Thursday, October 29, 2015

Twitter Beyond 140: What it Could Mean for Brands

This article speaks about the recent debate within and outside of Twitter around whether or not they should do away with the 140 character limit in their posts. This change would allow brands to post longer form content which could appeal to certain consumers. The article points out that other media sites, such as Facebook, are partnering with news outlets to provide long form content to consumers. The concern is that Twitter might be left behind if they don't follow the trend and allow brands to expand their offerings on the platform. While the argument for expanding the 140 character limit might make sense with the current trends, a conflicting argument is around Twitter's brand identity. What truly differentiates Twitter and made it famous in the first place was its commitment to 140 characters--this allowed consumers, brands, and news outlets to communicate messages in a concise, clear way. You had to be thoughtful about the words you chose when you posted since you didn't have much space. I personally feel that removing the 140 character limit would be a huge mistake for Twitter to make. That word limit is part of their brands core identity. If you try to alter to adjust your core identity, you leave people wondering who you've become and what you stand for. While Twitter is feeling pressure from those who say that this is the only way for them to stay top of mind and in trend for consumers, it could very well be the straw that broke the camel's back for the already struggling company.



Yelp Winds Down Reliance on Display Ad Revenue

In an effort to improve the user experience and focus on mobile Yelp is reducing the number of display ads on its site. Users primarily access the site via the mobile web or the app so they are directing most of their attention to optimizing user experience via mobile. Given the nature of their business and the importance of a user friendly mobile experience it seems like a smart move. They are able to use native advertising effectively in a way that is beneficial both for users and clients. The better user experience on the app also reduces reliance on google and helps them compete with Google in the restaurant search space as customers increasingly use the app to search for restaurants rather than traditional search engines. The better user experience encourage customers to use Yelp as a search engine which should result in the ability to grow revenue via higher prices while winding down display ad real estate on its site.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dish to Woo Digital Advertisers With Programmatic Exchange for Targeted TV Ads

Dish is bringing automated targeted TV buying to a new level!

This week the satellite company announced it will be testing automated programmatic exchange (moving away from the old way of sellin ads) to let advertisers buy commercial time during live and DVR-playback TV. The new offering automates linear ads to an addressable of almost 8 million across 210 DMAs. This will allow advertisers to specifically target consumers down to the household level and use real-time bidding. 

The real-time bidding allows advertisers find out about their winning bid in under a minute -- you could win an auction and your ad would air within a few hours or later that night.  

This new programmatic exchange allows targeting to move beyond age and gender, and instead allows advertisers to focus on lifestyle characteristics -- consumers who watch kids channels, sports, or own a certain car.

Ultimately, it is Dish's attempt to shift some dollars back from digital to tv -- whether it works is yet to be seen.

For more:


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

community management in social media marketing

How community management should change?

  • 1-2 pieces of content per week is enough
  • make videos: video becoming most important form of content
  • community managers are no longer primary source of content
  • listen to consumers' comments
  • stay true to brand identity
  • don't blindly trust engagements reports on social - they might promise nothing


Pusher's rapid growth hints at future of mobile advertising

A small, London based, startup called Pusher is reportedly sending 110 billion messages per month. This indicates they are growing rapidly, and could suggest the future need for real-time capabilities in apps, including advertising.

The technology Pusher creates is designed for developers. It provides the capabilities to offer real-time features such as chat and push notifications. They already offer the ability to integrate push-to-call as well.

It seems to me this reflects a trend towards mobile capability for these types of features that are considered easier to integrate with laptop and desktop interfaces. Furthermore, this reflects one possible way to integrate mobile compatible types of advertising onto devices that often can't integrate traditional forms of advertising like banner ads.

For example, push notifications can be used to bring a user's attention to an opportunity to purchase or otherwise consume something. The fact that developers are gobbling up this type of capability could indicate this is a feature that is in high demand.

Whether this trend influences the future of digital advertising is yet to be seen. It could be the smoke from a soon-to-be fire.

Pusher article on Business Insider


Brands should tailor marketing strategies to use local Web sites, culture and platforms to appeal to consumers

Brands should tailor marketing strategies to use local Web sites, culture and platforms to appeal to consumers 
Brands should tailor marketing strategies to use local Web sites, culture and platforms to appeal to consumers in Japan and South Korea, according to a new report from L2.
Stable luxury markets and technically savvy populations make the two countries ideal for mobile marketing and ecommerce. An increase in Chinese tourists looking to purchase luxury goods while abroad makes it even more important for brands to focus their attentions on Japan and South Korea.
“[South] Korea is one of the most digitally connected countries in the world with an active participation in ecommerce,” said Ellen Lee, research analyst at L2, New York. “Brands should invest in offering local brand sites (with Korean language) and experiment with ecommerce, whether it’s native DTC (direct-to-consumer) or working with third party vendors.” 
Louis Vuitton and Gucci were among the top five brands in Japan. Both achieved the rank of “Gifted,” following in the wake of Japanese brand Uniqlo, which was the only brand of the top 25 to receive a Genius ranking.
In South Korea, Swarovski and Burberry made the top five with Gifted rankings, while German brand MCM took the number one spot and only Genius ranking. Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Bottega Veneta were among the rest of the top eight brands that received Gifted rankings.
LVMH brands Berluti, Céline and Kenzo received “Feeble” rankings and were among the bottom of the list in both Japan and South Korea.
A native brand site with a full translation into native languages is an important feature for brands to offer. South Korea and Japan are both ranked as moderately proficient in English, and Web sites with only partial translation into local languages can be difficult to navigate for users who do not speak English.
While many brands offer a Japanese site, they do not all offer South Korean options. Only 47 percent of fashion brands offer a fully translated Korean site, compared to 96 percent of fashion brands in Japan.
The L2 study offered a number of suggestions to improve marketing strategies in Japan and South Korea. In particular, the study recommends using local culture to appeal to consumers.
In South Korea, pop culture can have an enormous influence on sales. Brands featured on the popular soup opera “My Love From the Star” experienced steep increases in online search volume, and products that appeared on the show quickly sold out in local department stores.
Similarly, using local platforms can be especially beneficial to brands. South Korean mobile messaging platform KakaoTalk has over 140 million registered users, and 93 percent of smartphone users in South Korea report using the application.
KakaoTalk Plus Friend and KakaoTalk Story are two features that allow brands to connect with consumers using updates, events, promotions and photo sharing. Few brands take advantage of the app, however, and only Ralph Lauren and Swarovski are among the six brands to successfully use KakaoTalk Plus Friend.
Japanese social messaging app Line has over 500 million users, and 67 percent of these use the app on a daily basis, nevertheless, only Ralph Lauren and Christian Dior are among the four brands to successfully use the app.
Ralph Lauren is one of the most digitally proficient brands, using both Line and KakaoTalk Plus Friend to reach Japanese and South Korean consumers.
It is important for brands to focus marketing strategies on South Korea because the country is becoming an increasingly major player in the luxury market.South Korea’s popular culture, brands and blazing Internet speeds are propelling the country into territory that has long been occupied by the United States, according to L2′s founder at the L2 Forum Nov. 10.
Whether it is a multinational beauty brand taking cues from South Korean labels or Seoul’s rapid climb up the luxury mountain, the Southeast Asian country is disrupting global dynamics on a few fronts. Another disruptor on the minds of luxury players is Amazon, the online megastore that L2 predicts will have the largest bricks-and-mortar footprint in the U.S. in the coming years.
Japan is also important, especially because it is a popular destination for Chinese tourists looking to purchase luxury items that would be taxed heavily in their home country. The Japanese luxury market is witnessing a resurgence of interest by brands as the Chinese and Russian markets face uncertainty.
European and American brands have traditionally focused on Japan, but dwindling consumption teamed with emerging markets elsewhere led to a reevaluation in recent years. This is beginning to change again, as seen through events, exhibits and pop-ups from luxury brands across the island nation that indicate the market’s surging appeal.
If they are going to succeed in these key Asian markets, brands will need to focus more of their energy on digital marketing in Japan and South Korea. The L2 report highlighted many areas in which strategies can be improved.
“Despite a high internet penetration rate in the country, only half of the Index brands in the study offered locally tailored sites (brand sites that offer local content or at the least translate the global page into the local, Korean Language),” said Ms. Lee. “It was also surprising that three quarters of the brands were not active on social media platforms in the country (including popular local social media, KakaoTalk).”


Facebook Stuffs Notifications with more Information

Facebook is altering its Facebook notifications to include other things that it thinks you might be interested in. It is now beginning to cram other information such as sports scores, movie times, nearby restaurants, as well as news updates. Clearly, Facebook is attempting to replicate Google’s ‘Now’ service, which offers similar services, and is even copying the same term, “cards”.

This goes without saying, but the emergence of more alerts has enormous commercial and digital marketing potential. The alerts can be used to inform users of potential restaurants or shopping deals nearby based on their location. Companies will surely be willing to pay huge amounts of money to market on this platform that is home to over a billion users. Furthermore, I find the use of notifications as less intrusive and annoying to consumers than the current outright marketing on a person’s news feed. Users can instead select the type of notifications, or ‘cards’, they wish to receive without having to see it in their more personalized news feeds.


Consumers can sell ad space on their lock screen

While we are increasingly seeing people blocking ads because of them being overly intrusive, an entrepreneur developed an app that lets smartphone users to sell their lock-screen space for ads.

The app, Slidejoy, has already seen 500,000 downloads and is launching now in Europe. Its success is probably related to users opting in to having ads, in contrast with the soaring number of users blocking ads while they are browsing.

But why is people opting in? well... they get paid. The question is if there is going to be something in the future that will make the users download the app without being paid. Slide joy doesn't have the answer yet, while they still expect the business model to be sustainable in the future even if they have to keep paying users.

They key issue for them is whether Google will allow them to control lock-screen ads if they become increasingly popular, or if they will include them in their platforms.

In any case, this alternative seems to benefit from users opting to have the ads on their phones, and thus having a more positive attitude towards them, but we still will have to wait to know how effective this real estate is and how much attention people pays to these ads.

To read more:
Sell ad space on your phone’s lock screen… for $6


Is SMS the most underrated and overlooked dark social channel?

Is SMS the most underrated and overlooked dark social channel?

When most publishers and marketers think of dark social, they think of email. But should they be paying more attention to SMS?

Data revealed by BuzzFeed, shows that SMS generates the largest percentage of shares in BuzzFeed's News app, beating emails and social networks. And this is a trend not only particular to BuzzFeed.


So should companies overlook old-fashioned SMSs when crafting their Digital Marketing strategies? Apparently the answer should be No.

Fortunately, taking advantage of SMS typically won't require much effort. Companies with native apps will in most cases find that minimal development is required to add SMS sharing functionality to their apps.

Moreover, SMS is not the only overlooked dark social channel: combined, private messaging apps count more than a billion active users and represent channels in which content, including links, are frequently shared.

Depending on the audiences, these apps may be channels worth promoting sharing in.



Barry Diller's IAC Beats Financial Expectations as Vimeo Grows

Vimeo posted earning as released by IAC.

The source of the earnings jump can be seen from a rise 650,000 paying subscribers, up 22 percent from a year ago. Vimeo competes with YouTube in different areas, like search for video. A differentiation is there are no disruptive ads and the content is pitched as being higher quality. Is Vimeo really filling a void for high quality video content - do consumers care?

An area that is being point to for growth is VOD on the platform.


The 6 Musts of a Successful Holiday Marketing Campaign

The below article talks about how to launch successful holiday online campaign.
Regardless of seasonal or holidays, the key principles of a successful digital campaign seem to be still the same.


The 6 Musts of a Successful Holiday Marketing Campaign

Fall is upon us, with the holidays waiting right around the corner. Holidays are a perfect time to connect with your prospects and celebrate those feelings of camaraderie, gratitude and interconnectedness. Marketers can leverage these feelings to deeply engage with their customers on an emotional level and build trust and credibility.
The holidays are a popular time to market, so it’s important to put a lot of thought into your holiday marketing campaign. You want to appeal to everyday emotions while also standing out from the crowd. There’s a lot of spending that occurs during the holidays -- the trick is to get your customers to spend with you and not your competitors. Here are six musts of a successful holiday marketing campaign:

1. Plan a personalized campaign.

Instead of hoping your customers will be seen with your products and spread the word, why not take the next step and let them physically insert themselves into your ad? OfficeMax saw an enormous boon using this strategy with the “Elf Yourself” social-media campaign. The site drew 193 million visits and continues to evolve with new characters, dances and animated graphics.
Personalize your own ad campaign by allowing customers to get involved and put themselves in the mix. The more innovative and fun the experience is, the more likely they are to share it on social media and beyond.

2. Get your staff involved.

Studies show there is only a 2 to 8 percent overlap between employee and company social networks. In other words, getting your staff involved can exponentially boost your marketing campaign’s effectiveness. Some companies feature their staffs directly in commercials, while others simply encourage their employees to participate and share the personalized campaign. However you choose to do it, you can’t afford to ignore your employees when planning your holiday marketing strategy.

3. Hit key emotions with your campaign.

People tend to think their decision-making is purely rational, but the truth is all people make decisions emotionally before justifying them rationally. As a result, a successful holiday marketing campaign should be an emotional one. Focus on the feelings that fit the season, including friendship, “home for the holidays,” good will, giving back and gratitude.
TD Bank’s #MakeTodayMatter campaign featured these emotions, and as a result generated 3.5 million hits and gained media coveragearound the world.

4. Create an easy-to-share campaign.

While it’s hard to predict what will go viral, it’s possible to maximize your chances. One important element is that the campaign is easy to share. Consider that 74 percent of consumers rely on word of mouth as the top influencer of their purchasing decisions. When someone receives your campaign from a friend, it means so much more than seeing it in a commercial or Facebook ad. 
Some ways to make content shareable include adding social icons to emails, allowing recipients to share with a single click and creating engaging tweets that are begging to be shared.

5. Include online deals.

People like to make a big deal out of Cyber Monday, but millions of Americans shop online on Black Friday. In 2014, $1.5 billion was spent online on Black Friday alone. Online networks make it easy to feature deals with fun campaigns such as countdowns, contests and games. Don’t discount the power of email when reaching out to customers and advertising your deals both online and off for tempting in-store deals.

6. Create a consistent experience across all channels.

Multi-channel marketing is the norm for professionals from retailers to insurance agents. However, it’s crucial to create a consistent user experience regardless of which channels your customers are using. But there’s more to it than recreating your branding and color scheme on social media. The deals you’re offering should also stay consistent. Train your staff to fluently understand your individual deals, online-only offers and any restrictions that apply.
The holidays are the perfect time to build an emotional bond with your customers. The positive feelings of family, giving and gratitude are already at the forefront of the season and your marketing campaign can piggyback on those emotions. In addition, personalize your campaign to your customers and get your staff involved. With a sharable campaign, hot online deals and a consistent multi-channel experience, you’ll be positioned for maximum holiday-season success.
How do you plan to market this holiday season? Share your thoughts in the comments comments section below.


Facebook's War for Push Notifications

Recently, a German Article in the magazine "Online Marketing Rockstars" made me think about mobile push notifications as a not completely new advertising space that might be swirled up again soon. It is about Facebook's new app "Notify" and the key features the media expect. Basically, publishers and advertisers can partner up with Facebook in order to send push notifications to the app user's phones. So this is not just about breaking news, but also about creating purchasing pressure with pushed deals and offers.

That's why it can be seen as a general approach to conquer the push notification game - a very hot space as it is not yet overcrowded and information comes between private messages on the user's home screen. Very few apps like Yo! have tried to gain a stake in this market which is and most likely always will be dominated by the mobile OS giants Google and Apple. The whole topic is about the opportunity to "tip 2 billion people on their shoulder", as an Israeli mobile entrepreneur says.

A crucial aspect of this race for the user's attention is getting the permission to send push notifications to phones - a challenge with a 42% permission rate, according to the US service provider Urban Airship. As Facebook allocated an impressively sized team of developers to that project, one can see the relevance of the push notification space. This is nothing less than the race for the last white spots on the map of advertising space.

I think it is really exciting how one environment after the other gets in the focus of publishers and tech companies. In my opinion, audio messages being send to your earphones will be one of the next things. Ultimately we could talk about VR glass projections, wearable vibrations and more.

Again, the implications for marketeers and service providers in the space are still unclear. Ultimately, Apple and Google still control the mobile world and are the ones with the last word.


Facebook Ramps Up Search

Facebook continues to go after Google's dominance in search with its latest announcement: the social media giant is allowing all contents available in over two trillion posts to be searchable by anyone anywhere. These posts include those that have been made under the "public" setting. Until now, the site's keyword search tab showed results for profile pages, groups, and events. Now, entire conversations could be made searchable. The latest move is meant to take on Twitter during major live events, as explained by the VP of Search.

"When you search, you'll now see the most recent, relevant public posts along with posts from your friends.
Search results are organized to help you cut through the noise and quickly understand what the world is saying about a topic in the moment. You also can pull-to-refresh and see the latest public posts.
Your search results are personalized and unique to you and, as always, you can only see things that have been shared with you. Likewise, you control who can see your posts on Facebook and it's easy to change the audience of your past posts any time."
However, it is not difficult to imagine that Facebook actually goes after bigger search giant with its ability to harness data from 1.5 billion users. Marketers will be certainly interested in unearthing treasure trove of data from the most used social media platform. However, Facebook will continue to face criticism over its privacy policy. Users might be unknowingly exposing their old posts simply because they were listed under "public" previously. 


James Bond's 'Spectre' lands Snapchat's first-ever branded Discover channel - Olympia Portale

To promote the latest James Bond movie, Spectre has launched the first-ever branded channel on Snapchat within a section of the platform that, up until this point, has been exclusively dominated by Snapchat's media partners such as Buzzfeed, Refinery29 and People. The partnership has been covered by several websites, including Mashable -

The Discover channel was purchased by Sony and has clearly been labeled as "sponsored."
This move represents the next shift in Snapchat's evolution as an advertising platform and undoubtedly pave the way for future brand sponsored content. Up until the 007 Spectre Discover channel, brands seeking to advertise on Snapchat have been able to mix in the ads within Snapchat's media partners' own content.

Bringing behind the scenes footage to Snapchat's vast, largely millennial and gen z dominated user base, the 24-hour Spectre Discover channel is an excellent example of content marketing.


Better ad design as an effective tool to prevent ad block?

I think this article makes a great point of how marketing executives can battle one of the most serious challenges of digital advertising nowadays - ad blocking. It is not through endless (and I think pointless) court battles to prevent ad blocking on a legislative ground, but through better design of ads.
Indeed, when you think about why users actually install ad blockers - it is not because they don't want web sites to earn money, it is because they are annoyed by how advertising is messing with their online experience. Even if ad blocking is defeated on legal grounds it is only a matter of time before someone finds a loophole - because where there is demand, supply is inevitably bound to happen.
So, in my opinion a long-term solution to the problem is obvious - integrate ads into the user experience in a non-annoying and potentially experience enhancing way, thus not destroying, but creating value for web-sites, ad providers and users.


The Power Of The Call to Action & Recent CTA Trends

Successful marketing campaigns have call to actions (CTAs). No marketing campaign would work without a brightly colored button encouraging consumers to "Buy Now", "Read More" or "Sign Me Up Today!".

Marketing Land, an online marketing news source, recently posted a thoughtful article on call to actions. While not new information by any means, the article reminds us of the importance of CTAs and more importantly, how to create the most effective CTA (a.k.a. how to maximize conversions!).

As a quick recap, here are the most common CTAs:

  • Buy buttons / add to cart
  • Info-gathering forms
  • Subscription sign-ups
  • Read more
  • Try it now
  • Social media share
  • Help / online chat

So what defines a good CTA?

  • Placement - have multiple CTAs, put them on each page, have them POP on the page
  • Design - recognizable, well-defined, striking, appealing
  • Copy - clear text, active verbs, communication of value
Before signing off, a quick comment on recent trends in CTAs. Lately I have been seeing many more creative CTAs - particularly in e-commerce store pop-ups. For example, many e-commerce stores love offering first-time customers 10%-20% off if the customer signs up to receive email notifications. Rather than simply say "Sign Up Now to Save", lots of stores have started adding additional, sassy copy below: "No thanks, I don't like saving money" is a common one. It seems the stores are trying to make their CTAs even more emotional for the consumer. By reminding the shopper that they are potentially leaving money on the table if they don't subscribe to email, the store likely improves its conversions.

Marketing Land source link:


How To Win A U.S. Election With Digital Marketing

When we think of marketing, especially digital marketing, we typically think of it in the scope of products and services.  However, digital marketing also has the potential to play a huge role in presidential elections in this day and age.  Ben Carson’s campaign strategy, for example, relies heavily on facebook to draw in voters.  His page has more than four million followers, and he runs scores of facebook ads targeted toward different subsets of votes.  The techcrunch article, “How to Win a U.S. Election with Digital Marketing” outlines an ideal digital marketing strategy that should be implemented to maximize votes.  

First, voters should receive a tailored message, based on demographics and location, potentially all the way down to zip code.  “For example, Steven in New York will receive the message about how important being pro-abortion is to the candidate, and James in Texas will receive the message that the candidate believes that creating jobs is the most important policy they can present.”  

The article goes on to say, “The best place to begin is with basic display (visual) banners or Facebook newsfeed posts, followed by tailored videos, one for each type of voter, state, city, etc.  Have the candidate create a video for each topic that is important to voters or trending in the upcoming election, then create YouTube campaigns to feature the videos before every video on YouTube with a related topic. For example, if the topic is healthcare, a video about how the candidate plans to improve healthcare will show up before every video on YouTube about Obamacare, treating illness, health tips, etc. People who are actively looking to watch videos on those topics will see the candidate’s video.”


JPMorgan Announces Apple Pay Competitor

The largest US bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, has revealed it plans to launch its own competitor to Apple Pay that will enable customers to pay retailers using their smartphones in stores.
Chase Pay will allow for payments in-store, in-app and online, and already has the backing of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a consortium of US retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Shell.
The platform will use tokenisation technology, similar to Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay, to ensure transactions are secure, and will reduce online checkouts accessed via mobile to a single click in some cases.
While Apple Pay’s high profile launch has seen it reach wide adoption, the mobile payments market in the US is still evolving, and the entry of a new player with strong credentials in the financial area will have tech companies worried, especially given the high-profile retailers that Chase has managed to secure.



Facebook Here, Google Now

The battle to win the "personal assistant" market is on and both Facebook and Google have a right to win. Google has almost unrivaled data, access to email information, flight times, etc, which means that it's voice activated assistant can provide a useful and informative service. Google Now can even provide information on traffic, best routes from the office to the home. Google Now On Tap can even link to your downloaded apps and gather information from there.
Facebook has other potential benefits. It's newly launched M service, and it's most recent voice activated service, which is as of yet, still unbranded, can gather information that feels maybe more personal and more interesting: friends' birthdays for example.
Both companies can provide services that complement each other.

Original article:


Brand related analytics by Twitter!

Twitter recently launched its brand analytics product called Brand Hub. The product helps brands gauge the conversations around itself on Twitter. The product also helps gauge the 'brand presence' of a company/brand/product with respect to its competitors. It's an important tool for advertisers as its a way to figure out which segments of the target audience to target with specific campaigns (depending on the type on conversations they are having online). That's the power of digital social networks. They allow brands to create customized campaigns and target individual consumers.

What this also implies is that social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are trying to figure out (acquire or create) the best technologies in the AdTech space. This has been the reason why these massive online networks have acquired a bunch of smaller AdTech firms in the last few years. Twitter's Brand Hub product is an additional step in that direction where these mega firms are trying harder and harder to develop the best technologies that can help match advertisers to customers with the best possible financial return to the advertiser (brand).

For further info on the Brand Hub product, you can check out the link: 


Will all-in-one marketing suite become a trend?

Recently, visual marketing service Chute has launched a new suite platform, providing brands related content posted by users on social networks, such as Instagram, Facebook and so on. This is really a useful way for brands to have “access to real-time insights about not only content, but who’s posting, trends, topics, and more.” A image recognition technology (“IRIS”) is also integrated to find specific company logo through social media.

I think what Chute is doing may become a trend for marketing analysis in terms of user leverage, under the background that more and more consumers engage in posting things on social media. Using big data knowledge, this kind of integrated suite provide more reference with less effort.