'Word of Mouth' Category

Up Up and Away: Commercial Drone Market Ready for Take Off

Posted by Neal Leavitt on August 30th, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Drone proponents prefer using the term Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or UAS for Unmanned Aerial System (latter term includes the entirety of the flying vehicle and the ground-base communications connection connecting the two). Whatever your preferred verbiage is, drones are poised to become a huge global business and the aerial devices are going to have a significant impact across a wide variety of industries.
Historically, the military has been the biggest user/purchaser of drones; The Wall Street Journal estimated that the U.S. military spent about $3 billion on drone programs in 2012. And many aerospace companies continue to develop highly sophisticated machines that are lightweight and easy to assemble/launch.
Columbus, MS-based Stark Aerospace, for instance, recently rolled out ArrowLite™, a small UAS system that supports the U.S. Army Hunter MQ-5B UAS. It weighs less than 7 lbs. and can be assembled and hand-launched in less than 90 seconds.
Looking beyond the military, commercial drones will soon take on much larger roles for businesses and even for individual consumers. BI Intelligence, a research service from Business Insider, estimates that 12% of an estimated $98 billion in cumulative global spending on aerial drones over the next decade will be for commercial purposes. ... Read more

Report: CPG Snack Foods – Social Media Analysis

Posted by Doug Schumacher on August 25th, 2014 at 11:43 am

Snack Foods have some of the largest social media communities of any product or service category. Our sample of 8 brands -- Butterfinger, Oreo, Reese’s, Skittles, Snickers, Starburst, Twix and Wonka -- has an average Facebook fan count of over 14 million.
The category is a fun, simple product with a lot of room for creative messaging -- perfect for an analysis of how brands like these communicate with and engage their customer base.
Our analysis outlines which networks are generating the biggest impact in the category, and takes a deep dive into the best performing tactics and campaigns these brands are using to engage their audience.
Report highlights

Facebook is the dominant network, with 99% of the total community among these brands
Surprisingly few brands are on Instagram, given the young, casual nature of the product category
The only brand on Instagram, Oreo, generates more engagement there than with their 37 million Facebook fans.
Two brands greatly increased their impact on Facebook through post promotion: Snickers and Wonka
Campaign analysis shows Twitter to be generating little engagement relative to Facebook, while Oreo campaigns implementing Instagram are seeing a significant number of engagements on that network.
Wonka’s RANDOMS product launch campaign used post promotion on Facebook to increase engagement... Read more

5 of the Most Effective PR Campaigns of 2014

Posted by Tom Shapiro on August 21st, 2014 at 4:53 am

PR has the power to extend your reach, engage members of your target audience and create strong connections to your brand. To that end, here are 5 exemplary PR campaigns of 2014, each one bold, brilliant and unforgettable.
1. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
By now you’ve seen countless individuals dumping a bucket of ice over their heads in support of ALS, including celebrities such as Bill Gates, Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey. Apart from the silliness, the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” has been serious business. The ALS Association, a national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease, received $31.5 million in donations between July 29 and August 20 compared to $1.9 million during the same period last year.
That’s one heck of a successful PR campaign! And one heck of a great cause!
2. Most Shocking Second a Day Video
The Save the Children “Most Shocking Second a Day” video is almost too overwhelming to sit through. To raise awareness of the plight of children impacted by the war in Syria, it uses the popular one-second-per-day video format, taking you through the life of one girl’s happy childhood slowly and surreptitiously being overtaken by war in her home country. The closing line “Just because it isn’t happening... Read more

Selling Your Personal Data: Is It Worth It?

Posted by Neal Leavitt on July 20th, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Last year a student at New York University threw out an interesting challenge – via a Kickstarter campaign, he offered to divulge 60 days worth of private data gleaned from his digital devices.
He raised $2,733 from 213 backers.
And earlier this year, a research team at the University of Trento in Italy reeled in 60 people and their smart phones to participate in an experiment that recorded various personal details and created a marketplace to sell the data. These included phone calls, apps being used, time spent on them, photographs taken, and users’ locations 24/7.
Each week, as reported by MIT Technology Review, the participants took part in an auction to sell the data, e.g., they might want to sell a specific GPS location or total distance traveled, or locations visited on a given day.
While reporting all results could be the topic of another post, in brief, Jacopo Staiano, who headed up the research team, said there were a few key findings:
• Location is the most valued category of personally identifiable information;
• Participants valued their information more highly on days that were unusual compared to typical days;
• People who traveled more each day tended to value their personal information more highly.
Almost 600 ‘auctions’ were... Read more

Social Media Helping Level the Playing Field for Craft Breweries

Posted by Neal Leavitt on June 29th, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Craft breweries have produced scores of award-winning beers over the years and according to the Houston Chronicle, will garner sales of over $7 billion nationwide in 2014. But just having a tasty ale or lager is no guarantee these days for long-term business success as the gigantic ad/marketing budgets of the major breweries can drown out craft breweries attempts to snare market share.
“The number of new craft breweries has exploded in the past few years and the market is getting crowded,” said Melani Gordon, who co-founded San Diego-based TapHunter. The company provides on- and off-premise accounts with time- and money-saving tools that automatically update beverage inventory on social media channels, websites, and print, digital display, and tablet menus. This exposure empowers their customers by helping transform beer, spirits, and cocktail menus into valuable revenue producers.
Gordon said those craft breweries that don’t put some serious thought behind their brand and voice will struggle.
“There’s no magic formula for craft breweries to find consumers so the new breweries need to build a brand and web presence because it’s challenging today to stand out,” added Gordon. “In addition, there are a lot of inefficiencies in the retail distribution model, making it... Read more