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Intersection of mobile and social means new advertising opportunities: panel

NEW YORK ? The intersection of mobile and social has driven results for NBCUniversal?s Bravo on the ratings side and has presented opportunities for new revenue streams via advertising.

An executive at Bravo who spoke at the Social Activity Summit said that its applications for Apple?s iPhone and iPad have helped drive audience engagement and a 10 percent lift in ratings that can be attributed to social media. Tablets have been among the most effective channels for media companies to encourage social interaction because of the common use case of the family sitting in front of the television and interacting with fellow fans of a particular show via the iPad.

?We started in social media very early on?we were on Twitter and partnered with Groupon and foursquare very early on,? said Lisa Hsia, executive vice president of digital media at Bravo, New York. ?We built the talk bubble, and people participate as they watch?we were also launch partners with Twitter?s Promoted Tweets platform, and it reaches 500,000 people at a time.

?The biggest game-changer for us is that is has been proven to drive ratings??The Real Housewives? saw a 10 percent ratings lift solely attributable to social media, so it?s driving our core business,? she said. ?You can have a discussion around advertising?right now Sprint is the sponsor, its brand may enter into conversations.

?The tablet has been a game-changer for us, and for our advertisers?if you?re watching TV and love a sweater, you can click to buy it immediately on your tablet.?

The panel at appssavvy?s Social Activity Summit was moderated by Randall Rothenberg, president/CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, New York.

Agencies typically have a division dedicated to media and another for creative.. It is important fot all divisions of an agency, media and creative, traditional and digital, to be on the same page for a multichannel initiative featuring a mobile or social component to scale effectively.

?We think about social media a little bit differently?we don?t think about the media side, we think about how people are consuming social media,? said Chad Stoller, executive vice president of digital strategy at BBDO, New York. ?We look at audience behavior, and we love how people are becoming smarter shoppers, smarter communicators by using new media.

?We spend a tremendous amount of time looking at different digital destinations?people are watching TV in other places now, on smartphones and tablets?so it is important to monitor evolving consumer behavior,? he said.

Brands should ask themselves, ?What is the conversation that we want to start? What is the best way to get people to start talking about something, and how can we surprise and delight them??

?Brands and companies are starting to hear things from social media that they?ve never heard from a focus group,? Mr. Stoller said. ?Advertising and marketing shouldn?t be about a hard sell, it should be about treating people the way they want to be treated.?

Gauging effectiveness
Social media has the potential to affect programming and become a focus group. It enables real-time chats, and consumers are not shy about saying ?I hate this person,? ?I love this person.?

Brand and media companies can get real-time feedback.

?I really think social will impact programming,? said Kristine Segrist, managing director of search and social at MEC Interaction, New York. ?What are the user touch points and the pathways? We know they are not linear.

?There are areas where social interacts with search driven by a TV impression?consumers do not operate in isolation in how they deal with media,? she said. ?We are looking to extend paid impressions into organic activities for our clients.

?We are obsessed with measurements?what data is meaningful and what is innate to the social channel that can help extend our relationships with consumers.?

The classic brand metrics from companies such as Nielsen and Dynamic Logic are valuable, but mobile and social require metrics that are unique to each specific channel.

How can brands and agencies use existing metrics and pull in the cacophony of new data points and pull that into their dashboard to measure the impact of social activity?

?We want to tie things to awareness factors, but with social shopping and social commerce, you get down to hard ROI numbers,? Ms. Segrist said. ?We look at not only reported behaviors, but also at some of the observed behaviors to find out what types of content people are actually engaging with.

?Data mining is important to get a full view of our users,? she said.

Earned and paid media
Social media, whether it is accessed via mobile devices or PCs, can be divided up into earned, or viral, spread of brand messaging, as well as paid media.

?The activation side of social media is earned?brands participating, harnessing and amplifying conversations with consumers,? said Ali Wiezbowski, emerging media manager at Microsoft, Redmond, WA. ?We also have the paid media side, and we are experimenting with advertising across a wide variety of social media environments.

?Earned media numbers have helped facilitate the adoption of social media among brands,? she said. ?Somebody is asked to share with their friend networks on the news feed, and a publisher can deliver metrics on that notification?we?re seeing powerful numbers.

?The majority of people in my organization want to measure purchase intent lift and brand perception lift, and we haven?t found a way to compare social to other media in those areas,? she said. ?The social channel is not about a media impression that drives to an activity, it is about the activity itself.?

Ms. Wiezbowski said that marketers need a measurement partner to track effectiveness with core metrics across channels, but that she is not sure they should be measuring social in the same way as other channels.

?The cost efficiency and impression-to-conversion ratio in this social environment is far more effective than a banner,? Ms. Wiezbowski said. ?How do I know that activity is more valuable from an overall communications standpoint than clicking on a banner?

?A referral through earned media is more impactful than someone who clicked on a banner,? she said.

Final Take