'Creative Best Practices' Category

Case Studies: 4 Ways to Take Charge of Social Media UGC

Posted by Daniel Taibleson on April 14th, 2014 at 8:54 am

Do you allow your social media visitors to create and post content? If not, why should you even allow your communities to do this? There's actually a legitimate business case for UGC (user-generated content), as it offers these benefits:

Your visitors experience more of your website. They get to see fresh content, and you don't have the sole responsibility for generating it.
Your visitors trust your information. Because UGC is more personal and relevant to your website's visitors (and comes from a more objective source), they trust it more than information your company publishes.
Your visitors become more loyal. When they return to your website repeatedly, it becomes a community they enjoy being a part of.

What's the net effect of all these benefits? If people have a better experience, trust your information more and become more loyal to your company, they're more likely to purchase. If you're wondering how to encourage more user-generated content, take a look at a few examples from bigger brands.
Twitter & The Guardian
This prominent British newspaper ran an "Own the Weekend" campaign, where Twitter followers were encouraged to do something cool that weekend, take a picture and tweet it to the newspaper using the #owntheweekend hashtag. To reward... Read more

What The NCAA Tournament Teaches Us About Marketing

Posted by Grant Johnson on April 7th, 2014 at 1:54 pm

I always enjoy the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. My memories date back to 1977 when Marquette (from my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisc.) won the dance card and took home the trophy. After that victory me and a buddy ran outside hooting and hollering and played some hoops and pretended to be the players we had just witness win it all. What pure fun.
The NCAA does offer some great insights to marketers as well. Here are seven takeaways you can apply to your marketing:
1.) The small can dominate the big. If you have a small ad shop, a challenger brand or are a start-up, the NCAA tourney should give you renewed hope that you can compete -- and win -- even against larger competitors who will likely outspend you.
2.) It takes a great team and awesome leader (coach) to be at your best and push one another. The best individually deep team rarely wins the games; it's the best coached unit that excels as a team that wins more often than not. A great coach only helps.
3.) A bit of luck helps, so if you get lucky, take advantage of the opportunity you have. Very few had Connecticut and Kentucky in the final. If you... Read more

GDC 2014: Reflections and Ruminations

Posted by Neal Leavitt on March 25th, 2014 at 8:26 pm

So another Game Developers Conference (GDC) has come and gone – 400 panels, roundtable discussions, lectures, tutorials, 350 exhibitors, 20,000+ attendees. Seems like every gaming publication and industry analyst swooned and fawned over Project Morpheus, Oculus Rift, Valve’s Steam Controller and how virtual reality in general is poised to take over the gaming universe.
What was also interesting, however, were the findings of a survey conducted before GDC opened its doors for the 28th time last week, a few emerging gaming industry trends, and one rather dopey game that even its developer said “is a small, broken and stupid game” – yet has now garnered literally millions of views.
The second State of the Industry GDC survey polled more than 2,600 North American game developers who attended last year’s conference. According to GDC, notable trends “include a preference for the PlayStation 4 platform for console developers, the prevalence of self-funded projects and the changing reliance and relationship with publishers.”
The survey indicated that 20 percent of developers intend to release their next game on Sony’s PlayStation 4, slightly edging out Xbox One’s 17 percent. Developers also want to do their own thing – 64 percent want to self-publish. And... Read more

SXSW: Designing for the Fringe

Posted by Cameron Friedlander on March 20th, 2014 at 7:55 am

What if true innovation and game change could come by focusing on fringe groups? For instance, if we look at the concepts being created around the disabled and the elderly, can we add greater value to the overall conversation within digital?

SXSW Recap: Innovative Startups Deserve Innovative Domain Names

Posted by Jeremiah Johnston on March 19th, 2014 at 6:24 am

I’m fresh back from another amazing trip to Austin for South by Southwest Interactive, and the inspiration I always bring home with me continues to linger like in years past. I was lucky enough to give a presentation on the ins and outs of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). These are the extensions that will be joining .com, .gov, .net, and the others we’ve become accustomed to over the Internet’s nearly three decades in existence. There will be hundreds of new extensions introduced this year, and some of them have already started to go live.
While walking the floor at SXSW, it’s hard not to be impressed by the many, truly innovative startup companies in attendance. But sadly, many of them had names that did their brands little to no justice, and a few of the companies I spoke with told me that they settled for company names simply based on what matching domains were available. Needless to say, most were not aware of the options available among the thousands of new extensions that are becoming accessible.
Herein lies a huge missed opportunity for startups, and one of the main reasons the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is... Read more