On Wednesday, Figliulo & Partners (F&P), the so-called “Brand Agency for the Information Age,” today announced its acquisition of Hungry.

Founded in 2014 by Brady Donnelly and headquartered in New York, Hungry is a full-service digital and technology agency.

From the official release:

Hungry’s overall goal was and continues to be to create best-in-class digital products and experiences with purpose and widespread potential. Donnelly, who previously served as Hungry’s Founder and Managing Director, remains Managing Director of Hungry and becomes Head of Product within F&P, as part of the agency’s leadership team. The staff of 12 from Hungry will remain intact and join F&P’s 55 full-time staff members in the agency’s New York office.

“My goal for F&P is to continue future-proofing our offering so that we’re always one step ahead of the curve,” said Mark Figliulo, Founder and CEO of F&P. “Culturally, Hungry and F&P are a great fit and bring the best talent together under one roof. We will continue to set the bar for brand storytelling in today’s world.”

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The following is a guest contributed post from Paul Kontonis, CMO of WHOSAY

To put a fine point on it, the era of advertising and brand storytelling — the way we’ve traditionally known it, anyway — has gone by the wayside.

Mastercard Chief Marketing & Communications Offer Raja Rajamannar explained the shift in those words at October’s Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando.

As he detailed, consumer behavior and media consumption has become a conflict between the advertiser and the audience. Consumers are demanding uninterrupted experiences with media, and they’re going to great lengths to get them. As of 2016, there were 200 million daily active users of ad-blocking software. And the figure’s only gone up since then at a double-digit rate per quarter.

Meanwhile, Netflix streams over a billion hours of content per week and all of that is ad-free and the number is climbing there, too.

“When consumers are telling you so loudly, ‘I don’t want your stupid ads! I care about my experience,’ holding on to the old paradigm and saying, ‘let’s put an advertisement… I think it’s a little obsolete,” said Rajamannar at ANA. “… the way to reach consumer and engage them is through experiences. And what we’re actually finding, that’s hugely beneficial for us, is to engage consumers, make them our brand ambassadors and what we call a storymaking.”

“So I keep saying storytelling is dead, it’s all about storymaking in the future.”

In part, that “storymaking” Rajamannar refers to finds itself exploring digital means to engage consumers. Influencers, augmented reality, virtual reality, chatbots — all of these are employed by Mastercard to interact with consumers in new and unique ways that refuse to interrupt established media consumption.

There is no shortage of screens available to look away from advertising, so this forces brands to rethink how to connect and engage. Emotional connections are proven to elicit reactions from consumers. And a personal link to a brand needs more than a interruptive and non-creative ad that marketers used without a second thought.

Brands shouldn’t force themselves into only one method, either.

Consumers’ affinity for a certain influencer or celebrity on a personal level hands marketers an opportunity to connect directly in their social media feed. Instead of asking audiences to look up from the phone, brands are looking at them directly from the device via an influencer campaign. They’re not disrupting what consumers are viewing. Rather, they’re inviting them to live their own brand experience through the trusted relationship they already have with the influencer.

Brand lenses on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram allow for users to interact with content on their own terms. Whether it’s a movie like Jigsaw, a sports drink like Gatorade, or a beloved show like “Stranger Things,” these properties are making ad buys that don’t shove a 30-second spot in viewers’ faces. They’re giving consumers the means to play (in a sense) with the brand and then genuinely share that experience.

Voice-activated speakers set their own stage for brand experiences, too. Savvy marketers make it easy for consumers to tell Google Home or Amazon Alexa that THEIR brand is the prefered purchase — or in the case of a retailer like Target, method of purchase. The process quickly becomes rote for the consumer and they’re hooked because of how simple it is. That experience is the “storymaking” Rajamannar referred to.

The customer has always been right and now that applies to the way brands connect with them as well. If they don’t want traditional ads, then stop trying to force them to watch. Your traditional storytelling may be dead. However, there’s nothing stopping marketers from giving consumers the tools to tell an impactful, positive story about their brand.

The post Storytelling is Dead: Reach Consumers Through Experiences appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

On Tuesday, leading language access and telehealth company, Stratus Video, has updated its video remote interpretation (VRI) platform with new features and functionality impacting the key areas of video quality, user interface, security and compliance.

All users will now benefit from the Stratus Video Interpreting app’s higher resolution. Improved picture quality allows both interpreters and patients to more clearly see each other’s non-verbal cues during interpretation sessions.

Beyond resolution, the platform’s user interface now features a larger font for easier visibility, and language buttons in both English and native language alphabets to let patients quickly find and identify their languages. The software’s language search functionality has also been streamlined.

Updates to security and compliance functionality include built-in end-to-end encryption which eliminates the need for a VPN. A new post-session quality survey is a quick way to provide hospitals with quality management information on a call-by-call basis and aids in the collection of regulatory compliance data. Additional reporting capabilities are also available to users.

“While we are excited for these updates and how they will impact user experience, we also understand the importance of ensuring a smooth transition for all of our current customers,” said David Fetterolf, president of Language Services at Stratus Video. “Our team is committed to maintaining continuity of service and continued functionality of our legacy applications throughout the software migration.”

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SalesHood, a “sales enablement platform,” has just announced the release of Automatic Speech Recognition.

The goal? To “revolutionize how companies share knowledge and enable their teams.”
From the official release:

SalesHood’s Expert System powers the entire lifecycle of sales enablement with artificial intelligence and machine learning from training and onboarding to coaching and content sharing to performance improvement. SalesHood’s Automatic Speech Recognition accelerates learning, coaching, and knowledge sharing by analyzing conversations and experiences to execute sales enablement more efficiently and effectively.

“The SalesHood Expert System automatically transcribes what people are saying in real-time, tags keywords and phrases, and prescribes user generated content. We accelerate learning and knowledge sharing by efficiently converting high volumes of video into high value data. ” says Elay Cohen, CEO, SalesHood.

To learn more about SalesHood’s Automatic Speech Recognition, click here.

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Chalk it up as another first for Adobe.

Adobe has announced the launch of its global “Experience Business” campaign, the largest cross-media ad campaign to be implemented solely through a programmatic platform.

According to a provided release:

The campaign emphasizes Adobe’s belief that deep intelligence and amazing design are fundamental to creating compelling experiences that help brands stand out. Participating brands include Caesar’s Entertainment, Carnival Corporation, Franke Group, Holland America Line, Pandora, Princess Cruises, Sydney Opera House, UBS and T-Mobile. The initial rollout is planned for the U.S., U.K. and Germany starting November 13.

Adobe’s “Experience Business” campaign will be bought 100 percent programmatically through Adobe Advertising Cloud, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, and will bring to bear the full power of the industry’s most transparent, cross-channel advertising management platform.

“Today’s most successful brands focus their energy on delivering a consistent, unified experience through many different channels,” said Alex Amado, vice president, Experience Marketing, Adobe. “We’re using this all-programmatic approach because we can now effectively target this audience by analyzing their behaviors and actions online to deliver a more relevant, personalized experience across every touchpoint.”

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