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December 2012

What We Searched for in 2012


 According to Time Magazine students are more likely to remember where information is saved then to remember the information itself. Search is changing the nature of how we learn, how we think, and to all the organic search enthusiasts out there, how we write. Search is also a time capsule of our culture as depicted in this video on what we searched for in 2012.

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Seven Marketing Trends to Watch in 2013

It's that time of year again, where we need to think about 2013 marketing trends and the implications it has for the industry. Here are some thoughts on the year ahead.

A satellite television dish, an example of an ...Dish Network is a pioneer in addressable TV. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1.Addressable Cable and Satellite Television Moves from Test to Mainstream: Addressable cable enables a marketer to target specific households with a TV commercial. Targeting is based on multiple proprietary and syndicated data sources including television viewing habits, on-line activity and overlays from shopping, demographic and behavioral data. The challenge for addressable is to demonstrate that household level targeting will justify the higher CPM's charged by local television providers combined with the cost of labor and database analysis required to execute these types of campaigns.

To date, only Dish Network, DirecTV and Verizon have offered these types of targeting capabilities. Starting early next year, Cablevision will be offering the service (3M+ households), exponentially increasing the available footprint.Expect other cable companies to follow.

The potential of the technology is to change the way marketers target. It can also make television accessible for advertisers that can only justify the expense when viewing households have a higher concentration of prospects.

Any marketer with a large television budget will be testing and rolling out addressable television technology and programs. For example, Wireless companies will be able to utilize customer databases to broadcast up-sell messages to customers and acquisition offers to prospects. Car companies such as General Motors will be able to target Ford households. Watch platform such as Visible World for the latest

I'm personally looking forward to working with MMB advertising clients and experts such as Caroline Horner on how to deliver a measurable return using this technology.

Image representing Offerpop as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

2. Plug and Play Marketing Technology: It used to be that marketers had to hire programmers to power game, social and on-line initiatives. That era is coming to a screeching halt as marketing moves from the "program it for competitive advantage" era to the "discovery era" where everything imaginable exists, it's just up to the marketer to connect idea to implementation.

Take social media as an example. In the early days of Facebook advertisers needed to both conceive of promotional ideas and then under go the complexities of implementation. Today, with platform providers such as Offerpop, best practices on Facebook are pre-defined combined with plug and play implementation technology. Common Facebook engagement techniques such as coupon distribution and "fill in the caption" contests can be implemented in minutes.

The challenge in 2013 is to work with a team that stays on top of new technologies, and then having the funds and bandwidth to act faster than the competition.

3. Marketing Systems Become Standard Operating Procedure for CMOs: Coming off of plug and play marketing technology, the next challenge for marketers is to integrate these systems into workflows that enable end-to-end execution. These work-flows need to be optimized overtime and then applied to multiple businesses.  At MMB New York our goal is to develop marketing demand systems that enable clients to trial new marketing channels.  A systems approach includes the required implementation and measurement technologies, combined with the know-how to execute the program and generate results.

Systems reduce risk by providing turnkey methods for trialing marketing channels. One system we offer at MMB is a Search Engine Optimization system, where we have predetermined how several best in class analytical, execution and measurement tools can be used to provide better insight into client opportunity, and then another set of systems which use a combination of trained people assisted by technology for content creation and syndication.

4. We Learn Where to Search: Time Magazine recently reported that today, students are more likely to remember where a piece of information is stored than memorize the information itself.  Search plays an obvious role in providing access to information, resulting in +9% annual growth in search activity year after year. Search becomes even more important in a world driven by single results, such the technology behind "Siri." When someone queries into their iPhone - "best restaurant in Plainview New York" the answer better be a restaurant you own.  Search engines are everywhere, including search on and Craig's List.

English: White hat seo symbolizes good ethic t...English: White hat seo symbolizes good ethic techniques in search engine marketing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The key to all of this is to continually demonstrate that you deserve to answer the consumer's question. Why should  your restaurant be considered the best? Do you have the best reviews? Do you have video on You Tube that showcases a superior culinary experience? Do you have multiple friends in your Google+ circle highly recommending it? 

The challenge for marketers is to determine how to best organize around search. This is harder than it sounds given that their are typically multiple constituencies within an organization battling for the same search term. Let's say you are an insurance company and need to own the phrase "health insurance." If you are organized into a small, medium and large business division, ownership of the term becomes confused since cross-organizational decisions need to be made regarding who controls the inbound traffic flow and what content will be used to demonstrate competency to the search engines. Few companies are structured to tackle these issues without some organizational pain and chaos.

Having a clear and organized system for executing SEO is now becoming normative for most marketeers. The good news is that turnkey solutions like those offered by MMB New York make it easier to ge validate search as a channel.

5. Outsourcing becomes a way of life for marketers. Lean Marketing teams replace bloated organizations: With the proliferation of marketing channels, technologies and platforms, there is a temptation by CMO's to continually add platforms and staff every time a new channel becomes available out of fear that not to do so would result in failure. The problem is that expansion ahead of ROI validation leaves behind bloated staffing levels and platforms that fail to deliver required returns. 

Outsourcing Services CompanyOutsourcing Services Company
(Photo credit: FreelancersElite Graphics)

The proliferation of social media and CRM platforms are examples of the temptation to expand. While CRM or structured communications (life-cycle emails etc.) might appear to be an obvious need, it does not apply to all organizations. For example a sales driven B to B might have difficulty proving the worth of the investment vs. the ability to hire incremental sales personnel for the same cost. In the case of CRM, a CMO is required to commit to an annual contract as well as the staff required to develop strategy, structure a program, execute creative and measure results. 

Let's say for argument that the CRM program fails to deliver any return. The CMO is now responsible for incremental staff and investment. Now play this out across other perceived "must have" platforms such as Social Media management, Social Media monitoring, Organic Search, Paid Search, Content Management and Content Development.  Each piece of complexity, driven by the need to balance innovation with ROI, results in a gradual increase in CMO risk that ultimately ends in staff reductions.

Instead. CMOs can and will seek to reduce the size of corporate marketing teams and the risk of platform investment in favor of outsourcing. This way costs can be aligned with the channels they support, with the only risk coming from the length of the outsourcing contract. Instead of annual contracts for CRM platforms, companies can test the ROI of these capabilities using outsourced companies. Once channels are tested and validated, a decision can be made regarding outsource vs. in-source. Even if validated, the rapid pace of change still points to the maintenance of a team of outsourced experts instead of the less efficient approach where staff is continually hired, only to watch skills fall out of sync with marketplace realities..

Anyone running the marketing group in a Fortune 500 company should be thinking of a marketing organizational design that has a staff of no more than 20 on staff instead of 200.

Visualization of all editing activity by user ...Visualization of all editing activity  on Wikipedia)

6. Big Data Drives Us to the Marketing Dream: Marketer's access to data continues to exponentially increase in 2013. Many of the aforementioned trends such as addressable cable combined with shopper data and on-line behavioral data will provide new insights into how to target consumers. We've already seen the digital marketing world move from website level targeting to targeting actual purchasers.  Who would of thought we'd be able to execute a program for a major salad dressing brand that targets only people that frequently eat salads. Now imagine doing this with targeting across television, on-line, mobile, direct, auto (yes advertising to individual cars), game platforms or wherever we can get the consumer's attention, and then taking all of this data, understanding it, only then to turn it into actionable programs.

7. New Video platforms and Multiple Screens: Anyone that works with Google Analytics must have already taken note of platforms such as XBox as a source of on-line traffic. With the proliferation of screens, and the emphasis at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show of multi-screen viewing, we can expect this added opportunity to be a part of breakout marketing programs in 2013. With the average person spending 4.4 hours a day in front of screens, the opportunity is in understanding how to structure communications which coordinate the time and the place these screens are used.

Multiscreen-marketingAdding to the pressure, consumers are forming expectations on how brands need to operate across screens. A new study from Google on multi-screen marketing shows how consumers expect the real world and the virtual world to be in perfect sync. The average person spends 4.4 hours a day in front of screens. They will be quick to judge brands the feel out of sync with their multi-screen expectations.

Strategy will be driven by the two modes of multi-screening used by consumers. They are sequential usage (phone to laptop) or simultaneous usage (multi-taking, or complementary usage). In sequential use, most activities start on s a smartphone and then transition to a PC. The exception is a complex task with the PC is in the lead. In erms of simultaneous use, the biggest overlap is between Smart phones and television (81%), with most people on average using three different screen combinations daily. TV commercials account for 17% of Smartphone searches and 6% of PC searches. 

To quickly get up to speed on consumers and viewing, download the Google Multi-screen study here.


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