Google’s 2014 Agenda: 5 Questions Every Brand Should be Asking

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Written by Kariann Prewozniak

Social Media Week has wrapped in Chicago. Social-Media-Week-ChicagoAmong the list of notable speakers the session that was most impressionable for me was the Google Keynote by Jim Lecinski. Jim shared with the audience the 5 key questions every brand, big or small, should be asking as they are working on 2014 planning, such as cultivating brand advocates through blogger outreach. Here is a summary of the 5 questions that should be part of your 2014 agenda.

How embedded is digital in your business?

Digital is the “new normal.” It is how cultural is now experienced and shared. To put this into perspective Jim shared these stats, Super Bowl 2013 had an estimated 106MM viewers while the music video, Gentleman by PSY, has over 545MM views on YouTube. The season 6 premiere of Mad Men had an estimated 3.6MM views while a live stream of Coachella had 8.7MM views online. Get the picture? Our cultural doesn’t just “get” digital they are using it in their everyday life for almost everything. So how embedded is digital in your business? This doesn’t mean paid ads on Facebook or digital banners. This means you are finding innovative ways to amplify your brand through digital.

Here are some great examples of brands doing this well…

The Nike+ Digital, most everyone is aware Nike-Fuel-Bandof Nike’s digital products such as the Nike+ Running app for your smart phone or the Nike+ Fuel Band. These devices allow customers to track their runs, calories burned, running pace etc.  There is even a social element to these devices. You can connect with friends for a little friendly competition or share your activity to Facebook or Twitter for extra encouragement.

Hue light bulbs, these bulbs let you play with tone, brightness and color to create your ideal lighting and even keep your house safe while you’re away. All from your smart phone.

Are you winning the moments that matter?

There is a moment that many brands are missing when planning their marketing approach. This is The Zero Moment of Truth.

The traditional moments that matters are:

1) Stimulus- shiny advertisements to get the consumer’s attentions

2) The First Moment of Truth – This is when you go into the store or showroom to see and touch the product

3) The Second Moment of Truth – When you get home with your new purchase and discover whether all of these promises are really true

According to Jim, the effects of the recession plus continuing technology are creating a new moment for brands. After the first moment, stimulus, consumers get on their smart phone or tablet and check out the product or do a price comparison. Eighty-seven percent of US internet users go online to search for more information about a product or service prior to purchasing. This online research is called the Zero Moment of Truth. It is after you see an advertisement but before you go into a store or to a brand’s website. When they are searching for your product in Google what is coming up first? What reviews are they reading? Who is talking about your brand?

If you are a brand you should be poised to own these online conversations by answering questions and featuring your product in a way that is going to be beneficial and positive for you and the consumer.

How are you creating brand advocates?

Advocates for your brand are out there. What are you doing to unleash the advocates for your brand? There are several different ways to create brand advocates from offering cool branded products that your fans would gladly purchase to finding online influencers or bloggers that can tell a story about your brand and review your product in a real and organic way. Brand advocacy also goes hand and hand with the Zero Moment of Truth. Brand advocates can be very influential to a potential customer when they are searching the internet for more information about your products or services.

Are you breaking channel boundaries?

Pea-PodPeapod extended their shopping footprint by adding a shop-able billboard at a subway stop in Downtown Chicago. Customers can scan the products pictured on the wall using their the Peapod app and have the items delivered to their door.So is this social, a print advertisement, digital activation or a new store format?

The biggest point that Jim wanted to drive home was that consumers don’t care about channel boundaries as long as it works for them. If it gets their attention, entertains them, offers them convenience or all of the above, then it is a success. Start working with your cross functional partners to create multi-channel marketing activations. Create a shop-able video or commercial, install a live social stream or have a Twitter party during a PR event. The sky is the limit. Just get comfortable doing this because you will be seeing more and more of it in the future.

Are you fostering fast and agile?

There are two sides to this question, how you run your business and what you offer your fans or customers. The best asset to be fast and agile is digital.

One part of the question is how are you operating your business? The key is to think like you are a start up company, even if you’re far from it. Rethink your operations and make processes lean and quick. One tool that Jim recommended for this was Google Docs. This is a shared document that is accessible online. Team members can contribute to the document and make real time updates to the same version. It has been credited for speeding up team work and simplifying collaboration. What ever your process is make sure you are creating an environment that allows for speedy decision making and a team that can react quickly to business changes.

The second part of the question is how are you moving fast for your customers and fans? Fast = Live. A great example of this happened during the Vans Warped Tour with Google Glasses. Vans offered their fans not only a live and unique experience to watch a Wallpaper concert through the eyes of the lead singer Ricky Reed.

Our culture wants us to experience things in real time. How can you give unique experiences to your fans and customers immediately?




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