Tag Archive | "consumer"

Meet the New Market Research Executive: the Social Consumer Market Insights Professional

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It’s no secret that a critical component to improving marketing success in any organization includes incorporating social listening and monitoring.

Traditionally, the data-driven chief marketing officer gathered data from social platforms, converted them into actionable insights and brought them into the boardroom to prove to other C-levels how useful social data can be.

But as business needs evolve, the additional value of sharing social data across other departments is evident. Social consumer market insights can support every team outside of the boardroom, including customer service, product development, human resources and beyond.

As a result, the traditional practice of centralizing the role of social monitoring within one department–usually marketing–has shifted, and with good reason. While the insights garnered via the marketing department are useful and meet many business needs, organizations cannot ignore that the power of social insights can be leveraged in much bigger ways that are being explored by the evolution of traditional market research roles—the social consumer market insights professional.

The social CMI professional is pioneering advanced customer journey propositions that don’t simply meet the needs of prospective customers, but exceed and anticipate them, as well.

The insights that a social CMI professional analyze go far deeper than traditional monitoring for marketing. These insights are revelatory breakthroughs, not just minor findings affecting marketing.

This new data is working in conjunction with the conventional and, frankly, siloed methods of hunting for and gathering information about consumers, including passive social listening, traditional surveys and focus groups.

The social CMI professional is responsible for taking a 360-degree approach to collecting this data and more, then layering it–or blending it–to provide a more holistic view of the customer. It doesn’t stop with one or two sets of data. Nuanced and highly curated consumer market insights extraction can be found by intelligently analyzing blended data from a brand’s customer-relationship management software, in-store sales, search data, web traffic, weather data, social data and more. The possibilities are truly endless.

Needless to say, it’s an ambitious role–high-level and demanding, with the potential for strong business impact.

During a recent roundtable with CMI leaders from some of the world’s biggest brands and agencies, one concept held fast across the board: By using social data for consumer insights, the raw voice of the customer is collected, helping organizations to understand consumers on a more holistic level.

The wealth of unsolicited, unfiltered conversations reveals not only what brands and products consumers and communities are discussing, but also can uncover their other interests, demographics, social metrics and sentiment data that can be used to unlock an overview of almost any topic.

The roundtable social CMI conversation led to some interesting findings regarding “old” versus “new”:

  • Surveys are critical, but they aren’t enough; consumer insights and marketing teams are blending traditional market research data with social data to confirm and assess campaign effectiveness, brand reputation and more.
  • Social data empowers businesses to be nimble and smart; the continuous nature of social listening and analytics allows brands to identify trends and jump on opportunities before the competition.
  • Social CMI reaches far beyond the marketing and consumer insights teams from investor relations, employee influencer activation and even product development.

There are myriad ways social consumer market insights can add value to the enterprise. Within product research and development, social data around consumers’ conversations can inform opportunities for product innovation, alert stakeholders about service issues and offer a direct line into the feature updates consumers want and need.

The area of market research that the social CMI is applied to can be incredibly niche. Social data can help researchers unearth rich insights quickly without having to conduct a survey or contact consumers directly. It’s cost-effective and directly taps into the psyche of the consumer helping brands embrace the need to truly understand their customers and prospective users on an individual and complete level.

For almost every company, brand health is a critical measurement of success. It ultimately has a deep impact on consumer awareness and the bottom line, and social data provides metrics and insight into the health of a brand.

Historically, measurement proved difficult without devoting resources to surveys and other costly and time-consuming strategies. According to research consultancy Millward Brown, “You can no longer measure brand health without including search and social data to get the full picture. [Social data will] help you make good decisions quickly, and use your budget more effectively.”

To be successful, today’s social consumer market insights professional must be influential across all business units. Whether your title is market research director or vice president of consumer insights, organizations need to recognize these professionals as instrumental to flagship initiatives with proven positive impact on the business.

At the end of the day, the role of the social CMI professional empowers organizations to activate insights that allow functions across the business to drive better results by more intelligently meeting market needs.

The evolution of the market research role should be respected and, more important, assimilated throughout any organization striving to understand their consumers. The power of social CMI to drive business enablement is immeasurable and, ultimately, it can lead to unprecedented success.

Rebecca Carson is the head of research services at social media monitoring firm Brandwatch.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Parrot’s fixed wing Disco drone takes flight next month for $1,300

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‘Shared Media’ Is the Future And Will Disrupt Media Buying As We Know It

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“Shared media” is outperforming traditional digital advertising by 10 times. So what exactly is shared media, and why is it so successful?

In traditional media buying, the advertiser buys audience exposure from a publisher, broadcaster or ad network. The publisher or ad network shows the ad to its audience and is paid by the advertiser according to the number of people reached.

With shared media, the advertising brand provides tools to its own loyal audience to create and share branded marketing with their peers, a form of guided word-of-mouth marketing. Snapchat, for example, with its branded filters that enable users to create and share branded selfies or videos with their Snapchat friends, has proven that, given the right tools, consumers will market on behalf of the brands they love.

And, shared media is far more watched and trusted than any conventional advertising message can ever be because a company’s loyal followers have a lot more pull with their own friends than a brand (or anyone else for that matter–that’s the definition of a friend).

To set a broader stage, digital advertising is poised for disruption. For years, the only way for brands to reach a broad audience was to pay the TV networks, for example, for ad time. And then when the Internet took off in the 1990s, brands began to buy ads from websites and ad networks the way they’d always bought TV ads–simply moving budget to the new medium.

Now that mobile is taking over as the consumer’s primary screen, brands are using the same tactics–but the old playbook is failing badly. Consumers hate interruptive ads on mobile eight times more than TV ads (AdReaction “Video Creative in a Digital World” Global Report from Millward Brown) and consumer trust for ad in general is declining, which means brands need to radically shift the way they reach their target audience.

And yet brands continue to funnel more and more of their media budgets to digital channels to follow the eyeballs, because it’s what they know.

Mobile presents brands with both a huge challenge and a tremendous opportunity. While the challenge of traditional ads proving ineffective on mobile is real, the opportunity for brands is real, as well. In fact, it’s right in front of them.

Their own audience is now connected everywhere they go, and they’re sharing moments with their friends and family nonstop. The brands that are able to join these conversations (without interrupting them) are the brands that will win on mobile.

It’s time for brands to stop thinking about which network to spend this year’s ad budget on and instead turn the focus to activating their own existing audience.

All brands have reach–some to millions or even billions of consumers. That reach may come from their own web visitors or application users, from within their product experience itself, their packaging, their retail presence and, for some, their live events. A brand’s reach–not its budget–is its biggest asset for growing its business.

Activating a brand’s audience is as simple as giving its loyal followers the tools to promote the brand to their friends, just as Citi did with its Today Show Concert Series sponsorship with Selena Gomez.


Concert goers could create and share Selena-branded videos which served as a force multiplier for Citi, enabling it to, for every one person attending the concert, engage over 150 more not attending with branded mobile video.

In today’s connected world, consumers themselves have reach to a highly targeted, lookalike audience of friends and followers. The average consumer connects with hundreds of friends on places like Facebook and Twitter and several-hundred more contacts in their mobile phone’s address book. And when a consumer shares something of interest, their friends engage at astonishing rates–rates far higher than when a brand interrupts a consumer with whom they have no real relationship.

When the power of a brand’s existing audience is combined with the reach of each of their customers and the influence those customers have on their own networks, the opportunity for brands is massive.

So how do brands join the conversations that are happening all around their products? The key is to offer the consumer something fun and frictionless that adds value to the conversation without interrupting it.

Like Taco Bell, brands like Citi, Maybelline and Lilly Pulitzer have begun testing shared media campaigns, and the results are blowing away traditional mobile advertising response rates.

Audience participation rates are often as high as 10 percent. That means up to 10 percent of consumers reached create and share videos with a brand filter. For each video shared, more than 200 unique individuals view the videos. 65 percent of those views are to completion and always in full-screen and with full audio.

When those videos include shopable calls-to-action, the friends who view the videos engage with those calls-to-action at rates of 2 percent to 11 percent These metrics far outperform any other ad type on mobile today. This shared media truly provides brands with the opportunity to abandon the old way of advertising and focus on their own, existing audience as the driver of future growth.

Looking at the bigger picture, mobile has very quickly become the consumer’s first screen. And brands can no longer afford to fail on this ubiquitous and personal device. With mobile phones in consumers’ hands wherever they go, brands now have the opportunity and the incentives to connect with their audience at emotive, highly targeted moments and, in turn, activate that audience to grow reach for them.

It’s a game-changing opportunity for the brands that capitalize on the perfect storm of creative self-expression, social connectivity and an entertaining and welcomed engagement with brands.

Katherine Hays is the founder and CEO of user-generated marketing platform Vivoom.


Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Why Use Dynamic and Social Media Advertising in Tandem?

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How do marketers reach their consumers in today’s somewhat cluttered digital landscape? The answer is simple: A successful digital advertising strategy incorporates various channels into its strategy, as to diversify its reach.

Leveraging both dynamic and social media advertising in tandem to reach consumers at each stage of the marketing funnel allows advertisers to ultimately succeed and arrive at their key performance indicators.

Understanding the difference between the two forms of advertising, dynamic display and social media, is crucial to leveraging them both successfully and using them together.

Dynamic display advertising, or programmatic media buying, includes banner, video and mobile placements. These ads are bought and sold through a live auction, on a per-impression basis.

Dynamic advertising brings the ease of use to those looking for a solution that connects marketers with third-party data and real-time bidding across display, mobile and video. Also, programmatic allows marketers to leverage vast amounts of data to deliver relevant ads to their customer based on online behavior and where they are within the marketing funnel.

In comparison, social media advertising refers to the process of gaining traffic or conversions through social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Facebook advertising is a platform that allows businesses to increase their brand awareness and sales. This allows marketers to reach their target audience and show up on people’s News Feeds. Facebook recently revealed that 2 million small and midsized businesses advertise on the social network, which proves that there are many benefits of doing so.

A diversified marketing strategy is necessary when looking to market to consumers at each stage of the marketing funnel. Creating a plan that includes a variety of channels and mediums can help reach any target audience and lead to greater results.

Dynamic display advertising can cater to the bottom-of-the-funnel goals, such as retargeting or conversions. Dynamic advertising like banners and video can deliver messages to a targeted audience.

Retargeting is widely used in display advertising campaigns to help reach qualified customers. Retargeting is all about determining what actions indicate where the customer is in their buying process, and then matching it with the right messaging and content. A good example is the pricing page: If a customer is interested in the product enough to find out if the price is right, they are qualified for in-depth product information.

Social media can feed to top-of-the-funnel goals, such as building brand awareness and engagement. Social media advertising like Facebook advertising delivers content to a broader, less refined audience, and it still serves a valuable purpose.

For marketers, the Facebook advertising proposition is increasingly compelling. The site boasts more than 1.7 billion monthly active users globally. As a site built by users rather than publishers, Facebook is a rich source of consumer data. Moreover, because pages are designed individually for each user, marketers can reach their audience in their environment.

Understanding how your consumer is surfing the web is crucial to delivering the right message at the right time. Social media advertising allows marketers to engage their target audience within their environment, thus hitting the top-of-funnel stages: awareness and opinion. Dynamic display advertising can be used to target users that are at the bottom of the funnel with retargeting strategies.

Marketers should find value in leveraging the Facebook advertising and pair it with dynamic display advertising, to reach all facets.

Each marketing channel has various capabilities and offers different value. Using social media and dynamic advertising in tandem can enable marketers to reach their consumer across the board and increase the likelihood of conversion. Understanding the complementary relationship is crucial to leveraging the two forms of advertising successfully.

Jeffrey Finch is the co-founder and chief product officer of digital marketing firm Choozle.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Pingpad hitches wagon to Slack with new collaboration tool aimed at enterprise

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Young business people collaborating on project.

Crunch Report | Uber China Merges with Didi Chuxing

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Uber China is going to merge with Didi Chuxing, Consumer Reports finds some issues with Glow fertility apps security, new iOS 10 beta release comes out with some new emojis, Technology Crossover Ventures has a new $2.5 billion growth fund, and Niantic shuts down third-party Pokemon Go services. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Consumer advocacy groups ask the FTC to look into Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot ad

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Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 8.39.53 AM

Google’s Omnitone surround sound project brings us closer to web-based VR

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British television presenter Rachel Riley shows a virtual-reality headset called Gear VR during an unpacked event of Samsung ahead of the consumer electronic fair IFA in Berlin, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

12 Social Media Advertising Mistakes Even the Big Brands Make

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Social media advertising done badly is like throwing money down the rabbit hole.

Here are some prime examples of what not to do with your advertising. Fear not if you’ve made these mistakes in the past: The majority of us have made the same mistakes. Just learn from them and move on.

Targeting too narrow of an audience

First off, this does not mean that you shouldn’t retarget your website audience or your customer-relationship-management list. You need to do that no matter what your remarketing audience size is because they are your bread and butter. They know your brand and are much, much more likely to make a purchase than people who see an ad based on something too general like “bags.”

What I mean by too narrow is prospecting for more customers and honing in on a tiny audience on Facebook and now Pinterest by layering interest targeting into a lookalike audience that is only targeting females age 25 through 35 in Atlanta. This audience will be entirely too small to really find out if your ads are meant for that audience. Fix this by spreading out your advertising dollars and by A/B testing ad sets against one another.

Targeting too wide of an audience

On the flip side of No. 1, you can target too widely. Think of it this way: You are throwing out a massive net in the ocean with huge holes in it trying to catch an angelfish. You may get one every blue moon, but it’s rare. Now, if you were to narrow your 5 million person audience down to 1 million to 2 million by layering in declared or deduced interests (like hobbies or purchases) on top of your lookalike audience, that would work.

Wrong image size for your platform

Take the time to do some research on what each platform’s strength is in regards to images. Pinterest allows for massive images where you can tell an entire story to your audience with text overlay, while Twitter only allows very small 800- by 320-pixel images. I’ve seen brands just throw image into their ads that cut off people’s heads. Take the time to make your images look good. Here is an image size guide from HubSpot if you need one.

Not using text overlay

Facebook and Instagram have the 20 percent text overlay rule, which limits the amount of text you can overlay on your image. Anything more than 20 percent text will flag your advertisement, and Facebook will turn it off until you fix it true, but the other social platforms don’t. Text overlay is a great way to catch people’s eyes. I like to think of text overlay as the “hook” to your net. It catches the eyes and gives the consumer an idea of what they are in for if they keep reading. Here is a great example of text overlay that will stop people mid-scroll on Facebook to see what it’s about:


Thinking your audience is everyone from age 18 through 90

This hits back on No. 2. No, your audience is not “females that have nails ages 18 through 90.” Get real about who your audience is and serve your ads only to them. You will have a much better return on investment than if you spray and pray.

Leaving your campaign on too long

Now you probably have an evergreen campaign running, right? Well, even evergreen campaigns can get dull after a while. Make sure you are watching your frequency on Facebook month-to-month for these evergreen campaigns and then narrow it down to week-to-week if you are running a specific time-frame campaign. Here is an example of a brand leaving their campaign on far too long:



Click-baiting is so 2015. When you click-bait someone to click through to your website, they probably aren’t a valued consumer that you want to remarket to. Not only are you wasting money on serving an initial ad to them, you are wasting money on all of the remarketing you will do in the future. Just don’t do it.

Not providing enough information

This goes along with click-baiting. Give people enough information so that they don’t have to guess at what your company/offer is all about. Not only will this weed out the irrelevant users that won’t purchase from you, it will save you money in the long run when optimizing for impressions when remarketing.

Providing too much information

Too much text is a huge no-no. Don’t write a paragraph and expect people to read it. More than likely, people will keep scrolling because they don’t have time to read it. Instead, shorten your sentence on Facebook and Instagram to 180 characters and put some text overlay on the image. This will guarantee that people will at least stop for a brief second to see what the image is about.

No call to action

Tell people what to do by using call-to-action buttons on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The bystander effect is real even in online situations. If people aren’t told to “sign up” or “shop now,” they will just assume that they are just supposed to read what you have on the ad. Every single one of your ads needs to have a call to action, whether it is in the copy or a button.

Not optimizing for the right objective

This is inside of the ad set level and is pretty in-depth but worth knowing to get the best bang for your buck. Here is a breakdown on what you need to optimize and bid for based on your objective.

Sending people to your home page in every ad

If you want people to “shop now” while showing them a specific product, make sure you are driving them to that product page. Nothing is worse than being sent to your home page and having to search around for the product. Not only is this best practice, but it allows you to create custom audiences based on what people are clicking through to and then remarketing them further down the funnel.

With this insight on social media advertising mistakes that even the big brands make, you can fix your campaigns and optimize them to perform better to get an even greater ROI than you are seeing now.

Jackson Salzman is a paid social account analyst for Elite SEM.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

How Social Channels Teach Businesses the New Rules of Video

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When you ask anyone under the age of 25 where they interact with their friends and get their news, a common answer today will be Snapchat. When asked where they like to follow brands for inspiration, perhaps they’ll answer Instagram.

It’s social media platforms like these that make it easy for anyone to share their content, from an up- and-coming social media star to major publishers like ESPN, Cosmopolitan and BuzzFeed to brands like J. Crew and Coca-Cola.

As Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report showed, video usage continues to rise, with Generation Z communicating primarily via images (live, moving, and still) versus text

The change to consumer expectations driven by social helps businesses accept that it’s OK–in fact consumers actually prefer it–when brands create videos that are authentic and evoke emotion. This increased demand and the ability today to create inexpensive yet engaging videos gives companies the financial and creative freedom to break free of six-week production cycles and massive video budgets. Having this freedom means being able to generate more impactful videos and more often, which means more engagement with customers, employees, readers–you name it.

As video consumption habits change, businesses will experiment more, get comfortable with making authentic videos and see how their videos are viewed more as a result. They will start to really succeed with video and further capitalize on quantity with quality (based on the wants of the consumer) for the very first time.

Snapchat takes the fear out of ‘unedited’

Brands that pay for space in Snapchat’s Discover have the opportunity to create bite-sized videos that automatically appear on every user’s feed. For most young consumers, checking their Snapchat feed is second nature and, therefore, brands see unprecedented engagement with these short, candid and honest videos.

However, only certain kinds of content lend themselves to Snapchat. Content like beauty tutorials, celebrity soundbites and instant replays from sporting events do well on Snapchat, as they are short enough to hold viewers’ attention without being skipped. Viewers also love to see behind-the-scenes footage of an event, video or photo shoot.

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show famously took advantage of the instant gratification of Snapchat by posting live video interviews from all the models backstage. This raw footage appeals to fans as it makes them feel more engaged with the event and closer to the “characters.”

Using raw, unedited content has historically been scary to marketers–or realistically, any business person. We’re all familiar with revision history and track changes: When was the last time you put a true “first take” out into the world? Snapchat is bringing unedited into the mainstream with confidence. And the payoff? Both customer engagement and brand affinity.

Instagram makes short, sweet

In March, Instagram started allowing longer videos than its original 15 seconds in the feed; enabling users to record and share videos up to 60 seconds long. Some quick math shows that this mean four times more content per video—four times!

This offers an entirely new opportunity for companies trying to share their stories on the channel, and it also offers Instagram a larger revenue opportunity for video ads. Each video length has a time and a place.

Much has been written about how to make longer videos entertaining on these channels, as well, which is key. You don’t just want to put up a long-form video that was already kind of boring (like a one minute snippet from a five-minute product walkthrough), but rather create channel-specific content that uses the longer format to tell a compelling story aimed at Instagram’s key demographics.

BuzzFeed has done extremely well in this category with its cooking videos. Its Tasty series began on Facebook, but it took off with such success that BuzzFeed created its own Instagram handle dedicated to this type of content (this account boasts more than 3.5 million followers and an average of 350,000 views per video, mind you). The ability to post a longer video with a full recipe in the comments also makes Instagram a more strategic choice for this type of content.

Product reviews, travel videos and workout tutorials are all video-friendly content that can be edited and shared on Instagram by anyone today.

Know thy endgame

Businesses have to know their endgame when it comes to publishing a video, even if that video is going to be short, raw or ephemeral. Are you creating a video for brand awareness? Then perhaps social distribution is the way to go, versus hosting it on your site alone. Are you trying to get closer to a specific demographic? That could drive platform choice and subject matter. Are you trying to convert a prospect into a customer? You need to make sure you’re able to track who watches the video, what they liked best and also know how to contact them.

Years ago the common endgame was simply content virality. People knew it when they saw it, but they didn’t know how to create it consistently. But virality is all about reaching as many people as possible, no matter who they are or what they’re interested in.

Today, not being viral is the new viral because short, sweet, raw, authentic and targeted videos go much further than one-hit wonders. With the technology available today, a brand can create a video to serve any business purpose (hiring, customer support, training, marketing, sales, etc.). It can focus on the honesty of the human connection that the video creates and worry less about making sure that it has a big-shot art director signed up for the project. The endgame is what matters.

Big businesses can learn a lot from the way bloggers and social media influencers use platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Many take advantage of the popularity of videos on these platforms without the use of professional equipment or a background in video editing. They understand that the current generation favors video content above text and are taking advantage of this market shift. They post honest and relatable videos that viewers love and often share. Generally they use these short videos to grow their brand by driving traffic back to their blog or website.

In a world full of text-only blogs and static imagery, video is the way for brands to stand out. Don’t get left behind.

Chris Savage is the CEO of video marketing platform Wistia.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

August 2016
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