The Top Five Reasons to Attend IMS New York 2013

Here at The Pulse Network, we’re really excited about the next Inbound Marketing Summit, set for April 3-4 in New York City. The Inbound Marketing Summit is simply the premiere event for enterprise CMOs, business leaders, agency executives and their teams to learn and leverage digital, mobile and social media marketing

For our second year in the big apple, we’re bringing you over 40 speakers, 300 attendees and great keynotes from today’s most innovative marketing and business leaders.

In case you’re not convinced, I put together My Top Five Reasons You Need to be at IMS NYC 2013.

YouTube Preview Image

We’d love to see you in New York, so take a minute to register for the event to reserve your spot today.


The Top 5 Automotive Social and Digital Media Campaigns

Whether during the Super Bowl or in your favorite magazine (or website or smart phone), automobile advertising continues to dominate traditional media – while at the same time being at the leading edge of new formats, channels and interactivity. In fact, automakers accounted for more than a third of the $262 million in total Super Bowl ad spending in 2012.

And looking back to the early days of online advertising, car makers were some of the first brands to jump on board as they realized the potential of reaching future buyers ‘at the top of the funnel’ before they visited a dealership or even indicated their interest in a particular model.

When it comes to social and digital campaigns, there have been more than a few automotive campaigns that are truly groundbreaking. So who made our list? My colleague Tyler Pyburn and I recently stopped by the Pulse studio to discuss our choices for The Top 5 Automotive Social and Digital Media Campaigns, starting with Audi’s #Progressis campaign:

So Audi really nailed it – on social and traditional media. For number 2, you have to give props to VW’s ‘The Force.’ A great story and great results – watch why we love it here.

For number 3, our vote is the Ford Explorer Facebook launch, which we discuss here.

For number 4, there’s Toyota’s Camry effect – something that looked great on paper – but turned out…less great! Watch why by clicking here.

For number 5, we go in the way-back machine for Volvo’s groundbreaking launch on AOL. Watch why it was so innovative.

So, which car campaigns do you like? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

3 Reasons to Embrace Video Marketing in 2013

We all know that online video is engaging. And we’re learning that video ads can be highly engaging as well. A study by MediaMind found that rich media and video ads make a significantly stronger impression than standard banners. Another recent study on eMedia Vitals (where a version of this post first appeared) shows that video boosts the engagement of mobile ads as well.

With smartphones now in the hands of more than half of US mobile subscribers, it’s easier than ever to capture, share and consume rich media content. Yet advertising effectiveness and consumer demand are just a starting point when it comes to examining why brands – especially B2B organizations looking to reach prospects at the top of the funnel – need to embrace video content.

Looking across some recent studies and our experience creating rich media campaigns here at The Pulse, we’ve come up with three reasons why video should be part of any brand’s content strategy:

1. Audience development. With more distractions and media choices than ever before, many marketers and publishers are focusing their digital media efforts on the best ways to cut through the clutter to reach buyers, influencers and readers. Rich media, including online video, is part of the solution. Researcher Aberdeen Group found that competitive noise in their target market was the top reason successful marketers are adopting rich media. In this video, Aberdeen’s Trip Kucera offers five tips for using rich media in sales and marketing.

Takeaway: Delivering regular, multipart features with branded, embedded video content can boost engagement and increase social sharing. Even better, partnering with an industry personality as a co-host or commentator will enable you to tap their expertise and social graph.

2. SEO. Search engine optimization remains a key foundation for effective content delivery and inbound marketing. Authentic, frequent, engaging content means more visits, shares and links, regardless of how Google evolves its search algorithms. In addition, YouTube claims that video ads drive a 20% increase in traffic to advertiser’s websites, and a 5% increase in searches.

Takeaway:  When you create your video script/rundown, build in keywords with the subject matter expert or host so you’ll have original content that is more relevant to your overall theme and message – and subsequent transcripts and other derivative content will already be keyword optimized.

3. Social engagement. As many organizations struggle to feed their social channels with enough fresh, engaging content, a growing number are discovering that building a scalable ‘content factory’ is easier if you start with video.

For example, at The Pulse we’ve built a process with our production team where a single shoot is divided into a number of distinct segments, and then each segment is produced into a (SEO-rich) video blog, YouTube clip, Facebook post, and podcast. So from one 20-minute interview in our studio, we can turn out 5 segments and 20 pieces (5 segments times 4 formats) of unique social media content, and in just 2 shoots we can create a full-on video e-book or ‘v-book.’

Contact us to learn more about our new v-book offering and using short-form video infographs like this as part of  your content marketing program in 2013!

The Future of Corporate Websites – IMS SF 2012

How are social networks influencing the evolution of corporate websites? In the future, business websites will be less about promoting canned content and become more about integrating “users” and “consumers” personal networks into the sales cycle. As consumers demand more interactive relationships with brands, how should your corporate website respond?

To take it a step further, is it possible that corporate website could vanish entirely in the not too distant future?  It may sound like an impossible prospect, but as more social networks pop up and infiltrate our lives and our customers lives at all stages, the need and usefulness of the corporate website shrinks.  Already, brands are placing more and more of an emphasis on social strategy to connect on a personal level with their customers.

At IMS San Francisco 2012, we were lucky enough to bring together a powerhouse CMS panel that included Scott Liewehr of Digital Clarity Group, Dave Dabbah of EPHOX, Mark Ryan of Extractable, Michael Fern of Intigi, Inc., and Rowan Harper of Modal to discuss the future of corporate websites, and why we shouldn’t mourn the death of the corporate website just yet.

YouTube Preview Image

Make sure to check out all the video content from IMS SF 2012, and find out more about IMS Boston 2012, coming in October.

Bitly Redesign and the New Coke

New Bitly…Same Great Taste?

Remember New Coke?  That oft ridiculed reformulation of everyone’s favorite soft drink that certainly did not bring a smile to its loyal fans.  New Coke has been on my mind (and other’s) as I look at the public outcry over the redesign of everyone’s favorite link shortener: Bitly

So what’s the big deal?  In the name of progress, Bitly has apparently changed something that people didn’t want changed – and kind of dropped it on the marketplace without a lot of notice.  Just like New Coke, which has become one of the most famous marketing case studies.  But unlike New Coke, there are a number of new features not available in the original that in the long run make Bitly a lot more interesting and potentially a lot more useful.  How so?  In short, the link shortening service has become more of a full-on curation platform with the ability to save, organize, share and manage bookmarks.

But for users just wanting to shorten their links, they now have to go through several (3) steps to get their shortened links vs. a simple copy and paste.  Which is what many users apparently still want to do!

What are the lessons here when you are creating a marketing plan for your next product launch?

  1.  Don’t take away something that your customers like
  2. Line up your brand advocates when you have a major product change
  3. Don’t discount the vocal minority (as Bitly’s CEO did in the TechCrunch piece) – word of mouth marketing often starts with a small, passionate group
YouTube Preview Image

So will Bitly bow to the outcry and make another revision?  In a reply to a VentureBeat article on the topic the company noted that “this is only the first phase of the evolving product and we’re going to continue to make fast iterations based on feedback we receive from our members.”

Sounds like Bitly Classic may be hitting the shelves shortly!

Join us at IMS San Francisco in June

Fresh off our debut in New York, IMS is heading west once again to the city by the Bay and we have a pretty awesome program on tap!

As with other IMS events, I’ve tried to craft a program that features just the right mix of ‘big picture’ speakers like Chris Brogan and Tim Hayden, industry watchers and experts like Andre Bourque and Scott Liewehr and a few old friends like Esteban Kolsky, and Laura Fitton. Along with some cool demos, case studies and perspectives from the top vendors in the marketplace.

If you’re in digital or social or mobile marketing, or just trying to make sense of the new ‘content’ and ‘channels’ that are changing the face of multi-channel marketing, I think IMS is a must-attend event.

Tickets are going fast, and we are sure to sell out the Conference Center at the Fort Mason. To sign up and learn more, check out our registration page and join the conversation (Facebook and Twitter) to add your thoughts, hear what IMS means to other marketers and get the latest news on our program.

And don’t forget you can get a look at some of the great content and speakers coming to IMS by heading over to our YouTube channel and viewing our IMS San Fran 2012 video spotlight series.

Want more?  Check out my video below with Tyler Pyburn which explains what’s new at IMS San Fran and what you can expect to experience on June 12-13, 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

To dig deeper into IMS San Francisco check out my video series on the upcoming event.  Also feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions, Tweet or email abonde at thepulsenetwork DOT com.

Lots to like for Marketers (and others) at SAPPHIRE NOW

It’s been a few years since I’ve attended SAP’s SAPPHIRE conference, and after two days of briefings, keynotes, demos and experiencing some excellent multi-media production (more on this in a bit), I’ve got to say that as a digital marketer and long-time SAP industry watcher, there was a lot to like.  Participating via SAP’s Business Influencer program (I first started covering the company in the mid-1990s when I was an analyst at Yankee Group), I had the ability to get some 1-on-1 time with a number of CRM and marketing execs, but some of my favorite discussions also took place on the show floor and with other analysts in the press room.  So what are some of my takeaways?

It’s all about mobile.  Everywhere you looked, there were iPads, smartphones and mobile apps on display.  In fact, at the show, SAP announced a new wave of workplace and lifestyle apps to provide real-time mobile access to HR, finance, sales and mobile commerce functions.  Some examples (that I could use!) include a Travel Expense Report mobile app, new solutions for playing e-learning content on iPads, and a mobile SFA (Customer Briefing) app for sales executives that combines CRM data with external business and news sources, plus mobile commerce solutions based on the company’s Sybase acquisition, and a number of mobile enhancements and apps for retail shopping, insurance and other business processes.

It’s also about the customer experience.  Delivering a complete customer experience was a recurring theme across multiple sessions I attended, starting with a briefing many of the CRM influencers attended with Anthony Leaper and Kevin Knix (featuring a very nice maturity model), which highlighted a new area of focus for the company around social customer engagement – which includes a new partnership with one of the cooler companies in the social intelligence space: NetBase.

On the product front, I’ve been tracking the development of the SAP Web Channel Experience Management solution, and got a look at the latest features in the 2.0 release in Orlando when catching up with Jamie Anderson.  In addition to looking great on an iPad, what’s noteworthy about SAP’s integrated e-Commerce solution is that it’s a lot more than just e-Commerce.  In fact, there are some very nice e-Marketing feature now built-in like product recommendations, wish lists and loyalty management, integration of social content, and e-Service features including Knowledge Management via integration of eGain’s knowledgebase solution.  All of this is delivered via a common user interface for viewing catalogs, product reviews, checking out, tracking orders, returning good and even requesting service, and some real nice use of personalization to keep users engaged – and on-task.

SAPPHIRE goes Hollywood.  I’ve always liked SAP’s branding and ‘in-game presentation’ and at the Pulse we preach that there’s no better way to engage your audience before, during and after an event than with video content creation, multi-media experiences and web broadcasting.  And man, did the SAPPHIRE event team take this to heart.  With multiple broadcast studios on-site to bring the experience in Orlando to a worldwide audience, numerous ways to capture content from participants and influencers (for an example, see my SAP radio interview here), plus extensive online and social media engagement and sharing via, this SAPPHIRE was a true multi-media production that provided a compelling experience whether attendees were onsite or online.












Final Thoughts.  There was a lot of energy at SAPPHIRE, some great keynotes and generally a flawless presentation during the first 2 days.  What didn’t I like?  All the demo pods were good for sampling solutions in an area like Cloud or Mobile, but it was hard to get the ‘big picture’ on the floor and figure out how the various solutions tied together when it came to horizontal capabilities like customer analytics (maybe it was just me).  And I know the concept must have looked great on paper, but having MSNBC personality Mika Brzezinski kick-off Bill McDermott’s evening keynote and then interview him live on stage seemed way too staged and just didn’t work for me.  Mr. McDermott is a charismatic, likeable executive, and would be better off going solo OR being the one who interviews other guests IMO.

So, what’s the bottom line?  As it was when I first started following the company, SAP continues to be a back-office technology powerhouse and a hub for innovation around large-scale business transformation (process), analytics (data) and apps.  And the company still knows have to throw a party!   But what is also apparent is that over the past couple of years SAP has been making strategic additions to its team – e.g., Bill Hou, and most recently Sameer Patel (who is speaking at IMS San Francisco), strategic acquisitions like SuccessFactors, and adding key partners that 1) fill out its CRM, cloud and customer experience capabilities, 2) create a much more complete story when it comes to social- and mobile-enabled solutions, and 3) offer the company new opportunities to enable both client and non-client organizations to create the next generation of intelligent business networks.

Media Use and Marketing Strategies-Thinking about the Trends

Marketers need to understand what consumers want so that they are able to set up a market that advertisers can standardize the way to sell into those markets. There are two dynamics in my marketing play book. The first is listening to what consumers want. A good way to start this is by looking at what channels users are on and see what channels are growing or shrinking. The second dynamic is participation. Users can share online coupons or by commenting on Facebook. A key to participation is that marketers have to realize which channels are deemed as participatory channels.

Through my marketing map, marketers should think about trends in 3 ways:

  1. Marketers should think ‘outside-in’ by listening, gathering preference data, investing in communities and earned media vs. paid media
  2. They need to pend less on broadcasting and mass media
  3. Finally, they need to look at growth rates and not absolute audience; along with the potential to drive participation and sharing

Below, I dicuss more trends that marketers should pay attention to.

YouTube Preview Image

Watch the rest of my series on media use and marketing strategies.  Also feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions, Tweet or email

Media Use and Marketing Strategies-Shifting Advertising Dollars

Where are marketers spending their advertising dollars? There has generally been a lag time between when the audience assembles and when advertisers begin to notice a large audience shifting to a different medium. A main cause for the lag is that advertisers need to get familar with the new media.

My favorite example to use is mobile media. Other media, like internet and television, tend to equalize in terms of media consumption and advertising dollars spent. However, with mobile, it is the opposite. Mobile has 10% attention and only 1% of advertising. This can be considered either a great opportuity or that people just dont want ads on their mobile devices. It comes down to how ad units and mobile behavior need to catch up with each other to create a mobile marketing strategy.

In my video below, I explain more on how advertising dollars are shifting.

YouTube Preview Image

Watch the rest of my series on media use and marketing strategies.  Also feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions, Tweet or email

Enhanced by Zemanta

Media Use and Marketing Strategies-Growth of Social Networking Sites

When we talk about the second screen, we can not forget that a good amount of it can come from social media. Consumers like to have conversations about what they are watching and a great tool that tracks internet trends is comScore. In terms of overall audience, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the big 3. However, in terms of engagment with channels, two out of the top three may surprise you. Facebook is still dominant throughout most channels, but Tumblr and Pintrest are a close second and third. Users are not necessarily going to but are accessing it through other channels and devices.

The most recent social network that has taken the world  by storm is Pinterest. It is a rich, fun, and attractive place to hang out. Similar to the Pulse Network, they follow the motto that if you want to create engagement, you need good content. Having good content creates community.

In the video below, I discuss further the growth of social networking sites.

YouTube Preview Image

Watch the rest of my series on media use and marketing strategies.  Also feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions, Tweet or email

Enhanced by Zemanta

Event Marketing 365:
10 Tips to Build a Kick-ass Marketing Campaign Around Your Event

Has your conference flat-lined? Are you not reaching the younger generation community members? How are you engaging with them before, during and after the event? In this webcast, Rick Quinn, GM of Event Marketing Platform at The Pulse Network, gives you ten actionable tips to creating a kick-ass marketing campaign.

July 9th @ 1pm ET
Register Today