Greetings from New York City where this past weekend has been a holiday packed festival with events across the city.
Summer is here.
This past weekend was packed with three unrelated holidays in New York City:
- The Mermaid Parade, a Coney Island Brooklyn mainstay of summer, was back for the first time since 2019 to celebrate its 40th Anniversary;
- Father’s Day, the time to celebrate dads everywhere; and
- Juneteenth (June 19th), now a federal holiday in the US celebrating the freeing the last slaves in Texas in 1865, 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
For me, the excitement is NFT.NYC which starts today. I’m jumping in with both feet to learn more about this evolving format that’s about to change the online landscape to accelerate the changes for Web 3.0.
In its third year, NFT.NYC is so big that it’s spread out across a number of New York City venues in Times Square and Radio City Music Hall at Rockefeller Center.
The event hosts recommended showing up on Monday to pick up your event ID at the Marriott Marquis. While they tried to limit NFT.NYC traffic to the escalators at the Marquis, the path to get your ticket was well defined and orderly, especially by New York City standards.
They even had a room filled with swag. By the time I showed up mid-afternoon, much of the merchandise was gone.
Unlike a lot of conferences and events I attend, NFT.NYC has a fresh feel. It reminds me of the early Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 events where people had lots of new ideas. Hopefully this event has that excitement combined with real business models.
I’ll let you know more about NFTs and the events next week.
Marketing Lesson of The Week
► How Do You Compete Against Tech Monopolies?
After seeing John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight video about Tech Monopolies, I feel it’s very important to bring to your attention.
Because, as marketers and businesses, we spend lots of time and money trying to figure out how we can get our carefully crafted content and well designed products and services to appear on the device our prospect chooses to use.
Yet, having spent long hours researching and working with these firms, I know that the game is rigged worse than any casino in Las Vegas. As a business, especially startups, you pay a premium to get access to these platforms either in the form of advertising or a revenue share.
Even worse, as individuals, we readily give up our personal data including other indirect information without a second thought.
Despite the fact that Big Tech spells it out in their voluminous Terms and Conditions (or T and C for short) it would take days and possibly a law degree to understand what you’re signing away. So like most people, you quickly click the box Yes.
You may even use Google, Facebook or other site to sign you into other third party sites. Yes it’s much simpler that way but this allows these third party players to gain greater access to your personal information.
Having worked at a major US bank developing a CRM and a CMS system, employees had to change their passwords once a month. But the password change requirements were so strict that most employees just wrote them on a post-it stuck to their computer screen.
Many of these platforms may say that they won’t sell your information. But what they don’t tell you is that they use this information across their organization and to train other products and other forms of technology.
For some products and advertising, they’re the only game in town even if they take a toll in terms of advertising and/or fees.
But worse and harder to fight if you’re a David-size company is the way that these MegaTech companies tip the scales in their favor based solely on how they design their pages to favor sending you to other parts of their organization or to buy their products.
The bill would ban Big Tech companies from favoring their own services in an anticompetitive way. (Source: Axios June 2022)
- For example, Apple would have to allow apps to use their own payment systems.
- Amazon could not preference its in-house label products over third-party sellers’.
- Google could not surface its reviews over others in search results.
While MegaTech and related organizations are spending millions to bury this bill, the reality is that most marketers and businesses are unaware of it or the related problems.
And, time is running out to do something about it. As John Oliver points out, at one point everyone thought AT&T was too big to break up. Yet doing so has allowed a diverse set of products to exist.
At a minimum, take the time to view Oliver’s explanation. It makes the point in an eloquent manner. (Of course, it helps to have a big traditional media budget.)
Then read this piece by the always smart, Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz and Sparktoro.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Contact your senators and congresspeople to show you care if you’re a US resident.
► Why Add Voice to Your Business Strategy?
Before you read this and think, you’re late to the voice game. Take a deep breath. Realize that voice remains an evolving marketplace of devices and functions.
While the major players like Apple with Siri, Amazon with Alexa and Google with Google Assistant and Android have moved fast and created walled gardens.
Marketers and users must play within their space by their rules using their functionality.
Unlike Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, there’s no common language or equivalent of an URL. So from a marketing point of view, you must build your audience from scratch in each forum. In addition, you must be approved or certified to become part of their catalog of content.
Often, this translates to a combination of advertising on their platform and cross promotion from non-voice platforms. Ideally use your owned media so your costs are effectively free. Also, you need to keep the people who listen to your content coming back for more or your initial investment yields no payback.
But fret not!
3 Ways To Add Voice To Your Business Strategy
Here are the 3 ways to enhance your business through the use of voice.
1. Voice humanizes and differentiates your brand.
There’s nothing like the sound of the human voice to set your audience at ease and add personality to your brand.
Voice is an important part of Sonic Branding. It’s defined as the development of strategy and use of aural sound experience associated with your brand.
The 3 key sonic branding elements are:
- Voice is any sound produced by a person.
- Ambient consists of non-human sounds that exist in your environment.
- Music includes both vocal and/or instrumental sounds.
Depending on your business and offering of products and services, you can use only one form of branding elements or a combination of them. The key is to make sure that your brand is heard across devices, platforms and contexts.
Like visual and text branding, extend the process you used to create your original brand. For many brands, this may involve extending the initial branding exercises to audio and sounds Further, it may include enhancing your marketing persona so you can understand what sounds your audience expects your brand to make.
As with any form of branding, to succeed, use your sonic brand consistently across devices, platforms and media. The more your target audience hears your brand, the more likely they are to remember it.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Reassess your existing branding and related documents to ensure that they’re aligned with your current audience. Understand that people’s habits changed during the pandemic.
- Re-imagine your marketing persona. Include voice and audience expectations by actually talking to them.
2. Voice expands your market to be available when people have the time or want to hear your content and makes it more accessible
One of the biggest benefits of voice is that it extends your potential audience in two key ways.
First, providing voice or audio content allows your audience to not only time-shift it to periods where they have time to listen to information. While as marketers we’re used to time-shifting across an array of devices and content formats.
But, for voice, this time-shifting is different.
Because voice allows your audience to also consume content while they’re doing something else. I call this dual consumption.
As a result, people don’t necessarily use voice in the way you may have thought.
Voice becomes a secondary activity for an array of mundane tasks where the listener can focus on your content on the device of their choice in the context of their choice.
Realize that your listener may want a choice of how to listen to your content. Specifically, they may want the entire thing or have it presented in a different, more engaging way.
For example, a colleague of mine worked for a major telecom where they produced white papers. Instead of hiring voice talent to read the content, a group of senior executives had a discussion about the key issues.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Assess your existing non-audio content to determine the best way to transform it into voice formats. Your choices include creating long audio content, series of shorter voice content with appropriate metadata to increase findability or transform content into new options that engage the listener better.
- Transform video content into audio content by removing the images. Then edit it to ensure that it makes sense to the listener.
- Distribute your existing audio content across different platforms, devices and contexts. Make your audio content easier to find and listen to.
3. Voice improves your offering of products and services as well as your customer experience (CX)
Did you realize that you can use voice via a variety of devices to extend your product and service offering?
This enhances your business’s unique offering as shown in the image below by Philip Kotler. By doing this, you’ve enhanced your offering so that it’s no longer just the core product which leaves you competing on price. This is a losing game since some company will always be willing to beat your price.
At the same time, voice adds to the customer experience by providing help through the entire customer journey. While it helps to use a consistent voice or in combination with video, it provides the information prospects, buyers and end-users need to understand how to use your offering on their own.
Actionable Voice Marketing Tips
- Create all of the content relevant to products and services at the same time. Then break it into smaller chunks that can be used in the pre-sale and post-sales periods.
- Include QR codes and links to your audio content across your owned media and in the related purchase and post-purchase emails. This helps end-users get started using your products.
NYC Marketing Minute
► Mermaid Parade
This parade exemplifies a truly local holiday. It has grown over 40 years to extend to the 5 boroughs of New York City and beyond. Crowds jam the narrow streets to enjoy the party atmosphere.
An original Coney Island creation, the Mermaid Parade was founded in 1983 with 3 goals:
- To brings mythology to life for local residents living on Mermaid and Neptune Streets in Brooklyn;
- To build self-esteem and creativity in an often overlooked district; and
- To let New Yorkers express themselves creatively in public.
Focused on celebrating the ancient watery mythology and seaside rituals, the Mermaid Parade is a summer solstice celebration that has grown over the years.
As one the largest art parades in the US, the Mermaid Parade showcases over 3,000 creative individuals. While participants dress in hand-made costumes based on themes and categories, you have to register to participate. Participants work hard on their costumes and floats.
Actionable Marketing Lesson
Create a reason to make your local community a destination just as the Mermaid Parade did. It’s grown over the years in terms of the number of people who make costumes and floats to participate in the parade as well as the number of people who view the parade.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Expand your revenue streams. Participants must register and pay to be in the official parade. This ensures a revenue base.
- Get local sponsors including the media. For example, “The Mermaid Parade Ball” is the official after-party at the Coney Island Brewery. It’s a must-attend since that’s where the officials announce the winners across categories. General tickets are priced at $25 and VIP Tickets are priced at $75.
- Build your multi-platform PR and awareness. Using the hashtag #Mermaidparade2022 was visible across social media. Further, there was outreach across local media outlets since the parade provides colorful photos. (For some tastes, they’re not always family-friendly.)
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads.
Check out hese useful tips from the dads of top marketing pros.
Last year, Juneteenth which celebrates the end of slavery in the US, became a national holiday.
While the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the southern US, Juneteenth commemorates the day that Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and freed the remaining slaves there in 1865.
Learn from leading content entrepreneur, Joe Pulizzi, and his team at The Tilt.
New Course: Exploring Web 3.0
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Create your powerful personal brand with expert Mark W. Schaefer
August 2nd through August 18th, 2022
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► MAICON 2022 – August 3-5th, 2022 in Cleveland, OH.
The Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON), returns to an in-person event this year. Check out MAICON’s schedule of upcoming webinars.
♦ ♦ Special AMG reader discount: Get $150 off — Use code:AMG150 ♦ ♦
► VOICE22 – October 10-13th, 2022 in Arlington, VA.
The market for Voice/AI solutions is growing exponentially. This conference brings together the top people working to transform the user experience.
► THREE – October 10-13th, 2022 in Arlington, VA.
This conference, brought together by Modev, focuses on the $2T digital transformation market being driven by Web3, Blockchain and the Metaverse.
► MarketingProfs B2B Forum – October 12-14th, 2022 in Boston.
Ann Handley brings B2B back to Boston with 49 Sessions. 4 Keynotes. Immeasurable Connections (and Shenanigans).
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