Applebee's Turns Its Instagram Over to Foodies for the Next Year In A Bold UGC-Only Experiment

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In case you haven’t been seeing enough pictures of food in your Instagram feed, expect to see a lot more of them for the next 12 months thanks to Applebee’s. The restaurant chain is forking over its account to diners who share pictures on the social-mobile app. 

While more brands have been stocking up on user-generated and influencer content the past few years, Applebee’s latest campaign is an interesting example of a marketer going all in on the tactic to fuel its social strategy. The chain claims that there were more than 779,000 photos tagged with #Applebees on Instagram.

To participate, consumers must first opt in via a microsite that gives Applebee’s permission to post content to its account. Then, anything that those users post with the #Applebees or the campaign's #Fantographer hashtags is up for grabs for posting. Each posted photo is framed with a branded border.

Digital Innovation In Retail, Or How Retailers Can Learn To Stop Worrying And Love The Disruption

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With ecommerce now a central part of the growth plans for many businesses, Mark Cameron writes that 2014 will be seen as the year that Australian retailers stopped fighting digital disruption and started using technology to make their mark on the world.

The way we shop has changed forever. Ecommerce sales continue to climb. A 2013 Forrester report stated that Australian ecommerce sales in 2010 were worth $27 billion and by the end of 2013 had jumped to more than $37 billion.

Over the past few years, major retailers overseas saw strong currencies and economies as an opportunity to expand into the Australian and New Zealand markets. These changes in consumer behaviour and competitive landscape took many local retailers by surprise. Many have been struggling to combat and capitalise on the shift towards online purchases. Read More..

Social Media Is Hot But Email Packs Digital Marketing Power (Infographic)

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There’s non-stop buzz about social media in all its forms: How to use it, when to maximize it, and how to grow your followers. While social media can be valuable, email is still where it’s at when it comes to online marketing power.

Almost half of Internet users in the U.S. spend an hour or more reading their email every day, according to new survey data conducted by, the developers of myMail, a free mobile application that allows individuals to monitor all of their email addresses through a single inbox. We also check email multiple times throughout the day. Three-quarters of survey respondents said they check email in the morning, half check at lunch, almost six in 10 say checking email is the last thing they do before they go to bed.

So, collecting customer email addresses and crafting killer messages should be a top priority for your startup marketing campaigns. Read More..

Twitter's Analytics Update: Good News For Data-Driven Marketers

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Those of you with a Twitter advertising account may have noticed that their analytics system has had an update this week, and I’ve already seen several posts talking about the impact this will have on social marketing.  

I thought it was worth checking out the changes and seeing if they will in fact lead to a social data revolution…

The short answer is.. nope. This is essentially an aesthetic update, with little impact on your strategy. However, it does have some interesting figures included that will make optimisation faster and easier for Twitter managers. Read More..

Women in Business: Q&A With Renae Scott, Chief Marketing Officer for Togo's

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Renae Scott joined Togo's as Vice President of Brand and Marketing in March of 2009 and oversees new product development, marketing and managing the almost 40-year old brand. She is now the brand's Chief Marketing Officer. An experienced senior executive and strategic marketer, Ms. Scott served as Vice President of Media and Field Marketing at Carl's Jr. where she managed all media and marketing for the 1185 -unit chain. Following her thirteen years with Carl's Jr., Ms. Scott served as Chief Marketing Officer for Round Table Pizza, a top five pizza chain with 500+ locations.

Renae Scott has served as a Board of Director for several charities including the Junior Giants/San Francisco Giants and helped for raise over $500,000 for the Breast Cancer Foundation on the CKE Star Board. Ms. Scott has a B.A. in Communications with a minor in Journalism from California State University at Sacramento. Read More..

Taco Bell Discusses Its VidCon Documentary - Brand Wants To Be Young Hungry Eaters' Friend

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Taco Bell wants to be where young, hungry eaters are so it's making its presence known at Web video conference VidCon. To show how much connected youth idolize YouTube stars, the fast food company's latest campaign is an almost real-time documentary called Voices of VidCon, released on the last day of the Anaheim, Calif. conference.

"It’s pretty phenomenal to see the passion that these people have for these creators. It's like Beatlemania for the YouTube community. If you don't know that space and you don't know the community being here, this will open your eyes to the passion they have," said Tressie Lieberman, Taco Bell's director of digital marketing and social platforms. Read More..

Applebee's 'No Tech Tuesday' Isn't Happening

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Casual dining chain Applebee’s (DIN) has applied to trademark the phrase “No Tech Tuesday.” While one could reasonably infer that the restaurant is planning to host device-free dining on, say, Tuesdays, the chain denies that it has any such plans.

“Guests are welcome to use as much or as little tech as they want,” says Applebee’s spokesman Dan Smith. “Like many brands, we file many phrases for protection. There’s absolutely zero percent linkage between No Tech Tuesday and anything in the restaurant.” Read More..

Tilted Kilt Pubs Delivers Wings By Drone in Marketing Stunt

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The Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, which has Connecticut restaurants in Wethersfield and Milford, said it has made the world's first delivery of chicken wings by drone.

The restaurant teamed up with Joe Papa, a quad-copter pilot and editor of MultiRotor Pilot Magazine, to deliver a two-pound wing order about a third of a mile up the road to AudioworksCT on Old Gate Lane in Milford. Read More..

Chefs Cooking with Secret Ingredient: Data

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For cooks looking to hone their recipes down to a precise science, there’s a new secret ingredient: data.

Cook’s Illustrated magazine features a number of heavily researched and tested “fail-proof” recipes in its bimonthly issues. Senior editor Dan Souza says collecting data plays a significant role in the magazine’s recipe development.

Cook’s Illustrated spends about eight weeks on each recipe, from research to writing the final story. The test cooks and associate editors start by looking through old recipes in their extensive cookbook library and by searching online blogs for new ones. Souza says they might even refer to a culinary historian to dig up any other information on a certain dish.  Read More

Facebook Tries Being A TV Channel With New Mobile Video Player

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If you watch one of a friend’s videos, Facebook will now try to get you to watch more with a new carousel of suggested videos that appears after you view one in the mobile News Feed. Reminiscent of YouTube’s Related Videos, Facebook confirms the existence of this fresh laidback experience in Facebook for iOS that spotted over the weekend. It lets you quickly watch a series of videos before jumping back to the feed.

The feature could encourage more Facebook video uploading by getting people more views and Likes on their mini-movies. It also opens up a powerful advertising opportunity to pipe in sponsored video suggestions like those served by Facebook’s big new video adtech acquisition LiveRail. Read More

Mobile Ad Spending Will Surpass Print By The End of the Year

Mobile advertising will make up nearly 10% of the U.S. ad market by the end of the year, surpassing newspapers, magazines, and radio for the first time, according to research firm eMarketer.

The overall advertising market will grow 5.3% this year to $180.12 billion, eMarketer says, bolstered by gains in mobile and TV advertising. That increase marks the first time since 2004 that the U.S. ad market has grown over 5%. Read More..

Restaurant Chain Asks Customers to Punk Competitors On Facebook And Instagram

In a new marketing campaign, health-conscious restaurant chain Muscle Maker Grill, with help from Pittsburgh-based agency Brunner, is sending its clientele “Behind Enemy Lines.” It’s asking its customers to head over to any of its competitors’ fast food restaurants and engage in a little Facebook/Instagram foolery.

Through July 28, Muscle Maker Grill fans, which the brand refers to as “Warriors,” are asked to be seen, and photographed, making the three-finger “Warrior W” at some less-healthy chain eatery. Those who do and post the image to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #mmgwarrior will have a chance at gift cards up to $500 along with swag. Read More..

Digital Media Leaders Gather in San Francisco for Cynopsis Video Summit

Cynopsis Digital, the premier daily publication for digital decision makers, will hold its inaugural Video Summit – What’s Next in Discovery, Metrics and Innovation, on Wednesday, August 6 at the StumbleUpon office in San Francisco. This conference will be the industry’s gateway to the latest in strategic digital marketing, viewer engagement and cross-platform media planning and placement in this shifting landscape.

Speakers from comScore, Comcast Ventures, Flurry, Discovery Digital Networks, 5by, LiveRail, PopSugar Studios, Portal A, Tubular Labs, Union+Webster, Videology, and other experts, startups, tech providers and content creators will discuss the future of digital video, from content development and marketing to advertising and measurement. Read More..

Do People Still Read? What Marketers Need to Know About Digital Reading Habits

People read all the time, yet they’re reading less than ever before. This is the great paradox of digital marketing, a challenge that plagues virtually every marketing campaign. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of non-book-readers has tripled over the last quarter century. Today, 23 percent of Americans haven’t read a book within the past year, compared to just 8 percent in 1978.

Our reading habits (or lack thereof) go beyond books. We’re reading fewer newspapers, magazines, and even comic strips than the generations before us. Reading scores for American adults have dropped by 20 percent, even among the best-educated groups. 15-year-old Americans rank behind their peers in Canada, France, and Korea when it comes to reading comprehension. Read More..


Location Tech and Mobile Map Out Better Business

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Surbiton would not normally be thought of as a centre of fashion.

But it is, according to location data analysts at least.

This south west London suburb, home to BBC TV's fictional Stella Street celebrities, is where young people are more likely to check out fashion sites and apps on their smartphones than almost anywhere else in the UK.

The surprising insight comes from mobile phone network EE, which has collated terabytes of anonymised and aggregated data on more than 20 million UK customers - data that is proving increasingly valuable to retailers and advertisers. Read More..

It’s Halftime: How Are You Adjusting Your Digital Marketing Game Plan to Win?

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It's halfway through the year and digital marketers should use this "halftime" to assess how they are doing against their goals, make adjustments to their playbooks, have focused conversations with their teammates, and begin the second half with a renewed vigor.

During the World Cup, you'll see lots of different kinds of matches on the pitch - whether it's a team that dominates from start to finish, a back-and-forth battle, or a dramatic come-from-behind victory. No matter the differences in game style, every team will go into their respective locker rooms during halftime to assess the first half and set goals and objectives for the next 45 minutes. Even if a team has a solid lead, they will still make adjustments to make sure they are even stronger in the second half. Other teams will use the time to regroup and do what they can to try to pull out a victory. Read More..

6 Innovative Ways to Implement Beacons for Marketing

Editor - If you have not assessed beacon technology for your restaurant locations, here is a good article to get started. At DigitalCoCo, we offer VenueBeacon technology paired with RSMI Restaurant Social Media Index and MediaMatch (social advertising linked to RSMI Restaurant Social Media Index and the Facebook Audience Network) to restaurant operators. Click here for more info.


Brick-and-mortar merchants know they need to step it up to compete against e-commerce retailers, and they know that proximity marketing with indoor positioning technology can be an effective mechanism for driving customer acquisition and retention. So why did a recent survey by Experian Data Quality show that geo-location is such a low priority for decision-makers, with only 20% of respondents listing geo-location as their “most important data priority”? It has to do with a lack of understanding.

While the term “beacon” has reached the mainstream, many local business owners still aren’t sure how to apply the technology in their own places of business. Even those merchants who know that proximity marketing could help drive sales still aren’t sure where to begin or what types of campaigns they can implement with beacons. Read More..

World Cup Brand Social Marketing & Ad Spending (Infograph)

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Editor - We are always interested in lessons we can learn from marketers in other industries. In this article and infographic, we take a look at FIFA World Cup soccer.

The global market opportunity during the World Cup this year is phenomenal to say the least, and when you look at the marketing and stats of advertisers during this sporting event the engagement will be astonishing.

The infographic below made by digital marketing software service Offerpop titled ‘2014 Marketing World Cup’ takes a look into the analysis of social media and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

There will be around 3.6 billion people watching the World Cup matches around the world, which is a staggering 50% of the world’s population, £5,700,000,000 will be spent on sponsorships and commercials, there will be 64 matches over 32 days. Read More..

Priceline to buy OpenTable for $2.6 bln

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(Reuters) - Travel website owner Priceline Group Inc will buy restaurant reservation website operator OpenTable Inc for $2.6 billion, aiming to broaden its offerings in an increasingly competitive online travel industry.

Priceline's offer of $103 per share for the owner of represents a premium of 46 percent to OpenTable's Thursday close.

OpenTable's shares inched past the offer price to trade at $104.19 on the Nasdaq, suggesting that some investors expect a higher bid. Priceline's shares were down 1.6 percent at $1,205.50.

With online travel companies having little room to expand, many are looking outside the industry to boost revenue. Read More..

Newcastle Brown Ale Will Pay You For A Twitter Follow (video)

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The beer brand continues its "No Bollocks" campaign with the ultimate in social marketing transparency.

The rise of social media marketing has forced brands to not only compete on the store shelves but have pitted them against each other in any number of the ongoing digital popularity contests happening right now online. That's why you're Facebook friends with a burger chain.

But the line between legitimate consumer engagement and suspect success can be tough to spot. Newcastle Brown Ale and agency Droga5 know this. And that's why their next move in the No Bollocks campaign is to throw all social media pretense out the window and get down to cold hard cash. That's right, the brand will be paying people to follow it on Twitter. Read/View More...

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