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Content Marketing:What’s Your Content Strategy For 2013 And Beyond? | Business 2 Community

Content Marketing:What’s Your Content Strategy For 2013 And Beyond? | Business 2 Community | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
We have all heard the familiar adage “content is king.” The Content Marketing Cycle: In 2013, Content Marketing Will Become the Backbone of all Effective
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Presents and discusses five key components that brand managers need to consider.

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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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A Smörgåsbord of Content Marketing Metrics

A Smörgåsbord of Content Marketing Metrics | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

What kind of content marketing metrics should you be measuring, to determine whether you have the right strategy in place? Which metrics are the best indicators of success?

Back in 2012 we published some research on attitudes to measuring content marketing. After surveying 1,300 marketers we found that unique visitors was the main metric used to determine whether content was successful, followed by views, and then time spent on site.

These are perfectly reasonable things to track, and they are meaningful to a point, but most businesses will only invest in things that affect profits and sales. With that in mind, views and visits might not be best thing to focus on.

So what are the best content marketing metrics to track? After all, there’s more to life than visitors and page impressions, right? 

Indeed there is. I thought I'd compile a bunch of the best metrics in a chart, split across four areas.

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Looking for some metrics you can use to measure your brand's #contentmarketing performance? Here is a menu of 40 measures--surely one of them will work.

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The Explosive Growth Of Influencer Marketing And What It Means For You

The Explosive Growth Of Influencer Marketing And What It Means For You | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

The voice of the customer has always been one of the most powerful concepts in marketing, and today’s social media platforms act as one giant megaphone for that voice.

 

In fact, social media has fundamentally changed the balance of power between customers and brands because it enables peer recommendations to play a much greater role in purchasing decisions. According to a McKinsey Study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Given the importance of peer recommendations and their amplification through social media, influencer marketing has become a widely discussed topic among marketers. This is especially true given the prevalence of influencers in the growing “millennial” and “mom” demographics.

 

Influencer marketing can be loosely defined as a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers. In the past, brands may have focused on popular bloggers and celebrities but today there is a new wave of “everyday” consumers that can have just as large of an impact.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article discusses how the concept of #influencermarketing is evolving with greater attention given less to bloggers and celebrities and more emphasis being placed on consumers that have three characteristics--audience reach, brand expertise and credibility, and strength of relationship with followers. Implications for #brands are addressed.

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Karen Kerski's curator insight, Today, 11:24 AM

Social media has changed the balance of marketing power as consumers have limitless sources of information. Impactful exposure for brands has become more difficult.

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How-To Integrate Your Marketing

How-To Integrate Your Marketing | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Integrated marketing communications might only be three words and twelve syllables, but this communication strategy provides a framework to unite your marketing messages. If your company does not follow the twenty five year old communication model, you are part of the majority. Typically, being part of the majority is a good thing, but not in this instance. With more distribution outlets and new ones popping up everyday, it is imperative now more than ever to quality assure that your content is integrated across every communication channel.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A good overview of #IMC [Integrated Marketing Communication], what it is, why it is important, its relationship with #contentmarketing  and the skills needed.

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The Rise of Purpose-Driven Social Marketing - Marketing Technology Blog

The Rise of Purpose-Driven Social Marketing - Marketing Technology Blog | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

You’ll often find me in some huge debates online on anything related to politics, religion and capitalism… all the red-hot buttons that most people avoid. It’s why I have personal and branded presences across social media. If you want marketing only, follow the brand. If you want me, follow me… but be careful… you get all of me.+

While I’m an unabashed capitalist, I also have a big heart. I believe we should help one another and not depend on bureaucracies that are inefficient and ineffective. I truly believe the way we change things is by taking personal responsibility and helping to be the catalysts for change. Our agency is always donating time, money and other resources to not just help charities… but to also help businesses that don’t have the resources but have promise. +

It’s no longer good enough to just have a social media presence. Marketing 3.0 will be won by those who become purpose-driven social brands, and to do so, the CMO, CSO, CSR, and Foundation leads must align to bring a cohesive brand story to life. Check out We First’s infographic below with some cold hard facts that make it clear the future of profit is purpose, and the most iconic brands of the future will be those that drive the most meaningful social change. Simon Mainwaring

It’s not just the right thing to do, being purpose-driven is also becoming an expectation of businesses, the motivation for employees and a growing buying habit by consumers. People want their money to go to businesses that are environmentally aware, treat their employees well, and invest time and energy in making the world a better place. +

I’m glad purpose-driven marketing is becoming a growing strategy and topic of conversation – I’ve written before about the frustration I have when people criticize cause marketing (we discussed this with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge… ugh). I’d encourage every company to promote the efforts they’re making to help those around them – this inforgraphic points to why!

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

An interesting blog post about the increasing traction that social activism is getting in social media marketing. Of particular note is the notion that this is becoming a new and powerful means for #brands to articulate positions and execute campaigns on a wide variety of social issues.

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Martin (Marty) Smith's curator insight, September 10, 3:33 AM

Brian is SPOT ON here as usual. We've been watching the annual Cone Consumer Activism Survey for years. The number of consumes who want their brands to do the right thing about health, the planet and human rights has grown steadily for years.

Brian is right when he says it isn't enough to make a great widget anymore. Everyone makes a great widget now. Now we buy from those who are "like us" and who we love.

You can't buy love, but you can sure influence it by your deeds and actions. When I started selling bar soap for P&G a lifetime ago (1981) what a marketer SAID was important.

Marketing was about knitting SAYINGS together and repeating them enough to drill them into memory. Now marketing is about what we DO and any dissonance between what we DO and SAY is death.



Karen Dietz's curator insight, September 10, 6:14 PM

Here's a handy infographic that addresses a shift happening in business: being purpose driven and sharing that story.


Being purpose driven means a company focuses on how their products/services not only solve a customer's problem or fulfills a need, but also positively contributes to fixing a social problem or makes a difference to humanity/the planet.


Certainly this infographic shows the consumer desire for this and the opportunity gap for businesses.


But hold on! If you name this activity "purpose driven marketing" you are already following the path to ruin. Why?? Because it will be a marketing project (re: a snow job) instead of the way the company fundamentally does business.


So be like Patagonia and a few other companies who really are purpose driven. There are far more companies today who are just jumping on this bandwagon but not walking their talk.


But if you can tell this kind of powerful story about your business, all kinds of rewards are in store for you.

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Spotlight | 10 Digital Marketing Mistakes Every Brand Makes (and How to Recover)

Spotlight | 10 Digital Marketing Mistakes Every Brand Makes (and How to Recover) | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
Here, we explore the most common digital marketing missteps and offer advice on how brands can alter their approach to boost customer experience and ROI.

Despite digital marketing's relative infancy, organizations across industries recognize that these emerging channels require significant attention. From smartphones to social media, digital has become an integral element in the way consumers operate day-to-day.

 

Yet, while all companies currently reside at different levels of digital adoption, all run the risk of committing the very faux pas that may hinder future progress and success. Here, we examine the 10 most common digital marketing mistakes in the space today, while also offering advice on how companies can rectify their approach as they work to realign their mindset: 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A great set of guidelines for brand managers about how to avoid common #digitalmarketing mistakes and then fix things after you make them.

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How Product Packaging Affects Buying Decisions [Infographic]

How Product Packaging Affects Buying Decisions [Infographic] | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Smart packaging helps its targeted consumers feel an emotional attachment to a brand.

 

One-third of consumer decision-making is based on packaging, according to research cited by The Paper Worker in the following infographic.

 

The infographic provides a look at the various elements of product packaging and how they influence consumers.

One crucial element of successful packaging is an icon: "Emotions are often also connected to brand icons as memories and feelings can be brought up on sight, leading to long-term relationships between the brand and the consumer," states The Paper Worker.

Color also heavily influences purchasing decisions, as does typography.


Moreover, design is capable of not only inspiring a purchase from the targeted consumer but also creating a ripple effect: "A friend snapping a photo of attractive packaging and sharing it on Facebook has great potential for being quickly shared by others, therefore attracting new customers," suggests the following infographic.

To find out more about packaging that influences purchases, check out the infographic:


Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A very thorough collection of #package design factors that brands use to affect buying decision. A keeper for future reference.

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6 ways to prove PR value with Google Analytics

6 ways to prove PR value with Google Analytics | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

You’ve pitched the story, secured some big placements and compiled a stellar clip book for company leadership. It’s time to kick up your feet and enjoy a job well done, right?

 

Wrong. With online measurement platforms at hand, you’ve only just begun.

 

Google Analytics helps industry pros go beyond vanity metrics such as circulation to demonstrate how PR directly affects brand awareness and sales. To illustrate PR value and highlight social media successes, add the following Google Analytics tricks to your toolkit:

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article raises awareness among #PR practitioner of how the #digital and #online performance of PR activities can be assessed with Google Analytics and related tools. This represents an application that is infrequently discuss or considered.

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How Coca-Cola and Yoplait Use “Customer Participation” Marketing – And How You Can, Too

How Coca-Cola and Yoplait Use “Customer Participation” Marketing – And How You Can, Too | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
Coca-Cola and Yoplait are enormous brands that already have millions of customers, but they are also known for their innovative marketing. Here’s how Coca-Cola and Yoplait used customer participation in their marketing to engage their customers, build loyalty and ultimately drive greater revenue.
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Good examples of the use of participation marketing as a brand tactic.

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The Marketer's Guide to Developing a Strong Brand Identity

The Marketer's Guide to Developing a Strong Brand Identity | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
Learn how you can define your company's brand -- or work with an agency to help them define it for you.
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:
A useful set of guidelines to keep in mind.
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10 ways to increase customer engagement in ecommerce

10 ways to increase customer engagement in ecommerce | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

High street stores are getting their mojo back, so what can ecommerce do to engage the consumer?

 

Here are just 10 features that help to keep customers engaged on ecommerce websites. If you've seen any innovative new features from ecommerce companies, please let us know below.

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article compiles 10 ways that brands can build customer engagement with their #ecommerce activities. Good reference value.

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How Your Eyes Move on a Website - Marketing Technology Blog

How Your Eyes Move on a Website - Marketing Technology Blog | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

For creatives, I’m sure there’s someone inside screaming at them to be different and avoid building a website that looks and acts like everyone else. From a marketing perspective, though, we’ve educated our visitors over a decade now as to what to expect on a website and how to navigate one effectively. As a user, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as trying to find the contact information, click back to the home page, or scan the page easily when it’s not designed according to modern norms.+

In the infographic below, Singlegrain teamed up with Crazy Egg to present useful information on eye tracking that can help you improve user experience on your website.

Responsive design has added to this complexity – ensuring that designers properly size graphics for every viewport and provide interactions that are just a thumb press away! That requires some well thought out pages that are simple to scroll, find what you need, and read and retain it. +

Your designer may be tempted to do something quite different… but don’t be surprised when that impacts bounce rates and conversions as visitors get frustrated and leave!+

 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

6 tips for designing #brand #websites for better user experiences.

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Michael Allenberg's curator insight, August 9, 11:50 AM

So much can be gleaned from this...

Terry Patterson's comment, August 9, 7:04 PM
Good one, Michael.
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Brand Chorus Launches the StoryScore Index: a New Measure of Social Media Effectiveness

Brand Chorus Launches the StoryScore Index: a New Measure of Social Media Effectiveness | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Most brands today define the effectiveness of their social media programs using measures of popularity – likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.   While popularity is an important measure, it’s not an indication of how well social media drives brand equity.  That’s why Brand Chorus, the social business intelligence practice of brand consultancy, TippingGardner, has launched StoryScoreTM(http://www.storyscore.com) a new tool to measure how well a brand’s social media narrative aligns with their broader brand strategy.

“Brand strategy is not a popularity contest,” says Martyn Tipping, CEO, Brand Chorus. “Piano-playing cats and questions like ‘what’s your favorite movie?’ boost engagement scores, but do nothing to build brand equity. By focusing on short-term, one-off hits, brands are missing the opportunity to drive their brand story and create a compelling narrative on social media.”

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Details have been unveiled about a new brand metric called the StoryScore Index. it presumably quantifies the relationship between #socialmedia content and brand equity development. Worth a look.

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What Makes People Click and Convert [Infographic]

What Makes People Click and Convert [Infographic] | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Ever notice those giant SUBSCRIBE buttons? Those, among many other buttons, are calls-to-action. Also known as CTAs, these buttons lead each person to make a decision. That decision could be to subscribe to a newsletter, purchase something, download something, watch something–anything, really.

So naturally, you want to make your CTA as appealing as possible, to get every person who sees it to click on it.

Uberflip released an infographic detailing what steps you can take to make your CTA the belle of the ball, so to speak. Here are some of Uberflip’s tips, along with our own examples, to make your call-to-action stand out:

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Great content marketing tips for helping your call to action (#CTA) stand out.

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Majority of Marketers Say 'More' to Brand Awareness Efforts - eMarketer

Majority of Marketers Say 'More' to Brand Awareness Efforts - eMarketer | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

An outright majority of marketing professionals worldwide plan to increase their spending on brand awareness in the next 12 months, according to research conducted for eMarketer in August 2014 by InsightExpress—compared with just over four in 10 who said they would be spending more on demand generation. 

 

Nearly 56% of eMarketer Daily Newsletter readers and visitors to eMarketer.com said they would be spending more on branding-related activities over the next year, while another 27.0% would maintain current spending levels. Brand awareness was a higher priority for eMarketer’s audience than demand gen, global business expansion efforts, or spending on events—none of which attracted a majority to increase spending.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

The latest survey by eMarketer confirms--#brandawareness is important to marketing professional and will be getting more investment in the future.

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Behind the Vans Boom - BoF - The Business of Fashion

Behind the Vans Boom - BoF - The Business of Fashion | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

LOS ANGELES, United States — “Vans was a brand that was run very emotionally,” said Kevin Bailey, president of the action sports division of VF Corporation, which owns Vans, a company with almost 50 years of heritage, as well as associations with Z-Boys Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta, who created modern skateboarding in the early 1970s. “I think emotion is capable of sustaining a brand for a period of time,” continued Bailey, who previously spent time at Nike, American Eagle and Lucky Brand.  “But with global growth ahead of us, if we want to reach beyond the confines of being a fairly regionally-driven brand, a Southern California brand, we really needed to understand our consumer better. Instead of being purely emotional and right-brain-driven, we had to add the left brain and get smart about it.”


Getting smart about it has led to impressive results. From 2008 to 2013, Vans grew revenues from $750 million to $1.7 billion. The second quarter of 2014 marked the company’s 19th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. And the brand says it’s on track to reach its target of $2.9 billion in revenue by 2017. But Bailey — who returned to Vans in 2009, after a two-year absence — is already thinking beyond 2017.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A very detailed description and #casestudy behind the growth of the Vans #brand. This is a great example of a successful brand revitalization strategy and all the pieces that are necessary to pull it off.

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The content with the best ROI

The content with the best ROI | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Stop wasting time on content marketing tactics that don't bring results. This infographic reveals which types of content work best, and the metrics you should track.

 

Only 27 percent of marketers effectively measure content marketing, an infographic from Captora says.

But if more marketers would start, they would like what they'd find.

The infographic explains why organizations should use content marketing, what type of content has the best return on investment (ROI), the metrics organizations should track and more.

The content with the best ROI include:

Case studiesProduct collateralCustomer testimonials

The top metrics B2B marketers track are:

Web traffic (63 percent)Sales lead quality (54 percent)Social media sharing (50 percent)Sales lead quantity (48 percent)SEO ranking (44 percent)

Want to find out more content marketing secrets? Check out the infographic:

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Looking for some help in developing and measuring your #brand's #contentmarketing program? This infographic can help.

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How to Optimize Your Copywriting for Search Engines in 2014 - Marketing Technology Blog

How to Optimize Your Copywriting for Search Engines in 2014 - Marketing Technology Blog | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

We still have training sessions with our clients to clarify a lot of questions regarding search engines and how to write to improve your visibility. Plain and simple you don’t write for search engines, you write for people. I believe Google’s algorithms have finally advanced to recognize authors and authority, sharing and popularity, citations for distinction, and content to feed the intent of the searcher.+

Copy is one of the most important aspects of onsite Search Engine Optimization. But with Google constantly pushing new algorithm updates and changing the rules of the game, it’s really hard to keep track of what works. Moreover, it’s difficult to know whether your optimization efforts are doing more harm than good to your rankings. Here are 13 tips that will help you write content that ranks in 2014. Michael Aagard, ContentVerve

In 2014, the infographic absolutely focuses on the right experience for the reader. I don’t honestly believe this is SEO Copywriting, I’d argue that the tips are simply great copywriting tips. From an SEO standpoint, there’s still an opportunity to ensure that great content is presented well on your site, though. Compelling titles, related articles, site and navigation hierarchy, visual media, mobile responsiveness… all of those aspects need to be interwoven with your content strategy to ensure an awesome user experience. When that happens, great search engine rankings will follow! +

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Important guidelines for writing and structuring brand website content to optimize search results. There have been some recent changes in the algorithms used by Google that make these guidelines valuable.

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Karen Kerski's curator insight, Today, 11:26 AM

It's true - write for humans and optimize for robots. But it takes more than keywords and blogging to compete for page rank.

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Southwest Lets Fly Massive Brand Refresh

Southwest Lets Fly Massive Brand Refresh | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Southwest Airlines is unveiling an unprecedented brand refresh as it grows up and out of the U.S.

 

The carrier is revamping its campaign, tagline, in-airport signage and even the aesthetic of its planes -- everything Southwest that's seen by the public is part of the effort, which will emphasize the company's heart and the hospitality of its employees. The initial effort breaks today with a commercial unveiling the new plane design themed, "Without a heart, it's just a machine."

 

The effort comes as Southwest tries to position itself as a more professional and mature airline. It's 2011 deal to acquire AirTran is expected to be completed by the end of the year and the carrier has begun offering international flights and broadening its U.S. footprint to hubs like New York and Washington D.C. In July, Southwest announced plans to resume a list of 50 potential international cities the former "peanuts airline" may expand into.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A good case study of Southwest Airline's brand revitalization strategy. The new positioning of "Without a Heart, Its's just a Machiine" sets it apart from its competition by focusing on its people. Whether it is believable and compelling only time will tell.

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Brand Storytelling: Turning Casual Fans into Passionate Followers

Brand Storytelling: Turning Casual Fans into Passionate Followers | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Many brands build communities and even acquire fans, but precious few turn fandom into cult followers through their marketing strategy. But one notable exception is Black Milk, a quirky Australian fashion brand, which uses brand storytelling to chart the future of retail, social cliques, and the so-called “third shelf.”

 

The great equalizer in attracting the new fashionista set is content, and no brand understands that better than Black Milk Clothing. The online retailer sells Spandex clothing (primarily tights) and is rapidly expanding to dresses, skirts, and workout gear.  What’s so special about that? Black Milk is revolutionizing how online clothing brands use social channels and consumer-generated content to sell online. And it’s getting bankable attention — without fancy shop windows or big advertising campaigns. In fact, Black Milk has never advertised, never promoted a post, or paid for a “like.”

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article outlines 6 ways brand stories have been used by fashion and retails brands to build a follower base on #socialmedia. #storytelling

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What are brands for?

What are brands for? | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

WHEN Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth-largest cigarette-maker, said in July that it would spend $7.1 billion to expand its business in America, its chief executive, Alison Cooper, was adamant on one point: it will not be buying companies. Instead, in a three-way deal with Reynolds American and Lorillard, it will pick up a factory, a sales force and, above all, a collection of brands. Two of them, Winston and Blu (an electronic-cigarette brand), will be “the focus for the lion’s share of time and money invested”.

 

No management expert would think it strange that Imperial would spend the best part of $7 billion on something as ethereal as brands. They are the most valuable thing that companies as diverse as Apple and McDonald’s own, often worth much more than property and machinery. Brands account for more than 30% of the stockmarket value of companies in the S&P 500 index, reckons Millward Brown, a market-research company. Everyone knows that a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt costs more than a polo shirt; Coke without the logo is just cola. Ms Cooper hopes to exploit Winston’s “untapped brand equity”.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A thoughtful discussion about #brandequity and the vagaries of determining #brandvalue. Definitely worth reading and quite likely to start an argument.

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Study: Mobile Ads Actually Do Work - Especially In Apps

Study: Mobile Ads Actually Do Work - Especially In Apps | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Even as mobile ad revenues skyrocket at sites such asFacebook and Twitter TWTR +0.65%, the little banners still don’t work as well as they could–or so goes thewidespread perception. But a new study out this morning from the mobile ad serving and tracking firmMedialets indicates that they work better than many advertisers thought.

What surely hasn’t worked is the ability to connect the dots between clicks and views on a smartphone or tablet with “conversions,” adspeak for getting people to buy something, download an app, apply for a credit card or simply click over to a web page. Unlike on standard computers, the identifiers called cookies mostly don’t work on mobile devices.

So Medialets, which works with many of the largest publishers from Google GOOGL +0.22% to the New York Times as well as mobile ad firms Millennial Media MM +0.85% and Twitter-owned MoPub, uses other means (if you must know,HTML5 local storage and hardware advertising identifiers) as well as what few cookies it can use to track ad response with what it claims is 85% of the accuracy of cookies on computers.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A new study reported by Robert Hof in this Forbes article reveals the power of in-app #advertising on mobile devices to get the attention of customers. Click through rates (#CTR) are twice as high on mobile apps versus websites. But clicks aren't everything, there are some clear caveats to consider as well that are also outlined by the author. A must read for brand managers placing ads on the web and on mobile devices. 

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9 inspiring ads that broke down stereotypes (single page view) - iMediaConnection.com

9 inspiring ads that broke down stereotypes (single page view) - iMediaConnection.com | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Brand messaging has long permeated our culture. In the 1960s, American girls grew up believing that "blondes have more fun" and if you "give her a Hoover, you give her the best."

 

Mad Men-era ads promoting lotions and dishwashing liquids extolled the terror of turning 30. Ladies, your hands and face will dry up like a crustacean if you do not moisturize constantly. In the words of an old lotion ad, "Would you want to hold hands with a lobster?"


While a lot of progress has been made in the last 50 years, sexism and ageism obviously haven't disappeared from advertising. A woman, regardless of color, is often portrayed in limited capacities. She's young mommy calmly strapping her kid into a minivan or she's the mom with a Mona Lisa smile pulling out a fried, frozen chicken dish proud of her cleverness at meal problem-solving. Invariably, this includes a Martha Stewart look that has sustained for 25 years: blue work shirts and khakis. 
 
If a woman is over 30, she is plopped on a couch chatting about her intestinal bacteria with Jamie Lee Curtis or doling out sage cleaning tips. If she's under 30, she's the large breasted, slim-hipped "up for anything" sexpot who paaarrrties with a cold round of brew. This is the same woman who, upon turning 45, becomes the patient, yet loving "up for anything" spouse of her tired, irritable, cannot get anything up, 50-plus partner of erectile dysfunction prescription drug ads. And all of these white gals do yoga!

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article reviews some of the progress made by some brands to remove the use of sex and age based stereotypes in advertising. It contains some very good examples.

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Sophie Bloomfield's curator insight, August 12, 9:33 PM

These brands have made a bold move by confronting stereotypes. Not only do I applaud them from an ethical viewpoint, but it's also interesting to see that these risky ads have sparked a lot of social conversation about their brands; both good and bad. Is any attention good attention?

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How Are You Doing Compared to 400 Other Marketers? - Marketing Technology Blog

How Are You Doing Compared to 400 Other Marketers? - Marketing Technology Blog | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

How Are You Doing Compared to 400 Other Marketers? by Douglas Karr on Marketing Technology Blog

 

We’ve been having some incredible meetings with an enterprise company recently. They have all the challenges you can think of – a small team, enterprise structure, franchises, ecommerce… the works. Over time, they’ve evolved with their small team to a hodge-podge of technology that’s becoming more and more difficult to manage. Our job is to map out their strategy and drive their costs down by centralizing and investing in flexible solutions. It’s not a task for the faint at heart.

As we sit at the table, the team often gets both embarrassed and frustrated at many of the gaps that they have left open or their lack of speed at adopting new technologies. It seems whenever I meet with a company their team has this same reaction. Marketing resources are a luxury in this economy and companies shouldn’t be embarrassed that they’re unable to keep up. The industry is moving fast, and virtually ever platform is fighting for marketing dollars – confusing the heck out of marketers who are already getting pulled in every direction.

Given that, it’s always nice to feel as though you’re not doing too bad. This extensive research project from Ektron will help put you at ease… and maybe even make you feel good about the progress you’ve made and the roadmap you’re taking. Chances are, you’re probably ahead of the curve!

 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Useful stats that #brand managers can use for comparative purposes.

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Georgia Allen's curator insight, August 14, 12:38 AM

It's a great idea for businesses to bench mark against competitors to gage an idea of how they are doing in the market. For new and small businesses this is essential. 

Scooped by Russ Merz, Ph.D.
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Infographic: Brewing Up the Best Content

Infographic: Brewing Up the Best Content | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

There are many paths you can take when forming your content creation process. Some companies put their focus on creating as much content as quickly as possible, while others take their time and prefer quality over quantity.

Today’s infographic comes from ExactTarget and it shows us how the process of creating content can be analogous to making a great beer. It can come in different forms with different readers and goals in mind.

Like all great things, quality content isn’t made by one person. It takes a team to produce creative, memorable content. For every great author there is a team of editors, publishers, and other supporting members that help create that great story. Two heads are most certainly better than one.

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A useful infographic outlining 8 stages in the development of #marketingcontent as an analog to beer brewing. The message is that quality content requires thought, care and control.

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Alex Bartley Catt's curator insight, August 6, 9:26 PM

This graphic quickly illustrates the connection between brewing a quality beer and creating effective content for a marketing strategy. 

What quickly becomes evident is the importance of understanding your consumer through research with an emphasis on key insights. Like most effective marketing strategies - the process and planning is crucial. 

Scooped by Russ Merz, Ph.D.
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Why Smart Brands Are Leveraging User-Generated Content

Why Smart Brands Are Leveraging User-Generated Content | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Whether your brand is paying attention or not, the people who love your company are online creating content for you by sharing photos on Instagram or Twitter, using relevant hashtags on social media, leaving comments on your blog, writing their own articles and posts about your brand or creating videos about your product or services.

It’s called user-generated content. And it’s a content marketing strategy you should get on board with, if you’re not already.

 

Companies can work smarter, not harder, when they take advantage of user-generated content and let their fans do the heavy lifting for them. Here’s why.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This articles outlines 4 reasons why #brands should consider using user generated content. (#UGC)

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Elise Hunter's curator insight, August 6, 5:10 AM

Marketing strategies have made companies jobs easier when it comes to user-generated content. PWOM is spreading and companies can take advantage of it.

Lauren Mackie's curator insight, August 6, 8:21 PM

Using Social Media is an effective method for promoting your brand. Social Media encourages 'user-generated content' this third party endorsement can benefit branding. Four benefits of engaging in this aspect of social media are:
1. Time Saving
2. Brand Loyalty
3. Sense of Community
4. Authenticity