Bluetext’s Chief Creative Officer, Jason Siegel will be speaking at MediaPost OMMA VR/AR in New York during Advertising Week on September 28th.

MediaPost saw the need for an event focused solely on Augmented and Virtual Reality as these new mediums have taking the marketing world by storm. The event will explore how marketers can take Virtual and Augmented Reality from the novelty phase into an opportunity to enrich branding and deepen consumer relationships.

Jason will be part of a panel discussion titled “Retailers Follow Pokémon Go”, which will examine the overwhelming success and influence of Pokémon Go, and how retailers can learn from this case study and incorporate AR or VR experiences into their marketing strategy to appeal to in-store shoppers.

Other topics the event will cover include:

  • How different types of VR/AR experiences map against specific brand goals.
  • Where do you start…small?
  • How to distribute experiences efficiently and connect VR/AR campaigns to other marketing platforms and programs.
  • Who are the players and how should marketers and agencies vet them?
  • Storytelling in 360 degrees

Make sure to tune in for the conference live-stream on September 28th at 4:00pm EST here. And to learn more about Bluetext’s VR work, contact us today:

Find out today how Bluetext can help you take your business to the next level.

I don’t know what happened with the supposed “do not call” list, but lately I’ve been bombarded with nonstop robocalls purporting to be from my credit card company. The friendly robovoice assures me right off the bat that, “there is nothing wrong with my account, I should not be alarmed, but that I’m running out of time to lower my rate…”

It’s right at that point where I disconnect the call. Brands are getting more clever (or devious) with phone marketing for sure; I’ve noticed that credit card firms now use a local area code in the caller ID, expecting that people will be more inclined to answer a call from a local unknown number than an unknown 800 number. Earlier this week, the caller ID on my mobile phone suggested that the incoming call was from none other than…myself – which feels more like the plot for Scream 5 than savvy marketing.

While phone marketing seems to be sliding down a slope to irrelevance, email marketing remains an effective tool for brands. A 2016 study by Selligent/StrongView charts that 60 percent of brands plan to increase spending on email marketing this year compared to 2015, and in a separate eConsultancy 2015 survey, nearly three-quarters of marketing teams still believe email communication will be one of the channels with the highest ROI in 2020.

While signs point to email marketing enduring in the coming years, it may not look the same as it does today. That is because a fierce battle is being waged between art and science. There is an undeniable “art” to crafting email marketing content and subject lines that grab a prospect’s attention and drives them to action. At the same time, email marketing has become a “science” driven by machine learning that draws on big data analytics beyond what any human is capable of.

Startups and emerging technology providers are increasingly betting on “science.” Persado, for example, is a self-described “cognitive content platform” that last week announced a $30 million investment led by Goldman Sachs. Persado’s software utilizes machine learning and performance information of millions of messages to help brands select optimal language for email subject lines and other campaigns. It is an approach that Persado Founder & CEO Alex Vratskides refers to as “persuasion automation.”

While Persado and similar software offerings can be an effective tool in the marketer’s toolbox, creative teams will not replaced anytime soon. Only 13% of respondents in the eConsultancy survey “strongly agree” that all email marketing will be automated by 2020, though 40% “somewhat agree” with this statement – signaling that CMOs will continue to look for the right mix of automation and human creative teams to develop and execute these programs.

Ultimately, creative teams will remain vital for not only developing email subject line language that drives desired action, but also for ensuring each program reflects and remains consistent with the brand vibe (humor, provocative, direct, etc.). This input augments, rather than replaces, the value that high performance marketing language software tools can deliver when it comes to improving conversion and ROI.

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Apologies in advance if you now have the 1981 Olivia Newton-John classic stuck in your head for the rest of the day. If you live on the East Coast you have no doubt been getting “very physical” the past few days if you catch my snowdrift. After all, it’s hard work moving bottomless mounds of snow from one heap to another. What did you think I referring to? C’mon now, let’s keep it kosher.

Digital marketing became increasingly essential to consumer marketers in 2015, but there is strong evidence that digital is being elevated from just another item in the CMO toolbox to a pervasive ingredient to all marketing activities.

Exhibit A is findings from the Gartner 2015-2016 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Spend Survey, that focused on business leaders responsible for marketing – digital marketing in particular – across 339 large and extra-large (whatever that means) companies in North America and the U.K. A whopping 98% of CMOs consider digital marketing mainstream and that online and offline marketing are merging.

Commenting on the results, Yvonne Genovese, group vice president at Gartner, notes: “Marketers no longer make a clear distinction between offline and online marketing disciplines. As customers opt for digitally led experiences, digital marketing stops being a discrete discipline and instead becomes the context for all marketing. Digital marketing is now marketing in a digital world.” 

In our marketing projects with leading consumer, business and public sector organizations, we are seeing significant demand for the “digitally led experiences” that Gartner references. There are a few digital marketing trends in particular that consumer marketers should keep their eyes on in 2016:

Smartphone ad geo-fencing

Consumer marketers recognize the need to map digital marketing into the consumer buyer’s journey when these digital assets can have the biggest impact. At what moment and location will the consumer be most inclined to play a video, read a text message or view an in-app ad? Smartphone ad geo-fencing enables marketers to reach an audience when they are most receptive to your brand, product, or service marketing.

Think about a consumer’s mindshare when entering an airport. In the traveler waiting for a flight, you have a captive audience thinking about various aspects of their business or leisure travel. Do they need accommodations, transportation, dinner reservations, or other concierge-type services? Smartphone ad geo-fencing can feed location-based ads to travelers once they enter an airport at a time when they are primed to take action.

Virtual Reality

Yeah, yeah, you’ve been hearing about virtual reality headsets for years. But VR is primed for mainstream in 2016. Oculus Rift has set an April release, in addition to other planned releases for HTC Vive and Playstation VR, are poised to put VR in the hands of consumers for hundreds – not thousands – of dollars. But the fact is that consumers don’t need to even shell out this kind of cash to experience virtual reality.

My colleague Michael Quint recently blogged about how Bluetext is leveraging Google Cardboard to bring virtual reality to the masses. Today, we are designing a digital briefing center for a client in virtual reality by marrying, in Michael’s words, “our creativity, advanced video capabilities, and cutting-edge app development to help a software company more effectively tell its story.” In this case it’s a b2b company, but we fully expect b2c virtual reality projects to become increasingly commonplace as the year progresses.


Consumer marketers are not alone in trying to get their hands around the Internet of Things, and how to leverage IoT for digital marketing efforts. In my end-of-year blog post, I looked at the IoT opportunity for digital marketers in 2016, and what it comes down to is that marketers will be able to capture a growing volume of data on consumer behavior and consumption patterns from connected devices and sensors, and then engage with consumers more effectively based on this data.

Marketing Automation

In a Forrester report, “2015: The Year of the Big Digital Shift,” more than half of marketers admitted their digital marketing is more tactical than strategic. Digital marketers are a victim of their own excess: Forrester reported that investments in marketing technology grew 3.4 percent in 2014 and is projected to rise another 4 percent this year. So consumer marketers will not lack for tools and options, but 2016 is the year when CMOs and their teams must invest time to identify the optimal set of tools to catapult their initiatives. They also most move beyond an understanding of the ‘basic’ capabilities of marketing automation tools, and shift from students to experts fully versed in the in’s and out’s of marketing automation.


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