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Using Data to Manage and Optimize Your (Content) Brand’s Value

One of the benefits media companies enjoy from using an integrated platform like Cisco Eos to deliver their social entertainment experiences is having a singular data view on how audiences are interacting with and around their branded content.  This data can be extremely valuable in helping enhance or optimize the value of the content experiences for both the consumer and the business — or, it can be just another distraction.

As an ex-data wonk (and now a marketer trying to leverage a multitude of measurement systems), I know that more data is not always more useful.  With the overwhelming amounts of data available from your online channels, the more rare asset is actionable insights that can be derived from all that raw data.  Many times insights can come from simply putting individual data points (e.g. a 10% increase in traffic) into context — which helps me understand if a 10% increase is a good outcome relative to what I’m trying to achieve, or some external benchmarks.  The ability to provide context around individual metrics gives marketers and website operators a robust platform for testing and evaluating the value each web experience is delivering to its audience.

Introducing the Cisco Eos Brand Value Index (BVI)

We’ve generated a significant amount of data across the 100 Eos-powered web sites, and we recently put on our data spelunking caps to dig into this data to find actionable best practices our customers could use today, as well as to define a framework for contextualizing the broader data landscape generated by Eos interactions.

What I’d like to do now is to introduce you to some early thinking on a contextual analytics framework in Cisco Eos that we’re calling the Brand Value Index (BVI).

Before you ask, a couple of points on the data: Read More »

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2010: A Year in Review for Cisco Eos

Year end is a natural time to sit back and take stock of what you’ve achieved throughout the year.  As we jotted down some accomplishments for Cisco Eos in preparation for this year’s annual pilgrimage to the Consumer Electronics Show, I realized  how busy 2010 was for the Cisco Media Solutions Group and the Cisco Eos social entertainment platform.

  • Over the last 12 months, the number of Eos-powered websites has grown to nearly 100 sites including some big names like Wenlock and Mandeville — the mascots for the London 2012 Olympics delivered by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic GamesKid Rock and Cisco’s own Do You Flip? site for all those user-generated videos coming in from the advertising campaign.  With 4-5 new sites come online per month we had to give up posting images of new sites on the wall when we ran out of room…
  • Traffic across the Eos-powered sites continues to grow and we’re now averaging 3.6+ M unique visitors and 15 M Page Views per month.  We saw a 20+% spike in November as a couple of sites made big content pushes going into the holiday shopping season.  Good news is that our Unified Computing System (UCS) based data centers continue to handle both the growing and dynamic traffic with minimal downtime.
  • The product and engineering teams continued to crank out features with 10 software releases taking place in 2010 that represented more than 300 individual features and enhancements.  Some of the big accomplishments include:
  1. Internationalization —  a big development focus for Eos in 2010, customers can now localize the  content and language for a site and manage it from the common Eos administrative application.
  2. Mobile applications -- in addition to delivering content to homegrown mobile apps, Eos customers can now launch and manage iPhone and Android mobile apps built on an Eos framework.  Here’s an example of an Android app built for the Variety Screening Series 2010.
  3. Audience and media analytics -- to help customers optimize the value of their sites, we now delivered detailed Audience and Media consumption analytics in the platform.  This is a first step in adding value through the interactions data available in Eos.
  4. Bulk management tools -- most homegrown media platforms don’t effectively scale beyond 15-20 sites because of the difficulty of maintaining and upgrading all of those sites.  The common administrative interface for Eos helps with some of those issues, but we also know we need to make it easier for customers to manage and grow all these great sites they’re launching.  To that end, we’ve delivered some of the bulk management capabilities customers need, but we’ve got a lot more we’ll be looking to build in the future.

The list of what happened in 2010 could go on, but we’re going to save some of that to share with you at CES and in the coming weeks.  Thanks to all of our customers, partners and readers of this blog for a great year.

If you haven’t already seen it, be sure to check out this video of CMSG SVP and General Manager Dan Scheinman for his perspective on trends in the media industry through 2010, and the increasing importance of social entertainment solutions like Cisco Eos in helping media companies grow the value of their online brands.

Cheers, and we look forward to continuing the conversation with you in 2011.

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Online Entertainment – What’s more important – Content or Technology?

Mary Meeker - Morgan Stanley Slide on the Online Advertising Market

At the Web 2.0 Summit 2010, internet analyst Mary Meeker presented data, shown above. The chart she offered drives home an important point to media and entertainment companies -- 28% of our time spent with media in the US is on the internet -- so we expect our media brands to deliver online. And Nielsen also released data this summer  showing 22% of the time people spend on the internet is with social media. In aggregate, Web users spend a total of 110 billion minutes on social Web sites and blogs each month. Therefore media companies must tailor and create engaging digital content to speak to the audiences who want to interact with content brands online and across social media sites. But what’s more important when trying to create appealing media experiences for socially engaged audiences who are spending 28% of their media time online: Is the technology experience more important than the content? Or is the content more important than the technology experience? Vivi Zigler, President of NBC Universal Digital Entertainment (bio link here), attempted to address this question at the Digital Media Conference West in San Francisco:

Vivi Zigler tells us in the clip that NBC Universal has to tailor and tweak existing technologies to the story lines of the NBC TV shows and to the shifting tastes of the online audiences to create engaging experiences.  How does NBC Universal adapt technology to changing television story lines and still create an engaging and quality experiences? (continued ..)
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Digital Strategy is Just Business Strategy

Digital Strategy is Business Strategy

Scott Brown, Director of Marketing, Cisco Media Solutions Group - quoted on Twitter at the Digital Media Conference West, San Francisco

The above quote from Cisco Media Solutions Group Director of Marketing, Scott Brown, highlights a point we make often when speaking to our media and entertainment customers about the Cisco Eos®  platform. We believe that a digital strategy (e.g. how you reach and engage consumers via digital distribution channels and social media)  should not be separated from an overall media business strategy.

Record labels should be applauded for recognizing that digital is not a separate strategy from an overall business strategy. As much as they are berated by the press, the labels are leaders in creating what are known as ‘direct to consumer’ or ‘D2C’ strategies and business units, focused on reaching consumers directly via online channels (artist web sites, social networks). D2C is a much wider strategy than just selling music product (physical product or digital on iTunes). Such D2C business also involves collecting data about consumption of content on social networks and digital purchase behavior to drive strategies in the real world like, “where should my portfolio of artists be touring”? Jeremy Welt, SVP of New Media at Warner Bros Records offers  that D2C strategy means many different things to different people.

CLICK ON READ MORE TO CONTINUE

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Cisco in the Movies!

As we’ve discussed on this blog, Cisco Eos® is a social entertainment software platform built for Media & Entertainment companies. The platform is being used by media companies in multiple entertainment genre — from music to T.V….from sports to film. Dogwoof, a leading distributor of independent films in the UK, such as Restrepo and No Impact Man, has been running on Eos for almost a year. Today, I’d like to introduce you to a new site that’s enabled by Cisco Eos, Variety’s Screening Series Video Q&A site: http://cisco.varietyscreeningseries.com/screenings/.

The Variety Screening Series is an exclusive series of invite-only screenings of award-contending films. Each screening consists of a showing of the film, accompanied by a live Q&A with directors, producers, writers or actors associated with a particular film. The screenings take place in three cities: Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The series is in its eighth year, but this is the first year in which they are utilizing Cisco Eos to extend the experience beyond the audience at the physical screenings.

Visiting this site is your opportunity to be a VIP and see the Q&A videos with your favorite stars, directors, etc., from the comfort of your own home (or at least laptop). For example:

If you register for the site, you can become part of the virtual audience — rating the videos on the site, sharing the videos with your friends via Facebook, MySpace and Twitter; you can even upload your own photos and videos related to the films and screening series.

The screening series runs through December, so be sure to check back frequently for updates. New videos are being added weekly and we’ll definitely be seeing more from L.A., N.Y. and a handful in S.F. The videos are a great resource for you film fans to get an additional fix as we go into the award season since many of these films, actors, directors and producers are likely candidates for nomination. Happy viewing!

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