MF Spotlight: Text Mining Capabilities

In this Spotlight episode of MFTV, our Director of Data Science, Strategy & Optimization discusses how text mining can boost the impact of your marketing.

Most Memorable Marketing Moments of 2016

Another year has come and gone—and it was a memorable one, to say the least. We endured a long and exhausting election season, faced the threat of the Zika virus, and watched fellow citizens suffer from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. However, 2016 wasn’t all bad news. We watched the Chicago Cubs break a 108-year dry spell to win the World Series, civil rights leader Harriet Tubman will soon have a place on the $20 note, and—in case you hadn’t heard—the U.S. divorce rate is the lowest it’s been in 40 years. That’s something, right?

The world of marketing also had its share of memorable moments in 2016. Walk into an agency like Martino Flynn and ask a group of professional marketers to talk about a standout TV commercial, marketing campaign, viral social media post, or PR stunt in 2016 and you’ll likely get a slew of opinions.

So, that’s what I did.

We do outstanding work here at Martino Flynn, but we also don’t shy away from recognizing the great work of others. I know many people want to leave 2016 in the dust—but before forgetting about last year, let’s remember a few of its great marketing moments, as told by marketers:

Pokémon Go

“Pokémon Go” was the top trending Google search in 2016—beating out “Donald Trump” and “iPhone 7” for the number one spot—that’s some stiff competition. Pokémon Go was tweeted about more than Brexit.

The marketing genius behind the year’s most popular mobile app is really… well… a lack of marketing. The hugely popular mobile game from Niantic was launched on July 7 without a massive marketing campaign; the only notable marketing tactic was the “Get Up and Go” trailer released one day before the game’s launch.

However, once the game was released the rest of the world did the marketing for Niantic. Businesses even used the game to market their own products and services. Everything from local car dealerships to chain restaurants began to incorporate Pokémon Go into their own advertising messaging, so the team at Niantic hardly had to lift a finger. Meanwhile, businesses were reaching a whole new audience of Pokémon Go users by using game lingo and inviting them to visit their establishment to find “PokeStops” and “Catch ’Em All.”

This was a bit of an anomaly in the marketing world. And while the average brand shouldn’t rely on this minimalist approach, it certainly worked out well for Niantic and the companies that capitalized on the game’s popularity.

Gilmore Girls “A Year in the Life”

The Gilmore Girls revival made many of us fall in love with—and kind of hate—the witty, intelligent mother-daughter duo that is Lorelai and Rory Gilmore all over again. I admit that I was less than thrilled with the four reunion episodes, but I can’t deny the success of the show’s marketing strategy.

Netflix used experiential marketing, transforming 200 coffee shops around the country into replicas of Luke’s Diner—the well-known coffee spot frequented by the Gilmores—for a day. There was at least one location in each state and the shops even gave out free coffee. All it took was a well thought out social media strategy to get show fans psyched about the Luke’s Diner event; there were lines out the door at nearly every location.

Giving fans the first-hand experience of being in one of the show’s cornerstone settings—Luke’s Diner—certainly paid off. According to Symphony Advanced Media, the first episode of the Gilmore Girls revival season drew 5.99 million viewers in the 18-49 year old age demographic in the U.S. over the first three days it was available. It’s clear that this unique marketing strategy paid off, attracting lifelong fans and newcomers to the show.

Always “Like a Girl” Campaign

Continuing the success of this cause marketing campaign from 2015 into 2016, Always (P&G) took aim at emojis—specifically the lack of female representation in the tiny images that have become their own language in texting and social media. The video calls out the lack of professions depicted by women, “unless you count being a bride as a profession.” It’s powerful and relatable for all women.

Best of all, it seems that someone at Apple was listening because the latest iOS update includes both male and female emojis depicted as firefighters, teachers, artists, mechanics, and even the Queen’s Guard! Okay, that last one was a curveball—but I love the initiative.

These are only three examples from the millions of successful marketing strategies we saw throughout the year. There’s no telling what new video, meme, print ad, or unconventional marketing tactic will be a standout star in the year to come, but if you want your company to make a splash in 2017, we can help. Create a memorable marketing moment for your company: contact Martino Flynn at info@martinoflynn.com or give us a call at 585.421.0100.

Now That We Can Control Speech With Adobe Voco, Should We?

Adobe, the creators of Photoshop and other great software programs that many creative departments use to produce their clients’ advertising, have teased a new product called VoCo. On the surface, it looks really cool. Check out the embedded video demonstration and I’m sure you’ll think so, too.

The software can take a piece of audio of a person speaking and translate it into text. While, yes, most of our cellphones can do this, what really sets this technology apart is that you can actually edit the text, and Adobe VoCo will rearrange the audio to match it. Now you may say, video editors and audio engineers have been doing this forever. But, in case you didn’t make it to the end of the video, here is what really differentiates VoCo: you can type in anything you want, and it will create the matching audio file using that person’s voice! That means that the person doesn’t need to say anything remotely close to the desired words, yet you can mimic his voice to get the audio.

As a video editor, I have often joked that I can make people say things they didn’t say. However, that only works if they said the words I need, and all the inflections and flow of their speech matches cleanly once things have been moved and removed. The truth is, I am not trying to make people say something they didn’t say; I just want to take something they did say and have them say it better. The technology of Adobe VoCo is really a game-changer.

This is great for video game production, audio-heavy products such as audiobooks and podcasts, product demonstrations, and video case studies. At Martino Flynn, when capturing an interview for a case study or product demo video, we have run into situations where an interviewee did not say something exactly right, or said something accurate at the time that now has changed. The cost to re-shoot the interview and re-edit it to correct the video is often prohibitive. To be able to cleanly adjust a couple of words and place them under b-roll would be a quick and cost-effective way to keep a clients’ video accurate and avoid having to make changes that would incur greater financial costs.

I think the challenge for video editors, advertising and marketing agencies, and clients will be how to maintain an ethical approach to the choices made when using this technology.

Product or service names are often abbreviated over the course of a 30-minute interview. To use this technology to add in a full name would be a great tool to have. However, creating wholesale statements from Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) such as customers, even if true, would lead to a gray area of what is fair and acceptable to do. Also, how do we control this for voice over talent? Talent can charge for studio time, even if it is to change one line of a script. Why add that cost to a job when it could be done with a few strokes on the keyboard?

These questions don’t even get into the area of news and reporting, and public relations. Imagine how much more influence fake news stories will carry when they come complete with fake audio quotes from world leaders, celebrities, or anyone else who has 20 minutes of his recorded voice available online.

As far as VoCo goes, I am reminded of one of Jeff Goldblum’s lines from the movie Jurassic Park, “… your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Of course, now I’m wondering if he ever said that at all.

Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends to Expect in 2017

The online marketing industry can be difficult to navigate. It is constantly changing, growing larger and more complex each day. However, one marketing aspect that won’t change is visibility. How customers see your business has been the basis of marketing since day one. So how do you stay current and competitive in this ever-changing space? Anticipate and plan ahead! To help you, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 marketing trends we can expect in 2017.

1.  Augmented Reality

Launched in early July, the wildly popular Pokémon GO taught us two important lessons; it’s shown that users are ready for Augmented Reality (AR) experiences, and it proved that there is significant earning potential within this new technology. At its peak, the app recorded earnings of $10 million a day in new revenue. Users are craving experiences that give them the feeling that they are doing more than just staring at their screens; they want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger. Nostalgia also greatly played into Pokémon GO’s success. Emotion is still an integral component of a successful marketing campaign. We should expect to see more games, ads, and apps that provide this higher level of interaction in 2017.

2.  Native Advertising

Native advertising is certainly not new, as brands have been using the trend for years as a way to get natural-looking visibility on related sites. Now, as more and more consumers ignore, or even block, conventional digital ads, native advertising offers a stealthy, yet effective, way to get in front of them. With this increase in popularity, you can also expect to see new forms of native advertising offered by major publishers. Business Insider predicts that native ads will drive 74% of all ad revenue by 2021.

3.  Data Visualization Tools

Data is fundamental when it comes to marketing campaigns. As marketers, we need quantitative information on consumer behavior as well as ad performance. Measuring marketing has been an ongoing struggle and even Facebook has admitted its data doesn’t tell a complete story. Technology is now catching up to the “interpretation” part of data analysis, and we are already seeing dozens of data visualization tools on the market today. These tools use sophisticated technology that helps users interpret data. If a business doesn’t have plans to utilize these tools in 2017, it will be at a significant disadvantage.

4.  Live Video Streaming

As mentioned above, users crave that higher level of interaction, and social media platforms are responding. Facebook Live launched in April, which allows users to broadcast themselves and connect with a large audience in real time. Facebook Live Reactions allows users to interact with their audience and gauge how the broadcast is going. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, followed suit and launched its own live video streaming in November. This feature gives brands an opportunity to connect and engage with consumers in real time, which is essential in today’s fast-paced society.

5. Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

Providing a positive customer experience is key when it comes to savvy business practices. Many of today’s successful companies embrace customer-centric philosophies to establish positive relationships and customer retention. One way to provide this experience is to leverage the power of technology with chatbots and Artificial Intelligence. Suppose you are looking for a place to dine in a new city. Asking locals is one way to get ideas, but they probably don’t know that you have a gluten allergy and prefer spicy food. Now imagine a chatbot that knows your intolerances, likes, and dislikes, and can guide you to places based on this knowledge. Chatbots can use AI, deep learning and data crumbs from across the web to understand and guide consumer behavior.

It is important for brands to be aware of these trends in order to stay ahead of the competition and appeal to the right audience at the right time. If you’re ready to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level, contact Martino Flynn at info@martinoflynn.com or give us a call at 585.421.0100.

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