Got points? Starting today, you can redeem them
for virtual items like cows in FarmVille or guns in Mafia Wars. In a
first-of-its kind deal, American Express has teamed with game-maker Zynga to
make its credit card rewards redeemable for virtual goods.
It’s the latest example of gamification – or the introduction of game
elements into non-game activities. There are reasons this commerce and gaming partnership works for AmEx and Zynga, but the deal could have implications for other
companies’ reward programs as well.
Digital media has intensified the importance of fast, smart crisis communications strategies. Brands know they can’t control the public reaction to
snafus, nor can they ignore them or hope they'll just fade away.
professionals routinely run drills to suss out
what will happen in a crisis. In this age of real-time social media, tools are emerging such as FireBell - a "social crisis simulator" from PR agency Weber Shandwick - to help make the reaction equally instantaneous.
It’s clear “everyone’s doing it” when it comes to marketers and social media –
but that doesn’t mean everyone understands why. Examples of social media successes and failures abound, but with
minimal standardization, it's not easy to benchmark one company's strategy against a competitor's, or the industry at
FedEx and PR and marketing agency Ketchum have a new study on the matter. Surveying more than 60 brands such as AT&T, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Chevron and GM, their research found marketers fall into three distinct buckets in terms of their social media efforts.
While comScore predicts holiday shoppers will spend more than $32 billion online this year, that's just a fraction of the $852 billion Deloitte expects in overall holiday spending. So what's keeping more of that money from being spent online?
Stats from Millward Brown
reveal factors keeping shoppers tied to the retail store experience. They also shed light on three ways etailers can make the online shopping experience more attractive.
Though the US economy is showing signs of a slow recovery, most holiday messaging will still focus on discounts and lower pricing to attract shoppers. It makes sense to target price-conscious consumers, but etailers that just promote discounts could be missing another important holiday shopper segment: affluents.
The more ads, the better. That seems to be the strategy for boosting online
ad revenue for publishers of all kinds. First, the Online Publishers
Association (OPA) decided that making ads bigger and bolder was one way
to help boost publishers’ dwindling CPMs. Now, the TV networks are
concluding that loading their online video shows with more ads is the
best way to increase digital revenue.
It seems to fly in the face of common sense – after all, consumers have
flocked to DVR because they can skip all of the ads hurled at them on
broadcast TV or cable. Meanwhile, with shorter attention spans on the
web, won’t more ads just make online viewers tune out? Research from the
networks says no.
Bluefly has been in the business of selling limited edition and high-end apparel online for well over a decade. Now, facing competition from newer, more “social” brands like LivingSocial and
Gilt Groupe, the company is integrating elements of social commerce into its shopping experience.
A big component of Bluefly's strategy has been an integration of tools from social commerce provider Bazaarvoice. We
chatted with Martin Keane, Bluefly's SVP of ecommerce, to get a read on the company's experience with Bazaarvoice, as well as some insight into the shopping experience on Facebook, and Google's Boutiques.com.
Car companies have had mixed results with using user-generated content (UGC) campaigns to promote new vehicles. Ford’s Fiesta Movement generated tons of positive buzz by seeding 100 social media “stars” with cameras and free compact cars. But who can forget the disaster that was Chevy's "Make your own Tahoe commercial"?
When smart, the ultra-compact brand of Diamler AG, wanted to boost the presence of its smart fourtwo vehicle in the US, the company turned to UGC. And in the safe confines of online artist community deviantART, the campaign was able to flourish.
Like many newspaper conglomerates, Gannett has struggled with "going digital" in the midst of dwindling print revenues. As VP and GM of the Gannett Digital Media Network (GDN) Josh Resnik's job is to help ensure that the company's transition to digital is a lucrative one.
GDN encompasses the flagship USAToday.com and all of Gannett’s local newspaper and TV station websites. We caught up with Resnik to get a read on how GDN is handling increased competition on the local ad front, what the company thinks about iAds, and even a glimpse into the crystal ball for 2011.
Leave the Facebook Deals and sponsored Twitter trends to the other
brands. McDonald’s is using a location-based, social media scavenger
hunt to promote its new coffee drink, but the company is using free
content - not buying any of the new ad units - as part of the campaign.