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Todd Smith's Spin Cycle: New digital marketing & advertising initiative launched by The Wall Street Journal

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

The Wall Street Journal has launched a new digital destination — CMO Today — to address the rapidly transforming marketing, advertising and branding industries.

Designed for marketing executives and specialists, CMO Today (@wsjCMO) defines what matters and what doesn’t in the chaos of today’s marketing business. CMO Today takes a deep and investigative look at all aspects of marketing, including how social and mobile are transforming the industry, along with how television and print media are aiming to keep up.

“CMO Today allows us to expand our coverage of some of the most interesting and fast-changing parts of the advertising and media businesses, where digital technology is intersecting with marketing,” said Martin Peers (@mvpeers), the WSJ’s media and marketing bureau chief.

The new vertical has a full time staff of five, headed up by the WSJ’s newly-appointed advertising editor, Suzanne Vranica (@VranicaWSJ), who has nearly 15 years’ experience covering Madison Avenue at the Journal.

Other members of the CMO Today team are Mike Shields (@digitalshields), formerly digital editor of Adweek and previously a senior editor at Digiday, who in the late 1990s through early 2000s himself worked on Madison Avenue as a media buyer at ad agency Lowe Worldwide; Jack Marshall (@JackMarshall), formerly of Digiday, who has recently authored investigations of fraud in online ad networks; Nathalie Tadena (@nftadena), formerly of Dow Jones Newswires who most recently worked at data analytics firm Dataminr; and Steven Perlberg (@perlberg), who joins the Journal from Business Insider, where he covered Wall Street and finance.

CMO Today (wsj.com/cmo) is anchored by a continually updated blog as well as an array of important marketing news from the Journal and around the media. It is also supported by a CMO Today morning newsletter, authored by Shields and summarizing major marketing and media news.

Adobe (@Adobe) is the site’s sponsor and will provide its own clearly labeled content — including feature stories, data-driven insights and more — for and by marketing leaders. The Wall Street Journal news department is not involved with the creation of sponsored content from Adobe.

CMO Today is the fourth of the Journal’s vertical products, which include CFO Journal, CIO Journal and Risk & Compliance Journal.


Top 8 Twitter Moments To Celebrate 8 Years Of Social Media Ingenuity

The social media company that made its mark by encouraging brevity — limiting users to 140 characters — recently turned eight years old. While its micro-blogging function remains largely the same, its user base has grown tremendously.

About 500 million tweets are sent a day by more than 241 million monthly active users, according to Twitter. Here are eight memorable moments in the significant life of Twitter:



Even though the company launched nine months prior, Twitter’s popularity took off at the 2007 South By Southwest conference. Live tweets about events were displayed on large screens in the hallways and daily usage of the service expanded wildly.

2. James Buck’s release

University of California student James Buck was arrested on April 10, 2008, by authorities while photographing an anti-government protest in Mahalla, Egypt. He then sent a tweet with one word: “Arrested.”

His Twitter followers in the U.S. contacted the media, the university and the American embassy, which in turn pressured for his release. Authorities let him go the next day.

3. Miracle on the Hudson

US Airways Flight 1549 hit a flock of geese when leaving New York City on Jan. 15, 2009. The engine lost power and Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger successfully landed the plane on the Hudson River.

Twitter user Janis Krums, @jkrums, was on a ferry that day. He took a picture of the partially submerged plane and sent it out on Twitter. Moments later the photo, which is now copyrighted, went viral.

This January, on the fifth anniversary of the event, Krums retweeted his now-iconic photo.

4. Osama bin Laden raid

IT consultant Sohaib Athar inadvertently tweeted the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Aboottabad, Pakistan. Athar heard a helicopter in the early morning hours and sent out an innocuous tweet. “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event),” he wrote.

He tweeted for the next few hours about what he saw and heard. After reports came out saying bin Laden had been killed, Athar tweeted, “Uh oh, now I’m the guy who live blogged the Osama raid without knowing it.”

5. President Obama’s re-election

President Obama broke the then-record for the most retweets on Nov. 6, 2012, when he sent out a photo of him hugging Michelle Obama with the words, “Four more years.” It was retweeted more than 800,000 times and sent to more than 200 countries, according to Twitter.

6. First tweet from the Vatican

The Vatican set up a Twitter account for former Pope Benedict XVI and solicited questions from the public with the hashtag #AskPontifex. On Dec. 12, 2012, the pope responded. He first posted, “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” The tweet has since been removed and Pope Francis is now using the account to reach digital audiences.

7. Super Bowl XLVII blackout

The advertising capabilities of Twitter became even clearer during a power outage at the 2013 Super Bowl.

While fans waited for more than 30 minutes for the lights to come back on, marketers got to work.

Within minutes, Oreo sent out a tweet that capitalized on the situation. “Power out? No problem,” the tweet read. “You can still dunk in the dark.”

8. Ellen’s Oscar selfie

At the 2014 Oscars, host Ellen Degeneres broke the record for most retweets with a celebrity-filled selfie. She crammed as many A-list stars as possible into the frame and actor Bradley Cooper took the picture. It now reigns as the most retweeted photo ever, more than tripling Obama’s record.

iPads, Galaxys and Fires, Oh My

Whether you prefer the iPad, Galaxy Tab or Kindle Fire, the tablet market has become a big part of the mobile computing landscape. In fact, studies show that 42 percent of American adults currently own tablets, and sales reflect it.

Market intelligence firm IDC released two forecasts this month: one for tablets and one for PCs, which suggest tablets will outsell PCs by next year. Although the tablet market’s growth rate is slowing, PC sales are declining even more.

Considering how you market to an increasingly mobile society is paramount when planning your next brand-building strategy!


Golden Mic | Gail Kerr, Beloved Tennessean Columnist, Gave Voice To Voiceless

Gail Kerr, who captured a changing Nashville, held elected officials accountable and spoke for homeless people, sexual assault victims and neglected children as a beloved columnist for The Tennessean (Nashville) died unexpectedly at the end of March after a valiant battle with cancer.

In short, Kerr, 52, gave voice to the voiceless for more than 30 years, and her eloquent, colorful, descriptive prose lifted up the generations — and shined a beacon of journalistic integrity across Tennessee and throughout the nation. In true Kerr fashion, she worked until the day she died, doing what she did best — chronicling our lives, and bringing light to the dark places. Somewhere beyond the clouds, God has gained a great and gifted messenger.

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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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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