About Joe Mastrangelo

Joe Mastrangelo is a marketing executive with a broad range of agency, consulting and client-side experiences including leading several successful product launches at Bayer, working on Purex laundry detergent at Dial, serving as Product Director at Johnson & Johnson, and collaborating with the Customer Strategy Development team at Accenture. Currently, Mr. Mastrangelo runs Masthead Marketing, a small marketing consultancy that is focused on brand and digital strategy.

With UX, Sometimes It’s the Little Things that Make All the Difference

Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Did the stylist where you get your hair cut remember your name? Did the host/hostess open the door for you as you approached the restaurant? Often these little, seemingly innocuous experiences, have an outsized influence on your overall perception of the experience.

These “little things” are also important when it comes to digital interactions, and too often,
brands struggle to get them right. Let me share with you just one experience.

Recently, I received an email from Ladders, a career website for professionals. The email subject line read: 5 books to read if you want to be successful. Well, I want to be successful and I like to read so I opened the email. The first item in the email delivered on the subject line’s promise so I clicked through to the article.

5 books to read

This is where one of those “little things” popped up. Instead of diving right into the article I
first had to deal with a pop-up advising me to enter my email address so I can keep my career on track with news and advice from Ladders.

The Ladders newsletter sign-up

Wait? What??? I just came from an email, it says so right here in the UTM tag1:

https://www.theladders.com/p/23432/best-books-successful? utm_swu=6280&utm_campaign=DNL90_070142017&utm_source=daily_newsletter_email& utm_content=5books&utm_medium=email

So instead of reading about which book I should read I’m busy getting rid of the pop-up and wondering why Ladders wants me to sign up for an email when I just came from said email. And in reality, this is a very easy problem to avoid – you can configure when to fire the pop-up based on triggers in Google Tag Manager (more info here: https://www.workshopdigital.com/blog/tracking-pop-ups-gtm/).

So what’s the lesson for brands? Like the hair salon or restaurant, it’s not always the key reason-to-believe or claim that may make the biggest impression with your consumer. Sometimes it’s a small experience – a “little thing,” good or bad – that can have the greatest impact. To that end, make sure you build out customer experiences from the viewpoint of the customer, and how they experience and process things, and not from the standpoint of the brand and what you want to “get” from them.

1. A UTM tag is a simple code that you can attach to a custom URL in order to track a source, medium, and campaign name. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where searchers came from as well as what campaign directed them to you. Source: https://www.launchdigitalmarketing.com/what-are-utm-codes/

Self-Deprecating Advertising: Considering Fifth Third’s New Campaign

Recently, Adweek shared a new campaign by Fifth Third Bank that, naturally, debuted on May 3rd (5/3). The campaign looks like a fun, quirky effort that tries to position Fifth Third as a bank that goes the extra mile (or extra 2/3) a la Avis’s long-running “We Try Harder” campaign. The execution is in a self-deprecating style where Fifth Third makes fun of its own name.

This got me thinking: is self-deprecation right for a brand? Does making fun of oneself endear a brand to its customers? And, do any of these considerations change for a brand that comes from a “serious” category such as banking?

When done right, a self-deprecating message can really resonate with customers – it makes the brand more humanizing. Since 2010, Domino’s has slowly, steadily, consistently, used an honest self-deprecating effort to change its brand perception. This effort, along with reinventing its pizza recipe, streamlining its ordering and delivery processes, and listening to customers, has led to record sales for Domino’s.

So is self-deprecation right for a bank like Fifth Third? I believe it is. Fifth Third is trying to attract new customers – likely millennials. Not only are millennials becoming a growing force of economic power, they are notably more ad savvy than other generations. Humanizing a brand is a good idea when it comes to marketing to marketing this audience.