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Want to hear our thoughts on industry news? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Here are our insights from our favorite recent stories. “This is a massive deal.” – @chuckhemann, W2O Analytics https://t.co/Jcy80FLUiw via @adage — W2O Group (@W2OGroup) October 30, 2017

Want to hear our thoughts on industry news? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Here are our insights from our favorite recent stories.

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Climate change continues to be a polarizing issue in the public and a challenging issue for PR practitioners to communicate effectively. Communicators have tried many varied ways to communicate climate change to motivate support for action. Climate change is all around us. Game of Thrones (GOT) is considered the most prominent cultural analogy for climate …

Climate change continues to be a polarizing issue in the public and a challenging issue for PR practitioners to communicate effectively. Communicators have tried many varied ways to communicate climate change to motivate support for action. Climate change is all around us. Game of Thrones (GOT) is considered the most prominent cultural analogy for climate change. Have to see White Walkers to believe they are real? Daenerys is not alone. For some, climate change is beyond debate and burgeoning with scientific proof. For others, this issue is lacking scientific evidence and simply propaganda perpetuated by the media (or by Jon Snow if we are sticking with our GOT analogy). How can one environmental issue be viewed so differently, and passionately, by so many?

A study, funded by the Arthur W. Page Center at Penn State, examined the way climate change is framed and the impact of different message frames based on the audience’s political ideology. Three focus groups were completed with PR practitioners who communicate about climate change to understand their perceptions of message frames, and how they choose which frames to use with different audiences and the ethical considerations associated with various frames. The researchers then conducted an online experiment to examine the effectiveness of prominent message frames and how ethics were perceived by lay audiences.

The “psychological distance” of climate change—the perception that something will happen far in the future or that it will affect someone else far away—and political polarization have been major challenges in communicating the issue to the public. The study found that the frames considered most effective by PR practitioners were economic and public health frames. PR practitioners revealed they often avoid using the term climate change and discuss specific adaptation strategies rather than the cause of climate change. Conversations also revealed that science communicators rarely consider ethical issues beyond being truthful and accurate. Some practitioners brought up issues of social justice and how not all populations can adapt to climate change. Lastly, the findings support that both strategic decisions and professional constraints influence PR practitioners’ decision making when it comes to choosing messaging. The results revealed that some communicators felt political pressure to communicate in certain ways, whether it was from their organization or audience.

A survey-experiment was conducted to investigate how political ideology, type of message frame and organization type might influence message perceptions. Results demonstrated that political ideology is indeed a strong predictor of perceptions of climate change messages. As liberalism decreased and conservatism increased, climate change messages—regardless of type of frame—were perceived as less ethical, less credible and less effective. Findings also showed people were more likely to view messages regarding climate change from a corporation as more credible than from a government agency.

Political ideology is a strong predictor of how people perceive messages about polarized scientific issues. Communicators need effective messaging strategies when discussing issues related to climate change and should frame messages so they do not evoke political ideology. While political ideology predicting attitudes toward climate change has been studied extensively, this study added in the practitioner perspective and the perceptions of ethics by both practitioners and the public. PR pros should think about the ethical considerations of climate change considerations beyond the need to be truthful and accurate when communicating. To communicate effectively, communications should focus on the consequences of climate change and avoid the politically charged term “climate change” when possible.

This project was among six research studies funded by the 2016 Page & Johnson Legacy Scholar Grants and conducted by Nicole Lee, North Carolina State University, Matthew VanDyke, Appalachian State University, and Rachel Hutman, W2O Group.

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Over the past several days, we’ve been sharing bits and pieces of an extensive research project into all things “interventional” in preparation for the Cardiac Research Foundation’s Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (#TCTDenver) conference, which kicked off Sunday in Denver, CO. Steven Cutbirth’s prior posts are linked below: Getting to Know the TCT Social Media Experts – Part …
Over the past several days, we’ve been sharing bits and pieces of an extensive research project into all things “interventional” in preparation for the Cardiac Research Foundation’s Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (#TCTDenver) conference, which kicked off Sunday in Denver, CO. Steven Cutbirth’s prior posts are linked below:

While I’ll be making a full presentation tomorrow (November 1) at 1:05PM MDT (Room 501 at the Colorado Convention Center), I wanted to share some of the interesting things we’ve learned about the online behavior of interventional cardiologists and interventional radiologists.

For one thing, it’s not just for the kids – 72% of the online interventionists in our MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database are over the age of 40. They post regularly and actively – more than half of US interventionists post at least weekly, and more than 2/3 of interventionists from outside the US do so.

They use the “open forum” of twitter to debate the topics most important in the field. One of the hot topics I’ll cover in my presentation involves the discussion & debate around TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), a minimally invasive procedure that can, in some instances, alleviate the need for open heart surgery. The topic is hot enough that there are more than twice as many presentations on this year’s TCT agenda (>131%) as there were two years ago. But the increase in twitter posts over the past two years is even more pronounced: There have been 4.5x as many TAVR-related twitter posts than their were during the year leading up to TCT in 2015 (>441%).

It’s not just what the interventionalists talk about that’s interesting here; it’s also whom they’re engaging in the course of those conversations. One of the most telling signs of an influential online physician is is that she tends to mentioned regularly by her peers. Over the past year, there are literally thousands of interventionalists around the world who’ve connected in conversation – but these are the 10 interventionalists who have been mentioned most often by their peers:

The interventionalists who are responsible for this remarkable growth in meaningful conversation are also convincing their colleagues to join them online at a fast clip. Interventionalists have adopted twitter 14% faster than their brethren in oncology – who are known as active social media adopters among specialists. Two weeks ago, Amit K. Gupta, MD posted an article on TCT’s “Heart Beat” blog entitled Why All Interventionalists Should Be on Twitter. It looks as though his colleagues already agree!

To learn more about how the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database can reshape the way you interact with doctors, patients, the media & all the important stakeholders of your healthcare company, learn more here.

 

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(This is the third post in a series leading up to the TCT 2017 Conference, find the first post here and second post here.) The TCT meeting is one of the most engaged medical meetings for Interventionalists (Interventional Cardiologists, Vascular Surgeons, Interventional Radiologists and other relevant specialties) on social media. In 2016, we tracked 3,500+ …

(This is the third post in a series leading up to the TCT 2017 Conference, find the first post here and second post here.)

The TCT meeting is one of the most engaged medical meetings for Interventionalists (Interventional Cardiologists, Vascular Surgeons, Interventional Radiologists and other relevant specialties) on social media. In 2016, we tracked 3,500+ TCT tweets from over 500 Physicians in the MDigitalLife database, up 80% from the 2015 conference. We expect to see another sizable increase in conversation as physicians increasingly employ social media as a means of connecting with colleagues across geographic and specialty boundaries. (See the below graph showing increase in physician conversation on twitter since 2009.)

Paying attention to the online conversation is vitally important. As our friend Dr. Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) says when asked why folks should be a part of the online conversation:

  1. Think Publicly – When you think out loud, people see you.
  2. People Will Want to Talk – When people see you, they want to talk to you.
  3. When People Talk, Things Happen. – Couldn’t agree more Doctor V!

Whether you’re an Interventionalist attending TCT or you have a stake in interventional cardiovascular medicine as a patient, advocate or industry employee, you would be wise to pay attention to, and engage with, the conversations happening online next week. To that end, we’ll focus the remainder of this post on a few key tips to get started on social and engage in TCT conversation.

How Do I Get Started on Twitter?

First off you need a twitter account. If you already have one, awesome, go ahead and skip to the next section. If you need to set up an account, then we’ve got you covered here. First, go to Twitter.com/SignUp and create your account. Be sure to create a handle that incorporates your real name or company name, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative with it! Make sure to use an appropriate high-quality photograph of yourself and write a clear, simple bio that includes a little of your personality so people can get to know you. And it’s generally helpful to link back to a page that gives people more info about you (for example, about.me/Steven_Cutbirth) or the organization you represent. Lastly, if your organization requires, or you feel more comfortable doing so, you can include the magic words: “all opinions are my own”.

How Do I Connect with the TCT Community online?

The simplest way to find the TCT conversation is to search for the hashtag #TCT2017 or #TCTDenver. In the past the community used variations of #TCT2016, but @TCTConference confirmed this year the official hashtag will be #TCTDenver. Most likely there will be some folks who still use variations of the old hashtags so you can use a custom twitter search to pull in all posts using any variation of #TCT like this: #TCTDENVER OR #TCT2017 OR #TCT17. If you follow that link or enter the search query into twitter’s search bar you will see a stream of relevant TCT posts sorted by time.

Beyond using the official hashtags, you can also use custom hashtags to engage in sub-conversations around specific procedures or conditions. To give you an idea of the hashtags Physicians used in conjunction with #TCT2016 we pulled a list of most frequently used hashtags below:

Utilizing hashtags on this list is one of the best ways to connect with others around topics you are passionate about. To that end, be sure to check out the recent post from Amit K. Gupta, MD: Why All Interventionalists Should Be On Twitter. Dr. Gupta has shared some excellent tips for interventionalists! If you’re attending TCT in person, sharing relevant photos is an excellent way to establish yourself as a key member in the online conversation. When tweeting, be sure to attach your photo and if you choose, tag up to 10 people in the photo who may be interested in the topic you’re sharing (does not count toward 140-character limit). This will notify them of your post and increase your chances of engagement. And be sure to check the TCT social media policy before sharing photos and videos from the meeting.

Lastly, you can follow this twitter list to see what the TCT social media faculty are sharing and read our first two blogs (Blog 1 & Blog 2) which go into more detail on some great accounts to follow throughout TCT.

 Don’t miss the Social Media in Cardiology Series at TCT 2017!

If you are attending TCT this year, be sure to join the “Social Media in Cardiology” series on Nov. 1. Our own, Greg Matthews (@chimoose) will be speaking on Social Media: The New Platform for Influence in Interventional Cardiology at 1:05pm. Greg will use next-generation analytical tools to reveal current trends of exchanges between interventional cardiologists within social media, which interventional cardiologists are most influential among their peers, and the most debated interventional topics online in 2017 to date.

And Look for our 4th installment in this series, previewing exclusive data from Greg’s upcoming session next week.

Follow Steven Cutbirth on twitter @SvenC; Follow MDigitalLife on twitter @MDigitalLife; Like MDigitalLife on Facebook 

To learn more about how the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database can reshape the way you interact with doctors, patients, the media & all the important stakeholders of your healthcare company, learn more here.

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While you’d be correct to point out that the headline makes complete sense, you would be incorrect in assuming that it is a practice followed in very many places. The reasons for why insights are not integrated are many and vary by the organization, but some of the biggest reasons why include: The marketing team …

While you’d be correct to point out that the headline makes complete sense, you would be incorrect in assuming that it is a practice followed in very many places. The reasons for why insights are not integrated are many and vary by the organization, but some of the biggest reasons why include:

  1. The marketing team is organized by channel, which promotes execution in a silo
  2. The data isn’t organized in such a way to be able to draw insights across channels
  3. The analytics team isn’t integrated and part of one organization
  4. A breakdown in communication between the marketing and analytics teams to ensure complete understanding of the campaign background and what’s possible from the analytics standpoint
  5. A measurement approach that features a single KPI to rule them all, or even channel-specific KPIs.

Hopefully you’ll notice a pattern with some of the biggest reasons why insights aren’t integrated. First and foremost, it isn’t only the fault of the marketer. My analytics brethren play a significant role in promoting insights in a silo. Second, you’ll notice (I hope) I’m not qualifying these challenges by a specific company’s industry. The challenge of integrating insights applies whether you are in a small or large company, or in health care or technology. Third, there are some significant organizational barriers to overcome even if the marketing and analytics teams are willing to come together. Herein lies what I am hoping you take away from the rest of this post.

When I joined Intel in 2014 to lead up the global paid media and digital analytics function, one of the most exciting challenges we were attempting to solve was just this: How do we bring together our paid media data, with our owned data, with our social data to tell a complete story about the performance of our campaign? We started the journey using a framework that my colleague (at Intel and now again at W2O) Dan Linton visualizes as siloed, collated, correlated and causated. During our respective three+ years at Intel I think we made tremendous progress toward correlated and causated insights that helped build better campaigns, optimize programs in-flight and properly measure performance. Even though both of us are now gone from the company I know that the team is continuing the journey to the nirvana state or causated insights.

So why not continue the journey at Intel? Why come back to W2O to establish the PESO (paid, earned, shared and owned) analytics offering? Aside from the fact that I’ve never encountered executives in my 15 year career who value analytics as much as Jim Weiss, Bob Pearson and Jenn Gottlieb, I would point back to the organizational challenges I cited above:

  1. Our activation teams that put together paid media, digital, social, or public relations programs aren’t in a silo. They sit within one organization, which immediately breaks down barriers to consuming cross-channel insights.
  2. Our data is well organized thanks to some incredible work by my colleague, Jonathan Isernhagen. More on this coming in future blog posts.
  3. Our analytics team is well integrated and in one organization. We’re bringing paid and owned analytics to an incredibly strong earned and shared offering that already exists for clients.
  4. We have a long history of proactive and positive communication between our activation and analytics teams.
  5. We have a significant number of people who have experience building measurement frameworks for clients of all sizes and industries that are not channel-specific.

The promise of PESO insights is tremendous for companies. It’s why I’m back at W2O, and it’s what we’re laser-focused on building out for clients. Over the coming weeks you are going to be hearing from some of my colleagues who are going to be expanding on this topic in greater detail. Everything from the owned analytics angle, to mobile learnings, to broad digital to even how an integrated data warehouse provides the foundation by which we execute PESO insights.

In the meantime, and in the words of our founder Jim Weiss, #integreatness.

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We agree. Simplification is required in these complex times. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal by Alexandra Bruell titled “Ad Groups Try to Simplify in Complex Times” discussed the difficulties of transforming from the traditional ad agency model to one driven by data science, technology and the mashup of services that were siloed for …

We agree. Simplification is required in these complex times.

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal by Alexandra Bruell titled “Ad Groups Try to Simplify in Complex Times” discussed the difficulties of transforming from the traditional ad agency model to one driven by data science, technology and the mashup of services that were siloed for far too long.

The article and the industry angst resonates deeply for us at W2O Group since we have been transforming our firm this way since 2009.  Of course, back then, it didn’t seem all that cool to add in data science, fully embrace technology and start reinventing traditional communications and marketing models.  Now, it’s a no-brainer and a race to evolve quicker than market needs.

Here is what our clients are asking for that was emphasized via this article’s focus.

#1 – Clients Want Real Integration – They want analytics, planning, creative and the resulting campaigns to reflect intellectual, not physical integration. We like to say that if insights are driving our decisions, we are in the right mindset.  Gone are the days when we just “had an idea.”  Now, every aspect of our offering is driven by insights.

#2 – Work for Clients Like You Are the Client – Sir Martin Sorrell said “ensuring our people work seamlessly together through client teams and country and sub-regional managers to provide integrated benefits for clients is absolutely essential.”  We agree and we have found that actions matter far more than words, which is why we have always operated with one P&L for our five operating companies.  Our teams know that the only thing that matters is building the right team that brings the requisite solutions to our clients’ business problems.  We believe P&L infighting is the scourge of our industry and we want no part of it. Neither do our clients.

#3 – We Are ALL digital – Many of the larger agencies are struggling with “who owns” digital? For us, it is easy. Everyone. We ask 100% of our team members to understand digital, understand analytics and know how to solve problems and spot opportunities.  If everyone is digital, we are also media-neutral in how we approach a client’s need and that also improves how we integrate and build the right teams.

#4 – Earned & Shared Media Are Redefining PESO, Particularly Paid – In the article, Ms. Bruell writes “the holding companies’ complex structures have also impeded their ability to move quickly at a time when clients are demanding more real-time digital marketing responses to daily events, particularly on social media.”  We agree and see the emergence of audience architecture, social graphics and agile media planning reinventing how we build campaigns.  In today’s world, via our algorithms, we can identify and track our exact audience.  We can determine what content they desire about a brand or related to it and we can adjust to their needs by the hour, day or week. The headline is simple. Our customers are driving earned and shared media, so if we listen closely to their exact needs, they show us the game plan. If we are tracking paid media primarily, we only know how successful our campaign was, but we learn very little about what our customers actually want. Combining earned, shared, owned and paid will change how we plan, think and act.

#5 – The shift from video to visual experience – Everyone is pushing hard to provide more videos for social media platforms. We’re continuing to explore how our brains process visual experiences, so we can provide the right visual content at the right time, whether it is the right image, video, website or other visual educational content on the journey to form a view on a brand.  You need powerful analytics and a heavy dose of the right machine learning models to see how significant it is to know what will resonate inside our brains. In general, about 2/3 of us prefer to learn visually. It feels like the very beginning of a new way to reach our customers is starting to happen.

#6 – Clients Don’t Want to Pay for Overlapping Services – The article states that “what they want is a single business relationship that gives them access to creative, technology and media expertise without having to potentially pay for overlapping services.” This is exactly why we are continually building a shared services team that takes us from insights to content to planning. One powerful engine of expertise can be shaped for each client, based on what they need. While always a work in progress, we’re well on our way to meeting the needs of all sizes of companies. It is too painful and leads to less innovation if we try to do this in each operating company. Areas like analytics and how we embrace technology require that we go deep and get it right and keep evolving.

#7 – The Expanded Version of “Creative” – We have the highest respect for our creative teams who come up with ideas, based on insights, that we would never think about. This same spatial knowledge, which is a real gift, exists with our analysts and increasingly in general management leaders who have absorbed the principles of analytics and creative and happen to have this type of mind. It’s leading to an entirely new way to think of what “creative” really is if it is truly maximized for our clients.

We’re excited about the future and we look forward to continuously improving our offering to match and stay slightly ahead of the needs of our clients.  We also know how talented the leaders are within holding companies and remain confident that they will figure out how to overcome their legacy structure and systems to find new ways to innovate for their clients.  We have been relatively unencumbered from a restrictive structure since Jim Weiss founded the company in 2001 so we believe this has allowed us to evolve and scale based solely on client needs in this changing environment. And that’s not going to change.

The result is that we’ll all benefit. Our collective efforts will represent the next generation of our industry. It will be part communications, part marketing, part data science and part things we don’t know yet. Who knows what the era will be called. All we know is it will have a lot of “mad women and men” who can’t change fast enough.

This blog was co-authored by Chief Client Service Officer Jennifer Gottlieb. Fully committed to customizing every client engagement, Jennifer develops integrated teams that deliver the best work and drive business outcomes and success. She has been with W2O Group for a decade and has partnered with global companies big and small in the areas of pharmaceuticals, technology and consumer.

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This is the fifth edition of The Social Oncology Project, our annual examination of the role that social media plays in the discussion of cancer. Past efforts have focused largely on the question of “what”: what topics capture the attention of the public? What kinds of cancers generate the most traffic from oncologists? What kind …

This is the fifth edition of The Social Oncology Project, our annual examination of the role that social media plays in the discussion of cancer. Past efforts have focused largely on the question of “what”: what topics capture the attention of the public? What kinds of cancers generate the most traffic from oncologists? What kind of connections characterize the online ecosystem in oncology?

This year, however, we sought to answer an even more basic question: “who?” There has never been an in-depth effort to understand and describe the doctors who are discussing oncology online, a sense of what sets that minority of physicians apart from their offline peers (and what connects them). This was in part about describing the demographics, elements such as age, location, and sex. But it was also about trying to divine offline behaviors, too. Are wired docs publishing more? Developing deeper relationships with industry?

This isn’t an academic exercise; understanding who is speaking about oncology topics is crucial to our ability to arrive at conclusions about what social chatter means and what it doesn’t, and who exactly this cohort speaks for.

After sifting through a mountain of data – much of which is presented in the full report – we’ve come to five initial conclusions about what it means to be an online oncologist:

  1. Tweet or perish. Being an oncologist with a public Twitter profile is correlated with more publications in two ASCO journals. Clearly, it’s important not to confuse causation with correlation, but there is clearly a nexus between old measures of “opinion leadership” and new concepts about digital influence.
  2. Age is just a number. Yes, online doctors trend younger, but the dividing line is blurry, with 76 percent of the online group on the wrong side of 40. That’s a sign that while much of what is posted online can be seen as a reflection of early-career doctors, the technology has penetrated far more deeply than just those physicians who grew up in a social-media world.
  3. Online Oncologists Take More Sunshine Payments. Though the differences aren’t huge, online oncologists appear to receive more money from industry, a phenomenon driven in part by a well-represented minority. There has been increasing attention to what these kinds of connections mean, and how to manage them, and our work confirms that this remains a fruitful area of analysis.
  4. Twitter Use is Correlated with Bad Winters. Or, at least, with being a resident of Minnesota and Wisconsin, which have the highest rate of oncologists online. Understanding the environmental factors that make social media engagement will be important in understanding how to make social media more useful for a larger group.
  5. There’s a Lot We Still Don’t Know. The next questions we hope to answer: what can online relationships teach us about referral and prescription patterns? Teasing out these more subtle relationships will help us better calibrate the way that a social profile may predict or explain critical offline behaviors.

The key element of social oncology, and, indeed, the driving force of The Social Oncology Project, is driving dialogue. We have done our best to present the data we’ve gathered in a straightforward way, without generating hypotheses on the important “why” questions.

But the “why” discussion is critically important, and one that is best undertaken with as broad a group as possible. So we hope you’ll take a look at the report, hop online, and join us in parsing what it means to be a social oncologist and where the conversation goes next.







Follow Brian Reid on twitter @brianreid; Follow MDigitalLife on twitter @MDigitalLifeLike MDigitalLife on Facebook 

To learn more about how the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database can reshape the way you interact with doctors, patients, the media & all the important stakeholders of your healthcare company, learn more about us here.

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Did you know that SENTIENT is a GOOGLE Premier Partner for Search Advertising? As a member of this elite group, our capabilities and experience certainly speak for themselves. Learn about what this means… How do our clients know which agency can elevate their business? How do they identify the cream of the crop when it comes …

Did you know that SENTIENT is a GOOGLE Premier Partner for Search Advertising? As a member of this elite group, our capabilities and experience certainly speak for themselves. Learn about what this means…

How do our clients know which agency can elevate their business? How do they identify the cream of the crop when it comes to campaign managers and performance trackers? Who will continually make them money?

The most capable agencies are identified by an elite group known as Google Premier Partners. This is the highest level of partnership an agency can achieve within the GOOGLE tiers and is earned by a small fraction of top digital marketing companies.

Only the strongest AdWords service providers achieve this and we’re proud to announce that Sentient is one of them! In fact, we have been since 2016!

In order to qualify for this level, we were able to continuously meet these 3 areas of requirements:

  1. GOOGLE certifications – We passed several rigorous GOOGLE tests with at least an 80% score
  2. Ad spend – We continuously met GOOGLE’s minimum ad spend. And although there isn’t a set number (requirements are set based on location and market) every ad spend is reviewed and approved by GOOGLE
  3. Conversion performance – We make more money for our clients by producing AdWords campaigns that convert at a high rate. Not only this, but the quality of our campaigns remain at a high level and our clientele is constantly growing

So, what does this really mean?
That our team is consistently delivering real search marketing experts who are trustworthy, knowledgable of GOOGLE AdWords (inside and out), and consistently managing successful campaign…after successful campaign. We’ve also been distinguished as invited users of Beta testing for new GOOGLE Adwords features for our clients’ campaigns. Our search and account professionals participate in regular training and knowledge-sharing sessions with GOOGLE throughout the year.

As a GOOGLE Premier Partner, it’s evident that we live and breathe through the understanding and workings of the AdWords interface…and turns out we are pretty good at it!

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Gay Pride is quickly approaching which means clients should start thinking about how they can get involved to show their customers, their employees and their shareholders that they support the community. As a leader in audience architecture, W2O Group has developed a cost-effective approach that will allow brands and companies to more effectively engage with …

Gay Pride is quickly approaching which means clients should start thinking about how they can get involved to show their customers, their employees and their shareholders that they support the community.

As a leader in audience architecture, W2O Group has developed a cost-effective approach that will allow brands and companies to more effectively engage with the LGBT community.

To highlight our approach in how we are helping companies unlock the value of the LGBT community, I sat down with Allan Dib, our Managing Director of Strategy and Insights, to discuss W2O Group’s offering and approach:

Aaron: Allan, this is a little bit of a rhetorical question, but tell us how 2017 Gay Pride is going to be different than it was in previous years?

Allan: This year, Gay Pride celebrations around the country, from LA to NYC and all in between, are shifting focus to resistance – moving from parades to marches.  Borrowing from the Women’s March early in the year, the community has organized a national march, The Equality March for Unity and Pride, in DC on June 11th.  We expect to see thousands of people attending from all over the country.  Brands and companies are going to need to balance their celebratory messaging with support.

Aaron: You and I have discussed that some companies fall into the trap of treating the LGBT community as a homogenous segment. Why is this a bad idea?

Allan: The biggest criticism of brands targeting the LGBT community is that their approach is not authentic and genuine.  Brands and companies tend to target the entire community as one segment.  The LGBT community is certainly not homogenous and activating to create receptivity within certain audience segments requires nuanced insights.  Not only do you need to know which segment of the community is going to be right for you but you need to know as much about them as possible to engage in authentic and compelling way.  It is critical to build out your marketing strategy based on the segment most receptive to your message.

Aaron: What are some of the most effective ways to reach the LGBT Community?

Allan: While using LGBT media is definitely an effective way of reaching the LGBT community, it is not the only way.  Actually, if you focus only on LGBT media you are missing a large portion of the community that does not consume LGBT media and another important segment – allies.   LGBT allies should be part of your strategy; they have proven to be very vocal for the community and very receptive towards brands that are engaging with the LGBT community.  Allied influencers amplify your message.  An effective way to do this is to work with those who already influence (whomever they may be) your target to tell your story.

Aaron: Talk about how a company’s position on LGBT issues can impact how its employees (both current and prospective) view it.

Allan: Employees, especially millennials, are increasingly taking into consideration a company’s position on social issues.  They turn to the media, influencers and third-party associations to learn about a company’s position on key issues.  Many feel that LGBT rights are being attacked and rolled back by lawmakers across the country, making it even more important for companies to be vocal in supporting their employees.  We have seen many companies rise to this challenge and publicly support campaigns to fight for these rights. For these reasons, it’s important to let the LGBT community and their allies know your corporate story.

Aaron: A little bit of a sales pitch here but tell us how W2O Group’s LGBT Audience and Influencer Architecture can help brands effectively connect.

Allan: As part of our ongoing efforts to stay one-step ahead of the rapidly shifting consumer landscape, W2O Group is pleased to announce its new LGBT Audience & Influencer Architecture offering. We recognize that companies need the right perspective to pivot in today’s landscape and anticipate tomorrow’s environment. And as customer demands and the competitive landscape are changing constantly, we hope to provide insights grounded in real-time analytics to help navigate future opportunities.

Aaron: For those interested in this offering, can you let the them know what they receive?

Allan: Certainly. The current package includes:

  • Segmentation of more than 50,000 LGBTs and allies
  • Deep understanding of audience interests
  • Segmentation of the key influencers talking about LGBT issues
  • A workshop at your office

Aaron: Thank you Allan. What is the best way for clients and prospective clients to learn more about the offering?

Allan: For anyone who is interested in learning more about our LGBT Audience & Influencer Architecture, please let me know, Allan Dib, Managing Director Insights and Strategy. adib@w2ogroup.com

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