Earlier this week Mark Emery spoke at IAB Mobile with our client Ted Schweitzer of La Quinta Inns & Suites in New York City. More brands have begun to bridge the gap with their consumers via mobile devices and Mark likes to be right in the thick of it all.
Whether your focus is on mobile apps or optimizing your site to render elegantly for a wide variey of smartphones, there is no better time than now.
Check out this article that Mark had published in PR Daily:
Summertime is the ultimate party season. And nobody throws a better party than Definition 6. Summer is an interesting time in the agency world; it’s half way through the fiscal year and it becomes time to really start grinding the gears and finish out client work stronger than ever. But when there is time to work hard, there is time to play hard.
Last night the Definition 6 Atlanta crew got together to celebrate 15 years of amazing work together. After work, we made our way over to Park Tavern for drinks, food, and some really fun lawn games (It was a battle royale of Michael Kogon vs Jeff Katz in a mean game of cornhole!)
It’s a great feeling to be surrounded by your co-workers and reminisce about the work you’ve created together over the years. Earlier this week we created a Facebook Timeline Movie celebrating 15 years of Definition 6. Check it out here: Definition 6 Timeline Movie 15th Anniversary Edition.
The Definition 6 NYC crew is putting the finishing touches on party preparations for Summer Solstice. D6 NYC parties are legendary. If you can’t join us tonight for the NYC shindig, you can always follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #D6Summer.
We recently ran a blog giving readers a little of insight into the Dogs of Definition 6 and a little bit of history behind the four-legged friends we have around the agency. Now it's time to learn a little bit more about some of the office pets.
Meet: Finny and Abby (Jeff Katz)
Bio: Finn is a Blue Reimaraner and Abby is a Bichon Frise. They're both clocking in at 3 years old AND these two were born one month and a day apart, Abby on 8/8/2008 and Vinny on 9/9/2008. Freaky, we know!
Fun Fact: Abby's grandfather, J.R., was the Westminster Champion in 2001.
Meet: Suki (Katie Turcotte)
Bio: Katie rescued Suki when she was just 6 months old in Tampa, Florida. She is a Finnish Spits and part Chou and has been through K9 training as well as some agility courses.
Fun Fact: Suki waits for Katie everyday on the stairs during lunch and she's a bit camera shy!
Meet: Gizmo (Walker Hutchinson)
Bio: Gizmo is a full bred American Boxer with 8 years under his belt. Walker picked up 'Mo from a family here in Georgia and has been bringing him into the office ever since.
Fun Face: Gizmo is the only dog allowed on the couches of Definition 6. The Network Engineering department was even reorganzied around Gizmo's favorite couch.
Meet: Thor and Gracie (Stacie Oden)
Bio: Thor is a 2 year old German Shepard Rescue pup and Gracie is a 7 year old Matese Yorkie born in Florida.
Fun Fact: Stacie hid Gracie in her dorm at UCF for an entire semester! Gracie even began to attend some classes with Stacie and obtained a minor in Biology.
Meet: Aspen (Stuart Lake)
Bio: Aspen is a 9 year old Border Collie/Labrador Retreiver adopted from an Atlanta Animal Shelter
Fun Fact: Aspen loves to jump and play in dirty water which mixes fantistically with her white coat. She also loves belly rubs and coming into Definition 6 with her dad.
Company culture, especially within advertising and marketing, is an important aspect to productivity. At Definition 6 we’re constantly thinking of how to create another winning brand experience for our clients like Coca-Cola or HBO. The juices are always flowing and the gears are always grinding. It’s nice to add a little of flavor to the mix. Around the offices of Google you may find massage chairs and around the offices of Nike, hot showers. But around Definition 6, on any given day, you will find man’s best friend. We like to keep our K-9 companions close by in both of our offices in Atlanta and New York.
The daily grind can be a difficult pill to swallow, but our four-legged friends really shine some light into our office. COO and President, Jeff Katz, dropped a little bit of Def6 dog history on last week. This what he had to say, "Dogs have been a part of Definition 6 since the early days when our CEOs dog had her own Board of Director’s seat. You can’t help but smile when you see the D6 dogs interact. We all know their schedules, when they make their rounds, they know the treat givers, the cat lovers and ball throwers. Agency life can get stressful and believe it or not some of us may even be tempted to raise our voices, but for some reason people tend not to raise their voices when our 4 legged companions are in the room...
The privilege to bring your dog comes with great responsibility and the “dog owners” group does a pretty good job managing the canine community and helping new dogs (and their owners) get acclimated or sometimes encouraged to stay home. Like all of us at D6 our pups work hard and play hard."
The dogs of Definition 6 have become a staple and many local businesses in the area remember us for the wagging tails upon entry in our Atlanta headquarters. Having our dogs around the office is one of the aspects that excited me about working at Definition 6. I loved that the office allowed pets, and I can attest that my dog is much happier coming into work every day with me instead of being left at home. Traffic coordinator, Amanda Hilyer, is grateful she can bring her pug into the def6 offices daily. "My dog is a huge part of my life. I take her everywhere and having the opportunity to take her to work is awesome! When I'm at work I don’t worry about her being locked in the house, having to go potty, or being late to feed her. It is one less stress in my life and gives me something to laugh at on hard days. I love bringing CoCo Chanel to work every day! Thanks Michael and Jeff!"
Social Media Director, Jon Accarrino, loves bringing in his pups and they love it too. “Frankie & Brandy, love to come to work. If you haven't already met them, Frankie is a not-so-miniature Dachshund (he has a food obsession) and Brandy is a Vizsla-Beagle mix. Sometimes I drive into work and bring both dogs, but usually I just bring Brandy. She's a service animal and I have special permits that allow me to bring her places most dogs aren’t like the subway.”
Jon's dogs even tweet! “They both tweet under the same Twitter account: @TurdsandTreats or you can find photos of them on their Facebook fan page: TurdsandTreats." The dogs add some very funny and very furry character to the office, they brighten up everybody's day. It's hard to be in a bad mood when there is a 70 pound black lab at your feet.
Look out for the next dog blog to meet some of the office pups.
The shift between the marketing portion and music portion of the SXSW event was vividly apparent. They were two completely different conferences and few people were bold enough to attend both. The marketing conference was chock full of early adopters (on the borderline of early obsessors) when it comes to technology or social media. Every marketer is looking for the next big thing, and whether it is a sexy new social media idea or the new tablet rumored to kill the iPad (ie. Ping, ConnectU, Friendster, and the HP Touchpad), they’re always looking for what’s hot. Conversely, the music business is always a few steps behind. It looks to be like the music business is wary of new technology, skeptical of ‘socially shared’ music, scared shitless of any emerging music platform, and have no clue what to do about all of this. At its core, music really boils down to the basic notion that people just want to listen to the music they love, where and when they want to listen to it.
The music business has severely suffered during this down economy and people are scared. The consumer masses are no longer buying CD’s. New companies like Spotify are stealing marketshare from iTunes and even Pandora has taken a hit. And if you think about it, all of those are relatively new revenue streams in the music business. Imagine what kind of hit iTunes will take once more cars have app integration with platforms like Spotify.
Musicians will need to learn how to work within the new music reality of streaming, free content, subscription services, and leveraging brands to help pay or promote their music.
Listening has certainly not decreased. As consumers, we listen every chance we get, hence the popularity for “music anywhere” apps. What if the music industry tapped into those motivations clearly shown by the interactive SXSW attendees? What if they used digital to provide free samples of music prior to an album release? This isn’t anything new - Mac Miller, an indie artist sold 186,000 copies and went #1 on his debut album by giving away all of his music leading up to his debut. That hadn’t happened in 16 years. Radiohead used a ‘name your price’ method for their album In Rainbows. This can also transcend to brands, who could use these opportunities to align themselves with an artist who reaches and influences their audience.
Jay-Z’s SXSW performance is a great example. AMEX hosted a free Jay-Z concert, where the typical ticket cost may average $100 or more. This was a great play. Everybody in attendance had to carry an AMEX card and they provided an amazing show with a ton of earned media surrounding the event.
Green Label Sound, a record label curated by Mountain Dew, has upped the ante when it comes to blurring the lines between brands and music fans. The artist has a great way to make money and Mountain Dew is aligning itself with young indie artists or bands. The opportunity is there between music and an experience with a brand. It’s time to listen to the music…
One of the most exciting panels I've got to see this week was with Anthony Bourdain, and his close knit team of producers and social media savants, when they spoke to one of the largest rooms at SXSW. While it may not have been the most enlightening panel of the conference, it was great to get the perspective of digital from successful network tv show. Anthony, DrunkHulk, and the rest of the crew have a deep understanding of providing a second online experience for their fans of what they like to call 'food porn'.
There isn't a lot that scares the No Reservations crew, even acknowledging that their show may not have the deepseeded meaning behind it. The content - in its simplicity - is what gets the people going. They use YouTube to post content that has never been on the air before whether it's some low quality footage or a creative animated short. They have massive participation on Twitter. Facebook is leveraged as a messging platform where the crew shares funny pictures on the road, ranging from images of Fish Tacos to pics of Christopher Walken. Social media is a language the team speaks all too well. If it's out there on the web, they'll try it. They're even exploring the use of Google+ Hangouts, even if the number of people hanging out there, at least for now, is small.
Once the music portion really took off on Wednesday there was noticable shift in the conference. The attendees are far different from those who attend interactive. The panels have been decent, but what's noticable about music is the presentations and conversations are often at the beginner stage because much of the music biz is playing catch up. Since 2010 I've run an online music website 'Vibe To This' under the Complex Media Network. I've learned a TON of lessons in the digital landscape and also what goes on the ground floor of the music business. Many of the attendees are slow adapters. Some are not. You either get it or you don't and things are changing slowly.
Naturally there are heated debates constantly going on about the state and future of music resulting in some lively discussions. While live music has remained the constant in the business, (with the shift of marketing shows online) the rest of the music has been flipped upside down and feels like its stuck doing a headstand. From streaming, to free downloads, to apps like Spotify, nobody can really predict the future of what's going to happen. We sort of all have to bite down and ride it out. There is a small percentage of people who still purchase CD's and these are actually young teenagers who have just bought cars without AUX hook ups. That is dying fast. Spotify is crushing Pandora, as well as giving iTunes a run for its money. Spotify caps your listening at 48 hours and then it's no longer free, except on mobile. And even after that it's pretty affordable.
From the Blocks to the Blogs session was easily relatable for a lot of what I do, but to be honest, I'm not getting my mind blown. It has really been great networking on the other side of what I do, yet I don't feel like I am gaining a heap of knowledge like I had hoped. Mostly I feel like I am getting confirmation what I already knew. C'est la vie - another conference in the books.
Yesterday was another exciting day at SXSW. The clouds parted and the sun came out. It was a gorgeous day in Austin. I was so optimistic and then the first panel of the day was a dud: iPhone Film Pocket Studio. It may have been worth my time, but it was irrelevant to the reason I was going. I wanted to gain some more insight into on-the-go video, particularly related to the video blog that Definition 6 has launched, but the panel was mostly based on iPhone film makers, and comparisons to the entry point into the landscape years ago compared to how relatively easy it is today. Anybody can pick up a camera (phone) and start shooting. Apps give you a free-range ability on what you can do, when years ago it would have cost thousands of dollars.
After that disappointing session, I took a trip over to the Hyatt Regency to check out a presentation on QR codes. Social media and technology will always affect art, whether artists want to admit it. Then I hit up the 'Music apps gone wild' session. There are some great apps out there. Some strange ones as well. Biggest takeaway from 'Music Apps' was that our ears need more attention. We're staring at our smartphones all day - what if some that content was given to us via our ears? Running late to catch a subway? Speed up the tempo. An important text message or tweet? Lower the volume and listen to the tweet. I can relate, especially at SXSW, where it would be nice to be listening to music and have the app tell you the next panel on your schedule so you don't forget.
Brands with Benefits: Hooking up with a Good Deal was next on my list. Packed house. I liked the question of how can brands replicate personalization of an online store like Amazon in a store? Through mobile. Mobile is going to be the way of the people and retail should pack up on it fast. With 1 trillion dollars soon to be flowing through mobile wallet, there is a lot of money floating around.
Segway to Mashable SXSW party, rolling in as a VIP is always a perk. The food was a bit cold, but so were the drinks, so it was all good.
Onto the next day.....
I checked out Jason Lanier presentation: 'Is Technology Ruining Our Lives?' He believes Google and Facebook are shrinking the economy and it's really impossible to predict what Facebook will be like in 20 years, so protect yourself and your identity now. He also spoke about the very real possibility of self-driving cars and the need we have it for it, which was a smooth transition onto the next panel I saw on in-vehicle mobile apps. App technology has come so far, but not inside of the personal space of automobiles. With safety remaining the most important it's been difficult to integrate apps into a car. We're 5-7 years away from having a totally connect car. Many technical challenges have come up when designing apps for cars, and every system is different, and therefore presents new problems.
I also got to link up with some buddies of mine from my first ever internship in marketing five years ago at CampusLIVE. Boris Revsin, CampusLIVE's CEO, was giving a presentation on his trip through the crazy world of being a young entrepreneur. Of the many awesome takeaways from this, I particularly liked the idea of allowing people to create content around what they care about, and how that can drive almost any activity you desire. The future isn't buying advertising, it's creating an experience.
I can say I totally agree with this, as we talk about this a lot at Definition 6. Take a look at 'IMMORTALIZE YOURSELF' or Timeline Movie Maker. Creating an experience that involves the consumer will resonate more if it has meaning. In the end, every conference has its ups and downs but it all boils down to a simple takeaway - CONTENT. Good content wins.
I'm staying at SXSW through the music festival - if I can survive!! More to come from that front later this week.
After fighting the Austin traffic for over an hour I finally made it downtown. I decided to venture away from the Austin Convention Center to catch the second half of Viral is a Dirty Word: Strategic Video Success. After Definition 6 won recognition from OMMA as the Viral Video Agency of the Year I am making a point to hit a few of the panels on Video. This morning's theme: anti-viral. Something I touched on a few months ago was a main point in today’s panel. It’s not about VIRAL video. It’s about creating compelling content. Have a strategy. Focus on the story and make sure it’s relevant to who you’re targeting. Jeremy Sanchez from Global Strategies gives his 5 steps in the movement of anti-viral: have a plan, create in context, optimize first, distribute and promote, measure what matters.
As the rain came pouring down slightly less ferocious than yesterday, the convention center is packed. I sat down to do a little bit of writing and catch up on some emails when I made my way to Frank Abagnale’s panel on the good word from Social Media Director, Jon Accarrino. #Fail. The convention center is so packed because nobody is venturing outside of the building. On to a panel discussing great design for a positive user experience. Second fail of the afternoon, another shut out. I am seeing the pattern forming here. Get to your panels early or bust.
The weather started to let up so I walked over to the Courtyard Marriott to see a panel on how to remain Young and Passionate, but not join the masses of broken bank accounts. To remain prosperous in your career you must be able to scale your current position by truly understanding what you're good at. A huge takeway from Molly Mahan and Tara Gentile was 'think about your life in a third party capacity. You don't have to do what you always did.' I think many people overlook that notion even in all of its simplicity.
Looking forward to Day 3. Hopefully the weather breaks and mobility isn't so daunting. #SXSW 2012!
Wheels down. I have arrived in Austin, Texas to embark on my first ever SXSW experience. In the days and weeks leading up to my trip the excitement and anticipation didn’t really settle in until I arrived in the lone star state. Mainly because this boy from Boston who is calling Atlanta home for the moment never really marinated on the idea of visiting… Texas.
But after the first day in Austin and speaking to some of the local color it becomes clear that Austin is not Texas, as the locals say Austin is ‘Texas adjacent’ from all sides. So far the weather has been below par, but as soon as the clouds break I hear Austin will really come alive.
It has already been an amazing trip and I’ve only conquered the first 24 hours. It’s 10X more than I could have imagined. Once I got through the atrocious line that is badge pick-up I was gearing to go. First panel down the hatch: Brands as Patterns featuring Greg Johnson of HP, Marc Shillum of Method Inc, Robin Lanahan of Microsoft, and Walter Werzowa of Musikverneugen. Don’t try to pronounce that last company; I couldn’t do it either.
The biggest mistake brand planners make before they have even launched is planning for longevity. If variables around a brand may change next week how is it possible to predict the next 4 years? Always plan for adaptation. People change, needs change, plans change, and your brand needs to be able to handle the motions. And if you’re not including digital than what is it that you’re doing?
Digital is the world we live in, so plan around it. It should be the focus of any brand design. Think about the interaction and the experience your consumer is going to have when building your brand design. Experiences are liquid, and brands must follow.
When developing brand strategy it’s important to tell a story, a value that the people at Definition 6 hold close to the chest. The story must resonate with the consumer. It must have meaning. Walter was the most interesting panelist to take insight from, as a legendary brand planner, a scientist, and a music composer he has taken all of his knowledge to thoughtfully place music within advertising. While many agencies practice similar methods, Walter has truly got it down to a science, of course.
Next up: What’s the next big thing in social networking? According to Joel Simkhai, CEO of Grindr and Blendr, it’s the combination of location based apps and bridging the gap between people, places, and things.
Joel has created Grindr, an application that helps gay men find other gay men. The user will use their smartphones GPS to locate the closest gay man to them and provide the two with a platform to communicate.
Soon applications will be able to provide you with information on the people in your immediate area. Sounds a little creepy to me, but Joel does provide some great examples of how users may benefit from this. Take SXSW for example, you might be looking for an "in" at a company and find out somebody in the same room as you works for that company. Or somebody you just met knows somebody at that company. Based on the success of Grindr and Blendr, Joel explains the formula for successful location based apps: unique content, frequent users, simplicity, and critical mass.
At the end of day 1, for the sake of my health, I opted to skip the parties going on around the downtown area. I’ve been battling a cold since early last week so I decided to catch a few of the films being shown towards the tail end of the evening. What a treat. If you get the chance, check out Girl Walk // All Day. I also caught Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies which was also pretty interesting, but predictable at the same time. None the less it is worth watching.
Watch Michael Sater's interview with Definition 6 Expert in Residence Frank Radice on the future of Social TV and the impact on broadcast and cable programming.
Frank, After watching The Oscars last night I started to think, the future of Social Tv has got to be really interesting. What do you envision?
One of the things that started last night because of The Oscars, by a new company, I’ve got it right here, called Umami. Umami is a social TV application that works on your ipad that syncs to whatever you’re watching. It hears the sound and syncs to that show. It’ll show you, assuming you’re in some kind of cable operation that allows itself to sync up like Time Warner Cable does in New York, the program you’re watching on your ipad. If you hit a button you can freeze a frame and then you can immediately share it with all your friends. So when Angeline Jolie decided to stick her right leg out the fifth or sixth time, you could freeze frame it, you could send it out, and you could name it and hashtag it Angelina jolies right leg or something. Point is, a conversation began to start about that and if you took a look at social media last night there were 100’s of thousands of conversations going on or engagements or tweets or Facebook updates about Angelina’s leg. They even named a hashtag out of it. The point is you can do it, and you can do it immediately. Social TV allows you to have a second screen experience with whatever you’re watching.
Well the experience of having a second screen is not something that’s all that new, but throwing in video and visual is certainly going to change the way people absorb and receive the content. How do you think that, as a gentleman with a few years of TV experience, that’s going to elevate and escalate those dialogues?
I would say it will hugely elevate and escalate those dialogues for people who are younger, people who are really into it, people who aren’t your typical television viewer. I think there are two sides to social television, there’s a really good side to social television which is: you want to get engaged, you want to share stuff and you want to talk about it while you’re watching a show. And there’s a really bad side to social television: Leave me alone while I’m watching my show. So wherever you stand in that scale is where the importance of social television will be to you. I actually think right now we’re somewhere in the middle in terms of our society, I’d say more people are watching television that are probably in the 25-54 age group or even older whereas 18-49 or 18-34 are probably more into being unplugged or having the cable off and experiencing their content through other devises whether it be an ipad or mobile. I think what’s starting to happen is as the older generation of people who want to watch television and be couch potatoes, and the newer generation of viewers and content consumers want to get another way. As they start to come together, what will actual happen will be social TV. That’s when we’ll reach the zenith of it.
That makes me think of your comments from CES, consumers who are attempting to watch drama’s probably don’t want to interact in a social manner, while people who are in a big community event like the Oscar’s are most certainly wanting to engage and have that dialogue. So as consumers start to age the younger group gets older, do you think there will be a larger adoption of social television practices?
That’s a good point. I think for live tv events, like sporting events or big galas like The Oscars, or the thanksgiving day parade or for the tree lighting at the Rockefeller center, those are things that will allow people to take their mind away from the content and then go back into it. However, and I do agree that drama’s need you to pay attention, but shotime is doing something very interesting, for example you can watch Dexter and have a second screen experience with the shotime application and before a murder occurs it will come up on the second screen application before a murder occurs, do you think Dexter will kill such and such or how many murders do you think Dexter will commit during this episode. It’s a different kind of social engagement, it’s not oh did you see who Dexter murdered, it’s now asking you what you think is about to happen. It’s creating a situation that makes you feel a part of the story.
Well by triggering people’s thoughtfulness you’re playing on people’s psychology of changing somebody from a passive consumer to a thoughtful consumer of that medium.
Which is really what social television is supposed to be about. It makes you an active consumer fo content.
So moving into SXSW, what do you think is coming down the pipeline.
You’re going to hear about connectTV, you’re going to hear about iTV which has existed for a long time, but all of these things are second screen applications that will utilize something like the Shazam sound recognition ability for the application to know what you’re actually watching. What I think will start to happen is, they will take what has just been social TV and a second screen application and start to do some of things we’re talking about now. They will actually allow you to become involved in it, involved in the story, to be an active instead of a passive viewer, and to make social television something that truly will become something you can talk about and share with your friends.
Doug Dimon attended Digiday in Los Angeles last week and spoke on "The Banner is Dead, Long Live the Banner " panel where he was joined by fellow creatives: Sean X, Oliver Duncan, Tim Leake, and Jaime Robinson.
It's no secret that banner advertising has been around for over a decade, but in the last few years it has fallen into a gray area within the advertising landscape. It may be time for agencies to reapproach banner advertising with a new outlook. Watch as the panel discusses how the banner must evolve to be relevant for audiences and marketers:
Al Leach was recently in Las Vegas for the Ragan Social Media & Corporate Communications Conference and, based on his chats with Chris Brogan and others, Al thinks that interest-driven social platforms are the next wave that communicators should focus on.
Al Leach is the Managing Director of Strategic Communications at Definition 6. We're at the beginning of social media, right now Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, the big three are massive platforms, but you're starting to see things like Thumbon and Pinterest, among others, that are more interested based instead of relationship based platforms. You're going to have more of this niche or micro social platforms that are going to happen. It's really important that they get it now because it's not going to move backward. It's going to move forward very quickly and it's going to be very easy to get left behind.
They're not allowing themselves to be competitive or track the brightest and most talented work force that is always connected now, always online. Using social media in their personal life and they want to use the same social media tools in their private life.
Al Leach was recently in Las Vegas for the Ragan Social Media & Corporate Communications Conference and one of his biggest takeaways is what he calls the contradictory voice of business:
I'm Al Leach and I am Managing Director of Strategic Communications at Definition 6. So I really enjoyed the Ragan conference in Las Vegas and one of the things I took away from that is what I call the contradictory voice of business, it's a theory I have that a lot of corporate communicators have grown up in an environment of controlled one-way communication. You express your company's perspective with really only one voice. You know it's holding statements, press release's , press talking points for news interviews.
Social Media is really the amplifications of the voice of your customers and all of the people that care about your brand or theoretically should care about your brand and that's not really about control, it's much more organic, it's one voice verse the voice of many. It requires you to be much more responsive. Corporate Communications by virtue of the communications itself that's expressing is seen as one statement for everybody. And the fact is, not everybody that cares about your brand or that is buying your product is the same. They look at your brand somewhat differently; they appreciate it somewhat differently, because they're different. Not everybody is the same.
So the beauty of social media is that it allows you to really segment and get a better understanding of who your audiences are. And respond to them in a way that's relevant to their differences and their distinctions so that they become advocates. It's really the convergence of these two means of communicating down the road that are going to be really interesting to watch.
"My name is Paul Hernacki, I’m the Chief Technology Officer of Definition 6. I recently had the fantastic opportunity of being able to work and collaborate with our great team that has been working for quite a while now to produce the Timeline Movie Maker Application that was recently released by Definition 6 and Facebook. This experience that we’ve created was to help users create an emotional connection with Facebook as a brand and timeline as a concept. We looked at this opportunity and saw the ability to create a personal and unique story for every single user of Facebook. To be able to look at what they’ve shared with their friends and their family over the years in their time using Facebook and be able to put that back to them in a very simple and automatic fashion that quickly shows them everything they’ve put out there flowing by in a very cinematic way. And then of course beyond on that, to give them the opportunity to make changes to that and share it and turn that into a really emotionally connecting story."
"I think we’ve gotten a tremendous response since we’ve launched. Just within a week we've seen coverage in some of the major publications like Mediapost, and not only that, but within a few days of launch we had over 20,000 Facebook likes on the site itself. I got the opportunity to work with all of our different teams here at Definition 6 - everyone from development, to creative, to post-production - it was an outstanding opportunity to see and work with all of the different talent here, and the project wouldn’t have been successful as it was if we didn’t have input from the entire team. I’m really happy with the response and I think we’re going to see a lot more to come."
Building a brand from the ground up is never easy and a lot of thought goes into laying down the foundation for a new company. What should your logo say about your brand? What is the first reaction going to be when a consumer sees your logo? It's a critical piece in your effort to brand your product or service successfully. A lot of your marketing effort could revolve around your logo. It will live everywhere that your brand lives, billboards, business cards, pizza boxes, websites, kiosks, coffee mugs, letterheads. The design will impact the public's recognition of your brand and when an audience views the logo it will instantly send them a message.
Well, what happens when a 5 year old sees your logo? What is the first thing that comes to their mind? Adam Ladd, an independent graphic designer, shows his daughter some of today’s most recognizable logos and her reactions are priceless. When you need genuine, unfiltered feedback, kids are usually the best resource. Watch the video below or see Adam's post on YouTube:
All across the internet today websites are taking a stand against censorship. Resources such as Wikipedia, Google, Reddit.com, and Craigslist are all blacking out content in protest against the SOPA and PIPA acts. Washington, DC has already begun to buckle this week towards the public outcry, but that hasn’t stopped a whole lot of people from making a voice for themselves today.
If these acts are pushed through, millions of pages of content would be blocked across the web including Tumblr, Wikipedia, blogger, and any foreign site that is not acting in ordinance with the US piracy laws will be blocked from Google. Digitally, these changes would be unavoidable and would affect those in the landscape of online marketing, sales, and overall the user experience on the web as we know it today.
In the end, would these SOPA and PIPA acts really help anyone? Who wins?
Last week Definition 6 threw a wildly successful soirée in the trendy Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta, GA. Located at The Warren City Club, one of the few members only clubs in the city, the location deemed to be a perfect setting matched with the amazing southern weather that comes along in the beginning of October. If your dying to see pictures head over to our Facebook page to view!
It was a great evening to celebrate another year of supreme work with our clients over drinks and some delicious food prepared by the amazing staff of The Warren.
The buzz of the night was the brewing excitment over Dad's Garage Improv comedic performance. The party would not have been the same without the fine gentlemen from Dad's Garage. The Marketing team was fortunate enough to attend a show several weeks earlier while in preparation for the party and after all the laughs, they knew the right crew was found for the gig. Shout out to Lucky and the rest of the guys!
We also want to thank the great sports for going up on stage and interacting with the show: Jeff Katz & Paul McClay from our Definition 6 family and Amy Pedersen from Coca-Cola. You guys were great!
We are so thrilled that everybody was able to come out and have as much fun as we did. There is nothing better than getting together with our favorite clients and sharing a night of laughs among some of the best people in our business. We're on the edge of our chairs waiting for the next Definition 6 Party... and we can't wait to see you there!
The days of an artist continuously, if ever, going platinum and multi-platinum are behind us, but that doesn’t mean the people aren’t listening. Existing and emerging platforms continue to help shape the music business every day. Take for instance a young new hip hop artist out of Pittsburgh who at the tender age of 19 has over 135,000,000 YouTube Views on his channel… and he is not signed to a major label, but has stayed loyal to his independent label Rostrum Records.
How did he do it? Social Media. Branding. Engagement.
Mac Miller has followed suit from those who have just recently come before him and dove head first into the Internet. Releasing his entire music collection to date for free and relying heavily on social media to gain fans. For every 100K followers Miller receives he has put out a free song on his #road2amillion twitter followers. Surpassing 1,000,000 fans on Facebook and gaining a majority of the YouTube views in under 1 year is no easy task even for the biggest social media beast.
His biggest video, “Donald Trump,” has 26,085,243 views.
Even The Donald himself eventually had to put in his two cents. As powerful as Donald Trump is, the video commenting on Mac Miller has about 100,000 more views then all of his other YouTube videos.
This isn’t about videos going viral. Connecting with people is what resonates with me. Miller has branded himself while not letting the conversation between him and his fans become one-sided. He continues to stay engaged with people all over the world (currently on a sold out tour in Europe… independently and still 19 years old.) His fans have been made to feel a part of something through his tweets, music videos, and the brand he has built instead of just consumers of the music. At any given moment people are commenting on his videos and tweeting about him, the fans have been engaged with what he has built. Relevant blogs continuously post content. The more content that is out there the more successful the online presence has become, but the content is fine-tuned and ready to be live, it is planned and well put together.
How does this relate to your brand? Carefully construct your social media strategy, spend time gathering content that your consumers will have a reaction over. Make it so good it will leave them wanting more. Engagement is a word all too often thrown around a room full of marketers, but sometimes the message doesn’t get through because the content is too dry to move anybody. In the 1960’s Howard Gossage said, “The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interest them, and sometimes it's an ad.” The same holds true today, people still engage with the things in their lives that move them… and sometimes it’s a brand.
The iStrategy conference was held in Atlanta last week and brought together an amazing list speakers from Frederick Townes, the CTO of Mashable to Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist & Craigconnects. From start to finish, the conference was on fire! Twitter was lit up with the hashtag #iStrategy, and in between panel sessions, the sweet smell of networking was in the air.
On the first day of the event, a lot of the discussion revolved around social media and how to effectively build a real strategy that was actionable and impactful. With panelists that ranged from Don Steele, Todd Wilms, and Elizabeth Pizzinato we heard a lot of how they were able to achieve success in their companies. We heard that most often listening can be more important talking, that authenticity is still a key to success, and that social media is not something you control, but something in which you need to participate with. Definition 6’s Jennifer Dowd took away another great key point on how to effectively establish a social media practice in a large organization: Raise the social IQ one group at time within a large company. Establish the rules. Do not try to execute a companywide revision of a social media plan because the entire group will not retain the strategy at the same level.
We were fortunate enough to have our CEO Michael Kogon moderate an amazing panel on Social Media & E-Commerce. Kicking off the panel was our Social Media DJTMAshley Reed, encouraging the audience to participate via Twitter and it would pay off...with some amazing prizes, including an HP Touchpad & a football signed by Dan Marino (thanks to Nutrisystem!).
The panel was made up of great companies like Rue La La, Vista Print, Nutrisystem, Sears, and HP UK. Each of the different organizations has taken a different approach to e-commerce and social media by engaging with their consumers on mobile, creating their own content and even leveraging their social channels for charitable causes. Ryan Ostrom, from Sears has taken it one step further to become a media company as well, creating their own content including many how-to videos – their most popular is how to turn a picnic table into a keg.
Panelist Christy Monaghan from Nutrisystem said it’s all about engagement for them, with tons of mobile apps created in the last few months where their users have the ability to track calories, and their diet regiment. Christy even mentioned that they have 70% re-engagement for their droid app alone. Stacey Santo from Rue La La has utlized social media for improved customer service. So much, in fact, that Rue La La has its own twitter account solely dedicated to this. Depending on your definition of social media, you must do what is in the best interest of an ultimate goal, make the campaign work for you.
All in all, this event was thought-provoking, insightful and had great networking opportunities (despite the fact there was no soda to be found at all during the breaks!!!) Thanks to the panelists and iStrategy team for inviting us to participate!
Jamie Christner, our Director of Analytics, took to the podium last Tuesday with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) to speak about data. Being my first event as a Definition 6 employee, I was truly psyched to take it all in, including the Maggianos.
So what exactly IS sexy about data once your strip it down? As marketers, we see a lot of data ranging from click through rates and conversions to engagements and social media ROI. But what makes that data "sexy," Jamie says is when that that data in turn produces an appealing body of facts which call out applicable and actionable insights.
And once you have collected the data as it relates to your business goals, the real gem is what you can forecast with that data. But, NOT all data is sexy. Poorly tracked, lost, incorrect, un-trusted by users and knowingly repurposed data skews results and is of no use in trending actionable insignts. Keep the reigns tight on what exactly your analytics should be tracking, always referring back to your client's KPIs. Some key takeaways include:
• Every business rates “applicable” or “actionable” in a different way. Sexy is in the eye of the beholder
• In this economy, announce your successes. Let the numbers tell the story. Company budgets are being slashed left and right, so speak up on the positive effect you are bringing in
• Budget justification must be sexy enough to catch the interest of stakeholders
• Start pulling data out from analytic software applications if you haven't already
• Web analytics can help close the gap between cross-channel marketing tactics
• Data reports should be short & sweet
• Don’t provide the client with unnecessary information but if you need more reduce your KPI’s
Data isn’t going to be beneficial or attract the listener if it focuses on one single feature. Evaluate and measure performance across all brand interactions and your client will feel more like you slipped them a Maxim Magazine than a data report.
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