What Ronda Rousey Can Teach Us About Marketin...

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Ronda Rousey

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is quickly becoming one of the biggest sports in the United States and around the world. In fact, while the NFL, MLB, and NBA have suffered losses is their fan base, the UFC – MMA’s largest promotion – has seen unprecedented growth. It is estimated that 65 million people across the globe consider themselves UFC fans.

Fans enjoy seeing fighters of all different backgrounds and specialties compete. Fighters are trained in grappling sports like wrestling, jiu jitsu, and judo, as well as stand up sports, including boxing, muy thai, and kickboxing. And while each fighter certainly has his or her own fan base, one super star stands out among the rest: Ronda Rousey.

If you haven’t heard of Ronda Rousey until now, I’d like to welcome you out from under your rock. Rousey was the first female fighter allowed in the UFC and she has been dominating ever since. In the UFC, she has 12 wins and zero losses, and she clenched all but one of those wins in the first round. But her record isn’t the only reason she’s a superstar.

Rousey has managed to break through major barriers to become perhaps the most well known fighter in the world today. Hardcore fans, new fans, and people who have never watched a fight know her name. She’s done this through clever marketing, and I think we could all learn a few things from her success.

1. Be Your Own Biggest Advocate

We love brand influencers – the people who love your brand so much that they advocate for you without pay. They are key to gaining popularity and their importance cannot be overstated. However, at the end of the day, you must be your own biggest advocate. Because if you don’t believe in your brand, who will?

That’s what Rousey had to do, and it worked incredibly well. In January 2011, UFC President Dana White infamously said that women would “never” participate in the UFC. Less than two years later, in November 2012, the UFC announced the signing of their first female fighter.

Rousey didn’t cause this turnabout by sitting back and waiting for White to come around. She requested a meeting with him after she had proven herself in a smaller promotion. Here’s what White told Adweek about that meeting:

My first meeting with her was 15 minutes. As soon as I walked out of the room, I said, “She’s the one, and I’m doing this thing.”

Although I was not privy to that meeting, I would be willing to bet that Rousey advocated for herself pretty hard in that 15 minutes. It wouldn’t be hard to guess that she presented herself with complete confidence and total control.

Do the same for your brand. Be confident in your abilities. Know that you are the best. Advocate for yourself.

2. Be the First

Being a pioneer has been a good strategy for many brands. A certain fruit-themed computer company comes to mind. Rousey is no stranger to a pioneer’s success.

Of course, Rousey wasn’t the first female fighter ever, and your brand doesn’t have to be the first of its kind to be a barrier buster. You just have to be the first to do it a certain way. Find what makes your company innovative and focus on it.

3. Be Authentic

Up to this point, we’ve mostly talked about Rousey’s accomplishments. While those are certainly part of her success, her demeanor also plays an important role. Her take-no-stuff personality may rub some people the wrong way, but it is authentically her.

I’m not saying you should go around talking smack about your competitors. That may be a disastrous plan. However, you should find out what makes your brand unique. Is your brand fun and exciting? Then your marketing should be too.

Is your brand silly and outlandish? Be that. What about serious or empowering? Find the words that best describe what your brand naturally is, and then make your marketing fit those descriptions.

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What do you think? Is there something valuable to learn from Ronda Rousey’s success? Let us know. For more informative and fun content, make sure to follow Duncan/Day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Branding, Pop Culture

A Grammar Nerd’s Plea

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Their are two types of people in the world: those who are irritated by the first word in this sentence and those who didn’t notice the mistake.

I’m the first type of person. In fact, purposefully typing the wrong word was the most difficult thing I’ve done today. However, if there’s one thing I love more than great grammar, it’s a perfect intro.

I realize that not everyone will have the same passion for grammar. It takes all kinds to run the world. If you’re the type of person who didn’t even notice the glaring error in the opening paragraph, you are probably really tired of people like me correcting your Facebook statuses.

On behalf of all grammar nerds, I sincerely apologize. We don’t mean to be so mean; we just love grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Furthermore, we know you don’t mean to use the wrong spelling all the time; you have other, more important things to worry about.

So I propose a compromise. If you and a friend fall on different sides of the grammar spectrum, show them this compromise. Perhaps we can make this world a happier place.

Grammar nerds of the world will stop correcting every little detail if everyone else agrees to obey these seven rules:

1. There/They’re/Their, Too/To/Two, Your/You’re, etc.

Save this on your phone for later reference. It’s helpful.

Save this on your phone for later reference. It’s helpful.

I am lumping these together because they’re all so similar. These are also some of the most common mistakes made on the Internet. I hesitate to even call this a grammar problem, because that’s not what it is. It’s a simple matter of using the right word.

2. Literally

It may drive me literally insane soon enough.

It may drive me literally insane soon enough.

The word “literally” is supposed to be used to describe things that actually, truly, really happened in the literal sense of the word. The very best times this word is used is to say that this story sounds like a metaphor, but it really happened.

If you were finishing up a story about how you ended up on a canoe in a sewer without any way to propel yourself forward, it would be awesome to say, “I was literally up crap creek without a paddle.”

Please, please don’t use “literally” before using a metaphor. Unless you had some physical force acting against you, “I literally could not even get out of bed this morning,” is not correct.

3. It’s vs. Its

Kabir's

A perfect example of what NOT to do.

This one didn’t get lumped in with the first rule because it’s much more confusing. I don’t blame anyone for getting this one wrong. After all, we are taught that ‘s is possessive and that it is used in contractions. ‘It’ just has to go and complicate the rules.

“It’s” stands for “it is.” Example: It’s hot outside!

“Its” is possessive. Example: The cat flicked its tail.

As usual, there’s a trick to remembering this grammar rule. “Its” is possessive because it wants the “s” to be close to “it.” I hope that helps.

4. Less vs. Fewer

copyblog

Dear supermarkets, please remember this one.

Believe it or not, “less” and “fewer” are not interchangeable. Don’t worry; this common mistake is even made by my favorite store from time to time. So what’s the difference?

“Less” is used to talk about something you cannot count. “Fewer” is used to talk about things you can count. For example, you could say that a high efficiency washing machine uses less water. You could also say that it uses fewer gallons of water. This is because a gallon is a measurable unit, but water isn’t.

So, the sign pictured above should say, “10 items or fewer,” because an item is something you can count. However, you could say, “I can use the express line because I have less stuff.” Stuff isn’t a unit of measurement.

5. Make the Verb Match

Bqa9cRDCIAAtT0U

I still love this movie.

Mismatched verbs have become rampant since social media’s rise. Verbs are complicated and there are whole books written about their usage. This is the most common problem:

Incorrect: I seen it!

Correct: I have seen it!

Correct: I saw it!

If everyone could just get that one right, Facebook would be a better place.

6. Me and I

Just remember these two sentences, and you’ll always get it right.

Just remember these two sentences, and you’ll always get it right.

When people use “I” where they should say “me,” or vice versa, it’s typically because someone else is involved in the sentence too. Most people know that “Suzie hit me,” is the correct way to say that sentence. However, a lot of people might say, “Suzie hit Sally and I.” This would be incorrect.

There are many tricks to remembering whether to use “I” or “me,” but the one in the picture above might be the simplest.

If you are taking action in the sentence, use “I.”

Correct: I washed the dishes.

Correct: Sally and I washed the dishes.

Incorrect: Me and Sally washed the dishes.

If something is being done to you in the sentence, use “me.”

Correct: The water spilled on me.

Correct: The water spilled on Sally and me.

Incorrect: The water spilled on Sally and I.

7. Just Try

Even Muppets make mistakes.

Even Muppets make mistakes.

Nobody is perfect. Heck, I make grammar mistakes sometimes and I write for a living. To make matters more complicated, grammar is sometimes subjective. (Don’t get me started on why Oxford commas are awesome.)

However, grammar-loving friends will greatly appreciate it if you just give good grammar a shot. It doesn’t have to be great all the time; just give it a chance.

After all, we are all trying to use this language to communicate ideas. Sometimes those ideas are mind-blowing. Sometimes, they are rather silly. No matter what idea you’re trying to convey, it’s better communicated with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

So, everyone, can we e-shake on this? I’m not asking for world peace, just a little agreement.

Like this? Make sure to follow Duncan/Day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more interesting tidbits and informational posts.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Blogging, Overheard at Duncan/Day

Can I Haz Meme in Marketing?

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Condescending Wonka - Memes

An example of my favorite meme, Condescending Wonka.

Condescending Wonka has a point – memes are anything but new, and they are much more than a trend. In fact, memes have been around in some form or fashion for much longer than the Internet. And yet, many brands use memes all wrong. This ends up doing more harm than good.

Every time a brand uses a meme incorrectly, an Internet troll get its wings. They will be more condescending than Wonka ever was and make your brand look old and out of touch. Nobody wants that.

So yes, Condescending Wonka, we are publishing an article about memes. However, we are going to explore how brands can use this established, not-a-trend tool to their advantage.

What’s in a Meme?

One Does Not Simply Explain What a Meme Is

“One Does Not Simply” is a great meme for explaining that something is much harder than it seems.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a meme is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Some people compare memes to genes due to the way memes replicate and mutate. Like genes, mutated memes are sometimes rejected and sometimes accepted.

In the example above, the image is from the Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring. In this scene in the movie, Sean Bean’s character, Boromir says, “One does not simply walk into Mordor.” When people of the Internet took that line and changed it to spread other ideas, it became a meme. Find more examples of this particular meme here.

Remember that memes predate the Internet. But how can that be? Well, a meme is anything that spreads an idea through culture and can be manipulated for each user. Doing “bunny ears” to your sibling in a family picture is a meme.

Do you remember saying, “Circle. Circle. Dot. Dot. Now you’ve got the cootie shot,” in elementary school? That’s a meme too. The idea of a meme is really a nebulous one. But if you can understand the current ones being passed around the Internet like a bad cold, you can use memes in your marketing.

Know Your Meme

Wrong Memes. Wrong Memes Everywhere.

The format for this meme is always:
Top – XYZ
Bottom – XYZ EVERYWHERE

Before you make your meme, head over to www.knowyourmeme.com to make sure you’re using the correct one. This awesome site will give you the history of each meme, examples, and other important information. If you only take away one tip from this post, make it this one.

Make it Correctly

What If I Told You

This meme is often used in a condescending way. Such as, “What if I told you that blinkers were not just a suggestion”
However, that’s not how we used it here. Memes can sometimes be changed slightly in tone.

One of the most cringe-inducing things a brand can do with a meme is use the wrong font. It sounds silly, but it does matter. There are plenty of meme generators out there to help you use the correct font and images. We have found that imgur.com/memegen is very easy to use. It’s also free!

It’s All in the Timing

We love "300" as much as anyone, but this meme is stale. Also, note the bright colors in the background. This is a common meme background you will see in a sub-category of memes called "Advice Animals."

We love “300” as much as anyone, but this meme is stale.
Also, note the bright colors in the background. This is a common meme background you will see in a sub-category of memes called “Advice Animals.”

Some memes, like the Rick Roll and Can I Haz Cheezburger are timeless. Others quickly wear out their welcome. Be sure to know the difference. Minions, for example, are completely overdone at this point. People are getting tired of them.

How can you tell? If your mom and all her friends are posting a particular meme with regularity, they are probably already old. Also, if you’ve seen it on Reddit a few times, it might still be good. If you’ve seen it on Reddit a lot, it’s probably old.

Make Sure You Have the Right Audience

This meme is funny because it's relatable, especially to Millennials.

This meme is funny because it’s relatable, especially to Millennials.

Not every brand should use memes, because not every audience will understand or enjoy them. Furthermore, they do not fit into every brand image. If your brand always shoots for funny, it may be appropriate. However, if you always strive for a serious tone, you may want to rethink memes.

Do you use memes to market your brand? Still unclear on which memes are cool and which ones are lame? Give Duncan/Day a call. We are here to help with all your marketing needs.

For more useful tips and information, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Blogging, Email Marketing, Pop Culture, Social Media, Web Design

Why We Love Online Quizzes

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Questions

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who take online quizzes and those who scoff at the very idea. Admittedly, I am one of the former. I enjoy knowing what Hogwarts house I would be sorted into (Gryffindor, duh!), which hunky celebrity is my soul mate, and which Disney princess I most resemble. I know I’m not alone.

But these harmless little tests have gotten out of hand. I recently saw a link to “Can We Guess Your Taste in Men Based on Your Taste in Potatoes?”

No, Buzzfeed. No you can’t.

Of course, we all know these quizzes are silly, fun ways to pass time. Sometimes we feel absolutely childish when we click that tempting link and discover what Beatle we should have married. And yet, we continue to take click. What is happening?

Magazine

Whatever the secret is, magazines have had it for years and years. They have lured readers, often young women, in by promising them insight into their own personalities. As almost all printed material did, these quizzes moved online.

The recent spike in quiz popularity is largely attributed to two quizzes: BuzzFeed’s “What city should you actually live in?” and the New York Times’ “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk.” If you remember taking these two, you are far from alone.

The BuzzFeed quiz was viewed over 20 million times, and the New York Times quiz became the paper’s most-viewed story of the year, despite the fact that it was posted on December 21st.

Facebook

What made these two quizzes take off like rockets was their sharing power. 75% of those 20 million views that the BuzzFeed quiz enjoyed were referred from social networks. There’s always one question that will sustain or kill a quiz: “Is this good enough to share with my friends?”

If enough people answer “yes,” the thing takes off. Jonah Berger, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania told Mashable, “These quizzes live and die by sharing. The successful ones are successful because people share them.”

Intuitively, this makes sense. Everything that goes viral does so because people share it. Sure, but what is making people share these things? There has to be something compelling people to share this type of entertainment.

The answer could be in our psychology.

Robert Simmermon, PhD., told Huffington Post that narrative psychology is probably at play here. “I think it’s fun, but I think it also does touch something about our own sense of our unfolding story,” he said.

Narrative psychology is the theory that people make themselves the center of their own story. We organize our lives into narratives that form a complete story that tells the world who we are. And in these stories, we make ourselves out to be heroes, never villains or sidekicks. Simmermon said this is why “you never see these quizzes, ‘Were you more like Hitler or Mussolini?'”

Who Am I?

To add to the psychological reasons, Steven Meyers, PhD., asserts that these quizzes help us become more self-aware, whether there is any legitimacy to the quiz or not.

“You could introspect and think about yourself, however that has its limits,” Meyer said. “When we take these self-assessments it gives us another mirror inward.”

They allow us not only to ask who we are, but also to ponder on what others think of us and who we want to become. Those are deep questions, no doubt, and that level of introspection can be intimidating. Online quizzes give us a silly way to examine the questions.

Cats Playing

Of course, there may be a simpler answer. Perhaps these quizzes are just fun. Perhaps they are nothing more than an entertaining way to pass the time. After all, who doesn’t want to know if BuzzFeed knows what type of significant other you desire, based solely on potato preference?

What do you think? Does the popularity of online quizzes give us a look into our souls? Or is everyone just goofing off?

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Blogging, Social Media

Cutting the Cord: Why People are Ditching Cab...

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What would you do with an extra $100 or more in your pocket every month? You could go on a nice date, buy some great shoes, or beef up your savings account. Well, 7.6 million people in the United States have found a way to do exactly this.

They are called “cord cutters,” and they have the power to scare big companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Why? Because they have left traditional television subscription behind and they are never turning back.

Cord cutters – for lack of a better term – are people who have ditched cable all together. Instead, they rely on lower-cost services like Netflix, Hulu and Redbox for their entertainment needs. Some young, independent adults have never paid for cable and never plan to. What’s driving this trend?

1. It’s All About the Money

This is the most obvious advantage and the one that gets most people interested in cutting the cord. It’s hard not to feel a little cheated when you flip through all 900 channels, find nothing, and turn on Netflix. Enough rounds of this and you’ll find yourself wondering why you’re spending over $1,200/year on cable.

2. Bad Blood with Cable Companies

At least 90% of people who have dealt with a cable company have made the face in the gif above. Ok, that’s a made-up statistic, but cable companies do have a bad rap for a reason. Instead of lowering prices for loyal customers, they often raise them. What’s worse, there is often only one or two options to choose from in a given area. It’s easy to see why some people want to give up on these companies all together.

3. The Alternatives are Great

Netflix is the perfect rebound after a bad breakup with your cable company. It’s always there, streaming exactly what you want to watch when you want to watch it. Netflix understands you; it recommends shows and movies based on what you like. What’s more, it’s only about $10/month.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and iTunes stream favorite shows and movies directly to a user’s tablet, phone, computer or television. With just one or two of these subscriptions, you won’t miss a thing. It’s easy to see how that much lower price tag starts to look appealing, especially when there seems to be no sacrifice.

4. A la Carte is Coming

Every penny pincher’s dream is to only pay for what you use, and that’s exactly what a la carte entertainment is. In this ideal world, people would only pay for the 5 or 6 channels they actually watch. Now that HBO and Showtime offer their content without a cable subscription, this dream is becoming a reality. If people can subscribe to their favorite channels separately and save money, why wouldn’t they?

The Drawbacks

Sports and other live events are keeping some people from making this big switch. However, that might change soon. Some people simply go to bars to watch the big game; others have subscribed to sport-specific services, which allow some games to be watched.


 

What do you think? Will you be cutting the cord soon? Does this change your advertising decisions? Let us know! You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Pop Culture
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