The Magic Bullet is Not Magic

8no1ANo matter how great your product is, if you are marketing to the wrong person and/or industry, you will have challenges. Identifying the right target audience is the most important thing you can do for your business and marketing. This market/customer fit, and the continual process to discover and rediscover the fit as times change, is the eternal task of business.

Some businesses have tight fits that make marketing relatively easy. For other businesses, we need to perform more trial and error between offers, content and targets, using various media, like 3rd party publishers, 1st party data, social media, email lists and others.

Don’t assume the marketplace cares about you (they don’t). Put in the time and effort to identify the right targets, reach them with creative, put them through a funnel and then sell.

The only thing you can count on is that the magic bullet is not magic. The latest algorithm, creative trick or marketing automation tech won’t solve your marketing problems. You need a human touch.

Why are you special?

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Getting marketing right requires a real understanding of why your product and company is unique. To help, Viewstream created a “Positioning Generator“. It’s the marketing team’s Mad Libs. Fill in the blanks based on the prompts provided and get your positioning statement. It’s sure to get you thinking, at least. This type of statement ought to be a default part of your messaging, communication and go-to market arsenal.

Check it out here:
http://viewstream.com/positioning-generator/

In between the panels…

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What can marketers learn from comic books?

Succinctly said, the power of comic and graphic novels occur in between the panels. Between panel A and panel B, a world of curiosity, sensibility and feeling is unlocked. It’s not what is said or shown, it’s what is not said or shown that is unique.

Think about that from a marketing perspective. How many times do we try to say too much about our product, solution or brand?

Comic books teach us to think about what occurs “in between the panels”. Say and show something creative. Then let your audience imagine. Let your audience translate their needs and desires into something our offering delivers.

What would happen if, for your next marketing project, instead of saying everything, you left some things for ‘in between the panels’?

Give it a shot and let me know how it works.

Digital-First Marketing Needs a Human Touch

Digital marketing for technology companies is fundamentally different than marketing for the non-technical industry. Although it sounds like a simple distinction, if we unpack it, we discover surprising insights.

A few months ago, I had some conversations at the digital marketing SoDA conference that opened my eyes to the differences between digital and traditional marketing ecosystems. I’ve been living in the tech industry so long, that a new perspective from outside the fishbowl was clarifying.

“As a digital marketer, what is the biggest challenge you face working with your clients?”

This seemed like an innocuous question when our workshop leader asked, but the answers I heard were surprising. Except for me, the unanimous answer was: We focus tremendous time and effort convincing clients to believe in digital-first marketing. Then we have to ensure that the digital-first approach is accepted and operationally integrated into the marketing organization.

What’s Different?

Traditional, mature companies like Coca Cola, Citibank, McKesson and Chevron completely understand how to communicate human feeling and value…

Read more of this blog post on Medium.com >>

Marketing Can Make or Break Your Business

Marketing Can Make or Break Your Business

We were recently asked to do a marketing audit by an investor of a troubled startup.

We.Software*, a young company offering software design services to healthcare companies, set forth to conquer the world. They had set aside a marketing budget of 100K per year over three years. Three years went by, but they didn’t get the traction.

When going back and analyzing the marketing spend by their marketing agency (a boutique agency based in Seattle), we noted that a full forty percent of the budget went to pure design related assets, like logo, website design and document assets.

STOP.

If your agency wants to spend forty percent of a budget on design related assets, please find a new agency.

At the start of a company, lean and agile approaches means spending very little on design assets and more on customer research and product marketing (things that actually grow your business).

  • For a logo, use a crowdsourced asset for an inexpensive logo.
  • For a website, use a WordPress template.

As your company matures, there will be a place for more significant spend on design and brand assets.

In the meantime, here are things that maybe wise to spend your budget on:

  • Explainer Videos:
    • Helps to communicate who you are and why you are different to prospects and employees.
  • Customer Research:
    • Spend budget on research that delivers tangible information about your customer – this is invaluable and ought to be an ongoing process.
  • Media Spend:
    • Despite popular wisdom, it is never too early to put your name out there.

Viewstream can help with any of these items, and we won’t ask you to spend a ton of money on design.

By the way, We.Software went out of business.

*Not the real name!

Viewstream Marketing Receives Highest Honors for Use of Graphics at the 2015 Telly Awards

Viewstream is thrilled to receive top honors at the 36th annual Telly Awards. The Telly Awards, a premier award honoring outstanding creative work in video and film productions, online commercials, video and films has presented our agency with two accolades this year. Of the nearly 12,000 entries, Viewstream was recognized for its creative work supporting the products and brands of some of the largest companies in the world.

We received a Silver Telly Awards – the highest honor – for our work with Autodesk Seek in the Online Webisodes, Segments, or Promotional Pieces – Use of Graphics category.

Autodesk Seek from Viewstream on Vimeo.

Additionally, a Silver Award was presented for Viewstream’s work for Adobe Media Optimizer in Online Commercial – Use of Graphics.

Adobe Media Optimizer from Viewstream on Vimeo.

We add these two new Silver recognitions to our collection of seven previous distinctions by the Telly Awards for our creative work in online videos for clients including Microsoft, Autodesk, Adobe and ERA Real Estate.

See our complete list of awards here

How to Get Better Marketing Results with Video Testimonials

How to Get Better Marketing Results with Video Testimonials

What matters to most potential customers is not what you say about your business, but what your existing customers have to say.

Video Testimonials are an effective marketing solution that communicates your value by demonstrating your offer in the real world. With strong Video Testimonials you can secure credibility, invigorate your sales cycle and span across multiple communications channels, all while you tell the success stories of your most valuable asset—your customer.

If you would like to know more about how Video Testimonials can help you drive home your marketing message, visit our Video Testimonials Resource Center linked below, which features eight example videos and case studies.

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Viewstream Marketing Recognized for Creative Excellence in Art Direction

Viewstream was recently presented with two 2014 Telly Awards in the Art Direction category. Our video for ERA Real Estate revealed the location of their 2015 International Business Conference (IBC15) to their global community at IBC14 this past March in Los Angeles.  The IBC15 Reveal video earned the highest honor of the Silver Telly Award. Additionally, a Bronze Award was presented for Viewstream work for Autodesk Point Layout in Internet/Online Video.

We were up against a lot of competition—12,000 entries from around the globe were submitted. Entrants included ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms. The winners were announced in New York on June 16.

All the work was judged by a panel of 500 Silver Telly Council members representing a variety of distinguished media, advertising and marketing firms. Each year, the council honors creative excellence for communications professionals across the world by recognizing the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio.

We’d like to congratulate all of our fellow Telly Award recipients and thank them for their important contributions to the industry.

Viewstream Discusses Skeuomorphic Design

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Here at Viewstream we are very interested in design trends. So one afternoon we put the entire company on pause to talk about a favorite topic — the future of skeuomorphism. Our design team gave an internal presentation that explored the rapid evolution of this design trend since touchscreens became an everyday part of our lives, from the first iPhone, to iOS 7, and beyond. We also discussed how skeuomorphism impacts our experience of User Interfaces and our senses of reality, objectivity, and perfection.

Check out the visual portion of our design team’s presentation here.