McDonald's New Mascot: Biggest Brand Fail Ever or Just Another Social Media Outcry From People With Way Too Much Time on Their Hands?

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It's almost becoming standard practice to trash the crap out of a brand for making even the slightest change to its brand. In some cases the changes are big and in some cases they are small but it seems as though every change is followed by an onslaught of social media outcry from people with nothing better to do than craft a witty Tweet that is then featured in the news which then causes the whole thing to spiral out of control.

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by Steve Hall    May-20-14    
Topic: Brands, Opinion



How To Use Email To Generate Leads and Revenue

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When it comes to online marketing, email is one of the most powerful tools you have. Social media might be the latest sexy medium, but when it comes to generating leads, nurturing customer relationships and providing long-term growth, email is still incredibly effective. It's easy to use, priced right and it works. Here's proof:

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by Steve Hall    May-12-14    
Topic: Opinion



Top Five Media Buying Mistakes - And How to Avoid Them

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When it's time to build your brand, promote your product, or rollout the next big thing, you'll need to engage in a media buying strategy. Whether you carefully plan a formal launch or dash off a back-of-the-envelope proposal and forge ahead immediately, everything will hinge on optimizing price and placement.

But how will you know if you're getting the best value for your dollar and reaching the largest number of potential customers? How can you avoid making a major media buying mistake? Here's a list that can help: A rundown of the top five media buying mistakes - and how to avoid them:

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by Steve Hall    Apr-21-14    
Topic: Opinion



5 Ways Brands (And Agencies) Can Avoid Looking Like Pompous Bufoons

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Movie critics are a tough bunch. They rarely, if ever, are impressed with "movie magic" such as computer-generated imagery and gee-whiz special effects. In their minds, if the script is weak, no amount of technical prowess will save the film.

So it is in the marketing world. Otherwise savvy executives are easily caught up in the "marketing magic" of social networks, online analytics, mobile services and the like. But without a strong plan for your brand in place, all the social campaigns, multi-dimensional database modeling, and mobile apps in the world won't accomplish your marketing goals.

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 4-14    
Topic: Opinion



4 Reasons Programmatic Buying is Effective

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Media Buying has grown tremendously in the past few years. As the ecosystem continues to expand, systems are becoming even more complex and difficult to understand for both agencies and advertisers.

In the not so distant past, media purchasing would take place between buyer and publisher until, ad networks came on scene which opened floodgates to mass inventory buying. Once marketers learned they could purchased bulk inventory through aggregators - real-time ad exchanges entered the arena, acting much like the financial markets, trading remnant impressions that publishers couldn't sell directly through in house sales teams.

This has ultimately led to automated or programmatic media buying - the large scale automation of inventory purchasing using real-time systems, machine based transactions and algorithmic intelligence.

So why exactly, is programmatic so effective?

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by Steve Hall    Feb-14-14    
Topic: Opinion



3 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2014

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Now that 2013 is in the history books, marketers the world over are looking back at the previous year hoping to glean insight into what's to come. And there's certainly a lot to take into account. 2013 was a banner year as far as social media marketing is concerned, with Facebook reigning as supreme as ever. Although the teen demo bailed in record numbers, presumably to newer platforms that mom and dad have yet to discover.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-10-14    
Topic: Opinion, Social



Four Trends That Will Disrupt Marketing in 2014

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Up for some crystal balling? We reached out to several industry creative and strategy types to share with us what they see on the horizon for 2014. What will we see? Some predictable stuff like the continued growth of mobile and experiential. And some no so predictable...such as the proliferation of Emoji Economics. No, seriously.

Read on to see what's coming your way in 2014.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 7-14    
Topic: Opinion



How to Create Content That Doesn't Stink

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When was the last time you were enthralled by B2B "content?"

If you're struggling to remember, or are having daymares about your own content, the first thing you need to do is stop thinking of content as just "filler," like packing peanuts or bubble wrap.

Visiting a website with filler content is a lot like walking into a living room and finding a coffee table book like "Extraordinary Chickens" or "United States Coinage: A Study By Type." As a visitor, you're under no obligation to read either book, but you have to question the judgment of the person who chose them. In other words, I would argue that bad content is worse than a lack of content.

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by Steve Hall    Nov-20-13    
Topic: Opinion, Social



5 Business Branding Lessons Inspired by Halloween Characters

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Happy Halloween! It's a time for costumes, spooks, candy, and branding lessons for small businesses. That's right, a time to take a look at what business branding lessons we can learn from Halloween characters. Take a guess at which character best represents an issue your brand is facing.

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by Steve Hall    Oct-30-13    
Topic: Brands, Opinion



Honda Commercializes Couple's Wedding. Is That A Good Thing?

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I don't know. Commercializing a wedding? Even if it is handled as beautifully and as generously as Honda did for Mairead and Kevin's wedding? The brand brought cars, the couple's first date band, an Irish dance troupe (family is from Ireland)), $2,000 from Macy's, family messages from Ireland...and actual family from Ireland.

It was a grand gesture to a couple of brand aficionados. But isn't a wedding a sacred affair to be shared with family and friends? Not broadcast on YouTube to the ultimate benefit of Honda who in a sense, "used" Mairead and Kevin for their own publicity purposes?

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by Steve Hall    Oct-28-13    
Topic: Opinion










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