Using technology to keep up… with technology

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The digital world is changing faster than a cheetah on Red Bull and it can feel impossible to keep up. However, careful planning and an understanding of what is driving your audience, whether it’s sources they trust, amazing photos and experiences or a particular need, can still help marketers connect people to products and brands. Even better, in the not too distant future, technology will help solve the challenges it creates. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help you reach the right people with the right product at the right time.

Case Studies

USA Today: People Freaking Out Over Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino
Starbucks hopped on the Unicorn food train with a colorful Unicorn frappuccino this week. It had the internet and the brave taste testers in our office buzzing, but the “buzz” may have been from the sugar coated sugar. Either way, they’ve seen plenty of social media conversation from the extremely limited run product. Lessons learned? There is no amount of sugar Americans won’t try. Don’t forget to think about the picture people will take when you’re coming up with ideas. If nothing else the neon Unicorn drink makes great Instagram fodder.

Influencers

The Globe and Mail: Consumer Trust in Social Media Influencers Drops
This one comes from our neighbors to the north. In Canada, like the United States, there are laws requiring bloggers to disclose corporate sponsors. They’ve studied the effect of those laws on consumer trust. Spoiler alert – people place lower trust in bloggers now than prior to the enactment of the law. Canadians rated “bloggers you follow” far below sources like “company websites” as a trusted source of information about products and brands. When you’re thinking about creating an influencer campaign remember, large follower counts don’t always equate to influence. People still trust themselves and friends most.
P.S. We learned a new term – “astroturfing” is when a company’s employees post positive reviews about their company without disclosing their conflict of interest.

Artificial Intelligence

Occam’s Razor: Artificial Intelligence: Implications On Marketing, Analytics, And You
This one is from my data crush Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist. Data driven marketing really gets my heart racing. Kaushik’s view is that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (ML) are poised to make great digital marketing strides, solving the right place, right time problem at scale. ML is capable of creating the perfect email campaign for every person, we’re just waiting for people to build the tech that takes advantage of those capabilities. Some companies are already using ML to accomplish things like getting ads for hotel rooms in front of stranded airport travelers.

Facebook

TechCrunch: Everything Facebook Launched at Both Days of F8 and Why
Marketers might not always tune into developer conferences, but it’s at least worth noting what Facebook talks about at F8. Their announcements about virtual reality and direct brain interfaces sound sexy but some of the more homely elements like QR codes that can trigger in-person experiences and analytics driven by AI have the potential for a bigger impact on marketers’ lives.

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smart-ash-branding-website-featuredDenver Parks & Recreation | Be a Smart Ash Branding
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, making it a great time to highlight the design work we’ve done on the annual reports for Tennyson Center for Children, a nonprofit that works wonders with victims of child abuse.

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