On December 13, 2012 I was invited to give a webinar for LogMyCalls. I was free to choose any marketing related topic I wanted. Being a monster geek, and representing Generations Beyond, I felt I had to add some fun and flair to it. For those of you who were unable to attend, I proudly present the meat and potatoes of that webinar in blog form.
Batman Marketing Lesson #1: Always Have A Clear And Consistent Brand!
If there’s one thing that can be said about the caped crusader, it’s that he has dedicated himself to an amazingly consistent branding effort. From his outfit and his car, to the Bat-Signal and all of the tiny details of his weaponry and tools. All of these items are clearly identifiable, and distinguishable as a product of the Batman.
Why does Batman put so much time into branding?
Batman’s goals are simple. He knows that he cannot be everywhere at once, and yet, he must create a universally identifiable, and impactful presence. When a criminal sees the Bat-Signal in the sky, he/she must be struck with a sense of fear and dread, or the Batman’s efforts will be for naught. If the Batmobile is seen nearby, or even worse a bat-a-rang comes crashing through a window, any nearby thug knows to high tale it out of there as a beating is sure to follow. No questions asked, this is universally understood throughout Gotham. Would this effect be achievable if the Batman drove different cars? Used different colors in his logo each time or even worse a different logo or font each time a branding opportunity was presented? Does anyone in Gotham quake in terror at the sight of a Mini Cooper? Unlikely.
What would clients think if you had a Bat-Signal for your company?
Most likely, you’re not looking to create fear in your existing or potential clients when they’re presented with your branding. But ask yourself this, what does your existing branding say? If your logo was projected high above the skies of Gotham what would those citizens think or feel? Is that feeling in line with your vision statement? Would your existing clientele even recognize it?
While very few of us have the luxury of utilizing something as attention grabbing as the Bat-Signal to blast our branding onto the consciousness of the general populous, we do have numerous other tools at our disposal.
Examine the tools you use most. What is your most effective branding opportunity? Is it your email blasts? An email signature? Facebook updates? TV commercials? These are all branding and awareness opportunities that range in cost from completely free to high budget expenditures. But no matter which you choose, remember to ask yourself, are you following a clear and consistent effort across these channels?
Batman Marketing Lesson #2: Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?
Another trademark tool consistently tied to Batman is his utility belt. No matter what situation he finds himself in, there’s a very good chance that Batman will be able to pull some handy “bat-tool” out of his utility belt to successfully defuse the situation (Bat-Shark-Repellant Anyone?) This is an important lesson for all of us to heed. Batman’s use of advance planning and foresight (sometimes to the point of being campy) allow him to overcome just about any situation, no matter how complex or dangerous. Now, as marketers, it’s not often that we’ll need shark repellant, however we can, and should create a strategy filled toolbox for any situation in our upcoming or ongoing marketing campaigns.
Why So Social?
The Joker’s ultimate downfall is his one track mind. Some men just want to watch the world burn, and some people just want to tweet. Over and over. For no reason. The results are one and the same, money is burned and nothing really gets accomplished. One of the things that can sink any campaign is the allegiance to what I call a “One Tool Wonder” i.e., the social media guru or the “seo specialist.” It sometimes shocks me to see such a blind alliance to social media efforts or search engine optimization campaigns that have no real thought given to the quality, or even presence traffic once its gets to (if it ever even reaches) your online storefront.
A true marketing superhero knows that one tool just isn’t going to cut it. While social media and/or search engine optimization tactics are vital and important tools on your media utility belt, it is important to know how and when to use them, or, alternately, when and why you should not use them. If to readjust that home or landing page. More traffic doesn’t always translate to more sales, and Bat-Shark-Repellant just isn’t ever going to get rid of the Penguin.
What Tools Are In Your Marketing Utility Belt?
What tools are you currently utilizing in your marketing efforts? Can they be combined with each other for a more explosive effect? Or used in succession for a powerful one-two punch?
- Other Paid Ad Channels
- Killer Design
- Killer Copy
- Market Specific Landing Pages
- Non-digital tactics
Batman Marketing Lesson #3: Treat Your Analytics Like A Crime Scene!
Imagine your analytics information as the evidence left behind at a crime scene. It’s an accounting of the thousands of people who trafficked your online storefront. With even the most basic of analytics tools, you can typically get a little peek into the heads of your past visitors. And while we may not be looking for clues left by the Riddler, there are many riddles that do have to be solved to help you to strengthen your marketing. For example, by finding, and accessing the top keywords utilized to find your site, you can begin to decipher what mindset your visitor was in just before they found your site.
Are the people searching for your site the right type of clientele you are looking for? Is your website serving up the content they are looking for in a clear and concise manner? Are you making your potential clients do more work than they’re willing to in order to utilize your products or services? There are enough riddles to drive one insane, but, as a marketing crime fighter, you must battle on.
Data overload can easily become a person’s kryptonite, which isn’t really Batman’s problem, but, I’m going to drop a little Superman here, so that even the more upbeat nerds can follow my drift. A marketing superhero learns to love this data and eats it up like Galactus (OK too far into the nerd realm) .
The average citizen is quick to accept failures such as high bounce rate or poor click through conversion rate on a pay per click campaign. This is the sort of digital marketing crime fighter who’s never going to get his own series, much less a movie, cartoon or video game. He’s going to end up as an answer on Jeopardy. That’s sad. Don’t be that kind of background “Super” hero.
When I approach a failing online campaign, I’m always searching for a “Marketing Breakdown” moment. This is the point where your conversions fail to materialize into your goals, and instead, get struck down. It is at this point that your efforts are most likely to fail, and your clients are most likely to be lost.
I define a Marketing Breakdown as follows:
A prospective customer goes through a series of minute actions from the moment he or she initially realizes they want to buy a product or service, to the time when they either develop the specific need for the product or service and are actively searching for it, or they have passively, but successfully been marketed to, such as at an end cap store display or via a television ad which acts as a purchase catalyst.
From the point of that catalyst, be it one of need, or one of a simple combination of desire and marketing, that buyer goes through a series of actions and reactions until ultimately the sale is made or lost. It is at these critical points, these actions, and reactions, where a breakdown can occur.
Think about the following moments in relation to their corresponding marketing breakdown opportunities:
- When your prospective client is typing in the search box before they know you exist.
Possible Breakdown: They are typing in words to describe your product you never even considered to be associated with your product and never find your website.
- A person clicks, or decides not to click, on your Adwords Ad
Possible Breakdown: A poorly written ad sends them away toward your competition. Or worse, an ad that is too well written, promises them the world only to have them find after they’ve visited your site that you do not offer what they are looking for. This is a loss for all involved.
- Each time a person has to click on something on your website
Possible Breakdown: They get lost, or lose interest.
- A person is presented with your call to action. Specifically your phone number.
Possible Breakdown: Let’s get specific here. Perhaps it is the middle of the night and even though it says “call now” they decide to wait. Market researchers have noticed a sizable increase in incoming call volume by simply putting the phrase CALL NOW, 24 HOURS A DAY after a telephone number. Addressing issues like this seemingly tiny detail is but one example of a way to shut down a possible breakdown and keep your prospects in the “flow” of your sales procedure.
Utilize your analytics to identify these possible breakdowns. What keywords are being used to find your website? Are they correctly identifying your products? If not, they are likely increasing your traffic but killing your bounce rate. Figure out what mindset your clients are in when they are ready to buy and adjust. Does your ad promise too much? Sure we will decrease our click through ratios by making our ads more specific, but we’ll also decrease our placement budget and increase our lead quality. Working smart is almost always better than working hard, particularly when we don’t have an unlimited budget, like the one at Wayne Enterprises.
And there it is. Chalk outlines in the street, sirens blaring. The scene is set. An ad campaign lies dying on the pavement, and the ultimate cause of death? Ignorance of analytics. So sad. It hadn’t yet begun to see its full potential, but some SEO bagman came along at just the right moment and told an uninformed site owner to just pop up some magic meta tags and *pow* success would be sure to follow. A true Gotham tragedy.
I implore you, and all of my fellow citizens of the internet to consider all of these marketing techniques when creating your online campaigns. If you’re feeling particularly productive, you can even go Lucius Fox on the job and create your own wonderful toys. There’s nothing stopping you. Sure, Batman has the power of rich and the power of crazy on his side, but you’ve got some of your own super powers, and just ONE of them is access to this blog. That’s more than enough of a start to ensure that the next ad campaign you create has a good chance of success.
Hope you enjoyed this entry, more to come soon. I’ll see you in the next one! Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Blog.