There are some pretty iconic ad campaigns coming from the telco industry. Verizon’s “can you hear me now” ads that ran during the 2000s were iconic. And then there was Sprint stealing the “can you hear me now” actor for their own campaign, honestly—savage. A new player in the telco space, Visible, has delivered a new campaign that saw 112% higher engagement than projected, according to Marketing Dive.

Visible, a telco startup backed by Verizon, carried out a campaign based on a typo displayed on numerous, highly Visible billboards and trucks around Downtown Denver. The billboard read “unlimited massages” instead of messages, perhaps on purpose. Visible opted to go the comical route—they made good on their promise and hosted an event offering free massages.

The event sparked exactly what Visible was hoping for—social traction and plenty of media coverage. While it may have been borne out of a mistake, even possibly an intentional one, it goes to show how much of an effect that an engaging marketing campaign can have.

Visible’s event showcased two major trends in marketing and advertising as a whole:

  • Brands getting more casual in nature about their marketing
  • Consumers responding positively to transparency

The first seems fairly obvious. Brands have been personifying themselves much more casually these days. Wendy’s Twitter account is all about sassiness. Denny’s got very real with a viral meme. In this weird, twisted universe we live in, dictionary brands like Merriam Webster and deliver red-hot clapbacks. And my personal favorite:

Talk about making something as droll as The Museum of English Rural Life absolutely hilarious.

And consumers flock to this kind of content.

Brands go viral all the time when they take a risk. Media coverage sparks up. There is a lot of shimmering gold in the realm of casualing it up when it comes to your brand presence. You’ll have to do it well though. When brands fail at being calm, cool, and casual it can get cringey quickly.

So that raises the question—what is the voice behind your brand? The messages you send to your customers through mobile marketing, web push, email, social, you name it, all add up to your brand voice. Is your voice inviting? Is it funny? Could you see your brand owning up to a fun typo on a billboard as Visible did? Consider carrying over the wittiness of your ads to your everyday interactions with your customers.

It may be easy to answer yes to those questions, but consumers often feel differently. Wendy’s sassiness wasn’t built overnight. It takes a cohesive, consistent strategy to develop your voice and even a few messages off brand can find yourself going down a down a different path.

Try A/B testing some different messages. One you would typically write and another that may be a bit more conversational—casual and witty in nature. You’d be surprised as to what your customers will respond to.

And then when it comes to the second trend in marketing and advertising—brand transparency. Consumers want to brands to be honest with them. They respond well when a brand owns up to a mistake, mild or serious.

Per Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer, 57% of customers are willing to provide their data in exchange for a more personalized experience. So not only do customers look for brand transparency, they want you to use their data, as long as it is to benefit them.

This can take place in the sense of the Visible offer for a free massage instead of messages. While it’s a humorous mistake, consumers, and the media, responded positively when they came through with their promise.

Transparency can come in many forms. Take data. Mobile, social, email, web—all the different channels you collect data from your customers tells you how to best personalize towards them. In a perfect world, the data help you to help them. And assuming you accomplish this, you should tell them how you are using their data to help them.

Data is becoming a hot button issue and with more scrutiny comes more of a reason for you to tell your consumers why and how you’re collecting their data. Tell them how their data helps you personalize the messages you send them so that they aren’t bombarded with irrelevant messages. Let them know that their location data could result in promotional offers in their area. Not only will they appreciate the personalization, it’ll make them more likely to share the data with you in the first place.

Many brands are facing scrutiny on how they use their data. And there are more and more avenues for customers to opt out of handing you their data. Customer research has proven to be true that consumers respond positively to transparency and letting them know how their data helps you to help them is a smart move. Not only that, and one that we think brands should take part in more frequently.

While the Visible event is a very niche example, it shows how much of an impact a successful marketing campaign can have on a growing company. Marketing intelligently and in line with the current state of marketing and advertising can do wonders for your brand. Brands from CPG to finance and retail to telco can have a slam dunk marketing campaign.

To learn more about the telco industry, read our e-book The Acceleration of Digital Transformation in the Telecommunications Industry below.