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Posts tagged ‘Brands’

At some point, a company’s organic reach on Facebook may hit zero

Back in March 2012, Facebook told brand managers that the organic reach of one of their posts would be about 16 percent of their total audience; if they paid for a post, that could get up to 75 percent. In reality, around October 2013 the organic reach was 12 percent or so; around February 2014 (just a few months later), the organic reach was around six percent. It’s only logical that Facebook would urge marketers to buy ads, because, well, they want to make some money. But it’s also logical that the amount of content out there that could be eligible for a NewsFeed is increasing, and the physical space — i.e. your NewsFeed — is still essentially the same. Are brands screwed?

They’re not screwed, per se. They certainly have challenges. Here’s what Facebook itself says about cleaning up NewsFeed “spam.” Essentially, Facebook is trying to do away with link-baiting (“Like this if you enjoy pizza!”), re-circulated content (i.e. memes), and spammy links (that lead to sub-par content or products).

The guy who wrote the study about the drop in organic reach, Marshall Manson of EAME, has noted this:

Eventually, there may be no space left for brands who haven’t paid to promote their posts. According to Mr. Manson, Facebook representatives have told members of his team and clients to think about what a social strategy would look like if there were no organic reach.

“Increasingly Facebook is saying that you should assume a day will come when the organic reach is zero,” he said.

So what’s this all going to lead to? In all likelihood, the short-term result (and maybe the intermediate-term result) will be people buying more sponsored ads to increase reach. The longer-term result might be people shifting to other social brands, i.e. Twitter or Instagram, in order to get their message across; of course, Twitter has its own issues too.

What can we learn about consuming pop culture from the TED ‘Ads Worth Spreading’ list?

TED just released “Ads Worth Spreading” (here’s the full list) as part of a big week for ‘em (the 30th Anniversary of TED is right now in Vancouver). There are no trophies for winning, and ultimately you need to fall within these categories: storytelling, social good, cultural compass, creative wonder, or learning. But the idea of “brand bravery” is what’s really important:

“We realized that brand bravery, which was originally a category, needs to be embodied by all of the winning ads,” says Carnegie. “We kept hearing powerful stories from creatives and marketers on how they helped push their ideas through big organizations. A successful campaign needs both sides to champion and stand up for an idea; our recognition of brand bravery is a celebration of those who succeed through that process.”

That’s a very legitimate concept, because getting an idea through a web of hierarchy is just about one of the most complex things you can do in a big company (and most of these winners come from big companies, or at least places with some structure to them). So, what can we learn? And would it have any resonance to the idea of how the media game is changing more broadly?

1. Family matters to people. This Proctor & Gamble ad — “Thank You Mom / Pick Them Back Up” — was a big winner.

This speaks to one of the base concepts of society: simple motherhood and love. When a person reaches a medal stand, it’s often because of the sacrifices of their mother/both parents. I do believe that sometimes the “I don’t know how she does it!” narrative can get a bit old (especially when SJP appears in a movie of that title), but I do completely and unequivocally believe that even an average mother is 170x more valuable to society than a stellar CEO.

This homeward bound ad from Google Earth, about a 26-year journey to find your family, was also a winner:

Again, the idea of understanding who you are and where you come from. In a simple concept, the value of family.

2. Humor still works. This Adobe ad basically takes a concept no one really understands — big data and marketing/sales analytics — and turns it into a humorous, well-told spot.

This is less about humor and more about sheer entertainment, but the Virgin Safety Dance would be in the same general category. It’s serious ear worm.

3. Storytelling is still the crux of everything. Simple and beautiful from Guinness:

It sounds melodramatic, but the choices we make do reveal the true nature of our character. It’s a simple message and told in 1 minute or so. Then there’s this, about female interaction with beauty — a long-evolving story told in a simple way with a cool song underneath.

When did you stop thinking you’re beautiful? 

If you go through all the ads on the link at the top, you’ll find that it rolls up pretty nicely with some of the bigger discussions recently on “why we share what we share.” Essentially, shareable content needs to trigger some emotion — primarily that’s happiness, which makes sense contextually if you think of the amount of Facebook “likes” on an engagement post, for example — but it can also be anger or confusion or something similar. But people are busy, so the connection needs to be done simply and effectively, with a good underlying story, and the simple story needs to provoke an emotion. That leads to sharing and broader reach, and is all tied back to a company being able to move forward their idea. This is a much different idea than the world of direct mail and big TV ad buys, per se; the game has changed. So be swift, be family-focused, be fun, be simple, tell a great story, and don’t run from humor. That’s how you reach the masses in the modern world (or so it seems).

The annual spending on men’s wear is up 70 percent since 1998. Here we go…


Check out the chart above, via here. There are other charts of interest in said post, but essentially, here’s a quick takeaway: around 1998, the total market for menswear was about $270 billion. This year? It’s going to approach $500 billion. In major economic markets around the globe in 2013 (like the US and Germany), men’s clothing sales outperformed women’s clothing sales. People have been picking up on this trend for a little over a year, but now it seems to have ratcheted up to Gird Your Loins territory. What does this mean for society? Probably not a lot. Women will still (generalization) use shopping as a social mechanism, and it’s possible that men are buying more because of the convenience of online shopping (no driving, parking, trying on, looking for a Ruby Tuesday’s, etc.) It’s also possible that job market adjustments in the EuroZone and U.S. are shifting the need for suits, or that popular culture has made the classy professional male more relevant than the hipster male. These are all theories. I can tell you that most times I go shopping, I see about a 3-to-1 women-to-men ratio, but I also live in a mid-size Midwestern city, so I’m not sure that’s a globally relevant sample, per se.

I do think it’s now less of a “common truth” that men hate shopping. I think part of the whole equation was just fashion-forward adjustments in terms of how we market clothes to men and design clothes for men (if you’re 6-6, 300 like I am, the market is actually very limited at the big stores, which can be frustrating — and probably is tied into why I personally don’t like shopping).


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