Archive for August, 2012

Memo to CMO’s: Business Marketing Strategy First, Metrics Second

Posted by Mark Hughes on August 31st, 2012 at 9:38 am

C3 Metrics CEO wonders if CMO’s are on Vacation (or Permanent Vacation)?
Several years back, I escaped to Sea Island, GA for a vacation.  Upon return, my boss came into my office, quietly closed the door, and asked if there was anything I wanted to tell him.
Puzzled, I said everything was fine.  He told me that when people go away on long vacations, momentous decisions were often made.  People would reflect during this time of pause, and make life-changing decisions--announcing divorce, big career shifts, etc.
He asked me again.  Same response, I’m fine.
I was running advertising for a publicly traded company, with an agency known for its Cannes Award-Winning work.  Within six months, I left for the Internet.  In fact, I made plans for that dramatic career shift while on vacation.
As CMO’s leave for vacation this year, the seeds of shift will spawn.  It’s no secret the average tenure of a CMO is 22 months and shorter.  So the question every marketer will ponder from California to Cape Cod is how to reverse that trend.
As the CEO of C3 Metrics, you would think my answer would have something to do with media buying, such as attribution modeling or viewable impressions, as this... Read more

Is great storytelling losing out in the move to digital?

Posted by Brant Emery on August 31st, 2012 at 7:28 am

It has long been accepted that we create stories to cognitively process and order our experiences, gain perspective and to structure the world. People use stories to understand who they are as individuals and as members of society. The importance of narrative as a communication tool is undisputed.
Consumers also interpret their exposure and experience with brands via narrative thought processes. For example, if you ask someone ‘why did you buy a Volkswagon?’ you might get a personal story of how the purchase fits with their needs or prior experiences “I had a Civic before, but with two kids now, I did some research and feel a VW is the safest car in its class; it’s the smart choice.”
Advertising has long been (implicitly) aware of the power of storytelling. Some adverts tell complete stories, some continuing stories, like the famous 1980’s Nescafe Gold Blend couple (voted most romantic advert of all time in the UK), while others encourage self-generated narratives by evoking simulations of product use. Consumers then overlay these stories onto existing narrative structures and connections are made.
But as we shift to the new model of digital media, are we losing the opportunity to tell stories?
In Matt Spangler’s series ‘The... Read more

Building Communities of Passionate Users: What I’ve Learned

Posted by Kristin Hambelton on August 31st, 2012 at 5:18 am

In the words of American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez: “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
Inspirational words in their own right, and applicable to Chavez’s cause, but I think there are also important takeaways when it comes to building and reinforcing a sense of community in business. It starts, and ends, with the customer. Organizations must ensure that customers’ aspirations and goals are at the center of their technology development and innovation ambitions. With a shared understanding of those goals, organizations can build the framework for a passionate, loyal community.
Within the B2C world, there are numerous brands that embody a sense of fervent community – Harley-Davidson and MINI are obvious examples. For B2B organizations – particularly those whose customers make long-term investments in technology and processes – building and sustaining a sense of community and instilling loyalty can be no less important.
In my experience at Neolane, it’s especially important for B2B organizations to reinforce that their long-term prosperity is directly... Read more

Twitter Interest Graph

Posted by Tom Edwards on August 30th, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Today featured a rather large announcement from Twitter regarding the future of their advertising product. According to multiple sources the announcements hit the wire today. I was at Twitter HQ in San Francisco just a few days ago and the Twitter Interest Graph was a featured topic of discussion. I just received the green light to discuss publicly from Twitter today, so here we go.
Now that the news has been unveiled, let's take a deeper look at the Twitter Interest Graph and it's potential impact for our clients. With 140 million users and strong international growth, further developing their ad platform was an obvious next step to drive increased value and offer additional opportunities to monetize their brand relationships.

Currently, the promoted tweets product was focused primarily on amplifying messages to users who were either already following a particular brand or a similar association as deemed by Twitter. Now by introducing the ability to target promoted tweets via other factors such as location and now interests, this opens up the landscape for brands to capitalize on growth and awareness goals that were simply not feasible until now.
An example of this would be American Airlines. Currently, AA could use a promoted tweet... Read more

"Local" is Trending

Posted by Leslie Van Zee on August 30th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

"Local" is Trending
When it comes to advertising today, local is trending. We can see this from examples in the industry as well as in changes to Google search and the way people are using social media. With Smartphones in the hands of most consumers today, technology makes it even easier to connect with a local business or service provider right when you need it.
In 2010, Twitter released their Local Trending Topics feature and just recently, Google launched Google+ Local, allowing businesses more opportunity to get noticed by people in their area. This allows businesses and consumers to connect in a way that is beneficial to all parties. Consumers can see reviews, Zagat ratings, search for businesses based on keywords and zip codes and more. Google also now keeps track of the physical location of viewers that are performing searches, and will give higher search rank to sites that show local relevance as well as topical relevance.
Whether it is consumers on a quest to support their local businesses (such as this blog, One Local Family) or hyperlocal news websites like, much attention is now on how to be connected to and involved in your local community.  Even national brands... Read more