Consumption is up, dollars are down. In traditional media channels it's the same lament time and time again: audiences are rising, but advertising continues to plummet.
Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride, Portfolio, I.D., Vibe, Blender, Domino, Metropolitan Home - the magazine body count is mounting. Over 400 magazines folded last year, despite the fact that a survey of 1,000 consumers just publised by the CMO Council in conjunction with InfoPrint Solutions finds 92 percent of consumers still read magazines in print, and 90 percent say they want to keep it that way, e-readers be damned.
Yet at the same time, 78 percent of these consumers say more relevant and personalized content, promotions and ads would "increase their advocacy and loyalty."
So it would seem all print publishers have to do to resuscitate a foundering business model is figure out how to personalize their (dwindling) print ad pages to the wants and needs of individual readers.
You may never have heard of Microbilt, a company that offers risk management solutions to small businesses. But chances are, you've seen one of the spots from their super-viral I Love Local Commercials campaign.
Collectively, these send-ups of local TV channel, late-night spots for tattoo parlors, mobile home and furniture dealerships, and a Cuban-gynecologist-cum-auto-dealer have garnered not only views in the millions, but social media mentions from celebrities such as Errol Morris who called out one spot as his all-time favorite commerical on Twitter (re-tweeted by Roger Ebert, no less).
Microbilt hatched the campaign in conjunction with Rockefeller Consulting Group/Insight Capitalists, and the comedy duo of Rhett and Link. We caught up with Microbilt's EVP Strategy & Emerging Markets Brian Bradley (left) to talk about the campaign's genesis, and if all those views of spots that don't even try to sell anything have translated into business for the company.
There are 71 million pet owners in the United States, all of them potential members and supporters of the ASPCA. Debbie Swider (pictured left), the non-profit's senior e-marketing manager, would dearly love to enlist all of them as members and donors.
Advertising on pet and animal oriented sites is only the tip of the iceberg when your target audience is that large. "We have to make sure we're using the channels that allow us to find the right people wherever they are online," says Swider. "Seventy-one million is a huge number. Getting just five million of them would be exciting."
Crispin Sheridan, the senior director of search marketing at global software software giant SAP shares the strategy and the meticulously-tracked results of his company's highly successful initiative to integrate SEO with social media channels - resulting in a 2.5X boost in conversion rates.
Q: How did SAP come to decide to integrate search with social media?
A: We had a search team in place, obviously, and had grown search significantly over the space of about five years. Then there started to be a lot of buzz in the company about social media. People started to think, 'Well, this is really applicable to my area. Is this something I could or should be doing?" It seemed very logical to us that there was a fit between search marketing and social media marketing. Was there something we could do to pilot something to all the executives who were beginning to ask us,"Is this real? Is this important? Is this something we should be pursuing?"
Google Places. That's the new name of Google's Local Business Center. The search giant has rolled out a host of new features for local advertisers, including a mobile dimension that could help push QR codes into the mainstream.
The message from Washington to the online ad industry has been ringing loud and clear: regulate yourselves before we have to do it for you. Taking another step in that direction, industry groups the IAB and the NAI released the CLEAR (Control Links for Education and Advertising Responsibly) Ad Notice Technical Specifications, a set of common technical standards that would enable enhanced notice in online ads. These specifications would allow advertisers and ad networks to provide a clickable icon in or near online ads directing users to additional information about behavioral advertising, including an opt-out option.
How are brands and companies organizing around social media? In the case of some very large enterprises, with commitment and decisiveness. Last night in New York, the Social Media Advertising Consortium (SMAC) hosted an elite panel of marketers - all in the top social media role at a global organization - to discuss selling social media processes, strategies and tactics internally.
So how do you get large organizations on board with social media? Until very recently, Pauline Ores (left) led IBM's social media practice with a particular view to internal training. Of engineers. You know, those guys who use the opposite side of the brain that their colleagues in marketing do.
Two recent studies this week underscore a trend obvious not only to smartphone owners (a segment rapidly achieving dominance in the mobile phone market), but also to those early adopters of Kindles, iPads and the like. What matters in mobile is the data, not the vox.
Double-digit growth over the next five years? We'll take it, particularly in the wake of a grueling recession.
This according to Forrester, which is predicting that by 2014 US online retail will grow at a 10 percent compound annual growth rate to reach nearly $249 billion. Correspondingly, the major Western European nations will grow at an 11 percent CAGR, hitting €114 billion in five years' time.
So you need to advertise to pot smokers locally. How are you going to (ahem) "weed" out broader audiences from your target demographic? MyMarijuana.Community.com just may be the hyper-local, hyper-targeted, vertical ad network for your media dollars.
California Proposition 215 legalized marijuana use for medical
purposes, turning marijuana into the number-one cash crop
for California. A similar bill just passed in New Jersey, and another initiative that would legalize marijuana in California has received enough signatures
to appear on the state's November ballot.