Monthly Archives: July 2014

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook introduced a new feature this week called Save that lets people bookmark links, photos, and videos shared on the social network and check them out later. After users save a post on Facebook, they can pull up a new “Saved” tab to view their stockpile of time-delayed content. People will be able to save ads from their news feeds and posts from brands’ Facebook pages, like any other content on Facebook.  Advertisers will not (yet) be able to target ads to people who save ads or page posts.
Reddit’s live thread feature has been rolled out to all users. Reddit live is the site’s first project that exists primarily outside of the subreddit system that the site uses to organize topics, links, and comments.  The project had been in “semi-open beta” for a few months, and generated popular, long-running threads on Syria and Ukraine, as well as numerous smaller ones around topics like Twitch Plays Pokemon.
Expanding its native ad strategy, LinkedIn is now giving brands the ability to personalize and test content in the newsfeed without having to originate posts on their LinkedIn Company Page.  Dubbed “Direct Sponsored Content,” the service represents an expansion of the company’s Sponsored Updates product.
Starting this week, users of Foursquare will no longer be able to check-in using the app. If you want to check-in, you will need to install and use the new app Swarm. The Foursquare app will move to focus primarily on local discovery and recommendations. But the transition won’t come without a challenge. Google this week announced a new “Explore” feature for Google Maps on Android and iOS which allows users to pull up venue information near their destination and provide personalized recommendations as it learns more about you.

Global Social Media

Latin America, particularly Brazil, is continuing rapid growth in its online economy. And the boom in e-commerce is good news for Amazon. Latin America as a whole remains the world’s second fastest growing e-commerce market – only trailing behind China. And Brazil is leading the way, thanks to high internet penetration rates, a booming market for affordable mobile devices and an increasingly digital culture. Amazon raked in $475 million in web sales in Latin America in 2013, a growth in retail of over 140 percent. The Brazilian-led Latin American market was the fastest growing foreign segment for Amazon in 2013 – outgrowing Amazon’s other e-commerce markets at a rate 3.7 times faster than China, seven times faster than North America, and 8.3 times faster than Europe.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Mercedes-Benz is using LinkedIn to promote its 2015 C-Class line. This week, the luxury car brand introduced a new contest “Drive to Perform,” in which a LinkedIn user will win a two-year lease of a Mercedes C300. Unlike typical giveaways, users will not enter the contest on their own behalf, but rather will nominate someone in their LinkedIn network. In the spirit of recommendations that users contribute to one another’s profiles, Mercedes is asking LinkedIn users to nominate colleagues by highlighting their professional accomplishments and attributes in short recommendations, along with how the nominees “personal qualities meet the sophistication of the Mercedes-Benz brand.” The brand will also weigh how popular and active nominees are on social networks.


Wearables & The Quantified Self Movement

Written by: Tom Edwards
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I was recently asked by ADWEEK about opportunities for brands and fitness wearables. The discussion focused on utility and the future of the quantified self movement and whether hardware or software is the way to go. The final portion of the conversation was focused on fashion vs. function and the importance of aesthetics for mass adoption. Below is my full commentary.

Brands and Utility

For the right brand there is a significant opportunity to capitalize on the quantified self movement and create new streams of revenue. Market analysts project significant upside for wearable tech over the next few years.


SOURCE Business Insider

The value for brands comes in the form of ongoing engagement and value to the consumer. By providing active utility the brand is taking something that used to provide a passive function and unlocks behavioral patterns of the consumer, activity and in some cases emotional data and any positive results can be equated with the brand.


The other point to consider is the quantified self data and utility will ultimately be a part of a larger connected ecosystem. In the near future data from a fitness tracker can coincide with smart grid technology to predict your needs. An example would be you just returned from a long run, your tracker communicates with your smart fridge and it prepares to dispense your favorite after work out beverage while ordering more via a real time delivery service such as Amazon Fresh.


Hardware vs. Software

Brands like Nike were at the forefront of the quantified self movement. The Fuel band resonated with innovators and early consumer adopters. With success came competition from device manufacturers that had a longer heritage and provided additional utility. They expanded beyond fitness to include emotional measurement, sleep sensors, etc… which began to move away from the Nike value proposition. The learning from this was the real value was less in the hardware and more in the data collected and the visualization of results.


The industry shift that brands like Nike see on the horizon is the shift from hardware and more around software and data. What this means is that brands like Nike see the day coming soon where it is less about the hardware and more about sharing and visualizing the data that is collected through whatever the device, be it smart clothing, watches, glasses, etc… and making thier API’s available.

Photo Jul 17, 12 05 49 PM

Fashion vs. Function

One of the primary barriers associated with wearables has been tied closely to aesthetics. A rubber bracelet that glows is not always the ideal choice for the fashion conscious. And for the early & late majority of consumer adopters, going beyond simple utility will be important for mass adoption.


Recent studies have shown that women outnumber men among prospective buyers of wearable technology devices. What I see happening in the short term are a number of partnerships such as the announced Tory Burch and Fitbit partnership or cross-industry hiring, similar to Apple hiring Burberry’s former CEO to bridge the gap between aesthetic form and function.

Tory Burch & Fitbit Partnership

Fitbit & Tory Burch

Here is a link to the ADWEEK commentary


Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook’s Buy Button Lets You Purchase Products Directly From Page Posts and Ads
Facebook’s new Buy button, which is currently being tested with select small business partners in the U.S., lets you make a purchase directly on the site. Once you click the button, a pop-up will prompt you to confirm payment and shipping info, then complete the purchase, all without leaving Facebook. The tool is only available to select merchants for the time being, including Modify Watches, though it could roll out to more companies if this trial is deemed a success. In other Facebook news, the platform debuted ‘Mentions’ for celebrities, a new iOS app that gives actors, athletes, musicians, and other influencers the ability to join popular conversations and see the latest posts from those they follow.

LinkedIn Buys Newsle
LinkedIn wants to overtake Twitter and Facebook as executives’ social news service of choice. On Monday, the platform added to its news arsenal, acquiring people-centric news aggregator Newsle to bolster its burgeoning media business.  Newsle crawls a person’s list of LinkedIn, Facebook, and other email contacts and surfaces articles mentioning those people.

Twitter Acquires Payments Startup CardSpring
On the same day Facebook announced its new Buy button, Twitter said it planned to acquire CardSpring, a startup that allows developers to write applications for credit cards, discount coupons, and other payment systems. Its platform is aimed at linking e-commerce with brick-and-mortar sales. Online shoppers can collect sales offers, sync them with their credit card, and then collect them at stores. For Twitter, the company offers an existing payments infrastructure that is not built solely around impulse purchases.

Snapchat Adds Filters That Unlock Art Based on Your Location
Snapchat users can now add specific art and labels to snaps taken in certain cities and destinations. For example, if you’re taking a photo at Disneyland, you’ll be able to swipe right to see art related to the amusement park; if you’re passing through NYC, you can add an overlay label to your picture based on the neighborhood you are in. It’s also possible to add a drawing of a roller coaster and Ferris wheel while visiting the Santa Monica Pier, a SoulCycle lemon logo when you’re at one of its cycling studios, and a TV, movie, or theater mark near the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

Twitter Tells Brands They Can Reach 30% of Their Followers for Free
Twitter is telling brands, “Come to us if you want to reach fans freely.” The company said today that marketers can hit an audience equal in size to 30 percent of their followers in a given week with a consistent and free tweeting strategy. That level of free exposure contrasts with Facebook, where brands have to pay to be seen by more than 5 percent of fans.

Global Social Media

Twitter’s New ‘Everyday Moments’ Tool Launches in the UK
Twitter aims to help marketers in the UK create real-time content around “everyday moments” and aid an always-on approach to the platform. According to Twitter, 55 percent of UK users tweet about what they are doing at any one moment.  These are predictable moments that brands should be harnessing, as they are just as important as national or global events. The online tool, called ‘Everyday Moments,’ will aim to help marketers tap into the rhythm of conversations. Alongside a map of the UK, there will be a list of 30 terms, emotions, activities, and TV shows. Each term has a color and when selected will appear on the map as a series of large or small spots, indicating where a cluster of conversations is taking place around a term. Marketers can then track mentions of it in real-time and analyze where it was used most during the day or week. The tool will only be available for UK marketers in the short term, though there are plans for a wider roll out.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Uber’s Ice Cream Delivery Service Goes Global
To kick-start celebrations of National Ice Cream Day this Sunday, July 20, Uber is delivering ice cream on demand through its app, TODAY, July 18.  The summer-time initiative is live in 130 cities, spanning 38 countries and six continents, and is a significant rise on last year’s ‘Ice Cream Day’ initiative, which ran in 33 cities. The ability to order ice cream from the Uber app will provide thousands of Uber users with their first experience of a paid-for service from the company that has nothing to do with cars. Uber has offered other non-taxi services before (lion dances, kittens on demand), but ‘Uber Ice Cream Day’ 2014 will be its largest roll out of ‘alternative’ services to date.  This is a sign that the service might harbor ambitions to go beyond providing taxi services.

Stats of the Week

Written by: Jackie Mendez
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Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what we learn with you in these posts.

Strong Customer Engagement Helps Increase Revenue

Consumers switch platforms up to 27 times an hour, yet they demand relevance and coherence in every interaction with brands. Now, in order to develop real customer engagement, brands must deliver great seamless experiences across channels using intelligence, technology and data to build relationships that grow stronger over time, according to research conducted by Publicis Groupe’s Rosetta Consulting.

If brands are not combining all of these elements to form a single cohesive strategy that delivers mutual value, they are likely to lose consumers entirely.

“The customer relationship is no longer driven by brands,” says Nicholas Hahn, managing partner, Rosetta Consulting. “The power has shifted to the consumer. It used to be when you bought a car, you haggled with the dealer who knew more about the price than you did. Now, you go to the lot knowing exactly how much that car is worth and how much someone paid for that car down the street. It has made the job of marketers more difficult.”

Fully engaged customers are worth more to the brand—they generate 23% more in revenue and profit than an average customer, reports Rosetta.

Yet, today’s business leaders struggle to clearly define customer engagement, how to achieve it, or how to measure its value. To that end, 78% of marketers list “customer satisfaction” as one of the top two terms they would use to describe the goal of their company’s customer strategy; only 33% cite “customer engagement.”

Nearly half of marketers (47%) emphasize the importance of marketing tactics or business processes from the brand perspective, and an additional 40% focus only on the customer experience. Only 13% recognize the importance of combining both the brand and consumer perspective in terms of engagement.

The lack of cohesive engagement hurts the bottom line.

Some 86% of brands that have strong customer engagement practices saw an increase in the previous year’s revenue, compared to only half of brands with average consumer engagement outreach. In fact, strong performers were 2.2 times more likely than others to have experienced an increase in market share in the past year.

Brands must constantly reevaluate their interactions with consumers. What matters to shoppers today may be different tomorrow. Two in three marketers that have developed strong customer engagement practices (68%) report continual refinement of their communications plan based on customer data and marketing results. Plus, strong performers are 3.8 times more likely than others to say that they are able to identify where each customer is on the customer journey and are six times more likely than others to leverage real-time data to customize marketing efforts.

Ultimately, brands need to recognize that it is not enough to simply collect information about consumers or mass advertise their value, the study asserts. Rather everything filters into an integrated ecosystem that interprets shoppers’ spending and behaviors in real-time in ways that truly benefit consumers, not just drive profitability for the brand.

“We have to act in real time and operate nimbly across a complex, hyper-connected landscape using targeted and personalized offerings based on customer attitudes, buying habits, life stages and specific moments on customer journeys,” said Hahn. “Pampers’ value proposition is no longer about diapers keeping baby’s butts dry, but about helping mom with the development of her kid. That’s a much more meaningful relationship.”

Source: MediaPost

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

FTC Sues Amazon
Amazon unfairly allowed young children to rack up charges on their parents’ credit cards by making in-app purchases, the FTC alleges in a lawsuit filed last week. The FTC is seeking a court order requiring Amazon to reimburse parents for charges their children incurred within apps. Earlier this year, Apple agreed to provide refunds of at least $32.5 million to settle a similar claim.

Facebook Launches “Out-App Purchase” Ads
What if in-app purchases didn’t have to happen in an app? Rather than indirectly helping developers monetize with ads that drive them installs and re-engagement, Facebook this week began letting them sell Facebook desktop game virtual goods straight from ads in the News Feed or sidebar.

Twitter’s New Analytics Tell Advertisers and Publishers How Many People Actually Saw Their Tweets
Twitter today released a new analytics dashboard for advertisers, Twitter card publishers, and verified users. The company already gave advertisers data about tweets that they’d paid to promote, but there was nothing equivalent for “organic” tweets. Now, the new dashboard offers a broader view of an account’s entire Twitter strategy. The dashboard includes data including: total impressions, total engagements, and engagement rate for each tweet, and also aggregates the data for the past month.

You Can Now Embed Vine Videos on Tumblr
You can now embed your favorite Vine videos on your Tumblr blog. The platform announced the new integration over Twitter this week.  To embed a video – simply add the URL or embed code into the video post box from your Tumblr homepage.

Global Social Media

Gmail Languages Expanded to Cover 94% of the Internet Population
Email is still the universal means of communication. You don’t need a proprietary app to send an email. What you do need is support of languages and regional dialects. To get more people connected, Google just announced it’s added 13 new languages to Gmail including: Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, Sinhala, and Zulu.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Sour Patch Kids Snapchat Effort
Earlier this week Sour Patch Kids launched a five-day Snapchat campaign featuring social media influencers, which marks a first for the brand and for the parent company Mondelez. The campaign dubbed “Real-Life Sour Patch Kid” enlists social media star Logan Paul to take over the brand’s Snapchat account while documenting pranks he pulled in New York this week.  Logan began posting Snapchat Stories to the Sour Patch Kids account on Monday detailing his hijinks. The theme changed throughout the Story starting with ‘Sour’ pranks and moving to ‘Sweet’ snaps.  The initiative aligns with the brand’s “first they’re sour and then they’re sweet” tagline.  For example, the first  message sent this week shows a giant Sour Patch character splashing water and throwing crackers at Logan, but at the end of the clip, the character shifts his attitude and gives Logan a cup of water to to drink.  Logan will also post to his own Snapchat and Twitter account promoting the partnership.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

The Internet Thinks Facebook is Creepy
Internet users have reacted angrily to news that Facebook researchers manipulated content some users were shown in their News Feeds in an attempt to gauge their emotional response. For one week in 2012, Facebook changed the content mix in the News Feeds of 690,000 users. Some people were shown a higher number of positive posts, while others were shown more negative posts. The results of the experiment (conducted by Cornell, UCSF, and Facebook) were published this month and found that users that were shown more negative content were slightly more likely to produce negative posts. Users in the positive group responded with more upbeat posts. Success! Facebook was able to manipulate the emotional state of its users. Facebook’s TOS  gives it permission to conduct this kind of research, but many users have reacted in anger at the news, calling it a “dangerous social experiment.” Facebook responded to the controversy in a blog post here.

Twitter “Buy Now” Button Appears For First Time
A new “Buy Now” button appeared on multiple tweets this week, all of which included products that link back to the shopping site Fancy. While the buttons appear in both the Timeline and expanded-tweet view, nothing happens when you actually click the button (yet). It is likely the button appeared as an experiment. In other Twitter news, the company just acquired TapCommerce for $100mm. TapCommerce is a mobile advertising platform that specializes in retargeting and re-engagement through smartphones.

Twitter Testing New Ways to Add Commentary to Tweets 
Twitter is experimenting with new features, including one that lets users add extra commentary to retweets. Previously, if someone wanted to add their own commentary to a retweet, they could click “Quote Tweet” to do so. This limited user comments by forcing both the original tweet and the added material to fit within the 140-character limit.  Another feature some users noticed last week placed images above the tweet instead of below it. Both changes appear to be only via mobile and are not yet available to all users.

Facebook to Buy LiveRail – the Third Biggest Video Ad Seller
Months after rolling out the first video-specific ad products on the social network, Facebook has agreed to acquire LiveRail, one of the biggest video ad sellers. LiveRail automates the sale of video ads for publishers including MLB, ABC Family, and Dailymotion. Rather than negotiate deals over the phone or in person, these publishers can upload their video inventory to LiveRail, which solicits buyers via real-time auctions. The acquisition puts Facebook in the same league with Google and AOL atop the digital ad food chain.

Global Social Media

Facebook’s New Type of Ad in India Lets Users Place a “Missed Call” for More Information
To appeal to advertisers who want to target customers in emerging markets like Brazil, Indonesia, India, Turkey, and South Africa, Facebook has had to come up with ad products that are better suited to the needs of users and advertisers in such countries.  One of these experiments is taking place in India. Facebook is testing an ad product build around the “missed call” behavior in the country, which arose because of the high cost of voice calls. People dial a number and hang up before the call goes through as a way to save call time. It is used as a signal to the recipient that they are currently outside and/or a request for a return call. Now, when a person in India sees an ad on Facebook, they can place a “missed call” by clicking the ad from their mobile device. In the return call, the user then gets access to content such as music, cricket scores, or messages from celebrities, as well as a brand message from the advertiser — all without any airtime or data costs.

Noteworthy Campaigns

IKEA Creates a Website Inside the Instagram App
To promote this year’s new PS 2014 collection, IKEA’s Russian division produced a campaign that approaches Instagram in an entirely new way. With the collection’s mission statement of “Always on the move,” IKEA hacked the social platform to create a website out of the Instagram grid. The @Ikea_ps_2014 Instagram account serves as the website’s “home page,” with each post representing a product category – like Benches or Tables. When you tap an individual category picture, hidden tags reveal a link to each product within that category. Every one of the 34 items in the collection received their own Instagram accounts – like @ps_laptop_station and @ps_side_table. Within each product’s Instagram account lies videos of the items being used, product information, and snapshots from different angles.