Multisensory Marketing

More evidence that 2017 is the got damn future. If voice activated home robots, smartphones replacing desktops and shoes that monitor your health doesn’t convince you how fast trends adopt, allow me to shake your foundation again with the advent of multisensory marketing.

No, you can’t smell that delicious food from the Tasty video, just yet. But, augmented reality becomes redefined with sight/sound/movement. According to Facebook’s recent study,  by 2020, over 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.

As Facebook IQ puts it, “The average attention span is said to now be shorter than that of a goldfish. But that’s only half the story. As people are exposed to a continuous and ever-growing stream of information, our ability to consume it has sped up. And as both findings are even more pronounced among younger generations, the future will be fast.

As our ability to consume information grows, consumers expect more from our communication. Engagement becomes a real-time opportunity through the technology being developed. Imagine skype meets video with customer service. It’s on the way.

More importantly, I want to talk to you about taking advantage of multisensory approach today. When planning a campaign in online media, how can you craft a “true to life” experience for the user? Some ways to do this right now:

  • Use 360 photo and vid tech to give the user a feeling of being there. Users spend 40% more time on 360 than reg vids.
  • Develop adaptive micro-sites based on experiences instead of stagnant content.
  • Ramp up your video strategy ASAP! Focus on 3 second previews and run multivariate tests to capture a longer-viewing audience. The latest studies show that video connection is biological. People stare at video 5x longer than any other content.
  • Sound is important to a multisensory strategy. Music, voiceovers and the like should be paramount to you now.
  • Mobile first. It goes without saying. But, if you design on mobile only, your chances of capturing the right buyers dramatically increases. And, no, I am not talking about responsive websites. That is so 2004.
  • Try to capture your brand’s humanity. If your campaigns, engagement and communication is personified, the assets you put out will have a better chance of brand recall.
  • People can recall content after only seeing it for 0.25 seconds! Use tech to speed message delivery.
  • Focus on delight. You want to surprise your viewers, entertain them. Several years ago, I talked about advertainment as a must in online strategy. The problem? Agency workflow isn’t set up to connect creative and media as a seamless process.
  • Run media in good times, not desperation. When that click must equal a sale, the desperation comes out in your communication. It stifles possibilities and crushes creativity. A lot of companies run tight and don’t have a planned “innovation” marketing budget. Innovating scares a lot of bottom-line marketers. Should you see results? Hell yes. But, what kind? These trends call for a redefinition of return.

I could go on and on about the sensory experiences available. They are going to continue to explode and no doubt, the social media platforms like Facebook will be the ones ushering them in. On the last point I made, I would like to drive that home for you.

Innovation is problem solving with acceptable risk.

Just as Google lets employees spend 10% of their work time on whatever idea/project/innovation they want, you need to carve a budget out for the same.

The Martech Unicorn

Martech (Marketing + Technology) is the “holy grail” of today’s marketing objectives.

By 2020, over 90% of the world will make purchasing decisions solely on digital information.

The question is, do you turn a marketing person into a technologist, or a technologist into a marketing person?

Spoiler alert:  Neither.


In my humble opinion and experience, you have to be forged in both…right from the start.

Left brain and right brain in a symphony of problem-solving.  I’ll admit, it irks me when I see MarTech recruiting with a print background.  Ok, so you get  what a bleed is and you understand paper weight, finishes and runs.  But, do you – when working on brand opportunities – know the music of digital response.  Do you know what can “Kill the click”, why advertising online today is more trustworthy than ever?

We might be unicorns, but there is a tribe of us (gen X) that have entire careers in technology and marketing, they are not a separate thing.  These two disciplines have never been divided for us.  We were there before Google, listing our clients on Yahoo! and Lycos.  We were in chat rooms before social media.  We were refining email campaigns when most of the addresses were

We were earning consumer trust one click at a time.

And here we are, battle-hardened and forged in bytes.  All hail to you, my brethren in martech arms.

xoxo, Jenn

The Inbound Marketing Dilemma

Pop marketing terms confuse and irritate those who are not on this side of the marketing equation, inbound marketing being one.  Often, when auditing a client’s performance, inbound marketing means email and Google Ads.  Well, that’s what their agencies tell them, anyway.  Let’s get real a second.  If you (or your PR firm/media rep/SEOM company) create an inbound plan that only includes strategies sold to you, you’ll miss the magic spot of organic inbound development.

So, what the hell does that mean, Jennifer?!? Look at the picture above, there is a layer missing between the tactics and the website.  It’s the possible actions taken by your visitors after contrived content and before they decide to buy, influence or share.  They aren’t 100% your actions, can you really plan them in the cycle?  Um…yea!  Interpersonal communications are actually pretty predictable.  Pixel tracking in paid and distributed promotion can help validate or tweak this fluid strategy.

True inbound strategy and execution can feel daunting and never ending.  It is.  As long as we continue to create ways to communicate with each other, it will grow at the speed of the Internet.

How much is enough?  It really depends on several factors.  Do you clearly have the tools to understand how much market share you have in niche areas?  If the answer is no, I’m going to challenge you to tell me how you set goals.

One quick addition to your inbound marketing can make a major impact on both numbers and insight, programmatic media is the answer to pinpoint marketing.  Interrupt  the buying process, woo the unwooable and find more customers “just like that”.  This does not mean you don’t have to have a thorough strategy.  Garbage in, garbage out.  Impressions are cheap and “eyeballs” mean nothing unless you can correlate a message that captures hearts and minds.

Content development and strategy is the King of Inbound.

Create good stuff.  Get it out.  Simple a that.

If you find yourself  “contextually inadequate”, shift the content to purely serving your audiences’ interests over yours.  Give them tools to use (recipes, how-tos, convenient lists) that have NO underlying sales message.  Seems counter-intuitive, but it’s the psychological way to activate advocates.  Remember to end your pieces “sponsored by”, and people will appreciate the gift.  And, everyone remembers a brand with presents.  Social Quizzes are a great go-to gimme promo.

Lastly, it can be argued that a DMO doesn’t need, say, a podcast.  Okay.  But, what existing podcasts have your exact audience and you can guest spot?  Go down the inbound list of “I can’t do that” and challenge your perception of that media source.

Expand and challenge your definition of inbound marketing, it should be a daily topic.

And, Never. Stop. Innovating.