7 Steps to Advertising to the Emerging Gen Z Consumer

Generation Z, the post-Millennial group of digital natives born after 1997 who have an insatiable desire for instant gratification and personalization in all aspects of their lives, is arguably the most unique generation to come. Advertising to the emerging Gen Z consumer is both as challenging and simple as it has ever been, which is an oxymoron in itself. But it perhaps explains the complexity of this 32% of the global population, which is edging out Millennials.Generation Z, the post-Millennial group of digital natives born after 1997 who have an insatiable desire for instant gratification and personalization in all aspects of their lives, is arguably the most unique generation to come. Advertising to the emerging Gen Z consumer is both as challenging and simple as it has ever been, which is an oxymoron in itself. But it perhaps explains the complexity of this 32% of the global population, which is edging out Millennials. Before we get into methods for marketing to Gen Z, it’s important to understand who this generation is and the qualities that make them unique. Generation Z has never lived in a world without the web. The Internet has always existed for Gen Z; though it has evolved into an entire entity in the last decade or so, life without an online presence is but a vague and distant memory to them. In this day and age, 96% of Generation Z members own a smartphone and, on average, they spend more than three hours a day perusing their devices. Social media is the beast that lies within these smartphones and has proven to be a powerful tool highly utilized by this generation. For some, reaching Generation Z may seem difficult for this very reason — from the outside in, they are seemingly out of touch with the real world. For advertisers, however, it has made Gen Z more reachable than any preceding generation. Making a connection has a whole new meaning in advertising, due to the realm of social media and smartphones. Here are best practices on how to reach and engage with the Gen Z audience: Reaching the Gen Z Audience While Gen Zers have earned a reputation as arduous customers, there are various methods advertisers can tap into to successfully sell their brands/products to this tenacious bunch. As a well-informed and arguably opinionated generation, they generally respond well to brands that earn their loyalty as customers. This is unique to Gen Z, as other generations have typically chosen what they consume based on tradition. And just how can advertisers earn their loyalty? Sell the all-encompassing brand and its story to give it a sense of relatability. Authenticity When determining how to best reach this demographic, one word should be kept top of mind: authenticity. Research shows that 63% of Generation Z want marketing from “real” people, as opposed to celebrity endorsers. I put “real” in quotation marks, because this category does not stop at trusted friends and family of Gen Zers. A trusted source or friend can be found anywhere from an inner circle to their favorite social media influencers and bloggers. Influencer marketing has proven successful with this generation, because hearing about a product from an average, everyday person (with 10,000-plus social media followers, that is) resonates more deeply with Gen Z than seeing a high-profile celebrity endorse everyday items. Influencers Influencers are more trusted by Generation Z because they don’t seem like they’re trying to persuade; rather, they’re just filling their audience in on something they enjoy. In turn, influencer marketing does not feel like corporate manipulation. Furthermore, their followers are just that: people who follow and are invested in their lives. They are already sold on the person, which makes it easy to trust their opinion. Keep Reaching Out/Retargeting Online retargeting is key in engaging this generation and staying top of mind. Once Gen Zers begin researching a brand, it is vital to remain relevant to them, and retargeting is one of the best ways to do so. It is an easy way to take them through the buying process, so they end up as loyal brand advocates. As a generation obsessed with fast-paced, instantaneous moments, it can be easy to forget about something if it’s not reinforced. Retargeting — by means of social media and banner and display ads — is paramount to success with Gen Zers. With the power of online retargeting, however, it is important to put a cap on the frequency, as to not fatigue the potential buyers. If a member of this group sees an ad too frequently, it can wind up in lost interest. They may feel it is being pushed too hard on them — which is quite the opposite of feeling authentic and caring. Authentic Reviews Online reviews are another important factor when Generation Z considers a product. Creating a space where they can hear from people of a similar background in a written or spoken testimonial to the product can make all the difference. Reviews get customers involved and allow their voices to be heard, tying in an element of personalization. In order to receive genuinely positive and highly regarded reviews from Gen Z, it’s important a company is honest, maintains the quality it guarantees, and makes them feel special throughout the process. They don’t want to be considered another number; rather, they’d like to feel included and impactful. Corporate Social Responsibility Generation Z also cares deeply about brands that have a positive social or environmental impact. It is of the utmost importance for a brand to come across as one that cares — in all aspects. Though Gen Z can seem like they lack character or substance, because they spend so much time disconnected from the world around them, this group actually has a tendency to express their values online and want to vocalize those beliefs. Therefore, they appreciate when a company does the same. Voicing inclusivity, social justice, and sustainability can majorly impact a Gen Z target while they determine whether a brand is worthy of their purchase. Typically, members of this generation look at a brand from a holistic standpoint before deciding to become a customer or not. This is why a company’s social media presence is one of the most important upkeeps. Serving as a place to express oneself, it’s the prime method to communicate a brand’s the progressive values. Engagement Ultimately, the best way to engage with Gen Z and make them purchase is to foster a connection that does not feel contrived. They love realness above all and prefer that a company is upfront with what it has to offer and what it values holistically. With technology at the tips of their fingers, Gen Z members have almost always done their research before purchasing. This is why marketing to them is more crucial than ever: the way a brand portrays itself online and the decisions it makes can make or break its profitability. Advertising geared toward Gen Z should always pique their interest and keep that interest alive until they decide it’s time to buy. The initial point of contact in getting this audience’s attention will push them to look further into a brand to ensure it’s something they’re interested in putting their money toward. As such, it is vital to a company’s success to maintain strong marketing and advertising tactics — from start to finish, throughout the buying process. Brands: Show You Care About Gen Z The bottom line of advertising to the Generation Z audience is that you should always sell the brand as one that cares not only about its own success, but also about the success and ultimate happiness of its customers. Maintaining happy customers, at the end of the day, is the main driving force behind the success of any Gen Z-focused company.

Before we get into methods for marketing to Gen Z, it’s important to understand who this generation is and the qualities that make them unique. Generation Z has never lived in a world without the web. The Internet has always existed for Gen Z; though it has evolved into an entire entity in the last decade or so, life without an online presence is but a vague and distant memory to them. In this day and age, 96% of Generation Z members own a smartphone and, on average, they spend more than three hours a day perusing their devices. Social media is the beast that lies within these smartphones and has proven to be a powerful tool highly utilized by this generation.

For some, reaching Generation Z may seem difficult for this very reason — from the outside in, they are seemingly out of touch with the real world. For advertisers, however, it has made Gen Z more reachable than any preceding generation. Making a connection has a whole new meaning in advertising, due to the realm of social media and smartphones. Here are best practices on how to reach and engage with the Gen Z audience:

Reaching the Gen Z Audience

While Gen Zers have earned a reputation as arduous customers, there are various methods advertisers can tap into to successfully sell their brands/products to this tenacious bunch. As a well-informed and arguably opinionated generation, they generally respond well to brands that earn their loyalty as customers. This is unique to Gen Z, as other generations have typically chosen what they consume based on tradition. And just how can advertisers earn their loyalty? Sell the all-encompassing brand and its story to give it a sense of relatability.

Authenticity

When determining how to best reach this demographic, one word should be kept top of mind: authenticity. Research shows that 63% of Generation Z want marketing from “real” people, as opposed to celebrity endorsers. I put “real” in quotation marks, because this category does not stop at trusted friends and family of Gen Zers. A trusted source or friend can be found anywhere from an inner circle to their favorite social media influencers and bloggers. Influencer marketing has proven successful with this generation, because hearing about a product from an average, everyday person (with 10,000-plus social media followers, that is) resonates more deeply with Gen Z than seeing a high-profile celebrity endorse everyday items.

Influencers

Influencers are more trusted by Generation Z because they don’t seem like they’re trying to persuade; rather, they’re just filling their audience in on something they enjoy. In turn, influencer marketing does not feel like corporate manipulation. Furthermore, their followers are just that: people who follow and are invested in their lives. They are already sold on the person, which makes it easy to trust their opinion.

Keep Reaching Out/Retargeting

Online retargeting is key in engaging this generation and staying top of mind. Once Gen Zers begin researching a brand, it is vital to remain relevant to them, and retargeting is one of the best ways to do so. It is an easy way to take them through the buying process, so they end up as loyal brand advocates. As a generation obsessed with fast-paced, instantaneous moments, it can be easy to forget about something if it’s not reinforced. Retargeting — by means of social media and banner and display ads — is paramount to success with Gen Zers.

With the power of online retargeting, however, it is important to put a cap on the frequency, as to not fatigue the potential buyers. If a member of this group sees an ad too frequently, it can wind up in lost interest. They may feel it is being pushed too hard on them — which is quite the opposite of feeling authentic and caring.

Authentic Reviews

Online reviews are another important factor when Generation Z considers a product. Creating a space where they can hear from people of a similar background in a written or spoken testimonial to the product can make all the difference. Reviews get customers involved and allow their voices to be heard, tying in an element of personalization. In order to receive genuinely positive and highly regarded reviews from Gen Z, it’s important a company is honest, maintains the quality it guarantees, and makes them feel special throughout the process. They don’t want to be considered another number; rather, they’d like to feel included and impactful.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Generation Z also cares deeply about brands that have a positive social or environmental impact. It is of the utmost importance for a brand to come across as one that cares — in all aspects. Though Gen Z can seem like they lack character or substance, because they spend so much time disconnected from the world around them, this group actually has a tendency to express their values online and want to vocalize those beliefs. Therefore, they appreciate when a company does the same. Voicing inclusivity, social justice, and sustainability can majorly impact a Gen Z target while they determine whether a brand is worthy of their purchase. Typically, members of this generation look at a brand from a holistic standpoint before deciding to become a customer or not. This is why a company’s social media presence is one of the most important upkeeps. Serving as a place to express oneself, it’s the prime method to communicate a brand’s progressive values.

Engagement

Ultimately, the best way to engage with Gen Z and make them purchase is to foster a connection that does not feel contrived. They love realness above all and prefer that a company is upfront with what it has to offer and what it values holistically. With technology at the tips of their fingers, Gen Z members have almost always done their research before purchasing. This is why marketing to them is more crucial than ever: the way a brand portrays itself online and the decisions it makes can make or break its profitability. Advertising geared toward Gen Z should always pique their interest and keep that interest alive until they decide it’s time to buy. The initial point of contact in getting this audience’s attention will push them to look further into a brand to ensure it’s something they’re interested in putting their money toward. As such, it is vital to a company’s success to maintain strong marketing and advertising tactics — from start to finish, throughout the buying process.

Brands: Show You Care About Gen Z

The bottom line of advertising to the Generation Z audience is that you should always sell the brand as one that cares not only about its own success, but also about the success and ultimate happiness of its customers. Maintaining happy customers, at the end of the day, is the main driving force behind the success of any Gen Z-focused company.

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro Recognized As A Winner Of The 2018 Finance Monthly CEO Awards

CEO AWARDS 2018 Winner

CEO AWARDS 2018 WinnerJessica Hawthorne-Castro is CEO of Hawthorne, a leading Los Angeles based advertising agency specializing in analytics-driven campaigns. As CEO of Hawthorne, Hawthorne-Castro has been recognized throughout the professional community as a leader in the marketing revolution of advertising where art meets science. The company specializes in analytics-driven campaigns and offers a complete service approach that includes media planning and buying, analytics, campaign management, strategic planning and award-winning creative development.

She joined Hawthorne 11 years ago as VP, Operations & Clients Services, before being named CEO in April 2014. Under her leadership, the 30-year-old advertising agency which was a pioneer in accountability in advertising, has achieved superior financial performance and was on the Inc. 5000 list and is a Certified Women Owned Business®.

Hawthorne is recognized as a champion of accountable advertising, garnering billions in sales and 500+ creative awards for Fortune 500 clients. In 2017, Hawthorne won 59 creative awards for its work on an impressive roster of clients including 3M (Command, Post-it, Scotch- Brite), Audible, BLACK+DECKER, Dyson, Hamilton Beach, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, Hoover, L’Oréal, PETA, Transamerica, United Healthcare and more.

As Hawthorne’s leader, Hawthorne-Castro instilled a complete service approach that includes media planning, buying, analytics, campaign management, strategic planning and creative development. The agency features advanced techniques such as brain mapping, neurolinguistics, adaptive content and pixel tracking to understand consumer reactions and exceed client needs.

Hawthorne-Castro has also focused on quality of life for employees. As a certified a Certified Great Place to Work®, her initiatives include providing wellness opportunities, and provides training for personal and professional development for employees at all levels. Hawthorne-Castro’s leadership has created a dynamic workplace that offers advancement for all. Survey data from Great Place to Work® 2017 showed more than 90% of employees feel the company offers a great atmosphere and opportunities. Hawthorne-Castro has recruited a diverse base of employees that enjoy above-average compensation and avenues for personal and professional growth; forward-thinkers are rewarded for exceeding client expectations.

As a thought leader, Jessica is a contributor to industry publications and panels offering insights on key industry trends. She has published bylines with Forbes, AdAge, AdWeek, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, American Marketing Association, and more. Jessica has also been recognized with a long list of accolades for her career accomplishments, including: “Women to Watch” for the “Marketing Hall of Femme” Direct Marketing News (2017), “Women’s Summit Awards Nomination” by Los Angeles Business Journal (2016 & 2017), “Woman of Influence” by L.A. Biz and Biz Women (2016), and “Female CEO of the Year in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations” from CEO World Awards (2015). She was also honored as Marketing EDGE’s “Rising Star Award” (2015), “Top 40 Under 40” by Direct Marketing News (2015), and semifinalist in the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in Greater Los Angeles (2015 & 2017).

Prior to joining Hawthorne Direct, Hawthorne-Castro was a TV literary agent with William Morris Endeavor, one of Hollywood’s top, full-service talent agencies, where she identified and negotiated opportunities for shows airing on all major networks. She also packaged key elements necessary to develop shows with executives from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, HBO, USA, Bravo and others, and assisted the creators of numerous toprated programs.

Hawthorne-Castro is an active member of her professional community and has prioritized company culture and corporate social responsibility as a member of the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level executives in public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. In September 2017, she joined the DMA ECHO Board of Governors, the elite group behind one of the most coveted prizes in marketing. Jessica is a participant in TED International, TED Women communities and Vistage International. She is also a member of Young Presidents’ Organization, the global platform empowering more than 25,000 members in more than 130 countries. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

Standing Out When Marketing Noise is Louder than Ever

Marketing-Noise-is-Louder-than-Ever

By Jessica Hawthorne-Castro 

Original Publication: MarTechSeries.com 

Date of Publication: July 26, 2018

Six Ways To Fight Back And Rise Above The Crowd When The Noise Around You Gets Too Loud For You And Your Customers To Ignore

In a time where the consumer wants, needs, and behaviors are evolving as rapidly as technology and data, it’s becoming harder for marketers to stand out and rise above the noise. Consumers are literally being pummeled from all sides, and across all devices, as they make their way through the day. In fact, the cacophony has become so loud and distracting that all companies need to start taking some extreme measures to rise above the clutter.

Here are six ways your firm can start standing out right now:

1) Think Beyond Your Own Organization
Strive to connect to something that’s bigger than yourself. Have a greater goal for the world. Walk the walk on this commitment by giving a percentage of your profits to charity, donating time to your favorite causes, being an advocate for important issues, or other “giving” activities. Whether you bring awareness to world problems, support environmental causes, or participate in a TED Talk, your ultimate goal should be to have an impact on the world that goes beyond advertising and direct response. At a TED Conference in Vancouver, B.C., for example, I attended a luncheon where Al Gore spoke about climate change and discussed new environmental initiatives. Climate change is a passion of mine, so anytime I can get on board with positive changes, I’m in.

In the end, whatever good works you can do will contribute to the greater good of the world and translate to your own marketplace. It’s no longer OK to operate with tunnel vision or in a silo. We all need to do our part, and in the end, that’s what makes an entire organization—and its valued clients—so successful.

2) Give Back To Your Employees
Make people want to come to work in the morning. Working smart and working hard are big parts of success. I’m a big believer in hard work, but I also think we should have fun at the same time. After all, we spend roughly 30 percent of our lives at work!

Give employees the tools they need to succeed and allow them to do their best creative work in a collaborative, engaging workspace. Strive to foster an atmosphere that infuses employees with pride in working for your company. Celebrate accolades and the fact that valued team members are enthused about coming to work in the morning. This will set your company apart from those where working 9-to-5 is a chore.

3) Improve Transparency With Clients
Put your clients first every time. One of the greatest joys in the advertising business is seeing companies grow, thrive, and reach their potential; they may even merge with other firms or be acquired based on such success. Be passionate about helping your partners achieve success, and you’ll be able to develop a track record that proves it.

Don’t be afraid to be truthful when you offer advice. When we give our clients advice on campaigns, for example, we point to the ROI for every dollar of media invested. We do so for the greater good of that client’s company. Their success is our success—and that’s what we truly enjoy. Any business supporting a DR marketing campaign should follow this model.

4) Merge Analytics With Creative
Few would argue the profound impact that big data has had on the business world, and on marketing in particular. Defined by Gartner research analysts as “high- volume, high-velocity, and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision-making,” big data has pushed marketers to spend more time thinking about exactly how their advertising investments and campaigns translate into bottom-line benefits and corporate growth.

As this trend has advanced, the marketers that identify and use the data that matters most are the ones that achieve better efficiencies, higher return on investment (ROI), and better decision-making for the future. Smart marketers are identifying opportunities that advance their brands’ positions and capabilities, targeting new customers more efficiently, and serving their existing customers more effectively.

At Hawthorne, we see the intersection of data and marketing as a particularly creative junction in and of itself, based on the fact that it allows DR marketers to do what they do best: create and develop effective campaigns that are engaging, accountable, and on-point.

5) Make The Magic Happen
Every company should be able to multiply its media investments with a carefully crafted creative and media campaign. The three simple words at the heart of a strategy should be: launch, grow, and brand. Adopt a strategic approach to creative, media buying, and analytics, and merge them to create a successful campaign. Launch, grow, and brand with an underlying analytical foundation—and consider yourselves to be partners in your clients’ growing businesses.

We have helped clients turn relatively unknown brands and products into sales powerhouses by following these operating philosophies. One of our clients—an online pet food supplier—was acquired for $3.35 billion, and that came less than a year after we launched its first ad campaign. Another client introduced a household product to consumers that became a major brand for a global manufacturer.

You can follow the same path as you partner on projects. Help your client companies grow and take pride in the fact that you’ve contributed to their success and future growth. Then you can enjoy every minute of the journey alongside them.

6) Let Your Customers Tell Your Stories
When making a purchasing decision, the overwhelming majority of consumers, nearly 70% according to a Nielsen survey, trust customer reviews. Aside from the product benefits and features themselves, customer reviews can be the decisive factor for potential buyers who are mulling over their options. The rise of digital media over the past several years makes customer testimonials even more accessible and ubiquitous in the buying process.

So how do you find happy customers to star in your review video? Going to the largest group of consumers with a variety of tactics is key — email blasts and social media contests can be effective ways to identify the right people. Many people are drawn to the idea of appearing on camera, but narrowing down the list to the right group is important.

Once you’ve identified a pool of customers who are willing to participate, take the time to ask them about their use of the product or service to make sure they connect with the brand. A consumer who really connects to a product will naturally bring up points that align with the brand message.

By employing some or (preferably) all of these tactics, you’ll be able to effectively position your company for success in any advertising environment—even one where you have to rise above the noise to be heard.

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro Receives Multiple Leadership Honors

LOS ANGELES, July 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Hawthorne, a leading Los Angeles-based advertising agency specializing in analytics-based campaigns, today announced that the company’s CEO, Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, has been recognized with three significant industry honors: she has been named winner of the 2018 Finance Monthly CEO Award, has been honored in the CEO Today Business Woman of the Year Awards 2018, and is a nominee for the 2018 Los Angeles Business Journal Women’s Council & Awards.Jessica Hawthorne-Castro

“It is a great honor to be recognized not only among my peers, but by the industry for the efforts our team has put forth on behalf of our clients and our organization,” said Hawthorne-Castro.

Finance Monthly’s CEO Awards celebrate the success, innovation and strategic vision of CEOs across a wide variety of sectors and industries globally, with a key goal of rewarding those firms and advisers who have demonstrated peerless accomplishments within their sector. CEO Today’s Business Women of the Year Awards are dedicated to recognizing the achievements and leadership of women in business, and those who are a driving force behind their business while also driving the agenda of equality for women within their business and beyond. The Los Angeles Business Journal Women’s Council & Awards honors achievements by powerful women who make a difference throughout Los Angeles.

In addition to these latest honors, Hawthorne-Castro has also been recently recognized in the following: “Women to Watch” for the “Marketing Hall of Femme” DM News, “Women’s Summit Awards Nomination” by Los Angeles Business Journal, “Woman of Influence” by L.A. Biz and Biz Women, and “Female CEO of the Year in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations” from CEO World Awards. She was also honored as Marketing EDGE’s “Rising Star Award,” “Top 40 Under 40” by Direct Marketing News and as a semifinalist in the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in Greater Los Angeles.

Hawthorne-Castro has been recognized throughout the professional community as a leader in accountable advertising where art meets science. Today, the company garners billions in sales for their Fortune 500 clients and has received more than 450 creative awards, winning 59 in 2017 alone. The company specializes in analytics-driven campaigns and offers a complete service approach that includes media planning and buying, campaign management, strategic planning and creative development. Hawthorne is also a Certified Great Place to Work®, and was on the Inc. 5000 list.

About Hawthorne:

Hawthorne, a creative, analytics and technology-driven advertising agency, specializes in strategic planning, creative development, production, media planning, buying and analytics, and campaign management for integrated marketing campaigns. With nearly 30 years of proven excellence, the agency combines persuasive brand messaging with best-in-class analytic systems to create accountable, high performance advertising campaigns. Hawthorne helps brands efficiently target their consumers, improve cost per acquisition, optimize the lifetime value of a brand’s customers, and even drive consumer response to key retail outlets or corporate locations. As a leading analytic and data driven, accountable brand advertising agency, Hawthorne specializes in integrated campaign solutions. The company offers a full suite of integrated solutions with creative, media, digital and mobile services. Hawthorne maintains brand integrity and metrics to efficiently and effectively optimize the results of its clients’ integrated media budgets via leading edge and proven data analytics. Hawthorne has developed successful award-winning campaigns for countless Fortune 500 brands. Please visit www.hawthornedirect.com and http://www.linkedin.com/company/hawthorne-direct for more information.

Contact:

Kate Weckerly, SSPR

kweckerly@sspr.com

(330) 858-5149

Increase Customer Engagement With Data-Driven Marketing

By Jessica Hawthorne-Castro (YPO Los Angeles)

Original Publication: YPO.Org

How companies are leveraging data to develop complete, multi-channel pictures of exactly what their customers think and want — and then fulfilling those needs.

There isn’t a corner of the advertising world that hasn’t been touched by data-driven marketing, or the use of data to make good decisions and improve engagement with both existing and future customers. And much like the proliferation of data is impacting the business world as a whole, effective data integration and assessment continue to play a key role in helping companies enhance their value across numerous channels.
The flow of data throughout the data-driven marketing economy is forcing traditional producer-centric firms to become increasingly customer-centric, according to the DMA Data-Driven Marketing Institute in “The Value of Data: Consequences for Insight, Innovation, and Efficiency in the U.S. Economy.”
In today’s organizations, customers are used to getting exactly what they want, and they expect companies to fulfill those needs. Through the use of both internal and external data, companies are learning how to “crown” their customer — truly understand what makes them tick — and then develop campaigns that engage those buyers in the most effective manner possible.

The rise of the data-driven marketer and consumer
More than 40 percent of brands plan to expand their data-driven marketing budgets in the near future, according to eMarketer. Data enables companies to make better decisions and map out a clearer customer journey. It also enables brands to personalize content more effectively and at scale.
Data-driven marketing has advanced significantly in the programmatic buying sector, but it also impacts campaign creative. In the past, creative was produced once, with one version for everyone — an ad was one, final, self-contained file that could run anywhere. That is no longer the case. Intrusive rich media ads are losing ground to more consumer-friendly formats that use personalization, rather than interruption, to get the message across. Creative, media and data are all converging as marketers strive to tailor messages based on who is seeing it and where.
The use of customer information for optimal and targeted media buying and creative messaging, data-driven marketing has been key to taking any guess work out of questions like who, when, where, or what message, and making those answers actionable. Consumers are becoming increasingly picky about the messages they read and the products they buy. In this landscape, marketers have to create personalized messages in order to attract and retain customers. This requires collecting and analyzing data.

No more hit-or-miss media testing
Data-driven marketing has effectively replaced the traditional “hit-or-miss” test component of the typical marketing campaigns. For example, at Hawthorne we typically ask new clients for one to two years’ worth of data in order to identify statistically relevant response curves for past campaigns and marketing efforts. We then use a statistical approach to web attribution analytics to measure the response curve of media airings and extrapolate the hidden signal from the visible signal through a proven methodology. With this information in hand, marketers can set baselines for current and future campaign effectiveness.

If You Want To Humanize Your Brand On Social Media, Try These 10 Tactics

Forbes Agency Council

Author: Forbes Agency Council

Original Publication: Forbes

Date Published: June 3, 2018

The reason channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are so successful is because they encourage two-way conversations with customers. If you want those conversations to be successful and ultimately lead to conversions, you have to remember that people want to talk to other people, not faceless businesses. That’s why it’s in your brand’s best interest to show your human side in social media interactions and posts.

We asked a panel of experts from the Forbes Agency Council how to humanize a brand on social media. Their best answers are below.

Forbes Agency Council

1. Strike The Right Balance Between Personality And Professionalism 

Be real. Show yourself in your “personal” element while out on the job, giving back to the community, traveling and working with friends. But always remember to be appropriate because things will live online forever. It’s important to strike the right balance. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castrohawthornedirect.com

2. Show Some Character 

Brands often fail to captivate their audiences when they try to play things too safe. Don’t be afraid to show some humor at appropriate times or take a stance on some relevant issues. While there are always lines you shouldn’t cross, keeping things too sterile and not showing a personality doesn’t help you connect with consumers. – Greg Kihlstrom, Yes& Agency

3. Be Consistently Unique 

Every person has a unique voice and character that contributes to their overall personality – this is true for brands, as well. A consistent brand voice can do a lot to support the image you want your brand to portray. Not to mention, it can have a positive impact on the kinds of conversations you are having with your audience, making them feel like they are talking to a friend, not just a brand. – Alannah Tsimis Sandehl, IDM Brand

4. Be True To The Voice And Tone Of Your Brand 

The key to humanizing a brand on social media channels is authenticity and consistency. Staying true to brand voice while communicating with your audience honestly and openly is paramount. Audiences don’t want to see their favorite sneaker brand posting boring, sales-heavy content, just as they don’t want their bank posting cat memes. – David Harrison, EVINS

5. Define Your Brand’s ‘Personality’ 

Humanizing your brand on any digital asset is giving life to your brand. First, you should decide its personality. What kinds of things would your brand do, eat or listen to if it were human? Where does it hang out? Who are its BFFs? Where would I see your brand on the weekend? At a concert? In the mall? Let your brand “date” its followers. That means real interaction, all the time. – Jennifer Barbee, Destination Innovate

6. Go Behind The Scenes 

Your followers want a window into your brand. That is why they follow you. They want to see the culture of your company, people and what your day-to-day looks like. Make sure to mix professional or staged images with lifestyle shots and a look behind the scenes. If you have a set theme or look for your Instagram page, then utilize the Story feature to give your followers a true look at your company culture. – Meredith Xavier, The Ligne Group

7. Embrace Storytelling 

“Storytelling” is such a buzzword this year. Brands are getting smarter about humanizing messages across all content, whether it’s posted on their own site or on a social media channel. This is a trend to really embrace on social media. Tell your followers a story – something to which they can relate. – Matt Bowman, Thrive Internet Marketing Agency

8. Show Off Your Team 

Strong brands attach loyalty not just to their products or work, but also to their teams. Your audience is interested in more than your work and thought leadership pieces – they also want to know about the people behind the brand. Behind-the-scenes videos, birthday celebrations, fun outings and team bonding activities are all great ways to show off your culture and connect with your audience. – Nicole Mahoney, Break the Ice Media

9. Have Real Humans Respond To Customers’ Posts 

A simple “Thank you!” for a positive comment will go a long way. More detailed responses to actual questions or complaints will be even more successful. For brands that are really concerned about how they’re perceived by consumers, invest in a team of humans who understand your brand ethos, products and services to manage social pages. – Jeffrey Kamikow, Cross Audience

10. Stop Posting Like A Marketer 

Avoid using industry slang, formal sentences and third-party language. Social media is all about creating dialogue and building relationships. Create posts that are conversational in nature and use “you” and “me” phrases. Act like you are talking with your neighbor and post content in a way the creates that environment. Be human. – Korena Keys, KeyMedia Solutions

Hawthorne to Present May 30th Webinar on DRTV (Direct Response Television) Basics

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LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Hawthorne, a leading Los Angeles-based advertising agency specializing in analytics-based campaigns, today announced the company will host a webinar entitled, “DRTV 101 for Brand Marketers: The Expanding Role of DRTV in the Brand Marketing World” on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 from 1-2pm ET. There will be an introduction to the webinar by Hawthorne’s CEO Jessica Hawthorne-Castro. Hawthorne’s Chief Strategy Officer, George Leon, and Senior Vice President of Marketing at Le Tote, Nick Fairbairn, will serve as co-presenters.

LINK TO REGISTER FOR WEBINAR

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Presentation Will Explore Advantages, Strategies for Brand Marketers Within Today’s New Generation DRTV Realm

The webinar, hosted in conjunction with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), will explore the expanding role of new-generation DRTV in the brand marketing world, and how marketers can take advantage of that expansion. It will offer key insights into developing winning DRTV-focused creative strategies and successful media campaigns. It will also cover how DRTV works in conjunction with other types of media/channels. Attendees will hear first-hand from the DRTV experts the key pain points that DRTV is solving for brands.

Key points to be covered in the webinar include:

  • How new-generation DRTV is effective in launching and/or growing brands
  • When to consider DRTV as part of a marketing mix
  • How DRTV works with other types of media/channels
  • The best DRTV messaging strategies
  • DRTV’s analytics advantage
  • For information about how to register for the webinar, please click here.

 

About the presenters:

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO of Hawthorne
Jessica serves as CEO of Hawthorne, a leading technology-based advertising agency specializing in analytics and accountable brand campaigns. As CEO, Jessica has fostered long-standing relationships with the company’s expansive base of diversified clients resulting from an unwavering commitment to unparalleled service. From creative and production to strategy, media and analytics, Jessica ensures quality and innovation throughout all disciplines of the agency. Her client roster includes 3M, Audible, Armor All, Carbonite, Black+DECKER, Dyson, Gerber Life, L’Oreal, Hamilton Beach, HomeAdvisor, Pella, PETA, Transamerica and zulily.

George Leon, Chief Strategy Officer of Hawthorne
George oversees Hawthorne’s media strategy, execution, analytics and spearheads Hawthorne’s data science and “big data” initiatives on behalf of a broad range of major brand clients. He leads a diverse team of account directors, data scientists, media strategists, buyers and planners who work on a broad range of major brand clients, managing billions of dollars of media allocations and investments. His portfolio of clients includes Angie’s List, BLACK+DECKER, Brother International, Carbonite, Credit One Bank, Dexcom, Dyson, HomeAdvisor, Indochino, It’s Just Lunch, Mars, Mattel, Penn Foster, Philips Electronics, thredUP, VARIDESK, zulily and more.

Nick Fairbairn, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Le Tote
Nick oversees brand and communications, media strategy and customer acquisition, as well as revenue and forecast management. While building a team and infrastructure in his first 11 months on the job, he led the team to scale the company more than 100%. Before joining Le Tote, he served as Vice President of Brand Marketing at Dollar Shave Club. Prior to that, he ran the acquisition marketing group at Provide Commerce/FTD Companies (umbrella brand for ProFlowers, Shari’s Berries, FTD.com and more). He began his career on the agency side with his client roster including Google, Microsoft, eBay, Disney, Visa and more.

Headshots are available upon request or can be downloaded here: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/Pa8N5LFhGe

About Hawthorne:
Hawthorne, a creative, analytics and technology-driven advertising agency, specializes in strategic planning, creative development, production, media planning, buying and analytics, and campaign management for integrated marketing campaigns. With nearly 30 years of proven excellence, the agency combines persuasive brand messaging with best-in-class analytic systems to create accountable, high performance advertising campaigns. Hawthorne helps brands efficiently target their consumers, improve cost per acquisition, optimize the lifetime value of a brand’s customers and even drive consumer response to key retail outlets or corporate locations.

As a leading analytic and data driven, accountable brand advertising agency, Hawthorne specializes in integrated campaign solutions. The company offers a full suite of integrated solutions with creative, media, digital and mobile services. Hawthorne maintains brand integrity and metrics to efficiently and effectively optimize the results of its clients’ integrated media budgets via leading edge and proven data analytics. Hawthorne has developed successful award-winning campaigns for countless Fortune 500 brands.

Please visit www.hawthornedirect.com and http://www.linkedin.com/company/hawthorne-direct for more information.

Media Contact:
Alexea Candreva
acandreva@sspr.com