usually yields better results. In advertising, there’s been a long history of two-person teams, going back-and-forth with ideas. If a larger group is necessary, try working digitally – chat rooms or discussion boards may function as a more welcoming workplace.
• Revisit an “Old Favorite” – Looking back on something that inspired you in the past may bring out new ideas. Books, movies, artwork and places that were motivational before are worth taking a second (or third) look.
• Use the “Jerry Seinfeld” Trick – Seinfeld came up with a system called “Don’t Break the Chain.” With this system, mark an X on your calendar every day a creative goal is achieved, whether it’s new work or just an idea. Continue to do so each day, making sure not to “break the chain.”
• Use the “Ernest Hemingway” Trick – To avoid facing a blank sheet of paper the next morning, Hemingway used to write the first paragraph of his next scene and then sign off for the day. Using this system will give you something with which to start upon arriving to your desk.
The next time you find yourself in a creative slump, step back for a moment and follow one or more of these suggestions. You’ll find yourself feeling much better once you return.
You can read the full article here.
Thursday, January 26th, 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments
New Year’s resolutions are part of many a person’s life. A time to reminisce on the good (and bad) happenings of the past 365 days, and to look towards the future with a hopeful eye. The same should be done with your digital media strategy.
ClickZ provides four suggestions to consider when planning for the next year of digital media:
Build Out Your Editorial Calendar
Plan out all content that will go out with upcoming articles, newsletters and emails. If you can’t plan for the entire year at once, strive to do this on a monthly basis and you will save yourself some valuable time over the long run.
Review Past Results
Take a look at analytics from the past year, then summarize and highlight your findings. Look for things like:
• Audience Behaviors
• Channel Preferences
• Highs and Lows (representative of successes and failures on different channels)
• Past Political, Environmental and Industry Changes
Keeping track of these indicators will make it easy to compare results in the coming months.
Reaffirm Business and Channel Goals
Review your goals for 2012, or create them if you have yet to do so. Spread out your goals to cover the entire year – this will also aid in the creation of your editorial calendar.
Double-Check Your Tool Sets
Review your existing tools, but also keep an eye out for new and exciting possibilities. Install the newest versions of each service, and test out new platforms to see what works with your audience.
Following these four steps will put you on the right path to digital success in 2012.
SOURCE: ClickZ, NOISE
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments
[Via Social Times]
Does your company have a blog? A blog is a great way to let your customers know about anything new or fun happening with your business. Not sure a blog would work on your website? Tumblr is a great alternative.
This microblogging social network now has over 120 million users with more than 15 BILLION page views each month. Get some of those eyes on your content!
Read the full article here.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments
For as long as we’ve been able to say “Google Analytics,” one of the key metrics in measuring a web brand’s ability to engage its visitors is “time on site.” The theory was (and generally, correctly) that the longer your average time on site, the more you were engaging consumers.
Well, a new study by Summus Limited makes a pretty strong case for the fact that “time on site” may fast becoming a fact of the past. The reason? The rise of mobile devices.
According to the research, mobile users access the web and apps far differently than via laptops. Rather than settling in for a leisurely online experience, mobile users tend to visit websites or brand apps approximately 12 times a day — but generally in increments of five minutes or less.
Not only does this fact alone reduce time on site average, a slow-loading mobile website — or even a cumbersome brand app — can cause impatient or hurried visitors to bail, and bail fast. And a bad user experience is one not likely to be repeated.
What should we take away from this? First, when analyzing your analytics, measure any time on site data with mobile device usage before determining any trends. Second, make darn sure your mobile website or mobile app is as fast loading, intuitively obvious and user friendly as possible. And third, continue to follow Trnedspottings for more great insights like this, every month.
SOURCE: SmartBrief, NOISE
Saturday, October 1st, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Next time you’re gearing up for a campaign that requires a human element, NOISE creative offers up this suggestion: before you (or your agency) contact a bunch of professional modeling agencies to sift through endless head shots, comps and portfolios — stop and, instead, look around. You’ll find some outstanding talent among your employees and your consumers.
Amazing? Yes. True? Yes. Easy? Well, there’s the rub.
While the thought of working with real people scares many a hearty marketer’s heart — or sounds exceedingly boring to those of you who can’t imagine an interesting face around your place — the fact is that fascinating, compelling, engaging and attractive people types are literally all around you. You simply (alright, not so simply) need to know what to look for when you look into someone’s eyes, and that’s where your agency and their talents should come in.
We were reminded of this lesson recently at a two-day, run and gun photo shoot for a NOISE client. By the end of our assignment, we had compiled a portfolio of quality, variety and style any talent agency would drool over. Plus, our client didn’t have to pay a dime in talent fees.
Lesson: don’t be afraid of turning to real people for a campaign that requires real people. More often than many marketers assume, they’re perfect for the part.
Friday, September 30th, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Maybe it’s just us, but it seems the relationship between social media and return on investment is a particularly hot topic. Here at NOISE, we can’t seem to make it through the day (or through a conference) without an e-mail, a blog or a seminar proclaiming that it owns the definitive bottom line on how to arrive at SM’s bottom line.
News alert: there is no one way or best way to measure social media ROI. The way we see it and practice it for NOISE Social’s many clients, which is the way you should see it and practice is, is that you measure social media’s return simply against what you’re asking it to do. And as you know, social media is no one-trick pony.
So, drum roll please, as NOISE reveals the top ten ways we apply (and measure) social media return on investment:
1. Brand Ambassadorship Development: Defined by the numbers of legitimate, involved social community followers you attract.
2. Consumer Engagement: Defined by the involvement and participation of your community’s followers in your brand via interactions.
3. Brand Passion: Defined by how often and how passionately your followers recommend your brand, and share it with or refer it to others.
4. Databuilding: Defined by hard counts of actual e-data consumers your social media efforts add to your overall marketing machine.
5. Market Research: You can use social media to learn a lot about a lot of things, both consumer-based and marketing-specific; if so, what’s the level of involvement and quality of data?
6. E-commerce: Are you transacting sales within your social media platforms? If so, measure your inquiries, conversion rates, transactions and profits.
7. Secondary Sales: Social media can generate sales by driving consumers to secondary transaction points (like a reservations page, or a shopping cart). Measure your efforts vis-a-vis referrals to your sites, as well as transactions.
8. Public Relations: Done effectively and creatively, social media can create a whole bunch of ancillary buzz via public relations. Are your social media efforts being acquired and publicized by other media outlets, creating value-added buzz for you?
9. Web Traffic: Social media should generally have an end-goal, and for most brands, that end-goal should be to drive consumers to your web brand to further engage, interact and transact with you. Look at your analytics.
10. Dollar Signs. In the end, social media can specifically and emphatically deliver sales. Don’t believe us? Try creating a social-media-only sales offer, package or campaign.
Bottom line? There is no one, best way to measure social media. But social media’s bottom line can clearly be measured by how you apply strategies and tactics — and if done correctly, its impact on your branding, marketing and sales efforts can be powerful and positive.
Saturday, July 30th, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments
What does your brand sound like? Does it rock? Is it a little jazzy? Is it classic, or sophisticated, or chilled out? If your brand’s consumer experience happens to include a little attitude or style, then you’re in luck because now — your brand can, in fact, have its very own sound.
The new place to find it is online at Turntable, which purports to be a new online social community where like-eared friends can gather to listen to, vote on and chat up music that’s available for play free from Turntable.fm’s extensive and impressive online library, or via personal library upload. And while Turntable currently remains in beta testing and is accessible only by invitation, more than 400,000 members (according to AppData) have already hopped on the dance floor.
What’s most interesting to us at NOISE is AdAge Digital’s report that a number of brands have already staked their claims and names to their very own, free music lounges — including Pepsi, Groupon, Gawker, New York Times Digital and Bravo. And in full disclosure, so has NOISE — with our own NOISE Blues lounge, as well as branded lounges for most of our clients.
Where will it all go? We’re not quite sure and odds are, Turntable isn’t either. But one thing is for sure — brands are beginning to mark their territory. So if you’re a brand with a personality and a passionate following, you might want to tune in, so to speak, build your playlist and give your brand loyalists (and their ears) another reason to enjoy their relationship with you.
SOURCE: AdAge Digital, AppData, NOISE
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Smart marketers invest in social media — specifically, the development of communities of passionate followers — for a lot of reasons intrinsic to the success of their brands. Engagement. Involvement. Reward. Satisfaction. Loyalty. Referral. And while there’s obviously great value in this type of customer relationship, putting a price tag on a social media “fan” has proven donkey-tail elusive. Until now.
According to an extensive study by the research firm Syncapse of more than 4,000 Facebook followers of 20 national brands — including Coca-Cola, Nike, Blackberry, Nokia, Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks and McDonald’s — the average “fan” is worth $136.38 to its brand. How so? Let us count the ways:
1. Brand followers will on average spend 33% to 250% more annually than non-fans.
2. Brand followers are 28% more loyal than non-fans.
3. Brand followers are 41% more likely to recommend and refer than non-fans.
NOISE has championed social media since almost day one — and embraced its potential with the development of Vwallah! Social Media and QwickClick Online Videos. And while each brand’s fan value may of course vary, knowing you can always default to research and multiply your legions by $136.38 per person should be welcome news to innovative marketing directors — as well as nay-saying bean counters.
SOURCE: NOISE, Syncapse, Gigaom
Sunday, July 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Great brands rock because they succeed at providing exceptional customer experiences and satisfaction. Great brands also rock because they succeed at convincing customers that the value provided is greater than the price charged. But what happens to that brand when it “nickels and dimes” its satisfied customers to almost laughable extremes? And what would you choose to do — abandon the brand, or accept the pocket-change-mentality surcharging?
Case in point: AirTran Airways.
You may disagree with me (and you probably will), but I love AirTran. They satisfy my business travel schedule with more non-stop flights. Their fares are low. Their online reservations process is a breeze. Their online ticketing process the same. Their fleets are new and clean. Their flight attendants are generally very positive. And heck (depending on whether you think it’s a plus or a minus), they were the first to market with in-flight internet.
But here’s the nickel and dime rub, and it’s moved beyond luggage. In my experience, there exists not one seat on any AirTran flight that doesn’t come with a surcharge. Front, rear, aisle, window, middle, exit row, within sniffing distance of the lavatories, it doesn’t matter — now that you’ve booked your flight, you get to pay again to sit down. And last I checked, sitting down is mandatory on U.S. air travel.
I applaud AirTran’s ability to get away with this and still not really irritate me. It speaks volumes for their brand’s overall positive experience, satisfaction and price-value relationship. That’s a goal every brand should strive to achieve regardless of pricing structure. But what would you choose — to reward the exceptional brand that is all about money (so to speak), or abandon ship?
SOURCE: NOISE, John Sprecher
Monday, May 17th, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments
As we’ve written here before, NOISE North hosts a garbage can in our conference room, a shiny receptacle that stands as our symbol of the value of award-winning advertising, interactive, social media, public relations or any other brand communications — without results.
So last week, when NOISE South had the great pleasure to share with a number of our outstanding clients the exciting news that four of our creative efforts this past year were judged worthy of “Regional” Addy Awards — three more than any other agency in Southwest Florida, and hot on the heels of our local 19-Addy-awards 2010 performance, which included two Best of Show Awards and a Judges Choice Award thrown in for good measure — we announced the news with a low-key memo simply entitled: “For whatever it’s worth.”
For the most part, the reactions of our clients were what you might expect. Excitement. Praise. Hearty congratulations. Then, we received a note from a client leader whom we’d describe as the “toughest sell” of this award-winning group. To paraphrase his message: “What’s it worth? I believe it translated into positive sales for us.”
We wrote the words “for whatever it’s worth” because even today, given the delicate state of the economy and the incredibly high value of every marketing dollar that you will spend, there are still many marketers who fail to understand that the better the message in, the better the reaction out — unlike the all-too-common very opposite of this that we see all too often in advertising today, which is: garbage in, garbage out.
So to our clients, congratulations on your award-winning work. We’re extremely pleased you see the value in them, in the truest business sense of the word.
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments
There’s a growing uneasiness among some marketing “experts” that the halcyon days of e-marketing are in the rear view mirror. They fear that we’re tuning out due to the daily onslaught of e-solicitations, welcome or not, that find their way into our in-boxes. They opine that we’re turning instead to more social brand interaction alternatives, particularly Facebook “like” pages, for our communications.
While we at NOISE don’t disagree with those sentiments, we’re also clearly in the camp of the majority of marketers profiled in MarketingSherpa’s 2010 “Email Marketing Benchmark Report” who — by a three-to-one margin — remain convinced that the effectiveness of e-marketing continues to increase, rather than decrease.
However, we’d add a number of asterisks to our e-marketing cheerleading, which include:
* Your Message Better Be Branded. You spend a lot of money and energy to build your brand. So empower the architects of that brand — be they agency or in-house — to build your e-marketing campaigns, too. It doesn’t cost exponentially more to have a fully-integrated, cohesively-branded e-campaign. And the results in opens and clicks will far outweigh the production cost.
* Your Message Better Be Valuable. We’re not just talking about value-driven offers here. We’re talking about value-driven content of all kinds. The point is, whatever the editorial agenda of your e-campaign, make sure it provides the kind of interest value that will compel your consumers to open it, engage with it and act on it.
* Your Message Better Be Motivating. Obvious point? Perhaps. But the most effective e-marketing is the kind that provides multiple points of interaction for the consumer — a discount here, a value-added there, an opportunity to win here, an opportunity to share there.
Done right, e-marketing remains highly effective. Done wrong, e-marketing is a waste of money. How are you doing yours?
SOURCE: NOISE, MarketingSherpa
Monday, March 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Clearly, one of Facebook’s most brilliant strategic moves in its amazingly brief (only since 2004) yet consistently brilliant corporate history was the decision less than two years ago to move its social media model into full-blown business tilt, with the introduction of the “Fan” page with its ubiquitous “Become a Fan” button and lexicon.
In that time, innovative marketers everywhere have jumped on the Fan bandwagon, grabbing and retaining thousands of passionate, vocal consumers who are engaged with their brand, hardly shy about sharing it with others, and motivated to visit their favorite websites and up the value (perceived or real) of social media marketing.
But now, along has come a radical new marketing initiative that Facebook is betting brands — or at the very least, Sally Field — will like, really like. It’s new nomenclature and a new option for consumers to “like” a brand instead of “fanning” it. According to Facebook, people are more than 200 percent more likely to click “Like” than “Become a Fan” (which effectively rested in peace on Monday, April 19, 2010).
One month into the changeover, the early returns suggest that once again, Facebook has chosen wisely. To date, more than 10 million new users have joined the FB ranks, and more than 10,000 brands have adopted the “Like” button.
If you’re an innovative social media marketer, stay ahead of the changes ahead and how you can, like, use them to your advantage.
SOURCE: NOISE, Mashable, MediaMemo
Your Mighty Mighty Trendspotters
What's your brand story? Do you even have one? NOISE's work in brand development, brand building, strategic planning, creative, production, promotion, partnerships, web, digital marketing, media and public relations has been honored by more than 500 awards in our career, for Fortune 500 clients to boutique start-ups throughout the United States.
Would you like us to make NOISE for you and amplify your success? Contact me, or call me on my dime at 800.326.5443 today.
I double dare you.
John Sprecher, Chairman and
Chief Creative Officer of NOISE.
- Early Learning Center on MARKETING: Experience and Satisfaction vs. Nickels and Dimes — What Would You Choose?
- John Sprecher on CAUSE MARKETING: $50,000 Ways NOISE is Saying Thanks.
- Jim Esmeier on CAUSE MARKETING: $50,000 Ways NOISE is Saying Thanks.
- harley davidson on MOBILE: Where the Web Is Headed.
- Samantha on LEADERSHIP: What’s On Your Chalkboard?