Not to beat up on an overused phrase, but "Show me the money" has turned into "Show me the results" when it comes to brands and marketers allocating their budget in these challenging economic conditions. It comes as no surprise that 59% of attendees surveyed at last month’s iMedia Brand Summit said they will be "heavying up on measureable, ROI-driven strategies." But what do “results” mean, exactly? There are so many different ways to spin it that it can be hard for even the savviest of marketers to get to the bottom of what is actually relevant to them. At Buddy Media, we consider results to be engagement, or "someone doing something with your brand." That something may be sending a virtual gift, playing a fun game or finding the cheapest gas in your area, either way, people are taking an action as opposed to delivering an impression. What can be done to further clear things up? For one thing, there is plenty of data out there. That of course is one of the benefits of digital marketing - it is all trackable. But is it the right data? This is something we ask ourselves and our clients... Read more
Advertising and social media industry pundits have written much about what advertising works best within social media sites. But market research firm InsightExpress decided to turn off the inside-the-beltway chatter and go directly to actual users and ask them which ads they liked the best.
As it turns out, the most welcomed ads are those in which they can opt-in to the experience. The least successful? Behaviorally targeted and random display ads.
40 percent of the 1593 users surveyed said they supported the use of "opt-in" advertising advertising in which the user was given a choice whether to engage or not. Only 20 percent condoned behavior-based campaigns.
Drew Lipner of the Digital Media Measurement team at InsightExpress noted, "Recognizing the rapid growth of social networks and social networking audiences, advertisers have focused on creative engagement and how to apply their brands within a new environment."This data received very little press. But it highlights one of the fundamental challenges and most exciting opportunities in marketing to the 500 million consumers who spend billions and billions of minutes each month on social networks.
Specifically, social media advertising is the new AOL Chat. Brands aren't necessarily welcomed as friends chat, message each other, share pictures and videos, poke each other, post on each others' walls... Read more
Deep Focus' Ian Schafer has some pretty bold things to say about Facebook Connect at Ad Age this week. To sum it up, Facebook connect is the battleground for "the next great Facebook app war," he said.
Facebook Connect makes it easy for people to add stuff (like restaurant reviews) to their Facebook profiles. Schafer calls this the "holy grail of Facebook marketing success."
I agree. It's pretty slick. And it should provide a reality check for your online efforts.
Ask yourself, "what does my business allow people to do online that can be connected to a Facebook news feed?" If the answer is, "well, tons of stuff," lucky you. Your digital efforts are probably keeping up with the times, and your competitors are probably sweating. If the answer is, "I'm not really sure." Your job is going to be a lot harder, and your competitors may be a solid fixture in social networks before you have an angle to play.
Technology research firm IDC published a report recently that paints a grim picture for the future ads in the social media space, reports the NY Times.
Exhibit A: Just three percent of internet users are okay with letting publishers use their friends for advertising.
Exhibit B: “Brand advertisers largely consider user-generated content as low-quality, brand-unsafe inventory,” read the report.
The Times concludes advertisers must "spend ungodly sums" to create "genuinely entertaining" ads in social networks.
Sure, social media is a challenge for advertisers. But it's a necessary challenge. One forcing them to bring solid value in exchange for time spent. And it doesn't have to be "ungodly" expensive, does it? Sounds like old, mass-media thinking to me. My guess is we just need a couple of clever, low-cost big ideas from advertisers to jumpstart this space.
In today's Adweek, Brian Morrissey takes a look at branded social applications. He concludes that "Facebook apps from brands like Coca-Cola, Champion, Ford and Microsoft are as popular as desolate Second Life islands."
This story comes just a week after Bob Garfield wrote on the front page of Advertising Age that the app "may not be the holy grail, but it's arguably pretty damn grail-ish -- maybe the highest expression so far of online marketing in the Post-Advertising Age."
Are you confused yet? Don't worry. There's plenty of data to support both sides. When done right, branded apps are one of the more effective ways to market in the social networks. When done wrong, they fail miserably.
When I spoke to Brian about his story, it was clear to me that he was dead set on writing a piece on why apps were the newest brand graveyard. Frankly, I don't blame him. He has plenty of examples of apps gone wild. And plenty of others share his view. Soon after the first branded applications launched on Facebook, interactive agency Organic asked "Are Facebook Apps the New Brand Wasteland?" And it's no surprise that two companies that don't offer branded app... Read more