Posts Tagged ‘Integrated marketing communications’

Snickers Does IMC Right

March 2, 2015

Snickers has done an incredible job with the You’re Not You When You’re Hungry campaign. I think it’s a shining example of integrated marketing communication.

Most importantly, the success of this campaign stems from an authentic expansion of their brand. Snickers has positioned themselves as a solution for being hungry. They are building off of their “hungry, why wait?” campaign and focusing on Snickers being a delicious treat to alleviate hunger.

What I really liked about the Snickers campaign was that it gave customers engaging content that was tailored to the platforms Snickers selected. Let’s take a quick look at how Snickers has expended their messaging across a few different platforms.

Print advertising: In their print ads, Snickers focused on showing regular, every day people doing things that were uncharacteristic for the activity they were performing. The ad below shows individuals that are unable to focus on the task at hand. These normal activities have become difficult and unmanageable because they’re hungry.

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Television advertising: Many of us have seen the Snickers ads featuring Betty White and Joe Pesci portraying individuals who are, again, acting uncharacteristically because they are hungry. This idea furthers the central message of the campaign, but tailors the message so it enhances the medium. The addition of sound and motion means that simply recycling the print ads wouldn’t work.

Super Bowl Ad: In keeping with their celebrity theme, Snickers cast 70 year-old Danny Trejo to play Marcia Brady. The Washington Post considered it one of the best commercials of the game. Prior to releasing the Super Bowl spot, Snickers had a portrait of Marcia Brady painted on a building with the tag line #Whats UpWithMarcia. Over the course of a few weeks, the painters transformed the photo from Marcia to Danny Trejo. Recently, Snickers created a video of the building being painted as a kick off to their new U.S. promotion. According to AdWeek, customers can go to EatA.Snickers.com and post photos and videos of who they are when they’re hungry for a chance to win prizes.

Guerilla Marketing: This is probably my favorite tactic. Snickers put a photo booth on the street in Brazil. Customers entered the photo booth, had their photos taken, and then picked them up as the exited the photo booth. When they looked at the photos they were photos of other people. Again…furthering the message that you’re not you when you’re hungry.

But, did it work?

According to the 2011 Effie Awards, in the first three months of the campaign, Snickers saw global growth. In the United States alone sales volume increased 8% and single sales rose by 13.4%. Additionally, the year-on-year household penetration rose 1.8 percentage points after previously declining by 1.6.

Snickers seems to have found the prefect recipe for IMC. They started with an idea that was central to their core values and then they tailored each message to the medium they needed.

What other campaigns have you seen that resonate with you?

INTEGRATE 2015: Speaker Profile – Lisa Nirell

February 18, 2015

How many times have you encountered marketing efforts that epically fail to deliver value to customers?

Last week, I came across a promotion from a car dealer that offered free wiper blades with any visit to the service department. When I presented my coupon to the Service and Parts Manager, he advised me that the free blades were of sub-standard quality. Instead, he recommended that I pay for the factory guaranteed wiper inserts. (#marketingfail)

Failed marketing efforts come in all shapes and sizes. Brands that continue to rely on the old bait-and-switch marketing tactic may get customers in the door, but the failure to deliver value will not keep customers coming back for more. As savvy customers, we expect more from brands. Customers, like myself, want brands to be transparent. A smart transparent brand would not even bother advertising a sub-standard product to a repeat customer.

Brands that still rely on advertising or promotional tactics without providing any value-add content need to become more mindful of the wants, needs, and desires of their customers. Otherwise, they simply become irrelevant.

Building content and fostering behaviors customers trust requires adopting a mindful approach. Lisa Nirell, chief energy officer at  EnergizeGrowth®  and the author of the book The Mindful Marketer: How to Stay Present and Profitable in a Data-Driven World, understands the current power struggle taking place in the marketing field between big data and mindfulness. Her advice to marketers is to “Set your intentions so that your best marketing innovations and programs improve your customers condition, and society as a whole.”

Portrait of Lisa Nirell

Lisa defines a mindful marketer as a “leader who influences the hearts and minds of others to improve their condition, or the world at large.” To make better decisions, she encourages marketers to find their Inner Marketing Guru (IMG). Contrary to what today’s technology and consulting providers will tell you, big data and quick promotional wins to get customers in the door will not win over your customers. Instead of encouraging marketers to do more, Lisa suggests you need to be more; to cultivate your inner wisdom.

I highly recommend reading The Mindful Marketer! The book is divided into three sections consisting of twenty-two chapters. The opening chapter titled, “Why CMOs Are Facing Extinction” helps to set the tone of this no-holds-barred book. Within each chapter, Lisa presents contemporary examples that will validate and confirm your feelings on the existing power struggle plaguing many marketing departments. At the close of each chapter, she poses a question to readers to help them to find their Inner Marketing Guru.

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Lisa will be a featured speaker at INTEGRATE 2015. As we wait in anticipation for the event,  I asked Lisa what attendees can expect from her keynote. Here’s what she said:

@Julie_Long_: What can attendees expect from your presentation at INTEGRATE?

@lisa_nirell:  “Get ready to discover new approaches and strategies to help you eliminate the most common mindless digital marketing habits, build stronger customer communities, and create more time to innovate. You will hear fresh examples from my top clients, as well as Miraval, 15Five, Blackboard, and other marketing innovators.”

@Julie_Long_: I am looking forward to Lisa’s mindful session! I would also like to thank her for providing me a copy of The Mindful Marketer, which helped me to prepare this blog post. Be sure to follow Lisa on twitter (@lisa_nirell) and her complimentary book resources and videos here.

Please join us at the INTEGRATE conference from May 29-30, 2015 in Morgantown, WV! Click here to register and learn more.

Online Student Life: The Importance of the Furry Study Buddy

February 11, 2015

Student life is a little different at a 100% online program like WVU’s IMC. We connect virtually through Linked In profiles and we might follow each other on Twitter, but there’s no student union to foster classmate comradery. Each course begins with an introduction post – tell us about yourself, what brought you to the program and what you hope to get out of the course? As a common closing statement a lot of students mention their families and furry study buddies. Student comradery bubbles up when we can bond over rescue dogs and typical cat antics.

So this is a post dedicated to the dogs and cats (and even a horse!) that are the loyal, late-night companions of current and recently graduated IMC students.

Add a comment below about your furry study buddy and email me [jvlink@mix.wvu.edu] a photo so we can round up some more photos of furry honorary students.

Stephanie & Roscoe

Stephanie Marchant and Roscoe

Meet Roscoe… Roscoe P Kitty Cat… or as we refer to him around here – RPKC. He has been one of two furry study buddies throughout the IMC program that kept me motivated with purrs of pride, head bumps of encouragement, and the occasional face of disinterest to keep me grounded and focused on school and not how adorable he is. Which is hard, because he is.


Andrea & Kicks

Andrea Blanton and KicksThis is my study buddy, Kicks! I adopted him from the animal shelter almost two years ago and he has been with me throughout my entire IMC journey! He likes to help me with my courses by laying on my books, carefully watching me edit my papers, and sitting right in front of the tv so I don’t get distracted!


Marie, Silas & Jericho

Marie Carly and Silas JerichoThese are my study buddies… Silas (left) and Jericho (right). They’ve helped me through undergrad and now my time in the IMC program! They’re great at distracting and helping me relax when I’m frustrated with an assignment. Oh… and they’re super cute and soft… so I mean- cuddling with them while writing a paper makes the whole homework thing a lot easier.


Rachel & Meeko

Rachel and MeekoThis is Meeko. She insists I get my homework done quickly so I can give her pets, belly rubs & kisses. She also makes me laugh when I’ve hit a wall with studying. Usually because she’s running around the house in a manner similar to parkour.


Sara & Charlie

Sarah and CharlieMeet Charlie, my one-year-old German Shepherd. He’s a rescue smile emoticon I’ve had him for four months now. Charlie makes sure I never go without a break from homework. He gets “paws on,” and he helps me by removing my laptop from my lap and inserting himself. He’s 80lbs, 26″ at the shoulder and still growing. He’s half my grocery bill. Oh, and he knows German commands. Besides the nuisance of having dog hair everywhere, he is the joy of my life.


Kelly & Capt. Jack

Kelly and Capt JackMeet Capt. Jack…as you can tell from the picture he always right there to give me help when I need it! (except when he is in the plants knocking them all over the floor) With that being said, I love him so much and I’m so thankful I adopted him this past November


Tyler & Nyla

Tyler and NylaThis is Nyla. After I finish an assignment, she’s there to offer overwhelming positivity. Although, if the program wasn’t online, I’m sure she’d still try to eat my homework.


Mary & Molly

Mary and MollyFrom 610 through 636 Molly was my constant and faithful companion. I would get stuck into my IMC books and she would be right there at my feet.


Lauren & Nora

Lauren and NoraNora is our little rescue that we adopted this fall. She’s still learning that my MacBook isn’t a pillow so I usually have to keep her in a separate room while doing DPs. There’s no more rewarding feeling than coming out once I’ve turned everything in and cuddling with this little lady.


Kate & Skye

Kate and ShyeMeet Skye, our rescue Aussie mix with bright blue eyes and adorable ears. She spends most nights laying next to me while I pound away at my keyboard only to occasionally close it on my hands as a reminder she needs love too. She’s been with me most of the program, and is pretty excited for me to finish in December so I can spend more time giving her belly rubs and treats.


Brittany & Austin

Brittany and AustinMeet Austin: He may be a little bigger than your average furry friend, but he snuggles just the same!


Carisa & Hodor

Carisa and HodorHodor thinks studying via osmosis is worth a shot.


Julie & Ruby Sue

Julie and RubyMy Boston Terrier, Ruby, is my 12-year-old IMC sidekick as she is my loyal foot-warmer and late-night companion. Here she’s basking in the midnight glow of the desk lamp. She’s survived my single days, newlywed phase, two children and now a Masters degree. Someone get this pup her own jar of peanut butter – she’s mastered companionship and deserves a treat! Any guesses on the movie character for whom she’s named?

Let us know about your furry study buddy!  We’ll post again with some more pics.

National Geographic Is Far From Extinct

February 9, 2015

In a modern media environment where digital dominates, National Geographic is what you may consider traditional. The brand has always been known for its iconic print and broadcast media. Picture a magazine cover displaying a young girl at a refugee camp or a television special featuring a cheetah racing across African plains.

Integrating digital, you might expect the visually-rich brand to flood its social media with photos. The more, the merrier—right?

Instead, National Geographic has applied very unique, intentional strategies to its Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, not all of which are visually heavy. Social media analytics platform Simply Measured studied these different strategies during a two-week period, and the reviews are fascinating for anyone looking to improve their approach to social media (raises hand).

Twitter. Rather than use brief tweet space for photos that may quickly become lost in timelines, National Geographic tweets content that links back to the brand’s main website. It’s about teasing with 140 characters rather than revealing images. Plus, those select times a photo is featured garner much more engagement.

Facebook. Maintaining a Facebook fan page can be tough. Having followers is one thing, keeping them engaged is another. National Geographic is careful not to over-post. When it does, the brand’s pairing of link previews with photos mimics magazine design. Speaking of links, did you know engagement rates are higher for Facebook posts that use a full-length URL?

Instagram. A platform designed for photos. And National Geographic serves them. One of the brand’s unique Instagram approaches is that it tags the people who made a photo possible: photographers, reporters, even the subject.

National Geographic also has a YouTube channel and Pinterest page—both have healthy numbers in posts and followers, although I’m surprised the company doesn’t feature links to these platforms on its website homepage.

What do you think about National Geographic’s strategy?

-R

40 Capstone Campaign Tips

January 29, 2015

IMC

Research. Research. Archive.

The research process begins long before you start your campaign. During your time in the program, begin to build your own personal marketing and creative aesthetics.

Tips:

1. Archive marketing campaigns that resonate with you to an Evernote notebook. 

2. Follow thought leaders in the marketing field.

3. Monitor industry trends.

 

Manage Your Time.

Start the campaign early. Have the branding for your agency established and ready to go before week one commences.

Tips:

4. Do not procrastinate on any section of the campaign. 

5. Try the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time. 

6. Make goals and deadlines for yourself that you can easily check off. 

7. If you get stuck on one section, build time in your schedule to come back to it. 

8. Take breaks. 

 
Prepare to Write, Revise, Rationalize, and Design. 

How will you bring your campaign findings to life? Will you rely on writing, design, or a combination of both to engage the client?

Tips: 

9. Think visually. If you can get the point across with a graphic treatment, the client would be more inclined to easily recall the information you are trying to present. 

10. Place extra emphasis on the areas that would be of the utmost importance to the client. This would be areas that would show off your specific expertise. 

11. To help keep the reader engaged, introduce each of your campaign sections. 

12. Add external quotes from thought leaders to add relevancy and credibility to your work. 

13. Think of the needs of your audience. Have you taught them something new? Clients want to pay for cutting edge concepts. 

 
Plan Your Media.

If terms like programmatic buying, advertising impressions, advertorials, or CPM (i.e. cost per mile) are not part of your vocabulary, you should begin to brush up on the art of media buying.

Tips:

14. Expand your professional network and befriend a Media Buyer. 

15. Follow the latest media buying trends.

 
Composition Is Important.

As you put together your campaign, the following elements are important to consider: typography, color, hierarchy, and placement of graphics.

Tips: 

16. A sans serif font (e.g. Arial) is better for body copy because it is more readable and legible. 

17. Limit your color palette (too many colors within a campaign is distracting) 

18. White space is your friend. Let your copy have room to breathe. 

19. Make graphic elements out of important statements. 

20. Use one font family and vary the weights to create hierarchy within your content.

21. Use display fonts sparingly. 

22. Break up large blocks of text with images, charts, or quotes.

23. Think of your entire composition as a grid filled with different elements. 

24.  Make sure everything is visually consistent from the cover page to back cover. 

 
Use Templates/Resources Wisely.

It is never too early to start to build your familiarity with all available design resources.

Tips:

25. Typeform.com is a beautiful online survey and form builder.

26. Fotolia.com has economically priced royalty free stock photos. 

27. Fiverr.com is a creative marketplace for finding designers. The cost, to hire a designer, is only five dollars per execution.

28. Font Squirrel.com has 100% free commercial use fonts. 

29. Logopond.com has a gallery of well-designed logos to help inspire you. 

30. Adobe Color CC generates color schemes. 

31. Small PDF  is a tool to reduce the size of your PDF. 

32.  Graphic River – Stock Graphic Files.

33. Grammarly – Free editing plugin for Chrome.

34. Hemingway Editor – Editor application for Mac and PC.

35. Buzzsumo.com – is a search tool that identifies online key influencers and trending content.

 
Presentation Is Everything.

The last step, before printing out your final campaign, is to account for all of the print production nuances.

Tips:

36. Paper Weight – Be sure to ask for a house paper that has enough weight for printing double sided. You do not want the graphics to oversaturate the paper. 

37. Binding Types – Perfect Bound, Wire-O Binding, and Comb Binding are the most universally used. 

38. Orientation – Will you be presenting your project horizontally or vertically? Can your printer accommodate a non-traditional size? 

39. Bleed – Most printers will not be able to account for graphics bleeding off the page. Build a white border around your pages so that the edges look consistent when printed. 

40. Back Cover – Will you include a blank page in your document after your references section? Will the back page match your cover? 

 

Graduates, please add any other helpful tips that you found useful to this list!

 

Congratulations to the Fall 2014 Capstone class on completing the WVU IMC program!  Best of luck to the Spring 2015 Capstone class! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Use Twitter Lists

January 28, 2015

What did I spend my Saturday night doing? Well, in between class readings and discussion posts I decided to re-organize my Twitter feed by updating my lists. I’ve used Twitter lists in the past, but my feed needed a mid-winter cleaning. I felt like I was seeing content from the same accounts all of the time and was missing great information.

If you’re new to Twitter, afraid of Twitter, or just need a reminder…Twitter Lists are a fun little feature that allow you to organize the people you follow. Twitter Lists make your life easier for a variety of reasons and my top 5 are listed below (in no particular order).

  1. Looks out for the little guy – The median lifespan of a Tweet is approximately 18 minutes. It is absolutely unrealistic to read every Tweet that flitters across your stream. Lists help organize content so that you have an easier time seeing content from people who Tweet less than every 18 minutes.
  2. Helps you find good content – A great feature of Twitter lists is that you can subscribe to lists other people make. Subscribing to the lists that your trusted contacts create helps you find more valuable people to follow.  Here’s a great WVU IMC list by Thomas Armitage.
  3. Organizes the people you follow – If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking for Twitter accounts that share valuable information. I often see articles that featuring the top 50 people to follow for this reason or that reason, but after I follow them I forget why I did. Organizing the people you follow by content area allows you to easily remember why you’re following someone and what content they bring to the table.
  4. Bridges online and in-person relationships – You can also create Twitter lists for conferences that you’ve attended so that you can better manage how and where you meet people off-line. I have a list of Higher Education colleagues that I’ve meet through various conferences and events.
  5. Helps with Twitter chats – Twitter chats are a great way to build relationships online and learn more about a particular topic. Twitter lists can help organize contacts so that when you’re participating in Twitter chats it’s easier to filter information.  You’re never going to keep up with ALL the Tweets, but lists can help make the content more digestible and less overwhelming.

I will admit Twitter doesn’t necessarily make it easy to build lists. I had to go through all of the people I was following and add them to lists individually. You can do this by clicking on the gears icon and selecting add to/remove from lists. After a while, I had to take a break because I was repeatedly given error messages. The process is a bit time consuming if you’re trying to organize a large number of accounts. I highly recommend creating and adding to lists as you go.

 

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To view your lists, click on your icon in the top right corner of the screen.

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Twitter is a great resource and knowing how to manage it will help you get the most out of your Twitter experience.

What are some lists you’ve subscribed to?

Building Social Proof

January 27, 2015

Even after tragic loss, charity: water shows that it is possible to find hope. Raising more than $1.2 million dollars, charity: water continues to inspire individuals to act even years after Rachel started her initial campaign.

A true leader in using visual storytelling to engage consumers, charity: water’s remarkable success in social advocacy and online fundraising is largely built through real stories posted via sharable multimedia. With more than 1.3 million Twitter followers, and more than 210,000 Facebook likes, charity: water has truly mastered the art of getting people to form personal connections with their brand. And, by harnessing storytelling through social media – they have turned followers into activists.

How have they done it exactly? The brand has built a high level of “social proof.”

I can’t count the number of times, I’ve scrolled through my Facebook feed and bought something, or acted on something because of a friends post. Well… that’s it! Social proof is the positive influence that is created when people find out others are doing something – and now, suddenly, everyone else wants to do that same something.

This third-party validation can be a very powerful motivator. As consumers, the psychology of persuasion influences every day choices, from where to eat, to what clothes to wear, purchases to make, and causes to be part of. While the concept of social proof isn’t new, this style of impact has huge potential to grow virally given the way that consumers interact today on social media. According to recent research 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends.

Tech Crunch offers that there are five different types of social proof. These range from Expert and Celebrity, which leverage the approval of these individuals to build digital influence to Wisdom of the Crowds, which highlights the popularity or large numbers of users who like a product, service or brand. While both of the above work in some instances, by and large, the most coveted type of social proof is the Wisdom of Friends, because every marketer knows that referrals from friends are the way that consumers now make choices. Friends referred by friends ultimately make better customers, activists and givers – hands down.

Social proof IS the new marketing.

So… how do we build it for our own brands, companies and causes?

One of the best ways to build social proof is by leveraging the power of personal stories. Real stories (yes, those from real consumers) resonate with people and can catch their interest or engage their emotions. Stories are persuasive and more trusted by consumers than statistics, because they are able to transport consumers into the situation – engaging them and making them want to share… and then share again and again. This makes sense on many levels given that storytelling is one of the oldest and most effective forms of communicating.

charity: water uses content to align people with thousands of other people. Their stories and photos are hyper-localized, deeply connecting consumers to the impact they are helping to make. So deeply, that they then encourage others to participate in making impact too – Momentum builds and one by one consumers join the cause because of other friends who are engaged, thus building a dedicated network of brand advocates… or for charity: water, activists and donors.

Any brand can engage social proof by being candid, authentic and letting testimonials speak for themselves. Through the sharing of compelling stories, brands can become equal partners, rather than corporate entities. It’s no longer enough to rely on pushed messages or advertising. Instead, marketers must incorporate the input that they get from their audiences to help build more robust and engaging campaigns. Through a continued commitment to storytelling and leveraging consumer content any brand can build loyalty and excitement about their brand.

If Steve Jobs Made Apple Juice

January 26, 2015

Steve Jobs helped bring to life the Apple iPod, iPhone and iPad, but he didn’t make Apple juice.

iJuice isn’t out of the question—well, in theory at least. Designer Peddy Mergui released a series of packaging designs transforming packaging what-if’s into reality using famous brands’ design language. Among his designs was iMilk.

milk1

Got iMilk?

Whether you find Tiffany & Co. yogurt, Nike oranges, and Prada flour laughable or ingenious, they beg the question: Would consumers buy them?

Jobs is famous for defining design as how something works, not just how it looks or feels. I wonder what he would have thought about Mergui’s collection.

Not every brand extension works. Zippo perfume, Bic underwear, and Ben-Gay aspirin all come to mind. Of course, these extensions were inspired more by brand name than design.

Would you buy Apple juice?

-R

Taking Marketing Beyond the Marketing Department: Market Research

January 15, 2015

If you’re in a position similar to mine, you’re lucky enough to be part of the marketing department, but people don’t always understand or buy into what you’re trying to accomplish.  I still struggle to share the significance of marketing with our entire organization.  I strive to make marketing something that is seen as an overall asset to our organization – instead of a department I supervise.    IMC and branding are the keys to success for the entire organization.   As members of the WVU IMC program we know the importance of market research, but how do we get the ‘higher-ups’ on board with it?  I want to share with you my ideas and experiences on how to share the value and importance of marketing, specifically market research, with your colleagues and I hope you’ll join in the discussion, too!

One of the areas this has been essential to our organization was in our employee engagement area.  Over the past three years, we’ve been able to get every department on board with creating IMC campaigns.  (My IMC binder is the proud owner of 10 marketing plans.) This year we decided that we wanted to create a section of our target audience analysis specifically dedicated to achieving a better understanding of our student employees.  One of our organizational IMC goals is to increase brand awareness in our student employees.  We have approximately 100 students employees and they tend to graduate on a regular basis.  They’re an essential target audience of ours and we didn’t have the best understanding of who they were.

In order to remedy to this situation we conducted a survey of our student employees and learned a great deal of information that helps us not only better market to them, but also schedule events that better meet their other obligations. Our HR department was concerned with the attendance at their events. The information from the survey showed that 88% of our student employees are otherwise engaged on campus (student organization, other campus positions, or both). Knowing how busy these students are helps the department better gauge a realistic attendance number for their events. It also provides the marketing department with essential tactics that improve our internal communication.

In addition to marketing and program benefits, market research can improve the value of products in the lives of consumers. Market research helped to improve the Ford Escapes by developing the kick-activated liftgate. The commercial explains that the engineer on the project grew up on two continents and noticed that people always had their hands full. So, they created a kick-activated liftgate that made loading the vehicle easier. This essential information changed the features of the vehicle to make it more appealing to their target audience. Innovations such as this helps c-level executives see how, what is traditionally viewed as “marketing information”, can be beneficial for the entire company.

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As marketers, it’s essential for us to showcase the value of marketing throughout the organization and its impact on products, services, and ideas. What have you done to help show the overall company benefit of market research?  Any advice you would like to share?

If Taylor Swift Was a WVU IMC Student…

January 8, 2015

If Taylor Swift was a WVU IMC student, she would probably nail each course. There are so many articles like this one, this one or this one about Taylor’s social media savvy, but I detect she even knows a little about Integrated Marketing Communications, too.

As if she’s ticking off completion of each WVU IMC’s course offerings, the 1989 campaign demonstrates that Taylor is an excellent marketer – make that, integrated marketing strategist.

Swift report card 2

Taylor Swift’s [Faux] IMC Report Card

Proof is in the pudding: Taylor’s 1989 sold 1.287 million copies in its launch week earning the largest sales week for an album since 2002. Details from Billboard on that here.

It is a good thing I have a seven-year-old daughter to blame for my Taylor Swift sing-a-longs. By all social considerations I am far too old to claim to Swiftie status, but I’m not too proud to take note of her expert IMC prowess and her keen ability to evolve her personal brand with millions watching her every move.


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