Pharma Archives | Audience Innovation

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2018-10-20 Paul Kostial

Sadly, it’s true. And here’s just a few examples.

You hit a link on some online ‘sponsored’ message, and your phone rings in 3 seconds #$%^$#, or … you get a text immediately. Immediately #$%^$#!!! What? … #$%^$# … I only wanted to get some info emailed to me and, I really don’t want your salesman/woman calling or texting me at 10:00p on a Friday night. Seriously, I don’t. Stop it #$%^$#.

You try to find a phone number on a website, only to find they have no phone number, and ONLY an option to email them a request. Uhhhh #$%^$#, did your customer ‘service’ team all get fired, or sent on vacation? Really, now I do want to talk to a human, and I’m a paying customer; can’t find a human to answer a question RE my account, to save my life.

Oh, back to the first one. And now, you stalk the #$%^$# out of me, with dozens of emails, calls and/or texts, and it’s barely been 24 hours. Really? … #$%^$# … and you think I want to be your customer now? No, I don’t. I’ll find another to give my hard-earned dollars!!

Or often, I’m not looking to buy now, unless it’s shampoo, and I’ll order that online and, it’ll be at my door in a day or two. I’m just interested in learning more about this insurance option, on my own time, or home refinancing, on my own time. In the meantime, I’ll just go grocery shopping at my favorite #HEB, or #Randalls, and I’ll find what I want, in person, like a human – and me still shopping for my own groceries, and choosing my own apples.

Get this. Go to your local branch of your ‘major’ bank and ask to speak to a customer service rep who’s sitting there to answer customer’s questions. So you ask your question. They pick up the phone, and call the same 800# you could call, and they ask the question of their ‘rep’ online, with a code word at the front so they know it’s an internal inbound ‘branch’ call. Uhhh, really, this is how you do it now? #$%^$# – What happened to your customer service, did they all get fired, or you forgot to train them to help me with even basic questions, in person? I’m paying you – I’ll find another bank to do business. Today.

And let’s not forget now, the robo dial calls and texts, even though you’re on the DO NOT CALL list, and it’s been checked and verified. Did you forget to check that, any of you? I spent time listing myself there to avoid these antagonists frustrations, and you maybe ‘forgot’ to purge that list, so you can email me instead. One email would be nice, not 30 in a week.

One big time client has 180,000+ emails in his work email inbox. He’s shared, he can’t get the first email answered before there’s another 10 follow-up emails and now, many scold you for not answering the first email, or say “I’m sure you’ve been busy, did you forget to answer my prior email?”

Really? #$%^$# … uhhh no, you’re stalking the #$%^$# out of me, so I’ll just BLOCK you. How’s that for cutting off your robotic marketing? … now what, you’ll camp at my house or office, and catch me heading to the grocery store? Seriously?

Marketing, this is not. Sales, this is not. Yes, there’s a powerful benefit to online targeting and yet, there must be a limit to stalking #$%^$# that’s going on today. It’s insane. Insane.

  • Do you want to be stalked? No.
  • Do you want to be texted incessantly? No.
  • Do you want to get phone calls, repeatedly, and all hours? No.
  • Do you buy a vacuum cleaner, then want retargeting for vacuum cleaners? No.
  • Do you want to choose your path, and how you interact with companies? Yes.
  • Do you want valued relationships with companies that value your business? Yes.

Get the point? It’s not that difficult – it’s basic human psychology. Very basic, i.e. it’s not that difficult to understand and, even yourself as an example, you don’t want it either. Yes.

And to think, we stalk #$%^$# them to frustration and agony then, we wonder why they don’t buy. Hold on while I finish LMAO, OMG – what the hell? Is this for real? Someone must be punking me, right? Where’s Ashton Kutcher when you need him? Yikes.

In our business, we speak with marketers every single day – EVERY.SINGLE.DAY of the week. And guess what, they’re all mostly very frustrated. Their sales teams are frustrated, and no one’s much answering the phone any more, rarely responding to emails (unless it’s a known contact), and uhhhh … getting a H2H or F2F meeting these days is near impossible anymore. It’s an epidemic we call ‘bunkering’ and it’s a sad result of a shameful practice.

Read the articles, there are many on these topics, and it’ll only get worse, except for those marketers and sales managers who want to give their customers a more bona fide and productive experience. Honestly, these days, it’s not that difficult to set yourself (your company) apart and above the competition. To start, stop stalking people – it’s not working to produce the result you want and, IN FACT, it’s producing the opposite affect.

If you want to reach people, i.e. your customers, how about sending them a little gift, or a nice gesture of goodwill, or offering them an advantage to doing business with you? Or, what about NOT stalking #$%^$# them? Simple steps cause big results, and this ‘marketing’ madness must come to a halt or, you’ll soon find yourself with fewer customers.

Company after company (large and small) are denoting the reality of this situation and, luckily, some are taking prompt action/s to reverse the saga/mess and, building valued relationships with their customers and prospects. It’s not that difficult but first, you must stop the insanity.

Shared in truth and a bit of humor, and happy to chat any time. These topics are important, and apply mostly equally to both B2B and B2C targeting. Some products/services do well with the online-only options, yet many do not. Think carefully how you’re cultivated a relationship the customer WANTS to have with you and your company.

Try being a customer of your company, and see how it goes. I’ve personally coached many CMO’s to do this, and create a fake profile for a test and, 95% of the time, they call back crying and/or screaming. Yes, they found the truth, the reality of overwhelm on their own, firsthand, and they wouldn’t want to be a customer of their own company.

Sadly, that’s both humorous, and horrifying. It’s time we take smarter/better action, and caring for our customers better, more intuitively, and giving them an experience they’ll want to repeat. Now that’s marketing, and that’s sales – like time-tested and proven over and over.

 

 

 


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2018-10-18 Paul Kostial

It’s really simple human psychology, the answer to why/how offline drip campaigns are working so well today and, they’re driving online interaction and sales results too?

First, humans aren’t one dimensional (yet) – at least we hope. What that means is, seriously, people react to (and engage with) all kinds of touch points. Some touch points are online, and some are offline – and, it’s the mix of both that’s driving the highest customer interaction today, depending on product and/or action desired.

Offline touch points engage your targets differently – it’s not online vs. offline; it’s more about online PLUS offline. Think: events, posters, direct mail, post cards, outdoor boards, signage, in-hand interactions, tv/cable, sales meetings, radio, podcasts, etc. … all different kinds of customer touch points, and each has their priority, and their customer-engaging role.

We think of it as “connect-the-dots” multi-channel, but even that word is so over-used these days, it’s almost cliche. What it means is touch points that are both online, and offline. People are often overwhelmed with online ‘content’ these days. Too much email. Too many Linked posts to even see them all, even if they’re re-targeted – it’s overwhelming, and hard to keep up with it all these days. As a result, many companies are using multi-platform today – OFFLINE+ONLINE– to engage their most vital targets, and it’s working, and diving results for sales and, sales teams to interact and engage their best customers.

Online, many companies are swim in a sea of fragmentation and overwhelm, and it’s a daunting objective to rise above that clutter, unless you have millions of $$$ for budget and, even then … is a banner really gonna move a multi-million-dollar purchase decision to close, or a CFO to purchase?

Not likely.

And yet, although online touch points have their value and benefit, they need to be kept in perspective and, prioritized with other ‘drips’ and coordinated, i.e. sequenced as we call it. If humans were robots it might be different but, we’re not robots (yet) and thus, we interact with different touch points in different context and, we have a different emotional response for each type of touch point interaction. Unless you’re selling shampoo, or ketchup, i.e. the one-click-to-buy purchase, the combination of online+offline is what’s working best today.

RESULTS UP; COSTS DOWN: What’s working best for our clients, specifically, is online plus a series of sequenced tangible touch points. We overlay their online strategy with timed touch points of magazine cover wraps and, it’s all coordinated with their online platforms, and focused ONLY on those who matter most. For both B2B targets, and affluent B2C targets, the tactic is highly effective and, it’s producing even better results than ever before. Likely because the overwhelm online is so great, and direct marketing tactics are producing amplified results, even for your most difficult-to-reach target audiences.

With the ‘magazine’ per se, consider it your valued content partner and, the media brand itself lifts your company’s brand by association, i.e. Forbes, Fortune, Wired, Fast Company, Inc., ESPN, Good Housekeeping, and 400+ more content options. Consider, the magazine is a ‘Trojan horse’ that delivers your message and, maybe oddly, it’s not about the magazine; it’s only the delivery device that gets your valued message directly into the hands of your most valued targets and, only those you want to reach, 100% of them – that’s 100% reach.

And as a result, your targets appreciate your gesture of goodwill and, they interact with and respond to your messaging, even driving them back to your sales team, and/or online channels. It’s the combination that’s working, online+offline, and simple sequenced messaging that’s driving customer education, thought leadership, product demos, and more.

If you’d like to know more about our platforms, and if they’ll work well with your targets, please reach out to me personally, and I’ll coordinate a time to chat, learn more about your targets, and how best our platforms works for your specific category, and target type.

Please feel free to visit our website, or listen to our newest podcast regarding “What’s working? CEO Interview” – or email me direct to discuss your most vital targets, and our recommendation based on nearly 30 years experience, and 600+ client’s campaigns. We look forward to it, and to sharing ideas how best to amplify your targeted interactions. paul.kostial@audienceinnovation.com – Office: 888.241.6634,719

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2018-10-13 Paul Kostial

Building a successful business in any market requires an ambitious marketing team and a strategy that works for you. When expanding your business, you need to be able to trust your marketing team to maximize your reach without overspending or launching campaigns that do not resonate with your target audience. Knowing how to determine the effectiveness of your current marketing team is essential before launching massive campaigns and investing financially in ad spending.

Evaluate if Your Marketing Team is Pulling in Enough Leads

Hold weekly or bi-weekly conferences and meetings with your marketing team to ensure you are moving forward with plans and to avoid wasting time or your investment. Inquire about their marketing plans and ask why they have chosen the methods they prefer. Consider your audience and the way they are most likely to find your website or online presence. Does your audience browse using their mobile phones? Are your prospective customers interested in a newsletter subscription, or do they discover new offers and promotions via social media platforms such as Facebook? A great marketing team is able to relay necessary information to you while highlighting what is likely to work best for your followers and consumers simultaneously.

Resource: How to Build a High Performance Marketing Team

Monitor Metrics to Evaluate Marketing Campaign Performance

The most important metrics to monitor with a marketing team include conversions, email opens, and click-through rates on your website, advertisements, and email newsletters sent. Monitoring the metrics of individual campaigns your team launches provides valuable insight into what messaging, subject lines, and promotional copy work best for your target demographic.

Resource: How to Measure the Effectiveness of Marketing Campaigns

Improve Your Business’ Marketing Game

Keeping track of your marketing team’s progress is extremely important to remain on track with any goals you have set in place. Ask important questions and hold your marketing team accountable. There are a few ways to improve your company’s marketing game by setting requirements from your marketing team such as:

  • Set a budget in place for ad campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Request visual reports weekly for each campaign and ad you launch using social media and third-party sites.
  • Use A/B testing on each campaign you launch for a more precise metric report while reviewing effectiveness.

Resource: 6 Contrarian Questions to Ask When Hiring a Marketing Agency

When you understand what a good marketing team entails, ensure your own marketing team meets your standards and delivers on their promises. With the right marketing team by your side, expand your business while boosting loyalty, trust, and commitment from your prospective customers.

When managing a marketing campaign, sometimes you need some extra help and guidance. That’s where we come in. Our campaigns range from business to business because we fit our campaigns to your needs. Check out what campaigns we have to offer and see which is best for you and your business! Businesses who have used our services have seen up to 341% ROI because of our campaigns! Get in contact with us, and let’s see what we can create together!


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2018-08-19 Paul Kostial

In the age of digital proliferation, offline touch points are being engaged more often by marketing and sales and, not so oddly, performing better than ever, and more so.

 

And there’s good reasons for it …

Start with the overwhelm of online we each face daily; many are simply hard-to-reach online, much less get their attention, much less meaningful attention.

It’s more distracting than many are willing to tolerate and, yes, although there’s a learning curve evolving … i.e. an adaptation timeframe … we’re all flooded with online inbound constantly these days.

It can be annoying and, for any company looking to entice new and prior clients, it’s imperative that engagement work well.

 

As a result, many marketing and advertising decision-makers are layering platforms online and offline to garner the most effective results.

Just ask Tory Brunker, VP, Marketing, Tech Trade Up, who states:

In my experience, the combination of online and offline marketing are essential to cutting through the clutter, achieving higher ROI, and attracting top B2B targets. I’ve seen as high as a 50% increase in sales ready leads when we layer online and offline with our vital targets.”

And Michael McCarthy, CEO of Inkit, an automated direct mail platform, shares this:

Amazon gets it, for example, that offline channels work. Many companies still are trying to ‘go digital’ so much they’ve put blinders on.  Guaranteed, some people would be shocked to learn that many companies, like Amazon, are going direct mail big time.  May sound shocking, but not so oddly, it’s working well for them.”

What McCarthy is talking about is smart direct mail, i.e. automated, sequenced and channeled tangible media.  It’s no longer simply the same piece for your entire audience, that’s old-school –and best yet, your messaging lands in their hand ­–in their home or office– and, causing heightened response, and increased user interaction.

It’s a tangible touch point of value, and there are many options to heighten the impact, vs. the ‘mass’ impersonal approach of many channels, both online and offline.  Humans respond to appreciation.”

Long-time colleague, Jouette Travis, former SVP, OMD, and former Managing Director at Focus, Carat Dentsu, shares the customer messaging experience like this:

Let the user specify how they want to be contacted (and contracted).  Instead of pushing a channel on them, let your online and offline channels form naturally.  For example, American Airlines lets you choose text, voice or e-mail, plus apps and more.

However way THEY connect, that’s the way you want to reach them.  This establishes a more powerful channel with amplified interest and, more effective retention both online and offline.”

As more marketing leaders navigate the proper channel balance for their targets, many well-respected in marketing and advertising are increasing investments in offline media, i.e. tangible touch point channels.

Specifically, as they realize that many of their targets are not always online (or ever, for some targets/users).  And, easy clicks in many cases are not generating enough throughput in the sales pipeline, at least for sales to engage, integrate, and close.

 

This applies to most all B2B categories, and many, but not all, B2C categories.  It does vary by product and/or target, of course.

As a result, the balance of ‘layered media’ is returning full swing today, embraced by many, even while cultivating online channels.  Many have already added new expressions of layered offline channels and, they are now garnering even better results with both, specifically by adding tangible touch points. May seem old-school, but it’s working.

Recent study of online only vs. online+offline …

  • In a study conducted by a F500® company, they compared the qualified response rates of online-only vs. online+offline side-by-side, meaning they also deleted those leads generated that were of no value, i.e. not qualified for further engagement.

  • Their online-only group delivered less than 1% qualified call-to-action vs. online+offline, which was their existing online platform layered with an Audience Innovation tangible touch point platform, for B2B specifically in this case.

  • Their target was high-level B2B c-suite execs (an enterprise channel), and delivered +56% CTA.  Wow, seriously – AND, this target is considered this company’s most difficult-to-reach of their B2B targets, mostly high-level C-Suite executives.

 

+56% CTA Online+Offline vs. <1% Online CTA Only

 

It’s not that either is better, specifically – simply, it’s that the two (in combination) produce an exponentially greater volume than either alone, and by a large X-factor. Their sales force was pleased, and had better quality leads as a result.

 

And, it makes sense – tangible touch points last much longer than digital touch points, at least many of them, like 3-weeks vs. 3-seconds in many cases.  And, they express an interest that’s not as common today, while more engaging in-person, and … they stand out more – i.e. they make a bigger statement of interest.  People notice.

 

Advertising innovation expert, Tom Goodwin, EVP, Innovation, Zenith, shares:

When are we going to understand that people do not ‘spend time’ online?  They exist in a world where reality blends the two. Digital stuff is just another channel how we live. It’s not a choice. It’s not a behavior.

We don’t ‘go to the power grid’ to boil a kettle, we just make tea.  In the same way, we don’t do digital banking, online dating or ecommerce, we just send money, go on dates and buy stuff in 2018.

This isn’t semantics, it’s the outlook and mindset we have to have for the modern age, we have to build for this reality not adapt what we have to just about work in it by bolting things on the side.”

So then, let’s add the role of humans in this process:

According to well-known expert, Sangram Vajre, Founder & CMO, Terminus, humans are the most important key in the transaction, in many business/sales conversations:

At the end of the day, regardless of whether you’re in marketing for a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) organization, it’s about creating human-to-human (H2H) connections.

With H2H marketing, it’s about creating a compelling narrative, a story that people will actually care about. It’s extremely rare to get people to care about your brand unless you already have a certain amount of prestige associated with your company.”  Human value.

At Audience Innovation, we call this the ‘Lotsa Itty Bitty Carrots Marketing Platform’ and, all joking aside, it’s essential to see its simplicity.

Each has a role, and each contributes to the valued moments in the customer journey, compelling the path of engagement, and … funneling sales actions.

You’ve got lotsa itty bitty online carrots ‘floating around’ your targets online all day every day, attempting to entice them to engage an interaction with your company.  It’s the combination of both online and offline channels that most effectively engage your most vital targets, unless you have a click-and-buy product/service you’re selling.”

Then, you have bigger carrots that are your offline touch points, whose job is designed to amplify your valued relationship, and vested as a ‘target’ your company will now invest more than ‘just banners’ forward.

These are tangible touch points that deliver direct connection, interest and reaction and, should be coordinated with the sales force to optimize targeting choices, and a simple plan for their interaction in reverse (with the same targets).

 

They’ll know your interest as soon as they receive your first tangible touch point and, they’ll have an amplified response increasing over time, including their greater appreciation for the recognition you have given.  They’ll take note, whether the phone rings or not (yet); it’s a heightened reciprocity that’s positively lodged in their brain.”

The crescendo is your sales force, which is your biggest and most powerful of all marketing carrots – the biggest, when supported properly.  It’s all about driving purchase, one carrot-nudge at a time.”

The ONLINE+OFFLINE+HUMAN Marketing Sequence:

 

The ‘LOTSA ITTY BITTY CARROTS’ Marketing Platform

 

As we’re all planning our target strategies for Q4’18 and into 2019, many are now considering the impact and ROI of their most robust online PLUS offline targeting platforms, along with the validation it’s already working.

Thus, the blended or layered messaging sequence is producing greater results and, creating more engaged end users, qualified end users for our sales force to engage.

 

It’s simple – humans did not stop engaging with tangible touch points of value; they simply have a new intangible option that’s also part of their daily routine.

It’s the ‘lotsa little carrots’ in the marketing equation for your targets and, there’s no denying the baseline impact, and cutting through the clutter while establishing a long-term value asset with each customer/prospect relationship.

 

As marketers, our challenges involve growing everything from building awareness to generating sales results and, 1,000+ other goals and objectives – it’s not easy.

It is, however, very motivating to understand how we’re best-served by engaging our audiences both online and offline and, the value-to-interest equation is increased with each succeeding engagement asset, i.e. sequenced steps online plus offline, engagement and interaction.

As a result, customer-connection is stair-stepped upward via little bitty baby steps.

 

One long-time marketing & sales exec recently said it well:

We’re using valued offline channels more now, simply because we’re drowning in the ‘always everywhere’ overwhelm of online channels that are cluttered, and fragmented.  So, why would we not also be where we are seen bigger, bolder, and without drowning over here?  Specifically, we deploy a simple ‘be where they’re not’ plan – it’s smart layered targeting working best.

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We build impactful story-telling touch point platforms that amplify highly-valued customer connection. It’s a sales-minded valued asset.

Paul C. Kostial – President & CEO, Audience Innovation

OFFICE: 888.241.6634,719 – paul.kostial@audienceinnovation.com

 

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