Monday, February 4, 2013

4 Super Marketing Lessons for Association Marketers

Despite the 33-minute blackout, Sunday’s Super Bowl ads continued and provided highlights that associations can seize for their marketing efforts.

Watching, listening and reading news media yielded at least four opportunities for association marketers:
1. Tell a Story

  • This is not new. Stories sell. 
  • “What most of Sunday night’s viewers really wanted weren’t ads that go whiz, bang and pop.” USA Today reported. “That’s too easy. What they preferred were ads that told a simple story with a wisp of wonder. Folks wanted ads that made them feel good. Most effective on Sunday night: the few ads that plucked the heartstrings. Amid the wreckage of Sunday Night’s mostly overdone ad fest, Madison Avenue must admit this: simple is hard.
  • "Viewers loved the ads about heart-felt reunions. For A-B, man and horse. For Chrysler, soldier and family. This is the kind of ad that America needs to see . . . hope, love, faith, patriotism . . . all of the things that America is desperately looking for . . . and needs,” says Frank Slezak, a fashion photographer from Horsham, Pa.”
  • See Associations have stories to share. Spotlight them. 
Lesson 1: Think of the stories coming from your members. Their experiences as members or conference attendees. Find those stories and share them in words, pictures and video.

2. Length Doesn’t Matter
  • In a world claiming that 30 seconds is a long time, it’s interesting that seven of the top 10 ads in the USA Today Ad Meter were a full 60 seconds or longer. Two (both from Chrysler) were two minutes.
Lesson 2: If you have powerful stories with great images, don’t be afraid to let them go long. 

3. Newsjacking Expands Your Brand
  • Twitter said it took four minutes after the lights went out for the first Twitter advertiser to bid on "power outage" as a search term.
  • Some savvy marketings took advantage of the power outage. The Wall Street Journal  noted: “And one enterprising big game advertiser, Oreo, tweeted: ‘Power Out? No Problem,’ and attached a photo of its cookie with a headline that read, ‘You Can Still Dunk In The Dark.’ 
  • David Meerman Scott (creator of the term newsjacking) wrote “It took just seconds for people to start talking about #BlackoutBowl and less than five minutes for brands to start newsjacking the story. This newsjack from Oreo succeeds because it was fast, its witty and fun, its non-controversial, and it ties back to the brand and its messages.” 

Lesson 3: Find news stories related to your association’s brand and “hi jack” them to add your own twist. As Scott says, you have to do this quickly ... within minutes or an hour ... you don’t have time to hold a committee or staff meeting to respond.

4. Followup

  • “So God Made a Farmer” scored big during the Super Bowl but Dodge’s Ram Trucks didn’t stop there. They ran a 4-page insert in Monday’s USA Today.
  • And “the Ram Brand” announced they would be donating up to $1 million to the National FFA Organization with this piece on its website: 
    • Watch. Share. Support.
    • You watch the video, you share a badge, the Ram brand makes a donation. Help us raise $1 million to support FFA and assist in local hunger and educational programs.
Lesson 4: Create multi-faceted campaigns that complement and reinforce your key messages.

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