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Digital News & Analysis

Branding 101: Keep it Simple, Obvious, Intuitive and Emotional

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Lee Hunt is a brand strategist, trainer and industry thought leader. He's the founder of Lee Hunt LLC, a Woodstock, N.Y.-based consultancy focusing on brand strategy, on-air architecture, competitive analysis and personnel training for television networks and media companies. 

His success in launching and positioning channel brands, in addition to his pioneering work in audience management, have set many of industry standards.

He began his career on the client side in the 1980s, launching and branding Lifetime, VH1 and TNT. In the 1990’s he founded one of TV’s most successful creative services agencies, Lee Hunt Associates. In 1999, he sold LHA to the digital services company, Razorfish. In 2001 he launched the strategic consultancy, Lee Hunt LLC.

What's he know about branding and marketing? Plenty.

Feed the Marketing Automation Machine with Interactive Content

2014-26-June-Hungry-Gator.jpgMarketing automation is a powerful technology. But to extract the most value out of it, you need two things: 1. content that magnetically attracts your audience -- both initially and throughout your nurturing program -- and 2. data that reveals the specific interests and characteristics of each prospect.

Without that, marketing automation is a blender with nothing to blend.

10 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List

Email isn't what it used to be. A number of marketing experts place less emphases on email marketing campaigns these days, often tilting in favor of social media or content marketing.

But used correctly, email marketing can still be an important tool. What should you know? Here are 10 tips from Austin, Texas-based Study Breaks College Media. The company markets primarily to college students in Alabama, Georgia, Texas and South Carolina through print, digital and social media.

Signs Along the Road to Digital Marketing

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Marketing is fast becoming digital.  But the market targeting now done with computers has been around at some level for a while now, and there may be some lessons for us in it.

In times past, you targeted your marketing and sales by placing your name (ads, posters, Burma Shave road signs … whatever) where you thought your prospective customers might show up -- fishing ads in the sports section, theater listings in the entertainment section, luxury car ads in coffee table magazines, and so on.

Sounds crude but it worked if you were careful, and it saved money by allowing you to place -- and pay for -- your message only where it was more likely to be effective.

More on Millennials: Speak the Right Language

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Ever feel like something gets lost in translation whenever you market to millennials? There's a good chance you're right.

A new study of 1,800 millennials (ages 18-36) found 32 percent of those in English-speaking countries prefer a language other than English. And 46 percent said they're more likely to make a purchase if the information is presented in their chosen language.

The study, released Monday by SDL, is the fourth report of the “Five Truths for Future Marketers” series is titled “There is Only One Language”, and features results from SDL’s global survey of more than 1,800 millennials (ages 18-36). We shared another report from the series earlier this week. You can read the full study here.

Leverage Your Brand to Win the Talent War

You just found the perfect job applicant. But is she as enthusiastic about working for you as you are to hire her? 

The better the applicant, the more the job interview becomes a two-way assessment. A New York City-based executive search firm is offering some tips on how companies can leverage their brand and industry position to close their side of the deal.

Is AI the Missing Piece of Your Marketing Automation?

Are you still using autoresponse elements in your email marketing? It's time to stop, according to new research from  a provider of artificial intelligence-driven lead interaction management.

While Foster City, California-based AVA.ai (AVA stands for Automated Virtual Assistant) agrees autoresponders are good for select chores, such as letting buyers know their e-commerce order has been received, they are past due for retirement for more personalized responses. Not exactly surprising, since AVA.ai has just released a cloud-based, lead-interaction management software solution that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI).

Tradeoff Between Control and Simplicity

At the crux of many management decisions today is the tradeoff between control and simplicity.

Discussion Point: Can Social Media Improve Customer Relationships?

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Life has become increasingly complex for modern marketers. In the not so distant past, all anyone expected them to do was identify, acquire and retain customers.

Now they're expected to build long-term relationships with them — and as anyone who has ever had a partner or a spouse can tell you, that takes a lot of work.

In his most recent book, "What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF)," Brian Solis explores the challenges of building customer relationships as well as options to improve them.

Solis, a principal analyst with the Altimeter Group, suggests marketers can improve customer relationships through the use of social identity, which he defines as the information about an individual available in social media, including profile data as well as ongoing social activity. As he explains:

Marketers are spending more on technology every year -- especially technology that can engage customers in personal ways at scale, like marketing automation, email service providers, retargeting and dynamic web content. Social Identity improves value of these tools by improving targeting capabilities."

We shared his hypothesis with five senior marketers to see whether they agreed that brands can target and personalize customer messaging through social identity. 

The Question

How does the contextual insight available in social media provide an opportunity to better know and engage audiences with personalized content and experiences across channels?

World Cup Website Hacked: Is Yours Vulnerable, Too?

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Hacktivists have delivered on their promise to take down Brazil’s official World Cup website, effectively disrupting this year’s competition and adding significant weight to their ongoing global threats to use of computers and computer networks to promote political ends,

This is no surprise, according to Incapsula, a cloud-based website security and performance service. Last week, Incapsula Co-founder and Chief Business Officer Marc Gaffan warned the FIFA site was at risk in the wake of two other incidents.

On June 11, feedly announced it was under attack by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack refusing to pay the ransom demanded. At the same time, Evernote announced it too had been struck by a DDoS attack.

3 Brand Asset Secrets from HBO's Game of Thrones

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The dragons are chained, The Hound is dying, Jon Snow is back in Castle Black and Tyrion Lannister is on a ship to parts unknown. If you watch the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, then you understand.

Last Sunday's season four finale was watched by 7.1 million viewers — and broke illegal download records.

With the next episode months away, we thought we'd give fans a Game of Thrones fix: three brand asset secrets from the fantasy drama TV series.

This Week: Working During the World Cup + Launching SharePoint

Marketing Automation Done Right
Marketing automation has shown that it can be a smart tool — when done right

My Analytics Beat Yours
IBM claims its customer experience analytics top Google's and Adobe's.

Working During the World Cup
We deliver five ways to keep your employees productive during a major sporting event.

Kick Start SharePoint Implementation 
If you wait too long to deliver something, users get impatient and the project loses momentum.

Why ECM is Alive and Well
To talk about enterprise content management as dead or dying is just plain silly.

Inside Box's Streem Play
Streem can help Box be the place where you store, access and sync all your content. 

Evaluating DAM Needs and Vendors
How to be an Informed Buyer
Learn More

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Microsoft, Google Yield to Pressure to Improve Phone Security

Microsoft and Google will incorporate a kill switch into the next version of Windows-based and Android smartphones. The feature, which is already featured on Apple's iPhone 5, allows users to remotely wipe all data and information on the device in the event of theft.

At a press conference yesterday, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced they had reached agreements with both companies to include the feature in the next iteration of their respective operating systems.

What Comes After Authenticity?

Don't look now, but authenticity has a target on its back (and it's not the first time either). Those practitioners in the user experience, marketing and customer experience domains at the forefront of their craft have moved on and they're not sitting around waiting for you to catch up.

Every ethic and virtue has their days in the sun. Despite the wholesome goodness in any virtue, however, those days are finite and numbered. I don’t mean that the virtue will disappear entirely. I do mean that the virtue will recede from the limelight as society becomes conscious to the flaws in the virtue as another ethic that speaks to those flaws steps forward. As nothing in our universe is perfect, this goes on ad-infinitum and quite often circles back on itself. This is the cycle of virtues and we are all witnessing the waning days of authenticity.

Hit the Digital Accelerator: 5 Reasons You Must Go Digital Now

2014-19-June-Skid.jpgDigital transformation describes how companies are using technology to add a digital dimension to customer or partner experiences, change the way employees do their jobs, or add new digital or data-based lines of business. These kinds of experiences are no longer just conveniences. They are becoming the de facto standard, and have created strong impetus for businesses who haven’t done so already to start on the path to digital transformation. These five key trends are making digital transformation an imperative for businesses today.

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