Crafting contagious experiences

Gone are the days when advertising was as simple as making ads and putting them out there for the world to see. A brand is no longer what we tell people it is.  It’s what they tell each other.  In today’s marketing landscape, the importance and impact of word of mouth plays an integral role in the success of a brand.  There are several key reasons why word of mouth is so powerful:

IT’S IN OUR DNA: The desire to share experiences and opinions with each other is deeply rooted in various parts of the human psyche.  Humans are social creatures, and the relationships we develop, and the trust that is inherent in those relationships, inspires conversations that form the foundation for the choices we make on a daily basis.

DIGITAL INFORMATION IS AT OUR FINGERTIPS: It goes without saying that digital technology has changed the way we live in infinite ways.  But access to information could perhaps be the most profound fallout.  The internet has given people the ability to find out what they want to know when they want to know it.  And they also have the ability to share their opinions with others on a much broader scale.  People now have access to information AND opinions at the touch of a button.  The advent of social media as well as ratings and reviews can be a blessing and a curse for brands.  Marketers can now harness the power of digital conversations to create positive momentum for brands, but they also have less control over brand image.

WE ARE HEALTHY SKEPTICS: Cultural and consumer trends shape the way that brands are able to engage with people.  The digital era, and resulting access to information, as well as the proliferation of media have birthed a generation of well-informed consumers.  But one result of this transparency is that people are less trusting of brands and institutions.  From political scandals to corporate missteps, today’s consumers are bombarded with stories that, over time, have led to healthy skepticism.  And the implications for brands is twofold: they can no longer just talk the talk, they need to walk the walk; and people are relying more and more on each other’s opinions.

So how does this impact our agency philosophy?  As a media department, we firmly believe that our purpose is to craft contagious experiences that create meaningful connections between consumers and brands.  We find hard-hitting ways to reach the right consumers in the right environments at the right time.  We constantly challenge ourselves to develop creative activation extensions that go beyond the typical media wheelhouse.  And we don’t work in a silo.  We collaborate with our creative and strategy teams to develop unique, engaging ideas and find ways to marry messaging and media.  The outcome is a well-integrated, creative engagement plan that harnesses the power of word of mouth and drives real business results.

In order to craft contagious experiences, we begin by working closely with our Strategy group to define and isolate the most relevant, fruitful target audience. Once this audience has been identified, we bring them to life through rich personas, and we spend a great deal of time getting to know them intimately. What keeps them up at night?  What are their passion points?  Why is the brand relevant to them?  How can we connect with them via owned, earned and paid channels?

With the target audience at the center of everything we do, we develop a customer experience map to identify opportunities for interactions with the brand throughout their journey.

 

We evaluate all potential connection points with a brand to determine which levers to pull to create a unique, contagious experience that will engage our audience and meet our clients’ objectives.  One of the most critical ingredients in this process is the collaboration that happens between media and creative.  It’s not one driving the other, but rather a unified team of strategic thinkers developing a compelling idea for a brand and bringing it to life.

For more information on how to create contagious experiences for your brand, please contact Laura Wiering at laura.wiering@martinwilliams.com.

Jessica Garrett

VP, Director of Media

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