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Does Big Data Ruin Creativity?

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The term “big data” has become quite prevalent in the marketing world lately. In a previous Central Desktop article, I examined the notion of big data and how it pertains to how brands and agencies work today. We started with a simple definition of big data.

In our marketing world, big data describes the plethora of information we have accumulated through the monitoring of consumers as they browse, socialize, search and purchase online. Every time a person visits a website, a cookie is dropped within their browser. Every time a person responds to a call-to-action from a landing page, data from the form they filled out is captured.

That’s just a small example of big data’s makeup. Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s social media scientist, told me a little bit more about the kinds of data that are important to marketers and agencies – and how marketers and agencies should be using that data.

More…

Excerpt from:
Does Big Data Ruin Creativity?

This is How Facebook is Going to Die

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Yesterday, Facebook’s market value topped $100 billion. Zuck must be smitten his baby is now worth close to last year’s original IPO valuation. Market confidence, which Monday included a stock price increase of 1.9% to $41.34 with a daily high of $41.94 (the highest since the IPO), is said to be bolstered by belief Facebook just might deliver on its mobile advertising promise. The upswing is certainly positive news for the social network which hit a stock price low of $17.73 in September.

But can Zuckerberg, whose baby now realizes 41% of its quarterly advertising revenue from smartphone and tablet-centric promotions, really make a go of it when recent Pew research find teens have a “waning enthusiasm for Facebook”? The report states dislike for the incessant over-sharing that is part and parcel of the service. But, more importantly, teens are miffed all their parents and their parents friends are now on Facebook.

What could be more horrific to a teen than mom and dad commenting on a recent post with well-intentioned love, affection and pride that in teen-speak can only translate to extreme “did you see what Sally’s mom posted?” embarrassment? No matter how well-intentioned, parents embarrass their kids. It’s just a fact of life. And while many parents insist upon friending their children, there’s not one out there under the age of, say, 20, who actually wants that online friendship.

So while mobile ad revenue may be boosting Facebook’s health, it’s no secret kids wants their own, parent-free playground. For example, Twitter has seen a 16% increase in teen usage from 2011 to 2012. Not that Twitter is parent-free but it’s easier to avoid them.

Summarizing its recent BI Intelligence report on teen’s mobile-first usage, the publication wrote, ” we may be witnessing is the unraveling of a unitary, centralized social media landscape, dominated by Facebook, into a set of multipolar nodes. Facebook warded off the Instagram threat by buying the company, but it won’t always be possible for the company to neutralize threats with acquisitions.”

It’s no secret services like Snapchat and the recently Yahoo!-acquired Tumblr have been heavily fueled by teen usage. In fact, a recent Survata survey found more 13-18-year-old teens (61%) use Tumblr than Facebook (55%).

Perhaps, lending the best insight into this apparent shift by teens away from Facebook, 13-year-old Ruby Karp wrote in a Mashable article, I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook, “Part of the reason Facebook is losing my generation’s attention is the fact that there are other networks now. When I was 10, I wasn’t old enough to have a Facebook. But a magical thing called Instagram had just come out … and our parents had no idea there was an age limit. Rapidly, all my friends got Instagrams. Teens are followers. That’s just what we are. If all my friends are getting this cool new thing called Snapchat, I want it, too! We want what’s trending, and if Facebook isn’t ‘trending,’ teens won’t care.”

Commenting further on the embarrassment factor of teens and their parents using the same social network, Karp writes, “Let’s say I get invited to a party, and there’s underage drinking. I’m not drinking, but someone pulls out a camera. Even if I’m not carrying a red Solo cup, I could be photographed behind a girl doing shots. Later that week, the dumb-dumb decides to post photos from that ‘amazing’ party. If my mom saw I was at a party with drinking, even if I wasn’t participating, I’d be dead. This isn’t Facebook’s fault, but it happens there.”

She’s right. While every parent certainly wants to know what their teens are doing when they are out and about, Facebook fosters an almost creepy form of supervision. It’s like having your parents supervise your Junior High prom. While parents want to be able to supervise their children at all times, children will attempt to avoid it like the plague.

We’re certainly not here to debate the merits of proper parentage but it’s clear children will do whatever it takes — and this has become increasingly easier in an age of endless digital choice — to avoid their parents whenever that can.

What does this mean for Zuck who, let’s be honest, was just a kid, himself, a few years ago? It means his baby is going to become a rest home for the over 40 crowd.

Of course, it should be said there’s nothing wrong with the over 40 crowd, especially when it comes to their disposable income one assumes every smart marketer desires. But, alas, most marketers are just dumb. They love a shiny new object and in lemming-like fashion they’re going to chase that flash because, let’s be honest again, that 30-year-old marketing director who recently edged out that supremely more qualified but far too grey and uncool 50-year-old, would much rather create a hip, cool, edgy marketing program fronted by a hip, cool, edgy and very youthful celebrity that appeals to teens than some washed-up celebrity has-been that, if the marketer did their homework, would realize actually does have a rock-solid connection with the over 40 crowd who, as we all know, has money to spend.

While it’s teens who are shifting away from Facebook, it’s the marketers who will pull the money that fuels the network.

And that’s why Facebook will fail. It won’t happen overnight. It may not happen in the next decade. But it will happen. Which, of course, is sad and frustrating. Because we’ll all have to start the stupid cycle over again. Teens find cool, new toy. Parents discover it a few years later. Teens leave. Cool, new toy goes out to pasture.

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This is How Facebook is Going to Die

When Agencies Should Say No to New Business

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Having worked in several advertising agencies over the course of many years, I can attest to the fact that new business is both the lifeblood of an agency and its biggest nightmare. It’s very difficult for an agency to say no to new business. Why would they? New business means more revenue and more revenue means more success.

New business can breathe new life into an agency that, perhaps, has become stagnant with current clients. On the other hand, new business, poorly chosen, can wreak havoc on an agency’s inner workings, its culture and its people. We thought it might be interesting to ask a few agency executives how they approach new business and how they decide it might be best to just say no.

Crafting an article I wrote for Central Desktop, I spoke with several ad industry executives to get their take on how they view and approach new business, why they pitch, why they don’t and how a piece of new business can affect an agency both positively and negatively.

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When Agencies Should Say No to New Business

Swiffer Apologizes For Putting Rosie the Riveter Back in the Kitchen

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In reaction to public outcry over Swiffer’s use of iconic feminist image Rosie the Riveter, who, in a 1943 Westinghouse Electric ad campaign, urged women to get out of the kitchen and work during World War II, the brand has issued an apology and promised to remove the image from its website.

The image appeared on the brand’s Swiffer website and in ads promoting Swiffer’s steam cleaner.

Of the brand’s seemingly incomprehensible reasoning behind using the image, Boing Boin Publisher Jason Weisberger said, “I love the clear tribute to an important historical image done in such a way as to piss on its legacy.”

Following an article in the Washington Post, Swiffer’s Elizabeth Ming issued a statement which read, “We were made aware of the concerns regarding the image in a Swiffer ad this afternoon. Our core purpose is to make cleaning easier for all consumers, regardless of who is behind the handle of our products. It was not our intention to offend any group with the image, and we are working to remove it from where it’s being used as soon as possible.”

Which, of course, begs the question, why would the brand employ Rosie the Riveter, an iconic symbol of women’s movement out of the kitchen, to urge womwn to get back into the kitchen? It’s like some 22 year old creative read Wikipedia and totally misunderstood what she stood for.

It’s all well and good that a brand issue a swift apology but how and why do faux pauxs like this continue to happen. It’s like the teacher left the schoolyard and the children have run wild.

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Swiffer Apologizes For Putting Rosie the Riveter Back in the Kitchen

Can Big Data Exist Alongside The Big Idea?

seankers_shoes.jpg

The term “big data” has become quite prevalent in the marketing world lately. In a previous Central Desktop article, I examined the notion of big data and how it pertains to how brands and agencies work today. We started with a simple definition of big data.

In our marketing world, big data describes the plethora of information we have accumulated through the monitoring of consumers as they browse, socialize, search and purchase online. Every time a person visits a website, a cookie is dropped within their browser. Every time a person responds to a call-to-action from a landing page, data from the form they filled out is captured.

That’s just a small example of big data’s makeup. Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s social media scientist, told me a little bit more about the kinds of data that are important to marketers and agencies – and how marketers and agencies should be using that data.

More…

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Can Big Data Exist Alongside The Big Idea?