B2B Marketing: Memes, Everyone? (Part 3)

Things to Consider when Using Memes

Suitability and relatability to your brand

Memes are intended to depict insider jokes. They’re usually cheeky and ridiculous and even intentionally tamper grammar for the sake of entertainment. While they’re convenient to make and something that you can personalize to match the message your business wants to communicate, contemplate whether such playful jokes suit your brand voice. Furthermore, regardless of the kind of meme you want to use, always relate it back to your brand. A study by Facebook concluded that posting about subjects related to your brand leads to the most relevant engagement. This will enable people to recognize not only the meme but the brand that has been tied to it.

Comprehension of your target audience

Remember that using memes can only be successful in your marketing if your target audience acknowledges it. So, the better you understand your target audience, the simpler it will be for you to make memes that are engaging and not offending for them.

Knowledge about the memes

Before creating and posting a meme, fill yourself in with the meaning, background, usage and implication of such meme. This prevents you from posting memes in your company’s social media pages  that is inappropriate for your brand and audience. Take for example the image meme Imminent Ned (a.k.a. “Winter is Coming”)  is used to forewarn or announce the upcoming arrival of a highly awaited product, event or internet meme. Know your meme is a website and video series that documents various Internet memes and other online phenomena, such as viral videos, image macros, catchphrases, internet celebrities and more. It also investigates new and changing memes through research, as it commercializes on the culture.

Consistency on the meme’s core components

While you can put your own twist on a meme, remember to not stray away from the original format, style, and components. A meme is basically an imitation (and are already arguably popular). Leverage on that by choosing an existing meme rather than attempting to make your own.

B2B Marketing: Memes, Everyone? (Part 2)

Examples of Memes

Photo Memes

Pictures of different people imitating a trendy/familiar position or action. In the sample images below, you can see people doing poses such as planking, owling, Hadoukening (base from the manga and anime Dragon Ball), Vadering (base from a book and movie series character, Darth Vader), Pottering (base from a book and movie series character, Harry Potter) and Mary Poppins-ing (base from the movie and book series character, Mary Poppins).

Video Memes

Imitating a mainstream footage or extracting a part of it and then altering or putting a twist on it (e.g. dubbing it or changing the subtitles). Video memes are typically manifested  through  mini-animations or video clips such as gif. The sample gif below is a scene from Disney’s, Mulan.

Image or Macro Memes

If photo memes involve different people doing a trendy/familiar position or action, image or macro memes are familiar images (photo or cartoon) with different captions. The sample images below are of some of the most popular image memes used in the Interner (Top left and right: Condescending Wonka and One Does Not Simply, Middle left and right: Grumpy Cat and Futurama Fry, Bottom left and right: Most Interesting Man in the World and Philosoraptor).

Word Memes

Good examples of a word meme are Twitter and Instagram hashtags. A hashtag is a word or phrase written after a pound sign (#). If a lot of people use this hashtag, it can be ranked as “trending” in the social media platform it is posted. People can add their own twist on existing ones and can make their own wherever and whenever. Below are examples of hashtags with “business” as the theme.

B2B Marketing: Memes, Everyone? (Part 1)

What is a Meme?

The term “meme” was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. According to him, meme is a package of cultural concepts like regional sayings, fashion styles, and architectural trends. These phrases, styles, trends, concepts, and behaviors can be imitated and spread out to other cultures from the source. They aren’t bound by geographical location or cultural diversities and may alter over time to better suit particular types of users or local environments.

Today, memes are known as concepts, behaviors or ideas that spread on the Internet (Also called viral). It can take the form of stories, a simple word or phrase (e.g. an intentional misspelling), images, videos, audio, link, hashtag, an entire website—or a mixture of these—with the ultimate purpose of providing engaging messages to people around the world.

Memes in B2B Marketing and its Benefits

Memes are so rampant online and can be amazingly effective in PR and marketing that lots of marketers have made the move by including them into their digital marketing strategies. It was reported that B2B businesses who have tried engaging their existing and prospective business clients using a meme and then tying it back to a particular offer/promotion have been rewarded with an increase in engagement and lead generation. Other benefits of using memes include higher reach of new audiences, boost brand awareness and loyalty, attracts traffic, like, share comments, etc.—building strong social media presence and establish a connection in a real, emotional level with people. Moreover, memes are easy and cheap to create. Websites like memegenerator.net allow you to create one by choosing from popular memes and then customizing the text or you can upload a new one. They’re also popular. Infusing a stale or stagnant marketing strategy or your brand into these trending content can do wonders.

Watch Out For These 6 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams! (Part  2)

Fake Business Websites

Scammers create a fake business website where they offer popular products or services at great discounts or at unbelievably low prices. If you happen to come across such a website and get too excited with the offers, indiscriminately putting in your personal information like credit card details without checking if it’s a legit business site, well, you know the drill.

Tip: If possible, purchase from business websites you know and trust. If you want to place an order on an unfamiliar site, check for their contact number and physical address on the site. Try calling to see if you can reach a sales or customer rep during business hours. It is preferable to purchase from business websites who uses HTTPS web encryption. Scammers are unlikely to intercept any information from this kind of web encryption. Do search for customer reviews. The more, the better (though keep your eyes out on the fakes). Lastly, it is suggested to use credit cards when buying online so that you can dispute charges if something goes wrong with your order.

The Refund Sham

Scammers send you a message from a made up or popular business brand that says “wrong transaction” or “click for a refund.” They want you to click a virus-filled link and infect your PC or mobile device.

Tip: If you haven’t made any transaction from that particular business that merits a refund,  don’t bother to respond and immediately delete that particular message. Remember to install a reliable security software so that in case you accidentally click the virus-filled link, it won’t do any damage to your device.

Fraud Charity

Along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the holidays. The season of giving are fast approaching, and while you may be in the spirit to do so, that doesn’t include giving out to scammers who mask themselves as a charity organization, exploiting your generosity.

Tip: Before donating to any charity, always check if it is a legitimate organization.

It pays to be a smart, cautious buyer. Make sure your money goes a long way and gets to where it is due.

Watch Out For These 6 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams! (Part  1)

You just have to love Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With fantastic deals at low prices being offered, a good haul is in your hand’s reach. However, you’re not the only one feeling the love. Scammers are all hyped too. These two biggest shopping days of the year are one of their playgrounds, and you certainly don’t want to be their playmate. Here is a list of scam games they’ll likely trick you into playing.

The ‘Click and Receive’ Stunt

A lot of shoppers place their orders online to avoid the inconvenience of waiting in line. However, scammers exploit this. They send fake emails that request you to click on a link and enter your personal information to rearrange or confirm a supposed delivery. If you do fill it up, scammers will steal your identity or gather enough details to get into your bank account. They wouldn’t tell what product you have purchased in their email, but if you happen to be unsuspecting because you have indeed placed an order online and is expecting a delivery, you could be deceived into giving your personal information.

Tip: Don’t give out your personal information or click links as scammers might have tinkered it to download malware on your PC or mobile device and weaken its security system. Be skeptic if it’s not mentioned in the email what product have you purchased. Track your order online if it’s possible and contact the company you’re expecting a delivery from.

Text Phishing and Vishing

Scammers send you a text warning you about a suspicious activity in your bank account (Well, with all the Black Friday or Cyber Monday mania going on, who wouldn’t be alarmed receiving a text like this?). They’ll ask you to immediately call a phony mobile number to reactivate and secure your account. The moment you dial that number, it will attempt to access your address, SS number, and other information. Or, scammers will talk you into giving it. Vishing or voice phishing is similar. However, scammers will be the one to call you.

Tip: Don’t panic. Instead of contacting the number the scammer is demanding you to or further engaging in a conversation with a scammer who claims to be from your bank, directly call your bank and verify such notification.

Bogus Coupons, Vouchers, and Gift Cards

Scammers dupe coupons, vouchers and gift cards from a legitimate brand and act as third party sellers of those above or simply make their own couple with a supporting website. They tempt you into availing such and signing up your personal information by offering it with a too good to be true discount, convincing you that it comes with a ticket to winning most coveted items (usually electronic devices) or plainly making it free. Only to find out that it’s not authentic, already used/expired or the product is a complete counterfeit and the money in your bank account already splurged.

Tip: Purchase only from official and reputable websites.

Protect Yourself from Phishing Emails this Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the two biggest shopping days of the year, is just around the corner and people are gearing up to snag great deals. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are gearing up too. They got tricks up their sleeves to maliciously exploit oblivious consumers. A strategy that is sure to be used in these shopping peak seasons is phishing.

Phishing is a fraudulent technique used by scammers and hackers to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details online by impersonating a trustworthy entity. Here are the things you need to know about phishing and how to protect yourself against it.

Types of  phishing email attacks

  • Spear – directed at specific individuals or companies
  • Clone – a legitimate and previously delivered email is duplicated and contents are replaced with malicious links and attachments
  • Whaling – directed specifically at senior executives and other high-profile targets within businesses

Phishing emails typically ask you to

  • Open an attachment
  • Click on a link
  • Enter personal information

What to do when you receive one

  • If you received a deal from a website, go to their website first to see if such deal is binding. Don’t respond or click any link from the email as it might redirect you to a malicious site or download malware to your device that will steal your private information. Phishing sites can look like authentic websites. Don’t be fooled into entering your personal information or credit card details. Legitimate businesses don’t ask for this information via email. Proceed to typing the address for the site you wish to verify in your browser.
  • There are instances where businesses really do send deals that is limited to their subscribers. This is difficult to confirm in the business’ site. In this case, hover over links in the email to see the address. The address shown in the email should match the address in the link. Furthermore, links attached to the images (if there are any) should be directed to the business’ website address.
  • Take prompts such as “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate” or “This connection is untrusted.” seriously. This is a red flag. Close the browser window or tab and do not go back to that link.
  • Other than malicious links and request for private information, be vigilant of other phishing email signs like poor grammar and spelling, pressure tactics, discussion of a confidential subject like income and incentives through threat or reward.
  • Install a trusted security software and configure it to update automatically.
  • If you do receive an email that appears to be from a business, you frequently deal with like banks and they threaten to close your account or take other action if you don’t reply to their email, really, just don’t. Proceed to calling the number found on your financial statements or the back of your credit card and verify such concern. Also, regularly review your credit card and bank account statements to check for unauthorized charges or any discrepancies.
  • You can forward phishing emails to spam@uce.gov or report it to reportphishing@antiphishing.org. You can also report it to the business being masqueraded.

Better be safe than sorry this holiday shopping season.

B2B Marketing: What Will Your Brand Archetype Be? (Part 6)

The Regular Guy or Gal

Is an ego archetype and grouped under the “social” cardinal orientation. This archetype is also known as the good old boy, everyman, person next door, realist, working stiff,  solid citizen, good neighbor, the silent majority, advocate, everyperson, networker, and servant. They believe that “All men and women are created equal.” Down to earth, supportive, faithful, folksy, friendly, empathetic, reliable, realistic and unpretentious figure. They want to form a bond of connection to others in order to belong and fit in. They fear standing out or looking like they’re putting on airs and be rejected or left out as a result. Their weak attributes are they are easily swayed and are prone to losing themselves or having a distinctive identity in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial connections.

The regular guy or gal archetype is manifested in solid businesses with a down-home organizational culture. They give off that feeling of belongingness to their customers and craft their messages about the beauty in simple things and daily life. Moreover, their products or services are usually of everyday functionality. Brands that embrace this archetype are IKEA, Home Depot, eBay, Wendy’s, Gap and Trader Joe’s.

The Ruler

Self archetype and placed as “order” in  the cardinal orientation. Other names include the boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, guardian, patriarch, judge, role model, manager or administrator. The ruler’s dictum is “Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Rulers are known for being a leader, is confident,  responsible, fair and organized. They are determined to take control, to establish order from chaos and dreams of creating a prosperous, successful family, company, or community. Given their strict adherence to order and being a leader, they fear chaos and being overthrown. In addition, they have authoritarian tendencies, can be bossy, rigid, controlling, entitled, unable to delegate, out of touch with reality and lack a common connection with others.

Businesses who take on the ruler brand archetype are those who speak authoritatively and declare themselves as the leader in their field. Their brands promise of power and security (i.e. exclusiveness and status growth, lifetime guarantee offers, empower people to sustain or enhances their grip on power, regulatory or protective function, organization and a sense of security and stability in a chaotic world and etc.) Brands who do good a job in exemplifying this archetype are IBM, Microsoft, Barclays, Mercedes-Benz, American Express and Rolex.

The Sage

The last but not the least of the 12 classic master archetypes. The sage is a self archetype that has “order” as a cardinal orientation. Other labels include expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative, translator, engineer and scientist. A sage’s motto is “The truth will set you free”. They’re known for being wise, knowledgeable, a trusted source of information, thoughtful, analytical, articulate, open-minded and skeptic. They hunger for the discovery of truth and intend to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world. A sage’s trepidation is ignorance, deceiving and being deceived. Their flaws are they could be overly contemplative, too opinionated, pedantic, cold, self-absorbed, intolerant of other ideas than their own and can study issues forever and never act.

Businesses who adopt the sage as their brand archetype usually market their knowledge about a particular area (prevalent in the B2B enterprise). That is, they provide expertise or information to customers, and encourage them to think. They can also be into new scientific findings or esoteric knowledge and their content is generally supported by research-based facts. Thus, using a higher level of vocabulary and symbolic imagery. Brand examples are BBC, PBS, Google, CNN, and Gallup.

Your product and services alone can’t recount a convincing story. Putting in a character to your brand makes a difference. It allows you to clearly establish the role you want your brand to portray in people’s lives. Moreover, make them understand who your brand is and what does it stands for. If archetypes can be timeless and can encompass cultures and geographical location, what’s stopping your brand from living out like that?

B2B Marketing: What Will Your Brand Archetype Be? (Part 5)

The Lover

A soul archetype and has a “social” cardinal orientation. Also known as the partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder, companion, matchmaker, hedonist and romantic. Its mantra says “You’re the only one.” The lover is a figure that is passionate, sensual, intimate, romantic, warm, committed, idealistic and appreciative. They yearn for intimacy and sensual pleasure and wishes to be in a relationship with the people, the work, the experience and the surroundings they love. As an epitome of love and intimacy, they fear to be alone, to be a wallflower, to be unwanted and unloved. They are susceptible to losing their identity as they are the type that does anything and everything to attract and please others. They can be shallow and obsessive.

Businesses with the lover brand archetype display themselves as glamorous, with an emphasis on sensual pleasure and building relationships (i.e. creating intimacy, inspiring love, giving off the vibe of being appreciated and belongingness). Victoria’s Secret, Godiva, Marie Claire, Reeses and Chanel are brand examples of this archetype.

The Magician

The magician is a self archetype and is categorized under the “ego” cardinal orientation. Also go by the names the catalyst, charismatic leader, medicine man, alchemist, mentor, and shaman. “I make things happen.” is their chant. They are intelligent, visionary, charismatic, imaginative, idealistic, spiritual and driven. They’re great in finding win-win solutions and make the complex appear simple; That sometimes, their ability can be considered supernatural. They are powered by their desire to understand the fundamental laws of how the world or universe works, and it is their ultimate goal to make their dreams come true and create something special. Unforeseen negative consequences of their exploration agitate them. They are likely to be manipulative, dishonest and detached from reality.

Businesses that wears the magician’s hat build up themselves as the gateway to transformative, expansive knowledge and experience, that is, promise to transform their customers or present a transformative product or service. Brand embodying this archetype are Disney, Apple, Axe, Xbox and TED.

The Outlaw

A soul archetype whose cardinal orientation is “freedom.” The outlaw is also called rebel, revolutionary, wild man, the misfit, activist, gambler, maverick, and reformer. Fittingly believed in the expression “Rules are made to be broken.” They are free-spirited, brave, iconoclastic, wild, catalysts, outrageous, rule breakers and fights for radical freedom. They are driven by desires of revenge or revolution and intends to destroy what is not working (for them or the society). Being powerless, ineffectual and trivialized apprehend them and are inclined to go over to the dark side, be destructive, out of control and nihilistic.

Businesses who takes on this archetype promote themselves as an agent of change, advocate for the disenfranchised and either help retain values that are threatened by emerging ones or pose themselves as an alternative to the mainstream. They break with industry conventions and allow people to do so. Brands wearing rebel well are Harley Davidson, Diesel, Virgin, and Betabrand.

B2B Marketing: What Will Your Brand Archetype Be? (Part 4)

The Hero

With the ego as its type and as well as its cardinal orientation, hero is an archetype also known as the warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, soldier, dragon slayer, winner, team player, athlete, and liberator. This figure believes in the saying “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” and possesses a courageous, honorable, strong, confident, inspirational, competent, disciplined and determined nature. This archetype is powered by the desire to prove his worth by doing courageous and arduous acts and achieve the ultimate end of using mastery in a way that would improve the world. They’re fearful of cowardice, being weak and vulnerable. They are inclined to arrogance, aloofness, belligerence and ruthlessness.

This archetype is evident in businesses who submit themselves as high quality and superior to their competition. They thrive on making a positive mark to the world through inventions or innovations, solve major problems and enable/inspire others to do so. Brands with the hero archetype declare triumph. Anti-virus software brands, Adidas, FedEx, BMW and  Duracell are examples of the hero brand archetype.

The Innocent

Belongs to the ego type with “order” as its cardinal orientation. Also called the utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer, child, and idealist. “We are young and free.”, is the innocent’s motto. They’re like the epitome of a child; strives to be good, is young and pure, trusting, spontaneous, optimistic, simple, moral, romantic, loyal and dependent. They want to experience paradise and just wanted to be happy. They fear punishments the most, and because of their innocence, they tend to be naive or boring.

Businesses who assumes the innocent archetype exhibits qualities such as purity, simplicity, goodness and reliability and mostly incorporate nostalgic themes and natural and unfussy imagery. The good examples of this innocent brand archetype are Dove, Coca-Cola, Ben & Jerry’s, McDonald’s and Charmin.

The Jester

A self type with a “freedom” cardinal orientation. The Jester is also known as the fool, trickster, joker, practical joker, comedian, clown, entertainer, provocateur, and shapeshifter. They believed and lived by the motto “You only live once.” They are joyful, fun-loving, full of sense of humor, light-hearted, mischievous and energetic. They want to live in the moment full of enjoyment and aspires to have a great time and bring joy to the world. Given their nature, they ‘re likely to be impulsive, irreverent, frivolous and waste time. They are anxious about boredom and being seen as boring.

Most noticeable among businesses who targets younger people. The jester brand archetype makes use of outrageous imagery, fondly teases customers frequently and help people have a good time. They want to express themselves as a brand that can make people live their lives easier and more bearable by providing them with joy. Skittles, M & M, Cadbury, Taco Bell, Motley Fool and Old Spice.

B2B Marketing: What Will Your Brand Archetype Be? (Part 3)

The Caregiver

Under the ego type with “social” as cardinal orientation. Also known as the saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter, angel, guardian, Samaritan, and healer. A caregiver’s motto is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Its characteristics are often associated with maternal roles; caring, nurturing, devoted, selfless, generous and compassionate. A caregiver’s goal is to help and is driven by their need to protect and care for others. They fear selfishness and ingratitude. Their weakness involves being prone to martyrdom, being taken for granted and exploited and can display masochistic, manipulative, and codependent tendencies.

This archetype is manifested by businesses who have a ‘social’ and ‘caring’ element at their core. They offer security and support to their customers. Their brands are presented as someone you can trust because they care and empathize. Johnson & Johnson, Campbell’s, TOMS shoes, Heinz, Allstate Insurance are good examples of a caregiver brand archetype.

The Creator

A soul type and under the cardinal orientation “ego.” Other names include the artist, inventor, innovator, musician, writer, dreamer, builder, muse, musician, writer, dreamer, entrepreneur, storyteller, and visionary. This archetype lived by the motto “If you can imagine it, it can be done.” They are creative, imaginative, artistic, expressive, innovative and non-conformist. They’re driven to create things of enduring value with the ultimate goal of giving form to a vision. Mediocrity is their fear, and their weakness is that they can be so much of a perfectionist, narcissistic and can be impractical.

This archetype is distinct in businesses who fosters imaginative and artistic endeavors and put forward self-expression (e.g. differentiate from “do-it-all” brands that leave little room for the imagination and use “do-it-yourself and save money” approach). Businesses who have a creator brand archetype empowers and prize its customers as much as it can express itself using its products. Brand examples of this archetype are Lego, Adobe, Etsy, Crayola, and Movado.

The Explorer

Is a soul type with a cardinal orientation of “freedom.” Alternate names are the seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individualist, pilgrim, adventurer, generalist and pioneer. “Don’t fence me in.” is its motto. This archetype’s traits are independent, curious, adventurous, brave, ambitious, authentic and restless. Their core desire is to define their selves by exploring the world with freedom and is aiming to find fulfillment through discovery and new experiences. They are afraid of getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness. Their weak points are they’re susceptible to aimless wandering and becoming a misfit.

This archetype is apparent to businesses who promote themselves as a means to helping others be free in expressing their individuality and experience the new and unknown. Their brands prompt people to challenge themselves to discover the explorer within their selves. Examples of the brands which embody this archetype are North Face, National Geographic Channel, Patagonia, REI, and Jeep.