Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and the power of social media

For people who could have electrical power and Internet connection, social media must be great place to talk about the news of Hurricane Sandy.On the other hand, for people suffering from Hurricane Sandy and isolated social media was great tool of exchange information. According to local media reports, the New York area residents injured due to Sandy took advantage of Facebook and Twitter in the disaster by sending and receiving information through SNS. 

Here's an good example of using social media in the disaster of Hurricane Sandy
It's warm and sunny here in Los Angeles, but on my computer, a storm has been brewing all day.
From my cubicle in downtown Los Angeles I've been nervously anticipating the arrival of Hurricane Sandy since arriving at work this morning - -following along on social media networks as people share news stories, crazy weather photos (both real and fake), their fears, and choice quotes from the Twitter feeds of governors of the states that will soon be hit.
We don't need to be from New Jersey or watching television to know that Gov. Christie is deeply disappointed in the people who didn't evacuate, and shocked by the images coming out of the Jersey Shore. It's all on his Twitter feed
On Twitter, #Sandy is the lead trending phrase of the day followed by New Jersey (where the storm is slated to hit first). FEMA, East Coast, Long Island and Tappen Zee Bridge have all showed up in the trending list Monday too. And in my personal Twitter page Sandy posts have accounted for about 1 in 10 tweets all day.
The Sandy storm is raging on Facebook as well where the terms "Sandy," "Hurricane Sandy," and "Hurricane" were the most-used terms for Facebook users in the U.S. on Monday, according to Facebook's Talk Meter -- a tool that measures chatter on Facebook.
Other popular phrases were "stay safe" and "be safe" as well as "storm" "east coast" "praying" "power," and "my friends" a Facebook spokesperson told the L.A. Times in an email. 
I'm surprised "scared" didn't make it on the list. That one has been showing up on my Facebook news feed all day.
Major weather events come with a certain kind of cozy pleasure -- in the beginning at least; getting out the flashlights and candles before the power goes out, settling down in front of the television with a cozy blanket for a movie marathon, obsessing over what food would be the most comforting to eat. 
The photographs coming through Instagram are capturing these small personal moments of storm anticipation that are almost impossible for more traditional forms of media to get, especially at such an enormous volume. A dog snuggled on a couch. A man cooking a pound and a half of pasta "just in case." A rainy window. A stormy beach. Smiling kids on the verge of an adventure.
Earlier today, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told the Associated Press that there are 10 pictures uploaded to Instagram with the hashtag Sandy every second.
You can find a collection of these photos by going to Instagram and looking for the most popular tags like #Sandy (more than 180,000 photos), #hurricanesandy (100,000 photos), or #Frankenstorm (20,000 photos). You can also find a collection of these Instagram photos on the site Instacane.com.
To our friends on the East Coast, stay safe, be smart, and keep us updated. Thanks to social media, no matter where we are, a part of us feels like we are weathering this storm with you.


Fancy - the New Pinterest (Kind Of)

Google shows The Fancy taking off, while Pinterest is holding steady. This app is similar to Pinterest in that users can post pictures of thing they like (of "fancy", but it adds a very valuable element to investors - the ability to also purchase the item through the website. It will be interesting to see where this mobile app goes - or which lucky company purchases it.


Social Storm Tracking

During the coverage of Sandy, CNN and many other news outlets used social media to expand their series of reporters from just those on their payroll to anyone in NY / NJ with a picture, phone or video camera. They engaged their audience throughout the live news cast relying very heavily on contributions from people all other the eastern seaboard. Everyone got around a mission and wanted to share their experience with their fellow east-coasters and this sharing created a huge sense of community, feeding on itself and helping people to understand what was happening. It was a powerful use of digital media and marketing for CNN and other stations. http://ireport.cnn.com/topics/864656?hpt=hp_t1


Luxury Brands and Social Media

A recent Forbes article highlights the rising usage of social media at luxury brands, such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton. Although these types of brands had been reluctant in the past to utilize social media, they are now getting on board. The article also breaks down the key differences in engagement between luxury brands and regular brands via social media. Unlike other brands, luxury brands do not engage in the same level of interaction with fans online. Interestingly, although community engagement with luxury brands was up, the average interaction rate for luxury brands (via liking or commenting on brand posts) was down over 50% on a year over year basis.

These trends highlight the key issues that brand managers face when utilizing social media for digital marketing purposes. According to this article, it seems that for luxury brands, "showing up" on social media is sufficient.


-Linda Lou


Analyzing online video ads

Video ads are among the most powerful existing marketing digital channels. The following article indicates that watching a video ad is generally followed by visiting the brand’s facebook page. Again, this shows the importance of a coordinated approach between display and online video and other channels like social media. Customers go from one to another and marketing messages have to be consistent across channels.
The article also lists some specific characteristics for the most efficient online video ads. The length is obviously the most specific criteria and it seems that videos between 30 and 60 seconds have the highest impact. As one can expect, an add inserted in a long content has a higher likelihood to be watch than if the content is short.


Digital Media in Disaster Zones

The onset of Hurricane Sandy - or #Sandy, as you all in the Twittersphere know her - in NYC over the past couple of days has shone the spotlight on digital media and its role in covering natural disasters.  Obviously the internet itself is a boon to all citizens in the affected areas, as it A) helps spread detailed information from authorities that allows people to adequately prepare for the event, B) provides real-time information on the severity of the event as it happens, and C) chronicles the event so future generations can learn from it.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are exponentially powerful within a disaster zone in that they create an endless staff of amateur "reporters" that can deliver news on the event real-time and from ground zero.  In many cases, these reports - coming from average citizens in very close proximity to the action and danger zones - show the world what's going on minutes, sometimes hours before the professional news services do.  In fact, it's interesting that the big boys now DEPEND on social media sources for fresh, impactful news (click here for Exhibit A).  The mass reporting aspect - enabled by Wi-Fi, smartphones, and tablets - also holds a valuable intrinsic property in that it allows municipal officials and first responders to focus exactly on the areas of the city that are in the most immediate need of assistance.

While this is all great stuff, what is more fascinating to me - at least this time around - is the pervasive use of digital media as a visceral emotional coping mechanism for the impending disaster.  Take today: New Yorkers, most of whom were home from work the entire day as #Sandy bore down on The Big Apple, took to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in droves to... well, to combat their boredom and restlessness, but also to demonstrate their personal preparedness and resilience to their online communities, as well as to receive inspiring encouragement and well wishes from friends and followers in other cities.  Even better, irreverent humor ruled the day in the digital media space, as the citizens of Gotham and the surrounding areas sought to displace any fear or trepidation they should have been feeling by instead engaging in hilarious storm-related activities as Sandy approached. (My two favorite examples so far are this satirical Twitter feed and this viral video from Atlantic City.)  Those nervous, corny jokes you threw out in junior high prior to meeting your fear of speaking in public head-on???  Today was that, multiplied by the power of a million.

So from my own personal experience of today's events, it's a no-brainer that digital media has strongly influenced in a highly positive manner how society experiences and responds to developing natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.  Are there any negative effects of social media in natural disaster coverage?  If you can think of any, throw out some ideas and let's start a discussion.  (But only after I refresh my browser and get one more viewing round of this.)


Monday, October 29, 2012

Ad Agency in which Digital and Traditional Roles Are Combined

A small ad agency in Stockholm, Sweden named Honesty announced today that they were eliminating all digital titles and forcing everyone to work on digital and mobile advertising.  As AdAge reports, the CEO of Honesty expects that this is the way all ad agencies will operate in the future.  While I am no advertising expert, I think it is pretty bold to predict that specialists will be eliminated in favor of generalists in any industry.  This being said, there do appear to be obvious benefits of combining the roles, assuming that those working with traditional media have the digital know-how.  I would imagine that the reason the roles have not been combined elsewhere is because those schooled in traditional advertising do not yet know enough about digital and mobile advertising, but this should change over time.  


Native Advertising

Advertising has taken on a new look aimed at disguising itself as part of the actual content on a website. Popular names for this new form of online advertising include: native advertising, sponsored content, or collaborative content. For example on media sites, native advertising is presented through video or image rich posts made too look like editorial or article based content. While on Facebook it takes the form of sponsored posts and as promoted posts on Twitter.

The increasing popularity of native advertising shows the trend that ad companies are beginning to realize that display and banner ads can't be the only answer to online advertising. However various challenges remain with maintenance of custom content. Most brands are unable to approve custom content as needed and on a daily basis to meet changing customer needs and many predict that the future of ad agencies will be in offering a content marketing product.



Google Hurricane Crisis Page

 Fema has reported to use the social networking like twitter and facebook sites and text messaging to communicate with family an friends during hurricane sandy. This Will reduce traffic on the cell phone networks and allow cell phone service for those who really need it in a time. 

 Limit non-emergency calls to save battery power and free up wireless networks for emergency workers and operations and send brief text messages instead," Verizon Wireless suggests in a statement.

"When the network gets busy, texts have a higher chance of getting through the first time and can be more efficient."
Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile spent the weekend gearing up for the powerful storm, readying repair equipment and backup generators, CNN reported.
While power outages remain the biggest threat to cell phone service, carriers are worried tha

 The Internet Bands Together To Weather Hurricane Sandy: Helpful Resources And Details, Including Google’s Crisis Map

Drew Olanoff

posted yesterday
As you know, there’s a big storm brewing on the East Coast. Luckily, the Internet has sprung into action with some great resources.
Google has a fantastic program that prepares the world for major events involving Mother Nature, and it has set up a crisis map for people on the East Coast preparing for Hurricane Sandy.
Have a look:

This is an extremely helpful tool, which includes weather service alerts, as well as notifications of areas that are being evacuated. If you or a loved one are going to be affected by Hurricane Sandy, then this is going to be something worth bookmarking and checking often.
I’m currently checking the webcams in the Philly area, because that’s where my friends and family are.http://google.org/crisismap/sandy-2012


iPhone can now monitor your heart

Just when you thought the Iphone has nothing more to offer. A new app that I recently came across is called Cardiio,
Cardiio is an app that measures your heart rate when you look straight into the front camera of your iPhone.
How does this technology work? From the website “Every time your heart beats, more blood is pumped into your face. This slight increase in blood volume causes more light to be absorbed, and hence less light is reflected from your face. Using sophisticated software, your iPhone’s front camera can track these tiny changes in reflected light that are not visible to the human eye and calculate your heart beat!”
You  just  look directly at the front camera  of your iphone and you get your heart rate. Its that easy..

website http://www.cardiio.com/http://www.cardiio.com/
cost is $2.99
If you consider that many heart rate monitors cost over 60+ dollars, this is a great deal and can help you track your progress with your fitness goals..


2nd Screen Usage = Growing Digi Marketing Frontier

A new study reveals that 80% of smartphone & tablet owners use their devices while watching TV. The continuing rise of second screen usage is making mobile devices a more critical customer touchpoint for marketing strategy. 

So just what are these second screeners doing while watching their fave TV programming?
Most are browsing the Internet - mainly retail, social networking & search engine sites. 

What is really telling is that the study also found that 41% of second screeners were prompted to look for a product online after seeing a TV ad. For brands - it's imperative to have a marketing campaign that targets all screens with cohesive brand messaging and presence.

Furthermore this environment creates more opportunities for marketing integrations across platforms. Imagine a world where you're watching the latest episode of Real Housewives when your iPhone alerts you with a discount code for a brand just as the TV commercial for the brand coincidentally airs simultaneously.

Timing is everything...


Stock Prices and Facebook Likes - fluctuate together

This article describes a study of the fluctuation in Facebook likes and stock prices in the top 30 most liked companies on Facebook. It was found that 99.95% of the time that there were fluctuations in likes the stock price also fluctuated. Although it can't be concluded that there's a casual relationship, it shows that social media metrics are a real indicator of brand and company performance and like-ability. I think this is particularly interesting given that how to quantify social media engagement seems to be a topic of debate in the digital marketing community. Perhaps there is more to be learned from financial data analysis like this study.



Digitial Apps: the new wild west for privacy issues

Just like privacy issues that arouse with the use of cookies, it seems like data gathering via apps is the new frontier for the same invasion of privacy issues. A NYT articles details the app-issues with the lead of Angry Birds, one of the most downloaded apps ever, and how the app can cultivate private information about its user (most notably its location) to better direct the advertisements that the user sees on his/her phone. Some apps even have the capability to acquire information from contact lists and photos from digital photo libraries (data collection of apps is loosely, if at all, regulated in comparison to comparable mediums on the internet). The experts in the article claim that while most users are aware that their movements are being tracked on the internet, "most people are simply unaware of what's going on" via apps. Privacy and legal issues are just one other aspect that is going to have to be tamed/defined as the internet frontier increasingly goes digital, and perhaps apps, so liked for their immediacy and ease of use, will too be hindered by tons of fine print and legal disclaimers. Read this NYT article for more information: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/29/technology/mobile-apps-have-a-ravenous-ability-to-collect-personal-data.html?ref=technology


40% of Small/Medium Businesses Plan to Increase Digital Budget

BIA/Kelsey, a market researcher, conducted a survey of 300 small/medium sized businesses and found that 40% planned to increase their digital budgets in the next 12 months. Approximately 48% planned to maintain budgets while less than 4% planned to reduce their budgets. Interestingly, the digital channels in which to spend has increased to an average of almost 6 channels from three channels five years ago. The top five channels listed were Facebook, Newspapers, Community sponsorships, Email marketing, and Google places.


What surprised me most about this article were the digital channels listed for the small/medium businesses spend. In class we learned how Newspaper ads and Facebook were not as optimal to advertise on/with from a revenue translation perspective. Moreover, the article mentions that mobile advertising was barely on the map for these 300 companies sampled. Almost 30% of those businesses had not heard of mobile marketing while another 31% had heard a little about it but are still not using it. Only 20% of those businesses were using mobile marketing.

I think, if this sample group of small/medium companies is a decent representation of businesses in the US, that there is significant room for mobile ad improvement and adoption in the future. Getting the information out to those companies will be interesting as the slow adoption rate and lack of knowledge may cause a continued slow pickup in mobile marketing for this target audience. It may even be too an expensive of an option to develop something given particular budgets and focus on other digital spend.


Tracking cookies disclosure

"A note about tracking cookies: Some of the advertisers and Web analytics firms used on this site may place 'tracking cookies' on your computer. We are telling you about them right upfront, and we want you to know how to get rid of these tracking cookies if you like..." 

I saw this message today on http://allthingsd.com and thought it was an interesting sign of increased privacy concerns and a potential move toward greater transparency on the part of publishers. It is not surprising to me that the first time I have seen a message like this is on a tech blog targeted at fairly sophisticated users. The full disclosure information can be linked to here. I am, however a bit surprised to see an ad supported publisher state that "We’d prefer a totally opt-in system, but, as far as we know, the ad industry doesn’t have a practical one as of now." I am curious to see if messages like this will start popping up on a range of sites. Has anyone seen anything like this? Does anyone think that it is realistic to think that we could get an opt-in system? 


Mobile Display Going Up

According to eMarketer, almost 9 out of 10 US ad sales executives are going to offer mobile display ad inventory in the following three months. This is only one example of the potential that the industry is foreseeing in this channel. Of course, offer alone cannot make the market grow; regarding demand, up to 95% of buyers would be interesting in buying mobile display ads. Furthermore, estimations are that mobile advertising will grow 80% in terms of dollars in 2012, compared to 2011. So, if your brand is still not there and mobile fits your strategy, consider this channel for your next campaign.


Mobile Advertising: "Is Google going to be the next Google?"

Advertisers are spending $2.6b on mobile ads this year; while that represents only a small portion of their advertising budgets, it is notably 3x what they spent on mobile advertising on 2010.

According to the New York Times "Mobile ad networks, which show ads across mobile apps and Web sites, have created new and thriving businesses.  The biggest are Millennial Media, Google's Ad Mob and Apple's iAd.

Many think the space is still undecided on a potential leader.  Google, says the Times, "earns 56 percent of all mobile ad dollars and 96 percent of mobile search ad dollars...'Whoever does mobile best, they're going to be the next Google, so people are asking, "Is Google going to be the next Google"... It still is Google's to lose.'"

For more, read "Advertisers Refine Mobile Pitches for Phones and Tablets" http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/29/technology/advertisers-refine-mobile-pitches-for-phones-and-tablets.html


Sunday, October 28, 2012


this article is based on a research run by Accenture on Holiday Shopping, confirming the power of mobile.
What I found really compelling is that now mobile is not anymore just an additional channel a brand can include in its marketing and distribution strategy. It has become an essential piece of the strategy. Especially when dealing with consumer gooods and personal items. As the report indicates, 25% consumers are expected to shop through mobile. That means that if a brand is not present on-line, through a user friendly app, developed for all the mobile devices, with a high quality of renderings of the products, and well marketed through brick & mortar and on-line advertising, that brand risks to loose up to 25% of sales! As I commented in other recent blogs, even in this case, stand the rule of "not just being there, but being there effectively, providing a unique shopping experience". So, the challenge is doubled!
Just as an example, the article cites, what they are expecting for next Black Friday:
Twenty-three percent plan to shop from Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – to the end of November. This is an increase from 19 percent in the 2011 survey results.In addition, 56 percent of respondents are likely to participate in “showrooming.”
So, it becomes even more urgent if, as the report indicates, we think that 56% of consumers will participate in showrooming (After seeing a product in-store, they will search online for the best price and purchase online).



Ad World Desires Multicultural Tech Talent

The article talks about how difficult it is for agencies and brands to compete with startups for the brightest tech minds. It is even harder when you're also looking for diverse talent that inherently understands African-American, Latino and Asian consumers.

In short, multicultural tech recruits appear to be at a premium. The problem is more complex because agencies and digital-focused firms are not the only entities getting into the tech game. At an increasing rate, brands (the client side) are, too. Walmart, Coke and Mondelez International are just a few big names that are taking digital in-house and grabbing as much top-shelf tech talent along the way as they can.


Ready, Willing and Able? Consumer Attitudes on Data Privacy

- 73% of consumers are willing to share their information depending on what they get in return.

- The number increased to 76 % when they were offered free benefits, such as
   free entertainment and media services.

Among the key findings on consumers' evolving sentiment towards privacy is that consumers will share their information, if it's beneficial to them. The more personal the information, the less consumers are willing to share it. Consumers are less willing to share information that compromises their private interests, such as web browsing history and information about their personal social lives, such as texting or call history.

Most consumers (53-69%) are generally willing to share information about their media use because they perceive this type of information as non-personal and want better programming/gaming options. Where else, Mobile is off limits. Only four percent 11% were willing to share mobile information, a trend driven by what consumers consider to be their lifeline.

It is also important not to overstep the privacy boundary. 61% of survey respondents said they were not willing to continue to use a company's entertainment and media services or products after it experiences a security breach.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Retailers try out personalized pricing

A recent survey reveals that retailers are moving to a multichannel pricing strategy, where retailers offer different prices across channels in an attempt to optimize revenue based on consumer demand and to react to competitor strategies. This is due in part to increased price sensitivity in consumers given the current economic environment. As consumers hunt out deals, they've turned to online shopping (versus in store) and deal hunting. Retailers view personalized pricing as a way to combat personalized pricing especially because digital consumers realize that different shopping channels are associated with different level of service which is reflected in price variations. Full article here: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009441 - Vi Nguyen



From now established social media like Facebook or Twitter to some younger networks like Tumblr or Pinterest, customers are now living surrounded by social networks. The question for companies is now to find the best way to leverage all these new marketing opportunities. And what is both challenging and exciting is that there is no single way to do marketing in such places. It is up to each company to find the most compelling way to engage with customers, produce content and ultimately increase their brand exposure and awareness.
Among these new media is Instagram. In the following articles, we are given five examples of companies trying to inspire customers and engage with them through pictures. It is interesting to notice that examples range from very big companies like Tiffany to a small restaurant in Soho. What they have in common is their ability to innovate and creatively produce relevant content for their audience.


Big Data: The Value of Social Intelligence

Below are some of the impressive data facts from Facebook:

  • Facebook processes 2.5 billion pieces of content and 500+ terabytes of data each day.

  • It scans about 105 terabytes of data every half hour.

  • It pulls in 2.7 billion Like actions and 300 million photos per day.

500+ terabytes of data each day. This alone is overwhelming and raises the question of how to deal with such a large amount of data. New tools and methods are constantly emerging to analyze the vast amount of data creating more efficient ways of reading these numbers. But are these numbers really helping out in maximizing the ROI? In maximizing the action plan? The article gives an example of how the TV drama “The Walking Dead” is related to analyzing data to maximizing the action plan and ROI.

You might not care that 20,000 new people liked “The Walking Dead”. But you would probably care if a large percentage of them were also Fans of your brand. The content has the chance to greatly benefit your brand awareness efforts by taking action plans that might raise relevancy to you targeted fans. This is the kind of understanding leads to engagement, and engagement leads to conversion.

If proper data analytics is merged with proper creative thinking, it has the chance of maximizing ROI. The issue at Advertising week talking about Technology and Creativity can be explained in this article suggesting Ad Agencies can maximize their capability by applying the market insights and creativity to big data analytics.  



Advertising Week: Summary

The ninth annual Advertising Week recently concluded, on October 5, in New York with ‘mobile advertising’ emerging as a dominant theme for the future of advertising. There was a strong emphasis to collaborate technology with creativity and saw representatives from prominent digital and social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr speak on their respective advertising offering and shared audience behavior from their websites. The article says that over the years, this event has become more ‘fundamentally about digital, mobile and social media, underscoring how they have become fundamental ways of selling goods and services’. However, it has also made clear that more talent in this area is needed where else talent in the traditional advertising business is in a state of oversupply.



Where Social Media & Ads Meet

At the Adobe sponsored panel at Advertising Week 2012, panelists talked about how social media will be impacting advertising. Users of social media expect transparency, informality and genuineness. The analytics side should not be more different than the other marketing strategies but a common set of KPI is needed for social media just as in TV Nielsen ratings. How about the creative side? A perfectly crafted messaging may not lead to any engagement at all. Therefore the existence of a community manager is needed.



Friday, October 26, 2012

The Mobile Ad Mismatch

eMarker is reporting huge growth in the amount of time people spend consuming media on their mobile devices. While this news isn't exactly shocking, what is surprising is the lag in mobile advertising, which has yet to catch up with this shift in consumer behavior. Mobile's share of average media consumption time has increased from 3.5% in 2009 to 11.7% in 2012. Over this same period, the share of mobile ad spend has increased from .3% to just 1.6%.

So why are advertisers spending only 1.6% of their budget on mobile while consumers spend 11.7% of their time there? As we discussed in class, mobile advertising is challenging. There is extremely limited screen space, so it is difficult to be effective advertising on mobile without disrupting the user experience, as Facebook and it's investors have discovered. The ad standards that dictate the online market don't apply well to mobile, so advertisers have to re-think their process on how to best reach customers. Additionally, the popularity of apps means mobile users are circumventing their browsers and search tools to reach their favorite sites, reducing the effectiveness of SEM.

Mobile advertising will increase drastically over the next few years, but it's unclear when and how it will get more effective. Until then, expect to see more annoying pop-over ads as companies try desperately to reach consumers.

Full link: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009431&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Startup PageWoo Increasing Effectiveness and Data in Mobile Marketing

A newly launched mobile marketing startup, PageWoo, has built a platform to increase the effectiveness of mobile marketing.  TechCrunch reports that the company uses location data to predict demographic information about the mobile device operator.  They use this in addition to local weather for ad targeting purposes.  Furthermore, PageWoo can generate content and test multiple images.  The company calls itself “The First Mobile Re-Engagement Platform.”  They are still in “private beta” at the moment.  More information about PageWoo can be found on their website.  


Cadillac Shifts More Advertising Money into Digital

In order to take the Cadillac brand globally, GM is focusing its advertising in the digital space. Cadillac has shifted 25% of its spending into the digital platform which is up from 17% three years ago. Cadillac is using targeting technology to identify people likely to be in a market for a luxury market such as those who have visited Cadillac.com in the past. In these international markets such as Europe where TV advertising does not make much sense and since Cadillac doesn't have deep pockets, digital marketing is allowing Cadillac to communicate to potential consumers that American luxury is a truly distinctive choice in the global marketplace. Cadillac content will also get an extra boost from the global launch of Window's 8. Cadillac will be embedded in the operating system on more than 60 different devices including PCs, laptops, phones, tablets, and the XBox.

Get more information here: http://adage.com/article/digital/cadillac-shifts-advertising-dollars-digital/237952/


Agency CEOs Talk Tech At Advertising Week

At the Advertising Week held at New York at the beginning of October, Advertising Agency CEOs talked about the role and influence of technology in reshaping Madison Avenue. During the week, there were many talks about how the Advertising Industry will blend technology with creative. Below are the hottest four topics discussed in a panel held by Times. It talks about perception changes, media shifts and off course how to strengthen their main domain to the changing market. Creative Capabilities.

Here is the summary:

1.    Everything you thought about gaming is wrong. The perception that games are just for teenage boys is not only outdated, but it’s also dead wrong. Women make up 55 percent of social gamers, making gaming an ideal way to reach this powerful demographic. Gaming allows for interaction between brands and consumers, provides a call to action, and it creates loyalty. And more important, it’s something consumers can do on their mobile devices.

2.    Privacy matters. As technology becomes more personal and we can find anything and anyone with a few clicks or taps, consumers are rightly concerned about privacy. However, the “do not track” option could destroy the industry, as tracking provides a treasure trove of information for marketers. As one panelist says, “We need to start planning for the day the consumer can easily just opt out.”

3.    It’s all about mobile. CEOs mused on how the industry needs to find a way to reach consumers on their mobile devices without being intrusive. One CEO said, “You need to build an app that users will want to engage with.” Our mobile devices are personal, and consumers need to “invite” brands on that device. It’s a delicate balance and the industry has a way to go in figuring it out.
4.  Keep it humanly relevant. When asked how does a brand break through the clutter that consumers are faced with every minute of every day, One CEO said, “We need to keep it simple and humanly relevant. Even with all the technology, as humans, we need to feel touched. As advertisers, we need to create content that engages people on a human level.” For all the ways consumers can engage with a brand, they can also disengage with one.


How your Brand can leverage the power of other brands on Social Media

As social media marketers and community managers, our main goal is to get our audiences talking and interacting with the brands we represent. We preach a lot about crafting a brand personality by “humanizing” a product or service to actually connect and reach that goal. Social media has indeed evolved as a primary means for more customer-brand interaction and Twitter reports that over half their users follow six or more brands. Good news for us, right?
But when it comes to reaching our main goal, are we not seeing the big picture? Maybe we should start treating other brands like people too. Just like we interact with friends on social media, we (brands) should interact with other brands.

Read more here


Digital Media & The Sports Experience

Live attendance at sporting events has been trending downward for the past 4 years, yet TV ratings for the same events have been trending upward.  The catalyst for these revolutionary trends?  Digital media.  The two obvious technological advances driving this sea change are high-definition television (HDTV) and digital video recorders (DVRs), which provide fans views of the game action and unfettered access to replays, and do so in a manner that makes watching at home arguably superior to attending the game live (at least in terms of price and quality).  Digital media has also changed sports consumption in other creative ways, as the tech blog Mashable points out in this article.  For the most part, the digital media revolution has closed the distance between fans and the sports they follow, which may or may not be a good thing depending on which athlete's Twitter page you're reading at the moment.  However, the digital media revolution has had a much bigger effect: it has played a significant part in the work stoppages of 3 of the 4 major North American sports leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL) within the past 3 years.  League revenues have skyrocketed as digital media has made sports easier to distribute and market to global consumers.  The collective bargaining agreements between players and owners in each sport stipulate some form of revenue sharing from team operations, but in each CBA the revenue source categories and associated player/owner split percentages are different.  To make a long story short (and if you do want a longer story, grab some popcorn, get comfortable, and go here), digital media is radically shifting the size and the composition of the revenue pie for sports franchises - from gate receipts and concessions to digital media and advertising - and players and owners want to be compensated accordingly.  The million-dollar problem that leads to contentious arguments and cancelled games?  It's that the future of digital media, as with any techno-centric industry, is so unpredictable, and neither players or owners can agree on how lucrative the future will be and therefore what will be a fair split of that pie.  Whatever happens, we'll be watching intently on our HDTVs to see what the future holds...


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Brad Pitt's Chanel No. 5 Ad = Viral Hit or Miss?

Actor Brad Pitt recently made headlines for being the 1st man to ever become the face of the iconic brand Chanel No. 5.The marketing campaign launched with a digital push by posting short teaser videos online that led up to the release of the full commercial on Oct. 15th. The commercial instantly went viral. To date, the official YouTube video has close to 5 million hits. But it's debatable if this is a good thing for the brand or the A-list star since the commercial has been widely mocked and criticized. In fact, the viral video has inspired numerous video spoofs ranging from Saturday Night Live to organization The Pet Collective which substitutes Brad with a dog.

So is this an #epicfail or #epicsuccess for Chanel's digital marketing team? I guess time and fragrance sales will tell us...

Official Commercial

SNL Spoof

The Pet Collective Spoof


Twitter as the ultimate focus group

Twitter's relevance to the advertising world continues to expand, even if the Twitter platform itself isn't looking anything like the next google or Facebook. The WSJ reported that brands are scouring Twitter conversations for the content of their ads, trying to mimic or respond ot what their actual customers are saying or, in the case of Samsung, what their rival's customers are whining about. Samsung took complaints about the iPhone 5 and turned them into a TV spot, a neat convergence of social media marketing and traditional mass advertising. Other companies are tweaking their long-running messages to better reflect what their customers care about by analyzing Twitter data. 

Does it work? WSJ says that Samsung's poke at Apple has been viewed 32 million times on YouTube. So, um, yes, it worked in the sense that people watched it. Will that translate into higher sales for Samsung? Maybe. More important is what this says about Twitter role in the marketing universe. Twitter is the least commercial of the major technology platforms—Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook are all explicitly commercial to one degree or another. Twitter, on the other hand, barely taps its audience for revenue—you might see a suggestion to follow someone who paid for the privilege, but that's about it at present, one reason that the company has yet to go public (it helps to make money). 
Yet there's mounting evidence that Twitter's very uncommercial nature may be its greatest asset, not only to its audience but to advertisers as well. 

Twitter is becoming the portal through which many people keep track of the more important news in their lives—Facebook is for baby photos, Twitter is where you keep up with Nicholas Kristof or Salman Rushdie or, um, Bieber. That gives it a legitimacy and power that few social media can match right now and it's been showing lately. The conventions and presidential debates both saw huge surges in Twitter traffic, enough data and conversation that mainstream media was forced to report on it. There was the Big Bird flap that led PBS to respond very publicly in tweets, even bringing President Obama into the tweet barrage. Now advertisers are starting to look at Twitter as the ultimate focus group. Can Twitter turn that into a revenue source? Should it? One thing is certain—Twitter has tapped into a demand for unfiltered conversation and commentary on a more adult level than other media have been providing.


Giving away ads, online and off

A lesson in digital marketing recently came out of the very un-digital world of newspapers and highlights that the gap between old and new media may be larger than ever. Briefly, the Seattle Times took out a full-page ad in its own paper for a political candidate the paper's editorial board had endorsed. Why run an ad for free? To convince political campaigns that ads work. To old-media pundits this sounds nuts, more so for the fact that the ad, which is running every day until the election, takes a political position and jeopardizes the newspaper's position as impartial observer (the Times became the third-largest contributor to the campaign by dint of advertising). But this is a tactic all too familiar in the online world. As anyone who's signed up for a Google AdWords account knows, you will soon find a coupon in the mail for $100 of free advertising if you're not spending enough in the opioinin of the search giant. And that's the retail end. For major advertisers and the traffic nodes of the internet, exchanging ads for goodies down the road in the hopes of demonstrating their effectiveness to marketers is the norm, not the exception. Barter is the online economy. Most major media websites share advertising revenue with portals that can deliver eyeballs. Search companies share ad dollars with media sites that can deliver searches. Merchants share sales with search companies that deliver leads, and so on. 

So why the major fuss kicked up over what amounts to a house ad (a house ad is when you see an ad for the Wall Street Journal or a related product in the Wall Street Journal)? Partly this is the quirky realm of traditional journalism on a local level—the Seattle Times outlived its competitor, the Post-inteligencer, and arguably now wields unrivaled media power in its market. But I detect a level of frustration with old media companies by the many people who want them to adapt and survive—there's a level of humiliation that comes with giving away thousands of dollars in such a public manner and the fact that the Times didn't even have the go-ahead from the candidate is doubly embarrassing. Would this happen online? Maybe once online news sources have the credibility to lose in the first place. 


Google/Apple Stock Faceoff

This article is a really interesting analysis of the differences between Apple and Google as investment opportunities.  As a huge Google fan and someone who is less enthused about Apple, even I have to admit that he makes a compelling case.  Apple competes in a much larger market, trades at a lower valuation, has experienced much faster growth rate over the last five years, and has repeatedly trashed earnings expectations while Google disappointed.



Monday, October 22, 2012

Moms more likely to own smartphones than general population

In this eMarketer report compares the usage of mobile in moms versus the general population. Surprisingly, moms are more likely to own a smart phone or tablet than the general population and to access social networks from these devices.

For many brands with mothers as the primary audience this means that there's a huge opportunity to reach their customers through this media especially in social networks and mobile internet. What's not included in this article is app usage behavior in mothers. It would be great to learn more about what the opportunities are to reach mothers via in app advertising vs. mobile search.



Google CPCs down 10% in Q3 according to Adobe Q3 Online Advertising Report

This article gives a good overview of the Adobe Q3 online ad report.

Highlights include:
1. The shift to more search being done on mobile devices has caused Google's CPC to decrease by 10%, (because mobile CPC's are generally lower than desktop)
2. iOS conversion rates are double that of Android
3. Facebook had a 896% increase in brand post engagement, but still struggles to monetize the increasing growing mobile traffic.

The full Adobe report dives into more detail on all of these points, the link is in the first line of the article.



Disney's struggle to be confidently digital

The Walt Disney company recently overhauled the design of its namesake website for the third time in five years in an attempt to keep up with the times and turn around its gaming, internet and mobile division that has suffered fifteen consecutive quarterly losses. Despite being a large, well-known company with relatively deep pockets and a wealth of talented workers, the company has continuously failed to create a thriving website, bringing up the perennial issue of whether a "traditional" media company can effectively evolve in/to the online space. A Nytimes article discussing the issue raised the question, "Has the entertainment giant finally solved the riddle of new media? Or is it playing a no-win game on the whiplash-fast Web?" This is obviously an issue that many more "traditional" companies are grappling with, but a strong online presence is considered particularly important for Disney as the children it hopes to turn into lifelong customers will increasingly be introduced to the brand via its website and parallel online vehicles. How the new Disney.com is received and continues to evolve is a case study that merits a watchful eye in the coming months. For further detail, please refer to the following NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/business/media/disney-struggling-to-find-its-digital-footing-overhauls-disneycom.html?ref=business&_r=0


Email, as business, is about timing

Today's article in eMarketer emphasizes the importance of timing in email marketing strategies. A StrongMail's survey among US marketers backs up this: only 9.2% of respondents said that controlling email timing had no benefits.

So, when a brand is launching a promotional activity, it's not going to be the same that the emails are sent "during next week" or "on Monday from 5pm to 7pm".

Read the complete article here: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009428&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4


Obama and Romney in the Digital World

As we all prepare to watch the last presidential debate tonight, I stumbled upon this article which I found particularly interesting. If you had frequented the nytimes.com, rr.com, oprah.com, reference.com, and yahoo.com then you probably have seen an Obama ad. On the other hand, Romney's ads were most commonly found on aol.com, rr.com, chow.com, gamespot.com, and Maxpreps. According to Moat, an analytics research company, the Obama campaign had a 93.3% share of voice in terms of display-impressions across the top 20,000 publishers for the month of September. In comparison, the Romney campaign had merely 6.7% of voice. However, October should prove to be a different month as political spending is up seven-fold from the 1st week of September to the 1st week of October.

For more information, check out the complete article: http://adage.com/article/campaign-trail/obama-outslugs-romney-digital/237863/