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

YouTube Debuts TV subscription Service

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Every day people spend almost as much time watching YouTube as TV. And now they can watch TV on YouTube.

On Tuesday, YouTube debuted a cable TV-style subscription service so that people can pay to stream live and recorded shows from the four broadcast TV networks and roughly three dozen cable networks through a new YouTube TV site and a new YouTube TV mobile app.

Called YouTube TV, the service will cost $35 a month for six accounts and will become available “in the next few months,” said YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who announced YouTube TV during an event at the company’s YouTube Space LA studio in Los Angeles. YouTube has published a page on its site for people to sign up to be notified when YouTube TV becomes available in their area.

YouTube TV will carry 40 total TV networks, including local broadcast channels and cable networks like Bravo, E!, ESPN, Fox News, FX, MSNBC, National Geographic Channel and USA Network. People will also have the option of paying an extra fee for Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus. And YouTube is bundling in the original shows it has produced exclusively for its existing YouTube Red subscription service.

Using YouTube TV, people will be able to watch live TV, check out an on-demand library of past seasons and record shows to watch later. People can only view recorded shows by streaming them through an internet or cellular connection; they will not be able to download them to watch offline, like they can on Netflix. There is no limit to how many shows people can record simultaneously, and setting a recording from YouTube’s mobile app won’t use the phone’s data or its storage, said YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan. YouTube will keep an account’s recorded shows for up to nine months.

In addition to the subscription revenue, YouTube will also be able to reap ad revenue from YouTube TV. While YouTube hasn’t yet pitched advertisers specifically on YouTube TV inventory, YouTube will “have the opportunity to sell some ads” appearing within YouTube TV’s shows, said Mohan. YouTube’s chief business officer, Robert Kyncl, likened YouTube TV ad sales to how Comcast sells some of the ads running on its cable TV service alongside the ads sold by the TV networks themselves. Mohan said that YouTube plans to sell ads for YouTube TV in all the same ways it currently sells ads for YouTube proper, including through the advertising auction system.

YouTube TV isn’t so different from YouTube proper, aside from a new “Live” tab cataloging shows currently airing. A home feed will list shows and categories that people might want to check out, like the videos YouTube features in its main app’s feed. People will be able to search for shows by title and keywords like the name of a sports team or a content category. YouTube TV will also work with Google’s Chromecast so that people can stream a live or recorded show from their phone to their TV. And people will be able to watch regular YouTube videos, in addition to the TV shows and YouTube Red original programs, on YouTube TV.

This isn’t YouTube’s first subscription service. In October 2015, YouTube rolled out YouTube Red that has people pay $9.99 a month to watch all YouTube videos without ads, gain access to some exclusive original shows and download videos to watch offline; YouTube Red will remain a separate service from YouTube TV, with only the YouTube Red original shows carrying over. And a year before that, it introduced YouTube Music Key, a precursor to YouTube Red that focused on YouTube’s music-related videos.

Via: Marketing Land

Netflix wants to kill buffering dead

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was in a good mood.

Hastings, after all, just saw his company win its first Oscar for the documentary “The White Helmets” on Sunday night.

On Monday, he was in Barcelona speaking at a keynote session during the Mobile World Congress trade show. “I’m so thrilled to see ‘White Helmets’ honored,” he said.

Netflix has spent the last year expanding to virtually the entire world and has transformed itself from a DVD-by-mail service into a video streaming juggernaut with 94 million subscribers. A lot of those customers watch its library of videos on their phones, which is largely why Hastings was at the conference.

Here are some of the topics he hit in his wide-ranging fireside chat.

On buffering: “We want to make buffering a relic like that dial tone,” Hastings said, referring to the noise your old dial-up modem made when you signed into the internet in the early days.

Netflix has invested in network servers, codecs and the content delivery mechanisms to reduce the level of buffering. His goal is to make video on any device instantaneous.

“That really changes your relationship with the service,” he said.

Netflix has looked at adaptive technology too, and noted that YouTube has learned a lot. He said the industry is working together to improve the experience.

On data caps: Hastings complimented some of the new unlimited data plans that offer limits on speed as a way to contain the strain on the network. AT&T unveiled an unlimited plan today that restricts your speed to 3 megabits a second.

Netflix has invested in getting quality video delivered to a phone with just 500 kilobits per second of data speed, Hastings said. He’s shooting to get to 200 kilobits per second.

On piracy: Netflix can be the solution to piracy.

At least, that’s what Hastings believes. If Netflix can offer an affordable legal alternative, it’ll be an incentive to get pirates to stop stealing shows.

“We’re focusing on the carrot of offering a great service,” he said.

On competition: There’s competition from all side, but “they’re not trying to kill us,” Hastings said. Instead, everyone is trying to serve customers.

In the future, all video will be brought to you by the internet, and Netflix will just be one slice, he said.

On the future: Netflix attempts to learn about new trends and adapt to them rather than to commit to one vision of the future, Hastings said. If virtual reality takes off, the company will adapt to that trend. Or it might be smart contact lenses, he said, the same ones seen in “Black Mirror,” the tech-based sci-fi series originally on BBC, but now Netflix.

Longer term, Hastings has his eye on artificial intelligence. With all the debate about machines taking over one day, “it’s tough to think about entertainment.

“I’m not sure if we’re going to be entertaining you or entertaining AI,” he quipped.

Via: CNET

How To Get The Media To Pay Attention To Your Startup

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Press can serve a lot of purposes but one of the main ones is credibility. As 19-year-olds working on a startup during college, credibility mattered a lot for us.

But it especially mattered for the product we were building: a product that helped empower the blind via object recognition. Why? Targeting the visually impaired is quite difficult; you can’t use traditional marketing techniques like social media. Instead, we relied on press to capture the attention of our relatively unconnected audience. Indeed, we found that sighted readers would almost definitely recommend our product to their visually impaired relatives and friends.

After being featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Business Insider, SIRIUSXM Radio, and HuffingtonPost among others, we learned three major principles when it comes to pitching journalists.

The first basic principle behind finding press–as it is with selling anything–is to understand what’s in it for the other party. If you want to sell something, you have to show the other party–the journalist–that it’s in their interest to write about you.

At the end of the day, media companies are businesses. How do they make money? Ad revenue. How do you increase ad revenue? Increase number of potential clicks by increasing page-views. How do you increase page-views for a story? Make sure it’s “juicy” and that people want to share it on social networks.

Ultimately the question many journalists may use when determining whether to write about a company is: is your story juicy enough so that enough people who read it share it, and then those who read a shared article share it, and on and on?

Students have it easier than most everyone when it comes to press. Since we’re in school, we know we aren’t expected to be working on anything interesting; we’re just supposed to be in the library all day, right? Since nobody expects students to do something interesting, when they do something interesting, people become immediately interested and they share it.

Your job then is to hit a nerve such that the journalist doesn’t feel like she’s doing you a favor but that you’re doing her a favor by earning her pageviews.

It’s also important to not necessarily to pitch what you do but rather why you do it. Don’t pitch journalists on how awesome your crazy blockchain distributed ledger app is but instead talk about how you were students and you had personal pains and decided to solve this problem instead of going to class. As Simon Sinek says in his book Start With Why, people don’t buy what you do…they buy why you do it.

The second major principle is that you must give before you take. Journalists receive pitches from thousands of newly minted founders trying to have their company featured. All of them say something along the lines of “Hey I just founded this awesome company that does this super technical thing; do you want to write about us?” No. Don’t be one of these individuals.

As Wharton Professor Adam Grant talks about in his bestseller Give and Takethe best way to help yourself is to help others. Start early and develop a great relationships with all the potential journalists who’d be interested in your story months or even a couple years in advance. Help them and they will help you. A few months before you want to launch, start talking with journalists and becoming good friends with them. Share their content on Twitter and Facebook. Ask them questions. Send them emails. Connect them with other people.

 Once more, connecting with journalists and building that relationship is quite easy as a student. All you have to do is go to your alumni database, find interesting people, reach out to them, and then just ask for advice. As I explained in an earlier article, simply cold emailing my business heros and asking for advice allowed me to establish relationships with them (this article also has email templates). Mentioning that you went to the same school makes the world smaller and thus makes the recipient more likely to respond.

Note that this second principle goes in the face of the spray and pray approach of sending out a hundred emails and hoping one of them works. That approach can work too but this approach leads to authentic relationships that both parties can benefit from down the line.

The third major principle is to build up credibility before pitching to the big whales (Forbes, NYT, WSJ). The best way to do that is via other articles. Just as birds of a feather stick together, journalists tend to like other journalists; in other words, if one journalist covers you, another is more likely to cover you.

It’s easy to get an article in the local university newspaper or in a local town newspaper. Oftentimes, these small papers and magazines don’t have enough stories and if you just cold email them, there’s a good chance they’ll write about you.

Once you can get a local article, use it as leverage and mention it in your email to Huffington Post. Then use the Huffington Post to go to Tech.co or StartupGrind. Use the StartupGrind article to get a Inc Magazine or Fast Company feature. Then use that to get a Forbes or NYT or WSJ feature. If you patiently go up the chain, not only will you get featured by a lot of varying sources, but you’ll also push your story in front of diverse audiences.

Ultimately, there are lots of small tactics you can use but there are already plenty of articles about those. Always remember these strategy principles though: frame the request in terms of the journalist’s desires, give and add value before you take, and go step by step up the ladder. Press isn’t hard. There’s no need to hire an expensive PR firm. Just follow the principles.

Rajat Bhageria is the Founder and CEO of ThirdEye, the Author of What High School Didn’t Teach Me, and a student at The Wharton School in UPenn. Reach out at @RajatBhageria

Via:Forbes

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook fake news didn’t sway election

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SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg addressed growing criticism of Facebook’s ascendant power to sway public opinion, saying the “small amount” of fake news that spread on the social network during the election did not influence the outcome.

“To think it influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” Zuckerberg said Thursday evening during the Techonomy conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Zuckerberg said people underestimated support for president-elect Donald Trump. “I do think there is a certain profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason someone could have voted the way they did is they saw some fake news,” Zuckerberg said. “If you believe that, then I don’t think you have internalized the message the Trump supporters are trying to send in this election.”

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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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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

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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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Google’s New Product Gives Siri Competition

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Move over Siri, Google’s still trying to outsmart you. Google came up with a new bot called “Google Home.” Unlike the holding down of the home button to activate siri, a simple “OK, Google” lights it right up. With Siri, being redundant is required. If your phrasing is off at the slightest and you don’t restate your original question, you definitely won’t be getting the answer you’re looking for. Google Home allows you to carry a conversation without having to bring up the initial questions, making requests more convenient and sparing you the frustration. It’s shell is also pretty convenient, picture a small candle-esque looking object… that talks! It allows you to get answers from google, stream music and still carry out day-to-day tasks. This is it people, the future is here!

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Navigating the Digital Media Age

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Digital media is constantly changing. Just like finances and fashion, there are cycles and seasons that digital media experiences. We started from the bottom with AIM and then evolved from simple messaging to full on profiles and different online personas through mediums like Myspace and Facebook. Look at modern day digital media now, SnapChat, Instagram, Periscope, these channels let you produce content on the spot and share more than ever. Keeping up with these advancements and trend waves can be challenging. With the constant changing, new digital media making marketers re-think their traditional ways of content creation and pushing them to stay relevant.

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