4 Topics Every Marketing Pro Must Embrace

Trends twists turns editedThe advertising and marketing arenas are bursting at the seams, and for good reason. The transformation of consumer behaviors based on technology are exciting…and yes, sometimes chaotic.

Are you keeping up with the trends, twists, and turns?  Here are some recent news stories that amplify the shifts in consumer marketing.


Long-Form Digital Ad Views Skyrocket

Tumblr: Yahoo Overhauls Advertising Model to Leverage ‘Data Insights’

Dermablend Moves Beyond Shock and Awe of Zombie Boy for an Emotional Connection

Online Auction Site Ganklt.com Expands National TV Media Buys

Facebook to Marketers: Expect a Drop in News Feed Distribution

Brand Voice and Engagement

Big Opportunity for Social Media Campaigns with Emotional Appeal

Can a Payment Tech Company, Visa Canada, Create a Buzz and Shift Consumer Spending Habits?

Is Nike Paying Too Much for Superstars and Endorsements?

Future of Brand Marketing/Tech/Mobile

Mobile Startup Jana Launches New Tool to Reach Next Billion Consumers Via Mobile

Apps: The Future of Marketing

Mobile and the In-Store Customer Experience: How ‘Showrooming’ is Helping…or Hurting

Social Media Marketing Tips for Highly Regulated Industries

Visual Hashtags and Big Brands


In Defense of Advertising’s Gross Rating Point

Trends to Act Upon: Avoid the Vortex of Valueless Marketing Metrics

Finally, Chobani Yogurt’s Chief Marketing and Brand Officer Peter McGuinness says that part of marketing is innovation. “You have to keep pressure in the marketplace to keep things exciting.”

Chasing Facebook: Google+ is Pacing Itself to Top Facebook in Social Media Growth

googleplus logoYou may have noticed that it’s difficult to get a good read on Google+. You either love it or hate it. There’s no middle ground. Is it fair to call Google+ a ghost town when there are 343 million users, making the network the second largest behind Facebook?

Launched to the public in September, 2011, Google+ has been touted as a fertile ground for in-depth conversations. It’s been lauded for its video chat service, Hangouts and photo services.

Patrick King, CEO of Imagine, a Virginia-based website design firm, writes that tech leaders and social media novices have criticized Google+ from its launch. But King is impressed with the network’s broadcast visibility and audience engagement:

“By now, a lot of people have taken a ride on Google’s Hangout tool, which is by far the best videoconferencing tool of any social site. And now that they’ve released Live Hangouts, you practically have your own live talk show, recorded, and open for anyone to watch. With audience engagement, multi-person conversations are much easier, communities are more accessible, integrated and easier to promote than LinkedIn groups, and Google+ allows the second largest image size of any of the social sites, the first being Pinterest.”

An infographic on Social Media Today highlights several interesting stats. One important fact about Google+ is that there is a significantly larger amount of people registered for the site (1.15 billion) compared with the number of actual users (359 million). These figures are based on the last quarter of 2013. During the same period in 2012, Google+ had 435 million registered users and a mere 223 million active users. (U.S. numbers only).

David and Goliath

So what’s the deal with Facebook? Can Google+ catch and surpass this social behemoth?

Marcus Tober, the founder of Searchmetrics, a global provider of digital marketing software and services, has researched the possibility. Based on Tober’s calculations, Google+ can—and will—top Facebook by 2016.

“The Google network is growing at the stage of small to small which therefore is fast. Facebook is growing from its extremely large base to something larger, and is therefore slower, explains Tober. “The remarkable thing is that Facebook is still growing. And that’s why the blue giant appears to be unquestionably ahead of the market.”

Searchmetrics chart google_facebook_prediction_usCritics say there are a few reasons why Google+ hasn’t caught on like other channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. First, Google+ is not a social networking destination as it is everywhere. This confuses people. Second, potential users are concerned about privacy issues and Gmail accounts, and finally, Circles requires too much effort and high maintenance.

Will these reasons hamper the exponential growth that Tober predicts?


How 2 Brands Walked the Talk of Ad Innovation at SXSW

“Keep Austin Weird” bumper stickers have once again attracted the flamboyant and nerdy to the quirky capital city of Texas. ‘South by Southwest 2014’ kicked off on March 6th, and is keeping Twitter, Instagram, and other social channels popping with news and keen observances by the weird, wacky, and wonderful.

Advertising, branding, and marketing professionals are amongst the thousands on hand to share and experience interactive trends, music, and film. The Ad Council presented five panels. Adweek’s Tim Nudd is participating as well.  And names like Kevin Bacon, Mark Cuban, and Gary Vaynerchuk are flying around, too.

The best part of SXSW for ad types and branders are to watch with a keen eye how Brands themselves embrace innovation at SXSW. But we all know that SXSW is not about the panels and the breakout sessions. Below are two industry gems taking place this year, a reminder that brands continue to be amazing!

Trending Vending:  Global candy manufacturer Mondelez (Oreo, Cadbury, Trident Gum) has debuted its Oreo Trending Vending Lounge that delivers customized snacks based on real-time data collection. Two custom vending machines at SXSW allow attendees to create their own snack based on trending social conversations. Twitter is partnering on the project, using the hashtag #eatthetweet. If that’s not far enough over the edge for you, the Oreo cookies are being made with 3-D printing technology, which creates the personalized cookies in less than two minutes.  Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez, says, “We’re connecting trending moments to the cookie itself in real time and in real life.”

Mario Kart Races: How could Shell introduce its new Pennzoil synthetic motor oil brand to 18-to-24 year-olds who don’t read traditional auto magazines? The company’s ad agency, JWT Atlanta developed “Mario Karting Reimagined”, a perfect blend of go karts, gamification, and Nascar race tracks. SXSW attendees in Austin became the target of the campaign. An article on AdAge.com explains: “Pennzoil is launching Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus Technology, a new offering under the Platinum line that is made with natural gas. The company is eschewing Nascar and appearances in auto magazines for “Mario Karting Reimagined,” an activation that will let South By attendees jump inside a life-size Mario Kart for a racing experience.”

What are some other Brand innovators at SXSW?