The Gamification of News

“Gamification” seems to be the up and coming buzz word. You may recall that in April, I covered Empire Avenue in a post about the gamification of social media. Now, Google is in the news (literally) with a gamification project of their own, and I think it has some potential.

Let’s explore why.

This week Google announced the launch of their Google News Badges. Google heralded the launch with the following description:

The U.S. Edition of Google News now lets you collect private, sharable badges for your favorite topics. The more articles you read on Google News, the more your badges level up: you can reach Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and finally Ultimate. Keep your badges to yourself, or show them off to your friends.

You’ll probably feel like the badge adoption seems familiar; after all, Foursquare made this a central part of their service.

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Bringing the Sales Organization into the Social Relationship

OK, Marketers. Be honest. If I were to ask you what your first thoughts are when thinking of social media marketing, what would you say? If being honest, the majority of you are thinking of social networks, social media influence or maybe social media ROI: all popular themes among my colleagues today.

If you’re extending your thoughts to other business silos, maybe you’re thinking of the Customer Service or PR departments. Maybe C-Suite bloggers.

Chances are, few if any of you are thinking about the sales department. Most marketers believe that social media marketing is about freely sharing and exchanging ideas and dialogue, building online communities and not overtly selling products.

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Are You Laying the Groundwork Your Brand’s “Infinite Moments of Truth”?

Moments of Truth are well-known concepts in the marketing world, from research (Zero Moment of Truth)… to shopping (First Moment of Truth) … to owning/using a product (Second Moment of Truth).

Now, in a recent blog postDavid Berkowitz introduces one more: the Infinite Moment of Truth (IMOT), which is all about sharing the experience of any (or all) of the other Moments of Truth.  Berkowitz suggests the IMOT is infinite in three ways:

  • the number of people a consumer can share experiences with
  • the ways they can share experiences
  • and the period of time during which they can share their experiences

Each of the Moments of Truth provide their own marketing opportunities, but the Infinite Moment of Truth is the one that can harness the full power of social media and start the “moment of truth cycle” again by influencing the choice a consumer makes at the Zero moment of truth.

The consumer purchases a product, uses it, loves it, and shares this experience with their networks… and someone in their network gets to the Zero Moment of Truth and says “I will purchase.”  

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Social Media And Integration Chief Among Marketers’ Priorities

According to the recently released State of Marketing Report from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, 57% of marketers plan to increase their marketing budgets this year with a priority on incorporating social media across all channels and taking full advantage of the insights gleaned to grow their respective brands.

For its report the CMO Council – which is made up of 6,000 chief marketers who are responsible for over $200 billion in spending across 110 countries, queried over 750 of its members with 64% of the respondents indicating they reported directly to the CEO, President or COO.

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Google+: a platform, not the message

Google+ is here — what do you need to change about your brand message to leverage this new tool?


Now more than ever, your brand message needs to remain strong and consistent, and your focus needs to stay on building relationships. Don’t let new tools (like Google+) distract you from your brand message! As I continue to say, successful social media marketing is all about relationships, and the tools simply facilitate those relationships. Without the people and connections, the tools are meaningless.

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The 5 Biggest Questions about Creating Social Media Content that Drives Action

Highlights from the Social CMO’s Live Marketer Monday Chat

Many B2B marketers are turning to social media for lead generation. However, with an overwhelming amount of information shared through social media channels, it is becoming harder for companies to stand out and engage their target audiences. Plus, when companies attempt to use social networks as another direct marketing channel, many find that this approach backfires and results in negative ROI.

There is a way to achieve ROI and generate high-quality leads through social media — learn to build long-term relationships with customers rather than going after a quick sale. In my recent live chat on Twitter with host The Social CMO, I answered the top questions on “How to Create Social Media Content that Drives Action.”

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Is your brand relevant to your social media audience?

Since social media makes it so simple (quick and easy) to post your message (content) in numerous social networks, it can be tempting to spray your message around the cybersphere as far and wide as possible.  However, that method keeps you at a surface level of connection… which gets you little more than a glance.  To go deeper and have ongoing consumer relationships that result in sales, you need to be relevant and stay relevant to your audience.

This might sound like Marketing 101, but with the introduction of social media and the exponentially increased capacity for one-too-many messaging, it bears repeating:  no matter how perfectly or brilliantly worded your message is, it will not make an impact if the content itself doesn’t matter to (isn’t relevant to) your audience.

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Measure What Matters

More than once in recent weeks I’ve participated in (or overheard out of the corner-of-an-ear) discussions on how time-consuming social media has become, what the payoff might be, and when it might be realized. And I would certainly be surprised if many of you haven’t asked some version of these same questions of yourself or others.

Not only is the issue real; it is legitimate.  It isn’t as though any of us has either a shortage of work, or an overabundance of free time on our hands.

Why are we here?  What keeps pulling us back?  When will the investment pay off?  And will we recognize the payoff when it occurs?

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Money to Move Through Mobile

A recent study forecasting enormous growth in mobile payments for digital and physical goods comes as no great surprise.

Money transfers via mobile devices are expected to hit $240 billion this year growing to $670 billion within four years, according to research from London-based Juniper Research.

Some of the drivers for the coming increase in mobile transactions are various forms of enabling technologies. One method is known as NFC (Near Field Communications) that allow payments essentially by swiping a phone near a device. About 20 countries are expected to launch NFC services with transactions worth $50 billion within the next two years, according to the Juniper study.

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The science of social media marketing: experiment, experiment, experiment!

There are no true experts or gurus in this social media space – we are ALL still trying to figure this out. When I said that at the 140 Character’s Conference: New York City (#140conf) the audience applauded… because we all assume that someone else has all the answers to social media marketing success.

The truth is that social media is still too new as a serious business tool for any one of us to know all the best social media marketing tactics or even understand best how to leverage every platform.

So why am I (@TedRubin) the #1 followed CMO on Twitter (and been so for close to two years) with over 54,000 followers? Because I don’t assume I know everything about social media marketing, so I focus my time on building relationships. Because I pay attention, respond to, and interact with my followers… and I am not afraid to experiment publicly to see what topics are most relevant to my network(s), and what content is most useful to them.

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