Tag Archives: marketing


Digital Radio: The Next Marketing Frontier

Date Posted: March 31, 2015 by


ScreenShot2015-03-31at3.31.50PMOver the past few years internet radio has been testing the traditional radio market. People are not only listening to music through a radio in their home or car, but instead they are streaming music through a web browser or app. Unlike traditional radio, we are now able to customize what we are listening to via internet radio sites such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, iRadioPhilly and Spotify. So how did we get here? And why should marketers be aware of the emerging market of internet radio?

When radio began it was a form of communication for news and entertainment. The invention of the television shook up the radio industry, and ever since, radio has become more of roadside companion. Now radio is facing competition once again. Internet radio began in 1996 with sonicwave.com. After the introduction of internet radio, the Digital Millennium Copy Right Act was enacted, forcing internet radio broadcast to pay additional royalty fees compared to traditional radio’s charges. Even with the additional royalties, internet radio companies have been flooding the market with great success.

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Radio has many listeners, especially people commuting to and from work or school. The issue marketers tend to have with radio is that it is broadcasted to a wide audience that is not easy to track. However, internet radio listeners must have a registered account, so it is possible deploy messages based upon demographics and other audience specific metrics. What is helping to make these internet radio sites attractive to listeners is the ability to customize music stations. For example, Pandora’s Music Genome Project creates personalized playlists based on each listener’s unique tastes based on their choices, and subsequently linked with genres, artists and songs.

The share of time adults spend between media channels has been shifting throughout the past five years. EMarketer has shown that Pandora’s growth has doubled, while traditional radio dropped by 3%. By the end of 2014, Pandora reported 81.5 million active listeners, while Spotify and iHeartRadio, reported 60 million listeners, each. According to The Infinite Dial, just under 2/3 of 12-24 year olds listen to online radio weekly. Therefore, internet radio caters to a younger demographic, which have been more of a struggle to reach for most marketers.

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Internet radio advertising has the advantage of targeting within their platform. For instance, most internet radio providers can target by age, gender, zip code, time, day, and device on which the ad is shown. Beyond that, internet radio companies offer the use of ad banners, takeovers, sponsored sessions, audio, video, custom playlist, and engagement functionalities within the site and app to provide advertisers a full brand experience. Beyond advertising as a junction in the listening experience, some listeners with opt in for ads to have longer period of time without them. As an example of such a tactic, Spotify now offers a sponsored session where listener receive 30 minutes of ad-free listening if they watch a video in its entirety.

So what does all of this mean for the future of the radio industry? Radio is still a large part of people’s lives and should not be overlooked, at least not yet. Internet radio is evolving and could soon be as integral of a part of the daily commute as traditional radio. Car are currently being built with Wi-Fi capabilities, which will make it easier to stream internet radio while driving. However, Android may be taking it a step farther with Android Auto, creating an platform for vehicles that would be optimized for driving with integration within the digital world – apps, music, and directions. All-in-all the future of radio is changing and marketers should embrace the new channels that are emerging as a way to better reach specific audiences, and tie back exact performance metrics.

 

 

 

How Leveraging Mobile Matters to Marketers

Date Posted: March 19, 2015 by


In light of the release of the Apple Watch, it is imperative to recognize the momentum and merit of digital technology. Whether it be wearable tech or the GPS programmed into your

Recently, Google worked with Ipsos and Sterling Brands to measure the influence of mobile technology on consumer shopping behavior and expectations. This research revealed that 71% of consumers cited the increasing importance of their smartphones to their in-store experience.

Perhaps one of the more prominent pieces of information drawn from this study (and one that we as marketers should draw from) is that the consumer experience begins well before the act of in-store shopping. In fact, 87% of shoppers look for information before going into any store. Whether to compare prices, diversity of goods, or user ratings of product value, consumers increasingly look toward their mobile devices to sway their decision of where, when, and how to shop.

The value in this information lies in the knowledge that consumers will avoid stores that lack searchable information on location and stock availability. Indeed, data shows that 3 in 4 shoppers who find local information via search results are more likely to visit stores.

But the necessity of mobile-compatible search and utility isn’t exclusive to the pre-shopping process. Consumption of online information also occurs during a shopper’s in-store visit, as well as afterwards. Whether for retail, technology, food or healthcare shoppers, the availability and accessibility of shopping information is evermore essential to the shopping—and marketing—landscape.

At the end of the day, mobile more than matters: it has become a lifeline between the consumer and the brand. As eMarketer predicted, smartphone usage worldwide would have grown 25% in 2014, with the number of smartphone owners totaling more than 1.76 billion by the end of last year. The merit of this is immense; shoppers today carry a communication channel in their pocket and are equipped with amounts of information unlike ever before. If we, as marketers, want to continue to enliven our brands in this digital age, we must embrace and optimize mobile utility for brands and respective consumers.

6 Fundamental Tips for Marketing Success

Date Posted: February 26, 2015 by


untitledAs Vince Lombardi once said, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” I think marketing professionals, if dedicated to winning, must apply these principles to their work. Here are some other fundamental tips that can help guarantee success in today’s competitive marketing arena.

Be on the Right Side:

Be on the right side of big data. With digital media, today’s marketers have an opportunity to forge one-on-one relationships with consumers that generate a limitless supply of consumer data points. To uncover valuable insights into your customers’ behavior, prepare to mine this information and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. For example, consider using your social media metrics to discover new niche audiences by grouping people based on behaviors and interests rather than traditional demographics.

Be Aggressive: 

Be aggressive and drive conversions, not vanity metrics. Campaign impressions, likes, and followers are great, but lead conversions are paramount in today’s competitive marketing environment. You can define conversions as the number of people who filled out a contact form, made a purchase, clicked on an email link, or signed a petition — whatever action accomplishes your overall goal, says Sara Helmy, CEO of Tribu. “Conversion rate is by far the biggest indicator of whether or not our efforts, as a marketing agency, are successful,” said Helmy.

Be Tough: 

Have tough conversations with your marketing partners now rather than later. For example, does your advertising agency add value to your bottom line? Long-term marketing success depends on having the right conversations with your agency at the right time. Have you established key performance indicators and success benchmarks? Try to develop SMART goals for your relationship. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based. Accountability is critical for all the players in your marketing efforts, including your advertising agency. 

Stay Agile: 

Fluidity is a game changer. Gone are the days of duplicating the same media plan quarter after quarter. Instead, conduct smaller, incremental tests that allow for adjustments. Your marketing plan should continually evolve in response to a constant influx of data. Data and analytics allow for these types of definitive metrics today.

Have the Right Game Plan: 

Have the right game plan as it pertains to technology. In today’s digital environment, it is imperative that marketers understand technology and how to apply it to marketing programs. Make sure your team stays apprised of the constant technological advancements in marketing and understands how to leverage it to your company’s advantage.

Don’t be Afraid to call an Audible:

Embrace change; for example consider Omni-Channel Marketing: The term “omni-channel” describes a significant paradigmatic shift: Marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. So what does the omni-channel experience actually look like? In the words of John Bowden, senior vice president of customer care at Time Warner Cable: “Multi-channel is an operational view – how you allow the customer to complete transactions in each channel. Omni-channel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omni-channel anticipates that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution. Making these complex ‘hand-offs’ between channels must be fluid for the customer. Simply put, omni-channel is multi-channel done right!” 

Vince Lombardi also said, “Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible.” Which is good to keep in mind, whether you’re building a brand or building a team.

the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” I think marketing professionals, if dedicated to winning, must apply these principles to their work. Here are some other fundamental tips that can help guarantee success in today’s competitive marketing arena.

Be on the Right Side:

Be on the right side of big data. With digital media, today’s marketers have an opportunity to forge one-on-one relationships with consumers that generate a limitless supply of consumer data points. To uncover valuable insights into your customers’ behavior, prepare to mine this information and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. For example, consider using your social media metrics to discover new niche audiences by grouping people based on behaviors and interests rather than traditional demographics.

Be Aggressive: 

Be aggressive and drive conversions, not vanity metrics. Campaign impressions, likes, and followers are great, but lead conversions are paramount in today’s competitive marketing environment. You can define conversions as the number of people who filled out a contact form, made a purchase, clicked on an email link, or signed a petition — whatever action accomplishes your overall goal, says Sara Helmy, CEO of Tribu. “Conversion rate is by far the biggest indicator of whether or not our efforts, as a marketing agency, are successful,” said Helmy.

Be Tough: 

Have tough conversations with your marketing partners now rather than later. For example, does your advertising agency add value to your bottom line? Long-term marketing success depends on having the right conversations with your agency at the right time. Have you established key performance indicators and success benchmarks? Try to develop SMART goals for your relationship. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based. Accountability is critical for all the players in your marketing efforts, including your advertising agency. 

Stay Agile: 

Fluidity is a game changer. Gone are the days of duplicating the same media plan quarter after quarter. Instead, conduct smaller, incremental tests that allow for adjustments. Your marketing plan should continually evolve in response to a constant influx of data. Data and analytics allow for these types of definitive metrics today.

Have the Right Game Plan: 

Have the right game plan as it pertains to technology. In today’s digital environment, it is imperative that marketers understand technology and how to apply it to marketing programs. Make sure your team stays apprised of the constant technological advancements in marketing and understands how to leverage it to your company’s advantage.

Don’t be Afraid to call an Audible:

Embrace change; for example consider Omni-Channel Marketing: The term “omni-channel” describes a significant paradigmatic shift: Marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. So what does the omni-channel experience actually look like? In the words of John Bowden, senior vice president of customer care at Time Warner Cable: “Multi-channel is an operational view – how you allow the customer to complete transactions in each channel. Omni-channel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omni-channel anticipates that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution. Making these complex ‘hand-offs’ between channels must be fluid for the customer. Simply put, omni-channel is multi-channel done right!” 

Vince Lombardi also said, “Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible.” Which is good to keep in mind, whether you’re building a brand or building a team.

Super Bowl Commercials: the Good, the Bad and the Innovative.

Date Posted: February 9, 2015 by


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Super Bowl commercials might be short in duration, but viewers around the world certainly don’t spend a short amount of time “YouTubing” them. This year, as of the day after the game, we have spent 4 million hours watching Super Bowl ads! So is that a lot of time? Last year, we spent about 2.2 million hours watching these video ads; the numbers nearly doubled! That’s not the only rising Super Bowl statistic- the price is certainly increasing too. The cost of a 30 second slot during the 2015 Super Bowl was $4.5 million…that’s $150,000 PER SECOND! For reference, the first Super Bowl was held in 1967, and they priced the commercials at just $41,000. This brings up the questions, what makes the large cost of these spots valuable? Are they really worth the investment?

The number one commercial for the2015 Super Bowl was by Budweiser. On top of the millions of views from people watching the game (which was the largest viewing audience for the event in history), Budweiser also received 21 million views on YouTube! More than that, people are invested in these commercials, and even save their bathroom breaks for the game as to not miss any! For those of you who may not have been able to hold it, we’ve recapped the good, the bad, and the innovative ads from the 2015 Super Bowl.

The Good:

While The Super Bowl is primarily known for heartfelt or hilarious videos created by beer and candy companies, this year things changed. Some of the most memorable commercials included PSAs. The NFL has received a lot of negative media coverage over the last year in regard to incidents of domestic violence linking back to their players, so they created a very compelling commercial to try and regain some trust while generating awareness and support for Domestic Violence sufferers. The subtle 911 call audio combined with images of a house in conflict brought an eerie reality to the painful occurrence, while asking that we listen to people asking for help and take a stand together. Using a different approach to build the Always feminine hygiene brand, #Fightlikeagirl empowered viewers to be more aware of the way they understand, portray and in turn, value contributions from women because of the effect of the negative perceptions have on the development of individuals, and society as a whole. This ad was very relevant with larger exposure to the feminist movement, while also joining forces with a cause, therefore adding brand value.

The Bad:

GoDaddy, who is known for the racy and humorous commercials, was forced to take down their commercial and make a last minute switch which in turn reduced their number of views to a fraction of what they would’ve been. The pulled video played off of Budweiser’s heartfelt puppy appeal, showing a lost puppy’s journey back to the family farm, only to be greeted with delight on being able to sell the puppy on her new GoDaddy Website. What was created in jest caused enough unrest among early viewers that the brand made the decision to forego the exposure. Some would wonder if that outcome may have been to GoDaddy’s benefit, with the added exposure before the spot even aired on National TV.

The Innovative:

Doritos continued their “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign where they solicit customer commercial entries for a chance to be selected as an official Doritos Super Bowl ad. Millions of people view and vote on the video submissions, and Doritos chooses one or two of those commercials to actually air during their slots. Not only does this leverage customer prizes like trips to the Super Bowl, or $1 Million and a dream job at Universal Pictures, but by actively engaging the brand with customers, Doritos gets more exposure, benefits from customer innovation, and connects more directly with the customer values/mindset.

With our love of all thing marketing, some of us here at i76 Solutions guessed which brand commercials would be the most viewed. Here are the results:

1. Alexa – Budweiser (21 million views) #1 overall Super Bowl commercial!

2. Napoleon- T-Mobile & Kim Kardashian (13.1 million views) #3 overall Super Bowl commercial!

3. James – NFL Domestic Violence (5.7 million views) #8 overall Super Bowl commercial!

4. Michael – Skittles (1.2 million views)

5. Katie – Doritos (774,000 views)

6. Drew – GoDaddy (101,000 views)

Appy Halloween!

Date Posted: October 29, 2014 by


Bubble, bubble, toil and tech-savvy.App_Halloween

As soon as temperatures begin to drop, we notice holiday decorations creeping into the aisles of stores, and await the release of seasonal-flavored everything. Pumpkin spice has become a staple of the leaves changing, from your coffee, to your soap, and even your chips. This progression plants the pumpkin seeds of sales into the back of consumer minds.

Total spending for Halloween in 2014 is projected at $11.3 billion – with the average household planning to spend about $125 on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations. What’s more than sales and spider webs is a relationship with brands that people look for to integrate into their holiday season.

The changing sales landscape has shifted toward the customer experience and integration via multiple touch points, such as a weekly e-newsletter or Facebook News Feeds posts. Customers are looking for ways to connect digitally, and more than ever, the key is creativity in reaching them in a relevant and meaningful way. A space where there is a lot of availability to do so are holiday apps. Here are some fun Halloween apps customers can make use of, from tracking your little ghost or goblin to zombifiying your pictures.

-The Walking Dead: Dead Yourself – Create a photo-realistic Walker zombie out of yourself, your friends, and even your feline with The Walking Dead props and features.

-Halloween! – Explore ringtones, wallpapers, costume ideas, trivia, a built-in countdown and flashlight for trick-or-treating.

-Pumpkin Pal – Get your pumpkin carving fix without all the mess and hand cramps.

-Halloween Party Sound Lite – Mischief can be managed with this app offering an array of screams and screeches, complete with a time delay for a hair-raising result.

-Trick Or Tracker – Use GPS functions to get text message updates of where your trick-or-treater is on their candy journey, with mapped locations.

How could your company engage customers with a meaningful experience? Let’s figure it out together!

 

Technology Obsessed, Marketing Challenged: Part 1

Date Posted: July 17, 2014 by


Did you ever wonder what life would be like without technology?

Well, before you answer that…since everyone else on my team decided to introduce themselves at the top of their first blog post, I’ll do the same.  I’m Drew, co-founder of this fun little agency we call i76 Solutions.  I run point on the technology and operations for the business…in addition to replacing the hand-towels in the bathrooms when they’re out…Now, back to the initial question.  What would you do without that smartphone?  Your laptop? Headphones?  SmarCar?  Television?  In some ways, life would be much simpler.  But we’re beyond the point of no return – and now, we need to keep up the pace to stay relevant.
This isn’t my first attempt at a blog.  The wildly popular (cough, cough) “Tones in Your Headphones” was born back in 2009 and hasn’t been touched since 2011.  Maybe I’ll get back to it someday. Thank God I have our awesome intern Rachel to keep me on schedule with this one.  I feel good things coming…I’ve always had an obsession with technology—computers, video game systems, the internet—and have followed their innovations and advancements from a very young age.  I wrote my first “application” at the age of 12 (okay, it was a “basic” programming app on a Commodore VIC-20 but it worked.  All 1,811 lines of code!). Like some of you, I was on AOL when it had no GUI and was just a glorified bulletin board.  At age 15, I figured out how to connect my modem directly to my friend’s computer across town so we could chat by typing to each other. I’m pretty sure I invented peer-to-peer chat before AOL did.  Okay, maybe not.  But, yeah, I was a geek…Fast forward to my adult years, and I’ve never been more excited than about where the world is right now—from a technology perspective, anyway (we’re severely lacking in common sense).  Innovators much smarter then I could ever hope to be are constantly challenging the universe with advancements that offer new ways to communicate, interact, and live.

First, I have to say, I love what I do—helping people navigate the ever-changing landscape of marketing and technology.  What was once, for the most part, single-layer solutions to accomplish a client’s goals and objectives (although sometimes multiple single-layered solutions were run parallel to each other) has now become multi-platform, multi-channel, multi-device insanity!  And the best part about it all is that when you know what you’re doing, you can pretty much ensure that you’re getting a return on your investment.   Running lean and efficient—and EFFECTIVE.
So I thought I’d use my maiden post to tell you about one of our latest toys here at the office.photo_(2)-418070-edited
Meet “A.v.a.” (aerial video agent), the i76 drone. You might ask, “Why does a digital media agency need a drone?”  My answer is why the hell not!  :)  Actually, this amazing little piece of technology has tons of real-world applications outside of being super fun to fly!  Equipped with a hi-definition, 14 megapixel camera, the still shots and HD video that A.v.a. beams back to earth are spectacular. Looking at the world from a whole new perspective—literally—keeps my creative juices flowing and helps my agency to stay relevant by coming up with new ideas and strategies that could generate buzz and awareness for our clients.  We’re not the first company to adopt a drone and begin to integrate the technology into our thought process, but we do think exposing the technology to some of our clients allows us to stay ahead of the curve and promotes the forward-thinking conversations that can help differentiate our strategies from the rest.  Think about the real estate vertical, the commercial and residential home services industry, photographers, event and entertainment companies.  The list of possible applications goes on…
Now of course, there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to flying drones.  Some states are passing legislature to limit drone flying—and we’re keeping up with the latest news and information. If and when we have legislature governing what we can and can’t do with A.v.a., we’ll be sure to fall in line.  But until then, we’ll practice safe flying and keep our eye on the communications from the FAA.
So how does the title of my blog post and an introduction to A.v.a tie together?  Well, personally, the “technology obsessed” part absolutely refers to me as an individual—however, I use it in terms of referring to the majority of the world.  A.v.a. is just MY latest little obsession; however, when is the last time you sat through a meal where you or someone you’re dining with DIDN’T check their smartphone (See “23 Signs You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone“)?  Get it? This obsession applies to us personally as well as in our business life.  If people don’t respond to emails within the hour of them being sent it’s almost considered ignorant.  That being said, the majority of us can probably agree we’re constantly connected—and it’s hard to disconnect.

Smart marketers realize that in order to penetrate an “obsessed generation,” they need to talk to you through your technology—by way of advertising in your apps, on your lockscreens, embedded in mobile websites, through direct email and using text / SMS messaging.  The “marketing challenged” part of the blog title comes in here.  Which platform or content channel is most effective?  How successful are in-app banner advertisements?  Does a higher CTR (click-through rate) on a mobile banner campaign mean that people are truly more engaged with your brand—or are our fingers just too fat to click and browse on those small screens?  That’s where we’re focusing much of our time as an agency when we deal with the marketing and media placement portion of our business.  We have great relationships with our partners in the mobile marketing space (Google, MoCentric, to name a few) that have enabled us to really have some fun and do some real-world testing with the latest mobile marketing technologies.  Mobile marketing needs to be a core part of any marketing campaign in order to ensure success.  It’s where the people are….  The tough part is navigating through the options.  My agency loves that challenge and I believe it’s something we do quite well.  We are a technology and marketing company—so we narrow down the options and turn the best into opportunities for our clients.
But mobile marketing is only one piece of the puzzle.
In my next post, I’m going to spend some time taking a look at the process involved in building and executing a strong digital marketing strategy.
But before I sign off…take a look at some video A.v.a. shot of the i76 campus: