In the Office

Week in Marketing: Mobile World, Emoji Use, Digital Marketing, Election Day, AR


Importance of Marketing in The Mobile World
It is so important for marketers to have an intensive mobile strategy. The mobile industry is so big right now; it is just needs to be tapped into correctly. There are 6.1 billion active smartphone users actively consumed by the information on their screen. It is surely worth understanding how to take advantage of opportunity.

Emoji Use Continues in Growth
Two big-name technology brands have brought the convenient use of emojis into the company. It seems to be a good option for targeting mobile-focused consumers. GoDaddy introduced emoji domains and Apple incorporated emojis into the new Macbook Pro “touch bar.”

Latest Digital Marketing Stats
Here are some insightful digital marketing stats about social media, VR, mobile advertising, and social research…just to name a few. Stay up-to-date with what is going on in the marketing industry.

Uber and Lyft Encourage Voting on Election Day
Uber and Lyft used marketing tactics this past Election Day to get people out there voting. Uber teamed up with Google to provide an in-app feature to help users find out where their polling place was then conveniently request a ride. Lyft offered a 45 percent discount. Both companies also offered discounts for new users.

Augmented Reality
AR, augmented reality, is projected to increase massively within the next few years. Pokémon Go is a great example. Some say AR will ultimately become a staple in marketing plans moving forward. How can AR play into tactics for a company? How can AR benefit a brand specifically? Read more…

Week In Marketing: Hype, Purchasing on Instagram, Fantasy Sports Merger, Reading

Vine to Hype
After the recent news of the upcoming downfall of the infamous Vine app. The app’s founders aren’t okay to live with defeat and are already working on a new video service, which they call Hype. This new video service is focused on the concept of live video broadcasts. As Vine lives out the rest of its last days and users live in the nostalgia, the new app is preparing to compete against competitors like Facebook and Twitter.


Purchasing on Instagram
How often are you interacting on Instagram and see items that you wish you could purchase? Well, the Facebook-owned app is working in a limited beta process which allows their users to purchase items through the media platform. Working with partners that include Kate Spade, J. Crew Warby Parker, and Macy’s, Instagram will allow these retail brands to tag items for sale in photos. When a user clicks on the products for sale it will take them directly to the site where they could purchase the item. Instagram is hoping to test how easy it is to discover the tags of the items, how much value does it create for the businesses incorporated, and how native does it feel for their users.

Big Fantasy Sports Merger
Two of the most infamous providers of fantasy sports are setting aside their differences and are on route to merging together. The news of the possible merger of Draft Kings and Fan Duel came only a week after each firm settled on a six million dollar settlement for lawsuits brought upon them by New York Attorney General Eric Schnedierman. As each company looks towards the future this power couple is expecting to make up over 90% of the daily fantasy sports market.

What’s Next in Reading
Amazon is promoting literacy through a reading app called Amazon Rapid. It was released on November 2nd as an attempt to get young readers – from seven to twelve years old – more active in reading. The readers will participate through dialogue with characters of the stories and then waits for the character to respond back to them.

Week In Marketing: 5G, Snapchat’s API, Star Wars Ads, Video Streaming, Drones

5G and the Future of Turbocharged Marketing
What will happen within the next three years? Wireless speeds are set to jump tenfold, making the current network look as antiquated as dial-up modems. What will be the full impact of 5G? — Longer battery life, consistent user experience across devices, switching sessions across devices, much faster live streaming and immersive video chats. Augmented reality and virtual reality will become mainstream. Cars, homes, and everyday devices will be connected, producing unbelievable amounts of data. What does all this mean for marketers?


Brands Use Snapchat’s API to Market Consumers
Snapchat’s API gives brands the ability to experiment, A/B test ads to see which perform the best and the adjust their campaign strategies on the fly. Through this platform, advertisers can use the API to target ads by information including age, gender, location and device. Brands are excited to connect with consumers and learn how the consumers desire to interact in terms of driving brand value and impact through Snap Ads API.

Star Wars Ad Spreads Excitement in Children’s Hospital
Duracell launched a holiday-themed ad preceding the the December premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The ad, titled “How the Rebels Saved Christmas,” plays off Duracell’s 1 million battery donation to power toys at 147 different Children’s Network Miracle Hospitals nationwide and their continued partnership with Star Wars. The ad aims to celebrate the power of children’s imaginative play even while enduring hard circumstances in a hospital, and is a sequel to its previous 2015 Star Wars themed ad, “Battle for Christmas Morning.”

Free Ad-Supported Video Streaming
Walmart launched “Vudu Movies on Us” which is a free, ad-supported video on demand. This launch offers consumers high definition films and TV shows with pre- and mid-roll ads. VP manager of Vudu, Jeremy Verba, stated, “Vudu is always looking for new ways for customers to save money, and nothing is more affordable than free.” According to a research conducted by Hub Entertainment, 53 percent of people prefer free ad-supported streaming over a monthly subscription.

Uber Uses Ads on Drones to Taunt Drivers
Uber is testing out new advertising tactics in Mexico City by flying drones over cars stuck in traffic in order to promote UberPOOL, which allows drivers to commute together in one car instead of everyone driving separately. These drones are carrying signs that state things like, “Driving by yourself?” and “This is why you can never see the volcanoes.” Uber’s new tactic is being used to guilt drivers into using UberPOOL.

Week in Marketing : Brand standards, Digital Marketing Stats, Clowns, Facebook’s Workplace, Podcasts

Social Media Policies Change for NFL Players
It is important to control an organization’s brand values and standards in all areas of marketing, including social media. The NFL recently announced that social media managers and players will not be allowed to post their own videos or GIFs . All live-streaming video platforms such as Periscope, Snapchat and Facebook Live are banned from use between the time of kickoff and an hour after the game. Teams that violate this policy will receive a hefty fine.


Must-See Digital Marketing Stats
This past week brought forth some eye-catching digital marketing stats. What makes digital marketing work so well for some and not for others? Companies can benefit from digital marketing, if done the right way. Here’s a report that attempts to give stats and advice to companies that utilize this marketing tactic.

Clowns Cause Marketing Woes
The recent frightening clown sightings have not only caused issues for the witnesses, but also for iconic brands. We all know who Ronald McDonald is and what he looks like. Sort of creepy right? McDonald’s decided to use less of Ronald McDonald in their upcoming marketing tactics until the clown sightings calm down.

Facebook Launches Workplace for Companies to Utilize
Facebook officially launches the new service called Workplace. About 1,000 organizations around the world are already using it. Workplace offers the ability to create and share in Groups or via chat, along with Live, Reactions, Search and Trending posts. There is also an added dashboard with analytics and integrations with single sign-on, which can allow the company to easily integrate Workplace into their existing IT systems. This is definitely a service to use or keep an eye out for.

Podcasts Making a Comeback
Podcasts have been around for a while. Since some 57 million Americans listen to them, they have grown in interest. Podcasts are mobile so listeners can listen to them anywhere at anytime. They also induce more emotion compared to the standard print option.

Fabulous Taylor!

Congratulations to Taylor Waddell. She has been promoted to Associate Account Executive.

taylor_waddellTaylor joined us right after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Now a skilled marketing communications professional, she is committed to producing top-notch work and has a willingness to take on the next challenge.

A media hound, Taylor has garnered some incredible local and national coverage for her clients: Eschelon Experiences, Valor Games Southeast, CORDURA® brand fabric, and KIOTI Tractor. She has also led the social media and blogger relations efforts for Precise Pet Products, who has more than doubled their fan base on Facebook thanks to Taylor.

Taylor is a diligent learner with a can-do attitude. We’re excited for all that she brings to Howard/Merrell and we’re looking forward to all she will accomplish in her new role!

Week in Marketing: Social Media Renovates, Samsung Reputation, VR, Amazon’s Alexa, Gr-r-reat


Social Media Platforms Renovate
After achieving major success in the digital era, social media platforms are attempting renovate themselves. Popular platforms like Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook are disconnecting from the “social” label and showing they’re much more. Each platform has become successful from their original upbringing as social media platforms, but they are ready to branch out into other avenues.

Samsung’s reputation in the Hot Seat
The month of September was not forgiving to Samsung and some of their products. After having to recall their new Note 7 devices because of faulty batteries that caused small fires, now the company is having issues with their washing machines. With the recall of two brand lines, people are starting to believe that the Samsung reputation may be tarnished.

Virtual Reality becoming an affordable reality
Google is making the ability to enjoy virtual reality more affordable for consumers with their new headsets. With an official release in November, the headsets will include three different colors for customers to choose from. It is considered the cheapest high profile option as Google makes their product a competitor of Samsung’s virtual reality gear.

If you have a question ask Alexa
Amazon’s new ads for the Echo and Echo dot have their users’ full questions that Alexa is ready to answer. Alexa is the voice response system that awakens the device when called upon. In the new ads, Amazon attempts to show how easily accessible the devices are and how it can help with everyday conundrums.

“Let Your Gr-r-reat Out”
Kellogg has decided to take a new direction on one of their most memorable marketing phrases. Tony the Tiger’s infamous “They’re Gr-r-reat” slogan is being changed to allow preteen adolescents the ability to express how great they are. Kellogg surveyed several preteens and dads as an attempt to understand how both parties felt about the old slogan. What they found out is that preteens wanted more opportunities to share about themselves and dads wanted the same.

Week In Marketing: Uber, Voting, Mobile Ads, Tech Giants, TV viewership

Uber now allows retailers to market directly to consumers and offer rides directly to their door
The ride-hailing app has expanded to make itself a marketing platform for large retail chains. Brands can now incorporate a link to the Uber app within their own apps and websites that automatically input the nearest retail location as the destination. car-1509852_1920While consumers still pay for their rides, retailers can offer promotional deals and campaign offers once the consumer clicks on the link.
This new service is just in time for the holiday shopping season and is expected to be widely successful in densely populated urban cities (such as NYC) but critics are skeptic as to the new service’s ability to thrive in smaller communities.

Media Platforms initiate campaigns to encourage voter registration
Last Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day and Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter each unveiled their own “register to vote” initiative in an attempt to get potential voters prepared and able to vote in the national, state and local elections that will take place in the next month and a half. This move is meant to encourage millennial voters who not only tend to have one of the lowest voter turnout rates among voter segments, but also comprise nearly two thirds of the following for presidential candidate accounts. The general “register to vote” ad campaign also adopted by Google and Snapchat last week is centered around the simplicity of registering and the importance of everyone making their voices heard. Additionally, Instagram is partnering with major news outlets such as CNN and CBS to increase their initiative’s reach and number of impressions.

Facebook’s Advertising week focuses on the growth of mobile and video
Facebook held their advertising conference this week to talk about their own advertising products with journalists and to discuss industry trends, mainly the massive opportunities for mobile advertising. It has become clear that mobile is a big challenge but can have a big payoff since it is the most convenient way to reach consumers no matter where they are. Facebook’s second-quarter earnings report revealed that 85% of their $6.44 billion in ad revenue came from mobile devices, yet one third of domestic small businesses don’t utilize this segment at all. Other highlights and key discussion points from the conference were Facebook’s focus of monetizing video, the need for better ad metrics, sound in autoplay videos, and the possibility of header bidding.

Tech Titans team up to take on the stigmas of Artificial Intelligence
Many giants of our modern digital world teamed up to dismiss qualms and fears regarding Artificial Intelligence and make it appear approachable and safe. Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft formed this cooperative mission that has been named the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society. These tech behemoths will conduct research, suggest best practices and release all of their findings to promote fairness and transparency as a gesture of good will towards AI skeptics. A study was conducted by Time Etc early in the summer and discovered that 26% of consumers claim that they would not tryst a robot or ai-based machine with personal or professional tasks. It will be interesting to see if these five companies can comfort consumers and gain their trust for real-life versions of AI-based robots.

Google reveals that YouTube continues to gain on TV
YouTube recently released the results of a large-scale survey examining the video viewing habits among adults. The study revealed that adults are five times as likely to watch video online than they are through linear. It also showed that 92% of YouTube viewers use the video service’s mobile app while at home and that two-thirds of respondents use their mobile devices during a TV ad break. Other key YouTube updates include that viewership of television content on YouTube is up 230% since 2013 and that YouTube makes up over 50% of people’s time watching online video on television.

Week In Marketing: Apps, Upside Down Room, Online Content, Teaser Campaign, Instagram

Data Shows Marketing Drives App Installs
Millennials have continually taken the lead as the consumers who regularly use smartphone apps. That will likely continue. Additionally, new data shows other audiences are starting to use apps even more. In order to effectively market and engage all audiences, it is important to understand how to reach them. Here are some tips.


The Upside-Down Room
Marriott attempts to “push the limits of design” by showcasing the #MGravityRoom in attempts to build enthusiasm on social media for the new renovations. Marriott’s upside-down room is a replica of their new guest rooms, which include a closet, desk, and TV that appear to float on the ceiling and walls, and are currently being implemented in their hotels across the U.S. Along with general cosmetic updates, this new design is based off the feedback from their customers, and Marriott believes the design is more multifunctional and hopes to reinvent the travel experience.

Transform Your Online Content With Visuals
Many marketers are looking to interact more with their key audiences online. Effective content marketing is key – and don’t forget content means visual as well as the written word. Here are some tips to help engage key audiences and encourage them to invest in your brand.

How NBC Scored 10 Million Viewers
NBC debut of ‘This Is Us’ brought in 10 million viewers and had the highest demo rating of any new Fall show. NBC managed to score this many viewers from its trailer and summer-long marketing campaign. The trailer entice all ages by previewing what the show is all about without revealing the big plot twists. NBC believes the success stemmed from connecting viewers with things they really care about: people, family, parenting, and the heart. NBC plans to continue marketing the show without revealing or mentioning the twist.

“Delete To Feed” Campaign
Land O’Lakes created a new ad campaign titled ‘Delete to Feed’ in order to help Feeding America end hunger. The campaign asks Instagram users to simply delete one food photo from their accounts, and in return, for each food photo deleted, they will donate 11 meals to those in need. The campaign’s target goal is to donate 2.75 million meals. Land O’Lakes has set up an Delete to Feed website to keep track of their progress in which Instagram users can connect their accounts and show which food photo they choose to delete. Wonder what Instragram thinks about this campaign.

Week In Marketing: NFL Emojis, Read Receipts, Email Marketing, Good and Bad Campaigns

Unique NFL Emojis Offered to Twitter Users
The NFL has teamed up with Twitter to keep the emoji trend going. Twitter users are now able to use unique emojis in their tweets for every one of the 32 teams. This announcement came after the statement that Twitter would be streaming certain Thursday night games during this upcoming NFL season. Every team has an exclusive hashtag and emoji. The NFL announced the news with a video.

Twitter Adds ‘Read Receipts’ to Messenger
Twitter has decided to add ‘read receipts’ to its mobile messaging service. There will now be a little blue check mark that indicates when the recipient has read the message. This feature differs from Facebook Messenger because users will be allowed to opt out of this option. Twitter also announced to users to expect ‘typing indicators’ that will tell the person on the other side of the social platform when someone is typing.

Advice on Email Marketing
Apple Watches are slowly penetrating mobile technology, especially with the second iteration of the Apple Watch expected to start shipments starting soon. It is becoming a reality that many consumers will first read their emails on their wrists. This leads to some concerns for email marketers. Here are some tips to ensure that those emails are readable on ones wrist screen.

Subway’s Campaign for a Clean Slate
Subway decided it is time wipe away its past and start again with new ingredients and a new logo. Subway plans to use fresh locally grown produce that is free of artificial preservatives. Along with that, the Subway logo was redesigned to portray the brand in a “fresh, contemporary look.” Subway filmed a commercial and created a trending hashtag #SearchForBetter. This new effort is gearing towards the consumer’s goal towards a healthier appetite.

Mattress Company Criticized for 9/11 Sale
Miracle Mattress received backlash from its 9/11 promotion sale. The store created a controversial commercial regarding their “Twin Tower Sale.” This made the public furious leading to many negative comments on the store’s Facebook page and Twitter. The ad was quickly removed and the CEO sent out a letter on its Facebook page stating that the store will be closed ‘indefinitely.’ A good example on how marketing can go totally wrong if not done correctly.

Week In Marketing: Conversion Tracking, iPhone Backlash, Airbnb Discrimination, Video Marketing, NFL Cans, Most Interesting Man

LinkedIn Introduces Conversion Tracking for Sponsored Content and Ads
LinkedIn announced a conversion tracking method for marketing users to measure their ads and sponsored content. This feature was a “most-requested” tool by brand managers in order to have the convenience of measuring content downloads, number of signups, and purchases from their campaigns. The conversion tracking will allow brand managers the convenience of assessing their target audiences. PR and marketing executives also benefit from this feature by yielding specific ad campaign results.


Apple Receives Twitter Backlash Over New iPhone
Immediately following Apple’s big iPhone 7 introduction, Twitter users expressed their dislike and disappointment over the new wireless ear pieces. The new iPhone 7 does not include a headphone jack; instead, Apple wants users to buy wireless ear pieces, called “AirPods,” for $159 a pair. Concerning the headphone jack controversy over Twitter, Amobee Brand Intelligence stated that 29 percent showed negative responses, 60 percent stayed neutral, and only 10 percent showed positive approval. Although the initial reviews may be negative, Apple has provided an impressive history of making radical changes on their devices which, in the long run, always produces an increased positive product performance.

Airbnb Addresses Discrimination Problem
Airbnb has been hit with many discrimination cases, and as a result, they released a 32-page outlined report stating a new policy on how they plan to address the discrimination problem. Airbnb has had multiple incidents in which users say hosts have canceled or rejected their reservations due to race or characteristics. Airbnb expressed their extreme disapproval of discrimination and bias and is working on eliminating this problem as well as “setting an example that other companies can follow.” Airbnb has taken steps to change this situation by hiring a whole product team to fight against bias and discrimination.

Starbucks Dives Into Video Marketing and Announces New Menu Items
Starbucks decided it was time to jump into the video marketing platform in the “purest form” with their new series called “Upstanders.” Upstanders follows inspiring stories of ordinary people producing positive changes in their communities. This new video series has already gained 20 million downloads on mobile devices, and Chief of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, stated that their goal with this platform was to, “be authentic and the stories needed to be about the people and not about our company and marketing Starbucks.” On the other hand, Starbucks recently released a new brunch menu that should appear in at all Starbucks locations in the near future.

Bud Light Provides Football Fans With NFL Team Cans
Bud Light has taken their NFL can ad, “This Is Your Can’s Year” to the next level. Bud light released their 75 second ad displaying their limited time cans celebrating each individual NFL fan by providing beer cans with their team on it. Senior marketing director Mark Goldman expressed his excitement stating, “Just like wearing your favorite player’s jersey or team colors is a badge of honor, so is drinking from your Bud Light team can.”

Dos Equis Announces New ‘Most Interesting Man’
Dos Equis shifts to a more modern approach with their famous ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ ad campaign as former Most Interesting Man, Jonathan Goldsmith, retired. Dos Equis decided a contemporary change would be refreshing by hiring the new face of the campaign, Augustin Legrand. Dos Equis incorporated new twists on the old classic ad, by making the new Most Interesting Man more adventure and action driven instead of reminiscing on the past as the previous MIM did, while keeping the same voiceover beginning. Dos Equis is looking forward to the new spin on their ad, hoping fans will enjoy this new character as the ad debu’s.