Instagram: Marketing Strategy for Businesses

In 2010, a new exciting social media medium became available to all apple iPhone, iPod and  iTouch products. Instagram quickly gained momentum and popularity. As an exclusive, picture sharing app, no one ever imagined it would reach the potential it has today. Today, Instagram is available on all smartphones, tablets, macs and PC’s. Instagram has more than 150 million monthly active users worldwide.  Instagram is not only one of the top social media tools around but it is also becoming one of the biggest marketing tools for businesses. 



Through Instagram, many companies are now able to connect directly and effectively with their consumers. The reason for this is that they are now able to communicate with their audience directly by sharing photos, likes, and comments. Through this segway, consumers feel that they have a personal connection with their favorite brands. Therefore brand awareness and  sales increase. The way  companies can establish and spread awareness to their brand is by using this new innovative tool properly to their advantage. 

Brands can use their Instagram feed with content their personal content in two ways: by creating original brand content and curating customer content. They can make their images and videos unique to them and capture the attention of more consumers. When brands and companies are being original about what they post, they have the opportunity to be authentic, and “in the moment”, which works best at connecting with consumers than traditional ads. 

Brands can really take advantage of Instagram by maximizing the success of non-traditional media advertising and marketing. In doing so, they put customers at the center of the experience and really engage with their consumers and target audience. 


Because of this unique way in which Instagram is beneficial to businesses, it has become more than just a social media tool. It has reached a point where all of the social media sites before it have strived to achieve such as Twitter and Facebook. Instagram growth is accelerating and so are the devices in which users can have access to the site. With technology at an all time rise, businesses can definitely take advantage of this new, innovative tool to maximize their company success and reach consumers at a more personal level. 



Gladwell, M. (2013, November 4). The Year of the Instagram Strategy. The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from


Instagram as a Growing Business. (n.d.). – Instagram Blog. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from


Going Back Home Or Listening to Ads

Rules about advertising and how to do it were never clear, and usually marketers are looking for that little flaw to take advantage of it. In Germany, that little flaw was found. They decided to create a subliminal device to target train users. A company created a technology for delivering ads directly from the windows of trains to the brain of the passengers. As one is seating on the train, ads are running through and being delivered to the target audience.

The advertising agency BBDO Dusseldorf in union with Sky designed a new device to include into train’s windows that will be able to send “messages” to passengers. This new mechanism works through the vibrations coming from the windows. With the advancement in technology, this is now possible.

Both companies made a video where they explain what this system is and how it works. The brain is responsible for transforming the vibrations, coming out of the windows, in sound and transmit the information to the ear, so that it seems that ”comes from within the user’s head.” The BBDO advertising company ensures that this technology could also be used to distribute music, entertainment, transportation information, etc. The mechanism would be triggered at the time the passenger would support the head in the window of the train. This can revolutionize the way marketing is seen because more modern ways to target people will be available. Different methods that “fit” this new model of marketing would have to be developed.

So how does it reach passengers? Imagine you are coming back from work on a train. You’re tired, and you decide to take a nap. Suddenly, you hear, “Are you bored? Why don’t you check the latest news on,” then you check your surroundings and you realize that others cannot hear the ad. The ad was for you.

This is what is coming next in the ad world. Probably next time you ride the train you will be encouraged to visit certain websites, buy online or to look over some stores because you are being targeted without realizing it.

Although this seems like an interest concept, it will be interesting to see what approach marketing companies take. Many people dislike having advertisement thrown their way as they are scrolling through a website on the internet or looking at a magazine, or even playing a game on their phone. Before, one would at least have the opportunity to turn it off and now it is going to be interesting to see how people will react to this.

Here is a video that explains in further detail:


Blog Posting #1

Twitter: The Outlet to Watch in 2014

Melissa Mandarino

January 22, 2013

 With the start of the new year, we should all be looking out for the next “big thing” in advertising technology. 2014 is predicted to be Twitter’s year, reaching consumers differently than any other social media outlet has been able to do; and now that Twitter is going public, it is ready to make some big changes and improvements. In Garett Sloane’s Advertising Week article, “Twitter’s Tailored Audiences Program Gets More Targeted”, he explains that marketers will be able to “retarget ads to website visitors who also use twitter.” This will give brands the ability to increase exposure of their product or service through a secondary outlet, reinforcing the message. Brands will also be able to communicate directly with their target with something called “Twitter ID”, which is when brands “compile lists of Twitter accounts – based on keywords in users’ bios and their past Tweets – to send Promoted Account messages.” Another strategy according to Sloane in a second Advertising Week article entitled, “Twitter’s 2014 Strategy: The Intersection of Video and Data”, will allow Twitter to become a second screen. Basically, Twitter would have the ability to “harness data and insights from conversations surrounding specific TV shows and then allow brands to reach those viewers.” (Sloane, 2014). This would allow people to interact with their shows as they are watching them. Advertising budgets will increase significantly in 2014 because of this new way of advertising and creating an experience for the consumer. This is an exciting step towards giving consumers what they are asking for. According to an article entitled, “2014: The Year Online Closes the Budget Gap (The Ad-budget Gap!), by Jon Steinberg, media is finally starting to expand their budgets to accommodate online vehicles such as Twitter or Facebook. In previous years, the amount of money spent on digital advertising was not proportional to how much time people were spending online. Steinberg states that, “In the US, people are now spending 5 hours and 16 minutes a day on the Internet…yet digital only gets 22 percent of ad dollars.” In the video discussing advertising with Steinberg, he answers several very good points about why current digital advertising is not successful and how brand sales can grow if we invest in new media. (Steinberg, 2014). 2014 will be an exciting year for Twitter, who will open up a new platform for bridging the gap between consumer and brand with it’s abilities to target consumers and allow them to interact with their favorite programs from traditional media.


Video link below!



Sloane, G. (2014, January 14). Twitter’s tailored audiences program get more targeted. Advertising Week, Retrieved from program-gets-more-targeted-154977

`Sloane, G. (2014, January 20). Twitter’s 2014 strategy: The intersection of video and data. Advertising Week, Retrieved from intersection-video-and-data-155067

 Steinberg, J. (2014, January 2). 2014: The year online closes the budget gap (the ad-budget gap!). CNBC News, Retrieved from

 Steinberg, J. (Producer). (2014, January 2). Jon Steinberg on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street 1-2-14 [Web Video]. Retrieved from

Horror in Advertising


With Halloween approaching, a plethora of horror themes can be seen in commercials, TV shows, and general advertisements. AMC who is most notably recognized for producing shows such as Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and now American Horror Story are no strangers to centering its advertisements with the seasons. Halloween is a natural attraction to many people. Ghouls, goblins, zombies, ghost, witches and so on make up interesting subjects for entertainment.

Cable television has taken a particular interest in creating Halloween based television due to its past success. Channels will offer programs like “13 nights of Horror” where they strictly play horror shows, and movies up until Halloween. Horror is a simple, popular, and fairly cheap to produce. Horror is the type of theme that allows for cliffhangers and calls for the consumer to create their own reason as to why something is frightening.

As a consumer I can attest to the interesting nature of horror. I am a sucker for sitting down and watching horror shows and movies simply because the month calls for it. Growing up during October I remember it became a thing to attend places like Knott’s Scary Farm, or Universal Horror Nights simply because we were bombarded with coupons and advertisements that were obviously catered to my age group. If attending these two was not an option we could always rely on inviting friends over and watching scary movies.

It is an incredibly smart idea for advertisers and marketers to run with the horror theme for as long as they can. Similar to Christmas, it has the option to advertise to the younger age group as well as adults. Cable television has been a prime example of this success. With record-breaking viewership for shows like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, AMC has been able to stay relevant in television. Other channels like the Sci-Fi channel and ABC family have been able to produce programs that keep teens and adults interested in watching television during this month.

The question is whether or not horror will continue to thrive. It is a possibility that Zombies, ghost, and aliens will eventually fade out. Depending on originality, I personally believe that the demise of horror appeal will appear with the lack of originality in programs and advertisements. Consumers can only take so much Zombies, and Witches in their advertisements.  While others believe that horror will only continue to grow we can only wait and see what the future of Halloween programs, and advertisements will go. 


Thielman , S. (13, October 28). Has halloween become the start of fall cable?. Retrieved from


Bitstrip: A New Way of Personal Storytelling




The latest trend to sweep Facebook is a new and innovative way for consumers to share their personal stories with friends. Avatar culture has been elevated to a new level: cartoon depictions of your life. Bitstrip is a new cartoon generator on Facebook that allows consumers to create personalized cartoon strips with tailored captions, scenes, and by including friends (Elfring, Comicvine). Bitstrip users can create an avatar that represents them as well as avatars to represent their friends. These cartoons are easily shared on Facebook and depict various storylines from the lives of Bitstrip users (Kurwa, NPR). For example, I will share a personal Bitstrip of mine.


As seen in the picture above, Bitstrips are completely customizable. Users can search a library of 1,000+ cartoons and customize them. One’s avatar is used. The avatars can be specifically tailored to look like the users. One can change everything from eye color to nose shape to clothing choice (Donna Hamer, Bitstrip Tutorial). The cartoon avatars can later be manipulated into different positions and customized text can be added as a thought bubble or as a caption (Elfring, Comicvine).

Above one can see an example of a Bitstrip with a friend. Taylor-Anne is a cat aficionado in the real world. She genuinely thinks that her friend, Deena, would be a great companion if she were a cat! She is able to share this interest with her Facebook friends by creating a comedic cartoon featuring her friend, Deena. This is a way of engaging the Bitstrip population and creating a story as a way of conveying friendship and a sense of humor. Similarly to storytelling in advertisements, Taylor is using a vehicle to create her own story.

Although Bitstrip was created in January of 2013, it is now becoming popular (De Hoyos, News92fm). Servers were not able to support the mass amount of new users for a few days, with over 5 million hits on Facebook alone. After introducing the mobile app, the app experienced crashes from such high volume visits.

What does this mean to Bitstrip users and how does this relate to Advertising? Bitstrip users offer a new, unique niche to tap into for consumers. This cartoon generator offers a new and exciting way for social network users to share their life stories with their friends. Similar to brand storytelling, consumers can use their personal avatars to express their moods and expand their experiences by including their friends. Because these cartoons are easily accessible to see on social media sites, they are spreading at a viral rate.

Bitstrips offer a unique way for consumers to participate in storytelling. In a way, they are advertising themselves to their friends by adding a multi-dimensional element tot their social network page. With statuses becoming more and more mundane, Bitstrips offer a more interesting platform for personal storytelling. While this application is merely a way for consumers to share their own personal stories, marketers and advertising companies could find a way to sponsor cartoon strip pictures. Because Bitstrips is a method of personal storytelling, advertisers could use this to their advantage by inserting products or services into the already customized cartoon strips. For example, a subtle product placement or the promotion of a certain brand in a cartoon would be an excellent way for an advertising company to reach their audience. Furthermore, an entire network of Facebook users, if shared, would view these cartoon strips. This would both increase brand exposure as well as awareness. This would allow the advertisements to seem natural and would introduce a new platform for reaching users. Because more and more people have become averse to reading traditional forms of advertisement on Facebook, Bitstrip cartoons that are funny yet promoting a product would be shared and enjoyed by social network fans worldwide.

Below is a link to a YouTube tutorial on how to create a Bitstrip. What story will you tell?

Zombie Advertising



Its that time of year again when AMC’s critically acclaimed television show The Walking Dead is back on in the lineup of Sunday shows. With the season 4 premiere of The Walking Dead last Sunday, many companies found the opportunity to advertise their products with a Zombie theme. Unlike other shows like Breaking Bad or Mad Men, The Walking Dead provides the zombie theme that is especially effective during this time of year as everyone prepares for Halloween. Zombies seem to attract consumers into a cult like following. More and more T.V shows and movies have centered their themes on zombies due to its popularity. 


Hyundai is one of many companies to capitalize on the zombie theme and created an ad campaign for their new car the 2014 Hyundai Tucson. The advertisement shows a zombie proof vehicle completely equipped with guns, armor, chain saws, satellite, and a roll cage. Advertisements like these tend to grab the consumer’s attention and with the sleek and tough look of the vehicle spark an interest in the audience. Whether the particular audience decides to buy the vehicle or not, if they take the extra step to research the car, Hyundai has already completed part of its objective. What Hyundai did that is extremely beneficial is create a call to action in this particular ad. This advertisement ask fans of The Walking Dead or zombies in general to enter a contest in which they can win a zombie proof Hyundai Tuscan. Creating this call to action will encourage the consumers to watch the commercials, and participate in a contest in which the actual chances of winning are slim.

Strategically planning to team up with popular shows like The Walking Dead will only prove to be valuable. Companies and brands have the opportunity to attract more customers when those customers see a common interest. By offering contest like Hyundai, gives the company an opportunity to not only attract adult consumers but also to attract younger consumers who are in the market to purchase their first vehicle. The show not only brings in viewers but also creates a trust with its viewers. Thus, when someone or something in this case a T.V show approve of Hyundai’s marketing, a level of trust is already built up for Hyundai.

Companies should continue to seek endorsements from popular TV shows because it creates an opportunity to market online, on T.V and in the show itself. In these cases, Hyundai as a company would further endorse its brand by showing its vehicles in the show. The more the consumer is exposed to the Hyundai vehicles, the more they will become interested and eventually invest in.



 (n.d.). Retrieved from

 Stanley, T. L. (2013, October 15). Hyundai giving away another zombie-proof survival machine in latest walking dead tie-in . Retrieved from

Apple beats Coca-Cola in Brand Value


In a surprising move, Apple has now taken the number one spot in being considered the most valuable brand over Coca-Cola. Coke has for 13 years been able to maintain the number one spot due to the company’s ability to advertise anywhere and everywhere. Coke is a staple in the soda industry due to its global allegiance and recognition. Coca-Cola has been able to not only market their products with television and radio commercials, but also by special labeling through sponsorships. Being one of the most successful and profitable brands, it is surprising to see that Apple has been able to surpass Cokes brand value. This brings about several questions. Is Apple’s innovation what makes them now the leader? Is Coke somehow losing consumers? Or is Apple simply taking the lead due to recent releases of products?


Many of these questions have various answers, but the most important thing to note is that Coca-Cola is not losing value or recognition. On the contrary, being already a large company with global recognition, Coca-Cola still has plans to market to consumers whom they have never marketed to before. For instance, due to Pepsi being the leader in the market of soda in Russia, Coca-Cola plans on heavily advertising during the Olympics in Russia. Coke plans on taking over the market through local advertisement and large exposure brought by the Olympics. Coca-Cola has been successful in dipping its hand in a variety of different markets by sponsoring athletes, products, and businesses. Through market strategy, Coca-Cola has remained relevant.


Apple tends to market its products the same way through different forms of media. It has been considered number one in brand value partially due to the cult following have with its products. Most recently, the iPhone 5s was released and although it is essentially the iPhone 5 with some tweaks here and there, it was still able to produce a groundbreaking release. Last year when the iPhone 5 was released, five million units where sold, while this year the iPhone 5s produced a whopping nine million unit release. Thus, through globalization and advertising, Apple has been able to continue being successful.

Both Apple and Coca-Cola have a tremendous brand value. However, I believe that because of how relevant Apple is in society and how it markets to its consumers it has been able to create more brand value. Coca-Cola has been a household name for many households for a very long time, and now Apple is becoming a staple in people’s lives. Through offering a large range of products, Apple has been able to become leader in brand value. 




Gross, D. (2013, September 30). Apple passes coke as world’s “top brand”. Retrieved from


Barr, A. (2013, September 23). iblockbuster weekend for apple’s new iphones. Retrieved from


Deceitful Advertising

Advertising is a staple in making a product or brand name known. Advertising is defined as a form of communication used to encourage, persuade, or manipulate an audience. Although people do not generally like to be manipulated or deceived, it happens every day in the form of advertisements. For example, a popular advertisement for a weight loss pill promises results within a week. However, what the company does not tell you in their advertisements is that in order for these weight loss miracle pills to work the consumer must follow a strict diet and exercise plan. Many naïve consumers become convinced that by only taking the diet pill will help them lose weight. Which causes them to fall for the advertisement.

This is not new knowledge for consumers. We are all well aware that the constant messages we receive in advertisements are not completely truthful.  Recently in California, Tesla has received claims that it has violated advertising laws. Tesla has recently become a strong and leading brand in the market of electric vehicles.  The California New Car Dealers Association accuses Tesla of inflating the actual number of savings that might result from customers purchasing its vehicles. Things like this are not surprising. Car dealerships have always advertised their cars as being superior to what they actually are. In this case, as Tesla advertises prices that may or may not be true makes consumers uneasy. If Tesla is not truthful in its advertising, consumers might be discouraged to purchase these vehicles. Although advertising is a slight variation of the truth, it is essential that the company does not deceive the consumer in any major way. When allegations like this occur, it is more likely to give the company a negative image as opposed to the positive one it was striving to achieve. Negative reaction from advertising can be detrimental to a company who is just beginning to bloom. 

There are times when a company will purposely create an advertisement that is slightly deceitful in order to create a humorous reaction from the consumer. For example, in this Axe commercial for its “Excite” body spray, it states that “even angels will fall” insinuating that if you wear this particular body spray you will create an attraction so strong angels will fall from the heavens. As consumers we are able to see that although this commercial is deceiving, it is humorous and does a good job at keeping the attention of the viewer. 


Thus, as consumers we are well aware of the misleading messages in advertisements. Whether it is done for comedy purposes or if its done to particularly manipulate the consumer it is important to always do research on a product you are purchasing. 


Hirsh , J. (2013, September 13). California new car dealers claim tesla violates advertising laws. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from,0,3708769.story



Apple Lives On *UPDATED

On September 10, 2013 Apple will host its highly anticipated annual release event in Cupertino, California. Here they will introduce new products into the market. This years speculations are that two new iPhones will be introduced. The first being the iPhone 5C which according to leaked images and rumors will be offered in a variety of colors as well as be built with plastic materials which will lower the price. The second iPhone, which is expected to be called the iPhone 5S, will feature a faster processor, better camera, and fingerprint sensor for the home button. The iPhone 5S is also rumored to be available in a gold color. Third rumor for the apple event is the release of a possible new Apple TV. The much-anticipated iOS7 is also expected to finally make its appearance to the public.  

With all this new technology expected to be released, Apple has done its usual secretive yet suggestive advertising, which spawns the many rumors behind the event. Apple events are always some of the most highly anticipated and covered technological events. This means Apple receives a lot of advertising whether it is intentional or not. For example, many technology websites have been continually writing about the possible releases which in turn sends users to the Apple website to research more. Thus, the coverage Apple receives whether it is negative or positive generates a steady stream of talk and advertisement for the company.


One of the more creative ways Apple has advertised their event on September 10th is by releasing an image of the Apple logo in front of what appears to be bubbles in all sorts of colors, with the caption reading “This should brighten everyone’s day.” Simple yet elegant advertisements like these rile up Apple fanatics because it implies that something is to be released that will surely satisfy those waiting.  Yet, because the advertisement does not have any specifics as to what exactly will brighten up consumer’s days, Apple consumers become more eager to purchase or at least watch the event. 

In the past, Apple ads have always included simple, sentimental teasers that give the illusion that the product is a one of a kind that cannot be competed with. Even though Apple ads tend to be simple, they are all meant to sell the consumer a product.  Colors, music, captions, and logos all play a part in attracting the consumer into paying closer attention to the ad and falling in “love” with the product. For example, a recent T.V. ad for apple shows a variety of different people of all ages and ethnicities, doing everyday things all while a simple tune is played in the background and ending with the narrator of the commercial stating that the “signature” of Apple is everything. Ads like these tend to hit an emotional side for the consumer; the commercials goal is to relate to the consumer in every way. In this commercial, it almost feels as though everyone with an Apple product is a family, everyone is connected in some sort of way. With Ads like these, Apple has created a loyal fan base that remains true to their preferred company.





Stern, J. (03, September 13). iphone 5s and 5c? apple event scheduled for sept. 10. Retrieved from


Guglielmo, C. (03, September 13). Apple to host special event sept. 10 with invite hinting at colorful new iphones. Retrieved from



Snapchat Gives Brands Their 10 Seconds of Fame

            Lately, it seems like brands will cross into just about any form of social media in order to present their product in the newest, most innovative manner possible. Marketing directors have rapidly adjusted to the latest social media interests of the targeted audience, well-connected college students. Moving past the commonly used and parent-laden Facebook, marketing directors have taken a step in the direction of a fresher form of social media with a risqué reputation, Snapchat.  

           Snapchat, released in September of 2011, gained a huge following in the fall of 2012 and has kept a consistent level of followers since that time. Setting Snapchat apart from other social media forms is its allowance of users to send pictures to other users that will disappear after one to ten seconds, depending on what the sender chooses. It is because of this capability that Snapchat has gained a reputation of facilitating the sending of suggestive photographs between users. With this status, it is easy to see why marketing directors have chosen to connect with Snapchat to endorse their own brands. Snapchat can provide an edgy, young vehicle to present users with announcements, releases, coupon and discount codes, and behind the scenes looks, all at low cost.

            Included in the Snapchat marketing movement are brands Taco Bell, Acura, MTV UK, and clothing e-tailer, Karmaloop. Taco Bell, the first to share Snapchats with fans, used their following on Twitter to generate “friends” on Snapchat. The brand, popular among young adults, created buzz by releasing “VIP” Snapchats to announce the return of a product. ImageImage

Using Snapchat to advertise in a different manner is the clothing e-tailer, Karmaloop. This brand has utilized Snapchat in a revealing manner, much like a sizeable amount of college-aged users. Karmaloop, hoping to catch some attention, has used Snapchat to distribute not only provocative pictures displaying their clothing, but also images of the new product lines.

            Though it may seem as if Snapchat would not be an ideal method of advertising (given its ten second limit) for some brands, this social media method could actually be a successful technique for other brands with target audiences of collegiate students. Snapchat compliments the impulsive, racy lifestyles of a good number of college students and offers a level of exclusivity that draws in many young people. It will be interesting to see how many brands jump on this form of marketing in comparison to the vast amount of companies that have utilized Facebook and other forms of social media to advertise.

Instagram Video is a Hit in the Ad World

Short videos posted on social media platforms are not new, right? Vine has been around since the beginning of this year with its 6 second loop videos. So, what is so special about video on Instagram? Christopher Heine offers up “5 Reasons Why Instagram Video May Cut Down Vine,” an article posted on

1) Longer videos

15 seconds could turn out to be a far more engaging length than Vine’s six-second clips. Not to mention, in terms of advertising, that’s the length of TV spots constantly employed by brands.

2) Cool filters

Anyone who has made a Vine knows that they are fun but kind of rough-looking. Instagram’s filters and cinema elements really seem to give it the upper hand here.

3) Brand Engagement

On the pure marketing level again, social media teams are getting stretched like crazy these days, as they have for a few years been trying to market items with Facebook, Instagram photos, TwitterLinkedIn, Google+, MySpaceFoursquare, Pinterest, etc. If brands can incorporate good-looking Instagram videos into their messaging via those channels, will they bother with Vine? It undoubtedly will be interesting to watch.

4) Built in scale and community

Instagram—as a photo-sharing app—has 10 times more users than Vine. Those folks are used to constantly updating the app, so consumers are going to start using Instagram videos in the next few days if not hours. It should not take long for it too overtake Vine in terms of sheer audience.

5) Oh yeah, and Facebook is also big

FB has a billion users who are likely going to start regularly seeing Instagram videos of children, puppies and random footage of things like street mimes. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s huge platform should be an unusally strong advantage to the forthcoming Instagram video vs. Twitter Vine battle.

Heine also writes about marketers utilizing Instagram Video in another article on titled “Brands Are Already Using Instagram Videos and Planning for More: Stoked marketers quickly whip up 15-second ideas.” He quotes the social media lead for Red Vines, the super delicious licorice candy, as saying the following regarding Instagram Video:

“It was wise to make them 15 seconds, because it allows for more engagement than the six seconds you get with Twitter Vine,” said Michael Kelly, Red Vines’ social media lead. “It allows you to tell stories that are at least a little more complicated.”

Marketers are hoping that they can utilize these 15 second videos to give consumers a more intimate look behind the scenes. There is a benefit in the homemade feel of these short clips because it puts the brand in the same creative space as the consumer: they’re all just a bunch of people using their smart phones to tell stories about the things they love. And the relatively unpolished Instagram Videos feel like home videos, so consumers can feel more connected to the products that they use every day. Here are a few examples that Heine shows in his article:



Red Vines


Charity Water

Jenis Ice Creams

I will admit that I am not a fan of Vine. I had a project in another class that involved Vine and I just don’t see the point of it. Most of the videos seen on Vine feature teenagers doing stupid things that they think make them cool. Vine’s network isn’t as big as other social media giants. The benefit of video on Instagram is that the network is already built up, so users aren’t jumping into a new platform with no friends. They can share video with the friends, celebs, and brands that they already follow. And, the Instagram platform supports both photo and video, so you aren’t stuck with just video as you currently are on Vine.

It will be interesting to see how the video war plays out. What do you think?

Global Marketing Challenges

Freddie Laker, the VP of global marketing strategy at SapientNitro, and Hilding Anderson, the research and insights director at SapientNitro, wrote an article titled “Five Challenges For Tomorrow’s Global Marketing Leaders: Study,” which is posted on In the article, they address five challenges that were identified in a six-month CMO Global Marketing Readiness Study that was conducted by SapientNitro and finalized in September 2012:

  1. Disruptive technologies
  2. Globally connected consumers
  3. Localization revisited
  4. Multi-channel misses
  5. Organizational structures

The first problem, disruptive technologies, deals with the onslaught of new technologies emerging today: “from social media and mobile apps to in-store digital experiences and mobile payments.” Laker and Anderson indicate that “just 20% consider themselves ‘very knowledgeable’ about technology, yet by 2017 these CMOs will purchase more technology than their CIOs, according to Gartner.” CMOs today need to be comfortable and highly knowledgeable about emerging technology because it is such an integral part of advertising today. Companies without a tech-savvy CMO will flounder in the marketplace compared to their competitors with highly specialized technological knowledge.

The second problem, globally connected consumers, deals with highly knowledgeable consumers using technology to change marketing rules. SapientNitro research shows that “82% of senior marketers feel that interconnected consumers have broken down the barriers between global and local marketing.” This means that instead of focusing campaigns separately on local and global markets, marketers need to learn how to target both markets in a single campaign and even in single ads. Consumers today are used to getting all information instantly and have short attention spans, so ad campaigns need to quickly and effectively spark their interest while optimizing the few seconds of attention they gain from consumers.

The third problem, localization revisited, deals with consumer diversity. Laker and Anderson indicate that “coping with the diversity of “global consumers” that also have strong regional subcultures is regarded as a challenge by 75% of senior marketers.” Therefore, ‘global’ campaigns really need to be tailored for local cultures because a single ad does not target even an entire country. With digital marketing, it is easier today to modify creative pieces for different target areas and broadcast them across multiple channels.

This leads us to the fourth problem: multi-channel misses. Laker and Anderson say that “a full 37% of senior marketers don’t believe that their marketing activities are fully integrated across digital and traditional channels.” Marketers need to find a balance between utilizing large multi-channel digital campaigns and targeting localized global consumers. Optimizing creative and financial capital for the biggest bang across multiple channels will be key to the survival of many ad agencies.

And the final problem is organizational structures. The old ways of separating the executive power in a company between several branches does not work anymore. So many departments are integrated and have overlapping responsibilities that it is difficult to maintain a functional operation if the department structures remain segmented and segregated. The SapientNitro study suggests that “56% of marketers agree coordination between digital and traditional marketing teams is more challenging than five years ago – silos and a lack of coordination are getting worse just as the need for collaboration is becoming greater.” Companies need to find an organizational structure that allows fluid collaboration and avoids unnecessary segregation between and among departments.

All companies need to analyze their threats and opportunities in these five areas in order to be leaders in their field. The thread tying many of these issues together is new technology. Current CMOs and marketers need to be willing and able to educate themselves in order to keep up with the ever-changing technological playground if they want to play in the major league.