Tag Archive | "industry"

Comedian Chelsea Peretti Skewers Tech’s Lack Of Diversity, On-Demand Economy At Crunchies Awards

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The tech industry came under fire at the 9th Annual Crunchies Awards on Monday night – an event which aims to celebrate the best and brightest companies, founders and investors from the startup world. The event’s host, Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-star, actress, writer and comedian Chelsea Peretti, opened the evening with barbs aimed at the industry’s lack of diversity, and the… Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Industry Experts: Amp Up Your Super Bowl Sunday Social With These Tips

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With Super Bowl 50 fast approaching, the lure of a promising half time show and fresh commercials is sure to draw in large audiences – especially on social. In fact, last year’s big day was the most tweeted about NFL game ever – and this year will likely be no different. As a publisher, this is prime time to capitalize off of a moment where your audience, and potential new readers, are super tuned in.

In my role as vp of content at Playbuzz, I work with major sports teams and brands, including Sports Illustrated, NFL teams, The Chive, MLB, Fox Sports and more, all of which give me an inside look into what content garners the most engagement and attention from sports fans. Questions I always ask when evaluating interactive content performance include: What are the start and completion rates? What is the average time readers are spending on page? Are readers interacting with the content? Does an audience share certain types of content on their social channels?

I also have the pleasure of working with other industry experts who analyze what content resonates most with publishers’ audiences. Point being that publishers can achieve high engagement rates with clever social content that doesn’t cost a thing.

I pulled 5 quick tips from a recent whitepaper we’ve created with NewsWhip that I think are most suited to get you (but mainly your content) prepped for this Super Bowl Sunday.

Great examples that showcase the above tips include this list by The Chive which invited users to rank the team with the most annoying fans, a quiz on undefeated NFL teams by Sports Illustrated and a countdown of the best quarterbacks in NFL history by Fox Sports.

Remember, as long as the topic is close to fans’ personal experiences, or something they care about, it has the potential to garner great results. Content that fans can actively participate with makes them feel like part of the big day. So don’t worry about putting aside a large budget this Sunday – if your content is clever and engaging enough, your readers will share it for you.

For more insights on how to achieve stellar sports marketing content, even in the off season, click here.

Shachar Orren is the vp of content at Playbuzz. From the company’s New York office, she oversees global content strategy for partnerships with top-tier publishers, editorial teams and brands, providing insights, analysis and plans to ensure they maximize the potential of Playbuzz formats in-article and across social media. She can be reached at Shachar@playbuzz.com.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

2016: The Year of Customer Experience

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If you’re anything like me, you grabbed your coffee, strolled into the office, and sat at your desk on Monday after New Year’s feeling somewhat perplexed by the sudden realization that another year is already upon us.

So, before letting too much time pass, I figured I’d have a think about what the year ahead has in store for the world of marketing. As technology continues to rapidly evolve, we will be forced to innovate (and keep up) at a faster pace than ever before.

We need to set our sights not only on creating the best possible experience for our customers, but also, and more importantly, on helping to make their lives better through the products or services we offer. To accomplish this, we must be the eyes and ears of our customers — all the time.

However, although a heightened focus on customer experience will be critical in the year ahead, I feel there’s a much bigger shift afoot: the true convergence of marketing, data, technology, service, and experience.

What I’ve realized more and more recently — and I think the industry is finally catching on wholeheartedly — is that no customer interaction, marketing or otherwise, should ever be done in a silo. Everything is interconnected. We have to think and operate just like our target customers (trans)act. And it will be the marketers who truly embrace this philosophy that succeed, now and well into the future.

Rather than wax poetic on how the industry is changing – and how we all have to change with it – here are a few things to keep in the back of your mind as the new year gets into full swing:

Next Generation of Change is Coming

Every sitting CMO should be scared. The next generation of marketing leaders, especially those who have grown up in the digital world, is making its way to the top. Traditional ways of thinking, acting, strategizing, and executing are likely getting kicked to the curb. These zealous up-and-comers not only embrace change, but they actively seek it. So be forewarned that the status quo will soon be change itself. To stay relevant, today’s CMO’s must understand digital, inside and out.

“Old” Does Not Mean “Wrong”

We are all attracted to the newest and shiniest objects presented to us. However, new and shiny does not necessarily mean better. It just means new and shiny. So we have to be thoughtful about how we blend together the “new and shiny” with tried-and-true marketing practices, especially knowing that big change is coming. And knowing just how much the new guard loves change, we should not ditch best practices, especially those that have proven themselves successful time and time again, in the spirit of embracing change. We have to be much more pragmatic about what works vs. what doesn’t.

The Impending Death of Social

Let’s be honest, social isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, the way in which we use it to engage our customers will inevitably change. Long gone are the days when marketers used to talk about social as a siloed buzzword. In fact, the prevalence of social media has made it so omnipresent in all of our daily lives that it’s now very much just an ingredient in an overarching, multi-touch point marketing campaign strategy. The challenge now for us is to weave it in. It’s not a start point or end point; it’s simply part of the puzzle.

Service and Marketing Collide

Within your organization have you seen customer service being moved under marketing? If you nodded yes, then you’re ahead of the curve. Industry-wide there’s a massive shift that’s breaking down the walls between customer service and marketing. Why? Because, in many cases, customer service is the most important (marketing) touch point for brands today, serving as a critical element for driving brand loyalty and boosting overall customer satisfaction.

A single experience with customer service can be a “make or break” moment for brands – one that can either win a customer for life or lose one in an instant. That’s why many businesses have seen the benefit in thinking about customer service as yet another marketing channel for engaging, surprising, and delighting customers on a more personal level.

Customer Experience is Paramount

If you hadn’t caught on already, there’s a trend happening here that is all about focusing on the customer – what the customer wants, needs, and ultimately expects from our brands. So in a similar vein to the colliding of marketing and customer service organizations, we are starting to see more and more CEO’s getting on the customer experience bandwagon, rallying the troops internally to put a focused spotlight on the customer across the entire organization.

What this signals to me is that customer experience is no longer a marketing concept or idea (nor should it be). Brands that think deeply about the customer at every internal touch point, I believe, will be much more successful at earning their loyalty at every external touch point they engage with. Customer experience is no longer just about CRM, technology, or the like. Rather, it’s about creating relationships with customers – and organizing business operations around creating, nurturing, and growing those relationships over time.

Shift from Transactional to Behavioral

I love data. You love data. We all love data. Now, let’s actually do something with that data – besides understanding the transactional habits of our customers. If a major focus of the year(s) ahead is on customer experience, then it’s incumbent upon us to flex our data muscles to understand not only what our customers do (or purchase), but also what behaviors they exhibit that lead them to make those transactions.

Essentially, the troves of data we have at our fingertips – likely to expand once we really dig into insights gathered from social media – will allow us to get a more rounded perspective of our customers as well as how they engage with our brands.

As Lithium’s CMO and general manager of Lithium Social Web, Katy Keim is responsible for all strategic marketing activities for the company including branding, positioning, communications, go-to-market strategy and customer acquisition programs. Follow her on Twitter: @KatyKeim.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Stugan Games Accelerator Opens Applications for 2016

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Games accelerator Stugan has opened its application process for its 2016 summer program.

The program will accept 20 aspiring game developers, who will spend eight weeks with all expenses paid in a traditional Swedish cabin, or stugan, in the Swedish countryside, where they will be mentored while building their games. Games industry ‘thought leaders’ will hold lectures and workshops during the program.

In addition, Stugan has announced the first game from one of its 2015 developers will launch later this month. The game is called _Prism, and was developed by Clint Siu. In _Prism, players will ‘manipulate shapes and patterns to unfold sacred geometry with push and pull of cinematic design, mythology and intuitive touch exploration.’ _Prism will launch on iOS on February 18.

In a statement, Stugan manager, Jana Karlikova, commented:

We couldn’t be happier with the way last year’s Stugan played out. We set out to provide a platform to inspire undiscovered game developers across the globe and ended up with an amazing group of teams that not only made huge strides in their projects, but in turn fueled inspiration for some of the industry’s top veterans across all categories who came to mentor.

We’re anticipating this year to be exceptional. We’re already getting lots of interest from some impressive mentors who want to participate and have nearly doubled the amount of sponsors this year.

Stugan will accept applications until March 31, 2016. Interested applicants can learn more here.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

First Snapchat Network Naritiv Raises $3 Million in Series A Funding

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Snapchat content marketing platform Narativ, which claims to be the first media company born on Snapchat, announced recently that it has raised $3 million Series A funding — led by Third Wave Digital and Allen DeBevoise, with funds also coming from Disney and Luminari Capital.

Currently, Naritiv’s network on Snapchat gets more than 16 billion views per month and, to date, has had more than 1 billion total branded views.

Narativ will use this funding to develop the company’s technology, grow the team and help more brands find success on Snapchat.

Daniel Leff of Luminari Capital and DeBevoise will join the company’s board of directors.

unspecifiedDeBevoise commented on the funding in a press release:

Naritiv created the industry standard for branded Snapchat content, and is responsible for helping brands go from zero to millions of views on the social platform in a matter of weeks. Their expertise in creating the best content on Snapchat will become increasingly crucial this year as brands try to develop deeper connections with consumers.

Founded in 2014, Naritiv has worked with Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family), Coca-Cola, Fox, Marriott and many other brands to gain traction on Snapchat.

Naritiv worked with Freeform to build buzz for the popular show Pretty Little Liars, helping the show’s account gain more than 1.5 million followers. During Disney’s Force Friday global event, Naritiv led a campaign for Sphero that earned 10.3 million views (and 69.1 seconds watched), earning Naritiv two Shorty Award nominations.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Programmatic Advertising is Skyrocketing: 66% of Advertisers Plan to Boost Ad Spend

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Looking for the next big thing in social advertising? Programmatic, or automated, advertising is where the money is going.

According to a recent AdRoll report, 66 percent of advertisers polled said they plan to increase their programmatic ad spend in 2016.

Why? The report notes that 87 percent of marketers are seeing greater return through programmatic adversing compared to traditional media buying.

Adam Berke, AdRoll’s president and CMO, commented on the findings in AdRoll’s State of the Industry report:

Marketing is becoming an increasingly technology driven discipline, and practitioners are being held to higher standards of measurement and accountability than ever before. It therefore makes sense that marketers and business managers want their advertising efforts to be driven by the same innovations in data science, AI, and automation that have driven advancements in other parts of the modern enterprise. The results from this survey make it clear that 2016 is staged to be a massive year for digital advertising, and programmatic technologies will be the driving force.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 11.00.07 AM

Other findings from the report:

  • 32 percent of marketers spent more than 50 percent of their budgets on programmatic in 2015
  • Programmatic social ad buying is now 50 percent more popular than programmatic display for B2C marketers (75 percent of all B2C marketers polled are using programmatic)
  • 1/3 of marketers are now using programmatic ad buying on mobile
  • Retargeting jumped from 54 percent to 82 percent this year; 87 percent of marketers said they will spend more on mobile retargeting in 2016

While most advertisers polled really want to see retargeting come to eBay, social networks such as Pinterest and Snapchat are also where they’re looking:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 11.01.32 AM

Readers: What are your thoughts on programmatic advertising?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

France’s Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron On French Startups

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French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron smiles as he visits a shopping center on the first day of the winter sales in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. The five-week 2016 winter sales start everywhere across France on Wednesday jan.6 and end on Feb. 16. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

A Guiding Light Into The Future Of Marketing

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LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 04:  Francesca Dubsky display the bottom side of the Hairmax LaserBand 82 during a press event for CES 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The USD 795 unit, designed by Pinin Farina, uses 90-second treatments of red laser light at 655 nanometers to grow hair by increasing blood flow to the scalp and stimulating hair follicles. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs from January 6-9 and is expected to feature 3,600 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 150,000 attendees.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Value In Virtual And Augmented Reality

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3 Mobile Development Lessons to Take from LinkedIn’s New App Design

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New app versions are born every day, but when a tech giant such as LinkedIn releases a new version of its mobile entity, the world pays extra attention. In this case, since a social platform is in question, we’re all naturally interested in learning how these changes will affect us as users. But there’s also a special treat for the mobile pros in the crowd: a valuable lesson on what to focus on when building an app for today’s mobile users.

Getting Users on Board

User onboarding has proven time and time again to be one of the most important steps in turning app downloads into loyal users. Knowing this, LinkedIn has always placed an emphasis on its mobile first impression. Back in 2013, the company introduced a dynamic personalized onboarding flow, distinguishing between different types of users in terms of suggested content. Now, in addition to presenting users with recommended companies to follow based on their mobile persona, LinkedIn allows first-time users to choose specific fields of interest they wish to see in their feed.

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 2.37.43 PMThis is one company that truly understands the importance of a solid onboarding process, after realizing that their previous improvements encouraged 72 percent of users who completed the onboarding flow to perform at least one app action and become significantly more engaged.

Jeff Rodfern, vp of product at LinkedIn, described the process on the company’s blog: “for the first time, as part of a lightweight onboarding process, we are going to ask you what content you are interested in”. LinkedIn understands that a feed filled with irrelevant content is the last thing new users should meet. Mobile users already feel like they use too many social accounts, and have very little patience (or storage space) for anything less than necessary.

The fact that LinkedIn chose to display such screens as part of the ever-so-crucial onboarding stage indicates that the company wants users to know right away how relevant the content on its platform is, thus encouraging users to engage with it and trust it. It is also an educational step, explaining to users that they should share a specific type of content on LinkedIn, and adopt a different tone than the one they present on other social networks. It’s all about making the right first impression, and there is no room for mistakes.

It’s Always Personal

Rodfern’s announcement means two things for app developers: the onboarding process has to be great, and it has to be personalized. And so, another key factor in LinkedIn’s effort to create a better app is the focus on who the user is and what the user wants. For the lack of a better solution, the app asks users to choose subjects and industries they are interested in, promising to deliver a customized feed based on this selection.

This is an interesting move for a mobile product like LinkedIn. Generally speaking, social apps have the most convenient access to user data and should never have to directly and openly ask users to choose their desired content. In fact, a few social networks know us better than our closest friends and family members. So why did the company decide to ask users what they wish to see on their feed? Because it’s that important. Showing interest in users’ preferences is not just a data thing – it’s a statement. A promise to deliver only significant information that is appropriate to a network focused on users’ professional lives.

Everything Changes

Getting mobile right is a huge challenge, even for the biggest tech titans around. One reason is that in order to achieve mobile perfection, one must first realize that there is no such thing. The industry’s pace forces companies to constantly update their product and adapt to the latest technology, as well as to users’ moods and needs. LinkedIn’s new version even includes changes that are meant to allow users to easily update the content of their feed or profile.

This latest update isn’t the first and most certainly is not the last version of the app. Mobile developers who follow LinkedIn’s journey can easily see that nearly every aspect of the product went through several changes and adjustments in the past. And while we all enjoy the excitement of a new version, as an industry we must also acknowledge a certain problem: mobile app demand constant updates, which cause a very special kind of frustration for mobile developers.

Since every little tweak to an app requires a new App Store version, very much including the tedious approval process it entails, it’s no wonder that apps are sometimes reluctant to make necessary changes to their product. As long as developers are dependent on gatekeepers to make these changes, they will think twice on whether or not to serve users with the best product they possibly can.

As mobile developers, we should always view our personal experience as a valuable lesson, especially when it comes from a powerful player in the mobile field. This is one update that will change not only how we connect with other figures in the industry, but also how we reach out to our own current and potential users. Smart developers can draw the right conclusions from LinkedIn’s learning process and turn them into mobile gold.

Shai Wolkomir is the co-founder and CEO of Elasticode, a Techstars company helping mobile app owners create and deliver personalized onboarding experiences. Follow Shai on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

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