Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Customer Service Is Next Job for IBM’s Watson

May 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Remember Watson? The supercomputer that in an elaborate but interesting publicity stunt beat humanity at the game show “Jeopardy” a few years back, and then for a follow-up went on to become a big shot doctor (sort of), and more recently has started to specialize in cancer research now has yet another new job. This one doesn’t sound at first quite as interesting, but when you think about it from the point of view of complex computing tasks, it’s pretty cool. When you think about all the ways that companies have to try to engage with and then make their customers happy and the ways they can do that more effectively, you can probably imagine how a deeply analytical computer might be useful. IBM calls it the Watson Engagement Advisor and its an offshoot its Smarter Commerce initiative . Consider that Watson is smart enough to understand the natural ebb and flow of human language and is designed to answer questions in much the same way that humans do, and then quickly sort through a set of known information to determine the best answer, you realize it’s a fit for customer service. In that way, Watson can learn over time, and like a good bartender with a lot of regulars, keep track of the unique likes and dislikes of customers and get better at it over time. And that’s important as consumers come to expect to be able to interact with companies pretty much wherever they are and on whatever device they happen to be using at the time: Whether it’s a smart phone, tablet, PC or whatever, they will expect — already are expecting — consistent experiences. Consumers, especially the younger ones will expect, companies to shift with the marketplace as tastes change and evolve. Watson can be the voice that customers hear when they reach out to the company asking questions.

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ESPN, Twitter Expand Collaboration

May 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

ESPN and Twitter Inc. are announcing a major expansion of their collaboration to post sports-related videos on the short-messaging service—part of a growing wave of tie-ups as TV networks and Twitter hunt for new advertising revenue. ESPN, which is majority-owned by Walt Disney Co., plans to show video-highlight clips on Twitter of major sports events in the coming year, including from soccer matches leading up to the World Cup, college football and the X Games extreme-sports tournaments. People can watch the video clips on Twitter’s website and mobile apps shortly after the action happens on TV. The sports network plans to sell ads that will run inside the video clips, and marketing sponsors will commit to buying from Twitter a minimum value of “promoted”—or paid—Twitter posts to circulate their marketing pitches. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Marin IPO Highlights Strength of Marketing Software

March 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Marin Software, the latest in a string of initial public offerings of marketing software companies, came out today with a strong start, showing that investors are eager for new ways to tap into the shift of advertising dollars into the digital world. While several marketing software developers have had strong IPOs in recent months, Marin is one of just a few IPO-bound marketers focused specifically on advertising technology. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Hey, Remember How Awesome The iPhone Is?

March 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Forgotten what a magical and revolutionary device the iPhone is? If you have — and Apple increasingly appears to think so — the company has a handy reminder. A new “ Why iPhone ” Web page that explains in exhaustive detail why Apple’s smartphone is alpha and omega of mobile devices. Remember the “ Why You’ll Love a Mac ” campaign? Well, this is basically the same thing, but for iPhone. In other words, it’s a big ‘ol advertisement for an important product from the company that makes it. But, Apple launched it just two days after Samsung unveiled its new iPhone challenger the Galaxy S4, so that must mean the company is terrified its Korean rival is suddenly going to claim the 60-70 percent of annual handset industry profits it typically captures for its own

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First Mover: Ryan Seacrest

February 4, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 38 New gig Founder of Seacrest Global Group , majority owner of events marketing agency Civic Entertainment Group Continuing gig Host of American Idol In addition to hosting American Idol , doing a radio show and other jobs, you just invested in a marketing agency, Civic Entertainment Group. So when do you sleep? [Laughs] Good question. Not much. Usually between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and right now I’m speaking to you from one my offices known as a vehicle, a car where I’ve set up my mobile workspace here in the back. What’s your mobile work space?

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Adidas Turns Bull’s Injury Into Inspiration

January 28, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Last April, just two months after Adidas inked Derrick Rose to a 14-year contract worth at least $250 million , the National Basketball Association MVP blew out his knee, and sports marketers nationwide groaned a collective “ouch.” But rather than let Rose disappear on the injured reserved list, the sports apparel giant spent the summer stitching together an integrated “ Return of D Rose ” campaign—with the creative centered on Rose’s rehab. Illuminated by images of determination and perspiration, TV and digital ads have blanketed media channels in the last five months, leading to a groundswell of Facebook and Twitter activity that inspired the star athlete. “Seeing all of the comments that come in every day with people wishing me support,” Rose told Adweek, “has been fuel for me. It really has.” At press time, Rose was reportedly almost set to return to the hardwood for the first time in nearly a year. With the “Return” initiative apparently complete, Adidas and its digital agency, Roundarch Isobar, revealed stats for what’s been an unusual effort. “I cannot think of another athlete that’s been out for an extended period of time and used by the brand while he or she’s not playing,” said Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing analyst and ECD at Baker Street Advertising. “It’s a tough thing to do. The brand managers couldn’t ignore the fact that he’s not playing. He’s their guy. They’ve wanted to make sure he stays top of mind so they can recoup their investment while he’s not playing.” Adidas’ game plan seems to have notched a victory while scoring a flurry of digital points. For instance, Return of D Rose has been a national trending topic on Twitter three times, according to Adidas. Twitter followers for @adidasbasketball have soared by 100 percent, Facebook chatter about the brand has jumped 200 percent, and the effort’s YouTube videos have been viewed 7 million times. On the business side of the campaign, online searches for the basketball player’s new sneaker—the D Rose 3 —skyrocketed by 400 percent, according to Adidas, which estimates 140 million consumers have seen the overall initiative. Dorfman said, “I think they are doing an admirable job keeping him out there, competing against Nike, which is spending huge money with LeBron James [ads].” Portland, Ore.-based Adidas wouldn’t divulge sales figures but intimated—at the beginning of the appeal—that it would value social media success. If you look at the stats sheet, the campaign has been something of a slam dunk for the brand. And now it appears to be time for tip-off for Rose and his Chicago Bulls. “Seeing everyone’s support, it has motivated me to come back stronger than I was before,” Rose said.

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How Do You Market a TV Show Without a TV Network? Ask Netflix.

January 25, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

TV networks may have plenty of flaws, but one thing they’re really good at is promoting other TV shows. But here comes Netflix, which is getting into the TV show business and doesn’t have any experience promoting TV shows. Plus, it doesn’t have its own TV network to do the heavy lifting. So how is it going to tell people about new shows like “House of Cards,” which comes out in a week, or “Arrested Development,” which comes out in May? Reed Hastings and company have long argued that not being tied to a traditional TV network gives them a ton of freedom, since they don’t have to convince an audience to watch a certain show at a certain time. In theory, they won’t care if lots of people watch “House of Cards” on February 1, or if lots of people watch the show over the next couple years. And they say they’ll primarily rely on to do the bulk of their promotion, by telling some subscribers — but not all subscribers — about the new shows. We saw a taste of this last year, when the company trotted out “Lilyhammer,” a kind of trial run for its original programming plans . Still, depending on where you live or what you do online, you may bump into some Netflix promotions in the next few months. During his earnings call this week, Hastings noted that he’ll be trying to attract “a lot of attention in certain cities doing a highly concentrated, large scale promotion to … stimulate the creative community awareness and generally build a lot of buzz around those shows.” Translation: If you’re in New York or Los Angeles, there’s a good chance you’ll see billboards like the one Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein spotted this week . These are presumably supposed to hit both “influentials” — perhaps you’re one of them! — as well as current and future Netflix creative partners, who like to see their work promoted just like a “real” TV show. Meanwhile, if you’re a hard-core “Arrested Development” fan who has been looking forward to the show’s reboot since last year, Netflix is offering some treats to whet your appetite. Digiday notes that Netflix has inserted some easter eggs onto the site, which will end up leading you to the service’s archive of old “Arrested Development” episodes, like the excellent “ The One Where Michael Leaves .” We’ll hear more about the Netflix marketing strategy in a couple weeks, when content boss Ted Sarandos stops by our D: Dive Into Media conference , along with at least one principal from “Arrested Development.” And yes, that counts as marketing, too. See you there.

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Six Podcasting Predictions for 2013

January 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright This Geek Podcasting has officially grown up. Many believed that unscripted comedians and niche bits recorded and put out on the Internet wouldn’t provide its own culture online, but it has. While 2010 and 2011 provided a resurgence in content (one that began in the mid-2000s), 2012 brought more of everything — more shows, guests, listeners, networks, sponsors, YouTube channels, festivals, live podcasts, apps, platforms and media coverage. What’s the secret to podcasting’s success? It’s fun, with an air of spontaneity. It’s intimate. It’s engaging. Most importantly, it’s driven by passion. Our industry’s biggest luminaries — my business partner Scott Aukerman, Paul Scheer, Chris Hardwick, Marc Maron, Jesse Thorn, Kevin Smith and Adam Carolla — have created TV shows, appeared in films and continue to perform live shows. But no matter how busy they get, they still do their podcasts every week. Sometimes more than once a week — because they love it, and so do their listeners. So where does that leave us for 2013? Here are my six predictions: More Money The revenue trend is decidedly up, led by advertising dollars (70 percent of our revenue comes from advertising). Earwolf surpassed $1 million in revenue during 2012. That’s up from $190,000 in 2011 and $19,000 in 2010. We started with a $30,000 initial investment with no external funding

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Beyond Marketing Clouds — The Age of Machine Learning

December 14, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The advent of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Adobe Marketing Cloud demonstrates the need for enterprises to develop new ways of harnessing the vast potential of big data. Yet these marketing clouds beg the question of who will help marketers, the frontline of businesses, maximize marketing spending and ROI and help their brands win in the end. Simply moving software from onsite to hosted servers does not change the capabilities marketers require — real competitive advantage stems from intelligent use of big data. Marc Benioff, who is famous for declaring that “Software Is Dead,” may face a similar fate with his recent bets on Buddy Media and Radian6. These applications provide data to people who must then analyze, prioritize and act — often at a pace much slower than the digital world. Data, content and platform insights are too massive for mere mortals to handle without costing a fortune. Solutions that leverage big data are poised to win — freeing up people to do the strategy and content creation that is best done by humans, not machines. Big data is too big for humans to work with, at least in the all-important analytical construct of responding to opportunities in real time — formulating efficient and timely responses to opportunities generated from your marketing cloud, or pursuing the never-ending quest for perfecting search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). The volume, velocity and veracity of raw, unstructured data is overwhelming. Big data pioneers such as Facebook and eBay have moved to massive Hadoop clusters to process their petabytes of information. In recent years, we’ve gone from analyzing megabytes of data to working with gigabytes, and then terabytes, and then petabytes and exabytes, and beyond. Two years ago, James Rogers, writing in The Street, wrote: “It’s estimated that 1 Petabyte is equal to 20 million four-door filing cabinets full of text.” We’ve become jaded to seeing such figures. But 20 million filing cabinets? If those filing cabinets were a standard 15 inches wide, you could line them up, side by side, all the way from Seattle to New York — and back again. One would need a lot of coffee to peruse so much information, one cabinet at a time. And, a lot of marketing staff. Of course, we have computers that do the perusing for us, but as big data gets bigger, and as analysts, marketers and others seek to do more with the massive intelligence that can be pulled from big data, we risk running into a human bottleneck. Just how much can one person — or a cubicle farm of persons — accomplish in a timely manner from the dashboard of their marketing cloud? While marketing clouds do a fine job of gathering data, it still comes down to expecting analysts and marketers to interpret and act on it — often with data that has gone out of date by the time they work with it

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CMO Council Report: Marketing Budgets on the Upswing

December 13, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While television should once again account for the lion’s share of global marketing spend in 2013, a disproportionate number of executives report that search is a far more effective medium through which to generate consumer demand. According to a new study from the Chief Marketing Officer Council, 27 percent of those surveyed said that TV was the most impactful medium through which to advertise one’s brand, whereas 44 percent said that search was the superior vehicle. Among the findings in the 55-page “State of Marketing 2012” report , executives are particularly enthused by search and social media but said that they are not satisfied with their current digital-marketing performance. Nearly half of the CMOs surveyed said that making over their digital strategy would be one of the most important challenges facing them in the New Year. Despite this apparent mandate for change, 64 percent of marketers are still budgeting fewer than $500,000 for digital spend, and 46 percent report that this figure represents less than 10 percent of their overall marketing spend.

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