Home » OPINION » Columns » THE SPIN CYCLE — Pithy PRognositications from a recovering journalist

THE SPIN CYCLE — Pithy PRognositications from a recovering journalist


Todd Smith

By Todd Smith

Welcome to The Spin Cycle, a weekly column devoted to the latest news, issues and trends in the branding, PR, marketing and advertising industries. Tune-in here to catch the buzz on the best ways to build, strengthen and sustain your brand in today’s fast-paced, multi-media, plugged-in world — filled with competing messages both online and off.

The Spin Cycle will help you navigate all the noise with a fresh, strategic approach that delivers results. In a constantly evolving world, this space will aim to bring your communications into sharp focus, reach your target audience and galvanize your brand. It’s all about connecting with the right audience, at the right time with the right message. In other words, jump in – and take your brand for a spin.

Wow, it’s hard to believe we are already in December. Where did 2013 go? With 2014 right around the corner, it’s time to think about what’s on the digital marketing horizon in 2014 and beyond.

Did you know that marketers are planning to spend more than $130 billion on digital marketing next year? According to online asset management solutions provider WebDam, marketers plan to tap into the digital well more than ever before. This trend, along with more custom content will drive marketing trends in 2014. Online advertising is emerging as the king of the brand hill – and will make up nearly a quarter of the entire ad market by the end of 2015.

Marketing trends and predictions that will drive 2014

Social media marketing budgets will double in the next five years.

» 78 percent of chief marketing officers (CMOs) think custom content is the future of the industry. Nearly 50 percent of all companies have content marketing strategies.

» E-mail – e-mail with social sharing buttons will increase click through rates by 158 percent.

» Public Relations – 73 percent of reporters worldwide think news releases should contain images, another nod to bridging the digital divide with content-rich graphics and design that will capture your audience.

» SEO – More than 30 percent of traffic from Google’s search results go to the first item listed, reinforcing the need to position your brand high with search engines and a strategic SEO strategy.

What to consider for your audience

» 52 percent of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013.

» B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.

» 43 percent of all marketers found a customer via LinkedIn.

» Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing – at 89 percent.

» A picture is worth a thousand words, so join in the digital conversation. Videos on landing pages increase your brand’s conversation by 86 percent!

» Inbound marketing delivers 54 percent more leads than traditional outbound marketing.

» 65 percent of your audience is visual learners – and visual data is processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than text. When building your brand keep that in your minds eye!

Will Amazon drone dream take flight?

Call it one of the greatest publicity stunts to take off in recent memory! Amazon – and its visionary, futuristic and high flying CEO, Jeff Bezos – announced recently on CBS TV’s 60 Minutes that the company is testing drone delivery of packages.

The idea is to deliver packages as quickly as possible using small unmanned aircraft through a service the company is calling Prime Air.

Bezos played a demo clip on 60 Minutes that showed how the aircraft, also known as octocopters, will pick up packages in small yellow buckets at Amazon’s fulfillment centers and fly through the air to deliver items to customers after they hit the buy button online at Amazon.com.

The goal of the new delivery system is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less, the world’s largest Internet retailer said.

Think George Jetson vaulting into cyberspace – hitting his squawk box to dial-up a new gadget, book or space helmet. Dominos ain’t got nothing on this deal!

Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take “some number of years” as Amazon develops the technology further and waits for the Federal Aviation Administration to create rules and regulations, the company added. Bezos told 60 Minutes that the service could be up and running in as few as four years — although he noted that he is an optimist when it comes to such things.

Stay tuned to see whether this plan takes flight, or is just a bunch of bellicose hot air. One thing’s for sure, it created quite a PR buzz heard around the world, and that is golden in today’s digital domain of advertising!

This is the latest futuristic effort by Bezos, who was an e-commerce pioneer in the 1990s and more recently popularized the e-reader — while pursuing personal projects such as private spaceflight and a 10,000-year clock built inside a mountain.

Stop The Presses – Newsweek Reverts To Its Print Past

Newsweek magazine – which went all-digital just last year – is buying ink again! The iconic magazine, which has cycled through several owners in the past year, plans to start printing a premium, weekly edition.

Editor-in-chief Jim Impoco told the New York Times that Newsweek plans to start printing a premium, weekly edition “closer to what The Economist is compared to what Time magazine is.”

Newsweek’s new owner, IBT Media, is in talks with printers and distributors to control costs and create a magazine with a circulation to 100,000 in the first year.

So the Spin Cycle wonders: Why is Newsweek trying to revive a dying print business model rather than fueling digital and online growth?

Golden mic

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.



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