Integrated Brand Communications
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Integrated Brand Communications
Focuses on branding and the role of communication methods such as advertising, events, sponsorships, content marketing and social media.
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2014 PR News and PR Newswire Survey: PR and Marketing Are Aligning, Now What?

2014 PR News and PR Newswire Survey: PR and Marketing Are Aligning, Now What? | Integrated Brand Communications |

PR News recently released the findings of a survey conducted with PR Newswire into the alignment of PR, marketing and advertising. At the highest level, our joint survey revealed a true movement toward alignment across the three disciplines—but it is important that we take a deeper look at the results and not “call it a day.”


There is still much work to be done to ensure that these departments, agencies and practitioners are truly working together in additive, differentiated ways, and not simply cannibalizing each other’s efforts.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A brief summary of recent research done by PR Newswire that examined the alignment of PR, advertising and marketing.

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Your Story is Your Brand - Empower Employees and Customer Advocates to Carry the Message

Your Story is Your Brand - Empower Employees and Customer Advocates to Carry the Message | Integrated Brand Communications |

With all the social media frenzy these days, it’s hard to focus at times on what really matters: relationships, not likes, social mentions, or tweets.


Businesses still speak the language of positive customer outcomes: we measure revenues, customer lifetime value, loyalty, customer retention, referrals, advocacy and acquisition. All these “business” results come from growing and deepening customer connections.


That means growing a human element in order to scale relationships. That’s why every executive and business owner today is a Chief Relationship Officer.

Via janlgordon, Gladys Pintado
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Presents a very interesting discussion about the need to "scale" relationships between the #brand and its employees , advocates and customers. The concept of "return on relationships" is provocative and insightful. However, is it doable or desirable for every brand?

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s comment, September 7, 2013 8:38 PM
Scalability only works with very standardized and repeatable product/services. If you are a customized job shop the scalability of direct SME interaction is limited and ultimately a money losing proposition, unless you bill for it. Think about legal or medical practices where every interaction is likely to be unique.
Hans Heesterbeek's curator insight, September 9, 2013 12:31 AM

we need marketing, we need the people customers, employees, freinds. We need relationships. Relationships are build on authenticithy are build on feelings, truth. Not build on hollow frases you have to put in energy in relationships and honesty. Meeting people one way or the other 

janlgordon's comment, September 9, 2013 2:10 PM
Hans Heesterbeek I absolutely agree with you, thank you for your comment.
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Why Content Gets Shared: Content Marketing Social Mentions Study

Why Content Gets Shared: Content Marketing Social Mentions Study | Integrated Brand Communications |
Content Marketing 101 "Wow you create a lot of content," a friend said at lunch yesterday. I felt the need to apologize (again). "I love Internet marketing,

Via Martin (Marty) Smith
Martin (Marty) Smith's curator insight, July 12, 2013 6:36 AM

Why Content Gets Shared
Turns out our gut instincts about content marketing are correct. The TOOLS we use and the content we curate and create make a difference in the amount and velocity of our social shares.

Tools such as and your blog are indispensible say the results from a 30 day in depth view of @ScentTrail mentions on Topsy. Type of content also matters.

Infographics, SEO and my trusty ScentTrail Daily generate the most mentions. Friends also matter.

#4 on the mentions list is group tweets from friends with thanks or best wishes for the weekend. Staying connected and sharing are critical to successful content marketing.

Interesting bottom line is a confirmation of what all content marketers know to be true. Confirmation of the fact that content gets shared is in the numbers. I don't curate or create 30 pieces of content a day (well not on most days lol) and I've certainly NEVER created 66 (most mentions in a single day in this study.

These numbers confirm what we know - content gets shared and explains what types of content is most likely to generate shares and what tools to use to promote shares.

Brian Yanish -'s curator insight, July 12, 2013 11:34 PM

Marty thanks for sharing this study. In the world of online social sharing we need to rethink of the role as content providers. 

My thoughts on how old content media producers need to evolve.

Interesting to see how newspapers, tv and radio are starting to figure out the "value added" model of internet marketing.  People will pay for digital content, and the great thing for the publishers is the low cost of distribution. Online marketers have done it for years using micro websites with targeted content and now apps. I don't see why a newspapers,etc. should be any different.


The way I see it is the newspaper and their website should be the teaser to the value added content. Right now it's like they tell the story and move on, then cry the blues, no one will pay us for our content. Now if they extended the content or partnered with someone (eg health or fitness) for value added content people would pay. 


The newspapers, tv, etc, need to become the advertiser of the content, instead of depending on advertisers to support the media.

They have a reader base that many bloggers would love to have, but they need to rethink the connections they make with the reader.

Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, July 13, 2013 7:23 AM
Great analysis by Brian. I go even a step further in Saving The News&Observer and suggest that newspapers become part of their own rehabilitation by embracing the CROWD in real time by throwing off their "we are here to guide you" ethos. The editorial-centric model is over. Brian's idea about promotion-centric is a good one, but I want more. I want these organization deep in the weeds on things so WEB marketing they can't NOT understand how DIFFERENT life is and will always be from that magic time when a newspaper could take down a President, we could only watch 4 TV channels and exciting programming was a show about a boy named Beaver :). M
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Social Media Marketing in the B2B Arena Still Needs Improvement [Infographic] | Business 2 Community

Social Media Marketing in the B2B Arena Still Needs Improvement [Infographic] | Business 2 Community | Integrated Brand Communications |

We’re well aware of the highs and lows of B2B social media marketing, given  that that is what we do ourselves, so a new report showing how companies are  faring piqued our interest.


B2B Marketing have released this interesting infographic  (below), based on findings from their Social Media Benchmarking Report. It shows that social media  is still a maturing channel for marketing in the B2B world, but there are still  many areas of improvement to be had..


When it comes to social strategy, it seems that B2B companies haven’t quite  got the hang of planning their social marketing; only 38% said they had a defined strategy,  with a huge 61% saying it was ‘ad-hoc’. They do, however, largely think that  social media is important or at least of some importance, so that’s a step in  the right direction.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, Twitter was the most popular platform, with 85% of  respondents using it for their marketing. Facebook was only fourth most popular,  after LinkedIn and YouTube, with Google+ lagging behind in last place.


But it’s not all bad for Google+, as 29% of those surveyed said they though  that in 12 months the platform would be the most useful channel, compared to  just 9% saying it was so right now.



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B2Bs Struggling With Online Marketing Mix; Sales Cycle Gets Longer

B2Bs Struggling With Online Marketing Mix; Sales Cycle Gets Longer | Integrated Brand Communications |

US B2B marketers are struggling to optimize their online marketing mix, with  many unable to segment and target the right decision-makers or measure program  success across the entire marketing funnel, according to the results of a survey  developed and fielded by Crain's BtoB magazine and business audience marketing  company Bizo.


Moreover, the sales cycle has lengthened for the plurality of B2B companies  (43%), increasing pressure on Marketing to boost brand awareness to help deliver  leads and effectively nurture them through a prolonged buying process, the study  found.


Read more:

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Some interesting stats about the state of B2B digital marketing and the brand challenges being faced.

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The Rise and Impact of Infographics: Marketing in the Social-Media Age

The Rise and Impact of Infographics: Marketing in the Social-Media Age | Integrated Brand Communications |
Infographics have become more popular with the rise of social media, fuelling the need for instant results by providing content in bite-size chunks.

Via janlgordon
Mercor's curator insight, January 28, 2013 7:38 AM

Scooped by janlgordon onto Curation, Social Business and Beyond

janlgordon's comment, January 28, 2013 3:27 PM
Deb Nystrom, thanks for your comment
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Why Marketers Should Stop Worrying and Start Loving Big Data | SmartData Collective

Why Marketers Should Stop Worrying and Start Loving Big Data | SmartData Collective | Integrated Brand Communications |

Big data offers a lot of possibilities and opportunities for marketers to start making a lot of money based on their data. Successful marketers have figured out how to use big data to squeeze billions for marketing and help their companies grow.


This infographic, developed by Grant Stewart, clearly shows that marketers are not yet using big data enough, while it could earn them millions in additional revenue.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A good summary in #infographic form of the potential uses for #bigdata sources and the financial implications.

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The Evolution of Marketing Data [Infographic]

The Evolution of Marketing Data [Infographic] | Integrated Brand Communications |

Metrics & ROI - 


With each passing decade, marketers' ability to better understand their customers deepens.


In the early 1960s, advertising and direct mail were aimed at the masses. According to the research in the following Infogroup Targeting Solutions infographic, "by 1967, the term 'direct marketing' was coined, referring to communicating directly to the customer based on household and demographic information."


In the 1970s, data surged to the forefront of the marketing industry. In 1977, the International Association for Statistical Computing was founded to "convert data into information and knowledge." In 1979, Oracle gave birth to the relational database.


The 1980s focused on using database marketing to analyze customer data, create target segments, and reach them through direct mail and telemarketing.

To find out more about how marketers' use of data evolved throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, take a look at the following infographic.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

An interesting #Infographic that reviews the "Path to #Personalization" from the 1960 to the present and how Marketing #Data has evolved. Contains some good summary milestones.

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The Rapidly Diminishing Authenticity of Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

The Rapidly Diminishing Authenticity of Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today | Integrated Brand Communications |

Join me in a journey back to a simpler time; a time of innocence, hope and more than a little naivety. I'm talking, of course, about 2008. Facebook has 100 million users, a mere 200,000 people access Twitter each week, no brands are doing anything more than experimenting with the nascent social medium and virtually no one is employed full time in the field of social media marketing.

Those of us who are predicting the future are writing about the power of this medium to create greater authenticity, to build trust and to surface genuine advocacy. Success will not be won, we emphatically declare, by the brand with the largest advertising budget but the brand that earns authentic relationships and activates authentic Word of Mouth based on trust, transparency and a commitment to do right by the customer. Brands that collect authentic fans and engage in authentic conversations will thrive while those that cheat to accumulate worthless fans and trivial conversations will suffer when consumers learn of the brands' inauthentic exploitation of the social medium.

Authentic, authentic, authentic--social media may hold many surprises as it matures, but by God, we know the future will be authentic!

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Integrating QR Codes into Your Marketing | Business 2 Community

Integrating QR Codes into Your Marketing | Business 2 Community | Integrated Brand Communications |

In the past five years, we have seen QR Codes seep into marketing plans. First  seen in magazines and on food packaging and then later on metro commuter signs,  newspaper ads and retail signage. What’s next?

Well, get ready for the second wave of QR Codes marketing ideas in  2013.


In the past few months, QR Codes have been popping up in unique places:

My recent Amtrak ticket stub had a QR marketing tag with the option to  purchase my next ticket.A flyer included in my cell phone bill contained nine QR Codes to advertise  new mobile apps.My NYC hotel had a QR Code in my room to announce a mobile concierge  service.Last week, I purchased cupcakes at one of those popular gourmet cupcake  shops, and their weekly specialty menu was just a scan from the tag on their  bright pink box.

My firm is currently working on re-introducing QR Code marketing to our  clients. Just some of the markets we are working on this Spring include the  Festival and Events vertical market, the Real Estate market and the Retail  market.



Stacy Coburn's curator insight, April 26, 2013 3:52 PM

Consumers are seeking an interactive experience and ease-of-use, why not add a QR code to a DM piece to drive to web?

  • Consumers want to click-through a mobile centric site with easy touch icons.
  • They want visual aids and easy-to-read text.
  • Consumers want a rich experience with photos, video, audio files and promotional materials.
  • They also want current information, such as that weekly gourmet cupcake menu or a current list of bands playing at next week’s festival.
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Content Marketing's Definitive Formula [graphic]

Content Marketing's Definitive Formula [graphic] | Integrated Brand Communications |
Content Marketing has been remarkably exposed over marketers’ activities the last couple of years. However, companies seem to struggle upon the development

Via Martin (Marty) Smith, Russ Merz, Ph.D.
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s curator insight, March 23, 2013 9:19 AM

The tricky part is step #3--"Identifying Topic and Message". The rest is pretty standard tactical planning procedure.

Esther L's comment, March 24, 2013 9:15 AM
Step #3 is the tricky one but also the most interesting to marketers. That's were the good marketers knowledge of the product, the customer, analysis and results interpretation comes into place.
Mike Ellsworth's curator insight, March 24, 2013 4:16 PM

I think the most important step in this formula is the one most often ignored: 

Step 2. Determine Objectives.