New sheriff in town

Posted by Taylor Thomas on July 11, 2014 in Social media

We knew that YouTube is the No. 2 search engine behind Google, but did you know that it recently took over the top spot in another category? A new study from Adriot Digital showed that 68 percent of TV viewers surveyed said they consume video content from YouTube, compared to the 51 percent who consume from live television and 48 percent who prefer Netflix.

So what greater impact does that have? Well, with the recent change of viewed video content, brands should obviously focus their advertising content outside of live broadcast television, such as on their own YouTube OneChannel.

Or, brands can produce ads and place them before other videos on YouTube. According to the Adriot Digital study, 24 percent were more likely to watch the ad videos depending on the advertisement itself. Just make sure you know who your target audience is and make your messaging reflect it.




Twitter acquires TapCommerce

Posted by Elise Otten on July 3, 2014 in Marketing

Twitter recently announced that it’s acquiring a mobile technology company called TapCommerce. Specializing in mobile retargeting, TapCommerce targets ads based on previous user activity. While this service is certainly not groundbreaking, retargeting isn’t very common among mobile marketing due to the lack of cookies. But through large amounts of data and sophisticated statistical analysis, TapCommerce is able to overcome this problem.

With more and more consumers making purchases on a mobile device, it’s important now more than ever for a brand to target and communicate to its audiences via mobile. While many advertisers primarily focus on activating new users, TapCommerce reminds brands to re-engage with lapsed users and present more relevant content. Re-activating users rather than enticing new ones also can be less costly, as we know in the arena of customer retention.

The acquisition of TapCommerce will give advertisers on Twitter more opportunities for re-engagement and better measurement of mobile marketing. Mobile consumers also will reap the benefits of this team-up by receiving more relevant ads in the apps they use.

Twitter said in a statement that it’s too early to say when users will see TapCommerce technology on Twitter, but the groups are in the beginning stages of creating a product plan.


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Congrats, Ellen!

Posted by Brian Lee on July 2, 2014 in Client news

InBusiness Magazine just named its 25 Most Influential People in Greater Madison. We’re happy to see our client, Ellen Barnard of FEED Kitchens, was listed.

We saw firsthand her tireless efforts to develop FEED from concept to reality. As the article put, “Barnard can be confident that her contributions to society are only growing.”

We wholeheartedly agree. Well done, Ellen!




When to say good-bye

Posted by Brian Lee on June 25, 2014 in Doing business

If you’ve worked in the agency world long enough, you’ve invariably landed a client that had a bad split with its previous agency.

In some cases, the agency wasn’t the right fit. In other cases, the client wasn’t the right fit.

The latter appears to be the situation in Cramer-Krasselt’s public split with Panera Bread. A leaked memo mentioned Panera’s “constant last-minute shifts in direction, the behind-the-scenes politics, the enormous level of subjectivity that disregards proof of performance — all churn people at a rate that becomes much too much even in this crazy business. The previous agency found that out as well. There is a pattern. And in the end, no amount of money makes it worthwhile.”

I applaud Cramer-Krasselt for not letting money prevent them from exiting what seemed like a difficult and frustrating relationship.




Nike vs. Adidas World Cup Campaigns

Posted by Taylor Thomas on June 19, 2014 in Branding, Marketing, Sports

Isn’t it crazy to think the World Cup has only been playing for a week and three more weeks remain? Not only is this the month of crazy goals between countries, but it’s also a time for sporting goods manufacturers such as Nike and Adidas to compete. This time it’s about their marketing strategies.

Nike’s commercial, “The Last Game,” features animated avatars of World Cup pin-ups Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr., as part of its “Risk Everything” strategy.  The 5 1/2-minute video shows the Nike-signed players playing one last sudden-death match against the clones, who bore spectators by playing “like it’s just a job.”

Meanwhile, Adidas’ commercial features international stars David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane. In their “All in, or nothing” campaign, the duo challenge two individuals playing the FIFA World Cup video game to a real soccer match in their house. Another strategy Adidas is trying this year is shifting to YouTube and trying to introduce real-time marketing to the social platform.

Both campaigns are attempting to show how effectively channels such as video work well with e-commerce and social media. According to communications agency Way to Blue, Nike secured 200,119 social mentions between April 20-June 6 while Adidas grabbed 88,041.


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PRSA Silver Anvil Awards

Posted by Brian Lee on June 13, 2014 in Public relations

Last night I attended the annual PRSA Silver Anvil awards, which honor the best PR campaigns. The auditorium was full of talented professionals who obviously deserved recognition.

I loved the band, which played a song for every award winner based on the name of their entry. For example, an Alzheimer’s campaign elicited “Who are You” (though that does seem a little wrong).

But my big takeaway was that some of these PR campaigns really are about improving our lives, not just making a profit or strengthening a brand. The top award went to AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign to end texting while driving.

The elements were so powerful that AT&T’s competitors–Verizon, Spring and T-Mobile–joined in. And data showed that several states were projected to have fewer accidents and deaths as a result of texting while driving.

Now that’s some good PR.




Project management

Posted by Brian Lee on June 6, 2014 in Apps

We’re testing out a new project management software called Wrike. I’ve previously used BaseCamp and Microsoft Project and want to see what else is out there.

So far, the free version seems to have some useful features. My favorite is being able to send an email to a colleague and to Wrike at the same time so that the conversation or assignment is logged online.

At the same time, I’m not impressed with Wrike’s Android app (and I hope a Windows Phone app is created), but it seems like the company is making steady improvements.


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How AEC companies can use social media

Posted by Elise Otten on May 29, 2014 in Social media

Even though architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) companies are primarily B2B, it doesn’t mean they can’t be active on B2C-based social media platforms. A strong social media presence can brand your staff, promote your work and connect with prospective clients.

Here are seven social media platforms your company should consider using:

1. Facebook. Instead of using Facebook for customer acquisition, as many B2B companies mistakenly do, consider using the most popular of all platforms for recruiting purposes. After all, your firm is only as good as the people in it. Showcase other employees, post job openings and talk about the culture at your company.

2. Twitter. In 140 characters, share content that’s relevant to your followers. The content can take the form of photos, videos, podcasts, white papers, articles, presentations and the like. The key is to reduce your non-value tweets–such as press releases, new hires, awards, etc.–because seriously, your prospective clients don’t care.

3. Tumblr. This blog also is the ideal social media platform for telling the “story” of your project. Through content and photos, the before, during and after of construction is collected for clients and prospective clients to see in one place. Firms should consider the archiving element of this platform since it is essentially a portfolio of the firm’s projects and ideas. It also can be used to publish your case studies.

4. Instagram. It’s a simple concept. Take a photo or video, apply a filter and publish it to your account. The non-professional aspect of Instagram can actually be very appealing to viewers since it gives a “behind-the-scenes” feel. Your company’s Instagram feed can reveal details of a project that may not have been picked up on in an official brochure or website photos.

5. Storify. Let’s say you’re hosting an event, such as a grand opening of one of your projects. You can aggregate posts from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to create a recap on Storify. In other words, you’re documenting what is being said before, during and after your event  through visuals of the posts.

6. Pinterest. Businesses can share and pin their favorite images of projects. Architects, engineers and builders can share design ideas, provide tips and showcase their work through pins and repins. Clients can also link their profile to yours, driving more website traffic and gaining credibility with prospective clients.

7. YouTube. With a YouTube One Channel, your business can display past, on-going and future projects through quick videos or commercials that can easily be seen on a computer, mobile device or tablet. A brief description of the video can be added to give the viewer better context of what they’re watching. Any broadcast news or awards coverage featuring your company can also be uploaded onto your YouTube channel.


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Welcome Elise!

Posted by Brian Lee on May 20, 2014 in Revelation

Elise Otten has started her summer internship with Revelation. The Brookfield native previously worked at Madison Magazine as a marketing intern and for the American Diabetes Association through a student-run PR firm called Bucky PR. Elise will graduate next May from UW with a journalism degree, focusing on strategic communications.




Train your employees properly

Posted by Brian Lee on May 16, 2014 in Doing business

In an attempt to shop local, I placed an order online from an area embroidery store. I called today to ask about my order, and the woman who answered the phone couldn’t help with any of my issues:

  • How to edit my address
  • How long for order fulfillment
  • What my order costs
  • How to look up my order

She didn’t seem to feel bad, making the excuse that she only works on clothing, not items like the bottle openers I ordered. She took my name and number and said the owner would have to call me back.

I’m looking forward telling this owner that she needs to train her employees more thoroughly. The employee’s lack of knowledge is now wasting my time and the owner’s time, and it certainly doesn’t reflect well on the company.



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