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insights

The latest in new media marketing trends:

Cannes Cyber Lions: The Winning Case Studies | Digital Buzz Blog

The headline says it all. Good stuff.

Three senior executives on the future of marketing – McKinsey Quarterly

I like the bookend effect of the first and last projections. Firstly, the CEO of Virgin Atlantic reminds us that big, mass media still packs a lot of power. And then a Yahoo! Research scientists tells us the future of marketing will be more and more scientific. Of course, both are correct, and like the influx of technology into marketing, the ones who can blend the analytical with the emotional will have the most consistently good ideas.

Note: To read this you need to register, but it’s free.

The Compelling (or Creepy) M2M World of Verizon Wireless

If you’d like a quick glimpse of the future of the internet, this is your article. I’ve posted on the “Internet of Things” before, and this is a good outline of what parts of our lives that will touch. It’s also good to see a more buzz-friendly term, “M2M” emerge. Stands for “Machine-to-machine”.

First look at HTC Status, the Facebook phone – CNET

I’m not digging the design, but have to say the FB button is nice functionality. The messaging is well integrated to the FB experience, as well. It also looks more rugged than most of the large screen smartphones. All that, combined with the $50 pricing, should make this a good product for you mobile users who primarily use texting for their communications.

Microsoft Licenses GeoVector Patents For AR Navigation, Digital Watermarks | TechCrunch

Where MSFT spends their money is where they think the future is. I really like how the explanation of this technology sounds so simple. Simplicity is undoubtedly an even bigger factor for mobile than it is with desktop computing.

Shapeways | Passionate about creating

3D printing has been making big strides, but this site has a lot of potential for it’s speed, cost and tools enabling the creation of products. This space should get very interesting fast.

REPORT: Facebook Click Ad Rates Rose 22% In Quarter

Firstly, keep in mind that stats on Facebook ad CTRs are very new, and there’s an obviously broad range to the data. But it’s not surprising to see money going into Facebook’s paid ads to support the money going into brand pages. Additionally, Facebook has made recent hires to improve the performance of their display ads, so this could be the start of a longer trend.

The Most Engaged Population In Europe Is Dutch But The Future Is Russian

This is an interesting projection of future Internet influence by European country. If true, it will take a few years to play out, but definitely something to read and keep in the back of your mind.

Are There Already Half As Many Users On Two-Week Old Google+ As There Are On Twitter? – AllTwitter

The data is a little thin, and Twitter is not Facebook — Google’s ultimate target — but nonetheless, this is an impressive start. If this is even close to accurate, it indicates Google has done a good job leveraging their size and influence to generate both buzz and desire (or in social stats terms, Mentions and Positive Sentiment  ;) for Google+.

Smartphone Adoption and Usage | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

A good update of figures around smartphone penetration in the US. Most interesting is that while accessing the Internet daily is common among smartphone users (68%), that could be in part because about 1/3 of them report not having high-speed broadband at home.

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The latest trends in digital marketing:

Why Do People Follow Brands? [INFOGRAPHIC]

As I’ve stated, I’m always a little skeptical of surveys, but this does indicate Liking a brand leads to good results.

5 Ways the Advertising Industry Is Preparing for a Digital Future

Some interesting videos out of Cannes that capture emerging trends in the advertising biz.

Facebook hires iPhone, PS3 hacker – Topix

How are things changing in corporate culture? “Hacker” is seen as a good resume tick.

Facebook Experiments With Comment Ads

This is an interesting move, but I’m not sure it addresses Facebook’s real display problem. The issue I’ve seen is that the ads get low response but high conversion rates. That indicates they’re not getting noticed, or aren’t compelling enough. I think the lack of a clear, impacting headline or message here will make these less visible than their current display offering. Of course, these will also go onto people’s Wall, which offers good visibility.

Facebook Marketing Statistics, Demographics, Reports, and News – CheckFacebook

A good general reference tool for Facebook’s global impact. Some of the “% Online Population” numbers feel a little off, but overall there’s some valuable info on here.

Does Social Media Have A Return On Investment? | Fast Company

If speculation about a tech bubble proves correct, ROI will become a hot topic fast.

Silencing Speech With Propaganda – NYTimes.com

A look at how broader communication trends impact large civilizations. While the online marketing world tends to get caught up in individual messages and their perceived impact, this article goes into why the bigger trends happen at a much higher level.

Criteria for Choosing a Full-Service Content Marketing Agency

As a recent Roper survey stated, 9 out of 10 CMOs see content marketing as the future of advertising. Time for brands to figure out what it is.

Stay N Alive: The Power of Google+: Privacy “Circles” the Entire Experience

It’s going to be interesting to see if Google can pull off Google+ better than their previous social endeavors. Reading this, though, the first thing that hit me is, it sounds complicated. The second thing is, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to force people to make more choices when they go to post, other than just ‘Share’. Time will tell, and these days, it doesn’t take much time.

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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

Rising Stars Ad Units

New ad units being supported for standardization by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. I think the big issue around rich media is that it becomes too expensive to produce, when clients could put that money into more long-term site assets.

Mobile Display Advertising Up 128 Percent in Last 2 Years | Adweek

More stats on the growing mobile ad market. Money is pouring into these media units because they’re working. And right now, I think they’re working because they’re unique. Of course, banners once ‘worked’ and were quite unique. The obvious challenge is, How does mobile advertising scale as users see more and more ads?

Television Executives Predict Bulk of TV Content Will Be Available Online and Via Mobile Within 2 Years | Adweek

Bravo. I have to say I’m often baffled by major TV shows that don’t have their content available online, especially on their own site.

For Hipmunk, it’s all about the users– and the UI — Tech News and Analysis

I wouldn’t normally post about a new travel search site, but this is a great example of how a killer user interface can make all the difference. Definitely check out the site’s flight search technology.

DIGIDAY:DAILY – Web Video’s Dangerous Role Model – Display

Even if you don’t plan or buy media, trends like this do a lot to shape creative budgets, which of course determines what you can do production-wise. If web video goes the same route as banners, look for production budgets to go through the floor.

Chief Almir | Most Creative People 2011 | Fast Company

Many of the most striking examples of how mobile and social are changing the world come from the least likely users. That’s probably the single biggest indicator of the potential power that I can think of.

Infographic: Where Is Inbound Marketing Headed?

Whether you call it content marketing, inbound marketing, brand experiences, or word of mouth, these charts show rapid acceleration for this type of marketing.

Record Makers | Adweek

Good examples of buzz-generating campaigns. They shift what the idea of content is about, to much more of an experiential role.

TN3 Gallery – jQuery Image Gallery

Making a website as visually impacting as possible without using Flash has been a real issue now that iPads are the dominant tablet. That could change, but the need for more universal solutions will likely continue to be an issue. This is a series of good examples of how an image-based gallery can be presented that will work across all platforms.

Digital Archaeology: 12 Forgotten Designs That Changed The Web [Slideshow] | Co.Design

With recent developments like mobile web and social media transitioning from early adopter to mainstream, I often see direct parallels between these new technologies and the early days of the Web. What this exhibit does, more than anything, is remind us that whatever the coolest gadget is right now, in no-time, it’s going to feel like an 80s brick cellphone.

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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

Conan O’Brien’s Guide To Creativity | Fast Company

Great read for anyone involved in creative thinking for a career.

Amazon Sells More E-Books Than Paper Ones | Fast Company

The big story here is that the ad-supported Kindle is the top seller. That’s quite a statement, given the book world is probably the most staunch opponent of mixing advertising and content.

Landing Page Basics: Making Your Content Marketing Convert

I like case studies that share conversion data.

Content Marketing Case Studies: 5 Companies that “Get It” [Video]

Highly recommend this 3 minute video. It demonstrates how brands in a range of industries are moving past messages and into engagement.

The History of Advertising on Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC]

What this highlights to me is how little Twitter has really emphasized advertising on their platform.

Official Google Blog: Mining patterns in search data with Google Correlate

I could definitely see this leading to some interesting consumer behavior insights for brands.

DIGIDAY:DAILY – Skimming Over the iPad

This is good information for anyone in the content marketing business. A reminder that a change in medium can mean a required changed in the message. Isn’t there a famous line about that?

Square’s Disruptive New iPad Payments Service Will Replace Cash Registers

Square is definitely in my top 5 ‘companies to watch’. And while enabling mobile credit card payments is great, I think the data they provide merchants is going to be what really pulls customers over from existing merchant accounts.

Groupon Staying Ahead of the Game: Rumored to be in Talks with Foursquare

When a gorilla like Facebook comes into the location-based services fray, it’s interesting to see how the previous leaders in the space respond. Groupon’s trying to work deals through numerous LBS players, which should help them get a quick understanding of where the possible sweet spot is in this market. I still think it will be tough for any of them to beat Facebook, as I see LBS and coupons as more a byproduct of whatever mobile app people use most innately. And that, of course, is Facebook.

The Secret World of Apps | Adweek

While there are a lot of developers complaining about Apple’s app approval process, the real question is, What types of developers are driving app use? That’s what Apple is most certainly gleaning from it’s massive data tracking. And Apple is going to do everything they can to keep those developers and those types of apps in the spotlight. It’s an interesting situation, because while Apple only creates a small sliver of apps, they’re trying to levy their taste on their entire community of developers, for the (supposed) benefit of their customers.

 

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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

TED Talks the Future of Advertising | Post Advertising

TED is looking for ad campaign submission that contain ‘ideas worth spreading’, their theme line.

Customers ask Taco Bell: Where’s the beef? | Buzz Study

A good look at how the recent clamor around whatever Taco Bell puts in their tacos looks from a conversation analysis standpoint. I’m actually surprised to see so much positive sentiment, but then again, there’s very little neutral sentiment, which often has the lion’s share. And overall, this obviously isn’t the type of conversation companies want to see revolving around their brands.

10 Mobile Trends for 2011

I’ve posted other mobile trends article before, but consider them all a good, quick perusal. The thing that always strikes me about the mobile market and it’s emergence is the parallel between it and the Web back in the 90s. Growth faster than many can keep up, lot’s of technical hurdles to overcome, and a lot of over-enthusiasm in some areas while at the end of the day big leaps in overall consumer behavior.

The Old Spice Guy Returns [VIDEO]

He’s baaaack. And not much indication of where this is going, although this certainly isn’t as out there as the previous campaign.

7 internet sins that could make you go viral with your friends – CNN.com

While most brands would NEVER commit any of these errors, it’s good to note that — in an age when companies are trying to sound like people — some mistakes that people make. Of particular note is the Failbook mention. Definitely worth a trip over to that site.

Corona – A simple mobile app development platform

Last week i covered the 14 year old who’s gaming app knocked Angry Birds of the top spot in the Apple app store. I’ve seen several people inquire about what would be a good starter app to learn, or have their kids learn. This is the app the 14 year old learned, and apparently it’s very well designed. For one thing, look at the site design. it’s almost a page off the Apple site. The idea of a mobile platform development app looking like a consumer product page is striking, especially if you compare it to what most small, independent software sites have looked like over the past twenty years.

25 Years of Digital Vandalism – NYTimes.com

There aren’t many who’ve been at the merger of technology and culture as completely as William Gibson has, and this is an interesting comparison of his fiction relative to reality when it comes to hacker culture. With technology being the great enabler it’s been over the past decade or two, it’s interesting to see him make the acknowledgement that he saw things as being more corporate driven, and that in reality much of what’s happened — at least in hacker culture — has been less about evil empires and more about random individuals.

Facebook’s Latest Acquisition Aimed at Improving Local Deals

If you want to know the future of new media advertising, look at the investments the leaders in the space are making. In this case, Facebook is throwing a lot behind the combo of local + social + targeted. This is a good read on how the rest of the industry is trying to beat them to this space.

Visits to Twitter.com Fell 14% in 2010 [STATS]

The chart looks smooth and not haphazard, but keep in mind there are a lot of ways people use Twitter well outside visiting Twitter.com (e.g., mobile, 3rd party apps). Looking at Twitter.com data on Compete.com, it looks much more random. And I’m not always confident in Compete data, either. But this trend would be a sign of a maturing audience, and also indicate that many of those who came on board while Twitter was getting a lot of celebrity hype, may have decided Twitter isn’t really for them, and it’s going back to a more early adopter user base, which would explain the lower usage but with higher frequency and more efficiency.

Facebook – Display Advertising HowTo Videos

The display advertising side of Facebook is probably the most interesting thing happening in paid media right now, imo. Obviously it’s not the graphics or motion, but once you get under the hood are start looking at both the targeting capabilities and the various interactions you can employ, you can see how they’re charting some interesting new territory between paid and social media. Anyone who feels they’re not up to speed on digital marketing tactics should watch these videos.

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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

14-year-old knocks “Angry Birds” from top spot – Holy Kaw!

I don’t think anything points to the breakdown of barriers and old-guard structures like this story. The industry of creating impacting experiences is an open field.

Starbucks Starts Accepting Mobile Payments Nationwide

I love this. And while I like new tech like any other early adopter, this is what it’s really all about. Quote: “In testing, Starbucks assessed the mobile payment option by measuring application speed, transaction speed and total customer wait time, says Brady Brewer, vice president of Starbucks Card and brand loyalty. In all instances, Starbucks Card Mobile was the fastest way for customers to pay.”

Eric Schmidt: All of Google’s Strategic Initiatives in 2011 are Mobile

More signs that mobile’s growth is only going to accelerate. Keep in mind that although there’s an enormous iPhone craze going on, only about 20% of the mobile phones in the US are smartphones. That’s a lot of headroom for growth, and much of Google’s mobile efforts will make phones both more powerful (thus desirable), and cheaper. That’s a powerful combo.

Startup Personalizes and Socializes Desktop Wallpaper

As i’ve written before, I find startups interesting to follow because the difference between a startup and a brand experience is becoming virtually indistinguishable, in terms of the end product. Here’s another example of a product that a number of companies could have come up with … anyone from Nikon to Kodak to Apple. Instead, it’s a small startup that got it out the door.

Social Media Breeds Edvertorial – WWD.com

A very good read. And while the content trend has been building for a while, it seems poised to begin accelerating as digital-based spending did about 7 years ago. This article focuses on the fashion industry, but of course the concept applies to just about any category.

Washington Post Lauches SocialCode, a Facebook Brand-builder – MarketingVOX

Last November my speech at AdTech focused a lot on the trend of publishers getting into the marketing game. This is a huge play along those lines. Details are a bit murky, but what’s clear is that companies are starting to view their communications from a much more content-oriented angle.

Beware the Ad-Industrial Complex. | The Drift from Upstream

I like the parallel Doug Weaver draws in this, between Eisenhower’s self-perpetuating “Military Industrial Complex” and the ad industry, which stands at a point where often the best advice would be to minimize spending in the very manner which they derive much of their profits.

Facebook, Facebook, Facebook » Sociological Images

This is a rather sarcastic look at how the Washington Post has splattered Facebook all over their pages. And while this particular example may be a little over the top, the annotated screen grab serves as a pretty good outline for what all the opportunities are for integrating social media plugins into your a given site.

Life After Santa

Funny new campaign for the Prius. There are a lot of quirky cultural references. It’s quite a comprehensive campaign, including a lot of live location-based events, which are then shot on video for social media distribution. It’s a smart way to do something on a local level and extend that to the larger social media environment.

Keen On… Kevin Kelly: What Does Kevin Kelly Want? (TCTV)

Given KK’s background, I’m always fascinated with what he has to say. Most interesting to me is his comparison in the second video between the early days of Internet experiences, circa 1985, versus today, and how the two are really entirely different mediums. I completely agree, and the long term implication is that the Web is constantly evolving the way no other medium ever has. While all mediums have content shifts throughout their lifespans, the pace of technological progress on the Web gives it an entirely new dimension. One that requires keeping up with trends the way no previous medium ever has.

4 Ways Predictive Analytics Are Being Applied to Business

As someone once said, “The information revolution came and went, and the information won.” What we’ve been left with is a lot of information and little sense of what to make of it. Perhaps the most interesting trend in marketing at the moment is the way data is being crunched and insights derived from it. And the next step beyond figuring out what’s going on is what WILL be going on.

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The latest in content development trends for digital marketing:

Ads Drive the Most “Likes” for Brands on Facebook [STUDY]

going by the wayside. In fact, when tightly aligned with content development efforts, it should be even more effective, as you’ll have both tighter continuity between your advertising and your real brand experience. You’ll also have a likely stronger conversion offering, as content is one of the big reasons for anyone following, or Liking, a brand.

An iPhone app’s real money returns

There’s a lot of curiosity out there around how much you can make from a mobile app, so it’s nice to see someone spit out some hard numbers. These aren’t enormous figures, either. While it will certainly squeeze small developers, there’s a big opportunity for brands to develop many of these apps. Or even buy them out from existing developers, and rebrand the app. For many apps, the real value is in the concept. The backend technologies can easily be replicated, and user experiences can be greatly improved through time and access to good creatives. Both of those are areas brands should be able to excel in. And by pricing them at free, brands can increase the odds of both existing and new customers participating in a tight brand experience.

Understanding How and Why Facebook Users Interact with Brands

As more stats come on Facebook usage, we’re seeing that consumers are not only open to ongoing communications with brand Pages, but they seek out the content. And it’s not surprising that the majority of them are looking for sales and promotions. As brand loyalists, they should be the first to know about any special deals or limited supply merchandise. And close behind the % who want promotions is people looking for good content, often in the form of entertainment. This is both the big opportunity for brands, and where many of them could completely lose it. If they take their fans for granted, or don’t spend enough effort understanding their customer’s content interests, it’s easy for them to move their relationship to another brand.

RareWire – iPad content development platform

While much of this demo is targeted to the publishing industry, i think there’s a big opportunity for brands to put various types of information into this format. From an auto company’s brochures, to a store’s catalog, to a hotel’s guest guide. It’s an impressive demonstration, especially considering publishing from a PDF is a matter of a day or two. Techs like this could breathe new life into PDFs.

Google Engineer Builds Facebook Disconnect

While the creator of this Chrome browser extension explicitly states that this wasn’t backed by his employer, Google, it brings up an interesting situation. The idea of companies creating tools and apps that help people stop using their competitors products. And while I’d advise any brand out there to focus on what they can do to be better, versus a more negative approach, in a crowdsourcing world where large brands can probably find someone out there to build something like this, it could introduce some pretty ugly scenarios.

Marketing: Mobile to Become a $1 Billion Business in U.S. – Advertising Age

There aren’t many categories in this economy with growth charts like this. What’s also interesting — and a big plus for creative marketers — is that mobile display advertising is slated to surpass text messaging in revenues this year. Text advertising, by it’s very intrusiveness, has limited capacity, so my guess is display will pass it convincingly.

5 Mobile User Experiences That Wowed Us in 2010 [Mashable Awards

Good examples of mobile experiences across a number of industry categories.

It’s On: Google Launches Demo Slam

Lodged somewhere between absurdist humor and functional product demonstration, I seriously like the understatement that product demo’s don’t have to be dry as burnt toast. The two I saw were both highly memorable.

5 Lessons Learned from Angry Birds Launch on Android: Tech News

It’s interesting to note that iPhone users don’t seem to be clicking on ads the same rate that Android users are, although they don’t qualify that claim. More impacting is the hassle with which developers go through in Q/A for the various Android devices, which are seeing more and more fragmentation as the platform continues growth. Looking at past parallels, that fragmentation didn’t stop Windows from blowing away Mac years ago. But that also had a big difference in that Windows gained an early platform lead. iPhone still has more overall users than Android, but recent trends have Android selling more phones per quarter.

First Look: Starbucks Digital Network Is Here

The description of this as the digital version of the community cork board in their stores is a great vision for where this will go. Right now, it doesn’t seem to have the localization of that cork board, but then again, they’ve just rolled it out, and it makes sense to roll out with content of national interest for the efficiencies of scale. I like the explanation for why they’re doing this. To create engagement, because consumers have a choice. Whether you call it engagement, experiential marketing, or content development, the principle is the same. This is the way marketers are now choosing to make an impact with their current and potential customers.

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The latest in content development trends for digital marketing:

A Streetwalking Geek With a Hide Full of Napalm: Sony VP James Williamson Will Tear Your Freaking Face Off

A quick fun read about a punk rocker turned corporate VP, and then right back to punk rocker.

Fox Pulls Down Banksy ‘Simpsons’ Video From YouTube

I was set to post the YouTube vid of this, but despite it being pulled, it’s raised an interesting discussion around YouTube’s viral impact on this. The big question is, Could this have spread on Hulu? Probably, but not as quickly or as universally. And in a tipping point world where if something doesn’t catch on at the right moment, that can be a serious detriment to its taking off in a big way.

Google’s Self-Driving Car is Just the Beginning

An excellent overview of both the Google self-driving car as well as the Internet of Things. Check out the second video for a good explanation of the Internet of Things.

Spinning in Circos – Web-hosted data visualization tool

If you’re looking for a great way to add zip to any presentation, data visualization is key. But it can often take a lot of time and effort. This is a tool that promises to make that easier. How effectively this works across all data probably takes some experience working with it, but the idea behind this — instant data visualization — is great.

Top 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch

Mobile is the leading edge of emerging media, and these are the trends to follow. Keep in mind how often early adopters in new media marketing reap the big PR rewards.

Facebook Brand Pages Pay Off

Facebook Page Fans are genuinely interested in the brand: 92% of them in this study are considered brand advocates. And what’s the key to a successful Facebook Page? Content. Fresh, quality content.

Business-Oriented Tools Appear on This Week’s List of Emerging Facebook Apps

Most interesting in this list is the type of business-oriented tools. Page management systems. This is a rich and growing area, as good chunks of VC money have been going into leaders in this area. And that should bring pricing down, making Page management better and more accessible overall.

Bing Gets Something Google Can’t Get, Facebook Data

The projection that within a year this could be giving Bing better search results than Google is huge. It was relevant search results that catapulted Google to the top so quickly. Content developers have to take SEO into heavy consideration, and this puts an entirely new slant on increasing your rankings.

8 Things We Still Hate About the Web – Yahoo! News

A good gut-check on the Web user experience as a whole. It’s always a good idea to even minor UX nags in mind when developing brand experiences for mainstream users.

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