How the Fyre Festival Became the Ultimate Marketing Campaign & Why It Doesn’t Matter

 By now, everyone has at least heard of the huge disaster of a festival that never was. For those of you who don’t know, the Fyre Music Festival was supposed to be the festival to end all festivals. A deserted tropical island in the Bahamas, the most famous influencers, and an exclusive guest list, all for the mere cost of an engagement ring. The VIP package was to include the most luxurious of treatments, gourmet meals, and villas to sleep in.  Whether you were following the trending topic on Twitter, back in April of 2017, or have recently binge watched the documentaries on Netflix or Hulu, you couldn’t ignore the urge to google “Ja Rule, where is he now?” Ja Rule and the other master minds behind the festival are now facing major lawsuits for fraud. Our fascination with The Fyre Festival stems from the amazing marketing campaign that came before the disaster.  The Fyre team did absolutely everything right from a marketing perspective and we’ll go into what that entails below, and then further discuss why at the end of the day it was all a waste. 

Knowing Your Audience 

In marketing, it’s crucial to know who exactly it is you’re trying to reach. Once that has been determined, you can create your marketing plan. The Fyre team wanted to create the ultimate experience for millennials by hosting two 3-day music festivals full of the most prominent performers, and trendiest influencers, with luxurious accommodations on a Bahamian island. The team had the dates and the location picked (or so they thought) and had their target audience nailed, then they began attempting to execute their marketing plan. 

The Power of Influencers 

We can all admit, we’ve bought a product or visited a restaurant based on a sponsored post by a celebrity we follow on social media. As silly as it may be, it’s a very real and a crucial piece of marketing in today’s society. In fact, 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions, as reported by Collective Bias. Fyre took this statistic and ran with it. They utilized multiple different Instagram personalities to create a viral sensation around the announcement of Fyre. First, they invited these Instagram influencers to the island that would be the proposed site of the festival. Then they filmed an absolutely incredible promotional video. The video created an atmosphere that every single millennial would want to partake in, they created an experience rather than a product. Since there are so many influential millennials with such a large following on social media, it was smart to use them as their voice to introduce the festival.

Then, Fyre executed a seamless Instagram campaign with these same influencers, with one notable addition – Kendall Jenner, who alone has over 100 million followers. All these influencers posted a solid orange post on Instagram with captions announcing the festival. This created a viral craze on social media, people were immediately trying to learn the details of the event, they were willing to pay large amounts of money to attend, in the efforts to live like the celebrities they follow online. 

It Worked 

What will be remembered as potentially the most brilliant, millennial geared marketing campaign of all time, was a complete success. They started with the perfect idea, found an incredible venue and followed it up by creating an event full of popular musical acts and various other activities. The buzz that was created took the Internet by storm, and the general admission tickets to the festival sold out almost immediately. Due to this, Fyre created an even more exclusive VIP package, which people also immediately bought. The marketing campaign helped set up what many thought was going to be the next Woodstock-esque event that people would be talked about for years to come. Little did they know; the festival would be famous for a much different reason. 

Why It Doesn’t Matter 

Everyone knows the story so I don’t need to rehash it for anyone, but let’s just leave it at the festival never happened, and was a complete disaster from start to finish.  From lying about the “private” island location, to the FEMA tents, to being locked in the airport, to the Bahamian employees who still haven’t been paid. It just goes to show that no matter how much marketing you invest in, without a great product and proper execution, you have nothing. It’s proof that marketing (when done right) is so incredibly powerful. It can create just about anything you can dream of, which is exactly what happened for the Fyre festival. Another important lesson of the Fyre Festival is how influencer marketing can be so impactful to your marketing campaign, it can increase the amount of eyes on your campaign by millions (literally) in just a few moments, but on the other hand when this happens people’s expectations are heightened and in this instance the successful influencer marketing campaign completely backfired.

Why You Need Birthday Triggers in Your Email Marketing Strategy

Each January at Elysium we not only celebrate the excitement of the New Year and what lies ahead, but we also celebrate our birthday, as we were founded on January 6th. And 4 days later, celebrate my birthday as well.

 As we are a couple days from my birthday, I’ve started to receive the Happy Birthday Elyse emails from ecommerce platforms, restaurants I frequent, and countless others. There are some who relish their birthdays and enjoy all of the perks, and there are some who could care less about their birthdays and think of the emails as spam. For me, the former would be correct.

 If birthday emails aren’t part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing out. And here’s why.

1.     Acknowledgement is important

It’s important that your clients and consumers feel appreciated and recognized. A birthday is a great way to express this gratitude for their patronage. Since 99% of people enjoy their birthday, sending an email is a nice, easy gesture.

Citi Happy Birthday

 

2.     You can set it and forget it

If you set up your CRM or email intake form to include a birthday in the data fields, you can set it up so the email is sent out at whatever cadence you want AUTOMATICALLY each year. If you are including an offer, we recommend a week out or 3 days out. If you’re just sending a wish, the actual birthday works well. Since it sends automatically, there’s nothing for you to worry about once it’s set up. With an email list of millions or even hundreds, let’s be honest, no one can remember each client or consumer’s birthday.

 

3.     Easy Way to Stay Top-of-Mind

The great debate about how much email to send rages on. And we know the most important thing is to send relevant emails. A birthday is a REASON to send an email. No one will get mad at you for sending this email. This is a fantastic way to keep your brand in front of your consumers and even re-engage customers who aren’t active right now. As we mentioned earlier, the email makes your consumer feel appreciated, but it also has a halo effect on your brand. Your brand is showing it cares about its consumers.

 

4.     Fabulous Option to Offer a Bounce Back

 Most B2C companies can use birthday emails to offer some sort of incentive. You see retail and food brands do this all the time. Happy Birthday, enjoy a free X on us. We use this for our food and restaurant clients all the time. It’s using the psychological principle of Reciprocity. According to the book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, the author discusses the social norm of reciprocity, that we are hard-wired to respond positively to a gift, even if we didn’t ask for it, or even want it. We automatically feel indebted to the giver, regardless. This is pretty powerful stuff. This means not only can you offer something that drives someone to your business, but psychologically they will want to come in and patronize your business even if they don’t want the offer.

 If you are a B2B business, you could offer a service for free, but you don’t have to. A simple, well-designed birthday trigger email will still work well and show that a. you care about the person and b. you have your act together well enough to remember a birthday.

Tony Roni bday trigger



A great 2019 resolution is to get your email marketing strategy on-point. A perfect place to start is with the birthday email. Make sure you’re asking consumers for their birthday. Then make sure you create an on-brand, fun creative piece to make their deal as special as they are! 

The Ultimate Guide to a Holiday Marketing Campaign

Doesn’t every year seem to go by faster and faster? Suddenly, you look at the calendar and summer is behind you and the month of December is breathing down your neck. The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but for businesses that time of year requires EVEN MORE time and planning. Well luckily, we’re here to give you the ultimate marketing guide to the holiday season:

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Here’s a friendly reminder - the holiday season is long (and seemingly getting longer every year). Therefore, you need to plan for not one post or email, but an entire campaign of different, but cohesive posts to constantly stay top-of-mind to your consumers during the busy and crowded holiday season. Remember, last year on Black Friday when you received approximately 2590385034 emails? This is a perfect example why you need to plan for much more than one email or social post.

It’s the Giving Season

Most brands have a natural fit for the giving season. This is the time of year to hone in on what you want your brand to be known for. It’s almost a given in this day and age for brands to have some tie-in to a charity, especially during the holiday season. However, it’s important that the charity chosen is an organic fit to the mission of your business. If you’re doing it “just for charity” your customers will realize and the buy-in will not be as beneficial to anyone involved. For example, if you’re in the restaurant industry it might be the perfect fit to form a partnership with a food back. Whereas, if you own a retail shop it could be the perfect tie-in to donate to a shelter that provides clothing to the less fortunate.

Back to the Basics  

The tides have turned and people LOVE getting mail again. Rather than being one of the hundreds of emails received on any given day, wouldn’t you love being one of the few things (not bill related) that an individual is getting in their mailbox? Although the amount of mail that is delivered during the holiday season does increase. If you create an amazing, on-brand holiday card it’s not only an additional way to ensure that your brand is top of mind but also a way to showcase your brand and wish your consumers a happy holiday season.

Where Your Campaign Should Live

Your business is firing on all different cylinders, so your holiday campaign should as well. Email, social, direct mail, digital, print, text, etc. Your holiday campaign should be carried out throughout these different mediums as well. Start by establishing what you want to accomplish (maybe this is a percentage off, a gift card promotion or a buy one, get one offer) and the look of the campaign and then bring that look to life so your consumers will see it over and over and be reminded of what you are trying to accomplish and what action you want them to take.

Including Movement  

Here’s a trick we’ve learned, people love gifs and animated social. It’s eye-catching and stands out among the millions of pictures and graphics that exist on timelines. Plus, it differentiates your creative. The holiday season is the perfect time to add some animation into your marketing strategy. If you don’t have the capabilities to bring your dreams to life, don’t worry – we do. Here’s one of our favorites:

TR Holiday Social.gif

Because People Love Presents, Right?

Who doesn’t love to get a present? The holiday season is the perfect time of year to give your clients, prospective clients, friends and family a branded gift that they’ll want to keep, use and hopefully carry with them wherever they go, and can we say free advertising? Sometimes it takes a little time to find the perfect gift to give from your company, but if you nail it – everyone will be talking about it and your brand.

Elysium Wine Gift.jpg

Don’t Forget to Wish Them a Happy Holiday

This seems like a no-brainer but boy oh boy you’d be surprised how many people miss out on this final step of a holiday campaign. People like to feel special and a simple “Happy Holiday” from your business is another element of making your customers feel like you truly care about them and value them – this can even be through something as simple as a video on social media featuring your team wishing everyone a happy holiday season!

We understand just how valuable a holiday campaign can be for a business, but we also understand how much work and time goes into making a holiday campaign a success. There’s still time (barely) to execute a kickass campaign and we’re here to help. Contact us today to get started on your holiday marketing strategy.

Social Media: Which Platforms Are For You?

We get asked a lot of questions from our clients, but one of the most common is “What social media platform should my business be utilizing?” This is a loaded question and our answer varies depending on the specific client. To give a broad understanding of which platform is necessary for your company, we’ve created a list of quick questions to ask yourself before adding unnecessary stress and work to your life!

7 Questions to Think About Before You Start:

  1. Are you B2B or B2C? Majority of the time, B2B services do not need to have a presence on platforms like Instagram or Pinterest. Conversely, B2C businesses will find less luck on platforms such as LinkedIn. There are exceptions, but really think about what your offerings are and how they can be displayed to users.

  2. Who is your desired audience? Each social platform hosts a variety of demographics. Understanding what type of user is active on each platform will dictate which platforms you should be using.

  3. Are you selling a visual medium? If you aren’t, then there’s a possibility that platforms like Instagram and Pinterest aren’t for you since they’re more visually focused.

  4. What type of content is your business planning on posting? The type of content you have strongly dictates which platform you should be using. If what you’re sharing is predominantly visual, consider Instagram or Pinterest. There is one caveat, all posts should include visuals because it’s just the nature of the post. If it’s something more technical, focus on LinkedIn or Facebook.

  5. What social media platforms are other businesses in the industry using and how are they using it? Find out what platforms others in your field are using to get an idea of what could work well for your own business.

  6. What do you hope to achieve by using social media? If sales are your focus, you need to think about consumer behavior and which platforms will best show your products or services or help you grow leads. If you want to amass a following, then consider what content will help users connect with your brand.

  7. Are you prepared to spend a lot of time or money? Growing your social media either takes a lot of time, money, or both. If you don’t think you’ll have the time to invest or the financial capabilities, then you might want to pass on social media or pass those responsibilities off to someone who can do the dirty work for you.

These general questions should help you gauge your target market and determine which social platforms are best suited to your industry. We’ve broken out the most common social media platforms below to give you a more in-depth look at which one is right for your business.

Instagram:

The algorithm that Instagram currently has in place shows the most relevant content to the most people. For your content to do well, it needs to be something that users want to see. If you’re unsure about whether or not this platform would work well for your business, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your content lend itself to engaging visuals? People want to see pictures of other people, behind the scenes pictures, pets, food, etc. If you are a dentist office or a law firm, you probably don’t need Instagram. If you really want to be a part of a visual platform, then keep things fun!

  • Will you have enough content to create a good rhythm? Posting once a week isn’t going to do you any good on this platform, and it isn’t going to help you gain a healthy following. It’s important to post at least 3 times a week to really see success.

  • Do you have the time to invest in increasing your follow to follower ratio? This is important because a good strategy takes time. If you don’t think you have the time, but still think Instagram is an important means for your business, that’s where we can come in and help.

  • Will you have the time to stay engaged with your followers? Everyone on social media wants quick responses and answers. If you have a platform for your brand, but never respond to requests or questions, you’re creating a bad user experience.

Facebook:

The most recent of Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms focuses on meaningful interactions between users. Meaning that conversations are now vital to having a successful Facebook presence. Therefore, your content needs to be something that will spark interest. When thinking about building out this platform for your business, ask these questions:

  • Are you planning on solely advertising, or are you planning on building & maintaining your presence? Users don’t want to see a sales pitch every time they see something from your page. You need to include content that allows you to build out your brand - show users what your business is all about.

  • Will you be able to build relationships with users? People want to know that your company is invested in its customers. If you can take the time to interact with them and get to know their wants and needs, you’ll be much better off.

  • Do you have the time to turn leads into loyal followers? Gaining followers and turning them into loyal brand advocates is much easier said than done. You can’t just invite people to like your page and expect them to do so and promote your product/services. This takes time and a decent amount of interaction, so if this is something that you don’t think will work well, then it might be best to skip it.

  • Will you have the time to engage with users? Interacting with your followers can take a lot of time. People want to know that you’re there to answer questions or requests. If you don’t think that this is something that your business can commit to, it might be best to pass on this option or hire someone to handle engagement.

Twitter:

Twitter displays content by timeliness and relevance of the post. This way, users are able to see what is most important to them in a timely fashion. This platform is a great way to stay up-to-date with the most current news. Twitter can be a very useful platform, but ask yourself these questions to ensure this tool is right for your business:

  • Do you have enough content to tweet regularly, and potentially several times throughout the day? This is a platform that requires a lot of content to be posted multiple times throughout the day. To do well, what is posted needs to be relevant to your followers, otherwise it will get left behind in the digital black hole.

  • Will you be able to interact with users on a consistent basis? If a user reaches out in some way, it’s important to get back to them quickly. If your business is unable to do this, then you’re not creating a good user experience.

  • Do you have both visual and written content? If there’s too much copy, users might start to pass by posts.It’s good to break up content with a visual component. Gifs also tend to perform well on this platform!

  • Will you incorporate hashtags and trending topics into your content? The use of hashtags on Twitter is very important. It helps show users what’s trending and if you’re not using them correctly, then you might be getting your content to the right people.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn bases their feed off of engagement and the strength of connections between users so that the strongest business content is showcased. This is a true business platform, so you need to make sure that what you’re sharing is of interest to others in your field.

  • Are you trying to increase your number of leads? This can be a great place to find and grow leads! However, users only want to hear from people that could lead to something promising, so you can’t just send out invites and notes to just anyone. It takes time to find the right people to reach out to.

  • Is your focus on B2B interactions? This platform is much less focused on B2C interaction, so if this is your goal then I would suggest utilizing a different social tool.

  • Is your content engaging enough for people to interact? LinkedIn hosts a group of educated individuals who are trying to discover more about their field and the people within it. The content you post needs to be interesting enough for users to want to engage.

Pinterest:

This platform is a little different than the rest in terms of its algorithm. It bases what’s shown off of previous user interaction, so what people see will almost always be based on what they have searched for previously. This platform is a bit tricky, so be sure to ask yourself the following questions before you sign up.

  • Do you have visually engaging content? Pinterest is a visual platform. To do well, you need to have dynamic and engaging images. Otherwise, users will scroll right by without a thought.

  • Would visuals help promote your products or services? If your offerings can’t really be explained in a visual manner, then chances are you don’t need to be on Pinterest.

  • Do you have time to post multiple pieces of content throughout the day? Pinterest is unlike Instagram in the sense that users expect you to post multiple pieces throughout the day. If you have minimal imagery, then this platform is probably not for you.

Social media can be a very confusing area for many business owners. If these strategies seem daunting or confusing, give Elysium Marketing Group a call! We can help you determine which platform is best and what strategies to use to make sure your company is getting the most out of its social media. We can help with a wide range of services, whether it’s a consultation or the creation of a full-fledged social media campaign and implementation. And remember - this is fun stuff! Regardless of the platform, have fun with your content!

4 Reasons Why We're Crushing on the Sugarwish Brand

1.     Creative

Sugarwish’s logo is clean, whimsical, and locked up with a solid tagline, “sweet happiness.delivered.” Their brand colors are a combination of Tiffany’s blue (for a little luxury) and red (for a little love), plus gray as a secondary color. It’s nice to see two colors not usually paired together being used, and used in such a complimentary way.  

4_Sugarwish_Email.jpg

 Their website design is clean and shows beautiful, playful pictures of their candy offerings. The tone of the Sugarwish brand is fun (as it should be… it’s CANDY) and they use language like “Lickety Split” and “Wish Granted,” which just makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

When the Sugarwish arrives, it comes in the cutest packaging – a Tiffany's blue box, with a red ribbon around it. The inside showcases the candy and has red and white stripes that are reminiscent of the old-school candy striper days.

Sugarwish box

2.     Website’s Ease of Use  -

Sugarwish has been implementing a new concept – sending a candy gram online to a recipient who selects his/her own gift. Instead of complicating the messaging, once you arrive on their site, it clearly shows you where to click if you are the sender or the recipient. It incorporates a video if you need further explanation, but it doesn’t cram it down your throat. Most of the content on each page is above the fold, so there’s not a lot of scrolling needed to get the information you want. The website does a great job of making navigating the site a cinch!

 

3.     Email/Ecommerce Best Practices –

So far, we’ve touched on the cute concept and exceptional branding, but Sugarwish wouldn’t be as successful as it currently is without using best practices in ecommerce. Once you order, you get an email confirmation. If it’s your first time ordering, you get a thank you from the founders with an offer to purchase again. Both pretty standard, but necessary steps.

At each turn, they both subtly and not so subtly try to persuade you to purchase another Sugarwish. But even when it’s not so subtle, it’s still on-brand and it’s not bothersome at all. They track when your wish has been sent and when it’s been seen, so if for some reason the recipient doesn’t pick it up, you can either send it again or say something to your chosen recipient to make sure they select their candy.

Their emails are visually appealing with minimal copy. As you can see from the email below, it’s easily digestible and definitely makes you want to click through to their site.

Sugarwish email

Not only is their onsite presence and email marketing strong, but they are also implementing the next step and using a remarketing campaign. As soon as I left their page, a cute little reminder popped up on another site that I should send that deserving someone some candy. “Sugarwish Em’”

Sugarwish banner ad

4.     Social Media  -

Some of the most fun we have when we manage our clients’ social media accounts is when we’re working with food brands. There’s so much you can do and so much fun to be had. People want to see puppies and babies on social media, but I’d say good looking food/candy would definitely be next in line.

If you look at Sugarwish’s Instagram feed, it contains beautiful pictures of colors through candy. They do a wonderful job of incorporating their logo and some of their brand lingo like “Work Fuel” and “Sweet Appreciation.” The entire feed uses a consistent look n’ feel and exudes their brand essence. We see so many Instagram accounts that are all over the place and really don’t tell the brand’s story, so this is a breath of fresh candy air.

6_Sugarwish_INSTA.jpg

I would suggest that Sugarwish post more often on Facebook; however, I have found that when they do post, it is relevant and on-point. You can see below that for Valentine’s Day (a holiday they should definitely be capitalizing on) they posted a charming picture of one of their boxes with a message about how they are the ultimate Valentine. 

Sugarwish Facebook Page

At the bottom of their emails, they entice you to follow them on social media with clever copy that fits their brand and actually does make you want to join.

Sugarwish email bottom

For a brand that isn’t well known to the masses yet (every time I send one, the recipient says “What a cute idea!,”) Elysium is very impressed with what we’ve seen from Sugarwish so far. They seem to really know who they are, what their brand stands for, and how to incorporate best practices in ecommerce.

Lastly - maybe most important - If you have two email addresses, there’s no shame in ordering one for yourself. ;) 

The Best (and Worst) Black Friday Emails of 2016

Have you dug out from your holiday emails yet? They’re probably still coming…. And will, all the way up until December 24th! We received so many holiday emails, that we decided to concentrate on one day instead of the entire holiday season to give some feedback on the best and worst this year.

Black Friday used to mean everyone rushed into the physical store for the best items. Now ecommerce has made it so easy to shop those crazy deals from the comfort of your couch. To this point, retailers need to competitively compete with each other on subject line, creative, and discounts.  

We poured through the good, the bad, and the cluttered… here are 3 of the best and 3 of the worst Black Friday emails. Just like previous email reviews, I will grade each email on Subject Line, Relevance, Creative, & Call to Action (CTA). 

Who Made the Nice List? 

1. My Custom Case

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    Subject Line:   A    Our Biggest Sale of the Year – 3 Days Only!    – The subject line is crystal clear. You will not get a better deal than what they’re offering now. It sets a time limit as well. Act within the next three days or you’re out of luck.  Relevance:  A  The email pays off to the subject line that it’s a 40% off sale and the best sale of the holiday season.    Creative:  A  The creative is festive with an animated gif using sparkling holiday creative, but it’s not distracting from its core sales message. The cases rotate through a bunch of different options to show the breadth of their products, and to capture your attention in a super cute way.  Below the main sale creative, they have three modules that direct you to the correct case for the phone or tablet of your choice.    CTA:  A-  There is a 'Shop Now' call-to-action, but it could be a little larger since it’s competing with two different moving creative features in the email.  

Subject Line:  A Our Biggest Sale of the Year – 3 Days Only!  – The subject line is crystal clear. You will not get a better deal than what they’re offering now. It sets a time limit as well. Act within the next three days or you’re out of luck.

Relevance: A The email pays off to the subject line that it’s a 40% off sale and the best sale of the holiday season.  

Creative: A The creative is festive with an animated gif using sparkling holiday creative, but it’s not distracting from its core sales message. The cases rotate through a bunch of different options to show the breadth of their products, and to capture your attention in a super cute way.

Below the main sale creative, they have three modules that direct you to the correct case for the phone or tablet of your choice.  

CTA: A- There is a 'Shop Now' call-to-action, but it could be a little larger since it’s competing with two different moving creative features in the email.  

2. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics 

Subject Line:  B    Shop Great Gifts + Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order    The subject line is relevant to the creative of the email, but it’s a tad long. They could have gone with Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order and conveyed the message just fine. Yes, there are great gifts to shop, but that’s implied with a Black Friday email.    Relevance: A The email starts with showcasing the two gifts that you could choose from if you spend $50. It’s a nice way to entice buyers to purchase. After all, who doesn’t want a free gift?!      Creative: A The creative is on-brand, shows some holiday spirit, and does a fantastic job of showcasing the products. Both the free gift sets as well as the gorgeous gifts below those are styled and crisp to noticeably show the beauty of the packaging and products.  If for some reason, none of the items in the body of the email tickle your fancy, Bobbi Brown does a good job of using their recovery module to keep you engaged. There are four boxes that you can click on for different reasons: Free Shipping and Offers, Talk to An Artist, Free Returns on Foundations, and Automatic Replenishments.    CTA: A  Under each item, they have a clear Call-to-Action. Either ‘Pick Now’ for the free gift sets or ‘Shop Now’ for the gorgeous gifts. 

Subject Line:  B Shop Great Gifts + Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order

 The subject line is relevant to the creative of the email, but it’s a tad long. They could have gone with Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order and conveyed the message just fine. Yes, there are great gifts to shop, but that’s implied with a Black Friday email.  

Relevance: A The email starts with showcasing the two gifts that you could choose from if you spend $50. It’s a nice way to entice buyers to purchase. After all, who doesn’t want a free gift?!    

Creative: A The creative is on-brand, shows some holiday spirit, and does a fantastic job of showcasing the products. Both the free gift sets as well as the gorgeous gifts below those are styled and crisp to noticeably show the beauty of the packaging and products.

If for some reason, none of the items in the body of the email tickle your fancy, Bobbi Brown does a good job of using their recovery module to keep you engaged. There are four boxes that you can click on for different reasons: Free Shipping and Offers, Talk to An Artist, Free Returns on Foundations, and Automatic Replenishments.  

CTA: A  Under each item, they have a clear Call-to-Action. Either ‘Pick Now’ for the free gift sets or ‘Shop Now’ for the gorgeous gifts. 

3. Old Navy 

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    Subject Line:   B+  you get a deal & you get a deal – For the most part consumers know that a Black Friday email will have a deal in it, but the question is, what kind of deal? Since Old Navy was planning 50% off on almost everything, they should shout that from the rooftops. To be fair, they send A LOT of email, so they may not have for this one because they were changing up their tactics and trying another way to get you to open your email.  Relevance:  A  Old Navy does an amazing job of letting you know that they know you, your purchase habits, and your preferences. At the top of the email, they use my name and even tell me how many reward dollars I have. This makes the consumer feel understood and who doesn’t like when his or her name is used?  Creative:  A  The creative pays off on the subject line because they show how you can get a gift for anyone on your list. It’s very apparent that this is the last day of the deal and that the deal is 50% off most things.  They include the nav bar at the top of the email and the product categories below the bottom of the email, so if you are looking for something specific, you can land on the products you want and start shopping right away.    CTA:  C –  When you click on any of the creative, it drives to the Old Navy site, however Old Navy is missing out on the opportunity to explicitly tell consumers to ‘Shop Now.” Don’t go curl your hair, don’t put the baby down for a nap, shop now is the next step in this process, darn it!  

Subject Line:  B+ you get a deal & you get a deal – For the most part consumers know that a Black Friday email will have a deal in it, but the question is, what kind of deal? Since Old Navy was planning 50% off on almost everything, they should shout that from the rooftops. To be fair, they send A LOT of email, so they may not have for this one because they were changing up their tactics and trying another way to get you to open your email.

Relevance: A Old Navy does an amazing job of letting you know that they know you, your purchase habits, and your preferences. At the top of the email, they use my name and even tell me how many reward dollars I have. This makes the consumer feel understood and who doesn’t like when his or her name is used?

Creative: A The creative pays off on the subject line because they show how you can get a gift for anyone on your list. It’s very apparent that this is the last day of the deal and that the deal is 50% off most things.

They include the nav bar at the top of the email and the product categories below the bottom of the email, so if you are looking for something specific, you can land on the products you want and start shopping right away.  

CTA: C – When you click on any of the creative, it drives to the Old Navy site, however Old Navy is missing out on the opportunity to explicitly tell consumers to ‘Shop Now.” Don’t go curl your hair, don’t put the baby down for a nap, shop now is the next step in this process, darn it!  

Who made the Naughty List? 

1. MAC Cosmetics

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    Subject Line:   C+     M∙A∙C Black Plum Friday – Join in on Black Friday Fun with a New Deep Purple Vamplify. Plus Free Shipping and Samples       Holy Longness!!! I stopped reading at Friday. No need to re-iterate it’s a Black Friday email. And a subject line should never have a 'plus' in there. Trying to do way too much!    Relevance:  C  So points for clearly stating it’s a Black Friday email in the subject line and body copy, but I’m sorry what are we talking about? Is this a holiday email? What product are we pushing here?    Creative:  D  As mentioned above, it’s not very clear what we are doing here. Black Friday is a day with 23972392 emails. You want to tell your customers what deal they are getting, how they can get it, and what products you are talking about. The creative isn’t festive, doesn’t show product, and doesn’t include an offer.  Oh and nice computer font that is an entire block of copy. Most consumers don’t want to spend time figuring out what we’re talking about. And the font choice is so random.  Thanks but no thanks, MAC.  CTA:  A  Probably the only thing that’s clear in this email is its CTA. Kudos for making it prominent and clear. 

Subject Line:  C+  M∙A∙C Black Plum Friday – Join in on Black Friday Fun with a New Deep Purple Vamplify. Plus Free Shipping and Samples Holy Longness!!! I stopped reading at Friday. No need to re-iterate it’s a Black Friday email. And a subject line should never have a 'plus' in there. Trying to do way too much!  

Relevance: C So points for clearly stating it’s a Black Friday email in the subject line and body copy, but I’m sorry what are we talking about? Is this a holiday email? What product are we pushing here?  

Creative: D As mentioned above, it’s not very clear what we are doing here. Black Friday is a day with 23972392 emails. You want to tell your customers what deal they are getting, how they can get it, and what products you are talking about. The creative isn’t festive, doesn’t show product, and doesn’t include an offer.

Oh and nice computer font that is an entire block of copy. Most consumers don’t want to spend time figuring out what we’re talking about. And the font choice is so random.  Thanks but no thanks, MAC.

CTA: A Probably the only thing that’s clear in this email is its CTA. Kudos for making it prominent and clear. 

2. Oriental Trading

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    Subject Line:   B     Black Friday Deals End Tonight + Get Free Shipping on ANY Order & $10 off        This subject line isn’t the worst, but it’s best to not include two ideas in the same subject line. One would suffice.    Relevance:  B-  Unsure why Black Friday is the second module and not the first, but they do discuss the deal and include holidayish imagery. I’ve seen worse.    Creative:  C-  I’m DIZZY! Not sure what to look at and it’s making my head hurt. The branding is all over the place. Sometimes black and white, sometimes holiday, random price call outs over certain products. Plus they are using a recover module to talk about their blog and gift cards, but instead of it recovering the consumer, it’s just adding even more conflicting messaging to the email. What’s the opposite of clean branding….it’s a dirty, dirty email.     CTA:  B  Modules 1, 2, & 4 use ‘Shop Now,’ while the individual product offerings just have the name with an arrow. People are smart enough to know they can click the arrow. The question is, will they wade through all the clutter to actually click on what they want?   

Subject Line:  B Black Friday Deals End Tonight + Get Free Shipping on ANY Order & $10 off

 This subject line isn’t the worst, but it’s best to not include two ideas in the same subject line. One would suffice.  

Relevance: B- Unsure why Black Friday is the second module and not the first, but they do discuss the deal and include holidayish imagery. I’ve seen worse.  

Creative: C- I’m DIZZY! Not sure what to look at and it’s making my head hurt. The branding is all over the place. Sometimes black and white, sometimes holiday, random price call outs over certain products. Plus they are using a recover module to talk about their blog and gift cards, but instead of it recovering the consumer, it’s just adding even more conflicting messaging to the email. What’s the opposite of clean branding….it’s a dirty, dirty email.   

CTA: B Modules 1, 2, & 4 use ‘Shop Now,’ while the individual product offerings just have the name with an arrow. People are smart enough to know they can click the arrow. The question is, will they wade through all the clutter to actually click on what they want?   

3. Marc Jacobs

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    Subject Line:   A -    Email Exclusive – The Black Friday Sale    – Clear, Concise, Good.    Relevance:  B  They get the award for didn’t try hard enough. It’s fine, but it could be more holiday-y, a better deal, just so much more could have been done.     Creative:  C  See above. You have gorgeous clothes and accessories…FLAUNT THEM!  Make an animated gif like you care about your email list and want to wow them. It’s just.so.boring.  CTA:  A-  Yep it’s there. Points for that. Now excuse me while I nod off… 

Subject Line:  A - Email Exclusive – The Black Friday Sale  – Clear, Concise, Good.  

Relevance: B They get the award for didn’t try hard enough. It’s fine, but it could be more holiday-y, a better deal, just so much more could have been done.   

Creative: C See above. You have gorgeous clothes and accessories…FLAUNT THEM!  Make an animated gif like you care about your email list and want to wow them. It’s just.so.boring.

CTA: A- Yep it’s there. Points for that. Now excuse me while I nod off… 

Overall, there were a lot of great emails. So many cute animated gifs and so many great deals! Consumer expectations are that big brands will continue to 'wow', so we’ll see if they get the message by our Spring Email Review! 

3 Easy Ways to Add Video Marketing to Your Plan

The amount of time consumers are currently spending watching video on their phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops is astounding. According to eMarketer.com, adults 18+ spend an average of almost 2 hours a day watching digital videos. That’s more time than even consuming social media. Consumers are so accustomed to videos nowadays that it’s almost expected for brands to incorporate video into their content marketing strategy.

One of the best ways to tell your company’s story with emotion and convey its message easily is through video marketing. Below are three ways to include video into your marketing plan:

1.     Behind-the-Scenes Videos – As mentioned before, people love to have access to information that is not readily available. Followers want a peek behind the curtain to see a deeper look into a brand, company, or person.  

One of our clients, Eventions Productions, used a ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ video to give consumers and prospects an insider look into their office space, their team members, and their culture. They used a tongue-in-cheek sped up video to show that although they work hard, they play hard too.

Eventions was looking to showcase their company, and as a happy aside, they saw 14 new Facebook likes from people who were impressed with them and their video, and wanted to further interact with the brand.  Enjoy the video below.

 

 

2.     Educational Videos -  If your product or service has any complicated directions or messaging, a video can capture the essence of the brand or simplify steps for easier comprehension.

Our client, The O’Connor Group, wanted to create a branding video to show prospects and website visitors both who they are and what they do. Since they are an HR Outsourcing and Talent Acquisition firm, they felt that a video would do a better job detailing their services and explaining their points of differentiation than a block of copy on the site would. Check out their video here

3.     Teaser/Promotional Videos -  Another way that video can work in your favor is through a teaser or promo ad. If you have a large announcement or a new product launch, a great way to build excitement on social media and on your site is to create a video or video series that will either tease the launch or generate buzz for when it’s finally available to the masses.

CinemaCake Filmmakers, a client and partner of Elysium Marketing Group, created a series of teasers for the launch of their website. They played off their name and decided to announce that they were “baking” something new. Each team member participated in the fun, and played a part in teasing that they were definitely up to something… and it smelled delicious! See the teasers here.

Full disclosure, CinemaCake creates videos for a living! However, if you don’t have any experience with videos or you don’t want to create a video on your iPhone, you have the option to work with a company like CinemaCake to create the caliber of video you desire.

With the popularity of video skyrocketing, video marketing should be a definite part of your company's strategy. Don’t forget to use your brand’s tone and personality to showcase your brand essence in an authentic light.

Also, since you want to ensure people know it’s your company who made the video, make sure to use its logo either at the beginning and end of the video, or as a small icon on the bottom of the screen throughout. And if you’d like your viewers to take an action after watching the video, make sure you use a strong call-to-action. 

 

 

 

 

6 Reasons the Creative Brief is Essential

Who doesn’t love filling out forms and answering questions??!? Ok, a lot of people. But in the case of new creative for your brand, answering questions in a creative brief is an absolute necessity to ensure you get the finished product you’re envisioning in the timeframe that you desire.

Why? Well, as marketers, working with clients on creative projects is exciting and rewarding, but without a creative brief and discussion around brand goals and target audience BEFORE the work commences, the project could be off track before it even begins.

Below are 6 reasons the creative brief is essential:

 

1.     Direction – You could tell us you want a new logo, but without a creative brief to tell us more about what your company’s values are, what your brand represents, and what your vision is, we could literally make 2,678 logos and still not nail the one you want. The creative brief allows you to point us in the right direction and ensure we start off on the right foot.

2.     Thoughtfulness – Many companies know they need a new logo, ad, website, etc., but they don’t want to take the time to really think about the best way to make it happen. The creative brief asks thoughtful, pointed questions to assure you’re really thinking about what you want, why you want it, and how the upgrade will affect the company, the brand, and the bottom line. We put a lot of time into thinking through good creative, but we want to make sure that our thoughts are aligned with yours. 

3.     Timing – Many times, companies need their creative ASAP! Ok, let’s be serious, MOST times they do. Nonetheless, sometimes having more time to play with the creative can be an advantage to explore options and enhance creativity. Once the creative brief is filled out and we learn when final creative is needed, we can create a timeline, and set expectations for rounds of reviews and a final due date.  The more complete the brief responses, the faster and closer we’ll get to your final creative by the deadlines.  

4.     Expectations – As mentioned before, the brief sets expectations for the due date of your final creative, but it also sets the expectations for the creative piece itself. The brief clearly states a roadmap for things like tone to include in the copy and imagery to include in the creative. When you tell us that you want your ad to be whimsical, funny, and bright, we know that creating a very serious black and white ad is not even close to what you’re looking for. Show us your inspiration, give us your ideas, no matter how unfinished they may be.

5.     Accountability – Since the creative brief helps with timelines and design expectations, it also serves as a document that keeps both parties accountable. We are accountable to meet deadlines, and create stunning creative that wows by following your initial ask. You are accountable for following the timeline, and for telling us what you’re looking for to get us started.

6.     Cost – The creative brief ensures both parties know exactly what they’re getting and when. Without the brief, there is a ton of guesswork into what the brand’s identity and goals are. If we guess wrong, it could cost you more money for us to re-do the creative. It makes sense to look at the creative brief as a cost-saving, strong creative producing document. A good brief aims to cut costs and promote efficiency. Get the best bang for your buck!

If you need help putting a creative brief or any other aspect of design together, then check out our services page to see how we can assist! 

Best of luck, and happy briefing!

5 Ways Bette Midler's Concert Was Like A Good Brand

I went to the Bette Midler concert with my aunt last week. And I.loved.it.  I’ll even admit that I’ve seen her before, and this time was even better. She’s the original triple threat who can STILL sing, dance, and act (and curse;). After the concert, my aunt went on and on about how she still “has it!”

My marketing brain thought, yeah Bette’s like a good brand (we’re not on a first name basis, but one can pretend). Stay with me here. She’s been in the industry for a long time, yet she had a pretty packed house at the Wells Fargo Center last Tuesday. Here’s my reasoning:

 

1.     Bette Understood Anticipation – The concert was scheduled to start at 8pm with no opening act. The Divine Miss M didn’t grace us with her presence until 8:30. Like a good brand (Apple anyone?) Bette knew we’d want her even more if we had to wait, and then she delivered on all the hopes and desires we had for her show.

Apple is the master at this anticipation marketing principle. They leek information about their latest product and its features, and then they only make a certain amount of product available so consumers go crazy in anticipation and desire. Apple knows they can do this because their products payoff in the end. If people had to wait for a product that disappointed, that allure would fade quickly.

 

2.     Bette Stayed Consistent and True to Herself – Bette’s known for her humor, (sometimes raunchy) and for not just singing, but PERFORMING. She doesn’t stand on stage with a microphone and sway back and forth. She struts her stuff, dances, and paces back and forth quickly. She showcased the quick wit and perfect timing she’s known for. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s seen her in concert before, and I’m also sure that if she decided to stand there and sing without all the fanfare, I would not be the only one disappointed.

Businesses have branding and logos to signal to customers that it’s them and not a competitor. The logo is a sign to trust that brand that you are familiar with. When you go to Disney World, you know that you are getting - family, fun, & entertainment. There are vibrant colors and happy people and little Micky ears everywhere ensuring you that you are at the happiest place on earth.

 

3.     Bette Showed Relevance – Yes, Bette was consistent, but that doesn’t mean she was boring and stale. She showed relevance and modernized herself by doing an entire bit on social media (complete with background stage set-up of all social media logos) and a hilarious bit on the Kardashians (complete with pictures of Bette in bed with random famous men…Dick Chaney, Richard Nixon, Vladimir Putin -to name a few) It was very entertaining and a play on the Kim Kardashian sex tape.

 Good brands know people like consistency in their products and services, but this doesn’t mean they don’t want them modernized or updated. When you buy that New Balance sneaker, you know you’re getting a shoe that will help you run, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want their new shoe with the latest technology to help you run even better.

 

4.      Bette Looked Like Bette – There were feathers, sequins, and costumes because it was a Bette Midler concert! Come on, we expect feathers, and we expect costumes and impersonations. Relating to the consistency in performance, Bette was consistent in appearance. If she came out on stage in a goth frock, there would be a good shock factor, but it just wouldn’t feel right. Instead she came out in a chicken costume, her Hocus Pocus witch outfit, and a pink sequined dress, amongst others. If you know Bette’s shtick, none of this should shock you.

People freak when their orange juice brand identity changes (Tropicana anyone?), so it’s a good thing that she’s still the same old Bette. (Not old old, you know what I mean). Just like when you walk into an Olive Garden, you know you’re getting Italian food, you want to go to a concert and know you’re seeing the performer you want to see.

 

5.     Bette Gave the Crowd What They Wanted – At the end of the night, when you thought Bette just couldn’t perform another dance routine or beautiful song, she sang her two most well-known songs and the crowd was loving every bit of it -Wind Beneath My Wings, and Buggy Woogy Bugle Boy. This falls under the “give them what they want” principle. At one point, Bette looked up in the stands and talked about the “main-liners” sitting in the boxes. And Philadelphians went wild because they LOVE references to their city.

Ecommerce brands should pay close attention to what’s selling and ensure the most popular items are in stock. GAP may have a huge initiative to sell the latest pair of skinny jeans, but if people are on their site to buy a white t-shirt, they better have the white t-shirt stocked, and stocked in all sizes. Brands want to keep evolving and acquiring new clients, but they should also put some effort into keeping their loyal base happy.  This will help retention rates and satisfied customers. (Like this concert go-er who plans to see Bette again and again while she’s still going strong!)

 

Marketing Consulting: 5 Things I've Learned

5 Things I’ve Learned Since Starting My Marketing Consulting Business

 

1.     There’s beauty in simplicity.

Trying to cram too many messages into your marketing creative, whether on or offline, just deters your consumers from reading further or taking any action. I’ve seen more websites and sales brochures that are so incredibly cluttered and trying to do too much at one time. Straightforward messaging and clean creative are the way to go.

 

2.     You have to budget money for social media.

Facebook’s algorithms keep changing, and Zuckerberg really knows what he’s doing. No matter how great your brand page is and how many “likes” you have, you are out of luck if you don’t boost posts or buy ads. People who like your page will rarely see it in their newsfeeds without you putting some money towards it.

 

3.     Editorial Calendars are underrated.

People love to talk about content marketing, but most don’t have a clue how to generate it and when to use it. I’d recommend sitting down and planning the entire year with content that relates to your business, but is also content people desire. If you’re ecommerce, American holidays are a good place to start. Make sure you’re touching on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and the other major ones, but include important events during the year like the Superbowl and the Oscars as well.

 

4.     Having a marketing strategy is imperative, but so is being flexible.

A marketing strategy is your roadmap, but that doesn’t mean if there’s an interesting pit stop that you didn’t plan, you shouldn’t take advantage of it. Especially when it’s a relevant way to get your messaging into the hands of your prospects and consumers. Follow your marketing plan, but stay as flexible as you can to react to unexpected changes.

 

5.     There is not enough time in the world to read all the great marketing content out there.

However, I’m hoping that’s where I can help. I spend a lot of time reading marketing  & business blogs, articles, and posts. When I find something that I believe is very valuable, I post it on the Elysium Marketing Group Facebook page