Not sold yet? Here is a short video from Jen on what to expect from the webinar.
If you have a question for Jen about using social media to build your personal brand, leave us a comment below or tweet @MelamedRiley using the official #MRGrad hashtag.
The next Melamed Riley Grad School webinar is slated for September 19. Account supervisor John Butler will talk about why you “Better Become a People Person.” Stay tuned to the Melamed Riley Grad School Website for the official registration page coming soon!
TV Upfronts are the start of an important period for TV ad salespeople and the time of year Media Planners, like me, get to see what shows are being cancelled and the new shows that will be debuting. The major broadcast TV Upfronts occur in New York City and include clips of the new shows premiering in the fall, musical numbers, comedic performances and network star appearances.
Seems as though viewers are finally getting reality show fatigue, Dancing with the Stars will be returning but is dropping down to one night a week and American Idol has steadily had decreasing ratings the past few years. I can honestly say that this I am okay with.
Click here to see the full list from the 2013 TV Upfronts.
What shows are you excited to see? What shows are you upset to see go? We would love to hear your thoughts.
I’ve been reading a lot about introverts lately. And because I am one, I’ve been doing it in the quiet of my own home with my dog by my side. I find myself muttering things like, “Well, no wonder …” and “Now you tell me …” as I come to understand the relationship between being an introvert and surviving — even thriving — in an advertising career.
Here’s what I’ve learned: That introversion isn’t about being shy. It’s about being fueled by energy that comes from within, as opposed to the stimulation around you. My husband is a total extrovert. If we get separated at a large business or social function, I look for him among the throngs in the middle of the room. He’ll likely find me making a new best friend while waiting in line for the ladies room.
So, in my exploration, I’ve come across all kinds of interesting tidbits about introverts in general, and advertising introverts in particular. Part of my job as an ad agency principal is to to ensure that we create a balanced, yin-and-yang environment that fosters creativity, productivity, and harmony. As luck would have it, my partner, Rick Riley, is an extrovert. He thrives on conversation, brainstorming sessions, and making wildly creative presentations. Our staff of 20 includes both introverts and extroverts, although it’s not always obvious which one’s which because they all engage in many of the same behaviors. What I’ve found is that both are critical to making our business percolate, as long as we grant each individual the freedom to be themselves.
So, if you happen to be an introverted person aspiring to work in an ad agency — or you’ve already landed in one — be sure to ask for what you need to perform at your highest level.
Tips to help introverts thrive in an advertising career.
• If you’re not the type to spew a fountain of ideas during a meeting, request a little alone time to engage in your own creative process, then submit your ideas in a one-on-one situation, or in a written document.
• Not everyone’s fast on their feet. If you prefer to spend a few minutes thinking about a question or issue before answering, say so. A thoughtful response will be valued more than a speedy one.
• When making a presentation, define a role for yourself that plays up your strengths and minimizes your discomfort. Some of the most compelling presentations I’ve ever heard were made by individuals who spoke softly but straight from the heart.
• If after a long day of meetings you feel too depleted to be lively at a client dinner, suggest a break in between. Some in your group will welcome the opportunity to recharge their own batteries. The rest will happily wait for you in the bar.
Introversion or extroversion is an innate and essential part of one’s personal and professional brand. Introverts just have to work a little harder in a field like advertising because we tend to avoid the spotlight and eschew taking credit overtly. But our value to a collaborative, free-flowing environment is undeniable. And given that introverts represent roughly a third of the population, odds are that some of your clients fall into that category as well, and will connect with you in a very genuine way.
Furthermore, introverts are in good creative company. Einstein and Edison were introverts. Actors Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Steve Martin, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep are admittedly introverted. So are fictional characters like Jay Gatsby, who throws huge, lavish parties but remains an enigmatic outlier. And Mad Men’s Don Draper, whose complex brand of introversion is masked by a purely fabricated persona.
But the example that sums it all up for me is Batman, who immerses himself completely into his work as a superhero, then invariably retreats to the solitude of the Bat Cave.
Hey … maybe that’s it. Maybe you just need to make sure your ad agency comes equipped with a Bat Cave.
Imagine a scenario in which elementary school students who are unable to hear or speak can participate in class and converse with their peers all because they have a smartphone. A speech-recognition app provides them with real-time captioning and they are able to sign a response which is then translated by an American Sign Language app. This hypothetical situation isn’t far from reality and as technology evolves so will the expectations and behavior of the next “smartphone generation.”
Nearly two out of 10 kids use smartphones according to an eMarketer article, which cites a Harris Interactive online survey conducted among U.S. students in February 2013. If you narrow down that sample to just high school students, the number of smartphone users jumps to 56%. With each generation, kids are becoming more accustomed to smartphones and all the conveniences that come with them at an earlier age.
The younger smartphone generation uses mobile phones more often, which is also affecting how and when they are accessing the web. Among all users, 79% use a mobile phone for shopping related activities. As young generations grow older, this percentage will likely increase meaning marketers will need to continually adjust the way they reach consumers and retailers will need to modify the way they do business. With smartphones now just a part of everyday life, the new smartphone generation will continue to shape how marketing communications and information in general is shared and consumed.
How has the smartphone generation impacted your business or industry?
As someone who commutes to downtown Cleveland from the south, I have the luxury of looking at the traffic snafus caused by the filming of Captain America a little differently. I don’t see gridlock. I see the opportunity to meet an unmet need. And, in this case, it’s a highly emotional need — which, when it comes to successful branding and business, is the best kind of need there is. Think about it. Right now, how much would westsiders pay to dump their cars in Rocky River to bypass the temporary Shoreway closure with a quick ferry ride to Voinovich park?
Granted, as an ongoing venture, the idea has issues, such as reliance on a thoroughfare that’s frozen and impassable for several months every year. That would really cut down on my annual volume of customers. I’m going to have to charge a lot!
But that’s not my point. This is my point. When launching a new product or service, developing a brand or embarking on a rebranding effort, never lose sight of the fact that your chances for success are greatly improved if its introduction will meet some unfulfilled need. There have been endless new brands dreamt up that boasted a neat feature or two, but they didn’t really satisfy any perceived need. So they failed.
A critical part of the branding process here at Melamed Riley is identifying the key emotional need that a brand satisfies. Because when you uncover that — and it’s a really good one — you can sell just about anything. Like $20 boat rides. One way.
A definition from the Urban Dictionary, the internet’s foremost resource for accurate and enlightening meanings for words that already had a meaning, but have now been imbued with a better, much dirtier meaning:
Wingman: The original military term wingman defined a pilot who supports another pilot in a dangerous flying environment. Today we honor that bravery by using the same term to describe a guy who misleads someone into sleeping with you.
In every crowded bar in America, you can find this guy. Fairly handsome, nice clothes, not old exactly, but old-ish. Successful. Certainly not unsuccessful, anyway. Used to be REALLY successful but sort of lost his mojo somewhere along the line. Still doing pretty well and likely is flashing the keys to his Jeep Grand Wagoneer (identified on Tumblr as among the most “hipster” cars) in hopes of attracting the notice of the younger ladies waiting for their drinks with his obvious wealth and taste for expensive-if-somewhat-old-man-smelling things.
What do you do if you’re in the market for 18-24 year olds, and you’re just not really all that cool anymore?
He’s between marriages right now, but lately he’s been dating a younger woman who is a rising star in her industry but thinks everybody should work at their offices rather than from home. She was mostly attracted to his large, established infrastructure, oh, and the estimated nearly $120 million dollars he’s paying her.
It was announced recently that Yahoo and its new CEO, Marisa Mayer, would be acquiring social blogging service Tumblr based in New York City for $1.1 billion. For reference, this represents about 15% of Yahoo’s total cash on hand, so while it’s not going to cause them to run to the PayDay Cash outlet down the street, it’s a big chunk of their operating capital. So, why would Yahoo pay that kind of money for a company with estimated revenues for 2013 of $13 million and a projected value of $108 million once the Yahoo advertising capitalization is in place?
In a word: cool.
For attracting a younger demographic, Tumblr is a pretty impressive wingman. Its worldwide traffic was at 117 million visitors in April, according to comScore. Its homepage claims that Tumblr has 107.8 million blogs and 50.6 billion posts. In the United States alone, desktop traffic to Tumblr was 37 million in April. So the real question isn’t whether Tumblr can deliver Yahoo tons and tons of impressions against this younger, hipper audience, it’s whether they’ll put up with it.
To date, Tumblr users have enjoyed a mostly ad-free experience and might drop the service if Yahoo ramps up ads too much too soon. Yahoo’s Mayer insisted that Yahoo’s advertising efforts on Tumblr would be “tasteful” and limited to the central dashboard or targeted to users who specifically elected to have ads on their Tumblrs.
For historical perspective, Yahoo has been down this path before. They have a reputation for acquiring, ignoring and shuttering young impressionable up-and-comers such as Geocities, Broadcast and Delicious. They have managed to maintain a healthy relationship with Flickr, but only time will tell if they can make things work with Tumblr and its typically fickle followers and content contributors.
However, as Head Wingman in Charge, Tumblr CEO David Karp has a lot of “chatting up the ladies” to do in order to make this forced friendship successful. The Tumblr brand has been built on a subculture of the most irreverent content available on the major social networks. This includes the “Fuck Yeah” meme, which is essentially snarky visual commentary on just about every relevant and irrelevant aspect of pop, political and social culture.
His job as Wingman for Yahoo is scheduled to last 4 years, which is a pretty good deal. And even better when you think of all the uncomfortable moments you’d be willing to spend trying to convince young, cool, hot babes to like your old stodgy friend with the faux-woody-Wagoneer for $200 million. His open letter to current Tumblr staff and community says:
“Before touching on how awesome this is, let me try to allay any concerns: We’re not turning purple. Our headquarters isn’t moving. Our team isn’t changing. Our roadmap isn’t changing. And our mission – to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve – certainly isn’t changing.”
Oh, and it’s signed, “Fuck Yeah, David.”
As a marketer, this is a fascinating case study in attempting not just to buy market share — as it used to go — but to enhance the content and perceptions of your brand by hanging out with a much cooler brand. Given the vast number of options open to the Tumblr Generation for social networking, I am not optimistic that this move won’t damage Tumblr’s business without adding much to Yahoo’s. But we’ll see.
In the meantime, if you see Marisa and David huddled in the back booth at some dark, crowded saloon, send them over a drink. They might be thirsty. Or sick of each other already. Or both.
If you are like me, you fell head over heels in love with the hit ABC show Nashville and are extremely upset that the season has now come to an end. Aside from the impeccable story line, lovable characters, and phenomenal acting, there is an endless list of songs that just won’t quit, which brings me to the topic of this post: How ABC leveraged a successful content marketing strategy for a primetime television show.
As so many of us in the advertising industry are learning, developing a content marketing strategy is the newest version of marketing. In a nutshell, content marketing is the technique of creatively distributing relevant and valuable content to a specific target audience in hopes of attracting and engaging them more, thus driving profitability.
The ABC network really knew a thing or two about content marketing when they launched Nashville, which according to Nielsen ratings, was ranked within the top 50 among 140 regular broadcast primetime series and number 27 for women ages 18–49!
Based on what I have heard and read, here are five things we can learn from the ABC show’s content marketing strategy:
Find a hook that will appeal to a large group of people.
In recent years, country music has been slowly entering mainstream radio – just look at Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood. Country music has gradually escalated in popularity and Nashville seized on this opportunity by devoting a series solely around this genre and filming it all in Music City – a city unlike any other, chock full of history, excitement, and entertainment.
Know your audience.
Those who love country music tend to really LOVE country music, and gravitate towards anything that revolves around it. Once again, ABC realized that a television show based on country music was lacking in the primetime line-up, so they made it happen. Some could even argue that a lot of the characters on the show are representative to some of today’s country stars. Rayna James could be described as Faith Hill, the older, wiser country music singer who has been in the business for decades. Juliette Barnes is the young, free-spirited, fresh new talent to enter the country music world, much like Taylor Swift. These similarities are just another relatable and engaging aspect of the show.
Create valuable content that entertains your audience and gives them something more.
This can be summed up on one word: Music. The central theme of ABC’s Nashville is great music. Whether the famous actor/singer is on tour playing for millions, or the nobody crooner is playing for a small crowd at the Bluebird Café, (a real bar outside of downtown Nashville), there is tons of great music, all unique and written specifically for the show.
Leverage social media to promote your products and/or service.
If I were to improve anything about Nashville’s content marketing strategy, it would be its social media presence. While there is a Nashville Twitter account as well as a Nashville Facebook page, these were used primarily to promote the upcoming episode, rather than the music available for purchase. These platforms would have been perfect vehicles for pushing more downloads from iTunes. They could have integrated promotions to their advantage, such as offering a handful of songs made available for a few select hours leading up to the new episode, or a contest that qualified viewers to win one of the two soundtracks. While they did a great job at making their posts visually interesting by integrating photos from the show in a majority of their updates, there was incremental value that could have been leveraged through these social platforms.
For the most part, ABC’s Nashville did a fantastic job with their content marketing strategy, and while Nashville is sadly no longer a part of my Wednesday evenings, I still have the pleasure of enjoying the music whenever I want. Rumor has it there just may be a Nashville tour in the works too!