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CNN and Volvo Have Teamed up to Produce Live Ads During Solar Eclipse

Posted August 22, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 11:21 am

The epoch-making phenomenon had last happened across the United States from coast to coast about a century ago

podcasts marketing

The Great American Eclipse on Monday, Aug, 21 is the first total eclipse that had been seen from coast to coast across the United States in nearly a century when the earth, the moon and the sun came under a single alignment. This phenomenon presented a unique opportunity for brands and TV news networks across the country to tune up for the once-in-a-lifetime event that would be watched by a huge audience. The first big name that came up was that of CNN which has partnered automobile major, Volvo to cover the epoch-making solar eclipse. Ads featuring Volvo, produced by Courageous, which is the in-house brand studio of CNN, were shown during the break of the livestream of the once in a century solar eclipse.

The live ads showed Volvo in 4K virtual reality and 360-degree video across all of CNN’s digital and social platforms. SVP of news content partnerships at Turner Broadcasting, CNN’s parent company, Michal Shapira, said, “Since launching Courageous, we’ve been intensely focused on experimenting with new creative formats and innovating with our marketing partners to help tell more powerful brand stories. Live ads are simply the next iteration of this effort, born from the fact that we live in a ‘live’ culture that values real-time experiences. This incredible partnership aligns Volvo with CNN’s live VR capabilities, our award-winning brand studio Courageous, and massive global reach to capture this unique moment in time, while underscoring the spirit of the all-new Volvo XC60 to embrace the future.”

Bob Jacobs, VP – marketing product and brand communications at Volvo, said, “We wanted to bring the innovation and creativity that Volvo is known for into viewing the eclipse, a once-in-a-lifetime event. We developed a virtual reality and 360-degree camera concept that we pitched to multiple media outlets. After an extensive search, we chose to partner with CNN, who we believe will provide an exceptional and immersive media event.” As the eclipse progressed, Courageous filmed influencers, who shared their views on the significance of this momentous eclipse even as it happened, with the help of four cameras stationed across different locations around the country.

Filed under: TV-Video

Podcasts are Gaining Popularity in the United States

Posted August 21, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 10:57 am

Around 25% of Americans listen to podcasts at least once a month and the number is expected to grow

podcasts marketing

In the United States popularity of the podcast market is increasing. At present, approximately 25% of US adults aged 18 to 49 listen to podcasts at least once a month. In the last two years, many large digital publishers have released their own podcasts. Increase in digital media consumption on mobile has made it more attractive to both listeners and advertisers.

Distributers have now started monetizing podcasts. In 2016 advertisers in US, spent an estimated $35 million on podcasts and this number is more than 2% as compared to 2015. As per the study by comScore, nearly two-thirds of all podcast listeners have shown their purchase interest after hearing advertisements on podcast and that number could surge, in case podcasts assuage advertisers’ concerns.

Because of strong growth in mobile, video and social spending, dollars are flowing from traditional media such as newspapers and magazines to digital media and changing the face of US media market. California, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are the states that have the highest number of podcast listeners using podcast players.

As per measurement done by Acast, a European podcast streaming platform and distributor, curated platform for podcast, that listeners enjoy podcast either early in the morning around 7-8 am or later at night around 11 pm ET respectively. Oskar Serrander, general manager, Acast US, said “As home devices become more popular, people can enjoy hearing the morning or evening news in the same way they used to use the radio. We all have some version of screen fatigue these days, so being able to just take a moment to listen may also be fueling this podcast expansion.”

Filed under: Digital

Account-Based Marketing is the Future

Posted August 18, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 5:04 am

In order to convert prospects and manage accounts that matter, marketing and sales must work in sync to clinically achieve results

Account-Based Marketing

Is the ‘cold call’ as we know it, burning itself out? Many marketers seem to think so especially with the way sales callers tend to go berserk at anyone and everyone almost in the manner of unrelenting zombies. In the pre-online days it made sense to carpet-fire across a wide perimeter and score a hit or two by sheer chance rather than shoot and scoot specific targets because that meant making efforts with both brain and brawn. The cold call is typically a sales terminology because it still has the same SOP (standard operating procedure) of picking up data from open and public sources like telephone directories among others.

This is not the end of direct sales though, but there needs to be some strategy about how to engage more customers. Every business exists for financial performance and the key to successfully nurturing and converting leads is effective coordination between marketing and sales teams at every level – from the concept of strategy to the details of execution.

If marketing and sales do not sync, the company’s strategy will be inconsistent and weak and execution will be flawed and inefficient. As per the latest approach, selling is going to be a more social and relationship-based effort as a follow up of sound marketing strategies. You need to nurture, meet and care for prospective customers and sell your brand to people who are not ready to buy from you. Here are some well-devised strategies that can help craft the right approach to marketing and sales.

Predictive targeting is one of the strategies to analyze the audience, especially to know which users are likely to buy based on in-market signals and possibly what particular products they are likely to buy. Content relevance and timing can also affect the prospects. Content is meaningless unless it serves the purpose of conveying the benefit of your brand and product to the customer.

A Customer centric approach should cover excellent user experience on the site, transparent transactions, scope for customer reviews, helpful and proactive customer support, fair and balanced returns policy, competitive pricing, and above all, quality products.

Filed under: Marketing Innovation

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 brands are adjusting and adapting to digital media

Posted August 14, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 8:30 am

The priority now is to create digital and mobile content first and then we take the communication to all the traditional channels

digital transformation

Digital marketing has today become an indispensible part of any media mix as shoppers are increasingly showing their preference for online purchases. At the same time, social media has grown at a fast pace and it is playing a leading role in replacing the old tradition of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores with online shopping. Retailers are quickly adding digital stores in addition to physical stores and spending more money in developing smart websites to make it easier for online shoppers. Brands these days are also procuring tools to analyze informal chat on social media although not all brands are adjusting to the shift as easily as they would have liked.

Despite that, brands are realizing the fact that they need to move towards digital media in order to keep pace with technological advancement. For brands, digital media serves as a vehicle for connecting, selling and engaging their prospective customers as studies reveal that 51% of Americans prefer to shop online. CMO Emily Culp, of Keds had focused on treating the company as the number one store in the world. She therefore, worked towards digital transformation of the company by bringing in ecommerce, marketing, social media and public relations as one team. She had good reason to mix the culture because Amazon and other shopping sites were scrambling to move from physical to digital storefronts and putting more and more money into smart websites.

In the beginning of this year, Pernod Richard, the maker of brands like Absolut, Malibu and Jameson – started hiring their own internal manpower and using software tools to become more digital. It began working with its sales force to collect and analyze data as part of bigger customer relationship efforts. Manager of data analytics at Pernod Ricard, Evan Huggins, said “Amazon is an easy, consummate example, and they’re just going to eat everyone’s lunch. If it’s not them, it’s businesses that emulate their model of convenience and personalization and accessibility to potentially disrupt our business.”

Filed under: Digital

Facebook’s Watchlist Will Heat Up the War of Ad Spaces

Posted August 11, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 10:40 am

The new video tab that Facebook is launching, called Watch is aimed at disrupting the online advertising market

facebook watchlist

Facebook is soon going to launch a new feature called “Watch,” which is going to disrupt the online advertising market. On the Watch tab of Facebook, several dozen original shows will start rolling out on mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV apps.

In addition to the Watch tab, there will be another feature called “Watchlist” where users can keep track of their favorite shows or list of programs and when these will be streamed on the platform. There is another value added feature, like a newsletter, which allows users to subscribe for updates on new episodes of their favorite shows. Publishers share their shows to the news feed to help people discover them. The Watch feature is also going to be personalized. It will help users to discover shows, which are relevant to their interests with suggestions based on what Facebook communities are watching. It includes both live and recorded shows, so users can choose as per convenience.

During the broadcasts it will allow users to ‘like’ and comment as well as play the content via web, iOS, Android and Apple TV. They can join groups with people who like the same shows, and build a community. Before spreading globally, Facebook plans to roll out access to Watch for more users in the United States. A new video hub will be added, using a TV-shaped Watch button in the navigation bar at the bottom of Facebook’s main app.

Facebook’s shows will range from live event coverage to reality TV to scripted program. There will be a long list of categories of shows to view. When you open Watch, you can scroll through, and alternately, you can check any notification about some new program. Once you’ve opened an episode you’ll see all the details about it, with one tab for joining a live comment reel with other viewers, and an “Up Next” tab displaying the names of the programs after the current episode.

Filed under: Digital

CPV Advertising is set to Rule Online Advertising in Future

Posted by Rashmi D @ 4:11 am

The most evolved form of online advertising is the CPV format because it is much better defined and balances all stakeholders’ interests

CPV format advertising

As with most rules of the internet, online advertising rules are also framed and set by Google because of the way it approaches the matters related to the internet and its uses. Therefore, after Google introduced CPV advertising, it is gradually becoming law as all the other big players also begin adopting it. This isn’t easy for an organization that dominates the business overwhelmingly, but to their credit, Google has been able to uphold the interests of the common user with its periodic updates. This has not just won it the respect and trust of users all over the world but has also consolidated its foundations and made it the gentle giant it is today. True, at the end of it all, Google has to consider the business end of things and this balanced approach has only made its business stronger than ever before.

CPV advertising is a milestone

As an advertiser, if you get charged for every click on your ads across domains, irrespective of whether those clicks were intended or not, you feel there’s some kind of unfairness in the system. As a user, if you end up spending 30-40% of your browsing time waiting for ads that you clicked unintentionally after they popped up on you, rather annoyingly, you’re likely to feel cheated. And then the first thing that crosses your mind is – ‘this is madness…isn’t there a method to it?’ Rest assured, there is, and none other than your friendly neighborhood Google and now, Facebook says so.

Enter CPV advertising. So, what exactly is it and why is it special? Let’s understand it from the advertiser’s point of view first. Under CPV advertising, or more precisely, under what Google designed, TrueView, you pay for views or clicks only when your ad has been viewed for at least 30 seconds or clicked and then viewed for at least 30 seconds. Apparently, this format includes both the CPM and CPC methods but the overriding principle is that in either case, the ad would have to be viewed for at least 30 seconds. As an advertiser who has been paying for every click, intended or unintended, this is great.

Now, how will CPV benefit the common user, or, as an online business may say, the customer? As customers many of us know that marketers call us the “King.” But in reality, do they treat us like kings? If you look at the way they ‘ambush’ us at every turn with pop ads that take their time to load when clicked, intentionally or unintentionally, it would not appear that they care about the king. When you end up spending half your browsing time negotiating these pop ads that fall on you like rain, you’re reminded of the old joke – “Long Live the King. The King is Dead!”

Who’s responsible for this madness?

As a common user, your first reaction to this pop ads madness is to be angry at the advertiser. Well, you have reason to be angry but you’re mistaken if you think it’s the advertiser who’s responsible for this madness. Let’s first understand how it works – the ads could belong to any advertiser e.g. Coke, Pepsi, Starbucks, etc. but it’s the website you’re on, where all this madness takes place. If you notice carefully, the intensity of ads popping up every now and then is not the same on every website that you visit. So, it is the website owner or publisher who is running this riot. And CPV advertising is designed to pull these rioters up and get them follow the rules set by the big boys like Google and Facebook.

Now let’s look at another interesting side of this madness where the advertiser whom we decided to cover thinking they’re not to blame for bombarding users with pop ads. The objective of an ad is to get the customer to a seller’s website because it is a seller who advertises, generally. Now when you land up on the seller’s website there is every chance that you would again come up against the barrage of pop ads that the seller would use to upsell other items that you hadn’t planned to buy. Alternately, since the seller is now the website owner, he would have other businesses advertising on his site. And that again brings us back to square one which is what we called ‘madness.’

CPV advertising is designed to deal with this madness and make it difficult for marketers to run riot on the internet. With the bulk of the traffic originating from mobile devises that work on touch-screen method, we just can’t afford to have the kind of wastage of time and money that unintentional clicks on pop ads cause. After all, it is today’s advanced marketing automation tools that make such advertising happen and it is taken advantage of by the website owner or publisher who sells advertising space on his domain. It is the publisher who uses advanced marketing automation ads to bombard visitors to his site with pop ads. Till now it was earning him revenues from unintentional clicks. Not any more…thanks to CPV advertising.

Filed under: Digital

Does Twitter Influence Smartphone Purchase Decisions in Any Way?

Posted August 10, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 10:53 am

The social site claims that users tend to spend more on buying smartphones after seeing ads on Twitter

smartphone purchase decision

Making the decision of purchasing a smartphone is not easy because the devices are a significant investment. A recent study conducted by Twitter in association with Nielsen and Foursquare, tried to figure out the role of social media network throughout the decision-making process. After seeing ads on Twitter, the research found that customers spent almost 6.8% more with mobile wireless carriers. They dug into the data, provided by the local search and discovery service mobile app, Foursquare.

These three companies analyzed in-store foot traffic for T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Cricket Wireless and found that ad campaigns on Twitter generated 23% more visits to these brick-and-mortar stores. In addition to that, mobile carrier campaigns and offer based tech generated an average return on ad spend of $ 2,184. It means twitter users are 2.4 times more influenced than non-users by ads from mobile device manufacturers and mobile carriers.

Twitter, Nielsen and Foursquare found that the people, who love travelling, enjoy fast-casual food and like sports, are most likely to make purchases in brick-and-mortar stores and visits budget-friendly travel locations. While these people prefer to shop online, they also love to live in big cities, and frequent cultural destinations like art museums, movie theaters and high-end travelling locations such as airport lounges, hotel bars.

While leveraging the social network target abilities, Ryan Kiernan, Twitter research analyst suggested that mobile carriers need to pair customer data with the social network’s growing slate of livestreamed sports content and in-stream video ads. According to the research, 56% of Twitter mobile users say when they are buying a product or service, that they are influenced by content on Twitter. It is also true that Twitter’s popularity as a platform that influences smartphone purchases is not a very recent development. Promotion campaigns on Twitter have always impacted smartphone purchase decisions.

Filed under: Digital

CPC Format of Advertising is the Most Optimum Way

Posted by Rashmi D @ 2:56 am

With the internet majors like Google and Facebook making efforts to not charge advertisers for unintentional clicks, CPC format gets even better

Cost Per Click

Recently, Facebook announced that it won’t charge advertisers for unintentional clicks on their advertisements by users. This is a very important development for CPC (Cost Per Click) advertising because it further improves the filter that determines the advertisers ROI. Google, the other internet major that sets trends in online media, has already been using this filtration process for the benefit of their advertisers. It goes to show how important the advertisers are for the internet platforms and it also shows that the customer is truly cared for. After all, in the B2B context, the advertisers are the customers of platforms like Google and Facebook among others. However, not everyone is happy about this development, especially the publishers whose websites and portals are the direct beneficiaries of advertising revenue.

Why this development will strengthen CPC

This has been a major issue of grievance for advertisers because of the nature of online advertising today. The bulk of the advertising comprises pop up ads that is not always used rationally by the publishing websites. There are websites with quite heavy traffic that charge exorbitant rates for advertising on their platforms but do little to streamline the process to improve user experience on their sites. The lure of more and more advertising revenues have led them to allow more advertisements to be displayed on their websites than possible.

As a result, there is overcrowding of advertisements on their websites which lead to the increasing incidence of pop up ads almost all over their webpages. This makes of poor user experience because it becomes very difficult for the users to navigate through all these ads popping up every now and then. On certain sites, it’s literally difficult to read an article or a blog because there are hyperlinks all over the content. The moment the cursor touches the link an ad would pop up and then the usual annoying wait would follow till the ad gets loaded.

For the publishing website this kind of accidental clicks means money and more money. Who cares if the clicks were intentional or not? As long as there are ads there will be clicks and that’s all that matters. Not anymore, says the big boys of the internet, Google and Facebook. CPC is a critical part of online advertising and it needs to be handled with a lot more care than was being done so far. Going by the thumb rule, it is the user who needs to be treated with a lot more sensibility and respect than many of the publishing websites care to do. It’s the user traffic that makes or breaks a website and nobody understands it better than the giants like Google and Facebook.

CPC advertising ensures optimum ROI

There is nothing better than to know how many times your ad has been clicked because it gives you an idea of the kind of response your ad is generating. However, if the bulk of the clicks don’t result in traffic that bounces out of your webpage no sooner than they land on it, there is something wrong, and it need not necessarily be your ad design. As it turns out now, it is because your ad has been unintentionally clicked by a user who is not interested in what you’re offering. As an advertiser, you don’t want that to happen because every click on your ad costs you money.

This is where publisher discretion gains importance. Publishers should allow only that much CPC advertisements on their websites as can be possible. And how are they to do it? Not very difficult – they need to automate their pages in a way wherein user experience is not affected by out of turn pop up ads. Right now, with marketing automation having a free run of web pages, it has become difficult for publishers to really take user experience more seriously. They think the user has no choice but that can be a big mistake. The user should not be taken for granted.

When CPC advertising follows certain rules, especially those that have a direct relationship to the very essence of the internet, which is to ensure optimum user experience, everyone in the chain stands to win. If publishers want to corner all the benefits and marketing automation suppliers think they can go on handing newer variants of their tools to the publishers to make life difficult for the users, they’re now up for a little surprise. Rules are now being rewritten by the market leaders and the rest would do well to follow these rules. Eventually, it is not just the end user who wins but also the seller who has nothing between him and his customer but his ad. If that medium works as well as it is known to work, everybody, in the chain will be happy.

Filed under: Digital

Advertisers on Facebook Won’t be Charged for Unintentionally Clicked Ads

Posted August 9, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 8:47 am

The unintentional clicks happen mainly due to pop ads that appear suddenly and upset the users’ browsing flow

unintentional clicks

We all have had moments when we were scrolling or clicking through a website or mobile app and ended up clicking on an ad without exactly intending to. For the user it’s just a click gone wrong and it’s no big deal but the poor advertiser would have been charged for the click. Now, Facebook is modifying its policies and things up a bit in the advertising front, especially how it charges advertisers for click-based campaigns.

According to Facebook, ads will be categorized as unintentional, as if, a person accidently clicks an ad on a mobile device, immediately retracts within few seconds, they will not be charged to the advertisers. So the advertisers on Facebook need not to worry that they are paying for users who unintentionally clicked on their ads. Facebook wants to be transparent in its relationship with advertisers. Now advertisers will be able to see how many actual clicks an ad received and impressions, caused by bots doesn’t show up on their bills.

Facebook wants to be transparent in its relationship with advertisers; publishers may worry that this change could hurt their bottom line, but according to product marketing manager Brett Vogel the “vast majority” will not be affected, since ads aren’t driving a significant number of unintentional clicks and this change is, for the good of the ecosystem.

Not only Facebook, Google also focused on this issue and its efforts to restrain accidental clicks on mobile web have prevented tens of millions of unintentional clicks. This collective effort helps improve experience with mobile ads and puts pressure on advertisers, publishers and tech companies to use formats that are less annoying. Facebook also introduced a number of changes to the way it reports total campaign impressions. It’s now going to report total campaign impressions including both total billable and non-billable impressions.

Filed under: Digital
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