How Technology will Help Communicators Usher in Limitless Consumerism

By Daphne Hoytt, SVP, MSL Atlanta, NA Consumer Practice Director In today’s modern world, it goes without that saying that exclusivity is what moves the needle in consumer brand communication. Consumers want to feel that a certain brand will provide a unique benefit or experience that another company cannot, or that fellow consumers will not […]

The post How Technology will Help Communicators Usher in Limitless Consumerism appeared first on MSLGROUP’s Blog Critical Conversations: Critical Conversations.

Inside Advertising’s New Sober Industry Support Network


In 2014, Ian Mirmelstein’s life was a mess.

The now senior-VP of digital engagement at Adspace was in a crumbling marriage, and using drugs and alcohol to cope. An intervention got him into recovery and now, three years sober, Mormelstein is looking to do the same for other industry professionals (this is, after all, one of the soggiest professions).

Earlier this year Mirmelstein launched SEAM, Sober Executives in Advertising, Media & Marketing, a community for industry professionals who choose not to drink or do drugs — and are looking for like-minded individuals with whom they can connect.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

What this iCrossing Leader Learned About Programmatic by Owning a Bar


Turns out, you can learn a thing or two about programmatic advertising from slinging beers in the Bronx.

At least, that was the case for Amanda Betsold, head of programmatic at digital marketing shop iCrossing. Betsold owned a craft beer bar on City Island in the Bronx for over four years until she sold it in 2016. And along the way, she picked up some lessons that were suprisingly applicable to media. Here’s what she learned.

If you’re a beer bar, don’t try to be a wine bar.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Competitors’ Gloom Could Be P&G’s Boom: What to Expect From Big Advertiser’s Earnings


Procter & Gamble Co. reports fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Thursday under a huge cloud of industry gloom and a fight by Trian Partners’ Nelson Peltz for a board seat. The world’s biggest advertiser badly needs a strong showing in its final quarter before an October shareholder vote.

Yet, with the exception of Unilever, key competitors have reported awful results. Kimberly-Clark Corp., Johnson & Johnson (Consumer) and RB (Reckitt Benckiser) all reported organic sales declines and Colgate-Palmolive Co. was flat. Even their unit volumes were down. RB blamed the global hacker attack in late June for carving two percentage points off global sales for the quarter. Other players have had no better explanation for why people are scrimping on things like toilet paper and toothpaste in places that aren’t even having recessions.

So what does all that mean for what we can expect from P&G’s final fiscal-year report on Thursday?

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Why This Ex-Convict Might Be the Best CMO Ever


Coss Marte is the founder and CEO of ConBody, one of the fastest growing fitness programs in New York. Marte’s road to success, however, was forged along a path less traveled. His brilliant business ethos didn’t evolve at an Ivy League school, but rather on street corners, and later, in prison. Marte’s story is unique, and ConBody just wouldn’t be the same without it.

The long warm-up

By age 19, Marte was earning, he estimates, around $2 million per year as a drug dealer in New York City. Like any budding entrepreneur, he learned to read people, manage others, optimize his operations and pivot. When the law finally sent Marte to prison in upstate New York, a medical examination revealed that he had maybe five years to live, due to extremely high cholesterol.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Chipotle: Our Advertising ‘Kind of Needs Queso’


Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., reeling from a recent norovirus outbreak, is ready to move on with a new menu item it sees as a savior: queso.

After an operational test in New York, Chipotle plans to offer queso — its most requested item — in more than 350 restaurants in Central and Southern California and Colorado beginning Aug. 1. If successful, queso could roll out to Chipotle restaurants nationwide as early as mid-September, Chief Marketing and Development Officer Mark Crumpacker said on a call Tuesday afternoon.

Chipotle also said its first national TV commercials had to be tweaked to hit the right tone. It plans to run new ads starting in mid-September more focused on “appetite appeal.”

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Chipotle Admits its Advertising ‘Kind of Needs Queso’


Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., reeling from a recent norovirus outbreak, is ready to move on with a new menu item it sees as a savior: queso.

After an operational test in New York, Chipotle plans to offer queso — its most requested item — in more than 350 restaurants in Central and Southern California and Colorado beginning Aug. 1. If successful, queso could roll out to Chipotle restaurants nationwide as early as mid-September, Chief Marketing and Development Officer Mark Crumpacker said on a call Tuesday afternoon.

Chipotle also said its first national TV commercials had to be tweaked to hit the right tone. It plans to run new ads starting in mid-September more focused on “appetite appeal.”

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Amazon Spark: What Marketers Need to Know

Last week, Amazon launched Spark, a new product discovery feature, that aims to tap into consumer purchasing behaviors on social. Given recent improvements to conversion-focused features in the social space and Amazon’s role as an e-commerce giant, the announcement was met mostly with enthusiasm and some healthy skepticism by the industry media. But what does this emerging social platform really mean for marketers and their brands? Will it be the next big thing or fail to ignite?

For marketers, there is an immediate opportunity for sellers to test the waters by repurposing content from other social channels or tapping partners to seed their products in the feed, but as with any new offering long-term gains will be dependent on user adoption of Spark. It’s ultimately up to Amazon to draw users to Spark and create a viable environment for an exchange between consumers and brands.

Amazon is known for moving quickly and launching new features and products before their value has been proven. In taking a closer look, our Social Marketing and Product teams found both a series of challenges and untapped potential that will impact Spark’s long-term viability. If Amazon can address these challenges and leverage the platform’s inherent potential, there is a significant future for Spark and value for advertisers.

 

  • Spark is difficult to find Even though it makes sense for Amazon to test Spark first among its most loyal consumers — Prime members — it is buried in the settings of Amazon’s existing iOS app. To date, ,members have not reported receiving any information or prompts to join the platform, and currently there is no messaging directing them to Spark on any of Amazon’s owned channels. These limitations ultimately hamper user growth, which is essential to Spark’s future.
  • Current content rarely sparks inspiration While the intention behind Spark appears  to be similar to that of Instagram or Pinterest and house beautiful content , much of what is currently being posted lacks an inspirational nature. Even if influencer and brand activity takes off, bringing more beautiful content in stream , it remains to be seen if consumers will find utility in a feed that’s almost entirely #sponsored.
  • Interest categories are undefined Despite user’s ability to select their interests on Spark, the current interest categories lack the ability to serve up relevant content. This is perhaps due to low post volume and unregulated tagging. Users are also unable to easily follow others or search within interest categories, unlike on Instagram and Pinterest respectively, so it’s even harder for them to discover  beautiful content that may compel them to purchase.
  • Spark mimics without innovation  — In essence, Spark takes all stages of the consumer purchase funnel and houses them in an Amazon-owned territory, which is exciting for the brands who sell there. In contrast to Spark,  competing social platforms offer additional user benefits. Instagram offers social connection and Pinterest offers planning tools, but beyond the facility of already being on Amazon, there’s no inherent reason for consumers to use Spark. Users are already already familiar with searching, browsing and shopping for products via the Amazon app’s existing features, and Spark fails to bring a new angle to discovery.

 

From a Spark to a Flame: Tapping Into Its Potential

There’s no doubt that Spark has potential, but for it to thrive Amazon will likely need to address the aforementioned challenges. We see three areas of opportunity for Amazon to play off the platform’s strengths and overcome these barriers:

  • Creating a seamless transition — Tying Spark posts to Amazon’s popular reviews feature, surfacing it in communications to qualifying members, and otherwise making it more visible within the Amazon app would not only help drive adoption, but also improve the user experience.
  • Increased personalization Combining Amazon’s user purchase history and behavioral data with Spark’s format is a huge opportunity. Imagine being shown lifestyle imagery of products you’ve recently browsed within the context of Spark — it would aid consideration, serving up relevant and timely content that users have confirmed interest in.
  • Sparking user interest — The above improvements won’t make much long-term difference if audiences aren’t given a compelling reason to return to the platform. Reducing friction from product discovery through to purchase may be enough, but to fully leverage this advantage, Amazon could amp up the features that help create social currency, emphasize trust and connection among users, or make it easier to search for and save the products users are interested in.

With these changes, Spark has an opportunity to capitalize on being a digital one-stop-shop for everything from product inspiration to planning and purchase.

 

The First-Mover Opportunity for Marketers on Spark

Though there is much room for Spark to grow, there is an immediate opportunity for marketers who sell their products on Amazon to reap the benefits of early adoption.

  • Repurpose product-centric social content — There is a low barrier to entry for those who build a Spark brand profile and test how the platform could impact sales. This would be a low-investment test using repurposed lifestyle imagery of products normally posted to Instagram or Facebook.
  • Tap into existing partners — In an effort to help seed their brand on the platform, marketers could leverage existing relationships, such as brand ambassadors or influencers, to post on their behalf.

The lack of high quality content on Spark means that any brand publishing engaging content is far more likely to stand out, so moving quickly and getting ahead of competitors could pay off if Spark succeeds, with little risk or loss if it does not.

If Amazon works to grow the Spark user base and feature set over the coming months, consumers may find compelling reason to integrate Spark into their shopping habits, and it could eventually lead to the introduction of valuable advertising opportunities on the platform. If not, it may face the same fate as the Fire Phone, Amazon Local, and Amazon Destinations — a quiet disappearance.

 

Valentina Bettiol, Social Marketing Supervisor at 360i, also contributed to this post. 

Photo Credit: TechCrunch

The post Amazon Spark: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on 360i Digital Agency Blog.

‘Facebook Has Not Reached Saturation’: 5 Things to Expect From Wednesday’s Earnings Call


Some say Mark Zuckerberg is acting like a presidential contender. Currently on a 50-state listening tour, he’s been photographed in highly orchestrated settings showing off his everyman side, visiting farms, factories, military bases, coffee shops as he mingles with the locals.

The reality is Zuckerberg already is the unelected president of a massive community, a milestone the company will likely emphasize in its next public quarterly report on Wednesday. In June, the social network announced it topped 2 billion monthly users.

Here’s what to expect from Zuckerberg’s state of the network, as Facebook releases its second-quarter numbers this afternoon.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Samsung Has a Love/Hate Relationship With Selfies: The Tale of Two Viral Campaigns


While many cultures see public selfie-taking as a distracting, albeit innocent, act, Indian authorities are treating the growing trend with caution and for good reason.

According to one study, the country accounted for more than half of deaths worldwide related to taking selfies. Samsung has responded by creating a video campaign that garnered over 22 million views in the seven days through Sunday and landed atop the Viral Video Chart for the second straight week.

The “Samsung Cares for a Safe India” spot shows a bloodied man lying face-down on the pavement. Next to him, a cracked phone shows a selfie of him biking. “The moments you hold so dear can disappear with one silly selfie,” the onscreen text warns. The country’s Minister for Road Transport and Highways then pleads Indians to use their mobile phones responsibly.

Continue reading at AdAge.com