Douglas Van Praet reminds us that human decision-making happens at a level beyond conscious thought and outlines some of the surprising, hardwired human drives that drive decisions, and an ad’s success. There are patterns for effectiveness in our markets and culture because there are hardwired patterns in our nature and our brains. But there’s a gap between what scientists say and what marketers do. Strategies remain based on insights into markets, not truths about neurobiology. If we want to be experts in connecting emotionally we need to know what that actually means.
CRMC Newsletter Feature Stories – 2014
The ouster of American Apparel’s controversial CEO has overshadowed the fact that the chain, with its soft-pornesque brand equity, has been striking a sour note with shoppers. But American Apparel isn’t the only racy retailer struggling of late. Sales at teen chain Abercrombie & Fitch and fashion retailer Bebe Stores, which peddle sex one way or another, are falling, and management is in flux. It appears that when it comes to fashion retailing, sex just isn’t selling these days.
Though “The CMO is dead” is an attention-grabbing title, it’s a bit misleading. The CMO is not dead; the position is simply regressing to its original purpose — customer engagement. The combination of new technology solutions, hard data, and numerous channels of engagement has led to much deeper levels of customer intimacy. And, with an increased ability to measure the outcomes of marketing activities, CMOs are demonstrating their value like never before.
In order to sell millennials on a product, concept or service, marketers have to connect with them on an emotional level that aligns with their complex value sets surrounding socioeconomic conditions and new cultural norms. Music is powerful because it is content, and it stimulates social interaction and drives loyalty. Disruptive streaming technologies and the onset of multi-screen user behavior have forced drastic shifts in the use of music as a marketing tool by music labels, entertainment companies and brands across multiple consumer categories.
In a world with an increasingly shorter attention span, the retail experience means being inspired around the dinner table, starting a quick search on a mobile phone, followed by deeper online research at home, and then possibly a visit to the store over the weekend to test it out … and that may not even be the end of the line. Sometimes, there’s the urge to do more research or price comparisons, which often takes the customer back online. It’s a dizzying world out there. How’s a retailer supposed to keep up?