How to Transform an Industry

 

Are you the next best digital marketer?

1. Explain the technology in simple terms.

At the basic level, it comes down to education. Industry practitioners need to do a better job teaching their salespeople to clearly, and without marketing jargon, explain the technology, walk customers through how it works, set expectations and honestly say whether their products will help clients meet their needs.

2. Have easy-to-understand reporting and metrics.

In an industry where dollar spending involves intangibles such as ad impressions, clicks, contacts or potential sales leads, plainly bridge the gap in understanding about what happens in between online promotions and in-store purchases.

Start by asking simple questions of clients about their sales in the past quarter, the number of returning customers and expectations. Get this information up front to set realistic goals.

3. Be a partner and go-to expert.

Marketers succeed only if their customers do. Industry players need to be more hands on and provide proper counsel as the industry changes and new services, search capabilities or promotions emerge.

4. Explain that quality results take time.

One of the biggest misconceptions of customers is that a one-time campaign will result in the business-driving miracle they need. A “one-and-done” approach is the wrong mentality.

 

Comfort Women

Transforming the entire digital marketing industry is not easy. But what is even more of a challenge is transforming an industry that is not even recognized in the first place. That which is invisible can never be transformed; moreover, that which is deliberately shut out from the public’s perception can no longer be transformed. That is the plight of the comfort women.  They , whose lives need the most transformation, do not even have the opportunity to be recognized. Or rather, the opportunity is suppressed by those who do not want to remember something that has the capacity to inhibit the power they already hold.

Images by: system5.mg;wunrn

 

Web services distribution

 

Heinz’s social campaign

How do you make sure that your service is heard, recognized, and distributed around social networks, media, and generally around people? How do you create brand awareness that gives a return on your investment. A lot of services are actually supported by web campaigns that make it possible for brands to service a lot of people who initially did not know or recognize the brand. For example, Heinz did a pretty good job of promoting itself by releasing their Get Well Soup campaign, the third of its kind since they started it out three years ago. You can personalize the can and share it with someone. As the copy on the promo material says, Heinz is inviting everyone to cheer up a loved one who’s feeling under the weather with a personalized can of soup, saying there are limited cans available, and that each purchase will be donated to charity. As we’ve seen with Coke, personalized products really are hugely popular. Adidas recently rolled out a really good ad from their team. Sports is usually characterized to generate a large amount of vitriol and hatred so they focused on footballers and their lifestyles with a provocative tone using the hashtag #therewillbehaters. Finally it seems SnapChat’s service came up on top by launching Discover, which is a result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first. Their claim is “Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important.experience different perspectives through Snaps, Stories and Our Story.” thereby coming up with one of the greatest content plans we’ve seen in the first quarter of the year.

Image by: vizeum

Web Services Dream Team

A Dream Team

 

When you’re coming up with a web services dream team, you need around 10 roles that need to be fulfilled. First is the visual artist, who has an eye for choosing and producing visuals that not only evoke the brand, but also arrest attention in their own right. Next, get a language lover so that cohesive and creative content is given and killer. This could also be the storyteller on your team who harnesses things like epic, myth, and Shakespeare’s 5 act structure and characterization into your marketing, which can be really powerful stuff. If you have a journalist who’s applying, give her a second look, 60% of brands increase effectiveness in marketing when there’s a real time component, with 77% of organizations ranking live marketing as a high importance area of their overall advertising strategy. People with reporting backgrounds can write, edit, and publish fast, check sources, and pull quotes as needed. Then you need an analyst to create insights and reports into how all the content works, and if it works. Another person you need is a Big Picture person who can see how all the puzzle pieces fit, that person’s going to be the one with the plan to further your overall marketing strategy and business goals. Next, you need micromanagers to troubleshoot which content types aren’t performing, why, designing intuitive tweaks and A/B testing software and websites. They’re the ones who can see the details and make sure they’re right. Events people for good old networking deliver live content to the right audience. Finally, you need a Big Data person who can process not just your own data from campaigns, but huge data and demographic trends along with your team’s budget, long-term goals, and technological capabilities.

Image by: biodetection

No service without focus

 

Peter Thiel

To Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley luminaries like PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel, the secret to productivity is this: focus is singular. You don’t get three or four or five. You only get one.

Peter Thiel, the first outside investor in Facebook, shares a similar philosophy on productivity and management that he developed while turning PayPal into a billion-dollar company.

In the words of former PayPal executive Keith Rabois, Thiel “would refuse to discuss virtually anything else with you except what was currently assigned as your #1 initiative.” If Kagan had tried to have a meeting with Thiel to pitch a new a new idea, they wouldn’t have even gotten to the whiteboard. Thiel wouldn’t discuss anything but your top initiative.

The most important benefit of this approach is that it impels the organization to solve the challenges with the highest impact. Without this discipline, there is a consistent tendency of employees to address the easier to conquer, albeit less valuable, imperatives. As a specific example, if you have 3 priorities and the most difficult one lacks a clear solution, most people will gravitate towards the 2d order task with a clearer path to an answer.

With distractions cleared away, Thiel allowed every person in the company to seriously pursue their only priority “with extreme dispatch and vigor.” Granting employees a singular focus encourages a clarity of thought and mission that can drive people to perform at A+ levels.

[M]ultitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking. They’re terrible at ignoring irrelevant information; they’re terrible at keeping information in their head nicely and neatly organized; and they’re terrible at switching from one task to another.

Image by: amirite

Personalizing and its costs and effects

Biggest US website service

 

Today, a lot of web services have been trying to figure out what can possibly drive up sales for their services. Many services would opt to take after the Number 1 US Website at the moment, and that is Amazon.com. One notable thing about Amazon is their ability to get their recommendation algorithm for their consumers absolutely pat down, so pat down that recommendations actually drive 10-30% of their sales. Amazon gathers data from all the items that the user has purchased, browsed, liked, and what not. They then relate two items to each other if a lot of customers happen to show interest in both these items. The diversity of strategies of these algorithms being planned out and panned out depend on the type of product, service, or content that is being recommended to maximize the potential of these algorithms, the algorithms actually rely on their ability to infer on general characteristics of products and actual services that their customer prefers, instead of inferring characteristics related to their customer’s purchase history of specific items based on Stock Keeping Units. Companies’ ability to personalize their services, products, and content mostly depends on how they can learn about customer’s preferences through their own behavior, people with similar tastes, or their friends or peers’. There are a lot of other methods for personalizing such as the use of language (using colloquial versus refined language), which has been shown to potentially increase click rates to 5% just by tailoring the message appropriately. Companies must absolutely recognize their need for their algorithms to be configured on a much more complex dynamic of configurations such as the marketer’s knowledge of customer trends, marketing goals, seasonal and geographical constraints, and world events.

However, all this talk about catering to the individual and personalizing everything that each person sees on their phones and computers resonate with a striking issue, although it is the complete opposite, and that is the depersonalization of the self via traumatic abuse and oppression. This topic speaks about none other than the atrocities committed during the World War II by the Americans during the Korean-American war. This moreso, echoes guilt given that as Amazon, a US company drives forward to personalize its messages for capitalist conquests, the depersonalized souls of US comfort women has been shoved into the mountains of data in the minds of all peoples.

 

Korean comfort women

Images by: logodesignlove, livedoor

 

Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing.com were Down

Bing’s down page

Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing.com have recently admitted to suffering a short outage of service for approximately 20 minutes. This was reportedly from Twitter and other website-monitoring services that were available at that time. Briefly after the outage, Bing.com has quickly been live, up and running again but Yahoo’s search engine that is using and powered by Bing (you can find this at search.yahoo.com) was still down for a couple of minutes more than Microsoft.

During the brief outages of these two powerful search engines, going on Yahoo.com and entering a web search on the website will just redirect one to search.yahoo.com. Searching ”photos of dog” will leave you with a white blank page, or an error message instead of the search term you were looking for, or “photos of dog”.

Blank Yahoo search result

Yahoo’s Bing and its outage of service was not resolved immediately. One website-monitoring service called IsItDownRightNow has made confirmations that the site was down and offline for a memorable period of time on one day. However, some individuals claim that the default IIS homepage shows up instead.

Given that Microsoft also has other Microsoft domains such as portal.office.com, hotmail, and outlook.com, various others claim that these domains were difficult to reach as well. However, there were no official reports that could confirm this claim directly. Both Yahoo and Microsoft have survived the outage and manage to appear functional soon after. Other website-monitorng services even report that there were no disruptions of service at all or even having zero data on the domains that were previously referenced. In addition to this, there were confirmed reports that Live.com also experienced its server being down at the same time that Bing.com was affected.

Images from TechCrunch.com

The Untimely Death of the Google Glass

Glass by Google

 

In breaking news in the technology world, Google has recently announced that it was ending the entire Google Glass Explorer Program. Google Glass has come to its final destination and is being transferred to the care of Tony Fadell from Nest. This sudden but expected end was a cry for quits.

Models of Glass

 

Early on the development of the technology Google Glass, there were already many violent and harsh reactions towards the new technology. A term was even coined out for those who would wear the Google Glass in the future – Glassholes. Many people just loathed the image of nerds with a portable computer plastered on their face and could take pictures and videos at any point in time. Glassholes were folks who would soon face the harsh and violent comments of Glass haters. Although we already live in a world where we take videos and pictures with our smartphones right smack in public, the Google Glass didn’t seem to click with the people. The image of wearable optical devices was an idea that was just despicable to people.

More to add fuel to the hatred to Google Glass, Google created an Explorer program where only the elite could pay the price of US $1500 to become an exclusive member and user of your own Glass. The Glass Explorer program was merely a marketing ploy that lured people to pay for a beta version of the latest wearable technology so that they could report feedback to the Google company.

Even if Google failed to make the Glass a warm and inviting wearable device to many, their valiant efforts are much respected by the tech community.

Images from PatentlyApple.com

Facebook at Work

Facebook testing Facebook at Work

A few months back in the mid-year of 2014, Facebook was reportedly working on a new product whose target market was the enterprise market. This new product is still under the works and is called, “FB@Work”. This year in 2015, the official FB@Work product is coming to the spotlight. Mark Zuckerberg’s company is now launching the “Facebook At Work” app and is making it available to iOS and Android as well. Alongside with this app is a web version of the Facebook at Work app that is also easily accessible. Every single businee across the globe can create their own social network among their colleagues.

Interface of Facebook at Work

The Facebook at Work works and is designed almost the same as the regular Facebook itself. Some differences would be that employers can choose to create log-ins for employees so that they can use their Work accounts. Users can even link their other accounts so that they have just one profile to access every thing they want to in just one place.

The product, Facebook at Work, directly competes with big Microsoft’s Yammer, Convo, Slack, Social Cast, and other social networks that are targeting enterprises as their main audience. One popular business social site, LinkedIn, even admitted that they were in the works of thinking of a product for coworkers or colleagues to easily communicate and be able to transfer or share content. Not surprisingly, some of those who have tried to do exactly this have not yet succeeded. The engineering director of Facebook who is the head of the Facebook at Work project has previously headed Google Wave, an enterprise social network that has failed before.

Images at BloggingRepublic.com and TechCrunch.com

 

 

Selling to sharing

Content Marketing

How do you provide good services to consumers with your brand? How do you increase your customer’s interest and build a relationship with your brand and your customers? Buyers are naturally suspicious and ultimately think that brands are just trying to sell them their products through their content. So if it’s your first time to try to engage your customers, try your best to understand your target market’s point of view in order to successfully grab their attention. If they decide that they deem it valuable and relevant to their interests, they will naturally start trusting you, pay attention to your content, and share it in their social circles. The focus and goal of your content should be to provide valuable insights to customers so they can make better purchasing decisions which can lead to indirect driving sales. This is why content marketing is similar to the work of a journalists. Writing a blog to answer questions from your customers is not enough. It requires your marketing team to start telling engaging and helpful and relevant stories. Use facts, figures, give clear industry insights.

 

US Comfort Women

This shift from “selling” to “sharing” relevant content to customers is parallel to the struggle that South Korean US Comfort Women felt during the time that they had to sell their bodies as per encouragement by their government. Today, the women are sharing their stories in hopes that the government will provide reparations for the personal damages that it cost them. In hindsight, both shift of events allow for a truthful recollection of what everyone should finally know.

Images by: toprankblog; images.revolving floor

Time Inc. makes a Deal with Outbrain

Time Inc. strikes a deal with Outbrain

Time Inc., which is USA’s biggest magazine publisher, makes a deal with Outbrain, the most exclusive external provider of stories that are recommended for Time Inc.’s websites. This includes Time.com and People.com. Before the deal, Time Inc. has used many other companies support the content-recommendation widgets that push visitor traffic in the web. The deal is US$100 million more worth to Time Inc.

 

The content recommendation or content discovery company, Outbrain, works by placing links underneath the articles that are originally published by different kinds of websites. Let’s say CNN.com, Slate or ESPN create or post articles. Media companies and other marketers pay for Outbrain’s service to place links underneath the published articles in order to drive more traffic to the content. Whenever the links appear in the publisher, Outbrain shares the revenue.

Outbrain’s work underneath Time.Inc’s articles

Outbrain was selected not merely because their revenues are increasingly higher than others but also because their engine drives more traffic and better recommendations than the other engines do. The deal by Time Inc. with Outbrain will take more than $100 million in U.S dollars over the duration of the deal in exchange for being exclusive with Outbrain. The deal according to an insider to the arrangement will last for three years. The deal was made on November 15.

More to driving more traffic and readers from other sites to media companies such as Time Inc., Time Inc. also depends on Outbrain to drive traffic within their own sites but just to different web pages. Advertisers of Time Inc. can be helped in this case.

Images from TimeInc.com and Adage.com