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Digital days

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Some of you may have seen the popular fad that swept through millions of Facebook users’ feeds in early February – your very own Facebook “Look Back” movie. These vignettes featured some of the most important moments users shared with the social media site, including the date you first joined Facebook, your most popular post and several of your most endearing (or, in some cases, embarrassing) photos. My randomly chosen photos included one of me and my mom dancing at my 30th birthday party, one of me holding a friend’s newborn baby and several photos of good friends and family.

The movies were sentimental, nostalgic and made you smile, thinking about the memories you’ve made with those most important in your life. It was a pretty cool marketing gimmick Facebook used to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Essentially, the social media giant successfully thrust into users faces those people and events that were most important during their use of the social network. And for a few short seconds, you and all of your Facebook friends were taken to the land of memories, love, pulled pork dinners, Southampton clam bakes, signature dance moves, unicorns and glitter. But maybe that was just me.

In any event, the “Look Back” movies were a success. Eyeview, a New York-based digital company that specializes in branding personalization, found Facebook’s stunt so ingenious, the company decided to email the heads of some major tech and advertising firms a similar type of video. The snippets were designed to tell part of their personal story, including where they went to school, where they currently live and one of their recent tweets (if they’re on Twitter).

Apple’s Tim Cook, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Google’s Larry Page, among others, were the targets of this guerrilla marketing effort. The senior vice president of marketing at Eyeview has said the purpose is to be “the catalyst for the change from repurposing TV ads online to providing a unique individual ad experience.” Basically, he wants advertising decision makers to know what’s possible – to know the potential of today’s digital landscape when it comes to reaching prospective customers – to know that thinking outside of the box is the best way to capture an elusive target market.

Now, if only insurance companies could figure out how to do this. What if a big name life insurer used technology to customize its advertising for each consumer? What if they created a more engaging customer experience by incorporating personalized messaging in the context of the ad? And what happens when consumers remember their name because of it?

As I wrote in my feature for the March issue of NUL, technology trends are surfacing faster than most nontech companies can keep pace with. However, sitting idle on the sidelines will only do one thing: allow your competitor to reap the benefits of embracing digital advancements.

As you’ll note, we’ve devoted the March issue to technology. From the tech trends brokers are – or should be – embracing to predictive analytics to CRM and the paperless office, this issue’s features are aimed at helping brokers and agents of all tech skill levels. More importantly, they’ll hopefully make us all stop and think about the power of digital in today’s business landscape. The power it has to teach consumers, to bring consumers and producers together and to empower existing relationships. The power it holds is beyond comparison.

According to Facebook, 200 million users viewed their “Look Back” video.

Imagine if they were actually selling something useful… say, life insurance or wealth management. 


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