onechocolate loves… the view from Germany

Our German office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech and cool events…

#1 GM starts car-sharing service in Germany and the US

With the increasing popularity of car-sharing services, General Motors has jumped on the band wagon and created ‘Maven’. Using the Maven app, subscribers can reserve and locate an available vehicle and start it up remotely. GM aims to test the waters in Frankfurt and Berlin. Ultimately, they intend to be in larger cities and areas with college campuses. We love how GM is embracing the “sharing economy” trend and have chosen Germany to test their new offering.

#2 Berlin Fashion Week goes tech

Berlin Fashion Week which took place last week, showed us how fashion and digitisation can work really well together. A Dutch designer has developed a t-shirt with flexible solar cells that will enable its wearer to charge their smartphone battery. We simply love this combination of tech and fashion!

#3 Netflix and the broken heart

netflix

We do love a bit of banter especially when we see brands wittily interact with their customers, and Netflix in Germany is no exception. Recently a fan asked Netflix what new show they should watch for their next binge, Netflix’s response didn’t sit well with the fan. This then sparked a ‘looong’ conversation reminiscent of stereotypical relationship quarrels: full of jealousy, infidelity and excuses, it’s a hilarious read and interesting to see how brands can turn negativity into fun in order to engage with their customers.

#4 Smartphone detox thanks to 3D printer

Most of us made New Year’s resolutions, but how many of us have already given up on them? If you have decided to cut down on your smartphone usage, Dumbphone might be the perfect solution for you. The Dumbphone is a phone case that will turn your mobile phone into a traditional phone. It doesn’t have any apps and is just for calls! A great idea to stop people obsessing over their phones and engaging in offline activities.

#5 Barbie’s becoming real

Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but at least Mattel has finally decided to design the doll in a more realistic way. Barbie has launched 33 new looks: petite, tall, curvy, as well as offering a wide range of skin tones, hairstyles and eye colours. We think this is a great step towards making sure everyone feels represented. With the revamped Barbie collection, many consumers have taken to twitter to demand that Barbie’s love-interest Ken, be given a diverse makeover too, complete with beer belly and all! After Barbie’s transformation, Ken could well be next!

 

 

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Facebook at 12: a masterclass in disruption

On the eve of the 12th birthday of the global phenomenon that is Facebook, millions of people are set to join in Zuckerberg’s celebratory #friendsday. Our thoughts have turned to both its current legacy and also to the new innovations that are already glinting on the horizon.

The runaway success of the platform has inspired legions of entrepreneurs and former start-ups from Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and chat apps to join the party, creating the compelling social media landscape we inhabit today. But what can business organisations learn from the reign of Facebook?

Regardless of the industry you operate in, when it comes to the art of digital disruption, relentless innovation and agility, Facebook has given us a master class. In fact, there are many aspects of the social network’s business model that can be applied to different organisations to great effect.

Here are just three of the smart moves Facebook has taught us as we move into the post-digital age:

#1 Adapting to changing audiences: The fluidity of the social media landscape means that new and disruptive platforms are springing up constantly. Whilst chat apps, including Whatsapp and SnapChat, are enticing Facebook’s traditionally younger audience away from the site, smart responsive tactics have been delivered with great success. Facebook’s early adopters have grown up and Facebook has grown with them. Whilst 24-35 year-olds are now the biggest demographic, 25% of the platforms global users are 35-44, and 22% aged 45-54. Like Facebook, businesses need to know and understand their audiences and adapt to accommodate them. Whether this is the products or services they offer, or the user experience, swift adaptation to ensure relevancy is key to survival.

#2 Innovative new revenue streams: Facebook is fast becoming the ultimate social media experience, with ventures into Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Facebook at Work Messenger and even fundraising. Mark Zuckerberg is capitalising on an open market to expand what you can do with their products, which will further increase the time users spend within the Facebook app, rather than on other rival websites. Businesses can certainly learn from this: the creation of a seamless customer experience, where actions can be carried out effortlessly without needing to go elsewhere for information, will result in more engagement – and a higher sales conversion rate. The business goes above and beyond the normal parameters of its field will drive more demand generation and steal market share.

#3 Smart mobile-first strategy: “Mobile-first” has overtaken “Mobile-ready”, with adults in the UK spending more than 2 hours a day on their smartphone device. In line with latest trends, 47% of Facebook users only log-in from a mobile device and Facebook is a leading pioneer of the mobile-first business model. Brands that fail to effectively optimise websites to work responsively,  whether on a desktop, tablet or laptop, create useful apps, and implement a robust mobile-first marketing strategy that integrates digital, social and direct marketing, will be left limping behind. In the quest to create longer-lasting and more profitable relationships, it’s never been more important to understand where people are viewing your content and interacting with your brand.

Happy birthday Facebook!

Facebook Bday

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook – just in case you missed them…

Weekly social scoop
#1 Snapchat leak hints at new audio and video calls as it bolsters its messaging clout
By The Drum:

  • Snapchat appears to be chasing users of Facebook Messenger as screenshots of a slew of new features leaked last week
  • Among the new features is an update to the Snapchat video chat, named ‘ChatV2’, bringing it closer to the likes of Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts offering, likely no longer requiring both users to hold down on their screens simultaneously to link up
  • The app could add more users to its primarily youthful 100m daily users with the rollout of the bolstered UI, which will have a dedicated button for features such as audio and video calling, stickers and photo-sending

#2 Facebook to update ‘like’ button with emoji ‘Reactions’ in a few weeks
By The Drum:

  • Facebook’s hallmark ‘like’ button is to be extended with a ‘Reactions’ product that will allow users to respond to posts via emojis.
  • The new feature is a natural extension of the popular emoji add-ons Facebook already offers within its messaging app
  • The clickable responses will also provide Facebook’s developers with more data, which can be used to tailor content to users; something marketers will find useful
  • Reactions has been tested in Spain, Ireland and Chile among other countries and will roll out globally in “the next few weeks”

#3 Twitter tests (almost) ad-free experience for VIP users
By The Drum:

  • Twitter has dramatically reduced the number of ads it serves to its “most prominent and active users”, according to sources
  • In a bid to get some of its VIP users to stay engaged with the service, the platform is creating an almost ad-free timeline
  • The social network has apparently been testing the feature since September

#4 Jack Dorsey confirms four more Twitter executives to leave company
By The Guardian:

  • Dorsey confirmed that senior vice-president of engineeringAlex Roetter, vice-president of global media Katie Jacobs Stanton, HR vice-president Skip Schipper and senior vice-president of product Kevin Weil are all leaving the embattled social media firm
  • Weil is already reported to have scored a job running product for Instagram
  • Twitter is under increasing pressure from shareholders to increase revenues and become more aggressive against competitors including Facebook and younger rivals such as Snapchat
  • Chief technology officer Adam Messinger will be heading up engineering, consumer product, design and research, user services andTwitter mobile development platform Fabric

#5 Facebook takes on Periscope by giving live streaming to all U.S. iPhoners
By Social Times:

  • When users go to share a status update, they’ll see the Live button beside ones for photos, stickers and locations
  • Facebook started with just big celebrities, then opened Live to journalists and public figures through its Mentions app, then brought on Verified Pages, and now is finally equipping all U.S. iPhone users
  • Facebook’s filtered feed might be worse for real-time breaking news streams and the re-sharing isn’t a big thing there. But if a stream gets lots of viewers and feedback, Facebook can automatically push it higher in the feed so it’s more visible

#6 Facebook to axe Parse after struggling to compete with Amazon and Microsoft
By The Drum:

  • Facebook is shutting down Parse, its tool for helping developers build mobile apps, as it steps away from the intensely competitive cloud computing space to focus its attention elsewhere
  • Parse will gradually shut down until it finally turns off completely on 28 January 2017
  • Facebook had high hopes for the service, which it purchased in 2013 for around $85m, however it struggled to compete with the might of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, who have grown exponentially in recent years and continue to lower their prices

 

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onechocolate loves… the view from France

Our French office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech and cool events…

#1 When Dali meets VR

Last weekend, the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, opened a new exhibition “Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination”, which explores the relationship between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. One of the exhibit’s most unique features is “Dreams of Dali“, an immersive virtual reality experience of Dali’s 1935 painting “Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s Angelus”. The Exhibition will encourage visitors to discover the world of the surrealist painter from a totally new angle. It will feature three virtual reality stations complete with headsets that allow you to seemingly enter into the world of the painting for a 3D, multisensory experience of the work. In our opinion, the captivating song Where is My Mind performed by Maxence Cyrin is just fantastic.

#2 Another fun operation by Michel and Augustin

The story of Michel and Augustin began in the US with “#AllezHowardUnCafé”, which helped them attract business from Starbucks Coffee. The self-proclaimed “troublemakers of taste” (Trublions du goût) are also real marketing troublemakers. Their recipe? A quirky, guerrilla marketing effort and constant word-of-mouth has allowed the brand to create a very strong community on social networks. Once again, they drew attention with a street-marketing campaign in New York, which stopped members of the public in Times Square and asked them to read French sentences off a flip board.

#3 Please call me!

Mobile
The 15th annual Deloitte Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions report published this month, predicts 2016 could see the death of the traditional phone call. Indeed, Deloitte predicts that in the US and Europe, 26% of smartphone owners will not make any calls in a typical week. These “data exclusives” will prefer to communicate differently via video calls, multimedia messaging or social media. Soon the humble phone will not be used for phone calls anymore. The phone call is now seen as being disturbing and time consuming. Soo let’s text!

#4 Be like Bill

Stickman Bill

If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram or Facebook this week you’ve probably seen Bill. No, not your friend or family member named Bill, but this tiny, passive aggressive (and a hilarious or annoying) stick figure that has taken the internet by storm. Over in France we have even seen “Soyez comme Kévin” or “Soyez comme Simon”, French copies of Be like Bill. While most of these drawings were made in order to transmit messages of “live together nicely”, the website Digital Synopsis had the clever idea of making versions tailored to digital professionals. Whether you’re a designer, developer, media planner, artistic director or CEO, and whether you are working in an agency or for a broadcaster, you should be able to share these pictures with your colleagues. Indeed, these drawings are profiling the perfect colleague in the digital sector. Well we found them funny anyway.

#5 Rent an igloo on Airbnb

Airbnb igloo

With the east coast of the US braced for storm Jonas, one resident of Brooklyn saw the lighter side and took advantage of weather conditions. He built an igloo in his garden, big enough to accommodate up to two people, and then placed a rental on Airbnb for $200 a night. Six hours later, the platform decided to withdraw the offer for safety reasons. Let’s hope his next listing doesn’t include a roof that will melt away at any time!

 

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B2B on video: content marketing tunes in

No-one can be in any doubt that 2015 was the year when video marketing came of age.  With latest smartphones offering faster download times, online video accounted for 50% of mobile web traffic, inspiring leading b2b players to tune in to the power of visual content for driving brand awareness, engagement, traffic and sales.

In 2016, the growth is set to be phenomenal. As reported by Forbes, it is predicted that 80 percent of all Internet traffic will be to videos by 2019 – and a significant portion of that growth is set to happen this year.

Quite simply, the extent to which brands invest in video – and use it well – will become a very visible marker separating the leaders from the laggards.

The “State of B2B Video Marketing 2015” report from Regalix Research revealed the size of the shift, with 84 percent of marketers surveyed stating that they expect their video marketing budget to increase in the next 12 months.

Whilst 70 per cent of respondents confirmed that their companies already invest in video as an integral part of their content marketing strategy; citing brand awareness, lead generation and establishing their thought leadership credentials as the key business drivers, this still leaves almost a third of B2B companies as mere spectators. So what’s the blocker?

Unsurprisingly, the cost of content creation is the primary barrier to entry. According to the report, 57 per cent of those yet to invest said that lack of budget had thwarted investment plans.

The reassuring news is that latest editing tools have made the production of quality video content much cheaper – and besides, you simply don’t need to put all your cash into top broadcast quality content. In fact, it’s far smarter to mix it up. The leading brands know how to leverage different formats of videos for each channel, utilising Vlog or Vine video for social and higher production branded content for their websites.

However, the fact that 46 percent said it was a ‘”lack of an effective video marketing strategy” that held them back is far more illuminating. So what’s the mindset?

It’s time for B2B marketers to finally bury the myth that it’s all crazy cat videos and that video is the preserve of consumer brands – and time to ditch the idea that your CEO will laugh you out of the room.

According to the Spiceworks report on the rise of video marketing, more than 80% of senior executives watch more video than they did a year ago, and three quarters of executives are watching work-related videos every week. And given the choice, 59% of executives said that they would rather watch a video than read an article. Yes, B2B buyers and marketers are human, too!

Did you know that video can transform the fortunes of a humble email campaign? Video content increases open rates, increases click-through rates, and reduces unsubscribe rates in email marketing.  And did you know that the word ‘video’ in the subject line increases open rates by 19%?

Yes, that means that it pays to integrate your direct marketing strategy with digital and social media operations to deliver compelling video content to customers and prospects on every stage of the buying cycle.

Digital-asset-lifecycle

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