Department Store Pranks Shoppers With Christmas-Themed Extravaganza

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So in Rhode Island there’s a department store chain called Ocean State Job Lot. It’s like Walmart but not. To hype themselves for the holiday shopping season, the store hooked up with Kindling Digital which created the elaborate prank which took shoppers on an adventure which involved Owen Van Winter, an elf, Santa and a guy claiming to be Santa who turns out to be an imposter.

The stunt grabbed a few shoppers at checkout and took them on an adventure to save Santa and, of course, win some free stuff. It’s quite well done actually and, so far, has received a lot of play. For Rhode Island. OK, not to jab a state within which I used to work at an agency I really didn’t like (or, more correctly, didn’t like me) because, all things considered, I like the stunt. And so do 18,000 other people.

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Department Store Pranks Shoppers With Christmas-Themed Extravaganza

Snark Master AdWeak Is Out With New Editions of Advertising Insider

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If you recall, last month AdWeak teamed with stock footage company Dissolve to launch Advertising Insider. The combination is the best of both world’s.

On the one hand, AdWeak gets yet another platform through which to share his epically jaded advertising headlines. On the other hand, Dissolve gets to share its vast collection of stock footage. But best of all, the rest of us get to revel in the amusement of the two combined!

Here are three more episodes:

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Snark Master AdWeak Is Out With New Editions of Advertising Insider

Brand Strategists Answer Top 5 Social Questions

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Earlier this year during SXSW Interactive, Spredfast gathered together a team of five leading brand strategists to answer the five most pressing social questions in marketing today.

1. What are the factors your brand considers before launching a social campaign?

2. How has social integration evolved within your organization?

3. How do you think social will influence your brand campaigns in the future?

4. Why is it important to involve your audience with your brand?

5. What advice would you share with someone who is developing a social campaign?

Here’s what they discovered…

Yes, it’s a downloadable whitepaper. Hey, we have to make money somehow since no one clicks on banners anymore. But in all seriousness, there is some good advice to be had from these 5 marketers. So…download the white paper now, get smarter and help us make a few bucks along the way.

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Brand Strategists Answer Top 5 Social Questions

9 Reasons to Be Thankful for Native Advertising

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Native advertising went mainstream this year, and as we look back at its impact in time for this Thanksgiving, we can see there is much for which to be grateful.

1) Native Ads Are What the Industry Was Anticipating.

According to a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions study, 70% of individuals want to learn about products through content rather than through traditional advertising. And this is exactly what native advertising gives and what traditional formats of advertising were missing. Native advertising is not just a product, this is an essential stage of digital advertising industry evolution.

It was forecasted that roughly 65% of both ad agencies and marketers would invest in native advertising, for an estimated total of $4.3 billion, this year.

Thanks native advertising for the interesting future!

2) Native Ads Make Website Visitors Pay Attention, Without Distracting Them.

A study conducted by Sharethrough and IPG shows that the consumer looked at native ads 52% frequently than banner ads and even that consumers looked at native ads more than the original editorial content.

Thanks to native advertising for bringing attention to our content and products!

3) Native Ads Are Highly Efficient.

Native advertising allows marketers and publishers to benefit from “invest less, earn more” strategy. The essence of the format itself and new technologies brought up by its peculiarity makes native advertising a very attractive investment.

According to J.P. Morgan, native ads represented just 5%-to-10% of Facebook’s impressions in 2013 but accounted for more than 60% of the company’s revenue.

ClickZ reports native ads can have a click-through rate 15-45 times higher than display ads. According to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, those who view native ads are 3.6 times more likely to perform a branded search than viewers of banners.

Thanks to native advertising for making our ads efficient!

4) Native Ads Both Earn Money and Also Bring Value to Customers.

Content shown in the native in-feed placements is selected from the best websites around the web and it’s bound to reflect interests of website visitors. It’s a win-win situation for publisher and publishers love it.

The State of Native Advertising 2014 report, published by native advertising exchange provider Hexagram in partnership with Spada, a research and public relations firm, reveals some spectacular stats. Based on the findings in this study, publishers are happy with native advertising and expect it to continue to grow:

- 85% of content publishers believe that native advertising represents a new and viable revenue stream
- 84% of content publishers believe that native advertising adds values to their audiences
- 10% of content publishers expect native advertising revenues to increase by 10% within one year

Thanks to native advertising for bringing high value to the web users!

5) Native Ads Engage the Consumer.

According to Online Publishers Association 57% of US publishers said engagement was the primary measurement that marketers use for native advertising; followed by traffic at 43% and social sharing at 33%. In fact, engagement is one of the aces that native advertising has in its deck because it provides active experience and relates to the consumers’ feelings and emotions.

Let’s get back to Sharethrough and IPG study to prove it: 25% more consumers were measured to look at in-feed native ad placements rather than standard banners. Native ads also registered 9% higher lift for brand affinity and 18% higher lift for purchase intent responses than traditional banner ads.

Thanks to native advertising for the engaged audience!

6) Native Ads Create Dynamics in the Whole Digital Advertising Ecosystem.

Even if marketers and publishers aren’t using native advertising (which all of the major ones are), even if they don’t like it, there are still reasons for them to be thankful to native advertising. Thankful, because it affects and adds a lot of dynamics to the whole digital advertising ecosystem.

Since its inception in 2011 until today it has brought a lot of new ideas and technologies to the digital advertising table and has raised a lot of debate, which was very useful to the industry (think of the latest debates started after John Oliver’s take on native advertising, which caused a lot of constructive dialogue about standardization).

Thanks to native advertising for adding dynamics to the digital advertising industry!

7) Native Ads Know Their Audiences.

There are a lot of new technologies involved in native advertising. These technologies offer outstanding targeting options and hold incredible potential for further improvement. Neil Hiltz, head of global marketing for financial services at Facebook says: “Facebook ads are 90% accurate with our native targeting products — using geo, demo, interest, smartphone, etc., as variables. We can layer this targeting with the bank’s data to gain even more efficiency”. As a comparison, online ads can target users with an accuracy of about 50% on average.

Thanks native advertising for excellent targeting!

8) Native Ads Raise Awareness for Important Economic and Environmental Issues.

Let’s face it – our world is still a harsh place with a lot of injustice and things that all of us would like to fix and improve. Considering the reach and impact that native advertising has it has already proved to be a good tool to raise awareness for important social and economic issues.

The best thing about it is that while watching it people engage with it much more and become really involved. Increase of their attention and absence of intrusion increases memorization and the potential to perform actions that benefits society, after watching the ad.

Some of the good examples of such native ads are:

Dr. Martens and Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie Magazine teen-focused campaign spotlighting six advocates whose causes range from gender equality to female empowerment.

- Through the use of Slate’s internal agency SlateCustom, and native advertising platform Polar’s MediaVoice, University of California ran a series called Breakthroughs, which aimed to raise awareness around research conducted on the University system’s various campuses.

- Netflix sponsored a paid post on The New York Times, tying the piece to its fictional, but based-on-a-memoir, women-in-prison series. The advertisement, which dives into the topic of women in prison.

Hopefully, native advertising will deliver much more incidents of positive impact in future. Thanks for this!

9) Native Ads Are Scalable.

It isn’t possible to scale all types of native advertising, however some types are perfectly scalable. It’s content recommendation and content discovery platforms that are able to show some spectacular results in this.These content discovery platforms help advertisers easily scale up, increase volumes of traffic and see their business objectives met. Advanced and flexible targeting and optimization options help to reach campaign goals faster.

Thanks for native ads for fitting different sizes and budgets!

This guest article was written by Sergey Denisenko, CEO of global native advertising company MGID,

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9 Reasons to Be Thankful for Native Advertising

CASE STUDY: Outsourced Marketing Can Double A Brand’s Revenue

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Marketing is one of the most important parts of a successful business. In fact, a strong marketing strategy can lead to higher profits, a larger consumer base, and help build overall brand awareness.

Typically, the job of developing a great marketing plan is left to the CMO. However, some startup companies simply do not have the overhead available to hire a high-level marketing executive, especially considering the cost of a salary and benefits.

For this reason, outsourcing your CMO can prove to be very beneficial for calculating branding strategies and acting as a full-service marketing team to launch, grow and reinvigorate your business.

One company that experienced significant growth in revenue after working with an outsourced CMO is interior design e-commerce site, Lulu & Georgia. As a veteran in the home d├ęcor space since 1955, the California-based company has been glamorizing residences, hotels and businesses across the world – but never tested their brand online via e-commerce.

Now faced with the challenge of competing in a much more crowded space, Lulu & Georgia enlisted help from a company that specializes in handling outsourced marketing to develop a marketing plan to gain brand awareness and consumers which resulted in high profits and overall business value. Here are some case study points from work outsource marketing company Hawke Media realized when it helped Lulu & Georgia with its marketing

Test and Optimize your Strategy

Testing your strategy allows you to target any level, or combination of demographics and build custom and look-alike audiences based on existing users, site visitors and customers to spike traffic. Testing and optimizing hundreds of advertisements (through targeting options and placements on Facebook), enabled Lulu & Georgia to acquire new site traffic which converted to sales with a positive ROI while growing the brand’s social footprint.

Automate Your Marketing to Optimize Your Results

Email marketing is a great way to establish a relationship with your customers and get measurable feedback. An automated series of emails can save time and nurture new potential customers to a sale while refining promotional emails and better segmenting recipients to coordinate relevant messages with appropriate audiences.

Retarget Consumers to Drive More Sales and Conversions

Strategic email marketing can effectively retarget non-purchasing site visitors with highly relevant offers. With a carefully thought out email capture mechanism and retargeting strategy, Lulu & Georgia was able to execute a win-back campaign for users who had strayed from the brand and capture additional visitors who were re-engaged during the very critical 48 hour window.

Additionally, Hawke helped the brand migrate its existing customer and marketing email lists to a new email service provider yielding double-digit increases in open rates, click through rates and revenues.

As a result of these efforts, Lulu & Georgia doubled their monthly revenue in four months, increased their e-commerce conversion, had twelve times more revenue per email and increased their lifetime value by 29 percent.

As competition for consumer attention heats up leading into the holiday season, brands are on the hunt for profitable marketing solutions that can be mobilized quickly. Outsourced marketing is just one solution that can help bring brands up to speed.

This guest article was written by Erik Huberman, CEO of Hawke Media.

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CASE STUDY: Outsourced Marketing Can Double A Brand’s Revenue