The Rise of Social Commerce (s-Commerce)

We've seen companies like Amazon and Facebook transition from a laser-focused CD and movie source and social media network respectively, into multi-faceted money making machines.  Amazon has positioned itself as THE online marketplace in the United States and has diversified into other web services like hosting and marketing as well as developing its own distribution infrastructure to the point that it can rival virtually any logistics company and it has its sights set on grocers too.

Meanwhile, Facebook has gone from cool collegiate exclusivity to the most ubiquitous social channel in the world.  Recently, Facebook revealed that it would amplify its existing e-commerce ads to account for showcase shopping ads.  Just like Google, Facebook is taking advantage of their online resources to help advertisers push more merchandise just in time for holiday shopping.  The new ad format allows advertisers to display one main picture with several product images that would, ostensibly, have their own unique landing pages.  This gives the potential consumer a broader understanding of what the retailer may be selling and what's specially priced.

Pandora's box is open and there's no going back. Linking a bank account to everyone's personal Facebook page isn't far off and this may raise security concerns all over the world, but for now, social media will undoubtedly see a rise in sell-through, especially with reasonably priced impulse buys.  It will continue to command an ever-increasing amount of your advertising budget as their ads evolve in terms of what can be done with them creatively and who can be targeted strategically.  Currently, only a few heavy hitters are testing out the new format, but look for a wider roll-out soon with other companies following suit in 2017.  Admittedly, I laughed derisively when some people claimed that Facebook was coming for Google.  Well, it appears that not only do they want to compete with Google, but with Amazon and Alibaba as well.  What's more is that they seem to have the golden touch right now and I wouldn't put anything past them.

Mobile Evolution:  The Rise Of The Pocket Economy

At the turn of the millennium, the internet changed the way companies in general did business.  The dawn of the digital age brought many companies to their collective knees, creating a life-or-death scenario for those who were slow to take the on-ramp to the Information Superhighway and completely reshaping entire industries.  There was a mass extinction of many brick and mortar businesses, seismic shifts in how music & television is produced and consumed (ask a millennial what the last CD they bought was, and you're apt to get a puzzled look) and a vast frontier of new and emerging business opportunities in fields that were being created in response to these new and exciting technologies.  


The rate at which new technology has been introduced to the masses has historically outpaced the rate at which companies can utilize it.


Here we are in 2016, standing at the precipice of another big shift in “tech-tonic” trends and this time, more businesses are preparing to go to war.  The weapon of choice will be the most advanced way to target the masses while still finding ways to target individuals across demographics: mobile advertising.

It’s forecasted that by 2020, mobile advertising will account for nearly 75% of all digital ad spends.  While desktop ads still get their share of the current digital spend, the rate at which companies have been shifting gears to focus more on mobile advertising has grown to the point where 2016 should be the year that mobile surpasses desktop, and once that happens, there will be no looking back.

The Golden Apple

AT&T will no longer be a part of the 30 companies counted toward the calculation of the Index.  This comes on the heels of a 7-1 stock split by Apple, which lowered the price/share to a much more reasonable $125.  Apple is one of, if not THE most valuable company out there and it will no doubt rev up the DOW engine, and potentially bloat the index initially.  I can't help but be excited even though I know the metrics will be somewhat skewed initially.  This is an exciting time as numbers in most major indexes are seeing record numbers.  Some will say that this is a bubble nearing an explosion, but on the other side of that spatial model, they will tell you that the DOW could approach 23,000 within a year or two.  The truth may lie somewhere in the middle.  Whatever the case may be, I look forward to what is to come of it.

Mobilizing Marketing:  The Shift to Mobile Ads

Category: Advertising,Jacksonville Ad Agency • October 1, 2014

Clearly, mobile ads are the future.  Like, the very near future.  Maybe by 3:30 today.  Utilizing mobile advertising potential to its maximum involves real-time marketing savvy and ubiquitous access to the demos that you are trying to reach.  Mobile advertising allows for both.  Whether its through social media or direct email/text, companies can use mobile ads to get their products and their brand literally in the hands of consumers.  

    Technology trends are pointing towards wearables and modular applications.  My 5 year-old has a tablet.  So does my 93 year-old great-grandmother.  Opposite ends of the age demo but digitally connected to the world in the same way.  The way that companies market themselves as a whole is going to continue to see a fundamental shift towards mobile due to media itself going that way.  As the younger generations age, the way they consume media will continue to evolve to be more accessible to fit their lifestyles.

       As consumers continue to cut ties with traditional cable/satellite operators and leave the desktop computer behind in favor of tablets and smartphones, the ability for brands to reach consumers through these methods wanes as well.

    Watching shows on the train to work.  In the car on a road trip.  Riding the bus to school.  In the cart on the 13th tee.  It's not what is soon to be happening.  It's what's already happening.  And although the willingness to spend on mobile content is there for those companies that want to stay trendsetters in brand awareness, there are still many companies slow to the party when it comes to mobile marketing.

Isn’t It Ironic….Don’t Cha’ Think?

Category: Industry News,Jacksonville Ad Agency • September 24, 2014

Cadillac was founded in 1902 in Detroit.  Wonder where the Cadillac name comes from?  The founder of Cadillac, Henry Leland, decided to name his auto brand after the founder of Detroit, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac (quite a mouthful isn't it?).  The Cadillac emblem is even meant to resemble his coat of arms!   

So, why would a company that took so much pride in the city of Detroit just abruptly move its headquarters?  In short, Detroit is struggling to keep its head above water, financially speaking.  New York is on the cutting edge of design and fashion, and boasts a very large cultural melting pot.  Celebrities, wealthy businessmen, and entrepreneurs abound in New York so it makes sense that America's most posh brand have its headquarters in The Big Apple.  In short, it's foolish to cling to tradition simply for tradition's sake.  You ultimately have to take the kind of actions that generate profit, placate investors, and satisfy shareholders.  This also puts Cadillac's leadership at the doorstep of design and innovation and may lead to spontaneous moments of inspiration.  

While I'm sad to see such an iconic brand leave The Motor City, I can easily reconcile why they did what they did.  This is a good move for Cadillac, who will attempt to expand their sales well beyond the markets of the United States, Canada, and China.  It's worth mentioning that Cadillac's headquarters is the only component of the company (which will regain a little more autonomy this year from GM), that will be leaving Detroit.  The remainder of the jobs will remain where they always have.