Emily Breuninger

my rants, ramblings, discussions, and everything in between.

5 Signs You're addicted to your smartphone

My google analytics certification! Hard work pays off

My google analytics certification! Hard work pays off

Google Analytics Revisited

Over the course of the last 10 weeks, it appears I’ve gotten 56 unique visitors to visit my blog, and have had 75 total visits with 142 page views. My bounce rate is currently at exactly 60%. While I am pleased at the small amount of traffic I have received, I am certainly not satisfied.  

What I did to increase traffic:

  1. I posted stuff! Everything from re-blogging interesting content, to creating my own content, to commentary and review on current media, to fun pictures and videos. Anything new, noteworthy, or unique I put up. 
  2. I followed people! It’s called the reciprocity effect, and it’s a real thing-people don’t like feeling like they owe you something, and will want to “even the score” by following back.
  3. I was obnoxious. I posted every blog entry on my social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook), and would sometimes even mention the blog on those platforms in comments or messages. Sure, my friends were annoyed, but it’s all in the name of recognition..right?!

4.  I’d mention it in every day conversation. I can’t tell you the number of times I started or ended a sentence with “I blogged about that”. Suffice it to say my co-workers are sick of hearing those words.

5. Tagging entries with related hashtags. While I don’t believe they helped my traffic much, tags will allow other people to search for your posts through Tumblr, making your content more easily found.

What I could have done better:

  1. More constant circulation. While I did post my entries pretty regularly on Facebook and Twitter, it certainly wasn’t every post. Seeing as I generated a lot of referral traffic from Facebook, it would have probably been a better idea to share a link every time I had a new entry. 
  2. Hashtags. Sometimes I did them, sometimes I wasn’t up to it. I should have probably hash’d every single post.
  3. Encouraged sharing among my networks. “Share this and I’ll buy you a coffee”, “Share this and I’ll love you forever”, “Retweet this and I’ll retweet your least popular tweets” come to mind. It sounds a little forced, but it may have worked…

Why GA isn’t everything…

  1. A HUGE portion of GA and traffic in general stems from SEO, and coming up organically in a search engine. Tumblr isn’t exactly search engine optimized, so there was no chance of any of my entries coming up in a search for, say, “WWU digital marketing”, or something. Wordpress is much better for SEO purposes. 
  2. GA doesn’t track when people are viewing your post in your Tumblr feed. So, when I generate a follower via Tumblr, they may avidly read my entries as they appear on their feed, but never visit my actual page. This visit then becomes unaccounted-for in GA land. 

Well, that’s my two cents, and probably the last Tumblr blog I will ever write! It’s off and on to bigger and better things for me. You can now officially find me at: emilybreuninger.wordpress.com, and soon (hopefully) emilybreuninger.com.

Thanks for the good times, Tumblr! I hope any and all followers I’ve accrued over the last 10 weeks don’t mind taking the Wordpress plunge with me:)

Thoughts on DoubleClick…

First off, I feel I need to sincerely apologize to all my followers on Twitter for the last 3 and a half hours of near merciless Tweets as I attempted to note all the most important points of Google’s DoubleClick event…I’m sure I was quite obnoxious. 

But I couldn’t help it! Talk about another major win for Google…the live streamed event (through YouTube, of course) was chalked full of useful, interesting, and engaging information about the current and, perhaps more importantly, future state of digital media and marketing. 

In case you missed it…

The event began with the opening keynote with Neal Mohan, VP of display advertising at Google. As expected, this was mainly a plug for Google. Mohan mentioned new features coming to DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers) Native Advertising, unified video and YouTube cross-selling and reporting. Arguably, the big highlight here was their announcement of Google Webdesigner, a new product to help designers build creative in CSS3 and HTML5. True to their business model, Webdesigner will be offered as a free service. (DFP is also free to small businesses). 

Fun facts from Mohan: 80% of consumers say that interaction on social media with brands influences their buying decisions.

90% of consumers begin a task on one device, and finish on another.

Users spend 50% more time watching videos on sites that offer TrueView ads.

An ad that originates below the fold, but eventually comes into view, has twice the Click Through Rate. (He called this “the gold below the fold”)

The cost of not having a connected business is an estimated $3.6 million per hour. 

I’m not sure who made the decision to place Wendy Clark, Senior VP of Brand Management (they call it “Global Sparkling Brand Center”) at Coca Cola, next in the line-up, but wow was that a good choice! She delivered a truly inspiring, engaging, and interactive (complete with hashtags!) message about “managing the present and creating the future”. Coming from the perspective of the most popular brand on Twitter, Wendy offered 5 key strategies for successful brands:

  1. #BeShareworthy! Sometimes as a digital marketer, I feel like I sound like a broken record. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Wendy said it best: “Owned, earned, shared, and paid media. In that order”. She gave an example of this amazing ad that recently went viral:

  2. #NewSalesForce. Your Customer Relationship Management tool should be having a relationship with your customer!
  3. #SpeedTrumpsPerfection. She introduced the term “flaw some”-being awesome with flaws. Love it!
  4. #Simplify. Big brands can get complicated. Consumers hate complicated. Make it simple, stupid.
  5. #Disrupt. “If we don’t disrupt ourselves, we will be disrupted”. Disrupt what you think the possibilities are, and accept what the possibilities could be. Clark gives Coke’s Hug Me campaign as her inspirational example:

6. #NoStatusQuo. Clark says, “To me, the most convenient answer is always no. That won’t move you forward, you’ve got to take risks. Reject the status quo”.

7. #PlayWell. Empower your teams at the lowest level, then move up.

8. #WorkThatMatters. Make the world better by creating content that transcends monetary value. Clark shared this video as an example:

Next up came Winston Binch, Partner/Chief CDO and David Kim, Group Creative Director of Deutsch LA, discussing the importance of innovation and invention in advertising. In today’s world, ads are irrelevant. It’s time to re-invent our definition of an “advertisement”, and how we reach the consumer. Simply “telling a story” isn’t going to cut it anymore, brands need to be innovative to create value. This was illustrated by an ad for VW SmileDrive, an app created through a partnership between Deutsch LA, VW, and Google, designed to allow users to share their rides. 

IMO I found this concept to come up short. Marketers have always been, and always will be, storytellers. Innovation is great, but it still needs a great story, or it won’t be believable

Next up we had a little chat with Michael Learmonth from Ad Age interviewing Lorraine Twohill from Google and Jonathon Nelson from Omnicom, about the changes in marketing because of the modern digital world, and how marketers should be responding. I found the most quotable aspect of this chat to come from Lorraine when she comments, “Stories are more important than ever with the advance of technology; tech must reinforce the story.” Thank you, Lorraine! In regards to global innovation, Nelson says Omnicom asks, “What’s working, what’s important, and how do we do it in Chinese?”. He goes on to discuss the concept of multiple screens, and the current challenges of digital marketers to reach beyond just television to all screens. Lorraine replies with another amazingly simple insight: “great content will win no matter what platform it’s on.” At this point, I could not help but give a huge grin to the two women stars of this event; Lorraine Twohill and Wendy Clark really seemed to have the most down-to-earth, intuitive insights so far (and, in retrospect, of the entire event!). The group went on to stress Clark’s aforementioned point of real-time marketing, the importance of getting the right message in front of the right person at the right time. Twohill continued the discussion with another quotable-statement, “The difference between a brand and a product is making that emotional connection…you [your company] don’t own the brand anymore. [the customer does] smart brands embrace the creativity around their brand.” This creativity is achieved by breaking out of that “30 second window” and “8.5x11” piece of paper”. Native advertising (advertising based on context) was discussed as a viable option to embrace this new way of thinking; Twohill responds, “I have no idea what native advertising is.” (thanks, Google). They also discussed the importance of IMC (integrated marketing communications) and connecting your business across all channels (think paid, earned, owned…then think again, outside these arbitrary boundaries). Twohill gave an excellent summary of the discussion, the event, as well as Google itself when she said, “[Google] helps people do cool stuff that matters.”. Exactly! Google FTW.

Finally, the last hour centered around a discussion on engaging the digital natives. Randall Rothenburg, CEO of Interactive Advertising Bureau hosted a discussion with Jim Lanzone of CBS Interactive, Peter Horan of Answers, and Meredith Kopit Levien of Forbes. Perhaps I was just getting antsy from sitting around for 3 hours, but I found one of the main highlights from this session to be the fact that Rothenburg was using a Moleskin journal instead of an iPad to read his notes!

Key Take-aways:

-Lanzone delivered a slightly forgettable, obvious, and perhaps even a bit unoriginal plug for CBS interactive.

-Horan comments, “The future always wins and the consumer always wins, the only way to succeed is to adapt better than everybody else”. He discusses Answer.com’s swiping option for their site, and explains it’s better to optimize a brand’s site for mobile than it is to create an app for the brand.

-Levien gives an interesting definition of native: allowing marketers to participate in the publishing (as long as they follow the rules). She gives an (IMO perhaps-too-rational) explanation of what the consumer wants: the best information possible from a clear source in context. She introduces the concept of storyteller’s ROI (is it relevant, original, and interesting) for developing consumer content. She claims that “great content will find the right audience”. 

All in all, it was a great event, and definitely something I would recommend! Replays will be available at www.youtube.com/doubleclick soon. I found the entire 3.5 hours informative, creative, and inspirational. However, if you’re more of the not-watch-a-3-hour-event-and-skip-to-the-good-stuff kind of viewer, I would highly recommend Mohan’s introduction, Clarks session, and the discussion with Twohill and Nelson. Enjoy!


Apple has a problem: Social media chatter about it’s iPhone 5 has dipped, and so have sales. 
From September to today, the number of conversations on social channels about iPhones has declined for two of the company’s target audiences: Baby Boomers and Generation Xers.Looking at two other lucrative consumer audiences—Millennials and teens— shows a similar pattern. Despite a spike in conversations around last Christmas, iPhone conversations have been consistently declining since the iPhone 5 launch in October.
Apple’s failure to tap into what’s being said through social insights and develop a data-driven marketing strategy is becoming an object lesson for businesses everywhere. 
Inside Apple’s marketing problem


Apple has a problem: Social media chatter about it’s iPhone 5 has dipped, and so have sales. 

From September to today, the number of conversations on social channels about iPhones has declined for two of the company’s target audiences: Baby Boomers and Generation Xers.Looking at two other lucrative consumer audiences—Millennials and teens— shows a similar pattern. Despite a spike in conversations around last Christmas, iPhone conversations have been consistently declining since the iPhone 5 launch in October.

Apple’s failure to tap into what’s being said through social insights and develop a data-driven marketing strategy is becoming an object lesson for businesses everywhere. 

Inside Apple’s marketing problem

being a kid born in the 21st century

being a kid born in the 21st century

Does social media affect your personality?

Every generation has some sort of defining cultural and political perspective that isolates them from the generation previous. Baby Boomers experienced the tragedies and confusion of the Vietnam War, while Gen X’s watched as the Berlin Wall collapsed. As a Gen Y baby, it’s a little difficult to not feel overlooked. As descendants from both the educated Gen X’s (who were born up until 1981) and the famous Baby Boomers (who came up after WWII), we’ve got a lot to live up to. What unique perspective do we bring to the table? 

It is my personal opinion that, by living in a world that requires a username and password, we are truly living this perspective every day we log-in.

I had the unusual experience of growing up while watching the social media platform develop. From the early days of staying up late instant-messaging my elementary school friends on my e-machine, to learning the basics of HTML while customizing my MySpace profile, to that one day freshman year of high school when I received my first wall post, my peers and I were fortunate to become the very first digital natives. Due to this sort-of alongside relationship that my peers and I had with social media, I find that, as a generation, we are shaped because of it. 

On the surface level, one can observe this molding of minds and behavior simply by watching us as we interact with our screens. As I type, I have my iPad in front of me with a Wikipedia article pulled up on Gen Y, I have my iPhone beside me as I text with my roommate about paying bills and turning off the TV, and of course I have my MacBook open as I type and periodically browse my 6 other open tabs. This screen switching comes as second nature to our generation, and the phenomenon is only getting more prevalent in younger generations. For me, it all began with a single screen. My fondest memories revolve around waking up early to watch the Saturday morning cartoons while eating fruit loops with my younger brother; our eyes were glued to the screen, never missing even a second of our coveted screen time. 

But as we grew, so did our screen quantity. Soon, we weren’t simply glued to a screen, we were interacting with one. And this is where the digital world really began shaping our personalities and our social identities.

 I truly believe that the way I interacted with social media (particularly the early chat functions and MySpace) played a crucial role in my development into a teenager, and later, a young adult. It may sound a bit strange, but it really shouldn’t. As humans, we’re naturally social creatures; we thrive on social interaction and crave a sense of community and networks. In effect, most (arguably all) of our sense of self identity is formed in a social context. So when a virtual opportunity such as MySpace or Facebook comes along that allows for near-unlimited networking and communication, it’s bound to play a big role in one’s identity. 

To give a few examples, as adopted from this interesting study on Myspace and self-presentation:

  • Personal identity is shaped through co-creation of a public profile, in which the world can view you…but in the way you wish to be portrayed. This tailoring and customizing of your profile allows one to shape who they are “this minute”, and has a profound effect on who they are forever.
  • Social identity is shaped through the groups and communities we join online, and who we interact with. 
  • Gender identity is very much shaped through who we communicate with online (specific AIM chatrooms come to mind…), as well as how we present ourselves in our pictures, profile, and status updates (or circa Myspace bulletin board posts). This is especially true with females, who are sexualized at a young age through profile pictures and how they present themselves online.


Your profile tells a story

Our generation grew up on Myspace and AOL Instant Messenger, and entered adulthood on Facebook. Many of us constructed a social identity through these sites, and consider them to be huge indicators of who we are as individuals. To this day, many of us use social media as a form of therapy and social support

So what does this mean?

For our generation, it means a lot. In general, this over-sharing of information combined with the publicity of it all has created a culture obbessed with self-expression and creating an ideal self. We’ve become self-obbessed to the point of narcisim, and we rely heavily on validation in ever facet of our lives. Privacy has become a myth of the past, and publicity has become expected.

What started as a simple Saturday morning ritual has quickly evolved into a massive revolution-we are glued to our screens. And, as I wrote in an earlier post, the transition from computers to mobile may completely erase any last bit of personal privacy. Parents everywhere are outraged with the amount of exposure that today’s social media promises; with apps like Snapchat (where one can send a self-destructive photo to anyone in their friends list), and Grindr (a glorified “hook-up” app) gaining popularity among the younger generations.


Not the most settling concept

But our parents will only have digital power for so long…within the next few decades, the last of Gen Y will have graduated from college and will be out in the professional world and faced with absolving the currently-surfacing privacy issues of the future. 

Talk about a daunting task! Coming from a generation that transitioned too easily from Fruit Loops to public profiles, it’s difficult for me to visualize us putting any substantial effort into privacy laws. And that’s a scary thought!

What’s On Your Summer Reading List?

I just finished updating my library with all my summer reading!

Here’s what’s on the list:

  • Content Rules-Ann Handley & CC Chapman
  • Social State-Esteban Contreras
  • Elements of Style-William Strunk
  • The Irrational Bundle (Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty)-Dan Ariely
  • The Long Tail-Chris Anderson
  • What Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast-Laura Vanderkam
  • Steve Jobs-Isaacson
  • Soci@l-Ben Kinney
  • The Signal and the Noise-Nate Silver
  • Amazing Things Will Happen-Chapman
  • The Impact Equation-Chris Brogan
  • Wired For Culture-Pagel
  • The Paris Wife-Hemmingway
  • Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea-Chelsea Handler (I had to!)

The ones in bold have to do with marketing. The ones in italics I’m a little embarrassed I haven’t already gotten to.

Am I missing anything? What are you reading this summer?