A recent article from Mashable outlines email marketing perspectives on the impact of the Google beta Inbox. The new email platform is viewed by some as a potential game changer in email
Chelsea Kaczmarek insight: For those that are unfamiliar with the new Inbox, it is an app-based product that self-sorts your Gmail inbox into groups, called bundled, based on content/context. It also auto-displays via image or text snippets the main email content for you. As a user you do not have to do a thing to sort (or sometimes even read) your emails, and it is MAGICAL. You can see how this may be of concern to a marketer, since most promotional content will now be bundled and deprioritized without lifting a finger. Reiterating the article’s point of wait, watch and see, this new shift may not be the be all and end all of email as we know it (yet). However, it does underscore the importance of relevancy, diversity and usefulness of content, especially as online platforms get smarter, more efficient and work over a multitude of different devices.
Sharing the journey of a loved one via social media, traveling from sparkling life to the closed window of death, is daunting and extremely personal. Letting people trundle along this path with you is an amazing gesture to the loved, the living and the dying.
Social media can extend to us an invitation to participate, lurk, squeal or banter. But when a patient’s journey is shared, and the depth of life and love is revealed to an already socially active community, it is a precious jewel that shows the true power and meaning of social connection.
Aaron Purmort, a Twin Cities-based digital designer, is losing his battle with brain cancer. It’s been a long journey for Aaron and his family. Aaron’s wife, Nora, has chronicled this path online at her My Husband’s Tumor blog with great bravery, honesty and warmth. Her family’s story has touched thousands in the Twin Cities creative community. Its actions within social media have led to donations of nearly $70,000 to help the family meet mounting medical bills. There’s even a t-shirt, emboldened with Aaron’s spirit, for purchase (see above) to help defray some of the costs.
Nora’s writing has inspired others to help spread the word via multiple social platforms. The outpouring of care underscores how her family’s story has impacted a community – and its desire to help a family cope with a difficult situation.
Rich Sharp insight: Nora’s chronicle captures the essence of social connection and tugs on a common thread we all share with a loving tribute. While it’s true Aaron’s story is an example of the power of social media, its real revelation is that a (love) story still can be told.
Note: Aaron and I worked at Carmichael Lynch Advertising in Minneapolis in 2006-2007
“Think twice before buying those shiny – yet extremely cheap – Ray Ban glasses advertised on Facebook. There’s a chance they’re fake. At least, that’s the conclusion of a new study by two cybersecurity researchers who examined more than a thousand Facebook ads and found that almost a quarter of those promoting fashion and luxury goods are for counterfeit items such as Ray Ban sunglasses, Louis Vuitton bags, and Ralph Lauren polo shirts.
At first sight, the ads look legitimate and lead to websites that look like real ones, the researchers warned, potentially tricking average Facebook users into believing they’re buying real products without realizing the danger. ‘You don’t know where you’re going to end up,’ Andrea Stroppa, one of the researchers, told Mashable. ‘And in many cases your credit card is at risk, thanks to obscure payment systems backed by companies you have no idea who they are.”
Read the full story on Mashable.
Kyra Swartz insight: Admit it – pretty much all of us shop online, and strong competition among retailers means that often the internet is a great place to find discounts and deals. However, this research shows how wary we should be in sharing our sensitive information with just any site that at first glance looks legit. The downsides are myriad: counterfeit goods fund illegal activities worldwide (including, according to some sources, terrorism) and the chances of getting your financial information stolen or your identity compromised are higher than ever. Overall, we (myself included) need to be careful about where we spend money online, and how freely we provide those all-important numbers that define us financially.
“Brands, once wary of putting their messaging in the hands of customers, have come to embrace user generated content to such an extent that a new cottage industry has spring up to play matchmaker between brands and their fans…User-generated content and crowd-sourcing is attractive for brands for obvious reasons: It makes the brand more approachable, its campaigns more authentic and builds greater loyalty among its fans. It allows them to cash in on the eagerness of its customers to be co-creators, co-innovators and even evangelists by launching new campaigns on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram every other day. All it takes is a hashtag.”
Read the full article here.
Catherine Murphy insight: The shift to brands utilizing generated content is a natural progression, especially for brands that have a strong social media presence. What I love is how this article highlights Foap, a user generated stockphoto database to highlight how companies are developing to fill the void of ways to connect users and brands.
According to research from Forrester, marketers may be wasting their time seeking to engage users on Facebook and Twitter. “You don’t really have a special relationship with your customers,” analyst Nate Elliot wrote in a new report titled “Social Relationship Strategies That Work.” According to Mr. Elliot, top brands’ Facebook and Twitter posts only reach around 2% of their fans and followers, and less than 0.1% of fans and followers actually interact with each post on average. What’s more, Facebook recently said, “beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content [promotional page posts] in their News Feeds,” and admitted that brands that post promotional content “will see a significant decrease in distribution.” As a result, marketers hoping to interact with consumers online might be better off investing in social features that exist on their own websites, or in smaller, more niche social networks, Mr. Elliot said.
Read the full blog on Forrester.
Ben Atkins insight: As a user of Facebook and Twitter, I am attracted to compelling content, particularly when it is about peoples’ experiences. Humans of New York, for instance. I believe brands can grow organic reach within social platforms if they get the content right: less branded, more general interest, and storytelling. Of course such content may not always make sense for a brand: it comes down to your brand goal, strategy and investment choices. I do agree with creating social features on existing owned websites: opportunities to share, comment and to engage and learn from others. A good mix for biopharma and device companies could be to combine an authoritative website on the disease and treatment, with organic and paid social reach through authentic patient stories to inform and inspire humans in health.