Old Navy Says Farewell to Amy Poehler

Retailer Plans to Welcome New Spokesperson in December

By Ashley Rodriguez

Click here to watch the video

 

Old Navy ran its final spot featuring Amy Poehler on Sunday night — signaling the end of a yearlong relationship with the star who helped spur the brand’s focus in online video. The ad, promoting the retailer’s Black Friday deals, keeps with the theme of earlier spots — building a sense of urgency around the brand as Ms. Poehler rushes to get to a store.

“It’s been a great ride with her,” said Julie Luker, director of public relations at Old Navy. “It’s the perfect end to have her promote Black Friday, which is our biggest day of the year.”

Ms. Poehler may be leaving, but the push is far from over. Old Navy is eager to build on the campaign’s success, and it will usher in a new celebrity spokesperson next month.

“Even though the character is different, you’ll see the consistency of what we’re doing today,” said Ivan Wicksteed, CMO at Old Navy. “It’s going to feel very episodic in a way that you’re going to want to follow with us.”

Mr. Wicksteed did not say who will star in Old Navy’s next ad, which is slated to debut on December 3. “You’ll be seeing a lot of Old Navy during the month of December,” said Mr. Wicksteed, adding the holiday season is the most important time of year for Old Navy in terms of media weight and exposure.

In addition to acting, Ms. Poehler also had quite a bit of creative control over the current campaign, best Known for its outtakes featuring the “Parks and Recreation” and former “SNL” star. It called attention to the brand on TV and online, and pushed Mr. Wicksteed to shift the retailer’s reliance away from TV and towards digital video earlier this year.

“The outtakes that we get from shooting with Amy are always the things that people want to see the most,” said Mr. Wicksteed. “It’s more of a content play than a traditional advertising play.”

The main difference in the latest spot is that it focuses on a promotion and not a particular product, said Mr. Wicksteed. That’s fitting for Black Friday, which is a heavily promotional time of year. This year, Old Navy is bringing back its “Overnight Millionaire” push to give away $1 million to one person in line on Black Friday. Mr. Wicksteed says the odds are better this year, because only the first 100 people in line can enter. The ad also pushes the retailer’s 50% off sale.

The budget for this year’s Black Friday campaign is consistent with last year, said Old Navy. But the push has bigger placements — it will air during Thanksgiving Day football on CBS, a first for the brand. It will also have a presence on YouTube and Google Preferred, which puts the top 5% of YouTube content up for sale to advertisers. Chalendier Creative worked on the spot featuring Ms. Poehler.

The Missing Ingredient of Modern Marketing

by EKATERINA WALTER

 

You’ve heard this before: Your brand is the sum of customers’ complete experiences with you across all touch points.

Your brand isn’t your company. It isn’t your marketing message. It isn’t even your product. It is an experience — a holistic experience a customer has with your product, your content and your employees. It is the reason to choose you over your competitor.

Relationship capital is arguably the most important goal any business has. After all, there is no such thing as a self-made man. We all depend on others in our success. Businesses depend on partners, investors, vendors and employees. But the most important relationship a business has is with its customers.

Oh, that “relationship” used to be easy. Several key channels (print, TV, radio, phone), one-way broadcasting, millions of impressions as a goal. Things didn’t change much over decades.

Related: The 4 Pillars New Brands Must Communicate to Their Audience

Then the digital revolution came and, with it, brought new channels and new challenges. Web and email started to take over. And just when we thought we got those mastered, the pace of change became unsustainable.

Dozens of social channels, as well as the rise of the citizen journalist brought blogging, newsjacking, podcasting and social posting. With those, the need developed for listening, real-time engagement, managing digital crisis and more. The pace at which social network features, rules and capabilities change is staggering. The number of niche tools supporting various functions of creation, publishing, distribution, management and reporting grew to hundreds.

For those business that recognized the seismic shift in the marketplace, managing consumer experiences through the rise of the social tsunami became not only a challenge, but a priority. But as they started to implement strategies, solutions and tools across the organization, one critical gap became widely apparent. No matter how much you try to serve your customers, if the organization is internally siloed in mentality, processes and technology, no amount of delight will ever deliver a truly holistic experience that your customer deserves.

Sales funnels don’t exist anymore. We now have a sales zig-zag. Every day, our customers are consuming information from many devices through more than 50 channels and engaging with you through thousands of touch points. They are educated, globally connected, impatient and have a high BS radar. They expect that you are listening — on every channel! — and demand a real-time response. They trust their friends over advertisements and brand messages. They buy brands they have relationship with.

Successful business isn’t about impressions any more. It is about building relationship capital through smart experience management. And the only way to achieve that is for all parts of the organization to work together, to become a connected company!

Related: 3 Social-Media Mistakes That Are Killing Interest in Your Company

What is desperately needed is a set of critical capabilities that would work across a lot of channels, to be implemented across a variety of teams, a number of product lines, in every market. What is needed is a complete solution for your digital needs that’s designed to work in tandem with your existing infrastructure.

What’s needed is an integrated business nerve center.

But the reality is a bit grim. A 2014 study by Signal states that organizational and technological integration is a key problem for businesses. While respondents recognize a range of benefits to a fully integrated marketing stack, around half of respondents said their marketing data and technology are either managed separately (10 percent) or that only some tools are integrated (41 percent). Just 4 percent reported having a completely integrated stack.

While 53 percent prioritize developing a single view of each customer (a high priority for marketers around the world, according to MarketingCharts), they’re faced with technological challenges such as multiple/duplicate records (41 percent), too many systems/difficulty keeping track of where data is housed (38 percent), and siloed data (37 percent). As a result, 59 percent of respondents felt that it was a priority to have a single system to deliver customer experiences across all potential digital channels.

Consumers experience our brand through different life moments and in a variety of places: at the store, on our website, through social conversations. This is a remarkable opportunity for brands to connect. Most important, an opportunity to track, manage and align these moments to drive brand love, advocacy and loyalty.

Bringing the voice of your customer into the right business context, at the right time, is the first step in that transformation. To do that, organizations need to build an integrated business nerve center that sits at the core of the enterprise and connects all of the people, processes and systems within it. This is the only way we will enable innovative, positive social interactions that build long-lasting relationships with people who matter.

8 Online-Marketing Terms Business Owners Must Know

 

NOVEMBER 18, 2014

by Stuart Wall

If you’re like most small-business owners, you spend your day providing a great customer experience that sets you apart from your competition. The quality of your service is key now that digital word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising. This doesn’t leave much time to stay current with the latest online-marketing developments.

Related: 5 PR Strategies for the Busy Entrepreneur

To help navigate today’s brave new world of digital marketing for small business, as well as outline principles that are critical for your success, I’ve outlined eight terms that should be in every small-business owner’s vocabulary. Understanding the “why” and “what” will improve your marketing efforts and ability to attract and retain valuable customers.

1. Online presence

What: Your online presence is everywhere your business info can be found online and on mobile apps.

Why: In today’s connected world, establishing a proper online presence is absolutely critical. Consumers use the web to make their final decision. According to a Nielsen study, four out of five Yelp users visit the review site before making a purchase.

Whether looking for a new business or researching a known one, potential customers will use search engines and social platforms to find the information they need. To help get you started, here are 24 free places to list your business online.

2. CTA

What: A call to action prompts a customer to do something (for example: “Call now.” “Click here for 10% off.”). Testing different CTAs as part of your marketing will help you find out which is the most effective for your business.

Why: As a small business, it doesn’t matter how enticing your online presence is if you do not present a clear call to action. Even the most interested consumers need a clear next step and possibly an incentive to move forward.

3. Conversion

What: Conversion is the step from your marketing effort to a customer taking action. A conversion could be an email or call, but most often a direct purchase.

Why: The goal of your marketing should be to drive conversions. You need to decide in advance how you define a conversion. This way you know what to track and what you want to achieve.

You want to minimize drop off between someone seeing you online and actually making a purchase. Remarketing can help with this.

4. Remarketing

What: Remarketing is following up with consumers that have interacted with you or your marketing before. For example, sending email or a text messages to existing customers with the goal of building loyalty or getting referrals, feedback and reviews.

Why: Remarketing to your existing customer contacts is one of the most important online-marketing activities for small-business owners. These customers already know your business and are much more likely to engage and convert via effective marketing.

Related: The 3 Goals to Set for Content-Marketing Success

5. Referrals

What: Referrals are new customers that have been directed to your business by other customers or companies.

Why: A trusted recommendation is more powerful and effective than any type of advertising. By using targeted-remarketing messages you can encourage this type of digital word of mouth.

6. CAC

What: Customer acquisition cost refers to the dollar amount spent to acquire a new customer. For example, if you work with a marketing service that you pay $1,000 and because of their work they deliver five new customers, the CAC of this marketing effort is $200.

Why: Your end goal is new customers and revenue. It is important to understand how much each of your marketing efforts cost to achieve that goal. This will help you evaluate your marketing efforts. Make sure you know about the CAC when working with a marketing service.

7. CLTV

What: Customer lifetime value is the dollar value of a customer relationship — based on the total profit you expect to earn from that client over their time with your business. So if your service costs $50 and customers generally buy this service five times throughout their lifetime, the combined dollar value of all these transactions, or CLTV, is $250.

Why: CLTV is an essential concept in marketing, because it determines how much you can spend on your marketing. Generally speaking, any marketing effort where the CLTV is higher than the CAC delivers a return on your investment and is something you should continue to invest in. So don’t just look at marketing in terms of costs but how it adds to your bottom line!

8. Cloud computing

What: Cloud computing, sometimes called software as a service or web-based software services, simply means business services such as email, storage or accounting supplied over the Internet. Using the cloud is increasingly popular with small-business owners because it’s more affordable and makes it easy to update the services.

Why: Using cloud computing for your marketing is a smart approach as it’s affordable and makes it easy to update and integrate any services. For example, customer-relationship-management software is a marketing tool that many large companies have been using for years, however it is now well within the price point and time-commitment range for small-business owners.

Related: 4 Basic Steps to Turn Web Visitors Into Brand Ambassadors (Infographic)

Social media in orbit: An astronaut’s stunning photos shared via Twitter

  , The Washington Post,  November 10/2014

NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image from the International Space Station and posted it to social media on Sept. 28, 2014. He wrote: “The Milky Way steals the show from Sahara sands that make the Earth glow orange.” (AP Photo/NASA, Reid Wiseman)

 

After almost six month aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Maryland local Reid Wiseman landed safely in Kazakhstan last night. Wiseman built quite a social media following for his pictures from space.

 

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to spend 165 days up here. With that said, I’m looking forward to heading home,” Wiseman said on Saturday. Wiseman grew up in Cockeysville, Md., near Baltimore.

Throughout his journey, Wiseman gave a glimpse of life in space through his social media accounts. While not the first astronaut to share photos from space or connect with Earthlings with social media, he gained an almost cult-like following. In the month he first arrived on the ISS, Wiseman had 37,000 followers on Twitter. As of Monday, he had more than 360,000. Wiseman spoke about his social media presence with Time in July:

I think the astronauts have always wanted to share their journey with as many people as possible. And I think Apollo, with the tools they had, they did a phenomenal job. We’re just lucky to live in this day where, when I take a photograph with a camera … we can e-mail it straight into our Twitter feeds, and it just makes it so much easier to share this experience … It’s almost just become a little collateral duty of ours, so you don’t even think about it through the day, it’s so easy. But it’s appreciated and we really enjoy doing it.

What’s most remarkable about Wiseman is his keen eye — and childlike wonder.

“He’s struck a tone of constant awe and incredulity at his daily life on the space station that one wouldn’t expect from a highly trained and capable flight engineer,” wrote Mia Tramz of Time in July. What makes Wiseman’s social media presence so successful, she added, is its “reliability. ”He has found a way to create excitement around an expedition fraught with political tension using photography and video as a starting point for communication and for activating and engaging a wide, universal audience.”

Here’s a look at some of Wiseman’s photos from onboard the ISS: