Friday, January 23, 2015

Hedge Fund Marketers Bid On to Social Media Tactics For Brand Awareness

When it comes to branding, social media tactics are integral to leveraging a business strategy. When it comes to leverage, the hedge fund industry at large prides itself on disciplined use of strategies and risk management tools to enhance returns for investors. When it comes to brand awareness and leveraging social media tools to enhance their own brand recognition, most hedge funds (as well as other financial industry members) have remained cautious, simply because financial industry regulators and respective compliance officers are still unclear as to rules of the road.


Those who have spent more than 15 minutes in and around the world of finance (as this writer has) might find this state of affairs ironic when considering that many hedge funds (including the most-respected) are the same folks pouring billions into social media-centric start-ups at valuations that jump off the page, notwithstanding most of these companies are barely out of the start-up gate and are still entrenched in the no-profit stage.


But, when it comes to hedge fund industry brand strategies, it is clear that the social media tide is turning. As noted in a JLC Group December 23 post, there is an unmistakable trend change taking place. We know this first hand consequent to engagements that our firm has been enlisted for by financial industry firms, including initiatives on behalf of a hedge fund industry service provider (who has 1000+ leading finance industry professionals following his Twitter feed) and who was recently nominated as a candidate for Institutional Investor’s 2015 Hedge Fund Industry “Rising Star”award.


The increasing use of social media ‘story’ seems to be resonating, as evidenced by yesterday’s ‘main stream media’ article by financial industry outlet “Investment News.” Because we were so inspired that an industry publication is advancing discussion of this trend, we decided to extract elements from their article “Hedge fund managers testing the social media waters…Lifted advertising ban and pressure from liquid alts drive secretive managers into the open..”


Here’s the extract (link to the full story is below):


Hedge funds, long known for restricting investor access to complex and secretive strategies, are ever so slowly coming out of the shadows and embracing social media.


It’s still a far cry from your favorite celebrities tweeting out what they had for breakfast, but it shows that the alternative investing universe is starting to tap into the Internet for basic marketing and communication purposes.


“If you go to hedge fund conferences now, you’ll see people tweeting out the information, which is something that would have been unheard of a few years ago,” said Thomas Walek, president of capital markets and financial services at Peppercomm, a public relations and market research firm.


According to a study released earlier this week from Peppercomm, 91% of the 100 largest global hedge funds now have websites, a concept that was virtually unheard of just a few years ago.


In terms of proactive social media activity, the study found that 66% of hedge funds have LinkedIn accounts, with an average of 2,300 online connections.


Twitter, which is considered to be more social than LinkedIn, has been embraced by about 10% of hedge funds, the study found. Those hedge funds average 15,000 followers each.


The primary tipping point for the hedge fund industry, according to Mr. Walek, has been the JOBS Act, which went into effect in September 2013 and lifted many of the marketing and advertising restrictions on private investment products.


To continue reading, please visit InvestmentNews.com


 



Hedge Fund Marketers Bid On to Social Media Tactics For Brand Awareness

Monday, January 19, 2015

Best Practice Tip For Internal Corporate Communication-CEO Email Guide

Executive leadership within the context of CEO best practices and approaches that are intended keep employees fully-informed as to on-going outbound initiatives (and perhaps strategies still in the pipeline and planning stages) is obviously the subject of countless articles, white papers, books and pontification from tens of dozens corporate leadership genies.


For those who embrace the notion of full-transparency, leading experts offer a menu of strategies and mediums that lead to higher employee morale, and in turn, contributions from employees that can prove integral to the decision-making and project implementation process.. From town-hall meetings to use of Twitter (for employees only and with safeguards that make those CEO tweets non-retweetable!), the topic of internal corporate email is typically the top medium that CEOs are most prone to deploy.


Putting aside for a moment the calamity that resulted from the hacking of Sony’s corporate email platform, one can’t emphasize enough the need on the part of employees to be connected and informed, the communication culture is arguably driven directly from the c-suite cubicle of any company’s Chief Executive office.


With that in mind, we noticed a compelling comment expressed by NewBrand Analytics CEO Kristin Muhlner, who was profiled in the Jan 18 edition of the New York Times Business section.  Mulhner’s approach is simple and straight forward:


“..I’ve started sending out an email once a week called ‘Where’s Waldo?’  The email is just to say where people are, such as who [company] our VP of sales is meeting with this week, as well as provide updates on other initiatives. Its amazing the reaction that it [email update] gets from people, because they feel like ‘wow’, cool stuff’s happening, and now I know why he’s not responding to my email today. It helps.”


If not the best way that the NYT reporter could have framed the insight from Muhlner, the point should be evident: transparency, whether in form of email or other communication is critical to leadership best practices, and the culture of communication should be appropriate,  well-defined and consistent.


 



Best Practice Tip For Internal Corporate Communication-CEO Email Guide

Saturday, January 03, 2015

The Top 2015 New Year’s Resolution: Brand Enhancement. Hello to Halo Effect

Welcome to 2015. If only because “Top New Year’s Resolutions” inevitably includes a focus on improvement, (yes, we know that “weight loss” is traditionally the top goal for most), whether you are a C-suite exec, a mid-level manager, or a fast-moving entrepreneur, burnishing your corporate brand image as well as your personal brand image is likely on the top of your “to-do” list as this new year unfolds.


The folks at The JLC Group contend that the good news is that the process for creating and/or enhancing brand recognition aka brand awareness often entails the same steps, and begins by first embracing the tenants of the Halo Effect , which is the “cognitive bias in which an observer’s overall impression of a person, company, brand, or product influences the observer’s feelings and thoughts about that entity’s character or properties.”


In an ‘evergreen’ post courtesy of B2B Marketing Blog.uk and submitted by a fellow named Cliff Findlay, there are 10 simple keys to unlocking the code towards better brand recognition; our favorite 4 includes: (i) First Impressions Are Paramount (ii) Define The Emotions You Are Selling (iii) (Re-) Establish Your Brand Values (iv) Stay On Message


Before you click on the above link for more details, we encourage you to consider extracts below from a Jan 2 WSJ column by Joann Lublin, which reminds business executives as to recommended steps for improving your professional brand:


Quick: how would a professional acquaintance describe you to others? Savvy project manager? Collaborative leader? Digital whiz?


That answer is your reputation—or, in the parlance of social media, your personal brand. Career success highly depends on that snap description, says Paul Winum, a senior partner at RHR International LLP, a leadership-development firm.


With the rosy outlook for hiring and promotions in 2015, now’s a good time to refresh your reputation. Maybe you’re known for using sharp elbows to get things done fast. Hone your diplomacy skills—and request some feedback on those efforts.


“Our brand has to evolve,” Dr. Winum says. The management psychologist counsels executives on burnishing their reputations. Edited excerpts of his advice for the rest of us:


WSJ: How do successful executives refresh their reputations?


Dr. Winum: Do an inventory. On one side, you say, ‘This is what I want to be known for.’ On this other side, ask, ‘How do other people see me?’ Determine if there is a gap between brand aspiration and reality.


Continuously invest in personal improvement. [Executives also] figure how to revise their brands when they carry negative attributes. Once you identify how you are being perceived, become a voracious student of what you want to master.


Many people have high IQs but low emotional intelligence. To develop that, someone needs to become a student of manners [and] active listening, paying attention to other people’s feelings and communicating more effectively.


For the full column by WSJ’s Joann Lublin, please click here.



The Top 2015 New Year’s Resolution: Brand Enhancement. Hello to Halo Effect

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

PR Firm Predicted Sony Release of The Interview via Internet

Excuse us for back-patting, and maybe it didn’t take a rocket scientist to predict within hours of Sony’s PR spinners announcing Sony was pulling the The Interview from distribution that Sony would do a walk back before Christmas and announce the film would be immediately available via the Internet.


But we were the rocket scientists who called it first..on Dec 17…leading to more than 4000 visits to this section of The JLC Group’s website within the hours that followed.


The North Korea Crisis That Never Was..other than in the minds of Hollywood publicity genie’s did serve as a great “gotcha” moment. Not Ashton Kutcher-style, but in the category of Orson Welles, whose top ranking  for historic stunts has now been taken over by  none other than Seth Rogen and his masters from Sony…


Here’s the take-away: those who guide corporate brands during times of perceived crisis, and more important, the CEOs who supposedly make the final decisions in times of turmoil should think longer and harder before pressing the send button on a global message they will likely retract within a matter of days. Unless of course the entire series of events was planned with stealth precision in the first place.



PR Firm Predicted Sony Release of The Interview via Internet

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hedge Fund Marketers Now Leverage Social Media Brand Burnishing Strategies

Social Media. Social Media holds the key to bringing your hedge fund to the next level and into the 21st Century. The key to branding your hedge fund is appropriately using social media tools to promote your company. New data has been released that supports the use of social media by hedge funds. Below is some of the data released provided by HedgeCo.Net:


Monthly hedge fund mentions on Twitter recently reached a high of 80,000 Tweets, and have not fallen below 40,000 in the last two years, Thomas Walek, President of Peppercomm said of the $3 trillion hedge fund industry in a Q&A with AIMA.


    • 66% of 2014’s largest 292 hedge funds are on LinkedIn, and 10% are on Twitter. Of these, six hedge funds post on LinkedIn at least once a month and seven hedge funds Tweet at least 10 times a month.

    • Among the largest 285 global hedge funds in 2013, 14% launched websites in 2014.

    • Among the 185 global hedge funds with $1 billion–$5 billion in assets, 23% had websites in 2013. By June of 2014, an additional 39 funds launched websites and 11 more moved from a closed site to a more open site.

“Reputation is built on a careful calculus of transparency, engagement and honesty. That’s happening now as hedge funds open up and take a few steps in that direction. It’s healthy and it’s good for the future of the industry.” Walek said. Media mentions of hedge funds are projected to reach record levels above 100,000 in 2014, up nearly five-fold over the last decade.


Many hedge funds have been apprehensive about using social media for many different reasons but employing a company such as the JLC Group to run your social media should relieve all tension surrounding the use of social media. JLC Group offers to the universe hedge funds who know what they know, but that doesn’t necessarily include best ways to burnish their brands, whether it be through website design or ongoing brand promotion. All of the JLC Groups consulting ensures that your hedge funds use of social media and websites are proper and compliant. If you are still apprehensive check out one of the many success stories on found on our website and start using social media for your own hedge fund today.


 



Hedge Fund Marketers Now Leverage Social Media Brand Burnishing Strategies

Monday, December 22, 2014

Corporate Marketing Advertising Buyers: Beware...You’re Not Making Impressions

For marcom gurus who also oversee digital ad buying to promote your corporate brand across the ethernet, there’s bad news for you courtesy of barking from the consortium of advertising firms that you likely pay lots of money to. As a side bar note, The JLC Group has long eschewed the notion of impression-based digital ad schemes. We go to great lengths to urge clients who insist on running banner ad campaigns on 3rd party content sites to stick solely with PPC (pay per click) ad campaigns. The take-away from the below excerpt underscores the advice we’ve been providing to JLC Group clients for years.


As noted in a Dec 22 piece in the CMO Today edition of the Wall Street Journal by Suzanne Vranica, “..The American Association of Advertising Agencies sent a letter to some of its members on Friday saying it will “not endorse” the online advertising guidelines put out by the Interactive Advertising Bureau last week….


The guidelines suggested that online ad industry should aim to have their campaigns achieve a “70% viewability threshold” in 2015. That means when an advertiser runs a campaign online, 70% of the ads meet the viewability standard set earlier this year. For a display ad to be deemed viewable at least half of each ad must be visible on a person’s computer screen for a minimum of one second. For an online video ad to be deemed viewed, half of the ad should be on a users’s screen for at least two seconds.


Viewability, the ability for an online ad to be seen, has become a hot topic this year as advertisers bemoan the fact that they are paying for ads that are not being seen because the ads appear on part of a Web page that is never looked at by a human eye.


Google recently released data that showed over half of the display ads impressions in its research weren’t visible.


The IAB said in an open letter on Tuesday said that 100% viewability measurement is “not yet possible” because of the all the different types of ad units, vendors and measurement methodologies and that the industry should aim to have their campaigns meet 70% viewability. If a campaign does not meet that threshold, make goods—additional ads—should be given to the advertisers to make up for the shortfall, the IAB said.


The full article from the WSJ is here


 



Corporate Marketing Advertising Buyers: Beware...You’re Not Making Impressions

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sony Stages Best PR Stunt Ever With North Korea Plot

From: Seth Rogen, Film Actor, Writer & Director

To: Amy Pascal, Sony Productions

Warning: Please make sure that no hackers from North Korea or any place else can read this before opening below note:

We should talk re: biggest leak yet re my film The Interview and news media nonsense promoting risk of terrorism attacks at movie theaters made worse by a blog posting at marcom and PR advisory firm “The JLC Group …”

“Dec 17…Sam Goldywn and Jack Warner are rolling in their graves thanks to news media coverage of Sony-produced parody motion picture profiling North Korea and dictator Sum Dum Fuk aka Kim Jung-un.

The publicity machine is operating on all 8 cylinders it seems now that Sony has suspended the release of its holiday season hit one week prior to the scheduled release of the The Interviews, a film which the producers have banked on to be the next generation of Sacha Baron-Cohen’s spoof film profiling a Kazhakstan dictator  named Borak, which not including its sequel, has grossed more than $250mil since its 2006 release. Not chopped liver…

NK Dictator Sum Dum Fuk NK Dictator Sum Dum Fuk

After all, a parody film of a 3rd generation, basket-ball-loving nutcase of a dictator who is better known in international diplomatic circles as the “King Crackpot of North Korea,” is destined to be a box office hit. We’re talking about a film that will be this generation’s “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World”, an epic comedy..

Let’s back up for a minute. Is it possible that  Sony and Seth Rogen-sponsored spin masters were enlisted to stage the entire series of events that have taken place this past week, starting with the headline story that Sony emails were hacked by North Korean cyberterrorism experts, and then revealing top secret e-mail exchanges about “Angela Jolie the bitch” and smart-ass jokes about President Obama?? And less than 3 days later, Sony announces that terrorism threats targeting movie theaters that show “The Interview” had first had Sony deferring to theater operators as to whether they want to show the film, but hours later, they announced they would officially suspend distribution to theaters, and that they have been passed on information about those threats to the FBI.

Here’s this PR Guru’s projection of what happens next: This whole thing was a set-up. Selling films on line is 10x more profitable than via theaters for companies like Sony.  No later than Dec 21, Sony will announce a “force majeure” event that immediately cancels the film theatrical distribution contracts they signed with theater chains due to” terrorism threats.” All distribution deals are canceled, and Sony will now sneak in (Tora, Tora, Tora-style) and bypass the distributors and the theatres and take the film straight to the web and pay-for-view at $19.95 per view. The ‘free publicity’ thanks to the hacking and then the threats surrounding the film is already reaching every corner of the globe. Instead of several millions, we now have hundreds of millions of people who want to watch this move. We can thank

CNN for that. Even the next James Bond film doesn’t get this much coverage. Sony is betting that worldwide sales from online will be $2billion during the first week alone, because everyone will want to see it before North Korea launches an attack against the United States… Think about the sequel rights value. OMG.

The preview trailer will be the best upsell: “Warning, your ordering this movie online or via your cable TV provider may result in North Korean spies learning of your location and sending short, fat Asian people in tight-fitting uniforms to your house. Do not feed them any snacks, they might explode.”


Sony Stages Best PR Stunt Ever With North Korea Plot

Friday, December 05, 2014

#Bold, Brash and Other Marcom Buzzwords From Madison Ave MadMen

#Bold is the new better buzzword, according to NYT’s Stuart Elliott in his Dec 5 column.


We get it; after all re-purposing evocative phrases for brand awareness is a contact sport for Madison Avenue ad grunts..and Stuart’s pointing to illustrative examples below demonstrates that Madison Ave is often compared to blind mice chasing after the cheese that smells the best..


On the topic of “bold” –we thought we’d newsjack Stuart’s column, if only because here at The JLC Group, one of us is going bald (easily confused for bold), another one of us is always being tagged (not to be confused with “hastagged” for being “absolutely ballsy” (see the advertising elements we’ve produced for clients) and as a salute to the silliness that Twitter incites via piling on to new phrases, this is to officially remind everyone that we’ve been bold long before it became stylish. Our firm was founded on the notion of being bold and to used tactics that help push client brands to places where they’ve never gone before..and would likely never go to without a bit of envelope pushing.


Here’s the excerpt from Stuart’s column (notice the highlighted element below):


FORTUNE, the saying goes, favors the bold, and so it seems does Madison Avenue.


The word “bold” has grown increasingly popular among marketers for a panoply of products, turning up frequently in advertising on television, in print, online and in social media.


No matter the category, whether autos, clothing, jewelry, makeup, packaged food or plumbing fixtures, “bold” is boldly — er, um, make that confidently and assertively — going where the word has not gone before.


A campaign for the 2015 Toyota Camry includes print ads that carry the headline “The bold new Camry” and the theme “One bold choice leads to another.”


In a commercial from Zales, an announcer suggests, “Declare your love boldly” with the Celebration Grand diamond, which, she says, “shines bigger and bolder.”


And ads for True Religion jeans urge men and women to “Be so bold,” a line that doubles as a hashtag. An online video series for Revlon, hosted by Laverne Cox, is titled “#GoBold.”


Also, magazine ads for New York Brand Texas Toast croutons propose, “Live a big, bold, flavor-filled life.” The Kraft Foods Group sells a line of meats named Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Bold cold cuts. And a campaign for the Kohler brand of faucets and other fixtures asks homeowners to consider “The bold look of Kohler.”


Some uses of the B-word seem baffling. For instance, signs in the windows of Santander banks offer potential customers “bold rates” on business lines of credit. And just what is it that makes Movado Bold watches bold? The textured dials? The accents in bright colors like orange and lime green?


The ardor for “bold” is another example of a tendency among creative executives on Madison Avenue to go mad for a certain word or phrase, which then seems to become omnipresent.


“Hello” has also been popular of late, as in “Hello tomorrow” for Emirates airline, the Hello line of oral-care products and the “Hello sunny” ads for Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


And several brands, among them Burger King, Gap Kids and Olay, have been using themes and headlines that begin with “Be your …


The reason “the same words or phrases keep recurring in marketing communications,” said Andreas Combuechen, chief executive of Atmosphere Proximity in New York, “all comes down to the fact we’re all creating in a connected world.


“No topic is local or even regional anymore, as social media has made every conversation global,” he added. “Today, a trending hashtag equals a homogenized culture where influential ideas seamlessly flow not just across borders but across brands.”


 



#Bold, Brash and Other Marcom Buzzwords From Madison Ave MadMen

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Corporate Social Media Marketing & Twitter: What Not To Do-Malaysia Airlines

From the “You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up” Department, Malaysia Airlines has once again found itself lost. This time its not because one of their planes disappeared, but because its brand marketing strategy has crashed head on into the Twittersphere thanks to someone at that airline tweeting a promotional message that reads: “Want to go somewhere, but don’t know where?”


140310150517-nr-quest-malaysia-airlines-flight-00022920-story-topWe love marketing/advertising tactics that employ simple rhetorical questions, its a tactic that often works well within the context of brand marketing and positioning, but gee whiz.. someone flying their branding campaign clearly failed to do a pre-flight check list, and in turn, Malaysia Airline’s violated Corporate Branding & Marketing Rule #1 of “What Not To Do..”


That rule clearly states: DO NOT allow any employee to tweet anything unless it is approved by both the head of corporate marketing and the head of public relations. That said, if the marketing department’s “air traffic control” as well as its “flight operations manager” were both on board when that message was launched, it clearly demonstrates that whoever is flying that airline is completely lost.


 



Corporate Social Media Marketing & Twitter: What Not To Do-Malaysia Airlines

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Monetizing Social Media in 2015: The Brand Marketers Dilemma

Social Media Marketing Trends: How To Monetize in 2015


The Top Reality TV Show in 2015 “Bots For Boobs”


While no great surprise, a recent report found that marketers focused on B2C (business-to-consumer) brand awareness/marketing strategies have found LinkedIn to be much less significant when compared to Facebook or Twitter for their marketing efforts. For the B2B crowd however, there are several different options, and LinkedIn remains the domination choice. In the Social Media Examiner survey, 88% of business to business marketers are utilizing LinkedIn in comparison to 89% for Facebook and 86%t for Twitter. The 2015 outlook envisions LinkedIn will increase its market share, subject of course to whether Facebook’s recently-announced service for corporate enterprises gains quick traction. Because adoption by corporate users is dictated by an assortment of compliance rules, one can argue that the winners in the war to win social media audiences will be niche players that provide business professionals with specific offerings that address their focused interests..


Social media marketing will continue to become a major pillar of content marketing strategies in 2015.  During the upcoming year, we expect that smart corporate marketers will appreciate there are actually 2 major pillars for content marketing strategies: publication and distribution and that social media is the most efficient technique of enhancing the reach and visibility of their content. Consequently, social media will become the amplifier for their published content somewhat more than the content itself.


Notwithstanding above, most industry followers will keep a keen eye on how “social shopping” evolves in 2015, and specifically as it applies to features/functionality within social media websites and apps. While social media marketing strategies are designed for executing and enhancing brand marketing campaign, transactional activity is where the rubber should meet the road for any corporate marketer who is presumably focused on ROI.   Given their respective audience sizes, the likes of Facebook and Twitter are hoped to be the holy grail for truly monetizing messages, but advertisers and marketers are becoming increasingly aware that the audiences that FB and TWTR claim to have are actually highly-populated by non-humans. Facebook recently acknowledged that of its reported 1.3 billion users, at least 67 million and as many as 137 million are fake accounts, and FB claims it continuously policies those phony accounts accordingly.


According to filings made by Twitter with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, their estimated number of fake accounts aka “bots” is estimated at 9 percent of its total base. While FB and TWTR are arguably the largest social media platforms, there are tens of dozens of others that offer advertisers and marketers audiences that are clearly over-estimated.


Because social media websites are more concerned with reducing the amount of malware and viruses that both infect and effect their platforms, the disconnect between butter and margarine will not be easily-solved in 2015. This is best illustrated in a Nov 20 New York Times column by reporter Nick Bilton (“Phony Friends, Real Profit”), which profiles the burgeoning availability of  free or nearly free software that offers “bot programs” that enable amateurs to create legions of fake followers and “AI” re-tweeters. As such, the only high-probability prediction that we can make is the launch of a new reality-TV show “Bots For Boobs”…which will profile a group house whose residents include 2 hot-babe Russian avatars, a metro-sexual black-belt Indian programmer, a former member of China’s secret internet espionage squad and led by a 25 year-old billionaire who made his first fortune building services for the medical marijuana industry.



Monetizing Social Media in 2015: The Brand Marketers Dilemma