Marketing and Manufacturing: What Does the Future Hold?

Mobile technology has made a transformative impact on both manufacturing and marketing. The two industries have never been exclusive (both falling under the larger umbrella of supply chain management), but today’s digital world has brought the two together in ways that could not have been dreamed of 50 years ago. Current trends in digital supply chain control are changing the way that manufacturers interact with consumers.

New Platforms for Educational Leadership

There was a time when the manufacturing process fell secondary to the retail side of the industry. More people knew about Ford Motors as a product through marketing than they did about the manufacturing process. Now labor rules, location and politics have made the manufacturing process part of its marketing focus.

Some manufacturers have used this new blend to set themselves as knowledge leaders in their respective industries. For example, Apple Rubber, an o-ring and seal manufacturer, has used much of its website real estate to offer guides and technical journal links, making the company a resource for customers trying to learn about the sector. Being an educational leader is a good way to draw in and maintain viewership and it is easy on the marketing budget.

The Return of QRC

Manufacturers have been using bar codes for decades as a way to organize products and make the point of sales process more streamlined. As the next generation of bar code, Quick Response Code (QRC) brings the customer into the supply chain by giving them the opportunity to receive a large amount of information. Compared to the traditional bar code, a QR code can hold up to 7,089 characters of numeric data or 4,296 pieces of alphanumeric information, according to Denso ADC, the inventor of the QR Code. To give you an idea, the entirety of this article is more than 3,400 characters.

QR codes can give customers as much information as can be read on a smartphone. They also can open websites and interface with the database management software of your contact system. Smart marketers are seeing the benefits of being clever with the QRC because they do not need to be square. The code can be designed into art, brand logos or ingenious message generators.

Apps as the New Interface

The wide use and simplicity of developing smartphone and computer apps have made them the next big way for manufacturers to interact with consumers. As a marketing tool, apps are digitally renewable, making them always up-to-date. This is a huge advantage in the marketing world. Having accurate, reliable and readily available product information is a big factor in customer’s buying behavior. Since they can be updated electronically, apps prove to be nice on the marketing budget.

New Levels of Connectivity

Apps also open up a new level of connectivity that brings in the internet of things (IoT). On the retail side, consumers are already seeing coffee makers that can be turned on and garage doors that can be opened via an internet connection. Now on the manufacturing side, apps can take their traditional supply chain and beef them up by placing them on the IoT. This is where additive technology, commonly called 3-D printing, comes into play. From a smartphone or computer, a customer can use company templates to customize a product that will then be 3-D printed. This can happen from anywhere in the world and will change the way that manufacturers work with customers.

The Berry Company Hits the Streets and Makes People Feel Good in Latest Social Experiment

The Berry Company, a family run food business, decided to hit the streets of London to brighten people’s day in their latest marketing campaign. Apparently, 8:12am has been identified as the time by which you know whether or not your day will be a good one.

With the help of W Comms and Gas and Electric, The Berry Company hit the streets of London to help make everyone have a great start to their morning. Their goal was to help people have a  #berrygoodday. How did they do this? They did a small social experiment where a young man went out with an umbrella on a rainy day and tried to cheer people up. Unfortunately this did not go as planned as people seemed a bit standoffish.

They decided to switch things up a bit near the end of the video. Watch and see what happens next!

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Tactical Optics: 4 Proven Branding Strategies That Just Plain Work in Business

Maybe you helped develop your company name, designed the logo and wrote every product title and tagline. But none of that necessarily equates to creating a brand on its own. In fact, as a business owner, you don’t own your brand, as brand ownership is truly in the hands of your customers, clients and/or business partners.

In essence, a brand is the perception of your company by the public. And while all your properties help support a brand, it’s up to consumers to decide what that brand really means in the marketplace through purchases and repeat business. So, while you can’t control your brand, you can certainly facilitate it with branding strategies proven to work over decades of practice. Whether you’re building a new business or rebranding a company after years of poor strategy, these are some tactics that just plain work.

Product First

Millennials are now the largest purchasing demographic throughout the United States — and they’re more skeptical than the Gen X and boomer consumers that came before them. In an age where everything from products to restaurants can be reviewed online by anyone, millennials can do the research on anything with a simple Google search — and they’re all looking for a reason to not buy what you’re selling.

Skeptical consumers are good for ensuring quality products and customer service always hit the market, and yours should be at the forefront of your own marketing. Companies like Nexen Tires have embraced a “no-bull” approach to marketing its new line of tires by simply releasing statistics and letting their customers and prospects make a decision. Millennials, who can see right through any pomp and circumstance, appreciate this type of transparency. In other words, let the actual product or service do the talking.

Customers First

Customer service is a big part of a brand’s influence. After all, it’s why people will pay an annual fee for an American Express card over a Visa or MasterCard. And it’s why people will pay more at a high-end retail store over saving money on Amazon. Sometimes, customer service is seen as part of the product and the brand itself.

T-Mobile was one of the first companies to take the reins on customer service using social media. The national retailer staffed an entire team whose sole job was to monitor complaints and feedback on Twitter and address each one directly. The act was unprecedented for its time, and now consumers and product advocates expect such levels of customer service when interacting with a modern company.

Emotional Connections

When the simple facts about your brand are not enough, never underestimate the power of an emotional connection. One of the most memorable scenes from the AMC series, Mad Men depicts creative director Don Draper (Jon Hamm) pitching a marketing campaign for Kodak’s new projector, the Carousel. What follows is an emotional connection to a product that does nothing more than project photos on the wall. However, Kodak executives are so blown away by Draper’s pitch that no other agency stands a chance.

Today, no other company creates an emotional hook better than Apple. When it launches a new iPhone or MacBook, Apple doesn’t just show you the megapixels or processor speed; rather, the Silicon Valley giant shows you how the device changes lives. Creating an emotional connection is about putting the “why” before the “what” and the “how.”

Follow Trends, But Don’t Fall for Them

There will always be new marketing trends — some of them work; a lot of them don’t. The problem isn’t that they’re lousy or useless; it’s just that some companies mindlessly hop on the bandwagon, where trends become oversaturated and overused. Keep up on trends and explore the possibility of using them in your line of business, but don’t negate tried-and-true practices that will continue to serve as the bedrock and backbone of your branding strategy.

Six Online Marketing Strategies that Really Work

With the application of technology in marketing and advertising, a paradigm shift has been realized. The internet specifically has had a profound effect on marketing and has completely revolutionized how businesses are noticed and gain customers. To take advantage of these online marketing platforms, your business has to institute effective strategies and below are some of the best bets.

Content Marketing

To exhibit an in-depth knowledge of your products and services, create online content addressing customer needs. You have to update yourself with market trends in your industry. This includes creating informative and educative content on your blog and visiting guest blogs. You need to move closer and inform your clients. Make sure you have the kind of content that is useful and will engage your readers and a specific audience.

Reputation Management

Quite often customers study an organization’s online review before engaging in business and it is important to generate positive reviews while creating and maintaining an active online presence. Make sure you have numerous positive reviews from happy clients and little or no comments from dissatisfied customers. With the help of online tools, your business can conduct reputation management with ease and engage with new customers more regularly.

Email List Building

With cut-throat competition in business, it is advisable you maintain contact with clients, even when they are not currently buying. You need to remind them continuously about discounts and offers through emails. Enable your website to create a mailing list by allowing visitors subscribes for newsletters.

Provide E-commerce and Online Shops

Every business needs to consider the establishment of an online platform. Today, local consumers are more likely to buy from your Ecommerce website, especially when deliveries and shipping are convenient for them and can still support your local business.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is one of the most economical, client-oriented, and efficient online advertising models. Facebook allows you choose your clients based on their interest, location, and other criteria that you may deem fit. Using social media, you can reach out to a larger population and get noticed from customer’s own friends and family.

Consider an MBA in Marketing

An MBA helps you gain an in-depth knowledge of online marketing skills, especially if you study an MBA in marketing online. You will understand and easily apply online marketing tips with a high degree of success, or might employ an individual with similar academic qualifications to create a niche for your business.

Online marketing is creating unlimited opportunities for businesses. If it is well executed, a company can attract new clients, serve them better, and maintain them. Any business, big or small can take advantage of these kinds of marketing opportunities. Every business has a responsibility of maintaining an active online presence to reach and maintain clients.

9 Really Annoying Ad Trends That Just Won’t Die In Peace

Source: Esquire.com

Advertisers strive to create a perfect ad that would draw prospect’s attention and make a clear statement, but somehow they often end up getting on their audience’s nerves. Why? Maybe because being too creative not always pays, while tried methods seem to do their job. However, some ad trends are too outdated to continue their miserable existence.

1. The Wow-Face

This one is the most versatile, ubiquitous and certainly the most annoying. It is the ultimate solution to every advertising goal. Low credit rate – the wow-face, vast color choice – the wow-face, a client is satisfied – the wow-face! It would be okay, if only it wasn’t so mightily overused. On each screen and every corner, there are huge, amazed, open-mouthed faces. The wow-effect of a wow-face has expired long ago. Seriously, it’s irritating. Even if the wow-faces draw attention, they also inevitably evoke a desire to slap them and bring around the poor catatonic thing, stunned and frozen to the spot with utter astonishment. By the way, screaming warlike faces on the game icons in AppStore and GooglePlay have pretty much the same effect. Please, stop this madness.

2. Sexual hints

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Source: Appletoncreative.com

We all know that we don’t buy toothpaste – we buy a shining smile, we don’t buy a new purse – we buy ourselves some time of bliss which derives from feeling fashionable and stylish. Yeah, yeah, textbook material. Yet do we really need so much sex? Of course, we do! Constantly and urgently, as multiple ads suggest. A handsome young man cheekily raising a brow and saying “Take it!” What does this one sell? The answer is anything. Literally, anything: food delivery service, electronics store, sundresses clearance in the nearest mall. Likewise, a curvy lady, pouting red lips and saying “Try me”, surprisingly, is supposed to sell all from the internet subscriptions to motor oils. If people drink coffee, they must look as if they were dating this, um… hot drink. For the same reason, I presume, chewing gum will only sell well if you can mistake it for a pack of condoms. Neat.

It might work perfectly back in the 1950s, when you couldn’t really say what you meant, and innuendos and equivoques were recognized as a language of desire. Now, however, when everything is plain, simple, and no one will judge you for calling a spade a spade, these hints and puns aren’t tantalizing – they are hilarious. The “sex sells” notion is old as the hills, and frankly, people got tired of flirtatious and suggestive ads. Today cats sell better.

3. Before/After

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Source: Linkedin.com

Cliché of all clichés, it was born when people were more naïve and really believed that the ads were made this way: a picture taken before, and another one taken after the miraculous solution was applied. Often we obviously see two different subjects. Sometimes we see the same person, yet it’s evident that the difference is achieved by lighting, stance, face expression and a couple of graphic alterations: quite innocent, really, in comparison with what graphic editors are capable of today. Classic example: an unhappy girl, slouching, no make-up on, hair not done, in monochrome vs. radiant smile, shoulders thrown back, stunning make-up, shiny curls, bright colors. What was her problem? You already know the answer. A-ny-thing! Yellow teeth, acne, no one would give her a student loan, not enough volume, too much of volume (wherever), bad food choices, small apartment – take your pick! The only problem is that we know the ads are not done this way. It looks primitive and uninventive. Lazy advertising, you can do better.


4. Slow-Mo

Juicy fruits and appetizing spices flying through the air, long-tailed garments floating in the currents of fan-induced wind, something mouth-wateringly delicious sloooowly being poured into the bowl. Not sure how the viewer should feel: as Neo, able to lazily wave the bullets aside or some slowcoach, who wouldn’t grasp the sense of what’s being pictured unless it’s slowed to match their capacity. I got it; the laws of physics do not apply to the hair treated with this super-flexible hairspray. Move on, already. I am almost positive, that the message of slow-mo is really the Faustian “Linger you now, you are so fair!”, however, it more often provokes the Monty Python’s “Get on with it!” vibe. Again, the technique is beautiful; it’s just that there’s too much of slow-mo on each and every occasion. Slow down a bit, or should I say, speed up?

5. Buckets Of Paint/Holi Powder/Magic Dust/Whatever Splashing From The Screen

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This one became worn out decades ago, yet still, it is utilized to illustrate how lifelike the images are on the HD smartphone/tablet screens. Moreover, they employ the breaking of the ‘forth wall’ to advertise a variety of things: catchy site content, fast service, safety of money transfer, or even how close the future is* ( *if you get the product). Verdict: overused.

6. Scientific Mambo-Jumbo

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m very far from claiming that science is mumbo-jumbo. However, most of the scientifically flavored ads are. Much formula, so science, very molecular, wow. No matter what it is that’s being pushed: tires, moisturizer, yogurt, medicine – it all can be presented by the ad, that involves a lab coat plus glasses, 3D reproduction of “series of the experiments”, percentage, molecular structures, charts, and, of course, the word “formula”. Even if it is the “formula of success”. If you are looking for toiletries at the supermarket, you with high probability will find an array of bottles containing “new formulas”. By no mean is it a good old potassium hydroxide or sodium lauryl sulfate with some aroma compounds. It’s a revolutionary formula. For crying out loud, Roland Barthes dismantled this myth 60 years ago, couldn’t we come up with something better by this time?

7. NEW!

This word is ought to be present in any commercial. If it’s not, then you will probably find it on the package (even if the package is all that is new there). Being an advertiser, don’t forget to use a little red label or at least red font: the chances are that a customer will overlook this feature, and you don’t want that to happen, do you? Use capitals and the exclamation point just to be sure.

8. Traditions

People trust well-established and tried things. Sink your roots into the rich soil of human history. You don’t just sell a product, you sell a product since. If your brand hasn’t been on the market for that long, summon early memories of the thing or the practice itself. People drink beer for centuries – you use traditional recipes, people always wanted to fly like birds – it’s your airline that came to rescue and made it happen. Any ad can begin with the picture of a primordial tribe. Tell them a story, way back when, buy yourself a crest. It reminds of aristocracy and nouveau-riches. Brands can be snobs too, you know.

9. Measuring Tape

Fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and simply “diet” products cannot do without a serpentine band entwined around a slim bottle/package/female silhouette. A happy female with a measuring tape around her hips is so last century. In fact, back in the 50s, this image was meant to advertise some weight-gaining potions, because “men wouldn’t give her a second look when she was skinny”. Today it is considered bad manners to point out more or less preferable body type and try to express beauty in inches. The tape is stereotypical, therefore neither original nor creative. It suggests that we must worry about our size (that often have nothing to do with our health). If you want to say that your product is healthy, please do, but find another metaphor to express the idea. Anyway, I don’t think that underweight people with diabetes (they do exist), who buy sugar-free products are fond of the idea of becoming even slimmer.

Some years ago, there was a popular show where a magician in a black mask successively revealed all secrets of the trade and showed how the most popular illusions and tricks are done. At the end of the final episode, he unmasked himself and addressed fellow magicians, explaining that he did this to incite their creativity. Since the audience would no longer fall for the old tricks, there would be a cascade of new illusions of the higher level. I believe you’ve already caught my drift. There’s nothing I would want more than some fresh ad ideas and witty campaigns that will both sell and entertain.


Jana Rooheart is a professional blogger and IT specialist living in Kansas City. She currently works for Pumpic and works on her first book. You can contact her via Facebook.