Four Trends That Will Disrupt Marketing in 2014

bar_rafaeli%29crystal_ball.jpg

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.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jan- 7-14    
Topic: Opinion



How to Create Content That Doesn't Stink

content_suck.jpg

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.

more »

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



5 Business Branding Lessons Inspired by Halloween Characters

halloween_pumkins.jpg

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.

more »

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



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

mairead_kevin.png

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?

more »

by Steve Hall    Oct-28-13    
Topic: Opinion



Should Your Next Ad Be Funny Or Bash Your Competitor?

att_fast_slow.png

You don't require a TV to see a commercial these days. Thanks to the Internet, commercials can now be e-mailed, shared on Facebook and tweeted about - all potentially resulting in millions of additional views.

To receive more views and a lasting impression, companies are competing in this advertising arms race. Two tactics have risen to the top.

more »

by Steve Hall    Oct-22-13    
Topic: Opinion



7 Ways to Improve Your Ad Agency's Efficiency

bobs_efficiency.jpg

Nothing loses an agency client faster than inefficient process and the frustration it causes. Not even Cannes-winning work can keep a client if the agency can't manage the relationship properly. Earlier, we wrote about the impact of industry consolidation and how it has affected the ability of the acquired agency and its holding company siblings to work smoothly and efficiently.

Here are seven tips you can put to use right now to ensure your agency is serving your clients swiftly, effectively and efficiently - like the proverbial well-oiled machine.

More...

by Steve Hall    Oct-21-13    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Tools



Why Every One of Your Clients Needs to See 'Gravity' in 3D

Gravity.jpg

You know you've made a staggeringly good film when the commercial director sitting in the audience sits slack jawed for almost the entirety of the thing.

That's Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron's 91-minute space blockbuster that everyone in the ad business needs to see, like, right now.

Like any good director, I've experienced hundreds of films in cinema, but as I sat in the 3D IMAX theatre, I struggled for a way to accurately and fully describe Gravity. "Spectacle" didn't quite cover the exceptional narrative tension. "Experience" just sounded understated.

In the end, I landed on "3D Cinematic Symphony."

more »

by Steve Hall    Oct-17-13    
Topic: Opinion



Why Marketers Shouldn't Panic About Email Filters - At Least Not Yet

junk_email_filter.png

Email filtering is a hot topic right now. And it's not hard to understand why. We spend more time reading and sending emails than we do at almost anything else. How much time? The average person spends a mindboggling 28% of work time reading and responding to emails. No wonder we always feel like we can't get enough done.

The latest big headline comes from The New York Times, which recently ran an article about retailers who are freaking out about Gmail's new folder for promotional emails. The new feature automatically filters most branded emails into a separate folder but also places a "Promotions" tab atop the main in-box so that the quarantined emails are only a click away.

more »

by Steve Hall    Oct-15-13    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Research



Does Big Data Ruin Creativity?

seankers_shoes.jpg

The term "big data" has become quite prevalent in the marketing world lately. In a previous Central Desktop article, I examined the notion of big data and how it pertains to how brands and agencies work today. We started with a simple definition of big data.

In our marketing world, big data describes the plethora of information we have accumulated through the monitoring of consumers as they browse, socialize, search and purchase online. Every time a person visits a website, a cookie is dropped within their browser. Every time a person responds to a call-to-action from a landing page, data from the form they filled out is captured.

That's just a small example of big data's makeup. Dan Zarrella, HubSpot's social media scientist, told me a little bit more about the kinds of data that are important to marketers and agencies - and how marketers and agencies should be using that data.

More...

by Steve Hall    Oct- 9-13    
Topic: Opinion



Is Influencer Marketing Dead? What Will Replace It?

AdvocateMarketing.png

There's been a lot of talk about social media influence and its role in the new consumer decision journey. Big brands are not only buying into the concept of leveraging people with influence, but are spending serious money. From Polaroid actually hiring Lady Gaga to a study showing that the majority of marketers are allocating budget to influencer marketing, it's clear that companies are keen on figuring out how to leverage "influencers."

But what many brand marketers don't realize is that influence doesn't matter unless the influencer is willing to endorse your brand and its products. Jay-Z won't promote your phone charger unless you pay him (a lot) and bloggers are starting to demand the same.

Moreover, brands don't trust social scoring tools anymore, as they only measure potential influence.

So what's a brand to do?

more »

by Steve Hall    Oct- 1-13    
Topic: Opinion, Research, Social










Featured FREE Resource: