Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ad Buzz give advice to new grads

On June 8, lucky new graduates and current students attended the sold out inaugural Ad Buzz event "What You Weren't Taught in School." The goal of the one day conference was to teach recent advertising and marketing graduates the tips and tricks of "how to get in, fit in and be amazing in the advertising industry."(

The event, was held in downtown Toronto at the historical Arts and Letters Club . Students were provided with advice and insights from some of marketing and advertising's most influential people including:

Ron Tite: President, The Tite Group
Leslie Ehm: Principal, Three Training
Trina Boos: President, Boost Agents & Ad Lounge
Ken Dobell: President, Digital, DAC Group
Luke Sullivan: Author, Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This

The speakers spoke to students about the importance of being a brand, understanding your role, building relationships and how to figure out what you need to become the best possible version of yourself and why people should care and take notice of who you are.

But, perhaps the most anticipated and best advice came from author and instructor Luke Sullivan. Luke spoke to the attendees about the importance of tension in advertising and that creating advertising around tension "can often leverage these tensions and help creatives produce more and often better work."( Luke Sullivan, 8 June, 2012)

In his presentation he told the audience that there are two major questions that advertisers and marketers must ask themselves when looking at and starting a campaign:
1) What is the truest thing I can say about this product or category?
2) Where is the emotion in this product, service or category?

In the end the message
of all of these speakers was to create an image for yourself, an idea of yourself that people want to pay attention to, create something that is interesting because "when everything is okay, we're not interested." (Luke Sullivan)

Click on the video below to see a message from Luke Sullivan.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Students attend retailing conference STORE 2012

Last week Humber Business Marketing students were invited to attend Store 2012, Canada's Retailing Conference at the Toronto Congress Centre. The two day conference offered a wide range of speakers and exhibits meant to help retailers "adapt to changes within the industry and enable them to get ahead of the curve to continue growing their business and increase their competitive advantage."(

The theme of this year's conference was 'The Power of Engagement.' Engagement is a very powerful tool in any industry but, especially in retail. The goal was to allow retailers and retail marketers to "learn just how powerful engagement can be to recruit and retain top talent, enhance the customer experience across all channels, and understand just what your employees and customers expect from you."(

The conference featured some very successful and high profile speakers from all across the retail industry:

John Gerzema: Global Chief Insights Officer, Young and Rubicam Companies & President BrandAsset Consulting
Mitch Joel: President Twist Image
Christina Callas: Senior VP, e-Commerce & Digital Marketing at HBC/Lord & Taylor
Simon Rodrigue: General Manager,
Yona Shtern: Co-Founder & CEO, Beyond the Rack
Ted Starkman: President, The Shopping Channel
Joanna Track: Co-Founder & President,
Jeffery F. Rayport: Operating Partner, Castanea Partners
Stephen G. Wetmore: President & CEO, Canadian Tire Corporation Limited
Corrine Sandler: CEO Fresh Intelligence
Bob Thacker: Executive Director, Adopt-a-Classroom
Jim Treliving: Chairman and Owner, Boston Pizza
Joe Jackman: CEO Joe Jackman Brand Inc
John LeBoutillier: President, Unilever Canada Inc
Frank Scorpiniti: CEO, katz Group Canada Ltd
Shelley Broader: President & CEO, Walmart Canada Corp
Bonnie Brooks: President, HBC and Lord & Taylor

Although all the speakers stressed the importance of engagement across all channels the most important message of the conference was engagement with the customer.

The best example of the current customer came from Jeffery F. Rayport who provided attendees with the profile of 'Customer 3.0.' He identified key areas where the customer has changed including:

1) Exposure to too many brands in too many sectors
2) New ways of buying such as e-commerce and mobile
3) Social commerce- customers are using products such as Groupon
4) Greater consumer voice-customers opinions have a greater affect on what other customers buy (ie) Trip Advisor

Based on these new trends he provided advice about how to attract them and others.

1) Figure out the heavy users, market to and attract them and others will follow
2) Socialize the brand by thinking of how you can create a community around it
3) Work the web because the more connections you have the more valuable your network becomes
4) Unique sales sites are important. Use devices (smart phones, iPads) to create apps for a specific usage occasion and tailor them to the specific device. This creates the environment for retail on demand.
5)Integrate the Experience across all channels. All the aspects of the campaign and process must work together.

Customers have changed drastically over the past 30 years and marketers and retailers must do the same. Using social and mobile marketing techniques represents a radical new way that we are willing to organize around customers. The brands that will be successful are extremely customer centric and will maintain a front office focus, rather than rest on what is happening behind the scenes.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Brand building using Twitter

On March 22, 2012 Twitter celebrated it's 6th birthday. Since it launched in 2006 it has grown into a business of over 800 employees and more than 1,000,000 users. It has changed the way we communicate with one another, with the media and with businesses. According to Anatoliy Grudz, director of the social media lab at Dalhousie University "it has made it easier to establish the connections we naturally want to make."( and businesses are taking notice.

In reaction to the popularity of Twitter many multi-million dollar companies have begun to employ specific and very successful strategies to increase brand awareness, loyalty and popularity using Twitter. In fact, according to The Content Strategist and it's Twitter for Brands Series companies such as McDonalds, American Express, Taco Bell and Whole Foods are perfect examples of how to use Twitter to build a brand.

The series features "winning strategies from the top brands on Twitter and provides tips on how to emulate their success." ( The series found that all these brands have certain things in common that make thier campaigns successful;

1) Customer Service: All of these brands realize that customer service is paramount to success, even on the internet. For example, the majority of tweets from American Express (@American Express) and McDonalds (@McDonalds) are replies to customer questions and comments.

2) Provide customers with ideas: Whole Foods (@WholeFoods) offers it's customers recepies and food information via Twitter because they understand that Whole Foods customers are conscious of what they eat and where it comes from.

3) Target specific customers: Along with excellent product knowledge Whole Foods also targets specific customers by focusing on communities. Currently, the company has more that 250 neighbourhood specific Twitter accounts that they use to target specific customer groups.

4) Damage Control: Recently, Taco Bell experienced a PR nightmare that could have drastically affected their business, but the company took to Twitter and other social media to help revamp their image and foster customer loyalty. In 2011, Taco Bell was sued claiming that it did not use real beef. It fought back using Twitter. The company used Twitter to offer customers one free taco in order to prove that the meat was real. According to Mashable "the unique and sharable format of the company's messages made them easy for consumers and reporters to digest", ensuring the return of loyal customers.

Many people, businesses and brands use Twitter to reach out to current and potential consumers, some more successfully than others. Clearly, the key to successful brand growth using Twitter is understanding the customer, providing them with meaningful perks, rewards and feedback and taking responsibility for mistakes both in the real and digital world.