Online is evolving, but making the complex simple and the simple compelling is key, says James Gaubert
[Campaign - December 1, 2013] The words ‘Digital Journey’ are bandied around on a daily basis, which got me thinking about my own digital journey and how I’ve been fortunate enough to grow with technology and be part of the ever-changing digital landscape. My journey into digital began 16 years ago at a boutique UK digital marketing agency. We were a ‘full services’ agency that offered two services: emails and building micro-sites. And, 16 years ago, that was about as complex as digital really got. Fast-forward to the present day and things are very different.
Today, the digital landscape comprises of a vast mix of different channels such as social networks, blogs, websites, email; mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets; videos, widgets, kiosks, QR codes, banners, rich media, and gamification. These channels help marketers build relationships and advocacy with consumers, publicise their brands, and ultimately sell their products or services. But these added levels of complexity cannot afford to be underestimated, for both consumers and marketeers. The speed of change within the digital world at the moment is astonishing and only set to get faster as a host of new tools, methods and technology are about to come into play. As we head into 2014 I thought I would share with you my ‘Big Five’ digital trends that I believe are going to have a huge impact on what we all do over the next 12 months.
A POV on the Google algorithm change from the MRM Performance Department.
A recent announcement by Google stating that they will make all organic keyword level data unavailable has made some marketers claim that SEO is dead. Again. However, this is not the case by any means. SEO is a unique combination of art and science where you use the information you know to optimize a website so it will stand out from the almost 650 million other websites on the World Wide Web.
Google updates its algorithm around 600 times every year so an effective SEO strategy starts by following Google’s guidelines and continuously monitoring, revisiting, and testing different tactics.
Background: Google privacy update 2011
In October 2011, Google announced a privacy update that impacted marketers’ visibility into natural search (SEO) data. Google began encrypting keywords from natural search traffic for users signed in to a Google product—including Chrome, Google+, Gmail, and YouTube—who used a secure connection.
Prior to this update, analysts could pull data from a Web analytics platform, such as Google Analytics or SiteCatalyst, and analyze natural search traffic and conversion by keyword. This level of visibility has since eroded, as all keywords driving natural search traffic from logged-in users were replaced with “(not provided)”.
The percentage of “not provided” natural search terms has steadily increased over the past two years. Many of the most popular browsers—Firefox, Chrome, and Safari on iOS6—released updates in 2012 and early 2013 that defaulted to Google encrypted search, regardless if a user was logged in to Google. This means the overall impact on any given website’s natural search keyword data is driven by its users’ device and browser choices.
It is important to note this change only applied to natural search traffic. Traffic driven by paid search ads (SEM) continued to pass the search query string along to the destination website.
Unfortunately, there is no meaningful industry benchmark to provide context for importance of SEM or SEO relative to other traffic channels. For example, a microsite that is campaign-driven and supported almost exclusively through SEM and paid media would not expect to see a lot of organic search traffic. On the other hand, a website with little-to-no SEM budget will expect most of their traffic to be from organic search.
Present Day: Google expands natural search query encryption
In September 2013, Google confirmed they will be expanding upon this privacy update. Over the next several months, it is expected that 100% of organic search queries will be encrypted, or “not provided,” regardless of their browser or Google login status.
The missing natural search data comes with a caveat; clients enrolled in Google AdWords and Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) can use GWT in conjunction with Google Analytics to view the top 2,000 natural search terms for their site for the last 90 days, which Google will be expanding to a full year sometime in the future. The metrics provided in this dashboard include impressions, clicks, average position in Google, and click-through-rate.
While websites that are not clients of Google AdWords will not have access to these top 2,000 natural search terms, websites do not actually have to bid on PPC terms in AdWords to be granted access – simply creating an account is enough.
Read more for how this affects you, and to learn solutions and best practices for handling this change. Download the full POV here: MRM Google Algorithm Change POV
For more information please contact
Charlotte Beckwith, Account Executive, at:
t: 646-865-6223 / e: Charlotte.Beckwith@mrmworldwide.com
In the agency business, so much of the buzz, glamour and overall effort is put into the pitch process. Many late nights and weekends are spent eating cold pizza in an effort to win that coveted new client. But it seems that effort falls short when the actual onboarding of the new client or the client transition begins.
For an agency, the considerable energy and thought put into winning a pitch is wasted if the same zeal is not exhibited during the client transition. Executing a large-scale client transition is both an art and a science.
The euphoria of winning a big account is usually followed by days of buzz with both incumbent and winning agencies reading the trade press and listening to the rumor mills. However, seldom does a client include the transition approach as a key consideration in winning the business. This path can be ill-fated because the quality of the transition often dictates the nature of the relationship for years to come.
The transition team is similar to an offensive line in football. When done well, it is seldom noticed by the casual fan. But a poor transition can lead to a fumble or sack and can draw much unwanted attention. An underprepared client transition team can set the stage for a doomed relationship and is often the cause for the type of failed client-agency interaction that makes headlines.
[DMNews.com] :by Ginger Conlon - Like the plate tectonics that reframe the earth’s topography, recent shifts in the marketing sphere are dramatic and permanent. According to Winterberry Group, U.S. ad spend grew 4.3% from 2011 to 2012; the bulk of that growth came in the form of digital ad spend (e.g., mobile, email, search), which increased 14.9% in 2012, while “measured media” spend (e.g., TV, outdoor, print, radio) grew only 1.5%. Winterberry expects 2013 growth to be similar, predicting a 19% increase in digital advertising, but only 0.4% growth for measured media.
This shift reflects in part marketers’ reactions to changes in customer behavior and preferences, as more consumers look to online and mobile as key brand touchpoints, desire a seamless experience regardless of channel, and expect real interaction with their preferred brands. These changes have also spurred an increasing interest among marketers in mastering omnichannel marketing and bolstering customer engagement.
Michael Mclaren, President, MRM
There are profound changes sweeping the marketing landscape. With rapidly evolving IT and data capabilities, companies are using advanced technologies to drive maximum value from existing customers and are scouring the marketplace to attract new customers and find new pockets of growth opportunities.
The convergence of IT technology in the service of marketing execution is a steady and pervasive trend.
Even with all this technological advancement, it’s clear that the key to success lies in customer relevance and engagement. The more we know about our customer—their habits, preferences, consumption of media, sources of information, key influencers, and more—the better we can create customized “offers” that are highly relevant and valuable to them.
In doing so we’re creating an experience that customers (and prospects) will value above all others. Developing this deep understanding of the customer—and having the capability to aggregate and structure this information so it can be effectively mined—is the key to modern, data-enabled marketing. We believe this superior customer experience management provides marketing organizations with a true source of competitive advantage.
[MMM-online.com]: By Marcy Q. Samet, EVP, Managing Director, MRM Princeton
As we begin 2013, one of the most important things pharmaceutical and medical marketers need to understand is that “digital” and “health” must live together.
Science is evolving at a rapid pace with a proliferation of health and wellness news appearing every day, as technology innovation shifts into hyper speed. The environment is ripe for digital health; it’s the way consumers are consuming their information. It’s time to acknowledge the patient truly comes first; patients are people—multidimensional people who want to know more about everything: tests, disease management, diets, lifestyle changes, side effects, and especially how other people are going through what they’re going through. People are curious and by engaging in substantive conversations with consumers, brands prosper and a truly communal health evolves.
by Fernando Tassinari, CEO of MRM Brazil
How will children born in the last five years consume information? Certainly not the way we are accustomed. Access to content and services is increasingly linked to many different screens, whether computer, phone, tablet or TV. Hence the name Generation S, which references touch screen, a technology that is already fully integrated into daily life, especially with teenagers today.
Each new generation knows and follows advances in technology and communication that completely change their way of life, routine and experiences. The way we will access content, share or even create is completely different from anything we’ve seen and live today.
These children and adolescents are born and are growing up during one of the most significant technological and digital revolutions of our existence. The emergence of screens where you just tap to enlarge, read, copy, correct, enter and pass content makes this experience completely different from anything we know. This is very strong.
According to the NPD Group, 27% of all TVs sold in the first quarter of 2012 in the United States (almost 14 million) were Smart TVs with Internet access. Allied to this, the Gartner Group estimates that nearly 60 million tablets will be sold worldwide this year, doubling the total users. On smartphones, the Goldman Sachs forecasts that sales will reach almost 2 billion devices.
These young people are growing up in a society where screens are used for everything from entertainment to communication, education, shopping and transactions. This makes the world much smaller and more accessible, either in real time or on demand.
Those born in Generation S will never know a world without screens, without being connected, without gesture touches or controls, or without cameras to capture, interact, share and connect with others instantly. Who has been surprised to come across a child who navigates on smartphones or iPads better than us? It is a fact that they already use and interact with TVs in a way much easier than adults. The keyboard and mouse are weird elements to them, and soon will be the remote.
In this context, how can marketers, brands, retailers and publishers remain relevant to an audience that expects to transact with almost everything on a touchscreen? First, they need to be where the consumer is and ensure a relevant brand experience, regardless of how the content and information was discovered. This involves the creation and redesign of websites, to contemplate, and appropriately dynamic, different screens and operating systems.
Today, 45% of Fortune 500 companies have no applications or websites optimized for mobile devices, according to a recent study by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). Even considering that companies and brands have been creating apps and services for that specific device type, there is still inadequate action by target.
Or rather, available services do not yet cover Generation S (which is still young, and not yet formed as a consumer base). Generations Y, Z and older, that although enjoy the experience, are still more influenced by conventional media mediums such as TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and Internet.
This long journey has just begun, and soon everything must evolve. The time is now to think, learn, test, experiment and identify ways to measure properly and mainly we are all very attuned and connected to the technological evolution that daily knocks at our door.
Written By: Adam Dince
I’m honored to share that I’ve been asked to speak on the subject of “In-House Search Team and Outside Agency – How To Make It Work” at Conductor’s C3 Conference in NYC, September 19-20, 2012.
Below is a breif synopsis of the session:
In order to create a successful client/agency relationship, it’s important that the two work together as a team. Let me paint a brief picture. Imagine a football team on which everyone thinks they are the quarterback—what’s the likely outcome? Or what if no one wants to be the quarterback? What if the players have not been told which positions they’re playing and walk on to the field without a playbook? Pandamonium right? The same can happen with a client/agency relationship if it’s not been “optimized”.
Here are a few symptoms of an unoptimized client/agency relationship:
If you’re interested in learning more about how to make an in-house search team and outside agency relationship work, please join us at C3 for this interactive and exciting session.
by Colleen Hill
(MediaPost.com) – The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is difficult to describe to someone who’s never been before. Photos do not do justice to the feeling of wonder and amazement the festival invokes and written summaries of seminars cannot emulate the adrenaline kick of sharing a moment with thousands of people from all over the world.
The festival is as much an emotion as it is an event. The following is my attempt to describe how being in Cannes during the lions festival felt and how I hope to utilize these feelings in my approach to the industry as a whole.
by: Goran Minov, Emerging Media Manager, MRM Frankfurt
Last Friday Google launched the Analytics App for Android phones.
With the Android App, you can access all your accounts and profiles, which you have already created. The reports are mobile and have optimized a simple, very clear surface that can be put together as needed. There are three main features that are quite interesting, such as the analytical data in real time.
So you can look at the number of actual visitors to a page and a list of pages (web pages) or screen (for apps) that are currently popular and most will be called. This can be done to put together his dashboard for each profile with the most relevant statistics reports.
Particularly interesting are the automatic and custom alerts. Google Analytics detects statistical anomalies in the data and sends an alert if something unusual happens. You can set the alerts based on their own benchmarks and be ready at all times for the unexpected.
As you can read in the play-Store reviews, there is still room for improvement. So you cannot view all the statistics on the dashboard (eg, traffic sources, most viewed pages) and does not include the integration of AdSense. All in all, the app is good and it feels very good, in other words: it is very user friendly.
About the Author: Goran Minov founded his first design studio in the Frankfurt area in 1997 with a partner. In over 7 years of independence, he got to know programming languages and databases, and expanded its expertise in the online space. As online project manager he was responsible for over two years with known clients in the financial and transportation industries. Then he focused more on the creative part as a senior concept designer in one of the leading owner-managed agencies in Frankfurt. As an interface between creation, strategy and customer service since 2010 he is now now emerging media manager at MRM Frankfurt, where he has the ear on the rail, watching for trends and innovations on the lookout.
Written By: Benjamin Weisman
SVP, Director of Creative Innovations
From healthcare coverage and insurance products to medical devices and treatment options, the medical industry encompasses a diverse and often complicated set of services and products. Specifically with medical treatments, patients and caregivers often look to other like-minded communities to learn more about their options in order to be well-informed. The rise of the socially-educated patient is here.
In addition to the wide-range of restrictions and requirements that pharmaceutical brands must adhere to when communicating with health care professionals (HCPs), patients and consumers, they may also consider and leverage the real-life patients that post on social networks, forums and blogs with their personal stories. Because patients are always listening and participating, pharmaceutical brands need to find relevant ways to deliver their message in an authentic social voice in order to better articulate their messages and truly participate in the conversation while delivering fair-balance.
This is a part of the new reality of what MRM sees as CRM 3.0, the place between branded messages and User influence and how brands can be impacted by the larger digital community of patients. There is always risk when blazing a trail, but being prepared and focusing your initiative helps brands avoid existing pitfalls. Be as informed as you can and surround yourself and your brand with people who keep abreast of regional, state and federal healthcare laws, FDA guidance, medical trends, and User trends.
Here are seven steps that MRM practices with its Pharmaceutical and Healthcare brands when developing and/or strengthening their social presence.
Step 1: Document the current landscape:
Since the landscape is changing every three to six months, legal teams and internal medical editors need to constantly refresh their understanding of “what social means” for their products. It is imperative to engage product specialists and social media category specialists within your internal or agency team.
Step 2: Ask the question:
Is my brand team up to the challenge of taking the leap into the social landscape? What industry laws, regulations, policies or other restrictions do we need to observe? Who is our audience? What for what does our brand stand?
Step 3: Decide where your growth is, and what the brand can own:
Should your brand focus on disease state education or building brand affinity? Should your social-brand goal be specific to the brand or is it more about the parent organization? Decide if you want to project messages that are branded or unbranded.
Step 4: Restrictions must be embraced:
Branded messages will take into account, at a minimum, the ISI, (Important Safety Information) and other claim based parameters.
Step 5: Content calendars are essential:
Create a strategic content calendar that includes meaningful content around brand attributes and educational content for patients and/or care givers. Content may include cues for patients to talk to their doctors about treatment options, and information to help them better understand their disease states.
Step 6: Media spend can enable permissions:
Social media’s full potential is unlocked when media buying is paired together with earned media. Dedicating real funds to buying access to services social networks have is key. And in turn, dedicating funds to a community manager with content and strategic chops can enable valuable communications to unfold.
Step 7: What does social mean for your products:
Define a clear sense of the areas of the social landscape that align themselves with your product and brand. For some, closed networks may be right, and for others open networks and gaming may be what social means for them.
Social Networks are beginning to further recognize the need for specific industries, like Pharmaceuticals, their products and legal requirements. There is risk with every execution, but there is also tremendous benefit. As further iterations shine the possibilities and the areas into which they may have permission to trail blaze into, the end Users/patients and brands, will really benefit from Pharma-Friendly Social.
Because patients want to be educated about their medical treatment options, they should be able to use social channels to connect and unlock information. Using definite brand voices, pharmaceutical companies can authentically build relationships through custom social executions, such as game play or distribution of information about disease state. Some patients will be driven towards product affinity slowly, so give them the chance to make a deeper connection with the brand. Though it may cost some time and money to play in the social space, it is a low cost of entry compared to traditional activities.
Benjamin J. Weisman, SVP, Director of Creative Innovations
With keen proficiency, Ben works to help migrate users/consumers to new and pre-commoditized digital and social media landscapes. Ben has found new creative ways to define experiences using emerging platforms and methods for numerous clients. Ben is also Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Social Media Society.