Category: the Future is Here

11 Jul 2018
google

Aim for the Bullseye, then Try Again

Every marketing and advertising campaign needs associated metric goals and reporting. These key performance indicators (KPIs) help you tailor the future of your marketing team [or allocation if you wear multiple hats].

When asked “Is your marketing successful?” 43% of CoSchedule’s surveyed group answered neutral or lower. If almost half are undecisive or unsatisfied, that’s a lot of wasted effort. But did you know that cognitive computing can help you aim your campaigns more closely to your audience and speed up the fine-tuning of your campaign styles?

As discussed in the first two parts of this series, marketing and advertising campaigns are a mixture of creative thinking and mass amounts of data—e.g., understanding your customer and showing them something that would get their attention.

Truer than trial and error, cognitive computing gives you a simulated estimate of the feedback from your audience. This serves your business two-fold.

Firstly, you can have an idea of what you can expect from your customers before the launch. [This is different than what we talked about in part 2; here, we are talking about after the design is completed, but before the campaign is actually unveiled.] By gauging your customer response prior to the actual campaign launch, you can set realistic goals and benchmarks.

Holding your campaign to unrealistically high KPIs will just bum you out, even if the results are positive. Adversely, unrealistically low KPIs will make you pessimistic and quite possibility kill your campaign before it even hits the ground. It’s all about perception when it comes to your goals, and, in this case, foresight will make you more accurate and potentially happier.

Secondly, when you campaign is completed, you can compare the estimated metrics against the actual metrics for a post-mortem on your completed campaign. Since your expectations were realistic, you can ask yourself, did the results match? Was there a higher response from an unexpected market or audience? Did you overspend or underspend where it really would have made a difference?

This follow-up is essential to moving forward with your marketing mindset. Seeing your KPIs compared against your now-logical goals allows you to rework what you learned into your next advertising campaign. You can finally gain that competitive edge… on yourself.

Don’t miss out on:

Part 1: Your Campaign Worked… But How Do You Know Which Part?

Part 2: Stimulate Your Creative Process

 


About the Author

amanda-lovewell-headshot

Amanda Lovewell is a copyeditor for bloomfield knoble. She works to keep the brand voice intact for us, and for our clients. She lives for any form of artistic expression, especially music. One day, she would love to travel creating short stories about her misadventures.

 

Connect with Amanda Lovewell
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

27 Jun 2018
data-vs-goliath-part-2-051618_google

Stimulate Your Creative Process

Before customer data was so readily available and the number of mediums became countless, advertising was simpler. Still a challenge, but simpler.

I think of Mad Men, particularly when they come up with the idea for lipsticks in season 1. What we watched was a focus group of their target audience (young women of the 1960s) try on various hues of lipsticks and answering questions from the company’s market researcher.

Once they figured out the copy – and the copywriter in this case – the episode is done with this plot.

The thing is… today, that’s only half the job. Where does this ad go? Does it come out as an email blast, mailouts, text messages, billboards, a magazine, etc.? They never tell us the base strategy of the campaign, which personally bothers me, because the slogans they decide on are so abstract that I can’t wrap my head around a medium that works with the copy. I see a vague design, but not a medium.

In part 1 of these series, we talked about how cognitive computing mimics human thoughts and opinions. In that statement alone, so much is unsaid by the person, like:

  • Do I know this brand?
  • Is this something I’ve heard of?
  • Do I know anyone who uses or recommends this?
  • Is this brand honest?
  • Will I waste my money here, or get tricked?
  • Do I expect any repercussions or stigmatization for using the brand?
  • Do I actually need to buy this?

Learning how your customers (active or potential) behave prepares you for these questions moving forward. The good news is once you identify this information and let it evolve with your growing or changing clientele, you get to go back to creative part.

Why do you need to do the strategy first? It might seem more fun to come up with catchy slogans with your coworkers and then make it an advertisement… because it is. However, your medium decides the roots of the message you choose, and sometimes, what you come up with doesn’t fit where you want to advertise. Slogans for a billboard may not work for a commercial spot. A magazine ad may not work for mailed postcards.

Once you know how (strategy) and where (medium) you want to advertise, you have guidelines to work with. Cognitive computing brings you there more quickly, by helping you see the way your customers think and feel – with real numbers that you can trust. Then you use these results to start brainstorming, which is already stronger due to your focus on your audience and your medium. It’s much easier to be creative with a directly, then to just pull ideas out of the idea.

Don’t skip Part 1. Check it out here.

 


About the Author

amanda-lovewell-headshot

Amanda Lovewell is a copyeditor for bloomfield knoble. She works to keep the brand voice intact for us, and for our clients. She lives for any form of artistic expression, especially music. One day, she would love to travel creating short stories about her misadventures.

Connect with Amanda Lovewell
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

 


Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

17 May 2018
data-vs-goliath-part-1-050818_google

Your campaign worked… but how do you know which part?

You’ve done the research, the legwork and maybe even some focus studies before your last campaign, and the results were actually strong enough to reach your goals. That’s great! But what made it different from the others that had less success? It can be hard to tell without the right tools or information.

What is cognitive computing?

According to IBM, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created daily – that’s a huge increase of data compared to just a few years ago. Studies show that 90% of the data in the world has been created in the last two years alone. It’s too much to process but it’s all important. That data contains your consumers opinions and preferences, which is as available as it is fast through just scrolling down a social media feed.

Cognitive computing synthesizes the data you need by using artificial intelligence and machine learning to simulate how the human mind operates. Basically, cognitive computing impacts advertising by helping you guide your campaign to align its message with its audience.

In 1998, bloomfield knoble was founded as an internet design and development company that quickly blossomed into a full-service advertising agency. We use creativity and cognitive computing to work with our company, including large U.S. organizations like NASA, Fannie Mae and Vizient.

Through observed trends and patterns of typical target customer thoughts, opinions, emotions and actions, campaign results become more accurate and, therefore, more valuable.

The cognitive way of thinking is quickly catching fire. In fact, according to a survey conducted during a 2017 IBM study:

  • 73% of global CEOs feel that “cognitive computing will play an important role in the future of their organizations”
  • 50% of global CEOs said “they plan to adopt cognitive computing by 2019”
  • Executives who participated in the survey anticipate 15% return on investment from these endeavors

How will your business benefit from this?

This 3-part series is based on a presentation by our chief operating officer, Tom Thompson, on May 18, 2018, at the Plano Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Council Breakfast.


About the Author

amanda-lovewell-headshot

Amanda Lovewell is a copyeditor for bloomfield knoble. She works to keep the brand voice intact for us, and for our clients. She lives for any form of artistic expression, especially music. One day, she would love to travel creating short stories about her misadventures.

Connect with Amanda Lovewell
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

14 Feb 2017
soundlly

Watching TV is about to get even more interactive.

Soundlly is using data-filled tones to stream additional content to mobile devices.

Let me start this post off by saying that “Soundlly” is not a typo, no matter what spell-check / auto-correct says. Instead, Soundlly is the name of a company in Seoul, South Korea, which has developed a technology that uses sounds at low volume to deliver bonus television content to your cellphone or tablet. So there.

Anyway, I always liked the Shazam app. I thought it was a great way to learn more about songs that caught my attention. I know there was (and may still be) a big push to use Shazam as part of TV ads and movie trailers, etc., but I don’t think I used it for anything other than learning who was singing what song. When Shazam became available through Siri (“Who is this singing?”) I deleted the app, but love the idea. Now comes a new concept – sounds at low volume used to deliver bonus television content to a cellphone or tablet.

“Imagine that you’re watching a travel program and your phone instantly receives the exact location, booking details and nearby attractions of the place you see,” says Tae Hyun Kim of Soundlly. The system uses the TV’s speakers to play data-filled tones alongside whatever you are watching. You won’t notice a difference, but the microphone on your smartphone will, picking up additional content streamed alongside the main event. “This can make television interactive,” says Tae. This use of ultrasound is already possible, but the volume levels break broadcasting rules and can irritate people or animals. “The real advantage of our system is that its noise level is the same as a quiet library,” says Tae.

From a technology perspective, Soundlly is easy to implement because it’s all software. Just integrate the Soundlly SDK in your app to easily build a second screen service. They provide a full software package to send a sound beacon through any speakers that can be detected by a mobile device. From an advertising perspective, we’re all looking for ways to extend brand equity onto the second screen to drive engagement and this may be a good way to achieve it. As I mentioned earlier, I know some brands put the Shazam logo in the corner of their ads (and may still do), but that relies on listening and connectivity to an outside source. I used to watch DaVinci’s Demons on cable and they had a companion app to the show that was really good. It would give additional information about the historical setting of the show and you could learn more about characters, etc. It was a great app except that it was timed like a rehearsed slide show. You pressed “start” on the app at the beginning of the show and they ran side-by-side. Of course, the minute I paused the show or closed the app, I lost the benefit of the app.

The current trend in second-screen engagement seems to be real-time interaction on social media. I know this can happen organically, but some shows, like The Blacklist on NBC, push this engagement with directed hashtags and fan interaction during the broadcast (I’m guilty of this, by the way – as a fan – not because they are a client). Anyway, delivering data via this type of stream would ensure timely and relevant content to an engaged audience. This type of technology would be a great way to deliver unique content, coupons, engage users (such as live voting) or retargeting. Even better, this technology is already available and being used by brands in Korea, which means there is (or will be) some data available to justify the addition of this SDK on behalf of clients.
I know that it’s really, really hard to break onto the second screen, but I think this type of technology is a great fit for QVC or any type of cooking program. The ability for an app to interact through any broadcast and deliver a call to action in real-time (or later) is a powerful tool for agencies and certainly worth exploring further. Check them out for yourself at http://www.soundl.ly.

PS – I put their URL to prove that I have not been spelling their name incorrectly. Furthermore, I just think the technology is clever – I have no stake or ties to this company – but would like to.

 


About the Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect with Thomas Thompson
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

01 Nov 2016
2016-07-16-13-23-24-225x300

Turns out Tweens are, well, different.

The next generation of consumer is even more different than you think.

My 11 year-old son makes me insane. Don’t get me wrong, I love him more than anything, but after watching him walk around with a trash can on his head the other day, I’m starting to think that maybe . . . just maybe . . . there is something wrong with him.

Fortunately, I’m lucky enough to have unrestricted access to a cognitive neuroscientist – his grandmother.

I was quickly (a) assured that there is nothing wrong with my son; (b) that I was way worse in terms of making my parents insane; and (c) that, duh, he’s a kid.

Quick side note – people here at bloomfield knoble know that I have a tendency to explain Hawking / Einstein when asked, “what time is it?” Well, if you think I’m bad, you should meet my Mom. Here’s what I learned about Tweens and early Teens: Adolescence is a period of human brain growth and that from about 12 until 14 the brain’s cortex layers thin down probably as a result of pruning out unwanted connections between neurons, while important neurons gain a sheath that helps transmit signals more quickly. I was directed to a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America titled, “Adolescence is associated with genetically patterned consolidation of the hubs of the human brain connectome.”

While I am more familiar with physics than biology, I thought I would take a look and uncover the mystery of youth. I was kind of excited, not just because I would like to figure out what is going on inside my son’s brain, but also because we at bloomfield knoble have had the opportunity to work on many projects that involve marketing to the parents of children. Let’s be honest about our industry – it’s not just advertising to the parent, it’s also getting the child excited about the product enough to help encourage the parent to make a purchase. So I’m pretty confident that this new research could really help us better understand the next generation of purchaser and position us as an agency to get ahead of the curve.

I made it through the abstract.

How does human brain structure mature during adolescence? We used MRI to measure cortical thickness and intracortical myelination in 297 population volunteers aged 14–24 y old. We found and replicated that association cortical areas were thicker and less myelinated than primary cortical areas at 14 y. However, association cortex had faster rates of shrinkage and myelination over the course of adolescence. Age-related increases in cortical myelination were maximized approximately at the internal layer of projection neurons. Adolescent cortical myelination and shrinkage were coupled and specifically associated with a dorsoventrally patterned gene expression profile enriched for synaptic, oligodendroglial- and schizophrenia-related genes. Topologically efficient and biologically expensive hubs of the brain anatomical network had greater rates of shrinkage/myelination and were associated with overexpression of the same transcriptional profile as cortical consolidation. We conclude that normative human brain maturation involves a genetically patterned process of consolidating anatomical network hubs. We argue that developmental variation of this consolidation process may be relevant both to normal cognitive and behavioral changes and the high incidence of schizophrenia during human brain adolescence.

So I called my Mom back, who, having heard from me twice in the same week presumed that something was terribly wrong, to ask for a summary of the report. It turns out that kids are different. Not just different, but different. As in, their brains aren’t like ours. Playing – even if it seems pretty nonsensical to adults – is training their brain to process information. Lack of focus is the brain creating pathways to different files that form foundations for future reasoning. Doing stuff that seems, well, stupid, is just a part of growing up. What we, as adults, perceive as a lack of common sense, is really just the brain shedding – or adding – layers of information.

I asked my Mom about ways that we, as an agency, could better market to Tweens. She chuckled (or snorted, either way it was a verbal dismissive gesture) and said that while market research may generate some observable results, the simple truth is that adults no longer know how to relate to kids that age – our brains simply don’t work like that anymore. Furthermore, asking a kid to come up with an ad for kids doesn’t work so well either, because it forces them to process information differently. In other words, asking a kid to come up with an ad will get the kid to stop acting like a kid and start thinking (or trying to think) like an adult who is problem solving. My Mom said that the best examples of success in her trials had always been to watch kids at play and observe. Enough observation may reveal certain patterns of behavior that could be used to identify opportunities for engagement.

I decided to give it a try – rather than let my son make me insane, I decided just to observe and try to identify a pattern that we could use on our next project. That lasted about 20 seconds because my kid declared himself a human Nerf gun and shot a dart out of his nose.

I think we’ll just avoid marketing to children in the future.

 


About the Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect with Thomas Thompson
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

15 Feb 2016

True Artificial Intelligence Closer to Reality

I, for one, welcome our new computer overlord.

I’ve seen enough movies to know that an Artificial Intelligence will rule the planet some day. While these usually end up going pretty poorly for humans (The Matrix, Terminator), I’m hoping that a pro-AI article (most likely being read by the AI) will allow me a position in the new world order. Perhaps bloomfield knoble can be the agency promoting the excellence and benevolence of our wise, yet still humble, AI ruler?

Why the sudden shift on the AI spectrum? It’s because the evil geniuses at Google DeepMind, along with equally evil geniuses at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) at the University of Montreal, have created a machine that beat the European champion at the ancient game of Go and mastered several video games from the Atari 2600. While that may not seem a huge deal (I mean, really, Space Invaders wasn’t that challenging – I totally mastered it after 3 years of constant play), the face that the team just created an artificial intelligence that can navigate 3D mazes (think Doom) is.

According to a recently published article, the team proposes “a conceptually simple and lightweight framework for deep reinforcement learning that uses asynchronous gradient descent for optimization of deep neural network controllers. The best performing method, an asynchronous variant of actor-critic . . . succeeds on a wide variety of continuous motor control problems as well as on a new task involving finding rewards in random 3D mazes using a visual input.” In plain language, they just invented a machine that can play a game by looking at the screen. This really should be written like, JUST BY LOOKING AT THE SCREEN!

From a science perspective, this is a big deal because it was generally believed that the combination of simple online reinforcement learning algorithms with deep neural networks was fundamentally unstable. Most research in this area focused on the idea that the sequence of observed data encountered by an online reinforcement learning agent is non-stationary and online reinforcement learning updates are strongly correlated. By storing the agent’s data in an experience replay memory, the data can be batched or randomly sampled from different time-steps. Aggregating over memory in this way reduces non-stationarity and decor relates updates, but at the same time limits the methods to off-policy refinfocement learning algorithms. The authors instead present a very different paradigm for deep reinforcement learning. Instead of experience replay, they asynchronously execute multiple agents in parallel, on multiple instances of the environment. This parallelism also decor relates the agents’ data into a more stationary process, since at given time-step the parallel agents will be experiencing a variety of different states. This simple idea enables a much larger spectrum on fundamental on-policy reinforcement learning algorithms to be applied robustly and effectively using deep neural networks.

From a still-kind-of-science-but-what-does-that-mean-to-me perspective, this is a big deal because the results show that stable training of neural networks through reinforcement learning is possible with both value-based and policy-based methods, off-policy as well as on-policy methods, and in discrete as well as continuous domains. The experiments tested for the paper were just to show the proof of their concept. By combining other existing reinforcement learning methods or recent advances in deep reinforcements learning with asynchronous framework presents many possibilities for immediate improvements to the methods they presented. Basically, the team just made AI go from a pre-teen to a teenager and gave the blueprint for how it can head off to college to grow into a gracious and generous AI ruler who remembers, and rewards, the people that spoke positively about it during it’s awkward stages of puberty.

PS – In analyzing the data results in the paper, several data points were measured against a human (how well the human scored vs. the machine plotted over time) and it occurred to me that someone’s job at Google DeepMind is to play Atari 2600 video games for many, many hours on end. This really should be written like, GETS TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES. On the incredibly off-chance that anyone at Google DeepMind reads this, please keep me in mind for future reinforcement learning projects that involve humans playing video games. I assure you that I will put in as many hours as necessary to help you in the name of science. Thank you.


 About The Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson
twitter
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.