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Point of view: Going back 50 years to face the future

by Roberto Estreitinho on 24 July 2014

Each year the social media industry asks itself a new set of questions. In 2009 we wondered if it was a fad. In 2010 we debated what we should say. In 2013 we stood for all things ‘real time’.

This year we’re finally taking steps to talk about actual, proven business value.

Platforms like Instagram have been cautious about introducing advertising. Others like Pinterest have been more aggressive. Just last week, both Facebook and Twitter took a step further: they want to make buying things on their platforms easier by introducing direct response solutions (Twitter already had Lead Generation Cards for example). All of which takes me fifty years back in advertising history…

When David Ogilvy was 25, he discovered what would become his “first love and secret weapon”: direct mail. It was his introduction to the power of measurable results, instead of general platitudes and opinion. With direct mail, you either got a result, or you didn’t. You either sold something, or you didn’t. Simple.

As an industry, we tend to avoid talking about selling. We like to talk about conversations and ‘engagement’, an altogether more human kind of communication. We don’t like the nagging salesman, the cold call, the hard sell.

To think we are either cold-blooded salesmen or daydreaming enthusiasts prevents us doing our best work. We love to think we’re either one or the other, but in fact we must be both.

The backbone of our industry has always been probability. The right research, strategy, idea and measurement are essential not because they make failing impossible, but because they make success a bit more likely. Now that it’s becoming easier to define success, we’re getting closer to what Ogilvy stood for with direct advertising: you either get those results, or you don’t.

Social media has always allowed us to track the metrics – number of fans, total reach, conversations, referral traffic – but it’s not as easy to tie that to actual value. If people tweet more, do they care more? Do they buy more? Metrics are a means to an end, but in the end it’s the business value that counts.

It’s good to see social platforms mature to the level in which they give us more tools to better make that connection between what happens on social media and how that reflects in business performance. Tracking direct response is not the only way to do that, but it’s a good start.

We’ll not always be able to connect the dots, because the research around brand building is clear: these things take time and are not always logical. In a way, we’re going back fifty years to Ogilvy’s philosophy around direct advertising and we have more tools than ever to tie the metrics to actual business value.

Photograph courtesy of Michael Coghlan on Flickr.

Stay aHead: Flipboard and Maptia

by James Freemantle on 22 July 2014

Storytelling has never been more crucial for brands, and with the increasing importance of word of mouth and content marketing, telling a good story can be one of the clearest indications of what your brand is all about.

One way this can be achieved is by curating relevant content for your followers that hasn’t been specifically created by your brand.…


LinkedIn professionals are a premium audience for content marketing

The 2014 Trends and Benchmarks Report, conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, has shown that 90% of B2C marketers use content marketing, and out of that, 70% use LinkedIn to distribute this content, a popular choice as the network boasts 300 million members.…


It’s hard for brands to earn people’s trust.

Thanks to social media, nowadays most people expect transparency and authenticity from brands in exchange for their loyalty.  When companies are honest about what they stand for they can generate great results – but it can work even better if they challenge our own perceptions about an issue along the way.…


Last week, Twitter gave its analytics dashboard a major upgrade by offering better data around the performance of organic tweets.

The new dashboard includes data such as total impressions, total engagements and engagement rates for each tweet, providing richer insight into how your tweets are performing in real-time.…


Point of view: The inescapable rise of Emoji

by Annabel Sampson on 11 July 2014

As our self-appointed in-house Emoji expert I am unashamedly passionate about the sunny yellow characters used to inject personality into messages nationwide. Born in Japan, the characters have been incorporated into Unicode (the computer industry standard for encoding and displaying most of the world’s writing systems) and captured the hearts and minds of the masses at an unprecedented rate.…


The point of social media, FOMO and marketing to mothers

by Roberto Estreitinho on 10 July 2014

Yes, it’s that time of the month again… the 1000views Blog Digest No. 3 is ready for your enjoyment!

This month we cover some of the hottest topics we wrote about in June, such as creativity in a modern age, the point of social media, FOMO and talking to mothers.…


Stay aHead: 1, 2... Pop!

by Roberto Estreitinho on 09 July 2014

Picasso once said about art, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” Decades later, Faris Yakob came up with this to define creativity, “Ideas are just non-obvious combinations.”

Stolen ideas – in the sense of how we grab our influences and put them together in a non-obvious way to create something new – are the foundation of art and creativity, and if pop culture has a backbone, it’s something that comes out of the marriage of these two.…