Who is the MVP of the Marketing Bowl: Social Media or Super Bowl Ads?

If you read this blog, you likely already care less about the Saints versus the Colts than you do about Super Bowl ads versus Social Media marketing. After all, the real money isn't earned from the battle on the field but in the battle that occurs during timeouts: Each player on last year's winning team earned a bonus of $83,000 while NBC earned around $213 million in ad revenue for the telecast.

A shift is occurring in the relative importance to marketers of Social Media and Super Bowl advertising.  Of course, the 2010 Super Bowl isn't the first we've seen of the marriage of Social Media and Super Bowl ads. Last year, Doritos struck gold with a UGC (User-Generated Content) ad produced by two unemployed brothers, and the brand is back this year with more UGC ads competing for even greater prize money.

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Risk Avoidance and the ROI of Social Media, Insurance, Guitars and Tires

There is a lot of buzz about Social Media ROI, and since the topic is complex, there will continue to be buzz about it for years to come. Brands want to know that Social Media works, what works, and how to invest their money.

Much of the results generated by Social Media can be measured quantitatively and qualitatively: transactions, decreased customer service costs, increased awareness, improved sentiment, etc. But some of the advantages from Social Media cannot be measured, because much like investments in insurance and tires, the benefits come from risk avoidance.

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Is Twitter Fading? For Marketers It’s not Twitter that Matters but Twitterers

If you saw the headlines yesterday, you might be excused for thinking Twitter was in decline:  “Twitter's growth slows dramatically,” “Twitter popularity declines, growth slows down,” and “Read more

Interview on Marketing Voices

I was pleased to have the chance recently to speak with Jennifer Jones of the Marketing Voices podcast.

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Call for participation: Using social media for financial services marketing

I've had the opportunity over the past year to work with a lot of banks and credit unions, insurance providers, and investment management firms. Marketers at financial services companies face a number of challenges other marketers don't -- most importantly, confusing and often ill-defined government regulations -- but yet I've been impressed with the social media efforts I've seen from many companies in this category.

I've decided to research and write a report on how financial services marketers can most effectively use social media. We'll be including lots of our data on how different types of financial customers engage with social media, of course -- but I'd also like to collect more insight from the marketers' perspective.

If you're a financial services marketer, and you're willing to walk us through examples of how you've used social media, talk to us about how you manage risk and work with your legal and compliance departments, and share with us some of the lessons you've learned in social media marketing, then we'd love to talk to you. You can contact me directly at: nelliott at forrester dot com. Thanks!

Why the Media Meltdown Matters to Brands

Back in July my colleague Nick Thomas wrote a report entitled: We Are All Media Companies Now: How Brands Can Benefit From The Media Meltdown.  I heavily recommend you read it. As we enter the second decade of the 21st century its core arguments are more relevant now than ever before.

The fundamentals of media business are toppling as their 20th century foundations crumble.  Consumers are falling out of love with paying for media and striking up illicit affairs with free content, not just because it is free, but also because it is on their terms.  YouTube, BitTorrent and Spotify don’t dictate when audiences watch and listen, they let them take control.  This is great news for consumers but terrible news for media businesses that have spent years building revenues upon near-monopolistic control of supply of content.  This is the Media Meltdown.

Why all this matters to brands is because the tectonic shifts in media value chains are creating exciting new opportunities for non-media companies to become media companies themselves.  Just as Apple transformed from hardware company to media services company with the launch of the iTunes Store, so too are brands such as Procter and Gamble with BeingGirl.com, Tommy Hilfiger with Tommy TV and Audi with its UK TV channel. 

Why are brands such as these choosing to become media companies?  Because communicating with audiences can be so much more valuable a relationship than a cold, hard sell to potential customers.  Engaging young girl readers on BeingGirl.com with articles about what it means to be a young girl on the verge of womanhood means so much more to that audience than an old fashioned TV ad by P&G’s Tampax (one of the brands behind the site). 

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