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Money talks BS walks – even with Luxury brands

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Our friend at L2 Think Tank, the luxury brands digital marketing experts, just published some interesting insights re the link between overall digital performance of these brands and their utilization of E-commerce.
Based on their research, E-commerce enabled brands perform way better than those who don’t sell their goods online.   The differences are significant:  e-commerce brands doubled the traffic growth of none e-commerce brands, and almost triple search growth.

Daniella Kaplan from L2 further explained that it is not that e-commerce is the cause of this increased performance but rather a driver. Brands who sell their goods online see direct connection between their digital marketing spending and their top line. As such, they excel in utilizing digital marketing channels.

For me, this data shows again that companies that see digital marketing as a business driver will have better chance in leading the pack compared to ones who use these platforms for brand awareness only. While online brand awareness takes many ques from traditional advertising playbook, e-commerce companies have to push the envelope in getting business results from digital channels. And while branding is hard to measure, dollars are easily counted.
This does not mean that e-commerce brands are the most creative ones necessarily. But creative thinking, though critical for online digital success, is only one part of the puzzle of creating a successful digital marketing operation. Integration of different channels and platforms, creation of a unified and coordinated marketing initiatives, while playing to the strengths of each platform becomes a huge challenge.

So to sum it up – money talks, BS walks!

Memories in a Digital World

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Four months ago I went through a life changing experience: My first daughter was born, and I fell immediately in-love with the little adorable baby that became an important part of our (now mostly sleepless) life.

From the moment she was born, my wife and I photograph and videotape her, using our iPhones, and our DSLR camera.

At the same time my parents aren’t getting younger. My father turned 72 this year, and my mother 66. On his 70th birthday, I made a short film about him, as an excuse to both hear and document the story of his life. We went through old photographs that were lying in our living room drawers, and with each picture came a story, about love, war, family, and friendship. Most of these pictures were older than me –from the 50s and 60s — telling the story of his life as an immigrant, young tank commander, husband, and young father.

Not surprisingly, I love gadgets, applications, and great sites. That’s why I upload my daughter’s pictures to Flickr and Facebook, and save all of them in our centralized media hub, and I also back it up using Dropbox. I use Twitter, Foursquare and serendip.me to tell the story of my life – places I’ve been at, songs I’ve heard, thoughts I’ve had at a specific point in time.

Up until now, I was certain this is enough. We have all those cameras with their amazing images, those fancy video cameras, these smartphones that are actually point and shot cameras that can also call people. But something is missing:
When you look at it from an historical perspective, all these sites and gadgets lose their sex appeal. The reason is simple – in 40 years perspective, suddenly Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, hard disks and iPhones seem like not the best way to store memories.

I don’t know what will happen with Apple, Yahoo!, Twitter and Facebook 40 years from now.
I don’t know if the images I am taking now will be compatible with the technology 20 years from now.
I don’t know if my media center’s hard disk will survive the next 5 years.
And maybe, just maybe, Dropbox will go out of business.

There is a missing link in our digital age. There is a crucial element that is not guaranteed in our advanced technological environment. It is a simple thing: the physical element of our memories. The real life scrap book. The image, printed on a paper.

Yes, I know, these physical representation of our memories can be lost or destroyed. In fact, history teaches us that the physical element of our memories could be easily destroyed (such was the case of the Library of Alexandria).

However, if there is one thing that is for certain, it is that we will be able to see the pictures of our lives in the future. It is not a matter of file formats, web applications, and smartphones. Our eyes will still be able to see pictures. Our fingers will still be able to feel the aging paper they are printed on.

Think about it, next time you look at your hard disk full of those priceless images of your life.

What a Story

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Kate Bush played an important part in the soundtrack of my childhood. My sister loved her music, and we used to spend a lot of time together listening to her CDs.

But as the years went by, my musical taste changed.  I started listening to  Prodigy and heavy metal bands — music that energized me — instead of more relaxed music.

When my daughter was born, I started to play music from the 80s and 90s.   (I’m doing my best to make sure she doesn’t become a Lady Gaga fan, people.)  And it was then that I rediscovered Kate Bush music and videos.

YouTube replaced CDs, and for my daughter, music will forever start as a visual experience.

Kate Bush was an artist, who knew how to tell deep and meaningful stories, as well as convey experiences, through a seamless blend of lyrics, music, visuals, and choreography.
In this clip, she tells the compelling story of a son’s inability to save his father. Little did I know when I first heard this song that it is based on the story of Peter Reich and his Father Wilhelm Reich, a controversial psychoanalyst, who was jailed in 1957.
This clip is a great example of storytelling. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs was an exceptional man.

A revolutionary thinker and a trailblazer, he has been called the Thomas Edison of our times.

As a visionary, he created products that millions love, and big companies strive to imitate.

And there is no stronger evidence of the indelible mark Jobs left on our lives than the fact that so many of us were using a product screen he created when we read the news of his death.

 

Is Viewbix the answer for Video ROI?

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Video production is a tricky thing. Even though production cost has plummeted, video as a marketing tool still requires more effort than other marketing material (such as blog posts, newsletters, and ads). And now, when businesses need to spend their marketing budget more wisely, it all boils down to ROI:  How can businesses generate more revenues from their videos?

ViewBix, a client of Pravda Media Group, is releasing a new product that answers the ROI challenge.  It allows everyone to add Call For Action buttons to their videos. In literally 5 minutes users can add links, Skype Click to Call buttons, Twitter and Facebook feeds, and many other capabilities to their video. These buttons, called apps, are then integrated to create a video player that can be embedded in sites, blogs, Facebook feeds, and more.

Some of the real users examples that are presented in their site include a cabin owner that added Google maps to his video player, A band that added links to their tour info and online ticket purchasing site and a non profit that added a donation button on their promotional videos.

These examples show many ways in which the Viewbix product can enrich videos. But the possibilities are pretty much endless. For instance, we are looking into ways to add voting buttons to the video player so it can be used for an international online video competition. Others are using the ViewBix player for affiliate marketing by adding customized links to promotional videos. Also, the ability to add coupons and QR codes opens a whole new array of possibilities for call for action that can be measured in ROI terms.

There is no need to change anything in the video itself. Apps and call for action buttons can be added to videos hosted on YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo, and a clickable link can be configured at the top of the screen that will lead prospects to a chosen site. And as I’ve mentioned before, the process itself is pretty straight forward, so in 5 minutes or less you can have your video enriched with Viewbix and shared with the world.

ViewBix is offering a simple way to enrich your videos, and it is also a great way to measure the ROI of video production efforts. If your video drives traffic to your site or generates sales, the value is clear and measurable. ViewBix brings this ROI to SMB videos.

If you are at TechCrunch Disrupt, look for Viewbix at the Israeli Startup Pavilion. Jonathan Stefansky, CEO, will be happy to answer your questions, and can be reached at jon AT viewbix DOT com. You can also ping me for questions.

 

 

End of an Era

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Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things…

Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Click. Boom. Amazing!

 

Congrats Babylon!

Congrats Babylon!
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Babylon, a client of Pravda Media Group, won a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® certificate for the Most downloads of a translation software. This was achieved thanks to over 100 million users of Babylon translation software worldwide.
Our very own Tzahi filmed this interview with Alon Carmeli, Babylon’s CEO, and Rob Molloy, from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS®, interviewed by Aya Shapir.

 

Disruptive Real-time Marketing and PR at TechCrunch Disrupt

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Social conversation distribution about TechCrunch Disrupt

Despite the power of the personal connection that social media marketing delivers – there’s still something missing in online marketing and PR – immediacy.

Whereas conferences, trade shows, and live events were once the primary focus of direct marketing – today, social networks and blogs are leading the charge. Just like face-to-face meetings at CEBIT, CES or COMDEX – today’s online discussions, personal conversations, and opinions affect the way potential buyers, investors, and reporters perceive and value products and services.

So, we’ve got the personal connection covered – nobody can argue that Facebook isn’t personal. But what’s missing for companies looking to supplant the costly trade show or conference marketing experience has been immediacy. Social media marketing has yet to effectively duplicate the immediate buzz factor of gathering interested parties in a room, making eye contact, and “wowing” them, Steve Jobs style, with new technology.

That is, until now (you did see this coming, right?).

Here’s how it works. On May 24, 2011, SHL Telemedicine, one of our clients, unveiled a new and truly revolutionary product. Smartheart is a small, lightweight, hospital-grade ECG device that connects to a patient’s iPhone, Blackberry or Android device. The product was unveiled at TechCrunch Disrupt, one of highest-profile startup events in the world, which took place in NYC, San Francisco and Beijing. Serious buzz factor potential – but mostly for those in the room, right?

Not exactly. Pravda Media Group created a real time marketing and PR umbrella for SHL Telemedicine, in order to maximize the online exposure, the value, and – especially – the immediacy of the TechCrunch Disrupt event.

By combining technology, a unique workflow and work methods, we managed to increase the resonance of the client’s messages. By identifying and reacting to feedback in real time, we helped SHL Telemedicine control the coverage and ongoing conversations surrounding the product launch – measurably contributing to the overall success in the event.

And the results were clear: Smartheart received excellent and positive press coverage, was mentioned in key publications such as the Washington Post, was covered by bloggers in the mobile and health sectors, and dominated the online conversation compared to other event participants.

The bottom line: it’s possible and highly worthwhile to radically expand the circle of impact for events, product launches, etc. It’s not simple – so plan ahead, and contract with an experienced provider. Adding immediacy to the personal online conversation – real time PR increases PR and marketing efficacy, raises brand awareness, and will ultimately positively impact sales. What’s not to like?

Please leave your contact details below to receive a free copy of our real time marketing and PR Techcrunch Disrupt case study.





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With one simple metaphor, Google+ beats Facebook

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I love Google+. I started using it this morning, and it is, for a lack of a better word, awesome. Though it takes many concepts from Facebook‘s playbook, they’ve definitely solved one of the biggest issues of Facebook – friends lists and filtering.
Google+ integrated a simple mechanism called Circles: each contact can be assigned to one or more groups such as friends, family, and Acquaintances. It is also possible to create new circles (such as work buddies etc).
By assigning friends to circles, stream filtering and selective sharing becomes an extremely simple task. Now I can share pictures of my newborn daughter only with my family or see posts only from my real and close friends. Pretty cool. Let’s hope they won’t over complicate things here. They will face a major challenge when they will grow – the more friends one have, the more complex it would be to manage these circles. But it is definitely the right way to go.

My friend Jon Burg also wrote an insightful post about the invitation mechanism Google used for Google+

Everything is a remix – the truth about creativity

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If you are going to watch only one video today – this should be it.

Everything is a Remix Part 3 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.