'Opinions' Category

How The Weather Channel paved a unique path to being a technological leader

Posted by Agata Smieciuszewski on October 28th, 2014 at 10:15 am

The Weather Channel has paved a unique path to being the leader in technological advancement in Atlanta by fostering a culture that puts innovation at the forefront, rather than a side project.

At the iMedia Breakthrough Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, Matthew Eby, VP of marketing in the digital division at The Weather Channel, discussed some of the ways the company has established itself in the industry. He noted that it's easy to become complacent in old technology, and you should always be looking for ways to improve your company. The Weather Channel grew from television to a website to apps to keep up with the changes in consumer behavior.
Encouraging your employees to participate in a culture of innovation makes a huge difference in the future of your company. They should feel inspired and encouraged to redefine success and constantly look for opportunities. For The Weather Channel, that means new ways to integrate weather data with new concepts, including propensity to purchase, aviation, and energy.
Finally, make sure to focus on the consumer above all else. Take a second look at your marketing objectives to make sure you are driving more sustainable lifetime value and make sure to always question where the future... Read more

Could the UK see a record-breaking Halloween in 2014?

Posted by Russell Morling on October 28th, 2014 at 3:05 am

Halloween sales in the UK have increased by a staggering 261% since 2005, growing from £90m to £325m last year. The average spend per head also increased by 262.67% during the same period.
The popularity of Halloween has grown dramatically over the past eight years with over three-quarters (77%) of 18-24-year-olds in the UK celebrating Halloween in 2013.
Last year alone, 6.5 million UK homes welcomed around 7 million trick-or-treaters to their door, illustrating just how popular the culture of Halloween has become.
Halloween is also big business for online retailers, with 1.8 million searches on Google.co.uk for ‘Halloween costumes’ in October 2013 alone. One business that has experienced firsthand the growth of Halloween is popular fancy dress retailer allfancydress.com, who is anticipating an even bigger year in 2014
The online retailer undertook a survey of 2000 UK residents aged 18 and over between 25th and 28th September 2014 and found that 2 in 5 (40.6%) plan to spend money celebrating Halloween this year. The survey also revealed the spending power Halloween has, identifying that one in five of 18-34 year olds plan to spend between £26 and £100 compared to only one in ten of 35-54 year olds.

Of respondents that have the... Read more

Case study: Fisher-Price's crowdsourcing win

Posted by Lizzie Serber on October 27th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

At the iMedia Breakthrough Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, Olga Patel, senior manager of open innovation at Mattel, discussed Fisher-Price’s crowdsourcing strategy and how it has led to big success for the toy brand’s Little People line. Crowdsourcing, the practice of obtaining services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large community of people (usually online), can often be an inexpensive solution to business challenges that drives major brand loyalty and engagement, while also helping to ensure product success.
Patel explained how Fisher-Price utilized a crowdsourcing strategy to develop two new characters for its Little People, a toy line featuring a variety of characters that reflect a child's own community members. The traditional process for creating a new character can be lengthy and expensive. First, the innovation and marketing teams would meet to brainstorm about potential new characters. Designers would then render a number of characters (sometimes over a dozen), test them in focus groups, edit and re-render them, do quantitative analysis, and finally manufacture them with little certainty as to how successful the characters will be with the community. This process can cost upwards of $50,000 and take several months to come to fruition – and because focus groups can... Read more

4 Reasons to Have a Killer Cross-Screen Strategy

Posted by Nick Matarazzo on October 27th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Consumers are increasingly moving between multiple devices—and sometimes using two simultaneously. Chances are, as a marketer, you’ve been thinking about this more than the average person. I get it. As the CEO of an automotive marketing and advertising company, so have I.

The story behind Coca-Cola's new social innovation

Posted by Betsy Farber on October 27th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

At the iMedia Breakthrough Summit in Atlanta, GA, Kevin Planovsky, principal and co-founder, Vert digital boutique agency led a fireside chat with Doug Busk, director, global social media platforms and strategy, Coca-Cola. The chat covered how the major soft-drink company's new internal social media HUB combined with its commitment to innovation is allowing for better leverage of today's consumers' ever-changing digital habits.

Planovsky first asked Busk to give some background about the inception of the social HUB.
Built over two-years ago, Coca-Cola Journey, the company's primary website is essentially a storytelling factory driven by a team of storytellers that brings excellent stories to life. "The site's mission is to drive stories to consumers, critics, stake holders and shareholders, both inside and outside the company," Busk said, "because there's so much going on at Coca-Cola that doesn't fall into traditional silos of brand marketing."
Originating from the company's unique content marketing came the HUB, which represents a set of platforms -- including a social media war room -- "that stitches together the good work that our real-time marketers are doing around the system," he said.
The sheer size and global reach of the major brand poses a huge problem for keeping up with the pace... Read more