How Putting Your Product in the Back Seat May Increase Profits

The old school of thought when it comes to web content is that it should look like your brand, focus around the benefits of your brand and be just disruptive enough to get people’s attention. There’s been a new kid in town with inbound marketing – it’s not about saying why YOU’RE the best, it’s about helping your customers be THEIR best.

Given the rate people consume online content, and the exponentially larger amount of data available online, it’s virtually impossible to get consumers’ eyes on your content – unless you’re giving them what they’re looking for. Odds are, consumers aren’t looking for your product by name unless you’re the top dog in your field. There’s a better chance they’re looking for information on how best to use your, or your competitors’, product or service.

A YouTube campaign called “Little Beasts” executed in October of 2014 by Ziploc educates users on alternative uses for their product, but the product itself is only ancillary to the videos’ storylines and branding is virtually non-existent.

By creating valuable minimally branded content that helps consumers identify their problem and then assist them with a solution, you’re creating value for the consumer. These helpful videos, blog posts, third-party hosted articles, and social media interactions are all part of an “inbound marketing” strategy.

It may be more cost effective to create positive associations with your brand by putting your customer in the driver’s seat by supplying them with helpful content, and letting your product or service take the back seat. By creating helpful content in the area where you are the expert, you’re able to prove yourself as a leader in the field and connect consumers’ perception of your brand with helpfulness and positive results. Over time, these interactions with your brand instill trust and positive associations in consumers which result in a greater propensity to buy and increased profits for you.


poster of 2015 digital marketing events

The Top 23 Digital Marketing Conferences in 2015

Each year, I like to take a look at the year ahead and look at what digital marketing events we should be paying attention to in the year ahead. As you all know, picking appropriate conferences are a subtle dance of budget, location and training needs of your team. Given the explosion of worthwhile events out there in the digital marketing landscape, I thought I’d share some of my research with you. Of course, you could spend the time Googling all of these yourself, but wouldn’t it be easier if you just download our handy PDF of the top digital marketing events of 2015? Yes! We’re hopeful some of these events can help you and your team get smarter in 2015.

As for KW2, we’re checking out Confab, a CMS conference and some of the PPC conferences. They all hit areas of deep interest in the services we provide for our clients. I’m hopeful this reference guide can help you plan your training calendar around the events you want to go to. Here’s to a successful 2015 and here’s to getting smarter while we do it!

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Experiential Marketing: Letting Your Customer Taste, Touch and Feel Your Brand

In my previous life, I managed a team of experiential marketers for Miller Lite to promote and sell featured products to consumers. In its basic form, these efforts involved playing games, giving out free marketing collateral and even free samples. In these few minutes of sampling, playing brand-themed iPad games and discussion, we were able to draw the consumer away from their current habits, immerse them in the brand and topic of discussion, and reinforce the benefits of our product. I’ll never forget one consumer I approached and he said, “I never really tried Miller Lite, until you and the Miller team gave me a free beer a few weeks back and talked with me about taste comparison to competitors. I’ve been drinking Miller since.”


What is experiential marketing? It is one of the fastest-growing and “hottest categories in the ad industry,” (Chicago Business Journal) which focuses on providing the ultimate consumer experience through events and activities that connect consumers with brands. The key to experiential marketing is immersing your target in all that your brand has to offer. This is where passive vs. active marketing really comes into play.


Here are a few famous examples:

-Gillette promoted their razors by setting up a barber event set in select cities. Male consumers were invited to get a free shave  with the Gillette products.

-Ikea furnished hotels with tables, sofas, beds, chairs and even utensils for guests to enjoy during their stay.

-Keeping with their campaign to spread happiness, Coca-Cola implemented a vending machine, dubbed the Hug Machine, at  the National University of Singapore that gave students a free can when students would physically hug the machine.

In each situation, these brands tapped into the features and benefits of their products and let consumers experience it. For a brief moment, the brand completely encapsulated the public’s mind and left a lasting impression with each participant, in a way that didn’t feel like advertising or relationship marketing, but actually was.


I once saw a presentation from a designer whose theory is to create the perfect design via multisensory experiences. Isn’t that fantastic? If you can create something that allows consumers to tap into sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, it creates emotions and memories. Isn’t that what we, as marketers, strive for? We want our brand to be the first thought when prompted by a particular topic, word or idea. How can you, in B2C, B2B or social marketing, create experiences that get you closer to your customer?


digital marketing training events 2014

Top 23 Digital Marketing Conferences for 2014

As 2014 kicks into high gear, it’s time to assess your marketing goals for the year. Part of that assessment should include a look at what digital trends and tools your marketing team should be paying attention to. We’re all too busy to plan for these events, right? Knowing this, we’ve gathered a Poster of 2014 Top Marketing Training Events that we know will help make your team even smarter in digital marketing.

Maybe you need help understanding your analytics so that marketing and sales can work as a more unified team. Or perhaps you need to know the latest ways to measure ROI on a social media campaign. Maybe you’ve got a question on the trendy topic of responsive design for websites. Searching for all of the different marketing conferences that can help you learn these things can be time consuming. So, the good folks at KW2 have done some of the legwork for you. Click here to download an infographic of the top marketing conferences in 2014. This reference guide can help you plan your training calendar around the events you want to go to. To help you get an easy view of the events that might interest you, the poster lists the location, date and  hot link to each of the event websites. Some folks from KW2 will be at Confab in Minneapolis in May. We’ll also be attending BOLO in Scottsdale in the fall. Got any good training events you think should be added to our list? Let us know and we’ll update it and re-post to our blog. Happy conferencing!

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A formula for client happiness based on family movie night

Friday nights are deemed Family Movie Night at our house. And on Friday morning like clockwork, the family and I talk pizza orders and figure out the movie du jour. Sometimes there is a little more strategic Netflix queue planning involved. Sometimes we have guests join us – friends or grandmas and grandpas. Sometimes we watch sequels back to back. This month is all about Star Wars – we’re going out of order based on the best viewing order recommendation we found online. And boy, Episode I had a really long wait. But, every Friday, without fail, is Family Movie Night.

As we all converge from our busy day, everyone gets in comfy clothes, grabs plates and heads to the living room. Yes, the living room. I am the crazy person that allows a five year old to eat pizza in the living room. But, he’s been doing this since he was three. No disasters yet. (Knock on wood.) And we each have our designated spots where we sit. Even the dogs have their spots – easily accessible for any crumbs dropped.

This got me to thinking. FMN boils down to a simple formula: Predictability + Collaboration = Happiness.

Every Friday. Always pizza. Always a movie. Always in the living room. No matter how crazy the week or what is going on for the weekend, we have carved out time for our family to be together.

In the case of FMN, our family runs as a democracy. Everyone has a say. We collaborate on our choices, agree or find a compromise that everyone can stand behind. (Yes, I’ll admit, the five year old wins most of the time.)

All of us look forward to this time together. Okay, and we’ve been known to dance during the credit songs.

So, isn’t this what clients really want from their advertising agency? And why they keep coming back?

They want to know they’re going to get the very best service with each and every project. You do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. And their job will be done right every time. They expect you to come to the table with loads of ideas and be open to hearing theirs. All with the goal of finding that perfect collaborative balance to choose the best possible direction (solution). And, ultimately, they want to be over-the-moon happy with their creative. Well, who doesn’t want that?

Hey marketers – we could all adapt a little more FMN into every project and every client relationship. It goes a really long way in building those trusted partnerships. Especially the happiness part.

As Yoda would say, “May the Force be with you.” Okay, that was lame. Cut me some slack. I haven’t watched Star Wars in over ten years.