Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

By Matt Bivons

The app economy is booming. Actually, booming may be an understatement; it’s exploding. The mobile app ecosystem is poised to continue an exponential growth rate for the unforeseeable future. According to the App Developers Alliance “The market for mobile apps is growing, and growing fast. Innovation and strong businesses are driving that growth but we are all benefiting from it. Better apps, better services and more opportunity for businesses to thrive is good for us all.”
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Big Brother: The Marketer

By Katie Barrett

iStock 000011362238XSmall e1365168425723 Big Brother: The MarketerLate last year, Verizon filed a patent application for the creation of a new television technology that will listen to viewing audiences and allow advertisers to serve ads that react to those conversations. The patent, “Methods and Systems for Presenting an Advertisement Associated with an Ambient Action of a User”, describes that the system would utilize microphones, 3D imaging, and thermographic cameras to detect what goes on in viewers’ living rooms.

For example, if the TV were to detect a dog barking, the user may be served an ad for dog food. Or, if a couple has a conversation implying they are going out to dinner, they may see a commercial for a restaurant. The system will use words, background noises and even a viewer’s mood to determine what content is relevant.

Is George Orwell’s Big Brother becoming a reality 30 years late? Can society look past potential privacy concerns and let marketers into their intimate conversations? Is there an extension for B2B marketing?
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By Social Marketing Team

If you’re not calling upon social advocates as an extension to your wellness brand’s advocacy efforts, it’s time. Nielsen’s Global Trust Advertising Survey found 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations, above all forms of advertising. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising. These influential brand ambassadors make up just 1% of a brand’s social community; they are primarily the ones driving the conversation and the shares.

Although 1% of your social audience may not sound like a lot, they can make a big impact. This group of loyalists can drive up to 70% of traffic to any given campaign. Identifying these influencers who are driving the conversations is the first step to understanding the audience in your social community.
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By Social Marketing Team

iStock 000019365398XSmall e1356029895791 Navigating the Social Landscape – Top Trends in 2012As we head into 2013, social media continues to establish a strong presence across all industries, with the home and building being no exception. In 2012, we saw increased usage of LinkedIn, while other professionals continued to explore the likes of Facebook and Pinterest.

Additional social trends that emerged included:
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By Building Experts Team
ProductsImage e1354739752193 Decipher Your Customers’ Decisions

Photo courtesy of HTVremodels.com.

You’ve thoroughly researched your target audiences before marketing to them. We’re sure you know them as well as your family (if not better). We recognize how important it is to educate your audience about your specific industry so they can understand the key benefits of your products. But what we don’t always think about is what the most significant factors are in each audience’s consideration set.

The BuildIQ team recently learned some interesting insight into what a few key audiences are looking for when selecting products for their next project. Take a look and let us know what you think.
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By Kyle Rubeling

According to our friends at 5Loom the balance of art, science and business behind storytelling, targeting and advertising are what make the social web both a very exciting and very intimidating place for brands.

Pinterest Logo 300x75 Building an Interest in Pinterest? Social media, once a trend, has become a standard feature of a connected life. The primary effect of this has been to move personal actions that used to take place offline (connecting with friends, sharing interesting news, etc.) to the internet.

Pinterest, the fastest growing website of all time, taps into yet another of these actions: the process consumers go through as they discover, plan and research purchase decisions. The website was a recent focus on HousingZone.com. Andrew Ryan and Mark Hickman of Commonwealth Partnerships examined the platform and how it could affect builders’ marketing strategy.

While informative on many levels, the article leaves out a few imperative questions you need to ask yourself before jumping onboard the Pinspiration bandwagon.

  1. Can a Pinterest presence provide your target consumer with an experience that motivates them to consider your products and/or services?
  2. Can a Pinterest presence provide you with insights about your target consumer?
  3. Are you prepared for the legal risks associated with content?
  4. Will a Pinterest presence help improve relationships that you value with influencers, customers or intermediate audiences?

If you answer yes to all of these questions then go for it. However, like making that next big purchase or hire, you need to do your homework. Is the risk worth the reward for your brand? Although it can’t be eliminated, mitigating the risk is key. Many brands rushing into the social space do not think about the legalities. Be prepared.

As Ryan and Hickman mention, “builders should focus on creating quality content that can be easily repurposed and leveraged through a variety of channels.” I can’t agree with this statement more. We all know content is king and that is what ultimately drives activity, engagement and sharing. Pinterest is a medium to convey your brand’s unique essence and lifestyle to appeal to your core audience’s interests. But don’t just stop yourself there. Keep an open mind with all social channels.

What’s your take on Pinterest? Is it right for your brand? Are you focusing on other social platforms instead?

Have questions about your brand and Pinterest? Feel free to chime in below.

By Social Marketing Team

Ever since our post on 2012 trends in the building industry, the IMRE social marketing team has been loudly trumpeting the importance of taking brand content to the next level. Simply put, online audiences are demanding rich, visually-compelling content from brands on their social media channels. “Man on the street” videos and photos snapped on your mobile phone still have their place, but most brands will begin to see engagement decline on their social channels unless they invest in higher quality content production. It’s a matter of supply and demand: As more brands supply social content, online audiences feel comfortable raising their demands for better quality. (more…)

By Social Marketing Team

The biggest trend of this week cannot be anything other than the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. While it may be lacking the “newness” this year, there’s no shortage of technology.

We have been watching the show closely as each innovative technology was introduced this week. Here are the five products that captured our attention, products that will appeal to builders, designers and homeowners alike.

  1. Steelcase introduces media:scape mini & mobile, new tools that heighten collaboration & interaction. – Custer (@Custeronline)
  2. NetChef turns Android into a kitchen appliance – CNET News (@CnetNews)
  3. Dropcam’s Wi-Fi Video Monitoring Camera with Night Vision Provides Peace of Mind When On the Go – Screen Media Daily (@MotionStream)
  4. Belkin WeMo looks to make home automation simple, all controlled from your iPhone or iPad – iMore (@iMore)
  5. Nearly every device in your house, from your television to your refrigerator, is going to be networked and could very well be Android –powered – CNET (@CNET)

With so much news this week from the Show, what stood out for you?

QR Codes Don’t Fail, Brands Do

By Christine Pierpoint

The end of the year is generally a time to reflect on the things that got everyone buzzing and offer up a re-cap of “best of” categories. People Magazine just announced their annual Sexiest Man Alive (alas, not George Clooney), and it won’t be long before Time declares their Person of the Year. In the advertising tech world, mobile was big, but the darling of 2011 was undoubtedly the quick response (QR) Code.

That little square that vaguely resembles a black and white checkerboard became ubiquitous as marketers clamored to add it to everything from print ads to billboards, packaging and direct mail. The QR code has actually been around for years in manufacturing and distribution as a way to track inventory. It’s only been since camera phones took off that marketers recognized the potential to use the codes as a communications tool. Suddenly marketers had a new way to deliver content – for example an ad in a trade journal could link readers to OCT 11 Cover 555x650 256x300 QR Codes Don’t Fail, Brands Dobonus information.

When used appropriately, a QR code can be an effective way to enrich a brand experience or drive conversions. As a direct response device, the codes can be a convenient tool for a prospect to take action. For example, a potential buyer could scan a code to instantly download a coupon or enter a sweepstakes. In those scenarios the customer is able to realize an immediate benefit, rather than simply linking to a website. Marketers also benefit because each scan can be measured and provide marketers with data about the effectiveness of the campaign.

It didn’t take long though for critics to point out some fails in QR code use. For example, featuring QR codes in places where there is no signal, like the subway, or using them on billboards – ever try to scan a QR code at 65mph? In seeing some of these foibles, its no wonder people are skeptical. A recent study by Comscore found that only 6.2 percent of mobile phone owners have ever scanned a QR code leading some trade publications to declare QR codes a waste.

While the critics make valid points, we see this not as a failure of the QR code, but of marketers themselves. A QR code is a transmittal device, no more or less special than a phone number or a website URL. Simply having one of these devices does not make for an effective campaign, it’s the experience a consumer has once they activate that device that counts. For example, if you’re running a campaign that features a phone number, you want to make sure the person who answers the phone accurately represents the brand. The same is true for QR codes. Marketers need to have a campaign strategy that encompasses the end-to-end experience that includes the media, the QR code and the destination.

By Shawn Draper

Phil Jackson, legendary pro basketball coach and proclaimed Zen master, was a true innovator with his development of the Triangle Offense. His triangle offense is based on the strategy of leveraging a “two-man” game. Jackson used the triangle offense while coaching both the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers winning more than ten World Championships.

Today, the triangle offense is working in business, too, under a similar strategy. The business triangle has three axis points – revenue growth (A), profit growth (B), and service (C). Your business will reside along one of the three lines between these axis points:

Buildphoto Triangle Offense Is Not Only For Basketball
  • A + B – revenue growth and profit growth
  • B + C – profit growth and service
  • C + A – service and profit growth

The position along these lines represents the focus of your business and the implications. The business along the A + B line focuses on revenue and profit growth. The implication is that service will be secondary or sacrificed for revenue and profit growth.

The business that focuses on profit growth and service will not have revenue growth as its primary goal, and the business emphasizing service and revenue growth will forego profit growth as a focus.


Where does your business reside?

I know all three of these areas are important, and that we can and should pay attention to them all at once, but where your emphasis lies has specific implications.

For example, a business with the revenue and profit growth model will provide a lesser level of service due to the cost to profitability. In this approach, the business will need a strong business development capability to offset the reduced service and the potential turnover of customers. Costs low (service), revenue high, and profits high.

The example of revenue growth and service will require an investment in both business development (revenue) and service, which will reduce profits.

Finally, a business focusing on service and profit growth will not invest in new business development as a priority, but rather it will depend on organic growth and customer loyalty. The risk here is the loss of a customer and the ability to replace them.


Can a business change paths?

A business can change their focus over time. During highly competitive markets like today, a business may focus on revenue growth and service to assure they are adding to the customer base and retaining existing customers. Growth may occur through acquiring greater market share or an opportunity that others have yet to recognize. This approach will likely reduce profit growth. This requires a good business development approach and commitment to succeed, as well as, a solid service model to keep customers (and your team) happy.

Now the market improves, more customers start opening their doors to you with greater opportunity. The business can move from a revenue growth and service focus to a profit growth and service effort because the availability of new business is greater and less expensive. New business development, while still important, is less so when new customers are now more readily available. We still want to service our customers because the cost to replace them is high. Putting a greater focus on profitability assures that we are leveraging the investments we made in more demanding times, and that they are paying off now and not being wasted.

The triangle principle is simple and direct. The implementation and implications are complex. There in lies the magic or skill of Zen.

I would love to learn what you think of the triangle offense.


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