A Day In The Life...

As told by TWO's summer intern - Sean Enright

Before beginning my internship with The Weinstein Organization, I never looked at a website or an email campaign and thought about it in any other way than myself as a consumer.  Since starting in May, when I click to a website or read my emails, I look at these marketing tools in a completely different context.

When dealing with our client, Weight Watchers, I have to get out of the mindset of being a 22 year old male.  I have to think and look at what we are doing as someone completely different.  I never thought I would be spending days at the office in the mindset of a man or woman, who is trying to lose weight, and 30 years or older looking to change their life.

Each day I look at what we are doing for Weight Watchers and try to put myself into the shoes of these people.  When they open an email or go to a website, what do they want to see that will make them want to keep reading or keep clicking through?  We want to push people to join and we have to do that by putting material on our websites and emails that is informative and exciting.

To get ideas of how to do this I am beginning to look at what other websites and email campaigns do for their target audiences.  When I get an email from Sports Authority with their summer deals, I look at it to see how they convey their information and make their material look exciting.  That helps me get ideas to use for when we do our next Weight Watchers website or email.

This is something that was so surprising to me when I started.  When I get these emails or view a website, I am now looking for ideas to use for our clients or try to critique what another company is currently doing with their material.

It has only been a little over a month with The Weinstein Organization and I already look at websites and email campaigns in a new light, as marketing tools.  I guess that means I am officially a marketer.


A Good Opportunity for Direct Marketers?

With the 2012 London Olympics around the corner businesses from all over are incorporating the games in their marketing.  While 1964 Tokyo Olympics introduced live satellite television broadcasts and the 1996 saw the first dedicated webpages, the 2012 London Olympics promises to be the Olympics of social media with the ability of fans and athletes to interact with each other.

If you are thinking of tying into the Olympics there are some very harsh rules to protect sponsors who have paid a minimum of $7.8 million (5 million pounds).  The use of words like “games” or “2012” combined with “London”, “summer”, “medals” or “gold” could open you up to some hefty fines.

For direct marketers seeking a short-term promotional connection to the Olympics consider social media. Use blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to start a dialogue on events, key match-ups, athlete interviews, TV coverage or anything you can use to eventually link to your business and engage more potential customers.

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JC Penney Brings Sales Back.


By Shopping Enthusiast, Kara Monson

In early 2012 JC Penney decided to simplify their retail pricing strategy and offer “month long values”. This new approach replaced the coupons and sales historically run at JC Penney, modeled similar to the WalMart everyday low price system. The promotional advertisement materials and deals would run for a month’s time and it was supposed to be that easy.

After all, under the direction of new CEO and former SVP of Retail Operations at Apple, Ron Johnson, the company had high hopes for success. Under his leadership, JC Penney has made many changes. In addition to the pricing structure, the logo, branding and advertisement styles have all changed.

Changes in high level staffing may also be shifting, per the latest news update. Just this week after announcing declines in revenue by 40%, Johnson announced the “sales” message will once again return to JC Penney. Despite 40% lower prices for merchandise than one year ago, customers still aren’t choosing to shop at JC Penney.

While JC Penney should be commended for taking a unique stand against other competing retailers, they seem to also recognize when they need to revise their strategy as their customers demand. Today’s consumers want to feel like they are getting a deal. Price matters. Coupons are cool again, courtesy of daily deals sites and newspaper coupon clipping. The new JC Penney three-tiered pricing strategy may be confusing customers who may not want to take the time to understand it and can instead be lured to another competitor’s 20% off sale.

JC Penney was founded over 100 years ago. They have weathered decades and many economic climates before. To stay in business, hopefully the decision to advertise “sales” brings the people back too.


Re-Think Engagement As Direct Response

AdAge Digital published an interesting article called "The Brutal Truth About Social Media: It's Okay To Be A Little Antisocial". The point of the article was that "most" consumers will "never" engage with your brand or your content, so it's really okay to treat social media like a broadcast medium.

There's some validity to this point in that the consumption of your message and content is a form of engagement. As long as your message gets out there to your audience and they see it, watch it, or read it then your mission may have been accomplished. This has worked for traditional media, so it must work for social and digital too, right?

It might work, but how would you even know it? That's why we believe effective social media marketing is really a direct response approach.

Social media is a wonderful catalyst for incentivizing response from a relatively stable, uniquely measurable, and highly scalable (thanks to viral marketing) audience. These are characteristics that we direct marketers love, which is why you should re-think how you define engagement.

Engagement by most social media standards loosely means fostering a 1:1 relationship with your audience and getting them to "have a conversation" with your brand. But that is really wishful thinking and a misdirected goal.

Brands and organizations need their audiences to RESPOND in meaningful ways that advance their goals. That could be a sale, or an email sign-up, or a re-post, or a download, or a click to a landing page. Or any trackable and measurable action that you specifically incentivize your audience to take.

When you think about Social Media Engagement as Social Media Response, you can begin to apply successful and proven direct response marketing techniques in ways that no other media can.


It Used To Be Called "Interactive"

Remember way back (circa 7 years ago) when digital media was called "interactive"?

It seems as if many marketers have forgotten that the roots of digital/online/social media are in the now time-worn idea of interactivity. Isn't that the wonderful inherent advantage of marketing and communicating on the internet? The ability to engage in a real-time back-and-forth with your customers and prospects is something that can't be replicated by TV, Radio, Print and Mail.

Instead of just simply pushing out content on your social media portals, email campaigns and web pages, use them simultaneously as broadcast networks and response channels. Instead of just requesting a like or a follow, incentivize a click to a landing page. Lead them to a pURL. Reward people for sharing your content. Encourage them to come back and bring their networks to your brand.

Think responsively. Promote interactivity. Push Marketing and Pull Marketing can coexist on the internet.