Brand and Performance Marketing Must Coexist
Plus: Google Launches Duet AI | It's Labor Day! How's your work-life balance? | Why Brand? Because you have no choice.
Labor Day is almost upon us. If you’re in the US, it’s the last big break before Thanksgiving & Christmas, the busiest shopping season of the year.
I hope you take some time for yourself this weekend, and come back, fully recharged and ready to go.
Speaking of getting “recharged”, today we’ll touch on maintaining work-life balance, and what one CEO is doing to address it. Here’s today’s slate:
Editorial: It’s Labor Day! How’s your work-life balance?
The Latest: Google Launches Duet AI for Workspaces
BX: Why brand? Because you have no choice.
MX: Brand and performance marketing have to coexist
UX: The best user experience design of 2023 (so far)
CX: Can superior CX and data privacy coexist?
EX: For leaders: The case for admitting (some) flaws at work
DX: Where do customers go when they’re researching a product?
Let’s dig in.
It’s Labor Day — How’s your work-life balance?
I read some interesting data from June of this year.
Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of employed workers surveyed have recently quit or actively want to quit their jobs.
There are many reasons cited from the survey, but here’s the top 10:
Poor work-life balance (29%)
Low or unfair pay (28%)
Toxic company culture (27%)
Felt disrespected/undervalued (26%)
Limited advancement opportunities (25%)
Too stressful (25%)
Didn’t allow (enough) remote work (23%)
Bad boss (22%)
Company values and personal values were misaligned (21%)
Inflexible work hours (21%)
The question, from a leader’s perspective, is, “Are we hiring ‘talent’ or ‘just another body’? Because if it’s the former, these numbers should alarm you.
Because talent, in general, have more options today than ever before. And if they’re not being nurtured (or not nurturing themselves), it will cost your business. It always does.
A CEO’s Perspective On Work-Life Balance
Valentina Drofa, CEO and founder of Drofa Communications Agency, used to work weekends without thinking twice about it.
Valentina Drofa, CEO of of Drofa Communications Agency
Burnout can be sudden. Being exhausted from work and not taking enough time for yourself to recharge leads to chronic stress. Performance and productivity hits are just the tip of the iceberg when mental and physical well-being are compromised.
In her words:
Read her essay on Forbes here. It’s good. And right on time for Labor Day.
Google Launches Duet AI to transform your Workspaces
Love Workspaces? I mean Google Docs, Google Meet, Google Sheets, etc.? Well, for a limited time you can try Duet AI, the ultimate AI assistant for all your favorite Google apps.
Before you can use it, you will have to sign up:
Think about your workflows for Docs, Sheets, or Slides. With a simple chat interface, you can interact with the AI and get things done fast:
And Duet AI handles video meetings with ease. From their announcement:
Duet AI can capture notes, action items, and video snippets in real time with the new “take notes for me” feature and it will send a summary to attendees after the meeting. It can even help get latecomers up to speed with “summary so far,” which gives a quick snapshot of everything they’ve missed.
But that price, though: $30 per user per month. Do you think it’s worth it?
The US Copyright Office wants to ask you about copyright issues around AI
Has anyone actually been here?
The US Copyright Office wants the general public’s answer to three main questions:
How AI models should use copyrighted data in training
Whether AI-generated material can be copyrighted even without a human involved:
And how copyright liability would work with AI
Written comments are due on October 18th, and replies must be submitted to the Copyright Office by November 15th.
Grubhub will try Amazon’s cashierless tech in colleges this fall
Gen Z’ers love their food delivery and Grubhub will oblige them, right on college campuses.
Looks like there’s a pretty good market. According to a PYMNTS survey done in June, 52% of Gen Z respondents said they used a food delivery aggregator (like Grubhub or UberEats) in the past month.
As for the actual checkout process, I wonder how accurate AI (in this case, Computer Vision) will be in tracking purchases. Should be interesting.
“Who’s going to walk out first?”
Why brand? You don’t have a choice.
Brand experience is a constant theme here, and for good reason. People tend to think of brand as a “fluffy” thing, or something having to do with design and aesthetics. No.
Brand is all about the impression you’ve left on someone, and hopefully, continue to make.
What someone thinks about you after they’re long gone is what brand is all about.
It’s really simple. If people don’t think much about you, then you don’t have a strong brand. But if they’re still talking about you, especially if they’re talking about you to other people, then you’ve had some kind of impact.
It’s really that simple. And leaving an impression translates to dollars really fast. Sure, it’s a long-term game, but that doesn’t mean you don’t see results right away.
That’s why I like this piece on why it’s no longer even a choice when it comes to brand. In a sea of noise, people want more signal. Do you provide that signal? That beacon people want or need in their lives?
Oh. And brand is not just brand marketing. It’s the whole enchilada.
Support & success
It’s the whole enchilada
And that enchilada is baked into every interaction anyone has with you and your company (including your team). And every interaction along their journey, long or short, is an opportunity to leave an impression (or not).
Some interactions are just ordinary, and that’s fine. Not everything needs to grab your attention to create an incredible experience. Sometimes the best interface is the invisible one. But when you stack them, they better add up to more than the sum of their parts.
Regardless, all those interactions add up to something called “brand”. And the brand could be positive or negative. I know I rubbed many people the wrong way with one simple interaction—and that will always be my brand with them. Unfortunate, but true.
Don’t be that person. Don’t be that brand.
How to Build a Brand That People Love
Dude Wipes, the super niche product, is projected to sell over $120 million this year, according to co-founder Ryan Meegan. For Ryan, “our brand is everything.”
There’s that word again: authenticity. Gotta love their approach (and their results).
Brand and Performance Marketing Have to Coexist
This isn’t one of those old rivalries that requires you to pick a side. As I wrote about last week, the debate between performance and brand has been settled, so to speak, because there is no debate.
See? It’s not an either/or scenario…
You should be biased more towards brand, according to the research, only because it generates greater profits over the long term.
But that’s not the current reality. Most marketing is extremely biased towards short-term results. And if that continues to be your strategy, it will cost you—again, in the long run.
All that said, there needs to be a solid mix, depending on your current stage of the business.
Sprout Social wrote a nice piece on why it’s important to invest more in brand—and not fall for the “soft” investment fallacy.
Airbnb CMO On Ditching Performance Marketing For Big, Bold Brand Campaigns
Speaking of which, Airbnb could be going through some tough times right now, but that’s nothing compared to dealing with the effects of the pandemic. During this time, they lost almost 80% of their business.
From the article:
But when the pandemic flipped the business on its head, performance marketing wasn’t delivering what the brand needed.
But even before the pandemic hit, they kinda lost what made them unique, according to their CMO, Hiroki Asai:
To regain control of the narrative, Airbnb decided to dial back its investment in performance marketing significantly and focus on what made the brand, aka the product, really special.
This is a great article on what could have been a disaster for Airbnb, and how they were able to salvage what could have been a death blow to their business.
The best user experience design of 2023
Here’s an interesting list of products that made Fast Company’s best of 2023 for UX design.
The winner? A simple drawing test for the iPad, that uses AI and the Apple Pencil to spot dementia.
Where should you place your pricing?
From Thomas McKinlay’s newsletter “Ariyh”, where’s the best place to place pricing. Well, one thing’s for sure, don’t put it on top of your product:
Scientific research found that we perceive prices as cheaper when they are below products (vs above), increasing sales.
Bottom’s up? Or down?
How about to the 'left’ of the product? Could work. Just don’t place your pricing at the top.
Can A Superior Customer Experience And Data Privacy Co-Exist?
Well, soon, we won’t have a choice as it pertains to data privacy. People want more protection, particularly with an increase in identity theft and fraud in general:
Ironically, consumers also want more personalized interactions with the brands they love. Can privacy and delivering personalized experiences co-exist?
The move from third-party data to, let’s say first or even zero party data, will happen. It’s just a matter of time.
Let's talk about your relationships. And data.
3rd Party to Zero Party Data is simply a reflection of your current relationship with your market and customers.
For example, 3rd Party Data: Imagine there's a guy named Bob who you and your friends don't know very well, if at all.
— Rep AI (@TeamRepAI)
Apr 6, 2023
When technology comes along to address this need, or when businesses are forced to alter their practices, then perhaps we’ll witness some true innovation in this space.
The Case for Admitting (Some) Flaws at Work
As leaders, it can be tough to share any vulnerability you might have. Do too much, and people might think you’re not competent. Do too little, and you’re just not relatable, and therefore, harder to trust.
It’s not easy being the queen, is it?
But is there a sweet spot?
This podcast has a very obvious answer.
And should the leader divulge their vulnerability first, and lead the way? Or wait for someone’s vulnerable moment, and reciprocate right there and then?
Daniel Coyle, author of The Culture Code, has a great answer for you.
I’m personally against this kind of “tactic” if it’s not coming from a genuine place. People are smart. Don’t try to manipulate them. It will likely backfire, in the worst way.
Where do consumers go when they’re researching your product?
Try search. Then Amazon. Then your website. All before social. Take a look:
Still on top…
And what about ad preferences? What kinds of ads influence buyers the most? TV still? Really?
TV and Social Media in a virtual tie?
And finally, how much are people willing to engage with chatbots? And for what reasons? Take a look:
Engagement with chatbots will continue grow, as capabilities increase. AI will only accelerate this.
The world economy, visualized
Enjoy your time off
Enjoy the long weekend everyone in the US. See you all next week.