On Thursday, July 26, Rhythm partnered with Blue C Advertising to host Interception Point - an event in which we explored how brands can win the hearts of new customers in an ever-evolving marketing atmosphere. More than 86 people attended this interactive event where Rhythm and Blue C shared how brands can increase market share by really listening to consumers and responding to their interests, intent, and needs.
Mark Ortiz, the Head of Digital Marketing & Digital Strategy at Acura, spoke specifically to how Acura has elevated the customer journey and in doing so has been able to get into the consumer consideration set and grow leads, drive sales. Below are key takeaways from the event:
Media Has Changed
The landscape of marketing is changing, calling for extraordinary work that is presented on a strategic level. In order to drive engagement, we have to ask ourselves who are our greatest competitors and how will we stand out from the crowd? We need to focus on what tactics will promote the greatest assets and how along the journey we will build emotion into our campaigns and the lifestyles of our brands.
This Is the Age of Acceleration
In today's digital world it's easier than ever to measure campaign results and effectively reach our key buyers in the way best suited for them. We need to know our audience and understand how they’re searching and how they’re buying in order to map out the best plan of attack. Marketing starts with research, the pre-campaign dig. This is when your target markets are discovered and brought to the surface. Once we know our markets, we can target competitor-branded keywords and your brand can intercept the consumer via paid and organic content that diverts the attention away from the competitor.
We Need to Fuel the Customer Journey
Consumer navigation is changing. The modern journey seeks to build awareness that influences purchase and our job is to make sure the destination is met. How can we do that? By connecting with our audience, by building a lifestyle for our brands, and by creating an image for companies that boasts authenticity and problem-solving benefits.
Where to Focus Our Energy
The way people become engaged today is more intricate and more involved than ever before. There are so many channels to grab the attention of potential consumers, whether it be via social channels, paid search, organic search, content strategy, SEO, etc. But when it comes down it to it, it’s the interception of all of these avenues that creates the greatest impact. We want to build emotion and loyalty in a buyer, and we do that by being consistent with content, brand voice, and overall appearance.
Take a look at the TLX Interception Campaign to see the value-based content and thought process involved in this type of strategy. This specific campaign targets consumers conducting online research around the BMW 330i.* When a consumer performs a competitor-based keyword search, Acura intercepts them with organic and paid content that directs them to this dedicated landing page highlighting the pros and cons of that particular vehicle versus the Acura in its class. The goal? Empower the customer with more knowledge and add Acura to the consideration mix.
Event Speakers & Key Takeaways
Introducing the event was Craig Cooke, CEO of Rhythm who handed the mic over to Eric Morley, Principal of Blue C Advertising. Morley spoke on content creation and where marketing stands in our world today. He noted that in order to intercept customers, we must focus on our target audience and talk directly to the people. He related this to how direct mail influenced consumers twenty years ago.
Now, digital and video content is driving decision making and inspiring new opportunities to intercept and reach customers. Mark Ortiz, Head of Digital Marketing & Digital Strategy Architect at Acura, provided an educational talk on what matters most in marketing today. Ortiz broke down "WTF" saying in marketing it really means "What To Focus On". Ortiz says that it’s not about the technology or the data, it’s about how we understand it that matters. He emphasized that the customer journey is the new marketing funnel and that in order to impact an audience, we must be marketing practitioners, not just marketing professionals.
Next up was Peter Bohenek, President of Rhythm who brought all the ideas together and kicked off an interactive exercise allowing attendees to design their own interception strategy.
- Brands and marketers are in the heating and cooling business with heating being the emotional component and cooling being the illumination or informational factor. We need both in order to best reach decision makers.
- We need to focus on marketing to humans, not numbers. We must connect emotion with logic (Think: heart & mind).
- The impact of an Influencer Strategy: The key is aligning an influencer’s interests and the interests of their followers with your brand or service. Look at how they communicate. Authenticity here is key.
From left to right: Eric Morley, Blue C Advertising Founder; Hannes Meyer, Rhythm Chief Creative Officer; Mark Ortiz, Acura Head of Digital Marketing; Craig Cooke, Rhythm CEO; Peter Bohenek, Rhythm President[/caption]
* Rhythm has worked on dedicated campaigns for Acura focused on various brand models with Rhythm & Blue C Advertising partnering together on video content. Additional services provided by Rhythm specific to Acura campaigns include SEO, copywriting, email marketing, paid media and more.