Junction Urges Marketers to Rethink the Brand to Rebuild Customer Loyalty

Atlanta-based strategic firm Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) releases a perspective written by CEO and Managing Partner Julie Gareleck, entitled “Turning Mindshare into Brandshare.” The perspective highlights the need for marketers to react to drastic shifts in consumer behavior brought on by new technology and a changing economic climate.

Junction has established itself as leader in marketing strategy that is progressive and plugged-in, thanks to a unique hybrid approach. Focused on the intersection of strategy and execution, Junction provides services for businesses across a number of industries including but not limited to retail, eCommerce, healthcare, publishing, travel and hospitality, technology, and consumer packaged goods. Junction’s unique approach has successfully driven measurable results for its clients marketing both business to business and business to consumer. Gareleck was notably selected earlier this month to speak on a panel of experts at JFAM’s Live! Financial Marketer’s conference in New York City.

“The marketing model is dynamically changing and with it the essence and value of a brand is too often lost amidst the constant race for attention in the marketplace,” said Gareleck. “As competition scales up and budgets scale down, a well-considered brand identity becomes even more compelling.”

The full perspective is available at http://goo.gl/9YLUS. To learn more about Junction, visit www.junction-creative.com.

The Price of Gut Instinct is High

Ad Age’s CMO Strategy recently published a survey of 243 CMOs and other marketing executives about their current practices, yielding some surprising results. With an alarming 28% of the respondents claiming they establish budgets based upon ‘gut-instinct’ and perhaps more surprisingly, 7% saying they do not base strategy upon metrics at all. It is time for marketers to look toward new tools available to help track ROI and plan more effectively.

Marketing performance management (MPM) has always been a key tenet of any marketing department, but to be fair, until recently, metrics reporting was an enigma of sorts; the type of data collected provided statistical representation of customer behaviors, but offered very little insight into correlations that would serve as actionable information to help improve efficiency. The advent of the internet, along with its provisions of social media networks and mobile technologies, has begun to revolutionize the model for these types of analytics.

In scale and speeds that were never possible prior to the internet, meaningful data that transcends mere numerical counting has allowed marketers the opportunity to make huge strides in MPM strategies. With new and improved resources available, marketing executives in the 21st century should   focus on the ability of measurement and analysis to predict what will happen next. It has become essential to react quickly to a changing market to maximize marketing ROI, and the strategies for those reactions are better informed than ever before.

The adoption such useful metrics-based reporting by CMOs has been less than speedy, especially when compared to the staggering statistics associated with the rise of digital. With increasing pressure on  marketing executives not only to achieve better results while also managing to reduce overall costs, decisions should be guided by measurement and not just “gut instinct.”

Does the Glass Slipper Fit?

Late March is here, and this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships (lovingly referred to as March Madness) are once again captivating the nation with exciting action. One thing missing is a true Cinderella story – no mid-major school to defy the odds and inject excitement the tournament by upsetting top seeded teams. Cinderellas are typically a primary source of the drama for which the annual spectacle is famous. Without their presence, the allure of the tournament is somewhat dulled.

A trio of teams remaining in the ‘Sweet 16’ entered the tournament seeded #10 or higher in their respective 16 team region, but the three schools are perennial Madness participants. Xavier, North Carolina State, and Ohio are still fighting for the chance to hoist the trophy and cut down the nets when the tournament is all said and done. Despite the fact that none of them are true surprises, the teams are still managing to play the role of the disruptor. These teams enjoy the luxury, having already overcome stronger teams, of having the pressure transferred to their opponents, raising the intensity of each matchup as teams are eliminated leading up to the Final Four and championship game. Even without the true ‘Cinderella,’ the temperature increases as the stakes are raised thanks to these upstart squads.

In the sports world, as in business, disruptors are the true driving force behind greatness. New ideas – the innovative and, more importantly, the unexpected – turn the wheels of change across industry. For example, Redbox’s emergence disrupted the business of DVD rentals, changing the long-standing establishment of video rental stores for the better, and hurting major players like Blockbuster. Netflix’s streaming model further changed the climate; today, the unexpected changes brought on by newer technologies have completely revolutionized the industry.

In all likelihood, the fire of the three ‘semi-Cinderella’ schools will soon be extinguished by top seeds, but the possibility for one of them to attain the ultimate goal and achieve greatness is still real. Like the players and coaches, businesses should keep the dream alive and strive to introduce their own brand of excitement into the establishment.

NCAA Basketball ‘Madness’ is a Slam Dunk

Over the years, the early spring ritual of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship has grown exponentially in scope and popularity. “March Madness” is now the second most popular sports event after the NFL Playoffs and their culminating championship event, the Super Bowl. Much like the Super Bowl, March Madness has managed to become a massive business unto itself, monetizing the annual competition through branding and advertising that resonates with the public’s love of sports. The NCAA’s latest television rights agreement for the tournament is worth $10.8B over 14 years.

So how did the NCAA manage to parlay basketball games played by unpaid athletes into a multimedia event that garners as much as $650M in ad spending from more than 280 unique advertisers?

First, the entire tournament is thoroughly branded, with terms like ‘Madness,’ ‘Bracketology,’ ‘Sweet Sixteen,’ ‘Elite Eight,’ and perhaps strongest, ‘Final Four’ heavily permeating the lexicon of the media in the month of March. Largely through word of mouth, now including across extensive social media networks, fans everywhere focus their attention, filling out brackets and investing themselves in the tournament. Advertisers know the level of engagement is abnormally high, presenting a fantastic opportunity to convey a message to a receptive audience.

Media coverage of the event now spans four television networks (CBS, TNT, TBS, and TruTV) as well as radio, online channels at cbssports.com, espn.com, and even mobile apps featuring live updates and streaming video. Viewers are tuning in to watch what unfolds in record numbers, with most of these channels running completely ad-supported. Tie in the aforementioned social media engagement, with strong trends across Twitter and brand interaction on Facebook, and the formula for why March Madness commands the attention of the marketing and advertising world is clear.

Despite its status as a not-for-profit organization, the NCAA has transformed its humble basketball tournament into a smartly marketed, highly profitable annual event that trumps the postseasons of 3 of the 4 major North American sports leagues. Businesses across industry should keep some of the tactics employed by the NCAA in mind while filling out their brackets each spring.

Junction CEO Talks Branding at Financial Marketers’ Conference

Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner, Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), recently spoke as a member of an expert panel at The Journal of Financial Advertising and Marketing (JFAM)’s Live! Financial Marketers’ Conference in New York City. Hosted by New York-based The Gramercy Institute, the semi-annual event was themed in conjunction with the firm’s latest research, entitled The Future of Financial Media: Owned, Earned, & Purchased.

Senior level marketing executives from top financial firms to include JPMorgan Chase, AIG, BNY Mellon, Prudential, and TIAA-CREF shared insights on the latest trends in financial marketing. As The Gramercy Institute’s research was presented, the participants discussed topics such as tablet and mobile marketing and social, mobile, and content marketing. Gareleck participated in sharing the importance of branding, aligned with her recently released perspective entitled Marketing Futurists: Better, Faster, Constant.

“Bill Wreaks (CEO of The Gramercy Institute and Chief Analyst of JFAM) has managed to make the Live! series one of the most distinguished events on the calendar. The event was an opportunity for top marketers to listen, share, and learn in a trusted environment,” said Gareleck. “The amount of thought capital in the room was impressive and certainly impactful to attendees and panelists alike.”

For more information and news about Junction’s involvement at JFAM Live!, click here.

Junction CEO Featured on Panel at JFAM Live! Conference

Atlanta-based strategy firm Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) is proud to announce its inclusion by New York-based The Gramercy Institute in The Journal of Financial Advertising and Marketing (JFAM)’s Live! Conferences. The next edition of the semi-annual series will be held Friday, March 9th, 2012 in New York City addressing the Future of Financial Media: Owned, Earned, & Purchased. Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner, will represent Junction on a panel of experts discussing the importance of utilizing branding to convey a marketing message.

Bill Wreaks, CEO of The Gramercy Institute and Chief Analyst of JFAM, has assembled a number of high ranking, knowledgeable, and experienced marketing professionals from top financial firms to provide insights into the future of financial advertising. Says Gareleck, “Bill has chosen individuals who are the true trendsetters on the cutting edge, adding immense value to the next installment in an exceptional series of conferences.”

“We are honored and excited to speak as an advocate for marketing that follows the philosophy of being progressive, creative, and plugged-in,” says Gareleck. “We look forward to the opportunity to interact and learn from other industry leaders, helping better inform the solutions we offer our clients.”

More information and news about upcoming events related to JFAM Live! can be found on Junction’s blog at www.junction-creative.com/wordpress.

Junction Shares Insights on the Future of Marketing

The role of chief marketing officers (CMOs) is changing almost as quickly as the advancements in technology. The CEO of Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), an Atlanta-based strategic agency, releases Marketing Futurists: Better, Faster, Constant. The perspective applies and adapts the economic principle of better, faster, cheaper to a new marketing model that has transformed the traditional role of CMOs.

“Marketing is often classified as ‘nice to have,’ comments Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner, Junction. “But in this dynamically changing market place, marketing is a need. The responsibility for marketers, especially CMOs, is to not only deliver the message but also generate a return on investment. Traditional best practices for marketing have changed – the model is different.”

Gareleck offers an interesting perspective for marketing futurists. “The influence of technologies like social media and the surge in real time digital data have given many marketers headaches, but with swift adoption, the same advances provide opportunities for CMOs to change the economics of marketing in a big way,” said Gareleck.

To learn more about Junction, visit www.junction-creative.com.