Monthly Archives: February 2016

Should Marketers Use Apps Like Whisper or Yik Yak to Reach Millennials?



Whisper and Yik Yak are social media platforms that allow users to share anonymous posts on mobile and online. The services differ in a few ways. Whisper users post text over images and Yakkers tend to post mostly text.

Yik Yak focuses on a specific geographic region so users see posts only within a 1.5 mile radius of their location, while Whisper tailors people’s feeds based on geographic location. Whisper is bigger with more users, while Yik Yak tends to be more intimate, less commercial and frankly more lewd.

According to Business Insider, Whisper had 20 million monthly users in December 2015, while Yik Yak reported a smaller base of 3.6 million monthly users at the start of 2015. At the end of January 2016 Yik Yak was ranking as the 40-50 most downloaded social media app, while Whisper was ranking 20-30th according to App Annie.

Marketers may be wary of anonymous messaging services, particularly on Yik Yak since there are many objectionable posts using foul language and emphasizing bodily functions. Why might a marketer want his or her brand associated with this?

Click here to read about the three reasons to consider Whisper and Yik Yak.

This post originally appeared on Social Media Week.


Why Skittles Completely Missed the Advertising Mark on This Year’s Super Bowl

Read my post on Social Media Week:


This year’s Super Bowl cost advertisers about $5 million for a thirty second spot. These ads represent a large proportion of some brands’ total media budgets so marketers should carefully consider their value. A brand should determine the ultimate return on investment for this strategy relative to other media options that could potentially buy more frequency for the message across a longer time horizon.

How can a brand manager evaluate the value of a Super Bowl ad?

The first consideration is the target market and brands should determine whether their target is represented among those who watch and pay attention to the game. CNN reported that last year’s Super Bowl had the largest viewership in television history with 114.4 million estimated viewers and 49.7 million in the coveted 18-49 age group.

The National Retail Federation predicted that 83% of men and approximately 70% of women planned to watch the game when they were polled in January 2015. In addition 83% of 18-24 year olds indicated they would watch the game last year. In 2011, the last year of available data from Sports Business Daily, only 16% of the Super Bowl audience was comprised of kids 2-17.

The second important decision on running a Super Bowl ad is the type of creative to plan. The message in the ad should be related to the product and the imagery should resonate with the target audience.

One brand spent over $5 million on the ad space and much more to hire a celebrity endorser who was completely inappropriate for the brand advertised. Which brand executed this major flop? Skittles.

To continue reading click on this link:

Why Skittles Missed the Super Bowl Mark

snap whitehouse

I recently learned that the White House opened a Snapchat account, so I checked to see what President Obama had to show our youth. There were two snaps on there. The first featured the President on YouTube with a picture of him on the screen and the other was the VP riding in his limo.  There was no paid media here, just some pictures.

The Republicans, on the other hand, had a budget to put something up on Snapchat on the day of the last Presidential debate.  There was a live channel featured under Stories with pictures of people interacting with candidates – particularly Rand Paul, who is very photogenic on Snapchat, though he didn’t even make it to the big boy debate this time. Paul was an early adopter of Snapchat, but it has not done much for his campaign.  Here is why….

The Republicans have made use of the platform since the first debate and continue to do so.  Just because marketers do something, doesn’t mean that it actually works. It might just be that Republicans have money to spend and no real strategy for spending it.  The reason I say this is because voter participation among 18-24 year olds is traditionally low and those kids are less likely to be Republican voters.  In 2014 about 23% of 18-34 year olds voted in the election, while 59% of those 65 and older did so.

Source: Census Voting Data.

There were some reports in August 2015 that more 18-24 year olds saw the Snapchat coverage of the debate than watched it on TV, but I have yet to find the original article from Politico on this.  Sounds like urban legend to me since these kids are probably not doing either.

To be an effective marketer you need a goal and a clear strategy to reach a target from whom you expect a response.  Snapchat may be useful for certain strategies, but retaining your place on the debate stage may not be one of them.




3 Questions to Ask Before Setting Your Social Media Strategy



This is a caption from my blog post for Social Media Week in New York.  Read the full article here:  Social Media Week Three Questions Article


You have a social media strategy that engages your customers, encourages loyalty and leads to sales. Right? Well….how do you know? Your customers may share some of your content, write comments on your social pages and watch some of your videos, but you must ask yourself: Is that all there is?

In order to focus your strategy and get customers to do what you want, you have to know what you want them to do. That requires answering these questions before you spend lots of time and money to execute a strategy.

Here are the three questions you MUST ask yourself:

  1. What do I want to achieve with my strategy?
  2. Who do I want to attract?
  3. What do I want the target to do?