Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift

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We love our moms and we know you do too. BUT, don’t you sometimes wish you could put your mom’s social media usage on timeout? Us too. We’ve seen everything from accidental Facebook shares, to tweets that should be @replies. Hashtags? Don’t even bother! So, in honor of Mother’s Day and to show how much we care about all the wonderful mothers in our lives, Digital Royalty University is offering a helping hand.

For the next two days, you can give your mom free social media classes! Just add your selected courses to your cart (after you shop here) and on the checkout screen enter the code “helpmymom“. The price will drop to $0. It’s our way of saying thank you!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Click, Tweet and Share

Post by Kathy Banez

For anyone who loves social media and taking a lot of pictures, ex. me, Twitter is expanding its photo options, making it easier to click, tweet, and share.

Twitter announced that they will be updating their photo options by allowing users to tag up to 10 people in a photo without using any of their 140 characters and letting users to upload up to 4 photos in a tweet.

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How will this new update help brands market themselves on Twitter:

  • With adding up to four photos in a tweet, brands can feature more photos of new property openings or renovations that attract followers to click to the brand’s site.
  • Being able to tag people/properties without losing characters allows more special content.
  • Photo tagging also allows brands to respond to/tag followers AND have the photo shared to everyone.
  • With an update like this, brands are in the loop with growing technology and attracting new potential consumers for example, millennials.

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This update brings joy to my life for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s already hard to add a caption AND tag people to a photo with less than 140 characters. The photo tagging ability will make content easier to share without trying to figure out what to shorten or what to delete to make everything fit.
  • With the capability to add up to four photos in one tweet, followers will be grateful that they aren’t getting “spammed” with photo from one user.
  • Even though I am a huge fan of Instagram, Twitter’s photo sharing option is great at displaying the photo instead of having a link in a tweet.

The new photo options are available by downloading Twitter app or downloading the update on Android and iPhone and will later be implemented onto web soon.

Social in Sochi: Our Recap

Post by Katherine Banez

This is the final entry in our series of posts about social communications and their role in the 2014 Winter Olympics. In case you didn’t see them, take a look at the Digital Royalty team’s social predictions, and picks for the best hashtags from Sochi, Russia. 

The Most Memorable Social Media Highlights from the 2014 Winter Olympics

@SochiProblems vs. @Sochi2014: Of course, after visitors, reporters, even athletes were consistently posting their issues about Sochi, it was inevitable that #SochiProblems would later turn into Twitter handle. @SochiProblems currently has over 324k followers compared the official @Sochi2014, with over 275k followers. (@SochiProblems for the win?)

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Shaun White Wins Hearts Not Medals: When Shaun White failed to medal during the Olympic half pipe, he still captured the social buzz compared to the whole Sochi games. He may not have reached the podium at the Olympics but he still won hearts when he helped made kids’ wishes come true.

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The Many Faces of Ashley Wagner: Memes were made after figure skater Ashley Wagner was not impressed with her score during her short program. Wagner assumed she’d get a much better score than the 63.10 and now she is internet-famous for her disappoint and many faces.

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Bob Costas Eye: Twitter accounts of Bob Costas’ eye have surfaced (@BobCostasEye) and even anchor Matt Lauer cracks a joke about it. At least Costas was a good sport.

Is it bad that we find humor in other people’s misfortunes? In the end, I dub the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia as one of the most interesting games for social media. What will happen now with the Olympics being over?

Nonetheless, congratulations to all of the countries who participated in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. And congratulations to @USOlympic #TeamUSA for winning 28 medals.

P.S. It was nice to see that during the Closing Ceremony, Russia was able to shed some comedic light on the Olympic Rings technical difficulty from the Opening Ceremony!

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Date Night in a Box

Post by Stephanie Caragan

In lieu of the love in the air, I thought it was meant to be when I came across this Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) this week – where a single guy interviewed 100 couples across America to find out “how to have a successful long-term relationship (for himself) down the road.” He did just that, documented his journey (also known as the Loveumentary) and is about to launch another project called Unbox Love.

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Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our schedules that when we get time to be with our significant others, we’re all set to go until we get to the question “What do you want to do?” – which in most cases can be the most difficult question to man. I’m always up for a dinner and a movie, but if you find yourself or your loved one wanting to do something creative and different for date night you’re in luck! Unbox Love is a service that sends “creative dates-in-a-box” and delivers it to you monthly. Genius! They haven’t launched just yet, but it’s coming soon. That probably doesn’t do anything for you to conjure up something in time for today’s celebration, but it’ll definitely help for future date nights.

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!

Keynote vs. Powerpoint

Blog by @leahroides

At some point in our lives, whether at school, at work or even for personal reasons, we all have to give and make presentations.  So the question is, which application do you prefer, Keynote or PowerPoint?  Being a designer myself, there are many creative options that attract me to Keynote.  The options are limitless to spice up your presentation with slick looking animations, crisp graphics and clean text layout.

Keynote has been favored for its user-friendliness and overall media attributions.  If you are a Mac user then you will find Keynote is easily transferable between apple products.   For example, you can control your presentation or even make necessary edits right from your iPad.  PowerPoint can be used on both a Mac and a PC, but currently is not supported by any devices other than a computer.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the pros and cons between Keynote and Powerpoint.

Keynote Pros:

  • User friendliness with a fresh and simple interface
  • Theme options and sleek presentation outcomes

  • Simple aligning and positioning options
  • Multimedia friendliness
  • Animation and transition effects (Magic Move)
  • Easy to use formatting tool bar
  • Friendly inspector window (easily modify anything within your presentation)
  • Simple Master page management
  • Product integration between apple products
  • Exporting options (Powerpoint, Quick Time, html, etc)
  • Easy to use Master Slide guide
  • Alpha Transparency – Blend an image’s background into your slide’s background to create a transparency.
  • Simple guide layout

Keynote Cons:

  • Keynote does not function with Microsoft systems.  You have the option to export your presentation into PowerPoint, but may lose some graphics/animations in the process.
  • Moving from PowerPoint to Keynote takes some time getting used to and may seem frustrating at times especially if you are a PC user.

PowerPoint Pros:

  • Built in Excel-Chart analysis
  • Easy to use type formatting
  • Timeline (modification window for presentation)
  • Compatible with a Mac and/or PC
  • Formatting Palette

PowerPoint Cons:

  • Difficult Master page management
  • Tricky guides (hard to maneuver guides for measuring your layout)
  • Lack of image alteration options
  • Busy interface

If you’re really looking to create a powerful presentation, check out these 5 tips on how to present like legendary co-founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, who used Keynote for his speaking events.

We also use Keynote to build parts of our Digital Royalty University social media training classes. Here is our first class – it’s yours for free!

All eyes on Twitter in the race to the White House

Blog by @chelseahartling

Three weeks ago what did Big Bird, Binders Full of Women, and the Presidential candidates have in common?

Not much.

Today? They all have their own twitter handles.

Social media gives us a new way to witness and participate in vibrant political dialogue and at Digital Royalty, we acknowledge that social media is an equal opportunity space where everyone has a voice and has the opportunity to be heard. It’s actually very democratic.

On Tuesday night we saw the second presidential debate of the 2012 race to the White House. The Digital Royalty Team had our eyes glued to Twitter because 7.2 million tweets were exchanged during the 90-minute debate – that’s nearly 110,000 tweets per minute. The ebbs and flows of the worldwide trending topics were right in line with the questions from town hall members and it was apparent the entire world was watching. To keep in perspective, only 27% of Twitter users reside in the United States.

Maybe you noticed the worldwide promoted trend for the night was #FightForJobs. As a reminder, a promoted trend is a purchased social media ad unit at the top of the trending topic lists. At minimum, the cost for purchasing a trending topic is $120K per day. The Fight For Jobs initiative definitely had a large stage and spotlight but may have missed some opportunities by not clearly identifying the organization, or providing a direct link to their website in their Twitter bio. Many Twitter users wanted to learn more about the organization yet their bio wasn’t completely filled out.

We also noticed the stark contrasts in social media use from the two candidates. For example, President Obama’s campaign tweeted 50+ times (including RT’s) throughout the debate using a variety of hashtags like #RealRomney, #SketchyDeal, and #PromiseKept to highlight their key points. Meanwhile, Governor Romney’s camp tweeted only a few times during the debate, and instead directed the public away from his Twitter handle opting for a section of his website, mittrmoney.com.

Their style of social media use is quite different. Mitt Romney tags @BarackObama in his tweets, which drives more people to the President’s handle, while Obama never tags @MittRomney. Both candidates do a good job of humanizing their brand in different ways through Instagram. Obama’s account posts pictures from all across the campaign trail and focusing on the voters – he brings the public into his social space. Mitt Romney uses Instagram to post pictures of him and his running mate Paul Ryan, as well as pictures of his family. They use different techniques, but both seem to be embracing Instagram as a way to connect with voters.

Leveraging in the social media space could prove to be a deciding factor in the 2012 presidential election. Social messages are scalable and are only bound by the speed of technology. Impressions don’t always convert, but influence does. Combining authenticity and humanization, candidates can make or break their own approval ratings and influence voters at the polls.

Twitter isn’t the only social space that has influence. For example, immediately following the debate a Tumblr blog appeared called Binders Full Of Women – a clear jab at a comment Romney had made while attempting to answer a question about equal pay for equal work. This comment quickly spiraled into an Internet meme with hundreds of pictures surfacing within hours of the final question.

This kind of movement begs the question, are Twitter and other social outlets taking the debates seriously? One tiny misconstrued comment can turn a candidate’s remarks into a complete joke. But is the joke on us? Do we look to Twitter for serious conversation or for light-hearted chatter? What if one of the candidates bought #BindersFullOfWomen as a promoted trend for the next debate – how would that alter conversation and what kind of message would it send?

Social can also be a volatile, high-risk space, which is why the need for social media education is of utmost importance. Unfortunate things can happen during campaigns, but most crisis situations can be prevented with proper education. If you have a relationship with your follower base ahead of time they will be more likely to embrace the high points of your message and more likely to forgive you if you lay a big yellow #BigBird egg. It all starts with intent and truthfulness. In fact, at Digital Royalty University we have a Stop, Drop, and Roll plan to educate people on crisis management. Our advice to our global brands, celebrities, and sports teams has always been: Don’t wait and hope an issue blows over, address it immediately.

Savvy social media campaigns are great at acquiring volunteers and securing high volume micro donations. This late in the campaign game, focus is on the undecided voters, which means it’s important for the candidates to empower their loyalists to influence friends and family to vote and spread information.

And for those voters still undecided, would it be a game changer if the candidates bought #FactChecker to hold each other accountable? We saw the moderator, Candy Crowley doing a bit of live fact-checking, but there’s still opposite information coming from both sides. If a non-biased source were to be the fact checker for the night and fact check in real time on Twitter, would it have an impact on the results of the election?

With 500+ million users on Twitter, it’s irresponsible to count the social media factor out of the 2012 Presidential race. How each candidate utilizes social media ultimately could very well determine the next President of the United States.

So the question is, who is doing it well? Is less more, or is more more? Who do you think has the social media edge in this race, and how big of a role do you think social media will play for Governor Romney and President Obama?

A Royal Announcement

First they were mentors, then friends, eventually clients and now our business partners.

Today we announced a unique partnership with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and Baron Davis, NBA New York Knicks point guard. (More info on the investment news in today’s Mashable article.)  My team and I couldn’t be more excited about the like-minded people involved and the future ahead. Side note, Baron has also agreed to intern for Digital Royalty this summer. This is going to be fun.

While working for the Phoenix Suns several years ago, I was constantly getting my hand slapped for trying to recruit everyone from the mascot to the president of the company to embrace social media. This was four years ago when social media was still a fad. HR wanted to establish a social media policy and I wanted to write the rules because they simply didn’t exist yet. I DM (Direct Messaged) Tony Hsieh, who was a complete stranger, and asked him if he could share his social media policy given his company was clearly progressive in this area. I was seeking advice. Two weeks later I received a DM back from him that stated, “Be real and use your best judgment.” I thought to myself, “Wow, a man of few words.” Turns out those seven words are the Zappos company-wide communication policy. A month later, Tony visited Scottsdale for a speaking engagement and that first meeting eventually led to today.

Around the same time, the Phoenix Suns hosted the NBA All-Star game, which means the NBA Commissioner, David Stern, hosted his annual NBA Tech Summit in town a few days prior to the game. Not just anyone can get into the NBA Tech Summit. If you’re not the CEO of a major brand you’re not getting in the doors. Going to this NBA Tech Summit was a dream of mine so I decided to volunteer at the check-in desk and try to sneak inside after the games began. Turns out that Baron Davis, NBA Player slash nerd sans a Tech Summit invitation, also planned to crash the digital Disneyland. Long story short, we met at the Tech Summit, I helped Baron set up his beard on Twitter from the hallway because I wasn’t allowed inside afterall all and we became friends. Baron has always been an early adopter of social platforms with the ability to spot growth potential early on. Today, he’s our investor and our intern.

So, what does this partnership mean? Over the past three years, the Digital Royalty consultancy division has grown rapidly with clients ranging from large corporate brands to celebrities, athletes and sports properties. This new partnership allows us to continue to grow our consultancy business and also focus heavily on growing our education division, Digital Royalty University (dRU), which we launched a year ago.

Digital Royalty University offers customized education programs including strategic and tactical social media training for all individuals within a company. It’s important that every department understands how social communication channels impact their area of business. This new phase allows us to also begin providing education to small and medium sized businesses, in addition to large corporate brands, as we continue to automate our curriculum comprised of more than 100 training modules. Eventually, the curriculum will span beyond social media, offering personal and business innovation training.

As a result of this partnership we are moving our headquarters to Las Vegas, joining Tony Hsieh’s $350 million Downtown Las Vegas Revitalization Project. Digital Royalty will continue to have a presence in Los Angeles and soon in New York City, but we look forward to joining the Downtown Las Vegas Community as our new home base. Below is a video of Tony and I discussing the unmatched project. “If we fix the cities, we fix the world.” as Tony says. In the past, I’ve delivered speeches and written about the concept of Orthogonal Bliss. Where purpose, passion and skill collide, bliss resides:

My team and I are humbled as we write the rules for our next chapter and inject a higher purpose into our days – education. Together, as a community online and in the physical space, we can strive to accelerate the process of learning and innovation.

Keep it Royal,

Amy Jo Martin

Digital Royalty Founder & CEO

(@AmyJoMartin)

More info on:

Digital Royalty Partnership with Tony Hsieh and Baron Davis

Downtown Las Vegas Revitalization Project

Below is a screen shot of Tony and I the day we finalized our partnership terms. Nothing like a Skype high-five on a Saturday afternoon versus a handshake in a boardroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Trends To Look For

 

 

 

Digital Royalty Founder and CEO, Amy Jo Martin, was recently interviewed by TechCrunch to provide insight on the 2012 social media landscape. Article written by Joseph Puopolo:

In 2011, social media had its share of growing pains. Large brands and corporations took to social media in force to try to find footing in this expanding medium. Some brands found success, while others found peril and new PR nightmares. One person who has helped brands navigate the proverbial social media minefield is Amy Jo Martin. She is the founder of Digital Royalty, a social media firm that has set itself apart by helping A-listers find their social media voice.

Amy works with people like Dana White of the UFC, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson of acting/WWE fame and brands like Nike and Fox Sports (and now Joel Stein). Her specialty is working with organizations or individuals and making them look good online. Since the online world is in perpetual flux, I wanted to get Amy’s take on the social media landscape for 2012.

Here were a few key trends Amy said we should look out for in 2012:

1. Social TV Integration

Many shows have already begun to integrate social TV, either through polling or integrating social elements within the show. See my example of how both the UFC and WWE are integrating social media into their programming. Social media played a pivotal role in the last presidential election, and it will likely be more integrated into political broadcasts.

As each news channel fights hard to keep their viewers engaged, networks like CNN and Fox have made significant strides to engage their audience, although some would argue that this social media integration has come at the expense of hard-hitting journalism and analysis.

2. TV Is Going Online in a Big Way

2012 will be the first time that the Super Bowl will be streamed live to the world. Since the Super Bowl is generally viewed as the mother of all advertising spectacles, it will add a new dynamic into the digital component to advertising and social media integration.

3. Facebook Credits Take Center stage

Facebook in 2012 has the potential to project its power and truly take Facebook credits into a viable currency. Amy puts it quite well when she says “they’re building an online destination we’ll never need to leave, and my guess is they’re only about 8% of the way through their product roadmap.”

4. Big Business Has Woken Up

The way corporate entities approach social media is shifting. Many companies realize that setting up Twitter, YouTube and Facebook accounts is not going to cut it as their social media strategy. Brands will need to seriously shift their perspective by treating social channels more like communication channels and less like an advertising channels in order to make a difference. From my perspective this transition has already occurred, judging by the extent to which brands’ Twitter accounts are now used as channels for CRM and customer support, managing pissed off or happy customers in near realtime.

5. ROI Is Still Huge

ROI will remain a key metric to any social media strategy. The concept of engagement is now becoming more and more an excepted metric. CEO adoption of social media is improving, and more CEOs are recognizing the benefits of humanizing their brand by taking to Twitter.

Customer service, research and image branding could all be considered social media intangibles, yet all three are obviously important in business. Social channels impact every single aspect of business from human relations to finance, sales, operations and legal. It’s important for everyone to understand how social media affects their role and responsibilities. Opposite of television, social media is a dialogue vs. a monologue and if a brand is able to collect opinions real-time in high volume via social channels like Facebook polls, they can save a great deal of money on formal research studies.

There have been a lot of discussions about social media fatigue and whether brands refuse to play for that reason. With over a billion people on social media it’s irresponsible for any brand not to have some sort of presence. 2012 will be the year for brands to go beyond cookie cutter campaigns and really determine how it not only adds value to their company, but how it adds value for their customers. 2012 will be crucial for companies and social media. For those who don’t see a direct correlation between social media and sales consider:

“Social media is an ideal tool for moving people up the fan ladder, from being a casual fan of a brand to a loyalist, because the communication channels allow people to build stronger emotional connections with brands.”

So in 2012, the question is, how will your brand use effective strategy to move people up the fan ladder from interested to foaming at the mouth brand zealots?

Simple (Yet Impactful) Facebook Design Tip

simple-yet-impactful-facebook-design-tipBy: Britnee Johnson

Over the last few years, Facebook has evolved brilliantly, avoiding the pitfalls of its social network ancestors from Xanga to Myspace. Much of the success has been due to its more subtle and natural use of advertising. Facebook limits customization and flagrant ads and makes marketers work hard for user attention.

Instead of banner ads and pop-ups, Facebook advertisers must savvily use ads and sponsored stories to be less invasive and more personal. But many marketers miss the visual “pop” of old fashioned (and admittedly, obnoxious) banner ads of yesteryear. Some clever brands have married the creativity and visual stimulus of old ad types with the more natural feel of Facebook’s new ad integrations by creating photo banners.

Now, individual users on Facebook can customize their images to create personal photo-streamed collages to make their personal and commercial pages stand out from the stock. Whether through a profile banner creator or manual compilations, these banners stand out both on your profile and in others’ news feeds.

A brand that is taking full advantage of the feature is HBO, which offers personalized profiles (reminiscent of MySpace), allowing the brand to capitalize off of loyal fans willing to champion their favorite show, as shown on HBO’s Game of Thrones page. Another great example is BMW, as it strategically draws in audiences to show-off the latest campaigns and avoid the familiar look-over with traditional advertising.

But brands aren’t the only ones catching on. Facebook users have created custom banners to showcase their photography, display their art pieces and even broadcast their business card or resume in a whole new way. Twitter has also recently jumped on the visualization bandwagon with their photo sharing menu that has an uncanny resemblance to Facebook’s similar functionality. Customization is so far not an option, but where there’s a clever developer or hacker, there’s a way.

Ultimately, both individuals and brands are finding the value in sharing images to amplify their message and stand out in the Facebook crowd of 750 million. As often as Facebook re-imagines features and functionalities, there is plenty of room for more customization in the future. So what’s next? The return of the customized profile? Videos in your top banner? Revamping of the infamous “poke” feature? Let us know your thoughts.

State of The Twitter Union

By: Britt Johnson

For every social media startup, there are dozens more that have fallen to the wayside and equally as many new platforms waiting in the wings (Goodbye Google Buzz, hello Google+).

With its own humble beginnings, Twitter could have easily been lost in the crowd. Literally sketched out at the hand of founder Jack Dorsey in 2006, Twitter aimed to deliver quick bursts of information to specific groups of people. The result was the microblogging boom. In just five years, Twitter has revolutionized communication and connected our world in an unprecedented way.

Of course, there will always be the cynics and skeptics. But for those who believe in the power of numbers, read on. After you are done, ask yourself this: are you or your brand taking full advantage of Twitter’s impressive (and exponentially growing) influence? Without further adieu, here is a glimpse of where Twitter stands today.

FACT: There are more than 200 million Twitter accounts worldwide.

That is the equivalent of signing up every person in Australia. With that kind of reach, it is undeniable that there are people out there who are interested in what you have to say, and what you have to offer. From celebrities to satirists, athletes to artists, every user finds a unique application for Twitter use. DoubleTree by Hilton, for instance, operates more than 260 hotels worldwide. There is a select group of properties that operate Twitter accounts to better serve guests on a local level by offering deals, contests and most importantly, extend the DoubleTree by Hilton CARE customer service to the online space. It’s all about delivering value to your audience when, where and how they want it.

FACT: 460,000 new accounts are created on Twitter each day.

Think back to when you joined Twitter: Who were the people and brands you followed first? Position yourself as a thought leader and expert within your field to stand out in the crowd. New users are looking for trustworthy and reliable sources, ones that can provide content that they won’t find anywhere else. We like the mantra Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh coined for tweeting: Make all of your tweets ICEE; They should inspire, connect, educate or entertain.

FACT: More than 200 million tweets are exchanged everyday.

Some quick math can tell you that with 200 million users, and 200 million tweets each day, the site is buzzing with activity. Familiarity with the medium will tell you there is a large community on Twitter that is vastly more engaged and more influential to your brand than those on other platform users. Of Twitter users who use the platform daily:

  • 72% publish blog posts at least once a month
  • 70% comment on others’ blog posts
  • 61% write at least one product review a month
  • 61% comment on news sites
  • 56% write articles for third-party sites
  • 53% post videos online
  • 50% make contributions to wiki sites
  • 48% share deals found through coupon forums

You want to make sure you participate in these conversations. The best way to do that is authentically engage your followers. Use replies and @mentions, retweets and the newly-powerful favorite function on a regular basis to make your followers feel like they are being heard and appreciated.

FACT: 13% of all American adult Internet users are registered on Twitter.

… And 70% of Twitter traffic comes from outside of the US. In a world where almost all business has the potential to be international business, this is great news. Additionally, the Twitter audience has been proven to be more affluent and to have more buying power than the average consumer. Factor in that following is an opt-in process and 33% of Twitter users log-in everyday, and you get a higher chance at conversion from users who have the desire and ability to buy what you’re selling (whether that be a message or a product).

FACT: 55% of Twitter users are female, while 45% are male.

Women typically make up the larger gender demographic across most social platforms, Facebook included. You may know how to market to your traditional audience, but your messaging may need to be adjusted in order to fit your Twitter following. Strategize content not only for the audience, but the platform. Resist the urge to push the same message through all of your social accounts, as followers may interpret it as spam.

Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball to tell us where Twitter will be in the next five to ten years. A safe assumption is that it will continue to evolve as users needs and demands change. Whether it stands the test of time or not, Twitter has been the lab for testing an entirely new type of people-fueled and focused medium. There is no doubt that the no holds barred conversation transpiring on Twitter is, and will continue to be, the overpowering force in marketing and advertising, but above all, communication as a whole. The numbers don’t lie.