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03/30/2015 - 04/01/2015 Amelia Island FL

advertising-marketing

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For Success in Social Media, You Need Narrative

Fast Company

Let’s begin with a couple of “So What?” questions: A brand has 20 million Facebook likes. So what? A brand’s tweet “breaks the Internet.” So what? What’s achieved, other than an honorable mention at Cannes?

A paradigm shift is needed: from conversation to narrative.

Yes, what technology has wrought is truly amazing. With one big huff and a puff, time and space have been blown away. And in a couple of gasps, marketing has gone from the need to consider person-as-viewer, to person-as-participant, to person-as-content-creator, to person as channel.

But one last transformation is still needed for marketing success. Marketers need to evolve from considering products as brands to considering “person-as-brand.” Nowadays every person wants to be its own brand—to perform, and to be liked, looked at, followed, and bought into.

Now, with “me-as-brand,” the secret to success in social media is not simply entering a conversation, but entering people’s narrative.

A narrative has a plot, has non-stereotypical characters with a point of view, has a mise-en-scene, has obstacles and meaningful conflict, has surprises (non-linearity), and has a sense of an ending (that intimates a new beginning). In contrast, social media, as currently conceived of and practiced by most marketers, is a by-the-numbers transfer of information about a product or a brand, in the hope of attracting the maximum number of consumer eyeballs perusing such a presentation.

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A New Year’s Fitness Plan for Your CMO (Content Marketing Operations)

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 A New Years Fitness Plan for Your CMO (Content Marketing Operations)

By, Rich Vancil

Over the past few months, IDC has worked to define “Content Marketing” and to espouse its vital role in the execution of marketing campaigns.

If you’re not on-board yet as to the necessary role of Content Marketing — read no further !  But if you are, your next step is to assess your operational readiness for Content Marketing Operations. In a nutshell: does your marketing organization have the people, the tools, the process competency, and the leadership mandate, to roll-out Content Marketing capability across campaigns and product-lines?

IDC defines Content Marketing Operations as: “The execution of repeatable and coordinated processes to plan, create, develop, curate and distribute, and maintain the content assets and properties used for content marketing.”
Using IDC’s new MaturityScape framework, here is a 5-step model to help you assess where you are on the arc of “CMO” competency:
Figure A New Years Fitness Plan for Your CMO (Content Marketing Operations)
Stage 1: Ad Hoc — Business as Usual
Description: Business as usual — Content marketing does not exist. Assets are created by marketing, but they are mainly product marketing and corporate marketing assets and very rarely content marketing assets (refer to Figure 2). There is no strategy, governance, or process around asset creation, and most activities exist in silos of execution.
Business impact: Marketing, and in turn the entire company, is misaligned with the buyer. There is a lack of successful engagement with the marketplace, which leads to diminishing bookings and, in marketing’s case, defunding.
Stage 2: Opportunistic — Houston, We Have a Problem !
Description: Houston, we have a problem  !  Marketing acknowledges that content marketing as a function must be developed and that it must be differentiated from product marketing. Movement begins around content marketing, mainly focusing on the initial steps to understand and organize around the topic. Efforts are made to assess what assets currently exist within the organization.
Business impact: The marketing organization begins the process of reorganizing around content marketing; this includes new executives, new titles, and new initiatives. Significant “wins” do not occur in this stage, but initial momentum toward change can be observed.

 

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Mobile-First Isn’t Enough — It’s Time for A Mobile-Only Digital Strategy

Ad Age

Over the last few years, “mobile-first” has become the mantra among savvy digital marketers. But a mobile-first approach seems to be more of an ideology than it is a standard in digital design. Recent research shows that marketers still invest in mobile as an afterthought or as a bolt-on to more mainstream digital programs. For some reason, executives still need more convincing to properly fund and support mobile initiatives that span the entire customer journey, not just pieces of it.

While mobile is often referred to as the second screen, the reality is that smartphones are really the first screen among connected consumers. They are always within reach. They are the first place consumers go to communicate, research and share. As of last year, mobile platforms accounted for 60% of total time spent on digital media, according to ComScore.

The truth is that “mobile-first” should be the standard for all things digital. According to a recent study conducted by Nielsen, roughly half of consumers believe mobile is the “most important resource” in their purchase decision-making. And more than a third said they used mobile exclusively. At this point, mobile-first may not be enough. To be successful, brands and agencies must think beyond mobile campaigns and start to think about mobile-only as a complete foundation for the next generation customer journey.

Right now, mobile tends to exist without an owner to take accountability in the customer experience. As a result, mobile strategies for the most part are focused on an isolated aspect of customer engagement, whether it’s marketing, commerce, loyalty, etc., and very specific instances within each. This is because all of these solitary programs are owned by different stakeholder groups that are strewn across the organization and not necessarily in tune or in alignment with one another. It’s not uncommon for these departments to not collaborate with one another, and thus, the mobile experience is discombobulated by design and impossible to deliver an integrated customer journey.

This is a problem and it needs someone to solve it now.

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2015 Will See The Rise Of Dark Social

MediaPost

Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat invisible to traditional analytics. It’s the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, e-mails containing links, and most recently, the rise of ephemeral social communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat and WhatsApp.

A majority of focus today is on social broadcast platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With the tides shifting toward ephemeral social communication applications as a key driver of sharing, the attribution data of the share — and all of the value that comes with it — is essentially untapped and, in some cases, simply unknown.

According to a recent Radium One study, 59% of all online sharing is via dark social. Further, a whopping 91% of Americans regularly share information via dark social methods. This study also showed that 72% of sharing is simply users copying and pasting long URLs and either e-mailing or texting the information.

 

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Where Viewability Is Today — And Why It’s Critical For Digital’s Tomorrow

Mediapost

On Dec. 16, 2014, IAB released “State of Viewability Transactions 2015,” a position paper that put forth seven principles for viewability transactions in 2015. Since then, the press and the ecosystem at large have engaged in worthy debate and discussion about the meaning of the paper for viewability, measurement, and ongoing deal-making.

Still, with some stakeholders jockeying for position and disparate perspectives aplenty, misleading chatter erupted — and even more than a month out, misconceptions persist.

In order to put everyone back onto the same page, the following is a guide to the basics.

Why did the IAB issue the position paper?

We wanted to explain how viewability measurement is currently performing at an individual publisher level and provide guidance on what is realistic for near-term transactions.

The IAB membership aspires to 100% viewability of all digital ads.  However, we know that technical and measurement challenges make it unreasonable to expect that every ad in a campaign will be 100% t viewable and that individual publishers will deliver 100% viewability across a given campaign.

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The 5 Trends That Really Matter for Marketers in 2015

ClickZ

There’s been a lot of buzz around what marketers should focus on in 2015, but these are five trends that really warrant your attention.

There have been countless year-end recaps and forward-looking lists of predictions for marketers over the past few weeks. Most herald 2015 as “the year of mobile” (Didn’t we say that in 2014? And in 2013?), or talk about needing a content strategy for each new social platform. Many say having a beacon strategy is imperative, while others champion the rise of augmented reality, citing Facebook’s Oculus acquisition as the beginning of a new era.

Let’s take a breath.

Augmented reality, for example, is a real opportunity. It continued to command attention on the floors at CES, and many large brands plan to start experimenting with it this year. But the reality is that most marketers don’t have the budget to take advantage of augmented reality at present, and they have more pressing concerns to think about in 2015. Let’s cut the hype.

Here are five trends for 2015 that really warrant your attention — along with resolutions that will help you take advantage of each:

1. Go Programmatic

There is simply no longer any reason for brands to remain dismissive of programmatic buying. Once a tactic for direct response marketers alone, more than half of the $15 billion projected U.S. digital display spend in 2015 is expected to be spent programmatically, including a large chunk from brands seeking awareness and audience discovery in addition to conversions. Many are calling 2015 “The Year of Programmatic Branding,” and I tend to agree.

As brand dollars move into the programmatic space, ad technology companies, ad networks, and exchanges will develop new ways to find audiences (e.g., using CRM or place visit data as a data source), and define new metrics for success. These innovations will be available to brands of all sizes, making programmatic buying more powerful and effective for everyone.

Resolution: Don’t stop doing takeovers or custom sponsorships to build your brand, but do start using machine learning to find and engage your audience. But when you do…

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Don’t Try to Be a Publisher and a Platform at the Same Time

Harvard Business Review

In the wake of digital disruption, new media companies are seeking scale and legitimacy, while old media companies explore new business models.

The “platform” is a new media company model that has been perfected by the tech industry. Platforms can easily scale to serve gigantic audiences, and their lucrative possibilities beckon to established players that are often called “publishers.” Meanwhile, many publishers have solid brand identities that are alluring to platforms. So publishers and platforms are experimenting with new combinations — but is it really possible to combine a publisher with a platform over the long term?

Typically, publishers are considered to have editorial judgment, while platforms lack it. From this perspective, the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, and The New York Times are classic “publishers” — they present highly-curated content, and their editors invest a lot of time in its creation. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are classic “platforms” — they distribute other peoples’ content without as much editorial oversight. But these differences are largely cultural. It’s not technologically difficult for publishers to add platform-like elements, and vice versa.

Publishers seeking new business models are often tempted to become more platform-like by enabling their audience to post user-generated content; they hope to increase revenue by selling ads on this “extra” content. Sometimes, they also hope to develop a content management system that other publishers can license and use to distribute their content.

On the other hand, the technologists looking to differentiate their platforms are drawn by the voice and influence of publishing. Plus, platform-builders can capture more value if they own content on their platform, and not just the platform itself.

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Media Companies Need to Wake Up to the Digital Advertising Mess

Quartz

Digital media are stuck with bad economics resulting in relentless deflation. It’s time to wake-up and make 2015 the year of radical—and concerted—solutions.

 Trends in digital advertising feel like an endless agony to me. To sum up: there is no sign of improvement on the performance side; a growing percentage of ads are sold in bulk; click-fraud and user rejection are on the rise, all resulting in ceaseless deflation. Call it the J-Curve of digital advertising, as it will get worse before it gets better (it must–and it will.).
Here is a quick summary of issues and possible solutions:
 The rise of ad blocking systems, the subject of a Dec. 8, 2014 Monday Note. That column was our most viewed and shared ever, which suggests a growing concern for the matter. Last week, AdBlockPlusproudly announced a large scale deployment solution: with a few clicks, system administrators can now install AdBlockPlus on an entire network of machines. This is yet another clue that the problem won’t go away.
 There are basically three approaches to the issue.
The most obvious one is to use the court system against Eyeo GmBH, the company operating AdBlockPlus. After all, the Acceptable Ads agreement mechanism in which publishers pay to pass unimpeded through ABP filters is a form of blackmail. I don’t see how Eyeo will avoid collective action by publishers. Lawyers—especially in Europe—are loading their guns.
The second approach is to dissuade users from installing ABP on their browsers. It’s is up to browser makers (Google, Microsoft, Apple) to disable ABP’s extensions. But they don’t have necessarily much of an incentive to do so. Browser technology is about user experience quality when surfing the web or executing transactions. Performance relies on sophisticated techniques such as developing the best “virtual machines” (for a glimpse on VM technology, this 2009 FT Magazine piece, “The Genius behind Google’s browser” is a must-read.) If the advertising community, in its shortsighted greed, ends up saturating the internet with sloppy ads that users massively reject, and such excesses lead a third party developer to create a piece of software to eliminate the annoyance, it should be no surprise to see the three browser providers tempted to allow ad-blocking technologies.

Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data-Driven Marketing

IDG Connect 0811 Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data Driven Marketing

Technology is changing marketing in a hurry, and some CMOs have acknowledged that the unrelenting pace of the transformation intimidates them.

In a survey conducted by Forrester Research and Erickson Research, 85% of 117 CMOs surveyed said their responsibilities had changed significantly in the past few years. Amazingly, 97% of respondents only expected the pace of change to accelerate. The change is coming so fast and so furious, in fact, that 34% of the CMOs in this survey described the changes as “overwhelming.”

There’s one group of CMOs, however, that seems undaunted by the pace of change, and that’s software marketing executives. Because of their comfort with the world of technology, software and tech marketers, in fact, are far ahead in embracing marketing technology and the data-driven, customer focus this technology enables.

A study we conducted last year at my company, Bizo, before it was acquired by LinkedIn, provided some insight into just how far software marketers are ahead of their peers. Software companies have long been pioneers in B2B digital marketing. They were among the first to build websites back in the early days of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s. They blazed trails with display advertising and were among the first to see the value in search advertising, content marketing, and social media. Even when they made missteps, such as jumping on the MySpace bandwagon, the experience of these early adopters allowed them to quickly grasp the significance of other social media launches, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

The Bizo special report, “The Data-Driven Marketer,” indicated software marketers are also leading the way in adopting data-driven marketing practices. In The Data-Driven Marketer survey, Bizo queried more than 850 marketers. The responses showed that the subset of software marketers is far ahead of all respondents in virtually every aspect of data-driven marketing.

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This One Number Shows How Advertisers Are Wrong About Social Media

Time

Companies like McDonalds, Apple, and Ford all have something in common: They make and sell physical stuff, be it Big Macs, computers or cars. So if you’re considering investing in one of those companies, the first thing you might look at is how much stuff it’s been selling recently — an easily-determined metric that’s a decent representation of a company’s success.

But social media companies like Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat don’t make their money by selling physical stuff. Instead, they make it by selling space to advertisers.

As with all advertisements, digital ad space is more valuable the more it gets seen. And one of the key metrics advertisers use to determine how much they’re willing to spend on a social media company’s ad space is Monthly Active Users, or MAUs.

MAUs are simple enough: Every time you log on to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and so on at least once a month, that platform gets one MAU.

That interest in MAUs has extended to Wall Street, where investors have come to view them as the be-all, end-all metric for judging a social media company’s potential to make money. MAUs are popular with investors and other market-watchers because they’re easy to calculate, digest and compare.

But a number emerged this week that should make us all question the MAU as the holy grail of social media metrics: 50 million. That’s the number of MAUs racked up last year by MySpace, a social media network you probably haven’t used since you signed up for Facebook. While MySpace used to be a reliable presence in ComScore’s annual list of the 50 most popular sites on the web, it hasn’t made an appearance there since 2012, when it ranked 46th.

Sure, MySpace’s 50 million figure doesn’t touch the numbers boasted by its onetime rivals: Facebook has 1.27 billion MAUs, Instagram 300 million, Twitter 284 million. But it’s still doubtful that figure is truly representative of MySpace’s shrunken userbase, even if the site still has a small but thriving community thanks to its efforts in music and video.

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