Exclusive: How a Fake Product Announcement Created A Viral Marketing Campaign For Protecting The Environment

Earlier this year, a startup company called Treepex announced that it was taking pre-orders for an ingenious product that cleaned the air that one breathes. The company claimed that its flagship offering – shown for months on the website www.treepex.com, but moved at the moment that this article was published to try.treepex.com – was the “first ever device that transforms polluted air into fresh oxygen.”

Millions of people watched Treepex’s product-introduction video, and thousands publicly raised questions about the offering, discussing on various social platforms whether or not the device was real, and whether it would really improve one’s health if used in heavily polluted cities. The firm’s founders did many media interviews as well.

Today, however, in an exclusive interview with me, Treepex founder, Bacho Khachidze, who is based in the country of Georgia, finally revealed the truth about both the Treepex company and its flagship offering:

The Treepex device does not exist. In fact, it is Treepex’s mission to make sure that the device never needs to exist.

As explained in the video below, Treepex is really in the business of planting trees around the world. Trees, of course, utilize photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide (and water) into oxygen (and sugar) – performing a task vital to keeping the Earth habitable by humans and the many other animals that rely on oxygen for their survival. Pollution and logging, however, have undermined the natural balance – bringing consequences such as accelerated climate change, increased respiratory ailments, and other ecological, biological, and sociological problems.

Treepex’s “product announcement” was designed to raise awareness about the negative impact of pollution on human health, as well as of the positive impact that trees have in cleaning the air for us. It made millions of people ponder whether they would be healthier if they breathed better air. But, at least of today, there is simply no substitute for nature’s method of restoring oxygen to our air via the billions of trees and other plants on our planet; as a society, we must better appreciate their importance in our ecosystem, and the understand that it is our responsibility to maintain and deliver a healthy Earth to generations to come. In that regard, we must also remember that nature does not care about politics, budgets, or unscientific theories.

Treepex’s “product announcement video” appears to have ignited many discussions about trees and their role in our lives, and conversations on related environmental topics are sure to continue for years to come. In the meantime, Treepex offers people the ability to plant trees in several locations around the globe – as such, it truly “transforms polluted air into fresh oxygen” the way nature intended.

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Director Nicholas Winding Refn Wants to Teach You About Movie Marketing

Director Nicholas Winding Refn Wants to Teach You About Movie Marketing

The director’s first foray into book publishing is a deep-dive into the art of exploitation cinema marketing.

The post Director Nicholas Winding Refn Wants to Teach You About Movie Marketing appeared first on WIRED.



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Get the most out of your marketing stack by unifying data sources

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When it comes to getting the most value out of data, successful companies take a practical approach, first defining their own data strategy and then determining the tools needed to get it done. A good example of this is Airbnb, which set their own data strategy and tools to help users more accurately price their home listings. Too often, however, companies fail to lay out a clear strategy, instead relying on the available tools to show them where they need to go. Unfortunately, these tools usually serve up packaged metrics with data that is too detailed and lacks cohesion.

The mobile marketing data landscape

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In VentureBeat’s The State of Marketing Analytics: Insights in the age of the customer, author Jon Cifuentes writes:

“Enterprises are stuck between fragmented data silos…There’s customer data, inventory data, log data, search data, reporting, analytics, CRM, session data, et. al – with different vendors supporting each. While “real-time” customer data sounds nice in theory, the actual process of broadcasting this information through the organization is time-consuming, expensive, fragmented, and frustrating.”

These cobbled-together sources and tools provide directional insight but don’t align with initial expectations, particularly as companies start requiring custom insights and metrics.  In fact, most companies quickly find themselves in exactly the situation they had hoped to avoid – working in increasingly complex systems with considerably higher non-value added workloads.

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The challenge for companies is: how do you align your data vision with your unique acquisition, engagement and monetization strategies?

Purpose-built tools like app analytics, A/B testing, marketing automation, etc. have done a great job in recent years of allowing non-technical people to analyze data, run tests and engage users. However, since these tools were built for single-use cases and by separate companies with proprietary data stores, they have failed to address a core issue: the need to access the same user data in order to truly provide a personalized experience to each user.

Data-capture tools and user engagement tools also need to be integrated in order to provide a full picture of how changes impact the product downstream.  For instance, teams need to be able to apply user actions from app analytics to run A/B tests, which will in turn impact the user experience.

The path forward

The solution exists at the platform level: unifying data sources before applications are built on top of them, with a flexible 2-way structure that enables real-time integration between event and user data, at all levels in the stack, and not just based on basic pre-determined rules with segmentations on top.

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This type of structure makes it possible for events to be enriched by boundless user attributes (user state) and enables contextual analytics.  This, in turn, produces a robust targeting framework, because now the user state can be updated in any manner, in real-time.  For example, Glassdoor utilizes this methodology to deliver real-time dynamic notifications of job alerts to users based on their prior behavior when browsing the Glassdoor website.

While many marketing vendors are fighting to define themselves as integrated or unified marketing platforms, most still need to reach deeper down the stack and unify product and marketing tools with data tools at a platform level.   Because they refer to the same data source, there will be no discrepancies between insights and actions.  For example, segments defined for analytics will maintain the same properties in A/B testing or content delivery.  Applications developed on top of unified data platforms will be inherently more flexible and manageable.

From VentureBeat

Omniata is coming out of beta on September 24th!  You can reach us at [email protected] to learn more. Though just coming out of beta, we’re already tracking 300 million monthly active users, 2 billion events per day, and handling over 17,000 requests per second!

Alex Arias is the CEO and cofounder of Omniata, a unified data, analytics and user engagement platform.  For more than 10 years, Alex has been an entrepreneur and driver of innovation in digital services, working previously at Digital Chocolate and EA.  He’s been helping companies define their own Data Value Journey since cofounding Omniata two and a half years ago.


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5 tips for running your first influencer marketing campaign

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This article is part of SWOT Team, a series on Mashable that features insights from leaders in marketing, brand-building and public relations.

The rise of social media has given consumers more power than ever before, arming them with a platform where they can engage brands in real time. This has created a shift in marketing. While traditional tactics involved pushing out brand content with little focus on creating conversations, new campaigns tap influencers to engage with consumers and create brand loyalty among them.

In spite of the positives, the rise of influencer marketing has also led to many questions, like how to select the right influencer agency or measure ROI. Here are the five most important things to know before you begin your first influencer campaign Read more…

More about Influencers, Branded Content, Business, Marketing, and How To


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Marketing Clouds and Video: A relationship just beginning to bloom

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John Koetsier’s recent report, “Marketing Clouds: How the best companies are winning via marketing technology,” was full of great insights into where marketing clouds are headed. It also found that marketing cloud users have barely scratched the surface when it comes to video, revealing that only about 20 percent of the 1,500 marketers surveyed use the video marketing tools featured in their marketing cloud solutions.

Some of the commentary I’ve read on the report made me think I would need to find a new career path. (I’m the CEO and cofounder of the video marketing and analytics platform Vidyard.) But rather than see this as a sign that video hasn’t caught on, I see the results as an opportunity for video. Five years ago, if someone had asked marketers about their use of social media technology, only about 20 percent would have said they were invested there, too. Look how far social has come. Just about every company now has a person, if not a team, dedicated to social. We’re already starting to see the same thing with video, and adoption is hitting an exponential curve.

Video is poised for huge growth in both B2B and B2C marketing. That’s what I see in all the other data and anecdotal evidence about video. My own company has seen 1,000-percent growth in customers using video platform technology in the last two years. Last year, a joint report from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs found that video ranked higher than white papers, infographics and research reports for content marketing, and was up 6 points over 2013.

From VentureBeat

And that doesn’t even take into account the big picture statistics on online video. Internet prognosticator extraordinaire Mary Meeker predicts that, by 2017, 74 percent of all internet traffic will be video. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have all made bets on video recently.

So clearly video is working, and there’s going to be more of it. Then why is the 20 percent number so low?

There are a couple of things going on here. First, video capabilities within marketing clouds and marketing automation platforms are pretty minimal at this point. While they support the ability to embed videos within marketing campaigns and web pages, most do not even offer video hosting capabilities, let alone tools to track audience engagement or detailed viewer analytics. With little native video functionality, it’s not surprising to see that most marketers haven’t adopted the video technology offered within their marketing cloud. But that doesn’t mean solutions aren’t out there or that customers aren’t adopting video technology as a fast pace. Third-party video marketing platforms offer rich integrations with marketing clouds such as Hubspot, ExactTarget, Salesforce, Eloqua and Marketo to help marketers integrate video with their various campaigns and digital channels, and even track the second-by-second viewing behavior of each customer and prospect to enhance qualification and nurturing. Other technologies help to serve video ads to targeted accounts across multiple networks while still others enable marketers to generate 1-to-1 personalized videos to boost audience engagement.

Meanwhile, many companies that are doing video are doing it without getting the full benefits. They’re posting videos to YouTube or even on their own websites, but they aren’t taking advantage of the tools that would come from a video marketing platform. Analytics are often a big part of the marketing cloud sales pitch (and the most-used feature according to John’s research), but when it comes to video, marketing clouds don’t offer very impressive analytics. Like YouTube, they might give you vanity metrics such as total views, views-by-day or even views-by-device. Those are nice and all, but they don’t necessarily help turn prospects into customers, and isn’t that ultimately the goal of marketing? When marketers fully commit to video, they want to know by name who watched their videos. They want to know whether the person watched the entire video or turned it off after 10 seconds. They want to be able to use an entertaining top-of-funnel video to point potential customers to more detailed materials that guide them along the buying journey.

Marketing clouds simply aren’t there yet, so it’s no wonder only 20 percent of marketers are using marketing clouds for video. But with the incredible success marketers are seeing with video to boost SEO, engagement time and conversions rates, you can bet that adoption of video and related technologies will continue to grow rapidly. We’ll just have to wait and see if the marketing clouds bring advanced video technology natively into their platforms or if it remains the domain of those solution-providers that offer core expertise in video marketing.

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Michael Litt is CEO of Vidyard, a video marketing and analytics platform based in Kitchener, Ontario.

VB’s research team is studying web-personalization… Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.


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