Archive for February, 2011

MC Hammer, Domino’s, Red Cross and DirecTV discuss real-time interaction with brand fans

Gravity Summit logo Hammertime: 4 Lessons from Gravity Summit 2011When it comes to the topic of social media, it’s always “Hammertime,” as we discovered at the Gravity Summit this past Tuesday at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles.

The pop rapper/IRS poster boy/reality star/entrepreneur and, in his latest incarnation, member of the Twitterati, was on and ready to rock the mic about Web 2.0 and beyond at the conference themed to the Power of Real-Time Social Media. Hammer received the first “Social Media Marketer of the Year” award.

Also testifying that social media is (sorry) too-legit-to-quit at the all-day gathering were brand marketers (Domino’s Pizza, Toyota, DirecTV), agency strategists (Mr Youth, Fleishman Hillard, Weber Shandwick), and pundits from tech publications (Fast Company, Mashable). In a rather timely booking, Daphne Hart from the Red Cross’ OC’s Marketing and Public Affairs division was on hand to discuss her brand’s recent Twitter crisis—and ultimate save. Some of the more resonant messages of the conference:

1) Take it personally: While everyone acknowledged that they want millions of followers, panelists reveled in social media’s ability to stalk and pick that person from the crowd and reward them with prize-patrol-style treatment. The theory: One amped-up brand evangelist with a Facebook, Foursquare or Twitter account is preferable to 100 merely passive fans.

Case-in-point: Ramon De Leon, Operating Partner of a six-store Domino’s franchise, once met a pregnant woman at the airport gate with a pie after seeing her tweets about “starving” on a flight to Chicago. A woman’s desperate-sounding Tweet about “needing” a lifetime supply of Wheat Thins resulted in a surprise delivery of a truckload of the crackers to her house; the company also used the concept in a commercial. “I love to monitor people’s accounts,” DeLeon said. “Behind every single Twitter account, there’s a person [saying] ‘I want to be found!’ ”

2) The customer is always right 2.0: You don’t get to define your brand all by yourself anymore; your brand is what the people say it is to the world. “A brand used to be a logo or a press release, but today customers are interested in interacting,” said Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, chief strategist at Weber Shandwick and developer of the Social ID Index to gauge a brand or program’s engagement. “What the Red Cross did during their beer situation was an authentic interaction. And their donations went up as a result.”

3)  Go to extremes: Charles E. Miller, Director of Digital Care for DirecTV, gave a case study on how his brand used social media to locate that rare individual who owned more than 250 remote controls. These people were courted to participate in a research project—and gave them access to technicians and design input. “Most marketers won’t engage extreme consumers, and some will run the other way,” Miller said. “But they provide great information. They represent the entire pie in one person.” He cited a Harvard Business Review statistic that speculated those classified as “extreme consumers” will spend 10% of their lifetime income on one brand.

4)  Keep score: Tallying Friends and Followers, tracking mentions, keeping tabs on social nuances at Klout and other sites—all are good for the ego, said Nick Adler, owner of The Roxy Theatre, but what you can read between the lines is even more informative. “These tools are even better for finding out where you’re weak,” said Adler, who gave a presentation on his initiative the Social Strip with Kyra Reed of Markyr Media. “Look at them and see how you can get better. Or, don’t tweet for a few days and see what happens.”

— Becky Ebenkamp


ASInYourCity AdSense in Your City is coming to CharlotteIn 2010 we kicked off the AdSense in Your City program by visiting and optimizing more than 400 publishers in six different US cities. We loved getting to meet you face to face, and are very excited to head down South this March to provide even more of you with personalized optimization tips!

On Wednesday, March 9, a few of our optimizers will be in Charlotte, North Carolina to hold 20-minute optimization sessions at a local coffee shop between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm. We’re going to keep it casual, so we can provide one-on-one consultations to as many of you as possible.

We’d love to meet you, so please fill out this form if you’ll be in the Charlotte, NC area on March 9 and would like to schedule an appointment with our team. Once we get your RSVP, we’ll follow up via email with additional details if there’s still room. Scheduling will be done on a first-come, first-served basis, but we’ll do our best to include as many of you as space will allow.

Hope to see you in Charlotte!

Posted by Katrina Kurnit – Inside AdSense team

5576995 7651137739349969976?l=adsense.blogspot AdSense in Your City is coming to Charlotte
 AdSense in Your City is coming to Charlotte

 AdSense in Your City is coming to Charlotte

The stars of the search advertising world find their way to Northern California March 8-10 for SMX West

danny sullivan smx You’ve Got Lots of Friends in San JoseDo a search on Yahoo! for “search marketing conference” and at the top of the list will be SMX, the Search Marketing Expo, which is run by Third Door Media and search guru Danny Sullivan. Ten SMXs are held around the globe each year, and the first of 2011, SMX West in San Jose, California, is a mere handful of days away.

The Yahoo! Advertising Blog will be on the scene covering all the action, and a number of Yahoos will be speaking during various conference sessions. As a whole, SMX West will offer more than 60 sessions on search engine optimization (SEO), paid search advertising (PPC), social media marketing, local and mobile search, landing page conversions and more.

SMX West will be highlighted by three keynote speeches:

  • Search Engine Land editor-in-chief Sullivan will clarify the search and social media marketing landscape, digging in to what’s important—and dismissing what’s trivial—in a straight-from-the-hip “State of Search Marketing” keynote.
  • Learn how to leverage mobile social networks to connect a business and brand with consumers in a keynote speech by Foursquare director of business development Tristan Walker.
  • And finally, author Steven Levy will provide a behind-the-scenes look at Google and discuss the pre-release of his new book In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives.

Besides your humble blogger, many other Yahoos will be on hand to provide their insight and expertise to SMX West attendees. Here’s who’s coming and where you can catch them:

Tuesday, March 8; 10:45 a.m. – Noon:
“Best Practices with adCenter for Bing & Yahoo!”
Panelists will discuss the key differences between AdWords and adCenter, including adCenter’s unique and powerful features that advertisers should be taking advantage of to maximize ad campaigns on Bing and Yahoo!. Featuring Jon Mette, Regional Manager for Search Strategy at Yahoo!.

Tuesday, March 8; 1:45 – 3:00 p.m.:
“Mobile Search Ads”
eMarketer predicts that mobile ad spend will surpass $6.5 billion in 2012. So if you haven’t launched a mobile search campaign, you’re missing out on a growing market. This session will look at mobile paid search opportunities and how search marketers can get ahead of this tsunami of opportunity. Featuring Paul Cushman, Senior Director, Mobile Sales Strategy at Yahoo!.

Tuesday, March 8; 3:45 – 5:00 p.m.:
” ‘Content Farms’ or, the Smartest SEOs in the World?”
Companies like Demand Media, and Associated Content are big businesses built on closely watching what people are searching for and creating content to match. This session will provide a look at some of the issues related to “content farms,” as well as lessons from publishers who think SEO from start to finish. Featuring Luke Beatty, Vice President & General Manager, Yahoo! Contributor Network.

Wednesday, March 9; 10:45 a.m. – Noon:
“Mobile Apps & How They’re Revolutionizing Search”
There are currently more than 200,000 apps for the iPhone and 100,000 and growing for Google’s Android—and many are built around search. This session looks at popular search apps on different devices, how they gather data, and the new, away-from-the-desktop opportunities they offer to marketers. Featuring Anil Panguluri, Director of Yahoo! Mobile Search and Discovery, Yahoo!.

Wednesday, March 9; 5:00 – 6:15 p.m.:
“Searcher Behavior in a Multi-platform World”
Understanding searcher behavior is one of the central pillars of effective search marketing. More than ever, it’s important to not just understand what people are searching for, but how they are searching—using a computer, television or mobile device—because this provides important clues as to why they are searching and may change the experience you offer to them. Recent searcher behavior research will be discussed in this session. Featuring Taylor Schreiner, Senior Director, Strategic Research & Insights, Yahoo! Search.

Thursday, March 10; 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
“In-House PPC Programs for Big Companies”
In this session, you’ll hear from enterprise-level PPC in-housers who will talk about the nuances of managing PPC. Speakers will cover items such as managing at a large scale, managing multiple business units, what to do when campaigns that compete against each other for the same keywords, and how to effectively compare programs and report progress to execs. Featuring David Roth, Director, Search Marketing, Yahoo!.

— Jeff Hecox


This week: the next generation of social, MySpace’s demise, tweeting perspective, free Chipotle and The Oscars online

girl scout samoas 159x300 The Five Best Things in Social MediaBest new socially savvy audience: kids

I was never a Girl Scout, but I’ve probably snarfed my own weight in Samoas. That’s why I was delighted to find out the 99-year-old organization and its cookie-pushing ways are going high-tech. By using Facebook events, iPhone orders and payments via Jack Dorsey’s Square, today’s girl scout can sell as many as 400 boxes an hour! Mini-moguls could also use kid social networking sites like Togetherville, which Disney acquired this week. The First Lady may not allow her girls on Facebook and Congress may want to pass a “do not track kids” law, but it seems that today’s tots are tomorrow’s social media uber-users.   

Best social network pioneer being put out to pasture: Myspace

MySpace was probably the first social network that parents didn’t want their kids on. Ah, the early 2000s. This week, one of the top infographics circulated was titled: The Utter Collapse of MySpace. Ouch. According to comScore, MySpace had 45 million unique visitors in January, down from 70 million the year prior. No wonder News Corp. is trying to unload the former golden child.  

Best perspective on social media: new Twitter stats from eMarketer

One of my best friends finally joined Twitter this week. He’s an avid reader and a sharp, witty writer, so I was shocked that it took him so long. For me, Twitter is the perfect way to discover, share and create content. But according to new eMarketer estimates, relatively few online Americans agree. Although Twitter’s growth rates continue to rise, only 16.4 million U.S. adults, or 9% of the adult nternet population, used Twitter at least monthly in 2010. It’s an important reminder that those of us who work in tech and cover it for a living don’t always reflect the larger online population—fortunately or unfortunately.

Best Facebook promotion for a new TV show: Chipotle and NBC 01nbcif 300x237 The Five Best Things in Social Media

Like most costume-loving pigs, I booed last year when Chipotle changed its “Boo-rito” promotion to make it harder to get a free burrito on Halloween. But fear not, you can still get your free Chipotle on, thanks to NBC. This week the peacock network is offering a free Chipotle meal for anyone who watches a 90-second promo video on Facebook for the upcoming show America’s Next Great Restaurant. The tie-in? The Chipotle founder and CEO is one of four investors in the show. Good enough for this Mexican food lover.

Best live TV show to use social media since the Super Bowl: The Oscars

For advertisers, The Oscars has long been regarded as the Super Bowl of the entertainment industry. This year, the Super Bowl went social so it only makes sense that The Academy Awards follow suit. Brands like JCPenney, Dove and Living Social are socializing their strategies to capitalize on the virtual chatter that live TV events now create on social media and mobile. Especially apropos, since this is the first time a social network could walk away with the biggest award.

— Dianne Molina 


A buck and a hope gets Phil into the “Set for Life Club”

At a bodega, or, as we refer to them in Southern California, a convenience store, a blue collar guy named Phil scrapes the cash icons off his Scratcher lottery card like he presumably does every day of his life. Lost in his numbers-revealing reverie, Phil is then elevated through a hydraulic platform that comes bursting out of the ground to push him through the ceiling tile, as a baffled clerk looks on.

Phil’s final destination in this new spot from the California Lottery is a country club in the sky where he is greeted by a gospel choir and golden balloons. A singer belts out the theme from “The Jeffersons,” and everybody is outfitted in  members-only green jackets. His peers are a mix of humanity—a lucky construction worker accessorizes his club blazer with a hard hat—who are seen enjoying finger foods and getting down to the funky music.

Phil is  officially welcomed to the “Set for Life club” reserved for players who have won $100,000 a year for 20 years in the California Lottery. (See the ad after the jump.)

Speaking of stories, the ad account for the California Lottery Commission has had more drama than most Hollywood screenplays. Independent agency David & Goliath won the account in October 2010, and “Set for Life Club” is the agency’s first work for the client, which spent $35 million on advertising in 2009 and about $100 million from 2006 to 2009 (Nielsen) with agency BBDO West. A companion website also thumbs its nose at the conservative country club theme.

— Becky Ebenkamp