Pulling a Nadella

Posted: October 18th, 2014 | No Comments »

blockheadVery few times do I feel like the subtle, shapeshifting bias that women face in their business careers becomes REAL and VISIBLE.  Prejudice in the workplace is kind of like chasing mercury…it’s been pushed down so deep by HR, PC, etc., you can usually never quite nail it and say, “There it is!”.  In my career, when bias bubbled to the surface, it was just a phrase, a moment, and usually unwitnessed.  But, then, sometimes you are gifted with a Nadella.

My sadness over Nadella’s statement is not that he holds ignorant attitudes.  I know that bias is insidiously or innocently an undercurrent in every debate, every negotiation, every interview I have in business.  My sadness stems from the undeniable confirmation that someone who is so ignorant of our challenges has been responsible for the advancement of 37,000 women in his company.  The fish stinks from the head.

I am sad for all the women who unfortunately reported to him.  Where are all those women who nervously asked for raises, were not only told no, but then judged for asking?  How many of those women were passed over for promotions, great assignments, a chance to be mentored by a brilliant engineer because they were labeled by him as pushy, naggy girls?

The great news about getting a Nadella once in a while is that you feel like you caught the mercury.  I am a big fan of getting things out in the open, out for all to see.  As my mom says as she puts the cutting board outside to air…”Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”


EXPO’s first newsletter!

Posted: July 13th, 2011 | No Comments »

We published our first newsletter a little while ago.  It was meant to be much more about what we’re learning than to sell our services.  Of note in it are:
o One of the first disclosures we are live on diapers.com
o Making available our research on why people write on brand websites

Let me know what you think, and definitely sign up for the mailing list!


“Can you make me a viral?”

Posted: October 15th, 2010 | No Comments »

One of the interesting analyses from our comScore study on the persuasiveness of user-gen video was this one by Social Media Influence.

“…here’s a strong retort for those moments when the brand manager asks of the agency: “can you make me a viral?” Instead, it turns out, offering your customers a superior product and a compelling narrative has the potential to be even more persuasive than a handsome man on a horse.”

“Maybe it’s too early to boot the creative team, but the findings of the study do suggest that marketers have been underestimating the persuasive power of user-generated video.”

The conclusion drawn here was that there is more to user-gen video for marketers than skateboarding cats.  Viral videos became a standard agency product because they were something agencies and brands understood:  eyeballs…a lot of them…and quick!  They knew how to price that, they knew how to count that, and they knew how to sell that.  They slammed a new medium into the template of the old.

So what is the template of the new medium?

A surprising study by Next New Networks and Youtube shows that entertainment video created for the online platform actually does better online than video created for other mediums, such as TV shows.  It seems that viewers appreciate and respond to the differences when content is tailored to the platform they’re watching it on.

Applying that to a marketing video…if a TV commercial was made to interrupt an experience on a lean-back platform, why do we think that same video will work on when viewers are searching for content on a lean-in platform?

I believe that consumers online crave a different kind of video than that which is available on and created for television.  They want information & searchability (web 1.0), they want control & engagement (web 2.0), and they want personal connection (web 3.0).  Agencies, brands and publishers should focus on how to merge those strengths of this platform to develop the right video content for this new space and move beyond using the old video content for this new space.


EXPO first to distribute video reviews on Amazon product page

Posted: October 14th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

Today we launched the first third-party video product reviews on Amazon‘s product page.  These videos were placed onto the product page of our P&G client, Gain detergent.  As many of you may know, EXPO has a mission of placing our unbiased video reviews wherever consumers are shopping.  I first wrote about our Retail Syndication efforts here.

Since writing even that post, we have made great progress, including placement on drugstore.com through our partners at LiveClicker.

Amazon’s participation in our video distribution network is a big win for many reasons:

1) Amazon does not have an auto-publishing for partner content.  This implementation required resources from Amazon to execute.  Therefore, the type, style and placement of content were all considered prior to publishing.

2) The videos are not shunted to the text review space, but rather were given tremendous exposure within the product description area of the page.  Note that they are not presented as part of a ‘review platform’ but are selected to be highlighted as additional product content.  Video is different.

3) EXPO was able to travel our recommended disclosures with the video.  The viewers are given full information about the POV of the reviewer.

We think the integration of video reviews onto Amazon’s product page is a necessary step to breaking through with other retailers.  Whether it’s the studies showing that video created for the digital medium are more effective, studies showing simply the availability of video is effective in raising conversion, or the studies that show that consumers are seeking video on retail sites, the emergence of Amazon as a user-gen video retailer signals the opening of a new informational source for consumers.