WHY IS SONIC BRANDING SO IMPORTANT?

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How Important is Sonic Branding to Your Audience? 
Sonic branding is the act of using sound and music to trigger a memory or emotion. Many successful, iconic brands use sonic techniques to solidify themselves into the consumer psyche further. Think McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle, or the popular Southwest 'DING'.
 
Music and sound is a language that anyone, anywhere, can speak. Its power transcends culture, time, and place. So, sonic branding should be a huge part of your marketing strategies, regardless of your company’s size or industry. It gives you the opportunity to distill your company’s vision and ethos into a few seconds of sound that will imprint onto your target consumer, conjuring an emotion that is aligned with your brand’s vision. So, how important is sonic branding to your audience?
 
1. Consumers are dependent on voice.  
Content creation is accelerating at an alarming rate. More and more, consumers are relying on voice technology to help them sort through ever-expanding mountains of digital information. To better sift through content, consumers are starting to exchange their independence for fast, dependable information that is personalized, hence the rise of Amazon’s Alexa and other voice-activated devices.
 
Because consumers are starting to depend more and more on voice agents, those voice agents are standing between marketers and their target audience members. Going forward, it’s crucial that brands can create audio connections with consumers, and sonic branding techniques can help companies build their brand identity.
 
2. Sound is one of the most memorable of the senses. 
Consumers are constantly bombarded with images and sounds. To make sense of all this information and data, the most memorable must be simplified and stripped down to its bare bones. As content creation continues to accelerate, catchy, memorable phrases need to be continuously shortened. But when it comes to sound and sonic branding, it’s power is ever-present.
 
It’s much easier to create a memorable jingle than it is to create an iconic tagline that will not only communicate the brand’s vision but also imprint successfully into consumer’s memories. Sound is much more memorable than words.
 
3. Sonic branding conveys and triggers emotions more reliably than visual marketing techniques. 
Sound plays a strategic role in differentiating a product or service. Audio is stored in the emotional centers of the brain, and that’s why people can respond to and remember music and sound once it has been memorized. It’s one of the reasons why it’s easy for people to remember a song from their childhood, even if they haven’t heard it for decades.
 
Sonic branding is a way to better connect with your target audience as more and more consumers rely on voice recognition to make sense of information. With sonic branding, consumers have a greater ability to recall and trust your brand. Sound and music give you the ability to differentiate your products and offerings from your competitors further. And audio enables you to connect with your customers on a deep, emotional level. As you continue to hone and refine your marketing techniques, it’s important to understand how sound and music can enhance your campaigns and further build a mutually beneficial relationship with your customers.

WHY GREAT CREATIVE REQUIRES A HUMAN TOUCH

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In a post GDPR world, brands, agencies, and publishers are starting to take advantage of data-driven technology. While an ad's visibility is a crucial element of effective marketing, it’s not the holy grail that many businesses think it is. With the abundance of easily accessible data on their hands, brands and digital marketers have gotten away from creating engaging ads. In essence, they’ve forgotten about the importance of resonating with their viewers.

In today’s world, consumers are becoming savvier to marketing techniques and crave creative ads that resonate with them on a human level. Data and visibility don’t speak to your customers. If you want to differentiate yourself from the competition, your ad campaigns need to include an engaging, creative element. .

To what extent does visibility matter? 

An ads visibility only matters if the person seeing it is a qualified target. If you sell winter clothing, you don’t want your ad displaying to people who live on the equator. But, if you get your ad in front of a targeted member of your ideal audience, if the ad doesn’t have an engaging, creative element, it will fall flat.  

So, visibility is only one element of your campaign’s effectiveness, but many brands will make the mistake of thinking that visibility is the only means to an end. The right people can see your ad, but if those people don’t find the ad engaging, the campaign has failed. The ad’s reach isn’t enough to drive the campaign's effectiveness. You must provide a creative element that encourages the viewer to interact with the ad and take the desired action.

How can you increase the creative element of an ad campaign?

The most effective and engaging ads have the brand’s objective at their core. For an ad to reach maximum effectiveness, you need in-depth knowledge of your target audience to get the ad to resonate with them. If the goal with your ad is to drive sales, that needs to be the focus of your campaign. Don’t do both. 

While technology is becoming more accessible and sophisticated, brands don’t want to make the mistake of pigeonholing their ad into the latest digital trend because everyone else is doing it. Data is crucial to ensuring that your target market is reached. And ad technology enables it to be delivered as quickly and accurately as possible. But to drive engagement, your ad needs to be creative. It requires a human touch. 

To sum it up…

The advertising spectrum is complex. While it’s true that no single element should take precedence, the business’s objective and the creative must be the focus of the campaign to ensure maximum success. The world we live in is becoming increasingly isolating and commercialized. Consumers crave branding and advertising that is creative and resonates with their desires and pain-points. Visibility can’t do this. Collaboration with the goal of delivering a creative ad will.

MARKETING TO THE MISSING GENERATION

Millennials are always in the news. Usually, nothing good is ever said about them. In fact, they’re the reason so many industries are dying. Millennials have killed bar soap, Applebee’s, tissues, and they refuse to get married, settle down, or have children. Even the once formidable real estate market is under fire thanks to Millennials.
 
So, in most instances, core Millennials aren’t the best demographic to target anyway. Many members of this generation are struggling to earn enough money for life's basics, let alone have any money set aside for discretionary spending. But fortunately for most businesses, the older end of the Millennial generation and most of Generation X are prime consumers to target in their marketing strategies.

Say Hello to The Missing Generation
Consider the combined older Millennials and Gen X as the missing generation, but a marketing sweet spot for most brands. These buyers are between the ages of 35 and 50, and are referred to as ‘digital pioneers.’ This demographic’s spending power and position in history sets them apart from older and younger consumers.
 
With older consumers, it can be difficult to effectively market to them because they didn't grow up with technology. Most didn’t even pioneer its use. Younger consumers, on the other hand, do not have much buying power. So we're left with the in between/missing generation who understands and uses technology, and has a lot more discretionary spending than their younger counterparts.
 
So, how can a business successfully market to the missing generation?
There are several critical components marketers need to consider when they reach out to the missing generation.

  1. Create messages that appeal to their stage in life. The average age of first-time home buyers has steadily risen since the housing market collapsed. Now, the average age is 32. Most of the missing generation’s members will be homebuyers. Most will also already have children. The older end of the missing generation may have teens at home or no children at home. But, they aren’t quite ready for retirement like older generations. Consider their unique life stage when you market to this demographic.
  2. Don’t coddle or patronize them with tech marketing. Digital pioneers were either super early adopters of technology or were the ones who created it. They know their way around a smartphone. Most probably use Facebook on a daily basis.
  3. Appeal to their nostalgia. While digital pioneers are quite comfortable with technology, they do remember a time before social media and the internet. In fact, many older Millennials and Gen X are nostalgic for their childhoods, when times were simpler. When crafting marketing messages for the lost generation, try to appeal to their sense of nostalgia.
  4. Do not use corporate messaging. Millennials and Gen X are leery of corporate America. The housing crisis shook this generation’s faith in big business and the government. It’s critical that marketers don’t use corporate speak or traditional advertising methods when they try to reach this demographic. Testimonials will appeal more to digital pioneers than corporate messaging.

Marketers have gotten caught up in the heady scramble to catch the attention of younger, tech-savvier consumers. In doing so, they’ve ignored a key demographic that has access to a steady stream of income. So when trying to appeal to members of the missing generation, don’t forget these crucial points.

Will AI Ever Be Capable of Creativity?

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The robots are coming. They’re coming for your jobs. But fortunately, not all of your jobs. While it’s true that automation is taking over specific tasks at a terrifying pace, there is a glass ceiling for AI, and no, they can’t break it.

So, what jobs are safe from the massive influx of robot workers?  Creative jobs that require empathy. In fact, it’s safe to say that AI will never be capable of creativity. Creativity requires a soul, which a machine will never have.

Can AI corner the creative market?

No. But, and this is the good news; AI will make creative types more productive. How so? Take a look at programs like Grammarly and Scrivener. These programs have helped millions of writers plan, plot, and edit their work.

Recently, Google’s AI division developed a machine that was programmed to learn from its opponent. The machine could run more possible chess board scenarios than there are atoms in the universe. Pretty impressive. The machine played a best-of-five round of chess against world champion Lee Sedol. Sedol won the first round. But, the machine quickly learned and bested him in the remaining four games.

While a robot can measure ingredients for a cake. A robot cannot create a new recipe that tastes good. A robot cannot build something, paint something, or otherwise create art. Art resonates from the soul. Anything that involves memorization or diagnostics is ripe picking for the robot workforce. But if the task requires empathy to do well and right, it’s out of their purview. For example, a robot could take over a surgeon’s job. It can’t take over a nurse’s. A robot can vacuum your carpet. It can’t pick out and design an interior that’s cozy and pleasing to you.

While AI may be faster than people and can retain and cross-reference facts better than a human, it only operates in binary form. The situation for AI is either win or lose. It is either right or wrong. Black or white. AI cannot discern shades of grey. Human beings, as creative creatures, operate in a constant state of shifting perspectives and emotions. Creative pursuits, which most jobs are, require you to see things through multiple, empathic lenses. It comes down to passion and emotion. And humans engage with each other on an emotional level that AI will never be able to duplicate.

So good luck to us (and them). My money is on us! (But if we're gambling then the robots will likely be able to figure out the mathematical chances of that better. ;)