Archive | March, 2011

The Only ‘Rule’ For Social Media You Need to Know: Start Small

A few months back, I chaired the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) strategic summit on social marketing. I had a chance to talk to executives working with some of the biggest players in social media, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM and Xerox, along with a lot of small and medium-sized company CEOs and marketing directors about their social media needs and plans.

Unsurprisingly, social-media strategy was consistently within those CEOs top three to-do items. They were primarily concerned about mitigating threats to their reputation and, secondarily, wanted to take advantage of viral-marketing opportunities in the fear that they could be left behind by more nimble, far-sighted or cutting-edge competitors. In both cases, their view of social media, if they were to be completely honest, was often one of fear and trepidation.

Managing social media is time consuming and marketing departments still need to do everything they’re already doing. In smaller companies, they literally have no new staff to handle this, and in mid-sized companies they usually have one person. Simply put, these marketing departments feel overwhelmed and a bit confused.

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Among Media, TV Is Still on Top

The internet is consuming ever more of our waking moments, not to mention ever more ad spending, but that doesn’t mean that traditional media is the loser. At least not when “traditional media” means TV.

According to the latest research from eMarketer, advertisers are spending more than ever on the broadcast networks and cable, around $60.5 billion on commercial time this year, making TV the richest media segment, with 39.1% of all ad spending, up from 38.6% in 2010. The research firm attributes the share growth to the “recovering economy,” but also found the industry is expanding at the expense of other media, specifically newspapers and magazines, and to some degree the internet.

The durability and growth of TV has to come as a surprise to many who predicted that TV dollars would shift to the web along with the growing amount of time consumers spend entertaining themselves on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube.

“Even though online advertising has been robust, it hasn’t stopped advertisers from keeping the bulk of their budgets right on TV,” eMarketer CEO Geoff Ramsey said, pointing out that even in spite of consumers’ healthy appetite for content on laptops and cellphones, it’s not having any discernible effect on their TV habits, or on the amount of money marketers are looking to spend to get in front of their faces.

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Marketing Metrics: The Good, The Bad, And The Irrelevant

Metrics can be a good news-bad news situation for marketers. They’re necessary to gauge our marketing efforts, of course, but picking the wrong ones can be worse than using none at all.

The fundamental problem, marketers told CMO.com, is that most of the time they can’t measure what they’re really interested in, so they end up using metrics that stand in for those numbers. The question then is how closely the metric is related to the desired business objective and how accurately it reflects what they want to know about that objective.

Of course, some marketing metrics directly reflect what they want to know. “If you’re looking at something as concrete as sales on a site, then the ROI becomes a walk in the park,” said Vadim Tulchinsky, search engine marketing manager for inSegment, a Needham, Mass., marketing agency. “You can see down to the penny what the ROI is.”

Metrics in other areas are more problematic.  “The reality is there aren’t very good metrics for social media,” said Brian Goffman, CEO and co-founder of Optify, a Seattle firm specializing in social media and SEO.

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From One CMO To Another: 10 Steps To Enterprise Marketing Measurement

As leaders of marketing our respective organizations, we are responsible for delivering measurable business results. But many of us have teams who are struggling to manage more channels, more interactions (touchpoints), more performance data, and a more complex marketing ecosystem than ever before. How can we keep pace with the demand to collect, interpret, and act on this avalanche of information?

The following 10 steps provide an executive-level blueprint for implementing enterprise marketing measurement that will increase the quality of the measurement, analysis, and optimization you perform across your entire marketing ecosystem.

#1: Define Your Data Collection And Storage Approach
You need to decide how you are going to collect your marketing data from all of the disparate sources where it currently resides (search engines, ad networks, CRM system/customer database, in-store POS systems, in-house spreadsheets, etc.), and where you are going to consolidate and centralize your enterprisewide view of that data. Three possible data choices include:

>> In-house: This requires your IT organization to collect and manage data through the use of software, hardware, and talent that they build and maintain. An advantage to this approach is that you are not tied to a specific vendor or agency and can change partners without having to move your data.

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Global Private Label To Leap 25% By 2025

The global market share of private label food products is expected to double, from its current 25% to 50%, by 2025, according to a new report from the Food and Agri Research division of Rabobank, an international financial services provider.

The report, however, also concludes that top or “A” brands are expected to retain their market shares. It’s the smaller, often local, “B” brands that will face mounting downward pressure on volumes, as retailers stop carrying them in favor of using their shelf space for their own private label brands.

Rabobank outlines 11 drivers behind the projected private label growth. One of the most critical is that regardless of economic conditions, consolidation among retailers in developed markets, including the U.S., Western Europe and Australia, will continue. That consolidation will remove the main factor that has been holding back full-scale growth of private label: the economies of scale required for cost-effective production levels.

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To Facebook Or Not To Facebook, That Is The Question

Social commerce is a symbiotic activity between platforms like Facebook and Twitter and traditional and mobile e-commerce. The question for marketers is how many eggs to put in the Facebook basket. E-commerce sales will hit $197 billion this year, per Forrester. But while Amazon has about a 10% share of that, for Facebook to generate even 5% of that total, it would need to spend millions upgrading infrastructure to support the retailers, buyers, devices and payment options that Amazon does, according to a new report from WebMediaBrands’ SocialTimes Pro.

Still, social and mobile commerce is huge. The firm cites third-party data suggesting that 34% of shoppers clicked on an ad in response to a location-specific message; 51% of consumers have made a mobile payment within the past three months; 60% of all time spent on the mobile Internet is on social networking sites; and 27% of the top 100 retailers have a “like” button on their product pages.

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Accounts and People of Note in the Ad Industry

Andrew Altersohn joined Havas Digital, part of the Havas Media unit of Havas, as president for Havas Digital North America, New York. He succeeds Ed Montes, who left to join Adnetik, Boston, as chief executive. Mr. Altersohn had held numerous executive posts at Publicis Modem USA, New York, part of the Publicis Groupe.Avi Brown joined Sharethrough, San Francisco, in a new post, vice president for platform operations. He had most recently been vice president for ad operations at Break Media, Los Angeles.John Carstens joined the Los Angeles office of SapientNitro, part of Sapient, as a creative director. He had been senior vice president and creative director at Leo Burnett, Chicago, part of the Publicis Groupe. Coca-Cola Egypt, part of the Coca-Cola Company, was named to receive the Dubai Lynx Advertiser of the Year Award for 2011 at the Dubai International Advertising Festival, which is being held this week.

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Bird and Co Creative Discusses the Google ‘Farmer Update’

Whilst having an unfavourable outcome on some web page rankings, Bird and Co clients can rest assured that their online presence will be unaffected. With high-quality web pages, their websites will gain from the fact that legitimate search engine optimisation (SEO) methods have been utilised to achieve the best results.

The updated algorithm is set on a page-level basis, meaning every page of a website should contain unique, authoritative, high quality content in order for the website not to suffer. Gone are the days where web pages could be stuffed with keywords to boost their ranking. Bird and Co websites are built with SEO in mind and so they already meet the new criteria. Other website designers and website owners will be forced to follow suit to ensure Google recognises their sites.

Online Marketing Manager Paul Ajao of Bird and Co comments: “It’s our standard practice to employ good SEO tactics when developing websites. This is what enables Google and other search engines to determine the quality and subject matter of a website. The Google Farmer Update is a welcomed change which will remove low quality websites from Google’s search results.”

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5 Most Serious Addictions in the US, According to Sober Author of Addict Nation, Jane Velez-Mitchell

1. Prescription Pill Addiction: There’s a growing trend in America to try and solve all manner of discomfort, real or imagined, physical or emotional, with a pill. Pharmaceutical drugs like Vicodin, Oxycodone, Ambien, Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium fill our medicine cabinets and it’s killing us. Nationwide, deaths from prescription drug overdoses are the second-leading cause of accidental death behind car accidents. In some states, prescription O.D.’s are the leading cause of accidental death.

2. Food Addiction: Millions of Americans have been self-medicating ourselves with fat and sugar for so long it has become a standard of living. As a result, our country is suffering from a mind-blowing obesity crisis. Two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. It would be safe to say obesity is our nation’s biggest health issue and reports show this epidemic impacts every facet of our lives from health care to global warming. We’re fat! Our kids are fat! And, it’s making us miserable, sick, unattractive and costing us a fortune.

3. Addiction to Crime and Punishment: What’s surpassed baseball as our #1 national pastime? Crime. America’s extreme fixation on violence and murder has reached epidemic proportions and it is hurting us emotionally and financially. Our justice system prefers to spend untold millions of tax dollars: sealing off the crime scene, forensics testing, offering rewards, arresting the suspect, holding news conferences, going to trial, and then locking up, feeding, clothing and guarding the convicted criminal… rather than spend a tiny sliver of that cost preventing his crime in the first place. This addictive mindset is a crime in itself.

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Will You Use Cablevision’s Customizable Nine-Channel Mosaics to Dodge Commercial Breaks?

In 1989’s zeitgeist-y “Back to the Future Part II,” set in the then-distant year 2015, a teenage Michael J. Fox stares at the giant flat-screen TV on his living room wall, shouts out a few numbers, and almost instantly sees the expanse of the screen populated by tiled boxes of programming from six channels, each blaring for his attention.

This prescient glimpse into the media future seemed wildly excessive in the late ’80s, but unlike the hover-cars and robo-waiters that also fleshed out Robert Zemeckis’ vision of the American future, it’s now basically reality, thanks to a new feature from Cablevision.

AT&T’s U-verse has previously let subscribers watch four channels at the same time. Cablevision introduced iO Quick Views in 2009 to let subscribers simultaneously see nine channels, but only in three pre-programmed flavors: kids, news and sports.

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