Brands such as Grey Goose, Airbnb, GoPro and Harley-Davidson have successfully navigated away from selling to embrace storytelling, writes Giselle Abramovich. Grey Goose's video strategy includes an "Off Script" digital series that features Jamie Foxx hanging out with Hollywood legends, and GoPro's user-generated content strategy on YouTube has helped the brand garner over 5.7 million subscribers.
Patagonia executive Alex Weller talks about the brand's latest campaign that spotlights the damage being done to wild rivers in the Balkans by hydropower initiatives, and why purpose-driven marketing can only communicate a message that is already at the heart of the business. "You can't reverse into a mission and values through marketing. ... The role of marketing is to authentically elevate that mission and purpose and engage people in it, but the purpose needs to be the business," Weller says.
Brands that offer at least four value elements, such as nostalgia, aesthetics, hope and motivation, can increase revenue by 13% compared with brands that only offer one value element, according to Bain & Co.'s Ilker Carikcioglu. T-Mobile is an example of a company that tapped these elements to report market cap of $48 billion in 2016, up from $14 billion in 2013.
Reducing customer friction on websites is critical for retaining consumer loyalty. Companies are increasingly focusing on eliminating friction to keep consumers happy, including Starbucks' easy-to-use mobile app and Amazon's one-click buying option.
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Dove's men's campaign reflects an updated form of masculinity, showing men reacting to pregnancy announcements or caring for their children, while the company is also pushing other groups to offer guaranteed parental leave. Some 74% of millennial fathers say marketers are out of touch with how modern families work, according to a Saatchi & Saatchi survey.
Business-to-business marketers can help sales colleagues overcome their most common hurdles, such as being able to communicate value and differentiation to prospects, Gavin Finn writes. Create visual, immersive experiences using augmented or virtual reality to showcase products and build emotional connections, and understand the perspective of each purchasing decision-maker to tailor the pitch to their needs and concerns, he writes.
Spend your time and energy with people who believe in you and are willing to offer constructive criticism, and avoid people who reveal themselves to be self-absorbed and conniving, writes LaRae Quy. "While we need different types of personalities in our life to bring out the best in us, only share your dreams and goals with people who value them as much as you do," she writes.
Effective leaders should focus on building the best culture, asking questions and then laying out the path to answering them, says Berlin School of Creative Leadership professor Paul Verdin. "It's a very different mindset, and it means we have to be comfortable from the top down, to live in uncertainty and to admit that 'we don't know,' "
Executives from companies including SAP Ariba and Oracle discuss influencer strategies for business-to-business marketing, including why it's vital to get the right influencers on board at the start of campaigns and involve them in content creation. They also explain how using influencers to inform as well as promote case studies and eBooks is a particularly effective way to drive results.