marketing

Are traditional websites an endangered species?

Social ecosystem2

There is no doubt that social media has changed the way we engage with content online. People are turning to social channels for more than “social” engagement; they are turning to social for news, current events, and product information and sentiment. In an effort to meet both current and potential customers in their preferred social platform, brands and publishers are responding to this trend by providing native content that is channel appropriate, and mobile optimized.

As digital marketers, should we begin to consider a world where the traditional website, largely considered the proverbial home base for a brand’s content, takes a back seat to an ecosystem of social channels that deliver contextually appropriate content in their customers’ preferred formats and channels?

It’s already happening. Obsessee.com is delivering fashion and culture content to teens solely through their social channels. Similarly, NowThisNews.com is providing news to its audience natively through a variety of social channels. In both cases, their “homepages,” should you make your way there, are simply landing pages with links to their social channels.

This approach is interesting for multiple reasons. By placing their content on social media, brands and publishers can:

  • target their audiences and provide them with native content that is contextually appropriate
  • simplify the user experience by doing away with the click-through, which on mobile, can result in slow load times and engagement drop-off
  • side-step ad blockers. No need for display advertising since the content itself will be served

As I create my first native post on LinkedIn, I ask myself: Are traditional websites an endangered species, destined to become portals for true audience engagement? What are your thoughts?

This post was originally posted on my LinkedIn profile:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/traditional-websites-endangered-species-ivan-ruiz

I’m excited about the new Facebook Search!

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 7.59.37 AM
Screenshot of the Facebook Search bar

The new Facebook Search feature is a pretty robust tool that we should be excited about as both marketers and users. Here are a few thoughts, as well as a few predictions around where Facebook might be going with this.

As a regular Facebook user, I was really impressed by the amount of content I was served up when I did a simple search for “cough.” The results were divided into 3 buckets: Pages, Friends and Groups, and Public Posts – and the key word was highlighted in each of the posts. There is also a sub-navigation that lets users filter results by Top, Latest, Photos, Videos, Places, and even Apps and Events. Having immediate access to relevant posts that were outside my network was really refreshing, and it was cool to see who was talking about coughs within my network specifically. It will be interesting to see how the results will update during a political event or a big game. In many ways, it reminds me of the way current events can be followed on twitter.

For users who have privacy concerns, this new feature should raise red flags. Facebook provides users with privacy settings in the actual post window that allows them to choose who can view their post. Those rules will continue to hold true within the search results. If your post is only visible to your friends, then it would only appear in the search results of users in your immediate network. If it is a public post, it will be visible outside of your network. The same applies to comments on posts, as well.

As marketers, we should be excited about the role that brands can play within this new space. Since this is new to all of us, we don’t yet understand the rhyme or reason behind the order of the posts that are displayed when a user searches. That being said, this is a great opportunity for brands to ensure their social engagement strategy is buttoned up. Brands need to be ultra-focused on creating relevant content on their feeds that is keyword-rich, and that includes image and video descriptions.

It will be a matter of time before we are able to advertise in this space. Like Google, media buys will likely dictate your brand’s rank within the search results in the Pages section, with native advertising appearing throughout the Public Posts. When we factor in the Buy Products feature, it’s easy to see how Facebook can begin to position itself as a direct competitor to Google and Amazon, although I think that’s still some ways away.

Visit http://search.fb.com/ to hear all about it from the proverbial horse’s mouth.

At the crossroads of health, wellness, technology, and marketing

2015 Marketing Summit Template

It was a privilege to attend the 2015 Marketing Summit hosted by Ogilvy CommonHealth and eConsultancy. As the producer at the event, I was able to spend some time with each of the presenters. I was also able to hit the 10,000-step mark on my Fitbit by 3pm – I’ll circle back to wearables later. I was most impressed by the diversity of speakers that are playing at the crossroads of health, wellness, technology, and marketing. The people I met and the messages I heard made me extremely excited on two different fronts: as a human-being, and as a marketer.

As a human-being, I was excited about the ideas surrounding personalized health that we heard throughout the day – especially since I moonlight as a fitness instructor.

Among them was Jeff Arnold from Sharecare, who is empowering consumers to take charge of their health by delivering personalized resources and expert advice through their online health profiles. Melissa Bojorquez, of Physicians Interactive, talked to us about technology’s unique power to help people connect with each other, and in doing so, defying the isolation and fear that accompany serious health conditions. Bill Evans from Watson Health showed us how Watson is changing the face of medical research with its ability to “read” thousands of medical journals and white papers in unimaginable speeds in an effort to increase the safety and efficacy of clinical trials drugs.

Our Healthcare Startup Sharktank brought innovative thinking to the forefront of consumer health. Movi Interactive is incentivizing fitness tracker users in unique ways by gamifying their experiences to drive usage. Through their platform, Medprowellness is connecting consumers with clinicians, nutritionists, and personal trainers to provide a personalized layer of accountability to their 360-degree approach to health and wellness.

The marketer in me was excited about all the new ways data will continue to fuel our insights. Finding new ways to visualize data is critical, according to David Davenport Firth, particularly since 75% of physicians admit to not understanding the statistics in journals. Back to the topic of wearbles… For a while now, marketers have been talking about the endless data streams being collected from wearables. Patrick Henshaw and his startup, Strap, can aggregate data from wearables, smartphones, and other apps, allowing marketers to draw insights from real-time human data. On similar note, there was Pranav Yadav, whose company Neuro-Insight can help marketers and brands optimize their creative by analyzing the neuro-responses of their consumers.

We are at the crossroads of health, wellness, technology, and marketing. Ryan Olohan from Google reinforced the fact that like all successful companies, healthcare brands need to innovate or die. Companies like Kodak and Blockbuster didn’t, while companies like Uber and Expedia have changed their respective industries forever. As marketers in the healthcare space, we all need to look beyond our comfort zones. We need to encourage our brands to look beyond, as well.