Brand Marketing

Amazon Spark Set to Light Up Brand Discourse on Social Media

Posted August 16, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 10:31 am

The retail giant’s entry into social media is likely to attract brands as only Amazon Prime customer will get to use Amazon spark

Amazon Spark

Amazon Spark is a social feed of user-posted images in the manner of a ‘story’ on Instagram or Snapchat but there are some crucial differences – Spark is not open for posting pictures and commenting for everybody because this right belongs exclusively with Amazon Prime customers who pay an annual fee of $ 99. However, just about everyone can read and see the content on Spark. So, what’s Amazon up to with this secluded platform? Like most other things that the retail giant does, there’s a definite strategy and method involved in this latest venture. Unlike most other social networks that depend on mass adoption and targeted ads, Spark will have content created and posted only by Amazon Prime members who are active shoppers spending $ 600 more on average than non-Prime members.

Amazon Spark may not even be looking at the kind of scale that other social sites like Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest boast but it is by no means unlikely that Spark might hit some significant scale if all or most of Amazon’s plans attain a reasonable degree of success. After all, Amazon Prime has 80 million members which is a huge number boasting the highest spending power. That’s a marketer’s dream target market. Spark users are allowed to run comparison polls between two Amazon products which enables their network to provide feedback on their likely purchase. Additionally, they also get to post pictures of products with relevant links.

A new user can get to Amazon Spark through the “Programs & Features” menu option in the app’s navigation. The platform will ask them to select at least five interests that they might be interested to follow and once they provide this information, Spark will create a precise feed of products, pictures and proposals that are relevant to the kind of things the user prefers to buy, or know more about. The scope is endless with what Amazon can do with Spark but at some point the retail giant will have to consider some kind incentives for expert users who post high value content on the platform.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

How Marketers are Dealing with Challenges in the Present Day Buyers’ Market?

Posted August 1, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:54 am

Leveraging the sheer volume and variety of customer data among others, is the biggest challenge facing marketers today

Challenges in the Present Day Buyers’ Market

The speed of technology and adoption presents unique challenges for businesses. In the online world, generating traffic and leads as well as ROI are the leading challenges marketers face. More and more customers are visiting on one website or another; some are just for the sake of browsing the website for fun while others visit the website because they are looking for shopping opportunities.

For a data-driven agency, one of the biggest challenges is how to track visitors’ experience across multiple devices, such as, a customer using her iPhone. They see your product in Facebook, click through to your site, take a look and then move on. On another day, the same customer using iPad, searches your product, but forgets the brand name; he just looks around, compares the price and features, but still doesn’t purchase. But after 10 to 15 days, the same customer is on his desktop computer with his credit or debit card in hand; this time he remembers the web address and goes directly to the website. He adds the items to their cart and successfully completes the purchase.

The volume of data and irrelevant customer experiences in today’s connected world generates more data than many marketers are able to manage. Marketers need the ability to leverage insights from that data to truly personalize customer experiences at scale. Many organizations that are hoarding up their customer data because of the unavailability or awareness of tools to manage them are facing the biggest challenges.

Manually coordinating content and campaigns across distinct channels is time-consuming and costly because you need a complete picture of customer behavior across every channel. So, the different marketing tools and analytics need a set of integrated tools to manage content and campaigns for faster, more efficient and productive utilization of the data.

Disconnected channels coordinating content and campaigns across disparate channels can be time-consuming and costly. Plus, to deliver personalized engagement, marketers need a complete picture of a customer’s behavior across every channel, not just on one. Marketers need a set of integrated tools to manage all their content and campaigns — and be faster, more efficient, and more productive.

Security is another concern because some marketers are bound by decade-old technology which makes data security difficult; hence, most the customers won’t like to share their personal information unless they believe it is secure. Cloud computing marketers can create and manage campaigns more quickly than ever without dependence on infrastructure, IT, or outdated technologies. Mobile capabilities mobile marketing messages, mobile alerts, and apps help marketers create connected customer experiences, drive personalization, and enhance cross-channel campaigns. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help automate marketing, recommend the next-best product or offer, and collect insights into traffic, sales, service, and marketing metrics along the way.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Brand Safety Across Platforms is Crucial for Secure and Contextual Marketing

Posted July 14, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 5:14 am

Johnson & Johnson has been able to optimize its utilization of scope offered by different platforms and audiences

brand safety and creativity

Marketers trying to optimize the contextual benefits of a platform realize the challenges related to viewability, brand safety and creativity in utilizing the latest formats and targeting options. Josh Palau, senior director, global partnerships, Johnson & Johnson, says, “Even the most efficient organization would have a really hard time developing one global concept and pushing it out to all the markets in a way that adheres to all the standards, best practices and nuances. To help with this one thing we’re trying to put in place is somewhat of a scorecard that can track how the creative we are developing lives up to the best practices of the platforms we are advertising on and align with our objectives.”

However brand safety is an area of prime concern for marketers especially when their ads are hijacked and abused by cyber criminals who use them in their spam videos and images that often carry malware. The question that arises is, how far are publishers willing to go in order to ensure that such abuse and misuse of brands don’t happen on their platforms? Says Palau, “What we really needed is more vigilance on the publisher’s side since they own the platform. Google was doing a good job of monitoring, but it can always get better – and, frankly, it did. When we think about this we look at: What new measures are you putting in place? What are the existing measures that are changing? Is there a scoring criteria for offensive content?”

Today, there are numerous formats available to marketers to leverage and it is really not possible to use all that consistently. Therefore, a fair amount of optimization is required to leverage the best opportunities across different platforms. Palau says, “There are just so many ways to tell a story online. The formats coming out now are a reaction to how people consume content. How do we ensure our creatives still feel energized to tell the while using new formats that publishers are finding to be successful. We are pushing everyone to think mobile-first, even if you don’t have mobile-ready creative. I think it’s about being present and useful when hitting the audience at the right time. Align content with what they want and let’s respect them by providing something that’s quick, that educates, and that fits into the platform they are on.”

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Creating Meaningful Experiences With People-Based Marketing

Posted July 11, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 7:48 am

A 360-degree perspective of customers can ensure success in implementing a people-based marketing strategy

People-Based Marketing

For years, brands have been trying to market to consumers they know personally instead of strangers but couldn’t succeed in doing so with their digital marketing, but now it appears they have the options to do that and a lot more. They seem to have mastered the processes involved in highly targeted, effective, personalized marketing, after they were able to gain insights from increasingly more precise customer database. This helps them design and deliver the right messages at the right time to customers across the maximum number of media and channels. Marketers now apply the same amount of effort and automation to create inbound experiences that they have been applying for years to create outbound experiences. Today they are not just focused on creating decent programmatic or email or search but are actually engaging the consumers within a closer range.

Developing lasting and meaningful relationships with consumers by creating steady, special and valuable experiences that make them happy is the objective of people-based marketing. While in outbound marketing, the focus is on targeting, in inbound marketing, it is on real-time decision-making. When a customer visits a website, the offer he sees, should be the same that was emailed to him, or featured on his Facebook update, or in the display ad that drove him to the particular site. Personalization is what crosses both so they work in concert to orchestrate journeys that will optimize the value of the customer’s relationship with the marketer.

Integration of campaign tactics and the data that enables it, makes it possible for marketers to provide this seamless experience and although it is a simple concept, it can be challenging to execute. How do marketers make it work? A 360-degree perspective of the customer can offer three touch points for success in implementing a people-based marketing strategy. Advertising needs to be more addressable, e.g. campaigns should leverage media platforms to target customers personally, efficiently and at scale. Inbound channel interactions need to be managed efficiently, using advanced technology to provide more personal moments that are meaningful to the customer. Achieving better customer relationships by linking inbound and outbound customer experiences, using CRM and loyalty programs to manage lifetime customer value and optimizing marketing investment.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Consumers like Brands That Share Their Social Beliefs

Posted June 22, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 1:21 am

Edelman study of consumers from across the world reveal that customers are more likely to ignore brands that ignore social causes

Solid-Marble case

The third Earned Brand report from public relations firm, Edelman reveals some interesting data on the kind of relationships that brands ought to forge with consumers. Brands should note that their position on a social or political issue, is likely to impact the purchase decisions of about 57% of their customers. Edelman surveyed 14,000 people across 14 countries to find out about the relationships that brands had with their customers. Mark Renshaw, global chair of brand at Edelman, said, “People really are buying on belief, and brands have a huge potential to gain if you do share your belief and act out on those beliefs. We really think this is an opportunity for brands, and it’s something that all brands should be looking at proactively versus reactively.”

A brand’s stance on a touchy social issue will influence purchase decisions of 67% of the respondents while 50% of the respondents said they would decide to buy products of a brand because of its beliefs. Brands should beware of keeping silent on specific issues that their customers care about because 65% of respondents say if a brand doesn’t talk about a social issue that they feel it should talk about, they wouldn’t buy products of that brand. As much as brands stand to lose by remaining silent on specific issues, they also stand to get rewarded when they choose to be vocal about a specific issue the customer cares about. Nearly half (48%) of the respondents would defend the brand while 23% said they were willing to pay 25% more for the brand’s products; around 51% said they would buy it exclusively and more frequently.

Edelman’s Renshaw clarified that the survey wasn’t meant to push brands into politics. He said, “We don’t believe it’s about politics. In fact, we would say stay away from politics. But the issues that are being discussed in society are things like the environment, equality and immigration. Obviously, sometimes issues have a political aspect, but the issues themselves are what brands should be focused on—not the political sides of those issues.” Referring to the Hieneken ‘Worlds Apart’ campaign, Renshaw explained, “So it’s not just weighing an issue in society right now but actually putting the product as a core part of bringing people together.”

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Now iPhone Cases Made of Solid-Marble Add a New Dimension to Smartphone Accessories

Posted June 14, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 3:42 am

The iPhone accessories industry is expected to grow to $107 billion in 5 years time and a large part of that comprise phone cases

Solid-Marble case

A search for ‘iPhone case’ in Amazon will produce around 6.5 million results including covers that are simple and functional to those that are amazing and extravagant. There are also those that are somewhat bizarre e.g. cases shaped like perfume bottles or those that are made of fake fur or even made of Swarovski crystals. Then there are cases that can hold prescription pills and those that offer other minor conveniences. Finally, there are cases that are more expensive than the phones themselves such as those that are made exotic material like crocodile hide or ones that feature 24-carat gold trim.

There is one particular material that iPhone case-makers hadn’t tried till now and that is – stone. Maybe it is because of the perception that nobody would want to walk around with a slab of rock in his pocket, making the phone a lot heavier. However, iPhone users have been using covers that are imitations of stone textures mostly made of plastic. That is no longer the case. A San Francisco based iPhone case maker, Mikol, has crossed this frontier and is now selling iPhone cases made from genuine Italian Carrera marble. That’s not all; they’ll even make a phone case from other kinds of rocks, including amethyst, rose quartz and sodalite, although they are more expensive.

Mikey Wu, founder of Mikol, said, “There were a lot of marble prints. Everybody buys prints of marble, (but) I figured, I’d want the real thing instead of plastic.” Over the last couple of years, he noticed a growing number of iPhone cases on the market that imitated stone. Wu is a construction industry entrepreneur and knew how to make the real thing. He had been working on ways to use lasers to cut the marble to its thinnest possible slice and finally managed to get it down to 0.7 millimeters, which was equivalent in thickness to a stick of chewing gum. Presently, Mikol makes around 10,000 such phone cases in a year and sells them for $99 each.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

In the Era of Fake News One Great Option for Brands is to go for Trust Marketing

Posted May 30, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 2:49 am

Research shows reliance on peer opinion is still high as most brands offering customer review tools for feedback are doing well

Fake News

With fake news appearing in the media on a daily basis, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that this is the age of distrust. Social media is where this monster breeds; inundating scores of social sites with feeds and tempting readers with the irresistible click bait headlines. Initially it turned out to be a gold mine for marketers but it is now increasingly becoming clear that there’s a heavy price to pay for such crimes – the cost of trust and consumer confidence. Now, that’s a marketer’s worst nightmare because it can spell doom for any business. As history shows, necessity has often been the most potent reason behind most innovations, the fallout of fake news, has in a way provided brands to make the necessary adjustments and investments on peer review or what is commonly known as customer reviews.

It’s not that customer reviews are a new innovation that has arrived on the market. Rather, it was present since the early days of eCommerce although in a much smaller scale than what it is now. According to Pew Research Center, half of all adult shoppers now regularly check online reviews before making a purchasing decision. Another finding by an agency named Report Linker revealed that almost four-fifths of the customers, who read online reviews, find them reliable. For marketers, it’s time to focus on the voices, opinions and beliefs of existing customers, because this now says much more about a brand than anything else, including traditional advertising.

This is a clear indication of how marketing dollars should be spent in the present day and especially under the looming shadow of the monster called fake news. While it goes without saying that a smooth and seamless customer-feedback mechanism should be an integral part of every ecommerce site today, brands have to overcome the trust barrier on a much larger scale and gain traction with a much larger audience. This is where social media offers the most obvious platform to get customers to talk about the brand which will not just outwit the impact of fake news but also help in winning back customers’ trust and confidence in the brand.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Mike’s Hard Lemonade Targets Millennial Men with a Cool New Campaign

Posted May 23, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 3:40 am

“Authentic” work by The Annex, a division of Chicago-based ad agency Havas, that has millennials doing the creatives

digital marketing

It’s a real challenge for Mike’s Hard Lemonade to reach out to millennial male customers and the main reason is that, most millennial men don’t know about this beverage. The brand therefore, decided to team up with The Annex, the millennial division of Chicago-based ad agency, Havas, to create a happy and bright new campaign titled, “Drink on the Bright Side.” This is Mike’s effort to capture the attention of millennial men between the ages of 25 and 29, in a campaign that includes a combination of social, digital, TV and print as well as out-of-home advertising.

According to Jason Peterson, chairman and CCO of Havas Creative, the agency engaged The Annex to work on the campaign to ensure the ads have “an authenticity of what is cool and what is relevant.” However, it were insights from the team at Mike’s that came in handy for the campaign, that suggested, drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade makes folks happy. “The core belief for us as a brand is Mike’s is about your favorite happy times. The reality is that sad people don’t drink Mike’s, so for us we wanted to make our creative campaign reflect that moment of happiness in what increasingly feels like a negative world,” said Sanjiv Gajiwala,vp, marketing, Mike’s.

The shorter spots like “Rocket Shoes,” and “Arcade” actually reflect the millennial spirit in a nice, yet somewhat crazy way but they’re funny and have what it takes to hit millennial men. The spot titled “Arcade,” for instance, shows a millennial youngster riding a cool little “super” puppy that’s shooting lasers. Gajiwala explained, “For us the insight was this group of consumers, these 25-30 years old, they have their own language which is not always a spoken language or a linear language, they don’t have a lot of time and they want to communicate quickly and for us that meant shifting our creative approach to reflect that and reflect what we think Mike’s Hard Lemonade is and what it’s role is in their mindset.”

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Delta Airlines Will Thank all its 80,000 employees by Name in Unique Facebook Live Event

Posted May 18, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:00 am

Ad agency Moxie is partnering with Delta in managing this mega event that will be streamed live for over two days

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is running one of the longest live events on Facebook – a 50-plus hour event on the platform that started at 9:00 a.m. ET, yesterday. Moxie, the Publicis Media agency, is handling the event together with Delta. During the course of the marathon digital event Delta will identify each of its 80,000-plus employees by name and thank them for their efforts. Delta and Moxie even thought through a situation where employees would have to wait for their name to appear during the 50 hour-long event and might find it difficult to kill time. They created a microsite where employees can find out when their name will be announced among other things.

This is truly a landmark event with a global dimension wherein every Delta employee will cherish it as a memorable occasion in his or her career. The airline went around the world, mainly across its travel hubs from places as far between as Atlanta and Seoul among many others in order to choose celebrities to participate in this event. So there are now more than 430 actors, athletes, comedians and Delta business leaders participating in this event dedicated to Delta employees. These celebrities will add vibrancy and value to Delta’s efforts in thanking its employees and some them include actress Naya Rivera, Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly and Coca-Cola chairman Muhtar Kent.

There are also other famous and highly talented showstoppers and performers who added momentum to the show that spanned across more than 50 hours. Along with the special note of thanks to all the employees, performances by a balloon animal artist, mime, domino artist, jugglers, ice sculpture artists, puppies and champagne among others things, sustained the momentum of this special event. Joanne Smith, EVP and Chief HR Officer, Delta, said, “Taking care of our employees is one powerful way to ensure the 180 million customers we serve every year enjoy their Delta experience. We’re proud of our employees and excited to dedicate 50-plus hours to honor each and every one of them.”

Filed under: Brand Marketing

“This bud’s for you” – Budweiser salutes Derek Jeter as the Yankees Retire His Number

Posted May 15, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:58 am

An emotional video on how New Yorkers honor their captain who served his team for over two decades

This Bud’s for 2

Budweiser, the sponsor of MLB (Major League Baseball) has come out with what it calls an “emotive new video,” titled “This Bud’s for 2…” to honor the legacy of legendary Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter and the retirement of his jersey. The two-minute video, which went live Friday (May 12), shows Jeter hitting a walk-off RBI-single against Baltimore in his final at-bat at the Yankee Stadium. Nearly two and a half years after Jetter played his last game for the Yankees his shirt has been retired, making him the 22nd player in team history to gain this honor.

The video then goes around New York City, replacing the number two across different locations with Jeter’s 2 in pinstripes – on the Subway, a deli awning, a road sign, a chalk-drawn 2 in a fast food outlet, a fire truck, a neon 2 on a shop window and a taxi, among others. Jeter had reportedly communicated to Budweiser, “I’m honored MLB and Budweiser chose to celebrate my jersey retirement this way, and I’m really looking forward to being back at Yankee Stadium this weekend.” On Sunday, May 14, which was also Mother’s Day, the Yankees honored Jeter during a pregame ceremony with the retirement of his uniform number and the unveiling of his Monument Park plaque.

According to Brandwatch, the social media monitor, #ThisBudsFor2, with over 11.7 million impressions, had over 1,400 mentions till May 12. In 2014, after Jeter retired, brands like Nike and Gatorade had also created videos to honor the Yankee captain. He had founded Players’ Tribune in 2014, which he says, is a “new media company that provides athletes with a platform to connect directly with their fans, in their own words.” In response to the outpouring of emotions from Yankee fans, Jeter posted his own thank you to New York on the Players’ Tribune.

Filed under: Brand Marketing
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