Through The Marketing Wormhole

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What a strange time it is to be a marketer. Last year, Forrester fielded hundreds of questions from brands and tech partners alike about the revelations that rocked our worlds: kickbacks, tech consolidation, opacity of even decades-old partnerships, measurement screw-ups from the world’s second largest digital advertising player and the possibility of a single tweet sending share prices tumbling. And yet…

The increasing importance of content—especially video, both live and otherwise—is driving a renewed dependence on agencies. Facebook had an absolutely insane Q4 and Snap went public. Advertisers didn’t shy away from Super Bowl buys even with declining NFL ratings; they’re just going cross-platform, even if they won’t be able to measure its effectiveness.

What is going on? Are we so optimistic that we’re ignoring the data in front of us that seems to say we should be taking a cold, hard look at our strategic planning? Is it that given the greater world context over the last year we no longer know if we can trust the evidence in the first place? Is it as simple as marketers following the eyeballs, proof of efficacy be damned?

Look, the marketing sky isn’t falling; but if we want to keep it that way marketers need to have the difficult conversations within their own companies and with outside peers. P&G and Coca-Cola are paving the way by going public with their renewed concerns about throwing money into digital without accountability. And Budweiser is facing its increasingly polarized customer base by trying to explain that its Super Bowl ad was never intended to be political.

Your own stance doesn’t have to be quite as bold or as public as these brands’, but you do have to have one to protect your brand reputation and relevance in these strange business times.

Via: Forbes

Making The Complicated Simple: Marketing In The Age Of Complexity

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Picasso was asked once how he sculpted a lion. “That’s simple” he answered, “I take a slab of stone and remove everything that I don’t need.” Art, he added, is the elimination of the unnecessary.

So is smart marketing.

Marketing is becoming increasingly complex in a data-rich and technology-intensive environment with ever more fragmentation and shorter attention spans. As the ecosystem becomes hyper-cluttered with noise, customers desperately yearn for simplicity as a way to anchor their lives.

marketing

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21 Ways Apple Profits From Your Boring iPhone 7

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For all the talk of thinking different, of experiences that only it can create, and marketing that strips away any sort of comparative detail to the competition, Apple is a company that makes money. It manages this better than not only the other consumer electronics manufacturers, but also better than most companies in the world.

The recent launch and release of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are great examples of how Apple can extend its influence and create more revenue and income from what is arguably the same handset as the one released in 2014. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are evolutionary devices, and for all of the critical acclaim that the handsets have picked up from the geekerati, they are not magical devices. But they do make Tim Cook and team a lot of money.

How? Simply put by maximizing profits on the handset, by using the devices to create multiple ongoing revenue streams, and by extracting as much value from the iOS ecosystem as possible. The iPhone 7 family has created more opportunities in these fields, and it’s worth looking at some of the ways Apple’s smartphone brings in the money.

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5 Cash-Rich Dividend Stocks To Own When Interest Rates Rise

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Interest rates are going up. They have nowhere else to go.

Should you worry? Many forward–thinking stock investors are doing just that… worrying that when rates go up, stocks could face formidable headwinds. But instead of making yourself sick with worry…

Get your free copy of 5 Cash–Rich Dividend Stocks to Own When Interest Rates Rise!

You’ll see that when investors worry about rising rates, the best dividend stocks on the market do great.

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How The Cult Of The Tech Entrepreneur Is Turning Marketing Upside Down

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You’d think being the NBA MVP two years running would be enough. But apparently not. Steph Curry—arguably the most gifted shooter in NBA history—is also the co-owner of not one but two tech startups.

We live in the age of the entrepreneur. Once there was a time when everyone aspired to be a rock star, movie star or professional athlete. But these days, rock stars, movie stars and professional athletes aspire to be tech entrepreneurs. We all know the archetypal story. Brilliant opportunist peers around corners, sees a future no one else does, places a big risky bet on it and ends up changing the world. And, of course, becomes a billionaire in the process.

Marketers—who are trained to be hyper-aware of trends—know the story especially well. It stands to reason, then, that such a pervasive cultural narrative must have seeped into the way we think and work. But how? More to the point, is the sheer power of this idea helping or hurting marketing? The answer, I believe, is…both.

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5 Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From The Presidential Election

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Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

The presidential election is almost at an end and most of the country couldn’t be happier at that fact. But businesses might be looking at the presidential election in a different way. There are a lot of marketing lessons that can be learned from both candidates, in both a positive and a negative way.

This guide is going to go into the key marketing lessons that can be learned from the 2016 presidential race.

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Instagram Debuts Ephemeral ‘Stories’ In Battle With Snapchat

By | Apps, Business, Digital, Media, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

 

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Instagram doesn’t only want to be the place to share perfect photos.

In a major product change, the Facebook ngIf: ticker FB -1.00% ngIf: show_card end ngIf: ticker -owned company is making a push to encourage more frequent, in-the-moment sharing. On Tuesday, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company began rolling out a new ephemeral sharing tool called “Instagram Stories” that heavily mimics the core Snapchat feature of the same name. Stories lets users add full-screen photos and videos, overlayed with text, emojis, filters and bright drawings in a slideshow of content that disappears after 24 hours. Users can choose to save the clips to their camera roll or share them on their traditional Instagram profile, where they can still post filtered photos and videos per usual. Users can capture clips for Stories through an in-app camera, or share camera roll content that is up to 24 hours old.

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Hands on with India’s £3 smartphone

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Getting your hands on the world’s “cheapest smartphone” is not easy.

Freedom 251 is an Android phone advertised by the Indian company Ringing Bells at 251 rupees (£2.77).

In the hand, it feels somewhat like Apple’s iPhone 5.

And, surprisingly for its price, its specifications are quite impressive:

  • camera on both front and back
  • 4in (10.2cm) wide
  • 1GB Ram
  • 8GB internal storage, expandable to 32GB
  • quad-core processor providing more processing power when necessary but making less use of its battery at other times

There are two models, one black, one white.

Freedom 251
Image captionThe Freedom 251 features a camera and flash on its rear

As I handle the handset, it seems to work like a basic smartphone.

But it is hard to really test its capabilities, as it has very few applications, covering only basic tasks, such as:

  • calculator
  • music player
  • web browser
  • email

At the demo, the company told me the final model would be made available for scrutiny only after 30 June. Later, on Tuesday afternoon, it said that date had been delayed until 7 July.

Some people are worried.

Questions are being asked about whether the company will be able to deliver the millions of handsets it says it can.

One member of the Indian parliament, Kirit Somaiya, has even suggested a “huge scam” is being perpetrated, while the head of the Indian Cellular Association has said the sale seemed to be “a joke or a scam”.

Mohit Goel, the founder and chief executive of Ringing Bells, denies the allegations of fraud.

The Best Business Advice You’ll Ever Get

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Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Most successful business owners will tell you they could not have accomplished their goals without help–from a mentor, colleague, even mom and dad. For many, their ability to evaluate, internalize and act on the counsel they received was instrumental in getting their companies off the ground.

In an effort to tap some of this wisdom, we called on business gurus to tell us the very best piece of advice they’ve received. From hiring to philanthropy and more, their responses were as varied as the companies they run.

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BuzzFeed’s Tips on Analyzing Data & Building Brands

By | Business, Buzzfeed, Digital, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

Two years ago I wrote about how BuzzFeed thinks about data science. All the same basic tenets still hold today, and yet the metrics we cared about then are vastly different from the metrics we care about today. Why is that, and how did that change happen?

When the company strategy changes, our metrics also need to change

Our CEO, Jonah Peretti, started talking about BuzzFeed’s distributed strategy to internal teams in January 2015. Instead of focusing primarily on our website and apps, and using social networks as a way to send traffic to them, we were going to aggressively publish our content directly to platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat. This meant that our daily, weekly, and monthly traffic reports tracking UVs and page views were obsolete. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook don’t regularly provide UVs to publishers, so we needed a new set of data to measure the overall reach and impact of the company.

This sounds fairly simple and straightforward, right? It is! And yet change is sometimes hard to implement, especially when your entire industry is used to doing things a certain way. Here are five things we talk about at BuzzFeed to help us most effectively think about data, and some results:

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