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Insights: The EGC Blog

Person_Holding_Mobile_Phone.jpgSummer is ending soon, which means that school will be in session before we know it.  This is a time when high school seniors contemplate what they want to do and where they want to go after they graduate.  Many will go on to higher education, like college or career schools.  But with so many options out there, how do they determine where to go? 

This is the question that many institutions often ask themselves.  With so many possible students to reach, combined with so many avenues for advertising (social media, email, and the traditional in-person “Open House” events and college fairs), the Catch-22 for colleges and career schools is knowing who, where, and how to target.  The possibilities for these schools to make their digital marks is virtually limitless.

So how do you develop your digital strategy?

Know your Audience

Evan Calafates, Search Marketing Manager for the EGC Group, states that first and foremost, recruiters should do some research before promoting the schools they represent: “I would say to know your audience before you start any sort of branding creative. Some tips would be to look at Affinity Groups in your analytics (who knows, maybe your customers really like movies, or highest converters are techies). Also, do a generic remarketing campaign, and really see where your traffic is heading. The content they view after leaving your site could be very…‘in-site-ful.’” 

Create Excitement About Your Brand

EGC’s Senior Search Manager, Valarie Collier, listed several branding strategies and tips that schools should follow in order to remain relevant in the upcoming fall season. 

Google Display Network

The Display Network allow schools to connect with potential students with a variety of ad formats across the digital universe. 

Remarketing

Career schools can use customized remarketing lists to achieve specific marketing goals. For example, you can create a "form abandon" list to show ads to the people who started the application process but was not completed.

Show Why Your Different

Showing the versatility of your school can make you stand out in the crowd.  Schools should always boast their flexible hours and schedules, online class formats, multiple class starts, and internship programs.

Use Social Media Ads

In a recent blog, we highlighted why social media ads are worth the investment.  Here, Adam Chan, EGC’s Social Media Manager, offers insight on the specific types of social media ads to utilize in getting the attention of prospective students:

Lead Generation Ads 

This is a great way to streamline the lead generation process (rather than having a prospective student clicking on an ad, then going to a landing page with a form). Social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, offer marketer’s ads that let users fill out forms right in the ad without leaving the app. This is great because these platforms already have your information and by having students “auto complete” the form filling process can help increase conversion rates. 

Video View Ads

This is another great way to get your brand out there, and it can cost less than a penny per view.  Platforms like Facebook allow you to create targeted audiences based on people who’ve already watched your videos, whether they watched five seconds or completed watching the whole video. You can than target future ads towards these people with a strong call-to-action.

Event Responses Ads

These ads promote your Facebook event to increase your attendance. This ad set is extremely useful if you school is hosting an event like an open house. If someone says they’re interested in attending or going to the event, Facebook sends out reminders by sending notifications to the user the week of and again the day of the event.

In Conclusion

The need for continuing education, whether it be a high school senior or someone looking for a career change, is always increasing.

In a recent article posted on Inside Higher Ed, authors Jim Crone, Jon Niebch and Todd A. Hitchcock claim that competition for higher education institutions to attract prospective students is greater than ever, with the last 20 years showing an increase not only in the percentage of high schoolers who applied to colleges, but in the numbers of colleges each applied to.

Recruitment tactics, particularly in regard to a particular school’s digital presence, has to be competitve and relevant.   

(With so much activity and so many students to reach, the job title of “school recruiter” may well become one of the fastest-growing professions in the near future.)

Learn more about how your school can develop a stand-out digital strategy:

LEARN MORE ABOUT EGC

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SLL_1.jpgIf you still don’t know the answer to “what is Snapchat?” – it’s a hugely popular app that lets you share images or video clips to your friends that disappear after viewing them. Snapchat has quickly become America’s second favorite social network, right behind Facebook. More than 100 million people use Snapchat every day, so it’s no wonder why every advertiser wants Snapchat in their social media strategy.

How to Use Snapchat

SLL_2.jpgSnapchat is often the topic of conversation in our social media team strategy meetings, and we’re always reviewing if and where best to integrate it into our social media strategies for client. And we realized there was an opportunity to get everyone throughout the agency signed up and more comfortable with using the platform.

The biggest obstacle for many in using Snapchat is that the app’s interface is not so user-friendly to newcomers. (I personally learned how to use Snapchat a few years back from my cousin in elementary school, who taught me all the secret tips and tricks.) So we decided to host an EGC Snapchat Lunch & Learn ASAP!

Lunch & Learns at The EGC Group are fun opportunities for our whole team to learn together and share new happenings in the advertising world. The Social Media team presented a few slides about what Snapchat is, what’s helped it become so popular, and some Snap skills to get everyone started taking photos or video, posting to their own stories, and discovering content from friends, brands and top publishers.
A favorite feature here at EGC is finding curated content from around the world and opportunities to interact in new ways with their favorite brands.

Is Snapchat Right for You?

SLL_3.jpgWe wrapped up the Lunch & Learn with a focus on using Snapchat as advertisers, and the importance for each individual brand to really explore the question: “Should we be on Snapchat?”

While Snapchat sounds like the place to be, does it make sense for your business to be on this platform? It’s important to consider if your desired target audience is on the platform and how you’ll promote your activity there on other platforms, on your website and in emails to drive awareness for your presence. Additionally, Snapchat requires a lot of hours of planning, shooting and posting. Consider where best to allocate your resources to achieve your brand’s social goals.

Snapchat Advertising

We also talked about Snapchat’s paid advertising capabilities, including video ads, sponsored Geofilters, and sponsored lenses. We enjoyed looking at how some of our favorite brands have been using these tools (such as Sour Patch Kids, Taco Bell, and Everlane). Snapchat ads are an expensive investment, but can yield a big impact on engagement and brand awareness.

The Snapchat Lunch & Learn concluded with a short Q&A over everyone’s favorite – pizza!

Be sure to follow The EGC Group on Snapchat!

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Olympics.pngNBC reportedly paid about $1.1 billion for the rights to air the events in Brazil this week, but has already brought in $1.2 billion in advertising. With a hefty price tag for advertising on both this network’s television and digitally streaming broadcasts also comes the exorbitant cost of being an official sponsor of the event.

Mind the Rule 40 

For brands like Coca-Cola, Visa and McDonald’s (who can afford to attain official sponsor status), there are native advertising opportunities, broadcast spots and a clear presence at the events. These brands can use terms and logos that are related to the Olympics within their ads and promotions.

Some of the most iconic ads from this sponsorship relationship have been Proctor & Gamble’s “Thank You Mom” spots that have become a powerhouse campaign, and which now has its own Facebook Page with 842,001 fans.

For brands without that official sponsorship in place, the controversial “Rule 40” of the International Olympic Committee has prevented use of any terms that could be tied to the Olympics. And enforcement of this rule has been serious over the years.

During the London 2012 Olympics, the branding police cracked down on local businesses in the UK such as Dennis Spurr, owner of the Fantastic Sausage Factory in Weymouth, who found himself in hot water with the IOC and was ordered to take down his sign that featured five rings made of sausages down – or face legal action.

With the threat of what in U.S. dollars equaled $30,000 fine looming, Spurr took the sign down. He replaced it with five squares made of sausages, but the Olympic brand police returned and ordered him to take that sign down, too.

During Sochi 2014, there were reports of Olympic officials covering non-Olympic sponsor logos on laptops and phones of members of the press with tape. The efforts were reportedly to prevent an Apple logo appearing on air instead of sponsor Samsung’s logo.

Rule 40 has been revisited and loosened to some extent in 2016, thus opening the door to some advertising opportunities for non-sponsor brands, but still within strict parameters. Non-sponsors are still banned from using Olympic terms, and even words like “victory” in some contexts.

Reports indicate that non-sponsor brands are advised not to share official Olympic content, use any IOC related hashtags, or even wish athletes luck during the games. The Hartford Courant reports non-sponsor brands are even restricted from using terms such as “performance,” “challenge” and “effort.”

Brands like Under Armor are working within the newly adjusted rules to feature Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps – and without ever actually mentioning the Olympics. Its “Rule Yourself” spot has become one of the most-shared Olympics spots of all time, with shares happening across social media platforms.

Getting in on the Olympic Excitement

So how can non-sponsor brands without a budget to land a deal with Michael Phelps get in on the fun and excitement? Simply going patriotic with “Show us your red, white and blue” for either a coupon or complementary item like a smoothie could be the start of a fun campaign. Discussions on social about personal fitness goals can capture the spirit of athletic energy – and without venturing into territory that would prompt a visit from the brand police.

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Group_of_Friends_With_Mobile_Phones.jpgFacebook is once again taking social media advertising to a whole new level. With the introduction of Instagram Stories (announced this past Tuesday, August 2) and with Facebook Live really heating up, Facebook is an unstoppable digital metropolis. And, let’s not forget their 1.71 billion monthly active users. 

So let's dive into the day-old question: To advertise with Facebook or not?  Here are 3 reasons why we think advertising with Facebook is not only a smart choice – but a necessity.

1. Your Ads Can't Be Blocked for Mobile Users

Like we mentioned, Facebook has 1.71 billion monthly active users, and according to Inc.half a billion of them only access Facebook via the mobile app, where you ads can't get blocked. That’s huge for your audience reach!

Over the years, businesses have expressed serious concerns about Facebook advertising, but with mobile Facebook and Instagram apps escaping ad blockers, there is no better way to get in front of the right audience.  

2. Stay Relevant with Features that Everyone is Talking About

You can always count on Facebook to continually evolve.  Take the new Instagram Stories, for example. Facebook famously tried to purchase Snapchat last year for as much as $3 billion. But when that attempt was unsuccessful, Facebook worked to develop its own spin on the features that make Snapchat so appealing. The feature they decided to incorporate were Instagram Stories, which are very much like Snapchat Stories in that both are made up of temporary posts that allow users to share moments of their day. Instagram Stories have already been receiving a lot of buzz and engagement.

Here at EGC, we see the huge power in using this innovation to stay connected with your audience and reach even broader audience. 

3. Use Virtual Reality to Expand Your Reach

As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, Facebook Live has created an exciting option that has many powerful brands sitting up and taking notice. Next up? Creating an even bigger opportunity for advertisers by allowing them to offer a truly immersive, high-quality audio and visual cinematic experience for users.

Facebook typically gets scrutinized for spending billions of dollars to acquire startups and new tech – like Oculus VR and Two Big Ears – but it’s these acquisitions that will enhance the offerings and create new opportunities for advertisers to reach a larger audience. Oculus VR and Two Big Ears will play a huge part in developing 3D audio for Virtual Reality (which was a huge topic at F8 2016).

On Facebook 360, Two Big Ears stated, “Our mission is to make Virtual Reality audio succeed across all devices and platforms, and continue to help creators make the best experiences for billions of people across the world.”  We wouldn’t expect any less.

Facebook just always seems to get ahead of the curve and do it best. They continue to expand on their innovative platform, giving you a huge motivation to choose Facebook for your ideal mobile audience.

Find out more about how Social Media Marketing can benefit your business:

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Verizon and Yahoo on Mobile Devices

It’s finally official:  Verizon announced on Monday, July 25th, that it's buying Yahoo for $4.83 billion.  Having acquired AOL just last year, Verizon has once again proven its strong presence in telecommunications (not to mention its ambitiousness).  Once the acquisition is final (expected in early 2017), Verizon is set to be the third largest digital advertising network, behind Google and Facebook.  That’s huge news for the content marketing space.

Quick, what does this mean for Yahoo?

According to Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, this acquisition is a giant leap in the right direction.  Marissa was quoted in an article by Steve Mollman for Quartz, saying “Yahoo and AOL popularized the Internet, email, search and real-time media…It’s poetic to be joining forces with AOL and Verizon as we enter our next chapter focused on achieving scale on mobile.” Ah yes, mobile.

How this acquisition will boost mobile marketing

This acquisition symbolizes the straightforward progression towards mobile and could reshape the landscape of how we view digital advertising.  As Kelly Liyakasa and Zach Rodgers wrote in AdExchanger, this deal, “…dramatically extends the carrier's addressable audience, adding 600 million monthly active mobile users that will support the company's cross-device advertising ambitions.” That’s a very impressive number. 

In short, digital advertising, and those who utilize it, will be launched into a new stratosphere of online marketing possibilities. Businesses that have been hesitant about going digital will have a new, powerful incentive to seriously consider making this move.   

Just to reinstate our point, back in 1959, RCA released Elvis Presley’s album 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong; today, 600,000,000 active mobile users certainly can't be wrong.

Explore how digital advertising can benefit your company:

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No stranger to battling social platforms for dominance, Facebook, which has been challenging YouTube to be the "King of Video", is taking on Twitter’s Periscope.  Facebook Live is becoming the live streaming choice of some pretty powerful brands.

Facebook Live Hits the Jackpot with Sports Broadcasting 

The battle between Periscope and Facebook Live is heating up this summer as the NBA and USA Basketball announced this week that they will be live-streaming a total of nine men’s and women’s exhibition games via Facebook Live. The livestream kicks off tonight (Friday, July 22) at 9PM ET with USA basketball’s game against Argentina.

Facebook is making a big play for more sports content on the platform, launching its new Facebook Sports Stadium this week. Steve Kafka, product manager at Facebook, declared: “With 650 million sports fans, Facebook is the world’s largest stadium. People already turn to Facebook to celebrate, commiserate, and talk trash with their friends and other fans.”

Facebook Sports Stadium will serve as a content hub with posts and commentary from your Facebook friends, teams, leagues and journalists, as well as stats, play-by-plays and game info, such as TV broadcast channels and times. While sharing TV broadcast info for the American football games featured now in the stadium, clearly the timing of this announcement and the NBA announcement is not a coincidence – and the goal is to grow the integration of the stadium and Facebook Live.

In addition to challenging Periscope and traditional TV networks for live sports content, Facebook Live offers a unique reach and amplification through Facebook notifications and real-time engagement.  Facebook reports, “…people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos.” Adding to the excitement, Facebook Reactions, the new emojis such as “Love” and “Wow” float across the screen as the live event is taking place.

Brands are Jumping on the Advantage

A variety of brands are now leveraging Facebook Live to build their communities and engagement, from comedians like Amy Schumer (who is set to stream her Madison Square Garden pre-show on Facebook Live) to nonprofits like animal sanctuary Big Cat Rescue.  Even political brands are using Facebook Live to broadcast campaign events (like former Secretary of State Clinton’s town hall in South Carolina and the GOP Convention’s Facebook Live broadcasts).

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Although Facebook Live is relatively new, the early adopters, such as well-renowned powerhouses like Disney, Dunkin Donuts, and Target, have shown the huge advantage of this new marketing tool.  Dunkin Donuts’ head of social media, Melanie Cohn, went so far as to comment in an interview with Digiday, “When Live came out, I thought, ‘Facebook is finally getting it right. Facebook is about scale. Periscope isn’t.”

Are you looking for opportunities to grow your brand with Facebook Live?

 

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It’s been about a week since Pokémon Go was released in the United States (July 6th, 2016), and in that time, it has completely consumed the attention of social media. As of July 13th, 2016, the app has hit 15 million downloads and its users are spending more time playing Pokémon Go than they are using Facebook or Snapchat.

This is not surprising, considering Pokémon’s cultural significance. Pokémon originated in 1996 as a Game Boy product that was inspired by insect-collecting. Players navigate a path through a region of the Pokémon universe on which they find (and capture) wild Pokémon and battle non-player character (NPC) trainers. The objective is to catch all species of Pokémon, defeat NPC Gym Leaders, challenge the region’s Pokémon League, and become the very best. In the last 20 years, the Pokémon universe has been brought to life through more video games, a trading card game, manga, and comics – thus creating a community of Pokémon lovers worldwide. The release of Pokémon Go truly brings this game to the next level.

Pokémon Go is an “augmented reality” (AR) game that allows players to become a Trainer and catch Pokémon in the real world around them. The app uses GPS to display a map of the user’s location that shows them Gyms, PokéStops, and Pokémon that are nearby. Gyms and PokéStops are locations that Pokémon Go users physically walk to (i.e., to move an avatar in the game, the user has to physically walk wherever they need to go) for items, battles, training, and other gameplay. Many of these locations are found at landmarks or in public places like parks. It is not uncommon to see hordes of people playing Pokémon Go in places where there are clusters of PokéStops and Gyms. In fact, it’s pretty hilarious to watch.

These locations are pre-determined, and as of right now, there is no way to create a new PokéStop or Gym at your local business. Some popular restaurants and bars, however, have already become Gyms and PokéStops. This is because these spots were chosen based on geo-tagged photos that have been uploaded to Google. Niantic has stated that while they are currently overwhelmed with business-related inquiries and questions, they are also doing their best to assess potential revenue streams and determine the extent of how involved businesses can get in the future.

As of right now, Pokémon Go does not have advertisements within the game. That hasn’t stopped small businesses, however, from figuring out ways to capitalize on the craze. In the game, you can purchase a Lure Module. This device attracts Pokémon to a player’s location for 30 minutes. There are tweets and posts all over social media reporting on restaurants and other small businesses that have dropped Lure Modules in and around their businesses. This draws Pokémon Go users in the area to visit the restaurant and catch some Pokémon. Once Pokémon Go users arrive, it’s up to the local business to figure out how to turn them into customers.

From a social media perspective, there is a lot of potential here. Pokémon Go is truly taking over news feeds and timelines across all platforms. Its users are passionate and excited, and they want everyone to know they’re living their childhood dreams of catching them all. People are genuinely excited to see their beloved nerdy passion from the 1990s return to the mainstream. (This is especially true for people who are in their 20s and 30s.)

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And it's not only Pokémon Go players who are talking about it. Even people who don’t play Pokémon Go are talking about Pokémon Go. Posts and memes about how Pokémon seems to be taking over everything can be found across all social media platforms, and are often shared by people who do not play the game. While there is a whole community of people who were brought together on social media by their passion for Pokémon, there is an entirely different community of people who are uniting because of their annoyance with how much everyone else is talking about this game. It’s been a week since the game’s release – but there is still time to take advantage of the social media conversation.

Because the hype is still so intense, all it takes is a tweet or post about a PokéStop or Gym near your business to invite users to play near your location. Players notice, and respect it:

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If you’re looking to get involved even more, try dropping a Lure Module and see how much traffic it generates. If your business has any following on social media, advertise that you’ll be attracting a ton of Pokémon to your location! This is a truly rare and particularly unique opportunity to engage with customers and make a lasting impression on them by reaching them through something they’re passionate about.

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It is no secret that “inbound marketing” – the practice of letting potential customers come to you (the brand or business) as opposed to going out to them (i.e., “outbound marketing”) is an effective strategy that has become the preferred method of advertising. In the past week, there have been a lot of reports that re-emphasize the power of inbound marketing. And, there are some subtle but strong changes taking place.

The opinion in some circles is that the battle between “inbound” and “outbound” is over, with “inbound” the undisputed winner. An article recently appeared in Forbes, with the to-the-point title: “How Inbound Marketing Killed Cold Calling,” by Steve Olenski. Mr. Olenski asserts that the outbound method of cold calling was at one time an effective means to secure prospects. But the advent of digital technology (and eventually inbound marketing) took over and made the old fashioned method of cold calling obsolete, and he concludes: “Cold calling is an inefficient use of a business’s time and resources. Your salespeople are great at building relationships, so to squander their time and talent dialing cold leads (a job that can be easily automated, by the way) is criminal.”

Taking a somewhat gentler tone, Heather Baker, writing for Business.com, states that cold calling can still yield results, but based on findings from the Harvard Business Review, it not very strong (succeeding only nine percent of the time). And yet, as Ms. Baker points out that in spite of the proven effectiveness of inbound marketing, there are still die-hard fans of traditional marketing tactics: “…some companies (or their old school CEOs) are still resisting the wonder that is inbound marketing. Business2Community says it’s because they either don’t know what it is, they don’t understand how content can drive sales, or they don’t have the resources to oversee it in-house.” If that is the case, then these companies need to be brought into the twenty-first century (and the old school CEOs need summer sessions in learning inbound marketing).

In developing a basic foundation for inbound marketing, Mr. Olenski stresses the importance of doing research, having the right conversations, and automating the process. Ms. Baker goes on to include setting benchmarks and goals, selecting the right keywords, and choosing promotion channels, among other points to practice. There is a lot to this process, but it can (or rather, has to) become a primary strategy in every company’s marketing presence.

And, whether you are a novice or a seasoned rock star at inbound marketing for your business, there are new trends on the immediate horizon to be aware of. In a report published this week for Tech.co, Victoria Heckstall detailed these latest developments, and cautioned that regardless of whatever high-quality tools a business has at its disposal, not paying attention to what’s going on will prove costly. The trends that Ms. Heckstall starts off with are an increased popularity of user-generated content and (coinciding with this), a decreased interest in guest blogging (which, however, is debatable – see below). Other trends include the effectiveness of marketing analytics, visual storytelling, and (in a development that proved some naysayers wrong) a revival in the power of email marketing.

Ready to scrap building that influencer network now? “Not so fast,” warns EGC Content Strategist and Developer Amy Edel-Vaughn. “While over-reliance on influencer content may have slowed interest in some areas of content, when a brand really knows its audience and connects with the right influencers, this content can have a powerful impact. The key is to feature guest blogs or content from experts that adds value for readers, sharing inspiration, tips and tricks that they crave and need to get the most out of your product or offering, to showcase opportunities. Guest blogs can introduce new audience to your brand and be an effective means of broadening your reach. Be thoughtful in approaching the right guest to develop content that your audience cares about.”

Ms. Heckstall concludes that although the changes taking place have not been major (and will consist primarily of making minor tweaks), keeping on top of navigating and managing inbound marketing is crucial to success: “…what inbound marketers will discover is the biggest change is in the way they communicate with their target audience. They will no longer write to them, they will send them video content and image content. If you already have a successful inbound marketing campaign, you have no reason to make any radical changes.”

But don’t toss out your content strategy for an all-video approach just yet. As EGC’s Search Marketing Manager Evan Calafates cautions, “Video dominating all manner of content could very well be the case in the future, but in the meantime the preferred response is still…. you guessed it, a nice and happy medium between the two. Until powerful engines such as Google and others start giving the same weight to video as they do good ole fashion copy, we should maintain a blend of both when communicating with our audience. The key isn’t to be the first one using a digital trend, but to be ready and have a plan for when it becomes the norm.”

Regarding one trend that Ms. Heckstall points out, the increase in the use of storytelling in inbound marketing might receive the most visibility in the future. As Hana LaRock points out in Business 2 Community, there is no secret trick behind storytelling. There are benefits to communicating via a story that may not be immediately evident, including ease of understanding and the chance to build trust with existing and potential customers. A story that is relatable, can trigger emotion, and has a humanistic approach is equal to one facet of very strong inbound marketing. As Ms. LaRock states: “Stories have characters, settings, dialogues, and a plot, much like the process of generating a lead.”

So, that is the story (no play on that last paragraph intended) of where inbound marketing is (and is going) in the course of the next year. As you can see, this is a winning model of advertising – for marketers and customers alike.

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Since late last week, Britain’s history-making, world-shaking leave of the European Union (more commonly referred to as “Brexit”) has dominated the news. And the news and developments regarding this event are ever-evolving. The certainty is that change will come to the global market, which, of course, encompasses marketing. And the underlying question is: What will be the impact of these changes?

Whether ironic coincidence or fate, the announcement of Britain’s withdrawal of the European Union coincided with the finish of this year’s Cannes Lions: International Festival of Creativity in France. (As the more famous Cannes Film Festival celebrates achievements in film making, the Cannes Lions recognizes to those in creative communications and advertising.) Advertising professionals from (literally) the world over that attended Cannes Lions received this news at the same time, at the same place – and were witness to each other’s reaction. 

The prevailing mood for the last week has been shaky. Reports and articles from news venues have tried to remain realistic, if not pessimistic. Patrick Coffee, writing for AdWeek, recently posted an article with the (somewhat hopeful) title: Advertising Leaders Say Britain's Exit From the EU Is Disappointing but Manageable.” (But then, what constitutes the meaning of “manageable” in a situation like this?)

Mr. Coffee featured a quote from Michael Roth, CEO of Manhattan-based Interpublic Group, a global leader in international marketing solutions: "The decision will lead to market volatility in the short term, no question. But the U.K. is a key market to our clients and our own company, and together we'll find footing in this new world. Longer term, as long as open trade remains a priority, markets should normalize, and that's the timeline we're focused on."

Going further with this attitude, Ad Exchanger’s Alison Weissbrot feels that Britain will have to reassess and readjust, but it could very well still hold the place of being “the epicenter of European advertising.” In regard to doing business with the United States, Ms. Weissbrot received some insights from Andrew Shebbeare, chief product officer at Essence, who feels that the decrease in value of the pound note might make it less expensive for American companies to transact business with Britain: “London agencies and staff look 10% cheaper to US and Asian businesses than they were a week ago...The weak pound will act in favor of UK exporters, including agencies serving global clients.”

As of now, the future ramifications of this still new international event remain uncertain. As Jack Marshall of The Wall Street Journal, writes: "Media and advertising firms, like other corporations, have to assess the impact of potential economic turmoil on their revenue as well as the effect of currency fluctuations on that revenue."

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shutterstock_365675468.jpgA headline from yesterday’s AdAge popped out at EGC Group Craft Beverage Division’s Executive Director Jim McCune: “Lowdown: Is the Craft Beer Boom Ending?” In a story that raises doubt and concern about the future of craft beer, quoting “Dramatic Slowdown of Craft Beer Continues,” Boston Beer and Sierra Nevada brands are “now both in decline,” and “combined volumes for the Top 12 craft brewers grew only 1%.”

EGC’s Jim McCune responds to the headline: “My answer is YES and NO.”

Jim continues:

“The boom itself is slowing a bit as the industry becomes historically saturated with nearly 4,300 U.S. breweries. The market has also become a confusing mix of ‘True Independent Craft Brewers’ and ‘Crafty Crafts’ – a term coined for small and independent microbreweries that major beer players have purchased.


“But is craft beer dying? The answer is a strong NO. While craft beer growth slowed this year to 6% as a whole compared to last year’s 17%, understanding the craft beer landscape is key to understanding the data and thus answering the question.

“Pulling Blue Moon and Shock Top out of the mix, craft beer growth jumps to 9% growth, and pulling Sierra Nevada, Boston Beer and New Belgium Brewing – it jumps to 16% growth.


“What this means is that real craft beer isn’t slowing at all, but the larger microbreweries and the ‘Crafty Crafts’ that the biggest breweries produce are starting to fatigue, while thousands of other small, energetic craft breweries grab more of the market share – 12% the last we heard.

“The craft beer boom may slow, and it’s true that only the smartest and best beers survive, but the industry is in its infancy with significant room for savvy, independent craft beer brands that brew fresh, local quality product to grow.

“Craft beer is here forever.”

McCune is director of the Craft Beverage Division of Melville-based EGC Group. Reach him via jimm@egcgroup.com or at 516.935.4944.

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