Pandora and the Democratization of Data Analytics

Pandora announced that it will release its new Podcast Analytics feature today, providing podcast hosts with audience information including: where they live, how long they listen, and how they engage with content.

In doing so Pandora is joining competitors Apple and Spotify in providing analytics dashboards to its content producers in a bid to keep them using the platform and help keep listeners engaged.

Why it’s hot: 

Until recently only professional content producers had data into how their content was being purchased, used, and by who–e.g they needed a marketing team to do research. This could impact creative decisions as they chased trends and customers. Now, customer data can continually impact the creative process for non-professional creators. By providing clear KPIs, these tools could shift the type of content that is made.

A new purpose for brick and mortar

Startup company B8ta is taking the retail store experience concept one step further. B8ta sells no merchandise itself, instead charging “subscriptions” that brands pay to use their spaces and their Built by b8ta platform, for short or longer terms.

Built by b8ta, a store-as-a-service platform, includes checkout, inventory, point of sale, inventory management, staff scheduling services and other capabilities.

Lowe’s partnered with b8ta in 2016 to roll out a series of SmartSpot shops inside the home improvement retailer’s stores and earlier this month, Macy’s announced a plan to scale its new pop-up concept, The Market @ Macy’s, testing format spaces powered by b8ta’s technology.

Read more at Retail Dive.

Why It’s Hot
As ecommerce continues to rapidly grow and brands try to figure out the interplay of on and offline, we have a front-row seat to retail evolution.

Few Marketers Use a Single System of Record for Data Management

From social listening insight to email metrics, US marketers rely on a slew of data sources to inform their decisions. But less than 9% of those polled by mobile marketing provider Tune in March 2017 said they use a single system of record to bring all that data together.

Instead, roughly 21% of respondents rely on multiple databases, and 16.5% use a marketing cloud service to house data.

Though not quite the same thing, a well-integrated marketing cloud could potentially serve more functions than a single system of record. It could not only bring data together, but also deliver actionable insights to marketers and operationalize them through email marketing, social media and other channels.

Why it’s hot?

  • Having no centralized repository of data has been a challenge rife amongst my clients. By having disparate and at time conflicting metrics for success, silos have been established, and politics increase.

New Video Platform Guarantees Viewer’s Full Attention

magnets_0New video platform Syncroll offers the first 100% guaranteed completion rate option for advertisers with a platform optimized for attention rate and interest.

Despite a growing interest in digital video ads from both brands and consumers (video ads are now the most engaging ads for Milennials) there are still hurdles and inconsistencies when it comes to actually measuring the success of video ads and making sure your audience sees them.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the threat of virtual “bots” that skew the success of social posts when brands optimize for impressions or views. These bots often mimic human behavior and fill in gaps between actual traffic or engagement with a video and the desired benchmark a brand has set—making it seem like the brand is meeting its goals when in reality a lot of the traffic is fraudulent.

Not only do bots skew the results of video ad engagements, but the APIs on the platforms also deliver confusing results. YouTube and Facebook differ in their definitions of views, making performance metrics hard to quantify and compare.

With all the chaos and confusion, brands are between a rock and a hard place as they combat measuring performance while continuing to optimize for the most engaging type of digital ads. However, Mediabong launched a  new video platform it calls Syncroll to solve this. Syncroll’s algorithm calculates in real-time a viewer’s interest in a video, prioritizing engagement and actions over views. Advertisers using Syncroll only pay for video ads that are watched in full.

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Syncroll’s KPIs are based on attention rather than views or completion rates, which the platform says is a more telling metric and also more useful when it comes to retargeting.

And brands have seen real results with the platform. Volvo and Netflix saw a 30% increase in video competitions and engagement rates using the Syncroll platform.

Why It’s Hot: Guaranteed views is a more cost effective KPI for brands and a better indicator of ROI from digital ads. The capabilities Syncroll offers could help brands wary of entering the space of digital video content more willing to test the waters and media spend dollars—thus giving consumers more of the content they desire.

Wearables: Smaller, Waterproof and now Light-data Enabled

The World’s Tiniest Fitness Tracker goes light-data enabled

The size of a shirt button, the Goccia syncs effortlessly to your iPhone with the clever use of light. Goccia (it means “drop,” as in a drop of water, in Italian) is a tracker fairly similar to the market leaders, like Fitbit or Jawbone Up or Nike Fuelband, in most ways. It’s the smallest of all of them–at least, we couldn’t find any smaller ones–about the size of a large button, and perhaps more attractive than most, as a simple silver circle. It’s waterproof, and meant to be worn all the time in some capacity, whether that’s clipped onto a shirt or worn as a necklace or wristwatch.


Next-generation Wearables/Fitness Tracker

Why it’s Hot

The coolest aspect of this advancement isn’t the miniaturization, or the water-proofing. It’s in how it uses light to upload data to your iphone. The Goccia syncs with your phone via light: you place it face down on your iPhone‘s front-facing camera and the Goccia emits a beam of light that has all your data encoded. Using the camera to upload data, via light, can have huge simplicity implications for the user experience and further break down the walls of getting wearables widely embedded into mass public.

Social Meant for Brand Sales

8thBridge provides a Social Discovery platform to brands that want to empower people to discover new product ideas from each other, inspire the creation of crowd-sourced content, and gain a far deeper understanding of their customers.This tool is called Graphite and creates a brand-appropriate, visually inspiring, customer experience that encourages people to engage with each other and discover new ideas and products to buy. 



Launch Video:


Why It’s Hot

Large brands such as Toys-R-Us, GNC, Nautica, Juciy Couture, Hallmark, Targer, and many more are utilizing or plan to utilize Graphite. This strategy of creating a new social platform rather than trying to create an experience in current networks is a large risk, but has a lot of potential. ROI from social has always been a challenge, and ideas like this could be the right direction in creating profitable campaigns.

Nautica Case Study

How Dunkin’ Donuts Stores in Arizona Beat the Heat With Twitter

When retail chains run national campaigns, their locations in some geographical areas get left out in the cold—or uncomfortably in the scorching sun, if they happen to be located in the American Southwest. First Cup, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee company in Phoenix, knows the feeling when it comes to the quick-serve brand’s efforts on Twitter.

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So during the last half of 2013, HipLogiq’s SocialCompass was used to suss out relevant Twitter conversations. The franchisee used the handle @DunkinDonutsPHX, which has grown modestly to 2,160 followers. Via a search algorithm, the system found nearby people who were prime targets for a complimentary medium coffee—and “iced” was part of the pitch, of course.

Essentially, local Twitter discussions of coffee and other Dunkin’ products were zeroed in on with tweets directed at such consumers. It’s a simple concept enabled by technology. The offer entailed a loss-leader coupon, meant to drive foot traffic to place orders beyond the beverage freebie.

Here are the key data points from its effort:

  • 120 percent conversion rate;
  • 1,827 relevant Twitter conversations;
  • One Twitter user shared the free coffee pitch with 1,745 followers, and two of his followers retweeted it to another 1,150 people;
  • More than 1,480 customers were gained due to the increased awareness.

Why it’s Hot

While many marketers are considering and contemplating hyperlocal activities, a Dunkin Donut franchisee in Phoenix is putting it real time digital marketing into practice

MoMA Launches New Twitter Account to Make Art Interactive

The Museum of Modern Art has created a new Twitter account in hopes of getting more people to talk about art. Unveiled in a SXSW presentation, the museum hopes that their new Art140 project is a means to better understand how the public feels about art. The project also creates an opportunity for people to connect with living artists.

This new social intergration with art will begin with Art140 posting images to six pieces of art, along with information that will work to get people thinking. The hope is to create content streams that focus less on authors and timeline, and more on broad themes.

According to Adweek, “By summer, Possible [digital shop] will compile the chatter from the new stream into a report that will hopefully broaden MoMA’s understanding of what people love and hate about art, with the opportunity to break down opinions based on gender or geography, for example.” Read more here.

Why It’s Hot | Similar to how we use analytics to measure consumers’ opinions on advertising, MoMA is applying this same idea to their featured art and using social media to do so. This could help the museums (and museums in general + the broader art community) in three ways: (1) Increase interest in the museum and their pieces, (2) Measure engagement and general feelings around the art and experience within MoMA, and (3) Help the museum decide which pieces / styles to feature in the future.

Brands’ Organic Facebook Reach is Crashing

Social@Ogilvy analyzed 106 country-level brand pages and they’ve concluded that the days of admins achieving free reach for their pages on Facebook are numbered. The study found that the average reach of organic posts had declined from 12.05% in October to 6.15% in February.

Read More Here


Why It’s Hot

Facebook’s algorithm changes and its affects on brand page performance should serve as a reminder for marketers. Facebook originally presented an immense opportunity –  the ability for brands to listen to, connect with and build authentic relationships with their consumers in real-time. As the social ecosystem continues to change, this founding principle can become lost and fall away in the race to collect ad dollars, please shareholders, and report high numbers of “likes” and “shares.” To keep strategies sustainable and successful in the ever-evoling world of social algorithms and emerging platforms, marketers must maintain a focus on the long-term goal of social media – building genuine relationships with their customers and not get caught up in the hype of short-lived novelty trends and futile ad spends.