Hi, as CEO of Definition 6, I will be sharing our organizations readings and thoughts on Unified Marketing, Web Site Design, Social Media, eCommerce and all things Internet related. I hope you enjoy our posts.
Hi, as CEO of Definition 6, I will be sharing our organizations readings and thoughts on Unified Marketing, Web Site Design, Social Media, eCommerce and all things Internet related. I hope you enjoy our posts.
It is hard to believe that 2012 is ending. Maybe it was that we all waited for “The Election” or maybe we got caught up in the “London 2012 Games;” but nonetheless the end is here and two things are on many people’s minds. 1) How is 2012 ending and can I make any adjustments? 2) What can I do to set up for a successful 2013?
As it relates to 2012; there isn’t much in-year advice that can be implemented rationally at this time other than putting end of year money to work. As some sample projects you could consider:
These are just a few ways you can close out the year strong, and begin to set up for success in Q1.
Now, thinking about 2013, the opportunities for setting up for a good year are great. In many ways our earlier prediction that 2012 would be the year of Mobile seems to be on check. Let me elaborate on some trends I see that will prepare you to deliver meaningful results from your marketing campaigns in 2013.
1) Content Marketing – The movement is underway, as advertising continues to be ignored by consumers more and more, and the cost of audience targeting rises; marketers and brands are turning towards content marketing to make an impact. It is critical to be part of the content marketing movement in 2013. Video Budgets – Budget now or be left behind. If 2012 was the year of mobile, 2013 will be the year of video. We can and do watch it everywhere at all times. You need a budget--a real budget--or you will not be able to be relevant and compete in 2013.
2) Facebook Promotions and LinkedIn – If you are a B2C company, did you have a Facebook promotion in 2012? If not, maybe you should see what your competitors did and what the companies you admire did on Facebook. It is a huge consumer platform and there are real ways to engage with your customers—the question is….are you utilizing all that Facebook has to offer? If you are a B2B company, how did you use LinkedIn in 2012? Do you see it as just a job board, or a tool for personal networking? Take a look at your company page and ask yourself: does it make you look like an industry leader? Did you start and cultivate discussions? Are you sharing information that your customers care about or is it an HR only tool?
3) Showrooming – if you run a retail operation or are sold through one, you should understand the impact of Showrooming for 2013. It is about mobile, engagement, customer choice, and revenue opportunities (to increase or lose.) The customer experience should never be forgotten, make sure your efforts support the current consumer behavior, and by in large, you will see higher engagement when you can marry a good customer experience with your brand.
4) Mobilization of Assets – Apps, HTML 5, and Responsive Design – now that we as a society are mobile, you as a marketer should be too. It’s not enough to have an app, but think about how a customer may experience your brand on a tablet, smartphone or other mobile device. Do you make the e-commerce experience easy? How are your email campaigns looking/performing? Do you optimize creative for devices? All these factors will become increasingly important and more mobile devices become less expensive and more widespread amongst the consumer population.
5) Analytics with Budgets and Tools for Actions –Analytics gives you the opportunity to gather knowledge about the performance of your marketing efforts—but knowledge without the ability to act is useless. It is important to think of the analytics process in steps. Gather the numbers, identify patterns, and develop a conclusion about said patterns. Coming to a conclusion about your analytics will help you to identify where action is required.
These are just a few of the top trends I see for the next year. Video, mobile and social media will all become increasingly more engaging, relevant and important for marketers in which to invest time and money. What are your predictions? Leave a comment here to let us know what you are thinking about as 2013 rolls in.
We’re excited to announce Definition 6’s acquisition of Synaptic Digital. This video explains more about the deal and the evolving communications model. You can read the full press release on our website.
“It’s all about content. Now, more than ever, brands need to find compelling ways to tell their story, to connect and engage with their audiences, and do it within the right context.
That’s why we’re excited to announce Definition 6’s acquisition of Synaptic Digital, an earned media and strategic content distributions company.
I’m Michael Kogon, CEO of unified marketing agency Definition 6, here with Nick Abramovich, CEO of Synaptic Digital, to let you know a little bit more about our newly combined companies and why this is unlike any offering you’ve seen before.
This will enhance Definition 6’s content marketing capabilities, nearly doubling the size of the agency, with global expansion in Europe and Asia.
Synaptic Digital excels in content marketing and has created an incredible platform to help brands and PR agencies gain exposure for their content. Combined with the digital marketing and brand storytelling capabilities we already have in place at Definition 6, our arsenal for content creation and distribution is even more robust.
Being a unified marketing agency, this acquisition aligns with our strategy for creating content for brands, in the right context, at the right time.
With consumers being able to access content from virtually anywhere, on any device, it’s increasingly more important for brands to tell their own stories in order to connect with their consumers.
The key is not only to create a brand message, but to place that content within the context of the audience. That is where the magic happens.
We help brands recognize the market opportunity, help them to create the right experiences for their consumer, strategically across the right channels, which leads to increased interactions and transactions.
This drives the conversation between consumers and helps spread the brand’s message – the heart of our unified marketing approach.
We’ve seen this model work for top brands like Coca-Cola, Mitsubishi Electric, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Facebook, HBO – where it’s not just about getting your message out, but it’s about establishing that personal relationship - emotional connection - with your consumers, at the right time.
By adding the distribution network TheNewsMarket.com, our agency’s clients will have more opportunities to distribute their message across traditional, digital and social media channels effectively.”
“We’re really looking forward to bringing together the strengths of our two companies.
Combining first class production and technology capabilities, marketing and PR disciplines improves our ability to create relevant content and distribute the content in the right context and ultimately to serve the marketplaces’ needs.
For our brand clients, having the digital marketing and high-end post-production capabilities of Definition 6 in tow, we’ll be able to deliver impactful content packages like never before.
For our PR agency clients, we’ll be leveraging Definition 6’s social media and digital expertise to better serve our agency partners and expand upon our offering beyond broadcast PR services.
The communications model is evolving. Understanding the earned, paid and owned media mix is critical, and more and more success is dependent on companies having the ability to create amazing content and enable distribution.”
“Brand storytelling is at the heart of what our companies do, which makes this acquisition beneficial for both. We can continue to create award-winning work for more brands, better, more efficiently and at a greater scale.
Content marketing is going to continue to be a growing factor in the coming years. And we’re preparing an agency equipped to help our clients succeed with a unique offering.”
#Marketers, are you forgetting something?
Branded Background – Check
Monitoring – Check
Posting more than self-promoting content – Check
Engaging with followers and influencers – Check
Brand Page Created – Check
Polls, Surveys, Contest – Check
Analytics Reviewed – Check
Specials and Advanced Information Shared – Check
Works on iPhone and iPad – Check
I have an App – Good for you
I’m running mobile ads and paid search – Check
My CFO just got rid of his Blackberry – Congrats! Better than most people can claim
Brand Chanel Designed – Check
Regular Video Content Provided – Check
Curating Video for Sharing – Check
Embedding content into other channels you control – Check
Regular Publishing Cycle – Check
POV consistent – Check
Comment and Blogger Influencer Strategy – Check
Traffic Driving Metrics – Check
List Maintenance Protocol – Check
Subject Line Testing – Check
Offer Testing – Check
Optimizing Deliverability and Readability – Check
Trigger Based, Segmented – Check
But how’s your website? When was the last time you focused on it for a week or so? Does it say what you want it to say? More importantly, with all the learning from above, what have you done to update your website? Does it serve as the hub of activity or is it like a forgotten capital of an ancient empire?
I have found in the past year most people have not thought about their website nearly enough. Its look has not been updated, the learning from off-site and on-site analytics has not been implemented, and technically the underlying system looks like a 5th grade science project. In my experience, the companies that remember to invest in site updates every quarter, and major overhauls every 18-24 months are always ahead of their competitors.
How much content have you created over the last few months? Do you enough call to action items on each page? What about video?
I encourage you to look at a basic website redesign project over the next few quarters, and if you still need convincing, look at your competitors site today vs. what it looked like when you last re-did yours; it might be all the reason you need to get on with your next website redesign.
Now that the year has begun, here are some 2012 predictions for advertising, media, and emerging trends:
Hi, Michael Kogon here, the CEO of Definition 6, and welcome to our 2012 video blog. I look forward to talking to you about unified marketing throughout the year, and I want to talk and start the year off with six predictions for 2012.
1 - Year of Mobile – easy way to say it, but what I really mean by that is, how mobile influences the way we shop, the way we interface with retail, and the way we connect with one another.
2 - Second would be Social Networks. Not just the mere fact that social networks are here to stay, and that Facebook consumes everybody’s time and life, if you are a meaningful brand you have a meaningful relationship with your consumers enabled by Facebook and others, but the notion that social connections are really informing the way brands and marketers have to work together.
3 – Third would be Video. Just as we are producing video here, we’re seeing hundreds and millions of hours of videos produced, consumed and sent along all forms of devices and airwaves, as 3G turns into 4G, and we end up with very enabled users throughout the country and the planet, I think video is going to be the way we all choose to communicate and connect with our consumers.
4- The fourth way would be the movement of more money into Display Advertising. I think Search is going to continue to be a big deal, obviously we’re going to see a lot of our digital dollars go there, but I think more and more of our money is going to be allocated towards display. Again it’s a little bit of the video, it’s a lot of the social, but more importantly, it’s now brands have figured out how to use display to communicate a deeper, richer message that they can rarely do with direct response search.
5- Fifth would be Turbulent Consumers. I think consumers are going to shop on deal, I think deal sites are still a very good way to stimulate purchase trial. But I think the other thing is that a lot of us are going to feel wealthy, a lot of us are going to feel less than wealthy, at any given moment within the year. I think that kind of turbulence is going to really have an impact on what we have to do as marketers and time our message with behavior we observe our consumers exhibiting.
6- And the last is the Unknown. The prediction of #6 is I’m not really sure what is going to happen in the sense that one thing is going to be an inflection point on the year. Hopefully it’s a positive thing, but it could be a negative thing, like a natural disaster or market correction, but it could be a good thing like the Euro zone corrects itself, the Presidential election shapes up to where the country has optimism. I’m looking forward to this year with you. Please come back and see what our customers, our partners, and what the other people here at Definition 6 have to say. Good luck in 2012.
I am so proud to lead an organization like Definition 6, with talented staff members who continue to produce quality, award-winning work time and time again. And once more, we were acknowledged by the advertising community with one of the highest honors, a District 7 AAF Gold ADDY® in the Interactive Category for our work on the Coca-Cola “Happiness Machine” video. This comes off the heels off our “Best In Show” award at the local Atlanta ADDY® competition earlier this year. This was awarded over the weekend in Baton Rouge at the AAF District 7 Spring Convention.
Awards for the work we do for our clients are great. And it is particularly nice to see the work we do recognized by our peers. But there is another recent honor that has been bestowed upon Definition 6 with which I take a great deal of personal pride. Definition 6 was listed as one of the top places to work, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s list which came out on Sunday, April 17, 2011. This is among other great companies and is a true testament to the type of culture we infuse here at Definition 6.
I started this company over fourteen years ago with the attitude that we need to create a dynamic, innovative, exciting work environment, and I’m happy to say that even though we have grown to over 130 employees in two offices in two cities, our values remain intact. We take ourselves seriously but know how to have fun. Clients appreciate it, employees enjoy it, and now the industry has acknowledged us once again. And to that I’d say, a much appreciated thank you.
Why advertising continues to fail is becoming clearer to me every day, and after every conversation I have with a client.
It isn't that people are watching less TV (because viewership is up), or that we are reading less content (please, with the amount of social content, blogs, text messages, etc. - we are reading more than ever), and it is not even that consumers led by the Millennials are jaded and immune to ad messages. To me, it is simple - advertising is failing because it focuses too much on the "big idea" and not enough on the "big connection" (You could call also it "engagement" or "emotional connection").
Big ideas in this context are the big "ad" ideas, not the big idea that makes a moment. In fact, if advertising were to focus on "big ideas that made an impact," then it would be doing a much better job than it is today. But it would still be failing. What consumers crave - and brands must deliver - is the idea that makes the connection to the way we live (and want to live) our everyday lives.
I'm not talking merely about making sure that there is channel consistency in messaging, or even in experience. Both are essential as I've discussed before. And I'm certainly not talking about making sure you are mobile and, if you are really smart, ensuring you have some social gaming elements in your arsenal. Again, those are important, essential for consumer consumption and desire. What I really mean is this.
Make my life better or I don't care about you!
Seems pretty simple to me and, to that end, advertising needs to understand that its role is fading and won't come back. Marketing, the entire discipline, is now tasked to take the lead. I'm talking about the four P's and the four C's too!
Our clients, friends in the business, the CEOs that we spend our days with don't want ad campaigns or advertising ideas. They want business driven marketing support. They ask for it differently; "Our customer service experience in-store doesn't align with our brand promise in our advertising" or "Our product teams aren't listening fast enough to our consumers to make a meaningful impact this year" or "Why do I need an iPad strategy? I've barely finished executing our social strategy? Do I need an international activation team too?"
What I'm hearing is don't bring me advertising ideas, bring me business driven marketing ideas. I think they are right. Anyone else feeling like their clients are asking for the same thing these days?
Has something like this ever happened to you?
"Imagine waking up and hearing an ad on TV for a $.99 Chicken Strip Meal, then checking your iPhone on the way to grab some coffee and seeing an e-mail for a $.99 Chicken Strip Meal. Then, when you fire up Pandora for your workout, you hear ads for a $.99 Chicken Strip Meal, while on your Yahoo! mail, you are served a banner ad for a $.99 Chicken Strip Meal, and then on the subway, signage for a $.99 Chicken Strip Meal, and on the billboard outside your office, and in online video ads, and then, as you check-in into the Shake Shack – Bam! You get a Foursquare Deal Near-By with - you guessed it - a $.99 Chicken Strip Meal."
For years this integrated marketing approach of delivering the same message across multiple platforms was considered a best practice, however in the "always on" device-driven world we live in today, consumers tend to respond better to advertising that is tailored to the platform and recipient - in essence, delivering a unified experience versus a consistent message.
To learn more about my thoughts on unified marketing, visit my recent post on MediaBizBloggers.
Most of the conversation has sounded like "who moved my cheese?" especially to an outsider who never had cheese in the first place (cheese is consolidated broadcast advertising dollars and limited distribution channels such as movie theaters and DVD's). Ultimately, I've come to believe the issue isn't that TV is dead or dying, in fact it is growing and thriving, or that VOD is going to destroy Hollywood. The issue is that ad buys are more complex, dynamic, fragmented and content distributors are having to work harder to maintain margin and that content producers are having to become more sales savvy because they need to have more customers than the limited number of broadcasters and theater distributors from days long ago. Everyone blames the internet, the Millennial’ s, the mobile revolution and cord cutters for fragmented the audience and making it harder and harder to find a digital dollar vs. digital penny. As a response, we are seeing a slew of "Smart TV's" internet enabled televisions with app stores, over the top content, deals with VOD organizations and social integration. Awesome! Fantastic! we will bring the distractions from traditional living room TV into the living room and then we will get all the dollars in one place again and things will just be beautifully profitable for us again. Except…..
Who asked you to make the idiot box Smart? I want to watch TV, not necessarily watch a specific show, just watch TV. According to a #CES panel where either Nielsen or TV guide said "70%+ of the people who sit down to watch TV don't know what they are going to watch until they sit on the couch" - ok, I buy that, and to me that means I still want it to be easy, passive, yes I want to do discover, but not necessarily search and explore like I do with Google, Twitter and Pandora. Stations and networks are good, they have themes, they have repeats, they have marathons in case I've fallen behind or want to get immersed on a weekend afternoon in a new series. So stop touching my TV, I want to sit back, relax and watch the "History of Steel" or "Golf" or "The Guy from the 70's painting and talking in that soothing voice" - I don't want to grab content, make my own playlist, find my favorite actor that cross references with Kevin Bacon to kill 20%-50% of the time I have to WATCH TV. Leave my few times a week I have no plan, and only want to enjoy. Now if you can make it work with my iPad and come with me on my phone when I'm in line at the supermarket, then I'm all yours and I look forward to the new adventures of "TV and Me".
Follow Michael on Twitter @mkogon
I've traditionally never said anything about a trip to Las Vegas, but in the spirit of shared experiences, I wanted to highlight a few things from CES 2011 that I found worth noting #CES (hangover habit from the conference). I think out of everything that I saw and heard, the following really stuck out to me: 1) Build a platform 2) Exports are key 3) Droid Tablets 4) Multi Screen TV watching 5) Mashable throws a hell of a party 6) Facilitate Networking to add value
1. Build a Platform - In our unified marketing agency, we talk with customers about paid, earned, and owned media all the time. We firmly believethat a company should strive to have a robust owned media asset platform upon which to leverage and create additional earned media by adding value and asking others to contribute to their ecosystem. In effect we want companies and brands to think about developing a platform for future development. # CES brought out many examples (App Stores by TV and Cable operators and Telco), but the one that I found very intriguing was the Ford Sync Developer Community. The idea that a car company would be embedding within its vehicles a platform for third party developers to provide solutions inside the vehicle is just amazing. We in America spend so much time in our cars, it is very exciting to see what tools and capabilities we will be handed over the next 24 months. Personally, I would like the sound cancelation application for long family road trips as well as the "clean and closest bathroom app" – Note: I have two daughters. In a company and brand sense, if you can build a platform for others to add value to, then your customers, suppliers and you benefit and will enjoy a higher value than if you merely communicate with each other. A platform mentality will encourage you to think about connecting with each other and that is what is required for the always on and always in motion society we live in today.
2. Exports are key - the Innovations Power Panel was fantastic - I encourage you to take an hour and watch it.
The panel was fantastic and talked about many things: education, tax policy, infrastructure, but the comments regarding Germany's economic strength and focus on Exports really caught my attention. Applying the thoughts to business and brands; aligning ones company exclusively and daily around producing something those outside your business want and value is a very powerful idea. I know that is what we should all think about because we are supposed to be customer centric, focused on adding value to others, etc. etc. But much of the time I hear folks talking about their challenges, it has a lot to do about internal stuff and not enough about the export we are making that others value. If we think in terms of being a country, do we want to be an import or export company? It seems to me that focusing on being a trade surplus organization is better and creates more value for everyone over time.
3. Droid Tablets - the year of the Tablet #CES 2011, that was probably the most tweeted phrase day one and in almost every release about the show. And it certainly was in many ways. There must have been 1500 different tablet manufacturers and by end of 2012 everyone who wants a tablet in any country will be able to find one that fits their needs, budgets, and networks. But to me the thing that will have the biggest impact will be the Droid Tablet, the free OS and readily available app developers from the Droid phone will make the tablets richer and more robust than any first generation platform ever. Apple will still be "King of the World" and RIM's efforts should be rewarded by corporate users and Samsung has a wonderful new place in the market headed there way. But I predict the Droid Tablet will be much like the AK-47 - the world's workhorse in its category for years to come.
4. Multi-Screen TV watching - I think that people like to lean back and watch TV and not lean forward point a device at a screen and try to navigate a computer type experience from their couch. And I think people like to have a tablet or laptop on the couch so they can do more than one thing at a time. So to me the smartest "Smart TV" was the Viera Connect from Panasonic - It took the remote, turned into a tablet and allows you to control the smart internet enabled TV from a computer interface 6 inches form your face and then watch the results on the big screen. It allows you to view content that is in parallel with each other on both screens (it should make Bad Girls Club and Fantasy Football fans more glued than every before); It opens up a whole new world to advertisers, marketers and programmers to be able to have access to both screens in the living room and to add value in new ways not yet "Seen on TV". I'm very excited about what we can do for brands, broadcasters, content creators and consumers with this new multi-screen interaction capability.
5. Mashable throws on hell of a party - The Mashable Awards started with a great VIP event serving 21 year old McCallan and various meats on a stick, rolled right into a 1000+ person theater with a great DJ team, well produced videos and a great overview of all things social, digital and hip; Followed by an after party in the club and then, and then and then…..Thanks guys, looking forward to Orlando.
6. Facilitate Networking to add value - every sentence for about 72 hours had a #CES when I typed and I found it interesting that on Friday I spent about 10 minutes just watching my TweetDeck column with #CES. It barely could keep up and was moving about 3 tweets a second and in at least 5-7 different languages. There was a good amount of PR content from manufactures, but mostly it was comments caught by participants during panels, keynotes, demo's and conversations that were being documented, shared, RT and discussed. I guess we had long format blogging a few times a day three years ago, and press releases and video before that. The energy that a full community dialoguing continuously and in real time was amazing and empowering. I sent a lot from @mkogon and my recommendation is that if you have a supplier show, customer event, user conference, sales rally or other major gathering, you incorporate a #hashtag, a social media DJ, large screens, readily available Wi-Fi and encourage your audience to participate via social media. It will make your networking event more valuable and your participants more connected to you and to each other.
So there you have it, I've got another post coming about "Who asked you to make my idiot box smart?" and a few others that came from the show.