Experiencing Electronic #Natitude

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Opening Day last week was my Dad’s first day of retirement, so we went to the park with a couple of friends to celebrate. It was one of the best days of my life, a day I’ll cherish and take with me to the grave. But it was also enjoyable because the Nationals’ in-stadium experience significantly improved over the winter.

When you walk into the stadium and look out onto the field, the first thing you see in the outfield is the hashtag slogan, “#Natitude.” That’s how my 2013 season began with the Nationals on opening day, a brilliant integrated in-park/online/broadcast experience.

Encouraging fans to use the # slogan is brilliant, spanning Twitter, Google+ and Instagram, and perhaps soon Facebook. Now fans can find Nationals conversations on their preferred social media channel by simply searching for #Natitude.

The full integration of the Nationals experience into the physical goes further. Consider the following:
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9 Videos on the Digital Future

Happy April Fool’s Day! We now resume our regular programming…

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Five weeks ago at xPotomac, nine speakers and one emcee delivered speeches and conversation starters that sparked 25-30 minutes of questions and answers each. The following nine videos are listed in the order of presentation.

Special thanks to my client Vocus for providing videography services. Vocus is hosting the Demand Success 2013 conference in Washington, DC this June 20-21. The event focuses on marketing best practices for converging media, and includes speakers like Arianna Huffington, Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi, digital journalism expert Jay Rosen, and many more. Check it out.

Please feel free to leave comments and feedback about the conference here. We’re listening!

xPotomac Introduced: BlogPotomac Legacy and Future Vision

DC’s very own Shana Glickfield (Beekeeper Group) provides the introduction to very first xPotomac. xPotomac is where the digital media future meets businesses. This groundbreaking conference features seven media technologies most likely to impact businesses and marketers in the immediate future.

This smaller intimate conference features limited attendance to ensure maximum learning and networking. Speakers will present in a tight setting with the stage centered in the round or in a horseshoe formation. Each session features a gladiator like format with 15 minutes dedicated to speaking and 30 minutes of question and answer from the audience.

Opening Keynote: Voice Search Changes the Game

The opening keynote at xPotomac was provided by Vanessa Fox. Given how much of the current web — social and content marketing included — revolves around search, voice search represents a game changer, especially given mobile use with Siri and Google Voice Search.
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Transactions Anytime Anywhere Sans the Wallet

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Image by Doug88888

Traditional methods of credit card payment and mobile payment are shifting. The $15 trillion electronic payment market will continue to evolve, and our wallets will disappear, slowly but surely.

Point of sale is no longer the domain of a physical location, and not even necessarily a function of swiping a card on a mobile reader, such as Square or competing devices. Logging in provides a quicker way to buy and leave, simplifying customer experiences.

PayPal unveiled a new series of traditional and mobile APIs at SxSW last weekend that empowers developers to incorporate payment functionality in any media form.

In theory, with log-ins added to the equation, events, apps or any other kind of device can complete business as necessitated by situation and customer preference.  This new transactional evolution empowers commerce in mobile or stationary environments.

One can see web site developers have a new set of requirements developing on the horizon. Not only do they need to incororate social and mobile into design, but now another new element enters the picture, the transaction.
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Context Always Mattered, Now It’s Crucial

As the flood of content marketing continues to populate the interwebs, you’re starting to hear context come to the fore. Context was the overriding theme at yesterday’s xPotomac conference with almost every session featuring conversation about the need to provide context.

It’s ironic, because in reality great brand and marketing campaigns have always resonated thanks to context. From the Maytag Man to Oreo’s slam dunk Instagram ad during the Super Bowl, people had an affinity to the creative and message.

Moving back to today, the Internet content of now demands time. Whether it’s a few seconds to absorb a photograph or several minutes to read a thoughtful post, you need to stop paying attention to whatever else you are doing and invest in that content.

Often to get that attention, this content has some sort of tangential context to the customer. Meaning, the content relates to a personal or professional interest. When marketing doesn’t have context, customers simply ignore communications.
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The End of the Social PR Revolution

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Image by OakleyOriginals

In building the program for xPotomac (February 25th), I sought to address a sea change in media evolution. That change spells the end for the social PR revolution, a marketing movement embodied by brand-led conversations over the past seven years.

We are currently experiencing a throttling of branded, online grassroots power. Specifically, it’s becoming harder and harder for marketers to be seen with branded earned media and social updates.

This evolution is best evidenced by the increasing role of owned and paid content placement (as discussed, content marketing is the 21st century nice description of advertising), and social or native advertising.

Other signs evidence this change, too. Social search and stronger policing of black hat SEO by Google has put a premium on paid search again. Facebook’s use of Edgerank to force companies and individuals alike to pay for attention is another harbinger of this fate.

The rise of big data and the forthcoming wearable computing revolution — themes that run throughout xPotomac — will cause a further throttling of online grassroots pipes.

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Instapocalypse and the Permission War

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Image by tres.jolie

How’s your Instagram account treating you now? Feel better now that Instagram restored some of its original terms of service, and recommitted to observing permission marketing norms with photos?

It seems like every four or five months we experience some outrageous Internet drama where tech and marketing bloggers declare the death of a brand.

Instagram, Chick-fil-a, Netflix, Walmart, etc. have all been condemned for some egregious act of anti-socialness. And then of course, the brands don’t die, and in most cases correct the wrong, recover, and prosper. In the case of Netflix, they are making more money than ever before.

Yet the “Instapocalypse” was different. Like other faux deaths, the network’s daily user losses seem to be negligible, but Instagram conceded promptly to its users, and retracted its intellectual terms that harnessed users’ photos for commercial purposes.

Instagram users won a larger mobile battle in the Permission Marketing War.

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