Marketing Maestros

What Will the Upfronts Bring This Year?

By Susan Burke
Posted: May 19, 2011 12:00pm ET

What's old is new again, at least according to the slate of shows presented by ABC for its 2011-2012 television season. At the upfronts, ABC promoted a "Charlie's Angels" reboot, along with with the return of "Home Improvement" star Tim Allen in a new comedy and "Pan Am," a look at what life flying the friendly skies was like in the 1960s in the style of AMC's "Mad Men."

However, some networks are using the upfronts as an excuse to look to the future. The Discovery Channel discussed how they will be focusing on reaching their Hispanic viewers during the 2011-2012 TV season. According to a May 18, 2011 article in The New York Times, The Discovery Channel's overall programming budget will increase from $6 million to $1 billion next year, which will benefit Discovery en Espanol and Discovery Familia, along with their other programming channels. According to the same article, it looks as though "Discovery en Espanol [will] be measured by Nielsen the same way as mainstream English-language channels are, starting in October." Will other networks soon follow this example?

To learn more about the upfronts, please visit www.ana.net/media and join the conversation below. How is your company getting involved in the upfronts this year?

Video: Danielle Vona, SONIC, Discusses Cause-Related Marketing

By Grace Bello
Posted: May 18, 2011 12:00pm ET

From our 2011 ANA Brand Conference presented by The New York Times, hear Danielle Vona, VP and Chief Marketing Officer of SONIC, chat about her brand's cause marketing campaign.

SONIC works with the nonprofit Donors Choose, an organization which allows consumers to microfund school projects that teachers could not otherwise afford to implement. By partnering with Donors Choose, the nationwide fast food chain creates affiliations not just with local consumers but specifically with parents, students, teachers, and the greater community. According to SONIC's Limeades for Learning site, "$1.3 million has been donated to help teachers and students across the country." Vona says, "Our cause marketing is all about being connected to our consumers in a very personal way. . . . The opportunity is about getting personal and getting local, and we do that through teachers and schools" via the program.

"Teachers are promoting their own projects [as they promote Limeades for Learning]. . . . It ends up being promoted by the people who are looking for their initiatives to get [funding]." That is, local customers actively engage in promoting SONIC for the betterment of their schools and their children's educational experience. And what better motivator to choose the SONIC brand than your children's future?

How about you, readers? How do you involve your customers in your branding campaigns, and what do you think of cause marketing efforts such as SONIC's?

The Joys of Mentoring

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: May 10, 2011 12:00am ET


A mentor, according to dictionary.com, is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher; an influential senior sponsor or supporter.  ANA recently introduced the Procurement Mentoring Program - this is a client-side community committed to improving the relationships procurement has with both internal marketing and external agencies.

The ANA Procurement Mentoring Program connects marketing procurement professionals. A group of senior-level marketing procurement professionals has volunteered to be mentors and chat one-on-one with marketing procurement professionals at other organizations, whether that is (a) at companies where the function/skill set is less mature or less accepted or (b) with more junior level marketing procurement individuals at non-competitive companies.

The goal of the program is to improve marketing procurement knowledge and expertise via shared resources, values, procurement skills, perspectives, attitudes, behaviors, best practices and lessons learned.

Over twenty people have volunteered to be procurement mentors.  While the program is still relatively young, mentors and mentees alike have benefited.  Mentors have enjoyed "giving back" and sharing their experiences.  Mentees have been able to tap into the perspective of mentors to enhance their knowledge and ask the tough questions - those that they might not want to ask their bosses. 

The ANA Procurement Mentoring Program is growing and adding mentors to keep up with the demand from mentees.  More at www.ana.net/procurementmentoring.

ANA has a separate mentoring relationship with the Medill School of Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.  Members of the ANA Integrated Marketing Committee as well as ANA staffers (like me!) are mentors to graduate students in the Integrated Marketing Communications program.  My mentee is a second year student who helps manage a blog call "Vitamin IMC" - find it here at www.vitaminimc.com.  This relationship has just started and I look forward to helping my mentee and learning from her as well.

I encourage you to get involved as a mentor too.  There are lots of avenues for that including at your workplace, school, in your community, in a youth organization and more!


Google and Facebook Enter the Daily Deals Coupon and Group-Buying Arena

By Sumitra Duncan
Posted: May 9, 2011 11:30am ET

According to ComScore’s 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review, daily deals and group-buying sites rapidly gained in popularity during the past year. ComScore cited 10 million unique visitors (largely attracted through the use of email) to the Groupon website in 2010, while the website LivingSocial was a close second to Groupon for the year.

On April 22nd, Google announced details on the beta version of their new daily deal coupon offers, which are currently being tested in San Francisco, Portland, New York, and Oakland. Facebook quickly followed the news with the launch of their Deals program on April 26th (currently only offered in limited cities as well). The new daily deals programs announced by both Google and Facebook very closely resemble the deals offered by Groupon and LivingSocial.

Marketers interested in promoting their offerings via the group-buying arena can now consider utilizing the new services offered by Google and Facebook to gather more impressions via their consumer advocates. While consumers who utilized Groupon and LivingSocial have always had the option to share about their purchased deals on social media sites such as Facebook, having the deals seamlessly incorporated into the Facebook site will greatly increase the ease with which massive numbers of advocates can share about their purchased deals to their friends.

Have you used group-buying deal sites?  If so, how effective did you find them for marketing your products and services?

Video: Dell's Adam Brown Discusses Social Media, Transparency, and Sales

By Grace Bello
Posted: May 2, 2011 9:00am ET

From our 2011 ANA Brand Conference presented by The New York Times on April 5, 2011, listen to Dell's Adam Brown, Executive Director, Social Media, discuss his approach to social media marketing.

In the video above, find out...

For more on social media marketing, don't miss our 2011 ANA Digital and Social Media Conference in New York, NY on July 14, 2011. Register now, and RSVP on Facebook!

David Carr, NY Times: Brands, Chill Out About Social Media

By Grace Bello
Posted: Apr 27, 2011 11:30am ET

David Carr, media columnist for The New York Times, thinks that brands can become more honest, relatable, even humble by using social media platforms such as Twitter:

Brands have to get cuddlier. They have to get friendlier. They have to be more willing to make mistakes. They can't speak with a single voice…It's a rolling organic conversation that's not going to always go out perfectly.

In his presentation at the 2011 ANA Brand Conference presented by The New York Times on April 5, 2011, he cited the Chrysler f-bomber as an example of a happy mistake--for the tweet writer, at least. The tweeter in question hailed from the agency side of Chrysler and was promptly fired. Said Carr, "That guy's over at Ford [now]. He's totally killing it...Nicely done!"

An organization should handle PR crises like the f-bomb debacle with understanding, patience, and guidance. As Carr says in the video above, a brand's social media messages must not sound like a press release and, to that end, organizations must give social media managers the latitude to experiment. Those with access to your company's Facebook and Twitter accounts may commit grammar crimes, show poor taste, or overshare, but it's all a part of the social media learning process.

What do you think, readers? How many people do you have crafting your social media messages, and do you trust them enough to post what they want?

For more on social media, join the ANA at our Digital and Social Media Conference presented by Meredith taking place in New York, NY on July 14, 2011.

Video: Ad Age's Bob Garfield on Social Media and Listening to Your Consumer

By Grace Bello
Posted: Apr 11, 2011 9:00am ET

Whether or not you attended our 2011 ANA Brand Conference presented by The New York Times, get key insights from Advertising Age's Bob Garfield in this Scribe Media video interview. Here, he discusses, among other topics, how social media can help create a relationship between a brand and its consumers:

The novelty of having a Facebook page for a brand is long gone. It is now de rigueur, right? 'Do we have a Facebook page? Check.' That's very different from understanding the whole purpose of being there. You have to understand what kind of conversations are going on here and what that means and how to make it integral to your brand ethos, your brand values.

Readers, what have you learned from your customers via blogs, Facebook, and Twitter?

Video: EXPRESS' CMO Lisa Gavales Talks Social Media

By Grace Bello
Posted: Apr 7, 2011 12:00am ET


While most companies task their interns with writing their social media messages, EXPRESS CMO Lisa Gavales does a majority of it herself. From our 2011 ANA Brand Conference presented by The New York Times on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, watch Gavales explain how her brand stays ahead of the curve, goes where its consumers are, and listens to its customers via Twitter and Facebook.

Stay tuned for more conference content from our Marketing Knowledge Center, and glimpse photos of the event on the ANA's Facebook page.

Special thanks to Scribe Media for producing this video.

How to Monetize Social Media

By Grace Bello
Posted: Mar 28, 2011 9:00am ET

A recent Mashable article noted the difficulty in monetizing social media. Specifically, "Cox Media group digital posted an opening Wednesday for a 'Social Monetization Manager (SMM) someone who will focus on a strategy and implementation that will drive revenue to the company's 100+ TV, radio, and newspaper properties."

Meanwhile, we  have seen several case studies in which a brand not only got the word out via social media but turned a profit.

Take the New York Jets, for example. Their Ultimate Fan Facebook app, launched in September 2010, "was the first revenue-generating Facebook app to be backed by an NFL team." How does the app work? Facebook fans playing the game can buy gifts with credits and specifically in this case, the Jets leveraged Facebook to capitalize on fans' passion for the team and willingness to share that fervor.

Another company, PETCO, "sent out a promo code to their customers on social media for $40 in free shipping. The person who shared their code with the most people won a $500 PETCO gift card. Forty percent of the sales that resulted from this push came from new customers." For PETCO's customers, saving a few bucks drove them to connect with the larger pet owner community and spread the word about this store.

Conclusion? Yes, you can monetize social media. In order to do so, you will  need a deep understanding of your audience, a creative vision, and a way to measure results in order to execute a successful campaign.

Want more information on using social media to raise profits? Snag some tips from our Marketing Knowledge Center.

Eureka! SXSW Interactive provides a proverbial map for app developers to launch their latest

Posted: Mar 18, 2011 12:00am ET


It seems app developers big and small would rather hitchhike and sleep in a tent rather than miss the opportunity to debut their app at the interactive portion of the South by Southwest conference (SXSWi), which finished up last week. Why do you think that is?

My guess is it's because SXSWi is the hottest place to launch your brainchild. The conference combines music, film, and "emerging technologies" to young professionals. The festivities show that, in a certain sense, their lives truly focus on what's in their mobile device, and not the other way around. (And let's not kid ourselves; it's most likely an iPhone 4, right?) Everything they need to know or understand is in palm of their hand, literally.

These kids know how to play; their devices have the music they jam to, Angry Birds for the train ride home, their work and personal e-mail, their texts and photos from their night of barhopping last week, and let us not forget, Foursquare to show where they are right now: the coolest conference on the planet.

That all said, it shouldn't be a surprise that entrepreneurs presented a bunch of new, social, Foursquare-esque apps. These visionaries hope to enrich the lives of the next generation of marketing professionals while they enjoy the music, movies, and general tech-mayhem of the event. My favorite is Beluga because of its amazing map view, the ability to see where your friends are all at once, and best of all, group messaging. Now you can create your cliques in the palm of your hand while you enjoy the big event together. In fact, the word "click" takes on a whole new meaning, does it not?

Did you attend SXSWi? What new apps have you heard of or seen that you think will change the social media landscape?


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About This Blog

To complement our two leadership blogs and build dialogue on the seismic changes happening in marketing, we launched Marketing Maestros. Our in-house citizen journalists will talk about everything from marketing technology to accountability and everything in between. This blog is written for marketers by ANA's marketers whose insights are drawn from the voices of the client side marketing community.