Here's a review of stuff I found interesting in the last few weeks. I hope you do, too...
Is a mobile campaign in your future?
If not, maybe you should reconsider your plans. According to IBM's annual State of Marketing report, 34% of companies are planning mobile marketing campaigns in the next year. According to the MediaPost article, that represents the fastest planned adoption of a new marketing tactic in the five years since IBM started collecting its data. About a quarter of brands are currently running mobile ads, while nearly half have focused on building out their mobile presence. Forty-five percent have deployed mobile apps.
A sure sign the definition of branded content is changing
Some 800 pieces of branded content were entered at Cannes this year. A tenth made the final cut, but only a quarter of those are what you would consider traditional entries, like a TV series. The rest? Well, the rest was made possible by the increasing ease with which anyone can innovate and create content. For instance, there was the song performed by members of the Colombian military with Morse code built in so the hidden message of hope could be detected by 16 hostages with radio access. And, according to Scott Donaton's Advertising Age account, "From Tunisia came The Return of Dictator Ben Ali, which used posters of an ousted leader to spark fears of his return, spurring previously apathetic citizens to vote." As for the work that ultimately wins, Donaton says he hopes it will show the way forward "to a place where content isn't a separate discipline but infiltrates all forms of communication, with brands tapping the raw power of stories to move people, fuel desire, change perceptions and drive actions." As the understanding of what content is evolves, businesses need to keep pace. Do you have the support you need to unleash creativity in your organization?
Nike runs afoul of British advertising rules
Nike launched a Twitter campaign in the UK that wouldn't have raised many eyebrows. A couple Manchester united players tweeted endorsements on Nike's behalf. Yawn, right? But the Advertising Standards Authority said the tweets didn't make it clear that these were paid endorsements (or, in bureaucratic language, the players didn't make it clear the messages were "identifiable as marketing communications." As a result, the campaign was banned, according to a BBC report. One tweet, from Wayne Rooney, read, "My resolution - to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion...#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount." The other was similar. Only one complaint was all it took to launch the investigation that led to suspensions of the footballers' accounts.
Department of Defense aims to improve mobile capabilities
The U.S. Department of Defense has issued a report (PDF) that "lays the groundwork for future strategies that will harness mobile technology within military and high-security establishments,' accordin got an IBM SmartPlanet story. "This strategy is not simply about embracing the newest technology," says the Pentagon's CIO Teri Takai; "it is about keeping the DoD workforce relevant in an era when information and cyberspace play a critical role in mission success." Once again, the military is most likely a step or two ahead of your employer.
Facebook mobile ads outperform traditional ads
Advertising Age reports that sponsored story ads that show up on mobile news feeds are getting more clicks than the same ads showing up on your full-sized computer mmonitor. More than 7 million Facebook impressions were served during a 10-day period for 12 companies running fan acquisition campaigns, the article explains. "The click-through rate for mobile ads amounted to 0.79%, compared to 0.148% average across all five placements studied: mobile, desktop news-feed only, desktop only (comprised mainly of right-rail ads), news-feed only (desktop and mobile) and the "control" group (uniform bids made across placements). The click-through rate for desktop-only news-feed ads falls roughly in themiddle at 0.327%." At the same time, Reuters is reporting that Facebook has given in to complaints that likes are showing up as ads without the permission of the user; you'll now be able to control whether your posts become sponsored stories. That'll cost Facebook more than $100 million in lost revenue.
SocialBakers unveils its Socially Devoted manifest
Socialbakers, the social media and digital analytics company, used LeWeb London as the platform to launch its Socially Devoted manifest, which aspires to be the industry standard for customer care. The goal: improved response rates and times, according to a ZDNet article. A manifesto is a declaration of beliefs or motivations, which you'll find when you click a link that reads, "Learn What is Socially Devoted." This manifesto declares that 65% of customer questions should be answered (compared to the current 30% rate), and that 10-30 minutes is appropriate (versus the current 24-hours). The database is what's interesting here, though. You can see total number of fans, answers to questions, response times and rates of companies in a variety of industry, ranked by most or least responsive. (Volkswagen de Mexico is the most responsive auto company, for instance.)
Are teens abandoning Facebook?
How cool can Facebook be if your grandmother and Uncle Stew are there? A USA Today article claims that teens are fleeing Facebook in favor of newer sites. They prefer to check in on Foursquare and like Pinterest for browsing, for example. The article offers no evidence to support its claim other than a decline in the year-over-year growth rates in unique visits to the social network. Still, it's not hard to believe, yet I would argue that they're adding these new sites but not shutting down or vacating their Facebook accounts. Between getting what they need to know from notifications and using mobile apps instead of the website, it's no surprise that growth rates are slowing. As much as a teen may not want some great-aunt seeing their own photos, they do want to stay current on friends-and-family activities. While some may be quitting Facebook altogether, most are shifting their activities elsewhere while keeping an eye on Facebook, too.