Your brand is not your own anymore. It belongs to consumers, to social media and, frankly, to whoever is talking about you. In fact, the growing importance of social media is giving rise to a new type of marketing that Shiv Singh, the vice president and social media lead at Razorfish and author of the just-released book Social Media Marketing for Dummies dubbed, in a recent report, "Social influence marketing."
In early 2009, Verizon Wireless knew it was headed for a showdown with AT&T. Months away was Verizon's pact with Google, the launch of the Droid smartphone and the company's effort to elbow AT&T out of the iPhone contract. It was dawning on the phone giant, known as "Big Red," that to be iPhone-worthy, it had better get acquainted with the insular, urban-teen and young-adult demo that sets the youth agenda.
How local can global go? Publicis Groupe's mobile marketing agency Phonevalley may not be planning global mobile domination quite yet, but it certainly has a worldwide plan. Since its acquisition by Publicis in 2007, Phonevalley has brought mobile expertise into 30 of the company's agencies in 10 countries. If 2009 was the year that most media companies got mobile religion, then Phonevalley best demonstrated what it means to share the best practices across borders but respect the regional differences in media usage.
A vital connection is made: It didn't matter how ugly the online ad industry got in 2009, iCrossing managed to shrug it off. Research firm eMarketer estimates companies spent $22.4 billion, down 4.6 percent from the prior year, for online advertising in the United States.
Flipping and mixing recession? What recession? While the agency business was hit hard by the economic downturn last year, AKQA enjoyed one of its "most productive and fruitful years ever," says AKQA global creative director Rei Inamoto.
Tougher than leather: Like the prehistoric relic its name conjures, Razorfish, one of the very first interactive agencies, has weathered cataclysmic shifts in the online environment, surviving two recessions and remaining intact through four acquisitions.
Vertical ad networks once promised deeper service based on transparency, so-called "expert" knowledge of niche audiences, and a more effective way to reach users than the big horizontal networks. But have they delivered?
Call it anthropomorphism, or more accurately, call it a lucrative market. Dog owners are a marketer's best friend - even when the task at hand isn't pushing pet products. Despite their high maintenance, dogs remain the most popular pet in the United States, with 45.6 million households owning 77.5 million canines, according to the American Pet Products Association's 2009/2010 National Pet Owners Survey. They're a spendy bunch, forking over an estimated $45.4 billion in 2009. The lion's share of that goes to food, but the APPA expected spending on general supplies and over-the-counter medications to total $10.2 billion.
It's no surprise that people spent less on gifts this holiday season, but a somewhat surprising Nielsen survey reveals that of those dollars being spent, even less went online. Bargain hunting is the norm during the holiday season, and this year it seems that shoppers used the Web more to compare and contrast than to purchase.
Hamlet asked, "To be or not to be?" Advertisers have to ponder "To bid or not to bid?" - on their own name. And it is the question brand managers have the most trouble answering. Sometimes bidding on your own name is a smart idea, other times it just does not make sense. The answer must be considered in the context of many, often unrelated, factors.