Why Brands Win When They Seek Audiences Not Customers

1440628624781Today, the most successful brand strategies are those that take an audience development approach. And by “audience” I mean your customers, users or members of your brand tribe. Why use the word “audience” rather than customers?

First of all, as opposed to customers, an audience is looking to make an emotional connection and will give their attention when they get what they desire. Plus, to a brand, customers are merely numbers reflecting a transaction. When we shift the language to audience, we evoke a connection with an individual that is more than transactional it’s emotional. And when brands build experiences for audiences, rather than their customers, a relationship is built that, if done right, can sustain for a long time.

“Humans are emotional creatures and they want experiences that engage them as humans. They’re not eyeballs, impressions, views, likes, shares, clickthroughs, or conversions.” – Brian Solis, August 2015

Further, if we look at the current role of content in successful brand strategies, the ultimate goal is that brands are creating added value content that resonates with your particular brand audience. (Btw, you have to get to know your audience and understand what they want before you can even create strategies that provides them with particular unique value). And no matter what kind of content you are creating, the goal is to get the attention of the right people via providing them with either entertainment or information that engages people emotionally.

Whether brands know it yet or not, with each foray into creating original brand content, they are, little by slowly, becoming media companies.

Indeed, customers are now audiences. And those brands that consider this perspective in their strategies will succeed quicker than the rest. Check out Red Bull, they’re a great example of this.

So …

Brands, meet your audience.

Audiences, meet your brands.

You, Me & Brands: Cross-Platform Identity Building

imgresToday expression of one’s personal identity includes both who we are offline and online. And our online persona is expressed across multiple media platforms. We all have a “cocktail” of platforms that we use to express ourselves in our digital life. For me, my “cocktail” includes LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the StoryDisruptive website. I also have a collection of content that plays a role in the expression of who I am to others. I have my status updates, blogs, pictures and videos. Some of these express the woman I am as a professional and in my personal life. Together, they stand to represent me to anyone looking to know me, professionally or personally.

This is how it is for all individuals expressing themselves in today’s digitally rich human communication system. Expressing who we are is a cross-platform experience created using our own unique content. Continue reading

Building Successful Transmedia Strategies: The Twilight Saga Case Study [VIDEO]

Lara Hoefs gave a keynote at the 2013 Merging Media conference in Vancouver on creating successful transmedia strategies using The Twilight Saga as a case study. In this talk, she also takes a deeper look at the cultural basis of transmedia and how that is effecting storytelling and marketing in the 21st century.

 

Dodgers Dodged A Great Original Content Opportunity To Engage Fans

Article By Jonathan Tavssimgres-1

How exciting was it when the Dodgers were so hot at the end of the season to head into the MLB Post Season? For many in Los Angeles, just the thought that they will actually be able to watch the games on their television was enough to bring joy. Unfortunately, too many fans were unable to participate in the age-old ritual of being able to watch nearly any game on television because they didn’t have Time Warner Cable. For those who have sports superstitions (like I do), could it be too easy to blame the collapse on the very fact that many who couldn’t watch games when the Dodgers were playing lights-out could suddenly view every moment and, therefore, break the sports-win continuum? Naah! You can’t blame it on that. But the frustration the team felt with their post-season performance and the fans felt in not being able to watch as many games could possibly have been lessened if the Dodgers (and MLB) didn’t miss a golden opportunity to engage fans with original content production off the field.

Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Four of the National League Divison Series at Busch Stadium on Oct. 7, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri. JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES

Photo by Jamie Squire

The blown opportunity – like the blown mid-inning pitching and saves on the field – can be found in Continue reading

4 Reasons Audience Development Will Replace Traditional Marketing

1) Customers = AudiencesUnknown-4

With all the new devices and media platforms, to truly engage customers with added value content they want to be entertained. Brands that will succeed in the 21st century will be those that embrace this role of becoming entertainers and focus not on converting customers but building audiences. Check out RedBull who has masterfully done this and now claims 42% of the market share for energy drinks.

2) Larger Audience = Larger Profitsimages

The answer of how to monetize in a digital age lies in audience development. The larger your brand loyal audience is, Continue reading

Silicon Beach Fest: Social Media, Big Data & Ellen Selfie

Photo Jun 23, 4 14 54 PMLast week at Silicon Beach Fest I was on the Social Media & Big Data panel with Josh SpectorMarc KarzenDan LevittHannah Stiefel, and Salvador Aceves where we discussed how to engage social audiences by knowing your audience via big data and then using this data to build a relationship with them that serves them as much as it serves brands.

Much ground was covered and discussed, though the highlight was to hear Josh Spector discuss the evolution of social media around the Oscars and, in particular, the infamous, branded, Ellen selfie that went far and wide. This selfie was a genius moment that served all involved by giving something of value to the audience while simultaneously capturing a large number of eyeballs for both Samsung’s Galaxy and the Oscars. A win-win for everyone – audience & brands. What a great successful 21st century content and social marketing moment.

Overall, it was a great panel discussion which added to the larger, inspiring conference that was rich with insights and people passionate about innovation and business.

Joss Whedon: Reinventing Hollywood by Giving Away Apple TVs

This month’s Story Entrepreneur award goes to Joss Whedon.Unknown-2

And here’s why …

Last month, while Joss Whedon was on set filming The Avengers, his film In Your Eyes debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival where he then announced that the film would be available to rent immediately via the film’s site, powered by Vimeo, for only $5. Not only is that a fabulous digital distribution plan with direct monetization, but what happens next makes this film strategy ground breaking.

Basically, he had an audience strategy!

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 1.49.12 PMOnce audiences started renting the movie, Joss and team started sending out thank you gifts! Yes, they sent gifts thanking their audience for watching. And they were not small gifts, they sent Apple TVs, Xbox Ones, Weber grills and cacti! And they sent them to audiences around the world in Germany, Australia and the UK!

This distribution model and reverse crowdsourcing is brilliant, on so many levels! Here’s a few … Continue reading