The first crack of a bat and pop of a glove are sounds coming from baseball diamonds all across America as MLB opening days start off the season. It’s also a big day for some advertisers because they can start monitoring their in-stadium campaigns. What are some of the newest ways advertisers are reaching fans at games this year?
We have seen the amount of exposure a product/service can receive from advertising at a baseball stadium. From the LED panels behind home plate, first base and third base, to the eBlasts and texts that persuade fans to “play this game,” or “check out our Facebook fan page.” But don’t forget about the advertisements that are strategically placed around concessions, on cups, napkins, seat cushions and foam fingers, because really…what’s a game without SWAG?
One of the newest ways to reach fans is by going right to the one thing that keeps them most connected with the world, their phone. To many people, cell phones are like an extension to their body; glued to them at all times making them always accessible. Next time you’re walking into a stadium, look to see if there are any signs outside that say, “turn on your Bluetooth, sign up and win free stuff!” Advertisers now have the option to place Bluetooth deliver devices at stadium gates that scan and pick up any Bluetooth signal. This will send a welcome message that allows fans to download an application to receive exclusive coupons, make reservations, play interactive games to win prizes, buy merchandise or even participate in a charity event. In the Detroit market at Comerica Park, Cedar Point ran a text promotion that played a video on the big screen of people riding a rollercoaster. Fans had to text a number and guess which coaster it was at Cedar Point. The first person who guessed the correct coaster won day passes to the amusement park.
Mobile technology and stadium advertising has opened many doors and given us endless ways to reach a niche consumer on a personal level, even in the middle of an exciting baseball game. By the seventh inning stretch, how many coupons, Facebook pages and promotions do you think you have you been exposed to?
Charlie Sheen is officially taking over the world. You cannot open a magazine, browser, or news page without seeing his name. After nearly shutting down Twitter by grossing over a million fans in less than 24 hours, it was apparent he wouldn’t stop there. His mission? Total domination. He is no longer just a crazy celebrity with addiction problems (although he claims “the only thing I’m addicted to is Winning”). Charlie Sheen is now a powerful brand and has transformed himself into a mega-marketing-mogul.
He observes all the classic rules of marketing and shameless self-promotion. Want to be associated with one word that sums up your whole brand and becomes a household name? “Duh, WINNING”. Want to be a part of the energy drink boom and capitalize on sales? Just drink Tigerblood. How about becoming a big time celebrity chef like Bobby Flay? Charlie’s got that covered with “Winning Recipes by Charlie Sheen” (he can cook with his mind). He is now even a “marketing rock star” on tour, going from city to city to rant and rave for packed audiences.
Most brands focus on marketing positive messages and pay millions of dollars for public relations professionals to monitor every word they utter. Historically, celebrity branding aligns a celebrity and their status with a product, service, or charity (think Michael Jordan for Nike, or Lance Armstrong for Livestrong). Charlie Sheen is the antithesis to this method and proves that it doesn’t always need to be puppies and rainbows to rake in the cash. He might not get endorsed by Boys and Girls Club of America, but he could potentially be marketing gold for Trojan, liquor companies, or brands that have the cojones to gamble on a guy like Sheen.
Love him or hate him, we are all watching as he is banking on every minute of publicity he gets. Only time will tell how far he will be able to push it. Do you think Charlie Sheen will reach world-wide domination or do you think he will self-destruct along with his “fire breathing fists”?
Sick of the Sheen Mania all together? Now you can download a browser add-on to remove the mention of Charlie Sheen permanently from your daily digital life.
Is NFO the new SEO? According to Facebook, only 0.02% of news stories actually make it to someone’s News Feed. So, how can you get noticed when the social networks are constantly evolving? Optimize. Optimize. Optimize.
Facebook has done something Google has never done; they provided a mathematic formula behind News Feed Optimization, or NFO, which has become the equivalent of Search Engine Optimization. Based on this “Edge Rank” formula, a posts likelihood of appearing in a news feed is a function of these three elements: Affinity, Weight, and Time.
- Affinity is a measure of how often someone interacts with your posts on a regular basis. The more you interact with the same person’s posts, the more likely their posts will show up on your News Feed.
- Weight is the score assigned to each post and how much activity the post gets. The more comments and “likes” your post receives, the higher the weight will be.
- Time is the final factor of the Edge Rank formula. It’s the length of how long ago the interaction was created. The more recent the post, the higher it ranks.
Facebook also weighs the content of your post in a specific order.
- Uploading videos. Whether it’s through YouTube or your own video, it holds the top ranking and has the highest chance of getting seen in a person’s News Feed.
- Checking in. Using Facebook Places (which is similar to foursquare), you can “check in” at certain locations, and tag the friends that are with you. Just like foursquare, this is most commonly done through the mobile application, but more people will see your check in on Facebook than on foursquare.
- Uploading pictures. Tagging friends in the photos you upload tends to attract a lot of interaction, boosting the weight of the post even more.
- Sharing posts. When you see a friend’s post that you like, you can share it to post on your own profile. But make sure when you do this, you add your own comments to make it original.
- Posting links. Share a link from a website that interests you, or that interests your friends/fans, and add your own unique take on the topic.
- Updating status. It is more likely this could be lost in the clutter, but there is a chance your status could still have a heavy weight if it gains a lot of comments and “likes” as mentioned earlier.
With the rapid changes taking place in social media, marketers have to stay on our toes, and hopefully with these tips, you can rule the Facebook News Feed and stand out from the crowd. How do you plan on boosting your profile popularity?
The government. Great, creative mobile marketing is about building relationships. And the government has my number. Okay, so even though they have a satellite in outer space tracking my every move...I chose to opt in to a mobile text message campaign for the Center for Disease Control.
And I like getting their text messages. From quizzing me about the temperature of my turkey on Thanksgiving to concussion signs during ski season, I feel they are my friend giving me advice that even my BFF Becky could not (sorry Becky...). And isn’t that what marketing is all about? At Brogan & Partners, we just did a text message campaign consisting of “Love Notes” for our client, Covenant HealthCare. And for our client, the Michigan Department of Community Health, we are doing all kinds of WAP sites with creative that drives you to them. Big beauracracies may be big, but they can sure turn on a dime to innovative new solutions.
So how do you feel about text campaigns? Are you opting in or out?
Change is good. We all need a good reboot every so often to grow and move forward. And since Michigan has entered into an era of reinvention, we thought we’d like to help facilitate some change for a Michigan business. Brogan & Partners wants to give a local business the tools and support it needs to reinvent and refresh its brand. A rebooting, so to speak.
The Michigan Business Reboot Contest is a competition for a business headquartered in our home state to win a complete marketing and public relations makeover by Brogan & Partners. It will include a marketing strategy, creative, social media and public relations - a total value of $75,000.
Do you know of a Michigan business that needs a brand reboot? It just may be the best upgrade for the future a company could make this year.
Learn more about the Michigan Business Reboot Contest here.
Businesses have been manipulating online factors to increase SEO and raise profit for themselves or their clients since the Internet began. But, some companies are crossing the line into a territory that Google classifies as “black-hat optimization.”
When most of us think about J.C. Penney, we think of it as a place for clothes, or household décor, but around the last holiday, J.C. Penney was coming up as the number one spot for all different types of searches. Was J.C. Penny just hitting the Google search lottery? Not quite. J.C. Penney actually outsmarted Google, and almost got away with it.
One way Google orders search results is by how many other sites are posting links to a website. J.C. Penney was exposed by the New York Times in an article, "The Dirty Little Secrets of Search," for paying more than 2,000 sites to post links to JCPenney.com. Some of these sites were unrelated to the J.C. Penney store or their products, such as nuclear.engineeringaddict.com. Even worse, some had no content except for the J.C. Penney links.
Google has warnings against this black-market strategy, which they refer to as “link schemes.” The punishment? Google drastically sank J.C. Penney in search results. For months JCPenney.com was the top result when searching “living room furniture,” two hours after Google took action they sank to number 68.
The lesson we can learn from J.C. Penney’s mistake? Even with the ever-changing world of advertising and marketing, ethics still comes in to play and companies will be held accountable. Or, just type “clothing” in to a Google search and see where J.C. Penney shows up, it’s pretty self-explanatory.
What are some other ways companies are crossing the ethics line for SEO?
Forget the sandwich, in the words of our illustrious COO, Maria Marcotte, I am a full-fledged member of the "four course meal generation." I won't mention my three children whose ages span 21 years, my full time career, or volunteering (although after 6 years of Lost, my schedule has now cleared for an hour a week), I'll just focus on an ever-so-gracefully aging mother who is halfway through a rehab stint at a very good convalescent home in North Carolina.
I've spent the last three weeks dashing around between home, work, hospital, and convalescent care, since my mother had knee replacement surgery. And would you like to guess how many elder-care marketing messages I've encountered? None.
What a missed opportunity. Do I want the best ongoing care for my mother? Yes. Do I have time to figure out what that really means? No. In the hours I have spent with her at the hospital and in the nursing home (sorry Mom, I know you like to call it re-hab), have I been a captive audience with a Blackberry and a penchant for searching health tips for older folks? You betcha. But not one relevant ad has crossed my path. In fact, kudos go to Johns Hopkins for being the ONLY organization to remotely recognize my situation, but that is only through opt-in health alerts.
So where are the marketers? I'm not that hard to find. Why not serve me up something on Facebook (since my life story is now ever-so-public)? As I dig around online why am I not targeted contextually? Why aren't those ads hitting me on my phone during those endless bedside hours?
Long-term care insurers? Long-term care providers? Home health organizations? Home medical equipment retailers? Hello? Anybody out there? Help me and the millions of people like me figure this elder care mystery out - we certainly don't have the luxury of time to do it ourselves.
It seems like all I ever hear anymore is how many people do not like Twitter or understand the concept. Those that actually have an account either use it strictly for business or forget that it's there all together. So if this is the general buzz surrounding the social media site, why is it U.S. site traffic grew from a few million unique monthly visitors early last year to over 20 million by June? Below is the projected continued growth of the site.
Do you believe Twitter is being utilized more often? Is it by people documenting their everyday life or business professionals trying to promote themselves? These are hard questions considering the general consensus used to be that Twitter would have lost steam by now.
We’ve been blogging and blogging about our fascination with coupons and now research from Borrell Associates reports that redemption rates for mobile coupons are 10x that of mail or newspaper. If you are putting it off because mobile marketing sounds expensive, you can put that thought behind you. In fact, tuck it away in your desk drawer under that bottle of Wite Out you haven’t touched since the late 90s. Simply texting an offer worth something valuable to your customer is sufficient. Waiting for others to test it and then you will be on board? Already done. Mobile marketing is moving fast and case studies show that if done strategically and following the rules of the game (i.e., opt-in, frequency caps), the ROI is exceptional. This is one party where showing up late isn’t fashionable. To put it into aquatic terms, catch the mobile wave or you’ll miss the boat.