Tag Archives: advertising

Shaping Advertising for a Different World– Burst Bubbles, Push Edges: Step Outside of Old Frame of References, See Things Different…

It’s a different world and advertising is no longer about shouting at consumers with bold text and direct copy, but about seamlessly engaging, entertaining, informing… Twenty years ago, the first banner ad went live on ‘hotwired.com’ and for over four months 44% of those who saw it clicked on it. Today, research shows that banner ads are clicked by less than 0.1% of viewers, while video ads are 8-25 times more likely to generate a response…

In the 1990s the banner ad worked for the following reasons: 1) it drove curiosity online… 2) very act of a ‘click-through’ was a new experience… 3) it was well-intentioned as a consumer experience… According to Róisín Kirby; today the novelty has worn off– you are either annoyed by a banner ad that takes-up your screen, or you totally disregard the ads that sit on the page– you are ‘banner blind’… According to Google’s DoubleClick research; click-through rates on banner ads are at less than 0.1%…

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Research group GoldSpot Media; found up to 40% of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental! According to Robert Lyle; changing technologies and consumer behavior are reshaping the world of advertising… It’s the digital age of constantly changing media contact ‘touch-points’. Some call it media fragmentation but others just see it as extended ‘choice’… These contact touch-points are available and expanding, include; outdoor advertising in all its standard formats, TV now joined by smart TV, newspapers, magazines, radio and podcasts, cinema, direct mail, online, social media, apps, banners, search, gaming, branded content, mobile, sponsorship, experiential, events… and the list goes on, it’s exhausting…

Technological change in media is accelerating rapidly and especially– mobile: Mobile broadband is growing very fast with smart phone ownership, and it brings with it the possibility of engaging consumers– at anyplace, at anytime… but also it brings with it a paradox; it has allowed consumers to become increasingly spontaneous– they can make plans, or change them with the press of a button… You should remember that consumers engage with ideas, not media… and not only is it important for placements in the right place, at the right time… but it’s important to fill the placements with persuasive content.

Advertising must continue to change in its delivery both by media, and through the ‘creatives’ it employs. It must adapt to technology change and consumer behavior change. Great advertising must be able to demonstrate both economic and social value in real tangible monetary terms…

In the article Changing Face of Advertising by Mohammad Al Farei writes: Traditional forms of advertising and marketing have transitioned from a top-down messaging model, whereby messages move in a largely one-way direction, to a networked world where everyday people take on an active role in brand discussions and are becoming increasingly involved in the formulation of new products, services… and who have a larger voice in the future direction and strategy of an organization… In this connected reality of– tablets, smartphones, and immersive media… consumers are bombarded with brand messages at an unprecedented rate…

‘Brands’ in an ever-changing world are seen differently, with the meaning of ‘brand’ moving far beyond the mere functionality and perceived value of a product, service… Brands have become friends or sometimes enemies, they are trusted companions, or a badge of honor, or sometimes even a source of inspiration… People identify more personally with brands than ever before and require from them a social commitment that goes beyond the point of sale. Social media has accelerated this trend as it pervades many aspects of everyday life and creates a new bond between brands and people.

In this environment, brands are under intense scrutiny and are required to demonstrate ethical behavior and ideals like– honesty, integrity, social responsibility… ideals which are very important to the future success of any organization… Companies now face a clear choice; either, isolate yourself or reveal your human side, and welcome transparency and forge new relationships with customers…. Four important shifts in this different social engagement model are: From ‘trying to sell’ to ‘making meaningful connections’: From ‘large campaigns’ to ‘small acts’: From ‘hard to reach’, to ‘available everywhere’: From ‘image controlling’, to ‘being honest’…

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In the article Future of Advertising is Polite Interruptions by Marc Guldimann writes: ‘Interruptive’ advertising has been the foundation of the media business since it’s inception. Historically; TV, print, radio… have all been monetized by ‘interruptive’ ads and today using, e.g.; in-feed, in-read and other in-line formats are capturing the lion’s share of new ad dollars… The trick with digital advertising is to drive an interruptive experience in a way that respects the reader, hence this is called– ‘polite’ interruptive advertising… Politely interruptive ads have three characteristics: they are interruptive, persist for an amount of time controlled by the reader, using behavioral native engagement…

Most ‘politely’ interruptive ads are behavioral ‘native’; this means that the ad is shown using the same behavior as content consumption, e.g.; you page through magazine articles and ads, you tap and hold to watch a snapchat message and a snapchat ad… Think of media as a conversation between publisher and audience: If the advertiser is going to capture attention, even with the blessing of the publisher, it’s important that they do so in a ‘polite’ way. The ideal scenario is probably something like walking up to someone as the publisher steps aside, apologizing for the interruption, offering them your message and moving away, if they would rather not hear more about it. This is a ‘polite’ interruption and is what advertising should strive for…

Every medium has its version of ‘native’ advertising– from the advertorial in Reader’s Digest, to the soap opera, to the infomercial on TV… The idea with ‘native’ advertising is that an audience will start consuming an ad because they cannot discern it from regular content, and the hope is that they won’t feel offended or tricked… In the long run it becomes harder to fool people who when combined with the publisher’s brand equity being lost, is why ‘native’ advertising tapers in every medium… The best opportunity to capture attention in an authentic and positive fashion is to create great content… but it’s very difficult to plan and produce at scale and replicate, whereas; adjacent advertising, such as, 300x250s or billboards have massive reach and scale, but not very efficient at capturing attention…

More important, for the most part, adjacent ads are not very ‘polite’. They rely on distracting readers from content or surroundings to capture attention. It’s been shown that more obnoxious adjacent advertising causes people to spend less time with content… Hence interruptions involves placing an advertiser message in the stream of content that an audience is consuming, such as; social feed ads, 30 second spots on TV, full-page print advertising… in most cases these interruptive ads are ineffective and counter-productive… Although interruption is the best way to capture attention at scale, but it must be adapted for the digital era and it must be ‘polite’ interruption…

In the article Future of Advertising: What 2025 Will Look Like? by Amy Kean writes: The consumer is hard to impress and advertising in this different world must rely completely on customers buying into the largely tech-driven, utopian vision of making every single advertising message relevant to them… Without doubt, you are going to witness a shift from obsessing over what advertising looks like, to what advertising feels like. And in 2025 we’re going to have the technology to make people genuinely happy…. Customer service operatives will be; a) holograms and b) created based on what each individual finds attractive… Content and advertising will become so interlinked you won’t know which is which. People will step into brand experiences and ads, and advertisers will know how much you like their ads because ‘pulses’ via your smart-watch will tell them…

And because of this close relationship with brands, every ad you see will be based on who you are… Screens and posters will display different images based on the information on your mobile, e.g.; your purchase history, brands you like, who your friends are, as well as; your gender, age… Already 75% of consumers expect and want retail experiences to be personalized, and over the next 10 years most marketing will become more like the ‘Amazon Recommends’ feature on steroids… Expect the unexpected; and the key for advertisers is to– thoroughly know and understand the consumer, e.g.; who they are, where they live, how they buy, what they buy, when they buy… their likes and dislikes…

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Advertisers need to understand the nuances of different cultural… But also they need to recognize that there is a fusion between the predominate or mainstream lifestyle/culture in a society, and a particular target audience’s group culture within that society… it’s a strategy of looking for similarities rather than differences between a target audience and the mainstream culture within a society– it’s about finding common ground but also a personalized, relevant, engaging message…

The advertising industry is entering a new era: Never before have brands, advertisers and marketers had the opportunity to both reach-out and better understand their target consumers– through data based-services, location, mobile advertising… brands must find ways to personalize messaging to individual customers, offering them access to– real-time offers, local services, personal recommendations…

Advances in technology allow for more innovative approaches to out-of-home advertising, with location technology used to offer more– immersive, interactive experiences for consumers… Sometimes consumers don’t want what’s right– they want what feels right, and sometimes advertisers must be brave enough to burst consumers’ bubbles… sometimes the best routes to success is not just about the shiniest… sometimes you must step outside your own frame of reference and see things from the perspective of others…

McKinsey summed it up well when they said; at the end of the day, customers no longer separate advertising from the product, service… it is the product, service… They don’t separate advertising from the in-store or online experience… it is the experience… In era of ‘engagement’, advertising is the company…

New Rules of Branding in Business– Golden Rules: Get Edgy, Get Relevant… or, Get Lost in the Competitive Noise…

Branding is a promise of quality, reputation, value– It encompasses everything about a company– sometimes good, sometimes bad, depending on public’s perception… branding is what you do– not what you say… it’s a promise to deliver on– what’s wanted, desired, expected… branding is the sum-total of all customers ‘experiences’… branding is about shaping perceptions…

Branding is the idea that anytime, anyone hears the name of the business, product… they will know exactly what it stands for… branding, simply put, is a ‘promise’, which is derived from– who you are, who you want to be, who people perceive you to be…

According to Frank Strong; branding isn’t a company name… it’s not a tag line… it’s not a logo… it’s an expectation of an experience… The company tag line, logo, colors… only exist to call that experience to mind… The essence of a brand lies within its meaning– words have meaning but ‘actions’ create the brand… According to Beau Phillips; brand is the identity– it’s what people say about you… the value of the brand changes daily– nurture the brand, care for it… Live up to the brand promise every day…

According to Steven Donaldson and Michael Zinke; if you do anything, realize that the company (brand) has to stand out against the vast expanse of competitive– brands, options… Know and understand your competition, but don’t do what they are doing– be different, be relevant! You’ll get noticed… This is the mantra of the ultimate marketing guru, Seth Godin, who says– be a Purple Cow… The more truly unique (but still real) the brand is, the more interesting it will be…

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According to Jonathan Salem Baskin; Steve Jobs was a magician capable of casting a ‘reality distortion field’ on anyone in his presence… he ruined branding as we knew it… Jobs blew up the rules of branding simply because he didn’t recognize them… he didn’t follow the approved checklist… he knew that someone else’s success wouldn’t be his own, not because of his ego, but because it’s a fact that imitating others has never resulted in great successes…

Jobs’ insight was that you can never connect emotionally, meaningfully with customers by conceiving great marketing… no segmenting, strategy, technology, psychological… insight delivers a great brand… But, in fact, you must deliver a ‘great business’. The brand will be the words, emotions people use to narrate it… Jobs focused on the ‘cart’, yet even today, most marketers confuse it for the ‘horse’…

According to Drypen; branding takes place in minds of customers not in the real world. And whatever the mind perceives to be true is true. You may object but that’s the way it is: Perception is reality… No body likes Schizophrenic brands. That’s why the brand must be absolutely consistent in how it behaves, delivers… If it’s erratic, customers will be confused and will move to opposite camps… To build strong brands, businesses must provide a reason for its existence, and justify why it deserves to live…

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In the article Rules for Branding in New World by john k. grace writes: There is a basic shift in culture… a ‘new world’ is emerging in brand strategy for building relationships– with customers, employees, media, financial community, and other important audiences… Corporations have become places where employees are uncertain about messages from leadership– knowing that there is different agenda than their words often indicate…

In traditional times, two things can occur: First, brands tended to amplify and exaggerate the ‘brand promise’– in order to have their voices heard above the crowd. This amplification of claims are often filled with over-promise, which can become unbelievable to customer audiences… Second, brand marketers become insecure about their strategy and begin making random promises wishing that some will resonate with someone, somewhere…

These sit of the pants actions creates an atmosphere of uncertainty, wariness… For success in the ‘new world’, the rules for branding must be shaped in new ways: These new rules are ‘filters’ used to create, evaluate… brand communications, behaviors…  Here are a few rules for consideration:

  • Rule 1: Value must be communicated… Today, customers have much larger magnifying glass to evaluate price/value comparisons and they will find it hard to justify purchase without a very strong reason– why. So value becomes a very important filter…
  • Rule 2: Functional performance is more important than ‘benefits’... Each are looking for more communication about the functional value that brands bring to them…
  • Rule 3: Transparency, honesty are mandatory. There are two aspects to transparency – being transparent, communicating transparency… Questions; a) is the company/brand being transparent? b) how is the transparency communicated? This is a new filter for many companies…
  • Rule 4: Messaging must be simple, clear… brands must shed multiple claims, over-promises, implied benefits… and bring a new simplicity and clarity to messaging. It means creating new filters to evaluate messaging, and developing communications strategies to isolate what is important and what can be shed…
  • Rule 5: Express confidence, optimism through identity. An identity is visual expression of a brand, it should reflect a company’s core beliefs and strengths, and also signal an optimistic and positive attitude…
  • Rule 6: Communities are critical to brand acceptance. The evolving shift from top-down to bottoms-up brand influence is being further accelerated. ‘Communities’ have become the place where we can find– information, validation, security, new types of partnerships… social networks are part of larger concept of the integration for specific audiences to– bond, evaluate, determine, share…
  • Rule 7: Customer service can be a brand-defining attribute. Successful brands embrace the importance of this interaction… think about building world-class customer service rather than adequate, competitive levels of service…

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In the article Building Brands from Inside by Michael Dunn and Scott Davis write: There’s a trend in the making: Companies across the board are beginning to take a broader view of ‘branding’ as it shifts from its traditional role, as part of the marketing function, to play an integral part in the overall business strategy. To fully integrate brand strategy throughout the organization, companies must take a hard look at what the brand stands for and put internal structures in place to deliver on ‘brand promise’…

Essentially, this means moving the brand’s role, influence… well beyond the marketing department so it becomes an integral part of  company’s way of doing business… Total alignment between business and brand strategy is a crucial starting point… Think about it: Strategies about customers, distribution, pricing, communications… are crucial links between business and brand strategy. Business strategy cannot be developed in a vacuum; neither can brand strategy. The connection between them must be aligned, strengthened…

In today’s increasingly competitive environment, businesses need to find a way to stand-out from the rest of the pack… One sure way is to take a hard look at the brand, what it stands for, and then make sure that the structure is in place to deliver-on that ‘promise’– across entire organization… This realignment pays-off, big time, by creating a stronger brand but, more important, a stronger business…

In the article New Rules for Branding by kordell writes: The biggest enemy of business these days is being ‘average’… With mass customization, free information, and a tight economy, you must drive the branding image to be ‘exceptional’… Here are a few new rules for exceptional branding are:

  • It must have a plot or a storyline: Think Disney… Chipotle has it’s brown bags with stories on them… Harley is about terrorizing small towns…
  • It must be unique to stand out: Unless you have a BHAC (Big Hairy Audacious Concept) you have– beige, average, pedestrian…
  • It must fill a need or create a new mind-set for the customer:  Columbus fought the flat world with a round world idea… Dyson killed the vacuum bag…
  • Rabid fans must be able to ‘join’: Think Blue Man Group…  These fans will experience the brand again, again… and ‘tell others about it’…
  • Repeatable: There are Harley fans who motorcycle between locations just to get a ‘local’ Harley shirt… Another way to see this consumable– or– such a great experience that you just-want-to-do-it-again!
  • Once it’s in place it’s either re-created, destroyed, rebuilt (isn’t that the same thing?):  Just when the McMuffin is copied by everyone else, you have to recreate it in a new format/recipe…

In the article New Rules of Branding by Simon Williams writes: A few simple rules for the new age branding; Brands that influence ‘culture’ sell more; culture is the new catalyst for growth… A brand with no point of view has no point; full-flavor branding is in… vanilla is out… Today’s consumer is leading from the front; it’s a smart generation… Customize wherever, whenever you can; customization is tomorrow’s killer whale. Forget transaction, just give me an experience; the mandate is simple: Wow the customer every day, every way...

Deliver clarity at point of purchase; be obsessive about value… You are only as good as the weakest link; know where you’re vulnerable… Social responsibility is no longer an option; know the cause, prepare your contribution… Pulse, pace, passion… really make a difference… Innovation is the new boardroom favorite…

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Branding is the core of any business… According to Ananth; Be very clear on what you tend to achieve from your ‘branding’ campaign… Clearly define ‘goals’: What must the  ‘brand’ achieve, across which audience… Websites don’t define a branding strategy… Success of a branding campaign depends on the sincerity with which your content reaches across a larger audience, regularly, with clear intention to add real-value to the end users.

Branding is not one time process, its a constant effort to make a positive difference… It’s solution to problems– do it with a ‘face’– ‘humanize’ the brand… According to Kevin Lane Keller; a strong brand is a promise to customers and a means to set expectations and reduce risk… the power of a brand resides in the minds of its customers and it could go away very quickly…

A strong brand is also more than consumer-facing… it gives direction and purpose to its employees– strong brand is one of a firm’s most valuable intangible assets… According to Ashley I; churn out boring, repetitive stuff… and the brand will suffer… Modern brands must allow for– leeway, fun, surprise, playful… even flirtation… A contemporary brand must take leaps of faith, abandon self-obsessions, be flexible, embrace risk … Without such grounding, a brand loses what it’s supposed to be in the first place; a shape-shifter…

According to Jakk; perfecting a branding strategy is more than just having– a logo, attractive slogans… Today, enthusiasts play by a fresh set of guidelines…The fresh rules for business branding are now focused on engagement, interaction, less on presentation… Defining the brand is more like a journey of business discovery… in today’s highly competitive marketplace, a strong brand is really all about relationships, trust, value…

 

 

Understanding How Public Opinion is Shaped, Measured, Changed, Managed– is Crucial for Enterprise Success…

A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion ~Chinese Proverb… Too often we… enjoy the comfort of public opinion without the discomfort of thought ~John F. Kennedy… Public opinion in this country is everything ~Abraham Lincoln

Public opinion is a largely uncontrollable phenomenon that had the power to make – or break – a company’s reputation and potential for success. While the influence of public opinion is as strong as ever, the practice of public relations has given savvy– businesses, politicians… measured control over how they are perceived by their target audiences and general public.

Public opinion can be defined as the complex collection of opinions of many different people and the sum of all their views or as a single opinion held by an individual about a business, social, political topic… The meaning of public opinion has changed dramatically over time.

The English term public opinion dates back to the eighteenth century and derived from the French l’opinion, which was first used in 1588 by Montaigne. Adam Smith, one of the earliest classical economists, refers to public opinion in his ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’, but it was Jeremy Bentham, the famous utilitarian Philosopher, who fully developed theories of public opinion…

According to Herbert Blumer; public opinion is discussed as a form of collective behavior which is made up of those who are discussing a given public issue at any one time… Although  reality of public opinion is now almost universally accepted, contrasting understandings of public opinion have taken shape over the centuries, especially as new methods of measuring public opinion are applied to politics, commerce, religion, social activism…

However, according to Ian Welsh; public opinion does not matter– it’s irrelevant. What matters isn’t what the public thinks, what matters are what the public does… Nearly all scholars of public opinion, regardless of the way they may define it, agree that, in order for a phenomenon to count as public opinion, at least four conditions must be satisfied: (1) there must be an issue, (2) there must be a significant number of individuals who express opinions on the issue, (3) there must be some kind of a consensus among at least some of these opinions, and (4) this consensus must directly or indirectly exert influence.

In contrast to scholars, those who aim to influence public opinion are less concerned with theoretical issues than with the practical problem of shaping the opinions of specified ‘publics’, such as employees, stockholders, neighborhood associations, or any other group whose actions may affect the fortunes of a client, stakeholder…

Politicians and publicists, for example, seek ways to influence voting and purchasing decisions, respectively– hence their wish to determine any attitudes and opinions that may affect the desired behavior. It’s often the case that opinions expressed in public differ from those expressed in private. Some views– even though widely shared– may not be expressed at all…

In the article Public Opinion by Daniel Yankelovich writes: Public opinion is not static. People’s views about an issue develop and change over time from disconnected, poorly informed reactions to more thoughtful and considered conclusions, from changeable public opinion to settled public judgment. This process evolves through distinct stages and unless one understands where people are in this process, survey results can frequently mislead.

People often approach an issue initially with strong, emotionally laden feelings and opinions, which tend to be unstable and changeable. People may not understand an issue or problem particularly well. They may not have thought through the consequences of their opinions, and resist confronting realistic costs and trade-offs. The quality of public opinion at this stage is raw and unformed.

However, when people’s views progress… their ideas become solid and stable, and they accept the consequences of the views they hold. When public opinion is fully developed, opinion surveys reveal reliable and stable picture of people’s thinking, picture which accurately reflects their values, priorities, and beliefs…

In the article Are Public Opinion Polls Really Accurate? by ‘thisnation.com’ writes: How many times have you looked at the results of a public opinion poll and wondered if the results were accurate? Who did they talk to? Is it really possible to measure the entire nation’s opinion on something by asking less than one thousand people a question or two? Believe it or not, when conducted properly, public opinion polling is generally quite accurate.

Conducting good survey research, however, is no simple task. To be accurate, survey questions must ask a select group of people– what pollsters call a sample– which is representative of the larger population. The questions themselves must also be good indicators of the opinions or attitudes the pollster is trying to measure and the questions must also be asked consistently from one person to the next.

Public opinion polls must generally be read with caution. Moreover, even accurately measured public opinion is often based on limited or inaccurate information and people are prone to change their minds. Survey research, however, when conducted properly, provides an accurate portrait of the– attitudes, beliefs, opinions, preferences of people…

In the article Managing Public Opinion by Linda Fanaras writes: The psychology behind public relations makes it more valuable than advertising in developing brand identity and garnering brand loyalty. According to the Public Relations Society of America; public relations… is a communications discipline that engages and informs key audiences, builds important relationships and brings vital information back into an organization for analysis and action.

Truly, the primary function of public relations is the development of relationships with target audiences, which will have a positive affect on public opinion. This can only be achieved once preferences, needs, and desires of these audiences have been fully researched and understood.

This research serves as the foundation for both; messaging that resonates with audiences, and developing public relations strategies that deliver positive business results. A quality public relations strategy should include; market and target audience analysis, key messaging, tactics… 

Where the tactics are defined by the benefits to– brand visibility– tailored to the unique needs of the target audience. All tactics should be consistently measured and evaluated, so as to ensure connectivity with target audiences and improve outcomes.  The creation and execution of customized public relations strategy is an essential investment toward the achievement of long-term business performance goals… Public opinion is not the name of a ‘thing’ but a classification of ‘things’.

According to Phillips Davison; the principal approaches to the study of public opinion may be divided into four partially overlapping categories: quantitative measurement of opinion distributions; investigation of the internal relationships among the individual opinions that make up public opinion on an issue; description or analysis of the political role of public opinion; and study both of the communication media that disseminate ideas on which opinions are based and of the uses that propagandists and other manipulators make of these media.

The rapid spread of public-opinion measurement around the world is a reflection of its many uses. Governments have increasingly found surveys to be useful tools for guiding their public-information and propaganda programs and occasionally for helping in formulation of policies. Private businesses and associations have made frequent use of polling techniques.

Most of the surveys done for businesses come under the heading of market, rather than opinion research and are primarily concerned with product preferences, but large numbers of business are also concerned with public issues, such as; government regulation, economic outlook, community relationships… The art of public opinion rests not only on the measurement of people’s views, but also on understanding the motivations behind those views.

No matter how strongly they are held, attitudes are subject to change if the individual holding them learns of new facts or perspectives that challenge his or her earlier thinking. This is especially likely when people learn of a contrary position held by an individual whose judgment they respect. This course of influence, known as ‘opinion leadership’ is frequently utilized by publicists as a means of inducing people to reconsider– and quite possibly change– their views…

Public opinion polling can provide a fairly exact analysis of the distribution of opinions on almost any issue within a given population. Assuming that proper questions are asked, polling can reveal something about the intensity with which opinions are held, reasons for these opinions, and the probability that the issues have been discussed with others. Polling can, occasionally, reveal whether the people holding an opinion can be thought of as constituting a cohesive group.

However, survey findings do not provide much information about the opinion leaders who may have played an important part in developing the opinion. Polls are good tools for measuring ‘what’ or ‘how much’. Finding out ‘how’ or ‘why’, however, is the principal function of qualitative research… Well-run polls may constitute one of the most systematic and objective sources for public information, and means by which journalists, politicians, business leaders… learn what the general public is thinking…

Other things being equal, leaders who pay attention to public opinion will be better able to understand the groups they are trying to influence and better equipped to communicate overall. However, it’s possible for bias to enter into the polling process at any point, especially in cases where the entity commissioning the poll has a financial or political interest in the result or wishes to use the result to promote a specific agenda…

Also, opinion surveys can help the public by stimulating discussion of specific issues, problems… Apparently, the public itself has a lot of confidence in opinion sampling; when asked, in survey, if they think polls are good or bad? 73% said, they are good thing, while 21% admitted they didn’t know. The modern polls are designed to report– they do not usually pretend to solve problems. Whether the public is actually swayed by the results of opinion polls is hard to say.  

Businesses, public officials, media outlets… have increasingly come to depend on public opinion polls to gauge public sentiment. The selection of interviewees by the method of random probability sampling is essential for a good poll– i.e., every person in the population, theoretically, has an equal chance of being selected… But even with random probability sampling the best polls contain a margin of error, which means the results can vary by a defined probability depending on the size of the sample…

Opinion is an active propelling factor. The opinion of people is made up of different views or currents of sentiments… one writer says; when some opinions develop more strength than others (with larger numbers) or more intensity of conviction, then it begins to be called public opinion…

The Zeigarnik Effect: Drive to Finish and Need for Closure– Business, Marketing… Spielberg, Lucas, Rowling…

It wants to be finished… subconsciously remembering that the tasks was never finished… the desire of our minds to end uncertainty and resolve unfinished business… it’s ‘need for closure’– The Zeigarnik Effect.

The Zeigarnik Effect is about the human tendency to remember uncompleted tasks more than the tasks already completed. When people manage to start something they’re more inclined to finish it. What the Zeigarnik Effect teaches is that one weapon for beating procrastination is starting– something, sometime, somewhere… anything. Don’t start with the hard task, try something easy first. Once you’ve made a start, however trivial, there’s something drawing you on to complete the task.

The Zeigarnik Effect is named after the Russian psychologist, Bluma Zeigarnik (1926), who noticed an odd thing while sitting in a restaurant in Vienna. The waiters seemed only to remember orders which were in the process of being served, but little recollection of the completed orders.

Zeigarnik went back to her lab to test out a theory about what was going on with  waiter. More than fifty years after Bluma Zeigarnik  study, Kenneth McGraw and his team returned to conduct the same study. The conclusion in both studies was that once people start something, they are more inclined to finish it. There is, however, one exception to the Zeigarnik Effect; it won’t work unless you are actually motivated to complete the task or achieve the goal. The Zeigarnik Effect says our brains hold-on to unfinished tasks; in other words, we like to finish what we start.

Here is what Wiseman says about the research: Procrastinators frequently put off starting activities because they are overwhelmed by the task in front of them. However, if they can be persuaded, or can persuade themselves, to work on the activity for ‘just a few minutes,’ they often feel an urge to see it through to completion.

Research shows that the ‘just a few minutes’ rule is a highly effective way of beating procrastination and could help people finish the most arduous of tasks. It is also a perfect application of Zeigarnik’s work – those few minutes of initial activity create an anxious brain that refuses to rest until the job is finished.  

Zeigarnik ascribed their results to a ‘state of tension’, akin to a cliffhanger ending: Your mind wants to know what comes next. It wants to finish. Psychologist Arie Kruglanski calls this a ‘need for closure’, a desire of our minds to end the states of uncertainty and resolve unfinished business…

In the article What Can Zeigarnik Teach About Productivity? by TimoK writes: This  ground-breaking theory states: people tend to remember incomplete things better than things which are completed. You may recognize this effect in your everyday life. If there is a task or anything else that is not finished, it keeps popping up in your mind – until it’s done.

The issue with too many unfinished tasks is that your brain keeps processing them– whether you are aware of it or not. But as soon as the work is completed your brain capacity can be freed up for something else. The best way to handle this situation is to organize your working methods. In order to take advantage of the Zeigarnik Effect, do the following things:

  • Define your ‘why’: It all starts by defining your ‘why’: What is the ultimate goal you are trying to reach?
  • Apply the right strategies: Once you know your goal, then apply the right strategies.
  • Clean your task list: Evaluate each task: Is this task contributing to my goals? If the answer is no, then you know it’s time to let go of that task.
  • Know your optimum working times: Once you have the important tasks on your list      and you want to finish them, figure out your optimum working times.
  • Do it at once – with breaks: Once you get to work, try to get as much done at once as possible– with some proper breaks (use walk away time).
  • Pick the right environment:  Find the optimum place for work, so that distractions (phone, e-mail…) are minimal.

In the article The Zeigarnik Effect by psyblog.com writes:  One of the oldest tricks in the  television business for keeping viewers tuned-in and returning, to a serial program, week-after-week is the– cliffhanger. Then, there are those fateful words: ‘to be continued…’ So, you must tune in next week for the resolution, because the mystery is ticking away in the back of your mind.

The great English novelist Charles Dickens used exactly the same technique. Many of his works, like ‘Oliver Twist’, although later published as complete novels, were originally serialized. His cliffhangers created such anticipation in people’s minds that they would anxiously wait for the next installment…  What these examples have in common is that when people manage to start something they’re more inclined to finish it.

Although the technique is simple, we often forget it because we get so wrapped up in thinking about the most difficult parts of our tasks. Although, Zeigarnik Effect has an important exception; it doesn’t work, when we’re not particularly motivated to achieve the goal, or don’t expect to do well.

This exception is true of goals in general: when they’re unattractive or impossible we don’t bother with them. But when we value the goal and think that there are possible, then taking the first step is the difference between success and failure.

In the article Zeigarnik Effect explains…Why by Mindhacks writes: Bluma Zeigarnik was a student of one of the proponents of so-called Gestalt Psychology, Kurt Lewin, and this school of psychological thought that first brought up the issues of foreground/ background awareness and perceptual processing. But, how does this all relate to business and questions of unfinished marketing headlines, email subject line, stories, videos, books, blogs…?

You may have heard a professional public speaker use a technique called ‘opening up a metaphor’, which simply means the speaker usually begins their presentation with an introductory and engaging story. Then, cuts-off (unfinished) at 80-90% story completion, ideally (the cut-off is done) at point of maximum suspense. Why? It keeps the audience’s minds open and alert, carefully listening for when the speaker will finish that last missing bit of information on ‘how the story ends’.

In the process, the audience is more attentive to the speaker’s presentation, which is exactly speaker’s intention and purpose of the ploy. However, downside of this technique is that the audience might have a strong response to the ploy (unfinished story) and they may actually begin clamoring to hear the end of the story; in fact, yelling: Hey, you didn’t finish the story! It turns out the strength of response or Zeigarnik Effect is strongly correlated to Myers-Briggs personality dimension– Judger/ Perceiver: 

More you tend toward the Judger end of the spectrum, the higher is perceived  ‘need for closure’ for having the story finished. Conversely, if you tend toward Perceiver end, you may notice that something was left unfinished, but you may not really care that much; there is no real ‘need for closure’. Luckily for public speakers, most people fall somewhere in between two extremes. Now… applying the Zeigarnik Effect to this piece, the writer says; well folks… ‘to be continued’… Some marketing gurus call this Zeigarnik Effect the ‘most hypnotic’ marketing technique ever.

The Zeigarnik Effect is applied in many very interesting ways, in the world, all around us. Television serials use this all the time, the unresolved ending that makes you want to come back every week for more… The human mind is motivated towards and likes closure and because people tend to remember unfinished or unresolved things much more than things that have been completed.

According to Issamar Ginzberg: One of the most powerful things that writers and many other types of businesses can do to increase sales is simply to add the words ‘volume one’ to the book or product – because humans, by nature, love to collect things, and when you have ‘volume one’ of a series and then you want ‘volume two’; the hoarders and collector mentality wakes up and wants you to have the complete set. This is also why newspaper articles often finish on another page – to get you to find the ending; and by looking for the ending, you page through the paper, coincidentally, looking at other stories and ads.

That’s why in many publications there is a little black box or logo at the end of each article. This lets your brain know it’s done with this information and can move on. We don’t like things just hanging around; we want things to be brought to completion. Once things are completed, we can safely forget about them…

Author and psychologist Buffington described the Zeigarnik Effect by stating that people tend to remember negative experiences and feelings longer than positive ones. Moreover, people also feel a greater level of impact from negative messages than positive ones. These results suggest that tasks tend to be forgotten or not remembered because the motivation to perform them is fully satisfied.

Thus, there appears to be little motivation to recall tasks that are finished, while there’s a strong investment of interest in unfinished tasks that continually refresh the memory. Creating closure and completion can become a major avenue for significantly lowering your stress levels and accomplishing more…

However, you can outsmart your brain and save yourself a lot of trouble just by remembering these two principles: 1. Start a task and you are more likely to finish it. 2. Once you finished a task, you are more likely to lose interested in it.

Social Media is Changing Balance of Power in Advertising: Publications–Dying? Social Media–Rising? It’s All About Community… Connections…

Social media is an ideal tool for moving people up the ‘fan’ ladder, from being a casual ‘fan’ of a brand to a loyalist, because the communication channels allow people to build stronger emotional connections with brands.

Social media advertising is the trend… and the future of advertising is social, which is very exciting. With the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, social media advertising surely has taken a new turn in the recent years. Studies show that every person (on average) has a network of around 6 to 14 people, and they share ‘ads’ with their community.

Social networks are ‘social’ and therefore respect and empathy are the minimum price necessary to earn attention… Without a genuine intent to offer value, trust is elusive.  It’s the difference between shouting ‘at’ people and speaking ‘with’ someone. Before you’re a marketer or advertiser, you’re a consumer. Bring that perspective to the marketing table is the difference between social network advertising and traditional online campaigns.

According to G. Melanson; Social media advertising is very targeted and based on information supplied by members of a social media service. While social media advertising has been hailed by some as a revolution in direct marketing, it has also brought about many privacy concerns.

The first step in social media advertising is acquiring members by encouraging people to sign up for a particular social medium, such as a social networking site. The more information the member provides, the easier they are slotted into a specific demographic for data aggregation, and subsequently targeted social media advertising.

Social Media Statistics: ‘By-the-Numbers’ by Banking.com Staff writes: Interesting statistics on social media usage:

  • $400,000,000 in ad revenue is projected for Twitter by 2013, up from $139.5 million in 2011 (eMarketer)
  • 7,432,307 job changes have been tracked by LinkedIn since 2009 (LinkedIn)
  • 68% of social media users go to social networking sites to read product reviews (Nielsen)
  • 59% of B2B purchase decision makers use a smart-phone to research potential purchases (eMarketer)
  • 58% of social media users go to social networking sites to learn about or research products (Nielsen)
  • 1,600 advertisers are now using the Twitter platform for advertising (Twitter)
  • 53% of active adult social networkers follow a brand, while 32% follow a celebrity (Nielsen)
  • 40% of social media users access social media content from their mobile phones (Nielsen)
  • $1.23 billion will be spent by US advertisers on mobile advertising this year, up from $743 million in 2010 (eMarketer)

In the article “Social Media Advertising: Does It Work… or Doesn’t It?” by Paul Chaney writes:  The term ‘social media advertising’ is, to some, an oxymoron. They will tell you it doesn’t work for the simple reason that people don’t visit social networks to view advertising, but to interact with their community. It’s a mindset issue. You may be familiar with the recent report by ‘Knowledge Networks’, which found that less than 5% of social media users say they regularly turn to social media for guidance on purchase decisions, and only 16% say they are more likely to buy from companies that advertise on social sites.

However, for every person who says it doesn’t work, there is one who attests that it does. Yet, there is empirical evidence that it is working for some. So, does social media advertising work or doesn’t it? Yes, “if you know how to use it”. According to Dana Larson: Successful social commerce marketing is about soliciting structured feedback relevant to shopping and buying, and making this feedback available to customers making these purchase decisions. It does works when the right factors are in place, and here are four key elements:

  • Understand your targeted social media channel.
  • Target the correct users with your message.
  • Ensure the advertisements are supplementing the content on the social site.
  • Have a social networking presence.

In the article Measuring The Value Of Social Media Advertising” by Robin Wauters writes:  Nielsen and Facebook recently joined forces to develop ‘ad’ effectiveness solutions to determine consumer attitudes, brand perception and purchase intent from social media advertising. According to Nielsen, the report leverages six months of research consisting of surveys of more than 800,000 Facebook users and more than 125 individual Facebook ad campaigns from some 70 brand advertisers.

Nielsen looks at advertising from a ‘paid’ and ‘earned’ media perspective, whereby the second is considered advertising that is passed along to or shared among friends. The company took a look at 14 Facebook ad campaigns that incorporated the ‘Become A Fan’ engagement unit and sliced the effectiveness results three different ways, by each of the types of ‘ads’ available on Facebook:

  • ‘Lift’ from a standard ‘Homepage Ad’.
  • ‘Lift’ from an ad that featured social context or ‘Homepage ads with Social Context’.
  • ‘Lift’ from ‘Organic Ads’, news-feed stories that are sent to friends of users who engage with advertising on a brand.

Nielsen found that the first type of ‘ads’, on average, generated a 10% increase in ad recall, a 4% increase in brand awareness, and a 2% increase in purchase intent among users who saw them compared with a control group with similar demographics or characteristics who didn’t.

According to Nielsen, that increase in advertising recall jumped to 16% when ads included mentions of friends who were ‘fans’, and 30% when the ‘ads’ coincided with a similar mention in users’ newsfeeds. Intent for purchase climbed 2% higher among viewers of ‘homepage ads’ vs. ‘non-viewers’, but went up 8% either from ‘social ads’ or when ‘ads’ appeared alongside organic mentions of the brand in the news-feed.

Brand awareness went up 2% from just a ‘homepage ad’, 8% with a ‘social ad’, and 13% when a ‘homepage ad’ appeared along with a mention of friends who were ‘brand fans’ in the users’ newsfeeds.

In the article “Getting Started Social Media Advertising on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn” by Lee Odden writes:  For marketers just getting started with advertising on social media sites, here’s a quick primer on ‘ads’ for Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.  As with organic social media marketing, each is appropriate according to your own goals…

 Facebook: Best practices ads:

  • Set goals.
  • Target your audience.
  • Make the product/service stand out.
  • Keep the ad simple.
  • Have a strong call to action.
  • Make sure ads point to relevant landing pages.

YouTube: Best Practices ads:

  • Keep it short; 60 seconds is a good benchmark.
  • Keep it engaging; Entertain, inform and be relevant.
  • Inspire, don’t just educate; Avoid focusing solely on being educational.
  • Deliver key messages early; Plan for user tune-out near the end of the video.
  • Include a call to action.

LinkedIn: Best Practices ads:

  • Create relevant ads.
  • Create multiple ads for each campaign.
  • Target the right audience.
  • Set an appropriate daily budget.
  • Understand how bidding works.
  • Improve performance; monitor click-through-rates,  experiment, then refine.

Twitter & LinkedIn: Continue to see strong advertisement growth, with Twitter’s revenue expected to nearly double between 2012 and 2014, according to a report by eMarketer. Twitter gets 90% of its revenue from U.S. advertisers, while LinkedIn depends more on foreign advertisers, with just 68% of its 2012 ad revenue expected to come from U.S. advertisers. eMarketer is projecting 83% revenue growth for Twitter this year, down from 233% growth in 2011, and 46.1% revenue growth for LinkedIn, down from 95% growth in 2011.

In the article “A Look At Trends in Social Advertising” by Lauren Fisher writes: We’re starting to see some really exciting and mind-blowing things being done through social advertising. I’m a huge advocate of companies combining their advertising and social media efforts, because it just makes good marketing sense.

A recent report by eMarketer looks at the renewed interest in social advertising – it comes in cycles – and finds that in the U.S. 6.7% of all online ads spending will go towards ‘social’. While the interest in social media has really been growing among companies for the past 2-3 years, the budgets have been slow to follow. This report is encouraging and shows the serious investments are being made. In another report by BIA/Kelsey; social media advertising revenue will go up to $8.3 billion by 2015, while revenue spent on social media advertising was $2.1 billion, in 2010…

The rise in social advertising, also has huge implications for companies that invest in social platforms and build their entire products around it – with the likes of gaming platform Zynga being a good example. Their ‘ads’ campaign with Microsoft certainly proved the case for innovative online advertising. It’s not about sticking in Google ‘ads’ anymore, or even leaving sections of your site open to sponsorship. Companies have to work harder to get in front of their customers, as they battle for a complete turnaround in user behavior: The future of advertising is social and the opportunities are huge…

The way corporate entities approach social media is shifting. According to Amy Jo Martin: The social media landscape will continue to evolve, as should your strategies for success… Many companies are beginning to realize that setting up Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook accounts as their only social media strategy is not going to cut it . Brands will need to seriously shift their perspective by treating social channels more like communication channels and less like an advertising channels in order to make a difference.

The year 2012 will be the year for brands to go beyond cookie cutter campaigns and really determine how it not only adds value to their company, but how it adds value for their customers. This year will be crucial for companies and social media. According to Gartner, more users will turn to their mobile devices for online purposes… It’s already happening more consumers are using their smart-phones, than laptops and desktops.

With the launch of Facebook’s ‘Ticker’, Twitter’s ‘Promoted Tweets’, and Google’s ‘YouTube’ for ‘ads’ in 2012, they will show how social platforms can capitalize on their biggest asset, which is user data. Social media advertising has gained momentum and with almost a quarter of the planet hooked-on social networking, you are bound to be noticed. According to Donny Gamble; advances in niche targeting and segmentation will increase the potency of social advertising to an excess of $10 Billion by 2013”.  Social media advertising compliments ‘brand’ and ‘brand’ sells, but only if it manages to meet the consumer’s expectation. There’s no doubt that social media advertising works, but caution is essential…

Know your market, get a strong understanding of the online social behavior of your potential customers, and communicate compelling and relevant information… don’t just rely on one network, but rather use a whole range of channels together and make sure that you are covering all the bases…

As more marketers incorporate social networks in their business, they will no longer look at them as silo destinations. Instead, they will look to increase the impact of their social network presence by linking it to other marketing initiatives, both online and offline ~Debra Aho Williamson