Why Motorola CMO Jan Huckfeldt is leaning heavily on TV

Fourteen months have passed since Jan Huckfeldt took the marketing reins of Motorola. Prior to his arrival, Ashton Kutcher was the cell phone company’s pitchman, and Droga5 was responsible for its creative. Today, Karina Kolokolchikova, a largely unknown actress, is the face of the brand, and Ogilvy, its creative AOR.

It’s a lot of change in not a lot of time, but when Apple and Samsung hold a combined 72.6 percent of U.S. market share and Motorola claims just 4.3 percent, every minute is precious. Thus, Huckfeldt has positioned Motorola as a challenger to its smartphone competitors.

In September, the marketer directly went after them by taking out a full-page ad in The New York Times, prompting consumers to “Skip the Sevens,” as in the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy 7s. In November, Motorola boldly took a swipe at Apple by pointing out that “rose gold isn’t an idea, it’s a color” in the brand’s “Hello Moto” spot—its first TV ad since 2011. Now, the brand launches its latest video titled “Hello Dinner,” which demonstrates that the Moto Z brings users together with Mods by connecting them in gaming, video projection and music speakers.

All three ads are part of Motorola’s “Different is Better” initiative, and Campaign U.S. caught up with the CMO to discover just how different Huckfeldt intends Motorola to be.

Motorola has undergone many changes—from being owned by Google to now Lenovo and from being an industry leader with the Razr in the early 2000s to now no. 4 in the U.S. How are you adapting the brand to fit this shifting landscape?
When I took on this role, I found myself with quite a number of brands. I made a pretty simple and straightforward, strategic decision to focus on Motorola only. If you look at the smartphone business, it is highly competitive. You cannot be in that market unless you are highly focused. We basically went from probably four or five different brands, which we entertained globally, to just one brand.

Secondly, we reduced our product lineup from over 45 products to 10 to 12 products.

The other thing that I did, I brought back some of those key brand aspects. Certainly the batwing [logo] was one of them. The batwing had almost disappeared in our marketing materials and from our product. The batwing is probably the sexiest icon in the IT industry besides the Apple logo.

The other thing was “Hello Moto,” which was a sound mnemonic used very successfully and was a beautiful brand asset because most brands are just appealing to the human eye. But here is one that appeals to the human ear. It’s a perfect additional brand device.

And how did these changes affect Motorola’s advertising?
I think if you look at our advertising, whether it’s the TV campaigns or our other materials to date, they very clearly speak of a highly distinctive brand. Most of our competition is following the less-is-more approach from the two big players, which influence each other. We are clearly speaking and standing out. We were influenced by some of the passion brands, like the Amazon Kindle. I think it helps us a lot.

The other thing that we adopted is the tone of voice that is very much that of a challenger. When we launched our highly differentiated product, Moto Z with those Mods, in the beginning, we actually focused our efforts in the U.S. in terms of advertising predominantly on reaching those Android users within Verizon. We decided that to target them, let’s rely on digital and social and hit those consumers at a very high frequency. Now, with those efforts, all our metrics were green. In fact, Facebook used our case, our approach, as a best-in-class case during their earnings announcements in the fall of last year. It didn’t really make an impact. All these efforts on digital and social, didn’t really make an impact for the brand and for the selling of our product.

We looked at this picture again and said, we have to be much bolder. We have to advance our change of visual identity, which we had planned for January. We did this. We then adopted this challenger-brand attitude. I also sent an open letter inviting consumers to skip the seventh…

This Wild Apple Ad Shows That, Yes, The Rock Can Do Anything (With Some Help From Siri)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has the kind of can-do spirit that makes it easy to believe he can do anything—fly a plane, take a selfie in space, design a fashion line—and still be on set in time to nail his scene on the first take.

At least, that’s the plot of Apple’s new longform spot, “The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day.”

With this nearly 4-minute spot, the irrepressible and seemingly…

It’s a pressure-packed holiday season for retail

The list of retailers plagued by store closures, bankruptcies, buyouts or very serious financial trouble is a who’s-who list of iconic brands that have fallen off their retail pedestals. This year has already proven to be a retail cull, and this holiday season will add more names to that list. It’s make-or-break for many, and the pressure, stress and urgency are palpable.

Retailers can anticipate more of the same when it comes to holiday discounting, as well as wild risks from some brands without much to lose. Here’s a closer look at what to expect:

It’s Amazon’s market share now

Not too long ago, retail was obsessively focused on how Amazon was eating into everyone else’s market share. Well, Amazon owns it now — the game is reversed. Every major retailer is going to be focused on how it can steal market share from Amazon this year.

And Amazon isn’t going to back down from that challenge.

Nike’s product rollout on Amazon portends even more major shakeups. Retail apparel is notably one of the few areas Amazon has struggled to gain traction, but that tide might be turning. If Nike’s relationship with Amazon expands, it could open the floodgates for other retailers that want to explore third-party operations with Amazon.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos always finds a way to surprise the industry. Many were surprised at the acquisition of Whole Foods Market, but it shouldn’t shock anyone if a holiday expansion of Amazon’s apparel line is in the works.

Walmart’s response

Walmart is one of the few brands that has held its own against Amazon. Walmart’s holiday response should directly compete with some of Amazon’s bigger initiatives, such as shipping — rivaling it in both speed and price.

Shopping options will also be highly marketed — reserve in store, buy online, pick up in store and ship from store will be consumer expectations for the major retailers.

Will it be enough to draw customers away from Amazon?

The promotional calendar is going haywire

If you’re a marketer, don’t expect to get much sleep. Promotional changes are coming…

CMO Momentum 2017: What takes to build better customer journeys

From left: Asim Brown, Clive Dickens, and CMO's Azadeh Williams
From left: Asim Brown, Clive Dickens, and CMO’s Azadeh Williams

Today’s digitally savvy customer is interacting with brands across so many different channels, from email to social to test – and brands are now faced with the challenge of creating a consistent and personalised customer journey across all these various touchpoints.

But looking at strategies across startups to big business, there is no one size fits all solution to a finding that path to 1:1 and a consistent, personalised journey that truly surprises and delights customers.

Speaking at CMO Momentum in Sydney, startup Bountye’s MD and founder, Asim Brown, agreed while the ‘customer journey’ has become a bit of a buzzword, for a startup the strategy starts with acquisition.

“Our company is about providing the right product at the right time, for the right person, and as we are a startup, we need to focus heavily on acquisition,” he told attendees. “So we look at how they interact with us, such as via Facebook or email, and what they tell us through those channels. So in terms of the journey, it’s about first educating them to get them on our platform, and then once they’re eon board, it’s about personalising that experience so they stay on that platform.”

For a more traditional and established business like Seven West, the focus shifts to both customer and stakeholder experience, Seven West Media’s chief digital officer, Clive Dickens, said.

“We need to just think differently around our consumers, and admit in the broadcast industry that consumer experience is key,” he said. “And as the voice of the broadcast industry on the stage today, I can openly admit and acknowledge that this hasn’t always been the case. So really, it starts with a change of mindset about what business we’re in – and then once you have that mindset, you can utilise the strength of the brand and content and leverage technology as the enabler to rapidly improve both consumer and stakeholder experience. And given our stakeholder and consumer focus, we need to put the whole brand experience first – and that’s important to build a sustainable model for a commercially funded business.”

A non-linear customer journey

According to Brown, startups like Bountye follow a non-linear customer journey path. The early stage community-based mobile platform for secondhand goods offer users the opportunity to donate some of their proceeds to charities or schools and receive a tax-deductible receipt. With a focus on digital-only channels, their user base has grown 20 per cent month over in the first 18 months, with…

IAG nabs News Corp innovation head as chief digital officer

Brennan IT expanded its team with a double executive appointment, designed to help spearhead growth across its mid-market and channel businesses. The internal revamp sees Wayne Simmonds appointed to the role of sales manager, business development, and Andrew Borthwick to the role of head of partners and channels.
Brennan IT expanded its team with a double executive appointment, designed to help spearhead growth across its mid-market and channel businesses. The internal revamp sees Wayne Simmonds appointed to the role of sales manager, business development, and Andrew Borthwick to the role of head of partners and channels.

IAG has poached New Corp Australia’s head of innovation and product chief, Mark Drasutis, as its new chief digital officer to over digital strategy and experience.

The newly created position sits within the insurance giant’s Customer Labs and covers a broad range of brands, including NRMA, CGU, SGIC and WFI. Drasutis will report directly to IAG’s chief customer officer, Julie Batch, and starts officially in October.

Drasutis has spent the past four-and-a-half years with News Corp, initially as its head of innovation, before being promoted to chief product officer of Digital in February last year. Prior to this, he led consumer products development for Yahoo!’s European, Middle East and Africa teams, based out of the UK….

The name is Bot, Chatbot: How to shake up conversions with stirring conversations

Think back to five short years ago: Facebook IPO’d; Oxford American Dictionary named “gif” its word of the year; and your only options to order pizza were by phone or on a website.

Five years! It seems like forever ago.

Now, Facebook stock has only gone up since its much-decried stock market debut, gifs are old hat (though the “jif” vs. “gif” pronunciation debate rages on), and you can order pizza by text, chatbot, Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana and more.

It’s not just pizza. New technology is changing the way we behave as consumers and marketers. The landing page, once the internet’s gatekeeper and conversion hotspot, is becoming unessential. It’s a middleman that’s growing middle-aged and might not know what “the cool thing” is anymore.

The new conversion platform for brands and commerce?

Conversation.

From AI with love

Where the conversation happens matters.

According to a 2016 Ovum study, 53 percent of American and German respondents stated that they favor talking with businesses through chat apps versus the phone, mainly because of speed and convenience.

Meanwhile, 50.6 percent of consumers responding to a 2016 Ubisend survey said they believed that a business should be able to respond to their queries 24/7.

So, we have soaring usage of messaging apps, and a considerable number of our customers who believe we should be contactable 24/7. But staffing a customer service center 24/7 is costly and expends human capital by the bucketload.

Enter stage left: chatbots.

Take stage center for explanation purposes: XiaoIce, sometimes dubbed “Cortana’s little sister.”

Created by Microsoft (my employer) in 2014, XiaoIce is an AI chatbot that is based in part on Bing’s search technology. She’s designed to have a high IQ, as well as high EQ (Emotional Quotient, or emotional intelligence), to help her build strong bonds and connections with humans.

She’s able to remember and learn from previous conversations, and she is sensitive to emotions. For example, if you chat with her about a relationship ending, she’ll put you on a 33-day break-up recovery plan, checking in with you throughout.

To say she is popular would be an understatement. In just her first three days, XiaoIce was added to 1.5 million conversations on WeChat. On Weibo, she’s one of the most popular celebrity accounts. Can you imagine a bot having celebrity status? She has approximately 40 million users in China, with incredible engagement stats. The average conversation with her lasts 26 turns, and one out of four users has even said “I love you” to her!

What we learned from Xiaoice is that people want their tech to be approachable and to adjust to the way we communicate.

WeChat has proven just how profitable that can…

Comparing content production models: Which is right for your business?

If you’ve been in content marketing for a while, you’re probably familiar with different content production and development models. Two common ones are hub-and-spoke and skyscraper content. It should be noted that there are other models as well, but these are two of the more popular approaches people take.

How do you determine which one is right for your business? As with all marketing, it’s important to start with your goal in mind. What outcome do you hope to achieve from this content marketing program?

Starting with the end in mind helps us zero in on which strategy will help us the most. You also need to think about the resources you have on hand, the budget available and how much content you can produce in a specific time.

The hub-and-spoke model

The first model is often referred to as the hub-and-spoke model. In this model, you focus on producing big, in-depth content pieces that are often gated and used as an opt-in for your business. These in-depth pieces are your “hub.”

Hub content should address a potential customer’s most pressing needs. It should be in-depth enough to provide value and help them with the issues they’re facing today (or very soon).

The strategy behind hub content is like that of content customer service. You’re focused on your customer and their needs. You create content that addresses their needs.

Examples of hub content can be webinars, e-books, white papers, videos and more. They’re not one-minute teaser videos or 500-word blog posts. Hub content takes time to produce. It may involve a research study.

Hub content should align with a content pillar. In most cases, you’ll want one great piece of hub content for each pillar. Then, you create lots of smaller pieces of content that support your hub content piece.

You might have quick videos, blog posts, infographics or website content that serves as spoke content. Spoke content is generally not gated and shared freely. It’s designed to drive traffic to a site, build links or push a reader to a piece of hub content that’s gated and serves as an opt-in, where the company can get your email address.

The email address is still a very valuable commodity to a marketer. Once an email address is shared via the opt-in content, you’re often added to the customer list and may be greeted by a nurturing campaign.

When you’re following the hub-and-spoke model, you’ll create significantly more spoke content than hub. You may only create a few pieces of hub content each year but multiple spokes monthly.

Advantages of the hub-and-spoke model

Hub-and-spoke works exceptionally well for business development goals. If you’re trying to generate qualified leads for your sales team, this type of content can help. If your spoke content is well-done and addresses your potential client’s needs, people will likely share their email address to receive the hub piece.

If someone is willing to part with their contact information in exchange for a piece of content, it’s likely they feel the content is valuable and will help them in their job or with their business. They’ve essentially selected themselves as a warm lead and are showing that they may be interested in your product.

You may also be able to attract links through your spoke content. If you’re creating content that addresses your customers’ questions and solves their problems, they’ll be more likely to share it with others.

Disadvantages of the hub-and-spoke model

This is a time-consuming content…

Kids on Bikes Outride ADHD in This Cinematic, High-Energy Ad From Goodby Silverstein

Directed by Johnny Green, the spot breaks during Tour de France

Kids seeking to break the frustrating cycle of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder take to the streets on their bikes in this fast-moving ad from the Specialized Foundation, an offshoot of Specialized Bicycle Components that touts cycling’s positive effects on health and well-being.

Research shows that biking, and other forms of exercise, can help ADHD students find focus and improve their ability to pay attention. The spot aims to get the word out to parents, teachers and healthcare professionals.

Dropping during today’s coverage of the Tour de France, “Outride ADHD” follows a middle-school kid who can’t seem to sit still and concentrate on his assignments. We watch him grow increasingly edgy as he gazes blankly at a computer screen, stalks around his house and stares out the window into the distance.

“If I could have any superpower,” a youthful narrator begins, reading copy culled from interviews with ADHD students, “it would be the ability to just hit pause and just be able to catch up with this world that I felt like was moving way too fast.”

The second part of the ad shows lots of kids—actual ADHD students—riding at a furious pace through the city at night, accompanied by projections of animated wolves and horses. Through sensors attached to their bikes, they actually control the speed of the animals depending on how fast they pedal. This symbolizes the power of biking to help them manage ADHD.

Goodby Silverstein & Partners developed the cinematic 60-second spot with director Johnny Green, who, along with agency co-founder Rich Silverstein, live with ADHD.

“When we got this opportunity to create something to help kids with ADHD, we learned that many of them don’t actually need medication, but just a way to release their inner energy to be able to focus,” GS&P creative director Sam Luchini tells AdFreak. “When we talked to kids with ADHD, some of them said they felt like they were caged or trapped. So we looked at the bike as a tool for them to release that energy and free them from that cage. We wanted to find a way for people to visualize this energy being released. That’s what the animals…

Why BBDO Rolled Out a Food Truck in NYC That Served Poisonous Meals

Who’s up for some crispy pufferfish?

If a chef offered you a dish that included “paralyzing toxins” that “could suffocate you,” you probably wouldn’t eat it. But that’s the sort of choice people suffering from food allergies endure every day.

A new campaign from nonprofit End Allergies Together (or E.A.T.) and BBDO New York seeks to raise awareness of food allergies—and money to research possible cures—by illustrating the harsh reality that, for people suffering from food allergies, one bite of the wrong food can be deadly.

To that end, the agency teamed up with celebrity chef Ming Tsai to create a food truck that offered non-allergic eaters a taste of the allergic experience—by serving up poisonous dishes.

In a PSA set to air in movie theaters starting July 28, Tsai mans the gourmet vehicle, titled “Khil Mi,” while offering passersby dishes that include ingredients like toxic yew berries, and other components that might cause shortness of breath or heart failure.

The truck was set up in New York City, in what looks like a small public area across from Madison Square Park (a bustling commercial area where food vendors often hawk their wares). As an attention-grabbing stunt, it’s…

10 Tips For Marketing To Gen Z On Instagram

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Generation Z is currently the youngest generation — those born during or after 1995. They are the first generation to have been born when the personal computer, cell phone and internet were ubiquitous. In short, they are the first truly digitally immersed generation.

At present, Gen Z appears to be enamored with Instagram. According to findings published in The Drum, 88% of Gen Z regularly uses Instagram. Marketers who rely on Instagram to create brand awareness and drive meaningful business outcomes should be aware that there are a few unique characteristics common to Gen Z. This article will walk readers through how to go about marketing to Gen Z on Instagram.

1. Interview Gen Z Customers To Create A Persona

As with any demographic, marketers should first create a buying persona that helps everyone at the company to better understand the target customer. If Gen Z is indeed a target customer, then it makes sense for the marketing team to interview Gen Z customers and prospects to understand their demographic and psychographic makeup.

While there are many different methods that can be used to create a marketing persona, there are a few important things all marketers should understand. First, it can be helpful to know what Gen Z customers are interested in when they’re shopping for a product or service similar to the brand you represent. What influences their decision making? When are they typically interested in purchasing a product or service? What are their expectations of the buying process?

Second, marketers should understand how Gen Z customers like to consume information. Are members of Gen Z using Instagram to discover new products, or are they using Instagram to research products they have already discovered via other channels (or both)?

Finally, marketers should understand if the answers to the questions above vary in different segments of the Gen Z population. Are the differences geographic, demographic or to do with other factors?

2. Use Instagram Stories

According to a survey referenced in Social Media Week, 78% of respondents said they use Snapchat at least once a day. Furthermore, 88% of respondents said they use Snapchat to keep in touch with friends. But what does Snapchat have to do with Instagram?

Instagram Stories is a feature derived from the mechanics of Snapchat. That means that Gen Z Instagram users are likely using Instagram Stories, since it resembles how they use Snapchat. For brands interested in connecting with Gen Z customers or prospects, using Instagram Stories can be a great way to connect.

3. Experiment With Instagram Video

A report from Defy Media suggests that 50% of Gen Z respondents could not live without YouTube. These findings make contextual sense given the rise of…