It is no news that advertising agencies are in crisis, struggling to survive under the multiple pressures of reduced client budgets, degraded media effectiveness, and connected, informed consumers. What is news: agencies are proving themselves unable to adapt and to fix their own business problems; client-side solutions are winning. This, more than anything, illustrates the disconnect too often experienced between “the business” and “the creative” sides of marketing. The marketer’s role, in the end, is to navigate the markets — to succeed even amidst change — not just to razzle and dazzle though sales don’t come in the door. This applies to clients and to marketers alike. Mad Man: market thyself.
The ultimate proactivity of the Web is the semantic future of marketing. Every interaction is about data, and with enough of it, predictive analytics are possible. Is Big Data simply an idea to you - or do you have a plan to activate around information?
On Wednesday, the search giant launched an application contest to let regular people from all walks of life try out the head-mounted, augmented reality "glasses." They simply have to prove they deserve it.
By the end 2013 tablets will account for 20 percent of Google’s paid search ad clicks in the U.S., up from 6 percent in January 2012. It’s not just the volume of the tablet clicks that is rising, it’s also the value.
How often do you come face-to-face with a hotel employee, fast food entrée, or piece of technology and say, “this is not quite living up to the dream?” Most of the time, we sigh and accept the perceptual gap between the brand promise and our experience.
In the past year, I have been struck by how important measurement is to improving the human condition. You can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal.
Colour and Space is a project by designers Mie Frey Damgaard and Peter Ørntoft for decorative paint brand Jotun (Turkey). It digs through Turkish Pinterest boards, analyzing two fairly basic but powerful categories: color and location.
While it’s unlikely that focus groups can create an innovative idea, they can help evolve one--fine-tuning how it will be embraced and determining the feature set, price point, and physical embodiment of the core idea.
How can the banks seize on ongoing events – legal, economic, political – to energize recovery in a strict business sense and to reverse the inexorable tide of public acrimony?
Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, and Twitter today announced an exclusive multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the US market.
The DHL Global Connectedness Index 2012 tracks the depth and breadth of trade, capital, information, and people flows across 140 countries that account for 99% of the world's GDP and 95% of its population.
A larger purpose isn't just good karma. Leaders who instill their company with a greater mission have more motivated employees and more loyal customers.
What’s caused U.S. firms to lose the most shareholder value in the last 10 years? A new Booz study — actually, a repeat of one it did in 2004 — once again came up with the same result. The culprit wasn’t external shocks like the Great Recession.
They’ve hit a market ‘reach’ of 180 million users a month across mobile and web platforms and re-vamped the site with the ‘Next’ version after testing out their open Beta for several months.
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of baby gear and preschool toys, Fisher-Price believes that traditional branding processes no longer guarantee success. To differentiate its brands in a highly competitive industry, the company maintains a laser-like focus on creativity and innovation -- and its sphere of influence is large.
Whether it is Walmart or Metro, I have found that many of the global retailers’ expansion plans are irrelevant and hurt the bottom line. Tesco is a good example.
People are now using their cell phones for much more than talking. According to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 85 percent of U.S. adults own a mobile phone and 56 percent of them use it to get online.
Lately we’ve heard a chorus of skepticism regarding the importance of viewability, and some say that there is no correlation between viewability and conversion rate. In reality, there are only three reasons why one could legitimately argue that viewability doesn't matter.
Ask yourself: do you know how much more valuable these customers are than others? If you could turn another 10% or 20% of your client base into loyal, enthusiastic patrons like these, do you know how much more growth that would generate?
Kohl’s has struggled to regain sales momentum. Total sales in the past year increased only 2.2% despite a continuing store opening program which last year increased its store base by 3.4% to 1127 units. The Kohl’s formula of beating competition on product value, combined with a powerful promotional program is not motivating the consumer anymore.
One dirty secret of web analytics is that the information we get is limited. If you want to see how someone came to your site, it's usually pretty easy. When you follow a link from Facebook to The Atlantic, a little piece of metadata hitches a ride that tells our servers. There are circumstances, however, when there is no referrer data. This means that this vast trove of social traffic is essentially invisible to most analytics programs.
Why is it that some brands launch like meteors, captivating our imaginations and our wallets, only to fall spectacularly into marketing oblivion? And perhaps more importantly for marketers today: How can this fate be avoided? The answer lies in the difference between what is required to generate initial trial of a new product, versus building a relevant equity that stimulates ongoing interest and repeat business.
While there is a lot of Hadoopalooza in the technology press about the tools for managing big data, and they are wonderful, it's also true that they are a) widely available, and b) mostly free. Neither can be said of data scientists. Simply put, you can't do much with big data without data scientists. They are the magicians who transform an inchoate mass of bits into a fit subject for analysis.
Did you know one comment on Forbes is worth 472 views of an article? And a +1 on Google Plus is worth 169 views, while a Share on Facebook is worth 31 views? Ken Krogue shares his analysis of the currency exchange of digital and social media.
How predictable are competitive conditions in your industry? How much power does your company have to shape its underlying competitive environment? These questions are critical to strategists, since clearly the kinds of strategies that work in predictable industries are likely to be worlds apart from those geared to shaping highly volatile environments.
Stationary furniture is the largest segment within the furniture category. To continue to grow the brand needed to shift deep-rooted perceptions and convince female consumers that La-Z-Boy offers more than recliners.
Seeing things in context is one of the most important features of human intelligence, and it plays a vital role in our relationships with others, including the relationship that a customer has with a company. By focusing on deepening the context of your customer relationships, you can ensure greater customer loyalty and probably higher margins as well.
Human behavior is nuanced and complex, and no matter how robust it is, data can provide only part of the story. Desire and motivation are influenced by psychological, social, and cultural factors that require context and conversation in order to decode.
Selling solutions allows companies to differentiate themselves in commoditizing markets and to benefit from economies of scope across multiple profit and service capabilities. For customers, these solutions offer better value than the products and services that went before. After all, who would not prefer a "solution" to their business problems rather than simply buying services and products?
Forget loyalty in the body care market. Most consumers seem less interested in the name on the label than on price and attributes, per a new study on the segment by Chicago-based Mintel.
Customer experience goes to the heart of everything you do--how you conduct your business, the way your people behave when they interact with customers and each other, the value you provide. You literally can't afford to ignore it, because your customers take it personally each and every time they touch your products, your services, and your support.
Successful innovators ask users to embrace--or at least tolerate--new values, new skills, new behaviors, new vocabularies, new ideas, new expectations, and new aspirations. They transform their customers. Successful innovators reinvent their customers as well as their businesses. Their innovations make customers better and make better customers.
Getting older can also mean getting better if you keep a fresh outlook and stay young at heart. The wisdom that comes with age is priceless but don’t get too stuck in your ways. Look at Madonna who rose to fame in the 80s topping the charts in the 90s and can still fill large arenas and entertain Super Bowl crowds in the 2000s! How does she do it and what can we in business learn from her success?
It’s become practically mandatory that brands incorporate social media into their business strategy, causing retailers to compete for popularity in stores and on the Internet, too. Campalyst has provided this infographic, which covers the largest Internet retailers in the U.S., and their presence on the five key social networks: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.
Yahoo says that it has helped millions of businesses get online and grow their presence on the web. Today, the company is debuting a new marketing dashboard to give users additional insight into online reputation, web metrics and more.
On the heels of acquiring sales data analytics company Varicent last week, Big Blue is making another buy in the data space today— Vivisimo. Vivisimo provides enterprises with search software that helps organizations access and analyze big data across the enterprise.
Bringing Ms. Minaj on board to pinch-hit for Pepsi is clearly a strategic move, and a reaction to the drop that Pepsi took this year in the marketplace. The results of 2012’s Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Index reveal that both Pepsi and Diet Pepsi fell flat this year, trailing Coke and Diet Coke for the first time in years. Loyalty is, alas, not a forever thing if you don’t know how best to engage your audience.
Nearly three quarters (72%) of adults are quite attached to following local news and information, and local newspapers are by far the source they rely on for much of the local information they need. In fact, local news enthusiasts are substantially more wedded to their local newspapers than others.
Paul Matsen can only shake his head when he reads yet another study about marketers failing to measure the impact of their work, especially in today’s bottom-line-driven environment. As chief marketing officer at Cleveland Clinic, a highly rated non-profit academic medical center, Matsen says measurement is as critical to marketing success as understanding consumer insights, developing strategy, and evaluating creative.
Adidas will embed its miCoach data tracker in uniforms worn by players competing in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25. The “professional soccer team tracking system” riffs on the miCoach Speed Cell introduced last year, and Adidas says it will provide coaches with real-time data about player position and performance.
A South Korean Dunkin’ Donuts campaign is reinventing the traditional radio advertisement using unique technology and the smell of coffee. The campaign, named, Flavor Radio releases coffee aroma via sound recognition technology.
Integrating design into your company involves more than just hiring superstar designers. It takes a long-term commitment and developing a culture that brings everyone up to speed.
When PSFK asked if they were concerned about how the next generation of car-buyers are reportedly disinterested in ownership, the Rolls-Royce team spoke about how buying a car is about the owner rewarding themselves. The team described how a billionaire in India in his 20s has a check list of all the good things in life and Rolls Royce is part of it.
Marketers overwhelmingly recognize that leveraging massive data sets can help them improve business, but most feel they lack the tools to mine customer insights adequately, according to a study from marketing technology company DataXu Inc.
When an aircraft crashes, investigators are able to retrieve useful information about what went wrong from the flight data recorder, more commonly known as the black box. (The data recorder itself is actually not black, not until it’s retrieved from charred remains.) Statistically speaking, plane crashes are rare occurrences compared to car crashes, so why not install a black box for cars?
When marketing is in alignment with the business, you are more likely to travel in the same direction. Alignment and accountability are the first steps every aspiring marketing organization must take to improve its performance management and measurement.
There are a couple of things that make a brand great: engendering good feelings to consumers and using those feelings to inspire them to make a purchase.
Companies are learning to turn Big Data into Big Dollars. How are they doing it? With the help of data scientists, a new generation of business leaders who understand that today, data drives revenue.
While Board of Directors, CEOs, and CFOs these days are demanding proof that marketing dollars work, a new study reveals that 57% of CMOs are simply going with their gut feeling when setting marketing budgets, without any consideration for Return On Investment analysis.
Playing a kind of “smartball” on brand teams today means insisting that digital players be leveraged against a larger strategy. In short, that a brand’s playbook is not a story of technological possibilities, but a diagram of brand profitability.
In most well-meaning organizations, once important information comes to light, it cannot be ignored, no matter what level of an organization is affected.
As the volume of data skyrockets, it's useful to step back and consider the different types of data, where they come from and how they can be used most effectively. Unique and highly focused data can be used as a signal booster for more effective intent-based targeting.
None of us would agree to play a card game with cards missing from the deck. We would know that the odds of winning would be significantly diminished. Yet surprisingly, many marketers are willing to implement marketing programs sans analytics.
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards was a huge hit across social, digital and broadcast platforms. Excitement for the return of Adele, as well as the tribute to the late Whitney Houston kept viewers engaged online and off. CBS reported that 39.9 million viewers tuned in to Sunday’s award show, the second-largest Grammy audience ever and the best ratings since 1984.
For all the hype about cross-platform media measurement in recent years, there hasn't been much progress made. From Nielsen and Arbitron's aborted $45 million-plus market-research initiative Project Apollo, canceled in 2008, to the year-old Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, still months away from launching its first major study for its 22 members, most efforts have been slow at best. So it's no small feat that Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN was able to pull off something of a media miracle this past summer. ESPN XP, the company's landmark research initiative launched in conjunction with the World Cup, was the first program of its kind to track event-based cross-platform media behavior in the U.S., recruiting 15 different research partners and nine major sponsors including Cisco, AT&T, Sony and Anheuser Busch.
Influence has been a hot topic here for the past few months. But what determines someone’s influence on Twitter? Number of tweets? Number of followers? Number of followers' followers? Researchers from Northwestern University seem to have found the answer, and it’s a lot more complicated than who follows who. Ramanathan Narayanan, a Ph.D candidate at Northwestern University, and his professor Alok Choudhary developed a project that tracks influence on Twitter based on specific topics.
There can be no doubt that social marketing has been the hot topic for the last few years, but many marketers still have reservations about seriously investing in the space. Whilst many of the reasons for such reticence can be quickly brushed off (it’s just for kids, it’s a fad, etc…) some deserve more attention. One such reason, which continually crops us, is the issue of measuring the effectiveness of social, and understanding how to make real use of it. There has been some great attempts to try to overcome such reservations recently, including the IAB’s measurement framework, and Nielsen’s Facebook work, but still such concerns persist. It’s for this reason that a bunch of enthusiastic people set-up MeasurementCamp, an informal, open-source event, which was recently relaunched in London. I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at the first of the new MeasurementCamp series, and thought that I would share the topics discussed.
While 2009 was arguably the year brands embraced the iPhone, developing apps left and right, the iPad doesn't seem to have inspired the same enthusiasm. Magazines have embraced the iPad, but despite the product's hype, larger screen and dual-touch technology, brands haven't followed suit.
We’re moving, in other words, toward a fascinating cultural transition: the death of the telephone call. This shift is particularly stark among the young. Some college students I know go days without talking into their smartphones at all. I was recently hanging out with a twentysomething entrepreneur who fumbled around for 30 seconds trying to find the option that actually let him dial someone.
Certain celebrity endorsements have the Midas touch and Barkley is a sterling example, despite a checkered past including gambling issues and a DUI conviction. His over-the-top persona has made Barkley a magnet for brands — compared, say, with NBA legend (and Hanes spokesman) Michael Jordan.
To identify the world's most valuable brands we looked at more than 100 with leadership positions in their respective industries. Forbes evaluated these brands along with Jeffrey Parkhurst, managing director of business strategy at Mindshare, a WPP-owned media agency. We required that brands have at least some presence in the United States, because if a brand is to be considered global, it needs to be a player in the United States.
Most brands incorporate Twitter in their social media strategy, but are they actually using it effectively? Not exactly, according to research released today by New York-based digital agency 360i.
Not only will consumers finally be spending more on back-to-school shopping this year, they'll be doing it in decidedly different ways. A new back-to-school survey from Deloitte reports that 28% of consumers plan to spend more this year than they did last year, and only 17% plan to spend less.
In a study out today, Forrester finds that only 4% of U.S. online adults have ever used location-based mobile apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt. Only 1% update these services more than once per week. What's more, 84% of respondents said they are not familiar with such apps, leaving the vast majority of Americans online still in the dark about location-based apps, which have had the marketing world obsessing over them in recent months.
They see life as a game. They enjoy nothing more than outsmarting the system. They don’t trust politicians, medias, nor brands. They see corporations as inefficient and plagued by an outmoded hierarchy. Even if they harbor little hope of doing better than their parents, they don’t see themselves as unhappy. They belong to a group — several, actually — they trust and rely upon. “They”, are the Digital Natives.
A couple of months or so after becoming Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron wanted a few tips from somebody who could tell him how it felt to be responsible for, and accountable to, many millions of people: people who expected things from him, even though in most cases he would never shake their hands. He turned not to a fellow head of government but to…Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and boss of Facebook, the phenomenally successful social network.
Some of the nation's biggest media companies and advertisers, seeking to develop new ways of measuring audiences, could make Apple Inc.'s iPhone the vehicle for a study of how Americans consume media on a range of devices—from TV sets to mobile phones to computers. The study would be one of the first major initiatives of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, a high-profile collaboration between the media and ad industries begun last summer with much fanfare.
Amazon.com Inc. said it reached a milestone, selling more e-books than hardbacks over the past three months. But publishers said it is still too early to gauge for the entire industry whether the growth of e-books is cannibalizing sales of paperback books, a huge and crucial market.
Has your company spent seemingly countless hours tweeting on Twitter, networking on Facebook and writing the company blog? Have you found yourself wondering if it's all a waste of time? Maybe that last Facebook fan page contest saw fewer entries than you'd hoped for, or that last Twitter-only coupon had fewer redemptions than you'd expected, but perhaps that's not all that matters. According to the the latest report by analyst firm Forrester, many people are looking at the face value dollars and cents of social media marketing and, put simply, they're doing it wrong. Beyond clicks and coupon redemptions, there lies a case for social media marketing that shows its value is well beyond what we see on the surface.
Starbucks is the first consumer brand to reach 10 million Facebook fans, a.k.a. user "likes." Taking the lead from Coca-Cola over a year ago, Starbucks has attracted 2.3 million fans just in July so far…and the month is only half-over. Starbucks is now in the rarified company of Lady Gaga. In light of its recent privacy flap, Facebook is treading carefully when it comes to brands' presence on the site, including releasing a new video (above) to address users concerned about advertising on their pages. As for how Starbucks shot to 10 million?
Facebook is about to announce that they’ve hit 500 million users — a milestone that cements (as if it hadn’t already) the site’s status as one of the web’s biggest successes ever.
The online video advertising market is poised for rapid growth over the next few years, according to eMarketer. The research firm estimates online video advertising spending will grow more than 48 percent this year, reaching $1.5 billion. By 2014, it expects the video ad market will top $5.5 billion.
It wasn't a multi-million dollar television campaign for a Fortune 50 company, nor was it a digital media program for some new-age service. Instead, the Grand Effie award was given to the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) for a very simple, and cost-efficient word-of-mouth program to encourage student enrollment. Here's what they did.
Domino’s last week introduced an industry first: A transparent pizza. The chain, working with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, attempted to one-up competitors on the authenticity front by announcing that all the photographs of its pizza that will appear in ads will from now on be devoid of “fancy food artistry” or “fancy touch-ups.”
Whether they were enthralled or appalled by Thursday night's telecast of basketball star LeBron James's announcement about his future, few people, it turns out, could turn away. The hour-long ESPN special, dubbed "The Decision," drew 9.95 million viewers or 6.96 million households, the equivalent of a 7.0 national rating, according to preliminary figures provided by ESPN over the weekend.
Time Warner Inc.'s Turner cable-television networks have forked over billions of dollars to air big-time sporting events, but they haven't matched the stature of ESPN. Now Turner is roping a corporate sibling into the chase. To beef up and better compete for digital advertising and buzz with ESPN, Turner's sports division is set to take control of the Web business of Sports Illustrated, owned by Time Warner's Time Inc. magazine unit. The partnership will combine Sports Illustrated's SI.com and Golf.com with a stable of websites managed by Turner Sports, such as NBA.com, Nascar.com and PGA.com.
A citizen of the Internet has a very different experience. The Internet smashes hierarchy and is not marked by deference. Maybe it would be different if it had been invented in Victorian England, but Internet culture is set in contemporary America. Internet culture is egalitarian. The young are more accomplished than the old. The new media is supposedly savvier than the old media. The dominant activity is free-wheeling, disrespectful, antiauthority disputation.
Burt’s presentation at Cannes elaborated on their experiences working with some of the world’s top agencies to change how they make and measure large scale, digital advertising – and how drastic improvements in ad effectiveness can be achieved using existing, proven technologies.
Social media didn’t invent conversations, it provided us with tools to surface and organize them. Conversations about brands predates the mediums used to connect messages and aspirations with consumers. The motivation for brands to engage in social networks varies based on the culture and agility of each company, but what is constant is the aspiration to connect with customers and prospects to earn awareness, attention and connections.
I've been thinking about the power of a particular kind of brand leader: founders. Many of the companies I admire are still run by their founders, or the founders at least still play an active role. Often the founders have come back after the company ran into trouble, showing just how important a role they play: Shultz at Starbucks, Dell at Dell, Jobs at Apple, Chuck Schwab at Schwab.
When it comes to global brand value, Walmart continues to be the most powerful retailer, with its brand valued at $30.42 billion. But a new ranking from Kantar Retail and BrandZ reflects some seismic shifts in consumer spending in the last year: While the category as a whole shrank, Amazon shot into the No. 2 spot like a meteor, with a brand value of $27.45 billion -- a 359% increase since 2006, when it was ranked No. 8.
Did you know that the US is the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking country? It’s true. In fact, there are 46.3 million Hispanics in the US today, and 20 million of them use the internet. Are you targeting the Hispanic market with search? If not, perhaps it’s time you considered doing so.
Look out, national brands: Private-label sales are gaining on you in ways you'd never imagined. Thanks to high-quality generics from such chains as Target, Safeway, Kroger and Whole Foods Markets, SymphonyIRI reports that consumers are increasingly likely to buy these store brands -- and the more categories they dabble in, the more likely they are to be satisfied.
Calling on brands to help consumers simplify their selection and purchase experiences makes sense; in the past, brands have served as the most important institution and clarifying mechanism there is in the marketing world. They have acted as liaisons between company and customer; they're descriptors, promises, expectations and attitudes, all together. But brands themselves have caused great consumer confusion of late. We recently completed an in-depth study of 1,488 consumers; as the results attest, 70% perceive the brands they know, based on memory, in the categories they want to go shopping for, as confusing. And at the point of sale, brand confusion more often increased rather than decreased.
The giveaways are part of Coke's biggest marketing campaign, with World Cup-themed events and advertising spanning 160 countries. The beverage giant won't disclose its World Cup spending, but IEG LLC, a Chicago company that tracks and analyzes corporate sponsorships, estimates the company has poured as much as $600 million into the World Cup. That figure includes $124 million for sponsorship rights and as much as $475 million spent on marketing globally.
GE has a whole lot faith in its ecomagination initiative. So much faith, in fact, that the company is pumping $10 billion into the project's R&D over the next 5 years--effectively doubling its investment from the past 5 years. The reason is simple: ecomagination is a cash cow, generating $70 billion in revenue since its inception in 2005. With the world's attention turned toward clean technology, that number will almost certainly grow.
Brands identify the source or maker of a product. Based on what customers know about the brand, they can form reasonable expectations about its benefits. Companies believe that brands contribute to reducing risk by helping buyers avoid a purchasing mistake. It is also a widely held belief that brands are financially important to companies.
Riding high on its "Write the Future" world football campaign, Nike executives announced that fourth-quarter profits came in strong and say its proactive strategy throughout the recession is paying off in a big way. "I said a year ago that Nike is not a 'wait and see' company, and we weren't about to let our core strengths sit idle," Mark Parker, president and CEO.
The best kind of content you can have is a combination of what you organize -- mostly by building the context and providing something for people to do and a system to capture what they do and play it back for them -- and what people contribute in comments, reactions, posts, etc. Football is a social object. It also generates a good amount of content, on both sides of the conversation, and builds buzz in the process.
While there is still plenty of football left to play, it looks like the FIFA World Cup games are already making marketing dreams come true: Adidas -- one of the major sponsors of the FIFA World Cup games -- says it has already set a new sales record, selling double the number of jerseys compared to the 2006 games.
One of the most sought after answers in Social Media is whether or not engagement in social networks such as Twitter or Facebook directly correlates to customer acquisition, retention, and advocacy. Before we can earn customers however, we have to recognize that at any given time, they are also prospects. And, prospects require information and confidence in order to make decisions, in your favor of course. The answer to our question lies in social engagement.
World Cup goals may be few and far between, but soccer-themed TV ads are helping marketers including Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Coca-Cola Co. rack up points with consumers. "Overall, the TV ads that were created specifically for the World Cup broadcast are performing as well as—or, in some case, better than—many of the Super Bowl commercials,'' says Peter Daboll, chief executive of Ace Metrix, a Los Angeles research firm that measures ad performance in the U.S. That's a high bar since the Super Bowl is widely considered the championship of American TV advertising.
Consensus Advisors just released their 2009-2010 Retailer Health Ratings (RHRs) report. The RHRs measure and compare retailers over a five-year period on: healthy growth, asset utilization, pricing power and balance sheet strength.
Of course it's in Facebook's best interest to show that people who are fans spend more money. Without that, why would companies buy ads on Facebook? I just think we should think about why people become fans of a brand on Facebook. They already have an interest and desire to be more involved in the brand. They may be looking for deals or looking to contact other people who are interested in the brand. But they're already a fan. I wonder if anyone is asking what they spent on the brand before they became a fan on Facebook. That would at least give some indication as to whether or not Facebook is influencing purchasing or simply the by-product of people who are already fans.
People worldwide will be looking toward digital technology -- particularly that which uses the Internet -- to serve their entertainment and media needs, proving once again the future is indeed digital. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' most recent "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook," expenditures in those categories are expected to increase to $1.7 trillion from by 2014 (from $1.3 trillion), with a compound annual growth rate of 5%. In the U.S., such expenditures will increase about 4% annually to $517 billion by 2014 (from $425 billion).
To influence these key consumers, it's critical for marketers to develop a better understanding of their media consumption patterns. GfK MRI provides rich data on "category influentials" -- people who have a great deal of knowledge about a product and are trusted sources for advice. When analyzing their media habits, an interesting pattern emerges -- influentials tend to be heavy users of radio.
Last week we looked a ranking of the top ten brands on Facebook globally, based on the number of people who ‘like’ them. There were no real surprises – Starbucks came top and the rest of the top ten was filled with well-known consumer and fashion brands. The same dataset, from Famecount, can be used to look at brands on Twitter and, unlike with Facebook, it throws up some unexpected findings. For example the most followed brand in the UK isn’t a consumer or fashion brand, an airline or a bank. It’s a museum: @Tate.
Nike’s “Write the Future” 3-minute video campaign has attracted more World Cup-related mentions than Adidas, Coca-Cola, Sony and Visa, according to a new report by Nielsen. The video, which we discussed when it first launched, has created significantly more online buzz – based on an analysis of blogs, message boards and social networking websites – and developed more of an association to the World Cup than any other brand’s efforts to date.
Advertising spending in the United States will not begin to grow again until next year, according to an annual forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The 11th annual entertainment and media outlook report, to be released on Tuesday morning, predicts that ad spending will fall 0.5 percent this year compared with last year.
They are among the World's Hottest Brands, an Ad Age Insights global report that tells the stories of 30 brands succeeding on a global, regional and local level. The goal was not to create a list of the largest global marketers or rank the brands that contribute the most to their company's market value -- plenty of others tackle those lofty questions. Rather, we sought to chronicle the brands percolating at the local and regional level; sometimes great marketing lessons can happen in your backyard, sometimes halfway around the world.
While none of the Top 10 names in the fifth annual ImagePower Green Brands Survey -- led by Burt's Bees, Whole Foods Market, and Tom's of Maine -- are exactly shockers, the extensive survey did turn up plenty of other surprises.
The world’s most widely viewed sporting event, FIFA World Cup 2010, begins today. And for the first time ever, the World Cup is playing in the digital age. During the last World Cup, social media was barely kicking: Twitter hit the field on July 2006; Facebook wasn’t public until September 2006. In 2010, it’s a whole new World Cup.
As marketers begin to better understand and reap the benefits of online marketing, a large pervasive gap remains between the results we are able to achieve through online marketing and the budget we allocate to these efforts. This gap presents a clear and significant opportunity for those who are willing to break from traditional budgeting -- "measured increases" -- and invest in online. Despite the fact that marketers continue to gain rewards of online success, incremental increases breed incremental success and significant opportunity is left on the table.
When we think about marketing, who do we vote in? I could have taken the question to Twitter -- it's filled with marketers! To make things more interesting I asked it on LinkedIn instead, inviting many of my peers in marketing to give their take. This time I invited 50 of them from my network, and two responded in addition to many from groups.
Like many car brands, the once ultra-cool Jaguar has declined over the past several years, losing its luster and once-hallowed reputation for reliability. But now that the brand has been sold by Ford to India's Tata Motors, Jaguar is on the upswing, at least in terms of its promotional visibility. Jaguar announced two high-profile partnerships, one in the U.S. and one in the U.K., that signals a comeback of sorts.
While the Internet and social media are a potential boon to market researchers, they've also raised concerns and ongoing debate about methodology and the ability to project results. Now, one social media-based research firm is charging into the fray with a report that maintains that today's empowered consumers and marketers' need for faster, actionable insights requires an approach that combines the strengths of newer, "humanistic" approaches with those of traditional, experimentally-based research.
By now, we all know that we live in a world in which word-of-mouth rules. The recommendation of a friend or family member outweighs anything a brand may have to say for itself. As a result, marketers from around the world are racing to measure the degree in which their customers, and the market at large, is likely to recommend them. And, more importantly, what they should do to be more liked in the social media space that is called my kitchen.
A new survey of brands on social media finds Starbucks to be the most popular consumer brand on the social Web, based on an analysis that indexes consumer brands against the most popular personal brand on the planet: Lady Gaga.
It's not enough to just chase after new statistics for social media to ensure today's brands soar in this increasingly digital environment. Regardless of their product, CMOs must become obsessed with three kinds of data to make sure any social media campaign contributes to the company's profitability.
Is quality important? Yes. Is Innovation important? Absolutely. Is service important? Of course. Is it desirable to be the industry leader? Sure. However, in more and more categories, as I perform brand audits, I find that large numbers of companies in many categories make these claims, so much so that the claims have become hollow.
The internet has wreaked havoc on the music industry, airlines and media, but it just may be doing the same thing to automobiles. It's a rarely acknowledged transformational shift that's been going on under the noses of marketers for as long as 15 years: The automobile, once a rite of passage for American youth, is becoming less relevant to a growing number of people under 30. And that could have broad implications for marketers in industries far beyond insurance, gasoline and retail.
A recent survey released by Edelman examined the evolution of consumers’ perceptions of the Internet as an entertainment medium, and not just a source of information. While this broad statement may seem obvious to many working directly in the digital media space, the implications of this evolution for how consumers define and consume entertainment – and the factors they value and are inclined to pay for – merit further consideration for any brand looking to entertain and engage consumers.
The statistic is the modern equivalent of water cooler conversation, and is measured by the number of online interactions posted and read about a given show. Moreover, other shows with substantial online buzz did not have commensurate Nielsen ratings. Only four of the 10 shows in the social media ranking were also in the top 10 for ratings.
In today’s discussions about privacy, “youth don’t care about privacy” is an irritating but popular myth. Embedded in this rhetoric is the belief that youth are reckless risk-takers who don’t care about the consequences of their actions. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Social media use is exploding, but ad spending in the sector continues to be a blip on the radar for most brands. Razorfish, one of the largest digital ad spenders, compiled data on its 2009 digital ad spending. It found that social media display advertising made up just 3 percent of its clients' budgets. Non-display in social media accounted for another 1 percent. The figures pale in comparison to the time spent online. According to comScore, U.S. Internet users spent 11 percent of their time online in 2011 on social media sites.
When top executives set out to build well-regarded companies, most start in their home countries. If they're successful, strong business practices and values they craft there will translate overseas. As companies become more connected and businesses more international, creating a first-class reputation across borders is critical. For some companies, this can be the difference between success and failure. So what is the secret to earning esteem that spans the world? And which companies are best at doing it?
Numbers are the universal language of business. We use them to attract investors for our startup ideas, to win approval for product introductions, to make the case for expanding into new markets or entering new categories. In other words, numbers, when used well, tell a compelling story. So why is it that so many of the numbers we encounter in business — from endless Excel spreadsheets to bloodless calculations in business plans — make our eyes glaze over rather than set our minds racing?
Lies, damned lies and statistics: You can play games with numbers, and recently the game has been to show Android phones are beating the iPhone in the U.S. Now new data proves that in the rest of the world, Google's still chasing Apple.
Should you start your new name with an S or a C? Why not a J or a K? In other words, does the first letter of your product, service or company name really matter? – aside from the gambit of leading a directory category with an “AAA Plumbing”-style moniker. The following table is not purely scientific, but it shows how letters which begin “ordinary” words differ in frequency from those beginning brand names and trade names.
Access to digital data has brought a wealth of opportunity to marketers, allowing them to reach buyers and prospects anywhere online. Yet that abundance creates its own unique problems. Managing the vast amount of data associated with digital ad exposures and interactions -- especially as agency relationships change -- is a challenge that marketers must deal with in order to realize the full potential of digital media.
What's a brand? You realize that no two people, let alone two marketers, agree on the answer. It's a word, a metaphor, an analogy, a concept or some sort of thing with an existence and personality dependent on whomever is doing the defining, where they're doing it, and what they hope to accomplish.
Research scientists Cameron Marlow and D.J. Patil have unprecedented windows into the social interactions of people around the world. Marlow is manager of a data-science team for Facebook Inc., which has more than 400 million members who come to socialize online. Patil is chief scientist and senior director of product analytics at LinkedIn Corp., which has more than 65 million members of a social network that concentrates on building professional relationships. They are at their computers each day, extrapolating information from more than just the tiny "representative samples" traditionally employed by pollsters. These in-house researchers have access to the interactions of groups of people that outnumber populations of whole countries, giving them the kinds of documentable insights into human behavior that generations of researchers before them could only imagine.
Domino's Pizza's recent sales surge is one compelling reminder of the power of a clear benefit appeal and intelligent execution, as opposed to advertising that entertains but falls short on results, in the opinion of at least one marketing consultant.
Sometime early next week when you walk into the electronics section of your local Wal-Mart, you're likely to notice some changes. More big name brands of TVs, Blu-ray players, smartphones, and other gadgets will begin to populate the store shelves as the retailing giant tries to expand its reach and customer base even further. The new products will include the latest in TV technology, meaning displays with LED backlighting and Internet connections, Web-connected Blu-ray players, and home networking equipment. There's also going to be more emphasis on getting the trendiest smartphones from carriers on the first day they're available elsewhere, and more accessible mobile broadband plans.
For Research in Motion, the maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, staying No. 1 isn't about apps or fancy hardware, it's about cost effectiveness. For all the hoopla surrounding Apple's iPhone and the various Android smartphones that have hit the market recently, many forget what is still, by a healthy margin tops in the market: RIM's modest BlackBerry. And RIM intends to stay on top by doing what it does best: offering something that's more affordable and can operate on wireless networks more efficiently than its flashier competition.
U.S. consumers are coming around to the Android operating systems for their smartphones, with the system moving past Apple to take the No. 2 position behind category leader RIM during the first quarter of 2010.
More brands will compensate bloggers and social media users in an attempt to generate chatter about their products, a new study found. PQ Media said such "sponsored conversations" -- which compensate social media users for discussing brands' products -- grew to $46 million in 2009, a 14 percent increase from a year earlier. Even so, that figure represented a tiny chunk (2.7 percent) of the word-of-mouth marketing category, according to PQ.
Understanding your customers is general is obviously incredibly important, but you should also understand how your customers are using social media. This is something that often is overlooked when we advise companies on how to get started with social media. We teach them of the value of monitoring social media, of tracking company and industry mentions. Of knowing what's being said and where it is being said. But that's only half the battle. The 'why' gives meaning to the numbers. What social tools are your customers using? Why are they using them? What information are they looking for, and how do they want it to be delivered to them?
In an improving but still very difficult food service environment, younger adults, along with consumers focused on healthier eating options, represent key "sweet spots" for driving restaurant traffic and sales, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.
Avnit posited that the number of followers of a Tweeter is largely meaningless, and Cha, after looking at data from all 52 million Twitter accounts (and, more closely, at the 6 million "active users") seems to have proven Avnit right. "Popular users who have a high indegree [number of followers] are not necessarily influential in terms of spawning retweets or mentions," she writes. We asked Cha about the findings, published by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
Despite dropping prices, Americans spent more on consumer electronics last year than they did the year before that, suggesting once again that the gadgets are becoming essential parts of people's lives.
Both trends, he says, speak to the major inroads that private labels are continuing to make against national brands. Fueling that growth, he says, is the continued innovation from relatively upscale retailers, such as Costco and Target, at expanding store lines. "Those brands are clearly aimed at more affluent shoppers," he says.
And now competing for our already frazzled attention, two somewhat contradictory studies: one by Pew Internet Project and the other from BlogHer and iVillage. Pew's latest study on how the 18-29 demographic are using social media found a decline in blog-writing and -reading by this text-happy generation. BlogHer and iVillage, meanwhile, report that millennials are the most avid blog-writers and -readers. Let's break this down.
In college, my economics professor used to say that the difference between too much supply and not enough is one unit. Such is the tenuous nature of economic equilibrium. But when it comes to the advertising industry, the basics of supply and demand seem to be permanently suspended. The bottom line? There are far too many agencies chasing too few dollars.
This laser focus on a small basket of specific products is a new marketing strategy for Sony, which pulled in $24 billion in third-quarter revenue (ending Dec. 31, 2009), up 4% from 2008. For the past few years, the company spent its nearly $5 billion on global advertising budget on a huge number of its products--from laptops to DVD players. Niche is the new tactic. By honing in on its most promising devices and celebs, Sony is aiming to fend off competitors that dominate the consumer electronics space.
A year after the major television networks slashed advertising rates amid a dismal economy, advertisers are poised to boost spending on commercials for the coming TV season. Last-minute ads are fetching much bigger premiums than they were a year ago. Both buyers and sellers of commercial time say the yearly "upfront" market for commercials could see higher prices per viewer, and greater overall spending.
Forty years after the first Earth Day, greater pressure is being applied to brands to address environmental problems along with the problems of dirty clothes, financial services, technology, and convenient, quick-serve meals. Yes, more consumers hear the phrases "fuel-efficient," "organic,""energy-efficient," "natural," "green," and "sustainable" more these days, consumers are on to all that. They want brands to walk-the-talk, and "green" has become the cost-of-entry in many categories, making larger and larger contributions to brand engagement and loyalty.
With big names like Tiger Woods and Toyota Motor stepping into the spotlight of public scrutiny this year, reputation is a hot topic in the media and in corporate boardrooms. No company wants its public image to be the reason it has a hard time rebounding from the recession. So what factors shape the public's image of American businesses? Which companies do consumers trust and admire?
It pays to have fans on Facebook if you want your ads to work there too, according to the first public study to come out of the collaboration of Nielsen Co. and Facebook. The study of more than 800,000 Facebook users and ads from 14 brands in a variety of categories shows a marked increase in ad recall, awareness and purchase intent when home-page ads on the social network mention friends of users who've become fans of the brand in the ad.
Marketers have always sought that secret sauce, the data that gives them an edge over their competition. And online, where data is generated faster than anyone can make sense of it, that arms race has taken on an extreme dimension.
Last week, neuromarketing firm Neurofocus released summary results of a study that compared the performance of the same ad when run on television and on two Internet websites, Facebook and a website controlled by the advertiser. The commercial tested was “Trip For Life,” part of VISA’s multimedia campaign built around the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Twitter. The privately held company received a new round of investment last fall, believed to be $100m, which values the business at a whopping $1bn (£624m). That makes Twitter roughly as valuable as WH Smith - which provides an excellent point of comparison. WH Smith has done well this year. Its annual revenues are likely to be about £1.3bn, and most analysts are expecting those revenues to result in pre-tax profits of about £80m. Over at Twitter, for all its glorious PR and amazing technological impact, there is nothing. Not a cent. Because Twitter does not charge for its service.
With words like "value" and "50% off" dominating so much of apparel marketing in the last two years, there's refreshing news from Brand Keys 10th Annual Fashion Index: Brands, topped by companies like Ralph Lauren, Armani and Banana Republic, matter more to consumers than they have since the 1960s.
Brands have rushed to Facebook to build fan bases, with some amassing millions of connections. The nagging question has been: What is the monetary value of these fans? Social media specialist Vitrue, which aids brands in building their customer bases on social networks, tried to put a media value on such communities. The firm has determined that, on average, a fan base of 1 million translates into at least $3.6 million in equivalent media over a year.
For the second year in a row, Southwest Airlines is the top-rated brand among the nation’s small- and midsize-business owners and top executives. That’s the conclusion of a new survey of men and women who lead businesses with less than 500 employees that was conducted by American City Business Journals, the parent company of Portfolio.com. Although this is the sixth year of the survey, it’s the first year ACBJ has released the findings to the general public.
When Lee Applbaum joined RadioShack in September 2008, he had his work cut out for him. Circuit City had filed for bankruptcy, and retailers across the country found themselves enduring the worst holiday season on record. A year and a half later, Mr. Applbaum, 39, an alumnus of Schottenstein Stores, Coca-Cola and David's Bridal, is presiding over what may well be the beginning of a massive turnaround for the staid brand that many consumers had long ago abandoned.
After spending last year atop the retail death-watch list, Talbots Inc. is now a favorite on Wall Street, thanks to cost cuts and a complex financial arrangement for unloading its enormous debt. But to solidify its comeback and boost sales, Talbots must complete a merchandise and image overhaul aimed at attracting younger customers. And that's a tall order for a brand that many women think of as perfect for their grandmothers.
As wary Americans start to crack open their wallets, household-goods makers like Procter & Gamble Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Clorox Co. are cranking up their advertising, hoping to coax consumers farther out of their shells. Amid signs of an improving economy, recent survey data show consumers are more willing to splurge by eating out or buying new shoes, but the same doesn't necessarily hold for everyday household goods.
If the aim of Nike's new ad featuring Tiger Woods was to cause confusion and skepticism, it's a hole in one. Perhaps more importantly, a survey of 600 U.S. viewers by Flemington, N.J.-based HCD Research also noted the controversial commercial's "favorability" for the Nike brand has dropped off, falling from 92% to 79%.
Statistics confirming the overall growth of Hispanics within the U.S. population and their spending power are readily available and frequently cited, but quantifying the Hispanic market's impact on specific consumer goods categories and industries can prove more elusive.
The Considered Purchase Pattern is a powerful model for a business-to-business website because so many businesses have flaccidly chosen to build their site on the brochure pattern. With the strategies outlined here, you will generate new leads and sales at a fraction of the cost of your competitors. Get these strategies right, and you have the opportunity to dominate your competitors on the Web.
The Dieline’s Latest Top 10 Package Designs, as voted on by Dieline readers.
Apple Inc.'s iPad appeared to get off to a strong start over the weekend as swarms of buyers flocked to stores after weeks of publicity about the tablet-style computer. But the long lines soon faded, and few stores sold out of the device, which continues to face questions about how broadly demand for it will spread beyond technology enthusiasts.
Touchpoints serve as the point of contact between a buyer and a seller. As the race to socialize commerce escalates, these touchpoints represent the nodes that define the human network, connecting people across the social Web and uniting them around common interests, themes, and movements.
Traditional newspapers and magazine publishers are gushing about the iPad's potential to reinvigorate their businesses as the gadget changes readers' lives, but coverage in their own publications is far more restrained in tone. In the weeks since Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, its coverage in major magazines, newspapers and wire services has been neutral an overwhelming 76.8% of the time, negative 17.4% of the time and positive just 5.8% of the time, according to analysis for Ad Age performed by Vocus, a provider of public relations management software that includes media monitoring.
Advertising, PR, and marketing agencies are rapidly waking up to the fact that they can no longer be competitive without including social and emerging media in the work they propose to clients. But in many, if not most, agencies, social media is suffering from Slide 29 Syndrome. That's when an account exec calls the digital gurus and says something like this: "For the past few weeks, we've been working on an RFP that we need to send to the client tomorrow. Please add some social media recommendations to the deck and get it us by COB today." They say that because they think social media is Twitter and Facebook and that you pretty much just need to throw up a page so you can broadcast your press releases and announcements.
According to ForeSee Results’ 2010 Social Media Study, YouTube is the second most powerful social network for consumer engagement. This critical component of the social web remains vital for causes, associations and government organizations. Non-profits have been engaging with YouTube for years, but it’s still important to have a specific online video strategy. The following five tips can help organizations maximize their YouTube offering for the most impact.
Pricing is one of the most powerful--yet underutilized--strategies available to businesses. A McKinsey & Company study of the Global 1200 found that if companies increased prices by just 1%, and demand remained constant, on average operating profits would increase by 11%. Using a 1% increase in price, some companies would see even more growth in percentage of profit: Sears, 155%; McKesson, 100%, Tyson, 81%, Land O'Lakes, 58%, Whirlpool, 35%. Just as important, price is a key attribute that consumers consider before making a purchase.
From the moment it was the first premium beer imported into the U.S. after Prohibition up until the middle of the last decade, Heineken lager was a fast-growing brand fueled by its social cache. But that seems like a long time ago now.
Coke Zero was launched in 2006 with the ambition of being as big as Diet Coke in 10 years. I posted back in 2006 asking questions about the rationale for Coke Zero and how successful it would be. Well, 4 years into that 10 year journey, and the status is (mkt share 4 weeks to 26 Dec 09): Coke Zero: 2.2% share, lowest share since launch Diet Coke: 26.8% share, +1%pt So, why is Coke having such a hard time?
Hilton Hotels and Southwest Airlines rank highest in brand equity in their categories, according to market research firm Harris Interactive's 2010 EquiTrend study. The annual brand equity study measures over 1,000 brands across 42 categories, five of which focus on travel and tourism.
When it comes to rich media ads on the Internet that employ video, engagement matters enormously. Environment, not so much. That's the major and in some ways surprising takeaway from a new study conducted by VideoEgg and comScore. The study examined the effectiveness of rich media video ads vs. traditional banners. The goal was to prove the theory that banner ads containing video are more engaging. In addition, the study gauged whether site environment -- particularly contextual relevance -- played a role in how well such ads performed.
Digital-marketing companies are rapidly moving to blend information about consumers' Web-surfing behavior with reams of other personal data available offline, seeking to make it easier for online advertisers to reach their target audiences. Advertisers say the push could enhance their ability to target ads at specific types of consumers, but it is drawing scrutiny from Congress, federal regulators and privacy watchdogs, who are already concerned about the use of Web-surfing data.
In my work as a cognitive anthropologist I study how the mind works, how people "make meaning," how people form attachments to things (brands), and how people make decisions. Decisions like how to select what to invest in, whether stocks or mates; why and under what conditions, people prefer Coke over Pepsi (or vice versa), Charmin over Cottonelle; why a person believes in one God over another. In that search I have inadvertently uncovered something about viva la difference: WOMEN CYCLE, MEN CONSUMMATE.
If your marketing department has invested in any technology since the early 1960s, chances are you probably have something called a "dashboard" running on a PC near you, maybe even on yours. The idea is that your various technology systems -- tracking things like digital ad performance, conversational media results, and online sales -- can feed into a spot wherefrom you can "drive" your marketing. No you can't.
Search engine marketing no longer exists in an online vacuum. In today’s multi-channel world, people search online, visit stores to test out products, return to the internet to compare prices and then complete purchases in-store, online or via a call center. Over $155 billion worth of consumer goods was purchased online in the U.S. in 2009, yet a far larger portion of offline sales were influenced by online research, according to a March report from Forrester Research. Forrester estimates that $917 billion worth of retail sales last year were “web-influenced,” with online and web-influenced offline sales combined accounting for 42% of total retail sales. That percentage will grow to 53% by 2014, when the web will influence $1.4 billion worth of in-store sales.
The Disney studio, which is to unveil its production slate this spring, is backing away from one-off comedies like "When in Rome" and "Confessions of a Shopaholic," according to people familiar with the studio's new gameplan. In their place, Disney plans to focus on films that are essentially brands—like a planned Muppets movie—that can be exploited across its network of theme parks, videogames and commercial products. The recent success with "Alice in Wonderland" has given a new team of executives who run the studio confidence in their approach.
It has been a rough few months for Toyota because of its three big safety recalls. But the automaker’s luxury division, Lexus, appears to have avoided much of the fallout. Even though a Lexus ES 350 was involved in a widely publicized accident before the recalls, Lexus sales are up about 5 percent so far in 2010 compared with last year. That is close to the average for other luxury brands.
What do Ford Mustang, True Religion jeans, Xbox 360 and Coke have in common? Kids are curious about these brands, and are going online to ask questions about them en masse on social media platforms catering to youthful queries.
The recession is forcing cash-poor consumers to stick to the basics when they shop, according to a list of the most valuable U.S. retail brands as ranked by Interbrand. In its 2010 list no-frills retailers, including Dollar General, Family Dollar, AutoZone and other retailers that sell necessities, rose in this annual ranking of 50 brands. Many top retail brands that sell niceties consumers can do without in hard times, including Avon and Polo Ralph Lauren, fell on the Interbrand list.
Toyota has announced three major recalls covering a total of eight million vehicles globally since October 2009. The recalls are for defects that have been associated with 52 fatalities and 38 injuries so far. Not surprisingly, the business media and notable Toyota experts are starkly pessimistic. We looked at 108 Wall Street Journal articles discussing Toyota during February, 2010, and found that 106 were negative to Toyota. In a recent column by Dennis Seid, Jeffrey Liker, an economist and author of The Toyota Way observed that the hearings and the resultant lawsuits could severely damage the company in many ways.
This Sunday, the film industry's good and great will adorn the red carpet with their Gucci gowns and Cartier jewelry for Hollywood's biggest night, as the 82nd Annual Academy Awards celebrate the best in the business. But who would win our Oscar for "Best Use of Media to Promote a Film"? We nominated "The Blind Side" from Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. and Paramount's "Up in the Air."
A useful survey from global PR firm Burson-Marsteller this week looks at the ways in which the Global Fortune 100 companies are using social media. The tools they are using and how they are developing a social media strategy. The survey looked at 100 firms in the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and examined how these firms are using social media.
The satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio posted its first quarterly profit since its merger and said it expected to add 500,000 new subscribers in 2010 as the recovery in the car market increased demand. The results on Thursday suggest that the company, run by the media industry veteran Mel Karmazin, has solidified. Just a year ago, it flirted with bankruptcy.
Coca-Cola Co.'s deal Thursday to acquire the bulk of its largest bottler is likely to spell major changes in the way beverages reach stores and consumers in the U.S. Coke shares slipped 4% to $53.12 in 4 p.m. composite trading on the New York Stock Exchange following the company's announcement that it will acquire Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.'s North American operations, representing about 75% of the volume of Coke products sold in the U.S. and all of its Canadian volume. At the same time, CCE will expand its European operations, acquiring Coke's bottling units in Norway and Sweden, and later possibly its 83% stake in its large German bottling operations.
The New York Times brings this story of an economist who has been predicting - disconcertingly accurately - the medals tally for the last few Olympics. Daniel Johnson - the economist in question - is currently in the news for his predictions for the current Winter Olympics. The strange thing about Daniel's predictions is not that they have a record of 94% accuracy with actual medal counts. It is his methology. Rather than basing his predictions on individual athletes, the events or even any knowledge of sport, he bases them on something far more removed.
Nielsen recently released a new report that officially documents what many of us already know, just never substantiated through data. According to a study published at the end of January 2010, Nielsen observed the online social activity of consumers around the world and discovered an 82% increase in time spent on social networking sites in December 2009. On average, users spent more than five and a half hours on popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter. In December 2008, users clocked just over three hours on social networking sites.
Starbucks coffee was the No. 1 brand tried by consumers in the coffee/tea category in January, earning twice as many mentions as No. 2 Dunkin' Donuts coffee and No. 3 Celestial Seasonings tea in a consumer survey conducted by Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions.
You get that coveted interview in the Wall Street Journal or your company is covered by AP and the news goes mainstream and you jump for joy. While that's great news, counting the potential eyeballs that glanced at that story is no longer enough. It is specifically not good enough in a digital era where every action can be tracked.
Data visualization is cool. It's also becoming ever more useful, as the vibrant online community of data visualizers (programmers, designers, artists, and statisticians — sometimes all in one person) grows and the tools to execute their visions improve. Jeff Clark is part of this community. He, like many data visualization enthusiasts, fell into it after being inspired by pioneer Martin Wattenberg's landmark treemap that visualized the stock market. Clark's latest work shows much promise. He's built four engines that visualize that giant pile of data known as Twitter. All four basically search words used in tweets, then look for relationships to other words or to other Tweeters. They function in almost real time.
Facebook announced that active users of its mobile platform surpassed 100 million, each and every month. And, this usage happens on almost every carrier in the world. If interaction and participation serve as the foundation for social media, then Facebook is setting the standard. Facebook is reporting that mobile users are twice more active on Facebook than non-mobile users. According to estimates, the number of mobile Facebook users far exceeds the total active user base for Twitter, including mobile, Web, and through third-party applications.
NBC Universal’s television coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver this month is exhaustive, as viewers have come to expect. But its Web coverage, at least when compared with the Summer Games in Beijing 18 months ago, is limited. NBC’s Web site is live-streaming fewer sports than it did in Beijing, marking a step backward in online access to marquee events. The company is making no secret that it would prefer for viewers to watch the Olympics on television, especially in prime time, even though a growing number of people are accustomed to watching TV on the Internet.
The bowls are getting bigger and steamier, but the soup spoons are going away. Those are among the biggest changes Campbell Soup Co. is making in decades to the iconic labels and shelf displays of its condensed soups—the company's biggest single business, with more than $1 billion in sales. The changes—expected to be announced Wednesday—will culminate a two-year effort by Campbell to figure out how to get consumers to buy more soup. Condensed soup has been a slow-growing category in which budget-conscious consumers have little tolerance for price increases.
Who knew that Boomers were such media-hungry digital infovores? New research on the media use habits of the age 45 to 54 consumer demographic by the CRE Mapping Study shows that they consume more TV and more Internet media than any other cohort.
For all the excitement about social media, there's a specter hanging over its use by companies. Is all this tweeting, blogging and Facebooking paying off? For some proponents, the question is irrelevant. They agree with the view encapsulated in the social media bible The Cluetrain Manifesto -- markets are conversations. Companies have to participate in the conversations where they're happening, ROI be damned. Their dismissal of metrics is summed up in an oft-repeated question, "What's the ROI of putting on your pants in the morning?"
NBC calls it "the world's biggest focus group." With an estimated 185 million unique viewers over a 17-day period, the Olympic Games provide a special audience microcosm, and one that NBC believes will be particularly useful for measuring new-media consumption habits and trends. NBC touts all the different platforms it is bringing to bear for the Games, which began Friday in Vancouver. Viewers can watch on the network, NBC Universal's many cable channels and NBCOlympics.com. They can download clips to their iPhones and receive mobile updates on a favorite skier or figure skater.
The last 10 years of growth at Reckitt Benckiser are pretty impressive. The market value of the company has increased an eye-popping seven times, to £21billion, according to an article in The Times. And if you had been smart enough or lucky enough to buy shares in 2000, you'd be sitting on a return of 400%. At the heart of this success is the power of focus, a key theme in our new book. Let's look at what Reckitt have done well.
In the derby to please shoppers, stores like Nordstrom and Target continue to trounce their competition. But overall, online retailers continue to gain, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), indicating that many consumers find shopping online much more pleasing than hoofing it through an actual store: The ACSI, founded at the University of Michigan and based in Ann Arbor, says its index for e-tailers gained a percentage point to 83 (out of a possible 100) compared to offline retailers, which gained a percentage point to 76.
The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) recently produced a playbook that contains more than 35 case studies of putting listening to work, written by Steve Rappaport, the Advertising Research Foundation’s Knowledge Solutions Director. The playbook is about listening to customer conversations and seeks to answer four questions that ARF members and many industry folks are asking:
It used to be that a basic $25-a-month phone bill was your main telecommunications expense. But by 2004, the average American spent $770.95 annually on services like cable television, Internet connectivity and video games, according to data from the Census Bureau. By 2008, that number rose to $903, outstripping inflation. By the end of this year, it is expected to have grown to $997.07. Add another $1,000 or more for cellphone service and the average family is spending as much on entertainment over devices as they are on dining out or buying gasoline.
If you're a marketer who has steered clear of Twitter, your (non)strategy may be paying off! It's possible that this Twitter thing may just take care of itself. In the middle of last year, Twitter's growth slowed from 7.8 million new users a month to 6.2 million, according to a recent study from RJ Metrics. That report also found that only 17 percent of Twitter users updated their accounts in December -- an all-time low. An earlier study by the Nielsen Co. revealed 60 percent of Twitter users do not return from one month to the next. Taking that into account, it's tempting to conclude that Twitter is following in the footsteps of another social-media ghost town, Second Life.
Even as major marketers once again threaten to pull back on TV spending -- a new survey indicates they will allocate only 41% of their budgets to the medium this year -- the TV networks are gearing up for an "upfront" ad-sales market they expect will be more robust than in the recent past. In a new Forrester and Association of National Advertisers survey of 104 U.S. advertisers that collectively spend almost $14 billion in measured media, more than half of them -- 62% -- said that TV advertising is less effective than it used to be.
Since the news of Comcast's name change to Xfinity broke, Twitter's been all a 'tweet' with opinions on the new name. Unfortunately for Comcast, many of these virtual birds weren't singing a happy song about the naming switch. In order to quantify those negative Xfinity tweets, we quickly surveyed a 511 U.S. consumers, at 95% confidence. In plain English this means the data are projectable nationally.
With all the talk about social networks and engagement, when it comes to getting things done, we rely on search. The image above was part of the set I used last Fall at the Inbound Marketing Summit when we talked about the importance of creating content for sharing. There was another interesting study I did not mention at the time that confirms a few of the following statements on social media as content delivery mechanism to:
By now you're probably familiar with the tradition of sports stadiums selling their names to companies for cash. Sunday's Super Bowl will be played in a building that, over the years, has been named Pro Player Stadium (after a clothing line), Land Shark Stadium (after an entertainer's beer company) and Sun Life Stadium (after the Canadian financial-services firm that cut a deal last month). There's not much point in raging against the practice—most of the roughly 110 companies that have done this say there's more upside than downside. But here's a relatively obvious question you may not have considered: Which companies have associated themselves with the best teams?
Good friend Stowe Boyd recently shared a quote by Gabriel García Márquez, “Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life.” Indeed, quite simply many of us live life allowing specific, trusted individuals to know us in one or more of our personae. Our moral compass as well as outside influences affect how we balance our three lives. The size and permeability of our personal dividers vary in the separation of each life and resemble doors that open and close based on our desires. We nurture each individually with slight coalescence, but concentrate on the establishment of a distinct ecosystem for cultivating and grooming who we are in public, private, and in secret.
NBC Universal likely won't turn a profit off its broadcast of the Winter Olympics this year, but it hopes the research it performs on the event's massive audience might generate additional ad revenue in the days and months after the last gold-medal hockey skate has left the ice. The media giant, in the midst of parent General Electric's transfer of majority ownership to Comcast Corp., intends to ratchet up its examination of Olympics viewers' media-consumption habits, building off a big test it performed during the 2008 Summer Olympics broadcast from Beijing.
Money spent on social media-related advertising is already expected to grow significantly this year, and now we also know that the medium is considered the top priority in the digital space according to a survey of senior marketers.
In December 2008, global consumers spent an average of just over three hours on social networks. In December 2009, they were spending over five and a half hours on average. An increase of 82%. According to The Nielsen Company, social network sites have grown in importance globally in 2009. Alongside blogs, they are now the most popular category online when ranked by time spent on site. The survey (which looked at the US, U.K., Australia, Brazil, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and Italy) shows not only that overall time on site has increased, but also that the global audience for social networking has increased.
What's the most inventive company on the planet? If you judge by sheer volume, it's IBM, which has received more patents from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office than any other company for 17 years in a row. No. 2 would be Samsung, which has trailed IBM since 2006. But the rankings look different if you measure patents by their value, as Ocean Tomo did at the request of Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The intellectual-property consulting firm sorted through U.S. patents granted to the world's 1,000 biggest companies (by revenue) from 2005 to 2009. Ocean Tomo then assessed the patents' value by tallying, among other things, patent filing trends, litigation rates, and how many times each was cited by other applicants or in scientific and technical journals. The data were aggregated into a patent value index number and ranking.
Now that the leaves at the bottom of the old gypsy's teacup indicate that the 2008-09 recession is in reverse, it's time for us to accelerate the synergy across the disciplines of finance and marketing. Will things return to normal in 2010? If our idea of normal includes the notion that marketers manage their discipline as a cost, then no, that's no longer normal. This kind of thinking has long been in decline, and the recession has hastened its obsolescence. Especially entering a positive economic cycle in 2010, CMOs must absolutely lead their corporations in generating profit and growth. Marketing is no longer a cost center; it's a profit-and-growth center.
Until now, executives have focused on two forms of strategic advantage: structural and capability-based. The Big Shift challenges both. It undermines traditional approaches to structural advantage by systematically reducing barriers to entry and movement. Static capabilities are also increasingly vulnerable - they represent knowledge stocks that depreciate at an accelerating rate. Unless they are rapidly refreshed by knowledge flows, these capabilities rapidly lose their power to differentiate. The findings from our recently released 2009 Shift Index provide graphic evidence on these points. Our analysis shows a sustained and significant deterioration in ROA for all public companies in the US since 1965 - ROA declined by over 75% during this period.
The Nielsen Company said Tuesday that its television measurement homes would soon be Internet measurement homes too, bringing the company a step closer toward providing the integrated ratings that media companies are demanding. Starting now and going through August, Nielsen will install Internet meters in 7,500 of its television panel homes, where viewership is extrapolated to produce national TV ratings. Eventually — Nielsen has not said when — data from those homes will be used to calculate combined ratings for TV and Internet viewing.
To many, tracking the success of TV ads is like admiring a Monet -- it's a beautiful picture when taken as a whole, but not meant to convey detail. When it comes to measurement, most TV advertisers know audience reach, some demographics and probably some level of top-line results. Admittedly, it doesn't match the depth and granularity of data we can get for online campaigns, where we know who's responding to our ads, what they're doing on our websites, how much time they spend there and whether or not they complete a purchase.
Marketing spend these days is all about justification. I'm glad that the use of social media is quickly moving from "shiny object" darling to why should my business use it? The latter is a much better question. One that will get us somewhere, not necessarily faster but more real. The ROI question pops up everywhere these days. I do wonder how do you measure your other business activities? Do you measure marketing? Do you hold advertising accountable? Do you know what works, what doesn't? How about public relations? Finance? HR? IT? Any ROI calculations handy on those?
Google has signed a license agreement with DVR company TiVo that enables the Internet search provider to integrate TiVo set-top box viewing data into its measurement of audiences for inventory sold through the Google TV Ads platform. The deal adds approximately 1.6 million subscribers to the universe of set-top boxes that Google TV Ads has to draw on to analyze the second-by-second TV viewing behavior of audiences. Google also has a deal with Dish Network and access to more than 13 million set-top boxes via the satellite carrier.
Twitter is amongst new media channels that are challenging how we communicate, with whom we communicate and perhaps most fundamentally how we (Marketers) influence people. Analysis of these new social media channels has been hobbled by old world thinking, when it comes to marketing, from the world of Television and Magazines or, when it comes to measurement, from the world of traditional web analytics. These new channels, twitter and facebook and youtube and tumblr and, yes, even blogs, are very distinct customer / participant experiences. Stale marketing or measurement thinking applied to them results in terribly sub optimal results for all involved.
If you put an energy meter inside a home and show people total usage in real time, a miraculous thing happens: they use about 10 percent less energy. The simple act of placing data in front of people changes their behavior. Data makes people smarter and inspires them to make small changes to save money and energy. You can use this powerful tool in business not only to cut costs, but to drive innovation and revenues.
I’ve been thinking of how to measure engagement in the digital space for a while now, so I wanted to aggregate my thoughts and put them in one place. This post is intended to be provocative and get people thinking about how the current thinking of measurement of social media should change. It isn’t meant to be a one-size-fits-all solution – more an articulation of things that people should consider more and more when they embark on work in the online social space.
Whether you think digital agencies are "ready to lead" or not, failing to bring a digital mindset to marketing and communications challenges is no longer an option. Yesterday, Ben Malbon tweeted a quote by Garrick Schmitt from the Razorfish FEED 09 Report: "Brand marketers neglecting digital is akin to showing up to a cocktail party in sweatpants." This reminded me of the Shel Silverstein poem and illustration above (which Johanna helped me to track down). The digital age is here. And it's permanent. This means that regardless of whether your career has been labeled digital or not, it is essential that you bring a digital mindset to all of the work that you do. This is beyond tools, platforms, and capabilities. This is a new way of understanding our world that changes every aspect of our work.
By now, most marketers have a social network presence. But those looking to capture the attention (and even wallets) of women may want to dig a little deeper to make sure they have a presence in social gaming. "It's grown so fast and so rapidly that brands are struggling to keep up with it," Matt Wise, CEO of Q Interactive, tells Marketing Daily. "If you're looking to find consumers online, it would be hard to find a better opportunity than social games."
Each year at Blogworld Expo, Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra presents The State of the Blogosphere as one of the event’s prestigious keynotes. For those who are unfamiliar with Technorati, it serves as a directory and search engine for the blogosphere as well as a benchmark for the ranking of blogs worldwide. While there has been much discussion about the relevance and even demise of blogs as the statusphere and micro updates gained traction in addition to earning prominence in the mainstream spotlight, the reality is that blogs are a vital ingredient to the media ecosystem.
Google's Android software will soon be powering Motorola phones, but for the 11-year-old Internet giant, advertising is still king. Google beat analysts' estimates last quarter, thanks to brisk advertising sales. In October the company announced that its third-quarter revenue increased 7% from the same period last year, to $5.94 billion. Net income rose 27% to $1.64 billion. Google accounts for roughly a third of all online ad spending in the U.S.
National-brand frozen food companies have been keeping an eye on the rearview mirror as private label sales have grown during the recession’s penny-pinching days. Store brands have made gains in several frozen categories. However, while tough times may have changed the shopping lists of some consumers, the times have not frozen out national brands, which continue to command 80 percent of frozen food sales. In 2008, private label frozen foods represented one-fifth of total department sales of $29.4 billion (The Nielsen Co., 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2008). Over the past few years, statistics show store brands have increased their share in several frozen categories, including ice cream, desserts/fruits/toppings, juices, ice and, in particular, vegetables.
Companies big and small monitor Twitter to find out what their customers like and what they want changed. Twitter does the same. It started two years ago as a bare-bones service, offering little more than the ability to post 140-character messages. Then, it outsourced its idea generation to its users. The company watches how people use the service and which ideas catch on. Then its engineers turn the ideas into new features.
The upcoming census count will be accompanied by one of the broadest marketing efforts imaginable -- trying not just to reach every person living in the United States with a message, but getting all of them to act on that message. "Typically when you're marketing a product ... you market it to the people who are most likely to buy that product. In this situation, we have to market to everyone, whether they are likely to participate or not," said Vita Harris, chief strategy officer at DraftFCB, who is handling the general-market leg of the census effort.
Fact: Most people never click on web ads. And that poses a problem for marketers who want to know if their display ads are working. Google, though, is starting to provide an answer. In a bid to build a brand-advertising business, the search giant is using its vast trove of data culled from search queries and web traffic to measure the effectiveness of brand advertising. The system, called Campaign Insights, has been in beta test in the past year with marketers like PayPal and Simplexity and beginning today, the company will start offering it to its bigger advertisers in the U.S. and U.K. Ultimately, like Google Analytics, Google will offer it to all of its display advertisers for free.
Honestly, categorizing human behavior and activities in social networks by financial status appears incomplete and almost insular. If we are learning anything in the study of and participation in social networks, it’s that individuals are forming networks that traverse across multiple social networks – and, they will continue to do so, forming one larger, expansive human network in the process. We’re bound by context and interests and it’s why psychographic data overcomes demographics when assessing how to best reach, engage, and galvanize the people who define our communities online.
By now, most consumer marketers know they could be using Facebook (Facebook), Twitter (Twitter), blogs, and other social media platforms to boost brand recognition, engage customers, and drive sales. But getting a social media marketing program started – and keeping up with the rapid pace of change in the industry – can be daunting. The good news is that with the right technology tools, social media marketing programs can be managed at scale and can help the entire organization (not just the marketers!) find out what customers are saying, sharing, even feeling about your brand or business. When thinking about the technology tools you need to launch, measure, and optimize your social media marketing and online customer engagement programs, it helps to organize your efforts into categories: listening and monitoring tools; editorial, publishing, and content syndication tools; and conversation measurement tools. There are hundreds of tools out there, but here are some of the more popular and effective ones that can be put to work for you.
Now that everyone has had a chance to digest BusinessWeek/Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report, I thought I’d offer some suggestions for how to use the results. There’s a risk that if someone doesn’t know what brand valuation really means or what it’s useful for, the conclusions and implications drawn from the report could be off. And while I’m in no way an expert on brand valuation, I have spent quite a few years using the results of the BusinessWeek/Interbrand study, as well as similar rankings from Brand Finance, Millward Brown’s Optimor, and others. This is what I’ve learned.
Imagine an advertising world where ... spending on interactive, one-to-one advertising formats surpasses traditional, one-to-many advertising vehicles, and a significant share of ad space is sold through auctions and exchanges. Advertisers know who viewed and acted on an ad, and pay based on real impact rather than estimated “impressions.” Consumers self-select which ads they watch and share preferred ads with peers. User-generated advertising is as prevalent (and appealing) as agency-created spots. Based on IBM global surveys there are four change drivers shifting control within the ad industry:
One of the ultimate excuses for not measuring impact of Marketing campaigns is: “Oh, that’s just a branding campaign.” Admit it, you’ve heard it. I suspect you’ve even used it liberally!! : ) Before we go any further I must clarify that I love branding campaigns just as much as the next guy.
Some of the most iconic companies of our time -- Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter -- attracted millions of users practically overnight, by unleashing what's known as a "viral-expansion loop." In plain English, they grew because each new user led to more users. The trick is that each of these businesses created something people really want and then made it easy for customers to happily spread their products for them to friends, family, and colleagues.
Facebook Inc. plans to announce a deal with online measurement company Nielsen Co., in a step to address advertisers' frustration with measuring how ads perform on the social network. Under the partnership, Facebook will begin polling its users about some of the display ads it runs on its site, such as a banner promoting a movie release. Facebook will provide that data, including responses from those who didn't see an ad, to Nielsen, which will package it for advertisers, say the companies. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is planning to introduce the product, called Nielsen Brand Lift, in a keynote address at an advertising conference Tuesday and to pitch it to marketers this week in New York.
A new mindset is needed. There’s been a great deal of discussion of late both here and in other forums about the blurring lines between advertising and editorial and the implications for both relationship building and sales. As a measurement geek (or queen, which ever you prefer) my response is generally – who cares what you call it, focus on the results. Is what you're doing selling stuff, saving money, or making you more efficient? Great, do more of it, and less of the stuff that isn’t generating revenue.
Mad Sheep Rage. There - what a satisfying way to introduce a new column. No, I'm not nuts. Mad Sheep Rage is an acronym you might find useful. But first, let's get some perspective from another world where an important debate is raging.
Digital strategy should be a continuous and iterative process, informed by a steady flow of measurement and used to guide tactical adjustments in pursuit of the client's primary online objective.
One of the corporate barriers to going social that David Griner identified in his recent presentation was the lack of ROI. That argument always seems a little odd to me, as arguably anything that happens online is inherently measurable. And while doing a project for a client to identify online influencers I went into Delicious to search for bookmarked pages that combined the tags “socialmedia” and “measurement.” The result? 2302 bookmarks. The fact is we’ve got measurement coming out of our ears.
So I've got it: Twitter isn't a technology, or a service, so tracking the numbers really won’t add up correctly. After reading all of the commentary, I understand that numbers will never capture the meaning of the phenomenon. Twitter is more like love: you either feel it, or you don't. Here are six reasons why they're one in the same:
For the next few days I plan to explore what I am calling the Age of Involvement: the role of participation in an information society and how it leads to an expanded view of our economy. I am not an economist and have never studied economics. I am approaching this as someone who believes that innovation is redefining everything around us, including the ways that we measure human achievement.
Major U.S. advertisers cut their spending on search ads in the first quarter by 13% compared with a year ago, but the market showed signs of revival in March, leading search-engine marketing firm Efficient Frontier said Tuesday. The decline marks the second consecutive quarter in which the firm's advertising customers reduced search spending, and could renew concerns about the performance of market leader Google Inc., which analysts expect will announce a first-quarter profit of $4.18 a share on sales of $4.08 billion on Thursday.
Influence is difficult to ascertain online. What about that guy on Twitter with 25,000 followers? Isn’t he influential? What about that woman who has 5,000 RSS subscribers? She has to be influential, correct? People who are truly influential become conduits for human based filtering and content discovery within their communities, as members of the community look to the person of influence to connect them to people and content they should trust, and fuel positive community growth.
After a great conversation with Mike Barbeau, who has spent his career on the agency side and is now head of account strategy for SocialVibe, I am sold on engagement as a key metric for buying and selling branding online. Given the proper definition and standardization, engagement can provide the right baseline for marketers to plan, buy and measure brand campaigns online. But there is work to be done.
Blaming the economy, Nielsen said late Friday (Jan. 23) it is suspending indefinitely the launch of PRISM, its ambitious syndicated service designed to measure in-store media. The announcement follows one month after Wal-Mart opted out of the project.