Version: primary June 2015 - Gemba Marketing

We’re Already Halfway Through 2015, Somehow. We Suspect Time Warps Are Involved.

We’re exactly halfway through the year, as of tomorrow, which is shocking to me. When did this happen? Why didn’t anybody tell me? Wasn’t March like two seconds ago? This milestone has forced me to do some personal introspection (ugh). For one thing, it’s almost July, and I have accomplished approximately zero things. There are people out there who are breaking world records by using the Hoover Dam as a projection screen. There are people who are winning Cannes Lions awards (basically, the Oscars for advertising) and pretending to get sort of freaky on the Red Carpet (you can say a lot of things about the Cannes Lions, but you can’t say they don’t know how to do a marketing stunt). I mean, I don’t want to sell myself short here. I’ve done things, I guess. I did finally unpack a box that’s been sitting unopened in a distant corner of my apartment for four months. Does that count for anything? I haven’t even been able to keep a New Year’s Resolution, for God’s sake. Mine was “consume less sugar,” and I promptly gave it up on January 2nd with a little hike up the wrong side of cupcake mountain. But I’m not alone, and there’s comfort in that. Only 46% of people haven’t given up on their New Year’s Resolutions by this point, and the rest steadily drop off until just 8% make it to the end of the year, according to Forbes. I’m a little surprised by these stats, because I thought the percentages would look more like 12% of people make it this far, and negative 40% make it to the end....

IT’S TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY, PEOPLE. REJOICE.

Dog owners are a powerful demographic, and that’s because dogs are the best and deserve to be worshipped. There was probably a time when dogs were threading an impressive line between “domesticated house pets” and “the descendants of ancient wolves,” but that time is gone. They’re one of us now. 24% of respondents to a Nielsen survey said they buy gifts for their pets on holidays. According to Mashable, 14% of dog owners say their dog has a Facebook account, 6% have Twitters, and a record 27% have YouTube channels. (Don’t tell me you wouldn’t watch the hell out of that, because you would.) Here at Gemba, we’re no exception. We’re obsessed with our dogs. We brought them into the office for Take Your Dog to Work Day, and it was adorable. Well, it was a slobbery, furry melee of dominance to determine which among them was the one true alpha, but it was an adorable one. There was Murphy, whose first act as the resident Office Dog was to release a veritable tsunami of slobber. It was decided that if he went to Hogwarts, he would be a Hufflepuff. There was Phoebe, who was given peanut butter, whereupon she entered what can only be described as an altered state of consciousness. And then there was our Company President’s dog, who did not make an appearance but who apparently shares a name with said President. I decided to look into this, and the following conversation ensued after I cornered him near the printers. ME: You gave your dog your own last name? HIM: Yes. ME: You named your dog after yourself? HIM: Yes! People name their kids after themselves all the time. Why can’t I...

Experiential Marketing: What Even Is It?

I spent the last five years working as a freelance writer, which means I mostly just sat on my couch watching cat videos on YouTube and eating Doritos. Occasionally, I even wrote things. (What it also means is that I have a veritable goldmine of cat video recommendations under my belt. Look at this one. It’s a cat that’s dressed like a shark and riding a Roomba. Absolutely spectacular.) There once was a time when I knew nothing about experiential marketing. My knowledge went as far as the fact that I knew what both of those words meant separately, but not together. Once it was explained to me, however, I realized I already knew what experiential marketing was. And so do you. I know you do. Believe in yourself. So what is it? It’s when the experience itself serves as the marketing campaign, creating a direct and meaningful connection between the consumer and the brand. It’s when Red Bull sponsored the Felix Baumgartner jump. It was TNT’s “Push to Add Drama” button in Belgium that went viral. It was when we partnered JCPenney with Rascal Flatts to give fans a VIP tour experience they’d never forget. At its most basic, experiential marketing means you’re selling an experience instead of a product, and let’s be real. We’d all prefer to experience something rather than have our 7-second cat video interrupted by a 30-second ad, especially when it’s a video of a cat walking backwards on its hind legs. Am I right, or am I right? According to EventTrack 2015, a metric sh*tload of consumers (98%, to be exact) say they are more inclined to purchase from a brand after...

The Knowledge We Gleaned from EMS Will Blow Your Freaking Minds

It’s Thursday. It’s almost the weekend, but not quite. That’s a bummer. But are we going to sulk about it, sink beneath our anguish, and while away the next day and a half in a desolate haze as we await the release of fourteen new glorious, uninterrupted hours of Orange is the New Black? No. We’re better than that. Time is precious, and we’re not going to waste it. So we’re taking back our Thursday from the clutches of Not-Yet-Friday despair with a little #ThrowbackThursday action. Four weeks ago, we attended the Event Marketer Summit. It’s basically the Hunger Games of the experiential marketing universe. (I’ve been told I need to stop comparing normal aspects of daily life to the Hunger Games, but my tendency to shout, “Welcome to the 76th annual Hunger Games!” every time two people reach for the same donut in the office kitchen has a 20% laugh rate, so I’m sticking with it.) The Event Marketer Summit is a coming-together of individuals looking to shoot the breeze about all things experiential and learn the tools of the marketer’s trade. Best-in-class awards were also given out. (HUNGER GAMES.) For your reading pleasure, we’re going to break it down to just three key takeaways, and we’re going to sprinkle in some bad jokes. Authenticity is IMPORTANT, PEOPLE. It’s all about the consumer. Take them by the hand, gaze deep into their eyes, and whisper, “It’s all about you.” (Don’t do that. Do the non-creepy version.) Brands exist to enrich the lives of their consumers, so make the experience relevant to them. Don’t try to be everything to everybody—zero in on specific demographics and channel your...

Who Are We?

We’re more than just an innovative, hilarious, and good-looking bunch of future billionaires. We’re Gemba—an experiential marketing powerhouse, a creative force to be reckoned with, and a group of ping pong-playing weirdos masquerading as consummate professionals. We do things like transcend the ordinary levels of marketing to connect with your consumers in ways heretofore unseen, but we also make excellent popcorn. In short, we’re pretty great. Not convinced? Take a look at what else we’ve got stored away in our experiential arsenal: Our sales team is the stuff dreams are made of. Our production team kicks unprecedented quantities of ass. Our design team is nothing short of heroic. (Not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes wear T-shirts and can whip up an infographic like it ain’t no thing.) Basically, everyone who works here is just a higher caliber of human being. We’re a farm-to-table company, meaning we do all of our creating, designing, strategizing, manufacturing, and salsa dancing all under one roof. We empower human connections using your brand, and we do it while wearing funny hats. (It’s a company-wide requirement.) Work with us, and you’ll never have a bad hair day again. We take pizza seriously. We weren’t kidding about the ping pong. More specifically, my name’s Courtney. I’m a University of Michigan graduate, a mediocre parallel parker, and one-half of the worst doubles ping pong team in recent history. I’ll also be your helpful guide to all things Gemba. I’m chock full of information, and some of it’s even relevant. I’ll be the one putting up stuff on this blog from time to time. You’ll likely see...