Tagged 'TheBlackFin'

Physical + Digital = Evernote

Posted by Tom Edwards on June 4th, 2014 at 6:30 am

One item from SXSW 2014 that has remained relevant for me is a simple package of Post-it notes. These are not just any Post-it's, they are digitally enabled Post-it's that integrate seamlessly with Evernote. The simple utility of the integration that allows users to convert physical post-it notes into digital, searchable records inspired me to contact the Evernote team for a briefing to bettter understand how they partner with brands.

During the course of the briefing we touched on many topics such as their current user base of 100M+ as well as their approach to partnerships and how they are working with various device carriers at the OEM level to ensure Evernote is ever present on the latest devices. We also discussed their focus on physical accessories and partnerships with Moleskin & 3M.

Evernote's approach to creating value is to seamlessly become a part of a users daily routine. An interesting perspective about their user base was tied to the fact that out of 1000 people 999 will use Evernote in a different way. Users leverage Evernote as a way to capture anything important to their life, reuse it or stem off of it. From a brand partnership perspective, the goal is... Read more

Pinterest Guided Search Foreshadows Future of Promoted Pins

Posted by Tom Edwards on April 25th, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Pinterest has carved its niche as a social discovery platform. Guided search is the next evolution of the platform that will create more opportunities for users to discover content that is relevant to them, especially via mobile while building a foundation to refine Pinterest’s promoted pin ad product.

75% of Pinterest traffic is mobile and the primary user experience shift will be focused on gesture based elements integrated within the user experience.

One of the bigger shifts is now users can track custom categories of interests vs. just pre-selected categories. From a user perspective this is key as it allows more control to the user to further personalize the experience.

Here is the new user experience. Notice the ability to select a top level category and customize based on different keyword combinations at the top of the ux.
From a brand perspective, the focus on personalization for the user will allow Pinterest to gather additional data that will greatly enhance their targeting capabilities. The new guided search offering is also building towards a more refined discovery engine positioning offering for promoted pins via keywords and new categories where brands can further create new points of discovery with users.
Within the year we should see a... Read more

2014: The Year of Tumblr

Posted by Tom Edwards on February 19th, 2014 at 9:04 am

In 2013 one platform created more requests for POVs and testing from our Fortune 500 clients than any other. That platform… Tumblr.

What makes Tumblr unique? The platform is a hybrid of social & the web. Tumblr provides a massive (225m monthly uniques) and highly engaged audience as well as complete creative control over the look & feel of the experience. This is a valuable proposition for extending the equity & discoverability of a brand's digital presence.

Tumblr can serve as a campaign destination or social hub which has become a lost element within the social ecosystem. Most social platforms have moved away from a destination approach and are focused on atomized content engagement. Meaning the emphasis is on making sure your content is engaging enough to capture users attention within a short amount of time.

With Tumblr, brands are not limited to a single media type, there are no design restrictions and no character limits. A brand can create a compelling experience that transcends the social stream and maps to discovery through traditional channels such as search.
Here is an example of THE SIGNAL from Lexus. Note the design freedoms of the platform.

Other key elements to consider: Tumblr blogs can support custom URL’s... Read more

5 Ways Facebook Paper Could Change the Future

Posted by Tom Edwards on February 5th, 2014 at 10:57 am

With the recent rollout of Facebook’s new mobile news reader app Paper we see the next step in their single purpose app strategy. This post does dive into what Paper is, but more importantly, it focuses how brands can potentially capitalize on Paper now, and into the future.
The launch of Paper is directly targeting Google News, Flipboard, Twitter and other more visually centric news services. The key differentiator for Facebook is by integrating core functionality (engage and post across the Facebook ecosystem, native functionality like messages and notifications) combined with a highly visual curated user experience, it goes beyond the simple utility of consuming news into an engaging experience built on top of Facebook's social graph.
Here is a brief video overview of the app

Having talked to numerous Facebook representatives it appears that there is NOT YET an opportunity for brands to create a unique experience or impact the curated content in categories… the key word is yet. The following section is speculative based on potential directions Facebook may take the Paper application to create value for brands and potentially monetize the platform.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BRAND OPPORTUNITIES WITH PAPER?
Having worked closely with Facebook over the years I am projecting that... Read more

Google Blurring the Line of Native, Traditional & Social with +Post

Posted by Tom Edwards on December 18th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

There is a reason Google is trading over $1,000 a share and closed platforms such as Facebook & Twitter are at $55. Google owns 66% of search marketshare in the US, the #1 online video site with YouTube and Google claims 540 million monthly active Google+ users and 300 million monthly active "in-stream" users. Now Google is looking to change the game when it comes to paid amplification and content discovery by extending social content through their entire network with +Posts.
Here is a graph outlining Google Plus user growth

Content discovery, distribution and streamlining the user experience across the the Google ecosystem appear to be the future and the future is now. Recently Google deployed single sign on across the ecosytem, rolled out new content discovery options within Google+, refined the TruView suite of paid tools via YouTube and further integrated main properties such as Google+ comments embedded within Youtube.
Here is an example of the latest SSO option for Google properties

Here is an example of Google+ comments embedded within YouTube

I recently published what I call Google+ Circle Impact Theory outlining the intersection of social & search. Google+ represents the intersection of search & social via contextual search driven by engagement. The... Read more