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Native ads are getting a direct-response makeover

Digiday

Native advertising is often used by publishers as a way out of being held to the direct-response metrics that have long been associated with banner ads.

Native was supposed to be a premium ad format that would bolster falling digital CPMs, and it has mainly been viewed as an image-building format. But it was only a matter of time before advertisers would start to demand more than just a lift in awareness or improved reputation and ask for ads that directly drive sales or leads.

Case in point: this ad for The New York Times that’s running on Mashable. The ad has a direct come-on to new digital customers, with a “subscribe” button that’s prominently placed to the right of its branded article. It’s part of a month-long campaign the Times is running on Mashable to drive audience growth.

 Native ads are getting a direct response makeover

The practice is more established among B2B marketers, for whom the format is well suited for white-paper downloads and webinar signups. Lexis Nexis, for example, used this ad on Law.com to drum up business for its MedMal navigator product. But consumer publishers are increasingly hearing requests for native ads to include calls to action.

Continue reading… 

InfoWorld.com Site Relaunch Leads to Enhanced Reader and Advertiser Experience

 InfoWorld.com Site Relaunch Leads to Enhanced Reader and Advertiser Experience

Usability and consistency across mobile devices ensured through responsive design

Framingham, Mass. – Sept. 17, 2014 – IDG Enterprise—the leading enterprise technology media company composed of Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, ITworld and CITEworld—announces the enriched design and functionality of InfoWorld.com. The award-winning site, known for its early identification of essential tech trends, now incorporates responsive design technology to scale editorial and advertising content to the users’ screen size, whether they are accessing InfoWorld.com from a smartphone, tablet or desktop (Click to Tweet).

“As mobile continues to grow as a leading content access tool, technology decision-makers search for information on whatever device is presently available,” said Peter Longo, CEO, U.S. Media, IDG Communications.  “The innovation of the new design allows our audience to stay up-to-date on recent trends, be in the know on new developments and engage with expert tech contributors, as well as provide a platform for tech marketers to engage this audience anytime, anywhere.”

Website Enhancements Include:

  • The use of responsive design, including HTML5 and CSS3, to ensure usability and consistency for visitors using smartphones, tablets or desktops.
  • Bold design with more prominent graphics and less pagination for a smoother reading experience and deeper engagement.
  • Vastly improved navigation for InfoWorld’s trademark mix of enterprise tech analysis, product reviews and thought leadership presented through new site sections.
  • Increased exposure for InfoWorld’s expert authors to flag tech trends early.
  • New site-wide promos for important news and trends tailored to InfoWorld’s technically savvy audience.
  • Single, searchable “Resource Library” supporting all types of lead generation content.
  • Shared functionality across IDG Enterprise sites for seamless execution of banner ads, lead generation and native advertising, making promotions more effective.

Continue reading… 

Managing Marketing Assets in Today’s Digital Economy

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 Managing Marketing Assets in Today’s Digital Economy

Samantha Warnes, Senior Solution Consultant of Digital Asset Management & Customer Experience Management at OpenText, looks at how organisations need to re-examine the creation, collaboration, production and distribution of digital media to deliver a richer digital marketing experience.

In today’s connected world, marketers are expected to manage content that caters to a richer digital experience. Digital assets have to be available, agile and consistent. Gone are the days when business departments could operate in silos. Now different units have to work with marketing to make the most of content across every distribution point – regardless of whether that is online, physical, over mobile, or even print.

However, ensuring that marketing content – regardless of size or format – is agile and can move at the speed required, means rethinking how digital assets are managed. Organisations need to automate the management of all assets, across all available mediums and consider the following five key areas:

1. Collecting: In the creation and storage of marketing assets, content should be collected and automated to provide a single, authoritative system for all types of marketing media. The result should be a digital asset management system without silos, massive email files, or guesswork as to the correct asset needed for a specific marketing purpose.

2. Managing: The ability to organise, categorise and apply appropriate rights policies to link related assets ensures rich marketing media can be managed efficiently.

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EMEA mobile ad spend to quintuple by 2017, can publishers take advantage?

Media Briefing

Triple-digit growth percentages are guaranteed to get industry leaders grinning, so the latest figures predicting predicted mobile ad revenue will rise 543 percent per year to 2017 across the EMEA region will have many salivating. It’s should also come as at least some reassurance for publishers in EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) who are seeing their audiences shift from desktop to mobile.

Most of the growth is set to come from Western Europe. where smartphone penetration is already at 42 percent. However, the Middle East and Africa are set to grow faster – if from a much smaller base – as those populations also snap up smartphones.

This tallies with predictions from earlier this weekwhich said mobile ad revenue – and especially that of location targeted ads – was set to rise to $15

This tallies with predictions from earlier this weekwhich said mobile ad revenue – and especially that of location targeted ads – was set to rise to $15 billion in the same time period. The simple fact that a quarter of the population of the EMEA already owns a smartphone, with that figure set to rise, certainly goes a long way to back up that claim.

And while at the moment countries like Western Europe makes up the vast majority of measurable ad impressions, as the smartphone saturation of the other EMEA regions increases, that should start to shift.

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How to prepare your CRM system for a world of smart devices

CITEworld

GE’s newly introduced free-standing Profile Series gas and electric range is so tuned in to consumers’ needs, you almost start to think of it as a friend, not an appliance. If you have a smartphone, it will check to make sure you turned it off before you left for a busy day, or start preheating on your way home from work — just like a good friend with the keys to your house. It actually performs a multitude of other tasks but as someone who has rushed home during lunch on more than one occasion to make sure the house hadn’t mistakenly burned down, I must say that that “check the stove” feature is a home run.

So yes, I do want it as a friend. And you, as a company whose CRM system and approach is ever-evolving with the times, should be getting ready for the day when I do call it friend. Or at least I start relying on it for far more than an ease-my-mind safety check.

IoT must include CRM

Consumer products, in this environment, will be far more than just inanimate objects. They will be part salesperson and part customer service rep. They’ll even do a bit of cross-selling and upselling for you if the situation is right.

“Today, if you have problem with a product, you go to a support website, call or video chat with a live agent, or walk into a store,” Chuck Ganapathi, founder of a company called Tactile, tells CITEworld. Advances in software, hardware, and even biology, though, will kill off this model of customer service. Eventually, he predicts, “every product — no matter the cost or size — will have an embedded agent in it. Not a human, but a piece of intelligent software that is running on nanoscale electronics or bioelectronics.”

In fact, this scenario is already here, Ganapathi says.

“Companies are already building pills that tell your doctor whether you are taking your medication as prescribed. We already have washing machines that email you when it’s oversudsing because you added too much detergent. As we learn how to shrink electronics to fit under your skin and make circuits out of bacteria, every product can become as sensor-filled, personalized and interactive as your iPhone.”

Couple those advancements with such evolving software techniques as machine learning and natural language processing, and you get embedded agents that can mimic the intelligence of a human agent, Ganapathi concludes.

These CRM-infused devices will also be revenue generators, predicts Aaron Fulkerson, the CEO of MindTouch. These devices will know their “human” very well — including his or her limitations and possible interests, Fulkerson tells CITEworld.

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Marketing That’s (Just) Missing The Mark With Millennials

MediaPost

We know young consumers are picky, and not always easy to please when it comes to marketing. Sometimes a campaign can be so close to getting it right, but the slightest detail stands out to turn them off. From hashtag misuse to gender stereotyping missteps, marketing to young consumers sometimes feels like a land mine of mistakes—especially when targeting a generation who has no problem telling you when you’ve got it wrong. As we say so often, understanding the way that Millennials see themselves is a vital part to messaging to them in the right way. Here are two recent campaigns that are just missing the mark with Millennials, and why.

Gap’s “Dress Normal”

When we asked Millennials 13-24-years-old what they think of Gap’s new “Dress Normal” ads, 67% gave it a thumbs down. Online, the reactions have ranged from confusion to tongue-in-cheek analysis of what exactly it means, and of course inevitable references to normcore (which probably wouldn’t have been good inspiration). Gap Global Chief Marketing Officer Seth Farbman told BuzzFeed, “We wanted it absolutely to be a provocation—what does ‘Dress Normal’ mean to each individual? I think that certainly when it’s paired with photography and paired with some of the headlines, people will understand that it’s about dressing the way you want to.” Unfortunately, the tagline, “Dress Normal,” paired with actors dressed fairly blandly does not call up feelings of individuality, and the tagline instead feels like a directive to choose clothing that doesn’t stand out.

Why It Missed the Mark: As Refinery 29 pointed out, today’s teens are not looking for conformity. Sure they want to “fit in” in some ways, but while looking unique, and they have so many resources—from ModCloth to ASOS and beyond—online that allow them to find clothing that lets them stand out in the right way. This season, we’ve seen tweens arming themselves with spiked backpacks, and 20-something women donning glittery temporary tattoos. Normal is not a motivator. The idea of dressing “like yourself” would be far more likely to resonate, and unfortunately, though that might be Gap’s ultimate message here, it’s lost under the hints at conventionality.

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You Might Not “Like” This, But You Should

MediaPost

Boy, it’s been a hard year for the Facebook “like” — because, well, no one likes it anymore.

First came the news that a simple “like” was useless –  to advertisers anyway –because it has long ago stopped meaning that consumers who “like” advertiser pages will actually see the content that is then stuffed into their News Feed

And then, this week, came this news: Facebook is now disallowing most incentivized “liking,” of the “’Like’-our-page-if-you-want-to-enter-the-sweepstakes” variety. From a post on a Facebook developer blog: “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.”

Now, this is a sad day. If you can’t trick people into liking your Facebook page, why even get up in the morning?

Or is it such a sad day?

I think not. It’s actually a much-needed reset of what used to be advertisers’ baseline Facebook currency, a measurement of their worth. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an advertiser boast about its number of “likes,”  at least publicly, for three reasons:

1.     A lot of these “likes” were just the sort of ill-begotten, meaningless clicks that came out of this silly incentivizing meme.

2.     Given the death of organic reach, it’s become less and less clear what those “likes” actually mean, anyway.

3.     Lastly, marketers who don’t do social media for a living stopped pointing to their “likes” because their social specialists told them to. “Shut up about the number of ‘likes’ we have, already! You’re embarrassing yourself!”

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The 5 mistakes marketers make that prevent them from becoming leaders

MarketingWeek

The job of turning that aspiration into a reality is fraught with obstacles – some self-imposed and others dictated upon marketers by their organisations. Business leaders speaking at The Marketing Academy’s inaugural “Inspire” event in London this week outlined the five challenges and how they can be overcome in order for marketers to get to the top of their careers.

Mistake #1: marketers are underselling marketing

Marketers are “best placed” to become future CEOs, but they need to reframe how they and the skills they have are seen within the business, according to founding partner of creative agency 101 Phil Rumbol, who also draws on his experience as marketing director at Cadbury and alcohol giant InBev.

He said: “Part of the problem is too often people equate marketing to advertising and promotions, but I think marketing is about a whole lot more than that. It’s about doing things that make a brand or service relevant, but the whole image of marketing is skewed to the fluffy, spin, marketing men getting people to buy things they don’t really want. Marketers need to go back to basics and use [and talk about] advertising once the core and basics are as strong as they can possibly be.

That warped image of what a marketer does (or should be doing) in their role, is affecting their ability to influence the finance director.

As Rory Sutherland, executive creative director and vice chairman of OgilvyOne, acerbically framed it: “There’s a  danger marketers are suffering from kind of Stockholm Syndrome, it’s a bit like being [Josef] Fritzl’s [- found guilty of imprisoning his daughter for 24 years, alongside four of the children he had fathered with her -] children to the finance director. It’s been going on for so long [marketers] have started to take on some of the attributes of their oppressors”.

The result has seen marketers trying to speak the “deranged” language of economists – a lexicon that implies human behaviour is predictable – in justifying their actions, which means many finance directors still see marketing as a cost centre: a source of inefficiency rather than competitive advantage, Sutherland said. In order to obtain the budgets required for marketing innovation, marketers would do well to learn behavioural economic theory and apply it to marketing, using the “scientific terminology finance directors have come to expect”, giving them the opportunity to fight back with case studies of marketing effectiveness.

Mistake #2: marketers aren’t curious enough about other areas of the business

Former Procter & Gamble marketer and now CMO of holiday rental site Housetrip Zaid Al-Qassab said a good marketer is “insatiably” curious about people, but for many marketers that stops at their customers rather than looking internally too.

“An awful lot of people have a major blind spot where they’re not insatiably curious about all the other people in the business around them. I speak to a lot of marketing directors who do not know what they key performance measures are for their finance director and other departments…it’s hard to make it on to the board if you’re not curious about what they are trying to achieve,” he added.

Richard Robinson, managing partner at marketing consultancy firm Oystercatchers, shared Coke’s mantra: “the only brand you will ever manage is yourself”.

“That stuck with me, knowing who the hell you are, what your personal brand was and managing your career across all those different brands: it’s all about you and how you can enable all the other people around you to succeed. To do that you have to be hungry, hoover up as much information as you can to be interesting and have a point of view,” he added.

Mike Hughes, director general of ISBA, advised marketers to be particularly curious about the procurement department – not least because they report into the chief financial officer.

He added: “Procurement has to be embraced, cuddled or part of the team, one thing a marketing director should not do is be excluded in the conversation about the agency…because procurement can completely undermine what you get from an agency as if their margins are slashed wafer thin, you won’t get the best people.”

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Publishers diverge on programmatic

Warc

UK publishers are taking widely differing approaches to programmatic advertising, as evidenced by the pronouncements from two different sources this week.

At the Daily Telegraph, senior executives felt the need to write to advertisers reassuring them of the newspaper’s commitment to full transparency in this regard. While at magazine publisher Dennis Publishing, the company’s head of digital sales warned of the risk that programmatic trading would lead to standard ad formats becoming “too commoditised”.

The Drum revealed the contents of a letter from the Telegraph publisher’s sales and trading director and its client director in which they addressed the concerns surrounding online ad fraud, including the viewing of ads by bots.

The new Telegraph Customer Charter, they explained, was a guarantee to all advertisers that its trading, whether programmatic-based or direct sales would be fully transparent and accountable and would deliver real readers.

Dennis Publishing, however, remains wedded to direct display advertising, which accounts for 70% of revenue; programmatic takes just 4% and native advertising the rest.

Gary Rayneau told The Drum that Dennis currently offered the option of programmatic trading only in conjunction with direct spend.

“I think it will become the default way of buying impressions if the focus is direct response … and I completely understand the legitimacy of programmatic from that perspective,” he explained. For brand-led advertising, however, he felt that direct buying would continue to have a role.

But he added that if it came to the point where display advertising became too commoditised, “we’ll get to the stage where we won’t run standard formats and we will just run partnerships and native placements”.

He pointed to the example of Buzzfeed, “the brand that everyone’s talking about right now”, which does not run display advertising.

“There are definitely plenty of other ways to make money in this market, you don’t have to just run straightforward advertising, you don’t have to be fully programmatic,” he concluded.