Online Ad Fraudsters Are Stealing $6 Billion From Brands #smm #marketing

The online ad fraud issue is far worse than you think. It involves organized crime, Russian millionaires, ex-bank robbers and one-sixth of the computers in the U.S. Oh, and forget those estimates of a few million at stake. Rather $6 billion is being stolen from advertisers—$6 billion.

Those are just some of the explosive charges being leveled by White Ops, a Web security firm born of experts from the bank fraud and Internet securities industry—i.e., the best of the best hacker fighters in the country.

The company, founded originally to fight malware and bank fraud, claims that billions are being stolen from advertisers and agencies in the U.S. The company says it has identified sites where 20 percent to 90 percent of ads and clicks are fraudulent—i.e., the result of bots, not humans. And they’ve naturally got a new tool to attack this problem.

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Brands Will Not Conquer World Cup Marketing By Relying on Network TV #smm #fifa2014

As excitement—frenzy in many places—starts to whip up as the soccer-loving world converges in Brazil in mid-June for the next World Cup tournament, brands are salivating as always at the branding and marketing opportunity that such a mega-sporting event affords.

Many brands like Nike and Coca-Cola have been perennial supporters of arguably the global sporting world’s most popular event, but with every succeeding tournament, more and more brands are taking advantage of the platform. But, like with the Super Bowl, many brands are defaulting to an over-reliance on the glittery platform of big-budget multi-million dollar in-game network television commercials. It is somewhat befuddling that many advertisers enamored with the broad reach and the presumed consumer engagement that big iconic global sporting extravaganzas offer are still approaching their media plans in 2014 with a 2004 mindset.

While running high-production value spots during the big games will definitely get your brand on the stage, complementing it with a sizable, highly strategic and hyper-targeted digital ad plan that launches months in advance of the big event will actually deliver the level of impact and ROI that brands should expect, even demand from these opportunities. So, those of you mired in the old thinking with little or perfunctory regard for this method are in for a rude awakening when your television-heavy media plans don’t fulfill the pre-ordained brand KPIs.


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Why Marketers Love Instagram and Pinterest

The future of marketing is visual.

At least that's what about 3,000 marketers told online social media magazine Social Media Examiner in this year's Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

According to the report, marketers value social media marketing--especially visual marketing--more highly than ever before.

With 92% of marketers indicating that social media is an increasingly essential tool, there is also a growing trend towards using (or planning to use) visual content on more traditional platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, there has been an uptake in marketers using visually based platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

Marketers are now looking to create original visuals and videos to engage audiences, and there’s no question that marketers need to think about shifting their content strategy that way.

If you don't want to take my word for it, here are six findings from the report to back this assertion up:

1. Interest in visual marketing rises with experience

One of the data points that quite surprised me was that marketers with longer experience in the industry rate the importance of visual networks, such as Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram, higher than their less experienced colleagues.

According to the report, marketers with less than 12 months’ experience with social media marketing select Facebook as their No. 1 choice of the platforms they use, followed by Twitter and LinkedIn.



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Marketing Can No Longer Rely on the Funnel #sales

One of the central concepts of marketing and sales is the funnel — through which companies are supposed to systematically move prospects from awareness through consideration to purchase.

But consumers are now more informed, connected, and empowered than ever. Does the funnel still work in a digital, social, mobile age?

We asked some of the leading marketers in the world — from companies like Google, Intuit, Sephora, SAP, Twitter, and Visa — to assess the relevance of the marketing funnel. What we found says as much about the future of business as it does about the future of marketing.

According to these marketers, the primary problem with the funnel is that the buying process is no longer linear. Prospects don’t just enter at the top of the funnel; instead, they come in at any stage. Furthermore, they often jump stages, stay in a stage indefinitely, or move back and forth between them.

For example, consider items that come recommended on an e-commerce site. With a click you can add them to your cart, moving straight from awareness through consideration to purchase in only a few seconds. The same holds true on items discovered in a Tweet, Facebook post, or Pinterest board.

In both B2B and B2C businesses, customers are doing their own research both online and with their colleagues and friends. Prospects are walking themselves through the funnel, then walking in the door ready to buy.


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