Season’s Greetings from the Visionary Marketing Team

2015 is drawing to a close. This has been a fruitful year from a business point of view. From a personal point of view, it has been a very stressful year, with two deadly attacks at the very centre of our City, a stone’s throw from the Visionary Marketing offices. We have no doubt that 2016 will be another fruitful year from a business point of view and we hope it will also be more joyful and positive. Our Season’s Greetings go to you dear readers. We will be back soon with new content and a brand new white paper on innovation, currently in the making. Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas - antimuseum.com
Merry Christmas : sketch by antimuseum.com

Digital nomads: combining work and travel

Not a long time ago, we’ve all heard about the blogger Sam Cookney who lived in Barcelona and worked in London. This sounded like a weird thing to do. However, a lot of people have that exact same lifestyle today. Indeed, there is an increasing number of digital nomads. If you type these two words on any search engine, a huge list of posts, stories and testimonies will roll out in front of you. As the name suggests, digital nomads are individuals who use technology and telecommunications in order to live and work independently, in a nomadic manner. Let us discover and understand this new phenomenon further.

Digital nomad: a new type of traveller

Technology and telecommunications are at the basis of this new phenomenon. Indeed, the Internet has created a new definition of ‘work’. It has revolutionized the traditional 9-5-job routine. Focusing on one’s career is not an excuse anymore to say no to travelling. Thanks to the huge digital development that happened in the last decade, a growing number of digital nomads are now independent, and are able to work from anywhere. Even teams are successfully leading this lifestyle.

So, in other words, digital nomads are travellers who can work from anywhere in the world. These people are not dependent or constraint to any location, or any cubicle space anymore. Whether it is in an exotic destination like Bali, or a big city like Barcelona, digital nomads found an efficient and productive way to combine work and travel. Is this perfection?

digital nomad
The digital nomad’s lifestyle combines the best of both worlds : work and travel

What’s the coolest place to live and work in?

Every now and then, people publish lists of the coolest offices in the world. One could say that digital nomads have the best and the coolest office, which is composed of all the different Read more

Content: the past, present and future of marketing

‘Content marketing’ is under the spotlight. Blogs and tutorial videos are surging everywhere on the Internet. Some brands are doing it perfectly right: they are telling the right stories to attract and retain new and existing customers. The common belief that ‘Content marketing is a new concept’ is completely wrong. It has existed for ages. The difference is the impressive exposure posts can get today, with a little marketing effort. In this article, content marketing will take us back in time to tell us its story.

The art of content marketing

Content marketing is an art. The art of educating customers, without selling. The brand accompanies the customer in a continuous way, by delivering information, educating them and making them more intelligent. Like every strategy, content marketing has a purpose: enriching customer behaviour in a certain direction, towards a goal. In other words, content marketing is based on a constant delivery of information to customers. In return, the brand wins loyalty and sales.

Accompanying customers - inspired by www.hubspot.com
Accompanying customers – inspired by www.hubspot.com

We live in a highly visual world: a post that includes a picture, a graph, an infographic gets much more exposure than an ‘empty’ post. Consumer are more attracted to visual content than text, and thus interact more with it. So when creating a worthy content, enhancing it with visual element is a golden rule.

A good content must be relevant. The brand should understand what its target audience finds interesting, appropriate and useful. By doing so, it can be referenced by influencers, and gain a multiplied exposure!

Content marketing is not new

As promised, this article will take us back in time.

1897_Furrow_Front_Page_1897
John Deere – The content marketer

Some believed John Deere to be the original content marketer. In 1985, he started publishing ‘The Furrow’. This magazine was an educational resource for his customers. In it, one could learn how to become a more fruitful farmer. Back in the 19th century, publishing magazines was the only way to transfer content to consumers. The Furrow had 1.5 million copies in circulation in 40 countries.

Another name we have all heard: Michelin. A few years after the conception of the Furrow, in 1900, the Michelin guide was created. This guide helped drivers maintain their cars and find travel accommodation. In addition to offering advice and content to consumers, this guide helped the tire manufacturer drive sales, by encouraging consumers to drive and wear out their tires.

Content marketing is so powerful it not only drives sales, but also saves companies. Jell-O would not be where it is today without content marketing. In 1904, the plant was on the verge of being sold, before one last strategy was attempted: the distribution of free Jell-O recipe books. This initiative lasted 11 hours and was very effective. By 1906, Jell-O sales were boosted to $1 million.

If we travel back to 2010, we observe that 80% of brands use content marketing and 25% of their budget is spent on it.

All in all, content marketing has always existed, and has always had a huge impact on a company or a brand’s performance. It has increased in importance, in power and in exposure.

 

 

 

3 ingredients to digital transformation

Wherever we look today, we come across two words: ‘Digital transformation’. In fact, it is a new hot topic, along with big data, and internet of things (IoT). On this blog, we already discussed the digital transformation of different industries. Some might wonder how these businesses reach this digital transformation phenomenon. Well, there are three main ingredients to consider when one digitally transforms a business. Let’s dig deeper into that in this article…

Digital transformation is a major disruption to the way businesses operate. Thus, rethinking 3 different elements: customer experience, operational processes and business models.

digital transformation

Customer experience

Since the explosive spread of social media platforms that happened a few years back, customer experience had to become digitalized. Whether they were planning on it or not, companies place the development and implementation of the digital customer experience, on top of their priority list. Today, customers use different social media platforms to seek information, and share reviews and opinion. According to a Capgemini study, customers can now create a “wave of negative noise in a way that was previously unimaginable”.Digital transformation pushes businesses to use social media to understand Read more

Technology changes our behaviour

David Shing, also known as Shingy, is a digital prophet. His job is to identify trends for brands, audiences and companies at large. He spoke at the SAS Forum 2015 which took place in Paris on November 5 2015. He delivered a great presentation. Right after the show I had the chance to ask him a few questions..

You are a digital prophet. Could you explain this term to us?

The idea is to look at the trends, to still them down from the industry for brands, for clients, for companies and for the industry itself.

So, you work for AOL. But people probably don’t always know what AOL is about now.

You are absolutely right. They don’t necessarily have to know about the core brand of AOL. They know about services and some of the brands I work with; such as Huffington Post and Engadget. There is some science that we own; people call them ‘love brands’. Within our industry, our job is to bring people to brands and brands to people. AOL Inc. is an organization that classes together all brands that actually deliver these ad solutions. And that is the idea of brands to people, people to brands.

You delivered an amazing and very inspirational pitch this morning, in which you said “technology changes our behaviour; it does not change our needs”. What do you mean by that?

Technology is something you are holding that has changed your behaviour. In fact, I saw a photography piece done recently: an artist who had taken out the divisors to see how people’s behaviours have changed. The result is amazing! We’ve had these touch screen devices for less than about 10 years now, and look how our behaviours have changed. I was thinking about it yesterday: I have all these photographs of people that are completely not interacting and they’re missing actual connection because they think they’re connecting elsewhere. We have a generation of people that are head down. We’re going to end up with some sort of syndrome
I’m sure! But this is almost a disconnection; that’s changing the behaviour of what we are
doing. Now does it change our need? No, we still need to connect. So a younger generation is actually connecting more digitally at physical events like sporting, because they still have a need to connect. They’re just doing it differently now, they’re doing it digitally.

You mentioned something that really struck my mind as well: “the current generation has more to do with their grandparents’ generation that they have with their parents”, how can you explain that?

The values that they have are definitely more in tune  with the grandparents’ generation. They understand consciousness, they understand things like organic and eco. Read more