Greetings from New York City where the sun is shining!
This weekend, my husband and I returned from my West Virginia University speaking engagement by driving to Cape May, NJ, for a short beach vacation.
As carless New Yorkers, we learned first hand the challenges consumers face when they fill their vehicles with gasoline.
Thankfully, we had a small, energy-efficient car but we still made several stops to fill up. Each time we tried to find the lowest priced gas station and avoided the extra over-priced highway gas stations stops.
Yet, regardless of the brand or location, the price per gallon was eye-poppingly high. For a consumer who needs to use their vehicle on a regular basis, these increased gas prices put a big hole in their monthly budget.
What does this mean for marketers?
Your offering, both products and services, may move from being a weekly necessity to a “nice-to-have” treat. This applies to a wide range of products and how it has an impact on your business may depend on each customer’s consideration set for product solutions.
During periods when budgets are tight, I recommend the following:
- Assess your current marketing budget. Look at actual spend to-date and future commitments. During periods of downturn, senior management always looks to cut excess costs and marketing is often one of their first targets.
- Use every customer interaction to find out more about how your customers are changing their spending habits. Use analytics to surface changes in behavior. Also gather input from customer-facing employees.
- Continue non-promotional communications with your current audience. Adapt your communications and messaging across platforms to support and extend customers’ use of your product so they feel that they’re getting more value from your offering.
- Find co-marketing opportunities with businesses and organizations that target a similar audience but don’t directly compete with you. The key to success here is to reduce cash payments while you extend your marketing reach.
Marketing Lesson of The Week
► Why Voice Is A Game Changer
Today, I presented “Voice Marketing: How Getting your Business Heard Changes Your Content Strategy” as part of OmnichannelX to a largely European audience.
Most marketers don’t add voice to their marketing strategy and plans since voice still faces a number of stumbling blocks. That shouldn’t hold you back.
Most notable of these is the existence of walled voice-ecosystems. As a result, transform your voice content into a variety of formats to meet each systems’ particular needs. Or limit your potential audience to a specific system.
While it feels easy to remain on the voice marketing sidelines because it’s still the early stages of this form of technology—You’d be wrong!
► 3 Marketing Reasons Voice Is A Game-Changer
Marketing Reason 1: Voice Is Big And It’s Here To Stay
Technological advances tend to build on themselves, as a result, the rate of technological change happens at an exponential rate according to Kurtzweil’s “The Law of Accelerating Returns”. This translates to faster change since machines, most notably AI-driven technology, learn at increased speeds unlike humans.
Since voice-enabled technologies run on AI at some point in their processes, they continue to learn at faster and faster speeds.
Voice has moved beyond the early adopter phase and reaches a broader general population as shown by Capgemini Research.
During the pandemic the voice-enabled device adoption rate accelerated due to key human needs such as purchasing food, visiting medical professionals and staying in touch with family and friends.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Get early mover advantage. Start to test voice functionality to establish your foothold in this dynamic new space. This translates to being present and available across each of the different voice environments.
Marketing Reason 2: Voice Expands Your Potential Audience
As shown above, voice functionality is used across all age groups. The over-40 demographic continues to increase their use of voice-enabled devices. This makes sense since once people start to use voice-enabled devices they discover new ways to streamline their lives and routine tasks.
This has important marketing implications since these people have the resources to purchase and, often influence other purchases, even if they’re not the buyer.
Voice-enabled devices expand your potential audience since they allow people to time shift their content consumption.
Also, voice content enables people to engage in two different activities at the same time, known as “dual consumption”. As a result, people listen to your voice content while engaging in other activities.
Further, voice-enabled content helps your business to be ADA (or Adults With Disabilities Act) compliant. Voice-enabled devices allow you to reach both low vision or blind people as well as people with hearing difficulties.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Determine how your audience, especially your customers, use voice-enabled devices. Talk directly to your audience through your retail, sales and customer service staff.
Marketing Reason 3: Voice Can Re-package Existing Content
Re-envision existing content into voice content. It’s cost-effective.
Determine which approach works best based on your audience’s voice content needs and your existing content marketing format mix. Use a recent content audit and feedback from your audience regarding their voice-enabled device habits.
Also, produce audio files to meet each major voice platform’s standards.
The good news:
If you lack the necessary technology resources, low-cost third-party services can do this work for you.
Even better, regardless of the option you choose, transforming this content gives you a reason to repromote it across owned, social and third party media.
Actionable Content Marketing Tactics
- Start with existing audio or voice content. Convert these audio files to reach all of the relevant voice-enabled platforms and devices.
- Transform existing video content into audio format. Include all of your existing video. Remove the images and edit the files to create high quality voice content. Alternatively, create multiple atomized chunks of voice content and add metadata to help listeners find what they want.
- Prioritize text content to transform into voice format. Use your top articles based on analytics and/or key FAQ information about your offering. Decide who (employees, voice talent or existing robotic voice (such as Alexa or Siri)) will present your content.
► Why Two New York City Neighborhoods Combined
We returned to New York City to find that our Flatiron District Neighborhood was in the midst of a rebrand. Beyond its branding importance, location represents “Place” in the Marketing 4 Ps.
To be specific, the Flatiron District is combining with the lesser known NoMad to create Flatiron & NoMad.
As a marketer, rebranding isn’t an activity one takes lightly. When it involves a physical location, it may better serve the changing needs of the local neighborhood.
This rebrand relates to the expansion of the local BID (or Business Improvement District) on January 1, 2022. The goal is to provide services to a larger area.
One thing is for sure: In New York City, once a neighborhood turns hip and trendy it acquires a new name.
Anchored by its must-see namesake building, the Flatiron District is steeped in history.
By contrast, NoMad has a more mixed history as the more affluent homeowners and businesses migrated further north in the last century. Now the area boasts shiny new hotels and restaurants.
Combining the two areas allows them to pool their resources to attract more residents, visitors and tourists. This translates to higher profits. Already Madison Square addresses come with a steep price tag.
Actionable Brand Marketing Tip
- Pay attention and adapt to an area’s changing population and needs. For example, The Flatiron & NoMad BID includes a number of pedestrian walkways and public seating areas to attract people.
Cape May Marketing Minute
► How One Seaside Town Stands Out
Located on the Atlantic Ocean at Exit 0 of the Garden State Parkway, Cape May is America’s first seaside holiday destination. Cape May attracts beach lovers from nearby southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia area as well as people like us from longer distances.
Cape May has been a vacation spot since the Native American tribe known as the Lenape lived in Southern New Jersey. During the hottest months, they headed to the cool ocean breezes of Cape May to fish, hunt and gather food.
In 1878, Cape May experienced a massive fire that destroyed 30+ blocks of the town. While this was a tragedy and hardship in the short-term, it created an opportunity to improve the town’s charm. (Source: Travelpulse December 2019)
Since all of Cape May’s burnt homes were rebuilt 600+ Victorian-era houses. Each of these houses contain a variety of Victorian elements such as “gingerbread” trim, “wedding cake” details, turrets, and gables. So Cape May is a registered National Historic Landmark. (Planetware 2021)
The town continues to value these homes for more than their exterior beauty. Many of these Victorian homes have been converted into Bed and Breakfast establishments. So they attract tourists to experience them from the inside as well as the outside.
Unlike many other beach towns, Cape May has resisted the pull of major hotel chains. In addition to Bed and Breakfast lodgings are small hotels and home rentals. This has created a special beachside atmosphere.
To keep beachlovers occupied at night and on rainy days, Cape May has an extended pedestrian shopping area known as the Washington Street Mall. Located at the heart of the town’s historic district, local stores, sweet shops and restaurants entice people to shop.
From a marketing perspective, the town does a great job of getting tourists to open their wallets and pay a premium since they’re in a “vacation state of mind”.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Stay true to your brand. The residents and government of Cape May understand the importance of maintaining the Victorian feel of their location to keep its integrity and history alive. Cape May has one of the largest collections of Victorian homes in the US outside of San Francisco.
- Create events and activities to attract people to your location during otherwise slow times. For the off-season, Cape May has created special events. They include the Annual Victorian Weekend in October and the Christmas Shopping Weekend in early December.
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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August 2nd through August 18th, 2022
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► Omnichannel X 2022 Conference – June 13-16th, (Virtual).
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► MAICON 2022 – August 3-5th, 2022 in Cleveland, OH
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