Our Blog

 

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?

  • SEO
  • SMM
  • SEM
  • Other Paid Ad Channels
  • Remarketing
  • 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 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.

 

babyCreatives are a funny bunch. They need to be cared for, appreciated and above all never fed after midnight. Occasionally, as in any other aspect of business, a creative conflict is bound to occur when working with these creatures. Now, a professional creative has been office-broken, and only has their hissy fits in private. They do this in their natural, cubicular environment far away from, and out of ear-shot of, the client. It is (or should be depending on your agency) a rare occurrence for any member of the general public to catch this act in the wild.

 

Should I be worried that my creative seems testy?
Not really. Consider this: when was the last time you showed any emotion about a topic you had very little passion about?
Lets say someone borrows your car and moved your seat? Is this annoying? YES, do you actually show visible emotion to the annoyance? Probably not. More than likely you made a mental note, addressed the issue, and moved on, never thinking about it again because it just wasn’t that important to you.
When your creative has a hissy fit, it’s likely because your project is VERY important to them! He or she may have begun to bond and care for your business logo, video or website design as they would a child or pet, and do not want any of the evils, or ugliness of the outside world to harm it. Many creatives even take pride in their work, and develop a sense of personal ownership over the projects they’re involved in. When a creative of this ilk senses that the artistic integrity of a project they’re working on is being threatened, they may become defensive, show bright facial colors, or even make barking sounds. This is entirely normal behavior, but, again, a professional creative, and one that is officebroken, will only do these things in private.

 

So a frustrated creative isn’t a negative thing? 
Not at all! Consider it a sign that your creative has developed a deep concern for the outcome of your project they they appear to be frustrated with the process. While an improperly officebroken creative is certainly not something you want to keep in a public environment such as a conference room, a creative that is prone to such behavior is that way because of their deep concern over your projects well being. If you should encounter a non-officebroken creative working on your project, this does not mean that the quality of work will suffer, however you may want to keep your distance from this unprofessional (and potentially dangerous) creative, as hissy fits do stem from a deep rooted passion and ownership for your project and can sometimes result in tossed snack foods.

 

For your enjoyment:
We caught a rare glimpse of a creative hissy fit within the hallowed halls of Generations Beyond  (far, far from client ears) and actually captured it on video. We hope you enjoy:

 

 

Please join me on December 13, 2012 at 2pm EST. I will be presenting a free webinar in partnership with LogMyCalls.com entitled What Batman Has Taught Me About Being A Marketing Superhero. I will be sharing lots of information about the importance of branding, what tools I personally have in my “marketing utility belt,” the power of keen detection skills in marketing, and tons of nerd references that you should be ashamed of yourself for getting (if you do!)

 

Its free! But you have to RSVP here: www.logmycalls.com/webinar

 

See you this Thursday! (Unless DC Comics sues me.)

Generations Beyond is very proud to announce an all-new alliance with Silicon Valley based, leader in offer science Fanplayr. We believe that adding this powerful new tool to our extensive toolbox at Generations Beyond will help us drive even more leads and traffic to our existing family of clients. Press release is below:

 

Offer Science’ Company Hits Landmark as Result of Partnerships with Ecommerce Leaders  
Palo Alto, CA (PRWEB) October 17, 2012

 

Fanplayr, the leader in Offer Science, today announced that it has signed its 1000th online retailer since launching just six months ago in March 2012.   This milestone is due to the popularity of the company’s two Offer Science products, ‘Gamified Offers’ and ‘Smart & Targeted Offers’ with the industry leaders with whom the company has partnered, such as eBay’s X.commerce, Magento, Shopify, Ifeelgoods, MailChimp, First Data, CardSpring and Constant Contact. These companies have all integrated Fanplayr into the fabric of their marketing services, offering them to their Internet retail customers who have readily adopted them.   “Online merchants are moving quickly to adopt Fanplayr’s Offer Science because it provides them with the ability to identify, profile and segment each visitor in real-time with targeted offers that increase visitor conversion, revenue and lifetime value,” said Simon Yencken, CEO of Fanplayr. “Fanplayr is democratizing consumer identity and Big Data for all ecommerce retailers so that they can build better relationships with their customers through the same advanced identification and targeting technology used by such major retailers as Amazon.com and WalMart.com that turn visitor identity into insight for real-time offer marketing.”

 

“We are really impressed by Fanplayr’s Offer Science and believe that it will transform how retailers identify, segment and target their online visitors,” said Jesse Wroblewski, Founder of Generations Beyond. “As a new Fanplayr partner, we are excited to be able to help our clients target their desired traffic segments with offers designed to drive key performance revenue objectives.”

 

 

About Fanplayr
Fanplayr (http://www.fanplayr.com) is the leader in targeted real-time ecommerce offers. By harnessing the power of Big Data, Fanplayr’s two proprietary Offer Science products, ‘Smart & Targeted Offers’ and ‘Gamified Coupons & Offers’ marketers can identify, profile and target visitors with customized offers as well as with gamified coupons. Fanplayr is venture backed with headquarters in Palo Alto, California. More information is available at http://www.fanplayr.com.

 

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Fanplayr-Milestone-Signs-1000-Merchant-Clients-3956616.php#ixzz2BHSReOhK

Greetings from Long Island in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. This month we have an abbreviated version of Video Marketer of The Month – November 2012. The award goes to Activision who tapped into a very special place in my heart by creating viral videos of parents reacting to current video game releases.
In short, yes I am incredibly biased,

yes I will be purchasing the game on release date

and yes I would watch this every week if it was a TV show!

Enjoy “Elders Reacting To Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2”