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A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • ESPN is bringing back ESPN8. “The Ocho” will take the place of ESPN2 on Aug. 8, offering 24 hours of off-beat programming. KFC will sponsor all 24 hours of programming in a series of vignettes that will run throughout the day. Within the lineup will be the 2018 Dodgeball World Cup, the US Open Ultimate Championships, the Spikeball East Tour Series, Major League Eating, the Cornhole: ACL Pro Invitational, and the World Championship of Ping Pong.

 

  • Van HeusenVan Heusen has become UFC’s first-ever “Official Men’s Dress Furnishings Provider,” with UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson starring in a new commercial highlighting the Van Heusen Flex collection of men’s shirts and pants. The commercial and campaign creative will be placed across national and local cable television, and display ads on select retailer sites. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

 

  • OTT DAZN is planning on creating original lifestyle content including documentaries, talk shows and podcasts as part of its international expansion. “In a market like the US where we’re very strong in combat sports rights but don’t have much else, we need original content,” said DAZN chief executive James Rushton, to Digiday. “Part of our challenge is, we have to turn these boxers back into superstars.” The platform is set to launch in September with only boxing and martial arts rights and will be supplementing that coverage with an original daily news show offering an inside look at what fighters get up to outside the ring.

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  • Top Rank BoxingBoxing promotion company Top Rank signed a new seven-year partnership with ESPN. As part of the deal, ESPN will provide live coverage of 54 boxing events per year, as well as delivering previews and post-fight analysis programmes, archive and studio content and new shows.

 

  • UFC confirmed its first-ever event in Beijing, China, taking place at the Cadillac Arena on Nov. 24. “China is the next frontier for the growth of UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts, and this market is paramount to our success internationally,” UFC Vice President of Asia-Pacific Kevin Chang said. UFC will be working together with Endeavor China to deliver the live event.

 

  • Clemson University locked in a 10-year contract extension with Nike, that will run through the 2027-28 academic year and grant the athletic department more than $58 million in apparel allowances, direct cash payouts, and royalties. “Nike is one of the premier brands in the world and we’re excited to build upon our relationship,” said Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics, Clemson University.

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  • FedExFedEx expanded its partnership with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies to become the franchise’s first-ever jersey sponsor. The FedEx logo will be integrated into the team’s newly designed Nike uniforms for the 2018/19 season.

 

  • Major League Baseball and ESPN announced that the 2018 MLB Postseason will begin exclusively on ESPN on Oct. 2. The National League Wild Card Game presented by Hankook will also be available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and the ESPN App. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.

 

  • UFC signed a multi-year marketing partnership with meal delivery service Trifecta Nutrition. The agreement represents a brand-new sponsorship category for UFC. In return, Trifecta will have a branded presence at the UFC Performance Institute and an activation presence at UFC’s live events. Trifecta will use UFC branding to create custom delivery boxes and to promote national sweepstakes for UFC events.

A summary of the most exciting recent research in brand marketing in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

US/US-HISPANIC MARKET

According to research from Accenture cited by eMarketer, 41% of consumers have switched the brands they buy from because of poor personalization, and 50% say that they did so because of “poor customer experience” in general. This mistake represents a total of $756 billion in lost retail and brand sales.

A new study from RetailNext found that 2017’s Black Friday event saw less foot traffic, but still experienced a combined 4.8% increase in sales compared to 2016.

A new study released today by Engagement Labs found that an estimated 19 percent of consumer sales are driven by offline and online social conversations. 

Content marketing platform Linqia‘s new study, “The State of Influencer Marketing 2018,” found that 86% of marketers reported using influencer marketing in 2017 — and, of those, 92% said it is an effective strategy.

A recent study by Shutterstock found that 88 percent of U.S. marketers surveyed agreed with the statement “Using more diverse images helps a brand’s reputation.”

StreamOn, a new study by Market Strategies International, has found that only 11% of all streamers pay for live streaming television.

Tiffany & Co. is the favorite luxury jewelry brand among wealthy millennials, followed by Cartier, Pandora, and Chanel, according to a recent survey by consumer-research group MVI Marketing. Rolex was the top brand for watches, followed by Apple, Omega and Cartier.

Research from search intelligence platform Adthena found that Amazon took 49.65% of the consumer electronics category’s click share during October and November of 2017. Director of Product Marketing at Adthena Ashley Fletcher credits this to their preference for pure brand terms, versus generic terms.

LATAM MARKET

Latin American media owners’ net advertising revenues (NAR) are set to grow by +9.3% in 2018, to US$26.3 billion, following a +7.3% growth in 2017;  thanks to a more robust economic recovery in the region, according to MAGNA.  Television remains the top media category in the region with 54% of total advertising sales while Digital advertising in Latin America remains lower than the global average.

According to a new report by research firm Counterpoint, 99 percent of Smartphone Sold in Argentina are LTE Enabled.

A summary of the most exciting recent research in brand marketing in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

According to a recent survey of readers in the digital marketing space by SmartBrief, data is at the top of the list of purchasing priorities for marketers: More respondents said their companies plan to invest in data and measurement products and services over the next 12 to 18 months than any other type of marketing product.

SaleCycle’s remarketing report has revealed that the global cart abandonment rate for Q3 2017 reached 78.4%, representing a 1.5% increase from the previous quarter.

According to Inskin Media, the effectiveness of online ads has more to do with the relationship the reader has with a publisher than the surrounding editorial content: Ads on the branded publisher sites increased awareness by 60% compared to the ads on other sites, and among readers with a close relationship to the publisher, awareness of ads was 152% higher than among those who saw the ads elsewhere.

A study from Branding Brand and Leanplum found that more than 60% of Black Friday shoppers are set to use mobile apps rather than desktop websites to hunt for bargains this year.

The Nielsen Global Brand-Origin Report was based on surveys of more than 31,500 online respondents in 63 countries and examined consumers’ preference for and sentiment toward products manufactured by local manufacturers versus large global/multinational brands across 34 categories. Categories where consumers were more inclined to opt for a locally manufactured product over a global brand included dairy products (54%), biscuits/chips/snacks/cookies (32%), ice-cream (31%) and mineral/bottled water (30%).

DMA’s Consumer Email Tracker 2017 report found that 44% of people have set up dedicated email accounts to receive marketing messages. And when people check marketing emails, almost half (49%) said they need to recognize the brand before opening any communication.

More than 93% of chief marketing officers have overhauled their digital strategy amid brand safety concerns, according to a study from Teads. As a result, 48% of those surveyed are reviewing relationships with suppliers and 55% are reviewing their agency relationships.

A summary of the most exciting recent research in brand marketing in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

According to a study by Survata, Instagram, with 22% of the vote, ranked No. 1 among 18- to 24-year-olds for the platform with the best natural ad experience, followed by Google with 21%, Facebook, 17%; Snapchat, 14%; YouTube, 11%; Pinterest, 8%; and Twitter, 7%.

Social Media Marketing Works: A study at University of Oxford, recently found that brands whose social marketing campaigns portrayed the brand as “more personable, emotional and less functional” – essentially more human – had a strong positive effect on brand awareness. There was, however, a difference of up to than 35 percentage points between the most and least effective campaigns, where content and style of the ad made a significant impact.

According to Tubular Intelligence, there are 181 videos from 91 brands that have more than 1 million engagements as well as 5 million views on YouTube. 

A new study conducted by IPG Mediabrands’ intelligence and investment unit Magna, the IPG Media Lab, analytics company Moat and programmatic software company The Trade Desk over the past year found that more viewable campaigns are also more likely to lead consumers to buy, click or register and that related standards achieve similar results.

Almost 80% of marketers said customer communications must include a two-way dialogue between brands and consumers that “more deeply engages customers, address[es] customer questions, resolves issues, influences purchase decisions, improves loyalty and increases transactions,” but that less than half (48%) of marketers thought current two-way communications platforms could meet those needs, including social media, messaging apps and chatbots, according to a study by LiveWorld.

A study by Kantar Millward Brown found no strong correlation between campaign success and factors such as industry category, region, or number of creative types used in a campaign, but that brands who communicate using human language, connecting with people’s emotions and “avoiding more functional words and phrases,” tend to perform better in advertising effectiveness.

A new study from Goldsmiths University and Adobe found that the majority of firms are not taking advantage of how AI can provide improved customer experiences. Almost two thirds (61%) of consumers said they were loyal to brands that tailor their experiences to them, yet less than a third of marketers are using AI to do so (32%).

The “Trust in News” study by Kantar found that traditional print and broadcast media brands are more resilient to accusations of “fake news” than social media platforms and digital news outlets and that news consumers are reading more widely and becoming more sophisticated in their engagement with news content, engaging in activities like “fact checking.”

 Smartling, a translation technology service, released findings of a new study that reveals content localization is a top priority for global brands, with 94 percent of marketers surveyed in the U.S. and Europe citing plans to increase spending on content localization in the coming year.

A summary of the most exciting recent research in brand marketing in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

US/US-HISPANIC MARKET

North American marketers are more likely to be increasing their marketing budgets for Amazon than they are for Google, Bing, Facebook or Twitter, according to new research published today. An Amazon-focused study by ClickZ Intelligence, produced in partnership with Catalyst, part of GroupM, has found that 63% of companies advertising on Amazon are planning to increase this budget over the next 12 months, compared to 54% for Google, 53% for Facebook, 27% for Bing and 23% for Twitter.

B2C marketing and analytics company Zaius released a report that shows that companies are not adopting Omnichannel marketing strategies like they claim to be. 40% of those surveyed say they have no omnichannel strategy in place for the 2017 holiday season.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” campaign is being brought back with a new Millennial-friendly, all-digital media strategy.

The United States, China, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom have the strongest national brands, according to Brand Finance’s annual study.

More than 90% of leading global companies with high levels of customer satisfaction use artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to increase customer satisfaction, compared to 42% of companies in their fields overall, according to a new report from MIT Technology Review and Genesys.

According to research from digital marketing company Netsertive, 87% of appliance purchasers said they prefer to buy in local stores, rather than online. 

Mintel announced the four key trends set to impact North American consumer markets over the coming year. Transparency, value, self-care, and automation are identified as the four trends to watch.

MediaCom is partnering with ad tech company Unruly to provide access to its proprietary ‘Cultural Connections’ research, which “quantifies culture” for the first time.

Ford has announced a new branding strategy, which is meant to disrupt the auto industry: The shift will include greater focus on accelerating the introduction of smart vehicles and services.

According to a study by coin-counting kiosk company Coinstar, most (65%) holiday shoppers set a budget and 25%  look out for sales to buy all or most of their gifts at a discount throughout the year. 14% shop at the last minute, 7% finish most of their shopping before Thanksgiving and 12% take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday discounts, according to the report. The report claims that Black Friday will be the busiest online shopping day in US history. 

LATAM MARKET

According to research from Nielsen, Mexican consumers are increasingly seeking value as prices rise due to inflation. “As consumers seek higher value for their money, they’re spending more time shopping at discount and wholesale outlets, which allow consumers to shop for retail brands at lower prices. In addition to adjusting the channels they frequent, consumers are assessing price vs. volume in light via promotions, multi-packs, and larger pack sizes.”

New research from Rabobank predicts that demand for premium coffee will rise 6 to 7 percent in Brazil this year, and brands like Nestle and Coca-Cola are hoping to cash in.

According to research firm Gartner, the PC market has stabilized in Latin America, counteracting the decline observed in North America.

A summary of the most exciting recent research in brand marketing in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

US/US-HISPANIC MARKET

According to a study from Advertiser Perceptions, 78 percent of marketers said that a recent digital or mobile campaign included ads that ran on more than 50 sites.

According to Interbrand‘s new2017 Best Global Brands Report, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are the top brands in the world.

According to a study by 9Honey and Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi, single women gave brands a score of 6/10 when it comes to understanding their needs.

A new report from the CMO Council and Dow Jones reveals that 78 percent of marketers say that the brand safety scandal has hurt their brand’s reputation, and 50 percent that it has impacted brand affinity.

A study by CBD Marketing of more than 12.5 million social media posts and online commentary by millennials over 2016 revealed that millennials prefer healthy and natural foods, to cook and prepare meals, and are in favor of alternative food distribution vehicles like meal delivery and meal services.

Adidas and Jordan brand are the most popular sneakers in the U.S., according to market research firm NPD Group.

According to research from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, 80 percent of B2B content marketers agree their organization is focused on building audiences for their brand.

According to YouGov BrandIndex’s July release of favorite brands, Facebook and Netflix top the list of favorite brands for the past 12 months, with Facebook receiving a score of 83.5 percent and Netflix receiving 75.8 percent.

LATAM MARKET:

According to a new study from market research firm Euromonitor, mass beauty brands grew by 4.4 percent in 2016 in Brazil whereas luxury products rose 9.1 percent.

McCann Worldgroup was named Network of the Year at the 2ndedition of the Latin American Effie Awards during an awards ceremony at the Cartagena Inspira Festival in Colombia. The agency was the most-awarded network at the Latin American Effie Awards, after winning 21 metals.

J Walter Thompson‘s ‘Brand America’ report revealed that more than 40% of Mexicans have negative attitudes toward the United States.

Oath, the umbrella brand for all of AOL and Yahoo’s media and tech properties, is launching its first South American ad campaign, “#BuildYourBrand,” in Brazil, (as well as the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Taiwan, Singapore & Hong Kong). The campaign includes broadcast, digital, print, social and out-of-home components

What: Interpublic Group agency Golin released its first-ever Global Relevance Review, highlighting the importance of popularity — being talked about and recommended by others — in driving the success of leading brands across categories today.
Why It Matters: While the study found that today’s most relevant brands are driven by word-of-mouth and popularity, none of them is meeting customers’ expectations when it comes to trustworthiness. At our PortadaLat conference next week, Steve Bent, Director of Analytics and Research at Golin will provide a presentation on “What Fake News Means for Brands” and discuss more insights of the study .

Golin recently released its first-ever Global Relevance Review, which analyzed the factors contributing to today’s most relevant brands’ success.

The study shows that consumers are increasingly skeptical of brands and institutions and look to each other for validation in which brands to support. The findings suggest that successful brands will recognize the power of word-of-mouth, but that they should also work on increasing their trustworthiness to drive even more growth.

Most Relevant Brands Are Popular But Remain Untrustworthy

Golin’s respondents defined relevant information as anything useful/practical (54%), informative (53%), and funny (35%). Other adjectives like “inspiring,” “shocking” and “exciting” were not as important in driving relevance. While 91 percent of the most relevant brands studied exceeded expectations when it comes to being popular, not even one was able to meet the ideal when it came to being trustworthy — ethical, moral, honest and truthful — the company’s press release said.

Gary Rudnick, CEO + Operations at Golin said, “the trend of talkability trumping truth played out consistently across all three of the categories we looked at,” pointing to the fact that the leading global Social Marketing brand fell 32 points short on meeting the ideal for Trustworthy, but scored almost 30 points higher on popularity than the ideal.

The fact that so many brands could be very popular without being trustworthy highlights an interesting trend: “Leading brands are sustaining relevance by under-delivering on ideal expectations when it comes to Trustworthy, and over-delivering when it comes to Popular,” said Rudnick.  To illustrate this,  “I can point you to a leading German car maker and a major American bank,” Rudnick continued, “both of whom have been unequivocally established as not telling the truth about important things, and manage to maintain popularity.”

Lack of Standout Leaders in Auto Category

While the report does not give details on specific brands, it focused on three categories: social media, personal banking and automotiveWhen it came to social media, the firm found that people care more about being entertained than truth, and in banking, consumers prefer local to global banks. In the automotive category, individual brands are struggling to stand out in terms of relevance. 

 “It’s surprising, given the vast amounts of money that car brands spend around the world trying to craft evocative and distinctive personalities for their brands, and for their individual cars, how similarly consumers seem to perceive them,” Rudnick explained.

Small Town Loyalty Most Intense

To complement the data from the study, Golin also conducted an ethnographic study of residents in two small towns whose populist movements surprised everyone in their respective countries’ recent elections: Seymour, Indiana, and Preston, U.K. In both towns, one of the strongest sentiments that the team picked up on was that small town residents feel they are being taken advantage of, and are equally skeptical of big government, cities, the mainstream media and large companies.

The study also found that residents of small towns are intensely loyal to brands: in Seymour, Indiana, particular loyalty to Chevrolet was discovered, and panelists also spoke passionately about Facebook, Google, and McDonalds.

“Seymour’s loyalty to Chevy is community-wide,” Rudnick said. “Perhaps it’s that the networks are smaller and more tightly-knit and that the cultural reinforcements are more concentrated.”

Among other macro trends, social media (59%) and television (57%) consistently ranked first and second above “word-of-mouth from friends and family” (45%) as the most relevant sources of news and information, and word-of-mouth from friends and family is more relevant to women (50%) than men (39%). Across the categories, brands that achieve relevance do so through similar drivers, respecting “the contours of the ideal,” Rudnick said.

Above all, the study proved beyond doubt that “people’s loyalty to certain brands is an important part of their personality,” Rudnick said.

Check out our new roundup for brand marketers, where you’ll find the most relevant new insights and research published over the last week.  If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

A new survey by Customer Thermometer found that 64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand or business and that the vast majority (91%) of those connections were positive. ‘Interest’ was the common emotion felt by consumers towards a brand (70%), and 57% of the survey’s respondents said they felt trust.

A global study from Rakuten Marketing claims that negative consumer attitude towards online advertising is having serious consequences, revealing that nearly half (45%) of consumers having proactively opted out of an online ad. 58% of consumers associating online advertising with “other disruptive content.”

Devra Prywes, the SVP of marketing and insights at Unruly Interactive, spoke at the Advertising Bureau’s annual NewFronts insights luncheon on Wednesday, stating that compared to other consumers, “Dad is about 20 percent more likely to engage with a digital video ad.”

According to Harris Poll‘s research, sporting goods store brand equity is 7.7 points higher among millennials compared to baby boomers, while luxury department stores (+5.6) and electronics stores (+5.7) are nearly 6 points higher. Millennials’ brand equity score for off-price retailers is 4.9 points higher compared to baby boomers, while footwear and department stores are 4 points and 3.8 points higher, respectively. Only hardware and home stores (-3.8) have lower brand equity among millennials compared to baby boomers.

SEO and digital brand firm SearchDex’s research on U.S. Google search behaviors found that 68% of respondents are concerned about their browser history being sold to big companies. Among privacy concerns were causing an increase in annoying ads (44%), data falling into the wrong hands (43%), private searches being made public (40%) and security breaches causing browser history to be exposed (40%).

eMarketer is predicting that 35.6 million Americans use voice-enabled devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home at least once a month, a 129 percent increase since 2016. The study also found that Amazon Echo claims 71 percent of the voice-enabled market.

 

 

 

 

Check out our new roundup for brand marketers, where you’ll find the most relevant new insights and research published over the last week.  If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

According to a study by online presentation firm Prezi and cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Carmen Simon, 80 percent of consumers forget the majority of information from branded content after only three days, and over half can’t recall a single detail, according to new research.
 Cogent Reports’ new study, The Future of the Financial Advisor shows that one in four advisors (25%) reports less frequent contact with external wholesalers, creating an immediate need for asset managers to reexamine how to optimize their marketing and distribution dollars. American Funds (13%), Vanguard (10%) and BlackRock (9%) emerge as best-in-class technology leaders based on strong brand associations for their respective online educational content, modeling and portfolio tools, and analytic capabilities.

Collective Bias, Inc., the leader in shopper-focused influencer marketing, and an Inmar Company, today announced a milestone for social content measurement and its impact on driving in-store sales. Among other findings, they measured a 7.6x return on ad spend (ROAS) by weighing households exposed to the campaign’s influencer content versus an unexposed control group. The study also measured sales lift for campaigns across several CPG products, finding that in the case of a major laundry detergent, based on a $75k campaign spent, the brand saw a sales lift of $233k – representing a 3.1x ROAS.

According to the Landor Pulse study by global brand strategy and design firm Landor, Johnson & Johnson, Betty Crocker, Dove, Pillsbury, Gerber, and Olay are the top personal care and food brands in the world. The only brand founded in the twenty-first century that made the list is organic baby food company Plum Organics.

The IAB Europe Video Ad Formats survey of approximately 700 advertisers, agencies and publishers from across 31 markets found that in-stream pre-roll format, out-stream in-article / in-page format and broadcast 30 second spots are the dominating ad formats across all devices in the European video advertising market.

Nearly one-third of Americans think ads adjacent to offensive online content imply that the advertiser endorses or approves of that offensive material, according to recent research from YouGov.

The “2017 Financial Marketing Trends” study, sponsored by Deluxe and published by the Digital Banking Report found that in 2017, the biggest challenge for financial marketers is the ability to measure performance and prove results. Only 8% of financial organizations believed this was not a challenge, and 11% of organizations said the same about data analytics.

Check out our new round up for brand marketers, where you’ll find the most relevant new insights and research published over the last week.  If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

Nearly one-third (32%) of the marketing professionals surveyed by Bloglovin’ and Marketing Dive said that influencer campaigns are essential to their strategies and 41% said they have seen more success in influencer campaigns than in more traditional advertising efforts.

A survey by Bynder found that the top priority for brand marketers in 2017 is new customer acquisition. 34% of those surveyed revealed that this new customer acquisition would take precedent, with 21% of them saying brand awareness closely followed. 65% said they would not invest in any technology at all. 

A study for Channel 4 by Cog Research and Dr. Amanda Ellison at Durham University found that the true cost of TV VOD is around 20% cheaper than YouTube and a third of the cost of Facebook. In 73% of minutes spent watching YouTube ads, videos were hidden from view.

According to a study by Cotton Incorporated, nearly seven in 10 consumers say they don’t feel an emotional connection to any apparel brand. 47 percent admit they’re less loyal to apparel brands than they were just a few years ago.

According to a study by  the Reputation Institute, Rolex is the company with the best reputation among consumers worldwide, followed by The Walt Disney Company was third, followed by Canon, Google, Bosch, Sony, Intel, Rolls-Royce, and Adidas. 

SaaS platform Podium released a study revealing that 93 percent of respondents said that online reviews have an impact on their purchase decisions; almost 60 percent of consumers look at local reviews on a weekly basis; and more than two-thirds of consumers (68 percent) are willing to pay up to 15 percent more for the same product or service if they’re assured they’ll have a better experience.

Check out our new round up for brand marketers, where you’ll find the most relevant new insights and research published over the last week.  If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

Video advertising marketplace Teads announced findings from a new study performed with neuroscience-based research group Neuro-InsightPremium editorial content was found to be 16% more personally relevant, or engaging, than social news feeds.

>Research from comScore showed that 49% of US smartphone owners downloaded zero apps in the last month caused concern in the app marketing ecosystem.

Digiday‘s recent Beat report found that 32 percent of agencies report a significant 2016 investment in in-house production, signaling that they are turning in-house for marketing needs.

Maru/Matchbox found that Millennials are much more likely to value features such as “GMO free” and “locally sourced” compared with their older counterparts. And more than three-fifths said they are willing to pay more for organic, natural, sustainably and locally sourced food.

L2’s Digital IQ Index Financial Services report claims that time spent on mobile has increased 62% in the last three years, but that most Financial Services brands have taken a reactive approach to integrating mobile payment methods.

According to a study by Rhythm One, brands that implemented an Influencer Marketing program in 2016 received $11.69 in Earned Media Value (“EMV”) for every $1.00 of spend on average, which is a 4.4% increase over the full year 2015 EMV average of $11.20.

International testing, inspection and certification organization TÜV Rheinland‘s market forecast claims that more than 75% of the brand representatives interviewed at the Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair in Nuremberg were optimistic about the future growth of the market for toys and other children’s products.

Eric-WedemeyerEric Wedemeyer – CEO – Tactus Associates Inc.

Brands are the starting point for all marketing and communications. The strategic lodestone. The most fundamental expression of your company’s mission and purpose.

Content marketing is a tactic – a system of focused, specific, flexible and customer-oriented communications with an eye on the bottom line.

What two marketing disciplines could be more different? Yet anyone who practices both can tell you that the deeper you dive into either, the more they start to look alike.

Branding and content marketing: children of the same mother.

It’s no mystery why. Branding and content emerge from the same place: the brand value proposition. Or to put it another way, they’re both about telling the brand story.

Where did your brand come from and why does it exist?  What makes your brand different and special? What does your brand offer the customer, what needs does it uniquely satisfy, what problems does it solve?

If you can answer these questions – and articulate the answers in the form of a succinct brand proposition – then you not only have the foundations of a robust brand, but also a framework for all the compelling content you could ever wish to create.

Content marketing is what happens when your brand has to go out and earn a living.  If branding and content are both about story-telling, how are they different? Branding is the process of creating the story.

Content tells the story in a way that supports sales, not with a hard-selling push, but by forming relationships with customers and prospects and by building trust.

Content is trackable and measurable. And while it’s not designed to move product on the spot (you probably have another department for that called “Sales”), you should expect it to more than pay its way in the form of qualified leads, a smoother sales process and improved loyalty.

Content marketing without a strong brand is like running without legs.

Content builds relationships between your customers and… your brand. It delivers value to your customers because it tells a compelling story about… your brand.

Content has to be about something. That’s why the first step of any content marketing program is to write down a content marketing mission statement. And guess what? That mission statement will always be a specially-purposed version of the brand proposition.

Branding and content marketing need each other.  Like symbiotic creatures, branding and content programs make more sense as a single system than as separate entities.

Branding must eventually find expression in results-oriented, ground-level programs like content initiatives. Otherwise it can degenerate into navel-gazing and design minutiae. Content stays focused and effective only when it follows guiding light of the brand.

Branding and content marketing: brothers in arms.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7604795