January, 2013

Facebook Improves Search Experience With ‘Graph Search’

Facebook-Graph-Search

Facebook recently announced a plan to improve search experience amongst its billions of users with its newest tool: ‘Graph Search’. This new search tool will use a series of filters to allow it to sort things like relationships, interests and locations. For instance, let’s say you are planning a movie night and want to invite “Friends who like Twilight”, you would use Graph Search to search within your profile for friends with these common interests. It can also be used to find someone you met at a party by checking mutual friends who were at that same party.

Since Graph Search is still in beta, there are still a few kinks to be worked out. While many of the obvious searches involve finding things among people you know, Facebook also hopes it will let people find new interests and groups with an “Extend this Search” feature. By taking on review sites like Yelp, some of the filters will allow users to look for specific categories like “Restaurants in London my friends have been to” and find results that are liked by friends, along with addresses and phone numbers. Facebook is creating a way to integrate these social reviews and making it possible to give their users results from people they actually know. After all, referrals and recommendations from friends have a much greater impact than those from total strangers.

Facebook has also positioned Graph Search as an alternative to business-oriented social networks (like LinkedIn) given the fact that it allows users to track down individuals that work at a specific company.

Graph Search will be rolling out “very slowly,” with a limited beta for English-speaking users; you can sign up for the waitlist here.

Brand Marketing Predictions for 2013

Forbes recently released an article asking CMOs of 10 Fortune 500 companies to predict how digital media and technology will impact brand marketing in 2013. Within the article, marketing chiefs from MasterCard, Philips, Western Union and MillerCoors shared their prophecies and explained how they’re backing them up.

EnglandAndy

Andy England of MillerCoors

Although we felt the predictions from each of the companies were important and meaningful, we were especially intrigued by the viewpoint of Andy England, Chief Marketing Officer of MillerCoors, on the Latino Market:

“Given that Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the US population, and that they are extremely digitally active, my prediction is that marketers will become increasingly focused on Latino Digital,” said Mr. England.

To back up how MillerCoors is committed to Latino Digital, Coors Light is bringing its sponsorship of Liga MX to Latino soccer fans through its Fanaticos del Frio platform. “In 2013, we’ll have even more mobile-optimized content through Fanaticos del Frio,” explained England.  The platform is designed to bring more content on Liga MX action and information to fans and will be supported with programming on Univision Deportes.

To view the marketing predictions from the remaining CMOs, visit Forbes.com.

Click here to learn more about LVM’s Multicultural Marketing Services.

The New Myspace: We Love It & How to Get Started

New Myspace

More than 10 years after its original launch (and after a few acquisitions), the New Myspace has officially re-launched!  The reborn social network is now accepting users and the site is beautiful.

While you may be thinking “Oh great, not another social network to manage”, we must say that the New Myspace has put great effort into differentiate itself from other networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.  In a recent conversation with Myspace CEO, Tim Vanderhook, he described the new Myspace portal as “the best of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and iTunes all in one!”

The horizontal navigation is fresh and easy to use and the content stream functions similarly to the Pinterest feed. The truly seamless music integration has to be one of the best features of the New Myspace – which we’re sure music icon (and Myspace investor) Justin Timberlake had a role in.

Whether you’re about to sign up or still considering, here are some Helpful Tips from Mashable on the basic features and functionality of this new and improved social network.

A Reflection of 2012 from a Latino Perspective

Latino PerspectiveThe “Decade of the Latino” has arrived and historic events in 2012 illustrated that Latinos have spoken loud and clear. So what was learned in 2012 that will propel Latinos into 2013? Latin Heat Entertainment reflects on the past and forecasts what the second largest population in the U.S. can expect in the future.

Latinos were “listened to” and definitely “counted” when President Barack Obama was re-elected into the White House. Now with an additional four years, Obama promises immigration will be a top priority, but many questions need to be addressed, beginning with “how do we secure our borders, yet ensure international commerce that is vital to America?”

Unless they make an effort to address the disparities, the Democrats could lose in California and Texas due to the GOP’s recent increase of elected Latinos into visible positions (Governor, U.S. Senator). In California, Latinos comprise 40 percent of the population, yet have no statewide elected officials. In fact, two years ago, state Democrats voted not to endorse any Latino candidate running for statewide office and the California Democratic Party leadership does not include any Latinos.

Another thing 2012 taught us was that polls and data sets are essential to be a part of mainstream media news. As voter projections were made, more and more Latino “experts” were guests on a variety of political talk shows. For example, Spanish news broadcaster Jorge Ramos asked tough questions to both the two Presidential candidates, proving that Latinos are attune to the issues facing America. Some of these issues include poverty numbers between 25 and 28 percent and an unemployment rate of 10 percent.

What Latinos can expect, beginning in 2013, is more inclusion, especially in mainstream media. For instance, Giselle Fernandez, the only Latina on The Kennedy Center Honors’ Board of Trustees, is heading up a committee to revamp the honorees selection process and be more inclusive of Latino artists. The challenge will be the sensitizing of Hollywood, in which films cast a white male actor to portray a Mexican American character.

LVM’s Newest Client – Newport Dunes

With the New Year comes new opportunities! We are thrilled to be supporting Newport Dunes, A Waterfront Resort & Marina located in Newport Beach, California.  This 110-acre resort, at the entrance of the Back Bay nature preserve, is the best kept secret around – offering everything from unique resort accommodations and a pristine marina with boat rentals to premier waterfront dining and fabulous special event facilities and catering.

Newport DunesGuests of  the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina can choose to stay in one of the cozy cottages on property; luxury camping and RV sites are also available.  Those lucky enough to discover this gem can enjoy a mile of private beach situated on a waveless lagoon that can be explored by renting a sailboat, a stand-up paddleboard or an electric Duffy.  In addition to rentals and water activities, Newport Dunes has its own waterfront restaurant called Back Bay Bistro – a comfortable yet elegant atmosphere that serves delicious American cuisine to guests overlooking the bay.  Located at the intersection of Jamboree and PCH, Newport Dunes is perfectly positioned so that you can experience the best of Newport Beach.  This secret waterfront resort is the perfect environment for business gatherings, weddings, family reunions, and more.  We will be unveiling the hidden secrets of Newport Dunes in the months to come, so stay tuned!

For more information on the Resort and its unique offerings and promotions, be sure to connect with Newport Dunes on Facebook (Facebook.com/NewportDunesResort) and Twitter (@NewportDunes).

Hot Products & Big Trends From CES 2013

As this year’s consumer electronics show comes to a close today, we would like to take a minute to share some of the Hot Products & Big Trends from CES 2013.  Since it is nearly impossible to see everything at this massive show,  we’ve relied on feedback from experts such as Gizmodo and iLounge to bring you this list:

Tobii Rex – Tobii’s technology uses your eyes to replace your mouse cursor. REX attaches to the underside of your LCD monitor and after about 30 seconds of training, the REX’s electronic eyes follow your own, allowing you to control your cursor with just your eyes. It’s amazingly accurate, although you’ll still need to “click” with your keyboard.

Incipio’s CashWrap – CashWrap ($60) is a mobile wallet for the iPhone 5 featuring an NFC chip and secure micro SD card.  The case pairs with an Isis-developed app, enabling you to reduce the number of physical credit cards you’re carrying around by virtualizing them. It will be released this spring. Thank you Incipio for creating a case where 2 of our necessities are combined into 1 simple solution!

Harman

Harman’s Augmented Reality Windshield Display – Law makers across the country are working to make the roads safer by encouraging hands-free devices and banning the use of smartphones while driving. Harman’s solution: Fill the windshield with widgets and info, like weather apps and YouTube videos. Although hands-free, how can these distracting icons be any safer?

Basis Band – Being that we are health nuts here at LVM, we were stoked to learn about the Basis Band, a fitness/health tracking device shaped like a wristwatch. What’s most amazing about the Basis Band is that it doesn’t just give you data, it analyzes that data and gives you educated recommendations. For example, instead of simply stating how many calories you burned, it will tell you to get up and walk around the office for 15 minutes if you want to meet today’s health goal.  It’s truly the next generation of fitness trackers!

Samsung Flexible Displays – By showing off a phone with a flexible screen, Samsung is hinting at a day when we might fold up our large phone or tablet screens as if they were maps. The phone Samsung presented consisted of a matchbox-sized hard enclosure, with a paper-thin, flexible color screen attached to one end. The screen doesn’t appear flexible enough to fold in half like a piece of paper, but it could bend into a tube.

In addition to these ‘Hot Products”, there were a variety of ‘Big Trends’ evident at this year’s show.  The biggest trends from CES 2013, according to PCMag.com, were: Ultra High Definition (4K) TVs, Touch Screen PCs, Next-Generation Mobile Chipsets, In-Car Smartphone Integration, Digital Health, Non-Traditional Gaming Devices, Wireless Audio and Video, and Wireless Cameras.

TPBOC Celebrates Seven Years of Success

TPBOC - Seven YearsOur client, The Private Bank of California, recently celebrated a big milestone – the completion of their seventh year in business!  Seven seems to be a Lucky Number for the Bank, given that they will end year seven with over $700 million in assets.  Those are some good numbers to carry them into the New Year!

Congrats again TPBOC and Thank You for allowing us to support you along the way!

Learn more about this milestone from the Bank’s CEO, David R. Misch.

How to Experience CES 2013 Virtually

CES 2013As you may already know, the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) begins TODAY in Las Vegas.  The Wall Street Journal breaks the show down in layman’s terms:

“CES, as the event is universally called, is used by many high-tech companies to show off what they have developed—as well as product plans for the rest of the year. The event has assumed increased importance as consumer purchases of goods have topped revenue from business customers for many electronics companies.”

If you are looking for the newest gadget from Microsoft or the trendiest new iPhone 5 case from Incipio, CES is the place to be.  If you can’t be there, however, you can still experience CES via minute-by-minute updates from top bloggers and reporters that are combing the show floor for the latest and greatest.  We recommend checking out the following outlets to discover the latest technological advances of 2013 and beyond:

Blogs:  Visit Engadget,  Gizmodo and iLounge.  Other suggested blogs are: CrunchGear, GearLive, SlashGear, PCMag, and CNET.

Twitter:  If you want to watch the tweet streams in the Twittershpere from all the active tweeters attending CES, search for CES trends like #CES13 and #CES.

Real-time coverage and daily wrap ups to watch:

Official CES Social information: Follow the news directly on CES’ Social Channels.

Finally, you can always come back and visit LVM’s blog for updates as well!

Happy New Year & Ten Marketing Predictions for 2013

Happy New Year!  We are already embracing 2013 and would like to share these 10 Surprising Marketing Predictions for 2013, recently published by Inc.com:

Trends That Influence Relevance

1. Health = wealth. More consumers are focusing on living healthier due in part to rising medical costs.

2. Rewards for non-purchase activities. Loyalty programs are built on rewards for spending, but now this model is increasingly supplemented with rewards for certain actions–and for sharing them with others.

3. Friend, blend, spend. Consumers are demanding that their programs offer an increasingly cash-like redemption process, leading marketers are responding by to offer more variety in redemption options, and simplifying those with cash or near-cash rewards.

4. Augmented reality. Anyone who test-drives a BMW on his desktop or tries on clothes through Lands’ End’s virtual models has experienced augmented reality. This fairly specific innovation, has the power to penetrate any brand activity.

Trends That Affect Customer Engagement

1. The rise of MomPopolies. Mom and Pop establishments with as much engagement power as some of their national rivals, but with the ability of being hands-on local.

2. The new partners. Canada, Europe, South America and Asia have coalition loyalty programs, where scores of brands are organized under one loyalty program and consumers earn and redeem rewards across all program sponsors, like for example supermarkets and fuel stations.

3. Data scientist shortage. When we think of loyalty, we think of marketing, but the professional need is in data analysis. Organizations that award scholarships or produce joint case studies or research in this field will have a crack at the best and brightest.

4. Regulation rebound. Every data marketer knows that the industry is destined to face legislated changes in how it collects and analyzes data. Those organizations that choose to lead collaboratively stand to become the trusted, go-to experts.

Let the Economy Create Value

1. Glocalism. The term Glocalism technically means the adaptation of a product or service to each location or culture in which it is sold. It can also signify how regional businesses can be altered by events that take place far away.

2. Economic fear and control. So the United States is headed toward a fiscal cliff, and because of glocalization, all of the world is watching. While this is occurring, marketers shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the incentives that influence consumers remain largely the same: experience greater value, pay less and earn more.

Wishing you a healthy and prosperous 2013!