Category Archives: Pinterest

Headlines & Stuff

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

Snapchat Ads are Coming
Snapchat ads are coming soon, according to Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. The ads will be around the company’s “stories” product and will be optional to view.

LinkedIn Now Tells You Which Actions Led to Higher Profile Views
LinkedIn is giving users better information about which actions encourage people to look at their profile page. Under the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section, LinkedIn has added a new area listing the notable actions the user has taken. This could include posting a status update, joining a group, giving endorsements, or making new connections.  The hope is that when someone the user is keen to work with looks at their profile page, the user can deduce what they’ve done to trigger it.

Pinterest Pushing New Editorial Product with First Co-Marketing Campaign
Pinterest rolled out its first co-marketing campaign this week to promote a new editorial product called Pin Picks. The site has partnered with 10 companies including eHow, Cracked, and Funny or Die, as well as YouTube star Michelle Phan. Pin Picks are topic-specific collections of Pins and Pinterest profiles that the company has been testing since August. Pinterest is raising the profile of Pin Picks with a four-week Halloween campaign, each with their own themes: horror, villains and superheroes, humor, and last-minute ideas. Funny or Die and Michelle Phan are taking part in the horror phase; comedy site Cracked will be involved in humor; and eHow’s participation will span all four themes.

Facebook Messenger has Friend-to-Friend Payment Feature
Facebook could soon allow Messenger users to send mobile payments to their friends. A Stanford University student uncovered the feature via Cycript, a tool for developers.  The payment mechanism is said to be similar to that used in Square Cash, where Messenger uses it to debit one account, and then uses some means to look up the bank account number of the recipien, and deposit it.

Global Social Media

China’s Instagram Block is Here to Stay
For years, Instagram was one of the exceptions to China’s great firewall. It remained accessible even though Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were blocked. It finally went dark in September when users began sharing photos of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. It hasn’t come back since.  Of major US-based social media, LinkedIn is all that remains, and only because the social network agreed to play China’s game. Some people who post about sensitive topics get messages that their content is banned in China and cannot be seen by members there.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Dove is Trying Snapchat for Self-Esteem Effort
Unilever brand Dove is launching an initiative with Snapchat as part of its annual “Self-Esteem Weekend.” The brand has invited women to share their insecurities via Snaps, and as the Snaps disappear they can make room for more positive thoughts. Dove will have “Self-Esteem Ambassadors” on hand to respond to girls’ Snaps and provide real-time advice and feedback. The reason for using Snapchat, according to Unilever’s marketing director, is because “having a public conversation about your self-esteem can be intimidating.”

Headlines & Stuff

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

Ello – the Anti Facebook
You may have already heard about Ello, the ad-free, invite-only, independent social network that has gone viral over the past week. The site has gained a reputation as being the ‘anti Facebook.’  Several reports have linked the rise of Ello to a recent firestorm caused by Facebook’s real name policy (Ello lets users use any name they choose).  The site is a cross between Twitter and Tumblr – users can post status updates, photos and GIFs, and comment on their friends’ posts.  Ello is receiving anywhere between 4,000 and 30,000 requests an hour for access to the site.  As noted by our own Tom Edwards here, one of the more attractive features of Ello is that the site promises not to sell your data to third parties. Could this be the next big thing? Or just a passing fad?

Twitter is Working on Its Own Native Polling Tool
Twitter is working on a new set of interactive Cards that would allow people to run polls natively across its social network. One key advantage of this offer is the ability for users to interact without being redirected away from Twitter, which would likely improve engagement rates with any polls.

Amazon Adds Twitter Product Tweets to Wish List
Amazon introduced #AmazonWishList this week, allowing customers to add items to their Amazon Wish List without leaving Twitter. Users can reply to any tweet that contains an Amazon product link with #AmazonWishList to add the product to their wish list.

Pinterest Lets Brands Target Ads to Existing Customers
Pinterest is working on a way for advertisers to target people in a brand’s customer database – like the consumers on an email subscription list – with ads on the site. The company is also building a measurement tool so that marketers can credit their ads on Pinterest with the purchase people make on a brand’s e-commerce site.

Twitter Tempts Studios with Targeted Ads
Twitter wants to help Hollywood studios reach moviegoers at precisely the right moments. With a soon-to-debut service, studios will be able to serve ads to Twitter users who have followed the accounts of specific movies, as well as users who have tweeted about particular movies in the past.

Global Social Media

Russia Orders Facebook, Twitter, and Google to Register as Social Networks — or be Blocked
Russia’s communications regulator has ordered Facebook, Twitter, and Google to join a register of social networks or face being blocked in Russia. By registering as “organizers of information distribution,” companies agree to store data about their users’ communications on servers in Russia, or pay a fine of 50,000 Russian rubles ($13,000). Companies that fail to register within 15 days of a second order from the regulator can be blocked in Russia.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Will Ferrell’s Video Game Battle to be Live-Broadcasted on Twitch for Charity
Will Ferrell’s SuperMegaBlastMax Gamer Challenge, hosted on Indiegogo, will allow one lucky winner and guest the chance to travel to San Francisco to play Will Ferrell for two hours on October 26. It will be hosted online on video game streaming platform Twitch. The winner will also get other contest-related gear, as well as a tour of Twitch’s headquarters.  In order to quality for the drawing to play Will Ferrell, you have to donate $10. All proceeds go to the nonprofit charities Cancer for College and Donate Games. With a goal of $375,000, the campaign is currently just over of $100,000 and has 12 days left.  If donors give more than $10 they can receive additional prizes, like exclusive sunscreen, t-shirts, hoodies, and a custom skateboard. Higher donation amounts also get more entries toward the grand prize.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Pinterest this week launched its first global business tool in 31 languages that analyzes pinning behavior in profiles and boards. The platform will allow users to search and find specific metrics on profiles, common interests, impressions, highest-performing pins generating social actions, and more. The company’s analytics team worked with “sets” of translators to support local users worldwide.

 

Instagram has launched a new mobile video app featuring tools like tracking shots and time-lapse shooting. The new Hyperlapse app features stabilization technology for creating smooth time-lapse videos, even while in motion.

 

Amazon is taking direct aim at YouTube as the e-commerce giant acquires video-streaming service Twitch for $970 million in cash. YouTube had reportedly been in talks to buy Twitch, whose ad-supported service lets people stream live video of their video game play.

 

Advertisers can now target their Facebook ads based on how strong someone’s phone signal is when they visit the social network. That means advertisers can limit data-heavy ads like video to people with 4G connections and run light-bandwidth text ads for those on 2G connections.  In other Facebook ad news – the company recently expanded event ads to mobile and desktop newsfeed.

 

Twitter recently rolled out an updated analytics dashboard to marketers and verified users. It is now making these same analytics available to all users.  The dashboard lets users see how many impressions each tweet has received, the number of favorites, how many times users have clicked on their profiles, and the number of retweet and @replies.  In other Twitter news, the company has launched a training program for agencies called Flight School, which aims to familiarize marketers and advertisers with the service and help them keep abreast of new features.

 

Global Social Media

Nearly 86%  of Australian mobile customers plan to engage in mobile commerce in the next 12 months, an increase of 11%  over 2013. The rapid growth in smartphone adoption in Australia is creating a new wave of consumer behavior that is changing the mobile landscape. The average Australian mobile user consumes 6.7 hours of media per day, with mobile almost surpassing television in terms of time spent.  Around 55% of mobile web customers now use mobile as either their primary or exclusive means of going online, an increase from 40% in 2013.  Also noteworthy – around 55% of mobile users in Australia are now as comfortable with mobile advertising as they are with television or online advertising.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Leveraging Instagram “likes” for dollars,  Nordstrom and Target have launched Like2Buy platforms that look like Instagram and act like Instagram, but link photos directly to product pages on the retailer’s site to initiate a purchase. Instagram has 200 million engaged users who share roughly 60 million photos daily. Curalate, the company that built Like2Buy, and other social platforms are trying to comb through this data to present brands with social engagement metrics that can be interpreted into real-life sales leads.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Twitter Tests Promoted Videos for Advertisers 
Twitter has announced a beta launch of promoted video, a new advertising option that allows advertisers to upload videos and track user engagement. Promoted video is an extension of the Twitter Amplify Program, which is a way for marketers to promote TV clips on Twitter. The new ad unit will feature many of Twitter’s recent upgrades to its video offerings, including one-tap playback.

Vevo Partners with Pinterest, Adds Pin It and Drives Referral Traffic
Vevo will start adding ‘Pin It’ to the existing share options alongside all its videos on Vevo.com and in its apps. Its music videos can also now be freely shared among Pinterest users.  The alliance is a great opportunity for Vevo to drive significant referral traffic back to its core property. Following YouTube and Vimeo, Vevo is only the third external video player to be integrated into Pinterest.

Facebook Launches Cross-Device Reporting
Being able to track campaign performance across devices has become increasingly crucial to advertisers. To that end, Facebook this week rolled out cross-device reporting for ads, allowing marketers to see how people are moving among devices and across mobile apps and the Web.  For example, an advertiser can view the number of customers who clicked on an ad on an iPhone but then later converted onto a desktop, or the number of people who saw an ad on desktop and later converted to an Android tablet.

Spotify Adds Buy Button
Spotify has added a Buy Button to its service, making it possible for its 40 million music fans to buy directly from musicians. The direct-to-fan service (BrandPage) allows musicians to link to an existing online store or build a new one in Spotify. Aside from traditional merchandise, the feature aims to create fan experiences like private online concerts, Skype chat, meet and greets, and song collaborations.

Global Social Media

China’s Weibo Ups Media Focus
Chinese microblogging service Weibo, typically known as ‘China’s Twitter,’ has just introduced video recording and direct video playback to its iOS and Android apps. This comes as a likely move by Weibo to increase user activity on its platform, amid concerns that users are spending more time on rival Tencent’s WeChat service.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Fanta Pouring Big Bucks Into Vine Video Comedy Series
Fanta, the soda brand owned by Coca-Cola, is sponsoring and co-creating a weekly digital comedy series, “Fanta For The Funny,” consisting entirely of six-second Vine videos. It’s a seven-figure campaign for Fanta, aimed at appealing to teens and young adults. The first episode of “Fanta For The Funny,” which premiered yesterday on CollegeHumor.com and across Fanta’s social and digital channels, is comprised of dozens of Vine clips depicting gags from some of the platform’s most popular personalities.  In the first episode, Fanta doesn’t actually appear in the Vine videos, though its branding is interspersed several times between segments. The series will run for six weeks.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Facebook’s News Feed Ranking Algorithm Now Considers How Long You Watch
Videos Facebook announced changes to the video ranking algorithm for News Feed. From now on, the company will include whether video clips uploaded to personal accounts and Pages are watched and how long they’re watched when it calculates whether to show the content to others. As a result, users that tend to watch more frequently will have more videos surfaced in their feed. If you regularly skip over video uploads, you’ll start seeing them less. Other factors that Facebook looks at when ranking video posts include comments, likes and shares. Links to third-party video sites won’t be affected by the change.

iBeacons Usher In The Contextual Shopping Era
According to a study by inMarket, the use of beacons (Apple brands these as iBeacons, and has already shipped millions of capable devices) in retail stores caused a 19x increase in interactions with advertised products, a 16.5x increase in app usage in-store and a 6.4x increase in the likelihood that a shopper kept an app that sent them a beacon message on their phones. Beacons installed inside retail stores like Saks or grocery outlets can send proximity-based alerts to shoppers at the precise moment – and location – that they’re enabled to make a decision on a purchase. This is the holy grail of retail advertising, which normally takes a scattershot approach to “pre-advertising” shoppers or tries to guesstimate when they’re in the vicinity of a product. When a beacon knows you’re within a couple of feet of a Zatarain’s rice mix and sends you a coupon, that can be much more effective than trying to mail you a coupon a month earlier in the off chance that you might be in the mood for creole. These initial inMarket statistics are enormously promising for retailers anyway.

Teens’ Favorite Social Network: Texting
Texting is far and away the most popular form of social media among teenagers, according to a survey of 7,000 graduating high school seniors conducted by Niche. Overall 87% of high school seniors said they texted every day, Niche found, considerably ahead of Facebook, with 61% of respondents reporting daily use of the latter. YouTube took third place, with 55% of respondents reporting daily usage, followed by Instagram at 51%, Snapchat at 46%, Pandora at 37%, and Twitter, at 35%. Regular old phone calls (remember those?) were in eighth place at 34%. Google+ was quite a bit further down the totem pole, with 23% reporting daily usage, followed by Pinterest and Vine at 16%, and Tumblr at 15%. Just 1% of teens said they use LinkedIn every day (and 92% don’t use LinkedIn at all).

Global Social Media

Most Pinned Places On Earth
Pinterest shared with Mashable the top most-pinned places on Earth. And while some are instantly recognizable (hello, Big Ben!), others, like Canada’s Abraham Lake, are lesser known. Destinations that broke the top 30 based on more than 750mm place pins include: Paris, Eiffel Tower, London, NYC, Abraham Lake, The Blue Lagoon, Amsterdam, Central Park, Taormina, Venice, Glacier National Park, Rome, The Crags, the Caves Resort, Barcelona, Ennis Bluebonnet Festival, Brooklyn Bridge, The Louvre, Prague, Viewpoint Ingang Jachthaven Reitdiep Groningen, Bagan, Big Ben, Budapest, Westminster Abbey, Portknockie, Instanbul, Santorini, Florence, Yosemite, and Masjid Putra.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Lincoln Lets People Test Drive Their New Model In A High Speed Pursuit
In order to drive interest leading up to a Summer 2014 launch, and to highlight some of the impressive features, both technological and aesthetic, which put the 2015 Lincoln MKC miles ahead of competitors in the Small Premium Utility class, the Lincoln Motor Company wanted to try something new. The result is an immersive virtual test-drive called the Lincoln Dream Ride. Instead of passively watching a commercial, potential car buyers are invited to ride along in an engaging narrative right alongside celebrity driver Sam Page. Thanks to 360 degree cameras one can look around at the vehicle’s interior craftsmanship; the DeepSoft Bridge of Weir leather, French-stitched upholstery, and fine Wolsdorf leather-wrapped steering wheel. Turn to look out the windows at the surrounding world moving past, or see the sky through the Panoramic Vista roof.

General Mills, Whole Foods Generate Buzz For Bees
Count Whole Foods and General Mills’ Cascadian Farms as the latest champions of the challenged honeybees. To raise awareness, Whole Foods stores are busy talking up the powers of pollinator with “Human Bee-In” events and “Give Bees A Chance” promotions. And General Mills, which launched Buzz Crunch Honey Almond cereal exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide back in April, says it is now donating $1 for every box sold, up to $100,000 to the The Xerces Society, an Oregon-based nonprofit and leader in pollinator conservation. Whole Foods and Xerces say they will continue to share the buzz through July 1, raising awareness of the role bees play in food supply through a social media campaign.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Pinterest’s Web Search is About to Get Much More Powerful
Pinterest’s new Guided Search Feature, which the company first unveiled on mobile in April, is coming to the web. Pinterest users will soon see a new search bar when they visit Pinterest.com. The search feature will recommend keywords intended to help generate more specific queries or better search results. For example, searching for “BBQ” on Pinterest might surface other keywords like “wings,” “recipes,” or “chicken.”

Twitter’s Video Hashtags Automatically Add Video to Text
Twitter has joined forces with Visa and Adidas (two World Cup advertisers) to experiment with video hashtagging. When a user types #visa and then a space, they will see a paper clip prompt, which will allow you to attach a video when clicked. Adidas is also testing the feature using the hashtag #allin, which will lead to this video.

Amazon Starts Prime Music
Amazon has introduced an ad-free music streaming service with more than one million songs.  Prime Music, designed to compete with Apple, Beats Music, Spotify, and Pandora, is available to subscribers of Amazon’s $99/year Prime Program.

Facebook Extends Ad Targeting to Web, App Use
Facebook is significantly expanding how it targets ads by including information about the sites that users visit and mobile apps they use outside of Facebook. The social network is taking the controversial step of extending that data collection to include the third-party sites and apps they use to improve the relevance of their own ads. Example: If you are thinking about buying a new TV and you start researching TVs on the web and in mobile apps, Facebook may show you ads for deals on a TV.

Global Social Media

Less Than Half of the Earth’s Population Has Internet Access
The Internet continues to grow at a rapid pace, but there’s still a long way to go in terms of extending access, especially in poor and developing countries. The number of people with access to the Internet is expected to reach three billion by 2015. That’s up from one billion in 2005 — but still just 41% of the earth’s total projected population of 7.3 billion people in 2015. Internet access is of course higher in more advanced economies like North America, Europe, and Asia, and is lower in Africa, The Middle East, India, and parts of Latin America.

Instagram Introduces Advertising in UK, Canada, and Australia
Instagram users in the UK, Canada, and Australia will start seeing advertisements in their feeds. The platform has amassed 200 million users since its launch. Growth outside of the U.S. is particularly strong, with an estimated 165 million hailing beyond U.S. shores.

Noteworthy Campaigns

“Share a Coke” Bottles & Campaign Hit U.S.
Over the summer, Coca-Cola will replace its brand logo on some of its 20-ounce bottles with one of the 250 most popular names of U.S. teens and millennials. In addition, the logos on 1.25 and 2-liter bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero will be replaced by group names like “Family” and “Friends.” 12-ounce cans will feature nicknames like “BFF,” “Star,” “Bestie,” “Legend,” “Grillmaster,” “Buddy,” and “Wingman.” 8-ounce cans will bear the “Share a Coke” message.  In addition, Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispensers will offer to consumers who have the Freestyle mobile app the ability to scan a QR code to send a friend a coupon for a free Coke. Also, as part of the campaign, consumers who share Coca-Cola related stories using the hashtag #ShareaCoke will earn chances to be featured on brand billboards across the country and on the ShareaCoke.com gallery.  Starting this week, users can visit the campaign website to create virtual personalized bottles and share them on social media channels.  For those whose names aren’t featured on the real bottles, Coke is launching a national 500-stop tour where people can get customized mini-cans with their names for themselves and a friend.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Facebook Seeks Patent for Tech to Let Kids on Its Network 
Facebook currently restricts users to those over the age of 13. But it now appears that the social network wants to create a new way for young people to join — and still comply with the law.  In a patent application recently made public, Facebook describes a system to let parents authorize and supervise accounts for younger children in compliance with COPPA.

LinkedIn Rolls Out New Design
LinkedIn is rolling out a new profile design for its premium members. The new look includes a larger profile photo and customizable header image that spans the width of the screen. The new look is similar in style to Facebook and Twitter profiles. The new look is only available for premium members currently. The rest of the LinkedIn community will get the new look “in a few months.”

Facebook Rolls Out One-Column Design to All Pages
Facebook has started rolling out its streamlined desktop look for Pages to everyone worldwide. All Pages should have access to the new design by today. Admins accessing their Pages will see a tour of the refreshed design, and can switch to the updated design two weeks after the tour has been viewed.

Pinterest to Launch Self-Serve Ad Auction
Pinterest unveiled its first paid ads last month with a select group of marketers. Now the social network plans to roll out a self-serve, auction-based ad system aimed at small and medium businesses. Unlike the CPM-based ad business it has launched with big brands like Kraft and Nestle, the self-serve auction will take bids on a CPC basis. And while Pinterest has set a high spending threshold for brands to experiment with its “promoted pins” — asking for $1 to $2 million commitments – pricing in the auction will be set by the marketplace.

Google Search Intent Comes to Facebook
Google search intent can now be harnessed for Facebook ad targeting. Advertisers can target people who have clicked on their search ads on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, effectively bringing together search-intent data.  Here’s how it works: Hypothetically, Cadbury could target ads to Facebook users who’ve already clicked on Google ads yielded by searches for “chocolate,” “Easter egg,” and “Easter Bunny” – terms that signify a high degree of interest in their product. Facebook’s demographic and interest-level targeting parameters can also be applied to refine the audience.

Instagram Added 10 New Features This Week
Instagram announced 10 new editing tools this week for both iOS and Android. In addition to new adjustments like contrast, brightness, and saturation, Instagram’s filters have also been tweaked; users can now adjust the filter’s intensity with a slide bar.  Other tools include adjust (crop and straighten photos), warmth, highlights, shadows, vignette, and sharpen.

Global Social Media

Google Introduces an Online Form  to Let EU Users Request the Removal of Outdated Links
The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled last month that individuals should have the right to remove outdated information about themselves from search engine results. The so-called “right to be forgotten” means that an individual should be allowed to request that irrelevant or outdated information is removed from a company’s servers and therefore removed from being publicly available on the web. In response to this ruling, Google has launched an online form which will allow users to submit an official request. 12,000 requests were submitted the first day of the form’s launch.  Google handles nearly 80% of all searches in Europe.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Sephora’s Augmented Reality Mirror
For their latest project, beauty retailer Sephora has teamed up with augmented reality and virtual reality technology company ModFace to launch a mirror that may change the way people shop for makeup.  Sephora’s new mirror will simulate makeup on a person’s face in both real time and 3D. This unique technology tracks a person’s facial features and “applies” eye shadow to your face via a camera’s video stream. Customers can try out multiple colors and textures by tapping the color on the screen and see how it looks from all angles by merely turning their faces.  The product will help the store eliminate the need for tester products and utensils used to apply and remove them. The mirror is currently only available at the Milan store, but should it become a success, it will be placed in locations around the world.

What Advertising Will Look Like In 2020

Written by: Tom Edwards
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I wrote an article that appeared in iMedia Connection today. You can view that here and I’ve also posted it below. I hope you enjoy it.

————–

As a technology-centric digital marketer, I am constantly evaluating consumer adoption trends, tech startups, and the latest in emerging platforms. My goal is to align consumer behavior with relevant digital solutions that create value for my partner brands.

We are in the midst of an innovation revolution, with a slew of new and innovative companies and startups vying to become the next big thing. We are now more connected than ever, and functions that used to require separate devices are now accessible simply through your phone. Finally, we have seen exponential growth in terms of the sheer volume of data being created.

We are also in a state of constant bombardment about the future state of digital marketing. Microsoft recently stated that the company believes by 2020 marketing departments will be reshaped to concentrate around three digital hubs: content, channels, and data.

Where should marketers and brands place bets over the next five years? What is hype over substance? Taking all of this into consideration, I interviewed my strategy teams in Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas to map the state of digital marketing in the year 2020.

This was a very interesting exercise, as my expectation was closely aligned to the idea that we would rally around five to ten top-level topics, which are mainstream points of discussion. After the first hour, we had identified 31 “territories” we felt were going to represent the next five years of digital marketing.

We had fun with discussions of drones, crypto currency, the internet of people, and more. While the team agreed fundamentally about certain platforms making an impact, there were pros and cons to impact and feasibility. The following are the top four territories we felt would be most relevant in five years.

Mobile plus wearables equals integrated mobile

Before we look forward with mobile, it is always helpful to take a quick look back. With the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, we experienced a transformational shift, which has since changed the way we live our lives.

Generation 1 iPhone.

Prior to its launch, most mobile phones were just that — phones. The iPhone was transformational, with simple emphasis on usability, utility, and personalization via a robust app marketplace.

Heading towards 2020, we will experience another transformational shift in mobile. This time, the transformation will be less about the handset and more about mobile-as-a-mindset — coming to life through a collection of integrated technologies, some virtual and some physical, such as wearables.

The rise of integrated mobile will create a seamless physical-to-digital or “phydigital” ecosystem. From a marketing perspective, integrated mobile represents the next iteration of media-to-shelf.

Tesco virtual supermarket. South Korea.

A brand’s ability to connect with a consumer will primarily exist through mobile connections. Such as when, based on consumers’ personal preferences, brands provide contextual content that seamlessly transitions into serving a location-specific value.

Converged media and mass customization

Traditional advertising shifts, combined with on-demand behaviors, such as connected televisions, original branded entertainment, curated content, and native advertising, all wrapped with mass customization, was an extremely hot topic of discussion with a majority of the team.

We have all seen the shifts in how media is consumed. Fragmentation and non-linear consumption will lead to more cohesive and relevant networks to connect with consumers. That sounds counterintuitive, but the fragmentation is an opportunity to reimagine connections with consumers in the near future.

Refined segmentation, based on usage and self-selected behavior — overlaid with the core desire for discovery and recommendations — will create signals and new points of connection based on platform consolidation over the next five years.

We will see better connectivity between the branded entertainment being consumed and the opportunity to personalize relevant and contextual information, which is focused on creating a 1:1 connection with the consumer.

We will see the shift in terms of branded entertainment, as well as social platforms such as Facebook, now making a major strategic pivot towards a reach and frequency model, which is built to provide incremental reach to television. This shift is also predicated on the principle of lowering post frequency with a high rate of personalization through targeted media.

Here is a whitepaper that I recently wrote outlining the full Facebook shift.

Internet of Things is now connected life

Another topic of interest to the team was the Internet of Things. The term “Internet of Things” was coined in the mid ’90s and may already be dated. “Connected life” seems to be the leading candidate to describe the next wave of interconnectivity.

You may have noticed the rise in intelligent home offerings, smart-grid enabled appliances, personal fitness devices, and enhanced vehicle telematics. All of this accessibility and interconnectivity leads to more opportunities for marketers to create relevant, predictive connections with consumers.

This is both a blessing and a curse for brands and marketers. As the various connected devices communicate with one another during the course of the day, they may soon have the predictive capabilities to deliver products in near real-time based on personalized preferences.

When this happens, it may fundamentally shift our current thoughts about the five stages of the consumer buying process. To recap, the current process is based on problem recognition or need state, information search, alternative evaluation, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.

With a predictive model based on interconnected systems, marketers will need to focus more intently on brand affinity to drive consideration, while also accounting for consumers having to take an additional step to proactively swap a product in an existing consideration set.

Close-up mid section of man touching crystal ballAccessibility and interconnectivity throughout our everyday lives will be built on yottabytes (1 trillion terabytes) of personalized data, which will drive digital marketing significantly beyond rudimentary banners and transform traditional thinking about digital marketing.

Google

2014 and 2020 will be similar in that Google will still be incredibly relevant for digital marketers. Google is a key player in all of the previously discussed elements, such as mobile through Android, converged media through YouTube, mobile accessibility, connected life through Fiber, telematics and autonomous vehicles, and even wearables, with the continual evolution of products like Google Glass.

I am participating in the Glass Explorer program.

By serving as the curator of the open web, Google is not a portal such as Yahoo and MSN of the past. It’s not Facebook in terms of a closed platform that limits its footprint on the open web. Because of these factors, combined with the focus on innovation, Google will be an incredibly relevant marketing platform in 2020.

Its reach and focus on innovation, as well as owning key waypoints of consumer interaction from search, will give Google’s YouTube and Google+ the ability to focus on simplifying access to all properties through single sign-on.

After a recent meeting with the Google+ product team in NYC, it became very clear to me that the role of social in the Google ecosystem is less about the stream and more about the interconnectivity of the ecosystem and the ability to connect content where it is the most relevant for a consumer.

If I were a betting man, I would anticipate that Google’s staying power for the next five years, as well as the possible acquisition of other key discoveries and curation platforms, will round out its ability to go beyond search-and-retrieval, such as Pinterest and Evernote. Remember, you heard it here first.

No one truly knows what the future holds or what digital marketing will look like in 2020, but based on 14 years of digital experience and a strong track record of identifying substance over hype, I feel confident the Microsoft view of content, channels, and data is accurate. Integrated mobile, converged media, connected life, and Google all represent the core digital hubs of content, channels, and data — and each will be relevant in 2020.

Follow Edwards at @BlackFin360.

Planet system in your hand” image via Shutterstock.

Headlines & Stuff

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

YouTube in Talks to Purchase Game-Streaming Network Twitch for $1 Billion
YouTube could be purchasing Twitch, the largest video game live-streaming network for $1 billion. According to sources, the deal will be an all-cash transaction. Twitch averages 45mm unique monthly viewers with a million gamers broadcasting their own content. Twitch has become fully integrated with XboxOne and Playstation 4 consoles, allowing players to stream and watch content from their televisions.

LinkedIn Now Shows How Your Profile Ranks in Your Network
LinkedIn announced this week that is expanding on the Who’s Viewed Your Profile section with a new feature that shows how your profile ranks compared to others at your company and to everyone you’re connected with on the social network. The ranking is based on the number of times your profile has been viewed during the previous 30 days.

Facebook Adds Audio Matching to Get You Posting More About TV
Facebook announced a new feature  this week that uses a phone’s microphone to identify a show or movie airing on one of 160 TV channels. Then, if users wish, it pre-populates a post with the name of the movie or TV show, identifying TV shows’ specific season and episode so friends can avoid spoilers. The service can also identify songs and start a post with the title of the song plus a 30-second snippet.

Pinterest Unveils New Tech to Become More Measurable For Brands
Now open for business with new ad offerings, Pinterest has taken the long-awaited step towards making itself more measurable to brands. The social network is finally opening up its business insights API, letting a small group of developers who build software for marketers tap into intelligence about how pins are performing across its network of 30 billion. Now brands on Pinterest can learn which of their products are most popular across the network, what type of images are being shared and liked the most, and which pins are driving the most traffic and sales via services like Percolate and Spredfast that they may use to manage their social presences on other social networks.

Facebook is Reportedly Preparing to Take on SnapChat with a New Messaging App
Facebook is planning an effort to take on Snapchat with the upcoming launch of ‘Slingshot,’ a new a standalone app apart from Facebook Messenger. Slingshot is also said to be different form Snapchat in that users tap or hold a friend’s profile picture to send a photo or short video clip, which can be viewed only once.

Global Social Media

Facebook Adds Video Ads Internationally
Facebook is expanding its new video ads beyond the U.S. to countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and the UK. The international launch comes two months after Facebook introduced the 15-second video ads that play automatically in user feeds with the sound muted until clicked on.

Noteworthy Campaigns

AMC’s New Drama Premieres on Tumblr – 2 Weeks Before TV
AMC released the premiere episode of its newest drama, Halt and Catch Fire on Tumblr, AMC.com and video on demand this week, two weeks before the show makes its broadcast debut. It’s not uncommon for TV shows to debut digitally before they appear on broadcast cable, but this is notable because its the first ever TV series premiere on Tumblr. This is also the first time AMC has premiered a show on a social media platform. AMC sees synergy between Tumblr and the show, which depicts  renegade computer programmers working out of Texas in the early 1980’s. AMC will also be launching a branded network Tumblr page that will be integrated into AMC.com.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Pinterest Launches First Paid Ads with Kraft, Gap and Others
Pinterest (which just raised another round of funding, valuing the platform at $5bn) has more than a dozen marketers lined up to run campaigns with three to six month commitments including Kraft, General Mills, Ziploc, Nestle, Lululemon, Gap, ABC Family and Expedia. The site is taking a “consultative approach” to ad selling, which means they will work closely with the brands to help them understand what type of creative resonates with Pinterest users. According to their head of partnerships, Pinterest will eventually “get to the place where we’re answering RFP’s.”  In other Pinterest news, the platform teamed up with FYI Network to launch a new home design show called “We’re Moving In,” which follows new housemates using Pinterest as a source of inspiration.

Foursquare’s New Swarm App is Here
Foursquare’s new app called Swarm has arrived this week. The company announced in early May that it would split its experience into two apps. Swarm is intended to be a convenient way to keep up with what your friends are doing, letting you check into venues, just like the Foursquare app, but also lets you automatically share which neighborhood you are in. The app includes stickers (similar to emoji), a new revamped version of Mayorships, and the ability to make quick plans with friends around you.

Twitter Adds “Mute” Button for More Feed Control
Twitter feeds are often noisy. Addressing the issue, Twitter debuted a “mute” button this week. In the same way you can turn on device notifications so you never miss a Tweet from your favorite users, you can now mute users you want to hear from less.

Twitter Introduces Language Targeting for Promoted Tweets
Twitter recently launched targeting for promoted tweets and promoted accounts. As a result, advertisers can now target both in 20 different languages while users will be able to see “highly relevant ads” in their language.

Global Social Media

Twitter Takes Aim at Real Politics in Latin America
After seeing explosive growth across Latin America, Twitter is now tapping into the region’s other big passion besides soccer – politics. The company dispatched its top political strategist to Brazil this week to give senators in one of its biggest global markets a pep talk on tweets and how to use the social network ahead of the October general election.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Birds Eye Offers Fan Food in Exchange for Instagram Pics
Birds Eye is opening up a pop-up restaurant that allows diners to settle the bill by paying with a picture of their meals as part of its wider experimentations with social commerce. Diners who tag Instagram snaps of their food with #BirdsEyeInspirations will get a free meal. The pay-by-picture restaurant is the latest social commerce test from Birds Eye as it looks to better measure the results social provides. Links to purchase foods in social media posts have been trailed by the brand in recent months, as has forging stronger ecommerce ties with supermarkets.