The challenge of effective marketing is to cut through the noise. Today, we are bombarded with a never-ending string of incoming messages and an ever-growing number of devices and platforms designed to deliver these messages. How, then, can a marketing or branding campaign be effective?
Cutting Through The Noise
Self-playing media (SPM) delivers your message using the immediacy of the senses. The message is delivered at the moment of chosen contact, from within the desired context, independent of any secondary device or platform and without requiring any further steps.
Examples of Self-Playing Media in Marketing
It is becoming increasingly difficult for drug reps to get face-time, let alone an opportunity to detail physicians. For over seven years, Voice Express has been providing audio cards which offer health-care providers information regarding dosage, side-effects and efficacy for a particular medication. Typical cards include multiple play buttons which permit the doctor to select audio by topic.
Those pharmaceutical audio mailers which included a business reply card had response rates of over 30% (unheard of in the industry). Recently we have seen a growing demand for video-cards which are more expensive but clearly justify the cost by engaging their intended recipients in a direct and powerful manner as they convey detailed information.
Intel’s Audio Packaging
Intel has become one of the world’s most recognizable computer brands following its long-running Intel Inside® campaign. The five-note jingle was introduced in 1992 and by its tenth anniversary was being heard in 130 countries around the world.
Since it’s introduction, Intel’s sonic logo has played in radio, TV and Internet advertising as well on start-up of any Intel based PC, but not until the launch of Intel’s NUC computer in Q4 of 2012 did it play from Intel packaging.
The project, a collaboration between Intel and Voice-Express, was a resounding success, gaining notice and recognition by product reviewers and influencers throughout the technology industry.
Details Through Sound
Acxiom is a recognized leader in technology and marketing services that enable marketers to successfully manage audiences, personalize consumer experiences and create profitable customer relationships.
Their challenge was conveying to prospective clients that they didn’t simply trade in data, but that there was a face, a story and a potential relationship behind every household.
We worked with Acxiom to develop an audio pinwheel that combined the raw facts with the personality and emotion of voice.
This promotion played 21 different voices.
Why Use Self-Playing Media In Marketing Campaigns?
SPM outperforms virtual media in delivery as well as longevity and impact. SPM also has a physicality which insures that it survives to deliver its message over time and for multiple impressions. These reasons, combined with SPM’s ability to capture and hold attention make it a powerful contender in your marketing and branding tool belt.
When Should You Use Self-Playing Media?
Not every marketing or branding message should be delivered via self-playing media. But, if the value of the product, the relationship, the first impression, the user experience, the early adoption or the brand is high, then animating that experience with the directness and primacy of sight and sound is a powerful option that should be utilized.
The Value That Self-Playing Media Communicates
Whether self-playing media is embedded in direct mail, signage, POS (Point of Sale) displays, promotional products, packaging or sales/after-sale collateral it both enhances the delivery and impact of the message and conveys the value that the brand places on communicating directly with its customers.
Brand Advocacy and Sampling
Self-playing media provides a unique platform to encourage and enable consumer and B2B brand advocacy. It’s one thing to ask a customer to recommend a product or service to her friends and associates by checking a box, filling out an online form or taking the time to write a review… it’s quite another to have a customer record a SPM card to be sent with a sample to a “Friends” list.
With roughly a third of marketing budgets dedicated to content marketing, the use of customer generated content is of growing interest and value.
Rob Fuggetta, author of Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force, explained it this way: “Find your advocates, turn your advocates into content generating machines, amplify and leverage the content by making it compelling.”
Unlike traditional forms of brand advocacy content, SPM is actually fun and engaging to both create and share. Audio and video brand advocacy messages can be shared virtually, but the real motivation comes from knowing that a high perceived value card or a product sample, powered by SPM, will be delivered to an individual’s contacts or as requested by interested parties.
The Role of Sound in Marketing
Companies are paying more attention than ever before to the role of sound in their marketing efforts. Audio is a linear medium, playing from beginning to end. In a world filled with multitasking, the linear nature of audio can offer a distinct advantage, especially if the audio message is played from an application-specific source (e.g. a direct mail piece or product packaging). Audio is able to gain and keep a listener’s attention.
The Wall Street Journal recently observed that: “Sound is emerging as a new branding frontier. More companies are discovering that the sound a product makes can convey subtle information about its quality and influence purchasing decisions.” WSJ reporter Ellen Byron went on to say:
“Companies, in their endless drive to motivate customers to buy, are paying more attention to these product noises and going to great lengths to manipulate them. Sound is emerging as a new branding frontier… Sound, for the most part, isn’t the first thing consumers notice about a product. But when it’s good, they quickly come to appreciate it, marketers say.”
How We Can Help
We recognize the importance of ensuring that your marketing or branding message is able to successfully cut through the noise and deliver a lasting, positive impression. We’ve worked with clients across a wide segment of industries to adapt self-playing media to their unique needs – with remarkable success.
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