Tag Archive | "It’s"

It’s “Game On” for Buffalo Wild Wings New Brand Architecture, Says CMO

“When I think of brand architecture it really gets to the essence of the brand,” says Buffalo Wild Wings CMO Seth Freeman. “The essence of the brand is around this idea of camaraderie and ritual and something that we like to call “game on.” It’s our ability to make sure that when folks come in to experience Buffalo Wild Wings that we have a game on mentality and that we bring them the very best of who we are.”

Seth Freeman, Chief Marketing Officer of Buffalo Wild Wings, was recently interviewed on Adweek’s CMO Moves podcast with Nadine Dietz. Freeman discussed their new “game on” brand architecture that defines not just their new marketing strategy but really the heart of the business. “The purpose ultimately is really about inspiring legendary experiences between friends,” noted Freeman:

Turning Good Times With Friends Into Great Times With Brothers

When I think of brand architecture it really gets to the essence of the brand. There are three components to it in the way we framed it up.  They are the promise, the essence, and the purpose. We identified an insight out there that guys want to turn good times with friends into great times with brothers. More accurately, legendary experiences with brothers. That was the cultural insight that really framed our brand architecture.

When we think about our purpose we defined our promise as the great American sports bar that turned game time into stories worth telling. It wasn’t just about inviting folks to watch a game. It was about translating that into an experience worth telling. That’s what folks are really looking for. That’s the promise that we deliver on every single day. That’s why we get up. That’s why folks are going out there and doing the job that they do and delivering a great experience.

It’s “Game On” for Buffalo Wild Wings

Our purpose ultimately is really about inspiring legendary experiences between friends. The essence of the brand is around this idea of camaraderie and ritual and something that we like to call “game on.” It’s our ability to make sure that when folks come in to experience Buffalo Wild Wings that we have a game on mentality and that we bring them the very best of who we are. We have 80,000 folks out there working across Buffalo Wild Wings and they bring it every single day.

It’s Game Time at Buffalo Wild Wings!

As we were talking to consumers, one of the things we learned was that some of the most impactful experiences that they talked about was with the bartenders and servers. They are influencing whether or not those folks come back. For instance, one of the most memorable experiences they talked about was the bartender remembering them when they came back.

That is our brand architecture, but it also lends itself to things we have done in rolling out this purpose to the broader community through our Brand Champ Initiative. That really is a cultural movement that we are employing across our franchises and corporate stores. We have over 1,200 locations where folks are trained to make sure that the brand architecture is translating to a way that is meaningful to the consumers and also meaningful to the folks that are on the front lines every single day.

It’s “Game On” for Buffalo Wild Wings New Brand Architecture

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Why It’s So Hard to Make Time for Creativity (and a Creativity Workshop with Sonia that Can Help)

I think most of us are pretty connected to the idea that a full life includes creativity. We’re meant to…

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When It’s Game Time for Retail New Relic is There, Says CEO

New Relic provides deep performance analytics for every part of a business software environment. It enables companies to easily view and analyze massive amounts of data, and gain actionable insights in real-time. Whether it’s for a popular mobile app, an online video game with millions of users, or a huge ecommerce platform, they all rely on critical New Relic insights to keep revenue flowing.

Lew Cirne, founder and CEO of New Relic, talks about how critical real-time insights from New Relic are to a companies revenue stream in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC:

When It’s Game Time for Retail New Relic is There

For retail obviously, so much of their business, particularly their web business depends on a very small number of days; Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. That’s game time. That’s the moment of truth. That’s when we’re working our hardest to make sure our software is there to make sure our customers can see what’s going on in real-time. Our customers were thrilled with the performance and availability that they delivered which turns into business results.

If your site is slower or down on Cyber Monday, forget it, you’re going to miss your quarter. You may never recover from that because you also have a brand hit. So it’s so vital. This is not nice to have software. Anybody who is competing on their software needs New Relic’s platform in order to succeed.

We’re a Massive Cloud Operation

We’re a massive cloud operation. We’re collecting millions of data points every second from mobile applications and from cloud infrastructure every time somebody’s pressing a button to buy something and every time someone’s watching this video on the CNBC app. We’re measuring the health of that and we do that on a massive scale. That’s one of the things our customers love.

When Fortnite said, “Hey we’ve got this huge app. It’s the biggest in the world and we want to monitor on New Relic.” We’re like great. Your biggest day is just another day for us. We collect so much data and we can do it for you.

New Relic Monitors Fortnite to Keep it Running for Millions of People

Epic Games is the company that created Fortnite and if you have kids or you’re into games this game has taken the world by storm. It’s the most popular game in the world. If that game is not working millions of people know about it and the company is affected.

So they rely on the New Relic platform to see everything in real-time on how that game is performing. It’s a very complex piece of software that has to work flawlessly in real-time. We measure everything going on in that game so that the builders of Fortnite can keep it running for millions of people 24/7.

There are different companies that do different things around observing what’s going on in this space but were the applications-centric company. What does that mean? It means that when you’re playing Fortnite what you’re doing is you’re using software.

We’re measuring the software in real-time. We do it in a cloud platform that integrates what’s going on in the software with the infrastructure and with the end-user experience, like the mobile app. We see all that together and do it in one unified platform and our customers love us for that.

New Relic Helps CNBC Scale Mobile App in Real-Time

At CNBC, you just launched an incredible new revenue app in the fall and it’s amazing. I use it a lot and I love it and again this is an app that’s getting a lot of uptake. I was talking to the team and they said customers love what the app is doing for them and they want to use it more and more. That means they have to scale.

When more and more people are using that app how are you able to handle the scale when people want to see the news in real time and want to see the stock quotes in real time? We provide them the visibility that gives them the confidence to move faster and scale to this amazing demand that the CNBC app is generating.

New Relic Helps Companies Move Fast in a Multi-Cloud World

This is so important to our customers. It’s clear that we’re entering a multi-cloud world. Obviously, Microsoft’s doing well and Amazon doing very well. We had a great show at re:INVENT. And there’s some hybrid cloud as well. What our customers are saying no matter where my software is running I want to see it all in one place. I’m sick of moving from one tool to another to see a complete picture. They turn to the New Relic platform to see it all in one place. That enables them to move fast with confidence.

Anywhere there are systems that need to perform well and scale well, those are systems that need New Relic. What we say to our customers is building great software is not easy, but it is the foundation upon which companies can build great competitive advantage. We want to partner with our customers to deliver amazing software that delights our customers and grows their business.

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What People Actually Want to Avoid (It’s Not Marketing and Selling)

Have you ever stopped paying attention to content when a publisher stepped up their marketing game? I know I have….

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It’s Black Friday Week on Copyblogger: Get Great Deals on Premium Marketing Education

Somehow, we’ve nearly reached the end of the year. If you’re in the U.S., this week is all about gratitude,…

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UNCS CEO: It’s an Amazing Time To Be a Consumer… Every Day is Black Friday

The CEO of United National Consumer Suppliers, Brett Rose, says that it’s an amazing time to be a consumer because every day is Black Friday. Rose predicts that this is going to possibly be the biggest Q4 in our history.

Brett Rose, CEO of United National Consumer Suppliers, discussed Amazon and ecommerce in an interview on Fox Business:

Amazon Has Huge Competitive Advantage

All things considered, consumers want free shipping, not quick shipping. However, if all levels are equal with Amazon, Target, and Walmart, the one competitive advantage that Amazon has, that Target and Walmart can’t, is that Amazon has millions of these third-party resellers constantly filling their coffers with products. Target and Walmart are limited to what they have in stock that’s ready to go.

There is no denying that Walmart has made some massive strides. But to come after Amazon is hefty. Like I said Amazon has a constant supply of products where their not just limited to what they’re curating on their own. They’re limitless in regards to what everybody is sending to them to go right to the consumer.

Every Day is Black Friday

Interesting times with tariffs. If you read everything that came out Chinese imports are up 15 percent over the same time last year. They’ve all front-loaded in preparations for the President’s tariffs which are now in full effect. All of these retailers pushed up orders in what might have otherwise taken months. It’s yet to be determined, but consumers still need goods. There’s always going to be a need, the price is just going to fluctuate.

If numbers are indicative, everything these retailers are curating and everything the street is saying, it’s going to be one of if not the biggest Q4 in our history. Even if you look at Black Friday announcements, Black Friday is out already. Amazon has released their Black Friday items. BlackFriday.com, Macy’s, went live the other day with their sales. Retailers are vamping up to stay competitive. You go online now and you can figure out what retailers are selling for Black Friday.

It’s an amazing time to be a consumer. Every day is Black Friday. Right now it really is. They’ve already released what the doorbusters are going to be.

Still a Major Value in Having a Physical Presence

There’s always going to be the consumer that likes to go to the store, likes to feel it, touch it, get the treasure hunt, but now with real-time shipping, free shipping, real-time inventory, it’s a great time to be a consumer. It’s certainly competitive. While Amazon is making strides they are still going after brick & mortar. Buying Whole Foods and some of the other retailers they are looking at, says there is still a major value in having that physical presence.

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SearchCap: It’s all about Google today–political ad transparency report, local packs, featured snippets launched & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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What Is A Strategy Versus A Tactic? (And Why It’s So Important You Understand The Difference)

Inside the Blog Profits Blueprint I talk about a key distinction, the difference between strategies and tactics when it comes to online marketing and building a blog-based business. Here’s a relevant quote from the Blueprint: Strategies are in place to educate your mind about why things happen. Strategy helps you understand outcomes and helps predict […]

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Beyond the Hype Cycle: It’s Time to Redefine Influencer Marketing

It's Time to Redefine Influencer Marketing

It's Time to Redefine Influencer Marketing

Every marketer should consider getting a tattoo of Gartner’s Hype Cycle, as a reminder to keep us from chasing shiny objects.

The Hype Cycle goes like this:

  1. A new hotness emerges. It could be new technology, a new strategy or tactic, some new thing.
  2. There are wild predictions about how the thing will revolutionize the world.
  3. People scramble to get on board with the thing before they even understand it.
  4. The new thing doesn’t measure up to elevated expectations.
  5. People get disillusioned with the thing and decide it’s worthless.
  6. People actually learn how the thing works, get sophisticated in using it.
  7. The thing turns out to be pretty awesome and is used productively.

Marketers are just as susceptible to the hype machine as anyone else is. More so, even. Think of content marketing: We went from “content is king” to “content shock” in just a few years, and we’re just now hitting the plateau of productivity.

Now it’s influencer marketing’s turn to ride the downhill slope to the trough of disillusionment. It’s inevitable. We started with high expectations, a ton of hype, and a lot of investment before people really knew what worked.

Now the backlash is hitting. The latest Sprout Social Index is particularly sobering. Only 46% of marketers are using influencer marketing. Only 19% said they had the budget for an influencer program. And on the consumer side, people say they’re more likely to take a friend’s recommendation on social media than take an influencer’s word for it.

In other words: The party’s over. Now the real work begins. It’s time to redefine influencer marketing, get more sophisticated, and get productive. Here’s how to get out of the trough:

#1 – Redefining Influence

In the B2C world (and even in the B2B realm), influence and celebrity are often treated as synonyms. Whether it’s Rhianna or Matthew McConaughey or Pewdiepie, it’s people who have audiences in the millions. There’s some differentiation for relevancy — this YouTuber does makeup tutorials, that one is a gamer — but it’s mostly a numbers game. It’s paying people with huge followings to throw some attention at your brand.

As Ursula Ringham, Head of Global Influencer Marketing for SAP*, told us in a recent interview on social and influencer marketing:

“People often think that influencer marketing is all about celebrities hawking a product. It’s truly not about that—especially in the B2B realm. It’s about highlighting experts who have real experience on the business challenges a brand’s audience faces.”

To become more sophisticated, you need to rethink what it means to be influential. Sure, a mega-star with a huge following is great — if they are relevant to your specific target audience and if their participation doesn’t break the bank.

However, you can get amazing results working with influencers like:

  • Thought leaders in the industry with a small but prestigious network
  • Experts with radical new ideas who are poised to become thought leaders
  • Subject matter experts within your own company
  • Prospective customers from influential brands you want to work with
  • Employees who will advocate for your brand given direction and material

That last one is crucial. Inspiring your internal influencers can give your content a massive boost in reach — LinkedIn* estimates that the average employee has a network 10x bigger than the brand’s social reach. Sprout says, in the key findings of their report:

“Social marketers in 2018 see the value in employee advocacy as a cost-effective, scalable alternative to influencer marketing.”

I would say “addition” rather than “alternative,” but it’s definitely an undervalued tactic.

Our experience is that a combination of industry and internal influencers can yield the most effective results. SAP Success Factors incorporated industry influencers, internal subject matter experts, partners and clients on a program that exceeded the lead generation goal by 272% with a 66% conversion rate.

The bottom line is, when evaluating influencers, look beyond their follower count. Their industry reputation, group affiliations, and level of engagement are all indicators influence, too. And don’t forget to include your customers, prospects, and employees in your potential influencer pool.

[bctt tweet="When evaluating influencers, look beyond their follower count. Their industry reputation, group affiliations, & level of engagement are all indicators influence, too. - @NiteWrites #RedefiningInfluencerMarketing" username="toprank"]

#2 – Redefining Compensation

The rising cost of influencer marketing is another factor that has led to the trough of disillusionment. The majority of influencer marketing, especially in B2C, has been exclusively transactional. Big brands swept up top-tier influencers, the payments kept getting bigger for smaller results, and eventually the bubble had to burst.

To reach the plateau of productivity, that compensation model must change. At TopRank Marketing, we focus on building relationships with influencers and invite them to co-create with us. While there are instances in which financial compensation is part of the partnership, most often the compensation is the same both for our client and the influencer:

  • A cool, valuable asset to share
  • Cross-promotion to each other’s audiences
  • Boost to thought leadership
  • Access to a community of thought leaders

The relationship model is far more sustainable than a transactional-only approach. Again, if there is an influencer who prefers a transaction, and is of high value to the client, we’re not opposed to financial compensation. But these cases should be the exception, not the norm.

#3 – Redefining Measurement

Proving ROI is a crucial part of making your influencer marketing more sophisticated. Without the ability to show what your influencers have accomplished for the brand, it’s hard to sell management on continued investment.

It all starts with measurable goals and KPIs that hold your influencer marketing to the same standards as every other tactic you use. Tracking performance against those goals is the next step. We all have access to the tools and tech for this kind of measurement. We just need to use them more effectively to show how influencers are effective throughout the entire buyer’s journey.

Right now, marketers tend to focus on the top of funnel metrics, because they’re easy to measure: Social reach, influencer participation, engagements, likes, comments.

You need to get more granular than just those raw engagement numbers. You need to get from engagement to action. When you’re ready to amplify, give each influencer a custom URL to share. Then you can measure which influencers are actually inspiring people to leave social media and check out the asset you’ve created. From there, you can measure how those clicks convert to a lead capture, and track the lead through your pipeline.

[bctt tweet="We all have access to the tools & tech for better measurement of #influencermarketing #ROI. We just need to use them more effectively. - @NiteWrites #RedefiningInfluencerMarketing" username="toprank"]

Redefining Influencer Marketing

It’s time for influencer marketing to graduate from the Hype Cycle and become a trusted part of your integrated marketing strategy. To get to the plateau of productivity, we must discard what doesn’t work, keep what does, and refine our approach for continued improvement.

It starts with reconsidering just what influence means and who has it. Once you find your true influencers, it’s about developing relationships and building communities, rather than ever-more-expensive transactions. Finally, it requires making your measurement as sophisticated as it is for the rest of your marketing tactics.

We have found that influencer marketing beyond the Hype Cycle is an indispensable part of our marketing mix. The proof is in the pie: Read how our Easy-As-Pie Guide to Content Planning drove a 500% increase in leads for client DivvyHQ.

*Disclosure: SAP and LinkedIn are TopRank Marketing clients.

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Having Trouble Reaching Your Audience? It’s Time to Get Radically Relevant

So, you may remember not that long ago — as in, last month — I was very keen on chatbots. I got a lot of inspiration from Andrew Warner over at Mixergy, who had helped me see some things that I hadn’t understood at all about the format. Fast forward a few weeks … and
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