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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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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Digital Marketing

Be Thankful for Craft Beers

Don’t let rumors of a Thanksgiving turkey shortage scare you. There are plenty of turkeys to go around.

The real questions are: What type of turkey will you make and what will you pair with it?

Of course wine comes to mind, but don’t rule out pairing beer with your turkey or tofurky. Because trust me – no Thanksgiving is complete without beer.

Why should you only drink your favorite brew until you’re in front of the TV watching football?

Here are five craft beers that will match the well-deserved flavor of your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Traditional Roasted Turkey: You can’t go wrong with a traditional turkey.  Drink it with a well-balanced beer like Saint Arnold Amber Ale, the light fruitiness of the ale will pairs well with a fruity stuffing.
  • Smoked Turkey:  The nutty flavor of real Louisiana roasted pecans and caramel malt in the Abita Pecan Harvest Ale will pair nicely with any smoked bird.
  • Deep Fried Turkey: Feeling adventurous? No need to be cautious while sipping on New Belgium’s Ranger IPA. The bitter dry hoppy finish and aroma is perfect for crispy turkeys.
  • Tofurky Roast: Samuel Adams OctoberFest’s…
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    “Live Your Life’s Purpose and Unleash Your Joy” #WOY2014

    patriceOur very own Patrice Tanaka was the keynote speaker at last Friday’s Washington Women in PR “Washington PR Woman of the Year” Award Luncheon in DC, honoring outstanding women in our profession.  Her keynote — not surprising for a purpose-driven PadillaCRT employee-owner and a leader whose personal brand platform is based on JOY – was on “Live Your Life’s Purpose and Unleash Your Joy!”   According to Tanaka, “Many of us can more easily cite our organization’s “purpose” than we can articulate our own individual “life’s purpose.”  She said despite growing evidence that “purpose-driven” companies outperform the S&P significantly – 1025 percent growth over a 10-year period vs. 122 percent for all S&P companies (Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose ), fewer than 20 percent of leaders can distill their own individual life purpose into a concrete statement, according to the authors of “From Purpose to Impact” in the May 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review.  The authors go on to state, “…we believe that the process of articulating your purpose and finding the courage to live it—what we call purpose…

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    Digital Marketing

    Top 7 Signs the “PR” Holidays Are Approaching

    It’s still, technically, early November. In the normal world, holiday madness starts after Thanksgiving, but alas, in the PR world, the holidays have already arrived. But come on. Year after year, the harassment comes sooner and sooner, and we PR peeps are partly responsible. But we’re definitely NOT the only ones!

    Here are the top signs that the “PR” holidays are fast approaching…

    7) The wine pubs have begun their top 100 countdown. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn

    6) PRNewswire has lowered their rate, JUST FOR YOU 

    5) The SMT emails are hitting more frequently than normal with amazing, reduced rates, JUST FOR YOU 

    4) Magazine writers are suddenly your best friends. They can’t write about your brand, but donate product to their holiday party and they’ll tweet it out 

    3) 2014 year end recap reports

    2) 2015 budgets and scopes of work 

    1) You get an email from the Today Show producer, begging you to stop hanging around her kids’ school and no, they will…

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    Digital Marketing

    Click & Share: Why Things Like #AlexFromTarget Go Viral

    First things first: I think #AlexFromTarget is the stupidest hashtag of the year, maybe even the decade. When I first saw this excessively shared photo, I curiously googled the hashtag, hoping to find that #AlexFromTarget was secretly Justin Bieber trying to make amends. I read and I reread article after article only to find that #AlexFromTarget is just…Alex who works at Target.


    How could something this absurd go viral? Did Alex really achieve minor stardom solely on luck? Well it gets a little complicated when certain organizations claim that it was a marketing ploy, but it turns out that yes- some things go viral based on luck. That being said, viral content has to have certain attributes that make people want to share it. Here are three that I’ve identified as the most likely components to send something viral:

    1. Emotional appeal: Remember #Kony2012? Produced by the non-profit group Invisible Children, KONY 2012 was a half-hour long documentary focusing on the murderous acts of Ugandan radical leader, Joseph Kony. The atrocities committed by Kony were detailed, leaving viewers with a feeling of sadness, fury and necessity to act. Within…

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    Digital Marketing

    3 Documentaries That Inspire Digital Creativity

    1. The Adobe Illustrator Story

    What I learned: Software is just a tool. Hearing these designers talk about how it was “back in the day” really sheds light on how far software has evolved and influenced digital work. We tend to rely on software to do everything for us but it’s hard to think that their was a time when Photoshop and Illustrator didn’t exist. Combining pre-computer techniques and hand made elements in today’s digital space will push more authenticity, inspiration and genuine work.
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    Digital Marketing

    BuzzLine: Lovers and Haters of Halloween Unite

    Goblins, and ghouls and princesses—OH MY! This festive holiday inspired this week’s BuzzLine contest—yes, I know this isn’t the most out-of-the-box theme, but I think you might still enjoy it.

    Some of you live for Halloween, and others—like me—could care less about this spooky holiday. Both opinions are valid and entirely acceptable, which is why today’s BuzzLine contest is for people on both ends of the spectrum.

    In exactly six words, tell us your go-to Halloween movie tradition. Keep in mind, your movie title does NOT count towards your six words, but kudos if you can include it all in six words!

    If you love Halloween yours might go something like:

    • “Hocus Pocus”—The movie of all Halloween movies
    • “Casper”—Because Devon Sawa is hot, obviously

    If you are not a Halloween fan, yours might go something like this:

    • “He’s Just Not That into You”—There’s no horror like millennial dating
    • “Elf”—Celebrating one less holiday until Christmas

    So let the lovers and the haters of Halloween unite and tell us your traditional Halloween movies so we can award the most creative answer next week with a Starbucks gift card. Happy Halloween to all, and to all a spooky…

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    BuzzLine: PadillaCRT Personality Quiz

    After attending the PRSA International Conference and Career Expo last week and answering questions from eager students about how to succeed in getting an interview at PadillaCRT, we thought it was time for a little quiz.

    Agency life is all about culture. Working well as a team in brainstorms, meetings and office outings is almost as important when looking at prospective hires as great work experience or stellar recommendations.

    To vet potential new employees, 88 Creative, a design and marketing agency in Toronto, created a BuzzFeed quiz to help applicants figure out if they would mesh with the company culture. With questions ranging from your favorite snack to your stance on the iOS vs. Android debate, quiz takers were able to see if their personality would be a good fit for the job.

    So here’s what we want to know:

    Current employees – what’s your six-word personality-based question to ask potential new hires? For example:

    -          How do you define your purpose?

    -          What do you enjoy on weekends?

    And prospective hires, let’s hear your six-word personality pitch to convince us you’d fit in with the team. For example:

    -          My Purpose: Think…

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    Digital Marketing

    Why “I hate math” is a PR Pro’s Death Sentence #PSRAICON

    Photo courtesy: GithubThe day of my Econ 101 final, I swore off functions, curves and computations forever and declared a major in the farthest thing away I could find — French. And (while I’m being honest), when I began a career in PR, I never thought complex, algorithm-based analytics would become a cornerstone of my day-to-day decision-making. But thanks to Facebook, Google and that beast we call Big Data, they have.

    At this week’s PRSA International Conference in Washington DC, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Communications Mike Buckley urged roughly a thousand right-brained PR professionals to repair their burned bridges with all things mathematical and embrace data and analytics as the true communication allies they can be.

    “Data is power,” Buckley said. “It gives us intelligence that enhances our ability to advise, manage expectations and help our companies grow.”

    Not convinced yet? Here are Buckley’s reasons why communicators should start paying attention to analytics NOW:

    • You can’t manage what you don’t measure.  All other organizational functions – IT, operations, sales, legal – are expected to perform their jobs in a way that is rooted in data, and there’s a reason for…
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