October 4, 2012 by newsgetting
The fundamental things apply as time goes by, according to the song. So, too, with each year that goes by, Advertising Week in New York becomes more fundamentally about digital, mobile and social media, underscoring how they have become fundamental ways of selling goods and services. That can be divined from the schedule for the 2012 Advertising Week, which began on Monday and continues through Friday. Scores of the more than 150 panels, speeches and presentations are devoted to newer marketing methods, with companies like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter being discussed about as often as parodies of “Call Me Maybe” are uploaded to YouTube. And there are numerous daylong or multiday events focusing on digital, mobile and social, among them O.M.M.A. (Online Media, Marketing and Advertising) Global, sponsored by MediaPost Communications and composed of five conferences in areas like mobile, video and social media; SM2 2012, the Smarter Mobile Marketing conference, sponsored by the Mobile Marketing Association; the Mobile Media Summit 2012; and the Mixx Conference and Expo, sponsored by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Facebook took the opportunity of a session at the Mixx conference to answer questions about the efficacy of buying advertising on its site — questions that were widespread even before the company’s disappointing initial public offering. Brad Smallwood, director of pricing and measurement at Facebook, discussed the findings of a study the company hoped would change advertisers’ minds about depending on measurements like clicks to determine the success of campaigns on facebook.com. The goal is to have them perceive the social network more as a medium akin to television for branded advertising. “If you ran a campaign in the last five years, you focused on clicks,” Mr. Smallwood said, but “demand fulfillment is only one piece of the marketing puzzle”. “We have to provide a solution for the brand marketers of the world”, he added. The study was conducted with a new Facebook partner, Datalogix, a company that measures in-store purchases. Fifty campaigns on Facebook were measured, for brands from giant marketers like Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. When purchase data from stores was combined with data about ad impressions on Facebook, the study found that 70 percent of the campaigns enjoyed three times greater return on their budgets, and 99 percent of the sales came from consumers who did not interact with the Facebook ads. At another Mixx presentation, Joel Lunenfeld, vice president for global brand strategy at Twitter, shared data about the relationships people have with brands on twitter.com. Nine out of 10 people on Twitter follow at least one brand, Mr. Lunenfeld said. Although most said they did so for promotions, coupons and free products, he said that 87 percent said they followed brands for fun and entertainment and 80 percent said they did so for access to exclusive content. Among the examples presented by Mr. Lunenfeld were how brands like Panasonic and Procter & Gamble use Twitter. Perhaps most interesting was Mr. Lunenfeld’s connection between Twitter posts and television commercials. “Twitter is the EKG of action for television,” he said, adding that 50 percent of people who use Twitter do so while watching TV. “Brands that are engaging in conversations are finding really prominent ones and turning those into campaigns,” Mr. Lunenfeld said. For instance, the Audi division of Volkswagen of America noticed that an Audi brand fan had posted a message with the hashtag “#IWantAnR8.” Audi brought the fan an Audi R8 to drive, he said, and turned the test drive into a commercial. Rick Webb, a consultant for marketing and revenue at Tumblr, began the company’s first-ever presentation at an advertising conference by sharing data. Tumblr has 75 million blogs, he said, and visitors spend 18 minutes per visit on tumblr.com. Although Tumblr does not track the behavior of users or their personal details, Mr. Webb said, brands are beginning to take notice of the platform. Tumblr recently opened up to brands a small section of its pages, known as Radar, where outstanding Tumblr content is highlighted. Since May, about 10 percent of the content in the Radar box has been sponsored, Mr. Webb said, offering as an example an animated gif, or image, of a glass Coca-Cola bottle spinning on a floor. Mr. Webb acknowledged the ubiquity on the Web site of all things feline, including cat videos and animated gifs, by describing Tumblr as “a massive amount of technology brought to bear to animate cats”. A cheeky characterization of the content on another social media site, Instagram, was offered during a breakfast that featured a conversation between Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and chief digital officer at the NBC News division of NBCUniversal, and Alex Wagner, the anchor of “Now With Alex Wagner” on the MSNBC cable channel. “Instagram is mostly a repository for brunch photos,” Ms. Wagner said, laughing. She is also a fan of Twitter, she added, where she had, as of Tuesday afternoon, more than 34,700 followers. When Ms. Wagner asked Ms. Schiller what she believed would be the next big thing in social media, Ms. Schiller replied, “I have no idea, and anybody who says they do is making it up”. Ah, grist for additional discussions at future Advertising Weeks.