Weekly Recap - November 10, 2017

Strange Mode. Some Lyft users found themselves on spooky, Stranger Things-inspired rides. Five spice girls. Six guys named Herb. KFC hints at secret recipe and rewards the Twitter user who notices. Top tier customer service. Zappos ads show just how far the brand will go for its customers.

DETAILS, Please

Lyft partnered with Netflix to bring riders into the creepy world of Stranger Things. Remember the Hawkins Power and Light billboards we told you about a couple weeks ago? That wasn't the only immersive advertising Netflix developed for Stranger Things fans.

KFC painted a portrait for the man who spotted its 11 herbs and spices stunt on Twitter. The social media publicity stunt continues. Check out how the fast-food brand uses humor to connect with customers.

Zappos turned true customer stories into charming ads. Not all ballerinas want ballet shoes. The brand reenacts the absurd lengths to which it will go to satisfy its customers.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Financial insecurity is making Millennials postpone marriage. If you wanted to marry the love of your life, how much would it cost you? Probably a lot more than you'd think. Of course, everyone's dream wedding is different...

How alcohol is influencing shoppers online and off. A third of Americans admit to having shopped while under the influence, according to the Finder.com survey. Millennials are the biggest offenders, followed by just about every other generation.

THE Topic of conversation

Authenticity. Discover which brands are getting real and how to market authenticity across genders, generations and ethnic groups. Download our free whitepaper "3 Rules to Creating an Authentic Brand."

SHARING is CARING

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Weekly Recap - November 3, 2017

Women are still underrepresented in STEM careers. This powerful campaign hopes to help change that. There's a note for that. Apple stylizes the music note to represent different genres and artists. Unlocking cities. Uber says ridesharing is crucial for reaching cities' full potential. Never Stronger. Nike references Houston's devastating hurricane in World Series ad.

DETAILS, Please

This historical PSA encourages girls to defy stereotypes and pursue the sciences. Check out the stories of these female pioneers in the STEM fields. The 30-second videos were created to raise students' interest in careers in chemistry.

Apple Music builds a new visual identity around its musical note. Marketers won't want to miss this advertising eye candy. While promoting a brand redesign, the campaign pays tribute to artists like Sia, Dr. Dre and Drake.

Uber thinks inside the box. Uber uses a visual metaphor to humanize traffic problems. Cities around the world can relate to this powerful imagery.

Nike salutes the World Series champs. Houston Strong. A simple tribute for the Astros' first World Series win.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

5 tips teens can teach your brand about social media success. Teens are the true CEOs of social media. They decide the rules, they set the trends and they have the power to turn Average Joes into stars…

Marketing Statement - Fourth quarter 2017. Blissfully ignorant. That's one way to describe the financial state of Millennials as they head down the aisle today. Many know little or nothing about their partner's spending habits...

Healthcare Checkup - October 2017. HCIC was a definite highlight this month with the newest digital and Internet developments – see our take. Plus, lots of other happenings and trends for you from DNA kits to virtual reality marketing to the opioid addiction public health…

Before the big day, fiancées aren't talking finances. Picture this. You're standing at an alter in front of your family and friends. You're vowing to love someone in sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer...

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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Top 11 takeaways from the 2017 Healthcare Internet Conference

Top 11 takeaways from the 2017 Healthcare Internet Conference

Austin was the place and healthcare digital transformation was the case. Presenters enlightened us with case studies across web, CRM, digital marketing, SEO, and content marketing, including some juicy "nuts & bolts" tips.If you weren't able to take yourself away for the 21st Annual HCIC, here's our take on the top 11 takeaways:

  1. Redesign your website with a "Patient-First" mentality. This includes headings, page titles, and all content. Jerry Griffin, Penn State Health Director of Web & Digital Services, explained their web redesign involving a 66 percent reduction of 200 links on the home page, elimination of content redundancy and consolidation of content around 70 key condition hubs. I liked Jerry's "garden hose" analogy – it provides one powerful source until you put your fingers over the water stream, thus fragmenting the flow. I also liked his comparison to buying a house. "You go in with parameters to buy a house that will have good resale, good schools, and that you can grow old in. But you end up with the house you fall in love with. It's the same with hospitals. People have to have an emotional connection with the hospital and it has to feel right."
  2. "Mobile-First" web mentality is also key. We are all more comfortable testing website design in a desktop format, but it's critical to test your new website in a mobile format. If you are not conducting your studies in person, send a URL to participants so they can evaluate within an actual mobile device.
  3. Don't be afraid to use guerilla web usability studies. Penn State pulled people waiting for loved ones in the surgical suite waiting room for wireframe studies, finding they appreciated the distraction and  the $20 Starbucks gift card. Since six people can determine 85 percent of results, starting with a small sample is a good idea.
  4. The concept of "digital marketing" should be dead. So says keynote speaker, John Matson, Cleveland Clinical CMO. Why? Because it's intrinsic. Virtually everything has a digital application. With a departmental mantra of "Digital. Mobile. Measurable." and a 75 percent digital paid media budget, he only hires digital marketers who embrace analytics. And as a "digital publisher," he also puts adequate money behind creating scale. Because what's the sense of creating  so much content and not push it out for people to read?
  5. Stop random acts of content. Rather, we need to "repurpose and reimagine," espouses keynote speaker, Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert. How? Nielsen research shows  we trust each other far more than we trust companies and organizations so REAL people are the most effective messengers. We need to get off the unsustainable hamster wheel of content creation and get EGC (employee generated content). Your endocrinologist doesn't have time to blog?  Ask him a question, press start on your phone and repackage the raw content. Or just ask him to leave you a voice mail and create a podcast. With consumers visiting 38 percent fewer websites per month than 2010, your website is less important.  Hence, you must become an "Everywhere Brand," spending to promote your "greatest hits" (best content) and pulling people to your site.
  6. Live by the Golden Gate Rule with your website. Translation from Clarisa Gerlach- Purks, Web Content Administrator of Moffitt Cancer Center: Once the entire Golden Gate Bridge is done being painted, it's time to begin again. And it's exactly the same way with your website. (Unfortunately!)
  7. Don't wait for the stars to align to get patients to interact with your patient portal. In order to get those meaningful use dollars, segment the target audience from nonusers to enrolled but not using to active users, and use your CRM for variable messaging to increase usage. This wisdom spoken by Judy Winkler, strategic marketing director of OSF HealthCare, who was rewarded with positive usage results.(Another presenter mentioned the importance of putting the Patient Portal button right next to the Search button on your website, to reduce his highest Search term of "Patient Portal.")
  8. Pick a CRM partner you are in love with as you will be working together for three years. Words of advice from Laura Lea Jones, CEO of LionShare, Inc. If you ‘re having trouble getting your CRM up and running, you're not alone.  The panel of experts from Healthgrades, LionShare Inc., Evariant, Influence Health, and Tea Leaves Health concur on critical success factors: An aligned culture of Marketing, IT and Finance working together; Baby steps – getting a few campaigns going before complex programming; Budget to run campaigns; Attention to fixing your call center as a first impression response; Coaching from your CRM vendor; Decision if you will be using a self-service vs. full service model. As one stated, "CRM is a very expensive engine. You need someone to put it in your car. Once it's installed, you need to decide how you will make your race car go. Will you be driving or hiring a chauffeur and be in the passenger seat?"
  9. A brand is no longer what you tell your consumers you are. It's what they tell each other you are. Keynote speaker, Larry Bailin, CEO of Single Throw, emphasized the importance of thinking like an innovator. Who would have imagined Amazon's autonomous drone package delivery or the Seattle Amazon go grocery store with "just walk out technology" (that means no need to check out since billing happens thru your app)? How do we take this mentality to healthcare?  Using virtual reality of an MRI experience in children's hospitals to reassure kids before their procedure is one example.
  10. The Human-Computer Interaction Lab at University of Maryland knows a lot more about us than we may want them to. director and keynote speaker, Jennifer Golbeck, Ph.D., explained how algorithms and artificial intelligence are predicting things in our future – including our health, happiness and love life – with startling accuracy. For instance, identifying people who will have heart disease and obesity risk by looking at their social media circles. And don't forget the recent murder trial that used FitBit data as evidence.  Healthcare marketers need to start thinking now about ways to balance available personal data with reputational harm.
  11. Last but not least -- throwable microphone boxes! Called Catchbox, they certainly made a long day of sitting more engaging and entertaining as presenters threw the microphone box to audience members with questions.

Looking for more healthcare news, insights and best practices? Subscribe to our Healthcare Checkup.

Weekly Recap - October 27, 2017

Candy brands get creative… and creepy. Halloween lovers won’t want to miss these scary ads. Hulu joins in on the Halloween festivities. The Hulu Haunted House combines VR videos and interviews with scary movie stars. The spooky Netflix show Stranger Things also makes a return just in time for Halloween. These billboards have fans freaking out.

DETAILS, Please

The ideas behind the ‘bite size horror’ ads. Candy brands get creepy as Halloween approaches. Keep an eye out for these two-minute shorts.

Hulu celebrates ‘Huluween’ with a new activation and series. The streaming platform plans to launch holiday-themed content each season in an effort to redefine TV and drive new subscriptions.

Netflix makes ads for a fictional company in Stranger Things. Clues about season 2? Hawkins Power and Light doesn’t exist, but these billboards for the fake company feature a working 1-800 number.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Customer loyalty is a long, winding road. Ask a banker. Bank customers of all ages want financial tech and branches, too. This according to the ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2017 Banking Report (and the construction of new branches everywhere).

To manage joint finances, couples consider mobile apps. After nine years of dating, it’s safe to say I tell my fiancée everything. And while I’m sure there are comments and conversations he wishes I would hold back, I see the value in being open and honest. Especially when it comes to our finances.

THE Topic of conversation

Authenticity. Discover which brands are getting real and how to market authenticity across genders, generations and ethnic groups. Download our free whitepaper “3 Rules to Creating an Authentic Brand.”

SHARING is CARING

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Weekly Recap - August 11, 2017

Self-promotion is tough, but these artists are using Patreon to make it easier. You’ve heard of ad block, but it may soon find a permanent spot on the internet. Gulp, said marketers everywhere. That’s a story for later. Google is planting its own stories on the internet. Is it working? Apple has officially joined Instagram, and its “shot on an iPhone” campaign definitely is.

DETAILS, Please

Inside Patreon, the economic engine of internet culture. It’s the latest turn in the never-ending cycle of ways people have funded “free” art, from federal grants to corporate sponsorships to, most recently, impression-based advertising.

Google stars testing Chrome’s built-in ad blocker. Google is planning to introduce a built-in ad blocker for its Chrome browser next year.

Short stories are popping up in Google ads all over the internet. Each year, Matchbook asks for short story submissions and then circulates them online through Google’s Ad words program.

The flagship Apple brand has finally joined Instagram. Apple extends the “Shot on iPhone” campaign to the social media giant.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

6 healthcare social media insights, with tips. That’s why it’s important to keep a pulse on what’s happening now, and what’s expected to happen next.

Ad Block isn’t as scary as you think. Truth is, it’s manageable and even beneficial for marketers and consumers alike.

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram - Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper "Why your business should be marketing on Instagram."

SHARING is CARING

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Ad Block isn't as scary as you think.

Ad-Block isn't as scary as you think.

Marketers make ads. Ad blocking software blocks ads. There’s a reasonable assumption that we wouldn’t like each other.

Thankfully, there’s hope. While ad blocking is becoming more popular, the facts of the software are often overshadowed by the fear that we’re all doomed. Truth is, it’s manageable and even beneficial for marketers and consumers alike.

It’s not universally popular.

In October 2016, eMarketer posted an article saying that most Millennials have used ad blocking. But in February 2017, the site dialed its estimate back to less than half of Millennials and a quarter of all U.S. internet users. Now eMarketer says 41.1 percent of Millennials are ad blockers. The number drops to 26.9 percent for Gen X, and to 13.9 percent for Boomers. And that’s just via desktop/laptop.

Ad blocking has yet to breach the mobile space. According to eMarketer, less than eight percent of phones use it. This is great news for marketers since Americans spend more time online on their phones vs. a laptop.

Globally speaking, Americans have been slow to adopt ad blocking. According to PageFair, the U.S. ranks ninth out of 21 countries for ad blockers. It remains to be seen whether this is due to indifference or awareness.

Your ads still make break through.

Quite a few popular ad-blocking software brands, AdBlocker Plus and Fair Ad included, only focus on blocking “disruptive ads.” Many sites, as we know, depend on selling ad space for their revenue. Taking that away would be bad for the business. So Adblocker Plus came up with a set of standards that determine if an ad stays or not.

The majority of “disruptive ads” upstage the content. So, as counterintuitive as it may be for your team, try to blend in. More native advertising, less flash.

Your ads still make break through.

Figure 1 Sample of Acceptable Ads from Adblocker Plus

What’s a “disruptive” ad?

  • Blocks content
  • Loads new ads if the primary content does not change
  • Excessive or non-user-initiated hover effects
  • Animated ads
  • Autoplay-sound or video ads
  • Expanding ads
  • Oversized image ads
  • Interstitial page ads
  • Overlay an in-video ads
  • Pre-roll video ads
  • Rich media ads (e.g. Flash ads, Shockwave ads, etc.)

What’s an “acceptable” ad?

  • On the side, top or bottom of content
  • Recognizable as an ad
  • A reasonable size (no bigger than 200-400 px)
  • Without excessive colors
  • Without inappropriate imagery

So that flashy, spinning ad that dances across the screen might not be the best for consumers. But aren’t flashy, spinning ads what consumers want to engage with? Yes and no.

It can be disabled for certain sites.

As a company, you want to create rich content to up engagement. Gen X, Millennials and Gen We all view ads with humor, music, or an interesting story as positive, according to Marketing Land. Yet according to Adblocker Plus, those ads aren’t “acceptable.”

Thankfully, some people turn off ad blocking for certain sites. Out of those who don’t block ads, 20 percent had tried the software on for size in the past. Why’d they stop? A number of sites ask users to turn off ad block in order to access their site. Others are prohibited from seeing content unless ad block is disabled, and a surprising number of users do. Besides wanting to skip ads, a number of internet users fear those ads might be spam or malware. Reassuring them that your site is safe would be a big help for them.

Find the workaround.

Marketers can work around ad blocking software. By following the standards or using mobile ads, we still have the power to reach young and old audiences alike. Follow the rules and focus on substance over sparkle. Build a better user experience.

Stay in the loop with the Brogan Weekly Recap.

Weekly Recap - June 30, 2017

Do your statistics have photos? They should, if you want more views. Facebook. When it comes to ads, you could probably give yourself a boost. Or go all out and spend $100 thousand on your ads, it’s possible. Will Millennials shop more than their parents? Know how the cohort is shaking up the market.

DETAILS, Please

Visual content receives 94 percent more views than text-only marketing. Strong visual content is key to finding success in today’s communications landscape, whether it’s social media, email marketing or content creation.

7 Facebook ads tips boost your ecommerce sales. Want to increase sales? Of course you do. Facebook advertising represents an awesome opportunity to do just that.

What we learned from spending $100k on Facebook ads. When they were suddenly given $100k to spend on Facebook ads, they were positively giddy. And unbelievably nervous.

How Millennials will reshape the luxury market. By 2025, Bain projects that Millennials and Gen Z will account for 45 percent of the global personal luxury goods market.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Moms use social media to talk health coverage. Moms are to Facebook what tweens are to Instagram. It’s where she finds advice, attention and, most importantly, an audience.

7 ways you can write better blog titles. If you don’t like spending hours to think of a four-word title, you’re not alone. Creating a good title is work.

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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Weekly Recap - May 19, 2017

A cute puppy, pretty floral crown and contemplative scientist. No this isn’t a plot to a commercial. These are Instagram’s new lenses. That’s right, lenses. The visual platform took a page out of Snapchat’s book and updated Stories to include these engaging new features. Snapchat’s response? Well, they stepped up their game and added augmented reality features to their world lenses. It’s all about content performance, so says eMarketer. Take a look.

DETAILS, please

Instagram adds 'face filters' to complete its Snapchat transformation. It was bound to happen eventually. 

Snapchat releases sponsored world lenses, allowing brands to augment reality. In its ongoing quest to stay ahead of Facebook, Snap is bringing ads to the real world. 

Measuring content performance is a top priority for nearly two-thirds of marketers. Content performance tools measure the impact and effectiveness of content by monitoring engagement, consumption and audience growth.

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

From insights to innovation: Applying creativity to connect the dots. Here are five insights learned at Iconosphere 2017.

Money Diaries is the Millennial woman's Bridget Jones. I wonder what’s in her wallet?

5 things Millennials want from healthcare. America’s largest cohort is no longer a bunch of texting teens.

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper "Why your business should be marketing on Instagram."

SHARING is CARING

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Weekly Recap - May 12, 2017

Click, scroll, banner image, navigation. Is your website user-friendly? Not only is content key but ease of use it too. According to DMN, content is also about user’s experience on your site. Because let’s face it, if consumers are coming from social or interactive video, they expect good experience. Take a look.

DETAILS, please

UX is content: Content is UX. Calls to action, visuals, navigation buttons. Are these website items pure "content"? Or are they part of a website's user experience (UX)?

Is interactive video the next big thing? 3 creative examples from brands. It's hardly a revelation to say that online video content is phenomenally popular. Millions of words have been written on the subject, and millions more will no doubt follow.

3 ways to make your branded content bingeable. We have become a nation of bingers. Some 70 percent of us binge-watch TV and consume an average of five episodes per session.

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

Nostalgia marketing is winning with Millennials: How your brand can benefit. Although they’re often viewed as a tech-savvy and forward-thinking generation, Millennials love an excuse to throw it back to the good ol’ days.

6 ways brands are empowering women in 2017. In the first quarter of 2017, brands came together on a very similar mission.

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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Healthcare Checkup - May 2017

Are you putting your patients first? North Memorial’s recent campaign puts patients’ concerns and experiences at top of mind. Perhaps virtual reality is more your speed? Or are you preparing to respond to your direct competitors? Here’s everything you need to know.

VITAMIN B&P.

This healthcare system treats patients as valued customers. North Memorial is making sure patients are seen and heard.

MARKETING SUPPLEMENTS.

How marketers and users can benefit from virtual reality. Virtual Reality (VR) is becoming one of the largest opportunities using sight and sound to create real experiences without actually being present.

When it's smart to take jabs at the competition. A little competition can be a good thing. Especially when brands engage directly with competitors.

INDUSTRY PULSE.

Is your online presence up to snuff? As more digitally savvy Millennials become patients, they expect ease of use and interactivity when it comes to websites. See here.

Boost your online reputation. In the 21st century, you’re nobody unless you’re somebody online.

Serving the Millennial patient. As the millennial generation enters the workforce and becomes increasingly responsible for buying and accessing healthcare, organizations are gearing up for a new “regime.”

MONTHLY DOSE.

Does your hospital marketing budget have you down? Download our free guide, "How to market your hospital on a tight budget," to learn budget efficient marketing strategies.

Weekly Recap - April 28, 2017

Good news for small businesses: 80 percent of consumers surveyed said they have used a search engine to find a local service or product, according to eMarketer. What does that mean exactly? Is it important? Consider seven questions when evaluating the quality of data, so says AdWeek. Notice any good interactive ads lately? Caught you streaming.

DETAILS, please

Most internet users prefer search engines to find local products. If you are an internet user, data shows you are likely to use a search engine to find a local business.

7 questions marketers should consider when weighing the quality of their data. Sets of numbers can be misunderstood if they lack integrity.

Why interactive ads are becoming the norm for streaming platforms. It’s all in the delivery.

The character count guide for blog posts, videos, tweets and more. When it comes to writing text for your blog and social media posts, many marketers wonder, "But what's the character limit?"

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

5 fast facts about Millennials' financial habits. With a median household income of $40,581, Millennials earn 20 percent less than their boomer parents did at the same age.

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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Burger King, McDonald's and Google: A lesson in multimedia marketing.

By now, our Google Alexa has gone crazy over “what is the Whopper burger” and yes, we’ve Googled that other “place where the coke tastes SO good.”

Why? Because TV and video alone cannot successfully reach a target audience. Today, consumers are even more connected than they’d like to admit. Especially, when watching TV. According to Facebook, 68 percent of people access their mobile device while they watch TV, while 75 percent access a second screen. We’re connected. We’re on multiple screens, devices and personal assistants.

With that said, brands are acknowledging this and including them within their marketing. To advertise their Whopper burger, Burger King debuted a :15 second video ad that triggered Google Homes to answer the question, engaging the viewer and their device at the same time.

Google quickly disabled the ad from engaging with the Google Homes. This didn’t stop Burger King. During late night TV, a second ad aired and hacked the voice activated device again.

And they’re not the only ones engaging (or encouraging engagement with) Google. McDonald’s decided to involve Google in their latest brand video, a little differently.

What do you think? Did Burger King violate personal assistants? Is McDonald’s response ad clever or petty? Excuse us while we go get a Coke and mull this over.

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