Archive for the ‘Industry Insight’ Category

Best Practices For Picking The Right Hashtag For Your Campaign


October 14th, 2013

Remember when # represented a number sign? Nowadays, # is synonymous with the popular hashtag. Originally on Twitter, the hashtag has now infiltrated Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Vine, and Facebook. Hashtags allow for social media users to search and track topics based on a keyword. Platforms such as Tagboard even allow for cross-channel aggregation to see who is posting what and where. Think of the hashtag as a way to listen in on what people are saying.

Hashtags have now become commonplace in almost every marketing campaign. It allows for brands to track what their consumers are saying and an opportunity to fortify relationships. When determining what specific hashtag to associate with your campaign, keep in mind a few best practices.

First and foremost, make it relevant. A hashtag loses its effectiveness if it is too obscure and your consumers are unable to associate it back to the brand. Remember, this is an opportunity to connect with consumers on a digital platform, not to confuse them.

Do some research before making a final decision. See if the hashtag has been used previously or is associated with something you don’t want related to your brand. Try to think of the worse case scenario of how it can be used or misinterpreted because hashtag hijacking is not uncommon. McDonald’s learned the hard way and had to quickly turn to damage control. Also, don’t jump on a hashtag that is trending without looking into context. You don’t want to attach yourself to a national tragedy without realizing what you were doing.

Character count is everything on Twitter. Have your hashtag be memorable yet short. If you make it too long, consumers may forget it or simply not want to bother using it.

Actively promote the hashtag to your audience—display it on signage, include it on collateral pieces, and make sure your brand team encourages consumers to use it. Let them know what it is and reinforce a call to action to post to social media channels with the hashtag. Have an on-site activation? Incentivize the call to action by offer premium items to consumers that can show that they posted a tweet or photo with the hashtag on their social networks.

Most importantly, don’t forget to plan for how you are going to monitor is use. Determine what benchmarks for success will be set in place. Know when it is an appropriate time to enter a conversation.

Want to join in our conversation? Look for #ThinkBT.


Sam, Uncensored: How to Manage a Campaign When Not In Market


October 2nd, 2013


With multiple campaigns activating in different cities simultaneously, I often manage campaign and market launches while not physically present to oversee them in action (if you have an in on some crazy technology like teleporting though, hit me up). That being said, I have learned a thing or two over on how to effectively execute campaigns when thousands of miles away.

The first key to success is to develop a carefully crafted production and event plan that is shared with everyone involved with the account. Knowing who is doing what and when they are doing it is vital to keeping on track. Timelines will become your best friend.

Along with planning comes surrounding yourself with people you trust. Your campaign management team has to include responsible account managers, tour managers, and vendors to pull this off. These are the people you rely on 100% to do whatever necessary to get the job done and not half-ass the results. If you don’t trust someone to complete a task on time, the wheels of the bus will fall off.

As you are planning your campaign, don’t forget to account for the “what ifs.” Contingency plans not only save you time and some grey hairs, but also set your campaign up for success. Consider everything and anything that may be a variable (technology, weather, location availability, staffing, and so on) and account for all options available to iron out any hiccups. Also, make sure your tour manager knows who to call right away if a problem happens to come up, as well as who to call next if your account manager doesn’t answer the call in time.

Finally, communication is the glue to holding everything together. I cannot stress enough the importance of open communication between you and your team, even if it’s simple updates like staffing confirmation or tour manager whereabouts. You want to develop a trusting relationship with the team and have them not be afraid to alert you the moment something may come up.

Managing a campaign when not in market may seem like a daunting task. Planning ahead, having a rock star team, and constantly communicating with all parties involved will result in a successful campaign. If you are panicking about managing your own out-of-town campaign, first off, breathe, then feel free to hit me up and let’s chat.





Three Ways To Break Through the Holiday Media Clutter


September 20th, 2013


While September may seem too early to think about the winter holidays, those pumpkins will turn into sugarplums in a blink of the eye. Brands are starting to rev up their holiday advertising campaigns and consumers are prepared to put on the blinders as the hurricane of media messages is hurled at them. How can your brand overcome this media clutter?

Have consumers experience your product or service directly.

It is as simple as having consumer touch, hold, feel, play with your brand in a non-threatening environment. This could be a sample, product demonstration, or interactive event; it is dependent on what your brand’s goals are and what is the best fit to reach your campaign objectives.

Utilize non-traditional mediums to reach consumers.

LED billboards, building projections, and wild postings can target high-traffic areas that are not readily accessible by traditional advertising, allowing for marketing messaging to reach consumers and capture their attention in unique ways. These campaigns can also be interactive, creating an event space around the activation.

Do something different.

Everyone has a Candy Cane Lanes decked out with tinsel. This is the time to be noticed and stand out in the crowd. Consumers will notice if your brand takes a risk and does something different. Aim to appeal to the convenience of the consumer because no one wants to stand around in yet another holiday line.

Experiential marketing campaigns can be highly effective in capturing the attention of consumers during the hectic holiday season. Don’t limit yourself to traditional advertising to spread the holiday cheer.



Sam, Uncensored: When a loss is a win (No really, a win)


May 9th, 2013

Brilliance takes control and you produce the most beautiful, creative idea. You pitch this mind-blowing idea to your client, confident that you knocked this one out of the park. The response? Thanks, but no thanks.

You don’t win the account every time, but you do win every time you learn something new.

A loss is a win when you learn about a teammate’s hidden talent.

During crunch time, your team rallies together and the “get it done” mentality forces teammates to step outside their traditional roles, revealing this hidden gem of a talent. Play this newly discovered skill to its strength and look for ways to include the talent regularly.

A loss is a win when an idea is that good, it becomes transcendental.

When you hear “no,” don’t scrap your ingenious idea completely. Make an idea so amazing that it can be applied to another proposal.

A loss is a win when a technology solution becomes a long-term tool.

Discovering a cool new technology that you can use in multiple campaigns is a huge achievement. You could have found something that didn’t quite fit for what you were doing right then, but keep this tool in your back pocket for future campaigns.

A loss is a win when you create a winning relationship.

The client chooses to take a different direction based of the right merits and that’s okay. Set yourself up for long-term success by becoming the right partner, a creative confidant if you will. Fight hard and prove that you can provide the solution they need.

You don’t always win the client, but if you lose smarter, you will win more often.



Sam, Uncensored: When Cool Technology is Not Effective


April 23rd, 2013

Many brands want to be a part of the “cool kids” group, flaunting the latest technologies and being the talk of the town. Incorporating a “wow” factor into your campaigns can be a homerun with consumers, but sometimes that intriguing element can also be detrimental in helping you reach your goals.

When looking to incorporate a cool factor into your campaign, the most important detail to remember is that your brand is not being overshadowed by the technology. You don’t want your audience to talk about the new, innovative technology they witnessed and fail to associate that campaign with your brand. Hyundai used 3D projections to incorporate a new and emerging technology into their campaign; however, that could have been any brand of car on the wall and it would have still had the same overall effect – the audience was so dazzled by the projection that they overlooked the brand and the message was lost.

When a technology is too complex or confusing, consumers may be put off. Aim to educate your audience on how that technology, or its implications, can be integrated in their lives.

For example, Vine has become a trending new technology that is being utilized in creative ways. People and brands have adapted to using the application as a form of expression, empowering them with a voice.

Often times, simplicity is underrated. BMW executed a brilliant campaign in which a wall display transformed passing cars into its future model. While the specific technology to make it happen may not be everyday knowledge, the results it produces isn’t complicated to understand—viewers are given a glimpse of the future of streets populated with BMW’s concept cars.

Want to chat about how to be cool and effective at the same time? Give me a call at 206.599.9855.