Building the Next Generation Marketing Platforms

Bryan Fuhr, SVP, Director of Strategy, Havas Digital is working with his clients to build their next generation digital platforms.

The above video interview is from the Effie Awards judging event in NYC.

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Bryan Fuhr, SVP, Director of Strategy, Havas Digital is working with his clients to build their next generation platforms — hardware, software and content — to engage consumers and help those brands find greater economic value in their relationships.

Fuhr sees us as being past the point of experimentation with social media marketing. It’s a must for brands wanting to shift consumer preferences and be involved in conversation and culture. As social continues to expand as part of our marketing arsenals, Fuhr recommends “spreading your eggs” across multiple channels, based on where people are spending their time and what they are doing while they are there. Facebook is not the only player and Fuhr sees value in even the much-maligned MySpace for some of his clients.

Considering the near ubiquity of mobile devices, Fuhr observes an absence of mobile experimentation. Mobile success, he states, relies on content that is discoverable, readable, relevant, useful, meaningful and actionable.

Fuhr offers glimpses of Havas Digital’s work with Fidelity and Volvo as examples of the challenges in creating more robust assets in the digital space.

Know the Right Places and Times for Consumer Engagement

Brands acknowledge that there are better ways to reach and talk to customers than the techniques we’ve used in the past.

The above video interview is from the Effie Awards judging event in NYC.

Sponsored by
brands, agencies, social marketing, online video, tumblr, pinterest, facebook, youtube, content marketing, consumers, eyeballs, display advertising, ana, association of national advertisers, iab, 4as

Brands acknowledge that there are better ways to reach and talk to customers than the techniques we’ve used in the past. For Barb Goose, EVP at Digitas, those goals are achieved by delivering insightful messages to highly targeted audiences with “in the moment” relevancy.

Goose sees the smartest companies thinking about targeting and retargeting to find the right people and delivering a personalized message. One-offs are less effective than smart, branded content used on multiple channels, such as social and mobile, in a consistent, integrated way.

In this interview, Goose illustrates her points with information on work with client Harley Davidson to encourage more women to ride its motorcycles. The engagement process starts with an understanding of who the women are and how they spend their days. The core messages seek to take away the scare factor for women, so Harley seeks women who ride and are in the target audience’s social circles to serve as active or passive influencers to facilitate sharing of the educational information.

Goose also speaks of the new definition of CRM. She cites companies pivoting their loyalty programs by going from an emphasis on points to integration of social, mobile and other channels. Databases, she comments, can be used in partnership with people’s behaviors with the goal of providing personal responses in real time.

Whither Mobile Advertising?

The underwhelming performance of mobile advertising.

Watch all video interviews from the Advertising Research Foundation Audience Measurement conference.     
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Language matters and it reflects what we think we know. Some years ago a client, a wise, senior executive at a cpg company, explained to me that the first TV ad was produced by pointing a camera at a radio show. That’s what they knew, that was their frame of reference.

Over time, brand and direct marketers learned that combining moving pictures with audio could result in a unique set of characteristics and attributes for the purpose of commercial persuasion.

The early internet was characterized by ”brochureware,” an inelegant word meant to describe the transfer of content (and form) from a print brochure to a web site, again based on the current frame of reference. Early web advertising was not even that advanced with few standards or measures.

And now we talk about mobile advertising. Let’s review some numbers: mobile devices today are distributed at a scale representing two of every three people on earth. This includes approximately 290 million people in the US or a penetration of over 90%. This is just below the 292 million in the US who have access to a television, and above the 228 million who are online. Annual TV advertising expenditures are approximately $70 billion and $24 billion online.

But after a decade of trying, mobile advertising accounts for approximately $400 million, while celebratory pronouncements of its growth rate predict it will be $1.6 billion over the next four years. Why the celebration? More importantly, why the dismal performance?

The characteristics of commercially successful communications channels can be thought of as a combination of scale, precision, efficient utilization and effectiveness. Mobile has scale. And it is a uniquely individual device with the ability to be “precise” in its targeting. What it does not possess is an efficient “eco system” of standards, platform, proposals, purchasing, data, reporting and metrics. And therefore it cannot yet demonstrate its true effectiveness.

The mobile industry continues to be dominated by brilliant technologists who produce brilliant consumer devices and wage the fight for platform world domination. A business point of view, a more commercially viable “attitude” would see and embrace the opportunity to network the distribution, standardize the advertisER experience, and most importantly, make the consumer advertising experience relevant, seamless and measurably effective.

Mobile will win. User acceptance will insure that it will be a major advertising medium. The question is how many years, or decades more will be lost before the total commercial value proposition is understood and practiced by an industry, rather than by a collection of powerful individual players?

Mobile Market Needs Some Juice

Audio: Swing a cat and you’re liable to hit two people kibbitzing about their bells and whistles on their cell phones. But as far as marketers are concerned, mobile advertising is still untested. A lack of standards among the carriers and adequate measurement are two of the major sticking points. I spoke with a few media executives about where mobile advertising goes from here.


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Complex. Immature. But, oh, the possibilities are endless. The way many parents talk about their children is the same way that marketing executives talk about mobile advertising.

The current and future state of mobile advertising was the subject of a one-day forum earlier this week presented by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Mobile technology, while all the rage among consumers, is for marketers still considered very much in the nascent stage. Questions abound regarding CPMs, measurement tools and whether telephone companies will join together to create standards for mobile advertising (don’t hold your breath). And the “real estate” on cell phones is tiny, making ad sales on cell phones even more problematic.

Nonetheless, mobile advertising is starting to garner a bigger share of media spending. “Marketers are discarding old ways of doing business and finding new processing and relationship standards that will make them more comfortable” with mobile advertising, said Randall Rothenberg, president-CEO of IAB. Right now, Rothenberg said, major marketers typically devote about $500,000 to $750,000 of product/service budget to mobile advertising (as opposed to much bigger dollars devoted to branding). “That’s still small relative to classic consumer-brand marketing,” but the dollars targeting mobile advertising are bound to grow as the market matures, Rothenberg added.

John Burbank, chief marketing officer of The Nielsen Co., who spoke on a panel about mobile analytics, said: “As soon as the eco-system [of mobile] delivers more valuable stuff, people will pay for additional services…and the stuff that’s most interesting (read: non-voice tools) is the least mature.” He added: “It’s not just carriers, publishers or advertisers, but the entire eco-system working together.”

I was able to gather some more intelligence from various players with an interest in the development of mobile marketing. In order, I spoke with Rich Begert, president-CEO of SinglePoint, which is a conduit between advertisers and networks that are targeting mobile users; Jeffrey Litvack, global director of new media markets for AP Digital, who talked about the AP’s recently launched Mobile News Network and Evan Neufeld, VP-analyst at comScore, who addressed trends in mobile analytics. (Neufeld was previously VP-analyst at M:Metrics, which was acquired by comScore in May, so he knows his was around the digital landscape.)

Enjoy.