3 Things We Can Learn From the Obamacare “Brosurance” Marketing Wreck

A few months back, the Internet was a bit befuddled by the joint-marketing campaign of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and Progress Now.

What they were trying to do was encourage young adults to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but what they ended up getting was a lot of angry Millenials and a marketing campaign that went silent only a few months after it went public.

Fortunately though, we have The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, who found the opportunity for a few laughs too good to pass up.

Recently, Jon Stewart and co. rekindled the flame of the Obamacare Brosurance marketing disaster with a report that highlighted how far off the marketing campaign was from reaching its target audience (i.e. Millennials).

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart might seem like the most unlikely of sources for some great HR tips, but it looks like that’s been proven wrong with this analysis. Here are three things we took away from the piece:

1. Don’t alienate your target audience

The last thing you want to do is make your target audience feel like you don’t understand them, because you’ll run the risk of coming off as disingenuous and offensive.

In terms of creating an employer brand, this can really turn away your target audience, especially the Millennials, who really value authenticity.

As one of interviewees said to Aasif Mandvi, “They’re basically portraying you as someone whose only goal in life is to sleep around”–in short, if it doesn’t speak to your target audience, then it doesn’t do you any good.

2.  “Not all publicity is good publicity”

Sure, being provocative may get people to talk about your brand, but it doesn’t guarantee they’ll want anything to do with it. In fact, you’ll probably end up losing more than you gain.

As one person said, “I was shocked that that was an actual insurance ad, advocating for falling off of kegs and getting really drunk.” In her case, the ad did nothing positive for her.

Apply that to an employer brand with a bad rap, and sure, people might talk about your company, but if it is not in a good light, then it’s doubtful that it will do you any good.

3. Make sure your message actually does its job before you send it to print

The most important thing of all is that you actually get your message across. As was the case with the brosurance ads, the goal was to encourage people to sign up for healthcare insurance. But as one girl put it, “I don’t think the ads answer any healthcare questions.” If no one understands what your message is, then you’ll just end up with pointless marketing and a big waste of time.

Marketing can do wonders for your company, whether it’s for your employer brand or for a company product, but if you don’t work through your marketing campaign thoroughly, you could end up in a wreck like the brosurance campaign. Take your time and make sure your marketing is foolproof. If you do, then chances are you’ll be in a much better position than the brosurance folks.

Pinterest for Your Business? Some Facts Behind the Hype

A while back, we broke down Jason Demers’ take on The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014, giving you our pick of the trends we thought were worth taking a look at. However, there was one trend that we didn’t cover: Pinterest.

Pinterest, the pinboard-style photo-sharing website, has been making waves recently in the social media world. And while it may not beat out Facebook anytime soon, it’s proving itself to be a formidable competitor of the social media giant.

So today, we’re going to give you some statistics about the social media platform in order to get you thinking more about whether or not your company should make the jump into the world of Pinterest.

Here are some key facts:

  • Pinterest is now the leader in the e-commerce sharing: According to a survey conducted by Gigya, a company that tracks social logins, Pinterest is the leader in e-commerce sharing, accounting for 41% of e-commerce traffic, beating out Facebook (37%) by about 4%.
  • Pinterest drives more than twice as much e-commerce as Facebook: Research from RichRevelance, a company that offers personalized shopping experiences for major brands, shows that Pinterest shoppers spend $140 to $180 per order, compared with the $60 to $80 on Facebook. RichRevelance also found that Pinterest accounts for 25% of retail referral traffic.
  • An infographic by the Social Annex shows that 10% of all Pinterest users are more likely to make a purchase compared to any other social media site. The average number of brands followed by Pinterest is 9.5, compared to 6.9 for Facebook and 8.5 for Twitter.
  • Semiocast reports that Pinterest has 70 million users and more than 70% of them are in the U.S. Among users registered before June 2013, 31.8% (20.9 million) users pinned, repined, or liked an image or video in one month. Though that rate may seem very low, Semiocast reports that it is actually higher than what they found on larger social networks. More than 50% of users connected to Pinterest in the past 4 months.

What this means for you:

Falling for the hype can be dangerous–especially if you’re already feeling overwhelmed when it comes to managing social media–and is something we never want to advocate. This info is here simply to give you a better idea of what Pinterest can do.

Although falling for hype can be dangerous, in the competitive job market we see these days, it can never hurt to try new things for your employer branding.

Will Pinterest completely change the way that you’re perceived as an employer? Probably not–but it may be worth giving it a shot if you think that it can contribute to the rest of your efforts to market your company as a great place to work.