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December 7, 2012No Comments


Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 11.18.21 AM

SoundGap is a really cool personal notification service that notifies you when new music from your favorite artists and bands are added to Spotify and Rdio. based on your personal taste profile. If you a music love, this app will keep you from missing a music release again.


Sign up for the Beta at http://soundgap.fm/

SoundGap via @jpenabickley

July 11, 20122 Comments

Facebook Insights made accurate & now includes mobile data

Facebook made two important updates to its Insights to help Page owners understand more about the true reach of their posts. In a move to improve efficiency, the News Feed will load fewer stories and only load more when the user scrolls down the feed. As impressions and reach is calculated upon load of the story in the Feed, the reach shown in Insights will be far more accurate as to what users have actually viewed.

This now includes mobile data, previously this it only was desktop data a change to desktop News Feed views.

Facebook Insights made accurate & now includes mobile data via @jpenabickley

November 2, 20111 Comment

Generation X Taking The Torch From Baby Boomers

We were the generation once labeled "slackers," detached and melancholic.  Now that most of us are flirting with forty, reality doesn't bite nearly as much it seemed when we were younger. According to the "The Generation X Report," from the University of Michigan's Longitudinal Study of American Youth, there are a number of myths can be corrected with the latest data.

Who are the Gen X-ers?

 We were born from 1964 to 1981. (Some argue that 1961 is the year that X starts - but most experts indicate that we start at about 1964 and 1965)

Shift The Damn Spotligtht Already!

As the cultural spotlight gradually shifts away from retiring Baby Boomers, the analysis bolsters findings in a recent marketing study from JWT Intellegence, "Gen X: Flirting With 40,"(embeded below) which stated that Gen X has matured into a group of "technologically savvy, adventurous pragmatists."   Recent media coverage of rants and reflections from Gen Xers in Gizmodo and The Atlantic has also generated intense discussion, fueling debate over whether a passing of the torch from Boomers is under way. This debate is making the case for marketers to shift their budgets from traditional methods of marketing.

Let's Dispell Some Gen X Myths

Myth #1: Gen Xers are slackers.

Reality: Generation X devotes more hours to work than average and pursues continuing education.

  • Compared to a national sample of all U.S. adults, Gen Xers are more likely to be employed and are working significantly more hours above average, according to the study. In Generation X, 86% is employed and 70% devote 40 or more hours to work each week. For those holding a doctorate or professional degree, that number shoots up to 50 or more hours. Also, 79% Gen X women work.
  • Kids from "The Breakfast Club" era weren't so strung out on emotional issues that they passed up learning: Half of Gen Xers have completed a post-secondary degree and 9% are enrolled in continuing education.


Myth #2: Generation X is hopelessly single and pessimistic about marriage.

Reality: A higher percentage of Gen Xers stay married than Boomers, and most want to be married.

  • Having spent their formative years in the era of growing divorce rates (divorce peaked in 1980) might lead to speculation that Gen X would run away from marriage en masse. In reality, two-thirds of Generation X is married and 71% report having children in the home. Additionally, divorce has been declining since 1996, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • 83% of Gen Xers said finding the right person to marry and having a happy family life is very important.


Myth #3: Generation Xers are disengaged, existential isolationists.

Reality: Gen X is social.

  • There's a reason Gen X is called the "Friends" generation. The report states that Gen X has extensive social, occupational and community networks outside of the immediate family. Two-thirds of respondents entertain friends for dinner or participate in group cooking at least once a month.
  • One in 3 Gen Xers is an active member of a church or religious organization, and 29% volunteer in their community.
  •  95% of Gen Xers report talking with friends or family on the telephone at least once a week, and 29% say they do so at least once a day.

Myth #4: As former latch-key kids, Gen Xers are wimpy, neglectful parents.

Reality: About 84% of Gen X parents expect their children to earn at least a baccalaureate, and 39% expect their child to earn a graduate or professional degree.

  • 72% of parents of preschool children read to them three or more hours a week, and 83% of parents of secondary school students help with homework.

Myth #5: Generation X is depressed.

Reality: Generation X is actually pretty happy.

  • Two-thirds of Generation X are satisfied with their job; 24% of these workers rated their job at 9 or 10 on the satisfaction scale.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 meaning very happy, the median happiness score was 8, with 29% of Gen Xers saying they were very happy scoring a 9 or 10.


As we, the 45 million strong, have been sandwhiched in between the Boomers and Millennials, we are the generation that can move from the shot gun position into the driver seat of the economy. (Shhhh... I think we may be the Job creators the politicians are taking about.)  We have a much more balanced approach and we are pragmatic as hell.  

Given that we are technologically savvy, adventurous pragmatists, How will marketers motivate us to consider using their products and services?  Since we are NOT keeping up with Jones like the Boomers, what stories will you tell us to motivate new behaviors?


This report from JWT may give you a glimpse into the opportunities that you may have with Gex Xers:


Generation X Taking The Torch From Baby Boomers via @jpenabickley

October 4, 20112 Comments

The Revolution Is Not Being Televised

Did you know that there is a revolution going on in the streets of America?  What started rally cry to 90,000 redeemers, rebels and radicals has turned into a thundering movement that is sweeping across the country. #OCCUPYWALLSTREET has morphed into a full-fledged peaceful movement. 

In June, as our elected leaders played a game of chicken with our unstable economy by manufacturing a debt crisis that would lead to the downgrade of America’s credit rating, the anti-consumerism magazine Adbusters registered the domain occupywallstreet.org. While the majority of American’s watched in disgust as elected official left for summer vacations instead of solving the problems they were elected to fix, an independent affinity group registered occupywallst.org.  This is where the movement’s official site is now hosted.  Not long after the registration of the sites, Anonymous, a hacker activist group, encouraged it's members to flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Anonymous, they were involved in the protests in Tunisia and Egypt.  During the 2011 Egyptian revolution, Egyptian government web sites, along with the website of the ruling National Democratic Party, were hacked into and taken offline by Anonymous.  The sites remained offline until President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.  Anonymous also has ties to Wikileaks, further explaining the sighting of the Wikileaks truck at the protest sites. 


One of the most consistent complaints from the protesters has been the lack of un-biased reporting of the real issues by the mainstream, corporate-owned press.  No one knows if Anonymous plans to hack any U.S. news organizations, but based on past activities, it seems its a real possibility.  Given the recent ridiculing and dismissive nature of Time Warner’s / CNN’s recent coverage by Erin Burnett or even interviews like the ones conducted by the Business Insider, I would not be surprised if Anonymous was already working on a plan.

Corporate-owned media outlets claim that the movement lacks a focus, however if you’ve have watched the content they have distributed or taken part in a rally you would hear three things:

  1. The middle of American has realized they can have as much influence as corporations have with the use of technology and social media:  Thus we are the 99% (http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com)
  2. “DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY”: Protestors feel that corporations have bought and corrupted our democracy by influencing elected leaders to stand behind policies that hurt the American worker.  They stand for the American workers and are fighting for proper representation in Washington.
  3. There is a better way: Protesters hope that their peaceful actions lead to a new social dynamic in America.  Protestors are demanding accountability from a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington.

The movement’s core message, which is often lost in AdBusters anti-consumerism message, is that 1% of the population has profited wildly from the last 20 years and the other 99% have seen zero.  Special interest money has corrupted our system.  That's not sustainable.  It's not fair.  And it's not the America that 99% of Americans want.  If this is a democracy, those numbers should matter.

 The Art & Symbols Of The Movement


There is a ton of art that has begun to emerge and define the movement. You can visit http://www.occupytogether.org/downloadable-posters/ to view the latest in protest art. 

You may have also seen images of protestors wearing Masks. Those are Guy Falkes masks. This is a disguise used by members of Anonymous to protect their identities and brand their activities. Guy Fawkes was part of a plot to overthrow the king of England in the early 1600s and his character was made popular in the comic book V for Vendetta. 


A Growing National Movement
As protesters and citizen journalists share their stories in Zuccotti Park (near Wall Street), Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago and other cities across the country, we have recorded a groundswell of conversations and interactions taking place online. There are daily additions to the URLs who are covering and enabling this revolution.  You can visit http://www.occupytogether.org/ to get in on the local action in your area.

We are people of Substance.
We are supportive and sympathetic to the protesters.  They are showing enormous courage in the face of seemingly all-powerful institutions.  They are being arrested, maced and harassed without the protection of a free-press.  They are mocked, laughed at and even toasted with champagne from high-price balconies and yet they remain peaceful. 


I encourage you to visit a few of the movement sites I have listed below. Judge the movement and its message for yourself.  You may find that you are part of The 99%.


Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com


Additional Information Sources:

The Revolution Is Not Being Televised via @jpenabickley

September 18, 20111 Comment

Social Data Guided Media Plans

With every passing day, the benefit of social listening and data becomes more engrained in how we determine where we reach and market to people.

If you use social listening to identify marketing insights and innovations, you know the power of the outputs.  More than conversations, the data provides us knowledge of where those conversations are taking place.  We can also determine the volume of conversations as well as the influence of the people having those conversations at a particular URL.  That data combined with public traffic records now gives media planners the ability to pinpoint where their customers are engaged with content. 

The power of this data and knowledge can guide higher performing media plans.

Surprisingly, most media planners and buyers use antiquated methods to plan and purchase media.  Today, media buying companies rely on publishers to supply them with traffic stats and standard demographic data.  These are typically combined with third party reporting tools from firms like ComScore. 

Given the power of data @substancenyc is extrapolating out of our social listening exercises we decided to test a new way of building media plans.  Instead of using traditional methods of media planning we used our social listening tools to identify high volume conversations & influencer data to create a media plan that allowed our branded content to reach our target.

First we used social data to identify the right kind of customer.  Then we created a keyword list for our social listening tools to listen for. After that, we created an algorithm to extrapolate relevant conversations.  Once we identified the relevant conversations, we wrapped a volume metric around the URLs & places those conversations were talking place.  Once that was achieved we used a tools to identify the number of social influencers having the conversations.  Using the outputs of these simple exercises we created transmedia plan that effectively told our brand story.

Social Media


How did we know this was going to outperform a traditional plan?

We tested it. We tested a traditionally built plan against a social data guided plan. The result, the social data plan out performed the traditional plan by 19%.  The social data plan had more reach and conversion than the traditional plan. 

This test has transformed the way we are going to market for our clients.

What are you doing today that could change the way we do business tomorrow?  Let us know @substancenyc.


Social Data Guided Media Plans via @jpenabickley

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