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Author: Team DIGO

Dollar Shave Club Us, Please!

By Mark DiMassimo

Unilever recently announced its purchase of Dollar Shave Club for a cool billion dollars in cash, and now our mobile devices are buzzing with prospective clients beseeching us…

“Dollar Shave Club Us, Please!

Well, I’m not one to say, “I told you so!” But, I’m going to make an exception this time.

I’ve been talking up Dollar Shave Club for the past four years. In the beginning, when the company’s launch video went viral, people thought I made a lot of sense. Six months later, they thought I had fallen behind the times, and within a year many suspected I had developed a troubling obsession with a quirky little mail order outfit.

But, I kept at it. I wrote a case study on Dollar Shave Club, showing how the company had perfectly executed all the Ten Signs of an Inspiring Action Company.

I interviewed Dollar Shave Club’s creative director, Alec Brownstein, for my Inspiring Action podcast.

I wrote about the company in at least six different blog posts and posted about them frequently on social networks, imploring marketers to learn what Dollar Shave Club exemplified: how to drive up brand value while driving down cost-per-acquisition.

Why the passion? Here’s why:

1) Dollar Shave Club showed us how a tiny company with a social-led brand response acquisition strategy can take share from giants. (Proctor & Gamble’s market cap is something like $232 billion!)

2) Dollar Shave Club showed us that the direct economy is taking over, and the billion dollar purchase shows us that the Unilevers of this world know it too.

The Wall Street Journal said, “Dollar Shave Club’s direct-to-consumer model gives Unilever unique consumer data and insights, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

According to Bloomberg, Unilever and P&G are masters at traditional marketing, mostly offline, but they struggle with the direct-to-consumer brand-building at which upstarts like Dollar Shave Club excel. 

“These startups conduct authentic-seeming conversations with customers over social media, while the consumer products conglomerates take to Twitter and Facebook mostly to address customer complaints,” said Ryan Darnell, a principal at Basset Investment Group, which invests in such e-commerce startups as luggage seller Raden.

3) Dollar Shave Club showed us that the ultimate role of social-led, mobile-driven marketing is to drive down overall cost-per-acquisition while driving up brand value. They weren’t free media purists. They bought TV commercials and other paid media, and they optimized the efficiency and impact of the mix.

4) Dollar Shave Club showed us where the jobs are going, and what the modern definition of lean is. According to the New York Times story, $1 Billion for Dollar Shave Club: Why Every Company Should Worry, “The deal anecdotally shows that no company is safe from the creative destruction brought by technological change. The very nature of a company is fundamentally changing, becoming smaller and leaner with far fewer employees.”

5) Dollar Shave Club built a real brand because they thought of brand in the largest sense – Big Brand — not just as logos and standards, but as the entire customer and market experience. According to Bloomberg, “The key to Dollar Shave Club’s appeal is not so much its online prowess but the fact that it built a powerful brand in four years.”

6) Dollar Shave Club exemplifies the Ten Signs of an Inspiring Action Company, which mark brands that tend to outperform in driving sales growth and brand value. The company knew what it was against – ridiculously high priced grooming products for men, starting with shaving. It knew what it was for – affordable grooming you could brag about. Dollar Shave Club’s leaders knew what their target aspired to be and do – well-groomed and smart, not cheap and face-nicked. And they knew their devotees loved being members of a cool club with lots of well-designed visual signs of their membership.

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7) Dollar Shave Club used technology and system to shorten the cycle of test and optimization and to speed growth. The New York Times showed how small the company was able to remain by leveraging technology to the fullest, contrasting Dollar Shave Club to the giants that are shedding jobs by the thousands, searching for “efficiencies.”

8) Finally, Dollar Shave Club dramatized their brilliant brand idea with a few iconic actions that got us all talking, sharing and working on promoting the company for free! First, of course, was their brilliant viral video. But notice something about it that is absolutely key – it isn’t just a quirky “viral” video, but it’s also a fully functioning hard-hitting brand response television commercial as well! Later, it would run on television as well. Internet cool? Check. Hard-working sales generator? Check!! Stretches the media budget? Check!!! Generates lots of free media mentions, social shares and word-of-mouth? Check!!!!

The next action that got us all talking was when they started advertising on television – becoming one of the very few “e-commerce” start-ups to do so, and said that their ultimate goal was for HALF of their media to be paid and for half of their media to be earned!

The next thing they did was launch moisturized wipes with an equally funny video that also made the rounds.

And, finally, the sale to Unilever for that iconic number – a billion dollars, in cash no less!

Dollar Shave Club Us, Please! We suppose we’re not the only agency that is receiving that request these days, but we may be the only one that is 100% delighted. Because the main reason I’ve been writing, talking, podcasting and preaching about Dollar Shave Club these past four years is because this is exactly what we do for the excellent, disruptive, direct model, brand response, inspiring action marketers whom we are proud to call our clients.

If you too want to drive brand value up while driving cost-of-sales down, let’s talk.

 

Mark DiMassimo Joins the Info Junkie Podcast

Recorded in front of a live studio audience at the beautiful Time Square office of LDI Color Toolbox, longtime friends Mark DiMassimo and IT guru Thomas Clancy Jr. of Valiant Technology took the stage for what turned out to be a very special episode of the Info Junkie meets the Inspiring Action Podcast.

In this hour long episode, DiMassimo and Clancy explore the world of podcasting, field questions from a live crowd, impersonate Rush Limbaugh, discuss different ways to successfully motivate people and much much more.

Tune in to the full episode below!

 

Pokémon GO and the Future of Mobile Social-Driven Brand Response

By Mark DiMassimo

You are immersed in a game on your mobile device, searching for Pokémon characters as you walk down a street. Suddenly, you see that there is a “Pokémon gym” up ahead, just outside a corner bodega. You collect a few Pokémon and go inside to reward yourself with a cool drink. You end up picking up a bag of chips as well. You have no idea you’ve just been advertised to. And perhaps you weren’t. You were lured!

Pokémon Go debuted on July 6th, stirring up the nostalgia experienced by many millennials who spent hours with their faces glued to Gameboys in the early 2000s. Gotta Catch em All, as the saying goes.

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Niantic, the developer behind the virtual reality game, was once a start-up created within Google in 2010. Not unexpectedly, Pokémon Go is not its first foray into the virtual reality field; a game called Ingress and an app named Field Trip came first, employing the same type of augmented reality model.

With the exploding popularity of Pokémon Go, it’s not surprising that Niantic CEO John Hanke told The Financial Times, “Niantic intends to allow retailers and other companies to sponsor locations on Pokémon Go’s virtual maps.” As a result, the potential for direct response marketing, in-game advertising, and “advergaming” with Pokémon Go is immense — especially considering that today we are primarily choosing to interact with brands and people through our mobile devices!

Location-based pit stops, special zones, and hot spots where individuals can come to connect for exclusive content are areas worth investigating. For example, a brand could “sponsor” an already established gathering zone in the game: a Pokémon gym. Imagine a Coca-Cola-branded Gym or Jamba Juice-branded gym with products and services from each company available nearby or at a discount for “Pokémon trainers” – who don’t even need to be aware that they’ve been advertised to.

On the grassroots level, Pokémon Go is being used in ingenious ways by small businesses and companies to attract customers. Let’s take the example that opened this piece. L’inizio Pizza Bar in Long Island City, Queens, saw a 75% spike in revenue when a manager spent $10 to buy lures and virtually placed them outside the restaurant. (Lures are in-game purchases that attract Pokémon to a particular location. The Pokémon then attract people who want to capture them – millennials who have been chasing around pocket monsters the entire day are often interested in pizza and beer so they can revive and recuperate). Similarly, savvy bars and pubs across the country are offering discounts to Pokémon Go players, in some cases actually choosing factions within the game to support and providing even more exclusive deals.

However, in terms of marketing and advertising, the larger area for exploration might be one that Niantic has already experimented with in its previous game, Ingress. AXA, a French insurance brand, partnered with an Ingress in-game company (Visur Technology) to create a branded “shield” that was the most powerful in the game. In exemplifying one of DiMassimo Goldstein’s 10 Promises, the company escaped the false choice between selling and brand building. The Inspiring Idea was to “protect people both in the real world, and the augmented one.” What compounded the success of this venture was that the AXA shield was initially only available at AXA portals, meaning players would have to travel to AXA business locations to access the shield. As a result of the initiative, in a five-month period:

• Over four million Ingress players were exposed to the AXA brand promise
• Over 600,000 Ingress players visited AXA agencies in real life
• AXA agencies generated over three million in-game actions in Ingress
• Over five million AXA Shields were deployed in Ingress
• AXA representatives interacted with over 55,000 Ingress players during “anomalies” (an Ingress game term)

AXA built its brand name by showing that the service it offered “protected” people in the virtual reality world through its ultimate shield, in real life through its insurance policies, AND by selling!

Surely, such potential applications for Pokémon Go are already being crafted behind closed doors, in creative and strategy departments all across the country. Perhaps the solution to capitalizing on this new virtual reality medium lies in the hybridization of in-game advertising and advergaming and applying it to virtual reality games – the same way AXA was able to integrate its shield into actual gameplay.

Imagine: A Pokémon center that heals your Pokémon, sponsored by a hospital or pharmaceutical company; maybe all the Duane Reades in NYC could be Pokémon centers where trainers could go to recharge their Pokémon and recharge themselves with snacks and beverages.

New York Sports Clubs creating an in-game “potion” or “rare candy” that makes your Pokémon level up faster – one you can access only after you’ve spent the allocated amount of time “working out” at one of its facilities.

A Pokéball equivalent of a Masterball only available from a company whose brand promise is certainty (to the uninitiated Poké trainers, Masterballs have a one in 65,536 chance of failing – so, an almost 100% guaranteed catch rate).

One thing is certain: mobile and social-driven brand response is the marketing of today. The media conversation, which used to begin with television and then with Google, now begins with Facebook. Social leads. With most of us opting to do most of our interacting from our mobile devices, Facebook, Pokémon GO, and other media that put social-mobile first will become leading advertising media. Those of us who seek efficiency and effectiveness in driving brand value up while driving cost-per-acquisition down need to be where the action is.

The possibilities are as great as the creative team that rubs up against them.

For more on how to drive up brand value while you drive down cost-per-acquisition, read about The Ten Signs of An Inspiring Action Company. Inspiring action companies like Dollar Shave Club, Air BNB and Warby Parker consistently outperform their categories in building brand value and revenue.

Interested to know what Inspiring Action Marketers are obsessed with today? Find out here.

 

DiMassimo Goldstein Selected as a Winner for the 2016 SmartCEO New York Corporate Culture Awards

SmartCEO Announces New York’s Top Company Cultures

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50 firms to be honored in New York SmartCEO’s Corporate Culture Awards program

New York, NY (Aug. 22, 2016) — New York SmartCEO is pleased to announce the 2016 Corporate Culture Award winners. The Corporate Culture Awards celebrate 50 companies in Greater New York that have successfully championed a positive, productive and performance driven culture, and have worked with their employees to develop successful cultural practices. Winners will be profiled in the November/December issue of SmartCEO magazine and celebrated at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 at 404 NYC.

Please see below for a complete list of winners and for program details. To share in the excitement leading up to the event, follow us @SmartCEO #CorporateCulture.

“The 2016 Corporate Culture Award winners have realized that running a company is more than head count and the bottom line. It’s about creating a place where creativity, energy and ideas are cultivated. Through this they are able to not only enhance performance and sustain their companies’ competitive advantages but also enrich the lives of those they employ and inspire them to make a greater impact on the world,” says Jaime Nespor-Zawmon, President of SmartCEO. “We’re honored to celebrate with the leaders of New York’s top company cultures and recognize them for building true performance-driven cultures.”

The Corporate Culture Awards ceremony on Nov. 30, 2016, is an expected sell-out event where the leaders of New York’s top companies will gather to mingle, celebrate and share stories about their collective successes. The event will kick off with a high-energy networking reception, complete with fun activities, including ping-pong, a putting green and a basketball shootout. Accompanying the fun is a video-packed awards ceremony that will honor the leaders of New York’s top company cultures.

2016 Corporate Culture Award Winners

Adore Me, Altrum Group, Benhar Office Interiors, Bombas, Booker Software, Inc. Bounce Exchange, Bright Energy Services, Broadway Technology, Carrot Creative, ChalkDust Consulting, City Winery, Cliff Young Ltd., Convene, Create NYC, Crowdtap, David Feldman Worldwide, DiMassimo Goldstein, Drawbridge, Eastman Cooke Construction, Friedman LLP, Great Eastern Energy, House of Kaizen, IAC Applications, Innerspace Electronics, Inc., Innovid, IRI: Innovative Resources for Independence, J Public Relations, Kaptyn, LeadDog Marketing Group, Levien & Company, Inc., Likeable Media, LivePerson, Mitchell Martin, Inc., Nurture Inc. dba Happy Family Brands, Peloton Cycle, Pure Insurance, RiskVal Financial Solutions, Schaefer Enterprises, Inc., Shark Group, Silverline, SiteCompli, Small Planet Digital, Socialfly LLC, St. Christopher’s, Inc., SUMO Heavy, Tapad, TekScape, tmg-emedia, inc., TPN, Transbeam

About the Corporate Culture Awards

The Corporate Culture Awards program honors companies that foster a creative, collaborative workplace culture to enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage. Smart leaders understand that culture is a company’s greatest asset, driving performance and growth. What’s more, a successful culture is actively and intentionally cultivated and developed. Corporate Culture Awards winners will have championed for a positive, productive culture in their organization, and will have worked with employees to develop successful cultural practices. The final roster of winners will be chosen by an independent committee of local business leaders, profiled in SmartCEO magazine, and celebrated at a high-energy awards event.

About SmartCEO

SmartCEO’s mission is to educate and inspire the business community through its awardwinning magazine, connections at C-level events and access to valuable online resources. SmartCEO’s integrated media platforms reach decision makers in the Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Long Island, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, metropolitan areas.

For more information about the 2017 Corporate Culture Awards nomination process and sponsorship opportunities, email Jennifer Ornovitz at jennifer@smartceo.com.

This research says there’s a trade-off between short-term and long-term results. It’s terrific research. It’s also wrong.

By Mark DiMassimo

Here’s the difference between research and brand response marketing:

Research is descriptive. It works from observation of what has occurred.

Brand response marketing is creative, inventive and synergistic. Brand response marketing creates new realities.

This excellent survey looks at many hundreds of marketing campaigns run over several decades and observes that those that performed best in the short run tended to perform worst in the long run. And vice versa. While those in the middle tended to perform best on both sales and brand measures in the long run.

If you’re quite sure you’re going to still have your job in the long run, no matter what you do, then I suppose you can settle for that. You can play the averages.

But, what if you’re like most mortals? What if you actually have to have excellent short-term results in order to earn the privilege of earning excellent long-term results? What if you need to sell and build a brand?

Then, you need more than a paradox, which essentially tells you what you already know — your job is difficult and you’re going to need to achieve a result that is both uncommon and far from the center of the Bell Curve.

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Here’s good news for you: Most of the cases considered in the survey were created by normal marketers. Many of them inadvertently sold out their brands to achieve an acceptable acquisition cost. Some of them knew it and didn’t even care.

Others built brands without a care in the world about the efficiency of their acquisition marketing. Some of these cared more about their reputation for doing famous campaigns than they did about generating results. But many more were probably guilty of nothing more than misplaced faith in the myth that building a brand can solve all problems. It can’t.

And the results of all of those marketers’ campaigns are the data behind this study. In fact, the marketers you will compete with today will be much like these.

But you don’t have to be!

Brand response is not about reducing short term response in order to build long-term brand!

Is that the way Dollar Shave Club got to a billion-dollar valuation in just a few years? Is that they way companies like American Express, at their best, build a new product? Of course not.

Because it’s possible to discover an idea that will organize and change everything An idea based on an insight. And when you know how to apply that idea to brand response creative, you’re likely to measure an extremely favorable change in your acquisition data.

The right idea is inherently brand building, even as it sells harder — and here’s the thing: If it sells harder, it runs more and more people see it. If it builds the brand, and more people see it, then it builds the brand more effectively.

The fact that this synergy is rare — about as rare as successful product introductions — doesn’t mean it is unachievable. In fact, such brand response success can be reliably and predictably achieved. All that it requires is that you have the right people on the team and that they are doing the right things.

You can have better results in the short run that naturally lead to better results in the long run.

Don’t accept any less!

For more on how to drive up brand value while you drive down cost-per-acquisition, read about The Ten Signs of An Inspiring Action Company. Inspiring action companies like Dollar Shave Club, Air BNB and Warby Parker consistently outperform their categories in building brand value and revenue.

Interested to know what Inspiring Action Marketers are obsessed with today? Find out here.

 

DiMassimo Goldstein Named to Inc.’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies For The Third Year In A Row

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We’re very proud to announce that for the third year in a row, DiMassimo Goldstein has made the Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.

That’s three years in a row of award-winning growth. Three years in a row of growing by helping our clients grow. And three years in a row of Inspiring Action.

And in the spirit of the number three, this recognition means three very important things to us:

First, it means that our team members – the action heroes who deliver on our mission everyday —  are growing. They are growing their expertise and their chops. They are growing as employees and human beings. And, they are growing as inspiring action marketers.

Secondly, it means that the Inspiring Action tribe, those who want to help people make more inspiring decisions and form more empowering habits, is growing.

And most importantly, it means that the world-class marketers and inspiring clients that we have partnered with are growing. As a true and un-conflicted agent of the client, we can only grow if our clients grow. So, congratulations!

And thank you for joining us on this inspiring journey of growth.

We’re building our clients brands and business, simultaneously driving brand value up and cost-per-acquisition down. We’re leading with transparent, accountable media. We’re pioneering new approaches to social-led, mobile-driven brand response marketing. We’re building the world’s leading brand response agency on Inspiring Action principles. And we’re not slowing down.

-The DiMassimo Goldstein Team

 

DiMassimo Goldstein Named to Inc.’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies For The Third Year In A Row.

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We’re very proud to announce that for the third year in a row, DiMassimo Goldstein has made the Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.

That’s three years in a row of award-winning growth. Three years in a row of growing by helping our clients grow. And three years in a row of Inspiring Action.

And in the spirit of the number three, this recognition means three very important things to us:

First, it means that our team members – the action heroes who deliver on our mission everyday —  are growing. They are growing their expertise and their chops. They are growing as employees and human beings. And, they are growing as inspiring action marketers.

Secondly, it means that the Inspiring Action tribe, those who want to help people make more inspiring decisions and form more empowering habits, is growing.

And most importantly, it means that the world-class marketers and inspiring clients that we have partnered with are growing. As a true and un-conflicted agent of the client, we can only grow if our clients grow. So, congratulations!

And thank you for joining us on this inspiring journey of growth.

We’re building our clients brands and business, simultaneously driving brand value up and cost-per-acquisition down. We’re leading with transparent, accountable media. We’re pioneering new approaches to social-led, mobile-driven brand response marketing. We’re building the world’s leading brand response agency on Inspiring Action principles. And we’re not slowing down.

-The DiMassimo Goldstein Team