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Vision Graphics Inc. Engaging Marketing Minds

Vol. 4, Issue 2, March/April 2014

Siloing How to identify the walls, and then break them down

INSIDE Your heart’s desire Where the girls are I want my mobile TV


Because we know you’re passionate about your brand’s message.

We’re passionate about creating solutions that get your message heard.

It’s the passion you feel about your brand and the message that stands behind it, that fuels our passion to create communication solutions that get your message heard. For more than 60 years, we’ve helped companies increase brand awareness by building lifetime customer relationships that help businesses grow. Our communication solutions integrate print, digital and fulfillment solutions that reach across several platforms to communicate with consumers wherever they are, whenever they want, on the channels they prefer.

Talk to one of our solutions specialists to learn how you can start building customer relationships today.

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publisher ’s letter

Turf wars C

ompetition is a positive thing. It pushes us to greater heights and forces us to be better than we were yesterday. In addition, competition may help us realize a part of us that we didn’t know existed. It motivates and energizes. However, not all competition is good. While standing toe-to-toe against the competition in the battle for market share is one thing, internal fighting is quite another. While the organization is immersed in trying to gain consumer attention, many of us find ourselves focusing on our own selfish needs inside the building. We, too, want power and position, and sometimes we view our teammates as the enemy. Pick a company, any company, and then peek inside its war room. Oftentimes, you may bare witness to strategic mind games waged over information, relationships and authority. Everyone, it seems, is fighting for psychological survival. Consequently, these turf wars are some of the most arduous exercises your employees can engage in.

CONTENTS 03 Publisher’s Letter Turf wars

04 The Inbox

These internal and external battles impact each of us in different ways. Beating them means staying above the fray.

06 Siloing

We live in a world that can no longer sustain this kind of dysfunction. A lack of concentration on the market and what is important to it can be catastrophic due to the pace of change. In turn, when the focus becomes heavily weighted on internal politicking, the decline of the overall company will be swift. Silos, a corporate word for non-communication and incompatible goal-setting between departments, can devastate organizations, kill productivity, push good people out the door and jeopardize the achievement of your corporate mission statement. Our cover story, “Siloing,” delves into what happens when one department within the organization operates without regard for what others – or the company at large – are doing. The piece offers six ways to get rid of the silo mentality and transition your team into a cohesive unit geared toward success. In our second feature, “Your heart’s desire,” we examine how success can be attained by knowing the difference between what your customers want and what they need, a process that can be tricky at times. Too often, marketers aim to please their clients by giving them what they ask for, even though it flies against what they know is right. There are no surprises here. These internal and external battles impact each of us in different ways. Beating them means staying above the fray. It means always pushing ahead, and looking for solutions and strategies that your team can employ when the going gets tough. That’s why we’re here – to bring you the insights and anecdotes from some very special marketing minds. We hope this issue provides you the right ammunition for the right battle.

14 Trending with...

Warmest regards,

How to identify the walls, and then break them down

10 Your heart’s desire Understanding what your consumers really want

Branding strategist Melissa Murphy

15 Going up Marketers looking to increase content marketing budgets


Mark Steputis

Managing Editor

Michele McCreath

Art Direction

Tyson Polzkill Brent Cashman Connect is published bimonthly copyright 2014. All rights reserved

Mark Steputis Publisher

For more information contact Michele McCreath at Vision Graphics Inc. – connect • March/April 2014





Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information

By Itamar Simonson & Emanual Rosen


hey are the consumers in the new age of communication and marketing. They base their decisions, most likely, on the reviews of friends, families and even bloggers. So, where does today’s marketer fit in? In “Absolute Value,” Stanford professor Itamar Simonson and bestselling author Emanuel Rosen go against conventional wisdom to reveal what really influences customers today and offer a new framework – the Influence Mix – for thinking about consumer decision making. While how people buy things has changed profoundly, fundamental thinking about consumer decision making and marketing has not. Most marketers still believe they can shape consumers’ perceptions and drive their behaviors. Simonson and Rosen show why current mantras about branding and loyalty are losing their relevance. When consumers base their decisions on reviews from other users, easily accessed expert opinions, price comparison apps and other emerging technologies, everything changes. “Absolute Value” answers the pressing question of what influences customers in this new age by identifying the old-school marketing concepts that must change and explains how you should design your communication strategy, market research program and segmentation strategy in the new environment. Filled with deep analysis, case studies and cutting-edge research, the book could change the way you approach your marketing strategies.


Where the W

girls are

hen it comes to social media, do you really know what today’s women prefer? According to Pew Research Center’s recent “Internet Project Tracking Survey 2012-2013” study, 76 percent of online U.S. adult females use Facebook, compared to 66 percent of online males. Across the more popular social media platforms, the women/men percentages are fairly similar – Twitter (18 percent/17 percent), Instagram (20/17), Pinterest (33/8) and LinkedIn (24/19), the study found. In addition, every major network has seen an increase in users over the past year, with 73 percent of online consumers using at least one.


March/April 2014 • connect – Vision Graphics Inc.

The percent of Millennials that say they would feel some inclination to buy a product promoted by their friends on social media, according to Harris Interactive’s “The Webby Awards” study. By contrast, 78 percent of social media users over the age of 65 said their purchases were not swayed at all by friends’ statuses and feeds.

I want my mobile TV D

on’t look now, but the number of consumers watching videos on their mobile devices is growing – and then some. According to data by ABI Research, about 40 percent of consumers will watch video on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones by 2018 despite continued growth of online video viewing on connected CE devices. Last year, global mobile video views represented more than 20 percent of online video consumption. The research found that computers would remain relevant, as the devices will continue to serve as the primary viewing device during the workday hours (while tablets rule the night).

Tablets can’t be marginalized as a side note in media spend. Consumers are changing where they seek information and taking action on other advertising channels like TV and magazines. – Glenn Humble, marketing director at Adroit Digital, on a recent study that suggests tablets are a more friendly platform for advertising than desktops or laptops Vision Graphics Inc. – connect • March/April 2014




March/April 2014 • connect – Vision Graphics Inc.


he contrast couldn’t have been more apparent. Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., faculty member for the Institute for Management Studies, watched her husband’s knee surgery replacement (both knees) and subsequent recovery go extraordinarily well. Within a short amount of time he was out of the hospital and on his way to recovery. “The collaboration between the doctors, nurses, therapists and aides was outstanding,” Goman says. “I think that’s why his recovery was so amazing.”

How to identify the walls, and then break them down By Graham Garrison But her sister’s recovery from an illness was a nightmare. She was a few states away, so Goman attempted to learn about her treatment through the nurses over the phone, who, in turn, were trying to find out her treatment plan from the doctors, who apparently weren’t communicating with anyone besides themselves. In this case, there was no collaboration. “It was disastrous for my sister,” Goman recalls. “As far as a customer or patient, in any industry, when collaboration fails, the customer is the ultimate loser,” she says. The art of collaboration in the corporate world is very similar. The essence of an organization’s success can be traced to silos, which happen when one department within the organization works without looking at what the others are doing. They also are prevalent when a department or part of the organization operates without regard for what the company is trying to do as a whole. In his book, “Silos, Politics and Turf Wars,” Patrick Lencioni, president of The Table Group, writes that “silos are nothing more than the barriers that exist between departments within an organization, causing people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against one another.”

Vision Graphics Inc. – connect • March/April 2014



“Silos are nothing more

than the barriers that exist between departments within an organization, causing people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against one another.” – Patrick Lencioni, President, The Table Group

Amy Hiett, GM for The Table Group, says that silos can potentially create frustration and confusion among employees. “People within organizations move in differing directions, often at cross-purposes, resulting in frustration and wasted resources.” The truth is that silos can be a fatal flaw in communicating with customers or presenting a unified marketing message. The first step toward eliminating them is to realize how costly the silo mentality is. “It literally costs billions of dollars,” Goman says. “It leads to the duplication of effort, failure to leverage, confusing messages in the marketplace – or organization – and the loss of productivity in the organization. … You’ve got to know how negative it is in order to address it.” Identifying silos can shine the light on dysfunction and be a starting point for aligning the executives or project teams around a common objective. Eliminating them helps to create dialogue. Karyn Greenstreet, president of The Success Alliance, and a small business coach and Mastermind Group Expert, suggests asking your team members how they can connect teams and people together to build a stronger, single business. “Let the grassroots employees tell you their ideas. You’ll never know what ideas they have to offer if you don’t ask.”

Following are six ways your organization can get rid of the silo mentality:



In his book, “Silos, Politics and Turf Wars,” Patrick Lencioni writes that as employees notice their colleagues in other divisions repeatedly moving in different directions, they begin to wonder why they aren’t on board. Over time, their confusion turns into disappointment, which eventually becomes resentment – even hostility – toward their supposed teammates. And then the worst thing possible happens – they actually start working against those colleagues on purpose. Amy Hiett, GM for The Table Group, says silos can be eliminated when executives develop a “thematic goal” or “rallying cry,” and use that as a guide in their regular meetings.




Everyone must understand their role in making the organization succeed and what other people are doing to make the organization succeed. “You need to know in your silo what other departments and teams are doing and how they support you and how you can support them,” says Karyn Greenstreet, president of The Success Alliance, and a small business coach and Mastermind Group Expert. “I visited a company and asked a department what they did when they finished their portion of the project, and they basically said, ‘throw it over the cubicle to the other team.’ There was no hand off or sharing of what they learned. They simply said, ‘We’ve done our job and here is yours.’”

March/April 2014 • connect – Vision Graphics Inc.


Use cross-functional teams to brainstorm together

Having another set of eyes and ears on your project, especially from outside your team, helps you see the bigger picture and makes sure you’re not mono-focused on your own work, Greenstreet says. It also gives you a new perspective on possible solutions to challenges that come up because people outside your team don’t have the mantra of “that’s always the way we’ve done it.”

“It’s not just about how sales and marketing treats the customer, it’s about how customer service, tech support and even the cleaning staff talk about the business to the outside world.” – Karyn Greenstreet, President, The Success Alliance


Reward collaboration

Rewarding silos encourages inward thinking. Building collaborative performance objectives into a project or employee review process encourages innovation and cross pollination. Different people are joining the conversation. “When a worker is only rewarded based on his work or his team’s work, he has no motivation to care about the other team’s success,” says Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., faculty member for the Institutes for Management Studies. “And make sure you have interim goals and final goals; don’t make your people sweat about knowing how they’re doing.”


When designing Pixar, Steve Jobs wanted all the bathFocus on the customer

Companies don’t necessarily organize themselves around a customer need; they organize themselves around a function or product. “If you really do focus on the customer, you start sharing marketplace information, sharing customer feedback, you bring in a panel of end users to report their experience so everyone understands the enterprise as a whole, meeting or exceeding customer expectations,” Goman says. In addition, it’s critical that everyone must know about the concept of integrated marketing. “The reputation of the business depends on consistent branding across all teams,” Greenstreet says. “It’s not just about how sales and marketing treat the customer, it’s about how customer service, tech support and even the cleaning staff talk about the business to the outside world. Building a brand is more than a fancy logo or a viral video ... it’s about building a reputation in any place where the public can see you ... and even where they can’t.”


ANTI-SILO ARCHITECTURE rooms on one floor, so people had to bump into each other. This way, they’d have more opportunities for brainstorming and idea sharing. Sometimes, even architecture can break down silos by understanding that innovation happens when different people meet, they have diverse perspectives and experiences, and even operate on different floors in the same building.

Get personal

Collaborative relationships thrive in an environment of personal trust, which means you need to get to know people as individuals, and organizations need to allow for social time. “One CEO at a conference told me, ‘All the important conversations are taking place around the wine and cheese table,’” Goman says. Vision Graphics Inc. – connect • March/April 2014


Your heart’s


March/April 2014 • connect – Vision Graphics Inc.


here were no hidden agendas. Debra Berman’s job was simple. Just several months after being named JCPenney’s chief marketing officer in July 2013, Berman was tasked with rebuilding the relationship the once storied brand had with its customers. Wrought with negative headlines stemming from liquidity concerns and plummeting analysts projections, the retailer’s stock had hit levels not seen since the early 1980s.

“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” – Paulo Coelho

Understanding what your consumers really want

And if that wasn’t bad enough, when Berman looked at the marketing resources at her disposal, she wasn’t confident there was anything there to help woo Penney’s consumers back to By Michael J. Pallerino the brand. The former Kraft Foods executive and turnaround specialist acted quickly, bringing in a whole new agency team, including vaunted branding firms such as Doner, EVB and Victors & Spoils. To give Penney’s consumers what they wanted from the brand, the new marketing team had to drive traffic – period. There would be no friction between “this is branding” and “this is promoting.” The strategy rested in a broad tool kit that could do both. In the end, the goal was to restore faith and footsteps in JCPenney.

Vision Graphics Inc. – connect • March/April 2014


Your heart’s desire Two recent branding campaigns – “Rise,” which aired during JCPenney’s first foray into the Olympic advertising game and athlete sponsorship, and its “When It Fits, You Feel It” initiative – have helped jumpstart the retailer’s rebirth. But there is much work to do. A closer analysis of JCPenney’s plight shows that the key is not only in knowing what your consumers want, but also what they need – a task that can be as daunting as it is simple amid today’s ever-changing consumer mindset. The real key, as marketers like Berman aim to achieve, is to build a trust factor between the brand and its consumers. “Consumers love clear and direct messaging with a clever twist,” says Jen Whitesell, owner and creative director of MKJ Creative. “This type of messaging causes an emotional response that makes a brand unique. Marketing clients want bold ideas that help them stand out from all of the other messages that consumers encounter. They are looking for a brand that is a match for the promises it makes.” Whitesell, who has worked closely with Fortune 100 companies for more than 15 years, says a campaign’s potential success can be seen during the creative process – a time when the brand’s story is brought to life. “This process is why their customers are able to connect to their brand,” Whitesell says. The key is to help the brand differentiate between what your customers want and what they need – a process that can be tricky at times. “Often, our clients come to us with ideas of what they think is needed, and, after time, they come to see that they may be too close to be objective,” Whitesell says. “After this realization, they often let us lead them through our discovery process to get them on the right path. We believe that listening is a key factor in differentiating what clients want and what they need.” The MKJ team spends a lot of time listening and asking questions to their clients. Through those conversations, its clients can begin to see alternative ways of looking at things. This is when the magic begins. Clients begin to open up and share the passion and commitment of why their product and/or services had them so excited in the first place. MKJ recently led a startup through the brand development process. The owner, who understood the true value of his product and audience, greatly aided the process. In just a few working sessions, they finalized the brand vision, mission, promise and tone. The company had



I often find that many marketers want to just please their clients by giving them what they ask for, even though it goes against what they know to do. … We want to be as excited as they are over what is possible each time.

– Jen Whitesell, Owner & Creative Director, MKJ Creative

March/April 2014 • connect – Vision Graphics Inc.

ways to uncover your customers’ trends before they do 1. Conduct your market research 2. Undergo a competitive analysis 3. Review and assess the current brand and marketing tools

audience-driven messaging that spoke clearly to its needs and at the same time caused a “want” for the product. In the end, the collaboration process positioned the company in a way that few startups can. “I often find that many marketers want to just please their clients by giving them what they ask for, even though it goes against what they know to do,” Whitesell says. “We take a bold but compassionate route, and sometimes being direct is the only option. We are fortunate our clients can see our commitment is not about being right, but about our commitment to their success. It’s our job to know what they want. Each time we work with our clients is an opportunity to discover what’s needed. We don’t want to regurgitate old ideas. We want to be as excited as they are over what is possible each time.”

Know thy customer

in new ways and focusing on customer service and satisfaction. That’s the way Dan Antonelli approaches his customers. “It is our responsibility to uncover the challenges and objectives of a customer’s business so that we can provide insight into what they need, not what they want,” says Antonelli, CEO and creative director of the advertising agency Graphic DSigns, and author of “Building A Big Small Business Brand.” A need addresses a challenge or objective, while a want is a preference or desire of a customer. “It is our job to know,” Antonelli says. “A good marketer leverages his research and insights to uncover trends before everyone else gets on the bandwagon. A good marketer is able to market to customers of the future, not just of today.” Antonelli’s team engages in market research, competitive analysis, and then reviews and assesses their clients’ current brand and marketing tools in order to develop a strategic marketing plan to help accomplish their goals and address their challenges. The strategy is to build an initiative that can connect with the ever-evolving tastes of today’s consumers. “Often, our strategies revolve around branding and consistent brand integration on all the consumer touch points,” Antonelli says. “Customers are looking to connect more emotionally to those who they do business with, and a great brand can deliver on that type of brand promise.”

The key is to help the brand differentiate between what a customer wants and what they need – a process that can be tricky at times.

It used to be that if you asked a successful company the secret to its success the answer would be that it catered to its customers. Not so much anymore. Today’s consumers want more. They expect companies to come to them. They expect them to provide a pleasant, productive and personalized experience – something that makes them feel special. The smart companies – which is what the aforementioned JCPenney is trying to do – respond to these changing customer expectations by putting their customers first, engaging them

Vision Graphics Inc. – connect • March/April 2014


Q&A: Interview with Melissa Murphy

Trending with ... Branding strategist Melissa Murphy


n her days as a high profile marketing executive with Del Monte Foods, Melissa Murphy learned the art of marketing to consumer expectations with brands like StarKist, Milk-Bone and Heinz Ketchup. While at Ketchum Public Relations in

Pittsburgh, her work was so lauded that the city honored her with “Melissa Murphy Day” during Women’s History Month. Today, the nationally recognized branding and communications strategist is an adjunct professor of marketing at Carnegie Mellon University, where she lectures on topics such as “Branding From the Inside Out” and “Creating and Growing Your Personal Brand.” Here are her insights on branding today.

What do you know about marketing that the rest of us don’t? It’s more about what I never forget. That begins with the consumer. You have to know your audience – who they are, what motivates them, what frustrates them, how they spend their day. You have to understand their world in its totality, not just the product you’re trying to sell them. We multi-task more than ever, and with that comes a greater need to understand how all of the pieces of their lives fit together. How we engage with people, products and the media has changed forever.

It’s not about being all things to all people; it’s about being the best you can be and delivering the best product for your audience. It’s about standing for something and staying true to that vision in good times and bad.

What’s your “do-this-now” advice? There are two that are somewhat related – always ask why (and make sure you believe the answer) and don’t forget about common sense. Some of the campaigns that score the best in theory don’t do well in the marketplace because they lack common sense. Only

You have to know your audience. … You have to understand their world in its totality, not just the product you’re trying to sell them. What traits should every good marketer have? It’s the ability to tell a story. Every successful product, brand and campaign is about storytelling. In today’s multi-faceted media world, it’s important to tell your story across mediums that build off of one another, not just repeat the same message via various tactics. Good marketing is about making choices. It’s about having a plan to win in the marketplace. With a wishy-washy strategy, comes a wishy-washy marketing plan that doesn’t allow the effort to reach its full potential and impact your consumers.

What’s that “secret sauce” when it comes to branding? Authenticity. Although the word is overused, it’s still the one that means the most to me.


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buy into campaigns and programs you truly believe in.

What’s the one thing every marketer should do in 2014? Stop looking at marketing by individual platforms and tactics (PR, advertising, social, promotion, etc.) and start looking at it the way the consumer does – in totality. In today’s world, it’s about synergies across multiple platforms that work together to tell a brand’s story. It is about the culmination of the touch points, not about a specific tactic. The agencies and brands that truly understand this and change how they view the world will succeed. Day-to-day execution may not be there yet, but this is certainly the wave of the future, so those who embrace it first will have a distinct first-mover advantage.

Before You Go

Going up 3 4 65 0 1 5 3 tent n o c inal g i r O

Marketers looking to increase content marketing budgets Just how important is content marketing to today’s branding experts? According to the “Content Marketing Tactics 2014” report from content curation software company Curata Inc., 71 percent plan to increase their content marketing budgets this year. Here’s a look at how the best-in-class marketers use their content marketing mix:

tent st n o c i use strateg o h In eting k mar

t nten o c ated Cur

tent n o c ted a c i d Syn

Vision Graphics Inc. – connect • March/April 2014


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Vision Graphics Inc. Connect Magazine Mar/Apr 2014  

Connect Magazine is a bi-monthly publication by Vision Graphics Inc.