Plan Ahead for NIMBY Opposition

A few Saturdays ago, my street was blocked off so the neighborhood could get together for a potluck. We talked about the BBQ and the Redskins, but mostly we talked about the new construction project at the end of Church Street: the church is selling a small parcel of green space to be developed into a high-rise condo. Conversations agenized over the diminishing park space; how the proposed building design doesn’t fit with the neighborhood’s architecture; the increased street congestion and noise…

With housing prices in DC as high as anywhere in the country, we appreciate the need for additional housing, but none of us want this condo building in our back yards. We’re a classic NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) group.

At PadillaCRT, we work with many great clients who build the infrastructure we rely on. Some build the roads, bridges, tracks, and stadiums that lower our commute times and give us reasons to celebrate; others build our communication infrastructure; still others supply the clean, renewable energy that powers us. And all of our infrastructure clients face NIMBY opposition at some point.

Photo Credit: “Windmills In…

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Digital Marketing

Big Data: Connecting Online Advertising to Offline Sales

bigdataAs an agency we do a lot of work with consumer products and in particular commodity boards including Highbush Blueberries, Florida Sweet Corn, Pure Canadian Maple Syrup and many others. We’ve managed to grow the digital/social presence for these organizations over the years and have continually received investment to grow and maintain their digital/social ecosystem for them.

With clients, agencies and marketers getting smarter questions begin to arise around digital’s “true value,” ROI and contribution to offline sales. How far does an advertisement, like, pin or retweet really contribute to sales? When offline sales are a brand’s only form of commerce, addressing questions of this nature is a bit challenging. As technology has evolved, the ability to connect online to offline is not a thing of the past and can now be a part of a brand’s digital strategy.

Connecting online activity and engagement around Blueberries, Corn or Maple Syrup to offline sales is still emerging and is really quite new. It is quite a lofty goal, which some digital channels may not yet be able to fully connect. For display advertising, the use of big data and sophisticated targeting technology now allows us to target produce buyers (or whatever specific product you sell) and measure how effective those ad campaigns contributed to actual product purchase.

What’s involved with big data and how does it work?

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BuzzLine: Word of the Year, Unfortunately

Vape. What are some things that come to mind when you hear the word “Vape?” For me, I think of Vicks VapoRub, my humidifier, or hot tubs. You know what I don’t think of when I think of “Vape?” The word of the year. This week the Oxford Dictionaries announced that the 2014 word of the year is “vape.”

“Vape: v.  To inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.”

The shortlist of words that vape beat out for the coveted title include: bae—a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner, budtender—a person who serves customers in a cannabis shop, indyref—abbreviation of “independence referendum” in reference to Scottish independence, normcore—when ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn deliberately as a fashion statement, or slacktivism—informal actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social issue that requires little time or involvement.

This brings us to today’s BuzzLine. In exactly six words, I want to know what YOU think the 2014 word of the year should have been. The word of your choice does not count towards the six word requirement—which you can use as a definition of your word or you can use…

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Digital Marketing

Watson Open for Business: What do YOU want to know?

cognitive-systems-thumb-main-cognitiveAt the EY Strategic Growth Forum, I had a chance to hear Bob Pemberton, VP of Corporate Development at IBM, talk a little bit about The Watson Group – a new business unit created to help entrepreneurs harness the power of the Watson computer.

For those of you who haven’t met Watson, he (or is it she?) is a huge leap forward in cognitive computing (essentially self-learning systems). It has been in development for a while, but its real public coming out came in 2011 when it beat two top contestants on Jeopardy!

So what’s the big deal? It’s just a super powerful computer, right? Wrong! It’s so much more! Watson can take both structured (think spreadsheets) and unstructured (think comments on Twitter) data and actually teach itself. Traditional computers can only compute what they’re programmed to do, but Watson can essentially program itself to come up with new answers.

Now with the Watson Group, any business can benefit from this computing power by purchasing a subscription and then using a set of standard tools to develop new applications.  Here are a couple of pretty interesting examples:

Bon Appetit Magazine created…

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Corporate Responsibility

Promoting Healthy Habits in the Workplace

Yesterday, the New York Times Well blog ran a story about the effects of exercise on the human brain. For a while now, people have believed that regular exercise improves cognitive function, but a recent study examined just how real those benefits are. Not surprisingly, the results suggested that not only does exercise change the [...]