Archive for July, 2013

Building Your Action Plan for Social Media Marketing

July 23, 2013

As social media platforms went through their early exponential growth, marketers were compelled to dive blindly into the pool. Today they care about what kind of splash they will make. The pressure is on to create concrete strategies and deliver real value from any time spent on social media marketing activities. At the BRITE ’13 conference, Ric Dragon, author of Social Marketology, offers an action plan for marketers, of all sizes, to think smartly about how to best use these new tools and the 1-to-1 connection they offer.

While it should be obvious, Ric has found that many companies still don’t think about their desired outcomes – how will a social media marketing effort fit in with your company’s broader brand position and personality, and how does it align with all your marketing goals? He notes that the important thing is to consider and develop an understanding of these four major brand stakeholders:

  • Us – be united internally on your company’s brand goals and personality
  • Them – know what drives your consumers and how they perceive your brand
  • Communities – uncover the larger, aggregated networks of your consumers
  • Influencers – get to know who is influential in these communities

Throughout his talk, Ric provides insights on how to think about developing metrics for your social media campaigns, how to uncover micro-segments of active communities that will likely have an affinity for your brand or communications, and how to “professionally stalk” and excite the influencers of those communities.

These techniques would then be executed within five key approaches to social media:

  • Brand maintenance – having a footprint, and listening to and occasionally interacting with your customers
  • Reputation and crisis – creating and sharing content that shows your leadership on business and/or social issues
  • Community building – creating an interactive presence with brand ambassadors
  • Influence – targeting and connecting with key social media influencers in your category
  • Big splash – creating attention through a unique campaign that will excite a huge reaction

“[Marketers] need to think about the healthy mix of these approaches,” Ric states, “and acknowledge that they may change over time.” Each brand must develop an action plan that weighs the level of attention it gives to the development of web properties, social connections, content creation, and stakeholder engagement, and how this balance should be altered each quarter.

Ric concludes, “When we integrate all this work with storytelling, it is extremely powerful, and I believe we all can grow our business through social media.”


What’s the ROI for Brand Advertisers and Online Video?

July 22, 2013

With Emmy nominations going to Netflix’s House of Cards and Arrested Development, the world of online video can say, “Well we finally made it.” But despite a growing viewership, and TV awards on the horizon, the question remains whether these signs of online video success will actually drive a significant return on investment (ROI) for brand advertisers and the video platforms. We were pleased to bring together a panel of experts at our BRITE ’13 conference to prognosticate on this issue.

Jonathan Knee, Faculty Director of the Media Program at Columbia Business School, began the debate by asking if this disconnect was a product problem or a marketing problem. “I think there are definitely measurement complications,” stated Kerry Trainor, CEO of, “the internet is so fragmented it’s like trying to measure a sprinkler system. For all of the evils of the 30-second spot, it is standardized. You can build a marketplace around it…. so we have an ad product problem.” This was a sentiment agreed to by all on the panel.

Nielsen Cross-Platform Report Q1 2013

Nielsen Cross-Platform Report Q1 2013

However, John Montgomery, COO of GroupM Interactive, stated that he doesn’t see an inequity between the level of viewership and the ad spend going to online video. Using Nielsen’s 2012 figures, he notes that Americans are spending about 3% as much time watching online video as compared to TV while GroupM spends about 5% of its “TV ad budgets” on online video ads. This was a prescient use of dollars for GroupM, as Nielsen’s recent reporting for Q1 2013 now shows online video as indeed reaching 5% of the time spent on TV.

Thinking even bigger when it comes to measurement, Michael Keriakos, Co-Founder and President of Everyday Health, talks in detail about how his company has developed what amounts to a big data strategy that merges its own data with a range of 3rd party data. Through such efforts Everyday Health calculates, with good confidence, the pharmaceutical sales lift that is driven by peoples’ exposure to, and interaction with, a particular online video ad or marketing effort.

In the end, Larry Aidem, CEO and Founder of IconicTV, brings the discussion back full circle to the marketing problem that online video still faces. “Selling television the way CBS does, for a shrinking audience, continuing to see prices go up is a breathtaking accomplishment.” Larry believes that online video companies need to better sell their ad offerings and package them as if they were a TV spend. Although he does note there are still targeting problems with the ad serving technologies, like his own experience with a Romney ad running on JAY Z’s online venture Life+Times and an erectile dysfunction ad that ran on which has a primary audience of teenage girls.

The complex ecosystem of online video will certainly lead to more growing pains, but marketers and advertisers are certainly paying much more attention to it. The latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report (April 2013) found a 28% increase in ad revenues for online video from 2011 to 2012. And as viewing and spend increases, Americans will indeed watch more online video ads. Just last month, comScore reported that a record 20 billion ads were watched by US consumers, reaching nearly 54% percent of the total U.S. population, who saw an average of 121 ads in June.


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