Our Marketing Blog

Our industry is ever-changing. Get insights and perspective from our experts as we share our knowledge and experience on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.

Product Pages + FlixMedia = More Sales

As consumers continue to buy online, retailers are under more and more pressure to refine their sites to convert to sales. However, the average conversion rate for most e-comm sites is still hovering around the 3-4% mark globally. While there are a myriad of reasons of why someone would leave your site before buying, one of the main causes is usually attributed to not delivering the product information they were seeking. This can be solved through optimizing your product pages with more in-depth information, such as images, videos, and consumer reviews. Given that updating an e-comm site to add this content usually requires integration between the UX, creative, development and marketing departments, it can take a while to get changes made. Enter Flixmedia, a UK-based company who is the leader in product page optimization*. Flixmedia has made it easy for retailers to quickly add in enhanced product information to their site pages. Using existing assets, they are able to seamlessly incorporate product imagery and videos into the product page. They also use innovative technology in their dynamic hotspots, giving consumers an opportunity to interact with the product. Why are we so obsessed with Flixmedia? Because they produce results. Adding interactive hotspots has resulted in increasing conversion rates by 28%. Adding imagery and videos to product pages has grown Add to Cart rates by an average of 23%. Don’t spend all that time and money driving traffic to a site that doesn’t convert. Optimize your product pages to give consumers the information they are looking for and leave that 3-4% in the dust. *Full disclosure: Flixmedia is owned by our same parent company, Advantage Solutions

Video Killed More Than the Radio Star

RIP, 'How To' Manual This Sunday, like many before, I spent the majority of my morning endlessly scrolling through Facebook videos. Among the clutter of makeup tutorials, dogs playing musical instruments and babies eating lemons, I came across a video titled ‘How to do a Backflip in 5 minutes’. ‘Why?’ I thought to myself. Surely, no one wants to learn how to do a backflip from someone on the internet and risk being paralyzed. Turns out, the video had over 7MM views and tons of positive comments. While I’m sure many of these viewers were social content trolls like myself, many of these viewers were actually searching ‘how to do a backflip’ and, creator, Pigmie, apparently delivered. This got me thinking. First, of why so many people want to learn how to do a backflip, and in what situation they would perform such a stunt? Second, how anyone with access to the internet can virtually learn how to anything online. For example, some of YouTube’s all-time favorite ‘How to Videos’ consist of ‘How To: Dance, make a paper airplane, curl your hair, make cake, get six pack abs in 3 minutes, draw, tie a tie, do makeup. (Prepopulated YouTube search on July 17th) Clearly, people are searching for a wide range of videos on how to do virtually everything and anything. According to Cisco, in 2017, 69% of internet traffic will be video. And, it’s no surprise that people are using this video content as a mean to satisfy their information and entertainment needs. Don’t take it from me… check out this nifty infographic created by our friends over at HubSpot - https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics So, let's get down to it. How exactly can businesses benefit from shareable, social videos? Regardless of product, industry or offering, companies can create impactful, informational and helpful videos to create an engaged audience and generate earned viewership for your company. For example, these ‘how to life hacks’ are great opportunities for brands to create video content or sponsor an influencer to incorporate their product into their videos. Take it from this awesome campaign by Ziplock ‘Life Needs Ziplock’: https://ziploc.com/ Let’s bring it back to our backflipping friend. Unless you have a gymnastics company, this video would likely not impact your company, right? Wrong. Your company has the opportunity to, when the opportunity is right, earn a ton of viewership. Pigmie’s video, for example, could be a great space for a medical or insurance company to engage with consumers or sponsor a ‘follow up video’ on how to file an insurance claim after you injure yourself. People are constantly searching for ‘how to’s’ relating to hundreds of other fields; medical, travel, insurance, automotive and much more. Questions like “how do I get a car insurance quote,” “how do I get a new passport”, “how do I change a tire”… and, you got it, guess who should be showing up in response to these searches with helpful tips? You. Exactly. It is inevitable that video will soon be the main source of information share between companies and consumers. So, don’t get left behind. Let us help you. We are experts in social, social video, influencer marketing, video production and online marketing. To learn more about how we can get you more shares, views and buyer conversion rates, click here.

Creating a Connected Data Ecosystem

The number of marketing technology tools is rising at a staggering rate, having nearly doubled YOY in 2016. On average, 51% of organizations use 21 or more digital marketing solutions. While having the ability to access all this new information provides unprecedented insight, it frequently results in an overload of data siloed in disparate systems. Marketers are buried under a landslide of fragmented campaign metrics, products, customers, purchases, and more. And there’s seemingly no end in sight; Gartner reports that 50-65% of marketing executives plan to spend more on marketing technology in the coming year. To make meaningful use of all this data, metrics need to be reviewed cohesively. Without a full holistic view, it’s impossible to get a complete understanding of the real story. Only analyze existing customer behavior and you may miss out on opportunities to attract new audiences. Only review site traffic from media placements, and you lack an understanding of why your customers are loyal to your brand, or how to create more of them. The problem is that most marketing teams don’t operate with systems that talk to each other. They end up trying to manually analyze disparate data points to uncover insights, a practice that is neither scalable nor responsive in real-time. This data fragmentation is costing marketers real dollars as they lose the ability to effectively optimize campaigns and fold learnings into future plans. An example of how some marketing departments utilize data today: The solution begins with creating a connected data ecosystem. The concept is simple—collect all data points into a centralized system able to analyze them en masse and surface actionable insights in real-time. Using those insights, marketers can then start to roll out personalized content, translate strategies across all channels, and efficiently improve customers’ experiences. While the initial creation of the connected data ecosystem can be time-consuming, it pays off. One example: Annuitas Group reports that businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects report a 451% increase in qualified leads. Based on our experience with building ecosystems for clients, we have created a four-step process that we follow: Discovery: we assess all the various systems that are collecting data around your organization. We also identify areas where the data returned may be less than perfect in quality–a very common occurrence. During this period we also outline the shared objectives and definitions of success across all the stakeholders. Solution design: using our learnings from the Discovery period, we design a customized solution that aligns to your business objectives. We build a roadmap using multiple analytic approaches across our four service categories: Performance analytics, marketing sciences, research, and business intelligence. Analyze: This is where the magic happens. Now that we’ve designed your ideal system, we begin to collect the data and review the outputs using our team of data analysts, statisticians, and social scientists to uncover those insights that will truly give your business the competitive edge. Insights: This is when our team works with marketers and other members of your organization to communicate our findings and share recommended actions to meet your KPIs. Once the initial foundation is built, this process can be repeated multiple times over the course of the year, ensuring your teams are always up to date on the latest findings and fully able to use fresh data to inform future plans. The creation of a connected data ecosystem takes some effort but pays off almost immediately by making teams run more efficiently with a full understanding of the current state of their business and what levers they have to achieve their goals.

AMP Agency Partners with Lotame to Achieve 455% Return on Ad Spend for a Travel Campaign

OBJECTIVE: As a full-service digital agency, AMP Agency is constantly developing custom audience segments for specific campaigns for its advertisers. Working for a premiere travel client, AMP’s goal was to target specific travel ads to consumers who were in-market for an upcoming trip to increase conversions. The client’s primary KPI was measuring Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), so AMP was focused on driving inbound leads and lowering the cost per acquisition. STRATEGY: To achieve the targeting and scale needed for a recent travel campaign, AMP began by building a “travel” audience of users who had exhibited interests in travel via data they had collected with Lotame’s DMP. Next, they partnered with ShareThis to enrich this behavioral data with ShareThis’s real-time social intent data, to understand the prime time of day and particular devices they should target for their ad campaigns. AMP also combined this data with paid search data inside Lotame’s DMP to expand the pool of high-value target customers. The travel audiences they built were then pushed out to multiple DSPs and other social targeting platforms such as Facebook. “This partnership directly proved the value of utilizing 2nd-party data within media campaigns. It allowed us to identify users who were in the research and planning phases of their travel, thereby being able to present them with offers that were timely and relevant. To enhance the 2nd-party data, we were able to use paid search data and incorporate those keywords to identify users, expanding the pool of high value target customers for our client and reaching them across multiple channels and devices.” Samantha Weinstein, Director of Programmatic Media, AMP Agency RESULTS: Combining these many sources of high-quality data allowed AMP to exceed their campaign goals by hitting travelers who were in the planning and research stage. AMP was able to achieve the following results: • 455% Return On Ad Spend (the client’s primary KPI, which they exceeded significantly) • 30% lead conversion rate (typically, lead conversion rate is about 23%) • ShareThis data, onboarded into Lotame’s DMP, was the highest performer across all prospecting data lines that were tested. Want similar results? Get in touch- info@ampagency.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ABOUT AMP AGENCY AMP Agency is a full-service integrated marketing agency with over 20 years of experience employing an “Insights Inspired, Results Driven” approach to conceive, develop and implement innovative marketing solutions which span all media channels and formats. With of ces in Boston, LA, Seattle, Austin and New York, we’re a 250+ team of intellectually curious individuals who are eager to solve your business challenges. Meet our team and see some of our innovative work at www.ampagency.com. ABOUT SHARETHIS ShareThis, the Sharing Intelligence Company, has been collecting and synthesizing social share data since 2007. ShareThis is the trusted pioneer of sharing data that spans the social platform walled gardens, transforming authentic human sharing behavior into actionable data outputs at scale for marketers and publishers. ABOUT LOTAME Lotame enables companies to use data to build stronger connections with their consumers. Lotame is proud to be the leading independent data management platform (DMP) and offer the most widely used, trusted and comprehensive data exchange in the industry. Committed to innovation, agility and – above all, customer success – the Lotame team aims to continuously nd new and meaningful ways to help its clients harness the power of data to fuel more relevant and personalized experiences across screens and devices, online and off. Lotame is headquartered in New York City, with resources around the world, including Sydney, London, Singapore, Mumbai and San Francisco. *written in partnership with Lotame Data Solutions and ShareThis

New DataXu Professional Certification is Precursor to Programmatic Future

Ongoing Education and Multi-Level Certification Enhances Self-Service Clients' Expertise and Addresses Industry Skills Gap BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Oct 13, 2016) - DataXu, a leading provider of programmatic marketing and analytics software, today announced the rollout of its new DataXu professional certification, designed to provide defined educational paths and resources to DataXu platform users at brands and agencies. With programmatic ad spending in the United States projected to reach 82% of all digital display spending by 2018, the market is hungry for education on technology that enables measurable return on marketing investment. As agencies and brands consolidate marketing efforts with select partners instead of a large set of siloed specialty vendors, on-demand training has become crucial to success for programmatic marketers. The rollout of DataXu's professional certification seeks to address this need and offer a superior practical educational experience for the users of DataXu's AI-powered marketing platform. DataXu platform users can earn accreditation as a Certified DataXu Platform User, Specialist or Expert depending on their level of expertise. The certifications build upon continuing education opportunities; annually, certified users can maintain their status by ensuring all corresponding learning paths are complete as courses are updated. Throughout the learning paths, users' understanding of the DataXu platform and associated concepts that surround it will be assessed. "We consider our platform users to be some of our most innovative clients. They look to the DataXu platform as their toolkit for leveraging new insights and tactics to improve their campaigns and deliver maximum ROI on every marketing investment," said Kim Remley, Senior Director of Learning and Talent Development, DataXu. "With this new certification, we're filling an industry skills gap and empowering our clients to better meet and surpass business goals with their media plans." In order to achieve DataXu platform certification, users must: Meet prerequisite guidelines for platform usage. Participate in web-based curriculum on the DataXu platform and programmatic marketing topics. Successfully complete on-demand assessments designed to measure user proficiency. Boston-based integrated marketing agency AMP Agency, a part of Advantage Media Solutions, is an early partner in DataXu's certification. "The programmatic market is moving forward at lightning speed, and as our clients become more and more entrenched in it, it's crucial to keep our skills up to date and to ensure we have exceptionally trained media buyers," said Chris Boucher, SVP Advertising Technology at Advantage Media Solutions, AMP Agency's parent company. "With DataXu's professional certification, we have created a team of experts able to utilize all aspects of the DataXu platform, a clear benefit to both our employees and our clients." "Ongoing learning is a crucial component of both our employee and corporate value proposition here at DataXu," said Tiffany Mosher, Senior Vice President of People Strategy, DataXu. "Now, with the launch of DataXu's professional certification, we're thrilled to offer additional on-demand learning opportunities to our customer base." DataXu certification is available to DataXu self-service clients globally. To get started, contact your DataXu Account Representative. __________________________________________ About AMP Agency AMP Agency is a full service marketing agency with offices in Boston, New York City and Los Angeles At AMP, we believe in better ideas created a different way. It’s in our heritage. Through the years, we’ve morphed from a non-traditional marketing agency into a full-service shop. Today, we’re a team of 200+ intellectually curious individuals who are eager to solve your business challenges. About DataXu DataXu's mission is to make marketing better using data science. The world's top brands and agencies use DataXu to better understand and engage customers across all devices and media formats. Our solution provides marketers with unparalleled Media Activation, Marketing Analytics and Data Management capabilities. With sixteen offices in eleven countries, DataXu's full-stack solution is powering the digital transformation of the world's most valuable brands. Source- DataXu

How Celebrities Use Twitter to Build Their Brands

Move over Ashton Kutcher. While he was the first Twitter user to get one million followers, many other celebrities have joined the Twitter bandwagon and many of them now have several million followers. Justin Bieber (46 million), Katy Perry (46 million) and Lady Gaga (40 million) reign as the top three most followed Twitter users. There is undoubtedly no single traditional marketing vehicle that is able to reach such a wide audience, and celebrities have been able to capitalize from the attention they gain from Twitter by using the social media site to build their brands. One way Twitter helps users draw attention is through the use of the hashtag to bring important pieces of the message out. While some may need to be censored at times (Alec Baldwin, anyone?), here are some ways celebrities are using Twitter to leverage their brands: Creating brand awareness Who would have thought that Twitter could help launch celebrities into the world? One Direction fans did. What started as a group of British followers on Twitter trying to garner attention for the band has led to worldwide recognition and awareness. The boys of One Direction have a combined 70 million followers for their individual accounts, plus 16 million followers for the group account. The speed at which celebrities, such as One Direction, have been able to launch their careers using Twitter is unprecedented. Celebrities realize how much their success is driven by their fans and how important it is they share it with them. #followthatceleb Building emotional relationships People define brands by their emotional connections and how the brands make them feel. Twitter gives celebrities a platform to connect on an individual level with their fans, with the fans becoming heavily invested and loyal. Followers get a chance to see that celebrities are actually human and relatable by getting a glimpse into their personal lives, making them closer than ever before. Earlier this year when Justin Bieber tweeted about being ill, it was retweeted 130 thousand times and there was an outpour from followers sending him get well messages. I guess 'Bieber Fever'? is real, no pun intended. #bestfansever Maintaining brand image Some celebrities employ teams to manage their Twitter accounts because 140 characters are too much for them to handle. For those who monitor their own accounts, they get the chance to address rumors and defend themselves against negative criticisms directly. When someone questioned Oprah, the Queen of Daytime herself, about not giving back enough within the US, she took to Twitter to clear up any doubts about her philanthropic efforts. Some of her followers even came to her defense as well. It's no surprise that celebrity gossip and news sells, but Twitter gives them the chance to get their truth out quickly and to the point. While gossip columnists are hard-hitting news reporters who claim that their 'sources confirm'? the information, readers and fans get to hear directly from the source. #sooverit Staying relevant I hear show business is not easy and so it is important for celebrities to maintain their spotlight and stay relevant with their fans. From tweeting about wearing the latest fashion trends to posting infamous selfies to being a trending topic, celebrities build buzz around themselves. Twitter gives celebrities an opportunity to get fan feedback on products and projects, so that as their fans grow so can their brands. One way is through live tweeting which has become popular for actors and reality stars to do while their TV shows are being aired. Of course I couldn't mention shameless celebrity self-promotion, without referencing the Kardashians. From tweeting about their shows to their clothing lines to their wide range of products, the Kardashian sisters have a combined 37 million followers who literally follow their every move. Singers can use Twitter to drive iTunes sales, actors can use Twitter to get fans to their movies, and the Kardashians can use Twitter to promote whatever it is that is making them famous. #intheknow Even though some celebrities have shut down their accounts at times (Welcome back Miley Cyrus), Twitter creates a unique opportunity for celebrities to build their brands and gives them more control over their brand messaging. Twitter allows followers to show their loyalty towards celebrities, as following a celebrity shows commitment. So while it's true that Lady Gaga has more Twitter followers than President Obama, celebrities have been able to successfully use Twitter to maintain their brands and draw fans in. Tell me, which celebrity has best used Twitter to build their brand?

Presents Get (more) Personal

It seems the department store push for QR code integration has continued. You may remember last year when Macy's launched Backstage Pass. Supported by in-store 'how-to-scan'? posters, Backstage Pass codes let shoppers view fashion tips, designer interviews and other video content based on the store's holiday wares. Fast forward to the 2011 shopping season. Department store giant JCPenney believes 'tis the season to try their hand at QR code integration. Supported by the 'Who's your Santa?'? advertising campaign, 'Santa Tags'? decked with QR Codes will allow gift buyers to record personal voice messages up to one minute long. Instead of simply connecting you to a URL, Santa Tags QR codes create a very merry mobile experience that connect you with friends and family in a fun, surprising and intimate way. And let's face it: you can say a lot more in one minute than you can in a Tweet, on a lo-def paper gift tag or a pre-canned holiday card. This innovation in personalization has the potential to make holiday spirits and sales soar. This new use for QR codes doesn't just add value to customers' lives, it gives JCPenney an edge on the competition. Customers can buy gifts in a click, but Santa Tags give them an extra reason to step away from the computer and into the store ' their store. From heartfelt wishes to inside jokes, every gift can be accompanied by a super-personal stamp ' even if the gifter shipped it across the globe or picked it up last-minute. So while Dad may already have 50 ties, he'll always remember #51 because it came with a special voice message from his little girl. Indeed I think this season's Santa Tag will challenge shoppers to 'think outside the tag'? and find the time to step into a JCPenney to make a purchase. Now, what do you say? How Santa Tags work: The gifter scans the Santa Tag QR code using a smartphone, records a personal message and attaches the Santa Tag to the gift. When the giftee scans the code with their mobile phone, the message plays. Holiday cheer enjoyed by all!

The Day the Music Game Genre Died

For those like me who love music as much as they love marketing, last week marked the sad passing of what was once a groundbreaking new video game: Guitar Hero. On February 9th, Activision announced it will be shutting down its music game division, home to the Guitar Hero series of video games. Activision also announced the lay off of about 7% of the company's workforce and discontinuation of game development slated for 2011. While there is speculation about the causes of the layoff and discontinuing of the music game offerings, many point to one culprit: oversaturation. In the years following Guitar Hero's initial release the music game genre exploded into it the current offerings of Guitar Hero I, II & III, Rock Band, Band Hero, DJ Hero and Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. In just five years, wallets drained and living rooms across the nation began to look more like a Guitar Center then a room in the family home. Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg highlights the company's inability to make the games profitable, largely due to current economies and consumer demand. Despite the reasons for Guitar Hero's end, it will have a great impact on those who used the music games as a marketing channel, particularly independent record labels. From across the continent I can hear my friends weeping. Not only for the loss of new games to incorporate into the monthly beer-fueled, Guitar Hero rock-a-thons, but for the lost opportunities to market their new artists to millions of potential album and concert ticket purchasing fans. It is this tight group of musicians and independent record labels who will be the most deeply impacted by the loss of the marketing opportunities presented by music genre games. When it first appeared in 2005, Guitar Hero developers at Red Octane and Harmonix Music Systems offered low cost opportunities to independent record labels and bands to appear on video game soundtracks. Record labels jumped at the chance to market artists using a new channel with a large potential reach. Today, Guitar Hero has shipped over 25 million units, having put budding indie bands like Attack! Attack!, Band of Skulls, Amon Amarth and countless others into the hands of fans that might not necessarily hear them. In the wake of this loss, I'd like to hope the developers will find new homes, fans will retreat to their Rock Band guitars and drum sets, and just as they always have, independent record labels will search out the newest (often gratis) ways to market bands to the masses.

You're Invited

The Oscars is a night for glitz and glam. Celebrities grace the red carpet in their most exquisite outfits and the iconic statues are presented to the most deserving actors. While the Academy Awards is the second most-watched TV event after the Super Bowl, the broadcast's median age is 50 years old ' much older than television's coveted 18-34 year old target. In an effort to capture a younger audience, this year's Oscars is getting a makeover. The 2011 Oscars will be all about accessibility. The goal is to make viewers feel like they are a part of the action. The Oscar's 'You're Invited'? campaign involves new print, digital, and outdoor marketing efforts. The strategy will allow viewers to experience the red carpet, virtually, through interactive storefront installations in New York City and for the first time, will offer behind-the-scenes footage with live streaming of all-access coverage on Oscar.com. That's right, you (yeah, YOU), will be able to follow your favorite actor or actress from the red carpet, to the stage, to the control room, and finally, to the press room where they will get more time for additional thank-yous. Move over Access Hollywood, there's a new dog in town that can give viewers even more behind the scenes footage. In other efforts to make the award show more appealing to a younger demographic, the show will have new co-hosts, Anne Hathaway (28 years old) and James Franco (32 years old), both being more relevant to the target than past hosts, like Billy Crystal or Steve Martin. While the 'You're Invited'? campaign is a new approach for the Oscars, it is an example of how a brand will evolve to cater to a specific target. I think this new strategy will be instrumental in helping boost the Oscars' appeal among the 18-34 year old target for several reasons. 'You're Invited'? gives the Millennial target more of what they want. Let's be honest, Millennials are drawn to celebrities like bees are to honey. They read US Weekly and they visit Perez Hilton and TMZ for their daily dose of gossip - some more openly than others (you know who you are). Millennials CRAVE personal and intimate details about celebrities and tend to gravitate towards those channels that will give them a further glimpse of celebrity life. The Oscars' new live streaming strategy will require some multi-tasking on the viewers' part, which fits perfectly with the Millennial generation. Interacting with multiple forms of media is a piece of cake to this generation. For them, watching TV isn't complete without a laptop and cell phone in hand. Having co-hosts that are more target-relevant will be a draw to this younger audience. Don't get me wrong, Billy Crystal and Steve Martin are iconic figures in Hollywood, but they are no James Franco. Millennials have seen the new co-hosting pair in more movies than the former pair. Spiderman or City Slickers anyone? I can let you all know now that come February 27th at 8:00pm, I will be sitting in front of my TV, with my laptop by my side, watching my favorite celebrities grace both screens. All I have to say is Oscar winners, try to avoid doing anything embarrassing, because I'll be watching.

A Festivus for the rest of us!

'Secret Snowman,'? 'Season's Greetings,'? 'The Holidays.'? People go to great lengths today to ensure they are referring to anything related to this most wonderful time of the year in a politically correct way. There is now almost a sense of censorship and uneasiness associated with speaking about the holidays. I personally find myself very aware when mentioning anything holiday related. I sometimes find myself even thinking back to past holiday conversations, hoping to not have offended anyone. The thing is, as careful as I try to be, I usually slip up anyhow, accidentally referring to the Christmas party that I need to make Santa shaped cookies for. Usually, it seems the one who is mortified is me, rather than anyone around me. This got me thinking, is this anguish self-imposed? Marketers, the media and retailers in particular are extremely careful when crafting their holiday messaging. Wanting to be all-inclusive and not offend a particular demographic, you will rarely see a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa specific ad or promotion. During a talk show I was recently watching, a production member commented about a Christmas tree that had been put up in the studio. The host was very quick to clarify that a Hanukkah Menorah had also been displayed, directly next to the tree in fact. Are we as marketers just augmenting the situation? Or simply playing by the rules? The call is yours'?¦

    Related Posts