People Doing Work in Social Media

There were several really cool activities going on in the social media environment, I couldn’t pick just one. It’s really a rare thing for me to see things in social media that even warrant a single post, let alone four activities that caught my eye.

Well, two activities, two pieces of solid research. I know, I can’t quit the research.

So here are the four, and feel free to let me know what you think.

Head of Publicis Groupe makes fun of himself while using new YouTube elements

This struck me in two ways: first, the head of holding company powerhouse Maurice Lévy willingly makes fun of his annual YouTube speech. Two, the new YouTube elements are pretty sweet.

If you watch his entire video, it doesn’t make a pause. One would think it is just a normal video.

But then you fast forward, and you see Lévy shuffle through his notes. And pause it, and guess what game Lévy plays on his phone. Then try expanding it to fullscreen.



Petsmart Uses Pinterest to Engage Fans During the Holidays

If you read this blog and are in the marketing industry, you well know that nearly every piece about social media tries to tie it with “ROI”. How does this activity correlate with sales or revenue (if that’s how your brand defines’d be surprised). Well Petsmart is a key example of how to do social media right. Petsmart, earlier this month, launched a campaign on Pinterest. They want fans of Petsmart and their animals to pin a holiday-themed picture with their pet, along with the hashtag #pinitforpetsmart. Each pin raises $25 for petsmart charities, up to $25,000.

Thank you Petsmart. They realize that the point of social media is the sharing and “social proof” factor. People love sharing photos of their pets, and the fact that each pin will raise money to a good cause is just icing on the cake. Well done.


Home Shopping Ramping Up

Ask Your Target Market did a survey and nearly 42% of respondents said that they would rather shop online rather than in stores. And a plurality (33%) said that they had no preference.

This can have major implications on how businesses operate. First, businesses should survey their own customers (or compare online vs. offline purchases) to see where most of the sales are coming from. If the online category is highly favored, the business should really look at if having a brick & mortar location is truly worth it. If the business’ customers are torn like the 33% “no preference”, behavioral and incentive implications may be involved. The business should ask what drives them to buy stuff online versus offline, and then use that information to guide them whatever direction you see fit.


Mobile Gives Email Marketing New Life

No one really thought that email marketing was going away. Those “marketing ninjas” who said that were kidding themselves and clearly not following any real sources of information.

But the resurgence of email was not entirely anticipated. MediaPost covered a report done by email specialist Return Path, which revealed that 4 out of 10 emails sent have been read on a mobile device. Also, consumer are more likely to open webmail on a mobile device (37%) than using a browser (30%).

The report also shows that out of all the sector-related emails, retail, consumer product and real estate emails are the types opened the most. Anything that may make the consumer have security doubts will more than likely be opened on a computer.


So there is good stuff being done in the social media and research space, we just have to look a little harder to find it. Thanks for reading!



The Practicality of Marketing Economics

Inbound marketing. Big Data. Social care. Marketing Analytics. Content marketing. Social neuroscience. Neuromarketing.

What the heck does it all mean?

It means that the evolution of our marketing and advertising landscape is speeding up. And we are all trying to keep up.

For several years now, I have championed the application of economics (both traditional and behavioral) in marketing and advertising activities. Naturally, I have been met with responses (and more, admittedly,  the lack of) from all over the spectrum. Objections and criticism stem from my “attack” on creativity, lack of focus on digital, to simply missing the point.

Forgive me for applying science to an art form.


Let’s be honest, the majority of the advertising and marketing out there cannot, with a sound conscience, be called art. In many cases, calling it advertising is a stretch.

The reason why I thoroughly enjoy economics can be attributed to the most simple definition of it:

“choice under scarcity.”

Those three words, though simply put, are absolutely profound. Consumers are thrown into a market, and producers must fulfill the needs and wants of these individuals and entities in order to survive. And sometimes, in order to survive, those producers may have to contrive needs and wants to create their own market.

How is this not applied to marketing?

Simply being creative cannot suggest a successful campaign. Running Google Analytics and deciding, based on the numbers, to push a certain product is not a sound foundation for strategy.

Yes, pretty pictures and numbers without context is not enough.

There are great brains already out there on the outskirts of marketing economics. Dan Ariely, for example (whose course on game theory I’m taking in January and am absolutely stoked about), has conducted several research projects on consumers’ “predictable irrationality”. Another author in the UK wrote about how and why consumers make decisions. William Bonner, a finance guy, wrote about how consumers and markets interact. Even Malcolm Gladwell’s books show consumer behavior in an interesting light.

But clearly, their advice falls on deaf ears. Perhaps if they added the words “engagement” and “content is king”, they would get more buy-in.

Forgive the long post, I’m almost done.

The point is, I am fascinated and disappointed at the same time on why marketing economics is failing to take off. If we want to do the lame marketing jargon, I would reckon it to be the Marketing Scientist 2.0. No more focus groups looking at ads saying if it would work or not, but more focus groups that ask consumers how they feel in certain situations, shopping alone versus with others, and making them choose items in different environments.

I’m toying with the idea about writing a white paper, or presentation about marketing economics. If you’ve made it this far, I’ll keep you updated as my idea evolves.