Tag: strategy

11 Mar 2015
Joe Isuzu

Trust me, I'm Google.

Stupid question, but I’m going to ask it anyway, have you Googled anything lately? Of course you have, everyone has. I mean, it’s Google. Duh.Joe Isuzu

At bloomfield knoble, we don’t just use Google, we study Google. We ponder, pontificate, process and a bunch of other fancy sounding “p” words about it. Why? Because we have to. Google is an essential component of our integrated marketing efforts at bloomfield knoble. We’re always worried about SEO and more often than not, we’re utilizing SEM as well (in addition to everything else we do that makes up integrated marketing). So when we hear something about Google – specifically that Google is doing something new that could affect the way we do things, our ears perk up and we pay attention.

As such, my ears (well, more my eyes since I was reading at the time) perked up when I saw an article by Hal Hodson in a recent issue of New Scientist. According to Hodson, Google is adapting their model.

The Internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free “news” stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness. Google’s search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them.

A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting the incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the team. The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score. The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.

There are already lots of apps that try to help Internet users unearth the truth. LazyTruth is a browser extension that skims inboxes to weed out the fake or hoax emails that do the rounds. Emergent, a project from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, New York, pulls in rumors from trashy sites, then verifies or rebuts them by cross-referencing to other sources. LazyTruth developer Matt Stempeck, now the director of civic media at Microsoft New York, wants to develop software that exports the knowledge found in fact-checking services such as Snopes, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org so that everyone has easy access to them. He says tools like LazyTruth are useful online, but challenging the erroneous beliefs underpinning that information is harder. “How do you correct people’s misconceptions? People get very defensive,” Stempeck says. “If they’re searching for the answer on Google they might be in a much more receptive state.”

It becomes immediately obvious that establishing trustworthiness will become an integral (if not central) aspect of marketing campaigns in the future. Or (for those of you old enough to remember) you can go this way:


 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
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

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.

11 Mar 2015
Joe Isuzu

Trust me, I’m Google.

Stupid question, but I’m going to ask it anyway, have you Googled anything lately? Of course you have, everyone has. I mean, it’s Google. Duh.Joe Isuzu

At bloomfield knoble, we don’t just use Google, we study Google. We ponder, pontificate, process and a bunch of other fancy sounding “p” words about it. Why? Because we have to. Google is an essential component of our integrated marketing efforts at bloomfield knoble. We’re always worried about SEO and more often than not, we’re utilizing SEM as well (in addition to everything else we do that makes up integrated marketing). So when we hear something about Google – specifically that Google is doing something new that could affect the way we do things, our ears perk up and we pay attention.

As such, my ears (well, more my eyes since I was reading at the time) perked up when I saw an article by Hal Hodson in a recent issue of New Scientist. According to Hodson, Google is adapting their model.

The Internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free “news” stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness. Google’s search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them.

A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting the incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the team. The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score. The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.

There are already lots of apps that try to help Internet users unearth the truth. LazyTruth is a browser extension that skims inboxes to weed out the fake or hoax emails that do the rounds. Emergent, a project from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, New York, pulls in rumors from trashy sites, then verifies or rebuts them by cross-referencing to other sources. LazyTruth developer Matt Stempeck, now the director of civic media at Microsoft New York, wants to develop software that exports the knowledge found in fact-checking services such as Snopes, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org so that everyone has easy access to them. He says tools like LazyTruth are useful online, but challenging the erroneous beliefs underpinning that information is harder. “How do you correct people’s misconceptions? People get very defensive,” Stempeck says. “If they’re searching for the answer on Google they might be in a much more receptive state.”

It becomes immediately obvious that establishing trustworthiness will become an integral (if not central) aspect of marketing campaigns in the future. Or (for those of you old enough to remember) you can go this way:


 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
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

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.

16 Feb 2015
adwords logo

Fighting bad advertising practices on the web.

adwords logoEvery once in a while something comes across my computer here at bloomfield knoble that reminds me of  just how big online advertising really is.

Last week I was reading Inside AdWords, Google’s official blog for news, tips and information on AdWords, and I saw the number 524 million. I read this blog, and a lot of other articles about AdWords, because online marketing is a core competency for us at bloomfield knoble. We believe that marketing or advertising campaigns are made better by taking an integrated approach. We work hard to build brand equity across a variety of platforms, including online, search, radio, TV, print and, depending on client, mass, in-store, out-of-home, etc. I tell you this so you know, that we at bloomfield knoble know online advertising.

Anyway, the blog entry is titled, “Fighting Bad Advertising Practices on the Web – 2014 Year in Review” by Vikram Gupta, director, ads engineering for Google. In the article, Gupta writes that Google disabled more than 524 million bad ads and banned more than 214,000 advertisers in 2014. Think about that for a minute – 524,000,000 ads were banned from Google. Five hundred . . . twenty four . . . (insert Dr. Evil voice here) MILLION ads. This shocked me for two reasons. The first is that if we figure, just a guess, that 10% of ads are bad, then that means there are about 5 billion ads running on Google. They next time a client asks why we need so much demographic information, I’m going to remind them that we’re competing with 5 billion other ads. The second is that, in my naiveté, I didn’t know that scam artists would put the effort into creating bad ads. I mean, how much money is there to be made in a weight loss scam that a person would go through the effort to set up an account – build creative – manage the process – and everything that goes into getting an ad seen by a potential customer? Some clients say it feels like pulling teeth to get any budget for online advertising, and here are a bunch of bad advertisers churning out 524 million ads. I mean, really?

According to Google, “We work hard to keep our advertising ecosystem clean for users, advertisers, and publishers, and continue to invest substantial resources to stop bad advertising practices. We have a team of analysts who work around the clock to protect users, and continue to hone our detection technology to identify bad ads and stop bad actors as it’s a vital part of keeping our ads ecosystem clean. As an example, last summer our analysis technology flagged a set of accounts as suspicious. To the human eye, the ads looked like ordinary rental property ads that met our policies. After we dug in deeper, we discovered that the system was right to be suspicious – the vacation rentals turned out to be a scam and the rental properties didn’t exist. Our systems learn from incidents like these, helping us more effectively catch and remove bad ads and advertisers. For the past several years, we’ve shared insight into our efforts to fight bad actors on the web. Today, we’re sharing new data on how we fought bad advertising practices over the past year. Overall, we disabled more than 524 million bad ads and banned more than 214,000 advertisers in 2014. While this represents a tiny fraction of the total ads on our platform – the vast majority of advertisers follow our policies and act responsibly – we continue to remain vigilant to protect users against bad advertising practices.”

Thank goodness.

Google_BadAds_Infographic_Feb02-Final


 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
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

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.

 

28 Jan 2015
brainstorm

Don't think – SCAMPER!

brainstormOne of the hardest parts of working at bloomfield knoble is coming up with new ideas. Sure, there is the occasional “flash of inspiration” that strikes out of nowhere, but more often than not, coming up with ideas is derived from a team brainstorming process. Yet, the term “process” would seem to hinder the nature of brainstorming. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to.

At bloomfield knoble, we’ve adopted SCAMPER as originated by Alex Osborn and advanced by Bob Eberle. SCAMPER is a brainstorming strategy to get your team to think of creative strategies and ideas in an easy to follow format. SCAMPER stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify or Minify, Put to other uses, Eliminate and Reverse or Rearrange. If you apply each of these verbs to a procedure or situation that you would like to change, you may be surprised at the innovative ideas that come about. Let’s take a look at each part of the process:

Substitute

What part of the product or process can be substituted for something else? What can you substitute to make an improvement? If you swap this for that, what happens? How can you substitute place, time, materials or people? Can you use this product somewhere else, or as a substitute for something else?

Combine

Think about combining two or more parts of your product or process to enhance efficiency. How could you combine talent and resources to create a new approach to your product or process? What would happen if you combined this product with another to create something new?

Adapt

How could you adapt or change your product to serve another purpose or use? In exchange for what? Who or what could you emulate to adapt your product? What other context could you put your product into? What if you changed the characteristics of one component?

Magnify or Minify

How can you change or distort part or all of your current situation? What happens if you exaggerate a feature or component of your product/process? What element of your product could you strengthen to create something new?

Put to other uses

How can you use your product or process somewhere else? What other markets could you use it in? Who or what would be able to use it? How would your product behave differently in another setting?

Eliminate

What if you eliminated various parts of your product or process? How would removing a specific component affect the overall product? How else could you achieve the solution without the normal way of doing it?

Reverse or Rearrange

What would you do if part of your product or process worked in reverse or was done in a different order? What if you try to do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do now? What components could you substitute to change the order of this product?

Some ideas that you generate using SCAMPER may be impractical or may not suit your circumstances. Don’t worry about this – the aim is to generate as many ideas as you can.

 


 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
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

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.

 

 

 

28 Jan 2015
brainstorm

Don’t think – SCAMPER!

brainstormOne of the hardest parts of working at bloomfield knoble is coming up with new ideas. Sure, there is the occasional “flash of inspiration” that strikes out of nowhere, but more often than not, coming up with ideas is derived from a team brainstorming process. Yet, the term “process” would seem to hinder the nature of brainstorming. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to.

At bloomfield knoble, we’ve adopted SCAMPER as originated by Alex Osborn and advanced by Bob Eberle. SCAMPER is a brainstorming strategy to get your team to think of creative strategies and ideas in an easy to follow format. SCAMPER stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify or Minify, Put to other uses, Eliminate and Reverse or Rearrange. If you apply each of these verbs to a procedure or situation that you would like to change, you may be surprised at the innovative ideas that come about. Let’s take a look at each part of the process:

Substitute

What part of the product or process can be substituted for something else? What can you substitute to make an improvement? If you swap this for that, what happens? How can you substitute place, time, materials or people? Can you use this product somewhere else, or as a substitute for something else?

Combine

Think about combining two or more parts of your product or process to enhance efficiency. How could you combine talent and resources to create a new approach to your product or process? What would happen if you combined this product with another to create something new?

Adapt

How could you adapt or change your product to serve another purpose or use? In exchange for what? Who or what could you emulate to adapt your product? What other context could you put your product into? What if you changed the characteristics of one component?

Magnify or Minify

How can you change or distort part or all of your current situation? What happens if you exaggerate a feature or component of your product/process? What element of your product could you strengthen to create something new?

Put to other uses

How can you use your product or process somewhere else? What other markets could you use it in? Who or what would be able to use it? How would your product behave differently in another setting?

Eliminate

What if you eliminated various parts of your product or process? How would removing a specific component affect the overall product? How else could you achieve the solution without the normal way of doing it?

Reverse or Rearrange

What would you do if part of your product or process worked in reverse or was done in a different order? What if you try to do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do now? What components could you substitute to change the order of this product?

Some ideas that you generate using SCAMPER may be impractical or may not suit your circumstances. Don’t worry about this – the aim is to generate as many ideas as you can.

 


 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
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

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.

 

 

 

04 Nov 2014
quantum leap

The Big Data Challenge.

Like most people, I am sick of hearing about “big data.” First of all, there is no such thing as big data – there’s just data. Second, having a lot of data doesn’t mean anything. It’s what you do with the data that matters.

In my role as math nerd here at bloomfield knoble, I am often asked by people about what they should do with their data. My first response is always, “sort it.” You’d be amazed how many blank stares that generates. I will then, ad nauseam, explain how data should be structured in order to be analyzed and interpreted – and this is where the first sign of trouble begins. See, storing data is easy and not very expensive. I have about 10 TB in storage sitting on my desk right now. It’s cheap and works seamlessly with my desktop, making it easy to move files and such. People think that sorting data will be easy, but moving files and working with them are two different things. People are often shocked when they try to actually work with data. Most people don’t have a computer with the power and resources to even tackle the project, let alone the software necessary to actually determine correlations.

Just when it seems like all hope is lost and that crunching data will have to be outsourced to giants like IBM, Amazon and Google, along comes a light at the end of a dark data tunnel – quantum computing. Yes, dear readers, it’s been too long since I’ve written about quantum computing (or, as I like to call it, quamputing). I’m just using big data as a cover to gush on quantum computing.

According to Jacob Aron writing in New Scientist magazine, the first piece of software to show the potential of quantum computing has finally been run on a real machine, 20 years after it was initially dreamed up. Although it doesn’t do anything useful on its own, implementing the algorithm could lead to more practical computers powered by the strange properties of quantum mechanics. Quantum computers should be much faster than ordinary ones, but only at tasks for which there is a quantum algorithm – software that exploits the computer’s quantum nature. Without these algorithms, quantum computers are just regular computers that are much harder to build.

One of the best-known pieces of quantum software is Shor’s algorithm, which factorizes large numbers into their prime components – a notoriously slow and difficult problem to solve classically. Shor’s algorithm has been run in a limited way using photons sent through the air and on silicon chips, but a full-blown quantum computer capable of running it could threaten online encryption, which relies on large primes. Designing an algorithm that takes advantage of a quantum computer is tricky, so there aren’t many around. In 1994, Daniel Simon, then at the University of Montreal, Canada, came up with one. Crucially, it was the first to show that a quantum computer could crack a problem exponentially faster than an ordinary computer.

Ironically, Simon was trying to prove quantum computers could never be useful but he stumbled across a problem that showed the exact opposite. Imagine you feed a string of bits, like 0101, into a black box and get another string, like 1100, out in return. there are a finite number of possible outputs, but you don’t know how they are produced. Simon’s problem asks: does the black box give a unique output for every possible input, or do some inputs give a common output? Simon’s algorithm for solving it inspired the more useful Shor’s algorithm and the field of quantum computing as a whole.

Enter Mark Tame at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, and his colleagues. They used a “one-way” quantum computer – one that uses up some of its qubits to solve a two-bit version of Simon’s problem, the simplest possible. More specifically, they state, “We report an experimental demonstration of a one-way implementation of a quantum algorithm solving Simon’s Problem – a black box period-finding problem which has an exponential gap between the classical and quantum runtime. Using an all-optical setup and modifying the bases of single-qubit measurements on a five-qubit cluster state, key representative functions of the logical two-qubit version’s black box can be queried and solved. To the best of our knowledge, this work represents the first experimental realization of the quantum algorithm solving Simon’s Problem. The experimental results are in excellent agreement with the theoretical model, demonstrating the successful performance of the algorithm. With a view to scaling up to larger numbers of qubits, we analyze the resource requirements for an n-qubit version. This work helps highlight how one-way quantum computing provides a practical route to experimentally investigating the quantum-classical gap in the query complexity model.”

Tame’s quantum computer only needed an average of two runs to succeed, while an ordinary computer needed an average of slightly less than three runs – the first step in an exponential speed-up in line with theoretical predictions. “For me it has been like finding the missing piece of a jigsaw and putting it in its place to complete the picture,” says Tame. While most people agree that the run has little practical value, it isn’t the speedup that matters as much has what it could lead 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 J Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

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.

29 Sep 2014
network_theory

Why Network Theory Matters.

network_theoryWe have a great team here at bloomfield knoble. Each member of the team brings a unique perspective to the table regardless of what product or service we are offering to a client or brand. I have built personal and professional relationships with everyone here and, while I may not always agree with them, truly value their input as a variable in the decision-making process. However, the weight I give to each person’s input depends on the topic. For example, if the bloomfield knoble team is working on developing a logo for a brand, I will give more weight to the creative team than the finance team. I don’t do it to be prejudicial, it’s just how I interpret the value of comments from people I interact with.

If you think about it, you realize that you’ve been doing the same thing your entire life. You have had a series of teachers, tutors, mentors, whatever, shape the way you approach everything from solving a math problem to driving down the highway. At some point you took all of the lessons you learned and created your own identity – your own plan for solving problems and determining a course of action. You can still accept outside influence, but you’ve got a way you like to work and do things and you’re pretty sure you know what’s right for you.

At bloomfield knoble, like any agency, we’re doing our best to be an influence in the decision-making process. We work hard to generate awareness, drive engagement through education and provide a clear call-to-action (or incentive) to drive usage. It’s why there are TV ads, billboards, magazine ads, online banners and a million other messages that bombard us as consumers. What is relevant to one individual may not be relevant to someone else. The point is that advertising is trying to provide you with information (of a sort) to help you make a decision during the buying process and, ideally, it’s the product or service we’re trying to sell. Agencies work very hard to identify who you are as an individual, where you are in the buying process, and what might give you the greatest incentive to engage with our client. Agencies work very hard to build brand awareness, recognition, trust and loyalty and create a one-on-one relationship.

And here’s where it all goes out the window: welcome to network theory.

In a nutshell, network theory is finding pathways and determining the influence of those pathways. There are different types of network theory, but I’m only going to talk about social network theory. The bottom line is this: the people with whom we interact on a regular basis, and some with who we interact only sporadically, influence our beliefs, decisions and behaviors. If you want to really understand this concept, I highly recommend An Overview of Social Networks and Economic Applications by Matthew O. Jackson, written for the Handbook of Social Economics.

What does that mean to us as advertisers? It means that all the hard work we put into creating awareness, attitude and usage when building brand essence doesn’t mean squat if we can’t control the other connections that people use as part of their decision-making process. This is an impactful statement and is already changing the way every agency and brand does business, so let it sink in for a second.

Let me give you an example of network theory at work. A young couple is shopping and decide to grab a bite to eat. There are many restaurants around them, but none where the couple has eaten before. Thanks to advertising, there is some awareness of their choices. From an agency perspective, the hope is that the couple recall a particular ad or incentive tied to an ad to make a decision. Each restaurant in the area has spent money to capture attention and provide a point of difference versus the competition (come eat pizza – come eat chicken) and, ideally, the people will use their knowledge of the restaurants – provided via advertising – to make a selection. So what happens? One person pulls out a phone and opens Yelp. Now, people whom the couple have never met are influencing the decision-making process. It doesn’t matter that the brand has built a one-on-one connection via their marketing efforts; someone else – not even remotely associated with the couple – have driven the couple to (great place to eat review) or away (worst place ever review).

Understanding this process – the concept of network theory – is changing everything. It’s not just social media – it’s deeper than that. It’s understanding the core functions and concepts behind why we, as consumers, accept influence from people we don’t know. Understanding at least the idea behind network theory is the only way we as an agency can truly develop a strategy that will help clients maximize the impact that channels, like social networks, can have on brand essence. There are plenty of agencies that promote relationship management or content development, but that’s being reactive to the channel – not the underlying cause. It’s the difference between taking medicine to stop a stomach ache and understanding what is causing the stomach ache in the first place. It’s why movie trailers still feature comments from critics and it’s why TV shows now put comments collected from Twitter in their ads.

Network Theory is changing the very way agencies do business. Are you ready?


 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
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

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.

 

21 Jul 2014
RWE

Why do new products fail?

RWEI’m not much on poetry. I’ve seen Dead Poets Society several times, but I don’t think that qualifies me as an expert. Nevertheless, I did know that Ralph Waldo Emerson didn’t actually say, “make a better mousetrap and the world will make a beaten path to your door.” What he actually said was, “If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”

The concept is pretty much the same – if you have a better product, then people will want to buy it. Here’s the thing – it’s just not true. It’s not about making a better mouse trap, it’s about making a better mouse trap and having a good marketing and distribution plan!

As a full-service premier advertising agency, people often ask bloomfield knoble to help us market their product. We diligently go through our RUDE process and come up with a sound marketing and distribution plan only to be told that it’s too expensive, or not necessary, because everyone will want their product because they do it differently . . . better . . . and it’s NEW! I get why firms do it – typically 25% of all firm revenues come from products that are less than three years old. Furthermore, new products account for 33% of all growth. It is apparent that any firm that does not invest in new products will suffer in terms of both profit and growth. However, new product development entails uncertainty and even experienced marketers (like bloomfield knoble) can not completely and accurately predict the fate of products. It depends on what market a company is in, but a safe rule of thumb is that 25% of new products will fail.

Many products fail because the strategic plan by which they were introduced to the market wasn’t sufficiently well-executed. You can have a better mousetrap but fail, because you don’t actually go to market in the right way. When people come to us with their new products, they’re really saying they have something better than what’s out there in the marketplace. People believe that “better”  is a relative advantage and they’ll win in the marketplace, but it’s just not the case. Relative advantage alone will not generate adoption. A marketing strategy cannot rely solely on the inherent superiority of the product.

I’m proud to say that bloomfield knoble has been a part of quite a few product launches. I’m also a little embarrassed to say that not all of the products we helped launch were successful. I can say, with complete confidence, that it’s not because of the marketing plan. What experience has taught us is not so much “how to do it right” as much as an understanding of why new products fail:

Poor market definition or wrong target market – not everyone wants your product or service. A strategy that is too broad, or focuses on the wrong target market, is sure to fail.

Insufficient or poor market research – if you don’t understand wants or needs then there is little chance that your product will appeal to the target market.

Price set too high or too low – price too high is obvious, but a price that is too low is often misinterpreted as being of low quality.

Poor advertising placement – similar to target market – if you’re telling a story to the wrong people, then you’re missing out.

Wrong distribution strategy – it’s important to pay attention to the entire pipeline of businesses and organizations that a product travels to reach the consumer. Choose poorly and product is sure to fail.

Wrong physical placement in store – I’ve seen this one first hand – if your product isn’t in the right place, then it’s likely not to be noticed (or considered too much of an effort to find).

Poor marketing mix execution – if product, price, place and promotion do not work well together, it can undermine the entire marketing strategy.

Poor timing of launch – this really has two meanings – don’t launch something wrong time of year (ice cold soda in winter, for example) and don’t launch a product if it’s not ready for market.

Relative advantage alone will not generate adoption. A marketing strategy cannot rely solely on the inherent superiority of the product. Coming to a deep understanding of your product, and especially how customers use your product, will help bloomfield knoble help you develop the right marketing strategy.


 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.
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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.

15 Jul 2014
atreu

Diversifying a business takes as much time as launching one

In 1997 I started talking with a few like-minded people about starting a business and no longer working for someone else. We were like-minded in the belief that we could do a better job than the people we worked for in terms of managing the business and client relations, as well as producing high-quality work.

I was 31. I was a freelance writer for magazines and news periodicals, as well as managing editor for a local publishing company. I had experienced struggles and failures, but did not believe that failure was an option for me if I started a business. Looking back, I know that the guys I was talking with at the time did not believe the same thing. They just thought it was a cool idea. I was just stubborn . . . and ignorant. (Turns out that is probably a good combination.)

It is said a business start up takes between 2-5 years. From my experience and watching many, many others, I am convinced it is the better part of 5 years and then some.

From the move, The Never Ending Story
Atreyu learned the hard way after Artax drowned in the Swamp of Sadness.

We started the business as the Internet was taking hold. Websites were hand-written HTML code, load times were tough and online marketing was a very, very new concept. We struggled to develop websites for local companies and soon realized that was a bad business plan. So we diversified and developed what was just coming up everywhere – an online mall.

During the process we lost 2 of the 5 original players. Their tolerance for “working without a net” was very low. But the rest of us pressed on and discovered that applying some basic marketing ideas to our mall turned into results. We held contests, added book and music reviews. What we did not realize was that we had developed an online portal.

Not being like-minded to Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, we really did not know what we had. So after the mall/portal made us some money and got us some publicity, we started receiving calls from companies that were struggling to monetize their websites or launch websites and suddenly we turned into a Web design start up.

The portal/mall was abandoned as Amazon and other retailers became known brands and we lost traffic. We were creatives, not retailers, so we gravitated to what we knew.

Over the next 4 years we grew by adapting to change, as well as losing two more original founders but brought on a lifer with shared vision. For a time we were expert email marketers, even being the first to develop an email with embedded video for a major game retailer.

When email became spam, we moved to exploring the true needs of our clients, which was strategic marketing and execution. In this new landscape know as the booming Internet, major brands, corporations and small businesses were struggling to find success. Many wanted to abandon their traditional advertising and go with online only and other crazy ideas like that.

So we diversified yet again and began advising and developing integrated marketing and advertising concepts. We kept our head focused on the bottom line and advised others to do the same. “Don’t knee-jerk to new trends, just add them to your arsenal if they work for you,” we said.

Over time, the success our clients had experienced built up the belief that we had finally figured ourselves out – we were a full-service strategic advertising and marketing agency. Nine years later, we had it all figured out.

Not!

While the growth continued, we always faced times where change looked us in the face and we had hard decisions to make for the business. Once CMS software came online we had to adapt and accept that change. Search marketing and lead generation went through iteration after iteration. Adapt and change, recommend only what works. Mobile marketing only? No, just add to the arsenal.

The only reason bloomfield knoble has flourished for 17 years is because we diversify. Today, I believe we are at another point where diversification is necessary. We have experienced success focusing on the energy business and its unique advertising/marketing needs, as well as major brand retailers, retail foods, mortgage, finance and more.

Now, with the advent of content marketing and its impact, it has come full circle. All that we know now comes back to my roots – publishing. I find our agency now providing expertise and consulting on how to drive response and build awareness through content marketing. Well, in 1997 it was called publishing and that was my thing. Suddenly, what was a dying skill is now valued again.

The good news about this diversification is that there is no need to abandon anything we are doing now. It is just focusing on what we know. Oh, and bloomfield knoble has developed quite a track record working for local, state and Federal agencies. That is a major diversification.

Call it what you will – diversification, addition, subtraction, metamorphosis. Whatever. All I can tell you is that it takes time and the ability to adapt. Don’t be resistant to change. Don’t stand still because as businesses we are all standing in a swamp. Stop moving forward and that swamp will swallow you and everyone you are leading right to the bottom and no one will ever know you once made a difference.

 


 About The Author

clark-bachelot-headshotEric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.

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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.

 

27 Jun 2014
identity-theft

Business Identity Crisis?

What would you do if you owned a moving company and had been building a respected professional reputation for years, then discovered that there were bad reviews percolating up on websites like Yelp! and Facebook?

You’d be concerned, of course, because you don’t want your customers to have a bad experience, and of course you don’t want bad reviews driving other customers away. You’d want to fix it.

But now imagine that in your investigation you discover the writers of the bad reviews weren’t even your customers. What gives? Are people writing fake negative reviews?

identity-theft
With only a slight name change, this virtually happened to our client. Fortunately, we were there to help them fix it.

No, you discover. After noticing a frequent “typo” referring to your company by a similar but different name (one word off, but still the same meaning) you realize you have a doppelgänger company and their customers are erroneously posting to your review pages.

But wait. When you dig a little deeper, you realize it’s not just a simple misunderstanding. The owner of this company is intentionally sending his users to your Yelp! page, as well as your A+ ranked Better Business Bureau page. And why wouldn’t they? Their BBB page shows an F ranking.

They need to stop. So you call a lawyer and talk to your marketing folks. That’s where the fun begins. They discover that not only does this other company try to cover up its mistakes by using your company review sites and BBB page, but the owner has a criminal record and lies about his military service. They use falsified certifications to operate, do not have a USDOT number despite operating moving trucks, and have failed to register and insure two of three of those trucks.

As you may have guessed, this is not a hypothetical. This happened to our client, Dallas Move Masters. bloomfield knoble designed their website and developed graphics for their social media pages and provide ongoing marketing consulting for them.

Fortunately for Dallas Move Masters, we also know how to handle a situation like this. We immediately created a series of posts that they could utilize in order to manage their reputation and get the word out about the deception perpetrated by the other company.

bloomfield knoble also devised a campaign to promote the goodwill of Dallas Move Masters, offering a discount to victims of the other company’s poor service.

Additionally, we updated the information on important review sites like Yelp! to indicate the discrepancy between the two in order to keep the other company’s customers from posting inaccurate reviews.

Through that reputation management process, which is ongoing, we’ve been able to get the word out to Dallas Move Masters’ followers that they are not the other, similarly named, company, resulting in more sharing and reposting of this story to spread the word.

Dallas Move Masters is an honest company run by a Dallas fireman. They take great pride in their work and we’re proud to call them a client. We hope that our efforts to provide the public with the real story will put an end to the questionable behavior of another business shamefully leeching off of their good name.

Reputation management is not simply about releasing a single statement to the public, but rather requires a steady flow of information telling your story. The more likely your target audience is to stumble across that story, the more likely they are to share it, whether through social media or through old fashioned word of mouth. Then more of the public will have the true story. Your story.

 About The Author

jeff-carrington-headshot

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
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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.