Shawn Nesaw

Baltimore Advertising Week gives us an excuse to talk about one of our favorite things in this town – advertising. After 15 years of working with small to mid-size businesses, government clients and non-profits struggling to get their message out, it’s refreshing to discuss new and innovative approaches with our peers downtown and experts from across the country alike.
Sure, the art of marketing still relies on the basics of research and strategy and budgets can still be a big piece of the puzzle. But with the rate of emerging technology coupled with the rate of adoption, the options and opportunities for engaging with your audience are simply exciting.
Now we can target our audience wherever they go, right through their own mobile devices. Marcus Startzel of Millennial Media provided some insight on “How to Succeed in Mobile.” A few take-aways we found interesting:

  • Mobile advertising hones in on demo, geography and immediacy, even day-parting ads
  • Mobile traffic patterns – low between 3-4 a.m., increasing through 11 p.m. and highest on weekends. PC traffic dies at 5p.m., Monday- Friday.
  • Digital/mobile advertising holds 8.1% share of voice against other mediums
  • Who’s spending in mobile? Retail, restaurants, finance, directories
  • How are mobile advertisers targeting? Broad reach, local market, demo, pay scale
  • Types of mobile advertising – text, direct response, click to call, point-of-sale
  • Geo-targeting focuses on physical location of cell phones, not registered location of user
  • 59% of mobile ads go to touch screen phones, allowing more creativity of ad
  • Ever notice an ad appearing after you searched on the same topic? That’s not coincidence; it’s geo-targeting
  • eReaders are ripe for advertising, however there needs to be enough in the market for advertisers & developers to invest
  • Smaller businesses who may not have the client list or funds to support a large mobile marketing campaign are encouraged to stay on top of other mobile trends such as utilizing QR codes.

Even as organizations continue to take the leap into social media, there are legal considerations – not necessarily from transparent communications, but based on ethical communications. A discussion led by Jim Astrachan, Principal of Astrachan, Gunst Thomas, P.C., explained the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules and guidelines concerning social media and those favorable reviews an organization craves:

  • Social media marketing accounts for a $4 billion market in 2011
  • Abuse/deception under the FTC rules includes paying employees of a company to post favorable reviews and comments about that companies products; employees hyping a companies products; and paying employees to pose as street teams to enhance a product. All of these practices are not illegal if you disclose the people work for the company—but this discredits the value of the endorsements.
  • Advertisers are now obligated to monitor and police the endorsers.
  • Even if employees are truly satisfied about a company product, they cannot post and praise the products if they do not disclose their relationship because they have a financial interest.
  • If an employee lists their employer on their Facebook or Twitter page, that is sufficient disclosure.
  • Companies can encourage others to tweet about their products, but cannot reward them later, i.e. ‘Show us proof of your tweet and receive a discount on your next visit/purchase.’
  • Facebook vs. MaxBounty – a case involving alleged misleading advertising on Facebook by MaxBounty. The company is said to help create fake Facebook campaigns, providing advance payments if its clients agree to participate. MaxBounty also tells the company’s Facebook approves these campaigns. A result is yet to be determined.
  • All in all, the answers aren’t always clear—be conscious of your social media interaction and use.