I’ve become increasingly interested in the sociological aspect of corporate culture, and I’m playing on the idea that any team should be like minions. This is how I feel [for the most part] when I’m at my day job.
Yes, you read right. Minions.
Despite the high pressure we’re constantly under, we love to laugh.
Even at the most immature things..
Everyone is a little weird in their own way, and that’s okay. It works for us.
I’ll be honest - I’m probably the weirdest one of all,
but if I fit in a place with everyone else’s version of ‘uniqueness’.
We get excited about the things we’re trying to accomplish.
We love watching our plans fall into place,
even though things don’t always go according to plan.
We support each other,
we fight each other even more,
and one always takes it too far [usually me].
The people I work with are amazing,
so I salute them.
Corporate culture is what makes work places effective and unique.
The workplace should not be something that people dread every day. Employees should look forward to going to their jobs. In fact, they should have a hard time leaving because they enjoy the challenges, their co-workers, and the atmosphere.
The difference between being a team and just a bunch of individuals is that the individuals see themselves as separate from each other. Helping others is forced because you normally operate on your own projects, or your own part in a larger project.
Teams work together on all work related projects and help where necessary. It doesn’t matter who gets credit for what because you accomplish everything together. You’re knit together, not separated.
Jobs shouldn’t provoke stress in employees. While the work may be difficult, the culture shouldn’t add to the stress of the work. On the contrary, corporate culture should be designed to alleviate the work related stress.
"This is a triumph of the teen-girl aesthetic approach to the world: that you surround yourself with images that you feel reflect who you are or who you want to be. This used to be derided as narcissistic or derivative, but aesthetic curation is now a widely popular, socially accepted, and venture-backed phenomenon … And in the digital era, the teen bedroom has glass walls. Everyone can weigh in. ‘When your picture is “liked” and commented on, it is a great boost of self-confidence and brings along much gratification.’"
"Many adults assume teens don’t care about privacy because they’re so willing to participate in social media. They want to be in public. But that doesn’t mean that they want to *be* public. There’s a big difference. Privacy isn’t about being isolated from others. It’s about having the capacity to control a social situation."
Relevancy. Anything a digital marketer does has to be relevant to your business. In other words, if we are working for a bicycle shop, any content we post should be related to bicycle shops. We would look for bike sites on the web and work to post content there on behalf of the client. There’s no reason to waste time talking about a bike shop on an astronomy or zoology site.
The same rule holds true with digital media. If customers follow your business on social platforms, it’s not because they’re interested in your favorite cookie recipe or the fact that one of your employees got a new puppy. They want updates and info that are relevant to the product or service you provide.
But too often, in the quest for something that will go “viral,” social media marketers will pump clients’ channels full of ‘social media fluff’. Pictures, polls, jokes, questions and other nonsense that doesn’t have anything to do with the business or the market it serves. This content exists simply because there is space to fill and a pressure on marketers to fill the space with something, anything.
Over the past year or so I’ve seen one particular horrible marketing agency push hard on social media, saying that you need to be posting all the time - but can never seem to come up with anything themselves. Want to know why? Because its labor intensive for the agency to come up with these posts and they get to charge you for it. They also get to charge you a fee for media booking, and you better be damn well sure they are charging you a fair fee and optimizing your ads.
Don’t believe me? If you are paying an agency to do digital for you, take a look at your Facebook page. Of all the posts they are doing, how much interaction is really happening as a result of that post? How much business are you getting as a result? A post with relevant content about your business that is linking to your site has value and could generate business. A post that is Fluff talking about nothing whatsoever has no use and you are paying your agency dearly for it. If the engagement is bad, then that’s a direct result of your ad bookings.
There may be many good reasons for your business to be engaged on social channels. But you have to have a reason to exist there, and you have to demonstrate that reason daily with relevant, insightful content that enriches the lives of your fans. If your marketing firm can’t deliver content on that level, then they are the only business benefiting from your digital presence.
Now that 2013 is officially behind us and everyone has voiced their favorite games of 2013, let’s look at what the gaming industry has in store for us this year. Here are the games we’re most looking forward to.
Excuse my language, but if I have to hear another fucking response to another response about how terrible the Lebanese government is, how Hezbollah, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the U.S.A and/or Israel are the planting car bombs in Beirut, or listen to entitled douchebags say that green aliens coming from another planet and landing in Beirut are ruining the country, I am going to punch someone.
This country is different now than it was five years ago. It was different then than it was ten years before. Before that, guerrillas were killing each other based on religion, and every intelligent mind fled the country for their life. Before that there were intelligent minds hanging out on the beach and clubs smoking dope, doing lines of coke and thinking about what to make out of this country. Before them came the people that built the city, changing its landscape and creating what was once “The Paris of the Middle East”. This country - much like an animal - moves, breathes, changes and evolves and will always move and breathe and continue to evolve, but not if people continue to act as if they have an IQ that doesn’t surpass that of a goldfish.
There are parts of this country I hate. Recently, almost all the time I feel unsafe. The bomb that happened today was unbelievably awful. The bomb that happened last week was absolutely sickening. But I want to do something about it. I want to do more than post a stupid picture saying “I am not a martyr,” because there is no value in that. The people dying because of these car bombs aren’t martyrs. They are fucking victims!
Mohamad Chatah was not a martyr - he was an extremely intelligent person who was murdered. The people who died with him are innocent bystanders who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. They aren’t martyrs.
There are times I’ve called ISF on my late drive home, just to have them them not respond. I’ve stepped over disgusting things in every town from my area to Beirut, but I can’t call the police. What are the the police or army going to do to correct outrageous and disgusting behavior that is so common here, when they themselves act like pigs on the street?
I’ve lived in Lebanon for 12 years and there are people who have lived here longer than I have; there are people that have lived here less. All my friends and family have left, but I’ve stayed here because I love so many things about this country. Some of them have changed, just like some of the things I loved about the U.S. have changed. It’s a fact of life.
Given its history, change in Lebanon happens slowly. Things people love will be lost. Things people hate will bubble to the surface. Things will keep changing. Instead of using energy to hate on all the things “going wrong” with this beautiful, interesting, evolving place, we should focus on the things we like and work to affect real change in those areas. Tweeting about how you are not a martyr doesn’t make you any less of a victim - it makes you as useless as the people sitting in that parliament supposedly representing you. It’s all useless talk.
There are plenty of concerned citizens of this country, there are even a few decent politicians, and if we learned anything from Mohamad Chatah’s death, it’s that we have thought-leaders that we should seek out and support, because not every person who is politically affiliated is an entitled dewchbag.
No country is perfect. Not the U.S, not the United Arab Emirates, not Lebanon. But please, please, can we please stop the finger-pointing and whining and fake anguish? It’s just stupid, and if you act like an idiot then you’re country is going to treat you like one.
Content Marketing is a growing and powerful way that businesses of all sizes can use to reach their customers. As compared to traditional advertising, the focus is not to “interrupt” the user with a brand message. With content marketing the goal is to educate the potential customer, engage with them, build a relationship, and draw them closer to the brand.
How are Companies using Content Marketing?
To implement a digital media strategy, the types of tactics being used by businesses include:
If you manage a page on Facebook, then you’ve noticed recently that your organic reach has gone down quite a bit. It’s not just you: Facebook is has been quite transparent in telling marketers that they have to advertise to get their reach back. This is probably the first time they admit it. This report from Facebook (via Ad Age) is not really breaking news for those of you who know your way around Facebook marketing.
"We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site." This means that Facebook will be heavily prioritizing paid placements over organic ones.
Further down the report, Facebook suggests that marketers should consider paid distribution “to maximize delivery of your message in news feed.” So, who needs fans when you can pray for people to troll your advertising on said fan page?
Social media marketing was never really free, so I’m not in the least but surprised. Now that Facebook has FINALLY told marketers “Organic reach doesn’t work on Facebook so please, puh-lease buy advertising,” then it’s time to kick every social media marketer, media-buying people and community managers in the a** and tell them “You better optimize these ads right and get me the best out of my dollar.”
"The Internet rewards the curious. I don’t think it has as many positive effects on the incurious. If you just go there to follow Justin Beiber around, it’s not necessarily going to expand your intellectual world. No disrespect to Justin Beiber."
In order to compete in the current international market, every industry that has it’s hand dipped in the digital sphere need to realize that methods for enhancing design are a must.
User-oriented testing and research are gaining importance, becoming a core component of digital production. The gaming industry, for example, needs to use game metrics to measure and evaluate player behavior. Game metrics are a form of telemetry.
Metrics provide hard, detailed and objective numbers on key aspects of development, from the actual development cycle, the technical aspects and technical testing, to the user-oriented testing and -service evaluation.
It’s very important that metrics be collected remotely – directly from the platforms of the players or users. This allows the collection of data ‘in the wild’ as well as from ‘the lab’. We’re talking about getting very important data about users.
User research is rapidly becoming an integral part of development, and metrics are the most important means of providing info about users and their behavior, informing and guiding design and -development.
Why is praise so hard to accept? As kids, we seek praise at every turn. But for me, at some point, a switch flipped. Maybe because I’m quite shy. Maybe because my first professional jobs were more like The Devil Wears Prada than I care to remember. Maybe because as adults, we’re programmed to achieve, achieve at every level, every opportunity, every turn and praise becomes a distraction. Instead, praise feels a bit awkward. Embarrassing, even.
During one particularly trying moment in my early career, I was doing my job plus the job of my boss, who was juggling too many business angles at once. My boss’s job was above my head, and I often felt like I was flailing about, treading water, gasping for air at every turn. I cried a lot; which was probably bad for my confidence. Not to mention that this was my senior year in university.
I was also pushed to my limit, found myself in professional situations with colleagues years my senior in both age and experience, and generally baptized by fire. I didn’t have time or energy to seek praise during this job; rather, I tried to keep my head down and keep working. I also drank a lot. (Twenty years of existence for the win!)
The day an email from one of my professors landed in my inbox, praising me in a quick note for a job well done, I nearly leapt out of my chair. It was the first real moment of praise I remembered in recent history, and you better believe I printed out that sucker and tacked it to my cubicle wall (behind an editorial calendar, lest anyone think I let praise from a teacher go to my head.) When I was feeling overwhelmed or defeated or overworked or generally exhausted, I looked at the note.Those times were challenging, but, looking back, a ton of fun.
Fast forward years, and in spite of being good at what I do, I still have a seriously tough time accepting praise from others. I’m working on a project that I love, and today received a small bit of praise from someone I really, really respect. My reaction surprised me. Maybe it’s because it’s been so long since it’s happened; maybe because it’s been so long since I’ve worked on something my heart and soul are truly behind; maybe it’s because I’m still shy and reallyneed to learn how to accept praise.
This is embarrassing, but when I read her words, I stood up and walked two laps around the terrace. My cheeks were red, and I was actually too embarrassed to look at the computer screen. Really. Now, a few hours later, energized by her words and glowing from one of the first arguably successful days in as many weeks, I’m feeling — physically feeling — the lift that comes from genuine praise of something you’re proud of.
You can bet your bottom dollar this is how I feel right now:
I would really like to smack one very horrible media buying company based in Beirut for their idiotic advertising ‘strategies’ on Facebook. Their account managers have verbal diarrhea, with a strong sent of BS. To them I say: keep it simple you freaking idiots.
For those that have sat through a school lecture or have spent many years in the industry you are undoubtedly familiar with this Ogilvy adopted phrase and the impact these four words have had on the creative and advertising community. Unfortunately, as human nature (and this one agency I mentioned) has demonstrated over and over through complicated and unsuccessful campaigns – “keeping it simple” is quite a challenge.
Function vs. Design
This is a classic topic that most companies and teams must work through – designers strive to create a canvas while marketers must adhere to what converts and ultimately drives revenue. A classic example can be found in the early 2000’s – while flash allowed designers to produce amazing and awe inspiring creative designs, in many cases the images were not SEO friendly – leading to higher bounce rates and lower conversions.
As time progressed and familiarity with these methods grew, new techniques and strategies emerged producing a more interactive and optimized user experience.
Is Simple the new black?
As Facebook recently announced – the company is making efforts to simplify its ad products and provide a more objective focused advertising model. By trimming the complexities of onboarding and optimization, Facebook is positioning itself to appeal to large and small businesses alike – providing a truly interactive environment for these brands to build creative that promotes engagement with their personal communities. Creative best practices should always focus on the importance of producing ads and copy that not only piques the interest of a brand’s target audience but also encourages them to interact and complete an action.
This is clearly evident when looking at Facebook’s mobile app install ads. During a recent campaign, we saw an 8% lower CPA utilizing custom creatives and managing separate campaigns to leverage the full breadth of Facebook’s unique targeting capabilities. Creativity clearly matters regardless of whether a brand is targeting their audience within a desktop environment or on a mobile device.
Here are some additional list of tips and guidelines to help guide your efforts.
1. Take advantage of Facebook’s large ad formats
The standard size of ads in Facebook’s right-hand column are only 110x80px and while these ads remain effective, the size constraints are far from ideal in a creative workspace. Fortunately, Facebook offers a couple of different large ad formats available for desktop and mobile newsfeed delivery. For example, photo page posts are displayed at a resolution of 400×300 px on a desktop, which is considerably larger than the ads in the right hand side.
Additionally, the newsfeed is considered the primary focus for most users on Facebook and by placing your ads here you are more likely to garner the attention of your targeted demographic.
2. Express context through consumer devices
Expressing context is incredibly important with mobile app install ads, which allows marketers to direct users to interstitial app installation pages on their smartphone. While these ad formats support “install now” buttons, it may not be clear to some users that these ads are actually directing them to install applications on their device.
By showing the device in the advertisement, the clarity of the intended action becomes instantly recognizable and leads to a more qualified app installation and user.
3. Test varying creative approaches within each campaign
A methodology I’ve have had extreme success with focuses on testing varying creative approaches within individual campaigns. This is why alot of agencies are full of s**t.
Intelligent advertisers seen different degrees of success and a few surprises in some cases when testing creative components. While all of the best practices included in this piece are designed to provide insight into the creation of a successful ad, there’s no way to absolutely guarantee that certain techniques work all the time. If we note that one approach works over another, we can redirect design resources to producing more content based on successful images.
4. Try to avoid obvious stock photos
In certain situations, adding an amateur element to ad creative can help to make it seem more authentic, especially in campaigns for social products. Stock photos have become so prevalent that even users who doesn’t necessarily know what a stock photo is understand that what they are seeing is artificially constructed and may negatively impact user perception.
5. Be explicit with your call-to-actions
Make it easy for users to understand what exactly is being promoted in the ad through visual call-to-actions that explicitly convey your message. Citing that something is free or alluding to a bonus of some sort are simple ways of grabbing user attention and increasing click-through-rates.
Granted not all “best practices” will work every time. The key component of any successful campaign is to test, optimize and then test again – we are always striving to exceed our partners goals and objectives. Our creative teams provide image support as a part of AdParlor’s full service solution- we work collaboratively with our partners, providing a consultative approach that has proven to be successful time and time again.