January 30, 2014
We employ many specialists: creative, branding, media, marketing, development – the list goes on. But when we have a project to do, we need someone who keeps all those specialists working together perfectly. A specialist for specialists, if you will.
With this in mind, we immediately warmed to Danica Wasser. She comes to us most recently from Magnani Continuum Marketing. While there, she worked with major brands including Marriott, Siemens, CNA Insurance, and Molina Healthcare.
But the highlight of her career came when she got the chance to work on a 2-fold project for P&G. Working as the project manager of a nimble three-person team, she helped develop and analyze market research about how a certain P&G brand utilized the internet. Using that data, the team developed a brand strategy, which they presented on a conference call to regional marketing heads across the country.
So when we asked why she wanted to be a project manager, it didn’t surprise us when she said, “Project management is the perfect blend of strategy and people- I love it!”
A very short interview with Danica:
Fill in the blank: I’m really good at…
Trying new things.
What are the latest new things?
Moving to Chicago and learning Korean.
January 28, 2014
If you check into your site analytics on a regular basis, you may soon notice a 100% drop-off in traffic from Yahoo organic listings. Don’t be alarmed—you’re not alone.
Around January 8th of this year, Yahoo switched over to secure search for every user. While this is great for internet users who worry that their search queries could be seen by everyone, the impact on website analytics has many in the industry scratching their heads about Yahoo’s decision.
As it turns out, Yahoo making the switch to SSL (https://) also took with it any referring data that traces the source of a visit back to the search engine. Instead of seeing Yahoo as the referring source, and keywords showing up as [not provided] (as they do in Google), web analysts will now see Yahoo search traffic reporting as “Direct Traffic”. Without the referrer being passed, Yahoo’s brand name will be entirely absent from any SEO reports from here on out.
How Google Secure Search Differs
When Google switched over to secure search for all queries in September of 2013, they did not simply implement SSL and move on. Instead, they actually “broke” the way that browsers pass referrer data to a site’s log. This work-around allows Google to continue to take credit for being the initial source of traffic while hiding the actual keyword search that led to the visit.
The Impact on SEM and SEO
There is no indication that this will impact paid search at all. Personally, I doubt that it ever will. Yahoo revenue depends heavily on advertising. With paid search being a keyword-specific medium, no PPC manager I know would spend money on a search engine that doesn’t provide keyword-level metrics.
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January 27, 2014
A few weeks ago, we introduced you to the Avegant Glyph, which debuted this year at CES in Las Vegas. Avegant launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Glyph last Wednesday in hopes of raising $250,000. Not only did they reach their goal of $250,000 in under 4 hours, but they also set a Kickstarter record for the fastest campaign to raise $250,000!
By the end of the first full day, Avegant had secured over $500,000 in backer funding – double their initial goal – with 28 days remaining in the campaign. At the time of this post, they’re still gaining support – topping $745,000! Quite impressive indeed!
Congrats to Avegant on all the Glyph’s success!
January 24, 2014
For a period of time today, Twitter became even more popular than usual. Why? Because Gmail was down and helpless people everywhere were suddenly feeling like they had nowhere else to turn and nothing else to do.
As digital marketers, we understand the feeling of withdrawal that occurs when one of our most relied upon technologies is down. We also know that there are lots of brands out there that would do anything to capitalize on a top trending Twitter hashtag. And as a Twitter addict and a social media marketer myself, I get both sides of this story.
Here are a few interesting moments from today’s unofficial #gmail outage Twitter fest:
Let’s start with the fact that once upon a time, gmail didn’t exist.
Great points here, people.
Interesting timing for a promoted tweet, @Outlook.
While we’re at it, meet @Cotap a solution suddenly worth checking out.
When in Rome, ladies…
Thanks to those who were “kind” enough to give us ideas on what to do during the outage. Actually…no thanks.
And of course, we appreciate those who were just plain honest.
What were your favorite tweets of the #gmail outage?
January 22, 2014
As a digital agency, our work often centers around growing the bond between our clients and their online communities. For some, this may trigger a kneejerk social media or advertising blitz, but we like to think of a brand’s role in their community as more of a publisher than a broadcaster. And like traditional publishers, brands need to take the time to produce original and impactful content.
Q Center, a client of ours, is one such brand. They operate an extensive meeting center that provides everything needed for offsite meetings and training – space, rooms, tech, business services and more. They asked us to increase community engagement on their blog and social media.
We found that Q Center was bursting with experience but had trouble sharing it with their community. Instead of arbitrarily funneling their expertise onto their blog, we used our two-step process for brand publishing to find what content would have the most impact:
- First we learned the motivations, challenges, and needs of their community.
- Then we put significant time and effort into creating unique content that solves problems, answers questions, or entertains their community.
During step one, we found that Q Center’s community is made up of three types of professionals: meeting planners, chief learning officers, and training specialists. These professionals are very busy and always need fresh ideas that motivate, enhance and develop the people at their companies and meetings.
During step two, we had three choices: solve a problem, answer a question, or entertain. We settled on solving a specific problem that we heard time and time again – How can I create a strong culture for my organization?
So then we asked: Which companies have the most motivated people? And how did they accomplish that?
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January 20, 2014
Recently, Google rolled out a new ad format on the Display Network named Engagement Ads. While numerous video networks have been testing forms of Cost Per Engagement in the digital advertising space for years, this is a progressive move for a display network, especially one with the sheer volume that Google possesses.
When thinking about online engagement, metrics from video advertising come to mind: how many people mute, share, skip, or replay an advertiser’s ad. Engagement Ads on the Google Display Network work in a similar fashion. Once a user hovers over an ad for at least 2 seconds, the Rich Media-based ad expands, allowing for interaction in a variety of ways. Advertisers may include a video, a game, or even a small form to fill out for additional information. Whatever the case, the advertiser pays only when a user interacts with an ad.
Engagement Ads in Branding
Some of the largest budgets in digital advertising go into branding. Despite this, the measures of success that brand campaigns have at their disposal have traditionally been limited. Unique impressions – long been a benchmark in branding campaigns – often do not tell the full story. Many of these impressions fall below the fold, or worse, are overlooked entirely. Brand studies, such as those provided by Vizu, are great ways to determine awareness, but unfortunately suffer from an incredibly low response rate. Some advertisers have used CPC or CTR to measure brand strength. However, these are typically arbitrary goal values based on previous campaign performance.
Luckily, Engagement Ads offer two distinct advantages for brand-awareness campaigns:
1. The ability to measure brand strength beyond impressions.
2. A cost structure charges only when people interact with the ad unit.
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January 10, 2014
Have you ever wished that you could get the same experience of seeing a movie in the theater while traveling on a long flight? You just don’t get that same feeling of excitement and energy without the big screen and surround sound that a movie theater provides. Well, wish no more because there is a new player in town that is changing the way we consume media.
The Avegant Glyph™ is a personal theater device that goes where you go, allowing you to watch whatever you want in 2D and 3D, while providing a theater quality entertainment experience. Movies, TV, gaming, music, and more – Avegant Glyph is designed to work with all your devices to let you experience your favorite media like never before.
The noise canceling, surround sound headphones allow you to enjoy your favorite playlist with premium sound, while walking through loud, busy areas. Flip the headpiece down over your face for a visual experience unlike any other. Avegant Glyph’s patented technology uses a micromirror array to project images directly on to your retinas without a screen creating vivid, lifelike imagery, similar to how we view the world in our natural environment. You truly have to see it to believe it.
By now you must be wondering when you’ll be able to get your hands on this game changer. Avegant Glyph made its official debut at CES in Las Vegas this week and seemed to make quite a splash – it was nominated for the Best Emerging Technology Award as well as the Best of CES People’s Choice Award – but a Kickstarter campaign officially kicks off January 22nd where early backers will be able to pre-order their Glyph for delivery this fall.
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January 7, 2014
How do you capture the attention of people that are now averaging over 5 hours online per day? It isn’t easy.
The job takes creativity, tenacity and an equal helping of instinct and scientific testing. That’s why we hired Joe Mathieu as our new SEM Manager. Having worked at Omnicom, OMD and AOL, he knows search engine marketing from every angle. But what really impressed us was his work with H&R Block.
Like their competitors, H&R Block does a huge portion of their business between January 1st and April 15th. The market is especially competitive during this period. Prices and services are essentially the same across the industry, and everyone is paying big bucks to show up on the prime keyword searches. To stand out, Joe and his team had to get smarter.
They employed a method called multi-touch attribution. This examined the user’s entire journey to their click, not just the final ad. By doing this, they could place a value on ads seen prior to the final click, adding another dimension to their work. Once armed with behavioral data from sources as varied as Facebook ads, paid-search ads, and banners on various websites, H&R Block could spend their budget smarter and more effectively.
The results? The campaign had a 1000% return on investment, which made for a very nice tax season.
A very short interview with Joe:
What are the three things you can’t live without?
- Porkchop, my English bulldog
- My sense of vision
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is going to sound strange, but the fish tacos at Grill in the Park near the Diversey Miniature Golf Course are amazing. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re open anymore.
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December 26, 2013
In 2012, Google saw 5.13 billion searches per day. That’s 1.8 trillion per year! So what are these people searching for? And why? And when? And how?
Those questions drive the work of Megan Porter, our Agency Lead for Organic Search. Her work involves more than just SEO. By understanding the full media landscape, she finds ways for brands to be seen by and engage with their target audience.
Megan comes to us from GroupM/Mindshare where she worked on campaigns for Kimberly-Clark brands, BP, and global retailers. Before that, she helped Vivid Seats become the largest, independently owned and operated ticket marketplace. Whether growing startups or helping established brands excel online, Megan enjoys delving deep into the data to find unrealized opportunities for her clients.
We needed a master of all trades and finding Megan was well worth the pursuit.
A very short interview with Megan:
What was your first concert?
Weezer and No Doubt. I’m not sure who opened for who, but it was at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It was about the time that Tragic Kingdom came out.
Ed. Note – Found it. No Doubt was playing Tragic Kingdom and Weezer opened as part of their Pinkerton tour. We’re jealous.
So that’s what you were then. What’s your jam now?
All-time favorite? Willie Nelson.
Favorite modern band?
Super Fury Animals.
December 19, 2013
Think about what draws you into the content you consume. Whether it’s your favorite TV show, a video of your friend’s baby, or an interesting article, you
click because you can relate.
Despite loving my job as a social media strategist, I kicked off a big presentation last week by telling a client that they should remove the term “social media marketing” from their vocabulary. It’s simply not a good mindset for brands that truly want to connect with customers online. People use the internet to solve problems, answer questions, or get entertained – not to be marketed to.
Brand publishing, not social media marketing
People can spot marketing a mile away. To avoid getting tuned out, brands need to think of themselves as publishers earning their community’s interest. Organizations that create inspiring and entertaining content can get elevated to the same plane as traditional publishers.
Too often, brands simply want to post for the sake of posting- almost like a chore that must be done on a reactive basis. They’re forgetting what Steve Jobs once famously asked former Pepsi executive John Sculley:
“Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
Brands that publish great content are invited into the lives of their customers. The difference between brand publishers and social media marketers comes down to two things:
- Understanding the motivations, fears, challenges, hopes, and needs of their community.
- Putting the time and effort (which is not easy!) into creating content that solves problems, answers questions, or entertains their community.
Every brand can be a brand publisher
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