A Shift to Mobile Marketing

By Jestelle Irizarry, junior executive at The San Jose Group At the hands of every mobile device, lies a possibly untapped consumer. While social media has dominated most mobile advertising efforts thus far, social media isn’t always the right fit for every brand or company. In a constantly evolving digital consumer landscape, brands are shifting their focus from social media and are concentrating their efforts on mobile marketing. As it sounds, Mobile Marketing is marketing on a mobile device that provides personalized information to promote goods, services, and ideas. Mobile apps offer engaging interactions with targeted consumers, while also offering superior user experience. The 2015 State of Marketing reported that 68 percent of brands have integrated mobile into their larger marketing strategy, and 58 percent even have a dedicated mobile team. Brands doing mobile in house, or even those who are looking to begin implementing, should consider using agencies whose integration expertise would be able to align all media and advertising materials. A recent study found that the average person spends 90 minutes per day on their phone, making understanding how and where users are consuming messages one of the greatest assets mobile marketing offers. Ironically, the problem has never been collecting mobile data, but figuring out how to monetize it. Analytics could help brands understand how their target market is using mobile devices if brands could define what type of data they would like to collect and what types of insights they are seeking from that data. For instance, they could seek the number of impressions of a particular advertisement or the demographics of the users engaging with an advertisement. Relying on a strong web presence but ignoring mobile is almost worse than having no web presence at all these days because you risk frustrating or even turning off your consumers. Brands should work to optimize their websites for mobile use instead of hurrying to create an app because when done correctly, an app can not only engage users but also create a lasting mobile...

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Cyber Liability Insurance

2013 Black Friday shoppers got a nasty shock when their Target purchases spoiled their holiday spirit via a massive data breach. However, the December 2013 data breach didn’t just squander the holiday spirit; it cost Target shareholders $148 million, a CEO and a large amount of consumer trust. Although Target’s earnings have dropped since then, the superstore will receive $38 million of insurance payout on the data breach from their cyber insurance policy, a kind of specialty insurance surging in the marketplace today. While the policy will aid in the financial loss, the retailer also has to worry about its reputation with consumers, as the breach comprised the personal information and credit and debit card accounts of as many as 110 million customers. A year later and Target now stands among a handful of brands that have fallen to the PR and financial crisis that is a massive data breach. According to a report by the Ponemon Institute, an independent research firm for privacy, data protection and information security issues, 43% of companies experienced a data breach in the past year, which is up 10% from year before. Specialty insurance covers items or situations that are special or unique. In 2013, the total global losses due to cybercrime amounted to $445 billion, and the increasing rates of cybercrime have pushed the market for cyber liability insurance to grow rapidly. In the U.S., the market capacity for cyber liability insurance could reach up to $2 billion by the end of 2014, as companies try to protect themselves from the financial and reputational damages data breaches can have. While cyber liability insurance stands as an obvious choice for large corporations, small businesses also benefit from this investment, since any company that has a website, uses social media or digitally stores customers’ personal records is at risk for a data breach. And while Target’s reputation suffered in the public eye, imagine if specialty insurance had not been in place. Even if a company chooses not to host data...

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Blurred Lines: In Today’s Digital Age, Where Does Advertising End and Public Relations Begin?

By George L. San Jose, President and CCO of The San Jose Group To the average consumer, advertising and public relations have never really seemed like two distinctly different marketing tools—branded content seems like branded content. After all, advertising and PR share the same goal: engaging and ultimately communicating a message to a target audience. However, industry insiders know the tactics applied to reach that goal have traditionally differed. Advertising works as a more direct medium, providing consumers with entertaining messaging and platforms, while PR operates as a more covert or indirect medium, sometimes seeking out third party opinions to plug a product. However, the line between these two fields is increasingly blurring and many PR firms are coming to resemble full service advertising agencies. This “blurred lines” effect seemingly results from the increase in digital and social communication techniques over the past several years. Digital and social media represent especially tricky territories for determining where advertising ends and PR begins. Consumers look to social media, websites, blogs and video sharing channels to stay abreast of products, promotions and developments (which is advertising territory). However, everything on social media happens in real time and is a platform for message control (which is PR territory). Ultimately, PR professionals were prepared to take on these digital changes as they were experts in creating content used to engage consumers, versus advertising agencies who work in the format of 30-to 60-second messaging. When PR professionals take over the digital space, they assume the role of advertisers because they can speak directly to their audience. As a result, many agencies have re-branded themselves as integrated firms that have the ability to both develop their clients’ messages and disseminate those messages to a wide array of audiences. What were once traditional PR agencies are now firms with the ability to provide creative and strategic support for clients. This blending of industries allows for a more cohesive approach to branding and messaging. When the entire process for creating a campaign comes from the same place, it...

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Growing Your Business through the User Experience

By Killian Knowles, Junior Executive at The San Jose Group In an age constantly growing online with new business technologies, new jobs arise as well. One job in particular, User Experience (UX) Strategist, is popping up all over the web causing agencies to second-guess their web presence strategies. Creating engaging online content is only half the battle. The rest includes developing strategies and marketing plans aimed towards fixing fallen online efforts while maximizing the effective ones. “Here, at the The San Jose Group our development team has adopted many of the strategies user experience strategists implement daily,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. “But brands need to understand UX past all the hype and craze surrounding the user experience.” Any company technologically involved has been introduced to the concept of user accessibility, as it is a legal right through the Disability Discrimination Act. User accessibility testing within companies aims to find results or statistics about their current or prospective website users to determine how accessible their information actually is online. Through personal business strategies built around reviewing results, the difference between user accessibility and user experience shows that UX strategists take the accessibility results, analyze trends and actively build upon new methods of web design in hopes of shifting user trends in their favor. In the day of uniformed branded social media profiles like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, companies are looking for ways to differentiate. In fact, 69% of North American marketers say effective, personalized content is crucial for their website; while a measly 5% say it’s of low importance. The San Jose Group’s strategies zero in on methods that consistently produce effective, personalized content. This constant, online contribution towards our client’s presence ultimately can be the deciding factor between their happy customers or non-existent ones. Designer, author and instructor, Jim Kalbach, of Citrix Online, states “a UX strategist’s job centers on three questions: Why? What? And How?” The most important question we find to ask...

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Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy Selects The San Jose Group as Agency of Record

Integrated marketing agency to launch a mass media campaign Chicago, Illinois — Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy has selected The San Jose Group to plan and launch a media campaign for the greater Chicagoland market. The San Jose Group, a total market integrated marketing and advertising agency based in Chicago, adds the higher education leader to its diverse and expanding client roster. “The San Jose Group was an ideal choice for Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy. First, they come with a total market approach and knowledgebase of the Chicago market that expands our prospect base. And secondly, they took our media challenge on holistically, with sound planning for what we anticipate will lead to smart execution and successful consumer engagement,” said Dina Schenk, Chief Marketing Officer at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, one of the most respected media art schools in the country,” said George L. San Jose, president and CCO of The San Jose Group. “What a perfect opportunity to contribute to recruiting the next great crop of talented artists, filmmakers and creatives who will drive our industry in the near future.” The media campaign will target the parents and families of prospective students with a draw to the communication arts in the greater Chicagoland area. Highlighting Tribeca’s immersive apprenticeship model that quickly propels graduates into the business, the campaign will run from April through August of 2014 for a fall semester registration. About The San Jose Group The San Jose Group is an integrated marketing and advertising agency specializing in award-winning total market solutions for today’s complex markets. Over the course of thirty-two years, SJG has earned over 182 awards for advertising excellence and 168 awards for public relations work. SJG, along with its Consulting and Public Relations divisions, service Fortune 1000 clients and today’s industry leaders. SJG is the founding member of the San Jose Network Ltd., the largest independent advertising agency network reaching the U.S. and Latin America....

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What happened to the USP?

By George L. San Jose, President and Chief Creative Officer at The San Jose Group In high school, I could typically identify people by their cliques (jocks, cheerleaders, hippies, disco fashionistas, etc.) but not as individuals. So unless I personally knew them, they had no individuality. Today’s consumers see brands as cliques and clicks; they have learned to navigate cyberspace without looking at the obtrusive digital ads popping up wherever they go. Not too appealing for brands campaigning to win consumers. We have conditioned consumers to get free software or new apps in exchange for allowing a provider to bombard them with ads that they have mastered to utterly ignore. Mix this with brands caving to funding in-store promotions instead of branding and you have the perfect ingredients for a brand’s death sentence…lack of differentiation and discount price are always the race to the bottom. Brands that lost their consumer preference entirely have died, so brands must establish the right brand positioning, Unique Selling Proposition “USP,” and creative content to win preference and emotionally connect with consumers. A recent report by Northwestern University’s Don E. Shultz and Martin P. Block, Killing Brands… Softly, presents some alarming news for brands and their advertisers. Over a ten-year study, Shultz and Block found consumers are shifting from having specific brand preferences to no preferences. Although this may sound like brand loyalty’s obituary, the study points out a major flaw in the industry: consumers can’t identify the differences between brands, because in the “smaller competitive space,” consumers find brands “more and more similar.” Rare opportunities for brands to win consumer preference exist because brands scarcely produce actual persuasive content. Today’s brands (with the help of social media) distribute more clutter than they do creative. Since social media’s inception, brands have attempted to use it to establish their brand identity and engagement to win consumers, but just because a consumer favorites your brand’s funny tweet or likes your Facebook page, it doesn’t mean they’ll purchase your brand. Even Coca-Cola...

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