Bloomberg stepped out of the box this week with a new way to talk about brick-and-mortar retail. The news organization’s “American Mall” video game (yes, video game) is bringing experiential storytelling to the front page with some retro flair.
The game invites players to help rescue a struggling shopping mall through a series of story-driven challenges, and a lot of stomping out 8-bit rats that seem to be ravaging the place. The stores bear knock-off names of popular brands (“Old Gravy,” and “Radio Hut,” just to name a few). And the goal? Keep store-owners from leaving, customers happy, and the money coming in.
We had some fun here in the DMN office clicking around in the spirit of Retail Week. Check it out here. — AO
The association between Valentine’s Day and Hooters may not be obvious, but an interesting report finds its way to our inbox from the PlaceIQ guys. The wings and hospitality chain is re-running last years anti-romantic “Shred your Ex” campaign, with offers of free food to customers willing to tear up a photo of the one who got away. Heartwarming…if only for Hooters’ marketers, who last year saw a 114% visitation increase over the previous week, with the campaign deployed across advertising, social, and communications channels. More from Place IQ about brands, location, and foot traffic here. — KD
But for all the storied successes from social media campaigns, many brands still face challenges in managing and exploiting that particular portfolio of channels. According to a new report from the business trend analysts at The Manifest, social media is “an essential but complicated part of a business’s marketing strategy.” Based on a survey of around 350 social media marketers, the report reveals that, while 52% of brands believe social media has helped increase revenue and sales (and feel positive about future outcomes), many are still struggling with:
- Finding sufficient human and financial resources (26%)
- Developing a formal strategy (24%)
- Building community (24%), and
- Tracking results (17%)
Keeping up with the plethora of new channels, and changing features on established ones, was a much smaller problem. The Manifest also has suggestions for addressing these issues — most prominently, getting leadership to understand the opportunities. — KD
And finally, Snapchat is lifting the veil on influencers’…well, influence. These stars of the tiny screen will at last be able to wrangle not just basic data — total views, unique views, completion rates — but also richer metrics like demographic and location behavior, and followers’ interests. Good news for marketers who need to know how their influencer campaigns are performing, but good news for the influencers too. There’s gold in those analytics. — KD