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orange Issue Eight A T T R A C T I O N





Given that Imagination has been in the branded content creation business for 20 years, and most advertising and PR agencies have only been talking about content marketing for the past 24 months, we think we have a pretty good idea of what it really takes to create successful content marketing programs. While most companies are still in the “just throw as much content as we can into our digital channels” phase, the smart marketers know that quality of content always trumps quantity of content. And to produce quality content you need two essential ingredients: a deep belief in strategy and deep journalistic talent.

deep content, deep value

A successful content marketing program must be driven by a commitment to a fully integrated strategy, supported by high-quality, creative journalism execution, and marketed through a content distribution plan that reaches and engages the target audience in a highly measurable way. At Imagination, we focus on creating “Deep Content, Deep Value” for our thought leadership clients. Constantly striving to deepen the brands’ connection with their customers by producing content that deeply informs, excites and engages them, resulting in deep value for the client, is our relentless mission.

Jim Jim Meyers President & CEO Imagination





For regulated industries creating timely content, obstacles abound. Thanks to agile strategies and ingenuity, some have avoided the trap of that infamous red tape. By Matt Alderton


Stratosphere From prankvertising to Facebook Paper, there’s a lot going on in the mad world of modern content.


40 The Rules of Attraction

The Predictor


Watch out, OkCupid—online relationships aren’t just for dating anymore. Brands must be ready for the dawn of the Relationship Era. By Ryan Johnson

Will content still be king in 2020? Marketing professionals weigh in.


Print remains a prime way to engage customers. But there’s ns of Americans are victims of identity each year. It can happen to you in the a difference between a brand of an eye. magazine that’s exceptional—and ks to biometric technologies, eyes aren’t one that’s not worth the paper it’s he windows to the soul—they printedjust on.might the key to your security.

Is Big Data more than a modern catchphrase? cans 16 or older were affected by tity theft in 2012.

The new frontier in content marketing is all about the amplification. Expect some navel-gazing. By Todd Wheatland

Thought Bubble

have experienced identity theft atTry less. memes? point in their lives—and 7.8% of ms are left with unresolved lems resulting from that theft.

* N e w accou nt: 4 .1%

Biometrics gets drastically different treatments in this tale of two Key: infographics. Gender






Percentage of U.S. consumers willing to provide their bank with biometrics to verify transactions and prevent identity theft.

Number of unique data points captured in an iris scan

20x more

data points

Only 100 can be captured with a fingerprint.

• Odds of two people having the same iris pattern:

.00000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000001% Follow us on Twitter @orangemagazine

** M


e: ver *Se ***



Why B2B marketers should ditch the buyer persona models of the past to drive content that fuels audience action. By Ardath Albee


story in just six words.

21 Persona Grata

**P ers ona l i n for ma t i o n: 3.8 %


What’s the secret sauce inside a memorable ad spot? Hint: Flashing lights and dancing logos are not must-have ingredients. By Justin Charlton-Perrin

Data Smackdown

Age Race Income Type of lossMemoirs Six-Word Out-of-pocket loss We put our team members to Types of identity theft the test, asking how they’d tell Emotional distress


20 Good Ideas

arly 1 in 7 Americans 16 or The surprising key to successful



Download the orange app and read the magazine on your iPad.

tity Theft, 2012, U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics; Cisco port, 2013; Fast Company; Cornell University


18 Content’s Next Big Wave 21%


Thought Bubble 38million

Biometrics add another layer of security to financial transactions. From ATMs equipped with fingerprint verification to mobile banking apps that authenticate identity with an iris scan, these technologies help reduce the risk of identity theft.

Scan in Progress





Deep Content, Deep Value

7 s: pe ty


28 Regulation Nation

Jim’s Letter

le tip ul







Regulation Nation

Content Marketing Institute • Net-A-Porter • Natalie Massenet, founder, Net-A-Porter • • FourTwoNine • NSFWCorp • Politico Pro • Editorialist • Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center, University of Mississippi • Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman, authors, Content Rules • Zack Aria, creator, Transform • Ashley Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project • Jocelyn K. Glei, author, Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus and Sharpen Your Creative Mind • Simon Sinek, author, Leaders Eat Last • Jill Rowley, social selling evangelist • Beth Comstock, CMO, General Electric • Douglas Karr, founder, The Marketing Technology Blog • Jay Baer, author and consultant, Convince & Convert blog • MarketingProfs • Bud Light • Virgin Atlantic • WestJet • Honda • Michael Solomon, professor of marketing and director of the Center for Consumer Research, Saint Joseph’s University • Thinkmodo • Devil’s Due • Google Glass • Facebook Paper • ZocDoc • Doctor on Demand • The 7th Chamber • Tide • Honda • Lowe’s

IMN • Cleveland Clinic • Paul Matsen, chief marketing officer, Cleveland Clinic • UnitedHealthcare • Brian McGuire, senior director of consumer marketing and communications, UnitedHealthcare • Joy Bauer • Scott Hamilton • Farmers Insurance Group • Michelle Magoffin, director of social media, Farmers Insurance Group • Sprinklr • Association for Corporate Growth • Kristin Gomez, vice president of communications and marketing, Association for Corporate Growth • David Chavern, executive vice president and COO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The Predictor

600 W. Fulton, 6th Floor, Chicago, IL 60661 312.887.1000 • PRESIDENT & FOUNDER Jim Meyers, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CONTENT Rebecca Rolfes, VICE PRESIDENT, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR John Obrecht, EDITORS Becky Maughan, Kate Rockwood, Areif Sless-Kitain, Matthew Wright, Sarah Stone Wunder EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, DESIGN Douglas Kelly, DESIGN DIRECTOR Tiffany Toft, DESIGNERS Breanne Baab, Hugo Espinoza, Jessica Huang, Amy Kaffka, Kevin LeVick, Nick O’Mara, Lindsay Ruddy, Ericka Seastrand, Sami Skelton DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION Kelley Hunsberger, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Erin Slater,, 773.704.9135 VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Mary Anne MacLean,, 631.367.1988 Email: orange magazine is a product of Imagination. © 2014 Imagination Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

James Stephan-Usypchuk, CEO of JSU Solutions • Ben S. Wallace, Web content manager, Boston Society of Architects • Steve Faber, director, Most Pixels Marketing Solutions • Kristen Ablamsky, community associate, M80 • Barbra Gago, head of marketing, Culture Amp • Matt Powell, chief information officer, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners • Andy Crestodina, strategic director, Orbit Media • Michael Davis, head of brand creative, Redbox • Anthony Long, principal/technology & marketing practice lead, Harrison Group Ventures LLC • Brian Duchek, senior user experience architect, Sears Holdings Corp. • Randy Hess, editorial director/ multichannel content strategist, Dino Publishing • Jason Allington, VP sales, Wavetable Labs • John Yaworsky, executive producer, twoplusonefilms

Hit/Miss Walmart Canada • Costco • Epicurious • Sandra Lee • Topman • H&M

Thought Bubble Joel Harrison, editor, B2B Marketing

Thought Bubble Ben Huh, founder and CEO, Cheezburger • Simply Measured

The Rules of Attraction Bob Garfield, co-author, Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results • Doug Levy, co-author, Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results • J.C. Penney • Kohl’s • Macy’s • Southwest Airlines • United Airlines • DJ Francis, vice president of content strategy, Imagination • Zappos • Catherine Kaputa, author, Breakthrough Branding • Delta Airlines • American Airlines • USAA • Jiffy Lube

columns Content’s Next Big Wave Todd Wheatland, head of strategy, King Content • Forbes • VentureBeat • Monocle • Outbrain • Taboola • Disqus • NewsCred • Triberr • Klout • American Express OPEN Forum • The Talent Project by Kelly Services

Good Ideas Justin Charlton-Perrin, creative director of digital and social content, Imagination

Persona Grata Ardath Albee, CEO, Marketing Interactions • Best Buy



Four thinkers and doers whose tweets should fill up your Twitter feed right now.

CHAIN REACTION A look at what inspires the people who inspire Starting with Jim Meyers, Imagination’s president and CEO, we asked content creators to divulge something they can’t stop thinking about. The result? A daisy chain of must-read (or must-watch) material—that could provide the spark for your next big idea. –Kelly Caldwell


What piece of content can you not stop thinking about?


Who: Jill Rowley, social selling evangelist Where: Oracle What: Making sales more meaningful How: During her time at Oracle, she mobilized the sales team on Twitter, bringing the idea of B2B “social selling” to life. Using their personal Twitter accounts, sales reps monitor conversations about Oracle and its competitors, then jump in and share content or expertise. Recent tweet: No More Prospects, Only Future Advocates! salesforlife. com/social-selling… via @MySales4Life > Treat buyers as people; not as transactions!!




Who: Beth Comstock, CMO Where: General Electric What: Delivering quality content to the right markets, sans ad-speak How: Comstock led the #6SecondScience fair, a series of microvideos of “science experiments” that GE created and shared on Vine and Twitter. GE also runs several different content hubs and an online science and technology magazine, Txchnologist. Recent tweet: New @GEAviation plant will assemble world’s 1st passenger jet engine w/ #3D printed fuel nozzles…

Who: JIM MEYERS What: Content Rules by Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman Why: Here’s a great quote from the book: “Long sales cycles and complex purchase decisions challenge B2B marketers to find the most qualified prospects and to build relationships long before the sale closes.”


Who: Douglas Karr, founder Where: The Marketing Technology Blog What: Fusing the best of content marketing and tech How: Karr uses Twitter to drive traffic to his blog, which provides tactical advice on using technology to enhance everything from social media and search strategies to video and mobile marketing. Bonus points: The site includes tons of infographics. Recent tweet: Trends in Recruiting Content Marketers…

Who: C.C. CHAPMAN What: “Transform” by Zack Arias Why: Words cannot describe how much this video affected me. The raw honesty and creativity in this is powerful because we rarely get them together. I watch it every few months to reset my brain.

Who: ZACK ARIAS What: The Middle Finger Blog by Ashley Ambirge Why: I love Ambirge’s blog on self-employment, marketing and life. She cuts straight to the heart of issues. She’s irreverent, funny, a bit cynical. But at the end of the day, you can tell she cares about people and is genuinely working hard to help.

THE HELPER @jaybaer

Who: Jay Baer, author and consultant Where: Convince & Convert blog What: Making marketing customercentric How: Baer’s feed isn’t overly promotional. He links to others’ useful articles more often than his own. His tenets include transparency, relevance, customer service and measurement—reminding brands that you exist to help, not clog inboxes and psyches. Recent tweet: The Ultimate Guide to Repurposing Content (great stuff from @buffer) #investor… –Kelly Caldwell

Who: JOCELYN K. GLEI What: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek Why: Sinek’s last book, Start With Why, truly changed my thinking about brand-building. His new book, Leaders Eat Last, offers an equally game-changing perspective on leadership.

Who: ASHLEY AMBIRGE What: Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus and Sharpen Your Creative Mind by Jocelyn K. Glei Why: My colleagues and I have been obsessed with 99U’s book, Manage Your Day-to-Day. It has dramatically impacted how we structure our days and has absolutely boosted our productivity. Basically, we just want to shout about it from the highest mountaintops.







Channels that deliver a customized stream of content to users have been in use for more than a decade, but the new, customizable experience in FACEBOOK’S PAPER is revolutionary. While providing an intimate space to discover news and friends’ stories, it eliminates clutter and content that isn’t visually optimized, and continues to blur the line between curation and creation.

2014 is the year of wearable technology, and more specifically, the SMART WATCH. It’s time to start thinking about what new forms of content can be developed for these devices that will likely be the most durable computers of our time, sit even closer to users than their smartphones, and collect a variety of GPS and user activity data 24/7. You know, the important questions, like, what content can be delivered while swimming?

We know that users love to publish content and promote a sense of self, and making their content the most beautiful it can be requires constantly innovating storytelling platforms. Both FACEBOOK AND STATIGRAM/INSTAGRAM have seen success with easily created and distributed vids.

Every major photo-editing and sharing platform, be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or iPhone’s photo gallery, now comes equipped with filters and tools to manipulate images. This year, look for more multimedia editing features—such as creating collages—to be added to the major social platforms. The result: the possible demise of independent apps like PIC STITCH. With these new tools, you can do all of your content editing and sharing in one place. Digital health was the topic du jour at CES 2014. We expect this trend to continue, as 2014 becomes the year people embrace digital health care. ZOCDOC helps you find doctors and specialty practitioners that are covered under your insurance plan and make appointments, all via your smartphone in an easy, userfriendly interface. DOCTOR ON DEMAND allows users to virtually see a doctor within minutes for a flat fee of $40, eliminating travel, waiting and urgent care costs. Expect health care providers to begin focusing on branding, quality rank and content marketing to compete in this new space.



–Jen Jensen

“They’ve done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.” –Paul Rudd, Anchorman




Is it time to get on the wearable tech bandwagon? What’s up with Facebook Paper? Here’s the scoop on the latest marketing platforms and trends.

Jen Jensen is one of the lucky few Google Glass testers. Here, she takes her new specs to the slopes and records the tool’s amazing functionalities—as well as its limitations.




SORT THE STATS You’re feeling the mobile heat. Here’s what’s red hot—and what’s just cool to know.

“OK, Glass, record a video.” Just as I hop off the chairlift and hit the mountain full speed, Glass records the sounds and sights I’m sensing, from the crunching of the snow under my skis to the gorgeous flakes falling everywhere, and even my cursing as I wipe out from hitting the moguls after an expansive patch of ice. Noticing the conditions worsening, I swipe through Glass’ navigation to the Weather tile to find the current temp and see how far it will drop by the end of the day. It only shows me that there’s a 70 percent chance of snow

We all love a good stat, but what do some of them even mean? With all the statistics floating around the Internet, deciphering and decoding the important ones can be a challenge—73 percent of the time.* The trick is separating the important stuff (actionable stats you can actually use) from the fluff (mostly useless numbers to throw around at a cocktail party). Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here, we parse out some nuggets on mobile users. *We 100% made up that particular statistic.

(more like 100 percent as I’m watching it snow…), and doesn’t give any hint as to how late in the day I can ski. Glass dings and reminds me that I have new text messages and email. After I answer, “Yes,” Glass reads me my messages. The voice is robotic, without inflection, much like Siri’s. It’s also prone to mispronouncing words. One of the messages Glass reads is from my mom with a supposedly hilarious video of my dog eating some snow. Glass says, “Tap to open link,” but after I try to call up the video, I remember that I’ll have to pull out my phone to watch it. Bummed and not ready to give up my gloves, I direct Glass to read aloud the cache of Olympics


of Facebook users,


of Pinterest users and


of Twitter users are mobile.

articles I had her curate for me while I sit and enjoy my ride on the chairlift. I hit the top of the mountain and spin around in amazement, just taking in the perfect view. With a quick, “OK, Glass, take a picture,” I snap a gorgeous landscape image of miles in front of me. I say, “OK, Glass, share with,” which brings up a menu of social media platforms compatible with Glass. I shift my glance up and down to look through the list as I decide where to put it, ultimately posting to Facebook with the hashtag #throughglass. Because I can’t browse Facebook, I wait a few seconds for Glass to fall asleep, off to the side of my vision, as I cut through the snow.

58% of American adults own a smartphone, and 42% own a tablet.

Mobile Users are Driven by “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO): 44% of cellphone owners sleep next to their mobile phone so they don’t miss a notification.

2014 IS THE YEAR OF WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY At the bottom of the mountain, after cold air whipping under my Glass has frozen my eyelashes, I walk back to the lodge and stow it in my locker. Not yet ready to go home, I pop on my ski goggles and head back out to enjoy a few more hours of uninhibited adventure. Sometimes it’s nice to experience life firsthand— digital free.


of mobile users access social media via a mobile device

55% of mobile retail shoppers ultimately make a purchase

Users pick up their smartphones upwards of 100 TIMES PER DAY

22% of the global population owns a smartphone and 6% owns a tablet

SOURCES: Adobe, Business Insider, DigitalBuzz Blog, Linkett, Marketing Land, MarketingProfs, PewResearch Internet Project, SocialMedia Examiner, Twitter



9 | orange 11

t wasn’t that long ago that organizations around the world were shuttering magazines left and right in favor of digital content. In the eyes of most, print was dying. Actually, in the eyes of most, print is still dying. But don’t count out the printed word just yet. Recently, several companies that got their start—and made their name—in the digital content space have turned to print for new content channels. One of those companies, online luxury fashion retailer Net-A-Porter, launched Porter, a glossy fashion magazine in the vein of Vogue and Elle in early February. As Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-A-Porter, told The New York Times: “It’s not for the fainthearted, but we’re a multimedia company, and in the same way that you have to have a Facebook page and an Instagram account and be on mobile and have a website, you also need to be in print.” Other publications that have made the leap from a Web page to the printed page include:


Is the launch of several new publications by companies that began online just a fad?

Back to Print

39% of the most successful B2B marketers’ budgets are allocated to content (their lesssuccessful peers allocated only 16%)

51% use infographics, up 13 percentage points from last year

55% say producing enough content is a challenge

65% tailor their content based on industry trends, but the most successful also look at decision-maker profiles, the buying cycle, company characteristics, personalized content preferences and competitors’ content.

We’ll show you what a successful content marketer is really made of.


Allrecipes: In November 2013, mega-food community transferred its online success into a print publication. In April, the magazine was expected to up its circulation nearly 30 percent, according to The Des Moines Register. FourTwoNine: A quarterly, upscale LGBT print magazine launched in September 2013; this offshoot of the dot429 website is having a gay old time. Pando Quarterly: NSFWCorp’s humorous, weekly digital news magazine expanded to a monthly print publication in 2013. Politico Pro: Popular politics and news site Politico launched an online subscription-only news service, Politico Pro, in 2011. Then, it created a print offshoot in March 2013. Editorialist: Launched in early February, this is the print arm of the luxury accessory website. “The right thing is to be in print in addition to everything else,” says Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation

79% of “best-inclass” B2Bs rate blogs as the most effective tactic, compared with 29% of their leasteffective peers

78% of most-successful businesses are creating more content than they did last year, compared with only 57% of their least-effective peers

–Kelley Hunsberger

Center at the University of Mississippi. To be successful, however, magazines may need a different strategy than predecessors, Husni says. For Net-APorter, that means engaging readers with commerce—all of the fashion in the magazine is available for purchase online. “[The audience is] women who love fashion magazines, but 60 percent of their purchases are online,” Massenet told The Wall Street Journal. This new strategy may also include higher cover prices and subscription rates. According to Husni, the average cover price of a new magazine last year was over $8. “People are still willing to pay for good, quality, unique content,” he says. “And I don’t mean with just money. I also mean with time.”

58% say they will increase their content marketing spend, up 4 percentage points from last year

69% cite lack of time as a challenge

38% produce mobile content, up 5 percentage points from last year


SOURCE: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends–North America, Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs PHOTO CREDITS:;;;;

Steal This Idea:



Pulling a fast one could generate big buzz for your brand—if the joke’s not on you.


s the fight for consumer attention turning into one big joke? If you look at some of the most successful campaigns from the past year, you just might think so. That’s because organizations around the world—from Bud Light and Virgin Atlantic to WestJet and Honda—are investing key marketing dollars into what’s been dubbed “prankvertising.” These often-elaborate hoaxes can be terrifying, heartwarming or just plain silly. In the end, however, the goal of this new advertising art form is to create a connection between brand and consumer that leaves a big impression—and hopefully goes viral. “It has never been more challenging to be in advertising,” says Michael Solomon, professor of marketing and director of the Center for Consumer Research at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “The main issue is not to craft a sophisticated, nuanced campaign strategy, but rather to just get consumers’ attention for 30 seconds,” he says. “Each of us is bombarded with many thousands of advertising messages in a typical week, but our brains only process a very small proportion of those. And advertisers have spoiled consumers over the years by upping the ante in terms of creative ways to break through the clutter. Prankvertising is the latest salvo in the war for attention.”



Thinkmodo’s wildly successful video for the film Devil’s Due is one of the most successful recent examples of prankvertising. The New York City viral marketing firm rigged a remote-controlled stroller—harboring a headbanging, vomiting and downright possessed animatronic baby—and placed it in neighborhoods around the city, scaring the crap out of unsuspecting pedestrians. The creators then posted the video on YouTube, and that’s when the magic happened. Besides hitting more than 42 million views on YouTube within one month, the prank was covered by media outlets around the world, including The Today Show, New York Post, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, L.A. Times and Rolling Stone, just to name a few. That’s a lot of press for a campaign that involved only a fraction of a typical marketing spend. The video cost between $500,000 and $1 million to create, James Percelay, cofounder of Thinkmodo, told Mashable. He estimates his videos typically produce up to $15 million worth of earned media coverage. “My feeling is that prank marketing works best when creating awareness and brand personality around a company, especially in the B2B space,” says Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs. “It might convert, but it seems to me that the primary goal is usually brand awareness.”

And if your organization doesn’t have the big bucks to spend on an elaborate hoax, smaller-scale efforts can be successful as well. Last April, MarketingProfs released a faux infomercial on SlideShare to promote its annual B2B Forum. The video touted the benefits of attending the event, promising everything from improving your credit score to a free ShamWow with purchase. The goal was to “highlight our personality and sense of fun—our ability to laugh at ourselves and those kind of ‘but wait, there’s more’ marketers that dominate late-night TV,” Handley says. The infomercial has garnered more than 36,000 views and sold four tickets to the show in the first hour after it was released. “That’s not a lot, but it’s huge for our company,” Handley says. Pranks work best when they are short, matched with the overall brand personality and respectful of the audience’s intelligence, according to Handley. But if you want to get on the prankvertising bandwagon, you may want to act fast, Solomon warns. “In the long run—or even the medium run—I don’t see this as an enduring phenomenon,” he says. “As is typical, the pioneers poisoned the well for the wannabes. These pranks are the flash mobs of 2013 and 2014. I was really amused to see a reality show where they created flash mobs and filmed people’s reactions. Once you make something that formulaic, you know it’s on the way out.” –Kelley Hunsberger


What can you do in six seconds? Sometimes I can barely type a sentence in that amount of time. Brands and consumers alike have sought to communicate through the Vine app despite the time restraint. The limitations are appealing, as more than 40 million registered users have joined Vine since its launch in January 2013. In our instant-gratification culture, Vines visually express meaningful messages and stand out amid the text-only tweets on Twitter. Five tweets a second contain a Vine link, according to the agency The 7th Chamber, and studies show that a branded Vine is four times more likely to be seen than another type of branded video. This translates to prime opportunities for brands to showcase a story, product or service. The challenge for brands, though, is to produce a Vine in a creative manner. A mere six-second look into a shoe box will not sell shoes, but a shoe journey from box to dancing feet may. Below are three examples of effective six-second storytelling.

–Mary Krulia


Tide answered many of the expensive Super Bowl TV advertisements with quips including its products, cleverly claiming its motto with the hashtag #GetsItOut.

Puppies and horses @Budweiser? Adorable, or just a giant mess for @Tide to clean up. #GetsitOut #SB48


Honda leveraged Twitter and Vine for customer service. When followers tweeted #WantNewCar with their reason for desiring a new vehicle or a complaint about their current car, Honda dealers answered them personally via Vines.

Tweet #WantNewCar


Lowe’s consistently creates Vines to share little tricks for everyday issues. The hashtag #LowesFixInSix allows users to search for its other life hacks.

So what can brands learn from Tide, Honda and Lowe’s? Here are six lessons for our favorite six-second app: Keep it simple. Don’t try to cram in too much information. One quick message is all you need (and have time for).


Think about repeat views. If you catch someone’s attention, they’ll likely watch the Vine multiple times.


Add interesting imagery. Stop-motion and animation have proven successful.


Make it shareable. Remember that Vines are shareable, so ensure that the message is appealing to the audience and add hashtags so people can find it.


Use your fans. Whether it’s a compilation of their comments or video clips, adding usergenerated content shows your fans that you listen to them, which increases your credibility.


Teach your fans. Use the opportunity to wow them with a quick how-to lesson or life hack. Blow their minds—and watch your engagement soar.


Temporary fix only: aluminum foil and AAAs when you’re out of AA batteries. #Vine #LowesFixinSix





Gather ’round as we peer into the crystal ball and catch a glimpse of the future

(or at least, what some of the brightest minds in the industry think it might be).

In 2020,







will be... ‘‘‘‘

…narrative, epic in scale and texture. The kind of concentric stories that are suited to how human minds have been captivated and enthralled since the dawn of language.


Brian Duchek, senior user experience architect, Sears Holdings Corp., Chicago

“…no longer king, but emperor. New algorithms will be written that immediately snuff out the weak content, offer suggestions on how to improve it and actually aid the user in pumping out high-quality levels of content.”

“…easier to find.” Steve Faber, director, Most Pixels Marketing Solutions, Seattle

James Stephan-Usypchuk, CEO, JSU Solutions, Montreal

“…automatically generated on demand. Friendlier. Hyper-personalized. Overwhelming. Holographic.” Andy Crestodina, strategic director, Orbit Media, Chicago

“…automatically curated (about time).” Michael Davis, head of brand creative, Redbox, Chicago

“… a replacement for most forms of ‘interruptive’ marketing.” Matt Powell, CIO, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, New York

“…largely crowdsourced and entirely interactive with embedded calls to action in nearly everything we see, hear and watch.”

“…exactly what it is today and exactly what it was yesterday. Content has never changed. Cave drawings are content. Photographs are content. Fireside stories deep in the Appalachian woods on a starry night—that’s content, too. The way humans give content to each other, the way we show our content— that’s what will be drastically different.” Ben S. Wallace, Web content manager, Boston Society of Architects, Boston

Anthony Long, principal/technology & marketing practice lead, Harrison Group Ventures LLC, Chicago

“…like Elvis: everywhere. And hopefully less of it will be dead on its throne and way past its sell-by date.” Randy Hess, editorial director/multichannel content strategist, Dino Publishing, Chicago

“…a term only used by marketers.” Kristen Ablamsky, community associate, M80, New York

“…consumed through interactive, immersive, probably virtual environments, along the lines of Google Glass or Oculus Rift.” Barbra Gago, head of marketing, Culture Amp, Palo Alto, California

“…King. Still.”


Jason Allington, VP of sales, Wavetable Labs, Chicago

John Yaworsky, executive producer, twoplusonefilms, Wilmette, Illinois




Column By Todd Wheatland

Content’s Next Big Wave: Amplification

What’s the next rising tide? Native advertising and the meaninglessness of metrics?

Todd Wheatland is the head of strategy at King Content and author of The Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare. @toddwheatland



PREDICTING CONTENT marketing’s future feels a bit like describing the universe just after the Big Bang. When everything’s expanding at an exponential rate, what, exactly, is the most compelling part of the story? Content volumes are exploding. Amplification and advocacy are growing exponentially. Curation is the new black—again. Facebook organic engagement is booming (ha, got you on that one). So, in a mass of electrons firing in many directions, what are the main themes? Many companies have worked out how to produce content—that’s no longer the main pain point for

marketers. Now, they want to figure out how to make that content work harder. And that’s why in the near future, it’s all about amplification. THE RISE AND RISE OF PAID PROMOTION For the last five years, content marketing favored the innovators, the nimble, those with nothing to lose. It was like the YouTube of old. This is the year the old guard, the large corporations, truly fights back. It’s not your daddy’s YouTube anymore, and the same corporatization trend that transformed it is rapidly working across all social platforms. Buying 2 or 3 million views—that’s right, million—is standard practice now for major brands looking to seed videos on YouTube. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can finally smell the sizzling bacon of TV advertising budgets, and nothing’s going to stop them

from pushing their native advertising platforms until they’ve won…or died trying. In addition, publishers of any scale—from Forbes to VentureBeat to Monocle— have thrown nearly all caution to the wind and embraced corporate cash for paid content placement. And the rest of the native advertising ecosystem— organizations like Outbrain, Taboola and Disqus—are growing so fast that at least one of them is rumored to be heading for an imminent $1 billion IPO. Power is returning to those with the deepest pockets; but instead of paying to promote their products, they’re paying to promote content. TECHNO-MASH Expect a lot more mashups of ideas—both from companies themselves, often using big-data sources in new ways—but also from the content ecosystem. How many organizations can take an idea from origin through the content production process, directly into their CMS, across their social channels and analyze it in the same platform? Companies

like NewsCred are on a tear, combining workflow with branded curation and CMS capabilities. Curation, in fact, will continue its renaissance, finding its way into everything from a pivoted Triberr to a rebirthed Klout. Expect a lot more niche brand-associated apps. The early phases of this were reimagined custom publishing ventures for the Web 2.0 age—think American Express OPEN Forum or The Talent Project by my former employer, Kelly Services. The next phase is extending these as highly useful singlefocus apps into ever-moretargeted audience segments, with the company brand playing a soft—but relevant— supporting role. A DEEPER SPLIT IN MARKETING We will also see an increasing gulf between marketing technologists, who realize that content consumption metrics are increasingly meaningless, and those who frankly just find the whole analytics process too hard. Everyone will be under more pressure to demonstrate real business outcomes. At the same time, there will be a lot more navelgazing about the future of branding, as more marketers struggle to tread the line between becoming a slave to lead generation and avoiding irrelevance. n





Column By Ardath Albee

Justin CharltonPerrin is the creative director of digital and social content at Imagination.



Good Ideas

The elusive fine line between bland, brand and ridiculous.

BUYER PERSONAS have been known to cause controversy. In 2004 Best Buy created only one female persona—Jill, a suburban soccer mom. The stereotype was obvious (lots of pink) and insulting to women who didn’t fit into that box. As the Internet began to shift the dynamic between businesses and customers, personas gained more traction for B2B companies. But the adaptation from consumers to business professionals remains a work in progress. What exactly is a persona? It’s defined as a composite sketch of a target market that can buy and benefit from your products or services. Note that it is not representative of a real person but is instead based on commonalities and patterns discovered about the target segment through interviews and research. The insights from this data enable organizations to become more relevant by offering information that the segment cares about, based on perspectives, needs and preferences. Where a lot of organizations get personas wrong is to treat them too superficially, as a checklist item to complete and file away, rather than to use as the foundation for content strategy. Given that the Internet has put customers in control

of how they buy, today’s personas must reach much further and get much more nuanced than those of the past. Demographics only tell part of the story and, when focused on business buyers, are limiting. For example, the age and gender of a person who holds a particular role at a company can vary. That the person may have a black lab, two kids and live in the suburbs is virtually useless for a B2B company—yet I still see this information represented in their personas. Explore below the surface of your audience’s objectives and include obstacles that prevent purchase decisions from being reached. This means answering questions from their perspective, such as: • Defining status quo: How do they currently accomplish whatever it is your products or services enable? • Identifying triggers: What would they need to learn to consider change? • Tapping motivations: What’s in it for them—or their company—to spur them to action? • Transferring knowledge: What do they need to know to persuade themselves, and others, to change? • Building confidence: What will persuade them that choosing your company is their best and smartest (lowest-risk) option?

Well-researched, relevant personas serve as the foundation of a sustainable content strategy.

I HAVE AN ANNOYING HABIT (or so I’ve been told) of verbally scrutinizing every piece of marketing/advertising/PR I encounter. It’s a trait I adopted long ago, growing up as the son of a creative director. And despite his most earnest cautions against following in his footsteps, here I am. Alas, hopefully my sons will have more sense than I did. At any rate, the other day I found myself regaling coworkers with the tale of a wonderful ad I had seen earlier that week. I went on and on about how entertaining it was. How it did a spectacular job of selling the brand’s benefits and attributes. What a wonderful narrative it wove. And, most of all, it must’ve been memorable, because I was still discussing it three days later. Only one problem. When pushed, I couldn’t remember which brand it was. When I went back to uncover that little tidbit of intel, I realized—to my shame—that it wasn’t just the brand I had wrong. I had the entire industry wrong. Unfortunately, this is not all that uncommon. I feel as though marketers have a tendency to go one of two ways: They either want what the other guy has, or they want memorable, award-winning creative for creative’s sake. The former contributes to the sea of sameness and never differentiates your particular brand. The latter, while great fun for the agency creative team, can overwhelm the brand—making the creative itself more memorable than the product it’s promoting. In short, it doesn’t matter which medium, or which shiny, bleeding-edge technological advancement, or which trendy new technique you’re using to promote your brand. If people can’t remember who you are, it’s doomed to fail. If you can take your logo off, replace it with another logo, and it still works, you’re probably not there yet. On the other hand, if you have a hilarious-looking college guy streaking nude in traffic brandishing scissors and adorned with a pot roast strapped to his back while being chased by a wild boar, and you’re promoting denture cream…well, you’ve probably gone too far. One way to overcome this is to simply outspend your competitor. If I see the spot enough times, I will eventually remember who or what it’s for. I will also quite possibly grow to loathe its very existence as well. Nobody likes to be stalked. The other way is to make sure you have an idea—before you have an execution. Imitation may be a sincere form of flattery. But it’s not an idea. Memorable for memorable’s sake is not an idea, either—just watch a Super Bowl telecast if you want proof of that. But memorable and differentiating with a point? Now that’s a fine idea. n

Persona Grata

By Justin Charlton-Perrin

• Getting to the decision: What could derail the decision to buy? Also consider your ability to reach the segment and how an engagement scenario will play out across the course of buying, given the channels that the persona uses. Let’s say a buyer is engaged by a tweet. He clicks, visits the landing page and downloads a white paper. In the white paper is a link to register for a webinar on the same subject. He invites his boss—who doesn’t use Twitter—to attend with him. If your content isn’t connected or highly relevant to your buyer personas, what are the chances that this scenario will play out? When developed with a comprehensive approach, personas will increase marketers’ ability to create relevant content and experiences that can be sustained across the entirety of the buying process. The persona will actually fuel the story that needs to be shared to facilitate change. Storytelling is where content strategy gains traction. Personas are what enable the story to be told over time in a way that drives revenue and loyalty. n

Ardath Albee is CEO of Marketing Interactions, a B2B digital marketing consultancy. She writes the Marketing Interactions blog and is the author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale.







Walmart Live Better Launched by Walmart Canada last year, this custom title has already won big awards and 1.1 million readers with a fully integrated, fourplatform publishing plan. The general interest women’s magazine features friendly, open design that accommodates a surprising amount of content, all of it showcasing products from 370 stores. A French version with unique content goes to 162,500 readers in Quebec. It’s a nicely done publication that doesn’t look like it should be free.

Costco Connection

In the world

of print magazines, the good news is that there are still print magazines to talk about. There are, in fact, new magazines all the time: 150 launches in 2013, for example. Apparently a lot of publishers and marketers did not get the memo on print being dead. Print still can do things that other media cannot. It’s beautiful, tangible and has a longer shelf life and a bigger editorial well, where articles can run longer than 200-word sound bites. Certain demographics still love print, and certain messages need the additional space and the complement of fabulous graphic design to tell a full story. A healthy number of launches are branded, custom magazines. Although print advertising rates have fallen precipitously, you can still have your own magazine for roughly the same price as a full-page color ad in a million-plus-circulation publication. The market today certainly favors high quality. You need deep pockets and strong commitment to measurable goals to succeed in print. But that, unfortunately, does not mean that only high-quality magazines survive. There are still bad publications out there, but, in even better news for magazine readers, they are harder to find.



This mess of a magazine, sent to Costco members, touts over 90 pages of cluttered chaos. Content runs the gamut from health to business to gardening to travel to film—with a product catalog thrown in the middle. Readers will find an article on rethinking the TV ratings system followed on the next page by a write-up on the ancient art of bonsai. Perhaps the editors are trying to mimic the consumer’s retail experience: The excessive amount of content crowded onto each page reflects the overwhelming scope of products in a typical Costco warehouse. The randomness of the articles, too, is reminiscent of a store where you can purchase a coffin and a bulk supply of cereal in one trip. Irony aside, Costco Connection fails to deliver meaningful content despite the opportunity to do so, with interviews from Suze Orman, Marie Osmond and cast members from Academy Award-nominated films. Ultimately, the publication has yet to find a suitable focus, leaving readers confused and utterly overwhelmed.

What Makes a Branded Print Hit? If you’re going to be free, be that much better than the same content with a price tag.




Sandra Lee


Ever ask yourself why, in an age of abundant online recipes and cooking advice, you still buy cookbooks? You can find your answer in the pages of this sumptuous publication from Condé Nast. Take a theme like entertaining, add recipes from the entire store of food titles published by the company and images that make you drool printed on extremely expensive paper, and you have something that readers will keep right next to their giant Gourmet bible. The magazine carries only cover ads, so there’s nothing to even slow you down. It’s arranged like a cookbook, with a recipe on each page—and completed meals beautifully photographed. Best of all, once you read it, you can’t wait to get into the kitchen.



Say what you want about the recipes (Anthony Bourdain called one of Sandra Lee’s semi-homemade recipes “eye searing”), a lot of people do eat processed food. A lot of people cook out of cans and boxes. A lot of people watch this woman’s show on the Food Network. That does not mean that a lot of people want a magazine that is cover-to-cover pictures of the smiling blonde who looks like she hasn’t eaten in a week. The design and editorial stance are as cloyingly sweet as drinking molasses straight out of the bottle—and I’m sure if you give her a minute, she can come up with a recipe calling for exactly that.

What Makes a Branded Print Hit? It’s not about you. It’s about the reader and what he or she really needs.






When it comes to retail fashion magazines, Topman outweighs the rest. Literally—this magazine is substantial. Its unusual dimensions (extra tall, but narrow) and thick-stock pages counteract the impulsive mail-to-trash routine. Compared with its flimsy catalog counterparts, Topman is an enticing gift from the branded content gods. The company hits the mark on balancing clothing spreads with inspired content that speaks to its music-, tech- and fashion-savvy consumers. The magazine drives engagement with fantastic storytelling, bold graphics and interviews with some of the biggest international stars. Topman clothing isn’t paraded across the pages without context like a department store lookbook. Rather, the full-page photographs are paired with behind-the-scenes designer interviews and trend watch editorials. Topman is readable from cover to cover because the content is not overly branded—it’s crafted as an indulgent, engaging lifestyle magazine.

We’ve seen evidence that H&M has its own magazine—but the company has a distribution problem. We couldn’t find it anywhere. What is readily available is its “magalog,” a slight affair that doesn’t beg to be read. Crowded pages sport entirely too many products. We get it, H&M. You have a wide array of items that fit different contrived buckets. Multiple merchandise items on pages labeled “Soft White,” “Animal Print” and “Cool Knits” do not help consumers discover unique finds. H&M misses the opportunity to showcase the magic of its brand: What consumers love about the company is that it converts the latest runway trends into affordable street-ready fashion. The magalog doesn’t provide readers any trend-related context or, really, any brand-reflective content at all. It’s likely to be thrown out (hopefully recycled) with the rest of the pack.

What Makes a Branded Print Hit? Just putting your products out there doesn’t cut it anymore. Brands that stick with a catalog format will miss out on a deeper connection with consumers. Do you want to be the brand known for cool clothes—or the brand that introduces people to cool new music, art and clothes?






In regulated industries, red tape abounds. Here’s how four content marketers sliced right through it to become cutting-edge.

Reg ulati o Nati n on

By Matt Alderton

Red is an angry, urgent hue. The color of blood, Satan, sex and sirens, it’s the universal pigment of peril, equally savage and salacious. As both literary symbolism and literal signpost—a scarlet letter or a stop sign— it screams in one emphatic breath: “Warning!”



It’s no wonder that marketers in regulated industries have a cut and run from innovation; they just cut— reputation for being skittish. Faced with reams of red tape, they achieving valuable marketing objectives in spite of can’t help but flinch at the first blush of vermilion. regulatory roadblocks. And make no mistake: Many of them do flinch—especially when it comes to content marketing, suggests a 2012 survey Cleveland Clinic: Brand Familiarity from digital marketing company IMN. Although regulatory The Cleveland Clinic is a world-renowned academic compliance is a major challenge for just 18 percent of all content medical center that’s consistently ranked among the top marketers, IMN finds, it’s a much greater handicap in the most four hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World heavily regulated industries, such as insurance, financial services Report. There’s just one problem: It’s in Cleveland. and banking, in which 50 percent, 33 percent and 29 percent of “The Cleveland Clinic draws patients from all over the content marketers, respectively, cite regulatory compliance as a world, but we’re not like Starbucks. We’re not on every major concern. In those industries, especially, scrupulous legal corner,” says CMO Paul Matsen. reviews often lead to content that is hopelessly dated or tragically Although it enjoys high brand awareness, credibility and diluted by the time it’s finally published. prestige, its location means the Cleveland Clinic struggles to That is, if it’s published at all. Because in many cases drive brand engagement. “Most people compliance isn’t just a concern; it’s a deterrent. Consider, are satisfied with their local physician and for example, the results of a 2012 survey conducted by the their local hospital; they’re not top-ofContent Marketing Institute (CMI): Health care marketers mind thinking about a national health care on average spend less than a quarter (23 percent) of their provider like the Cleveland Clinic,” Matsen total marketing budget on content marketing compared with continues. “What our research has told us is nearly a third (31 percent) of marketers overall. These findings for people to consider coming to us when suggest that marketers in regulated industries aren’t just they need us, we need to move people from adopting content marketing more reluctantly than their peers in awareness to familiarity. We have found that other sectors, but they’re doing so more slowly. meaningful content is the best way for us to do that.” Regulations designed to reduce risk, it seems, also are Producing meaningful content is easier said than done when reducing marketing innovation and agility. you must contend with the Health Insurance Portability and Yet some companies have found a way to overcome these Accountability Act (HIPAA), which establishes strict standards hurdles. Here, we profile four companies in highly regulated for the protection and confidential handling of consumers’ industries—health care, insurance and finance—that managed private health information. to create forward-thinking, and at times agile, marketing “The No. 1 concern that we have is patient privacy,” Matsen programs. Confronted with red tape, their organizations didn’t explains. “That’s a risk for any medical provider who’s producing

roviders p d n a ls a it p s o nizations, h ve a culture that really a rg o re a c h lt a A lot of he here we ha epreneurship.” s a re e h w , s u o are very cauti telligent risk-taking and entr encourages in –Paul Matsen,

nd Clinic

CMO, Clevela




content in a medical environment. We’re not allowed to communications—and evidence-based. “We have a practice medicine in this environment and give comments or physician review for all of our medical content,” Matsen feedback or diagnoses on specific cases.” says. “That’s critical.” A popular content marketing strategy—case studies— • Planning: The only way to reconcile frequency with is therefore off-limits for health care brands, which must credibility, Matsen says, is to produce content early and search for creative ways to engage patients without often. “We have an editorial calendar,” he says. “We plan betraying their trust. and build content months in advance.” The Cleveland Clinic found exactly that in April 2012, • Collaboration: And yet, HealthHub manages to be when it launched HealthHub, a digital library of custom extremely timely and relevant. When Angelina Jolie (who is not health care content that’s produced and maintained by more a Cleveland Clinic patient) announced her preventive doublethan 30 Cleveland Clinic doctors and nurses. In its first year, mastectomy in 2013, for instance, the clinic published an article the site logged 200,000 visitors. Now, it attracts 1.7 million about her decision the same day. It achieved this thanks to the visitors per month. collaborative relationship between staff writers and physicians; Matsen attributes HealthHub’s success to the following because both work on-site, they can easily connect to ingredients: research, write and review breaking news. “Because we have • Originality: While many health care brands use an employed-staff model here, our physicians are well known; syndicated content from services like Healthline, the Cleveland they work very closely with our teams,” Matsen says. Another Clinic leverages its own subject-matter experts to create important collaborative fixture, he adds, is the Cleveland original content. “The essence of the Cleveland Clinic brand Clinic’s Social Media Council, consisting of media, marketing, is our staff. Our nurses, our doctors and our leaders make us ombudsman and physician staff who arbitrate social media who we are,” Matsen says. questions and conflicts according to a HIPAA-sensitive social • Mobility: Social media and the mobile Web are critical, media policy. “For example, we’re constantly monitoring Twitter; according to Matsen, who says 70 percent of HealthHub’s if someone asks about a medical condition, we have protocols traffic comes from smartphones. To leverage this behavior, for responding to that.” the clinic posts to Facebook and Twitter at least four to As notable as the preceding factors are, perhaps the most six times per day; most posts link back to HealthHub, a important catalyst for innovation at the Cleveland Clinic is mobile version of which automatically loads when users executive buy-in. CEO Delos Cosgrove even maintains his own access it from their mobile device. “Given the amount leadership blog on LinkedIn. of time people spend with their smartphone in their “A lot of health care organizations, hospitals and providers hand, it’s the biggest marketing opportunity we have are very cautious, whereas here we have a culture that really to promote our brand right now,” says Matsen, encourages intelligent risk-taking and entrepreneurship,” concludes who plans to launch a new app for Apple and Matsen, who says the results ultimately speak for themselves. Android devices this spring. “What we’ve seen in the last several years is that over 25 percent • Credibility: All HealthHub content of our national awareness now comes from digital sources. So we is consumer-driven—focused on patient know that this is contributing to our national clinic reputation, which health and wellness, not corporate downstream contributes to volume.”

diversity of content in a variety of formats, delivered to the right UnitedHealthcare: Multimedia customers at the right time based on their immediate needs. Because it also is governed by HIPAA, UnitedHealthcare “We understand the importance of communicating to faces the same logistical challenges as the Cleveland Clinic, a wide range of people who have different preferences,” according to Brian McGuire, senior director of consumer McGuire says. “Everyone learns differently: Some people marketing and communications. prefer to read, some want to hear, some want to see, “With most companies, there can be challenges in the others want a combination. The key is making all of our review process, production lead times and, of course, the communications available in as many forms as budget,” he says. “But with proper planning possible, then delivering them in the medium that and using an effective strategy, we can develop the consumer is most comfortable with.” and produce high-quality original content that One of UnitedHealthcare’s content vehicles, consumers want to receive.” for instance, is Health Care Lane, a website That last part—“content that consumers established in 2009 to help consumers navigate want to receive”—is especially challenging for their health benefits. The site depicts a virtual village companies like UnitedHealthcare, as regulated whose residents explain health insurance topics industries aren’t usually known for their fun factor. during short, conversational video segments. The “We’re not typically a high-interest category,” McGuire site also features a variety of “storefronts,” where information says. “People don’t typically want to engage with a health and tips are presented in an engaging and easy-to-understand insurance company unless they need us—meaning they are format, McGuire says. “Health Care Lane enables people experiencing a health-related issue.” to pick and choose what health topics to learn more about Therein lies an entirely different kind of risk. “This isn’t a based on their particular interests and preferences,” he says. time to be cutesy or fluffy,” McGuire continues. “In what “As their health needs change, we anticipate that they will often is a highly emotional state of health concerns or return to learn more.” issues, we need to make sure we’re on our game, An entirely different approach is UHC TV, an online providing accurate and concise information.” network launched in 2012 that features original programming Simply put: UnitedHealthcare must handle delicate on a variety of topics, ranging from health and wellness to issues in a way that is innovative enough to engage insurance. consumers, but sensitive enough to avoid offending “Videos are served to consumers wherever they are, using them—all without breaking the rules with respect the technology they prefer,” states McGuire, who says UHC TV to health care regulations. has more than 1,300 original videos, averaging over 60,000 UnitedHealthcare achieves this delicate views per month. Programming includes Health.Inspired, balance through diversification and featuring motivational talks by speakers such as Today segmentation. Instead of casting a wide show nutritionist Joy Bauer and Olympic gold medalist Scott net that could send the wrong message Hamilton; Sidewalk Talk, which features man-on-the-street to the wrong person, getting it in trouble interviews about health insurance terms; Laugh Rx, which with patients or regulators, it produces a

ighly ure h a s i often ake s t a m h o t w d n uffy. I es, we nee ormation.” fl r o y s cute erns or issu concise inf e b o t time conc curate and a h t t ’ l n a s e i h “This nal state of ing ac d i care v o r p dHealth o s, Unite n o ti a emoti n our game, ic mmun and co o e rketing r a ’ m r e e m w f consu Guire, rian Mc




o irector

senior d




“The kind of co produce is any ntent we aim to our consumersthing that will make about insuranc smarter—not just e but about life .” –Michelle Mag offin, director of so

cial media, Fa

offers stand-up comedy designed to reduce stress for a UHC TV and Health Care Lane, it’s become healthy heart; and The Better Cook, which shows viewers easier to push the envelope and create new how to make healthy meals. and relevant content,” he says. “As long as it’s “UHC TV is our attempt at reaching consumers when being consumed, there is support to continue they are not dealing with a health issue,” McGuire explains. delivering it.” “By providing light, interesting video, we hope to move health care up the ladder from low interest to at least Farmers Insurance Group: moderate interest.” Social Butterflies Health Care Lane assists with practical decisionWhen she joined Farmers Insurance Group in October making, whereas UHC TV is “edutainment.” Having both 2013, Michelle Magoffin, the company’s director of social helps UnitedHealthcare maximize opportunity and minimize media, was worried she’d have to wrestle with corporate risk by offering something for everyone—including the lawyers—and that corporate lawyers ultimately would win. company’s lawyers. Although they must review all content, “Because we are in a regulated industry, every piece of they generally don’t interfere with it, as McGuire’s team original content that we produce has to be approved by legal has become adept at developing creative content within before it goes out,” Magoffin says. “That the confines of HIPAA regulations. actually was one of my concerns coming “It largely comes down to what we’re trying to in: I had worked in a non-regulated communicate,” he says. “General information and industry prior to this and was able to educational content is pretty easy to make happen; we basically do whatever I wanted on behalf still go through all the reviews—legal, medical, compliance, of the corporation on social media.” etc.—but as long as we’re not addressing a specific topic, To be sure, those days were gone. person or situation, we have some latitude. As a rule, we To her surprise, however, Magoffin’s don’t provide any health advice or diagnosis; it’s more about relationship with legal is a lot more like helping people understand where to go, questions to ask, dancing than wrestling. Which is to say that by working and how to connect with the people, tools and resources together in a synchronous fashion, each can maintain that can benefit them.” balance and poise in pursuit of common goals. Because it is, in fact, benefiting customers, “I was really pleased to discover when I came here that content marketing has received an endorsement from Farmers has a very unique and expedient workflow process UnitedHealthcare leadership that McGuire says will catalyze that allows us to get content out quickly,” Magoffin says. “Our further innovation. “With the successes we’ve seen with content producers and our legal team really collaborate closely.”



rmers Insuranc

e Group

Their successful collaboration starts with clear objectives: Because people buy insurance from brands they trust, notifies a dedicated legal rep that there is new content relationships are Farmers’ No. 1 priority. Content, the to review. company believes, and social content in particular, is the “The platform we use has a mobile app, so even if he’s mortar that holds those relationships together. not in the office, he’s able to get a notification immediately “We need to go where our customers are, and our when there is a piece of content for him to approve,” customers are on social media,” Magoffin says. “We are Magoffin explains. “He reviews the content on his desktop increasing our production on Facebook so that we are posting or mobile device, and with one click he can approve it or multiple times daily. Same with Twitter. And we are expanding send it back with comments if we need to change the our strategy to include LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram so that language slightly for compliance issues. It already has a we’re reaching our customers on every platform they’re on.” schedule attached to it, so once it’s approved by our legal What Farmers posts is just as important as where Farmers rep, and with one more check from my team, it can go posts. For instance, regulations forbid the company from giving out immediately.” advice about its products and services. Instead of persuading In the event of breaking news, the team can consumers, therefore, the company tries to inform them. complete the entire review process in approximately an “The kind of content we aim to produce is anything that hour. “We like to stay fairly nimble, so we do about two will make our consumers smarter—not just about insurance weeks’ worth of content at a time,” Magoffin continues. but about life,” Magoffin says. “For example, did you know “But for timely content, we’re very much in tune with that if you take a picture of your car key with your cellphone, a legal; we have ongoing communications with our legal locksmith can reproduce your key from that photo if you lose rep so we can get things out very quickly.” your keys? Things like that are relevant to our business, but The process is slightly different for Farmers’ network they also make people smarter when they come into contact of 15,000 insurance agents, many of whom have their with us.” own Facebook business pages. “The content that Still, the line between “information” and “advice” is agents produce for themselves does not go through sometimes razor-thin. That’s where legal comes in. Although any legal process, but is monitored after the fact by legal review is mandatory, Farmers has established a our compliance group,” Magoffin says. “When an process and protocol to prevent bottlenecks: When they agent produces content that is outside the regulatory create content, producers upload it to the company’s guidelines, the compliance group contacts us and social media management system, Sprinklr, which




that telling d n fi e w , y tr s u gulated ind re a is a great in e g in in z e a b g f a o m s e rm th “In te ver through o d n a r e v o ry our sto itol Hill.” p a C to lk ta to way ACG —Kristin

esident of Gomez, vice pr


ns and marke


across our messaging and tell stories contacts them, then we get it removed and talk to the that we don’t feel are being reported in agent about why they cannot post that text.” the media.” Although she worried that compliance would stifle Like most association publications, Middle creativity, Magoffin says the opposite has proven true. Market Growth is available to members. It also “I find that when you have to innovate within certain is distributed to more than 15,000 nonmembers constraints, it really pushes you to work harder and be who receive a push notification when a new issue more creative,” she concludes. “I take it as a personal is available for download through the magazine’s challenge to produce content better within guidelines mobile app. Among those nonmembers are many than I could without them.” congressional staffers, who work for lawmakers with direct influence over regulatory bodies. Association for Corporate Growth: “In terms of being in a regulated industry, we find Regulating Regulators that telling our story over and over through the magazine The Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) is is a great way to talk to Capitol Hill,” Gomez says. “A made up of more than 14,500 “middle market” lot of people don’t know about finance or about private professionals focused on investment and growth, equity, specifically. They don’t know what the middle including investment bankers, attorneys, auditors, market is and who it serves, so it’s been a really helpful accountants and lenders, all of whom are subject to educational tool.” rules from regulatory bodies like the By educating lawmakers about private equity— Securities and Exchange Commission which it says is an economic stimulant and job (SEC). And yet, regulation was a creator—ACG hopes to ultimately reduce the major motivator when it decided burden of regulations on its members. to create Middle Market Growth, a Although they don’t affect the association digital magazine that launched in directly, those regulations do have implications April 2013. for its content. For example, the companies “The private-equity industry in featured in Middle Market Growth often are general is understated—we are not unable or unwilling to disclose the terms of their privatehedge funds and we are not traders. Our members equity deals. ACG solves this challenge by telling stories invest in companies to grow them, not flip them, that aren’t about transactions, but rather their impacts. adding jobs and growth to local economies. So we “A lot of times, our writers are not allowed to report felt our organization needed to do a better job of on a deal’s specific numbers,” Gomez says. “And that’s telling its story,” explains Kristin Gomez, ACG’s vice fine, because that’s not where the story is. The story is president of communications and marketing. “The how private capital has been infused into companies that magazine is a really controlled way for us to get



really needed it, and in turn created a better product.” The stories and the digital format in which they’re published represent a major shift for ACG, whose members typically are more conservative than contemporary. The promise of increased advocacy, however, made a compelling case for innovation. “Telling a group of people, ‘Hey, we’re going to publish a magazine, but it’s not going to be printed,’ was a challenge, but we’re trying to be forward-thinking,” Gomez says. “In order to get the readership we wanted, we knew we needed to have a fresh, modern take.” Although results so far are mostly anecdotal, the approach seems to be working. “Recently we did an interview with David Chavern, who is the executive vice president and COO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. His staff loved it; they put it on the U.S. Chamber website and they’re actively sharing it with people,” Gomez says. “He’s not a politician, but he’s in that realm. For him to understand what we are doing, and share it, is really big for us.” n

Seeing Red Here’s th automo e thing about b t conditio ile races and he color red: I t o n of good s—or it can s n beaches, re can portend d d u a red var luck. It’s all a ggest opport flags warn of nger—in m un ie h or they ty, therefore, m atter of persp ity: In China, azardous e re c strict b an sharpen th arketers in reg ctive. Faced w d is the color ou e u it organiz ndaries don’ ir scissors. As lated industrie h tape of the t ations t o get a have to squas these case st s can yield, u h innov little cre ation; t dies prove, ative. hey jus t force





ARE BIG DATA B2B MEANT TO BE? What are the barriers to entry for B2Bs, and why are so few of them able to leverage their own data? Why are B2C marketers able to leverage data across platforms, and B2Bs are not?

The term “Big Data” has been a media darling for years, but what does it really mean for B2B companies? Not much, says Joel Harrison, editor of Londonbased B2B Marketing. “Big Data is a handy catchphrase but a misnomer in B2B,” Harrison says. At issue is the volume of data involved: According to The Economist, Walmart handles more than 1 million customer transactions every hour. The information is imported into databases estimated to contain more than 2.5 petabytes (2,560 terabytes) of data—the equivalent of 167 times the information contained in all the books in the U.S. Library of Congress. “These numbers are rarely if at all seen in long-sales-cycle B2B,” Harrison says. And even if they were, most B2Bs couldn’t handle that amount of data, he contends. We asked Harrison to expand on these data barriers in B2B marketing.

When thinking about how B2Bs use big data, Joel Harrison points to Gartner’s definition of Big Data: “Big Data is high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision-making.” That definition, he says, doesn’t really apply for most B2Bs. “The volumes, velocity, variety and storage systems involved in demand generation/automation are not really in the Big Data arena,” he says. “The platforms utilized for so-called demand generation activities (i.e., marketing automation platforms) are relatively easy to access and operate. Big Data is a different league.”

–Michelle O’Hagan

Historically, the biggest barrier to B2B data is that 35 percent of your database erodes every year, due to job changes and company moves. This compares massively unfavorably with consumer data—people don’t move houses very often. Hence, simply managing a database is very challenging for B2B companies. In the old days of direct marketing, this made much B2B marketing activity highly unreliable, with “spray and pray” the order of the day. Technology such as marketing automation has improved the situation, giving companies a much better ability to manage data by putting the prospect in control of the interaction, and providing visibility of their journey through the buying cycle. But the old challenges of data accuracy still exist and companies cannot afford to ignore them. When it comes to Big Data, it is naturally going to be more relevant in B2C because of the volumes of people involved, and therefore robust data available. When it comes to long-lead-time products aimed at corporates in particular, there could be only a handful of individuals that you need to communicate with, so Big Data is simply irrelevant. n






ATTRACTION A Modern Marketing Dating Guide

By Ryan Johnson


OF MARKETING. The age of focus-grouped mass advertising has given way to a new understanding between marketers and customers—an understanding that the customer has a choice, and the power, to make betterinformed decisions. The keys to a successful customer-brand relationship are communication, sharing and building trust—sort of like a real relationship. Businesses and brands must now conduct themselves according to the same rules and values that govern our personal relationships, says Bob Garfield, who, along with Doug Levy, is credited with coining the term “relationship era of marketing” in the 2013 book Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results. Your first job as a marketer in this new era is to look deeply into your inner self, Garfield says. You still need to start with a good product or service to succeed. Beyond that, however, your brand’s reputation is now in the hands of the consumer. To survive, brands must learn to build and maintain relationships with their audience. It’s like dating, and many of the same rules apply.



GET OUT THERE & MINGLE KNOW YOURSELF FIRST It’s hard to start a healthy relationship without some selfassessment. Take J.C. Penney, for example. Many of its struggles have come from the brand’s identity crisis. Is it a discount retailer like Kohl’s or more upscale like Macy’s? It has tried to be everything to everybody, and this internal disorder has led to a disconnect with customers and a painful financial hit. (The company’s share price plummeted 57 percent in 2013.) “Penney’s lived off of sales, which has made them more downscale,” Garfield says. “They should understand exactly what their history has been, exactly what they are, and cultivate the relationships they have with those demographics with which they have succeeded.” Healthy companies like Southwest Airlines have a very firm sense of self. The carrier offers low-cost, no-frills flights that arrive on time. If you’re looking for a meal or a first-class seat, look elsewhere. This sense of self has helped Southwest succeed while other airlines have struggled.

Once you are comfortable with yourself, it’s time to get some prospects. Consumers fast-forward through commercials. Magazine and newspaper subscriptions continue to shrink. The built-in audience is gone. Today, you have to find fans on their own terms. This means decentralizing marketing efforts. Some large companies still spend a full 10 percent of their annual budget on one Super Bowl commercial. However, a recent study by advertising research group Communicus found that four out of five Super Bowl ads—even those that generated noticeable media and social media buzz—did not change consumers’ buying habits. “I can give you many reasons why CMOs continue to pay more and more in TV buys for less and less,” Garfield says. “It’s always been done. It’s easy to quantify ROI, even if those numbers are substantially bogus. It’s easy for the client to see the output of your work. And it’s easy to believe that you’re still in control of your image and your reputation, which brands no longer are.” As the mass market crumbles, the winners will be those brands that meet customers on their own terms through native advertising, provide knowledge or entertainment through content marketing, and build relationships using social platforms and email.




HAVE FRIENDS SET YOU UP Many couples meet through friends because it takes away the awkwardness of blind dates or pickup lines. Plus, you assume that your friends won’t set you up with an a-hole. Marketing has followed suit. Until the late 1990s, all you typically knew about a brand was what it told you about itself. If a brand billed itself as “Chicago’s favorite pizza” or “the world’s finest coffee,” who were you to argue? The company with the loudest bullhorn—the most ads— typically got the business. Today, review sites such as Yelp have put the power in the hands of the people. Customers who have a bad experience with your brand will tell their friends on social media and then tell the world online. “You can no longer dictate your image to the consumer, which is what advertising has mainly done for the last 40 years,” Garfield says. “People are basing what they have to say about you in these social circles not on what your ads say but on the quality of your goods and services and how you comport yourself in the marketplace.” You can’t just make unsubstantiated claims anymore. You have to prove them. Winning companies are embracing the culture of transparency, posting user reviews, being up-front about fees and actively using their online reputation to guide customer service efforts.

to quit the company after undergoing training (it weeds out the uncommitted). The shoe seller decided to eliminate phone reps’ scripts and made the customer support number prominent on its website. “As reported in Breakthrough Branding by Catherine Kaputa and other books, the scriptless reps are tasked with simply delivering the ‘wow,’” Francis says. “In our transparent market, people have to find your service number, but Zappos prominently displays theirs. The message it is sending is clear: We care about you and your business. And we’re ready to talk and solve your problem. People respond to that message.” Garfield points to Southwest as another brand that makes sure each touch point for customers is pleasant, using the savings from its no-frills approach to keep fares low and employees happy. “You know what it’s like to deal with a flight attendant the last 20 years,” he says. “They’re so completely embittered— they’ve been screwed by their own companies, all of their plans for retirement have been destroyed, and they’re mad. They’re mad at their companies, mad at you, mad at their colleagues, and it’s just horrible flying Delta or American or—God help us all—United. On Southwest, nobody’s mad—ever! And it comes through in everything they do. It’s definitely no-frills, but I’d rather have pleasant people giving me no-frills than angry people giving me an assigned seat.”

COMMUNICATION IS KEY MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION In previous eras, customers lacked information and, thus, options when shopping for certain goods and services. Now information is ubiquitous and choices are limitless, so every encounter with a potential fan counts. In the relationship era, everyone who interacts with a potential customer must be on point at all times. If someone has a bad experience, he or she will not only find another option but will also tell others to stay away from your brand. One of the most famous examples is the “United Breaks Guitars” YouTube video; its 13 million-plus views continually reinforce the idea that United Airlines does not care about its customers. “It’s more than just elevating Facebook and Twitter complaints and concerns quickly,” says DJ Francis, vice president of content strategy at Imagination. “That policy is not wrong, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Companies that successfully build and foster relationships over time tend to be the companies that give employees enough room to do what’s right rather than what’s dictated to them.” Take Zappos, famous for its free shipping and $1,000 offer 44


Don’t expect people to continue to visit your site to find new content. Reach out to fans via email, social and mobile, and let them choose the types of information they want and how they want to receive it. This means talking to your fans at their level of involvement. Many organizations make the mistake of focusing on acquisition—don’t blast your established customers with content meant just for new customers or prospects. Francis cites his experience working with USAA, structuring the company’s content in user-centric ways that helped it offer content based not on product but on what customers have going on in their lives. Content arranged by customers’ needs, rather than product categories, is more relevant and builds stronger relationships, he says. “The real benefit of a content strategy is being able to reach the right person at the right time in his or her channel of choice,” Francis explains. “If you are having a baby, there are a variety of financial services implications, from updating your car insurance to starting a 529 college savings plan to needing a line of credit to fix up the nursery. Our value was providing content that was valuable to the user and structured around that user’s particular life event. The key is to help first, then educate.”




Keep in touch with customers, but don’t be annoying. Don’t abuse the trust that people have put in you. That means: • Don’t email me four times a week. That guarantees a one-way ticket to the spam folder. • Don’t use your social media channels to blast me with ads and marketing messages. Follow best practices for post frequency. “I love my brother, but I don’t want to hear from him twice a day, much less from Jiffy Lube,” Garfield says. “When I say that businesses have to follow the same rules that apply to other human interactions, I mean that literally. That includes not being in other people’s faces too much. There is a ‘just right,’ and sometimes less is more.”

DON’T TALK ABOUT YOURSELF TOO MUCH Once someone is your fan, treat them as one—not as someone who needs to be won over. Sure, you can occasionally offer deals or coupons, but you should focus first on the customer’s needs. Successful brands create content that is useful and relevant to users. If you manage a financial institution, publish an article offering tips to simplify tax season for small businesses (useful) early in the year (relevant). Some in your company may worry that you are giving away content for free when you should be charging for it. In the relationship era, however, you have to give something to get something. Content is a product, but it can’t be hidden away behind paywalls. “It’s too late to think that way,” Francis says, noting that customers now expect brands to provide free and useful content. “When we work with financial institutions, I tell them, ‘Instead of hiding your experts’ advice, what would happen if you took a piece of your reports to prove that you can actually help people?’ Build the trust and credibility, and then when customers need something to improve their lives, are they going to think about the guy who hid his content behind the firewall or will they think about you?” Think about those people in the mall food court who pass out free samples. Are they worried that you’ll go home and whip up that dish for yourself? No. What they have done is whet your appetite for their product.

DON’T RUSH IT Marketing used to be about scoring as soon as possible: making a sale or converting a lead. Some marketers have tried to carry that mentality over to social media, attempting to use the various channels as another means of blasting consumers with marketing messages. “I think a key to cultivating relationships is to avoid constantly pushing for the next transaction,” Garfield says. Brands that get it know that the key to a good relationship is to take it slow. Providing useful content establishes your brand as a trusted expert, and a good social strategy builds a bond with fans that will last. Like an interest-bearing 46




account, you are storing up goodwill with fans. They may not need your services immediately, but when they do, you’ll be top of mind. “You have common ground of various kinds, and it only makes sense for brands, now that the technology and the will are there to do so, to cultivate relationships that don’t necessarily hinge on someone going to checkout with their shopping cart,” Garfield says. “Social media and email marketing are awash in those opportunities. There should be a de-emphasis on deals and a greater emphasis on doing and experiencing things together—which will, as in all relationships, make things like sentiment and loyalty become much deeper and richer.”

KEEP IT FRESH “Always be dating” is a long-standing piece of advice for a healthy relationship. Nobody wants to feel like they are taken for granted in a relationship—and that also applies to relationships with brands. Successful marketers have a direct relationship with their users. As users consume content, they signal what they are interested in, and brands can adapt to those messages. In B2B, “often business was done not on the basis of who had the best bid, but who was more fun on the golf course,”

Garfield says. “It’s always been the rule for B2B companies to internalize the notion of maintaining relationships. I don’t mean by bribing them, but by creating, cultivating and sustaining relationships where you keep in touch.” Social media allows brands to engage with consumers on a personal level like never before. Organizations should use these channels to continually learn more about their fans and to surprise and delight with new, relevant content.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER Love is fickle. But by following these rules, you should create brand advocates. You have to maintain these relationships through honesty and transparency. Provide useful content and show your audience that they are valuable to you. “We are seeing an evolution that moves away from the ‘drink our beer and you will become good-looking and women will love you’ kinds of messages,” Francis says. “Now marketing is more purpose-driven. Instead of promising the product will change you, the product makers are realizing they need to offer something less cheap and ephemeral. Something that shows the true heart of the brand, like values and purpose. The companies that are really doing this are the ones taking off.” n




thought bubble


Ben Huh talks virality, brands doing content right and predictions on disruptive tech at

SHOULD A BRAND JUMP ON THE MEME BANDWAGON? IT DEPENDS, says Ben Huh, founder and CEO of media company Cheezburger, the people behind the hugely popular meme sites I Can Has Cheezburger, FAIL Blog, Geek Universe and Memebase. The opportunity and temptation for brands are certainly there—on Facebook, videos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts, and photos are liked twice as many times as text updates, according to analytics company Simply Measured. But done wrong, memes can flop—and waste time, effort and dollars. The secret’s in the approach, says Huh. We asked him for more on the musthaves and no-nos of a successful brand meme. –M. Cecilia Wong

Many brands have tried memes and failed spectacularly. Should they even attempt to jump on the meme bandwagon? If so, what are the big do’s and don’ts?


A: Branded memes fail because they’re really just not that entertaining. That’s one of the big problems when brands try to shoehorn their branded messages into a meme. One of the things we recommend is that, instead of trying to create a meme, create an environment in which people are having fun creating content. And if that turns out to generate a meme, that’s great. Since memes are pieces of content that actually change meaning and evolve over time, brands are going to have a really hard time controlling the message around it and directing that message toward the brand. So, for example, we would recommend that a brand form a contest where people can generate memes. Then the brand’s job is to curate them—say, “These are our picks from the ones the users created”—not to force themselves into memes. That way it becomes about the enablement of creativity and the celebration of the user space, versus trying to insert the brand into the meme. Remember that if you’re actually going to provide a branded piece of content that’s a meme, what you’re really saying is, “I’m going to rely on your social context. I’m going to tell a joke based on the things that we have in common together—things that I know you know.” Start out with a punch line assuming that you already know why that meme is funny. n

Ben Huh says the first thing that pops into his mind.

How many devices do you own? Probably two dozen—Google Glass, Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad, Android phone, iPhone, laptop, Xbox. There are a lot. IPhone is still my favorite.

Time spent online? I’m always super-connected, so about 80 percent of my time.

Next big trend in content? We’re going to see continued innovation in television— TV programming how Netflix, Amazon and Apple want you to watch it.

Best meme ever: I’m partial to my Lolcats. They’re just so cute.

Worst meme ever: A lot of the political ones are terrible. They’re not creative. They’re just attack ads on opponents.





Stats are having a moment. You could even say they’re sexy. After all, in an era of Big Data and unprecedented access to information, they’re a universal language. But a good infographic is more than just a collection of data points—it tells a story. And every story has its audience. In this issue, our assignment was to create two infographics for two different audiences in two different industries—on the same topic. On the following pages you’ll see how we ran the numbers, targeting each piece to its intended consumers.








Scanning the Solutions

save time, money and lives.

Fingerprint Health professionals and patients can quickly verify their identity by scanning a finger.

These technologies protect patient data, avoid misidentification errors and improve efficiencies across the health care system.

2,000,000 Number of Americans impacted by medical identity theft each year, at a total out-of-pocket cost of

$12 billion

—Bloomberg Businessweek

Identifying the Issue Biometrics ensure that health care professionals pull up the right medical record every time—reducing the risk of misidentification and medication errors.

70,000 “

People who share the same first and last name and exact birth date with two or more people in one health system in Houston, which now identifies patients using palm scans to reduce misidentification and prevent fraud.

If your name is Maria Garcia, we

have 2,488 of you, and 231 of you have the same birth date. It’s not

uncommon for us to have two people with the same first and last name in the same unit. Iris: Iris scans are used to accurately ID patients and pull up their electronic medical records. 2,000: Number of data points captured in an iris scan—compared to 100 in a fingerprint —Tim Tindle, chief information officer, Harris Health System, Houston, speaking to the Dallas Morning News

Palm: High-res photos of the vein pattern are used to quickly identify staff or patients. 1 in a million: Rate of false identification with some palm scans Fingerprint: Health professionals and patients can quickly verify their identity by scanning a finger. 15 seconds: Time doctors can save per log-on by using a fingerprint scanner—adding up to four hours of billable time each month. Some nurses log in up to 100 times per day.

Behind the scenes How we brought this infographic to life. Audience: Health care executives Client: Medical device manufacturer Objective: We wanted to convince executives that their organizations can’t afford not to embrace biometric technologies. Opportunity: For the C-suite, it’s all about ROI. Knowing this, we structured the design around the hard data and emphasized the dollars at stake. 52


Iris Iris scans are used to accurately ID patients and pull up their electronic medical records.

15 seconds

1 in a million


Time doctors can save per log-on by using a fingerprint scanner— adding up to four hours of billable time each month.

Rate of false identification with some palm scans

Number of data points captured in an iris scan—compared with 100 in a fingerprint

Ensuring the right person gets the right medicine is the main reason to use biometric devices, but they also reduce the risk of medical identity fraud, which can leave hospitals with unpaid bills and consumers on the hook for care they didn’t receive.

Determining the Victims

Palm High-res photos of the vein pattern are used to quickly identify staff or patients.

Analyzing the Market As global health care executives start to see the potential benefits of biometrics, the market is expected to increase in value over the next 5 years.

Global health care biometrics market:


$5.8 billion

Compound annual growth rate between 2013 and 2019

$450 million Annual U.S. government spending on biometric research

$1.2 billion

Value in 2012 Projected value by 2019

Sources: Fast Company Company; Health Management Technology; iHealthBeat; InformationWeek InformationWeek;; Ponemon Institute; Transparency Market Research; M2SYS Technology; The Dallas Morning News; Bloomberg Businessweek Businessweek; Biometrics Research Group

“I wanted to highlight the many reasons health care organizations are using biometrics. In addition to the compelling statistics, I thought the anecdotes like the one about the many Maria Garcias brought the story to life.”

—Margaret Poe, researcher

“It all goes back to the audience. These people have busy lives. We wanted to put it in an interesting way visually that they can engage with, but not make it so complex they have to spend a lot of time.”

—Nick O’Mara, designer




Female: 52. 3%

65+: 12.9%

Theft: 14.67%

$2,500+: 6.5% 9.9% 99: 4 , 2 -$ 00 ,1 0 *** $ **

Scan in Progress




Percentage of U.S. consumers willing to provide their bank with biometrics to verify transactions and prevent identity theft.

20x more

data points

Only 100 can be captured with a fingerprint.

• **P ers ona l i n for ma t i o n: 3.8 %

or $99

less: 48.8%

le tip ul

Ide nt i

.7% 15 9: ,99 74 -$ 00

35 -4 9: 2 9. 6%

7 s: pe ty


e: ver *Se ***


Male: 47.7%



Odds of two people having the same iris pattern:

.00000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000001%

** M

Audience: Millennials Client: National bank Objective: We were tasked with convincing customers that biometric technologies keep their bank account—and their identity—safe from hackers. Opportunity: Given our millennial audience, we opted for a striking, stylized design. 54



Behind the scenes How we brought this infographic to life.


Number of unique data points captured in an iris scan

$5 0, 0

Gender Age Race Income Type of loss Out-of-pocket loss Types of identity theft Emotional distress






Sources: Victims of Identity Theft,, 2012, U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Statistics;; Cisco Customer Experience Report, 2013; Fast Company; Cornell University

Mod era te :

**** % 26

% 43

t: 8 4.6 %

or le ss

* N e w accou nt: 4 .1%

% Au .83 to 63 Th : t f ef 9 9 : 4 8 e $ . 4 % 0 $50 t: $25 Th 0 7. % $9 9 . ty 7 99 1 : : 9 8 .5% 24 -$ Existing acc 00 oun

Burglary: 1 3.53 %

mo re: 37 .8% $75,0 00 o r

% 96

Biometrics add another layer of security to financial transactions. From ATMs equipped with fingerprint verification to mobile banking apps that authenticate identity with an iris scan, these technologies help reduce the risk of identity theft.

25-3 4: 1 9.9 %

older have experienced identity theft at some point in their lives—and 7.8% of victims are left with unresolved problems resulting from that theft.

$2 4,9 99



$25,000-$49,9 99: 1 6.9%

Nearly 1 in 7 Americans 16 or

Unknown: 18.2%

21% ne: No

Americans 16 or older were affected by identity theft in 2012.

White: 74.9%

Thanks to biometric technologies, eyes aren’t just the windows to the soul—they just might offer the key to your security.

16 -2 4:

% 1.4 :1

Millions of Americans are victims of identity theft each year. It can happen to you in the blink of an eye.

16.6 million

6% 8. :2

Bla ck :9 %



64 0-

Other: 6.7%

.3% ic: 9 pan s i H

Mi ld:


“We wanted a really rich data set that would allow us to build in several layers of statistics. When I found a recent federal report that did exactly that, I was stoked.” —Margaret Poe, researcher

“Putting dozens of data points into a consumable chart is always a challenge. But this works because it allows readers a little more interaction with the design.” —Nick O’Mara, designer






EVER WRITTEN. –Tara Remiasz, Senior Editor

Lover of puns, groans and all. –Margaret Poe, Research Editor



Cake is the perfect breakfast food. –Laura Yee, Content Director

Driven by curiosity; humbled by faith.


HUNGRY. –Nick O’Mara, Information Graphics Specialist

SIX WORDS? I’m a numbers girl! –Janet Ortaggio, Senior VP, Finance

–Rod Kelly, Senior Editor

I’M TAKING IT TO THE GRAVE. –Cyndee Miller, Managing Director, Content

i SHOT A MAN IN RENO. –Kelsey Nash, Editor

...every single day. –Michael Pham Jr. Web Developer

IOWA. FARM. BUFFALO. CHICAGO. ART SCHOOL. –Lindsay Ruddy, Art Director

I FOUND A HOME IN HER. –Kate Rockwood, Senior Content Director


about WORK,

FAMILY and LIFE. –James Meyers, President & Founder


–Damon Adams, Senior Editor

Is this SIX WORDS yet? No. –Mary Cusick, Marketing Associate

Trying to find BALANCE, without toes. –Sarah Stone Wunder, Senior Content Director

Structured and disciplined, only occasionally boring.

–John Obrecht, Vice President, Editorial Director

–Jill Lowthian, Content Producer

–Yuris Bendiks, Digital Marketing Analyst



TBD –Matthew Wright, Content Director

I’m a man of many


–Bruce Robinson, Junior IT Administrator

She Designed a Life She Loved. –Erin E. Slater, VP, New Business Development



THANGS. –Shaun Cruz, Web Developer


FOR TOMORROW. –Amy Kaffka, Graphic Designer

Undeserving boy asks: “Why not me?” –DJ Francis, VP, Content Strategy

An Aries in every possible way.

words. –Areif Sless-Kitain, Research Editor

–Matt Schur, Associate Editor

Mostly I like to know why. –Hayley Grgurich, Editor

Do it the SAME but DIFFERENT.

–Tiffany Toft, Design Director

–Justin Charlton-Perrin, Creative Dir., Digital & Social Content

— not enough time.

Matt Schur is one heckofa guy.

A BLANK PAGE: dream and nightmare.

I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.


Exp rushin g the roc k ts. eri e: c u r re n w it hin –Ch e n c n c e , r a u c k P a u sti M a n a g i n g Di to r, C o n t e nt

–Ben Taylor, Financial Acct/Business Analyst

Dessert, mountains, family. That’s about it.


–Breanne Baab, Associate Art Director

Badlands. Big Bend. Glacier. Grand Teton. –Elizabeth Cotner, Senior Editor

Donuts — training food of Olympic champions.

Head in clouds... GREAT up here!

–Jane Hamilton, Broadcast Director

–Ashley Meyers, Account Director






ALWAYS CEREAL. EATING. –Jennifer Jensen, Web & Social Analyst

–Jessica Huang, Art Director


Was there ever really any doubt?

–Ryan Johnson, SEO Manager

–Doug Kelly, Executive Vice President

–Michelle O’Hagan, VP, Digital Delivery & Performance


FOOTBALL AND BABIES. –Michelle Jackson, Content Director

–Tonya Bean, Office Manager

I’M A PIONEER, NOT AN ASTRONAUT. –Anna Holcombe, Associate Content Strategist



ALMOST. –Chris Matt, Content Strategist



–Jackie Gibson, Content Director


writes about food.

–Kelly Caldwell, Editor

–Katie Molter, Print Project Manager

–Todd Cywinski, Senior VP, Client Relationships

hazelnut lattes.

Happily creating, learning and drinking kombucha.



Editorial professional fueled by

–Becky Maughan, Copy Editor



–Carly Fisher, Editor

–Elyse Schmidt, Social Media Manager




The FIFTH sign of the ZODIAC.



其 品 牌 原 名

“Wonderbra”–Peter Herrnreiter Sr. Dir., Digital Marketing Intelligence



SUCH LAUGH. MUCH WHOOPS. VERY LOVE. –Sami Skelton, Graphic Designer

A tall glass of Mexican sunshine. –Hugo Espinoza, Senior Art Director Sarcastic? Maybe. At your service? Yes! –Andrew Schultz, Chief Operating Officer

–Allana Mortell, Content Specialist



THAN I THINK. –Louis La Plante, Editor

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KELLEY? –Kelley Hunsberger, Production Director

You can’t HUGS take it PUNS A LITTLE TOO with TIGHTLY. you. –Elizabeth Ervin, Account Director

–Cecilia Wong, Content Strategist

Work remotely. Live warm and happy. –Rebecca Rolfes, Executive Vice President


Imagination’s marketing magazine about creativity, design, branding and industry trends.