Tag Archives: social media

The Changing Face of Retail – Five Ways Brands Can Keep Up


For retailers, integrating the latest technology is not a choice, it is a necessity. While technology has presented many challenges for brands, it has also created many opportunities.  From the guardian, here are five ways brands can keep up:

Channel Consistency – A brand’s message can get lost by consumers as they move across touch points; walking into the store, using their smart phone on the bus and then using their PC or tablet at home.  Brands must be structured to ensure consistent delivery.  This requires that brands not only know what their values are, but they also filter them across the organization, so the brand message can be expressed confidently across consumer platforms.

Offer Best-In-Class – With access to so many brands, across so many channels, consumers will quickly disregard anything that doesn’t live up to their expectations.  Brands must create a friction free world for consumer, while adapting internal technologies that will keep up.

Decentralize – Retailers must make consumer’s experience across channels easy and enjoyable, this might require small adjustments outside of high-level brand strategies.  There are so many small interactions outside of a brand’s control that all employees touching customers, from store managers to customer service agents at call centers, need to feel empowered to create the best experience for the consumer.

Co-create – Social media is a two-way conversation that allows consumers to take part in brand activity.   Brands can use this unstructured consumer driven data to drive ad campaign creation or fuel marketing content.  Brands can use social media platforms to show humility and open up to consumers, finding a new path towards brand relevance.

Proximity Mobile Messaging –Brands can use this technology to provide valuable information and offers relevant to consumer’s purchase path.  Consumers will adopt technology that provides information that helps them move seamlessly to their decision point.


DoesYour Band Need Some Buzz? Try Making a Viral Video.

Ever feel like there are just so many bands out there making music nowadays?  You’re not wrong. In today’s Digital Age there are more groups than ever writing and recording music (which is a GOOD thing). But it does make it increasingly difficult for truly talented and gifted artists to differentiate themselves from the clutter of amateurs, unsigned acts, bedroom musicians and indie bands all vying to be heard and discovered. One proven method to stand out from the crowd and create some buzz is, of course, the ancient art of the viral video.  Perhaps the best known case of a band jumpstarting their career via a video short is the example of OK Go, whose video for “Here It Goes Again” features the band performing a delightful dance routine on treadmills (sound familiar? The video has been viewed upwards of 60million times, and you are probably responsible for at least 3 of those).

So you wanna make a viral video? Well, turns out it’s not so easy to dream up and produce an original, creative and endearing video idea with little to no budget that will garner millions of YouTube views and skyrocket your career into the stratosphere overnight. But it’s not impossible… enter (previously) unknown Burlington, Ontario rockers Walk Off The Earth whose unique performance of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” has achieved 4.5million views in the first four days of its existence. For God’s sake, the band doesn’t even have a fully built website yet: “Welcome to the official website of Walk off the Earth. We are currently busting our ass’s to get this site finished.” This stuff really does happen overnight, and spreads so quickly that even the band itself is caught off guard. Here’s a great quote from WOTE’s Facebook page that just about sums up what I was trying to say earlier about today’s music industry:

“To all the independent musicians out there. I hope this shows that you can make a name for your band with no help from record labels and management and next to no money. Stay true to your dreams and your passions, whether they be music related or not. Don’t wait for people to help you because they never will. The only time the music industry will want to help you is when you have done all the work yourself! “

Congrats to Walk Off The Earth for being awesome. And for making a freaking cool video that people dig while effectively displaying their talent to the world at the same time. Without further ado:

Gabriel Marowitz – Associate Music Supervisor

Mom Knows Best; Reaching On-the-Go Moms in a Multi-Screen Universe

As the saying goes, mom knows best. As caregiver and purchaser of household items, moms play an important role in making sure a household functions smoothly.  As the primary person in charge when it comes to day-to-day purchasing decisions, moms also make up an increasingly popular market segment for advertisers.  Traditionally, advertisers connected with moms at home through television, radio, and print advertising. However, with the advent of internet-enabled phones, social communication platforms, and digital publications, advertisers can connect in new ways that moms can better identify with.

Enter the “Alpha Mom.” This new group of Moms is college-educated, tech-savvy, and wants to be involved with their children’s lives yet engage in a more active role outside of the home.  Alpha Moms are constantly on the go, and this difference in habit from traditional stay-at-home Moms presents a new challenge for advertisers looking to keep up with this audience.

Getting in front of an elusive Alpha Mom might at first glance seem like no easy task. However, part of the solution can be found in their active routine. As natural social networkers, Alpha Moms maintain relationships with their friends via online social networks: they blog, they use the mobile web to find deals, directions, read reviews, and they spend time shopping or dining out with regularity. In other words, despite being on the go, they are incredibly connected, albeit busy or distracted with new online, mobile, and digital media.

For advertisers it’s no surprise that traditional advertising streams that require more stationary engagement like print, radio and television are on the decline.

This means that in order for companies to reach these on-the-go-Moms, they have to target Moms where they are going. A newly emerging trend called Life Pattern Targeting pioneered by our partner SeeSaw Networks, is proving to be very effective in mapping a person’s daily routine and weaving advertising into their lives at the places where they spend time. In the case of the Alpha Mom Life Pattern, mobile media, web media and digital out of home media are integrated at locations that mothers frequent throughout the day.

In a fairly typical day for example, an Alpha Mom may check email, the news and Facebook first thing before getting the kids up and off to school. Between errands, friends, or toting children around, the day may take her to the gas station, a furniture store, a gym, the doctor’s office, the pharmacy or grocery store, or lunch out with a friend. The whole time she’ll likely stay in touch with social media, email, and use the mobile web for information on any of the day’s events or happenings.  At home the routine continues as the Alpha Mom catches up with family, email, and social networks, then to bed.

Though traditional media may be present at all of these places in a typical day, there are many opportunities for brands to more effectively reach our Alpha Mom through non-traditional media. Each location from the gas station to the doctor’s office and all points in-between is an opportunity for advertisers to get in front of our Mom as she pauses for a moment. Seizing the opportunity in these locations is the new way advertisers and brands are staying connected to the Alpha Moms. By creating immersive brand environments that transcend digital screens and displays to reach Moms in the places they travel, and by placing branded displays, video and music content, and activities in front of Alpha Moms wherever they go, advertisers are connecting with the Alpha Mom through these branded experiences. In addition, integrating social and mobile media into these branded experiences builds greater affinity with our Moms, and opens the door to more opportunities through SMS couponing and geo-targeting applications where brands can follow and reach someone out of home and on the go

As consumer habits continue to evolve and carry consumers away from traditional advertising platforms, new technologies have emerged yielding new opportunities to engage and reach consumers. The success of reaching Alpha Moms, and other demographic groups, means that with more research such as Life Pattern Targeting and more advertisers and retailers hopping on board, brands will be able to follow many segments of consumers and ensure they are actively reaching them instead of posting to static mediums where nobody is watching or listening.

If you’d like to learn more about Life Pattern Targeting, Ad Networks, or third party advertising, contact Steve Lovell with PlayNetwork: slovell@playnetwork.com or visit www.playnetwork.com.

– ­Steve Lovell, Sr. Director, Advertising & Video Networks, PlayNetwork