Three of the top 10 most-read stories in the space revolved around the ways that companies -- particularly PepsiCo -- were using new technologies to enhance their marketing programs. "Pepsi to Intro Geo-based Loyalty Program was about the company's Foodservice division working with Foursquare on loyalty rewards based on check-ins at local businesses, while the company scored yet again with its PepsiCo10 initiative, which rewarded 10 marketing entrepreneurs who had ideas to use innovative media and technology to market its diverse portfolio of brands.
"As it becomes more challenging to engage consumers, and as new [media] platforms emerge, we thought: 'What better way to get in with them and support them?'" Seth Kaufman, PepsiCo's director of media strategy and investment, told Marketing Daily, for the publication of the latter story. "There's lots of emerging technology and emerging platforms. The question is, how can they connect brands with consumers?"
Such brand engagement dominated the list. Readers were looking to see which companies were doing a particularly good job connecting with consumers (tech and new-media companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo and eBay scored high on the list). Shortly after that story appeared, a marketing executive repeated it back to me, not knowing I had written it as a way to make her point about how brands needed to do a better job understanding what their consumers want, particularly in the realm of search marketing.
Reckitt-Benckiser looked to deepen consumer understanding of the company behind brands such as Lysol, Clearasil and Woolite with its own Facebook game, "poweRBrands, designed to mimic the real-life world of an RB marketing executive. Meanwhile, Levi's tried to employ some cross-media magic, using Shazam's song-identifying technology to enhance its already high-profile Super Bowl commercial.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, Boost Mobile's debut on the big game garnered enough reads to land on the list, although it's possible most of those people were from Chicago, wanting to see an update of the famed Super Bowl Shuffle. (The spot itself scored a respectable 15th on USA Today's Ad Meter post-game rankings.)
Mobile phones and mobile technologies also continued to be hot topics, with readers interested in App downloads and mobile phone usage in the retail space -- both areas which will likely see more development in the coming year. And what would a technology/consumer electronics space be without at least one mention of Apple?
Finally, the list rounds itself out with the age-old question, "What do women want? with a new media twist. Turns out it's personalized ads (which is probably what men and kids want, too).