Marketing Beyond the Impression

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The People-Powered Marketing Platform

Marketing Beyond the Impression How to Build Enduring Brands in the People-Powered Future


INTRODUCTION

People: Your most powerful marketing resource. As millennials come of age, brands are already on to the next: Gen Z. Post-millennial generations are changing the industry at a faster pace than ever before. This means that the shelf life of a marketing plan has never been shorter — today, it could be the length of a six-second video or a 140-character tweet. For brands to stay competitive and viable, they must be agile, they must be authentic and they must evolve their strategies to gain influence in an increasingly consumer-led world. Read on to learn how the brand-consumer dynamic has changed what marketers can do to survive and thrive amid advertising’s ongoing shakeup.

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INSIDE THIS REPORT

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Part I: Welcome to the age of ad-aversion

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Part II: Brand-building beyond the impression

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Part III: Measurement beyond the impression

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Conclusion & Getting Started with Crowdtap

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PART I

Welcome to the age of ad-aversion By this point, marketers are well aware that the media landscape has changed. It’s more complex, fragmented, and — most important — democratic than ever before. Consider the sheer volume of places and spaces where people encounter digital content, and then consider the fact that the number of sources publishing that content has rapidly proliferated. A handful of media stalwarts used to dominate a relatively narrow media environment (TV, print, OOH, radio and the like); today, brands and consumers have become publishers in and of themselves. Forward-thinking companies have tasked their marketing teams with adapting to this new reality by building newsrooms, investing in content technologies, and hiring digitally-minded leadership.

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Evolution of Content Discovery, 1975–2015 7TH GEN GAME CONSOLE FACEBOOK TIME-SHIFTED VIEWING SATELLITE RADIO HD DVD & BLU-RAY

VCR

1980 CABLE

1985 AOL

1990 DBS SATELLITE

1995

2000 HDTV

YAHOO

TABLET INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

STREAMING RADIO

TWITTER

DVR

1975

NETFLIX STREAMING

HULU SMART TV

2005 VOD

8TH GEN GAME CONSOLE

2010 ROKU

APPLE TV

GOOGLE BROADBAND

SMARTPHONE

2015 CHROMECAST AMAZON PRIME INSTANT VIDEO

Source: KPCB Internet Trends 2016 Report

These investments have helped brands catch up to shifting consumer

Moreover, digital display continues to be a growing channel through

behaviors, but many challenges remain. Large, complex organizations

the rise of programmatic buying, and yet the average click-through

are not set up to meet the demands of a consumer-led marketing

rate of an online display ad is 0.06 percent.* This, of course, assumes

model, and the plethora of specialized agencies that exist today

the consumer even sees the ad. It has been projected that upwards of

can over-complicate things for marketers.

30 percent of millennials utilize some form of ad-blocking software** and the number of people using ad-blockers from 2015 to 2016 has

One does not have to look far to read the signs that brands are

increased by 41 percent.***

operating in an overtly ad-averse environment. According to a recent study from the millennial media company Elite Daily, just one percent of millennials say that compelling advertising can instill brand trust.

*Source: DoubleClick **Source: MOZ & Fractl ***Source: Ad Age

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Global Monthly Ad-Blocking Users 200M+ 181M 121M

JULY 09

JAN 10

39M

30M

21M

JULY 10

JAN 11

54M

JULY 11

JAN 12

JULY 12

JAN 13

JULY 13

JAN 14

JULY 14

JAN 15

JULY 15

JAN 16

Source: Advertising Age & MOZ/Fractl, 2015

The increase of ad-blocking perhaps provides the most proof of

Another study from Elite Daily and CrowdTwist found that millennials

millennials’ and younger generations’ general distaste for blatant

are the most brand-loyal generation, with more than 50 percent of

advertising — that is, one-way messages that offer little to no value

people in this demographic stating they are “extremely or quite loyal”

to the end consumer. Digital natives have grown up with technology

to their favorite brands.

that has put them in control, and they are seeking a different kind of relationship with brands.

In short, the problem is not with brands — it’s with the ways in which brands are approaching their relationship with consumers. How

The good news for marketers, however, is that while millennials and teens

marketers reach these audiences, win them over, and build trust over

do not like or trust advertising, brands are still important to them. In fact,

time will dictate the health of their brands today and in the future.

45 percent of millennials say that brands play an “essential” role in their lives, a number that is 10 percent higher than that of Gen X and Boomers.*

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*Source: Havas Prosumer Study, 2014


It’s time to change the dynamic. For decades, advertising has centered on a narrow purview of impressions: buying them, serving them and measuring them. This method worked in a more simple media environment, where consumers did not have the ability to create content, write reviews and share their brand experiences publically. It worked because the balance of power was in favor of the marketer. But today consumers are in control. They want to dictate the ways in which they engage with brands, and they don’t want their daily media habits to be interrupted by irrelevant brand content. Such intrusions on a user’s experience work in direct opposition of consumer behavior. More than 200 million people globally will be blocking ads by mid-2016, and yet more consumers are creating and sharing usergenerated content than ever before. This is a promising trend that many marketers are devaluing. As consumers ignore, skip or block brand-led stories in the form of advertising, they are simultaneously telling their own stories about brands via social channels. Further, these stories are more trusted and more impactful than those told via paid media impressions. A multi-brand study led by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association found that a WOM impression drove at least 5X the sales of a paid media impression. In higher consideration categories, such as auto, this figure was 200X.

An Instagram search for the Italian sneaker brand Superga demonstrates the ways in which people are sharing their passion for the brand via UGC.

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Word of Mouth: The Most Trusted & Most Effective Form of Marketing Study after study has shown that word of mouth — that is, peer-to-peer conversations about brands and products — is more memorable and more trusted than advertising from a brand. Moreover, WOM drives more sales per impression than paid media.

Percent of Consumers Who Say They Trust the Channel or Format PEER RECOMMENDATIONS

TRADITIONAL ADS (TV, PRINT, RADIO)

ONLINE VIDEO ADS

PAID SOCIAL MEDIA

BANNER ADS

0%

10%

20%

30%

As evidenced in Nielsen’s Global Consumer Trust in Advertising Report, word of mouth is more trusted than any other advertising channel.

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40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

Source: Nielsen, Oct. 2015


WOM Drives a Significant Share of Brand KPI Across Higher & Lower Consideration Categories* 30%

25%

Average Impact 13%

20%

15%

10%

5%

0% STUDY PARTICIPANT BRANDS HIGHER PRICE & CONSIDERATION

LOWER PRICE & CONSIDERATION *Including amplification of paid media

A multi-brand study fielded by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association found that WOM drives a significant portion of sales across various categories. The same report found that a WOM impression drives at least 5X the sales of a paid media impression.

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PART II

Brand-building beyond the impression Investing in social media is not just about “chasing eyeballs.” Social platforms inherently facilitate a more direct and balanced relationship between brands and consumers, since people can create and consume content on their own terms. Whereas traditional media experiences are passive, social media is a participatory environment. The way to build a brand in social is not through serving ads —

“Social media binds together communities that once were geographically isolated, greatly increasing the pace and intensity of collaboration. Now that these once-remote communities are densely networked, their cultural influence has become direct and substantial.”

as targeted or timely as those may be — rather, it’s about building relevance with key groups of consumers around the topics that line up with their passions and your brand. The Harvard Business Review refers to these groups as “crowdcultures” and points out that many of the most successful campaigns of late have centered on winning over subcultures of consumers in digital channels, and then enlisting those people to help tell the brand’s story to the masses. (See chart p. 11.) In the past, brands sought to attain relevance by buying their way onto the mainstage at cultural events like the Super Bowl or in the previews of blockbuster films. This tactic worked, since cultural movements were only amplified via mass market media channels. Today, digital has democratized everything, leading to the creation of a seemingly infinite sea of subcultures whose members are connected instantly and directly via social media.

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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, “BRANDING IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA” (2016)


Tapping into “crowdculture” to build relevance BRAND

CROWDCULTURE

Women’s fitness enthusiasts

Urban hipster males

Nightlife & technology fans

HOW THEY DID IT

Under Armour’s popular “I Will What I Want” campaign played into a growing subculture of millennial women who were passionate about fitness. The effort took direct aim at stereotypes around athleticism and femininity, and utilized a smart hashtag campaign to encourage women to join the conversation.

“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” was the start of a new conversation for Old Spice that made the brand more relevant in the eyes of the urban “hipster” male subculture. By touting “selfreferential irony,” as the HBR puts it, the personal care brand was able to stand out in a crowded space.

Identifying an opportunity to own the intersection of nightlife and technology, Pernod-Ricard launched an internal incubator, called Absolut Labs, as a testing ground for experiential marketing efforts. Partnering with Crowdtap, the brand used VR technology to livestream a concert from Brooklyn’s hottest nightclub to 6,000 homes across the U.S.

“We’ve all seen the data. Nothing — not even TV — beats word of mouth as the number one factor in whether someone buys your product or not. Any marketer who wants their brand to succeed in the future needs to think in these terms: PEOPLE are the new media.” AFDHEL AZIZ, BRAND DIRECTOR, ABSOLUT LABS

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Understanding the changing tides of your audience and their

“52% of millennials say the best way for a brand to be more relevant is to ‘be willing to change based on consumer opinion.’”

preferences requires active listening and an ongoing, two-way dialogue between brand and consumer. In fact, listening is perhaps the most critical step on the pathway to becoming a more relevant brand. Per a 2014 study by Adroit Digital, millennials (here defined as 18–33 year olds) say the number one way a brand can demonstrate relevance is by being flexible to consumer feedback and adapting their businesses accordingly. Another important factor, per respondents, is that the brand maintains an open dialogue with consumers in social.

ADROIT DIGITAL, “MILLENNIALS: THE NEW AGE OF BRAND LOYALTY” (2014)

Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said that marketers can make their brands more relevant by focusing more on their consumers, and less on broadcasting brand-led messages to them.

How can brands remain relevant in the eyes of millennials? BE WILLING TO CHANGE BASED ON CONSUMER OPINION

52% 44%

MAINTAIN OPEN DIALOGUE THROUGH SOCIAL BECOME LESS ABOUT THE BRAND AND MORE ABOUT THE CONSUMER

38% 33%

PUBLICIZE ECO-FRIENDLY PRACTICES

32%

PUBLICIZE FAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES 29%

PRODUCT MORE ADVERTISING

28%

BECOME MORE ACTIVE IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES BECOME MORE CHARITABLE

A study of 2,000 millennials found that the key driver of brand relevance is flexibility, meaning that the brand is willing to change and pivot based on consumer feedback. 12

25%

Source: Adroit Digital, 2014


Marketers already understand that engaging consumers in a more balanced relationship is critical to building an enduring brand in the digital age. This is evidenced by the movement of ad dollars to social media and the ongoing investment in community management expertise, content studios, social media newsrooms, social listening platforms, et. al. Of course, opening up your brand to the voice of the consumer is not an easy shift. Large organizations are often not built to adapt to the speed of the digital world, which is why companies like Casper, Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker have been able to disrupt industries that have been dominated by the same handful of corporations for decades. The idea of building a more “open” brand is something that resonates with marketers, and yet established brands are often challenged to translate this philosophical mindset into concrete best practices and strategies for becoming a consumer-led organization. The next section addresses some tips for getting started.

“Fifty years ago, the average lifespan of a Fortune 500 firm was 75 years. Today, it’s less than 15 years.” FORBES, VIA DELOITTE CENTER FOR THE EDGE

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Four Keys to Evolving Beyond the Impression

Philosophical Shift: See people as partners instead of “consumers.” In an advertiser-controlled environment, brands valued people only

PHILOSOPHICAL SHIFT

for their capacity to receive marketing messages and/or buy products. While sales are the end goal for marketers, this is a narrow and limited view of your customers. What’s more, it’s a missed opportunity.

OPERATIONAL SHIFT

The first step to becoming a people-powered brand is to value people beyond their ability to see ads. People are natural content-creators and storytellers. As they are actively ignoring or blocking advertising, they are looking for ways to share their ideas, opinions and stories

STRATEGIC SHIFT

with brands — and all of these inputs can be utilized to strengthen your brand and inform your go-to-market strategy.

TACTICAL SHIFT

VALUING PEOPLE BEYOND THEIR ABILITY TO SEE ADS TEAM STRUCTURE, TOOLS & RESOURCES CONSUMER-LED PROGRAMS EVERGREEN CONSUMER STORYTELLING

Adopting a consumer-centric mindset is just one step toward building a more open brand. Large, complex organizations are also challenged to make the operational, strategic and tactical changes needed to incorporate the voice of the customer across their entire business.

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The first step to becoming a people-powered brand is to value people beyond their ability to see ads.


Operational Shift: Invest in the tools and resources needed to manage the new dynamic.

Over the past several years, brands have begun to adapt

Most large organizations are simply not set up to operate in a

to simplify real-time marketing and evergreen content programs.

consumer-led model, and this is why the agency landscape has become so complex for marketers to navigate. As digital proved an entirely different beast altogether, brands have scrambled to find partners with subject matter expertise across paid search, display, social content and more.

operationally to meet new challenges that have come about with the rise of digital. Some of these shifts include the creation of digital centers of excellence, the development of brand newsrooms and content studios, and an increased investment in technologies utilized

While these resources have helped brands become more agile with their marketing, they have introduced new hurdles when it comes ensuring seamless executions across all partners and stakeholders. Fortunately, technology has created new pathways for collaboration and has facilitated a more direct and ongoing line of contact between brands, agencies and consumers.

Marriott’s content hub, M Live, is a devoted control room dedicated to social listening and real-time content creation.

Image via Contently

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Strategic Shift: Build the consumer voice into the essence of your marketing strategy. When it comes to building a more open brand, one-off campaigns that temporarily invite consumers into the marketing process isn’t

“Co-creating with customers makes our marketing even stronger. Now, the conversation is around what our brand stands for — our heritage, our values.” JOAHNE CARTER, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING, RICOLA USA

enough. Marketers will want to identify opportunities to infuse consumer feedback and storytelling across all of their marketing efforts and within each of their tent pole activities. For many brands,

Crowdtap client Ricola has also shifted its marketing to bring

this is a dramatic strategic shift away from broadcast advertising

consumers into its brand storytelling. In partnership with The Burns

toward a more participatory model.

Group, the family-owned brand has taken a consumer-centric approach by building a community of 21,000 people, which they

Frito Lay-owned Doritos, for example, announced in early 2016 that it

view as an extension of the marketing organization. Crowd members

would be evolving its decade-old “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign into

provide their opinions and feedback on products and advertising and

an ongoing strategy that will infuse consumer creativity into marketing

are invited to share their own stories in social media.

on an ongoing basis. Doritos clearly values the creative potential of its collective audience, and understands that inviting them into the process

These efforts have helped drive a 9.8 percent YOY sales lift — 3X

will build longer-term engagement — and lead to more effective ads.

greater than the average growth of the category, per data from IRI Worldwide. Further, consumer storytelling has enabled Ricola to shift the tide of conversation away from its products being associated

“Why are we asking people to create content just for the Super Bowl? Why [not] have creative briefs throughout the year asking consumers to create everything from a 30-second ad, to a wide video, to a banner ad?”

RAM KRISHNAN, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, DORITOS

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with illness toward being considered a holistic wellness option.

Ricola is inspiring UGC around its differentiated brand characteristics (e.g. Swiss heritage and herbal ingredients).


Tactical Shift: Utilize engaged communities to achieve evergreen consumer storytelling. The final step of evolving your marketing beyond the impression is to

Whirlpool and its agency partner DigitasLBi, a Crowdtap client,

implement a people-first approach across your day-to-day consumer

recently took this approach to shift its marketing away from product-

insights and engagement strategies. On the research and consumer

focused messages toward more emotional storytelling. The appliance

insights side of the house, this means utilizing your customers for

space is a “cold metal category,” thus the brand needed to tell the

ongoing feedback and moving away from a transactional approach

new story through real people.

to market research. The brand engaged Crowdtap to build a community of 17,000 For evergreen storytelling efforts, brands should build in processes

consumers who shared photos and videos demonstrating everyday

that allow them to engage people to participate in brand storytelling

acts of care in the home. This UGC was captured and curated by the

on a regular basis. For large brands, this includes vetting the tools and

brand for use in a dedicated “Every day, care” microsite, and the very

technologies needed to capture and repurpose rich user-generated

best content was amplified via paid social media. Following the effort,

content that can be amplified across earned, owned and paid channels.

Whirlpool saw a 6.6 percent sales lift during a category-wide decline, and online brand sentiment improved six-fold.

Whirlpool invited consumers to share their stories via social content that was collected by the brand and curated within a dedicated microsite. Some of the UGC was promoted and amplified via social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

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PART III

Measurement beyond the impression As brands shift to models that view marketing activities beyond serving impressions, how we ascribe value to these activities will need to evolve as well. Working in partnership with your customers unearths new opportunities and benefits that should be considered as part of a more holistic approach to measurement. There is inherent and tangible value to capturing insights and sparking content and conversations about your audience. As you enter two-way conversations with your audience — tapping into them for product ideation and ad validation, and to help tell your brand’s story in social media — consider all of the “stuff” your brand receives as a result. The value of these new outputs should be tracked and weighted as part of an ongoing brand-building initiative.

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Evolving measurement beyond the impression WHAT IS THE VALUE OF RAPID RESEARCH & INNOVATION?

+

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE CONTENT YOU COLLECT?

+

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF WOM IMPRESSIONS?

+

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF PAID IMPRESSIONS?

LONG-TERM BRAND IMPACT

Here are some questions to ask as you weigh the impact of a people-powered program: • What is the inherent value of the user-generated content that you collect from everyday consumers and expert creators who have built influence around relevant topics? If this is content you can repurpose across paid and owned, what is the value of those photos and videos? • What is the value of on-brand, on-message word of mouth conversations in social media? Since peer-to-peer conversations are more trusted and more memorable than paid impressions, are you assigning the correct weight to these impressions? • What is the value of capturing agile insights that allow you to make business decisions faster, and with more confidence? What is the value of serving more effective ads that have been vetted, or co-created, in partnership with your target customer? Together, all of these components can help drive long-term brand impact, which can be measured and tracked via brand affinity metrics, such as Favorability, Net Promoter Score (e.g., willingness to recommend a brand or product to a friend) and Purchase Intent, as well as — when the conditions are right — sales lift and ROI.

When you open your brand to the voice of your customers, you gain insights, content and conversations that help build longterm brand impact. These outputs provide value beyond reaching eyeballs via paid impressions.

Sample Measurement Scorecard METRIC CATEGORY

METRIC (KPI)

ENGAGEMENT

Total Engagements

Social Posts

Photo UGC

Ratings

Text UGC

Reviews

REACH

Potential Impressions

Estimated Actual Impressions

BRANDING

Favorability

Net Promoter Score

Marketing Receptivity

Purchase Intent

Consumer-centric programs should be measured across three key categories: Engagement, or how people are interacting with your brand (online and offline); Reach, or how many people are seeing your marketing messages; and Branding, or how your efforts are driving long-term loyalty and purchase intent.

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Social Media Measurement is Growing Up The Media Rating Council (MRC) — in partnership with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) — has released a new set of guidelines for social media measurement. The document outlines agreed-upon nomenclature, definitions and best practices for measuring the impact of social media marketing.

A key distinction: “potential” versus “estimated actual” reach

A lens for comparing apples to apples — and holding partners accountable The adoption and enforcement of any new media measurement standards need help from the buy side. Marketers need to hold their agencies and vendors accountable. They need to ask if their reporting complies with the MRC guidelines, and if they don’t get a good answer, they need to move on to new partners. Learn more by visiting: http://bit.ly/CrowdtapMRC

Because of the difficulty of knowing how many friends and followers see a consumer’s personal post or tweet, marketers’ agencies and partners have tended to assume all of them do, and to report those imagined views as “impressions.” Under the new MRC guidelines, those are aptly named “potential impressions” and are recommended for planning purposes only. For post-campaign measurement, the guidelines allow for “estimated

Impressions will continue to be an important metric for brands

actual impressions,” an educated guess for the number of true views,

to track when it comes to assessing the impact of their marketing

with assumptions (such as the average impressions per post on a

efforts. That said, the dominance of the impression — especially

particular platform) disclosed and empirically supported.

as it pertains to paid media — will subside as consumer behavior pushes the industry toward a more balanced dynamic between brands and their customers. Read on to learn how you can begin moving beyond the impression with Crowdtap.

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Getting Started with Crowdtap MARKETING OBJECTIVE

“I want to accelerate innovation & make quicker business decisions.”

“I want to generate authentic word of mouth that drives sales.”

“I want to start or shift social conversations around my brand.”

“I want to build influence for my brand among strategic topics or subcultures.”

WHAT YOU NEED

Faster insights to accelerate the decisionmaking process

Meaningful product reviews that validate purchases

Powerful user-generated content that’s repurposable across owned & paid

Creator partnerships to build influence within strategic categories

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IT

Agile research tools that enable you to capture qualitative data in real-time

Create synergies between product trial & marketing efforts to power brandeducated ratings & reviews

Inspire people to share on-message content about their experiences with your brand

Align with subjectmatter experts who have earned the trust of topical audiences in social channels

CROWDTAP SOLUTION

Research & Innovation

Product Trial & Reviews

UGC & Sharing

Creator Partnerships

Learn how to evolve your marketing beyond the impression. Contact Crowdtap today at info@crowdtap.com. ©CROWDTAP, THE PEOPLE-POWERED MARKETING PLATFORM 2015 CORP.CROWDTAP.COM • @CROWDTAP • REQUEST A DEMO: INFO@CROWDTAP.COM

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The People-Powered Marketing Platform

INC. 5000 2014, 2015

BEST ENTREPRENURIAL COMPANIES

MOST PROMISING COMPANIES

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL

“ROBUST INNOVATION ENGINE”

2015

2013, 2014

2016

2015