Version: primary February 2016 - Gemba Marketing

Five Reasons Every Marketing Strategist Should Be Playing Settlers Of Catan

Here at Gemba, board games are kind of a big deal. Scratch that, they’re a really big deal. Read through some of our personal bios and you’ll agree – we’re obsessed. Our conference rooms are named Yahtzee, Cranium, and Battleship, for crying out loud. In appreciation of our board game craze, let’s talk about the greatest game ever invented in the history of time – Settlers of Catan. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s fine. You’re reading about it now, so we can still be friends. If you have heard of it, cheers to you. I hope you own it and play it often. Settlers is more than your typical roll-the-dice-and-move-your-racecar-pawn type of shindig (ahem, Monopoly). It’s better than racecar pawns. Way better. It’s a strategic battle for land and resources, and each player’s success hinges on their ability to form trustworthy alliances and expand their real estate. Being the Settlers-fanatic that I am, I’ve discovered five take-aways marketers can learn from the characteristics and strategies employed by Settlers. Stay with me. This is good stuff. >> Audacity Is King Unlike Monopoly or Risk – two games that rely on luck, boredom, and an extra dose of luck – Settlers of Catan introduces a whole new level of board game in that it brings a mix of intellectual strategy, personal relationships, and bartering to the table. In other words, it has revolutionized the world of board gaming and, since its 1995 debut, has initiated a stampede of similar strategic games to follow in its path.   What does this tell marketers? Easy. Embrace audaciousness. Go against the grain and become best friends with...

Save Your Waistline & Your Wallet: Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling For Work

So you’re traveling for a meeting and your company has placed you in a 5-star hotel with a view. How nice. The bed is ginormous, there’s a Starbucks down the street, and the hotel bar serves the best margarita you’ve ever tasted. You could definitely get used to this. During the morning of your first meeting, you see that one of your coworkers has brought a box of donuts to share with the group. You can’t refuse a donut. It’s literally impossible, so you take three. Later, your coworkers go to the local pub for lunch and you order a large platter of chicken wings with fries. Worth it? Probably not. But let’s move on. You spend most of the day sitting in long conference calls and seminars, so by the time you get back to your hotel, you’re too exhausted to even glance at the treadmill. Instead, you eat a bag of popcorn in bed and call it a day. I get it. Eating right and exercising is hard, especially when you’re traveling for work. But it’s not impossible. To help, I compiled a list of tips to stay healthy during your business travels so you don’t sabotage your waistline or your wallet. Plan Ahead. Scope out the restaurants and stores located near your business destination. Read through their menus and consider what you might order should you end up eating there. Is there a local grocery store nearby? Great. Go stock up on a few low-calorie snacks. That way, when the donuts are taunting you from a distance, you can whip out your trusty apple and slap those...

The Experiential Power of Adult Coloring Books

Walk into any Barnes & Noble these days and you’ll notice a storefront display of the biggest publishing craze of the decade – adult coloring books. They’re everywhere. From book stores to dollar stores, from craft stores to liquor stores, they’re taking over by storm (Okay, I lied about the liquor store part. But you get the point). The books are mesmerizing, filled with pictures of mandalas, gardens, and tropical birds. Even Grumpy Cat and Harry Potter have their own books because, well, do you need a reason? They’re a dream come true for anyone who enjoys a good craft, and we’re obsessed. But where is this coming from? Why are we so excited about pigmenting blank spaces with crayons? It’s not the art we create that makes coloring so alluring. Sure, we can hang our Hogwarts picture on the fridge with pride and share it with all our friends on Facebook, but that’s not the real reason we’re obsessed with coloring, is it? No. It’s not. The answer is simple: it’s stress. We’re working longer hours, we’re living and breathing technology, and we’re making less and less time for ourselves. Mintel Research reports 41% of Americans who engage in arts and crafts do so because it relieves stress and 47% do so to express themselves creatively. We’re looking for an escape from a chaotic world, and it seems like coloring might be a solution. We can binge-watch Downton Abbey for nine hours and not feel guilty about it because, hey look, I’m coloring at the same time, which makes the guilt go away. We can put down our phones and revisit simpler times –...

Cupid’s Top 5 Rules for Content Marketers

Brace yourselves, all ye humans. Valentine’s Day is coming. Whether you’re happily married, single, or somewhere between, I’m guessing your attitude toward February 14th is a bit dark. Gentlemen, are you feeling the pressure? Ladies, it’s time to reevaluate your very high expectations for the evening. Single folk, get to the liquor store stat – the wine is running out. Valentine’s Day is a day full of stress, calories, and impending doom. It’s a day we love to hate and we’ll never understand why we care so much about Cupid and his stupid arrows. But can we just take a step back for a second? Can we set our spiteful feelings aside and consider that maybe, just maybe, Valentine’s Day is (dare I say it) valuable? I’m talking about content marketing and the way it relates to the basic principles of America’s most hated holiday. Open your mind and follow along as we explore Cupid’s top five rules for creating content that woos and satisfies your target audience. 1. Know Your Type Cupid’s Rule: Do you prefer tall, dark, and handsome? Cool. I’m keen on the nerdy, tennis-playing, man-in-uniform type. But that’s just me. Regardless, we all need to know what we’re looking for when it comes to a lifelong mate. Marketing Rule: Marketers need to know their type, too. Figure out who your buyer persona is – what are their interests? What are their challenges, objectives, and dreams? Are they married with kids or will they be spending Valentine’s Day alone with their dog? When you know whom your brand is trying to attract, you’ll end up snagging a multitude of long-term relationships in...

How Brands Won the Super Bowl Without Going Bankrupt

What do Clydesdales, flying pigs, and Liam Neeson have in common? Easy – they’re the stars of three successful Super Bowl commercials aired in recent years. Watch them. They’ll make you feel all the feels. Super Bowl ads are what marketers live for. But these days, claiming a slot for your commercial costs a pretty penny. And by pretty penny I mean all the pennies. This year, CBS has asked brands to pay nearly $5 million for 30-seconds of airtime, which amounts to roughly $160,000 per second. It makes sense. When else can marketers connect with millions of consumers who are more excited about commercials than they are football? To combat the high cost, brands have shifted their strategies to focus more on social experience rather than a multimillion-dollar blitz on television. Here, a few examples of smart and affordable activations that don’t cost an arm and a leg and everything else. Newsjack. Remember the power outage during Super Bowl XLVII? The Mercedes-Benz Superdome was consumed in darkness for 34 minutes, causing havoc and frustration for everyone involved. Meanwhile, Oreo reacted with a timely and pithy Twitter ad featuring the caption “Power out? No problem” and a photo that read “you can still dunk in the dark.” Clever, eh?  The Tweet received 15,000 retweets and 20,000 likes, 790 comments, and 6,600 shares on Facebook. Based on these impressive stats, it seems as though Oreo’s quick reaction to a newsworthy event was more effective than their multi-million dollar Super Bowl commercial, proof that money doesn’t always buy success!   Crowdsource. Doritos became the king of crowdsourcing when they released their “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign. People love getting involved in things. It’s human...