posted 09.29.2014 by Spawn








The world of shopping is changing, and customers are thinking in new ways. The convergence of online and offline shopping experiences can be a surprisingly powerful tool for re-branding your company and driving sales. This can sound intimidating, but the truth is that it's becoming easier than ever before to leverage the difference and start bringing customers back to physical locations. How, you ask? It's all about the customer's experience.

Experiencing the Difference

Convenience is the number-one goal of online shopping.Online retailers like Amazon are so focused on it that they’ll now start shipping products to you before you even buy them. Yes, really – it’s called "anticipatory shipping". The goal is to reduce delivery time to your front door by predicting items you might purchase based on previous orders or searches, then suggesting items already in transit and holding them at a hub near you until your order arrives.

On- or offline, the experience customers get matters, and what you’ll do to take advantage of their shopping tendencies depends on what you’re selling. Take a cue from what L.L. Bean did when they decided to move into the Mall of America: rather than limit themselves to products, the retailer is offering hands-on classes and workshops for shoppers of all age groups through their Outdoor Discovery School.

Designing for the Convergence

Your ultimate goal? Send the message that shopping with you is easy, convenient, and what customers need to solve the problems they face.  If you're not sure how to begin taking advantage of the converging online and offline worlds, try offering a few events of your own. You might be surprised at how quickly brand loyalty will build when you start anticipating - and answering - the questions your customers have.

posted 09.24.2014 by Spawn

Just in time for the Facebook announcement that they will soon start charging users, Ello announces their new anti-Facebook, anti-ads social network. This could be the beginning of a big change in social media.

1) There's a mysterious new, anti-Facebook, anti-ads social network called Ello. Ello's goal: to offer a digital platform that offers great communication channels without requiring users to accept ads and data-mining in return. Read more about Ello here.

2) Tim Horton's, in Canada, transformed a residential home into a coffee shop overnight then used social media to spread the word. #TimsNextDoor Read about it here.

3) Volkswagen uses Funny or Die for "native advertising." The result: some pretty funny stuff to a targeted audience. Check it out here.

4) Rumors that Facebook is going to start charging users starting as early as November of this year! Many have been forecasting the death of Facebook. This might be the last nail in the coffin. Read more here.

5) Digital Education. Always hearing digital buzz words but not really sure what they mean? Each week, we'll share a new glossary term with you so you can be digital pros too! This week... Heading tags (H1, H2, H3 etc) are standard elements used to define headings and subheadings on a webpage. The number indicates the importance, so H1 tags are viewed by the spiders as being more important that the H3 tags. Using targeting keywords and key phrases in your H tags is essential for effective SEO.

posted 09.10.2014 by Spawn

The New Apple phone and watch take personalized technology to a whole new level. The latest announcements from Apple continue to evolve this brand's equity in an extremely competitive category.  IKEA's video strategy "drafts" off Apple, using tongue-and-cheek humor to get a bit of attention from the new Apple announcement. And Kraft strategically pairs advertising and content, ultimately gaining  higher ROI from the content, than from its ads.

1) Apple announces the new iPhone 6. Read 10 things you need to know about it here. (The new watch is pretty awesome, too!)

2) They are not the first to spoof an Apple ad, but it's pretty funny (and interesting to see a non-technology company using the Apple announcement this way). IKEA plays off of the new iPhone announcement with a one of their own, introducing "a device so simple and intuitive using it feels almost familiar." Check it out here.

3) Content gets four times better ROI for Kraft than ads. Thinking of its value the same way they think of advertising defines Kraft's "worthiness" strategy. Read the article here.

4) Ever heard of extreme unicycling? Yeah, us neither, but apparently it exists (and looks pretty epic with a GoPro!). Check it out here.

posted 09.08.2014 by Spawn

There’s been a lot of talk about how teens and college kids are deserting Facebook. Heck, even the President made reference to it. But according to, Facebook is still the dominant social media site among the age group. Sure, there was a slight decline (3%) in usage, but “the book” is still used far more than any other social site. So, if you’re a marketer and you’ve been thinking about abandoning “the book”, don’t jump ship yet. The site still has plenty of potential for reaching your teen audience. For more on this, click here.

posted 09.05.2014 by Spawn

The juicy trends of the week.

How will individuals and marketers document and delight with Instagram's new Hyperlapse? Never underestimate the power of packaging to stimulate the senses to believe something that isn't. And, Alaskans, get set for the highly anticipated grand opening events at UAA's Alaska Airlines Center. (And come see what might be the first drive-in movie of your life — or least the first you've seen in decades!)

1) Instagram has HYPERLAPSE now. Fun stuff. Read more here.








2) Packaging messes with consumers' heads and Miller Lite knows all about it. Read more here.

3) Trending video. It's 13 minutes but you will not regret watching it. WATCH HERE.









4) Please check out the NEW Alaska Airlines Center website here and all of the upcoming grand opening events especially the DRIVE IN MOVIE and HOWLAPALOOZA.

5) Digital Education. Always hearing digital buzz words but not really sure what they mean? Each week, we'll share a new glossary term with you so you can be digital pros too! This week...

Above the fold. The content that can be seen on a screen without having to scroll down. In Email Marketing, this refers to the portion of an email that can be viewed in the preview pane. Used to be that you wanted all your important content above the fold. These days, that trend is changing as we are getting more and more used to the endless scrolling site (think Facebook, Instagram, etc.). So, don't worry about the fold anymore! Challenge the fold! Maybe we'll coin a new term.

posted 08.06.2014 by Spawn

Remember when you were a kid and you went into a mild (or possibly deep) depression when summer break ended? Well, while kids may despise this time of year, marketers love it. The back-to-school season is second only to the holidays in terms of consumer spending. And advertisers are spending big bucks on back-to-school keywords to get a piece of the pie. What are some of the most lucrative keywords? Find out here.

posted 07.18.2014 by Spawn

Everyone’s heard the horror stories. A brand kicks off a social media campaign only to be blasted with unexpected, unflattering, and embarrassing feedback from users. This is the inherit risk of social. There is no filter. People say what they want to say.  And there’s nothing you can do about it. And in the case of Airbnb, people said their new logo looked like a certain lady part (they used slightly different words, of course). Remember, social can be your best friend. It can do wonderful things for your brand. Just watch out for the pitfalls. Expect them. Plan for them. Avoid them. Otherwise, you just might end up with a vagina logo dilemma on your hands. And who wants that kind of baggage?

Read more here.

posted 07.03.2014 by Spawn

Brands with a cult-like following all have one thing in common - Their products say something about the people who use them. Wired gave a great example in a recent article: “When you see someone with one of those GoPro Hero 3 cameras strapped to her chest, it’s a signal to the world that she is about to do something awesome.” In other words, GoPros aren’t selling like mad because they’re made out of reinforced, high-grade poly-plated plastic (but that helps). They sell because they say something cool about the people who use them. Moral of the story: Don’t just sell a product. Sell a lifestyle. An experience. Sell something awesome.

Read more in the Wired article here.

posted 06.27.2014 by Spawn

Now marketers can target users on Twitter based on local weather conditions. For example, a sunscreen marketer could buy more ads aimed at cities where sunny weather is forecasted. Or a doggie raincoat marketer could place ads in areas where rain was expected (What? You don’t dress your dog in those?). Obviously, this is a no-brainer for some brands.  But does it make sense for your brand? Could the weather affect your customers’ buying habits? Could aligning your product with the weather get people to see it in a new light? Is it worth the money to target via the weather? Or are you better off saving your money for a rainy day? (Yeah, I said it.)

Read more here.

posted 06.26.2014 by Spawn

“What is an Instant Gram?” said everyone and their mother when Instagram first launched. Well, we’ll tell you what it is now – the new bar for social network engagement.

Instagram’s first advertisers, like Ben and Jerry’s who were carefully selected from within the existing Instagram community, have started indicating success, with ad recall being picture perfect for some brands. How?

Along with being established members of Instagram, the first wave of advertisers produced BEAUTIFUL content. It’s that simple. They were trusted, they knew the rules of the game and they put up pictures that were less advertising and more stunning eye-candy.

Moral of the story: effective advertising doesn’t have to feel like advertising. Check this out to learn more.

posted 06.23.2014 by Spawn

Yahoo! has been pretty aggressive lately trying to compete against tech giants (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon). There’s been little success to show for it, however. Yet, despite some missed swings, Yahoo hasn’t thrown in the towel yet. Their most recent bid to pick up high definition provider RayV has been called everything from necessary in order to compete with Google (owner of YouTube) to complete B.S.

Will it happen? Will this be the key to unlocking Meyer’s goal of becoming the next tech giant? For Yahoo’s sake, let’s hope so. Tune in here for more.

posted 06.09.2014 by Spawn
Like tons of brands, 3M has embraced social media. Specifically with their flagships Post-it and Scotch Tape. But unlike most brands, they’re knockin’ it out of the park. Why? It’s not because they’re talking about how sticky their tape is, that’s for sure.

It’s because they’re creating a community among Millenials and DIY’ers via social. They closely follow conversations and threads and study data. Then use it to offer things people are actually interested in. Like out-of-the box ideas and project-specific advice. They even helped decorate a couple’s wedding with Post-it notes (turned out way classier than you’d think it would).

Bascially, they met people where they actually use the products – in real life. So instead of following some brand, people felt like they were following someone. If you really want to connect with consumers via social (or any medium) take a page out of 3Ms notes – create something bigger than a product Facebook page. Create a community. 
Read more here
posted 06.02.2014 by Spawn

Google recently released that they plan on expanding their Adwords presence to thermostats, car dashboards, refrigerators and… well pretty much every screen on the planet.

It’s kind of exciting to think what this could mean for the future of advertising. It’s also incredibly terrifying to see that Google is one step closer to taking over world… so many mixed feelings.

For more on Google’s future plans, click here.

posted 05.30.2014 by Spawn

Video being the up and coming medium seems like a convo we’d have back in the ‘50s – while we swilled our scotch, smoked Lucky Strikes and typed away on our fancy new typewriters. But we’re talking web video. Sure, even that has been around for a while, but it’s becoming more popular among users and more useful for advertisers.

YouTube is now the second most used search engine and boasts the highest average time on site and pages per visit. Proof that video generates some crazy high quality engagement. Facebook is seeing a rise in video popularity too. It hasn’t overtaken engagement with photos, but it’s trending that way. Probably why “the Book” has developed new video analytics. Giving advertisers more in-depth info about how users are interacting with their videos on Facebook. Which means effectiveness can be measured like never before.

There’s never been a better time to start making more videos. Except the mid-1900s. But it’s too late to capitalize on that. Unless you have a time machine. In which case, I hope you’re doing something cooler than traveling to the 1950’s to make videos.

Read more.

posted 05.23.2014 by Spawn

Big-time soda slinger Coca-Cola just aired its first TV spot made (almost) entirely out of user generated content (UGC). Other brands, like Doritos, have been doing it for a few years now. And for good reason. UGC makes your advertising job easier (and sometimes cheaper) and it makes your audience feel more involved. Plus, some say it’s more effective than traditional advertising. Because when people hear good things about products/services form other (real) people, they’re more likely to believe it.

UGC isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, however. Most photos/videos will be of lackluster quality. And you can’t dictate what is shot/recorded. You get what you get. Out of 100 user submitted videos/photos, you might be able to use two.

But enough of the negative Nancy stuff. UGC can be great if done right. Try it on social to start with. Ask consumers to send you posts, pics and videos. Post them on your Facebook page.  Share them. Just be weary of asking people to post directly on your page – don’t want someone bashing your brand on your turf – e.g., the NYPD Facebook fiasco (see prior blog post). Yeah, that was bad…

Read more here.