Native advertising is good for everyone

By July 10, 2014 Press
The word Content on a newspaper crossword puzzle

There is a current kerfuffle about digital newspaper “native” advertising, so-called because of its resemblance to editorial content. Observers from the high ground, like journalist Andrew Sullivan, consider it to be an ethical collapse by the media that will lead to its extinction. Defenders tend to point out that, well, newspapers have to do something.

But what critics and defenders alike do not acknowledge is that native advertising is actually a better commercial model for both traditional media companies and audiences.

Read the full posting on Marketing Magazine here. 

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Best Practices For Real-time Marketing

By June 25, 2014 Matchstick Learnings
real-time marketing

Real-time marketing is loosely defined as the creation of content to engage audiences relevant to a specific current event. This aspect of marketing has gotten a bad rep over the years, as it can be seen as a way for brands to promote their product or to start discussions with other brands. However, at the heart of a successful real time marketing strategy is a way to engage with your audience. Matchstick has had a huge amount of experience as to which types of posts work for individual brands. From our experience, here are our best practice recommendations:

  1. Speak to the right audience at the right time

While real-time marketing may be separate from your other marketing plan, it should not steer away from your marketing objectives. This means that aspects like speaking in the right voice, and portraying audience-appropriate content should always be the main goals. A good example of this would be our client, Canadian Club’s, post on Father’s Day. It’s directed towards father’s but it stays with the clear and simple messaging that Canadian Club is known for.

My dad rocks

  1. Don’t jump on the bandwagon

While some brands are clearly connected to events and holidays, it may be a far stretch for others. Each brand needs to make sure that they are choosing the right events to start engaging their audiences with. Good examples would be that Banff Ice Vodka is often targeted towards males who like extreme sports, especially winter activities such as skiing. So promoting during the Olympics or other sporting events is a good time for this brand. It would not, however, be wise to promote the brand during family-day or the Oscar’s. This may seem like an obvious point, but some brands try to hop onto as many events as possible, to widen their reach, which brings us to our last point…

  1. Be engaging

Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to reach a large amount of people, but this shouldn’t be the only number coming into play. One of the most famous real-time marketing posts was Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” post, which appeared right after the lights went out at the Super Bowl. Jerry Daykin, the owner of Oreo, stated that the reason this post did so well was engagement with fans, not reach. Remember that real-time marketing is about engaging your fans with content that will spark some sort of emotion. Make sure that each post has an end goal in mind of either engaging your current audience, or reaching new consumers.

Each brand will need to experiment with their voice and content to ensure that they are creating a successful real-time marketing plan for themselves. A good strategy can have huge benefits to companies, such as increased customer engagement, improved customer experience, and increased conversion. As with any good marketing strategy, practice makes perfect!


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Crowd-sourcing Content

By May 27, 2014 Matchstick Learnings

Are you crowd-sourcing content for your brand? If not, you’re missing out on some quality user generated content. Earlier this month my colleague and I wrote about the Lay’s “Do Us a Flavour” contest  and the role crowdsourcing played in the campaign. Lay’s used crowdsourcing to generate ideas for a new chip flavour and offered a serious cash prize for the winner. Crowdsourcing can benefit your brand in many ways. Primarily, it is a low cost option and has the ability to generate a larger pool of content/creative/ideas to sort through, which leads to higher quality content. The overarching benefit of crowdsourcing, however, is the greater engagement rates and increased brand affinity that you can achieve.

Learning from Lay’s huge victory, here are the 2 To-Do’s for brands to leverage this success going forward with their own product offerings:

#1 Value Consumer Opinions

Interacting and engaging with your customers is crucial to making them feel essential to your business. By asking consumers what flavours they wished to eat, and then putting those flavours in store, Lay’s proved that they value their consumer’s opinions.

Crowdsourcing is invaluable to idea generation. When consumers give feedback, be sure to listen and act on it. Overall, the more you value your customer’s opinions and the more connected your customers feel to your brand, the more likely they will be to buy from you, share positive messages about your products, and become a brand advocate.

 #2 Create Shareable Content

When a fan shares branded content on their social sites, they are essentially telling their audience that they support, approve and endorse your product. Lay’s gave its fans the opportunity to vote on a new product flavour in a fun and competitive setting which encouraged audience participation and sparked high engagement rates. Fans were able to share their flavours with friends to encourage votes for their creation.

Key Takeaway

While the use of crowdsourcing in Canadian marketing is relatively recent, there are examples that prove it is alive and well with potential to amplify and grow campaigns. Building a community by social media crowdsourcing has incredible strength when your brand, product or offering has genuine value.

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