Rethinking Media & Marketing with the CSO of Mashable @AdamOstrow

Adam Ostrow, Chief Strategy Officer of Mashable, came to Ogilvy & Mather’s New York office last week to brief the agency on what’s next for media and marketing. He also reflected on the current trends in the space.

For a quick background on Adam, he joined Mashable in 2007 as Editor in Chief. He has Authored 2,500+ articles for the online publishing giant, and currently oversees content, bizdev, and the monetization strategy for Mashable.

A few days later this article hit Ad Age “BuzzFeed’s 2008 Investor Pitch: See Jonah Peretti’s Predictions, Right and Wrong.” Although publishing giants Mashable and BuzzFeed differ in content and audience, both seem to be aligning on future trends in publishing.

That said, Adam started the presentation off with a quick historical view of the state of digital media in 2005 and Mashable’s beginning.

He then moved into the state of digital media in 2013.

Following that, he dove head first into trends and insights. The sketch notes and list below provide a glimpse into this.


Here are 9 Trends to Watch for.

1. Self-Publishing Goes Mainstream

– Everyone can be a content creator and it’s low in cost to produce.

2. Financed by Fans

– Crowdfunding dictates what gets made.

3. Rent vs. Owned Model

– Content lives in the cloud.

4. Pay What You Want

– There is a changing relationship between artists and fans.

5. Demand-Based Distribution

– Knowing where the fans are.

6. New Data Sources

– Forget the traffic helicopter. There’s a new way for media sources and the like to get data, and report out on it.

7. Brands as Content Creators

– An old idea is being transformed to the digital age.

8. Social Algorithms

– The world is getting reorganized by social. Search engines increasingly use social signals to rank results. Aggregators like Flipboard, Pulse and use social signals to organize news.

9. Native Advertising

– The business model of social

“As measured by click-through rates, Sponsored Stories in News Feed perform multiple times better on both desktop and mobile than ads in the right-hand column.” -Facebook

Keys for a successful future in the publishing space

How to future-proof for mobile + social:

1. Design for an optimal experience on every device.

2. Develop an expertise in speaking to your brand’s values; not its products.

3. Create content that drives engagement across social platforms.

4. Organize your teams to take advantage of real-time marketing opportunities.

5. Amplify your brand assets with native advertising solutions.

Big investments to watch for at Mashable:

1. Video – YouTube

2. Long form content

Yes, it’s a bandwagon. Hop on carefully. #Hadouken

It’s a chilly Friday morning in Washington, D.C. and the Social@Ogilvy team is ready for the weekend.  The head of Social@Ogilvy DC is out of the office, and we’ve all been reading about the “next-big-thing” — at least according to Mashable and BuzzFeed.

It’s called Hadouken. Some expect it will be the next Harlem Shake, and our team had to be part of it.

After a quick stroll to DuPont Circle and no shortage of puzzled looks from strangers as our group COO sent imaginary shock waves through the team, we got the perfect shot.

So, why bother?

When done well, a brand’s participation and contribution to a meme has the potential to invite its target audience to participate, share, and comment.

Our colleague Geoffrey Colon recently made the argument that memes like Harlem Shake and now Hadouken represent a sort of disruptive innovation in the marketplace that brands should be watching closely. Geoffrey explained that people are quick to participate in the fun when they’re able to put a personal spin on it.

For the Social@Ogilvy team in The District, creating a version of the new meme was a fun way to be in-tune with pop culture while staying true to the creative Ogilvy brand. We also brought along a few fun props (can you spot the shark?) to make it unique to our office.

When it comes to client work, we often have conversations about this sort of thing: how to stay committed to established brand values, but also be able to create engaging content and be part of the conversation online. John Bell, Social@Ogilvy’s Global Managing Director wrote recently that, to some extent, memes like this resemble social “movements.” It is no surprise that many brands would love to be involved in something that may be considered a movement.

But, movements and online fads have the potential to quickly turn into crisis situations and deciding whether to participate or even lead a movement can be tricky.

Brands can start by asking a few questions:

1. Does this reach and interest our target audience(s)?

2. Does this hurt or help our public image?

3. What are the potential dangers of joining this conversation (i.e. can our participation be misconstrued)?

4. How does joining this conversation lend itself to our broad engagement strategy online?

5. Can we do this well, and quickly enough so that our participation can lead the adoption of the meme?

That list may be longer for some brands and the answers may lead to not participating in some things.  But other brands may quickly see that having a little fun and partaking in the latest, greatest meme may make perfect sense.

Bandwagons exist to be ridden, and there’s always a new one around the corner. So find the one that’s right for your brand, and hop on.

Look Out for Innovation and Stay Focused – A Visit from Tumblr’s CEO

The world, and especially New York, can’t get enough of David Karp.

The founder of the blog publishing platfom, Tumblr, spoke with Social@Ogilvy’s Managing Director, John Bell at Social Media Week yesterday.

Consistent with all reports about the young entrepreneur, and similar to his last visit to Ogilvy, he spoke with humility and true affection about his platform and the state of affairs for the social network community.

It has been months since David Karp has written code. He hasn’t retired engineering, exactly; he’s focusing on steering the ship, acting as a chief navigator for the little big site. He admits he’s out of practice, and dabbling with new code would only be a setback to his driven and autonomous team of engineers.

We’re now getting to the source of why this quiet creator is the darling of memes and Forbes – unlike many entrepreneurs, he has built a self-sufficient operation, which has allowed him to stay focused on the future of his company on a daily basis.

If you missed this honest and insightful conversation, you can watch Social@Ogilvy’s exclusive chat during Social Media Week below.

Here are are three quick things you should know from the panel:

1.  Mobile is in a transient place – Tumblr and sites like it work in tandem with the hard side of engineering – Karp gives real credit to the “creative horsepower of the new software.” Your ability to Tumble from your mobile changes Tumblr, demanding a mobile dashboard. Karp says to pay attention to this symbiotic relationship.

2.  Surprise people and you will do well – When it comes to the all too-familiar multi-screen experience, brand advertising, and storytelling, Karp reminds the audience that we like, reblog, and respond to unexpected cleverness. If you are looking to make waves – ooh and ahh the audience that sees a million things every day.

3.  Stay disciplined on where you put your energy – Karp cites Tumblr as an example – outsourcing analytics was a choice on behalf of the betterment of the company, to keep Tumblr moving on its projected path and vision. Remind yourself of your end-goal, ask yourself if your energy output is getting you there, or distracting you?

Karp is a celebrated individual – and deserves the credit for his business savvy and creative brainchild – but yesterday, he reminded us that the most important thing in professional and personal pursuits is to respond to the pattern of behaviors you are witnessing in the world – while staying true to yourself.

Publications that covered the panel: 

Community Manager Appreciation Day Data Recap #CMAD

In 2010 Jeremiah Owyang, Partner, Altimeter Group, started Community Manager Appreciation Day (#CMAD). As a Community Manager 3.0, this day is very much appreciated, but I’m certainly not the only one who felt this way.  Community Management is a growing profession and skill set. This growth is evident from LinkedIn, as they report a 46% year-on-year growth.  With that being said, it didn’t take long for #CMAD to go trending on Twitter, which makes Community Managers and marketers wonder – what does the data look like?

Jeremiah tweeted midday:

Our Community Manager (me) responded:

So, what does this mean for the Community Manager 3.0?

A few days earlier, Social@Ogilvy did a Tweet Chat with WOMMA about community management and influencers, and in just one hour, #WOMMAChat went trending in the United States. It accumulated more than 5.5 million impressions over 1,400 tweets.

For those looking to game the Twitter Trends algorithm, it seems a quick burst of organic tweets is the goal. For our #WOMMAChat, we went Trending in the United States at about 45 minutes into the chat with approximately 900 tweets containing the hash tag #WOMMAChat.

Here are three quick tips to add to Mashable’s 10 qualities of a Community Manager, before we dive into some more of the data behind #CMAD.

Tip #1: Although they say multitasking “is largely an illusion” and it can’t be done. The Community Manager 3.0 has to multitask; there is no choice. These managers have to create, observe, analyze, adapt, respond, and then create again. Some of these tasks happen simultaneously, while having to wear many hats.

Tip #2: Get to know analytics tools. This goes a bit beyond Google Analytics, which is great for monitoring websites. Tools like Radian6 or Sysomos provide a larger scope of the conversation on the Web.

Tip #3: It’s a Community Manager’s job to have a deep awareness of content strategy and the psychology of their audience.

Some data behind #CMAD

#CMAD on 1/28/13 received an estimated 72.9 million impressions from 15,450 Twitter mentions.

As we move further into Community Manager 3.0, we’ll see that the Community Manager is actually a business leader.  As John Bell, Global Managing Director, Social@Ogilvy, put it,

“We talk about the next generation of Community Managers (CM 3.0) having responsibility for Facebook ad spend. That is just one responsibility that is coming. But just that one elevates the role significantly, as the premium offerings in Facebook and Twitter are increasingly becoming a hybrid of art and science (see my thoughts on the CM pay scale). At the end of the day, these ad platforms are about delivering valuable content to more people. The CM 3.0, responsible for story content in social channels, will want to control that.”

Suit Up For CES 2013: Your Coverage Guide

Don’t call it the “Consumer Electronics Show” anymore. 156,000 people will descend on Vegas this week for CES 2013 and despite the TV’s – 3D, Ultra HD, Internet connected and more – this isn’t about discrete boxes. Software, content, contextual computing (e.g. driving), “human verticals” (e.g. healthcare and fitness), next generation entertainment and so much more will vie for attention amidst the 1.9 million square feet of showspace.

I will not be attending. But Ogilvy & Mather and Social@Ogilvy will be there and will be covering our experience on the floor to make it easier for all of us to weed through the clutter, get a daily summary of what matters and feel connected to the show.

The show is huge. Any experience that can boast Vinton Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, Lemmy Kilmister (yes, from Motorhead) and Snooki is a big smorgasbord. Each of us would do well to make a list of trends to pay attention and let the other stuff fall by the wayside.

From a digital marketers pov, I have outlined 7 trends or experiences I will be watching for during the week. You can check them out on my post: Filtering CES 2013: This Marketer’s Guide to What Matters

  • More SocialTV and the Second Screen Experience
  • More Connected Automotive
  • Next Generation Entertainment Content
  • Attentive Computing
  • Connected and Enabled Healthcare and Fitness
  • Appy Hour
  • Eureka Park

As for connecting to coverage to make you feel like you are there, here are the must have resources:

Ogilvy & Mather

We will have a team on the ground, as well as a few speakers, presenters. They will be tweeting and posting longer content throughout the show. All of it will be filtered from a marketers perspective.

Ogilvy at CES Blog – Look for daily posts from our team on the floor

Ogilvy at CES Twitter – Follow daily activity including some in-session coverage

Social@Ogilvy Twitter – We will be tweeting about coverage as it intersects specifically with social and digital marketing

CES 2013

The CES Twitter Handle

CES Google+ page where you should expect some interesting Hangouts throughout the show

CES Facebook page for routine updates

CES Instagram account – I am guessing that these will be cross-posted to Facebook

CES Blog stories of the big event

CNET at CES 2013

You can follow any of the individual Twitter handles (about 50) from this page.

The following is a short list, I find valuable:

CNET – The best of everything at CES.
CNET News – Live-tweets from major press events and all the top stories.
CNET TV – Live coverage of press events, product videos, and CNET shows.
Crave – All the gorgeous gadgets.

CNET at CES – the Twitter List of various reporters and sources

What stories will you be following?

Where in Social Media are Young Teens?

Last week, first lady Michelle Obama explained that Facebook is not something her daughters need. More specifically, when asked if Sasha and Malia are on Facebook, Mrs. Obama joked that she’s lucky to be under a lot of constraints, noting the United States Secret Service as one of the obstacles preventing her girls from obtaining a personal Facebook account. I couldn’t help but wonder, how many people share Mrs. Obama’s sentiments? In particular, does parental disapproval affect the way young teenagers use social media?


Continue reading Where in Social Media are Young Teens?