AMAgeddon: the day Reddit stood still


Earlier in June we saw Reddit up-in-arms over new interim CEO Ellen Pao, who quickly became target to severe backlash from the community after establishing that Reddit would no longer be

a “completely free-speech platform.” As such, many users transitioned their way over to Voat, a Swiss forum-like website similar to Reddit.

According to MediaMiser’s analytics technology, June saw over 1000 online articles published with regards to Pao and Reddit.

Today Reddit is revolting. Again.

Victoria Taylor, the employee who ensured the long-running success of Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) thread, has been abruptly fired. And sub-reddit moderators are not happy. Hundreds of popular communities, once open for discussion, have gone dark.

To date, roughly 100 sub-reddits have been temporarily shutdown.

In the words of Reddit user IamTimCast: Reddit really needs someone to handle the bad PR due to the backlash of firing the person who handles PR.”

Moderators and users sitewide claim that Victoria Taylor is needed to uphold the integrity of the AMA thread. Various news sources speculate that moderators have closed their subreddits in solidarity to Victoria Taylor, and to protest how they’ve been unfairly treated by admins.

With 7.5 billion pageviews a month, Reddit is one of the Internet’s central hub for news and information. Some would even say that Reddit, itself, IS the Internet. Reddit’s revolt could change the way online news, stories and information is shared in the near future.

How do you think Reddit’s strike will affect social media and online news?
Want to learn more about Reddit, and why it’s such an important source for news and information? Read MediaMiser’s whitepaper.

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What are your marketing pain points?

pain points

Lack of a single customer view, an inability to deal with large amounts of data and lack of time for optimization are among the challenges that cause the biggest headaches for modern marketers, according to new research from Econsultancy, in partnership with SmartFocus.

With input from 500 global marketers, the ‘Marketing Pain Points and How to Overcome Them’ report identifies the most significant challenges marketers face in today’s digital age and offers insight and advice from a number of leading marketing experts on how to overcome them.

Among the ‘pain points‘ identified in the report are the challenges of making customer data actionable, bottlenecks caused by IT and web development teams and lack of time for campaign testing and optimization. The report identifies the following key challenges:

  • Turning insights into actionable segments to drive effective marketing content (45%)
  • Inability to create a single customer view (42%)
  • Difficulty keeping track of customers across different channels and on different devices (41%)
  • Complexities of using multiple data sources (40%)
  • Defining attribution and assessing touchpoints required to convert a customer (40%)

“Our research shows the key challenge for marketers lies in gathering their disparate data to create that elusive single customer view and might be wholly unobtainable in the near future for many businesses,” said Jess Stephens, chief marketing officer for SmartFocus, in a news release. “When this is the case, we suggest creating a usable model like a single marketing view in the immediate, so that every touchpoint is registered and measured across channels. This foundation will also help to serve contextual marketing in real-time, driving response rates and reducing churn.”

“Digital technology and changing consumer behavior have created a near infinite number of opportunities for marketers to reach and engage customers, while also creating a whole host of new problems for marketing teams to wrestle with,” said Linus Gregoriadis, research director of Econsultancy, in the release.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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Dashboards for media monitoring, business performance and everything in between

The first time I saw a corporate dashboard on a big LCD screen, back in 2010, it displayed the number of daily unique visitors of a website plus the guest WIFI password.

Things have changed so much in 5 years.

Today’s dashboards draw on a vast array of business information tools: customer relationship management, website analytics, social media monitoring, code repository, server monitoring, shared drives and more. In fact, any available business-related data can be pulled in and displayed via dashboard. Most applications have an Application Programming Interfaces (API) available for this very purpose which makes integration with most common types of business software possible.

In June of this year, KlipFolio hosted “Dashboardpalooza” and they invited Ottawa’s startup community to join. We were honoured to attend the event and we were blown away by their convincing use of corporate dashboards. They had deployed one highly dynamic and relevant dashboard for each company department (sales, support, devops, R&D, etc.)


If someone were to ask you for the exact financial, sales, SEO, server uptime, development productivity and media coverage status of your company at this very moment in time, would you be able to provide accurate figures in real time?

At MediaMiser, we’ve elaborated our API with reporting capability in mind, to provide instant snapshots of media interactions volume, sentiment trend, author and publication coverage and regional information. Inside a dashboard, these PR Key Performance Indicators (KPI) provide:

Greater visibility: Having key information available from a single screen allows company executives to get an overview of how the business is performing at any point in time—making it easy to get a clear picture of how each area of a business is performing and to spot areas that require attention.

Time saving: The alternative to an executive dashboard involves reports being produced by key personnel and also executives having to sift through a vast amount of information to pick out relevant points. Having an executive dashboard eliminates the need for these tasks and allows for real-time reporting whenever needed.

Trend-spotting: Having information from so many areas of the business allows company executives to spot trends as well as areas that can be improved.

To find out more about MediaMiser’s API or our unique approach to media monitoring and analysis, contact one of our Media Analysis Experts.

David Nadeau is MediaMiser’s Chief Technology Officer and founder of InfoGlutton, an online reputation monitoring application. Follow him on Twitter: @pythonner

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One third of consumers who contact brands on social media never get a response


Social media has helped generate an efficient two-way street for brands and their publics to communicate, but some brands seem to be stuck on the one-way street of yore—and their customers aren’t happy about it. As it turns out, a full third (33%) of consumers who contact brands on social media with a customer service question never get a response, according to a new study released this week by management consulting firm The Northridge Group.

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 respondents, the study finds that 26 percent of consumers choose social media for customer service when they can’t reach a representative through another channel. When companies do respond, more than 30 percent of their responses do not meet the customers’ expectations. In fact, social media has the lowest percentage of issue resolution and follow up of all the channels.

According to Pam Plyler, executive practice lead for customer experience and contact center management at The Northridge Group, the survey results indicate that social is a critical channel that is commonly used for escalations—and companies are not meeting consumer needs.

“When it comes to customer service, social media just isn’t living up to the hype,” said Plyler, according to a news release. “While there are added complexities to managing customer service through social media, engagement should not be considered optional. With the right focus, this channel can be effectively integrated into your overall service strategy.”

The survey also found that just 3 percent of consumers cite social media as the fastest channel for issue resolution, and only 2 percent cite it as their preferred channel.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Sixty-three percent of consumers have to engage with a brand two or more times on social media before a customer service inquiry or issue is resolved.
  • Forty-two percent of consumers expect resolution within one hour when using social media for customer service inquiry or issue.
  • Thirty-nine percent of consumers say that companies resolve their customer service issues or inquiries on social media within a week or longer.

“Nearly half of consumers plan to use social media for customer service issues the same or more than they currently do. There are clearly opportunities for companies to provide excellent customer service on all channels including social media,” said Therese Fauerbach, CEO of The Northridge Group, in the release. “Consumers want to use social to resolve problems, but the experience is inconsistent compared to other channels. Social media is a critical channel that companies should leverage to deliver a seamless omni-channel customer experience.”

In the survey, consumers were asked to provide feedback on customer service experiences via various channels including social media, phone and email. The survey results have a margin of error of 3 percent.

Download the full report here.

Source: PRWeb; edited by Richard Carufel

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New study makes the case for Data Analysis-as-a-Service capabilities


New research on data analytics reveals that the majority (63%) of B2B companies polled are frustrated by the amount of time it takes to attain the meaningful reports and data insights they seek to make more informed business decisions. It also revealed that most companies believe data analysis-as-a-service—in which the technology and underlying data science are provided by a service provider—would help address this critical business challenge.

Enterprise application and data management analysis firm Data Intensity this week announced the results of the study, conducted with Researchscape International to gauge the current state of data analytics and what hurdles enterprises have yet to overcome.

Key findings of the research include:

Despite Significant Enterprise Spending on Analytics, Obtaining Meaningful Value from Business Data is a Major Obstacle  

  • Respondents were asked how much they invest annually in current analytics solutions, including systems, people and processes. Results were as follows:
    • More than one in three (36%) said $100,000-$499,999
    • More than a quarter (26%) said $500,000-$999,999
    • One in five (20%) said $1-9 million
  • More than six out of 10 (63%) of respondents said the greatest problem with analytics is that it takes too long to get meaningful reports and analysis from their data.
  • Tied for the second greatest problem, one in three (33%) said data is not accurate, too difficult to make strategic and operations business decisions from, and too difficult to do predictive modeling/forecasting with existing data and data models.
  • Other problems cited include:
    • Can’t get access to existing data (29%)
    • IT doesn’t provide appropriate support for users (13%)

“It’s essential that enterprises build strong platforms for supply chain analytics to better understand their customers and markets and compete on a global basis. The problem is that analytics must constantly evolve to meet demanding data and business requirements,” said Paul Grone, CIO of Totes Isotoner, marketer of umbrellas, gloves, slippers and other weather-related accessories, in a news release. “The findings of this study underscore the challenges that organizations, such as our own, are experiencing each day—businesses need more options for how to solve these problems. It’s much more complicated than just adding more resources to the team.”

The Idea of an Analytics Software and Service Solution Was Highly Rated; Data Analysis-as-a-Service Capabilities Identified as Most Desired Component
In the next portion of the study, respondents were asked a series of questions about the concept of a cloud-based analytics software and service solution. The idea of the solution overall was rated very highly, with 23% citing it “excellent” and 59% citing it “good.”

The survey also asked what services respondents would want the solution to include. The majority (58%) indicated data analysis-as-a-service was most desired. Other services ranked as follows:

  • Data modeling – 47%
  • Business consulting – 43%
  • Dashboard development – 42%
  • Master data management – 36%
  • Mobile data analytics – 34%
  • Merging internal data with external data (industry benchmarks, market demographics, etc.) – 30%
  • System implementations and architecture – 24%
  • Social media data analytics – 24%
  • Extract, transform, load (ETL) capabilities – 21%

Majority Deem an Analytics Software and Service Solution Both Beneficial and Relevant to Their Business
Additional results about the cloud-based analytics software and service solution in terms of value, purchase likelihood, delivery model and purchase options are listed below:

  • When asked how different the solution was from others, nearly three-quarters (73%) surveyed said they considered it to be “very” or “completely different.”
  • The solution was also rated by two thirds (70%) of respondents as “very” or “completely relevant” to their business, along with “very” to “extremely” beneficial to their business.
  • When asked about purchasing the solution, assuming the price was acceptable, the purchase likelihood was quite strong: 27% said “moderately likely,” 45% said “very likely” and 20% said “completely likely.”
  • When asked about the delivery model, 58% of respondents indicated they preferred the method “create custom analytics solution in the cloud,” 43% said “transfer your existing analytics solution to the cloud,” while only 32% said they wanted a “packaged SaaS analytics solution in the cloud.”

“Traditional models for data analysis are hard to buy, use and manage because they require many individual components, disparate solutions and complex architectures, making it extremely difficult for companies to access data and maximize its value,” said John Bostick, president of Data Intensity’s Analytics Division. “These study findings underscore the market need for data analysis-as-a-service, and not a plug-and-play tool, but a custom analytics solution in the cloud that will truly give them the ability to capitalize on their data.”

The survey was conducted from February to March 2015, and was completed by more than 200 B2B respondents in a variety of roles, including C-level executives, directors and vice presidents, across industries such as IT, general management, finance, sales, marketing, operations and human resources.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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Marketers need to stop interrupting!


Marketers need to stop interrupting

As consumers tune out banner ads and fast forward through commercials, brands need to refocus their marketing priorities and shift resources to non-interruptive methods, said Tom Gerace, CEO and founder of marketing and storytelling firm Skyword, at the company’s recent annual content marketing and brand storytelling conference. He reminded the gathering that stories—not advertisements—move people to action.

“As marketers, our job is not to hawk products or services to our customers. It’s to inspire them down a path different from the one they planned when they awoke this morning,” Gerace said to a room of 300 attendees from leading brands across the world, including, IBM, New Balance and Hewlett Packard, according to a news release.

He said that as the impact of commercials, display ads and other traditional advertising methods continues to decline, marketers need to find new ways to inspire and connect. Gerace urged marketers to show audiences new possibilities for living better, fuller lives and disrupt their thinking through storytelling.

“Story is core to our nature,” he said. “It’s been around for 35 thousand years, and it has helped us avoid danger, form community, and survive.”

In his speech, Gerace offered digital trends and how brands can embrace original, sustainable storytelling to differentiate themselves.

Moving Beyond Interruptive Advertising

“The interruption model is dying,” said Gerace, summarizing studies that suggest its decreasing effectiveness. In the past five years, surveys show that 75% of consumers DVR to skip ads and 60% experience “banner blindness,” while digital banners ads now generate a mere 0.10% click-through rate. “As marketers, we need to learn to become a valuable resource rather than an annoying distraction.

Ad-free Content Becomes the New Normal

“The good news is, story consumption is skyrocketing,” said Gerace, referencing
the rapid growth of paid content subscription services. Netflix boasts 62 million paid subscribers who watch 10 billion hours of programming each quarter, and millions more sign up every month. HBO Now provides another ad-free, over-the-top option, which is expected to serve 15 million subscribers by year-end. Increasingly, people are paying for ad-free content. Gerace urged marketers to pay close attention to these trends and to align their strategy with the way their audience prefers to seek out and consume content.

Marketing Budgets and Resources Do Not Reflect Changing Consumer Behavior

“People are voting with their wallets, every day, for ad-free experiences,” he said, “So naturally, we should be shifting our ad budgets to something else, something that will reach these millions of people more effectively,” he said. Gerace went on to show how major brands continue to spend tens of billions of dollars every year on digital and media ads. However, a select few have found a more impactful alternative by telling well-crafted, original stories.

To Succeed, Brands Will Embrace Storytelling as a Core Practice and Push Its Boundaries

Gerace went on to identify the key strategies for creating customer connections through storytelling. “What is the difference between a terrible story and one that we love? A lot of us believe that just because we have heard a good story, we can tell one. But there is a craft to good storytelling.”

New Infrastructure, Process, and Creative Partners Will be Key to Telling Stories at Scale

Gerace urged attendees to prioritize moments over revenue, and establish a storytelling mindset throughout their organizations. “You need to build the infrastructure required to make great storytelling a sustainable business process…this requires building a foundation that allows you to tell great stories every day in different languages, countries, and channels,” he said.

Gerace also shared how Skyword is positioned to be the best place for original, sustainable storytelling. He noted that the company announced the launch of Skyword Video, a new solution that enables marketers to manage video strategy, workflow, and production from one place. In February, the company launched Skyword Global, which includes the internationalization of the Skyword Platform and access to in-country writers, videographers, and editors.

In conclusion, Gerace reminded the audience of the enduring power of storytelling, even in an industry defined by change and innovation. “In this age of information saturation, it is more important than ever that we focus less on selling our products and services and more on creating true, authentic relationships with our audiences through stories.”

Source: PRWeb; edited by Richard Carufel

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Does Big Data mean big money? Most companies now actively working on Big Data projects


Managed public cloud provider 2nd Watch recently released survey results showing that most companies are actively working on big data projects and have dedicated significant dollars to their efforts. The online survey, conducted the first two weeks in May, included 500 IT and business executives in the United States.

According to the study, nearly 60% of companies are currently engaged in a big data project, while 20% say they will soon begin one. The business leader driving these projects is firstly the CEO (32%) followed by the CIO (25%) and line of business managers (18%).

Thus far, big data has not translated into big money. The majority (34%) of companies polled are spending just $50,000-$100,000 on their big data initiatives, and nearly one fifth (18%) are spending more than $100,000. Top areas for spending and research include supporting social media and digital marketing initiatives (26%), followed closely by improving internal processes and operations (25%).

To address the unique needs of big data deployments, the majority of participants (71%) report that their company is considering purchasing or has already adopted a new data warehouse. Companies are experiencing several limitations with their current relational database systems including scalability (22%), maintenance (22%) performance (22%), cost (17%) and access (16%). Established enterprise vendors dominate customer preferences for new database technology, with IBM the most popular choice (38%), followed by Oracle (31%) and HP (24%).

Cloud infrastructure companies however are ramping up their offerings in database and analytics management. AWS for example has been making waves with its Amazon Redshift data warehouse service, which AWS CTO Werner Vogels recently described as the company’s “fastest-growing service ever.” Gartner, according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service report, meanwhile has said that database as a service products like Amazon Redshift are key differentiators for cloud IaaS providers. Amazon Redshift is highly regarded for its power, speed, security, low cost and ease of use. Airbnb, Nokia and Pinterest are among the name brand customers known to be using Amazon Redshift.

“Our research shows that big data has moved from market hype to valid competitive strategy for the largest companies, with support from the very tops of their organizations,” said Jeff Aden, EVP of Marketing and Strategic Business Development at 2nd Watch, according to a news release. “That said, some companies are still wrestling with outdated infrastructure and a lack of internal expertise when it comes to initiating and completing big data projects. 2nd Watch which recently achieved the AWS Big Data Competency, are working hard to help companies overcome these issues, and we firmly expect the pace of big data projects to accelerate in the coming months.”

Additional findings include:

Top business hurdles to implementing big data: Organizational silos (21%), lack of money (21%) lack of consensus on goals (16%) and lack of executive support (16%).

Top technical hurdles to implementing big data: Data quality issues (21%), outdated infrastructure (20%), lack of internal expertise (18%), governance and security challenges (17%), silos of data and legacy apps (12%) and too much data (10%).

Top drivers for big data plans: Identify new areas for business growth or product strategy (33%), identify areas for operational efficiency and cost savings (28%), to better understand customers and improve customer experience (25%)pressure from business executives to mine data (13%).

Leading technologies companies will invest in to prepare for big data: Networking and servers (24%), databases and storage (23%), cloud services or infrastructure hosting (19%) analytics software (18%) and integration software (15%).

Source: MarketWired; edited by Richard Carufel

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Lindsey Graham candidacy draws yawns on Twitter; Cruz, Bush get most mentions in June


The race for the 2016 Republican Party Presidential Primaries is heating up alongside the weather, with more than a dozen candidates now having thrown in their lot.

The most recent candidate to declare — other than the super-famous Donald Trump, whose hair probably gets more mentions on Twitter than your average federal politician — was Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal on June 24.

(Despite a rash of tweets yesterday disparaging Jindal via the #bobbyjindalissowhite hashtag, these made up a very small percentage of our dataset as most tweets containing this hashtag did not use Jindal’s official handle).

At MediaMiser, we’ve already used our social media analysis tools to explore the impact of declaring your candidacy early: As we showed last April, Ted Cruz raked in more attention than he’s gotten in his Twitter lifetime after being first to declare on March 23.

So today we ran a share-of-voice analysis of June’s Twitter volume for each candidate not named Trump — his celebrity status makes any comparison a bit unfair, don’t you think? — to see which way the social winds are blowing this month.

We’ve also indicated who declared their candidacies in June (for the record, it’s Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham), as these candidates typically receive a bump in popularity upon declaring.

From our analysis, Ted Cruz is still the candidate to beat a full three months after his candidacy declaration.

gop chart

Jeb Bush also had a strong showing this month, while Marco Rubio and Rand Paul aren’t far behind. After that, candidate popularity drops off significantly with June declarees Rick Perry and Jindal rounding out the top six.

In fact, of all candidates to declare in June, Lindsey Graham was the only one not to finish in the top six — instead tallying a second-last total mention count. And although social media mentions obviously don’t translate into votes, that’s not a good omen for his campaign.

Finally, George Pataki, the former New York governor, was dead last in mentions with less than one per cent of all declared candidate mentions. That’s despite declaring his candidacy just a few weeks ago (in late May). Poor George.

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Consumers to brands: “the louder you scream, the less we care”

advertising message

Let’s face it: although its effectiveness has been more than proven, traditional advertising has never been very popular—bland, repetitive messaging forced upon us at nearly every juncture, from interrupting our favorite TV shows to gigantic roadside billboards all over the highway, have turned promotional messaging into a reluctantly accepted “necessary evil” of society. But in this modern age of personalized, targeted messaging, what was once merely annoying has become downright unacceptable for today’s consumer, according to new research.

A recent survey from marketing software and solutions provider Marketo of more than 2,200 consumers worldwide finds that 63 percent of respondents are highly annoyed by the way brands continue to rely on the old-fashioned strategy of blasting generic ad messages repeatedly. The poll found that the two things brands should do to make advertising more appealing to their audiences are to 1) show ads less often, and 2) make the content personalized and relevant based on consumer behavior across other channels and interactions.

In addition, 78.6 percent of consumers said they are only likely to engage with a brand using coupons or other offers if those promotions are directly tied to how they have interacted with the brand previously. This can include sending offers via email, mobile or social media after they have visited a brand’s website or tailoring communications based on products viewed or purchased. The poll was conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia.

These results are proof of the challenges that companies face when trying to consistently engage their customers across a wide range of digital channels. For years, campaigns have been crafted in isolation, often designed in silos with a specific digital channel in mind. For example, messages delivered to a consumer through a digital advertising campaign on Facebook often are not at all connected or consistent with her prior interaction with the company’s website, emails, or other programs.

As a result, it has been difficult for companies to have a two-way conversation with individuals with a single brand voice no matter where they are. To make matters worse, customers—flooded with thousands of marketing messages per day—have become increasingly frustrated with brands’ inability to connect with them based on their interests, likes or dislikes.

Advertising is no longer a tool solely for attracting a buyer’s attention, but to nurture them through the buying process by delivering the next right message at the right time. The challenge today is for brands to tailor their digital advertising to an individual’s behavior, allowing the messages to be customized based on the actions a person takes across a variety of channels, making it part of a single, consistent conversation.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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The next wave in PR? Using emojis to communicate with your media audience

Ivy Lee invented the press release in 1906. It hasn’t changed much in 110 years — until now.

OMG, have you seen what Chevy just did?! 😯

On June 22, the automotive giant took a genius step toward engaging the coveted Millennial and Generation Z demographics when it issued a press release written entirely in emojis.

Microsoft Word - 0828-Chevrolet-Cruze-3-Million.docx

Expanding on the idea of content marketing—creating content that is highly relevant and valuable to attract and retain engaged consumers—Chevy has created a release that not only sparks interest but, quite literally, speaks the language of its audience.

Chevrolet has taken a traditionally tedious medium (tedium?) and created a PR pro’s dream—something worth looking at, talking about and sharing. When was the last time a media advisory about a car got anyone talking, anywhere, ever?

It seems Chevy has, after jumping headfirst into the emoji-for-brand-marketing wave. Right now, it’s making a serious splash.

The press release itself isn’t saying anything all that remarkable, even if you can figure it out (here, take this). But that’s not the point. What it has done is gotten attention, and what’s the point of a press release these days if not simply to get attention?

A release like this gets people talking, as evidenced by all the chatter on social about it (#ChevyGoesEmoji). There have also been 50+ online news stories published on it from June 23 to 24, according to MediaMiser software—and who ever publishes a story to talk about a press release?

Despite the difficulty of gleaning any tangible information from it, it’s doing a hugely impressive job of reaching (the right) people, much better than a typical press release going on about the usual tired car stuff.

It’s all about making it simple to ‘drive’ user engagement (sorry). And though it isn’t the first brand to employ emojis in a marketing effort (Oreo, GE, PETA, and IKEA already have, to name a few), this one feels different. It just kind of feels 💡 ➡ 😀 .

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