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If you've found yourself wondering why many of this summer's blockbusters sound familiar, you're not alone, nor are you suffering from amnesia. With big budgets and increasingly global audiences, Hollywood has embraced the sequel and the reboot over the past few years, and that trend continues -- for better or worse -- in 2015. A partial list of this year's sequels include some of Hollywood's biggest franchises: "The Avengers," "Jurassic Park," "Mission: Impossible," "The Terminator," "Ted 2," "Furious 7," a fourth "Mad Max," and "Star Wars." Then there's "Fantastic Four," which takes the idea of a reboot and squares it, given the fact that the film is technically a reboot of a reboot, although the 1994 version wasn't released.

So yes, sequels and reboots are big. And just like how Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because that's where the money is, Hollywood is poised to make bank with this year's blockbusters, even if studios have stretched the tent pole past the traditional summer season.

Still, marketing will have plenty to say about which movies win big and which ones flop. Or at least, marketing will play a crucial role in cutting through the noise and driving audience awareness for a big opening. After the first few showings on opening day, once the general public actually has a chance to see a film, success is pretty much in the hands of the social media gods. But in the run up to release, studios lean heavily on their marketing departments and agencies. And while big media buys and franchises with built-in audiences certainly help, the best marketing is always about ideas and execution.

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Advancements in real-time advertising are happening every day. Building on a previous piece that explains how to get started with real-time bidding (RTB) in display advertising, let's now take an in-depth look at how to leverage the latest advancements in prospecting, retargeting, attribution, and viewability in order to drive success.

Understanding prospecting and retargeting, and how they work together

The typical marketing funnel is split into a number of stages from awareness, to consideration and preference -- all the way down to purchase (or another conversion event). A different way to look at the funnel is to split it into just two portions -- the upper and lower funnel. Given this split, in digital advertising we refer to the upper funnel as "prospecting" and the lower funnel as "retargeting."

Prospecting is crucial for attracting new customers to your business. It includes any marketing activities intended to bring people from the awareness stage of the funnel to consideration and preference when they visit your website for the first time. Prospecting efforts evaluate a wide group of people and then use data to determine whether potential consumers might be receptive to your ad and target them accordingly. However, prospecting is only valuable if the people you're driving to your site are qualified customers.

Alternatively, retargeting uses data signals to lead customers toward the bottom of the funnel to a conversion. Retargeting efforts are directed at those people who have already visited your site and are somewhere in the consideration or preference stage. Your retargeting audience is a significantly smaller pool of potential people than your prospecting audience.

Ideally, prospecting and retargeting work in conjunction: You need prospecting efforts to bring new customers into the funnel, and you need retargeting efforts to keep potential customers interested and to encourage them to convert.

Here's an example of how prospecting and retargeting might look in the real world. Let's say you are on a road trip and start seeing billboards for a fast food restaurant you have never heard of before. These billboards work like prospecting ads by generating new awareness for their brand. When you reach the restaurant, you pull into the parking lot, but then drive off, deciding to eat later on.

As you head back onto the highway, you start seeing billboards for another branch of the restaurant 20 miles away. The billboards appear every few miles, and by the time you have reached that next restaurant, you're hungry enough to pull off and buy a meal. These billboards work like retargeting ads that have not only kept you interested, but have also driven you to make a purchase.

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Your company is experiencing a digital shift whether you like it or not. Everyone is searching for new ways to leverage digital to transform their business. The reality is that most agencies are not set up to deliver real business impact beyond marketing campaigns and websites. Worse yet, consulting groups compile their insights into a 300-page deck with no action plan. They are great at solving the "why" and setting the vision, but only digital builders know how to create great digital solutions.

You might ask yourself, what is the new paradigm shaping the industry? We identify it as digital transformation. Best articulated by Capgemini Consulting, digital transformation has the ability to impact three key areas: Customer experience, operations, and business models -- resulting in improved efficiency, scale, reach, and overall engagement. 

The age-old model

Most agencies struggle as they attempt to develop solutions that create digital transformation. Too often agencies neglect to address the core fundamentals of their clients' business and digital capabilities. Thus, the so-called "fix" ends up being more of a band-aid solution, or worse yet, a fly-by-night campaign requiring continual investment that ultimately produces mediocre results. Agencies have perpetuated this dynamic as a means of securing sustainable revenue. The dynamic is further magnified as they continue to position themselves as amplifiers, rather than as partners focused on building the brand's business and digital ecosystem.

The new paradigm: digital transformation

We are seeing the emergence of a new model. One where digital agencies are pushed to look beyond old standbys of messaging, brand, and campaigns -- advising against a roadmap for real digital growth and maturity. Akin to Crispin Porter + Bogusky telling Domino's Pizza in 2008 that the problem is less about its brand messaging or brand story, and more about the cardboard-tasting pizza it delivers in a cardboard box to its customers. Agencies need to be having conversations about digital infrastructure and the ways in which investments in clients' products or services can impact their business. I'm not saying agencies should call out their clients' product flaws -- we don't always have that luxury/relationship, and if we did, we might not have any clients after a while. It's important to have an open mind when thinking about digital transformation, as is understating that delivering business impact extends beyond surface-level marketing efforts. Adjustments may need to occur deeper: at the product and/or service level.

Why are so few agencies helping brands in this way? Most digital agencies have not adapted to this "new responsibility." They lack the established workflows to address large infrastructure projects, or the cadence for product release cycles. Those that are setup to handle digital infrastructure are either A) too specialized in niche apps, dashboards, or specific widgets, or B) only support one business requirement/feature through disposable technology

Digital transformation service areas

Delivering against this "new responsibility" requires an agency that is able to think long-term, and begins by building a foundational infrastructure that fits into a larger roadmap. Once established, evolving that roadmap becomes a shared responsibility. One that is collaborative and focused on uncovering ways to form deeper connections with customers, while creating efficiencies in business processes. In an effort to summarize this model, we have structured our services in a way that aligns client's digital needs with our agency services.    

Understanding and insights
First, the client owns the customer understanding, or the context of the business problem. The agency then delivers insight, which is industry and consumer-specific, and ultimately informs a digital strategy for building a digital infrastructure.

Purpose and storytelling
Second, the client owns its purpose: the definition of why the brand and/or business exists, and the value it provides to customers beyond making money for shareholders. The agency owns storytelling: reshaping how a brand tells its story and how that story is digitally telegraphed across all customer ecosystem touchpoints.

Engagement and experience
Third, the client must own its engagement model: how the business currently interacts with its customers online and how that influences broader touchpoints or offline behaviors. The agency owns shaping the experiences, by immersing consumers in frictionless digital design and navigation. Making "feel and function" right to the consumer, but also ensuring it fulfills the right business goals.

Scale and ecosystem
Last, the client owns the business plan against scale, identifying how it intends to grow and gain operational efficiencies. The agency looks at the client's ecosystem of properties and 3rd party solutions and looks for ways to increase sales, reduce cost ratios and implement automation by digitizing labor-intensive processes, the net result is increasing market response rate.

All said, it is no longer enough for digital agencies to push pixels and translate brand stories into digital experiences. Instead, agencies need to understand how digital can impact the overall business and work with clients to unlock opportunities that deliver a series of shifts, which together result in true digital transformation for your brand.

Neil Chaudhari is founding partner and CEO at Propane Studio.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia at @iMediaTweet.

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This article is sponsored and authored by Adroit Digital. Learn more about sponsored content opportunities.

The past 10 years have likely changed the jobs of everyone who is reading this. The explosion of connected devices, how content is consumed, and the applications available through these channels have created an abundance of data points for your organization to consider in its marketing efforts. Combine these changes with the evolution of advertising technology, like programmatic, and just doing your job might sometimes seem like an overwhelming task.

Except that, really, not that much has changed.

Your business goals remain the same: maintaining customer loyalty and acquiring new customers while driving in-market conversions. It's the path to achieving these aims that is different and that calls for a more focused approach. The new marketing reality demands that you understand available data and apply it to the cross-channel, cross-device consumer experience -- while continually testing your campaigns -- to drive these business goals.

Maximize your data first

First-party data is the best data because it's yours. You know exactly what your own customers are doing on your site, whether they're browsing, buying, abandoning, or returning. Yet many brands aren't using first-party data as effectively as they could be. You have to activate your data first to ensure it will actually provide you with actionable insights about your customers. There are two things to consider:

Live and breathe cross-channel and cross-funnel: As mentioned above, the device boom has complicated the path to purchase for marketers. In a recent Adroit study on how consumers shop on mobile devices, 69 percent of respondents said they are likely to start their shopping journey on mobile but finish the transaction on a laptop or desktop. Think about which media channels you will combine and how you will use them in different ways. Consider the customer experience across devices and focus on shaping multiple messages to nuanced audiences on these channels throughout the purchase journey.

Leave no tactic untested: Even with the right data, you must test and be willing to change your approach to see what works best to achieve the customer business goals listed above. Test creative units across channels, try different segmenting tactics, and run different strategies against each. Analytics and insights should constantly be at your disposal so you can optimize campaigns effectively.

Scale your data second

So once you've activated your first-party shopper data, how do you scale it to achieve the best results?

Many companies keep first-party data to themselves and never look beyond it. That works -- to a limited extent -- for remarketing to your own customers, but it doesn't help you reach new ones. To both keep your current or lapsed customers loyal and target new ones, you need to learn more about what they do when they leave your site. Where else are they browsing, carting, and purchasing? What types of content are they consuming?

Getting access to more quality attributes on the customers you can reach is critical to predict who might buy your products or services for the first time -- or who might buy again. One way to do this is to leverage a data co-op to access anonymized customer data aggregated from other brands at scale to see where else current, lapsed, and prospective customers are shopping, including in different verticals. These aggregate data sets create a clearer vision of consumers' needs, goals, and behaviors. Consider how shared data helps in reaching the business goals mentioned above:

Maintaining customer loyalty: In a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Adroit Digital in January 2015, 40 percent of respondents who use a digital data co-op, which pools together different brands' first-party data, improved ability to reach their own customers across channels through this method of data-sharing. Co-ops allow brands to suppress their current customers from acquisition messaging. This frees up brands to instead focus on the right retention messages placed in the right channels.

Driving in-market conversions: The most successful co-ops constantly collect and refresh their data to ensure accurate and up-to-date audience characteristics. Fresh data is essential because it eliminates wasted spend that comes from targeting consumers who are no longer in-market. With real, recent browse, cart, and purchase behavior, marketers increase their chances of driving in-market conversions.

Acquiring new customers: By sharing first-party data, marketers can hone in on unique segments that are highly relevant to their businesses, in contrast to more generic pre-segmented audiences from third-party or publisher sources. Marketers get the opportunity to access modeled, anonymized first-party data from diverse industries and shopping experiences, at a scale they could never achieve by themselves. They are then able to identify consumers who exhibit similar behaviors to their customers and target beyond their own customer base to acquire new shoppers. This data can also be used to identify consumers who make more frequent or larger purchases, enabling campaigns to target the most lucrative leads.

True one-to-one marketing will continue to be the zenith toward which marketers strive. Only by understanding and activating the right data in the right ways will this become achievable.

Avi Spivack is senior director of product commercialization at Adroit Digital, the sponsor of this article.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

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Ad fraud topped many year-end and new year predictions pieces. And rightfully so, as looming forecasts estimate it will cost marketers worldwide $6.3 billion in 2015. The daunting loss coupled with the fact that adoption of programmatic is still in its early days (there are still a significant amount of marketers wrapping their heads around it) is generating more distrust in the ad tech industry regarding the embrace of emerging ad tech solutions and the value of solutions like programmatic and RTB.

However, programmatic remains one of the most powerful tools in a marketer's toolkit despite these early barriers of adoption. And it is on the fast track to trumping other forms of ad buying. According to eMarketer's latest research on the industry, "2014 Programmatic Advertising Forecast," programmatic ad buying is projected to grow by 137 percent, accounting for close to 50 percent of the digital market. Furthermore, a recent BI Intelligence Report found that digital media buying through programmatic and RTB will rise to a more than $18.2 billion industry.

The silver lining around today's hype around ad fraud is that it will help marketers already using it or planning to use programmatic, better protect their investments with their heightened awareness on what they should be looking for and what more secure solutions are available. And for marketers who are still getting up to speed on the benefits of programmatic, they will make smarter decisions. To mitigate loses against ad fraud and remain smart on how to maximize emerging ad tech solutions to gain a competitive edge and reduce risk, consider the following ABCs as a quick-and-easy guide.

A : Adhere to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)'s Anti-Fraud Principles.

Ad fraud is a center stage priority for the IAB. Especially given the multi-billion dollar threat it poses to the ad industry. Addressing this concern, the IAB this past year established a task force called Traffic of Good Intent, which recommends numerous business practices for advertisers to minimize fraud. Furthermore, it now also certifies advertising technology solution providers under its Quality Assurance Guidelines, signifying that the companies have adopted recommended approaches for brand safety and self-regulation.

B : Buy only ad tech solutions that are transparent and offer ad fraud protection.

While this is by no means a finite list, it's important for marketers to know solutions are available for all sizes of companies and budgets. For instance, on the "Goliath" side, Google is the latest to hype its anti-fraud capabilities. It recently introduced a new fraud protection / viewability feature built into its DoubleClick Bid Manager automated ad buying platform designed to prevent marketers from buying impressions which will never be seen by human eyes. In the mid-enterprise market, AppNexus unveiled a "Certified Supply Program," which in short, allows its buyers to invest in "fraud-free" inventory or buy "non-certified" inventory which does not come with a fraud-free guarantee. A notable player arming small to midsize marketers with a competitive edge when it comes to ad fraud protection is special Forensiq. Similarly to Google, it offers a viewability product along with solutions to combat affiliate, click, conversion, and impression fraud.

C : Continuously monitor the space for the latest, most cost-effective and efficient ad tech and ad fraud prevention solutions.

Interestingly enough with recent year-end and new year prediction pieces, the verdict is still out on how ad fraud will improve. The 614 Group and AdMonsters found that 58 percent of marketers believe ad fraud will decrease next year, while 42 percent disagree. Programmatic and RTB expert MediaPost's Tyler Loechner hit the nail on the head when he recently addressed how the overall market is so young -- and ad fraud is likely to increase as programmatic meets mass adoption. Programmatic has ushered in new fraud realities for ad tech, but programmatic and its ad fraud prevention technologies have yet to see a saturated market -- it's just getting started! As the market matures, smarter and more cost-effective and efficient solutions will continue to emerge, and marketers should constantly monitor this space and ask their ad tech solution providers for better and more secure options.

Last year effectively elevated the discussion of ad fraud. With foreboding predictions addressing the potential $6.3 billion dollar loss to marketers, there's now a healthy fire under marketers' feet to both learn about the benefits of programmatic solutions and better protect current and future investments into this technology with ad fraud protection solutions. While last year heighted the market's awareness, 2015 may be the year the industry restores faith in the digital ad tech industry.

Kiran Gopinath is the CEO of Adadyn.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia at @iMediaTweet.

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In the 2008 indie film "The Wackness," Ben Kingsley's psychiatrist character tells his patient, Luke, to "never, ever, ever trust anyone who says they don't like dogs." While he's certainly an eccentric guy, this is a sentiment I've always held true. And apparently many advertisers have also recognized the universal appeal of canines.

The 8 greatest puppy marketing campaigns of all time

Indeed, we humans are drawn to the (for lack of a better word) cuteness of these creatures, and, if used correctly, one can sell almost anything to anyone by including a dog (or two, or 10) in their ad. Here are eight examples of howl-worthy marketing that will practically turn your eyes into giant hearts, cartoon-style.

Hush Puppies Colombia: GPS Hush Puppies (2014)

The popular shoe brand, known for its lightweight slip-on footwear, made use of two simple truths when creating this guerilla marketing campaign: First that its mascot is an adorable, doe-eyed basset hound; and second, that no one can resist those lost puppy dog eyes.

But the dog in this commercial is far from lost -- in fact, he's tied up next to a sign bearing the letters "GPS," with text following to tease the reader not to pass up the surprise that's waiting if they just grab the pup's leash and go where he takes them. A number of passersby eagerly took the bait and, when they arrived at the Hush Puppies store, were rewarded with coupons -- all because they chose to follow (as the commercial's tagline reads) "the tenderest guide in the world."

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Last year, March produced the most-viewed campaign of 2014, Wren's "First Kiss." Maybe there's something about the month because this year, the most-viewed campaign of 2015 to date was also released in March.

Ad Council takes the top spot on the March iMedia Brands in Video chart, where it garnered 92.5 million views with "Love Has No Labels." That's more views than any other campaign in 2015 to date. Its performance made the Ad Council one of four new brands on the chart this month, and it beat out some of the most prolific brands in online video, including Samsung, Google, and Microsoft.

"Love Has No Labels," created by R/GA, is a PSA that encourages us all to overcome our biases and embrace diversity through love. The organization has a long history of producing powerful PSAs -- from its earliest work during WWII ("Loose Lips Sink Ships") and its creation of characters Smokey the Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog, to its "Keep America Beautiful" campaign -- that effectively capture the public's attention for major social issues. But this is its most viral branded video campaign to date.

The three-minute video starts with a crowd gathered in front of a large black screen. Two x-ray-like skeletons embrace and kiss on the screen. Then the two skeletons walk to the sides of the screen, and it is revealed that they are two women. They embrace again as the audience cheers and the screen reads, "Love has no gender." "Same Love" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert, starts to play over the video as more skeletons and messages of inclusion appear: Love has no religion, race, or age.

Released on March 3, the campaign had generated more views inside of two weeks than Budweiser's "Lost Dog" (63.5 million views), which was the most watched campaign of the Super Bowl.

Not only is "Love Has No Labels" the most-watched campaign of the year so far, but it has also is already the No. 21 most-viewed branded video ad of all time. It has already surpassed a number of groundbreaking campaigns, including Old Spice's innovative 2010 "Responses" (89.3 million views) and VW's 2011 Super Bowl campaign, "The Force" (85.8 million views).

The month "Love Has No Labels" was released doesn't really have anything to do with its success. Like Wren's "First Kiss," the campaign would have been successful no matter the time of year it was released. Neither campaign was capitalizing on a specific event or season. The content of each campaign is the sole driver of the generous viewership.

Consumers today want emotional stories. They are crazy for an emotional story with an uplifting message. Consumers also want to share this kind of heartwarming content with their social networks. If brands can package those stories in a surprising way, as the Ad Council did, there is extra incentive to share. "Puppy Love" and "Lost Dog" are examples of how Budweiser has adapted its legacy of buddy advertising to capitalize on these truths.

Does it help that Budweiser's campaigns aired during the Super Bowl? Yes. But over the last year, campaigns like Always' "#LikeAGirl" and Wren's "First Kiss" have proved that moving creative can generate buzz equal or exceed that of a major event. The added benefit of not using an event like the Super Bowl to create conversation around a campaign is that a brand doesn't have to share the spotlight.

"Love Has No Labels" benefitted not only from inspiring creative, but also from a creative distribution strategy. The organization released the campaign on its own YouTube and Facebook pages, but it also partnered with the Upworthy. Upworthy posted the PSA and its behind-the-scenes content on its Facebook page, which has more than 7 million "likes," and that content accounted for 46 percent of total viewership.

This approach validates the idea that brands need to target influencers in order to achieve maximum impact with their content. In the case of "Love Has No Labels," the influencer was Upworthy. Its clout with the online community as the internet's favorite purveyor of emotional and uplifting content not only validated the Ad Council's content, but also put it in front of an audience that might not have seen it otherwise.

The strategy is an important one for all brands, but for non-profits in particular. Non-profits seldom have the budgets to compete with for-profit brands when it comes to video production or distribution, but they have a distinct advantage in that non-profit missions are often full of real and emotional human-interest stories. If non-profits can capitalize on partners and influencers to help tell their stories, like the Ad Council did, more will have the opportunity to be heard.

Mallory Russell is content editor at Visible Measures.

iMedia's Top 10 Brands in Video chart, powered by Visible Measures, focuses on aggregated brand view counts across related social video ad campaigns. Each brand and campaign is measured on a True Reach basis, which includes viewership of both brand-syndicated and audience-driven video clips. The data are compiled using the patented Visible Measures platform, a constantly growing repository of analytic data on close to 400 million videos tracked across more than 300 online video destinations.

Note: This analysis does not include Visible Measures' paid-placement (e.g., overlays; pre-, mid-, and post-roll) performance data or video views on private sites. This chart does not include movie trailers, video game campaigns, TV show, or media network promotions. View counts are incremental by month.

Learn more here.

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Some brands are failing to attract audiences and. for the most part, keep them interested in social channels over time. On the other hand, many marketers invest a lot of effort in deciphering and mastering the peculiarities of social media, especially compared to the time they dedicate to understanding the public they are addressing more in depth. Is there a relationship between these two?

Think of social media not as the icon of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, or YouTube, but as John, Lorraine, Florence, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your cousin, your friends, the artist you adore the most, your favorite football team, or the expert you admire. All these people are social media. These groups have been shaping the media through their language, their usage patterns, their experiences, and the impact they've caused elsewhere. Without these people, the media would be completely irrelevant.

Only a few brands understand the importance of what this means, and yet they still give more importance to the media than to the human beings behind them. In the last few years, as a consultant in social business intelligence, I have read through thousands of comments made on social media by consumers and users of brands that represent consumer goods, financial services, entertainment, and the automotive industry, to name a few, in several Latin American countries. I have observed that consumers only participate or occasionally express themselves to keep a relationship with the brand. There was a common element in all of these cases: emotion.

How can a post with the picture of a puppy and a fun comment or photo of a pizza made with Oreo cookies generate thousands of retweets? And in turn, why did a post by the noodle brand Mama Lucchetti (Argentine brand) saying, "Today someone shouted an awful compliment to me in the street, but it was so cute!" generate thousands of shares and comments of all kinds? The common answer in all these messages is that they triggered an emotion.

Club Social
 

Oreo pizza


 

Humans are highly emotional, and our behavior and interactions (including purchase decisions) are influenced by emotions. According to psychologist Paul Ekman, there are six basic emotions that are common among people of all cultures: anger, happiness, surprise, disgust, sadness, and fear. Now as a marketer you may be wondering, "Are there any emotions that generate more engagement than others? How can I generate certain types of emotions in my audience to capture their attention and preference?"

According to the report "Social Transmission, Emotion, and the Online Content of Virality," conducted by The Wharton School of Business, there is a strong relationship between emotion and virality, but the interesting thing is that unlike what ordinary people would normally assume, positive emotions generate more viral action than negative emotions. It is curious that the media and news insist on paying attention to spreading negative news while people prefer to share positive news in social media instead.

We could prove this by doing our own analysis using my company's Socialmetrix Social Media Listening Tool with snacks and chocolate drink brands from across the region in 2014. In this case, we took 29 brands to understand how often consumers used the word "love" compared to "hate" when referring to any of these 29 brands within their messages. The results were surprising, since the word "love" was used in more than 64,000 cases while "hate" was used in only 9,000 (i.e., seven times more expressions relating to love than to hate in a year).

There are other emotions that generate virality, according to studies and experience:

  • Content generated by amazement, inspiration, or mood/humor goes viral often.
  • Messages that cause sadness can generally go viral but less frequently.
  • Content that evokes anger and wrath is more commonly viralized. In fact, the study shows that you can predict the virality of content based on the anger evoked by the message.

Well, then, how do we turn this knowledge into concrete actions that will help our brands attract the attention of our audiences and their preferences?

Here are four suggestions:

1. Plan your content in order to generate emotions with more virality and preference, such as happiness, amazement, inspiration, and humor. Ask yourself what unique messages your brand is offering and which of those your audience values. Remember that a "share" is generated by an emotional response that happens in fractions of a second. It's a reaction that takes place almost without thinking.
 
2. Take into account elements that are unexpected. If you use amazement, be careful not to go too far and risk backlash. Some examples to generate amazement are:

  • Challenge commonly used concepts and to try to be different.
  • Share new ways of doing things. Oreo is a great example of a brand that appeals to the creativity of ways to enjoy its product.
  • Ask a provocative question.
  • Notice and point out any fact that may not be known and generate surprise.

3. Entertainment, fun, and playfulness (choose an option, find the hidden word, how much there is in the image, etc.) generate participation and anticipation. People like to play. Many brands use these resources to keep their audiences expectant and attentive.

4. Ask your audience what they like. It is so basic, but we forget that people are willing to share their preferences and motivations more than ever thanks to this huge focus group called social media. Many brands have become experts about their audiences by doing surveys and showing an open attitude to receiving feedback.

Undoubtedly, marketers that can emotionally connect with their audiences will be the best equipped to generate longer relationships with their brands and their products. Like the great Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but what people will never forget is how you made them feel."

You can see if your audience likes your campaign if they are engaging and interacting with it -- and most importantly, if they are engaging with the campaign in the way you'd hoped -- using analytics solutions.

Nora Valencia  is a consulting manager at Socialmetrix.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia at @iMediaTweet.

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It's equally fun and scary to shine a light on what's wrong with our industry. Saying these things out loud means we have to hold ourselves accountable for getting better. Saying these things out loud means, even though I recognize the problem, I realize I'm equally guilty.

7 dirty little secrets of the marketing industry

So, what makes a secret "dirty" enough to share here? Here's my criteria: something most marketers would probably agree with in private, but would think twice about volunteering in front of a boss or client.

Or in front of thousands of readers online.

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Celtra Inc., the leading creative, analytics, and optimization platform for display advertising, announced the release of Programmatic Creative, a powerful new addition to its AdCreator platform.

Framestore has promoted Christine Cattano to executive producer of its Virtual Reality Studio in New York from her previous position of producer.

Madison Logic Data has rebranded as Bombora, continuing on its steep growth trajectory as the premier provider of B2B demographic and intent data solutions. 

Sitecore and Xamarin announced a partnership to power a new (native, cross-platform) mobile app experience.

SoundCloud is partnering with ZEFR to scan its platform at the deepest levels and find audio content that contains copyrighted songs (e.g. remixes).

The Trade Desk just announced its partnership with WideOrbit.

True North Inc., a full service New York agency specializing in digital, data-driven advertising, announced that it has hired Sarah Tucker as client development manager, a newly created position.

Verve Mobile announced the appointment of Nada Stirratt to succeed Tom MacIsaac as chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Vizy, an international video crowdsourcing community, is announcing the launch of their global platform that acts as a resource for brands and agencies to engage digital audiences through video.

Wayin, a social media analytics and display company, has integrated with Facebook�s Media Solutions APIs to give brand marketers and media outlets the ability to access public Facebook and Instagram content within the Wayin platform.

Editor's note: This column publishes twice per month, and we are always looking for industry announcements, so please email them to agata@imediaconnection.com.

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