It's Rhyme Time
Marketers are missing out because of a fear of being different.
Humans often avoid employing effective tactics just because they’re scared to look silly, and marketers’ aversion to rhyming ads is one prominent example.
By Richard Shotton 4 Oct 2018 7:30 am
Rick Barry is a basketball legend, one of the best short forwards ever. Nicknamed the Miami Greyhound for his speed and slight frame, he scored more than 25,000 points in his career.
There was one area in particular where he excelled: taking free throws. He converted 90% of his shots – the best performance ever when he retired in 1980.
The 6’ 7” player attributes his success to a rarely used technique. In stark contrast to other athletes he held the ball between his legs and threw it underhand. You can watch him in action here:
Despite the success of this technique it is used by almost no other players; instead they deride it as ‘granny style’. This poses a conundrum: why would professionals not adopt an effective tactic?
The answer becomes clearer when you consider the comments of other players.
Prioritising ego over resultsOne of Barry’s team mates, Wilt Chamberlain, dabbled with the technique but despite his scoring record improving he soon reverted to the standard approach. In Chamberlain’s words: “I felt silly, like a sissy shoots underhand. I knew it was wrong. I know some of the best shooters in history shoot that way.”
Chamberlain wasn’t a one-off. When it was suggested to Shaquille O’Neal, a great player who struggled with free throws, that he should shoot ‘granny style’ he snarled: “I’d rather shoot zero.”
READ MORE: Richard Shotton: The ‘safest’ ads are at greatest risk of going unnoticed
It seems that players have dual motivations – to maximise results but to also impress their peers. In the words of commentator, Michael Lebowitz: “Rick Barry’s ‘granny’ shooting style offers stark illustrations about how human beings guard their egos and at times do imprudent things in order to be viewed favourably by their peers and the public. It is this protective behavioural trait, rooted in the fear of being different, that frequently weighs on our ability to make decisions that are in our best interests.”
Marketing’s Rick Barry problemInterestingly, marketing suffers from a similar problem. Sometimes choices are made in the interests of the decision maker’s ego rather than a dispassionate evaluation of what will be most effective.
One area where this is apparent is in the declining use of rhyme in advertising. Alex Boyd and I analysed copies of The Times and the Sun newspapers, stretching back to 1977. We found that in the last decade, the number of ads with a prominent rhyme has halved; since 2007 about 4% of print ads have included a rhyme, compared to 10% in the previous years.
Just as with the case of underarm shooting, this unpopularity is despite clear evidence of its effectiveness.
The academic evidenceIn 1999 Matthew McGlone and Jessica Tofighbakhsh, psychologists at Lafayette College, asked 60 students to rate the comprehensibility and accuracy of 30 aphorisms. However, the students didn’t all receive the same aphorisms.
Each group received a slightly doctored list of sayings. Some rhymed, while others were tweaked so they didn’t. In both cases the meaning was the same, only the rhyme changed. For example, one group heard that “What sobriety conceals, alcohol reveals”, while the remainder learned that, “What sobriety conceals, alcohol unmasks.”
The results were stark. Rhyming sayings were rated as 22% more accurate than non-rhyming ones. The academics attributed the greater power to the “enhanced processing fluency” of the rhyming aphorisms.
What should we do?The advertising implications from the Lafayette study are clear: if you want your strapline to be believed, rhyme is a powerful tool to help.
Agencies often advise clients to take risks with their advertising. Perhaps we should take that advice to heart and be prepared to risk our image among our peers.
SEP 24, 2018
In this age of dominant giant online retailers, aggressive competitors, consumer marketing overload and dubious customer loyalty, retailers and other online brands need to build meaningful, long-term relationships with customers in order to survive and thrive. These consumer-focused strategies require lots of data — which most online businesses already have available — and an intelligent way to find the actionable insights hiding within the data. Read on to discover a number of best practices actually used by successful brands in order to leverage their data to increase customer loyalty, spend and lifetime value.
1. Identifying the most effective offers
An online women’s lingerie retailer identified the exact customer segments that generated the best ROI for each of the following offers: “Buy 1, Get 1 Free,” “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” and “Free Shipping.” Using these insights, the brand has optimized their campaigns to deliver the most effective offer to each individual customer, maximizing both short-term revenues and customer lifetime value.
2. Identifying the most valuable first purchase categories
The same lingerie retailer identified the first-purchase product categories that generate the highest future value for different customer segments. By encouraging customers to make their initial purchases from these categories, along with sending each one the most effective of the aforementioned offers, the brand increased its direct relationship marketing revenue by 15 percent, multiplied its number of active customers by 2.3x and increased average order value by 22 percent.
3. Prioritizing product preference variations
A subscription meal delivery company identified variations in meal category selection within the first 30 days as being strongly predictive of very high customer future value. The company then automated their engagement strategy to encourage customers to diversify their order categories as early as possible.
4. Recognizing the value of product ratings
This meal delivery company also surfaced the insight that customers who rate their meals — regardless of rating level — exhibit dramatically higher future value. The brand has since implemented automated strategies to increase the number of customers who rate their meals. Following this insight among others, the brand’s relationship marketing automation efforts have increased average order value by 64 percent, increased customer LTV by 19 percent and decreased customer churn by 22 percent.
5. Identifying an optimal discount level
An online cosmetics retailer identified a 5 percent discount level as optimal for maximizing spend and customer future value while minimizing revenue cannibalization due to excessive discounting. Interestingly, customers who received the smallest discounts (up to 5 percent) exhibited higher future value than both those who had received high discount levels (10 percent +) and those who had been given no discounts at all.
6. Recognizing first-purchase amount as an indication of future behavior
This cosmetics retailer also identified customer segments comprised of new customers who exhibit a higher likelihood of coming back for a second purchase, based primarily on first-purchase amount. The brand subsequently built a CRM strategy to segment and treat these customers differently, resulting in significant increases in purchase frequency, spend levels and lifetime value.
7. Prioritizing early cross-selling
The same cosmetics retailer surfaced the insight that people purchasing from multiple product categories in their first two orders have significantly higher future value over the long term than customers who purchased from within a single category. This was a counter-intuitive observation, given that short-term customers who made two purchases from the same category initially spent more. This insight demonstrated the importance of early cross-selling efforts for this brand, something they are now leveraging via timely product recommendation campaigns.
8. Using platform preference as an indicator
An online fashion retailer analyzed its customer data to reveal that customers using the retailer’s iOS app spent 76 percent more during their first year, compared with all other customers. This insight has led the brand to now automate a differentiated customer communications strategy based on platform preference.
9. Predicting and preventing churn
The same fashion retailer analyzed purchase patterns among different segments in their customer database. By focusing on individual customers’ purchase frequency among other attributes, they were then able to use this information to build individualized risk-of-churn predictions.. With a much more segmented and accurate understanding of churn probability, the company has succeeded in increasing customer loyalty through personalized churn-prevention campaigns.
10. Utilizing usage to indicate an ideal conversion point
A video streaming platform used customer modeling to surface the point at which subscribers over-use the service, creating a burn-out effect that leads to customer churn. By identifying this inflection point, the brand has been able to target their customers at the exact best time to maximize loyalty and grow their active customer base.
Click here for original article on glossy.co
Taking the leap...
Wow, it’s been just over 1 full year since I have taken the leap into the unknown; off the cliff without a net.
Having a secure job with a great paycheck was what I thought was right for me. I was providing for my family in the way I believed was necessary: Contributing to the day-to-day expenses, having that extra money to splurge on that yearly vacation, doing a little spontaneous shopping and putting away for the kids’ college.
Reflecting back on that time, I realize I was only checking the boxes and was pretty unhappy. I was in a job that I did not like. I didn’t like it, because it wasn’t challenging, I wasn’t growing anymore, the company was stagnated, the culture was even worse, and I was giving them more of me than I was giving to my family. I would leave my house at 7:30 AM and get home at 6:30-7:30 PM. I missed birthdays, school plays, holidays etc.… I could grasp missing some of those milestones if I loved what I was doing, but I didn’t.
So, with the support of my husband & trust of some amazing colleagues of mine, I took that leap. Earlier I mentioned that I leaped without a net. What I realize now is that I do have a net; I have a network of some pretty incredible people in my life that I have been building for over 20 years. It is because of their trust and support that I have been able to embark on this journey of living a fulfilled life where I am challenged every day by supporting my clients’ needs. I am continuously motivated to work with them and provide them with the solutions they need to help them achieve their goals. I’m thankful for the diversity of projects and clients I’ve had, and most importantly, I am grateful for the work-life balance this journey is providing for me and my family. I couldn’t do this without setting goals and creating a plan. Thank you Lisa Hart Consulting for giving me the big picture thinking and tools that I need to help develop my plan.
As for my net that I’ve leaped into, a.k.a. Network of incredible people and companies, I want to say THANK YOU for believing in me…
On Air Sales & Marketing, LLC – your business is like non-other, when it comes to bringing products into QVC, establishing relationships within those walls and setting your clients up for success, you are simply the best. You always go above and beyond and it shows in your accomplishments. I am proud to be working alongside you on some of these endeavors.
On Air Direct, Inc. – I see why you are the go-to source when it comes to warehousing, distribution and fulfillment. Whether it’s for a huge conglomerate or a small start-up, your professionalism, attention to detail, technology and service automatically lead to success. I am amazed by your ability to handle the mass distribution of thousands of skus at once while not losing focus on your drop ship orders that require onesie and twosie orders. This attention to detail is evident in your constant expansion of warehouse square footage.
Resident Theatre Company - What an incredible year we’ve had! It has been a true honor to serve you during your journey from small idea to local phenomenon. From planning fundraising parties to creating marketing campaigns that helped sellout the inaugural mainstage run of Spamalot. We have connected with Chester County’s finest through media sponsorships with Greater Philadelphia publications: Main Line Today, Fig Industries, Vista.Today.com & County Lines Magazines. Plus, we forged great partnerships with West Chester BID, Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, Chester County Chamber or Business & Industry and Main Line Chamber of Commerce – To see all of these organizations come together to support Professional New York Theatre in Chester County has been an amazing experience. Congratulations for winning The Best of the Main Line and best of luck at this year’s Barrymore awards.
Nobowl – It has been exciting to witness how you are helping cats become healthier and happier around the globe. I know this brand is on to amazing things in your future. I’m looking forward to the next QVC airing when we will knock it out of the park. Congratulations on your new partnership with the @76ers Innovation Lab. It’s doesn’t get much cooler than that!
cipE – The future is ours!! I’m looking forward to the innovation and cool products we will be bringing to market.
3rd ROE Media/ My BTFF – You have been incredible partners in this dream we are pursuing. I know we are on the verge of amazing things, from story development to new product assortments and building a digital gaming environment. This time is so exciting to be embarking into the children’s sector with so many awesome platforms to utilize from traditional to innovative platforms. “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great” T.H.
And to all of my clients, I know we have only just scratched the surface together and we have lots more to do! Thank you again for such an exciting year and being the net I needed for my leap off the cliff.