One Two Collective: Newsletter Jan. 2019

One Two Collective: Newsletter Jan. 2019

Hello, it’s us. One Two Collective.

It’s our first correspondence of the year and we can only assume you’re as excited about it as we are. If you’ve received this letter, we were in each other’s orbit in 2018. We worked together, sat by each other at an event, or you’re a brand or person we admire and we’re reaching out to make a connection.

If you haven’t recently, stop by our website and check out what’s new. Our 2018 was great. We formally launched, one of us had a baby (Hi, Rowen) and we worked on some really unique projects with brands doing interesting and special things in their respective industries.

Now, for why we’re here:

We’re sharing our takeaways from 2018 and insights for 2019 from the perspective of an industry chameleon. Thanks to our diverse expertise, we’ve imbedded ourselves in a wide variety of industries and we’ve developed a pretty unique grasp on what people and brands are doing to reach consumers and how those efforts are being perceived.

Since we work on all components of marketing off the screen, we pay special attention to how brands are expressing themselves physically and how they relate to our business pillars. See highlights below and click through to read the full content and see links to other worthwhile articles and insights.

Thanks! The One Two Team.

I see your micro and raise you a nano.

The word “micro” was as prevalent in 2018 marketing conversations as Bird scooters were, well, everywhere, but what did it mean? Simply, that brands discovered they no longer had to rely on the Kardashians of the world to get their products noticed. Turns out, influencers with as few as 2,000 followers could result in significantly more conversions simply due to authenticity.

So what does that mean for 2019? Good things for marketers. More authenticity, for one. Since believability is what actually sells, influencers will have to focus on storytelling when creating content which automatically elevates those with something to say. In turns, brands will be more easily able to select partners with the best ROI for their brand. Consumers will be rewarded, too, because not only will the advertising/content ratio start to work in their favor, less #FlatTummyTea is best for everyone.

OK, that’s all well and good, but what does an effective influencer + brand relationship look like? For brands just starting to dip their toes outside of the digital universe, influencers are a great hybrid option for ramping up brand awareness at a low cost. According to Tony Robbins (yes, that Tony Robbins), on average, it now takes a person 16 exposures to an ad before they take action- quite the leap from the four required just ten years ago. This article from his team succinctly breaks down how influencer marketing can add low cost exposure within your target market. Additionally, read through for more on key areas to consider when considering approaching new influencers or evaluating the effectiveness of those you already have engaged with your brand.

Overall, it’s clear influencer marketing is here to stay. In 2019, we think we’re going to see some great strides made in the market thanks to increasing transparency from brands and influencers, more storytelling contributing to authenticity and a deeper pool of quality candidates to pull from for campaigns.

It’s the retail-NOT-copalypse, am I right?

Retail is definitely not dead, consumers just expect more from retailers. Point blank. As shopping becomes more of instant gratification by clicking on a link, retailers are having to shift how they engage with their shoppers. Brands and commercial spaces spent 2018 learning that nothing is more important than the experience you provide. This not only includes the store atmosphere, displays and engaging with educated staff, but is expanding to the point of how a brand makes you feel. Are you investing in causes and experiences that matter to your consumer?

Well, once again it’s important to explore what that means to your brand, why it matters to your customers and why it should matter to you. Borrowing a point from the influencer section above, modern consumers have made it clear that advertising to them is a multi-touchpoint endeavor and a targeted ad campaign or site takeover just isn’t going to cut it on its own. So now you need to build out the story you’ve already started telling in the digital space. Bringing your brand into the physical gives people the unique sensory experience your brand deserves.

Now we’re in agreement that the retail experience for your brand is key, but where do we go from here? The answer is surprisingly obvious- keep it simple. In 2018 we saw the rise (and seemingly quick death) of the Instagram Museum pop up concept; i.e. creating a space that existed purely to be featured on social media. The lack of authenticity in these spaces is glaring and while there may always be space for the most creative versions of these like the Color Factory, for most brands and retail developments, sticking to the fundamentals – simple, organized and intuitive – will always be a better extension of your brand than a gimmick.

This on-the-nose Fast Company article explores other trends that will be emerging in 2019 in retail and how it will affect bricks and mortar as well as the path from digital to physical purchases. This article calls out an emphasis on sustainability as a brand trait that is becoming more of a requirement; we think this is just one example of how the consumers of this era have higher expectations of themselves and the brands they support. Set your standards high for yourself and then create an experience for your brand that is an extension of those high standards in every touchpoint that reaches your consumers, digital and physical.

So, is this the year we start a podcast?

As emerging technologies continue to permeate our lives and influence how we interact with one another, it’s only logical that it would transform the way we consume thought leadership content. Podcasts are nothing new, but as they’ve become more mainstream, it has become easier for brands to align with smart content that lends authenticity to their product or service. This approach is twofold as brands can participate in the podcast ecosystem as either on-air talent or by purchasing advertising around existing series and hosts that fit with their brand goals. Additionally, as data from the platforms hosting podcasts becomes more refined, brands can rely more on podcasts as another piece of their storytelling arsenal.

So how does developing the thought leadership arm of your brand via participating in podcasts enhance your storytelling efforts? The Atlanta division of the American Marketing Association published a white paper in 2018 defining the three main components of brand storytelling as authenticity, evolving your approach to marketing, and exploring emerging technologies as an extension of your brand. Understanding who on your team is articulate enough to converse regularly and with authority contributes to the multilayered story you need to provide consumers. Consider it one of the multiple touchpoints we discussed above required to reach your audience.

Fine! If Spotify’s leaning into podcasts, we can too. Or at least explore the idea that effective thought leadership doesn’t exist in the same old vacuum it always has. Whether you’re inclined to launch your own series, guest host or advertise with existing series- the preparations for success looks similar to other thought leadership platforms. It’s also perfectly acceptable to take the thinking behind our logic with podcasts here and apply it to the emerging technology that makes the most sense for you. And luckily, there’s a lot of it. Community building? Voice powered services? Thought leadership is a space that yearns for innovation and rewards preparation.

 

Is your brand ready for SXSW?

Is your brand ready for SXSW?

Smart brands know that an effective experience incites emotion and pays itself forward by creating a personal connection to your brand that lasts long after the event itself is over. You can probably guess what we’re getting at here- it’s time to start planning your 2019 SXSW experience. Check out some of our capabilities in the deck below and then let’s connect as we start to craft an event- retail, thought leadership, scavenger hunt & more- that makes your presence at SXSW memorable and beneficial for your brand.

Fall 2018 SXSW One Two Entertainment Deck by Elizabeth Hood

Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is one of many marketing tactics you can implement to garner awareness for your brand, but to be successful you might need to shift your idea of what its application looks like today. A phrase that once triggered the image of a suit on stage in a drafty hotel conference room, modern thought leadership has expanded to include podcasts, LinkedIn and even Instagram. Traditional thought leadership formats of white papers, speeches and articles seem rather dull with all the avenues available today and savvy brands have realized that the advent and mass adoption of social media has increased the opportunity for brands to share knowledge and add a little color to how they convey their subject matter expertise.

Elevating your brand via thought leadership requires effort to stand out, but successfully doing so and positioning yourself as an expert in the field you operate in is the kind of invaluable metric that will continue to pay itself forward as you build out your overall growth strategy. While such a competitive space might seem intimidating, implementing new formats gives you the opportunity to create a strategy that best suits your brand and personality and forge your own path. Use traditional outlets and combine them with more modern social platforms to allow you to practice your messaging in multiple formats and diversify your outreach.

So, where to start? As with any well intentioned plan, begin by visualizing your end goals and work backward. Who is your customer and what expertise are you looking to show them that you and your brand have? Ultimately, what message do you have that is worth sharing and how are you most comfortable delivering those insights? Once you have that in mind, you can develop a strategy that infuses modern media platforms into a more traditional thought leadership pathway. By creating a hybrid methodology, your outreach makes sense to reach your customer and you choose formats that showcase your strengths.

Here are a few keys to remember as your build out your thought leadership strategy and determine which platforms to utilize as you start implementing applications like LinkedIn, industry podcasts, Medium, Quora, and even Twitter into more traditional thought leadership routes.  

  1. Quality trumps quantity. If your goal is to be considered a thought leader, you are asking your audience to consider you a subject matter expert. As such, you need to approach whatever medium you pursue to relay your information with a measured approach and pack in an appropriate amount of information for the amount of time you’re requesting from your audience. One great nugget can stand alone on Twitter or Instagram, but five insights are likely best delivered in a more long-form format like a blog. Don’t attempt to pack a check list into a social media snippet and likewise, don’t ask people to listen to a 25 minute speech for one piece of actionable insight.
  2. Do your research. Who is talking about your area of expertise and what are they discussing? Talk about something intriguing and design your message to work best within whatever format you choose. Guest speaking on a podcast? Come prepared with soundbites that reflect your range of knowledge but are condensed for on-air consumption. Don’t be afraid to add in humor when appropriate, either.
  3. Be solution focused. No one wants to hear a sales pitch- we can do that work on our own by visiting your website. Instead, present a compelling storyline based on a problem you personally have had or seen in your industry and offer actual solutions to resolve it. Take advantage of the show & tell nature of social media to help your audience visualize a process in real time and reinforce your expertise.
  4. Make the effort you’ve put in on social media inform your greater thought leadership goals. Since traditional thought leadership formats like speeches at a conference don’t see as many concrete metrics, ensure that your larger concept talks are successful by taking a look at which of your tweets, articles and podcasts have performed the best and use that information to shape your live presentations.

Although the shape of thought leadership has changed with the advent of social media, the goal is the same: adding credibility to you and your organization/brand by relaying knowledge and experiences that have informed your successes and failures. Genuine enthusiasm about your subject matter translates no matter the medium and utilizing multiple formats to build a collective body of work will provide the foundation for a successful and modern thought leadership platform for your brand.