Blink #6 - The Connected Issue: Media / Trends / Consumers


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Blink #6 - The Connected Issue: Media / Trends / Consumers

  1. 1. Do Your Products Need to Go Online? Get ready: your toaster may need (or want) its own digital identity How Connected Do You Want To Be? Do you suffer from a psychological syndrome called nomophobia? BLINK is part of MediaCom’s The Insider programme. The Insider helps advertisers understand and sort the latest global marketing topics and trends. To receive the latest updates, sign up at The Converged Home Changes in behavior, not technology, are driving major changes in home design The Internet of Things What happens when inanimate objects become aware? Published by Media Trends Consumers #6 BLINK#6theconnectedissue
  2. 2. 2 MEDIACOM BLINK #6 #6 Summer 2013 MediaCom Global 124 Theobalds Road London WC1X 8RX UK Tel.: +44 (0)20 7158 5500 Email: Web: Editor-in-Chief: Signe Wandler, MediaCom Design & Layout: Propellant, Art Director, Martin Dahlbeck Cover: I Love Dust Printed By: Vilhelm Jensen & Partnere ISSN: 1903-5373 The opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors. Minor textual contents may be republished as long as the original author and publication are cited. Find BLINK in the “News & Insight” section at INTRO Though winter is long past, many of us are still feeling the lasting effects of our trip to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this past January. Since its first appearance in 1967, CES has represented the evolution of modern technology itself. From the appearance of the first VCR at CES 1970 to the camcorder in 1981 and the Commodore 64 home computer in 1982, the show has become universally known as THE place to see the newest, hottest and most amazing tech wizardry. So when we arrived in Las Vegas (along with about 150,000 other international attendees), we were ready for technological magic. But as we walked the floor and spent time with clients, analysts and partners, we discovered a show that was less about cutting-edge technology and more about the lives of consumers. Indeed, the “Internet of Things” was on full display at CES, where even the plants communicated with iPhones via Bluetooth. From washing machines to automobiles to thermostats, an unbelievable number of consumer electronic products are integrating wirelessly. How fast will it happen? Check out a couple theories in The Converged Home(p.22).Andwhilewemaybeabletodebatethevelocityofchange, Rob Norman (The Internet of Things, p. 6) posits, “It won’t really be up to us. We can’t opt out of consumption and we can’t prevent progress toward intelligence.” As marketers, what we can and must do is speak more authentically with highly connected consumers (Brand Connectivity, p. 40), knowing that our targeting models will have to stay fluid (Take Me to Your Leader?, p. 32) in a world where the path to purchase now looks more like a pretzel than the old-school funnel we’ve all come to know (Don’t Get Lost on the Consumer Journey, p. 36). In the end, we’ll have to resist shiny objects, look for true benefits and innovate both for ourselves and our customers. Regards, Stephen Allan MediaCom Worldwide Chairman and CEO
  3. 3. 3BLINK #6 MEDIACOM select contributors Matthew Mee Matthew Mee is MediaCom’s Global Chief Strategy Officer. His primary goal is to ensure that MediaCom enables connections with consumers through smart, effective content and communications strategies. Andy Walsh Andy Walsh is Global Head of Integrated Communications Planning at MediaCom. In his 10 years at the agency, he has worked with some of the world’s largest and most innovative advertisers, including Mars, Wrigley, Coca-Cola and Shell. Mark Earl The founder of HERD (herd., Mark Earls is a leading thinker and actor in changing how we behave as a group. He is author of the influential book, Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature (2009), and co-author of I’ll Have What She’s Having: Mapping Social Behaviour (2011). Sue Unerman Sue Unerman is MediaCom UK’s Chief Strategy Officer and a leading global thinker. She was named Agency Innovator by The Internationalist in 2012 and is co-author of the book, Tell the Truth: Honesty Is Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool (2012). Sara Marie Watson Sara Marie Watson is researching personal data, the Quantified Self movement and the internet at Oxford Internet Institute. She also works as an independent technology researcher and writer, and has worked with Crimson Hexagon and The World Economic Forum. Andrew Newton Andrew Newton is Director of Mobile for MediaCom APAC. He is obsessed with helping clients use mobile to help solve local and global challenges. John Stampfel John Stampfel is Head of Emerging Digital at MediaCom Japan. Originally from NYC, he has 10 years’ of digital marketing experience in Japan and has a particular focus on creative, mobile and ecommerce. Niall Murphy Niall Murphy, Founder and CEO of EVRYTHNG (, is a technologist and serial entrepreneur. He is a sought- after speaker and presenter.
  4. 4. We’re not targeting you... take me to your leader? 26 32 Contents #6 06 The Internet of Things by Rob Norman, GroupM 08 CONSUMER, TRACK YOURSELF by Sara Marie Watson, Oxford Internet Institute 11 CASE STUDY: THE CONNECTED DRIVING EXPERIENCE by Daniel Haack, MediaCom 12 Do your Products Need to Go Online? by Niall Murphy, EVRYTHNG 16 Animal Instincts by Kay Dohnke, Das Auto.Magazine 20 I KNOW WHAT YOU WANT by Steffen Krabbenhoft, MediaCom 22 The Converged Home by Chris Sanderson, The Future Laboratory 26 We’re Not Targeting You... by Ruud Wanck, GroupM 28 Connecting Consumers and The Offer by Andrew Newton, MediaCom 32 Take Me to Your Leader? by Mark Earls, HERD 36 Don’t Get Lost on the Consumer Journey by Matthew Mee, MediaCom 40 Brand Connectivity by Andy Walsh, MediaCom 42 WHAT’S MY LINE? by John Stampfel, MediaCom 46 How connected do you want to be? by Sue Unerman, MediaCom 49 CASE STUDY: CONNECTING WITH SPORTS FANS by Jan Neumeister, MediaCom 4 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  5. 5. 12 Do your products need to go online? The internet of things allows everyday objects to be connected to the digital world. What will this mean for brands? 28 Connecting Consumers and The Offer Mobile and retail ought to be a match made in heaven, but new solutions are needed to overcome problems with traditional infrastructure. 22 The Converged Home Changes in behavior, not new technology, are making our homes more connected than ever. 42 What’s My Line? The biggest social network you’ve never heard of is a smash hit in Japan and most of Asia. 46 36 How Connected Do You Want To Be? Don’t Get Lost on the Consumer Journey 5BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  6. 6. article the internet of things By Rob Norman, Global Chief Digital Officer, GroupM Illustration by Alex Walker INANIMATE/ANIMATE Devices that we used to think of as inanimate will become aware. Their newly animated state will impact us in ways that will be both mundane and profound, from managing the crispness of our lettuce to the flow of blood to our hearts. CARRY/WEAR/IMPLANT The devices we carry are just the tip of the iceberg. There are also the devices we wear, like Go Pro cameras, Nike Fuel Bands and Google Glass. Then there are the devices implanted in us, like monitors and pacemakers, which make us the bearers of multiple nodes on the internet of things. TRUST Brands represent many things but, above all, they are shorthand for trust. The level of trust a person looks for in a brand of shampoo – that it should be functionally effective and uncontaminated – pales in comparison to the level of trust required when control shifts from man to machine, object or thing. ACTIVE/PASSIVE Some devices are active; they help us to do things. Some devices are passive; they allow things to be done to us. AWARE Everything is aware, or at least has the potential to be aware of and interact with just about everything else. DYSTOPIAN VISION/UTOPIAN PROMISE Some may consider the internet of things to be a dystopian vision of a world where we become accustomed to machines controlling certain aspects of our lives. Do we want police departments to know how fast we drive? Do we want our employers to know what drugs we take, or what we eat, drink, buy and throw away? Do we want our spouses, parents and children to know where we are at all times? Everyone has a desire for privacy, and there are instances where it may be particularly important that such privacy is maintained. The question is: will our dystopian fear outweigh the utopian promise? Or will we come to value being rewarded for our good sense and habits, for the chance to live longer and better, for the costs of healthcare to be re-distributed more equably between the behaviorally responsible and the outwardly foolish? Do we relish the freedom that technology creates more than we fear the inevitable uncoupling of productivity and employment that technology already threatens? 6 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  7. 7. PERSPECTIVES ON THE CONNECTED CAR INCREASED CAR SAFETY The Mercedes/Lexus perspective revolves around active safety, where the vehicle’s functions identify and compensate for driver frailty, the threat of the immediate environment and even the terror of parallel parking. Smart safety will be table stakes across the board in five years. INCREASED JOY OF DRIVING The Audi perspective is that drivers will be able to choose whether to engage with the driving experience – from the joy of the open road to the drudgery of stop-and-go traffic – or abdicate it altogether. SELF-DRIVING CAR Google’s perspective is that human interaction with the vehicle is a waste of time that could be applied to a more valuable, productive activity. To prove its point, Google has produced a self- driving car that has been approved for use in California and Nevada. In all cases, advanced telematics will connect us with the places and things around us, giving brands further incentive to attach discoverable data to the environment. AN AFTERTHOUGHT It seems as though we still have choices but, in the end, it won't really be up to us. We can't (or won’t) opt out of consumption, and we can't prevent the things we consume from becoming increasingly intelligent. When we don't run out of ketchup, we will be pleased. When a smart car saves our lives, or a chip finds the dog we love and lost, we will be delighted. When we get a ticket for speeding without seeing a cop, we will be irritated. When we are denied a job because our health profile is outside certain parameters, we will be devastated. As in all things, the balance felt by the individual will determine an outcome more dystopian or utopian. WHICH CAR SOLUTION WILL PREVAIL? Which perspective ultimately prevails will be a function of time, place and attitude. The Audi perspective will likely prevail in the medium term, given that people still like to engage with driving (at least some of the time). But Google is likely to own the long game, particularly when all cars will have fuel cells and limited range. At that point, optimizing time and cost will outweigh the pleasure of driving, and self-drive will become the most carbon-efficient form of private travel. 7BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  8. 8. Consumer, Track Yourself Public discourse on data seems to veer between two extremes: the lucrative potential of Big Data to provide new insights and efficiencies vs. dystopian threats to privacy and the individual. Unfortunately, these polarizing stories neglect to address how we consumers can benefit from our own personal data. This subtlety is not lost on the Quantified Self community of scientists, hackers, developers and hobbyists ( With a shared belief in the potential of data to help individuals know themselves better, these followers are creating large personal data sets and deriving correlations and meaningful patterns in the results. People track for a lot of different reasons: some have a problem to solve, while others want to encourage a new The Quantified Self is a thriving community of enthusiasts tracking their own behavior and activities. Here’s why they matter. By Sara Marie Watson, Oxford Internet Institute Photography by Murray Calder, MediaCom Edinburgh habit. Still others do it because they can: technology has made it easy, so why not keep the data if it might be useful someday? Tracking to the Masses Indeed, finding and using tools to self-track (without a lot of work) has never been easier. Wearable sensors like the Fitbit, Fuelband and Jawbone Up are bringing self-tracking to the masses, while apps like Moves use GPS and accelerometer data to estimate activity levels. Data Debates From APIs to open data, the agenda from the latest Quantified Self conference tackled some of the toughest questions concerning the technical standards and norms emerging in our data-driven world. No other community is as personally invested in what’s personally at stake. Self-quantifiers are sensitive to the fact that commercial tools and apps require users to accept their terms and relinquish control over the data in the process, and some refuse to use apps that do not allow data export. The discussions around data handling seem to be having an impact; Jawbone, for example, has recently opened up its data ecosystem. And the more these tools can talk to each other, the more valuable they become (see box on Tictrac). My Data, Myself So what’s all this measurement measuring? I am a self-tracker and it helps me understand my body. I can track calories, exercise, weight and water intake, among other things. article 8 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  9. 9. When I can see the result of my choices over time, it’s easier to make a healthier choice and understand its impact. Somehow, the goal of “staying hydrated” is more concrete when I can break it down into numbers: fill favorite water bottle 3 times = 64 oz. a day. Not everything I track is about the numbers, of course. Data can also be an autobiographical tool. I check in using Foursquare, I log my reading habits on Goodreads, I tweet, I journal. When I look back on all those traces, I have a better sense of where I’ve been, where I am today and where I’m going. By aggregating social media traces, apps like Timehop and Momento are making it even easier for me to see my “day-in-history” story. Mydatameanssomethingtomebecause I understand its context. A record Fitbit day of 35,000 logged steps is more than just an outlier: it’s a day spent wandering around Venice. I’m building stories around my data. Correcting Assumptions We’re also leaving traces of where we’ve been in the digital world. My browser and search history, along with cookies, drives the advertising I see online. The difference is that muck of this data lacks context. Judging by my tech blog reading history alone, a behavioral targeter might statistically assume that I’m a 30-year-old male. And as soon as I change my marital status on Facebook, I’m assumed to be in the baby market. These rough assumptions don’t always match up with my intentions. As a consumer, I don’t have many ways to correct these faulty assumptions, which messes with the personalization and targeting potential of Big Data. Indeed,marketersshouldattempttogive consumers more control, not less. When my own story doesn’t match the story I’m being sold, we’ve missed an opportunity for truly meaningful personalization. Giving me the opportunity to match my story with my data helps achieve both personal and commercial objectives. Sara is a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute. She will be joining the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University as a Fellow in the fall. MY MEETINGS 1:25 hrs avg this month SENT MAIL 621 emails avg this month MY SLEEP 6.23 hrs avg this month MY STRESS Busy 2/5 9BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  10. 10. Data may be all around us, but taking control of it has been a challenge. Tictrac, for example, is a personal data dashboard that lets you aggregate all your activities in one place, including your calendar, physical activities, email activity and even calorie consumption. It then presents the data in engaging infographics and emails. Are you interested in how your coffee consumption affects your blood pressure? Or how your workload impacts your sleep? The correlations you can establish are endless. Does the music you listen to change the speed at which you run? Combine your activity training tracker and your Facebook/Spotify account to produce the result. Founded in 2010 and based in London, Tictrac is free to use. The company generates revenues by building white label tracking and advice services for brands such as Red Bull and health insurance providers. Tictrac article 10 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  11. 11. While location-based apps like Foursquare and Yelp have exploded in popularity over the past few years, they fail to capture a critical part of the user experience: actually getting there. Backed by research that showed that drivers are spending an increasing amount of time alone in their cars, the team at Volkswagen set out to make the journey as social as the destination… and at least a little bit happier. “For Volkswagen, driving a vehicle doesn’t have to mean just going from Point A to Point B,” said Jeff Sayen, advertising manager for Volkswagen. “There’s the fun of the actual driving experience itself.” That’s the thinking behind Smileage, a new mobile app developed by Volkswagen in collaboration with Google and creative agency, Deutsch LA. Making driving social Set to launch in summer 2013, Smileage ( integrates social elements into every car ride. By connecting directly with the car, a driver can track and share real-time details of his or her journey on a choice of social platforms. And by syncing with Google, in particular, users can also tag fellow passengers and share images, while family and friends can follow along and comment. Mirroring the success of badges and points in other check-in social apps, Smileage also reinforces the successful precepts of gamification by awarding points based on factors such as the length of a trip and the weather. What also makes the app special is that – while competing automakers have focused on developing apps customized for their own drivers – Smileage is designed to be used by anyone, in any brand of car. “We’re excited about this, because consumers can share their stories even if they or their friends and family may not have personal experience with our brand,” said Sayen. “There’s a fun-to-drive spirit associated with owning a Volkswagen, and Smileage helps deliver the experience of driving a Volkswagen to someone who isn’t driving one right now.” Smart. Very smart. Of course, current Volkswagen drivers get special perks. In honor of the classic road game “Punch Dub” – wherein one punches his or her driving companion when spotting a Volkswagen – the app gives “punch” points for passing another Volkswagen vehicle and “twinsie” points for driving by an identical model. While these targeted features help current Volkswagen drivers feel like they’re part of a cool club, ultimately, “the spirit of the app is to socialize the driving experience for everyone,” says Raymond Wicks, a digital media director at MediaCom, which is handling the app’s launch. To Volkswagen’s credit, the brand con- siders Smileage to be just a starting point. “We look at this app as a road marker on a long journey,” said Sayen. “We will continue to use Bluetooth and emerging technologies to amplify the positive experience of driving a vehicle and being able to share the trip with the most important people in your life.” case study Volkswagen’s Smileage app can make your next road trip more fun and social. After all, it isn’t just about the destination anymore, is it? By Daniel Haack, Marketing, MediaCom USA The Connected Driving Experience +2 +5 11BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  12. 12. do your products need to go online? You may have an online presence, but does your stuff need a Facebook profile or a Twitter account, too? If this sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, it’s time to wake up and smell the connectivity. The internet of things is about giving products and other physical objects their own unique online identities, and it’s already happening with high-value objects like cars and fast- moving consumer products such as soda and liquor containers. At the simplest level, using a mobile device to recognize a product and link it to a social network identity can be enough to give it a distinct digital identity and power personalized services and experiences for consumers. Adding service to objects A world where consumers connect with their products (and products connect to other products) is made possible via the proliferation of smartphones and the technology of tagging, image recognition and embedded electronics. The internet of things allows everyday objects to be connected to the digital world. What will this mean for brands? By Niall Murphy, Founder and CEO of software company EVRYTHNG All of these connections turn an object into something bigger than itself. The effect is similar to Nike+, which brings together the physical proposition (the trainers) with the service proposition: helping your running performance, remembering where you’ve run and connecting you with other runners. This allows Nike to establish real and meaningful relationships directly with their customers, transforming utility-driven product interactions into meaningful, ongoing experiences. Verticals such as transportation are likely to embed electronics faster than consumer goods companies, but – in many ways – the FMCG category has the biggest opportunities. All these connections turn an object into something bigger than itself. article 12 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  13. 13. Any product can have its digital profile, just like we do on social networks. and phyiscal products can transmit a stream of data analytics, based on how they are made, sold & used. if you are a brand, this means you can have direct, one-to-one relationships with your customers through your products. 13BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  14. 14. Large brands can turn their products into active, owned media.While verticals such as transportation are likely to embed electronics faster than consumer goods companies, the FMCG category has the biggest opportunities. Personalized products and services By using EVRYTHNG (, large brands can turn their products into active, owned media, and companies are waking up to the possibilities. Diageo, the world’s largest premium drinks business, has embraced this as a core strategy. The company is working closely with EVRYTHNG to drive experiences and analytics tied to their products. For example, Diageo made Johnnie Walker whisky a compelling gift idea in Brazil last year by enabling the giver to attach a personalized film tribute to each bottle. Using a simple mobile website and a unique identity on each bottle transformed a present into a potentially emotional, highly personal connection. And the benefits for Diageo extend far beyond sales; this type of initiative produces data- rich insights about usage occasions and sales channels that could not have been captured without digital enhancement. Coming soon to a product or service near you The results of the Diageo campaign demonstrate the appeal for gifting as a specific-use case, but it’s easy to see possibilities in many other sectors. Imagine a glucose monitor that is connected to the Web. It could deliver up-to-the- minute, relevant information regarding a user’s particular type of diabetes, age and medical history anytime, day or night. And look at Progressive Insurance, which is now promoting a policy that charges customers only when they drive their cars. Such a service is only possible when a car has a digital identity and recognizes when it’s being driven, how it’s being driven and who’s driving it. Connectivity will become an important ingredient in a surprising array of products and services. It also offers an extremely disruptive opportunity for brands to connect directly with shoppers through their own products. BLINK was introduced to EVRYTHNG at the Festival of Media Global 2013. article 14 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  15. 15. 15BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  16. 16. Traffic jams are an everyday fact of life. In search of answers, researchers are studying the behavior of ants, as their roads are never congested. And Volkswagen is already working on communication systems to improve traffic dynamics. By Kay Dohnke, Das Auto.Magazine animal instincts steady speed Thanks to a constant speed and gaps between groups of individuals, ants make smooth progress. Slower animals move to the side and make room for the others. article 16 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  17. 17. pheromone path Paths to the richest sources are marked with scents and used by ever more ants which, in turn, leave their scents. Traffic jam ahead Traffic is moving smoothly in a southerly direction; the motorway is moderately full. After two or three kilometers, the road approaches a wooded ridge and the strip of asphalt inclines slightly. Brake lights suddenly illuminate, and the light show moves rearwards from one car to the one behind with increasing swiftness. Traffic slows down. Soon the first cars are standing still: then all lanes are blocked. If everything is flowing up front, all is well. But if one person there brakes, the dynamics of the queue can quickly bring every car to a halt. And the flow stops. Traffic jam. Nothing moves. On the left side, one car shifts even further to the left to see what is blocking the way. Nothing is in the way; a traffic jam has formed out of thin air. Typical driving behavior and typical errors can quickly bring traffic to a halt. Traffic jams develop not only at bottlenecks and construction zones, but also on hills, where drivers almost imperceptibly slow down and cause the vehicles behind to eventually brake. At the very same time, traffic is flowing perfectly between the trees on the hill. Up there, ants are marching to a source of food. More and more of the tiny insects join the steady procession, yet traffic never slows down or comes to a standstill. Researchers are looking at the behavior of these creatures to gain insights that can help improve the flow of traffic on our roads. The development of traffic jams is simple physics: the more vehicles there are on a section of road, the greater the traffic density and the lower the average speed. A constant speed could then only be achieved by reducing the distance between vehicles but, for safety reasons, that is not an option. Once a critical mass of vehicles has been reached, drivers slow down to maintain the proper distance from the vehicle in front of them. “Ants behave differently,” explains Dr. Andreas Schadschneider, a theoretical physicist at the University of Cologne who studies complex systems such as pedestrian, vehicle and other flows. “Ants can significantly increase the density of individuals on their roads without slowing down.” 17BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  18. 18. One goal “The animals mark the shortest path with pheromones that the others can use for orientation.” In essence, they create invisible guard rails. Another phenomenon: “We have never observed an ant purposefully overtaking another,” Schadschneider reveals. All animals subordinate themselves to the common goal, and thus reach it with optimal efficiency. Slower animals move to the side, keeping the main avenue free. “That only works to a certain degree with cars,” as the shoulder on motorways is reserved for emergencies. Ants also have no problem with collisions. This too is an occurrence – indeed, the worst case scenario – that drivers seek to avoid at all costs by slowing down or changing lanes. When vehicle density is high, this behavior may also promote the development of traffic jams. Schadschneider adds: “Ants form themselves into small queues. After about five or six ants, they leave a gap between themselves and the preceding group.” This buffer prevents the chain reaction that occurs when a group slows down (and otherwise leads to a traffic jam); before the rear group reaches the group that has slowed down, time elapses so the first group can speed up again. All queues stay in motion. What aspects of ant mobility can be applied to human traffic? “Their behavioral patterns result from communication,” is the lesson Schadschneider draws. “With modern technology, we can achieve the same thing for cars.” A safe increase in traffic smart positioning  Ants form short queues with small gaps between them. If a group in front slows down, the buffer keeps proceedings from coming to a halt. We have never observed an ant purposefully overtaking another. Dr. Andreas Schadschneider, physicist article 18 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  19. 19. density could certainly be increased by enabling cars to communicate regarding speeds and distances. “And the more drivers act in everyone’s interest (to enjoy smooth-flowing traffic), the better it works.” C-to-X?! Volkswagen has been working for some time on Car2X communication systems designed to improve traffic safety and flow. Such systems enable cars to communicate not only with each other (car-to-car), but also with fixed landmarks, such as traffic lights or sensors at intersections or sections of road (car-to-infrastructure). “Safety is the first concern, of course,” says Dr. Thomas Form, head of electronics and vehicle research at VW. “Proven assistance functions that warn drivers about the presence of a police vehicle, construction site or the end of a traffic jam (so that they can avoid rear-end collisions) are a good way to introduce the technology.” Work on the next step is already well underway: “In this phase, vehicles exchange information about their environments as well as themselves. A car preceding another into a curve, for example, could warn the next vehicles of traffic jams or construction zones before the next drivers can even see them.” That would require more precise location systems for cars and more powerful on-board computers. For now, ‘C-to-C’ (car-to-car communication) remains a vision, although it already works in experiments.” One of the big challenges is positioning using, for example, stationary orientation points along the road,” says Form. What is clear is that – in the future – smooth traffic flow will require technological assistance. It’s all just physics to Andreas Schadschneider, but observing ants can yield important insights into how traffic flows work. Originally published in Das Auto.Magazine 19BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  20. 20. I Know What You Want We’velongknownthatAmazoncananticipateour desires. Just think about your last book purchase, which triggered an email with uncannily accurate suggestions for further reading. Now the science of predictive design is becoming more widespread, as brands and media try to provide the information we need as individuals even before we think we need it. One of the latest is Foursquare. Earlier this year, the most high-profile of the many online check-in services unveiled an app designed to help it become a suggestion service, using data to suggest where users might like to go next. Check into a bar for cocktail hour, and it will tell you where other users have checked in for dinner. Foursquare, of course, isn’t the only service moving in this direction. Google Now uses weather conditions to recommend the best route to our next meeting. And it will suggest a gym – along with the schedule for our preferred class – when we travel, among many other capabilities (see box on Google Now). Predictive design offer a new chance for brands to be a consumer companion and provide bespoke utility that will win brand loyalty. More and more products and services will anticipate what we need, giving brands a real chance to be a daily part of our lives. Welcome to the world of predictive design. By Steffen Krabbenhoft, Director of Mobile, MediaCom EMEA Some of these services might sound familiar to marketers with backgrounds in consumer analysis and direct marketing. What’s different is that these messages can now be delivered in real time, with recommendations based on actual consumer behavior. Who do you want to share you data with? Whether brands can do this depends on a number of factors, with the most important being trust. While we know that banks and mobile telecom companies (along with Google, Facebook and Foursquare…) already have a lot of information about us, we also provide a significant amount of data to brands to which we don’t pay much attention. Many apps, for example, require sign-in via Facebook or Twitter and ask us for access to data and contact lists. Sometimes, you either allow this access or are prevented from using the app. Have you ever read the T&Cs for any of these apps? I didn’t think so. One brand that is trying to provide a useful value exchange is Financial Times. Give the MyFT app access to your calendar, and it will highlight important articles about the people and companies with whom you are about to meet ( Ultimately, the ability of brands to leverage these personal, predictive opportunities will come down to whether they promise enough utility for us to trust them with our data. Brands that fail to check either or both of these boxes won’t get onto the playing field. Predictive design offers brands a new chance to provide bespoke utility that will win brand loyalty. article 20 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  21. 21. 1. Everything is increasingly connected and linked. Things connect seamlessly to people and to other things. As a result, data is shared. How does Google see this development and position itself, e.g. through Google Now? Will Google/ Google Now connect with my fridge, scale or bin? Google Now is about bringing you the information you need before you even ask. This sort of information is most useful when you’re out on your mobile device. Still, we live in a multiscreen world, so we built Google Now with that in mind. If you search for a restaurant on your desktop computer, Google Now on your mobile device can show you how to get to that restaurant. If you are reading a news article on your tablet, Google Now might let you know on your phone if there’s a related article available. 2. When things not only connect but also learn and respond, what does this mean for life as we know it? At Google, we believe it’s about freedom. Google Now is a great example of this: by bringing you just the right information at just the right time, you don’t have to worry about being late for a meeting because of unexpected traffic, or having to dig through your email to pull up your boarding pass when you’re at the airport. Baris Gultekin,Director of ProductManagement,Google QA 3. Could Google Now potentially replace all the various internet destinations I go to now, like social networks, by always pulling in what’s most relevant? Consumers will always need search, and will always have questions they’ll want to proactively ask. So even though Google Now can do quite a few things, there will always be reasons to explore the internet. Google Now and the Google Search app have been a really great starting place for me on my phone, but they don’t replace the internet. 4. What are the opportunities for brands and advertising in this world of predictive design (and Google Now)? Earlier this year we launched several new capabilities that integrate third-party data sources. For example, if you’re in the market for a new house, Google Now and Zillow can now show you nearby open houses. Finding opportunities to make life easier for consumers is at the heart of predictive design; tools like Google Now can help serve up a wide variety of utility all in one place. 21BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  22. 22. article 22 MEDIACOM BLINK #622
  23. 23. Allow me to take you back to the turn of the millennium. In 2000, the idea that a refrigerator might connect to the internet was widely seen as a joke. For many, it was a sign that technologists had watched too many episodes of Star Trek and failed to consider the benefit to our everyday lives. Fast-forward to the present, and all major domestic white goods manufacturers are producing connected devices that can make our homes more intelligent and efficient. So what has changed? It’s not just the technology: it’s also our attitudes toward these cutting-edge devices and their capabilities. Health and energy reduction are driving connections Consumer focus on personal health will play a major role in creating the connected home. Bathroom scales, electronic forks and refrigerators that assess calorie intake, monitor weight and assess eating habits are already available. Also on the market are passive self-tracking devices such as Jawbone, Fitbit and Nike FuelBand. Today, nearly 20% of US smartphone owners already use an app to manage or track their health, and there are more than 40,000 health apps worldwide. Can implanted devices be far behind? Technology-enhanced products also get a boost in areas where consumers seek cost reductions. Connected light bulbs and thermostats, along with washing machines that optimize water usage, for example, help consumers cut their energy bills. Lighting can detect when a person is going to sleep, and HVAC can optimize output by directing air to a specific room (or even a location inside a room). the converged homeChanges in behavior, not new technology, are making our homes more connected than ever. By Chris Sanderson, Co-Founder of The Future Laboratory For many, it was a sign that technologists had watched too many episodes of Star Trek and failed to consider the benefit to our everyday lives. 23BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  24. 24. Convergence of business and leisure Perhaps the biggest area of convergence is the merging of work and leisure, or “bleisure.” According to Britain on the Move, working while commuting or enjoying the comforts of home has added an extra £9bn to the UK economy. This is forcing us to re-engineer our residences so we have space to work and connections to all the services we need to be truly productive. We want our homes to function more like offices, but we also want our offices to be more like our homes. Perhaps the biggest change already driven by bleisure is that a decreasing number of individuals now carry separate work and personal mobile phones. Andhowaboutwork+pleasureonthego? Products such as Slingbox and Roku allow consumers to stream content to their devices of choice, ensuring that viewers never miss their favorite shows again. Disconnected feels dumb The bottom line is that technology that can’t be personalized now feels dumb, but there is still a long way to go. And it’s not likely that we will totally re-engineer our homes, as the costs would be prohibitive. A more probable development is that we will use patches, typically apps, to bring many of the benefits of connectivity into our lives. And it won’t be long before the converged home is not just a futuristic dream but a reality. Sources: Pew research, Research2Guidance Established in 2001, The Future Laboratory is a trend forecasting, bespoke research and brand innovationconsultancybasedinLondon.Formore information please visit The bottom line is that technology that can’t be personalized now feels dumb. Consumer needs and desires that will drive adoption of the connected home: 1. Health, wellness and physical activity 2. Saving money 3. Fewer repetitive chores and more free time article 24 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  25. 25. 25BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  26. 26. We’re Not TargetingYou... In January 2012, the European Commission announced a compre- hensive reform of EU data protection rules, intended to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe’s digital economy. When the discussions around data began, lawmakers tended to view the data debate in black-and- white terms: data was either personal (e.g., an individual’s medical history or political beliefs) or it wasn’t. Unfortunately, this type of reasoning leavesahugegreyarea,particularlyasit pertains to most of the aggregated data used to deliver targeted advertising. As the European Parliament prepares to decide if and how rules on data should be updated, we are hopeful that legislators will adopt a more nuanced approach to this critical topic. Data is necessary Having access to accurate data is more important than ever in today’s complex and divergent media world. Even the fiercest advocates of traditional media would agree that data thrown off by digital transactions have changed the role they play in the communication value chain. Consumers travel across a variety of online destinations, and information For the digital economy to grow, legislators must adopt more nuanced approaches to data and privacy. By Ruud Wanck, GroupM EMEA Illustration by Jacob Stead gleaned from digital media offers us the ability to reach audiences in nearly every channel in a more effective, specific manner. If this evolution is to continue, we need a clear set of rules that reassures consumers while allowing for marketing innovation. Private data should remain private Contrary to what some privacy advocates would argue, we believe that private data should remain private, and we need to do a better job at explaining that the data used for brand campaigns does not include personally-identifiable information. article 26 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  27. 27. There is a new class of data that is neither private nor non-personal. The truth is that personal data is not all that relevant to an advertiser or its agency. Our business model is based on our ability to create large groupings of consumers that share certain interests, and then deliver relevant advertising to this target in a way that produces the maximum ROI. It’s extremely unlikely that an advertiser would want to target at the individual level, and maintaining that level of data (and the additional privacy measures that would be required) would be cost prohibitive. Pseudonymous vs. personal data A key element in the current debate is the recognition of a new class of data that is neither private nor non- personal. It’s called pseudonymous data: information that has been processed so that, on its own, it can’t be specifically attributed to a specific individual. Marketers use this data to reach the right audiences in the right place and at the right time. For example, the use of pseudonymous data can help find people who have visited a used-car website and, therefore, are be more likely to be interested in purchasing a pre-owned car. The current EU proposals not only exclude any allowance for pseudo- nymous data: they actually expand the definition of personal data. As a matter of fact, the draft proposals define “personal data” as almost every piece of data that could be collected and used in a digital environment. This includes information that identifies a single person. It’s vital that this be changed as the legislative process rolls forward. Marketers need to lean in Until now, the advertising industry has not really engaged with legislators. This is the wrong approach. As the new Data Protection Act moves through the European Parliament, it’s in our best interests to ensure that regulators understand how the advertising industry works. Numerous collectives have been actively working with these officials to explain how marketers treat data, and how European consumers can be given effective tools to control their personal data without negatively impacting the digital economy. In the meantime, more than 3,000 amendments have been filed to the legislation. Legislators around the world are waiting and watching to see what happens in the EU. With PII (personally identifiable information) a hot topic in the US, it’s likely that any new rules adopted in Europe would be swiftly considered. A clear set of rules defining three classes of data – personal, general and pseudonymous – will help marketers and agencies explain to consumers what information is used and why. It will also give consumers the much- needed confidence that their needs and wishes are respected, with the additional bonus of advertisers funding the free content they love on the web. Source: IAB UK 27BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
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  29. 29. Mobile and retail ought to be a match made in heaven, but new solutions are needed to overcome problems with traditional infrastructure. By Andy Newton, Director of Mobile, MediaCom APAC Illustration by Mike McQuade Connecting Consumers and The Offer Our mobile phones have the potential to take us far beyond old-fashioned paper coupons, create powerful calls to action and propel loyalty programs that help us obtain the products and services we love. Brands are already working in all these arenas – but there are challenges. Point-of-sale technology Not all point-of-sale equipment can cope with coupons on smartphones, and frequent changes to mobile screen specs – such as the introduction of Gorilla Glass – have only made scanning more difficult and unpredictable. Near field communication (NFC) is gaining acceptance (as evidenced by its inclusion in new Samsung and other Android handsets), but cannot be used broadly until the supporting retail infrastructure is in place. These are real barriers to usability, and there’s no sign that they are likely to be resolved anytime soon. MasterCard’s new Mobile Payments Readiness Index (mobilereadiness.mastercard. com) identified Singapore as the most prepared followed by Canada, the US and Kenya; even Singapore’s readiness, however, measures well below MasterCard’s predicted inflection point. Targeting shoppers The shopper marketing examples on display at the 2013 Mobile World Congress showed distinct improvements in targeting relevant offers to supermarket consumers, but we are at least three to five years away from an infrastructure- based solution. The good news is that solutions that rely on mobile and active consumerism, powered by incentives, can sometimes circumvent the need for point-of-sale technology. Inaudible frequencies reveal your location US-based Shopkick ( is a shopping rewards program that gives consumers points when they enter a retailer and scan or buy products. Recently, the company has been exploring the use of inaudible frequencies added to in-store music as a way of activating points: the frequencies are picked up by the phone’s microphone and the user’s account is 29BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  30. 30. automatically credited. The technology can also be refined aisle by aisle, to help track consumer journeys and deliver offers throughout the store. Shopkick reached profitability after just three years, and currently claims to have 7,500 retail partners and nearly four million users in the US. NTT Docomo is testing a similar “online to offline” (or O2O) system in 170 stores in Tokyo under the brand name Shoppulatto. Yet another Japan-based O2O platform is called Smapo (, and Docomo just launched a second app named Shoplat ( that mimics Smapo’s features. The beauty of these systems is that they overcome the limitations of traditional geo-location, which can trigger messages to consumers who are not near a given outlet. While geo-location targeting is improving thanks to Google’s indoor mapping for malls, there’s still room for improvement. Alternative solutions There are additional alternative solutions which require consumers to scan receipts or product barcodes, or just take a picture of a product. This input is then compared to a database, and consumers can be credited with points in near real- time. The key commercial benefit is that – though the personally identifiable information associated with the shoppers is masked – marketers can see what other goods consumers are buying along with their companies’ own products. Endorse (, which was recently launched in the US, is a free mobile app that enables consumers to earn vouchers for redeeming certain products and sharing what they are buying. The value exchange is identical to Shopkick’s, in that consumers are rewarded in exchange for their data. These types of apps are retailer-neutral and allow brands to assess shopper habits and purchase patterns without having to go through individual retailers. Advantages for advertisers The advantages for brands of using these kinds of systems are growing, and behavior- and interest- based targeting capabilities are improving. And don’t forget about experiential: Burberry allows purchasers to scan a product tag and then watch a film of how the item was made. Sure, solutions will come and go, but today’s options allow brands to join the consumer on their retail journey. So rather than seeing barriers and waiting for traditional infrastructure to develop, be honest and open with consumers, jump in and try something already available. You’re likely to learn a lot, and delight a few consumers in the process deliver added value. Today. Today’s options allow brands to join the consumer on their retail journey. The beauty of these systems is that they over- come the limitations of traditional geo-location. article 30 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  31. 31. 13 Connecting feature phones with the new world While smartphone penetration gets the lion’s share of attention, many people in Asia and Africa still use simpler, more cost- effective feature phones to stay connected. There are an estimated 600 million such phones in Asia, and most are operated via pre-paid cards. What many users don’t realize is that pre-paid cards often allow for some data usage, in addition to voice and text messaging. It can be difficult to jumpstart new behaviors, but Facebook helps drive awareness of such data availability via being optimized for mobile alongside the mobile ready browser Opera Mini. Integrating with Video There is a growing opportunity to link mobile couponing and offers with video advertising. In some countries in Southeast Asia, for example, communications networks are still developing, resulting in the need for multiple TV plans to accommodate different TV schedules. For mobile, you would only need one. And now that mobile is being used in conjunction with TV viewing, there are new opportunities to integrate mobile marketing. A TV commercial for an ice cream brand, for example, could deliver aninaudiblefrequencythatcouldactivate a coupon for the advertised ice cream on a viewer’s phone. 31BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  32. 32. Take Me to Your Leader? If you are a science fiction fan of a certain age, the phrase “take me to your leader” is likely to transport you back to flickering black-and-white images of ray-guns, flying saucers, little green men and plots even clunkier than the sets on which such space-age dramas took place. And yet, this phrase is unwittingly front and center for present-day marketers pursuing an “influential” targeting strategy: focusing on those “special” consumers seen as opinion leaders to whom others look for guidance. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. Why the Leader Myth is So Enticing We want the influencer model to work, because it reflects a widely-held folk fantasy that society is like a simple village community based on a clear and visible social hierarchy through which authority is assigned to certain individuals, like the religious leader, the doctor and so on. Further, our training seems only to affirm such a thesis. If you come from a direct marketing background, such a structure seem plausible because of what you’ve been told about the Pareto Principle, or the 80-20 rule; if you have a more traditional advertising background, the influencer model seems to echo our old spot-buying mentality: if people really are the new media, then surely we should be looking for the most trusted and highest-rated individual in any given population to carry our messages. While the traditional “influencer” model seemed plausible, it doesn’t reflect how people make real-life decisions. There is no one leader that will spread the message. By Mark Earls, HERD Modern social networks tend to be more fluid and transitory than the influencer theory suggests. article 32 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  33. 33. traditional influencer model 33BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  34. 34. Mutual Influence In the real world, things tend to be different: modern social networks tend to be more fluid and transitory than the influencer theory suggests. They also tend to be looser and more widely distributed than neat little Spirograph-like diagrams assume. Second, influence tends to be mutual, rather than one-way. In other words, friends and colleagues often influence each other rather than one having primacy over the others. This is the central finding of Nick Christakis’ and James Fowler’s excellent study of how problems like obesity spread. You’re not making me fat: we’re making each other fat. Indeed, humans are more like shoals of fish, with each individual interacting with those around it and largely unaware of those further away. The Influencer Model Works in Some Instances There are times when the influencer hypothesis holds, because there continue to be markets and aspects of human life in which expertise and authority are sought out and used to guide the choices of others (technical and semi-pro categories are an obvious example). The problem is it’s getting harder and harder to work out who actually knows what and who is just making a lot of noise; nowadays everyone seems to have an expert opinion and wants to broadcast it to the world. Thanks to mobile and online technologies, we all have access to alternative opinions that readily serve to undermine the authority of any expert we can identify (or at least muddy the waters). Let’s be honest here: who hasn’t Googled their embarrassing problem before arriving in the doctor’s office, only to assert an inaccurate (and possible hilarious) hypothesis upon arrival? The Accidental Influencer Beware, in particular, of the “accidental influential” trap: that is, just because an individual has at some point in the past been an important connector, doesn’t mean he or she will be again. Each of us has too many connections for this to be the case. As those in the music industry know too well, it’s better to back a broad roster of artists at any moment, rather than hoping lightning strikes over and over. Strategies Need to Change In the end, it’s best to assume there is no leader to whom you may be taken. More often than not, it’s the looser, more distributed type of influence that tends to dominate today’s consumer markets and behaviors. This is why things often seem so unpredictable. To counteract such volatility, our targeting strategies need to play the odds more: lighting lots of fires and creating numerous opportunities for people to interact. So before you try to find the “leader,” it’s worth investigating whether your market actually has any before you grab your ray- gun and race out the door. Humans are like shoals of fish, with each indi- vidual interacting with those around it and largely unaware of those further away. The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Source: Wikipedia article 34 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  35. 35. modern network 35BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  36. 36. article 36 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  37. 37. Don’t Get Lost on the Consumer Journey If you are reading this at home, take a look at the objects around you. Now think about the process you went through in acquiring these items. My guess is that, in some cases, the process was pretty simple. Let’s say that you’re drinking a delicious cup of tea. Did you do some background research by looking at videos on expert tea blogs? Did you run it past your friends before you bought it? Did you go to different stores to compare prices? Probably not. The truth is that while we have numerous ways to obtain things and an almost infinite ability to research them, sometimes we don’t expend the effort. There are times that you want to be an “empowered” consumer… and there are times you just want a cup of your favorite tea. A journey based on rational and emotional needs What about more high-involvement purchases, like your television, kitchen appliances, furniture and even the pictures on the walls? These could all be the end product of a decision-making process in which communications play a bigger and more multi-layered role than ever before. By way of illustration, MediaCom’s own Car Buyer Journey research identified 30 different forms of influence from communications in the period leading up to the purchase! We are now increasingly adept at shuttling between differentcontentsourcestohelpusmakeanoptimal decision, including brand information, third-party experts, peer reviews and algorithmically-derived comparisons. And because of the increasingly ubiquitous access to the internet, we can do this exploring anywhere or anytime. Also, because most of us are not Spock-like creatures of pure logic, our journeys are not tidy, linear affairs: most likely, they involve an interplay between emotional and rational needs as we backtrack, re-check our facts (until we find ones that we like) and procrastinate before we actually do something. Data creates new opportunities to understand how real people find their way to our brands, and new insights as to how to communicate in ways that support their journey. But how do you navigate through all of the information that’s available? By Matthew Mee, Global Chief Strategy Officer, MediaCom Illustration by Adam Hancher Our journeys are not all tidy, linear affairs. Most likely they involve an interplay between emo- tional and rational needs. 37BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  38. 38. Opportunities and challenges The upside here is clear: lots more opportunity for communications to play a role in influencing decisions. The brand that spots the right times to connect with consumers (and provides the right content that shifts the decision process in their favour) will win. The only downside is complexity, which causes confusion and alienates customers. Here are five fundamentals that can help. 1. Look for the category patterns Journeys may look complicated, but it’s essential to understand how different kinds of information influence the decision-making process. Don’t be intimidated by “big data.” Just bringing together digital data from across the spectrum can reveal patterns of intention and behavior between consumers and the brands in your category. At the other end of the scale, “method insight” (getting a real world feel by accompanying consumers during their decision journeys) is an equally legitimate way of understanding the nuances in these journey “patterns.” 2. Understand where communications can play a role Identify the most important points at which your communications can connect with your customer’s decision-making process. Data can help inform your view in terms of both the volume of opportunity and the quality of the connection. Assess where you can effectively disrupt your competition. 3. Understand what content people are using Consider the kind of content people are connecting with right now. What role is it playing in their decision making? This is not a creative critique, but a view on the consumer’s use of “content,” whether it be brand advertising, peer reviews, retail communications or aggregators. Where does content need to be emotive, where is it rational, where is it lean-forward and where is it interruptive? 4. Connect your content In a world where every screen is a potential shop window, are you making it easy for people to navigate your content? Think of your agency as communication plumbers: our job is to keep consumers within our communication system by making sure that all the elements of the plan are correctly linked together. Think Super Mario. 5. Collaboration is key Taking a consumer-centered view of the decision- making journey is a brilliant way to align the efforts of your agencies with a common vision: the right objective for the right content delivered at the right connection point. Far from complicating matters, this provides a touchstone for creativity and analysis. Instead of being intimidated by the expanding role of communications in influencing decisions, we should embrace it as an opportunity to understand more intimately how real people are finding their waytoourbrands. Justasimportantly,it’sachance for us to create more coherent communications that support them on that journey. In a world where every screen is a potential shop window, are you making it easy for people to navigate your content? article 38 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  39. 39. Fontainebleau, Miami Beach, US 25-27 September 2013 Organised by Headline partner This year’s theme addresses: “Brands without borders – the opening up of media” Plus, new for 2013: “A Hispanic content strand” Book now and join us 700 delegates, 30 different countries, 3 inspiring days for the most exciting media landscape in the world. JOIN THE LATAM MEDIA INDUSTRY DEBATE
  40. 40. Brand Connectivity All brands strive to connect with consumers, but – today – that’s not enough. As with product RD, innovation must be at the heart of every communications plan. Here are lessons from Coca-Cola’s successful “Share a Coke” campaign. By Andy Walsh, Global Head of Integrated Communications Planning, MediaCom Photography by Getty Images Coca-Cola lives on the frontier of building better connections with consumers. This used to be a relatively straightforward, one-way exercise. Today, however, when every touch may lead to a response, or a forward or more content, consumers can encounter brand messages just about anywhere, at any time. Making all these connections consistent, relatable and relevant is the basis of achieving true “brand connectivity.” And while it’s not an easy task, it’s not an optional one, either. A great example of brand connectivity was Coca- Cola’s 2011 “Share a Coke” campaign, launched in Australia. The campaign’s purpose was to help the brand reconnect with its key audiences: teens and young adults. “Share a Coke” enabled different levels of user interaction (from “low engagement” to “highly interactive”), which was seamlessly integrated into the overall campaign. Based on the insight that people compensate for spending more time in the digital world by spending less time in the real world, Coke encouraged Aussies to “Share a Coke” with each other, thereby knitting the digital and real worlds together. It was a big idea, smartly integrated and executed. “Share a Coke” was a brilliantly simple, social idea that got consumers caring and sharing across a maze of both digital and real life outlets. Its masterful combining of content and messaging in the right places at the right times – in ways that made it fun for consumers – maximized the likelihood that the brand’s story would be told... and heard. Sources: Integrated Planning: Standing Out in the Crowd, Millward Brown, 2011 article 40 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  41. 41. Plan a multichannel connections map. To be seen and to generate a reaction, make sure your message covers all the important channels of communication. Thinking across paid, owned and earned media is the key to better connectivity. So what can “Share a Coke” teach us about brand connectivity? Ask people to react to something that doesn’t require too much commitment. Design communications with the objective of motivating (lots of) individuals to personally react, rather than putting out a call for mass participation. Many people don’t want to get involved in something that feels enormous, or they believe their reaction won’t matter. “Share a Coke” is a great example of not asking too much while still generating a large-scale response. A call to action is more important than ever. Consider how every connection could prompt, ask or point people to another connection in your communications plan. Keep things rolling! The “Share a Coke” campaign took full advantage of this principle. 41BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  42. 42. article 42 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  43. 43. What’s My Line? The Japanese spend a lot of time commuting, and mobiledevicesareanessentialpartofthatjourney. Commuting, in fact, accounts for 28 percent of mobile device usage in Japan, and social media use consumes a hefty chunk of that time. Nine months ago, everyone on my train was using Twitter, which has been growing rapidly and now has 20 million users in Japan. Now I would say that most of my fellow commuters are on Line. Line ( was launched in 2011 by NHN Japan after the Tōhoku earthquake. The app provides free IM and calling via smartphones, tablets, and desktops. The name “Line” is a cultural reference to the fact that people had to line up outside of public phones after the earthquake because Japanese public phones are programmed to take priority over networks during and after an earthquake. Today, Line is the world’s fastest-growing social network, reaching 50 million followers in just 399 days. The company’s growth rate is twice as fast as Twitter and three times as fast as Facebook. The biggest social network you’ve never heard of is a smash hit in Japan and most of Asia. By John Stampfel, Emerging Digital, MediaCom Japan Photography by Getty Images In January 2013, Line’s total number of Japanese followers hit 40 million. Most strikingly, 60 percent of Japanese women in their 20s and 30s now use the platform every day. Growth has been driven by strong advertising support and celebrity endorsement. High response rates Most Japanese of all ages are now comfortable with the idea of using their phones to source and communicate information. This is a country where camera phones have been the norm for more than a decade and QR codes have been hardwired into our way of life for nearly as long. It’s no surprise that Line’s user base roughly matches Japan’s demographic profile, with 40 percent aged 30-50. It is the world’s fastest- growing social network, reaching 50 million fol- lowers in just 399 days. 43BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  44. 44. Brands typically add a million new followers within a week of offering stamps. What’s especially interesting is that Line and its parent NHN (which also owns Naver, Korea’s largest search portal) have been able to monetize the network by motivating users not only to follow brands but also to take action. This has made Line incredible attractive to marketers, particularly in the retail space. According to research commissioned by Line, more than half of female users follow official brands. In addition, 63 percent of all users read brand messages, 32 percent have used a coupon delivered via Line and 27 percent have clicked on a link. Opportunities for brands Unlike Facebook, however, advertisers can only use the platform if they pay. There is a fixed rate card and the number of messages is strictly controlled. For example, a four-week campaign with five messages will cost Y8 million ($81,000), while a 12-week campaign offering 15 messages (at a maximum of two per week) will set you back Y15 million ($151,000). Brands can use messages to link to content or offer coupons, presents and prizes. There are additional charges if brands want to create sponsored stamps, a form of emoticons that are hugely popular in Manga-obsessed Japan. These are based on client creative but created by Line. Stamps can drive reach for brands, which may add as many as a million new followers within a week of offering official brand stamps. Marketers have major incentives to remain on Line for long haul, as a decision to stop paying means a brand’s account is deleted and it loses not just followers but also the content that was created. article 10-30 year olds make up over half of all LINE users. Almost an exact 50:50 ratio of male to female users. 44 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  45. 45. Brands can use messages to link to content or offer coupons, presents and prizes. Retail brands leading the way None of this tight control has put off potential advertisers which now include Coca-Cola, Lawson convenience stores and the Sukiya fast- food chain. When Matsumoto Kiyoshi, a drug store chain, needed to attract more customers aged 10-20, for example, it offered a ten percent- off coupon via Line and, within five days, more than 10,000 people had used one – half of them in the target group. An additional 300,000 people also started following the brand on Line. One of the most remarkable aspects of Line’s fast rise and its ad-funded business model is that so many businesses have bought into it so quickly. While consumers are quick to leap onto the next big thing, businesses in Japan are notoriously wary of new platforms. The constant search for first-mover advantage is simply not as ingrained in the marketing psyche as it is in Western countries. As Line becomes more global, NHN will get the chance to see whether these characteristics apply outside of Asia. Early results appear promising: Line claims on its English-language website that is the most downloaded app in more than 40 countries and available in 230 markets. Services such as avatar community Line Play have recently become available in English, and the app itself is available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows phones. In February, Line signed a deal with Nokia to make it available on Asha handsets across Asia. Line’s status as the biggest social network you’ve never heard off won’t last for long. Source: 30.3% students 38.5% business people The majority use LINE to communicate with friends, family partners. 45BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  46. 46. How Connected Do You Want to Be? article 46 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  47. 47. Is checking your mobile phone the last item on your nightly checklist and the firstthingyoudointhemorning?Doyou sleep with it by your bed? Do you answer texts at 4am? Are you afraid of missing an important email, text or phone call? If yes, you may be one of many people suffering from a psychological syndrome called nomophobia, or the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. The term is an abbreviation for no-mobile-phone-phobia.” According to a 2008 study by YouGov, 53 percent of British citizens suffer from acute anxiety when their mobile phones are out of reach. Given how much more essential the smartphone has become in the last 5 years, this must now be a massive understatement. And – who knows? – nomophobia may be even higher in the developing world, where smartphone technology has filled numerous gaps in traditional communications and finance infrastructures. Introvert vs. Extrovert Connectednessisaverypolarizingtopic, of course, as being at the constant beck and call of their smartphones provokes acute anxiety in some but not all people. My own sister carries her mobile phone so that she can be in touch with people whenshewishestobe;sheneveranswers or may even switch the phone off unless she’s waiting for a call. Like my sister, I am predominantly an introvert – which is probably one of the biggest predictors, outside of age and life stage, of how connected you want to be. In her new book, Quiet, Susan Cain points out that between one-third and one-half of us are introverts. This can be a challenge in a world powered by extroverts: particularly in the world of marketing communications. Of course, both groups have specific characteristics and skill sets. Cain describes extroverts as highly reward- sensitive, and more willing to experience pleasure and excitement than introverts. They’re fired up by buzz, and love pleasing big audiences. Introverts Are we slaves to technology or are we empowered by it? By Sue Unerman, Chief Strategy Officer, MediaCom UK Illustration by Esther Aarts are better at delayed gratification and are more likely to be satisfied with sitting quietly, thinking and writing. In summary, extroverts love to share and get rewards from recognition. Introverts “have a smaller response, and so go less out of their way to follow up reward cues.” Most of us have a mix of both personality types, but I believe that our predisposition to sharing comes from whichever type is most prevalent in our personalities. There are some people who are particularlydisposedtoshareeverything. A recent study published by the British newspaper The Telegraph indicates the top ten most annoying updates which, unfortunately, seem to correlate with the most common updates on my social media feeds. How many of these mini- crimes have you committed, and how many annoy you when others do so? I am predominantly an introvert – which is probably one of the biggest predictors, out- side of age and life stage, of how connected you want to be. 47BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
  48. 48. Will our über-connectedness ultimately make us slaves to the machine? Top Ten Most Annoying Social Media Updates 1. Diet and exercise boasters Those who tell you how far they've cycled, how fast they ran and how many pounds they've shed. 2. People who share pictures of every meal People who tell you about every meal are boring enough. These people, for reasons nobody can fathom, also photograph them. 3. Cryptic status writers Some are mysterious: I can't believe that just happened! Others are passive aggressive: Don't you hate it when people promise to do something and then let you down? One thing's for sure: if you ask them what they're going on about, they'll clam up. 4. Game inviters Those who bombard their friends with requests to play virtual farmers or digital mobsters or whatever Facebook game they're addicted to that day. 5. Proud parents Your child is special and amazing. To you. The rest of us don't need to know about every step, sniffle or funny remark. 6. People who share very personal details You've got blood coming out of where? Yes, some people share information that should be reserved for very close friends and trained medical staff only. 7. Checker-inners Oh, you're mayor of your local cafe? As a special prize, I'm going to unfollow you now. Congrats. 8. Event spammers While it's great that you're hosting a hackathon to save badgers, you probably only need to tweet about it a couple of times. 9. Constant engagers who like and comment Likingastatusupdateorcommentingon a post can be supportive and engaging. It can also feel a bit like stalking if you do it too much. 10. Self-promoters I would really like your business to succeed. I would like that almost as much as I would like you to stop talking about it. Source: Slaves to the machine Does all this sharing do anything for us other than fuel dopamine levels in the brains of extroverts? Evgeny Morozov, author of To Save Everything, Click Here: Technology, Solutionism, and the Urge to Fix Problems that Don’t Exist, thinks the direction we’re heading will ultimately be a negative one. Smart technologies will, in his view, create a kindofadultDisneylandwherewecan’t make our own decisions, and where we are reliant on technology to make choices for us. He laments the coming of the much talked-about “smart fork,” which will tell us if we’re eating too fast. Or BinCam, which snaps and posts a photo to Facebook every time you use your recycling bin. Will our über-connectedness ultimately make us slaves to the machine? Personally, I’m not worried yet. A recent electronic power outage taught me to love Twitter by candlelight. The friendly updates on Twitter provided by the UK Power Networks customer service team throughout the four-hour blackout meant that I was much more in touch with what happening than in the pre-Twitter world. And sharing my impressions on Twitter meant that I actually “met” and chatted to several people who work in media, live in my area and were going through a shared experience. How much individuals decide to share maybecometheultimatesegmentation methodology of the 21st century. My view of new technologies is that the most successful ones are those that fulfill a natural human desire to come together as a community, as people have throughout most of human history. Living alone, or far from family and friends, is a late 20th-century aberration: smart sharing technologies bring us back together. That’s a wonderful thing: as long as you can turn it off at will, and you stay smarter than the technology. article 48 MEDIACOM BLINK #6
  49. 49. Early attempts at mobile TV had been hampered by poor quality screens and a lack of viewable content. With the smartphone and app culture blossoming in the UK, Sky recognized the opportunity to deliver the most captivating live sporting moments to millions of fans. Sky ushered in the mobile TV era with the launch of Sky Sports, and it didn’t take long for the Sky Go App to become an instant hit. But with nearly 725,000 apps in Apple’s App Store, how could we make sure that the Sky app wasn’t lost in the sea of gimmicky and one-hit wonder apps? MediaCom developed a targeted media strategy around passionate sports fans. The goal was to make them aware of Sky Go whenever they were viewing, playing or even thinking about sports. Objectives For the most ardent and obsessive sports fans, being able to watch their favorite teams live – anytime, anywhere – is the ultimate experience. Our primary goal was to demonstrate to fans that the Sky Go app delivers a thrilling, live sports experience. We also had to prove that it adds value to a Sky subscription, making users the envy of those without it. Strategy We wanted to own the times when fans are thinking about sports but aren’t able to watch in person by recommended the Sky Go app as a fresh and exciting alternative. Target audience Because sports fans are creatures of habit, we were able to geo-target them at football stadiums, gyms and other sports-related venues. Then we sent them an SMS/MMS suggesting that they download the app immediately... and we made sure to target these texts only to handsets compatible with our app. Of course, Sky’s poster sites were tagged with Sky Go messaging, ensuring that our advertising also tempted fans. Finally, every time sports fans went for a mobile fix – checking club news, breaking developments or the latest scores – our display ads were there, urging them to download our app. Results More than half a million sports fans now feed their habit with the Sky Go app, making it one of iTunes’ most downloaded apps of 2011. And once fans downloaded the app, they became hooked: Sky saw five million streams in just three weeks. Our SMS activity delivered average CTRs more than 170% above the existing industry bench mark, and display CTRs delivered 133% above average throughout the entire campaign. go sky Connecting with Sports Fans case study How MediaCom Launched a Mobile App for Sky By Jan Neumeister, Associate Director, MediaCom UK 49BLINK #6 MEDIACOM
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  52. 52. Do Your Products Need to Go Online? Get ready: your toaster may need (or want) its own digital identity How Connected Do You Want To Be? Do you suffer from a psychological syndrome called nomophobia? BLINK is part of MediaCom’s The Insider programme. The Insider helps advertisers understand and sort the latest global marketing topics and trends. To receive the latest updates, sign up at The Converged Home Changes in behavior, not technology, are driving major changes in home design The Internet of Things What happens when inanimate objects become aware? Published by Media Trends Consumers #6 BLINK#6theconnectedissue