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Welcome to The Stream: Allison+Partners’ content hub that features the latest news and trends making the biggest waves in media and marketing.

AUGUST 17, 2017 //  

Facebook Courts Marketers With In-Stream Video Ads

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

As Facebook ramps up its video ambitions, get ready for more commercial breaks.

Beginning Thursday, the company said it would give marketers the ability to run video ads specifically as “in-stream” placements, meaning they will appear as ad breaks in the middle of publishers’ videos. Up until now, advertisers had only been able to run video ads on Facebook as stand-alone posts in users’ feeds, aside from a limited test of in-stream video ads.

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AUGUST 17, 2017 //  

Reddit Introduces Video Ads That Play Automatically

David Paul Morris/BloombergReddit is beginning to show users video ads that play automatically, albeit with the sound off, among other moves designed to encourage more video consumption and advertising on the platform. READ MORE
AUGUST 17, 2017 //  

India Is Going Radio Gaga

Gareth Phillips for The Wall Street Journal

MUMBAI—As radio stations struggle in the West to attract new advertising and remain relevant in the internet age, India is in the middle of a belated radio revolution.

Hundreds of new radio stations are hitting the airwaves in the South Asian nation of 1.3 billion people and attracting a record amount of revenue, thanks to deregulation, small-town consumption and cheap cellphones with built-in FM receivers.

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AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 16, 2017 //  

The Growing Influence of Influencer Marketing

RomoloTavani/Thinkstock.com

Amisha Gandhi, head of influencer marketing at the software giant SAP, wanted to inject more value into the company's Leonardo Live event centered on digital innovation and transformation. She invited five top influencers to participate in the two-day conference, which took place earlier this summer in Frankfurt, Germany, and attracted 1,500 attendees, including C-level and senior digital executives.

The influencers, all expert in areas such as machine learning, the Internet of Things, and big data/digital analytics, led breakout sessions and formed mini-groups featuring CMOs and CIOs discussing how they're digitally transforming their brands. The quintet was also available to answer queries from SAP's customers about the company's products and services.

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AUGUST 16, 2017 //  

Infographic: Here’s What Marketers Need to Know About Hispanic Millennial Parents

Getty Image

Marketers know millennials have moved past the selfie stage of life and into parenthood, and that they’re a lucrative demographic that’s worth studying. But there’s a rapidly growing sector brands should be paying attention to: Hispanic millennial parents.

Fifty-three percent of Hispanics in the U.S. are parents, and they yield incredible buying power. They’re easily persuaded by family when it comes to their purchasing decisions and value spending time with their children over everything.

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AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 16, 2017 //  

Allison+Partners Launches Workplace Specialty to Help Companies Bolster Their Employer Brands

Allison+Partners today announced the launch of Workplace, a new offering focused on helping organizations become great places to work. This is of vital importance as new research from the agency reveals companies adopting an “employee first” mentality have a better chance of attracting top talent, building employee loyalty and, ultimately, inspiring customers to engage with their brand.

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A recent Allison+Partners’ study on consumer perceptions about employee engagement revealed that 68 percent will form or change their opinion based on how a brand treats its employees. Sixty-seven percent would be inspired to try or buy a product if an employee speaks positively about the brand, while 60 percent would actively avoid buying a product if the employee speaks negatively about the brand or company.

“When employees are proud of what they do and where they work, they help attract more customers and talent for the company,” said Hadas Streit, vice president and head of the Workplace specialty group. “Allison+Partners helps companies across many industries find their points of differentiation and create a compelling narrative that brings their employer brand to life and activates their people.”

Allison+Partners has deep experience using primary and secondary research, focused strategy sessions and robust internal and external communications to help clients turn their employer brands into their greatest asset.

“Allison+Partners’ dedicated Workplace team has supported us for the past three years on both national and regional levels to build our brands,” said Ed Blust, chief marketing officer of The Adecco Group, North America. “The strategic insights and media the team has achieved has been a critical part of our marketing mix, enabling us to drive business results.”

Workplace specialty services include:

Research

  • Employer Scorecards: A brief evaluation of the client’s benefits compared to their competitors, following a checklist of standard best-practice benefits for that industry. Results can be used to help internal stakeholders determine where they stack up against competitors, and improve their overall benefit package for better recruitment, placement on best places to work lists, and thought leadership.
  • Audits: An in-depth audit of the client’s internal culture, using employee surveys and interviews with key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive view of the current culture, including what is working well and areas for potential improvement.

Strategy

  • Brand Think Squad: A facilitated ideation session that brings together senior talent from across the agency to help clients with a specific problem or issue they are facing regarding their employer brand.
  • Best Places to Work (BPTW) Bootcamps: These intensive 1-2 day sessions map out the steps an organization needs to take with internal stakeholders, including HR, in order to be recognized as a “Best Place to Work.”
  • Employee Evangelist Workshops: A workshop that guides organizations to identify and empower selected employees with training and tools to better represent the employer brand on social media, job sites, through internal communications and recruitment.

Communications Support

  • Regional Retention + Recruitment (RRR) Programs: Media blitzes conducted to help retrain and recruit talent in strategic regions.
  • Internal + External Communications: Internal content (newsletters, blogs, etc.) and external efforts (media relations, conferences, job fairs, etc.), designed to help tell organizations’ employer brand stories to raise employee morale, energize sales teams and improve employer perceptions.
AUGUST 13, 2017 //  

44% of Millennials See Their Pets as Starter Children, and That’s a Big Opportunity for Brands

Getty ImagesMillennials are putting off marriage and starting families later in life, but there’s one big milestone they’re right on track for: their first pet. To many adults ages 20-36, these furry creatures are much more than cute companions—they’re starter children. READ MORE
AUGUST 10, 2017 //  

Report: Brands are falling for fake Instagram influencers

Fraud is becoming a real problem in influencer marketing, an industry that is valued at over $1 billion.

One way fraud often appears is through bots. As brands and agencies focus on “micro-influencers,” those with followers under 100,000, those same influencers are also likelier to turn to bot followers to inflate authenticity.

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AUGUST 9, 2017 //  

Report: Majority Of Small US PR Firms Outsource Digital Work

NEW YORK — Approximately 55% of US PR firms with an annual net revenue of $4m or less are outsourcing digital and social account work, according to a new survey of 800 PR agency CEOs by M&A consultancy the Stevens Group. 

The agencies reported a lack of the necessary in-house capabilities required to keep up with client demand for digital, mobile, social media and online marketing services. While 70% of respondents said they are confident their agency is up to date as digital platforms change over the next two years, nearly 30% said they were not. 
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AUGUST 9, 2017 //  

Facebook moves closer to YouTube and TV with new shows, Watch platform

Facebook wants people to spend more time watching videos on its platform, as they already do on YouTube. Starting Aug. 10, it’s introducing a new video destination called “Watch,” which aims to do exactly that.

Watch is essentially a remake of Facebook’s video tab, available online and across Facebook’s apps for mobile devices and connected TVs. It will offer a library of longer form and episodic video shows made by publishers, celebrities and digital video creators. Shows on Facebook Watch will fall into two tiers: TV-sized half-hour programs launching on Facebook later this year and shorter “spotlight” series with episodes running between 5 and 15 minutes.

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AUGUST 9, 2017 //  

Why aren’t more CEOs on social media? The case for digital thought leadership

By: Todd Sommers and Jacques Couret

What do Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? They’re billionaires who created some of the most popular products and services on Earth. But in the process, they’ve also built some of the biggest social media followings.

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They each have an ever-growing and well-engaged audience of more than 7 million followers. Leaders of some of the largest and most innovative companies -- Google, Tesla, Facebook, Virgin, Expedia, Sales Force – all share regularly their thoughts on social media. More than company news, they’re shaping public opinion on the future. And unlike a Kardashian sharing their political views, people actually want to hear from business leaders.

Today, the C-Suite is almost expected to voice an opinion, political or otherwise, particularly by younger generations. Yet 60 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are not on any social networks. Examining the numbers, those executives are missing out because:

  • 62 percent of Americans get their news from social media
  • 200 million people log in daily to LinkedIn looking for professional opportunities and updates
  • 65 percent of journalists look to social media when researching stories

As an executive, you always keep at least one eye on the bottom line. So you wonder what’s the return on investment. The financial returns can be difficult to plot, but the benefits are clear. Adding a digital layer to your thought leadership strategy requires you to humanize your brand by sharing interesting stories, create a deeper connection with consumers to gain insights to inform your business strategy and develop a direct line to communicate your vision at the time you choose.

 As an executive who aims to add a digital layer to your thought leadership strategy – and if you aren’t, you should be – it’ll comfort you to know audiences want more than just political opinions and pictures of your meals. There’s a big market out there for thoughtful content. And audiences, be they customers, fans or peers, have shown they won’t punish executives for voicing reasonable opinions. You just can’t cross the Kathy Griffin Line.

Social media gives Branson, Musk, Zuckerberg  and other executives a direct method to share announcements and make news – plus, importantly, they get to control their messages. That’s a powerful tool if used wisely.

You don’t need to be to an iconic “tie-loathing philanthropist” like Branson or have a vision to colonize Mars like Musk to build a large audience for your thought leadership brand. You can build large audiences in several ways: 

  • Share expertise about your fields – industry peers are a particularly great place to start. Most people yearn for insights to help empower them to do their jobs better, especially in these rapidly changing times.
  • Share content that grabs your attention or makes you rethink your point of view. Show how you think by sharing items with which you agree and disagree.
  • Be authentic and share information about your non-work passions. You should not be defined solely by your job and the old journalism maxim holds true even in the age of social media: People love reading about people and their interests.

The bottom line is if you want a reporter to call to get your insights, give them a great reason. A speech at a conference will be heard by those in the room, but most of the audience will likely be on their phones looking for more engaging content anyway.

It’s time for more executives to realize their personal digital strategy is just as important as their company’s.

In our next digital thought leadership post, we’ll share some of the most interesting examples of that we’ve seen in 2017.

Todd Sommers is Vice President, Integrated Marketing. Jacques Couret is a former journalist who currently serves as editorial manager of All Told, Allison+Partners global integrated marketing offering. 

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