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[Infographic] Hospitality Marketing in 2018: 5 Digital Trends to Watch

MDG Advertising ·29 March 2018
MDG Advertising's new infographic, Hospitality Marketing in 2018: 5 Digital Trends to Watch, reveals which trends and channels are worth watching this year. We examined an array of recent reports to determine the top five developments in hospitality marketing.Marketers who take note of travelers' ever-changing behaviors will see success in 2018 and beyond. Check out the full infographic to discover how these trends will influence your digital marketing strategy this year.

7 Tactics Every Digital Marketer Should Learn to Love in 2018 - mdgadvertising.com

MDG Advertising ·13 February 2018
Committing to specific digital tactics can be difficult for marketers. There are so many different approaches that it can be tempting to continuously swipe left in search of something better.While there are quite a few bad matches out there, there also are some strategies and channels that are keepers. These approaches aren't perfect--some have even broken marketers' hearts in the past--but settling down with them can lead to something beautiful.Specifically, every digital marketer who wants to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their efforts should learn to love these seven key tactics this year:

4 Steps to Unlocking the Real Power of Marketing Personalization [Infographic]

MDG Advertising ·22 December 2016
Personalizing offerings and messaging presents an incredible opportunity for brands to engage consumers more effectively.Nearly three-quarters (74%) of web users say they're frustrated with sites that aren't tailored to their needs, 72% of consumers say they don't like generic marketing, and 58% of shoppers say they'd like companies to better focus their discount offers.Yet, despite this clear demand, most brands still feel their personalization efforts aren't connecting. In fact, one recent survey of marketers found that 60% say their organization struggles with the tactic.Why? The root cause is that many firms aren't delivering the personalized experiences that people truly want.To overcome this challenge, check out the new infographic, 4 Steps to Unlocking the Real Power of Marketing Personalization, which was developed by MDG Advertising. It highlights approaches that have helped our clients significantly improve their targeting strategies.The areas covered include:Smart vs. dumb tactics: Personalization means much more than simply including a name. Basic personalization has minimal impact on engagement; however, messages based on specific user actions have a 2X open rate and 3X click rate compared with standard emails. Learn how dynamic targeting is the real key to effective engagement.Single view of the customer: Consumers say the top benefits of personalization are fewer irrelevant ads/messages, quicker discovery of new products/services, and higher-quality shopping interactions. To deliver these experiences and harness the power of targeting you need rich, constantly updating consumer profiles. Discover why having a single view of the customer is the foundation for success.Data and systems: Personalization and data/systems aren't just linked, they're fundamentally intertwined. Of those marketers who say they don't personalize content, 59% say a major barrier is technology and 53% say they lack the right data. Explore how investing in the right platforms and people can pay off immensely.Transparency and security: People remain wary of personalization because they aren't sure how data is being used and stored. That's why control and security are so important. Some 60% of online users want to know how a website selects content personalized for them and 88% of consumers prefer to determine how their personal data will be used. Understand how to best address these concerns.To find out how to make the most of these tactics for your brand, check out 4 Steps to Unlocking the Real Power of Marketing Personalization.

[Infographic] Snapchat 101: What Brands Need to Know

MDG Advertising ·12 October 2016
for now.Snapchat has become the most important social network among teenagers.Teens' favorite social networks:Snapchat (28% rank #1)Instagram (27%)Twitter (18%)Facebook (17%)Tumblr (2%)Pinterest (2%)Among adults, Snapchat's user base also skews younger.Share of adults using Snapchat:Age 18-24: 69%Age 25-35: 18%Age 35+: 14%However, the fastest growing Snapchat audience is users over the age of 25.50%: Half of new Snapchat users are over the age of 25.2X: The growth rate of the 25+ audience is double that of the 25 and under audience.Key takeaway: Right now Snapchat is primarily used by consumers 25 and under. That said, adoption is quickly growing among older adults.3. Are most brands using it?Many brands still haven't taken the plunge and started using Snapchat for marketing purposes.5% of companies say they're currently using Snapchat as part of their marketing efforts.However, bands are curious about the service and many plan to start using it soon.16% of marketers say they plan on increasing their Snapchat activities in 2016.28% of marketers say they want to learn more about the platform.Key takeaway: One of the biggest barriers to adoption by brands is that many struggle to assess reach and engagement on Snapchat. This makes it hard to determine the ROI of investment.Marketers rank social networks by ROI:Facebook (96% see good ROI)Twitter (64%)Instagram (40%)LinkedIn (38%)Pinterest (10%)SlideShare (4%)Snapchat (2%)Key takeaway: Snapchat currently has relatively low usage among marketers. This seems to be changing, though, as the audience grows and the platform matures.4. What are brands doing on it?As with any social network, there are countless tactics marketers employ to reach consumers on Snapchat. That said, there are currently two primary ways brands are using the platform.1. Directly Interacting with FollowersMany marketers use the Chat and Story features to engage audiences either on their own or via influencers. Common approaches include:Giving audiences peeks behind-the-scenes.Sharing discounts and big announcements.Entertaining with fun, strange content pieces.2. Reaching Audiences Via Special Features and AdvertisingThe second major way that brands are using Snapchat to reach audiences is via the service's paid advertising features. The three main paid formats currently offered by Snapchat are:Snap Ads: Short, vertically oriented video ads run as part of other Snaps.Sponsored Geofilters: Overlays that appear when a Snap is taken in a certain location.Sponsored Lenses: Animated filters that appear over a user's face in a Snap.Key takeaway: While the platform can be a bit daunting to figure out at first, Snapchat already has a number of fun ways for brands to engage with audiences.5. Should your brand be using it?So, the big question: Is it time for your brand to dive in and start using Snapchat? The answer is: it depends.If you want to connect with a youthful audience, then you probably should be engaging on the platform.41% of all 18 to 34-year-olds living in the United States can be reached via Snapchat.The average user now spends an average of 25-30 minutes a day on Snapchat.Put simply: Younger consumers love Snapchat and they use it a lot, so it makes sense to engage them there.If your target demographic is older, and/or less tech savvy, then the situation is more complicated. Our advice for these brands is to wait and see; keep an eye on Snapchat--a very close eye--it could be essential to your business very soon.To understand how all this impacts your digital marketing efforts, check outSnapchat 101: What Brands Need to Know.

The 4 Keys to Creating Exceptional Travel Content in 2016 [Infographic]

MDG Advertising ·15 August 2016
Why? Because online information and tools increasingly drive every major trip decision, from where travelers go, to how they book, and which businesses they visit while on the road.To better understand this shift, check out the new infographic, The 4 Keys to Creating Exceptional Travel Content in 2016, which was developed by MDG Advertising. It highlights key insights from a set of recent independent research reports.

Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Digital Trends [Infographic]

MDG Advertising ·12 January 2016
Just as travelers plan their trips to make the most of their stays, travel marketing experts need to plan their digital budgets and strategies to make the most of their spend. But with a new year come new choices, channels, and chances for online success. To make the best digital decisions, travel marketers need to know the top trends, tech, and tactics that will matter to marketing in 2016. Rather than track down all of this data, your ticket to the latest travel insights is a fact-packed infographic created by MDG Advertising called Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Trends. It pinpoints the five key strategies for making the most of your travel marketing budget and business over the next 12 months. To arrive at the right budget decisions, check out this informative infographic.1. Spend on Your WebsiteInvesting in your website is one of the wisest decisions you can make. With more and more people looking and booking on travel brand websites than third-party sites, your website delivers the first impression of your travel brand. And an optimized, user-friendly website can create a lasting impression and drive visitors to book without a second thought. The infographic shows:67% of travelers think it's simpler to book on a travel brand website than a third-party site.Almost two-thirds of travelers think it's less expensive to book on a travel brand website.Top Takeaway: To make the most of this mindset, view your website as an important digital hub that gives online users everything they want and need.2. Optimize MobileMobile has become a must in people's lives, especially when researching and reserving travel. In 2016, even more travelers will be searching for travel online. According to the infographic, you can expect:49% increase in mobile search for hotels and cruises.47% rise in mobile search for car rentals and tours and attractions.Top Takeaway: To serve this mobile market, make sure that all of your digital offerings, experiences, and communications are optimized for every mobile device.3. Expect to Welcome More MillennialsMillennials already make up 40% of leisure travelers who book travel online. In 2016, their share of both the business and personal travel market will increase even more. To target these young adults, it's essential to understand that Millennials have specific travel tendencies, such as:They frequently book travel and share their experiences on mobile devices and digital platforms.They tend to extend and blend business trips into personal vacations.They spend more each day on trips than other age groups.Top Takeaway: Use these Millennial insights to develop your digital properties and target your online messages.4. Revisit ReviewsIn 2016, online reviews and review sites will matter more than ever to travelers. According to the infographic:64% of travelers visit travel review sites like TripAdvisor for vacation ideas.Almost half of travelers have been compelled to write a review after a travel experience.Top Takeaway: Since these reviews are so important, travel brands need to regularly revisit and review all guest reviews to learn what they liked and lacked in their experiences.5. Keep Your Eye on VideoDigital video is becoming more and more popular with travelers, especially on social networks. The infographic reveals these stunning statistics:Top Takeaway: In 2016, video is a vital investment that must be incorporated with social media to reach and resonate with travelers.

The State of the Internet 2015: Social Media Trends [Infographic]

MDG Advertising ·22 September 2015
As the infographic explains, there are five key social media trends marketers should be paying attention to. They are:1. Who rules the social media kingdom. A recent survey of marketers from around the world reveals that the top three social networks for engaging customers are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Facebook nabs first place with an impressive 93% share of business. Twitter ranks second at 79%. And LinkedIn holds a strong third slot at 71%.2. Who's showing interest in Pinterest. It's no surprise that Pinterest has been gaining ground with women interested in beauty, food, and fashion. But what may be surprising is the number of men who are also using the platform. Pinterest has experienced a 96% growth in men's fashion pins and a phenomenal 118% increase in car and motorcycle pins.3. The type of post taking off on Facebook. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted that the social site's news feed would become mostly video within five years. Looks like he may have overestimated the timeframe. Already, half of Facebook's daily active users watch at least one video each day. All total, Facebook garnered 4 billion video views per day in 1Q15. That's a whopping 1 billion increase over 3Q14.4. Social media gets serious about generating purchases. Although social media makes it easy to reach a promising market, convincing that market to buy has been somewhat of a struggle. To combat the problem, many social media networks are now integrating purchase buttons into their mobile ads. Specifically, Facebook offers a "Buy" button for sponsored posts. Google has introduced "Buy With Google" into its mobile apps. And Twitter now features a "Buy" button in its sponsored Tweets.5. Getting the message about messaging apps. Messaging apps are quickly gaining popularity in our increasingly mobile-first world, particularly among the young. They now comprise six of the top 10 most-used apps globally. WhatsApp ranks number two, right after Facebook. Facebook Messenger comes in at number three.These are just a few of the latest trends shaping the social media landscape. View all the statistics in MDG's fact-filled infographic below.

[E-book] Everything You Need to Know About 2015's Digital Marketing Trends, Simplified.

MDG Advertising ·15 September 2015
Mary Meeker's 2015 Internet Trends Report, Social Media Examiner's Industry Report, and Salesforce's 2015 State of Marketing Report--stand out as providing truly useful, data-based insights for marketers.The problem for busy professionals is that each of these reports is dauntingly deep, with hundreds of slides and charts. If you don't have time to sort through it all--which could very well take up the rest of your year--we've done it for you and pulled together an overview of the highlights in this e-book.In particular, we're covering the most important digital trends in three key areas:1. Content 2. Social Media 3. Future DevelopmentsTo read the E-book, click here.

Millennials Want the Unique Instead of the Usual from Travel Brands

MDG Advertising ·10 September 2015
Millennials are a departure from the traditional traveler. They desire the new and novel, and crave the unexpected. They want meaningful travel experiences and demand the distinct and different. Research has shown that Millennials travel often, taking an average of five business trips each year and extending them into leisure vacations. And this audience is 23% more likely to travel abroad than their older counterparts. With Millennials in the U.S. on track to spend $1.4 trillion each year by 2020, this travel-loving market is likely to put a portion of that on travel. That's why travel brands can't afford to overlook this lucrative market. As a result, this is making many hotel brands revisit their hospitality marketing strategies, which have been geared toward traditional travelers. But marketing to Millennials demands a unique approach. Discover how to engage this market and get them to stay with a hotel brand.Exploring a New Age in Travel and TravelersAccording to Fast Company, global hotel chains are well aware that the times and the trends in travel are changing. Many brands built their reputations on providing the same, expected experience at every location around the world. This may have met the conventional needs of older travel markets, but it is completely at odds with freethinking, novelty-seeking Millennials."The trademark of the Boomer was that they wanted familiarity, safety, and comfort," said Wolfgang Lindlbauer, chief discipline leader, global operations at Marriott International. "Marriott has leveraged its scale as a competitive advantage for many years, but what we're finding is that the next-generation consumer wants the exact opposite of what we're delivering."Now, hotel brands are seeing they need to evolve their cookie-cutter concepts. They must redefine their experience to appeal to the Millennial market in order to earn their business and loyalty.Discovering the Travel Tastes of MillennialsSo what do Millennials want in a hotel brand and a travel experience? The vacation values of Millennials were explored in depth in the recent e-book, "How Millennials Killed Travel Marketing As We Know It" by MDG Advertising. It described their approach to travel and trip planning, which are different than other markets. Their many distinctions include:Millennials want to experience local culture and are open to exploration.Their favorite souvenirs are the stories they can share about their vacations.They want hotels to provide a unique, personalized experience.With more Millennials joining the workforce, many are extending their business trips into personal leisure travel.Millennials are very cost conscious and persuaded by the best deals and promotions.Their travel decisions are often based on the recommendations of friends and family via social media.These travel decisions are often made spontaneously or at the last minute.Most forgo traditional travel agents in favor of planning trips on their mobile devices.Millennials' dependence on digital devices affects every part of their lives, including how they plan, record, and share their travel experiences.Reaching the Next Generation of GuestsWith Millennials making up more and more of the travel market, hospitality marketing experts need to appeal to their preferences to bring in their business.TravelAgeWest.com reported that practically all of the major hospitality brands are responding to Millennials' needs.Many hotel brands are adding new features and services that appeal to Millennial tastes. Since Marriott expects that Millennials could comprise up to 50% of its guests by 2020, the conservative hotel brand is trying to transform its traditional image into a hot, hip, sexy brand to attract younger travelers. The brand did enormous market research and discovered that Millennials like it when travel brands have strong local connections, provide experiences unique to locations, and offer a sense of community.That's why Marriott has encouraged each of its properties to come up with creative concepts that give guests a taste of the local culture and community. This led their location in Phoenix, Arizona to create a cheese-and-charcuterie restaurant that focuses on artisan food producers, local craft beer makers, and small wine companies. In addition to providing a unique experience, the restaurant's mission and menu promote sustainability and community, which appeal to Millennial interests.Some major hospitality brands are taking a different approach. Rather than restructuring a brand's offerings, they are creating new hotel brands with an experiential focus, along with the digital and social comforts craved by Millennials. For example, Radisson plans to bring its Radisson Red hotel chain to the U.S. in the next few years. This boutique offshoot of the global chain will offer guests extreme personalization through a single mobile app. This app will power a guest's experience, from hotel check-in, to amenity arrangements, to stocking the in-room mini bar. This will meet young travelers' needs for mobile convenience and digital access.Engaging and Exciting Millennials Through MarketingWhether a hotel brand chooses to adapt its features or develop a new branded concept, it's essential that their hospitality marketing strategies reflect this new position to promote it to Millennials. Along with crafting the right strategy, the message needs to be marketed on the right social media and digital channels to reach the target audience.In addition, travel brands need to maintain a strong online presence and constantly monitor their social media. Then, it will be possible to engage the many Millennials who rely on these social channels for most of their communication.By showing younger travelers that a hotel brand responds to their needs, this audience will respond to the hotel's efforts and develop a lasting loyalty.

The State of the Internet 2015: Content Trends [Infographic]

MDG Advertising · 1 September 2015
Forget trying to keep up with all the changes that occurred in Internet marketing this past year. It would take you until this time next year just to list them. So instead of taking up a lot of unnecessary and valuable time, the latest infographic from MDG Advertising quickly details the content trends you most need to know about.

The B2B Digital Landscape: No Longer Business as Usual [Infographic]

MDG Advertising · 9 February 2015
How do B2B suppliers stay on their A-game in B2B marketing today? Well, its much more complex than ever as new digital methods and media have completely changed B2B buying behavior. Now cold calls get the cold shoulder as more and more of the B2B industry is warmly embracing online options to research and purchase products. Since theres no escape from this digital landscape, B2B suppliers need to evolve and must seek out new opportunities to engage their high-tech targets. For a look at the digital patterns and preferences of todays business buyers, MDG Advertising analyzed a 2014 B2B procurement study by Acquity Group and compiled its findings into an infogra phic. It displays buyers new ways of doing business, from where theyre shopping to how theyre spending, to help B2B suppliers engage and convert them. Take a look and learn todays new way to take care of B2B business.Opting for Online BuyingThe Web has a wealth of B2B products that the B2B industry can pick with a click. Thats why a growing number of U.S. B2B buyers are spending more time buying online.In 2014, 68% purchased products online versus the 57% last year.18% spend a whopping 90% or more of their budgets online, which is twice as many as last year.46% will increase their online purchasing in 2015.The Internet is Netting a Higher Share of B2B BuyersThe B2B industry is already browsing and buying products online, yet the momentum is mounting as the industry intends to spend even more on online purchasing over the next few years.A total 46% of B2B professionals spend more than half of their budgets online.One-third of B2B buyers invest from 10% to 50% of the dollars toward online products and services.Experts figure theyll find even higher figures in the future.The Strategy for Searching and Shopping for the Best PricesB2B buyers are even more cost conscious than the average American because their budgets are somebody elses business. This drives them to research before they reach for their dollars to ensure that their spending makes sense and saves cents. But gone are the days of the single supplier who dropped by their business and wrote down their order. Now, the Web has a world of B2B options and its where they go to find the best deals.Price is the primary purchasing factor, but other corporate considerations play a role.94% of B2B buyers do online research before making a purchase.One-third research a full 90% of their online purchases.While 83.4% compare products and prices on supplier websites, only 37% think these sources are most helpful in research.Yet Google is the go-to for 77% of B2B buyers conducting research.More than 40% consult their peers by turning to product user review sites.Only about 10% check industry blogs and social media sources.How B2B Suppliers Can Click with BuyersDigital is the way to dollars today, so suppliers must optimize their websites online experience.Ensure extreme ease and efficiency from research through purchase.B2B buyers are willing to convert and return to supplier sites that are fast and user friendly.Mobile is the Key to Connection and ConversionMobile is a must in the corporate world since business never sleeps. This makes mobile a great way to reach B2B buyers with product updates and sales opportunities since their devices are always in reach.Mobile is moving up the corporate ladder among B2B buyers in both research and purchase.Mobile has been used for B2B research by 44% of overall buyers and 55% of buyers who are 18 to 25 years old.Tablets are also rising to the top, with 37% of B2B buyers using them for product research and 25% making corporate purchases on their tablets.Just as business is constantly changing, B2B suppliers must follow suit and follow their target market online. They need to meet their demands for digital ease and maximum value with an optimal online experience. By delivering on this digital promise, B2B suppliers can stay in good company.

[Infographic] The Shift to Native Advertising in Marketing

MDG Advertising ·28 April 2014
Advertisers Go Native in the Search for Consumer EngagementIt's a simple premise. If you want to engage online consumers, give them more of what they go online for in the first place. Advertisers are doing just that by shifting to paid content that's similar in nature to and displayed in the same format as the editorial content surrounding it. The idea is to get consumers to click on and then share these "native ads" with others.It's a solution that benefits everyone involved, including publishers, brands, advertisers, and consumers. Advertisers and marketers gain a more relevant and engaging way to reach their target markets. Publishers make money from selling branded content to advertisers. And consumers get more of the kinds of content they're searching for. Add in the rapid growth of social media and mobile technology usage, and native advertising holds vast potential.A new infographic from MDG Advertising explains this new phenomenon and reveals some impressive statistics:70% of consumers want to learn about products through content as opposed to traditional ad methods75% of publishers currently offer some type of native advertising on their sites, and 90% say they either have considered or will consider using itThere are a number of motivating factors triggering the use of native advertising:67% of brands use native advertising in an effort to provide more-relevant messaging63% use native ads to increase consumer engagement62% hope to generate awareness or buzzThere are a number of ways to measure the success of native ads:70% of brands and 66% of publishers measure success by traffic44% of brands and 49% of publishers measure success by social media sharing62% of agencies' brand clients measure the time spent engaging with contentNative ads perform better than traditional banner ads:Purchase intent of those who click on native ads is 52% compared to only 34% for bannersPeople who click on native ads have higher brand loyalty (32%) than those who click on banners (23%)Infographic by MDG Advertising

The Future of Proximity & Micro-Location Marketing [Infographic]

MDG Advertising · 6 January 2014
Reach Potential Customers in the Right Place at the Right Time"Location, location, location" was once only a mantra in real estate, but it"s found a new home in marketing as brands tighten their targeting on in-store shoppers. With the ubiquity of mobile devices and advances in location technology, brands can now send real-time, relevant ads to shoppers about to buy. To see how brands have leveraged location to make purchasing more personalized, take a look at this infographic developed by MDG Advertising. It reveals how location-based data is gaining ground to bring brands to a shopper"s attention. From delivering targeted mobile offers as buyers pass nearby stores to sending product-centric suggestions to shoppers" phones as they browse the aisles, see how micro-location marketing is bringing brands closer to buyers.The infographic shows that only 23% of marketers are using location-based data in their current mobile efforts. Yet it goes on to reveal how technology is changing the times and the trends. More and more marketers are moving toward micro-location marketing for its real-time reach and hyper-targeting promotional power.Thanks to the mix of mobile and targeting, brands can now virtually shop with consumers in stores. Through high-tech tactics like sensors and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons, brands can track their target buyers and deliver relevant ads on the spot. And many are making their messages more personalized than promotional. Some send real-time recommendations to their social media followers. Others provide customized suggestions based on the buyer"s habits and area. So just as shoppers are ready to spend, brands can appear in front of their faces at all of the places that sell their products.And consumers aren"t shy about sharing their information in exchange for shopping benefits. In fact, the graphic shows that 50% of women share their location and personal information with stores to get special offers. Plus, 53% of consumers share their locations with brands for relevant deals. Then all of this consumer data gets used to let marketers analyze buying behavior and help stores improve their surroundings.It"s easy to see why micro-location marketing is redefining retail. And it pays to check out MDG"s brand-new infographic to see how it"s paying off.Use the power of micro-location marketing to target your audience efficiently and effectively. Contact MDG Advertising today at 561-338-7797 or visit mdgadvertising.com.MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, is one of Florida"s top creative ad agencies. Our core capabilities include print advertising, branding, logo design, creative, digital marketing, media planning and buying, radio and TV advertising, Web design and development, infographic development, online video advertising, email marketing, mobile marketing, social media marketing, and SEO. To learn more about developing mobile marketing strategies that will help your company stay competitive in today"s mobile marketplace, see "6 Ways to Make Your Company More Mobile-Minded."

Have You Seen Your Online Reputation? [Infographic]

MDG Advertising ·28 May 2013
The digital revolution has made it increasingly difficult for a brand to maintain control of its online reputation. From talk on social media to articles on other websites and mentions via search engines, it seems like everyone has an opinion about brands and an abundance of online channels to share these views. While positive posts can have a great effect on brand image and sales, negative talk can cause serious harm that could damage a brand for the long-term. This is why it's essential for a brand to constantly monitor its Internet image and do everything possible to ensure a strong online reputation, from keeping customers happy to continually engaging with the social media communityand constantly updating content.MDG Advertising has developed a fact-packed infographic that offers advice for building a better online reputation. It features specifics on the state of online reputation management (ORM), along with both savvy and sorry ways that brands have handled their digital reputations. It also offers tactics and tips for getting started and managing mistakes. After all, how a company manages an online slip-up can make a world of difference in how the online world sees and speaks about the brand.The infographic illustrates the need for ongoing online reputation management, revealing that 92% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends and family, while 70% value online opinions from other consumers. It shows that more than half of consumers on social media have used a social channel for brand research, including 70% who like to hear about a customer's experience with the brand, and around 50% who either compliment or criticize the brand to the social media world. It also discloses that more than half of brands feel unprepared or unsure of whether they could handle an online image crisis.MDG's infographic cites examples of how brands have handled online reputation crises both perfectly well and painfully wrong. It cites negative cases by American Airlines and Progressive Insurance, along with lessons for both dodging and dealing with such situations. It also includes positive examples by Target and KitchenAid, whose savvy actions serve as models of reputation management.It offers smart strategies to help brands create good online reputations, as well as ways to cope if things go bad. To build a company's good name, it suggests focusing on establishing the brand's voice before its products, along with striving to develop brand advocates, paying attention to every online user, constantly monitoring online mentions, and practicing smart SEO. If crisis management is needed, it advises identifying negative remarks on all social media channels, executing a pre-determined crisis response plan, and trying to solve the problem before it turns into a full-blown crisis. It also offers words of wisdom for worst-case scenarios, such as responding immediately and decisively, being open and honest, admitting and correcting mistakes, devising creative solutions, and establishing a plan for rebuilding the brand's image. These are all important lessons for brands to learn since mistakes are easy to make and much harder to correct.Overall, the infographic provides a clear guide for cultivating, maintaining, and reclaiming a brand's online reputation. Remember, an online crisis can happen to any brand at any time, so brands had better be prepared to handle the worst in the best way possible. Infographic by MDG Advertising

Vacationing the Social Media Way [INFOGRAPHIC]

MDG Advertising · 7 August 2012
Infographic by MDG AdvertisingThe infographic opens by showing how 52 percent of travelers use social media to find vacation inspiration, with 29 percent of respondents flocking to Facebook for travel planning ideas, followed by 14 percent getting inspired by TripAdvisor's vacation- planning insight. People are also making mobile technology into virtual travel agents as approximately one-quarter of respondents used their smartphones and mobile devices for comparing airfare prices, as well as checking flight schedules, finding phone numbers for travel resources, and researching airport information. Once the trip has been booked, more than half of travelers jump on Facebook to announce their upcoming vacation status and "like" pages related to their getaways.Next, the infographic explains how an abundance of Americans take social media along on their vacations. In fact, research shows that 74 percent of social media users check their social sites and 72 percent of adults are likely to use their mobile devices during their trips. Travelers have multiple uses for their mobile devices throughout their getaways, with a full 68 percent using them to stay in contact and almost half of vacationers using them to take pictures and schedule wake-up times. They also use their mobile devices to make reservations, get directions, check online reviews, and translate languages.Once the vacation is over, many travelers return to social media to report on their experiences. The infographic indicates that 46 social media users post hotel reviews and 40 percent write restaurant and activity reviews on social sites. Forget scrapbooks and slideshows, today's tech-savvy travelers share their memories online, with 76 percent of social media users posting their photos on social networks.It's easy to see how digital technology has transformed the way we travel, from planning a trip with social media to taking mobile along for the stay and then using social to share vacation memories.

Believable Branding: What Form Of Brand Messaging Do Consumers Buy Into? [Infographic]

MDG Advertising ·11 July 2012
First, the infographic touches on the trustworthiness of various brand messages. Consumers rated recommendations from friends and family as the most reliable, with a whopping 92 percent of respondents trusting them and 90 percent calling them highly or fairly relevant.Next, traditional media took to the ring with editorial content deemed the most trustworthy by 58 percent of respondents and relevant by 55 percent. This format was closely followed by TV commercials, magazine ads, outdoor formats and newspaper advertising which were all viewed as both trustworthy and relevant by almost half of the respondents.Still, the battle among online ad formats rages on with consumers giving the greatest credence to online reviews from fellow customers. Three-quarters of respondents viewed these online opinions as relevant and 70 percent considered them trustworthy. More than half of respondents believed that branded websites and subscriber emails were also credible and pertinent. Consumers placed the least amount of confidence in the plethora of online ads, yet they were still seen as relevant and trustworthy by more than one-third of respondents.Lastly, the infographic covers how mobile ads are finally making progress with consumers as their level of confidence in these ad formats steadily grows. In fact, text ads on smartphones were deemed relevant by 31 percent of respondents and trusted by 29 percent, while one-third said that mobile display ads were both relevant and trustworthy in their minds.For a closer look at the exact facts and figures behind the believability of brand advertising, check out this interesting infographic. Infographic by MDG Advertising

Google Places Pages Entirely Replaced by Google+ Local Pages. How Will This Affect Your Business? | mdgadvertising.com

MDG Advertising ·11 July 2012
Google+ has replaced the most prolific and prominent local search-marketing vehicle ever created. What was once Google Places is now Google+ Local. Or maybe it's +Local? Local+? Who knows what the official title will be once this all plays out. What we do know is that local search has come a long way since the original local search ecosystem was released.

Infographic: It's All About the Images

MDG Advertising ·30 May 2012
Infographic by MDG AdvertisingFirst, the infographic details the power of Pinterest whose popularity has propelled the use of high-quality images in sharable online content. It also explains how Facebook"s greater focus on images has led the social media giant to switch to Timeline and acquire photo startup Instagram.Next, the impact of images on articles is examined since content featuring compelling images averages 94 percent more total views than those without. It also illustrates how articles featuring news, political, and sports content appear to benefit the most from relevant images.In regard to press materials, the infographic shows that total online views are directly related to the number of multimedia elements within. A larger number of photos, videos, and other media accompanying press releases result in higher views.Local search is also discovering the positive impact of images, with 60 percent of consumers more inclined to select a business with images in its local listing. This illustrates the strong relationship between image and photo SEO, which businesses can no longer afford to ignore as more and more companies realize the attention-grabbing power of images in local search.The infographic goes on to explain why high-quality images are essential to e-commerce. Clear, detailed images are deemed to be very important by 67 percent of consumers and carry even more weight than the product information, full description, and customer ratings.Finally, the correlation between images and social media is examined and it"s no surprise that posts with photos have higher levels of social engagement than other types of posts. Advice on optimizing images for social media is also featured.As MDG"s infographic shows, images are the rising stars of the Internet and harnessing the enormous power of image optimization in a company"s photo marketing strategy can result in unlimited potential and performance for an image-savvy business.

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