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Showing posts tagged with: marketing

The Power of Thick Data

by BIGfish

business marketing

In recent years, there has been a lot of hype around “big” data in the marketing world. Big data is extremely helpful with gathering quantitative information about new trends, behaviors and preferences, so it’s no wonder companies invest a lot of time and money sifting through and analyzing massive sets of data. However, what big data fails to do is explain why we do what we do. “Thick” data fills the gap. Thick data is qualitative information that provides insights into the everyday emotional lives of consumers. It goes beyond big data to explain why consumers have certain preferences, the reasons they behave the way they do, why certain trends stick and so on. Companies gather this data by conducting primary and secondary research in the form of surveys, focus groups, interviews, questionnaires, videos and other various methods. Ultimately, to understand people’s actions and what drives them to your business (or not), you need to understand the humanistic context in which they pursue these actions. It’s crucial for successful companies to analyze the emotional way in which people use their products or services to develop a better understanding of their customers. By using thick data, companies can develop a positive relationship with their customers and it becomes easier for those companies to maintain happy customers and attract new ones. Big data will tell you that in 2013, Samsung was able to sell 35 million more smartphones than Apple. But what can these companies really do with this data? Pat themselves on the back or hang their heads in shame? If you are in the market for a smartphone, you’re not going to buy a Samsung because they sold 35 million more than Apple.  As a customer, you probably don’t even know this information. You may, however, buy a Samsung because they offer a multitude of models that you can customize to your preferences, and Apple’s product line is less diverse. Or perhaps you won’t buy an Apple smartphone because it’s not quite as durable, or they don’t have as wide a selection of phone colors as Samsung. Using thick data to figure out why more people are buying from Samsung is key for both companies to move forward and either keep dominating the market, or reinvent to gain dominance. At its core, business is about making bets on human behavior, and those bets backed by thick data are what business models should be based around. Take for example Lego, a successful company that was near collapse in the early 2000’s because they lost touch with their customers. After failed attempts to reposition the company with action figures and other concepts, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO of the Danish Lego firm, decided to engage in a major qualitative research project. Children in five major global cities were studied to help Lego better understand the emotional needs of children in relation to legos. After evaluating hours of video recordings of children playing with legos, a pattern emerged. Children were passionate about the “play experience” and the process of playing. Rather than the instant gratification of toys like action figures, children valued the experience of imagining and creating. The results were clear; Lego needed to go back to marketing its traditional building blocks and focus less on action figures and toys. Today, Lego is once again a successful company, and thick data proved to be its savior. While it’s impossible to read the minds of customers, thick data allows us to be closer than ever to predicting the quirks of human behavior. The problem with big data is that companies can get too caught up in numbers and charts and forget the humanistic reality of their customers’ lives. As this Wall Street Journal article puts it, “By outsourcing our thinking to Big Data, our ability to make sense of the world by careful observation begins to wither, just as you miss the feel and texture of a new city by navigating it only with the help of a GPS”. This is not to say big data is useless. It is a powerful and helpful tool companies should invest in. However, companies should also invest in gathering and analyzing thick data to uncover the deeper, more human meaning of big data. Together, thick data and big data give you an incredibly insightful advantage. -Jess Cook

BIGfish Interns

Thank You, Interns!

by BIGfish

our team

We were lucky enough to have our two interns Hannah and Dana stay on with us through both fall and spring semesters. Since starting at BIGfish in September, they’ve helped us execute countless projects by writing press releases, pitches, blog and social media posts and helping us plan events. We will certainly miss having Hannah and Dana in the office and we wish them the best! Read on to find out what they’ve learned during their time at BIGfish, what they’re most proud of, and what advice they have for future interns. Dana Harvey Dana Harvey Hometown: Bayside, NY College: Boston College, Class of 2014 Major: Political Science What you’re most proud of from your time at BIGfish: I am most proud of my growth throughout my time at BIGfish. Being a Political Science major I did not come to BIGfish with a lot of communications experience, but I came with a love of writing and research paired with an eagerness to learn. The account team at BIGfish was very willing to train me and offer advice along the way. I found it very helpful to be able to write press releases, pitches, and blog posts, in addition to preparing media lists and assisting in the planning of events. Benefits of extending your internship: In extending my internship I was able to monitor our clients and their industries over my winter break in order to enter the second semester with a fresh perspective. In addition, it was great being familiar with the BIGfish team and with our clients, which allowed me to jump right into my work. Advice to future BIGfish interns: I would say that it is important to show your willingness and eagerness to learn. In a small agency there are always tasks to get done, so there are always opportunities to help out. In addition, don’t be shy when sharing your ideas with the account team. During brainstorming sessions it is really helpful to have new and innovative ideas for clients. Where you’d like to be in 5 years: In five years I would like to be working at a PR agency. Anything else? I am grateful to have been able to work and grow at BIGfish this school year. I found that the BIGfish account team was always willing to share their breadth of knowledge with me and to help me improve my PR skills. I can honestly say that I am walking away well prepared for my post-graduate career.   blog Hannah Duffy Hometown: Washington, NJ College: Boston College, Class of 2014 Major: Communication; Applied Psychology and Human Development What you’re most proud of from your time at BIGfish: I’m proud of my growth and improvement while at BIGfish, specifically in my writing skills. My writing has become much sharper from the frequent writing of press releases, blog posts, pitches, tweets, articles, and more. Benefits of extending your internship: When I returned to BIGfish for my second semester, I hit the ground running. I already knew the clients, office environment, and expectations, so I was able to learn and grow more quickly. Advice to future BIGfish interns: Take initiative: Offering to help out with tasks that may not be assigned to you helps the team and helps you learn. Ask questions: Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge in this office. The team is extremely experienced and talented, so don’t be afraid to ask about their experiences. Get to know the clients: In my time here, I ended up feeling really invested in our clients. I found myself checking my email on my off days, checking to see how a Kickstarter campaign was going, or looking at what press hits came in. Explore each client to discover what kinds of industries interest you most. Where you’d like to be in 5 years: Working at a PR agency in Boston. Anything else? I feel lucky to have found such an educational, valuable, and fun internship. My experience at BIGfish has helped prepare me for the PR world that I’m excited to enter post-graduation!

BIGfish PR

When is it Time to Hire A Public Relations Firm?

by BIGfish

business facebook marketing public relations social media

Since public relations is one of the most misunderstood professions, it’s probably not a stretch to assume many companies don’t see the benefit of a PR/marketing firm or don’t know when it’s time to hire one. Below we’ve listed a few telltale signs that it’s time to invest in marketing.

You see your competitors in the news

If someone’s reading an article about one of your competitors, they’re probably interested in what you have to offer as well. Want to get in on that story? Hire a marketing firm. It’s our job as PR and marketing professionals to pitch your news to the right people and get you published. With a mention in an outlet like TIME, Fast Company or The Wall Street Journal, your brand is getting millions of impressions and therefore increasing overall awareness. Being published in a well-known news outlet also establishes your company as a leader in the industry and helps to build credibility.

You need help telling people what you do and/or you’re camera shy

If you want to be in the news, it’s important that you have your messaging nailed down. A PR firm can help you refine your company’s mission, vision and key messages. If you’re clear and concise when speaking about your company, listeners or readers are more likely to easily understand what you’re about. Camera shy? Most marketing firms offer media training, which is a great way to prepare for interviews and helps interviewees feel more comfortable and confident when speaking with the media.

You’re a startup

Don’t have the budget for an extensive advertising campaign? Bill Gates once said: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” It’s especially important for a startup to define its messaging and properly introduce itself to the market. PR is a cost effective way of increasing brand awareness and establishing your company or CEO as thought leaders in the industry. Hiring a PR firm is like bringing on an experienced partner to help you navigate the media and introduce you to millions of customers.

You’re not invested in social media

If you’re neglecting your company’s social media platforms, you’re doing it wrong. Social media offers the unique opportunity to eavesdrop on and converse with consumers around the world. Social media is also the first place people go to complain about a brand, so you need to be there to immediately address any issues. Have a student posting updates for you occasionally? Doesn’t really cut it. Digital media marketing requires a strategic plan, an advertising budget, a content calendar, 24/7 monitoring and constant evaluation and analysis. By posting relevant content, acknowledging users and engaging with them, you can create a community that loves to share and engage with your brand and each other (like we have for our client Iceland Naturally). It’s not an easy or fast process but trust me, it’s worth it.

There are plenty of reasons to hire a PR firm and we’ve named just a few. What would you add to our list? When did you decide it was time to hire a marketing or PR firm? We’d love to hear from you - tweet us @BIGfishmarket!

-Brigid Gorham


#FallonTonight Goes Viral

by BIGfish

facebook marketing social media twitter

After 22 years, Jay Leno passed the Tonight Show torch to Jimmy Fallon on February 17, 2014. As expected, Fallon’s debut was a huge (and hilarious) success. But we noticed something else about the show, too: #FallonTonight went viral on social media.

Why is this so important? “The ascension of Mr. Fallon, 39, to ‘The Tonight Show’ throne represents a new era in late-night viewing, one where advertisers value a show’s total audience--its viral video viewers and Twitter followers along with the TV watchers being lulled to sleep by topical monologues and skits,”  wrote AdAge. While attracting viewers to the show is, of course, important, Fallon must also engage with fans online.

Fallon may be new to The Tonight Show, but he’s already a seasoned social media pro and each of his social profiles has a larger following than those of his competitors. Read on to find out how Fallon leveraged his strong online audience to promote his Tonight Show debut.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.08.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.11.30 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.08.39 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.08.27 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.08.20 PM

Readying The Troops

Social media is the perfect place to promote an event. At BIGfish, we utilize Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter to promote events for our client Iceland Naturally. Whether it’s a festival, tweetup, or TV premiere, you should always start posting about the event on social media in advance. Make sure fans and followers know what’s going on, how they can get involved, and why they should be excited! This is a great way to build buzz before the event even starts.

Fallon spent the week leading up to his Tonight Show debut getting his fans pumped for the show and expressing his own excitement. He sent out tweets, like this one:

https://twitter.com/jimmyfallon/status/435256832115101696 And also promoted the show by simultaneously engaging with fans, as he often does: https://twitter.com/jimmyfallon/status/434490532430381056

Five days before the first show, the Fallon Tonight Instagram started a daily countdown. Then, 12 hours before showtime, it featured hourly updates with photos of the Tonight Show mug at different NYC landmarks and encouraging users to use the #FallonTonight hashtag.

Fallon’s Tumblr blog also featured several posts promoting Fallon’s Tonight Show debut, and the official YouTube channel was not overlooked. There they posted an interactive “Ask Jimmy: What’s Coming to the Tonight Show?” video, further engaging fans and spreading the word about his new show.

If all that wasn’t enough, Fallon announced the launch of the Late Night App that enables users to easily tweet about the show, submit videos for the latest challenge, play free games and see show-related content. By sharing information about #FallonTonight in unique and fun ways on several platforms, they created buzz around the big debut and gave followers a reason to not only watch but also Like, follow and share the new Tonight Show.

Give ‘Em Something to Talk About

In our world of mobile devices and 24-hour news, content becomes ‘old news’ fast. Waiting to post content after an event is often too late. Users want and expect live updates. This was something the Fallon Tonight team did better than any other late night TV show has in the past.

Once the show began, the Tonight Show team posted updates and clips online, making it easy for users to view and share. Almost immediately after Fallon and Will Smith performed the “Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing” on air, the video clip was uploaded to YouTube and posted to the Fallon Tonight Facebook page. The result? The video got more than 100,000 Likes and 13,000 shares on Facebook and now has more than 7 million views on YouTube (and still climbing every day).

The Fallon Tonight Tumblr page also featured several .gifs and videos from the show - a perfect place to put media that makes it easy for users to share and send to friends. All of these tactics extend the reach of the show far past those viewing it live.

Always Be Yourself

Brands work hard and long to craft their brand voice, and social media is a great place to refine and express that voice. Having a consistent brand voice, whether it be serious, friendly, sarcastic or sincere, strengthens the overall brand personality and helps build relationships with fans. Jimmy Fallon’s social media profiles are a shining example of this in action.

“Mr. Fallon is a charming and gifted comedian who, on his first night, chose to be subdued and at times even serious. That said as much about the uncertain future of “Tonight” as it did about its new host,” The New York Times wrote of Fallon’s Tonight Show debut. Fallon’s honest, humble personality that makes him so likeable is also clearly visible in his social profiles. Fallon’s personal posts garner lots of engagement from his followers, and the consist voice from platform to platform helps keep the Fallon Tonight brand in tact.

https://twitter.com/jimmyfallon/status/430531164638420992 "February 17, 2014 This is it. We are starting a new chapter of the Tonight Show. I can't even begin to describe what we are all feeling right now here at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC. But - I know that we'll never have this exact feeling ever again. By this time tomorrow we'll no longer wonder what it would be like to do the Tonight Show. We can't put that feeling - that moment back in the bottle. All we can do is try to make the best show that we can and make people happy. And we will. Here's to the first of many. Fun." Fallon wrote in this Instagram post. What other TV shows do a good job of integrating and leveraging social media? Tweet @BIGfishmarket and let us know! Update  On February 28, the Today show reported that some 10.42 million people viewed Jimmy Fallon's first week on The Tonight Show, with delayed DVR-watchers factored in. This is the biggest  audience since Johnny Carson hosted the show from 1962-1992. Weeks into his new show, Fallon is still giving "night owls a good reason to keep watching," but I believe Fallon's initial social media success also convinced people who missed the debut show to tune in for the rest of the week. Fallon's perfect mix of social media expertise, likable personality and shareable content are clearly a recipe for success! -Brigid Gorham

“Don’t act like you’re not impressed.” -Ron Burgundy

by BIGfish

marketing public relations

For the last few months, Will Ferrell fully immersed himself in his character, Ron Burgundy, and traveled all over the country to appear in Dodge advertisements, anchor local newscasts, conduct interviews on ESPN, commentate Canadian curling, appear on Conan, and even hold a press conference at Emerson College. If you didn’t see Burgundy’s stunts, then you read about them, heard friends talking about them, or learned about them on the news. It seems nearly everyone in North America was aware that  “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” was scheduled to be released on December 18, 2013.

In an age when consumers fast forward through commercials, scroll past banner ads and click through popups, some good PR and a little creativity can go a long way. Director of the film, Adam McKay, estimates the campaign is worth at least $20 million in free publicity, according to Entertainment Weekly. However, while the campaign meant everything for awareness, it didn’t necessarily produce the results you’d expect. The sequel’s three-day weekend total of $26.8 million pales in comparison to the original’s $28 million in 2004. Additionally, the new film’s five-day total of $40 million is still less than the original’s $46 million, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Perhaps the low numbers are a result of a poor product. The New York Times writes: “‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ is in danger of being overshadowed by its own marketing campaign.”  When searching “Anchorman 2” on Twitter, the suggested searches are: “Anchorman 2 quotes” and “Anchorman 2 terrible.” If your product is “terrible” consumers aren’t going to buy it, regardless of how well it’s marketed, advertised and promoted.


Others believe that the campaign pushed too hard and consumers grew weary of Burgundy before the film was even released. The Week published an article that discusses “How nonstop marketing killed my buzz for Anchorman 2” and suggests that Ron Burgundy was not an ideal character to lend himself to discuss real news stories. But as a professional marketer who’s always trying to gain exposure for clients, I can’t imagine saying “okay, I think that’s enough coverage” and letting up. John Greenstein, chief marketing officer at Paramount, led the campaign and said, “My job as a marketer is to want as much of the right exposure as possible because we believe in this movie so much and we believe in this character and we believe in these filmmakers.”

If you ask me, Greenstein did his job. He generated buzz about the sequel and gave people something to talk about. Although ticket sales weren’t impressive, the Anchorman 2 marketing campaign did wonders for awareness and blazed a trail for creative movie marketing. Still, the film will be in theatres for another few weeks and ticket sales could fare better in the long run - or perhaps movie rentals and DVD purchases will prove more promising. It’ll be interesting to see if and how movie marketers use some of the same tactics from this campaign in the future.

What did you think of the Anchorman 2 marketing campaign? Did you go see the film? What would you have done differently if you were promoting the movie?

- Brigid Gorham


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