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All posts tagged "marketing"

  • Artificial intelligence: how is AI changing marketing?

    2017 is set to be the year of artificial intelligence (AI). With companies such as Amazon Web Services offering AI on tap -- including image recognition and natural language understanding -- an increasing number of machine learning powered services will be finding their way to the consumer. Those involved in marketing and retail might have already seen offerings filter through, with the following pointing the way the AI winds are blowing. Elementary, my dear In the world of AI, Watson is one of the best-known names out there. Built by IBM, this computer system is able to learn from massive amounts of...

  • South Africa, you can now Shazam this fragrance using Bluetooth technology

    You can Shazam a song, sure, but what about a fragrance? The music recognition service has now partnered with fragrance brand Azzaro to let users do just that -- let fragrance-shoppers Shazam a scent. From tomorrow, South Africans will be able to use the service to detect Azzaro Wanted's scent using Bluetooth beacon technology. The press release claims that spraying the fragrance, and tapping the Shazam button will allow "their phone will automatically identity the fragrance and offer them a unique page of Azzaro ‘Wanted’ content". Unfortunately, the app doesn't detect the fragrance itself, but rather the Bluetooth beacon. Nevertheless, the spritz...

  • Facebook’s ad tracking system now updates in milliseconds

    Facebook announced Friday that it would be providing marketers with in-depth analysis on the ads they pay for. Over the course of the year, the company intends to detail to buyers the milliseconds an ad is on screen -- that is the milliseconds 50% of an ad was on screen, and the milliseconds 100% of an ad was on screen. The company also intends to offer buyers more choice in how they pay for ads. The three new options are completed-view buying, two-second buying and sound-on buying. Completed-view will allow advertisers to pay for video ads that have been viewed in...

  • Real-time interaction management: how can it benefit you?

    The ability to interact with consumers in real time was once the stuff of science fiction. Having the capability to see what customers are doing on a site or in an app at any given moment, or having a timestamp on when an email was opened (or deleted), is fairly technical but fascinating stuff. The technology to reach out and actually connect in real-time with consumers offers an even greater opportunity above and beyond delayed analytics for effective sales. This real-time interaction has the power to make a sale where one may have been abandoned in the past. So what is...

  • The one thing digital marketers don’t use enough

    There's a lot of room for interpretation in digital marketing, but there's one thing you absolutely cannot and should not leave out of your strategy: A/B split testing. A/B testing is the answer to all of your marketing woes and can quickly and effectively transform everything from content creation to web design. The Value of A/B Testing While you've certainly heard the term dozens of times, don't be ashamed if you find yourself asking, "What is A/B testing?". If you've never done split testing on your own, then you may be intimidated by the idea. However, with the right tools and understanding the...

  • Kansas City Diaries: the art of organic search

    Kansas City Diaries is an exclusive article series by Natalie Pool as she goes undercover at VML's global agency headquarters in Kansas City, USA, to find out how organic search, Snapchat and other technologies are changing the advertising and marketing industry. At the heart of many digital agencies is a Paid Search department. But how many agencies and brands give Organic Search the love and attention it deserves? Not that many in South Africa, is almost certainly the right answer. VML’s headquarters in Kansas City is one such company whose Organic Search team is growing and slowly taking over the world...

  • Are South African brands ready for augmented reality?

    Although augmented reality (AR) technology is not new, it is only now beginning to gain the attention of media and marketing professionals. The big question remains: Are South African CMOs ready to include AR into their brand strategies? AR has moved away from its early days when it was reliant on expensive, specialised hardware. The rapid adoption of smartphones and even faster evolution of their AR capabilities means that AR is now well within reach of the average South African. However, CMOs who choose to go the AR route without integrating it into their holistic brand delivery strategy will miss out...

  • Instagram fast becoming a powerful marketing tool in SA

    Facebook-owned Instagram has grown exponentially over the last few years and brands are adopting ways to utilise this social media platform to tell a visual brand story and sell products or services through appealing imagery. In fact, Instagram has seen the fastest growth of any social network in South Africa over the past year, according to the South African Social Media Landscape 2016 study. It grew an impressive 133%, from 1.1-million to 2.68-million users. Taking our own experiences with the platform into consideration, and we have some experience as our communities range from motorheads to job-seekers and enthusiasts of just about...

  • How to advertise your brand, products and services to Millennials

    If your business relies on being online to sell services and products, it's important that you understand how to advertise to Millennials. This younger age group can potentially be your clients in the future. They are on top of their game digitally and are tomorrow's CEOs. This generation is quite unique and completely different than any before it, so you have to shape your traditional marketing methods that have always worked in the past to cater for this crowd. If you are interested in marketing to Millennials, here's a couple of tactics I've used that's working with my digital marketing campaigns. Focus on trust Millennials look up...

  • 5 bite-sized tips for using video in your marketing campaigns

    The art of digital story telling is constantly evolving, and 2016 is the year of the video. It makes the cut in almost every article you read, whether it’s trends to look out for or tips to improve your marketing mix. So what’s the big fuss all about? And how can you incorporate it in to your digital marketing strategy? The sheer volume of online content means that your story needs to be compelling, carefully crafted and strategically placed to even reach your target audience, let alone encourage them to engage with your brand or purchase your product. A well...

  • Email marketing is still relevant, ignore it at your peril

    Email has found itself in a precarious situation. While it’s still everywhere -- and not going anywhere -- its users have no shortage of legitimate complaints. Chief among them: email marketing -- which fills inboxes all day, every day -- is basically synonymous with spam. It’s not targeted and not helpful. It’s insincere, and attempts at personalization are trite. It’s difficult to read on mobile devices. Because of its comparatively long career in the marketing world, it gets dumped into the “boring, but necessary, I guess” category. While this may sound like bad news to email marketers, there’s no better time...

  • 4 viral marketing lessons from the Pokemon Go craze

    If by now you don’t know what Pokemon Go is, you are truly out of touch with digital reality. Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm. In less than a month it has more daily users than Twitter, longer daily time usage than Facebook and more people flicking their fingers through phone screen than Tinder. The game is undoubtedly the most popular mobile phone activity at the moment. But how did Niantic, Nintendo and the Pokemon Company do it? What can we learn about going viral from Pokemon Go? I have discovered four things that have been key to Pokemon...

  • Musical marketing: brands should fine tune campaigns using music

    F and F-sharp -- two simple bass notes that define the classic thriller Jaws. That score still effectively strikes a chord of suspense and fear in many fans. And can you imagine the crawling text that opens each episode of Star Wars without its epic soundtrack? Music is a powerful force for evoking endless varieties of emotions and connecting people around the world. Music is so influential, in fact, that people in an A/B test environment spent 433% more time using products when they were accompanied by music, according to a recent study. Beyond movies, we draw automatic and intense connections...

  • 5 debunked myths about selling and marketing on social media

    When marketers think about social media, they mostly regard it as a top-of-the-funnel tool. Specifically, it’s an avenue for communication that’s best used to identify and filter unqualified leads. This is not an unreasonable characterization; social media is a great tool for starting off the conversion funnel. But who’s to say it can’t also be employed as a bottom-of-the-funnel sales tool as well? Social media marketing myths, debunked Many marketing professionals haven’t yet recognized what an effective sales tool social media can be. Part of the reason this is not more generally known is that, everywhere you look, people repeat common myths...

  • A brief introduction to content marketing in South Africa

    A couple of decades ago, marketers had undivided attention. With not much more than three or four marketing channels to choose from, brands could secure blocks of time in front of their customers. TV wasn’t malleable  -- if anything commercial breaks were an opportunity to grab a snack  --  and radio was the only platform that we could find out about the latest band or artist. The advent of the internet has ensured, even in developing markets, the growth of available entertainment and information resources, marketing channels and, in turn, noise. Marketers have become increasingly good at interrupting consumers  --...