How Walt Disney uses social media to connect with audiences

Social media may have brought a wholly new way for brands to engage with consumers – but in an digital environment where attention spans are short and content is abundant, how do you stand out and make an instant connection?

Shira Feuer, head of social media EMEA for The Walt Disney Company, told The Economist’s Big Rethink conference the proposition was simple – to get attention, brands need to create something that is of value to the consumer.

But how does a brand define what is valuable? How does it know what consumers want to connect with across social media? (more…)

It isn’t just publishing businesses that need to think about mobile first

A publishing revolution is taking place and industries of all shapes and sizes need to be ready for the change – mobile will soon become the dominant technology over desktop computing and businesses need to align themselves for this new way of doing things.

Speaking last week at the launch of IMC’s Innovations in Magazine Media report, Juan Señor, a partner with Innovation Media Consulting, outlined how he thought the news publishing industries would be affected by the shift to a mobile, adding that this wasn’t a change that would happen in two or four years time, mobile first was happening right now.

“This is the mobile moment,” he said. “The tipping point where mobile traffic overtakes desktop.” (more…)

Beyond the broken funnel: six reason why changing to ‘instant marketing’ isn’t easy

The traditional ‘funnel’ model used by marketers to map how consumers move from being interested in a product through to purchase is broken and a new set of factors has been brought into play by the rise of social media, according to a leading media consultant.

Bjorn Timelin, a partner with McKinsey & Company, told The Big Rethink conference last week that despite the ‘consumer decision journey’ being nothing like it was ten years ago, many companies still use the funnel model to plan their marketing campaigns.

For brands that want to prolong their relationship with customers, he said, it was essential to understand how technology had changed purchasing journeys and adapt accordingly. It is no longer a linear process, he said, but a circular one. The old model of customers moving neatly through the funnel from the ‘marketing’ phase to ‘store purchase’ was gone – as was the old idea that ‘advocacy’ came after a purchase. (more…)

Guardian Labs and the play for native advertising

Banner advertising has long been the established method by which digital publishers generate income – but an increased use of mobile, difficultly innovating the humble skyscraper, and growing customer ‘blindness’ to banners has led many to re-evaluate their approach and instead start experimenting with native ads.

Guardian News & Media is the latest publisher to jump aboard the native ads bandwagon. The Guardian is by no means the only newspaper looking for new and innovative ways to raise revenue (in fact, the Times has been has been involved with branded content for years), but even by its own forward-thinking standards, its move into native advertising is a compelling one.

The publisher has set up a branded content division – called Guardian Labs – with the aim of creating innovative marketing campaigns that can stretch its revenue stream beyond display ads. (more…)

A Bill of Rights for the web: Berners-Lee’s impossible dream

The inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has called for a Bill of Rights to protect its users. It’s a move that deserves attention and praise.

Berners-Lee marked the 25th anniversary of his invention by this week calling for a Magna Carta for the web to establish a series of rights that protect against online surveillance. (more…)

Marketing is getting personal: Showrooming and the rise of ‘Me-tail’

Remember the days when making a purchase meant having to drive to the shop and buying whichever version it stocked of the item you wanted? It almost seems like another age.

Now, with Amazon and others, we research, review, compare deals and shop for alternatives at the touch of a button. Control has swung to the consumer like never before, and in the next 12 months that trend is set to increase as brands invest in technology to enable even greater levels of personalisation.

Late last year, Marketing Week predicted the rise of ‘Me-tail’ would be the biggest marketing trend in 2014.

Put simply, the ‘Me-tail’ concept will see brands move from one-size-fits-all messaging to a position where they can feed specific campaigns and offers to consumers in the hope that they can build relationships that are increasingly relevant to the needs of individual customers. (more…)

Media recruitment: the five worst things to say or do during an interview

Logo of executive search consultant firm Martin Tripp AssociatesAs specialists in media recruitment we often get asked about interview technique – what are the best ways candidates can present themselves to us and to potential employers. More strikingly, perhaps, we rarely get asked about the howlers, the absolute no nos, the things you really don’t want to say or do say during an interview – yet time and again we see the same issues cropping up.

Quite rightly, candidates focus on the positive aspects of their interviews – the points they intend to raise that show them in a good light to a potential employer – but too often not enough thought is given to the kind of behaviour that is best avoided.

If you want to avoid coming a cropper, it might be worth bearing in mind these few simple things: (more…)

Facebook buys WhatsApp for a huge $19bn – how does that compare with other recent takeovers?

Media recruiting: Facebook logoFacebook announced last week that it will acquire the instant messaging provider WhatsApp in a deal worth an eye-watering $19bn (£11.4bn).

The social network already has its own mobile chat platform, but its traction has not nearly been as strong as other standalone chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat. The astronomical price paid for WhatsApp reflects how keen Facebook is to get hold of a lithe, mobile technology.

So what exactly does Facebook get for its money? (more…)

Will sequential messaging take a foothold on the advertising and marketing sectors?

What does a typical night-in look like in 2014? X Factor on the TV? Youtube during the breaks on an iPad? A constant stream of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates in-between? There’s also email and texts to check, not to mention all those WhatsApp messages flying back and forth.

Ask a digital advertiser about the biggest challenges they see ahead and they’re likely to tell you it’s this type of ‘dual screening’. Or, more accurately, it’s the inability of advertising to follow consumers as they hop from one device to the next. But all that could be about to change…Yes, welcome to the Brave New World of Sequential Messaging!

For the uninitiated, sequential messaging is the ability for marketing communications to leap between screens – for a campaign to play out in a chronological succession that builds from an initial touch point on TV, then across Twitter and so forth, dependent on a consumer’s next point of interaction with digital media. (more…)

Native ads: The Debrief, going mainstream and legal concerns when hitting it big

Image of Debreif websiteNews came last week that Bauer Media was launching a multi-platform title called The Debrief. There’s no great shock in a magazine publisher launching a new digital brand aimed at ABC1 20-something women, but the difference with The Debrief is that it plans to make its money by eschewing traditional banner ads in favour of native ads buried amongst its editorial content.

For the uninitiated, native ads are essentially pieces of promotional content designed to fit with the look, feel, and tone of a specific digital publishing platform. Some publishers claim they aren’t even a new phenomenon (advertorials anyone?), but the point is that 18 months ago saying ‘native ads’ to a brand manager might cause them to stare back as if you were talking Swahili. Say it to them now, and they’ll tell you it’s a phenomenon in which they’re extremely interested. (more…)