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‘Tis the Season of the Webinar (and Conference)


Autumn is here, and  with it, a plethora of webinars, seminars and conference.  My dance card is filling up.  Here are some recent and upcoming events:

Upcoming:

A Millennial Perspective  on Diversity & Multiculturalism” – American Advertising Federation – November 9th, 2011 – various locations throughout the country

Recent:

The State of Mobile Commerce – Are You Meeting Your Customers’ Mobile Experience Expecations? – webinar – November 2nd, 2011 – NYC

Featured speakers, Sucharita Mulpuru, Vice President, Principal Analyst from independent research firm Forrester Research, Inc., and Compuware APM CTO, Steve Tack discussing:

  • The current state of mobile commerce and key mobile trends
  • Why tablet owners are a key component of mobile success
  • Common mistakes that prohibit companies from capitalizing on the mobile opportunity
  • Best practices to deliver quality mobile web and application experiences to smartphone and tablet users
To view the webcast slides, click here

 

Advertising Week NYC – October 3-7th, 2011

Advertising Week Videos available HERE.

Future of Media Forum – October 5, 2011

MediaPost’s Future of Media Forum brings to life MEDIA magazine’s annual “Future of Media” issue by gathering together prominent executives and intellectuals from all facets of media to discuss, debate and opine about the Media Industry’s future. This intriguing roundtable discussion — moderated each year by a noted industry journalist — will take place October 5th during Advertising Week at New York University’s Kimmel Center, hosted by the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

How to Effectively Leverage Customer Insight to Deliver a Superior Multichannel Customer Experience, October 13, 2011

By the American Marketing Association (AMA): “Voice of the Customer is not just about surveys anymore.  Customers are interacting with your brand through multiple channels including the website, retail store, contact center and even social media. You have to understand all of these multichannel interactions collectively to develop a complete Voice of the Customer.  Join us on this webcast and learn how you can easily gather and leverage data from all customer touch points to deliver a superior multichannel customer experience.

Learn how you can:

  • Collect real-time customer insight across channels
  • Discover and act upon emerging customer trends
  • Deliver a more personal and targeted customer experience
  • Increase customer loyalty and reduce churn”

The World Technology Summit and Awards, October 25-26th

“On October 25th and 26th, 2011, at the TIME Conference Center in New York City, many of the most innovative people and organizations in the science and technology world will come together for an historic gathering – the 2011 World Technology Summit & Awards (the tenth incarnation) – to celebrate each other’s accomplishments; to explore what is imminent, possible, and important in and around emerging technologies; and to create the kinds of serendipitous relationships that create the future.

The majority of Summit participants are either current WTN members (primarily winners/finalists from previous World Technology Awards cycles, as selected by their peers as those doing the innovative work of “the greatest likely long-term significance”) or 2011 World Technology Award nominees. A combination of keynote talks, panel discussions, and breakout sessions… and potentially-career-altering-networking opportunities over two days concluding with a gala black-tie Awards ceremony on the second night held at the United Nations.”


How IP Geolocation Can Turn Your Local Marketing On – webinar – September 28th, 2011

“It’s a proven fact that located messages perform better overall but there is a discrepancy when it comes to online ads.  Currently, online CPSs are far below their offline counterparts (TV, radio, direct mail), and this correlates to the fact that half of all advertising is bought at the local level but there is no scalable way to reach consumers locally online.  For brands, targeting consumers locally is an essential and effective part of marketing as 80% of consumers’ disposable income is spent on businesses within 10 miles of their homes.

Advertising networks and online properties are boosting efforts to engage in increasingly local campaigns as clients are requesting geographically targeted ads.  IP intelligence provides the ability for super-niche targeting, allowing brands to create/provide the most relevant and engaging adds as it provides unique information about web browsers.  This increases marketers’ ability to reach their customers by targeting both business type, and consumer location, IP intelligence provides geographic, demographic and business information so that brands can effectively reach customers online the way direct mail and billboard ads are used to work offline.  Marketers will be able to zero in on trends, demographic information and cultural aspects to best target consumers.

Key learning points that audience members will take away from this webcast are: What is the need for geolocation targeting?  What are the statistics of geolcation effectiveness on advertising?  ROI?  What are some marketing strategies that I can implement around IP intelligence?

Speakers: Miten Sampat, VP of Product Strategy, Quova.  Steven Cook, CMO, Co-CEO, i.e., healthcare.  Alli Libb, Moderator, AMA.”

OMMA Global – September 26-27th, 2011

And, uh, the aha is…


@adscientist posed the following question to me about Advertising Week’s overflowing goody bag of panels and presentations: “Did you learn a lot last week or did you look at it as a lot of obvious statements? I was looking for more insight than i got.”

His comment made me stop to think whether I could identify 5-10 true  “a has” from the conference. Here they are:


1. The ruling on the purchase funnel is not final.  Most agree publicly that the traditional funnel, e.g., awareness, consideration, intent, purchase, loyalty – or as I was taught in business school, AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Acquisition, needs to be updated.  The patch to purchase is no longer a straight line.  The funnel of choice seems to be the McKinsey oval, which you can view in my summary of the panel.   (No mention of the Forrester “path to purchase” in the age of social engagement – see below).   The key takeaways being that: (a) the process is iterative and circular (b) must include advocacy (b) many include “loyalty,” but that’s not new, that’s just “adoption.”  However, when we got to the TV panels, the upward and lower funnel nomenclature was still front & center.  A disconnect?

Figure I: Forrester Path to Purchase in the Age of Social Engagement

Figure II: Harvard Business Review – Traditional Funnel and McKinsey Consumer Decision Journey

2. I was incredibly impressed with Comcast’s Xfinity vision of how its subscribers will be able to interact with their cable TV menus and the ways in which it will connect to the digital world in terms of (a) broadcasting “likes” (b) finding out what friends “like.”  And, RADICAL, there will be KEYWORD SEARCH!  (When I asked about search functionality at an Advanced Advertising panel in 2010, I received a combination of perplexed and blank stares…) – See Graphic to the right

3. Everyone is on the Facebook bandwagon.  We’re convinced that consumers want us there, and, while I don’t necessarily disagree – after all, a truly successful brand is a “friend” to an emotionally connected consumer, I’m concerned that we may tip the scale and kill the golden goose.

It’s (a) about the balance of push and pull in terms of broadcasting info (b) the ratio of real people to brands.  If kids leave the service when there are too many adults, what will adults do when there are too many brands?

4. Brands are content creators.  This is not new – see Larry Kramer’s recent book C-Scape, Conquer the Forces Shaping Business Today and recall Coke’s Polar Bear campaign (ahead of its time, or pre cursing the future that is today?), but it was a major theme, which means that it is becoming more mainstream.

5. SEM and ad networks are getting more advanced.  Google has new multi-media listings.  aol, yahoo and microsoft are creating a three-way ad network.  Programmed trading (wait, are we talking about finance), is growing.

All for now except:

If you don’t have an iPad, you’re so not cool.  Get thee to an Apple Store pronto!  (iPads, like Facebook profiles of a few years ago, have reached a point where it’s not that you’re cool if you have one but that you’re NOT cool if you don’t have one.)

Advertising Week 2011 Key Themes


Matt Scheckner of Advertising Week begins each panel with the following comment: people always ask what is the theme of Advertising Week this year.  And his answer is that there is not a specific theme.  They identify the themes people care about the most and then find the smartest people to discuss those areas of interest.

So… what are the recurring themes that have bubbled to the top?  Below is my iterative stab at it.  Please share your suggestions, edits, corrections and comments:

1. Social, Social, Social – at least as many social talks as mobile talks.

– Social is a double edged sword.  You have less control over it than we delude ourselves into thinking.  If your product is not good, social will hurt more than it will help.

– Must use social as a listening post – and react quickly: “Fail fast.”  Own up to mistakes, e.g., Domino’s and Virgin.  Don’t take someone on who has a large social following… (Maytag)

2. Facebook, Facebook, Facebook

– “Everyone is on Facebook,” Nick Sheth, Gap Inc.

Walmart has nearly 10 million fans. Coca Cola has 34.5 million.

– The open graph, the timeline and the new ad formats (sponsored stories) that leverage the opinions of your facebook friends. (What, by the way, is Facebook doing to educate its actual mainstream users about these innovations.)

– Do consumers want to have relationships with their favorite brands on Facebook?  Answer seems to be, sure.  I think the key is the right balance between push and pull.  I’m a bit concerned that brands might become to the Facebook community as adults are to kids.  Once too many of them are on the platform, the people may leave… will we kill the golden goose?  It’s a delicate balance.

3. Paid, Earned, Owned

– Separate from this conference, Chris Lubin of Attention USA, added a fourth adjective to this marketing triumvirate: shared.  In a recent blog post, he wrote:  “As social media matures, and audiences grow within branded environments, shared media gains importance. The most efficient way to build audience in social media is to co-opt the audience of a partner or like-minded brand—share. So, smart brands are using social channels to barter exposure, and cross-promote.”

4. Content Creation

– Brand as Content – Content as Brand: Marketers have (or must) become content creators

– People don’t hate advertising, they hate bad advertising.

– That’s an opportunity for agencies

– Deep dive into what Coke has and is doing – beginning with the revolutionary Polar Bear campaign (remember that!)

5. Metrics (and Data)

– Measure it. CMOs continue to be increasingly accountable for ROI, even display ads on in-store behavior

– The census.  What is this data telling us, particularly about cultural diversity and influence.  50 million Hispanics.  (Does this include “undocumented?” I imagine it does.)

– Continued debate and discussion around attribution.

– “A like, a friend, a follower.. a click” what is that worth to a brand?

– The “Data Management Platform,” aka DMP

6. The Funnel (aka Path to Purchase and Consumer Decision Journey)

– The traditional funnel is outdated.  However, much of the terminology has survived and/or been incorporated to the new, bright shiny (Mustard colored) circular tubes.   There is some consensus about the fact that the process is no longer linear but more of a circular conversation.

– However, the term “funnel” as well as “top” and “bottom” of funnel and stages such as awareness, consideration, acquisition were used frequently, particularly by CMOs.  However… the funnel must include advocacy.  (Social, social, social)  And, the funnel is iterative and, well, free flow.

7. Search:

– Google, Google, Google.

– Retargeting.  Performance display.  Auctions.

8. Big, big, bigger

– Most speakers came from or service large advertisers.  Not a lot of insight into how to get started with social, etc. if you’re small.

9. Digital Dollars

– Dollars are shifting into digital – because that’s where the audience is.  But… the livingroom, big screen experience is not going away, particularly with smart/connected TVs

– We’re hearing numbers like 20%, 40%, majority of dollars being spent on non-traditional/digital media including mobile, etc.  (See L’Oreal stats at end of post)

– Media and content providers finding that more of their content is being consumed wirelessly than wired (MLB)

– Yet… prices up 10% during TV upfront despite ratings declines

10. Bright Shiny Objects

– There needs to be a drinking game at these conferences where everyone drinks when they hear this phrase

– Oh, and also a drinking game about references to “Mad Men.”

11. Targeting (and Networks)

– Retargeting, cookie-ing, digital ad trading, real time bidding (RTB).  (These terms and tools seem to have supplanted behavioral advertising; I don’t recall hearing that term mentioned at all)

– Serving ads that are relevant to the consumer

– Dynamic ad insertion – available online – that means the ads are dynamically inserted when the user requests the page so it’s really, really targeted

– The Yahoo!, aol, Microsoft “three-way” designed to give Google a run for its ad network money

– “Data is changing our marketing lives.” – MicroStrategy executive

12. Youth, Hispanics and Moms

– Youth: Do we know how to connect with this savvy group?

– Hispanics: 50 million, according to current census, and many are not assimilating because they don’t have to, e.g., language.  Large families, heavy media users, especially mobile.  Univision is a top 5 network.  Can’t afford to ignore them.

– Moms: How to reach them?  They are not all the same…

——

9. Digital Dollars at L’Oreal:

“After doubling U.S. digital spending in 2010, L’Oreal will spend as much on digital here this year as over the prior two years combined, Mr. Speichert said. That will bring digital to around 10% of L’Oreal’s overall advertising outlay in the U.S., he said. Although he declined to detail spending levels in dollar terms, Mr. Speichert said L’Oreal’s measured spending here was $1 billion last year, up about 25% from the prior year.  L’Oreal is increasing its overall outlay rather than raiding other budgets to fund digital growth, he added.”

Fool Me Once… Weather.com, Tennis and the Notorious Irene


5-Day ForecastA few short years ago, I played tennis once a year, in Montauk, with my mother. That has changed. A quick count of the dots on back of my Central Park Tennis permit shows 24+ visits to the courts beginning in June when my physical therapist gave me permission to return to the clay following my trapeze injury in December…

In any case, the point is that I have become, one might say, obsessed with tennis. And, as such, I have become similarly preoccupied with the weather.com iPhone app (despite the fact that prior versions have been known to do all kinds of weird things to the phone, including crashing programs and the overall device). Often the first thing I do – before getting out of bed in the morning – is check the weather: current, hour by hour, day by day, and, as of this weekend, severe alerts and videos. And I have been known to repeat this process many times throughout the day

I have come to learn a number of things. First, as I should have recalled from my education in statistics, % likelihood of rain is a misleading statistic. 80% chance of rain – or even 100% chance of rain, as is predicted for Sunday – does not mean that it will rain all day. In fact, a 5-minute passing shower fulfills the prediction of rain but does little to impede my tennis other than causing me to regrip my racket more often, and to consider leaving my iPhone in my locker.  (In fact, the photo to the right was taken first thing in the morning on a day that included hours of tennis that very afternoon.)

I’ve also learned – much against my nature – to be optimistic. 30% chance of rain, as my friend Gary pointed out, means 70% chance that it won’t rain.

So where does this leave me on the eve of Hurricane Irene’s visit to the Northeast corridor? Unfortunately or fortunately, I feel skeptical. 100% chance of rain on Sunday has, in fact, compelled me to cancel my plans to go to the US Open to watch the players practice, and has motivated me to select an indoor venue for my birthday dinner – despite my publicly stated summer birthday policy. However, 4-11% chance of a hurricane and 72% chance of tropical storm conditions has not “at this point in time” deterred me from going forward with said birthday plans, or inspired me to give up my prime parking spot to return my car to the garage.

I hear warnings and forecasts on New York One and from friends and family on Facebook – including one in Hong Kong, who implores me not to underestimate the storm. But I look at the maps and zones and am not convinced. Nor are my porter and doorman. So, I’ve decided to be a weather optimist – at least for the moment. This is not meant to be a recommendation for others in more precarious situations, and, well is subject to change, but I’m curious to see how this weekend unfolds… so much so that I’ll surely be closely connected to my weather.com app – at least until the cell towers get knocked out and I run out of power….

Geo-Tagging: What Are Thou To Me? – Part III


You have now entered Part III my ongoing journal of my life with foursquare – tracking the personal, sociological and historic milestones associated with the rapidly growing service/game/application.  Check my archives for Chapters I and II.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Foursquare is losing its allure as the time it takes to check in increases. If I can’t check in before the subway train arrives, then spending my time on the platform waiting for foursquare to load is not a good use of my time. I understand that check-ins have gone from one per second to 100 per second, so I’ll be patient and wait for the foursquare team to catch up, but the situation definitely reduces the fun factor and the usability quotient.

One of these days, I’ll start a new entry about the commercial applications of foursquare and location tagging. In the meantime, here is an interesting example from May 3rd of what Pepsi is doing. Recall from a prior posting that the beverage manufacturer’s Bonin Bough said on a SMAC panel that if a startup like foursquare has an attractive concept, Pepsi will not dismiss the venture as too small but rather might find a way to bring it to scale. In this case, it looks like Pepsi has gone rogue:

Pepsi to Roll Two Geo-based Loyalty Efforts for Mobile

By Brian Quinton

Beverage maker Pepsi has announced that it will roll out two location-based mobile campaigns to offer discounts and loyalty points to consumers who use them to patronize nearby restaurant partners.

In the first, slated to launch in mid-May, the beverage maker will roll out Pepsi Loot, an iPhone app that will use the geo-location abilities of users’ mobile phones to identify and direct them to nearby restaurants that serve Pepsi beverages, both chains such as Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, IHOP, Popeye’s, Dairy Queen and Arby’s and also participating independents with Pepsi on the menu.

Users who find these locations, or “Pop spots”, with the app and go there will then be encouraged by both mobile alerts and in-store signs to “check in”. Users that check in at three pop spots will earn “Loot” loyalty points that can then be redeemed for music downloads from Universal Music Group, behind-the-scenes video content for mobile phones from Loot featured artists like Jamie Cullum and Katherine McPhee, or discount and free-food offers from Pop Spot member restaurants.

Thursday, June 3rd

56 people were checked into Bryant Park yesterday afternoon. That’s crazy! I wonder how many people are at this one square block park at any one time. A sign of warm, sunny, weather and a reflection of how fast Foursquare is spreading on this little island called Manhattan.

Tuesday, June 8th

Starcom MediaVest starting to show up on a regular basis as top trending venue during the day. 15 people today at 11am.

I have been wondering whether the Cirque du Soleil that is currently resident at the Beacon is something I would want to see. Yesterday, when I checked into a parking meter near my home, I got a pop up from Anna O. recommending it – though she did comment on the clowns, and I am more interested in the performance/acrobatics/skill elements of CdS. I will text for more info. That also reminded me that I should check the “Tips” from the Beacon for more info. The only potential downside is that people tend not to leave negative tips, so it will be a bit biased.

Slowness of checking-in continues to be a downer. I guess it’s understandable given that foursquare is nearing 1.6 million users

See interview with founder Dennis Crowley from the Mashable social media Summit

Monday, June 14th

DVR’d Dennis Crowley’s interview with Maria Bartiromo. Need to watch and/or record it before Time Warner Cable comes by to fix my cable service.

72 people were checked into the Twitter Conference (TWTRCON NY10) this morning. 50 people were checked in at the Tony’s last night. Sometimes 4SQ alerts me to a place for me to go, or motivates me to get somewhere – such as the Internet Week Expo – but sometimes it’s too late to make plans for it, or I just don’t have the access, which sometimes makes me sad – I admit. Green eyed FourSquenvy.

I realized that it’s probably not a good idea to check in somewhere that it’s illegal to be such as Central Park at 1am. In theory, the Park police could monitor it. I know that they leave tips about venues within the Park.

I sincerely believe that foursquare could be the next facebook. According to what I’ve seen thus far of Dennis’ interview, they do not yet have a working biz model, but are building up the audience, participation and data to have a truly powerful monetization machine (in my own words).

Tuesday, June 15th

It must be summer in Central Park because I’ve seen Delacorte Theater (Shakespeare in the Park) and Summer Stage trending over the last week.

Wednesday, June 16th

Today is the day that someone other than myself checked into my apartment! It was the second place she had ever checked-in, the first being the cafe where we had tea. This hereby justifies – in my mind – my creating a venue for my apartment building.

Thursday, June 17th

This evening a friend emailed about a party at Bar 420.  Aha.  That must be the bar I saw trending – for an instant – back in March!

I would like to have a party that’s big enough to trend.  At this point, I could accomplish it with 5-10 people, but by the time my birthday comes around, and my smartphone-phobic friends sign-on, well…

Wednesday, June 23rd

It seems there was an earthquake in Canada-Michigan this afternoon that was felt as far as New York.  Surfing around Twitter, I was able to ascertain the time of the quake.  1:41pm.  Where was I then?  Well, my foursquare history answered the question for me!  I was coming out of the subway on West 72nd Street.  That explains why I didn’t feel it.  The NY subway always feels like an earthquake.

 

Life as a Game – The Visions of Dennis Crowley and Jesse Schell


Now that foursquare is cracking down on “cheating,” it won’t let me officially check in at the fruit stand outside my apartment. Instead, my iPhone informs me that I am too far away from the cart. Is it possible that I created the venue from inside my apartment? I don’t believe so. Unfortunately, the functionality of foursquare is limited by the GPS and other geo-location capabilities of the handheld devices.

On a related note, the founders of foursquare suspect that Dodgeball, their first geolocation game, was ahead of its time. When it was created, the means of checking in was text messaging.

I am now foursquare friends with one of its founders, which means that I can see how he personally utilizes it. Thus far, he seems to check-in predominantly at social venues or when doing something social or interesting with the 4Sq team. When Dodgeball was created, the initial purpose – I am told by a woman I met at Lower East Side birthday gathering – was to invite others to join you at a location. It has now become, she feels, about announcing where you are. And, she sadly mused, the initial function will become less useful as the base gets broader.

When Dennis spoke the other night, he said that he was greatly inspired by Nike Plus in developing foursquare and by the idea of (a) making life a game and (b) providing virtual rewards for real actions. What is the value of getting a badge… well, really nothing except that “I did and you didn’t.” And the impact of creating a badge is that the foursquare game influences the real life actions of its players. As I observed personally in my first blog about using foursquare, the Gym Rat badge can be earned by working out 10 times. That motivates people to work out. The pizza badge is earned by checking in to a certain number of pizza venues.

In addition, foursquare can be programmed to provide badges or rewards or recognition for the shout-outs that accompany your check-in. For example, if a sports fan made a Celtics comment in his or her shout-out, she earned a Celtics badge. So many possibilities…

By the by, Dennis’ comments about making life a game and influencing real life behavior via these kinds of rewards systems have a lot in common with Carnegie Mellon Professor Jesse Schell’s “Beyond Facebook” talk at G4 Dice 2010 about a world of game development which will emerge from the popular “Facebook Games” era.

Games, says Schell, are invading the real world — and the runaway popularity of Farmville and Guitar Hero is just the beginning. The future, he predicts, will be one in which 1-ups and experience points break out of the box, as it were, and into every part of our daily lives.  His talk definitely worth viewing.

Whose Game Is This Anyway? What Happens When the Actual Starbucks Barista Becomes Mayor?


Foursquare’s partnership with Starbucks is giving the game even more  mainstream exposure but also leading to the kinds of stakeholder complications I discuss in my recent posting about Facebook.  The dilemma outlined in a recent article is this: Starbucks is offering a special reward ($1 off a Frappucino) to the mayors of its individual establishments.  However, what happens when the mayor of your local Starbucks is the one serving you your coffee?

Well, some are crying foul.  Employees, they say, should not be allowed to participate in promotional contests.  A valid point, but the complication comes from the fact that foursquare is not a Starbucks platform or even a platform developed for marketing or promotional purposes.

This harkens me back to the question I asked Dennis Crowley when I first heard him speak during Social Media Week in NYC. What, I asked, was his plan in developing 4Sq?  What was the history and the intention?  I asked because there seemed to be real monetization potential for this platform, that is strikingly uncharacteristic of predecessors such as Facebook, Twitter and even Google, which did not have a monetization plan for the first five years.

So I wondered whether the Crowley crew had these brand partnerships, e.g., Bravo,  in mind when they developed the tool.  Though Dennis deferred my question to a later conversation, my general feel from what he did say is that the application was created more with the users in mind than as a monetizable tool.  If I remember correctly, the main impetus was that since Dodgeball had been sold to Google, he and his friends lacked that kind of mobile tool to communicate and coordinate.  Moreover, as he stated during this week’s Bartiromo interview, the full monetization plan is still evolving.  And, in my opinion, it is evolving from several directions: (1) the power of the data (2) the simple promotional opportunities (3) the strategic partnerships.

Returning to the coffee cup at hand, Foursquare is not a Starbucks platform.  Rather, Starbucks is offering a benefit that is meant to enhance the foursquare experience and, in return, foursquare is providing a targeted communications vehicle and a platform that makes this special offer logistically possible.

But when real money starts to be part of the game – I believe that one of the big box CE retailers is offering a sizable incentive and Dennis, himself, just posted on Facebook that a lobster restaurant (@ Luke’s Lobster) is offering a 10% discount – things change.

4Sq today depends to a great degree on the honor system.  The team has had to implement some anti-cheating controls lately such as preventing people from getting points or badges or mayorships when they check into a venue too far away from where their phone says they actually are, but it’s still based on fair play.

But this is not the crucial point – to my mind.  The fact that the employees at SBs are checking in and, potentially, becoming mayor is not foul play at all. It’s the original intention of the game, to let your network know where you are.  Preventing employees from checking in or even becoming mayor changes the nature of the game and the meaning of the titles and badges.  I am interested to see how this unfolds as new people are introduced to 4Sq as a commercial – promotional tool first rather than vice versa.