Archive for Agata Smieciuszewski

How to compete with "Goliath" brands

Posted by Agata Smieciuszewski on May 4th, 2015 at 12:29 pm

The era of big brands dominating everything is over. The rules of the game are always changing, and the ones that find themselves at the finish line are always the ones that are open to change.

When a smaller company enters the market, they often have many hurdles to overcome -- how can they stand up against the established brands with deep pockets? At the 2015 iMedia Agency Summit, Kevin Ryan, Founder and CEO of Motivity Marketing and author of the best-selling book "Taking Down Goliath: Digital Marketing Strategies for Beating Competitors With 100 Times Your Spending Power", brought light to some of ways you can overcome these obstacles with strategy and level the playing field.
According to Ryan, marketing automation is an enabling technology that allows us to remove people from the equation. Today's "listicle" brand of communication is aiming for quick clicks and ad dollars -- leaving quality and real relationships behind. While these automated  technologies allow you to reach many of your target audience, relying on them too much can result in massive PR fails that exploit the same people that you want on your side.
Ryan brings up many examples of brands that over-depend on this impersonal, disjointed method... Read more

How agility will set you apart from the competition

Posted by Agata Smieciuszewski on February 24th, 2015 at 1:46 pm

It used to be that the same great strategy would result in a competitive edge for a long time. Today, however, the most successful companies are the ones that adopt a more agile approach.

At the 2015 iMedia Brand Summit in Amelia Island, Florida, Amanda Setili, author of "The Agility Advantage: How to Identify and Act On Opportunities in a Fast-Changing World," described how these newly agile companies use data strategically to pinpoint customer behavior and utilize it most efficiently. Marketing is at an intersection of change, and marketers need to be aware of new technologies, new ways of interacting, and micro-segments.
Agility is the ability to identify new opportunities and capitalize on them quickly. In today's changing marketing landscape, new technology will always be right around the corner. Although it's impossible for anyone to constantly be on top of all changes, the way you approach a new idea is crucial to your success. Reacting to a new stimulus the same way your competitors do will keep you running alongside them. To pull ahead of the herd, you have to think differently and swiftly.
The interactions between companies and consumers has also changed. Many times, consumers want to be more involved and hands-on... Read more

The key to building a great brand

Posted by Agata Smieciuszewski on February 23rd, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Back in the day, advertising was simple. Companies paid for spots on TV that translated directly to revenue. Consumers trusted the messages that were crafted for them, and everything worked smoothly.

Today, the cycle doesn't work that well. At the 2015 iMedia Brand Summit in Amelia Island, Florida, Questus' co-founder Jeff Rosenblum spoke about how consumers no longer believe or even pay attention to ads that are forced onto them. A new generation of content consumers is here that don't want their needs and desires force fed to them.
This is not necessarily bad news for brands, as long as you're willing to adapt. According to Rosenblum, the brands that are succeeding are the ones that follow a simple technique: empowerment over interruptions.
The brands that are doing it right are quickly gaining loyalty and birthing evangelists that are far more influential than unwanted targeting.
Rosenblum spoke about Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company that has succeeded in building real relationships with its customers. The brand has mastered the concept of magnets over megaphones -- the idea that if make your product compelling enough to attract consumers, you don't have to resort to interrupting them.
Truly successful brands will look at their product and ask "How... Read more

Co-working: A new way to do business

Posted by Agata Smieciuszewski on November 21st, 2014 at 12:21 pm

If you  have the flexibility of working outside a normal office environment, you have several options. You could create a home office, work from coffeeshops, or you could become a member of a co-working space.
One such space is Maker City LA in downtown Los Angeles, a creative and collaborative workspace designed for a variety of different businesses and individuals. On a tour during this year's NewCo event on Nov. 19, I got a sneak peak into what kind of businesses utilize this approach and the benefits of being part of the community.
For a membership fee, you get the space, equipment, conference rooms, lockers, creative collaboration, and more that you don't have in your studio apartment.

There's a media lab with a broadcast and podcast studio available for renting. Members get special discounts or packages built into their membership for use of this space.

One of the tenants, Illuminode creates wearable and interactive LED technology for fashion, entertainment, or private buyers.

Another tenant, The School of Light, is a photography school complete with a darkroom for use. This is one of the only places in the city with public access to this equipment.

There's plenty of space available for working and creating. This room has... Read more

How Omaze changed the charity game

Posted by Agata Smieciuszewski on November 21st, 2014 at 11:57 am

A charity auction is not a new concept, but what about a way for anybody to win an experience of a lifetime for a small donation price?

That's the concept behind Omaze, a website that offers unique celebrity experiences for a lucky winner with people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, the cast of "Breaking Bad", and much more in exchange for a small donation to a charity. Ryan Cummins and Matt Pohlson, the co-founders of Omaze, spoke about their story at the NewCo event in Los Angeles on Nov. 19 and shared a bit about what they've learned.
Clear call to action
Omaze makes videos to let the audience know what to expect from the experience, and although they do need to be compelling and fun to watch, the most important thing is to give the viewer a clear call to action. In the case of this experience with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, it's these buttons encouraging people to follow through and read more about the experience, the cause, and how to get involved.

Entertain, then inform
Each campaign is focused on a specific charity or cause, and it's crucial to get the message across. But, as Cummins and Pohlson emphasized, he content must be compelling and entertaining first,... Read more