By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 12:00am ET
At a recent conference, I was busy writing my "elite tweets" aka valuable snippets of information from the top marketing gurus in the industry, as I noticed one of our conference attendees reaching out to the ANA corporate twitter account. They needed a contact number for our live-streaming option and I was able to immediately give it to them. They thanked me, and continued to enjoy the conference. I gave myself a pat on the back for quality customer service.
Now, why did I bring this up? I recently read an article from Businessweek.com detailing how Delta is using Twitter to respond and rectify customer complaints. The article talks about how Delta is setting itself apart by resolving customer issues on Twitter rather than simply monitoring what consumers are saying. Consumers are using social media sites to reach companies because the wait time is less. Instead of waiting on a long line at the airport, or calling the company from your hotel room and being forced to wait on hold for 15-20 minutes, writing a quick 140-character comment might get you a response in minutes.
Other airlines like JetBlue and Southwest listen to customers on Twitter but refer them to call centers or websites to settle issues. Customer service is part of JetBlue and Southwest's Twitter account but not the soul purpose.
What does your company use its Twitter account for? Is it primarily a customer service outlet, or is that just one piece of the puzzle?
By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Aug 4, 2010 12:00am ET
Do you look forward to your commute to the office solely because you can read a book and not be answering your boss's inquiries via email? Soon that is all going to change—a $200 million project is underway to bring mobile phone and Wi-Fi service to NYC's subway stations. An Australian mobile-infrastructure operator is footing the bill and took a majority stake in Transit Wireless LLC, the group of wireless and construction companies that was awarded the contract to bring Wi-Fi to the subways in 2007.
According to a Bloomberg article, "Transit Wireless will begin installing smoke detector-size antennas in six stations within the next two months...stations could be completed at a rate of 10 to 15 per month."
After the Wi-Fi is installed, subway riders will have mobile service on the platforms and parts of the tunnels. So what does this mean for advertisers?
Will companies expand and invest more in their mobile advertising and social media networks? Will the iPad become a key player for advertisers? What do you think?
By Susan Burke
Posted: Aug 2, 2010 12:00am ET
Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is all about relevancy-catching the right consumer at the right moment-and is growing rapidly. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, advertisers spent $5.9 billion on OOH advertising in 2009. Consumers spend a lot of time away from their homes during the day and marketers are recognizing that there is now an opportunity to reach them in the elevator at work, at a football game, at the movies (for more on this aspect of OOH, please click here), while driving, or on the tray table of an airplane seat.
Over the course of the summer, I've seen a few pieces of OOH advertising that were particularly relevant to me, such as an ad for a car service on top of the luggage carousel at LaGuardia Airport or an ad on the NYC subway advertising the company, ZipCar, which allows you to rent a car for just a few hours. And, of course, an ad for a Nathan's hot dog or a beer at Yankee Stadium always triggers a response when I'm half way through a good ball game. These ads were all relevant to me and my needs, so I found them to be helpful and welcome.
The flip side of OOH is that there are also many ads that are not relevant. For me, the countless ads on the subway for cheap international calling cards or the in-cinema spot on joining the Armed Forces don't meet my needs and often feel intrusive. When that happens repeatedly, OOH starts to become unwelcome to me.
So what's an advertiser to do? How do you measure the consumers you touch via OOH versus the ones you may annoy? What is the value of OOH and when do you choose to deploy it? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Posted: Jul 22, 2010 12:00am ET
By Guest Blogger Lisa Neary
The digital landscape is changing. That was no clearer than after hearing Geoff Ramsey, CEO, Co-Founder eMarketer present at the ANA Digital and Social Media Conference last week. The downturned economy has decreased traditional media spend almost 20%. Marketers are being asked to do more with less and that has meant shifting discretionary dollars to digital initiatives.
With more than 57% of the US population participating in social media, many companies are attempting to leverage this space, but there is still confusion as marketers wonder if it is overrated. That is shocking considering that Geoff did note that only 10% of companies are effectively measuring the success of their social media programs.
While it still may be premature to tell, that fact is this: with a 60/40 split in terms of companies using social media to those not, you are behind the curve if you are at least exploring how to create an authentic dialogue with your audience and more importantly, you are at a severe competitive disadvantage if you are not listening to the buzz about your company, products or services across social media platforms.
With an ever-growing number of tools out there for "listening" to what your customers have to say, there's no excuse to not be taking advantage of this resource. This valuable information is readily available and more importantly: free. Whether it's listening to what words they use to describe your product or brand or gaining a better understanding about their interests, intentions, real or perceived problems, the insights gained from harvesting this information can have a drastic effect on your messaging, product development and marketing strategy.
If you are still wondering if social media is a fad, watch this video, and make sure you listen.
Posted: Jul 21, 2010 12:00am ET
By Guest Blogger Lisa Neary
According to Arianna Huffington, a part of the Huffington Post's success has been based on that simple strategy: Listen. Engage. Respond. It's no secret that the general sentiment towards Corporate America is at an all-time low. Couple consumer doubt with the economic hardships that the majority of Americans are facing and marketers are now faced with using their conversations in social media to help public relations initiatives to foster trust and loyalty to the brand, product or company.
For The Huffington Post part of building this trust has been through creating content around topics that the readership cares about. How do they know what their readers want? They listen and ask then they act. Arianna reminded us that, self-expression has become the new form of entertainment and they foster this dialogue to further nurture reader relations. Leveraging these insights has enabled The Huffington Post to cultivate a participatory and loyal readership. Here are four other ways they continue to differentiate:
- Watch the trends. With a small internal staff, THP leverages a vast pool of talent who contribute to the internet newspaper through blog posts.
- Get a cause. Create a pulse, a personality, a value system for your brand. Customers want a connection to your brand that resonates with them.
- Accept failure. Or run the risk of becoming stale. The biggest risks come with the biggest rewards. Experiment.
- Be nimble. Operate as flat as possible and encourage input from all levels of the organization.
While these ideas may not be new, they are the tenets to developing a successful presence in the social media presence where your audience is savvy, is easily distracted and demands a more personal relationship. As Arianna explains, "Time is long. Life is short." Slow down, start having some meaningful conversations with your audience, and be sure to take notes.
By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Jul 12, 2010 12:00am ET
Social media can be defined as "activities, practices, and behaviors among communities of people who gather online to share information, knowledge, and opinions using conversational media," according to The Social Media Bible. Just a few months ago you might have read about Facebook’s privacy transition. With the transition, Facebook users’ names, profile photos, gender, and hometown suddenly became publicly available information, when previously only your name and network were publicly available.
Now Canada has slapped Facebook with a class-action suit saying the transition violated Canadian privacy and consumer protection laws. The class-action suit claims that Facebook made money from its customers’ personal data by letting third parties use it for targeted online advertising campaigns.
How do you feel about these new privacy transitions? Do you feel like you own the information on your Facebook page, or does Facebook own that information?
Chime in with your thoughts!
By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Jun 23, 2010 12:00am ET
How many commercials leave a lasting impression, so much so, that they play out in your head while you are shopping at your local grocery store? Soon those commercials maybe viewable while you are doing your shopping. According to a recent article by The New York Times a company called, “Automated Media Services has been working on a system that would deliver television in retail environments in a way that would allow media agencies to plan and buy commercial time in stores just as they do on the networks.” The product is deemed 3GTV and will give advertisers an environment similar to what they had in the days of only three television networks—an effective way to reach audiences without distractions.
© The New York Times
Stephen Grubbs, a media guru who held positions at agencies owned by the Omnicom Group said, “The presence of the 3GTV screens near or in front of the products advertised in the commercials represents an advantage, compared with existing systems in stores that use TV screen at or above check-out counters, after purchase decisions have already been made.” As an advertiser, what type of commercials would your company broadcast on 3GTV? Would they be 10-second catchy commercials or a 30 second spot?
By Adrienne Tallacksen
Posted: Jun 14, 2010 12:00am ET
I recently had the opportunity to see Jeffrey Hayzlett, now former CMO of Eastman Kodak, speak at an industry event for a second time. His presentation was one of the most popular at ANA’s 2009 Masters of Marketing Conference last year, and he spoke again at a recent forum of the Mobile Marketing Association. Hayzlett is an engaging and dynamic speaker who is known as the “Celebrity CMO” and who challenges marketers to be leaders and grow the bottom line. If they’re not doing those things, why are they even around, he asks. Hayzlett introduced a couple of new themes in his most recent speech.
The 118 Speech: This is the new elevator pitch. Marketers have to have a value proposition, and they have to be able to sell it. The average adult attention span is just eight seconds; the average elevator ride in New York City is 110 seconds. With the 118 speech, you’ve got eight seconds to hook your listeners and 110 seconds to sell your value proposition.
Be a Change Agent: When asked how people who haven’t yet reached the rank of CMO can be change agents in their organizations, Hayzlett told the story of the weekend he spent cleaning carpets at his company and then tearing up the carpets after finding beautiful marble floors underneath all because he was told that it was too expensive to get the carpets cleaned. Don’t just stand around saying “woe is me, I’m not powerful enough to change anything.” If clean carpets are what’s needed to grow the bottom line, get a six-pack and some friends and spend the weekend cleaning the carpets. Hayzlett advises marketers to be the change they want to see, and if they get fired for doing the right thing, all the better.
By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Jun 2, 2010 12:00am ET
Viral videos seem to be the “trend” of the moment in the social media world, but will it last? Most websites from CNN.com to HomeDepot.com are using videos for numerous reasons like broadcasting information, tutorials, or pure entertainment. And then you have YouTube—a video community where anyone can become an Internet star by simply uploading a homegrown video.
Recently, I stumbled upon craigslist TV on YouTube. At first I wasn’t sure if these videos were real, they look professionally produced, and the personalities of the people in the videos seems so outlandish I thought they had to be actors.
According to the craigslist channel on YouTube, “craigslist tv is a new documentary series that follows real craigslist users, in real time, as they use craigslist to make things happen. The project remains active today. Interested craigslist users click an opt-in button if they think their posting deserves to be seen. The episodes in this series are the results of the project to date.”
Do you find yourself watching more videos online? If so, what do you watch online—news, entertainment, educational tutorials?
By Susan Burke
Posted: May 26, 2010 12:00am ET
Wired magazine is now available on the iPad via a rich app, which enables users to read all content available in the print edition of the magazine and enjoy additional multi-media enhancements for $4.99 per issue. According to an article in the May 26, 2010 edition of The New York Times, examples of these multi-media enhancements include:
A Lamborghini Gallardos made of Legos…, which has six images in the print magazine, is shown being constructed in the app through a slide show of 180 images that a user can scroll through like a flip-book. The two images of Mars that ran in the print version become a rotating 3-D version on the app.
However, content published on Wired.com will remain different and separate from the content in the printed magazine or on the iPad. In terms of the advertisers featured in the magazine, all advertisers who participated in the print version were part of the iPad version as well, which launched with the June issue of Wired (pictured above). Condé Nast, which publishes Wired, worked with the makers of Adobe’s InDesign program for a year to develop this app. The resulting new Adobe feature will be made available to other publishers for purchase. According to The New York Times, this addition to InDesign "allows the magazine’s editorial team to easily move the print design into the iPad design and vice versa."
Wired’s work with the iPad is an important step for the print industry and an example as to how other magazines can start to blend more digital content into their existing offerings. Click here to read a piece from the ANA’s Marketing Insights Center on the future of magazines.