Study: Marketers biggest social media challenges in 2015

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One of the latest reports around social media tells us that measuring ROI (60%) is still the most challenging aspect for marketers when facing all their social media efforts. This is the main message from a report by Simply Measured and TrustRadius.

The findings that are based on some survey data from almost 600 social media practitioners between February and March 2015 also show that other top challenges are tying social activities to business outcomes (50%), developing a social media strategy (48%), and securing enough internal resources (40%).

Social Media Challenges Trustradius 2015

Although the main message is clear, there are some small variances between company sizes when separated int small businesses (1-50 employees), midsize companies (51-1,000 employees), and enterprises (more than 1,000 employees). While smaller companies struggle setting up and developing their own social media strategy, enterprises are trying to secure enough internal resources to master their social media efforts.

The integration of social media into the overall business is also a big way to go obviously. First of all is the alignment of social media goals with the overall business goals not fully connected. But even more challenging is the question whether all the efforts generate some business impact. Many marketers are working intensely with data and analytics to optimize their marketing strategies but the proof seems not yet been given.

Maybe this is all based on the missing tool strategy, which is also one of the major findings of the report (not surprisingly based on study makers). How to manage and measure social media activities, is often not a question of whether companies know the tools but still they are predominantly sourcing the monitoring out for example, and then wonder why data gets not interpreted properly. Also, some are not happy with their tool choice.

Social Media Metrics Trustradius 2015

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The findings are not surprising when the targets from all three company sizes is brand awareness. Still, companies should be able to better understand KPIs in the social selling process. It seems that companies and brands still have not yet understood the value of a friend, follower, LIKE, share or a comment. Furthermore, they still do not have the opportunity to link their data findings and their social media engagement back to some CRM database in order to leverage data sets around their customers. Furthermore, the missing social sales strategy combined with a clear lead processing and management is essential, and most companies do not have an answer here. Obviously, a lot of support in the social media set-up is still appreciated.

Not? Then tell us what you think…

2014 Trends in Content Marketing [Infographic]

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The perspective of Uberflip „predicts“ that there are some obvious trends coming up in content marketing.

Not surprisingly, a „director of content“ might be the new team member in companies. This might be nothing new when compared with our job title predictions for web strategy at the beginning of 2013. Some other aspects of Uberflip include: higher quality of content, content curation, multiscreen marketing, and what every consultant will love: bigger budgets for hopefully better content.

„Brands will step up their game by integrating great journalism and storytelling into their strategies,“ states Uberflip.

Let’s hope their predictions proof to become reality. Or maybe, you see some other development in the near future. Why not share it with us…?

Content-Marketing-2014-infographic

Online trolls are simply bored, study finds

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trolling road signMany brand managers ask themselves (and us in seminars) how a shitstorm begins. We most often tell them that many shitstorms are not real business problem but more a „verbal foul-mouthed fart“ as we called it some weeks ago in one of the courses at the Executive Campus of the University of St. Gallen.

However, it is obvious that trolling increased in recent years with the rise of Facebook pages, online communities and newspaper comment which spread across the web with insults and provocations. Now, a recent academic study by Dr Claire Hardaker of Lancaster University of almost 4,000 trolling cases states that internet trolls travel on the anonymity of the web and can come from all ages on backgrounds.

„Aggression, deception and manipulation are increasingly part of online interaction, yet many users are unaware not only that some of these behaviours exist, but of how destructive and insidious they can be. The image of trolling is that it is mainly the work of young people, but the fact is trolls come from all ages and backgrounds. They will use different strategies to trigger the response they want from people. Some of these are a lot sneakier than others. It is not just about personal abuse.“ Dr Claire Hardaker, Lancaster University

In an article of the Journal of Language, Aggression and Conflict soon to be published, Dr Claire Hardaker warns that trolls have become more sophisticated. Still, she gives advice on how to identify troll attacks. She shows the detailed approach that trolls make use of and makes clear that the trigger is often amusement,

Here are the seven deadly sins of trolling and how they are effective
1) Digressing from the topic at hand, especially onto sensitive topics.
Not necessarily overtly argumentative, this tactic frustrates its targets with its pointlessness and circularity. Digression onto sensitive topics triggers the strongest reactions.

2) Hypocriticising, especially for a fault that the critic then displays themself.
A simple tactic, often this is pedantic criticism of grammar, spelling or punctuation in a post which itself contains proofreading errors to provoke exasperated responses from others.

3) Antipathising, by taking up an alienating position, asking pseudo-naive questions, etc.
This tactic is heavily reliant on deceiving the group it is aimed at and covertly manipulates egos, sensitivities, morals and feelings of guilt, usually to trigger emotional responses. It can also create moral dilemmas.

4) Endangering others by giving dangerous advice, encouraging risky behaviour, etc.
A trolling strategy designed to masquerade as help or advice whilst actually causing harm and/or forcing others to respond to prevent harm. It relies on the target’s social responsibility and moral obligation.

5) Shocking others by being insensitive about sensitive topics, explicit about taboo topics, etc.
This appears to succeed mainly due to the strength of feeling provoked by the deeply personal and extraordinarily hurtful nature of the troll’s insensitivity. It triggers a desire to retaliate that is stronger than the desire to deny the troll the satisfaction of a response.

6) Aggressing others by insulting, threatening, or otherwise plainly attacking them without (adequate) provocation.
This is open and deliberate aggression without any clear justification with the aim of antagonising its target into retaliating.

7) Crossposting – sending the same offensive or provocative message to multiple groups then waiting for the response.

Do you have any hints and tips how to work with internet trolls? Share them, we are sure most readers will enjoy your advice.

Mobile Advertising: Performance gets better, and Google takes 50% of revenue

18.06.2013 von  
Kategorie Mobile

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mobile-webThere are different views on why mobile advertising is performing. However, some new studies might spread some light: one form TNS and one from SessionM which did their study in cooperation with Millward Brown. The study SessionM published today shows that consumers react positively twice as often to mobile ads… but only as long as they get some value out of it.

Mobile banners are most used from smartphone owners when they get a gift card, coupon, events tickets or loyalty points. Although this gives some good insight in the ranking of the preferred mobile engagement options, consumers want to know what benefit they get out of the digital experience. It means that marketers need to be clever and having some good approach. The surveyed consumers replied that the way mobile ads are presented was crucial to their feedback.

The study makes clear that the mobile strategies need to be clear to the consumer, said Lars Albright, CEO of SessionM: „The questions are, ‚What value am I bringing to the consumer?‘ And, ‚How am I doing it?'“ It asked 1,000 consumers in a digital survey, as well as a dozen participants in each four hour interviews. 93% of respondents said they had the opportunity to choose a reward in exchange for their smartphone time was „important“. This comes as no surprise after the latest Adobe study telling us that often digital advertising is found „annoying“.

The difference between rewards-based mobile ads and different types of on-the-go promos was that rewards-based mobile ads performed better for purchase consideration (+65), the brand in brand interaction (+14%), branded website traffic (+13%), web searches (+8%), in-store shopping for the brand (+6%), and approaching the brand’s social media pages (+5%). Obviously, the user can be handled and does not always see banners as „annoying and invasive“.

Finally, while a lot of industry players see location-based services as the key to mobile’s future, Joline McGoldrick, research director at Dynamic Logic, Millward Brown’s digital practice, spoke about how interest-level marketing can be a huge help to the space. „Targeting is getting better in mobile,“ Joline McGoldrick, Research Director at Dynamic Logicsaid, „but it is still not perfect.“

eMarketer 2013Now, although mobile ad revenue is far from reaching big amounts of ad spendings, many marketers see it as a growth area. Whatever the number that is attached to total mobile ad revenue worldwide is, Google is the leader with over half of surveyed people according to eMarketer. And if you see the numbers it seems that Gogle is still not happy with the budget chunk they do get, reaching out for more it seems. But also Facebook investors will see some light at the end of the tunnel with mobile ads on the rise. However, Google might like the competition but all that market dominance simply making way for some more challenging competition.

It will be interesting to see who will come up as the leader in this cmpetition, who can compete with Google in general, and will Google continue to grow their business? You tell us your views….

A New Don: How the sales profession has evolved from the Mad Men era

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As a fan of the series „Mad Men“ TV series, I have to share this comparison of the sales profession development with you. When we compare the decades from 1950-2010, we realizte that there were some significant differences. From Don and his friends‘ wild office parties and massive whisky as well as martini consumption to a straight organized reality where sales automation has taken over and social media rules the communication between people.

Although, we still here at the universities and in seminars from the advertising Gods like Leo Burnett and David Ogilvy, Don Draper’s world has seen a radical shift in sales profession. But in which direction…? The guys from Leads360 have created an infographic that defines the main trends we saw lately…
– 1960: In-person pitch.
– 1970: Door-to-door vacuum pitch.
– 1980: Not really specified in any direction…
– 1990: In the beginning email messaging, later customer relationship management (CRM)
– 2000: Social integration (Social Media)
– 2010: Intelligent sales automation

„Over the last 50 years, many of these fundamental sales strategies have remained incredibly valuable,“ states the infographic. Maybe you find the reasons why when reading through it.

Today, we are talking of Facebook as the barbeque with „friends and fans“ and of Twitter as the chatter at the toilet. Well, it seems that we haven’t moved away from socializing. Maybe we just need to add some drinks next to our screens…

The_New_Don_Infographic_Sales

Study: Content Marketing is becoming big in B2B, focus is shifting…

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A recent study by Curata identified the main drivers of content marketing activities in B2B companies. The findings are based on Curata’s poll of 465 B2B marketing professionals in October 2012 from business owners, VPs of Marketing, CMOs, managers, marketing consultants and agencies.

The study explains that content marketing continues to become more and more important for B2B marketers. However, the drivers for content strategies are shifting towards thought leadership and market education.

The results show that 87% of responding B2B marketing professionals use content marketing for business goals targets (5% increase to 2011). Content marketing gets followed by SEO (67%) and event marketing (60%) as further leading channels in marketing strategies in 2012.

Further findings of the study show that although engaging customers (81%) has top priority for their content marketing efforts, thought leadership and educating the market are increasing in their importance for the business. More than half of B2B marketers (56%) state thought leadership as a key objective (13% increase to 2011). Also, educating the market (47%) increased by 3% to last year. Just 24% see SEO as a key objective (still a 5% increase to last year). Former top marketing tactics (print/TV/radio) went down from 32% to 26% this year.

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Lead generation is still one of the key marketing goals for B2B marketers according to the survey. Most B2B marketers (82%) see driving sales and leads as their top marketing goal. Establishing thought leadership (42%), increasing brand awareness (40%), or increasing Web traffic (32%) follow in the next places. Content curation is also getting traction as the next step in content marketing. 57% of B2B marketers see it as an important evolution step. However, content curation is in it’s infancy when only 34% of curating content marketers have done it since six months or less. Quite scary I found that a staggering 43% of B2B marketers don’t measure the efficiency of their content marketing efforts. I found interesting that the topic brand advocates was not on the spot in terms of content marketing in this study.

How Mobile Marketing and B2B work together (video)

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We have already shared some information on a Google and Compete study that shows why B2B and mobile have a close connection. And the most relevant information from a mobile point of view can be taken from eMarketer graphic.

The importance of mobile for B2B is partly as business decision makers are frequent travelers, thus most connected business people, and partly as smartphones and tablets have given them a new freedom. And today, we also know from CNBC research that executives in Europe see the increasing value of being engaged on Twitter. B2B managers can and have their conversations anytime-anywhere from their devices.

But what is the marketing potential it offers for companies then?

As business decision makers by their definition have to be fast in their decision making process, today’s professionals need to be connected, informed, and productive wherever they are traveling, or whenever they are in meetings. As of that mobile devices give B2B marketing new opportunities to open up new relationships if using apps, QR codes or video in an intelligent way.

In her YouTube channel, on Twitter and in her blog) Christina CK Kerley shares her knowledge on mobile B2B strategies alongside some good cases. Her latest video gives some insight in how B2B marketers can use mobile to connect the offline and the online world in order to leverage B2B printed ads, to integrate the customers‘ voice into video, or to bolster B2B thought-leadership content through images, video and text.

Study ConnectedTV – What’s the leading strategy?

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© carlos castilla - Fotolia.com

GoogleTV or AppleTV? How is the future of connected TV going to look like? TV and Internet companies realize the power of connected TV but are still not quite sure what’s the most effective TV strategy to go forward.

This is the main finding of a recent study conducted by MPP Global Solutions which tried to figure out which company has the best strategy to be successful in terms of the connected TV market. The findings of the study which was done during an online webinar showed that the respondents were undecided on where the successful future could be found.

The research which was called ‚Redrawing the Lines in the Battle for the Living Room‘ states that just 26% of senior industry managers identified Apple’s future TV service as successful in the long run. However, this findings was also mentioned by others with 22% who saw Google-TV and Netflix (17%) as creating the right effective strategy for the future. The MPP Global Solutions study analyzed the current position of the connected TV market as a whole and the major players within the industry.

„This inconclusive result reflects the content of the discussion; that the Connected-TV market is still coming out of the early adopter phase and even major players such as Apple, Google and Netflix are still trying to identify the best approach for success“. James Eddleston, Head of Marketing, MPP Global Solutions.

Although some big companies like Google, Apple and the likes are working on their connectedTV strategy, the user is not there yet. A recent study by YouGov found out that just 35% of connected TV owners use their devices for on-demand services, with one in four (25%) having never connected it to the internet at all. It will take time until the user is following the connected TV trend as a whole. The study makers said connected TV sales is set to increase by 70% by 2016.

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For companies trying to address the connected TV market, it is essential to develop an effective strategy for the right user experience. Until companies find some intelligent solution the user will probably stay with the magic combination: TV and the second screen: smartphones and tablets. At the moment, users love to do multitasking as we learned from the latest Yahoo and Razorfish study. The respondents of that study said 80% do multitasking while watching TV. More than 60% use their mobiles once or twice while watching TV. And I am quite sure this will stay for quite a while. Or is the split screen a solution? Or the one-in-one program as a time-shift solution? While you change to the internet, the TV program goes in a stand-by mode?

And we will say… These were my Facebook days!

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Facebook is not new? Well, correct… Facebook is complete new! It writes our lives…

I just realized how Facebook ruled my last three days offline and online…

On Tuesday, I was shaking hands with Carolyn Everson, (Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions) after her presentation on stage at the dmexco Conference 2011. Yesterday morning, I enjoyed an espresso with Scott Woods, Commercial Director DACH at Facebook. In the afternoon, I was moderating a panel on engaged consumer advertising strategies. Topic: Facebook. Obviously, Facebook was one of the main topics we discussed…

And then, the evening came with the big announcements. I was on the train watching the announcement of the new Facebook features at the f8 conference. Techcrunch told us how to get into the new Facebook in minutes. However, only the owner can see it until the 30th of September.

And what can I say… Welcome to my Facebook life!

The main three changes for me…
– the massive lead picture – reminded me of a former Myspace design.
– the two frame structure – offers a quicker overview on personal infos, updates, activities.
– the missing picture gallery – enables people to do some personal or company branding with these pictures. Cool!

The main three „Likes“ from me…
– The coolest feature is the Timeline. If Google is changing our brain, then Facebook is pre-writing our autobiography.
– People can be creative in terms of the mixture of their conversational ingredients – text, video, audio. This makes a profile colorful and lively, apart from finally understanding that we do not „LIKE“ everything – we shop, we act and we like!
– It is much easier to see which updates were uncool and not engaging. Kill them to make your profile look conversational. Aren’t we kind of authentic…?

Facebook wants to get away from throwing sparks in our days – it aims for long-term relevancy. It wants to be the ever-lasting spark. Our memory…?! And when we are old, we won’t tell our grandchildren stories of the past. We will say… Just read my Facebook days!

Incentivized ads boost brand perception, study finds

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According to a recent study by KN Dimestore and SocialVibe brand messages and incentives influences most consumers to pay more attention to ads. In fact, if companies combine these two advertising and brand strategies, the interaction of consumers with brands increases by 91% and brand perception by 38%.

The study -which gathers data from more than 30,000 survey respondents- reported that when 48% of survey participants initially opt-in to engage with a brand for the incentive, they stay and pay attention to the brand message.

The aim of the study was to find out if and why incentives prompt people to engage with the advertisements, how they affect consumer perception of the brands, and if they influence people to visit the company’s website or „buzz“ their friends about the offer. Respondents gave feedback on ads from U.S. brands across financial services, CPG, entertainment, e-commerce and technology categories between June and July of 2011.

Some key findings of the study…
48% of those interact because of the incentive but pay attention to brand
12% interact purely based on brand
31% interact for brand and incentive
9% interact purely for the incentive

The results summary makes clear that engaging with the ad increased the odds that the consumers would purchase the product. Above that, incentives through ads drive website and in-store traffic, as well as purchases – and also conversions. Happy customers are coming back more often to the website when initially satisfied with an incentive through incentives. 36% of respondents were more likely to purchase brand-related products at physical store after interacting with the ad.

SocialVibe names the strategy „value-exchange brand advertising“. The company defines it as ads that ask for a consumer’s attention in exchange for something they want, such as virtual currency for social games or making a donation to charity. There is a clear differentiation from sign-up and straight purchase intended offers like cost-per-action (CPA) advertising.

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The study is an interesting step in indicating the value of ads for branding. Generating consumer interest and awareness get’s more and more challenging these days with the masses of advertising we are faced with on a daily basis. Mobile advertising shows some similar development in terms of incentivization and engagement. Often companies said that the value of ads is getting lower as they just value it from a conversion-based ROI perspective. However, the study now shows that earning points, virtual currency or some other rewards finds the atention of customers. That’s when conversion comes into play, and that’s where brands need to foster engagement to a purchase via the right communication tactics.

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