Snapchatjust for fun or your brands next social marketing tool

From its recent security breach, fast growing audience and underlying taboo, Snapchat has been making quite a buzz for itself lately.[1] If you’re unfamiliar, Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send photo and video messages that automatically erase after 10 seconds of being viewed. It’s quick and zippy architecture makes sending photos and videos very easy, an attractive app quality for the high school and college-aged audience.[2] Gaining rapid popularity since its launch in 2011, Snapchat is now being considered by marketers as another platform (like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) that can be used to reach audiences in a new social way. In the graph below, TechCrunch compares the daily number of photos uploaded and shared on select social media platforms, which displays Snapchat’s large presence.[3]


Brands like Taco Bell, Acura and Wet Seal, are already experimenting with Snapchat and have found that it offers the unique ability to produce a personalized connection between consumers and brand for promotional messages and special offers.[4] Wet Seal recently leveraged a 16-year-old blogger’s network, by working with her to send snaps promoting their clothing and sales.[5] According to AdAge her outreach garnered 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views for the teen-centric clothing brand.[6] While this example seems attractive from a marketing perspective, there are still some setbacks that need to be considered before making a larger investment in the current model of the app. 

We sat down with our resident Snapchat experts to pick their brains on the use of Snapchat for brands. One common concern was that the current model does not provide a substantial method of analytics that would display consistent engagement. As Jackie Bonifant, one of our Media Planners, commented, “I wouldn’t recommend Snapchat to a client currently since there aren’t any viable metrics to measure engagement or interest beyond opens and screenshots.” Lindsay Khouri, a member of our digital team, also said that, “As it stands right now, Snapchat works for building brand awareness. I would only recommend it to clients that are invested and engaged in social media already, Snapchat could serve as an additional touch point to reach their audience.” In order to measure engagement with Snapchat, most analytics have to be tracked manually, which can be very consuming for companies, large or small.


While we won’t deny that the future of Snapchat marketing holds great possibilities for brands, we don’t believe that current version of the app provides enough insight into content and target audience to support making a big investment.Therefore, we’ve drawn up a wish list!

Dear Snapchat, our marketing wish list includes an analytics driven back end for brands to measure their content and engagement against. We’d love to know what the post screen grab behavior looks like, and how far the photo traveled. Did the photo convert the snapper into a purchaser? These insights would greatly improve our ability to understand the effectiveness of our outreach and the resulting consumer behavior. Until then, we think Snaps are for fun.


The Current State of TV with Greg Angland a Broadcast Vet

Explain what is happening with the current state of TV?

Today, the television landscape and viewing options available to consumers and marketers are seemingly endless. Apart from traditional broadcast and cable, options include Netflix, DVR, YouTube, Amazon Prime,  Apple TV, Roku, Hulu, Webisodes, VOD, DVR, Slingbox, tablets, smartphones, web streaming, Smart TVs, Aereo, Satellite, WD TV…we could go on! Needless to say, the way viewers consume their content has, and is, constantly evolving.

Although things are always in flux in this space, a few certainties remain and dictate change. First, we are an on-demand society. We want to watch what we want, when it’s convenient for us. Secondly, now more than ever content, especially exclusive content, is king. Lastly, our attention is now being shared between watching TV and our passion for our mobile devices and our digital lives. Can you remember the last time you sat through a TV show without picking up your smartphone or tablet to send a Tweet or update your Facebook status?

IAB takes us through dual screen usage in the diagram below:


Do you think people are still watching traditional TV?

Although we have an ever-expanding ecosystem of TV and video distribution channels, the notion that “no one” is watching traditional TV is completely false. From Q1 ’09 through Q1 ’13 the average time spent per person watching traditional TV is down less than 3%*.[i] Take a look at the below table outlining weekly time spent in hours and minutes by age and demographic. Traditional television continues to be the highest consumption platform; representing 70% A25-49 of time spent, compared with other media/entertainment activities. If you include time-shifted viewing, that number jumps even higher to 78%. Looking at the younger audience of 18 to 24 year olds, traditional TV and time-shifted viewing remains strong at 67%.[ii] 


Consuming video online and through mobile sources continues to increase, especially among those 35 and below. There is no doubt that it will be an important piece of the future for viewer consumption, as well as for marketers and media plans. Today, digital video is absolutely part of the landscape with 7% of 18-24 year olds consuming this way. This trend will only continue, especially with giants like Google and Amazon initiating discussions around distribution of networks and specific content.

What do these changes mean for marketers?

As the television and video landscape continues to evolve and expand, the ability to reach prospective customers utilizing just a few tactics will become increasingly difficult. Now campaigns must be developed to deliver across varying channels in order to achieve maximum reach and impact, incorporating traditional spot as well as digital video.This leads to increased creative development and associated costs. For example, the unit standards, lengths, talent and messaging fees have varying requirements, which will require multiple versions of content to be produced.

The space will continue to evolve as rapidly as consumers adopt new technology and platforms. Effective advertising strategies will need to be equally as fluid and integrated cross-channel to connect and engage with consumers in meaningful ways.