With the mass of customer insight available to brands adding another weapon to a chief marketer’s arsenal, Marketing Week asks whether their job titles should reflect this. If you believe the surveys, the pressure to improve the return on the money invested in campaigns has combined with an explosion of data to squeeze creativity from the role of chief marketing officer and turn it into “chief data and marketing officer.”
Many brands, marketers and industry pundits contend that the great battle in social media is over mobile. The chant from tech giants, New York Times technology columnist Nick Bilton writes, is “mobile, mobile, mobile.” But there’s a greater evolutionary force at play: photos. From Facebook’s revamped Newsfeed that places an emphasis on photos to Twitter now commandeering users’ photo sharing via its own proprietary photo app, the battle isn’t just for the mobile Internet. The real battle is for photos on the entire Internet. (more…)
MediaWhiz’s leaders are continually sought after as resources for opinions, advice and expertise, based on our deep understanding of industry trends, the needs of our customers and the broader marketplace in which we operate.
For the week of Sept. 3-7, 2012, MediaWhiz experts were quoted or featured on a variety of digital media news and trends, including growth in the lead-gen marketplace, Facebook’s advertising pitch to brand marketers, the new rules of brand advocacy and Twitter’s new ad targeting options for brands.
Bing is breaking out its own version of the infamous “soda wars” between Coca-Cola at Pepsi in the 1980s. This week, it launched an ad campaign called “Bing It On” in which it asks people on the street to compare search results between its Bing search engine and Google. According to Search Engine Land, Microsoft claim’s that “people prefer Bing by 2:1 over Google.” Unfortunately for Microsoft, the stats on consumer use of Bing don’t reflect that comparison. More than 65 percent of Americans use Google as their regular search engine, according to SmartInsights.com, while Bing comes in third, behind Yahoo! Search, at just under 14 percent.
“Facebook has failed” screamed the headlines all summer long, as Facebook’s stock continued to tumble amid mounting analyst, investor and advertiser concerns over the efficacy of Facebook’s ad platform. For Facebook, the concern present a troubling reality: it must evolve or die. The trick to keeping Facebook relevant to users and brands, according to Ryan Partnership’s Michael Velasco, will be to not only enhance the feeling that users have of the social network being indispensable to their daily lives, to extend that feeling to new areas and features that users find appealing.
Fifty years ago Heineken went beyond the standard focus-group testing and developed what may be the coolest packaging for a product ever known: a brick-shaped beer bottle. Why is that so cool? As David Kiefaber of Adfreak explains, the bottle wasn’t meant to just be used to consume beer. No, it had a much higher purpose in life: it doubled as a “giant interlocking Lego brick, and was made for building eco-homes back in the early 1960s.”
MediaWhiz’s Daryl Colwell writes in MediaPost that the mobile wallet appears to finally be growing up. But there are concerns that the hype surrounding it doesn’t match consumer value. “With two key factors — ease-of-use and rate of adoption — moving in the right direction, mobile payments may finally reach their lofty potential. But there is still a long way toward mainstream adoption,” says Colwell. (more…)
Once again “Big Data” is all the rage as enterprises struggle to cope with the data deluge that is exploding across the globe. To provide an illustration of this phenomenon, consider first that, according to Google’s Eric Schmidt, there were five exabytes of data created between the dawn of civilization and 2003 (one exabyte is equivalent to one million terabytes). Now consider that, according to Cisco, by 2016 global IP traffic will reach 109.5 exabytes per month. Companies, organizations, and governments are all drowning in data and the bulk of what’s contributing to this raging flood is user-generated content.
The tsunami of user-generated content has generated an urgent demand for more sophisticated analytical tools in the social media space. This rising demand is bringing the worlds of big data solutions and social media services (i.e. CRM, marketing, and sales) closer together than ever before. In the past two months the software behemoth Oracle acquired the social media marketing platform Virtue and Salesforce acquired Buddy Media. These two will certainly not be the last of such moves. In the coming months, other vendors such as IBM, EMC, and HP will likely make similar acquisitions. As a consequence, social media specialists, especially analytics experts, will need to become much more data-technology-savvy.
The merging of big data solutions and social media marketing platforms is not the only development that will require social media analytics experts to elevate their technology competency. Increasingly the rudimentary manual analytical methodologies of the past are proving inadequate for fully harnessing the power of Big Data to provide strategic insights for social media marketing campaign planning and measurement as well as social CRM, crowd sourcing and sales. At present, the most common approach to analyzing social media data is manual and protracted. It usually starts with a listening tool, such as Radian6, to gather the data followed by dozens of hours of labor-intensive data cleaning. The resulting dataset only yields insights about the relevant conversation – the major topics, the primary channels where the conversation is taking place and the identities of the individuals engaged in the conversation. Understanding the structure of the social network constituted by the relevant conversation requires additional analysis.
By Steve Goldner | @SocialSteve | Senior Director, Social Media
So, you want to get social? You realize your business cannot live without it. Kudos to you for having a strategy and a plan and for not just putting up Facebook and Twitter pages. But now you realize how time-consuming it will be to drive real measurable success. So let me tell you how we determined the right tools to help us drive our social media practice.
First, think about your core operations. We determined that we had three prime objectives: disseminating content (both owned and curated media); identifying influencers (to yield earned media); and capturing performance metrics.
It makes sense to start with a communications strategy and to address content tools. Content is core to your social endeavors. It is the vehicle to get your story out and to engage with your target audience. Consider having a blog—a place to seed your owned media so that you can use other social channels to direct people to your story. I use WordPress. It is intuitive, and it starts out at no cost. I recommend this content management system for its simplicity and versatility. Another good one is Blogger.
Blogs aren’t the only platforms for disseminating content. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SlideShare, Pinterest, and Twitter are all leading platforms for content sharing. With all these free options, it’s not likely you’ll choose to pay for another option—though ONEsite, Jive, and Lithium allow you to own all functionality and data, unlike Facebook and Google+.
And once you have your content platforms determined, I suggest you use a social media publishing tool. Examples are Awareness, Shoutlet, and HootSuite, just to name a few. These publishing tools allow you to schedule posts across many social channels, manage responses, and view metrics on impressions and reach. They are extremely helpful; not only do they manage the workflow of posting and responding, but they also fine-tune your communications to optimize sharing and engagement.
By: Steve Goldner | @SocialSteve | Senior Director, Social Media
Social by Design … not a new buzz phrase but, rather, a fresh business imperative.
For years I have been professing that social media is not a tactic but, rather, has to be a way of life for brands. It is not about putting up a Facebook page and a Twitter feed and posting away. Social media must be at the core of a marketing strategy. Yeah, I know … you’ll think someone named “SocialSteve” is likely to say that … how self-serving of me. But wait a minute and hear me out.
The most powerful call to action a marketer could hope for is to have one friend, one colleague, one family member refer to another a suggested product or service. The recommendation comes from an objective source, a trusted source. Let’s face it: an ad is a recommendation from a most subjective source.
Social by Design means putting a brand in the hands of your target audience to produce organic sharing and word of mouth. Social by Design yields brand amplification. Maybe the one brand that understands this most of all is Coca Cola. As Coke has an objective to double their business it looks at programs that are Social by Design. As Coke states it, it is moving from creative excellence to content excellence. Coke calls its content strategy “liquid content,” and looks for its target audience to be the source of brand proliferation.
This video is a must see as it crystallizes what is meant by having a strategy that is Social by Design.
By Keith Trivitt | @KeithTrivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
For years, public relations professionals have known of the power of brand advocacy. But in the digital age brand advocacy is evolving into the realm and responsibility of nearly every type of digital marketer. Whether you’re working on a search marketing campaign or overseeing a client’s display strategy, every marketer needs to understand and believe in brand advocacy.
Thus, a recent eMarketer report, titled, “Brand Advocates: Scaling Social Media Word-of-Mouth,” was a timely addition to marketers’ library. The report highlights the stunning growth of brand advocacy over the last five years while providing helpful tips companies can use to cultivate brand advocates and how to avoid common pitfalls of annoying those who most appreciate your brand.
Not surprisingly, the report’s executive summary sums up what most marketers already know: “Brand advocacy is becoming a critical part of the social media marketing mix.”
But there’s more than the obvious that underlies successful brand advocacy campaigns. Consumers aren’t just “liking” a brand and commenting about it on social networks for the fun of it. As eMarketer reports, they are doing so because many desire to see their favorite brands succeed. And that can have powerful positive effects on companies — if they respect and utilize their brand advocates properly.
One interesting point I took from the report was that while brand advocates are interested in companies’ content, more important is their loyalty to a brand. A CMO Council study found that brand loyalty (48%) was far more important to brand advocates than whether a company had great content on its social networks (30%). This suggests that great content is helpful but being a great brand that your customers can feel proud to be associated with is more important.
So what makes for a successful brand advocacy program? And who are these “brand advocates” anyway? Let’s take a look:
eMarketer defines brand advocates as consumers who “use social media to not only interact with brand pages, but also to actively promote the brands, products and services they love.” They provide valuable insight to marketers about what is, and is not, working with a brand’s products and services and how the brand is being perceived outside of its four corporate walls. (more…)
We talk about influence as if it is something new. Actually the definition has not changed in the past 1,000 years or so, but tactics for influence engagement certainly have changed due to the digital revolution. And while many might consider my use of the term “digital revolution” trite, I think it deserves the entire superfluous connotation as I intended it to be. The fact is that the digital world and, even more importantly, the related behavior changes that have transpired, are extremely important. Thus, we must look at “influence” as it relates to digital behaviors.
So before we have the “Klout (popular social influence scoring platform) — should we care debate?”, let’s make sure we understand why influence is important to brands. And second to that, let’s make sure we understand the types of influencers that are valuable to brands. I break this down in three groups:
Traditional influencers. These are the individuals that traditional PR agencies court. They are pinnacle media establishments (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post) and celebrity-like figures (Mario Batali, Roger Ebert, Tim Gunn) in a specific area of subject expertise.
Emerging (digital) influencers. These are bloggers that have established a large audience following and drive thought leadership in a specific space. The poster child of emerging digital influencers is Robert Scoble. Scoble is a tech blogger whose rise to vast influence started from strong participation and guidance in Microsoft’s NetMeeting support newsgroups, and for maintaining a NetMeeting information website. Another example of an influential blogger emergence from nowhere is Tavi Gevinson who commanded quite a following for her fashion blog. At the prime age of 13, she was a special guest at New York Fashion week. (It still astounds me how she came up in conversations at ELLE magazine when I worked with them.) Emerging digital influencers could also be blogs (PitchFork, Mashable, Gizmodo) rather than individuals by name.
Influencers by connection. Here we have your everyday “Max” and “Maya.” People who have hundreds of friends — no, let me correct that — hundreds of Facebook friends and Twitter followers. These people make posts and tweets and their connected friends react. “Saw a great movie.” “New sports drink was killer.” Their posts create response and action. If you represent a brand, you want to court these people to produce brand action. (more…)
Earlier this week Twitter unveiled its new Discover tab, which the social network claimed in a blog post will make it “easy to discover information that matters to you without having to follow additional accounts.” The news received a lukewarm reception in the blogosphere with PCWorld calling the changes a “double-edged sword … that involves some degree of privacy infringement — or at least erosion.” Others in the tech media and blogosphere expressed similar apathy about its value to brands and marketers.
To get some deeper insight into what the Discover tab will really means for digital marketers, I sat down with Steve Goldner, senior director of social media for MediaWhiz, and head of the agency’s social media practice. Steve works with a broad range of major clients in developing their social media strategies and campaigns, and he expressed hope for a new level of insight from Twitter regarding what consumers are saying about brands and the ability to more finely target key brand advocates.