This month, M/C/C reached a new milestone – our 30th year in marketing communications. In that time, we’ve seen a number of advances. Amongst them, some of the broadest have included the design implications of personal computers, the birth of analytics in marketing and an entire evolution of how people receive information. Those changes are societal though. Everyone has seen the impacts firsthand. The business of advertising and public relations has progressed just as much one or two levels deeper as well, and that’s the part of our sausage-making that outsiders rarely get to see.
Choices, choices, choices. We’re all bombarded everyday with an ever-growing number of choices for how we spend our time and attention. It seems as if every second of every day is occupied with a thousand different things. Evidently, it’s even hard to stay focused on ordering something as simple as a sandwich – earlier this week at Subway, I saw a sign posted asking customers to “refrain from using your cell phone while ordering.” I only saw it after I looked up from my phone. In my mind, it’s neither good nor bad – it’s just the world we live in, where the new norm is to have our attention on 10 things at once.
As marketers, the challenge is the same. The choices about how we spend our professional time are highly fragmented in a hyper world. We’re bombarded with data and marketing intelligence at every turn, we’re evaluating new and existing market platforms, media outlets and tools, and we’re studying our audiences and their sub-segments and sub-sub-segments. It can be overwhelming at times, and it can dilute our focus.
Since its release on July 6th, the world’s population has been split into two categories: those who play Pokémon GO and those who do not. I personally fall into the first category, though my Pokédex is nothing to brag about. Regardless of which category you fall into, there’s a very good chance you’ve talked about it. This is because the app was an instant record-setter. According to a Fox News article, “it hit Number 1 on US iPhone sales after precisely 13 hours.” It comes as no surprise that this massive trend has become a hot topic in the past month.
Our agency just so happens to sit on one of the game’s gyms, and it isn’t uncommon to find people hovering by the office building’s doors seeking an epic Pokémon battle. Seeing the app’s success at our front door, one can’t help but ask, “What lessons from Pokémon GO can apply to our industry?”
One of my favorite shows is Showtime’s House of Lies, which, sadly, has just wrapped its final season (all five seasons are available to stream which I highly recommend!) It is a satirical look at corporate management consultants and their win-at-all-costs, hedonistic lifestyles. While it is fiction and the situations they get themselves into are amplified for entertainment purposes, the underlying motivators for these characters are very real – it is all about results. In the show’s case, it is about getting the deal, increasing valuation and lining pockets. But watching it made me think a lot about how marketing and communications teams are motivated to succeed and how the growth of big data can contribute to a culture based on performance.
Creating a performance-based culture using data can lead to better decision-making, provide support for ideas with measurable outcomes and help adjust and fine-tune strategies while ultimately, increasing share or revenue. According to McKinsey, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to win new customers and six times more likely to retain the ones they already have. Those stats alone should be pretty big motivators for driving a cultural focus or, in some cases, a cultural change.
“Social media is not just a spoke on the wheel of marketing. It’s becoming the way entire bicycles are built.” – Ryan Lilly, author
Social media, two words that were relatively non-existent 15 years ago, have now become a vital part of everyday business, so much so that entire campaigns are now focused around them. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are some of the top social channels used by businesses today.
Before your company dives deeper into social media, it’s important to remember what your company stands for and what you want to portray across each platform. Your brand, target audience, leadership team, company policies and imagery all play key parts in how you will be received on social media.
Banner ads are the oldest form of advertising on the internet, and in the age of social media and content marketing, many people claim that they are no longer effective. With all of the options for online marketing dollars such as social media, email, paid search and sponsored content, are banner ads still relevant? That answer is overwhelmingly yes! Banner advertising, if done correctly, can still be the most cost-effective and farthest reaching way to promote your brand.
They always say that everything old can be made new again. On Facebook, we’re jumping back to the 1920s. One of the newest developments on the social platform is the rise of silent video. Before we cue Charlie Chaplin and bring back silent films of the early 20th century, let’s dig into the trend.
In a recent blog post, Facebook revealed some interesting information about viewers’ video-watching habits. According to the social platform, users watched more than 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day. To add to that, Digiday reported that as many as 85 percent of Facebook video views are silent.
Within the last couple of years, Facebook made videos autoplay in a user’s newsfeed – silently.
And that’s probably because Facebook also found that “when feed-based mobile video ads play loudly when people aren’t expecting it, 80 (percent) react negatively, both toward the platform and the advertiser.”
What do a buffet and a web analytics platform have in common?
Both offer such vast abundance that they can leave you feeling sick when you don’t strategically navigate through the options. You can easily overindulge in one item, leaving a much more desirable option on the table at the end of the meal.
I love my phone. I take it everywhere with me: meetings, the grocery store, the bathroom, everywhere! For many, our phones are part of our identities – so much so that we spend an average of 4.7 hours a day on them, according to Informate Mobile Intelligence. This might sound alarming to some (like my mother), but to marketers this should sound more like an opportunity to reach millions of people at just about any moment in their lives.
Mobile ad spends are expected to exceed $101 billion and make up half of digital ad spends in 2016, according to eMarketer. That means if you aren’t in the mobile game, your competitor probably is. And if you’re not top of mind, you’re not top of wallet. So where do you start?
Get to know the basics with a quick overview of the top mobile advertising opportunities:
It’s easy to accept something for what it is at face value. A tree is something to climb on. A cactus makes a great desk plant. A flower is something to pick that also happens to smell nice. And yet, there is so much more beneath the surface. A flowering plant is more than its petals; there are roots, a stem, leaves.
The same can be said for advertising and public relations agencies. At face value, they design banner ads, make TV commercials and write press releases. Like most things, however, there is much more going on behind the scenes.
As someone who works in the industry, I find it easy to focus solely on analytics. Our clients find it easy to focus on the department that they primarily interact with, most likely the account services team. But, like a flowering plant is more than its parts, an agency is more than just one department. To understand this, it’s important to comprehend the different functions performed by each department within an agency. For the sake of a metaphor, we can define departments and their functions with botany!