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The latest in interactive marketing strategies and tactics:

BMW Teams Up With, Invests $5 Million In MyCityWay

This looks like a great way to steer the development of technologies relevant to your industry. It gives the tech developers the independence that the top players will demand, while giving them a waiting channel to apply their developments to. The video of BMW execs explaining this potential is bland and predictable. Further reason why they need to partner with companies in which they have a vested interest in, but minimal control over.

Yobongo: Building the Next Location-Based Social Network: Tech News and Analysis «

While there have been a flood of location-based apps, none have really captured anything close to the community sense of a social network. And they’ve come from all angles. Geo-tracking like Loopt. Social checkins like Foursquare and Gowalla. Photos like Instagram. This is an attempt to slide the field across a broader scope of interests than venues, location or pics. It seems like the right angle, but I think the challenge will be whether or not the information they present is relevant to a location-based connection.

Google Tightens the Screws on Content Farmers: Tech News and Analysis «

This will likely be the content marketing story of the year. Not so much this move per se, but the general trend of Google and other search engines looking for ways to ensure that only the most authentic content makes it to the top of SERPs. This is great for brands that look to create and distribute genuinely valuable content experiences to their customers, community members, and prospects.

Where, Why, When & How To Benefit From Google’s Farmer Update

This is why content marketing is going to be a big emphasis for many companies going forward. As long as they do it right.

It’s unofficial: dedicated gaming devices may be losing out to phones

As if there were any more support needed for mobile, consider these anecdotes around the gaming industry. If a culture as critical of their mobile experience as this is fine with playing most of their mobile gaming experiences on a phone, then what technology and user base won’t fall to the convenience of mobile’s irresistible ‘always-there’ feature?

The Facebook “Like” Starts to Replace the Share Button’s Functionality

Good news for content publishers. If your content does get ‘Liked’ by a Facebook user, that person’s friends are going to see a much more compelling presentation of your content. And that should increase the rate people click on it, which of course is your viral impact.

And the Winner of the Academy Award Goes to… Real-Time Social Streams?

The interesting aspect of social viewing is that even if the show is bad, the commentary on it can be fantastic. Thus there’s still a reason to tune in. Add in that there was a lot of Tweeting from celebrities, and it’s like getting a chance to watch a show with that person. Some, like Rosanne Cash, did a great job interacting with what must have been a crush of @replies directed at them.

Four Talent Categories You Need to Win in a Connected World | CMO Strategy – Advertising Age

I’ve posted a lot on the changing agency model, but clients are changing, too. This is an interesting architecture for the type of team CMOs need to be attracting. As expected, there’s a lot of overlap here with the services agencies provide.

Bing Search Results Now More Socially Integrated With Facebook

If you want to see what all the fuss is around the power of Facebook Likes appearing in search results, look at the two graphics in this article, and imagine you’ve just searched and see several of your friend’s having ‘Liked’ one of the links on the page. Pretty powerful.

Brands that have mastered content marketing –

Excellent recent examples of content marketing. The principles laid out around the value of content quality over content quantity are playing out more and more everyday.


The latest in interactive marketing strategies and tactics:

Lil Wayne Crushes Oreo’s Attempt at Facebook Record

Kind of an Ashton Kutcher/CNN Twitter race redux. Not really shocking that the celebrities are taking the victories, either. No matter how much brands work it, they can’t out humanize a human.

Search Optimization and Its Dirty Little Secrets –

If you didn’t catch this article, which exploded on the search blogs this week, read it. It doesn’t matter what aspect of the marketing industry you’re in.

Mobile Phones Will Serve as Central Hub to “Internet of Things”

I’ve posted before on the futuristic ‘Internet of Things’. I like this depiction of the mobile phone as the remote control to, not just your iTunes or TV, but to pretty much everything around you.

A Better Mobile Experience | Facebook

In these images of various phones employing a deeper Facebook connection. In viewing, these feel more like cosmetic issues, but taking individual Facebook components and distributing them across the phone UX does a couple of things. It makes Facebook more omnipresent, promoting use of it’s technology. Secondly, having these integrated into the phone’s database will improve the convenience, and ultimately the reliance people have on Facebook.

Facebook Promises Deep Integration on Many Devices

The big takeaway here is that Facebook wants to be everywhere, and they’re also accumulating the most accurate database of information about your likes and dislikes. Powerful combination.

Make a ClickTurn Ad — ClickTurn

While the value of content marketing is growing, there are still questions about the relationship between content and paid media. Content runs a broad gamut, so it’s not like all content is headline, article copy, and of course, the ensuing community discussion. But when your content can be condensed to an RSS feed, with a headline and copy (or video or podcast), then this is a great option for taking that content message out to paid media units. It’s much like the new Facebook ad units pulling in your Newsfeed posts as the messaging. Only these creatives can go in the places Facebook ad units can’t.

In the Future, Robots Will Surf Their Own Internet | Fast Company

First machines beat us at Jeopardy. Now they’re getting their own social network.

Facebook Page Redesign 2011: All You Need to Know

Given I’m still seeing a lot of Facebook Pages that haven’t updated to the new format, I’ll post this. It’s an inevitability — all Pages will convert March 1st — so no reason not to jump in and figure it out.

LinkedIn Channels 80s Corporate Instruction Videos

I like the concept behind these videos — using the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in short comedic videos demonstrating their service. My issue with the campaign is that it defines ‘content’ the same way so many newspaper publishers do. Thinking that the content experience is not greater than what they publish, disregarding the community as part of the experience. There’s no commenting, but plenty of options to share. Feels very one-sided. I also find it odd that they’re running ads in front of their content, which really feels more like an infomercial than episodic entertainment.


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 –

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 –

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 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 (e.g., mobile, 3rd party apps). Looking at data on, 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.


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 –

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.


The latest in content marketing strategies and tactics:

Why Mobile Shopping Could Be As Big As Online Shopping – Yahoo! News

I’ve compared the mobile industry to the early days of the Web before, and this data also draws interesting parallels.

5 Creative Facebook Places Marketing Campaigns

Places is one of the relatively unexplored ways of marketing on Facebook. While some of these campaigns have the roughness a lot of new media marketing has, they do a good job covering the range of value in this new Facebook feature.

Adverblog: Probably the best ad in the world

I really like this clever ‘life-hack’. Sure, it’s generic to the category, but will probably drive a lot of sharing. My only issue with the campaign is putting the video on it’s own URL, and one that doesn’t even have the brand name in it. Then not even featuring the video on the brand’s home page. I just don’t get why brands continue to produce great content while fumbling the SEO part of the campaign.

Nike Ups Its Digital Efforts With the Nike+ SportWatch GPS | AllThingsD

Nike+ has been a great example of a brand taking the initiative in harnessing the digital world revolving around their products, making it part of their brand experience. Their online runners community is 4 million-strong, the largest community of runners online. How many brands can say they control the largest online community in their industry?

Startup Launches Pandora for Facebook Photos

This is interesting because it looks like it could be another way for brands to engage their Facebook Fans. It simply shows you the most popular photos in your network — something I’d think would be a nice way to casually peruse Facebook content. Popularity here is based on number of comments, like and tags. And brands with thousands of Fans generally get very high interaction counts on photos. The big question is, will they factor out Pages, reducing it to only your friends? They’ll probably have a filter for that, but then again, a lot of bands, celebrities and causes are central to people’s content interests, so it’s likely they wouldn’t be excluding Pages. Wins “Best Mobile App” [MASHABLE AWARDS]

Here again is another example of an app that could have been part of a branded experience, developed by virtually any car company. It would have underscored their innovation, technical prowess, and concerns for safety.

The Next Media Disruptors are Mobile Pure-Plays – Steve Rubel

An overview of why mobile could be the primary distribution platform for brand and product experiences. The core idea is summarized in the term ‘transmedia’, in which there’s convergence, with mobile being at the epicenter.

Foodspotting Thinks It’s Ready to Blow Up

Great new app that’s part Instagram, part Pandora, part Foursquare. Incidentally, this is the second app I’ve seen this week claiming to be ‘the Pandora of _____’.

60 Second Problem Solver: How Can I Get Better Search Results for My Videos on YouTube? – MarketingVOX

Given how often I see potential viral content that’s poorly search engine optimized, this would be a good read for anyone releasing a brand video.

eBay Upgrades Mobile Offerings with Augmented Reality, Barcode Search – MarketingVOX

eBay’s new app for sounds like a great strategy: Help consumers compare prices while they’re right in the store. And of course, eBay often offers a way to purchase something new or ‘like new’, but at greatly reduced prices. So while more and more shoppers are using their phones to research products in store, eBay could be siphoning off buyers right at the point of purchase.


The latest trends in social media and content marketing.

Logic+Emotion: 11 Actionable Trends For 2011

Very solid predictions on where companies should be placing their emphasis in the social media and content marketing space.

5 Web Technologies and Trends to Watch in 2011

One of the more tech-focused trend projections I’ve seen.

I Didn’t Know You Could Do That With Google Docs

Imagine a video showing nothing but the creation process of a business presentation that’s 450 pages long and full of charts, data and bullet points. Oh, and it currently has over 1,000,000 views on YouTube. Companies have more ways to tell their stories than ever before. They just have to get creative with them.

Foursquare Puts The Kibosh On Friend-Tip Spamming

Recently I read a good post that addressed the potential issue around companies being able to game social networking systems by encouraging users to “Like” them, thereby inflating the actual love for the company. That may seem good for social media marketing in the near term, but if Facebook and others are basing their search engines on that type of algorithm, you can see how easy it will become for companies to game that system, eventually rendering it useless (anyone remember search engines right before Google came out?). With this move, Foursquare is clearly dealing with this type of situation.

eBay: Mobile Sales Grew From $600 Million To $2 Billion In 2010

While mobile’s been genuinely hot for the past year or so, people have still doubted it’s ecommerce potential. And while there are certainly a lot of holes to be filled, this is some remarkable data confirming that when given a shopping environment they’re comfortable navigating and purchasing from, they’ll shell out the bucks.

Avatar Kinect brings magic of motion-controlled chatrooms to 360

I never thought I’d see a SecondLife-type VR system and Microsoft appearing in the same post here, but when you look past the cliched confines of this current technology, I think there’s big potential. And while social media may be shaping up to be more about our real selves than our imaginary selves, I think this potential runs more into the entertainment/gaming area. There will always be appeal for escapism, and I could see this being more about creating fictional characters with real personalities than anything else. Think anyone being able to create a Max headroom and run their own talk show.

Data: StumbleUpon Beats Facebook As Top Social Referrer

If this holds, StumbleUpon will be looking at a lot of potential for generating revenues from advertisers. And it certainly should place them on the list of content development and distribution partners.

Funding Lessons from a Successful Kickstarter Campaign

If you haven’t heard about this story, it has a lot of great branding, marketing and product development elements. Be sure to watch the video on the company’s site.

Has Google Admitted Defeat in the Social Web Race?: Tech News and Analysis «

The battle between Google and Facebook only seems to get more and more interesting. This is a good read, although I seriously can’t imagine Google already throwing in the towel, whatever trends the analyst sees.

Marcel the shell | The Glue Pot

I’ve been reading Clay Shirkey’s “Cognitive Surplus”, which speaks to the mass power of creativity that’s continuing to be unleashed through the accessibility of content creation tools. This video is another good example of that.

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The latest trends in content development and social media:

Virgin Beats News Corp. with First Publication Made for iPad – Yahoo! News

Online content doesn’t care who or what type of brand you are. We’re going to start seeing more and more cases of aggressive marketers acting more like publishers than many publishers. Sure, many will fail, but the marketers that figure it out should make out quite well.

N.Zealand website defends topless breast cancer campaign – Yahoo! News

I can only imagine how much traffic this has driven to their site. The bigger question, of course: How many people are donating more than naked pics?

Eight Things I’m Sick Of In Social Media | Forrester Blogs

I’m digging Augie Ray’s writing more and more, and this one is right on.

For DecorMyEyes, Bad Publicity Is a Good Thing –

Must-read story about the absurd business practice of generating bad publicity to increase your Google search rankings. Google has already moved to address this issue.

Google’s “Gold Standard” Search Results Take Big Hit In New York Times Story

Danny Sullivan’s take on the NY Times story about a business intentionally trying to generate negative reviews for SEO ranking benefits. Danny’s right in saying this is a short term win, and not really a long-term sustainable business model. Sure enough, Google has already moved to fix this. The bottom line is, creating a positive experience online is always going to trump trying to goose the system, no matter how minimal or absurd that approach is.

ItsMyUrl Puts Your Whole Online ID into a Barcode

I’ve been a little surprised the use of QR codes hasn’t taken off more. Perhaps mobile smartphone use is still in a relatively infant stage. Whatever the case, we’re seeing a lot of different techs based around the idea that taking a photo is easier than entering text (think Google’s new Goggles). And as mobile phone cameras get better, and faster, and mobile data speeds and processors get faster, grabbing info off a QR code is going to get better and better.

Google Earth 6: Here’s What’s New

While most people are talking about 3D trees in the new Google Earth, I think the historical imagery is much more interesting.

6 Free iPad Apps for Planning Your Next Vacation

If you work in the travel industry, these are some apps worth noting. And perhaps what’s more worth noting is that while several of these apps are nice, there would seem to be a lot of room for new content in this category.