The NOW Gen

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Beating Stereotypes: Diversity and Inclusion for the NOW Gen

There is a lot of talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion going on globally. This isn’t about fitting the global trend to our companies but joining the NOW generation in this matter. 

In previous blog posts, we have addressed this global issue, and it continues to be an essential topic for the NOW generation. NOW Gen brands are in the middle of this conversation and are focusing on making a real change.

NOW Gen brands have a unique opportunity to change history with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, systemic discrimination and racism, just like they are changing history by moving us into the digital age, but without DEI transformation, digital transformation won’t be any transformation at all.” 

In a recent SXSW panel titled “Beyond Black Stereotypes: Redefining Black Fatherhood,” Kendricks Thacker shared some insights about what needs to be done to incorporate better DEI practices. He said that brands couldn’t just start talking when convenient, especially when they wade into topics they never previously championed. 

“Don’t say nothing, if you haven’t said anything before,” Thacker said. “In those cases, the best a brand can do is listen, and donate their platforms to voices that understand the issues.” 

As Thacker mentioned in this panel, to overcome the stereotypes of adapting DEI practices incorrectly, we must first learn to listen to those in the middle of the issue and understand their movements. We must not act before we think because DEI is not a vane issue and its impact on our society goes beyond participating as a brand or not.

With change comes trial and error; it will be utopic to believe that just making one change will forever change the global conversation. However, making this kind of amendment will often make us face errors. For example, DE&I has been one of the main focuses for many global companies for a while now. And although inclusion is vital to this global change, the mistake we are making is stereotyping that inclusivity. So from being stereotypical in the ways we present our DEI to making inclusion a stereotype. 

In the case of DEI, stereotypes are fogging our judgment and blinding our inclusion. We are so used to boxing people according to their race, gender, religion, and even their jobs that we see individuals as groups of people. Stereotypes have been known to humans for a long time now, and much work has been done to eradicate them in society, but the truth is that stereotyping is more natural to our minds than we can imagine. We could blame heuristics for this, but the truth is we can all do better. 

Heuristics, where stereotyping begins, are useful mental shortcuts that help us navigate life. These rule-of-thumb strategies help us shorten decision-making time and allow us to function without constantly wondering what needs to happen next. Overall, heuristics is a fantastic tool called “common sense,” but the downside is that it can lead to inaccurate judgments or biases, like stereotypes.

Theoretically, we should replace stereotypes with actual knowledge. Realistically, stereotypes are seldom challenged unless something creates a reason to change them. But this current DEI issue is a practical reason to make an effort to break from assumptions and demolish stereotypes. As Now gen brands encounter these roadblocks, they must stick to their DEI efforts and strive to make changes happen. 

“The past year has shed light on what many people already knew: Much of the onus (obligations) of diversity, equity and inclusion was on the appointed DE&I leader, who historically often worked in isolation to carry out these objectives.”

In short, as companies, we must find ways to set objectives to beat stereotypes and be more inclusive. Still, we must learn to hear those affected by the situation and work together to impact how they are perceived in society positively. In the eyes of The NOW Generation, being inclusive speaks volumes, and as the saying goes: actions say more than words.

Blog

Digital Transformation without DEI is no transformation at all

Digital Transformation without DEI is no transformation at all; social inclusion and kindness are 2 musts for a successful digital recipe.

In 2020 Americans experienced two events that at the time everyone thought would change the world forever: the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the historic protests following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police. But last Sunday’s Super Bowl, in which brands paid $484.7 million for 42 minutes of advertising–possibly the most notable of which having been a retro-looking QR code bouncing around old-school-screen-saver style, sending people to a crypto-currency site they ended up crashing–during a game where “End Racism” was written in the endzones, culminating the season for a league currently being sued for systemic discrimination against minority coaches, raises the question about how much things have really changed.

Brands didn’t hesitate to transform themselves in the face of the pandemic. Necessity is the mother of all innovation to paraphrase a cliche. According to KPMG’s Global Head of Advisory, thanks to the pandemic, “The move to digitization has accelerated, and the benefits will be permanent…There is no going back.” McKinsey data suggests that 80% of consumer interactions have moved online and that the pandemic has caused a quantum leap, having sped up digital adaptation by several years. Deloitte says that “to grow and thrive in a post-COVID-19 world, swift digital transformation into a pandemic-proof organizational model is vital,” and the pandemic even inspired notoriously slow CPGs to accelerate their strategies

The move to digital as a response to the pandemic has been indisputable and unanimous, and it makes sense. Consumers are demanding that companies meet them where they are and that they deliver personalized experiences. Approximately 75% of consumers experimented with new shopping behaviors because of the pandemic and 80% of them expect to continue with those behaviors. Consumers are increasingly demanding more personalized experiences and expect to experience them digitally.

While DEI has grown in importance, the change in the wake of the George Floyd protests is more of a mixed bag. It wasn’t all bad at the Super Bowl. For the first time in the history of Super Bowl advertisements, “female BIPOC representation (46%) and male BIPOC representation (41%) mirrored the 38% BIPOC US population,” and we saw the first hip-hop act to headline a history making and extremely well received halftime show. Those bright spots, however are probably overshadowed by the fact that the NFL is currently being sued for systemic discrimination. The NFL isn’t alone. In the last month Tesla has been sued by California for systemic discrimination in its factories and Spotify has been in the news for all the wrong reasons because of racist comments made by its most popular podcast host. 

In our last blog post, Talk is Cheap: Consumers Demand DEI Action, we dropped a lot of data about how consumers are demanding DEI action, just like they are demanding digital transformation.

“Research is basically unanimous that consumers want more diversity. According to Facebook IQ 71% of NOW Gen consumers expect brands to promote DEI in their advertising. According to Microsoft 70% of Gen Z consumers are more trusting of brands that show diversity. A study conducted by The Female Quotient, Google, and IPSOS found that 64% of NOW Gen consumers took some action after seeing an ad that incorporated DEI. That same study found that 69% of Black consumers were more likely to purchase from a brand whose ads positively represented their race, and that 71% of LGBTQ consumers were more likely to click ads that authentically represent their sexual orientation. Furthermore, 75% of Gen Z consumers will end relationships with companies that run ad campaigns perceived as macho, racist, or homo­phobic. These statistics pretty much speak for themselves, and the trend is that DEI is only becoming more important to consumers.”

The data raises a rather unfortunate question: in the face of equally pressing consumer demands, why can brands make monumental changes at speeds never before seen in the realm of digital transformation, but they can’t do the same in addressing issues of systemic racism and discrimination? In a famous New Yorker essay, Letter from a Region in My Mind, James Baldwin theorized that “America, of all the Western nations, has been best placed to prove the uselessness and the obsolescence of the concept of color. But it has not dared to accept this opportunity, or even to conceive of it as an opportunity.” 

Some brands do see the opportunity, and they’re making changes. Levi-Strauss says that “Digital Transformation Depends on Diversity,” and in the eponymous article they lay-out several strategies to combat discrimination that results directly from digital transformation. Google’s Super Bowl ad spoke directly to how their technology takes into account the difficulties some people have in being photographed emphasizing that their product makes sure that “everyone feels seen.” Hershey’s, for example, has created a new position, Chief Diversity Officer, that already boasts a laundry list of DEI focused action and initiatives. We wholeheartedly applaud these brands and their efforts, but it has to be said that a handful of brands alone won’t make a difference.

As no other writer has described as deftly the problems of race  U.S., we leave you with another classic quote from the great James Baldwin: 

“Everything now, we must assume, is in our hands; we have no right to assume otherwise. If we—and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks, who must, like lovers, insist on, or create, the consciousness of the others—do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world. If we do not now dare everything, the fulfillment of that prophecy, re-created from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us: God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!”

NOW Gen brands have a unique opportunity to change history with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, systemic discrimination and racism, just like they are changing history by moving us into the digital age, but without DEI transformation, digital transformation won’t be any transformation at all. 

Blog

CMO’S – Taking the lead in the industry

As we all know, Covid-19 accelerated digitalization by years like never before. The urge to keep brands relevant in a contactless world pushed companies to look for data-driven ways to reach customers. This behavioral shift became the key factor for CEOs in changing how they perceived CMOs.

According to Deloitte’s Marketing trends, the CMO role has gained tremendous momentum over the last 20 months. At the beginning of that period, only 46% of CMOs said they had a significant impact in C-suite conversations relating to marketing strategy. Now, this number is double at 81%. 

One of the reasons CMOs are becoming a much more essential piece across different departments is their direct access to data. The CMO’s day-to-day involves obtaining data, analyzing it, and coming up with innovative solutions across the customer journey. These actions are a necessary support to other company areas. 

Let’s take sales, for example. Before the pandemic, the sales team usually dealt with their customers face-to-face. Now, sales has to lean on the marketing team to generate leads across the digital platforms and create strategies that generate higher profits and strengthen relationships with users. 

One of the many successful examples was Coty’s Live Beauty Event with People Magazine; A 3-day event where different influencers and makeup artists from the beauty industry live-streamed tutorials, tips, and trends. During the event users were able to buy the products from the brands’ Ecomm platforms and access exclusive content afterward. This campaign was one way for sales and marketing to join forces and turn social media into an accessible experience for customers.  

CMOs and marketing leaders have also become critical players in predicting the future of a company according to the demands of today’s world. However, as the industry’s environment is constantly changing, CMOs must go a step further by becoming top strategists with a global vision and having the ability to implement a cultural shift across every area of their companies with the help of the available data.  

CMOs have to be the ultimate professionals delivering the right content to their over-saturated users. A skilled CMO has the power to use traditional channels intelligently to create much more relevant, compelling, and actionable content for customers in a much more agile way than other departments.  Fernando Machado, CMO of Activision Blizzard, suggests, “If you continue to play safe unless you have an outrageous amount of budget, people aren’t even going to notice,” meaning that creativity is, and will always be, an essential asset for brands. It’s the window for creating relevant solutions.

Learn more on how CPG CMOs are changing the game to win 2022 in our White Paper. Download it for FREE here:

https://121corp.com/white-paper

Brands

How to gather first-party data in a cookieless world

Twenty-five years ago, a magic tool called cookies that changed digital advertising was born.

Thanks to them, marketers could identify, build a profile based on interactions, and activate engagement through a series of messages. Cookies were also helpful for insight and brand impact. Relying on them seemed like a perfect strategy for gaining customers’ data, but these good old days are over now. The end of cookies is coming in 2022, and brands need to build trust and create unique experiences for their users to gather relevant data organically and under their consent.

As challenging and uncertain as this sounds for the industry, we are on the verge of a new year, and it’s the perfect time for brands to reassess their strategies, let go of depending on one third-party resource for data and strengthen their client relationships. 

Try inbound.

The numbers are here, 94% of customers leave and unfollow brands when they see irrelevant promotions and messages; nevertheless, 93% will buy again at companies if they find a remarkable service, 77% will recommend their experience on socials and reviews. So, to get positive numbers rolling in your marketing strategy and gather first-party data, inbound can be the answer. 

Inbound is a philosophy based on helping people and building relationships with them by guiding them throughout their journey. An inbound practice is built under three pillars (attract, engage, delight). It can be adapted into your funnel into many techniques, such as offering educational and resourceful content that consumers can use or creating platforms or bots to provide excellent customer service for people. Positive inbound can lead to a share of data under the user’s consent, so it’s essential to keep in mind to be as human as possible in your strategy, be empathetic with users through mindful research, have a constant conversation with customers and standardize your communication for consistency.

Trust influencer marketing

Today, shoppers live on social media an average of 144 minutes a day. They enjoy browsing, discovering, and purchasing from an ad or influencers. 

50% of Gen Z shops after seeing an influencer recommendation because they bring a deep sense of connection, and credibility to their audience. Investing in influencer marketing creates a bridge to purchase, so try having them not only for awareness but also across your customer journey and providing them with call-to-actions to direct their users to your shopping basket and gather first-party data. 

If you have a problem picking which influencers are the right ones, try including AI in your practices. Machine learning can help identify content in a way humans can’t, monitor each influencer activity, and help you optimize your budget. 

Give them control. 

Don’t think that you will no longer cooperate with Google or Facebook; they accommodate your objectives, so it’s essential to learn to work with them efficiently. Find strategies that can help gather email addresses and even phone numbers. These data can be shared within these platforms and help create a custom audience within these first-party data ecosystems. Design a Customer Data Platform or Data Management, or acquire them from a vendor and offer ethical, reliable customer-centric experiences that empower users and give them control over their data. 

The road for marketers is still under construction, with many challenges ahead. It’s essential that during these changes, such as the elimination of cookies, you can count on a partner that can make your strategies become a reality in a cost-efficient manner. AT 121, thanks to our Speed Philosophy, we can work with our clients and deliver projects in record time without compromising their budgets. So give us a call, and together we will find the right strategy and tools to make you shine across your 2022 marketing journey. 

Brands

The importance of a solid brand’s purpose

Brand purpose is vital because it demonstrates to your customers that you are more than your products, services, or advertising efforts. You have a goal that is larger than merely making a profit. A new generation of customers wants businesses to stand for something broader than the items they sell. They want businesses to represent an inspirational ethos, have a strong point of view, and take action to influence the world positively. So check out if your brand has the guidelines to earn a check on the purpose section.

Examine your own brand’s purpose as well as the brand you represent

A brand mission is a brand’s reason for existence other than to make money. It’s the ‘Why?’ behind the brand, the spirit of your company — it connects with customers on an emotional level via shared ideals, solved challenges, and distilled meaning. It propels business, helps individuals, and improves society: Is your brand’s motivation for a purpose other than to make money?

Think of your brand purpose manifests itself positively in the eyes of others? Is it capable of fostering emotional attachments and connections? After all, we are all in the same boat, so ask yourself if your brand is improving business, people, and society; most importantly, how do these responses relate to your company’s or product’s brand?

Difference between brand purpose and brand vision, mission, and values

So far, we’ve discussed the brand purpose, but it’s equally critical to define what a brand’s mission isn’t. Your brand’s purpose is not the same as its vision, mission, or values. They are interconnected; each builds on the other. However, if your brand’s vision, mission, and values are the building bricks, consider your brand’s purpose of being the foundation.

Where you are heading is defined by your brand vision. Your mission will determine how you will get there. And your values will determine how you act along the way. They are all inward-looking. They represent you when discussing your brand. They are crucial to identify, but none are as potent as your purpose.

Your purpose—or Big Audacious Meaning—is the overarching explanation for why you do what you do. It should be placed above the vision, purpose, and values to educate and guide them. It is priceless because it is outward-looking, defining the change you will make in a person’s life, a community, or perhaps the planet. Clarifying your mission helps consumers understand how your brand benefits them and their world.

Purpose that sells

The concept of brand purpose is especially crucial when marketing to millennials, who favor businesses that generate social and environmental change, according to 71% of them. A groundbreaking global study analyzing the value of brands with a well-defined “Purpose” shows that consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from those brands, as a Forbes article reveals.

In many circumstances, the contemporary customer is seeking a relationship rather than a product. They do not need to be sold; instead, they must be inspired. What emotions does the brand elicit in them? Is it consistent with their fundamental values and beliefs? As consumers’ interests shift, marketers must interact with social audiences deeper, more personal level than ever before.

To build a strong relationship with your brand, you can apply Keller’s brand equity model and boost your brand’s equity. This tool outlines four actions you can take to create and manage a brand that your consumers will support. Overall Purpose-Driven Marketing is at the core of a previous strategy to achieve more significant customer connections.

At 121, we aim to help you achieve your brand’s objective, not to compete against your creative, strategic, or In-House agencies. We adapt and implement your global campaigns to suit and comply with your outlets’ requirements while also aligned with your brand’s equity and helping you build a clear purpose.

From Social & E-comm content, graphic design, digital implementation to integrated production, 121 will work with you to grow your brand while giving you peace of mind. We genuinely believe that we can play a significant role in your success, for us, the Fastest day-to-day Design and Content Studio for many global Fortune 500 companies.

Creativity

Data at the service of creativity

The marketing sector is undergoing enormous transformations at the moment, with creativity blending with statistics to achieve precise outcomes. Traditional marketers, on the other hand, find this combination perplexing. After all, creativity and data are two opposites of the same coin.

You’ll be surprised to learn that the bulk of the decisions you believed were based only on creativity are supported by data as well. Analyzing significant trends, determining what appeals to the public, and developing a product in reaction to all of this is essentially data-driven. Let’s find out how these two different features get along.

Data-Supported Creativity

The majority of marketers feel that technology and creativity will become increasingly important in developing effective marketing campaigns. However, there are many unsolved concerns about how companies might profit from this merger.

According to a McKinsey analysis, firms that have combined these two areas are more successful than those still struggling to combine creativity and data. Other reports support that marketers believe that creativity and technology will be equally important in building effective marketing strategies.

Integrators’ creative functions are becoming more data-driven, while data-driven tasks are becoming more creative. Customer experience and consumer insights are two areas where we see this most clearly. Marketers who combine creativity and analytics create more significant development than others who don’t.

Overall, marketing is all about how a product interacts with customers. It is, in some ways, about customer involvement. Marketers can engage people in a way that assures results by combining creativity and data. Furthermore, technical developments in data analysis may accelerate marketing or creative processes by providing marketers with valuable insights from targeted customers. 

Competing in a data-driven world

Consider Spotify, which harnessed the power of data and utilized it to fuel an innovative marketing strategy. Spotify was able to usher in a new age of song-listening experience by leveraging available user data. They were able to construct their data-driven campaigns, which used outdoor billboards to provide goals for the future year, using the available statistics.

This data-driven marketing effort was not only timely, but it also drew the attention of a large number of people, making it a huge success, and the previous is known as data-led marketing.

Organizations like Spotify should not wait any longer to combine data with c o-reativity. However, this should be done in such a way that both of them complement each other. Remember that pushing this connection will never work since the goal is to strike a healthy balance.

Data Should Boost Creativity (Not Replace It)

The market is becoming increasingly competitive. Every day, businesses aim to differentiate themselves from the competition by devising novel ways to get their voices heard. However, sometimes more than just the ideal team members are required to break through the throng and have your message received the way you want it.

Marketing firms have the opportunity to peel back the layers and get to the heart of critical consumer data by using machine learning or other comparable technology. With the correct data comes insight, and with the proper insights, marketers have a good chance of creating accurate ads that are creative.

As additional technical improvements in the marketing, more and more businesses will follow the technique of making critical data useful. After all, the most engaging marketing initiatives are built on meaningful data about a particular target. This is where the connection between data and creativity may assist businesses in discovering new correlations.

In conclusion

Without data-driven insight, digital marketing services are like trying to hit a target while blindfolded. Given this, firms and marketing firms must craft messaging with their customers in mind, and data may assist in this process. The wonderful thing about creativity is that everyone has different preferences. This indicates that if one group enjoys something, it does not follow that the same thing will be well-received by another set of people, data that is provided while making a targeted campaign.

Marketers must grasp this to develop a better ad experience and, as a consequence, generate campaigns that will resonate with at least a more significant portion of the public.

A marketer must create individualized, memorable experiences that foster consumer loyalty. This is only achievable if an ad piece hooks its readers by appealing to their passions, interests, and concerns. This cannot be accomplished by putting statistics against creativity; rather, combining these two aspects will yield ideas worthy of acclaim. The future of marketing requires both technology and creativity.

121 is the Fastest day-to-day Design and Content Studio for many global Fortune 500 companies. We adapt and implement your global campaigns to suit and comply with all your outlets’ requirements while also aligned with your brand’s equity delivering high-quality solutions at superior Speed while remaining cost-effective; from Social & E-comm content, graphic design, digital implementation to integrated production, using both data and creativity to boost your global campaigns.

121 will work with you to grow your brand while giving you peace of mind. We aim to help you achieve your brand’s objective, not to compete against your creative, strategic, or In-House agencies. We genuinely believe that we can play a significant role in your success.

Creativity

Designing for the Shelf is not enough

Nowadays, a ferocious competence takes place, old tactics seem obsolete, and you need to have more than a big name to outperform in the market; the rise of products in the United Kingdom against regular brands pictures the state of affairs. So, which differentiators are making people choose one product over the other? Take note.

The power of Influencers.

As recently in the UK’s household market and not precisely the cause of a direct influencer marketing strategy, or because they are getting paid for, influencers are backing own-label brands with their product reviews; This has impacted positively sales for own-label products thanks to Mrs. Hinch and the young people demographic who watch her reviews.

Influencer marketing is nothing new, with big brands from all markets capitalizing on the reputation of social media personalities on a range of channels, such as Tik Tok or Instagram, to attract a broader audience, which can be an excellent opportunity for your brand.

All it takes is the proper collaboration with a relevant influencer, and your product will soar to new heights.

Emotional connection, building a stronger bond.

The key for your business and brands to grow is to make your product matter in peoples’ lives and preserve those values you have. Premiumization and personalization happen by adding value to your product, reflecting in the community loyalty.

For example, Xiaohongshu, a thriving lifestyle community platform with over 300 million users, started sharing the products they were buying overseas, usually luxury products. Over time, this developed more and more into a larger community and a place to purchase products.

And it’s a great example of how successful brands that make that emotional connection in consumers’ lives are those that combine community and personalization. However, brands must take care of their premium side, as well as their reputation because they can become tomorrow’s commodity.

Personality and Humanized brands.

Your brand’s Personality is essential when you have many competitors; as humans, outstanding personalities attract us; if a brand lacks one, it will remain an average one; if it does, it will induce brand loyalty, and for instance, people will not be influenced by competence even if there’s a better price in between.

Hone your brand’s personality public perception according to the five types of the brand personality framework and don’t miss the opportunity to make it stand out; for example, Tik Tok falls under the umbrella of excitement, and Apple in the sophistication one.

Brand experience & authenticity

If a Brand is like a person, then its experience refers to the relationship you have with customers, how you interact with them in the long term, and the holistic perception this brings, which eventually translates to commercial ROI.

However, stick true to your brand’s authenticity; for 86% of consumers, authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.

Lego consistently creates a fantastic experience for customers before, during, and after their transactions has earned the honor to be one of the top authentic brands.

Price & E-commerce solutions

Although the price might remain an obvious differentiator, the price differential is particularly noticeable for people looking for coupons, bogofs, and all kinds of discounts; however, they still look for quality, so the price-quality ratio remains at peoples’ top mind;

People might choose own-label products over brands, but the price difference is not that big; this can affect the product; however, many people choose, while rushing so they don’t have time to focus on other differentiators brands have to offer other than price.

Following the sustainability trend.

Eco-friendly and sustainability-related consumer items are currently growing roughly six times faster than other brands, and 73% of global consumers indicated they would definitely modify their consumption patterns to decrease their environmental effect.

In the UK’s Household market, sustainability is one of the two key drivers for growth across the toilet tissue category this year.

More than half of customers (52%) feel they emotionally connect to items or organizations they consider sustainable. Brands like Adidas make this a definite trend with its most recent “Run for the Oceans” program.

You must feed your e-content daily and provide originality to your brand; it must feel like a person and not a robot; You must be relevant and, at the same time, have a personality: we can arrange that and give a change of look; if designing for the Shelf is not enough, we are that powerful tool that helps global brands have an impressive amount of content. 

From Social & E-comm content, graphic design, digital implementation to integrated production, 121 will work with you to grow your brand while giving you peace of mind. We aim to help you achieve your brand’s objective, not to compete against your creative, strategic, or In-House agencies. We adapt and implement your global campaigns to suit and comply with your outlets’ requirements while also aligned with your brand’s equity. We can play a significant role in your success.

Business

The future of E-Commerce after the vaccine

2020 was sure a year to remember, not only because the pandemic hit us worldwide, but also because it was a year of transformation. We were forced to stop and take a step back. We started reflecting on what is important to us and realizing that nothing was going to be the same as before. 

Behaviors changed for everyone. We moved from eating out to cooking at home, from partying, to enjoying quality family time and from rushing to the nearest store, to buying online. And we see this behavioral shift in a booming 10 year growth in E-commerce happening in just 90 days.

Nevertheless, vaccination is becoming available, and brick and mortar shopping is, little by little, plunging back to normal, so how are these changes going to affect E-Commerce? Is E-Commerce on the verge of an exponential decrease? 

Not quite. 

COVID-19 has undoubtedly left us with a growing desire to escape from our homes, but we are still wary on doing activities we used to do before, and one of those activities is going to an in-store shopping. 

Due to the safety and convenience E-commerce brings to the table, it is becoming a default activity in our daily lives. In a research done in the UK market, 42% of people surveyed said that they will continue to shop online more frequently, even after the outbreak is over. It’s considered that this behavior will persist, but not to the same degree as last year, and all of this depends on the customer satisfaction with the E-Shopping experience. 

With new opportunities come new responsibilities. 

More and more E-shoppers are appearing every day, meaning there’s a new window for opportunities, as well as challenges that force E-shops to innovate and create better solutions for not only attracting new customers, but to keep the existing ones loyal. It’s crucial for companies to implement strategies that will retain their clients and stay relevant in its growing E-commerce competitive market. 

Time for uniqueness. 

E-Commerce companies have to be on the lookout of solutions that match the needs of immediacy, simplicity and convenience to their customers. Nowadays, people have the total control of their shopping and are continuously looking for E-shops that will fulfill their expectations, so it’s up to the companies to keep up with them. 

Build a robust omnichannel customer experience: – More and more people are turning to mobile shopping. Having your site responsive is a must if you don’t want customers to leave (if a site takes more than 5 seconds, the bounce rates will increase at 22.2%). Cultivate direct shopper relationships in every touchpoint, be active in social media with relevant content, have a quick response when help is needed and a quick checkout process are also effective ways to create retention. 

Loyalty programs at its best: – When it comes to E-shop, 75% of customers will only buy once in the same online store, so having a loyalty program is very important if we want people to come back. From creating a point or referrals system like Sephora, to free delivery and special offers, there are so many ways you can create an original top-of-the-line program in your E-Commerce sites that will keep customers happy and loyal. 

Everything has changed, but we are still optimistic that by giving you solutions such as content and fast up-to-date optimizations for your E-Commerce, we will make sure that your customers have a strong, trustworthy relationship with your company that will perdure in time, even when that time is hard.

Brands

Creativity: The non-negotiable ingredient

Creativity! What is creativity exactly? Agencies worldwide take the challenge to take Fortune 500 companies’ brand materials and communication to the next level. Creativity is one of those things that not everyone can actually put into words. So, what does it mean to be creative?

Bestselling author and journalist Daniel Pink says Creativity is “Giving the world something it didn’t know it was missing.”

Steal Like an Artist author, Austin Kleon defines Creativity as “Taking what’s in front of you and everybody else and making something new out of it.

Today we associate Creativity with so much more. We think about imagination, ingeniousness, Innovation, invention, and originality. As Entrepreneur magazine states, Creativity is the best solving tool there is, and we agree entirely. Advertising is about reaching your target audience with audacity. Consumers want to see ads they actually like. We all love a good campaign. It makes us want to share it and participate in it.

CPG Power brands are cautious about messing with their brand’s equity. Implementation must be done creatively but without disturbing the brand’s guidelines.
This is why brands develop strict brand books so that every agency that manipulates their materials doesn’t generate different materials that don’t go along well. Can you imagine hundreds of agencies deforming a power brand’s logo? It would be too painful to watch!

Creativity on Adapting Global Campaigns (without losing a brand’s identity)

Global advertising and creative agencies such as IPG, GROUP M, Publicis, WPP Group, Dentsu, among others, take months to develop truly mindblowing campaigns. However, implementation agencies are in charge of adapting global campaigns into regional and seasonal materials.

Creativity shouldn’t be lost on adaptation. On the contrary, a good dose of it should be injected into materials. Ask our designers. We have loooots of fun delivering attractive pieces of content.

Old Spice, a Procter & Gamble brand, is known for its irreverent campaigns. The iconic “Hello Ladies” has resulted in hundreds of campaigns that will always give you a good laugh. We know we do. We have a lot of fun while adapting and developing engaging ad materials for social and e-comm channels.

Mucinex, Reckitt Benckiser’s flu remedy, is most certainly a fun brand to work with thanks to Mr. Mucus, the star we love to dismiss from their ads. KY, also from RB, is vibrant and creative. Having both a line for women and men makes them stand out because of their bold and unapologetic communication. Consumers find it genuine and playful, good to know, considering the nature of their brand.

Effective implementation is about providing artistic value on adaptation material, adding verbal, visual, and creative sound elements to elevate a brand’s communication. Creativity is not always valued at first. However, taking it into account will make campaigns more appealing as they roll out, and consumers get to appreciate our work.

Speed and Agility: A match made in heaven

Agility & Speed are not the same. Being agile means always in a position to take account of market changes and act on them. Speed is something we were born with, not be that braggy. Improving a consumer’s omnichannel experience over time is something brands should consider. Marketing teams must take so much change into the equation.

Brand Managers and Marketers require their agencies to deliver on very, very, veryyyyy short notice. Let’s just say we’ve developed entire product range adaptations in less than 24 hours. Its an arduous task, but we are ready to get our hands busy.

The world, as we knew it changed. Today brands require creativity if they want to stand out on social media, A+ pages, and every major e-commerce platform. Online Seasonal Sales have stolen the spotlight from brick and mortar stores. 

At 121, we swear by our speed, our reputation precedes us as we are a reliable partner delivering POS and Packaging design as well as Web Solutions. Today we do so much more than that. 2020 propelled us immensely into the world of content. Social and e-comm are booming right now, and our clients started demanding astonishing amounts of it in a blink of an eye. Let’s make great things happen!

Brands

Speed: How to embrace digital marketing

Today we find ourselves surfing all day for all the kinds of content you can ever imagine. People are streaming movies and series, looking at memes, reading celebrity gossip, playing video games, listening to music, podcasts, and let’s not forget, staying up to date with the news.

As the population has more time on their hands, 87% of U.S. consumers say they’re consuming more content online than ever. According to Global Web Index (G.W.I.), around 80% of consumers in the U.S. and U.K. say they are consuming more content since the outbreak. YouTube and TikTok described as being favorite across genders and generations.

DIGIDAY says that advertisers are currently moving away from traditional Tv advertising because, in these times, they’re just not willing to commit to spending so far in advance. Shifting to online advertising has its benefits. Even though content has to be generated at a speed of light, sharing new and fresh content is what it takes to stay relevant to your audience.

Whether business owners like it or not, these past months have increased consumers’ online presence. It’s a grave mistake not to go digital right now, it can even be fatal to many small and medium businesses if they don’t willingly adapt.

You should think twice before slaughtering your marketing budget.

1. E-comm, enhanced marketplaces.

Amazon is cashing in. We know, it’s no surprise to us either. 2020 Q1 Earnings boosted up a whopping 24.5% compared to the industry’s average growth of 2.7%. According to Comscore, Amazon’s website hit 2.54 billion visitors only in March 2020.

If you are already selling on Amazon, you should step up your A+ Page game. “Adding A+ to your product detail pages can result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales when used effectively.” – Amazon seller central.

Another retailer that cashed in due to mayor updates is Walmart, who recently surpassed eBay in e-commerce sales thanks to their considerable improvement on their web page and shopping app.

Target has also joined the high ranks club, for the past two years, they had already had their focus set on high-merchandising as well as express delivery and curbside pick-up arrangements can say they were on the right track well before the crisis hit.

Home Depot is also expected to see a considerable 38% increase due to their digital sales mixed with in-store pick-up.

Some brands are reporting sales similar to the ones on shopping holidays such as Black Friday. Spending is going particularly up on items such as exercise equipment, bread machines, kitchenware, and health supplements.

Online retailers must be careful only to share quality product images and compositions. With the use of CGI’s brands can generate quality material at a fraction of the time. Employing CGIs will not limit the angles of your product shots. Sharing content on your e-commerce site was never easier.

Even though consumer behavior has changed, this doesn’t mean they aren’t spending. It’s essential to be up to date on consumer trends so you can invest your marketing budget accordingly in the most promising categories on your niche.

Forbes says that a brand’s customer experience is going to depend a lot on the look and feel of the customer-facing app. In the world of digital marketing, a brand can only make a strong impression by having even stronger content. Developing attractive digital assets is worth giving a try.

2. Stay social, stay connected.

The digital disruption that’s ben recently going on due to worldwide stay at home orders might be here to stay. People cannot touch, try on, and feel the products brands are selling. So, it is been up to brands to keep things fresh and step up their social game as well as partnering with the right people.

“Facebook has seen a 50% increase in messaging, Instagram usage is up 40%, and Twitter’s monetizable daily active users has spiked 23%”- Forbes.

Aerie closed its stores across the U.S. and Canada for the time being; however, they wasted no time jumping on Tik Tok. In just two weeks, Aerie spiked their following. Introducing challenges and getting their followers to participate. They are one of the few fashion brands actually putting money in for their digital campaigns. McCormick and E.L.F. Cosmetics have also been successful by taking this route.

When Levi’s partner on social commerce, they doubled their product views.

Brands are attempting to foster a sense of community through virtual social gatherings, sharing stories with their audience regularly, and inviting their consumers to participate in creative initiatives.

According to HBSWK, 89% of consumers want brands focusing on producing goods that can help people with pandemic-related challenges. But beware of sharing bad advice, fact-check your claims and point to respected health organizations.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. You must be sensitive to your content, but don’t be afraid to sell. Acknowledging the crisis rather than ignoring it is the way to go.

Consumers do want to hear from you, don’t you dare ghost them, or you shall deal with the consequences. Leaning into digital and connecting with customers will likely have lasting effects.

3. Video, Rockstar of digital content.

Creativity and high personalization must reign among your video content. To gain the consumer’s attention and maintain high levels of engagement, companies need to hire experts. Only exceptional marketers are capable of keeping a high volume of content output that resonates with their audiences. Quality design plays a vital role in extraordinary visuals.

The human’s attention span currently stops at eight valuable seconds if you didn’t connect with your viewer in that small lapse, you are doomed. Marketers have the quest to build unique and advanced experiences that will be of value to the target.

Thanks to data consumption stats, we can now highly personalize content for our audiences depending on age group, interests, location, and browsing history. Tailored content leaves a better impression on anyone. Think about it; you don’t want to be getting the same Christmas card from your Nonna, as your average human cousins, you expect her to address you as the one and only favorite grandchild.

Challenges, tutorials, webinars, you name it, video is the easiest most effective way of getting your messages across. However, it is said that around 20% of the people who start watching a YouTube video leave after only 10 seconds of viewing. Talk about engagement.

Soon X.R. ads will be playing mainstream across platforms. A mix of virtual and augmented reality will make consumers’ content consumption highly immersive. Papa John’s reached a 25% conversion rate employing an X.R. campaign. Users could order a pizza within Snapchat’s app.

Brands are having to go ahead with their product launches, and they are embracing full-on digital from virtual fragrance pop-ups to V.R. shoe releases.

Because some are pulling out their ads, today is the best time to go into video content and adds, rates are going down, and you can get more exposure. Remember to be true to your brand and to share genuine and creative content.

Speed is our core

Doing digital marketing right is a combination of creativity, empathy, and speed.

Times are uncertain, planning that much ahead is just isn’t an option. Social media strategy must be responsive and very flexible nowadays.

Advertising is no longer about interrupting but about interacting. Keeping up with generating content doesn’t have to be a hassle.

In 121, we understand that marketplaces move at an unforeseen pace, and we can reassure you that we are ready to create and design content worth sharing faster than anyone else.