Why the ROI of community doesn’t actually matter

Sarah Judd Welch is the founder & head of community design + BD at Loyal where she designs communities for startups, brands, and Fortune 100s.

I’ve never felt entirely comfortable defending my work in community. Yes, I’ll tell you about Return on Investments (ROI) all you want, but truly, community has much bigger ambitions.

I spent the summer between middle school and high school busing from San Jose’s suburban edges to downtown where I spent my days tutoring students at the local elementary school in their worn down, gang ridden neighborhoods. What I remember most was learning the word “amor” and those morning glory vines attempting to crawl up falling down fences.

A year later, my mom drove our moving truck through that same neighborhood — we were relocating in wake of the tech bubble burst. My mom pulled up into the driveway of a house I had never seen before. I got out of the car. I turned around.

There in front of me was that elementary school. I distinctly remember feeling my identity shift in that moment. I was now a part of the community I had once considered to be so geographically, economically and culturally distant from myself.

Since that day, and many more times since then, I’ve often felt the pulls and strains of community. I spent my remaining few years in San Jose trying to wrap my head around what happened in the economy for my family’s quick descent and figuring out how to uplift my new community at hand.

While tech had always been a part of my day-to-day, it wasn’t until much later in my life that I began to think about the role that the Internet could play building communities of economic significance.

The profile of a community manager

You know the community manager stereotype: the blonde girl with bouncy hair listening to Katy Perry with her pink Dre headphones while she tweets, tweets, tweets. Nope, that’s just not quite accurate.

We’re actually intellectuals and strategist who happen to be very friendly and I, for one, am an introvert. Every facet of my work, from the tweets and tickets to strategy and user flows, is approached with the analysis of an economist, the process of a designer, and the intimacy of a psychiatrist.

Community work is part discipline, part craft. And, community actually matters.

Stop asking what the ROI of community is, it’s been proven

I’m often asked, by founders, Fortune 100 CMOs, devs and BD bros, “What’s the ROI of community?” The business case for community has already been made — defensible business, increased engagement, increased retention, increased lifetime value, and so on. I’m tired of answering this question.

Ask me instead, “What’s the value of community to our customers? What’s the value of community to the world?” To then, I would ask back, “When have you ever sought more loneliness? When have you ever sought less power, mobility or opportunity?”

No one would answer “never” to these. Herein lies the true power of community.

From offline to online

Community is the means by which we find other people who are like us: Churches. Schools. Sports leagues, etc. And then, there’s the online versions of these offline communities — forums, listservs, Google groups, Facebook groups, Web comments, blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn

Community is the means by which we feel less alone. This is good.

Even at my most introverted hours, I still want to feel connected and that people like me are within reach. Likewise, within every single person is a deep desire to connect with other people who are like them. Meaning people who share a common set of values, interests, and have a mutual investment in each other — the three elements that shape the core of every single community. The ability to easily find other people like us online is good, and it makes us feel less alone. These relationships make us happy.

But even further, density of people online who care about each other (loosely or otherwise) and that have common interests is powerful. Just as urban density makes opportunity for a variety of businesses (just one example), from restaurants to convenience stores to entertainment, so does that same density online: e-commerce, sponsored content, SaaS, and more.

The power for an aggregation of people to spend not just their dollars, but also their time can yield significant outcomes: the vast resource of Wikipedia, the crowdfunding of the upcoming Veronica Mars movie, political pressure against the NSA, Etsy itself and more.

Communities own themselves

The funny thing is that these Fortune 100s think they’re building community for themselves, for their own bottom lines. But at the end of the day, communities own themselves.

Although communities might convene around a brand and its interests, they ultimately regulate themselves and will migrate from platform to platform according to their mutual values and interests. The individual members don’t own Wikipedia, Kickstarter, or Etsy, but they do own the relationships they develop with each other, and the corresponding dollars and time spent.

Who knows, with the evolution of the Internet, they may one day own the platforms too.

USA TODAY Sports Weekly

One day, online communities will find their own community-driven solutions for economic significance, and the ROI will be for the members themselves rather than for the brands. Brands will be members or advertisers rather than catalysts. Individuals will be the drivers of commerce. Now, that’s ROI.

Read this article: Why the ROI of community doesn’t actually matter

iTech Capital Injects $10M Into Aviasales, Taking Minority Stake In Russia’s No.1 Travel Search Engine

Russian’s largest travel search engine, Aviasales, which lets consumers find cheap flights and holiday accommodation online or via its apps (operating under the JetRadar brand outside Russia), has bagged a $10 million investment from iTech Capital, which is taking a minority stake in the company.

iTech Capital’s Managing Partner Gleb Davidyuk and Investment Manager Ilya Balandin have both joined Aviasales’ board. It’s the first external investment for Aviasales.

Aviasales said the new funding will be spent on developing its service, expanding its team and promoting “key products” — namely its two search engines (both its Russian market product, and the international offering), as well as funneling money into a Hotellook hospitality project, with the eponymous Russian hotel price comparison service; and a Travelpayouts affiliate network.

In its home market of Russia, Avisales competes (and beats) the likes of SkyScanner, Kayak and Momondo. Its travel metasearch offering gets more than 4 million monthly unique visitors, making more than 500,000 search queries for tickets per day. Aviasales compares prices across more than 100 ticket agencies and more than 60 airline carriers.

Internationally, the company competes as JetRadar, currently in 13 markets outside Russia, including recently launching a Thai version of the service. It says more than one billion fliers use JetRadar annually, with the most active markets being the U.K., Germany and Australia.

“The money will be definitely spent on JetRadar expansion and product localization, specifically huge project is Asian expansion (for example Thailand, where Aviasales HQ is located, doesn’t have any popular service for travel price comparison yet),” the company told TechCrunch.

“The expansion will be based on Travelpayouts partner program development that helps to attract local webmasters to promote the service. Also the money will be spent on Aviasales marketing in Russia and HotelLook product development.”

“Partnering with iTech Capital will allow us to keep up the growth pace on a highly competitive market. At the moment Aviasales is growing by more than 100% a year,” added Aviasales founder, Konstantin Kalinov, in a statement.

“Aviasales is a very popular service that lets people compare flights and hotel offers quickly and easily from various sources, including airline and hotel sites,” said iTech Capital’s Investment Manager Ilya Balandin in a supporting statement. “By investing in Aviasales, we expect synergy with our other online marketing and booking assets to improve growth.”

According to the Federal Agency of Air Transport, the Russian passenger air travel market grew by 14.2% in 2013 to more than 84.5 million fliers. And some RUB 240 billion worth of online tickets and hotel reservations were sold.

See the original post here: iTech Capital Injects $10M Into Aviasales, Taking Minority Stake In Russia’s No.1 Travel Search Engine

VMWare’s $1.5B AirWatch Buy All About The Mobile Workplace

In the latest salvo in the battle to reshape the architecture by which business works VMWare, a multi-billion dollar server virtualization company, just spent $1.5 billion to buy AirWatch, which sells technology to secure data and applications on mobile devices like tablets, smart phones, and laptops.

The acquisition, and the hundreds of millions of dollars venture investors and corporations have spent on new storage technologies, databases, and security, are all trying to find ways to bring more business applications and services to mobile devices like smart phones and tablets.  

With the acquisition of AirWatch – which had previously raised $225 million from investors including Insight Venture Partners and Accel Partners – VMWare can now sell security services that make it easier for professionals to do more work outside of the office.

“AirWatch provides real, important value now. They’re right there when an enterprise says we need to get this stuff [i.e. data and applications] under our control,” said Richard Wells, a managing director with the technology focused growth capital and private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, which led a $225 million financing for AirWatch back in 2013.

That Series A round was one of the single biggest first round financings for a technology company in years, and netted AirWatch a valuation of roughly $1 billion, according to several sources familiar with the deal.

That’s pretty big money, and the AirWatch deal is all part of a wholesale re-evaluation that companies are doing of the basic technology infrastructure that employees use to conduct business every day.

Venture investors and companies like VMWare have spent steadily increasing amounts on mobile security hardware, software and services so that people can do more work from more places – and do it securely, according to data from CrunchBase.

Other big enterprise companies are buying into mobile security too. Citrix, which bought the venture-backed Zenprise in late 2012, and IBM, which paid an undisclosed amount for Fiberlink Communications, a mobile device management are two examples. Venture capitalists have also backed independent private companies like MobileIron with $124 million in financing to pursue the same market in securing mobile business.

For its part, AirWatch sees the VMWare acquisition allowing it to take on a new set of competitors, like venture-backed companies Box and Dropbox, which have raised a combined $350 million from investors in the past two months.

“We see the enterprise content space as an extension of our platform,” said AirWatch chief executive officer John Marshall. “[We have] all the things that make make enterprise content collaboration possible… We have access to partners that own the infrastructure and the virtualization that hits the data center.”

Venture investors view all of this activity as the first wave in moving businesses into the cloud. “Just like our consumer world shifted from 100% PC and 0% mobile to 80% mobile and 20% PC, we’re at the front end of seeing that with the enterprise,” said Matt Murphy, a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Photo via Flickr user funkypancake. 

Go here to read the rest: VMWare’s $1.5B AirWatch Buy All About The Mobile Workplace

Leaked Facebook Video Ad Pitch Deck Reveals Plans To Steal TV And YouTube Dollars

“Avoid saying anything negative about YouTube – leave the impression of the user experience up to them” Facebook tells its adtech partners in a leaked, confidential deck that teaches them to sell Facebook’s video ads. The 32-page document details Facebook’s plan to beat television with reach and YouTube with targeting, and spills the beans about an overhaul to video insights slated for Q1 2014.

If Facebook’s plan works, it could lure in tons of ad revenue as marketers shift their focus from television to digital.

The full “Facebook For Business: Video On Facebook” presentation including slides and Facebook’s notes is splayed out below. It was sent to Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer partners in late November to teach them to sell video ads to their clients. [Correction: This was sent to marketers, not presented at a meeting.] Facebook used NDAs to try to keep the presentation away from the public, but I’ve attained a copy.

Facebook’s pitch for video ads breaks down to three things, as explained in this excerpt from the presentation:

It doesn’t take long for Facebook to start bluntly insulting the stalwart advertising medium. “Gone are the days when a family gathered around their TV on Sunday night to connect with the outside world. Television is no longer a guaranteed way to reach and engage your target audience,” Facebook writes. It cites an eMarketer studying saying time spent on digital will surpass TV in 2013, and notes people open their phone 100 times a day and Facebook 10-15 times a day.

Facebook then hits hard with graphs and Nielsen stats, saying that each major TV network only reach 55% to 61% of 18-24 year olds during prime time, but Facebook reaches 70%. Facebook later hawks its “Blast” campaigns that let brands reach the majority of people on Facebook with a video ad within one to three days.

Other than Google, few digital companies have the ability to reach an entire populace, which classically could only be found on TV. Facebook slams other digital properties, stating  ”A lot of time is spent by people on mobile with Google properties, YouTube, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Twitter and Pinterest…And more total time is spent on mobile on Facebook and Instagram than all of those combined.” It’s that scale, the ability to reach hundreds of millions of people quickly, that Facebook hopes will attract the world’s biggest advertisers.

“On TV, advertisers don’t always know who people are, and over deliver to certain people and can’t reach other people. So advertisers end up hitting the same people over and over again with a large portion of the audience being underexposed.” Again, Facebook isn’t pulling punches here.


One of the social network’s greatest assets is its trove of ad-fueling personal data. Users pour demographic and interest data into their profiles to share with friends and be found, but Facebook also leverages that data to be able to pinpoint them with relevant ads. Taking a dig at YouTube where a lot of demographic data is inferred indirectly and not always accurately, Facebook writes “In narrowly targeted campaigns, the average online reach is 38% accurate, but on Facebook, our average reach is 89% accurate.”

Facebook also touts that users volunteer to watch video ads on its platform instead of being required to watch on YouTube, so the impressions should be valued higher. “When you use video on Facebook, these are chosen views – the consumers clicks to play or scrolls through to watch the video as compared to an ad on YouTube interrupting the user experience and feeling forced.”

Still, Facebook doesn’t want its ad partners coming off as bullies so it explains “Avoid saying anything negative about YouTube.” Instead, partners are supposed to lay out the facts and just imply YouTube is inferior.

Except that it isn’t, at least not right now. And Facebook admits that.


Currently, we only report on video plays, which is a weakness compared to YouTube, which reports on video views, completed views, and average duration of view. We are working on building out our video insights to give advertisers a better sense for how videos are performing. New video insights target launch: Q1 2014. [NOTE: Video insights improvements are highlight (sic) confidential]“

facebook-tv-shadow1So by next year, Facebook’s video ad insights will be a better match for YouTube, but until then, partners are supposed to cite metrics about likes and comments, larger ad images, and a more “streamlined” post-click experience. The fact is that Television is the status quo for advertisers, and YouTube’s roadblock ads (even if you can skip them after five seconds) work similarly to traditional TV commercials. That means Facebook still has an uphill climb in selling its video ads.

While users might be scared that these video ads will stick out like sore thumbs on Facebook, the company is actually in the middle of a push to bring a lot more organic, user generated video to the site. It’s now rolling out its new auto-play video feature on the web and mobile. Facebook mentions videos ads you “scroll through”, which could be a subtle way of noting that auto-play video ads are coming.

But the big thing absent from this deck is measurement. TV and some other online ad platforms have a tough time proving that marketing spend on them generates a return on investment. Facebook may be discounting one of its most potent weapons in the ad war. Online, Facebook hooks into sales information through cookies, hashed CRM data, and Autofill With Facebook. Offline, brick and mortar data providers like Datalogix and Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool let advertisers see if showing someone an ad made them buy more.

It may not be the platform with the biggest reach, targeting, or engagement that captures the ad dollars fleeing television in print, but the one that can best prove its ads actually work.

More on Facebook’s big video push:

Facebook Puts The News Feed In Motion

Facebook Videos Now Auto-Play On Mobile, Expect Video Ads Soon

Full leaked video ads deck below with Facebook’s presenter notes as captions.



Before we dive in, I want to give you a peek at what we mean by ‘video on Facebook.’
We aren’t talking about video ads on the right column of desktop or even just in desktop News Feed – we are talking about video delivered in the palm of your hand wherever you go. Video that takes up almost the entire mobile screen and plays seamlessly in line. This is video on Facebook.


There couldn’t be a better time to invest in video on Facebook. Why? Three critical components of successful marketing are aligned to drive your business results:
1. You want to be where people are. Changing consumer behavior should shape where you spend your marketing dollars.
2. You want to reach all of the people who matter to you. Facebook has unparalleled targeted reach.
3. You want to be in the most engaging digital real estate, which, as you just saw, is Facebook’s News Feed.


If you want people to see your brand messages, you have to reach them where they are spending time.


Consumers are changing the way they spend their time – with more and more people spending time on digital.
Gone are the days when a family gathered around their TV on Sunday night to connect with the outside world.
Television is no longer a guaranteed way to reach and engage your target audience


To get the best perspective on the changes taking place now, it might help to go back to the 50’s
That was the last time a new medium came along to capture the most time per day of people: TV surpassed radio
It was such an important medium that people significantly expanded the amount of time they spent with media
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, July 2013


Television quickly became the focus for people, and soon thereafter the advertising industry, and it ruled for over 50 years
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, July 2013


In the 90’s, we saw a new shift: people began to spend time on Digital media as well
And, according to eMarketer, in 2013 the amount of time people spend per day on Digital media will surpass television
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, July 2013


It’s important to point out that it was mobile (smartphones and tablets) that not only pushed Digital to this inflection point, but is also now the majority of time spent on Digital
And once again, people are adding to the total time they spend with media as they leverage the power of mobile to remain connected to the people and things they care about throughout the day
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, July 2013


Looking forward, it’s not hard to imagine time spent with Digital continuing to increase, and Mobile taking an even more dominant share of that time as technology makes staying connected even easier
Even if you haven’t been investing in TV to date, this data should cause you to stop in your tracks because it speaks to the fact that we’re all now operating in a new paradigm and we have to take digital seriously
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, August 2013


We can all relate to the shift of consumption to mobile because, for many of us, it’s now a device that is with us all day, every day.
In fact, people check their phone 100x/ day and they check Facebook 10-15x/day.


Facebook’s role in the shift to mobile comes to life in terms of time spent on mobile.
A lot of time is spent by people on mobile with Google properties, YouTube, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Twitter and Pinterest
And more total time is spent on mobile on Facebook and Instagram than all of those combined
In fact, Facebook and Instagram make up 21% of total time spent on mobile.
In the end, as marketers, this type of engagement gives you significant opportunities to connect with your core consumers.


But, it’s not just about the engagement we’re seeing on mobile. Facebook’s scale and targeting capabilities enable you to reach all of the people who matter to you.


In the US, you can reach 179M people every month. Many of these people are on Facebook every single day. In fact, you can reach 128M people every day in the US and 101M people every day on mobile.


[Customize this slide with your client’s demographics]On this slide is an audience example for gamers, 18-34 in the US. It is based off of the FB BCT ‘Console Gaming,’ which includes ‘People that have liked pages related to console gaming or otherwise expressed interest in console gaming on Facebook.’


Facebook can help you access customer segments that have typically been hard or very expensive to reach. The size of our global audience coupled with our targeting capabilities enables advertisers to find audiences who they may not be able to find consistently or at scale on other media platforms.
For example, on TV, advertisers don’t always know who people are, and over deliver to certain people and can’t reach other people. So advertisers end up hitting the same people over and over again with a large portion of the audience being underexposed.
With Facebook, you can precisely reach the audience you want, and know that your impressions are being delivered to the right people.
*Data: Network 1: 56%, Network 2: 55%, Network 3: 61%, Network 4: 59%, FB: 70%
Uses Nielsen’s TV/Internet/ Mobile Data Fusion panel to measure differences in reach between Facebook (PC + Mobile) and TV networks looking at a full month of data.


But, you may be wondering how to consider Facebook in relation to your investment in TV advertising.
Facebook delivers incremental reach above TV, particularly for the highly coveted 25-34 demo
During daytime, Facebook can increase reach above each of the major broadcast networks by 125 to 160+% among 25 to 34 year olds.
During Primetime, Facebook can increase reach by 25% to 38% among 25 to 34 year olds.
Key Takeaway:  Content consumption has changed dramatically in the past few years — shifting meaningfully toward digital channels, particularly mobile.  As a result, online, and Facebook particularly, are able to deliver audiences at a scale that allows marketers to either efficiently drive incremental reach on top of TV or execute cross media campaigns with massive reach.
NOTE: Significant incremental reach among 18-24 year olds as well (see slides in appendix)
Daytime: 81-95%
Primetime: 56% – 78%


People are themselves Facebook, which means we can deliver more accurate targeting, based on real information about our users. This also means that advertisers can deliver the most relevant and resonant messages to their target audiences.
The same is true – and even more significant in narrowly targeted campaigns.
In narrowly targeted campaigns, the average online reach is 38% accurate, but on Facebook, our average reach is 89% accurate.
Because of this high accuracy on Facebook, businesses aren’t seeing wasted impressions like they do in other mediums.


So, how will your brand show up on Facebook? Facebook News Feed puts your brand in the center of the most engaging digital real estate.


The News Feed puts brands front and center for the consumer, offering rich ways to capture attention and engagement. The News Feed is a personalized newspaper – where people go to consume photos of their friends and family, news stories, and content from brands.
Similar to television, mobile naturally lends itself to a linear experience, where consumers focus on one piece of content at a time. Every piece of content, whether a photo or an article or an ad, now has the opportunity to capture attention and engagement. Ads consumed in a linear format are 9X more effective than those consumed on a traditional web page, which typically contain multiple ads. The linear format can take up the full screen on mobile and provides a captive moment for marketers to capture attention. [Datalogix]When you use video on Facebook, these are chosen views – the consumers clicks to play or scrolls through to watch the video as compared to an ad on YouTube interrupting the user experience and feeling forced.
The News Feed is the main event on mobile. And, given businesses can appear in the News Feed, they can essentially takeover the entire homepage, resulting in the ultimate engagement with consumers. Our advertising units in News Feed are highly engaging given that they are equal in size and prominence as content from a user’s friends and family. They are not off to the side or secondary to the experience, but are central to the experience and delivered in a linear way.
News Feed ads are 2x the the size of a 300×250 banner, and often can be full screen in mobile.
FB mobile Page post ads are 10-120% more likely to regularly draw attention than other ad types
Likelihood that FB ads and SS regularly draw attention on mobile as compared to other ad type
10% more than Pre-roll or Mid-roll Ads
22% more than Video Ads
38% more than Banner Ads
120% more than Pop-up Ads
Source: Prosper Mobile Insights, July 2012.


Video ads deploy sight, sound, and motion to grab your audience’s attention in News Feed
Page post video ads drive stronger performance than off-site video links given they are optimized for video views and provide a seamless experience to the viewer. Their images are also 11x larger than offsite video, ensuring your brand gets noticed.
FB vs YouTube stats
16.6% of YouTube visits came from Facebook in September 2013 (comScore MyMetrix Source/Loss report, worldwide, home and work – DESKTOP)
Clients may bring up YouTube and argue that it’s better to be on YouTube given they have access to the aggregate counter and more video views. Potential response:
Yes, YouTube has the aggregate counter, but Facebook’s Ad Insights provides additional stats re: likes, comments, and shares
Facebook offers a larger image in the most engaging place on the web – thumbnail takes up a lot of space in News Feed
The post-click experience with native Facebook video is more streamlined than the experience when a user clicks on a link pointing to an offsite video player (see next slide)
Currently, we only report on video plays, which is a weakness compared to YouTube, which reports on video views, completed views, and average duration of view. We are working on building out our video insights to give advertisers a better sense for how videos are performing. New video insights target launch: Q1 2014. [NOTE: Video insights improvements are highlight confidential]


The experience with Facebook native video is much more seamless than when the user is taken offsite to view a video.
This experience becomes even more choppy offsite for age-gated content (e.g., from an alcohol brand) given the person must sign-in to the other app to view the video.
Emphasize the informational/ educational nature of the video
Avoid saying anything negative about YouTube – leave the impression of the user experience up to them


Video can be used across the brand objectives you consider for media planning.
Media planning – these three happen one after the other
1.”Seed”: 100/$200K hyper-targeted teaser to start generating buzz about your new product or brand campaign with your core target audience (e.g., using Partner Categories, Custom Audiences, Interests, competitor’s Interests)
2.”Blast”: 1M campaign to drive mass awareness of your new product or brand campaign to your target audience (typically over a 1-3 day period)
3.”Sustained” media: reinforce your message after the initial blast. You should tailor creative to specific audiences to drive the best results. These campaigns can range anywhere from a week to a few months.


For your blast period, combine the value of video and guaranteed reach in News Feed
Reach the majority of people on Facebook in one or three days with your Page post video message through News Feed
Run campaigns on desktop and/or mobile
Own the segment: One marketer per audience per day
Guaranteed impressions to audience over 24 hours (Reach Block) or 72 hours (Target Block)
Best use cases for mass awareness campaigns:
Product or marketing campaign launch
Drive mass awareness of a time-sensitive message
Teasers to build excitement
Build creative that speaks to the entire audience


You can precede a blast campaign with a ‘seed campaign’ and then follow-up a blast campaign with a ‘sustain campaign.’
Achieve the lowest cost-per-view by combining our accurate, granular targeting capabilities with your compelling video messages
Reach a custom cluster of people who will react favorably to a specific video creative
Run these sustained, targeted campaigns in tandem with mass awareness campaigns to drive the best results
Select a thumbnail that draws people in
Capture their attention in the first 5 seconds
Keep creative short and sweet: no need for an entire story
You can also run sustained campaigns with a mix of photos and videos, depending on your objectives and creative available.


I’ve highlighted why there couldn’t be a better time to invest in video on Facebook.
Be where people are – on mobile.
Targeted reach – reach all of the people who matter to you
Put your brand in the most engaging digital real estate – Facebook’s News Feed.
Now, I want to tell you about a few brands that have had tremendous success using video on Facebook. These brands are driving business results.


comScore action lift study (March 2013) analyzed 10 gaming campaigns across multiple genres – campaigns included a variety of ad units, including video.
Results are compared to a holdout group.


Brands can use high-quality content to build awareness
To launch its new title, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Activision used Facebook ads primarily on mobile to drive video views of its game trailer at scale
Objective: Increase awareness of Activision’s new console game, Call of Duty: Ghosts, with males 18-44 in the U.S.
Delivered 50M impressions over a 3-day period, with majority of impressions delivered on mobile
55% of US males aged 18-24 were reached over 3-day period – Reached 20M US males 18-44 and 23M people in total
85% of impressions delivered on-target, compared to industry norm of 41% (Nielsen Cross-Publisher Online Campaign Ratings)
14% lift in brand awareness among the target audience (18-44)
24% lift in brand awareness among males 25-34
OMD, Activision’s media agency, leveraged Nielsen measurement solutions to validate and compare reach efficiency across its entire digital marketing plan, as well as determine the impact Facebook messaging had on shifting brand metrics such as awareness and message recall


50% ahead of goal for pre-orders of the game (the company was looking to achieve 10% of its total pre-order goal by end of its fiscal year March 31, 2012 and it achieved 15%).
385% increase in people talking about this
8% increase in fans, or nearly 200,000 new fans. The Resident Evil Page now has more than 3 million fans, which means Capcom can reach 350 million friends of fans.
552% lift in viral reach for the Page
Working with its agency Tangible Media, Capcom wanted to engage with existing fans of the Resident Evil Page and acquire new ones:
To make the launch of the new title feel like an event in a way that would generate buzz in the media and on the Internet
To drive pre-orders of the game
[PAGES] Tangible and Capcom made Facebook the center of its campaign to create a massive event out of the announcement of the Resident Evil title on January 19, 2012, seven months ahead of the game’s actual release.
Capcom created a mysterious microsite, nohopeleft.com, and Facebook Page to promote viral teaser content leading up to the official game announcement on the Resident Evil Page.The No Hope Left Page contained cryptic videos and photos featuring panicked citizens and deserted cities, which were hints for existing Resident Evil fans and engaged new fans through all of the viral sharing.
[ADS] The media portion on Facebook had three main phases, all designed to create broad awareness in the gaming and entertainment community.:
The first phase included a flight of Premium Ads designed to build pre-awareness and anticipation around the March 19 reveal of Resident Evil 6..:
Ads included the scary videos and a poll asking people “What would you do when all is lost?”
Another ad invited people to RSVP for a secret event set for March 19, 2102
Ads were targeted at Resident Evil’s large base of then 2 million fans and the broader console gaming community
The second phase was designed to reveal the announcement trailer created for RE6:
A Target Block to U.S. males 18-34 featured Premium Page post Ads to promote the announcement trailer, encouraging people to watch and share the video with their friends
A portion of the video ads drove traffic to a custom tab on the Resident Evil Page with links to pre-order the game
In the third phase, Capcom sustained enthusiasm for the game using a variety of Premium, Marketplace Ads and sponsored stories:
Premium Ads featured the trailer and polls asking fans what characters in the game they were most excited for
Marketplace Ads were used to grow the Resident Evil fan base and were targeted at console gamers


Wendy’s launched a product in 2013 – pretzel bacon cheeseburger
Typically run a product in a few select markets before launching across the US
In test markets, saw people were obsessed with it
Creative agency came up with program called Pretzel Love Songs, essentially making fun of boy bands and love song genre
As people submitted their love songs, Wendy’s asked them if they could use them for advertisements
The real hook was people got to be famous for a minute in a video that Wendy’s was pushing out to tens of thousands of people, primarily through Facebook – they shared these videos over time as different volumes.
This was very different for their brand – typically very traditional with their marketing
BUT, spoke directly to an insight – people want to be famous
Reach: 83M unique individuals
52.7% TV-only
23.2% Overlap
8.3% FB-only
(persons 18+, Nielsen XCR reach)
Typical media buy just talking about impressions and TRPs, but they were able to get MANY unique individuals
Over 8% reached only through digital marketing (incremental reach through FB)
62% of Facebook-only reach was with Millennials – a big deal for Wendy’s given they want to connect with that generation
Huge engagement: 5M+ video views and 1.7B total impressions
Media ROI: % reach from Facebook far exceeded % of investment on Facebook
What does this mean for the company?
Excellent sales results and ROI
They will emulate this strategy in the future b/c it worked so well
Background available in Ad Week video: http://adweek.mlbam.com/video/v30927297 (22:00 – 35:00)


Wanted to boost brand loyalty and drive viewership of its Ramadan Holiday video
Launched a combined TV and FB campaign
4 videos showcasing banks reverence of traditional Saudi values
Two Reach Blocks guaranteed that the ads reached the entire Saudi Facebook audience that logged in that day.
Strong uplift in brand awareness generated by Facebook campaign as found through Bank Albilad’s own internal study.
“Facebook increased our brand loyalty given the valued interaction between our audience and us. This platform, Facebook, was one of the main channels for such a campaign and it will remain a crucial platform for future campaigns.”
Mohammed R. Abaalkheil, Head of Marcom Division, Bank Albilad
Images: https://na7.salesforce.com/069A0000000eaSp


The rest is here: Leaked Facebook Video Ad Pitch Deck Reveals Plans To Steal TV And YouTube Dollars

Report: Smartphone sales surge 61% in Southeast Asia, Android dominates with 72% share

Emerging markets are increasingly accessing the Internet via their mobiles first, given the lower price-point of smartphones — and this is clearly seen in Southeast Asia, where there has been a rapid upswing in smartphone sales as more consumers upgrade from feature phones to smartphones.

According to a new report from market research agency GfK Asia, Southeast Asia’s smartphone sales volume grew 61 percent in the first three quarters of this year, compared with a year earlier.

From January to September 2013, consumers from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines spent $10.8 billion on nearly 41.5 million smartphones, according to a new report from market research agency GfK Asia. Last year, they spent $7.54 billion on 25.8 million smartphones.

Gerard Tan, account director for digital technology at GfK Asia, says September marked a new milestone as well – one in every two mobile handsets purchased in Southeast Asia is now a smartphone.

Among the seven Southeast Asian markets, Indonesia is the one with the greatest smartphone sales volume and value — no surprise considering its large population of about 247 million. Indonesian consumers have already bought 14.8 million smartphones worth over $3.33 billion in the first three quarters of this year, GfK Asia notes.

Thailand and Malaysia follow closely behind — with smartphone sales at 7.2 million and 6.4 million respectively. In terms of smartphone sales value though, Malaysians bought more expensive devices to chalk up $2.25 billion in sales, while Thailand raked in $1.96 billion.

As for the type of smartphones that are raking in the sales in Southeast Asia — it should be no surprise that Apple’s iPhones aren’t as popular in this part of the world, considering the relatively higher prices.

Android has a 72 percent market share in Southeast Asia, and GfK Asia notes that it “continues to be increasingly sought after across six of the markets.” The Android operating system makes up 91, 83 and 81 percent of total smartphone sales in Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore respectively.

It is also catching on in Indonesia — as the proportion of Android smartphone sales jumped by 23 percent within a year, from 37 percent to 60 percent. Previously, BlackBerry was the reigning smartphone operating system there.

Southeast Asian consumers are also expressing their preferences for smartphones with large screens. GfK Asia notes that out of total smartphone sales, the share of four-inch and above smartphones in the first nine months of this year has more than doubled — to 27 percent from 13 percent last year.

Tan observes that this love for big screens will continue — and extend to even bigger phones. He adds that phablets — which GfK defines as those with displays that come in between 5.6 to 6.99 inches — are the latest trend in the market. GfK says that despite being introduced only in mid-2013, more than 460,000 such phablets have already been sold.

It seems like as Southeast Asian consumers prove their thirst for smartphones, Apple’s tactic to leave Asia-Pacific untapped should probably be revised — after all, there is a huge potential market in Southeast Asia which Android is currently dominating, and this means space for Apple to grow its presence.

Headline image via Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images

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TapCommerce Raises $10.5M To Compete In The Mobile Ad Retargeting “Land Grab”

Mobile ad retargeting startup TapCommerce is announcing that it has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

When I first spoke to co-founder and CEO Brian Long earlier this year, he described the company’s approach to mobile retargeting (where ads are targeted based on user’s prior activity) as “very large amounts of data coupled with sophisticated statistical analysis.” This week he told me that TapCommerce is now being used by more than 50 customers, including more than 30 of the top 100 grossing apps.

Retargeting can be particularly important for e-commerce companies (who want to lure customers back to spend more money), so it’s not too surprising that TapCommerce customers include Fab, eBay, and Jackthreads.

Looking at the money that’s already spent on mobile advertising, Long continued, “Our major thesis is that at some point, all of these companies are going to say, ‘Okay we got the installs, we just spent $3 million, what’s happening now? How are we making money on these people?’”

Competitors are starting to emerge, but he suggested that they’re still trying to develop their basic technology, while TapCommerce already has a solid platform (though it will continue to spend money on product development). He also acknowledged that Facebook has started to add retargeting-style options to its mobile app ads, but he said that he’s not worried about the social platforms moving aggressively into retargeting — he sees them more as potential customers of TapCommerce’s technology than as competitors.

Still, he said he was glad to have raised a large round (and almost exactly a year after TapCommerce raised its $1.2 million seed round), because “part of this is going to be a land grab, just as it was on the web.”

The new funding was led by Bain Capital Ventures and RRE Ventures, with a strategic investment from Nielsen Ventures and participation from previous backers Metamorphic Ventures, Eniac Ventures, and Nextview Ventures. Bain’s Scott Friend and RRE’s Eric Wiessen have joined TapCommerce’s board of directors.

Continue reading here: TapCommerce Raises $10.5M To Compete In The Mobile Ad Retargeting “Land Grab”

6 ways to use technology to find your work-life balance

Ilya Pozin is an entrepreneur, writer and investor. He is the founder of Open Me, a social greeting card company, and Ciplex, a digital marketing agency. He’s a columnist on entrepreneurship and marketing

As technology evolves, so do the cries against its impact on our personal lives To some, more apps means more time spent staring at a smartphone and less time spent with loved ones. While times certainly are changing thanks to the new tech in our lives, I beg to differ: tech isn’t hurting us, but actually helping us to find more balance.

Life’s short, and many of the technological advances that roll out on a daily basis are hoping to help us get more out of it. Rather than looking at tech as the downfall of humanity, we should consider it a way to improve our lives and help us to make more time to spend with people we love the most.

While you may be on the hunt for the mythical work-life balance, I prefer to look at my life as a mesh of both personal and professional endeavors. And the growth of tech has only helped to further my productivity and time spent with my loved ones.

Here are a few examples of how tech can help balance your life.

1. It can get you there faster

Whether “there” is home, work, or a quick errand, tech advancements are helping us race the clock faster than ever before. Whether you’re simply using Google Maps or a more focused app like Waze or Beat The Traffic, you’re now able to find the fastest route quickly.

The minutes you’re saving will likely go back to spending time with your family, significant other or even your hobbies. In fact, a shorter commute may even save your relationship — one study found commutes longer than 45 minutes mean you’re 40 percent more likely to get divorced. You should never let work affect personal relationships, especially if it can be salvaged with better time management.

2.  It can give you a much-needed productivity boost

We all know productivity and technology don’t always get along, which may even be how you happened upon this article in the first place. But when used correctly, tech apps and tools can be your productivity secret weapon.

Take Evernote, for example. This app syncs all of your notes, to-do lists, clipping and general reminders across devices, ensuring you never forget anything again. An app like CloudOn will help you boost your productivity by creating documents across Microsoft Office platforms on the go. These, along with countless other tools — like ActiveInbox or Google Drive — are here to help you get your work done and spend more time with those you love.

3. It streamlines your news and information consumption

Gone are the days of timely news reading (think back to starting your day with the newspaper). Thanks to tech, we can now get news and information faster than ever before and in a more organized, digestible way.

Take the multisource video news service Newsy, for example. It analyzes world news for you and produces two-to-three minute, streaming video clips. Or consider The Skimm, a daily newsletter that simplifies headlines. Less time spent sifting and consuming leaves you with more time to get to the things that matter.

Alternatively, if you do find something you want to devote more time to reading later, there are always apps like Pocket and Instapaper. Better yet, save the long reads for the commute if you use public transportation and kill two birds with one stone.

4. It saves you money

Budgeting, saving, and checkbook balancing aren’t just time consuming, they’re also frustrating. But thanks to tech, there are a number of ways to keep your budget in check and find ways to get more for your money.

This could mean booking a cheaper flight, using sites like Kayak, so you can finally go on vacation or finding a low-cost concert ticket. It could also mean earning extra cash by selling old items on Craigslist or getting your daily to-do list done with help from TaskRabbit. Years ago, these things just weren’t as easy as they are today.

5. It cuts normal tasks in half

Think back to the days when a movie night with your family meant a lengthy trip to Blockbuster. Today, you’re able to cut the time spent choosing a movie to watch in half with Netflix.

Grocery shopping has already been made easier thanks to services like Peapod and soon, Amazon Fresh. Both will deliver groceries straight to your door, no need to enter a grocery store.

Tech has provided us with seemingly endless options for getting things done more efficiently. I even built Open Me, my online greeting card company, around this very concept. Being thoughtful and sending a greeting card is a whole lot easier without having to go to the dreaded stationery aisle and spend who knows how long picking the “right” card.

6. It helps us get the best option

Thanks to the numerous online review sites for every product, service, company or experience, we’re now able to save time and go with the most-approved option. Sites like Yelp mean you never have to go without a personalized review again. This means less dinners ruined by poor service and food and more time enjoying life.

Tech isn’t just helpful, it’s becoming an unmatched part of how we find balance and efficiency in our daily lives. Just remember to use them effectively instead of relying on them to begin making choices for you. You still have to be control of your own life.

How does tech help you find balance?

Image credit: dotshock/Shutterstock

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Mobile ads on the rise: US advertisers spent $3b in first half of 2013, up 60% on last year

183641113 Mobile ads on the rise: US advertisers spent $3b in first half of 2013, up 60% on last yearAs consumers are increasingly connecting to the Internet via their smartphones, advertisers are piling on the money to roll out mobile ads. In the first half of 2013, US advertisers spent $3 billion on mobile advertising, up from $1.2 billion a year earlier, according to estimates from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The share of mobile ad expenditure out of total online ad spending in the US more than doubled to 15 percent during the first half of the year, the data showed. In all, US advertisers spent $20.1 billion on Internet ads during the period. Comparatively, TV ad spending will likely stand at around $66.35 billion for the whole of this year, research company eMarketer predicts.

eMarketer is forecasting that that Google will take 46.8 percent of the US mobile ad market this year, while Facebook will have a 14.9 percent share.

Mobile Advertising Begins to Take Off [Wall Street Journal]

Headline image via Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images

Read more from the original source: Mobile ads on the rise: US advertisers spent $3b in first half of 2013, up 60% on last year

Twitter’s M&A Has Ballooned From $52.2M Last Year To Over $417.5M In 2013

When it comes to acquisitions, it’s clear that Twitter had been spending more money on acquiring technologies and talent in 2013 than in the past few years.

According to the company’s recently filed S-1, Twitter spent $52.2 million in cash and stock on acquisitions in 2012. In the first half of 2013, Twitter spent double that, $112.5 million on acquisitions. Note, this does not include the company’s largest acquisition to date, MoPub, which was purchased in September for $305 million in stock.

Other acquisitions made after June include Trendrr and Marakana (it’s unclear how much the company spent on these acquisitions). Even without these numbers included in the tally, Twitter has spent over $417.5 million on acquisitions this year (which isn’t over).

That’s a 700 percent jump in acquisition spend over the past year.

According to the filing, Twitter spent $52.2 million on 10 acquisitions in 2012, which include Dasient ($19.1 million), SummifyCabana, RestEngineVine, Nclud, PosterousHotspots.io, Clutch.io  and one other unnamed acquisition. Together, Twitter spent $33.1 million on these acquisitions (minus Dasient). Twitter also agreed to put up as much as $28.5 million of cash and equity consideration (i.e. bonuses) contingent upon the continued employment of some of the employees of these acquired companies.

In the first half of 2013, Twitter spent $112.5 on acquisitions. These include Crashlytics ($38.2 million in stock), Bluefin Labs ($67.3 million in stock), an unknown acquisition that could be We Are The Hunted ($2.5 million), and three others that could be UbaloSpindle Labs, and Lucky Sort ($4.5 million altogether). It’s unclear if Spindle is a part of this group because the acquisition was made in mid-June of this year, and it may not have been complete by June 30. In addition, Twitter says it agreed to pay up to $54.9 million of equity to employees from these acquisitions on the conditions of staying at the company.

What’s not listed in the acquisitions note in the filing is the $305 million purchase of MoPub (though Twitter did add this in other sections), and the separate acquisitions of Trendrr and Marakana, which were both announced in August. It’s unclear how much Twitter paid for the latter two companies, but counting MoPub, it’s safe to say that Twitter has spent at least $417.5 million on acquisitions this year.

In 2011, Twitter spent $20.4 million (in cash and stock) for TweetDeck. The other acquisitions from 2011 include JulpanWhisper Systems, BackTypeBagcheck, and AdGrok. The total purchase price for these acquisitions was $18.5 million in mostly stock, but a small amount of cash. Twitter also greed to pay an additional $15.5 million in cash and equity for employment. There have been other acquisitions prior to 2011,  (Fluther, Smallthought Systems, Cloudhopper, Atebits, Mixer Labs, Values of n, and Summize) but the filing doesn’t elaborate on these in the note.

While Twitter has made a number of acquisitions for talent, the company’s biggest acquisitions add core functionalities to Twitter’s advertising platform. Twitter sees MoPub as potentially being a key foundation of the company’s mobile advertising efforts. Adding Bluefin’s technology is key to providing analytics to advertisers, especially when it comes to providing marketers with information about what people are saying about their brands from TV.

Dasient added anti-spam and malware security features and talent to Twitter, and Crashlytics brought app crash report tools to the company. Twitter’s purchase of search engine became the foundation for its own search. According to this Business Insider report, Summize’s acquisition could be worth around $800 million with the current value of Twitter’s stock.

As Twitter’s vision broadens, expect the company to continue to be aggressive with its acquisitions, especially with some of the billion dollars it raises in an IPO.

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