Mobile Marketer: Are Selfies Still Relevant???

I was recently asked by Mobile Marketer to provide commentary tied to if selfies are still relevant for brands.

Mobile Marketer Are results for selfie campaigns being negatively impacted by the lack of innovation and the over-use of this strategy?

Tom Edwards – User generated content is still a viable mechanism if the campaign is relevant and creates an authentic connection with an existing behavior. Where “selfie” campaigns can go astray is when brands ask consumers to create content that are not natural extensions of their existing behavior. 

Mobile Marketer Is brand interest in selfie campaigns still high?

Tom Edwards – We are still seeing creative briefs that are focused on creating authentic connections with consumers, fostering advocacy as well as connecting physical to digital. All of which are potentially ideal for leveraging user generated content.

Mobile Marketer- What is the most creative selfie campaign you’ve seen?

Tom Edwards – The recently launched Who are you when you’re hungry? Campaign by Snickers is an interesting take where the brand shifts directions from consumption to creation by turning over the You’re not you when you’re hungry campaign to consumers to tell their story with the winning content taking over Snickers YouTube channel for a day.

Snickers satisfies need for authenticity with new selfie-driven effort - Mobile Marketer - Content 2015-02-26 15-04-11
Tom Edwards is the Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy & Innovation at The Marketing Arm

Follow Tom on Twitter @BlackFin360

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Aligning Social & Mobile Strategy

This is the first of three posts taken from my recent interviews with iMedia. This post & video discuss aligning social and mobile strategy.

To think that your social strategies and mobile campaigns can continue to exist in silos is an antiquated idea. Consumers are as attached to their devices as they are to their social networks and followings. Agencies know that these two worlds must collide for client campaigns to really take off. A campaign on mobile has a lot to compete with on its own, but if you integrate ways to make it easily sharable, likeable, and give it social legs, your chances for engagement are much higher.

Tom Edwards is the Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy & Innovation

Follow Tom @Blackfin360

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Snapchat is NOT a Social Network

Snapchat is deliberately distancing itself from the social platforms that have come before it. With a shift from a creation to consumption model, the roadmap on how best to leverage Snapchat is clear.

Snapchat-logo

Here are eight truths that marketers need to understand about how Snapchat views itself — and the ideal approach to maximizing the value of the platform.

1 – Snapchat is Not a Social Network. The Snapchat team has made it clear that it does not consider itself a social network. Instead, Snapchat is positioning itself as an ephemeral communication and consumption platform. This is a key point to consider when defining an approach to maximizing the platform.

2 – Attentive Audience. Snapchat boasts 50 million users in the US with a primary demographic of 14-28 years old. The average user frequents the app 14-22 times per day. It’s clear that Snapchat considers its platform as the “new TV” for this demo. From an attention and eyeballs perspective, driving views with this demographic is a key benefit of the platform.

3 – Consumption vs. Creation. Initially, Snapchat was a 1:1 content creation platform. Snapchat viewed the native phone camera as a competitor. With the recent shift with the Our Story offering and the new editorially-led Discover Channels, consumption will be the dominant behavior on the platform. The focus on more forms of original content will further support the position of driving views at scale.

4 – Organic Reach. The decline in organic reach on social networks such as Facebook has been a big topic over the past year and half. Snapchat has been direct that the platform is not optimized to support brands organically. Instead, they recommend that brands align their advertising around contextual topics and events vs. personification of the brand narrative with the hope of organic reach.

5 – Targeted Advertising. Snapchat’s advertising model is an opt-in model that is contextual and relevant vs. highly targeted. This is a similar approach to Buzzfeed and is the antithesis to Facebook’s highly targeted approach. This also means that alcohol brands are limited on the platform as targeting and age-gating are not currently an option.

6 – Physical to Digital. One of the other benefits and opportunities for brands on the platform is to connect physical events to an expanded digital audience is through Snapchat’s Our Story offering. With the ability to geo-fence and filter content, and align contextual brand advertising, Snapchat is creating more content for consumption that’s built on peer-to-peer audience sharing.

7 – Direct Response vs. Views. Snapchat’s value to brands is as an awareness driver vs. direct response platform. Snapchat views its platform as THE engagement platform of the 14-28-year-old demographic and it’s comparing its ad pricing to traditional GRP’s.

8 – Editorial Integrity. With the launch of Discover, Snapchat now provides daily editorial content to expand the scale of content on the platform. Each publishing partner is committed to a daily edition of content. This edition is also aligned with contextual advertising. The ad pricing is set by Snapchat and the publisher partner.

Snapchat is currently in the spotlight and there’s significant interest in leveraging the platform. Snapchat should be viewed as a contextual media platform vs. a social network that creates organic equity. The size of the audience and frequency of engagement cannot be ignored. If a program’s objective is to drive reach and create awareness, then Snapchat can play a key role.

Tom Edwards is EVP for Strategy & Innovation/Digital at The Marketing Arm.

Follow Tom @BlackFin360

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Internet of Things: Beacons Panel

On February 10th I was a part of a Media Post panel discussing the Internet of Things and how beacons can be leveraged by brands to create value.

The discussion focused on going beyond the beacon trigger and creating new models of in-store creative advertising that connect physical to digital. We touched on strategy, creative, technology and best practices.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Here is a quick breakdown of topics I address:

  • Introduction – The Marketing Arm – 1:22-1:53
  • Dealing with complexity of omnichannel – 2:36-3:58
  • Deeper dive into beacon deployment – 3:58-6:24
  • Creating something new – 11:07-13:00
  • Program Case Study – 14:47-17:43
  • Internal Agency Relationships – 25:38-27:12
  • Database of You – 32:32-33:25
  • Content – 36:24-38:22
  • Future State – 41:14-42:16
  • Leveraging Data – 49:02-49:41

Here is the formal description of the panel.

Advertising on the relatively small smartphone screen has hardly been a hit to date. Once initiated by a beacon signal, what creative will work best? What is the role of post-beaconing, such as sending ad messaging well after leaving a store? What about using past beaconing knowledge to drive foot traffic back to a store? What are consumer expectations from in-store engagements? What future creative options might be used to catch the shopper’s eye? Three creative minds discuss the best beacon-triggered creative approaches for in-store mobile marketing and mobile advertising.

The panel consisted of:

Ian Beacraft (Moderator), Manager, New and Emerging Technologies, Leo Burnett @ianbcraft

Ben Murphy, Director of Technology, FCB Chicago

Scott Varland, Creative Director, IPG Media Lab @scottiev

Tom Edwards, EVP Digital Strategy & Innovation, The Marketing Arm

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

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Super Bowl XLIX Advertising Missed Opportunities

With the price of the average Super Bowl ad hovering around $4.5 million for a 30 second spot, you would assume that advertisers would extend the reach of the on-air spot and create comprehensive social and mobile experiences to capitalize on the spend.

For this years game that simply did not happen. SalesForce published a great ad analysis diagram outlining some of the hits and misses.

salesforce superbowl data

The big surprise was the amount of spots that simply did not have a single call to action. Awareness is one thing, but leading up to the big game it is incredibly important to maximize the reach and frequency of the spot and kick it over into an earned media strategy that extends the conversation and builds towards greater engagement with the brand.

Even the usage of hashtags was primarily relegated to end cards vs. being present throughout the spots. Having a hashtag is a good start, but it is also important to ensure that the experience both from a keyword and promoted tweet perspective further aligns the call to action with an opportunity to drive deeper engagement or action to a final destination.

The other surprising take away was the non-use of SMS during the course of the spots as well as the limited numbers of drive to native applications. Mobile marketing was almost non-existent and a huge missed opportunity to further drive customer acquisition of a highly engaged audience.

Heading into next years game brand advertisers need to focus on creating a cohesive experience that maximizes their investment to not only create awareness but diving deeper into creating experiences that extend beyond the spot that further fuels the social conversation.

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

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