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Certain truths are self evident. Ask Ithaca, NY

In brand-building, social media on March 18, 2015 at 11:54 pm

by Robert Liljenwall

The area around Ithaca is known for its robust winters. Known by some as the “snow capital of the world,” this region endured record-breaking snowfalls and cold this past winter. But if you’re the head of the Ithaca Convention and Visitors Bureau during one of the worst winters in history, you reach the point that “you’re fed up”, so fed up, in fact, that the Bureau came up with a remarkable marketing idea: Tell the truth. “That’s it. We surrender. Winter, you win. Key West anyone?” And while it’s your job to promote tourism to your area, it was self-evident that tourist were not flocking to an area to which was blocked by closed highways and below-freezing temperatures.

While the marketing concept was later “retired”, it went viral, and as Bruce Stoff, director of the Ithaca Convention and Visitor Bureau told CNN — “everyone in the Northeast is beaten by winter now…and we were dreaming of being someplace that is warm.” It was a move that some in the tourist industry frowned on, but the spokesperson for the Florida Keys Tourism Counil told CNN, “it’s the wackiest thing I have every seen in my life from a tourism marketing standpoint.” The Floridan tourism group eagerly complied with a request to send a photo for the Ithaca web site — it went viral on Twitter.

What is interesting in my conversation with Stoff was that this idea had been in the talked about for eight years, and it was in the planning and implementation stage for the past two years. “It was certainly calculated….that this was going to be a positive for Ithaca.” Bruce is still on the job, but he cautions that the next three quarters will tell if their concept worked.  — RJL

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Film Festivals Embrace High-Tech

In brand-building, mobile & tablets, social media, Technology, Video, Movies & Television on March 30, 2014 at 3:19 pm
RiverRun International Film Festival April 4-13

by Jeff Sandgren

riverrunThe 16th annual RiverRun International Film Festival will be running from April 4 – 13 in Winston-Salem. Held annually each spring, RiverRun screens a wide variety of feature-length and short films from all genres, and also presents a broad range of special events, including high-profile regional premieres of significant films. This year, festival winners can even become contenders for next year’s Academy Awards.

The festival, like its more famous cousins at Sundance and SXSW, relies increasingly on new technologies to develop and deliver the wonder of traditional moviegoing. We spoke with Christopher Holmes, Program Coordinator for RiverRun, about how they use small-screen and other new technologies to bring this banner event to the big screen in the City of Arts and Innovation.

BTN: How has technology changed the realization of your film festival?

RRIFF: Online streaming platforms have made all of our jobs tremendously easier. Keeping up with the programming landscape at major international festivals like Cannes has become so much more manageable – without ever having to leave the office. In the past it might take several emails back and forth and then the mailing of a physical DVD screener to facilitate the consideration of just one potential film, or even schlepping to the festival in person.

Online filmmaker services such as Cinando and Festivalscope now exist that allow us to request and receive invitations to watch streaming versions of many films, and this can all happen within the span of an hour or less now, given the response time from a particular filmmaker or distributor. Likewise Vimeo and YouTube have become high quality, legitimate receptacles for screeners from filmmakers that respond to our open call for submissions, so it’s really changed things for the better in terms of how quickly we’re able to preview titles that pique our interest.

BTN: How does it help support and promote the event?

RRIFF: Social media tools and their mobile apps have become integral to the way we promote the festival. We used to rely heavily on our in-house printed film guides and brochures, and local print media to get the word out, but now we can do that worldwide within a matter of minutes using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. These tools additionally allow us to maintain a direct running dialogue with our supporters in the community and make everyone feel actively engaged with what’s happening at RiverRun on a consistent basis.

Keeping in touch with our audiences and staying on their radar in the many off months has always been a particularly challenging undertaking and technology has allowed us to accomplish this in a more purposeful and conversational way. And just in terms of design and implementation of graphic elements, it speeds up turnaround time on the creative end as well, since sharing high-res mock-ups and proofs via email is now very simple.

BTN: What is this new connection with the Academy Awards?

RRIFF: This year, for the first time in our history, we’ve been approved as a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards in the category of Short Subject Documentary, of which there are only a handful in the Southeastern United States and just a few dozen overall. Each year we assemble a jury for each competition category, comprised of noteworthy professionals, writers, academics and other personalities from the cinematic arts. Those juries deliberate during the festival to distinguish films with awards in their respective categories.

What the Oscar-qualifying tag means is that whichever film our Documentary Shorts jury awards with the Best Documentary Short prize is automatically in the pool of films that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members ultimately consider for Oscar nomination. Basically we are a necessary filter between the entire mass of documentary shorts produced every year and what the Academy members are able to consider with their extremely limited time. So there’s a decent chance that one of the films programmed will be among the Oscar nominated shorts this time next year, and directly because of its participation in the festival.

BTN: We hear a lot about multiscreen user experience these days. Are you discouraging or encouraging it for events like this? 

RRIFF: We are certainly discouraging it during the screenings themselves!  There’s nothing more magnetizing to the eye than seeing a screen light up, and it is an enormous disruption to the immersive environment filmmakers covet when creating their work, so we do everything we can to be faithful to that interaction. However we are certainly encouraging the integration of all sizes of screens and technology in representing the festival more generally—talking about viewing experiences our audiences have had, sharing viewpoints on films we’ve shown, events we’ve put on or experiences we’ve created, and including things like trailer links and other visual content on our web-based analogs.

BTN: How can moviegoers use their mobile devices to select films and track showing and ticket availability?

RRIFF: Our website has a mobile version which enables sorting through film listings, viewing the schedule, watching trailers and buying tickets online. Additionally we have a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices that makes simply sorting the films even easier … it even allows the user to filter out a combination of attributes such as genre and venue to achieve a very specific set of recommendations based on a lot of different variables.

BTN: Looking ahead, how do you think wearables – especially devices like Google Glass – may change the film going experience of tomorrow … for better or worse?

RRIFF: Hmm, we wonder…

We don’t see a small-screen application like Google Glass as particularly conducive to the large scale, projected effect that cinematic communication necessitates. After all, larger screen sizes have been positively linked to viewer engagement and interactivity (even on a physiological level) so the smaller the viewing space, the less control the filmmaker has over the way and degree to which the audience engages with the content.

For more small-screen, commercially driven applications like viewing sports, news, film trailers and social media, we can imagine it being very appealing, even if only from a novelty perspective. People are constantly looking for new user experiences and ways to keep their messages fresh and vital, so Google Glass and other wearables seem like they could present new opportunities in that respect.

Perhaps there’s a way to integrate the glasses with 3D moviegoing and TV experiences, as well?  How about it science? – JTS

Branding Tip: How To Humanize Your Brand

In brand-building, innovation, social media, Technology on March 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm

3 ways to breathe life into your brand

by Sookie Lioncourt 

Your customers are human, and so are your business partners. The people who create your products and contribute to the proliferation of your ‘brand’ are also all, human. As a response, it’s just fitting that you should also start ‘humanizing your brand’ to make it more interesting and universally appealing. Tim Ingold Jr. and Jabil Circuit of Wired said that through this practice, retailers and establishments alike “can seek ways to add a personal touch to non-traditional outlets” for your products and services. With the rise of digital technology, this can be done with ease — you can leverage social media interaction to provide real-time information to the public, use an intelligent virtual machine in your freestanding kiosks that dispense products, or take advantage of augmented reality technology to add a lively flair to your brand. To elaborate this further, read on below for we discuss how digital technology can indeed give life to your precious brand.

Through Social Media Influence

Using a social media channel is a thoughtful and deliberate process in giving life to your brand that yields some great benefits when properly utilized. Maren Hogan of the HR Examiner pointed out that the “humanization of a brand fosters more intimate brand-customer communications, customer loyalty, growth through feedback and increased engagement.” Here’s how you can leverage social media:

  •  Document…Document…Document…

Collate all the responses from your customers and visitors, even if they are criticizing your products and/or services. The whole point of having a social media account is to hear, apart from being heard. Treat your online followers as if they are all your friends by listening to their suggestions and sentiments.

  •  Respond Rapidly and Individually 

Those who will leave a quick wall posting your business page wanted to be acknowledged and addressed immediately. If the information is not yet readily available, at least have the decency to tell them that someone is looking into the situation. Inactive social interaction translates to inconsistency in your business and company as a whole. “No one likes an inconsistent company… this is a glaring flaw when making use of social media interaction,” as highlighted by Wise (@letsgetwise). The web may be far too big to win over everybody, but a bit of personality is way better than being a faceless autobot.

  •   Say Sorry When Necessary 

Humans are not perfect. We do commit errors and mistakes and that’s OK. Apologizing to your customers will help them realize that your brand is committed toward serving them and caring for their personal interests. You’ll be surprised by the favorable effects that you can achieve when you “kill” them with kindness.

The Use Of Virtual and Real-Life Objects

What could be more human than a product that acts like one and operates like a person? One example of this one is the virtual holographic mannequin of Boston’s Logan Airport named Carla. She is an attractive young lady that gives out pieces of advice ranging from air security and safety. She and her other virtual sisters, whose located in strategic locations inside the airport, are also there to greet passengers and accompany them as they leave and arrive in the vicinity.

Another example is the campaign created by Douwe Egberts Coffee Company called “Bye Bye Red Eye.” The Dutch company installed high-tech coffee vending machines in airports and other public places that interacts though facial recognition software. So, when a yawning traveler approaches the machine, it automatically dispenses a hot cup of coffee for that wearied person.

Though these practices are done outside the traditional store setups, using the machine’s lively element can establish a more personal link between the brand and the consumers.

By Augmenting Reality

Augmented Reality, three-dimensional web tools, and interactive computer applications can also add a human flair to your brand even without an actual person from your company involved in the process. For instance, some clothing and Eyewear e-commerce shops are employing the use of virtual fitting room that uses the customer’s web camera to see if a particular product is ideal for them or not, before doing a transaction. Since this practice fosters a product-consumer engagement, using Augmented Reality is a cost-effective way of humanizing your brand.

With the proliferation of technology, adding a human touch to your brand is no longer a difficult venture. As you’ve seen, you can leverage social media interaction to provide real-time information to the public, or use an intelligent virtual machine or tangible object to foster product-costumer engagements and vice versa. — SL

BrandTech News is excited to share the insights of our first Guest Reporter, Sookie Lioncourt, bringing us news and views from her home office in the UK.  Welcome, Sookie!

Guest Reporter: Sookie Lioncourt

Guest Reporter: Sookie Lioncourt

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sookie Lioncourt has a solid background in business administration and marketing, she can give you helpful pieces of advice to kick start your business, and ensure your brand’s success by leveraging the power of digital technologies and online media platforms. Talk to her via LinkedIn.

Branding gets real personal – ask Carole Schiffer

In brand-building, social media on December 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

by Robert Liljenwall

Some of you reading this article are probably contemplating that when you “retire,” the idea of earning some extra bucks selling real estate might be just the right ticket to keep your mind sharp and your wallet full. After all, how hard is it? 

Carole Schiffer

Well, ask realtor Carole Schiffer – it’s pretty hard, and it’s extremely competitive. Carole is one of 1.2 million members of the National Association of Realtors in the US, but that’s where the similarity stops. Using the most advanced real estate tracking software … staying connected with social media … and having an advanced, user-friendly website that contains a broad array of up-to-date real estate news – have all enabled Carole to become one of Coldwell Banker‘s top real estate agents, ranking in the top 500 out of 140,000 CB agents nationwide. And she does it in one of the country’s most competitive markets – Brentwood, Bel-Air and Beverly Hills. Her average sale is more than $2 million, and despite the economic downturn in the real estate market in past years, this has been one of her best years.

BTN:  What keeps you at the top? 

Carole:  There’s really no secret. The fact is that “location” remains an imperative in staying at the top in CB’s national network. I am blessed to work in one of the most attractive areas in the world. But honestly, it’s just hard work and staying positive in a very competitive market that is populated by some of the world’s most successful agents.

And to stay competitive, I take advantage of the online programs that Coldwell Banker provides, but I also deploy my own online initiatives to differentiate myself from others.  You cannot afford to be a “me-too”, even with a quality firm such as Coldwell Banker.

Besides keeping up, I take advantage of my communications skills and constantly build relationships with my client base. This remains a relationship business and will always be that way.

BTN: Who is your market?

Carole:   My ‘market’ stretches from Malibu to Beverly Hills to Bel Air to Marina del Rey, and I am blessed with the privilege of selling some of the world’s finest residential real estate. Westside Los Angeles is also rich in community assets, including some of the world’s most beautiful seashores, education (UCLA), culture (The Getty and many outstanding museums), shopping and dining. And of course, there’s the weather. From Day One in my real estate career, I have continued to invest in my community through a variety of non-profit organizations and civic activities. Real estate is all about building your personal brand.

BTN:  How has the business changed? 

Carole:  I started my business when we didn’t have the Internet, email, social media, and digital real estate services that have now flooded the Internet. In the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a lot of hand-holding and we spent a lot more time scrambling around West LA in our cars (and in traffic) showing homes and shepherding transactions through escrow.

This frantic pace continues, even with the best technology. If fact, there is more hand-holding going on today because the transactions have become more complicated. And there are more forms, not less. The environment is much more litigious, and the liability for agents has greatly increased.

For every real estate transaction in California – a tree loses its life! Regulations and laws are much more complex and wide ranging, and it’s a challenge to stay up with it all.

What has also changed is that my neighborhoods and communities have become “hot” properties on the global market. Los Angeles’s Westside is one of the hottest destinations for foreign/US buyers – they want to be here because it consistently has retained higher property values.

Given these assets and opportunity, I joined the best broker in the area (Fred Sands) who then sold to Coldwell Banker in 2000. Coldwell Banker dominates the greater Los Angeles area – as well as the entire US market in terms of total sales and listings. It has consistently attracted the best agents – so “CB’s brand strength” extends to my brand.

BTN:  How does technology play a role in your success?

Carole:  I’m sure your readers are all computer literate – so are all of my clients these days. Most explore the many real estate websites that can drill down to specific listings and areas – long before they start their actual, on-the-ground search – and the latest statistics prove that out.  So the Internet plays a critical role in how we deal with our clients – who come to me much better informed and prepared than before.

One of my key marketing communication strategies is the use of emails. For the past six years, I have produced a unique online newsletter (The SchifferLine) which is sent on the first and the 15th of each month. One goes out to nearly half of my neighborhoods via email (I use Constant Contact); and the other goes out via regular mail to everyone in my prospecting area (which are called “farms”). Each issue of the bi-monthly newsletters is posted on my web site (www.caroleschiffer.com) on the home page.

This form of online and offline newsletter is, without question, my most important marketing tool because I deliver up-to-the-minute real estate news about their community twice a month. No other public medium does this. The advantage of Constant Contact is that I know exactly who opens my newsletter. And I have recently hired a Social Media Coordinator to address all of my social network demands.

One of the interesting technology advancements that has really saved agents enormous time and frustration is electronic signatures. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but trust me, when you’re in Bel Air and have to travel to Malibu 20 miles away to get a document signed, you’ll appreciate just how valuable that technology is!  And as we become more international today, having the electronic signature is a big factor in closing a transaction, because time is always of the essence.

BTN – Tell us about your branding efforts

Carole:  On the advice of my marketing consultant, I invested heavily in building a brand identity more than 15 years ago, which I still have. I branded everything with my unique color scheme and logo … and it went on all of my stationery, business cards, lawn signs, advertising, website, and a vast array of marketing materials from post cards and brochures to e-marketing tactics on a broad scale. I did not use the Coldwell Banker-branded materials unless I had to. I wanted to differentiate myself from all of the other CB agents in my office and in West Los Angeles. The wonderful news about my identity is that it is still current, still attractive, and I get compliments all the time on how beautiful my communications are.

How do I differentiate myself from 1.2 million Realtors? I position myself as the community expert on the Westside, providing prospects with a plethora of detailed information about each of the major communities I serve.  The knowledge I have of the communities I service is what sets me apart.  But more importantly, I know my neighborhoods inside and out.  I know property values, real estate trends, I keep up to speed on financing and mortgage rates, and I have a vast and valuable network of clients and agents with whom I work.

But perhaps one of the strongest branding efforts over the past 30 years has been my community involvement – having founded and produced the Great Tastes of Brentwood for 20 years … member of area Chambers of Commerce boards … active in some of Los Angeles’ many cultural organizations. These all play a key role in building my brand.

BTN:  How would you sum up your branding and technology connection?

Carole:  Even with all the new, great technology, this is still a person-to-person business. You have to be an expert on so many levels – and it doesn’t hurt to be a damn good psychologist, either. But that’s another story. I have built my business on being the most efficient, most effective Realtor I can be – but you still have to build relationships with your clients and fellow agents. It’s a relationship business more than ever. Clients have to trust you … they have to respect your advice and your skills. Agents, too, have to trust you and respect your relationship, not only with them but with your clients as well.

I have had some terrific mentors, such as Tom Ferry (currently) and Fred Sands, and I have a great support team of marketing and administrative staff. We’re moving to improve our social media experience and we are always looking for ways to better connect with our clients and prospects.

One of the privileges I have had with Coldwell Banker is that I am the company mentor in our Brentwood office. I work with all the new agents who enter the business, which is a responsibility and an honor. It’s very stimulating and gratifying to help younger agents enter our profession.

In the end, it’s been a tremendously rewarding and profitable career, and I still enjoy it even after 30 years! – RJL

Free Product Sampling Sound Like a Dream? Then PINCHme.

In brand-building, curation, retail, social media on September 24, 2013 at 2:30 pm

by Jeff Sandgren

Product sampling: a time-tested stalwart of consumer engagement, new product trial-driving and brand conversion. Whether it’s that first slice at the deli, or the cheery little kiosks scattered throughout Costco, the experiential pull is strong – and historically low-tech. That changed several years ago when online companies like StartSampling began offering subscription-based “e-sampling” programs. But as quickly as the online providers grew, the consumer engagement turned in many cases to disengagement, with complaints about subscription fees, irrelevant product samples … even scams. Indeed, a quick Google search of “online product sampling” includes names like “scamfreesamples,” above the fold. That alone speaks volumes.

Fast forward to 2013, and an innovative Australian company is looking to reinvent sampling into the brave new world of Internet-enabled, socially-connected, value-conscious consumers, with a model that promises to deliver relevance and delight to consumers at the same time as it provides laser-like targeting (and ROI) for the sponsoring Brand Marketers.

Sound like a dream? Jeremy Reid says “pinch me.”

pinchmelogo2No, literally. His company, PINCHme, founded earlier this year in Sydney Australia, is about to cross the Pacific and beachhead in the US market, starting in October. The formula has been a big hit Down Under, where in a mere six months Jeremy and his 30-person team have signed up a half million consumers and 50 major CPGs. In the first 30 days of its launch in the Sydney market, PINCHme signed up 2 percent of the population, and it’s been a steady climb since. As for the brands, they include CPG giants Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever, Kraft, Nestle and many more.

To find out how the new service is different, we asked Founder Jeremy Reid to explain the new approach.

Jeremy_Reid_23-(1)

Jeremy Reid, Founder

“Sampling today is very effective,” said Reid, “but not very efficient. Are the brand sponsors getting the right products in front of the right consumers? Are they getting a measurable ROI on the sampling costs? Those are the problems we’re solving with PINCHme.”

A key element of the platform is its integration with shopper loyalty data from some of the key providers. “It’s a win-win,” said Reid. “The shoppers see only personalized offers on their home page, so they don’t have to browse through products that really don’t fit them. And the brands are only investing in sampling for consumers they want to target.”

There’s a lot of analytics going on in the background, Reid explained. When consumers are presented with their targeted offers, they can only choose one-third of the selections. “That’s powerful choice information, and it drives a much higher trial rate on the samples,” said Reid. Even before the choice, unsure consumers are offered an array of digital content and other product information. In other words, they’re engaged in the selection process – thoroughly.

Fulfillment is handled by PINCHme, who delivers a PINCHme-branded gift box in three to seven days. The offers refresh every Tuesday, but before a consumer can select more items, they have to answer a mini-questionnaire of six questions, anytime within a 30-day window after receiving their package. Reid claims the completion rate in the Australian test market is an impressive 94 percent. Consumers can even make a follow-up purchase right from the survey website … and may be incented to do so with special offers from the Brands.

And, of course, all this is tightly integrated with social media, encouraging the consumers to share their discoveries with their networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and all the usual suspects.

Proof of success back in Australia comes from the Brands themselves: Nestle is already on its eighth campaign, and P&G is on its 10th.

Pinchme-graphics

The big news for consumers is that they can pre-register now for the upcoming US launch, simply by going to pinchme.com. So if you like the idea of trying new things, and love the idea of doing it for free, you might want to check it out …

… and let us know how you like the service. – JTS

Social Media at the Emmy Awards

In brand-building, social media, Video, Movies & Television on September 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Media maven Diana Madison gives us the scoop on social media at the upcoming Emmy AwardsHollyscoop

by Jeff Sandgren

(Sept. 19, 2013)  With the Emmy Awards just days away, buzz is building on what to expect from this year’s ceremony. And no one’s amped up more than the celebrities themselves. Social media is playing an increasingly bigger role in how celebrities (and award ceremonies) engage the public. For the inside scoop, we checked in with media maven Diana Madison, TV Personality, TV host and Executive Producer of the Hollyscoop News Show.

BTN: We’re interested in how celebs brand themselves to the public, and how that brand spills over into their public personas, their activities and their public lives. Who’s really rocking it?

Diana MadisonDiana Madison: We live in a culture that is obsessed with seeing what our favorite celebrities are eating, wearing and saying. Some stars have taken advantage of their fans’ interests, like the Kardashians. These girls are smart to promote their clothing line, perfumes and other projects through their social media. Kim Kardashian has more than 9.9 million followers on Instagram, which is four times the audience that her reality TV show has on E!, which can benefit her when promoting projects.

BTN: How important is social media to celebrity branding? Who’s doing an especially good job with social networks?

DM: Social media is a great way for celebrities to build their brands by getting closer to their fan base. It’s a great way to keep stars relevant with social media because they are in the public eye. For example, Lady Gaga is good at this as she tweets hints, teasers and riddles about her upcoming music and tours. Betty White is another example of someone who has used social media to connect with a younger audience. With Betty on social media, fans took to Twitter and Facebook to demand that she get a gig on SNL.

BTN: How about the dark side – can celebrities do damage control with social media? Any negative examples?

DM: If a celebrity has done a bad deed, they can certainly use social media to repair their reputation by apologizing and showing a more sincere side. Amanda Bynes is one celeb that has bombed on social media by oversharing. Some of her tweets and posts make us wonder if she is sane.

BTN: On the technology side, we’re focused on the trend toward multiscreen, interactive and audience-curated content. At the event level, are the Emmy Awards doing anything techy that’s cool and new this year?

DM: The Emmy Awards is getting more tech-savvy this year with their awards show, which airs Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CBS. They will be giving fans a backstage pass on social media @PrimetimeEmmys. Sources tell me that more than 15 cameras will be positioned in various areas on the red carpet as well as backstage to give viewers at home the exclusive Emmy experience.

BTN: How can fans follow the social media buzz before and during the awards?

DM: The hashtags #Emmys, #Emmyscongrats and #EmmysChat will be used to preview stars having candid moments when they win their Emmys, give their speech onstage, meet the press and take their Emmy photos. This is a great way for an awards show to generate buzz on social media as fans can follow, chat and discuss all of the candid moments that cannot be seen on television.

12 Important Social Media Tools for Brand Marketers

In brand-building, mobile & tablets, social media on August 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Future Trends globe and handby Jeff Sandgren

Today was the wrap for the Social Media Insider Summit, and the sponsors had the good sense to stream the final session to those of us not fortunate enough to be at the event by the shores of Lake Tahoe.  Social Media Insiders – who could resist a bit of Saturday afternoon multitasking bandwidth to hear what these Technorati had to say? After an interesting discussion of the possibility (or near certainty, depending on the pundit) of a Facebook Apocalypse (think MySpace) in the not too distant future, we got down to the really juicy insider stuff: what’s next?

So in case you weren’t with these folks, or sitting like me at home wishing you were at Lake Tahoe, here are 12 social media sites & tools that you might want to keep on your radar. To be clear, the order of these sites is as they came up in conversation, and shouldn’t be interpreted as bestowing any more importance on one than on the others. Except the most important one is last … and no fair peeking.

  1. Waze is an app that enables “fun, community based mapping, traffic & navigation.” The 50 million + “Wazers” outsmart traffic by reporting backups, hazards, police and cheap gas to help you find the best way to your destination. By driving with Waze and GPS active on your smartphone, you passively feed data that helps the system automatically detect slowdowns and faster routes. So big bennies for users; for marketers, it means location-based marketing, geofencing and consumer behavioral insights. Right there on the edge of am-I-sharing-too-much, but if you can save me time and gas, well …
  2. LoudDoor claims to be the leading research and targeting platform on Facebook, offering proprietary audiences for market researches, built on the big kahuna of social media sites. Unless the apocalypse actually happens.
  3. Compendium wants to help you calm the chaos of content marketing. Their platform lets you manage all steps of the content marketing process. It’s used by retailers like Bass Pro Shops and Gymboree, event managers, colleges, online marketers … potentially anybody who want to leverage the power of content marketing (like us) with less pain and effort (yeah, OK, like us.)
  4. Kenshoo is a digital marketing company whose mission is to empower every marketer in the world with technology to build brands and generate demand across all media. Brands, agencies and developers use their solutions to direct more than $25 billion in annual client sales revenue, with campaigns running in more than 190 countries for nearly half the Fortune 50 and all 10 top global ad agency networks.
  5. Offerpop positions itself as “the most widely used social marketing platform” with more than 50,000 global customers (supporting 17 languages), and more than 270,000 campaigns created. They promise to enable you to launch campaigns on Twitter and Facebook in minutes … and offer a free two-week trial.
  6. Tagkast solutions support Brand-sponsored photography at live events by integrating them with social sharing. Based on the idea that social media marketing begins and ends with photos, they leverage the social media advantage that 92 percent of consumers trust friend referrals, but only 33 percent trust digital advertising. Their landing page ticker indicates they are approaching 5 million branded moments shared. There’s still time to sign them up for your participation at next summer’s event of the season: the BrandTechNewsaPallooza. Be there or be square.
  7. LINE is a communication app that enables free voice calls and free messages. It’s been ranked the number one free app in 52 countries. Their ‘Home’ feature lets users share photos, videos and location info, and an ecosystem of LINE apps support stickers, cards and all manner of addictive social doodads. Teens and tweens can’t get enough of it.
  8. Vibrant Media is the world’s leading provider of in-content contextual technology that gets brand content and advertising discovered across platforms. With more than 6,600 premium publishers, reaching more than 300 million unique users per month, they offer brand marketers the opportunity to deliver highly targeted advertisements and branded content within text and images. They say Content is King, but Context is Queen.
  9. Percolate helps brands create content “at social scale.” Their solutions help brand marketers create smart hits of curated content that are relevant and inexpensive, but still convey quality and allow the brand to leave their stamp. Sounds great, but where’s the part where someone brings me coffee?
  10. Jive offers enterprise social software to streamline the workflow by making marketers more productive, aligned and innovative. A recent report finds that more than 90 percent of US, British and Australian employees work during their personal time. Jive aims to lighten that load. Ooh, ooh, me next, me nex
  11. Wildfire is the social marketing platform just purchased in July by Google, which lets brands run contests, sweepstakes, branded games and more … and serve marketing and ad campaigns on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn.
  12. BrandTech News is here to help keep you in the know on all the latest at the dynamic intersection of branding and technology. Well, yes, it’s us. Forgive a moment of self-serving sentiment in the midst of our journalistic integrity. But, hey, we’re doing it all for you. Just scroll down a little bit and hit the ‘Sign me up!’ button so you don’t miss a beat of our hard-hitting coverage.
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