Opinions and thoughts on emerging and cutting edge trends in technology, digital and social media that inspire me.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Social and search integration will deliver ROI

Social media commerce is a huge barrier to utilising social as a paid communications channel for many SMEs that rely on ROI through sales or conversions. Solutions evolve as platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google all appear to adapt their media products with “Buy Buttons”.

These “products” haven’t yet become mainstream; however, now YouTube has created a “Click to Shop Button” for its TrueView ads, with impressive results, Google is diversifying its product range for direct response advertising, which may well become increasingly accessible to all. Whilst Twitter and Google have partnered to display Tweets in mobile search results, I see potential for new converged advertising formats that display “Buy Buttons” against Tweets in Google search, which is where consumers may be more likely to spend if, for example, they are Googling a holiday, or a new appliance, rather than searching on Twitter.

Our understanding of paths-to-purchase is what success hinges on. Marketing and advertising should be mapped to consumer mindsets and behaviour, and if we can test, adapt and integrate campaigns based on how people use social and search then we may well find the ROI we are looking for; especially if we can influence the media owners along the way.
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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Instagram will be more valuable than a TV ad

The following wrap up of (US) statistics by PewReseach on who is using Instagram shows just how big this crowd is:
  • 53% of internet-using young adults ages 18-29
  • 26% of online adults (21% of the adult population)
  • 49% of all Instagram users use the site daily
  • 32% say they go on several times a day
  • 49% of users engage daily (3.31% average post engagement rate)
  • 94% of Instagram users use Facebook
This is a phenomenal audience that reaches into the biggest social network above it. They’re active and they’re engaged. You have a matter of seconds in the stream to make an impact and soon these moments, your story and especially your 15 second video will be more valuable than a TV ad. Social video will soon regularly appear on TV and cinema screens as secondary distribution channels (as opposed to the other way around).

As a content creator, know your Instagram audience (and your advocates); what they follow, like and want; what would inspire them to love your images/videos too, and would drive them to advocate your story.
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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Auto-play social video formats enable crafty creatives

Facebook has asserted an obvious "shift to video" in the News Feed whilst Twitter has also announced its plans to enable auto-play videos in the timeline. These signals (and statistics) are distinctly demonstrative of broadcast; the only difference for us as consumers is that we are scrolling through the stream instead of flicking through channels.

The introduction of new formats is really exciting; silent previews need to be compelling enough and contextual to attract the click/view. Content creators need to adapt to these new formats, impulsive scrolling and limited preview time.

A variation of a teaser can be craftily combined with longer or full-length content - merging from click to view. Such interesting edits and versions of videos will essentially be split into two parts or more - the narrative of the creative will have to fit the overall format, which can be adapted to any product or industry.

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Tiffany & Co. "same-sex couple" creative raises the standard of authenticity

News via The Drum of another huge luxury brand embracing sexual-orientation in their
communications is pleasant, affirming and to be expected at present.

Things have changed a lot in my lifetime; culture and media has shifted simultaneously with attitudes - I've not even heard the expression "the pink pound" since 2008. I believe witihin another ten years gay people and same-sex couples featuring in brand creatives will be happening everyday, just as they will be open in the many other facets of culture and everyday life. It won't even raise a tweet.

What I love about this Tiffany & Co. campaign is that these guys are apparently a real couple and, taking into account the recent TK Maxx campaign that recruited real customers for their creatives, I can see advertisers working with real people more and more in the years to come. The beauty of it is in the authenticity.

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Life-enhancing native mobile apps will secure location data though trust

Location is a fascinating trend from a commercial and creative perspective. Regardless if we think of mobile location data as a cookie, a search or a literal, there are plenty of exciting things we could do with it. 

If we consider that all our smartphone apps are seeking to access our location data, then it is the apps we trust/use the most that we grant it to. We’re going to be primarily mobile by 2020 and using native apps instead of browsing. As cdixon says, the most successful companies will be the ones that ride the trends: embrace the ‘Push’/social web and supply the demand. 

This is about embracing mobile/apps and creating life-enhancing experiences; entertain, inform or enable (AVC predicts P2P healthcare as a trend - if it’s inevitable, why not facilitate?). We will then gain access to location data to help us build on these experiences.
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Monday, 5 January 2015

Facebook's own DSP will steer hyper-personalisation

This year 50+% of Google display impressions/ads will never be seen and Facebook will unveil its own DSP/demand-side platform for media buyers, indicating a lot of fascinating opportunities for marketers/advertisers to be meticulous, competitive and effective with data planning. 

Facebook and Google will account for 50.8% of UK digital advertising spend; they are pivotal to brand marketing. As Snapchat looks to capitalise on its near 200m userbase in a diversifying “app constellation”, the ecosystem of digital media will continue to expand. 

Control over user data (ID, location, timing, attitude, motivation, channel usage, device usage, spend) is developing rapidly and we will truly tap into the walled gardens of social/commerce utilities to follow and influence the user/customer journey (a difficult route to map): hyper-personalisation at scale across multiple channels is inevitable. It’s the most effective way for brands/organisations to compete in this industry now.
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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Galactic Step. Time Flies. It Does.

I haven't posted anything for ages. I still seem to be getting visits from the UK and the US (in particular, bizarrely, from California and Texas). I really want to keep discovering and writing about fresh music, however, the activities that I occupy myself with don't seem to leave me with time for much else. The time that I do have seems to vanish into a myst of episodes of The Wire and True Blood. New jobs, domestic dramas and romantic pursuits aside, these are a couple of tracks that have been on repeat. They're of opposite moods but both equally as entrancing. I recently bumped into Icicle and was delighted to discuss his track, below, and how it is the happiest tune he's released to date. I don't know how you can listen to it and not smile.

Icicle - "Galactic Step"

Kryptic Minds - "Time Flies" (Feat Alys Be)

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Monday, 11 July 2011

Breach - 'I Need You'

This is a naughty tune! Forming the dubstep/house hybrid sound, 'I Need You', by Breach (aka Ben Westbeach, I believe), is full of frantic energy. This is coming out on Dirtybird Records and follows on from his previous release, 'Fatherless', which is below, along with the VIP!

Happy Mondays.

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Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Grizzl & J. Phlip - Bakupgrl (Grizzl Detroit Dub)

I was delighted to come across a podcast of a recent Rinse FM show by Claude VonStroke (my hero). On this show he dropped a ridiculously heavy, techy, booty-shaking number called "Bakupgrl", which he co-produced with J.Phlip, under his The Grizzl alias.. BOOOOOM..

Here is some more!

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Nocow and Sleepyhead

Two unbelievably amazing and beautiful pieces of music are echoing in my thoughts. One is regretfully sorrowful and the other is bright and euphoric, yet both are undoubtedly inspired by the irritatingly elusive - yet satisfyingly mysterious - Burial. I have come across several artists producing such a sound, which has certainly become a complete genre in it's own right now (aptly tagged in one instance as 'stoned' 'garage'), and one that you can truly loose yourself in. Nocow and Sleepyhead are both from completely opposite sides of the planet, Russia and the US respectively, and both represent something so deep and intangible it is difficult to express in words why I love this music so much. The garage vibe at the core of the tunes is only the beginning. The rest, I hope as many people as possible can hear for themselves.

Nocow - "Moonlight Flit"

Download this track, free, from XLR8R.

Sleepyhead - "LA Kicks" ft Ghostek

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