Brand or Be Branded - Austin AMA

Customer Archetypes & Irrational Loyalty with Deb Gabor from Sol Marketing

Thanks to all who joined us last month to hear Sol Marketing’s Deb Gabor discuss brands, customer archetypes and developing irrational loyalty in your audience! We’re not going to recap the event, as Sol Marketing has a great post on their blog. You can also find a link to Deb’s presentation: Your Ideal Customer Archetype. Read the blog.

We did, however, want to share some of our favorite sentiments and quotes from Deb’s excellent presentation. Enjoy!

Hope to see everyone on Feb. 26th at our next luncheon with TV personality and business superstar, Jeffrey Hayzlett! For something more interactive and focused, join us on Feb. 18th for our SIG event on how to create presentations that don’t suck.

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Customer Insights 4 Questions for Rob Malcom Austin AMA

Customer Insights: 4 Questions for Rob Malcolm

 

Every company is looking for “insights” to grow their business. Why then do so few find insights that will truly transform and unlock tremendous company growth? We caught up with Rob Malcolm for a sneak preview of his session at Austin AMA’s December luncheon, “Marketing Insights from Dos Equis, Johnnie Walker & Folgers,” held Dec. 10 at Abel’s on the Lake. Register now! Attendees will learn an easy but dynamic framework, get new usable tools you can put to work tomorrow and learn how these tools work in multiple case study examples.

In the past, you’ve called this topic the “single most powerful motivation” driving growth for brands, more than digital marketing or even product innovation. Why is that so?

In every category, and in every business, there are two first steps to cracking the all-important challenge of accelerating growth. The first is identifying the highest value business opportunity—the most valuable and reachable segment. The second, and this is where our topic comes in—is to identify the most powerful motivation or insight that drives their choice of brand, business or service.

For every business, there may be many things at play, but in my experience, there is always one that is more powerful than the others. If you can find this and unlock it, you can build your entire business strategy around it and achieve growth that you would not have thought possible. The right target and single insight drives your strategy and every tactical element of it. Digital marketing and product innovations are tactics—but you can only do this well if you know your target and why they make the choices they do in your category. Think of them as arms and legs of the marketing body—without a powerful “head” providing clarity of direction, they flop around uselessly.

Our AMA session will reveal why this is the case, how you can find and harness it and illustrate it through numerous case studies. It will also give you a simple tool to use to take back to your business and use immediately.

 

Can that one true insight be found amidst the heaps of big data? Or does it take a different, more personalized approach to really understand consumer behavior?

Big data is a hot topic at the moment—everyone has more and more data today…indeed data is bigger than ever before. But few are able to answer the “so now what” question. In my experience, data can be great to identify “what is happening?” questions—like who is buying my product, where they are buying it and maybe how often and how much they are paying for it. But big data almost never answers the question “why are they buying or not buying it?” That is the key question to answer and it requires very deep understanding of motivations to buy—and this comes from deep and penetrating discovery work of largely qualitative digging.

 

What are some common mistakes that marketers make (or myths) about consumer behavior insights?

There are two common mistakes people make. First, they don’t know that there is always one insight into customer motivation that is far more important to all others. So they find lots of them and try to figure out how to use them. I gave a training a course at Procter & Gamble a couple of years ago and discovered that many brands kept “insight logs”—with as many as a dozen so-called insights in the list. Not surprisingly, they did not know what to do with them—use them all or pick some? Which ones? The second problem, and we will get into this in the session, is to avoid confusing observation with insight. There is a huge difference—but you will have to come to the session to learn the difference.

 

What’s one action that we could start doing right away to keep consumer behavior top-of-mind in our day-to-day roles?

Commit to find the one transformational insight for your business now and don’t sleep until you do.

 

Learn more about the secrets to unlocking customer insights from Rob at the Austin AMA’s next luncheon on Dec. 10: “Marketing Insights from Dos Equis, Johnnie Walker & Folgers.”

 


 

Robert MalcomIn a marketing and general management career spanning 40 years, Rob Malcolm has been a student, practitioner, consultant, and teacher – successfully applying all aspects of marketing in the US and internationally. Following completion of his bachelor’s and MBA in Marketing from the University of Southern California, Rob joined Procter and Gamble in Brand Management in 1975. In his 24 years with them, he held various positions in marketing and general management working on more than 75 brands in 40 countries.

Connect with Rob on LinkedIn


 

Austin AMA What These Brands Know That You Don't

What These Brands Know About Marketing That You Don’t

Every company is looking for “insights” to grow their business. Why then do so few find insights that will truly transform and unlock tremendous company growth? Here’s a sneak preview of Austin AMA’s December luncheon, “Marketing Insights from Dos Equis, Johnnie Walker & Folgers,” held Dec. 10 at Abel’s on the Lake. Register now! Attendees will learn an easy but dynamic framework, get new usable tools you can put to work tomorrow and learn how these tools work in multiple case study examples.

Each of these brands achieved dramatic and transformational growth within static or declining categories many years apart by mastering perhaps the most powerful and under-appreciated lever in marketing. No, it’s is not social media, harnessing “big data,” going digital, having the coolest “mobile app,” or even product innovation—although many of these tactics and tools were part of the implementation of their successful turnaround programs.

All of them—Folgers coffee in the 1980s, Johnnie Walker starting in the late ’90s, and Dos Equis in the 2000s — uncovered what I believe is the most powerful secret to unlocking growth for brands of all types. This is the discovery of the SINGLE most powerful motivation driving their behavior in the category in which your brand or business competes and what I call THE TRANSFORMATIONAL INSIGHT.

Let’s briefly examine each of them.

Folgers was stuck for decades in a head to head share fight with Maxwell House, trading marketing arguments about which coffee “tasted better.” Neither brand made much progress. They were stuck in “tit for tat” promotion and pricing wars of attrition. Mrs. Olsen tried to convince you that Folgers’ “Mountain Grown Beans” resulted in better tasting coffee while Cora the shop keeper argued that Maxwell House was “good to the last drop.” Stalemate.

It was only when the marketers at Folgers changed the question from the rational “why do you choose Folgers” line of questioning to the deeper qualitative line of probing around describing their best cups of coffee that they found the larger category motivation that no one else was addressing. The answer was “to get their day off to a brighter start,” and that led them to abandon 20 years of “better taste” positioning to create what became the most successful, longest running television advertising campaign in the history of US marketing. “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up Is Folgers in Your Cup” is now in its 31st year on air and created dramatic growth for Folgers even in a home brewing category that has continued its slow decline.

Johnnie Walker—and the Scotch whiskey category—was on a long-term decline in the late ’90s when the management at newly created Diageo took on the turnaround task. The brand and category had lost relevance, and the next generation had abandoned Scotch for cooler categories like vodka and tequila.

But then marketers discovered that the target group of 25-30-year-old upwardly mobile men all over the world were motivated by the same singular driving force—the desire to make progress. Johnnie Walker decided to embrace this fundamental motivation and “inspire men all over the world to make progress in their lives.” This led to the breakthrough 1999 global campaign “Keep Walking” that turned years of decline into rapid, sustained growth and was awarded “global advertising campaign of the decade” in 2010. The success continues to this day, some 15 years later.

More recently, Dos Equis cracked the code and separated itself from the tangled mass of imported beer by uncovering that its target—guys 23-28—was maturing and no longer wanted to be seen as crazy frat boys. At this point in their lives, they wanted to be seen as more complex or sophisticated—a unique and powerful motivation that was not being addressed by any other brand. Enter the “Most Interesting Man in the World.” It’s been the most successful campaign in the beer market for the last decade, driving accelerated growth for the brand.

I was struck by a recent blog from Rishad Tobaccowala, Chairman of Digitas and Razorfish, where he laments about a particular malady in marketing today. He calls it “too much plumbing, too little water,” referring to the over-focus on data, technology, and digital marketing tactics at the expense of finding the true “water”—the powerful insights into consumer behavior we can use to unlock and support growth.

What so many marketers seem to forget in today’s world of digitally enabled cool tactics is that the root of all consumer behavior lies first in finding and harnessing the singular most powerful motivation that drives their behavior: their choice. Oftentimes it is about a fundamental human truth about your target — as in the case of Johnnie Walker and Dos Equis. Other times, it’s finding the driving category motivation, as with Folgers. Whatever it is, each brand and category does have ONE insight about purchase motivation that is the most powerful driver of their consumers’ behavior. Find it and the potential is enormous.

Until this foundation work is complete, the rest really doesn’t matter.

This is an edited version of a post that Rob Malcolm wrote for Texas Enterprise and was reprinted here with the author’s permission. Learn more about the secrets to unlocking customer insights from Rob at the Austin AMA’s next luncheon on Dec. 10: “Marketing Insights from Dos Equis, Johnnie Walker & Folgers.”

 


 

Robert MalcomIn a marketing and general management career spanning 40 years, Rob Malcolm has been a student, practitioner, consultant, and teacher – successfully applying all aspects of marketing in the US and internationally. Following completion of his bachelor’s and MBA in Marketing from the University of Southern California, Rob joined Procter and Gamble in Brand Management in 1975. In his 24 years with them, he held various positions in marketing and general management working on more than 75 brands in 40 countries.

Connect with Rob on LinkedIn


 

Board-meeting-2013

Here are 50 Austin Marketers You Must Meet

You see these lists all the time, right? They can be anything from the 50 leading marketers under 50 to the top power marketers in a specific industry. But not just any marketer can join this list. Its members consistently display commitment, innovation and a startling passion for marketing.

They’re Austin AMA volunteers.

Let’s get something straight right off the bat: Volunteering for Austin AMA isn’t glamorous. No one gets paid and while the organization is financially healthy, we have tight budgets. Instead of taking selfies with Barack, Austin AMA volunteers are creating and scheduling emails, checking registrations, scouting for sponsors and scouring analytics. (Heck, I’ve had days where I’ve finalized strategic growth documents and then alphabetized nametags.)

But Austin AMA volunteers consistently contribute their time and efforts in order to deliver on the organization’s mission to help Central Texas marketers lead, connect and grow. They are very serious about the organization and its members.

As president of the chapter, I am deeply grateful and awed by their commitment.

Why do they do it? The answer varies according to which volunteer you speak with. However, the ones that often bubble to the top are professional development, creating stronger ties with the local marketing community, expanding networks and just plain having fun.

I personally have been volunteering for AMA for more than a decade now. As a result of volunteering, I’ve not only added a wide array of skills and insights to my work arsenal but have also been privileged to become friends with truly smart people that always provide fresh perspectives and thought-provoking insights – all volunteers.

Volunteering for Austin AMA can be “job” that doesn’t always get the full recognition it deserves amongst members or guests. Let’s change that.

As this week is National Volunteer Week, I’d like to invite everyone to leave a comment on this blog post thanking Austin AMA volunteers for their contributions, sharing times when a volunteer has helped you or even just listing what some of your favorite Austin AMA activities are. Let’s share the love!

If you’d like to join this elite group of marketers, I invite you to visit our volunteer information page or email volunteer@ascendmarketingtesting.site.

Austin AMA volunteers: Thank you for all that you do. This organization cannot exist without you! 

Three of the Best Business Tips Margaret Thatcher Taught Me

I had always been taught that one’s political viewpoints were to be discussed at home and not in the workplace. No easy feat considering that I spent three years at the onset of my career working in part to recognize world leaders aboard the moored USS Intrepid in New York City.  Indeed, I do believe in peaceful co-existence and honoring the men and women who have helped to defend my freedoms.

So, almost twenty years ago when my boss tasked me with a leading role in planning an event to honor The Right Honorable Baroness Margaret Thatcher, I put aside any preconceived notions. After all, I was an impressionable 23 year old who spent portions of her childhood practicing cold war ‘drills’ under her desk in school and remembers vividly the “Argoesque” era of tying yellow ribbons around my family’s oak tree in solidarity for the U.S. hostages in Tehran.

I watched with wide eyes and ears that could only detect silence in the room other than the voice of one person, Thatcher delivering remarks to 15 people at a luncheon.

When an opportunity presented itself for me to introduce myself to the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I did so as “Jenny.”  Thatcher asked my age and my job responsibilities. I was surprised when she pursed her lips in the middle of my explanation. I paused, she complimented my ‘interesting necklace’ and took my hand asking me to start again with my formal name. From that moment on, I realized that I needed to deliver messages with the same level of conviction that the world leader in front of me did so.

Tip #1:Own your pitch. One of Thatcher’s own mantras of “If you set out to be liked, you will accomplish nothing” should resonate strongly with those who are not currently speaking up during discussions. Whether you are a manager or aspiring to be one, the most effective way to get your messaging across is to deliver it with conviction. When you convey a message with purpose, you are almost certainly increasing your chances of being heard and your ideas considered.

Tip #2: Collaborate but Expect Discourse. In the world of international relations, Thatcher certainly collaborated. Whether with Reagan or Gorbachev, much has been written about her reign to help end the Cold War. But, not every position she took was populist and sometimes isolated her. How does this translate to business? A friend who is a marketing executive expressed her concern that she is spending too much time ‘monitoring in her own silo.’ Monitoring doesn’t mean being a follower instead of a leader; it does mean you need to recognize you do not need to glam onto every trend.

How can you collaborate? You need to make the time to meet with others. You can plan and organize your own thoughts but do not lose sight that the path to creativity involves working together to achieve your set goals. Try to set a weekly meeting about one potential project. If the potential project is in its nascent state, your collaboration can save you time in the long run. You can define milestones on research and analysis and determine that the project is/is not a worthwhile endeavor.

Tip #3 Contemplate. Margaret Thatcher was a strong, disciplined leader not unlike a college roommate I had who was an artist. Sometimes, the rest of us would be in the living room reading our various school books and she would have her sketch book and a piece of charcoal. An hour or two would pass and she would never move from her spot, sometimes drawing and other times just deep in thought.

How do you take time to contemplate?

Leaders take time to tune out the rest of the ‘noise,’ and just simply think. Remember, contemplating does not involve being fast and furious but rather thinking through an issue with limited distractions.

Finally, in partial jest, I was honored to have met such a powerful leader whose statement pins and hats matched my statement necklaces.  And, note to those who know me well, especially from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where I resided for many years, I’ll always be Jenny from the Block except this month it just happens that my family and I moved 1,700 miles away to Austin, Texas.

bankston_imageJennifer S. Bankston is the former Chief Marketing Officer of law firm Labaton Sucharow LLP in New York, NY.