Real-Time Marketing and Unified Communications

In this video blog, I discuss real-time marketing, recent trends in digital, and our Unified Communications group at Definition 6 with our Chief Technology Officer Paul Hernacki:

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Behind the Scenes at CES, #CES2013

I am excited to be here in Las Vegas for the 2013 Consumer Electronics show! I will be here throughout the week helping our client, Red Touch Media, manage their Social Lounge where they will be interviewing bloggers, influencers, and more. Keep an eye out for updates and follow the action on Twitter at #CES2013, and be sure to follow our Definition 6 Twitter updates. Check out this exclusive behind the scenes video as we prepare the Red Touch Media Social Lounge:

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PBS Launches Downton Abbey Recap Video to Promote Season 3

The wait is almost over – Downton Abbey’s Season 3 premieres in January 2013. To generate buzz for this, we worked with PBS on Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey to create a 5 minute recap video of seasons 1 and 2, which launched on their website earlier this week.

The goal was to create a shareable video that would tap into the existing fan base of really loyal fans, but also engage and entice new fans from a wider demographic to get a glimpse into the dramatic storyline.

Downton Abbey Season 3 RecapThis web-only video presented the interesting challenge of compressing more than 19 hours of programming into 5 minutes. The team at Definition 6 screened all the episodes, created character outlines, segmented storylines and wrote the voiceover script to incorporate with the sound bites from the footage. Culling the episodes down to the bare essentials was not easy with a show as rich in story and character as Downton Abbey. It helped that the voiceover is written in a casual American style that plays well in contrast to the show clips, allowing more of the show’s character and personality to come through. The viewer is drawn in by the rapid narrative and quick cut highlights. 

What do you think? Check it out for yourself or visit PBS to learn more.

Credits:
Doug Dimon – Creative Director, Definition 6
Lisa Miller – Executive Producer, Definition 6 
Kristy Jefferson – Producer, Definition 6
Mark Rapasky – Edit, Definition 6 
Brett Graves – Sound Mixer
Dan O’Sullivan – Talent / VO
Sloan Carroll – PBS
Jennifer Allen – PBS

 

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Definition 6 Expands Content Marketing with Acquisition of Synaptic Digital

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.

Michael Kogon:

“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.”

Nick Abramovich:

“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.”

Michael Kogon:

“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.”

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WOOT! Social Media Buzzwords That Drive You to Drink [VIDEO] #Justsayin

Do you cringe when you hear words like "SoLoMo," "Gamification," and "Viral"?  So do I.  So along with the Ragan Communications team, we asked some folks what social media jargon drove them to drink and came up with this video. 

What are your least favorite?? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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Unified Marketing Explained by CEO, Michael Kogon [VIDEO]

CEO of Definition 6, Michael Kogon, explains our agency's model, unified marketing.
 
"Hello I'm Michael Kogon, CEO of Definition 6, a Unified Marketing Agency. I get a question a lot times, what is a Unified Marketing Agency? What does unified marketing mean to you? 
 
About two and a half years ago we decided that the industry and society was ready to change from integrated marketing to unified marketing. Integrated marketing for a long time has been consistent messaging across multiple mediums making sure at each touch point your message resonated. You wanted to integrate your campaign so that your PR, your collateral, your TV, your event marketing, all matched. It was all integrated together and well-coordinated. And I still believe that's very important, as a matter of fact unified marketing doesn't eliminate that, it actually builds on top of it. We decided to do some deep-thinking and create a unified marketing approach to a modern day era. 
 
A modern day era is where you never know what two mediums or more than two mediums your consumer would be accessing your message at any given time. An easy example is while watching TV, what is their 2nd screen experience or 3rd screen experience? I watch the TV while I have my iPad on my lap and the smartphone in my hand. Suddenly, a brand has to deal with that one consumer in that one viewing moment, they could be multitasking or distracted, or they could be accessing that same brand's message in multiple places. TV spot takes them to a URL and at the same time they get involved in a hashtag event. That's what we started to realize was going on so we decided that unified marketing would be the notion of creating a unified experience across all usage occasions that would happen while brands and people are in motion. 
 
Brands and people in motion describe this multi-screen or multi touch point event. Retail shopping is another very good example. It used to be that once you captured somebody into your retail store, (let's talk about clothing retail as an example), you had merchandising, you had some good price points, you had good display capability, but they're a very captive audience. Well now, with shopping comparison sites, with the ability to put QR codes into tags, the ability to order in-store and ship online, or buy, deliver at home, and return in the store with again, the smartphone being one of the biggest changers out there. We really talk about how we have to unify that experience, so when we talk about the brand and people in motion, it's that person, that brand, that shopping experience all are moving through the relationship. 
 
Let's talk about what that means; we talk about in motion, it's not only a mobile designation, although that's a big part of it. It's also recognizing that as our relationship moves from let's say, no awareness to awareness, or from awareness to trial, or even first-time purchase to second-time purchase consideration, you're in a different relationship modality with your customer. And when that customer is at a different mode in each of those relationship moments they have different information, experience needs, and usage occasions. A brand that doesn't recognize we can be in multiple places at one time in that relationship such as, "I've bought from you once before, I'm on a retail site, I'm thinking about buying something else, let me check to see if any of my network has any positive or negative things to say," you're dealing with a lot of those relationship moments at the same exact time. Unified Marketing allows you to capture on that from a thinking basis, from an ad-spend basis, from a content creation basis, and more importantly from a customer satisfaction or delight framework. 
 
That's really what we mean by Unified Marketing, it's connecting brands and people in motion, it's unifying the experience across all mediums and all usage types simultaneously and recognizing the wealth of things that come in to influence consumers is much different than it was let's say, three or four years ago. We think it's working very well, our brands are seeing double digit increases in sales and volume and brand health metrics, and we're seeing the need to create unifying experiences across all of those different types of access points is really important to a modern day marketer. 
 
Hopefully that helps you understand what Unified Marketing is, good talking to you. I look forward to speaking again."
 
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Mobilizing the Hospitality Industry [VIDEO]

Mobile Practice Lead, Mark Emery, delves into mobile solutions for the hospitality industry. Using key examples from the work Definition 6 executed for La Quinta Inns & Suites, Mark explains some best practices brands may utilize for a successful mobile web strategy. 

 

Mobilizing the Hospitality Industry

Mark Emery: The hospitality industry was really quick to develop e-commerce websites back in the late 90’s during the first tech boom if you will. Shortly after, they began to get into mobile as well and they were some of the early investors and adopters of mobile technology. They built lots of mobile websites and applications 10-12 years ago. Unfortunately for many, that’s where the investment stopped. Where we’re at today is we have consumers on faster and faster devices running on faster networks expecting rich experiences that are not delivered by a lot of hospitality websites simply because they were built a long time ago when you had to build for slower networks and devices.

La Quinta’s Mobile Solution

Mark Emery: Whereas most initial investments in mobile websites are really extensions of that is happening on the PC or desktop web, the new La Quinta mobile solution is the result of taking a look at what the mobile audiences want from the ground up and developing mobile content that is optimized specifically for a mobile audience. It’s the question of developing an optimized experience versus porting what’s already happening on the web. To do that effectively it takes looking at your audience form the ground up. 

La Quinta Re-Invents Mobile Booking

Mark Emery:  La Quinta identified the booking process as a uniquely painful experience on most hotel websites and got serious about re-imagining / re-inventing that experience for their mobile audience. What they came away with was the LQ-Instant Hold™. The Instant Hold feature of their mobile website and downloadable applications allows the user to book a hotel room without entering a credit card or filling out a complicated form and simply entering a 10 digit mobile phone number.

La Quinta’s Innovative Mobile Experience

Mark Emery:  The La Quinta Instant Hold is definitely unique. In fact, they’re actually trademarking the instant hold. Another is this website experience we developed for them is contextually aware. It’s predictive in nature so when I go to LQ.com on my mobile device as a new user, I’ll be asked for my permission to use my location and it will immediately show me results of hotels in my area. If I’m a repeat customer or perhaps I am on on-site or even post-stay the mobile website changes its performance and changes its behavior based on where I am at in that whole revenue cycle.

Tips for Brands Entering the Mobile Landscape

Mark Emery:  If you have a website at all, which you probably do, your mobile users are already using your website on mobile. They’re probably not getting what they want (or they are) in which case the first thing I would recommend doing is taking a look at your web analytics and take a look at a few things there. Check out what types of devices are accessing your site currently and where they’re jumping off, how much time they’re spending on the site, what they’re able to get and what they’re not able to get. You’re actually able to glean a lot of useful data about how your website is performing on mobile devices by simply looking at your web logs.

Why is it So Important for Brands to Address Mobile?

Mark Emery:  Really there are two reasons; One, simply because consumers are holding powerful devices and expect really rich experiences on those powerful devices. They’re accessing data on high speed networks. Something like 60% of all smartphone data traffic happens over a Wi-Fi connection here in the United States so they’re expecting demand rich experiences.  The second one is simply the fact that our work, our lives as Americans and as global citizens for that matter is increasingly transient. We’re always on the go, we’re always in movement. Creating a mobile website and a downloadable application for people that are in motion was a smart thing for La Quinta do and it would be a wise thing to do for other organizations in the hospitality industry to take a look at. 

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The Future of Social TV: Interview with @Fradice [Video]

 

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.

 

 

Michael Sater:

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?

Frank Radice:

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.

Michael Sater:

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?

Frank Radice:

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.

 

Michael Sater:

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?

Frank Radice:

 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.

Michael Sater:

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.

Frank Radice:

Which is really what social television is supposed to be about. It makes you an active consumer fo content.

Michael Sater:

So moving into SXSW, what do you think is coming down the pipeline.

Frank Radice:

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. 

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Timeline Movie Maker [VIDEO]

Paul Hernacki and Ashley Reed speak about our recent collaboration with Facebook on the Timeline Movie Maker

Paul:

"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."

 
Ashley:
 
"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."
 
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2012 Marketing and Advertising Predictions [VIDEO]

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. 

Michael Kogon

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CES 2012 Highlights: TiVo, Samsung, and the Social Consumer [video]

Definition 6’s Expert-in-Residence Frank Radice and Account Director Michael Sater attended the International Consumer Electronics show (CES) last week, and they are here to tell you about the insights and highlights from the event.


“So, this is Frank Radice down at CES 2012, where I worked on a panel with a bunch of great people from Bravo and Discovery and Yahoo! and Ovation, and we were talking about Social TV, and does Social TV have a legitimate place right now? Can it be intrusive? Is it a good thing?  I think the most important thing that came out of all of CES, for me, wasn’t a lesson that I hadn’t already learned, it was just something that I was reminded of, that you can’t make television for the other people that are in these rooms that are here at these conventions, you have to make it for the viewer, or the user, or the person that actually consumes the content.”

Frank: “So Michael, what have you seen here at CES that you liked?”

Michael: “Well, in CES 2012, Frank, what I found really interesting, was the immense number of mobile devices, tablets, phones, and I think it’s going to be very impactful for the social consumer.  Whether you are in front of a TV, or you want to grab content off of your television or off of the web, you can now have it traveling with you, which is very powerful.  So the consumer can feel more in command of that experience, so if they are watching something in their home, now all of a sudden they can draw up that content on their tablet.  In fact, TiVo is having a device where they can push the content from one TV to the next, and also to initial devices like their iPad. Companies such as Samsung are trying to bring that digital experience into everything, where now your washing machine will notify you when you are in another room in the house that your laundry is done.  For their primary customer, it’s extremely powerful, that they can now not be a slave to that machine, and they can feel informed at all points in time, with the information that’s relevant to them, when they want it, the way they want it, as they are walking around."

You can follow Definition 6 on Twitter @Definition6 or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/definition6.

 

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