Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Holidays from Kearley!

A Christmas tree inside a home.Image via Wikipedia

This time of year is busy for everyone, but it is important not to forget that the holidays are also a time to give back. Between decorating the tree, wrapping gifts, and spending time with family, the Christmas season is also about remembering the less fortunate.

At Kearley, we do our best to use our talents to give what we can back to the community through non-profit work. One of the organizations we have supported this year is Dallas Challenge. Dallas Challenge provides resources and support for at-risk youth in the Dallas Area to "stay in school, off of drugs, and out of the criminal justice system." They provide after school programs, counseling and more to keep kids out of trouble and give them the foundation for a happy, successful life.

In the spirit of the season, I'd like to invite you to help us support this wonderful cause. Dallas Challenge is selling Christmas Cards featuring original artwork to help raise money for their life-changing programs. Click here to find out how to place your order today!

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Monday, October 31, 2011

What is Crowdsourcing?

More and more I'm hearing people in the marketing world throw around the term "crowdsourcing." But what is it? Here is a great video featuring Jeff Howe (the man credited with coining the term "crowdsourcing") that can make it easier to grasp.

Wondering how you could put crowdsourcing to work for you? Ask us!
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Building Trust through Social Media: Crisis Management via Tweet

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

I ran across this article on Bloomberg about how Comcast communicates with disgruntled customers over Twitter. There is a lot of literature on the web about crisis management over social media, and Comcast follows the general rules that most of it swears by. But the really great thing about this article was that it followed around Frank, "Comcast's Twitter Man," as he interacted with customers. Essentially, we got to see him in action. Here is how Frank goes about his day:

1. Searches Comcast on Twitter many times daily
2. Reads all related Tweets that turn up
3. Responds directly to the customers tweeting about Comcast

Seems really simple, right? And though Comcast is a large company, similar strategies for handling crises directly and publicly over social media can work for smaller companies and credit unions as well. Some tips that I picked up from the way Frank communicated with customers:
  • Respond quickly.
  • Ask questions to be sure you understand the problem, and that your customer feels that you are listening.
  • Be friendly, and help as best you can. If further communication is needed, DM the customer and ask for their phone number or email address.
  • No matter what the complaint is, even if it doesn't seem legitimate, respond with the same level of care.
  • Use punctuation carefully. Don't be afraid of smiley faces and exclamation points, but use them only when appropriate.
Do you have any experiences with handling crises over Twitter, or social media in general?

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Social Media - A look at the numbers

By now you've probably heard it said that social media is here to stay, and it will forever change the way you market your business. But just how much reach does a social media campaign have? We came across this post last week on MASHABLE that does a great job of breaking it down.

  • 52 percent of Facebook users use the site daily
  • 92 percent of social network users are on Facebook
  • There are 10,000 YouTube brand partners
  • There are 500,000 merchants on Foursquare alone (not including other location based social networking utilities)

And you should also take into account how effective social media can be, for such little cost. Remember that Old Spice "Man your man could smell like" campaign? In one month:

  • The number of Facebook fans increased 60 percent
  • YouTube subscribers doubled to 150,000
  • Twitter followers increased by 2700%

To see the infographic and the complete article on MASHABLE by Todd Wasserman, click here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Social Media 101

Every day it seems people are asking about social media, from Facebook to Twitter to blog platforms and more. Some industries seem to be late adopters of this new media and are skeptical of whether it works – and whether the resources needed to pull it off are worth the pay-out.

At Kearley, our stance is YES it works. It's affordable, and easy, but you have to put the time and effort into it to get the pay-out you desire. But why does it work? Take a look at this video that I posted on the blog last summer.

Social media works because it closes that new gap between organizations and their target consumers. So what is your organization doing in the social media arena?

Monday, July 11, 2011

A glimpse into the future of retail merchandising

Nothing leaves an impression on your customers quite like face-to-face interaction, but keeping your branding consistent through your storefront is also very important. Now, with advances in technology, the ways you can interact with your customers when they visit your store or branch are expanding as well.

Have a look at what this bank in Madrid has done to give their customers a unique experience via interactive retail designs.

Could applications seen in interactive Museum exhibits have wider applications in retail environment?

What do you think? Could your local bank or retail store move to incorporate some of these applications?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cyborg Anthropology

Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now | Video on

That was my first reaction. But as I listened to Amber Case talk about her fascination with human connectivity--I started to make some connections of my own.

At any one time we have access to any of the number of people in our cell phone--we can stand on one side of the world, whisper something, and it can be heard on the other, she says. This ability doesn't just make the world a 'smaller' place, but it also makes us more human.

"We are co-creating each other all the time," says Case.

Does this apply to businesses as well? Absolutely it does. With the advancement of social media, businesses are being co-created by their clientele. In fact businesses start to take on their own 'second self.' An online presence becomes an interface that consumers interact with. Brands become more human, developing personalities.

And as a result, cohesive branding is now more important than ever. A business, when interacting with customers, needs to have a consistent personality that grows with its client base--not ahead of it. Social media allows businesses to create functioning relationships with consumers, but in order to prosper they need to build trust.

How does an entity, like a business, build a trust-based relationship with consumers?
This will be the focus of my next few entries. For now enjoy this video, and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is email marketing dying?

Tying into my theme of social media, is the string of media channels that have to adapt as social media develops.

Does your business make use of e-newsletters, or mass email promotions? More than likely would be my best guess. It feels like nearly every time I visit a website, store or restaurant, I'm asked to sign up to join their 'super-savers' or 'VIP' club--and somewhere on their form they ask for my email address.

I used to think seriously before giving my email address, but it limited so much of what I could do online or prohibited me from having access to great discounts, so I usually caved. But I, and many of my friends, have out-smarted these email marketers. I give them the address to a dummy email account that I created. It is a real email address, but I only check it every few months (if at all) to clean it out. I maybe read 5 out of every 100 emails that I receive on that account. I loathe sorting through them; it's all junk and while the coupons might have been valuable, they weren't as valuable as the time it would have taken to sort through them and print them off.

So I have to ask--if say 1 in every 4 consumers gave a dummy email address like I do, how effective is email marketing really? Is it a waste of money?

A blog I ran across by a man named Scott Kraus predicted the death of email marketing--well not exactly. Rather, he predicted the death of email marketing as we know it.

I tend to agree. As social media becomes more social, and more interactive, one-way mass email communications from a brand to its consumer become less relevant. In fact, as fast as people are subscribing to email lists, they are unsubscribing--citing reasons like being emailed too frequently, receiving too many un-relevant emails, or receiving too many repetitive or boring emails.

The answer it seems is not to send more emails, but to send targeted, relevant emails to a more specific niche of comsumers.

Check out the blog here for more information.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

5 Things to know about Twitter before you Tweet

When you join twitter, it can feel like you have to learn a whole new language. Here is a list I've compiled of what I think are the top 5 most useful Twitter terms and features to give you a jump-start on your tweeting education.

1. Hashtag You have probably read tweets where people have jumbled words together preceded by the pound sign (#). For example: #britneyspears, #advertising, #deathlyhallows (for all you Harry Potter fans like me). These words are similar to blog keywords; they link your tweet to related tweets with the same hashtag. It is a great way for other users to find your tweets, and a great way for you find out what the 'buzz' is on a topic of your interest if you search or click on a hashtag.

2. Retweet Twitter is all about sharing information. A retweet is a republication of the tweet of another user, and is usually preceded by RT@(username of original tweet) if you add something to the tweet (like a response). Or, you can just click 'retweet,' and Twitter will take care of attribution and tweet it to your followers for you.

3. #followfriday (#ff) Any post preceded or followed by this hashtag will list usernames that other twitter users are suggesting their followers follow. It's polite, and a great way to find and build relationships with potential followers.

4. Trending Trending means that a tweet with a certain hashtag has become 'hot,' or is being tweeted about often at the current moment. Looking at what is trending can help you keep up with the buzz and join the conversation on topics relevant to your twitter account.

5. Lists If someone 'listed' you, that means that they have added you to a list of followers that they have grouped together. It works similar to a blogroll in that it is a great way to recommend and find other users, but it has one other advantage. You can create multiple lists, and put the usernames you follow in organized groups, so that when you click on one of your lists, you can view all of the most current tweets from just those users. It keeps you from having to sort your way through the hundreds of tweets you might be following to get to the information you want.

Hope you find this helpful!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Social media is taking over

Most of my blogs have been focusing on social media lately because it is the newest and fastest growing segment of our industry. And yet, so many users are slow to realize just how useful it can be. And it's hard to keep up, especially since it is evolving almost daily. For instance, less than a month ago on January 25, Facebook launched 'sponsored stories' which gives more visibility of friends' interactions with brands to Facebook users, replacing ads containing traditional promotional copy-it could become a game-changer for online advertising. (find out more here.)

And if you still don't believe me when I say social media is taking over, check out this video I found. It lists some pretty incredible statistics about the worldwide use of social media. Keep in mind, this was created about 8 months ago--numbers have most likely grown exponentially since then. Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The QR Code

What are they?

You may have seen these around somewhere. They’re basically just a pixilated barcode that you can scan with your smart phone, webcam, or actual barcode scanner (should you have one) and lead you to some sort of new media destination. For instance, if you saw a poster for a new film that looks really interesting and there is a QR code in the corner you could scan the code with your phone and it could lead you to that film’s official webpage or even a trailer for it.


Why they’re important for advertisers…

What’s fascinating about these is how many different levels of functionality they provide to those who use them. For advertisers, it provides (among many other things) the ability to track responses to an ad which allows for an easier return on investment.


For consumers it provides a simpler way with which to access something that interests them, it’s as simple as holding up your phone and taking a picture.

…And even corporations

Some companies are even using the barcodes to go paperless thus making them more efficient. For example, ticket providers can allow a concert ticket barcode to be downloaded to a phone, which can then be scanned at the event.

The future of QR codes

Though they originated in Japan, and they've been around for a number of years, they’re still relatively new in the United States. The way in which people use them is evolving, and it’s exciting that we’ll be able to see how people start using these to brand, advertise, and share with consumers.

Have you used a QR code in some way? Share your story with us!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Evan Williams on listening to Twitter users | Video on

Evan Williams on listening to Twitter users | Video on

Thought this was neat. If you have eight minutes, take some time to watch this. Twitter co-founder Evan Williams talks about how Twitter came to be, and how listening to users and allowing interaction between them helped shape his product.

My favorite part--learning how the social media guru uses his creation to listen to feedback and change the product. In such a well-connected society, it isn't hard to understand why this is such a successful business model.  You can use Twitter to do the same, as the gentleman at the end demonstrates, it is quite possibly the world's most useful tool to find immediate feedback on current events and happenings.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Unofficially Official Kearley Superbowl Ad Awards

Here in the office, we talked a little about the Superbowl ads. The ones we liked, and maybe the ones we didn't. After this informal poll, I put together a list of highly coveted Kearley Ad Awards. Enjoy!

Most Memorable--Volkswagon 'Darth Vader'
This cute 30-second spot made quite an impression on most Superbowl viewers. For any Star Wars fan, or anyone who knows imaginative kids (or is still one at heart), it earned a laugh and also highlighted the 2012 VW Passat's pushbutton start feature. The commercial itself has already gotten over 25 million views on Youtube less than a week after its debut. Watch it again here.

Biggest Laugh--Bridgestone 'Reply all'
This not as talked about ad came to mind for me and at least one other person in the office as the funniest commercial to debut on Superbowl Sunday. The main personality's dramatic overreaction to an office blunder draws a somewhat strange connection to the durability of Bridgestone tires, but all the same got a good chuckle from me even after watching it here for the third time.

Most 'New GoDaddy Girl'
I wasn't so sure about this ad myself, but after seeing the reaction of people around me at the game I had to agree with Elisa that this ad deserved a nod. So for most shocking, I nominate GoDaddy's racy commercial with an unexpected spokesperson for their .co domains. If you don't yet know who it is, you can find that out for yourself here.

Most 'Warm and Fuzzy'--NFL 'Best Fans Ever'
Where I watched the Superbowl, when this ad came on the room went quiet. People exchanged smiles and laughed at some of their favorite TV moments. This spot reminds us how the Superbowl permeates American culture--and brings generations together as we remember our favorite TV personalities from the Brady Bunch to Southpark. Remember the good times here if you haven't gotten a chance to enjoy it.

Least likely to succeed--Skechers 'Break Up' featuring Kim Kardashian
It's hard to deny that Ms. Kardashian has become a cultural icon, whose endorsement could be quite valuable. But with all the hype this commercial had leading up to the big day (reportedly having been cut down because of moments 'too hot for family TV'), it didn't quite live up to it. It was sexy, but it wasn't much of anything else--likely appealing to a limited audience of dedicated Kardashian fans. You can watch this ad here.

Which ads were your favorites?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Social Media and Gender

As the media landscape changes, so does the way we approach age and gender groups in our media planning. People no longer fit into neat categories by age and gender (not that they ever really did!), so we must approach our goals and strategy differently as a result.

This recent post on further discusses the implications of these changes.

Johanna Blakley is the Deputy Director of the Norman Lear Center (a media-focused think tank at the University of Southern California). She studies the impact of mass media and entertainment on our world.