Why New Auto Site DriveTribe Divides Its Readers Into “Tribes”

What Happened
Three former hosts of popular auto reality show “Top Gear” are teaming up with tech entrepreneur Ernesto Schmitt to prepare for the launch of DriveTribe, a digital media platform for car enthusiasts. The new site will host a variety of original content that blends editorial, social, and commerce. More interestingly, the site will be structured into different “tribes” for fans of different motoring interests, and each vertical will be hosted by different personalities and content creators to curate specific content targeting their audiences.

What Brands Need To Do
While it is too early to tell whether this new site will take off, the way the creators segment the site into different “tribes” to reflect the varying interests within the car enthusiast community provides an interesting example of how media owners are tailoring their digital content to meet the increasing consumer demand for personalization. As for marketers, especially for auto and lifestyle brands, this sort of tribal divide provides some natural audience segmentation that brands can target against. As the site promises to incorporate commerce elements, there should be some marketing opportunities for brands to reach the site’s audience, which auto brands should be on the lookout for.


Source: Variety

Google+ Revamped To Focus On Brand-Friendly Features

What Happened
For a while, Google’s social platform Google+ looked like it was heading towards the sunset, as Google pulled out its key features like Hangouts and Photos and promoted them into separate services. But with an overhauled site that debuted on Tuesday, it seems like the Alphabet company is not giving up on Google+ just yet. The redesigned site runs on Material Design, which helps to boost its performance on mobile devices.

More importantly, the new Google+ puts two features, Communities and Collections, front and center. Communities, first introduced to Google+ about 3 years ago, is functionally equivalent to Facebook Groups, allowing users to come together and form groups based around a specific interest, organization, or cause. Collections, on the other hand, was added this May to give users a way to build Pinterest-like curations around certain topics and share them with others.

What Brands Need To Do
Both Communities and Collections are very brand-friendly features, allowing businesses and brands to leverage their content to reach Google+ users with specific interests. For instance, a restaurant can post pictures of their dishes in the foodie community, or a travel brand can start a Collection called “Coolest Places To Visit.” The redesign puts an emphasis on giving users designated spaces to share content and browse curations around their specific interests, an emphasis that brands can utilize for targeted content marketing.


Source: Marketing Land

Header image is a promotional image from Google’s Official Blog

Flipboard Launches New Ad Product To Let Advertisers Target By Interests

What Happened
Today, Flipboard launched a new ad product that allows advertisers to target based on topics using its Interest Graph, which maps the intricate connections between people, content, and interests on Flipboard. For example: an advertiser that chooses to target with coffee-related topics may also have their ads shown with craft beer topics, because Flipboard’s data shows that many of its users who read stories about coffee also care about stories on craft beer.  

What Brands Need To Do
With this new ad product, Flipboard, which boasts 80 million monthly active users, is now opening up its user behavioral data to advertisers and brands to help them expand the reach of their messages beyond their initially intended demo. This represents one of the newest examples in the on-going shift from the traditional age-and-gender-based demographic targeting towards a more data-driven, interest-based post-demographic targeting. It is a trend that brands of all verticals can tap into for a more personalized and effective targeting. We detailed this shift and some ensuing tactics that brands can use in our recent POV on Tribal Marketing, which you can read here.


Source: TechCrunch

IPG Media Lab + DIRECTV: Annual Survey Of The American Football Consumer

Click here to download our survey report.

Live sports broadcasting is arguably the last bastion for live TV viewing. and NFL Football accounts for 1/3 of sports viewing. IPG Media Lab and DIRECTV partnered on an annual “Survey of the American Football Consumer,” which is designed to measure the following:

  • The NFL Viewing Experience
  • NFL Fans’ Passion for the Game
  • Consumption Habits of NFL Fans
  • Brand Relevance to NFL Audiences

To learn more on how to fully connect with American football fans, download and read our survey report here, or read the slides below.



POV: Targeting Tribes Through Tech

People have always connected over shared interest, forming unique relationships over similar passions. What was once limited to physical proximity has expanded into fan communities online. Constant connectivity has made it easier for people to connect, forming strong, loyal fandoms whether they know one another or not. In this POV, we discuss how brands can utilize technology to target these fandoms, or tribes, and message to them in an authentic and transparent way as a means to leverage brand equity.

What Brands Can Learn From Thursday’s Star War Event

The “Star Wars Celebration”, a four-day event in Anaheim, kicked off Thursday with a special presentation featuring the first official trailer for the upcoming movie. Although fans waited for days to attend in person, the event was also live-streamed to viewers in 23 countries. This is a great example of a brand turning content into a live, must-see event, and marketers should take note:

Target “Tribes” And Foster “Fandoms”

In an increasingly fragmented media world, brands must do all they can to motivate their fan base. Encouraging fans to contribute and co-create the narrative is one great way to add to the fuel of the community: the presentation included appearances by long-time fans Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, who got hired to build the new R2-D2 robot after displaying their own version at a convention. Although not every brand has a hardcore fan base like the Star Wars franchise, brands can still foster the community by providing unique experiences and rewards, like the pizza provided by the organizers.  

Live Is A Double-Edged Sword

Live events are “must see” and generate a lot of buzz, but by their nature, can’t cover up flubs, so brands will need to become adept at putting together high-production value events. Apple events are famously honed to near perfection (minus the infamous live-streaming snafu from last September). At the same time, with the rise of Meerkat and Periscope, consumers are now able to contribute to the hype by live-streaming events from their mobile devices, which won’t always be in the brand’s control. Marketers must consider when and how it’s appropriate for their brand to incorporate live content.

Build Event Around Content To Spread The Word

Though today’s event was ostensibly around the trailer, which itself was only 1 minute and 40 seconds long, Disney was able to build it into an hour-long event by bringing in pictures, actors, and props. Special hashtags and Twitter emojis were introduced beforehand to help build social buzz, and tweet-worthy moments were also planned to prompt social sharing, such as the surprising return of the BB8 robot, and a special moment for the audience to take pictures of the main cast, crew, and storm troopers on stage. In short, turn content into an event in order to create more content that lives beyond the event itself.

Head image courtesy of www.starwarscelebration.com

Global Watch: How Xiaomi Broke Its Own Flash Sale Record

Just in time for the company’s fifth anniversary, rising Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi reported yesterday that it broke its own flash-sale record, selling more than two million phones within 12 hours, reportedly generating around $335 million in revenue. The secret to its success besides hunger marketing? A loyal fan base built from smart marketing.

The flash sale, as part of Xiaomi’s “Mi Fan Festival”, is a tried-and-true tactic for the company to leverage its zealous fan base. Besides flash sales, the company also builds up loyalty by routinely hosting exclusive parties and sponsoring festivals for fans across the country, and systematically rewarding fans that volunteer to answer questions on online community forums.

Moreover, savvy social media marketing has also played a big role in Xiaomi’s outreach and community-building efforts. Xiaomi’s page on the Chinese microblog Weibo currently has over 10.7 million followers, and the company typically announces its flash sales and other updates on its social media platforms as well as on popular messaging app WeChat.

Still, Xiaomi’s ambitious expansion into certain international markets so far has been met with lackluster responses, and a major reason behind such underwhelming performance is that its marketing doesn’t translate well across nations. Without a fan base to hype up its products, Xiaomi suffers from low brand recognition and loyalty in oversea markets. It’ll be interesting to see if the company sticks with its usual marketing tactics, or try something more localized instead.