Event Recap: Ad Age Digital Conference 2015, Day One

Top industry reporters and some of the biggest brand, technology, and media leaders—including the IPG Media Lab!— gathered for the annual Ad Age Digital Conference to discuss what the “post-digital” world means for advertisers. Some of the key takeaways from Day One included:

Time As The New Metric
According to an AdAge survey, over 80% of the industry is concerned about viewability, which was addressed head-on during the very first two panels. Rather than worry about pixel counting or frequency of exposure, time spent in front of an ad is emerging as the crucial metric. While CPMs have an unlimited inventory, there are only so many hours in a day, which limits inventory. This allows prices to rise, which is particularly exciting to quality-based publishers who have higher levels of engagement. As Lisa Valentino from Conde Nast pointed out, “The more value you can show, the more it should impact your pricing.”

Leverage Fan Engagement Into Story-Making
Authentic marketing requires a “relentless customer-centricity”, as Tressie Lieberman from Taco Bell called it. Tapping into the creativity of their fanbases, leading brands are shifting away from traditional storytelling models to a “story-making” approach, where they actively co-create engaging brand communications.

Brands Sneaking Into The Private Messaging Space
As Ben Huh, CEO of The Cheezburger Network, noted, brands have mostly been locked out of most chat apps—an ecosystem that today’s Millennials spent most of their time in. But with more and more messaging apps expanding into media platforms, brands now have a chance to enter that coveted space without being intrusive, as long as they adopt a “friend and explorer” mentality. In order to do so, Tami Bhaumik from Lyve recommended brands to serve content at the right time by taking the customer’s stage in the sales funnel into consideration.

4 P’s, 4 C’s
Customers have more choices than ever in terms of brands, content, and access: it’s estimated that by 2020, people will use 10 connected devices. As a result, the traditional 4 P’s of marketing—product, price, place, and promotion—have been replaced with a modified framework, the 4 C’s: choice, convenience, cross-device, and creative sequencing. 

Check back tomorrow for continuing coverage from the Ad Age Digital Conference.


It’s A Match: Tinder Integrates with Instagram

Read original story on TechCrunch

Tinder’s latest update allows users to uncover more information about their potential matches by showing all Facebook interests rather than just common ones, shared connections, and most importantly, it deep-links Instagram. The Instagram integration is most significant as users already include their Instagram usernames on their profiles to provide an additional window into their lives. As reported in TechCrunch, cofounder and President, Sean Rad, noted “If we can provide our users with more relevant information for each connection, we can take them halfway  there in terms of getting the conversation going”. The app has continuous plans to suggest ideal matches and take conversation starting to the next level.

Why Dark Social Matters To Brands

Read the original story on: MediaPost

Dark social refers to sharing activity that falls outside traditional ad measurement and analytics—mostly, the content shares that happened on texting, e-mails, and most recently, via various messaging apps. According to a recent Radium One study, 59% of all online sharing is done via dark social channels.

To get a more complete picture of their audience, therefore, it is important that brands consider what integration options are available from social communication providers themselves. Making use of the data and analytics available without compromising users’ privacy and security, and aligning insights with existing analytics, is a good way to conquer the oft-neglected “dark side”.

Best Of The Lab 2014: Gen Z And Emerging Media Channels

Welcome to the Lab’s year-end review, looking back at our most popular posts from 2014.

One of our key trends this year was Gen Z’s fluid media habits, as they relentlessly pursue new platforms that suit their needs, most notably with messaging apps. Read our interview with the insightful Melissa Lavigne-Delville from our Gen Z feature week to reflect on the fickle generation. Then head over to our hit white paper to reacquaint yourself with the ins and outs of the fast-growing messaging apps.

Gen Z Week: A Conversation With Melissa Lavigne-Delville

Messaging Apps: The New Face of Social Media and What It Means For Brands


What The Spread Of Private Social Network Signifies

Nextdoor, a private social network platform for local communities, has reportedly infiltrated over a quarter of neighborhoods across the nation. Functioning less like an exclusive Facebook, and more like a community-based web forum with real names and verified addresses, Nextdoor excels in its capability in forging a neighborly bond that is usually lost nowadays.

The rapid growth of Nextdoor corresponds nicely to that of the messaging apps, as both substitute the one-to-many communication model that most social media perpetrate with a one-to-one, sometimes one-to-few approach of connecting with friends and neighbors. The spread of Nextdoor signifies the rising demand for a more intimate mode of communication and social connectivity.

Why LINE Keeps Reminding Users Of Its Stickers

As covered in our previous white paper on messaging apps, Japan’s messaging app LINE is best known for its vast catalogue of stickers, which are basically advanced emoji with ample branding opportunities. And given that LINE is making roughly $18 million a quarter on selling in-app sticker packs, it makes sense that a new “autocorrect-esque” feature of real-time sticker suggestion has been added in the app’s latest Android update. The feature currently limits its suggestion to the stickers that users already own, but it’s not difficult to imagine LINE using this interface to upsell more stickers in the near future.

Messaging Apps Coming to Smartwatches

The vastly popular messaging app Whatsapp just released a beta update that offers support for Android Wear, extending its functionality beyond just receiving notifications on the smartwatch OS. New features introduced include stacked notification, complete preview of received messages and, most importantly, the ability to send and reply messages via voice-to-text dictation. By releasing this update, the Facebook-owned company becomes a pioneer in exploring messaging apps on wearable platforms, and more messaging apps can be expected to follow suit.

Snapchat Reportedly In Talks With Alibaba, Valued At $10 Billion

Is a messaging app that let users send evaporating photos and videos really worth 10 billion dollars? This is the question that got the industry wondering when news broke earlier today that Snapchat is currently in funding talks with an array of investors, notably including China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba. And this round of financing has reportedly placed an enormous $10 billion value on the company. Whether the evaluation is justified or not, this funding round would to an interesting one to follow, especially with Tencent, Alibaba’s No.1 competitor in China, being a covet investor in Snapchat.

Instagram Testing Its Snapchat-like App Bolt In 3 Intenrational Markets

No longer satisfied with merely being a photo-sharing social network with pretty filters, Instagram is moving in on the ephemeral messaging territory currently dominated by Snapchat. Selecting Singapore, New Zealand and South Africa as the three initial test markets, Instagram is looking to work out the kinks before pushing for a domestic launch in the States.

For now, Bolt seems to lack a unique feature that would set it apart from the myriad of other “speed-first” messaging apps currently on the market. Even Facebook, who owns Instagram, already have a similar messaging app Slingshot, whose fate now looks troubling with Bolt entering the picture. Still, given that messaging apps are the new leading force of social platforms, it makes sense for Instagram to at least take a bolted shot at this for Facebook.

Insta Bolt

WeChat Opens Up Advertising Platform To Brands

Just over a week after introducing the Ephemeral Messaging feature, WeChat, China’s top messaging app, launched an open beta of its advertising platform on Monday for official brand accounts with over 100k followers to reach users via its self-serve advertising platform. These ads, however, do not show up in personal messages, instead only show up if users click through to read full-page posts from the official accounts that users subscribe to. Even then, the ads only appear at the bottom of the page.

This is just the newest effort from WeChat to create a “sticky” e-platform to monetize on its 400 million active users, aiming to encourage purchasing behaviors without its users leave the app. As WeChat continues to expand its ambition in e-commerce, we expect to see more functions and features fleshed out in all messaging apps in the near future.