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Branch Creative Network

Time to Lower the Lifeboats on Sponsored Content?

I want to be clear: this is not a sponsored article. But if it was a sponsored article, would you be bothered? Full stop: does new research on consumer attitudes mean marketers should reconsider sponsored content? A recent study by Contently suggests that you might be. According to the study, sponsored content — the fast-growing format that blurs the line between editorial and advertising — is not consumers' favorite. Not by a long shot. A few notable findings, according to Contently: "Two-thirds of readers have felt deceived upon realizing that an article or video was sponsored by a...

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3 Key Takeaways from This Year’s EventTrack Study

This year's EventTrack survey highlights a number of interesting insights, including a look at where in the event planning and production process marketers are leveraging social media. Every year, we look forward to EventTrack - the "world's largest annual research initiative on event marketing." Sponsored by Event Marketer and conduced in cooperation with the Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic, the survey offers a revealing look at what's happening - and what's next - in brands'  event marketing. If you're at all interested in event planning, digital marketing or the intersection...

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The Value of Visual: 3 Reasons Why Instagram & Pinterest Work

According to a recent study by Harvard, 44% of users are more likely to interact with brands that post pictures. Although Facebook and Twitter remain the two largest social sites in terms of users, Instagram and Pinterest are the networks that everyone is watching in 2014. In the ever-changing social media landscape, it's important for marketers to always be adapting, and there are several reasons why Instagram and Pinterest should be part of a successful marketing strategy. 1. Popularity Within the last year, both Instagram and Pinterest have emerged as major players...

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Consumer Trust Declining, Advertisers Must Look Beyond Data Alone

In an interesting interview posted in advance of Cannes, Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and CEO of WPP, elaborated on the "Mad Men vs. Math Men" dynamic affecting the field of advertising today. Asked directly "What is the role of creativity in the increasingly data-driven advertising industry," Sorrell said something interesting:"There's about three quarters of our business in digital media planning and buying and data - so of our 18 billion projected, 19 billion in revenues for this year, three quarters of it is stuff that Don Draper in the '60s...

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3 Tips for Taking Advantage of Augmented Reality

The true value of augmented reality lies not in the technology itself, but in the immersive, interactive experience it offers the consumer.[/caption] You've got to feel a little bit sorry for augmented reality. It's so gifted, and it tries so hard, and yet so often it's dismissed as a mere parlor trick. It's understandable why: there are a lot of bad A/R campaigns out there. It doesn't have to be that way. Here are 3 tips for brands looking to take advantage of augmented reality: 1. Let the User Drive. A/R has come a long way...

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Jun 12 2014

Why Mobile Event Apps Matter

Mobile apps are a great way to maximize the value of attending events in-person. [/caption] A recent global research study determined that despite rapid proliferation throughout the broader marketing world, mobile adoption is still weak in the event planning industry. That's pretty astounding given that we're living in an age in which it's never been less important to attend live events in general. Think about it: concerts stream live via YouTube, webinars are recorded, press events are live-blogged, "live" TV is paused and returned to via DVR, and we can even attend...

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Beacons: Adding Context to Content

Beacons communicate with mobile devices via low-energy Bluetooth. [/caption] There's been a lot of talk about beacons among digital marketers lately. Heck, we couldn't resist ordering ourselves a few Estimote beacons to play around with around the Branch Creative Network office. But what exactly do they do? "A Very Small Lighthouse" — with Big Implications for Marketing Beacons are small devices that communicate with smartphones or other electronics via low-energy Bluetooth (or BLE, as its known) signals. Estimote encourages users to think of beacons in this way: "Think about it as a very small...

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Is the Internet Really Dying?

What if the Internet died?In a great post for TechCrunch, Danny Crichton argues that the Internet as we know it today is crumbling as self-contained mobile apps increase in popularity and capability. Crichton does a pretty good job distilling the situation:"Like any outmoded technology, the Web is rapidly losing users as it fails to adapt to disruption from mobile apps and continues to perform poorly - despite incredible optimization efforts - due to a bloated software architecture built of hacks on top of hacks. It had an unbelievable...

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3 Reasons Why Dealerships Need to Pop the Hood on The Sales Process

In American culture, the car dealership is almost as ubiquitous as the automobile itself. Its place in society is even established in state franchising laws across the country (something that Tesla and others are working hard to change). There's no doubt that dealers continue to play a starring role in the American auto industry. But rapidly changing consumer expectations - largely driven by new technology - are challenging the traditional car sales model like never before. Recognizing and responding to the following realities may mean the difference between...

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Automotive Marketing for Millennials: The Opportunity is Social

Auto industry observers are paying close attention to Millennials. Approximately 77 million strong (larger than the Baby Boomer generation), the Millennial generation is key to the long-term success of any automaker. But 18-34 year-olds aren't buying cars as fast as previous generations did. Should automakers be worried? Yes and no. The Sky Is Not Falling Contrary to pronouncements by groups like the U.S. Public Interest Group, which recently declared "the driving boom is over," the sky is not falling. While it's not entirely clear what's behind the shift in purchase behavior, we do know...

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